Last week "Good Morning America" ran a shocking exposé on a Web site that (gasp!) helps marrieds have affairs. It turns out more and more women are "real-life desperate housewives," and are turning to AshleyMadison.com to find a fling.
Many are up in arms over the site, saying it'll be impossible for marriage to survive something so eagerly encouraging us to seek out a sidepiece. And some networks, including ESPN, have refused to air the ads.
But before you go and log your significant other off the computer, consider why this site may not be that big of a deal.
Not the First
Ashley Madison, which has 3 million profiles (72 percent male, 28 percent female), isn't the first Web site to help people cheat. Sites like MarriedDateClub.com and LonelyCheatingWives.com have already tapped into the "married but looking" market. So in essence, Ashley Madison is catering to a population of people that would have found other ways to cheat anyway. The site's mere existence isn't necessarily going to create more cheaters.
Her Cheatin' Heart
Take Catherine, 39, who says she joined Ashley Madison because her husband stopped putting in effort:
"I used to say that I'd never cheat. I was so wrong because anyone can experience a bad relationship and change their views. My husband didn't work to keep me and gave up on us. Through this process, I learned that change for me is a good thing, and that everything happens for a reason."
Susan, 46, says she uses the site because her sex life became nonexistent:
"My marriage had been celibate for the past eight years and I decided before I got a divorce, I wanted to find someone in a similar situation so I could try something more transitional. Even though the person I met wasn't right long-term, it served its purpose."
Women Strike Back
If you're scared your partner might peruse Ashley Madison, Stephany Alexander has the site for you. She created WomanSavers.com to expose cheating, sleazy dudes around the world. More than half of members say they've caught their significant other cheating.
"Married/committed cheating people seem to seek other like-minded committed people to give themselves a sense of added security in an inherently insecure position," Alexander told Lemondrop. "Their preference to cheat within their own camp is based on assumptions about people with spouses: They will not demand too much of the other person's time; they will be less invested in the relationship since they already have one; they are more understanding about a last-minute cancellation because the husband or wife is sick and the kids need to go to soccer practice."
She suggests making sure your partner isn't frequenting cheating sites by checking his computer history. But other experts say spying won't keep someone from being unfaithful. Whether or not sites like Ashley Madison exist, communication and trust are probably your best bets for keeping your sweetie from cheating.
Tell us: Do you think Ashley Madison will lead to more affairs? Would you ever consider using a site like this yourself?