Cheating is easier than ever before. It was a much greater logistical challenge before we had texting, Facebook and the ability to place online personal ads on Craigslist or Backpage.
Now, after a moment of spousal neglect or a fight, you can reunite with a long-lost girlfriend from high school, a flirtatious co-worker or even an anonymous person ready for sex -- often within a matter of minutes. This makes the definition of cheating and adultery more complicated. It also makes it harder to catch your spouse in bed in with someone else.
In my practice as a family attorney, I have seen spouses use the iPhone's GPS to time their rendezvous with a lover within minutes of the wife's arrival from the grocery store. Clients have reported using their lunch hour at work to meet their lover at a hotel for a quickie.
Others, whose preference is for random hookups, utilize the personal sections of websites -- even posting revealing photos of themselves (often enhanced). Many go so far as to include what they want to do and with whom they want to do it.
The Backpage.com users are even more explicit about their fantasies. They list whether one will "host," i.e. come to your place, or even do it "girlfriend style," meaning that they will agree to act like they like it, will snuggle afterward and possibly agree to not use any protection. Backpage.com users also utilize terms such as "will bring party favors," which is code for sexual toys, drugs or alcohol.
If one wants to keep his or her marriage alive and hide the ugly truth of an affair, there are now websites where you can find other openly "committed" marrieds who are seeking other marrieds to share in a mutually secretive affair. AshleyMadison.com -- the married, cheaters' version of Match.com -- offers cheaters a forum to connect with other married people who want to maintain the facade of the marriage while getting the benefits of outside sex.
The world of cheating has expanded from chance encounters -- like a secret desire to run into an ex at the grocery store -- to actively soliciting an affair via social media, bulletin boards and subscription sites. Rather than beginning with a chance encounter, affairs now mostly begin with the intentional click of a button.
Technology can be a dangerous thing in marriages because all of the ads and postings are indelible on the web, regardless of whether or not they are deleted. I often subpoena them in cases of infidelity. Text message to lovers or "emotional paramours" are also able open to discovery in litigation.
Lovers' letters are no longer sent in the mail or attached to bouquets of flowers. Now, divorce lawyers have endless fodder for adultery cases thanks to the blow-by-blow records provided via email, texts and online postings. When we used to have to hire private investigators, now we can simply check Facebook status updates.
Be careful what you ask for. Although high-tech cheating is easy and convenient, the damage it causes to a family and children is exacerbated because the indiscretions are available for all the world to see. Years from now, do you really want your children to be able to read about your indiscretions online?
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