Internet Affairs: Partners’ Perceptions and Experiences of Internet Infidelity

Vossler, Andreas and Moller, Naomi P. (2020). Internet Affairs: Partners’ Perceptions and Experiences of Internet Infidelity. Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, 46(1) pp. 67–77.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/0092623X.2019.1654577

Abstract

This study utilizes an online survey (open and closed questions) to examine how those whose partners’ have engaged in online affairs define and experience online infidelity. As with offline affairs, respondents were most likely to define sexual (vs. emotional) behaviors as infidelity (e.g., cybersex, exchanging sexual self-images, sharing sexual fantasies online). However, thematic analysis of the qualitative data identified how online behaviors and spaces are confusing and that infidelity is defined more broadly and fluidly in the online context. This potentially explains why participants saw the Internet as facilitating affairs. Findings are discussed in relation to existing literature and study limitations.

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