Wednesday, April 21, 2010

How to survive a cheating husband

After the recent glut of adulterous celebrity husbands, Celia Walden presents a guide as to how a deceived woman should best conduct herself

There is no word for a female cuckold in the Oxford English Dictionary. A man cheated on by his wife becomes emasculated, an object of derision – the victim of a phenomenon which is hilarious by virtue of its (supposed) rarity. But when a man cheats on a woman, is it so commonplace that it doesn’t deserve its own term?

The glut of recent celebrity scandals would have us think so. In the past fortnight alone, Oscar-winner Sandra Bullock’s husband, Jesse James, is alleged to have cheated on her with a heavily tattooed glamour model, and Kate Winslet and Sam Mendes have brought their marriage to a close – with sources citing Mendes’s “close friendship” with Rebecca Hall, a young actress, as the cause.

The philanderer’s pile-up started last December, when Tiger Woods was revealed to have “transgressed” at least a dozen times against his Swedish wife, Elin Nordegren. Then John Terry, the England football captain, prompted by a tabloid exposé, confessed to a fling with a team-mate’s girlfriend. Soon afterwards, singer Cheryl Cole announced that she was leaving her husband Ashley after fresh allegations of his infidelity.

Male adultery, of course, is nothing new, particularly in the celebrity world, but while our female forebears tended to follow an unwritten code (dignity and discretion being paramount) when the unthinkable happened, feminism has muddied the waters. Nowadays, columnists lambast “doormat wives” who take their husbands back (Toni Terry) and victims who profit (Cheryl Cole) alike. So how does a woman survive the affair with style?

“Little has been written about those first few hours or days after you discover your husband’s affair,” says Ruth Houston, author of Is He Cheating on You? “First it’s important to focus on what you shouldn’t do. Most women let fear, anger, hurt or a desire for revenge compel them to do things they later regret.” A reaction etiquette bible, Debrett’s, frowns upon. “Civil and dignified behaviour is usually a sensible approach,” explains adviser, Jo Bryant. “It may sound very British, but family and friends will admire your stoical behaviour. One should avoid public displays of emotion that may embarrass others.”

But isn’t it possible to be vengeful with panache? Who can forget Sally Graham-Moon’s gloriously choreographed retaliation: she cut up her husband’s Savile Row suits, poured white paint over his blue BMW and deposited bottles of his vintage claret on neighbours’ doorsteps? While not exactly civil, the element of calculation did prevent it from seeming either hysterical or undignified.

The same cannot be said of more vicious acts of revenge: Lorena Bobbit, most will agree, went a little too far, while the bags of fertiliser sent by Rachel Royce to the Spectator offices on hearing of her husband Rod Liddle’s affair with the receptionist were neither witty or stylish. Perhaps the act was simply too self-aware, accompanied, as it was, by 2,600-words in the Daily Mail headlined: “My cheating husband Rod, 10 bags of manure and me the bunny boiler. As for the Slapper… she’s welcome to him.”

According to Debrett’s, Royce committed two cardinal sins here: discussing the affair in public, and referring to the other woman – however obliquely (a trend started by Diana, Princess of Wales, when she told Martin Bashir that “there were three of us in this marriage”).

“Be discreet about who you talk to,” counsels Bryant. “Don’t bore casual acquaintances with the sins of your partner. Reserve your bitterest recriminations for close, trustworthy friends; long tales about your situation will soon have you struck off the dinner-party guest list.” Which would condemn Mia Farrow (who accused her husband Woody Allen of molesting their seven-year-old adoptive daughter, Dylan, after he left her for another adoptive daughter, Soon-Yi) and cheating TV presenter Chris Tarrant’s wife Ingrid, who broadcasted his sexual shortcomings on live television – and claiming he often went to bed smelling of fish – to a lifetime of TV meals for one.

Humour, however, can render that rule obsolete. Ivana Trump built a whole repertoire, a brand even, on witticisms concerning her husband Donald’s adultery, starting with the marvellous: “Don’t get mad. Get everything.” Meanwhile Alan Clark’s wife, Caroline Jane, used an array of disparaging one-liners to diffuse her own heartbreak. When details of Clarke’s seduction of a South African judge’s wife and two daughters hit the press, she famously declared: “If you bed people of below-stairs class, they will go to the papers.” Which tells you a lot about her would-be aristocratic husband. “If you are going to speak out,” Debrett’s agrees, “a little humour and self-deprecation may help.”

There are four basic choices available to the cheated wife after the initial hurdles have been gracefully overcome. The most obvious is to take the reinvention route. “This is the time to remind your cheating, lying, waste-of-space husband exactly what a great woman he is in danger of losing,” says author and “infidelity analyst” Sarah Symonds. “Although your self-esteem will be at it’s lowest, never show him that. Even if you don’t feel like it, you must walk around with your head held high under a perfect coiffure, swap the flat shoes for high heels and – if your eyes are puffy from crying – get those 'affair sunglasses’ on, like Cheryl Cole.” First-timers should beware implications (“I understand why you bedded the receptionist: I was a stone and a half overweight, my hair was lank and I didn’t know what a bandage dress was”) of such an overhaul.

The cheated wife could also be French about it and rise above the infidelity by engaging in a little intrigue of her own, like Nicolas Sarkozy and Carla Bruni, or Charles and Diana. “Don’t play victim,” urges author Kathy Lette. “Go and dance naked on a table with a toy boy.” Whether younger, richer or cleverer, it’s essential to trade up, says Symonds. “If your husband had the need to fall into the arms of another partner, you may need to cry on the younger, broader shoulders of another.”

She could be pragmatic, like the Duchess of Devonshire, and enjoy the fact that her spouse is still desired by others (“Of course people can have affairs in their marriages; how can you expect someone to have a lot of spunk if they don’t have a bit of life of their own?”).

The other option is to become one of the long line of cheated women in history to follow the “keep calm and carry on” precept. Typified by Jackie O (the First Lady turned a blind eye to JFK’s indiscretions), this unflappable brigade tends to come out best. Victoria Beckham has always refused to acknowledge her husband David’s alleged dalliance with Rebecca Loos, while Hillary Clinton got through her annus horribilis by adhering to the “duck method” (appearing serene while a frenzy of kicking goes on beneath the surface).

House-proud Pauline Prescott’s reaction to news that John had bedded his aide was to go ahead with a plan to have “a lovely loo put in my hall”, despite her husband’s suggestion she postpone the building work. “The photographers caught the plumber coming in with the loo,” she says in her autobiography, Smile Though Your Heart is Breaking. “And the headline was 'Everything’s going down the pan at the Prescotts’!”

It comes down to making your own decision about whether to stand by your man. “So many women are egged on by a coven of so-called friends who are unconsciously jealous,” says writer Mary Killen. “No one is asking the woman to put up with public humiliation but she should not let herself be a puppet of the public, the press or her girlfriends.

“In the celebrity world, it is never wrong to stand by your man,” adds Symonds, “especially if there is the chance of a book deal. Many showbiz marriages are a corporation from the start; more a 'merger’ than a marriage. The “merger wife” tends to know about her husband’s indiscretions, so her main focus – upon exposure – will be to gloss over them publicly. My advice to those who do stand by their man: make sure you make his life hell, while siphoning off enough of his money to be able to move on to a new – and better – life without him one day.”
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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Nuns fight nightclub over 'immoral' lapdancing

A group of nuns are fighting to stop a nightclub introducing strippers opposite their convent.

The sisters have warned that the 'immoral' entertainment could lead youths into temptation.

They said teenagers had already started to take an interest in advertisements for 'exotic dancing' and 'striptease to music' nights.

The Society of St Margaret nuns in Uckfield, East Sussex, are leading a revolt alongside 50 residents.

They fear the Broadway nightclub could circumvent tough new licensing laws designed to crack down on lapdancing venues.

Under the rules to come in this year, nightclubs and bars that apply to run striptease events on just 11 nights a year will avoid new regulations.

Sister Shirley Jepson said: 'Can we suppose the "dancing", entertainment and films are going to be morris men and Julie Andrews?'

Richard Calderbank, manager director of Ambassador Leisure Services, said the club was 'well run'.
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Sunday, January 10, 2010

3 Lifestyle Habits Boost Your Sex Drive

1. Get plenty of exercise

If you want to be "hot-blooded," then improve your circulation. Physical fitness can increase blood flow, which in theory can make sex more pleasurable since sexual arousal for both men and women involves increased blood flow to the genital area. And that can increase desire itself—if it feels great, you tend to want to do it more.

Exercise boosts endorphins, which lift your mood, and it can increase your energy. Not to mention that being toned makes some people feel sexier.

2. Eat a healthy diet

Arteries clogged with saturated fat don't bring as much blood to the genital area for arousal purposes. Hence the correlation between heart disease and erectile dysfunction.

But excess weight also messes with your hormones. "Obesity can shift the balance between estrogen and testosterone," says Michael Krychman, MD, executive director of the Southern California Center for Sexual Health and Survivorship Medicine in Newport Beach, Calif. And low testosterone can bring down your sex drive.

Nutrition counts too. For example, an iron deficiency can lead to fatigue, which in turn can lead to low libido. (Eat your broccoli!)

3. Manage your stress

"How about a simple vacation? How about communicating with your partner?" suggests Irwin Goldstein, MD, director of San Diego Sexual Medicine and editor in chief of The Journal of Sexual Medicine. "People are overworked and stressed, and they translate their overworked, stressed lives to a lousy sex life."
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Saturday, January 09, 2010

2 Ways to Make Condoms Sexy

2 Ways to Make Condoms Sexy

Some people just won't have sex without a condom—but find themselves encountering sex partners who need a little coaxing. Here are two suggestions for turning the routine into something sexy by getting everyone involved.

1. Have your partner put it on
Ralph Diaz (not his real name), 37, of New York City, says, "It makes it more intimate if someone else puts the condom on for you," says Diaz. "Because it's someone else's touch."

2. Make it an oral sex bonus
Carmen Donovan (not her real name), 27, of Los Angeles, likes putting the condom on her sex partners during oral sex. "Guys are less likely to complain if they are super turned on," she says. "And that way I can be sure that the condom is on correctly and less likely to break."
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Friday, January 08, 2010

Men sex think 5,000 times in a year

Men think about sex almost 5,000 times a year – but only get down to doing it 104 times, a new study has found.

Researchers found the average male turns their thoughts to sexual intercourse 13 times a day – a total of 4,745 times every year.

Almost a third even admitted it is often the first thing they think about when they wake up in the mornings.

In comparison, women think about sex just five times day – or 1,825 times a year.

But when it comes to actually having sex, men have to make do with it an average of just twice a week, or 104 times a year.

A spokesman for market research company said: ''Men are well-known for thinking about sex a lot, but to find out exactly how often is staggering.

''It seems blokes have sex on the brain whether they are going through a dry spell or jumping between the sheets on a regular basis.

''They can't even get away from the sexy thoughts when they first wake up in the morning.

''So when you catch your man staring into space, you know what he's likely to be thinking about.''

The study of 3,000 people also showed that despite the difference in the amount of times men think about sex and actually do it, almost three quarters claim they are happy about the amount of sex they were getting.

But just 58 per cent of women said the same.

And 43 per cent of couples also admitted arguing over who instigates the lovemaking, with men most likely to make the first move.

Researchers also found one in three guys think a candlelit dinner is the best way of getting a woman in the mood, followed by a relaxing massage.

But women are more likely to play romantic music or cook their partner's favourite meal to try and get them into bed.
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