Online Infidelity: What counts as cheating?

Is technology plus young children a recipe for cheating?

Back in the old days – pre-Internet – it was pretty easy to know if your partner cheated. Lipstick on the collar, a perfumed love letter in the sock drawer, a naked body scampering out the window – these were the clear signs of transgression. In that ancient history, cheating required actually showing up.

Now, thanks to email, cell phones, Skype, “sexting” and all the rest, it’s become much easier to cheat – or at least to kind of cheat. Couples everywhere – perhaps especially those with young children, for whom “showing up” would be the hard part – have found themselves struggling both with a host of different kinds of temptations and new, murky kinds of evidence: What counts as betrayal? Chatting? Flirting? Texting? Sexting? An assignation with an avatar? Is a deep but no-touching emotional affair as bad (or even worse) as a meaningless physical one? How far have you gone? How far would you want your partner to go? Does the routine of parenting make you even more vulnerable?

Babble investigates what infidelity means in the electronic age and how couples are learning to navigate this uncharted emotional territory.

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