With the burgeoning use of the Internet, many practitioners are seeing more couples because of online affairs and are addressing new issues in therapy, psychologists say.“It starts in the home, which is very different than most affairs.Women usually feel more threatened by the emotional betrayal of a partner’s online affair, while men are more concerned about physical encounters, Hertlein says, but the gender differences are lessening.
Several studies suggest that even when there is no in-person contact, online affairs can be just as devastating as the real-world variety, triggering feelings of insecurity, anger and jealousy.
Several studies have focused on the “AAA engine” that drives online affairs, namely accessibility, affordability and anonymity.
“The Internet is extremely accessible no matter where you are,” Hertlein says.
Therapy can be more complicated if the cheating partner doesn’t believe his or her online activities qualify as an affair, Ducharme says.
“The excuses are, ‘I didn’t have sex with this person.