Virtual affairs, also known as online affairs, are often viewed as harmless indulgences, because physical interactions do not take place. These virtual affairs can begin from an ad placed in the personals section, through a dating app or a social media account with someone the individual knows. Typically, these affairs consist of messaging, texting, sharing of photos and video calls. Based on the absence of physical contact, many individuals fail to view these online relationships as affairs at all. Unfortunately, for those individuals whom do not see the true negative impact of a virtual affair, their real-life relationships will suffer and can end in separation when the virtual affair is discovered.
The Negative Impact of Virtual Affairs
A relationship is built by the meaningful sharing of feelings and intimacy in which strong bonds are built during the good times and when the rough trials are successfully passed. The fantasy created by a virtual affair leads one to believe that a relationship shouldn’t have bad times as it results in little, if any, conflict. The distorted perception of how a relationship should be look and feel based on this illusion affects the real-life relationship by setting unrealistic standards. Additionally, the constant preoccupation and energy spent on keeping the virtual affair alive does in fact take attention and desire away from working on their real relationship. When a great deal of effort is concentrated on feeding the virtual affair, the real relationship disintegrates, while simultaneously raising the impending risk of the virtual affair developing into a physical rendezvous with each pleasant online communication. Many times, when an individual turns to a one-dimensional virtual affair, it indicates that there are issues in the real relationship that require marriage counseling. If a relationship was healthy and satisfying, a depthless virtual affair would hold no appeal. If you or your spouse is engaged in a virtual affair, it is crucial that you seek marriage counseling with an expert therapist, like Dr. Jan Rakoff, LCSW. If you are looking for a San Diego therapist, call Jan Rakoff today at 858-481-0425 or fill out the email form to schedule your free 15 minute initial consultation.