Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Cheating, Virtually

"Hey, can I look at your computer for a sec?" she asked her husband, Paul Rothrock, a 30-year-old product-support representative for a social-media ad company. He was in the living room, on his laptop, and his reaction stunned her. "No!" he hissed, pulling the computer to his chest.
 Confused, she asked him again, and he became even more agitated. "You are not looking at this!" he insisted, gripping the computer tightly.
 That was when Ms. Rothrock realized what was wrong.
 There are few moments more painful than the disclosure of an extramarital affair, an event that provokes stress and anger in both the betrayer and betrayed. What each spouse does and says in the aftermath will reverberate a long time. It is critical to stay calm, counselors say. The realization "felt like being punched in the chest," Ms. Rothrock recalls, of the moment her husband wouldn't surrender his laptop. Her training as a mental-health crisis counselor served her well when, as calmly as she could, she told her husband to hand over his computer—and his phone—or they were "done."
 Counselors say it is possible to repair a relationship after infidelity, but only if both parties are willing to work hard and honestly acknowledge shortcomings in the relationship and in themselves.
...Mr. Rothrock's affair took place by video chat and other electronic means, but it was no less sexual or emotional, he says.

I found this WSJ article on rebuilding a marriage after an affair to be an interesting read, but I was a bit surprised that the reporter should have built a whole piece about infidelity around one couple dealing with virtual cheating. Although any kind of betrayal in a marriage is damaging, the nature of physical consummation seems to indicate that an affair that involves, you know, physically cheating on your spouse might be more sexual than having a virtual affair, if not more emotional.


David L Alexander said...

There is a growing threat to marriages, one that is less noticeable, the result of men and women sharing the same roles in public life. One is more likely to have opposite-sex friends and confidants outside of marriage. If "friends" is all they are, that's one thing. But it does not have to rise to the level of sexual betrayal. There is the risk of emotional betrayal, of the female colleague becoming a surrogate for some degree of emotional intimacy, however innocent it may seem at the time. The potential signs need to be recognized well in advance, so that the lines may be drawn.

It does not help that, in American society, men have a hard time establishing close friendships with other men, outside of baseball or bowling leagues.

ElizabethK said...

Yeah, I'd still be more hurt by the actual, physical affair. Definitely more sexual when there is, you know,sex involved. Is this the harbinger of things to come, where we live in little virtual tubes, with no bodies?

JMB said...

I literally laughed out loud at the end of the piece when he went on a business trip and she went along "to keep an eye on him". Good luck with this marriage!

Banshee said...

If his problem is that he gets lonely on business trips, it's not a bad thing. If his problem is that they don't get along, it isn't such a great idea.

Foxfier said...

Sex is a very big deal, but emotional/virtual infidelity still hurts like heck.

I knew a woman online that was a serial virtual cheater, and her "partner." Most miserable "partnership" ever, and they spread it.