Does that term bother anyone else? It’s more than annoying to me; it is inaccurate.

What does the word mistress mean?

    Mistress

  1. The feminine of master, something personified as female that has ownership, power or authority to rule, direct, or dominate—such as…
    • The female head of a household
    • a woman who employs or supervises servants
    • a woman who is in charge of a school or other establishment
  2. An archaic title equivalent to Mrs.
  3. A woman other than his wife with whom a married man has a continuing sexual relationship

History
The word first came to usage in the 14th century. How has infidelity changed from then to now? How has marriage changed?
Adultery is still adultery. But marriage is not the same. We no longer marry solely for protection, procreation and politics. More than not, we marry for love
Whether she had any true status, a mistress had power because she had more freedom of choice since she was not the property of her husband; she was a woman who took charge of her sexuality. The situation between she and her married lover may have been purely sexual or it may have been a love-match. But the term gives an implication of commitment, being settled and sometimes social acceptability. Her lover typically supported her financially.
It was much harder for a woman to steal another woman’s husband because divorce was illegal or socially forbidden. Marriage to a mistress was possible if the man’s wife died, but even then it may not have been a socially acceptable match. Most mistresses did not have the alienating power and influence of Anne Boleyn.

Present
Today an alienator has greater power. Now a husband and wife usually choose each other. We enter the relationship with expectations of equality and fidelity and divorce is commonplace. An alienator is a home wrecker or mate predator who is often trying to steal someone else’s spouse, though a person is still an alienator if it is not their intention to break-up their lover’s marriage. Some alienator’s seek relationships with married people because they don’t want a commitment and some like the excitement of an illicit relationship. They are still alienators because infidelity alienates spouses from each other.
Today a mistress type of alienator is not as common as a deliberate mate predator. A mistress is a kept woman, who is not usually trying to steal her lover away from his wife or interfere in his marriage. She usually keeps a life separate from the married couple and is available either at her lover’s convenience or, in today’s more equal society, according to arrangements made by both she and her lover.
I am not trying to say that a mistress is acceptable. Infidelity is infidelity. It not only hurts but it destroys. But the term mistress is often applied to all cases of infidelity with a married man. It is sanitized and does not reveal the pain, damage, betrayal, lies and manipulation that are part of infidelity; rather it dismisses those negatives, avoiding the stigma of guilt and shame that accompany adultery.
It seems that individuals do not use the term mistress, rather it is the media. We as people know the pain; even those who have not gone through it personally understand it as something that is not appropriate. But the media glamorizes the term; John Edwards had child with his mistress rather than with the woman who approached him and suggested that he cheat on his wife with her. Following the death of Elizabeth Edwards there were multiple stories speculating whether John would now marry his mistress—implying it would be a legitimate relationship.

As a betrayed spouse with real human emotions I do think with those common insults: skank, whore, slut. That doesn’t make them right, but I’m being honest. They are not nice; they are meant to insult and degrade and they are not professional. I’m a professional writer; but I’m not a professional wife. Your MLCer may be an alienator too. And yet you love your spouse. You may not like her, but you are Standing for your marriage, you love her and want to rebuild your love to Eros. Emotions aside, it is not appropriate to place insulting, degrading and judgmental labels on another human being—you are also flawed.
The word mistress forgets about the existence of a wife because it describes a woman who has power or authority rather than a woman who tries to take something that is not hers. That’s why I use the term alienator. It is gender neutral, it includes an idea—alienation and thus betrayal, pain destruction… it is not derogatory and it has a clinical professionalism.

What are your thoughts?
Does that word annoy you too?


Comments

Stop Calling Her a Mistress!2,844 Comments

  1. I agree that the term mistress somehow legitimizes the other woman's role. H calls her his girlfriend, which does the same. I picked up on using 'ho' from my teenagers, although I disapprove of their use of that in front of them.

    Alienator is a good descriptive term which I like to use, but am guilty of just using ho or OW when typing. Alienator describes her role, behavior, and the consequences of her actions.

    • Sweetheart doesn't like OW–don't know why, it is neutral and not derogatory. I just don't like acronyms and I wanted something gender neutral for the book. But also…the alienator decided to rename OW and said it stood for Other Wife…the two of them thought it was funny. So when Sweetheart told me–.tauntingly– I laughed at him and said actually it stood for Old Whore. Hey, she's got 8 years in me, so it fit.
      My recent post Stop Calling Her a Mistress!

  2. Well the alienator in my life knew H was married and because they worked together and spent more time together than we did because of work schedules she used the situation to her advantage. They have now lived together for 18 months and she is still married to her second husband. When I pointed out the fact to my h that she had two failed marriages he excused it by sayiing nothing was her fault. I can only imagine that rewrite of her marriage she told my H and the same for him. The one and only conversation I had with her face to face she told me that since I was obviously not making him happy she certainly could. H bought it hook, line, and sinker. He is now finding out that fantasy is nothing like he dreamed it would be. I continue to stand for my marriage because I truely love him and know that MLC is not something he asked for but something that has happened to him.

  3. I'm looking for an appropriately negative term, not one that has been sanitized, one that when I mention it to H, it stings with truthful reality, rather than evades the truth.

    • Oh, I will certainly admit to calling her a whore-skank-slut–sometimes each separately and sometimes as a single label–to Sweetheart and to her on one occasion when she was calling our home number when I was home. I was especially not going to clean up the label for her. But as a Stander it would not work with Sweetheart if I called her only that and completely demonized her.

      I did want to make sure those seeds–which he himself planted–about her being trashy grew. But-and this true of many–he kept thinking I was laming her completely for their affair and that I was not blaming him. I think I actually laughed in his face when he said that to me and let him know that both of them were 100% responsible for their own actions.

  4. Cont’d
    But me as a professional it is not appropriate–though for me as a wife my emotions use the label–though less than when it was raw. And mistress may seem like a less emotionally-charged term and that could be why the media uses it. Yes, it is less-emotionally-charged. But it is so much so that it also cleans the definition to remove the stain and pain of the sin.

    But even during the crisis I recognized the importance of it. It's similar to labeling your MLCer. I called him Sweetheart to remind me, had I called him a$$hole I may not have done as well in my Stand–negative affirmation.

    • Cont’d
      But even more importantly, like it or not, the alienator is an actual human being. Sure, with feelings, but my point is more that she is also one of God's creatures–a sinner of course, but so are the rest of us. So I prayed for her–and not that harm came to her–though I did pray for turmoil and arguments in the affair.

      She is a broken person and is a typical affair down. I don't know her history of destroying marriages, but I do know she is the type and that her mental state makes her susceptible to bad relationships and makes healthy relationships probably impossible. I don't want her in that poor state. I don't want her to destroy someone else's marriage.

      My recent post Stop Calling Her a Mistress!

    • Cont’d
      But even more importantly, like it or not, the alienator is an actual human being. Sure, with feelings, but my point is more that she is also one of God's creatures–a sinner of course, but so are the rest of us. So I prayed for her–and not that harm came to her–though I did pray for turmoil and arguments in the affair.

      She is a broken person and is a typical affair down. I don't know her history of destroying marriages, but I do know she is the type and that her mental state makes her susceptible to bad relationships and makes healthy relationships probably impossible. I don't want her in that poor state. I don't want her to destroy someone else's marriage.

      My recent post Stop Calling Her a Mistress!

  5. Well my h alienator is also an affair down, she is on second failed marriage which none of it is her fault according to h. I really hate the fact that h and her live together with her 13 yo daughter and no one seems to think this a problem. That young girl now thinks it is OK for a woman to break up a marriage as long as the woman is happy. Maybe I am just old fashioned or maybe just old but each generation witnessing mothers and fathers living with other mothers and fathers without divorcing is just adding fuel to the fire. Who needs to get married when you can just live with someone else's spouse until you get tired of that and then just move on to the next. I have called both h and OW some pretty choice words but normally just to myself. I have absolutely no respect for OW and very little for h.

  6. I have taken to using the word prostitute. To him, her and everyone else. Her motive has been blatantly about money since the day they met, so much so that she will verbally assault both me and him if she sees that I have money to go shopping. For that reason I find prostitute to be very fitting. A woman who sleeps with men for any type of personal gain, it doesn't have to be money, it could be a status thing or a boost to the ego.

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