If you're married and you know it, clap your hands, because "The Impact Team" hackers have come through on their threats and leaked a veritable shit tonne of the Ashley Madison database info. It's there - all there: people's names, dates, addresses, personal sexual preferences, images, credit card and financial information, the whole shebang, pardon the pun.
Next steps: Are you going to check the leaked Ashley Madison info?
I already told you why I think it's a terrible, no-good, bad idea on par with giving yourself a home hair-cut after a bottle of Shiraz, but it's been a few weeks and I've been able to reflect and ponder. Here's what I think now: Don't fucking do it.
Playing the "What if" game never ends well. It leads to things like knee-jerk reactions, stress diarrhea, and anxiety attacks. The "What if" game cannot be won. It is by it's very nature unwinnable. I understand that curiosity and voyeurism is alive and well (and I'm just as interested about things like this leak as you are) but the best course of action here is to not check the leak info. Do not check, do not look, do not peek, do not engage. If you're still curious because you think your own spouse with whom you have no prior "outside lovin'" arrangement may have been using the site, you can do the following:
1. Ask your partner if they've used Ashley Madison services or created a profile there.
2. Listen to their answer, and then believe them.
If you cannot or do not believe them, you have other issues to contend with and I wish you the best of luck in getting your relationship back to a healthy place.
If, despite my warnings and advice, you do venture over to the dark web - or Gawker in like, 36 hours or so - know this: Ashley Madison is likely going to have the names of people you know listed. Men you know, and women you know. It's not just men hanging out and logging in there, or it'd be called GaryThornknackerson.com not AshleyMadison.com. It's not a gay dating site; it's an extra-marital affair hook up site and straight married men are going there to find - and finding - straight women there.
Are you ready to know this about your friends? Are you willing to tell your friend that you saw her husband is listed and hey - he's really into good sushi, Woody Allen movies, and anal? I don't think I'm ready to know that my friends like Woody Allen.
If these people have kids, it's just going to be worse, and not for the adults in the equation.
In middle school I knew someone - another student - who was approached by a peer on the playground. The boy knew his father was having an affair with this girl's mom and begged her to tell her parent to please stop seeing his dad. It was a nightmare for everyone and the pain in this kid's eyes was so evident, even to me at 12 years-old. This is not what school boards intended to be happening on a swing set.
Kids aren't stupid. They know when something isn't "right," and they can feel it. They don't deserve to get caught up in the complicated adult world of boners and feelings and money and power and secrecy and sexual desire and all the other sometimes fun but mostly bullshit things of the adult world.
So here's a quick guide on checking for the leaked Ashley Madison info: