Wifey’s & Gentlemen,
I stumbled across an article that I saved in my favorites a couple years ago entitled The Sidepiece Agreement: 10 Rules for The Other Woman (2014). As you can imagine, the article (written by a woman) gives 10 rules that all “other” women should follow if they are going to engage in a secret relationship with a married or committed man. She writes the article based on the impressions of a friend of hers who used to cheat on his spouse; a male perspective as presented by a female writer on the ways ‘side’ females should behave. I’m not sure what I wanted to use the article for when I’d originally saved it, but reading through it for a 2nd time, at this period in my life, I thought it might be fun to put my own spin on this concept. Moreover, if you watched or know anything about Beyonce’s 2nd visual album debut, ‘Lemonade’ (which I will likely be writing about again in the future so consider yourself warned), it’s all the more appropriate for me to speak (again) about this often painful concept that many of us (men and women alike) will have to face at some point in our long term relationships. First, read the original article here, then, compare it to my list.
The Cheaters Agreement: 10 Rules for Having a Sidepiece
The sidepiece, for many of us, is inescapable. Even if you have never been cheated on, even if you have never been a cheater, monogamy is not without its temptations, pitfalls, and confusion. From ‘innocent’ flirtations to full on, long term affairs, the varying degrees of the ‘sidepiece’ role seem to magnify our sense of worthlessness and desperation.
With that being said, and because I do not want to be such a downer on this beautiful day in April, I thought, instead of writing guidelines for the sidepiece, who (for the sake of argument) can be considered ‘innocent’ in a lot of ways, I’d write a few rules for the cheater. Much of these are my own ideas, but in order to stay true the original article, I gathered intel from several men and women who have cheated in the past and want to lend their sage advice to anyone who might consider stepping out on their lover in the future.
1) Be prepared to lose him/her.
You MUST enter every sidepiece situation with the full acceptance and awareness of the fact that, when all is said and done, you might lose your primary relationship. Do not let yourself think that anyone, regardless of vows or promises made, any past indiscretions, or financial/familial ties will stay with you in the aftermath of an affair (or casual sexual encounter). This might be the most obvious piece of advice, but when I really think about it, it’s the best tip on the whole list. How often do we see couples (in real life, on tv, etc) that navigate the trails of infidelity with a normative mindset? How often do we accept cheating as a standard part of any long term relationship? Don’t get me wrong, for many couples out there, cheating isn’t exactly the biggest deal-breaker, but everyone has limits and, as E-40 so aptly stated, “everybody got choices”.
“Just because I forgave you for one slip up 10 years ago does not mean that I won’t leave your ass for ONE side-bitches number in your cell phone.”
One friend, who has since stopped cheating on her wife very profoundly pointed out that cheating actually made her, in a twisted way, feel really grateful for the moments she had with her spouse. “There is something about knowing that, at any point, she might be angry and hurt enough to walk away from me forever, that made me really appreciate her and the time we spent together.”
2) Be safe
Cheating comes with risks! Bottom line. Period.
We don’t call it ‘crazy in love’ for nothing, people! & sometimes, our feelings of love can morph into something darker and unexpected.
As a cheater, the last thing you’d want (unless you’re just not a good person) is for your S/O (or your side piece — S/P) to get hurt (physically). This means you must use protection when engaging in sex acts (and/or get tested regularly). This means being careful not to bring your affairs into your home (literally and metaphorically) and avoid revealing too much personal information about your S/O to your S/P (where they work, their habits, etc). This also means that, if you ever get caught, you must make sure that your S/O keeps a level head and does not have easy access to cause any significant harm to your S/P.
Whew! Complicated, right? Well, there’s more! Try to remember to keep yourself safe too! If you’ve ever watched the show ‘Snapped’ or keep up with popular news, you are familiar with the crazy things people can do when caught in a love triangle. Try to avoid giving your S/P too much access to the life you’d rather keep private. Some cheaters even go so far as to record all of their encounters as a type of “insurance policy”.
3) Leave a paper trail, always have proof.
I just said this one sentence ago, but in the interest of safety and personal sanity, always have enough proof of your actions and intentions to avoid potential blackmail, manipulation, or untrue accusations. If your S/P threatens to say you beat her, have the resources to prove she’s being dishonest. If you’re being framed for the murder of your husband, provide the evidence necessary to cast a reasonable doubt!
I’m being a little over the top, but in all seriousness, it is impossible to prove a rumor, that’s why they call it a rumor. Cheaters need to stay 5 steps ahead if they want to survive; turn the rumors into facts when necessary!
4) Whenever possible, do not let these two (or more) worlds you’ve created intersect.
“Two of my bitches in the club. & I know they know about each other. I think these bitches trying set me up. Maybe I’m just paranoid?”
Wifeys, if you’re going to cheat on your lover, please don’t dabble in this type of behavior. Don’t go to a party with your S/O if you know your S/P might show up. Don’t stay at a party with your S/O if your S/P does show up! Better yet; don’t take on a S/P that is in any way connected with your circle of friends, your job,or any other social aspect of your life that could be ruined by your choices; none of it!
5) Be honest with your sidepiece(s).
Kind of seems like a strange paradox, right? You’re lying to the person you love by being with someone on the side and here I am telling you to be honest with the person whose contributing to your dishonesty. In all seriousness though, you’d be surprised at how many men and women have said that they wished they would have been more ‘upfront’ with their intentions before engaging in an affair.
Are you telling your boyfriend about what a terrible man your husband is? Are you lying to your girlfriend about how you and your wife never have sex anymore? How she can’t stand you? How she spends all your money? Do you tell your S/P that you love them when you don’t? Do you often tell your S/P you’re going to leave when you wont?
If the answer is yes…STOP! While no one can tell you not to cheat, be smart about it! There is no reason to lead someone to believe that there is a chance at an public, exclusive relationship with them when there isn’t. If you’re worried that the person you’re trying to cheat with won’t want to sleep with you if they know you don’t ‘love’ them , find another S/P!
Cheat with someone who can handle the terms. Cheat with someone you can be real with.
6) Keep your affairs either really brief or realistically permanent.
If cheating is primarily about ‘sex’, then it stands to reason that the smart and responsible cheater would stick to one night stands. A close friend of mine once told me that he wasn’t sure which was worse; having his girl find out that he had about 12 one night stands since they’d been together, or having her find out that the reason he stopped is because he found one girl that he cheats with exclusively.
Honestly, I think the answer depends on the relationship as well as the person, but cheaters, be advised: for you, it might be safer to either stick with partners you’re likely to never see again, or pick one (VERY TRUSTWORTHY) partner that you can always go to.
7) Have contingency plans for ALL emergency situations.
Pregnancy? Blackmail? Threats? Divorce? Custody battles? Smashed up Prius?
Yeah, have a plan for that.
…maybe an attorney? 😉
8) Be introspective.
Again, based on the experience of others, skilled, serial cheaters are constantly aware of their emotions and the motivation for why they do what they do.
I’d say, regardless of whether you’ve made one mistake or 10, check in with yourself regularly and try to understand why you feel the need to cheat.
Why can’t you break up with your S/O?
What does your S/P do for you that your S/O does not?
Are you in love with your S/P?
Are you in love with your S/O?
How do you feel after you’ve cheated?
How would you feel if you got caught? Relieved? Destroyed? Indifferent?
9) Be respectful enough to be silent.
Is this the mother or father of your children? Do you share friends? Are you close with his/her family?
Don’t tell other people about your affairs. Don’t have your S/O embarrassed in front of the people he/she cares about the most because you can’t keep your mouth closed. We all have best friends or people in our lives we know we can trust, and so realistically, you will likely tell at least ONE person about your habits, but keep this number very very low.
Cheating can be hurtful enough without having to explain your situation to friends, family, and kids who might not have otherwise needed to know your business.
Yourself. Your S/O. Your S/P. Your wins. Your losses. Your situation. Your luck. Your shame. Your pride. Your personality. Your successes. Your shortcomings. Your good. Your bad. Accept it. All of it.
Wifeys & gents, it’s really easy to make cheaters into villains, and while this post might confuse some of you thinking, “why would Ms. Renai try to help a cheater out?”, this post, like the wonderful people who advised on it, is about being human. If we can advise scorned lovers on how to recover and side pieces on how to behave, then we can recognize the humanity in the unfaithful. We can try to see things from the other side and we can work on fixing.We can work on growth.
If we’re gonna heal, let be glorious.
Until next time,
Carry on wifeys!