Let's talk about cheating and texting - are sending messages to an ex really a problem?

Well, it all depends on the context of course.

Because, yes, on the one hand, your partner contacting another man/woman with less than honourable messages is not a nice thing to do. And if you’re engaged or married to someone you, rightly, expect their heart and emotions to be loyal to you.

But then, is sending a text/email/tweet really about loyalty? It’s just a telecommunication; a few words sent via cyberspace. It’s not like actually seeing someone face to face, actually doing anything face to face. So you’re not actually cheating. Right?

[Related story: Why men really cheat - revealed]

How you answer this could be down to your gender. A survey by dating site EliteSingles recently examined relationship faithfulness, and discovered 65% of the men polled said sexual unfaithfulness is worse, compared to 55% of women, who thought such emotional unfaithfulness would be harder to handle.

And these two dating experts – one a woman, one a man – seem to have differing levels of strictness over the issue too…

The women’s view

Sara Davison is a life and divorce coach.

“A loving relationship is based on trust, knowing that your partner has your back at all times and would not do anything purposely to hurt you. So, any behaviour that violates this trust could be considered cheating, it doesn't have to be sex to break someone's heart.

“It could be confiding in someone else of the same sex, sexting or flirting. If you would not be comfortable if your partner found out what you were doing, then you are putting your relationship in danger.

“You should consider if it is really the relationship you want to be in, as breaking the trust of your partner is a big deal and can have huge repercussions. Once trust is gone it is extremely hard to ever get back.”

The man’s view

Martyn Stewart (CPsychol) is a relationship coach, psychologist and author of Why Men REALLY Cheat .

“What one couple views as cheating, another may not. For example, with some of the couples I have coached, one viewed flirting as cheating and any such behaviour would cause problems in their relationship, whereas another did not – they actually found it exciting, flattering and said it enhanced their relationship.

“Obviously, in a general societal sense, any form of gratification that is not consensually provided by your partner is cheating. And you will have many avenues reinforcing this belief from family members, friends, the media, religion and all other kinds of sources.

“So, in a nutshell, if Kelly viewed sexting as cheating, then it is cheating, plain and simple. Why? Because if it betrayed the 'agreed' commitment between her and her partner, then that’s what it is.

“If it didn't betray any commitment between her and her partner, then it’s not.

“If she is truly confident in herself and her decisions, she and she alone is responsible for her own behaviour and not that of others.

“Cheating is between two partners. Not two partners and the rest of the world. But that said, most people would not agree to sexting other people in their relationships.”

What do you think? Tell us in the Comments box below.


Ex on the Beach airs Tuesdays at 10pm on MTV