Why 'tis the season to be jolly but not unfaithful
Adulterers are more likely to get caught by their partner in the run-up to Christmas than at any other time of the year, according to relationship experts.
Counsellors have warned that the festive season is the most testing time of the year for those stuck in unhappy relationships or marriages, with many disillusioned partners also opting to start an affair at this time of year.
Tony Moore, an experienced therapist who runs Talking Point Counselling in Portlaoise, Co Laois, said the season of goodwill could be better defined as the season to be unfaithful.
He stressed that it's also the time when secretive affairs tend to be discovered, as suspicious partners are more likely to uncover evidence of their other-halves' infidelities.
"The Christmas period is the time when affairs are most likely to either start or when those who are cheating will get caught out," he said.
"Firstly, there's a lot more temptation, because people go out socialising more than they usually do. If someone who's having an affair has had a few drinks, they are more likely to let their guard down, for example by posting inappropriate pictures online.
"And if you have a suspicion that your partner might be having a fling, you are likely to become hyper-sensitive around the date of his or her Christmas party, and you'd be more inclined to check their texting history, to look out for the smell of someone else's perfume or aftershave and to look through your partner's pockets.
"People don't often own up to affairs, but at Christmas they are more likely to get found out."