Connectivity has become way too easy now so has internet infidelity. Married individuals have often sought refuge in words on a screen from a stranger they met online, spilling secrets about their marriage and their spouses. What seems initially as harmless indulgence and casual flirting might lead to something bigger if not curbed at the right time.
We invest too much time in gadgets and online activity. We tend to text aimlessly, scrolling past the feed, liking photos of people we do not know, conversing with people we have never met and no one seems to have a problem with that.
But when these midnight texts become somewhat of a habit without your spouse’s knowledge, that’s when the problem begins and you are into online infidelity. And what’s more concerning is that we do not associate virtual texting or social media as a medium of infidelity.
How Does Online Infidelity Affect Relationships?
But did you know, in divorce cases, the word ‘Facebook’ has been used a lot in the court proceedings? Facebook has become an instant media of infidelity in many, many divorce cases.
In many cases, evidence shows how the spouse began their infidelity with mundane conversations about work and ended having sex with a stranger they met online which led to the divorce.
Related Reading: How To Find Out If Your Partner Is Cheating Online?
With connectivity, it has become easy to share marital woes and hardships to people who are willing to listen to us or empathize with us. It is easier to confide in a lonely stranger online and talk about your issues than hashing it out with your spouse.
Emotional confiding soon follows. Dissatisfaction with the spouse or unhappy marriage are the main topic of discussion which is soon followed by sexual suggestions and remarks – the things they would like their partners to do in the bedroom.
One step in the world of social media and IM’s can set off a domino effect. Here are some tips that might be helpful in protecting your marriage against internet infidelity.
Related Reading: Is social media to be blamed for poor couple relationships?
How To Protect Your Marriage Against Internet Infidelity
In a scenario like this when online affairs are rampant and spouses could end up chatting online with that ex from college or just a stranger who sent a friend request on Facebook, infidelity is like the accident that’s waiting to happen.
But how do you make your marriage internet infidelity proof? You can take some serious steps to ensure online infidelity does not affect your marriage. We tell you 8 ways to do that.
1. Fix ground rules
Rules like “Don’t use your phone during so and so time” will instigate the use of phones behind your back. Ground rules are mostly set for our own selves.
Seeing how easy it is to fall down the slope of internet infidelity nowadays, it is wise to set guidelines for your own self.
For instance Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas have set this ground rule that they do not carry their phones to their bedroom. So there is no question of answering texts late in night. It’s a great way to give each other undivided attention too.
2. Call instead of texting
Suppose you get a text from a co-worker and you feel the vibes are not so professionally appropriate, instead of replying to the text, give them a call. Replying to texts takes less time than talking over the phone but talking makes communication vocally clear.
Talking to someone of the opposite sex over texts or IM’s is like being with that person in a spaceship, hovering in space, with no one to watch. This is a ready ground of internet infidelity. Would you ever want that?
When messaging co-workers the best thing to do is keeping it short and professional and never get into a humorous banter even. This could lead to trouble. Texting often leads to office romances. Hope you are aware of that.
Related Reading: What happened when her husband caught us sexting
3. Communicate with your spouse
Take their stance into consideration – what do they feel about talking to friends you both have met online. Set clear boundaries and agree to stick to it.
You might not be comfortable with your spouse interacting with random people on the net and your spouse might not like that about you either. But someone might make a contact for professional reasons or someone might be an old college senior who wants to reconnect.
Have a talk with your spouse about what kind of interaction is comfortable and what kind is not. And if online chatting is what you despise then make that clear too.
4. Pay attention to your social media friend lists
Also, ignore or unfollow people you were once interested in, in the past. Unmet desires are dangerous and constantly finding them on your feed might instigate you to communicate with them.
5. Put in combined efforts to avoid internet infidelity
People take their social media accounts very seriously. To prepare for complete transparency, you can suggest joint accounts for the two of you. This means no one will be tempted to do anything behind their spouse’s back.
But it all entirely depends on trust. You have to have the trust in each other for your relationship to thrive and sharing each other’s passwords is not a great idea. You also should avoid making some social media mistakes as a couple.
Related Reading: Online Relationship Advice – 23 Important Tips
6. Keep your emotions in check
It is so easy to know a person well just by scrolling through their feed on Facebook or Instagram. Emotional infidelity can follow even when you peruse through the account of a person to meet your visual desires.
You might not do anything as big as having a sexual relationship outside your marriage but you form an infatuation or emotional connection to this other person, which is really, really harmful in a marriage.
If it gets too much, you can always delete the social media account and go back to reading books and doing things that our grandparents used to do.
7. Don’t divulge personal information
In cases of internet infidelity, because everything is happening behind a smoky screen and on the web, there is a false sense of security for the instigator. Your smartphone is yours, the conversations are being tossed back and forth between you and your co-worker, no witness whatsoever.
In this false sense of security, people tend to divulge very personal information to them, which they would not have, had they met in a coffee bar or in person. In texting, there is a sense of satisfaction that is unmet when you meet in person.
8. Don’t blame your spouse
We all have low points in our relationships but thinking about the negatives all the time affects it adversely. What we wouldn’t express in person or over a phone call we can talk in great dept while chatting online. It allows us a sense of anonymity and that’s when we end up in internet infidelity.
People also tend to blame the inability of their spouses to make them happy and internet infidelity as an escape route from reality. “My husband doesn’t appreciate my work enough and this person I met loves my work.” Also, just because everyone is doing it, does not mean you need to indulge in it as well.
The whole internet is a web and it is so easy to get entangled in it. Know how to fight it and protect the sanctity of your marriage.