There's probably a marriage counseling session going on right now where one of the spouses is talking about porn sites she found on her computer's web browser. Maybe there are some texting conversations that are clearly over the line on another spouse's smartphone, or a dress with some strange stains that appear somewhere under the neckline.
If any of that is going on in Houston, then it's probably happening in Sugar Land or West University, the top two spots on AshleyMadison.com's recent survey of cheaters. You see, the website, created 12 years ago, keeps itself in the media by doing these surveys of its user base in particular cities and countries. Houston-area memberships grew by about 72 percent in the past two years to 160,000, according to the report.
Roy Wooten, a local marriage counselor, said he's heard about the website in sessions he conducts at Jersey Village counseling center Shield-Bearer. "In my opinion, sites like AshleyMadison.com add to the disintegration of the family. Someone who's thinking about cheating has an easier time," he said.
As to the locations that regularly pop up on this survey, places with median incomes in the six figures, the demands of a commuting work life take their toll. "Wealthier families are emotionally bankrupt," Wooten told Hair Balls. "They spend all their time commuting or running the kids around. They're not connected to each other."
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AshleyMadison is that Pandora's box, only you should probably stock up on condoms if you're going to go open it.
While sexless marriages are to blame, or are at least the reason why AshleyMadison.com seems to prosper, Wooten said it's the symptom of a bigger problem in the relationship. It's never just one person's problem, either. Women, he said, are more likely to use the site for emotional connection and getting to know someone who can tell them things their spouse doesn't. "They're first looking outside [the relationship] for emotional support," he said. Men, according to Wooten, who published a book last year called The Secret to Lifetime Love, are pretty much into it for the sex. "It's the beginning of the end of the relationship," he said.
We won't go all hardcore anti-AshleyMadison.com. There has to be a place for cougars to go hunting. The site said that membership is nearly an even split between men and women. The Houston Chronicle did a short write-up on the rankings from the recent report:
- Sugar Land, where 8.9 percent of the organization's Houston-area members live.
- West University is close behind at 8.8 percent.
- Baytown comes in at 8.4 percent.
- Eastwood, just east of downtown, has 7.8 perrcent.
- Larchmont, south of the Galleria, has 7.5 percent.
- Braeswood comes in at 7.1 percent.
- Westchase comes in at 6.6 percent.
- Kingwood comes in at 6.5 percent.
- River Oaks comes in at 6.3 percent.
- Meyerland comes in at 6.1 percent.