Have you ever been involved in a threesome? Not the sexual kind, but an emotional ménage-a-trois? You know, ‘You, me and she…..what we gonna do, baby? I don’t wanna let ya go….nononoNO! (circa Mtume 1984). I have and I’ve played both positions of ‘The Main Woman’ and The Other Woman. Most women relish in (and are content with) the fact that they are ‘the main woman,’ believing that they could never be the other woman. 'The other woman' status is reserved for lonely, deperate, sexually irresponsible and careless females. Some of us never make our men take responsibility or pay consequences for their actions We chalk it up to 'boys will be boys' and place all of the blame on 'the other women.' The other woman, who, in our minds are the only ‘stupid, wrong, trifling’ ones in a love triangle. I thought the same way until I found myself on the other side of the fence.
When I was a teenager, I became involved with a young man I'll refer to as ‘Cee.’ He and I were a popular couple in high school; everybody knew I was his girl and he was my guy. But, that didn’t stop chicks from cluckin’ ‘round my man. There was always a girl plotting from the sideline, trying to either steal my man away from me or steal a few moments with him. I wouldn’t say he was the finest guy on the block but he was a cutie….and he dressed nice...and he was tall…..and he was (a major player) on the basketball team…and he was funny…and he was ‘cool.’ Not to mention, he was very attentive to me and spoiled me rotten. He was everything a girl would want in a boyfriend. So, I had not a snowball's chance in hellllllllll of keeping him all to myself. Throughout our 10 year relationship, there were many ‘side chicks’ who came and went and (sadly) I had accepted that they came with the territory. I was never worried about ‘Cee’ leaving me for anyone; the females always seemed to know, they had to keep it moving. Except for one. Every time I turned around, ‘Bee’ was there. She was determined to get him and I was determined to keep him. Then, she had a baby. That was the beginning of the end for ‘Cee’ and me; although, when it happened, I didn’t see it that way. At the time, he and I had a 4 year old daughter and there was no way I was gonna allow some sideline-chick-turned-babymomma break up my ‘happy home.’ ‘Cee’ and I stayed together and tried (and tried and tried) to make it work, but ‘Bee’ was always in the picture (either literally or in my mind). She seemed to enjoy (or, at the very least, not mind) being a part of this threesome. I, on the other hand, found no pleasure in this arrangement. Slowly but surely, I came to my senses and my feelings started to change. The relationship was no longer worth fighting for so I decided, if she won’t go, I will. It was one of the most difficult but best decisions I ever made, and it was the worst heartache I have ever endured. It took years for me to get over it. Ironically, it wasn’t until I found myself in the position of ‘the other woman’ that I was finally able to do it.
I met a man I'll call 'L' at a relative’s house. In the instant we made eye contact, I swear, I saw sparks fly. I told my cousin I was interested, she passed on the message to him and the next thing I knew, I was in love….but with somebody else’s guy. To make a long story short, (he told me) he was in a lover-turned-roommate ('ltr') situation and could not get out of it at the time. I knew that was a red flag and I should’ve told him to holla at me when he had his own but…..I didn’t. I believed him when he told me there was nothing going on between him & the ‘ltr’ and that he would get his ish straightened out as soon as he could. I believed him, not only because I wanted to but because his ‘ltr’ knew about me and had seen us together. When she saw him with me, she didn’t say a word or make a scene, which led me to believe he was telling the truth about their relationship. Apparently, once she realized I wanted the man she claimed to not want anymore, her feelings changed; she wanted him back. He reassured me he didn’t want her; and the relationship he and I shared remained hot and continued to grow. But, somewhere along the way, ‘L’ & the ‘ltr’ began to rekindle their flame and eventually, he told me about it. However, he didn’t want to let me go and I didn’t want to go. A part of me still believed ‘L’ was meant for me. We fit perfectly. He was the yin to my yang. I was the female version of him. We could talk about anything and everything for hours. Every moment, every word, every kiss, every touch, every breath I shared with him just seemed so good and…..so right. I wanted to 'fight for my man' but I knew, from experience, as long as I stayed on the sideline, he'd never be 'my man' and we'd always be a threesome. I never set out to be a ‘home-wrecker’ or ‘the other woman’ and I knew I needed to get out and save myself from the inevitable (more drama & pain). Still, I didn’t….couldn’t…. leave him right away. We carried on for more than a year after I knew he was in a relationship and no matter how much I loved (being with) him, it didn't feel good in my soul. There was no way I could (continue to) be his ‘other woman.' I didn’t want to be the cause of the same pain I once felt, for L's (or any other) woman. The memory of what I went through with 'Cee' gave me the strength to finally leave 'L.' Not to mention, I didn’t want to have to face that bitch named Karma.
Since I've been out of the picture, both men decided to commit to those very women I fought (literally or figuratively). Though it was a bitter pill to swallow, the rancid taste is long gone from my mouth. While dealing with my feelings for ‘L,’ I was able to find forgiveness for ‘Cee’ and ‘Bee.’ I realized how quickly & easily one can get caught up, whether they intend to or not; and how hard it is to let go when feelings are strong. I also realized that the man who is meant for me will not be one I have to fight anyone to get or keep. The following quote says it best: ‘If you have a choice between me and her, choose her because if you really loved me, there wouldn't be a choice.’