11 Ways Sexting Hurts Your Marriage

by Alisa on June 9, 2011

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.

 

A professional journalist, Alisa Bowman is the author of Project: Happily Ever After, a memoir of how she saved her marriage, and coauthor of Pitch Perfect, a must-read if you've ever had a sense of dread tie up your insides before a speech, presentation, or conversation. If you enjoyed this post, you will no doubt love her updates on Facebook and Twitter.

{ 166 comments… read them below or add one }

cat August 7, 2013 at 8:33 am

No Carol, there is nothing wrong with you, It is your husband who has the issues. Please stop blaming yourself or looking for the why’s it really is a waste of energy and worry. You are the one that now has to make the choice of weather you can trust him again or not no-one can make it for you. Yes it is hard, but there can be a light at the end of the tunnel.

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Jan September 9, 2013 at 8:35 am

My husband loves to do sexting. He says he is just a flirt. Now he left me because he says he wants freedom to be on his computer without my interference. He says I don’t trust him. I never had actual proof, just suspicions until he left me. I accidentally found a text he wrote to his son’s ex-girlfriend which is very sexual and hurtful. He says he would not be faithful to me if he was still working. He is 68 and retired. He told her he wishes he was with her that night. He also said his sexual urges are hard to control and he loves all women; the taste, feel and smell of them. He had a prostate procedure about a year ago and said it left him without those urges. I guess they just left him without those urges toward me. I really love him and miss him. He says it is my fault he left because I didn’t respect him enough to trust him. I took the blame for a while but I don’t think this is MY problem. I think it is HIS. He left everything, beautiful home we built together and community/area he loves, friends and family, his valued wood working tools, tractor he loved to work on, 2 golden retrievers, ATV and a woman who loves him more than anyone else will. I am doing OK now after 6 weeks with the help of God and friends but I really miss him. I am actually happy at times but still feel half of me is missing sometimes.

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jan September 9, 2013 at 11:47 am

Just add on to this. When will this hope for his return go away? He is making a new life now. Why can’t I? I didn’t do anything wrong but I am the one suffering. He left me with a farm to take care of 13+ acres to mow, garden, wood to get in for the winter, big house, etc. Is there something wrong with me as he says?

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Lawrence October 31, 2013 at 2:33 pm

I’ve been searching the web trying make sense of the train wreck my relationship has turned into because of sexting. I confronted my girlfriend of two years about it not long ago – I was suspicious of one of her male friends, and had to see if my gut was accurate so I hacked her iPhone. I found snippets of a text message (her to him) that proved to me they had been exchanging inappropriate texts. This was three weeks after I found facebook chats that weren’t so bad, but bad enough – making jokes about an affair they had about 20 years ago.

He lives in a different city and I am 99% sure it has not been physical (at least since we’ve been together)

Her explanation: they both have a dirty sense of humour and it’s just the way they talk.
His explanation: the same (I contacted him and threatened to send the info to his wife for a second opinion if it happened again)

I told her after the first time she got an inappropriate text that she should discourage it.
After the facebook messages, I asked her again to discourage it, and she said she did. 3 weeks later, I find the iPhone snippets. “I can’t do this now. Too many people around the office. Contact me later. I miss my dirty partner in crime.”

She was enraged that I would snoop in her phone, and did her best to turn the blame on me (though she did admit wrong doing, but could not explain to me why she did it). I called the guy and that made her even madder. I told her “I just want it to stop. Maybe now he knows I’m serious.”

I am reluctant to blame her, because I really believe she is a good person. She has blocked him on FB, and deleted him from her phone, but the urge for me to snoop again is overwhelming. I am a mature, non-jealous person. She is beautiful, and meets all kinds of people in her profession and has never given me any reason to be jealous or concerned except with this friend who she has known since high school (we are mid-40s).

We had a great thing – a once in a lifetime thing – and I feel now it is changed for good. Great sex life. Loving and generous relationship. No money problems. No drama (until now). I don’t bring it up, and neither does she, but I still think about it all the time.

1. Should I bring it up if it still bothers me?
2. Am I justified to snoop again?
3. Why did she do it?

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Audri November 1, 2013 at 4:48 am

That comment above is probably bullshit sorry -.- but im tired of people posting your fake ads. Please stop! Everyone on this site had been hurt by betrayal and we dont need an ad bugging up from real honest people asking for help or wanting advice or a shoulder to lean on!

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Audri November 1, 2013 at 4:54 am

And Jan, i think a person should love you for who you are and not what you have . If he cant treat you like you deserve to be treated, then dont drag yourself down because hes not satisfied. He doesn’t deserve you!!

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Audri November 1, 2013 at 5:03 am

Lawrence, let me give you my opinion, if thats ok?. .

Ok, i think if the friend bothers you, if shes a loving wife, she would stop talking to him the way she does (sexually) to prove that you should be the only person she should be doing that too. And if she continues to do it than im sorry but she has a big problem >you both do<. Nothings wrong with you evrr unless you commit some kind of negative behavior without a reasonable explanation or they have a deep lust problem. Im also sorry this happened to you

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jo November 4, 2013 at 4:36 am

i recently found out my partner of 18 months had been sexting an 18 year old he’s 42, but it was when i found the 3 pics of her private area that she had sent him and that he returned the favour with one of his that i now have trouble dealing with, i was so angry that i sent her some real nasty texts from his fone making out that i was him, he has said he stuffed up and that he was sorry and it wont happen again but every time he picks up his phone i start to wonder if he is back at it, At this stage i don’t trust him and he knows it as i told him and that he let me down as well , I just don’t know what to do anymore any suggestions please

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Lawrece December 1, 2013 at 6:40 pm

jo:

I got some very good advice from someone who went through the same thing as I did (and you did). They told me the “not knowing part” might never go away, and you have to be prepared to live with it if you decide to work through it. They also told me to concentrate on myself for a while – got o the gym, get a tan, spoil myself in some way so i can feel better about myself. It helped me. But not knowing the whole truth still hurts.

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RavSean December 1, 2013 at 8:32 pm

GF…

He got you to cosign for a loan? Be very careful here. Be very careful here. Student loans do not go away over night.

If you place yourself in a position of being his emotional support through his problems with his wife, he has no reason to work on those problems.

RavSean

RavSean

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hazelrunner February 22, 2014 at 10:46 am

I need some advice. I’ve been married nearly 5 years and been together almost 6 years. We are both soldiers. I am the active duty and he is the reservist. He got activated this past summer. He was set to deploy. He left in october and came home for 5 days for Thanksgiving. and He got a 4 day pass during christmas. I fly to the eastcoast to visit him. We we’ve had a few hiccups here and there mainly about his ex wife. He doesn’t shut up about her. Dec 2012 he got really drunk and texted her at 3am asking her is she still had any feelings for him. She didnt reply to his text , she called me the next morning instead. I flipped the fuck out of him. I forgave him and we moved on. He claims that he didn’t remember to texting her that night. Anyways he’s been gone for 6 months. Our marriage has grown stronger than ever. or so thats what i thought!

Last weekend of Nov 2013 we had a yellow ribbon event in TX that his unit was having for the soldiers and families. Saturday night we all went out to the club and got really drunk. My husband was about to fight some locals. I stepped in between him and he pushed me…I lost it! He’s never put his hands on me. Well one of his soldier from his plt got a cab and rode with me to the hotel. Next morning we laughed the incident off, but he asked me tons of questions. My husband wanted to know if I has done anything at all with this other soldier. I said umm no why? He said he just had to ask because that soldier really thought I was attractive.

Anyways my husband didnt wind up deploying he got medically sent home two 1/2 weeks ago. Well I see a psychitrist weekly. Last Friday she wanted me to talk about my husband. She got me talking, and the more I talked to more I was like WTF is wrong with me!!!!

I went home that night and I couldn’t get the racing thoughts out of my head. I waited til my husband went to bed. Something told me to browse through his phone just to resolve the racing thoughts!! I didn’t expect to find what I found. He and his superior , the female soldier that partied that saturday night in TX with us. Their text messages were nothing but flirty filled with sexual innuendos. We’ve always told each other everything.

Well that night after I got a cab back to the hotel, she tried to kiss my husband. People get drunk and sometimes that shit happens. They shouldve told me about it. No my husband goes on to text her that he almost kissed her back by had to stop himself. WTF? A few other texts between the two that stood out to me… He lied about paying for his ex wifes boob job, he went on to say that its only fair that he gets to see them at least once since he paid for them. Well he lied, he didn’t pay for them I asked his ex. And why the hell is he even talking about his ex wife, and continuously about her boobs??? Is he not over her? What am I supposed to do? I can deal with him not being over her? Then another text the female goes on to say that she was the cheater, has been cheated on, and was the other woman. That she might not be a good wife, but she is a loyal friend. And that every classy woman treads the line with flirting. My husband responds “thats why your one of my favs” ???? I don’t know how to process everything. He is such a fucking hypocrite. When we go to the bar, god forbid another man try and conversate with me while waiting on our drinks, or how dare another man compliment my outfit, boots, etc. He also texted the female soldier about how he lost weight and that she would be the first one to rate his abs. He also would say stuff like “hold on im taking my clothes off. Im sleeping naked.” Why the hell would he be telling her this shit? And he would also tell her about things that we did sexually. I was on the plane, waiting to take off. He sent me a picture of his penis saying “Im ready!!!” and I had a younger guy sitting right beside me that saw the picture when I did and laughed and grunted and OMG I was so so embarassed. He told her about it. Then in between text he they would talk about me, telling her how hard it was to say goodbye to me, that he was crying etc. Why would be talk about me like this and do do and say what he did to her? Why Can a guy zone in and help me understand? WTH is wrong with this picture? I confronted the female soldier while she is overseas..I threatened to take her rank and reputation as well as his. He was very apologetic. She said nothing never happened, the texts were not what they seemed. That she stopped communicating with my husband when he crossed that line. I told her to never ever text, facebook, call, or mail , she best not ever communicate with my husband in any way or her military career would be poof!!! The thing is his ex wife is a nightmare. lol Sorry. I’m 10 to her 3. We are completely in two separate categories. Same with this female soldier she is approx 5ft a little butterball ompaloompa looking woman with a whoville nose! I never felt nor do I feel intimidating by these woman. Why the fuck would he risk losing me? He wasnt my type when we met, long story. WE was just supposed to be friends. Over time I fell in love with him, and his looks grew on me. So now I am physically attracted to him, but only because Im deeply in love with this fucker. I don’t know what to say, what to think, or what I should do. We have two young kids under the age of 3. Any advice, concerns, any anything is better than nothing! Please help me figure out what I should do next. We havent spoken about it since I found out 8 days ago. He thinks if we dont talk about it , that it will go away. Thats far from the truth. The longer we go without talking about it, the more thoughts race through my head. You know when a woman getting to thinking..it isn’t a good thing! I love this man, but I wont allow him to disrespect me or our marriage anymore. >( what do I do, we have to toddlers, hes an awesome day, but slacking as a husband. I know Im out of his league, is that the problem? Are we not meant to be. Oh and I forgot to mention that we are nearly a decade apart in age. Im much more mature than my age though.

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