Welcome to part two of the Confessions of the Other Woman. There may be some overlap in ideas as they each were written at different times and spaces in my life… over two years apart. Enjoy!
The other woman also known as the sidechick are one dimensional women who (for some reason) can’t get a man of their own so they prey on happy homes in an immoral plot to take leading lady roles.
I assure you in some cases, it’s much more complicated than that, and sometimes this may not be the case at all.
Let me offer you an alternative perspective.
We rarely consider that women on the side might be much more spiritually complex than “stealing someone’s man”. That they understand that no man or woman is theirs to own (and thus to steal); that love is not some resource that can be depleted and that there is no road map to what relationships are suppose to be.
As I mentioned in part 1, I have played the role of the other woman in several instances of my life. I’ve always been content with not being the only one regardless of where I stood in the relationship. I was never really sure why this was true. Many of the things that people give reverence or relevance to are not important to me. Monogamous relationships happens to be just one of those things.
I have not known myself to be a jealous or possessive woman. I enjoy listening to my lover talk about their relationship with another person. I never knew what this meant. I never even knew it was a thing. I simply accepted it as who I am. I didn’t share it very often because whenever I did, I’d just get called weird.
It wasn’t until the summer of 2014 that I met a guy from Ireland whom I told about my curious fixation on the intimate details of my lover’s love affairs and the high it gave me that he revealed to me that these were feelings of compersion. I imagine my entire aura lit up. I may be an anomaly but not some random, unknown, unexplored anomaly which meant there were others like me. How exciting!
I’ve found that compersion deepens the intimacy in my relationships.
Role does not equal Worth
Whenever I share my experience of being on the side, I mostly get a response like, “You’re too good a woman to be a side chick.” “You’re way too beautiful to be a side chick.” “You’re no side chick; you’re wifey material.” or “You are worth more than just being a side chick.”
I am an intelligent, self-aware woman. I recognize my value, and I also recognize that it has nothing whatsoever to do with being single, a wife, a girlfriend, or on the side.
I think it’s safe to say they missed that whole part about me enjoying being right where I stood in the relationship or perhaps that doesn’t matter. And herein lies the problem; our judgement or our misjudgement of a woman’s worth by the role she chooses and the assumption that the role is directly correlated with her level of worth and self-respect. All the while forgetting or altogether disregarding the fact that this is the role she choose.
As my folks used say, “Different strokes for different folks”. Yet in large part, we are all coerced (by culture and by law) to follow the same model.
It’s not about the role; it’s more about the power to choose. Any role a woman chooses does not determine her worth; nor does any social construct of that role or any thoughts or opinions outside of her own.
All roads lead to love
I know few statements that are more true than this.
Choosing to be the woman on the side is not a lack of respect for yourself or for relationships. If anything, it can be described as selfish, “I want what I want.” One author said, “To choose the desires of others over your own is the ultimate betrayal.” One could argue that this is not what he meant but I beg to differ.
If you’re anything like me, being on the side means you get to enjoy sex without obligation, perks without politics, and being in love without the need to possess. I appreciate the unplanned, foregoing of trivial compromises, no defining terms of how things are “suppose” to be. There is no road map to love; no “how to” guide to being in a relationship or not being in a relationship where ever you stand in that relationship.
And sure I value commitment, but in a less conforming, more polyamorous sort of way. As in being committed to loving someone for who they are and not who you want them to be or doing things the way you want them to do them. Unfortunately, open polyamory isn’t a commonly accepted practical relationship model in the way that monogamy is.
She will be Loved. . . (I love this Maroon 5 song)
The reasons for my choice, as are others, are selfish. Sorry not sorry. The same is true in reverse as well. Though motives differ, intentions are always selfish. So never consider that anyone’s desire to leave or have someone on the side is your fault even if they say it is.
And while a person may not have the intentions of being what society calls a homewrecker, you never know how these things play out. You have your plans but the Universe has plans of Her own. People fall in love. People are often “forced” to choose purely out of shame, guilt, fear, or consequences. Shit happens **Kanye Shrug**. Life, love, and the pursuit of what make you happy, happens. Even when it’s someone else’s lover. Contrary to popular belief, relationships on the side are real relationships and falling in love is a huge probability.
My greatest loves have been on the side. That type of relationship dynamic seemed to give just a good amount of space necessary for appreciation. It makes perfect sense in my mind that the relationship would not be the same once that space is removed. The loss of appreciation for our loved ones can be the primary cause of breakdowns in, say, a marriage or any relationship actually.
It’s important to remember that it is never the relationship that is broken but rather our beliefs about how a relationship should exist that is broken.
In my very own words, “Nothing is meant to be except what is.” Don’t believe the hype. I follow my heart and avoid buying into cultural beliefs. Some people are just better with others and others still are better apart. Then there are those of us going through such a state of cognitive dissonance that we realize we cannot adequately exist in the formidable confines of a monogamous way of life. We believe, the more the merrier. Where do you exist along the spectrum?
What Lies Beneath
We are all guilty of it in some form, blaming the other woman “She knew he had a family.” Wait didn’t he know, too?! “If she didn’t she should have ended it as soon as she found out.”
Coming from a heavily religious background, I’ve heard this one, “It’s a sin against god to pursue/lust after a married man.” **ROLL EYES INTO OBLIVION** Last time I checked, a married man is still a man (aka lustable). I am so over these ridiculous human standards.
What about those sidechick-less relationships. . .where women on the side never existed, never will exist, and was never ever thought of?
Who do we blame or credit for that? The same people who will accept credit for the absence of a sidechick should also accept the blame for the presence of one… Makes perfect sense to me.
A woman on the side does not represent some scandalous female who can’t get her own man. It doesn’t represent a man being a man. It doesn’t represent some readily identifiable superficial infraction in a relationship.
It represents a breakdown in communication; a breakdown in trust and the inability to be open with your partner. It represents a desire to be free from some aspect of your relationship as it currently exists (perhaps you’re polyamorous or a relationship anarchist, too). It represent your fear of being who you truly are with your partner. It represents the brokenness within your relationship that is there whether there is another woman present or not. A woman on the side is not the cause but rather the symptom or the medication.
Trust me. . .I’ve been on both sides of this thing.