Is Flirting On The Internet, Considered Cheating?

The question was posed to us if flirting on the internet, by someone who is married, considered cheating. Here’s a portion of the answer I gave:

I love Internet flirting considered cheating - Photoclub

If someone is married, why would they think it’s permissible to flirt with anyone other than with their spouse? What about Internet flirting? Aren’t they putting themselves into a situation where they can fall into temptation? They’re playing with the emotions of someone else who shouldn’t be flirting with someone who is married. Isn’t this called being a “stumbling block” in tempting them to sin?

Is Flirting on the Internet Considered Cheating?

That other person may not know the person who is flirting with them is married. So, what if they build up romantic feelings for the flirting married person and they eventually find out that this person is married, is that fair? It puts them into a place of pain as they then have to make the decision to tear their heart away from someone they care for. It’s either that or they end up participating in cheating —either way, they lose.

I sure wouldn’t want that done to me if I were single! And I think the person who is flirting should consider that other persons’ feelings also. That’s really being cruel and inhumane to have so little compassion on the feelings of others —to be so insensitive that they would consider doing that to them!

I’m reminded of the Pharaoh of Egypt in Genesis 12 when Abram allowed his wife to be passed off as an unmarried woman and Pharaoh took her into his palace. It says in verse 17, “But the LORD inflicted serious diseases on Pharaoh and his household because of Abram’s wife Sarai. So Pharaoh summoned Abram. ‘What have you done to me?’ he said. ‘Why didn’t you tell me she was your wife? Why did you say, ‘She is my sister, so I took her to be my wife’?”

Even Internet Flirting Can be Considered Cheating

One can argue that the circumstances went a step further than flirting. But it still comes down to one person contributing to another person sinning, and innocent people are hurt in the process.

Also the Bible talks about the fact that if we do something in our thoughts it’s the same as actually doing the deed itself. Flirting is being sexual in your attitude and/or words, so it doesn’t leave out the fact that this is defiling the Marriage Bed —which the Bible warns us against doing!

And even if the flirting spouse was up front with the fact that they were married, they’re contributing to another person sinning. If someone flirts with someone who is married, they’re guilty of trespassing into that marriage. They have no business flirting with someone else’s spouse.

So… tempting someone to flirt with you when you’re married is causing them to sin. Is that something we should do —contribute to tempting someone else to sin? Would that spouse want that to be done to their daughter or son? God doesn’t want it done to His either.

What About the Feelings of the Spouse?

And even if you put all of this aside, what about the other spouse who has their marital partner flirting with someone else? How is this cherishing and honoring them (as the flirting partner promised in their wedding vows to do)? Can this be considered as “forsaking all others” as promised in the wedding vows? How does this make the faithful spouse feel? I can tell you that it hurts into the core of their being! How is that humane?

It takes an insensitive and/or immoral person to do that to someone else! We’re to be different than the animals. Being creatures of compassion is a large part of what separates us from the animals. I don’t see much compassion in this situation. It sounds more cruel to me!

It all comes down to making the choice of being a promise-keeper or being someone who only cares about themselves —that they don’t care who they hurt in the process. THAT’S what the person is deciding when they flirt with someone else who isn’t their spouse —whether it’s on the internet or elsewhere.

Just because it’s on the internet, it doesn’t mean that integrity is supposed to be removed from our actions. Integrity is who you are, and what you do, when no one else is looking but God. And flirting outside of marriage screams against being a person of integrity. It says, “I’m self-centered and I don’t care who I hurt in the process! What I want is what’s important here!”

Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International wrote this article.

— ALSO —

Here’s another article that could bring further insight into this issue:

HELP! My Spouse is a Flirt. What Can I Do?

Print Post

Filed under: Emotional & Physical Affair Pornography and Cybersex Social Media

Join the Discussion

Please observe the following guidelines:

  • Try to be as positive as possible when you make a comment.
  • If there is name-calling, or profane language, it will be deleted.
  • The same goes with hurtful comments targeted at belittling others; we won't post them.
  • Recommendations for people to divorce will be edited out–that's a decision between them and God, not us.
  • If you have a criticism, please make it constructive.
  • Be mindful that this is an international ministry where cultural differences need to be considered.
  • Please honor the fact this is a Christ-centered web site.

We review all comments before posting them to reduce spam and offensive content.


83 responses to “Is Flirting On The Internet, Considered Cheating?

  1. (KENYA) I’ve felt sorry for what married women goes through. Surely flirting is a dangerous disease. Social networks contribute to divorce by almost 90%. Some issues are beyond us no matter how hard we try to avoid them. Please, if you have a flirting spouse the best thing is to pray for him/her. Just believe in God and ask God to change him. Seek prayers from God’s people and trust that nothing is impossible for Him. I am not married, but engaged. I despise divorce very much because of what I went thru when my parents separated. So I have been praying to God to give me a man of his own and I guess whoever this man I am dating is, he’s from above. Lets pray for one another.

  2. (USA) I have been married for 15 years. Two years ago I found that my husband was talking to a friend (woman) a few times a week on Classmates. She was going through a divorce and even though they hadn’t seen each other in over 20 years it was like he was her dear Abby. I was angry that he was spending all of this time with her instead of with us (we have 2 daughters).

    He got off the Internet after an ugly argument and said he wouldn’t do it again. Well, he ended up back on Facebook. He doesn’t live in the town he grew up in. He has over 50 women friends and maybe 20 guys most are friends from his high school years 25+ years ago. So, an old family friend that they went to church with, begged his mom on Facebook to have my husband friend her and he did. From Nov. 2011 up until May 2012 he had secret messages with her about a sex dream she had and they were teenagers in the dream. She actually had 2 dreams. He asks for details! Details! Although she doesn’t give them, she says they had sex in a pool and he got her pregnant. It’s all a conversation about a dream –a conversation every month. He tells her he has a jealous wife. She says do you think I would do something to anger her? He says oh yeah, she tells him he was the love of her life first but he never liked her.

    I messaged her and told her I doubt her husband would approve and this isn’t how a Christian should act. She unfriended him. A few other messages to other women. One said Honey, you stand out and always have. Another one said oh you look Fine!! Now I can’t stand to be near him, I feel like for the last year he has been thinking about them while he has been with me. He said he won’t do it again, but he can’t explain why he did it. He won’t go to counseling. He doesn’t want to talk about it anymore and he told me since I can’t trust him I might as well file for divorce, but he does Love me and doesn’t want to get divorced.

    I’ve moved to the other side of the house and I’m just praying that God guides me. My husband said I’m obsessive and jealous and I don’t want him to have women friends. I said obviously you can’t handle them. Without having clandestine relationships. Marriage is supposed to be special and although I Love him I can’t live like this. I told him if he can’t tell me why he did it, then I’m sure it will happen again either in real life or on the Internet. Please advise!! I don’t want to destroy our teenager’s home.

    1. Mine chose them over me too and I did my best to model myself towards him as GOD tells us to be. I’d imagine it’s very difficult being a man in GOD’s image while living in the Devil’s playground. (Jeremiah 17:9) None are perfect and this world is ensnared with every pleasure possible for those not cautious to guard their heart, always making sure it belongs to our Maker. The enticements are hypnotic once the exact weak spot has been found, that being what it takes to have us take our eyes off the LORD for even a moment.

      I can’t compete with the seduction or beauty of other women and it wouldn’t matter if I were the most stunning of women if my mate took for granted his walk with the Creator. Your beauty is plenty to the man with his heart in GOD’s hand.

      The elders in your church may need to intervene to awaken your husband from this trance. Approach an elder sister to speak with her husband on your behalf. Ask your mate to read Proverbs with you. May GOD protect and comfort you.

  3. (SOUTH AFRICA) I’ve read all the comments above. Where do I start? A year after marriage I saw my husband extremely attached to his phone and I did some investigation. Needless to say he not only sex chats with other women but alse exchanged pictures of their private parts. I printed the messages and confronted him. He just said sorry after trying to deny it. After that he started chatting with the landlord’s wife. I wouldn’t have had a problem with it if he didnt delete the messages.

    After I aksed him to delete the woman, he put a status on his bbm and she completed it with to make you feel my love. It drove me insane. So icing on the cake, last year he was driving around a woman, which I did not approve of because he had all the time to drive her around and when it was my turn he was upset telling me why I didn’t ask him before hand. My problem was that there was rumours that she a married woman, was sleeping with a school boy.

    When I told my husband he said it’s just stories. I phoned her husband and her father, which by the way is a pastor, and they didn’t even say I will pray for you or I will talk to her. Instead the husband sent a message with mine saying I’m crazy. The end of last year she was dismissed from school, head scandal all over the internet and local newspaper. (Teacher expelled for sexual relationship with school boy.) Do I have to add that he was not the only one she slept with? My husband told me he knew nothing about her affairs. The whole school gossiped that my husband is divorced and dating her while we are still married. They were seen all over town by everyone.

    My heart is broken into a million pieces. All he has to say for himself is that I am a jealous phsycho wife and that I don’t trust him. How do you learn to trust someone when all they do is break it? May I add I filed for divorce not because I want it but because I don’t know if this man loves me (he said he doesn’t love me 3 times already, hit me twice, literally broke his hand because he lied to me and I found out). He said he can’t show affection because my mother is interfering in our marriage so much and that is causing him to act the way he does. Everyone has also noticed how he and the landlord’s wife have been flirting with each other, even his own mother. So any comments. What would you have done??

  4. (U.S.A) Thank you so much for this. It was very helpful. For the past 2-3 yrs of my 4 yr marriage I’ve found evidence that my husband has been signing up & looking at online dating sites, as well as porn while in the process neglecting me & when asked he makes up excuses & lies. So thank you.

  5. My husband’s appearance changed; his manner of dress, grew a beard and obsessed on how it looked, lost weight from strict diet and exercise. He also was distant to me emotionally, and had mentioned a coworker many times in an animated way. I found some pictures of her alone that he had on his phone from a fundraiser she helped him with. No other people were pictured alone. I just recovered from cancer. I asked why he had all those pictures, and he refused to delete the ones of her by herself. He has remarked many times how one guy fawns all over her, and how others are attracted to her, but not him.

    I feel so hurt and upset that he would put me through this especially after I had cancer. He finally deleted the pictures when I saw they were still there weeks later. I don’t understand why my husband would do that. He outright denies any emotional or physical involvement nor any crush on this person. I am still very hurt, as he hardly ever paid attention to me in that way, romantic or sexual. I feel like garbage. Seeking marriage counselor.

  6. I’ve been married for 2 years to my husband. He is older than me. Before we married he showered me with attention. Then we married and he never wants to be sexual with me. He says he’s sick all the time but recently I looked on his Facebook and noticed he was chatting with another man’s wife. He was telling her how pretty she was and she was his best friend and he needed her. When I confronted him he said she was just a friend and I didn’t trust him. It hurt me to the core.

    We both go to church and the married woman he was talking to is a preacher’s wife. I’m on the verge of divorcing my husband over this and I don’t think he cares. My husband lied to the married woman about me. Was he trying to make me look bad in her eyes?

  7. Wow- I was convinced after 9 years that my wife wanted someone else. She put me down and I was insecure. She was distant and so I thought I would show her. I got on dating sites, and openly. I thought if she is hurting me I will hurt her. The problem – she wasn’t dating and I hurt her badly by saying very inappropriate things to other women. Now she doesn’t trust me and the whole time I just wanted to make her jealous. It backfired. Trying to get the trust in Fl.

  8. My wife of 19 years was flirting with a 24 year old student at her trade school and set up for him to do some electrical work at her sister’s house who was out of town and I saw the IM and she called him babe. She says that to a lot of people. She grabbed her phone out of my hands and erased it. I sat there and told her that it was him or me. “Make your choice.” At this point I was so hurt that she flat dissed me and how could she do that to our family? We both are 52 and she said that when she is bored at work it was something fun to do that got out of hand. I suggested that when she has those feelings to send them to me; after all, I’m her husband. We are getting along much better now,
    But I still have trust issues. Am I wrong?

    1. David – No, you aren’t wrong to have trust issues with your wife after you caught her flirting. Trust is a very fragile thing. We must have it in our marriages if they are to be strong and sustainable, while at the same time one “indiscretion” can shatter 19 years of trust that has been built up between you and your wife. I suggest you go back to our web site and put “rebuilding trust” is the search bar. You will find a number of articles that we have on this issue that can help in this area.

      One of the things that’s important is that you both agree that these kinds of text’s and/or interactions with people of the opposite sex are inappropriate and not to be a part of your marriage. I thought you made a great suggestion that when she feels a need to text or flirt that she reserves that for you. I’d also suggest that you text and flirt with her too. It’s important to keep the fire burning in a marriage. It’s far too easy to take each other for granted. If you’d like to see how to “fire things up” in your relationship look in the Romantic Ideas section on our web site as well.