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11 Brutal Truths About Being the Other Woman

CL Grant has authored many relationship books, including "30 Day No Contact Rule," "The Reality of Being the Other Woman," and "Ex Addict."

Discover the brutal truth about being the other woman.

Discover the brutal truth about being the other woman.

Are You Okay Being the Other Woman?

Let’s be honest about this. Becoming "the other woman" to a married man is not the ambition of any sane woman. A young girl playing dress up probably never imagines being a mistress. She wants to be a beautiful bride, wear pretend wedding dresses, get married to the boy of her dreams, and live happily ever after.

Naturally, there will always be exceptions to the rule. Some other women claim to believe that they are happy with the arrangement. Even so, these women are in the minority. The vast majority of ladies who have affairs with married men usually stumble in with their eyes and ears firmly shut. Their deluded hearts are full of false hopes and broken promises, and they are madly in love with their Mr. Unavailable.

Most extramarital affairs are doomed to failure. Be prepared for heartache, disappointment, guilt, and lies. Yes, lies. If a married man can lie to his wife, he can also lie to his mistress. Your first mistake will be thinking that you are somehow different.

If you are inclined to stay in an adulterous relationship, below are 11 brutal truths you need to know about being the other woman.

11 Truths About Being a Mistress

  1. Cheating men rarely leave their wives.
  2. You will never be his first priority.
  3. You will attend special occasions and spend holidays alone.
  4. Your friends and family will think you're single, and you will have to lie.
  5. You will think about him more than he thinks about you.
  6. The sex does not mean he loves you.
  7. He is sleeping with his wife.
  8. You will always be his dirty little secret.
  9. You can never tell the truth or expose the affair.
  10. The truth always comes out in the end.
  11. You will always be the biggest loser.

Truth #1: Cheating Men Rarely Leave Their Wives

Men will have their reasons as to why they are unable to leave their wives. Many of their excuses will promise a deadline, though, giving you false hope.

For example, he tells you his children are still quite young and he is biding his time until they leave school. In your mind, he has given you a promise to leave his wife after the kids leave for school: However, when the school-leaving time arrives, the goal posts shift.

His next excuse becomes the financial burden of his children going to college. He cannot afford to divorce his wife, as the tuition fees are crippling.

Since you have invested so much time and energy in the relationship, the thought of walking away and losing him forever is too much for you to handle, so you end up wasting another three to five years of your life waiting for something that will never happen.

If he wanted to be with you, believe me, he would find a way to make it happen. Do you want to find yourself in the same position ten years down the line?

Truth #2: You Will Never Be His First Priority

He tells you where and when. He frequently cancels at the last moment because of his family commitments. He makes promises, only to break them. Most of your snatched moments together entail sex and you begin to spend less and less time doing other things and going out together.

Initially, you may react angrily to these situations, but eventually you'll become accustomed to his disrespectful behavior. You start adapting your social life to suit his, spending many lonely hours on your own. This rapidly becomes the norm for your relationship. Among other things, his constant cancellations leave you feeling resentful and adversely impact your self-esteem.

Being the other woman means spending a lot of your time alone.

Being the other woman means spending a lot of your time alone.

Truth #3: You Will Spend Special Occasions Alone

While you are lying in bed at night, alone, on your birthday, remember that he is sharing a bed with his wife. Even if you have your own family and friends, they will not be able to fill the emptiness in your heart. It also won’t be only your birthday that he misses. It will be his birthday, Christmas, New Year, Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day, etc. He will also be absent for his wife’s birthday, their children’s birthdays, and their wedding anniversary.

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Even if he remembers to send you a birthday gift (usually belatedly), it will only be a token gesture to keep you sweet. It will never match the gifts he buys for his wife.

Truth #4: Your Friends and Family Will Think You Are Single

Even though you know that you are in a relationship, none of your family or friends do. You can never introduce him to them. You will always be dateless at social events and holiday parties. If you are ever hospitalized, he will not be the one sitting at your bedside, anxiously waiting for you to wake up.

Stop kidding yourself that he's not enjoying quality time with his family.

Stop kidding yourself that he's not enjoying quality time with his family.

Truth #5: You Think About Him More Than He Thinks About You

Just because he spends a few minutes of his day sending you suggestive text messages, this does not mean that you are always on his mind. He is maintaining the bare minimum of contact that he thinks will suffice. Even if he tells you that you are all that he can think about, when he is with his family, it just isn't true. He is telling you what you want to hear. When he is lying on a beach on some tropical island with his family, you will be far from his thoughts.

Truth #6: Sleeping With You Does Not Mean He Loves You

Women tend to interpret sex as a sign of commitment and love: Men do not. For them, sex is a physical activity which they can separate from their emotions. Intimacy does not equate to love for them.

This physical detachment explains why some men cheat so readily. They can be in love with their wives and yet still sleep with other women. You would be extremely foolish to presume that he doesn’t love his wife just because he is having sex with you.

Truth #7: He Is Sleeping With His Wife

There are very few men who turn down an offer to sleep with their partner. It may not happen as often as he likes, but there will be some degree of intimacy between him and his wife. He may even say that he sleeps with her only to make things look normal and avoid raising suspicion. However, he will never divulge the true extent of their intimacy.

Meanwhile, you will be expected to be totally faithful to him and not date other men.

Truth #8: You Will Always Be His Dirty Little Secret

As far as the adulterous male is concerned, you will always be a secret. His friends and family will know nothing about you. You will also be limited in the places that you can visit together, for fear of being seen.

You may have the privilege of being his "friend" on social media such as Facebook, but he will never acknowledge you as being anything more than that. Indeed, you may even have to endure the painful humiliation of witnessing him posting endless photographs of his wife and family.

If he is not prepared to go public about his relationship with you, then he does not want to lose his wife. He will continue to keep you a secret for as long as you allow him to.

Truth #9: You Can Never Expose the Affair

One of the worst possible things you can do is to try to break up his marriage by telling his wife. He will not thank you for it, and you risk alienating yourself. It won’t achieve the outcome or satisfaction that you hope for. Indeed, you will undoubtedly cause yourself more psychological harm than good.

Even if the affair is exposed, the prospect of you getting together is slim. If he does move in, it will only be a short-term measure. He will be looking to salvage his marriage.

Truth #10: The Truth Always Comes Out in the End

No matter how careful you think you have been, the truth has a way of revealing itself. The longer the affair continues, the more careless you become. While he may delete every single text message and email, are you honestly doing the same? Are you sure there is no incriminating evidence to be found?

Furthermore, even though you should never expose the affair, the same rule doesn't apply to him. Indeed, he may feel so overcome with guilt that he confesses to his wife without even consulting with you first. Alternatively, his wife may become suspicious and figure things out for herself. Either way, it won’t be a secret for long.

Truth #11: You Will Always Be the Biggest Loser

While it may take two to tango, it is inevitably the other woman who is blamed for the extramarital affair. Besides being assigned a myriad of unflattering names, you may also discover your married girlfriends giving you a wide berth. Suddenly, you become a social pariah.

Do not expect much sympathy, either. Mistresses are perceived as perpetrators rather than victims of the affair. It is rarely the man’s fault; he was tempted away. It is emotionally beneficial for cheated wives to think this way. Blaming the other woman enables wives to overlook how they (or their husbands) contributed to the breakdown of the marriage. It also allows wives to ignore the fact that they married a loser.

Eventually, you will come to realize that you have wasted your precious time on an unavailable man whose only goal was sexual gratification. (If you are ready to learn the emotional and psychological reasons for why you participated in the cheating, read Why Women Fall for Married Men, and How to Move on Once You Have.)

Does Being the Other Woman Ever Work Out?

In 2014, after extensive research, I published a book about the reality of being the other woman. It provides a candid insight into what it is like to be a mistress and identifies rules and reality checks about what to expect. I was overwhelmed by many of the responses I received. Due to the stigma attached to being a mistress, many women felt alone and isolated, unable to discuss their emotions with anyone else. Others felt rather indignant about being held accountable for their actions.

Nonetheless, it has never been my intention to judge. Research indicates that nearly 50% of all marriages in the United States end in divorce or separation. Of these, 55% cite adultery as being one of the causes of divorce. However, do not be lulled into a false sense of security, since infidelity does not always lead to the breakup of a marriage. More often than not, a cheating husband will dump his mistress and beg to stay with his wife.

It is also worthwhile to remember that, while 41% of first marriages end in divorce, for second and third marriages, the divorce rate rises significantly to 60% and 73%, respectively. So even if you did end up marrying your lover, the chance that your relationship will last is slim.

How to Stop Being the Other Woman

Being the other woman is a thankless task. Whether it "just happened" or you think it was "just meant to be," in the long-term, it will only result in torment and heartache. If he genuinely loves you and wants to spend the rest of his life with you, then he will separate from and divorce his wife to make that happen.

If he is not prepared to do that then, believe me, he is only in it for what he can get and has no intention whatsoever of leaving his wife. The more you expect from an extramarital affair, the more likely you are to be hurt and disappointed.

The best thing you can do is to respect yourself and leave the relationship with your head held high and your dignity intact. You must learn to value yourself and cherish your time. If you need further advice on how to follow though, then you should strongly consider implementing the No Contact Rule. Ask yourself honestly just how much more pain you can endure.


  1. General Social Survey.(2010 - 2016) [28 March 2019]
  2. Institute for Family Studies (2018). Who Cheats More? The Demographics of Cheating in America. [28 March 2019]
  3. Knopp, K., Scott, S.B., Ritchie, L.L., Rhoades, G.K., Markman, H.J., & Stanley, S.M. (2017). Once a Cheater, Always a Cheater? Serial Infidelity Across Subsequent Relationships.[28 March 2019]

Questions & Answers

Question: Why is my husband's ex mistress doing her best to keep in touch with me? They had an affair three years ago. Ever since then, I have had to endure a horrible texting war with her. Now, she has changed tact, is acting like an angel and trying to stay in touch with me. What are her real motives?

Answer: I'm surprised that you have engaged with this woman for as long as you have. What did you hope to achieve by trading insults? You really need to block her number and cut her out of your life. You owe her nothing.

It sounds as if she still wants to be part of your husband's life and is fishing for information. She wants to know what is happening and is no doubt hoping that you are on the verge of splitting up. Don't give her the satisfaction. Stop communicating with her and cut all ties immediately.

Question: I am my boss's mistress and I am finding it difficult to end the relationship. What should I do?

Answer: In short, get a new job. If you work in a large organization, perhaps you could ask for a transfer to a different office or department.

The last thing you need, is to ruin your career as well as your personal life.

In the meantime, ensure you always adopt a professional attitude in work and treat your boss as your colleague, and not your lover.

Question: If you were the spouse, how would you feel seeing the husband's mistress (we are not divorced) named in the family tree?

Answer: I'm guessing I would feel extremely insulted.

However, if your husband has a child with his mistress, or marries her in the future, then she would have a legitimate standing on the family tree. Aside from this, there is no reason why her name should appear.

Without knowing the exact details, I would also be inclined to consult a divorce lawyer.

© 2012 C L Grant


Angela on March 08, 2020:

I’m an African girl

That met a married guy in my country. He only came here to Africa because of work And he’ll be in my country for a very very long time, but here’s the thing... the wife doesn’t live in my country.she lives very far away in the states. But this still bothers me because he is still married.. I always stalk his wife’s instagram

She always posts him.. she always posts how she’s so happy on being with him.. so what do I do now?

alert on February 18, 2020:

Dear Grant,

It's not me who wants to hang out with the married guy - but he kept lurking in and tried to get to close to me - tried to be nice and be charm - tried to text and reach out to me.

He revealed he cheated on his wife before a long time ago. He revealed he doesn't see the future retirement with her. He also revealed that he lied to his wife.

I believe he tries to use me as a mistress - even though he promise a future with me.

I am strong enough to handle his charm - but I am telling you this.

I believe he lied to his wife and he also lied to me. I believe he tried to hook me in so that I can give up and have sex with him.

This is so evil -He knew that I am not the cheating type of people. I have value and moral and I am a woman with high standards and I set boundary.

Just like you said:

"If he is not prepared to do that then, believe me, he is only in it for what he can get and has no intention whatsoever of leaving his wife."

I wish many women can read this article and were able to avoid so much heartache and headache.

I sincerely thanks for your advice.

Bliss on January 24, 2020:

I got involved with a married man. He claimed he don’t love his wife, slept apart from his wife, will divorce her when kids grow up. He often used vulgarity on me too. I told his wife about us and he said I hurt him and his family. He and wife will stay strong for now and decide how things will work out after the kids grow up.

Should I believe him?

I bumped into him and his wife recently. They are walking together without holding hands and she was chasing after him when they were walking.

Is he true with his words when he said he don’t love his wife and stay for the kids?

tt on January 22, 2020:

First of All,

Hang out with married man too often and he flirted with you that is the FIRST SIGN of trouble. No matter how honest he may seems to you, how sincere, how patient and thoughtful he is for you - They all are traps set up to lure you in and tie you down, way to make you fall in love with him. His only intention is to use you and then go home to his family. It is NOT true love. If he is a good person he should divorce his wife. Make himself single and available first before looking to find a woman. All of cheating married man always uses an excuse as he is not happy with his wife, he will divorce her, he stays for his children's sake, but he still make loves to his wife. He is nothing but lie to you. Be smart lady.

First sign to recognize this. Married man, flirting with you, nice to you he is trouble. Stay away....otherwise, the longer it takes the further down the road you go, the deeper you fall and the longer months turns to year and year turns to multiple years waiting, for something never come.

Don't walk down that path - you ONLY hurt yourself and don't think you're special.

Reading this post you can tell how many women fell into the married man's trap.

Save yourself.

Suzie from Carson City on August 11, 2017:

well, 15 months later.....I certainly hope you were more successful in dealing with your "Lover Boy" husband & his little Baby-Mama....than a certain female liar-thief was in her failed efforts for POTUS!........Think about next time. If she could run....anyone can.

Suzie from Carson City on April 25, 2016:

vivian...I don't know who you are, where you live or your age. I don't know if you work & have your own substantial income, or your husband is sole support. 4 children in 10 years of marriage is pretty quick work & since I surmise they all pretty young, you're in quite a corner, aren't you?

I give only straight, common sense advice. No sugar coating. Toughen up and stand tall, girl.

If you're in the U.S.A & your husband thought he was legally married to a 2nd woman.....sorry, but it's NOT legal & he can be charged with bigamy. That's certainly not his biggest problem at the moment, but it proves what a total dumb jackass he is.

You can be as mad as you like for as long as you wish. If Mr. Wonderful cared what you thought, this would not have occurred.

So much for his loyalty, love & vows.

Due to not knowing you, I will not tell you what to do. I certainly WILL tell you what I would tell any woman in your identical situation, NOT to do.

Do not get crazy & divorce him. Ask yourself, do you really want to raise 4 children w/o their father, on child support that he may or may not pay? Do you want to set him free to be with this woman & child & give them his time, attention & money while you & your kids are left to struggle & starve? This would be akin to rewarding him for his unforgivable behavior.

If he chooses to divorce you....then you immediately get the very best matrimonial Attorney you can find. Don't worry about the cost. Your husband will be court ordered to pay your Attorney fees since he is clearly at FAULT. You & your attorney are in a position to take him to the MEGA Cleaners. Do it. This may not help your pain, but it will help everything else. Trust me, you'll get over him, just in time to see him being kicked out by his new wife because he cheated on her too!

If you choose to be a martyr or long-suffering abused woman and forgive him~~~the next time he has an adulterous affair (and he will) you have gotten what you deserve. But who knows? You could go on to run for President of the U.S!!

vivian fasanmi on April 25, 2016:

my husband and i have gotting maried 10years ago, with four kids 2 girls and 2 boys and along the line my got maried to another lady recently and the lady have giving birth to a baby i got to know this and am so mad i dont know what to do and my kids are still young pls give me advice regard to this issue

dashingscorpio from Chicago on September 30, 2015:

Very well written!

I agree with just about everything you've written here.

My observation of cheaters is they are NOT looking to replace one relationship with another one! They don't want to go through a divorce!

Their goal appears to be to "compliment" what they already have. They want to hold onto all that is "good" in their primary relationship/marriage while addressing their other "needs" on the side whatever those "needs" may be.

Maybe if more women understood that men cheat in order (stay) in "unhappy marriages" or (tolerate them) they'd be less inclined to become mistresses!

In the case for example of a unhappily married man with a wife who has no interest in having sex with him. They've talked it over and nothing changes. From his point of view he as three options.

1. Accept the fact that his sex life is over.

2. Run down to the courthouse and file for divorce. Move out of his home into a studio apartment, pay child support and possibly alimony, become a weekend dad, have friends & family divided or choosing sides.

3. Find a woman who finds him attractive and (enjoys having sex) with him on the side. She compliments him and make him feel "desired". Generally speaking a lot men in that situation with go with option #3. Another factor is most cheaters don't expect to get caught!

Susan Trump from San Diego, California on March 08, 2015:

I'm sure you didn't learn it all from the Dali Lama but you did learn it. That is exactly right.

tigerhater on January 18, 2014:

Yeah learned my lesson the hard way, but got my revenge and told his wife. I don't want a liar and a cheat but guess she does . The wife is a bigger a fool than me.

Apology from Kentucky on November 29, 2012:

"The more one loves a mistress, the more one is ready to hate her."

~Francois de La Rochefoucauld

C L Grant (author) from United Kingdom on September 26, 2012:

Yes, your comments are very true Fpherj48. There's many a mistress out there who doesn't realise that she is simply another disposable asset with an abundance of newer and shinier models available in the showroom!

In my experience, talking is of little benefit unless you are prepared to tell the mistress what she wants to hear. By the time they realise that they need to sit down and talk, many a woman is so emotionally fragile that the damage is sometimes irreparable.

Perhaps these men should come with a government health warning?!!

Best wishes ;)

Suzie from Carson City on September 25, 2012:

I have known many a mistress. Although they were only casual friends of mine, they always seemed to want to "talk" about their situation. I don't know, maybe they talked to anyone who would listen, but I always got the feeling they wanted free professional advice. Of course, this was not going to happen.

The truth is, friendly or professional, my advice would be the same. When a woman who is literally being USED as a mistress, has come to terms with the blatant reality of the situation, she may be open to suggestion. If she has not yet realized the true motive of Mr. Lover Boy.....nothing that anyone can say, do or even PROVE to her, will be of any benefit whatsoever.

As long as she continues to see him....(and he hasn't been "caught") he will use her forever...unless of course, he finds another willing and YOUNGER participant. Tell me, what could possibly be a harder kick in the teeth than being a MISTRESS, REPLACED BY A NEW MISTRESS???? Ouch!

C L Grant (author) from United Kingdom on September 20, 2012:

Thanks again Jantamaya for your insightful comment!

Sadly, many women waste their best years waiting for married men. I personally believe if he's made no move to leave his wife after 6 months then the mistress needs the courage to walk away.

I also hope your friend managed to find someone more deserving of her love.

MJC from UK on September 20, 2012:

Interesting hub, a comprehensive information about a mistress. You've described her well. One of my friends lived this life. As she was close to sixty, she begun to look for a partner. It didn't work well for her at this time and I hope that she is better now (sadly, I lost contact to her).

C L Grant (author) from United Kingdom on September 18, 2012:

I think it's the rose tinted glasses we sometimes wear when in love Davesworld!

But yes, you are right, anyone who is capable of cheating on his wife won't think twice about cheating on his mistress.

Indeed, you only have to read the tabloids to uncover stories of men who have had multiple mistresses at the same time!

Davesworld from Cottage Grove, MN 55016 on September 18, 2012:

One thing I've always wondered, if you know he's cheating on her what makes you think he won't cheat on you too?

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