Columnist: Reverberations from Ashley Madison debacle; telltale signs of an affair

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 19, 2015

The telltale signs of an affair

By Glenn Dowell

Contributing columnist

I guess by now, most Americans have heard of the Ashley Madison controversy (the online adult service site devoted to extra-marital affairs) where the personal information such as the sexual preference of its more than 37 million members is in the hands of computer hackers.

Georgians are not too far removed from the controversy. Allen Peake, R-Macon, the major advocate of Georgia medical marijuana, confessed that he too had opened an account on Ashley Madison.

If you are a member, and your partner doesn’t know yet, chances are you’re probably nervous and not sleeping so well these days. Especially since Ashley Madison’s slogan is “life is short, have an affair.”

Do you truly know if your spouse or lover is having an affair?

Are you married or in love with someone whom you believe is unfaithful? Are the arguments between the two of you becoming more heated and frequent? Does your significant other seem to criticize you without provocation?

If so, your spouse or lover could be having an affair. Infidelity, in fact, appears to be in style.

A few years ago on “Good Morning America,” Susan Shapiro Barash, a gender studies professor and author of the book “A Passion for More: Wives Reveal the Affairs that Make or Break Their Marriages,” shocked many Americans by the results of her research. She stated that cheating wives are cheating more and without guilt or remorse.

Ms. Barash said that 90 percent of the women in her study were not remorseful and felt entitled because they had been so unhappy in their marriage. According to Barash, 65 percent of the women she interviewed said that sex was better with a lover than with a husband.

Forty-five percent of the women remained married despite their affairs. Indiscretions overall, have resulted in the institution of marriage becoming more unstable as women play a greater role in the workplace. Statistics, in fact, bear this out. For the past several years, studies on the institution reveal that just as many people are getting married as are getting divorces in the United States.

Some believe that erectile dysfunction drugs such as Viagra, which provide a kind of sexual tune-up for men are to blame for their developing liaisons outside the home and even to abandon their wives. To be more specific, it has been reported that there is an increasing incidence of divorce and infidelity among men over 50, such as Rep. Peake.

Sexual boost drugs soon to be available to women

Recently, it was reported that research has taken place that will also allow women in the very near future to visit their physician for a magic pill to pep up their sexual drive. It is said that women, however, are more discreet and particular than men in the selection of a lover.

You will rarely find them looking for a male prostitute.

The telltale signs of your lover possibly being unfaithful

A few of the signs are as follows: lack of attention and affection, becoming more concerned about their looks or appearance; they become more interested in doing their own laundry; their clothes have unusual stains or smells; obvious need for privacy during phone calls; more attention to dress and/or attire; being surprisingly nice leading up to unexplained long stays from home; and actual loss of interest in activities of the home. Of course, these signs could mean nothing related to an indiscretion.

Marriage counselors will be quick to tell you that a gut feeling, however, is the most powerful indicator that something is wrong in a relationship. The first clue they believe is seldom obvious. Typically it’s a feeling that something is different.

The first sign can be a comment or incident that seems harmless but remains in your mind. Most researchers agree that under normal circumstances at the beginning of an affair when a spouse or lover cheats, the cheater is more attentive.

This is to compensate for a guilt-ridden conscience. After a while, when the affair has been going on for an extended period, the cheater begins to find fault with the person he or she may be living with to justify the behavior.

In today’s society, especially with the increase of women in the workplace, it is said that there is very little measurable difference in men and women when it comes to engaging in extra-marital affairs. Something has to change. The national discussion in terms of relationships has to include saving the institution of marriage.

Do you feel that something is wrong with the relationship you have with your significant other, but you just cannot put the problem in proper perspective? Honest and courteous communication is always the solution. Give it a try today.

Glenn Dowell is an author and LaGrange native who currently lives in Jonesboro. He may be reached at