Being the third party in a relationship is never ideal. It’s much more scandalous when you’re a “mistress,” and your partner is married, meaning you willingly or unwittingly took part in an affair. But sometimes, it's a situation that some women find themselves in. In fact, a lot of celebrities have separated or broken up lately because of alleged third parties.
Whether it's because of unresolved feelings for an ex, a lack of self-worth, or just plain bad timing, many women have been there. But why do they continue to put themselves in these situations? Why do they accept being the "other woman?" In this story, we try to get an insight into the ~*complicated*~ reasons women become okay with being the third party or mistress. Here’s why some women settle for less and take on a more submissive role in relationships.
Common reasons they become the mistress or third party
It was difficult to find women who will openly discuss this with strangers (or even their friends). Thankfully, Reddit has amassed stories where you’ll find mysterious mistresses who hosted AMA (Ask Me Anything) sessions and replied honestly with their experience. After diving into that rabbit hole, we found that these are some of the common reasons they become “the other woman”:
- "I was in a financially dependent situation and didn't feel like I could leave my partner. I was scared of what would happen if I did."
- "I had low self-esteem and felt like I couldn't do better than my partner. I didn't want to be alone, so I stayed."
- “I tried ignoring him before, but it just kills me for doing so and everything goes back to square one once we start talking again.”
- “When we met, I wasn't aware that he was married. When he told me I was pretty shocked... but, unfortunately it didn't stop me from pursuing the relationship.”
- “I really thought we were in love, and it was special, and that it had nothing to do with me that he had trouble with his wife.”
- “I've known from the beginning he was married but we connected on a very emotional level. It is a very loving relationship (not just sex). Even though it is unconventional, it is the best relationship I have ever been in.”
- “The way he explained [his] marriage made it sound like he was on his way out of it. We even started talking about a future together, and he committed to working towards that long term.”
- “I’m so in love with him I can barely function emotionally. It’s an impossible feeling when you’ve met the right person at the wrong time.”
Here's one Pinay's story on why she was "okay" with being the other woman
Michelle* just got out of a three-year relationship when she met Mike*. She wasn’t looking for anything serious then—just something to fill up her time. (*Names have been changed.) Here’s her story:
“This acquaintance who became my friend persuaded me to enter a friends-with-benefits relationship. We used to hang out with our common friends a lot, playing board games, joining fun runs, etc. His girlfriend recently migrated and he told me that even though they were in a long-distance relationship, they have consent from each other to have sexual relations with other people. And I believed it at the time. Marupok, gullible, naive ang peg!
“This continued for a year. It was only supposed to be a friends-with-benefits situation. But then, he began acting like a real boyfriend. He was taking me out on real dates, holding my hand when we go out, asking me about my day, messaging me about the things that remind him of me and those he finds interesting (like memes, haha!) I liked the attention and care I was getting, but I started having feelings for him. I felt guilty about it.
“Long distance pala ito, like Fairview-Cavite, but I was even willing to help him with his business. He was having late-night meetings with business partners. Sometimes, I couldn't contact him. I felt jealous and at the top of my mind, questions were running. Was he flirting with the female agent? Are they doing anything they shouldn't? I became so paranoid.
“I confronted him. Are we continuing this? Because I am not willing to share him with another woman. I told him that I didn't consent to multiple partners. At the back of my head, there was a lingering thought: ‘once a cheater, always a cheater.’
“He told me he was planning to make it official after he breaks up with his GF. I waited for this to happen. He said he was going to be more attentive, it's just his business is still in its infancy stage. He would make it up to me raw. I gave up after two or three months. I told him over the phone that I was tired of waiting and that it was over.
“He cried over the phone and asked if he could see me one more time. I agreed, but my mind was made up already. I picked a public place, a mall (baka pag sa place niya, bumigay na naman ako). We ate in awkward silence, and I just talked when he asked questions. When he drove me home, he asked if I would ever change my mind. I said no, my decision is final.
“In hindsight, I realized there was a lot of gaslighting that happened so thank God na rin I got out of it. His family is kind of toxic, particularly his mom who didn't like me.”
What’s great is that the story ends happily for Michelle. “After that roller coaster of emotions, my now-husband started courting me,” she shares.
The bottom line
Naturally, it’s difficult to not pass judgment on these women, especially those who say that they should have known better. But becoming “the one cheated with” is usually the last option for many of them. We’re definitely not trying to normalize it, nor do we want to make a new narrative. What we just want is to share these experiences, so that when—knock on wood—you or someone you know gets caught up in similar situations, you can show them a bit of empathy, make sure they’re safe, and give them sound advice, so they can make better decisions.
READ MORE STORIES ABOUT CHEATING: