Last edited: 25th April 2019
No little girl grows up aspiring to be someone’s mistress. I know I didn’t. Despite how I feel morally about extramarital affairs, I have actually had relationships with three married men – twice knowingly and once without my knowledge. Fear not dear reader, I’m not writing this post to try to justify my involvement in these relationships – there is no excuse for getting involved with someone else’s partner. If you choose to pursue a relationship with a married man, you will get hurt and it will be your own fault. That’s just how it is. Reading the stories of Jordyn Woods’ entanglement with Khloe Kardashian’s baby daddy Tristan Thompson recently made me want to shake her and hug her at the same time. She has been vilified for betraying her best friends’s sister, which is of course unacceptable. I’m sure we have all wondered how she could do such a thing, especially so close to home. As a former mistress though (a fact I am not proud of), I know how much hormones and emotions can cloud your judgement and the lies you tell yourself to help you live with doing wrong. You can’t choose who you fall in love with but you absolutely can choose what you do about it.
I was in my mid-twenties and married myself when I fell deeply in love with an older married man who was friends with my now ex-husband and I. He offered me a bar job when I was completing my Masters and as my marriage crumbled due to various factors (crippling debt, lack of physical chemistry etc), I found myself developing feelings for my friend and boss. He would rota himself on shifts with me and the more time we spent together, the more obvious it became that we harboured feelings for each other. I am a loyal person incapable of cheating so I refused to act on my feelings until I ended my marriage. The fact that I had feelings for someone else showed me that I did not love my ex-husband but I had too much respect for him to go behind his back and cheat on him. We went our separate ways and I began a relationship with the older man. We had rules – I never contacted him first, never called him. The only contact we had was to arrange dates and hook ups. We were very discreet. He was honest with me – he had been with his wife for a long time and still loved her but she no longer excited him or ‘ticked all of his boxes’ he said. They had a daughter he adored and there was no question of him leaving as he knew he would not be allowed to see his daughter. I did not want to break up a family and made it clear that I would never make him choose between his family and me. Who wants to be with a man who would leave his child anyway? We were together for two years until I got my first teaching job and had to move away, a blessing in disguise. Although he made me feel beautiful, loved, admired, I always struggled with the guilt of being a mistress, a dirty little secret, and it was a relief to free myself from that weight and start a new life. We parted on good terms, with love and gratitude, but decided not to keep in touch for both our sakes. I vowed to never sleep with another married man…
My second experience with a married man was not with my knowledge. I met a handsome guy in a bar and there was an instant connection between us. He was smart and funny and swept me off my feet with romantic dates and a luxury naughty weekend away. He was in Dubai (where I used to live) for business, didn’t wear a wedding ring, and I had no clue whatsoever that he was not a single man. I knew he had a young son but he had told me that he was no longer with the boy’s mother and I had no reason to suspect otherwise – until he dropped the bombshell. We were lying in each other’s arms after sharing a rose-petal bath and champagne in a glorious hotel when he suddenly decided to tell me that he was falling in love with me and therefore needed to be completely honest with me. I felt sick when he told me the truth – not only was he married with a young son, his wife was currently pregnant with their second child! He had the audacity to ask me to continue the relationship and told me he was prepared to extend his stay in Dubai in order to spend more time with me. In no uncertain terms he was told to get stuffed and to get his arse back to his wife. Ladies, if a guy appears to be too good to be true then they are probably hiding something. I was devastated to have been lied to and to have slept with another married man.
So why did I then get involved with a third married man?! Good question. The Good Husband was not wearing a wedding ring when I met him but that said, when I learned that he was not single and wanted to pursue a relationship with me, I willingly went into that situation and that’s on me. We had rules about contact and the nature of the relationship – we said we would always be open and honest about our feelings but both agreed after weeks of messaging and a kiss that we would not sleep together. As strong as my feelings for him were, I just couldn’t cross that line again and I’m glad that we stuck to that agreement. However, as straightforward as the situation should have been, this particular relationship became complicated, personally and professionally – as I have written in other blog posts – and no matter what I did, I couldn’t seem to fix it. He pushed me too far, working together became impossible, and I ended up reporting him when I left our workplace. It was a sad and painful state of affairs for all involved. I should never have consented to the relationship in the first place. Like I said at the start, there are no excuses. I loved him but so did his wife and he was always hers.
When you get involved with someone else’s partner, you are only cheating yourself. You are settling for a ghost relationship, an illusion, stopping yourself from finding a relationship with someone who can fully commit to you, love you, and meet your needs. When you date a married man, you are always going to be second best. There will be disappointments when they let you down, when they naturally have to put family first, times when they can’t speak to you, and there will be highs and lows. If you are a good person with a conscience, the guilt eats away at you and the weight of it sits heavy on your shoulders and in your heart. At times you will feel needy because your needs can never be fully met in such relationships. You settle for scraps of affection and for seeing them when they can make time for you. You will never be a priority in their life, despite the promises made and heartfelt expressions of feelings.
You deserve to not be someone’s secret. You deserve to be with someone who is proud to have you by their side, wants to show you off and openly tell the world that you are theirs. You deserve a love that is loyal, honest and supportive. Anything less than that is not worthy of your time, and not worth the heartache that comes with being the ‘side chick’ or ‘special friend’ as I was once called. And what if they did leave to be with you? How could you trust them? How can any relationship that is formed in shady circumstances properly flourish? As Khloe Kardashian has now discovered, cheaters don’t change their spots, though they may choose to put on a show of best behaviour for a while… Funny how the ‘other woman’ often seems to get more of the blame than the married man does. Perhaps because there is a perception that men are weak simple creatures ruled by their d*cks and desires whereas we seem to expect more from women; we expect them to abide by ‘girl code’ and thus judge them more harshly.
Learn from my mistakes. Don’t be a mistress. Be a boss. Take care of your heart and only give it to someone who is fully available – mentally, emotionally and physically. Love someone who wants to be, and is able to be, yours. Know your worth ladies and don’t settle for less. I certainly won’t again, that’s a promise.