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One of the common questions seems to be whether sexting a person other than your partner equals cheating or not. When Rhea caught her husband Harish sexting a colleague, her whole world came tumbling down.
A few years ago, such texts and e-mails only contained confidences and chat, no pictures. This also felt like a great threat to their relationship for some couples, but now this has gone on to include sexual banter, which often escalates to highly sexually explicit messaging and photographs of sexual acts and body parts.
Is texting cheating in a relationship?
Sometimes this continues into online sex, including the use of webcams, or may remain at the level of messaging only. People doing this may be acquaintances or former partners, or they may just have met online.
These texts and messages are frequently hidden from partners for a considerable time but, when they find out about them, they often say they feel more betrayed than if the partner had a physical sexual affair. This may be because they mind the close conversations and confidences the couple share.
Is sexting cheating?
Often, though, the reality of seeing explicit texts and messages is very shocking. It is even more of a shock if there are also graphic photographs. Though many partners who feel betrayed want to be told the details of affairs, this is very rarely helpful and something we usually discourage.
However, hearing details is nowhere near as shocking as actually seeing sexual texts and pictures.
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They can be very difficult to erase from the mind, so that, even if no real sexual act has ever taken place, and the whole thing was felt to be a bit of a harmless fantasy, partners find this very difficult to recover from, however hard they try, and I have recently seen a of long relationships fail as a result. The online revolution has created more opportunity for sexting and other online sexual activities.
As well as partners discovering their online activity, it can be stumbled across by employers and other family members, including children.
Continued sexting or other online behaviour can happen when the activity is being used to alleviate unpleasant moods or feelings. If this is the case, the person needs to find other ways to take care of themselves and to try to use their phone as little as possible.
My partner is sexting someone else - should i end the relationship?
Some people ask their partner to control their phone or internet use, but this is unhelpful. It gives the partner too much responsibility and tempts them to keep checking the equipment for more evidence of contact. This maintains stress and mistrust and prevents the person sexting from learning to take control and manage their own behaviour.
It may even escalate the sexting. To change, it may be necessary to develop ways to be able to notice stress and ways to soothe it. For instance, the mindfulness exercises contained in The Relate Guide to Sex and Intimacy help you to notice the physical symptoms of stress, anger, low mood, anxiety, boredom, or whatever it is that feels bad, and offer a way to calm down and recover your equilibrium.
If the sexting relationship was important, it is important to ask yourself why you needed it. Does your primary relationship feel too close or smothering?
Is it insecure or unhappy? Is there a pattern of sabotaging close relationships or seeking solace outside the relationship with your partner? Often, what begins as the exchange of confidences escalates into sexting because of the closeness this creates or because one or both of those involved feel the other is owed something for listening.
Though it may comfort a partner to be reassured that no physical touch took place, details of what happened are usually unhelpful and may even introduce new concerns.
When does texting cross the line and become cheating?
Knowing that the sexting partner is having counselling to improve their ability to manage stress and negative feelings may be incredibly helpful, and relationship or psychosexual therapy will help strengthen the relationship too. If it is really difficult to give up the sexting, if it is associated with sexual arousal, or if the person spends a lot of time thinking about or doing it, it may be that it has developed a compulsive element which will require specialist treatment to bring under control.
Other behaviours, such as excessive use of pornography, may co-exist.
The relationship stands the best chance if the couple are able to discuss what has happened and consider their own role, both in the past and for the future, though discussion should not be used as an opportunity for blame. Regaining trust and conquering compulsive sexting can take time but, given help and forbearance, relationships can be better than ever afterwards. We are always on the lookout for premium, stylish brands who want to talk to the people who have the money and the time to enjoy it.
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Does the exchange of explicit text and photos with another person indicate …
Life Health Wealth Culture. And can your relationship ever get over it? The exchange of confidences escalates into sexting because of the closeness this creates. Sexting sending explicit messages is becoming more common. So what happens if you find out your partner has been doing it?
Relate's Cate Campbell advises. Sexting is a new threat to a relationship. Become a partner. Welcome to high50 High50 studio Contact.
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