LAST month, Desperate Housewives' Eva Longoria and her basketall player husband Tony Parker announced that they were divorcing three years after they married in a lavish French chateau wedding. The AFP reported that suggestions were that the divorce was precipitated by his infidelity, after she found text messages from another woman on his phone.
Court papers filed at Los Angeles Superior Court showed that Longoria cited "irreconcilable differences" for the split. But a television presenter who is a close friend of the actress, told AFP that Longoria told her she had found hundreds of texts on his cellphone from another woman.
'Sexting' has taken off as one of the newest trends, and with the popularity of phones like the Blackberry, romance by text message is for many couples, the new form of love expression.
'Sexting' can involve flirtatious conversations and sending of risqué pictures. Although many see this as innocent talk, the issue is great enough to end marriages, as is suspected in the Longoria/Parker divorce.
'Sexting' is fine between couples who are together, but the problems arise when a third party, or other parties, become involved, St Elizabeth reverend and counsellor Miguel Serju said.
"We generally understand that with technology, couples will seek new and non-traditional ways of staying affectionate, but sometimes one partner goes outside, and engages in flirting with another person, then the problems start," Serju, who counsels couples for marriage, said.
He explained that often, the 'sexting' party thinks the act is innocent, since things don't get physical.
"But emotional cheating is just as harmful as physical cheating," Serju said. "Once you allow a third party in the relationship, it means that you cheat your partner out of all your time and emotions."
In light of this revelation, and the fact that 'sexting' has taken off, All Woman asked:
If you are happily or unhappily married or in a committed relationship and you get a thrill by sending sexually suggestive messages to someone who is not your significant other, could this be considered cheating? Is 'sexting' the new infidelity?
Urel Henry, 37:
'Sexting' is definitely cheating as it can lead to steamier activities outside the use of a mobile phone. Also, I have no reason to be 'sexting' my ex-girlfriend -- that would only prove that I have not yet gotten over her.
Marlon Clarke, 31:
I don't consider 'sexting' as cheating as it is not physical contact and is done solely for fun. My wife does it all the time and I do not feel offended. I oftentimes 'sext' too and it's not that I have a boring or troubled marriage, it is more like flirting via text messages and I wouldn't let it get any deeper than that as both my wife and I are disciplined.
Jovia Davis, 23:
My Blackberry is my new best friend. There are times when my boyfriend is away and I keep myself occupied by sending a few sexually suggestive text messages to one or two of my ex-boyfriends but there is nothing more than that. The reason they are called exes is because they are no longer a part of my physical sex life. I will readily admit though that if I should learn that my boyfriend is 'sexting' his ex, a warning signal would go off in my head. Why? That's because men think with their lower heads and not their brains.
Marlon Kangol, 28:
That is definitely cheating. Why would my girl want to be 'sexting' her ex? I consider any form or sexual communication whether physical or by phone to be cheating. If she wants to 'sext' anyone it should be me. Cellphones have their disadvantages because they break up a lot of people's relationships. 'Sext' what kind of ex, she out of order?
Rohan Johnson, 33:
It comes naturally for one to get addicted for their Blackberry -- it's like taking drugs. I 'sext' quite a lot but I wouldn't consider it as cheating because it's not like I'm hooking up the ladies that I 'sext'. Some of those girls are usually from my teenage years and I reunite with them through a particular social network and we oftentimes remind each other of our past sex lives and the crazy things we used to do. I will admit though, that I sometimes think about fulfilling my Blackberry fantasy of getting physical with them but after careful thoughts I decide it's not worth it.
Lloyd Hamilton, 46:
As a Christian I believe that any 'sexting' is wrong as lust is wrong. Cheating often begins via the phone. If my wife wants to get sexy on the phone I do expect her to 'sext' me and not someone from the past. I apply the same principle to my life. No 'sexting' for me.
Dennise Clarke, 27:
Of course 'sexting' your ex is cheating. I would not tolerate that from my husband. If he feels he still needs to be sexually connected or to be flirting with his past lovers he should not have broken up with them in the first place. Fire would gash from my husband's nostrils if he caught me 'sexting' my ex, therefore, I expect the same from him. It's a matter of giving as much as I get.