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Associated Press

Do you think the people revealed on Ashley Madison got what they deserve?

The debacle has given the ‘moral majority’ the perfect opportunity to express their disapproval, writes Tony Moore.

THE ASHLEY MADISON debacle continues on to the amusement of many around the world, including those of us in Ireland.

Phrases like ‘serves them right’ or ‘they’re getting what they deserve’ have enabled the ‘moral majority’ to give voice to their self proclaimed righteousness.

Isn’t it very lucky for the rest of us that our secrets have not been shared with the world?

I work in an area where I hear about the real life trauma and consequences of betrayal, and believe me, it isn’t pretty.

Failure to think past sexual needs

Before any of us snigger and take pleasure at these revelations please ask yourself what part of your life you would not like to be revealed? Also stop and think back over to a time (maybe not so long ago) when a secret liaison, whether physical or digital, may have happened and you would rather it be kept secret?

What this whole episode reinforces is the abject failure of adults, male and female, to think past their own selfish, mainly sexual, needs to the exclusion of everyone else and to hell with the consequences.

Where is the basic respect for another human being? Life seems to have become cheap. We fool ourselves that we are educated and intelligent and so ‘right on’ with huge files stuffed to the brim with human rights documents and policies.

Where, I ask you, is the human right in literally laughing in the face of the very person or people we are supposed to regard above everyone else?

Children are the real victims

About 35 million people signed up to Ashley Madison. Now let us assume that 30 million have children.

Let us further assume that 30 million have two children. That means, if my maths is correct, that 60 million children are now looking at the possible break up of their family.

This will not be some sweet and polite well negotiated break up but one involving lawyers and months of bitterness.

Who are left as the real victims in this? The children and the betrayed partner.

To date I have not heard anyone mention the poor innocent children. No; it has all been about the adults and who did what to whom and when.

Then we wonder why these children grow up with a myriad of problems – ‘I blame the parents’ as seen on so many t-shirts has never been so apt.

Cold and premeditated betrayal 

Most people contemplating getting married vehemently protest they would never betray their partner. I’m glad you are so sure.

Those who do offer up reasons to justify their actions. We need to be adults and confront the problems in our relationships.

Then there is the money issue. Think carefully about paying someone to help you cheat, not only on your partner but also on your children. This betrayal is cold and premeditated.

All of us have behaved woefully, usually at a younger age. The hope is that we have learned from our mistakes.

What we can be shocked at, although if history is anything to go by we shouldn’t be, is the callous disregard and contempt the users of this site had for their partners and their children.

These users also have parents and siblings. They will also be affected by all these revelations in some form or other.

The owners of this site, and others like it should be ashamed of themselves for aiding and abetting in the destruction of so many lives. They themselves didn’t pull the trigger – they just loaded the gun.

Some self reflection is required by all of us who have ever behaved badly. We must ask ‘What happened to me that I would allow myself to behave in such a deliberate and calculated way to those I am supposed to love and who, hopefully, love me?’

A favourite book of mine is ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’. He sums up it all up quite beautifully, he says “Without love, we are birds with broken wings’.

Tony Moore is a counsellor for Relationships Ireland, a not-for-profit organisation that offers confidential relationship counselling services based on ability to pay. For more information or to book a consultation you can contact 01 678 5256, email or visit Relationships Ireland also offers counselling for teenagers who are affected by separation through our ‘Teen Between’ service. For more information please visit

Read: Here’s what worried users of Ashley Madison have been saying since the hack>

Read: Two suicides connected to the Ashley Madison website hack>

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