Fancy a bit on the side? Having an affair Independent. You're more in control of your life and your relationship. You don't get any of the boring bits. And it's considerably more exciting than real life. As Joanna Kiernan talks to women who like married men, she feels pity, admiration and anger. But she does admit that there's never been a better time to have an affair in Ireland https: But she does admit that there's never been a better time to have an affair in Ireland 'You get the excitement without the boring elements of life, like having to meet their family or paying bills.
Married men make you feel special. She cites a broken heart as her reasoning for the shift in her relationship practice. I feel much more in control being the other woman. I can pick and choose when I do or don't see someone. I can decide on how serious I want the relationship to be, and I enjoy my own space and meeting up with friends, so I don't have to commit to spending every bit of my spare time with someone. She refers to JFK as a, "sexual warrior who had taken to heart his father Joe Kennedy's stricture that his sons 'should get laid as often as they could'.
The fact that JFK was noted by countless lovers to have been, at best, selfish and underwhelming in the bedroom department, was peripheral to his allure as a powerful, rogueish commander-in-chief.
And so goes the sordid tale with many of the mistresses Abbott chooses to peer at under her delicate, yet in-depth microscope -- they are powerful, uber-perfect playthings one minute, and disregarded trash the moment they appear to relax, get attached or show emotion.
Reading Abbott's book is an unusual experience. One feels pity for mistresses one minute, admiration another and anger the next. It is much the same as the gamut one runs when speaking directly to real-life Irish mistresses. So what is it that attracts women such as Claire to married men?
It's a lot more sexy, and there is the thrill of getting caught. I'm currently single and dating, but did go out with a married guy for a year and a half.
As a mistress you get the finer, fun bits of a relationship without all of the drab parts of a marriage. I have received lovely gifts, gone to fancy hotels and restaurants -- something that you would have to have a reason to get if you were in a committed relationship or a marriage. I think I understood him a lot better than his wife when it came to discussing certain areas of his life. I'm a good listener.
If we did end up seeing each other by accident [when he was with his wife], I pretended it was a business relationship.
I think you can have a meaningful relationship with a married man, but it solely depends on how long you are seeing that person for, and how you connect -- just like an average relationship. He never mentioned leaving his wife to Claire, something, she tells me, "He knew I wouldn't want him to do. A Handbook for the 'Other Woman', the former lover of Jeffrey Archer, and she also claims to have been the mistress of seven years standing to one Gordon Ramsay.
Now reformed, she says, and helping other mistresses through "Mistresses Anonymous" group sessions in both the UK and Los Angeles, Symonds believes that it is the married men involved, and not the other women, that are to blame in affairs.
Please don't have affairs -- that's my message," she drawls in a gentle, almost too-sweet-to-be-wholesome tone. Be in control of the situation, and use the man as much as he's using you. Use him; think like a man and act like a man and, if it works for you, fine, but be in control. It's almost like taking drugs -- don't take drugs; however, if you're an addict, then at least use a clean needle.
Other women just actually fall for a guy who happens to be married or, realistically, as well, who does not tell them he's married to begin with," she adds, sounding a little wounded.
We cannot force a man to cheat. We all know that unless a man's equipment is upright and working it's impossible, so the notion of stealing somebody's husband is absolutely ridiculous.
Even if you throw the biggest temptations in his way, if a man has integrity he'll say, 'I'm sorry love, no. I'm going home to my wife. It's really sad that the wife always blames the other woman. Yes, she's a part of it; yes, she could have walked away, but if the husband wants to cheat he's going to do it with somebody, so she was a catalyst to him doing it anyway. She is the reason why you can't be with the man you love.
If the man doesn't honour his vows and take them seriously, when he's chatting you up and persuading you to have an affair with him, you've got to wonder, 'Well, why should I worry about his wife, when he's not? I mean, she becomes a real confidante, a best friend, somebody who puts her life on hold. Nobody wants to hear this side of the story because there's such a stigma, but you know when a man cheats it's usually because there's something wrong at home, whether that's all his problem or whether the wife is also partly to share the responsibility for what's going on.
We all know that wives, by the nature of the title, have a lot of responsibility. There are usually children involved, and marriage, as we know, can get really boring, really tedious, and really familiar. The interesting thing is that about 30 per cent of the women who write to me these days for advice are actually married women having affairs, so they're married mistresses. I think the stigma of the other woman being just the hot-to-trot hussy who's stealing somebody's husband is long gone.
I'm dealing with real-life desperate housewives having affairs. Combined, the UK and Irish sites bring in more than new members every day. The UK site has more than , members and the Irish site had more than 15, people join up in its first four months of operation. I have only had two serious partners, one of them being my husband, and I started to wonder what sex could be like with other people," Maria, a married mother of two, told me.
I like swapping messages with guys and do this a lot, plus I have met up with a few guys too. Normally, I'd meet them a couple of hours away in the next city or town, go to a pub or bar and, if it's going well, stay over in a hotel.
I do feel guilty about my husband, but the feelings about the other guy's partner -- if they have one -- never really cross my mind, as it's something you don't really talk about. The 'being caught' bit does add to the excitement I feel -- it's my own secret that no one else knows about. I have a rule with myself not to meet up with the same guy more than three times, just in case it develops into anything else.
I don't want things to get any more complicated. It's a fun thing for me. You have all the exciting elements without all of the boring stuff like the mortgage. You can try things out in the bedroom and not worry that the other person will judge you for saying it. You can be more experimental. Experienced, or more mature single women may not want the hassles that go with the traditional relationship and may have travelled this road before -- opting for an affair that allows a cake-and-eat-it situation to exist.
All the good bits and not a dirty pair of socks in sight! There may be an element of wanting what someone else has. He is also of the opinion that modern women are no longer in search of "the fairy tale". Rather than opting for the glass slipper, they are considering careers, lifestyles and their future and, in particular, how they want it. As a result, shorter, less committed relationships that fit into this lifestyle can often be sought.
They no longer know the individual they married, so it's therefore very easy to have an affair," he concludes. There are a variety of websites aimed at match-making those in need of a little adventure on the side. The second ad depicted US porn star Savanna Samson, whose character appears excited her husband is having an affair, and ends with the on-screen wording: If you have a short attention span, or suspect you may have an aversion to monogamy, don't get married.
In fact, if you really want to have an affair in Ireland, there has never been a better time. You can arrange a partner at the click of a mouse from any number of websites promising everything from "lonely housewives" and "illicit encounters" to "naughty fun" and "married, but playing".
There often appears to be two camps, certainly among the female population, when you bring up affairs. You have the holier-than-thou grouping spewing hate at those who would even contemplate going there with a married man, then you have women who hunt married men like prized pets in order to fund an egotistical existence, with no thought of what might happen when they, as women, are no longer 'desirable'. But these are extremes. As John Lennon put it, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans," a sentiment Sarah Symonds, possibly the world's only infidelity expert, who has appeared on CNN, Oprah and Dr Phil, is all too familiar with.
I wasted so many years of my life on the wrong guys, whilst not looking for the right guy to make a future with. I don't have regrets as such, because that just makes you bitter, but I wish I hadn't wasted so many years.