I sent my cheating lover to sex school
REBECCA PARODI, 25, A SALES ASSISTANT FROM Washington, SAYS: "The day Simon dropped his bombshell was just like any other - we ate dinner after work, then watched some TV. We headed to bed around 11pm and I curled into him for a cuddle. But he seemed edgy, like he had something on his mind.
'Are you OK?' I asked him.
He took a deep breath, then looked at me. 'There's something I need to tell you,' he said.
I panicked. We'd been together for three years and had recently talked about getting engaged, even having kids one day. Then he said the five words that broke my heart: 'I slept with someone else¿'
I stared at him, totally dumbstruck. Inside I was screaming, but I just shook my head and edged away from him. Simon, my soulmate, had cheated on me.
In disbelief, I listened as he spilled out the sordid details. The previous weekend he'd been away with the lads and had got wasted in a club. A girl had come up to him on the dance floor and wouldn't leave him alone. He half mumbled, half muttered that, instead of walking away he'd gone back to her place and had sex with her. He'd even stayed the night.
My heart froze. 'I can't believe this is happening,' I whispered. Simon tried to reach out and cuddle me but I recoiled. Numb with disgust, I wrapped my arms around myself, turned my back on him and cried myself to sleep.
When I woke up the next morning, anger hit me and I started screaming at him. He'd destroyed everything for a stupid one-night stand. And he'd put me at risk by not using a condom (yes, I'd demanded all the gory details). I told him to leave.
He begged me to give him another chance but I started throwing his stuff into bags. Furious tears streaked down my face as I watched him leave to go and stay with his parents. Only after he'd gone did I crumple into a sobbing heap on the floor.
I went to get tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) straight away. Thankfully, they came back clear. As my anger subsided, I just felt incredibly let down. Initially, I didn't tell my mum and dad - I felt so ashamed of what Simon had done. But my younger sister Frankie, 22, was disgusted by Simon's behaviour and was a huge support.
A couple of weeks later, I came home from work to find a bunch of red and orange gerberas - my favourite flowers - on the doorstep. I knew who'd left them. Simon. But it was going to take a lot more than that to repair the damage he'd done.
Over the next few weeks, Simon left me more flowers, chocolates and pleading messages on my voicemail. But I couldn't forgive him - he'd completely broken my trust. I refused to have anything to do with him. I did miss him - but I tried my best to ignore those feelings. He didn't deserve me.
Two months after we split up, Simon called again, begging to meet. This time, out of curiosity, I agreed. We talked for hours about what had happened. He told me it was the biggest mistake he'd ever made.
I could see how sorry he was and how much he regretted it. I agreed to give it another go - but I told him in no uncertain terms that it would take a lot for him to regain my trust.
After that, it was like starting over. We went out on dates and had a laugh together.
A few weeks later, I felt ready to sleep with him again. To be on the safe side, I asked Simon to get tested for STIs too. The results came back negative.
We fell into bed, but as Simon started to caress me, I froze. I wasn't sure I could just go back to how things used to be - I didn't want him making love to me the same way he'd had sex with her. So we talked about how we could resolve this. We decided to try things we'd never done before like watching porn, talking dirty and using toys. But that cold awkwardness between us was always there.
Some nights I'd break down, feeling helpless.
I'd get really angry at Simon and I began to question whether what we had was worth saving.
One night, I was talking to Frankie about it, when she said she'd heard that tantric sex could revive relationships - it had worked for a friend of hers.
I'd heard of tantric sex, and read the stories about people like Sting being into it. So I looked it up on the internet and found a class at a local studio. I signed us up as a last-ditch attempt to save our relationship. I thought Simon would be horrified, but he agreed to give it a go. The class cost us £120 each, so I hoped it would be worth it.
We arrived to find a room full of couples, all older than us, writhing fully clothed on the floor. We didn't know where to look. We only stayed for a few minutes, then left - bursting into laughter as we got around the corner.
We decided to do our own research and discovered tantric sex is about focusing on each other, getting to know each other's mind and body better, and forming a strong mental, as well as physical, bond.
Instead of having sex, we concentrated on gazing into each other's eyes, breathing in sync, and getting to know our erogenous zones.
As a result, the first time we actually had sex again felt incredibly intimate for both of us. After a few weeks, we both had more energy, and it made our orgasms so much more intense.
Because tantric sex involves finding out how your partner feels, it was a great way to rediscover our trust. A year on, Simon and I are stronger than ever and I feel confident he would never betray me again. I believe that if we hadn't discovered tantric sex, we wouldn't be together now. It's saved our relationship."
SIMON PEACOCK, 26, AN IT DESIGNER, SAYS:
"Becky was the sexiest girl I'd ever met and I felt so lucky to have her. I really can't explain why I cheated.
So when she said she was ready to give it another go, I wanted to make things perfect between us.
I was apprehensive about tantric sex, but willing to try anything to make Becky happy. The class was embarrassing, but when we tried it at home, things started to improve almost immediately.
I'll always regret being unfaithful but it has made me a more passionate and appreciative lover."