32 million email addresses were revealed during the Ashley Madison information dump.
That’s a lot of cheaters.
As a single woman, I’m not here to gloat. (Although wouldn’t that be the easiest thing in the world right now?).
No, what this sorry episode says to me is this: “What are our relationship expectations these days?”
I know that my issues are with trust. Because of my past experiences, I don’t know how I will ever believe anything a man says to me. Least of all, “I love you”.
Clearly, even the ones you think you can trust, you can’t.
Your marriage/relationship may be the happiest, bestest, most wonderfulest thing since bread was not just sliced but transformed into a grilled cheese sandwich, and yet still, your partner might be cheating on you.
Should we hate them for that? Hate ourselves?
Or maybe it’s time to throw in the towel and say, “Relationships are not monogomous. They never have been and they never will be.”
The traditional model of marriage and exclusivity is not the one that most people seem to adhere to these days. We need to unlearn that these are the traits that make a relationship work.
Should the new fairytale go something like this: “Yeah, sure kid, you’ll meet the man of your dreams. Or at least you think he is but he will fall far short of your expectations, most likely cheat on you and lie to your face but still, he might be a good man. If he sticks around to pay the bills, share some responsibility and bring up the kids, then you’ve got a good one. You will live happyish ever after and you know what, you’ll be luckier than most.”
I’ve said it before, we deserve the best but we expect too much. Or at least, I know I did.
And the times when I consistently compromised were the times I was left lonely, confused and frustrated.
But maybe that’s because the narrative that is beaten into us about romance, love and marriage has become redundant. Feminism started it and the internet has finished it off entirely. Leave the romance to novels.
So yes, marry your partner and buy into the dream but don’t hate him or her when they start drinking Ashley’s Kool Aid.
Their fairytale has another ending – and so does yours. That doesn’t make it worse, that just makes it different.
And 32 million other people have already figured that out.
Apparently, at dinner the night before their wedding, a guest (although clearly not much of a friend), made a rather rude dig during a speech about Sabrina’s long-life as a spinster. Pfft.
Mr Stoppard punched back with this rather fabulous line.
He said, “I wished I’d found Sabrina earlier, but I was looking on the wrong shelf — under biography rather than poetry.”
Well played that the groom!
I bet Sabrina’s glad she waited so long.