Samantha was engaged and to be married the wedding was less than a month away. She was sitting at her Fiances computer, looking to find addresses to send out Thank you cards to her friends that attended her Bachelorette party. Then it happened, she “accidentally opened” an email that changed everything in an instant. Her fiance’s email read, Hello Maria, Thank you for sending me those pics last night, you are so sexy and gorgeous, I’ll call you on my way home from work tomorrow. I’ll be dreaming of you until then.

Sick to her stomach after reading this Samantha confronted Jim over the phone while he was at work. He then came home about 20 minutes later and their fight lasted until way after midnight. He told her that they had met online Playing one of the video games he usually plays and had never met her in person. Jim tried to explain to Samantha that the stress he was under at work and the upcoming wedding was killing him and he started an innocent conversation and friendship with her not thinking it would lead to anything but them just being friends and that she had started flirting with him and showing him pictures of herself that lead to them flirting and then they started talking on the phone, they had never agreed or talked about meeting in person and he’d even mentioned his upcoming wedding to her.

He urged Samantha to read the emails so she would believe him. As painful as it was to read the sexy emails exchanged between her Fiancee and Maria she agreed and started reading through them. They decided not to call off the wedding but Samantha moved into the spare room not sharing the details to anyone, trying to calm her fears by telling herself “Well they never met” but somehow that didn’t seem to help her deep hurt and humiliation she was feeling.

Even so Jim and Samantha walked down the Isle all smiles and full of hope that Jim’s promises to never do this again would ring true. Fast forward to less than a year later Samantha and Jim find themselves in couples counselling and their marriage is falling apart.

This leads to the question that many couples now face in today’s modern days of technology, is internet flirting cheating? The answer is totally up to you and your partner and what you both have agreed on as cheating, most couples today discuss this at the beginning of their relationships and set boundaries and if one or the other crosses over those boundaries then it certainly effects the relationship, most likely in a negative way.

The idea of “finding out” itself, indicates that there was hiding of the truth involved in the first place. If your man knew you wouldn’t dig it, so he hid it in the first place, then even he knew it was cheating – no matter what he says about how innocent it was. If you are one of the very small minority of women out there that would not be bothered by this behavior, who would shrug if off as “boys with a keyboard will be boys”, then you wouldn’t be asking this question in the first place.

Cheating used to be very black and white. However these days a lot of men would like to think the internet has created a million shades of grey. I beg to differ. I think cheating is still black and white. I think it’s fairly easy to define as a behavior that creates feelings of emotional or sexual betrayal. I think men know when they are cheating, almost always confirmed by their hiding the behavior in question. Now, I know, women do bad things too. However, statistically men are much more likely to engage in “internet affairs”. Not to mention many real world physical affairs start online and men who engage in questionable online behavior are vastly more likely to have a “real” affair.

So, in the end, only you know the answer. Is it cheating? Ask yourself one thing, “does it feel OK to me?” If the answer to that question is no, then your answer is, yes, he is cheating. Don’t cut him any slack on interpretation of the rules. Trust me, in his heart of hearts, he knows it’s cheating too.

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