Hubby is an online cheater

Let's Talk

WAYNE A POWELL MA Counselling Psychology, Relationship Counsellor

Monday, November 12, 2012

Dear Counsellor,

I have a unique problem. My husband is an online cheater. I believe he is involved with his ex-lover on the computer. I confronted him about this girl, whom he was seeing prior to our relationship, and who has been calling my phone and leaving threatening messages. According to her, she is the one he should have married. He claimed he spoke with her about her disgusting behaviour, but when I am not at home or working late at nights I suspect they are communicating via e-mail and Facebook. I am trying to have a close relationship with my husband but my efforts seem to fail. He seems so distant and cold when we are together. He does not kiss me or make love to me with the kind of passion he used to. Counsellor, am I losing my husband? I am so unhappy. Sometimes I feel that she is indeed right, I have the ring but she has my man. We have been married for three years.

Technology has impacted our lives in many ways. It has enhanced communication tremendously. Some people, however, have manipulated it to suit their personal agendas. If what you alleged has basis in fact, then your husband is one such person.

This advancement in communication, particularly social media, has facilitated a new phenomenon known as a 'virtual affair' or online cheating. Through Facebook, and other such means, lots of old fire sticks have been reignited.

If your suspicions are indeed true, your husband may well be having a virtual affair with his ex-lover. This could explain his detachment and the apparent disinterest in the relationship. Online cheaters tend to be very secretive and display either extra nice behaviour, in an attempt to compensate for their questionable actions, or extremely disagreeable demeanours to justify their infidelity. The latter seems to apply to your husband. Apparently there was no closure on his past relationship and so it was not difficult for them to re-engage, albeit virtually.

Studies have indicated that online cheating is the precursor to the traditional format and involves a high degree of emotional connection which most times leads to the neglect of the legitimate relationship. So in a matter of time, your husband and his ex may take it from the emotional level to the physical level.

Although the prospects seem dismal, all hope is not lost as he has not crossed over the threshold, and so you have to come up with strategies to refocus your husband. Don't allow this woman to play mind games on you and demoralise you. You have to demonstrate, in no uncertain way, that you that you have both the ring and the man.

Sit with your husband and share with him your concerns about the relationship and find out from him what his are. This may require the intervention of a marriage counsellor. Restoring the pleasure in a relationship requires the agreement and co-operation of both partners.

Sometimes the pressures of work can drive a wedge between a couple causing one or both parties to get distracted. Is there any way you can rearrange your nightly work schedule? What is your sleeping apparel like, do you need to change to something more appealing to the eyes? Are you spontaneous and creative and willing to do whatever is required to spice up the bedroom fun? In other words, you need to do everything you can to arrest and maintain the attention of your man and lure him away from the computer or cell phone at nights. If you don't, his ex lover will.

Your husband must take responsibility for his wayward actions and should recognise and appreciate your efforts. He must be bold enough to cease all forms of communication with the other woman. It may mean deleting and or blocking her e-mail, cellular number, Facebook, etc.

Don't give up on the relationship just yet. Give it your best efforts. All the best.

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