Cheating is murky territory: Does following and sending flirty messages to a stranger on Instagram cross the line? What about creating a deep but nonsexual emotional bond with someone? (Answers to that last question may fall along gendered lines: A 2013 study suggested that physical infidelity unnerves men a lot more than emotional cheating, whereas the opposite is true for women).
In the age of Tinder and easy sexual accessibility, it’s even more important to clarify how you define monogamy and infidelity.
“You’d be surprised how many people get married with absolutely no clue that their beliefs about monogamy are incompatible,” Los Angeles marriage therapist Virginia Gilbert told HuffPost recently. “[You have to] get specific. Ask: Do you believe online sex ― chats, cam videos ― is OK? How much porn do you watch and would you be willing to watch less if it’s interfering with our sex life?”
Recently, we asked real couples to share how they each define infidelity and monogamy. See what they had to say below.
Todd and Tyler
“Cheating to me is sharing or doing something intimate that you would only do with your partner. This both includes emotional and physical relationships. I trust my husband; he and I share similar values, discuss what we are each OK with, and genuinely know each other on a deep and personal level. I trust that his moral compass will guide him correctly; if his stomach gets a pit in it, he feels a guilty twinge, or if he thinks his actions and feelings would cause me pain, then that is cheating to me. I know my husband would never physically cheat on me because he would be honest enough to end it first, so this really pertains to the emotional relationships. That can be such a tantalizing experience, connecting with someone else distantly removed from your day to day. It provides a new thrill you...