Thursday, July 23, 2015

Walking a Mile in Ashley Madison's shoes

Seems that the world is preoccupied with the 37 million people in the world who registered for an adultery website whose information was hacked earlier this week. The hackers are threatening to release it, which has many people in a panic, and others laughing at the shortcomings of others.

Many of these people who are quick to condemn the adulterers, cheaters, or whatever other name you’ve seen these people called on the internet, are the same people who believe the church has no right to say what goes on in their bedrooms.

Well guess what? Adultery as a sin is a concept introduced into society by…the Church. It was introduced so that spouses, mostly husbands, would tough out those hard years with their wives while their infant was small, and not run away screaming or be in a hurry to impregnate someone else.

All of these people, and you may even be one of them, who are screaming “Cheating is wrong. Cheating is horrible. Cheaters deserve no sympathy. They get what they get.” have had the fortune to never been tempted to make that decision.

But hey, wait, aren’t you the same people who don’t want the government to tell you what goes on in your bedrooms? In your “love is love” campaigns that had you changing your profile pictures, are you supportive of swingers or do they get excluded because they don’t fit your moral code? Swingers are, by definition, cheaters, albeit consensual cheaters. But “cheating is cheating”, right?

I’m assuming that you’ve never had the misfortune of being in a loveless relationship. You know, after a while, everything gets to be a routine. So much so that maybe your partner is going through some form of depression. They don’t want to be sexually active, period, never mind with you. So you find a porn site, porn mags, think about Channing Tatum or Tatum O’Neill or someone else while you masturbate. Because masturbation isn’t adultery. I mean, you’re thinking about fucking someone else while replicating those actions, and your spouse is the last person on your mind. But that’s not cheating, right?

Or maybe you’re in a mentally abusive relationship. You feel awful about yourself. But you are devoted to your horrible spouse, even if every night they call you names and threaten to or just become physically abusive. Then you meet someone who makes you understand that the problem with your esteem is not entirely your fault. They boost you up and tell you you’re beautiful and give you the courage to stand up to the cruelty at home, and make you realise that you are better than anything you’ve ever been called. And though that person may not stick around for long in your life, by seducing you that one or two times, they’ve given you the courage and strength to get yourself and as much of your family as you can, away from that dank cruelty. But you should never even turn your attention to someone who isn’t your spouse because that’s cheating. You should suffer under the weight of abuse or cruelty.

Even though it may be difficult to imagine at this point in societal development, maybe you are realizing that the sexual identity you lived with all of your life was just a fa├žade, a ruse. Perhaps it took the person you met and had the affair with to make you realise this. You found someone you could open up to and just be yourself. It’s not your spouse’s fault. You know you were lying to everyone, but yourself most of all. It’s a very painful and sometimes a very lonely journey. It causes untold grief and anguish to the person who comes to such a realization. But cheating is wrong. It’s much better to stifle your real self and keep your anguish about your true feelings inside.  

The reason why there’s so much cheating right now is that it has always been easier for us to talk to strangers about the shit going on in our lives than talking to the people who know us. So someone posts a cute profile picture, we are attracted, we talk, we make up shit so people will like us, we agree to meet, we fuck, we keep it going or we don’t. We’ve already done that with our spouse. They know the truth about us, and that sucks out all the excitement. 

If you are one of the 37 million, you have a choice to make right now: do you tell your spouse? Or do you let them find out the hard way?

You would be surprised how far a good conversation can go. Yes, people will get angry. People will cry. People will be hurt. But, as an adult, you know that you will always have to face the consequences of your actions. That’s what you teach your children. So start practicing what you preach. And start communicating with each other. That’s what you promised to do way back when you put on the nice suit or the poofy dress. You could find that it brings back that excitement you felt was missing.

Human beings are not whooping cranes. We do not mate for life. If that were true, you would still be with that first person who kissed you in kindergarten. Just become some religious edict that forced people into declaring their bond for each other became the global standard for relationship achievement doesn’t mean that it’s the end all and be all. Humans make mistakes. Humans have needs. Humans want to be loved. And humans believe their spouses should just know all this without talking about it. And we don’t. Otherwise sites like Ashley Madison would never have become so huge. There wouldn’t have to be warnings and consequences in various religious writings about it. Laws are made because people need to be told what the limits are and the consequences if you go beyond those limits.

So when you start with your “OMG if someone ever cheated on me, I would…” why not end it with:“want to talk to them in a calm manner about the problems in our relationship to see if we can resolve them. And if we can’t, then talk about how to end this before one or both of us become more hurt.”


But quit your judging, your scoffing, your glee at pointing out the faults and mistakes of others. Unless you’ve been in that situation, and have had to live with the consequences of your actions, all you’re doing is haranguing someone about whose life you know nothing.  

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