Ashley Madison Scandal

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First ask yourself, “What is Ashley Madison?” If you can confidently answer the question with anything but, “I do not know,” then you may have been affected by this site.

Ashley Madison is the second largest online dating website, second only to, with the slogan, “Life is Short. Have an Affair.” Recently a hacker group called, “The Impact Team,” threatened to release the “confidential” information for dating websites: Ashley Madison, Cougar Life, and Established Men. The goal behind the threat was to have these websites permanently shut down because the “cheating dirtbags,” according to the Impact team, were not worthy of discretion or confidentiality.

“Cheating dirtbags,” does not exactly insinuate the Impact Team is composed of men; and coincidently Christian Mingle did not get hacked. Does this information shed some light on who orchestrated the attack? Maybe, maybe not.

The more important questions are: What lead up to the affair?; Is there a history of similar sexually acting out behavior?;  What happens to the relationship now?; How do you cope with the onslaught of emotions ranging from fear to shame?

Millions of relationships and families have been affected by this threat of exposure. You are not the only one and you do not need to deal with this alone.

If you have been affected by the recent events involving Ashley Madison and other sites, the Counseling Center for Sexual Health can help. We work with individuals, couples, and partners of individuals affected. Contact us today (805)308-9800.

-Darilyn Shano, M.S., MFTI

An Introduction: Partners of Sex & Love Addicts


We’ve touched upon sex and love addiction, discussing etiology, symptoms, and treatment.  We would now like to provide support for partners who are impacted by sex or love addiction.

Partners of sex addicts or any significant other who is close with the patient will also need support with the discovery of sex addiction. The discovery itself is traumatizing. The pain of betrayal can feel overwhelming . The relationship is exposed to sexually transmitted diseases, financial consequences, and social embarrassment.

Is is crucial to recovery for partners to be connected with support.  Partners can often feel isolated, use avoidance to cope, and engage in self-blame (Manning & Watson, 2007).

Do you think your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, or wife may be a sex or love addict? Please visit our previous posts if your partner repeatedly lies about his or her sexual activity or online behavior.

Next week, we’ll discuss the Stages of Recovery for partners of sex & love addicts.

-Katie McGrath, M.S.

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