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NY Post photo composite By April , my wife was still acting erratic. She threatened divorce and told me how miserable it was being married to me.

She bought hundreds of dollars worth of lingerie, but refused to let me touch her in bed, as I pleaded for affection. I was admitted to the ER for exhaustion caused by stress and sleeplessness.

So when I noticed a weird gift credit card peeking out from her wallet, I decided to look it up online. I confronted her once more and she confessed that she was back on Ashley Madison, sleeping with married men.

It was as though I was talking to a complete stranger, some bohemian. No one I knew would say something like that. We separated in the summer of We are still going through our divorce.

The breach, needless to say, made it come back all at once. I triggered hard. My girlfriend of one year we started dating after my wife and I separated was a little confused as to why I was still so upset.

People are surprised to hear about men whose wives are on Ashley Madison. Typically, guys are considered the philanderers — actively going out pursuing affairs — while women get hit on and reactively decide whether to cheat.

He still speaks to his mother, but has a hard time dealing with what happened. The CEO is such a sociopath.

Just think about all the misery he helps inflict. The fact that there are already two suicides linked to the breach is just so regrettable.

Back when we were together, I thought what we had was good. My life is 1, percent better. Now I understand what love is.

And you can trust them with your life. Read Next. Hot fisherwoman becomes Internet's latest obsession. This story has been shared , times.

I really love this blog, and have met Sarah and she's a gem. In some ways I kind of agree that this space shouldn't entertain stuff like this.

But it's not my space, and it's okay that Sarah has her own ideas for what to post. I actually think the more we talk about sexual brokenness, the more we can bring healing and truth.

Dark stuff survives because it lives in the dark. Maybe reading these comments by articulate, kind women will inspire Lucy to alter her choices.

I wrote a reply earlier, and then the story stuck with me during the day. I am wondering if Lucy is a real person — many of the things she says are right off the Ashley Madison commercials and promotional flyers her self-description, justification of cheating, description of the men, mentioning it is free for women.

Anon, I can tell you that Lucy has her own blog and a 'real-sounding' email address. Her blog contains little-to-no mentions or links to Ashley Madison and it's not designed in such a way or has the following that would make one think it's part of some gorilla marketing campaign.

I always read these 'True Story' posts, but have never responded. Much like most of the other commenters, I really implore Lucy to take another look at this situation.

At least three of the wives are having THEIR choices taken away from them, because their husband and Lucy have decided that they know better than she.

I will even go so far as to question how truthful the man in the "open marriage" is being. I'd be willing to bet that his wife isn't as aware of her open marriage as Lucy may have been led to believe.

My father cheated on my mother with multiple women. Some that he literally met at diners while he was traveling. The kicker was when he slept with my 19 year old babysitter.

I was 6 when she caught them, the whole sordid trail of women came out, and she divorced him. My mom then underwent heavy STD testing because she truly didn't know who she'd been sleeping with, by proxy.

I will say this, as painful as their divorce was it was UGLY , it ultimately was the best thing that happened to my mother and I. Their marriage was toxic….

Neither deserve it…. HE is the one who is making the decision to throw away his marriage. Plenty of women have decided to stay in a marriage, knowing their husbands slept with other women.

Regardless of the decision, they have a right to be able to make it. What stands out to me is 'it ultimately was the best thing that happened to my mother and I'.

Lots of people get married for the wrong reasons. Lots of people get married for the right reasons and things change. If a relationship is perfect the vast majority of people won't cheat.

A thought — if someone is considering leaving a relationship because something in it is missing or unfulfilling in the present case, sex should they leave, destroy the family, and then see if adding in that aspect makes them happy?

Or is it maybe okay to try it out, and if it doesn't make things better for instance there are other underlying issues stay in the marriage and try to find other ways to make it work?

I'm not trying to say I'm doing a good deed or anything of the sort — I am sleeping with these men for purely selfish reasons — but I think this perspective may be valid.

Again, that perspective is completely one-sided and strips the other person in the relationship of their right to choose whether or not they are comfortable with having their partner explore sex outside of the relationship.

It displays a total lack of respect for the other person in the relationship and, if sexual exclusivity is something the people in the relationship agreed to, it's a total breach of trust.

There are not only two options in this situation. It's not only A. Leave and destroy the family or B. Lie to and cheat on your partner.

There is a third option. Have the yes, maybe difficult honest conversation with your partner about how things aren't working for you and why, and work together to figure out what the best solution for both of you is.

If that's not something you're capable of, then you really do need to leave, because you are not equipped to be in a relationship if you're not capable of having a difficult conversation and being honest with your partner when the need arises.

Cheating isn't a solution to anything. It's an ineffective bandaid and a cowardly escape. Late in replying to Lucy… But, no, it isn't ok to "try out" another way if that way includes lying and cheating.

Why should the person get to "try out" a different life and then decide they like the one they have, all on their own? It is completely disrespectful of the other person in the relationship.

Grow up and be honest. Or, get out. But, don't think that any favors are being done by taking someone else for a test drive, without your partner's knowledge or consent.

Honestly, in my view, Ashley Madison is an extension of the rape culture we live in. Let me be clear — rape culture is not just about rape.

No one is getting raped here in this story. It is destructive. No one gets to have sex with other people without the consent of everyone that sex directly affects.

Anything without full consent is wrong. And here, the sex directly affects the women who agreed to a monogamous relationship, and they have not consented.

It doesn't matter, even a little, if you believe that people weren't "built" for monogamy I'd argue we weren't built for avoiding stealing and killing either, yet we do — so talking about people are imposing their own morals is ridiculous — everyone imposes their morals somewhere, but that's a separate issue.

What matters is that if someone agrees to monogamy, the other person has a right to know if their agreement is not being honored especially considering the health, familial, and financial consequences.

If you want to take love completely out of the equation — if you make a contract with someone, it doesn't matter what that contract is or whether other people think it's fair or right.

It matters that you agreed to it. If you want to negotiate the terms, you need to go to the other party and negotiate. These men don't have a right to violate the contract without notifying the other party.

It is wrong to have sex without the full consent of everyone involved. It is hurtful to men and women everywhere to continue to live in a world where men and women are rewarded for seeking sex without consent.

That is what rape culture is built on. It needs to stop. That's like saying it's okay for me to steal a Mercedes and test it out to see if I really want to go back and buy it.

That's not how it works. You honor your agreements. If you want to test something out, you go to the person who you made your agreement with and you work out a testing period.

End of story. Full stop. Anything you are unwilling to disclose to close friends should be examined very, very carefully for WHY you wouldn't want to tell friends.

She claims that her friends would not understand, however the truth is more likely that they would understand perfectly: Lucy is doing something wrong and she doesn't care about the devastation that may result.

Of course she wants to hide that from people. This post made me really sad — both for the innocent kids and the cheated on spouses who haven't been given a fair choice.

I think people should treat each other better than this, and I think Ashley Madison is a disgusting organization. Oh, I definitely know that what I'm doing isn't 'right' or 'okay' — same reason most people wouldn't tell their parents over Sunday brunch 'so I tried heroin last night!

It was awesome! Hey, 'Lucy' here! I expected that my interview would get some strong reactions, and I want to thank everyone who has written for keeping their comments reasonably respectful I didn't think Sarah's readers would be of the 'u bitch u shuld go str8 to hell' ilk, but you never know.

I'm just going to kind of respond generally to the comments, because many of them are expressing their own opinions on the issues, but if there are any specific questions, feel free to comment more and I'll consider them.

First of all, I want everyone to know that I in no way think that what I am doing is a joke, or no big deal.

Very true. I also have been tested for STIs regularly. Also, I am not looking for relationships with any of these men.

This is not in any way a justification, but I also think the fact that I met these men on a cheating website does factor in. Not that it makes things okay, of course, but I do think it should be noted.

I never expected myself to be in this situation, but there are surprisingly a lot of people doing this out there and I thought it might be interesting for others to read about!

There seems to be a real disconnect to what you're saying here. You say you understand that lives can be torn about by the actions you are a very direct part of, yet you say you don't want anyone to be hurt.

So why risk it? Is the sex just that spectacular or is there just a thrill in thinking you've got one up on another woman because she's being fooled and you believe you're in on the secret and not being fooled yourself?

Would you be able to feel as ok as you do now about sleeping with a man if it turned out you knew his wife? If she was a lovely acquaintance or a friend of yours?

Or is it because the women who are being lied to and stand to be hurt by your actions are an abstract concept to you, because you assume you'll never have to actually see or deal with their pain should their lives be, as you say, torn apart by this despite your skill at helping to fool them with your careful texting rules, that you're able to feel ok about being complicit in lying and cheating?

I agree, there definitely is a disconnect. I don't fully understand this myself! I have looked myself in the mirror many times and thought 'what are you doing?

Don't you know people can get hurt? I don't believe that what I'm doing is intrinsically 'wrong' but I do know that there can be very serious consequences.

At some point I'm sure I will stop. At this point I'm only seeing one of my lovers with regularity but they're all still in my life in some way. While your question about where I draw the line is a little scathing, that definitely would be where the line is drawn.

Right or wrong, these women and children are abstract concepts to me. Quite honestly it's not something I think about. It's like anyone else you know in one part of your life — when you talk to a co-worker you may know they have a spouse and children, you may even know their spouse and children, but when you're chatting with them about the movie you saw this weekend you're not thinking 'I wonder if their husband was with them when they saw it' It's just a non-issue.

Right or wrong, awful or not I'm guessing most people think wrong and awful! If I met their wives…honestly if it was just a brief meeting, a 'hello, how are you' I might find it a thrill.

If I got to know them I can't imagine a situation where this would happen I would probably call it off. Surely there are plenty of single guys not looking for a relationship who could provide you with the attention you're looking for and "desire you" in the way you crave.

God knows I encountered my fair share of them during my foray into the world of online dating. Why sign up for a service where there are all damn kinds of strings to get tangled up in, in the form of these men's lies to their families?

Lucy I appreciate you sharing with us your experience. You don't "owe it" to the internet to talk about this, so I guess I should say thanks for at least chancing to put this out there.

I applaud you for being open about your lack of clarity on this issue in places. Here's my thought: Your actions are centered on your own self.

I am not saying this in a judgy, YouTube-commenter "ur so selfcenterd" kind of way. But you said right there above — you're only thinking about how it feels for you.

The women are abstractions to you. And you said yourself, if they ceased to become abstractions, you would stop. Does that not bother you?

That you are okay inflicting something on someone else as long as you don't have to see it up close? Honestly to me that comes from the same human place as the ability to order the death, torture, or displacement of other humans — when we're detached from suffering we aren't too bothered by it.

What do you call a person with a personality disorder manifesting itself in extreme antisocial attitudes and behavior and a lack of conscience….

Goodness, I have too many thoughts on this, but I don't feel like typing them all. Also, Lucy likely won't change her mind on this anyway, so what's the point?

It sounds like you're exposing yourself to TONS of sexual partners and that is the part that creeps me out the most here. Just a thought.

I too have experienced being cheated on and it is the thing that once you experience it you have zero tolerance for the people that do it.

I realized over time though that people always say its about sex, and finding a person with a compatible sex drive, and the excitement of it and blah blah blah, but in the case of both my partner, the other woman and everyone else I know who's ever knowingly cheated, its not about the sex, its about insecurities, emotional problems, depression and whatever else.

People that cheat are very sad pathetic people who are looking to augment their unhappiness in any way possible. Its the same reason people become alcoholics or get into drugs.

And one of the biggest things unhappy people do is seek to blame everyone around them for their unhappiness. That's how you get these men saying its their wives and girlfriends faults, because they don't have the courage to look within and realize that its no ones fault but their own that they are unhappy.

I have no respect for anyone involved in cheating, even if you are the third party, and instead I feel sorry for you, because you must have a truly sad life if you need to do something like that to feel good about yourself.

I've played every part of the cheating fiasco at some point in my life cheater, cheatee, and third party mistress , and ugh, I'm so glad I'm out of that, and I sure hope it's never in my life again.

I would love Lucy to address why she specifically focused on married men on Ashley Madison. Also, now that she's into things with a dom, does she foresee leaving the married men behind and focusing on getting her kicks in the BSDM world instead sorry, I don't even know the acronym lol.

Also, I'm really enjoying this great conversation that's remained quite respectful. Go Yes and Yes readers! This is heartbreaking. I know I'm not the usual demographic of reader here: I'm a very strong Christian, but I also define myself as open minded and feminist to a certain extent.

As I read this interview my heart broke for Lucy:. To me and I'm not expert on this issue it sends up a few red flags.

Are you seeking relationships with married men because you've given up hope in finding someone that like you said loves you as much as you love them?

Certainly no one needs to share every detail of their personal lives with their community, but it's another red flag to me that you're not choosing to be authentic with those close to you.

Do you want to be found out? I guess I wondering if you really wanted to keep it secret why you'd agree to interview on this blog.

If you're so sure you can stop, why don't you? I guess in my opinion what I'm reading here is someone who is hurting. And that's okay.

I hope you can someday understand how destructive, selfish, and serious your choices are. I hope you can get to the bottom of your pain and hurt and find solace for that instead of having sex with married men and contributing to breaking apart families and society.

I want you to know there is another option, this doesn't have to be part of your story. I won't go into personal faith stuff in this comment section, but you can e-mail me if you'd like to: creolewisdom gmail.

There is so much sexual brokenness in our world and I have such a difficult time with websites like Ashley Madison and men and women who choose to break their wedding vows or those of others.

People deserve so much better than this. I think you brought up an interesting point. I'm not saying they should be judgey or slut-shame because I don't agree with judging the past of people you are supposed to love.

HOWEVER, it will be very hard to assimilate this information and they will probably always wonder if this person will cheat again since it was done so easily in the past.

It's particularly troublesome when you have Lucy here saying she doesn't understand why she's doing this.

If you don't examine actions that hurt others you won't learn from them and you'll just keep hurting people. No matter what our past sexual and relationship choices do affect our future ones.

I don't believe in shaming I don't believe that's an emotion that comes from God or Jesus, actually! I don't really view it as a faith perspective per se.

To me that would be more like quoting the bible or saying do this because god wants you to. Everything you said is just basic human decency.

While my views on sexuality don't match up completely with the bible, I do see why major religions warn people about sex. I think you can and should find a way to have a healthy sex life where people are not getting hurt, and I don't think it takes a lot of effort.

I think sex is often abused by people like drugs to avoid dealing with pain in their lives. It's sad. I just feel badly for everyone is this scenario and particularly any children.

My perspective def. You're so right about faiths warning people about the consequences of sexual behavior. After all, in my opinion, He's the one who designed sex in the first place.

There are quite a few studies out there and I'm not going to go out and find them, that state that Christians and specifically Christian women have the highest levels of sexual satisfaction.

I also believe that it's not all about fulfilling sex, it's also about feeling safe, loved, and cared for in a relationship.

I think people really settle for whatever pieces of that they can get, because let's face it: finding a partner who can give us more than a bit of that is hard to find, we're all dealing with our own junk, and it can feel discouraging.

Absolutely people use sex inappropriately like drugs or alcohol. To me, and I think many other Christians would agree, sex is not the problem at all— it's how it can be used and abused that is the problem.

Sex is the most intimate act we can experience as humans which is why I feel it is so sacred and also so misused and abused.

Hello Creole wisdom. Your post is thoughtful and well spoken; there is a lot Lucy seems to be ignoring or just not thinking about.

Has she responded to you and answered some of your questions? I'd also like to know why Lucy has chosen to focus on married men, when there are plenty of single men in the world that can provide just sex without the 'extras' for Lucy.

I think she has also forgotten the power of karma as well as the saying 'what goes around comes around. Right and marries him; sometime down the road he will do to her what she has done to other women.

I know more than one woman who ended up marring a man she 'stole' from another woman. They failed to think another woman could steal him away just as she had done; now they are both single or unhappy as karma has caught up to them.

This is SUCH an interesting to say the least topic and discussion. While I don't agree with Lucy's choices and actions, I think it's good she was open to sharing this side of her life.

I remember hearing the CEO of Ashley Madison on a radio show once and he justified the website by saying, "People who are looking to cheat will find a way regardless if this site exists or not.

This is just another way for them to do what they were going to do anyway, but with like-minded people. Because I do think it's true, these men would have cheated with someone else if not you.

I think that's an easy way to escape the guilt of these relationships because it puts the blame on the person doing the cheating.

I have a friend who slept with a married man years ago she was single while on vacation. It was a one time thing but she decided to tell her fiancee before they got married.

She's changed a lot since then and I know she'd never do it again so I was surprised that she told him. Would you share this with a future boyfriend?

I read this post a couple days ago, and it was interesting how at first I was just super critical in my mind of all five people in the scenario and even of Sarah for posting it and I just sort of felt dirty for even reading it.

However, as I let it sink in that this is a huge part of the world I live in, I've come to a different takeaway from reading Lucy's story:.

As a wife married 19 years and often tired mother of four children, if I want to continue to have a thriving, healthy marriage, it is not ever going to be ok to let my sex life slide to a permanent spot on the back burner.

As a single 50 year old woman with 3 married lovers who all claim to be in sexless marriages, this is the best post I have seen regarding this subject!

I would not be in bed with these men if their wives were! It is all so simple, and right there for everyone to see.

They would not have been on Ashley Madison looking for sex if they were getting it at home. So it appears we have a lot of women on here.

And many angry women. So probably not a lot of men even go near a blog like this. First I have to agree that bad part of cheating is the lying.

And I agree that lying from a spouse in a committed relationship can be very hurtful and damaging. I know I have been there.

Unfortunately this happens all of the time. Not just a common thing but a very common thing. The not lying or even fidelity is the exception.

Just think of that for a minute if you are in a room with 10 people only two have not cheated. What is the norm and what is the exception.

Now I know that just because a lot of people do something does not make it right. But at what point to we ask ourselves where is the deviancy here?

Then there is the lying. The average person tells 4 lies per day. I know I know…no one on this blog ever cheated, or would be in an affair, and we all do not tell lies.

That is those other lesser people right? Look around you. Open your eyes. We were never meant to marry someone and be with them romantically in love, in the confines of a legal marriage that punishes you if you leave it for upwards of years.

What kind of craziness is this? What are we doing to ourselves? Once again I implore you. Look around. Look at history.

Most of society has accepted affairs outside of marriage except for our society. This is common and accepted all around the world.

Even in this country it is a very recent phenomenon. I'd encourage you to seek some better sources for your statistics.

I don't understand the "look at history" argument, either. Okay, let's look at history. What does it include?

All a product of human nature, happening independently in a number of cultures. Just because it's a "recent phenomenon" that we've started to condemn these things does not mean that it's some artificial stricture on humans.

It means we're saying it's not okay to do things to people without their consent, period. We are becoming better at being humans.

You don't want to be in a legal monogamous marriage? Then don't agree to one! Everything has to be based on consent.

Find someone who does not expect monogamy and marry them. Find one of the millions of people who you apparently think think it's okay.

Marry one of them. But don't go to someone who does expect monogamy and say they shouldn't expect it — if it's what they agreed to, they deserve to know if their agreement isn't being upheld.

Also…monogamy HAS been expected for millenia — just usually on the part of women, not usually men. Humans have been around for about , years like we are now.

For that period of time. We did not even have marriage for about , years. Then the last years it has been a legal contract. A business deal. Love did not even enter into it until about years ago.

Throughout most of time people both men and women had many sexual partners. Then we changed we got more civilized and we claimed an ownership perspective to sexual partners and added monogamy.

This made this complicated since we are not monogamous creatures. We are sexual creatures designed to have lots of sex with lots of other people.

Now I know this makes some of you feel ill. But it does not change the facts. Denying that is like denying that we need oxygen.

And has the same serious consequences. Oh but it is the lying that is so bad. We had an agreement.

I cannot tell you how many women have lied to me and how many ways they do it. My wife broke just about every agreement we had after we were married.

Other than cheating. Some of it hurt and some of it made me ill. Still today. I consider myself a very transparent and honest person and I am always upfront with the women I date and never try to hide anything from them.

And what I usually encounter in return is. Lies, deception, false expectations, manipulation, disrespect for other peoples feelings. Now not all women are like that.

And not all men cheat. But once again. We call marriage. What do you expect people to do. But a deal is a deal you say.

How many people are even given a taste of what our true human nature and sexual identity is? Let alone a 20 something who thinks they are in love and is ready to get married.

Talk about not being a part to the decisions of a marriage. You dont even know the ground rules of their own nature from the beginning.

They have no clue what they are getting into. Believe me I know. I have the scars and all of my friends have the scars to prove it.

How could they. We are given a system that we must adhere to that is the opposite to our own nature. And then if we don't follow it we will encounter, disgust, disdain, anger, hatred, separation from our family and friends, ostracism and great financial loss.

But there is one problem. We are still trying to do what nature has built into our very core. What is there left to do but cheat.

Not to hurt the other person. But to try to get what our deepest part of our being says we need, without hurting the other person.

Sure cheating hurts. It really hurts. And AM is full of married women who cheat also. This is not exclusively a male phenomenon.

So what do we do. Well we can stop doubting that these men and women do not have legitimate needs and they deserve to live also.

And when they say they are in a sexless marriage maybe accept that they have a point. And we can recognize that maybe we need to talk to our children in a different way about this strange aberration called monogamous marriage.

I know I wont get very much sympathy on here. And probably a lot of heat. Thats ok life is not always a smooth road.

But I leave with one last question. How many of you know of a long term happy monogamous marriage? And remember before you answer this. We are talking about honesty here.

Not too many. Lust is in the mind…the words on your profile providing uranium-pellet strength fuel to an overactive imagination…. As you are on mine.

I could be walking under your window or you mine. How to bridge that mental to corporeal gap? Do you want to? Tell me what you think of this scenario….

You walk up, knowing where I will be. You sit. We are to communicate with eyes alone. We re-assert the connection that we have already established on the page, in the eyes.

In your profile you wrote that you know about the attraction right away…I agree with that entirely…but first impressions can also be a little misleading.

Part of this scenario is that we both go against instinct a little. We keep our mind on the essential mystery of two people. Talk is what makes a couple.

It makes a pair-bond. It makes attachment. We are exploring other potential. By the same token, though, we look beyond the purely physical.

Are you a model who has just stepped off a billboard? Those are deceptions anyway. Our gaze lasts as long as it does. We walk out of the bar.

To the left are the elevators…to the right is the street. You will go wherever you decide…. Let me explain and tell you a bit about myself: I am in an open relationship with my GF, for six years now.

I work out a few days a week. I like to spend time with women that excite me intellectually as well as physically.

A big part of the turn on and excitement of sex for me has been to be strongly desired by my lovers. FREE — Download now! Yes, really! What's it like to do Teach For America?

Would you ever want to become a classroom teacher in a low-income area That's exactly what Samantha did! This is her story. Tell us a bit about yourself!

My name is Samantha. I'm from Michigan, What does it mean to reinvent yourself and your life at 50? I know sooooo many people who feel trapped in their lives or career and they're not even 35!

I'm originally a New How would you navigate life if you lost your leg, hand, and eyesight to a surprise infection How would you cope with re-learning how to walk, parent, be a partner after something like that?

That's exactly what happened to Carol in While the open relationship makes sense to me because both consenting adults are in on the decision , the rest of it seems very cruel.

In fact, it's hitting super close to home and I'm feeling physically ill over this post…is this how the women who slept with my boyfriends felt?

So nonchalant? I've been cheated on several times and not only does it feel like a personal betrayal, but it also for me felt like my power was utterly taken away.

Instead of being a respected part of a relationship, where I could make my own decisions about what kind of relationship I wanted to be in, I was only a prop in someone else's choices.

This is why open relationships don't bother me, but secretive cheating very much does. Because people have a right to make their own decisions about who they sleep with…and if they don't want to sleep with someone who is sleeping with other people, that should be their choice.

I know you're trying to empathize with these guys' unique situations, but I hope you'll also take a moment to try and empathize with their wives and to recognize that you only have half the story.

You hear about a wife being emotionally or sexually distant, but in her world she might be struggling with depression or simply think that she and her husband have hit a good rhythm.

I'm not blaming you or trying to shame you, so please don't take it that way. I am asking you to walk a mile in these women's shoes before you go on sleeping with their husbands.

I know you said you wanted a more exciting sex life and get that, for sure , but couldn't you have no-strings-attached, exploring-myself sex with single guys?

I have been cheated on many times before and found this article equally upsetting. You hit the nail on the head Gigi in all my thoughts and feelings on this matter.

Did the men who have cheated on me tell the women they cheated with that they were unhappy in their relationship, or that they weren't getting enough at home when the truth was that they just had cripplingly low self-esteem and were looking to bolster their egos in the most cowardly, dishonest way possible?

Did those women believe them? I'm sure they were convincing. God knows I was at home believing they loved me and were faithful to me, since that was the deal we'd made.

Gigi, I hope that anyone considering entering into this kind of relationship will take your advice and try to extend some empathy to the person they know is being lied to on the other end of things.

His go-to 'move' with these women was to describe me as cold and sexless, and to gain their pity by presenting himself as having to repress his high sex drive on my behalf.

In reality, I have a really high sex drive, and he has lots of issues surrounding sex. Rather than deal with his discomfort, he preferred to tell me that he didn't like sex that much, and slutshame me whenever I tried to address the disparity between what I wanted, and what he was willing to do.

When I caught him cheating, and confronted him about it, he seemed genuinely shocked that I really did want more intimacy in my life.

So take whatever your lover tells you with a grain of salt. My guess is that these men are lying to themselves about the state of their relationship, and are too cowardly to make any changes in their life or confront their fears.

Meanwhile, you are perpetuating a very great betrayal against a woman you have never met. I have been both the one cheated on and unknowingly the other woman.

I had my partner's mistresses befriend me so as to gain more information about our relationship and myself.

I was physically attacked by my BF's mistress at one point, after he broke things off with her.

I was also inadvertently the "other woman" when I was seeing a man who told me that although they were broken up, he and his ex were still close with one another since they had dated for so long.

Turns out they were so close because they were still actually dating. He could never admit this to me even when his friends told me and I had proof he was lying to me!

Gigi is right, you have no idea the real situation these men are in. If anyone is going to begin a relationship like this or continue in a relationship like the ones described, then you have ask yourself if you're ready to be "the other woman" in all the worst meanings of the terms, because unless you know the wife and know what's going on and I do have friends who are in open marriages like this , that could very well be what is going on.

I've commented elsewhere, but for me the reasons why they are cheating are not really in play in my mind. I'm not justifying things he has a bad relationship, therefore it's okay that he's cheating I'm just doing what I'm doing, right or wrong.

I am not looking for a 'relationship' with any of these men. You are the lowest of the low. At least I know that I hope this is the case.

I know this article is getting older, but after spending 1 year on-line dating ridiculously horrible single men my age I'm 50 , I signed up for AM May 1, , and within 2 weeks had 3 fabulous married lovers.

They all have some version of your guys' stories and quite frankly I don't care why they are cheating. I just decided that I didn't want to live a sexless life, just because there is a shortage of "acceptable" single guys out there.

We don't date, we give each other physical pleasure and intimacy, without having to deal with the realities of a "relationship". It may seem selfish, and maybe it is, but I don't feel guilty…I'm single and can sleep with whoever I like.

I like my guys very much. I could have had as many lovers as there are days in the year, but 3 is manageable, and I get to keep my full, happy single life just the way I like it.

I love my guys, but am not and never will be "in love" with any of them. I also have 3 single FWB's I see occasionally, but the married guys are better lovers, more considerate of my time and space, more respectful, show up on time, keep in touch, and express their appreciation without hesitation.

They make me feel desirable and adored. Who wouldn't love that? And they are all much younger than I am! Making taken ones, ones who will only meet you in a hotel room your only option?

Women like you and Lucy? What would you do then? I doubt it would be so easy to rationalize your sh! I have never dated a married man — and hope that I never would.

I know that someone who lies and cheats in a relationship is not a "good one" — it may be good sex, but he is not a good person, just sad, lonely, and lost, which I would very quickly find out after spending non-sex time with him.

I think Lucy is really caught up in what she "thinks" is going on her descriptions of the men must have been written by them! Lucy is only thinking of her needs, not of the other woman in the picture.

I'm a monogamy person, but I understand that not everyone is. I don't mind the people who mutually consent to an open relationship with their spouse, but sneaking around isn't great.

I empathize with GiGi; I've been cheated on, and it's not fun. In my case, I found out that I was in an "open" relationship — against my will!

So that's where my thoughts are. For Lucy, I can see why this would be liberating. I appreciate you sharing your story, Lucy. This is completely foreign to me, but it is a reminder that we all make our own decisions and live with that.

I'm sure I've made decisions others haven't liked either. My hope is for you to stay safe, strong, and ultimately meet the right person for you.

Thanks for the comment! I fully view this part of my life as one of those crazy things I did one year and not a life-long thing. I was always in school and being responsible during my should have been care-free twenties, so now I'm experiencing this.

I appreciate that you recognize that just because someone might do something that is wrong, they're not necessarily a bad person. Wow, how interesting.

I'd never heard of Ashley Madison until now… I think for me, it all depends on the circumstances… If the participant is in an open relationship, I don't really see the problem.

But given how hurt you say you'd feel if you got cheated on, your rationale for willfully helping others cheat is really problematic for me.

I agree that Lucy's statement about being "very upset" if she found out she was being cheated on appeared very problematic. To me, cheating takes two people — the one doing the cheating and the one who is willfully helping the other person cheat.

If a person knows they are participating in the betrayal of someone else's trust, then to me that is a complete and total disregard for another person's feelings.

Bringing a third party into a relationship should be a choice that both persons within the relationship make together. I'd never heard of Ashley Madison before, either, but I'm not surprised it exists.

I have to agree with Gigi in the empathizing with the women, but I'd go further and think about the kids in the relationships where kids are there.

An affair, when there is children involved, is destructive to so many more lives than just the husband and wife. It breaks the entire family, and the kids are left with so many negative ripple effects.

I would know. Liveletlive I wonder if you're replying to someone ahead of me in the comment section? Otherwise I'm not sure I understand your reply.

Whoops, I coulda swore I replied to a different comment that talked about not blaming the mistress but the husband, but I cant find it?!

To bring a different point of view to the comment section: I think it's perfectly acceptable what Lucy does since she's not the one in a commitment.

It's not as if she has forced these men to cheat on their wives, she hasn't even "seduced" them or anything like that. And — in part Gigi — if my husband cheated on me, I would blame HIM maybe me , but not the other woman.

Sure, maybe if one person told them cheating wasn't acceptable to them they might just find someone else to cheat with, but maybe it would be the thing that makes them realize that they need to actually deal with whatever problems have given them the urge to lie to their partner.

While it doesn't mean you're an evil person or anything, thinking that it's not your problem because technically you're not the one doing the cheating is to me a narrow and selfish way to view the situation and it means you aren't seeing the bigger picture.

I think that we all have a responsibility to hold each other to a better standard of honesty then that. I don't think the kind of shutting off of compassion and empathy you have to be capable of to be the "other woman" or "other man" is good for anyone, including the person doing the shutting off.

Obviously I think I'm less culpable than the men who are cheating on their spouses and, interestingly, if I started a serious relationship I'm quite certain I would stop seeing these men but I do assume my own responsibilities.

I commented elsewhere, and I'll say again — I believe the fact that these men were seeking out extramarital affairs does factor in. I think I would feel much worse if it was a guy I met through work or something, or if I considered these real 'relationships'.

For me they are people I am very fond of and we share one aspect of our lives together. I in no way feel like they're my boyfriends.

Do you think you could rationalize your way out of a confrontation with one of the 4 guys wives with your stupid dribble?

I doubt it. I don't feel guilty at all for sleeping with 3 married men. They sought me out, wrote to me, planned to meet, arranged the times, and then actually had sex with me.

I didn't seduce, suggest or force anyone to do something against their will. I still think that happily married men don't seek out affairs, and as for the two persons responsible for cheating, both are IN the marriage, NOT the 3rd person.

How do you know? Did he tell you that? I am currently dating a man I met through Ashley Madison. In fact we're celebrating our year "anniversary" this coming weekend.

My boyfriend and yes, we do refer to each other as boyfriend and girlfriend is in a classic loveless marriage. He and his wife have a child, and they haven't shared a bedroom or a bed since the child was born — going on 10 years now.

He said they have tried counseling, but their hearts just weren't in it. He is discreet and continues to be a public "couple" with her among their circle of friends on their side of town, which is what she wants.

In return, he takes "me time" as a late night out each week plus the occasional weekend, which is when we see each other.

Most of my friends simply know that I'm dating someone with a young child, which complicates the schedule. He has said that he cannot contemplate divorce until his child is at least in high school and I'm ok with that.

Will the relationship last forever? Who knows. For right now it works for both of us. According to… him?

Consider the source of this information carefully. If he's lying to her that well, imagine how well he's lying to you.

I've been to his home. He and his wife live on different sides of the house. You can't fake an entire bedroom, closets full of clothes, and bathroom items makeup, shampoo, etc.

It's very obvious that she has her side of the house and he has his. Hate to break it to you but my husband and I have 'separate' stuff too and we are very much together.

We have enough room to each have our own bathroom I am a major product junkie who likes a girly bathroom. There's also no way his stuff would fit in the master closet with all my clothes.

Here's a zinger too — he sleeps often in the guest bedroom because he gets up at for work and I'm one of those people who can't go back to sleep in the morning.

What you think you saw means nothing. I'm guessing you haven't spoken to the wife who should be a-ok with this as they've supposedly been separated for 10 years?!

Tell yourself why that hasn't happened and then think about that child of theirs and give your head a shake. Anon, I don't wish to argue with you and want to leave you with a few ideas.

You say "no one truly knows what goes on in another relationship". You must accept the same is true for him and his wife.

You really do not know what is going on with them, or what he is telling her. The cliche of the loveless marriage and women saying he's going to leave his wife for me one day, is a cliche for a reason — it happens a lot and it's usually a lie.

There is an expression I like which is "We accept the love we think we deserve". You have been in a relationship now for over a year which you cannot tell all your friends and family about.

It doesn't sound like you've met or been accepted by his family and friends? You will inevitably continue to only see each other for a very short amount of time in a given week, particularly for people who have been dating a year.

If you viewed it objectively and pretended you were your daughter, best friend, sister, etc. Would you want this for the person you cared about?

Or would you want a healthy open relationship with no lies, no hiding and good future prospects? Background on me: I believe in monogamy.

I've only been with my husband, and a huge part of my life and effort and heart goes into keeping it that way physically, mentally, emotionally.

It makes me physically sick to think about adultery. If Lucy had just said she was sleeping with 4 men, that would be enough to make my brain hurt it all seems so unnecessarily complicated- how would I even keep up with all the details and who liked what and… sigh , adding in the marriage aspect and I can't handle it.

Can't comment on Lucy's experiences respectfully, so I won't. But I will say this. I think it's one thing to cheat, and be part of a relationship with someone who's cheating, and it's another thing to seek that out specifically.

My question that I probably don't want the answer to to Lucy would be why is a service like Ashley Madison the answer to a more exciting sex life?

My general question to the world would be why do sites like Ashley Madison exist? I know AM is not responsible for adultery, but it's set up to facilitate affairs, and why do we need help with that?

Hmmm… some interesting gender issues to wrestle with there…. I've been the 'other woman' and yes it is exhilarating, it is exciting because they're not supposed to like you, to want you and certainly not act on it.

The fact that they then do makes it all the more flattering and gives you more confidence. It's really easy to justify to yourself that what you're doing isn't wrong, because after all, you're not the one that's cheating.

However, I think you can't avoid that fact that without your consent, and the consent of all the "other women" out there, these men wouldn't be able to cheat, even if they want to be which would save so many women and relationships.

Perhaps a lot of the issues that make people cheat because women do it too would be solved if cheating, and satisfying their needs elsewhere wasn't so easy to do.

My father cheated on my mother, and so they divorced when I was around 12, so I was young enough to be upset by it and old enough to understand what 'having an affair' meant.

I remember how completely destroyed my mother was, but I don't blame my father for cheating. I blame him for not confronting his issues with the relationship instead.

I don't believe in 'staying together for the kids', I truly believe that if you're unhappy, and you can't work things out, you should leave.

I've been cheated on myself, and yes it is heartbreaking, and I did blame the other girl at the time, but in retrospect there were more things wrong with that relationship that just the cheating.

Clearly he felt that too if not more so, due to the fact that he was the one to cheat. I've also been the one that did the cheating. That was my own bad decision, and I now truly look back in regret for being such a coward.

If that answer is no — then don't go there. If you wouldn't rob a bank why would you help someone else do it? Does 'only being the accomplice' make you any less guilty?

Oh man, I had to wait a second to reply, because this really stirred up something nasty in me. I want to reply in a way that not attacking you, but I'm definitely going to counter your beliefs, way of thinking, and your whys.

It might get a little ugly. Whether you choose to use what I have to say an attack or as an opposing view to use for some introspection, it is up to you.

You have never been hurt or harmed or had your heart broken or been deceived to the point you thought your sanity, world-view, perception of reality, perception of yourself was about to shatter.

A big part of the turn on and excitement of sex for me has been to be strongly desired by my lovers…. What YOU want trumps the respect and feelings of the wives, kids and marriage in general.

You could have easily gotten this fun sex life from single men who desired you with no strings. In their minds they must be really desirable if they are chosen over the spouse right?

People who are able to completely destroy someone else for e bit of fun. You are an accomplice. You may think you have the best of him, but really you were accepting the worst of him.

His lies, his deception, his neediness. These marriages you are stepping into without the consent of both parties, that may mean something to these women, and mean nothing to you.

You really have no feelings on it? I believe in truth above all else. That's one of my universal values. When one person does that without the other its betrayal, pain and simple, no gray areas or result can change that duck from being a duck.

They are the butt of the joke of their own marriage. Could you possibly imagine how that must feel? They are in a relationship where they truly don't have all the facts.

They are making decisions without being truly aware of what is going on in their lives ———Short-term false adrenaline happiness, and stress relief are not the only results of infidelity.

STDs, broken families, betrayal, other children, are some of the other nice benefits too! When you take vows, you promise to WORK on your relationship.

When you get married you promised to share, have intimacy and truth and compromise. You don't get to be selfish in a relationship.

If you want to be selfish, you leave the relationship. Look up the psychological term compartmentalization. It is NOT healthy when you can compartmentalize you life like that.

And even for some relationships, whatever is given to you is taken from the marriage. Its because the extreme deterioration of the marriage and the betrayed spouse cant figure out why, so they start snooping.

And even if the relationships don't suffer, the foundation of trust and truth are completely destroyed.

Read what the people who have been cheated on say. Even look at what the remorseful cheaters have to say. Truly understand what you are dealing with and getting yourself into.

They talk about how it was the most painful thing they ever been through in their lives, how much their husbands lied, deceived and betrayed them.

You will also read how it wasn't the sex but it was the lying and going behind their back when they could have talked about it.

You may have a hard time sympathizing but this may help. Also think about the consequences. Of all the things that can happen when the truth is revealed.

Not just the devastations but how when you hurt someone, they CAN hurt you back. Telling your workplace, family,posting you on cheater websites.

Ultimately, am I judging you? Yes I am. Today I am okay judging those who harm others and their families and still muddle through life without the least bit of remorse or empathy for the pain and devastation they can cause themselves, innocent spouses and their children because they needed to feel more alive and desired in their sad, lonely world.

There are many you will meet whose problems will shock you and you are there to help them not send them home feeling like the end of the world is upon them.

You've articulated exactly everything I was thinking as well. This was excellent and very well written. I hope "Lucy" takes your words to heart.

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your perspective. You nailed it liveletlive. Thank you for taking the time to articulate why this is destructive..

Nailed it? I guess if you want to alienate people by being extremely judgmental, then yeah, she nailed it. Gigi upthread may feel the same way, but expressed it a lot more respectfully.

I don't agree with Lucy's life choices, either, but I wouldn't call her a delusional sociopath. Exactly liveletlive.

Truly, the mental gymnastics people have to go through to justify doing what they know is intrinsically wrong is something to behold. The most painful lies are not the ones others tell us, but the ones we tell ourselves.

Eventually, it will all catch up with you, and I don't mean karma or the afterlife — both cheaters will eventually pay a high price for their actions in one way or another.

Wow-so true liveletlive. A dear person in my life is going through the experience of being the one that was cheated on. He was willing to work on the marriage, but she wanted out and has left.

The crazy part? She cried constantly when she told him and said, "You are a good man, and I can't believe I'm doing this to you.

Can we stop pretending that sex is just sex? There are some soul tie issues that come with sex, which is why monogamy is the only way.

If you really cared about the people at all that you are willingly cheat with, you would actually want to help them in their marriages. Having sex with them is not helping them in their marriages.

Throwing sex around assumes that people can turn off their hearts and simply act. Actions connect to our hearts. You cannot have sex without having some sort of extra connection.

This woman that I know that has left her husband has a complete separation from reality. She is totally fine with things that she never would have been before, and she is making foolish decisions in other areas of her life.

There is a complete focus on herself and a total blocking out of all of the other people in her life that have been affected by her decisions.

She doesn't seem to care that young girls who looked up to her are now confused and feel like they have lost a mentor; they don't even know her anymore.

When you cheat, you set up constant insecurity for yourself for the rest of your life. If someone was willing to cheat with you, what will keep them from cheating with someone else later?

If someone is willing to date you a cheater , what makes you think that they will remain committed to you? I rarely have had sex with most men on AM in the traditional sense…I basically go as far as you can get without penetration.

I know I will get a lot of hate for this but I will still share. I found out being with much older men 40ss that they just sexually want to please and appreciate a younger woman.

Oh yeah I should mention I totally lie about my age. Men seem to also like the cliched college student who works part time lol. I know this is rationalizing it as well, but I know these men would just be meeting up with other women if not me.

Though my family is not religious, I've always been taught that monogamy IS The Way, yet almost every relationship that has orbited my life has ended or been complicated by someone outside of the relationship.

When I was younger, before I had adult relationships of my own, I thought cheating was black and white, but as I experience life I can empathize with how it happens.

Though I haven't personally ever cheated or helped someone cheat—or been cheated on, to my knowledge. Right now as I'm sadly coming to the end of a 6 year relationship with someone I love very much and accessing relationships in general, I'm beginning to wonder if society's emphasis on monogamy is the real problem.

I don't think monogamy needs to be for everyone, but I DO think honesty should. I've heard interviews and read articles about polyamorous relationships and I'm not sure if it's something I'd like to be a part of or not, but what I do like about the thought of an 'open' relationship is the honesty, respect, and openness.

If someone I was in a relationship with came to me before anything happened and said they were starting to feel attracted to another person and wanted to have an open discussion about why this was happening and what we could do about it—how could I not have respect for that?

The thing that makes me feel sick about 'cheating' is the thought of looking someone in the eye and telling them a lie. I wish giving and receiving radical honesty was a more acceptable part of our culture.

While I think what Lucy and these men are doing are not the best solution for their problems, maybe sites like AM will start discussions about honesty and bring to the forefront that you're not 'broken' if monogamy doesn't feel right to you.

I really think you nailed it when you said that honesty is the heart of the issue. Betrayal has to do with broken trust—and what that trust means is different for different people, in different relationships.

Betraying your partner doesn't have to mean having sex! It all depends on the "contract" you and your partner have both explicitly stated, and implied.

Where I think it gets really messy is if both partners don't really understand or know what they want, or what they are okay with, deep down—or if the communication between them is flawed.

A few years ago, I really believed that I'd be fine with an open relationship, but found myself devastated when my boyfriend expressed interest in someone else.

I wasn't mature enough, or in touch enough with my own beliefs and values and desires, to be able to identify and express what my true feelings—and my expectations for the relationship—were.

The thing that is haunting me about Lucy's story is how lying is at the center of all of these relationships. The first time I read it through, I kept expecting the next section to answer the question of how these men's wives felt about the affairs—or, at least, directly addressing whether or not they even knew.

At least then, these women would be given the dignity of knowing the truth, and being able to act accordingly. Keeping them in the dark is a power trip!

Ultimately, I believe that although it might be heartbreaking to have someone do something that hurts you, the thing that really damages our sense of dignity and humanity is to be treated like a second-class citizen who "can't handle the truth.

Incidentally, "can't handle the truth" usually means "would react in a way that I don't want them to. I really appreciated this perspective.

If men are partnered with women who are no longer interested in sex, why shouldn't they seek it elsewhere? It doesn't mean they don't love their wives or want to be with them.

Don't we all have friends who meet our emotional needs in a way that is different from the way we feel with our boyfriend or spouse?

I love my boyfriend but I wouldn't trade my girlfriends for anything in the world. No one person can fulfill all of our needs, and each person is in their own unique situation, complete with all the complexities of the human experience.

If they are able to have an open, honest dialogue with their partner where they explain that they don't feel like their needs are being met, and mutually agree to an open relationship, more power to them.

If, however they are lying to their spouses and exposing them unknowingly to health risks as well as the devastation that can come from that kind of a betrayal of trust, then they are just behaving like dishonest, selfish, cowards.

I agree with this comment wholeheartedly — Thank you for articulating exactly what I was thinking. Anon, The True Story series is about hearing different people's approaches to life and asking the questions we usually 'can't' ask because it's not socially appropriate.

For me, this is a topic that falls under that heading. I'm with Sarah. This was interesting depressing? I look forward to this series when I see it in my reader and clearly popped over to see the comments for this one!

I'm also with Sarah. These are realities that I and I expect most of us don't get exposed to — It's great to have a forum where our worldview gets challenged just a little.

She had started wearing fishnet stockings out for drinks with the girls and spending a lot of time with the bedroom door closed.

One month later, on Christmas Eve, suspicion got the best of me. I turned on the computer. I confronted her. Turns out she had been on dates with at least six men from the site in a matter of weeks.

Have an affair. She refused to tell me the names of the other men, but agreed to delete her account.

I assumed that meant we were on the path to repairing our marriage. NY Post photo composite By April , my wife was still acting erratic.

She threatened divorce and told me how miserable it was being married to me. She bought hundreds of dollars worth of lingerie, but refused to let me touch her in bed, as I pleaded for affection.

I was admitted to the ER for exhaustion caused by stress and sleeplessness. So when I noticed a weird gift credit card peeking out from her wallet, I decided to look it up online.

I confronted her once more and she confessed that she was back on Ashley Madison, sleeping with married men.

It was as though I was talking to a complete stranger, some bohemian. No one I knew would say something like that. We separated in the summer of We are still going through our divorce.

The breach, needless to say, made it come back all at once. I triggered hard. My girlfriend of one year we started dating after my wife and I separated was a little confused as to why I was still so upset.

People are surprised to hear about men whose wives are on Ashley Madison. Typically, guys are considered the philanderers — actively going out pursuing affairs — while women get hit on and reactively decide whether to cheat.

He still speaks to his mother, but has a hard time dealing with what happened. The CEO is such a sociopath. Just think about all the misery he helps inflict.

This guy just wanted to fuck me and it wasn't because of my great personality. It was entirely physical. I liked being objectified. The feminist in me is appalled, but I loved it.

I became addicted to the feeling of being really wanted like that, to not being seen as a sick person. This guy and I kept in touch and we saw each other a few months later, but then it ended.

After that, I signed up for Ashley Madison. I wanted someone tall, athletic, and dominant. My husband and I get along very well, but we have very mismatched sex drives.

The sex is very vanilla and I almost always initiate. He frequently turns me down too, which is discouraging.

I get nervous every time. It's a pretty awkward experience. I was dating my husband before internet dating was really popular, so meeting people online is not natural to me.

One guy I slept with put his wife on speaker phone while I was in a hotel room with him. I had to listen to her grill him about where he was and what he was doing.

I never saw him again. I couldn't deal with the wife thing and he didn't seem to know what foreplay was. Another guy ended things with me because he felt guilty.

Normal, right? Well, he didn't feel guilty about his wife. He felt guilty about betraying his eighth grade girlfriend who he called his "soul mate.

You can't make this sort of thing up. He would give me orders and wanted me to call him by a title. I eventually ended this because it intruded into my "real" life and I realized that I only really enjoy being submissive during sex.

I got really tired of that. It was fun for a while though and I'm glad I tried it. There are definite patterns I've observed in terms of sexual desires.

For example, the vast majority of men I have talked to identify as "ass men. Unsolicited pictures of dicks are a very annoying problem.

They want to be in control. I make it pretty clear that I want dominant men and I weed out the ones that are looking for a more romantic situation.

I'm a pretty alpha woman in the rest of my life, but I love letting go of control in the bedroom.

I can't get that at home trust me, I've tried. A surprising number of men don't want to use condoms. I insist and it's caused some very contentious conversations.

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