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In Virtue/Vice, Dr. Christine B. Whelan blogs about news, books, scientific and psychological research and her general musings about virtue and vice in our everyday lives.

 

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August 26th, 2010

Love and Trust Online

 
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vv-lovetrustonline-flash2bTrust is a crucial element of a successful relationship, experts tell us. But sometimes, as President Ronald Reagan said, “trust but verify.”

According to a new nationally representative study of nearly a thousand British married couples, nearly half the time, at least one member of the couple is snooping on the other’s internet and email activities.

Reports PsyBlog, respondents told researchers it was unacceptable if

  • their partner fell in love online (90%)
  • had cybersex with someone else (84%)
  • flirted with someone else (69%)
  • or communicated relationship troubles with someone else (70%)

And perhaps unsurprisingly, women were more likely to be concerned about potential online transgressions, and more likely to do the snooping.

Most common ways to snoop?

  • Reading emails
  • Reading text messages
  • Checking web browser history and trolling the cache

Now, remember, this might be a vast under-reporting, because if you’re stealthy enough to do all this snooping, you’re clever enough not to go telling people-even researchers-about the details.

So are you being watched by someone who claims to love and trust you? Probably. Does that weird you out? Join the club.

 
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The Author : Christine B. Whelan
Dr. Christine B. Whelan is an author, professor and speaker. She and her husband, Peter, and their dictator cats, Chairman Meow and Evita Purron, live in Pittsburgh. Her book "Why Smart Men Marry Smart Women" is available in stores or at the Halo Store.
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Please note that the editorial staff reserves the right to not post comments it deems to be inappropriate and/or malicious in nature, as well as edit comments for length, clarity and fairness.
  • Christy

    Perhaps the level of trust has to do with the amount of articles online with titles like, “How to tell if he’s cheating online.”

    Online relationships seem to be more accessible than real life relationships – especially when it comes to satisfying our sexual vices. Perhaps that’s why people are more likely to spy on their mates: because we know how much easily-accessed temptations there are.

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