Relationships and dating

The Other Woman

By: Elle Alexanderside-chick

Photo Credit: The Huffington Post

So many of you are probably wondering, “How can someone sleep with someone else knowing they have a girlfriend?”

Well, let me answer that for you.

There are a number of reasons why people become involved with other people, attached or not. For starters, we have companionship, chemistry and sex, and possibly even love. Sounds pretty simple if you think about it. Sometimes people get involved with someone else knowing that they have a partner, and other times they’re completely unaware.

Attraction and chemistry can be funny things, since we can’t really control our feelings for other people. So when women find themselves in these situations, or choose to partake in them, it has to be for one of the above reasons.

Now many people will say that you shouldn’t meddle in another person’s “happy home.” But how happy is it if the other partner is seeking something outside of the relationship? Granted, we all have our own issues in relationships and we would like them to work at the end of the day but that doesn’t mean that they will. Nothing we do can force someone to want to be faithful to us if they don’t have the desire to do so within themselves.

People will often blame the other woman as though she’s the sole reason that the cheating occurred. But remember, it takes two. So how mad can you truly be at your partner’s “side chick” for partaking in things that they chose to happen? If that person were truly committed to you, would that even be an issue?

People stay committed for a number of reasons, but not always for love or respect. Sometimes it’s merely out of habit or convenience, because they don’t want to disrupt the status quo for whatever reason. Maybe there’s children involved, maybe there’s financial instability that would occur if the relationship didn’t work out. Whatever the reason, there’s something there to hold on to but there’s not enough to make the person feel 100% satisfied, so often they seek what is “missing” elsewhere, in someone else.

Cheating can be either emotional or physical, but regardless, it doesn’t hurt any less. The thing that stinks about it is that you have one person who is fully committed and willing to do anything and everything to make it work, and the other person who is partially invested who is holding on for whatever reason, maybe just afraid to let go. Because if they let go, they’re either going to hurt you or they are going to have to deal with repercussions that they might otherwise want to avoid. So instead of just breaking things off, they cheat.

Sometimes it might be just testing the waters and fulfilling a temporary void. Other times, it might actually be because they fell for someone else. Until you’ve been in that position where you feel like something is missing from your relationship while not wanting to hurt your partner, or maybe just being confused as to what you want, you’ll never understand what’s involved.

When a man pursues a woman outside of his relationship, it’s for either an emotional void or a physical void. That doesn’t mean that his relationship is terrible, it just means that they are somewhat unhappy in one of the above departments.

Perhaps they’re selfish or have low self-esteem. Maybe it’s not anything you’re doing wrong personally, but they just have a constant need for attention to make themselves feel better about things they’re insecure about. Maybe it’s that they are unhappy at home and want to find sparks in someone else to make them feel alive again, to escape the burdens and issues that eat away at them otherwise. Whatever the case, that’s how it starts.

People are very good at focusing on the negatives when they feel like something is missing. They desperately want to fill that void, often forgetting what good things they might have in front of them. So it’s not uncommon for someone to emphasize these things when they meet someone who catches their eye.

The other woman might have a mutual attraction to this man. She might even start to sympathize or empathize with his circumstances, feeling as though he needs to escape, because after all, nobody sits there and talks up the person they’re cheating on, right? That isn’t realistic. It usually works in the following way.

LOIT

Mutual attraction occurs, followed by flirting. Then there’s an exchange of contact information and gradually meeting up, generally innocent to begin with. It might start off innocent, as friends who are just there for one another but at the end of the day, there’s an unspoken attraction which gets brought to life. Now we have a problem.

The “side chick,” as we like to call her, or the “homewrecker,” finds herself in quite a predicament. Chances are she doesn’t know you. She doesn’t know anything about you, except for what your partner has chosen to tell her. All she knows is that it sounds like things aren’t going so well, they might not work out, and here there is a mutual attraction that both parties would like to pursue.

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You can’t control who you like. You can try, but usually people have a hard time with controlling themselves when there’s something that they want or need. I say need because yes, we all have basic needs like sex, food, self-esteem, self-actualization,etc. It’s a founding psych principle that was introduced by Maslow that is the basis for many studies in social science. People have a need/drive to act in a certain way to fill voids based on their underlying needs or drives. If something is missing, the natural reaction is to try and find it or fulfill it. And this sucks when it happens in a committed relationship when people start looking elsewhere.

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So here you have it. Two people, with voids, coming into contact with one another. Maybe they’re physical voids, maybe they’re emotional, maybe they’re both. However, there are underlying motives presented with opportunity that allow for cheating to occur.

End of Season Sale

The other woman often does think about the girlfriend/wife. But what she usually thinks about is how unhappy the male states that he is and how sorry she feels for him. We want to believe inherently that what people tell us is true at face value. And although we might question it, and try to put the pieces together, it’s hard to do that when the facts present themselves in a one-sided way. He says he’s unhappy, he’s making advances, he is pursuing me…he must be unhappy for some reason, right?

The man often tells the other woman he wants to leave. And at that time, he might actually mean it until regret kicks in. The way the other woman justifies this is by saying, “Well, I don’t know his spouse/girlfriend…” or “If he was happy, he wouldn’t be seeking after me, so the home is already somewhat broken therefore it’s not my fault.” Or perhaps it’s just about sex… So, she’s not seeking a relationship with the man, she just wants to fill her void and let him go home to his family/wife, not actively interfering with anything trying to break up their marraige/relationship. Yes, it’s true: Some women just want to have sex. Get over it.

So if you’re wondering how this happens, why it gets dragged out, or what the motives/thought process is behind it, there you have it.

You have a void/need, an opportunity, and a response to it. In order for action to occur, you have to act on something. Generally speaking, women won’t go out of their way to ruin someone else’s relationship unless the man leads them to believe that it’s over or going to be over. Why? Because we feel some sort of empathy towards the other female, putting ourselves in her shoes, asking ourselves, “What if that were me?” However, we continue to justify it by stating that “I don’t know her.” or “If he were truly happy, he wouldn’t be here.” or even “I’m probably doing them a favor, because if she finds out, they’ll both be better off. He won’t be cheating and she won’t be getting cheated on.”

I feel like cheating is organic to a certain extent biologically. Men are programmed through evolution to “spread their seed” to as many potential partners as possible, since they’re responsible for whether or not that species survives. Everyday they create new sex cells until they die, and the drive doesn’t truly decrease until they age. Women, on the other hand, are more selective in their mates. They have to choose carefully (ideally) for someone to be a good provider and seek out qualities that attract them to a mate who will produce the best offspring possible, since they only ovulate within a certain window every month. So we as women, are programmed biologically to seek out one partner while men seek out many. Whether or not they act on it is up to them.

I have been on both sides of this, as a woman who has been cheated on and as a woman who has been engaged with someone with someone else. So I can tell you that I personally understand both positions, and neither one is easy.

End of Season Sale

Sometimes as women, when we’re faced with an undeniable chemistry, it’s hard to just walk away from that. It’s nice to feel wanted and desired. It’s nice to feel like someone wants you, admires you, etc. It just happens. We’re emotional creatures. We also want to feel wanted/needed, and it isn’t always under the best of circumstances.

But what I can tell you is this. It’s a lot less likely to occur if the person knows the other’s partner. I’d be a lot less inclined to pursue someone if I knew and respected their spouse/partner, because now they’re not at a distance. If you know the person’s partner and you respect them, you aren’t going to want to become involved with the other person, because you can put yourself in their shoes. But if you don’t, it makes it a whole lot easier since you’re only hearing one side of the story.

So ladies, I am telling you this. Stop hating the other woman. If it wasn’t for your partner giving her the opportunity and advances, she probably wouldn’t be there to begin with. It takes TWO people to make things happen when it comes to cheating, and both are equally responsible. It’s just a matter of why, right?

Furthermore, if you’ve been cheated on, are you ever going to trust that person again? If they were able to do it once, wouldn’t it be realistic to say that it would’ve happened with someone else or again in the future?

I’m not saying you should blame yourselves, because you shouldn’t. People cheat when they’re unhappy to whatever degree, when they feel like something is missing…but it doesn’t mean you should hold yourself responsible. Sometimes people cheat because htey have low self-esteem or need constant reassurance.

You might be doing everything right. You might provide a good home, good sex, a great family, etc. But if your partner has issues, you are also going to have issues. That’s just part of life.

I just hope that if/when you do, you think about it realistically and don’t hate someone for acting on an opportunity that might not have otherwise occurred if your partner wasn’t present.

And at the end of the day, generally speaking, the man always goes back to where he feels most secure. And that’s usually with his spouse/girlfriend. So that’s up to you as to whether or not you trust him enough to forgive him and move forward or if you think he’ll do it again.

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People say “once a cheater, always a cheater,” but I don’t agree with that. I’ve seen people cheat once or twice and then stop, realizing that they’ve made a mistake and deciding to work things out. I’ve also seen people forgive their partner’s for cheating and basically, that sets the standard that it’s okay for them to continue doing it because all they have to do is apologize and repent and it’s like nothing ever happened. No two people are the same.

The best thing you can do is, be confident and happy with who you are either way. Because nothing is guaranteed. That goes for being the girlfriend/spouse and/or being the partner that is involved in the infidelity. You can’t realistically expect someone to stay. You have to accept the fact that things might not go as planned. And if they don’t, I hope you can take away good memories and a learning experience from it in case you’re ever placed in that situation again.

And listen, side chicks… If he’s not committing to you, don’t expect him to. He’s feeding you excuses because you’re good enough to sleep for now but he’s holding on to something else. Don’t go trying to ruin that for the wife/girlfriend. Either walk away or keep your mouth shut. Don’t go out of your way to try and hurt the other woman when she did nothing to deserve it. Just because someone’s sleeping with you doesn’t mean that they want you to be with them forever. It might just be about sex or companionship. Nothing you can do will change where he wants to be. That goes for both the girl he’s cheating on and the girl he’s cheating with. So it’s time to start questioning your role and self-worth in this situation.

The truth hurts. Sorry, guys. Either accept it or move on.

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