Detroit Mayor Kilpatrick's Text/Sex Scandal Highlights Rise of Cheating in Digital Age

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The recent infidelity scandal involving Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick highlights a growing problem in modern society: cheating on one's spouse. Current technology makes cheating easier than ever before, and detection more difficult. Nonetheless, there are things concerned partners can do to discover if their partner is engaging in digital deception.

They send text messages, open secret email accounts, and purchase extra cell phones. They secretly send messages in the bathroom, while waiting on lines or while procrastinating at work. No, they're not geeks addicted to their Blackberries. They are thousands of adults engaging in that oldest of lies: cheating on a spouse. They are certain that they are too clever to ever caught, and as Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick recently learned, they are often wrong.

But their numbers are increasing, simply because today's technology makes it easier to cheat than ever before ─ and relationships are suffering because of it. At the Relationship Institute, which sees over 1000 couples a year for relationship problems, referrals for marriage counseling with "trust issues" as the presenting problem have increased 59% in the past two years. And if you type "discreet relationships" into Google, no less than 1,670,000 websites come up.

While many people end up hiring private investigators, that's often not necessary. "People who suspect their partner is engaging in a secret digital affair should check out three things," says Joe Bavonese, PhD, Co-Director of the Relationship Institute along with his wife Shirley Bavonese, ACSW. People cheating will typically engage in these behaviors:
-minimizing the screen on a computer whenever a spouse walks by
-erasing the text message and call history from their cell phones
-frequently staying up late at night, saying they have 'extra work to do'

The Relationship Institute, a psycho-educational service organization in Royal Oak, Michigan, has been helping couples create healthy, passionate intimate relationships for over 15 years. They are offering an aggressive program of intensive workshops and marriage counseling for couples dealing with betrayals of trust this Valentine's Day and beyond. The popular Passage to Intimacy workshop for couples, which teaches couples how to communicate better; heal from emotional traumas; and recover from violations of trust, will be held on Saturday, February 9th and again on Saturday, May 10th.

For more information on Relationship Institute programs for couples, go to: Relationship Institute Couples Resources

The innovative relationship work of the Relationship Institute has been featured in TIME magazine, Detroit Free Press, Detroit News, WXYZ-TV, WDIV-TV, FOX-2 TV, WWJ-AM, and WJR-AM, among other media outlets.

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JOE BAVONESE, PhD
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