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Is it OK to have an affair?

Tiger’s ‘transgressions’ may have harmed his public image, but can extra-marital affairs have a positive effect on relationships?

Published on December 11th 2009.

Is it OK to have an affair?

Once upon a time, golf was quite simply a finesse sport, favoured predominantly by an older generation and deemed dull to some. Rarely in the headlines for anything outside of the game itself, it frowned upon the philandering and filth of footballers. That was until the biggest player and brand of them all was outed as a serial adulterer...

And as the press continue to dig up the dirt on Tiger Woods, the American dream dad buries his head in the sand, with only the following statement to admit his actions:

“I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart. I have not been true to my values and the behaviour my family deserves. I am not without faults and I am far short of perfect. I am dealing with my behaviour and personal failings behind closed doors with my family. Those feelings should be shared by us alone.”

The public gasped, the sponsors backed away and, according to today’s news, Elin Nordegren- the shamed wife- continues to stand by her man. Relationships are never plain sailing, but according to researchers affairs are typically the ultimate sign that the wandering spouse is dissatisfied in the marriage or relationship. Nevertheless, this doesn’t make them any easier to accept and particularly in Tiger Woods’ situation, it’s his humiliated partner who most will feel sympathetic toward. But if there’s one person on Tiger’s side, it’s Sex guru Wolfgang Weinberger.

The star of West End show 'A Guide To Sexual Misery', has voiced his support for spouses conducting extra-marital affairs insisting that affairs are only a bad thing "if they are found out."

Weinberger spoke to Illicit Encounters- a dating website which organises extra-marital affairs. Illicit Encounters believes there are situations where an extra-marital relationship can prove beneficial to a person’s work and home life and it’s to that end that they provide a service to help people start extra-marital relationships. They target people who don’t want to end unhappy marriages but instead, explore a friendship, start a relationship or become lovers with someone in a similar situation with no ‘hidden agenda’.

Weinberger said: "There have always been affairs and there will always be affairs. Men and women are by nature rather monogamous but they are also programmed to have them. Affairs are not a crime. Sometimes, they can have invigorating effects on a relationship gone stale."

However, another sex expert, Dr. Belisa Vranich begs to differ when it comes to the debate on human nature and affairs, telling Fox news this week that: “Being monogamous is an intellectual decision – men are wired to have lots of sex – whether they decide to have it with one woman or several women depends on their definitions of what’s acceptable.”

A survey of Brits earlier this year revealed that four out of 10 people believe couples only cheat on their partners if there is already something fundamentally wrong with the relationship. 26 per cent said anyone who cheats can't have any respect for their current partner, one in 10 people blamed the need for more than one partner on having a high sex drive and 12 per cent said often people cheat because they can't say no on an evening out with mates or work colleagues.

Ironically Weinberger did also point out that he has always been faithful to his partner, but with an excess of 390,000 members at Illicit Encounters, it appears that more people than expected share Weinberger’s positive views on affairs. But do you? Vote on the Manchester Confidential homepage.

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39 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Finbarr SaundersDecember 11th 2009.

Ah Tiger Woods. Now are there any double entendres about golf that could be used to have a bit of fun with.

AnonymousDecember 11th 2009.

agree, cheating means no respect for current partner, why not leave and give the victim the opportunity to find a decent partner who will really love and respect them instead of wasting their life on a cheat who can't possibly reciprocate.

move onDecember 11th 2009.

If your not happy with who you are with move on,we are on the planet only once.Don't waste your life being un-happy the guilt will only run deeper when the lies are revealed.

DescartesDecember 11th 2009.

You can't play fast and loose with people's hearts. I have in the past and it's a piece of guilt that I'm not sure I'll ever feel I've fully redeemed in myself.

AnonymousDecember 11th 2009.

affairs are wrong! people get married for a reason and it is all to easy to forget this reason! having an affair shows no respect from your partner and is just plain wrong!

SlyDecember 11th 2009.

Affairs are not wrong....its the getting caught that causes the problems !....It all add to the spice of life...live life on the edge so to speak !

Spice up your lifeDecember 11th 2009.

Variety is the spice of life i say :)

NorthernGeezerDecember 11th 2009.

Awww c'mon guys, Tiger wasnt after love and respect, he wanted sex with different women than his wife for no other reason than he could have it, simple as that. Celebrity = anything you want is on a plate.

mattwDecember 11th 2009.

I went to Liverpool once. Does that count as an affair?

C 2 The GDecember 11th 2009.

NG I agree, he can do what the hell he wants cause he is a big celebrity. Dont hate the player hate the game lolThis will make him bigger than ever just like it did with Beckham or has everyone forgot about that.

NorthernGeezerDecember 11th 2009.

Matt - That comes under the heading of downright stupidity, hehehe.

The FarmerDecember 11th 2009.

Oh Come on I mean seriously, this reminds me of that crap show I watched last night "Boob Envy” where all these women were complaining about their freakish tits, the only thing they had in common were there comments that seemed to point in the same direction(no pun intended), "I know I think they’re awful but my husband keeps telling me he doesn't mind them ,he loves me for who I am". Bollocks love, If you think they’re awful the chances are he will too. And if he is having to shag the same old bag o' spuds every night, don't be surprised If he does/is having an affair. The moral of the story is, fix your tits if they’re wonky and don't get complacent in life. Everyone is available for an affair in this world, it just takes different means and methods to have one.

AnonymousDecember 11th 2009.

Were all programed to do it, more partners gives a better chance of passing on your genes.

DescartesDecember 11th 2009.

So I take it half the people on here has had an affair? Or would be totally cool with cheating on their girl/boi if the opportunity came up?

AnonymousDecember 11th 2009.

@ The Farmer - I'm not 'complacent in life', but I don't think I should have to 'fix' my 'wonky tits' (for the record they're not wonky) to please a man, especially if he's anything like some of those who have commented on this article. You're suggesting that breasts are the deciding factor in having an affair?! Why doesn't it surprise me.... Why should women have to spend so much time and money on their looks? If we do it, it's usually for personal satisfaction and not to please some bloke with a paunch and receding hairline. I guess some women just aren't that shallow.....

DescartesDecember 11th 2009.

Anon it sounded more like the blokes he was speaking about in the programme were fine about 'wonky tits', it was the women that had the problem - societal values are totally screwed up, male and female perception of beauty is so different it's almost laughable.

AnonymousDecember 11th 2009.

True - oh well, at least I got that off my (wonky) chest.

AnonymousDecember 11th 2009.

Must be a lesbian then. Right, i'm off to out myself....

slyDecember 11th 2009.

Descartes...in answer to an earlier point, maybe yeah, most of them have had affairs. I know lots of friends who have had several. A close friend telling me about him having several over years and years, little did he know i was having one with his wife !

The FarmerDecember 11th 2009.

@anon-if your tits arn't wonky then you won't feel you have to fix them for yourself or anyone. I'm not suggesting atall that it is the deciding factor for an affair,what i am saying is that womenhave an altered perception of themselves in the first instance and belive that they can get away with the mundane lies men tell them when they are in a lot of cases quite clearly unattractive.It's a fact aesthetics please the eye,wonky tits are not aesthetically pleasing so One lies to please his partner.then he gets bored of shagging her/him after god knows how many years because the sex is boring and yes he is fed up with looking at her wonky tits,and the same old positions that have to be reverted back to due to the failed experiments to spice it up a bit.Get a grip ladies,this is what men think!

The beer holderDecember 11th 2009.

Hey farmer, Beauty's in my eye.

DidsburyGirlDecember 11th 2009.

@ The Farmer Well, what a shallow person you are. I take it you would accept people cheating on their Partners because they were in an accident and became wheelchair bound? Or became horribly disfigured? If you marry someone its there in the vows you take to be loyal, having an affair is effectively breaking those vows. I am not saying I am perfect, And yes, I did cheat on an Ex-Boyfriend once. It was a sign the relationship wasn't going to last and it did break up when he also cheated on me. If you aren't happy then split with the person, don't hurt them even more by doing things behind their back.

Swings both waysDecember 11th 2009.

Any of you more liberal thinkers should visit Liverpool. It's an 85 per cent yes vote on there. Party time!

The FarmerDecember 11th 2009.

Totally agree DidsburyGirl,but what if you find yourself falling out of love or perhaps you are in a marriage with legal and emotional responsibilities,what if you have children and it would damage them to see thir parents separate?Do these things mean a couple should stay together?does it mean that your wonky tits look any better because I took a vow a number of years ago?No-It doesn't does it? I am not as shallow as you may think but I am very real...and i can tell you that if you are unhappy in the future wedding vows or not imagine the guy you last cheated on was your husband would you still feel the same?I doubt it.

chriskDecember 11th 2009.

Extramarital affairs are more and more common, given our ever-increasing social mobility it is probably going to get worse. Sadly I think it is unrealistic to expect to spend a lifetime with one person through choice. I don't believe in having one's cake and eating it though - it cheapens the whole institution of marriage. The best I can come up with is to enjoy your freedom, marry as late as possible and choose well. You may have a chance then. Once the trust has been broken between a couple there is no return, not really.

NorthernGeezerDecember 11th 2009.

Tiger didnt have an affair, he was just putting it where it was offered...............20 times in one case, hehehe.

AnonymousDecember 11th 2009.

The Farmer, have you ever thought it may be you? If sex is boring for you and different positions keep failing then you may need to go back to the drawing board. Some people just haven't got it though.

The FarmerDecember 11th 2009.

@ Anon- Yes that's very true,and from a personal perspective I have "gone back to the drawing board" on more than one occasion. I am now extremely happy with myself and my current partner,and I still don't understand how some can be married and expected to suffer because of a vow.Like I said you only live once so live and be happy !

Didsbury GirlDecember 11th 2009.

Yes The Farmer, if the marrige is no longer working then end it, being unhappy is no excuse for being unfaithful. I totally agree with Chrisk. It cheapens marriage vows.

ODecember 11th 2009.

@Descartes...I'm not Christian, so why would I get married in a church... are churches the only place you can get married where you live.

Troy_BabylonDecember 11th 2009.

It's foolish to suggest that an extra-marital affair can NEVER be positive. The vast majority of the time they are destructive to their parent relationships, however to rule out any positive effects completely strikes me as somewhat shortsighted...

ODecember 11th 2009.

How can an affair have a positive affect on a relationship?! It's great for the person having the affair isn't it, provided he / she doesn't get caught. So in that respect it is positive (if you can't be happy when you are having an affair there's no hope for you). But, an affair never has a positive affect on a relationship does it? Can you imagine saying to your other half, wow you have cheated on me, that has brought us so much closer together, marry me please. I don't understand the question. Those responding in favour of affairs seem to be answering the question 'are affairs good'. Yes, great, if your having one. Not so great if your not.

NorthernGeezerDecember 11th 2009.

I subscribe to Tigers view on 'affairs'...............they wernt affairs, just sex. He reckons he never told no one he was gonna leave his wife, he was just after the 'donald duck' for no other reason than he was in a position where he could.

Ashmore PDecember 11th 2009.

Boys just wanna have fun. Even when caught in the rough.

Dear MiriamDecember 11th 2009.

Lack of respect for your partner = lack of respect for yourself.Simples!

DigDecember 11th 2009.

I've just bought a DVD entitled 'Tigers favourite 18 holes'. I was very disappointed when it turned out to be about golf.

Kevin HDecember 11th 2009.

Woods is only a cheat because he got caught he should have been more careful.

missfleaDecember 11th 2009.

I don't believe we are a naturally monogamous species and do believe we would be much better off not coupling up. However, if two people do decide to marry and be exclusive, it's pretty low for one of them to start having affairs. And Tiger just looks like an idiot right now.

AnonymousDecember 11th 2009.

Tiger's 'affairs' I understand were arranged by an international 'escort' outfit which admits one to exclusive bars etc, where there are ladies to console the weary stars. I understand as with all of these things whether you end up in bed with your 'friend' is a matter of choice. I think the MEN still advertises rather less lux services and of course 'health clubs'.If you want to stay partnered stay at home on the sofa or tke you WAG with you.

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