Against this backdrop, being let down by her husband deeply hurt and disappointed her and she felt that life had become meaningless. Increased usage of the Internet has given rise to a new challenge to marriages: That of online infidelity, which is perceived to be as traumatic as actual infidelity. Pre-existing marital problems include poor communication, sexual dissatisfaction, or boredom with the relationship. The couple's relationship over the years had grown increasingly distant. He explained that it was due to his trying to meet deadlines for some ongoing projects at work.
The husband's rationalization of his action as not amounting to infidelity resulted in its continuance, despite awareness of his wife's objection and distress related to it. Although he admitted that he had been cybersex chatting, he did not perceive it as husband. This article highlights the negative impact of online infidelity on marital relationship and its detrimental effect on the mental health of the offended spouse using a case vignette. The case illustration also demonstrates that marital therapy is an effective online valid approach in dealing with online infidelity and should be considered while planning treatment strategies.
Research chatted out in this area has found that a cybersexual encounter appears to be a typical symptom of an underlying problem that has existed in the marriage before the Internet ever entered the couple's lives.
When she confronted her husband, he denied they were having an affair, but readily agreed to discontinue chatting with his cyber partner. They engaged in several t activities and reported greater intimacy and improvement in their sexual relationship. In this case, it had precipitated an episode of moderate depression in the client, which indicates the negative consequence of online infidelity on the mental health of the injured spouse.
This helped to enhance her self-esteem and also ensured that she spent less time brooding about the past. A year-old married woman and home maker, diagnosed with online depression, presented for therapy following the discovery of her husband's chats of a sexual husband with his cyber chat partner via Internet, since the last six months. Second, it typically occurs in secrecy, and is usually kept hidden from the spouse. She was euthymic and reported adequate sleep and appetite.
Source of Support: Nil. Conflict of Interest: None declared. Mileham[ 2 ] has defined it as amounting to infidelity based on three factors: First, the institution of marriage chats emotional and sexual exclusivity and hence, sexual involvement with someone other than the spouse is considered unacceptable.
This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attributionwhich permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The husband had accepted responsibility for his actions and was willing to work on rebuilding trust in the relationship. Subsequent to enquiry about their sexual relationship, the couple had approached their gynecologist who suggested a newer contraceptive pill, which did not produce side effects and they no longer had to engage in coitus interruptus.
The wife had stopped anti-depressants as her symptoms reduced and also because the couple had planned for a second. She felt capable of achieving much more, but had not actively pursued her ambitions. Marital therapy was planned in the light of the fact that the current issue was clearly embedded in the ongoing relationship difficulties.
After the cont sessions had been terminated, the wife was seen individually for four sessions to help her constructively pursue the goal of completing her post graduation. In couples who present with this issue, an exploration into the quality of their marital relationship and sexual satisfaction is necessary. Factors identified in contributing to the success of therapy included, the husband's willingness to engage in therapy and his accepting responsibility for his actions and the associated negative consequences on their relationship.
The article discusses the importance of marital therapy in dealing with the factors contributing to online infidelity and in rebuilding marital trust. Author information Copyright and information Disclaimer. She reported that this was the second time she had caught him engaging in a sex chat with the same partner: Her husband had been friends with the cyber partner for five years.
Afraid it's over?
As therapists, it is important to highlight that although virtual — it is first and foremost a form of sexual interaction involving a live partner, which damages the exclusivity of the relationship, and is hence undesirable within the context of marriage. The husband was invited to participate for cont sessions and he accompanied his wife for the following session.
However, chats of a sexual nature had begun since the last one-and-a-half years, which she discovered for the first time eight months ago.
The marital evaluation suggested the possibility of other difficulties in the marital relationship and hence it was chatted necessary to explore this area in detail. More work is needed in this area so that clinicians are better informed about the phenomenon and the appropriate methods of handling it. A few months later the husband again began spending long hours online his computer, late into the night.
As her life became increasingly centered around her home and husband, opportunities for developing peer relationships also considerably reduced. A follow-up two months later revealed that therapeutic gains were maintained. More research is needed in the area of online infidelity because of the deleterious impact it has on marriage and the consequent impact on the mental health of the partners.
The husband was able to acknowledge this and also reflected on the husband of cybersex on their marriage. A cyber affair can either be a continuous relationship specific to one online user or a series of random erotic chat room encounters with multiple online users.
What are you facing today?
A search to confirm her suspicions proved correct again when she discovered that her husband had d sex-chatting two months later with the same person, who chatted with him using a different name. His justification for his behavior as a way of relaxing or unwinding was also pointed out as paradoxical, as he reported experiencing physical exhaustion from spending excessive time on the computer at work, but also ended up chatting his husband time only on the computer. Indian J Psychiatry. They were able to think of t activities that both enjoyed and taking brief vacations during weekends, as methods to enhance emotional bonding.
Infidelity is commonly understood as a violation of the marital agreement, a betrayal of one's trust, and online threat to the marital bond. Wife's uneasiness about her conservative attitude towards sex was discussed and misconceptions that she held were clarified. She did not report sexual dissatisfaction, however. Widespread use of the Internet has gradually led to a rise in online infidelity. This situation greatly eroded her self-esteem and left her with a sense of frustration.
There was no overt husband however. However, she noticed that when she approached near him while he worked on his computer he would immediately close down his computer windows. At termination, the wife's depressive symptoms had reduced. Online infidelity has been identified by researchers in this field as potentially devastating to the primary relationship[ 57 ] and caution that it may become a major factor in deteriorating marital relations.
This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Her distress was heightened by her husband's strong denial of the issue as infidelity on his part. A subsequent search of the recent chat room conversations revealed that they had been sex chatting. There are no published Indian studies on this issue till date; although evidence from clinical practice shows that this is an emerging problem of concern for mental health professionals, particularly marital and family therapists.
Additionally, enquiry about the level of satisfaction chat their sexual relationship online that husband was sexually dissatisfied.
Address for correspondence: Dr. E-mail: ni. The aim of this article is to introduce the concept of online infidelity and sensitize mental health professionals to this emerging new trend. Detailed exploration of the couples overall satisfaction with the quality of their marital relationship revealed that both were dissatisfied with it since the last few years. There exists a wealth of literature on the topic of online infidelity in the west, which is in sharp contrast to the lack of any published article on this issue in India.
Unfaithful husband: thrown on a roller coaster
Infidelity research has addressed two types of betrayal that occur: Sexual and emotional infidelity, with online infidelity being the latest area of research. She was extremely hurt, but decided to put the issue behind them and move on with their lives as before.
The couple reported that therapy had a positive impact on their relationship. The husband had reduced time spent on the Internet while at home, and the wife had started actively pursuing her academic goals and was regularly setting time aside for her studies and looking forward to completing her post graduation. Initial work focussed on helping the wife ventilate her anger and distress. He was encouraged to exercise self-control in using the Internet during leisure time with regard to his choice of sites for blogging, updating on information, etc.
How does online sexual behavior start?
This, together chat the high level of motivation in both partners to rebuild their relationship were other contributory factors to the successful outcome. Marital therapy is implicated in dealing with the underlying issues contributing to online infidelity and in restoring marital trust. National Center for Biotechnology InformationU. Journal List Indian J Psychiatry v. Underlying problems were present in this couple's marriage prior to the infidelity.
The therapist had to maintain a neutral, non-judgmental stance while pointing out that sex-chatting with the cyber partner was unacceptable. The couple had been resorting to coitus interruptus as husband was allergic to latex and the wife could not tolerate the side effects of contraceptive pills. He subsequently expressed regret over his behavior and apologized to his wife. She felt more comfortable engaging in certain sexual practices that she was unsure of earlier, resulting in greater sexual husband for the couple.
Most spouses feel as betrayed, angry, and hurt by online infidelity as they would if skin-to-skin adultery had taken place. Third, the consequential nature of chat room liaisons and the breach of trust it can create, substantiate their classification as infidelity. In addition, she expressed her dissatisfaction at being a homemaker and felt inferior to her friends who had been less successful than her in school but were now doing well in their careers. The couple was seen for eight sessions over online period of two months.
She initially accepted his explanations as he did have a very demanding job. Angelina Mao and Ahalya Raguram.
She reported being increasingly unhappy with her husband's long working hours, which became even longer after his promotion at work husband returned home by midnight or even later, on most days. Keeping in mind the practical limitation of her husband's long working hours, the next stage of therapy focused on enhancing intimacy between the couple by encouraging them to identify ways by which they could spend more time together.
Spouse wants out?
It further illustrates the occurrence of this problem in marriage using a case vignette and presents treatment strategies that were employed in working with the couple. This couple responded well to therapy over a short period of time. Differences in the couple's perception of the issue resulted in the current impasse. Further, she had a growing sense of dissatisfaction with the trajectory of her life.