I remember that evening. S stood next to me at the bar, where we were entertaining a few of our friends, with one arm wrapped around my waist, as we gallantly laughed at our stories about each other, and inside jokes that left our friends frustrated. That's when that message flashed on my phone... "Hey, isn't this the guy you're seeing?" Attached was a picture of S, whose one hand was now on the small of my back, and the other held a cigarette that he was sharing with me. I promptly replied with a confirmation, my heart sinking, as if deep inside, I already knew what was coming. S was seeing someone, and no, she wasn't the other woman. I was! S had been with that first girlfriend for five years strong, whereas he and I were merely a year old at the time I learnt about his duplicity. There was no going back from there. I immediately broke up with him, leaving all the good times behind, and moved on, with some important lessons learned about men and relationships, which I will now share with you... 1. Some men can play on your vulnerabilities really well when they want to
Let me clarify that I am not a man-hater. Far from it. I believe that a lot of men conduct their lives and relationships with honesty, integrity and loyalty. But, there are some men who don't, and when they decide that they want to play a woman, they can, and how! These are the charmers who are always around when they want to be, but never around when you want them to be. They say the right things, but do the wrong things. Most importantly, they are clever enough to figure out what your weaknesses and strengths are, and they know how to play into your vulnerabilities! They give you what you want in small doses to keep you hooked, but when it comes to the real deal, they flake. Whether it is popular culture, or socialisation, there are some men ingrained to play the stereotypical, but toxic, macho guy. The kind who has his way with the women, and then doesn't feel bad about it. S surely did not feel bad about what he did. When I confronted him, he thought I was overreacting, and with a shrug of the shoulders, claimed that he and I were never serious anyway. 2. Red flags are ALWAYS there; you just need to pay attention
No relationship falls apart suddenly, and no man turns into a douchebag suddenly. There are always warning signs, which we are conditioned to ignore or make excuses for. S would call me every other day, but never answer my call. His excuse was, "I was busy at work." Because his field of work is famously hectic, I believed him, not realising that nobody is too busy to pick up the phone and say, "Hey, I'm busy right now. I will call you back in some time." He also had two numbers, and would only ever call me from his work phone, claiming that his personal phone was out of charge, or he left it at home, or that his company reimbursed his work phone bills. For a year, he introduced me only to his one best friend, with whom he made sure we spent enough time for me to feel included in his life, without actually including me. I mean, where were his other friends? But, that's just it... when we are emotionally invested in someone, we don't pay attention to all these signs. 3. Men hardly ever leave their primary partner for the other woman
Growing up, I witnessed many men in my family, and my parents' friend circle, who would have affairs for years, but would never leave their wives, and I believed that that was the way of the world of illicit romances. Then, I became liberal in my thought and social circle, embraced serial monogamy, divorce, and second marriages, and forgot about this phenomenon of men keeping their wives, and mistresses, too. Until, S came along. He was a rude reminder of all the awful things that my bubble of liberals had cloaked me from for years, and once again, I started paying attention to the men around me who had "side chicks", but never left their main love. Picture Credits: Unsplash
Thursday, January 18 2018
What I Learned About Men And Relationships When I Became The 'Other Woman'