I am not a moralist, nor a crusader against Ashley Madison. But, I was a consultant for high-earners who were getting a divorce (the divorce system is NOT good) who wanted to avoid getting clobbered. So, I have seen some of the ugly results of dating sites.
After i did that, I became a divorce mediator, helping couples negotiate “out” of their marriage, trying to make it as painless as possible. During that time I saw a lot of painful, and dumb decisions being made. Couples combated one another other with all sorts of ‘justified’ anger… understandable; never pretty. Divorce is way too easy, so people think it is “okay”.
In 2003, I “got it”, the reality of divorce, and the relative ease with which a couple can make their marriage successful made what I had to do clear to me. And since then I’ve been helping people make their marriages work like they are supposed to work, like marriages are advertised to work. When the fog of all the ‘stuff’ is cleared away, and marriage is understood for what it is, it is clear the best path is to fix and heal what you have.
If you are contemplating the “extracurricular” idea of having an affair, such as you think you may find on a dating site, believe me, you are not the only one who thinks ‘looking around’ because you think your marriage is not delivering is going to be a viable solution. The idea of getting into an affair without being public about it is tantalizing. A lot of men go there. It is what makes Ashley Madison a rich bitch.
There are many other ways good men try to escape their unhappy marriages, that are not as self-destructive as affairs. Some men do more guy activities, like hunting, fishing, or whatever. Another common, and far better “escape” is hanging with the kids more, which is really good for the kids, too. Those examples are decidedly better than character eroding escapes like porn sites, strip clubs, dating sites and affairs; of course.
But neither “positive” escapes, nor dangerous “relief valves” are the best solutions.
The true ‘low hanging fruit’ solution is right in front of you; fix your marriage. Just because most of society does not know how to live in marriage, much less repair one, doe not mean you cannot do it. The trouble is is mast try a little this, or that,and then just give up. So the escapes are popular. But fixing your marriage is the best way to go, by far.
What most men (and women) forget is that you are half of the marriage, and are, therefore, at least 50% responsible for screwing it up, so there are a lot of things you can do, proactively, that will have a universally better result than getting ripped off on Ashley Madison, or other dating sites. Even if you did almost nothing, but stopped reacting to what you now take personally, your marriage would dramatically improve. Its true.
It is also true that I want you, ultimately, to use our marriage help program,,even if you have to take it yourself. Because you still can have a great marriage, and not feel any need or desire to wander. I don’t want your marriage to keep failing, and if you think it is not a failure until you get divorced you are wrong. Marriage is supposed to make you and your wife happy. If it is not doing that then you guys are living in a broken, a failed, marriage.
You, honestly, can revive your marriage. It is not that easy for you as a man, but its not because of your wife. Most men, and I am just being honest with you, think they already know how to be married and blame everything, and everyone, but themselves. They don’t want to hear that they screwed up their marriage, and would rather go looking for another woman; and make her life as miserable as he made the last one’s life. If you think its all her, or mostly her, and just need a way to convey what she needs to do make everything better, then you are done. I cannot help you.
I created a marriage help methodology all on my own. I did not go to the parochial sources for marriage knowledge, but approached the problem of unhappy marriages with a mission to understand them well enough to know how to heal them; if they are not beyond healing. I have an unusual background so was able to pull a lot of my past disciplines together to gain understanding, first; then the solutions. If you put the time and energy into what I did I am sure you would eventually reach the same conclusions I did. you do not need to be a rocket scientist to get here; I’m not.
The point is I did it. I then used my clients (remember, I was a divorce mediator) to test my processes, and worked through all the communication requirements. The discoveries I made were “hard”, like gravity is
hard, like calling your wife fat is NEVER okay. The harder part was simplifying a process that educated the person while they moved forward, so they didn’t fall into the same traps over and over. And, man, are there traps!
It was time to extend my reach
My first marriage help book, Lessons For A Happy Marriage, was written only after testing and fine-tuning my ideas for years,. It is real and contains immediately useful help. A friend at the time sent my manuscript to a book agent who called me. He said mine was the first book he read in years, but it was right on. He knew it was because he was married 4 times. Unfortunately, at the time, I was going through a terrible personal ordeal, as my son had just died, so I passed on his offer to represent me, and laid low for a number of years.
When I was coming out of my self exile I still worked on more of what I think of as the science of marriage. Not being a writer has its drawbacks, but I pushed through and wrote another book, for training marriage therapists, and for more depth about how marriage works. My second book, called Breaking The Cycle came out about the same time I decided to make all my work available through a new nonprofit, The Marriage Foundation. An ex-navy seal friend, turned divorce mediator, had me show up at Second Saturday
divorce workshops to save some marriages, which still could be saved. It was really his idea to go nonprofit. I’m glad I did.
The Marriage Foundation was and is a great vehicle for reaching out to people in need, like yourself. I wrote lots of articles, and we, there are many now, help a lot of people.
In fact, some years ago I indirectly wrote an article about Ashley Madison that one was written for women who discovered their husband was on a dating site. I wrote it before they, Ashley Madison, was outed. You know their whole website was hacked, and there was blackmail, right?
My earlier article is still very popular among women readers. If you read it and you will see I do not condemn men. What good would that do? Women who discover their husband is on a dating site are, naturally traumatized. They do not need me, or anyone else, to pile on their husband.
But because I don’t condemn men I get some hate mail from a few wives, here and there, who think I should wholeheartedly blame their men. But I am not afraid to say that sometimes women drive their husbands to do foolish things. Unfortunately some women are not ready to hear that.
Some women think their husband should “pay” for their indiscretions forever! How could that ever work?? Both of you need to know how to make your marriage great, not figure out who to blame. But that is not the point. The point is what you are doing when you go on a dating site is undermining everything important in your life; for a fantasy. There is a better way!
Anyway, going on a dating site is, at the end of the day, like eating pictures of food when you are hungry. Men who go on these dating sites, even though they are married, are not evil. They just need to get away, and though it is like digging the hole you are stuck in even deeper, I get it.
My hope is to show you that what you are about to do, or are doing, by trying to find an outer solution to an “in your marriage” problem, is detrimental, and without any benefits, whatsoever. My goal is to logically show you a better path for yourself, your wife, and your children.
Ashley Madison does not care about any of you.
It is not there to “help” you. Ashley Madison is there to take your money; pure and simple. When you use their service they are taking the role of a pimp, and you are taking the role of a john. But, I do not want to make you feel like an Ashley Madison victim! I prefer to show you the downside of what you are currently thinking, and the upside of going the route, of improving your marriage, which I will describe to you.
What is actually happening when you pursue a “secret” affair or rendezvous
Picture this scenario… You, your wife, and kids are on a boat on a lake. You see a hot woman on another boat. When her husband is not looking you smile at her, and wink. She bends down to “pick something up”, and smiles at you. Your mind goes crazy. You imagine meeting her, and can’t get her out of your head. The rest of the day your kids are “too much trouble” to pay attention to, your wife is only going to gossip or complain, and the whole family outing is less fun than you were hoping for, by a lot! What just happened??
What happened is you made pathetic choices. You say you love your kids, and do. Yet even though you have the perfect opportunity to do all sorts of things with them, your mind is on an imaginary woman (you do not know a thing about her from the short time-just as you really know nothing about the women on dating sites) you will never see again. You use all your mind’s time imagining things that will never happen.
And let’s not forget your wife, who is intuitive as all get out. All day she is complaining, but mostly because her husband is not very interested in her anymore, and, you have to admit, she is right. The illusion of some “concocted” woman is filling your mind and living in there rent free. Your energy is almost all going to feeding and dwelling on an illusion. So your ability to be creative and fun is stuck in a despondent mood. You cannot blame anyone but yourself for this missed opportunity to hang with your kids, and work on improving your marriage.
In other words, you have a family that is dysfunctional, and your “solution” is to complicate your lives further, not just your own life, even more. Come on, does that sound like a reasonable thing to do, to you? I am NOT trying to make you feel guilt or defensive. I am just telling you what is.
There is a much better alternative.
What do you think is really happening when you use Ashley Madison? Do you really think your “sophisticated” taste in women is what has you checking out babes? Nope, your “tastes” are manipulated to fit the venue! Do you think you “deserve” better? There are so many delusional ideas that come to mind, when the real solution is right in front of you; improve your marriage! That is so important on so many levels.
The fact that you read this article says a lot about you. Maybe, there is hope.