Is Sexting A Gateway To Cheating?

Is sexting as harmful to a relationship as cheating?

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A recent USA Today article cited sexting/texting as a gateway to cheating. The article argued that the internet has supplied yet another way to meet candidates for extra-marital affairs. Social media makes it easy to connect with new acquaintances, and re-connect with old flames.

A few flirtatious words or salacious pictures do get the blood boiling. The communication may be a seed for a clandestine meeting, as a couple seeks release from all that flirtatious buildup.

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But I would argue that internet connections and sexting could be helpful for couples. Yeah, sure, Anthony Wiener is a dirtball, but he (allegedly) didn't actually have extra-marital sex in reality. In fact, he says he didn't even touch another woman.

Some may say that Wiener cheated — after all, he got aroused with another woman — and maybe it was only a matter of time before he graduated to full on cheating after his sexting. But, what if the sexting release was enough to satisfy his need for another woman? Is it possible that the digital age is allowing people who may have cheated 20 years ago to virtually satisfy their wanderlust? I don't condone Senator Weiner's actions, but I did think to myself: "At least he didn't actually touch another woman." Is "virtual cheating" considered cheating?

I do agree with the article's stance that cheaters will find a way to cheat with or without technology. Technology is another of many tools for a cheater. I mean, Henry VIII did have six wives without the Internet. If the Internet had been around in his day, maybe he would have gone through sixty-four wives and countless mistresses.

Cheaters will use any method to meet people and execute their desire to stray. But, in my opinion, the Internet and technology do not convert a non-cheater into a cheater.

What are your thoughts on the USA Today article? Do you think sexting always leads to cheating? Does the act itself count as cheating? Or is it an outlet that prevents real-life cheating?