Being the other woman means you don’t have to deal with the daily routine of what it means to be in a relationship. It means having all the perks with none of the work … or so it seems. Is it worth the cost of one’s emotional and psychological well being? It has been my experience in my practice that women who are supposedly “happy” being the other women have significant problems with intimacy and self esteem. They have convinced themselves that they are content to being second or sometimes third (if there are children in the picture) in the man’s life. Somewhere in these women’s history they have been repeatedly told that they were not worth being loved or some variation on this theme or they were abandoned by their fathers when they were young and never learned how to develop a mutual relationship with a man. We first learn how to interact with others and to develop loving and trusting relationships with our parents; when these early developmental milestones are either not present or are interrupted by abrupt traumatic events then as these women get older, it is difficult for them to see and therefore cherish the beauty of a loving relationship that could be between a man and a woman. The fear of rejection or of being hurt is so great that these women are not willing to take the risk of finding someone who they can be in an exclusive relationship. So instead of being open to a loving and committed relationship they defend against it. This is not necessarily a conscious process -more times than not this is unconscious.
In addition, for some who start in these relationships, they are told by the man in question that he and his wife lead separate lives but stay together because of the kids or what ever the reason they can come up with. Women who have problems with intimacy yearn to be loved and believe the lines that are told to them. Unless you have heard it from his wife’s mouth that indeed this is the setup — DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPE!!!! When all is said and done being the other woman is lonely. It is a place of self degradation where you the woman just keeps reinforcing the old voice in her head and heart—that she does not deserve her own happiness or to be loved.