Ashley Madison users exposed

Hackers who call themselves the “Impact Team” have hacked and then released information from Ashley Madison, the #1 website for cheating spouses. After the site was hacked, those of us who live in or very near the Nation’s Capital have been holding our breath as DC is listed as one of the top users of Ashley Madison’s services. Who would have thought a place like DC would need any assistance with this kind of thing—perhaps they believed it would be safer to hunt away from work and neighborhood connections, in a place where they could better shield their identity. How could they be so naïve you ask? Given all the hacks of top level government sites and large retail corporations, it was only a matter of time.

Those who have been cheated on have been positively gleeful at the potential for exposure, smiling as they mention how karma works. For those who have been doing the cheating, the tension and fear of exposure must be awful. We can only imagine all the profiles being deleted, and cell phones and personal devices being scrubbed of all data. Inattentive husbands and wives may suddenly have reverted to courting behavior, wooing their spouses with romantic notes, lighted candles in the bedrooms, flowers, and dinners out to a favorite and almost forgotten place. If their name pops up on a list they can say, “But darling, all my thoughts, gestures and time have been spent on you.”

To add injury to insult, credit cards numbers have been released along with customer names and other information. One has to wonder if these hackers were once cheated on spouses. Apparently the hackers warned this would happen if the site was not taken down, and when this was ignored, they went diving for data. Therefore, it’s believed their motive was not about money, but that they were driven by a moral motivation.

I think many folks will be speculating about who these hackers are, and where they might strike next. Lord knows, the internet is web with “sin” and could keep the moral police occupied for a long time. Note to those who are bored in their marriages and relationships. To those who seek some extra excitement and the fun that seems to have left their relationships with their partners—be careful of what you wish for. If your name is on that list, you will gets lots of excitement, it won’t be boring, and the adrenaline rush will be extreme if/when your participation becomes known.

I have no intention of offering tips on better ways to cheat. However, finding your thrills online is not safe and anonymous, and therefore, free of consequences as you may have told yourself. Please think about what you have to lose before you go looking for intimacy somewhere else. And consider investing more in what you already have. What you need might have been there all along, but somehow you both misplaced the connection to it.

Author: Toni Coleman

Toni Coleman, LCSW, CMC is an internationally recognized dating and relationship expert and founder of Her expertise is sought frequently by local and national publications and top ranked dating and relationship websites and she has been a guest on a number of radio and TV programs. She is the featured relationship coach in “The Business and Practice of Coaching,” (Norton, September 2005); the author of the forward for, “Winning Points with the Woman in Your Life, One Touchdown at a Time;” (Simon and Schuster, November 2005) - and her popular relationship articles can be found in several magazines and a number of self- help, personal growth and dating/relationship websites. Toni holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Social Work, is a licensed psychotherapist in the state of Virginia, and earned a certification in life coaching.

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