With the increased use of technology in our modern age, there are, unfortunately, more ways than ever to cheat on a partner. As general statistics show, even though men tend to be the ones who cheat on their partners more frequently, women are not far behind.
We will be exploring why digital infidelity occurs, how to catch your partner if you suspect them of engaging in it, and how to prevent it from happening again.
What Exactly is Digital Infidelity?
Infidelity does not necessarily mean physical contact with a person other than your partner anymore. Digital infidelity is more subtle and can happen online in various ways. Exchanging instant messages or emails can seem harmless at first, but it can easily transition into a form of cheating.
Flirting or sending suggestive notes can be just as harmful to a relationship as traditional affairs. Of course, more obvious signs of digital infidelity will also include behavior such as sending promiscuous photos and engaging in cybersex.
Overall, you and your partner need to establish what you both consider online cheating to be. Some people do not even like when their partner comments on a social media post from someone of the opposite gender.
Other relationships remain strong even if one partner has been sending out overly flirtatious messages because they know it does not mean anything.
Having open communication is key to avoid one or both individuals getting hurt. A general rule of thumb is that you should not have a conversation with someone that you would be uncomfortable letting your partner read.
How to Spot Digital Infidelity
A clear sign to look out for is when your partner starts hiding or locking their phone when they did not do this before. If you knew their phone password before and they change it without warning, this may be a sign of cheating. Another thing to look for is whether your partner is logging out of their social media or email accounts on shared computers instead of leaving them open.
This is not to say that partners should go through the other’s phones or computers, but a typical couple will be able to trust the other to know their device passwords.
A similar sign is when the other person will tilt their device away from you while they are texting. This, as well as taking their phone calls outside or in another room, is unusual behaviour. Keep in mind that these are also indications that they may be planning a surprise for you, so do not jump to the worst possibility right away.
When you are going through your internet browsing history, this will also give you signs about their online endeavors. A sign of digital infidelity is seeing frequent visits to dating websites or questionable Google searches.
Ways to Catch Cheaters in the Act
Not knowing whether your wife or girlfriend is using the internet to cheat on you is one of the worst feelings. If you have your suspicions, there are a few methods you can use to catch them at it.
Having a shared phone bill is beneficial in this case. You can log onto your online account and look through her phone call and text history. For phone calls, you will be able to see the caller’s number, the city where they were, and how long they talked. If there are no unusual phone calls, move on to checking the text messages.
With text messages, you can also find the phone number that she has been corresponding with. Once you have this, you can do a reverse number lookup on a background check website. You will be able to find the name and general location of the person your partner has been cheating with.
When you think you know which dating app your partner has an account on, you can use this to trap them in the act. Either make a profile on it yourself or ask a friend who has an existing account for help. If you come across their profile, you will have an answer to your suspicions.
A second method that you can try is using apps specifically designed to track down cheaters. For instance, some apps can search to see if your partner is active on Tinder.
What to Do After Catching Them
Cheating on a partner is never condoned. It can destroy relationships, break trust, and split families apart. However, you may choose to try and forgive your partner for cheating, even though it will be difficult to get over. If this is the case, keep in mind that it is easy to get lost and go overboard with an online affair. They may have never wanted it to go this far but got caught up in the moment.
Many people do not realize the consequences of online cheating until it is too late because there is no physical touching involved. Listen to what they have to say and come to an informed decision on your own.
One suggestion would be to attend couples counseling with your partner. They may be able to help you talk to each other and uncover the root of the problem in the first place. Your partner may become more open, especially if she is trying to show you how sorry she is.
If the two of you decide to separate over the affair, seek legal advice before doing anything. A divorce or breakup will be a life-altering decision, and you should not go into it unprepared. This is especially true if there are children involved in the process.
Preventing Future Infidelity
Assuming that you and your partner are attempting to move past the digital infidelity, there are actions that the two of you should take to ensure that it does not happen again.
The first step, of course, is to determine that the intent is truly to stop. Your partner will need to delete all their accounts on dating apps and chat rooms and cut off contact with anyone they have communicating with.
If your partner has an addiction to online flirtations, the best thing for them to do is remove the temptation of the internet as best they can. This may not be realistic in some situations, so try to do what you can.
They can turn the Wi-Fi off on their phones or stick to only making phone calls and not texting. They should also only use communal computers, and both of you should share all your passwords to re-establish trust.
How You Can Help
This recovery process will be difficult for your partner, so encourage them if you see that they are putting the effort in. Do not forget the reason why they had their online affair in the first place and try to solve that problem with them.
Perhaps they were looking for compliments because they were not receiving enough in real life. Or, maybe they were feeling stuck in a rut due to a recent layoff or after childbirth.
Support your partner and maintain a trusting and open relationship. If either of you is struggling, speak to each other about the problem until you have reached a resolution that works for both of you. Build the trust in each other back up until you feel ready to move on together as a couple.