If you are the “other woman” in your relationship, you probably fell for him without knowing he or she had another life. When you met, he/she had no wedding band, was always available to talk, and he/she wined and dined you eventually, though, his secret came out, and yet, you did not leave. At first, you stayed believing that the relationship you “built” was so strong and so right that he would leave his other life… but he never did.
When you decide to stay in this type of relationship, you have to dig deep and ask yourself, “Why am I staying in a relationship that can never last and will never be 100% truly mine?” There is always hope that this person will leave their spouse and family but, let’s face it, ladies, he almost never will. If it has been 18-24 months later and he is not in the middle of divorce proceedings, why aren’t you leaving him? Why are you compelled to stay with somebody who cannot give you a full commitment or stay with you forever? Perhaps talking to a therapist about why you are in that kind of relationship can help you move on to a more fulfilling committed relationship in which you are the only woman.
If by choice, you decide to stay with somebody who is legally committed to somebody else, then you need to be fully protected financially. While it may be all fun and games in the beginning, when this person acts like a new flame bringing you gifts, sending love notes, wining and dining you, and taking you on vacation but never truly taking you home, then what? Two years pass, then five, now you are in your late 30’s, early 40’s or maybe ’50s and the life you are building is with a person who is legally (and financially) responsible for someone else. And, when it all ends, whether it is by choice or death, etc.., where are you going to be emotionally and financially? Are you going to be looking to this person for the financial support (you may have grown accustomed to) but are not legally entitled to?
If it is your choice to be involved with someone who is otherwise married and has no legal responsibilities to you, at least protect yourself both financially and emotionally. As an independent woman, you will always be able to walk away on your own terms. As for the married spouse who chooses to stay knowing about the other woman or man, whether by choice or circumstance, benefits from the protection of legal rights afforded to the legally wedded spouse.