A Letter to the Mistress From the Wife.

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sexy fishnet

Dear Mistress,

I have something to say to you.

Don’t worry, this will be brief.

I really didn’t think we’d hear from you again. I was under the impression that you were gone forever. I thought we had dismantled your body and dissolved the remains. Yet, judging by the sight of your tear stains and the lingering stench of low self-worth, that is not the case.

You’ve somehow crawled your way out of that dark, abandoned hovel where we banished your memory.

You must have been waiting for the perfect moment to reappear.

When everything seemed to be so promising and so pleasant.

When life was flowing effortlessly in our favored direction.

When we felt free to inhale and exhale with only the sweetest of breaths.

Well, I can’t say that it’s good to see you again.

But, perhaps it is.

Because now I can finally tell you what I really think of you.

Now I have an opportunity to put you in your rightful place.

You see, mistress, this is not your place.

You dont belong here.

You don’t belong in this void in which you have wedged yourself, somewhere between approval and rejection.

You don’t belong in the pause, the haze, the in-between.

You don’t belong in the maybe, the Im not sure, the until something better comes along.

I know it may seem like this is home. But this is not your home.

You’ve just gotten used to these paper-thin prison walls.

I know you.

I know that you willingly give your love to those who can only toss it aside. Because you are terrified of what would happen if someone actually loved you back.

I know you only get involved with men who treat you like a pitstop on their way to greater destination.

I know you blame them. But they are not culprits, monsters, or the evil manipulators you may want them to be.

You are the only one responsible for putting yourself here. You are the only one to blame.

You are not a victim to anything except your lack of self-consideration.

Life will give you more of what you give to it.

If you show disregard for that heart that beats through you and as you, life will only bring you those people who will do the same.

Because while you may pretend that everything is okay as it is, while you may project a false air of self-reliant indifference, while you may act as if you don’t care for the ones that share your bed,

I know that you are lying.

I know that you want more than what you’ve been getting.

I know that you want something genuine, something reciprocal, something real.

I know that you want to feel loved as I am loved.

It might be scary to ask for it, but I know you want it.

And now I need to tell you, since you clearly don’t believe it:

 

Mistress, you are lovable and you are loved.

 

You are no one’s second choice.

You are no one’s back up plan.

You are no one’s side gig, part-time hole, some time hearth.

You are not a convenient object of use.

You are not a casual hobby or a passing fad.

You are not a receptacle for emotions, worries or bodily fluids.

You are someone to be admired.

You are someone to be adored.

You are someone to be sure about.

All of you is desirable.

 

Mistress, all of you is lovable and all of you is loved.

 

You do not have to settle for bits of fickle attention.

You do not have to hold onto scraps of false affection.

You are deserving of an entire feast of love.

Sweet talk will coat your ears and rot your heart.

Promises mean nothing when not intended to be kept.

You can learn the difference between authentic and illusory.

You can learn to trust your instinct.

You will never again have to feel used.

You will never again have to feel needy.

You will never again have to coerce, pressure, or force someone’s commitment.

 

Because mistress, you are lovable and you are loved.

 

You are always loved by the infinite presence that created you.

Call it God, call it the Universe, call it whatever you will.

Life created you just as you are.

And it loves you just as you are.

You can feel this love whenever you want to.

It is always present and it is always yours.

You are connected to all of life.

When you have love for yourself, you have love for all of life.

And when you love all of life, it will love you right back.

In a way you always hoped you’d be loved.

In a way you never before have allowed yourself to be.

Remember and live this truth.

Life will always match you at the level of your truth.

And at some point, life will bring you another person who values you as much as you value yourself.

When you truly feel this—when you trust this like you trust your pulse—then you will find yourself in the position in which I stand

Contrary to what you may have thought, I don’t hate you. In fact, it is quite the opposite.

I only hold the highest of hopes and intentions for you.

Because I was you and I am you.

Because I love you and I love us.

 

With immense respect and an infinity of gratitude,

Wife

 

 

Authors Note:

A drunk Frenchman once referred to me as Mary Magdalene. His accent was thick but his intention was clear. We were at a company Christmas party in front of a group of employees. He laughed. I didn’t. Years later I did find it funny. It seemed humorous to be called Mary Magdalene on the day that people were supposed to be celebrating the birth of Jesus. But that was not the purpose of his joke. I know this man was insinuating that I, the only single female at the party, the one who had been used and discarded by a male coworker upon reuniting with his ex-girlfriend, was a whore. And it felt as if everyone knew it.

I was a prostitute, a slut, an unwanted, undesirable, part-time mistress.

He wasn’t completely wrong. Although I’ve never actually been the mistress, I certainly felt like one.

For years I thought that it was safer to play this role. I wore it like a badge. I thought it made me a strong woman if I didnt get emotionally involved. It prevented me from enduring what I viewed as a lifetime of wedded monotony and dissatisfaction. It kept me free from what I believed to be guaranteed infidelity and broken trust.

And even when I changed my old views on committed relationships and marriage—even when I opened up to the truth that I wanted to experience a deeper connection—I still felt like the mistress in the majority of my relationships.

Always kept at a distance. Always playing in quiet. Always discreet.

The men got softer and kinder but the mistress stuck around—until I finally acknowledged her, accepted her and reminded her that we choose how we want to experience life.

If I want to be seen and heard, I need to see and hear myself.

If I want to be held in high regard, I need to hold myself in high regard.

If I want to be loved, I need to love myself.

All of myself—the mistress and the wife.

We all have these archetypes within us.

From my current vantage point that I can see the beauty in my former employer’s remark. Now I understand who Mary Magdalene really was—an embodiment of the Sacred Feminine. She is unconditional love, devotion, and forgiveness. She is intuition, wisdom and strength. She has been completely misunderstood and misrepresented throughout history. But I bet she wouldn’t give a sh*t what people thought of her. She’d look right through them and see their divinity. She’d love them anyway.

So thanks for the grandest of compliments, dude. I’ll gladly and proudly walk this earth with Mary as my guide.

 

 

 

Relephant read:

He cheated, and I Chose to Stay.

 

Relephant, if you’ve dealt with infidelity:

Author: Erika Ward

Apprentice Editor: Jessica Chardoulias / Editor: Renée Picard

Photo: royblumenthal at Flickr  

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Erika Ward

While Erika has spent a lot of time in this life fighting the labels and boxes she may or may not fit into, as of late she has relaxed into identifying as an actor/writer/artist who is often woken up in the middle of the night by the urge to create something. You may have heard her voice on TV, radio or various other places where you hear voices. A perpetual student of metaphysics, her book Wisdoms Of The Formerly Wilted, Vol. 1 will be ready for publication this winter. She believes we are all capable of magic. Connect with her here.

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Kim Sanders Jan 3, 2019 6:54am

Erika,
Thank you so much for this beautiful letter.
Amazing insight and a reminder for me to love ALL of the parts of myself and maybe to forgive others. Namaste

anonymous Dec 4, 2015 10:08pm

Erika,
What a beautiful memoir to self of your own evolution! I loved this! I haven’t been the mistress either, but I have been the one unable to commit, same same really isn’t it. All those times have served their purpose for me, but yes, now…. Now I’m ready to find the rest of this lifetime partner and she will arrive, when the timing is perfect. It’s a shame that Cleary so many didn’t get this, but perhaps they are in denial or perhaps they found their lifetime one early and never shied from the commitment. And yes yes yes what a beautiful compliment to be compared to Mary, a strong assured woman who took the heart of such a beautiful man, regardless of what religious beliefs are, he was a good man. I love your writing and thank you for being so brave to share it with us and then to humanise it even further by sharing part of you. Beautiful…

anonymous Aug 31, 2015 8:15pm

The most profound I've ever read…totally amazing. However I don't get why did she put all the blame on the mistress like the husband is only passive, receptive, infallible and just… a man, a child that only responds and it's not his fault in anything.

    anonymous Sep 1, 2015 6:58pm

    Thank you, Nila! Hmm.. well I believe we can only ever take responsibility for our own actions and waiting around for someone else to admit their part in the events that transpired only puts us in a passive position. The blame game can go on forever if we let it. As our experience and perception of the outside world is only a reflection of what we feel and believe inside – the most important thing we can do is our personal work within ourselves. Forgiveness work, self-acceptance work, affirmations – all that stuff that we used to think was totally lame. But it really works. The people in our lives will change as we change. Everything we experience will change as we grow in self-love. This I am learning more and more every day! <3

anonymous Aug 30, 2015 12:16am

Thinking of this phenomena from a metaphysical point of view, there is the battle with the anima/animus. I know I have on occasion allowed myself to create an illusion around a man and then fall in love or more likely developed an obsession or infatuation with that illusion. Of course over a couple of years that illusion breaks down and when the real man is exposed, he is not the knight in shining armor after all. We see the faults and we can see how they are not good for us….they can drag us down by letting us know we or what we do is not good enough…mind games to mutilate the self esteem. The man can always make a mistress feel like she is getting the scrapes off of his families table and if he is mean he will make sure she is always aware of the fact that she is low on his list of priorities. It take a strong will to love someone and know that you are not very significant to them. But, there in is the battle with the animus. An article referred to animus possession and I think this goes with this infatuation….like a moth drawn to the flame, sometimes we fall into a state where we do not seem to have control over our desires even when we know they are harmful to us.

CG Jung, in the Red Book wrote about his anima coming to him and demanding more blood, but he told her he was already too weak and could not give more. Understanding this, I realize that animus possession is emotionally, spiritually, energetically draining….and then I come to the concept of vampires who were able to seduce a woman and have total control over her. Sounds crazy, but I am aware of my own battle with my animus and I can see where other women are fighting with their own condition of animus possession.

anonymous Aug 29, 2015 6:52pm

In Europe the mistress is a long term relationship, as is the wife. We Americans have a Puritanical perspective on marriage, but also an unrealistic one. Marriage is a contractual agreement made to protect women and children. It is made by a patriarchal system to keep the children as known entities produced by a specific man. These are "his" legitimate children.

Romance wears off after two years. Ask anyone. The wife's benefit in this situation is protection, authority and social position. The Mistress only sees the guy once or twice a week, so her romantic longevity lasts longer. If you could count the hours spent together with the man, then you would see how much quicker the frequency of marriage burns out the romance. We make the mistake of trying to combine the path of legitimacy and romance. For a few people those two paths combine, but for most, they do not.

I loved being a mistress. It suited me. And if the cultural pressure to be married weren't so relentless, I could still be in that space. After I broke it off with my paramor he went back to his wife for a renegotiation. She started participating in his life the way I had and they brought the marriage back to life. And I helped!

The archetype of marriage is Hera, the Goddess of the home. She was Queen of the castle and wielded power. Her husband, Zeus, raced around the world, fertilizing all the species he could lay eyes on. She didn't like it much, but that was how it was (and still is). The archetype of romance is Zeus, racing around Creation, falling in love with nymphs, swans and humans, having dalliances, and then going home to his wife. We see these archetypes expressed in nature, in society and inside ourselves.

If a thing is fifty eons old, and for fifty eons people have appreciated, revered. reviled, rejected, perfected, loved or hated it; then maybe we should recognize it as an entity worth understanding. Men cheat on their wives more than wives cheat on their husbands. Women with extra masculine energy will cheat more than women with extra feminine energy. Women prefer security, like Hera. She liked staying home in the castle. Women are more inclined to stay closer to home, although there are those who have an extra dose of male energy. Those ones travel and play like men.

anonymous Aug 27, 2015 10:38am

Wow. This was perfect timing for me. Thank you.

anonymous Aug 27, 2015 9:25am

Beautiful. A tremendous achievement kind of piece. No wonder it has so many views… Your work clearly "fills a void" in this world in just the right kind of ways.

    anonymous Sep 1, 2015 6:40pm

    Thank you, Rebecca! <3

    anonymous Sep 1, 2015 8:09pm

    The inner fox… how lovely. Thank you

anonymous Aug 26, 2015 9:59pm

lol…am I the only one that truly read this letter? The Mistress and the Wife are the SAME person!! The Author is writing it to herself to let herself know that she is worthy to be treated like the "wife" instead of the "mistress!!" This is a letter about self esteem and confidence that EVERY woman should have. It was beautifully written and I am so glad that I had the pleasure to read it!! Thank you for writing such a beautiful and moving piece Erika Ward.

    anonymous Aug 26, 2015 10:57pm

    Yes!!!! Thank you, Stephanie! You completely understand the manner in which this piece was written. I'm so very happy that it has resonated with you. We all see what we want and what we need to, right? It's a lesson I am continuing to learn. So as much as I want to say, "you guys misunderstood!" I trust that it is reaching people in the way they need it to. But again, thank you for the love and for seeing the purpose behind this work. It's very much appreciated. 🙂

      anonymous Aug 30, 2015 11:21pm

      I really appreciate ur words!! Beautifully written!!

anonymous Aug 26, 2015 5:58pm

The wife says, "You don't belong here." But, clearly the mistress does. How do we know she belongs there? Because she IS there. Somehow, some way, the mistress is THERE for him in a way that the wife is NOT. So…as much as the article then goes on to be so very loving and accepting of the mistress, bolstering up her "obvious" low self esteem…the wife cannot possibly know what the other woman is to her man, and what the man is to that woman. It's a relationship that the wife is not involved with, and has nothing to say about, except as it brings up her own feelings of low self worth. Mirror, mirror, wife and mistress. The only voice poignantly missing, is, as usual, that of the man.

anonymous Aug 26, 2015 4:07pm

to accept and heal oneself Fully …. would be to recognize that as a beautiful, strong woman – the wife deserves to be with a man of higher quality and character . Accepting such disrespect and then blaming the “mistress” isn’t coming from a place of inner strength by any means .

anonymous Aug 26, 2015 11:08am

I think every woman has to fight this battle and this is the view of a woman that has learned to accept and heal her inner self… <3 Ever woman has that inner fox.

    anonymous Sep 1, 2015 7:01pm

    The inner fox… how very lovely. Thank you! <3

anonymous Aug 26, 2015 6:50am

It is my sincere hope the wife takes the advice she gave the mistress. They sit at opposite ends of the same ship.

    anonymous Aug 26, 2015 4:04pm

    Agree totally. As someone who has recently been 'the mistress' I would say almost exactly the same to the 'wife' who has chosen to stay with him : learn to love yourself. You deserve so much more than a man who treats you with such an utter lack of respect. I would not like to trade places with you because that is not love.

      anonymous Aug 29, 2015 7:02pm

      I don't get it. She assumed a lack of self respect? We all assume that monogamy is the only respectable form of intimate relationship, but I disagree. The masculine energy in the Universe is designed to move around. The seed must be sewn in many places. If it is only sewn on place then there will be no diversity; the very thing that all of us liberals desire. Why is the lover treating her with less respect? Maybe he loves her like the salt air in his face; like ripe red roses; or a darling baby just learning to walk. Why assume that there is no love or respect for the mistress? Just because it is temporary doesn't mean it's less-than.

anonymous Aug 26, 2015 3:47am

Does a wife who stay with a man who repeatidly cheat on her have some selfrespect??

Maybe the mistress is luckier because she is not the one who lives a lie. Maybe the mistress doesn’t want to be the wife.

It’s been a dissapointing read. You talk about men as if they were a prize or superior beings.
A man cheat on her woman… and she sent a letter to the mistress!!? Come on! Grab your man and tell him what are your rules or kick him out!

Otherway, I feel pity for a resentful wife that wants to think that the mistress envies her life when probably its not like that. Women dont need a man or a family to be or feel complete. A mistress is not incomplete for not having a man at his side. And a wife who keeps a man who doesnt show respect for her at her side, will never be happy.

Wake up

    anonymous Aug 26, 2015 9:55pm

    um…maybe you should re-read the letter Pure. The Author was BOTH the mistress AND the wife. It was a letter about how she viewed herself as being useless instead of worthy!

    anonymous Aug 29, 2015 4:50pm

    I was thinking the same exact thing as you until the end where she was both the wistress and the wife…but call me old fashion but regardless the story, a woman should never be a mistress. She should have self respect and respect for others and if she’s insecure she should still have manners and respect others relationship. It’s always the man’s fault because HE is the one making the decision to hurt and disrespect his wife….but guess what?! That wouldn’t be a possibility if you single ladies had respect and didn’t open that door. Just my opinion. If this has to do with an insecurity, self love, self esteem issues, then talk to someone, seek a friend family or therapist.

anonymous Aug 26, 2015 3:00am

It was really a healing. Thank you for sharing.

anonymous Aug 26, 2015 12:00am

This was indeed not what I had expected it to be, even if I came here to read with an open mind. I have been in that same position, and it has been all about selflove, or the lack thereof, and an intense fear of commitment. I can definitely relate and it has been a wonderful read. Thank you. We should all try and empathize with ourselves and each other more so that we induce positive change, instead of judging which is a totally unstimulating thing to do.

Let’s learn from our experiences together.

Love

Surya

Catherine Brenner Oct 25, 2018 8:22pm

I don't understand this article and the pint if view of the author. Not sure that the author has ever felt some emotional suffering....

Heidi R Poe Oct 25, 2018 12:31pm

I’ve been a wife of 25 yrs who was cheated on and since the Universe has a very sick sense of humor I have now been a mistress. I can tell you from my perspective that when I was a wife I would’ve never written this to his mistress. She was loved. She died. And has been memorialized in his brain as his greatest love, now. As a mistress, I have never felt more loved even though rationally I know it’s not real. So this letter just made me laugh and made think this wife is delusional. Just my 2 cents. Carry on

Jo Stockdale Sep 25, 2017 10:05am

so true... i have been there xx

Tracy Silves Paterson Sep 24, 2017 4:36pm

I have nothing against open marriages. However I believe BOTH parties should be in agreement regarding such a sensitive issue. I believe it would be in good faith to discuss one's desire for polyamory at any point in a relationship or marriage if that is their desire. I agree people and their desires change in time but if one finds themselves in a relationship no longer suitable for them, then the option to divorce should be considered. Contracts are legally binding, regardless of our progressive nature toward sex. Some states consider adultry unlawful. This alone should be an incentive to discuss one's desires for an open marriage before acting upon a secret "rendevous".. I failed to mention a critical consequence to cheating on one's spouse: the transmission of STDS. The omission of this very real side effect to infidelity is puzzling. Like the elephant in the room, so to speak. I absolutely disagree that one's unwillingness to agree to an open marriage warrants the other party's betrayal. If you want to explore your sexual desires outside your committed relationship, and your partner isn't on board , than leave the relationship in which you're currently involved.

Robyn M Winder Sep 24, 2017 11:33am

Tracy Silves Paterson yes...well put!

Amanda Lee López Sep 16, 2017 7:46am

Someone's in denial lmao but as they say " We are merely the reflection we chose to see in others." Elephant Journal, you've got greater writers than a simple bitter betrayed woman. At least that's what I get from the writing. Give us more soul like you usually do with Sasha, or Kate Rose.. Maybe Natasha Saalash. With soul, not bitterness.

Sabrina Defeyter Sep 12, 2017 4:22pm

Tracy Silves Paterson I do not want to justify betrayal here. What I want to point out is that it may not be a realistic option for everybody to stick an entire lifetime with the "legal" promise of having sex with a single person. When someone gets married at age 25 or 30, that person was at that time probably very certain of that choice. However, it is not possible to predict whether this certainty will last for 10,20,30 years or longer. It's comparable to having to choose a professional direction at age 18. If you chose to become a surgeon, who can tell whether that choice is actually the right one in the long run? For some it is, for some it is not. Same with marriage. Nobody can really be 100% certain that the other person will be the right person to be with or to feel attracted to forever. You can at best be certain that this is the right person right now, and perhaps for some years to come. Maybe it is the right person forever, maybe it's not. People tend to change over the years. Are you the same person you were 10 years ago? Unlikely. What if the partner you married feels that the person you have become over the years is still very lovable, but no longer inspires intimacy anymore? What if you still have a strong sex drive and your partner has none whatsoever anymore? A marriage contract cannot control your human needs. So if there is no way to express that need, simply because the contract stipulates there is no room for that need if it is not met within the marriage, it means you are emprisoning your partner basically. The only way out of that (without betrayal) is indeed divorce then, but what if - regardless of the lack of sex and/or intimacy - you do love your spouse deerly, and want that person to grow old with you, because of the human bond you have? I am not saying everyone should become polyamorous, or have open relationships. For a lot of people, monogamy works, and that's great. But for a large number of people, it does not. I personally believe marriage with the clausule of forced monogamy is not realistic for many people. Marriage contracts also stipulate that you will support each other and do your best to make each other happy? What if making the other happy means making compromises on the definition of fidelity? Especially for men, sex is often disconnected from affection. Again, you may wave with your marriage contract, but you cannot change the psychological make up of a man, contract or not. Blame the man? He likely doesn't understand his own psychological patterns yet. At least, if the topic can be discussed openly between a couple (meaning: without the other person waving the contract and with an open mind to understand the other person's perspective), sometimes just the mutual understanding can be the solution in itself. But when that conversation can never take place because even touching the topic causes the other person to wave the contract stipulations, well then you will get people betraying. Not because they do not love you or care for you, but because there was no room for their perspective. Is it wrong to betray? Definitely, BUT it is not always ONLY the betraying person's responsibility....

Agate Fánaí Sep 12, 2017 3:07pm

Thank you. Exactly my thoughts regarding this article, couldn't have worded it better.

Julianna FG Sep 12, 2017 5:29am

Pathetic, talking about self respect and love when he stays with the cheater and he's doing it again. Why write a letter to the misstres, better do what you're preaching and love and respect your self, and leave the cheater.

Michelle Auger Aug 2, 2017 12:50pm

What kind of hell is the husband putting that mistress through... only promises of heaven that she believes ..... And what kind of heaven is he painting for his wife while she really is in hell which she doesn't see....Married men that do this often and with such skill that both believe his 'truth'. I feel so so sorry for this wife because she truly does believe it/him when she shouldn't. But there is a lot of truth here, the mistress needs to walk far away and find a life not based on her partner being a skilled liar... The mistress will always find a better life when she walks away, the wife will always be unsure of what to believe... but if makes the wife feel better let her write it... Been there done that... walk away....

Tracy Silves Paterson Apr 13, 2017 5:42pm

Wedding vows are in reference to a signed marital, legally binding contract. So yes. If you cite wedding vows with the expectation of fidelity, and the contract is breached via infidelity, then the party responsible for that breach needs to be held at the every least, legally accountable. (ie divorce) Your reference to human expectations as a valid excuse to break wedding vows and ultimately the trust in your partner, with whom you swore allegence, is disingenuous at best and destructive at worst. If you want an open marriage, that needs to be addressed and agreed upon prior to a signed marital contract. Otherwise it is an act of secrecy and betrayal. If you cannot openly state to your partner (spouse) you are intimate with another individual, it is a wrongful act, and the secrecy surrounding it validates it as such. It isn't the sex. It's the deep level of betrayal surrounding it.

Shelia Miller Dec 11, 2016 8:27pm

Ladies, maybe I am reading it all wrong. And forgive me if I am. But this is not about two different women, it is about the wife, and having self love for herself. I think there are many us of who at times in our marriage have felt this way and can relate. I know I sure can.

Ashley Johnson Nov 3, 2016 3:20pm

Good points, sure, but I'm unsure why the wife thinks she is so loved and respected. Why was he with a mistress? Why is she back? Do you not feel that you deserve a husband who is solely, madly dedicated to you? Where is the self esteem of the wife, who didn't leave, and now she's back... would say this to the wife, In her own words, I know that you are lying. I know that you want more than what you’ve been getting. I know that you want something genuine, something reciprocal, something real. I know that you want to feel loved as I am loved. It might be scary to ask for it, but I know you want it. And now I need to tell you, since you clearly don’t believe it: Wife, you are lovable and you are loved.

Yols Merrey Sep 25, 2016 11:11pm

There are 3 people involved and all to blame…if you are talking about BLAME. Every one of these people is lacking something. STOP the mistress bashing. Some men are just cowards and can’t leave because they will be seen as the bad guy. Some wives will put up with anything just not to fend for themselves. And of course those that just can’t split up the assets money hungry bastards. And so these pathetic insecure people involve a third party.

Linda Ryan Sep 22, 2016 5:30am

So well done. It's been interesting reading the comments, too. Some got what you were doing, and for the others? It gave them something to vent about. Beautiful insightful writing. Thank you.

Sabrina Defeyter Jul 16, 2016 4:04pm

This only one perspective, in which the "blame" is put on the mistress' lack of self worth. Do you really think it helps people in that situation to have more self confidence? Actually, telling someone how "bad" it is to have a low self esteem, will only confirm the low self esteem. So mistresses reading this will only project more blame onto themselves and feel even worse. Please don't do this... Writing self righteous posts as if you finally found the answers assuming it will "teach" something to those who you believe come from the same place as you when they find themselves in the position of the mistress.. Then, from the wife's perspective, who is the wife (even if the wife is just a placeholder for the mistress' perspective) , this post assumes that because she is the wife, nobody else has any "rights" on "her" man. As if a signature on a wedding vow guarantees that a man will never have feelings for another, and forever desire only your body. Marriage or not, we never "own" someone. Giving another person the feeling of being "owned" robs that person of the basic right to be accepted as he/she is. When someone "cheats", it's usually because he is afraid of hurting your feelings, and not being able to live up to the expectations that the relationship puts on the "cheater". And your anger only confirms that fear, but also reveals your unwillingness to understand why your partner "cheated" in the first place, because it would reveal your own lack of self worth. My personal belief is that it is very likely for any person to develop meaningful romantic feelings for more than one person, and that should not be considered a sin, or something fundamentally wrong. It is a part of our humanity. Love is a beautiful feeling. By expecting our partners to never have feelings for another, or do something with those feelings, we are more likely to make them drift away and lie about it. If you truly love your partner instead of relying on him/her to give you a (false) secure feeling, you want your partner to be happy. Even if that means you are not the only person he/she loves. We have all been thought to believe in fairy tales, in which the prince on the white horse wants nothing but to rescue and marry the damsel in distress and then live happily ever after. Life is never happily ever after, there will always be bumps on the road, and the bumps come on harder if you expected the road to be smooth as ice. If you anticipate that there will be bumps, you may actually be able to jump over (most of) them. But the bumps won't disappear because you signed wedding vows....