The private nature of online affairs may make them less painful for the betrayed partner as well.
Moreover, when online affairs are revealed to the significant other, which is done more often than when offline circumstances are involved, it could be considered as something less than cheating.
Nevertheless, since online affairs are real they do often cause actual harm to one's primary, offline romantic relationship.
Accordingly, many people will be just as disturbed about a partner's online sexual affairs as they would be if they discovered that their spouse was exchanging steamy love letters with someone else.
Consider this reaction: Just as casual sex is not necessarily inherently harmful, neither are online affairs.
But they may be so when participants are also involved in another primary offline relationship, because of the harm imposed on those partners.
In reality, though, the issue of online cheating is more complex—especially when it concerns sexual activities involving actual interaction with other individuals.
People, consciously or not, consider their online sexual relationships as real—they experience psychological states similar to those typically elicited by offline relationships.
As a 29-year-old married woman who often engages in cybersex, says: When people feel trapped by their current circumstances, but still do not want to ruin their relationship, cyberspace may offer a parallel world in which things are better.
In this regard, the following aspects are particularly significant: All of these worries are genuine and can be found in many online relationships.
One way of reducing the weight of these difficulties is to distance the online affair from offline circumstances—for example, by refraining from exchanging personal, actual details or by imposing other limitations on the online affair.
These people believe that if they do not even know the real name of their cybermate—and never actually see them—their affair cannot be regarded as from a moral point of view; it's no different from reading a novel or other form of entertainment.
In other words, a way to play out fantasies in a safe environment.