I was going to entitle this “did ashley madison ruin your life”. But I can’t manage to give this company that degree of power. That being said, I’m guessing that more than one wife found out recently that their husband had sought an affair. That’s a tough blow for even the strongest marriage to take. Overnight there is anger, anxiety, fear, shame, disgust and a million other emotions swirling.
I’ve written about this site before because my husband had signed up for it once a number of years ago. From the ‘history’ it seemed pretty clear that nothing amounted from it and truth be told I think he found it incredibly boring and he likely never accessed it after his initial ‘sign up’ high. I’m sure he found the site ‘boring’…but that’s because he spent a few years acting out A LOT sexually – visiting chat sites, frequenting massage parlors, having sex with a couple women he knew – lots of horrible and unacceptable behavior. I think the ‘vanilla’ nature of A.M. didn’t capture his interest as much as his other activities.
So you’ve just found out that your trusted mate has an Ashley Madison account. Now What?
I think that most men on that site fall into 3 different categories.
- The most harmless category will be the one that everyone is claiming to belong to. The “I was just curious what it was but never sought an affair”. A prurient interest can get the best of anyone and lead them to explore a website like this. Someone sees a commercial – can’t believe what is being advertised – types in the URL and next thing you know the company is charging a monthly fee and you just wish you had never heard of the thing. Honestly, I think this is probably true for some people. I believe it because I am one of those people. I saw a billboard and thought, what is that? A movie ad? A TV show? I searched the site – was pissed off it existed – and emptied my history. OK, I never made an ad or paid for the service but men can be pretty dumb about these things and I don’t put it past someone to go that far down the path of fantasy only to realize they have no interest in being there. So if your husband is claiming that this is his story then maybe it is. Ask him to share his password – go to the site – see how much activity he has and go from there.
- A truly repentant man. Let’s face it – people screw up. A man can stray for any number of reasons but it doesn’t always make him a horrible or unloving person. Marriages get over infidelity (or attempted infidelity) all the time. Tust gets rebuilt. Scars heal. Take for instance a man like my husband – a sex addict who has struggled for years with maintaining honest and loyal boundaries with me. He is fully accepting of his mistakes and seeks every day to be a better man. He shares his ‘slips’ and takes total responsibility for his actions. In my situation, I knew long ago that there was an AM account so when this leak happened I just made sure that we cancelled the credit card he used to use for his secret activities so the info doesn’t get into the hands of hackers. I don’t know if my husband was one of the people leaked, or if his account was even still active (I think we cancelled it but sites like this make that really hard so it may have still been up) but it doesn’t matter as I knew all about it and he has long since been forgiven. As hard as it is to learn that your mate was seeking sex outside the marriage… if he seems truly remorseful and willing to be truthful and honest then try to remember who he really is as a person before throwing him to the curb. He might deserve one more chance.
- The last group is of course the guys who cheat but have no guilt, no remorse and no interest in changing. This is the guy who swears it will never happen again only to turn around and do it the next day. This person may be an addict, or a disrespectful person or no longer in love, or maybe he is just a jerk – but this is the danger area. He probably blames everything and everyone externally and doesn’t take responsibility for his own actions. He is the kind of guy who thinks he deserves more than the rest. You know the type. Maybe you are married to him. In this case there are a lot of decisions to make – but it’s important to not delude yourself into believing his words. If you do, chances are you will just be hurt again and again. You may decide to stay with this person for your own reasons…children, money, familiarity…but try to protect yourself and understand that another woman/women are just going to be a part of your life. He may change eventually – but if not, just know your own limits.
All 22 million people (if that is the current number) on that AM site aren’t horrible people. Some are. Try to know who you are dealing with before taking the next step.