Found an interesting article: Dun bitch/beat me hor
At least it keep you awake on a Tuesday afternoon.....
By Jordan Baker
August 20, 2005
Sandra* was noticing changes in her husband. He was distant, distracted and irritable. He was spending less time with his family and more on the internet. Even though they had a computer, he spent money they couldn't spare on a new laptop.
He would take it to bed early and spend hours online, quickly minimising the screen whenever anyone came near.
Eventually, the stress became too much for Sandra. She hacked into the laptop and found her husband had been having a cyber affair with a woman he met in a chat room. The intimacy of their messages shocked her.
"When I realised what was happening I felt sad, angry, vengeful, desperate, depressed, hopeless - the list goes on," she says. It rocked their marriage to its foundations. "I am still working on being able to fully trust him."
Until recently, adultery has been a sin of the flesh. Temptation arrives, chemistry sizzles and before long the unfaithful spouse is spending stolen nights in cheap hotels. Now there is a new threat: the virtual affair. While some argue online affairs aren't real, research shows some spouses take them as seriously as the offline variety - and they're becoming a gateway to divorce.
The anonymity, ease and affordability of the internet make it a cheater's dream. The pool of temptations, limited in the real world, widens to hundreds of thousands in the cyber world. People can log on to porn, list as singles on dating websites or visit meet2cheat.com.au, philanderers.com or marriedcafe.com.
"Never before has the dating world been so handy for married men and women looking for a fling," says Beatriz Mileham, a researcher from the University of Florida, after surveying people who use matchmaking sites set up for married people. "The internet will soon become the most common form of infidelity, if it isn't already."
In chat rooms, affairs can blossom between people who would not usually stray. "I accidentally fell into a cyber affair with someone who personally emailed me from a mailing list I belong to," says one woman, who posted her experience on a website. "The intensity of this e-affair rapidly escalated over several months and got to the point where we discussed getting together. It becomes a real person you're dealing with."
Cyber lovers quickly move from chat to photo-swapping, intimate confessions and cybersex. It can become as consuming as a real relationship. Tell-tale signs of a virtual affair, says the Centre for Online and Internet Addiction, are sitting at the computer into the early hours, moving it into an office and locking the door, becoming obsessive about passwords, ignoring chores and spending less time engaged with the household.
There's no clear profile of who cheats online or why. Some studies suggest they tend to be tertiary-educated, professional men who feel unfulfilled and isolated in their relationships or want easy, anonymous sex. Like offline cheaters, they might be narcissistic. But personality is not necessarily the issue.
"It could be an issue with the offline relationship," says Monica Whitty, an Australian psychologist and researcher with Queen's University in Belfast. "This is the way that people could try to escape from or deal with problems."
Online fraternising creates more problems. As one partner withdraws from the relationship and spends more time on the computer, the other feels isolated and confused. Time spent thinking about an internet relationship takes time away from the primary relationship, says Anne Hollonds from Relationships Australia. "Some people will argue that infidelity doesn't exist unless there is sex. The effect can be just the same, even if there is no sex."
For many spouses, online affairs are as threatening as offline ones. Whitty has researched perceptions of internet affairs. "Things like cybersex and hot chatting were considered to be almost as bad as sexual intercourse. They were rated really highly as acts of betrayal," she says. "Engaging in virtual erotic communications online with someone other than one's partner can pose a real threat to couples."
Many cheaters eventually meet up with their cyber lovers, Whitty says. "I guess that's testament to saying online relationships can be very real to people."
A study of 75 adults involved in web affairs by another Australian researcher, Helen Underwood, found most knew what their partner looked like, most had contacted them by telephone, and a third had met them. Most said they were more satisfied with their online relationship than their face-to-face one, though few said it was more important. Many said they had been lying to their partners and ignoring everyday tasks.
The tale is familiar to John LaSage, a Californian whose wife of 23 years ran off with a New Zealander she met in a chat room. When she disappeared, he hacked into the computer she had ostensibly been using to write a romance novel and discovered her indiscretions. "I have transcripts," he said in an interview with Newsweek magazine. "I can't tell you how excruciating it was to read the e-mails from people supposedly speaking with my wife, but she wasn't talking like my wife. That was just weird." He founded ChatCheaters.com (www.chatcheaters.com), a site dedicated to victims of cyber affairs.
When it comes to catching someone in the act of online infidelity, there is no need to hire a private investigator or to hack into the computer. Readily available software can trace every e-move they make (see box opposite). The Spector Pro 5.0 records chats, instant messages, emails, websites and key strokes. The eBlaster 5.0 sends the suspicious partner a copy of the emails, chats and instant messages and supplies an hourly email report of all internet and PC activity.
Kim* used software to catch her cheating husband. They had met on the internet themselves, dated and married. But after a while, he started making excuses not to go to work. He spent all day online. He used a program that looked like the game chequers but had steamy chat underneath. Kim installed a tracking program and found out about his cyber affairs. "After the first day of monitoring, I was sick," she says. "He was telling multiple women that he was so much in love with them, that they were all he thought of during the day and that he couldn't wait to get home each night to them. He was saying to them the same nice, sweet things he'd been saying to me." They went to counselling, but the therapist didn't take it seriously. Finally, Kim threw her husband out. She believes he was an internet addict.
Psychologists such as Whitty are studying online infidelity to improve the response of counsellors. "I've given talks to counsellors around the country because it's becoming a real issue. You don't have to be having sexual intercourse with someone else for it to be an act of betrayal." One of the most hurtful aspects, she says, is that the affair happens in the home. Many people direct their anger at the computer. "Part of the upset was having to get rid of the computer to fix the relationship."
Sometimes, the result is divorce. In 2002, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers said 62 per cent of members surveyed said the internet had been a significant factor in cases the year before. Of those, 68 per cent had dealt with people who had met a new love online.
In Britain, a marriage guidance service, Relate, said one in 10 clients blamed the internet for their problems. Some spent too much time logged on, others strayed. "The internet is a gateway to other relationships," Relate's chief executive, Angela Sibson, told the BBC. "They can be very potent and break up existing relationships."
It is a similar story in Australia. Hollonds says she has seen cases of cyber cheating ever since the explosion of chat rooms. "For some people it provides a way of escaping from a bad marriage, to have some sort of fantasy relationship over the net," she says. "It's a safer and more convenient relationship than a real-life one. We tend to think an affair is all about sex but it's often a lot more than that. In some situations, someone having a one-night stand might have less effect on a relationship than someone who has quite a deep engagement with someone over the internet."
Kim says the experience of losing someone to an internet affair "just ripped my heart out", but since getting divorced she has studied social work to help other victims through http://www.cyberwidows.com. "I feel if, from my pain, I can help others, it wasn't a total waste," Kim says.
Caught in the act
Suspicious spouses used to go straight to a private investigator to catch a wayward partner. These days, all you need is a computer and a credit card.
Husbands and wives are catching their partner in the act by monitoring their emails, chat rooms and keystrokes with spy software originally designed to keep an eye on children or employees.
Programs such as Spector Pro 5.0 and eBlaster record every email or instant message, as well as list websites visited. Only the person who installed the software knows about it. The software can be ordered online for about $US100 ($129).
But in Australia, the software can only be legally used by someone who owns or controls the computer and as long as they do not bypass access control systems, says Perth-based internet specialist lawyer Jeremy Malcolm. "If you are logging keystrokes, which isn't protected by a password, then that would fall through the gaps in legislation, or what they might type into maybe a chat program that doesn't need a password."