The recent Ashley Madison scandal, where 38 million user’s emails were exposed, revealed fascinating results. Only 20 million of these men actually checked their inbox. Half the people who signed up to the website catering to spouses who want to cheat got cold feet. Almost all the users checking their inbox were men. The number of women who checked their inbox? 1,492. Most of these accounts were either prostitutes or employees of Ashley Madison paid to write fake profiles and fire off a few messages.

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There are thousands of couples all over the world in anguish about this data leak. Wives should take comfort that signing up to the Ashley Madison account was almost a guarantee her husband didn’t cheat. It was statistically impossible with so few real women on the site. Still, 38 million men wanted to. They filled out a profile. They searched for women in their area. Then they kept searching, looking for anyone to get in touch and after a brief interaction with a fake woman (who faded on them) they de-activated their account. It’s actually sad, when you think about it.

In the book, The Truth about Cheating, by M. Gary Neuman, his surveys revealed interesting data:

  • 1 in 2.7 men will cheat, and most of their wives will never find about it.
  • 92 per cent of men say that affairs aren’t primarily about sex.

If it’s not about sex, what is it about? Anecdotally, psychologists say it is men’s fear of intimacy. But what does that mean? Men are frightened about revealing what, exactly? Men stray because they feel a loss of connection and don’t know how to get it back. The resentments that simmer from unfulfilled promises, addictions, and job losses etc. Men are frightened to reveal to their wives they feel like a failure and this fear permeates everything. An affair is a quick affirmation they can connect with someone. A quick respite from feeling so alone.

How are women contributing to this fear? Few people talk glowing about their spouse without throwing in a little slight. Maybe it’s a heavy nod when other wives complain about their husbands. We find it almost impossible to live without judging the crap out of our husbands. Men are guilty of this, as well. We think our spouse will make us happy and when they don’t, we blame them for it.

The unhappiness starts with the thought – it shouldn’t be this way. Then it grows into – I don’t have to put up with this. Then it takes hold with – he has to change. We’re all doing it. What would life look like if we removed the thought ‘it shouldn’t be this way’ and simply lived with our reality? I don’t mean staying in an abusive relationship, I mean seeing events without reacting. Finding peace in it. Having the thought – it is this way. My theory is if you find peace with yourself you can have a perfect relationship, even if only one person is happy. Your peace is everything.  Ending a relationship when you’re at peace is also, well, quite peaceful.

When you remove the thought – it shouldn’t be this way, something happens. You are available to talk about reality without judgement and intimacy gets a chance to happen.