Digital infidelity
A new phenomenon has come up in the recent days known as "digital infidelity," but people are still asking what would be counted exactly as cheating in the digital age. In this photo illustration, a man visits the Ashley Madison website in London, England, Aug. 19, 2015. Getty Images

Cheating is a subjective thing at the end of the day, as it is different for every couple. However, a new phenomenon has come up in the recent days known as "digital infidelity."

People might ask what would be counted exactly as cheating in the digital age.

Some consider watching porn online as cheating, while some don’t "because it’s just entertainment and me taking care of my need for sexual release," according to clinical psychologist and couples therapist Dr. Sue Johnson.

"Cheating is, in the end, a subjective thing. I worked with a couple where they had 'agreed' at his request to have sex that included another man because he liked to watch, but when he found out that his wife had gone for coffee with this man he totally lost it!. She had stepped outside what he believed was their agreement – what made him feel in control. For most of us it is hard to define cheating from outside 'facts,'" Dr. Johnson told the International Business Times.

She said that it is a common argument these days as couples have been in disagreement over what it exactly means to cheat especially in the age of the internet.

A recent survey commissioned by the Deseret News in April this year found that although more than three-quarters of Americans believe and said that being sexually intimate or having sexual relations with another person is always cheating, there's more confusion surrounding other types of contact like sending sexually explicit text message or maintaining an online dating profile while in a relationship.

"Bottom line is that cheating is what threatens your attachment security – the security of your bond – your sense that you matter – are unique and special to this person and that they hold you and your value in their mind – take you into account," Dr. Johnson explained.

The Internet has indeed provided people with more chances and different platforms to stray as compared to earlier, however, sometimes it has also been found that the Internet might also offer couples a way to stay loyal to each other in some way.

"I've found that many couples use pornography and social media to maintain monogamy, not betray it," sex and relationship expert Tammy Nelson told CNN. "Staying monogamous, in their mind, means not sleeping with another person, and being online is a way to find variety and excitement without actually straying in real life."

Now the more pertinent question arises about what couples can do to protect their relationship from infidelity.

"There is only one thing – ask - but you can ask as a set judgemental accusation which makes honesty a real challenge – or you can ask giving the other room – talking about Yourself not who they are or who you think they are – 'I know you are sniffing around that secretary of yours – you were with her last night – sets the house on fire," Dr. Johnson explained to IBT.

She suggested that a "Better approach is ( and it takes honesty -courage ) –Describe your perceptions and fears - 'I know we haven’t been close lately and I see how your secretary looks at you! It scares me. I start to worry that you are getting really close to her – having an affair with her. I need to check this out with you... not knowing is terrible for me’ - This feels riskier but invites honesty and connection," she added.

While modern technology offers constant ways to cheat, it also equally offers constant and tempting opportunities to check up on your partner. The biggest issue couples have nowadays is the secrecy around the behavior of snooping.

"When we work with couples I tell folks that it’s the deception that poisons relationships not the injury per se – I encourage the one who has injured to be transparent – it really helps their partner heal and trust again – so – one couple should rather say – 'If it worries you, you can check my emails every day if you want – I don’t want you to worry,'" Dr. Johnson said.

Thus, it can be concluded that communication is the best way to protect your relationships from infidelity. "Talk your partner about what you see as cheating. In areas where there are differences, focus on what would bring the greatest emotional safety and intimacy to the relationship," therapist Scott R. Woolley told CNN.