For information on clinical practice to do with online affairs see our articles and research references here.
This is part of the larger Online Affairs website which provides free articles for members of the public impacted by internet infidelity, as well as therapists working with those who have experienced, or are experiencing, online affairs.
Working in collaboration with The Open University, Tavistock Relationships presents a number of short articles on the subject of online affairs. Here we answer questions as to what consitutes an online affair and also suggest possible solutions to help if yourself in such a situation. It is broken down into the following questions:
Is my partner cheating online?
Cheating online – also referred to as an online affair or internet infidelity – is any behaviour conducted through any digital communication device (e.g. phone, tablet, laptop) that someone believes betrays their relationship.
The fact that the online world is ‘virtual’ (as opposed to the ‘real’ world) can make it hard to judge online behaviours. In addition, researchers suggest that confusion around definitions can make it easier to justify cheating online.
The infidelity drama ‘I-SPY’ explores the issue of online affairs over five episodes. The fictitious couple - Rhianna and Oliver - struggle to hold their relationship together after engaging in online activities. These films illustrate how online affairs might start and can help those in relationships to have the conversation about what each partner feel is ok to do online, and what isn’t.
This website was developed and designed as part of the Kick-starting Impact Award Project ‘Internet infidelity: creating partnerships’. In this project academics from the Open University (OU) and from Oxford University worked together with Tavistock Relationships (TR) to develop a programme of knowledge exchange activities on the subject of internet infidelity, its impact on couples and families and the counselling and therapy techniques used with couples affected by it.
For more information on the project see here
The project was funded in 2016/2017 by the Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) awarded to University of Oxford by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).
For more information on the Impact Acceleration Account see here