Part 4: Struggling in a wheelie bin cupboard

If you find you have accidentally married a gay man there is a good chance that you will find the person you married has been unfaithful.

There are two types of infidelity: the affair, and the shag. If your husband is gay their infidelity is the latter, although to them it may feel like the former. An affair is often seen by the parties having the affair as lots of fun, exciting and dangerous. It is likely to make at least one of them feel younger, thinner, and if bald, temporarily hairy. It will be characterised by crashing waves, net curtains blowing through an open window, and classic power ballads: to everyone else it will merely be two people struggling in a wheelie bin cupboard.

The main culprit in the affair is known as a philanderer. The philanderer, despite having a lovely time, will often be tired. Trying to fit in an affair around a marriage requires a high degree of energy and subterfuge. The best way to conduct an affair is to “join a gym”. Health clubs know that 35% of their turnover comes from people who join but never actually attend as they are busy having affairs – this explains why there is always a space available in the spinning class (footnote: if you like all things yarn-based you will be very disappointed if you are hoping to join a class where you can spin the wool for your own traditional Welsh nursing shawl). The advantage of “joining a gym” is that you can plausibly be absent for several hours a week and come home sweaty and tired: the disadvantage is that your spouse will begin to wonder how someone so dedicated to the gym is still not ripped. To counter this, the philanderer must try to incorporate star jumps and bunny hops into their sexual repertoire. Other strategies include:

  • Going away on business: this is reasonably plausible unless you are unemployed as it is unlikely that Jobcentre Plus will finance your signing on in Berwick Upon Tweed
  • Breaking down on the motorway and having to spend the night in a travelodge (footnote: this refers to the car breaking down. For any other breaking down scenarios see “Adele” below)
  • Going to get petrol and getting caught up in a siege
  • Falling off a ladder while rescuing a kitten from a burning house and having to spend the night in a hospital where, due to amnesia, you were unable to tell the staff who you are
  • Abduction by aliens

The shaggee on the other hand is like the charm on a Pandora bracelet: temporarily meaningful, fleetingly precious and briefly, under halogen at least, shiny, but ultimately one of many. For this reason the shaggee may be pitied but any sympathy will soon be replaced by the desire to, for example, intercept their car at its next service and hide fresh prawns under the passenger seat.

The wife of the philanderer is also of course an object of pity. You can easily spot a wronged wife in the supermarket as she will be buying prawns and Adele CDs (footnote: there is no need for an apostrophe in CDs). The philanderer will try to reassure the wife that it is “just sex” but this will fail on the grounds that most women cannot admit the defence of obesity as “just cake” (footnote: wives who are cheated on are either a: unable to eat or b: unable to do anything but eat. Lucky a:)

To be really successful at having an affair you should ensure your spouse is unaware. This means taking great care of your mobile phone, not getting an STD, not talking in your sleep and not smirking. The second greatest giveaway is if you call your wife by the name of your lover. For women who have married gay men it is disconcerting to suddenly be called Ted. Unless you are called Ted. Women who are called Ted, especially those who have their own tool belt, may have to take some responsibility for their position: psychologists believe that women who have fallen in love with a gay man are destined to repeat their mistakes with subsequent partners and will actually become a career fag hag. However the top giveaway is when you start talking like your shaggee. This involves using words and phrases you have never used before, such as “Why don’t we ever have scallops?”, and “Is there any chance you could turn over?”


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