Recently, a “news article” was released stating that Margot Robbie was the new Angelina Jolie – and that many women were afraid (supposedly) that she would steal their husbands.

Despite the fact that this claim is completely unfounded – Robbie hasn’t “stolen” anyone – this notion that a woman can steal a man pisses me off.

Yes, because we wouldn’t want to blame the man at all for cheating. 

No one can be stolen. No one. (Unless you’re talking about kidnapping … but we all know that’s not what we’re talking about here.)

Also, the only people that know what happened between Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are Jolie and Pitt. The rest is speculation. Sure, Jolie stated that her and Pitt fell in love on the set of Mr and Mrs Smith, but she never said that they did anything. They may have, yes, and I have no intention to defend or condemn something that I will never know actually happened.

But Jolie may also have told Pitt that if he wanted to be with her he had to leave his wife. There may never have been an affair. Feelings, yes, but not necessarily a physical affair.

Regardless, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if they had a sordid affair.

Angelina Jolie did not steal Brad Pitt, and it’s insulting to Pitt as a human being to suggest that he is so incapable of making decisions he can be “stolen”.

Brad Pitt is a person who is responsible for his own actions. Whether he cheated or not, he made the decision to break his vows to his wife.

He left Jennifer Aniston for Jolie.

And if a person leaves his wife for Margot Robbie, that person is responsible. The only way Robbie is accountable for her actions is if she has a connection to the person she’s betraying. That’s it.

I’m sick of seeing memes like this:

That continuously and constantly blame women for men’s actions.

I say this as someone who has been both “the other woman” and the cheated on.

I’ve been cheated on more than once. It hurts. But as someone who was once the other woman, I also learnt something incredibly important.

The other woman doesn’t always know she’s the other woman.

I know it’s easier to blame the other person and direct your pain anger towards them. It makes it easier, for some, to imagine them as some scarlet woman, out to destroy their lives and seduce unavailable men for pleasure and spite.

But unless you know the person they cheated with – and I mean actually know them and hang out with them and speak to them regularly – you have no idea what they are being told.

People lie.

When I was “the other woman” – like I said in Lying, Cheating and the Internet – I didn’t know I was the other woman. The guy in question was my housemate and while I’d met his girlfriend, I wasn’t friends with her and I didn’t really know her.

To be honest, until after they broke up (for maybe the third time since he’d been living in our shared house), she wasn’t even particularly friendly towards me. I was actually afraid of her and she never really spoke to me – and often when she did, she would put me down in some small way. Whenever she was around, I tried my very best to avoid her.

You can read more about what happened in my previous post by clicking the link above, but, long story short, he lied. He said they’d broken up. She hadn’t been around in a while, it wasn’t their first break up I had witnessed, and all the phone calls I overheard consisted of them fighting.

It wasn’t hard to believe him what he said they’d broken up.

I was told, more than once (by his friends) that he had left her for me. He also implied this.

As a group, we went out drinking and eventually he and I ended up kissing. It never went any further than that, and as I started to sober up I regretted my decision.

I’d seen their history. They were one of those on-again/off-again couples.

Eventually, I was sure, they’d get back together. I did not want to be involved when that inevitably took place. I did not want to fall for my housemate and have an incredibly messy and unnecessarily complicated situation develop as a result.

The next morning, however, I overheard him talking to one of his friends.

He wanted to know how he could keep me silent.

I learnt that she hadn’t been around due to a surgery. I learnt that I had unknowingly been the other woman. I learnt that he’d lied.

The Other Woman

I kept quiet, for a while.

Until they actually did break up again. I can’t remember why – I think she caught him cheating (it was not the first time).

She suspected something had happened between us, and kept asking me until I cracked and told her the truth.

Of course, she blamed me, and feeling incredibly guilty, I endured her wrath for weeks on end before finally blocking her.

Later, I tried to make amends. I saw that she was happy and she’d moved on, and I wanted to apologise. While I knew I’d been lied to, it didn’t stop me from feeling guilty.

I never told her the truth – if they were meant to be together, I didn’t want to make things any worse than I already had.

In her response, she told me that she’d tried committing suicide because of me. She told me I was disgusting because my boyfriend looked the same as her ex (they didn’t – the only similarity they shared was that they had curly hair. Her ex was a weight lifter, white, blonde, blue-eyed. My new boyfriend was Italian, with almost black curly hair, dark brown eyes, olive skin, and had a thin physique). She also told me that she hoped I’d be cheated on, so I could experience her pain.

Before him, I’d actually been cheated on, so I already understood it. With him, she got her wish. He did cheat. I never found out how many times and how much, but I found enough to know he was meeting women behind my back, telling them he loved them, he had signed up to sex sites, and was actively messaging and asking women for sex. (Apparently, when I confronted him on this, these were just ‘jokes’.)

He also turned out to be an abusive arse, so there’s also that.

And whilst it was hard – whilst I won’t deny there were a few hours of anger and outrage at the ‘sluts’ who’d slept with my ex, I realised (quickly) that the only person to blame was him.

I remembered the lies I’d been told. I knew my ex was a liar, to an almost pathological degree. I’d caught him out lying with actual proof before, and he’d still lie or try and manipulate the truth.

When reading his emails (I didn’t do so to “catch” him out – my friend suggested she thought he’d been cheating, and I wanted to prove her wrong. It was awkward), I learnt that he told a different lie to every girl he was speaking to (and there were many).

In some conversations, we were engaged and had been together over three years (we were never engaged and we hadn’t yet hit the two year-mark in our relationship when we broke up). Apparently, I had callously cheated on him with five men.

In other conversations, he was a virgin until he met me, and we were engaged, and I’d left him for someone else.

With other girls, he told them that he’d been with only two or three girls before me and we’d been together for over two years and he’d been planning to propose to me in Fiji when he found out I was “screwing around”.

To be honest, he could have actually been planning to propose to me in Fiji, I’m not sure. For my birthday, just before we broke up, he gave me two plane tickets to Fiji.

And, when he gave them to me, he said, “Now you can’t break up with me because everyone will think you’re a horrible bitch.”

That was my first serious wake-up call, my first realisation, that I really needed to start questioning my relationship.

My point?

I was lied to. I was the “other woman” and never knew. Even if I did know, a man is not property (and neither is a woman). He can’t be stolen. He goes freely. Or he chooses to stay. He makes that decision.

My ex also lied. He lied about everything. To me, and to other women.

When I left him, he tried to win me back by lying about having a brain tumour and saying that his grandma died.

Neither was true.

Looking back on our relationship, he told so many lies I don’t know which part of our relationship was true. Or real.

I don’t even know if he knows. I honestly think he lives in a delusional fantasy world that was exacerbated by his drug use.

All I know is this: women can’t steal your man. If your man is “stolen”, he wasn’t worth it and you do deserve better.

Unless the other woman is a friend or family member, the blame lies solely with the person who promised you fidelity.

Every day, you make a choice to be with the person you love.

And so does that person you’re with.

If they don’t make that choice, that’s on them, not someone else.

Originally published on The Melodramatic Confessions of Carla Louise.

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Published by Carla Louise