John and I have been married for 5 years now. We decided that I’ll be a stay-at-home wife after marriage while he continues to work as a finance manager in a banking firm, and we are both looking forward to building a happy and fulfilling married life together. The arrangement was pretty much comfortable at the beginning. I make sure that I attend to his needs and take care of our household. We also decided not to have babies at first. We wanted to experience our togetherness and enjoy each other’s company before we bring in children to our family.
The values are obvious. These couples are putting the needs of their kids first and their own needs second—but it’s a close second and that’s the beauty. — Susan Pease Gadoua L.C.S.W.
Everything was perfectly working until the weeks and months made me realize that I needed someone by my side not only physically but someone to talk to aside from business and work related stuff. John rarely stays at home for a longer period. Even during the weekend, he still faces work and talks to people about work. This lack of attention from him led me to speak with other people online where I spend long hours in chat rooms socializing and making friends. This is where I met Eric.
Is it cheating?
I have to say that I was rationalizing on my actions. Looking back, I told myself that it’s just a passing thing and we are just talking online. It will not hurt me or my relationship with John. But as I continue to form a relationship with Eric, our feelings for each other deepens until I found myself yearning for him.
But I don’t think this is why he quit and I don’t think this is why it’s getting so much attention. I think there may be other personal secrets that he wants to prevent the public from knowing because it would hurt his family further. — Sari Cooper, CST, LCSW
I learned about my behavior when a friend told me that I am having a digital flirtation with someone else and maybe have already fallen for the person. I immediately denied the accusation but reflecting on my actions now, I can say that it is indeed a form of infidelity. I remember doing these things:
- Always looking forward to speaking with him
- I don’t have the time to focus my attention to John anymore
- I am being more secretive and was already lying to my husband when being asked who am I chatting with
- Our conversation online can go beyond extreme hours
So yes– I was basically cheating on my husband.
It can shatter an illusion of trust: “If he/she is being deceitful about this, what else are they lying to me about? — Brad Klontz Psy.D., CFP
How did I put a stop to it?
My best friend (the one who also told me about digital flirtation) was able to convince me that what I was doing is wrong as a married person. I was on the verge of divorcing John. I was totally hooked with my online relationship with Eric. I lost connection with my own reality and neglected to take care of my marriage. It was then that I decided to end my relationship with Eric.
At first, I was hesitant in speaking with Eric about the whole truth about my marriage. But I decided to tell all and end it. I’m so lucky that the guy I met online does not have any mischievous behavior. I learned that there are some persons who do not want to be left hanging and would go after the person instead and even to the point of blackmailing the person just to control the situation.
After our conversation, we just ended it. I did not open my laptop for nearly a month and I also avoided my mobile phone to be connected to the internet for fear that I will be tempted to initiate contact again with Eric. My best friend was with me the whole time. She guided and helped me go back to being a loving wife to John.
I have not told my whole story to John. I don’t know if I can. But what I know right now is that I am more learned and able to handle feelings of insecurity when it comes to my marriage. John is still working like a horse, but I cannot complain about it. We expect our twins this coming fall, and the experience was eye-opening for me.
If you and your partner are experiencing problems and want to be guided by a licensed professional, you may opt for traditional or online couples therapy.