Cheating has been part of the family tradition for a couple of generations, so my exposure started early, and when I saw this story titled, “AshleyMadison’s CEO Thinks Affairs Help Keep Marriages Together–Do You?”, I simply had to click on the link, even though I’d never heard of Ashley Madison.
Do affairs lead to divorce? Noel Biderman, the CEO of AshleyMadison.com, the web’s premier site for wannabe adulterers, doesn’t think so. With 8.5 million users and paying customers in over 10 countries including the U.S., Canada, Australia, England, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Ireland, New Zealand and Sweden, Biderman (a former sports agent turned Internet mogul), believes that if people were more flexible in allowing sexual encounters outside of marriage, there would be fewer divorces.
It took only a fraction of a second to get over being surprised that such a site would exist, and so profitably, which was even less time than required to formulate my answer to the “Do they … ?” thing.
Yes. They do, and my own track record is proof: my first husband left me for someone else; my second husband left someone else for me; I left my second husband for my third who eventually left me for his bit on the side.
Sure, we could say that all these matches were doomed, but that would be missing a chance to deal with the cheating issue, and cheating most certainly was somewhere near the top on the “What’s wrong with this picture” list.
The fact that “wannabe adulterers” have gone online is handy for this Biderman dude, and I’m only slightly annoyed I didn’t think of this …
What he did invent–after learning that between 10 to 30 percent of people on traditional dating sites were married–is a company that is creating both controversy and cash, with $60 million in profits expected this year.
The article has references to movies I’ve not seen, people I’ve not heard of and such, but attempts at points for calling a spade a spade aren’t flying.
There’s a reason movies like Hall Pass or the marketing campaign of Las Vegas where “What Happens In Las Vegas Stays in Las Vegas” with bachelor parties and weekends away are popular. It’s out there in the culture that people want this and I would argue it’s been good for Las Vegas. Prohibition never works.
Good for Las Vegas? Okay … but that doesn’t equate to affairs saving marriages, which is the message Biderman is apparently handing out.
People have needs. Sex is only a part of marriage. You have children to raise and mortgages to pay and if you look at the data, children in dual parent households do better in school and have less problems with drugs and alcohol. Divorce affects your friends and extended family. So clearly walking out the door because of a severely bruised ego can also be looked at as a selfish act. It’s the easy way out. I think the harder choice is to have honest discussions about needs and ways to move forward in a relationship and reach compromises.
And there, for me, is the key … honest discussions … and I seriously doubt that’s a prerequisite for subscribing to the site.
It’s not the extracurricular sex that destroys relationships, it’s the lies that happen on the way to consummation that poison the consommé. Sex can be just sex, a biological release, a bit of slap and tickle, but when the road leading to it is paved in deception it morphs into something more potentially damaging.
The difference between a quick fuck and drawn out wooing online, by phone or in person is as wide a divide as from a burp to betrayal — one just happens, while the other builds into … well, a relationship. Even when built on nothing more substantial than lies and ego-feeding, a bond is created, and for one who is already bonded attaching lines to another is a duplicitous double-cross.
It takes balls to step up and accept responsibility for wants and negotiate honestly when unquenchable desires must be addressed, but if there’s respect, that can happen.
I was a sports agent and saw how the wives of athletes had this 50 mile rule. As long as it’s not at home, they didn’t ask questions. When the guys came home off-season they were with their wives and families and no questions asked.
Fine, as long as that ‘no question’ thing goes both ways. That’s not often the case, however, and too many are so crap at judging distance that the corner bar … or the next room … can be misjudged as 50 miles, but some have no more control than a dog … which is why neutering is a good idea … for dogs …