By Candida

This is the age of compromises.  Instead of searching fruitlessly for the proverbial “Mr. Right” you’re urged to settle for “Mr. Available”.  The strength of the degree you hold no longer dictates the job you eventually settle for.  In the matrimonial stake it is no wonder that infidelity had lost a lot of its bite.

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When opinions are sought on the matrimonial scene, female’s views are often highlighted.  A few months ago, five professional men were interviewed by a journalist, Nick Griffiths, on the touchy topic of having a bit on the side.  These are their views on some of the questions fielded by him:

How important is infidelity in a relationship?

It depends on how serious the relationship is, how long it’s been going and whether marriage or kids are involved.  I hadn’t been in a relationship yet where I’ve really loved the woman, so I’ve nearly always ended up being unfaithful.

It’s presumably the whole point of a relationship, but I would have one-off sex with another woman purely for the physical gratification.  It’s the classic cliché and I can honestly say it wouldn’t mean anything to me.  But here’s another cliché – having your cake and eating it.

In a full-blown, serious relationship, trust is extremely important.  I’m very wary of it.  You need some sort of flirtation and whatever blokes might say, if they’ve been with someone for three years and have the chance of sex on the plate with an attractive girl, an awful lot would go for it. 

It’s the Holy grail of relationship – difficult to find and even more difficult to maintain.  It is possible, it’s easier to be unfaithful than faithful – there’s so much temptations.

How easy do you find being unfaithful?

Very easy!  I had sex with a woman a week before her wedding.  I knew it was a terrible idea, but she persisted.  For many men, sex without responsibility is attractive. 

I’ve made arrangements before: I’m in one at the moment with three women, where I say, when I’m with you, I’m with you.  And when I’m not with you, that’s my business.  It’s  a reciprocal arrangement.  I’m up-front, and they’ve all said, fine.  But none of them knows about the other.

My girlfriend has been unfaithful three times in the past, so I’m not feeling at all guilty about current infidelity.  I actually think she owes me one.  Or two.  If I loved someone, I wouldn’t feel the need to. 

At school, I had four girl friends at once.  But that was just to see how far I could go.  If I had an affair now, I’d worry about calling someone the wrong name.

This relationship I’m currently in is the only one I’ve remained faithful in because I’m happy.  With my last girlfriend, I strayed several times and once I’d got away with it, that became almost as big a buzz as the sex itself. 

I was unfaithful to an ex once a few years ago.  I got drunk and had sex with a girl from work.  The actual build-up was a massive turn-on, but the sex was crap and I felt terrible afterwards – for some reasons you think illicit sex will be fantastic.

Having a child makes the situation far more complicated, but I can’t say I’d never be unfaithful again.

What would be your reaction if you discovered your partner had been unfaithful to you?

•In my last relationship, I’d have ended it because I wanted it over anyway. Otherwise, I’d feel that they wanted someone else, not me, so what’s the point?

• The joke is that when I told my ex-girlfriend I’d been unfaithful, she told me she had too.  I was hypocritically furious, but more with the bloke than her.

I would have stupidly soldiered on for the sake of convenience but, realistically, nothing can survive both partner’s infidelity in the space of two weeks.

• I’d find it difficult.  I’d expect to be dumped and if someone were unfaithful to me, it would be exactly the same.  But it’s cowardly – you’re looking for an excuse to break the bond.

• I couldn’t live with the feeling that I wasn’t good enough to totally satisfy someone.  But usually, it’s the woman I’m with who’s being unfaithful to her partner.

In two-thirds of my relationship, I’ve been ‘the other man’.  I must be honest, reliably and downright dirty – capable of sexual excitement but duplicitous enough to keep it a secret.

•She has been.  The first time was just after we’d moved in together.  She saw me getting too attached and got some guy in and shagged him in the spare room.  That backfired on her because she was devastated by how much it hurt me.

The second time was on holiday and she said it would never happen again.  Most recently, I read her diary, which happened to be in my bag.  It described a day with her ex and ended ‘Had wonderful sex?’  I was really shocked and upset. 

We split for a month and I completely shut her out.  I needed to see how much she wanted to keep me.  Now she has one final chance.

Would infidelity mean the end of the relationship?

•It hasn’t done before.  Because of my attitude to infidelity, I know what I’m capable of and just how little it would mean to my relationship with my girlfriend.

•You can’t avoid damaging a relationship because infidelity’s a betrayal of trust.  That’s why I’ve made my agreements, making it clear that I have no intention of remaining faithful.

•If you’re in a long-term relationship, I don’t see how it could survive.  There’s always a symptom behind every act of infidelity.

 •Purely selfishly, I’d hope not-because of our daughter.  And I do believe I could forgive my girlfriend, provided it was a one-off.  I doubt things would ever be the same though.

•Usually, it’s the end of the relationship, I used to think that these things just happened, but they happen because people want them to.

I’ve got to the point during this relationship where I’m so committed that I’ve learned to say no.  That makes me feel a lot prouder of myself than a meaningless shag would.

So there you are dear readers.  If you are having a meaningful relationship at the moment according to these men, at least, make the most of it.  Ignore any guilty pangs you might feel because of the occasional stray off the straight and narrow path.

As a bloke once put it, you are not a thief yet until you’re caught with your hand in the till.

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