Online infidelity is still infidelity, and it can still hurt the relationship. In many ways, the Internet allows people to create and build relationships similarly to the capabilities of doing so in-person.
Unlike physical relationships, virtual relationships are easy to sustain with many different people, and even while an individual is involved in a physical relationship. Even though there’s no physical contact, there’s still a connection – and many times, this can be both sexual and emotional.
In order for a relationship to heal from a cyber-infidelity situation, it requires the straying partner to break those connections. However, many times the emotional break is very difficult to do.
Mechanisms of Internet Infidelity
While Internet infidelity does not involve the typical physical component identified with unfaithfulness, it’s been described as including naked or sexual photo or video exchanges, cybersex, online flirting, or even watching online pornography.
However, that’s just the sexual component. Recovering from Internet infidelity also requires acknowledging and understanding the component of emotional attachment (on the side of the cheater) and the emotional trauma (on the side of the cheated).
Emotional Trauma of Internet Cheating
Many people experience surprise, anger, and distrust when they discover that their partner is involved in cyber-infidelity. Some will be inclined to end the relationship or to question whether they should give their partner another chance.
Some straying partners don’t fully grasp the intensity of emotional bonding online, and so they don’t accept responsibility for their significant other’s emotional trauma. Emotional value is often enhanced through applications and technologies such as webcams, video chatrooms, and video calling.
Acknowledging the effects and dangers of engaging in online relationships helps to prevent emotional connection, and it allows couples to create approaches for avoiding them.
Online Infidelity Recovery
Many therapists and counseling professionals recommend that couples who’ve had issues of cyber-infidelity should set physical boundaries on their computers, laptops, and mobile devices. This can be in the form of site restrictions or limiting computer use to just work-related activities. While these precautions can help, they’re only one part of recovery.
As so with traditional sexual infidelity, recovery from online infidelity requires both partners to work together and gently rebuild trust and respect. They can both work together to discover what their partner’s needs are both sexually and emotionally.
While many may believe that it’s only cheating if someone has been in a physical sexual relationship with someone, it’s important for people who are trying to get over cyber-infidelity to appreciate and understand the emotional allure of online romances. Forming online emotional attachments can leave the other party starved of emotional affection.
Psychologists in Montclair
If your relationship is suffering from the aftermath of cyber-infidelity, or if your attempts to recover just don’t seem to be working, call the Advanced Psychology Partners. We offer personalized, results-driven therapy in a comfortable, private environment for patients of all sexual orientations, as well as individualized counseling.
Choose the therapist you wish to confide in, and you will be treated with the utmost discretion, compassion, and respect. To take the first step to sexual satisfaction, contact us today by calling (973) 534-5333 or fill out our online appointment request form. We look forward to helping you enjoy a fulfilling lifestyle.