The Impact of “The Other Woman”

2 Oct

The act of cheating is as old as the concept of committed relationships.  People cheat for all sorts of reasons; money, sex, companionship, etc.

Whenever a woman comes to me suspecting her man is cheating on her, she’s thinking of taking 2 steps. 1, confront her man, or 2, confront the other woman.

While number 2 might be really satisfying (like when Angela Bassett in Waiting to Exhale, walked into the board room during a meeting and slapped the DNA outta that woman), it doesn’t address the problem.  The other woman is merely a symptom of something bigger, and that something bigger lies in the one doing the cheating.

Is the relationship completely dysfunctional and falling apart, or is the cheating party just up to no good?

Either way, the act of cheating; deception, lies, health risks, false intentions- it ultimately amounts to one thing; emotional abuse against the partner, in this case, the woman.  He’s not punching her, he’s not verbally abusive to her, but he he is emotionally abusing her.  Affairs rarely ever go undiscovered. They may last days, weeks, months or even decades- but eventually it comes out.  When the woman finds out her man has been unfaithful, she’s cast into emotional hell completely against her will.  Her mind and heart and plagued with emotions and questions and doubt- it’s hellish.

I am by no means harping on male cheaters.  I have cheated exactly one time in my life and I have been the other woman exactly one time in my life.  I’ve also been cheated on.

While I am not a fan of confronting the other woman, her impact is not excused, and her full impact is rarely called out.

I completely rationalized being the other woman.  I understood him better than she did, she was a battle ax or a bitch, he only married her because of the kids, yadda, yadda, yadda.

The truth of the matter is I was selfish, shallow, young and ignorant to the complexities of marriage and committed relationships.  I also wanted to have no part in causing a “good” woman any pain, so I made the wife a villain, in my mind.

What I realized after that experience, and the subsequent fall out [which was terrible], was that I had been complicit in manipulating and emotionally abusing another woman.  When someone who I deeply respected put it to me in those terms, I felt like I had been punched in the stomach.  I had just never thought of it that way.  But again, I was selfish and looking to justify my behavior and the relationship in general.


3 Responses to “The Impact of “The Other Woman””

  1. Dolce October 2, 2009 at 10:39 am #

    I really appreciate your honesty here. I think many “other women” out there try to rationalize their actions, by criminalizing the woman whose man they are shacking up with. I actually just had a debate with a close male friend of mine this morning over this very thing. I was saying that if all that’s being said is true, I found Alicia Keys’ behavior to be despicable. He said that Alicia wasn’t wrong because she was following her heart. Did you see the open letter that Mashonda wrote to AK? if not, here it is:

  2. sometimesmylifeisrandom October 2, 2009 at 12:14 pm #

    I was once the other woman. When I met him, I assumed he was single. It was not until about 4 months into our very casual relationship (we lived in different cities) that I found out he was married.

    Should I have stopped it then? Probably. Did I? No. Like you I rationalized it as he needed me, I understood him, blah blah blah. In reality, it was convenient and fun, really fun. I was 14 years younger than he and when he was with me (in my city) he did not have his everyday responsibilities so everyday was a fun, fantasy vacation. In addition, he always felt so lucky to be with me so he treated me in the most amazing fashion.

    I finally ended it when I met someone that I felt was worthy of dating. After I was away from the situation, I realized I was being selfish…

  3. Lounge Bish November 3, 2009 at 9:47 am #

    This is very near & dear to my heart – appreciate the honesty of the author here and the “revalation” made from a negative situation. As long as we learn from our mistakes, we should accept them as such and move on – bearing “no guilt”.

    I was the other woman but in a tricky way. I had just graduated from an acrredited University, was dating a professional football player (causally) and had an awesome job. In other words “I THOUGHT MY SHIT DIDN’T SINK”. Welp I was introduced to the finest : japanese and black (perfectly mixed) 30 year old man. I was early 20’s with firm breast, small waist and a 6 pack. He tought I was GAW-GEUS…..But because I wasn’t “needy” I dismissed his advances “as if” I needed to be bothered with his mess. But I became his “friend”..he was charming and I forgot to say – rich ! But I had a multi mmillion dollar making boyfriend so I thought I was safe – JUST HANGIN’ OUT WITH HIM…as his friend.

    You know we started hang’n out and taking consistently and boom, he became a necessity in my daily life. Our exchanges became deeper as I was there when “she” made him mad he could come to my penthouse apt (paid for by the football player)…we were soul mates in my mind but one problem “da wife”…SO I NEVER TOUCHED HIM – until that one day.

    He came over – upset with her- did I mention how fine he was…ok ! So I decided to comfort him, he smelled delish, felt solid but vulnerable, then I allowed the soft wet innocent kiss on the lips. Then my stomach began to “jump” some may say butterflies and then I KNEW this was trouble. But, my mind was choked out and shut down by the pleasure I was feeling from his touch. So as we were play’n and dirty talk’n I pulled away – never said STOP but just HOL’ UP… penetration. This was saving me from being a sinner in my mind (remember I was early 20’s) anyway he obliged and never penetrated but I promise you we both had orgasms within our clothes…oh yeah they never came off, they were stretched all out of proportions but never taken off. This was trouble and me having an irenic spirit needed to make this problem better. I cut it off immediately and advised him: no more “i miss yous” during the day, no more late night calls laced with sexually explicit exchanges. Hardest thing I ever did, but I imagined that one day I would be married to such a stallion and wouldn’t want some young tenderoni sex’n him with her perky D’s, small waist and 6 pack. I learned my lesson as well. She never found out about me, but they divorced (she caught him cheating) and he came back to me. Well he tried but I knew he would do th same to me………WALKED AWAY AND NEVER LOOKED BACK

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