One partner has done something he or she thinks is perfectly normal and within the bounds of marital bliss, but the other partner feels deeply betrayed by the act, which results in profound emotional pain, sporadic rancor—sometimes simmering, sometimes explosive—and the loss of relationship trust and emotional intimacy.
And until fidelity and relationship boundaries are adequately defined, the couple’s issues have no chance to abate.
As such, I have developed a definition of cheating for digital age that might help couples clarify what is and is not acceptable within the bounds of their relationship: Please notice that this definition does not directly refer to affairs, pornography, strip clubs, hookup apps, sexting, webcams, flirting, chatting, fantasizing, or any other specific sexual or romantic act.
Instead, it focuses on what matters most to you, your partner, and your relationship—the emotional distancing, the sense of intimate betrayal, and the loss of trust.
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