Ashley Madison: Why Cheating Is Never The Solution To an Unhappy Marriage/Relationship

Ashley Madison

Have you guys heard of Ashley Madison before? Founded in 2001, it’s an online dating service and social networking service marketed to people in relationships.

Meaning, it’s like Match.com (a popular dating site)… but with one exception: instead of being for singles, Ashley Madison is for people already in relationships.

What?!?!?

That’s right: Ashley Madison (hereby referred to as “AM”) is a service that endorses and facilitates adultery, cheating, and dishonesty. (It even has a slogan of: “Life is short. Have an affair.” Go figure.)

Ashley Madison website

Ashley Madison’s website. Notice how they even defiantly have the female model wear a ring on her ring finger, indicating this portal is specifically for extramartial affairs. I’m not linking AM here because I’m not interested to boost their SEO. If you’re curious to see the site, try google.

While I can’t begin to tell you my disdain for their business — everything that it stands for, really – I’m parking this aside to take a deeper look at AM and the bigger issue that is extramartial dating.

Ashley Madison: Banned Before Singapore Launch

I only knew about AM last month when surfing a local news site. Apparently, AM is based in Canada and has plans to launch in Singapore next year with a localized version of its site.

Thankfully, MDA (the Media Development Authority in Singapore) swiftly stepped in to block access to their site. (Hurray MDA!)

Why? Because MDA deems AM as a “flagrant disregard of family values and public morality”, which are important values the Singapore government upholds in the society.

So as long as you try to surf AM using local ISPs, you won’t be able to access it. Which is a good thing IMO.

Website restricted by MDA

Error message you’ll see if you try to visit Ashley Madison’s website in Singapore

While I’m usually indifferent about the various tight regulations and censorship in Singapore, I am fully behind MDA on this one. The minute I heard that AM’s site has been blocked locally, I thought, “Kudos to the Singapore government for their swift stand on this one.”

Even if there are other similar sites which locals can access or people use proxies to bypass the ban, not everyone is going to do that. Majority won’t be able to access AM’s site. The government has made their stance against extramartial dating loud and clear to the public at large, which will undoubtedly serve as a statement on what people should do or not do (in this case, not do).

Looking Up on Ashley Madison

With the ban in place, I was glad. However, I couldn’t help but be bemused by the notion of a business promoting and trying to profit from extramartial dating.

I mean, seriously? I thought. Everyone knows cheating is wrong. You don’t have to look up the Bible or Quran to know where it lies in the morality spectrum. Cheating is at odds with truth, honesty, and integrity: everything that I live by and build PE upon, and everything which I’m sure every human being out there strives to live by as well.

Read: How To Deal With Dishonest People

So to have a service set up specifically for extramartial affairs seemed suicidal. Not only does it reflect very poorly on the values of the company and its owners, I couldn’t see how the public at large would want to use such a service. To do so will mean you are overtly looking for an affair and blatantly trying to cheat on your spouse. Who would even do that?? (Here I was assuming that most affairs start spontaneously without either party orchestrating it.)

So I thought AM probably has a minuscule pool of users, all of whom either lack moral awareness or are just morally damaged.

But boy was I wrong. For when I researched on AM, I realized it is actually very highly used—around the world!

Some facts and figures:

  1. AM has an Alexa ranking of 3,112 globally (as of Oct 2013). Alexa is a third-party tool to check a website’s ranking.

    Alexa ranking for Ashley Madison website

    This means that the Ashley Madison site is the 3,112 most visited website in the world. And the last I checked (15 Nov), its ranking has improved to 3,028.

    For perspective, PE, with our hundred thousands of visitors every month, ranks 76,016 globally. Facebook is second. And Google is first with billions of visitors every month. This mean that AM has to receive several million visitors a month, at least.

  2. They have (or at least they claim to have) 21 million users from over 30 countries today, with 6 million active users. (Judging from its high Alexa ranking, the numbers should still be pretty high IRL, even if artificially inflated.)
  3. Since AM’s launch in 2001, it has expanded to 30 countries including U.S., U.K., Ireland, Germany, France, Norway, Australia, New Zealand, and even South Africa! Its expansion this year seems Asia-focused, having launched in Japan in June and Hong Kong in August. Singapore was supposed to be the next target, until MDA banned them.
  4. High global ranking aside, it has even higher national-level rankings. Check this out:

    Ashley Madison ranking by country

    This shows AM’s Alexa rankings by country as of Oct 2013. Look at its high country-level ranking! In United States it is the 2,035th most visited site; in Japan, Brazil, Canada, and Spain, it ranks among the top 1,000–2,000 sites; in Hong Kong it is the 104th most visited site locally out of all the websites in the world.

    104th most visited site among all the news sites, informational/educational sites, entertainment portals, weblogs, and millions of websites which people can be visiting!!!

    Perhaps what’s most shocking (to me) is their high ranking in Japan and Hong Kong when AM only launched there four and two months ago respectively.

Ashley Madison… Who’s Using It?

Seeing these stats, I couldn’t help but wonder: if their site is so highly visited, that has got to mean that… people are actually using it? But who?

It didn’t take long before I stumbled upon this in-depth coverage on Ashley Madison by a GQ journalist, who was sent into AM on an assignment to write a story on AM’s female users. (GQ is a popular men’s magazine in America.)

Females Using Ashley Madison

Apparently, the women using AM are far from the kind of people whom you think would cheat: at first sight, at least. For example:

  1. One is a high-power career female who almost ended up in Obama’s administration. She has been married to her husband (whom she describes as “nerd”) for almost two decades with several children. She describes her household as “really happy and functional”.
  2. One has a highly religious upbringing, graduated with a college degree, and married young to appease her religious parents. She has been married for a decade. Interesting tidbit: a guy whom she had a sexual rendezvous with (at her own house no less, while her husband was away on a trip) is a Muslim (which breaks another stereotype about the profile of people who may cheat).
  3. Another has been married for 10 years. She lives by a conservative and professional demeanor which she seems unhappy about, because she speaks of liking the idea of being a “wh*re”—to the point of sexting her boyfriends over dinner with her husband. She has slept a spiritual leader in his house of worship, flirted with her husband’s friend to get back at his wife, and had sex with a Harvard professor in a classroom (who turned out to be just an undergraduate).

Except for the first one who claims to be happy about her marriage and is in an open relationship with her husband, the rest are either deeply unhappy or dishonest with their spouses. Even for the former, I hardly think her situation is any better than the others. If you want to be in an open relationship, then why stay married for? Even if it’s supposedly for the kids, that’s hardly the way to go, unless you believe cheating is right and that’s what you want to teach your kids and the next generation of leaders.

Not Just Ashley Madison

Some don’t stop at AM in their search for affairs. They use other sites such as Craigslist and CougarLife to expand their pool of candidates.

And according to GQ,

  1. Percentage of Americans who believe that an affair is always wrong: 81.7%.
  2. Percentage of people who have had an affair and believe it is always wrong: 62.7%.

 So even though most people know having an affair is wrong, they do it anyway?

  1. Most common career field of male cheaters on AM: Finance.
  2. Most common career field of female cheaters on AM: Education.

Noel Biderman, CEO of AM, claims, “The more financial independence women have, the more it correlates to how unfaithful they’ll be.”

I’d like to think he is wrong, but I can see how this can be true: as women (and men) become more accomplished and “self-realized”, some — with their unresolved personal issues and all — may feel entitled to commit all kinds of things and get away with it: including adultery.

This is probably the same reason why some celebrities who explode into fame end up with drug and/or legal issues, such as Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, and now supposedly, Justin Bieber.

  1. The most popular day in 2012 to create a new account on AM: June 18, the day after Father’s Day.
  2. The second most popular day in 2012 to create a new account on AM: May 14, the day after Mother’s Day.

I wonder why?

  1. Percentage of people who classify their marriage as “very happy”: 62.5%.
  2. Percentage of those people who have cheated: 10%.

Uh, okay. If they have to cheat, perhaps they aren’t as happy about their marriages as they’d like to think.

My Issue with Infidelity/Adultery

Granted, the GQ coverage was based on anecdotal users. However, I don’t think they’re too far from the user profile on AM or people who cheat altogether.

Ashley Madison Japanese website

Ashley Madison’s localized Japan site

Cheating Can Be By Everyday People

Before reading up on AM, I would have thought that people who cheat — particularly adultery, because you’ve sworn by martial vows — are misguided individuals who lack morality and values (of which the latter still applies actually). This includes people I know personally in real life who have hit on me—despite being married.

However, reading this coverage and looking at the stats, it dawned on me that… hey, infidelity/adultery can be committed by people like you and me. That if you look through your list of contacts right now, chances are there are people cheating on their partners on your list, just that you don’t know about it. That if you are to hit the streets now, you will probably walk past people who are currently unfaithful to their spouses or girl/boyfriends.

I’m not saying that cheating is okay. It isn’t. I’ve never cheated before and will never do so. If I were to be with someone I wasn’t happy with (not that it’ll ever happen because I’m in a perfectly happy relationship today), I would no sooner break up than cheat.

(This is why I was never in a serious relationship until Ken, because I don’t see the point in being with someone I’m not 100% sure nor in love with.)

However, the people cheating… it seems like they are just everyday people facing issues of their own – voids really — in their relationships or lives.

Some may be high-powered career individuals seemingly in charge of everything, who claim to have no problems at all and justify their cheating as something that “salvages their marriages/relationships”. However, this doesn’t change the glaring fact that there has to be an underlying void driving their cheating behavior, because… why else would they live a life laced with lies, incongruency between different areas of their lives (e.g., cheating while teaching their children to be honest), and behavior that contradicts their core values?

Voids Triggering Infidelity/Adultery

So what may these voids be? Anything, really.

They can be unfulfilled needs in their relationship (e.g., their husband/wife not spending enough time with them). They can be unaddressed voids in other life areas (one of the GQ interviewees claims to cheat because she thought about her life in third person and decided she wants it to be “dramatic”, suggesting a lack of excitement/fulfillment in her current life). They can be gaps between their persona and their ideal self (one interviewee expressed weariness in keeping up with her conservative, religious demeanor, suggesting incongruency with who she wants to be).

They can even be unaddressed voids in themselves (e.g., a desperate need for attention and love; a constant feeling of loneliness; a constant need for validation; a sense of insecurity).

Cheating = Not the Solution

Whatever these issues or voids are, affairs will never solve them. Sure these affairs may fill whatever gaps are present right now. If you are unsatisfied with your martial sex life, then seeking playmates outside of your marriage may satisfy your sexual appetite. If you feel bored with life in general, cheating may give you your adrenaline rush. If you feel emotionally empty, having a third party shower you continuously with attention, sweet-nothings and gifts may make you feel valued. Like “an expensive toy” (to quote an interviewee).

However, these effects are temporal. No sooner when these affairs end or when your playmates lose interest, will you be back to facing your original voids. Some may look for new affairs to get into. Some may return to feeling empty/frustrated. Some may bury themselves in other things to avoid facing the problem. But none of these change the fact that the voids are there, have always been there, and have to be tackled — not filled with a patch like having an affair — for permanent closure.

And having an affair is probably one of the worst things you can ever do because it involves dishonesty to someone who has placed full faith and trust in you; someone whom you’ve pledged your life to care for and be faithful to.

Solution?

So what’s the solution then?

  1. Identify the voids that are in your life. What are you unhappy about? What do you feel can be better in your life? What is it you are really seeking?
  2. Understand why they are there. Why are these voids present? When did they surface?
  3. Stop seeking external things to fill these voids. Affairs, flings, one-night-stands, retail therapy, material objects, food, etc.: these are all external things that may give you a temporal relief, but will never fill these voids permanently. The only way to address these voids is if you look within. Which brings to the fourth step…
  4. Address your voids from within. Your voids, while seemingly about the external world, really represent voids in your relationship with yourself. They reflect things you are lacking on the inside. How can you work on filling these voids from within?

I cover these steps in part in various articles:

… and just about all other articles on PE since uncovering and tackling voids at their roots is my one personal-growth philosophy which I’m always writing about on PE.

As for Ashley Madison…

As for Ashley Madison… I’ve to say that as someone who celebrates entrepreneurship, it’s disappointing to see people build businesses centered in disloyalty. One thing I stress on in my passive income course is the importance of building a business that adds value to the world out there. I hardly find running a business like AM meaningful or something to be proud of even if it is thriving and raking large profits.

In an Australian TV interview, CEO Biderman defended his company by saying, “I would rather see people pursue [an affair] and stay true to their families,” which probably explains his underlying philosophy behind starting Ashley Madison.

However, I think he is totally missing the point altogether, which is that if one has to pursue an affair in order to stay true to his/her family, then there’s something fundamentally wrong with the relationship/situation to begin with.

Shame and Despair

The answer then is to (help this person to) uncover that fundamental issue and address it directly, NOT create a portal to facilitate the process of initiating affairs.

His point about how “if MDA wants to blame inanimate objects for causing moral corruption, then there is a long list of products that will need to be banned as well, including the iPhone, condoms, hotels and Facebook … Each one of these items may play a role in an adulterous affair” is so entirely moot that I don’t even know where to start.

Dude, there’s a world of difference between gadgets/tools created to improve people’s lives and increase connectivity that happen to be exploited by a small group of individuals for their selfish affairs, and a portal created specifically for extramartial dating. Condoms? It’s meant as a family planning tool, not to facilitate extramartial sex either. Same goes for hotels: it’s meant to provide lodging for travelers, business people, and/or people who want getaways. The fact that a choice number of people use it for sexual rendezvous hardly debunks its place in the society. Your logic is entirely flawed.

One is better off creating businesses like marital counseling, relationship building, family building, or even on personal development as a response to extramartial affairs, which will be way more constructive solutions on any day than creating a portal to facilitate – and as a result perpetuate AND propagate — cheating.

How About You?

That’s all I have to say on Ashley Madison / extramartial dating (for now).

What do you guys think? What are your sentiments about Ashley Madison and other extramartial dating sites?

What are your thoughts about affairs, infidelity, and adultery?

Please sound off in the comments section below.



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  • Guest

    Dear Celes, Thank you for taking such a clear position on adultery and related websites. You are hitting the nail on the head if you suggest to address the underlying issue that one has rather than escaping into cheating.

    • http://personalexcellence.co/ Celestine Chua

      Hi “Guest”, thank you for your kind words. :) I do my best to share my stance on opinions that strike close to my heart and this (something in violation of truth/integrity) definitely is. Thank you for posting your comment here.

  • freedomfighter

    When I got the email newsletter from personal excellence with Ashley Madison as the headline, I was unhappy. It’s hard to find people with principles today, even harder to find people willing to stand up for them and this sleazy site (Ashley Madison) hardly qualifies as personal excellence. Then I discovered it wasn’t an ad but an article and felt better. I’m not one to hide my head in the sand and don’t give a damn about what other people believe in – as long as they’re honest about it. While I think “open” relationships are a crock of self delusion – if people mutually agree, it’s not for me to say. Lying is another story. The cheater is literally stealing someone else’s right to control their own life. It does as much harm as physically beating your partner and should be treated as much a crime as stealing anything else. The ONLY reason to lie, cheat and commit adultery is greed and cowardice. If you don’t want a monogamous relationship, don’t agree to one. In this day and age, marriage is not the only option.

    • http://personalexcellence.co/ Celestine Chua

      Hi freedomfighter, I definitely second what you said. It’s fine if someone is in an open relationship and his/her partner is aware and agreement of that; it’s another thing if the person is behaving like he/she is in an open relationship but his/her partner is under the impression they are in a monogamy. The latter is definitely being dishonest and it’s the dishonesty that I have issues with here, not necessarily the idea of open relationship or multiple partners. (I’ve a good friend who does just that (have open relationships with multiple partners) and I don’t severe ties with him nor treat him differently as any other friend.)

  • Brad

    Dear Celes–Well that was certainly a passionate and righteous article. I appreciate how much you’ve idealized the institution of marriage and wouldn’t the world be such a better place if only people would have their act together as much as you? Well, the short version of what I would say is that you simply have zero qualifications to even remark about this–therefore you shouldn’t. Everyone’s life and experience is different than yours. You’ve never been married much less for decades which changes people profoundly at times. That telling the truth is often worse than lying depending upon context. That the rules of law in Singapore (and other parts of Asia and around the world) are selectively pompous and repressive. For example, in Singapore it’s perfectly legal to be a prostitute but not to spit, chew gum, graffiti, walk in your house naked, and you must flush the toilet after each use or you risk being canned, and much more. Again, while I admire your passion on this topic, I wonder why you are so horrified by watching others make choices that are different than yours? Are you that intolerant of others? And lastly, it’s been my experience that those who have very fixed and ridged ideas and no flexibility are prone to falling hard themselves (and even attracting this to oneself) which is natures way of reminding you not to be so critical and judgmental of others life challenges and choices. Bottom line is that AM is neither good nor bad–it’s only what you want to believe, and no one is asking you to partake in it anyway.

    • Nadia

      I’ve been following Celes for a couple of years now and had a few but valuable interactions with her that happened to test her tolerance …. let me simply say that she’s one of the most tolerant people I’ve encountered!

      And as to the life choices that people make, they shouldn’t forget that they live within a community and each choice they make creates a ripple effect around them.

      • http://personalexcellence.co/ Celestine Chua

        Thank you for your kind words, Nadia! :)

        • Nadia

          That wasn’t me, but maybe one day it will be, if you decide to explore the Arabian Peninsula :)

          • http://personalexcellence.co/ Celestine Chua

            Ah ha, never say never, Nadia! :) I may well be at that side of the world one day. :) When you said “interactions”, I thought you meant in-person interactions, and hence my question! Sorry for the mix up.

            Thanks so much for being a part of PE, and look forward to meeting one day in the future! ;)

    • Guest

      Dear Brad, Your comment makes me think.
      First, of course Celes has every right to remark about adultery, just like you, me and every person in the world should be free to utter their opinion. People do not necessarily need to have experienced something before they are entitled to an opinion, although personal experience may (and only may) give them greater insight.
      Second, you absolutely have a point saying that telling the truth is often worse than lying – if such lies are based on other lies. How relaxing is life as a whole, albeit sometimes temporarily difficult, if we are being honest right from the start? If we tell the other people how we feel, what has hurt us, what scares us and what would make us happy. However, I believe the first and vital step before we can tell others about our feelings is that we are aware of them in the first place. Know thyself, the ancient Greek recommended. How true. And, dear Brad, I know, how hard this can be. :-) Anyway, that’s also how I understand Celes (see section Solution).
      Third, I agree with you that Celes’ opinion is rather rigid. I find her rigid view very refreshing. In our (very much appreciated) tolerant world we indeed sometimes loose sight of what’s essential and what’s only nice-to-have. There is so much choice my impression is we sometimes do not see the wood for the trees. It’s ok to cheat on my partner if the reasons are only sufficiently justified (?) Of course I know that there may be good reasons for doing so, usually it’s that we cannot think of a better solution. That, however, doesn’t make cheating any better. Our partner is hurt. Full stop. The one we confessed our love to. Therefore I agree with Celes that knowledge of oneself and the development of tools for (emotional) problem-solving are the best ways to better solutions – and not cheating.
      Celes and all participants in this discussion, I really appreciate that people from all over the world can discuss their opinions here. Thanks for providing this platform, Celes, and for using your intelligence and creativity in such a great way as is PE.

      • http://personalexcellence.co/ Celestine Chua

        Hi Guest, thank you for your kind words and being a part of this discussion. :) Your comment is very much valued and your opinions, insightful.

        I love that PE has become a hub where people from all around can gather to excel in life and grow together. I strive to create a forum where we can share our opinions openly, without judgment and without disregard of others’ feelings and individualities, and this is something I hope to build on in the year ahead.

        As I start sharing my personal opinions about various topics now, I’m prepared to face differing opinions, and I celebrate them by leaving them on the site. I do hope this will expose people to alternate viewpoints and encourage more people to share their opinions (without fear of judgment and without resorting to flaming/unsavoury comments, of course).

        Please continue to share your views on PE, as I promise to continue sharing more of my authentic views and stances for everyone to read.

    • Quan

      Hi Brad,
      I agree with you that “Everyone’s life and experience is different” and that makes people behave differently, but I believe because that they behave diffferently leading to their different outcome in their life, and that all matters, do they feel better after cheating or they just live in the circle of misery and guilt? I also believe in the saying “you reap what you sow”, so no one should blame that bad experience forces them to do bad things. If someone feels unhappy or something wrong about their current relationship, they can sit down and talk to their partner, if thing still doesn’t work out, then take some legal action, when they are freed, they have the right to find a new partner. So, I support MDA’s action to ban AM as I don’t think this kind of business will benefit the society at all, I think other countries that allowed AM may rethink their decision as well, lol. Last point, I think there is nothing wrong about Celes raising her viewpoints about this, it helps us think and analyse, and that is a good thing,

    • http://personalexcellence.co/ Celestine Chua

      Hi Brad, I’m not sure what kind of qualifications one needs to post commentary on a cheating site. I’m simply sharing my thoughts in this article on what I feel with regards to a site that supports adultery, that’s all, and hope that others will get some insight from reading it. If not, it’s okay too — at least they had the chance to hear my viewpoint.

  • tprint

    It’s really appalling that some people see cheating as a normal way of life. I was shocked the day a girl I considered as my girl friend honestly said she would cheat if she finds someone she likes during a conversation. Its not like I’m not doing my stuff right, so I thought. With a little questions and probing, I learnt that she comes from a polygamous family where father likes and keeps many woman and the mother has a boy friends. What do I do? Judge her, Criticize her or leave her? Well I currently consider the relationship to be an open one pending on when I get a girl with healthier views about relationships. This is just the way of the world. We are all free moral agents

  • amy

    I am very much against deceit. But I am also not a big fan of marriage.

    I don’t think it’s realistic to promise yourself to someone for the span of eternity. You don’t know who you’re going to be a day from now, let alone 50 years from now. Ideally, it would be nice to find someone to stick by you through all the good and bad, but that is very rare (as you can see by the divorce rates – and subscriber volume on AM).

    Entering into a contract that binds you to somebody is a horrible idea in my experience. You think you know somebody and then they turn out to be someone else, or they change into someone who you can no longer make a life with. It’s a natural occurrence.

    You’re committed until you’re not… You might love someone like crazy, but that can change really quickly, if the offense is bad enough.

    I feel the most important thing that any person can do is to truly know and love themselves. If you choose to be in a relationship, do it on a day-to-day basis. Make a choice each day – “I love you and I’m staying with you.” If things don’t pan out down the road, be thankful for the good days you had and release that person to continue on his or her journey… Whether it lasts 5 days or a lifetime – you can say that you willingly chose to stay and never felt coerced or obligated.

    • http://personalexcellence.co/ Celestine Chua

      Hey amy, thanks so much for sharing your opinions. I hear you about not being a big fan of marriage; I think marriage is a notion that resonate with some, but not others. I don’t think there’s a need for people to buy into marriage just because it’s what’s endorsed by mainstream society at this moment. There are some who are into open relationships (I’ve a friend who is just like that), and I think that’s perfectly okay as long as such expectations are articulated to their partners at onset and no deceit is in play.

  • Ipshita

    Celes the stance that you took against infidelity is worth appreciation. Sadly though websites that encourages them are everywhere and more and more people are getting connected to it.
    In my opinion being in a community decreases the level of guilt of wrongdoing in the individuals. And websites like AM are cashing this point. Those who are registering with it are not feeling the guilt that they would have otherwise felt if they were seeking for an affair on their own, and not on the internet. Belonging to a community where everyone seems to indulge in the same activity, makes the hideous and shameful act of deceit looks fair.

  • PaoloDS

    Celes, why do you think that people reach to this website as a “solution for an unhappy relationship”? I think most people just go there as an -addition- to their marriage. Probably these people are comfortable with their wives/husbands/kids, they just want to add something else to it. I’m not saying it’s a good choice. PErsonally I am in favor of open relationships and I would never cheat against my parter’s will, but the huge ratio of divorces today clearly says that this idea of a life long perfect marriage is dated. As someone else already said, a relationship lives in the present, and you choose your wife/husband everyday. Choice implies that one day you may decide to say no. The classic formula repeated in weddings (we’ll be together forever etc etc…) is a nonsense in my opinion.

    • http://personalexcellence.co/ Celestine Chua

      Hey Paolo! If people are doing so because they are having an open relationship with their partners AND their partners are perfectly in agreement and support that, then that’s perfectly fine. The article was referring to people who are doing it behind their partners’ backs and being dishonest about it (their cheating).

      Also I’d see the dishonest behavior as more of a result of certain voids they are facing, which can be in their relationship or in their life (as mentioned in the article). An unhappy relationship can be one of them; a relationship that’s happy but not entirely fulfilling can be another trigger too (i.e. it meets some needs but not all of the person’s needs).

  • Thachayini

    It is rather interesting that someone has chosen to make a business out of this. I can’t help wondering what would have transpired the person to even consider this as a business. I agree that adultery can be committed by anyone who chooses to be vulnerable. I have read before that men who do not have good relationships with their fathers tend to have many partners to fill the void of feeling less of a man and likewise women who are needy tend to be vulnerable to affairs. However, this is subjective for they are exceptions among us.

    • http://personalexcellence.co/ Celestine Chua

      Hi Thach! What a great point: childhood experiences can definitely shape how one views and treats relationships. I’ve heard about people who are in relationships with a partner who has many qualities that fits one of their parents. For example, someone who had an abusive dad/mom seems to be more prone to end up in a relationship later with someone who is abusive to him/her (possibly because the person formed a perception of, “I’m not deserving of more” or “I deserve to be mistreated”.

      I think people who have been scarred by relationships/people or lost their faith in a “perfect” or “ideal” relationship can also treat relationships very frivolously and loosely play around with their partners’ trust, such as cheating behind their backs or treating their love recklessly. This ties in with the examples you have mentioned, about men having many partners to fill their inner voids or women being vulnerable to affairs due to their neediness. Either way it’s important for us to be aware of our own inner issues at all times and to address them in constructive manners, vs. turning to the outside world to fill the gaps (and hurting people close to us in this case).

  • http://avene.org/ Glenn Thomas

    This is the first time I’ve ever heard of such a site. I’ve seen ads for sleazy dating sites before, but nothing like this that actually encourages people to cheat. I guess it’s just a sign of the times. And I hate to sound negative, but the current world we live in is pretty messed up. I mean, there are kids dying of starvation in Africa because their governments are selling all their grain to western countries solely to feed cattle, who are then milked, slaughtered and fed to humans. Many of who die from eating those animal foods, but not before the world medical association take their piece of the pie by get all these people hooked on prescription drugs for the rest of their lives with no hope of ever curing their illnesses.

    It’s all about greed and control. Just like the website in question here. Obviously some guy with no interest other than being successful and making a lot of money. He doesn’t care how many lives are ruined by what he’s doing. Just like the meat, poultry, seafood and dairy industries who are clearly only interested in the money with no regard for all the people who are dying of heart disease, strokes and cancers from eating the dead animals they sell to people and lie about being healthy.

    And that same greed clearly must resonate with a lot of the people who use that site. Society is telling them they need more and more. Still using an iPhone 4? No, that’s not good enough, they need the latest iPhone 5S. So when it comes to relationships, sooner or later they start believing the same thing. Just one partner isn’t good enough anymore. They feel they need more partners, but don’t want to damage their current relationship because they enjoy the home cooked meals too much when they’re not away cheating.

    That’s my theory anyway. And it’s not just websites like Ashley Moron that make it simple for people to cheat. With people living separate work and personal lives, many can get away with it quite easily. I always hear about people going on business trips to other states or other countries. If they’re in high paid jobs whilst going on these business trips, I can imagine that it wouldn’t be too difficult for them to justify having an affair. Maybe they had an argument with their partner before they left, or they feel that because they’re working hard going on these business trips making all this money for the family they’ve left behind, they deserve something extra on the side?

    I don’t know what the solution is. Although I do believe that if people learnt to live with less and make the most of what they already have, rather than wanting more and more all the time, the world would be a much better place. And then perhaps sites like Ashley Moron would no longer be as popular.

    Anyway, it’s good to hear that the site’s been blocked in Singapore. It would be great if our idiot government here in Australia did the same.

  • http://bism.empowernetwork.com/ Paul Smithberger

    I’ve always thought that if you aren’t happy in your relationship you should just leave. No need to cheat.

    I guess maybe for some people leaving isn’t expedient.

    • http://personalexcellence.co/ Celestine Chua

      Hi Paul, you are on point about how some people may not see leaving the marriage as an option/a way out. This was precisely the case for one of my readers, whom I addressed in a past Ask Celes post: http://personalexcellence.co/blog/ask-celes-cheating-spouse/. She was asking how she could stay on with a cheating spouse vs. whether she should leave or not. (She also clarified in the comments section that leaving was simply not an option for her, which I understood and respected.)

      Perhaps in certain cultures (such as India and traditional Asian societies), divorce is simply not a way out. But then, I always believe there has to be other options than cheating/dishonesty. Even discussing with your spouse about the martial issues and working out your options together is more honest than cheating behind his/her back as a gap filler.

  • JadePenguin

    I would add that if someone feels the need to cheat, they should consider if they actually want a monogamous life. And if not, they should talk that over with their partner, even if they risk losing that partner. Sure, losing a partner may seem like a bad thing but it’s the right thing to do and would also open you up to finding another who would agree with open relationships!

    I have a polyamorous friend who cheated on a partner for years. The chain of cheatings ended badly but later he married a woman who is okay with him having other relationships. So all turned out fine :)

    • http://personalexcellence.co/ Celestine Chua

      Hi Jade, what you said! Those who repeatedly cheat or try to break out of monogamous relationships may find themselves more suited to polyamory (or it may well be that they have not found someone who meets all their needs, but that’s a separate discussion altogether). If so, they may want to consider going the polyamory route rather than pigeon-holing themselves to monogamy just because that’s what the mainstream society practises.