The world’s obsession with the ‘other woman’
Something I’ve grown to realise over time and through the experiences that I’ve had is that; people naturally scapegoat. We’ve seen it happen through historic events, we’ve seen it happen in world wars, we see it happen in our workplaces, in family feuds; scapegoating or blaming others is so much easier than looking inwards. What’s that saying, ‘when you point a finger, you're really pointing three fingers back at yourself.’ Time to look in the mirror maybe?
So, let’s get down to it, the ‘other woman.’ Let me just be clear that I focus on women here because that’s my experience but I’m sure that men too focus on the ‘other man’ when they go through the experience of their partner cheating.
The ‘other woman’ can be defined as the person that the partner slept with or cheated with, in some way, be it emotional or sexual, she’s the person that garnered attention from your partner for that moment in time.
I think that the ‘other’ person could be literally anyone. And, in so many cases they are just the person that was there to fill a void just at that specific point in time. It’s the human condition, looking to fill an emptiness or loneliness on our journey through life.
Blame happens here on both sides. The cheating partner thinks things like; well we don’t have sex anymore, we aren’t intimate, we’re just friends, I deserve this, I just want to feel loved or connected to someone and they don’t give me this, it’s their fault.
The partner being cheated on thinks things like; I gave them everything, how could they do this to me, that ‘other’ person is such an asshole, how could they be with someone who is already taken, how will they live with themselves, they are just desperate, why did they lie for so long, why would they want to hurt me and on and on.
So why does it become so easy to focus on how bad the ‘other person’ is, rather than on your partner and the choices that they made. Keeping in mind that when we think logically and separate ourselves from the situation, we can see that the partner, the person with the commitment is the person who made the choice to cheat. Whatever lead them there is another consideration in itself but the final choice to cheat was theirs and theirs alone. Even though we know this, still as a society, we tend to focus on or brandish the ‘other woman.’ We even create movies about it, we write songs about it and my god, do we bitch about it.
I believe we focus on the ‘other woman’ to distract ourselves from our real pain. To shift focus and make the issue not about the person who truly had the commitment to us but to deflect their responsibility onto someone else. Like, NO, it cannot have been all them, they were coaxed and bewitched into this sinful, sexual encounter because this woman had a magical vagina and they just couldn’t possibly help but slide into it. Right? Right.
What else could it be about the other woman that stops us in our tracks? Is it the biblical idea of the forbidden fruit? The notion that we shouldn’t be picking apples from that tree when we already have an apple that we chose. The very idea that we can’t have two apples in our lives, just the one.
The truth is, sometimes the pain is so hard to look at that we choose to distract ourselves with the external, the outer, the scapegoat, the one to blame. The absolute most hardest thing about all of this, is even the focus on our partner who cheated might still not be the right place to look. While it’s still easier to look at them and brand them as the person who made the choice to do the bad thing, it really doesn’t change the fact that they did it.
Then we should ask ourselves… what can I control here? One of the biggest lessons I’ve had coming through the other side of this pain is that I can ONLY control myself, my thoughts, my actions and my feelings. I cannot control anyone, anything, or any outcome but only me. So, what here in this situation did I do wrong, what could I have done to change what happened for me?