Note - Due to the sheer volume of comments on the original version of this post, I have had to repost it as the

page could not be displayed. Comments will remain open on this post until the discussion board is set up and then they will be closed to prevent slow running of the site. Thanks to the many women that posted on the original. 1. Have your escape route planned. If you have any sense of self worth planned, don’t be banking on being the other woman forever. Either get the commitment you want and be the starring role instead of the understudy, or get out. Set a time limit and stick to it. 2. Don’t be burning up energy making empty threats. Sometimes an ultimatum is needed to bring things to a head, but if you have no intention of actually following through - you’ll look like a dipstick and then he knows that he doesn’t actually have to make a decision. An ultimatum is an ultimatum for a reason which means there should only be ONE. 3. Do tell someone but do ensure that you tell someone who isn’t going to blow the lid on things. Keeping things to yourself will be a big strain emotionally and you need someone who you can confide in, sanity check things with and who will also tell you that you should be doing better. 4. Don’t get pregnant in an attempt to force his hand. The only person you’re ‘trapping’ is yourself. A baby is for life…not for using as a tool to get what you want. 5. Get a life. Don’t make him the focal point of your existence and don’t be afraid to spend time on your own and certainly spend time with friends and family. The better you feel about yourself, the quicker you’ll come to your senses about being the other woman. Also if you make him the focus of your existence, it gives him supreme control and makes you very dependent on him. Not good! 6. Don’t be doing the chasing. How can you be spending so much energy running after a man who is throwing you the crumbs of his attention? 7. Keep it real. You are the other woman, he belongs to someone else, this isn’t a good indicator of how much he can be trusted and he is probably having sex with his girlfriend/wife. This doesn’t mean he loves you - it means he’s greedy, indecisive, cowardly and a cheat. 8. Don’t slag off the girlfriend or wife. It will do you no favours and makes you appear to be jealous and childish. It’s a difficult situation but he is with this person and whatever reason he has come up with being with you and cheating on her, he hasn’t left her and he’s still with her. 9. Don’t turn into a stalker. The moment you feel yourself going off the rails and wanting to follow him, cut up his clothes, follow his girlfriend/wife, hang around at his kids school, fake pregnancies, fake diseases and any other devious or attention seeking carry-on, it’s time to abort the mission and bail out.

10. Don’t cope with being the other woman. Get out and be with a man that isn’t someone else’s. Take off the rose tinted glasses and particularly if you have been with him for an extended period of time, you need to let go. It doesn’t take that long to leave someone and he is emotionally unavailable no matter what he says. If he really did love you, he’d put himself in a position to actually be with you properly. Don’t let him convince you that he is the best you can do for yourself - you are better than playing second best. When you’re The Other Woman, it will often feel like incredible highs and lows, and at some point, you should and probably will become sick of being in the situation and want to end it with the guy. Like any break up though, breaking up is hard to do unless something so awful happens that it galvanises you. There are a hell of a lot of women in this situation that are readers of this site, and the most common issue is how the hell can they move on? Here I hope that I can help to put any woman who is in this situation on the road to healthier happiness. But first, think about this point first? Is this a half hearted cry for attention from him which you hope will force his hand into making the decision to be with you? If so, be careful as this is probably still unlikely to happen and if it means you end up staying with him, you’re wasting your own time. Otherise…. 1. Be firm and strong. Be resolute about your decision and immovable. If you really do want to break up with him and you are sick of the situation, he shouldn’t be able to wheedle his way around you. One of the strengths of the guy in this relationship is that he has the power to get around you. This time he can’t. 2. Make it about YOU, not HIM. If you put the focus of the break up on him, he can make excuses that he means at the time but probably don’t hold up after the event and he’ll make promises that he means at the time but is also unlikely to keep. Yes, you are breaking up because he can’t give you what you need, want and deserve, however, you’re also breaking up with him because YOU are better than this. 3. Remind yourself that he is throwing you the crumbs of his time and his emotions. Yes you may be conditioned to think that the crumbs are enough for you, but the reality is that a healthy relationship with a man that is only with you and puts you at the centre of his life, feels far different to the flimsy ‘relationship’ that you’re in now. 4. Think of the woman he’s with, the woman that you view as the person who is robbing you of the opportunity to be with your guy as a human being with feelings

and strengths and weaknesses just like you. Put yourself in her shoes and ask yourself how you would feel if you were her in the same situation. Whatever story he has told you about why he’s with both of you, the cold hard truth is that he CHOOSES to be with HER. 5. Is this how you saw a healthy, happy relationship? Do you still want to be doing this in 3, 6, 9, 12 months or even in years? 6. Remember that occasions like birthdays, Christmas, New Years won’t have to be spent waiting for his call or snatching a moment together. 7. Go cold turkey. If you can afford it, go away for a few days or a week to somewhere nice or go and stay with friends and family. Turn off your phone and let the important people know where you are so that you don’t worry. There should be absolutely no contact. 8. Stop being where he expects you to be and break whatever routine you have. When I speak to women in involved with attached men, whether they realise it or not, they are almost always in a tight routine. After all, keeping things in a tight routine is how he stops himself from getting caught out and fits you into his schedule. You must break the routine. Put it on voicemail or turn off your voicemail but don’t pick up calls. Be out when he calls. Instead of being in watching TV with your feet up waiting for his call, be out. Be busy. If you think you’ll be tempted to be swayed, change your mobile phone or block his email address. 9. Tell somebody that you trust. You’d be surprised at how many women act in secrecy which actually further plays into the man’s hands as you are totally at the mercy of whatever he is telling you. A confidante gives you a sanity check but also gives you a rock of support. Choose someone you trust and who can be supportive but tell you that it’s time to quit. 10. Steer clear of dating till you are ready to date. This also protects you from knee jerking into another situation that you may not recognise as being unsuitable due to craving some sort of emotional replacement - there is no progress in ditching a married man for an emotionally unavailable man. There is also no point in dating if it’s a way of passing time in the hope of filling in the gap until the married guy potentially becomes available. The only time you should date is when you are truly ready to move on and the married guy doesn’t figure any longer. 11. Remember that you need time to grieve and heal. There is no quick fix and you don’t feel better immediately. In fact, you’re likely to feel like sh*t in the short-term. You must give it time though. Weather the storm, cold turkey it out and let out the tears and frustration but don’t give in. Your ‘relationship’ is over.

12. See a counsellor or therapist. If you have been in relationships that have a habit of wearing down your self esteem, if you want to understand your relationship patterns, if you feel you need a little extra help or if you feel very low, this is the ideal way of helping you to heal, understand and move on. 13. Address other areas of your life that have suffered whilst you were with the attached guy. No matter what you think, something or someone, or both suffered whilst you focused your energies on your situation. If you let work slide or put off career decisions, prioritise it. If you have neglected friends or family, build bridges. If you have neglected yourself, spend time on you. You have to put the focus back to you if you are truly intent on succeeding. It’s because it’s been all about him why you lasted so long with him in the first place. 14. Yes I’m sure there were happy times, but you need to remember how you REALLY felt when you were with him. Look back at your diary, think back to specifics and there are probably a lot of times when you were lonely, disappointed, insecure, sidelined, teary, clingy, frustrated, angry, too dependent, listless and much more. Put both feet in reality and get real about who you have really been. If you were that happy, you wouldn’t be reading this and you wouldn’t be breaking up. You wouldn’t even want more. 15. Read the stories of women who have played your role of The Other Woman and realise that your situation is not unique, most of the stories of why these men cheat are the same, most of the time it ends in tears, and you, The Other Woman will always play second fiddle as long as you put yourself in this role. NB!!! This post has been republished due to the very high volume of comments on the original post creating technical issues such as slowing down the site and preventing the original post from being reloaded. The original post and comments are no longer available and thank you to everyone who contributed the almost 500 comments! Comments will remain open on this post until they get to a level that is deemed technically unsuitable. Please note that the forum is up and running and that you can chat with some of the women who wrote the original comments. Registration needed. Thanks NML, editor and site owner.

From The Other Woman to Happiness
April 3, 2007 at 6:03 pm · Filed under Mr Unavailable/Emotionally Unavailable, Being The Other Woman, Emotional Wellbeing, Cheating - Infidelity If someone had suggested that I would ever be The Other Woman (TOW), I would have laughed them out of town and told them to F off, but somehow I found myself taking up the role with gusto for 18 months. It was without a doubt the most foolish, damaging thing that I have ever done to myself. I started out as an independent, single twentysomething who had broken up with her ex and was looking for no strings fun, and

somehow shelved that to become a snivelling, insecure, emotional yo-yo that harped on with my stock phrase of “So when are you leaving her?” Looking back, I realise how ridiculous a lot of my logic was about my ’situation’ (God I hate that word) but hindsight does give you 20:20 vision. I was the TOW to a guy who wasn’t even married! He had a girlfriend….who he’d only been together with for a few months….and she needed him…and bla, bla, bla. Despite starting out as fun, it was a matter of months before I had declared love and making him mine became my focus. It didn’t take long before I acknowledged that being a TOW meant being perpetually disappointed, increasingly frustrated, miserable and very much second best. These men are very good at making you feel like they are giving you the earth, when in fact they’re giving you a spade full of dried up soil. I got sucked into the declarations of love, the rationalising of his situation and the assumption that he clearly wasn’t happy and that I was giving him what he needed. The reality is that a man doesn’t need to be unhappy with his relationship to cheat. If he is cheating inclined, he’ll cheat whether the going is good or bad. It’s not about her, it’s about him. They’re selfish, self-involved twats. He didn’t even see himself as a cheat and like many of these men, he could very comfortably have lived his double life for as long as I would let him. Rationalising what was happening, ignoring how the situation made me feel and leading a double life took its toll on my health. He ruined countless social occasions with his jealousy and possessiveness because despite being spineless and lacking in enough balls to make a choice, he couldn’t cope with the idea of a man talking to me. Every guy was trying to get into my pants, according to him. We would spend time together but I was always wondering whether things were ever going to change, and the temporary of high of being with him would quickly be replaced with the anxiety that accompanies the role of TOW. It would take an age to tell every single story of every disappointment, but the turning point came when I had a panic attack. He’d been whining about men being interested in me and pressurising me about our ‘situation’ and suddenly I couldn’t breathe and was sitting in a doorway in the middle of London trying to pull myself together. It was one of the most awful things to happen to me and his way to deal with it was to escort me to the tube, put me on it, and go home to his girlfriend as he was too afraid to make sure I got home in one piece… It took 3 weeks to get feel my normal self again and several more before I finally managed to get through to him and dump him. It was agony but mostly because I’d become such an emotional wreck that I was battling with insecurities and doubts about what I had done. But beneath it all was a growing relief. Whilst I went out with more assclowns than I care to remember, I know that it a coincidence that I had bad taste in men, and that the heart of the problem was me. I had really unhealthy love habits and I very misguided notions about love which were able to take grip when combined with my low self-esteem.

It was so hard to let go of him but what kept me focused was putting myself first. He put himself first and then his girlfriend and if I couldn’t prioritise myself, who would? I started to take care of myself and found the self love that had been clearly lacking within myself. I spent more time on my own but also started to put my life back together. It became a relief not to have to wait for his calls, emails, texts and arrangements and I started to look back at the past more objectively and be truthful with myself about exactly how awful I had really felt. I hated the dishonesty. I hated the rollercoaster of the emotions and I hated how I felt about myself during that time when I was with him. I didn’t need to be questioning what was wrong with me or what was so great with her and I no longer needed or wanted his validation. It was strange because once I started being more real with myself, I looked at him completely differently and saw him and his actions for what they were. The rose coloured glasses were removed and I realised that the more connected me had no interest in a man like him. He wasn’t some poor guy in an unfortunate situation – he was a spineless, manipulative excuse of a man that had rationalised what he was doing so that he got to think that he was the good guy. He felt no responsibility for anything and no matter what he said, he didn’t love me ENOUGH and never could. Love would have made him behave with honesty and integrity, not drag it out for 18 months whilst coasting in the comfort zone. His situation wasn’t different – he was exactly the same as any man that cheats and has a story to justify their behaviour. They ALL sing the same tune, just with different tones. After ending it, I went on to be involved with a couple of Mr Unavailable’s (emotionally unavailable men) but instead of putting myself through the torture, I found that the steadily gathering self love meant that I wasn’t prepared to put up with their antics and I ditched them. I just wasn’t that desperate to be in a relationship or to be ‘loved’. I realised that I had very destructive love habits through being real with myself and I confronted them head on so that I could move forward. My health improved, life was great and I had a good relationship with myself. I recognised where I’d been and I vowed to be true to myself and stay clear of assclowns. I became very good at spotting them and three days after ditching the last assclown and thinking that I was in the dating saddle for the long haul, I met my boyfriend. It was a totally different experience to any relationship I’d ever had and the beauty was that I was personally happy when I met him, which meant that I embraced the potential of what we had. I carry some battle scars from the past, but my self-awareness is so heightened now that rather than the insecure, misguided voices that I used to hear, I have a more positive voice telling me to get a grip. I’m having our first child next month (touch wood) and I can truly say that I have never been happier. Not just because I met him, but because I met myself beforehand. Life doesn’t start when a guy comes blazing in on his white horse and whisks you away to happy ever after. Life, I’ve learnt, is what you make it, and it’s as good as you want it to be. When I knew what I wanted from my life, there was no room for a guy that was lacking the balls to even make the decision to be with me. Fact is, the woman has bigger

balls than the cheating man, she just needs to learn how to use them to get wise and walk away!

Challenging Your Role of Being The Other Woman
November 20, 2006 at 4:37 pm · Filed under Mr Unavailable/Emotionally Unavailable, Being The Other Woman, Love & Relationships So you’ve found yourself caught in a triangle. Just so you don’t get too comfortable, remember these things! 1. Every woman who is The Other Woman thinks that they’re situation is unique. It’s unique because you’re in it, but when you strip away the reasoning, the excuses, every ’situation’ has the same core elements. 2. Ever man that cheats thinks that his situation is unique. It’s not but it makes him sleep easier at night. 3. The longer that he’s comfortable with the situation, the longer that the relationship continues, is a sign of a man who is very comfortable with the situation and not looking to change anything very soon. If it was really weighing down on his conscience, it couldn’t last past a few months or a year. 4. These men are selfish. The Other Woman sees wonderful qualities in him because she needs to, but only a selfish man could continue to do this. 5. These men are very good at rationalising their actions. They are very good at placing themselves on a pedestal and not seeing themselves in the negative light that they should. They suffer from an intensified version of Disproportionate Sense of Male Self. 6. The sex is good because the situation is so wrong on many levels - Great dysfunctional sex. When you’re the other woman there is a lot of emotion swimming around which ‘heightens’ the apparent attraction. The reassurance of his feelings, that he will leave one day, that you are the most important, that it’s just a matter of time, that he’s not sleeping with her etc, etc all just play havoc with your emotions and with your libido. 7. Whatever he says, you are playing second fiddle. The only role you should be playing lead character, centre stage, no understudy. 8. It’s easy for him to think that you do all of the things that the main woman doesn’t but that’s because you aren’t living a normal life together. You guys have time to talk, time for lots of sex, time for dress up and kinky play, time for stolen moments because you aren’t cooking, cleaning, washing his dirty underpants and suckling one of his kids on your breast. 9. If he actually left his wife/girlfriend, would you actually trust him?

10. Are you really that happy? Dig deep and think about how you feel on a day to day basis. Are you worrying, fretting, depressed, mood swinging, uncertain, miserable, confused, desperate, too dependent? Has your life really been that enhanced? Do you really believe he’ll leave? Do you believe everything he’s told you? Is this how you saw yourself?

Being The Other Woman Revisited - It’s straight talking time.
September 5, 2006 at 9:35 pm · Filed under Relationship Barriers, Cheating/Infidelity, Being The Other Woman, Love & Relationships Back in June, I wrote about Coping With Being the Other Woman which gave tips for any woman who had found herself relegated to second place due to being with someone else’s man. Ultimately my advice was and is not to cope, but I was surprised at the stories and emails that have come through from women who have found themselves in this situation. First of all, there is a reason why all of these people have been searching for content about the subject: on some level, they know that their ‘relationship’ is completely jacked up. Very few claimed to be happy with the situation, most were being driven demented. A few months on, I feel it necessary to readdress this issue with a dose of straight talking. The relationship is built on dishonesty. You would be surprised how the excuses for having an affair all boil down to only a few basic excuses that are trotted out the world over. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a mud hut in the middle of Africa, or in what you think is your plush life in the city. Lot’s of people claim that their partner doesn’t understand them. Lot’s claim that they are no longer sleeping with them. Lot’s claim they stay with their partner for the kids. Some claim that their jobs frown upon divorce. Others say that she (or he) wouldn’t be able to cope. Many claim that they are just waiting for the right time, the right moment, the right second/minute/hour/day/year to break the news.