The "Other" Woman

“911, what is your emergency?”
“There’s an intruder in my house.”
“Are you in danger, ma’am?”
“In danger of being taken over!! A crazy person has invaded my home. She’s moody, sullen, weepy, insecure and in general, a wreck. She’s oddly familiar but I don’t know who she is.”

I felt like making that call this week. I have long prided myself on being a strong, confident, independent, slightly sassy and a fairly put together woman. Sure there were kinks in the armor but nothing that I couldn’t keep behind closed doors.

Then I got married.

Suddenly, this other woman began showing up at the most unexpected and inopportune times. She seemed to be all the messy pieces of me put together, only worse. Nothing like true love to pull back the curtain on the Wizard, leaving you feeling vulnerable.

If you’ve ever spent 3 seconds in the mind of a woman, you know that bad can quickly spiral into worse as we drive ourselves into a frenzy.

Having the life-long commitment of the man I love should give me unparalleled security. So why do I suddenly doubt it all?

Ninety-five percent of the time, it’s my own doing. I give this other woman an inch and she’ll take a mile. She knows how to verbally slice, dice, and jab in a way that would leave any pundit's head spinning.

The battle isn’t usually with my husband. It’s with myself. It’s a battle many of us face on a regular basis.

Which voices will we listen to?

The ones that tell us we couldn’t possibly be lovable, that people will leave us, that we’re just too much? Or not enough?

OR

The One that reminds us that our imperfections are opportunities for grace, that we are a piece of art in the making and that we are loved, by so many people for so many reasons?

Will we believe in the best in our partner or spouse? Or constantly look for the worst?

Will we allow ourselves to be loved for all of our imperfections, as we ourselves love others?

The next time the Other Woman shows up, let’s stop and assess what it was that invited her there:

1. Is it an insecurity on your part?

Are you feeling unattractive or not confident? Bad day at work? Not feeling loved by your spouse or partner?

Invite your spouse or significant other on a walk and be open about this.

Is your spouse/partner doing things that make you feel unprotected, or add to the insecurity?

Perhaps it’s a friendship with someone of the opposite sex that isn’t sitting well, or failing to receive love in a way that translates.

Together, find some constructive ways to address it. Here are some ideas:
Perhaps you need a wardrobe update, even if just a couple of pieces that make you feel more confident
Daily times of connecting with your spouse/partner via a quick text message, when you both get home
Planning a weekly date night where you can have undivided time to share, talk and laugh
Deciding on boundaries for your other relationships that will make you both feel respected, valued and protected
 

What other ideas do you have for keeping the Other Woman away?