05/08/2015 02:17 EDT | Updated 05/08/2016 05:59 EDT

Mother's Day affairs may be result of pressure on spouses

As a website for people to find extra-marital affairs, ​Ashley Madison released statistics finding more women join up after Mother's Day than any other time of the year, something a University of British Columbia professor said may be a result of increased pressure on spouses to make the day special. 

"Clearly this is not a story of a woman who wakes up perfectly happy in her marriage Sunday morning and by the end of the day is so disgruntled by her husband's performance for mother's day that she joins a website to have an extra-marital affair," Marina Adshade, an economist and the author of Dollars and Sex: How Economics Influences Sex and Love, told CBC Radio's The Early Edition.

"We do have a tendency to look to these holidays for signs that the person that we're with is truly committed to the relationship. In fact, Mother's Day is becoming a bit like Valentines Day."

According to the National Retail Federation in the U.S., Mother's Day was the second biggest spending holiday after Christmas last year, and Adshade believes much of that is spent by spouses.

"There's just a lot more money to be made in marketing the holiday as this day where husbands buy gifts for their wives. There's not much money in children's appreciation," she said.

VOTE Are big, expensive gifts expected for Mother's Day?

Still Adshade is skeptical about the numbers from Ashley Madison, which reported a 431 per cent increase in female sign-ups after last year's Mother's Day.

"They have an incentive to promote the idea that lots and lots of people are using their services … I'm a little skeptical about that," she said.

As for herself, she's not expecting anything big this Sunday.

"My children are older and I still get homemade gifts from them and I like that. It says that they're spending time thinking about what I want and making something for me.

To hear the full interview with Marina Adshade, listen to the audio labelled: Does Mother's Day disappointment lead women to cheat?