Over the weekend, we were lounging around watching the NFL playoff games, as we are big football fans.  During one commercial break there was a spot that featured a man that was professing his distaste for Ashley Madison, which in case you were not aware, is a site much like Match.com or other dating sites, except it promotes or facilitates marital affairs.

The man, Ryan Hill, mentioned that he was promoting family values and asked that viewers check out his site at MyMarriageMatters.org.   My curiosity of course led me to check it out.  Basically his site displays a replay of the commercial and asks visitors to sign his petition.

At first glance it seemed an admirable thing to do, but I couldn’t help but be skeptical as I felt it odd that someone would pay big bucks to advertise on a nationally televised, highly rated NFL football game for something like this – especially just to sign a petition.  My skepticism was further fueled by the fact the commercial showed the Ashley Madison logo, images and website information just a little too much.

It turns out that someone else felt the same skepticism back in May of last year, as the author of the Manogamy Movement blog has a few posts that detail his views, along with a confrontation he had with the man behind MyMarriageMatters.org (who by the way, interestingly enough seems to be a divorce attorney).

According to Manogamy Movement, it appears that the Mr. Hill and Ashley Madison are pretty much one in the same, or at least affiliated in some way. Check out the blog posts for the low down.

Well, I didn’t want to stop there.  Since I’ve never been on the Ashley Madison site, I decided to check it out as well.  What struck me right off the back was their tagline:  “Life is short.  Have an affair.” I think that it should probably be more like, “If you want a short life, have an affair!”  They also guarantee that you will have an affair if you use their site.  Geesh!

I clicked around a bit and read the FAQ, and some of the articles, and eventually got to the page that mentions various media coverage for the site.  There were several videos, and other links to view, but I found the video below with the CEO of Ashley Madison, Noel Biderman and his wife to be pretty good.  It gets into the premise behind the site and Biderman’s justification for its existence.  

One phrase Mr. Biderman used was that his site is a “marriage preservation tool.”  Though I feel that my emotional affair has wound up helping to make our marriage stronger, I wouldn’t recommend any kind of an affair as a way to preserve a marriage.

We’d be curious to hear your thoughts about Ashley Madison, the founder’s justification for such a site and whether or not you feel it can be a “marriage preservation tool.”  You might also take a little time and read some of the media articles on their site.  But be forewarned, some may get you riled up.

 

 

    7 replies to "Ashley Madison a Marriage Preservation Tool?"

    • Jeffrey Murrah

      Doug,

      I loved the line “If you want a short life, have an affair!” Sites like Ashley Madison take the view that an affair will add spice, bring excitement, etc. to one’s love life. I am sure that their services will do that along with adding communicable diseases, attorney expense, hours of arguments and fights. They do not show the shattered lives in divorce court, the heartbroken children who spent their holidays split between two angry parents.

      Viewing it as a “Marriage Preservation Tool” is a fool’s errand. I still find it worth noting that the founder Noel Bitterman said “If my wife were using my service, or any dating service, or if I even found her on Facebook chatting with former boyfriends and not telling me about it, I would be emotionally hurt beyond belief, and would feel that our relationship had severe problems”. How is that for a businessman not allowing his wife to use his services? It says a lot. If it is so safe and helps marriages so much, why does he not let his wife use it?

    • Yuki

      I could not watch all the way through. I started crying within the first couple minutes. I hope the bad karma Bitterman is spreading comes back to bite his butt – and everything else. What an appropriate name he has.

    • Donna

      Yuki, thought the same about his name too.. and yes, I believe in karna too

    • michael

      However unethical, what he sells is a solid business plan. He is capitalizing on the weak that are almost there. The full blown cheat, like my best friend was, don’t need a site like this. But they are a small potion of the people.
      They are making money off the ones that are not quite there. Ones that are in an unhappy marriage. Ones that are seeking what they miss in their relationship. Giving then the guidance to take that step to become needed.
      I’m sure that most of the men/women that work for the company believe that it could never happen to them. That their relationship is better than that. Much the same way that most of us knew it could never happen to us.
      I’m sure with enough looking around that someone could find a link between the two sites. Because we all know that even bad press is a way to get noticed. I would be curious to know the numbers of how busy the site was before and after the add.

      • Doug

        Again, for some reason this went to my email. It’s from Jeff Murrah:

        Michael,

        The Ashley Madison business plan is strong in terms of making money. I see the concern as a matter of ethics and morals. It makes money, but that does not make it good, since many marriages have been weakened or destroyed by what the company has done. How many spouses have been inspired by their billboards “Life is short. Have an Affair?”. Such messages plant seeds in people’s minds. It may be what starts the whole affair process or what gives the cheater the courage to finally do something they have been only thinking about.

        Ashley Madison makes money, but it destroys the morals of people and the society that allows it to continue.

        The tolerance and acceptance of Ashley Madison say a great deal about society and its morals. It amounts to a socially acceptable bordello services. The CEO is making money at the cost of his soul.

    • Yuki

      Hear, hear, Jeff! That’s the point exactly, as I see it, too.

    • Gizfield

      If you have to separate your “personal ethics” from your”business ethics” you probably have neither. If there is anything more pathetic than a cheater, it’s ones who use sites like this. Ugh. at least find your own damn girlfriend. Oh, watch out for online quizzes, like What does your favorite color tell about you? I did that, next thing you know you have an online profile with OK, Cupid or something and are getting creepy messages from married guys who know you are married.and in your 50s . Guess it didn’t matter, ughhhh…they must lurk and wait for married women to pop up. Completely disgusting.

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