I Was A Cheating Man's Mistress, And I Don't Feel Guilty At All

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Why Being The Mistress Doesn't Mean You Have To Feel Guilty

I was raised by a feminist. 

I went to all-girl Catholic high school where I was taught the importance of standing up for my fellow women.

I have made a career out of fighting for equality for women, and I pride myself on being one of those loud brash, in your face feminist types. 

I’m wearing a t-shirt right now that says “War On Women Is Over If You Want It”.

But I was also the other woman, the mistress, and I still don’t feel guilty about it. 

Don’t get me wrong, I have a lot of terrible feelings about my relationship with Greg.

He was an emotionally abusive f**kwad who treated me like s**t. 

I gave him hundreds of dollars, and he gave me a peptic ulcer and a sense of self-loathing.

You reap what you sow, I guess.

I don’t believe in Karma, especially not in the appropriative Real-Housewives brand of Karma that most Westerners have adopted. 

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But I do believe that you attract what you exude (up to a point), and that making poor choices will lead to an experience that is to be expected from those bad choices.

That's what I did. 

Greg and his girlfriend Sarah had been together for ten years when I met Greg on the online dating site OKCupid.

He was masquerading as a single guy on the site. 

He would later explain that this had been part of a project he was doing for school, and because I was deeply in love with him, I let this BS slide. 

Our connection was instant, I’m a sucker for a words, and the guy was glib in an interesting way.

The fact that he didn’t start our conversation with a photo of his penis made him seem damn-near chivalrous when compared to my other would-be suitors. 

I suggested meeting in person, or at least moving to the phone and he shied away. 

Then he vanished from the web altogether. 

I was hooked enough to go all Nancy Drew on him. 

I searched his OKCupid profile name on Google and was gifted with the discovery of his last name, and of his long-term relationship. 

I considered myself well rid of him… until he returned, deeply apologetic, going through something, and needing to meet me. 

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I waited for him to tell me the truth, without letting him know that I knew. 

When it finally became clear that he had no intention of spilling the beans, I think I casually said something in a message like “Lol, you’re too good to be true, you must have a girlfriend or something.”

He spilled the beans. 

Before long, were we meeting in parks and at my apartment during the day for drunken sex sessions and long meaningful afternoons. 

On my birthday I went home to see my family, and he had sex with his girlfriend. 

Because we shared a birthday and it was really the least he could do. 

I told him I totally understood and let him walk me home, holding hands. 

When it all exploded a handful of months later, I was bereft.

I had no idea that the cycle of emotional manipulation and abuse was only just beginning.

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During our affair, he broke up with his girlfriend. 

She moved out of town, and he helped her.

When he got back, he had decided that we were through. 

You see, he hadn’t left his girlfriend for his me (his mistress). He wasn’t making the other woman the only woman. He was looking for an excuse to leave his girlfriend, and I served that purpose easily. When my role in his life was done, he tossed me aside. 

He never told her about me, and she never suspected.

Sometimes I dream about writing her a note, letting her know what went down and how she is better off.

But she was with him ten years. She doesn’t need a note from some mistress letting her know that her boyfriend was even worse than she already knew.

But I don’t feel guilty about the affair, because I also paid a price.

I went in like a carefree fool and I was roundly handed my ass.

I made a bad decision and as such, lived in the shadow of that badness. 

My decision was completely selfish and romantic and very immature.

It hurt me a lot, and I learned a lot from it. 

I carry a lot of feelings about this relationship, and the fact that I was once somebody's mistress, with me even now. 

But guilt over how I treated Greg's girlfriend isn’t one of them. 

Rebecca Jane Stokes is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York with her cat, Batman. For more of her work, check out her Tumblr.