Stranger Stories: An Anonymous Story About Being the “Other” Woman

a note from Mary: this story contains sensitive subject matter, please be aware. 

Like the author of the last fabulously-written anonymous story, I too reached out to Mary to be a guest writer on her blog. I have found that some stories are harder for me to share, and this is one few people want to hear let alone try to understand. This is the story about being the other woman. 

I know what you’re probably thinking, because I can almost guarantee I’ve thought the same things too. I’ve called those women numerous names and made assumptions about them, and then one day, somehow, I became the other woman. 

Four years ago I was entering my freshman year of college. I instantly became friends with this guy Scott (changing his name for the purpose of this story). Scott and I had many common interests and instantly became not just friends, but best friends. I knew I could call him at any second of the day or night and he’d coming running across the quad to my dorm and sit with me until the swelling of my eyes settled from crying so much. When I first met Scott I was still dating a boy from high school. The distance became too much for my little naïve heart to handle, and I soon started dating another guy, we’ll call him Mark. I knew from the start Mark was a bad idea. He was 3 years older than me and certainly more experienced than me. You know when you’re little and your mom tells you if something really makes you sad or uncomfortable that you don’t have to do it, that you should trust those feelings? Well unfortunately 18-year-old me didn’t listen to my mom’s advice. I wound up in an extremely physically and emotionally abusive relationship with Mark. It wasn’t until I was laying naked on the bathroom floor of my dorm room covered in bruises and blood that I realized I needed to get away, that I needed help.  

For the weeks to come, I distanced myself from everyone and everything and Scott and my friendship started fading away. It wasn’t until the summer after our freshman year that I told him the truth about Mark. This angered Scott. Okay so anger doesn’t even begin to describe how furious he was with Mark and the situation and how he wasn’t there for me, but somehow this turned into a conversation of Scott telling me he loves me. I told Scott I didn’t know how I felt. Looking back four years later I knew in that moment I loved Scott as far more than a friend, but I also knew my perception of love and life had been greatly altered by my relationship with Mark. 

So, Scott and I learned to live our lives separately. He loved me from afar and I hid under the covers of other men. Eventually we started dating other people and falling in love with them. Senior year of college came, and Scott was still in a very long-distance relationship with this girl (we’ll call her Emma) while I was single again for the first time in a long time. Scott and I quickly began to spend more time together. Scott would complain to me about how hard his relationship was with Emma being so far away and having so many differences, while I tried dating man after man, I realized I wasn’t happy and in love with anyone like I was with Scott. So one cold winter night, while I was crying over another boy, Scott comforted me, and we kissed. Right away we apologized, and said it was a mistake. I mean it was a mistake right? He had a girlfriend. I finally confessed to Scott how I felt and he said it wasn’t fair to him- he had felt that way before about me and I wasn’t ready and though he was miserable dating Emma right now it just wasn’t fair. So yet again, Scott and I drifted apart.   

Months went by without a single word shared between us, until one Saturday at 3 in the morning I received a phone call from him. The rest of that night is blurry. I’m not sure if it’s that I don’t remember it, or that I don’t want to. We ended up hooking up and then I just started hysterically crying telling him how much I love him. I told him to leave Emma. I told him if he wasn’t happy with her that he needed to break up with her, and be with me. He said now I knew how it felt, now I knew what it meant to have my heart broken, and I began to cry even more. He quickly apologized, and said that’s not what he meant. He said that’s what he wanted too, for us to be together, and we fell asleep. The next morning I woke up in an empty room, trying to figure out if the night before really happened or if it was all a dream. After a few days passed I called Scott and said we needed to talk. So we did, and suddenly I realized I was the other woman. Scott didn’t want to be with me, but he didn’t want to let me go. Scott told Emma what happened and I was suddenly blocked from all of her social media accounts and all of his. I spent my last few weeks of college walking around campus with puffy eyes and baggy sweatpants, keeping my head staring at the ground as people called me a “homewrecker” and a “Whore.” I started to believe those names people called me, and I started hating myself.  

Graduation came, the summertime came, and I thought I was free. But, life never works out quite that way does it? Soon it was October, and I received numerous phone calls from friends in the area saying that Scott was talking about me. So I finally worked up the courage to go sit down with him face to face and talk about everything. Amongst the awkward silences were a lot of “I’m sorry” and “I want you to be happy” and “let’s try to be friends.” So we did, try. Four days later of us “trying to be friends” landed us both in my apartment bed, cuddling, and you guessed it-me crying. I told him I didn’t want him to leave this time, I wanted to wake up the next morning and see him. By some miracle I did, which of course was when he decided to tell me that him and his girlfriend were on a break and he needed to figure out what he wanted. Although they weren’t together at this point, a part of me still felt guilty, like I was trying to weave myself into someone else’s story. I decided this time to trust that gut instinct. After a few weeks of back and forth arguing, I’m not sure if I’ll ever see him again. 

So here I am, writing this, finally typing up my story. If you’re still reading this, you’re probably wondering what I want you to take away from it, why this story is important. It’s important because it’s not just a story, it’s my life. I am not THE OTHER WOMAN, I am A WOMAN. I have a heart and a conscience and a mind and soul. I do not have “bad morals.” I fell in love with a guy who had always been there for me. I fell in love with my best friend and he fell out of love with his girlfriend, and I thought that by some miracle we could be happy together. What I have come to realize is that it will never happen, us. So often I read stories about how much it sucks to get cheated on, and trust me I know, I have been there too. But what hurts even more is being “the other woman,” the one who always saw the good in people, the one who put up with people calling her a “fucking whore” and her supposed best friend telling her “you have no morals and you’re a homewrecker,” all because I believed that Scott really, truly did love me and wanted to be with me.  

“I am not THE OTHER WOMAN, I am A WOMAN.”

My mom used to tell me, “once a cheater, always a cheater.” She warned me about heartbreak and loss, but she never quite prepared me for this empty, disgusted feeling with yourself. So, here I am, trying to move on and live my life, without Scott. Believe it or not, I was the one who ended things. I don’t care if him and Emma were on a break or broken up or whatever the hell you want to call it, but I was and am done with being a part of his life. I am learning to forgive myself for the mistakes I’ve made, but more importantly, I am learning to love myself again. Sometimes we invest so much of ourselves into someone else’s potential that we forget who they really are and who we are and what we believe and what we want. I want someone who wants me, and only me. Emma, if you’re reading this, I’m so sorry how things happened, but I really did love Scott. And Scott, if you’re reading this, you need to make up your mind. I would’ve/could’ve loved you with everything that I had left to give, but I realize it was never really me that you wanted. Maybe it was all just a game to you, and you were reaching to feel something again, but it was always so much more to me. To my audience, I’m not sure what you think of me, and frankly, I don’t care. I am learning to love myself again. I am learning that no one is perfect, myself included. I am learning that we all make mistakes. I am also learning that everyone is deserving of love. One day, I will find the love meant for me. 

So before you go around calling people “homewreckers” and “slut-bags” and whatever witty things you think you can come up with, know this: We are each just trying to find our way in life, trying to find love and all deserving of love. And yes, I “the other woman,” have a heart too.  

Also, to those who are in abusive relationships, or have been assaulted or raped, I hope you find the courage to tell someone. I hope you find the courage to leave and to seek help. I still have moments where it is hard for me, but I am so thankful to have family and friends who love and support me and will never make me feel alone again. Surround yourself with people who make you happy to be alive. Those are the friendships worth having, and never settle for anything less than that.  

If you have a story that you would like to share, anonymous or otherwise email me at marysaverageadventures@gmail.com.

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Relationships: Aspect 2- Control

Control in relationships is something that I see in a lot of relationships. Someone, male or female, presents his or herself as the dominant one in the relationships everywhere.

From personal experience, I was with a controlling boyfriend, and as soon as I realized it I ended it. I didn’t like it. He constantly wanted to know where I was, who I was with, and what I was doing. At age 16 that’s what I have parents for, not a boyfriend. I was supposed to be going on dates and having fun with my friends, not constantly checking my phone to answer every text he sent immediately. If I didn’t respond to every message even a “yeah” or an “okay” he would send the message three times and then ask me if I was mad or why I wasn’t answering. It was too much for me so I broke up with him.

I guess that might not have been as controlling as some relationships are, definitely not actually, however it does show how small my tolerance levels are. I’m going to look up warning signs of a controlling relationship (look at me doing research) since I don’t know too much about this subject, other than it’s sucky and unhealthy.  This also includes abuse. Abuse is not okay, sexual or physical. If anyone is ever touching you in a manner that is not a appropriate leave the relationship and seek help if need be. I shall leave number for help as well as website resources.

  1.  Rough Treatment. This could be as simple as grabbing your wrist a little too tight during an argument and could be as terrible as punching and kicking. This also includes things like throwing objects like glasses, books, etc. This is usually a recurring problem and will happen more than once. If you see this as a problem it’s best to leave sooner than later because it just get’s harder to get out of.
  2. Quick Attachment and Express. Love at first sight essentially. If someone is saying things like “I love you” and talking about marriage at the very start of a relationship it might escalate quickly and this is a definite warning sign of a controlling relationship. However, this may be hard to gauge now because I feel like people say “I love you” so quickly nowadays. The site (included at the bottom) also mentions that they might shower you with expensive gifts. It takes time to develop a serious relationship and a future, if someone is rushing things it might not be a very good relationship and there could be alternative motives in addition to a controlling relationship.
  3. Frightening Temper. The changes will be quick and out of nowhere. You may do one little thing “wrong” and your partner loses it.  At first this may only been seen with their reaction to things their family and friends, but that’s a warning sign to you. The way they treat other people is how they’re going to eventually treat you. It’s important to notice this before their actions start going against you.
  4. Destroys Self-Confidence. A controlling partner will try to eliminate any self-confidence that you hold. A person who lacks self-confidence is easier to manipulate, the easier you are to manipulate, the easier you are to control. If your partner tells you how ugly, fat, horrible, etc you look, they are diminishing your self-confidence. A person who really likes you will want you to know how beautiful you are, and they should build your self-confidence rather than destroy you.
  5. Separates you from your support group. If a partner tries to distance you from your friends and your family it’s probably not a healthy relationship. You should be able to hang out with those who care about you and you care about without a problem. It’s not normal for a partner to tell you about how much they dislike all of your friends as well as your family. They shouldn’t try to cut calls with your family short, or ask you to cancel plans with your friends to hang out with them instead. They may also always want to know where you are and they may not want you to be the places where you are. That’s not normal. You should be able to go where you want with who you want. Unless you’re doing something you morally shouldn’t but other than that you should be able to do what you want to do.
  6. Rapid mood changes. This means that your partner will go from mean to sweet in the blink of an eye. They will yell and scream and turn around and try and fix it by apologizing like crazy, trying to spoil you, but soon enough they will go right back to being awful. The awful parts will do things like rip at your self-esteem and they will slowly destroy you, even if you believe they are fixing it during their sweet phase, they aren’t, the damage is done.
  7. Blame game.  There is no way that every fight and argument is your fault, but if you are in a controlling relationship you might believe that you are to blame. Everytime. If someone is telling you that every fight is because of you, you are being controlled. There is no way that every single time that you argue it’s your fault. This even applies to things that they do wrong, if they cheat, if they break anything, if they get in an accident, if they get pulled over, they will blame all of that on you. It doesn’t even make sense, if they blame you for something that could never be your fault, leave. That’s a huge sign. Run.
  8. Breakup Scare. If you threaten to break up with them they will freak out. They will try to do everything to fix it. The idea of losing the “object” yes object, they look at you like a thing, of their control scares them. They will go as far as they need to try and win you back. At this point it’s best to leave and cut off all contact. This is not safe.

These are just a few of the signs that you are in a controlling relationship. If you find any of these in a relationship you are in, here is a website that helps you to get out of it and get advice http://www.thehotline.org/. This is for domestic abuse but sadly a controlling relationship is considered abuse, it may not always be physical but mental can be just as damaging. If you feel as if you need someone to talk to your age, my email is marysaverageadventures@gmail.com and I can try to give some advice, but it is more than likely that I will try and refer you to real help because I am not an expert whatsoever. This is also a really helpful website http://www.mentalhealthce.com/courses/contentCR/secCR16.html that I used for this post. Check it out as it gives slightly more detail than I did. If you think you are in an abusive or controlling relationship please try and get out of it. Get in touch with the hotline and there are even shelters set up for those who are in relationships like this. There are always better options, don’t settle for less than you deserve and NO ONE deserves to be controlled or abused.

Finally, I would just like to dedicate this post to my cousin. I don’t know what your story is anymore, but your family and I guess I’ll always still love you. I don’t know what’s going on in your life but I’m worried about you. I hope somehow you see this. I’m not sure how you will, but God will find a way.

Thanks for reading guys!

XOXO,

Mary.