Belfast Telegraph

Extra-marital affairs are so big in Antrim

By Stephanie Bell

Unhappy couples in Co Antrim are choosing to have extra marital affairs rather than split up because they can’t afford a divorce, a new survey has revealed.



Illicit Encounters — an online dating website for married people — has seen its membership shoot up by 20 per cent in the Co Antrim area since the recession started to bite.

In a survey to find out why 4,000 people from the county were seeking a partner outside their marriage, the website found that 1,600 said they would like to get a divorce but simply couldn't afford to because of the recession.

Around 40% said their marriage was now effectively over and they had joined the website to meet new people to avoid the drudgery of their unhappy home life.

A further 38% of the site's County Antrim members said they felt the stress of relocating in the current climate had effected their decision to stay married to their partner.

The website — where female members outnumber men by three to one — also found that finance was now the biggest cause of arguments between married couples — 30% of spouses revealed that money worries led to more stress and disagreements in their relationship than any other problem.

Rosie Freeman-Jones, spokeswoman for illicitencounters.com, said: “There are a large number of our members who would like to divorce their other half but just can’t raise the funds to do so.

“We’ve seen a dramatic rise in membership in County Antrim to our site as the recession has forced people to stay in marriages they would rather get out of.”

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