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22 Truths & Mistakes of Being the Other Woman in Love with a Married Man

It’s easy to assume that being the other woman is a dishonorable thing to do, but love is love. How can you handle being the third wheel in a relationship?

being the other woman

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 being the other woman comes into play, and many cannot help but be drawn to the fascination surrounding her.

Society is quick to label these women with derogatory terms, such as “whore,” “slut,” or even “homewrecker.” She is exposed to shame and constantly faces a blatant reminder of her involvement in adultery. [Read: Home wrecker – the other woman]

Sometimes love just happens

Falling in love with a married or taken man has got to be every girl’s nightmare. Surprisingly, a woman never really intends to fall in love, it just happens.

And however hard you try to hold back, the slide in most cases is just too steep to resist.

If you aren’t already involved with a married man, you may find this to be funny or repulsive. Now, why would any woman want to pick a guy who’s already been taken, when there are a million single guys around?

But when you’re the one in that situation, it’s not so clear cut. [Read: Toxic relationship – what it is, 107 signs, causes, and types of love that hurts you]

Do women fall in love with married men for sex or love?

Sometimes, women are afraid of commitment too. All the fun and no hang-ups, so what if a relationship is shattered because of you, who cares? You’re happy.

These women have affairs with married men because they can be in love with them without exactly having to commit to them.

Bottom line? Women do get attracted to men they can’t have. And women find themselves falling in love with a married man more often than not. And if it’s not married men, women also get attracted to men who are dating someone else. [Read: How to recognize and end toxic relationships]

Society and being 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’re essentially waiting on borrowed time, and all logic is thrown aside. [Read: What is considered cheating? The painful types and ways to set boundaries]

Being the other woman is stressful

There’s no denying that constantly worrying that you’re going to get caught and wondering if your beau is going to leave his partner is extremely stressful. Over time, all of that is going to become pretty overwhelming and you might start to question why you’re doing it.

At that point, it’s important to sit down and take stock.

If something is hurting you this much, is it worth it? [Read: How to build self-confidence]

Why being the other woman hurts

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 a 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 also 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. [Read: To cheat or not to cheat? A guide to make up your mind]

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: 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 name-calling or slut-shaming though. She will also have to deal with condescending stares and muffled whispers whenever she enters a room. But at the end of the day, she’ll still try to brush it aside 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 difficult and frustrating 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 “in the meantime” girl

A woman who becomes the “in the meantime girl” finds herself 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 “in 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, everything you do will be in the moment. You find yourself clinging 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 of 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 every day. He has obligations to fulfill.

Naturally, you cannot see each other every day, so you have to work around a certain agreed schedule, usually consisting of a few hours.

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 of being the object of sin against another woman. Oftentimes, these women feel that this guilt is a one-way street. [Read: Guilty conscience – what it is and 21 emotional signs of guilt people feel]

8. You are not a priority

The first few weeks of a relationship are always filled with bliss. You get the emotional highs of being in love and constantly wanting to be with the person that you love. However, the “honeymoon stage” will inevitably end and you will soon see reality for what it is.

You will see how the entire situation is affecting you as a person, and you will know that he will not be there to comfort you during the days when you are feeling down.

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. [Read: Never make someone a priority when you’re only an option]

9. You tend to idealize the relationship

Most women 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 – 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: 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 about being the other woman. The entire affair could end as abruptly as it started.

This means you probably won’t even have any closure, at all. 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. [Read: How to set boundaries – crucial steps to feel more in control]

11. You’ll be under constant emotional stress

Being the other woman is stressful, as we’ve already mentioned. That kind of stress can be very damaging over the long-term, and nobody wants to develop health issues because they chose the other woman, right?

The truth is, being in a relationship may not be easy, but it shouldn’t fill you with a world of stress either. Constantly worrying about what’s going to happen and what your married/taken guy is doing with their partner will eat away at you.

12. Anger and resentment will eat you up

You’re sure to start resenting their partner. How can you not? They’re sleeping with “your” guy every night while you’re a secret. You’ll start to get angry at the whole situation and you’ll probably start arguing. All of this just adds to the pain and upset.

These types of negative feelings are extremely damaging and you might not recognize yourself at the end of it because of how much you’ve had to go through. [Read: How to let go of anger]

13. Your self-esteem will take a beating

Again, how can it not? The guy isn’t choosing you, he’s only half choosing you. As such, your self-esteem is bound to be affected as you question why you’re not the one he’s with every single night.

Constantly being canceled on or hidden away is not something anyone should have to deal with.

14. You may develop deep-seated trust issues

Once this relationship ends, which let’s face it, it probably will, you may find that you end up with deep-seated trust issues in the future.

You’ve seen firsthand just how someone can cheat on something they’re supposed to love and destroy the other person they’re seeing at the same time.

It’s not easy to believe in the purity of love when you’ve experienced something so negative. As such, your future relationship may become negative almost instantly, because you find it hard to trust. [Read: Trust issues in a relationship – 22 whys and ways to get over it]

15. You may feel unsupported when the affair ends

It’s very possible that your family and friends won’t agree with the relationship. That’s if they even know about it. Once it ends and you need their support, they may find it hard to hide their judgment.

That’s going to be pretty difficult for you to deal with. Being the other woman isn’t just hard while it’s going on, it’s terribly hard when it ends and you’re left having to handle everything with far fewer allies than you imagined.

Being the other woman can be a living hell

Many women who have found themselves in these precarious situations tend to seek therapy afterward. Some 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. [Read: Broken heart syndrome – the truth to know if you can die from heartbreak]

What happens when you get caught?

Someone once said, “All good things don’t really have to end, but when it does, it has to end in a bad way.”

When you’re having an affair with a married man, no matter what, it almost definitely has to end when you’re the other woman.

The married man knows what he wants out of the relationship he shares with you, even if you’ve lost it somewhere along the way. [Read: Painful stages of heartbreak and grief all of us go through after a break up]

He most likely will not leave the security of his family for you. The worst part of it all is that, five years later, you’ll feel like rubbish because you may have been able to live happily with another young man who could have loved you back in the first place.

And that’s when you feel terribly lost and alone. [Read: Do you feel lost in life?]

If that’s not bad enough, there will come a time when both of you get caught.

Remember, even sneaky little rats do get caught, however nimble and nocturnal they are. It may be his wife or one of his closer family friends. That’s when the bomb explodes.

And sorry about this, but whether you like it or not, there will be no fingers pointing at him, every one of them will gleam like daggers in your direction. [Read: 46 secrets to mend a broken heart]

How do you deal with being the other woman?

Now we’ve explored being the other woman in detail, so let’s give some practical advice.

You’re here. You’ve found yourself in love with someone who is taken and you’re the other woman. So, what can you do to make it easier on yourself? Here are a few ideas.

1. Don’t be harsh on yourself

Look, we’ve probably said a few things that make you open your eyes pretty widely throughout this feature, but it has to be said, right? But that doesn’t mean we want you to suffer.

When you’re the other woman and you know what’s going on is wrong, it’s important not to be too hard on yourself. You already know it’s not the best situation, try to be kind to yourself and find a way out of it. [Read: Sense of self – what it is, 36 signs, tips and steps to raise it and feel great]

2. Determine precisely what you deserve

Start looking beyond this affair. You know it’s not going to end how you want it to. And even if it does, someone else gets hurt. So, what do you really deserve?

You deserve a guy who is entirely yours and not someone you need to share. Make that your new mantra and start to see it as the fact it is.

3. Talk to him, don’t fight

It’s easy to become emotional and want to scream and shout, but it won’t get you very far. Talk calmly to him and explain how you feel. Look for answers and encourage him to be as honest as possible. [Read: 18 secrets to get a man to. open up, communicate, and understand you]

4. You might need to put a lot of space between you

There are going to be times when it feels too much to bear and at that point, you need space. You’re going to be away from each other more than you’re together anyway, but self-preservation is key.

That means putting a good amount of space between you to look after number one.

5. Shift the focus from him to you

It’s not about him, this is about you. Start looking after yourself and focusing your attention on what you need.

Spend time with friends, go out, and enjoy yourself. Pamper yourself! By doing these things, you’ll realize your worth and understand that you deserve more than this second-rate “relationship.” [Read: 18 ways to have high self-esteem and start winning at life]

6. Know when to seek professional help

Being the other woman is hard and it could take its toll. It’s important to be emotionally aware and know when you might need to reach out for professional help. Remember, this is never a failure and always a strength.

7. Seek real love

At the end of the day, you know you deserve more than this, so why not go out there and find it? Try dating, but don’t go on dates with the idea of meeting someone special. Just have some fun!

You might find that the person who’s really meant for you is just around the corner. [Read: Healthy relationship – 27 signs, qualities, and what it looks like in real life]

Being the other woman is a fate you shouldn’t seek

We’ve already talked about the fact that you can’t help who you fall in love with, but you can help what you do about it. If you’ve fallen for a taken man and there’s no end in sight, it’s time to be proactive and know what you’re worth.

Being a part-time lover isn’t what you really want, right? So, why are you allowing yourself to be used in such a way? Whether you love this guy or not, it’s time to look toward the future and the better life that’s waiting for you.

[Read: Reasons men cheat on women who treat them right]

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.

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Preeti Tewari Serai
Preeti Serai
Preeti, the founder of LovePanky, is an eternal optimist and believer in the beauty of love and life. With an exhaustive experience in love, relationships, and ...