The Ashley Madison Scandal & The Reality Of Infidelity
The Ashley Madison scandal is a poignant reminder of the prevalence of adultery in our society. For those of you who discovered your wives have been unfaithful, there are steps that you can take to minimize the damage.
On Sunday night, a hacking group calling itself “The Impact Team,” released a list of demands to the adultery-facilitating hookup site, Ashley Madison. They threatened to release sensitive information about the users of the site, including their credit card information and names, if the hacking group’s demands are not met.
If they expose the adulterers it would likely lead to nasty divorces, which would have huge repercussions on the spouses and children involved.
But most adulterers aren’t scheming to break up their families. They likely still love their spouses and children but are going through a tough time in their marriage—a natural part of the marriage cycle that all marriages, even successful ones, undergo at some point.
Sites like Ashley Madison prey on morally weak spouses by giving them the opportunity to cheat at relatively low risk, which, 20 years ago, would not have been possible.
It’s not a secret how much infidelity hurts spouses and children when discovered, so most adulterers attempt to minimize the damage by being as secretive as possible—by using sites such as Ashley Madison that promise security and anonymity to their users. But, as the Ashley Madison hack demonstrated, even the most fool-proof plans can, and likely will, be foiled.
According to family law attorney Joseph Cordell, based on his 25 plus years of experience, “adultery is overwhelmingly the primary cause of divorce.” Cheating equates betrayal and is often an insurmountable hurdle in a marriage.
But before offering advice to those of you facing that hurdle, the elephant in the room must be addressed: 70% of the cheaters on Ashley Madison are men.
That 70% is perpetuating the stereotype that men are morally decrepit and unfit to be parents. They’re doing a disservice to all the honest husbands and dedicated fathers that are fighting to disprove the stereotype.
Much worse than that, their actions are damaging the wellbeing of their spouses and children.
The truth is that men have to hold themselves to a higher moral standard than women because of the bias they face in the family courts.
Even though men are still more likely than women to cheat on their spouses, that statistic is slowly changing with more women committing adultery. So if your wife is cheating on you, keep in mind that you are not alone.
Here are some steps that you should take if you’ve found out that your wife is cheating:
- Decide whether or not you can work it out with your wife. When you confront your wife about her infidelity, remain calm. If you are both willing to try and make it work you should suggest attending marriage counseling. Of course, it is always better to save your marriage if you can.
- If you are unable to save your marriage, hire a divorce lawyer, immediately. Even if you do not want the divorce, the best way to protect yourself, your assets, and your children is to be prepared for the worst case scenario.
- Find out if you live in a no-fault or fault-based divorce state. By filing for a fault-based divorce you could potentially receive a larger share of marital property and lessen spousal support because of your wife’s adultery. Unfortunately, if you live in a no-fault divorce state, your wife’s adultery probably won’t play much of a role in the divorce process.
- If you’re filing a fault-based divorce, gather as much evidence as you can of your wife’s unfaithfulness. Keep any emails, texts, or bills that point to her adultery.
And remember, it’s not your fault that your wife cheated—cheating is less a reflection on the quality of the marriage and more a reflection on the quality of the person.