".... everyone loves a tale of extramarital activities." So says Julia Llewellyn Smith in an article in last weekend's Sydney Morning Herald, taken from an article in the London Telegraph. She continues: "Titillated by its trappings of sex, deception and risk, we can be so entertained that we ignore the suffering of those involved."
The immediate catalyst for these comments was an affair involving chef Gordon Ramsay that has apparently become public recently. But the article went on to examine how affairs were easier these days, with discrete online access to chat rooms and escort service, and emails to make clandestine liaisons. And, experts are quoted as claiming, it is wealth that provides the trigger. Some men under pressure at work, and providing everything financially for their families, apparently feel that a "little fling" on the side is quite justified. There are even introduction agencies for people looking to have an affair with another married but romance-starved person.
Yet, the experts say, and not surprisingly, affairs are hurtful: "I cannot tell you just how much pain they cause" says a marital therapist. The pain is not just from finding out one's partner has been unfaithful, but the increasing anxiety some husbands and wives feel about any behaviour of their partner that could be seen as suspicious.
A person's ethics are shown not so much in their public behaviour, but in what they do and value in their privacy. With increasing opportunities for discreet infidelity, are we showing our true colours?