“Your wife, how would she feel….if she caught us together? The same way I would feel….if I caught you with another. Home I know comes first….but second to that I’ll be….If you’re not there with her, then I want you right here with me…..I’ll be the other woman”
– Betty Wright
I nearly blurted out my McDonald’s frozen strawberry lemonade on my computer screen when I turned on the t.v. and came to a new briefing on the woman who sued her husband’s mistress for $9 million due to the “severe emotional distress” triggered by the affair with her husband. This case was filed and won back in 2010. Well another North Carolina woman is using this case to fuel her own cast against her husbands alleged mistress.
This was unbelievable to me because just yesterday I was having a heated debate on this topic with a male friend of mine. It must be fate. The cosmic stars have aligned just so that I could voice my opinion on the subject.
We’re suing mistresses now?
I remember awhile back when the blogs were having a field day with rumors of Fantasia being sued by the wife of her alleged boyfriend. They kept citing “criminal conversion,” an old-fashioned law that never left the books in North Carolina, and six other states. The law allows wives to sue their own husband’s mistresses and in order to win a suit, the wife must prove that she was “validly married” and that her husband had sex with the accused. I thought all the talk about going after mistresses was unlikely blog chatter. Um, I guess not.
My initial reaction was probably like many people’s: “what’s his mistress got to do with you?” As much as we like to say, “she should have respected my vows!” The other woman didn’t take any vows. Your husband did. Blaming the mistress follows an all too disturbing pattern that lots of women exhibit, which is to blame the other woman while overlooking the man who’s at the center of your drama. If anyone inflicted emotional distress, wasn’t it the man who stood up in a church, or at least before a judge, some family and friends, and vowed to be true?
But then I slept on it. And this morning I rolled the idea around in my head. Indulge my randomness for a moment. How many of you remember The Insider (1999) with Russell Crowe? If not, a quick summary: Crowe is a company man with insider secrets. He’s laid off and must sign a confidentiality agreement not to disclose what he knows. A television studio comes calling and he breaks his contract with the company. The network risks being dragged into a billion dollar lawsuit that could bankrupt them because they knew of the existing contract between Crowe and his former employer and chose to disregard it. So if we’re following that logic, shouldn’t a mistress who knew of a man’s contract with his wife, but choose to disregard it, be held accountable too ?
Perhaps part of the reason adultery is so rampant— allegedly half of married men cheat, according to published reports— is that there aren’t any real repercussions for the mistress. Cheating men live under the threat of divorce— a huge financial and emotional loss, but the mistress, at most might get some harassing phone calls from the wife, maybe cry to Nina Simone’s “The Other Woman” and suffer a little emotional distress from the man who keeps promising to leave his wife, but never does. That’s pretty minor in comparison to what a wife goes through, no? I mean we’re talking a wrecked marriage, stress on the kids, health concerns, financial losses for whatever he’s spending on his mistress, drama, etc. What real incentive, other than moral outrage, The Golden Rule, and karma (admittedly, that combination is what keeps me away far, far, away from married men) is there to keep a woman from a married man?
If there was an added detriment to being a jump off (cue Joe Budden), less women may be inclined to do it.. or at least that was Shackelford had in mind. She told the Post she hoped the ruling would deter other would-be mistresses of married men and encourage people to respect the sanctity of marriage.
I dug my key into the side of his pretty little souped up 4 wheel drive, and I carved my name into his leather seats….I took a Lousiville Slugger to both headlights, slashed a hole in all 4 tires…..
Maybe next time he’ll think…..before he cheats….
– Carrie Underwood
Do you think being able to sue a mistress will do that?