People who have affairs shouldn’t be judged.
At least that’s the opinion of a 64-year-old using the pseudonym Linda Harrison, who was told by her therapist to join Ashley Madison, a site that enables affairs.
And after encounters with four men she’s met on the site – including one who is married – Linda from Denver, Colorado, says she couldn’t be happier.
She explained that a “dry spell” led to her complaining to her counsellor that she needed to be intimate with a man.
She said: “I was a serial monogamist and I always had a long-term relationship.
READ MORE: ‘I help millions have affairs – men and women cheat for different reasons’
“But during the pandemic I had a three year dry spell as I’d split up with my partner just at the start of it.
“I’d been complaining [to my therapist] that I’d not been touched in three years.
“She said ‘if that’s what you want then peruse the site’.
“I told the therapist ‘It’s all guys cheating on their wives’.
“She said ‘It’s honest, if that’s what you want’.
“If it’s physical that you’re after, that’s where you can find it. No games.
“I said ‘I don’t want to be with someone who cheats on their wife.”
However, the senior executive assistant, who has no children and was married briefly early 40s, says she’s done an about turn on the notion of affairs.
The website calls for new members saying: “Whatever brings you to Ashley Madison, you can feel safe knowing that you’re not alone” and says that members are “students, lonely housewives and married men, singles, office workers, tradespeople, entrepreneurs, retirees, and everyone in between.”
Linda said: “I have done a 180.
“I have met the most healthiest, balanced men on Ashley Madison.
“People look outside their relationship for intimacy for many reasons.”
“The first person I met in person was a 49-year-old guy. He was healthy and good looking.
“He had a good job. Adores his three kids, adores his wife – but they don’t have relations as she has a chronic illness.
“He went to every soccer practice and dance performance.”
She said that people cheat for different reasons and that it’s not always straightforward.
Linda said: “Marriage is like being in a club – with shared activities, friends. It’s complex and it’s not easy to leave that system.
“People don’t want to – why would they want to?
“Once I started understanding a little more I don’t have to judge them.”
She added: “People who have affairs are not necessarily bad people and you don’t know what’s going on in that couple.
“You have no idea of the why and it’s not your place to judge.”
Linda says that friends and family are a little shocked at the direction her life has taken.
She said: “They kind of look at me with surprise.
“One male friend said ‘I don’t know how you do it – it must be brutal’.
“People tell me that I look very proper and that I look like a typical, suburban, attractive white woman.
“When I mention I have been on a pick up site they’re like ‘waah!’.
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“They meet it with shock, amusement and curiosity.”
And, she says, that the site means she can meet men that are more in line with giving her what she would like from a relationship.
She said: “I happen to have a very healthy appetite. I like to have sex.
“I know that I’m a little unusual.
“But I’m healthy, active and I exercise two hours a day. I’m very fit.
“Many women my age who are not taking hormones – they have no sex drive, their hair is thinning and I on the other hand have the appetite of a 25-year-old.
“I need someone who can keep up with me.
“Guys my age look like my dad.
“They have hair all over their face and none on their head. They don’t look good.”
She added: “Now I’m seeing someone single.
“I asked him why he was on the site and he said ‘I’ve just started a business and I don’t have the bandwidth to dedicate to a relationship.
“I’m just playing it by ear with him.
“I have had nothing but a really good experience with the site and I have been on other dating sites where people aren’t who they want to believe they are.
She added: “I’m super grateful.”
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