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Rise of the Husband Poachers

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Is it time to issue all of the husbands of the world orange safety vests? Today’s “other woman” is

aggressive, unashamed, and (shockingly) unapologetic.

By TheNest.com Editors

First came Rielle Hunter’s interview with GQ, in which she was equal parts shameless and finger-pointing (towards Elizabeth Edwards). Then came the Vanity Fair spread of “Tiger’s Lovely Ladies,” and the New York Magazine article on Rachael Uchitel. Suddenly we were wondering: is this a shiny, brand new trend?

Meet the “Proud Mistress.” Rather than going into hiding, this girl likes to get out in front of accusations, own-up to being a notch on the proverbial bed post (think: shrug. “Yeah, I did it, so what?”), and virtually double-dare people to judge her. Newsflash: they are.

While we hate to see men behaving so badly, what’s really killing us is how little remorse “she” seems to feel. Is this just a savvy PR move (i.e. act innocent and the press will follow), or does it represent a sea change in attitudes toward infidelity? In short, is the stigma of home wrecker a thing of the past?

Though we’ve tried to avoid blaming the women involved, we’re starting to smell that they didn’t all play passive roles. Separately, they might be written off as a bunch of “poor life choices” poured into tiny outfits. But their sheer numbers have us wondering if this is really about getting their 15 minutes. Does celeb worship and the quest for fame trump any concern these girls may have had for their fellow women? Is the mere idea of an unspoken sisterhood among women naive and outdated? How would you feel if your husband cheated with a woman who seemed proud of it?

Learn how to deal with common couple fights.

We took our questions to TheNest.com community. Here’s what they had to say:

“The whole ‘proud mistress’ thing is nothing new. I would say most mistresses’ fall into that category if they know the man is married. If they were embarrassed, they wouldn’t be in that situation in the first place. It feels like a relatively new phenomenon because of the rise of tabloid culture and social media. Scandal sells magazines and discretion has gone the way of the dodo bird. As for the mistresses ‘not having any respect for women,’ I think that’s beside the point. They don’t have any respect for themselves.” BowiesInSpace

“I hate this idea of some sort of band of womanhood where women are supposed to stick together and support one another, and stay away from one another’s husbands. There is no such thing. ‘The other woman’ isn’t doing a damn thing to the wife — I’ve no doubt she’s just falling for the same lies that the cheater is giving the wife. The cheater is 100 percent at fault and is 100 percent responsible. This has nothing to do with feminism. The question is why are men disrespecting women to whom they made vows? Another woman can ‘disrespect’ you by flirting with him all she wants, but nothing will come of it unless your husband is a cheater. It’s really that simple. It’s not any other women’s job to keep my husband faithful, and it’s not anyone else’s fault if he’s not. ‘She’ just doesn’t matter at all.” OMG Guinea Pigs!!

“Maybe they do it for the thrill of sleeping with someone rich and famous. Maybe they do it because they fall in love (or think they fell in love). Maybe they do it because they’re the type of women who sleep with men on a whim or maybe they do it because they have no self-esteem.” Shadow42

“The point is that the husband made the vows to his wife, so the ‘other woman’ owes her nothing. It’s ridiculous to blame the other woman when the husband was the person who didn’t keep his promise to stay faithful. No one can tempt someone into cheating if they don’t want to.” Sapphire29

Hit a rough patch in your relationship?  Get advice from other couples here.

© 2010 The Knot Inc. All rights reserved.

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