The Other Woman is My Friend

 

If anyone told me a year ago that the “Other Woman” would become my most featured Facebook friend, I’d have laughed really, really hard.  But fact is stranger than fiction and even if I tried, I could not make up a story with so many twists, turns,  drama and deception.

But here we are, the two of us more startled than anyone by the crazy circumstances that has bonded us as friends.  There seems always to be a silver lining, even in the worst of circumstances!

He described her as a ball busting, take-no-prisoners type of ruthless business woman who simply would not take no for an answer.  The truth is she’s sweet, smart, beautiful, funny, successful, kind, generous and feisty as hell.  I can see why he fell for her and why he wouldn’t make her go away.  He didn’t want her  to and that explains a great deal.

I knew something was amiss in the quiet knowing that we so often dismiss. We seek a different, softer truth.   My intuition and friends tried to tell me something was not right.   I chose to ignore them and believe in a fairytale that quickly turned into a nightmare. Prince Charming is more like the Prince of Darkness.

The Other Woman and I have a lot in common.  We had the same boyfriend and we were both the love of his life!  Call me  crazy (which he did),  or maybe overly technical, but aren’t you supposed to have only one love of your life?   Maybe the duplicitous among us, those that lead deceitful double lives, get one love for each of their two faces. But I suspect there are more.  There always are. Cheaters cheat, and liars lie.

He dated her before me, the rebound mistake he was unable to shake.  But there she was, constantly waiting in the wings, hoping that he would come to his senses.  This passive, wimpy, love-struck behavior hardly matched the shrewd business woman he depicted.

I may not know much about how other women operate, but as soon as I understand a man is involved and “in love,” he’s untouchable.   Maybe that’s not so with other women, but I believe in helping a sister out and I believe in karma.   I take your man? Someone’s going to return the favor.  Men who are married, involved, in love or have ever dated a friend, are off-limits.

There should be  honor and integrity among women even when competing in the  shallow pool of available and desirable men.

As it turns out, she knew nothing about me and when she finally did, my press was as bad as hers. I was crazy criminal with drinking and drug problems. If it weren’t such an incredibly deranged way to describe the anthesis of a human being, it would be comical.  After the initial shock and indignation, I actually did find the humor.   How can a man standing 6 feet 2 inches, stoop so low?    I mostly laugh at the insanity of it all, and I reassured the Other Woman that she will too.

The difference between tragedy and comedy  is merely a question of  time.  I’ve had a bit more time than she to find perspective.  But we’ve both shed tears of heartache and betrayal as well as tears of laughter.

We got punked.  Pure and simple.  We both took the bait, hook, line and sinker.  But in our defense he’s good. He’s really, really good at being bad.

He is charming, handsome, intelligent, funny, romantic and wealthy.   We did the research, but Google only reveals what’s on the surface, not what lacking or lurking inside. He had an impressive resume and online profile.  But dishonesty, duplicity and darkness are in his DNA and that was not revealed in any online search.  Eventually people show you their true nature and character. When they do, believe them the first time.

When I finally listened to my inner warning, the revelations I could not ignore, I reached out to the Other Woman.  Manipulators are artful and cunning and this guy is a master.  He explained me away as a crazy sore loser and she was disloyal to believe anything I say.

It took almost a year for her to reach back out to me.  No surprise that she told me that the cycle of deception and duplicity was repeated.  There was another, Other Woman. 

The stories she recounted and the notes we compared were mind-blowing,  Friday Dateline kind of stuff and definitely worthy of a book or screenplay.   We’re still mulling that option over.

Unfortunately, “The Other Woman” – a movie about a handsome, successful, charming man devoted to his wife and two girlfriends has already been made.  It was entertaining, but barely believable, up until now.  As it turns out  it doesn’t just happen, it happens all the time.

The Other Woman and I are finding it funny now and are having some genuine belly laughs – at his expense. Unlike the victims in the movie, we’re not planning any revenge. We’re fully expecting karma to take care of that.  We’ll just take care of ourselves and the best revenge is always to do well.

The moral of this story?  Beware of bad guys and trust your gut and your friends when they try to tell you something like the truth.   And even when your trust is betrayed and your heart is broken, there’s  always another woman who knows exactly how you feel.   And maybe that other woman might even be the “Other Woman.”

The way I look at it?  I lost a really, really bad man and gained a really great friend.  Maybe in this crazy tale, there is a happily ever after… after all.

The Other Woman and I found humor and maybe some hope that the lessons we have learned are simply the pathway to finding better men and a much better sense of ourselves.    

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