5 Things Wives Should Know About Mistresses
Generally speaking, from the perspective of a wife that's been cheated on, it's usually the "other woman" who gets most - if not all - of the blame for an affair. She's often perceived as a wicked homewrecker with nothing on her mind except "stealing" someone's husband.
There is no excuse for getting involved with someone that you know to be married. We all know this. But, let's remember, people who get involved in affairs are human too. Many of them have made terrible decisions and will have to live with the consequences of that for the rest of their lives.
There aren't many pleasant descriptions that go along with being a mistress. But, in reality, mistresses are just ordinary women, not superhero villains intent on destroying the world and all the marriages in it.
Mistresses are your friends and neighbors, and many of them are maintaining secret affairs that no one knows about. We can judge them all we want, but at the end of the day, what's really going on with women who become mistresses?
There are several issues that could be going on inside of a mistresses life and mind. Some of them are rarely talked about. Many people won't read this because they'll say, "Why should I care about a homewrecker?" Well, simply put, anyone you know or love could be someone's mistress, so it does matter. Here are 5 things wives should know about the mistress:
"...in reality, mistresses are just ordinary women, not super hero villains intent on destroying the world and all the marriages in it."
1. She Feels Guilty
Yes, believe it or not, a mistress does feel guilt. If she is aware of the fact that her lover is married, she goes through all the normal emotions associated with guilt on a daily basis, such as sadness, depression, and hopelessness.
Unless a woman is a sociopath, she feels guilty for crossing the line, just like any normal human being would.
A mistress feels guilty when her lover chooses to spend time with her on a weekend, knowing there is a wife and possibly children waiting at home. She feels guilty when she hears other people talk about cheating spouses. She feels guilty when she watches movies about adultery. Guilt is the permanent ghost that accompanies a mistress throughout the entire affair and afterward.
That said, many mistresses are totally unaware that their lover is married. Many men go to great lengths to hide the fact that they are married. If a husband can have an affair and betray the woman he married, then he is capable of telling multiple lies, both to the wife and mistress.
2. She Probably Never Planned On Being A Mistress
Most little girls do not fantasize about becoming someone's mistress when they grow up. Every adult is accountable for their own actions - of that there is no doubt. Unfortunately, sometimes circumstances and poor decisions can lead to affairs.
It's not likely on the goal list of any woman to get wrapped up in an affair with a married man and potentially lose her own career, credibility, friends, or even - in some extreme cases - her own life because of it. Not to mention, some women who have affairs are also married and have families of their own that they are jeopardizing by getting involved in an affair.
Many women end up being the other woman by having a "fling" with a man with whom they never intended on being with on a regular basis. They may or may not have known the man was married but they went ahead anyway, ending up infatuated or in love.
There are women out there that don't have a problem dating married men and have little regret, but generally speaking, this is not usually the case.
Many times the husband will make promises that can string a mistress along until so much time passes that it becomes difficult for her to break it off. If she is in love, she may not want to end it, even if she knows it's wrong.
"One thing that many mistresses crave more than anything is validation that her relationship with her lover is real. Sneaking around in secrecy is not the ideal for having a healthy, long-term relationship."
3. She Gets Jealous
If a woman has become a mistress and if she knows that her lover is married, then most certainly she feels jealous. She feels jealousy every time he walks out the door, because she knows he is going home to another woman, and most likely a family. She knows her lover has another life at his home which she will never be a part of.
Unless she has a family of her own, a mistress's life is usually pretty lonely, emphasized by the fact that her heart probably sinks just thinking of what her lover is doing at home with his wife and family.
A mistress definitely feels jealous of the time a husband spends with his wife and family. She feels jealous that he has children with his wife, and she feels jealous that he shares a bed with his wife. Some mistresses even have children with their married lovers. Imagine what a complicated web that must be.
There's no doubt that mistress feels envious that her lover's relationship with his wife is not a secret to the world like hers is. One thing that many mistresses crave more than anything is validation that her relationship with her lover is real. Sneaking around in secrecy is not the ideal for having a healthy, long-term relationship.
A mistress, like any other woman, wants her lover to be proud of her, to tell their friends about her, and for them to have the desire to tell the whole world how much they love her.
4. She Fell In Love With The Wrong Person
Well, this is a no-brainer, but unfortunately, love and lust are blind. A woman who ignores repeated red flags because of love or lust will eventually find out she has picked the wrong man.
A mistress is bound to come to this realization sooner or later. She may choose to stay in the affair long after she's realized her mistake for any number of reasons including denial, fear, and, of course, love.
Falling for the wrong person happens to all of us. It happens to single women dating single men. It happens to women who fall in love with married men. It happens to the wife of a husband who is having an affair.
The point is, most likely the mistress already knows she has made a huge mistake and only stays in the affair because she thinks her lover wants to be with her and she loves him. Of course, some women may not be that emotionally attached to their lovers, but I would guess that most are - especially in long-term affairs that carry on for years.
"The affair becomes her normal. The secrecy becomes her normal. In many cases, she will self-medicate or behave destructively to alleviate the guilt and shame."
5. She May Believe There's A Future
How many women fall for a man and believe most of what he says? We've all done it at some point or another. If a woman knows her lover is married or found out at some point after she already fell for him, then there is no doubt she has been sweet-talked and promised to hundreds of times.
It's fairly common for a cheating husband to tell his mistress that he is miserable in his marriage and wants to get out. This may or may not be true, but whether or not he does get out of the marriage is another thing. If there are children involved or if the husband does truly want to be with his wife, then he won't make the steps to leave the marriage
A mistress has already placed herself in a vulnerable position, so if she is in love with the man she is having the affair with, she will make excuses for him, and probably suffers from deep denial. It may take months or even years for a mistress to realize that a man is not going to leave his wife for her. If he was, he would have done it sooner than later.
Hanging on to an affair in hopes that a man will leave his wife is something many mistresses do and if there are years that pass by, she becomes more invested in the relationship and also more comfortable within the lie. The affair becomes her normal. The secrecy becomes her normal. In many cases, she will self-medicate or behave destructively to alleviate the guilt and shame.
Being the mistress is not glamorous. An affair may start out as a thrilling, romantic whirlwind, but it almost always ends up a depressing, disheartening situation. Mistresses are just like any other woman in the world. They don't necessarily need to be vilified.
At the end of the day, women who become mistresses are our daughters, sisters, aunts, mothers, wives and neighbors.
Who's To Blame For an Affair?
© 2015 Michelle Zunter