I love my partner, but I did something online – is that cheating?

q-100Hello. A couple days ago I Skyped with a friend and I ended up showing my genitals. I am not in a relationship with this person but I am in a relationship with someone else. I admit I was horny and I could have controlled myself, but I went along and just showed it. Afterwards I felt really guilty and pissed off at myself for doing this. I want to tell my partner but I’m afraid this will ruin our relationship. I really love my partner, and I know it wouldn’t seem like it for flashing myself. I am feeling extreme guilt, and I have no clue how to confess. This person loves me too, so I am hoping to be forgiven. And we can continue with our relationship. I just wanna know if it’s considered cheating? And how should I tell my partner this? I only showed my genitals and that’s it. I didn’t masturbate nor did the other person showed anything, or masturbated. It was just showing it, and that’s it. Once again, I feel really guilty, and I have no feelings for the person I webcammed with. I am in love with my partner and I don’t want to hurt our relationship.

 


 

a-100Hello,

You are already suffering the consequences of your actions with the guilt you are feeling. Is it worth telling your partner so that your partner can feel bad, too? That’s always a big question. My opinion is that, if you have learned this lesson by the remorse and guilt you feel from your own actions, the right next step is to use that information to remind yourself never to do it again.  Yes, I’m all for honesty in a relationship, but some honesty is just to make ourselves feel better and will not help the relationship at all.

Have you done this before? If you have and have not learned from it, then you have a different problem.

My biggest question is: what are you doing online in compromising situations with other people if you actually do love your partner? To my mind, just being online looking for others to chat with is EMOTIONAL INFIDELITY! 

That has far greater consequences than a one-time peep show.  So, YES! It is cheating. You are trying to downplay what you did by saying that you “only” showed your genitals when you shouldn’t have been on the web at all engaging with other people in a sexual way.

I invite you to be honest with yourself. You wanted to do what you did and you did it. Now you want to be forgiven.  Next time, a) don’t be online looking and chatting when you’re in a relationship, and 2) don’t pretend it’s love for the other when you are doing just what you want to do then asking to be forgiven.

Please remember that I seriously question whether or not this is something you want to tell your partner. I hope you will seriously question WHY you would want to do this. Expunging your guilt will not contribute to trust. Just change your behavior.

If you love each other, don’t hurt each other. Doing something you know will hurt the other is NOT love.

I wish you well.

DrShaler

get the relationship help you need in-person or through Skype videoRhoberta Shaler, PhD is The Relationship Help Doctor. She works with individuals, couples, families and workplace teams to help them develop the skills, insights and solutions that lead to better communication, conflict management and collaboration. You can work with her online through Skype® or Google+, by phone, or in-person in her office in Escondido, CA, at The Optimize Center.

For immediate insights, subscribe to her blog at www.RelationshipHelpDoctor.com  There are hundreds of posts there and a search button to help you find what you need.

 

Disclaimer: all advice, insights and suggestions made here are not to be construed as psychological or legal advice. Any actions you undertake as a result of reading any article, book, ebook or blog post from Rhoberta Shaler, PhD, are entirely your own. Having worked with individuals and couples for more than twenty-five years, she offers her opinions  for your consideration only.

January 31, 2015   92    Spouse/Partner    
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