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It's two in the morning. You wake up alone. Again. Your spouse's side of the bed hasn't even been slept in. Again. From the other room, you hear the telltale sounds of keyboard clatter. Again. Is this normal?

If you think your spouse is having an online affair, there's probably no real way to tell for sure unless your mate has been very careless. Most people involved in extra-marital affairs are pretty smart about covering their tracks.

They get Web based email accounts, like Hotmail, that require a password to access. They make sure to call their lovers from pay phones using a calling card so that nothing strange will appear on the phone bill. They get a post office box to receive anything their cyberlovers may choose to send through snail mail.

But what they are incredibly stupid about forgetting to modify is their behavior. They vainly think that they can explain away all of their new, suspicious, and very interesting behavior. And for awhile, out of love and trust, you find yourself believing them. Or at least trying to.

The internet is like the crack-cocaine of love. It's highly addictive, and the behavior similarities of someone involved in an online affair and someone abusing drugs can be frighteningly the same.

RED FLAG ALERT...Has your spouse's behavior patterns changed drastically, and does it seem to center around their internet usage?

Does your spouse often come to bed after a long internet session all keyed up and horny, expecting you to "take care of it"? Has your spouse been requesting for unusual things in bed?

Does your spouse demand privacy when online? When you walk into the room when your spouse is online, does he/she often turn off the monitor? Switch to a different website quickly? Act embarrassed?

Does your spouse often go online at odd hours of the night? This could indicate he/she has a cyberlover in a different time zone. Or it could mean that he/she is talking to somebody who is also cheating on his/her spouse, and that's the only time they can find to chat.

Has your spouse's grooming or housekeeping habits deteriorated? Oftentimes, people involved in affairs are way too busy to bother to clean house, do laundry, or even shower themselves. Also, if a woman has to choose between spending a few extra minutes with her cyber-honey, or putting on make-up for work, if she's truly addicted to this affair, she'll forego with the make-up. Remember, you don't have to get yourself ready to go on a cyber-date! Simple things like shaving, or bathing, or other things about his/her appearance your spouse used to be meticulous about may have been temporarily retired.

How about friends? Have you noticed that your spouse's friends may no longer be calling or visiting? That could be for two reasons. Either your spouse has become such an internet junky that his/her friends are barely noticed when they visit. Or it could be that your spouse has confided about the affair to them, and they feel uncomfortable being around you. Heck, they probably feel uncomfortable around your spouse, as well.

Have your spouse's normal interests and hobbies slowly tapered off? The wife who used to love to cook gourmet dinners who now serves dinner straight out of the can. The husband who was absolutely crazy about woodworking, who's tablesaw blade is growing rusty. The spouse who used to adore spending Saturday mornings in his/her garden has let that garden turn to weeds. The spouse who doesn't even want to go out to sporting events anymore, or favorite nightspots, or read novels, or go shopping anymore. These are very genuine signs that your spouse's internet addiction has grown to very alarming proportions, and that a possible affair may be in the works.

Does your partner become secretive or defensive when asked about his/her time spent online?

Does your partner ignore spending romantic evening with you since discovering the online world?

Does your spouse snap, yell, or become annoyed if bothered while online?

Does your partner seem preoccupied with getting back online while offline?

Does your spouse lie or try to hide how much time he/she spends online?

Does your partner feel depressed, moody, or nervous when offline which seems to goes away once back on-line?

An interesting download I've found is called "Chat Nanny". It monitors and records both sides of the conversation in chat rooms, emails, and messaging programs like Yahoo Messenger, AOL Instant Messenger, and ICQ. It also monitors web addresses visited by your computer. Chat Nanny runs completely undetected in the background. It's available for download at Could this be a helpful tool to help determine if your spouse is cheating? Hmmmmm..... I wonder. *wink*

I would love to hear your stories about all of this. Have you ever cheated on your spouse via the internet? What tactics did you use to avoid detections? Or have you ever caught your spouse in a cyber-affair?

And what is your definition of "cheating"? Do you feel that having a cyber relationship is cheating? When, or if, does it cross the line into cheating?

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