Did you just catch your husband having an internet affair? Maybe he forgot to turn off his computer, or you used his because yours was broken. Maybe you just walked in on him at the wrong time. Either way you found out that he was having an online romance with another woman.

Does this count as cheating? I mean, after all, it’s not like he actually had any sort of physical contact with the other woman, right? Does it even count as a “real” affair?

Maybe this sounds like something you and your husband have had a debate about. He thinks there is nothing wrong with what he did, while you can help but feel betrayed. Who is right?

Well, this gets into a hairy situation. In a way it really depends.

First of all, have the two of you really sat down and discussed what the boundaries are in your marriage? Can you come to an agreement on what counts as cheating and what doesn’t?

Often, we just assume that our particular view of what counts as cheating is shared by everyone. However, this isn’t the case. Some people consider even having thoughts about another person as cheating, where as others in an open relationship may willingly share their partner sexually with others. Some consider cheating an emotional act, while others see it as only the physical act.

In order to get on the same page with your husband about what is cheating and what isn’t, you need to have a talk with him about it so both of you can reach an agreement.

Secondly, though, if he was knowingly hiding something from you, then he probably has at least a suspicion that he is doing something he shouldn’t be doing. If your husband’s moral compass is going off and telling him that what he’s doing should be hidden, then he obviously knows that he’s doing something wrong.

As soon as you start keeping damaging secrets from each other, that is when the slippery slope of affairs start.

In this way, it doesn’t matter if it is all online or if your husband and the other woman never even meet in person. It’s still cheating because he is having a relationship with another person and secretly keeping it from you.

The foundation of marriage is love and trust. If you two are keeping secrets and eroding trust by having online affairs, emotional affairs, or even physical affairs, then there is a serious problem in your marriage.

Either way, you and your husband need to stop avoiding the problems in your marriage and brushing off things like internet affairs with flippant remarks about how it doesn’t count because it’s not real. To heal your marriage, the two of you need to start honestly communicating and quit the cycle of emotional withholding and getting even.

Even if an internet affair isn’t a “real” affair by your husband’s definition, it still hurts just the same and it can still do significant damage to your marriage.

Author's Bio: 

If you're tired of putting up with online affairs and you are read to finally heal your marriage, I suggest you check out Dr Gunzburg and his Marriage Sherpa program, which has helped countless couples save their marriage for the verge of divorce.

Alex Haight is a relationship writer helping women with relationship problems and specializing in affairs and infidelity.