Is 'Chexting' the new 'Sexting'?
If you have a close friendship with a member of the opposite sex on the internet and via texting, can that be considered cheating on your spouse?
Sure it can - if you try hard enough to make it so.
It’s a disturbing trend that is being blamed for destroying marriages and ruining families. Experts say it starts as an innocent conversation, but evolves into a deep bond.
“He left his Facebook up one day and there was a whole other life,” said one woman.
She said her man wasn’t having sex with another woman, but was sharing his deepest feelings with her.
Experts say it is the latest frontier in betrayal. So-called ‘emotional sex’ occurs when chatting becomes cheating, either online or through text messaging.
Marriage counselor Dr. Jane Greer said that spouses don’t always set out to cheat, and that things usually begin with an innocent communication like a text saying ‘hello.’
“People start to rely on and depend on the connection they have with the other person and start to expect the texts,” said Dr. Greer.
As Dr. Greer explained, the secrecy adds to the excitement and the attraction.
“The whole emotional experience of texting in and of itself takes on meaning and significance,” said Dr. Greer.
It’s referred to as ‘chexting’ and has been called a new form of betrayal that combines cheating and texting. People have been talking about it all over the internet.
“If they’re like, oh, ‘they’re just friends,’ and get really defensive about it and throw a big fit it’s probably a good sign that they’re trying to get with people other than you,” one woman said.
In many ways ‘chexting’ can be a more insidious form of infidelity, according to experts.
“Truly the question becomes, are you texting somebody else things, content, material that you’re not sharing with your partner,” said Dr. Greer.
But where does chatting end and cheating begin?
“If your partner is texting the minute he wakes up or the minute she wakes up, before you go to bed and you’re feeling really disconnected from them, then you might start to wonder what’s going on,” said Dr. Greer.
"Emotional cheating"? Sheesh. I suppose in cases where someone shuts out their spouse and carries on a virtual relationship via texting, that there would be hurt feelings. But grounds for divorce? Instead of calling a lawyer, why not, you know, like, talk to your spouse about it! Or has that gone out of fashion?
Married people tell their friends - male and female - things they wouldn't mention to their spouses all the time. It may be that they don't want to hurt their spouse but need advice from someone they trust. I don't think you can use a texting friendship as a marker for infidelity. It seems to me that it would be akin to smothering if a spouse tried that on me.
Communication is key. If you can't confront your spouse and tell them that you feel left out because of his relationship in the virtual world, then your problems run far deeper than your lover texting at all hours of the day and night.