“I could never thank Ashley Madison enough for this” – Michael
I met Stephania and her husband Michael a few days ago when I took a French television crew to meet them for an interview. We often have media outlets ask to speak with members of the service so there are a few that have agreed to be open with the media about their experiences on the site.
Stephania and Michael came to AshleyMadison.com not really expecting anything. They were both unhappy in their marriages and were curious about what else was out there but they weren’t sure they wanted to have an affair.
Stephania tells me that she first logged onto AshleyMadison.com somewhat as a dare. She was having issues with her husband and they both knew it was coming to an end.
“I didn’t go in with the intention of having an affair,” she says.
She made her profile, being sure not to post a public picture of herself. Her username, “ultijovi”, was derived from her obsession with Bon Jovi.
Stephania recalls logging on to her account after a week or so of creating it and realizing that she had pages and pages of messages from guys that wanted to meet her.
Out of all of those messages only one stuck out to her.
“There was something about him,” she says.
Michael’s marriage was in worse shape than Stephania’s by the time they started communicating with one another. He was separated from his wife and wanted to see what was else out there.
“I was curious,” says Michael. “There is no difference between the website and a bar. The good thing about the website is it narrows it down.”
He created his profile on the site, giving himself the username “jaded_1”.
A while after first registering his profile, Michael came across Stephania’s profile and was instantly attracted to her and her apparent love for the same kind of music (her username tipped him off) so he contacted her.
“The rest is history,” he says.
How they came together
Stephania and Michael spent about five weeks communicating over email, instant messenger and on the phone.
“It was like we had always known each other,” recalls Stephania.
After five weeks, the couple decided to meet in person. Smiling profusely at each other, they tell me about how natural and comfortable they felt when they first met.
“We knew,” they both say. “People always say that, but for us it was true.”
While Michael and his wife finalized their divorce, Stephania was still sneaking around and seeing Michael while still married. Eventually, Stephania’s husband began to get suspicious of his wife’s behavior and began to search their computer for any evidence of an affair. There he found emails between Stephania and Michael. He decided to confront her about it.
While out with Michael, Stephania received a phone-call that expedited the ending of her marriage. Her husband asked her about the emails he found and she confessed to the affair. They signed the divorce papers not long afterwards.
On February 15th 2007, Stephania and Michael got married in Cabo Sans Lucas. They showed me all of the pictures that were taken on their wedding day.
“It was more special that either of our first weddings,” they tell me. “It was exactly what we wanted … not what everyone else around us wanted.”
Stephania has two daughters from her first marriage and she shares custody of them with her ex-husband. When I asked them what her daughters think of Michael, she replied, “They think the world of him.”
She continues to explain how her and her ex-husband get along better now than they did when they were married and that they all get together for the girls’ birthdays and it isn’t uncomfortable at all.
What they want you to know
The most interesting thing I found about this couple is the fact that they believe the website is not to blame for either of their divorces.
Stephania says, “If you are already there on the site, you’ve already made that decision. The website is not to blame.” She says if she was a working mother, an affair could have just as easily happened at the workplace it just so happens that AshleyMadison.com was the easiest outlet for her as a stay-at-home mom.
So how are they able to trust one another after meeting on AshleyMadison.com?
“We aren’t in that place anymore,” they tell me. “We are happy now and have everything we ever wanted so there is no need to use the service anymore.”
Take from this story what you wish, but I assure you these are real people who found what they were missing on AshleyMadison.com.
“It’s hard to believe … that we found true love this way,” says Michael. “But it’s worth its weight in gold and I couldn’t be happier.”
The couple celebrated their third wedding anniversary this past February.
Update: April 6, 2010 MomLogic wrote “I met my husband on a website for cheaters”. Read their interview with Stephania here.