Everyone’s been talking it about it for the past few weeks: the huge data breach that occurred on powerful extramarital dating site, Ashley Madison. Tonnes of information was obtained and revealed in front of everyone online. Couples were broken. Hearts were shattered. Although many people don’t seem to have an ounce of sympathy for the victims of the breach, the scandal has taught us a few things about 2.0 infidelity and extramarital affairs. Here are four:
1. Infidelity: social media is an important player. There are a lot of social networks, and more and more of them cater to a niche market. The result? You don’t even need to step out the door to jump the fence. Developing a crush on someone who seems to have everything your partner doesn’t, is as easy as making a few clicks, at the most. Now, for the killer question: do social networks facilitate adultery? One thing is for sure: they definitely contribute to developing possible relationships with potentially interesting people, 24/7! That’s the reality in which we live.
2. It doesn’t always happen out of the blue. No, it didn’t “just happen”. Cheating requires the involvement of two consenting parties, as well as the desire to have a sexual or romantic relationship. In fact, there are generally factors that make you predisposed to cheating, and there are signs. The Ashley Madison scandal is a good example that infidelity in the digital age is less and less spontaneous. Here, it’s pure and simple premeditation. Need we remind you that the site’s tag line is “Life is short. Have an affair.”?
3. Cheating doesn’t necessarily lead to divorce. The damage is done: you’ve been able to see through his game and lies. Now, do you leave or do you stay? Some people will want to break up immediately, while others will use the event as a springboard; they’ll try to understand the reasons that may have lead to the infidelity, and once the abscess has been ruptured, they start off with new foundations so that it doesn’t happen again.
4. The professional world is favourable to extramarital affairs. Because it offers a new pool of candidates in close proximity, it’s not surprising that 50% of affairs occur with a coworker. Are you worried that your partner’s playground is where he spends more than half of his day? Maybe not. But his work environment makes things easier. In fact, most of Ashley Madison’s clients used their work email address to avoid their partner being suspicious all the while maintaining their identity. In other words, if you’ve been in Sherlock Holmes mode lately, you probably won’t find the answers you’re seeking in his smartphone inbox. So look a little further…
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