Look at those stealth moves to hide their wedding rings…
Dear Noel and Amanda:
You had the world, and so many body parts and fantasies and cash, not to mention data, in the palms of your squeaky clean hands. But you forgot to lock the back door.
See, this is how it always goes down. In flames. One silly little oversight, usually due to adrenaline and testosterone and maybe some tequila, and your secrets are spilled. In your case that includes the credit card numbers, names, addresses, and filthy little fantasies of your clientele, who are really just trying to have a little fun in their sexless marriages, you know?
There you are, fighting the good fight, providing a service where others can get serviced. In a world where so many marriages end in destructive divorces, you provide us with an alternative: infidelity.
And to think that someone would be so cruel as to disrupt your honorable, selfless efforts that fly in the face of your own personal dedication to monogamy. It’s a shocking betrayal.
I bet you were angry. Furious. I bet you felt wronged. Used. Embarrassed. Humiliated. And now you’re going to have to deal with all this upheaval. You’ll go back through receipts and transcripts and data archives. You’ll probably have to go to court. A lot. All those lawyer fees and fines. There goes the bank account. You’ll be distracted at work, unable to focus. You’ll feel shamed as you wait for your innocent children at school pick up.
Will you ever be able to trust again?
Two wrongs never make a right. We see it all the time. But like my Mom said over and over, The truth will always out. (I know, not grammatically correct, but accurate nonetheless.) You got outed.
Throughout your meteoric success, complete with black hole-sized Egos, you always claimed that you weren’t doing anything wrong. No! You saw a market and you took the time and floated the cash to build a social site where people could get together and make plans. You magically created an alternative to divorce! You were saving marriages!
Apparently you were also saving the member profile data of those who paid you to permanently delete it.
Perhaps you did that because you couldn’t bear to let them go. You’d feel a void, rejected. Instead, you kept their data around like old photographs or love letters, and with Adele playing in the background, you’d revisit the good times you once shared.
I have empathy, Noel and Amanda.
Just not for you.
And while your valiant efforts to normalize AshleyMadison.com have been, well, laughed at, you could have saved yourselves lots of time and perhaps avoided this business-busting hack had you just come clean and said:
We see dollar signs. That’s all. Dollar signs. Just like when a horny person in a sexless marriage sees a hottie, we hopped on for the ride.
Unfortunately, you forgot protection.
Here’s one part you haven’t yet realized: The Impact Team (affectionately known as TIT, at least to me) has delivered you right into my lair. They’ve made you my minions. For the last four years I’ve been trying my darndest to get people to “Have Conversations, Not Affairs”, and that’s exactly what’s going to happen when your Egos prevent you from taking down the site, as requested by TIT.
There’s going to be so many conversations happening and lots of cancelled weekend getaways to hotels that have champagne glass bathtubs. You will have garnered the ire of waitstaff at steakhouses all over the world. And all those girls who were expecting some new Victoria’s Secret lingerie or a sugar-rimmed cocktail at a rotating bar with a breathtaking, and expensive, view?
They’ll comfort themselves with online shopping for their back-to-school outfits.
Kids are so resilient these days.
Chalk your bad luck up to Tall Poppy Syndrome. And that doesn’t have anything to do with a chick with long legs. You got a little cocky. That zombie wife ad? Might have been the ‘jump the shark’ moment, only in this case the shark actually got you.
As much as millions of adulterers wish it weren’t true, most of the world thinks infidelity is cruel and unnecessary. And those that cheat are sleazy, not just trying to make their marriage work.
Maybe you should have been a little more humble, like CraigsList.
Love Yourself (if you can),
Well done Cleo. Thank you. As I read various articles (and the comments), I read so many people saying that monogamy is not possible, so marriage is flawed. Marriage is about monogamy only if both partners want it to be. BOTH, not one making a decision on the side… Let’s get back to honesty.
Cleo Everest says
Thank you for the kind words.
Marriage is a choice. Monogamy? Well, if it’s not feeling good there’s this little option called HAVE A CONVERSATION! Sometimes we get off on complicating life. Sadly, we then miss the magic. The opportunities for growth lost to adulterous rolls in the hay are holding our entire species by the gonads. It’s time to lust after evolution; great sex is a guarantee. Thank you for being here, F.
I don’t think my exwife had the ability/courage/confidence/self awareness to have that conversation. When confronted she never accepted responsibility for her actions, it was all my fault that she ended up on the wrong side of a fidelity discussion. The thing is, I don’t know that if she had said she wanted out that the end result (bitter divorce – custody, spousal support and property) would have been any different. We would have rattled around in couples therapy for a while, but in the end the fight would have been the same.
When a spouse cheats they are making a decision for their partner that the partner was not privy to, would not have chosen. They took choices away from the person that they supposely were committed to. They brought a third person into their bedroom essentially and into the emotional intimacy of the marriage. It’s not only disgusting, it’s entirely selfish and sick at it’s core. Don’t want to be married? Then don’t.
Cleo Everest says
N, Yes. And then we have those that do want to be married, but want to cheat too. To them: It’s time to grow up. No judging, no waging of fingers, just – It’s time to grow up. I’d love to sit around all day and eat guacamole and drink tequila, all delivered by some extraordinary hot man in board shorts. But I’m a grown up now. Thank you for commenting and for being here. Love yourself, Cleo
lisa thomson says
Yowsa, what a fantastic article, Cleo!! Well said!
Cleo Everest says
L, Thank you for the kind words! Love yourself, Cleo
How is making money off of infidelity any different than making money off of divorce?
I see a lot of adds on your site here…guess your friends at Ashley Madison arent the only ones with dollar signs in their eyes.
Cleo Everest says
K, It’s traditional to pay for the publication of content via advertisers. It provides the advertisers a way to reach their audience and the audience an opportunity to learn about products and services. They can choose to click on an ad or simply read the various articles and free guidance from those who provide counsel to individuals in the midst of a divorce.
Charging clients to purge private data and then not purging it is vastly different from running ads on a website.
Going one step further, providing a content resource for those dealing with the complexities of divorce is also vastly different from Ashley Madison’s business model, complete with billboards that us grown-ups need to explain to our children.
We live in a society where currency makes the world go ’round. That doesn’t mean we have to completely cave on promises made, whether to a spouse or to paying customer.
Thank you for taking the time to comment. You inspire me to find new (and healthy) ways to make money. We all deserve to earn the big bucks.
Cleo Everest says
K, It’s traditional to pay for the publication of content via advertisers. It provides the advertisers a way to reach their audience and the audience an opportunity to learn about products and services. They can choose to click on an ad or simply read the various articles and free guidance from those who provide counsel to individuals in the midst of a divorce. Charging clients to purge private data and then not purging it is vastly different from running ads on a website. Going one step further, providing a content resource for those dealing with the complexities of divorce is also vastly different from Ashley Madison’s business model, complete with billboards that us grown-ups need to explain to our children. We live in a society where currency makes the world go ’round. That doesn’t mean we have to completely cave on promises made, whether to a spouse or to paying customers. Thank you for taking the time to comment. You inspire me to find new (and healthy) ways to make money. We all deserve to earn the big bucks. Love yourself, Cleo
surely at this point everyone over the age of 20 understands that anything done electronically, is potentially for ever. Nothing is ever completely deleted and even if it does get deleted, there is usually data that shows that something was deleted, often where it came from, etc… We can’t prove what you posted, but we can tell that a computer from your IP address was on the site at these specific times and with a bit more digging, where your phone was located when you accessed the site.
AM has a similar business model to the revenge video/picture sites. Want to remove the pics and videos your ex posted? Pay us a “processing” fee. Not your traditional publishing revenue model.
Ashley Madison … I love that the truth came out. It’s mostly fake. Just another way to use men’s sex drives to extract cash from them. So many upsides from a business perspective. No real expectation that your product actually work or recourse if it doesn’t. It’s scaleable, No need to acquire more product, just add more servers as you acquire more customers.
So I’m techincal and curious, so I took a look. I don’t know how many of the female profiles were fakes, by my ex-wife’s profile was there, under her alternate email. Not sure if she actually hooked up, but I could tell from her email account that she at least did some communicating. I think that once she got an IRL affair going, she no longer needed AM’s services.
With a bit of time to gain perspective and looking at the big picture, I ‘m pretty sure that Ashley Madison and the other extramarital stuff was just the noise that a failing relationship makes. The end result would have been the same. We were done, I just didn’t know it at the time.
I’d love to read another posting/article from you!
I’m working on it, C! The past few months have been spent writing a powerful story of a woman who spun magic out of horror. She’s a little bit Scarlet O’Hara and a little bit Lone Ranger. A post is fermenting, like fine wine, and feels like it’ll come out in parts, concluding on the anniversary of my first blog post. Fitting. Stay close. Love yourself, Cleo
Glad to hear you’re busy and doing well. Miss your posts. This website had become a minefield of clickbait. I had to google your name just to find your blog. 🙁
Cathy Meyer says
Pardon me? Clickbait? You must be confusing us with BuzzFeed and Upworthy. The last thing you will find on DivorcedMoms.com is “clickbait.” The reason you are having a hard time finding Cleo’s posts is because Cleo has stopped posting. Her blog and her older posts are right where they’ve always been on DivorcedMoms. Since she no longer posts she is no longer featured on the home page and, as a result, is harder to find which has NOTHING to do with clickbait. Cathy Meyer Managing Editor, DivorcedMoms.com
N, Thank you for taking the time to comment. I’m sorry you had difficulty navigating to the blog. But I’m super glad you found it. I am working on a multi-part post for early November – the anniversary of the blog. The time spent integrating all that I’ve learned has brought me to a place where I feel I can write openly again, and without concern that I’m maintaining the “triangle” with my former spouse and his significant other. That is a triangle I’ve dropped out of. So, please understand that my going dark has been for reasons specific to my healing. I am so appreciative of your support. Please stay tuned or look to my Facebook page for the new posts. Thank you! Love yourself, Cleo
Jenn F. says
Can I be the devils advocate here? I know a lot of people on the AshleyMadison site deserve what’s coming to them, but in my experience you can never underestimate the power of forgiveness, especially in a marriage. From simple things to soul crushing indiscretions, taking a moment to absorb what is going on and react with kindness may be how you survive whatever situation requires forgiveness in the first place. This won’t work if your spouse is a narcissist or a repeat offender. However, if someone you love screwed up and it is genuinely heartfelt when asking for forgiveness then practicing patience and understanding before setting fire to their belongings will do both of you a world of good.
I’m still recovering after my husband’s affair with a co-worker and I am hoping for a new chapter in our lives and not the end of our story. I do think he is genuinely sorry but imagine what being exposed like this would do to someone who is hurting and trying to recover.
Thank you for taking the time to comment. I agree that none of the people who signed up to Ashley Madison were deserving of having their personal information leaked. Although I’m not at all surprised that it happened. As my Mom said, The truth will always out.
There is an opportunity to turn the relationship around when the truth does come out. Although healing is not likely if there is still denial. Or justification. Or blame placed on the spouse who was cheated on. Practicing patience and understanding if there is genuine remorse is a beautiful opportunity for evolution, both emotionally and spiritually.
You are a beautiful soul for taking that journey.
We’ve seen what happened when those people were exposed. Some took their own lives. It’s beyond tragic. Noel Biderman set the trap. It’s a shame he chose to prey on the weakness of those experiencing dissatisfaction in their marriage.
Have conversations, not affairs. All of this could have been avoided.
I wish you huge success on this journey. It’s magic when a couple can rise above.
You are a brilliant writer and your insight into the depths of hell dealing with a narcist ex is helping many women deal with similar situations. I do not think one can relate unless you have lived it. The shedding of the mask and the impending war for your very soul is life changing and the damage massive. On to Ashley Madison, imagine my white horse riding wonder dad of an ex buys my son a new iPhone and hooks it up to iTunes and guess what pops up? That’s right! The AM App! It was like watching a horror show, every bs lie came flooding back. Do you know how sick I am of hearing “online dating” is not cheating. Um, yes it is, if you are sending or receiving naked pics to someone else and you are in a relationship, it is cheating! I sincerely hope every woman ever effected by these hookers site band together and lynch them. They are not saving marriages they are destroying families and children’s lives by providing the platform for men and women with zero conscious to harm their families. I am blissfully happy the Trollops and Pigs got their info exposed. Maybe they felt an ounce of the pain or shame of being exposed and betrayed. I doubt it but maybe. Serial cheating is such a filthy disgusting thing and says far more about the cheating pig than it does about the betrayed spouse. Keep your heads up ladies.
R, Thank you for your kind words and for taking the time to comment. Your words speak to the normalizing of infidelity. As if it’s no big deal. It is. Lying, deceit…not okay. To see karmic balancing in real time just look at Biderman – ousted, found to be cheating on his wife, lied to her, lied to AM users… It doesn’t take a PhD to say that if someone is cool lying to their spouse and has an affair, they lack values, morals, sound judgment, maturity, ethics. The list goes on. For us, we need to accept this experience as part of our story and utilize it for good. Thank you for your words of encouragement for those who are discovering infidelity in their own marriage. It can be the very best thing – a catalyst for waking up and taking responsibility for your life. Then…BIG MAGIC HAPPENS. Love yourself, Cleo
Are you finished with this blog?
D, Not quite yet. I’ll be throwing a little grand finale this Friday evening. And, before I depart Bolinas, the final post will be written. Love yourself, Cleo
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