It’s amazing how quickly innocent emailing or texting or sexting can turn into an affair. In fact, it’s actually very common.
Bob Rosenwein of Lehigh University has found that people communicating online or via text message often fall for each other in about a week. That’s two or three times as fast — on average — as those courting face-to-face.
“When you don’t have nonverbal communication, the likelihood of being able to disclose at a deeper level is greater, because there’s less inhibition,” Rosenwein says. “So it’s going to feel like a more intimate relationship.”
Tara Fritsch, a marriage therapist in Edmond, Oklahoma, says this makes it easier for some with no intention of starting an affair to unwittingly cross a line. Often this leads to a physical affair but even without that, many marriages are damaged by the emotional affair. In fact, the emotional part of the affair is often more damaging to the marriage than the physical part.
“The emotional loss — the lies that have hidden the emotional connection — is just as painful as if their spouse had actually gone out and met with someone,” Fritsch says.