Maja Salvador plays a mistress in the primetime hit "The Legal Wife"
MANILA -- Why do some women choose to become mistresses?
The issue of the "legal wife" and the "other woman" is currently a hot topic among Filipinos following the immense popularity of the ABS-CBN primetime series “The Legal Wife,” which tackles infidelity.
Joji Racelis, a family and relationship counselor, explained that mistresses, or the "other woman," usually have a way of justifying what they are doing.
"They often think that this is true love, (that) I am his only pocket of happiness (and) he is married to a witch. Jina-justify nila ang ginagawa nila," Racelis said in an interview on DZMM on Wednesday.
She added that most women who are in this kind of relationship do not realize that they are doing something wrong. "In their minds, they have the right to do this. Sa pagpasok sa sitwasyon na ganun, hindi nila naiisip na mali sila," she said.
Don't rush to judgment
Racelis said that women involved in extramarital affairs should not be judged immediately.
"Kailangan ipamulat sa kanila na mali ang ginagawa nila, at ipaalam sa kanila na kailangan nilang respetuhin ang sarili nila. I deserve someone better, and not just be the other woman," she added.
Racelis explained that women in this kind of situation often think that they are not hurting anyone, which isn't really the case.
"Minsan kasi feeling nila wala silang nasasaktan, pero ang totoo, nasasaktan nila 'yung wife, 'yung children, 'yung family niya at nung naging boyfriend niya. And most of all, nasasaktan niya yung sarili niya, kasi parang hindi niya nirerespeto ang sarili niya kasi pumayag siya na pumunta sa ganoong sitwasyon," she explained.
Just like any kind of relationship, a woman involved in an extramarital affair would undergo a grieving process after the relationship ends.
Racelis explained that it is important that the woman should realize her self-worth in order to forgive herself and the man.
"She has to be able to forgive herself and the man for getting her into a situation like that, and to know that she is a good person, and that she has a future. Anong mararamdaman mo kung next year, may third woman na? 'Yung ginawa mo sa wife, gagawin din sa 'yo," she said.
Racelis advised people who have friends involved in extramarital affairs to be more patient and understanding.
"If you are a friend, you cannot immediately tell her that she has to give him up, kasi ibo-block off ka na niya kaagad. We listen to what we want to hear, so kung ganyan ang entrada mo, hindi na siya makikinig sayo," she added.
Instead, friends should listen and look at the situation through the other woman's point of view, and accompany her in looking at the bigger picture.
"The other woman is not a bad person. Most of the time, nabubulagan lang siya. She is also a victim." Racelis said.
She added that there are some women who can be considered "professional mistresses" and are more difficult to deal with.
"May iba namang other women, kina-career na nila. Kinakwartahan nila, tapos sasabihin nila na sandali lang 'to. Mas mahirap kapag ganoon," Racelis said.
According to Racelis, the easiest way to make the other woman realize that she is doing something wrong is to ask her if she wants her future daughter to be a mistress.
"Kung may anak na babae, tanungin mo siya how she would feel if her daughter becomes a mistress. Then tell her to listen to herself," she said.
When asked if an erring husband can still regain his wife's trust, Racelis said it may be difficult but not impossible.
She also advised wives to look into their marriage, and ask their husbands what went wrong .
"Kapag nangangaliwa si mister, kailangan tanungin ni misis kung bakit ganoon kasi there is something missing in the marriage. Baka he found something in the other woman that was missing in the marriage," Racelis said.
However, the wife should also not blame herself for what her husband did to her.
"A wife’s self-esteem should not be totally dependent on how your husband sees you. Your self-esteem should be dependent on how you see yourself. Kapag ayaw sa'yo ng asawa mo, eh ano na lang natira sa 'yo?" she said.
Racelis left a message to all women who are involved in extramarital affairs.
"The other woman is not a bad person, pero 'yung ginagawa niya, nakakasakit ng ibang tao. She should know that she deserves more, and even if she is very happy at the moment, this happiness is very temporary and might end in a painful manner," she said.
She also left this piece of advice for women with cheating husbands.
"For wives, if their husbands start looking for other women, it is a wake-up call that something is missing in the marriage, and it is not necessarily your fault but there might be something missing, and it is time for you to look for it," Racelis said.
The ABS-CBN primetime soap “The Legal Wife” continues to dominate Twitter trends locally as Monica (Angel Locsin) realizes that her husband, Adrian (Jericho Rosales), is cheating on her with her best friend, Nicole (Maja Salvador).