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If Facebooking spurs divorce, what about Ashley Madison?

You can love or hate the Internet. The bottom line is that it is here to stay. And the way people have moved into the virtual space to engage socially is one of the most prevalent uses of the tool.

As we have noted in previous posts, forays into the virtual realm are worthy of being taken with caution. Researchers say reviews of data suggest that something as mundane as use of Facebook can be a "significant predictor of divorce and spousal troubles."

That might surprise some Texas readers. But assuming that there is truth in that data, doesn't it seem logical to think that use of spouse cheating sites, such as Ashley Madison, would be an even greater source of fuel for divorce fires?

For those who may be unaware, Ashley Madison skyrocketed into the headlines earlier this summer when it was revealed that hackers had breached the site's security and gleaned the personal information of scads of members. Did the discovery send subscribers scurrying from the light like so many pests in the kitchen? According to a report by Tech Insider, the answer is probably not.

The article, citing a psychologist and sex therapist who has studied the online cheating phenomenon, says a lot of the participants in such forums don't much worry about getting caught by spouses.

It's not because they don't think they'll get caught. It's because they don't think their involvement on the site is cheating. In their minds, it's not adultery unless you physically consummate a relationship. Shy of that, it's little more than indulgent fantasy.

Of course, that perspective often changes when subscribers are asked whether they think their mate might hold the same view.

What this seems to suggest is that virtual infidelity is in the eye of the beholder. But considering that such activity can have unwanted real-life consequences, avoidance might be the wisest route to follow.

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