"None of us has time to manage our texts and emails, so if I'm finding the time to manage this, there's something typically going wrong."Denial: "If you say, 'You're on your computer a lot,' and they emphatically deny it, that's a sign there could be guilt," he said, "because if they aren't doing something inappropriate they won't really protest."Coping with the problem Is it possible to rebuild a partnership once the trust has been broken?Therapy is usually needed to address the problem and its fallout.Self-compassion is essential right away to get to the next level."Rosenberg added that a breach of trust can trigger other emotional issues if they haven't been resolved.
A dear friend and I were talking recently about getting punched in the gut by online comments.
She is an author and she'd just been called a pagan and a Wiccan by a reader who didn't find her writings on Christianity to be Christian enough.
"What's needed is a neutral party to explain that this type of relationship is hurtful and harmful."For the cheater: Understand the trauma.
"Finding out your spouse has cheated is traumatic, and trauma kind of lingers," Rosenberg said.
The experts shared tips for coping with a cyber affair or flirtation, whether you're the culprit or the victim — and obviously, this advice has relevance for anyone dealing with infidelity of any kind: For the victim: Have compassion for yourself, said relationship expert Stacey Martino (loveandpassioncoach.com).
"They're going to be in shock and betrayal, and faced with the fear of having their life turned inside out, wondering how they're going to survive without their partner if things don't get resolved.
"That connection is a much greater rejection to the spouse, and it's a much harder thing to heal in a relationship because the emotions have left the marriage and gone into the hands of someone else."Rosenberg concurred.
"If two individuals have a satisfying relationship and periodically the man or the woman uses the computer to satisfy a sexual need ... "But when your sex life with your partner is being compromised because someone seeks their fantasies with the computer instead of with the spouse, and there is now a replacement, that's a threat to the relationship."Making online affairs more attractive is the fact that they involve much less work and expense — you can "meet" anywhere, including your own home (which is in itself another type of betrayal), notes Brendan L.
"But it's what we do with our marriages all the time.
To me it's a very simple mathematics equation: the more energy that goes (outside the marriage), the less energy goes into your marriage."Remain optimistic. If both parties are willing to work on their issues, anything is fixable.
"The relationship work that needs to happen requires accountability, remorse and empathy.