The holidays are a time of potential disaster. All that time spent in such close proximity to one’s family can push relationships to the edge. Now it seems that the additional enforced propinquity caused by Britain’s whiteout has been too much for many marriages.
The extra-marital dating agency www.illicitencounters.com, which selflessly offers a helping hand to married men and women in search of a little extra-curricular activity, reported a record number of new members on Wednesday this week, when the snow left millions of Britons stranded in their homes.
Unable to escape from their spouses to the relative peace and comfort of work, thousands of them fled to the site – which absolves itself by warning that having an affair “is not an alternative to working on or ending a marriage” and that “not all affairs have a positive effect on a marriage” – with the bulk of the traffic coming from Hampshire, Berkshire, and the West Country, in correlation with the areas worst-affected by the weather.
The BBC reports: “The firm says that over the past six days as a whole, it gained 2,567 new members, 37% more than usual, and as a result has needed to take on additional staff to cope with the rush.”
One wonders how many of the new members were really driven to infidelity by the severe weather conditions – or, more accurately, by the severe marital conditions that resulted – and how many were simply opportunistic cheaters who took advantage of a day off work to put a long-considered plan into motion.
There’s nothing to warm the cockles of your heart quite like a virtual assignation with a virtual stranger. Then again, you’d think a real-life tumble with a real-life partner would be a more effective means of keeping warm in the big freeze.