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Is Facebook Cheating the Same As 'Real' Cheating?

Posted by on Jul. 30, 2013 at 11:43 AM
  • 14 Replies

‘Facebook Cheating’ Is Just as Painful as the Real Thing -- But Should It Be?

by Nicole Fabian-Weber

cheatingNo doubt, infidelity has been on the rise since social media has sunk its claws into the otherwise somewhat content world. We now pretty much have access to anyone, any time we want. And let's not forget, things are so much easier to say -- whether they're filled with hate or filled with lust -- when you're sitting behind a computer and don't have to face an actual human being. But should "Facebook cheating," i.e., exchanging sexy messages, etc., online -- and online only -- be just as upsetting as the real thing?

Turns out, most people think so.

A new study shows that couples who discover online acts of infidelity are just as upset as if they realized their partner was cheating in real life. Research conducted by Texas Tech University concluded that, although the stages of coping with online cheating are different, the infidelity itself creates a similar emotional experience for the person who was cheated on. Jaclyn Cravens, one of the lead authors of the study, said: "This is very important because there is a line of thought that if the infidelity was discovered online, or confined to online activity, then it shouldn't be as painful."

I can't imagine what it would be like to discover something as awful as this. It would, without question, be incredibly painful and feel like a punch to the gut. But I can't help but wonder if the relationships in which the cheating was solely restricted to the Internet are more salvageable than the ones where actual, physical contact is made.

By no means am I diminishing "Facebook cheating." Like I said, I'm sure it's absolutely devastating. But the truth is, online, people are completely different people. Clearly, one's "online persona" is a part of them (that may or may not lie dormant) if they have the ability to act a certain way -- but is it the "real" them? And isn't the web, for some, just a really bad way to deal with real life problems they have? For instance, trolls probably aren't as big of assholes in real life, but they're probably not very nice or happy people. Am I making any sense?

I guess this is just another interesting and sad layer that's been added to society, compliments of social media. I certainly don't condone or would want to be on the receiving end of "online infidelity," but maybe the sum is bigger than its parts? Maybe the problem is social media? Maybe people should ... get the hell offline for a while.

Would you be as upset if you found out your partner was "Facebook cheating"?

by on Jul. 30, 2013 at 11:43 AM
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Replies (1-10):
SpiritFortress
by Member on Jul. 30, 2013 at 11:59 AM

I think it's cheating. I would be very upset if my partner was facebook cheating. He wouldn't be living in my house anymore. 

frankiesma530
by Member on Jul. 30, 2013 at 12:05 PM

If you're keeping it a secret because you know your partner wouldn't approve then it's cheating in my book.

splatz
by Sarah on Jul. 30, 2013 at 12:08 PM

Cheating is cheating, no matter how you do it. 

SecularMomma
by on Jul. 30, 2013 at 12:18 PM

My husband had an online affair over the last few months. It's been devastating to our relationship.

I'm sure the relationship was more of a fantasy. An infatuation. Although he admitted to having deep feelings for her. It's over now but he is still mourning over the lost relationship and it kills me. He misses her. Dealing with that and the mistrust... I don't know if we are going to make it.

EarlGrayHot
by on Jul. 30, 2013 at 1:04 PM

Yes, but it would never have happened.  Hubby hated being online very much unless it was picking out flowers to plant in the spring or talking to our daughter.

Jenn8604
by Bronze Member on Jul. 30, 2013 at 1:07 PM
Cheating is cheating. besides I don't buy this everyone is different online then in person. I am the same on here as in person.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
luvmybug
by Amanda on Jul. 30, 2013 at 1:08 PM
Uh, yeah, I'd be upset. Cheating is cheating.
skmehlebam
by on Jul. 30, 2013 at 1:10 PM
....
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
conchita07
by on Jul. 30, 2013 at 1:12 PM
Cheating is cheating regardless!
GleeFan
by Member on Jul. 30, 2013 at 1:47 PM

Oh no. I am so sorry you are having to deal  with that. I sometimes wonder if an emotional affair/connection is more devastating to a relationship than a physical one. 

I hope you can get through this and whatever you want to happen does. 

Quoting SecularMomma:

My husband had an online affair over the last few months. It's been devastating to our relationship.

I'm sure the relationship was more of a fantasy. An infatuation. Although he admitted to having deep feelings for her. It's over now but he is still mourning over the lost relationship and it kills me. He misses her. Dealing with that and the mistrust... I don't know if we are going to make it.


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