Online service sets up married Irish men and women
A new website promoting infidelity in relationships has attracted 5,418 Irish users.
'Affairs of the Heart' is an agency that unashamedly sets up married men and women and those in long-term relationship who want to have an affair.
The agency's website boasts the tawdry tagline "Life is short, have an affair" and the site's owners plan to spend up to €3m promoting its services here.
Noel Biderman, the founder of the company, said the idea came from research that 30 per cent of people going to 'singles' dating services were actually attached and were simply lying about their relationship status.
There is free entry to join the site and its search profiles, but to initiate any sort of communication you have to buy a membership package.
With 3.8 million members worldwide he said: "This service attracts men between the ages of 30 to 55 years of age and two distinct groups of women, the first being married ones who have not been paid attention for a long time and then mistresses in their 20s and 30s whose view is along the lines of 'if you have a good man and are not treating him right, then I will'."
One member, a Dublin man in his 40s, has been married for more than a decade and has two children.
"My wife and I have not been having sex for the better part of two years now. I have no desire to get a divorce because other than that the marriage is perfectly fine and I couldn't stand breaking up the stable household we've set up for my boys.
"However, I am looking for someone who lives close by and is in the exact same situation as me, but I'm not looking for a relationship. The website lets me communicate with women anonymously, and only when I feel comfortable with them will I pursue things further," he claimed.
Asked if it would not be more honest of him to try and resurrect his marriage and discontinue use of the site or else end the marriage, he replied: "It's easier said than done. I love my family and it would devastate my wife if we broke up.
"I'm only in my 40s and not ready to live the rest of my life in celibacy, so I feel I have no other choice."
Another man, from south Dublin, who works all over the country, claims to have had five direct meetings through the site.
Unhappily married for the past few years, his relationship took a turn for the worse since the birth of a child. He has discussed divorce with his wife but says it is not an option in today's economic climate.
"My job demands that I travel all over, so depending on where I am in the country on a particular night, I can always check for a potential partner in my area on the site Eventually my wife and I will separate, but we are just not ready yet."