A lonely hearts website for married people claims that more women are signing up than a year ago and the economy is to blame. The website, IllicitEncounters.com, states women were joining the site at 55 people per day in 2007, but has risen to 142 as of last week. Reportedly more women are turning to adultery because the credit crisis had made their husbands "no fun," causing them to work longer hours, worry about losing their jobs and shun social activities.

Unlike "golf widows" or "fishing widows," these "downturn widows" report that the husbands are not happy and are too preoccupied to put much effort into their marriages. Seeking attention and wanting to feel special, they are accessing this encounter website to have new, exciting relationships with no strings attached.

A quick review of the site shows listings from married men and women bored with their marriages looking for excitement. And, of course, that is exactly what affairs are all about. It is easy to have excitement when there are no responsibilities; like mortgages, bills, taxes, and childcare.

While it is important to continually put effort into a marriage, the "excitement" ebbs and flows even in the healthiest of marriages. It can't always be the high that couples experience when they first get together. It just doesn't work that way. As I read about the discontented wives seeking relationships on the Internet, I can't help but wonder what would happen in their marriages if they put their time and energy there instead.

Barbara Bartlein is The People Pro and a relationship expert. She is the author of Why Did I Marry You Anyway? Overcoming the Myths That Hinder a Happy Marriage. For Barb's Free E-mail newsletter, log on to The People Pro.


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