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Is Sexting Cheating?

Some say it’s harmless; just flirting and having fun.  Others say it’s much more than that – it’s a form of cheating whether there is physical contact or not.  While the term “sexting” is certainly not new, it has been in the media more in recent weeks, both with the Anthony Weiner scandal and the “hot car death” case.

In the latter case, Ross Harris stands trial in Georgia for leaving his 22 month old son in a car in June of 2014 to die of heat exhaustion in 90+ heat.  His defense states that this is an accident; the state is going for the death penalty.  What’s that got to do with sexting?

10430633_gWell, at the heart of the State’s case is the fact that Ross Harris spent much of his time sending sexually explicit texts (“sexting”) with a variety of women leading up to and on the day that he left his son in the car to die.  In fact, the evidence during the trial has shown that while little Cooper was left in the car, his dad, Ross (the defendant) was sending sexually graphic photos and texts on his way into work, during work, with no thoughts to the whereabouts of his son.  Their contention is that Harris wanted a child-free life and he murdered his son to get one.

Much of the Harris case has focused on Harris’ mindset as shown through his actions prior to and during the day of Cooper’s death – many of those actions involving sexting.  This case aside, we look to see, is sexting actual cheating? Ross Harris’ wife certainly considered it to be so; she stuck by him, defending him for the death of their son but then divorced him when the details of his graphic texts came to light.

What is Sexting?

Sexting is the sharing of sexual information in the form of text messages.  It usually involves sending nude or provocative photos of oneself to the other person and can encourage sexual activities.  Although two people are not physically in the same room, engaging in the activity at the same time, this is a form of sexual activity and it’s certainly a form of intimacy with someone other than the spouse.

Think of it like this: If you opened up your spouse’s phone and saw those types of messages or images that he or she shared with another person, how would you feel?  What would your thoughts or emotions be?  Anger? Betrayal? Shock?

These are your emotions and only you can decide what you would allow and what you would not allow.  To some people, only the physical form of sex is considered cheating; other, heavy flirtations is too far.  You have to make that decision for yourself.  But consider this – if you do find a behavior that is unacceptable in your relationship, draw your lines and boundaries.  You know what you will accept and what you will not accept.  If your relationship can be saved, by all means, work to do so.  If you find that you need some legal answers, contact our office.  We will help you sort things out from the perspective of the law.  We offer a free legal consultation so that you can know that you are hiring the right attorney for your situation.



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