It’s possibly difficult to pin down exactly how many people are engaging in extramarital flings, for the simple reason that cheaters don’t exactly tell the truth. However, according to figures released by Ashley Madison (an ‘extramarital affairs site’), Ireland has become ‘Europe’s infidelity hotspot’!
This revelation comes hot on the heels of a report that found that in 2021, a whopping 18,800 sign-ups (an increase of 15% on the year previous) came from Irish people on what has been dubbed ‘a global dating service for adulterers’. Imagine that readers – we’re a nation of philanderers, fornicators, thrill-seeking, two-timing, deceitful swingers! Perhaps that’s one of the reasons our national divorce rates (according to stats from The Courts Divorce Service) were up by ‘29% last year’.
I’m wondering if the restrictions imposed upon us during the pandemic (forcing us to spend more time with each other than we’d have liked) has caused this worrying rise in infidelity? As in, did some of us skip over the ‘for better’ part of our vows, and head straight to the ‘for worse’?
If these figures are correct, then it’s clear some individuals are of the opinion it’s okay to play fast and loose with the rules of their relationships. It’s also evident many that philanderers are living under the directive of two moral compasses – i.e. one that knows the difference between right and wrong, and one that simply doesn’t give a damn – when all the while, their dutiful loved ones remain oblivious. That’s heartbreaking.
I mention the subject of extramarital affairs on foot of an article I read recently on entertainment site extra.ie, regarding documentary maker Louis Theroux allegedly revealing that his wife Nancy told him she ‘would be okay with him having an affair’. What an incredibly understanding woman! I must add that Louis has insisted he ‘would never cheat’ on Nancy.
Don’t get me wrong readers, I’m not insinuating that men are hardwired to cheat on us women, because that statement, in my opinion, is a false narrative. I believe, given the statistics regarding the ‘extramarital affairs site’ that cheating, while disgracefully common, is divided equally between genders. Given Mrs Theroux’s alleged acceptance, it seems that infidelity has become morally tolerable… in some relationships – not in mine I hastily add!
Unlike the extremely understanding Mrs Theroux (God bless her), Beyoncé (whose marriage survived rumours concerning Jay Z’s alleged romantic transgressions), and the tolerant Coleen Rooney, I’m definitely not the compliant wife who forgives an affair, then spends a week crying into her pillow before putting on a brave face. Nay, I’m the type of wife who immediately reminds her husband of the day he said he’d quite literally die for me… then demand he makes good on that promise!
I’m the one who severs the psychological umbilical cord between me and that back-stabbing two-timer… then picks herself up, dusts herself off and devours a hearty overdose of HRT – husband replacement therapy! Why? Because, no matter how hard you try, and no matter how loud you cry, I believe you cannot change a cheater. And, if you’re a forgiving soul and your partner doesn’t foresee any consequences to having a fling or three, then they’ll just keep doing it again and again and again!
Marriage guidance counsellors may tell you that an affair is a ‘symptom’ that something’s wrong in your relationship. Er, of course something’s wrong: you’ve inadvertently married a liar and a cheat who’s failed to fully meet your psychological needs, you poor thing!
As someone who had to walk away from my first marriage, I want to make it clear that from my perspective, and from my experience, I firmly believe no matter how hard you try, you’ll never be able to disaster-proof your relationship for the simple reason you cannot see into the future. Of course there’s always the possibility that a couple in crisis can (if both are willing) save their marriage and family life by recalibrating their expectations regarding what is and isn’t realistic both for themselves as individuals, and as a couple. I’m saying this because I believe that having an affair or doing something so dreadful seriously damages your relationship, and isn’t always about hurting the person you’re with… sometimes it can be more about hurting the person that you yourself have become.
While I’ve got the greatest of respect for those who forgive an affair, let me say whether you’re the betrayed or the betrayer, no matter how successful you think you are at ‘moving on’, the truth is, that road to repair will never be a smooth one… especially not if you’re married to me!
Parents (not teachers) must educate their kids about sexual harassment
Irish teenagers are calling for classes focusing on raising awareness around sexual harassment – and well done to them!
While the #MeToo movement was originally started in Hollywood, focusing on so-called celebs, it seems many children and adolescents across Ireland have been inspired to come forward with their own experiences of sexual harassment, reporting heinous acts that have allegedly been perpetrated against them by others.
In response to this demand for awareness programmes, a reported fifty schools across the country have begun delivering an initiative that teaches pupils how to recognise and safely intervene if they witness an incident of sexual assault or harassment.
While I believe it’s about time this subject was fully and sensitively addressed within the school curriculum, I also believe it’s not a teacher’s job alone to educate kids regarding such matters, rather it’s the duty of the parents. Nevertheless, it seems some simply aren’t stepping up to the mark.
Parents (and all who provide support for a young person) have an important role to play in helping to prevent them becoming possible perpetrators of sexual harassment and/or abuse as adults. Why? Because lessons learned about appropriate conduct will go a long way towards positively benefitting a child’s future behaviour… it’s called proactive parenting, and it works! I must stress that those who perpetrate sexual harassment at a young age do not necessarily continue it into adulthood.
It goes without saying that if we want our little darlings to go into the world and fully interact with those around them, it is the parents (and not the teachers) who must arm them at a young age with the skills needed to prevent them from victimising others, and importantly, save them from becoming victims themselves.
The Tories know a thing or three about scandals!
Call me thick, but I’m wondering how an ‘innocent’ search for a tractor could suddenly go from farm machinery to pornographic material?
This is the explanation disgraced former British Tory MP Neil Parish offered regarding how he somehow took the route to sabotaging his career, as well as, I would imagine, his family life.
Yes folks, bless his naivety, because apparently, in a ‘moment of madness’ during which his brain was idle whilst waiting for a vote, poor, put-upon Mr Parish ‘accidentally’ (wink, wink) ‘twice’ viewed X-rated material on a website normally reserved for a… ahem, certain class of voyeur.
The British Tory party know a thing or three about scandals, with last week’s lurid ‘tractor porn’ happenings coming hot on the heels of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s remarkable Lazarus-like ability to survive as leader following the whole ‘partygate’ debacle. In addition, we also heard fresh allegations around a so-called ‘sexist of the year’ award being handed out at a ‘mock ceremony’ during a lockdown-breaking Christmas 2020 party apparently held at No 10 Downing Street.
Taking all of the above into account, it’s clear to me that Boris Johnson’s government, with its very obvious entitlement mentality, is fast transitioning into a brand so toxic, their disgraceful ethical lapses will serve to cost them both their power, and the respect of the entire world.