THEY say a week is a long time in politics, so guaranteed it's been a heinously long one at the home of Mr and Mrs Peter Robinson. Being an infidelity analyst, the Robinson affair is of intense interest to me, not least for the angle on sexual equality it can't help but provide.
We've become so familiar with the male politician's affair, painstakingly and nauseously watching a poor, stoic wife standing by his side. Well guess what, this time it's a husband taking on that role and Northern Ireland's former First Minister at that.
I have no sympathy whatsoever for shamed Mrs Robinson and nor will most people. The smug, self-opinionated, lofty views that Iris Robinson spouted from her shaky moral high ground are an abomination (pun intended), especially now that we know that she herself was living a life not befitting 'her morals.'
Hypocrisy pushes a very hot button with the public who don't appreciate being fooled, especially by the underhanded and adulterous dealings of their elected politicians. If they can lie so easily about their personal lives, then they can lie to their country too. And they have the cheek to ask us to vote for them . . .
Traditionally, when we read about a male politician being exposed for having an affair with a woman young enough to be his own daughter, it's somehow a little more palatable than when the tables are turned and we find ourselves reading about a woman of nearly 60 having trysts with a boy young enough to be her grandson.
Call me old fashioned, or maybe it's a maternal thing, but it is kind of gross.
When a married woman has an affair with a boy so much younger, she takes on the role of the stereotypical married man whom I so disdainfully write about. She manipulates her young lover for her own gain, showering him with gifts to keep him duty-bound, then, when it's all over often asking for them back! (Or at least it seems that way.)
So, unusually for me, I have some sympathy here for the men affected in this situation. Maybe they should even collaborate and become friends, rather like so many wives and mistresses of the same man tell me that they do.
A woman having an affair is a huge bash to her husband's ego, especially if the "other man" is much younger, as her husband will suffer self-esteem issues of competing with the virility of youth . Men hate it when their wives cheat. I once asked a man -- who was having a lengthy affair -- if his wife was also having one too. Since he professed they didn't ever sleep together, it seemed a valid question. His reply: "No way! My wife would never cheat on me. If she doesn't want to have sex with me then she's certainly not going to go out and sleep with another guy!"
And I thought it was only women who chose to live in denial.