Adultery Web site lowers standards for spouses

The internet has made everything easier. With one click of the mouse, you can order a new pair of jeans, check the weather for the week, pay your phone bill or cheat on your spouse.

Ashley Madison is a dating Web site that isn’t like or eHarmony. What makes it different? There are no single people on this dating site. Ashley Madison matches married people who want to cheat on their spouses.

Surprised? In a country where the divorce rate seemingly skyrockets higher ever year it seems like promoting affairs would only exacerbate an already bad situation. With the economic downturn, couples that were stressed before are in an even worse situation. The commercials for Ashley Madison have the tagline “Life is short. Have an affair.”

This seems to really place less emphasis on marriage in a culture where the institution has already been made disposable by quick divorces, ridiculous week-long celebrity marriages and Las Vegas chapel weddings. People of our generation aren’t taking marriage as seriously as our parents did and these ads only prove that. According to the Web site, Ashley Madison boasts a subscription rate of over 4 million members, with 70 percent of those being male. This is truly sad. How many of these wives being cheated on have no idea their husband is trolling for a mistress on the Internet?

Critics say that Ashley Madison is promoting adultery and making it easier for people to cheat. When I did a search to look the site up, the slogan “Looking to cheat?” popped up above the address for the site. I am honestly flummoxed at the idea of someone sitting down at the computer and typing “cheat on spouse” into a search engine.

Four million people are doing what in many Americans’ minds is considered the worst disservice you can do a marriage, especially one that is struggling. Ashley Madison proclaims it is helping keep marriages together, because the unhappy spouse that gets to cheat will be satisfied enough in the outside relationship that it won’t be necessary to divorce. I don’t know about these people, but if I found out my husband was cheating with some trollop he met on this site, I’d walk out the door first and ask questions later.

We need to bring back respect for marriage. People should look at marriage as the serious commitment it is meant to be, and honor that. If you can’t honor it, you should be searching “divorce lawyer” instead of Ashley Madison.

Christi Aldridge is a senior strategic communications major from Hillsboro.