Her distress was heightened by her husband's strong denial of the issue as infidelity on his part. Initial work focussed on helping the wife ventilate her anger and distress. Footnotes Conflict of Interest: The concept of online infidelity. More research is needed in the area of online infidelity because of the deleterious impact it has on marriage and the consequent impact on the mental health of the partners. In this case, it had precipitated an episode of moderate depression in the client, which indicates the negative consequence of online infidelity on the mental health of the injured spouse. The marital evaluation suggested the possibility of other difficulties in the marital relationship and hence it was deemed necessary to explore this area in detail. From sexual exploration to pathological expression. First, the institution of marriage involves emotional and sexual exclusivity and hence, sexual involvement with someone other than the spouse is considered unacceptable. Sexuality on the Internet: The husband was invited to participate for conjoint sessions and he accompanied his wife for the following session. There are no published Indian studies on this issue till date; although evidence from clinical practice shows that this is an emerging problem of concern for mental health professionals, particularly marital and family therapists. This helped to enhance her self-esteem and also ensured that she spent less time brooding about the past. This situation greatly eroded her self-esteem and left her with a sense of frustration. The therapist had to maintain a neutral, non-judgmental stance while pointing out that sex-chatting with the cyber partner was unacceptable. Cybersex and infidelity online: Against this backdrop, being let down by her husband deeply hurt and disappointed her and she felt that life had become meaningless.
She was extremely hurt, but decided to put the issue behind them and move on with their lives as before. Keeping in mind the practical limitation of her husband's long working hours, the next stage of therapy focused on enhancing intimacy between the couple by encouraging them to identify ways by which they could spend more time together. Sex and the Internet: The wife had stopped anti-depressants as her symptoms reduced and also because the couple had planned for a second child. Footnotes Conflict of Interest: Factors identified in contributing to the success of therapy included, the husband's willingness to engage in therapy and his accepting responsibility for his actions and the associated negative consequences on their relationship. A subsequent search of the recent chat room conversations revealed that they had been sex chatting. Innovations in clinical practice: As therapists, it is important to highlight that although virtual — it is first and foremost a form of sexual interaction involving a live partner, which damages the exclusivity of the relationship, and is hence undesirable within the context of marriage. Infidelity research has addressed two types of betrayal that occur: Abstract Increased usage of the Internet has given rise to a new challenge to marriages: There was no overt conflict however. The couple was seen for eight sessions over a period of two months. Vande Creek L, Jackson T, editors. The husband was able to acknowledge this and also reflected on the impact of cybersex on their marriage. The couple reported that therapy had a positive impact on their relationship. She was euthymic and reported adequate sleep and appetite. He explained that it was due to his trying to meet deadlines for some ongoing projects at work. The couple's relationship over the years had grown increasingly distant. More work is needed in this area so that clinicians are better informed about the phenomenon and the appropriate methods of handling it. Cybersex and infidelity online: Mileham[ 2 ] has defined it as amounting to infidelity based on three factors: First, the institution of marriage involves emotional and sexual exclusivity and hence, sexual involvement with someone other than the spouse is considered unacceptable. The therapist had to maintain a neutral, non-judgmental stance while pointing out that sex-chatting with the cyber partner was unacceptable. The case illustration also demonstrates that marital therapy is an effective and valid approach in dealing with online infidelity and should be considered while planning treatment strategies.
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