Being “The Other Woman”

Last month brought a lot of uncomfortable questions and forced me to re-evaluate some of my beliefs.

I always felt that you can be truly in love with only one person. That if you fully open your heart, there is simply no space for anyone else. That when you’re in love, you stop noticing other men or women. The moment you do, it’s a sign something is wrong with your relationship.

Yet recently I started questioning these beliefs. I started wondering whether a human heart is capable of deeply connecting to more than one person. And whether it’s possible for us to love another one, without feeling any different about our partner. I started wondering whether monogamy is real and if an open relationship can work. All this time being much aware that theory is one thing, but once you’re in the situation and the emotions start taking over, no logic makes sense anymore.

I know how painful it is when your man stops feeling you’re the one. I know how much it hurts when his heart turns towards another woman. And I know the ripping pain of learning he had slept with someone else.

And yet in the last month I got dangerously close to crossing that line and causing such pain.

Out of nowhere I started having feelings for this man. At first it was simply a connection. We liked each other company, we could talk for hours… Soon I realised that it turned into a whole different type of feelings for me. It became clear that not only did I like him, I hopelessly fell for this man, head over heels.

I knew he was married. And yet that could not stop how I felt about him. I craved his company, I craved his attention. I craved more than that…

We never crossed the line. I was moving away and that’s probably the only reason why anything that we felt remained platonic.

But if I hadn’t left, what would have happened? What would I want to happen? What would I be ok with? How far would I go?

As much as we like to split everything into good and bad, the world is much more complicated. Nothing is black or white. And this surely isn’t either.

No girl dreams of becoming “the other woman” when she grows up. But just because you are not the wife, or not the girlfriend, doesn’t mean your feelings are any less real. And yet it’s that “other woman” who is always blamed. It’s that “other woman who becomes the evil witch who breaks a happy family. The wife gets to be heartbroken, but not “the other woman”. She is heart-less, emotionless, cold and sophisticated. And her only goal is to play at the expense of others.

Or is it?

Is it really so hard to see her as a woman with heart like any other? A woman who wants to love and be loved?

I know it breaks the rules of our society. And I know we don’t want to talk about it. We decided that marriage is sacred and that there is no trespassing. That no matter what, you stay with each other and once you’re married you should never desire anyone else, and no one else should ever desire you.

And yet if that was true we would not have so many cases of infidelity. We would not be tempted to explore outside of our marriage, which we do. We know the reality is very much different from what we are so confidently preaching out loud.

I am not saying it is ok to cheat. But we don’t control who we fall for.

I do believe we should talk about it. We shouldn’t be ignoring the topic, nor pretend it’s something bad and push it aside as something we will never have to deal with, because we are good. It will take a lot of understanding and even more compassion. But I do wish we had this dialog.

I want this to be the acknowledgement to all the women who have ever fell for a taken man. You have the right to feel. You have the right to open your heart, to love, be loved and experience strong emotions. You have the right to feel hurt. You have the right for your own love story. That does not make you bad, it only makes you human, darling.

With all my heart,

Your Brave Belle

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