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10 Sad Yet Brutal Realities Of Being The Other Woman In A Relationship

“I was branded as a tramp, tart, slut, whore, bimbo, and, of course, that woman. I was seen by many but actually known by few. And I get it: it was easy to forget that that woman was dimensional, had a soul, and was once unbroken.” – Monica Lewinsky, The Price of Shame

Yes, there is a lot of stigma surrounding the “other woman”. And as if these two words didn’t already carry enough humiliation around them, we also have tags like “home wrecker,” “marriage breaker,” etc., to further demean the woman.

Being the other woman in a relationship, one is considered to be devoid of any feelings, hurts. The world finds the concepts of adultery and cheating fascinating. But whenever a man cheats, the entire blame falls on the shoulders of the two women in his life: the wife, who must not have done enough to please her man, and the other woman, who, through the power of her sexuality, seduced the man into cheating on his wife! The chunk of the shaming, however, has to be dealt with, by the other woman alone. Though this is wrong, this is the way things are. Here’s a little insight into the sad realities of being someone’s “other woman” in a relationship.

Suggested read: I am the other woman and I am not ashamed

Like Lewinsky pointed out from her personal experience, society is quick in branding these women as “whores,” “sluts,” and “bimbos”. They are considered today’s Hester Prynne from The Scarlet Letter, shamed and compelled to wear the scandalous “A” as a flagrant reminder of their involvement with a “committed man”!

A great number of women who fall into the enticing world of being the other woman, are not stupid bimbos, though the society sees them that way. We have women like the brilliant Madame Pompadour, Anne Boleyn, Diana de Poitiers and others, who had their own reasons for being someone’s other woman. These women have caught themselves waiting on borrowed time. In complicated situations like these, all logic is swept under the rug! The stigma that these women have to deal with, cannot be justified. Many would disagree with me, and I totally respect their opinion, but I think, before we judge someone, it is essential we take a moment, and reflect on what it feels like to be the other woman.

1. You are his dirty little secret

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When you are the other woman in a marriage or a relationship, you will always be kept under wraps. Whether your man is cheating on his girlfriend or his wife, you are kept hidden. You will not even be spoken of. Naturally, you will have to deal with secret rendezvous and stolen text messages.

There will be certain “terms and conditions” that you will have to follow, like, not being seen together in public places. Your man (sadly, even that’s not true!) will do everything possible to keep you far from prying eyes. He doesn’t want your relationship to serve as fuel for gossip.

You will be treated as a stranger in public by your lover, and that will make your heart bleed. Owning someone indoors does not compensate for being totally ignored in front of people.

2. You will be lonely 


If you are the other woman in a relationship, you have to deal with loneliness. Having a relationship you cannot tell anyone anything about, is bound to be lonely. Though there will be moments of physical intimacy, plenty of them actually, but they will never be enough to overcome the pangs of isolation that you feel. There is nothing “deep” in this relationship of yours; it lacks a soul!

3. You have to cope with the stigma that the society ascribes you


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Society always rears its foul head when it comes to forbidden affairs. For women who have participated in an affair with someone else’s man, enduring harsh names is part and parcel of the deal! But the shaming doesn’t end with name-calling. She also has to cope with condescending stares and muffled whispers whenever she walks down the road or into a room. But once the day ends, she will brush all that aside to keep her relationship with the “taken man” alive!

4. You will have to wait for your lover’s permission before doing anything

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Before you take any step, you need to wait for your lover’s green signal. So, between your dates, you cannot do anything on a whim. This is popularly called “the waiting game”. It is difficult, and more than often, frustrating to play this game, since you have to depend solely on the titbits of affection that your ‘male friend’ throws in your direction.

As the other woman, you are always pining and waiting for the next call from your lover, and that can take days, weeks, or even months.

Suggested read: How to cope with your spouse’s extramarital affair when you have kids together

5. You are his “meantime girl”


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Once you become the “meantime girl,” you will find yourself in an emotional rut. You are filling the gap of whatever this man is not getting from his committed relationship or marriage.

Now, what hurts most about being someone’s meantime girl is that you will always be his option, and an additional one at that too. Very rarely does a man think of a future with the woman he is cheating his girlfriend or wife with. You will have to cling on to whatever little happiness you can get from this relationship, when you know very well that these moments are fleeting at best.

6. You are living on moments that are stolen


And on “borrowed time”. The underlying condition of being someone’s other woman is to have a work around their fixed schedule. You need to keep in mind that this person you love or desire has someone who he has to go home to every night. He has obligations, and you need to understand and compromise accordingly.

You cannot see this man every day, so the two of you have to plan a work-around, which involves only a few hours. And more than often, your “taken man” cannot even spend the night with you, for the fear of rousing his legitimate partner’s suspicions. Keeping all this in mind, you will have to make do with the little time he spends with you, and that could cut real deep, especially, if you fall in love with him!

7. You are constantly guilt-ridden

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Most women who enter this kind of a relationship complain of sleepless nights. You will find yourself exhausted with guilt, especially when you are alone, with no lover to comfort you. You feel guilty, because deep in your heart you think you are committing a sin against another woman. It becomes worse when you realize that this guilt is a one-way street.

8. You will never be his priority


The first few days of this relationship may be filled with bliss. You will go through all the emotional highs of being in a new relationship. Your lover will constantly want to be with you. However, the honeymoon phase has to end, sooner than later. The reality of being the other woman will hit you before long. The entire situation will start affecting you as a person. You know that he doesn’t love you, and that he will never be there to comfort you in times of need. You won’t be spending holidays with him, or have a family or share a home with him. You can never have the life that the woman your man is with, is living.

9. You will have a tendency to idealize this relationship


To escape the reality, the other woman has to romanticize the entire situation. You start seeing yourself as the tragic heroine of a romance novel you have scribbled for yourself. You consider yourself the Eponines of today’s world, someone doomed to unconditionally love the man you can never truly call yours!

In worse situations, you fantasize about your lover leaving his spouse for you, and marrying you! But like all illusions, these are in vain too.

10. Your relationship is bound to be short-lived

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Let’s be honest, these affairs are usually about sex, and so they are very temporary. This is undoubtedly, the most heart-wrenching and even frightening fact about being in such a relationship. The entire bond will someday end as abruptly as it started. You cannot even expect closure from your lover.

When you began, you were secret lovers, and when you part, you must part as strangers. While men claim to be capable of loving two or more women at the same time, it is quite natural that he can only sustain his affairs for a brief period of time. A fling can never last forever. Whether you call it quits or he does, you will be the only one affected by it. Most women seek therapy after coming out of such an affair. Some women have even confessed that being someone’s other woman is like committing social suicide. You are abandoning all your ideals for a fleeting period of pleasure!

Suggested read: #ScienceSpeaks The unknown reason behind married men cheating is…

The other woman has always been subjected to scorn and cruelty. But sometimes, we need to try and understand her situation, before judging her. We have to remember that her life may already be difficult, and our harsh conclusions could break her completely. We need to put ourselves in her shoes and try to be compassionate towards her.

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See you until next time!

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Article Name
10 Sad Realities Of Being The Other Woman In A Relationship
Being the other woman has a lot of stigma attached to it. But before you judge her, consider these sad realities of being the person everyone hates.
Riya Roy

Riya Roy

“If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn't brood. I'd type a little faster.” This Isaac Asimov line, embraces my love for writing in the finest and most desperate way that it is and should be! I was tormented by the earnestness of the written word not very early in my journey. But once smitten, it has helped me devour life twice over; savoring the moment and indulging in its memories. As a flâneuse, I wander to understand the intricacies of human relationships. Realizing that, they are just different manifestations of the same feeling of love, has been my greatest learning. I seek to share its opulence through the words I type.