Take the following quiz to determine if your online friendship has become too friendly.
- Do you find yourself coming to bed later at night because you are chatting online?
- Do you ever exit a screen because you do not want a family member to see what you are reading or writing to a chat room member?
- Have you ever lied to your spouse about your personal internet activities?
- Would you feel uncomfortable sharing your internet correspondence with your spouse?
- Have you ever set up a separate e-mail account or credit card to carry on a personal correspondence with an individual online?
- Has your internet correspondence had a negative effect on your work or household tasks?
- Have you ever lied in response to question from your spouse about your e-mail correspondence?
- Have you ever exchanged photos of yourself with a secret e-mail correspondent?
- Since beginning a secret e-mail correspondence, have you experienced either a loss or an unusual increase in sexual desire with your spouse?
- Have you made arrangements to talk secretly on the phone with your e-mail correspondent?
- Have you made arrangements to meet with your secret e-mail correspondent?
Two or more yes answers to questions 1, 2, 3, 4 indicate a potential internet romance is developing. It is time to either share your online correspondence with your mate or break off the correspondence and begin to examine how to improve your marriage.
A yes answer to any of questions 5, 6, 7 indicates you are crossing the boundary from an internet friendship to an internet romance. Acknowledge this relationship for what it is about to become and take action to preserve and enhance your marriage.
A yes answer to question 8 or 9 indicates you have begun a fantasy romantic relationship with your online correspondent. Even if it never moves to a physical stage, this relationship has great potential to damage or destroy your marriage.
A yes answer to question 10 or 11 indicates that you have taken positive action toward initiating an extramarital affair. Consider the impact this will have on your marriage and your children and take steps to sort this out with a professional.
Excerpt from Not “Just Friends”: Rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity After Infidelity by Shirley Glass.
Dr. Janice Caudill is the founder and Clinical Director of McKinney Counseling & Recovery. MCR offers individual, couples, group therapy and multi-day intensives for partners of sex addicts and wounded hearts struggling with sex addiction, infidelity, love addiction or love avoidance, intimacy anorexia, or relational trauma in the McKinney, Plano, Allen, Richardson, Frisco, Carrollton, Lewisville, Dallas and surrounding areas.
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