I have been the other woman before. On two occasions, neither were intentional.
The first time was when I was being actively pursued by a guy who told me he was in an open relationship. Honestly, I felt sketchy about the whole thing. I'd grown out of the "random hookup stage" of my life and was looking for some form of monogamy, or at least something that would lead me on the road there. But, this guy, let's call him Xavier (I dunno- haven't had my coffee yet, can't think of a name) kept doing the whole we're in an open relationship and on the road to breaking up thing, so I decided to meet up one night to give it a chance.
UGH, I KNOW.
We met at a bar, one drink turned into rolling brown outs, and we ended up at his Venice brick walled loft and had passionate, partially unemployed artist sex. The next morning he woke me up at 6am telling me his girlfriend would be home any minute and I had to get out--immediately.
"If you're in an open relationship, why does it matter?" I asked, confused.
Because obviously, he was not.
The next time I was accidentally side chicking was when I dated a guy for nearly 6 months. Years later he sat across from me at a coffee shop, making amends, telling me he was married the entire time.
I guess they were in the process of being separated, or something like that, but I always knew something was up: like how her mail was still being delivered to his house, how she'd call nonstop without any hesitation, show up sometimes without warning. Everything felt a little too comfy and intrusive to my relationship.
Well, that's because it wasn't my relationship at all!
Being the side chick, other woman, mistress, whatever is a very complicated process. I remember when Lemonade came out and "Becky with the Good Hair" became a thing, I saw a million tweets by self-proclaimed good girls saying that they'd never be Becky. Well, it's not exactly that simple. It's not cut and dry.
There's tons of songs saluting side chicks as well. I do a great rendition of Brandy and Monica's "That Boy is Mine" in the shower. Famous other woman LeAnn Rimes sings "It’s pathetic how I lie around and wait all the damn time” in her song Borrowed, assumingly about now husband Eddie Cibrian. (Important to note, she ended up in rehab for depression, and several "other women" cited the correlation between self-love, mental illness, and side-chicking when I spoke with them.)
I asked some other women about their experience as the mistress.
this woman dated a female coworker who had a live-in boyfriend
She was not out as a queer individual. For me to be a "secret" never felt as much about the fact that she was already involved with someone as it did with the fact that I was a woman. Eventually she wanted to come clean with her boyfriend and family and I realized that was really not what I wanted at all. I didn't verbalize this because it felt like something she needed to do re: coming out.
After that she drove to tell her parents and they immediately cut her off financially and took away her car. Our relationship lasted a couple more months because I felt like she had turned her entire life upside down for me, but ultimately ended. Me being the "other woman" was certainly the keystone to her coming out.
"I grew up being ignored by mostly everyone."
Insecurity I guess is where it always starts. I grew up being ignored by mostly everyone. When I hit 19, I grew into my body ...At that point it became a game for me, to see who I could sleep with that used to look right past me. I was very unstable and didn't really have guilt when it came to whether they were in a relationship or not. I just wanted to be...wanted.
I always assured myself that "I'm not responsible for this. He is to blame, he's the one in a relationship, not me". I've grown up since then but still find myself wanting to go back to that. But I stop myself because I know that just ain't how you treat people no matter how shitty you're feeling.
she found out he was married through a secret instagram
I actually didn't know. I found out on an Instagram that he said he didn't have. He had posted pictures of his wedding. I don't trust as easily now.
She hooked up with her boss
I spent a summer hooking up with my married boss in France. I was 19. He was 32. His wife eventually found out. It was a mess. The man was crazy manipulative. He would go home to his wife every night, but if I talked to other guys he would make me feel like I was cheating on him somehow. In hindsight, it was so wrong. I'm positive I was not the only girl he was sleeping around with, and it was a lot of lust, not love.
Their relationship made her suicidal
I was in Thailand and I was working in an orphanage and he was photographing stuff. The second I saw him I was drawn to him. Another girl told me that he had a girlfriend so I asked him about it and he said: “I mean, I kind of do, but we’re in the process of breaking up, like it’s not really real.” I was so into him that I just like chose to believe that was the truth.
I had made up my mind that I was in love with him and I was going to lose my virginity to him. But when he started telling me about his "girlfriend" it was obvious that they were nowhere near close to breaking up. The concept of trust in a relationship, which meant so much to me before, didn’t matter anymore because of this guy.
He said he would visit me and he said he was going to breakup with his girlfriend when he got home. Sporadic texting went on for months and I was so wrapped up in this texting relationship that I stopped hanging out with my friends and isolated myself. I got so obsessively invested in him that when he said he wasn’t going to end up visiting I tried to commit suicide.
I started going to a therapist again and I realized that obviously he was a piece of shit and my obsession stemmed from mental illness and not love for him.
I learned how to take care of myself, I learned to recognize when romance morphed into mental illness, I learned how a person acts when they mistreat you. I learned that I am not invincible, that I am susceptible to being almost destroyed by another person, but I learned that also literally no one else is worth giving your life up for. I also learned that you can't ever really trust people, so you have to be able to trust yourself so you can't let people mistreat or take advantage of you.
It taught me that all I have is myself, and no matter what, I'll still have to return to myself in the end.
the ol' still sleeping with my ex boyfriend thing
I dated my high school boyfriend on and off for several years until college. Once when we were broken up he started dating someone else exclusively, but we ended up sleeping together regularly anyway. He eventually told her and they broke up. It was two years ago and I still feel terrible about it. I'm actually pretty good friends with the girl now.
she used to babysit for his kids
"I ended up having an affair with a man who I babysat for as a teenager. We ended up having sex when I was maybe 21ish. It was very odd, he had hit on me since I was about 16 but I never actually thought anything would happen. When we were both drunk we ended up hooking up. He had a successful caree but had to quit his job and be a stay at home dad [when his family moved.] His wife is the CFO of a fortune 500 company and is almost never home. My parents are still actually very close with him and his wife and kids, they go visit the family at least once a year and I have gone with them."
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