Unless you have been in a cave for the past week, you know that the horrible business called Ashley Madison was hacked and users’ identities and credit card numbers were dumped online to see. “Adult Friend Finder” and other lesser known sites were also hacked and the information is online too.
By some reports, only 17% of the sites users were women. Men paid extra money to have a guaranteed affair within a certain time period. It would not surprise me at all if investigations eventually reveal that the “married women seeking discreet affair with married men” are really prostitutes.
The site’s owner has proudly stated for years that he is the “king of infidelity” and that his business model is to help people who want to have an affair but keep married do that in a discreet way. He proudly proclaims this business is worth around $100 million. His wife of 12 years has reportedly said that she would be heartbroken if she learned her husband had been unfaithful. What a broken soul to be trying to live one way while promoting a totally different way of life.
Over the course of the first few days after the revelation that the data was available, reports indicated that 36 million users were identified. Government, fortune 500, and church emails were discovered in the mix. The pro family values reality TV star Josh Duggar was found to have paid for an account and after about a day of inquiries he released a statement confessing his messy sexual issues to the public. We are sure more will follow.
If you wonder if you are part of the scandal, you can check by putting in your emails (or emails of your spouse) in the sites Testify and or Have I Been Pwned?. Just because the email is found does not mean that the owner of the email did anything, however follow up could reveal credit card verification of use of the site.
What Do You Do If You’ve Been Unfaithful
There is a great amount of information online and in books about what to do if you have had an affair. Based upon our marriage saving work with couples over the years, we have put together our best advice about what you should do if you have committed adultery.
- Pray. God knows everything anyway. He still loves you and wants what is best for you. Talk to Him and begin the process of getting right with Him.
- Plan A Courageous Conversation. Confession is good for the soul. As long as we keep a secret, it grows in its power within us. Our actions to keep the secret cause it to wreak havoc in our lives. We find ourselves doing things that we don’t understand why we did them. Developing a truth sharing courageous conversation with your spouse is essential for beginning the process of repairing the relationship.
- Get Help. We know of no more powerful tool to help men take a look at their integrity issues than The Crucible Project Weekend. In fact, Roy is frequently one of the leaders at weekends across the country. In a community of authentic Christian men, men who are leading double lives with gaps between who they want to be and what they find themselves doing have a chance to wrestle with God and experience the scandalous grace of Jesus. Whether she stays or goes, you need to get this fixed in your life.
- Take Full and Complete Responsibility. You may have rationalized reasons why you made the decision to engage in an affair. But you are alone responsible for your actions. You need to own what you have done to your spouse without any language that would insinuate their fault. Take complete and full responsibility.
- Live Fully Transparent Life of Integrity. To rebuild trust in your relationship will take several years. The trauma inflicted by the affair will cause your wife to experience deep levels of anger, sadness and fear. The process will seem done and then another wave of accusations or hurt will show up again. To rebuild trust and help your wife heal, it demands full and complete transparency in your life. Every device, password, account, etc. must be available to her. Living a life of integrity with nothing to hide will lead your hearts back together again.
- Find Accountability. Have someone, or a group of men, to hold you accountable for sexual issues of any kind going forward. Find a Christian professional whom you can not withhold any information with about what you are thinking, feeling and doing sexually. One of the incredible aspects of The Crucible Project is that there is a community of men on the other side where groups meet to support and hold each other accountable.
“So own up to your sins to one another and pray for one another. In the end, you may be healed. Your prayers are powerful when they are rooted in a righteous life.” James 5:16 (Voice)
We pray for you and for your marriage. An affair revelation is not the end. Usually it reveals something about the unhealthiness of the relationship before the affair and the heart condition of the person who engaged in the affair. We have worked with many couples who have moved to a place of healing and strength after an affair. It is not the end unless you give up and quit. Go for being the best you that you can be and creating the marriage with integrity that you want so badly. We’re here to help if you want to engage us. God bless you.
We always love to hear from our readers. What other advice would you give Ashley Madison users? What would you recommend differently from our list?