One can reveal the most intimate emotional and sexual details to an unseen stranger at any time of the day or night, she said.Several participants indicated they divulged more about themselves to online partners than to their wives or husbands.
1 complaint from men was lack of sex in the marriage," Mileham said.
"Many of them said their wife was so involved in childrearing that she wasn't interested in having sex." Because there is no touching involved in online chat conversations, married people often rationalize their behavior as harmless fun, Mileham said.
Eighty-three percent of the study's participants said they did not consider themselves to be cheating, and the remaining 17 percent deemed it a "weak" form of infidelity that was easily justifiable, she said.
Other research has shown, however, that most spouses feel as betrayed, angry and hurt by online infidelity as they would if skin-to-skin adultery had taken place, she said.
Mileham conducted in-depth online interviews with 76 men and 10 women, ages 25 to 66, who used Yahoo's "Married and Flirting" or Microsoft's "Married But Flirting," Internet chat rooms geared specifically for married people.