I’m the Other Woman
By Quiana Stokes on Feb 7th 2011 12:30PM
Filed under: Infidelity
Imagine meeting the perfect man. The one you have been looking for for as long as you can remember. He’s handsome, attentive and chivalrous. Your family loves him, your friends want to meet him and the butterflies you feel when you see him are unparalleled. Now imagine Mr. Perfect belonging to someone else. How would you handle that? We found one brave soul willing to share her story. Here’s the tale of the other woman as told to us by a Black Voices reader (names have been changed).
I’ve known Jason my whole life. We grew up together and some of my oldest memories are with him. We were practically raised as family, but I’d lost contact with him and other people from my childhood for roughly 16 years. One day, I decided to attend a family reunion event back in the old neighborhood and he was there. At first glance, I didn’t recognize him. Shortly after, a mutual friend reintroduced us to each other. Both of us, clearly excited, shared a few pleasantries and parted ways. A few days later the standard slew of Facebook friend requests started to come from a number of people at the reunion. I saw his name. I requested him. This is when the real talking began.
It began innocently enough with messages back and forth solely on Facebook. The correspondence brought back a lot of memories for me. He was always really nice to me. I had a crush on him back then, but it was different now – we were both grown. He was much more attractive and a lot funnier.
We began to realize we shared a lot of similar interests and got to reminiscing about the old days. I felt connected to him. He was friends with my family and knew my mother before she passed away, and the sense of comfort just in that was something I had never felt before.
The longer we spoke, the deeper the conversations got. He admitted to me that he also had a crush on me when we were younger. He described me as the “unattainable one”. He was undoubtedly pursuing me. He actually told me that he had every intention of wearing me down until I agreed to hang out with him. The flirty talking was mutual, but it was clear to me that he had a mission.
I knew and had known for a long time that he was engaged… with two children. Actually, his children was one of our first conversation topics. In pictures, his family looked perfect – until he told me differently. He would tell me that he got engaged because it’s what everyone else wanted and he felt sort of resigned to it. In fact, he said, “We have two kids; might as well.”
He told me he wasn’t in love with her and he felt like he was raising his kids with a friend, not someone he wanted to marry. Throughout the whole ordeal, I took his side when he would tell me about conflicts they were having. I definitely felt more sympathy for him. She was portrayed as a lazy, greedy, unappreciative person who trapped him into this relationship. That is how he got me.
I figured if he wasn’t happy and he was pursuing me, then I may as well go along with it. He said he didn’t want to hurt her by telling her the truth – that he loved me. In hindsight, I know he was lying, but at the time it seemed genuine. He was showing me, not just telling me, how he felt.
He paid me a lot of attention. He would come over to my house after work (most of our time together was spent in my house) and I’d see him on some weekends. We would go out for brunch, go shopping or just go driving around my neighborhood. He picked me up from work to spend time with me on my birthday. He took me to a concert and we would go out dancing with his friends. There were days when I’d come home from work, dance class or a meeting and he’d be sitting on my stoop waiting for me.
He called me on Christmas Eve and came over on Christmas day with something I had randomly mentioned I wanted. The relationship became sexual soon after we started talking, but now it was becoming more intimate. I didn’t believe he had any intentions of leaving his fiancee and children for me until around this time, when he told me he loved me. I clearly loved him, too. He even started talking about our wedding, who would raise his children and how our future would look together. This is when the situation became more than I could handle.
I was preparing my life to be with him. I was more than willing to turn my life around to figure out a way for us to be together. I was ready to take any heat that would come from my family about our relationship and trying to figure out a way to help him support his children.
I helped him find a pet for his kids, buy a classic car and restore it, and I even helped him plan a family vacation for his daughter’s birthday. I never told him no. I supported him on everything he ever needed or wanted help with. I was two heads of the same coin – a woman that loved him but was not dependent upon him and a woman who wanted to be with him but did not need to be with him.
The longer the relationship went on, the harder things became. We had been together for six months and he was still very much living with his family. We communicated through facebook and email. When he would call me, it would be from a blocked home or cell phone number. At one point, he bought an additional pay by month phone to talk to me on, but later decided he didn’t want to renew it. I wasn’t allowed to call or text him.
Little did he or I know, his fiancee had access to his phone records and got hold of the number he was calling most frequently – mine. Clearly, that did not end well. She confronted me about our relationship and I lied to protect him and myself. She stalked me on Facebook, and I left the site.
In hindsight, I can empathize with her. Her life and family that she helped create was falling apart because of some unseen force: me. She knew that he had cheated on her in the past, but he never contemplated leaving her for any of them, so our situation was different; I was different. He defended me and my space in his life – as a friend, never anything more. He always denied our relationship and lied to her, and I helped maintain the lie.
I started to feel bad. I thought I’d ruined his life. I remember he and his fiancee getting in a fight so serious, she took the kids and left the house. I felt guilty, not because he had someone else but because I was responsible for everything crumbling around their feet. We continued dating after that. When I finally started to end it with him, he berated me. I wanted him to man up, call me, be honest with me and make good on the things he had told me. This never happened.
In all honesty, I didn’t feel bad for “stealing someone’s man”. We were both equal parts in the situation and he was the one doing the pursuing. The relationship lasted from December to June and is now over.
I regret the drama and double talk, but I do not regret being with him. He gave me something that I haven’t had in a long time- a connection. I was able to be more honest with him than I have ever been with anyone else. He took care of me when I was used to being the caretaker in relationships. He provided me with something I have never experienced before and it was a function of who he was and not that he was involved. I’m certain that someone who is single will be able to provide me with that in the future.
I’ve spoken to my ex recently. He has decided to maintain his relationship and is actually in the midst of planning the wedding. He told me his relationship with her has gotten better because he has been able to communicate with her – an attribute he says I helped him foster. Awesome.
BV ASKS: Ladies, would you ever be the other woman?