For a year now I have clung to hope. Hope for W and I. Today, I did not cry. The first day in months I haven’t cried. In fact, I cannot remember a day I haven’t cried in a long, long time. Today is not over, but I don’t feel on the verge of tears like I have for a very long time. That is because the hope and expectations I had for W and I have come to a creeping halt. I can’t be hurt anymore by my expectations anymore. I can’t be hurt by my hope. I have come to terms with some hard truths that I had been trying to deny myself for months. Today, as I was chatting with The Agony of Being the Other Woman I realized some of what has been holding me me back in my journey to move on for a while.
Being the OW is like no other relationship. It isn’t like a normal relationship. The way us women end up here is because of the pure passion and often times intimacy we share with these men. We wouldn’t be the OW for any other reason, than we feel the love is so great it pulls us there without choice. This is great, right? To find a man that completes us, finishes our sentences, totally accepts us…we have been waiting for this our whole lives, right? He’s so awesome and we can’t understand how his wife couldn’t appreciate this. No! This isn’t so great, because… You can only go so far in these realationships. This huge love you share can only grow so far. The very nature of being the OW means there is no place in his life for us, unless you like being in the shadows. Marriage, by its definition doesn’t leave a place for us. Marriage, doesn’t allow them to be there for us, to communicate with us like we would like, grow old with us, spend holidays with us, buy us gifts or build futures with us. Because they are married we get parts of them, parts of their life..the parts they have left after he freely gives himself to everybody else. We wait for scraps, the bare minimum.
We are not their lives, or priority. These men can live without us, and they will live without us, if forced to choose. There is no way to have a “normal” and “healthy” relationship with a man who is married. There is no natural course for the relationship to take. He must leave his marriage and make himself available to you to do so. Don’t get your hopes up, this rarely, almost never happens. It is more likely that you will find a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. It doesn’t matter what he says. It doesn’t matter if he thinks and says you are his soul mate, or that he can’t live without you. Did he leave his wife to be with you, the one he can’t live without and claims he is deeply and madly in love with? Has he made you the woman who is by his side? Has he taken the steps to give your relationship legitimation and validation? Did he respect you enough to not make you the OW, or keep you as the OW? Nope! Know why? Because you are the OW. By simply allowing yourself to be the OW, he lost respect for you. You accept less than you should, so he sees that as permission to treat you as less than you deserve. The longer you remain the OW the less likely he is to leave. Don’t hate me, hate the statistics. He won’t leave. They don’t. Yes, you feel like you are different. We all do. Because no woman would enter into this type of lopsided relationship for a mediocre love. No woman would subject herself to the hardships this kind of relationship takes on their soul, heart and moral intergrity for something that feels lukewarm.
Yes, you sacrifice. Yes, you gave up meeting other men who are available and can be happy with… in hopes that one day he will appreciate and value you. He will never value you until you value yourself. We have given them full cart blanche to treat as less, because we accept less.
During my conversation with The Agony of Being the Other Woman she was wondering why her realtionship didn’t feel like it had truly ended. She felt like it wasn’t really over. I think, it is because we never have the opportunity in these relationships to let them run their natural course. In normal relationships they can evolve. If you find that you are madly in love with each other you can grow in your relationship..You can live together, spend weekends and holidays together, get married, be part of each other’s families…If at some point you find it isn’t working after all efforts you can break up/divorce, or you can thrive and live happily ever after and your relationship ends when one of you dies…But either way the relationship has a way to have a natural ending. One in which closure can be felt, and you can say we gave it our all, or it was a good run. When it ends because someone’s marriage was a stubbling block, it leave a lot of what ifs, and you always wonder if he wasn’t married could you have truly made it work. Of course, you think the two of you could have made it work or you wouldn’t be the OW. You will always be left with that hanging over your head, because you were denied the opportunity to let it play out, because of his marriage. As the OW you are denied the a natural relationship with a natural ending. You will never know the closure that comes with knowing both of you gave it your all and it just wasn’t meant to be, and you exhausted all efforts. That is denied to you when you are the OW. It ends because you either can’t take being courtside, or his wife discovers the affair, thus making the decision for both of you, or he cannot continue because he is over his head,etc…but it never ends because you and he gave it your all and it just didn’t work out Know why? Because he was never available for that kind of relationship. Not only are we denied a full relationship, but we are also denied an ending with full closure.
For me, I am feeling hopeful. I have sat in the wings for so long. The greater the distance between W and I gets, and the more reality sets in and hope is lost, the more I feel ready to get out there. I have found hope and excitement at the thought of dating again. Finding a man that I can I connect with that is available to be mine. Hope…for something outside of W is something I haven’t felt in a long time. But as I let go a bit more every day, I feel some vacant, valuable real estate space in my heart that is ready to try again, that is still hopeful to find the right guy. I found hope again, but it isn’t for the future that I thought was to be mine and W’s, it is for a new future that has room to take root and grow. I am on the brink of greatness. All the changes in my life the past year are leading me a great direction. I am actually beginning to look forward to the idea of a first date, with a single man. 🙂