Being the other woman to a man with a wife or girlfriend is a tricky relationship – I should know, I’ve been there (read my tale on my journey from being the other woman to happiness) and have corresponded with many women in the situation. There are lots of all too seemingly obvious reasons why being involved with an attached man is hazardrous, but if you’re already there, here are my tips for survival:
1. Have your escape route from the affair planned. If you have any sense of self worth, don’t be banking on being the other woman forever. Either get the commitment you want and be the starring role instead of the understudy, or get out. Set a time limit and stick to it.
2. Don’t be burning up energy making empty threats. Sometimes an ultimatum is needed to bring things to a head, but if you have no intention of actually following through – you’ll look like a dipstick and then he knows that he doesn’t actually have to make a decision. An ultimatum is an ultimatum for a reason which means there should only be ONE.
3. Do tell someone about the affair but do ensure that you tell someone who isn’t going to blow the lid on things. Keeping things to yourself will be a big strain emotionally and you need someone who you can confide in, sanity check things with and who will also tell you that you should be doing better. You need to be careful of becoming isolated in the relationship and also being trapped by your feelings.
4. Don’t get pregnant in an attempt to force his hand. The only person you’re ‘trapping’ is yourself. A baby is for life…not for using as a tool to get what you want.
5. Get a life. Don’t make him the focal point of your existence and don’t be afraid to spend time on your own and certainly spend time with friends and family. The better you feel about yourself, the quicker you’ll come to your senses about being the other woman. Also if you make him the focus of your existence, it gives him supreme control and makes you very dependent on him. Not good!
6. Don’t be doing the chasing. How can you be spending so much energy running after a man who is throwing you the crumbs of his attention?
7. Keep it real. You are the other woman, he belongs to someone else, this isn’t a good indicator of how much he can be trusted and he is probably having sex with his girlfriend/wife. This doesn’t mean he loves you – it means he’s greedy, indecisive, cowardly and a cheat.
8. Don’t slag off the girlfriend or wife. It will do you no favours and makes you appear to be jealous and childish. It’s a difficult situation but he is with this person and whatever reason he has come up with being with you and cheating on her, he hasn’t left her and he’s still with her.
9. Don’t turn into a stalker. The moment you feel yourself going off the rails and wanting to follow him, cut up his clothes, follow his girlfriend/wife, hang around at his kids school, fake pregnancies, fake diseases and any other devious or attention seeking carry-on, it’s time to abort the mission and bail out.
10. Don’t cope with being the other woman. Get out and be with a man that isn’t someone else’s. Take off the rose tinted glasses and particularly if you have been with him for an extended period of time, you need to let go. It doesn’t take that long to leave someone and he is emotionally unavailable no matter what he says. If he really did love you, he’d put himself in a position to actually be with you properly. Don’t let him convince you that he is the best you can do for yourself – you are better than playing second best.
Recently added article – Breaking up and getting over married men
Back in part two
This post was originally published back in 2006 and had a phenomenal response which caused it to be taken offline to due to big demands on the server. It’s now available if you want to see all of the original 700+ comments.