At first glance there's not too much that links Genghis Khan and Tiger Woods, apart from their ability to dominate the globe with a swinging club. But that's without reckoning on their eye for the ladies because, let's face it, when it comes to bed-hopping, Genghis and Tiger are at the top of the tree.
While most of us can only dream about this sort of reckless philandering, the truth is that underneath our beer bellies and stubble we're not so different. In fact, there are very few men on the planet who haven't strayed at some stage or at the very least been sorely tempted.
For most this will be something that happens during the years of teenage oat sowing and therefore be fairly painless. But what if you're ensconced in a full-blown adult relationship?
Worse, what if the lady in your life finds out and you realise you've single-handedly scuttled your only hope of lifelong happiness because, well, the opportunity was there and you took it? What do you do then apart from drink heavily?
"In the first instance you have to look at why you've done it," says relationship expert Jo Ellen Grzyb (www.impactfactory.com). "You then have to ask yourself if you really want to continue the relationship you're in, as people often do this to break free whether consciously or subconsciously."
In many cases the answer to the first question will simply be "I was plastered". Yet this is generally little more than an emotional smokescreen to cloak the thrill of being with someone new, sexy and exciting.
Not least, because they are free of the boring stuff that gradually takes over relationships, like mortgages and weekend DIY.
So look yourself in the mirror and see if you can answer the second part with a definite 'yes'. If not, then walk away and leave your poor, weeping ex alone. If you can, then it's time to face up to the fact that the boring stuff always does take over a relationship. So if you jump back in you will definitely get more of the same.
It's about her, stupid!
So how do you start to win her back? Well, first of all you need to take all your guilt, anxiety and desperation to be told that "It's OK, you're actually a really nice person", and toss them in the nearest skip. Self-pity will get you nowhere.
Instead you need to focus on her. How is she feeling? What are her needs? What sort of personal hell is she going through?
Talk to her and try to reassure her that your affair had nothing to do with her looks, personality, dress sense, driving, voice... anything you can think of to reaffirm her self-confidence.
Chances are she will respond to this by mercilessly punishing you and extracting unimaginable degrees of emotional blackmail, but if you want her back you have to remain calm and focus on the bigger picture. Which, quite frankly, is that you've royally screwed up and no amount of chocolates and flowers is going to fix it.
Find the spark
The bad news is that very few couples manage to piece things back together once one of them has strayed. So you may well have to admit defeat at some stage. Yet it's not impossible if you're willing to put in the time and effort to resurrect the good bits from your relationship.
"You need to do a little bit of archaeology and rediscover what got you together in the first place," adds Jo Ellen. "Often, people have affairs because they're bored. So you need to look back at what got you into this good relationship and try to build on that."
For some this will involve boozing until dawn. For others, it will be ballroom dancing, pottery, bingo, scuba diving, shopping... the list is endless.
Somewhere in the past you developed a spark by enjoying things together and it is this essence of fun that you need to recapture.
Only she can decide
While this spark is reasonably easy to identify, the tricky part is to convince her you're worth a second attempt at lighting it. Sadly, this is entirely out of your hands as it purely relies on having a woman who can forgive not forget.
Whether you're married, living with someone or just having a nice cosy relationship, the whole emotional tangle is based on an unwritten contract of trust. By cheating you have burned this contract to ashes.
So all you can do is hope that she'll help you glue the fragments back together again.
With time, effort and patience you may be granted a second chance. Yet, it's just as likely you'll find your DVD collection in the charity shop and your car sold on eBay.
Truth is there's no way to tell until you try to concentrate on her and what makes her smile. A Matrix-style ability to dodge flying objects wouldn't go amiss either.