The majority of modern-day relationships start on the phone and ironically so does modern-day infidelity.
Sexting is the act of cheating on your partner through sexual relationships over the internet. And while it may not be a physical affair – it’s still an affair outside your committed relationship, which is considered cheating.
While some may disagree and argue that sexting isn’t in fact cheating because it doesn’t include the act of physical sex. It’s to be noted that it’s the act of emotional betrayal, the break of trust, and sharing intimacy with someone else rather than your partner which aligns it with cheating. It may not be “physical cheating,” but it’s on the direct path to the act.
Here, we discussed what constitutes sexting, how it can affect a relationship, and what to do if you want to move forward (or not).
What is Sexting?
To put it simply, sexting is when your partner engages in sexual conversations outside the relationship with former or new people. These conversations can range anywhere from light flirting in a sexual nature or to full-blown conversations, pictures, and video (calls) involving a sexual relationship.
When Does it Cross The Line?
Sexting crosses the line if you are in a committed relationship in which you two have discussed clear boundaries about what constitutes infidelity and have agreed that sharing illicit conversations and pictures outside the relationship is off limits.
Although sexting isn’t a physical form of cheating it holds the same weight as the physical act – it breaks trust, causes pain, and shares intimacy outside of the relationship. If sexting causes you to delete messages, withhold truths, and allows others into the intimate part of your relationship with other people – it’s cheating.
The biggest problem with sexting is that it breaks the trust in a relationship – and once trust is broken, like a mirror, it will never be the same no matter how much you repair it.
Does Sexting Lead to Affairs?
In simple terms – yes. While sexting may start off as virtual, it can, and most likely will, lead to a full-fledged affair, especially if the opportunity presents itself. And the possibility of the sexting coming to an end is unlikely given that it’s a hidden affair and will only cease if caught – if that.
Sexting can also lead to emotional affairs because you are developing a relationship over the phone which causes the emotional impact to be real and deep. You’re risking your physical relationship for an online relationship taking a gamble on the possibility of what “might” happen.
How to Move Forward?
It’s possible that moving forward in a relationship after sexting may not be an option for the partner who was cheated on – which is completely understandable. However, if you two decided to work things out it’s highly advisable to seek a couples therapist or a third party to assist you on the journey of recovery.
Talk to your partner to understand:
- What they were seeking in this sexting affair?
- What is/was missing from the relationship that they needed to look outside for fulfillment?
- What is the relationship with this person – are they from the past or a new fling?
- When and why did this affair happen?
Once you two have a better understanding of the root of the issue, you will have a good idea on how to move forward – either together or apart.
Sexting is cheating and can be absolutely detrimental to any relationship. Understand that the person who is involved in the affair has an issue and has probably done this in past relationships, and will continue to in their future relationships as it signifies addictive behavior. Unless they seek help and are able to take accountability and truly understand that what they did was wrong, they will never change. It’s ultimately up to you to decided if the relationship is worth moving forward with or leaving behind.