Whatever Happened to the ‘Bit on the Side’?

labelWhat respect does the ‘other woman’ deserve?

Over the past few days I have found myself giving some thought to the names that are chosen to label the woman who is having sex with another woman’s husband.  In many quarters, I detect a certain amount of restraint.  ‘Other Woman’ is a favourite I think.  ‘Affair Partner’ is another.  All very civilised I have to say.  Now, I get where everyone is coming from with regards to behaving with dignity and recognising her as a human being with flaws of her own but I’m not sure that I buy into this civility.   Even after two years post D-day!  It’s just that I think the terms are too romantic and don’t indicate the scummy nature of adultery.  I also think that these terms afford them far too much respect. I reckon there might even be women out there who LIKE to be referred to as the ‘other woman’ as it gives them a sense of frisson!

I was wondering if we might not be able to create a more apt label that us betrayed spouses (don’t like that term either) would find more appropriate which strikes a balance between the dirty, messy and graceless business that they got up to with our husbands and the need to offer a measure of civility.  I guess it needs to verge on the conservative in order to be adopted en masse.  Can’t say that I’ve been able to curtail my enthusiasm for labelling my husband’s folly grotesquely.   I named the old trout ‘Pig Shit’ and it has stuck.  We both call her that now but I know that this wouldn’t be suitable for the mass markert – it’s much more tailored to the desperate dingbat that was dropping her knickers for MY husband.   Earlier names for her were Skank, Skanker, Dirtbag, and Whore.   I CANNOT AND DON’T WISH TO REFER TO HER BY HER ACTUAL NAME.  It makes me want to vomit!  Since reading the adultery blogs I have been privileged to read of many names, ALL wonderfully ‘spot-on’.  ‘Pit-faced Whore’  does a lovely job for me; conjuring up an ugly desperate woman eager to please with her sexual tricks like a circus monkey.

And then I remembered an idiom (I think it’s an English thing) that used to be used.  They were referred to as a ‘bit on the side’!  Now, I thought, that’s much better than ‘affair partner’ orbit on the side ‘other woman’.  Or is it just me?  You see, I can’t imagine anyone happy to say that they were a man’s bit on the side.  BUT, doesn’t it sum up their position so much better?  They are NOT a partner; they are NOT the other.  They are OUTSIDE the committed and legally recognised relationship of marriage.  They are nothing but a different sexual experience for a lazy, lying and cheating man. They can’t ring their ‘man’ when they want to; they can’t see him on significant dates like birthdays, Christmas, Valentines etc.  They can’t go on holiday with him. They wouldn’t be able to visit him if he went into hospital.  They are a dirty secret and when not with him they have to know that he is with his wife.  Sharing a marital bed and all the social events that married couples share.  The wife is the significant partner in the man’s life.   But, he wants to have sex with someone else.  Someone who is easily available and willing to have sex at his convenience.

I still wonder at what stories Pig Shit must have told herself to convince herself that my husband loved her.  It could not have had anything to do with his actions.  He treated her appallingly.  Was she thinking of herself as the ‘woman in the wings’ – the woman who he was going to leave me for?  Maybe she thought of herself as the ‘Other Woman’ or the ‘Affair Partner’.  Perhaps she would have been better informed if she had realised she was never more than his ‘Bit On The Side’.  She’d be even better informed now if she knew that he referred to her as Pig Shit. Haha!!

Image Credits: Greeting Card And Copyspace by Stuart Miles; Figure Holding Plate” by Master isolated images; both courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net


23 thoughts on “Whatever Happened to the ‘Bit on the Side’?

  1. gracefulstrength11

    Very good points made here! Snarky Bitch wasn’t a partner in anything, she wasn’t an “other woman”, I am his ONLY woman. She was just available, eager and willing to be easy sex. A snarky, skanky bitch, plain and simple.
    I secretly hope we never meet another woman with her name…I hope my daughter never has a friend with her name…it’s become associated with everything toxic.

  2. DJ

    The terms make it easier for us to communicate with cheating spouses. But you’re right. it sanitizes the whole sordid thing too much sometimes. To my husband, I call her the callous cunt. And during that phase of his life, he was the selfish shithead. She has never shown remorse so she is still the callous cunt. He has turned himself around so he’s my husband again.

  3. Ella Disenchanted

    FUSTC (fus-tee-see) fucking ugly stanky cunt. That is now her name forever! Refuse to call her by anything else. Have to admit I like pit faced whore and pig shit as well! Thanks for making me smile!

    1. marriagerecovery Post author

      You are soooo welcome and a gold star for you for FUSTC. Can I just check a minor detail with you? Is it stanky or skanky? Wouldn’t want to make a mistake here and I quite like stanky because it indicates a nasty smell around the nether regions. Us betrayed spouses have standards to uphold don’t we 🙂

    1. marriagerecovery Post author

      In England we have a battery named ‘ever-ready’. Ha ha! Bet she wouldn’t be quite so ever ready after 15 years or so. Desperate Skank!!! I reckon that Pig-Shit probably used a lot of batteries to power up her dildos and other sex toys. 50 years of age and creaming herself up for another woman’s husband. Hate them all!!!!

      1. Iris

        yes, she’s English. As am I.

        My husband said he liked her because she was ‘ordinary’. In reality I assume she didn’t challenge him to do anything except the obvious, and even that was pedestrian.

        Of course she was as complex as anyone else but with him carefully one-dimensional, like theatre scenery. I bet I could have gone round the back of her and seen the props keeping her together.

        There’s another stock phrase from the music halls: ‘My wife doesn’t understand me.’ Of course the point is that the wife DOES understand her husband, it’s the obliging Other who hasn’t a clue who he is. With her he can be … someone else. Usually someone who turns out to be not very nice.

        When they went away together (on a work trip) my husband didn’t want to be seen in public with her and they argued. It wasn’t so much fun. And unsurprisingly her conversation wasn’t interesting. Afterwards, she accused him of ‘messing her about’. For heaven’s sake, he wasn’t a sodding branch of John Lewis. He was a market stall of dubious reputation. He was Del boy, she was in the romantic version of a Peckham underpass. She was an opportunity propelled by alcohol and poor boundaries and middle-aged second adolescence. He is shudderingly embarrassed and ashamed but not on her account. Ladies, if you know he’s married, you pays your money and you takes your choice. It’s a choice you didn’t offer us.

        I’m so glad it wasn’t me. The pain they heaped on me was horrible, but at least I know I’m not an arsehole.

  4. Iris

    I remember the term ‘fancy woman’ or ‘fancy piece’ and my grandmother saying of some woman: ‘She’s no better than she should be’. I learnt recently that my grandfather disappeared with a fancy woman for a few weeks – the way my mother describes it he seems not to have been missed but he’d spent several years away during the war so maybe they were used to getting on without him.

    I doubt that’s the whole story. My grandmother was inconsolable when he died.

    1. marriagerecovery Post author

      Oh yes, fancy woman! I recall that one. She was his ‘fancy woman’. Mind you, rather than her being fancy herself I bet it was more that she made sure she delivered on your grandfather’s fancies. Good to know that your grandparents weathered the storm, but as you say war would have had a significant impact upon perceptions at that time.

  5. devastatedwife

    I refer to them as whores. My husband had multiple affairs and a few of them each have their own name. Haven’t named them all yet, but so far, there is Pig, Skank, Fat, Confused Slut, Birdbrain, That Thing, and Stalker. I have to say that I love Pig Shit and Pit Faced Whore. I met a woman on a infidelity online support group and she had names for the whores her husband slept with as well. There is Fire Crotch, Dumbass, and Bat Shit.

  6. Valkyrie-mad-but stable

    Oh yes fellow travelers! The following just ONE short story I wrote putting my venom to good use. Since my husbands mistress runs and hides. Ah but one day maybe I’ll confront her in my own pace and time. My story inspired and taken directly from the great murder/mystery writer Patricia Highsmith. It’s like I mashed her little crime into mine. Maybe some of you will see traces or your own “Other Woman?” In this “Little Bit On the Side.”

    The Mobile Bed-object (A La Highsmith)

    There are lots of girls: like Mildred, homeless, yet never without a roof – most of the time the ceiling of a hotel room, sometimes that of bachelor digs, of a yacht’s cabin if they’re lucky, a tent, or a caravan. Such girls are bed-objects, the kind of thing one acquires like a hot water bottle, a traveling iron, an electric shoe-shiner, any little luxury of life. It is an advantage to them if they can cook a bit, but they certainly don’t have to talk, in any language. Also they are interchangeable, like unblocked currency or international postal reply coupons. Their value can go up or down, depending on their age and the man currently in possession.

    Take for example Delinda a.k.a. “Queenie” (at Special & Kind-Medical Office) considered it not a bad life, and witnesses would have said it got her something akin to feeling admired and bolstering her vanity. Queenie liked to go after married men. Especially with small children at home and when wives were the most vulnerable. She was a younger woman who liked having it over other people and stealing a certain amount of subterranean power in the office. It got her considerable male attention and even increased salary over the years that in reality she didn’t deserve. She never laughed, and smiled only when she thought she should be polite or ingratiate. If she was jealous of a particular person (like a pretty nurse or part time secretary or if a certain man ignored her), and while she thought no one was looking she’d spit in their drink. She’d mistreat patients if she didn’t care for them. But it was all done behind the scenes with no one of ‘importance,’ or influence seeing. Some people watched however and it was how she got her nickname for all the “special” treatment she’d receive. She was tiny and dark, with a blank face and brown eyes, which she held wide-open for men to notice. She wore clothes that purposely drew attention and slunk rather than walked, her shoulders hunched, hips thrust a bit forward. This gave her a languid, pacific air. Ambulant, she looked as if she were walking in her sleep. Pretending that she couldn’t comprehend why men studied her in that “special,” way. Sending out signals under the radar, and she was more than eager to entertain them when no one was looking. She got a little more bold even propositioning sexually and this fact traveled by word of mouth, or among men who might not speak the same tongue, by nods, slapping of hands in high-fives or small smiles. Queenie turned herself into the quintessential “man-pet,” from sexual innuendo’s to performing various acts all in exchange for ‘adoration’ and mere pat on her head. Queenie knew that job, and it must be said for her that she applied herself diligently to it.

    Stealing a kiss or being grabbed and fondled in the hallway. Behind an office door, being someone’s lunchtime snack, walks in the park, Cinq a Sept- (Sank –ah-Set) Synecodoche-after work, Hotel rooms the backs of cars, on the floor and then summarily dismissed. She relished going into another woman’s house when the wife and children were away. Lovers handing over the family blue prints and she could lift small objects and no one would even know the origin of a captured memento and token of stolen affection like a tiny golden ring. While, Gazing at family pictures, knowing the children, fridge, looking into messy drawers and house, staring at her rivals shoe’s, rifling through a medicine cabinet, bathing in her tub, criticizing paintings on the wall, her style and personality. She didn’t care what books the woman read or about her exhausted tears and restless sleep. She hated this faceless woman, who ever she was. The most satisfaction she got was playing with someone else’s husband in their marital bed. She also loved being touched provocatively while out in public. Sitting in the back booth in a bar or club. Even though sex really wasn’t her thing she adored the attention and the espionage was like a drug. All the while appearing outwardly naïve and innocent.

    She had floundered around in school when everyone including her parents had deemed it senseless for her to continue. She would marry early, her parents thought. Queenie married and divorced and quickly married again. She would have done this repeatedly if others didn’t eventually intervene. And if she had children they might suffer a similar fate. She would complain about her husbands to numerous lovers a means of garnering sympathy. Always acting deceitfully with various prospects. Because those stolen moments were how she felt valued and creeping around in the shadows and having a secret life made her feel powerful.

    If a man is foolish enough to marry someone like Queenie, they suffer over the years from her secrecy and lies. If they could they’d cut ties but usually it’s too late or worse they find out decades later when it all comes out publicly. He then looks at everything differently and questioning facts as he remembers all those times of her saying she was “Going out with girlfriends.” Realizing that she doesn’t have any female friends.

    If she’s not married she gets passed around from man to man and eventually not even regarded as attractive or even an interesting partner in bed. Slowly over the years fear starts to set in as she looks into the mirror. Men can smell that fear in women. Like Mildred.

    “I wouldn’t mind settling down.” She says “I’m not the marrying kind,” he retorted with a smile. That wasn’t what she meant. She meant a nest egg, and then he could say good-bye, if he wanted to. But wouldn’t it take a few nest eggs to make the big nest egg? Would she have to go through all this again with future men? Her mind staggered with the effort to see so far into the future, but there seemed no doubt that she should take advantage of this guy at least while she had him. These ideas, or plans, frail as damaged spider webs, were swept away each year by the events of the days and after thinking these patterns over and over again.

    Just like Queenie’s dank-molding thoughts and constant inquiry her repetitive, endless, mantra like questioning if she was pretty enough. And asking relentlessly, “Why didn’t you pick me!!” “Why didn’t you pick me?” “Why didn’t you pick me?” (tearfully, petulant and pouting)

    Mildred’s man Sam was suddenly on the run.

    For a few days it was airplanes with separate seats, because Sam and Mildred were not supposed to be traveling together. Once police sirens were behind them, as his hired driver zoomed and careered over an Alpine road bound for Geneva. Or maybe Zurich, Mildred was in her element, ministering to Sam with hanker-chiefs moistened in eau de cologne, producing a sandwich de jambon out of her handbag in case he was hungry, or a flask of brandy if he felt his hear fluttering. Mildred fancied herself one of those heroines she had seen in films – good films – about men and their girlfriends fleeing from the awful bitch wife and so unfairly well-armed police.

    Her daydreams of glamour and taking over another woman’s house were the mental fabric of her psyche. It must have been in Holland – Mildred didn’t know where she was half the time – when the chauffer – driven car suddenly screeched to a halt, and just like in the films, Mildred was bundled by both chauffeur and Sam into a mummy – like casing of stiff, heavy tarpaulin, and then ropes were tied around her. She was dumped into a canal and drowned.

    No one ever heard of Mildred. No one ever found her. If she had been found, there would have been no immediate means of identification, because they’d had her passport and her handbag was in the car. She had been thrown away, as one might throw away a cricket lighter when it is used up, like a paperback one has read and which has become excess baggage. Mildred’s absence was never taken seriously by anyone. The score or so people who knew and remembered her, themselves scattered about the world, simply thought she was living in some other country or city. One day, they supposed, she’d turn up again in some bar, in some hotel lobby. Soon they forgot her.

    Except of course one could speculate that if she left behind a daughter (who looked and acted just like Mildred) then it started all over again.

    Women who will themselves into being used by men, as their movable bed objects.

  7. marriagerecovery Post author

    Oh V, how delightful. Thank you – I’d never heard of this author Patricia Highsmith so indebted for the reference. Love the way you use her concept as a springboard! And…. another wonderful term to add to the vocabulary; mobile bed-object. Suits Pig shit to a tee hahaha!!!


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