If your guy has been cheating, why do you always blame the Other Woman? Could she, in fact, be your ally?
Recently I met up with a friend I made last summer. We get along very well; we are the same age, we have the same goals and we make each other laugh. We shared a couple of drinks and chatted about what we had been up to. Nothing special about that. But ours is an unusual friendship: The only reason we know each other is because our ex was cheating on us. With each other. Why do females so often blame the other woman? Unless we unite to take revenge on him, popular culture dictates that women who have shared a boyfriend will be vile to each other. Case in point: Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie. (It has been seven years, people—enough!)
Women frequently blame each other instead of the person who is actually committing the infidelity. When a male public figure is caught cheating, his partner is thrown into instant opposition with his mistress: One is a weak-willed idiot for sticking by him; the other a brazen harlot for daring to catch his eye and fall for him. When did the mindless vindictiveness begin? And why do we pursue it? Above all, it’s pointless: Unless she is our sister or best friend, it isn’t she who has broken our trust or our heart. Women have enough going on without turning on one another. We should be able to do better than this, and I was “lucky” to be afforded the opportunity.
In my case, both the Other Woman and I knew of each other’s existence—we just didn’t know he was dating both of us. When my relationship with the shared boyfriend began, I was told that she had left him months ago for someone else. Poor boy. He was charming, funny and clever. My friends and family were thrilled to see me happy. He met my parents and came to my sister’s birthday celebration, and I went to a party at his brother’s. This was no clandestine affair. Life became a happy haze of museums, cinema trips and romantic meals.
Relationships and cheating: Is monogamy dead?
Why you should consider not blaming the Other Woman (he was cheating on her too!), on the next page...