People cheat, it happens all over the world, for all sorts of reasons and to people who never thought it would happen to them.
The Ashley Madison situation has me asking whether we need to make it easier for people to cheat?
Ashley Madison has a tag line ‘Life is short, have an affair’. Is this really the message we want to be sending out into society?
It’s ok to hurt someone you claim to love because life is short? It’s ok to disrespect your relationship by lying and cheating, until your partner can’t ever trust you again and potentially end up emotionally scarred from the experience of being lied to?
We need to be encouraging people to have healthy relationships and value what they have in life. We need to teach people how to constructively deal with emotional issues and worries so they can overcome their relationship issues.
Communication is not the enemy of a strong relationship.
We need to remember that relationships are something to be valued and people are not something you throw away when you’re bored.
A lot of the people on Ashley Madison were parents, so not only did they cheat on their partners but they also made a decision that affected their children’s lives. I know a few people who are from divorced marriages and they would not get married themselves as a result of what they experienced as children.
How many of those people outed by the Ashley Madison leak are now in legal proceedings to end their marriage?
How many children will now be living under shared guardianship and travelling between parents as a result of the affairs?
Oh and Ashley Madison charged for the privilege of ruining your relationship and potentially your every day life. Men are charged credits for sending and receiving messages from women. They also charge you for removing your details which was evidentially completely ineffective as the data was retrieved by the hackers.
If someone is going to cheat then they will find a way. It isn’t solely Ashley Madison’s fault, the people using the site signed up of their own accord. But they chose to build a multi-million pound business on the idea that cheating on your partner and damaging your family is ok because life is short.
They glamorise affairs with tacky tag lines and dodgy adverts and they openly encourage people to lie by making it sound ok and that is what bothers me about it.
There are a number of websites and apps I could think of, if I was of the mind to, where I could find someone to have an affair with. They are mostly designed as dating sites but in my experience the majority of people aren’t really looking to date. We don’t need sites publicly created solely for the purpose of cheating.
Cheating is nothing new, it has always happened and will always happen. But without the use of the internet and apps the pool of options to cheat becomes smaller and the risks more real and maybe that is the element we are missing.
Does the internet make us braver when it comes to our behaviour, when we can hide behind screen names and a fabricated life story?
Do we think less of cheating because the internet allows a certain amount of anonymity that makes us feel invincible?
Would it make someone more or less likely to cheat if they thought they would get away with it?
Is the internet making us lazy?
You can do almost anything from the comfort of your own home, so do we go out less as a result?
Are we losing track of healthy social interaction?
We’ve all wondered about having sex with someone we know, whether it’s a colleague, a friend or the bar man from your local pub. Not everyone acts on these feelings and sometimes it’s enough to think of it fondly in your alone time and it never needs to be any more than that.
I’ve always thought if I was in a relationship and I was attracted to someone else then I would be honest enough to talk to my partner about it. I’ve always said that I would want to know if my partner was attracted to someone else so that we could work on what was missing from our relationship.
Maybe I’m the one with the outdated ideals. Maybe I’m a fool to think that anyone would be that open with me.
I believe that true love exists and some people are lucky enough to find it. I hope when they do, they do everything they can to keep it.
Maybe I still believe that the good people out there are worth fighting for. That the people who are worth having in your life, might not always be the easiest to be around, but eventually you find a way to make it work if you both want to.
Or maybe I just watch too many romantic movies….
When it comes to Ashley Madison I can’t decide what is right and what is wrong.
The site existed to fulfil a need in society, without the frightening number of users on the site going out and looking to have an affair there wouldn’t be a need for it.
So from a purely business sense why wouldn’t you capitalise on a money-making opportunity when there is a gap in the market?
Having said that did they need to advertise it in such a way to make it trivialize relationships? Did they need to make having an affair seem glamorous?
Clearly the team behind Ashley Madison didn’t stop to think how finding out your partner is having an affair would affect your life. Perhaps if they did they might have done things a little differently.
Then there is the fact that someone/ people hacked into the site and stole the private information of the users and broadcast it to the world.
A part of me thinks they did the right thing and that the people who were being cheated on had a right to know. But if that was the reasoning behind it there must have been a more sensitive way to do it, rather than broadcasting it to the world.
They had addresses and email addresses of users, they could have contacted users directly and saved the public shaming.
Finding out your partner cheated is one thing, having that broadcast to the world, potentially before you knew yourself and before you could control the news, must have made the situation so much harder.
A heard a radio program in Australia had a phone in where a woman phoned in and they checked if her husband was on the list, live on air. He was, they broadcast it and the woman hung up. Then they realised they might have over stepped the mark.
The woman must have suspected the answer if she phoned in but I’m sure she was hoping they would say no, there was a part of her that was still in doubt otherwise she would have looked for herself.
A part of me thinks it was wrong to hack the site. As an internet user I want the sites I use to protect my information at all costs. I don’t want the world to know what sites I use regularly even though I have nothing to hide.
The hacker(s) took the moral high ground and exposed millions of people as being cheats then hid behind anonymity whilst doing it. There is a double standard there at best.
Anyway, if you haven’t read about Ashley Madison and it interests you then here are some articles I collected from around the internet. Draw your own conclusions…
This is pretty shocking…
Something about this article made me chuckle…
It wasn’t only men who used Ashley Madison for cheating.