The Other Woman

A friend is writing a book and was researching it. So she sent out an email asking us all to pass it on to any women we know who have been in a relationship with a married man. The questions were gentle and the motive was to understand, not judge.

I sent it on to two women I know who have been in relationships with much older, married men requesting them to help her if they could. And to send the responses back to me if they wanted it to be anonymous. The responses I got were both, of outrage. Now I am fairly close to both women and I was probably one of the few people they confided in. From late night breaking down to taking them out for cups of coffee and talking them through the angst and finally helping them find closure when the men refused to divorce their wives, I’d been the quiet, non-judgmental, always available friend. There were nights when I’d be feeding a two month old Bean, my eyes drooping with exhaustion and a cell phone glued to my ear, putting my own day’s exhaustion and problems aside to be there for them. So its fairly safe to say that they knew they had a friend in me.

Anyhow, I think what ticked them off, was the label – The Other Woman. No one likes to be labelled. But here’s the thing, how do you deny your status? I’m not taking sides here, just looking at it logically. The man already HAS a wife. You have entered the picture a little later – you ARE the second woman.

In my mother’s day it was looked down upon and these women were shunned. In my day we take them out for coffee and sympathise with their plight and threaten to go kick the man in the family jewels for hurting them. But in all this, I know the other woman will still get bad press. There was a post I once wrote on how no one talks about miscarriages. I understand that people are private and I understand that it hurts. But I also think that communities are built in sharing experiences. In this case, if more ‘other women’ spoke about their point of view, they’d be shunned less.

Any taboo topic needs to be aired simply because it brings about awareness, sensitivity, understanding and takes away the mystery and shame around it. Any women here who would have anything to add to the research? Do drop me a line and I’ll put you in touch with the author. Else mail me or leave an anon comment and we’ll take it from there.

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175 thoughts on “The Other Woman

  1. I agree with the taboo topic thing, I mean if we just talk about it, there will be a better understanding all around. The responsibility of the whole thing does not just lie with the woman. It takes two to tango!

    Also, the thumb rule I follow, if I cannot talk about it, then I am definitely doing something wrong according to my own moral compass.

  2. hmm. i agree with that one statement – more women in such relationships need to talk. There are common issues that they face, i am sure.

    But then, i think its about time we stopped calling them the “Other Woman.” They are not the ones who peldged loyalty. The man did.

    Cant think of a better term, but the Other Woman sure does not cut it for me. Never did.

    • Sure, but in that case someone should come up with another name. Often I am bothered by words and I find another word to replace them. Also, if that is what you are, you’ve got to stop taking offence at it – get a sense of humour and perspective.
      When people say my kids are mixed breeds, I joke and say that I am a mongrel too. On the other hand, I could also be called a hybrid. Words are never negative or positive. They are just sounds that we attribute meaning to.
      They may not be the ones who pledged loyalty, I agree. The man did – which is why he is called a Cheat – which is very clearly, by any definition, a negative word. There is no good connotation to cheating. But in a relationship where already is A woman. Another woman will always be called the Other Woman. Or depending on the case, the Other Man. Its not really a bad word no?
      That apart, if they think that they are doing the right thing, then why not spread awareness so that people stop looking down on you as home breakers?

      • Agree with the words business – people still don’t take it well… may be we will find a better phrase for ‘the other wo/man’ soon.

        This sentence from your post is perrrrrrfect.”Any taboo topic needs to be aired simply because it brings about awareness, sensitivity, understanding and takes away the mystery and shame around it.” I speak about anything and everything – taking care that the audience does not feel unduly harassed. Getting my husband to talk (even to only me!) about some aspects of life takes huge amounts of effort – sigh…

  3. i wonder if problem is with men who seek solace outside marriage,bored of their wives,or it’s the woman who falls for it,debasing themselves?
    infidelity is infidelity,you cant sugarcoat it.And why women poach on others’ spouse?
    for that matter,you have any respect for hema malini & sridevi as second fiddles?
    & how come talking will help?

    • i think there is always a lot at play. a bad marriage, a bored spouse, a desperate person outside the marriage who will take anything he/she gets
      I don’t think its a question of ‘poaching’ another woman’s husband. very often you don’t realise that a man is married until you are too deep in. sometimes the men pretend they are in the midst of a divorce. dont you think they are poaching on innocent prey? after all they are the ones who have taken the marriage vows.
      i really cant say anything about sridevi or hema malini, because we dont know what the men concerned said to them. maybe they WERE in bad marriages and wanted out. fair enough. they got out. remarried. end of matter.

      • Dharmendra dint divorce his first wife. So dint really ‘get out’. I think here its mainly an issue about what is marriage. Is it possessing of your spouse with total and exclusive control on their emotions and assets as long as they live, and ‘conditional love’? As far as women falling for married men, just by the fact that they are married the quality of the man being ‘marriage material’ comes across :-). Not all single men are fit to get involved with. Mature men, willing to commit, caring, understanding etc.etc. are actually rare and most often taken. I think the bad name to the ‘other woman’ from the society was not as much from the point of emotional infidelity (this would concern the wife mainly) but from concerns of economic (and social) impact from sharing of the resources of the man esp. when marriages then used to be arranged between families (to maintain and safeguard their respective resources) and not just 2 individuals.
        My 2 paise on the topic.

          • That’s right. screened and house trained! :-). Hey MM I thought it was for research,pl. don’t start applying to real life ! … and anyways ‘aur bhi gum hain zamane mein…’. i think somewhere as partners mature, they learn to take each other’s weakness in stride. Cheating is not b’cos the spouse is necessarily bad. its probably a void in the person, which the person is trying to fill through other attachments. I think ultimately its abt how its viewed – as personal affront or as genuine unmet need of the philandering spouse. each one of us is wired differently with different needs.

            • Sometimes they cheat on you because there has been alot of stress in the house like sickness,surgeries,temporary lack of extra money because of it and fear of returning to intimacey because of a heart attack. You know it won’t last forever. But it does put alot of stress on a marriage. It is so sad that when you need each other the most is when one of you becomes weak and steps out. Things happen with a couple during times like that. If one strays and the other one can’t forgive right then, it doesn’t mean they never will. Sometimes they just need time. You never really know what is going on in a couples relationship even if they are talking to other people.Only they know the truth and it is still only THEIR marriage. It is not up to an outsider to counsel or judge what they have no right to.

  4. But like you wrote, isn’t any woman who wants to be enter a relationship with a married man or a committed man ‘the other woman’? Why take offense to it? Regardless of the word we give something, the meaning is the same. I realize that situations may vary, but in this particular topic, aren’t the actions the same.

    While I was reading, I realized something. I have hardly ever heard of ‘the other man’:-)

    Not to make light of a sensitive topic, but I can hardly ever sympathize with a woman who has knowing played around with another woman’s life. You are more open-minded than I. He may be a cheat, but it’s not like the lady didn’t know what she was doing was wrong.

    • you’re right. i dont think i’ve heard of too many other men. i guess its a rare married woman who strays. its mostly the men out on the hunt. and mostly women who are idiotic enough to believe that a man who can cheat on his legally wedded wife will be loyal to her.
      I agree. the Other Person (lets shorten it to OP) knows that they are getting into something dangerous. But they are not responsible for another person’s marriage. only the two people in it are responsible for it. Only if there is a problem in your marriage, a crack, is there room for someone to wriggle in. I dont say whose fault it is. I dont say the wife is a cold fish for a man to stray. maybe he just needed an excuse. maybe he told the woman he is in a bad marriage and will marry her. the thing is, not all of us are lucky enough to find uncomplicated love. we all face trouble. in my case it was inlaws opposing. in this case some woman probably believes this is her one true love, her only chance at happiness… who knows?

      i dont think anyone can accuse me of being open minded ;) I mostly get the opposite hurled at me. but yes, if i stand back and look at it dispassionately, i will also have a prob with the OP. mostly because if you get into a relationship with a married person who claims to be unhappy and ready to divorce – then wait and let the divorce come through. its easier said than done, but that is the only best way to do it.. without living with it on your conscience.

  5. men will be men.
    the ‘other woman’ should disentangle immediately when she realizes the man as already married.but most women make it a power game,continue to delude themselves with hope.Even if they get married,they are aptly called home-destroyers.plus,there is no guarantee these men will never be swayed by another woman in future. men do not stick their heels even for the sake of kids when the going gets tough.children are ignored as dregs of the past.

    both hema & sri chose to get married to men who already had 4 & 2 children resp.their wives refused to divorce them but they changed religion/flouted society & got married anyway.Today their star status undermines their injustice.

    • and what exactly does that statement mean? are we going to defame every man just because a few of them cant keep it in their pants?! :) I find that extremely unfair and quite an insult to all the good men i know.

      what about the fact that these men destroy their own homes? you know, what is it to the other woman? but the man has a wife and children who he has known and loved…. so much he has invested in.

      This business of changing religion and getting into a second marriage is just wrong in so many ways that i dont know where to begin.

      • Begin here kid.. this is your space. If you are not doing it here then when and where?

        As far as Dharam ji is concerned, I recall being at 8-9 years old, when my Dad ( while reading newspaper) told me that he has married Hema after converting. Dharam ji was my hero, and still is (despite girls telling me that I am the Satyakam type).. but I do recall fighting with my dad.. about he not leaving his first wife and kids. My Dad was argueing about the cheapness and selfishness of the act.. and I was argueing about that if his first wife (and) second wife do not have a problem then why do you have… after sometime, I said to him.. Papa, agar uska ladka bada ho kar Dharma ji ko kuch nahi bolega toh fir sab theek hi hoga unke ghar mein.

        • :) will you save me when the trolls come in? religious issues always bring blood and gore.

          seriously though, why uska beta? uski biwi kuch bole toh bhi sab theek nahi hai. we’re talking about 30 years ago when Dharam’s first wife probably got no press options and decided to shut up so that she atleast got financial support.

          • excatly.. That is what she choose at that time..

            Listen.. I am being honest.. the word ‘judge’ itself comes with pre concieved notions.. so here you are

      • Is entering into a second marriage so bad MM? Is it just ok to compromise and live with the inadequacies of the marriage one is in? I see it as giving yourself that second chance. But if that changes to marriage-hopping like club-hopping, then we have a problem.

    • :D you nutjob. also, you bollywood freak. whynt you answer the nice lady’s question .. whadya think of Hema and Sri converting and then marrying someone else’s husbands?

      • well the Muslim in me would quote a Hadees about how amal ka daromadar niyat par hai, as in our actions can only be judged by the intention behind them, (the history behind this quote are incidents just like this when men “discovered” Islam so they could marry Muslim women.)

        But considering I dont want to enter the murky world of reverts, converts and the politics of “inheriting” your faith versus “choosing” what fits your life choices the best, I would just say Khair kissi bahaney tau logo ko Islam yaad aya…we are not all about biryani, poetry and keeping pigeons, welcome to the wild side, swingers welcome.

  6. Aneela: i like that term a lot – pre loved. absolutely apt. Pre loving is even more apt. Multi loving.. what do u think? There.. u got the creative corner ticking.

  7. MM,

    Can you please put the Beanie’s birthday post on this blog too (the Chotta Peg wala post). The other site went down before I could read it, and I’ve been obsessively checking this and the other blog hoping you’d put the post up. And thought I’d better own up before you worried about all the repeated clicks from my ip.

  8. Oh, and as for the topic at hand, the Other Woman gets judged ALL THE BLOODY TIME. And is called a home-breaker and what not. While it would be nice if she were considerate of the wife and the kids involved, one has to realise that she has no OBLIGATION towards them. She has every right to put her happiness before that of a strange woman and her kids.

    The only person who has that obligation is the man here. The comments above which bring up Sri and Hema Malini…..how come there is no mention of Boney and Dharam? Why shold Sree and Hema Malini really care about the first wives of these men…..they need to care only about what made them happy. It is these men who had that obligation to their wives, and who wanted out for whatever reason. And yet, people point fingers at these ladies, while not even bringing up mention of the men, as if these men had no say whatsoever in the matter.

    Okay, I shall get off my soapbox now!

      • Agree with you completely regarding the men. On a differnt note, the header is awesome. How about a home & garden tour? Please.. ( I always ask nicely);)

      • totally agree with that comment…the blame keeps shifting to the ‘other woman’..and other to whom. For her i am sure its not the ‘other relationship’. Deciding not to get into a relationship with married man might be personal choice/decision…but a lot of the ‘other woman’ get a very raw deal…they end up being vilified by everyone around them and no one bothers to even look at the guy who not only cheats on his wife but also most of the time strings along the poor ‘other woman’.

        • true. to her its not the ‘other’ relationship. it is THE relationship. and let me again say, if i were the cuckolded wife, i’d hate the other woman…. but not so much for breaking up my marriage… but for giving my husband something i couldnt,i guess. and there you have it – raw honesty.

  9. you can’t say that her actions are justified just because she has no obligation. We can’t be that selfish all the time and only think about our own happiness. If someone falls down in front of you, surely you’d extend a hand to help, even though the fallen person’s welfare is none of your business. Similarly you don’t go around knocking people down because they are walking too slow in front of you, although you are not obliged to..

    my point is, we can’t all be doing only that we are obliged to do. there needs to be some sort of altruism practiced and there is such a thing known as empathy (how will the other woman feel if she is the wife being cheated on rather than the other woman) and humanity.. you can’t care about your happiness only.

    and while there’s no need to be a self sacrificial little lamb who puts her happiness last after every one else’s, going in the opposite direction and doing selfish things that will ruin other people’s life in the name of ‘my happiness’ is wrong..

    i’m not saying it’s only the other woman’s fault, the cheating man is a scumbag as well. But unless the other woman is a child incapable of independent thought and moral judgement, you can’t say that she is any less guilty than the man because she is an accomplice in the injustice against the wife.

    But if the other woman doesn’t know that she is the other woman and the man is cheating her as well, then there is no one to blame but the man..

    • not at all… i agree. but if i blame the man 80% I’d lay 20% of the blame on the other woman. there are plenty of relationships where the man and woman feel there is a connection. perhaps the first marriage really isnt working out. at this point its less of an obligation for the OP than it is for the already married partner.

      • i know i am going to come across as being too rigid here but honestly, i feel that if the marriage isn’t already working out, the other woman should tell the guy to end it with his wife first and foremost before starting on something new with the other woman.

        if he refuses to do it there and then, then in all probability he never will do it..

        if the other woman still holds on to the married man, she is in denial. sure, love is beautiful and hard to find, but love is not all there is to a relationship. for things to work there has to be integrity and honesty, both of which are lacking in extramarital affairs..

        sorry this comment got too long :D

        • no, i agree with you. i think its very difficult for situations and feelings to be watertight. maybe the man claims he is in talks with his wife etc. Maybe the woman still picks up the phone and talks. Where does one draw the line?
          And no comment is too long :D

    • After 18 years my husband simply grew tired of me and was ready to toss me out like a worn shoe. He began to be mean and abusive to me because he was seeing another woman(maybe that’s what we can start using) Another Woman.
      Anyway, I am quite thankful to the other woman for taking him away. Otherwise I don’t know how long I would have had to endure his cruelty. I was his 4th wife. Now she is his 5th. I am thankful every day that she has him.

  10. Don’t agree with the “other wo/man” having no responsibility. We all have one towards society and our fellow beings in general. That of not dishonoring sacred bonds- it determines the difference between who is basically decent and who is not! Just as thief entering your home and stealing your silver is called a thief and really has no responsibility towards the sanctity of your home similarly another person knowingly entering into a relationship with a man already in a relationship is trespassing. As for the one who is wedded/attached and straying I have no printable words to use for him/her.

    • i dont think its a ‘no responsibility’ situation. its definitely less. so why does she get more bad press than the cheating man? you may have no bad words, but Hema and Sri got more bad press than Dharam and Boney. Why is that, I wonder.

      • Becoz MM in general women take the bad press for Everything.Damn. Thing! Thats really all there is to it. Even the legal wife takes gets more bad press than the scumbag man innit? Stuff like “she must not be good enough for him or she isn’t as beautiful as his mistress” are comments oft heard about the wifey.

  11. Being Anon here, because I’m just not ready to come out in the open yet….

    I’m someone with the ‘good fortune’ of being on both the sides. I was the wife whom the hubby cheated on….and I am the ‘other woman’ now in some poor soul’s life.
    Now, there’s no way to sugarcoat this – cheating is cheating. If you are in love with someone who’s not your spouse, the best thing to do is to break the ‘good news’ to your current spouse NOW. You got no right to keep him/her in the dark for whatever reasons. Did I do the honorable thing? Nope! I’m a coward.
    I never blamed my husband when I knew (before he told me) that he was having an affair. I mean, I can’t blame him for being in love with someone – that’s so-not-in-one’s control. What broke my heart is – he kept it a secret. But I still saw me as the villain in a love story. And then, I fell for this married man with kids, who’s 10 years elder to me. And no – we haven’t left our current spouses yet. Why? This sounds lame – but we don’t have a definite plan yet. How do you break such news to your spouse, kids and parents? I’m especially afraid of telling this to my parents – they wouldn’t allow a stigma like divorce happen to their daughter. And I don’t have the strength to watch them fight a losing battle. And how does someone watch his wife (who was the love of your life for so long) and kids (who are still your life) go through such pain? I don’t feel much bad about cheating my husband. But I still sometimes feel like a bitch for using his affair as an excuse.
    There are just 2 ways. 1 – Just gulp the pain and move on with life as if this never happened. Other than being tough – wouldn’t it still be cheating? And both of us don’t think we can ever do this. 2 – Don’t think too much and just come out in the open. Easier said than done. hmmm…

    • About the obligation/no obligation towards the current wife: No, ‘the other woman’ doesn’t have any obligation. At some point she’s going to feel sorry for the wife. But I think, to steel herself for the fight, where she knows she’s going to be called the ‘home breaker’, it’s better not to think about the wife as a heroine – better for the other woman’s conscience, I mean.

      • the idea is not to think of the wife as a heroine, but to think of the wife as another human being with feelings.

        conscience is not something you can try and actively, consciously sooth. it is what it is, and no matter what you do to talk your conscience out of feeling bad (which i think is called ‘denial’), you know deep down inside what is right and what is wrong.

      • i agree. even if the other woman is a human being with feelings, if you’re really in love with the married person, you’ve got to steel yourself. there is no other way to get through it.

    • wow. this is brave. i dont know what to say. i am sure people will judge, but i am guessing there are 1000 details that go into this that we can’t ask you about in public. i pray that you all find your peace. if both of you have cheated, maybe there is something lacking in your marriage. counselling?

      • Yes, I really did push for counselling when I knew about my husband’s affair. But at that time he never admitted to being a cheat; and he was like ‘what’s the point of counselling if u don’t trust me’. I knew he was being defensive – but by that time, I had accepted it, forgiven him and realised I still loved him. In retrospect, I think counselling could have done some good – I mean, it’s hard to be impersonal when you try to dissect your own marriage.

        But, I should say here…I did blame ‘the other woman’ at that time; and not as much my husband. In true soap-opera style, I used to think “She’s a woman. How could she?!”. And she was also married! Yes, I know, it’s messy.

        There are a ton of reasons for straying…
        1. Finding true love a tad too late
        2. Stale/bad marriage/relationship
        3. Being in love with love (you know, the rush you feel when you are newly in love)
        4. Finding the other person as more deirable in comparison to your spouse (especially true in case of men – a woman who don’t always talk about dirty nappies, house chores etc. may sound exotic for a while)
        5. Frigging human brain which works in mysterious ways!
        And so on….

  12. The strange part is that the angst part in such a relationship comes in when either person in the relationship expects more commitment. I think it puts your expectation and need for commitment in question, unfortunately and grossly so, because the man assumes you have no such need since you didn’t mind blowing up his wife’s happily ever after. So yeah, the men in such relationships – I believe – must be hanged by their balls not just because they didn’t respect the sanctity of the institution of marriage, but also because they belittled the worth of another woman based on what? her ability to love him DESPITE his many lies and solely for the sake of his company? In my eyes, that’s inhuman.

  13. I too abhor how more often than not, it is the woman who is painted black. The first wife for driving him to it, the second for for tempting him into it!! The man is never shunned by society, for after all, he is a MAN!
    And how the ‘other woman’ even if the married man is her first love, is taken to be a woman with loose morals. What about the man, I say? Who has his cake at home and wants to eat one outside too?

    I liked what someone said here about how the other woman puts her happiness above that of the first wife/kids. Very true. That is the straying husband’s responsibility more than hers.

    And Hema MAlini and Sridevi got Dharam and Boney to marry them cos they were powerful enough and big names in their own right. I’d have respected them more, if they’d had the guts to stay single ala a Neena Gupta. Who went on to love and have a kid too, but on her terms. Three cheers for her!

      • The ONLY case where the man was actually treated as the bad guy was in the case of Princess Diana and Prince Charles.

        Prince Charles was a wuss who didn’t have the courage to marry the woman he loved, so he married someone more appropriate, and was weak enough to carry on with his first love and cheat on his wife.

        The ass!

  14. it’s so unfair that the woman who has an affair is The Other Woman, the whore, the bitch etc. When she’s done nothing wrong, it’s the husband who cheated on his wife. Not the woman who cheated on HIS wife.

    Of course… a woman who continues an affair with a man knowing he is married is treading on thin ice, cos how can she trust the man who cheats on his wife? I suppose it all depends from individual to individual. But statistically speaking, married men get into an affair cos they’re dissatisfied with something in their marriage and instead of sorting it out, they have an affair. And once they sort out whatever it is they need to sort out, they go back to their wives.

      • Well, not true for all cases of course. But I know this lady who is the Other Woman, but she’s married, so the guy’s she’s with is the Other Man too! :P

        The woman is unhappy in her marriage, abusive relationship and all that. She’s leaving her husband, but she’s not gonna be with the Other Man.

        The Other Man, says “he can’t help it” cos he’s irresistibly attracted to her. But he loves his wife.

        Of course… I only hear one side of the story, so can’t really tell.

        But if you’ve noticed the trend… married men generally just stray not cos they hate their wives, but cos they’re bored, or worried, or just attracted to another woman and the other woman is there. Cos they Can. :S

  15. I believe its a situation like any other that has its reasons for right and wrong.
    MM, the other man is not mentioned much simply because women are more discreet than men IMO.

  16. you’re right – it’s mostly the men who poach on innocent, needy women! and before the woman could actually get know that the man is already married, she’s too deep in and thereafter dwells in the hope which the man nurtures!!! :-! too complicated to be solved!! and ya, the ‘second woman’ name should be hurting in such cases.. no woman wants to be the ‘second’ in a man’s life!!

  17. This is fantastic, and that’s my point as well!!
    ‘So yeah, the men in such relationships – I believe – must be hanged by their balls not just because they didn’t respect the sanctity of the institution of marriage, but also because they belittled the worth of another woman based on what? her ability to love him DESPITE his many lies and solely for the sake of his company? In my eyes, that’s inhuman.’

  18. This whole premise of OW or OM is based on the ‘victorian’ culture. If anyone looked back at any ancient culture/civilization you would find so many instances of man/woman having more partners. To me, personally, if my significant half ‘indulges’ anywhere, I will take it with a pinch of salt and do nothing.. as long as she is taking good care of my kids and the kids are loving her. As for me ‘straying’, well.. I am yet to find anyone tempting enough :-)

    But seriously, if you analyse, the whole concept of ‘Other’ is based on the fact that one feels cheated.. and that is simply because of the British church. If you get past the fact as being the one who is suffering, then things are easier.

    What if a spouse is more comfortable in talking/sharing their feeling with other person? And is not sexually involved?

    To me the other half in this case would still feel cheated.. but not to the whole extent.. So is sex is the common factor involved here?

    To Aneela: Please also add:
    ‘ Aur aadmi ko vahi milega jiski usne niyat ki hogi’

      • F**k me.. you.. of all the people .. coming from UP.. and saying that it is SO easy to say.. come on kid.. kuch toh achcha kaho mere bare mein… hum UP wallein mard agar itna bol de toh bahut hein..

      • My grandma was the second wife of my grandpa. It would sound like some movie script but its her real life. My grandma was brought up with the thought that she would marry her cousin(my grandpa) from very young, I guess since she was a child. But my grandpa went and married someone else. Then my grandma was heartbroken and wanted to marry only my grandpa and I guess everyone agreed and she became the second wife. Overall it worked out but this case grandma had one upmanship attitude always that she was the one who was betrayed. And it wasn’t a healthy family from what I hear, there was always jealousy and negative thoughts between my mother and her half-siblings.Sigh…I really don’t know what I want to say here…May be that Its not easy to share your spouse even in case of my grandma,when the society and everyone else was okay! Even today I feel my mom would have been a better person if she didn’t have to share her father with someone else.

  19. other woman is blamed by society,bcoz men do not have the emotional resilience or idealism to suffer(even for children)when marriage breaks down or when they’re just bored with their wife and decide to quit(usually by having affairs).
    the ‘other woman’ makes the wife an outcast.the ‘other woman’,unlike the self-pitying man,is better in control of herself,as most women generally are.
    women suffer for the sake of children,and this nobility of suffering is a virtue not mostly seen in men.
    women are smarter and a stabler ones in a relationship.the other woman carries more blame.

  20. There has to be a reason why the married man and ‘the other woman’ did what they did. Aside from the breed of men/women who philander for the sake of philandering and for whom monogamy is impossible, I don’t think either men OR women cheat on their spouse or have an affair with a married person just for the heck of it. maybe they fell in love which unfortunately came a tad late in chronology. maybe they fell out of love with the spouse. maybe it’s a bad marriage with the wife being a total bitch.

    i mean – easy for us to diss and point fingers, but often real and HONEST emotions are involved both sides. it may be as painful for the man and the ‘other woman’ as the wife, but heck – if they all did everything for the sake of honour and not at all for the sake of happiness, that’d be a cheating too, of a different sort. Where your heart is not in the marriage, but still you plod along because “it’s the right thing to do”.

    even so, will i kill my husband if i find out he’s cheating on me with another woman – absolutely. or i will kill myself.

    • Well – it’s not like the honourable thing to do is to lead a unhappy marriage. Get out of it first before you go searching again.

  21. ok, here’s the “other” tist to the “other woman”

    I met my husband because he was in a deep, full blown 12 year long relationship with one of my MBA college batchmates. he was workign though and was often out of the country. By the time we finished MBA, my colleague was in a relationship with someone else in my batch, and dumped this guy, who was obviously heartbroken.

    We met again about 2 years after i finished my MBA. by that time, this girl as happily married to her new love.

    and yet, when i met and fell in love with my husband, i was surprised to find many of my batchmates branding me as the “other woman” and avoiding me.yes, despite the fact that it was over 2 years since the previous affair had ended, despite that fact that the affaf was ended by this girl, who had actually been unfaithful to her 12 year relationship. and despite the fact that she was already married.

    go figure :)

    Love,
    shuchi

    • Beautiful. Human realtionships ARE complicated, this case was slightly simpler I think! Very happy about the way you (and husband) have ignored the meaningless chatter of others. If possible, slap those wrong commenters for me.

  22. I was the “other woman” once (or one of many others i believe) and hate myself for it but also knew fully well what i was getting into. He was nearly 20 years older than me and had no intentions of leaving his wife nor did i want/expect him to. Yes, i do believe the cheater holds the majority of the blame since it is in fact he/she who decides to break their fidelity to their spouse. However, whatever blame lies with the “other man/woman” is entirely well deserved. My affair (and i HATE calling it that) only ended when my conscience finally caught up with me and i realized how horribly it would destroy his wife, a human being with feelings, and could not believe that I was capable of doing something like that to another woman. And she’d been through it once already thanks to her horrendous husband, poor woman…
    So I guess the one thing i will say, is no, i do not agree that being the other woman should be made less taboo. If you are adult enough to have the capability to make an informed decision to be with someone who you KNOW is in a committed relationship with someone else, then you should be adult enough to accept the consequences of your actions and deal with the labeling…

    • that is a strong stance. i admire you for it although i realise it is more driven by guilt than anything else.

      i’m not driven by guilt and neither are the other commenters, so please know that you are not judged and neither are most other women – atleast not as much as the married cheater.

      would you be willing to answer the questionnaire anonymously?

  23. there is a short story in jhumpa lahiris “interpretr Of maladies” which touches upon this issue.in it,the “other woman’,in an epiphanic realization, vicariously feels for somebody else’ cheated wife n child,finally retreating for good,after making excuses and analyzing her own emotions bravely and objectivly.
    but the man,expectedly,undergoes no reformation.

  24. there is a short story in jhumpa lahiris “interpretr Of maladies” which touches upon this issue.in it,the “other woman’,in an epiphanic realization, vicariously feels for somebody else’ cheated wife n child,finally retreating for good,after making excuses and analyzing her own emotions bravely and objectivly.
    but the man,expectedly,undergoes no reformation.

  25. Unfortunately, there are very few honest marriages. REALLY honest marriages where you can share it all. This can probably be explained by the creation of a million taboos and “non-topics” like sexual lust and even something as fundamental as people changing and growing.

    We are sadly raised to be emotional cowards – to put tradition, familiarity and honour over any real honesty about our own life. Most people spend an inordinate amount of time spinning some rubbish fairytale version of their life in their own head, not really heeding that the person “closest” to them is changing and growing apart/away. And in most cases, the infidelity – sexual or emotional (yes, both are equally shitty) would not have been a “TADA! SURPRISE” if you were paying attention and connecting to begin with.

    I don’t judge the Other Anyone. There are thousand small details we don’t know. There are a hundred ways to be married, to be happy, to raise excellent children, yet we, an advanced race, have collectively narrowed it down to one size fits all. its A4 or nothing.
    We set untenable parameters and shatter when it doesn’t all fit or work.

    I have great trouble with monogamy for the sake of monogamy – despite being monogamous and voluntarily faithful for 13 years. But the day I cannot be open about my turmoil, about being even attracted to someone else, (what are the odds that that is NOT going to happen if you plan to be together for 50 odd years) about crazy desires I may have ( life, not bedroom) will the day I cease to be monogamous. Not for kids, not for real estate.

    Trading myself off to make a traditional marriage work can’t possible be worth it. I’d rather have a real one.

    • I admired each thought and concurred with every word of this comment for a while and then decided to see who wrote this – no wonder! Lady, when will your blog be updated :(?

      MM – sorry that I am using your response space to get a comment across to MGM: partly your fault coz I came to know of her blog via yours :P.

    • “Most people spend an inordinate amount of time spinning some rubbish fairytale version of their life in their own head, not really heeding that the person “closest” to them is changing and growing apart/away.” – How true!

    • oh man.. i am so much more able to empathise with a person who is confused and in a messy relationship, than someone who is unhappy because they chose honour and tradition over what felt right. most of them ask for what they get.

  26. can i ask you- (i haven’t yet read any comments) – how you are the non-judgmental friend of your friends? I have never been able to achieve that- i DO judge my friend for being with a married man, and being party to the cheating, even if she is not “cheating” herself. i cannot see past it. to me, its black and white, at least fidelity in a marriage. i will be there for my friend, but i cannot openly approve of it and when i’m not being there for her, i’m confused about my stand and definitely judging her.

    • it used to be black and white to me till it became my friend. mostly because no situation ever works in isolation. there are motives, intents and all sorts that create a mess.

      i dont approve of anyone cheating in any way. but you cant stand by and not care when you see someone break into pieces.

  27. Not to change the topic but becoz I am vela nowadays and up at nights wih my baby anyways, I watch this show called “Sister Wives”. I am so appalled and horrified that I keep watching reruns after reruns….the wives claim they always wanted a sister wife more than the husband blah blah – it’s a reality show about this dude with four wives and a ton of kids in total – great step forward for women rights!! Idiots!

    • Sonia,that is about a poligamist society that is still prevailing in most of the small towns in America…this guy is just the one brave enough to put it on the TV…but the wives dont seem to have issues with sharing and such! that is what intrigues me!:)

  28. most interesting this post is. if i look back ten years ago, i was like super super black and white about this. as i age though i feel like theoretically these things can happen to normal people and really, no one is ‘above’ it. and tags and judging (i would have judged really harshly all around, earlier myself!) i feel are really wrong. nowadays i am a big one for letting people do what they want…

    • exactly! i was very harsh until it became a friend’s situation. you realise its not about the cheating. its this woman writing love poetry just like a young girl and truly in love with this man who insists he is in a bad marriage etc. for her there is so much hope. it cant be black and white after that.

  29. Long time since I checked your blog…and I drop in on this! Send me the link, i’ll respond…i have no problems with the fact that I was the other woman when I was young and foolish. well, no problems talking about it…definitely agree that I was an idiot!

  30. Pingback: Day 20: 55 fiction « Tears and Dreams

  31. Hmm…when we were about 21, a fairly good school friend had this story to tell me. She was in a relationship with a married cousin of hers. The cousin had a 5 yr old. She would bunk college and go over to his place. He worked from home . And while the wife was gone a lot of forbidden deeds were done. The 5 yr old played with her and enjoyed her company. She was the other woman and felt very guilty about it. But at the same time didn’t know how she got into this messy relationship or for that matter how to get out of it. Did I approve of this relp..no ways! Did I provide her the empathy and support that she was lookin for…Of course I did !Did I judge her for this? Honestly, No. I told her that what she was doing was unfair to the wife. The they cousin is cheating n unfortunately she was helping me do so. Also told her I u’stand her struggling to get out of the relp. I truly did. In my opinion …I was a good friend. Her parents caught them playin footsie one Christmas dinner and from there on things took a very ugly and embarrassing turn. Eventually the relp ended. And for those who are interested she is happily married to the man of her love now.

    Did I think she was the “other woman” in that relationship. I very much did. More often than not both the guy and girl are to blame in such situations. So ya, mabbe there should be a name for him too. But does that make them bad people, No ways. Mistakes happen! In fact I think the other woman role is not only within married relationships…it also holds true if one is simply a bf and gf as well. I u’stand if the impacted parties don’t ever forgive them..but the society has no right to outcast them.

    Now that being said..let’s talk about openness. What is my friend or the society going to gain if she talks about her experience? For most it will just be fodder for gossip ! I don’t think anyone is debating about the “rightness” of being a other woman.(Or are we?) 100 ‘other woman’ sharing their stories is not going to make anything about it ‘correct’ or ‘okay’ . Most times, one gets into such a situation without even realizing it. It is okay for them to talk to someone if they are in similar shoes and mabbe looking for advice. OR if they feel like venting and want to lay it all down for their own sanity. But otherwise , I don’t think the community is going to be built any better with such experiences being brought out in the open. It will only result in them being labeled and judged , even after they have moved on from that relp.

    • Why do you think people get labelled and judged?
      I don’t think its possible to go around talking openly about an extramarital affair because it IS a secret. but once its over, talking to a magazine or warning someone? i think that is fine. also, if i didnt speak about it, it would be because it would only cause pain, not for fear of being judged.

      • People get labeled and judged ‘coz all of the world is not and cannot be open-minded MM. I think you yourself mentioned that it is only once a friend became the other woman..did you learn to stop judging on this subject and actually look at the problem in a different light. Correct? Is it fair to ask someone who was the ‘first woman’..whose husband got into a relp with another woman, to not judge? To not be mad? Well, I wonder what my view on this subject will be if my friend’s husband/ bf cheated on her with another woman? Which is why when my friend felt guilty for being the other woman I never told her Not to. Our views on a subject almost always depends on the context in which we hear about it. Its different and a li’l easy when we are simply third persons. And that’s how it will always be.

        A friend of mine used to have this blog where should post these short Qs and we readers used to respond and debate over replies. One of her Qs was whether looks, physical fitness mattered in the person one got married to. Of course, all the readers responded saying it didn’t matter and many went on to say that as long as they are compatible they would even marry a handicapped person. Politically correct and easy to say. I’d like to see how many of those people would truly do that. I’m sure they did not even spend a few mins thinking what leading a life with an handicapped partner will demand. So, as third persons more often than not one alwez gives the “correct answers”. The response changes when one is actually in that situation.

        I think what we are debating over is if it is essential to talk about it. If one wants to and is willing to, there is no Q about it ….it’s a free world and they can talk about it on whatever forum they feel like. Its about those who hesitate to talk about it , that we are discussing. Once its over, if the people want to bury it like a bad dream and never bring it up again..i think it’s absolutely fine. they won’t be stopping the growth of society in any manner.

        • i think everyone has the space to be open minded. you have to choose whether you want to embrace it or not.
          open minded doesn’t necessarily mean absolute lawlessness. but it does mean that you give everyone a chance. hear their side of the story before labeling them with a big scarlet A, right?

          no we’re not debating whether it is essential to talk about it to society in general. but to the media under anonymous conditions – why not? how else will a taboo topic like this be cleared up so that you stop getting called a scarlet harlot? and err… absolutely, dont want to bring it up… don’t. but then dont take offence at being labeled either. you had a chance to tell the world that you are not a bad person and you blew it.

      • N yes..some people rise above the pressure of society and learn to not care about their opinion. Some people don’t .It takes a while and lot of experiences to reach that point.

  32. I am reading through all these comments and wondering that some of us are still sympathizing with people in such relationships.We can say that the philander wanted to get out of a bad marriage or the woman/man was hoping for their lover’s relationship to end in a divorce.But at the end of the day,there were promises being broken and the person who was cheating on their spouse was in a commited relationship. Infidelity is infedility, there is nothing grey about it.

    • I don’t think anyone can deny the obvious. infidelity is infidelity. but if as a fellow human i were unable to sympathise with another’s failing/mistake, i’d be cold. we’re not God – we’ve all followed our hearts and made mistakes of various kinds.

      its a rare breed of person who gets into a relationship with the precise intention of hurting someone else. you think the OW would want to hide, sneak, lie and generally increase their own guilt and stress levels? yes there are pathological liars, but to say that everyone who falls in love with an unsuitable person is mentally disturbed, is wrong.

      can you help who you are attracted to? i married out of my religion and the world went up in arms. i couldnt help how i felt about him. if i were attracted to a woman today, would you say the same?

      please note, i dont think infidelity is a good thing. but i can step into their shoes for a minute and realise that sometimes, these things get out of hand without you trying.

      so many are pushed into arranged marriages because it is the right age for them to be married. 5 years later they finally meet the person they are attracted to. then what? you might not act on it, but the thought crossing your mind is bad enough, i guess.

      • MM
        I am not saying that falling in love is wrong. You can fall in love with another person, but when you are testing waters without letting your spouse know( read cheating) it is wrong. Also the OP involved is not a child either and if they are aware that they are getting into such a relationship, then they are at fault too.

        • I agree on both points. except that i think as a society we’re so obsessed with the physical that you assume cheating is clearly defined. i think this calls for another post. very often you don’t even realise you’re cheating… its lunch together at office, a shared cigarette, travelling together for business. sometimes people are hard pressed to put a finger on the moment they slipped into a comfortable relationship. it may not even be a relationship as defined by you or someone else… it could just be a very close friendship that people resent. how do you know where to draw the line and what will upset a particular spouse ?

          If two people fall in love and say nothing, is that not infidelity anyway?

          • So, so, so much agree wid u on this. So nicely put. How can u pinpoint wen the relation exactly began? Why cant we all be a little forgiving, and little okay with things that don’t exactly fall into the straight line drawn by society. Not saying allow the wrong to happen, but to understand that sometimes things just HAPPEN. I personally feel that 80 pc of the things that people do in this word (not just “wrong” love, but other vices too) are not because they r bad, but coz they r too weak to be practical. and what morality in a marriage without love. The basis of everything that we do should be love and not right or wrong. That ways, hapiness will grow in this world. Sadly, it’s easier said than done.

  33. A dialogue from a movie Jism comes to mind which went something like this ‘hamare andar do kutte hote hain, ek accha kutta aur ek bura kutta…agar acche kutte ko zyada roti doge to woh zyada strong banega aur agar bure kutte ko zyada roti doge to woh’ whatever we feed our brain, we start believing…Not judging anyone because I have made my own set of mistakes. no one is perfect…but at the end of the day we need to stop justifying if we know something is wrong. And as I said above, it takes strong will but its better to go do the right thing as soon as we can.
    Rahi baat pyaar karne vale and all…this life is more than love. Love is in itself a self fullfilling prophecy…its a trap…many a times what we call love is basically hormonal and psychological…our own vulnerabilities leading, our way to find crutches. Not too many people find true love and not too many true loves lead to successful marriages. Again not judging and not saying that I still wont make a mistake…but as friends MM dont you think instead of just listening to your friend, you should have shown them what the right thing to do was. I wish when I was making mistakes, someone was there to tell me that you are doing wrong so stop now before its too late.

    • As a friend my job is to listen, support, and not judge. Not give lectures on morality. As adults we’re free to do what we want. The only thing we can hope for is someone to stand by us. Unless my friend is committing murder or theft, its not my place to interfere. I might have opinions i air on the blog – but they are generic. I would never dream of foisting them on someone in particular.

      Where emotions enter the picture, nothing is as black and white as it seems. How can you say that not many people find love? Or that not too many true loves lead to successful marriages? How do you define a successful marriage? one where two equally disinterested people tootle along without any speed breakers? that certainly wouldn’t be my definition.

      Life has very few rights or wrongs, if you ask me. There are more legals and illegals that are clearly defined. I don’t think its right to leave a child in daycare all day – you don’t think its wrong. How can we argue? How can your right be my right?

      And yes, I understand you are not the other woman and are just arguing a point, like I am. Also, again, you might wish that someone had told you to stop when you were making a mistake. but one – who is to tell another adult what is a mistake? two – people only learn from their own mistakes not from anyone else’s advice.

      PS: I’m really sad everytime people say that life is a lot more than love. Really? what more is there to it?

      • Agree, agree, agree MM. Infinitely.
        “I’m really sad everytime people say that life is a lot more than love. Really? what more is there to it?”
        What bigger thing in life than love, not just man & woman, but many many many other forms.

        • exactly. if you love someone doesnt everything else flow from it? respect, compassion, fellowship.
          i’d hate to know that my husband is hanging around me without really loving me.

          • Agreed…love is imp..but not in the context people give it sometimes. They say we will drop all our commitments just because we love someone else now. well tough luck dude…you committed to someone X number of years ago…for whatever reason, now live with it. Be strong and suck up all the love. While there is love between a man and a woman there is love for our kids too…and there is love for our parents too. and responsibilties towards each of these relationships as well. I agree with most of what you are saying…but MM if we were to give in everytime our heart wanted something life would be tough for others around us. Sometimes love comes between responsibilities and commitments and sometimes we should let those commitments hold top priority too. And I agree…there is no right or wrong..there is just legal/illegal. I think this is a tricky topic. I thought I had a stand but after reading your argument, I think I cant.

            • i don’t think it’s right to equate following your heart with irresponsibility. everyone must draw their lines and see where they want to drop everything and where they want to stand strong. if however, this is something important – and most of us are adult enough to know what is truly important and what is just a fling, i’d help a friend follow their heart.

              you’re right, if we always followed our hearts life would be tough for those around us. and if we always worry about those around us and never follow our hearts ever, life would be very tough for us. which one of us is aiming for sainthood? one life to live – make the most of it.

  34. PS. I was not the other woman…I am just talking about teenage love and those kind of mistakes but still I feel that a person has to be strong and should choose the right path…

  35. Ah…another anon rambling.

    Well, am on the other side – A wife cheated by her husband.
    Love and marriage happened. Then I figured my man was in a secret relationship with a married woman. Needless to say, I was devastated through the cycles of denial, depression, anger and
    naturally mad at the other woman. It was soon that I realised two things – one, that I cannot blame another person for what happens between man and wife; two, the other woman was more interesting, wanton, reckless and tender than I was while building a happy home for family.

    That one year added more wrinkles, more grey inside my head and made profound changes in the way I look at life, relationships and love. Nonetheless, it is so true that life is all about love. I walked out of a home I had built under the assumption of love and good marriage but I have never stopped believing in love. Love is what makes faith work, and when we step out of love – we step out of faith too.

    It took me a fairly long complexed time to accept and make peace with choices that people make to be happy. Infidelity is one such choice. When you’re married, there are no rules but the ones you decide to implement out of love for each other. Love. When both have different definitions of the word, it tends to make problems. It is really between the man and wife. Why blame the other woman? Why judge her? She has just made a choice since she is entitled to one.

    My two pence worth.

  36. okay, let me come out and be honest. I am the child of an “other woman”. The “other man” was married too and whole affair lasted my entire teenage years until I finally had a nervous breakdown in college and had to undergo intensive psychological treatment. Many times when we speak of sympathizing with the muddled lovers(wives, other women, other men(scumbags, whatever!) we forget that if there are children involved and they know of the affair, depending on their mental makeup they can and do undergo severe psychological scarring. I am a fully grown adult today with a son of my own and still undergo therapy for something that ended 16 years ago.(too scary to go into detail here)
    That is why I called it a “responsibility” on both sides. A social responsibility if you will.

    If you knew my mother’s story you would in all likelihood sympathize with her fully and perhaps the other man too. Also, to clear up any doubts let me state that not only did my father know of the affair he did not judge her for it and infact wanted her to leave him and get married to the other man if it was possible. Our life was horribly complicated just like you’ve stated in many comments above that it tends to be in such situations.

    I’m finding it hard to go on but will end by saying that I judged my mother for being the other woman then and for the “other man” for trespassing into our lives and to some extent still do. I hope I find solace some day but until then the trauma and it’s aftermath is constantly present in my life. And my sisters too!

    So for all the other women and men out there- Be Human! If there are children involved desist from entering into relationships with attached men/women even if it means not being able to indulge your own desires/wants/needs. You destroy many lives when you trespass. And if you are the married one- DON’T! Get divorced first and then play the field if you wish. Be honest and tell your partner why the marriage isn’t working for you, part as civilly as you can, take care of the children first and then go, go go…

    And MM here’s a note for you- there are things besides love that keep couples together in a marriage and are just as important or even more so- like compassion, caring, companionability. I could go on..And many times those emotions without the flaming passions of love that we usually associate with marriages are good enough for long lasting unions. Marriage as an institution wouldn’t have survived thru the ages if not. Loyalty is one of it’s hallmarks and If the people who enter it cannot abide by it then they should exit gracefully before entering another relationship.

    • Phew….. this is a lot to be honest about on such a platform. I’m at a loss for words… I’m sorry to hear about what you and your sisters went through.
      and who wants a hug from a stranger, huh?

      i agree. we all have a social responsibility – which also includes getting out of messy relationships and loveless marriages. agree with everything you say, including, get a divorce if you feel this is the real McCoy and think about the kids involved.

      but i’ll still respectfully disagree with your last line. Compassion, caring and companionship CAN make a traditionally peaceful (if slightly dull) successful marriage, and are important – until you find love. that is why so many women cheat on what seems like a good marriage. all of that is of no use unless there is love. is it all about long lasting unions alone? i know so many long lasting unions where there is domestic violence and emotional abuse. its not about how long you can drag something about, its about how strong the union is. and the strength can only come from happiness. i dont know your parents and have no right to comment on them so i will leave you to be the best judge of it all. did your mother follow her heart finally?

      what a pathetic way to live life that would be? even as i say this to you, i am aware that you’re not the right person to say this to …

      • Isn’t compassion, caring, companionability – all this exactly what love is? I guess it is not passion. btw, I’m all for working on marriage and I do not take it lightly but I also think there are circumstances where it might be better to move on.

          • Thanks for the POV Bride(love your writing on your blog too). But no….compassion, caring, empathy are a different kind of love from the romantic love we usually associate with unions like marriages, relationships as discussed in MM’s post. I think most people here were justifying the actions of the “other person” in the context of romantic love being the supreme and only goal of a marriage/union.

            And MM, sorry for the very heavy “tell all” comment earlier. It was a late night and I was experiencing one of my bouts(roll eyes here please).

            I guess what I should’ve conveyed more succinctly is that IMHO too much selfishness is evident when partners cheat regardless if whether their actual reasons for cheating are valid or not(and who is to be the judge of that, God knows!). When you get married or are in a committed relationship the emotional and physical well being of your partner and children should be your primary goal in life. Enuff said!

            Just like I coach my son not to pick up the low lying fruit in my neighbour’s orchard no matter how earth shattering it is to him at that moment I would suggest all wannabe “other men/women” first wait for the fruit to fall from the tree and lie unclaimed before pouncing on it. Just fair on all sides me thinks:-)

            • I agree… with the sentiment. As I said before, let it not be imagined that I am supporting infidelity. I am not. But I do believe that sometimes these things insiduously make their way into your life without you realising it. I often judge myself for any unkind thought even if I dont act on it. I’d similarly say it is infidelity if you think it even if you dont act on it. So you might not pick low lying fruit, but you sure covet them as you go by.

  37. divorce should always be a wife’s call.
    men can too easily call it quits,even if they’ve invested for long in home and kids.aamir khan,prabhu deva,saif are few names in a glamorous profession which shows that men can get attracted by other woman and give up their wife so easily.
    at what stage will a man stop searching for true love and everlasting thrill and settle into a routine that stares at most metropolitan marriages?

    • its unfair to generalise because i know far more cheating wives than husbands if I were to actually take stock. Its not fair to think that every marriage gets routine or boring. I know many couples that are still full of fun and enjoy each other’s company… is it too much to want a happy marriage? must one stop at contentment?

      again – let me say this for the 100th time – I do not advocate cheating. but i would advocate following your heart if you are unhappy. divorce if you must, be in a relationship that makes you smile when you see your partner at the end of a long day.

      i think to a large extent this desi habit of getting married because the time is right, is to blame. so what if the time is right? what one needs to look at is a person who is right. if you dont find the right person, stay single. period. it will cut out a lot of the needless pain

      • Sorry for being there in every response of yours. But again, completely agree. I am 31, unmarried, and have family who have till now supported me in staying single than marrying someone I don’t love. But for how long. We, as a family, face endless pressure for my marriage. People have started saying, compromise now. U have 2. But what compromise? I have no big demands. Just want to wait till I find a guy for whom love flows from my heart. I know, it sounds too illogical, which I am, but would have definitely married someone for the heck of marrying at the right time, had I succumbed to pressure. But dont now how to marry, waiting for love to happen later. NOt that illogical.

        • not at all illogical. i dont believe that love necessarily comes after marriage. that is simply acceptance and habit. it happens when you live long enough with anyone – parents, siblings, roommates.. anyone. in fact sometimes marriage is so tough that it is only the love that gets you through it. that or very similar habits and customs that simply make it easy to get by from day to day without a huge effort.
          surely there’s got to be ONE relationship, ONE choice that you make because of something as inexplicable as love, a connection, a desire to be with that person alone. i might sound idealistic, but hey, everyone has a right to feel that special feeling.

          • MM, so what is so tough about marriage? I hear everybody saying it.. but what exactly does that mean? You have written several posts on how tough having children is and sometimes you have even discouraged. Can you pls write why marriages are tough?

            • Are you married? :) probably not. I don’t know why marriage is tough. I think its because you have to live with a complete stranger. Even if you fall in love, the truth is that the person isn’t someone you grew up with, like your family… and even they get on your nerves at times! And there are so many egos and different personalities involved. Inlaws, two careers, different dreams. Its a lot for two people to bring together and still keep an even keel.

              Which is why I often say that you should marry someone you choose. That way there is an incentive to stay together. Every time you have a massive fight and throw chappals at each other, you remember the first time you met, the first smile, the first dance, something… anything, never mind how cheesy. And then you realise how much you invested in this and are ready to give it another shot.

              PS: Do i discourage from having kids? :) good! I’m glad people notice. there is a population problem. If i manage to put about 100 couples off kids, I can sneak in another one or two of my own and we will be fine :D

          • So sweet! Thanks for making my day and making me feel me not so illogical. Will help me deal with this situation a little better. “Idealistic”, that’s what everyone terms me for just asking to wait till i find some love to marry. Seems a luxury. Thanks MM. Ur views matter lot.

            • Sad isn’t it? that something as basic as caring for the person you marry is treated as idealistic and a luxury? the challenges modern couples face are very different and no longer is there any point in sticking to your caste and community and marrying within a certain time limit. atleast not the way i see it. its not a recipe for success. you wait and dont worry. and no, my views dont matter alot. YOUR views matter because its your life. its just nice to have someone agree, na? :)

            • I also agree, but at times the man loves the other woman so much and knows without her he will go mad or die. Love knows no bounds, and I know it well.

  38. If a young girl and boy are madly in love since they were in high school, they complete their education, get into promising careers while still dating. But when its time for the boy to talk to his parents about getting married to this girl who he loves more than anything else, the boy’s parents don’t let him get married to this girl. He gives in due to all the emotional blackmail and ends up marrying someone else. This new girl knows all about how much her husband loved the first girl but still decides to get married to him ! The heartbroken girl marries someone else too as her parents have no clue about her love interest but they can’t let her stay unmarried offcourse.
    The man, after a few years contacts the love of his life again because he can’t forget her and since the girl never stopped loving him anyway feels the pull knowing very well that they both are married to different people now. The wife of this boy comes to know about her husband contacting his previous GF and creates a big drama invloving the extended families etc!
    Now, who is the other women? Mother of the boy who wouldn’t let her son marry the love of his life? Or his wife who purposely married this boy knowing perfectly well that she is coming in between an already existing solid relationship? How can anyone marry a person knowing that the other person is in love with someone else and has been for a few years (so its obviously not infatuation)?? Why do Indian parents HAVE to get their girls married as if having unmarried girls living with them is such a big social stigma?
    It seems that sometimes parents interference in their child’s love life gives rise to OW and OM. The couple’s only fault is that they fell in love with each other while still in school and can’t seem to fall out of love with each other even after all these years however hard they try!
    Confuses me about who is really the OW in this case?

    • okay i’m going to be a little harsh so bear with me – the boy and girl should not have given up. i’ve seen this happen to someone very close to me. they gave in to pressure and married other people and had an affair years later. i am sure it was not planned and the idea was not to hurt their spouses and children, but they did. And i guess its easy to judge them, but i really wish they had put their foot down.

      The OA and i had such a TERRIBLE couple of years fighting parents and finally we got married. its not easy to get married without parents’ approval, but its the only way. not everything has a pretty end, wrapped up in a bow. in this case, parents are still mad at us. but its better than us having gone our own way and then lingering and straying….

      So now what is happening with the couple?

      • The couple are having an affair. Yes its easy to judge them but things are not always as clear as black & white when emotions are so strongly involved. I think they are trying to be together as much as they can without hurting more people, specially the kids. About moral or immoral, the definition keeps changing with time and societies – nai? So we can’t really judge anyone.

        I don’t know what went on between the guy and his parents but in the end he obviously gave in to the pressure. I blame the parents and the other girl for whom it was some kind of powerplay I think (she comes from a small town with a bit of politically influencial family).

        I read your blog often and know about your story. I feel very proud of you guys the way you stood up for your love, unfortunately not everyone is so strong. I say more power to people like you :)

        All we can do is learn a lesson from such unfortunate situaions – Trust in the values we have given our children while raising them and respect their choices once they are adults. Be there for them if those decisions turn out to be bad ones..parents are not always right either.

        • I guess its not easy for a young person to withstand pressure.. but in these cases i am really sorry for the cuckolded spouse who has never been loved with all the other person’s heart.

          your last paragraph is very right.

    • I just thought i was reading my story here. The difference being, I m still unmarried (30 plus). The very reason being, i know my heart beats just for one person and marrying some else is unthinkable for me. Family tried pressurising me to get married to someone else. But I did not relent. Parents have accepted my decsion with a heavy heart. Life isnt that bad. I m at peace, knowing i m not living a false life with some one else. Enjoying the benefits of staying single … Its been six years since his marriage ( forced) and i do meet a lot of guys at work but with due respect , a lot of them were nice, but I still dont feel anyone can replace him.

        • Yes he married someone else . Six years back. He is not kind to divulge too much. And i m not the types to probe. I tried asking when he mentioned something on lines of he suffering now for putting me through hell. He did not divulge much. We still share a warm friendship. And he has been dignified through it all. The emails / chats brings out the soft love that would always be there but I never dissect it or seek answers.

            • So right MM and thanks ! … Sometimes one relationship feels enough for a lifetime… even if it doesnt exactly turn up as it should. And plus there is always the light of hope !

  39. What is love MM? I’m genuinely asking. I donno what the word means. n there was a time i beleives it was the beginning and end of the world…but over time when i hear defintions..i feel like each one associates their own meaning to it. and in the process it becomes just an over-rated word.

    • Hmm.. is this an existential question? because that can go on. i dont think you can ever define abstract nouns no?
      what is compassion? what is companionship? each one has their own definition. the point is to find your own definition and then someone who fits the bill. its only if you realise that YOU don’t think you are in a loving relationship, that you need to question it. how can i define it for you or how can my definition satisfy you?

      my love for my child says i must spend time with him and neglect my career. her love for her child says she must earn money to send him to a foreign university for his career’s sake. its so hard to find a one size fits all….

      on the other hand i dont know about the word.. but as an emotion, i think its under rated. too many of us are choosing to do things for reasons less than love.

      • I’m not as good with words as you are MM. I don’t how to say it succinctly n don’t have the time for a long-winded response. But I don’t u’stand love as much I u’stand happiness. N I feel like happiness is all that matters in the end. There are some people who will put up with me and support me however down my life is. Who will never give up on me or never get tired of my rant. Who will accept me the way I am. Who will celebrate my joys with me. Who will let me know when they think I’m in the wrong. People with who I may fight every now n then but am confident of their support and existence in my life. People whom if I think about, I can’t help smiling. People who bring me joy n happiness. Mabbe that’s my definition of love? Does it matter that many of these people have never said “I love you” to me?!

        PS: sorry for going off-topic, but saw ur comment about love and couldn’t resist the conversation

  40. Just wanted to say hats off to all the women who shared their experiences honestly here – of being the girlfriend (isn’t that a fairer word?) or the wife cheated upon. Aren’t there experiences enought to tell us there are many shades of grey here? I think marriage and relationships are in a transitional stage in middle-class urban India – moving from marriage for the sake of clan to marriage as pursuing an individual desire for happiness. Anyone interested in this topic could read Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Committed”. It’s not perfect but it does provide some interesting perspectives… I’m only halfway through to can’t say more.

      • Hee hee. Eat Pray Love surprised me by being the first self-help type/ spiritual quest type book I could actually get beyond the first chapter of. Maybe I was just at a similar on-the-kitchen-floor-crying phase as she describes when I picked up the book. This one is actually not so Eat Pray Lovey – there’s more factual research – but yeah, her voice does come through which is what I like (otherwise I can’t bear non-fiction). Maybe borrow it? That’s what I’ve done.

          • Nopes. Was it any good? I am always on the lookout for book reccos. Committed is quite different from Eat Pray Love though. Ok I am going to stop selling it. I am not its PR person, even though I sound like it.

  41. Pingback: Are you “Faithful” or a “Keeper of Relationship”??? « Deviant Wave

  42. So you have been misleading us all the time you selfish woman!! :)

    And at othet times you are like “here take my Brat”.

    Just who are you MM? Show us your face!! :D

    And, thanks for the reply.

  43. mad momma

    I’m not sure if it’s too late to contact your friend, but I was the other woman for 5 years, and then I became the only woman… I hate the stigma that is attached to my past relationship. Sometimes people just fall in love. Its not always about being manipulative and sneaky.

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