What Is Chexting and How Does It Affect Relationships?

There’s a new form of betrayal that is now breaking homes and ruining families—chexting.

What is chexting?

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Chexting means cheating through texting (cheating + texting = chexting), and it is one of the newest forms of cheating, according to experts. It joins the list of other forms of cheating that includes physical cheating, one of the most common forms of cheating, which is characterized by being sexually intimate with someone other than the spouse or significant other; emotional cheating, a form of cheating that happens when someone starts to confide their biggest secrets, their dreams, and other emotional matters with someone other than their partner (this form of cheating may involve physical closeness but not necessarily); and cyber cheating, the form of cheating that happens over the screen (this includes Internet pornography, online dating, and flirting on social media platforms). 

Chexting, on the other hand, is characterized by sending sexually explicit messages, sending pictures, and even texting to arrange dates. When it comes to chexting, it’s all about the sender’s intentions. So even messages as simple as asking the other how they are doing can be considered chexting if the intention of the sender is to hook up with the recipient. 

How does it affect relationships?

Marriage counselor Dr. Jane Greer spoke to CBS Miami about cheating through text messaging or chexting. She said spouses involved in chexting do not always set out to cheat. In fact, most of these affairs start with a text message as simple as something that says “hello.”

“People start to rely on and depend on the connection they have with the other person and start to expect the texts,” said Dr. Greer.

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Dr. Greer added that the secrecy of it all adds to the attraction and excitement. She said, “The whole emotional experience of texting in and of itself takes on meaning and significance.”

When the person starts sharing important, intimate, and emotionally deep stuff over texts, then it becomes a problem.

Dr. Greer said, “Truly the question becomes, are you texting somebody else things, content, material that you’re not sharing with your partner.”

And it isn’t finished when both parties stop chexting each other. According to Los Angeles family law attorney Stacy D. Phillips, who has seen a lot of couples divorce over one half being unfaithful through technology, The person can keep re-reading the texts throughout the day, getting titillated all over again.”

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But where does chatting end and cheating begin? Dr. Greer shared, “If your partner is texting the minute he wakes up or the minute she wakes up, before you go to bed, and you’re feeling really disconnected from them, then you might start to wonder what’s going on.”

And if your partner has become particularly guarded around their phone or wakes up in the wee hours of the night to open their laptop and chat with somebody, then they could also be engaged in chexting.

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