This is a diversion from the original post I was going to publish this week. I thought it would be an interesting change for you, rather than hearing about a date, I would tell you about my trip to London, and my appearance on This Morning, with the lovely Eamonn Holmes and his wife Ruth. I have to admit, I was nervous about meeting them, especially as they are newlyweds, and what I have to say usually upsets anyone who believes it can't happen to them. But they were absolutely delightful – especially Eamonn, who seemed to agree with my views even before the interview started.
I was asked to appear on the show following the recent revelations in the press regarding Anthea Turner and Grant Bovey, and his (alleged) affair. He cheated on his previous wife with Anthea, and now it seems history is repeating itself. So the question was 'Can a leopard ever change its spots? Once a cheat, always a cheat?' I was to argue the point with author and 'relationship expert' Emiliana Silvestri, who wrote the book 101 ways to keep a man – life sucks if your girlfriend doesn't. She believes any man, even a cheater, will be faithful if he finds the right woman and she keeps him happy.
I have remained single, since my divorce because I haven't found the man I want to settle down with. This is not because I am damaged, have been the victim of cheating, or hate men.
In some respects, I (bizarrely) understand and agree with her views. I have remained single, since my divorce because I haven't found the man I want to settle down with. This is not because I am damaged, have been the victim of cheating, or hate men. This is also not because I can't find a man of my own, I simply choose not to, until it's right, and he's exactly what I need. I have believed every man is capable of cheating at some point - given the right circumstances, the right woman and the right opportunity. However, if he is happy at home, those opportunities won't be as obvious to him. He may not necessarily notice the girl bending down in the office, or the pass made while out in a bar. He won't even consider logging on to the internet to look for a woman and won't think about his partner's friends as 'potentials'. On the other hand, if a space ship landed in front of him, with his perfect woman on-board, offering sex and laughter for a few hours, and NO ONE would ever know, I believe the huge majority of men would say yes, and the rest would consider it until she flew away again, regretting not making the decision sooner. If a man has cheated before, chances are he'd make that decision quicker than a man who has never, ever considered an affair. Therefore, a leopard will never change his spots.
In my experience however, a man can still be happy at home and love his wife, but not feel completely fulfilled. They can look like the perfect couple on the outside, but inside he's resenting the fact that he is no longer seen as 'Steve' but is now the husband/father/provider/taxi driver etc. Priorities have changed in his life, and most certainly in his partner's life. When he comes to me he comes alive again. He talks about things he's passionate about, he tells jokes to a whole new audience, and the stories he's told at every dinner party are fresh. He feels appreciated, valued and desired, the things his partner did in the beginning, but no longer has time to pander to. In any long term relationship it is important to keep things fresh, and work on pleasing each other, and while I agree with Emiliana, a happy man won't stray, the work involved in keeping that man happy can be exhausting. You would hope he would be putting just as much effort into keeping his woman happy, but how many men would actually do that? relationships should be equal, it should never be about just the woman dressing up in stockings and heels and having 'Cooking in a corset' night on Wednesdays – he should be doing his bit too. There shouldn't be the threat of infidelity hanging over a woman just because she may not look her best one day, or may be ill for a while, or may not have his socks ironed. Yes, make the effort for your man, wear the stockings, laugh at his jokes, make time to tell him how special he is, but should the fear of an affair make you change who you are or how you are? And what does he do for you?
I remain single because I wouldn't want a relationship with any of the men I have dated. Firstly, the thought of wrecking any marriage would mortify me - I don't want the prospect of every argument starting with 'Do you know what I gave up for you...?' And I didn't become a Serial Mistress to destroy any families - I did it because it suited my lifestyle and my requirements. Secondly, I wouldn't want to be with a man who has the track record of some of the husbands I have met. Most have been unfaithful for all of their marriage, including one who met up with his Mistress the morning of his wedding. And thirdly, the men I meet are very techno-savvy, they would be incredibly good at hiding what they are doing, they feel no guilt, and they have come to terms with their infidelity as a permanent part of their lives. So, for now, I will remain single and enjoy myself. But if I ever met a single man - and I do still date the occasional single man, I would hope he would be faithful, and I would put my efforts into making sure we were both happy, equally.
Every man would cheat given the right opportunity. Every man who has cheated in the past and has been caught out would take that opportunity, but treat it with more wisdom and care - if he was caught once, he would just be smarter, hiding more and therefore getting away with it the second (or more) time.
This debate raged on during the show, and the audience vote results appeared along the bottom of the screen revealing the majority of the audience had agreed with me, which was interesting (but also sad). What a shame the consensus of opinion is that no man is capable of keeping it in his pants, and if he does it once, chances are he'll do it again. Surely there is at least one man out there who will prove me wrong one day?
Karen uses leading married persons dating website, IllicitEncounters.com