The other woman is the dreaded mystery intruder that wreaks havoc every where she goes. She invariably destroys every relationship she gets involved in. She employs her feminine wiles to succeed in luring an otherwise happily married man. The other woman has plagued society for centuries and will most likely continue to do so; as long as society insists on the failed system of monogamous relationships. The other woman has been described with many choice adjectives by her victims. To the man she is catering to, she is hot, she is his necessary outlet, she is the stuff and worth risking his life, his family, his career and his marriage over.

Who is the other woman? Does anyone set out to be the other woman? What would make one decide to be the other woman? I have interacted with many women in this category in my personal life and professionally. For one thing, there is no common denominator for the other woman. Any woman can inadvertently become the other woman at any given time. Most women do not single handedly become the other woman.

A woman is multi-faceted, even when she becomes the other woman; she still has a host of other more important roles in her life that lend to this one part she plays. Many believe that there are not enough men because the good ones are already married or otherwise engaged and taken off the dating market. Society encourages the aberrant behavior of the other woman when it frowns on single women as being less than; making most of them feel pressured to become attached, even if it means settling for undesirable fellows.

Men have a lot to do with the syndrome but our cultures have something to do with the situations as well. In many societies, it is an accepted phenomenon for men to have and maintain mistresses or concubines because it is commonly believed that men cannot be monogamous by nature. In those cultures, the man shares his time and resources between the spouses and concubines. They all know about each other and all co-exist in peace.

The other woman comes in a variety of forms, for many reasons. Some women are willing accomplices. Some are innocent lovers caught in the men’s web of deceit. Some of the women do have low self esteem and enjoy being used and abused. For many, their financial needs out weigh their senses of right and wrong. Many women allow themselves to be blinded and controlled by love.

Many men are good liars when it comes to cheating. Although they do use incredible lines, the women are gullible, mainly out of loneliness, lack of attention or financial need. For the record, married women do also cheat and lie; although, not as much as their male counterparts because of social structures. Some of the lies the men use, are quite convincing, especially when you are already emotionally vested in the relationship: Some common lies are:

“My wife and I have no sexual relations, we are just together because of the kids but we lead our separate lives”. “We will get a divorce after the kids leave high school or college or home” etc. “My wife is a whore and sleeps around, so I do not even touch her”. “My wife has a terminal disease, so I cannot leave her now”. “I wish I met you before my wife”. I cannot leave now or she will take me to the cleaners or she will keep my kids from me and they are my life”. My marriage is a business arrangement and as soon as we get the family inheritance I will leave her”. I cannot leave now because she is very unstable and will harm me and my kids”. “Let’s not talk about my wife, it is too complicated”. “My wife does not understand me and I do not love her”.

Of course, any of the above should say a lot to a woman about what kind of fellow the cheating man is but unfortunately most women think with their hearts and not their heads. Then again, many times the woman is using the man for financial gain – rent, mortgage, car, tuition, vacation, high fashion or even sex.

Nine times out of ten, if she is young, she has a younger single guy on the side for her sexual thrills while the married man is popping virility pills to perform, generally under par. There is also the case of innocent attraction that goes too far before both parties know what is going on. Some women do it out of vengeance; because it happened to them. The other woman stole their men; so they vow to take any man they can conquer, regardless of who they hurt.

There is a level of interference that takes place; whether the other woman directly meddles in the man’s relationship or not. There are lots of lies by him to his partner. He is leading a double life and under a lot of stress. He is not at his optimum and is not performing all his functions at home even if he is taking Viagra; which is endangering his health. He is sharing his finances and time with outside sources, depriving his family in many ways. A more major problem arises when the partner finds out via any of many avenues; including when the other woman wants more than to be on the side and wants to become the main action. The damage is usually immeasurable all around.

Author's Bio: 

Rehabilitation Consultant, Speaker, Empowerment Trainer & Author of "Till Cheating Do Us Part"; "Innocence Interrupted"; and "A Slice of Africa".