Is your partner having an affair with someone over the Internet? With the unhindered growth in dating sites, chatrooms and message boards, online affairs are becoming increasingly common in today’s Internet-driven era. What’s more, they can be just as destructive to your relationship as having a physical affair is.

Most people who have online affairs actually start off with no intention of having an affair. Typically, it develops as a product of circumstances when two people get chatting on a message board or in a chatroom, both presenting their virtual alter egos to one another. In this virtual world communication barriers are removed. People become less inhibited in what they say to each other, as they feel they have relative anonymity when hidden behind a keyboard and monitor. This brings out a more flirtatious side in people, and it is at this point that an online affair can very easily take hold.

What is an online affair?

That rather depends upon your definition of an "affair", and at what point you feel that your relationship/life is being adversely affected by your partner’s online activities. Affairs don’t have to revolve around physical sex. Intimate emotional involvement with someone else, whether in real life or in the fantasy world of the Internet, can do just as much damage to your marriage as a sexual-based affair can.

How to uncover online affairs

You won’t have to go snooping around your partner’s e-mail box to work out whether or not they are having an online affair. The symptoms are much easier to spot than that! Just monitor how long your partner spends online in chatrooms and at other similar sites. Does he/she seem obsessed with going to a particular web site? Are you finding that you are being shut out of your partner’s life while they spend time surfing the Internet? Is your partner acting in a confused manner towards you immediately after switching off their PC? When you walk in the room does your partner try to hide what they are doing or distract your attention so preventing you from looking at their monitor?

All these signals point to the possibility that your partner is having an online affair.

What should you do about it?

If you suspect that your partner is having an online affair, then you must absolutely confront him/her about it…your future happiness depends upon it! Start off by sitting down with your partner and telling them that you are concerned about their level of Internet use. You should also mention your feelings and the likely consequences to your relationship should you find out that your partner is flirting with other people on the Internet. This will give your partner the motivation to stop an online affair if it is taking place. It will also act as a warning flag, so making them think twice before being tempted into an online affair in the future.

SOURCE: OttawaMarriage.com