This initially started as a one post thing but I got some feedback (Sigh. And some backlash) from some friends and a few other people (and some from a lot of random reading) and somehow it has gathered momentum and turned out to be a trilogy-type post! OK, fine, so maybe not a trilogy… Pfffffft. That is stuff best left to the likes of J. R. R. Tolkien. And maybe Robert Ludlum. I Like Ludlum. His Bourne books are just about one of the best trilogy I have ever read. And I mean the original Bourne trilogy, not the try-hard works of the shadow writer the estate employed to try and fill in the huge shoes of a master. The movies excellent too! Sigh… Matt Damon….. *More wishful sighing*
Anyway, where was I? Yes. Right now, there are thousands of ‘ladies-in-waiting’ in relationships; women who are willing, waiting, and hoping that the guy they’re with, will leave their girlfriend or wife for them. ‘Is he going to leave her for me?’;’When is he going to leave her?’ and ‘Why hasn’t he left her yet?’ It’s tough. You want to know that the pain and effort of effectively playing second fiddle, hanging on the sidelines, and having to operate on marginalized terms in your relationship with a married or attached man, is worth it. So you hang in there and you rationalize and you convince yourself that everything is alright. And what is abnormal soon becomes your normal. Being ‘The Other Woman’ (quite honestly, ‘The Other Man’ too. But I’m a woman and so I’m gonna speak from a woman’s perspective) means being perpetually disappointed, increasingly frustrated, miserable and very much second best. These men are very good at making you feel like they are giving you the earth, when in fact they’re giving you a spade full of dried up soil. You get sucked into the declarations of love, the rationalizing of his situation and the assumption that he clearly isn’t happy and that you are giving him what he needs and in the process end up doing a dis-service to yourself. The situations don’t always start out so dysfunctionally. Sometimes it starts out a simple happy-go-lucky, no-strings-attached kind of think that slowly but surely escalates into a difficult situation. I may not know much but I do know that no-strings-attached situations do not work. Not if you are a human being. For the many women who find themselves involved with an attached man, even though they start out feeling that they can handle things and can be ‘patient’ or may not even want anything more, as time progresses, feelings progress, and so does the desire for the ultimate validation in this situation – to have a man leave the another woman to be with you. When you share yourself continuously on such a personal, intimate level with someone, feelings are bound to develop over time. Then the arrangement can no longer work. Because one person always ends up wanting way more than the other one is willing to offer. And because you want ‘a return on your emotional investment’, sometimes you end up making up ridiculous assumptions that ultimately end up hurting you.
I was reading a book a while ago, ‘Mr. Unavailable And The Fallback Girl‘ and this author highlighted the most common assumptions we make in a way that I would not even want to alter. She says we choose to get caught up in illusions and believe that our relationships are being governed by exceptions and anomalies because we desperately want to be believe that our situation is different; that we are exceptions to the rule. There is no greater example of this than in the cheating situation. There are a few key assumptions that she believes women who go into ‘relationships’ with the cheater work off. These include:
1) If a man is prepared to risk his existing relationship in order to be with you, he must be crazy about you.
Note: A lot of cheaters get off on taking risks and playing truant on their relationships. They don’t like the normality that comes with the steadiness of a relationship or the wants, needs, and expectations that arise from it, so they seek their thrills elsewhere. Sometimes you’re like something they’ve just got to have but they haven’t really thought past winning you over to the bit where you expect them to follow through on their ardent pursuit.
2) If a man has got married or has a girlfriend it shows that he’s capable of commitment which in turn makes him a good catch.
Note: The fact that someone will cheat shows their lack of commitment plus this is a blind assumption based on another assumption, that all people get into relationships for the right reasons and are committed.
3) The reason why he can’t let go of you is because he finds you irresistible.
Note: Men who genuinely want to be with you and who have real trust, care, love, and respect, don’t try to resist you or deceive you. They sort their lives out to be with you properly. Sooner, rather than later.
4) You’re only taking on ‘The Other Woman’ role as a temporary position with the goal of being the main woman.
Note: This is basically like giving someone a ‘try before you buy’ option. You’re in the position of trying to prove yourself in the hope that one day, you’ll create the impetus for him to leave. Unfortunately the guy who will cheat on an ongoing basis and tie you up in a litany of whines and excuses about his ‘situation’, interprets the fact that you’ll be with him in spite of his other relationship, suggests that you have little or no boundaries and that you’ll be there anyway. He basically assumes he can ‘handle’ the situation should you create conflict.
5) If a man cheats it’s because there is something wrong with the relationship and/or his wife or girlfriend.
Note: Some people actually cheat because things are going ‘too’ well and they need to rebel. If someone doesn’t want to be committed, they will behave as they like, irrespective of whether they were with the Most Perfect Person on Earth.
6) They’re only deceiving the wife/girlfriend whilst being honest with you. *Derisive snort*
Note: Both of you have to be lied to, to maintain the deception.
7) The ‘Other Woman’ gives the cheater what he’s missing from his ‘main’ relationship.
Note: Snatched moments and compartmentalized time is not the same as being in a full time, committed out in the open relationship with all of the attendant reality and pressures that come with it. There’s a reason why the saying ‘best of both worlds’ exists!
8) Some relationship with this man is better than no relationship at all.
Note: This is like saying that crumbs is better than nothing and it’s all because you’ve managed to water down your expectations into nothing and have got trapped by your own feelings.
To give them credit, some men do leave their wives/girlfriends to be with the ‘Other Woman’ but it is the exception, not the norm. The reality is that:
1. You both need to be on the same page. More often than not, no matter what is being said, the actions in the relationship show that the ‘Other Woman’ and the cheater are not on the same page because she’s trying to take things to the next level whilst he’s trying to maintain the status quo. Why create more drama when you can have the best of both worlds and not be committed to either person?
2. Men are far more faithful to the wives and girlfriends than we give them credit for. He may dick around and dip his magic stick in every honeypot that passes him by but at the end of the day, he shall go back to her.
You had better be prepared for this reality.