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Help to Avoid Committing Adultery Through Social Media

May 10, AD2014 8 Comments

\"SusanSince the advent of social media, the problem of adultery has become worse. Sexual acts need not take place for adultery to be present. Internet affairs need not even contain sexual matters to be adulterous. Affections can develop quickly between a third party and a married person to which only the married couple have a right. When a married person begins to feel tenderly towards a third party, the ability of the heart to remain open to the rightful spouse is closed. So neither the adulterous married person nor their spouse can communicate heartfelt emotion to each other. This is commonly known as emotional adultery.

Following my article are some links to sites which help identify emotional adultery, and even how to get out of an emotional affair. Be sure to pass this information forward, because the problem of emotional adultery is rampant. We all have a duty to help married persons achieve the peace and integrity of their marriage vows and their monogamous state of life.

The danger of carrying communication too far stems from our deep desire to be accepted, to be important, to be appreciated and to be “loved.” Social media makes all of those feelings possible in a short amount of time, well-suited to our impatience. Unlike real life and marriage, the quick emotional fix an internet affair proffers doesn’t suffer the usual disagreements and hurt feelings. In fact, an internet affair is all about good feelings – mostly quite selfish ones. Crossing the line of communication from respect for the other and their family to selfish, destructive behavior is to be carefully avoided for the better good of our entire society. It’s our duty to one another to respect boundaries established by God and recognized by civil law as well. In many states, you can be sued for participating in an emotionally adulterous affair.

Obviously it takes two to tango; but for the remainder of this article, I’m going to address the person who is unmarried and engaging in inappropriate conversations with a married person.

Stealing Away the Heart of Someone Married

To those who don\’t hesitate before flirting with somebody whose status clearly reads \”married\”, be warned: you are meddling with entire lives, hearts, and futures. You might be jeopardizing the safe family haven of children, in fact upsetting their entire self identity and robbing them of their childhood innocence. When a marriage is suffering, the children are suffering worse. In exchange for a few moments of your self-seeking, you can wreak havoc on entire generations. Think about that for a moment.

Whether you’re finding a thrill in receiving a married person\’s affections and attention, or are trying to “help” them with affirmations, it matters not. When you try to be the person who provides for them what their spouse allegedly does not, you are treading on very thin ice. You might tip over trust already precariously perched on the edge of so many misunderstandings between the married couple. Often, an internet affair leads to a real-life, sexual affair. It is a slippery slope just a few tap taps and click clicks from a state of grace to a disgraceful state of guilt, betrayal, and broken families.

Although it is required by charity to comfort those who suffer, and be as supportive and helpful to those in crisis as possible, it’s critical to understand where the line falls between helping and harming. Charity also requires that you love your friend’s spouse and children. As a general rule, a married person should not be relying upon you for all their support. Particularly, they should not use you as a sounding board for all their spouse’s failures while seeking affirmation from you for their present choice of avoiding the spouse and hanging out with you. That alone is a big danger sign.

When you are in constant communication with a married person, you are really stealing away time from their spouse and children. “It’s just a quick smiley face. What’s wrong with that?” some will object. Even a few short seconds at a time can be dangerous, because the emotional connection increases exponentially. Stealing away the time between the minutes of a married person snowballs, and soon you steal away their hours and days. That is time they might have spent working on their marriage, trying to reach their spouse, growing in unconditional love, or on their knees begging divine assistance. When you steal away those moments in time, you alter time forever. Perhaps that marriage was near to a turnaround before you interfered. There is no justification for securing a married person\’s attention or affection. Whether or not their spouse is a loser is one thing; whether or not you are a loser is another.

So think long and hard whenever your electronic discourse with a married person begins to take a turn towards greater frequency and intimacy, and be sure to question your own motives. Ask a trusted friend, or better yet, ask one of those happily married elderly couples sitting together on a park bench or porch swing what they think about conversations you’re not certain about. I’m sure they’ll steer you in the right direction. They’ll be happy you sought their advice, too, because they come from the day and age unclouded by the technology and speed to which we are all so accustomed. Their vision is clear, their convictions are solid, and their hearts are wide open.

\”But from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female. For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother; and shall cleave to his wife. And they two shall be in one flesh. Therefore now they are not two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.\” ~ Mark 10:6-9

Additional Resources:

About the Author:

A cradle Catholic, Susan was born and raised in eastern Ohio where she attended the Franciscan University of Steubenville. Afterwards, she moved to the greater D.C. area, and attended Christendom College. It was there that she gained knowledge of Church Doctrine, teachings of the Fathers, and Tradition. Residing in rural New Hampshire, Susan is a full-time homeschooling mother to ten beautiful children.

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  • bill b

    I only debate on the net and do zero socializing but I can sense you’re saying something important for more social people. May your ten children stay reasonably close by when they grow is my prayer tonight for you.

  • David Peters

    Susan Anne, thank you for taking on this incredibly important topic, and challenging us to be careful and to check our motives and actions. It is very well stated, and I really appreciate what you said.

  • NurseTammy

    You are absolutely right and I have known of marriages and families destroyed by emotional affairs and internet affairs…anything that pulls you from your spouse is a burden to your marriage. When my husband was alive, I made a specific point of not having male FB friends and if I had to write a social email to a man, I always CC’d his wife.

    I was reluctant to email a woman who gave me her husbands email address as where she receives messages and I shared with her that I don’t socially email men…she poo poo’ed me. Her husband has since left their beautiful Catholic family for a coworker.

    Be very very cautious and you wont regret it.

  • sheila

    One word: Overpopulation.

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  • Twelve Steps

    When one has been abandoned by one’s spouse, either in actual fact, or metaphorically, as when for example, one’s spouse is physically at home, but is an active addict and continually zoned out on drugs and/or alcohol, this is a special kind of agony which family and friends, while sympathetic may not be equipped to help with. There is a special danger of (wrongly) seeking solace by turning one’s affections in other directions, in ways that one would know better than to do under normal circumstances.

    I suspect that this may go on quite a bit. Some of these situations, while never justifiable, may develop in ways a bit more complicated than simply lustful curiosity.