Ashley Madison Hack Help (Take 1)

Posted on August 25, 2015


So your information got hacked from your Ashley Madison account, huh?  And now your life is in crisis.  My grad school advisor’s native language was Chinese.  He shared with me that the Chinese character for crisis contains the characters for danger and opportunity.  The danger seems obvious, so let’s see where there might be some opportunity here.

If you have/had an Ashley Madison account, I assume you are married and that your spouse did not know about it.  If your only regret is that you got caught, recovery for your marriage is going to be tough (and at best temporary) for two reasons.  First, for your partner to heal, he or she is really going to need to know that you see his or her pain and that you care about it.  Second, if your only regret is that you got caught, you are going to do it again.

However, if you actually love your partner, believe in marital fidelity, but somehow found yourself falling down the rabbit hole, let’s look at some resources.  First, when your sexual behavior is inconsistent with your values, there may be something more going on for you.  There is a possibility of an addictive behavior.  If you want to take a quick screening test, go to and take the Sexual Addiction Screening Test (SAST).  It will cost you nothing and take about five minutes.  Second, if you get a score of six or higher, go over to and you can find a Certified Sexual Addiction Therapist (CSAT) in your area.

For the partner of the person who had the affair(s), this is a good time to get your own therapy.  Whether you stay in the relationship or leave, you will want to work with someone with experience helping partners recover from sexual infidelity.  You did not cause this; you can’t control it; and you can’t cure it.  At the same time, you will want to figure out what boundaries you need for your own healing, and understand your part in the dance that is your marriage relationship.

Whether sexual addiction is present or not, an affair causes a major injury to the attachment in your relationship.  If sexual addiction is either not present or has already been addressed, you will need a couple’s therapist to help heal your relationship.  The most empirically validated treatment modality is Emotionally Focused Therapy.  You can find an EFT therapist at

If you are in San Diego and I can be of help, feel free to contact me.  Good luck with your recovery.