A New World Order

Occasionally, you meet that one guy that makes everything go boom, blast. Five minutes after the customary round of banal introductions, you find yourself living through a bona fide ‘paging my soulmate’ moment. An hour later, you are smitten and inspired in equal measure.

‘Corr,’ you say, ‘so this is how people end up getting married?’

Yeses, that’s how.

Two hours later and you’re poised to take a bullet for the guy. Because everything fits. Because he’s Mr. Right. Because you share the same sense of lavatorial humour. Because you both need a twelve-step programme for your respective twelve-step programmes. Because you’d both gladly plead no contest to all charges of crimes against zoomanity.

To top it off, the guy makes it very clear that the feeling is neutral mutual, and that you have one of those rare, inescapable connections. Augh, if only he’d met you before he met his wifey.

Unfortunately, there’s always a 7.86 in 10.0 chance that the guy in question is very married, and also. Not closet married. Not I-never-wear-my-wedding-ring-because-my-ring-finger-sorta-always-itches married. Everybody-knows-this-guy-is-married married. You-and-his-wife-might-be-in-the-same-book-club married.

Some of us, certainly those that prescribe to Joseph’s school of fleeing temptation, will understand that we have met the male version of Potiphar and run like crazy. Some of us will see no evil and, for the next three hours or so, engage in some harmless flirting. Some of us will respect that the boundaries of marriage are usually intensely patrolled and leave things at asking whether it’s okay to follow each other on Twitter.

Some of us, though, will go, ‘ach, may the best girl win’, ask for his number and go on to court him relentlessly. For months down the road and you are officially the ‘other woman’. If you are unlucky, he’ll divorce his wife and marry you, sealing your fate as the woman your husband left his first wife for, and you’ll live in eternal fear that one day he’ll leave you for his future third wife. If you are unlucky, he won’t marry you. You’ll become the woman that never trims her hedges—the woman that never quite gets round to cutting her loses because her married boyfriend keeps promising to leave his wife. You’ll also become the woman whose kids keep pestering her about their father.

‘Where is daddy? Why doesn’t he sleep in your bed like other daddies?’

Despite the realities and unrealities of what is usually a lose-lose situation, the ‘post’ (if I may call it that) of the other woman has become a hugely popular one. It would appear that there are now Brownie points for that sort of thing, and that there are dozens of modern African women out there that might even write an application or two, complete with a CV and all, if they knew where to send it. Today’s other woman is, after all, finally having her black forest cake, eating it too, and sending the leftovers, wrapped in customized foil, to members of her extended family.

She goes telling it on the mountain, even, because, let’s face it, she’s the confident surefooted adult in all this—she’s not the one with the childish whims and low self esteem. She’s the one with a Master’s degree—she has the capacity for coherent thought and reason. She’s the one he loves—she com-ple-tes him. She’s 39137—a number that speaks for a level of freaking awesomeness that hasn’t even been invented yet. She’s the one that’s properly attuned to the culture of his needs—she would get it on with a dolphin if he told her this would bring a smile to his oft misunderstood face. Guff, guff, guff.

And the best part is that she doesn’t have to justify anything to you because you just won’t get it. Indeed, you are one of those hammerheads; you are numbered among those people that will never understand the concept of free will. You just won’t get that she’s the other woman because she chooses to be one.


When she can be bothered, she might say something like, ‘I don’t have daddy issues. My father was a good man. He was around a lot. What can I say? I just like men that are taken. Deal with it.

For what it’s worth, the rest of us really do try to deal. No, really, we do. Sometimes we don’t deal very well, choosing instead to let a bottle of concentrated sulfuric acid do all our negotiating. Nonetheless, we try really hard. In fact, it is in the spirit of trying hard to deal that we have made the following suggestion:

Dear other woman, what if you used the same token, albeit in a completely different slot machine? What if you and every other single woman in this world refused to be the other woman? What if there was one global sisterhood, one mentality to rule us all, with every woman going, ‘I won’t do that to my sister.’

“This new code of honor would work to the advantage of us all. To act with honor in this matter would reinforce our solidarity. Women would no longer be willing to be ‘other women’. Men would be on their own.”—extracted from ‘The Other Woman. Stories of two women and a man’ by Susan Koppelman (Ed.).

Pause and think calmly about that.

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12 thoughts on “A New World Order

  1. Speaking as a Main Woman [who, to my knowledge, is not currently sharing her man with anyone else], I want to play a little Devil’s Advocate here.

    We look at Lady Number 2 and assume she is lonely when he leaves her at night, on holidays, on birthdays etc to go back to the Main Woman.

    But I’ll quote the words a klande chick said to me once as we watched her side dish cuddle his Main Girl a few feet away. ‘There’s immense satisfaction in watching them and knowing what I do with her man when her back is turned.’

    I don’t agree with the girl’s actions, but I accept them as truth. There is IMMENSE power in stealing another woman’s man, even if it’s just for a little while. It’s not something Number 2’s will give up easily.

    Plus, the Sisterhood Pledge serves me as a Main Woman, because it keeps my man firmly in my clutches. But the ‘Mistress’ has nothing to gain, so I don’t see her embracing it.

    AND side dishes don’t have to put up with bad habits, smelly socks, or in-laws, so I don’t see them wanting to either upgrade to Main Woman or downgrade to dildos and finger candy. It’s a fight the Main Woman simply can’t win.

    Your only hope [and mine too] is to find a good man who chooses not to cheat.

  2. Wow, thats alot of devil 3CB! I always hope they’ll get theirs back multiplied in equally the same fashion that will suck just as much. But then I believe in karma. Maybe we need to recruit more folk into that school of thought. You get what you give. Totally pro-signing.

  3. The boundaries of marriage are no longer intensely patrolled……… some are as highly neglected like the Kenya-Somalia border……!

    You have to give it to this woman and trying to understand her motive or what drives her is beyond a normal human being’s ken of understanding. Just move on.

  4. If I was at CapitalFM, I’d soo steal this article! lol
    Anywhoo, this is a brilliant post, Davina. Definitely food for thought for all of us.

  5. Blame monogamy. That book was written in 1984, something should tell you this is not going anywhere. I have seen my father love some other woman for over 15 years but wouldn’t leave my mother. Truth is he was never at home. What would you rather have? The man who calls you wife and treats you horribly or one who shows love and spoils you?

    • To be fair, 1984 was a groovy year 😉
      But more to the point, it is interesting (and ironic) that Ms. Koppelman sorta agrees with you, at least as far as concerns ‘this not going anywhere’.
      ‘Men still hold economic, social, political and legal power and many women still believe that their salvation, their continued survival, lies in finding and holding on to the right man’—she writes.
      [I add, ‘even if this right man happens to be taken’.]
      ‘So other women still exist.’—Ms. Koppelman adds.

  6. Has anyone watched “Spartacus”….free will comes in many fashions is all am saying. And that is why we have swingers, orgies, 3 somes,bisexual, etc. Although difficult, i think one has to live by their own rules in matters of the heart and bedroom. Do whatever works for you cos the world isnt fair and nothing is ever going to change that FACT.

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