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Ask a Wife: How Do I Stop Being the Other Woman?

Conventional Wisdom is a different kind of advice column. Your questions will be answered by people from all walks of life rather than by advice experts. This week, a woman in a happy marriage tries to help out a woman stuck in an affair. If you have a question you'd like answered on Conventional Wisdom, you can submit it here.

Today's Question:

I am involved with a married man and I don't know how to stop. He's been married for a couple of years, and his wife often goes out of town. I feel like I'm in a relationship with him: he calls or texts before he goes to sleep, cooks me dinner when he can, and we talk about almost anything with each other. I don't expect him to leave his wife for me, and it doesn't seem like he's going to. He just says he wishes we would have met before he got married. I know deep down that this is so wrong, but I feel like I can't do anything about it. I feel too happy when I'm around him. Help!

Signed,
The Other Woman

To see the advice,

.

Dear The Other Woman,

I have some bad news and some good news. First, the bad news: you are not happy. You are in a relationship that is damaging to both you and this man's wife. The only person remotely benefiting from the situation is this unfaithful person you are involved with.

Now the good news: real happiness does exist. You can find someone — who's not married — to talk, laugh, cry, and have sex with. And it will be so much better. But first you need to do some work on yourself. Look at your life and decide what type of person you want to be. Do you want the adjectives selfish, dishonest, and disrespectful to describe who you are? Or would you rather have the words loving, faithful, and complete describe your behavior and your relationship? Next you need to boost your confidence. Think about what has made you do something that is undoubtedly so hurtful to yourself and this other woman. Is it because you are afraid of being alone? Is it because you think this is the best thing you can get? If so, let me tell you that a little patience can go a long way. Focus on the things you really enjoy in life (do you like running? painting? traveling?), the things that make you excited, and you will only become more desirable.

The search for love is a hard and frustrating one, but you are just going down a dark and depressing path with nothing but hurt waiting at the end of it. End things with this unavailable man, figure out why you love yourself, and then you will find someone who loves you for all those qualities too.

Signed,
A Wife

Image Source: Getty
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CrimsonDoll CrimsonDoll 6 years
Maybe I just don't understand this!? You're lonely... So, get a dog... You want sex... you're a woman, it can't be that hard... (and don't say 'well Im not gonna just go for anyone', because you already are... somebody else's someone!? I am not married and I truly disrespect those who sleep with married men. I do come from a broken home and know what it is like when the parents are not together! You really want to mess up a poor innocent child due to your selfish sexual desires!? Think about this... Even if there are no children in the picture... what gives you the right to damage one woman's life...??
CrimsonDoll CrimsonDoll 6 years
Maybe I just don't understand this!? You're lonely... So, get a dog... You want sex... you're a woman, it can't be that hard... (and don't say 'well Im not gonna just go for anyone', because you already are... somebody else's someone!? I am not married and I truly disrespect those who sleep with married men. I do come from a broken home and know what it is like when the parents are not together! You really want to mess up a poor innocent child due to your selfish sexual desires!? Think about this... Even if there are no children in the picture... what gives you the right to damage one woman's life...??
Soniabonya Soniabonya 6 years
Um, how do you stop? Stop answering the damn phone for one. Block it. Delete it. Go get see a therapist. Have some accountability for your actions because, unless you're positively sure that the wifes know and is okay with an open relationship, you have to stop. Besides the fact that he is married, why be in a relationship with a man that is showing you, if not his true colors, some of them that highlight his lack of morality.
bonchicbongenre bonchicbongenre 6 years
Please. It's sad that people would rather try to justify their cheating than just admit that they are doing something that they know is wrong. I get that no one wants to think of themselves as a bad person, but c'mon having an affair with a married man is just wrong, end of story.
biarose biarose 6 years
I personally would be disgusted with myself if I was ever "the other woman", but I still don't feel that it's my place to harshly judge someone who does get themselves into that situation.
JuicyDumplings JuicyDumplings 6 years
Just because someone points out the fact that it's wrong to be "the other woman" and there is no justification to it doesn't mean he/she thinks all humans are perfect.
janneth janneth 6 years
He texts you before he goes to sleep, big deal; he goes to sleep with his wife! Would you like to have him as your husband? You already know for sure that he cheats. He has you to give him a little thrill, and you have nothing.
janneth janneth 6 years
He texts you before he goes to sleep, big deal; he goes to sleep with his wife!Would you like to have him as your husband? You already know for sure that he cheats.He has you to give him a little thrill, and you have nothing.
biarose biarose 6 years
Wow, people can be really self-righteous. "Let those who are without sin cast the first stone."
tlsgirl tlsgirl 6 years
You leave. You stop ruining another woman's life. It's that simple. I have no flippin' sympathy or respect for homewrecking.
mix-tape mix-tape 6 years
There's a little switch in my head that goes off when i realize someone I might like is already taken, it's as if they are completely off limits to me, even if I don't know the girlfriend. For this reason I will never understand why women continue to break apart relationships when they have full knowledge the man is taken. Yes, the husband is responsible for the majority of this, but we're analyzing the "other woman" here and I think this is deplorable. Leave him for your own mental health because apparently you never cared about his wife's feelings in the first place.
Choco-cat Choco-cat 6 years
i agree with the mention above that you should go to a therapist. i would hope some professional advice would help you untangle your feelings and figure out what you want to do about the situation.
jenni5 jenni5 6 years
Just remember what goes around comes around.
Chouette4u Chouette4u 6 years
If you can't bring yourself to pick up your phone and break it off with him, at least start seeing a therapist.
JuicyDumplings JuicyDumplings 6 years
Well, to answer your original question: How do I stop being the Other Woman? You leave. I don't really understand the concept of "I feel like I can't do anything about it" when it comes to emotions because I'm not like you. That being said, I'm with spacekatgal. Yeah, people make mistakes...but hello? When you meet someone and you find out he's married, shouldn't a light turn on in your head that alerts you to end whatever is going on? Since you "know deep down this is so wrong?" Your words, not mine.
JuicyDumplings JuicyDumplings 6 years
Well, to answer your original question: How do I stop being the Other Woman?You leave.I don't really understand the concept of "I feel like I can't do anything about it" when it comes to emotions because I'm not like you. That being said, I'm with spacekatgal.Yeah, people make mistakes...but hello? When you meet someone and you find out he's married, shouldn't a light turn on in your head that alerts you to end whatever is going on? Since you "know deep down this is so wrong?" Your words, not mine.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 6 years
I dont agree that someone in this situation must hate themselves.....Having been in this situation i will tell you that isnt the case. I also agree that its like having an addiction, you want to stop but your body and mind just wont let you, your addicted to the sex, to the fantasy, to being sneaky, its a rush and a half. Best thing to do? quit cold turkey and find someone who is available to make you feel that rush.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 6 years
I dont agree that someone in this situation must hate themselves.....Having been in this situation i will tell you that isnt the case. I also agree that its like having an addiction, you want to stop but your body and mind just wont let you, your addicted to the sex, to the fantasy, to being sneaky, its a rush and a half. Best thing to do? quit cold turkey and find someone who is available to make you feel that rush.
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