The Mindset of the “Other Woman”: In Their Own Words

natalie-portman-the-other-woman-1366X768-04Time to address a voice rarely heard anywhere – that of the “Other Woman” — the reviled “homewrecker, “whore”, “selfish bitch”, the “cheap, easy floozy” and “gender traitor,” as many would term them, and if you listen to many blogs, the one and ONLY reason that some married men stray.

If they post on message boards, they are shouted down or censored. If they blog, they are the subject of a torrent of abuse.  Are they to be sympathized with?  No, not really. What they are doing is wrong and most of them know it (but not all). But they are not the monolithic evil creatures that they are painted as. They are humans. Just like you and I. 

So without comment, I present the words of the “other woman”.  Please, I ask for NO COMMENTS on this blog. I’m not endorsing what they say.  They aren’t here to address comments.  I found these all over the internet. It’s just a voice that is rarely allowed to be heard and almost never understood.  Even if what they are doing or have done is 100% wrong, I think it provides insight.  Again, I’m not here providing sympathy to their untenable positions or to defend their actions. Just providing one more perspective on infidelity — its causes, it’s participants and it’s aftermath.  I read so many of these things. The thoughts are all different. Some are remorseful. Some are not. Some border on contemptuous of wives, others are sympathetic and envious.  Some rail relentlessly against their married lover who left them and paint themselves as the perpetual victims (like my psycho, ex-OW)  But all are DIFFERENT.

So, in their own words, “The Other Woman”

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I was the “other woman” for about three years and words cannot express the hurt, anger, and pain that resulted from my involvement with this married man. I have been out of this relationship for about a year and a half, and I have sought therapy on and off during this period to deal with the issues that have surrounded this, and while I think there has been some progress, I feel that it is something that will take me a long time to fully get over.

Many people, including you, may say that I should have known better. I did know better, but a close friendship with him slowly started to get out of control, and before I knew it, things were a mess. I think at first you ignore the situation that you are in and enjoy the time that you spend with this person, because it is always surrounded by fun things and physical intimacy. As time goes on, you realize that living in secrecy is very lonely, and it is even lonelier when you realize that the whole situation is affecting who you are and has changed you as a person. You also realize that no matter what, you are not the number one priority of this man. He is not there when you have a bad day and you need someone to hold your hand, on holidays when you want to be surrounded by the people who you love the most, and to put it to the point, he is not there to experience life with you. In my situation, I felt like when I tried to back away, he would come on stronger, and acknowledge the sacrifices that I made to be with him. It was my mistake to not walk away in all of those times that I had intended to do so.

I guess what I want to say to you, and for the people who read your column to understand, is that you should never cheat on a spouse, significant other, or partner. The lives that are hurt include both parties, and in some cases, if it is a lengthy affair, the person with whom the affair was had. Have the strength to be honest with your partner about the problems that you are having or the needs that are not being met. If you are with someone with whom you can’t address these things, then you really shouldn’t be with them in the first place. If someone isn’t willing to work on things to make a relationship better, then why would it be a relationship worth keeping?

I also want people to know that the “other woman” is usually not some dumb floozy. I am a smart, professional woman who made a terrible mistake during a very vulnerable time in my life. I wish that I could take it all back and do it differently. I paid a really high price for my involvement in the relationship. People make mistakes and it doesn’t make them bad people.

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I have slept with married (or otherwise “spoken for”) men before, and I’m sure I’ll do it again.  Why?  Because I want to.  Because he wants to.  Because there’s not really a reason NOT to. 

It’s not like I go looking for married men.  They find me.  People in similar situations seem to have a knack for finding each other.  I just keep my eyes open, that’s all.

The question I’m sure that you’re asking yourself is “Why?  Why would she do that to another woman?”  But see, that’s the thing… I’m not doing anything to anyone.  I have no loyalties to women I don’t know.  If someone’s going to cheat, they’re going to cheat.  That’s just how it is.  I’m not doing the cheating for them.  I’m not making them do anything they weren’t already going to do.  

People in committed relationships should understand that there’s a profound probability that both parties involved will be tempted, usually several times over the course of their life.  That’s a pat of life.  What they choose to do with that temptation is up to the involved individual.  

So just remember ladies… treat your man right, and he probably won’t end up with a girl like me.

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You are the one he’s lived with for a very long time. I have known him for three years.

You are the one who wakes up to his familiar face each and every day and you give him a peck on the cheek. I gaze into his deep brown eyes and run my hands through his slightly graying dark hair as I passionately kiss him.

You are the one he hands the credit card on Saturday morning. He calls you Milady as you walk out the door for an afternoon of shopping. I meet him on Saturday afternoon. I handle every inch of his body in every way. He calls me a Goddess.

You are the one who was not in the mood. When we meet, we will urgently fuck or slowly disrobe each other depending on our mood.

You are the one who nags him about the Honey-Do List. I scream, “Honey do that again”, as his hands, fingers and tongue do everything I dream about.

I know if you saw me you would wonder what he saw in me. But deep down we both know it has nothing to do with my looks but everything to do with how I make him feel. For these few hours, I let him know he is the one!

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The ugly truth is, I really don’t know what to believe.

I want to think it really is as wonderful as it seems when we are together.

But the fact is, that afterwards, I seem to be dropped like a hot coal and instantly forgotten about. Like, what we had that was so intense, was just a performance and did not really mean very much at all.

It seems, in the times when we are not together, that his life is full of lovely women, and I am just one of many, possibly dozens, even hundreds.

I feel so foolish. How could such a man have captured my heart? How could I have been with him? Didn’t I see that he is just using me? He must think I am such a cheap ****. Easily had and easily forgotten.

And then, when we are back together, all the ugly truth is forgotten and it seems like love is the most wonderful thing in the world, even when it is not meant to be.

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What you the wife doesn’t know is. ..

I never initiated this contact with your husband.  I was never out to get him or you.  Him being married is NOT a turn on for me.
I have never thought ill of you. I wish I could, but never have been able to.  I DO have morals; whether you wish to believe it or not.
Living my life as a secret has not been fun and games. 

I do not have a low self-esteem. — I just fell in love.

I envy you more than you despise me.

I did NOT ruin your family.. That guilt lies with your husband. He made those vows to you, he chased me, he lied to you, he broke your trust, he continued to see me time & time again.

We’re probably a lot more alike than you’d ever want to admit. 

I am not cheap, slutty or dumb.

I hoped you were stronger so I didn’t have to be.  He is my addiction. Dangerous and intoxicating.

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I knew exactly what I was doing and so did he. We didn’t “accidentally” get involved. We wanted to do it. We didn’t intend to fall in love — at least I didn’t. I’m not sure now what he was thinking. But we did. And yes, I think it’s real.

You know from my blog how I feel about his wife. At first I didn’t think about her at all. After I fell in love with him, I didn’t have ill feelings, maybe a bit of jealousy. He never really complained about her. Mainly, I didn’t understand how she could let him be unhappy enough to stray. It seemed like a textbook example of not being thankful for what you have. I’ve never been overly-committed to the sisterhood, so that wasn’t a factor. Mainly, I think women are more evil than men most of the time.

What I regret most is the pain I caused my husband. He wasn’t a particularly good husband, but I think he genuinely loved me, and I had implemented an exit strategy long before I met my lover. But I should have had the courage to end the marriage before getting involved with someone else and I didn’t. That caused more pain than necessary. It makes me sad.

My lover’s wife finally confronted him. And, as usually occurs in such cases, he dumped me. Or perhaps I volunteered to be dumped. In any case, he says he wants to make it right and that he feels obligated to work on his marriage. I told him if he’s going to do it, he needs to REALLY do it. That pretending and going through the motions is more cruel than cheating on a sick woman. I told him I wasted over a year of my ex-husband’s life by going through the motions and pretending to want to work it out and that it was terribly mean and horrible and he should learn from my mistake. I read your blog about what cheating men go through in the aftermath, and I see him in that.

I said I want him to be happy. Life is too short to have regrets. I told him to do the honorable thing for himself and his family and either commit to his marriage or leave it. I said that if he is committed to his marriage, to fix whatever is wrong that made him get involved with me, and that if he’s not able to do that, not to go find another mistress. I told him he’s better than that, that he is a good man. I told him not to let his inability to express what he really needs – or others’ inability or unwillingness to meet his needs — to continue to make him betray his own integrity.

His last words to me were “I love you.”

Meanwhile, I’m devastated. I can’t make it through an entire day without crying. Interestingly enough, the end came a week after our best weekend together ever. I thought it was going the other direction. Just goes to show what I know. But it’s my own fault. I knew what I was doing. I always knew this day would come, and I kept my promise to myself to go away quietly, with as much dignity and grace as possible. So that’s what I’m doing.

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Last night as hard at it was I ended what I had going on with m.m .It hurts knowing I won’t see him anymore but I do believe I deserve to be number one in someone’s eyes not the second runner up , the secret , the run to , miss fix it !! It took everything I had to end what we had but I hope it’s for the best….

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A message to the wife:  I wish I could tell you this in person without wreacking havoc. Sometimes I feel like saying “I’m sorry”, but other times I don’t, because I’m actually stupid enough to make your marriage better. I am the reason why he comes home with a smile, I’m the reason why some conflicts have stopped. You now get to spend most of your time with a happy man, while I wonder every night what makes you so special that he won’t leave you. You will never know why your marriage is miraculously healed, even when you haven’t really done anything special to make it work.

I would gladly step aside if I knew you’d make him happy, but I know you wouldn’t put any effort into it, which is why he strayed in the first place. It pisses me off, because I know in the end he’ll stay with you, and you won’t even know all the sacrifices that will result in your happy ending.

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I’m tired of struggling.  I believe once a man changed his heart there’s nothing you could do. No matter how much you compromise to his crumbs, trying your best to make him happy, taking in his hot and cold treatment or even treat you transparent when he is going home for his family life.

There’s nothing call gradually exit out of the relationship while still talk to you happily at work engaging you emotionally, updating and sharing his private life daily and family life, lunching together.

I know I’m stupid to engage in such unhealthy activities so I confess here so that I don’t want anyone to be like me.

It’s draining me emotionally each and every day. I knew I can’t take it anymore each and every time I had to suppress my feeling not to love him more. He expect me to keep a distance with him outside office while engaging happily during office hours.

Since he made a decision to go back, why does he still want my attention and don’t allow me to love him and want more from him. Perhaps I’m stupid to allow him to come in and out of my life.

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Dear Wife

I’m not sorry.

I’ve done countless undeniably repulsive things — all without an ounce of regret. I kissed him on the stoop of your house while your birthday party was blazing in the backyard. I didn’t wake him when he fell asleep after sex, so he’d spend the entire night in my bed. I made sure (you don’t want to know how) he stayed over far longer than he intended to and had to rush home at 3:30 a.m. without showering first. He must have reeked of my scent when he walked in your bedroom door. I took pleasure in knowing that.

For weeks, I kept it a secret. But one night, after too many tequila shots, I finally confessed the affair to my friend May. She’s married. She hates me now. “How could you, as a woman, do something like that to another woman?” she said. Most of my married friends who are women had the same indignant take. Funny, my married friends who are men were all for it. They envied me

I never understood May’s assertion that there’s some sort of sisterhood I’m betraying. I don’t believe in a loyalty we all owe each other as women. I do believe that I owe it to myself to fall in love and stay in love for as long as is humanly possible. I wish someone else, in some other circumstances, had said it, but I actually agree with what Woody Allen said to justify schtupping his step-daughter. “The heart wants what the heart wants.”

It’s been a year now since your husband broke up with me. He didn’t do it for you, or to save your marriage. He did it because our relationship had reached a point that it was causing me more pain than it was bringing me joy. He knew he would never leave you and the kids. He knew how much it hurt me every time he kissed me goodbye to come home to you. Cheating on you, he could live with. Hurting me, he couldn’t bear.

You hate me, I know, and you always will. But sometimes I wish we could talk. I wish we could sit at a bar and I could explain to you why we did what we did. If we could do that, if you and I could get drunk together, there’s one story I’d want to tell you. Because I’m not a bad person, I’m not a heartless person. I would tell you this story because it might give you some comfort or satisfaction or sense of vengeance or, most likely, a combination of all three to hear it.

One night, I was walking down 8th Street and I passed the restaurant you two go to on Friday nights. I looked through the window of the restaurant and you were at the window table. I glanced over at a moment that was so impeccably timed that if it had been a movie scene, it would have been one of those “yeah-right” moments people in the audience despise. I saw the expression on his face — that smile, the way his chin was tucked, that slightly inebriated and unmistakably seductive glint in his eye.

What I saw that night caused me as much pain as I could ever cause you. I saw that he loves us both.

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” Does he love you….like he loves me? Does he think of you….when he’s holding me?? And does he whisper….all his fantasies? Does he love you…like he’s been loving me?”

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He would despise me if only he knew that deep down inside my heart I wish his wife would leave him. I know that sounds absolutely horrible. It’s not that I want him to hurt. I don’t want that at all… but I know that he will never leave her because of the vows he took with her 19 years ago. He’s also afraid she would get all their material possessions. I told him he would get his half, but he says she and her family are very wealthy… she would have the very best attorney…. and she would get everything he wants, just because she knows he wants it. He says she would take their fancy home, his new speed boat, the home on the lake, etc… Wow… That really sounds like she loves him with all her heart, doesn’t it?? The way she ignores and neglects their relationship makes me wonder if SHE is having an affair also… I think he also wonders about that….

I am a sweet, kind, caring person…. I have never wished bad on anyone – not even my ex’s – …. but I love this man… It ****** me off, how she treats him…. My innermost, most hidden, HONEST thoughts are that I wish she was out of the way. So yeah… I wish it was HER idea and that she would walk away from the marriage…….. I know. I am horrible. =(

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Wife,

I can never make what I did ok. I am the happiest I have ever been at someone elses expense. I did what was right for me. I was the other woman but I never felt that way.

 I know these past few months have been terrible for you. There is no way I can apologize to you because what I did was wrong. Now that your divorce is almost final I see your desperation, I feel it. In the phone calls and messages you leave him, in the emails you write me. Our happiness is shrouded in your misery every time you contact him. We deserve that. People fall out of love, it happens, but I should have waited out of respect for you.

Ive heard you crying to him late at night. Desperate for his love, telling him how youve tried to kill yourself. My heart breaks for you. I deserve every nasty, malicious and untrue thing youve said about me because I took this man from you. He left you to be with me because I am selfish and wanted him all to myself.

I havent answered your emails because you dont want to hear what I have to say. I love him. I dont know when it happened but he is my completion, my compliment. Everything Im not he is. He holds my hand so tightly that if I dont let go my fingers turn blue. He hides me from no one, proudly introducing me to his family, friends and work collegues. He laughs at my jokes, and sometimes my face hurts from smiling so much. I wake up in the middle of the night and he is still holding me in his sleep. He asks me for advice and he asks me just to listen. Sometimes we talk about you. We talk about our future, together. And I believe him. In the emails you send me you say he will do the same to me. Yet the emails you send to him, you want him back, to make things work. You said he needs therapy. Good thing Im a psych major. You are right, he may to the same to me, but I knew that without you telling me. That is the chance I am willing to take.

You are not the only one he made promises to. Promises he could only keep to one of us. I am the one he chose. And I chose to have him. I am truly sorry for you pain.

 

© COPYRIGHT 2006, 2007, 2013 Recovering Wayward Enterprises, LLC

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6 thoughts on “The Mindset of the “Other Woman”: In Their Own Words

  1. This post was wonderful to read, highlighting each affair is as unique as the other.
    For a long time females have been painted the scarlet lady, the home-wrecker but at last truth that men (some) do the chasing.
    We are all adults, it is too easy to dismiss blame but regardless of the role there has to be ownership.
    To mark an affair as right or wrong is too easy. I guess much more research is required to explore the triggers both internal (personality, life events) whilst accounting external (home, professional, family life) both influence and interact.
    Will affairs stop, I guess not. But at least with a post like this people can look inwards and take responsibility from what is not a clear cut/view of affairs.
    Thank you thank you for posting
    P.s the ladies words have ached my heart

    • I don’t think it’s relevant who does the ‘chasing’ — everyone is responsible for their own decisions, no matter who initiates an affair. That being said, I agree- the mistress owes nothing to the wife (or the other man to the husband, for that matter). They don’t have vows with you — your spouse does. There’s no such thing as “gender loyalty” to someone you probably don’t know.

      The over-focus, at times, on the Affair Partner, is, I believe, a diversion. It’s easy to rail against them and make them to “blame” for the affair. But to do so would mean you think you’re cheating spouse is a weak-minded twit, so easily led away by someone else from a perfect and happy marriage. Really?

      In reality, the focus needs to be not on the “symptom” of a poor marriage (the affair partner) but on the marriage itself and why it was so poor that one or both spouses thought that an affair (and yes, I think they are 100% wrong) was an attractive option.

      To treat the Other Woman as if they were all evil (but yes, some are), or all the same (they’re not. Clearly they have different motivations and mindsets), to me, is a pointless non-starter and won’t get anyone any further down the road of healing and forgiveness.

  2. you know what im struggling with?
    why do i want to be with someone who would treat another person the way he did? on the days when i can look at it objectively anyway… yeah. i can see her as a person. and as much as i want to make out like shes evil… well… she kinda turned out that way heh. i know shes not. in reality. not any more than the rest of us. were all struggling. were all screwing up. its called being people. we can only learn from it.

    it makes me cringe these days, seeing OW’s being called voldemort *she who shall not be named*…

    fear of a name only increases fear of the thing itself – hermione. shes a smart girl lol.

    the thing that ties us all together as human beings, we all have the same feelings. good and bad. we might express them in different ways. but we all feel the same. and we all want to be happy and we all want to be loved.

    i do feel sorry for her, i do think she was in love with him, but i also think it was a false projection she was in love with, his perfect image of himself… and thats a shame for everybody… i dont think he loved her, i know he had feelings for her… but *in my world* love doesnt use people like that… love also doesnt cheat, but thats a different chapter. she allowed him to love himself. it wasnt about her.

    in the end though, she only has herself to answer to. just like the rest of us. we tend to think theyre always completely aware of what theyre doing and getting themselves into, i think she had some idea of course… but wasnt trying to be thinking too much about it, why would she? to be honest, i think she was really quite naive and innocent to begin with… but also impulsive and silly… in the end, it was what he did to her that turned her into a vindictive little nutter. the lies and the promises. she should have known werent true. but she wanted to believe what she wanted… dont we all?

    its all about how you react and owning the part you played isnt it. not saying i react perfectly to everything lol. trying to own my part…

    sorry that was long!

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