There is no more piercing betrayal than infidelity. People are undone by it.
As our world has moved increasingly into the virtual/digital arena, the once clear line between sexual fidelity and cheating has, in many instances, gone blurry. Generally, the question that begs to be answered is this: Is live, in-person contact required for sexual infidelity, or does digital sexual activity count equally? To answer this question, researchers conducted a survey of individuals whose partners were engaging in significant amounts of extramarital sexual activity, either online or in the real world. Probably the most important finding of this study was that when it comes to the negative effects of one partner having sex outside a supposedly monogamous relationship, tech-based and in-the-flesh sexuality are no different. The lying, the emotional distancing, and the pain of learning about the betrayal all feel exactly the same to the betrayed partner.
Task for Today
Think about ways you’ve acted out sexually that you previously dismissed as not cheating or not part of your addiction. In light of the information above, do you now feel differently about those behaviors?