Studies have found that one in four teens admit to using their phones to sext. In a study conducted in 2011 individuals who sent and received sexts were more likely to engage in physical intimacy after initially just sending sexts.
Those who are caught sexting have reported feeling that sexting is not actually cheating because there’s no physical contact involved. But while sending pictures and explicit messages seems like it could be harmless, such behavior can prove to be dangerous for long-term relationships because of the breach of trust.
Many health and relationship experts express that it is indeed cheating. Here are some reasons why: There’s a level of sexual intimacy between the receiver and sender; receiving emotional support and interaction from someone else is likely to be seen as cheating in the eyes of the spouse or partner; because there’s an element of secrecy it creates a pattern of hiding evidence or lying, which are dishonest behaviors.
If sexting is cheating, can couples recover? Marina Pearson, author of a divorce and cheating advice book, says that recovering from infidelity depends on the context of the behavior. In some cases men and women who partake in extramarital relationships are drawn to the emotional attention they get in the beginning of a new relationship. But many people begin to develop fantasies and cannot control their impulses to pursue what they believe will be a more rewarding relationship than the one they are currently in.
Pearson also believes that being emotionally attached to another person is a form of cheating, and in the majority of cases most emotional connections inevitably lead to a physical relationship.
If your partner is caught sexting, what should you do? According to many marriage advice experts counseling can be a successful way to help couples rebuild their relationships. However, experts say the other party must be willing to overcome their addiction and cut ties with anyone they are sexting. If they are not willing to stop their behavior the relationship is not likely to recover.