…”In addition, over the past few years, I have engaged in several inappropriate conversations conducted over Twitter, Facebook, email, and occasionally on the phone with women I had met online.
I have exchanged messages and photos of an explicit nature with about six women over the last three years. For the most part, these relation-- communications took place before my marriage, though some have sadly took place after.
To be clear, I have never met these any of these women or had physical relationships at any time. I haven’t told the truth, and I’ve done things I deeply regret.”
Congressman Anthony Weiner
“Another scandal!!”, articles and news show hosts are exclaiming. What peaks my interest about this story isn’t the scandal, it’s the thousands of articles that are surfacing with the question, “Is sexual online communication considered “cheating” or “adultery”? Of course I’d like to share my two cents on this.
Cheating…whether on an exam at school or on your significant other…comes down to integrity. Do you have enough integrity as a person, to not look where you’re not supposed to when no one else is watching?
Integrity…."adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty."
In my personal opinion, integrity is absolute. It doesn’t change depending on the circumstances. It is what it is. It doesn’t suddenly mean something different.
When trying to gauge my own level of integrity concerning a situation, I might ask myself, “Would I want the world to see this?” Or, “Would I be okay with my husband seeing this?” Or, “Would I feel ashamed if my kids saw me doing this?” (Ok, OBVIOUSLY I wish I had asked these questions to myself before deciding to make a nude website….hence why I have so much to say on this topic….I truly have been in the place of justifying to myself why I didn’t need to.)
As I’m sure if Congressman Weiner asked himself that first question, his answer would have been “absolutely not.”
But that’s the thing about engaging in inappropriate online behavior…one doesn’t seem to feel the need to ask those questions. After all, we’re not coming from the stance of integrity. We might be coming from the stance of,
“I feel alone.”
“I feel empty.”
“I need sexual gratification.”
Therefore, we purposely use technology to begin relationships with people or I believe some of us might have fine intentions at first but before we know it, we’ve allowed inappropriate emotional connections to grow between us and someone else over the net.
Based on a few different stats I've found, research says over 60% of us have done this…..Why?
I believe the reason behind someone finding an emotional connection with someone over the internet is the same reason behind why some people look to porn for sexual release. There is no rejection. There is no awkwardness. The fear of getting caught seems so far from reality that we feel protected in our conquest. We feel ‘safe’ away from reality.
IN reality…..somewhere, there is something missing from our own relationships that cause us to seek out these cyber partners.
But…bottom line…if I may answer the question myself. A relationship is a relationship if there’s a human being on the other end, whether there’s physical touch or not. There’s even a case for saying that emotional relationships are far more intimate and long lasting than strictly physical relationships. The emotion doesn’t have to be a deep desire. It could be as simple as the feeling of excitement (ie. Butterflies) to begin a path down a dark alley. Just because you can’t taste his/her kiss doesn’t mean you don’t feel the effects of the passion.
Once thing is for sure. If you’re more eager to get on the computer at night to Facebook with a high school sweetheart, log into Instant Messenger to chat with someone, or send an email; rather than spend time with your significant other – you might want to ask yourself if you’re putting yourself in a good position.
If you are finding yourself in these titillating relationships, you should consider stopping the communication cold turkey and/or being honest with your girlfriend/boyfriend/wife/
Listen…the LAST message I’m trying to send is “look at this dirt bag, Congressman Weiner and what HE’s done.” I think individuals who find themselves in certain situations such as these….are truly hurting and if they didn’t feel like they had to hide a secret relationship in order to feel valued, then they wouldn’t! Be proactive about what you need in relationships. Tell your significant other when they hurt you or don’t provide your needs. You could be stopping an inevitable secret relationship from happening and really messing things up.
Otherwise it will be you on the podium, like Congressman Weiner…and that is not a place you want to be.