Husband loves wife. Wife loves husband. Except, one day, they don’t anymore. Over a period of weeks, months, years, their relationship disintegrates, until one of husband and wife (or both) commit a cardinal sin: infidelity. There’s no blueprint, no magic formula, no surefire way of fixing what’s broken, but our friends over at IllicitEncounters.com are helping us figure out the why.
Sex. You could argue that there are more important factors in a relationship, and that it isn’t the cornerstone of every relationship, and sure, there’s a lot of cases in which you’d be right. But there are plenty more where you’d be wrong. According to IllicitEncounters, a bad sex life is at the heart of over a third of all divorces. Whether that means there’s a lack of experimentation, passion, or semblance of intimacy, someone can only accept so much. It’s natural, it’s instinctive, and if a relationship can’t satisfy a common urge or desire, it won’t last too long.
So you married too young. You were swept away, rushed in, and now find yourself with more of a tinge of regret some years down the line. Or, maybe after 20 or so years the spark isn’t there. “So if you don’t love your partner, why don’t you just get a divorce?” A good question. It’s certainly a viable solution, one that makes sense on many levels, and in certain cases it’s the most reasonable and common outcome to a busted marriage. But in the modern day, divorces can be really, really messy. There’s the allocation of wealth, for starters. That in and of itself can be, shall we say, difficult. You want a quick separation, but you’re instead lumbered with a long and drawn out litigious battle.
If you have kids, it only gets worse. There’s custody to sort out, all while ensuring that you, your partner and your children have the mental fortitude to go through it all. Divorce isn’t for everyone, and it’s not exactly a no-brainer.
Your sex life is poor, you can’t change you, you can’t change your partner, and divorce isn’t an option. Hello, affair, nice to meet you.
The on-screen romance between Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson was pretty terrible. Their relationship off-screen however quickly made them one of the most popular and adored couples in Hollywood. That is until Stewart had an affair with director Rupert Sanders. Unsurprisingly, Pattinson killed the relationship, with fans and press alike struck down with frustration and fury.
9. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Mildred Baena
‘I think it was the stupidest thing I’ve done in the whole relationship. It was terrible. I inflicted tremendous pain on Maria and unbelievable pain on the kids.’ That apology couldn’t save big Arnold, who cheated on wife Maria Shriver with maid, Mildred Baena. I say cheated, he slept with her and raised a child. Talk about rubbing salt in the wounds.
8. Hugh Grant and Divine Brown
In a regretful spur of the moment, lovable British actor Hugh Grant made himself a little less popular. Caught in the act, in public no less, Grant walked away humiliated. But, arguably the biggest surprise was that his then partner Elizabeth Hurley supported and forgave him (their relationship ended five years later). Props for trying, Liz.
7. Jude Law and Sienna Miller and everyone else
I’m not really sure who’s at fault here, and neither is anyone else. Law seemingly started it off by having an affair with the nanny of his kids. But, and there’s a but, Miller was simultaneously having an affair with Daniel Craig. The pair apologised, split, and then rekindled their relationship just a few years later…only to then split up again. Let it go, guys. Let it go.
6. Ronnie Wood and Ekaterina Ivanova
Is the fact that Ronnie Wood had an affair the most shocking thing in the world? Probably not, no. But who he had it with? That’s a different story. The then 61 year old was in a marriage that was 23 years strong. With his youth behind him, you’d imagine that a lot of his, shall we say, sexual encounters, disappeared along with it. Apparently not, as Mr. Wood eloped with 18 year-old cocktail waitress Ekaterina Ivanova. His wife, Jo, subsequently ended the marriage. Good on you, Jo.
5. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie
Pitt has always vehemently denied that he cheated on ex-wife Jennifer Aniston, but it took him just two months after announcing his separation from the Friends star to appear in public with Angelina Jolie. It didn’t help matters when both he and Angelina admitted that they fell in love while filming Mr. and Mrs. Smith. As for Jennifer Aniston, she took a few swipes at her former partner, stating that he lacked a ‘sensitivity meter’.
4. Ashley Cole and…everyone?
Cheryl Cole – sorry, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini – ended her marriage with the former Chelsea player after “several” women opened up to the Girls Aloud star about having an affair with him. Given their high-profile status, rumours had been doing the rounds for a little while. Was Cheryl racist? Was Ashley gay? Was their whole marriage a cover up? Who knows, but their breakup only cemented their place in the headlines for several months more.
3. Tiger Woods and Jaimee Grubbs
A lion wouldn’t cheat on his wife, but a Tiger Wood. Thank you, thank you. After years of hiding a tumultuous affair, Tiger Woods was caught, and what a scene it was too. A leaked email? An unsolicited text? Woods doesn’t bother with such low-key events. A car crash, a heated argument, and an assault on his car from his wife. It didn’t take long before Woods’ story made headlines, prompting him to apologise for his infidelity, and take an indefinite hiatus from the sport.
2. Charles and Camilla
Prince Charles is, or maybe was, pretty enviable. Wealth, status, royalty and Princess Diana – one of the nations, if not the world’s, most treasured human beings – by his side. He wouldn’t screw it up, right? Right?!
*sigh* Oh Charles.
Ryan Giggs and Imogen Thomas (and Natasha Giggs)
Another footballer. Only this time, it’s much, much worse. He cheated on his wife with glamour model Imogen Thomas – that’s already pretty bad – but to go on and cheat with his brother’s wife was, and still is, the mother of all affairs. For shame, Ryan. For shame.
Yeesh. It’s not good news if you’re dating a lawyer. Our friends over at IllicitEncounters.com (who know a thing or two about affairs) are saying that the legal eagles are in fact the most likely profession to cheat on their partners. Dating a lawyer who seems a little stressed out? I’d probably keep an extra eye on them if I were you…
The movies that make you laugh, cry, smile and then probably cry some more. Here are our top six romantic movies.
6. 50 First Dates
A man stalking a girl with a severe mental disability has all the makings of a true crime story, but 50 First Dates is anything but. Boy meets girl. Girl has memory loss. Boy sacrifices everything to be with her. In possibly Adam Sandler’s last, or only, truly great film, 50 First Dates tells the story of a hopeless romantic chasing the woman he loves, despite the obvious difficulties that her situation presents. Drew Barrymore provides equal doses of romance, love and confusion, while Adam Sandler shows us his cute side. Just look at those adorable little waffle houses.
5. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
It seems that a lot of great romances are built on memory loss. This time, it’s Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet. Carrey is no stranger to a weird role. Come to think of it… The Mask, Ace Ventura, Dumb and Dumber, Carrey only plays weird roles, but this time, he’s met his match. The wonderfully brilliant and quirky Clementine Kruczynski (Winslet) falls in love with the timid and stoic Joel Barish (Carrey) in a classic case of opposites attract. Unfortunately, a turbulent relationship leads to the couple electing to erase all memory of each other by…magic?
Its fantastical and unrealistic idiosyncrasies aside, the film shows Barish’s journey through his own mind in a desperate struggle to undo his fatal error.
I struggle to think anything of less romantic than a capsizing boat and a tragic death in sub-zero temperatures, but, its ending aside, Titanic is the ultimate love story. Kate Winslet, who seemingly has a penchant for these sorts of roles, plays Leonardo Di Caprio’s opposite number. Di Caprio himself is Jack, a happy-go-lucky charmer, who, rather unfortunately as it turns out, scores himself a ticket on a one way trip. Titanic relegates and undermines class and societal hierarchy in a touching love at first sight story. Just a shame that Jack, y’know, died.
3. Brokeback Mountain
Brokeback Mountain was a seminal moment in modern cinema thanks to its portrayal of a homosexual relationship. Referred to in passing as “that gay film with the cowboys”, Brokeback Mountain explored a beautiful relationship between two curious friends. But let’s put their sexual orientation to one side for one moment.
Brokeback Mountain was, and still is, relatable. It disseminates the concept of parallel relationships, with character’s Jack and Ennis resolving a bitter inner conflict – can you love more than one person at a time?
2. The Notebook
Obvious, I know. Where oh so many others fail, The Notebook made a surprisingly smooth transition from book to film. The Notebook is bittersweet in so many ways. Duke, an elderly patient, reads to an elderly dementia sufferer.
He tells the tale of a young American couple, Noah and Allie, who find themselves caught in the middle of World War II America. The two fall hopelessly in love (aw), but the difference in their societal backgrounds proves to be too much of a stumbling block for Allie’s parents.
Without wanting to spoil too much, The Notebook is tear-inducing, but in the best way possible.
They don’t make them like they used to. Casablanca is not only an outstanding romantic movie, it’s an outstanding film full stop. Set two years into the second World War, Casablanca follows the very real dilemma of living in the Nazi-occupied and war-torn western world. Nightclub owner Rick, (who don’t stick his neck out for nobody), encounters his ex-girlfriend (Ilsa), who betrayed him years prior by running off without notice.
Riddled with anger and confusion, Rick must choose whether to assist the woman who he once loved.
Why do we eat ice cream when we’re sad? I don’t know, but it’s the prime destination after every tear-filled and heartbreak-fuelled emotional breakdown. There’s the oh so cliché gathering of girlfriends, while junk food and a crappy movie (that you never end up finishing anyway) provide the miserable backdrop for you to elucidate over your lack of understanding of the male species. Dating a man isn’t easy. But then again, neither is dating a woman. So, boys, here are the best ways to ensure that your girlfriend is stocking up on Ben & Jerry’s anytime soon.
A girl will always appreciate the little things. You send her texts in the morning to say hello, you’ve remembered her favourite drink, you’ve noticed when she’s changed her hair. To you it might seem trivial, but to her, it makes the world of difference. But it’s also a fine balancing act. Sure, telling her she looks pretty is helpful, but you don’t wanna get creepy. A barrage of texts, too many compliments, and overly nice comments can get pretty weird, pretty quickly. No-one likes to be smothered, and compliment after compliment can put your partner in a pretty awkward position. She knows you love her – you don’t have to keep on reminding her. Less is more.
Look the Part
Evert girl’s crazy about a sharp dressed man. You might not look like a male model, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take pride in your appearance. Cute guys who dress well, smell good, and look after themselves are certainly elevated up the pecking order. And, honestly, it isn’t hard. A scruffy and disheveled look won’t help your cause.
Don’t Be An Asshole
Looks are always important, but they can’t stand alone. Like the cereal without the milk, peas without the pod, chips without the ketchup… what all these terrible similes tell you, are that good looks without an attractive personality aren’t enough. More often than not, the latter can far outweigh the former. Intelligence, humour, style… there are few things more attractive than a man who knows what he wants. A man who holds the doors, can make her laugh, doesn’t struggle for conversation, and is an all-round gentleman. Women are looking for a future – someone who is dependable, independent and ambitious.
But there’s also nothing worse than a man who’s arrogant. He thinks he’s funny when he’s not; he’s immature; he’s smart, but in a way that’s almost condescending; he doesn’t make any discernible effort in his appearance; he’s constantly between jobs, and the thought of him meeting your family sends you into a state of anxiousness.
Still living at home with your parents, lacking any basic form of independence, trying too hard to impress – these are definite deal breakers.
Be nice, be yourself, take care of your appearance, show her that you care, and you’ll be alright.