Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

The Other Women

Several times, in the last few weeks, I’ve been asked if I’ve ever dated a married man/if I’d be willing to write about that topic.  It’s something I’ve shied away from in the past because I didn’t want to cause a stir or offend anyone (seriously).  But since I’ve been repeatedly asked, here goes:

I have never, to my knowledge, dated or had any kind of relationship with a married guy.  I say, to my knowledge because (some) people lie.  And I’m sure there has been at least one guy in my past who told me he was divorced or single when in reality he was married.  I had a several month relationship, a few years ago, with a guy who was legally separated but still living with his ex and he lied when we first met, telling me he was divorced.

This is how I choose to live my life.  It works for me.  However, I don’t judge people who choose to live their lives differently.  In other words, I refuse to condemn the other women/other men.

But wait, let me backtrack. I want to explain why I don’t date married guys:  I don’t want the DRAMA.  There’s no way around it.  You date a married guy and there’s going to be drama.  It’s part of the deal.  And despite what some people might imagine, I am really quite averse to drama and prefer to have as little of it in my life as possible.

Additionally, I’ve seen enough to know that the happily ever after, where he leaves the wife that “he stopped loving years ago” pretty much never happens.  And sadly, I’ve seen a couple of pretty awesome women waste years of their lives on that lie.  The moralists among you will say, serves them right.  Others will say, they should’ve known better. I’m not a moralist nor am I a big fan of pointing fingers.  I just look at them and think that it’s sad that they fell for the wrong guy and let themselves believe that lie for so damn long.  And, as a woman who’s been known to hold onto the wrong guys for the wrong reasons for way too long, I feel for them.

I also know, from experience, that a lot of times (I don’t have any stats, just anecdotal evidence) people who have affairs are unhappy.  Unhappy with their lives, their marriages – something.  And they are seeking happiness in an affair.  Call me crazy, but I’d rather not get involved with someone who is unhappy with their life and seeking happiness in a fling with me.

Anyway, those are my reasons.  For me.  But I refuse to condemn people who cross that line.  If someone is going to have an affair, they’re going to have an affair.  I think they’re a liar if they go ahead and do it while their spouse believes their union is monogamous.  And I hate lying.  But I refuse to condemn the person they have an affair with.  I don’t see the logic in that.


23 to “The Other Women”

  1. Jennifer-from-NY says:

    I do. Helping someone who hurts the people who they are supposed to care about and who trust them is bad. So what if they’d do it with someone else? Those people don’t respect themselves, the people they sleep with or the spouces. Ho is it ‘ok’ to know you’re helping with that? How is sleeping with someone (I don’t care how good they are, for goodness sake it’s just sex) more important or valuable than repect and honesty?

    I am in general a very non-judgemental person but people who knowingly hurt other, particularly those they are supposed to care about, disgust me.

    The fact that you condone this Simone is another thing that takes away from the great amount of respect I’ve had for you while reading this blog. I’m I’d say a pretty long term reader and at this point I’ve been reading cause I’m internet addicted and hoping you’ll post more things like the ones I originally liked. Although I guess from your history you’ve told self respect is not something you’ve had a lot of so why should you respect others?

  2. missdtm says:

    This is a very touchy and complicated topic to write about. I’m under the belief that any woman who actively goes after a married man will attract bad karma. Come on-they committed to a union, regardless of what anyone else may believe! But an unhappy marriage/union…Idk. I would like to think that another woman can honor that and so can the 2 in the relationship but we all know how that goes down.

    Much props to you for staying away…it’s def too complicated for me to even think about…

  3. Jackie Summers says:

    While she does not need it, as a fellow writer I feel the need to defend Simone. She tackled a difficult subject knowing it might offend some, and whether you agree with her opinions or not, nothing is achieved by not trying to have the most open, honest conversation possible.

  4. TheB0y says:

    Jennifer-from-NY – Seriously? At no point does Simone say anything about helping someone who has an affair. Or helping them with an affair. She tells us that she wouldn’t have an affair. She tells us what she’s learned about people having affairs. As for not respecting others, what would you call not condemning others for their foolish choices and letting them make their OWN choices, if not respecting them, respecting their choices? It seems that the topic is something of a hot button for you, and that’s cool, but don’t you think you’re overreacting a bit?

    As for the subject of the post, condemning a friend because he/she has an affair, they won’t stop just because you have different morals than them. Yes, you have the choice to not be their friend anymore, but that won’t stop them from doing what they do. Sometimes being someones friend means letting them make their own mistakes, and being there for them afterwards when they learned their lesson.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I can see this from both sides. My ex husband had an affair and I had an affair with a married man. No one wins in this situation, no one live happily ever after. My ex and I reconciled and tried to make it work. It did not. It also did not help that I started an affair while still married. The man who I had the affair with was also married and we both left our spouses to set up house together and live happily ever after. I caught him several time attempting to cheat on me. I know the saying if he does it with you he will do it to you. I dont agree with that. Yes he did do this but as the other person who did this it was not my finest hour and it is not something I would ever do again. I would like to think I learned from this and will never be that selfish again.
    My oponion, an affair is always about either being unhappy in your marriage or with yourself and looking for validation outside of the marriage.
    I have been hurt by this and I have hurt others by my actions. I am not proud of what I did, but I have moved on. I am now single and moving forward and I hope I have learned valuable life lessons that in my opinion, I should have already known.

  6. Gae says:

    I think your qualifier of not knowing the men were married (and believing the cliched “open relationship” lie from your fuckbuddy) is just your way of side stepping responsibility. We can convince ourselves of anything if we choose to.

  7. Simone Grant says:

    Ever so quickly as I’m late for a meeting:
    Clearly this issue upsets you. But I’d ask you to rethink your words. I’m not condone anything. I’m refusing to condemn. There is a big space between refusing to condemn and condoning behavior. A lot of gray. Miles of it. As to my lack of self respect? WTF! I have plenty, darling. And how is my choosing to be open over judgmental and rigid a sign of anything other than respect?
    You bring up an interesting point – the idea that single women go after married men. That’s not been what I’ve observed. I’ve been witness to a couple long-term affairs and in both cases they started with the guy lying about his marital status (saying he was separated, then going to…). I find the whole, going after a married man thing to be a myth. At least in my experience. Maybe I just hang out in the wrong places.
    Jackie Summers,
    First welcome. You know how I love your blog. I appreciate your support. It’s always hard to have a conversation about stuff like this. Sometimes I wonder if it’s worth it.
    Thank you for the support and for your calm, cool analysis. People will always make mistakes. Like you, I believe we owe it to our friends to be there for our friends when they need us, after they fall.
    Thank you for sharing your story and for adding more depth to our conversation. There are lots of things in life that we do, and afterwards we say, I should’ve known. But that is life, we live and learn. And we try each day to do better.
    What men? I am pretty damn sure I’ve never dated a married guy. Since the majority of the men I’ve men in the last decade have been online, they would have had to lie from moment #1 because I don’t respond to married men. But, it could have happened. One of them could have lied. I wouldn’t know. As to my fuckbuddy. I am 100% SURE he is in an open relationship. I’ve even met one of his girlfriend’s fuckbuddies (he’s a nice guy, a bit immature for my taste). I realize that many people feel the need to condemn the unfamiliar, but perhaps you can learn to ask questions first and condemn later.

  8. luciddreamangel says:

    I am glad you don’t judge others for their choices. Yes I would not date married men either. There is so much drama involved. And I have had the liars all around many a day. I just tell the wives….please refer to your hubby for any questions….lol

  9. Shannia says:

    I was “the other woman” for 3 years. Did I know, yes. Did I know he was married when I met him, no. It’s never that easy. If he had told me he was married when we met, I would’ve never started seing him, NEVER! But I found out after 6 months, I was falling for him, he promised me forever and I was stupid enough to believe him. 3 years of lies, of waiting for the man I loved, of stolen moments. I finally decided to let him go after 3 years, it killed me and I never totally got over him. It’s been over for a little over 3 years now, he left his wife this summer and tried to come back to me. I almost took him back, but finally was able to stand up for myself and say NO WAY. I finally see a cheater for what he is, and no way will I get direspected like that again. I gave him 3 years already.

  10. ThemisSpeaks says:

    You are careful to say you’ve never been involved with a married man, but what about taken men? Men with serious GFs and fiances. Given how keen you seem to be on attempting to prove most couples are unhappy and, given that the only reason you don’t get involved with married men is drama and not a sense of right and wrong, I’m curious.

  11. illona says:

    Themis beat me to the punch. You date and sleep with some pretty questionable men. How, after so much time and experience dating such men, would you not be able to tell that a man was lying to you about being married or having a girlfriend? You can’t possibly be that naive.

  12. Shannia says:

    illona, some men are actually very good liars. I don’t remember reading anywhere how Simone was sleeping with questionnable men, it’s very easy to judge isn’t it?

  13. illona says:

    Simone herself admits she dates questionable men – M, the guys with two stalkers, the FWB guy in an open relationship and a man who claimed to have been legally separated from his ex-wife but still living with her that she continued to date even after finding out that she mentioned in this very post. And those are just the men she’s mentioned this past week. They all sound pretty questionable to me.

  14. Simone Grant says:

    It’s a good way to handle them. And yes, there are plenty of liars in the world.
    Thank for you sharing your experience. I can imagine how hard that was. And how frustrating it was. It makes me mad that so many people are quick to point fingers and judge you, without knowing the reality of the situation.
    LOL, I’m not “keen you seem to be on attempting to prove most couples are unhappy”. Perhaps you’re confusing me with someone else? In fact, I’m not interested in getting involved with anyone who’s not available. As far as a sense of right and wrong, I have a very strong sense of those things but I’m guessing my right and wrong are very different than yours.
    Questionable men? What an interesting phrase. Most of the men you reference are from my past (min 2 years ago, most most than 3 years ago) – so to say I “date” questionable men would be VERY inaccurate. Calling my FB questionable is offensive to everybody who believes that mature adults should be able to opt for open relationships. He and his S/o decided what was best for them. Clearly you feel the right to judge them? Them, me, everyone? So sad.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I used to judge, but after finding myself in a similar situation a few years ago, I’ve been more sympathetic to the single people in the affair. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone, right? I think people in that situation tend to be lonely and feel like they have no other choice. By the way, when I say ‘similar situation’, nothing ever happened — I had a crush on a guy who didn’t tell me he was married. fortunately I was able to pull myself away.

  16. Anonymous says:

    The only thing that’s sad is how you can’t answer any of the questions posed to you with definitive answers. You take one of two routes. You either turn the question around or you use qualifiers like you’re “pretty damn sure” you’ve never knowingly dated a married man. You also didn’t answer Themis’s question about whether you’ve been involved with men with girlfriends. As for your attempt to patronize Illona about her/his judgmental tone, pot meet kettle. You won’t judge someone for sleeping with someone who is married but you’ll quickly judge your FB’s girlfriend’s lover and call him (and by association her) immature.Obviously he’s mature enough to handle an open relationship though, since you say only those mature enought to understand the intricacies of such relationships could.
    ” In fact, I’m not interested in getting involved with anyone who’s not available.”
    Just the emotionally unavailable ones then?

  17. Simone Grant says:

    I’m sure there are many women and men in your shoes. I never have been, truthfully, but I can understand how it happens. And I certainly know how hard it is to love someone you don’t want to love.
    What part of “pretty damn sure” sounds like a qualifier to you? Hmm. I don’t have a magic potion that makes people tell the truth, so I can’t be 100% certain on whether or not every guy I’ve ever gone out with (esp if we’re including every first date) wasn’t married. But seeing as I look for non-married ones, I say “pretty damn sure” because I’m pretty damn sure. But if you want to label me as something less than honest, go for it. Your issue, not mine. And I’m not judging that young man unfairly, I’ve met him and he is immature. I’ve assessed his character, as a whole. I’m not castigating thousands/millions of people I haven’t met. Oh, as to your other gripe (why am I bothering?) I said I wasn’t interested in dating men who weren’t available. I wasn’t being evasive. I don’t date men I’m not interested in. It seemed a logical conclusion for logical people to draw. It’s seems you’re awfully busy looking for fault here.

  18. Jackie summers says:

    What I find incomprehensible about this comment thread is that the attacks are focused on Simone instead of the act of cheating. I saw how cheating almost destroyed my parents marriage, and I’ve been cheated on myself more than once, so I have fairly strong opinions about the subject. But like my mom would say, ‘Everybody’s got opinions; that and a MetroCard will get you on the subway.’

    Nowhere in this story did I see Simone endorse one code of conduct over another. Ethics are a private matter and not everyone shares yours. She should not have to defend her decision NOT to judge anyone.

  19. dazediva says:

    damn talk about a hot topic !

    Simone kudos to you for bringing it up – and to those who are reading / commenting – the focus of the blog has gone off from ‘cheating’ and comments being directed at Simone which is pointless.

    I’ve bee cheated on by two partners – and it’s not a nice feeling – to know that your boyfriend has gone behind your back and hooked up with someone else. The first time was at age 17 and then again around 20 (I’m 27 now) – and even back then I thought to myself and told those guys ‘why would you cheat’ when all you had to do was ‘talk to me about it’ and then we could mutually split up and that way neither of us has to deal with the emotional hurt and drama that comes about it. Of course I don’t expect that all guys will ‘talk’ about it – but at least I feel I’m mature enough to handle that conversation without over reacting to it. People cheat for various reasons – and never vocalize it – at least I tell my partners – ‘dude if you think you’re gonna cheat or you wanna hook up with someone else – tell me – don’t let me find out ‘cos then I’m gonna lose respect for you and basically feel like whatever we had was just a sham’ The 1st boyfriend – I knew his reasons (which may not be valid to some but it was for me) and the girl he cheated on me with was a school friend who knew I was dating him but he’d never met her. I have cut her out of my life – but that man is still someone I talk to.

    Because I’ve been cheated on – I would never want to be the ‘other woman’ in someones life – I don’t want that other woman to be cursing me everytime her husband or boyfriend walks out the door.

    Like Simone – I’m pretty ‘damn sure’ that I’ve never dated an unavailable man i.e. married or committed … and that’s based on what I’ve learned about that person on a first meeting. Saying that – I will share a story. A few months ago – I met a guy at a club and we connected and exchanged numbers – sent text messages for about 2 weeks (light, flirtly, getting to know each other) and then agreed to meet up for drinks … we spent a few hours together and discussed quite a lot of points including relationships (he mentioned that he was single and his last relationship ended some months earlier) .. we kissed at the end of the night – he made the move – and did the nice thing by walking me to my door, calling once he got home, calling the next day etc. We’ve now made plans to go out again in a few days – and when I asked him whether I should pick him up (since I had to pass his restaurant for the party we were going to go to) or meet him there – he tells me .. I’m sorry I can’t do this – I’m still sort of seeing the other girl long distance and don’t want to hurt her’

    Now that was just pure ‘assholic’ on his part – if he KNEW he was still ‘seeing’ her – why tell me otherwise AND kiss me as well … we’d had a great evening as two people getting to know each other and it wouldn’t have changed even if he’d said he was dating someone – and if he had still made a move on me – then I would have backed away.

    So until he said this to me – I was pretty sure he was single and available. At least he grew a pair to tell me the truth but by then I’d lost respect for him even as a friend. I still bump into him at parties but other than saying hello – there’s nothing more for me to connect with him.

    Sorry to drag this post Simone but I think I made my point

  20. dazediva says:

    Simone so sorry just realised how long my response was !!!

  21. Skip123 says:

    The married person is a lying louse. The person cheating with them gets a pass on judgment. There’s no point in arguing anything on here anymore. This isn’t a blog for discourse. It’s a vanity blog.

    Nobody asked Simone for her opinion on the guy sleeping with her fuck buddy’s girlfriend. There was no reason to say anything about him. Why she did I don’t know. I can only assume it was a way for her to make a bitchy comment about the girlfriend without actually doing so. That would be catty, and we all know Simone is anything but catty towards other women with husbands and boyfriends.

  22. LittleMissAngry says:

    wow. okay, very serious topic. simone, not an easy topic to broach but you did it bravely as always. good on you. i see where you’re coming from. its very easy to judge, and i’m like you, i don’t judge. it always takes 2 to tango and its never just one person who is at fault in these situations i believe.

    but i also believe in karma. what goes around comes around. this mostly stops me from doing things that i know might hurt others. but i have. in the past, knowingly (and very drunkenly) had a one night stand with a man who was about to be married in a week. it was difficult to deal with afterwards and only my very closest friends know about it, but here it is. it wasn’t right. so far from it. but i’m only human…and i made a mistake. AND it did take 2 of us to be in that situation. anyway, waiting for my karma to bite me in the ass :(

  23. Simone Grant says:

    Jackie summers,
    Ah. Sadly I don’t find this thread unusual at all. It’s become par for the course for a small group of commenters to attack me directly rather than contribute to a conversation about any given topic Even more sadly, some of them are fellow bloggers. I’m not going to make any suggestions as to their motives. Just state, again, how tiresome it is.
    No need to apologize for long comments. And yes, you made your point. I’ve always believed that certainly, where other human beings are concerned, is a little ridiculous. You thought you knew what this guys status was. It turns out you were wrong. Not because you did something wrong, are are unintelligent. But because he was lying and is a good liar. I could have said that I’m certain that I’ve never dated a married guy, or something in any type of committed monogamous relationship, because I think that’s true. But then, I’m not certain about it. And it would be ridiculous for me to be.
    See right up there in the header, where it says, “a personal blog”. It is what it is. I write what I want to write. Call it a vanity blog or anything else. The comments section is open for people to discuss the daily theme/post, ergo it’s also a blog for discourse. But please, don’t feel obligated to participate if my vanity and bitchiness offends you.
    First, thanks. I don’t think I’m so much brave, but foolish. And thank you for sharing your experience. I’d bet you are not the only one of my readers who’s done something like that. As to karma, hmm, I’m not a believer myself. I do hope you’ll cut yourself some slack. You made an error in judgment. And it was his choice. You didn’t force him.