Starting a relationship as a side chick can be a fun and thrilling experience. But, what happens when strings get attached and he chooses you over his main? There is much to adjust to when both of you decide to take the relationship to the next level. Here’s a guide to navigate from side chick to main.
#RelationshipManagement: From side chick to main
Often, the side chick is blamed for the mischievous behaviour of a man who, whether seduced or not, chooses to cheat on the woman in his life. So, as the side chick, how do you then fit in with his family, friends and extended relations who all view you as a homewrecker?
We cannot deny the impact such a relationship has on the ex-wife, who also invested her time and love in her marriage. Everyone in the family gets affected. Thembi adds that not only do some wives slip into depression as the result of such situations, but the children tend to blame themselves for their parents’ divorce, too. This is because they believe that they were abandoned for not being good enough, which causes a major blow to their self-esteem.
But, Thembi stresses that when he chooses you, then you will become a part of his circle, especially his children. That is where the ex-wife comes in. While you are not obliged to befriend her exes, the least you should do is to be civil with, and respect, the woman your husband left for you. Don’t celebrate her pain as you don’t know what tomorrow holds.
Pretoria-based relationship and life coach, Rebekah Clark, advises that children are like rubber bands and can bounce back to normalcy. But, this depends on what emotional state they are living in. So, you have to allow them to adapt to the situation and treat them as your own. At the end of the day, everyone has to work together to ensure that their welfare takes priority, regardless of a separation or how you got into the family picture.
Managing relationships with the in-laws will depend on how you were introduced to the family, the kind of relationship they have with the first wife and how they see you. Thembi adds factors to consider, such as; do your in-laws view you as a homewrecker or saviour? “You are most likely to face rejection if they had a strong relationship with the first wife.
While they may tolerate you for the sake of your husband, you may never truly be accepted,” says Thembi. She advises that you either accept that fate or work hard to prove yourself to the family, that you are more than just a mistress. Once they get to know you better, they will find that you are likeable and mean well, but this may take some time.
What’s his role?
Jabulani Mvelase has been proactive in making sure that his family accepts his new fiancé. He recently proposed to her after leaving his wife of five years. “I wasn’t ready when I married my ex-wife whom I impregnated. But, I did it after my family pressured me into it. I continued dating outside the marriage and when I met Thando, I knew she was the one I loved.
I defend her when I hear nasty remarks from some of my family members during family gatherings. I always remind them that she didn’t wreck the marriage I didn’t want to be a part of in the first place, but I chose to leave. They have to accept that Thando is part of my life,” he says.
“Society likes to burden the mistress with the responsibility of a failed marriage. But, as much as the husband and wife separated because she was in the picture, she cannot be entirely blamed for it,” adds Thembi.
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