The Ashley Madison hack is causing concerns in more ways than one. Obviously, there are all the concerns from people afraid they might get caught having an affair — or at least willing to have an affair. After all, that is expressly what Ashley Madison is about.
But there are those for whom the Ashley Madison woes could mean big business. If you are in the business of counseling couples or representing couples in litigation, the Ashley Madison hack could mean a windfall.
Nancy Chemtob, a matrimonial lawyer, was already seeing two clients a month that specifically named the Ashley Madison site as a factor in the divorce they were seeking. She has become very familiar with the reasons people try out the site.
“Sometimes spouses are so demoralized by their spouse that they’ll end up posting just to see if they get any responses,” Chemtob said of Ashley Madison. “A lot of my clients fall in love with [people on the site] or fall in love with the idea of someone telling them they’re tall and handsome when really they’re short and fat. You meet someone who becomes your fantasy.”
But Chemtob also acknowledges that, depending on where you live, catching your spouse with an Ashley Madison account doesn’t necessarily mean everything will go your way in divorce court.
“Under New York state law there is no reason that adultery would give you any more money, or any less money,” said Chemtob. “Seeing somebody’s spouse on the website, you wouldn’t even have proof of adultery.”
I'm a divorce lawyer with working CTRL and F keys and the ashley Madison pastebin so I'm buying drinks tonight
— LESEan MCCOY EVENTS (@trillballins) July 20, 2015
But what about those who don’t head straight to divorce? Some may seek counseling to help them deal with the shock of infidelity — or even the willingness of a spouse to entertain the notion of infidelity. That’s where marriage counselors like M. Gary Meuman of Miami come in.
“When there is infidelity, there is tremendous upheaval and pain,” Neuman says, “so much so it is nearly impossible for either parent to keep it together to shield the children from the screaming or knowledge that one parent was unfaithful.”
Neuman says that an affair started on a service like Ashley Madison may even do more damage to a marriage than one begun in real world circumstances.
“If the affair started at work, where people spend many hours together and can claim they fell into adultery Inadvertently, it is very, very different than if they intentionally went online to look for someone to cheat with,” Neuman says. “That is far, far more painful for the other person.” And much harder for a therapist to help a couple reconcile, he says.
Guns don't kill people, people who find their spouses getting outed in the Ashley Madison hack kill people.
— Nathan (@stockejock) July 22, 2015