When I was 19, I walked in on my first “love” sleeping with someone else. As he was mid-thrust in breaking up our relationship, I was blindsided and horrified by the whole experience. Looking back today I’m not quite sure how I calmly walked away and never looked back.
Although I laugh about it now, at the time I was sure I had gone through the most tragic thing imaginable. The only way it would have been worse is if it were blasted all over the internet by strangers. It would have been more traumatic if I had been married to him for years and he was one of the names leaked in the Ashley Madison hack.
For me, and many other women I’ve spoken to, the worst part about getting cheated on is the humiliation that comes along with it. Even though infidelity is not a reflection of a person’s shortcomings, it’s nearly impossible not to internalize it and feel like your cheating partner strayed because he or she wasn’t satisfied with what you had to offer. So if these hackers think they’re helping people who have been wronged, they’re sadly mistaken. All they’ve done is cause chaos in other people’s lives without understanding the dynamics of their relationships.
I’ve thought a lot about cheating over the last year, and the Ashley Madison leak that everyone is buzzing about is the perfect example of what goes against my principles in relationships and privacy. Relationships are difficult, and an alarming number of people have a hard time adhering to the demands of monogamy, which is why infidelity is the top reason for divorce. But no one really knows or understands the inner workings of any given bond, and to say that an anonymous party is the arbiter of what’s right and wrong in all relationships is ridiculous.
None of us have the right to see the data stolen by the hackers, and none of us should care about the drama in other people’s lives. As a result, I refuse to report about any public figures exposed in the hack, regardless of how juicy the story may be. I’ve heard about the hypocrites who preach family values but signed on to Ashely Madison, and I know some want to hear my comments about who was caught in marital lies. None of it interests me, and none of it is our business. I’m tired of the morality police watching our sexual behavior and passing judgements.
The information was criminally stolen, which in my eyes is worse than a stranger’s marital indiscretions.