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article imageAshley Madison Founder Argues for Extramarital Affairs Special

By Bob Gordon     Nov 15, 2009 in Lifestyle
A Toronto man claims infidelity can save marriages. His concept of "married dating" is at the core of his new book Cheaters Prosper.
This man is Noel Biderman and in 2002 he established Ashley Madison, a dating site. Ashley Madison caters to a very specific crowd, the wed and the wanting to hook up with the wed, dating types. The company's slogan is, 'Life is short. Have an affair.' Biderman refers to it as 'married dating,' and it is popular. Ashley Madison has four million active members at this time.
Responding to the market Biderman has recently published a book, Cheaters Prosper: How Infidelity Will Save the Modern Marriage. Biderman superficially talks science to establish his creds but his bottom line is really quite straightforward.
If one partner in a relationship is interested in having an affair there is a problem, probably a communication problem within the relationship. An affair proves a tipping point, either it will end a relationship that was already dead in the water or it will rejuvenate a partnership worth saving. As Biderman told Canada AM, “Infidelity becomes a catalyst for change, often for the betterment of a relationship. If you look back over time, for the relationships that do survive infidelity, everyone says 'we have a stronger relationship as a result.'”
Social workers, counsellors and psychologists widely dispute Biderman's claim. When presented with Biderman's pro-affair position relationship counsellor Glenys Causton said simply, “Absolutely untrue.” She believes it just adds one more challenge to the list of challenges that couples have to work through if they want their relationship to improve.
She sees the core issue around infidelity being one of trust and argues, “It's ridiculous to say that the trust issues that arise in the wake of an affair make for a stronger relationship.”
Causton's interpretation of infidelity concurs with that of Dr. Carole Lieberman, who was interviewed by e-mail. Lieberman is the author of Bad Boys: Why We Love Them, How to Live with Them and When to Leave Them.
She shares Causton's negative view of infidelity: “In the end, most marriages suffer terribly from cheating and ultimately break apart because of the loss of respect and trust.”
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