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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?

sixfootplus Mon 30-Sep-13 18:02:26


Those stats are just for marriages, so of course they are going to be lower!

intheduskwiththelightbehindher Sun 29-Sep-13 07:06:28

Meditrina - baby steps - spot on! In 1984 I had an affair with a MM and we wrote letters (me to his work) to arrange our 'assignations' and express our feelings. It didn't last. He left his wife and is now on his third 'long term relationship' and won't commit to the latest one.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 28-Sep-13 17:51:48

As he met her via work, he'd have still met her. If there were no mobile phones he'd be making excuses to get out to use a payphone to talk to her, drive over and meet in secret or 'work late at the office'. My marriage broke up in 1994 when mobile phones were scarce and the size of house-bricks. I just got a bad feeling when he mentioned a particular woman in conversation a bit too often...

ohtobemeagain Sat 28-Sep-13 16:43:32

It was a colleague - spent all day with her, then texted all evening, weekends, first thing in the morning etc

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 28-Sep-13 13:34:08

Who was the person your ex was texting OP? Someone he met IRL or purely an online contact?

VodkaJelly Sat 28-Sep-13 12:33:29

I dont think technology encourages people to have affairs but it makes things a damn sight easier.

Before mobiles etc if your DH said he was at work you had no real way of checking, and unless somebody saw his car parked in a layby you were non the wiser.

Communication today encourages people to keep in touch, FB/Twitter/email/phones etc so having a laugh with somebody at work can be carried on at home and can start an EA. (dont apply to everyone of course)

But of course if somebody wants to cheat they will, regardless of technology. People will always find a way.

ohtobemeagain Sat 28-Sep-13 11:36:10

Thanks MadeMan - now I'm worrying about being filmed grin

My first red flag was precisely that - DH was glued to his phone on the other side of the room, as adept at texting as any teenage girl - and just as prolific. Prior to this " I can't be bothered with sending texts " confused

Tonandfeather I agree about your invicible point. I don't think DH wanted to be caught, in fact, I'm positive he didn't.

Meditrina - Baby Steps - exactly.

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.

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.

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.

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

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!

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)

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.

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.

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.

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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