So this has probably been one of those weeks where millions of married people are shaking in their shoes right about now.
The website "Ashley Madison" has been hacked, and the identities of several million people is now out there in the open for anybody to find!
For those of you who are not aware, Ashley Madison is a website that is based out of Toronto, Ontario that is like a dating site, but with one major catch.
It's a dating site for people who are already married. Definitely not your "Plenty of Fish" or "eHarmony" or even "Christian Mingle".
It is now estimated that almost 40 million people around the world will now have some serious explaining to do to their spouses.
And you know what? I find it hard to elicit sympathy for the clientele of Ashley Madison.
To briefly play devil's advocate here before I begin my thoughts about the Ashley Madison scandal, I will admit that there are probably a lot of accounts that can be explained. I would imagine that some journalists created dummy accounts in order to do stories on the website to inform people about what to expect. I imagine some accounts are spam accounts that were created but never used. And, you know, there are some people who probably have extremely open marriages and the couple may both have accounts to spice up their marriage.
But for most of the people who have an account on Ashley Madison, I would imagine that this is their worst nightmare come true. Could you imagine having your account posted online for everyone to see? How embarrassing!
Even worse, could you imagine being the spouse that is kept in the dark about the fact that the one they vowed to love and cherish for the rest of their life is trying to cheat on them with other people who are also married? That would be the ultimate in betrayal.
In a way, I'm torn about how I feel about Ashley Madison being hacked. On one hand, I'm not sure if the way the hackers went about releasing the information was the right way to go. But on the other hand, I'm glad that of all the sites that were hacked, Ashley Madison was the one that they targeted.
I'll just put it on the table here. I don't understand how people can enter into a marriage and then turn around and have an extramarital affair on someone else behind their back. I mean, what are the point of wedding vows if people are just going to break them?
Now, sure, I get that there are lots of good reasons why people might want to start a life with someone else who isn't the person they married. They might feel trapped in a loveless marriage, or they might be in an abusive relationship. There's always an explanation that seems to make sense, provided that the person you married is a horrible human being who deserves to spend the rest of their lives miserable and alone.
The truth is that a lot of people are going to be blindsided, and it's not right. It's another reason why I hate the way that this unfolded, because now their dirty laundry is out in the open - even though they had nothing to do with getting it dirty in the first place. They've become the real victims of the Ashley Madison scandal. Not only were their spouses lying to them for quite some time, but now everyone in the whole world knows it.
That's why I don't feel sorry for those who were exposed as being cheaters. Do you have any idea how much hurt and how much pain you have caused the people you supposedly love, not to mention the ripple effect it will have on children, mutual friends, workplace colleagues, and extended family? The powder keg has now blown, and not only did you take yourselves out, you took everyone else out around you. I hope that all of you who are exposed as cheaters are choking down a nice huge slice of the bitterest humble pie that you can digest because your behaviour is disgusting. Yes, the breach on your privacy was wrong, but so is cheating on your spouse!
Oh well...I suppose that there is some positives to this story. The Ashley Madison brand is forever tarnished as a result of this, and I wouldn't be surprised if the site shuts down within the year. People now know the truth about who they married and are now taking the steps to figure out what to do next. And, Josh Duggar is even more screwed up than we all thought - yes, he is an Ashley Madison member. Does this shock you? Not me.
But you know, I just wish that there wasn't any need for sites like Ashley Madison to exist. It makes me very sad to know that people don't live up to their wedding vows any more. How they are willing to take chances and have quickies with random people knowing full well that what they are doing is hurting the one person they swore they would never hurt. And this applies to both straight and gay marriages. I just don't understand it.
But then, maybe I come from a family that doesn't really see a lot of divorce. In fact, that's one of the reasons why I made this blog gold. This coming Friday, my parents will be celebrating their own Golden Jubilee. That's FIFTY YEARS that they have been together. Sure, they have both had their ups and downs, and they've fought, but somehow they've managed to stick it out, and neither one had the temptation to cheat on each other with someone else.
It just goes to show you that if both spouses work together, they can overcome anything.