ALL Irish men want for Christmas . . . is a mistress! A new website dedicated to people having affairs has notched up over 80,000 members in Ireland.
And a survey into their behaviour and attitudes shows many are planning to be a lot more naughty than nice at this time of year.
The unfaithful hook-up site Ashley Madison asked over 3,000 of its active Irish users their plans for the festive season and the results reveal why and how the Irish are cheating more than ever over the party season.
One-third of respondents plan to cheat on St Stephen's Day, with Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve coming up as other warning spots.
Although almost 70pc of respondents said they love their wives – they admitted to needing an extra bit of sparkle on the side to keep them happy.
And, to top it all off, they are willing to spend an average of double the money on their lovers' Christmas present than on their wives.
"A lover makes a man feel special and he wants to reward that. I think they appreciate a lover more than what they have at home. It's easy to take things like laundry and washing and cleaning for granted," the site's European communications director Christoph Kraemer told the Sunday Independent.
"But it makes them feel good splashing out on something saucy for their secret other. They tend to get more of a kick out of it than when they gift a long-term partner.
"Also you have to remember that they won't be spending the two most important days of the year with them – Christmas Day and New Year's Eve – so they need to make up for that and make sure they can hang on to them."
Initially, would-be cheaters can access the webite for free. But users, once they make contact with possible new partners, are then asked to buy 'credits' if they want to further pursue their liasions.
The "Introductory Package" costs just over €30, rising to €170 for what is boldy described the "Affair Guarantee Package".
Attempting to justify the website, Mr Kraemer claimed having an affair can be a "positive thing" for a relationship.
He added: "I think people are entitled to happiness and it's an illusion to think one person can fufil you for your entire life. Doesn't mean they can't do it for 80 per cent to 90 per cent of the time, but sometimes they just need that little something else. And I believe an affair can actually be a positive thing and make a relationship last in their long run."
Mr Kraemer believes the recession has had a huge bearing on people cheating on their spouse – as they look for a flurry of escapism from the stress of daily life.
He also points to the fact that fewer couples can now afford to part ways if things go sour.
"A lot of couples are not separating now because of the economic consequences it entails so they are choosing to stay together while not letting their happiness suffer."
Mr Kraemer said there's a number of tell-tale signs to watch out for if you suspect a cheating partner.
"A change of habits or someone's behaviour all of a sudden is by far the number one give-away. If they are staying out later all the time where they didn't before, or suddenly have a new interest in a hobby or the gym when it was never in their schedule before, just be mindful of that. The most common excuses we hear people give are working late, after work drinks or a hobby or sport," he said.