Disclaimer: I don't condone affairs/infidelity/adultery because I personally and deeply believe in fully-employed mutual respect… although if somebody came up to me and described that they had a strict, orthodox, repressed, sex-negative, sex-shamey upbringing, were cancer-ridden and had a month left on their clock-- and then suddenly [Dream Person] propositioned them and asked them to act outside of the vows and bonds of their marriage... I'd be like, "Mkay, you go get yours now, Amish person!!!!! Wait, how'd you get access to a computer!?!?!"
--that is the complicated genesis of one hypothetical affair-- and yeah, I guess wildly exceptional.
A large and popular response to the Ashley Madison massive dump has been to the tune of: "Whoever signed themselves up on that site deserved to be exposed, aaaaahahaha!" ...and I give that response side-eye because it's: a) none of our fucking business; b) it's indicative of an incredibly shallow understanding of why affairs are had, as if some 32 million affairs pursued are all the exact same, involving the same "shitty", "guilty", "selfish" people who can't get their moral compass pointing north always, forever, only. Regardless of all the varying reasons, every user on that site is being beaten with the same stick. And the consequences they’re facing that we’re seeing unfold are very disproportionate to their "crime". They’re dire, and victimizing, and proving to be way more catastrophic than imagined... a rippling sonic-boom destroying family units, launched lawsuits, job loss, an incomprehensible amount of emotional hurt-- and well, now I guess suicides? --all because some small group was like, "Ugh, shut the site down, it's gross." #NoneOfYourFuckingBusiness
…minor segueway: it’s sort of sad to see Ashley Madison taking the entire rap. With or without the aid of a dating website that promotes adultery, cheaters guh cheat, period. I’m pretty sure J-Date is harbouring some less than faithful users too.
The TED lecture I'm posting is really, very good at looking at the anatomy of the affair and shows that it's less so simplistically sourced at, "My partner sucks!!!!!! This other person is great!!!!!!!" …this lecture deepens our understanding of why people act outside of their personal relationships and prompts us to contemplate what to do with our judgment.