The New Woman

So plenty of us have had to deal with the “the other woman” – you know, the person with whom our ex-husbands and ex-boyfriends cheated on us. As if finding out you’ve been cheated on isn’t heartbreaking enough, actually seeing this person makes the misery even worse. You compare your looks and personality with hers, angrily asking, “What does he see in her?” and “What does she have that I don’t?” then later shed tears that somehow you failed, didn’t measure up to the task of keeping his interest. Never mind the fact that he’s a cad with no sense of fidelity; you think that somehow you are to blame for his wandering.

And then there’s the other Other Woman: his new wife, the step-mother to your children. Whether she’s the one he cheated with or she’s a new element to the equation, meeting her isn’t easy. Again, you can’t help thinking that you lost and she won. No matter how pretty or successful you are, somehow she’s prettier or more successful (and dresses better and is nicer and the kids actually think she’s cool. Dammit.).

I recently sat down with a good mate at our favorite coffee shop and heard her story about meeting the New Wife. Quite suddenly, out of the blue, her ex hooked up with this lady and within days they decide to get hitched. He informed my friend of this by showing up with her when he dropped off the kids after his weekend with them. In fact, they were on their way to the courthouse to get married. While Mr. Ex was extremely nervous and shaking, knowing my friend knows his true nature, the New Wife was an adult Pollyanna, as sweet and appeasing as could be and ready to be her new BFF.

My friend spent the next ten days running the gamut of emotions. Betrayal, anger and rejection surfaced. She wanted to lash out at him and his family. Once again he was doing something totally selfish which negatively affected their children and her. She wanted to be sarcastic to the New Wife and tell her to never show up on her doorstep again (Mr. Ex is too spineless to face her anymore, so he uses the New Wife as a go-between), but realized that not having to deal with her ex face to face was exactly what she wanted. So, with the New Wife being so nice and willing to be friendly, my friend realized this could be a blessing in disguise.

But she also discovered she wanted revenge. She wanted the world to know how badly Mr. Ex had done her wrong and what a creep he is. It just didn’t seem fair that he seems to be prospering. He is the jerk but now he gets the pretty new wife (never mind that she knows the truth about him; that this sudden marriage stems from his psychopathic, addictive tendencies and that he never fails to sabotage himself). “I don’t want to be the bitter ex-wife, but that’s exactly how I sound,” she confessed. She felt ashamed of her bitterness when compared to the New Wife’s blissful sweetness and charm.

After processing all these emotions, she realized that she needed to become a New Woman. She didn’t have to seek revenge or be bitter. She could let go of it all and be free. Easier said than done, right? But she’s on the right track.

Let’s let go of the things which hold us back or down. Let’s release our anger and pain. It hasn’t done us any good so far, so why not get rid of it and make room for love, light and joy? Because being a New Woman holds a multitude of possibilities, one of which is not viewing the world and circumstances as you did before. Once you start seeing things as a new person, you’ll wonder why it took you so long to choose to be happy.

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