How to handle being the other woman in nine easy steps.
- He thinks you will, to quote the jerk I was involved with, "believe whatever you want to believe." And that's fine with him—whatever he tells himself you believe on your own helps him sleep better at night! When you say, "But you told me you'd break up with her for me!" he'll tell you that's just what you wanted to think. And in a tone of voice which indicates you must have been an idiot to believe that.
- His wife or girlfriend doesn't want, or need, to talk to you. You'll have this black-and-white kind of notion that she absolutely must talk to you to hear the whole story. News flash: you remind Cheater's Girlfriend of his infidelity and she does not want that rubbed in her face any more than she'd want dog poo on a silver platter. I had to have this one explained to me by a 60-something evangelical Christian lady, of all people. But after I sent my crazy email, I thought there was a slim chance the girlfriend and I would commiserate together about the lyin' bastard. That's what happens in the movies, doesn't it? But my best friend's mom set me straight that his girlfriend likely hated my guts and never wanted to see me again, ever.
- The wife or girlfriend doesn't care about apologies from you. In her mind, you're just a total skank and she's not interested in hearing you grovel. Give her this point. (See item above.)
- Don't tell people who know the couple involved. Your friends or family might feel like they have to pick sides. Trust me, that's a situation you're better off avoiding. The stupidest thing I did in my situation was to spill the beans to our mutual best friend who, I quote, said I "dropped a dirty diaper" in his lap. He really resented it and it screwed up our friendship in a lot of ways for nearly eight months. That experience taught me the not-so-fun lesson that friends will choose sides, even if you tell them not to, and the old saying "bros before hos" (meaning guys stick up for their guy friends, no matter what) is alive and well! My advice? Telling a friend three-times-removed—perhaps someone who lives in Mongolia—is a far better idea if you really need a pal to talk some sense into you.
- I know you don't want to hear this but ... he's not worth it. If he is cheating on his wife or girlfriend with you, he is not anyone with whom you want to be involved. My guy said over and over again that he wanted to break up with her to be with me and he kept asking me to trust that he would eventually do that. But eventually I realized I was being stupid and it became obvious he wasn't telling the truth to either of us. If we had started dating, what basis would I have to ever believe him?
- Let cliché advice set you straight! Simcha has a great little saying to remind you that you're better off without all this drama: "If you lay down with the dogs, you're going to get fleas." It's a fancy way of saying: You are not Angelina Jolie, he is not Brad Pitt, and this is always going to end in disaster.
- When you find a new, unattached boyfriend (preferably after lots of therapy!), you'll realize life goes on. A couple months down the line, you'll no longer have feelings for this jerk. And a couple years later, he'll be buried in the credits along with so many other minor characters in your life. And you know what? That girl he cheated on you with might still be with him!
Written by Jessica Wakeman for The Frisky.
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