Let’s face it, cheating happens– and often times we hear of attempts to soften the blow of this infraction by dismissing it as something that is “better to happen now when you’re still young than when you’re married or in a more committed relationship.” Regardless of your take on this attitude towards infidelity, cheating is a fairly clear cut sign that someone is unhappy with how their relationship is going.
With the recent email hack of the popular site Ashley Madison, a place where married men and women can arrange to meet up with other people to commit adultery, you may have begun to wonder about the stability of your relationship. Luckily for you, I am willing to guide you through some “hypothetical” situations and help you decide what to do if your spouse/partner/girlfriend/boyfriend was listed in the Ashley Madison leak.
Hypothetical #1: They were on the site for “research purposes” or “curiosity”
Unless your significant other is a journalist or a covert spy with his/her only objective being to score some ass – this is a pretty heinous excuse. If by chance your significant other is in fact a journalist attempting to write a story on the hack, then he/she would have probably said something along the lines of: “Hey babe, I’m trying to write a story on the Ashley Madison service. I’m going to make a profile on the site to gather some intel. In no way, shape or form do I have any intentions of cheating on you.”
In other words, lines of communication should have been wide open before he or she made a profile on the site that they conveniently forgot to tell you about. On a scale from 1 to 10, this excuse comes in at about a 3– on a good day.
Hypothetical #2: Early to mid twenties couple less than a year into the relationship
If you are in your twenties, take semi-decent care of yourself and don’t have the personality of a 2×4, it’s fairly manageable to get action from other twenty somethings. If this particular twenty something is in a committed relationship and still feels the need to open up a profile on Ashley Madison to flirt with older, married and vaguely self destructive men or women then this individual is not in a place to be in a healthy relationship. Sexual vices aside, this person probably needs a helping hand from a psychologist– not a dating site for cheaters.
Hypothetical #3: Married as married as can be
I am not a counselor. I am not a therapist. I am not married. And if you’re reading this article chances are it’s not because you need sage advice on what to do after finding out that your husband or wife has been listed on a site that makes infidelity an easy game to play. In all honesty, I don’t know what’s worse– finding out your spouse is having an affair with someone they met at work, at a bar or while traveling, or finding out your spouse isn’t cheating yet but has made a conscious effort to enter into a third party relationship through the internet. It is undeniable that marriage is hard work. You don’t need to be married in order to see that. Why else would the divorce rate be as high as it is?
It is even more difficult for this writer to see any justification in defending a service like the one Ashley Madison provides. Which makes sense considering I haven’t seen a whole lot of articles by others defending the users of the site or villainizing the hackers for exposing their identities to the general public. Regardless, within the next few weeks to a month, Ashley Madison will soon be relegated back to the seedy side bar of adult sites where it will share real estate with advertisements for natural male enhancement and bizarre sex toys that look more like vacuum cleaner attachments than something you would want to use in the bedroom– a location that is as fitting and dignifying as a site like Ashley Madison deserves in my personal opinion.
Cover Image by Marquis C.