Dating relationships and infidelity attitudes and behaviors

In this way, people who suffer technological infidelity tend to consider it a real episode of infidelity (Whitty and Quigley, 2008), which raises in the offended person the imperative need to demand therapeutic assistance to face the resulting traumatic impact (Schneider et al., 2012). This impact could be considered from the family ecological perspective, which focuses on the environmental result of ecological influences in romantic and family relationships. Attachment styles as predictors of facebook-related jealousy and surveillance in romantic relationships. In this regard, for instance, Whitty (2005) analyzed the perceptions of technological infidelity and its impact on the romantic relationship and found that participants referred to technological behaviors as infidelity. doi: 10.1177/0743558406291692 Cross Ref Full Text | Google Scholar Marcussen, K., Ritter, A., and Safron, D.

According to what was mentioned in the previous paragraph, infidelity of a sexual nature is seen as the most serious and the least likely to be forgiven (Pettijohn and Ndoni, 2013; Beltrán-Morillas et al., 2015).

However, with the development of new technologies, the way in which people communicate and access information has changed, which has a considerable impact on romantic relationships (Clayton, 2014). Rumination, emotion, and forgiveness: three longitudinal studies.

Thus, people tend to judge their partner’s behavior as more indicative of infidelity than their own behavior (Thompson and O’Sullivan, 2016b).

Thompson and O’Sullivan (2016a) classified different extradyadic behaviors that people believe to be constitutive of infidelity, establishing four groups of behaviors: (a) behaviors of a sexual nature (e.g., vaginal and or anal penetration or oral sex); (b) technological (e.g., sending someone sexually explicit and or affectionate text messages or emails); (c) emotional/affectionate (e.g., sharing secrets with a person other than the partner); and (d) solitary (e.g., masturbation). doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.92.3.490 Pub Med Abstract | Cross Ref Full Text | Google Scholar Mc Cullough, M.

Study 1 (N = 240) explored which extradyadic behaviors are considered as more indicative of infidelity.

The results revealed that sexual behaviors were considered more unfaithful when compared with technological, emotional/affective, and solitary behaviors. More specifically, the family ecological perspective emphasizes how the use of the Internet and new technologies generates changes in the way members of the couple or the family relate (Hertlein and Stevenson, 2010; Hertlein and Blumer, 2014). Thus, Hertlein and Stevenson (2010) conducted an in-depth review of the factors that represent the individual ecological vulnerabilities derived from technological infidelity and revealed the existence of seven factors known as the “Seven As”: anonymity (i.e., people can hide their true identity), accessibility (i.e., people have access to social networks and the Internet from different areas, and can interact with other people), affordability (i.e., Internet products and applications can be downloaded at a very low cost), approximation (i.e., social networks and the Internet let people meet each other face-to-face outside the virtual world), acceptability (i.e., people can develop romantic relationships through new technologies because they are usually a means of common use), accommodation (i.e., new technologies provide people with new opportunities to behave according to their true self, rather than as they should be), and ambiguity (i.e., communication and determining some behaviors as problematic or questionable may vary between people). doi: 10.1525/sop.2004.47.3.289 Cross Ref Full Text | Google Scholar Marshall, T. Study 2 (N = 378) examined the influence of experienced extradyadic behaviors on unforgiveness, negative affect, and anxious attachment to the partner. The results showed that (a) sexual and technological behaviors were less frequently forgiven and promoted a more intense negative affect, (b) anxious attachment was predictive of unforgiveness for sexual and technological behaviors, and (c) negative affect mediated the relationship between anxious attachment and unforgiveness for sexual and technological behaviors. Under this classification, recent research shows that behaviors of a sexual nature are judged to be more indicative of infidelity because they tend to include more explicit behaviors and are not ambiguous (Thompson and O’Sullivan, 2016b, 2017; Thompson et al., 2017).

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