The Internet is a wonderful thing. We can access information at the touch of a button, find and connect with people we knew in the past, and also use it to spend hours looking at cat pictures and web memes. Some people, like my friend Louise’s husband, spend those hours being someone else.
Like any other day after work, she came home, fed the dog, threw her shoes into the nearest corner, and snuggled up on the couch with her laptop so she could catch up on who was at the gym or making seasoned potatoes for dinner on Facebook. Instead, when she looked at the screen, she was horrified to see that her husband Jared had been having a very “adult” chat with another woman.
She called him in from the garage to confront him about this, and he went into defense mode trying to justify his actions. He claimed that he told the girl online his name was Doug and it was only harmless chatting (contrary to what the screen was showing). He never intended on actually meeting the girl; she was just someone to talk to. His shoddy explanation only infuriated her more. Louise referenced the message he had sent telling the girl “he was single and going to college for psychology” when, in fact, he was a very married construction worker with a baby on the way.
At what point does the E-fare turn into an affair? When does a simple lie over the internet escalate into World War III in the middle of the living room on a Tuesday evening with your wife? Is the Internet a loophole for the cheating spouse? Jared said it was “Doug” the girl was interested in talking to, not him. Since he isn’t Doug, it’s more like a role-play. Did that make it OK? When dabbling between reality verses fantasy, is the Internet a blurred line for the potentially unfaithful?
If we can sign on “World of Warcraft” and be a dragon slayer, can we not also sign onto a chat and be Doug the psychologist? Jared said he was sorry. Was he sorry he did it, or sorry he was caught? If he had no real intention of ever stopping the “harmless” chats because they are mere fantasy and he isn’t doing anything wrong, what does he have to apologize for?
Louise decided to flip the scenario. She asked Jared how he would feel if she logged on as Cathy the nurse and told a random guy in a chat room that his pictures gave her jungle fever. Long story short, Jared realized he was wrong and that it hurts whether you are Louise, Jared, Cathy, or Doug. He also learned to keep role-playing in the bedroom and off the computer.
Happy wife, happy life.