to think that technology is the downfall of most relationships?

(44 Posts)
2anddone Tue 23-Apr-13 06:48:44

H walked out just over a week ago leaving me with 2dc. Since then I have been both posting and lurking on the relationships, divorce and lone parents topics. I have been amazed at how many peoples partners have either been caught out using internet dating/sex sites, sending flirty messages through Facebook and texts/emails. So AIBU to think that now phones and tablets make accessing the internet so easy and that you can't always see what your oh has been looking at especially if the device is passworded to access, its so much easier to cheat on your oh? I mean 30 years ago there were no mobiles etc and it was a real effort to cheat or start an affair and most people would find it too much hassle.
Before anyone points out that there were affairs 30 years ago I already know that (my half brother is 6 months younger than me hmm)

NandH Tue 23-Apr-13 06:59:43

yep, totally agree. my lovely OH has been on date/sex websites...

still havnt forgiven him, never will. still don't trust him, never will. still argue about it. basically my relationship is now pointless because of stupid websites.

All it's done is facilitate. If the type of people using those methods to cheat had access to something similar 30 years ago, they'd have been using that instead.

I say from bitter experience that if someone wants to cheat, and has a way to do so without their partner finding out, they will do. 30 years ago people were probably sending illicit love letters to each other instead! It's just easier to find people to cheat with now, sadly.

And while that is awful, it doesn't mean it's the "downfall of relationships". This is going to sound horrible, and isn't a reflection on anyone who has had a partner use these websites, but if they're looking afield, the place they are looking is not the problem. The relationship itself is.

KittyAndTheFontanelles Tue 23-Apr-13 07:57:56

Hi 2anddone. I'm so sorry this has happened to you. sad

I'm afraid having access to such things does not make people cheat. Being an unfaithful, disrespectful coward will make someone cheat.

You know where we are if you need us in the night thanks

Trill Tue 23-Apr-13 08:16:02

YABVU to think that technology causes relationships to break up.

People cause relationships to break up.

YA especially BU to think that having passwords is the problem.

It's a very sad attitude that you have to think that in general the only reason people don't cheat is lack of opportunity.

Mehrida Tue 23-Apr-13 08:24:04

Poor behaviour causes relationship problems.

Technology enables a lot of the poor behavious, but definitely doesn't cause it.

On the flip side - it also makes it easier to find out. Someone 'working late' couldn't have been caught out by a DP checking their phone/email etc.

Sorry your having such a rotten time though.

Mehrida Tue 23-Apr-13 08:25:24


I blame my fat fingers technology for that one.

2anddone Tue 23-Apr-13 08:32:05

Thanks Kitty and grin mehrida I also have fat fingers technology problems. H did not leave for 'technological' reasons or because he cheated mainly because he is a twunt that can't cope with being an adult!. I was just really surprised to see how many people on the relationship board 'find out' through technology.

niceguy2 Tue 23-Apr-13 08:32:06

Technology has made it easier, undoubtedly. Just in the same way that cars have made it easier for people to cheat too since they can drive further away.

Once upon a time you'd have had to go into a newsagents to buy a 'contact' magazine or pull in a more traditional way of going to a pub/club or seducing a colleague.

Technology is there to be used or abused. Take the Internet in general. Much of the early explosion of the Internet and pace of development was actually driven by porn. It was the porn industry which ventured into online credit card payments first. Ditto with streaming video. It has been people's desire to download illegal/illicit material such as music, films (and porn) which has driven why people have adopted broadband.

At the same time you can use the Internet to surf facebook, chat to people and buy practically anything you want. My point is that it can be good or bad. Just depends on the person who is using it.

In short, technology does not absolve the person's responsibility.

YohedYoshoulderYonisandYotoes Tue 23-Apr-13 08:49:23

I think that technology isn't helping, but not for the same reasons.

Technology allows people to trace and draw inferences from behaviour that used to be managed differently, and forgotten.

For example, one might read an article 'How to have an affair' in an edition of Cosmo, or Closer etc 'How to meet a sexy new partner' or 'How to use a sex toy properly' or (as has been the case) 'Pegging and how to do it' (Metro), in the common room at work. Someone might flirt at a coffee shop, or sit and people watch having mini fantasies about what might happen. Some of these behaviours serve to keep people feeling attractive and stimulated in relationships that might otherwise lose their spark (it can be really nice to have someone flirt with you in a lift or at work and it boosts your confidence nicely!).

Now, though, each one of these behaviours leave an electronic trace that when discovered by someone feeling insecure, in detective mode or just out of context with the mood, massive inferences can be drawn about intention that are sometimes not there.

If I am sitting people watching and fantasising sexually or romantically about people nearby, I could be thinking 'in a minute I am going to go over and kiss that person' or 'if they asks, I would go straight back to their flat and oh what I would do!' but never actually do, or even would really carry it out. - now one can find someone on the internet who will give off similar signals and may join in, knowing full well that there are many stages that have to be gone through to actually carry anything out - that is a big safety blanket and I would suspect that 99% of the flirting/promises made/fantasies expressed to people on the internet are nothing more than self-gratification or ego massage.

I have been involved in several situations where someone reading about pornography at work, has been transposed by employers into actually seeking pornography - sometimes.. in fact mostly.. from articles in popular press or even from the organisation's own website. Those inferences can be used to hint at massive porn use and even child abuse, even if the piece in question is a painting of a nude by a recognised artist, solely because of the paranoia that electronic use is somehow more dangerous, but also just simply because its traceable - glancing at a top shelf in a newsagents, or going to an art gallery- even if there was intent to only look at nudes, would never cause a trail, a massive argument, dismissals and tribunal cases, yet that is what is happening if the same activity happens on the internet.

I think its important to realise that people will have chats and enrol in 'possibility' websites, just to see what's out there, to see if they can connect briefly with others in the same way one might have a flirty day out at the shops or evening out etc, but they are (rather sadly) doing this on the internet because of time, laziness, an ability to talk themselves up easily, and perhaps shyness and lack of real confidence in actually doing it in RL is part of it too.

Basically I think that the traceability, lack-of-context and internet paranoia about what small indications 'really' mean added to the triumph of 'real' proof from one or two clicks and their records plus some massive paranoia raising by the popular press and LTB proponents is the problem, not really the access.

meditrina Tue 23-Apr-13 08:59:28

I think anything that makes it easier or cheaper to do something will mean that more of that something will happen.

And certainly, if that something requires a partner, then it becomes easier to find and sustain that thing. Internet grooming is remarkably successful, because it gives the opportunity for extended contact with very low chances of detection. So someone who might have been deterred by the risks in finding a partner in RL and the difficulties of stoking a illicit relationship in the early, permission-giving stages, may carry on when it's easy so to do. Andthen find themselves breaking through harmless then important boundaries until the point of no return. Something they might not have done had they had to make a much more deliberate decision to seek illicit privacy without technology. It's not that dissimilar from so many affairs being with work colleagues - the contact at work gives a similar set of opportunities away from the primary partner.

differentnameforthis Tue 23-Apr-13 09:12:26

Nope, don't agree. The downfall is the cheating partner, not the means they use to conduct their alternate relationship!

differentnameforthis Tue 23-Apr-13 09:38:56

The relationship itself is

Disagree with this too. There often isn't anything wrong with the relationship, just that the cheater is greedy/selfish & thinks they can get away with it!

DorisIsWaiting Tue 23-Apr-13 09:45:59

Technogolgy is not too blame for the relationship failing, the partner who cheated is.

I think technology is a help rather than a hinderance, it help people (mostly women) see what twunts they are living with before they waste their life with the unfaithful dick.

charlottery Tue 23-Apr-13 09:58:09

I think it has various effects. Cheating opportunities are easier, and discovery is also easier, so maybe there aren't more affairs, but more are being found out.

I think the main problem with it, though, is how it affects communication. Since I bought my dh an ipad he's completely glued to it, and we talk much less. He's since had an emotional affair (with a real life person) and I think this lack of talking has been the main trigger ( I found out via his phone - more technology)

I'm sorry you're going through this OP

My DP would far rather play Batman on the Xbox than go near his laptop to think about cheating, he doesn't have secret passwords either.

My ex on the other hand... He would do anything to find a way to cheat, he used sites but if they weren't available he would have found a way.

It's not the technology, it's the people.

I thought this thread would have been about partners spending too much time playing games and such, now that I would say does ruin relationships!

LimitedEditionLady Tue 23-Apr-13 10:05:42

Dont know about anyone else but im sick of seeing my OH on his phone on twitter etc.drives me up the wall.i say "look what little ones doing" "look,look!"cant see him because hes looking at the screen.i think if he didnt have it we would talk more but he talks to other people on the screen instead.

Limited I agree that is more a downfall with tech when it comes to relationships!

YohedYoshoulderYonisandYotoes Tue 23-Apr-13 10:07:27

BATMAN!!! MY Soulmate smile smile does he play on-line <squeals> what's his username?!?!?! grin

Fudgemallowdelight Tue 23-Apr-13 10:10:36

I remember reading on the relationships board that research had been done into affairs and they found that when people had affairs, contrary to popular belief, there was often no problem with the existing relationship, it was just that the person who had the affair was greedy and selfish and given the opportunity, they happily took it. So when someone has an affair and people say "There must have been something wrong with the relationship. The wife can't have been keeping him happy" to blame it on the person who was cheated on, they are very often wrong and it is just that the person having the affair is selfish and greedy.

MTSgroupie Tue 23-Apr-13 10:13:54

RIP Friends Reunited.

There were lots of stories about old flames turning up and breaking up marriages. But then there were stories about lonely divorcees/widowers reconnecting with a lost love.

Technology can be good and bad at the same time.

LimitedEditionLady Tue 23-Apr-13 10:16:23

Fudgemallowdelight i understand what you are saying but i feel if the cheater really truly loved their partner they would have to much respect and love for them to want to do my opinion and it is just mine if youre meant to be together theres never anyone who comes close because theyre the right person for sorry if that offends anyone its just my opinion x

Yoshed It's Arkham City on the Xbox he is playing, I don't think you can play it online?

(panics about DP finding his soulmate if Yoshed tells me that infact, you can play online)

Fudgemallowdelight Tue 23-Apr-13 21:20:00

Limited. I think some people just like to have their cake and eat it though. Even if they met their soul mate/the most amazing woman in the world, they'd still stray once they'd been together a while and the sparkle had worn off. You'd never be able to really trust them.

issey6cats Tue 23-Apr-13 21:30:10

as fudge said its not always the person who has been cheated ons fault sometimes it dosent matter how good a wife you are the other person is wired to cheat and wether they use traditional mmet up methods or the internet/ phone they are going to cheat come hell or high water, my ex used and a secret phone for his activities and believe me until i caught him i thought we had a good marriage and a good lifestyle but the rogue gene was his not mine, op im sorry you are going through this, 18 months later i still question wether i did anything to contribute towards my ex cheating and no i didnt but dosent make you feel better about yourself

TiggyD Tue 23-Apr-13 21:32:17

Putting a peepee into the wrong woowoo is a problem too.

"Putting a peepee into the wrong woowoo is a problem too."


Please let that make the talk round up!

LimitedEditionLady Tue 23-Apr-13 22:20:04

Fudgemallowdelight,i can see were your perspective comes from and i can see its not an unrealistic way of thinking.i just want to feel that not everybody in the world is like that.yes there are men and women who cheat but if we all lived our lives not trusting what would be the point of ever being with someone at all.i dont think its ever the person who is cheated ons fault issey6cats.if the person doesnt want to be with that man or woman they dont have to be.

issey6cats Tue 23-Apr-13 22:31:47

limited editionlady im glad for you that you and your husband have a good marriage and you trust him not to cheat, my husband and i were together almost 24 hours a day had a business together, went on holidays together, made love on a very regular basis and had a good love life, we had a nice house , and he still did it to me not because he didnt want to be with me but because there were all those women on line he could get his ego boost from and that was what it was all about with him, i took the decision the third time i caught him not to carry on letting him get away with it and that was the end of our marriage, the business everything and almost the end of me, i hope you never feel as near to ending it as i did in that period

LimitedEditionLady Tue 23-Apr-13 22:52:27

Issey im not married but i do have my partner of a decade and a child and home together.marriage is a sacred thing and im really sorry to hear its wasnt because of you but he wasnt worthy of you because he decided to do that and risk what sounds like a lovely life to me.please dont think im saying that he didnt want to be with you because im not being personal about every relationship because theyre not my just saying that these people make these choices and throw a lovely life like you had my grandmothers age it was a socially unacceptable thing that people frowned upon but now its crazy what goes on.maybe technology is to blame.

2anddone Tue 23-Apr-13 23:04:23

grin at putting your peepee in the wrong woowoo!
Love it Tiggy

Lazyjaney Tue 23-Apr-13 23:09:09

As a matter of interest is there any evidence that the % of infidelity is rising - more people at it, or more often, or longer?

thekidsrule Wed 24-Apr-13 00:04:57

i agree with op

and the last few years it seems to have become more frequent to hear about affairs/deceit etc

nothing seems to last anymore and seems so disposable

Ouchmyhead Wed 24-Apr-13 00:19:25

I think if you're the type of person who cheats, you'd cheat with or without technology. Technology has just made it much easier to talk to other people and be found out. My DP and I both have phones, email addresses, Facebook accounts that are all password protected - I trust him implicitly and have no reason to think just because he has access to chat rooms and private emails he is cheating, and vice versa.

I also think that relationships that aren't as strong and have issues will also find that technology gets in the way of their relationship, by spending hours on games, talking to friends constantly by texting, even updating Facebook statuses. I'm a strong believer that the more someone talks about their relationship on Facebook/twitter the less likely it is to last. An example is my brother, him and his GF (who live together) are constantly writing 'I love you so much my darling. I miss you' on each others walls and in their statuses, I give it another 2 months maximum - it's just a bug show. That isnt technologies fault though, it's the type of person that utilises it in negative ways.

Ouchmyhead Wed 24-Apr-13 00:20:28

A big show, there are no bugs doing shows in their house as far as I'm aware!

Fudgemallowdelight Wed 24-Apr-13 09:54:57

Limited. I wasn't saying that everybody in the world will cheat and no one should trust their partner. I was saying that when someone cheats it very often isn't because there is anything wrong with their current marriage/relationship/partner, it's just that some people are greedy and selfish.

Lazyjaney Wed 24-Apr-13 10:26:09

"I remember reading on the relationships board that research had been done into affairs and they found that when people had affairs, contrary to popular belief, there was often no problem with the existing relationship, it was just that the person who had the affair was greedy and selfish and given the opportunity, they happily took it."

While I'm sure that goes down very well with the people there, I suspect (looking at some of the clearly unreasonable views some hold on MN) that it's also often true that it does take 2 to tango.

I still haven't seen any hard evidence that Infidelity has actually got worse, if anything I suspect that electronic commas makes it easier for partners to catch it!

AuntieStella Wed 24-Apr-13 10:31:55

I don't buy the idea that affairs only happen in poor relationships (though obviously when something is wrong, the relationship is more vulnerable).

Now, if you have a philanderer, technology is irrelevant, that person is going to do it anyhow.

But ere are also affairs that creep up on one person, and might never have happened if the boundaries of relationships with third parties had stayed intact. It can be a lot easier to let these boundaries slip on line. For you justify the increasing intimacy with a third party on the basis that as you're not meeting or touching, you're doing nothing wrong. And an extensive emotional closeness can develop. And putting emotional energy into a third party means it's not going in to the primary relationship, which then suffers as a result. So it becomes an open path to the self-serving little justifications and permissions that lead to a full blown affair.

Fudgemallowdelight Wed 24-Apr-13 10:55:00

"While I'm sure that goes down very well with the people there, I suspect (looking at some of the clearly unreasonable views some hold on MN) that it's also often true that it does take 2 to tango."

If someone is unhappy in a relationship they can always end it, so they are then free to sleep with who they want, rather than being deceitful.

Lazyjaney Wed 24-Apr-13 11:24:36

"If someone is unhappy in a relationship they can always end it, so they are then free to sleep with who they want, rather than being deceitful"

They could, but that's not what most people do.

I repeat, is there any actual evidence that infidelity has increased, or is it just talked about more these days.

2anddone Wed 24-Apr-13 12:31:01

just found this I googled infidelity and technology and got quite a few pages up. They seem to agree that while technology does not make someone cheat the fact they are a twunt does. It certainly makes it easier.

livinginwonderland Wed 24-Apr-13 12:37:58

it's not the technology, it's the people using it. we all know sex/dating sites are out there, but it's if/how you use them that causes the problem. if you're in a happy relationship, you wouldn't even want to go on those sites, so it's the being miserable in the relationship that causes people to go on those sites, not the sites that cause the break up.

LimitedEditionLady Wed 24-Apr-13 18:42:08

Fudgemallow,i dont have anything against anything you are saying i have the greatest respect for peoples perspectives on not saying im right or wrong,its just what i think.i just see it that for a person to cheat they dont respect the person theyre cheating on and to me love and respect come hand in hand.surely the guilt would be unbearable?

RatRatRat Wed 24-Apr-13 19:23:32

Technology makes relationship trouble far easier to find if you are a bit bored / unhappy / philandery.

I have had men (usually exes) contact me via Facebook etc giving me the opportunity to stroke my ego / chat / cheat and in the periods where I have been desperately in love with my DH, I have ignored them all and deleted. When the relationship is vulnerable, I sometimes have to pause and think about it before deleting messages like that. Technology puts people in easy contact who might not otherwise be and I think makes infidelity (or the temptation to cheat) far easier.

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