10 songs to help you survive as a mistress
MANILA, Philippines - “Deception is brutal. I’m not pretending otherwise.”
How Jude Law’s philandering character Dan Woolf carelessly spits out those words, in the movie (based on a play) "Closer," pretty much encapsulates how most men feel about cheating: devoid of guilt because they think it's second nature to them.
In a romantic triangle, we easily sympathize with the woman being cheated on, especially if kids are involved. We are mad at the cheating boyfriend or husband, but we look at them with a more forgiving eye. Men are just being men.
Unfortunately, we can never be as forgiving to the other woman. We think they are a menace. They lure in a loving, married man and they destroy families.
But not all mistresses are like the ones we see in Anne Curtis movies. Sometimes, it's the smooth-talking married man seducing the woman until she falls hard.
They say karma will come quick to mistresses, but what they don’t know is that being embroiled in a relationship based on deceit is a curse in itself. Some of them already want out, but it’s never that simple or easy.
It takes a tough woman to survive an affair, and an even tougher one to leave it.
In case you find yourself in this situation - whether you’re still in its intensity or have been enlightened now to break it off - here are some songs that will hopefully help you get through this.
Some songs are sexy, others are melancholic, but, in general, they are mostly cathartic.
For those curious about the secret life of a mistress, this list will help throw a light on a situation you'd best avoid. And for the other woman, remember, this is all temporary. Everything is. You can always get out and things will be better.
1. “I’m So into You” by SWV
This upbeat R&B hit from the early '90s may have started with the singer’s resistance to succumb to the man’s advances (“Boy, there you go/You're telling me that you love me/ But you know you belong to another girl who loves you”).
But it eventually choruses to her giving in and ultimately justifying why she did so: “Friends ask how could/I give myself/To one who belongs to someone else. They just don't know/Your love's so good.”
It's usually the case among women in complicated relationships: the hesitation, the surrender, and the utter naiveté in rationalizing it.
2. “Go with You” by Toro y Moi
“I don't know how/How we're gonna get out/But I'm not scared/Of getting point to point.”
If there's one thing that spices up an affair, it is choosing the perfect tryst: the perfect time and place where no one will ever see you together. This chill-wave, indie-pop song captures the thrill of escape, of briefly going away and leaving everything behind.
3. “Kinda I Want to” by Nine Inch Nails
This danceable, "industrial" song from the band's debut album, "Pretty Hate Machine," is all sexy in a fiendish sort of way.
You may think you're appalled by this song’s sense of deviance, but the mishmash of synths, percussions, plus that carnal quality in Trent Reznor’s singing will get you swinging: “I know it's not the right thing/And I know it's not a good thing/But kinda I want to.” Kinda like how it is being with a married man.
4. “Love Is a Battlefield” by Pat Benatar
“We are strong/No one can tell us we're wrong.” This song by the ‘80s pop rock diva is about defiance - about defying the world, and even your partner, in the name of, yes, love.
But you shouldn't think of this song as defiance to the woman your man is married to. You should know by now that there is little to no chance that he will leave his wife for you. As Jullie Yap Daza tells us in her now-classic "manual," "Etiquette for Mistresses": “Even if he tells you he loves you more than his wife, don’t let that go to your head….As a rule, men are liars.”
5. “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” by The Shirelles
“Tonight you're mine completely/You give your love so sweetly…But will you love me tomorrow?” This bittersweet song from 1960 suits the realization that every romantic relationship has an end. Commendable, especially because it's rare, is the romance that leads further to a meaningful marriage.
And the expiry date for your kind of affair may come sooner than you anticipate. “Will my heart be broken/When the night meets the morning sun?” There will never be guarantees and you just have to live with that.
6. “In an Expression of the Inexpressible” by Blonde Redhead
After you have relished those stolen moments with your lover, there will always be that point when you will realize how chaotic, even dangerous, the situation you have put yourself in.
Perhaps this moment will come as an aftershock, after you're almost caught by the wife.
Or when it finally dawns upon you that you are with a man you can never trust.
After all, this is a man who has made a game out of lying. When you have reached this point, you are more likely to spend several sleepless nights anxious and overthinking everything.
This Blonde Redhead song is perhaps the perfect catharsis. It is noisy and unintelligible, and the only words you will probably understand are: “I'm deceitful - I'm dreadful - I'm lazy - I'm vain – and – vile – our rendezvous was run down.”
7. “Terrible Love” by The National
“It's a terrible love/That I'm walking with spiders/It's a terrible love that I'm walking with.” This is for all those mornings after sleepless nights of overthinking.
You're still in love, but you're now filled with anxiety and uncertainty. The worst thing - apart from the distress and having little rest - is that you probably can’t tell a soul about what’s bothering you. It’s taking so much energy to not break down in tears. “It takes an ocean not to break.”
8. “Sour Cherry” by The Kills
You’re furious with yourself and your man, and you’ve had it. In The Kills singer Alison Mosshart’s voice, you mock your man for, perhaps, making you feel less of that awesome woman you originally were: “Now I'm the only sour cherry on your fruit stand, right?/Am I the only sour cherry on your fruit stand?...I'm a penny in a diamond mine.”
Because that’s how it is being "The Other Woman" (no matter what the great Nina Simone may sing - oh, that's another great song).
You always find yourself trying harder to be as worthy as No. 1. But you know you can never match up. And now, you’ve had it.
And after several attempts to finally call it quits, you can say it with conviction, again, in Mosshart’s seething voice: “G-g-g-go home, go home, it's over.”
9. “Mind over Time” by Interpol
Whether you’re already at the denouement of that messy breakup or have just become completely indifferent to him, this is the song to listen to.
The indolent singing of vocalist Paul Banks over those repeated guitar riffs, keyboards, and percussions can lend that funereal feel at this stage of your illicit story. And then, you heed Interpol’s words:“Hold your place and / Save your throne / Lie awake supine and golden / Wait for grace / It's time.”
10. “Hold on When You Get Love and Let Go When You Give It” by Stars
The title of this cheery indie-pop song by this Canadian band pretty much sums up why this should be the last but not the least on this list.
Filled with optimism, this track from Stars tells us to not regret our terrible relationship choices, to cherish the good parts, and let go when it’s time:“Take the weakest thing in you / And then beat the bastards with it / And always hold on when you get love /So you can let go when you give it.”
*Regina Vicencio (not her real name) writes under a pseudonym because it's complicated.