The ‘other woman,’ ‘slut,’ ‘whore,’ ‘homewrecker’ — we’ve heard it all before, and some of us have even said things like that about the women our partners cheated with. But why is that? Why do so many people blame the other woman? Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that it’s okay to be involved with another woman’s man.
What I am saying is why are we blaming the person the cheater cheated WITH, rather than blaming the cheater himself?
I’ve been thinking about this issue for a long time because I’m amazed at the amount of hatred and rage that is directed toward the other woman. If you’ve been cheated on and you’re blaming the other woman, you’re totally missing the point or you’re in serious denial.
Think about it. When you hear women talking about a man who cheated on his partner, what do they say? You might hear a little bit of, “She’s nothing but trash,” “She’s a low-life slut,” or “She needs her ass kicked.” But why? How is it her fault that your man chose to cheat on you and break your heart? Why is it her responsibility to see that your man is faithful to you? Why does she owe that to you?
Women know what it’s like to fall in love, and to love so deeply, you make yourself believe things you shouldn’t believe. Haven’t we all been there? It’s second nature to us, or make that, first nature. We want to believe that the man we love is not a lying, cheating user. We want to believe it when he says he loves us and wants to marry us.
When you fall for a man, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to be completely objective and make good choices.
The reality, of course, is that the “other woman” isn’t a mythical creature with a magical vagina. She’s subject to the same lust-fade as the rest of us, regardless of whether she was the pursuer of your man.
There is no guarantee of security — for anyone. It’s a fantasy that most men cheat because of the seductive qualities of the other woman. The truth is, men cheat for their own idiosyncratic, internal reasons.
For starters, maybe because it pumps up his ego to have another woman want him; because he’s under a lot of stress and sleeping with someone else offers him an escape; because he’s still too immature to truly commit to a monogamous relationship; because his friends cheat and get away with it, so they set an example for him; because in this age of hookup apps, he can hit it with another woman pretty damn easily; because he’s not feeling connected to you; because he’s not feeling connected to himself; because his father was a cheater and it’s a pattern of learned behavior; because cheating makes him feel adventurous and excited about life; because there are endless combinations of factors that can lead a man to stray that have nothing to do with another woman.
The purpose of this is not to condone having a relationship with a married or otherwise committed person. That’s not what I’m doing. And it’s certainly not to upset or anger anyone. I’d never want to do that. It’s to promote healing by understanding.
If we don’t see the other woman as an all-powerful, cold-hearted monster who eats in a relationship men and their families for breakfast, we might be able to see that they are just women who are in very painful, very, very bad situations.
They made bad decisions, many times based on false information they believed to be true. They believed promises that we all want to believe-that someone loves us and wants to marry us. We need to understand that even though the woman who has been intimate with your partner might not ever be your friend, she’s also not your enemy.
Remember this: that woman didn’t force your man to make the choice to cheat on you. No one put a gun to his head. HE is responsible for his own actions, including the one that has caused you so much pain.
I’m only asking that you consider this and that you put the blame where it should be — ON THE CHEATER. If your home is wrecked, it isn’t the other woman that wrecked it. Your partner is the “homewrecker.” Don’t let him off the hook by blaming her. He’s a big boy, and he knew what he was doing.