I refused to get caught up in another television series the same way I refuse to date married men. I was channel surfing and stumbled upon BET's new hit show Being Mary Jane. There was nothing else on--over 100 damn cable channels and a lot of money each month … note to self: a blog post for another time.
So, I decided to check out the last hour of the premier as it was leading in to the next episode. Well, who knew it was like this!!!! The main character, Mary Jane Paul, has been dating a man who neglected to mention that he's married with kids. When I was young and naïve I would have thought, "how ridiculous!" But, the more I watched the show, the more I knew that I had to write this post. I recently found myself being Mary Jane.
A few years ago, I met a man with whom we had great conversation and common interest from the start. We exchanged numbers, kept in touch, and began seeing each other. The chemistry between us was perfect and intense and unlike anything either of us had ever experienced. A few months into the relationship we found ourselves exchanging I love yous. It was so perfect! We had made plans to meet one weekend. I had not heard from him which was very unusual. I had called him several times but did not get an answer. I began to worry that something happened to him because this was so out of character for him.
Or so I thought, until I received a message from a woman who told me she was his wife. She went on the explain that they had been separated and decided to get back together. And, they had watched the phone as I had called him--unable to reach him of course--that day.
I couldn't breathe. I was shaking. I went through a range of emotions in a matter of seconds. I spent days crying the "ugly" cry. I was humiliated and confused. I was angry and in love all at the same time. Thank God for two of my closest girlfriends and one of my closest cousins because I was too ashamed to tell anyone other than them what had happened. My friends were gentle, loving, sympathetic, encouraging, and patient. They knew when to push me, when to pull me, and when to just let me cry. With their help I was able to pull it together and move on.
Many women want to hate "the other woman"--much like his wife tried to blame me. But sometimes the reality is that the "other woman" didn't know about the wife. I sure as hell didn't.
You may ask, why am I sharing such a private story. I am sharing this because in watching, Being Mary Jane, I know that I am not the only woman this has happened to. I am writing this for all the Mary Janes in the world who are imperfect, who have found yourself in a "I would never" situation, and most of all, who know that you would not have made it through a devastating relationship without the help of your girlfriends. I don't know how things will turnout for Mary Jane Paul, but I do know how they turned out for me and many other women. I have moved on am dating a wonderful, happily divorced man and taking things slow. But most of all I am enjoying being me!
Girlfriend, be sure to check out Being Mary Jane on BET, Tuesdays at 10pm/9 CST. And, let me know if you have been Mary Jane.