FOR twenty years I was a rotten cheat whose flies unzipped at any lashes that were batted at me – once even taking a girl I met at a cash machine home for sex while my missus was out.
And while you might not be shocked to find out millionaire England stars like Kyle Walker and Wayne Rooney have been caught with their pants down, what might surprise you is how many ordinary blokes are doing the same.
Last week Walker suffered the humiliation of his girlfriend taking off her commitment ring on social media after he romped with a reality star.
The same day she dumped him, former escort Helen Wood was on TV bragging about how she and her friend were paid £1,000 to have a threesome with Wayne Rooney.
Like them, I’ve always found monogamy difficult – however much I’ve loved the woman I’m with, a part of me has felt like a rat gnawing off his own foot to get out of a trap.
It’s estimated that 60 per cent of British men will cheat at some point in their lives, and half will do it more than once.
Aged 18, I cheated on my first proper girlfriend with someone I met at a party only days after getting together with her.
‘I HAD SEX WITH MY BOSS DAYS AFTER MEETING MY WIFE’
The sex was intense and spontaneous and felt wrong in my mind but irresistible in my body. The irony is that I only lied to the women I was with. The women I cheated with always knew I was with someone.
I never took off my wedding-ring, nor did I ever complain about my partners — in fact, I often spoke of how much I loved them. Maybe it was jealousy, spite or just the knowledge that there would be no strings attached, but they definitely liked the fact that I was in a relationship.
Within days of meeting my now ex-wife, I was being taken home by one of my bosses at work. We had gone out to dinner, and she knew I’d started seeing someone.
When I asked her if she wanted me to go back to hers she said she’d think it over while I went to the bathroom. When I came back, she was paying the bill and ready to go.
Surprisingly my wife was very forgiving. I was 26 while she was over 40, and she put my misbehaviour down to immaturity and over-excitement.
While married to her, I slept with women I met at parties as well as those I met while travelling.
After the initial ego-boost, I always felt guilty. I could never have sex with my partner for a while after. Often the guilt made me withdraw from them and it was the beginning of the end.
‘I TOOK A GIRL HOME AFTER MEETING HER AT A CASHPOINT’
My wife eventually divorced me after finding texts to a woman in New York who I’d spent a couple of weeks in India with. I’d gone there for six months to ‘find myself’ but mostly found other women.
But even that didn’t stop me. I once finally told a woman I was seeing that loved her — and I really meant it at the time — only to stop at a cashpoint on the way home where I met someone who came straight back with me.
If anything, my mates are worse. I, at least have mended my ways — though I suspect that’s probably because, at age 45, my testosterone levels are crashing — while many of my married friends are as rampant as submariners on a weekend shore leave in Faliraki.
I’m not surprised – the cosiness of monogamy is as comforting but unexciting as warm custard. A survey out last week showed that less than half of British couples aged between 16-44 are having sex at least once a week and nearly a third haven’t had sex in the past month.
‘IT’S NOT CHEATING IF YOU PAY FOR IT’
I’m not rich nor the dishiest, most charismatic man around, but I am confident with women and so are my friends, which makes fidelity difficult.
We have a well-developed radar to read the subtle signals a women is up for it: the swish of her hair, the cheeky smile and the tell-tale naughty glint in her eye. And when a man can read those signs, it’s like giving a kid a blank cheque in a candy store.
Hearing their banter, I know all my friends struggle with fidelity. Many of them have got into sleeping with prostitutes, believing the transactional nature of it somehow keeps things clean. “It’s not really cheating,” I’ve heard them say — as if buying a woman doesn’t count.
“That approach is messed up for loads of reasons,” a married friend of mine tells me.
The civilised ideal is to have a mistress who knows the score and a Mrs who turns a blind eye.
A tall, handsome and successful businessman, who lives the glossy-mag dream with his beautiful wife in a big house with four children, he only objects to the waste of money, which he says is “at least £100 a time for an attractive woman who you can visit in a nice place, rather than some backseat experience with some poor addict who’s working the kerb”.
Instead he insists that “the civilised ideal is to have a mistress who knows the score and a Mrs who turns a blind eye”.
And how do you make sure a wife will look away? “Make tons of money,” he explains. “Look at Wayne Rooney. Coleen puts up with anything because if it wasn’t for him she might be doing data-entry for a living and shopping at Primark.”
Walker, who shares three kids with Annie, has now moved out of the family mansion
I should say here that my reprobate friends and I don’t necessarily reflect all men, but research does show blokes whose friends stray are more likely to do so themselves. One study found that 77 per cent of cheats have a friend who’s unfaithful.
But even having your cake and eating it is fraught with problems. “Any bird who’s worth having on the side for long enough to be a mistress naturally starts wanting more,” rues my businessman chum.
“And if she’s really hot you’re going to think she’s a keeper, especially if she’s younger than the one you’ve got at home. You start having mad fantasies of a fresh start with a new family.”
Most male cheats begin playing away in their thirties — the decade when my cheating peaked — but the risk of infidelity rises until they reach their 50s, when men have their midlife crisis, worry whether they’re still attractive and want to sow the last of their oats while they’ve still got them.
I never encourage my friends to be unfaithful. Even though it’s difficult to prove, adultery is still cited as the grounds for 14 per cent of divorces — one of the top causes. Given that 50 per cent of people who separate from their partner will regret it, infidelity is a risk that I don’t advise taking.
Getting caught has always been a horrible experience, be it when my wife read my texts to a lover in New York, or when a girlfriend read through my emails when I left her alone at my place for the first time.
Each time has resulted in a scene from an EastEnders’ Christmas special: being screamed at in the street, or standing on the pavement with the neighbours watching while my clothes were thrown out of the window at me.
I never liked being a cheat. Like being a drug-addict, after I’d had a hit the guilt and self-loathing always kicked in. I felt ashamed of hurting someone who cared about me, of being a liar and of being so weak and tempted.
I’d like to think I don’t cheat because I’m a deeper more caring person, but I suspect it’s because I can’t be bothered with the hassle.
Whatever problems I had in a relationship, the tears and pain in the eyes of the woman I was with always devastated me.
My wife, like my other partners, was a kind and very intelligent woman who deserved to be treated a lot better. The biggest regret was in my late thirties when my angelic girlfriend caught me texting a married woman I was secretly seeing. Her pain and sobbing was unbearable for me and was the turning point: I haven’t cheated on anyone since.
I’d like to think I don’t cheat now because I’m a deeper more caring person, but I suspect it’s because I can’t be bothered with the hassle.
And as I consider becoming a father myself, I always tell my friends to try to make it work with the woman they’re with, especially if they’re parents. “Once you’ve had a kid with a woman,” I advise, “she’ll be in your life forever, so you might as well make it work with her.”
But my friends who are dads say monogamy kills their desire for their partners. A survey by the websites Gransnet and Mumsnet found 25 per cent of people in their 30s are in a sexless relationship, rising to 28 per cent of those in their 40s, and 36 per cent of those in their 50s.
When I’m on viagra my wife is basically shagging a living, breathing, blow-up man-doll.
I can also take a Cialis. More about this ED Drug on https://apothekegenerika.de/cialis-generika/
When I ask a friend why he doesn’t use Viagra to boost his desire for his missus, he replies, “Viagra is a joke. In fact, I think it’s a feminist conspiracy.”
Over a million of the pills had been sold in the UK even before the drug became available over the counter last year. But being able to get them easily isn’t improving marital satisfaction.
“The easiest cure for a man in a long-term relationship suffering from erectile problems is to get a new woman,” says my friend.
“It works for me every time. The reason a man can’t get wood is because he no longer fancies his woman, and Viagra is the solution to that. It gives a man a hard-on that’s dislocated from what’s going on in his heart and his head, and keeps him indoors, handing over his pay-packet and providing sex to a woman he’s not into anymore. To be fair, that’s a small price to pay compared to the headache and chaos of a divorce.”
“When my wife has sex with me when I’m on Viagra, she’s basically shagging a living, breathing, blow-up man-doll,” says another pal. “But she prefers that to having me ride off into the sunset with someone else who’s bound to be younger and fitter.”
I have to admit that I haven’t collected the most sensible batch of buddies — but at least they don’t mince their words.
But women shouldn’t be quick to judge, given that between 25-29 per cent of females will be unfaithful themselves at some point, though for more ‘emotional’ reasons — often with someone who will be their next partner — rather than just for the secret relief of a quickie with someone they met on a night out.
Though I’m done with having affairs, I can’t blame my friends for having them, given that even drug-assisted monogamy is difficult. I’ve never made enough money to make a woman look the other way, nor have I been smart enough to keep them secret (not deleting messages are a rookie error!). So I’m probably just better off steering clear of them.
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