Until last week I had no idea what “Ashley Madison” was – I knew it had something to do with on-line dating, but the details were sketchy.
Turns out it’s on-line dating AND it’s sketchy: it’s for married people who want to have affairs.
The company’s slogan is: “Life is short. Have an affair.”
My lip curls in distaste just writing those words.
Hey, I’m a pragmatic person – I understand mistakes happen. But infidelity with intent, such as the type promoted by Ashley Madison, disgusts me.
Some pretty crazy stuff has gone down since a hacker released the details of millions of Ashley Madison users. Adulterers around the world have been waking up in cold sweats. And some of the fall-out has been epic.
Aussie Radio hosts Fitzy and Wippa even got into hot water for telling a woman live on air that her husband was an Ashley Madison user.
Here’s the horrifying exchange:
Fitzy: “We’re putting him into this website right now and his details have revealed that he’s actually on the website, Jo.”
Jo: “Are you serious? Are you freaking kidding me?”
Fitzy: “Yeah, no …”
Jo (before hanging up): “These websites are disgusting.”
Wippa: “Oh I don’t know if we should have done that. That hasn’t left me with a good feeling. I’m sorry that that happened, Jo. I feel a bit bad.”
I don’t think feeling “a bit bad” covers it Wippa.
Finding out your husband is cheating in any circumstance is harrowing, but to be told while thousands of people are listening … shudder.
Two high-profile moral crusaders have been caught up in the Ashley Madison scandal: Josh Duggar and Sam Rader.
Josh Duggar is the child molester star of the reality TV show 19 And Counting fame.
The Duggars are devout Christians who don’t believe in practicing birth control and whose children follow strict courtship rules (obviously that moral code is working really well for them).
Josh has given a statement saying: “I have been the biggest hypocrite ever. While espousing faith and family values, I have secretly over the last several years been viewing pornography on the internet and this became a secret addiction and I became unfaithful to my wife. I brought hurt and a reproach to my family, close friends and the fans of our show with my actions that happened when I was 14-15 years old, and now I have re-broken their trust.”
The revoltingness gets worse when you hear reports that Josh’s wife Anna – mother to his four children – is blaming herself because she didn’t give him enough sex.
Meanwhile, Sam Rader has been in the spotlight after allegedly making a payment to the site back in September 2013, the same month he and his wife, Nia, celebrated the birth of their second child and their fourth year of marriage.
For those blissfully unaware of Sam and Nia Rader – the Christian couple are vloggers who went viral after Sam surprised Nia with news she was pregnant after secretly testing her urine in the toilet bowl … then three days later announced they’d had a miscarriage.
Sam has, naturally, recorded a YouTube video of his Ashley Madison confession, saying: “As you may have seen, my name has been associated with an Ashley Madison account. I want to clarify this with you because I owe it to you. I did create the account, I created it two years ago. This is an issue that is in our past, this is before I got onto YouTube. This was brought to my wife’s attention — she has forgiven me for this mistake that I made in opening the account. I’ve sought forgiveness from God, and he has forgiven me so I’ve been completely cleansed of this sin.”
So often it seems to be the moral crusaders, the holier-than-thous, who are the ones who get caught out.
Oh, how I hate a hypocrite.
I sometimes cynically wonder if their urge to be so high-profile in their do-gooding is to assuage their guilt for their secret transgressions … I can’t be a bad person if I am doing all these good things for others …
What does go through a cheater’s mind?
How do they justify it?
And why is it so common?
According to Your Tango: “Almost half of those in committed relationships cheat.”
Dr Lissa Johnson, a Sydney based clinical psychologist, told the SMH that the reasons people cheat are complex: “There may be avoidance of conflict, fear of abandonment, fear of loss of self, insecurities about attractiveness, a need for approval or adulation, or a lack of other means of responding to problems in a relationship. The better you understand it, and the more support you get, the less likely you are to act recklessly.”
Whatever the motivation, I’m having trouble feeling sorry for the Joshes and the Sams of the world just now.
An affair is a cowardly way of dealing with issues in your relationship.
Be better than that.
If you love your partner there has to be a better way to sort things out.
If you don’t love them any more, do them the courtesy of leaving BEFORE you start screwing someone.
Song of the day: Dolly Parton “Jolene”