The Ethics of The Other Woman

I recently found out that one of my friends was in the process of getting a divorce. Her husband had several affairs and after seven years of infidelity she finally decided to wash her hands.  During our conversation, I could hear the heartache and pain in her voice. I sensed her feelings of betrayal and lost.  She not only lost her husband but she lost her best friend, her lifestyle and everything that she thought was true was shaken.  I empathized with her and congratulated her for having the strength to do what she felt was best for her.

However during this conversation she kept mentioning the other women. Questioning, what type of woman would knowingly date a married man; questioning the morality of the women and his friends; she did not understand how all these people could do this to her, and why didn’t anyone think of her in the process.  I thought about these questions and understood her despair but I did not agree.  I am of the opinion that none of these people were the cause or at fault for her getting a divorce.  The divorce was between her and her husband.

I know many women will disagree with me, but I do not believe the other woman or the husband’s friends have any obligation to the wife.  Now, let me clarify the situation. This is a married couple, a man and woman.  The husband has cheated with multiple single women.  His friends are his and are not mutual friends of the couple.  In this situation, I do not believe the other woman or the husband’s friends have an obligation to the wife.  Now, do not misunderstand me, I am not condoning women dating married men; however, many times married men are lying to single woman about their marital status.  So how could the other woman be at fault for breaking up a relationship when she does not know he is married? 

On the other hand, if the woman does know the man is married, yes she is wrong.  However, I do not believe she is at fault for their divorce.  The mistress does not have any stake in the married couple’s relationship.  She did not take a vow to love and cherish each other.  Maybe she should uphold some sort of female code of uplifting each other and not bringing each other down.  However, many of the same married women break this code daily when they gossip and backstab their female counterparts.  Plus all women may not know of this code.

Some might even say that it is society’s obligation to make sure that people marriages succeed.  However, then we can also say it is society’s obligation to feed the hungry and medicate the sick.  Notwithstanding, people die everyday because of these same reasons. These arguments are all based on the individual values and concerns of people.  Yet, we all know, there is no universal values or concerns.  We live in a world were inflicting pain on someone else, much of which is much worse than adultery, is not only the normal but also tolerated.  Maybe, that is the problem?

 Overall, the quality of a marriage can only be as good as the two people involved; not the people the couple bring into the relationship.  It is the responsibility of the couple to determine who is healthy or toxic for their relationship.  The wife and husband make their own decisions about what to do with their marriage.  They decide if they can or cannot tolerate the circumstances surrounding their relationship.  More often than not, dating a married man is normally a lost cause for single women.  Married men normally do not leave their wives for the other woman.  The infidelity normally leads to all parties involved being hurt.

It is this point, single women should consider.  She should be considering her own wellbeing, self-confidence, and heartache.  She is self-inflicting her own heartache and disappointment by dating a married man.  Since, more than likely he will not become exclusive with her.  The single woman in this case should determine how does this relationship with a married man fit into her overall goals of career, marriage, buying a house, and having a family of her own.  More importantly, she should ask her self “Why should I settle for a relationship, which has a high possibility of failure? If I was looking from the outside could I respect this person?” These questions are key.  Your actions determine how people view and treat you; even if they are not true to your character.  Nonetheless, being happy with who you are, is most important to living a healthy life. 

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