Chatting or Cheating: Recognizing when an online relationship has gone too far

One expert says that social media is actually making infidelity easier

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DETROIT - It's fun to reconnect with old friends on Facebook. But for some couples, it has threatened their marriages.

The fine line between chatting and cheating is the focus of a book by Dr. Sheri Meyers, a marriage and family therapist. She says that social media is actually making infidelity easier.

"It used to take months or years to start an affair," says Meyers. "To create an affair or to start a relationship now, it can be days or weeks."

Meyers says social media allows those testing the waters to be bolder than if they attempted to be unfaithful with someone face to face.

"People need to be aware of how dangerous it is and how important it is to commit consciously to faithfulness," says Meyers. "If your beloved is acting shady or is keeping secret, gather the evidence. Look at the cell phone. Look at the photos that are on the cell phone. Check out their Facebook page."

There are so many of us who enjoy the compliments from people we have recently reconnected with on Facebook.

Elle Sompres is a social media user.

"They start off with an innocent hello and how are you, you look great," says Sompres.

Sometimes, however, the kind words can turn into something more.

"Then they start if you lived here and I would so... and I'm like whoa, whoa. You're married, that's a problem," said Sompres.

Meyers says to try and recognize the signs in yourself.

"Suddenly, you want to talk to that person even more than your own partner," says Meyers. "When you look at your partner, you are not as excited."

Bottom line is to catch yourself or your partner and then work on the relationship together.

"We are seeking love attention and appreciation," says Meyers. "So if we are getting this at home there is no reason to seek it outward."

For the folks trying to be too friendly, do what Sompres does.

"I really do take the bull by the horns and let them know that I don't think it's appropriate," said Sompres. "I want to draw that boundary for my own self-worth or what I like to call the girl code. You don't want to be that girl who is crossing that line."

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