10 Painful Realities of Being the “Other Woman”
Despite the stigma surrounding her, the “other woman” in a relationship also has feelings. Here’s a little insight into what she may be feeling.
The world has always been fascinated with the concept of adultery and cheating. While considered taboo in most cultures, one cannot help but admit that it has become a prevalent part of society. This is where the so-called “other woman” comes into play. Many cannot help but be drawn to the fascination surrounding her.
Society is quick to label these women with such derogatory terms, such as “whore”, “slut” or even “home wrecker.” She becomes a modern day Hester Prynne, exposed to shame and forced to wear the infamous “A” as a blatant reminder of her involvement in adultery. [Read: Home wrecker – the other woman]
Society and “the other woman”
Many women have fallen into the enticing world of being the other woman. A great number of these women are not the “mindless bimbos” society has perceived them to be. In fact, many great women of history were mistresses of kings and noblemen. Take the examples of the brilliant Madame Pompadour, the controversial Anne Boleyn, and the seductive Diane de Poitiers. They each had their own reasons for doing what they did, and in a way, the course of history became better because of those reasons.
Many people have found themselves to be caught in this particularly complicated setup where they find themselves waiting on borrowed time, and all logic is thrown aside.
Why it hurts to be the other woman
Do these women really deserve the stigma that society has so harshly dealt them with? Some would say that they truly deserve it. However, let’s take a moment to reflect on what it’s like to be in the other woman’s shoes.
#1 You are the “dirty little secret.“ When one becomes the other woman in a relationship, she will always be kept under wraps. Whether it is a boyfriend cheating on his girlfriend, or a husband cheating on his wife, you will be kept hidden and not spoken of. This means going on secret rendezvous, stolen text messages, and certain “conditions” that you have to follow.
This means no going out on dates in public, unless you want to be fuel for gossip. As the one being cheated with, your fellow thief will make sure that you will be far from prying eyes. You will treat each other as strangers when you are in public, but within closed doors, you own each other. In the long run, something like this would take its toll on anyone.
#2 You have to deal with loneliness. Having a secret relationship can get quite lonely because there will always be something missing. Sure, there will be many moments of physical intimacy, but it is never enough to cover the pang of loneliness, of something deeper than just the physical moments that you both share. [Read: 10 powerful ways to break out of loneliness]
#3 You have to deal with the stigma of society. When it comes to illicit affairs, society will always rear its ugly head. Women who have made the mistake of being the other woman have to endure the harsh names given to them, like “slut,” or “home wrecker.”
It doesn’t end with the name-calling or slut shaming because she will also have to deal with the condescending stares as well as muffled whispers whenever she enters a room. But at the end of the day, she’ll still try to brush it aside in order to keep her relationship with the taken man.
#4 You have to play the “waiting game.“ This means you have to wait for your lover’s go signal to do anything, such as the next time the two of you will get to see each other. The waiting game is such a difficult and, oftentimes, frustrating game to play because you are starved for whatever crumbs of affection your lover has to throw at you.
Once your tryst is over, you’re left pining and waiting for the next call, which can take days or even weeks to arrive. [Read: 16 signs he’s just taking you for granted]
#5 You become the “meantime girl.” A woman who becomes the “meantime girl” finds herself to be living in emotional hell. You will be filling the void of whatever your lover is not getting from his marriage or legitimate relationship.
What hurts about being the “meantime girl” is that you will only ever be an option, and a second one at that. There will be no talks of a future together, you find yourself to be living in the moment. You find yourself clinging on to whatever happiness you can get from your time together, when you know in your heart that these moments are just fleeting. [Read: Should you settle for being someone’s option when you’ve made them your priority?]
#6 You live on “stolen moments” and “borrowed time.“ One of the underlying conditions in being the other woman in a relationship is that you have to work around a fixed schedule. Remember that the object of your desire has someone to go home to everyday. He has obligations to fulfill.
Naturally, you cannot see each other every day, so you have to work around a certain agreed schedule, usually comprising of a few hours. At most times, your lover cannot even spend the night, lest he rouse the suspicion of his legitimate partner. With this in mind, you have to make do with whatever little time you have together, and this could cut deep, especially if you have fallen in love. [Read: 19 signs you’re falling madly in love with someone]
#7 You are guilt-ridden. Many women who have entered these kinds of relationships have often complained of sleepless nights. They find themselves wracked with guilt, especially in those moments when they find themselves to be alone without their lover to comfort them. They are guilty on being the object of sin against another woman. Oftentimes, these women feel that this guilt is a one-way street.
#8 You are not a priority. The first few weeks of a relationship are always filled with bliss. One gets the emotional highs of being in love and constantly wanting to be with the person that you love. However, the “honeymoon stage” will soon end and you will soon see reality for what it is.
You will see how the entire situation is affecting you as a person. You will know that he will not be there to comfort you during the days when you are feeling down. You cannot spend the holidays with him, and you cannot help but feel saddened by the fact that he is spending the holidays with his legitimate loved one. You cannot hold his hand when you feel like you need it the most, or put your arms around him whenever you feel lonely. In short, you can never experience life with him because he clearly has established that with someone else.
#9 You tend to “idealize” the relationship. Most women would tend to escape from reality and romanticize their entire situation. They have become the tragic heroine in the romantic novel that they have written for themselves. They have become the Eponines of the real world, doomed to pine away for a lover who would never truly be theirs.
In worst situations, they would fantasize about the situation turning in their favor, in which the lover leaves their spouse and they become the legitimate partner. But like many fantasies, these are all in vain. [Read: 7 excuses that are holding you back from a better life]
#10 You have an expiration date. This is perhaps the most frightening and heart-wrenching truth to being the other woman. The entire affair could end as abruptly as it started. This means you probably even won’t have any closure, at all. This would make the situation even more painful since you cannot even go back to how it was before.
You were secret lovers to begin with, and now you must part as strangers. While men have claimed that they are capable of loving more than one woman at the same time, he could only keep his affairs with his mistresses for a certain amount of time. Something such as this cannot last forever. Whether you will be the one who will want to call it quits, or your partner will be the one to initiate it, remember that there is nothing secret that can be hidden forever.
Many women who have found themselves in these precarious situations tend to seek therapy afterwards. There are those who have attested to the fact that being the other woman in the relationship is like committing social suicide. You tend to abandon whatever ideals you have set for yourself in exchange for a few moments of bliss.
With all these things wreaking havoc on the emotions of the other woman, you may be wondering why she still bothers to put up with any of it. In reality, there are myriad different reasons, which differ from one mistress to another. These reasons are often strong enough to make them stay, despite the abuse that society may heap upon them.
Being the other woman may make someone the subject of scorn and cruelty. However, sometimes we just have to remember that her life may already be hard enough as it is. Let’s not be harsh in our judgments, and instead, try to extend a helping hand to a woman who may just be losing her way.