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Divorce Help | November 18, 2017

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The Toll Sexting Takes on Marriage - Divorce Help

The Toll Sexting Takes on Marriage
Brian Beltz

In light of New York mayor hopeful, Anthony Weiner…. errr “Carlos Danger’s” unmanageable “sexting addiction,” we have delved into this bizarre trend to find out how sexting affects marriages and relationships.

Is it a playful activity that can improve marriages by introducing excitement and encouraging exhilaration? Or is it an unethical behavior that threatens marital unions, typically existing among cheating spouses?

Only a couple of years ago, most people didn’t even know what sexting was. But after former U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner publically left Congress following a slew of sexting allegations, the word became a household term. Sexting was originally defined as the sharing of nude or partially nude photos via text messaging. The definition has since broadened to distributing sexually explicit and suggestive language through text messages.

In a generation that grew up on AOL Instant Messenger, MySpace, Facebook, text messages and all sorts of other techie communication mediums that older cohorts still struggle to comprehend, it’s no wonder that adults ages 18-29 send and receive the highest volume of sext messages. Coincidentally, this age bracket is also the likeliest to tie the knot.

In certain scenarios, sexting isn’t a bad thing. It’s gotten a terrible reputation because the media focuses solely on instances of cheating and unsolicited advances, however many experts say that sexting can be a healthy element of adult intimacy. Married couples that are stuck in a rut now have the opportunity to express themselves in ways that they would normally be too shy or embarrassed to. Spouses can use sexting as a form of foreplay, sending naughty photos and sensual text messages to each other, playfully spicing up their intimacy. Couples in long-distance relationships can create a sense of physical closeness when they are in reality hundreds of miles apart.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We have been able to pinpoint some positive aspects of this trend, however it still continues to create more problems than it solves. A decade ago, if you wanted to talk to someone you would have to vulnerably put yourself out there and pick up the phone. With the opportunity to send a simple text message, people feel as though they are risking less. Calling an ex-boyfriend would be wrong, but sending a simple “hello” doesn’t seem so bad. Because the relationship is virtual it doesn’t invoke the guilt that it would under different circumstances.

With technology at our fingertips, smartphones have made what is known as emotional infidelity as easy as one, two, three. When a spouse isn’t getting emotional fulfillment out of a marriage, he or she may stray and form bonds outside the relationship. Today’s tools have created a false sense of intimacy and anonymity. Texting allows unseemly conversations and flirtation among unsatisfied spouses. While many men and women who engage in this type of activity brush it off as “innocent flirting,” they fail to recognize that flirtation is the first step in courtship, and continuing that type of connection can (and often does) put a committed, monogamous relationship in jeopardy.

This new movement of sexting has drawn a more physical connection, and begs the question: Without any actual bodily contact, can sexting be considered not only emotional infidelity, but physical cheating as well? There is no clean-cut answer to that question, and the debate continues. The way people view cheating will always be argued. Some believe that infidelity begins as early as flirtation, others see a kiss as cheating, while some don’t believe infidelity occurs until there is sexual intercourse.

It can be largely agreed upon, however, that if you don’t want your spouse to see the texts that you are sending to other people, what you’re doing is probably immoral. When you cross the lines with another person, you simultaneously neglect your spouse, whether or not it’s intentional. This will lower your spouse’s self-esteem, diminish your sex life and lead to further intimacy problems in the future. Okay, this may sound like a slippery slope, but any way you slice it, danger lurks down the road if you are engaging in this type of activity.

Can’t get enough? Do it with your spouse. If you are yearning for some sort of rush and excitement in your marriage, there’s no better way to get him or her in the same mentality than to flirt with them like you did when you first started dating. Send naughty text messages in the middle of the day that will make them want to come home to you. Every marriage needs some spicing up sometimes, and this is how you can use your own compulsions to do it.

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