Posted by: GT | 2010/02/04

Facebook Etc and Online Infidelity of 3 Varieties

Facebook Etc and Online Infidelity of 3 Varieties

During a recent winter storm that covered much of the nation, it was reported that the web site, Ashley Madison, signed up 2,500 new members in ONE day. That is huge. Ashley Madison has a membership of 4,000,000.

Ashley Madison is a web site that encourages " hooking up."  It blatantly espouses infidelity, providing a format in which an interested party can find another interested party to have sex.

And, more and more I encounter coaching clients who struggle with a spouse who signed up on Facebook and eventually connected with an old high school friend. Email after email >  to phone calls >  eventually meeting in real time.

As I work with others affected by internet cheating and as I study and research, what emerges are 3 patterns or themes.

1. I surmise that most of those who signed up for Ashley Madison on that stormy day were curious. I' ve signed up as a trial member to learn and discovered that most members have very incomplete data and seemingly use the site infrequently.

They may be placing their toe in the water to see what the water is like.

In my estimation, this is a dangers first move, especially if hidden from spouse.

2. Others visit chat rooms, sign up for dating sites (claiming they are single) and explore web sites that offer " dating"  services. They tell no one. It is a secret. They quickly remove the screen if someone enters the room.

An underlying motive for this behavior is the need to escape. Some have a compelling need to create a fantasy world. It' s as if assuming another personality, another dimension of self, can be played out in chat rooms, emails and other forms of internet services.

These people may struggle with a limited capacity to form an intimate vital relationship with their spouse or someone in " real time."  Or, they may believe they lack this capacity.

And, so they live out another life online.

Much energy and time is often devoted to this pursuit. It becomes an addiction in the true sense of the word.

3. A third and growing trend is to set up a facebook account and reconnect with old school friends, old boy/girl friends or others from that era.

It seems that a high percentage of these encounters develop and emotional intensity is sparked. (My marriage is on the rocks... how about yours, is a common starting point.)

Especially vulnerable to this scenario are those who have unfinished emotional business from adolescence. Commonly: the one who had difficulty dating, the one who had family problems (had to assume parent role, father/mother missing, etc.) that were the focus of concern or the one who struggled with sexual identity during that time.

" Going back"  through facebook may be subtly motivated to redo the pain and loss of that period in life.

Are you faced with online cheating? Is your spouse engaged in inappropriate online relationships whether it be Facebook, chat rooms or other internet offerings?

I want to find out more about the specifics of this form of infidelity and create new materials, oriented to this problem.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDivorce support expert

GT, pls contact me in regards to your article.

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Posted by: GT | 2010/02/08

Sent email and phoned No answer and response

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