The Other Woman Isn’t a Home Wrecker

Niki Marinis

Photo Art by Katie Dutch

Hate to break your hatred bubble, but you’re focusing on the wrong person if you’re pissed at the woman your man cheated on you with. It’s not her fault he cheated. It’s not your fault he cheated. It’s his fault he cheated.

We don’t want to believe the man we love is trash, so we get mad at her. If she hadn’t seduced him he never would have cheated. Wrong-o. He cheated because he wanted to, and he’d have cheated with whoever was willing.

The wife doesn’t want to accept he’s not happy with her. Her ego can’t handle it. So if she controls his every move, and takes all temptation away, then he has no choice but to stay! Because that’s the dream, isn’t it? Someone staying with us because they have no choice? Out of obligation? Sets my romantic heart a flutter.

We don’t want to accept that we don’t own the person we’re in a relationship with. We can’t make them love us and we can’t make them want the same things as us. Unless you’re into emotional manipulation which is what most relationship advice is. We can only control who we are and what we do and that pisses us off.

Society wants to blame prostitutes for the existence of infidelity. “Well, if they weren’t selling their bodies my Morris would be home with me!” Negatory. Classic victim blaming. Men are gonna do what they want to do. PEOPLE are gonna do what they want to do.

We focus on the thing we think we can control: the outsider. Because we know we can’t control the wants and needs of the one we love. That’s easier than coming to terms with the fact we committed to someone who isn’t right for us, or that their wants and needs changed. The ego ain’t havin’ that.

Or really, is it a classic hatred of women and the need to believe we’re evil because men can’t stand that our feminine prowess has a hold on them? They can’t control themselves so it’s naturally our fault. Because the woman is always at fault, isn’t she?

  • Husband has an affair and the mistress is a home wrecker (and the wife is at fault for letting this happen).
  • Wife has an affair and… the wife is a home wrecker.

Wait, what? Zuh? The woman is at fault no matter what she does? Rad. Only one of those statements is true. (It’s the second one)

The Other Woman isn’t a home wrecker because it’s not her home to wreck.

It’s HIS home the husband is choosing to destroy. It’s HIS marriage vows he’s choosing to break. It’s HIS wife he’s choosing to betray. To hell with marriage, if you’re in an exclusive relationship and you made a commitment to be faithful to each other, the person who chooses to break that commitment is the home wrecker, not the one outside of it.

We want to blame The Other Woman because we see our man’s cheating as our fault. We feel we must have done something wrong or he wouldn’t have done this. We must have caused this. We must be lacking in something, we must not be good enough.

What does this Other Woman have that I don’t? Why is she better than me? Is she younger, prettier, thinner, richer, sweeter, sexier, kinder, better? We focus on hating her so we can continue to ignore the things we feel insecure about in ourselves, and keep ignoring how wrong for us our partner really is.

Yeah, every once in a while someone is blindsided by a cheating scandal they never saw coming. But overwhelming chances are, if you were cheated on you weren’t that happy in that relationship and neither was your partner, and you knew it. There were issues there you were both ignoring. We don’t want to admit this because the ego is a bitch.

I was cheated on. And you know who I was pissed at? Him.

He’s the one who betrayed my trust and our exclusivity. He was the one who lied instead of leaving. I wasn’t a big fan of hers, either. I thought she was vapid, unattractive, basic, and a simpleton. But it wasn’t her fault he cheated on me, it was his fault for choosing to do so.

I knew I wasn’t happy, and despite his claims, I knew he wasn’t happy, either. If one of you ain’t happy, neither of you are. I was not blindsided by this betrayal. I watched it walk in my front door and lay down in my bed. Didn’t make it hurt any less.

It did cast a glaring light on all the ways we weren’t right for each other and I didn’t want to accept that. That meant if either of us ever wanted to be happy… to hell with him, if I ever wanted to be happy, this was all going to have to come to an end. It’s hard to watch that bridge you’ve been walking on break off into shards before you.

Loving someone does not make them right for you.

Everyone still wants to hate on Angelina Jolie for breaking up Brad Pitt and Jennifer Anniston’s marriage. But Angie didn’t break up their marriage, Brad did. Brad chose to betray Jen. But he’s hot and we don’t want to think for one second that it’s possible for hot people to do bad things. (See: Ted Bundy)

If you’re in a committed relationship and you make the conscious choice, day in and day out, time and again, to betray your partner, that makes you the asshole, not the poor sap you’re cheating with. They have their own problems.

Notice I keep saying “choose”. Don’t ever forget it’s a choice and the person who deserves your anger is the person who broke their promise to you. Does this cause less drama and excitement? Yes, it may screw up your chances of getting cast on a reality TV show, but don’t let your partner off the hook for what they chose to do by blowing up at The Other Woman.

Focus your energy where it deserves to be: on yourself, your self-worth, and choosing to be with someone who honors and respects that. And it ain’t the one who wronged you.

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I'm an original. A Warhol. You're just a print. I like thrift store owls, true crime, and breaking hearts.

Ventura, CA

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