Some Like It Curvy: The Ashley Madison Edition

by Meredith on March 15, 2013

in Girl Talk, Lifestyle

I have this face. A face that says, “Tell me all of your secrets.”

And this total stranger, sitting in the waiting room with me at my doctor’s office—she told me her biggest secret.

I don’t know why I am going to tell you this, but I just need to tell a woman. Any woman. I have a profile on Ashley Madison.

Who is she?

It’s not a person, well maybe it is, but it’s a website.

A website for what?

It’s for married women, looking to have an affair.

*crickets*

Can I ask you a few questions? I’m a writer.

Sure. Just don’t use my name.

I don’t even know your name.

Good. Let’s keep it that way.

So I pulled out my iPhone, hit the record button, and I began asking her questions.

How did you find out about the site?

I saw it on TV years ago and was disgusted by it, but it came in handy when I decided to have an affair. I didn’t want to fool around with friends or co-workers.

Ashley_Madison_-_Married_Dating___Discreet_encounters_-_Have_An_Affair

Why did you decide to have an affair?

Complicated. A lot of factors. Primarily, I am not really in love with my husband. No connection. No intimacy. But, we have kids, and until they grow up, I am going to stay with him because he is a great father.

So you went to this website, and I assume the men have made online profiles. Can you tell me the type of men you find there?

There are two groups of men:

1. 20 somethings with a MILF fantasy who have realized that while they may be striking out with ladies their own age, older, married women are like fish in a barrel. A no-strings, sex barrel.

AND

2. The 40+ midlife crisis men.

Group #2 can be broken down into subcategories (both of which are lies):

1. My wife doesn’t want sex anymore. Which, bullshit, she just doesn’t want sex with you anymore.

AND

2. I’m in an open marriage. This is also bullshit…unless you have a notarized letter from your wife stating such, you are not in an open marriage.

That said, 99% of the men on the site are professional, executive types.

So, do they send you messages, or how do you connect with these guys?

First, you create a profile, then you can search for people based on preferences like location, height, weight, age, etc.

You can reach out to people, or they can reach out to you.

  • The men have to pay for to use the website, and the women do not have to pay. Men buy “credits” so they can contact women via wink, email or chat. Women can do all of those things for free.
  • Profile photos can be public or private, and if you want someone to see your private photos, you send them a “key”.
  • Penis pics are kept in a special “rated” section; so you know they’re there and can decide whether or not to look.

I have yet to hear from an older married man who has successfully started an affair on Ashley Madison. The younger men seem to have better luck, so long as they don’t mind screwing women who are 20 years older, since that seems to be the women demographic.

Everyone on the site lies about their age and height. Whatever the profile says, subtract 2-4″ and add 5 years.

Have you gone on any dates?

Yes, but I have not slept with anyone, yet.

I have, however, met someone that I have a pretty intense connection with.

By intense connection, are you saying this is like butterflies-in-your-stomach dating all over again?

Yes, but you still have to manage a normal day-to-day life. You can’t be all gaga.

It’s also, unlike dating, in that you can’t be demanding of each other or have unrealistic expectations. You have to just take what you can get, when you can get it and be grateful for that time. And you are aware that it is time that both of you are taking away from your spouse and family. So the meetings are few and far between.

I find time around the edges of my life.

What if you find someone amazing, and you decide to leave your marriage, would you ever trust this person? Or is this just about sex?

It’s actually less about sex than it is about connection and intimacy. I have found someone amazing, and I would never marry him. EVER!

But, to be fair, if my marriage ultimately dissolves, I won’t ever marry again. This guy or anyone else. Once is enough for me, and I was married very young. I never really ran wild and free.

This is the first time I’m really free to figure out what I like. I don’t want to marry him or live with him. I don’t have to worry about his genetics, or what sort of father he’ll make, because I don’t want to have kids with him. I don’t care whether or not he’ll be a good provider. I have my own job and don’t want him to support me. I’m not concerned with whether or not he’ll be faithful. I already know he’s not.

How long will you do this?

Use Ashley Madison or have an affair?

Both. I guess…

I’m probably done with the website because I’ve met someone. I just really wanted to meet one person for something long term. I will have an affair until it ends.

Do you feel guilty?

No.

I know I’m supposed to, but I don’t.

I have given so much, for so long… My entire family takes, with no thought or consideration for me. I know it’s my job, but I have reached the limit of what I can give without being replenished in some way. Some women can be selfless forever. I am not one of them.

***

With that, her name was called to go see the doctor. Honestly, I didn’t even catch her name. I sat there, thinking about all that she had just told me, and how this was oddly making some sense to me. It wasn’t making sense because she was having an affair. It was making sense because so many people take so much from me every single day. And I give it all, many times with nothing in return.

She was doing this for herself.

***

As she turned to leave, she looked back one more time,

Hey Writer, they’re going to wonder why I just don’t get a divorce.

Why don’t you just get a divorce?

My kids are happy. Their family is intact. People are going to say that it’s better for the kids for unhappy parents to get divorced, and I think they’re wrong.

I’ve been through my parents’ divorce. It was terrible. I don’t want to put my kids through that. They deserve to see both parents every day. They deserve an intact family.

And our marriage is not “bad.” We don’t fight. There’s no abuse in the home. We’re not mean or cruel to each other.

And yes, I am aware of how much damage is caused by infidelity. I have lived through it. It has been done to me, and it was heartbreaking.

And no, this is not about revenge. I have no desire to get even. It’s not tit-for-tat. It’s just about me.

What about his wife? 

I don’t know the answer to that. It’s not her fault, though. People in affairs are being selfish. At least we are, anyway.

***

And off she went. This curious woman walked back into the doctor’s office, leaving me with the most unique interview I’ve ever conducted in my entire life.

Lady, whoever you are, thank you for the interview, and thank you for making the waiting room more interesting.

image courtesy of AshleyMadison.com

Tawny March 15, 2013 at 2:14 pm

I understand that she feels it is better to stay married, but if they have a good realtionship, why can’t they have a friendly divorce? It can happen. I have a friend in a similar situation and it is painful to see how loveless the relationship is. I mean they care for one another, but where is the spark?

I am happy that my husband and I will be able to show my daughter what it is like to truly be in love with your partner, I would never want her to settle just to keep the peace.

Meredith March 15, 2013 at 4:51 pm

I think, based on her tone, that he did cheat and it was very hurtful to her. And that’s where this came from.

Tawny March 15, 2013 at 7:26 pm

I must have missed that part.

Me March 15, 2013 at 4:06 pm

I understand where she’s coming from and have been in her exact position (minus the website).
It’s hard, it’s painful and it’s all around awful. I’m still with my husband, my reasonings were extremely similar, he knows the truth, the affair is over and we’re working things out. But damn, there’s reasons behind all sides and none of them are any better or worse than someone elses. Brave of her to talk to you about it.
Being a grown up is layered in stress and it’s hard.

Meredith March 15, 2013 at 4:52 pm

Being a grown up IS hard. And maybe that’s why I found her so damn interesting. Her issues were so much larger than my issues.

Kenny March 15, 2013 at 4:29 pm

I am not married I am divorced. I have been for like four years. I am not in currently in a relationship, but not because I have not tried or am actively avoiding one. I don’t want to judge your reader, but personally I find the site offensive. People who know me would probably be shocked that I find anything offensive. However, the bottom line is the site is predicated on lies and cheating. People are paying to lie and cheat on other people. I mean let’s not sugar coat it. Your friend in the waiting room is cheating. Look I am not judging her even though it sounds like it. We ALL make mistakes and we all have justifications for them. The thing is whatever her justification is she is not being honest about this with her husband and I am sure if he found out he would be hurt.

Now here is the part I am interested in all fairness. WHY is there no intimacy in their marriage? It takes to two to tango. Did they try everything they could to re-kindle the passion? Do they make a point of making sex a priority, or did they just stop trying, so she went to Ashley Madison to fill her “needs”? This of course assumes he just stopped having needs. I don’t know too many man who just stop having needs short of a medical reason. Maybe he is having an affair too?

Bottom line is this… it is really easy to enjoy something strange and new. Simply because it is different and new and all the emotions that go along with it. It takes work…A LOT of work to make something that is familiar and comfortable new and exciting again. In other words to keep the home fires burning. However, that being said I would argue the latter is infinitely more rewarding. Sure it’s not easy , but nothing really great is.

So my word of advice to your waiting room friend ( and I am going to name her Ashley). I have read the blogs and sex blogs of MANY polyamorous women such as yourself Ashley, and two things are absolutely inevitable:

1) YOU will get found out. You will make a mistake, and when it happens it will suck and it will cause a tremendous amount of pain and distrust, oh and your children will sense it they are not stupid.

2) YOU will get caught up in something emotionally. We as humans have somehow convinced ourselves that we can separate sex and emotion. Maybe on some small scale we can, but sure as the sun rises I promise you it will happen. It will cause confusion and even grief in your heart. It will distance you from your family, and it will make you question your decisions.

OK I know this sounds awful preachy, but I think there is enough anecdotal evidence out there to support what I am saying. I know of at least three polyamorous bloggers who no longer blog because the above two things happened and the marriage fell apart and was ten times messier than it needed to be. Simply put Ashley, you are playing with fire. I am sure it is exciting, but all pyrotechnics are!

Meredith March 15, 2013 at 4:48 pm

One of the challenges in writing is to not judge a woman who is sharing a story, and it is my job to report the story as it happens. Now, if this were Katie Couric, then of course, I would have this story laced with judgement. Why? Because I personally have a problem with her.

That being said, this is not the first time I have interviewed a woman who was having an affair. This is just the first time I’ve interviewed a woman who was using Ashley Madison.

And, just so you know, she isn’t alone. I’ve already received two emails from women who said they met their now-husbands on this site.

This site is dedicated to ALL women. ALL of them have a place to tell their stories. This just happens to be the story of a woman I met in a waiting room.

I don’t know that she will ever see this post, even though I did give her my social media business card. But I do know that if she ever does read this, I want her to know that I told her story in a way that didn’t have my personal opinions laced throughout.

Thank you for your comment, Ken. And yes, I can see and agree with a lot of what you’ve said.

Kenny March 15, 2013 at 5:10 pm

Meredith, I didn’t think you were being judgemental at all. I think I am the one who is coming across as a little judgy even though it is hard not to. My post is my personal opinion based on my personal experience, and my relative morality. However that being said I think much of what I said is true. I know the word “Cheating” is a judgy word, but since her husband is not in the loop then I don’t know what else to call it.

Meredith March 15, 2013 at 5:14 pm

Oh, I didn’t think you thought I was being judgy. I thought maybe you were disappointed that I was not, as I typically have an opinion on all the things.

And, yeah, at no time did I get the impression that she didn’t what this is. She was just level headed about the whole thing.

I’m not sure why she picked me to talk to. Probably because I am stranger who doesn’t know anyone she knows.

Tara March 15, 2013 at 4:48 pm

Wow. SO interesting. Thanks for sharing.

Meredith March 15, 2013 at 5:07 pm

Thanks for reading!

Kenny March 15, 2013 at 6:31 pm

On another note…Dear Women don’t complain to me about how much more you have to pay for dry cleaning and haircuts when you get all the sex and dating sites for free ;-)

Robin March 16, 2013 at 7:57 am

I loved her description of the site and her candor in why she’s doing what she’s doing. It may not be for me, but I get it – especially this part: “I have given so much, for so long… My entire family takes, with no thought or consideration for me. I know it’s my job, but I have reached the limit of what I can give without being replenished in some way. Some women can be selfless forever. I am not one of them.”

The only thing I didn’t agree with is the concept of “staying together for the children.” Children are not stupid – they know inherently if their parents are in a loveless marriage and it affects their self esteem as well as how they build relationships with romantic partners in the future. I am living proof of this.

Yes I know….projecting. :)

Marika Weber March 16, 2013 at 9:11 am

I’m at a loss. I don’t believe in cheating and the couple needs counseling. Okay, I’ll get off the soap box but staying in a marriage for the kids is NOT the answer.

Marika

Jen March 16, 2013 at 1:24 pm

Wow! This is so interesting. I find myself dumbfounded but also compassionate and kinda understand where she is coming from… about the giving so much of yourself and not getting anything back in return.

Great interview and post!

J March 19, 2013 at 4:37 pm

It makes me sad that instead of telling her family that her needs aren’t being met even though she gives and gives, she is trying to find that fulfillment elsewhere. Or maybe she has told them, and they don’t seem to care? No one should have to limit their fulfillment to the “edges of her life.”

I grew up in an “intact” family, and because my father didn’t fulfill my mother’s emotional needs, I constantly felt responsible for them (and still do). Unfortunately, this woman is raising children that are going to find themselves with partners just like hers, unless they are able to break the cycle.

An interesting interview, thanks for posting.

Deborah March 20, 2013 at 10:46 am

While I’ve been single for a good many years I still found this really fascinating. I’m not sure cheating or having an affair is the right answer for anyone but I can certainly understand this woman’s plight. I agree with previous posters in both that she should talk to those that “take” from her so they know how she feels and can maybe have that issue rectified as well as staying in a loveless relationship because of the kids, which is never a good idea. Thanks for sharing Meredith! I missed hearing your opinion on this but totally understand that wasn’t your goal here.

erica March 20, 2013 at 11:52 am

What a crazy experience and a fascinating story! I bet you needed a drink after that!

It is not out of the ordinary for me to go shopping and end up in a dressing room having a heart to heart with someone. IT keeps life interesting!

Stephanie April 1, 2013 at 10:37 am

I have to say that I think this was one of the best interviews I’ve ever read. You told her story, completely and without bias. I am sure that I should have an opinion after reading it like a normal person, but I can’t stop thinking about how great the actual post was. If I ever have to be interviewed for something (good, bad, or otherwise), I want for you to be the one asking the questions.

L April 9, 2013 at 10:26 am

First, excellent writing. Just the facts. And very interesting – I heard about that website recently and was curious how it worked. Seems a little creepy to me, but to each his own!
I totally get what she’s saying about giving and giving. It’s odd feeling compassion towards her while she’s cheating on her husband…
I’ve been married for 20 years. Haven’t cheated. Won’t cheat. But just SO over it. I love him and we have three kids. I imagine we’ll be married forever, but just because it’s easier than divorce. We don’t fight very often and get along just fine. We married young. I’m only 38. It’s a lot of work. We do have some good times together and we still have a decent sex life. I wonder sometimes about what it will be like when the kids are grown though. We actually don’t have a lot in common beyond raising our kids together.
Yeah, I’ve talked about how my needs aren’t being met until I’m blue in the face. No one cares, so I just gave up. (This is a HUGE factor in why we don’t argue very much – I just don’t ever voice my opinions or concerns regarding chores, feelings, etc.) I’ll keep working, cleaning, cooking, shopping, raising kids, until I’m done – with a smile on my face and a spring in my step. That’s what I’ve been dealt.
So, in a way, I sort of am staying married for the kids, I guess. But, also, with finances, property, etc, it’s just way easier. I have a close group of girlfriends – there are five of us. We all agree that if it wasn’t for our children, we’d probably be divorced. I guess it’s kind of sad, isn’t it? I read somewhere that the majority of people aren’t “happily married”, they’re just not divorced. I’m not necessarily unhappy, but I’m not jumping for joy either. I think I’m content and have made peace with this life.

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