I don’t regret my Ashley Madison affair – the site helped me to live again | Anonymous

I joined the dating website in search of sex after getting bored with my wife, but instead I found love. If my details are released, I’ll deal with the consequences

I married my high school sweetheart. In the 12 years that followed, I felt comfortable in marriage. We’re great friends, make each other laugh, and have enjoyed a decade’s worth of inside jokes and idiosyncrasies. Our sex life is satisfactory: once a week and in basic positions. But the passion is gone, and a couple of years ago my physical attraction to my wife waned due to her weight gain. My libido has increased with age, and with this I grew more dissatisfied and resentful of the prospect of a sexually unfulfilled life.

As time passed, I reflected on my limited experiences in light of the realisation that I may spend the rest of my life fundamentally unsatisfied. I realised that the love I have for my wife is and has always been far more platonic than romantic. I had married out of convenience and safety with little regard for anything deeper, other than the avoidance of any kind of insecurity, pain, or challenge. We really have had a comfortable life, but I reached a point where I was ready to act on my long-repressed desires and impulses, to broaden my horizons, even if it meant risking that life in search of what it meant to actually live.

I knew of Ashley Madison and in an impulsive decision one evening decided to open an account. It was the first time I’d ever used a dating website, so my experience was limited, but it was easy enough to get started. I uploaded a photo of my upper body and used the black bar feature to remove my eyes. I then spent a considerable amount of time writing my profile in the hopes of attracting the kind of woman I had always fantasised about: older, professional, intelligent, witty, attractive.

Within a week I had established contact with a woman in a nearby city. We exchanged messages on the website then things moved naturally to email. When she sent me her picture and I saw how good-looking she was, the reality of what I was doing hit me for the first time. Was I really the kind of man to do this? Look how beautiful she is, you can’t pass this up. Can it hurt to meet her and see? On your deathbed, will you regret never having taken this chance?

We agreed to meet in a public setting after it was obvious in writing that we would be compatible enough to take our relationship to the next level. We were seeking the same thing: no-strings-attached sex. Our first meeting happened in a car pool lot. As we sat in her car and talked in person, all my anxieties faded. We talked candidly for almost an hour. She was 11 years older than me, professional, intelligent, and attractive. We agreed to meet again later that week at my house as my wife was going out of town for the weekend.

That night, we talked at length and got to know each other on a personal level. I knew I would never be able to have purely anonymous sex devoid of any intellectual attachment, and once I knew we had that, the sex followed naturally. And it was absolutely incredible.

In the weeks afterwards I learned that in addition to every other attribute she had that I was so attracted to, she was also witty, caring, insightful, kind, thoughtful – my wordcount is limited so I can’t go on. We continued to meet, spending as much time talking as we did having sex, sometimes more. During our fourth or fifth meeting, it became clear that we weren’t just having sex.

Some months later we finally admitted to each other that we had fallen in love, even though neither of us was looking for it. We were only seeking to satisfy our sexual needs, but we understood that our chemistry and desire to be together is too powerful and undeniable.

In the midst of our struggle to determine how our futures would unfold together, the Ashley Madison hack happened. My affair partner did not have to enter any credit card information, so she is not worried about herself. She is worried about me; I did use a personal credit card, and if the information is released, I may be in danger.

But I am not worried. The situation is out of my control. If the hackers release my information, I will take responsibility for my actions and the decisions I have been making. I will embrace the consequences. I found what I didn’t even know I was seeking: a partner who makes me feel alive and passionate. I found love, and I couldn’t be happier in that respect. I could never go back to my old life and self, and I have no regrets.


The GuardianTramp

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