Okay, ladies, I know this can be a very touchy subject. Hell, I’ve been cheated on by two boyfriends, and I wanted to kill them and the girls they slept with. Now, for me, in both those cases there were numerous girls, so that would be too many murder charges for me… and as much as I love Orange is the New Black, it is also how I know I would not fare well in prison.
I’ve always had the same reaction when I heard about a woman who was sleeping with someone else’s significant other. “What a little skank!” or “That dirty conniving bitch, doesn’t she have any self-respect?” among other colorful statements. Even if you want to deny it, the truth is that 9 times out of 10, the woman takes the brunt of the backlash from a cheating scandal – rather than the man. Sure, the guy may get dumped and get some dirty looks for a while… but for the woman, she is automatically deemed a slut by women and men, and treated like Hester Prynne (The Scarlet Letter) in public. If she’s lucky, anyway.
I have been guilty of passing judgment without getting the full story. Yes, some women are conniving bitches and like to break up a couple because they can. But, I thought this was always the case… until a friend of mine admitted to me that she had been sleeping with another woman’s boyfriend. Well, more than sleeping together. They basically had a secret relationship going on for months! I was shocked, and a little disappointed in her. But, the more we talked about it, the more sympathetic I felt towards her and the situation in general. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not, in any way, supporting what she did. But, I can understand it a little better now. She was brave enough to allow me to share parts of her story and give a little insight. This is what I learned:
1. At first, she may not know she’s the other woman.
In the case of my friend, they met through mutual friends at a bar one night and hit it off immediately. When she saw his name show up on her phone, she instantly smiled. When they’re together it was like being with a (really attractive) best friend. The connection was incredibly strong.
She could walk away once she heard that there is a girlfriend in the picture. But the hard part is that she is already in really deep. Like, head over heels deep. Now, it would break her heart to get out.
2. He knows how to play the game.
She may try to walk away, even though it hurts horribly because she wants to do the right thing. Then, he starts showing up at her door, telling her all the things she’s ever wanted to hear from a guy. Then, he plays the sympathy card – and assures her that she’s the one he wants to be with.
- “I love you so much, but am just so confused.”
- “I care about her, and don’t want to crush her.”
- “I’m trying to figure out the best way to end things.”
- “I feel so horrible for putting you in this position.”
Even if it’s not a guy that’s cheating on his girlfriend, there are guys that know how to push our buttons – and will do so to get what they want and keep us around. He’s that same crappy boyfriend that can use emotional manipulation to make you feel bad when you get mad about him flirting with that girl who is “just a friend”. Sound familiar?
3. No one knows all the facts.
You don’t know the whole story and are judging a person based on one fact – not all the facts. Think to yourself, do you even know this woman outside of the current situation? If you do, does it sound like something that is normal for her to do? Did you think had poor judgment before you knew this? Do you think she’s the kind of person that would purposely want to break up a happy relationship? If these answers are “no”, then take a moment to re-think your judgment.
4. Odds are, she is already beating herself up.
If someone is the other woman, the last thing she needs is for you to be an asshole and talk about how much of a whore she is. In many cases, she is just as upset about it – if not more – than anyone else. Put yourself in her shoes. She has more than likely beaten herself up enough over the secrets and guilt of lying to everyone around her. Now, on top of that, she is now referred to as a “home-wrecking whore” and treated like she has the plague.
5. Double standards change your perspective.
Now think about if the roles were reversed, and it was “the other guy” rather than “the other woman”. How many times have you referred to the guy as a “home-wrecking whore”? How many people are shouting obscenities at him, judging his actions? Did he even get any backlash at off, or was all forgiven for him? Sure, behind his back other women may refer to him as an asshole or other colorful names. But is anyone publicly shunning him or calling him humiliating names in public? 8 times out of 10, the guy is the one who initiates the adulterous relationship, and yet she ends up with majority of the consequences. How fair is that?
Again, I am not trying to make excuses for women. I just hope that this shows that not all “other women” are vindictive homewreckers. Even though they have made poor decisions, they are often dealing with pain as well. Of course, some girls cheat just to just to see if they can. But, that is not always the case. In fact, it’s a rarity.
To the Other Woman
1. No matter how much he says he cares about you and loves you, he doesn’t. At least, not as much as he says he does. If he did, he would not put you in such a compromising and hurtful position. He only cares about himself, and frankly, he’s got two women right now so he probably thinks he is hot shit. He’s not “confused” or “trying to figure things out”. He is stalling because again, he has two women for himself. Hell, he may even have more than just you on the side.
2. Once a cheater, always a cheater. Let’s say he decides to leave his girlfriend, hypothetically, because if he was really going to, he would have done it before he started anything with you. Odds are, you will end up like his current girlfriend and be the clueless one getting cheated on. While this isn’t always the case, it is definitely a strong possibility. History tends to repeat itself.
3. Self-respect. Have some. I’m not trying to be a bitch. What I’m saying is, you deserve a man who is free of complication, who spends his time with only you, and who cares enough about you and others to do the right thing. You do not deserve to be a second choice, so don’t act like you are. By being with two women, he has made you a second option. You’re better than that, and you deserve better than that.
Now, to any woman that suspects, or deep down knows, that their man is cheating or has: don’t turn a blind eye to it. Get your things and ditch his ass pronto. Remember, you deserve better – and definitely don’t deserve to be dragged through this.