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5 Things Wives Should Know About Mistresses

Updated on May 25, 2017
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Michelle's experience with domestic abuse and adultery drive her to learn about human relationships and the psychology behind them.

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Generally speaking, from the perspective of a wife that's been cheated on, it's often the "other woman" who gets most of the blame for an affair. She's usually 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 any 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 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:

Affairs Happen
Affairs Happen | Source

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 afterwards.

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.

...in reality, mistresses are just ordinary women, not super hero villains intent on destroying the world and all the marriages in it.

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 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.

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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.

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.

Jealousy isn't just for a wife
Jealousy isn't just for a wife | Source

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.

Being a mistress is not glamorous
Being a mistress is not glamorous | Source

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.

In an affair, no one wins
In an affair, no one wins | Source

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, and 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?

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    • profile image

      Fox 6 weeks ago

      I was in relationship with a married man for 5 years, the happiest time possible, loved it, the best time of my life, finally got tired, since he became clingy, but we are still friends. Easy, pleasant, and carefree type of relationships.

    • Farawaytree profile image
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      Michelle Zunter 2 months ago from California

      Fantastic points! Thanks for commenting :)

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      PanKaKe 2 months ago

      It's important to keep in mind that there are almost as many females who cheat as there are males. It's mentioned in the article that some of the mistresses are married themselves.

      To all the women, or men, out there whose partners have cheated or may cheat in the future, remember it isn't about you. You are not the one who made your spouse cheat. It was their decision to cheat and they never consulted you if it was ok to do so.

      The fault is in the cheaters lack of learning and maturity on how to communicate in a relationship. They lack relationship skills because they did not see it from in their parents relationship, or relatives, and did not learn how to form relationships when it came their time. They drifted into relationships and hence they drifted out as well. Often sitting on the fence before they decided which way to jump.

      If you look at your partners relationship history. You should have this discussion about yours and your partners relationship history from childhood to adulthood now before anything happens in your relationship. I have learnt how important this is as it something I didn't learn from my parents growing up. In a cheater you will find that they do not have the maturity to deal with issues in a relationship because of the lack of learning how to when growing up. There are many influence factors, when growing up, from strict parents to absent parents, that result in the cheater not knowing how to form and maintain close relationships. They learn to stick their heads in the sand, blame someone else, or hope it all goes away. They do not realize that if there is something they do not like, makes them unhappy, or that they are attracted to someone, that they should be discussing this in an safe and loving manner with their partner.

      If all people in a relationship learn the art of loving, honest communication then the incident of affairs will reduce and stronger relationships will be formed.

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      Radtech109 2 months ago

      This is total BS. It must have been written by a cheated upon wife. I've been seeing a married man for 4 1/2 years and I don't feel any guilt. I'm not jealous of his wife (why would anyone be, she's being lied to, I'm not), she has to take care of him and runs herself ragged, I get him for leisure. I certainly am not bored and don't want to do many of the things he does with his kids. Been there, done that. I've seen the wife on FB, and she's overweight and boring. She likes to weave baskets and teaches it. Give me a break. I also don't think my career would be ruined by seeing a married man, and I don't hide it from my friends. I'd even welcome the wife finding out and confronting me, cause I'd just shred her to pieces, the stupid dingbat. That's my comment and I'm in the trenches. You let yourself go, you deserve it. Let me tell you, I work with men all my life and they all have a side chick. Especially the quiet, reserved, naive looking ones.

    • Farawaytree profile image
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      Michelle Zunter 2 months ago from California

      Well, that's a different ending than many! ;)

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      heidi janty 2 months ago

      married my affair partner he divorced his wife for me

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      Meaghan 4 months ago

      My husband is having an emotional affair. They haven't slept together....yet. They text ALL the time. LOTS of complaints about me & our "terrible marriage". They are planning a ski trip together with their mutual friends. When I found out, I signed up too. Am I wrong to insist on going? I see it as fighting fire with fire.

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      Mines #2 4 months ago

      Perfect views!!!

      This is my first time telling anyone my situation because I was embarrassed. I am actually the "mistress/OW" but in all honesty I do not feel like it. My "boyfriend" and I have been together for almost 2 years now this is my first time actually even doing something like this in my whole life. At first he never told me he was engaged let alone was getting married on my birthday and been in a relationship with his now wife for 13 years. We would go out all the time and see each other everyday still til this day I get the same treatment. Every holiday I get and he also spends the night every other day and the entire weekend literally. I feel like the only woman in his life besides his kids. I dont look at her like his wife more like just his "babymom". We go away throughout the year; he met my family and I met his. I do feel bad as a woman I know how it feels to be heartbroken and cheated on and to make matters worse even tho I did stay after he finally told me it was 6 months into the "relationship" they had gotten married on my birthday why did he even keep talking to me knowing my birthday is on the date he set his marriage on is unbelievable. I do get jealous literally almost everything you said was completely right I honestly think she has to know about our situation because he is never home even when he is at work he calls me to come be with him. To me its more of him being controlling he's to busy worrying about me leaving I don't think he is thinking about his wife leaving he has to know my every move. I really love this man and truly think even tho it could be games that he loves me too. Don't get me wrong I do feel bad if she were to ever call I would honestly tell her if she asked even tho I know I should just lie because I don't want to break up anything. I did try leaving plenty of times because I do feel guilty and I do believe in karma but I the same time I cant stop him. He does not want to let me go. He really has his cake and eat it too. Its hard for me to leave now and when I do try he doesn't let me its not always the mistress fault he came to me I didn't come to him.

    • Farawaytree profile image
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      Michelle Zunter 5 months ago from California

      I would just make sure you spend some time getting to know her better and communicate clearly your worries about her past choices. Take your time if you just met her - we all make mistakes, but make sure it's not a regular pattern or that she's not still emotionally tied to the married man in question.

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      Lost and confused 5 months ago

      Hi I met someone recently who was a mistress for about a year to another guy. I'm also married albeit very unhappy and was planning on leaving my wife before I met her anyway. She's no longer seeing the other guy. Could this ever work out? Is there something strange about a woman who's involved w two married men in this span

    • profile image

      Aimee Love 5 months ago

      Michelle I love your Article. I've been through a lot and my ups & downs with Hubby. We've been married for almost 13 yrs and yes he did Fix it and were back together. Short story to tell is Hubby's mistress commit suicide I didn't expected she's gonna do that. I was being fair, kind to both of them , maybe because is not the first time Hubby mess around with me and divorce is not the way to escape the problem,, so I gave his freedom, choose to be happy and whom to be with. I didn't even bother texting the other woman, I ignore all her text message,phone calls. I grab my luggage and flew to Germany. Then here we go again after 3 yrs she's gone, theres another woman pop out on his Facebook. His friend ( he call her a friend). When I found out they talking on Private message telling this woman "' Id be great to see you again,,,,maybe sometimes in the near future,,,, until then please keep in touch,,,, well talk another time. Right now I don't do nothing, my daughter in Germany is coming for Christmas and I want this Holiday over. I have to find out what he really want, what this woman holding to or what she want. I hate when people hiding things behind my back. This is not the first time so I know what to do. I am hoping this is not another fling.

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      Betrayed Spouse 5 months ago

      My husband's mistress hoped to split us up. It was all over the emails between the two of them, the gifts that she sent home with him, and the emails that she and I later exchanged. Until he got counseling, he could not see how she manipulated him... so it is when a man thinks with his little head.

    • Farawaytree profile image
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      Michelle Zunter 5 months ago from California

      Yes, that sounds very familiar and sadly, very common. Thank you for your comment....

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      Lady Deee 5 months ago

      Every situation is different. In my case, when we met, he told me he had moved out and filed for divorce, only came back because she was diagnosed with cancer. He talked a good game....supposedly he told her he was leaving once the twins started all day school, but she was "completely aware" that it was a marriage in name only...was making plans to leave, yet oddly, after 3 1/2 years, when he told her he was actually leaving, she threatened suicide, and he couldn't leave because of his guilt. That was the final straw, and I ended it... which I should of done years before. Not a shock, I suppose, that he was lying to both of us.

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      RubyC 5 months ago

      addition to what i just wrote neither one has no remorse oh he talks a good game sorry apologies but never has tempted to scratch the surface to be sympathetic tells me therapy is a waste of time :( plus he has compromised my health something I cant get rid of and also my mental state a gamit of things, which therapy is helping.

      its a very sorted Affair over 20 years that has put me in a quick sand of lies and deceit and life I felt that I never knew to be my own pretty f**ked up :(

    • Farawaytree profile image
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      Michelle Zunter 7 months ago from California

      Wow thank you for your comment and sharing your perspective. It's really a terrible situation all around and must be difficult for you to have to take the high road.

      It's really a shame so many people get married and break their vows so easily. And yes - once you make the vows, you are responsible for them no matter how alluring the temptation or how easy it would be to cheat.

    • profile image

      Skylar 7 months ago

      My marriage was broken up when I found out about all the infidelity (emotional, physical, and financial) on my husband's part. It was instigated by his girlfriend telling a mutual friend about her relationship. He had been feeding her this line about our relationship being "open," and after a few months, she got suspicious. According to her. I'm not sure how much I believe her, because she was my brother's ex, the mother of my niece, and she had lived in my home for a few months after she had the baby. It was a few years later when my brother and she split up and the affair started. The funny thing of it is that I have to be the bigger person for the rest of my life, because she's still the mother of my niece, and he's still the father of my child.

      I really don't care what was going through her mind, because I wasn't married to her. I don't care if she plotted the destruction of my marriage, or if she really was that big of an idiot. I'm still pleasant to her and we're still friends on Facebook. I regularly watch my niece and pass along hand-me-downs from my daughter. Because she's family, and I have to.

      My ex-husband? We're as cordial as I have to be. We're still connected on Facebook, because I need to be able to communicate with him regarding our daughter. His is the only mindset I was interested in, because he was supposed to be faithful. We'd had 10 years together, but he had apparently been lying to me almost the entire time (about bank accounts, credit cards, payday loans, drugs, sex, work, you name it).

      It wasn't his girlfriend who broke us up, but it was his girlfriend who started to unravel his lies. And I'm thankful for her.

    • profile image

      KayKay 8 months ago

      i know they are jealous, insecure, weak, miserable women. they are told what they want to hear but know deep down this "dirty little secret" affair thing is all it is. they are his play thing. i dont feel sorry for them when they know he is married. they know exactly what they are doing. when they get through coveting and "stealing" crumbs from someone elses household, they will live an eternity in hell. thats due justice for them and their adulterous, backstabbing, womanizing "boyfriends".

    • profile image

      kyle 8 months ago

      This is a great article. At the end of the day, the cheater and the mistress is held accountable for the affair. I'm a bit sick of hearing that cheaters play a bigger role than the mistress. If the cheater feels his needs aren't being met, he should be a MAN and communicate his issues and concerns to his wife. That is a no brainer. On the other hand, who is to say the mistress didn't initiate the affair or try to tempt him? With so much going on about feminism and women in power, women today should be looking out for reach other and RESPECTING each other. As a WOMAN, she should show his wife some respect by not crossing boundaries or letting him cross boundaries. Even if she didn't tempt him, she should show herself some respect by not allowing a guy who could behave so horribly to pursue her. Who is to say he wouldn't repeat the same actions if he moved onto her? It's

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      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 10 months ago from Philippines

      This article lays down the hard facts clear and easily. It seems to me that the creep in all this is really the guy. I wonder what the perspective would be if it were the wife having an affair? Would the man-mistress feel the same way?

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      Michelle Zunter 14 months ago from California

      Yes, that's an excellent point. The truth is, that this is as prominent an issue as anything due to the increasing frequency that it happens. It's important to note that not everything is as black and white as people think.

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      Deborah Demander 14 months ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

      For wives (and husbands) of a cheating spouse, it's also important to remember that this is not about you. Your spouses new "partner" is not out to get you or hurt you. In fact, they probably would not want you to find out and be hurt.

      It may seem ludicrous, but the truth is, a cheater isn't trying to get revenge or hurt their marriage. They are thinking about their own immediate needs, and having them satisfied. Whether those needs are sexual, emotional, or a combination of both, the cheater is having those needs met by the new partner.

      Thanks for the great article.

      Namaste

    • Farawaytree profile image
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      Michelle Zunter 19 months ago from California

      Yes, great feedback. I like to switch things up a bit and make people think. Those who can relate will hopefully get some use out of it. :)

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 19 months ago

      Very interesting!

      I can't imagine too many wives being interested in the mindset or wellbeing of the mistress.

      Times have changed. Long gone are the days of men removing their wedding bands and pretending not to be married for the most part.

      The majority of affairs are initiated in the workplace where everyone knows each other's marital status.

      When it comes to the rich and famous men all the mistresses know in advance the men they're with are married. For some (younger women) being a mistress is just a fling to have fun and excitement.

      I know one man who did surprise his mistress by announcing he had left his wife and the mistress dumped him! I guess she did not want the "full-time" job! LOL!

      What mistresses need to know is people who cheat do so because they chose NOT to leave their spouse! They're cheating to tolerate their marriage.

      The goal of most cheaters is to hold onto all that is "good" in their primary relationship while addressing their other "needs" on the side. Very few people who cheat are looking to (replace) one relationship with another one.

      They just want to compliment what they already have.

      One man's opinion!:)

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