Why do you end up as ‘the other woman’ over and over again?
Why would a woman end up being the lover of a married man enduring all the shame being ‘the other woman’ all the time? Why would you end up doing the same things over and over again? A secret affair offers very little entitlement, still a lot of women remain in the bittersweet role of a lover.
There might be several reasons to being captive to this role: low self-esteem, a difficult childhood, repression, neglect, lack of recognition or abuse can play a huge role in becoming the ‘other woman’ forever. Some say that being a lover is not ideal but it provides you with the comfort of not being alone all the time, plus there might be occasional getaways to enjoy, as well as some gifts.
More often than not, these secret affairs bring more suffering and pain than happiness. Being ‘the other woman’ might have its perks but these can never make up for all those lonely times: the weekends, special occasions, the “forbidden” times of day when families are usually together. He’s not there for you, there’s no commitment, no bond, no alliance of the two parties involved.
I feel like there’s a tendency to glorify lovers, as if it was some kind of an expected role some women must take on; as if society would expect certain women to live like this. ‘The other woman’ becomes a part of this secret club where all her fellow sufferers welcome her offering their companionship in distress; there are Facebook group for them, for real. To ease the pain, there’s this never-fading hope that he, who hides his ring in the glove compartment, might get divorced – but he might not. The reality of it is that you’re deceiving yourself, trying to justify the situation when, in fact, a group like this could be used to talk some sense into these women. They could help each other face loneliness or being single for a while. And let me tell you, a lover-turned-wife has been through a lot to get there, this path is not for the faint-hearted. It’s never a fair game, it’s a game for two and where there are three, one must be taken out of the picture. Being ‘the other woman’ is an extremely dangerous game to play, someone always gets hurt – there is no such thing as fair play. The fair thing to do is not to take what belongs to somebody else. It’s easy to say that it’s chemistry, and you’re having the time of your life, and sex has never been better before, but deep down you know it’s not real. It’s not real because he has to go home. It’s not real because he hides his wedding ring. It’s not real because you’re spending Christmas Eve alone.
‘The other woman’ is usually not ready to settle down, she’s waiting for something that might happen; otherwise, she’d end the relationship right away and start looking for a real one. She often has low self-esteem, suffers from self-doubt and is convinced she’s not good enough. Their hunger for love can be satisfied by physical touch for a while, that’s why they go after a married man if no one else comes around. But being somebody’s lover brings suffering, it’s merely a compromise; still many consider it something intriguing and love entertaining the idea of it. ‘The other women’ start writing blogs or a diary, but in reality, they would probably start all entries like “Dear Diary, I’m sorry to bother you again...” for they do not know their worth. They are in great need of a good therapy session to gain some confidence. Instead, they try to treat themselves, deceiving themselves thinking being a lover might cure their depression. They are happy to live in a lie and rejoice over every bit of love they get.
“Being ‘the other woman’ is not a role you have to take on, you will never regret missing out on the experience. You might find yourself in this swampland but it’s your decision to stay in it. Losing your wings, being hungry for attention and having low self-esteem should never be idealized.”
Married men might try to convince their lover of getting a divorce soon but they hardly ever do that. The truth is, their marriage is not as bad as they say it is, even if they sheds some tears. Don’t deceive yourself, he enjoys the holidays with his wife, he gets dinner and beer, he has sex with her, she gets pregnant. Married men like to make amends, they’d promise anything when, in reality, they’re trying to gain time.
It’s a vicious circle, it’s like a swamp that never lets you go. A married man is highly unlikely to break the emotional and economic bond of a marriage. ‘The other woman’ will never be more than that, unless she rises from her ashes and has the strength to end such a humiliating, derogatory relationship.
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