Thousands of would-be cheaters were exposed today when hackers released the private information of millions of users of Ashley Madison, a website that enables people to cheat on their spouses.
This is a tough one to react to. Do we feel sympathy for the victims, who are cheating and lying scumbags? Do we praise the hackers for exposing them, despite the fact that they clearly invaded Internet privacy?
In fact, it’s a crime. And it underscores the lack of secrecy that exists on the Internet. But if the Edward Snowden revelations years ago taught us anything, it’s that anything you write online, or any information you provide, can be accessed by somebody else if they want it badly enough. Or just the NSA.
The hack, committed by a group which calls itself The Impact Team, exposed some 28 million unique emails. More than 15,000 were related to the government or military, which the latter is reportedly looking into.
But I think the lesson here is simple: don’t cheat on your freaking spouse.
I’m the last person who will ever say that marriage is sacred. That’s not the reason why you shouldn’t cheat. You shouldn’t cheat because, well, you should marry someone that you don’t want to cheat on.
I know it sounds simple. And I’ve never been married. But it seems like way too many people marry the first person that they have a serious relationship with, without realizing just how much time they are going to be spending with them. If you marry at 25, you could be spending some 60 years with this person.
And that’s every day. They’ll be the person you come home to night after night, and the one you share your problems with. You’ll take annual vacations with them. And of course, they’ll be the person you have kids with. Choose fucking wisely.
Otherwise, you’ll end up on Ashley Madison with your private information and sexual fantasies exposed to the entire world.
Even if you do marry someone you truly love, I’m sure marriage is still very hard. There will be temptations and moments of weakness. I’m also familiar of the concept of the seven year itch. I’ve even seen the movie, starring Marilyn Monroe, featuring the famous subway grate scene.
But the answer is not to pay money and create a detailed profile on an online website. Just tell your spouse that something is wrong. You’re bored. You’re not happy. It won’t be a fun conversation, but I promise you it will have better long term effects than cheating.
If anything, the fact that Ashley Madison exists, and is so popular, underscores civilization’s inability to marry correctly.
The website’s slogan is “Life is short, have an affair.” Disregarding the considerable lack of morality at play there, I’m pretty sure there’s better ways to grab life by the horns than humiliating and shaming your life partner. Try adopting a cat.
And if you really, really must cheat, pull a Ben Affleck and bang the hot nanny.
It’s a much better story.