I had another question I was going to tackle, but after writing Forget Josh Duggar: What Ashley Madison’s Client Base Reveals about Husbands, I got several similar comments/questions on my Facebook page:
“…a lot of wives have signed up as well…”
“So why did the women sign up? Unless all the men were secretly gay, and I’m sure that is nowhere near the truth, there had to be a number of women signed up to make the site even feasible.”
“I appreciate what you’ve said about the husbands, but what about the wives who have accounts?”
I read several articles about Ashley Madison’s database contents. From what I have gleaned (but do your own homework), perhaps 75%-90% of their paid clients are men. Of those men, a number of them are actually single — seeking the no-strings-attached, affair experience over the be-a-real-man work of settling into a real relationship.
Regardless, some wives have signed up for accounts with this dating website exclusively tailored for extramarital affairs. I didn’t write about them originally because I haven’t seen sufficient data to draw conclusions about who they are and what they’re looking for.
Although if it’s anything like the usual reasons for wives seeking affairs, I have some guesses about what they’re wanting.
Attention. A number of wives complain that their husbands don’t listen to them, value who they are, or romance them the way they once did. They long to be complimented, showered with affection, and to feel like the only woman in the world when their guy looks at them. When this isn’t happening in their marriage, they may start looking for it elsewhere.
Emotional connection. Sex is not the primary reason most women seek affairs — they want the emotional connection they feel is missing in their marriage. Which is why spending time with that male co-worker who’s so nice to you, or revealing your thoughts and feelings to your next door neighbor, or even spending a lot of time alone in ministry with a man who isn’t your husband is a really bad idea. You start to connect emotionally, and for us gals, emotional intimacy fuels sexual intimacy.
Feeling sexy. The pressure for women to be sexy is so strong in our culture, but I believe that desire is also innate to our being. We ladies long to be wanted, mostly for who we are but also because of our feminine form and beauty. For most women, when a loving husband tells you that you’re smokin’ hot, that feels really good. If you don’t feel that way in your marriage, though, maybe you think you could get that affirmation from another man.
I’m sure there are other reasons, but those are a few of my ideas.
Now here’s reality:The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down (Proverbs 14:1). Click To Tweet
Any of that attention, emotional connection, and feeling sexy is false advertising, rotten for your marriage, damaging to your children, and dangerous to your soul.
Here are some other posts I’ve done on adultery to clarify where I stand on this issue:
And here are a few other scriptures about the poison of affairs:
“But a man who commits adultery has no sense; whoever does so destroys himself” (Proverbs 6:32 – surely applies to a woman too).
“You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14).
“Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral” (Hebrews 13:4).
Let’s hope it’s uber-clear now to everyone that cheating is bad. Bad, bad, bad. Husbands shouldn’t do it, wives shouldn’t it, and spouses shouldn’t stand for it.
I’m not suggesting an end to marriage if a spouse cheats, but I am suggesting an end to the adultery. There is hope for those marriages, with repentance and the redemptive power of God. But that road must begin with a recognition that, no matter what your marital situation and the yearnings of your heart, an extramarital affair is not the answer.