28.2 Million Americans May Have Committed Adultery Without Even Realizing It

Redbook

By Lauren Le Vine, REDBOOK.

When it comes to cult TV shows, it's impossible to watch just one episode - and I'm speaking from some major experience here. That's why many Americans prefer to hold off on the week-to-week viewing schedule of yore (one new episode a week? Nonsense!) and binge-watch entire seasons of captivating TV like Breaking Bad, Friday Night Lights, and Downton Abbey all at once. I mean, have you ever tried to watch just one episode of Lost? It takes insurmountable determination to avoid immediately pressing play on the next one...and then the one after that, and before you know it, whoops, there was something you two needed to do today, right? Oh well, it's too late now. Guess you'll just have to watch another episode instead.

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Binge-watching shows together can be a very intimate experience. If you start The Wire together, it means you have to finish it together, watching every episode side-by-side, riding the emotional roller coaster that comes from watching Omar's exploits in Baltimore. That's where "Netflix Adultery," a term recently coined by The Cut, comes in. Think about that one time you knew your husband wouldn't be able to watch another episode of your current fix with you for three whole days, but you just had to know what happened next, so you hit play. Then, when he was finally ready to watch, you had to feign surprise at that one character's beheading - but you were totally faking it. Or he might have figured it out just from loading the series on Netflix; it automatically syncs to your most recently-watched spot, broadcasting your betrayal.

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Sure, it's a pretty frivolous concept that we're not at all placing on the level of actual relationship problems and real cheating, but for couples who are serious about TV and experiencing their favorite shows together, Netflix - or any other streaming video service - Adultery might actually raise some hackles, cause resentment, and start fights. The company even conducted a user survey about "streaming ahead" behavior and found that 28.2 million Americans have "cheated." They've cheated while their spouses lay sleeping next to them, on business trips, and even in the bathroom (for shame, people).

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And don't bother with the overly dramatic reactions if you've already succumbed to temptation and watched ahead. He knows when you're faking it.

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