We published a story about this husband's cheating scandal. The reaction speaks volumes.

Ask most people if they believe that a relationship can survive infidelity and the answers you get will come with more caveats than an American cholesterol pill advertisement.

Sure, you'll have those in the "once a cheater, always a cheater" camp, and a few on the other end of the spectrum who believe it is monogamy, and not cheaters themselves, that's to blame. But in the wide grey middle, most people have a number of "it depends" considerations.

Like, did the cheater own up to the affair of their own volition, or were they caught out? Was it just a physical thing, or did they fall in love? Did the affair stretch on, or was it a one-night drunken mistake?

Every couple — and every individual within a couple — has their own lines in the sand.

This week, we were asked to confront those lines, when couple Sam and Nia Rader, who are rebuilding their marriage since choosing to stay together after infidelity, appeared on the No Filter podcast.

The deeply religious couple (who were viral YouTubers in their own right before cheating infamy found them) were caught up in the Ashley Madison data breach scandal, something that is again in the headlines thanks to a new Netflix documentary on the saga.

Watch: The official Netflix trailer of Ashley Madison: Sex, Lies & Scandal. Post continues after video.

Video via Netflix.

In 2015, Sam, after learning his name was among those leaked, confessed to his wife Nia that not only had he signed up for the infamous cheating site, but had had multiple affairs and encounters with other women throughout the course of their marriage.


The interview — there's no way around it — is hard to stomach. Listener reactions were swift and fairly universal in their condemnation of Sam who, while declaring several times throughout the interview how "wrong" he was, just... doesn't seem that sorry.

"He blames everyone and everyone else for his actions," seethed one comment, "classic narc behaviour, she needs to run."

"He is obsessed with the attention and doesn't seem to care at all about his wife," wrote another.

For many, the most confronting part of Sam's revelations were that while the "chaos" of his extramarital affairs was going on, Nia was "his comfort."

"I'm remembering, like, during that time, Nia was suspicious," Sam recalls, explaining how he was still able to be affectionate and intimate with his wife while he was carrying on multiple infidelities.

"I was able to still love on her, and accept her love. I feel like it was probably just like — she was kind of my comfort. Like, there was chaos in those affairs outside of my marriage. There are complications, you know, and stupid things that [the other women] were doing, or they decided not to talk to me anymore, or were hurting me, or whatever. But Nia was my comfort during that chaos outside of my marriage."

"This is the biggest red flag, he doesn't see her as an individual but as a prop for his own emotional shortcomings,” snorted a girlfriend when I played her the clip.

"He's not the first man to hide sh**ty morals behind religion, and he won't be the last."


And while Sam might not be the picture of how we expect and hope a man might behave in the wake of his infidelity becoming public knowledge, it raises the more pressing question of whether there even IS a right way.

Listen to this episode of No Filter where Sam and Nia share more of their story. Post continues below.

Thanks to the frequency with which men in the public eye are exposed for cheating, we've actually been able to see a range of examples — some good, some not-so-good.

When David Beckham was accused of cheating with assistant Rebecca Loos in 2004, his response was a defiant denial of the claims, coupled with a fierce united front with Victoria.

The intervening 20 years have been an exercise in redemption, with David leaning wholeheartedly into his public persona as a family man.

On the other hand, when Jude Law's affair with ex-nanny Daisy Wright was exposed in 2015, his reaction was a public mea culpa, and a statement in which he apologised to then-fiance Sienna Miller and the couple's families for the betrayal. Daisy, who was 26 at the time of the affair and in the vulnerable position of working for the superstar and his ex-wife Sadie Frost, was dismissed. She received no public apology.

The reason, perhaps, that we are all so invested in the way men act in the aftermath of a cheating scandal, is because it is at its very core, a chance for public bloodletting.

We know the stats on infidelity. We've all heard that around 25 per cent of married individuals admit to having affairs, a number that is likely grossly under-reported.

We know this, and we fear it happening to us. So when the opportunity comes to see it play out in the public eye, we're invested in what happens next. In how we extract that pound of flesh.


The problem many listeners had with Sam and Nia's interview, it appears, is that Sam still seems more focused on himself than on his wife.

The uncomfortable truth here is that most affairs aren't actually about the person being cheated on. They're selfish, complex, layered decisions but ultimately, infidelity rarely has as much to do with the victim as we might think.

Of course in the aftermath of an affair, if a couple wants to make it through, a lot more attention needs to be paid to the person who was betrayed. Life becomes focused on rebuilding the parts of that person who was torn down in the process, and as bystanders, our empathy also lies with them.

It is for this reason that we seek a kind of vicarious retribution through the relationships of public couples who have been through infidelity. We want to know that the person who was cheated on is going to be OK. That she hasn't been irrevocably crushed. That perhaps, there is hope after infidelity, and happiness, and power.

It might also be why Beyonce's version of Jolene resonates so powerfully with so many women.

Because while there is no perfect way to pick up the pieces after an affair, having your sister kick the c**p out of him in an elevator, going on to unquestionable global domination, then remixing a Dolly Parton classic as a warning, rather than a plea — is as close to perfect as it's ever going to get.

Have you watched Ashley Madison: Sex, Lies & Scandal? Tell us what you thought of it in the comments section below.

Feature image: Netflix.

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