First publised in The Huffington Post (March 29, 2011) by Ashley Reich..☛..This month’s issue of REDBOOK magazine, on newsstands now, features a story about two reporters — one male, one female — who went undercover on AshleyMadison.com, the dating website for wannabe adulterers whose slogan is “Life is short. Have an affair.” REDBOOK Editor-In-Chief Jill Herzig stopped by The TODAY Show Tuesday with psychologist Dr. Jeff Gardere to talk about the magazine’s take on Noel Biderman’s controversial website, which has 8 million members. Herzig said that the most surprising finding from the undercover investigation was that many men on the site craved an emotional connection, not just a physical one.
“We certainly expected the dirty stuff to come to the surface. The pornographic pictures that our reporter was sent and the straightforward sex come-ons,” she said. “But it was the men looking for an emotional connection. They wanted the thrill of that new, sort of passing notes in the school stage of the relationship.”
NBC’s Kevin Tibbles spoke with two unidentified married women who claim that AshleyMadison.com has improved their marriages and made them better wives, though Dr. Gardere said that they are in denial: “It’s a self delusion into thinking that you can lay down with your husband, lay down with other people…it makes you a cheating wife, not a better wife,” he said. Herzig encourages readers to talk openly with their spouses about the site, and to deal with their marital problems directly rather than cheating.
PERSONAL NOTE: I remember watching an episode of Oprah once where they looked at the reasons why people cheat, and she also came to a similar surprising conclusion as REDBOOK did. It was one of the most riveting episodes I had ever seen, and the experts on her show all agreed that the main (but not the only) reason why men cheat is because they LOVE THE WAY THE NEW PERSON MAKES THEM FEEL. I am the first person to say a marriage should never be discarded without first trying everything possible to save it — especially with the help of an expert therapist. But I also believe that there are some marriages out there where the two people who married on day #1 are vastly different people in year #20. Some people’s life paths can take such sharp forks along the road that what you need from a life partner when you’re 22 is not the same thing you need when you’re 42. Until you find yourself in these kinds of shoes in your own life, my personal belief is it’s best not to be too judgmental.