A relationship that has a husband, wife and mistress combination is rarely good for any one of them. The wife considers it a betrayal by the husband, the husband feels guilty for being on the wrong and therefore guilty before the wife and the children. The mistress on the other hand feels cheap and used. She knows that she is wrong to welcome a straying married man to her lap, no matter the justification. But we all know about human failings. We know about matters of the flesh, especially where there is lust. And so the incidences of men keeping mistresses are going to be with us for as long as there are men and women on the planet.
When it becomes a fact that the man is keeping a mistress, and both the man and the mistress are okay with, for rarely will the wife concede, one of life’s greatest ironies emerges. Clearly it is the man who is on the wrong at most times. But instead of the wife hating him for it, she transfers that hatred and blame on the mistress, for leading her man astray. On her part, the mistress hates the wife for staying put with a cheating man. It would be better, the mistress thinks, for the wife to divorce the man who does not love her. If that were to happen, the mistress would not hesitate to fill her gap.
The relationship between a wife and a mistress is therefore based on these selfish considerations where each woman is basically guided by animalistic instincts of survival, concerned only with her own welfare and those of the kids if there are some. The women are competing for one man, or at least for his undivided attention and devotion. In most cases, the wife has the support of the society, the family and her own children, which actually isolates the man even more. Consequently, he seeks attention, solace and comfort from the mistress who is only too willing to go to any length to make the man happy. While playing these opposing roles, the mistress and the wife are yoked in a killer rivalry, one that has seen many a murder in history.
The man is at this point usually confused and spellbound to make any solid decisions. He cannot stick with the wife, who at this time is all negative and condemning. At the family level also, there are a lot of responsibilities that stress the man, like the children and their upkeep. But on the other side, the mistress has no requirement, except for basic provisions, if any are needed. It therefore emerges that the man is more at home with the less demanding mistress than with the wife and family.
This in turn becomes more fuel for the rivalry. When a wife learns about the mistress, which she does soon or later, she gets all fired up. If she is the confrontational type, she will even seek for an opportunity to meet the mistress and teach her a lesson, or make a public spectacle with the ‘home wrecker. If indeed that opportunity occurs, the public and spectators to the incident will have all support for the wife. It is this fact, that the mistress is condemned by every quarter, that makes the man pity the mistress and be more understanding and susceptible to her lures than the wife’s.
The relationship between a wife and a mistress is bound to be negative except in very rare cases when the wife lets her anger on the man rather than the mistress. The fact is that there are very few cases if any, where the two can see eye to eye. The fact that they are competing for one man, the wife having the better claim and the mistress one that is not so valid from the perspective of the society, only serves to intensify the rivalry. It is only natural that the wife hates the mistress who stole her man away and the mistress also hates the woman who keeps on hanging to a man who would rather be let free to go where his heart is.
In instances where the man dies and leaves a wife and a mistress, it is the mistress who suffers most often. It is at this point that the fiercely negative relationship between a wife and a mistress comes out in clearer terms. They have held their emotions in for a long time without letting their tempers and hatred emerge publicly, but when the man dies, the wife moves in to squash the mistress and repay her ‘evil’. The mistress is denied any of the man’s estate if especially there was no will testament to support her claim. The wife ensures that the mistress hits the cold with her children if there are some. At this point, they are not competing for one man any more but fighting to benefit from his absence.