11 Ways Sexting Hurts Your Marriage

I’ve gotten countless emails this week from people who are married to spouses who “sext,” which is the act of sending flirtatious messages via text message, email, Twitter, Facebook and so on. I wrote this post in response to the question, “Is this cheating? My spouse thinks this is harmless.”

  1. Just because you or your spouse do not define something as “cheating” doesn’t mean it can’t eventually bring your marriage to an end.
  2. Sexting is a form of flirting. Flirting is the first step in courtship. In fact, it’s what led to the two of you getting married. Would you feel comfortable if your spouse were actively courting someone else?
  3. Trust is an important ingredient to a happy marriage. Sexting destroys trust.
  4. If you wouldn’t do it with your spouse sitting right next to you, it’s probably not good for your marriage.
  5. As the saying goes: The grass is always greener where you water it. If you are sexting with someone who isn’t your spouse, you are watering the wrong lawn.
  6. By focusing your attention outside your home, you will end up neglecting what’s inside your home. Trust me: to keep it strong, your marriage will need all of the attention you can give it. Don’t waste your attention where it’s not needed.
  7. When you flirt with someone else – either in person, on the phone, or digitally – you hurt your spouse’s self esteem. A spouse who feels this way is eventually going to check out.
  8. When you flirt with someone else – either in person, on the phone, or digitally – you make it harder for your spouse to feel sexy. A spouse who doesn’t feel sexy isn’t going to want to have sex.
  9. When you flirt with someone else – either in person, on the phone, or digitally – you cause your spouse to feel unloved. If your spouse does not get the love she needs from you, she’s going to be more likely to search for it somewhere else.
  10. If you need a rush, try finding it with your spouse. The two of you can strengthen your marriage by solving this problem together.
  11. If you don’t feel sexy, try talking to your spouse about the problem. The two of you can strengthen your marriage by solving this problem together.

There is one way sexting can help your marriage. It’s this: do it with your spouse. Text “you are hot” to your spouse. Text “I can’t wait to see you naked” to your spouse. Everything you were thinking of sexting to someone else? Sext it to your spouse.


265 comments… add one

  • Red November 1, 2015, 9:35 pm

    I’m 34 and have been married for 7 years. I love my husband dearly and never wanted to hurt him with what I have done. We have 3 very young children. About 4 years ago my working relationship with my boss turned into flirting and sexting. My husband confronted me as he saw my texts and he contacted the other man. All ended. I get pregnant with my second and leave the job for another. I get pregnant with my 3rd… 2 years go by and I haven’t sexted. I have my 3rd baby.. I start drinking wine at night.. My husband pats no attention to me and is glued to his group texts with his guy friends. I’d scream for attention from him.. Would want to talk but nothing I had to say was important.
    One day I’m at work walking in the street and I bump into the man I used to text.

    I email him and we start talking via email and starts turning into racy emails again. I know that I got lost in this stupid game. 7 months go by and we decided that this has to end before it turns into something that’s not worth it.
    My husband finds some emails with pictures and drunk emails I sent him and now wants to divorce me. Help what can I do. He’s basically done with me. He’s the love of my life.

    • April November 9, 2015, 1:45 pm

      Have you tried being honest? I find it’s not always just a one way street. Yes what you did was wrong but you had needs that were not being fulfilled that he is not taking responsibility for either. Maybe write it all down and let him read it when he is ready.

      That being said, my ex husband ignored me and would flirt with other women. He would get into pretty graphic conversations with other women online and would go months without touching me. When I finally left he didn’t understand. It’s been 7 years and he still acts like I was the only one in the wrong for not being able to deal with being ignored.

      • Dan December 22, 2015, 3:17 pm

        Can you be more slanted in your views??

    • Tmx100 November 17, 2015, 1:18 pm

      As a husband that was HURT by a wife that did the same thing to me but after 37 years of marriage and with someone who I considered my BEST FRIEND.
      Now I might not be perfect I did nothing wrong! It was YOUR decision to cheat on your husband and not talk to him and demand that he pays more attention to you NOT his. He might be the love of your life but not your true lover. You deserve to be dumped.

      • Dan December 22, 2015, 3:22 pm

        Well said…. There is a stupidity in a lot of women today that have this idealized relationship in heads that the husbands will never live up to… No matter how good we treat them.

  • Joey November 23, 2015, 8:38 pm

    I have been with my wife for 14 yrs married 4 she chose to msg a guy from work some raunchy stuff things she had never said to me even planned to meet him wed when I went to work tells me it was harmless and had no plan to act on msges how do I trust again

    • Dan December 22, 2015, 3:26 pm

      You don’t… Leave, you’re making it easy for her to act with no consequences. In the long run, you will suffer self esteem issues and self respect issues.

    • Kim March 26, 2016, 7:32 pm

      Joey my friend I’m in same boat my husband has a problem with social media n talking dirty to other women. Two times it has happened trusting him again isn’t going to come for free

  • Carolyn January 29, 2016, 4:23 pm

    God, I preferred life before whatsapp and facebook. I have encountered this problem too, and even though my partner promises he has stopped talking to the other woman, and i believe him as he leaves his phone lying around, I hate the sight of his god damn phone. It’s not even the same one he had before. but I still hate it! It took a while to try and get things back on track. I explained to him that I chat to men who are nothing more than platonic friends, even an ex. But my conversations are not innappropriate in any way. I bought him a book by Denis Hickey ” how to make a woman happy” and I can say it has helped a lot in the recovery of our relationship

  • Zerin February 25, 2016, 2:33 pm

    Excellent advice. If you’re in a monogamous relationship then sexting or flirting outside marriage is cheating.

  • Na February 28, 2016, 2:20 am

    He’s sexting and I feel every bit of this unsexy, unloved, ignored, it’s so hurtful he won’t try with me and looks outside of our relationship for what he needs

  • Amy March 4, 2016, 11:42 pm

    I recently found out that my husband of 10 years has been sending suggestive messages on Facebook to random women over the past 4 years. I only found out because the boyfriend of the last woman caught them and sent me copies of the messages 4 months after he caught them. My husband has been off Facebook since they were caught- for the last 4 months, and seems to believe that because he chose to end Facebook on his own, then there is no problem. These messages were very graphic and sexual in nature and I really don’t understand why he needed to have these conversations. The earlier ones were mild, but each escalated with intensity until the final one. I wouldn’t call these relationships because each only would last for maybe one evening but I feel like he was still searching. I really feel the final girl would have escalated and became physical but they were caught. Just don’t know what caused it and why. Very hurtful.

    • RavSean March 6, 2016, 8:45 pm

      Amy, et al…

      I applaud your husband putting a stop to Facebook. It is a solid first step. It is, however, only a first step. In ceasing outside intimate contact, he has only addressed his wrongful action. He has not addressed the hurt that he caused you. He has not addressed your feelings of betrayal. Failure to acknowledge your feelings perpetuates the pain you feel. He is answering only the question of ‘what’ – what did he do wrong? He is not answer the question of ‘how’ – how did it make Amy feel? Until he addresses that second question, you will likely have plenty of reason to write messages similar to what you wrote above.

      RavSean´s last blog post ..Mockingbird…

  • Rene March 31, 2016, 8:08 am

    I did chat with a guy but on my end it was clean. He would ask for pics, I sad no and have every reason not to. He would say I want him, and I would say I didn’t say that. My hubby found our messages and hates me. I know I should have told the guy to go away, but was to nice and caught up in the attention. Do you think that it is possible to be forgiven? He wants to end this 16 yr marriage. I am taking responsibility for my actions.

  • Mel April 14, 2016, 9:29 am

    Just wanted to vent really. I have been in a 20 year relationship, married 7, i always thought him my soulmate (i would think about him and he would call, that kind of connection). Over the last 9 years he has been sexting other women. Created email accounts, using phone apps, I have caught him so many times but the pain is exactly the same. Why the f..k do i stay, becuase we have a child, and still a small part of me loves him, I do not and will not ever trust him, that has died, although i love him he has slowly killed my profoundness of my love for him. Every time i catch him, we talk, i cry, i explain how painful, he says he will stop, it’s just repetitive. He is an amazing dad, he is also generous and caring, everyone loves him. I’m not easy to live with, I have anger issues (which i’m working on and succeeding), I suffer with depression, i’m not that intelligent (he is an intellect with great intelligence) can be very moody, I do have issues. The last time I found out was christmas just gone, it was the same young girl he was sexting the christmas before, so I had exactly 2 christmases of pain. The time round seems so different, I just want to end the relationship, but am scared for my child, who is so sensitive and family means so much to him (well it does every child) i don’t have a well paid job , i use to do ok financially. Since the last episode, he has been trying saying his loves me all that crap but i don’t beleive it. Today I looked through his phone and read a whapp message to our neighbour (who is an old friend of his), there was no sexual content just sharing of intelligent opiinions, but it has put me in that same place of hurt and mistrust his last message was sent at 10.40pm, why is he texting at that time?? I feel real uncomfortable by this as miniscule as it may sound, just feel like shit, i woke up this morning so positive but as usual back in the same place of negativity

    • RavSean April 14, 2016, 6:57 pm

      No Mel, he is not an amazing Dad. Amazing dads show their spouses love and respect at every turn. Amazing dads do not make their spouses cry, promise to repent, and then go and do the same thing over and over again. Amazing dads do not cause their spouses pain at Christmas, or at any other time. Amazing dads love their spouses, and make sure that both their spouses and their children know it and feel it at all times.

      Furthermore, I have mentioned several times throughout this thread that this is abusive behaviour. I have also mentioned that the target of such abusive behaviour is not to blame. Whether or not you are difficult to live with does not give your spouse the right to chase other women. It does not give your spouse the right to text other women at 10:40 at night.

      You have the right not to cry. You have the right not to feel like $h!t. You have the right to have your feelings respected. You have the right to demand that he focus his attention on you.

      Mel – the purpose of counselling is to help you learn the coping methods necessary to live with the choices you make. You may choose to leave your spouse. You may choose to stay. Please seek some help in learning to be comfortable with your decision.

      -Rav Sean
      RavSean´s last blog post ..You Should See the Other Guy…..

  • Dennis Padgett April 17, 2016, 12:06 am

    Really, enjoy my Bride having her Male friends text her in adult, conversation. ..Tells them, if they text at night..what she’s wearing or Naked..At times, they phone and she puts them on the Speaker phone..By the way they talked, assume they where having self pleasure…Don’t blame rthem, she wears Low cut blouses and half Bras, if aby….and bends over all day..Plus she gets back rubs all day, look down her top and see her Nipples. ..All good for me

  • H*** May 11, 2016, 10:23 am

    My partner has been sexting other women on sex sites and exs for months behind my back, I caught him, he promised never again but I’ve just found out he’s still doing it, he swears there’s never any meetin or physical contact but it doesn’t sound that way in messages and I still can’t trust him. I’m 3 months pregnant and have a 5 month old daughter. I love him very much, he says he can’t stop but I don’t know what to do.
    How can he love me and hurt me over and over and lie to my face, he denied anything until I showed him the evidence I had.
    He says I’m a paranoid idiot who needs to get a grip but then I find all this stuff, no wonder I’m paranoid?! But he doesn’t see it that way.

    • RavSean May 12, 2016, 8:46 pm


      Men who respect their partners NEVER do something that so offends their partner. He can stop. It is a choice.

      Also, men who respect their partners NEVER call their partners idiots. That he thinks of you as such is utterly classless, disrespectful, and loveless. Demand more for yourself.

      Also, please be warned. It is verbally abusive to call one’s partner nasty names. Verbal abuse is often a gateway to physical abuse. Please be careful. This is a dangerous path.

      RavSean´s last blog post ..You Should See the Other Guy…..


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