Is the Internet encouraging infidelity?2 Comments

By gossipmama
Posted on 17 Nov 2011 at 5:17pm

New technology has made its way into the offices of relationship counsellors… Naughty text messages, dating websites, online fetishist networks – they’re all now valid reasons for a visit to the marriage counsellor.

Despite this flurry of activity, psychoanalyst Sophie Cadalen maintains that, when it comes to the digital era and infidelity, “The Internet doesn’t create new infidelity, but only reveals and amplifies what already exists. We are no more unfaithful than we were before”1.

Infidelity: the rules have changed!

A second sexual revolution is well and truly underway, that much cannot be denied, and the Internet has upturned the rules. Before Internet social networking, one would chat up a work colleague at the office coffee machine, or pick up someone at a bar before heading home. These days, you can chat on dating websites and gets things sizzling at any hour of the day by texting or instant messaging.

These new methods of communication do “make the idea of being unfaithful an attractive one for some people,” explains Caladen, but “new technology doesn’tt encourage infidelity as such, it has just changed the methods”. The concept of infidelity and keeping “a hand in the game” has always existed. New technology has but changed the way these concepts are put into practice.

The Internet is keeping track

Beyond cheating and using the Internet to do so, the big revolution comes from the fact that your actions can be tracked on the World Wide Web. “It’s actually easier to get caught than before,” admits Cadalen. Forget the hotel bill or receipt for flower delivery found by chance in a pocket when doing the laundry… The digital era has made it that much easier to access private information.

But in reality, there are many other important issues. According to our expert, “Internet or not, infidelity is still about being unfaithful and the subconscious guilt and desire to get caught still exist”. The virtual environment has nevertheless replaced rifling through jacket pockets and searching for lipstick marks on collars. Now we rifle through mobile phones and Facebook pages…

Then, there’s online porn…

Being concerned about the consequences of easier access to porn and fetishist websites within the home is a legitimate concern. But that doesn’t mean “we haven’t all have the chance to secretly watch a porn film or read a porn magazine,’ continues Cadalen.

“The difference today,” adds author Eliette Abécassis, “is that pornography has entered the home as easily as food in the fridge and cartoons on the telly…”  True as this may be, the Internet still doesn’t actually create new infidelity; again it’s just easier to get to.

“The obsession with pornography has not changed,” continues Caladen, “it’s just been amplified and become more visible”. And that’s of course what bothers us! As for easier access to pornography as a factor that provokes infidelity, this still remains to be verified.

The question is knowing what you are prepared to tolerate and where to draw the line. Is sex surfing on the Internet actually cheating? And does it mean you would actually go one step further than just ‘window shopping’?

What is considered as infidelity?

Each person has their own concept of what is and what isn’t considered being unfaithful. A simple email from an ex-partner can spell the end for a current relationship for some. As can surfing on porn sites for others…

The issue is not trying to find out who’s right and who’s wrong… Each person’s tolerance level is specific to them and any action that can be seen as unfaithful by one of the partners deserves to be discussed within the relationship.

However, when it comes to a couple’s sexual relationship, the more rigid the rules are, the more likely it is that one partner or the other will stray from the rulebook… “The temptation to bend the rules goes hand in hand with a certain lack of flexibility,” confirms Caladen. As such, the virtual world – a veritable mirror of our society and our fantasies – can have a big impact on relationships.

Today, as in the days before the web, the issue of infidelity and the hurt it entails remains an extremely sensitive subject. Infidelity and the resulting betrayal felt within a relationship can bring a couple to an end, but the reasons are far more intimate and complex than the Internet and it can rarely be held up as the unique culprit.


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  • Miyagi

    Hmmmmmm very intressting 

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  • adewale


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