Infidelity does not mean suffering

Infidelity does not mean suffering

SINGAPORE - You would expect a man who has only good things to say about infidelity to be bad at his own marriage.

But Mr Noel Biderman, founder of a website that matches cheating spouses, said he does not cheat on his wife.

He said that he and wife Amanda, who have two children, are faithful to each other and that he would be upset if his wife cheated on him.

"If my wife were engaging in such a service, then clearly our relationship would be in trouble," Mr Noel Biderman told Online Personals Watch, an Internet news magazine programme.

He explained that while being monogamous works for him, it may not be the way for others.

His wife feels the same way.

"I would be devastated if (Noel cheated) on me," Amanda said.

"But I would not blame a website... It is servicing a need out there. And unfortunately, it exists. It's sad," she told the New York Daily News.

AshleyMadison.com, which he started 11 years ago, has announced plans to set up a website in Singapore. MyPaper first broke the news last week.

It sparked a public outcry, with Singaporeans and politicians insisting that its maxim "Life is short. Have an affair" is not what we want.

Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing said in a Facebook post that he is against any company or website that harms marriage.

"Promoting infidelity undermines trust and commitment between a husband and wife, which are core to marriage," he said in response to media reports of the planned local launch.

"Our marriage vows make it clear that marriage is a lifelong commitment between a man and a woman. This includes staying faithful to one another," Mr Chan said.

But Mr Biderman, who is also Ashley- Madison.com's CEO, does not agree.

He told The New Paper: "It's naive to believe that cheating is not happening now in Singapore. It is. So, are you going to remove these people from the community?"

He was speaking en route to a television interview in Sweden.

Mr Biderman, 42, said: "I don't know what the minister's mandate is like, but I assure you, he and so many people in similar roles don't truly understand monogamy from the social science perspective.

"We humans believe that we are monogamous, but we are not. It is these unfaithful acts that have helped us stay married. After all, it (cheating) is a needed relief. In a marriage, certain priorities take precedence over others such as children, finances and shelter over sexual needs. If you are cheating, it helps you stay in the marriage."

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