Am I Checking to See If My Husband Had an Ashley Madison Account? Hell, No.

couple lying down togetherMy husband and I were snuggling on the couch, enjoying the blissful quiet of a house with sleeping children in it, when I saw the news that Josh Duggar had an Ashley Madison account. The gossip websites were gleeful at the hypocrisy, and I felt suddenly sure that his name is just the first well-known name that will be linked to the now famously hacked website for married people looking to cheat.

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But with over 28 million unique email addresses released as part of the hack, it isn't just famous people who might be feeling nervous right now. Partners everywhere are faced with the decision: To check or not to check if the one you love was registered with the site?

As someone who had an Ashley Madison account of my own (and, yes, my name shows up on the "list" of hacked accounts), I know for sure what I am going to do.

Nothing. I'm going to do nothing.

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Now, a word about my account. Like many journalists and writers, I created a fake account with the website when I was working on an assignment. I canceled it after about a day and was never involved in a relationship or even an email exchange with anyone from the site. While I used a fake name, I used my real email address, because the site was supposed to be the utmost in discretion, right?

But now anyone who knows my email address could look for me and find my name and assume the worst about my character and my marriage. Awesome. Thanks, hackers!

My husband knew about the account when I created it and knows that my information is included in the hack. He trusts me and it isn't an issue for him.

Prior to the release of this information by hackers, I had no reason to suspect that my husband was or is using that website or that he is cheating on me. I STILL have no reason to believe he is, so even though I can check his email address, that doesn't mean I should.

The truth is that I'm also not checking because I'm not sure what I would do with the information if it turned out that he did have an account there. Knowing he had an account doesn't actually tell me if he was cheating. Maybe he was bored or curious one night. Maybe someone else used his email address (Ashley Madison didn't actually verify that the emails belong to the people using them).

If I checked, would I find myself believing the worst about him? If I checked, wouldn't I be, in some small way, violating the trust in our relationship? Wouldn't that be evidence that I was lying when I tell him "I love you and I trust you"?

Ultimately, I believe that trust is like a muscle. You have to use it to make it stronger. So, I'm flexing that muscle now, and tonight, I will snuggle again on the couch with my husband, content to know that after 10 years we are still the only one for each other. 

 

Image via mediaphotos/iStock

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