You signed up to an affair website, why was that?
I actually signed up to the Ashley Madison site. I would consider myself a Christian woman. I attend a very evangelical church in my area.
I love God, I love Jesus. But I find that my husband and I were not on the same path. Although he’s a Christian now, he doesn’t actually attend church, and we don’t read the Bible together so being in a marriage that is one-sided Christian and the other not, can be quite separating and quite lonely.
Is it possible then on the website to find people who say that they have a faith?
I was on the website for about a year. There were only two I think that I came across that were practising Christians themselves, but the majority would say not. If I mentioned Christianity or said I was a Christian then it didn’t go down too well.
Were they encouraging you to meet up with them?
It was very much a "meet face to face". You’d call it a coffee date, you’d go to coffee. Most of the men were very expectant of an intimate relationship even on that day. Or a week later. It could be very planned.
So was it just a case of finding a hotel to be able to spend time together?
I’d book a hotel, a day room in a hotel. You can find day rooms where I live and book in for the day and that would be that.
Some wanted a long term relationship, some didn’t. But I have to say, my behaviour has not been Christ-like. It was a very destructive path, a very sinful path, and it caused me nothing but pain and heartache.
Did you have any moments along the journey where you were worried someone would find out or would spot you?
I did. I was quite nervous if I went out for coffee with somebody.
I also became quite secretive, I lied to people that I love to be able to get away with what I was doing.
What was it that made you decide that you needed to leave the website?
I came to the realisation that the hole in my heart is a God shaped hole.
I got tempted and instead of turning myself toward my marriage, my family and my church, I turned away from it, I let myself get distracted, I took my focus off, I thought my loneliness could be filled by an intimacy with a man that wouldn’t come into my marriage but actually of course, it did come into my marriage.
And obviously hearing the news that these hackers have released names of people who are currently subscribed, how did that affect you when you heard that news?
It was pretty stomach churning stuff really. I mean I had tried, I stopped going on the website about 3 months ago, quite recently, and I confessed to my husband. I decided the truth will set me free. It was a massive decision.
Were you worried that he would just walk away and say ‘that’s it I’m going to tell everyone’. Did you have concerns about how he would react?
Oh yes. And we have a family together, we’ve been together 20 years or more.
How did he react?
He’s a very calm man. He didn’t bawl or shout or anything but he withdrew himself perhaps even more from me in the initial stages. But we just had to talk about it and that was hard.
Have you chosen to not tell your family or your church and deal with it yourselves?
There’s a friend that I told and she’s now glad that I’m not doing what I was even though she says she’s not a Christian.
And we have Christian mentors in our church. I haven’t confessed the details to her but I’ve indicated of it, and she’s prayed with me and helped me and she’ll send me Psalms and texts just to make me focus.
Do you think sometimes Christians can be too quick to judge when maybe we hear about Christians going on affair websites?
Absolutely. Being a Christian and doing something that's wrong in the eyes of the public...you are very judged. People know that you are Christian and you are expected to be perfect.
Only Christ is perfect. It’s very hard to explain that.
A couple of people have committed suicide in Canada and they think it’s related because their names have been released. When you hear things like that can you understand that for some people it’s just too much when people find out?
Absolutely, this is what really has made me call the show because if my name was released in my church, I feel I would have the strength to deal with it now, with my husband’s help. But if I wasn’t at that stage and nobody knew and he didn’t know or my church mentor had no idea and suddenly my name... I would be near suicide, I can tell you, myself.
I know I wouldn’t be now but I was in a very different place even just a few months ago. I need my church, I need my church to support me and not judge.