Sexting is a relatively new invention so it’s not uncommon to hear people ask is sexting cheating if you are married? Only in the last couple of decades has sexting started to garner mainstream attention. As such, conventional marriage wisdom fails to cover it properly. While sexting can be a great way to spice your marriage, it can be extremely detrimental to sext someone who is not your spouse.
Sexting is definitely a form of cheating if you are married. Cheating does not need to be physical. As long as you are involved with someone who is not your spouse, you are essentially cheating. Sexting can often become addictive, or lead to actual sex. More often than not, the thrill often makes couples averse to real sex. As such, it is important to curtail it in its infancy.
I will be going through everything from what is sexting to the question of ‘Is sexting cheating if you are married?’ I will also explore some of the common signs that can alert you if your partner is sending and receiving ‘sexts’. Lastly, I will be mentioning a few helpful tips on how to deal with your spouse if you find out they are sexting someone.
What Is Phone Sexting? And Why is it Cheating?
Sexting involves sending and receiving messages of a sexual nature. They often end up describing certain acts that you want to do. Sexting can or cannot be graphic in nature. Sometimes, it involves sending images.
Simply put, sexting can be as extreme or as mild as you want it to be. If you are doing it with your spouse, it can be a great way to spice up your relationship. For example, sexting one another when you are away on a business trip (but not working at that very moment) can make you look forward to the time when you see your spouse once again.
It can also help you discover a fantasy that you may never knew had existed before. This would further improve your sex life with your spouse.
The problem arises when someone starts sexting a person outside of their marriage. If their explicit messages are found, it can lead to feelings of betrayal for their spouse. However, these feelings are often confusing, as people generally aren’t sure whether sexting is cheating.
Note: Obviously I don’t know you, your spouse or your marriage. If you want to look at your marriage and how to get things back on track quickly then make sure you take the marriage assessment quiz.
Is Sexting Worse Than Cheating?
In most cases, no. While sexting is a form of cheating, the physical act of making love to a person that is not your wife or husband is far worse. However, sexting comes with its own set of problems.
Sexting usually involves you fantasizing about someone who is not your spouse. As such, it diverts your attention away from your spouse. This can lead to further problems in the marriage. When you aren’t properly committed to your spouse, you will not give them the love that they deserve. This may cause them to feel neglected.
In this way, sexting can be compared to an emotional affair. It isn’t cheating, but it makes the person involved rethink their priorities. When that starts to happen, the trust and companionship that is so important in a marriage start to slip away.
Sexting Can Be Addictive
If someone is not satisfied in their marriage, sexting can offer an escape. It allows them to find sexual gratification elsewhere. However, it also satisfies their conscience as they are not outright in a sexual relationship with someone else.
As such, the habit of sexting can be very difficult to let go of. Once again, sexting is similar to an emotional affair in this regard. Because the person has found a way to compensate for the shortcomings of their marriage through sexting, they do not want to let go of it.
Is Sexting a Reason For Divorce?
This is ultimately up to you. Each and every marriage is unique. It is up to the person that feels betrayed whether their partner’s sexts constitute infidelity, and are a reason for divorce.
Here are a few things to consider:
How Extreme Were The Sexts?
This point is only applicable if you have access to your partner’s sexts. Were they just a few text messages of a suggestive nature or was your partner sharing and receiving ‘nudes’?
While sexting is wrong no matter what, its nature can make it less or more devastating to the marriage. Carefully go through your partner’s messages and decide whether or not they crossed the line. It is also important to determine whether this is a recurring problem or a single mistake.
Your spouse is human, and humans make mistakes. If your partner experienced a loss of control and sent a few texts of a lewd nature, then not a lot of harm has been committed. However, if they have done it numerous times over long periods, then you should be thinking about what to do next.
Did The Sexting Escalate to Something Else?
This is where you must put your detective skills to good use. In my experience, serial sexters usually get bored with only texting. Eventually, they feel the need to physically cheat on their spouses.
It is up to you to find out whether anything like that happened. Even if sex did not take place, it could be that your spouse went on dates with the person that they were sexting.
If your spouse has regular contact with the person that they were sexting, you need to be extra careful and vigilant. For example, sexting someone who lives a thousand miles away usually means that your spouse did not intend for things to go beyond a few texts. However, sexting a coworker (or one of your friends) could imply malicious intent on their part.
The Lying Aspect
When your spouse is sexting someone, presumably they are not telling you about it. While they are not technically lying, they are still hiding a huge aspect of their life from you. An aspect that affects you directly.
Rebuilding trust in a marriage is always difficult after someone lies. It is even worse after they lie about something as serious as sexting someone. The sexting that your partner did may be minimal, and you may not even have considered it cheating. However, you may have difficulty trusting your spouse ever again. This is something that you definitely need to consider.
So, Divorce or no Divorce?
You must weigh your partner’s actions against the bond that you have built. Do you want to throw all that you have built as a married couple into the trash-can for a single moment of weakness? Or is your spouse simply unable to quit sexting other people and enough is enough?
Generally, I advise couples in a situation like this to always have a hard think about the whole situation. Talking to each other openly can definitely help. Talking to a licensed professional is usually even better. A licensed professional can help you sort through your emotions and help your spouse come to terms with their actions.
The biggest problem that sexting causes is making couples care less for one another. It takes the focus away from the marriage and usually causes the person who was sexting to distance themselves from their spouse. This leads to further problems that only compound the likelihood of divorce.
However, people who sext in a moment of weakness usually feel remorse. Due to this, marriages are often able to survive through it and become stronger because of it. In the end, it varies from situation to situation.
Signs Your Spouse is Sexting
It can be very difficult to catch your spouse sexting someone without invading their privacy. Here are a few signs which are consistent among ‘sexters’. Keep a lookout for these:
- Your spouse is visibly aroused when on their phone.
- They are overprotective of their phone, refusing to leave it unlocked when they are not around. A simple trick is to ask for their phone to make a call and leave the room during it. If they religiously follow you every time you do that, something could be amiss.
- Their sleep patterns shift for no apparent reason. Chances are that they want to be awake when you are asleep so that they can freely sext without getting caught.
- They are less interested in you and your marriage suffers. Sexting seems to affect the sex life of married couples more than anything else. Still, your spouse distancing themselves from you could also be an indicator of them having a virtual relationship with someone.
- If you had access to their email and social media accounts previously, you no longer seem to do so. Even more so, they make excuses for why they cannot give you their new password.
- They spend an increasing amount of time on their phone and computer.
- Your partner neglects their duties as a spouse/parent, instead opting to spend time on their phone.
- They purchase technical equipment that they do not need. For example, purchasing a new camera even though they work in finance.
- Your spouse generally exhibits secretive behavior and starts telling lies/making excuses for their actions.
Remember that not all of these are indications of them sexting or even simply texting someone of the opposite sex. There could be other reasons why they are acting this way (it could even be due to them being discontented with you).
Sexting, while obviously cheating, is something that most couples can recover from. With proper help and honest discussions, it is possible for the two of you to recover from this ordeal and begin rebuilding the trust that you once had.
What to Do If Your Spouse is Sexting?
Chucking their phone in the garbage disposal might feel satisfying but it won’t actually fix the root of the problem. This is absolutely something you can recover from but you’re going to need to deal with the root of the problem.
This begins with a conversation, and not a fun one. I’ve covered how to confront a cheating spouse before which you might want to take a look at.