Why We Need To Stop Blaming The Other Woman When We Get Cheated On

by Candice Jalili

For one year of my life, I was constantly "the other woman."

Somehow, every time was an accident. I had no idea that the guy I was seeing was in a committed relationship -- until he freaked out and admitted it to me mid-conversation. (Or, more often, until one of his friends told me the hard truth.)

When that happened, I ended things with the guy. I listened to his stupid excuses for why he did it or why his other relationship wasn't "real."

And then he'd try to convince me that we should still hook up. I'd go home alone and hold back my tears when I thought about how he was probably holding her right then.

As you can imagine, feeling like you have a giant sign on your forehead that says “CHEAT ON YOUR GIRLFRIEND WITH ME” is no walk in the park. It sucked. It was humiliating and heartbreaking.

But feeling stupid and heartbroken wasn't the worst of it. What hurt the most was when the girlfriend found out (not from him, I might add) and started hating me.

What hurt was that she and her friends made it their mission to ruin my life. And he did nothing to stop them. He didn't respect either of us enough to tell her the truth, which was that he had played both of us.

But she never broke up with him. They would fight, and maybe they'd take a break. But they always ended up back together.

And I was the one she hated -- until he inevitably cheated on her again with another girl, who became the new target for her misplaced anger.

I know that this happens all the time around the world, and it's understandable. It's obviously easier for you to hate the other woman than to hate the person you thought you trusted.

But unless the woman is also your best friend, I'm pretty sure there's only one person here who is actively hurting you. And that's HIM.

So let's do ourselves and the entire female population a favor, and let's PLEASE stop hating the other woman.

Here's why.

She fell for him, too.

Both of you fell for the same douche. He played both of you. Sure, the dynamics of their relationship are different.

But the fact of the matter is that she also liked him at one point. She fell for his cheesy jokes and his cute, shy smile. She swallowed his lies.

She’s hurting just as much as you are.

She fell for him, and he let her down -- just like he did to you. Maybe it was even worse for her. Think about it. He charmed her with that smile and those jokes, and he probably told her tales about the girlfriend he would leave soon.

But where did he go the next morning? He went home to you. The next morning, he made a photo of you two his profile picture. And she had to see that.

He lied to you, but she wasn’t even worth lying to. You were both hurt by this ass-wipe. Don’t make this any harder on her than it already is.

She’s not the one who says 'I love you.'

Yes, they did something together that hurt you. But only one person is in the wrong here, and I’m going to go out on a limb and say it’s the person who told you he loves you.

You’re nothing but a stranger to this girl. She never owed you anything. She didn’t lie to you. She doesn’t even know you (outside of his presumably not-so-favorable descriptions). I know she’s easier to hate.

You want to love him, and you want to hate her. But you’re a mature adult, and you need to realize that he’s the only one who actively decided to hurt YOU, the person he was supposed to care most about.

She’s a Band-Aid for the real problem.

She’s just a distraction from the real issue here. Your boyfriend lied to you. He deceived you, and he did something to hurt you really f*cking badly. These are not easy emotions to handle, but hating her is an easy one.

Don’t let her be the scapegoat for what’s really wrong. You can hate her and ban him from seeing her, but it’s not going to change the fact that he cheated. He hurt you. He broke your trust. He’s the problem.

She’s not worth your transition to a petty, spiteful person.

You graduated from middle school years ago, and I'm hoping you left behind your mean-girl mentality as well as your JanSport backpack and Motorola Razr.

Yes, we all have the capacity inside of us to be mean. We can all channel the mean girl who tears apart a stranger's social media presence and can say something evil about her most flawless picture.

But that person is an insecure bully. Turning mean won't make you feel better. If you resist the urge to do that, you'll maintain a sense of dignity and humility -- even in this undignified and humiliating situation.

She’s not in the power position; you are.

You’re Hillary Clinton, and she’s Monica Lewinsky. When you're running for president, she’ll still be the girl who blew him that one time. Don’t abuse your power. Don’t kick her while she’s already down.

Yes, you’re down too, but you’re the one everyone else likes. Everybody is cheering for you. Nobody is cheering for her.

She’s a placeholder for all the women that he could have chosen

Yes, she's the one he chose. But he's the cheater. If it wasn’t her, it would have been someone else.

Heck, for all you know, there might have even been someone else -- an "other other woman." She’s just a symbol for what is so fundamentally wrong with him.

Hating her lets him off too easily.

Don’t hate her. Hate the lying, cheating piece of pond scum who broke your heart. (And, odds are, hers too).

Hating her takes the heat away from him him. Remind me what he did to deserve that satisfaction and relief. Oh, yeah, that’s right — NOTHING.