8th June 2012
Well, we have certainly moved a few light years away from our Victorian relations in terms of how we behave now as a society. Infidelity has taken a new turn. Of course, infidelity is well documented and has always lurked uncomfortably in the corner of many a relationship and there have been a multitude of colourful characters in history famous for their mistresses. I think it was Sir James Goldsmith who once said ‘ If a man marries his mistress, he leaves a vacancy.’ What is new though, is the way this is now pursued. Forget the meeting someone in a bar, or at work. Now, people positively pursue a partner outside the relationship by logging on to websites specifically set up, not so much for match making but to provide someone with an adulterous liaison. Whether it is the recession keeping people together or whether people just want to have their cake and eat it, it seems the way to go for some, is to stay in their marriage and have an adulterous relationship outside it. There are websites entirely dedicated to helping people do that. People who want an ‘honest, discreet, adulterous affair.’ I’m not sure how ‘honest’ sits happily with the words adulterous affair but that is how some people ‘advertise’ themselves. It seems that we as a society are doing a good job at copying the French mid 18th century attitude to marriage. Stay in your marriage, but have another relationship at the same time, just to keep you amused, happy or stimulated. Hmmm. Not sure how that will go down with the person who’s playing to a whole different set of rules. Are these websites cashing in or reflecting a need in our current society? In a world where divorce and separation is often played out in the public eye, it seems that adultery is too now – just log on and take your pick.