General Question

KNOWITALL's avatar

Do you consider inappropriate online messages to be cheating?

Asked by KNOWITALL (29787points) May 18th, 2023
28 responses
“Great Question” (3points)

So many people are doing this now, with no physical contact, it’s definately a big issue.

Would you consider divorce if your partner had sexual conversations only?
Would you feel the same if your partner fell for the scam and sent them money via cashapp?

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zenvelo's avatar

First of all, it isn’t a “scam” if two consenting adults are involved and one pays the other. That is the basis/business model of “Only Fans”.

It also depends on what the participants in a relationship consider okay. What you are describing is really just on the spectrum of porn, where one person pays for material for gratification.

jca2's avatar

I think it would depend on the content of the messages. If they were texting each other “I can’t wait to fuck you” and stuff like that, it would definitely not be ok for me, if I were in a relationship.If a boyfriend or husband were texting someone saying “you’re so sexy” and stuff like that, it would not be ok, either.

janbb's avatar

There definitely is emotional cheating – where two people have an intimate relationship even though they never met. Then there is porn. Either one would have bothered me if I were still married bu I’m not sure I would have gone to divorce. As @zenvelo says, it depends on the negotiated “rules” of the marriage and what they both consider acceptable.

Zaku's avatar

Depends on the details.

Acrylic's avatar

Yes. Adultery in the heart is still adultery.

Dutchess_III's avatar

No I would not be OK. My husband wouldn’t be OK if I did it either.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@zenvelo There are lies told by some online, baby needs food, etc…when in reality they just want money. Otherwise I agree, boob pics for $100 is just business.

None of these situations have caused a divorce but it has caused a lot of drama with the spouses. I suppose I’m just shocked that so many seemingly good people get taken in by randoms and was curious if you guys thought it was a dealbreaker.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

Quite honestly it depends on the circumstances of the marriage, the depth of the emotional cheating and to what degree the other spouse is or will be hurt by it. Casual flirting is probably not a big deal. People acknowledge that they like each other all the time without acting on it. Also, if people cheat there are many reasons for it. It can be as simple as they are a shit person or it could be that they are in an unhappy marriage and the other spouse is not there for them. Sexting with random strangers on the web, that’s just creepy if you asked me. IMO only fans is where shitty people take money from other shitty people.

gorillapaws's avatar

I remember learning that due to evolutionary pressures, women are more willing to forgive sexual infidelity if the encounter was merely physical, but are much less likely to forgive emotional infidelity even without physical intimacy due to their evolutionary drive to secure a parter who will stay with them and help support the raising of children (regardless of the actual circumstances of kids, it’s more of evolutionary pressures). For men, it’s entirely reversed and they tend to be much easier to forgive an emotional infidelity so long as there wasn’t sex. The idea being that men have strong evolutionary pressure to make sure the child is biologically theirs (again, we evolved before paternity tests were a thing) or else they don’t pass on their DNA.

All of that seemed like a plausible hypothesis when I learned it, but I have no idea what the evidence shows in that regard and it may turn out to be nonsense.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Just for context, most of the people (both sexes) say it’s about the attention, and have been married decades.
I know one guy can’t get it up but likes to get pics and enjoys the chats.
To me thats understandable but still not okay if a secret.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

@KNOWITALL There is nothing lonelier than being married and not getting love and attention from your spouse.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Messages (inappropriate) have a big parallel with the whole issue of gun control.

It’s the intent that matters. If you’re writing an inappropriate message someone needs to define what that really means and the intent is to deceive your spouse, then yes this is cheating. If you’re writing a message and it’s in good fun and you’re not trying to sneak around, then it’s just a message. (Messages don’t cheat – people do! just like “Guns don’t kill, people do”)

JLoon's avatar

Jeezus, NO.

Actual, deliberate, sexual acts that dishonestly betray partners in committed relationships are the only thing that anyone can, or should consider as “infidelity”.

And as far as “emotional cheating”, please tell me how many of pure hearted angels have never had an erotic dream or a wide-awake sexual fantasy about someone not your life parter.

No wait…

On second thought I don’t want to hear about your masochistic guilt complexes – because that’s the real nastiness.

NoMore's avatar

Yes. Fortunately I never had to deal with that from my wife. Nor do it. And I haven’t had an erotic dream in ages. To old for that shit. I admit I get crap like that Facebook from time to time but I can’t control that and don’t encourage it. Just got a silly message today from some woman I don’t know from Adam. Deleted it and did not respond.

JLeslie's avatar

Emotional cheating.

Speaking as a straight woman who has dealt with cheaters, men suck at lying and hiding things, and especially if they prefer the online conversations to spending time with their spouse, it’s going to hurt the relationship.

I once saw an author talking about his book he wrote about cheating, and he said the symptoms were of a spouse who is considering cheating are the same as when they are cheating. Meaning the spouse that is turning away from engaging with their spouse behaves badly even before they have done anything physical. I completely agree with this.

@JLoon A dream or momentary thought about someone else isn’t emotional cheating.

flutherother's avatar

Cheating is a spectrum that runs from a red face if your supposedly innocent text messaging is found out to the lurid violet-coloured bedspreads of anonymous hotels. Cheating is a slippery slope, if it’s inappropriate then it is cheating.

seawulf575's avatar

Huh. If my spouse was sexting with some guy but had never actually gone further and had no interest in going forward, no I would not have a problem with it. To me it is really no different than if she were watching a porn movie or even reading a steamy novel. It might show she is looking for more excitement in our lives and might be something we could look at a little deeper.

Love_my_doggie's avatar

I call it “typing,” not “cheating.”

Forever_Free's avatar

It is definitely a form of cheating as it is a hidden act.
I am unsure what it has to do with a money scam however.
It certainly should lead to counseling to resolve the issue from occurring again.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Forever_Free With many, there’s a sob story after awhile, in various forms, and they ask for money.

cookieman's avatar

Every couple defines cheating for themselves.

If it is an ongoing relationship, even virtual, and being kept a secret from me, then I say ‘yes’ it is cheating.

If it happens once or twice, no. If you include me in it, no. It’s the reputation and the secrecy that does it for me.

I do know a woman whose husband divorced her because she was having a secret ‘affair’ with a ChatBot (an AI from Replika).

cookieman's avatar

@Dutchess_III: Right! I ran into her at a school reunion, having not seen her for a few years, and asked how everything was.

She starts with, “My husband left me because I was having a relationship with an AI.”

I didn’t know what to say.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Did she know it was an AI?

elbanditoroso's avatar

I think that context, AI was an Aged Italian. Or perhaps an Antisemitic Irishman.

Dutchess_III's avatar


cookieman's avatar

@Dutchess_III: Yes, she knew it was an AI.

Dutchess_III's avatar

That’s too weird

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