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A recent study has revealed that more than half of women and men have avoided their significant other. Not only that, but many of them apparently feel happier in their relationships. Don’t go digging for clues of che-ating just yet – the findings were released by Illicit Encounters, an extra-marital site, meaning that most of the people polled are likely already having an affair or looking to do so.

However, it’s no secret. So, to find out more about why people are unfaithful, we asked seven women and men to share their tales with us – here’s what they said.

Ruby, 49

‘I had an affair with a married work colleague. ‘When you wear a uniform and work nights dealing with incidents, you tend to get closer to colleagues than you might normally do. ‘We started dating and within a month or two it developed from walks and beautiful sunsets into nights away. ‘He moved in with me, but because of his two young children, he went back to his wife after a month or so. I was totally heavy-hearted.

‘I also once met his wife, who told me that he would come back to me because he loved me, not her – but he didn’t. Their marriage lasted a few more years and then he left her for someone else. ‘About 15 years later, we met up again. He was still married. ‘It’s now been a year since we had attracted and I honestly don’t think I would go back again. My husband had an affair with a colleague, so I see that as a little bit of rough justice!’

Laura*, 37

‘I’ve been having an issue with a guy who lied to me about his marriage has ended. ‘We initially got together after a few dr-inks at an industry event and after that chatted via messaging apps every day. He told me that he wanted to take me on dates and such, but it never transpired. ‘We got together again at another industry event and a day or so after I got an anonymous message telling me to check his wife’s social media, as she has a photo of them together on it. On holiday.

The holiday he went on with his ‘mum’ while we were chatting. ‘It’s taken me months to finally let it all out to him with regards to his lies, but I finally told him this week (due to fear about work-related stuff, our community is very close and chatty) that I was fed up with his lies. No apology from him yet. And I doubt there will be one. ‘He should be glad I’m not the type who would approach his wife.’

Jules, 37

‘I don’t love my husband, it’s sad but it’s true. ‘I married him because he is a good father and provider, I never felt real love for him. We start off with the best intentions, but marriage isn’t what you expect. I don’t like the word affair, it’s a Victorian term, it’s more friendship than an affair. ‘I’ve had it all, a three-year romance and one-night-stands.’

Edward*, 29

‘This girl started working at my office and I thought she was super attractive. ‘One night, I asked her to hang out and we ended up at a club where her boyfriend works. ‘We got trashed on free dri-nks that her boyfriend (the barman) gave us and afterward, we got a cab back to hers – he stayed at work – and I smoothly vomited all over her carpet. ‘After that ordeal, I still ended up handcuffed to her bedpost. She returned into the room after ‘getting ready’, sporting a latex nurse outfit and a whip.

‘I felt bad for her boyfriend, but I was very young at the time and not as bothered as I would have been now. I’m not sure if she ever told him about it.

Patty*, 25

‘Two years ago, I met up with my French exchange in Paris. ‘We used to have a relationship when we were teenagers. ‘He’s married now and spent the whole time talking about how he loves to cheat on his wife. He said he married her so she could stay in the country (I think she’s Russian). ‘I was shocked by his openness but spent the entire evening flirting with him. I had zero intention to do anything with him, but there was so much S- chemistry.

‘After plenty of red wine, I suggested we head off. As he walked me to the train station, he grabbed my hands and we kissed – it was pretty attractive, but it felt very wrong in my gut. ‘I spent the next day crying about it and he kept messaging, telling me we should meet at his place during his lunch break.

‘We met up for lunch instead, and I told him how unhappy I was with what we did. He got defensive and said “if you wanna call my wife, go for it” and put his phone next to me. He then told me how much he loves lying, how he doesn’t dream, ‘After lunch, we said our goodbyes and messaged a bit but I have now totally cut him from my life.’

Samantha, 47

‘I’m having an affair because my marriage lacks intimacy – we are more like best friends. ‘I’m currently dating a man outside of my marriage that I met on a cheating site. It’s very casual and he is also married. ‘I’ve loved every second of having lovemaking outside of my marriage, I don’t know how to say no to temptation, and I don’t feel guilty. I recommend having an affair. It gives you so much confidence. ‘But if I went back in time, I would still marry my husband.’

Francesca*, 42

‘My boyfriend had a girlfriend when I met him, prior to that I had a long affair with a married man who had actually been my first boyfriend. ‘I’ve also been married and my husband had a girlfriend when he met me. We actually got married after only a few months and he had to tell his ex that not only had he met someone new – he’d married her!’

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