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When “The Other Woman” Wins

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I wonder why so many of us all seem to be so cheered and buoyed by the myth that “the other woman” never wins. It really doesn’t always work out that way in real life, and I think we miss the point of why women cheat with married men by trying to scare them off from the idea by wagging our fingers and telling them “you’ll be sorry” and “what goes around comes around”.

I’m also a firm believer in karma and the golden rule, but because I believe in them and try to live by them myself doesn’t mean they always work the way we want. Since my husband of almost thirty years fell in love with, and eventually left me for, a married co-worker (who doesn’t meet the classic “other woman” stereotype; she is a few months older than I am, and less than a year younger than my husband), I have been amazed by the number of people, women mostly, but a few men too, who have tried to cheer me up by saying some variation of, “Don’t worry, it won’t work out.”

Here’s the thing—it doesn’t cheer me to think that my husband may have left me and our marriage, and torn our loving family apart, for a relationship that isn’t going to last. Hard as it hurts that I am not the one to bring him lasting happiness, I know he is happy and I hope he continues to be for the rest of his life, and although I do not know her and certainly don’t sincerely wish her well, I hope she continues to be happy with the wonderful man she has chosen this time.

I would not want my husband to have to withstand the pain of loss that I have been dealt. I will not be cheered to think that all this hurt may have been for naught. I also know that I will not have to worry about that. I have no doubt that they will make this choice work, partly because of their age, and I have no illusions that my husband will ever regret his choice. I will never know why some women choose to not only break their own marriage vows, but aid a man they profess to love in choosing to violate his, and forever alter his family. I do know that all our reasons for why we love and why we “cheat” and why we stay married, have more to do, always, with conscious choice, and not some pre-ordained twist of fate.

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