Are affairs the key to perfect relations?
Published: Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, March 23, 2011 14:03
Should cheating be more accepted in the U.S.?
There are those who seem to think so. AshleyMadison.com, for example, advocates affairs and encourages those speculating the act of cheating on their spouse to go on the website to meet that Mr. or Mrs. Right-Now.
Their promos usually involve a couple sensually touching and kissing each other while a message flashes that reads "This couple is married ... but not to each other." Their logo completes the promo along with their slogan, "Life is short ... have an affair."
The site currently has more than 8 million members, making it obvious that the want for such a website does exist. However, as expected, there are many who criticize the website for destroying families.
Noel Biderman, the company's founder, says his promos and advertisements do not cause people to cheat. According to Biderman, members make the decision to cheat before learning about the site and the site is a more reliable and straightforward option of doing it, compared with other social networks or personal locations.
It is no surprise that my opinion is that this website sucks and can do more harm than good. However, we must accept that men and women across the U.S. are making full use of it, making it wildly popular since its creation in 2001. There is a definite market for this cheating website, just as there is a market for TV shows like Cheaters and Maury's lie-detector test episodes.
But, should we condemn a site like AshleyMadison.com simply because they are using shedding some new light on the reality of cheating or should we accept that the world is becoming more acceptable of the breaking of vows?
There are some states, such as Minnesota, who still have laws on the books making it illegal for married women to cheat. Should we instead move our focus to fighting for laws such as this to pass, which would do away with pro-adultery websites?
In a world where some countries stone women for adultery and others are passive about the idea of their spouses having multiple partners, where does the U.S. stand?
The answer: Somewhere in the middle.
We vilify and disgrace celebrities for cheating on their spouses, yet we praise them, buy their latest album and attend their latest golf tournament. We make our men feel guilty for the rest of their lives about their indiscretion, yet we continue to lie in their bed. We abuse our women for sleeping around with our best friend, yet we don't want her to leave.
This back and forth ultimately leads to the same thing — confusion.
This same confusion is the reason why people are led astray in their relationships. They are confused because for the most part they want to be with the person they're involved with, yet they feel suffocated by their need to share their individuality.
Some cheaters look to sites like these for what I have coined as the "kite effect." Stay with me on this.
The runner (cheater) is holding on to a kite (their relationship). It is something that is soaring yet grounded. However, when the kite stands too still, without the excitement of wind keeping it up, the runner must run the opposite way or farther away from it to keep it from falling.
In other words, the cheater feels that by temporarily running the other way into another person's arms, it will allow for their relationship to keep soaring just as it has. The problem with this is that the cheater has not yet grasped the possible consequences of running away. You might just slip and fall, causing the kite, string and all, to fall just as fast.
Cheating is more commonplace than many of us wish it to be, but complacency and passivity are not the answers. Rather than siding with any of the two extremes described before, Americans must allow themselves to remain in the middle. Adultery may be acceptable to some and not to others, but never should it be advocated or illegal. For once, let's be neutral on this one.