You may have heard this excuse: Humans weren’t meant to be monogamous. “It’s unnatural”. The “theory” behind this excuse is that monogamy was acceptable when we only lived to be 30, but our lifespans have roughly tripled, so we can’t be expected to stay with just one person all those years. And as if it weren’t bad enough that unfaithful spouses have tried to justify their actions with this nonsense, online affair sites are cropping up every day and promoting the same idea. If you’re not familiar with these services, buckle your seat belt before you read any further.
Hundreds of sites exist that not only encourage married people to have affairs, but make money off the prospect by charging for membership. They’re just like online dating sites, except they cater to married members, and use taglines like, “Life is short. Have an affair.” which comes from the best known of these sites, Ashley Madison. That site, and others like it, tell members it’s perfectly okay to be unfaithful to their spouses or partners.
With stories of celebrity affairs in the news so often, it’s easy to become numb to the sadness and devastation that infidelity causes. Ashton cheated on Demi. Tiger cheated on Elin. It’s been happening for years. One of the biggest scandals of the late ’50s was The Affair between Elizabeth Taylor and the still-married Eddie Fisher. The two eventually married, and while Taylor was known for a while as a home-wrecker, the scandal did little to diminish her popularity as an actress and celebrity.
As a society, we receive mixed messages about marriage and infidelity. We know it’s wrong, yet there don’t seem to be any real consequences outside possibly losing the relationship that is compromised by the affair, which is a risk borne by the adulterer alone. Even President Clinton was found to have been unfaithful (and he wasn’t the first president to be so), and yet he continued to be married and run the country like it was no big deal. Is this the message we want to send to the next generation?
Despite these very public stories of infidelity, they actually have little effect the every day married couple. Not so with affair sites. They bring infidelity much closer to home, offering ways to give in to temptation, and assisting in the endeavor. One site, Married Affair Guide, gives people instructions on how to have an affair, how to keep it secret, and even how to hide affair communications to avoid getting caught.
The argument could be made that if someone is going to be unfaithful, they’re going to do it whether they seek it out online or not. But does that justify sites like this that make it easy and create a safe environment for adulterers to find each other? Some may find it similar to sites that explain how to make a bomb. If someone wants to blow something up, they’ll find a way—but should we make it easy for people to blow up their marriages and destroy lives?
Some of these affair sites, like Discreet Adventures, even affiliate programs that allow website owners to earn commissions on every person they send to these sites seeking affairs. They offer an incentive for people to encourage infidelity in exchange for payment. Can you imagine that being done in person? Someone handing someone else a check for turning to the person beside them and saying, “Hey, want to have an affair? Here’s how!” It’s unthinkable.
The sad truth is that these sites will continue to exist and proliferate as long as people continue to use them, and they’re showing no signs of slowing growth. People who still believe in monogamy and want their relationships to succeed need to be even more vigilant about threats to their marriages, which more than ever include affair sites.
About the Author: Maria Davis is a freelance writer who writes on a variety of topics. She loves spending time with her family and curling up with a good book.