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Can cheating on your spouse save your marriage?

11 March 2015, 13:30Annzra Denita

One of the perks of being single is ability to juggle a number of partners guilt free.

You can go out, hook up with a hot stranger and meet the guy you are vibing with for coffee the next day with hardly any fuss. You are not committed to anyone and are free to do whatever with whomever. It can be pretty damn awesome.

As a single women, I try to enjoy this freedom as much as I can, so by the time I settle down I will have no regrets and I’ll (hopefully) be ready to commit to my significant other fully.

This is what I believe being in a committed relationship is. It’s about love, trust, compromise and staying faithful, especially when you are married.

So imagine my shock when I found out there is a social network solely dedicated to helping you cheat. AshleyMadison.com is, and I quote “the world's leading married dating service for discreet encounters.”

It was founded by the so-called “King of Infidelity”, Noel Biderman, and has 32 million users worldwide, 282 000 of which are from South Africa.

My initial thoughts when I saw this was ‘what the actual fuck?’

I know married people do cheat, I have even seen it in my own life, but I had no idea there was an entire social network dedicated to facilitating it. (Although with all the things you find on the internet, it shouldn’t be a surprise)

It’s really difficult for me to wrap my head around this, because I would never touch a man who belonged to someone else. It’s one of my most important rules, and while it has been broken (mostly because of guys lying about being single) I do try my best to abide by it because of one simple fact. I don’t like sharing my lovers.  

Having said that, I do realise that since I have never been married, I do not understand the pressures of being someone’s wife or the circumstances that make people stray. So with an open mind I decided to explore what Ashley Madison is all about before passing  (more) judgment.

In a press release titled: How to Live Happily Ever After…by Cheating on Your Husband, Ashley Madison says more married women are cheating at a rate that will rival their male counter-parts. They equate this to gender equality (I kid you not) saying:

“Until recently, women weren’t offered the same opportunities as men when it came to pursuing affairs. As family roles change, with more gender equality in the workforce, and with the accessibility of technology, many women find themselves in situations where they’re able to fulfill desires that are often left unfulfilled at home.”

The release continues with the following stats regarding why women cheat:

- No action at home – 19.5% of women report being in sexless marriages, while 37% of wives are intimate with their husbands only once a month.

- Bored in the bedroom – 21.8% of women chose to pursue an affair because of a lack of excitement and adventure in their marriage.

- No regrets – Only 7.2% of women feel guilty about straying.

- Not looking for divorce – 79.7% of married women believe that their undiscovered affair had a positive effect on their marriage.

On some level this makes sense. No one can always be 100 % happy all the time in their lives, let alone their relationships. And we can’t pretend that we immediately get turned off all other people when we enter a relationship.

We obviously still get attracted to other people and think about what it would be like to be with them. But thinking and doing are two very different things.  

Also I am all for women taking charge of their sexuality. It is no longer a man’s world, and if we want to step up and play the game then we should. However, I still have a problem with the cheating part.

Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t think cheating (whether you are a man or a woman) is right. The fact that Ashley Madison offers a DISCREET service means that you are betraying your partner in so many ways.

Surely you chose to be with this person for a good reason and if you aren’t happy you should be able to talk things out?

If your relationship is beyond help end it. If you are seeking thrills outside your marriage, you probably shouldn’t be in one.

Also if you know that you are incapable of being with one person, why not just be honest about it and be in a polyamorous relationship. I’m sure it will be difficult, but all relationships have their own set of challenges. And it’s surely better than cheating.

I don’t pretend to know all the answers, and I don’t know how I would feel about this when I am actually married, but for now if women want to cheat that is their prerogative. I just don’t want to join them.

- Women24


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