We all know there are some dodgy things out there on the internet. Perhaps you’ve had your suspicions, sometimes, about what your husband looks at on the computer when you’re not around. But it gets worse. Imagine how it would feel to find out that your other half defined themselves as ‘married and looking’!
Along with the tide of pornography on the internet has come a flood of dating sites, but these are not the kind of thing you’d find in the back of the Sunday paper. Instead of hopeful ads from lonely hearts looking for romance, these sites are all about sex. Most of the people who use them don’t even pretend to be looking for anything else! And whatever kind of sex you can imagine, you can find it there. There’s next to no regulation and there often seem to be no rules. These people revel in the anonymity that the internet offers. They don’t want to know about the home lives of the people they meet. They don’t care whose lives they might be wrecking.
So what can be done about this? Horrifyingly, the answer is nothing. Internet service providers just don’t seem interested in taking responsibility for this kind of content, saying that it’s up to their users how they wish to use dating facilities. It is possible to block some of these ‘married and looking’ sites using child protection software, but of course, you can’t stop your husband from going elsewhere.
If you know your husband is saying online that he’s married and looking, should you challenge him about it? Some women say yes. Others think it’s better to keep quiet and watch how he actually behaves. After all, this ‘married and looking’ business might just be a harmless fantasy. If he tries to act on it, and he doesn’t know you’ve been keeping an eye on him, then you an take action.
It would be nice to think that people wouldn’t lie to each other in a marriage, but sites like www.marriedandlooking.co.uk will really open your eyes. It seems there’s a huge number of men out there – and women, too – looking to hook up despite their existing relationships. Most of these people are apparently married and looking for others in the same situation, but others are single people looking for married partners because they actually think it’s easier that way. If all they want is a quick fling, they think doing it with someone who is married will reduce the chance of complications. But for most women, having their husbands cheat on them is complication enough!
These shameless sites perpetuate the idea that being married and looking for sex with other people is somehow socially acceptable. Well I’m sorry, but that’s just not true! Perhaps some people are willing to let these things go because it’s the internet, but internet society is made up of ordinary people who walk around the streets in our society just like you an me. If they think it’s okay to be married and looking on the internet, how are they going to behave in the wider world?
Sites like these don’t just provide the opportunity for people who are married and looking for a ‘bit of fun’ to flirt with people online. They help them to meet up in person where, very often, they end up having secret affairs. And because they’re anonymous, people using them can even talk about their affairs without their loved ones being able to identify them. Imagine the humiliation of finding out that your husband was not only sleeping with somebody else, he was telling the whole world about it – all except for you, of course!
Spreading the Word
Unfortunately, sites like these seem unlikely to go away in a hurry, so all that concerned women an do is to warn each other about them and try to watch out for signs of trouble. Perhaps you don’t think your husband could ever consider himself married and looking, but what if you’re wrong? Don’t wait until it’s too late. If he’s spending a lot of time on the internet and is reluctant to tell you what he’s been doing there, try looking up the history in the web browser after he’s finished. It’s easy to do and it’ll let you see the URLs of the sites he’s visited most recently. If he is using sites for married and looking people, this is a good way to catch him in the act.
Although the notion that it’s okay to be married and looking is damaging to society, it does have one plus point on the personal side – at least our husbands aren’t claiming to be single! Perhaps the women they’re flirting with don’t care that they’re married, but they an hardly claim not to know. This small degree of honesty is a sign of hope – it means that marriage still matters to the men in our lives. Now we need to show them what they have to do if they want to hold onto their marriages.
These shocking married and looking websites are a cheat’s charter and the only way they can be stopped is if ordinary people protest. If you can’t get your ISP to listen to you, at least talk to your husband directly and let him know what you think of this sort of thing. You don’t need to make it a personal attack – in fact, the best time to do it is before he’s even thought of visiting a site like that, before he’s been tempted. Let him know that you’re married and looking forward to a bright future together, and that you can’t imagine anything the internet has to offer making it worth jeopardising that.
Married and looking dating sites will probably always be out there, but we don’t have to accept them, we don’t have to pretend they’re okay. And we don’t have to stand by while they ensnare the men we love.