‘My husband’s Tinder dates came to my house’

A WOMAN - who I won't name because she's humiliated enough - is reeling after discovering her husband has been hooking up on Tinder.

How'd she find out?

A collective of women he'd slept with confronted her at her home and handed her a letter, outlining the dates and locations of their sexual encounters.

The fortysomething Brisbane mother-of-one was totally shocked, as you might imagine, and initially believed the women were lying.

Sadly, no. All those times when hubby was off to Bunnings, well, let's say he was shopping for more than light bulbs.

More fool this tool, though, because the same dating app he thought would keep his wife in the dark has spectacularly illuminated his cheating.

He professed on Tinder to be divorced (mind you, he soon could be), but when several of his one-night stands learned otherwise - nothing is private on the internet, as the ongoing Facebook data debacle shows - they felt aggrieved.

So the sisterhood, whether motivated by a sense of duty to the wife or to assuage their guilt at having slept with a married man, sought revenge.

Ouch.

Tinder, like other social media including dating sites Bumble and OkCupid, is a not a secure platform, yet this doesn't stop adulterers from giving it a crack.

While not specifically targeting married people - there are other sites for that, pathetically - it has come to be regarded as a facilitator for no-strings-attached sex.

Despite best attempts, finding out if someone is lying on dating apps is not impossible. (Pic: supplied)
Despite best attempts, finding out if someone is lying on dating apps is not impossible. (Pic: supplied)

As of January 2018, the app has 10 million daily active users.

Every day there are 1.6 billion swipes and 26 million matches, according to DMR Business Statistics.

To be fair, I know singles who have met via Tinder and subsequently married.

Tellingly, though, only 54 per cent of users are single, and only 3 per cent are divorced.

That leaves a vast number who are in relationships but up for a bit, or a lot, on the side.

Imagine the panic last Wednesday when the app broke due to outages in its Facebook login process.

The malfunction was a result of kneejerk changes to Facebook's restrictions on third-party apps following its recent mishandling of user data.

But it meant that some people missed a whole day of seeing of who had swiped right on them, and no telling how many nooky opportunities.

Tinder, launched in Los Angeles in 2012, may be part of the modern dating scene, but could it and others like it be making cheating more acceptable?

As the internet expands possibilities for sex, is the definition of infidelity becoming, well, loose?

Psychotherapist Esther Perel believes so.

In her ten years' working with couples shattered by infidelity, she has seen a shift.

"Everyone wants to know what percentage of people cheat … but the definition of infidelity keeps on expanding: sexting, watching porn, staying secretly active on dating apps," says Perel in a recent TED talk, which has had 9.5 million views.

"So because there is no universally agreed-upon definition of what even constitutes as infidelity, estimates vary widely, from 26 per cent to 75 per cent.

"But on top of it, we are walking contradictions. So 95 per cent of us will say that it is terribly wrong for our partner to lie about having an affair, but just about the same amount of us will say that that's exactly what we would do if we were having one."

Perel says it's never been easier to cheat. At the same time, it's never been harder to keep a secret.

With marriage evolving from a purely economic enterprise into a romantic arrangement, she says the fallout from infidelity can be emotionally catastrophic.

Today people expect their spouse to fulfil an endless list of needs - to be their greatest lover, best friend, intellectual equal, best parent and so on.

In return, they consider themselves to be indispensable, irreplaceable, "the one."

Infidelity tells them they are not.

As well as being the ultimate betrayal, Perel says affairs are an expression of longing and loss.

"At the heart of an affair, you will often find a yearning for an emotional connection, for novelty, for freedom, for autonomy, for sexual intensity, a wish to recapture lost parts of ourselves or an attempt to bring back vitality in the face of loss and tragedy.

"Every affair will redefine a relationship, and every couple will determine what the legacy of the affair will be."

Perel says most people will have two or three relationships or marriages in their lifetime, and some will be with the same person.

When couples come to see her, she often says, "Your first marriage is over. Would you like to create a second one together?"

The humiliated Brisbane mother who never saw the Tinder missile coming is considering this very question right now.

Me? I'd be changing the locks.