Relationship counselling agencies report that a growing number of couples are now seeking help due to infidelity online or to one partner accessing adult websites.
How much of a problem it is, depends on the degree and type of access and what it means in the context of the marriage.
ASK THE EXPERT: QI have been married 10 years and we have four children aged 9, 7, 6 and 4.
Recently, I discovered that my husband has been using adult chat rooms online and seems to have been communicating in sexually explicit ways with other people.
If you have you have ever noticed that older men are unlikely to make eye contact with your or have felt completely ignored at a dance or party, Lisa thinks she knows why.
In our interview, I asked Lisa this question directly and she gave me a simple answer.
It wouldn’t have been as bad if he was just accessing porn, as I know men do this, but the fact that he was talking to other people has really disgusted me.
To move forward, it is important that you continue to talk to your husband and try to understand the extent of his difficulties and what the underlying issues are for him.
At the heart of the problem of online “infidelity” is the fact that it is usually done in secret and without the partner’s knowledge – even with infrequent access this secrecy can reduce the intimacy between the couple and can be a first step on the road to bigger betrayals.
There is a big difference between a person occasionally viewing pornography with the knowledge and even involvement of their partner to a full-blown betrayal and using adult websites to start affairs with other people.
Like many problems, it can start innocently at first, with a person visiting sexually titillating sites perhaps out of boredom or a seeking escapism but then it can escalate to other behaviours, such as directly communicating with other people online and over time can become addictive and harmful.