What Is Cheating? - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

What Is Cheating?

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It's not cheating if...it's not cheating when...

In the last decade, ways to fill in those blanks have gotten a lot more creative thanks mostly to our phones. They serve as our portal to every service we could ever imagine. And we could use them to send pictures, sounds, videos and words any day, any time to people we really shouldn't.

"The definition of cheating has gotten very complicated now because you can cheat on Twitter, you can cheat by text. There's so many way you can be considered a cheater," explains Doctor Cooper Lawrence.

Psychologist Cooper Lawrence defines cheating as anything you keep a secret from your partner, which depending on the openness of that relationship, allows for a fair bit of interpretation.

"As long as the other person doesn't know it, it's fine," says a person on the street when we asked for what constitutes cheating.

"According to my wife it's 'hi' and 'goodbye.' That's pretty much it. A hug or anything else and I'm in trouble," says another person.

"If it's one of those texts you gotta look and say: 'Damn,' like, 'what's this?' You know what I'm saying? Then you might be cheating," says another.

Whether Anthony-Weiner's communiqué fell within his relationship's rules, we may never know.

But Lawrence says that even though society may find an act morally-repugnant, within the relationship, it could still qualify as acceptable.

"Some women have decided that they're no longer sexually interested in their husbands, they want to stay for the kids, they want to stay for the money. And if he wants to go keep getting his jollies somewhere else: As long as you keep paying my bills, I'm good," explains Dr. Lawrence.

The figurative cheating line now seems more flexible than ever before, and couples increasingly create their own.

"You see a woman walking by and you're like: Ooh wow. She's pretty. But you have a wife. You're cheating on your wife right there," defines one man on the street.

"You know it when you feel it," explains another man.

"Yeah, I'm careful. Pretty careful," reflects another.

"I think the baseline would be whether you'd be willing to do it in front of your spouse," says another.

And with more apps, smarter phones, and more ways to communicate immediately with people we shouldn't, Doctor Lawrence expects the rules of infidelity to grow even more complex.

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