KAREN: Hi, Singlestalk. I was fresh out of college when I went into a relationship with someone two decades my senior. That’s not the issue. It’s my being a mistress. The other woman. I am number two. I’m now 31 and I realized that the longer I stay with this situation, the more I’ll get stuck. His family knows I exist. He’s influential, a good provider, sent my two siblings to school who are now living a good life. I love him. But I no longer want to be the evil party interfering in a marriage. I want to move on too. While I still can.
DJ: No little girl playing dress-up will ever imagine herself being a mistress. It’s always with her in an embellished show-stopping wedding dress getting married to her prince. Somewhere down the road however, you end up living scrappily ever after. A fractured version of the tale. A love that’s blind but with your eyes now open. Still, you’re a hump to someone’s happiness. The wrong side of the blanket. But it’s never too late to move your life forward.
Empower yourself financially. Pay off credit card debts. Live below your means. Get your ducks in a row. You mentioned that you finished college. Have a job. A work-from-home gig for example, can help you become more secure, stable, not to mention find meaning and feelings of self-worth. Do whatever increases your earning potential. When you end a marriage, assets are typically divided and you walk away with something. But for this setup, you’ll likely walk away empty-handed. And if you end up high and dry, you might fall into the same trap again. Build enough cash and assets so you can survive on your own without the need of financial support.
Break if off cleanly with him. Plan what you are going to say, how you will say it. Give it 10 minutes max. There are no better words to close it. You’re leaving. No explanation required. He might rope you back in. Perhaps, he’ll promise that he will finally talk to his wife, or bring up that he sent your siblings to school. Be prepared. Keep in mind that he wasn’t an innocent bystander. It was his choice too. Untangle yourself. remember that if his wife is like air, a necessity to sustain the well-being of his family, you’re like jewelry. Sparkly, beautiful, used and displayed only on certain occasions. She is his core while you are just an addendum. Is that who you want to be for the rest of your life? Time to put away what isn’t yours. Leave. While you still can. You are doing this for you.
Move forward with decisive action and don’t look back. Keep going. Block him, his friends and family in social media. Deactivate your account if you must. Unplug. And if you can move somewhere far, much better. A fresh start is what you need for a better you. Pay attention to your dreams. You’re still young. There’s a whole new world of possibilities that’s ahead of you. Work on a goal. Is it finishing a graduate program? Learn how to bake. Upgrade your online digital skills. These are but a few suggestions on how you can use your ideal image of a great future to motivate you and move you forward on the path to success. Learn your lessons without letting them hold you back. Don’t dwell.
Just like any other person in the world, you don’t need to be vilified. Face the woman who made those choices. She did what she could. Never having your prince who truly loves you, the name-calling and stigma are already heavy consequences you carry on your shoulders. Forgive yourself. You are not perfect. Nobody is. But you are now moving on with your life. Give yourself credit. Reward yourself for every step you make. Never forget, you deserve top billing as the lead character, not a supporting role in someone else’s drama.