Updated 03 July 2015

Cheating online: what SA's up to!

Would you consider it cheating if your partner sent flirtatious texts to someone else? Find out what South Africans think of online infidelity.


According to statistics, up to 64% of attached or married people are using their cellphones to cheat on their partners. Even more shocking is that this often happens while their partners are in the same room. 

An absurd accusation?

The Victoria Milan, a dating website that specialises in online dating for married people says that affairs often remain only an online fantasy, and seldom become a full-blown physical affair.

A Health24 reader, who uses his cellphone to send sexually explicit messages to another woman, says that he finds it absurd that his wife accuses him of cheating. He feels that his behaviour cannot be considered infidelity as a sexual act hasn't taken place.

He writes: "I often send my colleague flirtatious messages telling her of how sexy I think her legs or boobs looked on a certain day. I tell her of how I'd like to make love to her and imagine her naked when she brings me coffee at work.

"My wife saw one of our conversations and accused me of cheating. I think that's an absurd accusation to make, because it's never actually materialized and it never will."

Read the full story: My wife says I'm cheating

It turns out that this question is not unique, as other readers have asked our experts for advice on the same topic. This wife, for example, wrote of her husband sharing nude photos with his ex-girlfriend via text messages and social media. Her husband also doesn't see anything wrong with it.

Read the full story here: How long will my husband's cyber affair continue

Here a third user also describes an ongoing physical affair with someone that she is not emotionally attached to and wonders if it can be considered cheating when there is no emotion tied to it.

Read the full story: What is an emotional affair?

South Africans shared their views on online cheating via the comments to these posts as well as on Health24's Facebook page. What they said might surprise you.

Is online sexting cheating?

"There is nothing wrong with harmless flirtation. As the saying goes, 'look at the menu, but then eat at home'," said an anonymous Health24 reader.

Samantha Jane: "If it adds some fun to your marriage, it might actually be good for you. People are too quick to judge. They forget that there might also be a benefit."

Most South Africans say no

But, most of the feedback showed that South Africans are not in favour of playful text messages or emotionless rendezvous between attached people.

"[If] you are married, you have no business sending messages to another woman!" said an anonymous Health24 reader. Lizette Langford agrees that regardless of its form "cheating is cheating no matter how u look at it, or how u do it."

"This mentality is the reason for the high divorce rate," another comment suggested.

Read more of the user comments on Facebook.

CyberShrink says, "Infidelity refers to being unfaithful [or violating] to whatever the couple has agreed to or expect of each other." He advises couples who find they have conflicting principles and opinions on adultery to consult an expert in marriage counselling. It will help the partners to better understand themselves and each other, which will make for a better relationship with clearer boundaries."

Read more

How to spot a liar

Telltale signs of cheating

5 reasons why newlywed men might be tempted to cheat

Image: Shutterstock


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