Confessions of an Adulteress

I didn’t mean for the Ashley Madison scandal to take over the blog this week. It just kind of happened.

So many people came and read and empathised with our reader about her situation. She has read every comment and is feeling very supported.

But what about the other side of the story? Our WoogsWorld community also has a reader who used the website for her own needs. This is her story.

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If the Ashley Madison hack has proved anything – it is that the crusades are far from over.

I am a cheater. I am that woman. I had an affair. And I met him via Ashley Madison.

I am also an upstanding citizen. I pay my taxes. I am a loving mother and daughter. I am an animal-loving- vegetarian who sponsors a child through World Vision.

When I got married to my now ex-husband, I never expected that I would be THAT woman who would meet another man in a hotel room for sex. Not. Me. Never.

I was serious when I took those marriage vows; all dressed in white, flowers in hand with an audience of over 200. I would love, honour and cherish him for all the days of my life. I would keep only unto him and forsake all others. I meant every word. But like all motherhood statements; time proved to me how deluded I was.

The path to infidelity is not a pretty one and unlike on my wedding day, the carpet was not covered in rose petals and there was no string quartet playing in a corner.

The breakdown of my marriage was ugly. There is no word for it other than that. I saw my best intentions to love destroyed through emotional abuse,neglect and hate. For many years I clung to the fantasy that I loved ‘us’ enough for the both of us. We went to marriage counselling. Our respective families got involved. I prayed. He played.

No sooner had the rings been exchanged that he started to be a person I could barely respect. The violent mood swings. The anger. And him wanting to be anywhere but with me. I was no longer pretty enough. I was too fat. Too boring. Too whatever.

Then we added to this already toxic mix, in a fit of brief affection, a little baby.

Only this baby, possibly mirroring the difficult household he had been born into, was quite unwell.

All the barriers I had erected to keep our difficult marriage functioning disintegrated. I could not spend the hours required to tend to his needs as I had a real baby to care for.

Why did I not leave him then? Why did I stay with him with the awful man?

You try leaving a marriage with no job (I had been retrenched during the GFC) and a sick child. I needed to stay with him so I didn’t implode any hopes I had for a financially stable life at some stage. Go on, judge me for being mercenary. Since you have already judged me for being an adulteress. Especially since single mothers constitute the largest growing demographic of people on the poverty line.

And then it happened. I found Ashley Madison reading an article in a newspaper or it might even have been a freeway billboard . I logged on for a reason I still cannot fathom why. Possibly because I had not been intimate with anyone for over three years. Whilst ‘flicking the light switch’ could tide me over, I was desperate for affection.

My rationale for going on Ashley Madison was that I wasn’t being a marriage wrecker – if men were already on the site, their marriages were also in terminal decline.

Sure, I got propositioned by many men. Most of them were sexual predators and I would have nothing to do with them.

I also met men who struggled to connect with their wives – and I found myself in the bizarre position of being their marriage counselor. I actually ended up helping three couples re-ignite their marriagess by coaching blokes on what romance was about.

Your wife does like getting it on? Have you created the environment for it? Have you done the dishes and the vacuuming? What about some lingerie?

In fact, I took one man lingerie shopping. For his wife.

I had no intention of breaking up marriages that had a fighting chance of survival.

And I also met few lovely men I connected with. Some I still have the occasional coffee with. Men who were desperately unhappy in their marriages.

I met a man whose wife had MS and he had her permission to seek affection elsewhere.

I met a man who would not leave his wife because they had a disabled child.

Then I also met a man who simply wanted to cuddle up, eat chocolate and watch movies (The Hobbit and Silver Linings Playbook).

Then I also met a man with whom I briefly fell in love with.

He taught me what love needed to look like. And gave me the courage to stand on my own. We ended up going our separate ways; but that had more to do with choice rather than anything else.

But as people go to town mocking those on Ashley Madison- remember – these are people. And the fact that they are on Ashley Madison already tells you that they are very broken – more deserving of compassion rather than contempt.