All the guys my sister has ever been involved with have wondered if I secretly loathed them. Even the ones that are no longer in her life still wonder that. That’s a fact.
The truth is, my sister has exceptional taste in men. The men she dates are intelligent, successful, handsome gentlemen. And they are gentlemen that wonder about my opinion of them, not because I’m a mean person, but because I treat my sister, and myself, with such unbelievable respect that I wouldn’t dare be flirtatious/sexual/suggestive with her guy. I’d even venture to say it’s less about how I actually act and more about how men are used to interacting with women in general. And my sister reciprocates that same respect to me. This is how we grew up and this is what I’ve come to expect from other women too. I guess the joke was on me.
I can effectively make sense of a lot of things in life, but this one stumps me to all hell. I can’t make sense of why, WHY, WHY, WHY, WHHHHY women pursue men in relationships. So imagine my stunned confusion at the thought of a woman who is your friend/best friend/sister pursuing YOUR man.
I had a woman who wrote me to tell me that her sister slept with her husband. Family doesn’t automatically mean that they are good people and you have to have them in your life. BYE.
Women frequently write me about how they feel justifiably threatened by their female friends being around their significant other. Those are not real friends. BYE.
Some women even write me to ask for advice because they’ve fallen for a taken man. If you decide to write me about that, please know full and well that your message isn’t magically redirected to Angelina Jolie who’ll coddle you and tell you it’s ok to be a spineless broad. BYE.
I know what you want to do. You want to direct the frustration at the man in the triangle, right? Or at least equally distribute this loathing? But there’s a small problem with that: you. can’t. control. other. people. You can only take responsibility for yourself. If he initiates something, you have the power to stop it. Or, you can be an insecure, validation-seeking invertebrate and commence an affair that will leave you miserable, guilt-ridden and a shell of your former self. It’s not like there’s a pot of gold at the end of that treacherous rainbow.
Geez Nur, those are some really strong words to call someone, no? They sure are, but don’t they highlight the reason these things happen? Let’s make a list, I love lists.
Reasons A Woman Knowingly Has An Affair (And my unsolicited advice)
* She’s insecure (Get your shit together)
*She’s lonely (Get a hobby)
*She’s miserable in her current relationship (Get a backbone and find the courage for a better solution)
* She just fell for him because he’s so great (Well, that didn’t happen overnight, did it? Why did you let it get to that point? Because of one of the reasons listed above? Get your shit together)
* She thinks there are no good men left, so the solution is to pursue a good man who’s already in a relationship (Your equation sucks because a relationship with a “good man” who’s already in a relationship cancels out the “good man” part, aye?)
* She didn’t know he was taken at first and now it’s too late because she’s in love (Surprise! You’re in love with a snake. I bet he hisses too)
* She doesn’t know why (Get your shit together, like, yesterday)
* She did it for revenge (Please disclose your species and then tell me it’s nearly extinct)
There is literally no excuse under the sun. None. You have to find the courage at every moment to do the right thing. It is downright selfish to excuse your behavior and find reasons to justify your actions. The difference between a good person and a bad person is that a good person knows the right thing to do and has the courage to do the right thing. A bad person is a coward who knows the right thing to do. Knowledge without action is not enough. To say out loud to the poor souls subjected to your self-lamenting “I know what I’m doing is not right” doesn’t do anything for anyone. It is never, ever too late to do the right thing.
I know this will give rise to questions about people in the middle of a breakup or a divorce. Use your good judgement. If he’s breaking up with her, great. He can call you when it’s done for good and he’s taken time for himself. Your life is awesome without his brand-spanking new baggage. A divorce can be tricky because they can take a long time, but you know in your heart when that’s a good idea, all things considered. Be smart in your decisions; it’s good for your soul.
My sister said it best when she said “Act asexual around your friend’s man.” You can still be fun and funny and great company without being sexual. Even if it leads to nothing, even if you think it’s harmless flirtation, even if you’re sure he does hate you and you want to tease him about it. Don’ t do things that hurt people you love or care about. Don’t do things that you know would hurt someone, but then fail to empathize because they are a stranger to you. Don’t be insecure and look for validation from other people, especially not from men, and especially, especially not from taken men. In case you missed the most important line in this whole post: Don’t be insecure and look for validation from other people. Print that, underline it, highlight it, lick it if you have to, but remember it like your life depends on it. Your life may not depend on it, but your happiness does.
Some of the most seemingly complicated things in life aren’t really that complicated at all. A taken man is a ghost to me. And so should he be to you.