Two years ago, Ellen Cushing broke up with her boyfriend after discovering that he'd cheated on her with a woman he'd met online, she writes at BuzzFeed. So it wasn't a huge surprise when she discovered his email address—she searched out of "morbid curiosity"—among the leaked Ashley Madison data. Cushing relays their civil text exchange after she informs him of the discovery. He dodges the question of whether he signed up while they were still together. "I don't even really remember," he writes of opening the account. "I'm sure I cruised some profiles, but did nothing." And he's not upset about his breached privacy because he's not a public figure. "It just has next to zero impact on my life."
That won't be true for many others, of course, and Cushing writes that "conversations like mine will begin happening all around the world (if they’re not happening already) today and tomorrow and next week." Children will be checking on their parents, and others will look for siblings, friends, and co-workers. In Cushing's case, she already knew of her ex's infidelity, but "there is a not-insignificant likelihood that somewhere in the world right now, someone else is experiencing the same stomach-drop sickness I still remember, is sitting on a bathroom floor or a bed wondering What the hell happened and What the hell now." Click for her full post. (Read more Ashley Madison stories.)