Affairs have been going on exactly two minutes after the first couple existed – about the time Adam ran into a rough patch with Eve, then spied a cutie named Rita (or Rachel or Ruth or whoever she was) in the wilderness. But if you are having an affair – or contemplating one – you need to do so successfully.
By ‘successfully’, I mean getting out of it exactly what you want. Affairs, although highly personal, fall into one of two categories. The first is one that is purely or primarily sexual. You aren’t looking to break up with your significant other, but just to get your freak on a little bit more often (or in more unusual ways) than you are currently getting. The other kind of affair is sort of testing the waters, with the goal of eventually leaving your current relationship altogether. (I’m not going to weigh in on the moral ramifications of either of these, nor of having an affair at all. There are already plenty of articles and web sites and daytime talk shows that do that.) You should have some idea of which kind of affair you are having.
Once you have decided which kind of affair you are having (or want to have), the next step is how to go about having one. If you haven’t met someone, how do you go about doing so? Craigslist.org (www.craigslist.org) is one way to go. Craigslist has separate sites for each major metropolitan area in the US and Canada, so you’ll generally be looking for people in your local area. Its “Casual Encounters” section of personal ads are probably the best bet if your affair is primarily sexual, with “Miscellaneous Romance,” perhaps, a better bet if you are looking for something more. In either case, the ads are free to post. And if you are worried that you’ll be the only married woman or married man looking for love in all the wrong places, simply scroll through the ads in your area. Chances are, there are a number of married men and women already posting ads.
Once you have found someone, then the art and science of carrying on the affair comes into play. Technology is your friend, but it is a fair weather friend who has to be watched regularly. While having a cell phone makes it easier to call your lover, caller ID also provides a snooping spouse or partner with information about your extracurricular activities. You’ll want to contact your phone company, whether it’s AT&T (www.att.com), Vonage (www.Vonage.com), or some other company, and ask about any features you don’t understand. For instance, do you receive an itemized bill? Can records of activity be viewed online? You’ll have to weigh these features against the likelihood that your significant other is going to snoop around and ask questions. Of course, if you handle all the bills, then this might not be as big a problem. If that’s your situation, consider having your bills come to you online, avoiding the possibility of a paper bill providing too much information.
The computer can also be your friend – a friend that readily turns into a foe. Do you know, for example, how long your emails are stored? Could your spouse or partner find emails to or from your lover? Most email providers, whether AOL (www.aol.com), Hotmail (www.hotmail.com), or Earthlink (www.earthlink.net) allow you to set preferences and provide online documentation. Between the two, you should be able to set your preferences to minimize your chances of being caught.
Of course, you might get caught anyway. If you do, you may want to check out www.findlaw.com. This web site provides referrals to many attorneys – including divorce attorneys.