The following is an excerpt from Advice To A Young Wife From An Old Mistress, by Michael Drury.
I am more like you than you might suppose. A mistress shares a secret with a newly wedded wife: that love is a kind of glorious grief, equidistant from happiness and tears. Read: Newlywed Cheating And The Uncertainty Principle
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I am apt to be more like you than your mother, who long ago determined the shape all love must take, and has forgotten that each day's choices, even now, have anything to do with it. Nor is she wholly wrong. Love lived from day to day takes on a momentum of its own, but that is not the all of it. If a mistress knows more of romance and a wife more of practicalities, is there not some wholeness implied here worthwhile to explore? Read: Why "Wife" Is A Dirty Word
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It is not my intention to set wives against mistresses any more than is inherent in their situation, or to try to prove one better than the other. Rather, I would show that they have much in common as women. I write from a long road of years—years of living and dying a little; of humbling and exaltation; of slow coming to know myself and thus other people more completely. That is one advantage a mistress has, simply as a human being, over a wife: She is in the nature of things more exposed to the contrary currents of living. She must master them, or perish; grow all the way up to whatever powers she was born with and ride them as a man rides a surfboard standing up, or drown. She is made to be a realist; that is to say, to realize herself. It is one of the richest blessings life can bestow.
I too was once a wife, and in love, and in earnest—and suddenly was faced with the fact of another woman in my husband’s life. I had been married quite a while and was the mother of one son. What followed was divorce, against my wishes it seemed at first, although the marriage was a shell and I soon realized its termination was the more honorable outcome, and was at peace. Read: How an Affair Saved My Marriage