What To Do If Your Spouse Is on Married Affairs Websites
By Nadia Khan
Updated March 16, 2020
What Are Married Affairs Websites?
A married affairs website is exactly what it sounds like - a website dedicated to married people who are seeking to have an affair.
Chances are that if you're reading this article, you already knew that. It's possible you found out your spouse is using the services or register with a married affairs website. They may be curious to see what's out there, or they may already have embarked on (a)full-fledged affair(s). Either way, it's a devastating discovery, and you are not alone in this discovery.
Perhaps one of the most famous stories surrounding married affairs websites in recent history is the Ashley Madison scandal. A group of hackers called the "Impact Team" hacked into the company's database and stole and released the names and personal information of hundreds and thousands of users.
Innumerable lives were ruined as a result of this.
Marriages destroyed and ended.
Spouses left shaken and heartbroken.
So if your spouse is on a married affairs website, you are not alone and believe it or not, it is possible to pick up the pieces of your life and move on.
Why Do They Cheat?
There's usually never one good reason why a spouse cheated. Some people do it out of boredom or as an escape from their troubles. Others because they're seeking fun and excitement or have low self-esteem and need to feel desired and good about themselves. Women tend to cheat as a way of getting emotional intimacy, which may be lacking in their current relationship or they feel neglected or taken for granted.
While others have affairs because they are unhappy in their marriage, and instead of ending it choose to cheat as a way of finding happiness.
Your Spouse Has Cheated…What Now?
Chances are as you make this discovery, you feel as though your life has crumbled all around you. Everything you knew or thought you knew suddenly feels like a lie. The person you loved and trusted the most in your whole life seems like a stranger, and you're left feeling heartbroken, confused and unsure of who to turn to, what to do and how to behave.
If the discovery was accidental, for instance seeing charges on a credit card ball, opening up an email or stumbling on to one of the married affairs websites open on his laptop, the first thing you need to decide is whether you want to confront your spouse about it or keep it to yourself.
Many spouses become aware of affairs and decide to do nothing. They decide to protect their marriages, their children and the life they know and go on as if nothing has happened. There is no harm in choosing that path, but you have to make sure you take care of yourself. Knowledge of a secret like that can eat away at you and fill you with stress, anxiety and maybe even depression. Before your mental health takes a hit, get some help for yourself!
Should you decide to tackle it head-on and confront your spouse, try to take some time to prepare yourself so you can have a rational conversation based on fact rather than an emotional, rage-filled one. Try to have the conversation at a time when nobody else is around, and you can both have some uninterrupted time to talk everything through.
As soon as one partner strays either physically or emotionally, it signals there is a bigger issue at play. Keep in mind not all spouses who are on married affairs websites go on to have a physical relationship with another person. It is not uncommon for the 'affair' to stay within the confines of the computer screen and website. Regardless of whether it was physical or emotional, it is a clear indication something needs to be addressed. If you want to salvage the marriage, those issues will need to be addressed and fixed.
Once you've had your conversation, decide what you want to do.
Allow Yourself To Feel:
Making the discovery that your spouse is on married affairs websites can be devastating. Regardless of whether or not they acted on anything and had a physical affair.
Physical or emotional, cheating is cheating, and it is okay for you to feel the way you do. Whatever that may be.
Acknowledge your feelings and emotions and let yourself feel them. It's completely normal to yo-yo between feelings of rage, sadness, anger, confusion, and even bouts of love and affection. There is no timeline for how long this will take and no guarantee that bitterness and anger won't resurface even after you've decided to put it to rest and move forward with a renewed commitment to your marriage. If that happens, that's okay! Your spouse will need to understand your relationship has shifted, and the trust is gone. Couples therapy can help with communicating these thoughts.
Things Not To Do:
When betrayal is first discovered, the initial disbelief may very quickly give in to rage. And in the heat of the moment, taken over by a myriad of emotions you may be tempted to do rash things. Things you may come to regret later on when things have cooled down a little. The following are some suggestions on what you shouldn't do.
Don't Take It Out On The Children (if you have any). A common mistake couples make when fighting over something (an affair, money, in-laws, etc.) is put the kids in the middle of it. Sometimes this is done inadvertently, and other times it's a strategic move designed to inflict pain on the other parent. But all this does at the end of the day is cause distress and anxiety for your child and it sets them for problems in their relationships as they grow up. Although it will be a difficult pill to swallow, try to keep things civil for the sake of your children. Try to remember that although your spouse is a cheater and they betrayed you, they are still one half of your child and have their relationship with them. A bad spouse does not necessarily equate to bad parenting.
Don't Broadcast On Social Media. In today's digital era, sharing every aspect of our lives on social media is almost a given. However, there can be such a thing as over-sharing. Be mindful of what you want floating out there for the rest of eternity.
Don't Spill All YourSecrets To Family Or Friends. Over-sharing also extends to conversations with family and friends, although this one may be harder to maintain. Understandably want the support of your family and friends, and you no doubt want them on your side, not your spouse's. While it's completely okay to talk about what's going on in your life and the fall out from your spouse's affair, it is best to refrain from divulging every confidence shared between your spouse and yourself or to paint them in a very bad light. Once the initial rage wears off and you begin to face the reality of the situation and consider what steps to take next, you may discover you want to preserve your marriage. If this is the case, every bad word you ever uttered about your spouse will come back to haunt you! The words you spill in a moment of weakness can make many Christmases, birthdays and holidays very uncomfortable for your spouse and your extended family.
What you do moving forward and how you choose to move forward is entirely within your control and your decision. Many people choose to end the marriage when their spouses cheat, whether it was physical or emotional. Others decide to work on their marriage.
There is no right or wrong answer, and only you can know what is best for you and your children (if any are involved).
But first and foremost, make sure you look after yourself! This includes your physical and mental well being. You may be tempted to blame yourself, or you may start to obsessively analyze every moment from your marriage trying to pinpoint where it all went wrong or what you could have done differently. Doing so will only increase your anxiety and will only add to your emotional trauma.
Ending a marriage is not a decision, which can be made lightly; it can take weeks and months for you to figure out what you want. While you are waiting, consider couples counseling to understand why your partner did what he did, to help yourself come to terms with the affair, to heal, and maybe even to forgive.
Regardless of whether you choose to go down the couple's counseling route, you should consider therapy and counseling for yourself. If you've decided to end the marriage, it's important to be able to move on completely from the betrayal and to be happy from within.
If you're harboring feelings of blame and low self-esteem, counseling can help with those issues as well and ensure you become the best version of yourself. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the affair, it is not uncommon to develop PTSD or become fearful of engaging in another intimate relationship down the road. By taking action and seeking help from a therapist you're proactive.
It is an unfortunate reality of any marriage or relationship that people cheat. This does not mean it was your fault or you did something wrong, or you were flawed. This was a decision made by your spouse, and you have very little control over how they choose to act.
What you can control is how you handle this discovery and what you do with your life moving forward. It may feel like a herculean task to rebuild your life (with or without your spouse), but it is not impossible. Men and women have been where you are right now, and they've come out on the other side in different ways, doing what worked best for them.
As you mull over your options and decide on what to do, speak to a therapist to gain clarity and to ensure you prioritize the mental well being of yourself and your children over everything else.