There’s a lot of focus on the concept of “the other woman” in television & media recently. The strong, educated, accomplished woman that struggles with her love life is an ALL TOO FAMILIAR character to many women. If you aren’t facing that challenge personally, the chances are tremendous that you know a woman who is.
With charismatic characters like Olivia Pope and Mary Jane Paul, it appears that the media is even attempting to glamorize this unfortunate position. (Not to mention the negative messages they are sending about relationship prospects for Black Women, but that’s another post for another day). By showing passionate sex scenes that erupt from forbidden LUST, and dysfunctional marriages that have disintegrated into contempt and callousness, the “War on Marriage” is alive and well; and right now, it looks like the devil may be winning.
In my years as a professional Life & Relationship Coach, I have worked with several incredible women of faith who’ve found themselves in the undesirable role of being the other woman. This position is usually accompanied by a tremendous sense of guilt, shame and embarrassment. The excitement & passion that’s portrayed on T.V. and movies is merely a minute portion of the emotional fallout from this type of relationship. Even if you aren’t sexually involved, an emotional affair can cause the same adverse effects. Finding yourself branded with the title of “the other woman” also impacts the way you see yourself & your future relationship prospects, not to mention the Karma you’re collecting.
If you are dating a married man (or one who’s in a “committed relationship”), here are 3 tips to help you reclaim your dignity and move forward with your self-respect intact:
1. No Man (not even Mr. Right) can fill a God-sized hole
One of the most common causes that I see of women being willing to accept being relegated to the role of “side chick” is an overwhelming desire to fill a painful void. This void looks different for different women, but it’s often the need to feel wanted, special & loved. The problem is that even after you get your “fix,” (which can be sexual or non-sexual) the pain or numbness that was there before, returns to its same ole spot in your heart.
That’s because only God can fill a God-sized hole. Many of us allow other priorities to cause us to become distant from God, and that’s the beginning of what I call Spiritual Malnutrition. When you’re malnourished and hungry, even rotten food seems appealing. But, He is always there for you when you’re ready to make a change for the better, even when you’ve been living a sinful lifestyle and the enemy has you convinced that “there’s no going back now.” Stop looking to a man to do for you what only your Creator can do.
2. Realize that you are MORE than your current circumstance.
Many women of faith find themselves in these taboo relationships after experiencing a painful life challenge, a series of disappointing relationships, or prolonged frustration with being lonely. (They may even be mad at God for letting them get to this point.)
A lack of connection with your self-worth also plays a role in permitting you to engage in this type of relationship. You need to reconnect with the God-given Phenomenal Essence of you (what I call your X-Factor), so that even considering this demeaning position becomes inconceivable to you. Truly owning your divine worthiness, would make being expected to accept the “side piece” status as truly offensive and ludicrous.
3. You were divinely created to wear the honor of a Wife, not the shame of a Mistress
When prospects seem bleak, and it feels like “maybe I’m just meant to be single,” it can be easy to believe that you don’t have many choices. You may start believing that you just have to “take what you can get,” even if it’s a part-time man. This is especially true when you honestly believe that “he really is a good man, he’s just in a bad situation right now.” But, that’s a lie from the enemy!
What God has for you is for YOU! That includes an equally yoked spouse. Don’t believe the deception that there aren’t any more options available to you. And, be willing to do the work on YOU to prepare for your own Husband and marriage.
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“True Love is Seeking YOU… Just as You are Seeking True Love!”
But, do you know how to call it into your life with Grace & Dignity?
Or, will you Stay committed to the Habits & Practices that Keep it at Bay, and leave you Frustrated?
The Choice is ALWAYS YOURS.