Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Do Electronic devices make affairs more likely or just mean more cheaters get found out?

(32 Posts)
ohtobemeagain Fri 27-Sep-13 18:07:02

I was having a ponder about affairs having suffered through DHs and from reading the Relationship board.

The advice on virtually all threads asking if it sounds like an affair, is to look at phones, tablets, emails etc.

In my situation, I already had some suspicions but it was a chance look at his mobile phone bill that made me confront him.

So do you think mobile phones etc are enabling more people to cheat, or do you think the same number are cheating, but more are getting caught because of the gadgets?

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 27-Sep-13 18:19:38

I think human beings are a resourceful and creative species, especially if there's a chance of a roll in the hay at the end of the exercise. Any new technology and they'll find a way to use it. I bet someone welcomed the advent of the bicycle with the thought that they'd be able to shag someone 10 miles away and still be home for tea...

caramelwaffle Fri 27-Sep-13 18:22:28

I think that is perfectly put cogito

ohtobemeagain Fri 27-Sep-13 18:26:01

But did the bicycle mean more people were having affairs, or did they just settle for shagging someone closer?

LilyBossom Fri 27-Sep-13 18:30:14

I think devices make it far easier - imagine before email/mobile phones - you were unlikely to be able to phone your lover at home on a landline without being discovered. I guess people had affairs with those they saw regularly at work, neighbours or in their local pub. Now they can have an affair with anyone they are able to travel to, and have a much broader range of potential partners.

cupcake78 Fri 27-Sep-13 18:31:58

Where there's a will theses a way!

Before mobiles etc people wouldn't be in touch so easily. This also applies to a wife's or husbands ability to keep track of each other.

HerdyHerdwick Fri 27-Sep-13 18:35:04

I was talking to an octogenarian about this recently. She assured me that people have been finding creative ways to have affairs and to stay in contact during them, since she was in her late teens.
However, I do feel that current technology makes it easier for potential cheaters to find more partners who are looking for an affair.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 27-Sep-13 18:35:39

I think any invention that improves either communication or transport means that the opportunity to have an affair gets greater. However, I think someone has to be already looking in order to take advantage of that opportunity.

ohtobemeagain Fri 27-Sep-13 18:40:25

But the inventions also seem to be the way most affairs are detected. So it makes it easier to have an affair, but more dangerous as well - but that added danger may be making the affair more exciting I guess

LilyBossom Fri 27-Sep-13 18:42:44

Maybe devices just make it easier, but don't make you more likely to be unfaithful. Maybe they just give more opportunities and a wider audience.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 27-Sep-13 18:44:13

I disagree about inventions aiding detection. I think, if someone leaves their phone on display with dodgy messages or their FB page open ditto, they actually want to be caught.

Daisymay100 Fri 27-Sep-13 19:07:15

My dh met his ow on Facebook. It's easy to cheat with technology, you get more opportunities and set yourself up to be whoever you want to be. You don't even need to leave your armchair these days to meet someone.

sixfootplus Fri 27-Sep-13 19:09:01

According to some stats I was reading recently, there has been a 42% increase in the breakup of marriages/long-term-relationships in the last 5 years. And an increase of 5% in reported cases of STI's in the last 2 years - 450k+ last year alone!

It's hard not to think that these 2 alarming stats are not connected and also not down to the explosion in popularity of social media through ease of access via Smartphones etc.

So yes OP, I do indeed think it is a lot easier to both conduct an affair & also seek out a potential FB now...

Sad yes, but a fact of real/OD life these days.

Maybe sites like this should have a dating section (if there isn't one already - sorry not looked), so at least you would know for sure that the people on it are genuine - the threads in the relationship section alone are more than enough to scare away any potential players because I suspect they would very quickly be sussed and then outted!

LilyBossom Fri 27-Sep-13 19:15:36

my ex met his OW on a hook up website - I really don't think he would have met anyone any other way, or maybe I am just naive. He certainly made himself look like mr wonderful on his online profile - if you met him in the pub I don't think he would come across half as confident and fabulous.

ALittleStranger Fri 27-Sep-13 19:25:50

I think two people who want to have an affair will find many, many ways to do it without relying on electronics.

But I think texts, FB, etc make it much easier to cross boundaries and start things. 15 years ago people wouldn't idly look up an ex in the telephone dictionary and give them a call, but it's perfectly possible to send a quick poke on FB. Ditto sending an inappropriately chummy text to a colleague on a Sunday evening. Etc, etc.

heartisaspade Fri 27-Sep-13 19:26:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

skyeskyeskye Fri 27-Sep-13 22:08:37

My XH had no confidence and couldn't chat up women. But he flirted on Facebook email and text because it was faceless and at a distance. He never behaved like it in real life.

It is so easy to believe that you love somebody after exchanging lots of messages stroking your ego but it just isn't real.

cronullansw Fri 27-Sep-13 22:23:29


Marriage breakup - in 2000 there were 98,277 divorces, and in 2011 there were 77,016. Doesn't seem like a 42% increase to me - source, Office of National Statistics via The Guardian.

STI's- there has been an increase of 5% and according to the HPA -

''the continuing high STI rates in England suggest too many people are still putting themselves at risk through unsafe sex, especially young adults and men who have sex with men (MSM)'' This report also talks about improved rates of detection and higher rates of reporting, esp for Chlamydia.

Other than that, yup, a great post and feel free to blame the rise of electronic devices all you want.

LilyBossom Fri 27-Sep-13 22:41:28

Skye - I think you are right. My ex was exactly the same - would never have been brave enough in real life. I think in the virtual world they can be braver and bolder, and try to reinvent themselves. It doesn't last though.

yorkshirewoman Fri 27-Sep-13 22:50:16

Yes, but look at the rate of divorce in women over 60 then you will see a different picture - and people aren't bothering to get married these days so the stats aren't telling the whole story.
And I agree with above really after talking to my solicitor who I have seen re my partners EA (after my discovery of his secret life) - their business has rocketed in the last two years as a result of various electronic devices being used to hide lies and deceit - it's just that the legal framework has yet to catchup with basically the creation of relationship firestorms that tech has unleashed (and that's without touching on porn) (sorry for excessive emotive language - but I am seriously pissed off)

Looksgoodingravy Fri 27-Sep-13 22:53:46

I agree with a previous poster that the likes of 'chat' , texting, pm, etc etc make it easy for boundaries to be crossed often during a vulnerable time in a relationship.

The ow or om can become a different person in cyberland!

ohtobemeagain Fri 27-Sep-13 22:58:00

I hadn't really thought about that aspect, I guess it will give people more courage, or lower inhibitions, if they can do it in a faceless way

Tonandfeather Fri 27-Sep-13 23:17:47

The divorce and STI figures tell us nothing. The question was about affairs, which are a very different animal.

Tech makes affairs easier to conduct and easier to detect. I saw an interview with a Relate therapist who confirmed this. She said people can now meet long-lost loves so easily whereas before they'd have to have gone to some effort to look them up, there are dating sites for people just looking for sex on the side and people are far more brazen when they can flirt without hearing or seeing the person's reaction, so people get addicted to the buzz of getting a message or whatever.

Of course, people will always be stupid and get caught. I don't agree they always want to though. People who are made to feel like conquering heroes have a habit of feeling invincible. This leads to them foolishly thinking that everyone without sex goggles on is terminally stupid.

meditrina Fri 27-Sep-13 23:29:47

I think it can make it rather easier to take the 'baby steps' slide into affair territory. Before, you met someone (face to face), had a bit of a flirt, then No Contact for a week or so (couldn't phone a home landline as anyone might answer), during which time everyone (other than an incorrigible philanderer) comes to their senses a bit.

MadeMan Fri 27-Sep-13 23:54:46

In my opinion electronic devices can make people more anxious or paranoid about things these days.

Whether it's wondering what your partner is doing on their phone while they sit there in the armchair across the living room (are they texting someone, playing a game?), or checking what all your friends are doing on Facebook (am I missing out on all the gossip, all the parties?) and also are you being secretly filmed on the bus/train?

People are now constantly glued to their devices.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now