It’s ‘Only’ Porn, It’s Not Really Cheating

Many of the women who write on this site struggle with their Sex Addict  husband’s accusations that their porn or web cam or sex chats are not really cheating and that ‘everyone does it’ will now have some official validation. According to Rob Weiss, Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW, CSAT-S and Founder of the Sexual Recovery Institute, this is cheating!

Even more important, he also talks about a study that was done the shows that these virtual affairs typically progress to real world cheating.

Here is a copy of a Q&A that I ran across on the net.

Husband on Webcam – Is It Cheating?
answered 03:49 PM EST, Fri August 26, 2011

I found that my husband has been participating in regular webcam sessions with performers that he pays to take their clothes off.

I feel quite betrayed but he says that it’s totally meaningless, that I am overreacting and that it’s just a harmless outlet for him and that it is something that most guys do.

I don’t know what to think but the fact that he was using a credit card that I didn’t even know about to pay for his thrills makes me wonder how much he is still not telling me. I feel like he has been cheating on me and it’s hard for me to even look at him across the dinner table anymore.

Am I overreacting? But even if I am, how can I change the way I feel?

Rob Weiss Says…

The digital era has changed the face of cheating. It has so changed the landscape of marriage, relationships, and infidelity that we have even created a site on this called ItsCheating.com because many people are confused about what constitutes infidelity.

The short answer to your question is yes, this is cheating. I have a very basic definition of infidelity that should validate your feelings:

Infidelity is simply defined as the breaking of trust and the keeping of secrets in an intimate partnership.

There have been some studies that show online cheating does typically progress to real-world cheating. One study published in the journal Sexuality & Culture involved a survey of more than 5,100 people. Participants seemed to follow a pattern of behavior: sexting, then cybersex, then ultimately a real-life relationship outside of an intimate one.

Researchers summarized that when people get involved with sexting or online sexual relationships, this behavior seemed to predict that a cheating episode was likely to occur.

Your instincts are right on. If he is lying to you, has a secret credit card account, and laughing it off as insignificant there may be more you don’t know about.

You cannot change the way you feel. Your feelings are completely normal and valid. However, you may find support in meetings like those offered by S-Anon, which is a free program of recovery for those who have been affected by someone else’s sexual behavior. A program like this will help you to recognize that you did not cause the behavior and you are not the problem.

You can view Rob’s website by clicking here

Related Articles

Responses

  1. “Infidelity is simply defined as the breaking of trust and the keeping of secrets in an intimate partnership.”

    Amen!

    Honey, my hubbie also did the same song and dance of denial 5 years ago. There is NO “just” and yes, my h said it was JUST the chats (which were online sex chats that he left OPEN on MY laptop by “accident”). And guess what? Not EVERYONE does “it” and NO, YOU ARE NOT OVER-REACTING. As a matter of fact, I think that you are under reacting and that he’s a f**Ktard in massive DENIAL!

    So, fast forward FIVE years, my cyber cheatin’ hubbie. It wasn’t JUST chats at all. It was at least two women with LIVE ongoing affairs,and a LOT of extremely intimate deeply emotionally unifying chat, that he did not have for me. He also had multiple other women with chats and other women that he was working with that he was trying to seduce on email and on facebook. We actually get along great, but there aren’t enough women on the face of the earth to validate his manhood. hehe 🙁

    And Yeah… FAKEBOOK is a veritable breeding ground for internet stalking predators.

    My advice? Save yourself some trouble and much heartbreak, down the line. cut your losses.

    dump the loser.

    IMO, “recovery” is a crock o shit that the shrinks have made up so that they can separate you from your hard earned money. They (SAs) don’t change, (the vast majority– despite all of the crapola rehab, 12-step therapy) they just figure out how to do it better. Dr. Weiss feel free to shit all over me for saying that. 😉 Maybe some dudes stop for a while. A year, two– six at the most… and then something will happen. and he won’t be able to stop the compulsion to act out, and leave you to fend for yourself. However, if you wanna monitor his every move like the mother of a toddler and burn a hole in your stomach— always wondering, wondering, what he’s up to… stay married to him. A lot of women do. God bless them!

    All my best,

    Lexie

    1. right on Lexie!! My life is 100% better now that I don’t have to deal with the child who never grew up!! oh he put on a good show to make it look like he was faithful.. but in the end, he wasn’t able to conceal it.. He just about shit his pants when I showed him the proof of what i found on his computer!!! lol
      Then he decides he is going to try to end it all..well, I got some good advice and called the cops on him..that stopped the game right then and there!! When we are in a relationship with these so called men..they rely heavily on mind games to try to confuse us! I would say unless there is proof..whatever comes out of their mouth is most likely a lie!!

    2. AMEN! I agree! Finally someone who just said it. What’s this world come to when we are made to feel guilty for holding AN ADULT accountable for their actions?!?!

  2. Once a self-centered dick on two legs, always a self-centered dick on two legs.

    I want to second what Lexie said: “DUMP THE LOSER!”

    You’ll be glad you did.

    And it seems that therapists are quacks. I’ve only recently started working with a therapist via phone who understands sex addiction/intimacy anorexia. This is the type of therapist you need. Routine, run of the mill therapists don’t understand this at any level. Save your time and money. Don’t bother. Seek out a qualified therapist who specializes in sexual addiction/intimacy anorexia.

    My best, Betty

  3. Hi! I am new to this site. I found it earlier this week…it’s been such a blessing. I’ll try to caption my story as short as possible. I met my current bf after I had left my ex husband. Things were pretty good at first. Within the first couple of months of dating I found a porn website on his computer…I was pissed/upset/crying…yada yada. He said he was sorry he didn’t know how I felt, I won’t do it…yada yada yada. I calmed down and let it pass. But I always knew something was off but didn’t know what. He approached me about moving in together (I also have an 8 year old son). He said he loved both of us so much and would just think that he was not good enough for us because he wouldn’t be able to provide for us like he wanted (I’m a college graduate with a full time job). Anywho, we moved in together. I moved myself and my son 25 miles from our hometown so we could all live together. Well after about 3 months. I KNEW something was really wrong. He had become so withdrawn, unemotional, could careless about me at all. We had been in a texting argument all day and then he finally cracked..I finally found out (at work) that he “he likes masturbating and likes porn”…whoa!!! WTH? Of course I couldn’t stop shaking, I felt like I was going to vomit, everything in my body was racing. Of course that night he tried to down play it like it was no big deal…”all men do it”…bulls*&t. Then the next day it was “I’m sorry, I promise I’ll stop”…yada, yada. A week later I found where he had been looking at it just the day before on MY computer!! I immediately got my son and left. Of course went back because he said he would go to counseling…that never happend Two months later…I had took my son to the books store came home and happend to notice on his computer when I walked in…you guessed it…more porn! Thank goodness my son did not see it. Once again I left. I felt great while I was at my step dad’s house (another part my mom passed away just 2 days after we moved in together). But he promised…again to go to counseling and get a block on the computers, for some stupid reason I went back. We went to one counseling appt. together…that was HORRIBLE and he went to one by himself after that. I put blocks on the computer and the tv. He seems to have mood swings…I have no idea how he will react to anything. He doesn’t want to have sex (once a week) of course that’s my fault because I don’t initiate it…whatever! We have been in a fight for a few days (he said f u, u f’n skank to me – any my son heard it). I told him to leave of couse he won’t leave now, in a couple of weeks…weasle (sp?). Well I came home the other day and there was a paper towel on his (closed) computer that he had used to ahem “clean himself” afterward. I can’t find anything on the computer where anything was viewed. I am so done with this crap. This is cheating and I really don’t know how anyone can stay with someone like this for any period of time, let alone trying to build a life with them. I also had found on his outlook (which he doesn’t currently use) a reply to a CL ad. He said he has never done that. I’m like seriously…? i’m standing here looking at the email right beside you and you can lie like that…he tried to tell me I was ill and I said no i’m not. I’m not stupid and if you think I am than your are a f’n idiot. And he likes to tell me how bad of a mom i am…I’m a doormat, I let my son get away with anything, which is complete BS. Unfortunately this damn apartment is in my name and I can’t afford all the rent alone…however I’m willing to do anything as long as he is out of here. But of couse he is insisting on staying at least through Christmas because he wants to see my son open his gifts.
    Thanks for letting me vent evening though I know I missed some stuff. I am hoping to get on the sister website after the new year(financially I can’t right now. Happy Holiday!! Hopefully I can make it through this weekend 🙂

  4. Hi Kristina,

    i really feel your pain and know it too. My husband is a porn and sex addict and has been acting out for at least nine years, I found out five months ago. But, there’s so much more to the story, but that’s not important right now. I have actually been on this site for over two years! You can find dozens (maybe hundreds of my posts liberally sprinkled all over here.)

    Your BF is a sex addict. And if you found out that he’s placing ads on CL, then he is also acting out in person too. Despite what he says, people who place ads on CL are meeting people in person, or at the very least, jerking off to others on web cam, but usually, porn acting out, leads to real acting out, in any case. He’s a liar and he’s very sick. While I do think that he has feelings for you and your son, his addiction is his number one priority. But guess what? Even he doesn’t realize this. Addicts lie to themselves, too. And many of them, will deflect their situation, by telling you what is “wrong” with you, or blaming, denying. I know that this is difficult, but really it is better not to engage them, in any of this. My new mantra is to treat them like they are on a day pass from the psych ward. lol. It really, really helps!

    Unless he’s really, really ready to do the hard, hard work to get well, its completely hopeless. I believe that you’re realizing this. And since you don’t have children together and are not married, its easier to make an exit. Could you stay with your dad, while you get back on your feet? He must be very lonely, and perhaps, temporarily it could be a win/win situation and give you time to heal and move towards a healthier new life, free from the not-so-merry-go round of living with someone who’s a dangerous man. He is dangerous, because he’s sick and he’s out of control and he has a compulsion which knows no bounds and you have a young son to protect.

    I am so sorry, for your pain. I see nothing wrong, however, in letting him come over for Xmas, IF that suits you, but also making it clear that you are taking steps to leave the relationship. Please come over to SOS when you are ready. We’ll be waiting with open arms!

    my best ~ Lexie

  5. I can totally relate to Janica’s post regarding the mind games. Last week my hubby met with a colleague who is divorcing and soon after began hinted at divorce because he wasn’t “getting his needs met” and he seemed so entitled and self righteous, but as soon as I expressed my approval of his divorce implication he turned it around real quick. He’s been all gentlemanly and charming and wants to stay together. I really can’t tell if he was just trying to scare me with the divorce thing or manipulate me into providing more of what he wants, but it just doesn’t make sense that last week he wanted a divorce and this week he is practically courting me again. If this was the first time this kind of thing happened, that would be one thing. There is a history here. It’s gone on too long and I’m tired. I really hope that Kristina finds a way out of this relationship and doesn’t get sucked into the fake charm that only serves to meet the sex addicts needs in the long run.

  6. I no longer feel like a nagging wife. After reading the comments above, my reactions are completely normal. My feelings are hurt, i feel unattractive, i was told `i should just cheat if you are going to accuse me’! My accusations are valid. My husband has been caught texting and emailing many women. He never meets them, he likes the idea of sexting. I was told im crazy and sexting `IS NOT CHEATING’! He had stopped for a couple months but hes back to being married to his phone and adding women on facebook. I had asked to consider my feelings when it comes to how and when he uses his phone and to only add family and mutual friends on facebook. At least until i can trust him again, he wont do that for his wife? Really? Is that too much to ask? I was told to deal with it and he doesnt know what the big deal is? I cant change the way he feels about the situation but i think divorce is the only answer for me to be happy again. I think he keeps me around to fullfill the urges he gets after chatting with these women. Then he thinks that doesnt constitute as cheating, if im the only one getting the physical part of him. Ive spent over 3 years ‘looking’ for answers i already have, im done wasting time on someone that takes a strange womens feelings precidence over his wife’s feelings.

  7. Kimberly
    I am so sorry you are going through this. It is cheating and your feelings are valid. They are great at making it seem like what they are doing is ok and we are crazy. We are not…I promise you. I felt completely blind sided by this and it has changed my world and the way I view it forever. I have given my 60 day notice at the apartment we are in and am taking the steps to get away. By April 1 I will be done and in my own place and I can have the time and space I need to heal from this.

    Lexie and Wendy
    Thank you for your support. I’ve wanted to post for a while but just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I have days filled with helplessness (sp?), anger and fear and days that I am strong. I know once I am in my own place I will be able to heal from this. I have no desire to be/stay with him and I’m not sure how women do choose to stay…I think it would literally kill me if I did.

  8. Hi Kristina
    I was in your shoes until I moved out of our home this past August. Because of the emotional abuse, the lies, the manipulation and blame these men put on us, we find ourselves actually doubting our own instincts and our strength. We fall into the trap of the abuser and we lose our self worth because of the constant negative crap they put on us!!
    Once I did leave and got a good counselor, my life has turned around dramatically. I no longer have that sick feeling of dread. I am starting to believe in myself and love myself now. I feel like I can do anything my heart desires. I am feeling confident and very healthy mentally and emotionally!!! I am learning that no man is worth losing myself over.
    I am saying all this because there is hope..You can have a great life without these SA men! They are very sick and can suck the life out of us..but I am telling you, with help, you can get your life back!!!

  9. I am very grateful to hear all of these stories. My husband became a porn addict about 10years ago. I’ve bee trying to rationalize this, suffer through it, talk to him about it, everything I could possibly think of in order to make this work. We have been together for 18 years, but only married for five. He is disabled with a back injury, so he is home all day by himself and spending time on the internet. HOURS!!!! When I would come home from work I wasn’t allowed to ask him what he did all day. That would cause a fight. Somedays he would work on fixing up the house or work around the house. Those days were normal and actually quite a relief. Other days I would come home from work and I knew that he was having sexual activity going on with himself or, and I don’t like to think this, with our dogs. Over the years, I put net nanny on the computer, and this worked for awhile. Once it was removed, he went right back to his old viewing ways.
    Last spring we were at a motorcycle rally and there was a girl in barely nothing standing in front of a display. I noticed an immediate change in him. An excitment that I hadn’t seen in years. He was having trouble controlling himself he wanted to go over to this girl in the worst way. When I told him he had better not go over to her, he called me a buzz kill. I think that’s when I knew it was too much for me to handle.
    I filed for a divorce. He is very angry with me and doesn’t see any reason for me to do this. He claims that when it comes to him I am totally unforgiving. HA HA I don’t know of anyone in my life that I have given more to emotionally, financially and in every way possible. I have nothing left to give, I’m empty.
    He is so far gone that I have to just keep my mouth shut and get out of here as soon as I can.
    I’m working on it and I can’t wait to be in the sunshine once again! Good luck to everyone out there that is struggling too.

  10. so feeling your pain. I don’t know if any of you have read codependant no more but it has greatly freed me this week to walk away for good. I found out about 19 months back my husband of 10 years was a sex addict. he was a pastor to top it. had a porn addiction that went back 25 years and he had a whole secret life behind my back. his issue being discovered lost both our jobs, and with that abuse took over my house on my children and I. he was so angry on himself and going through literial with draws after hours a day fixes at his office no less. I gave him a chance to get divorce but his moral compus was broken (sex addiction actually changes your chemical balences) I had to end up kicking him out after relapsing and he went off to rehab for 9 months in a live in program but he is STILL BROKEN. he still lie to himself and doen’t get what he has done and colapsed mine and his 3 kids worlds. divorce is final this week and we are moving forward and I am getting my feet under me. there is hope! going back to school to finish my BA and find happiness outside of him. we do loose ourselves in these peopole and don’t leave because We get mixed up in them and their success or failor

  11. First of all, I have to say that anyone deserves better than to be in a relationship with an active addict. People constantly post on these sites that it’s not cheating, but really when you go down this path you are buying into the manipulations of an addict. Who cares if its cheating? If he were shooting up heroine every chance he could get, would you have people telling you, “we’ll at least he isn’t cheating.” Hell no. It’s an addiction that is destroying your marriage, changing his brain and you are trying to rationalize the irrational. Stop. Detach and take care of yourself. It’s unfair this has happened but only he can change his addiction. You can be happy again though. Please seek counseling and go to a co sex addict meeting. You are worth all the effort you are putting into him!
    Elaine

  12. Elaine, its never ever “only” porn.NEVER.Unless he is a 10 year old.There always are affairs.ALWAYS.

    Any man who says its only porn are LIARS>

    Any woman he believes that is in DENIAL.

    Porn is the easiest to catch them at and they cant deny it.In their pervert minds and amidst all the perversions they indulge in porn is the least harmful to admit to .And yes porn is not cheating..AS PER THE ADDICTS. No sane person would ever say porn is not cheating.

    What they see in pixels they want in real life.

    The whole discusssion of it being “only” porn is redundant.

    And with porn in a man’s life it never is plain vanilla cheating or emotional cum physical affairs.There will be perversions and prostitution.Its but logical because no normal woman can ever match up to the fantasy that porn creates and they are always searching for it.

    Which leads them to a prostitute.