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Joined: Mar 2001
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SaHaRa Offline OP
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Hey, everybody.<P>My name is Sarah, I'm a college student doing a research paper about "Online Infidelity Causes and Consequences", and I would like to know your opinions towards the topic.<P>Do you think that online infidelity exist? If so, why? and what causes it?<BR>How does an online affair work?<BR>What about its consequences for the relationship?<P>Feel free to send me your opinions and experiences to my e-mail adress: sarahrosario@hotmail.com. Thanks agian for your help, and take care!<P><P>------------------<BR>_SaHaRa_<BR> \0/

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Go to "Thoughts From a WS" on this site. It happens to be my husband and he details in there how he had an online line affair that began with emotional attachment and sadly, progressed to an actual physical affair. It may help...Good Luck

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Hi<P>Feel free to look up my old posts (my first posts here. They're from February 2000 until now. They will tell you exactly how my online affair started and ended. <P>Also, see the post entitled "Internet Relationships" by lonelyheart. Someone by the name of Jaboom has a good reply that actually lists the steps of how online affairs get started. I think you'll find it helpful.<P>To answer your initial questions:<P>Yes, I DO think that online infidelity exists in the form of emotional affairs and sexual "hints".<P>The answer to the "why" part of this is complex. For me, I thought that I had made a new "friend". I was very lonely. My husband was not very verbal at the time. So, things began very innocently. At first it was nothing more than a fun friendship. Then, before I knew it, this guy had all of the right things to say...things I needed to hear. I trapped myself. Before I knew it, I wanted to spend more time on this computer talking to a total stranger than I wanted to spend talking to my husband who was in the very next room.<P>My online affair started as friendship and ended over one weekend when the friendship turned physical. How does an online affair work? Lots of e-mail contact, chatting and eventually phone calls and a face-to-face meeting.<P>As far as consequences for a relationship...the consequences are devastating for all involved. The victim of the affair and the person that had the affair suffer in horrible ways. My husband is heartbroken and is barely beginning to heal. For a long time I was deeply depressed and suicidal at times. Anger, shame, resentment, depression, guilt, suicidal thoughts...the list could go on. I have no clue what happened to the other man or to his family since I ended the relationship. The last thing I heard was that his wife wanted nothing to do with him and she had custody of the children.<P>I hope this helped.<P>Feel free to ask questions.<P>Just hang out at this forum and read the posts. I think that you'll learn alot.<P>Jill

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Something I notice is common with most on-line affairs (consistent with my on-line EA) is that the participants tend to convince themselves that their new relationship is "meant to be." I think most WSs who get involved this way play the "fate" card because the chances of meeting the OP where and when they did are so remote. "We met in a chat room! There are millions of chat rooms but we just happened to find the same one at the same time. It must be fate!" This is really just a lame justification people use to cover their guilt in most cases. It's funny how quickly WSs forget the circumstances ("fate") that led them to their spouses to begin with. Equally unlikely, in most cases.<P>I like what people say about how people in on-line situations project good things onto the OP, especially if they've never met. WSs paint the OP into a perfect person, generally overlooking the first indication of less-than-perfect character: that the OP is involved with a married person. Suggestion is powerful. People involved in on-line affairs fall victim to their own fantasies and get trapped in bubbles of illusion. I did. It's MUCH easier to get trapped than to get out, by the way. Withdrawal is terrible, definitely not worth whatever gratification comes from the affair, emotional or otherwise.<P>This, I think, is the basic pattern: two needy people meet, they chat innocently, they begin to discuss and discover relationship problems, there are sparks, they compensate for each other, they begin to think about each other constantly, share emails, trade pictures, tell themselves they're only friends, probably justify speaking on the phone (hiding all of this from their spouses while telling themselves they're doing nothing wrong), begin to "need" the OP, mistake that "need" (addiction) for "love', tell themselves their marriages are hopeless, tell themselves that they should end their marriages because they (a favorite of mine) think their spouses deserve someone who is committed to them, tell themselves they're in love. at some point discussions are held about meeting the OP, and if that happens, things often become physical. This is justified by "fate" and all sorts of other garbage that WSs treat themselves to. It never went that far for me, but I certainly see how it could have. When the game starts, it's easy to play. Easy.<P>I didn't mean to go on this long, but I guess I needed to say some things. It's truly an addiction. I can't think of a better way to describe it. I'd be interested in hearing from WSs who did the on-line thing and actually met the OP and had a relationship. How did it turn out in the end? Did reality set in? I'm told it does. People can be whoever they want in cyberspace. The real world is quite a different place. <P>There's my two or three cents.

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SaHaRa,<P>The post Jill is referring to came from <A HREF="http://www.dearpeggy.com." TARGET=_blank>www.dearpeggy.com.</A> This lady has written a book about affairs in general and her website has many different articles about issues re: affairs including a Survey she's conducting about online affairs. Good luck in your research. What made you choose such a topic?<P>Jill,<P>You wrote:<P>As far as consequences for a relationship...the consequences are devastating for all involved. The victim of the affair and the person that had the affair suffer in horrible ways. My husband is heartbroken and is barely beginning to heal. For a long time I was deeply depressed and suicidal at times. Anger, shame, resentment, depression, guilt, suicidal thoughts...the list could go on. <P>At what point did you go through this emotional rollercoaster? Was this during a withdrawal phase after it was exposed? How did the affair wind down? How did your husband find out?<P>Clarity,<P>Your description of the process is nearly word for word some of the things my W has said on e-mail to her EA friend.<P>My wife is in complete denial mode re: her EA with an ex-boyfriend from high school that she hasn't seen for 15 years. They are both needy (he's been divorced for 5 years and hasn't gone a date the entire time), they exchange pictures (she bought a digital camera just for this purpose), they e-mail as much as 10 times per day, they phone each other whenever possible, they talk about how they are meant for each other and how God brought them back together, they talk about how they don't know what they'd do if they lost contact again, they discuss grounds for divorce and how they can justify their actions to friends and family. Clarity, you must have been reading the letters with me.<P>All this and it's kept a complete secret from me. At the same time, she has pulled away from me completely emotionally. She denies any connection between her new/old friendship and the downgrading of ours. She lies about how often they are in contact. She's now moved into the other bedroom. I know about the details because I broke into her e-mail and read many of the letters. We are in couples counseling and the counselor knows what is going on with her. We have both been diagnosed as being clinically depressed. I have started taking St. Johns Wort and I'm in individual counseling. My wife sees no reason for her to do either but is glad that I'm taking care of myself. At the same time, she talks about how trapped she feels and doesn't know what to do. Both the counselor and I believe that if we confront her on the OM r she will totally withdraw and close up. We are trying to give her the time and space to let the OM thing play out and make our R something she will have trouble deciding to leave.<P>My individual counselor has advised to go one way or the other. Either confront her and deal with it or let it go and allow it to either die a natural death or be the end of things. His basic point is that as long as I continue to track her every move and mistrust her every word, I will be adding to the problem by toxifying the relationship (i.e. encouraging her to lie with leading questions, reacting to every suspicious thing she does). The other thing he asked me to remember is that she is in more pain and difficult situations than I am right now. She is lying to me, lying to the OM, lying to the counselor, lying to close friends and at the same time trying to decide if she wants to break up our family and risk ruining our kids lives. That's a heavy burden. It's helps my resolve to work hard at improving the things in my control that led to problems in the relationship in the first place and try to ignore the waves of emotion that she throws at me.<P>Sorry that my questions have led to a dumping of my entire story. But, I haven't had a chance to post very often lately.<P>Jaboom<P>

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SaHaRa Offline OP
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Dear friends,<P>I first would like to say thanks to all of you who have kindly answered to my questions and helped me with this assigment.<P>I have to say that I didn't think that I would find so much information about "Online Infidelity" as I have, most of it thanks to your answers, and to the article about internet affairs I found in this site.<P> I chose this topic because 2 years ago, I found myself in a middle of a situation similar to those you have shared with me, but under different circumstances, I didn't know he had a girlfriend, and when I found out I felt very disapointed and depressed altough it never came to a physical level. <BR>At the present time a friend of mine has gone thru the same situation and it seemed to me like a very interesting situation to investigate about.I also would like to use thi assigment as a way to find out a way to prevent online affairs to threat my relationships in the future. It has been a very touching and educational experienced fr me to read about your experiences and thoughts.<P>Once again, thank you all for your help and time, and if you would like to have a copy of my paper(after its finished) I would be glad to send it.<P>Thanks, and take care.<P> _SaHaRa_<P>[This message has been edited by SaHaRa (edited March 26, 2001).]<p>[This message has been edited by SaHaRa (edited March 26, 2001).]

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Dear SaHaRa,<P>Yes I would like to see a copy of your report. Could you post it here?<P>Thanks,<BR>L.


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