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Sound Off: Cheating Won’t Fix an Unhappy Marriage

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Did you know there’s a dating website called AshleyMadison.com where married men and women can go to meet other married people who want to have an affair? No kidding.

As someone who believes wholeheartedly in the vows I swore to my husband, the concept behind this website disturbs me on so many levels. The site, which has been around since 2001, isn’t the only one of its kind out there, but would you believe it has 11 million members in 15 different countries and those numbers are growing every day?

Are there really that many shameless cheating spouses out there? Never mind how depressing the divorce statistics are in America; these people are married, miserable, and willing to pay $50 for every 20 or so new potential affair partners they meet. For those members under 30, the ratio of men to women is 50-50, and for the over 50 crowd, male members outnumber females 4 to 1. Talk about making marriage look bad.

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I recently read an interview with AshleyMadison CEO Noel Biderman (a happily married father of two), in which he discusses the business of the site. As you know, the more people who visit a site, the more money they make. When asked when they see an increase in visitors to the site, he said they see their numbers go through the roof on the days after holidays like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Valentine’s Day, because “It’s often on these days that relationships are put to a test, and people realize they need more out of their life than they are getting from their spouse.”

Let me get this straight. When we open a greeting card filled with sentiments that don’t quite match our lives or the emotions we’re feeling in that moment, we panic and set off in search of a new love affair that may only make matters worse in our marriage? Seems like the ultimate cop-out to me, and I cannot accept it as a solution.

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I won’t even get into the obvious adultery aspect. I think it’s more than understood that it’s both morally wrong and illegal in most states. Men and women who chose this route are putting too much emphasis on what others define as a happy marriage and not enough on their own wants and needs. If you’re willing to put time into setting up a profile and paying for a membership on a site like AshleyMadison.com -- let’s be real here, it takes a while -- then you do have time to try and fix your marriage, if you want to -- no excuses!

Before you log-on in search of a fantasy fix for a real broken marriage, I implore you to ask yourself if there isn’t a smarter, healthier way to find the happiness that you seek. No offense to the AshleyMadisons of the web, but if we married folks want to rehabilitate the reputation of marriage in America and shed a brighter light on it within our own communities, buying into ridiculousness like this is anything but the answer

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