Is It Better To Be The Mistress Instead Of The Wife? Here Are 10 Famous Mistresses Who Apparently Thought So.

I blame these two for convincing me that being a mistress is a swell idea.

After this season of Mad Men came to an end and we, once again, witnessed a whole slew of cheating, I declared to my mother that I’d rather be a mistress than a wife. As usual, there was a long pause, followed by a sigh then her questioning exactly where she went wrong in raising me. I asked her in response: “Where did you go right, woman?”

I know we can blame both Hollywood and literature for making affairs look not only deliciously scandalous, but ridiculously exciting instead of seeing it for what it really is — a betrayal. I know that I would never want to be cheated on, yet the thought of being the “other woman” for some reason is really enticing to me. Every time someone cheated on Mad Men, I screeched with joy and wondered how much longer I’d have to wait to be a mistress, too! Just think of Carrie and Big in Sex and the City! How was that not excessively exciting? The sneaking around, the secrets, the fear of getting caught at any particular moment, Natasha finding Carrie and falling down the stairs as she chased after her! All of it just seems so fantastic… unless of course, you are the wife who ends up falling on her face.

I’m not suggesting that this is something that I would ever actively pursue, but I am saying that there’s definitely something hot about it. So while I have mistresses on the brain, let’s look at 10 famous mistresses throughout history. The scandal!

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    • Kay

      The only time I’ve ever been the other woman, the legitimate girlfriend’s life and mine brushed against each other almost daily. Initially, I thought it was exciting but as the relationship continued, there was all the guilt. So much guilt. Of course, this could come from being raised Catholic, but even so…the guilt. :/

    • Eileen

      I would absolutely rather be Natasha than Carrie. Times a million.

      I’d rather be a royal or political dude’s mistress than wife, though, if he were discreet – too much scrutiny if you’re the wife. But an average Joe? Mehh, I’d rather be his wife.

      • Amanda Chatel

        Natasha?! Really? But she doesn’t even get Big in the end!

      • Eileen

        Yeah, but John’s* an absolute asshole. She’s prettier, nicer, has better taste, and I’m sure she got a decent settlement and is now free to do what she likes…whereas Asshole Carrie and Asshole John are paired up and removed from the dating world, to the joy of singles everywhere. I hate Carrie.

        *I refuse to call him Big because I am not five and I use people’s real names

      • Maggie

        Despite Big & Carrie ending up together in the end (which really made no sense if you follow their relationship throughout the series-she is ALWAYS unhappy with him and nitpicking their relationship-) it’s almost as if Carrie had an affair with Big (John) because she was jealous of Natasha. She always felt she wasn’t good enough for Big so she felt really insecure when she met Natasha and saw that she was basically slightly higher in class, tall, beautiful and had a great career (plus Big). I don’t really think Big preferred Carrie, I think he was just an asshole really. Honestly, it doesn’t even make sense that Big would have married Natasha, cheated on Natasha with Carrie, or told Carrie ‘You’re the one’ in the last episode. so many things didn’t make sense at all

      • Maggie

        Sorry to ramble- my point is that logically I don’t think Carrie actually felt Big loved her more than Natasha. I think she was just desperate for the validation but that it didn’t really deliver

      • Amanda Chatel

        I loathe Carrie, too. And somehow, I always forget his name is John.

    • Casey

      Generally speaking, mistresses have great eyebrows.

    • Amy

      Wow, four comments down and no one has mentioned what a douchey thing this is to do to another woman, not to mention her children. I’ve heard the arguments about how it’s all the responsibility of the person in the relationship but that’s just bullshit. If you know there’s another woman involved who’s being lied to and betrayed and you’re participating then you’re just as big an asshole as the guy who’s doing the cheating.

      It’s not sexy or sophisticated or grown-up, it’s just selfish, immature and a really shitty way to behave. If you wouldn’t want it done to you, don’t do it to someone else. It’s true that people can’t always control who they fall in love with & sometimes it’s not ideal but that’s certainly not something to be glorified. And it’s always better to end one relationship before you dive into the next instead of sneaking around and making a fool out of someone else.

      • Ashley Cardiff

        Agreed on all points.

      • Also Amy

        Thank you! I was going to post almost exactly the same thing.
        You share both my name and my convictions, clearly we are awesome.

      • Maggie2

        Applause all around! Couldn’t agree more with both Amy’s.

    • Sam

      As horrible as this is, I have cheated on significant others in the past. However, I have NEVER knowingly had sex or kissed somebody I knew was still dating somebody else (I did find out later that a person I slept with had a significant other and I was fucking livid and didn’t sleep with them again).
      Sometimes I’ve thought sexually or emotionally about somebody I know is in a relationship and these are thoughts I don’t particularly stop myself from having because, in a weird way, the unattainable is pretty dern attractive.

      On that note: Cheating is a terrible thing to do because it hurts another human being in a horrible way. Allowing somebody to cheat with you is equally, if not more, horrible because it affects somebody you likely don’t know and have nothing to do with–instead of ruining your own relationship, you’re assisting in the ruining of somebody else’s.

      Plus: shit, man–I’m WAY too selfish to ever let somebody have attention on more people than myself, hahaha.

    • Fabel

      I think being a mistress, you have the sense that you’re the preferred one & the “love” you share with the guy is somehow more raw than whatever he has with his wife. So, in that sense, it feels better to be the mistress.

      (And yes, obviously it’s a shitty thing to do. That goes without saying)

      • Maggie

        just remembered- she DOES take the ring! BITCH.

    • kjon

      I agree with Eileen and especially Maggie re Carrie and “John”. I recently tuned into the one episode where Carrie gets a fat verbal smackdown from Natasha at lunch (something about karma was in the ep too, my memory is fading a little bit already). I truly think that Carrie was jealous of Natasha making what she did 2x not okay! I stood up and clapped. Well, not really, but I was happy.

      I also hate how Carrie had the balls to confront Charlotte about not lending her money/still wearing her engagement ring! Charlotte gave her the business then too but ended up giving her the ring anyway, which was nice.

      There are so many instances where I’ve hated Carrie, honestly.

      • Amanda Chatel

        Please tell me you guys read my post for The Gloss from like two years ago where I express my hatred for Carrie Bradshaw… the comments from readers are amazing! So many people were so invested in that character that I did get quite a few hate comments… like a lot of them.

      • Maggie

        Yes! i was so disgusted with carrie when she was all whiny about how she has no money and its not fair charlotte won’t give her the ring. to be fair though, carrie didn’t accept the ring in the end. and carrie is super obsessed with natasha, shes pretty annoying, i mean, i grow to like carrie after watching the episodes millions of times, but i would never be friends with her, shes always doing annoying things like this. also, its not just natasha, remember when she had lunch/pitched a book idea to bigs ex wife? shes like a 35 yr old woman child

      • kjon

        @Amanda – I read the fuck outta that post.

      • kjon

        @Maggie – Carrie does accept the ring at the end, I believe. It was after they made up with each other. It’s never mentioned again though.

      • Amanda Chatel

        No no… she does accept the ring. I think she even says some stupid line like “I do” or some shit.

    • Maggie

      I have been cheated on before, and let me tell you, it is the worst feeling there is. The knowledge that the person you care about and trust the most would rather go off and fuck some random skank (I’m sorry, but if you are knowingly sleeping with a guy who has a wife/GF, you’re a skank) and lie to your face about it than be honest and just break up with you is absolutely gut wrenching. So before thinking that being someone’s mistress is exciting, think about the damage you’re doing to another person. It may be exciting in the moment, but it makes you a homewrecker. That man’s wife/GF has to deal with the heartbreak, pain, and betrayal of what her husband/BF has done, and let me tell you, that pain doesn’t go away for a very long time. Also keep in mind that if the dude is cheating on his significant other with you, it’s highly like that 1)he’s a fucking piece of shit and 2)he will do the same to you.

      • Please


        Cry us a river.

      • Maggie

        I will right after you go fuck yourself :)

    • BeeDash

      Is It Better To Be The Mistress Instead Of The Wife? Here Are 10 Famous Mistresses Who Apparently Had Low Enough Self Esteem to Make Colossally Bad Decisions and/or Were Forced into It.

      Seriously? Anne Boleyn? In the 1500s? Totally the master of her own fate. Also, accusation of being a wanton temptress is not the same as actually being one, last I checked. This was more than 100 years prior to the Salem Witch Trials, and something tells me the burden of proof was not exactly airtight.

    • Sabrina

      I can imagine how it would be exciting for awhile and you also don’t have to deal with the everyday shit that comes along with being fucking married to someone… but someone very dear to me was the other woman and it ended pretty disastrously… the husband was always like “I’m leaving my wife I promise! Please wait for me!” when she would try to break it off, and then the wife found out…

      It’s now three years later and the wife has been consistently harassing and stalking my dear person ever since. This sounds like a joke, but it is so depressingly not. She follows her and her son around in their car for hours at a time, she spray painted ‘whore’ all over her car and ‘adulterer’ on the fence of her house, which her teenage son had to sandpaper off. She shows up at 3 a.m. and just stands in the front lawn, she pours nails all over the driveway, she leaves completely crazy voicemails. She is just a peach. She also recently moved on to harassing me as well… so I would just recommend to all to not get involved in a situation like this.

      And yes, we have sought out legal protection, funny thing about that is, it doesn’t really prevent anything and it is very hard to catch someone who writes insane letters saying she’s watching you through the windows at night when she doesn’t sign her name.

      • Maggie

        That’s pretty crazy, and it sucks that you are involved in this now, but I feel no sympathy for your friend. She put herself in that situation and should’ve broken it off as soon as she found out he was married. If she knew the whole time he was married, then it’s her own fault for being so careless and stupid.

    • Valerie

      Being the other woman can be the loneliest place in the world if you’re in love with the guy. So do it for the awesome sex & the fabulous gifts a la Le Divorce. No feelings invited.

    • Lee

      I don’t see anything wrong with being the other woman (or other man for that matter). You don’t have a responsibility not to be with who you want so someone else won’t get hurt. Getting hurt is part of life.

      • Em

        Don’t you think that’s a shitty thing to do to someone though? If you make a commitment to one person and don’t want to keep it anymore, save yourself and the other person some trouble and just break up with them. Getting hurt is a part of life, but intentionally hurting someone else shouldn’t be.