I have a confession to make: I used to work for AshleyMadison.com. Usually when I tell someone I worked there, it takes them a minute to place the name, and then this look of horror/intrigue comes over them (except for the people who immediately recognize the name and then try to act natural. I know what they’re up to).
When I worked there, I was very popular at dinner parties. It also had an interesting (if somewhat unexpected) impact on my dating life. Just this weekend, someone said (mostly) in jest: you worked at Ashley Madison and wonder why you have bad dating karma? I have even been told that working there made me undatable. I don’t believe that, but it definitely changed the way I look at some things.
When I first started working there, I was torn. I was glad to be employed, I worked with some pretty awesome people, and I was learning every day. However, I also went into it with a lot of judgement. I saw marriage as black and white: either stay faithful, or get a divorce. My parents’ multiple divorces reinforced this idea for me, and I just didn’t understand why someone would cheat and stay in an unhappy marriage or extramarital affair.
However, about three months after I started working there, I began to see things a bit differently. We often provided members for anonymous interviews with the press, and part of my job involved ‘screening’ them. I talked with a lot of people, mostly women, and realized things weren’t so simple. I became friendly with some of the members, and their stories were heartbreaking. These aren’t terrible people with no regard for others’ feelings. They are in a situation they cannot get out of (for whatever reason), and they are doing what they think is right.
Something else happened during my time there that made me think differently about the whole scenario. I had two long-term, woefully misguided crushes on two different married men. Nothing ever came of either, but lines were crossed. It taught me a lot about who I am, and about not knowing what’s really happening behind the scenes of someone else’s relationship. The girl that never worked at AM would probably judge the shit out of dark-timeline girl, and you might too. That’s okay.