Real People (Sometimes Real
Names) Share Real Health and
Old Triangles -When the Affair Gets Old
Ten Signs He's Going to Leave You
Ten Reasons to Be Glad He's Gone
How to Tell When Someone Is Lying
Men Who Prefer to Please Themselves
February 14, 2009
by Sarah Ott, Associate Editor and Featured Relationship Columnist
So many women, so many choices. That's how men feel for
most of their lives. In fact, that's how an increasing
number of women feel too. The problem with
relationships, many of us out there are feeling, is that they
are one-on-one. The secret desire? How about one- on-
five. Hard to take when you're a gal who believes in
monogamy, fidelity, meaningful relationships.
Enter the Other Woman. Since the dawn of time, when men
and women were in caves deciding which dinosaur leg to
cook for dinner, there's always been an ancient
competition. As surely as the sun sets, that man would go
outside the cave for an evening stretch and gaze at the
dying sun, and wonder about that fetching young thing in
the tiger-skin number he saw in the cave down the way.
It's estimated that 70% of all married men stray at some
point during the marriage. 70%. And some percentage of
men actually have affairs of long-standing, in effect other
Triangles, especially from the one in the middle, can be fun.
All eyes are on him. All the attentions flows his way.
But, like all fantasies, this one has a career. The start is
wonderful. The middle is a job. And the end is agony.
In the middle, and in the end, it's the Other Woman who
suffered. The man begins to change his behavior. He sees
her less. Or less regularly. When he's with her, he's
distracted. He becomes more critical. Don't make demands
on me!, he yells. He looks at her, wondering how she
changed from that pleasing sex kitten Other Woman to
this--a woman with demands, with expectations, with
needs, in a --dreaded word--relationship.
At this point, he is torn. I won't judge the Other Woman. I
won't judge him. But here is the fact. He is trying to juggle
2 separate lives. That requires time, money and emotional
violence visited upon everyone, including any kids in the
picture. No getting around the pain. The wife will feel it, he
will feel it and the Other Woman will feel it. The fact that his
behavior has changed towards her is like a red light
indicator when the car is low on gas. He has decided that
he can no longer juggle everyone's needs. No human can.
The tank is empty.
The mother of one of my friends is a widow. Let's call her
Joan. Joan has been a mistress of her high school
boyfriend, Harry, for 34 years. She was Harry's mistress
throughout her marriage to my friend's Dad who has now
passed on. Harry is the love of her life but he is now 82
years old. Joan is 72 years old. At age 72, she should be
seeing the world, now that she is free of a job, husband
But do you know what she does? Do you know what fills
her time? . Nothing but worry about this man and his wife
whom he refuses to leave even after 34 years.
Triangles are fun when they're new. But old triangles?
They're just old.
Read more from this author: Ten Signs He's Going to Leave You/
Ten Reasons You Should Be Glad He's Gone