11 Brutal Truths About Being the Other Woman
Are You OK Being the Other Woman?
Let’s be honest about this. Becoming the ‘other woman’ to a married man is not an ambition for any sane woman. As a young girl playing ‘dress-up,’ you don’t say that you want to be a mistress when you grow up. You want to be a beautiful bride, wear pretend wedding dresses, ‘get married’ to the boy of your dreams and live happily ever after.
Naturally, there will always be exceptions to the rule, and there are some women who claim to be ‘professional’ mistresses. These women often believe that they are happy with the arrangement, which typically revolves around financial incentives. Even so, these women are in the minority. The vast majority of ladies who have affairs with married men, usually stumble into them with their eyes and senses 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.’
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 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. Infidelity does not always lead to the breakup of a marriage. More often than not, a cheating husband will be more likely to dump his mistress and plead to stay with his wife.
It is also worthwhile remembering that, while 41% of first marriages end in divorce, for second and third marriages, this figure rises significantly to 60% and 73% respectively. So, even if you did end up marrying your lover, the chances of your relationship lasting long-term, are slim. If you are still inclined to stay in an adulterous relationship, below are 11 brutal truths you need to discover, about being the other woman.
Truth #1: Cheating Men Rarely Leave Their Wives
All men have one or more reasons as to why they are unable to leave their wives. Many of these excuses have a deadline attached thus, giving you false hope. For example, his children are still quite young, and he is biding his time until they leave school. In your mind, you have been given a deadline by him. 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. As 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 3 to 5 years of your life, waiting for something that will never happen.
If he wanted to be with you then, 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 sleeping with him, and you begin to spend less and less time going out together.
Initially, you may react angrily to these situations, but eventually, you become accustomed to his disrespectful behavior. You start adapting your social life to suit his, often 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.
Truth #3: You Will Spend Special Occasions on Your Own
While you are lying in bed at night, all on your own on your birthday, remember that he is sharing a bed with his wife. Even if you have great family and friends, they will not be able to fill the emptiness in your heart. It also won’t just be your birthday that he misses. It will be his birthday, Christmas, New Year, Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day, holidays etc. He will also be absent for his wife’s birthday, their children’s birthdays and their wedding anniversary.
Even if he remembers to send you a birthday gift, usually belatedly, it will only be a token gesture to keep you sweet, and will never match the gifts he buys for his wife.
Truth #4: Your Friends and Family Think You Are Single
Even though you know that you are in a relationship, none of your family or friends will. You can never introduce him to them. You will always be dateless at social events and spend holidays alone, or with platonic friends. If you are ever hospitalized, he will not be the one sitting at your bedside, anxiously waiting for you to wake up.
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, 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, does mean that it is 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 view sexual relationships 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 confess to sleeping with her, under the guise of making things look normal. 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.
Have You Ever Been A Mistress?
Have you ever had an affair with a married man?
Truth #8: You Will Always Be His Dirty Little Secret
As far as the adulterous male is concerned, you will always be his secret. His friends and family will know nothing about you. You will also be limited to the number of public places that you can visit together, for fear of being seen.
You may even have the privileged status of being his ‘friend’ on social networking sites 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 and break up his marriage by telling his wife. He will not thank you for it, and you risk alienating yourself. You also won’t achieve the outcome or satisfaction that you thought you might. 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, this 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 may 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 rules do not 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 work 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 being the perpetrator and not the victim of the affair. It is rarely the man’s fault; he was tempted away. It has some emotional benefit for cheated wives to think this way. It enables them to overlook the possibility that they may have contributed to the breakdown of their marriage. Also, they can ignore the fact that they married a loser.
Eventually, you will also come to realize that you have wasted your precious time on an unavailable man, whose only goal was sexual gratification.
How to Stop Being the Other Woman
Being the other woman is a thankless task. Whether it ‘just happened’ or you believed it was ‘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 and ultimately 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 dignity intact. You must learn to value yourself and cherish your time. If you need further advice on how to follow this though, then you should strongly consider implementing the No Contact Rule. Ask yourself honestly; just how much more pain can you truthfully endure?
- General Social Survey.(2010 - 2016) [28 March 2019]
- Institute for Family Studies (2018). Who Cheats More? The Demographics of Cheating in America. [28 March 2019]
- 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
If you were the spouse, how would you feel seeing the husband's mistress (we are not divorced) named in the family tree?
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.Helpful 17
- Helpful 11
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?Helpful 19
© 2012 C L Grant