Is sexting someone while in a relationship cheating?

Sexting has become a bit of an enigma to many of us, and a form of infidelity to many.

“Sexting” itself isn’t the enigma here—it’s the question: “Is sexting cheating?” that raises some eyebrows.

The question is a bit complicated as it can’t be answered with a simple yes or no; if you’re in a similar situation, I’m sure you’ve noticed!

The definition of and what is considered sexting!

Sexting is, as you guessed it, texting a person sexually: it’s sexual behavior conducted when communicating via mobile phones.

Research on sexting shows that around 88% of US adults have tried sending sexually explicit messages at least once in their lifetime—this may include:

  • Nudes;
  • Talking about sexual topics;
  • Sharing sexual “jokes”, posts, and facts;
  • “Innocent” sexual flirting, etc.

Anything sexual and inappropriate while texting goes, really—but again, it’s different for everybody.

Answering a—nearly—rhetorical question: Is sexting considered cheating if you are in a relationship?

Sexting is considered cheating in most exclusive relationships.

To make a long story short, “cheating” is being unfaithful to your partner—any action that crosses our partner’s boundaries can be considered unfaithful.

  • This idea only gets more complicated when we consider that sexting (in itself) doesn’t include physicality—people take comfort in that.

They may think that sexting is no big deal since they aren’t technically physically cheating on their partner.

Unfortunately for them, though, they won’t be able to get away due to a technicality.

Sexting another person is infidelity when:

– It crosses a partner’s boundaries.

Anything involving an outsider is considered infidelity when it crosses a partner’s boundaries—sexting included.

Going by the most common definition of cheating: sexting is, in fact, seen as unfaithful as it involves inappropriate behavior.

A partner texting somebody else crosses our boundaries while also making us feel disrespected, hurt, and uncomfortable.

– It’s kept a secret from a partner.

Sexting is cheating when it’s kept a secret, undoubtedly.

Talking to somebody in a way other than friendly is kept hidden from a partner because the cheater knows they’re in the wrong here.

Cheaters usually keep sexting a secret and even attempt to justify it: “It’s no big deal. I’m just talking to this other person and nothing bad will come out of it.” 

– Someone who’s in a relationship repeatedly lies about it.

Lying about actions that shouldn’t be done in the first place is cheating in every possible way.

Consistently partaking in unfaithful activities online, while also lying about them is infidelity at its finest—it destroys trust in a relationship.

– A partner has made their thoughts and feelings clear.

If a partner has been vocal about their hatred for sexting, yet we still do it, then we are cheating.

We are deliberately going out of our way to do something against our partner’s wish and that is not okay.

– It’s done out of spite: trust issues and/or unresolved relationship problems.

At times, we might feel the need to “get even” when feeling hurt, disrespected, and/or uncomfortable in a relationship.

It’s called “revenge-cheating”—when people get cheated on, they feel the urge to cheat right back.

That’s not what I’m talking about (nor will I comment on it)!

I’m talking about a partner cheating through text out of spite and for absolutely no reason or basis for their claims.

For example, a person who cheats as a statement they too can attract people out of feelings of insecurity.

The only time sexting is acceptable is when the partner knows and is okay with it.

The one and only time when sexting isn’t—objectively—seen as cheating is when a partner is 100% aware and okay with it.

As I mentioned, everybody has a set of boundaries, meaning that some people aren’t bothered by their partner sexting other people.

They think it’s no big deal as physicality isn’t involved; they can forgive it and move on.

Everything’s clear, and in terms of secrets, there are none—they either know or don’t, but either way, they don’t mind.

  • This is usually the case with open marriages or relationships where people are allowed (or even encouraged) to seek multiple partners.

Sexting is certainly considered cheating—here’s why!

Sexting is certainly considered cheating here’s why

It’s fairly easy to say “Yes, sexting is cheating!”

But, why? What are the reasons that explain the phenomenon?

It all boils down to the emotional pain and disrespect that is inflicted on a partner and relationship.

Let’s take a look at reasons why sexting is viewed as an unfaithful fact—what makes it such?

1. First and foremost, it hurts your significant other.

Any form of cheating hurts your partner, and sexting fits the criteria.

No person wants to see the love of their life behave sexually with an outsider—let alone exchange lewd content.

Physicality has nothing to do with it as there are types of cheating other than “physical”, so this isn’t an excuse.

2. Sexting is known to distract from the relationship.

Sexting while in a relationship pushes people to pay more attention to their phone, rather than their partner—that’s unhealthy for the connection.

It makes people spend less quality time together, all while leaving no space for communication.

It makes a person neglect their partner/relationship and give that attention elsewhere, urging people (in relationships) to want more/different options.

3. It gives you a habit of comparing your partner and the other person.

It gives you a habit of comparing your partner and the other person.

Being compared to other people by a love interest has got to be one of the most gut-wrenching feelings.

However, when sexting with somebody else, we start doing it automatically—that’s where the problem lies.

In this situation, a person might start unconsciously comparing and de-evaluating the traits of a significant other.

4. Sexting other people harms relationships, no doubt.

One thing is for sure: sexting outside of the relationship will change the relationship once and for all—in negative ways.

Because of the nature of these actions, the relationship will take a toxic turn, filled with negative emotions, and will potentially be near its end.

The other person could lose trust and slowly pull away while forming resentment towards you, for example.

5. Things can escalate from 1 to 100—real quick.

The majority of people who start sexting each other don’t usually stop just there.

Chances are, they will want to meet up and allow things to go much, much deeper.

And this is another very crucial part of why sexting outside the relationship is wrong and unfaithful—it’s what comes after it.

6. To make a long story short, sexting is inappropriate behavior.

I think this is a no-brainer.

Sexting someone other than your partner is inappropriate: it involves sexual acts with another person while being in a relationship.

It is a big deal, and it is cheating, no matter how we try to spin it.

How to tell if a partner is sexting someone else? 10 suggestive signs that help our case.

How to tell if a partner is sexting someone else. Suggestive signs that just scream yes

If you’re still in the process of finding out whether your spouse is sexting someone else, here are some signs to look out for:

  • They’re hiding their phone from you at all costs;
  • They’re online at very late night hours;
  • They suddenly changed passwords to apps or devices;
  • They’re hiding you from their social media (e.g. they don’t post you or interact with you on their social media);
  • You found out they’re using dating apps (be it through Swindlerbuster or other methods);
  • They avoid letting you alone with their unlocked phone.

What comes next? Forgiveness or ending the relationship?

That’s entirely up to you.

If you believe that your partner’s acts can and should be forgiven, then take the next necessary step toward that journey!

Consider couples therapy and setting healthy boundaries soon to prevent any similar events from happening again.

And if you decide that it’s best to part ways as you’ve been deeply hurt and disrespected, stick by that decision.

At the end of the day, do whatever resonates with you and your happiness.

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