In defence of being the ‘other woman’


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In defence of being the ‘other woman’

Contrary to popular belief, no one sets out to hurt anyone

There are a lot of misconceptions about being the other woman, the girl your boyfriend betrays you with, the one who potentially breaks down your relationship. But there are some important things to remember. Being in that situation is not selfish, and it’s not against girl code. Let me explain.

This much goes without saying: Cheating is not OK, and if you care about someone then you should treat them with the respect and honesty they deserve.  Granted, while we are young relationships and feelings are more complex than ever but it is difficult to excuse behaviour which will ultimately hurt others.

But consider the motivations behind infidelity. To cheat in a relationship means you aren’t getting what you want, and if you aren’t getting what you want you’re probably going to try and find it elsewhere.  Whether this be online or offline it is likely at least one party isn’t fully honest about their situation.  Social networks provide a snapshot of people’s lives that they have tailored to work for them.  If they don’t want people to know about their relationships then it’s easy enough to keep it hidden, and if it’s easy to hide one relationships then it’s easy to hide two.

But cheating is the fault of the cheater, not the person they get with. It is not your responsibility as the “other woman” to take the flak for someone else’s decision, and it’s unfair that the girl who’s cast as the other woman, the homewrecker, is the one who gets blamed. In an exclusive relationship, it is your duty to stay faithful, and that is not something you can deflect on someone else.

So if your partner decides to stray – it’s their fault.  It’s not your fault neither is it the person who he’s straying with.  There is a weird stereotype of ‘other women’ as vixens who lure men away from their significant others, as if they make it their entire goal to break up seemingly happy relationships, as if they thrive off doing so.  This could not be more wrong.

And lest we forget – it hurts them just as much, if not more.  Imagine becoming involved with someone who acts as if they are single, leaving you to find out some way or another that they aren’t. Or someone who insists they are going to dump their other half for you one day soon. Imagine catching feelings for this person, getting attached, even falling in love, only to find out they’re playing you just as much as their other girl.

We need to stop portraying ‘other women’ as cold and heartless when they are likely being repeatedly let down by someone they undoubtedly care about, and who often doesn’t treat them particularly well.

The road of rebuilding trust is long, hard and twisted.  Embracing that if a man wants to be with you he’ll dedicate himself to only you is hard when you don’t feel as though it’s true, and that’s on him, nobody else.