Tune in as we talk to members and the staff at Ashley Madison about why people cheat and have affairs. We discuss the motivations of the people coming to Ashley Madison, how the site is designed for discretion, and the psychology behind cheating.
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Season 9 Episode 8: Why People Cheat: An Exclusive Interview with Ashley Madison
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really The Dateable podcast is an insider's look into modern dating that the Huffington post calls one of the top ten podcast about love and sex. On each episode, we'll talk to real daters about. From sex parties to sex droughts, date fails a diaper fetishes and first moves to first loves. I'm your host Yue Xu, former dating coach turned dating sociologists. You also hear from my co host and producer Julie Krafchick as we explored this crazy dateable world. called ashley madison you probably have it's a dating site as well as an app dedicated to mostly married people who are looking for affairs and they had a scandal back in the company fifteen years ago about revealing the identity of some of their members which was a huge has the whole selling point of the site is at the discretion anonymity and privacy but that really compromise everyone's privacy the people at asu madison have agreed to talk about one the product their site in also referred us to some other members on why these site how they used it in what has the dot com so this episode is dedicated to cheating and ashley madison i spoke to paul keeble the chief strategy officer at ashley madison to just get a gender audio of with product is white people use it so paul tell us a little bit about ashley madison for anyone who may be unfamiliar with the site ashley madison is a site for married people to have affairs outside of their primary relationship and we've had more than sixty million people join the site since we launched two thousand two zip primarily a website or app or both so we have both a mobile website as well as the mobile apps primarily people tend to use mobile website because on your phone a little bit of digital lipstick which is something we tried to avoid as much as possible i was gonna ask that because i feel like normally apps are more popular even in this case like a totally see why you'd wanna go back in like logging somewhere yeah digital lipstick i haven't heard that very risque as chief strategy officer i'm just guessing that a lot of your work is kind of demystifying affairs and needing and removing the stigma around having an affair because on your website and all of your messaging it's always about two consenting adults two consenting adults so what are some challenges that you currently face so you're right the bulk of my work is really trying to talk to people resulting in to your audience and try to help them understand really what is happening in the world of infidelity my job is to go out and try to advance a happily married person to have an affair because no thirty second commercial or amazing interview on the best hawk got those groups do that before you make a judgment based on what hollywood is told us that religious ed let's look at the data and because we have the the no one else has we can really talk about one of the biggest myths out there is that each only mentioned in there just ordinary guy is looking to cheat on the rise whereas there is equal amounts of women on the site and they are in fact once were cheating for sex more sold than not managing emotional reasons interesting ooh i would have thought the opposite why is that the case what we had some worked on recently with dr alicia walker out of the university of missouri and she focused her first eddie on why do women cheat and what she found was that the majority of women that she interviewed were all ashley madison members were either sexless or orgasms marriages otherwise happy and or content with their spouse so they weren't looking for a divorce or otherwise unhappy within their marriage but they were not willing to live life you know with this gigolo void so they sought to outsource their sex life by asha madison looking for primarily physical relationships that would fulfill that you'd have sex orgasm were expensive as again as someone who works at ashley madison i'm sure it's a little hard to separate your professional and personal life what does your wife think about you working eh actually medicine you know it's a great question there's a bit of a odd side benefit working at ashley madison as well as being the number one mary getty website in the world also in the best or the biggest marriage counseling service in the in the world because you don't want your spouse to come to ashley madison there's probably best listen why do people show up here you can help way back so i get to learn while give men and women come to actually madison and hopefully learn a little bit about that and take into my relationship to ensure that both of us have open communication in dialogue with other regional unmet needs so it seems like privacy and discretion are obviously big parts of ashley madison why would use a site like this over satellite there were anyone can kind of see you on the site i know a couple of years ago back in twenty fifteen there is a scandal with ashley madison that some data was leaked on through a hat working in exposing mary cheaters all over the world how is ashley madison come back from that and what other ways are you taking precautions to keep that private komo obviously we had to take time in look at what did we wanna be as a company we need to be one of those events despite all the negative aspects of west occurred we still had a core group of people who are coming to our website on a daily basis in right now it's more than twenty thousand people days but we had to do to earn their trust that re the bill framework was start beginning what a security privacy those are two different things i like to tell you it's been a sisyphean task if the greek pathology because security is not something that you in a check box and it's done is talking we have to approach every day so we have new technologies we have a whole new security team we also have the belief now that securities aren't parceled everyone's job here from you know who's coming in the front yard whom we let you know have a profile on our membership so i can't z.
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give you the whole blue what i can say is that we you know take it far more serious and we have the right people in the right plans to ensure that our members are getting what they want to come to our side in writing what are some of the ways the site is built to ensure like privacy when you're like using it so obviously was discretion being core to our are experienced members have complete control over who they share their profile with what images in what communications they have with them so we have obviously what we call public voters might be your standard profile photos you can blur that use lace masks to obscure you know who you are on top of that we have prime it showcase photos where you can put images are gonna more personal than you might wanna share with some as you sort of built a rapport and allow members that you share those images by private keys and you're finished having conversations that whether moves onto the next stage of not you can remove becky you take your photos back from the individual and that allows a lot of personalization control over the experience of men and women have action you know for a company where the tagline is life is short have an affair how do you navigate the criticism regarding the subject of morality i think some people would argue aren't you promoting affairs and infidelity when people could avoid then just go to counselling before they seven affair well i think that's sort of viewpoint as i sort of said earlier you know we couldn't go out and convince someone to have a happy marriage that's not really what's occurring a year what we're trying to do is tell people look this is going to happen whether ashley madison exists or not because i am fairly sure there were affairs prior to to our existence in for whatever reason we we're no longer to be around it would still occur without us what we do know is that affairs can have negative consequences beyond just the implications to your immediate family you know we saw the CEO of intel was forced to step down from his job because you know workplace of our years prior to be promoted in while i was two consenting adults not a fair company was so scared of the patients that forced him as a we know about workplace affairs are not super were having an affair traditionally there is where biggest editor or sometimes with your neighbors or maybe a family member sister-in-law brother in law and these all risk far more than having an affair with an honest mary prison who's outside of social work states is so bats really what we're doing we're gonna have a fair do it better have a successful affair don't get all adoption matter and it's a funny conversation we had over the weekend we were telling a friend of ours that we would going to interview people from ashley madison and shoot and she's like ashley madison exists who's an actual person who like people were actually the company ashley madison so i guess that brings up the question where the name ashley madison question i think the founders were also under a few of the myths that people had about infidelity when they went about making the business because in their own head they thought oh we have to make this super female friendly her to attract women to the site otherwise we're not sure they're going to come here because they were a bit under the belief that maybe women don't cheat as much as and so what they did is they chose two of them popular baby names two thousand one which ashley and madison were two of them and that became a branding i wonder if there is someone i mean i'm sure there's an clean my own out there i'm sure they get teased a lot in question for you about just like the site for all it's like people have a user names like how do they remain anonymous while being on the side or do they just use their real names for the most part people you who's username so they can obscure their identities and not reveal to their potential partner until they sort of vetted them in a way that says you know we both have the same likes the same reasons are timetables schedules sort of meet up and so yeah you'll have all sorts of really unique user names people do all sorts of different ways to communicate and help him stand out within the platform to ensure that are browsing in their city that look like a promising affair partner i assume people aren't doing like facebook connect likes wiest instagram any social properties not going to be sharing your profile what's sell any of our members information to third parties there's no advertising on the madison platform so you know what you're getting is really clean experience in allow you to focus on finding that potential partner that's so fascinating because the cell opposite from any datings yeah we're you know almost too much about someone you can like just google them on ashley madison you actually can't which brings the question is has there ever been occurrence where someone ended up chatting with their spouse asked me a lot of times over the years have never heard of that instance happening i'm sure it's up remote possibility but you know through the vetting process most people would probably either get one or the other would get alerted there's an issue here and they would step away i have had people who met an ended up coming mary via the relationship actually matt matt hi we're talking to one of them later all like that her from working there all these years what's kind of like the one thing that you've learned along the way or has surprised you i was also under the belief that men were going out have sex for the purposes of sex and so i found it really surprising that women were looking for very specific physical interactions with normal connections opposite of what my belief was and then just the diversity of people that show up at a place like actually madison i of had very high ranking politicians that was a show on the site in i've heard stories i've had people from all ranges of socioeconomic levels on the site and their experiences you know at the beginning of shocked me because they're so different from what i've come to understand or believe canal it doesn't surprise me but it's vastly interesting every day to hear the stories from remember yeah i think it just goes into the fact that there is no one image of someone who has affairs were sheets because it could be anybody right they come in all shapes and colors and sizes and all that absolutely then we spoke to isabella mice the director member relations was collected lots of data on white people are on the site how either using it and why they're using it so what types of people join ashley listen our core business offering really is discussion so background bite of discretion really tractor wide range of individuals but i would say hi merrily we are unmarried dating site so it is typically or ensure the person seeking another mary copying side we obviously attract you know different types of egypt singles on our site they are looking for more of a casual setup which is wider looking for mary date there's not the expectation of something more and lastly we have people who are looking for more open-minded eighty speeds during so polly emery and not type of thing we actually have couples on the fate together rush and what is kind of like the split of like singles versus married people i would think we are primarily mary dating majority remembers yvonne category and i would say age range is usually around in thirty to forty five days where is the biggest membership talkshow so they are people that have lived life there are people that have realized they were sold marriage fairy tale story so they are looking for something very different than new our looking for earlier in their life let's say twenty where they believed in that grand ambitions club so interesting you say that the majority are people who are in monogamous marriages and summary are poly-amorous what would be the percentage makeup the people who are in nominee demus marriages difficult vein exact percentage are beyonce it's changing every day but ovid again bay it's not the majority we're married dating site first and foremost but that people come on and off our site and they come on and off at different life stages so we might have someone that on others and then a year ending of even open up their marriage partner knows now maybe there are now going through a separation and so people come on and off attitudes different life stages but each of the way they are looking for his freshman peas and i think also defined someone is like minded right so we say timer probably knows honest dating website out there which seemed funny because we are infidelity websites but really the people that come to our site so transparent from the gecko about what their situation is what they want there's no false pretenses is drive people to our platform and then a split like men and women though when i started here two years ago one of the first things we actually did was be brought ernst and young in to do a full audit of our membership cellini has a lot of people didn't think there're much women cheating didn't think much women on the site we again in an effort to shine a light on reality media to relieve file that mess and i'm show happening so earn yankee men and in their reports day revealed that he had deep balanced gender ratio are one point one three active amounts for every one active paid mail some more women than men that's deep i am obviously a woman myself and i my thirties and i have not entered into marriage yet but i it definitely has them preconceived notions starting this job and i just thought men primarily cheated and women were primarily getting cheated on i've certainly come along way in opening my eyes to reality and we have women on here and they're very very direct wanting stacks and they're very pragmatic coach at getting actual partners frankly they report jerry bill for what they're doing they feel entitled shoe having their sexual needs met i was having a conversation years ago in new york with a girlfriend of mine who was cheating on her husband at the time and i said to her a it's very rare for me to meet woman who cheats and she's like no no it's not that more men cheat is that less women get caught cheating yeah there's thirty we sat out there that by esther prowse vary while known about focused on infidelity and she data rates as female infidelity have gone up by forty percent since the early nineties whereas rates have remained relatively attic and i don't know that it more women like her actually cheating but i think more women are coming forward now and actually thinking but i think there's a lot less consequences so when you say no women are just better concealing it i think because historically women have just east or or having an affair you know their kids could have been taken away from them a refinance solely dependent on this oh whereas now women are much acting the workforce and there's a lot left unspent they're up against and i think that's why you're seeing more women not only cheap but in oregon about it up about it openly defender marriage very interesting to be in the way that society sees a woman who cheats versus a man who cheats is so different cheese on his wife you would think oh of course he would you know even if he's married to halle berry he's gonna cheat because he wants something new but if a woman she's on husband people would think so he must not treat her very well must be lacking in that relationship so we have come back double standard when it comes to g so true what about sexual orientation there is obviously an option male seeking male enough it can get in on our site again i wouldn't say in our constituency but there is definitely you know i remember on active all types on who they like when occupations religion based around the world we just waste are talk to me less people in big cities cheating it's not just people in february cheating i anders not one place immune to it cheating universal behavior in existed before our platform came to be it'll be around long after we're gone you know it's just something that some of those universal behaviors and i think i've you know we become more open talking about monogamy and the challenge that existed in monogamy i think you're gonna see a lot more people moving forward designing their own rules around marriage at what manar it but with that said i've been thinking about this for a while and correct me if i'm wrong but it feels like the membership base would draws people to ashley madison the excitement of cheese it's the blurred profiles it's not knowing who the other person is also doing something that is kind of like not morally not right for some people they find that exciting so ask the society we see in some of the bigger cities where there are so many different configurations nominal gimme when these relationships really take off even as these numbers increase do you think that's a threat to the ashley madison membership base because of mixed cheating no longer bad exciting now i haven't feed by again we have a lot of open on our site even with them you're still so concerned about discussion in keeping between not only because just don't know that we're there yet i think there's a fear of judgment no so they don't even tell their best friend aaron open relationship there's still a bit of a around that i think people come for discussion anything there is still going to be valued inscription even if there is more of a shift toward eventual ominami i can also see like a being a place where others were looking to date you like if you go on tinder in your in a marriage or in a serious relationship there might be people on that aren't interested in that they just wanna meet someone else unattached so if the here kind of by default they are open right you're married single dating website you know that invites a lot of potential again you can just email you are here and it's a lot i think you'll feel comfortable at and they know lastly that they're gonna meet expended people so people that are looking in the same type of thing that they're looking for a someone single that isn't mary right now how has working at ashley madison kind of adapted your views on marriage i also get back question quite a ban on it's really interesting because i didn't know what his job and argues all these types of things crossed my mind in an interesting turn around i think it's made me more optimistic about mirror interesting the reason for not if i got to speak to people every dan here their pain points are here maybe things didn't work out a certain way you know those challenges the bank counter feeling they have a much more realistic you about marriage and monogamy and i i have a lot of really helpful lesson learned from other people just who have already experienced that have a better sense of what marriage typically in i feel more empowered to design a a monogamy grim that works for me and my partner when i do decide to get married it kind of makes sense because we interview someone who was a divorce lawyer and he told us that through a whole all these cases he learned how to have a successful in writing to see some having the data points of what makes a marriage work we're just playing around the couple scenarios just quick questions for you ooh all the data gathered has there ever been a scenario i'm sure there has actually but people ended up chatting with some of their new like a neighbor or their kid his teacher so i don't have any specific example i can print too high sierra knocks it a happened i just really want take and then what about do you have any data around what percentage of people end up getting divorced or splitting up from their spouse personally no way being able to get that type of information anecdotally i've spoken members who have chosen on their marriage on percents but there's a lot of people that users any supplements or marriage a really positive way and they will report that it's actually st mary i guess it's just the one thing that's kind of surprised you over your time working here to me is people who are happily married after marriage before only people who were unhappy in her marriage or looking to exit their marriage would have enough air but it actually people who compile huckleberry and want to with fascinating to talk to someone like that so why do people cheat what does the sign's behind cheating club we spoke to dr tammy a certified sex therapist and a licensed couple therapist and the author of several books including the new monogamy of wagner the one cheats we are very fascinated by this whole conversation about cheating and infidelity why do you think people cheat it's such a broad question like i think there's so many any reasons that people cheat i kinda put them into a couple different categories one i think people cheat for what i call can opener affair bears which are away to get out of a marriage or committed partnerships oh a can opener is sort of like i really don't want to be married i don't want to be in this relationship but i don't know how to get out and sewn affair seems a good way to blow the whole thing up do you find that with people that are like have children or some other more than ones that don't i find women do it more than men they sometimes do it before they even know they want out saw they're cheating i'd like swinging from branch to branch like maybe maybe i do not i just didn't even know how to say it and now that i'm in an affair i realized i really think my merit so far it's also sometimes a way to make the other person break up with so that's a can opener what's the other category the next one is really the wake-up break-up you're like this could be the wake up call that we really need to say how the heck did we get here and you know i've had couples in my practice this is a therapist that have said this affair could be the best thing that ever happened so that's kind of like the wakeup were headed for trial double our marriage has been asleep our relationship wasn't going in a good direction and now we have a chance to rewrite the whole history of marriage practically by defining it in a different way you know sometimes you need kind of a big catastrophe or crisis to say do we really want to be together and if we do we have to create a whole new marriage because this is not working i think it can be a way to wake up your marriage for some people not for everybody so in both of these scenarios there is something going on that's not positive in a marriage in that's when people explore outside marriage do you minded they're also circumstances when two people are perfectly happy and they still seek out extramarital affairs you know there are studies that say people cheat even when they they are having great sex even when they're happy in their marriage i don't think it's ever about the other person i have to be honest i would never ever blame the person ah you're married to because if you're cheating you are not looking necessarily to be with someone else you're looking to be someone else so it's really about you as the cheater it's not about with all due respect the person that you're cheating with and it's really not about your spouse it's totally about part of you that you are becoming in your affair like the part of you that you're bringing out in the affair and for whatever reason you feel like you can't be that person in your marriage that's about you and certainly as a springboard talk about what's going on but i don't think that's about the house that's super interesting i guess my question when you were saying some of these reasons why not talk to your spouse about it like why say that you're feeling unfulfilled or like you're feeling like need more in something why do you think people trying to cheating opposed to just having that open communication while isn't that the hundred dollar question you're the one that's being cheated on you know that's a really good question because i think that if you're the one having an affair sometimes times the opportunity is just too delicious like a lot of people cheat they say eighty percent of people cheat because of the opportunity and you think that you'd never do it you may never had the opportunity or just may not have been as big of a potential like it's it's really hard to turn down on that opportunity when it's in your face and what i found is that when people come back from fair and they're sitting in my office and they're sitting on couch and the person that was cheated on is looking at the cheater and they want an apology they want that person to say i can't believe you're on she nasa i can't believe you cheated with that person at work i really want you to be remorseful and to tell me that you're really sorry most people are really i'm not sorry for the affair i mean people don't usually come back and say well that really sucked for mason was terrible but they really are sorry that they hurt apart you're there sorry for the fallout there sorry they were on the news or whatever happened but they're usually not sorry for the pair the affairs the fun part like that's really exciting it's exciting to be this other person like you know someone that you're being flirted with or that you you get to be a different person online or you get to feel younger more attractive or sexy like that there's nothing wrong with that that's fun it's the crash and burn that's the horrible thing and most people don't wake up in the morning and say i wish i could hurt my partner tonight like most people think they have to have good intention let's explore that for a sec because we talk about some of the main motivators for cheating and some of that is you can become a different person different live a different life but there's also that kind of like going behind your partner back they don't know it's it's really kind of a no no society looked down upon their stigma attached to it that also makes it exciting for some people as well so if we were to let's say in society normalized cheating as some cultures have done i know in france they've really see cheating as a normal thing and i also see that when i when i worked in beijing for two years it's very common for like one of my father who's in their sixties to move back to china from the US and take on extramarital affairs because like you said dr tammy the opportunities arise because he's younger women want an older man to take care of them and to it's a status thing if if you're an older man in if you are at a certain status you gotta take on some mistresses and that's you know lives are just kind of like accepting that so as we normalize sheeting do you think that makes cheating less prevalent why such a good question like if if you could cheat and it was allowed would you cheat so there's two things going on there like if you were in an open relationship and your partner was like go ahead do whatever you want it's not really achieve it right yet if it's in a situational environment where everybody's doing it and you feel pressure to do it it's really about your own personal integrity like how do you define your own integrity how do you feel about yourself around cheating because dating defined by three things you are having an outside relationship with someone who's not your partner you are having some kind of sexual contact with them whether it's on line or maybe it's a sex worker or maybe just through a webcam or sex tank but it was some kind of sexual thing going on and then the third part is the dishonesty so you know it really depends on how you feel about keeping secrets or lying to your partner or some people feel like it's just this is my private life so there's a whole piece hit has to do with privacy versus secrecy if you're if you're in a culture that says well this is just my private south wholly different thing than here in america were like no that's a lie i mean we're in san francisco bay area where polly emery in open relationships ethical non monogamy or sean take out that dishonesty factor has been on the rise like have you seen this in other areas like how is this like change cheating well wanna be clear that even if you're in a poly-amorous relationship or consensual nominee you can still cheat yes you can go out for coffee with someone who's not in your ali pod and not tell anybody in that that's a form of dishonesty so you might be cheating on everybody the level exactly i mean dishonesty is dishonesty i think what we're really looking at today is a new kind of monogamy where you can you can have opened sexual behaviors you can look at porn together you can have emotional affairs you can sleep with other people however you define your monogamy or your relationship or whatever you wanna call it today i mean monogamy just means being married to one person so you can define your are open sexual behaviors or your relationship in any way you want but once you go beyond that agreement you have to re up like you had to redo do so i think the only thing that we can really look at as a baseline is honest like i think to me is a choice and you have to choose every day and i'm going to be monogamous today or not like some days are much harder than others and sunday sock and sundays you don't do well but you can choose but that doesn't mean that you can't choose to be non monogamous you can choose to beat an open relationship is a choice you have to make every day like you don't just choose once at the altar to be monotonous and it lasts forever just like you don't choose wants to be non monogamous you have to re up all the time i mean we renew our driver's license a couple times every couple of years good point also i think things change like i mean i've a friend like currently i'm looking for monogamous relationship because i've dated enough and i want that but in twenty years when i've been married to the same person i would also relationships are developmental so as you're monogamy typical profile of ashley madison member is someone who's married in seeking extra marital affairs and we spoke to a guy in his fifties who's been married for twenty five years about why he's using the service pose about your experience on ashley since how far off really good it is a way to meet people who are in similar circumstances to mind where there's you're married but there's reasons that you're not divorced actually more or less route three people only one of whom i've had sex with no actually i've made a couple of nights friendships in response texts and emails and it's just the way the people when you have odd circumstances at least in my world are currently separated now but while he started on ashley madison yours l.
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married why kind of good ashley madison opposed to being separated both kinda were pretty lows in the timeframe that the fact is that because i'm separated don't married it's not really easy to date or anything under that scenario so for me they've kind of gone in what's your marriage dissolves do you think you awesome ashley madison and go on to more mainstream dating site probably even win might actually which is me most about actually madison say is that from my experience just a lot of people trying to figure out where they're at in life i mean we're just alone and insert stances that don't make normal dayton z.
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are are just looking to connect with another person in actually madison is our be platform for doing that there's an added layer to this in your introduction when your background is your wife isn't interested in ending the marriage so it sounds like you two are still figuring out your own marriage on top of see you know you having affairs on ashley madison i mean i'm very clear that i thought if i took it slow took my time and you know let her get used to the idea the divorce thing that she would come on but she's just threatened to make the experience just horrible for my kids in me and with that said i'm i'm not willing to spend would currently in a relationship with someone you met off of ashley madison who is married but has no plans of getting a divorce chris how is that relationship working out actually dating or even colleagues for maybe something like that nine months and then we text to lot we get together several times a month than going really all i think for both of us i mean there's the odd question the noise lies out there if we both got i would we actually still want to spend time together was mark convenient investors can i actually don't know how to answer that question and you mentioned that there were a lot of people use it up with that you didn't have sex with in just kind of met for companionship i could definitely see that being actually a draw to people like you mentioned are kind of in the same situations that with a failing marriage whatever it may be can you describe some of those situations more so one of them is a maybe that she's ten years younger than i and a couple of young kids again she's the scribe did us a sexless touch lous marriage in on but on the other hand it's not as though she bites for their husband they make really good roommates is hot she's described up two young kids so there's the incentive of staying mary there's the child rearing together and send for her but she's just along you don't we've just sort of their stories about how we got here and every you know texan talk shows one small but i i don't think at this point she's interested in anything physical that she just really need someone talked about it's almost like a a group because you're all on this platform for similar reasons so it's almost like you have that empathy bilton already right have you ever met someone from mashing madison who was perfectly happy in their marriage i have not i mean you're going to rent some profiles for some really is just about you know they're just looking for more physical connection with people in their marriages sprayed when you certainly steep in profile i guess that's not what i'm interested to be honest if i really just wanted to go the whole bunch of strikes tender for that right kind of wanted or you want to seek out selling has similar experience it sounds like very much john i would say that any religion i've been in various begins for let's be friends i i have no interest in just random you know bliss say maybe maybe once or twice on a meet someone i wanted to have a connection and then if it'd be physical that's that's not where things start might my lead news marriage that's a tough one actually i've wondered certainly not right now i'm pretty angry and bitter about that there's something wrong with marriage if you go years on years of art ever be uh-huh and were you wanna talk about it gets nowhere you know i'm just totally fed up and tired of that barks would ever think of marriage again maybe i you're this one first things first to speaking of profiles what do people tend to put their profiles i get what start with yours right than -portant points that you put in your profile yup so in terms of mine i thought a lot about it i was very clear that that i m separated that and when i become friends with someone i'd be happy to share sort of the whole story it's not as i feel like i have anything to hide but on the other hand on ashley madison my profile really a lot of our friends are lovers at the story of how we get here you know i share a little bit of my story a hint so that maybe people get the sense redditch genuine because i think that's what a lot of yvonne asking medicine or is just a real story with a real person and then i for me part of the playfulness i do like to write like sappy romantic poetry so i i like to long back rubs and so i talked about under that part of it too so for anyone who's never been on ashley madison what is a typical profile look like we're the standard question and i'm thinking for any other dating site it'd be your age your height your occupation and low bio about yourself and also what you're looking for relationship to hook up you're looking for a long term monogamous marriage whatever that may be what is a typical profile look like it's time to take a quick break and talk about your mental health do you feel like there's something preventing you from achieving happiness now with better help you can experience online counseling and connect with national credible and compassionate counselors in a safe and private online environment but our health counselors specialize in depression relationships trump and many other areas everything stays confidential infant always change your counselor with over three thousand licensed therapists across all fifty states and your choice communication modes including text chat phone video that are helped makes it easier for you to find help and we generally think there'd be as costly but better help is truly in portable option for dateable listeners only get ten percents off your first month with discount code dateable you can get started today just go to better help dot com slash data all fill out a simple questionnaire to help assess your needs and get matched with a counselor you'll love again that's better help dot com slash dateable and use the code dat the AP l.
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for ten percent off your first month now back to the show what is a typical profile look like a lot of times of things so it's it's certainly age and it's wait actually height and then there's a you know sort of what type of connection are you looking for so like male the male male the female doesn't matter on those types of questions on there a bunch of boxes you can turn of are you interested in one night stands or fulfilling vendors as or skinny dipping as well they're just you don't play villains on our you know find a real serious guides in terms of where you're going and the news section what you tell them about yourself i would say seventy percent of the people don't even lida fill that out if you look at other dating sites you know basically basketball people don't put pictures that some do and then there's a private key exchanged you really want to change the pictures most people have some pictures they'll only release you they you know get some reason to trust you so swap a couple of messages and aged on a shirt pictures standing mountainside hiking or you can send a picture of you naked have you have you ever come across someone you know i oh okay that's probably a good thing that'd be very awkward and you're in the all the profile pictures are blurred out well not all of them have been you can put a non blur line that i would say ninety plus percent of them are blurred out yes there's also a section which i find very interesting for single people i think are your only options on you're not like a separate vision is not like in a relationship either it's like mary's the wrong they're looking for your basically mr right which i always find that wouldn't be the first thing you're going to look no have you chatted with someone who single actually i have but just a you know a couple of times knows this i don't know if they knew what they were reprinted in china confused i think they're clear some of the single people are looking for sugar maybe type arrangements as well that's also pretty clear from some you know i'm in my fifties and i'm getting messages by people who are twenty two thank you the they're not super interested in a long term relationship and that's not who i'd wanna long-term rate sipping with anyway and probably happens untendered you yeah i'm sure happens on every dating i mean happens on craigslist actions of gone so why do you think i think is your ultimate goal here what do you want to get out of this ashley madison experience i been in a marriage i hadn't in a very long time i was separated and i thought i'm tired of being and i had that brief affair and it was like a while this is what actually being with the human being here's about us like is kind of sad but if some high birthday i'm thinking i'm thinking about my profile that's what i did on my birthday evening last year was the profile i sat another week before i even thought about it the message profile so it was like one tiny tower veteran messages got a response susan couple of people fighting was charming which made me feel good and so my ultimate goal right now it's not to be connected to someone to feel that connection acted took a friend but a friend where you know as part of the story out of curiosity who in your life knows that you're currently using ashley madison no-one no-one okay let me rephrase i've met a nationally other than gnashing madison herself what is the best case scenario for you and thinking of a few possible option let's say your current wife comes to you and says i'm willing to go to therapy i'm willing to to change and become a new me so our relationship is renewed or she she grants you this divorce and then you can go on and find someone else who has a stronger connection yup so she's done the first thing out john h comeback repeater being said we should just go back to counseling we should i i am so done with that relationship that that's not an option she wanted to be in this not an option for me i'm just done with that and so either i'm just go ahead of the divorce or i'll stay separated from while longer and then i'll move ahead with divorce and then you sell find action with someone else will do it in madison i don't know but it sure has been a really nice heart of helping me sort of come to terms at life right now i must say so but also think you'd actually medicine in my term i took one twitter time in the water i thought about what i want what personally wanted me you know i'm not messaging you know dozens of dozens of april i mean really selective in the people i've connected with and it's only like i said it's gonna a handful of people that i've really had any ongoing connection but it's been really nice par- just finding peace in my world so then we spoke to this woman who is married and she's having a c.
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critic fair with someone she met off of ashley madison and we were curious to know what is the expected outcome tell us about why you joined ashley madison first place ashley madison was sites for married people and i was married woman so it made sense to reach out to people in the same position as i'm ed and the same anonymity that i needed it what made you seek out a site like this i was lonely i was sad i was not getting the attention i wanted or deserves that was easy i wanted someone to talk thirty two i wanted to feel sexy i wanted to feel like a woman i wanted to kill attractive you're still currently married correct i was gonna say i'm in a much different position in my marriage now than i was when i started this also how has it changed well i've confronted my spouse told them what i want how i'm feeling asked him to start to live life in a different way with me so i wouldn't have done that without all of this and what was the result of that while right now the result is we're waiting six months to see where relationship goat we're like what was going on in your relationship when you first joined ashley madison and what has kind of been resolved throughout this time we were not speaking we were not intimate we were not it was six years of milk communication sadness her resentment and it was just not a happy place how long were you guys married before this we've been married for fourteen years we've been together for twenty two years mike good well it's a really long time yeah and i love him dearly but he wants to live a different life than i do i want experience i want passion i want adventure i want people he doesn't so that's that's tricky but why not just end the marriage if it if he wasn't giving you what you wanted why go on on a site like ashley madison about the the contact in the moment like your your home alone your side you want someone to talk to and i've got this beautiful phone sitting right in front of me that is giving me an opportunity to do just that why wouldn't i like i brought positively into my life by doing this i thought oh my god i brought love i brought passion i brought beauty i've brought so many wonderful experiences into my life by doing so now my marriage is now having a chance to move forward whether it's a separation or not i am on a path of movement i'm not stuck anymore i'm not diagnosed in in the six months of this trial period you're currently having an affair with my new met on ashley madison correct and what do you think is going to happen with this affair in the next six months oh gosh ninety i have no idea anything could happen but i care about this person so very much then he is a huge part of my life and always will be 'cause we have grown together through this as well and shared so much that's the thing he's there to do the same thing i and someone to talk dirty to but you also want a connection with person as well if that's what we wanted from it so that's why we bonded so easily and have you played around with the idea of leaving your current partner for your affair partner option isn't there for me on his side so no i never even but do i fantasize about living with him all the time do i fantasize about of a life with him absolutely i'm at his house all day every day so what is the game plan for the six months then if you are still having this affair and you're moving your marriage award whether that means like you said to a separation or not what is that game plan that is the game plan to continue to be positive and to enjoy my life experiences so that i keep moving towards things that are exciting and fun for me just call alone is like making my whole day i would not be getting opportunity to that's something that you can't talk about my best friend don't know that my partner at like these like my life is hasn't had i'm in la la land all the time it's a choice i'm making for myself daily i'm just going daily these are the choices i'm making for me now because they're good happy positive choices and you said your partner you guys are working through your marriage but your partner still doesn't know about where no we're not working through our marriage i said we've given ourselves the time to push through there's nothing actually happening yeah mrs just i've been pushing and pushing and now i've gotten to a place where she's at least in he's present in the moment god and i have six months now to talk to him a little more and just spend time with him and build a relationship it's hard but i don't like him i'm upset him in her by him like these are not feeling are gone though we have to deal with them because it deserves that like my marriage deserves that my family deserve that so six months to come to peace with the probably the end of your marriage i would assume possibly from my perspective definitely i've been working towards my feelings towards this for a long time she hasn't gone just giving him some time to to listen and to see if you wanted to try things differently with me be a little wilder little crazy on start living life and then maybe wouldn't need the attention elsewhere because that's the truth of it renew win on this first state from ashley madison after being married to someone for so long knowing this person for most of your life sounds like what was that first state like what were you feeling oh my gosh in regard to my relationship or in regards tested experience in it so you just you what were you feeling a for me when i've met when i met him i got out of my car and gave him a big hug felt like i'd known him my entire life and he sat in the car with me we sat for hours and he kept asking to kiss me and i refused to kiss him she had a really increased label masculine way about him that is what i need it it's what i wanted was good and we just sat in the car and took her that was our first date and the next time i met him in a hotel room had you had an affair before joining ashley madison no so this is your first time first time going outside of your marriage and meeting other men asked were you scared no i've said it in a lot of women saying it i hit forty and i started looking at my life thinking okay next twenty next forty what am i doing a long time i've done a lot in forty years i can do a whole lot more and the next forty living this nine to five life and it's just every day do the same thing i don't believe him the old were you when you met your husband i was nineteen years oh wow so you basically been together entire lives and i guess that history is also what's keeping that glued together you're you have the history and foundations hard to let that person go even though you may not want to be romantically involved with them anymore so if if your marriage ends do you think you would come off of ashley madison and maybe try a mainstream dating site absolutely yeah yeah i think i've met on a lot of great guys on medicine like i'm a lot of great guys guys that are willing to just give you some attention and they don't even want much funnier they just want to like steer boobs or whatever they love those they love those says they'll still ask for them i liked that because i don't on my not at pushed me out of my comfort to i am attracted i wanna be seen tell us about some of the guys that you've met what are kind of been their stories i've actually met a lot love single guys on there which is kind of weird there's a lot of single guys looking for married women why do you think that's the case they don't have to commit to anything they think have you gone on dates with the gelman or mostly other married i've only seen when men in person talked to the guy is online but i've only met one person got in that's the one that you're having the affair with now yeah what do you fantasize about on a daily basis now what do you find your son just dozing off and thinking about like for this is ultimate for me to have my partner be a one comfortable and being open with me like i would love to stay married to my husband but to explore other people and that's just not understood by society as something that's okay so fantasize about being with a lot of people so you best case scenario is you stay married to your current husband but then you have an open marriage i wouldn't want to consider open but yes because i want him to be a part of it but if he doesn't want to be that what do you have children yeah i have to so what so what is stopping you from pursuing this ultimate dream is it the society ol- pressures stigmas attached to it i think i'm quite involved in inness world of a little dull terrain rate i think we should the idea of marriage we're changing things aren't the way they used to be we don't live the way we do we can do things differently and i do think that more marriages can actually and we'll start to lean toward an oaken contact i do i think getting married to someone who you wanna have kids with and build family went can be different than the person that you want every week person you wanna go you wanna go out dancing when someone who you want to go play tennis like there's a million people out there who do thanks and why why do we have to be limited why can't we have it all is your husband open to the idea of having an open marriage not at the moment i don't think but we haven't discussed it again and what do you think his concerns are he's not a chatty man so i have to pull together whatever than him out he's very sweet he's a very very kind very gentleman and if i can make him comfortable with me and and these choices great if not i'm inevitably headed towards a certain pattern like like it will include other people whether he knows about it or not is going to be up to whether he can handle it or not right is he aware of you being on ashley madison know how would you know the active he did find out oh my god happy toughest stated he'd be totally can be very upset and that's the shitty thing about this to make myself happy to feel what i'm feeling to feel alive again so you know is devastating to someone else but that's not fair do you think about that often i'm like how of course all the time how do you balance the to expose the feelings that i get there's certain connections that you make with people that bring out your your back and did that for me is worth everything it's worth everything i don't think there's anything else worth achieving life then that feeling right there it's hard the first time you slept with someone other in your husband tell us about that experience what was going through your mind i couldn't i was like am i really doing this i am i really doing this i'm like doing this and doing that and like this is happening is what went through my head i went to a hotel room to CMS we talked dirty to each other so i i knew what i was walking into and he's not just like we don't just have sex he gives me freedom he gives me a space to let loose and be free and do things i could never do anybody else i was happy to ride that train utterly and a what is some advice you give to someone who may be in a similar situation as you someone who's been with her partner for most of their life they've known each other since they were basically kids and now they're in they're feeling lonely in their marriage what would you advise him to do you have to know what you want if he is someone to talk to someone to have sex with you what you want when you're going into these relationships you have to be careful you can easily be missed misled by people wanting to you know take things from me or whatever right everybody's got you know what you want be smart and i would say take the chance people getting married off of ashley madison yes it is possible we spoke to a couple all had met each other on ashley madison ended up leaving their ex partners and marrying each other here's how they're using the site tell us what were your motiviations for joining ashley madison first place where in the first place we were both rob you'll speak for myself i was very challenging mary wjr and it was a sexist as naga marriage whatsoever was talking to a friend of mine which only friends i told her this situation about my marriage and she said on the farm south france i thought about it for a week or two wishes absolutely right so that's when on air husband was i found that he was asked about his son away well we shared a computer you know the the back in the days of the old desktops and i was on i don't remember why but on there and found that there was this link tutor you know that was in the history i don't i don't think i was snooping but it was just like what's this so i clicked on it i remember him talking thinking about it because he was a huge howard stern listener and they were advertising on howard stern and so i remember like oh abc's the dating site like what are you doing that sticking it out like a time our marriage is largely sex awesome like well what are you on a dating site for like ham buried wasn't just checking it out i'm not that dumb so i was like oh maybe i can get some action myself on here did you tell them that you were joining to or do you do it oh no hello using the site before you met each other the us about clerk two years before elsa quite a while i've had a had to relationships in that time they're very good relationships they were they really gave me confidence that i was liking going into that people have confidence was lacking because of the state of remarriage i was on only for like a few weeks i think oh you were fresh that was the second time right like the first time i was on for i don't remember how long and met somebody and and had them for three four years and was off of it for a long time at the end of my previous surge i got back on that we met pretty quickly so you tour mary now what made you decide to leave your partners at the time and to marry each other we're both endured challenging situations we both heading towards separation and really just send epithets that we happen to meet each other at that time on lives when new going around ways marriages so wasn't because of each other that we separated from our houses back no they were just bad relationships just happened the time-warp that brody well end the relationship in an end seek out a new partner why did you decide to pursue finding a new partner at the same time while i was looking premier partner a life partner i was looking for some arm to satisfy my sexual needs intersects first marriage so i was looking for anyone permanently james really adjust their amer sarah's interest happened that you know we found each other and things clicked beyond whether the normal fare woods and we're happy over office or the thing i'm just curious at what point doesn't affair turn into in a relationship we'll do you remember that moment when you thought actually this is more than just affair i do remember the moment actually very creek checking purry for three weeks before arena mats and then six weeks after that we were thinking this was something wro- serious why why was that i think just a combination of everything we had so much in common would have come from similar backgrounds we had our kids ages and my life styles and it just in just fell in love it was something that was beyond with an almost sexual affair was all raffles and emotional there at that point and how did you evolve your current relationship into an open marriage and you're both back on ashley madison so hours and hours and hours of of discussion and open communication about what we both wanted and what we both didn't want which was to cheat each run each other so in our capacity and our minds the cheating piece is to have an emotional farewell okay so you know he and i have that together and we don't have any room for that for anybody else and so that would be the cheating piece when also had the secrets and and hiding that kind of stuff the physical peace isn't frost cheating because it's just a physical connection we are not believers in monogamy in the traditional sense that somebody humidity or life partner right but you have finally ships on the side the idea of marrying somebody in having one sexual partner for the rest of your life is not array we will be also not the way we are wired that can quite easily lead to boredom and then fairs that so we didn't want to get into that cycle of marriage their marriage fordham affair there we've served off the bat let's let's explore other people and things interesting when we can come home with stories uh-huh spices are how sex line what is preventing the same thing happening again with your previous relationships were you could possibly find someone you haven't emotional connection with and and within that's another great question really is something that we've talked about it law that's why i think we we have full disclosure on our russian shut she knows what's going on remind fundraising ships and what's going on hers but we're also going into these relationships knowing that we're not looking for a life partner we're looking to enjoy the time we spent the other people and that's it it's a different mindset because we also satisfied at home when we weren't before events are that you're gonna fall into a sexless marriage with each other or is that a non issue with certainly something that we guard against like when we're busy we have three adult children some who are still partly at home and you know it's a little hard to get malone i'm so we're very cautious about that and always want to make sure that we can act with each other because that's the most important piece like i will have i will put off meetings if i don't feel like iron a good place like we haven't been physical with each other earn just like things aren't kosher at home i'll postponed meeting with somebody that i'm seeing because i don't want to apple cart at home you always prioritize your own relationship over these additional young ones on ashley madison we always hear that relationships that worn out of affairs tend to be rather fragile in the beginning because there is that PTSD element like i don't know i'm one if i'm getting the itch achieve again or amac behaviors my partner that i could see as cheating were some of those initial hump that U2 had to get over and how were you able to get for those yeah so he was amazing because i had more of those fears that he did and very always and with neon all like i still to this day thank him for just taking that time to be like oh you know i've got this meeting acids true meeting and no it's not with anybody else and blah and so i didn't have any reason not to trust him a and that's the one thing that we want to guard against as well for the open piece because that same wants it she always gonna be that person yet we both identified within ourselves that could possibly be a saying that you know the physical peace was big i spent from nineteen to five with my ex husband who and so i knew that there was more suffer and saying right so he had a significant chunk of his life and a samaritan experience more but why ashley madison like why is this site opposed to tender or any other dating app out there now you guys are publicly open again i think it's because of the we've got stuff saloons kinda thing and how the people on your sites could be people we actually know just the if i hear we have not actually publicly open we're only open no one no one knows where open of me so yeah so we don't we don't want this to be uncommon knowledge because his insisting relationship right and adult children like to they're not far enough ahead in their life for instance to understand that kind of stuff varieties total says just wrap up this conversation would i'm learning from you to is that what you really did was established based language cheating is and then you said okay anything below that is not cheating so you can kind of like redefine that were cheating so whatever you're doing now on ashley madison isn't actually considered cheating in your relationships right so like i said before the typical ashley madison number is a married person the actual marital affairs but did you know single people also use the site and we spoke to one woman who is just that she is single and strictly using ashley madison i'm for dating the so tell us about why join ashley madison the first place to be honest joining it for me i don't have to worry about a man getting attached mainly because i'm a very independent i liked it's an air myself and i like to have my freedom so how'd you find out about the site in the first place you know when you grew will ma'am and are you in any sort of relationships with anybody you've met on ashley madison now not currently i have not and what are you ultimately looking for companionship and friendship got in what has been your relationship history up until then like what made you decide that you want to do this more fear purely people and less of an emotional just i haven't singled for like seven years and i've dated single married maybe the they get more temple stir able to give more attention can you explain that a little bit more when you're when you spend time with them when you're with your are going to get one hundred percent of their attention of the time because you're not with them all the time oh so you're kind of like the novelty for them so when they're with you so every minute counts yes he said that you've been single for the last seven years before then were you in relationships yes i was married i got it for how long six year do you wanna get married again now i know why is that no i don't i'm so open minded on in when you love somebody or when you wanna be with somebody i'm at the free now that you can do that one i don't believe in monogamy ryan are you looking for long term non monogamous relationships or are you looking for more like casual encounters i would like launch world term on friendship but it's not going to be a friendship or maybe just hobart aw these married men on ashley madison how have they reacted to you being golf some have been surprised i've had quite a few people were still meet you to be honest they think that if i did their information or wanted talk to them i'm going to direct i'm to somewhere else to have them pay money i was thinking i was thinking even their wives could be using new to catch them in the act that's where my head i was thinking scamming for money but they're all scams so then they probably ask for some sort of justification like you're single wire you on ashley madison risk sort of your standard answer to them yes i get asked that quite a lot and it's i don't know i like my freedom i to be able to go out uh-huh maybe have a good time and then after that not worry about any attachments we're going to try to be mabel alive and i have mine rioted in do you have children yes now to be fair just because the man is married doesn't mean that he won't get attached we've also interviewed some people who've gotten married off of ashley madison so do you actually vet them for that if they if you feel like they're looking for something more serious do you end your conversation with them yes needs to be off about yeah i tell them that i this is not what i'm looking for like if this is more to do than we need or you need to go somewhere else because i'm not i'm not in my life from the very beginning i tell them that yes i'm not looking for anything serious this is just we're gonna meet friends ha ashley medicine early for about three months okay only three months it how long have you been separated for divorced from your husband nine years okay so decent amount of time so do you think this is sort of like the lifestyle you want to sustain for a long time or is this something that you're trying out short-term arm if i'm okay with it and if i'm meeting not problems i'm going to continue it do people in your life know that you're on ashley madison no no we know why hide it from them since you're not like hiding it from a spouse or anything no no i i'd like to try to hide it for mice got it i wouldn't want my son to know god it's do you share it with friends or node because of your son i've only shared it with one for god if you were i'm like tinder for example would you also high that because your son or would you be more open to sharing that i would be more open have you ever encountered someone you know maybe like a neighbor or former co worker now not yet but no i haven't dot what do you like the best about the site with ashley madison i feel as though it's like there's an understanding you already go there knowing exactly what it is points are gonna be crossed the lines are not going to be what is it like being the other woman what is feeling like i try not to amounted to be honest i'm not trying to jeopardize i'm not even trying to get in that level i'm just trying to maybe somebody maybe have some flex metal be it's like i know about them in their life and i don't have to think about it transactional yeah get out yeah yeah they also kind of empowering yeah did you have any fears when you were married or is this kind of a first time thing post divorce no also i have been in the swinger wide style so that may be more more to the sexual part doing this with more men do you remember pivotal moment or something may have happened for you to think you know what i'm gonna date mary men what do you remember that moment trainers basically what it is you'll get that attraction and i guess is being self respect like i feel it and i know he's feeling i mean you just act apart without thinking about it and what is the like for married men to have an affair with a single woman had they disclosed any of that to you like what what marriages there are at a at a point where they don't wanna be with their wives all the time and that's why they're going on dates with you yeah that's about yeah the companionship connection do you think that they're also in sexless marriages that other five percent yes so it's like one hundred percent where do you usually meet for your ron being bombarded with messages yes okay so let's just across is it different on ashley madison similar to that it's