I’m the Other Kind of Other Woman

After my divorce, I was no longer protected from the advances of married men

Maggie Haukka
Human Parts
Published in
6 min readJun 25, 2019


Credit: Tiayrra Bradley/EyeEm/Getty Images

IIt’s happened three times now, with three different married men, in the three months since I’ve been divorced. It seems like too much of a coincidence to be coincidental.

It looks like this: A man I’ve worked with for years suddenly begins communicating with me exponentially more frequently than he did before I got divorced. A corporate VP so far north of me on the org chart that we’ve never met reaches out to schedule coffee and to “discuss my work and how it could contribute to future projects,” except when I get there we don’t really talk about any future projects — we just sort of, you know, get to know each other. A friend from high school with whom I’ve not spoken in 20 years sends me a Facebook message saying he wants to “rekindle our friendship.”

In each of these cases, the communication continues from there. They call me from their offices, from their business trips, from their commutes. They text whenever — morning and night — sometimes just to say “good morning” or “goodnight,” which seems odd; even my closest female friends and I don’t do this.

They never say anything remotely suggestive or inappropriate, which is what makes this whole thing confusing. Are we suddenly just good friends? These are fundamentally decent men, from everything I’ve seen. They’re not men who cheat. Or, they’re not men who Cheat.

They seem, for lack of a better way of putting it, to want me for my mind. They want to have conversations, they think I’m funny, they want to know what I think about such-and-such or so-and-so.

I think I might be some sort of intellectual mistress—if that’s a thing.

And maybe that’s innocent—if that’s all it is? But here’s the thing: They don’t call me at night. And they don’t call on the weekends. Doesn’t that reveal something?

I feel like a shelter pet — like I’m being tried out to see if I’m a good fit.

This never happened when I was married, which makes me feel vulnerable in a way I can’t totally explain. It’s as though in addition to everything else I lost in my…