Being 'The Other Woman'

(45 ratings)
Kristen Stewart
To find yourself in a relationship with an unavailable man is tough on the emotions. When the affair ends, you can be left feeling particularly alone. With a normal break-up, friends and family rally around with hugs and ice cream but often the same support isn't there.

Thousands of women a year find themselves in a situation where they fall in love with someone who is unavailable. Often, they had hope for a future with the man in question and when it ends, are left feeling hurt and betrayed with few people to turn to.

The likelihood is that 99.9% of these women never wanted this for their future or intended to turn lives upside down. But sometimes when emotions are involved, judgement can become clouded.

The Other Woman’s account

'As someone who has been involved with a married man and been told time and time again that he 'married the wrong person' that he 'wants you' that he's going to 'sort it out' only to be ditched the moment the wife found out – I can say whole-heartedly, I have never experienced anything more soul destroying.

'You feel so stupid for believing him, you feel betrayed by the person you love, you feel worthless and cheap and like nothing will ever be the same again. There are the feelings of guilt about the upset you have caused others. But most of all you miss him – so desperately. Because whether he should have been or not, he was the most important person in your life and all of a sudden he wants nothing more to do with you.

‘Life feels like such a cliché – to have had an affair with a married man who promised you the world and then cut you out completely. You feel that anyone else but you could have seen it would end badly. And yet it didn’t feel that way at the time. It felt important and special, because it was, wasn’t it? It can't all have been in your head, can it?

'It's hard to not keep hoping that he will change his mind or it won't work out between them but you must try not to. Time really is a great healer and the sooner you can start to see him for the cheat that he really is, the better.'

Rebuilding self-esteem

If you've been The Other Woman in a relationship, re-building your self-esteem is one of the hardest things to do. It’s likely that the relationship was filled with incredible highs and unbelievable lows, sometimes feeling like the most important person to him and at others, feeling alone and second best.

Relationship expert Dr. Pam Spurr, author of Sex Academy says:

'Rebuilding your self-esteem after being dropped by a married (or otherwise taken) man is tricky. You feel as if you offered him everything plus a way out of his supposedly ‘unhappy’ relationship. Then you find that your best isn't good enough.

'Because of the nature of the relationship - secrecy, snatching exciting moments, and hot sex - you shared something extremely passionate. Such passion fuels an incredible desire for it to become permanent. The crash back to earth feels unbearable and is crushing to self-esteem.

'Unfortunately it's too easy to turn the end of such relationship into a personal rejection - of course it feels that way! But the first step to rebuilding your self-esteem is to ‘reframe’ your perspective on the situation. This means you have to be ready to be harsh about him and his motives. Anyone who hasn't been in this situation would think that's easy - but when you have given him 110% it's hard to face the reality that actually he was a user and a loser... but that's a starting point.

'Reframing him in an honest light will do you a world of good. Take time to reflect on all his broken promises - what does that say about him? It says he's a liar. Obviously reflect on how he was lying to his other partner too. How can you reframe that? It's easy, this is a man who wanted his cake and to eat it too.'

The road ahead: moving on from the affair

Whether you or he decided to end the relationship, take some strength in the fact that those days of uncertainty are behind you now. No longer will you have to fret about when you can next see him, when he will leave her, what she knows or doesn’t know. Now is the time to focus on yourself and be grateful for all that you still have.

Dr Pam says: 'It's crucial that you let trusted friends or family in on what's been going on and how you've been dropped. You may well have kept this relationship secret - probably because inside you knew people would tell you to get out of it. Don't let pride stop you from leaning on friends and family now. They're unlikely to give you a hard time because they'll see what a hard time you're already going through.

'Now's the time to reconnect with people you were probably spending less time with as you waited around for him to find a free moment for you. It's amazing how women who’ve been the ‘other woman’ tell me how much time they actually wasted just waiting for his call. This meant putting off friends, family and even getting to know colleagues better while you wasted that time. It's not a waste now if you learn from it. Get out there and do the things that you turned down.

'Obviously focus on your good qualities and stop beating yourself up for having made a mistake with him. We're all entitled to one big mistake (and many many little ones!) but the key thing is to never repeat it. Each day walk out the door with your head held high focusing on what a good friend you are, your good sense of humour, etc.

'When you're feeling a bit better about things definitely get out and date but make sure you put yourself first. Don't accept second-hand treatment even from single men. If you take one thing from this unhappy experience make sure it's about making wise decisions in future about relationships.'

Continued below...

Have you ever been The Other Woman? Share your story and words of advice in our comments section below.

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Thank you so much for sharing this. After a two year affair where I was suddenly dropped when the wife found out, I have gone from a confident, strong woman to beating myself up and feeling useless and unworthy. I will keep reading this to help me gain perspective. Thank you.


What happened to personal responsibility? And why are you trying to share , or rather pass blame on the wife? She is the innocent victim and you took something that belonged to her? Does marriage mean anything to you? Marriage is not a contract, it is a covenant relationship. Do you gave any values? If you were married and this happened to you, would you feel the same? You sound guilt-ridden, rightfully so. There is forgiveness, you just gave to admit your sin to Jesus, move forward, and don't repeat the offense.


As I think most women would say, we never planned to have this life. Now almost a year in this relationship and I am the happiest and saddest I've ever been in my entire life. It's like being on a sinking ship. If you stay on board you will live a little bit longer but you will eventually drown. And if you jump over board you will still drown. We have broken it off several times only lasting for a week at most to only come running back to eachother. I've reached the point of losing sympathy and feeling guilt towards the wife and come to despise her with every ounce of my being. My man moved out and got his own apartment. I sleep there almost every night, she doesn't know about me. What I struggle with a lot is they have children and they go to therapy to try and make it work. I can see that it isn't but yet he still goes and the therapist has them do couple building activities. Most recently she told them to take a weekend trip somewhere and he feels he can't say no. I know he's not ready to go through the motions to get a divorce right now, but I can't tell you the pain and agony it feels to image them alone together, sharing a bed again, going out to dinner. I am so afraid that they will reconnect on something and I will be left all alone. We don't choose to be put through so much pain, sometimes you just find yourself in a not so ideal situation and you have to make due with what you have. I never wanted to be stuck like this. The article says something about pain that destroys your soul, and nothing has been more true. That's exactly how it is. The love is real, the pain is real, the struggle is real. We are best friends, soul mates, so compatible that words can't seem to describe it properly; and that's what sucks. We are so perfect for eachother, the only thing we fight about is his wife and him being married. If there wasn't that we would have bliss. It's impossibly hard to be on a hill of sheer love and ultimate joy to be surrounded by a ring of hell fire struggle and pain and agony. There's no leaving without some burns that you will carry for the rest of your life.


wow reading some of the comments below made me realise how much i need to escape the situation im in. i starting out being the other women for only 2months before he left her (his gf of 7years) and we became official, we dated for around 6months before moving in together, we were together for another 4months when he dumped me because he said he missed her. they are now dating again and i am still living with him in the same house (i have my own room), but we still do everything couples do together, eat, shop, have sex, share our money, everything!. but he has a girlfriend... I feel like she is the other women in a way, as he only spends two days a week with her? but in her mind nothing ever changed, she just believes they had a break for10months.. its incredibly hard for me to live in this lie! but i love him, and i hold on to the hope that they will break up. i would rather stay living with him and being treated like this than to loose him forever. i know im stupid to stay in this. but i guess im not the only one..


I never intended for my life to pan out this way. I guess my past life experiences and choices I made conditioned me into the woman I am today. Yes, I am the one of many that you love to hate. I'm the one you blame when you realise your perfect relationship with your husband/boyfriend is full with dishonesty, unhappiness and lies. I'm the one that carries the stigma of "home wreaker" as well as any other degrading name you wish to add to the list. Well, you know what? like many "other woman" I'm fed up with bagging the brunt of the situation. Why blame me and judge me when clearly it takes two to tango. Did the thought even cross your mind that you failed to provide sustainable communications within your relationship which made him stray... I didn't think so, because it's easier to point the finger at the "other woman" for all the wrong doing because your to wrapped up in playing the victim and it's all about YOU and your selfish needs. I had no intentions of ever becoming the "other woman" at first I was just an open ear - someone he could talk openly with without any judgements. Then feelings between us grew stronger with each moment we shared. The heart wants what the heart wants - such a cliche, but it's true. So who is at fault now? Still me I bet! The one who unlocked his hidden desires and unleashed his truths. I didn't set out to purposely hurt anyone. As hard as it is to hear I didn't expect to fall for a taken man. It just happened. When he finally built up the courage to tell me about the relationship, the feeling was overwhelming. Guilt, shame and embarrassment clouded my thoughts I had no idea of what to do or say. I'm not trying to justify anyone's actions of why things happened this way nor am I trying to justify what's right from wrong. Circumstances have caused this situation and I believe that things happen for a reason. You can hate me all you want, pretend the affair never happened, live in lies knowing he's unhappy or be woman enough to admit that "your not the one" and he just settled. Harsh yes, but there's truth behind it. If you don't believe me just ask him. He didn't have the heart to hurt you!




I didn't now for months that he lives with another woman. Then he let me believe she was "just someone who had a crush on him for a long time". His words. I later, through no honesty from him, but through my own investigation, realized they have been together, living together, for almost 20 years. From our first conversation, he made clear he's never been married. They aren't married, but they have been together for many many years and she helped him raise his children. She and her family are his family - the only family on his side that his children know. It has now been two years. He told me he wanted to marry me, that he isn't "in love" with her. That he sleeps in a separate room. That he needed time to straighten out some financial things...that he "had a plan". Two years later, nothing has changed. His holidays are spent with his "family" - not me. I've lied to my own family regarding my still seeing him. It has been the most numbing experience I've had in relationships. He declares his love for me still. He plans weekend get a ways. He has texted her while laying next to me. When I read stories written by other women who have been where I am, I feel like they are talking to and about me. I am racked with guilt.are


When i was reading this it hit home that someone understood what it feels like to be 'the other woman'. People dont talk about affairs and little is said about it on the internet. Its so hard when the relationship breaks down and your the one left picking up the pieces. My man still wanted to remain friends after i ended it, i think he wanted me as a comfort blanket, he hated his marriage and wasnt in love with his wife, and but just couldnt leave her cos it was the way he was brought up, you married for life and that was it. i was totally heartbroken when i realised he would never leave her and after 6 yrs i ended it. I have spent a few months on my own never to repeat this heartbreaking episode, only to meet another man and fall head over heels in love with him and to be told, yes u guessed it,, hes married. 3 and a half years later we are stlill together, he is supposed to be leaving her after xmas and we are supposed to be starting our life together. Watch this space.

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