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Secrets and Lies: Confessions of a Mistress

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As told to Jenisha Watts

A recent Oklahoma State University study reveals that single women are more drawn to men who are either married or in committed relationships. Researchers have debated this fact for years but now there's experimental evidence to confirm the age-old theory.

Meet a young woman who did not necessarily seek the attention of a taken man, but became caught in a vicious love triangle all the same. Here is her story:

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the subject and do not reflect those of ESSENCE or ESSENCE.com.

I was an intern at a large accounting firm and he was the vice president at
another major company. The vice president from my company wanted me to meet
him because he was also African-American. The first time we met was at a
conference and he introduced me to a lot of people that could possibly help me with my career in the future. After my internship was over we lost contact but reconnected in 2008. We scheduled lunch to catch up.

We had lunch on numerous occasions during that year and it was always business. One day conversation shifted to our personal lives. There was another time when we went to a networking event and afterwards I told him that I was about to go look at a house. He said, "By yourself? You shouldn't go alone; I will come." I remember when we reached the house my Realtor recognized him and asked about his wife. I knew he had kids but wasn't sure if he was married because he never wore a wedding band. But when the Realtor asked about his wife, that's when I was 100 percent sure he was married. He always told me to have an open mind.

Still, I continued our friendship because in my brain I felt like I had control. I was taking classes an hour away from our city and every week he would drive up to take me to dinner. If I was having a bad day at work, he would come to comfort me. He would come to my house anytime. He was never discreet. I had even been to his house. I met people in his family and met his daughter just before her wedding. He gave me whatever I wanted, when I wanted it. Just when I thought I couldn't fall, that's when I fell. The relationship went from strictly platonic to sexual. But it wasn't about the sex; he really encouraged me both professionally and personally.

Things took a huge shift one afternoon. He came over my house to show me his new phone. After we conversed for awhile, he looked at his phone and his home number was on the caller ID. He told me he had to call home. On the other end, his wife was flipping out; apparently she had heard our entire conversation so he had to rush home. About two hours later I get a friend request on Facebook from his wife. I was thinking, "Oh, dear...what have I gotten myself into?" The next day he called and said sorry. He explained that he had a wife and a family and that I needed to be patient if I wanted to be with him. I never had the will power to leave because I loved him.

By that time in our relationship, I had begun studying for the GRE and started getting refocused on my future. Yet we still talked regularly and continued our relationship despite his wife finding out. A couple weeks later, I got a call from a number that I didn't recognize and it was his wife. She left a message saying, "I don't know if you know but he has a wife and kids and you need to stay away from my family." She added, "You are disrespecting me." And, of course, the next morning he calls me saying sorry. He kept saying that I needed to make up my mind. The next day he called me but I didn't answer. Then his wife called again. She said, "You are disrespectful." And at that point it dawned on me that whatever they had going on there, he was out of control. He was doing whatever he wanted. She had no control.

I guess for her talking to him was like talking to a wall and that's why she kept calling me. It was clear that he loved her but he really wasn't doing anything to make things better. Contrary to what his wife and others may think, I am not a horrible person. I thought about my own mother and father and how my father cheated on my mom and how she would cry. I just couldn't be a part of that anymore. I always knew that I was wrong and would not want to be done that way. So, I made the decision to move on without him. I know I deserve a man that can love me unconditionally and without stipulations.

*All identifying details have been changed.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the subject and do not reflect those of ESSENCE or ESSENCE.com.

Filed Under: Men We Love
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