A Wellington woman has penned a lengthy guide on how to get away with being the "other woman" in an affair, borne from her own experience of sleeping with a married co-worker several years ago.
Her tips include how to hide expenses and communication, along with advice on where and how to have sex in a car.
Editor's note: We asked a relationship expert what the consequences of having such an affair would be. Her answers, and a guide to coping if it happens to you, can be found here.
Jessica* told Newshub she wrote the piece as a "therapeutic exercise" to tell her story, but changed some details so nobody could be identified.
She said after staying for a glass of wine after an office team workshop several years ago, she was attracted to a colleague with "boyish looks and a sparkling grin".
"He made a joke that wasn't funny, but it still made me laugh. I wanted to look at that grin a while longer!" she recounted.
"From there started a three-year affair that's been well hidden. He was a decade older than me and had recently returned from living overseas."
Jessica said the man told her he and his wife had a "mistake" third child. His wife was " too tired, too old to be dealing once again with a newborn, and the only attention she would afford him was complaining when he wasn't home by 4:00pm".
"He was funny, charismatic and loved socialising. He would complain that his wife had no friends, never wanted to go out and didn't allow him to go out much either. I love a good party and staying up to the early hours in good company," said Jessica.
"So began our three years of fun. Each day, week, month and year falling deeper into an addictive infatuation pit."
Jessica said that affairs are "exhilarating but will have you constantly pulled between two powerful, yet opposing forces - one of obligation and responsibility; the other of escapism and bliss".
"You will feel emotions you never knew existed and will question your every thought. You will lose a lot of sleep. It is therefore imperative to follow these tips..."
Jessica's tips and tricks to a successful affair:
- Ensure you've picked someone with who you have nothing in common. A simple person with few interests. Attractions work better when you 100 percent know you can never be soulmates. You want fun, uninhibited sex, not to fall in love.
- Pick someone who says they're happy with their wife/partner. Affairs are short-lived and not, I'm sorry to say, your next serious relationship in waiting. No matter what happens or how many years the affair goes for. Ninety-five percent of remarriages to affair partners end in divorce. You will NEVER be the exception. That already occurred in Charles and Camilla and they had a pretty hard time for 40 years or so first.
- Select a channel for messaging and set rules, ie. no messages after 9pm if he's in bed then. Commit to scrupulously deleting every conversation. I recommend Messenger or WhatsApp, silencing notifications and making sure it's not the first app on your home screen.
- Try not to ever meet in the evenings or use the "working late" excuse too many times. We were fortunate to travel together almost every month for work. We would otherwise do early mornings in hotels and the 2-5pm check-in time in afternoons which meant my affair partner could still collect his children from sports practice and not be noticed. Pick hotels with private access such as a Travelodge or hotels in a building shared with other businesses.
- Never try and meet or contact the spouse. I made this fatal mistake. Consider yourself warned!
- Always have a "go-to story" for if ever the worst case happens. Recite this together and keep it filed in your brain ready to repeat on command: "It was just one time, he couldn't maintain an erection anyway - it was just a terrible mistake."
- Don't buy too many new clothes. This is one of the obvious signs written about since the dawn of time. It will be noticed. My affair partner bought a new shirt every week that first year!
- Set regular time aside to be together, find a few good quiet spots you can go to for lunch or an after-work drink or two. Consider the suburban pubs and botanic gardens.
- You can have great sex in a car - it's not like your teenage memories. You can make a lot of space in a backseat by putting front seats forward as much as possible. Your legs will get increasingly flexible! The leafy streets of Wellington suburbs are very quiet.
- Never pay for hotels on a credit card. Or apply for a new credit card with a separate bank to your usual household accounts.
- The most important tip: Try not to fall in love. Affairs only serve to fill a void of some kind.
- Stay faithful to the secondary relationship. Don't take on a third or even cheat on the second just once. Don't be greedy!
- Have a plan for when it ends. It will. They all do. Make it up to the universe and your family and throw yourself into everyone and everything you've neglected.
- Have gratitude for the fact you didn't get caught. Smile at the memories. See it for the fun it was. Don't dwell on it. Don't beat yourself up. You got to have one of life's rarer experiences.
- Don't do it again. You got lucky!
*Names have been changed.
Editor's note: Jessica says the man she engaged in the affair with no longer lives in New Zealand.