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A Profile Of The Other Woman

by. Jan Pitts

Several months ago, I interviewed three single women who admitted to being currently involved with a married man.  I was especially curious about their psyche justification for their attachments.  These women preferred to be anonymous, but were quite candid about their relationships.  In assessing their conversations and personalities, I found they had quite a bit in common, and their situations quite sad.

  • Sandy, 35 – has been involved with a married man for 15 years, whom she dated before he married another woman.  (This is not an uncommon scenario.)  She claims his marriage came about because the other woman got pregnant, but she knows he really loves her, and that he’s existing in a “loveless” marriage for the sake of the now three children.  Their relationship is strictly behind closed doors, (he refuses to be seen with her in public) and she’s alone on all holidays except her birthday.  She says she hangs on because she doesn’t want the wife to win.  She receives no financial assistance.  Quote: “As long as he wants me, I’ll be here.”  The downside?  She admits to crying herself to sleep most nights.

  • Julia, 31 – If there were a prototype for a “mistress,” Julia, 37, would be it.  She is very arrogant about her position as the other woman.  She looks well-kept, with diamonds on each hand and having a man is as “essential to her as food.”  She has no respect for the “papers.”  To her, all men are fair game.  She has been with her married lover for nine years, and they travel everywhere together.  He divides his holidays between her and his wife, and their relationship is out in the open “to a select few.”  He augments her income.  Quote:  “If his wife was important to him, he wouldn’t be here with me!”  The downside? – She “spends a lot of time drinking alone.”

  • Myra, 32 – She has been involved with a married man for five years and was the only one out of the three, who expressed guilt over doing something she knows is wrong.  But she says, she can’t help herself…she’s in love.  By her own admission, she fluctuates between joy and misery, as she waits for him to leave his wife.  He is not around on holidays, but always buys her expensive presents.  Their relationship is “behind closed doors in some circles and out in the open in others.”  Quote – “I’ve never had a man treat me the way he does, and I don’t know how to let go.”  The downside?  “The wife gets all the respect.”

The similarities I found among these women were that they all had very low self-esteem and no real moral code they subscribed to.  None were professed Christians or churchgoers.  All had never been married and were college-educated.  But the common thread that tied them together was that they were all afraid of being alone and have allowed fear, ego and foolishness to put them in a place where they wish they were not.

Studies show that two out of ten single women have either dated a married man at one time, or are currently dating one.  The same study also showed that 35% of the women polled felt that man-sharing is an inevitability that most women can’t avoid.

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