woman looking over her shoulder with her on a man's arm
woman looking over her shoulder with her on a man's arm© Photo: Roman Samborskyi / Shutterstock

Before I get into why I feel this way, let me come clean. I slept with married men when I was younger. One was a one-night stand in Paris in 2010. We met at a bar and I took him home. After a few hours, as we had a glass of wine before he left, he said he needed to get home to his wife.

I was shocked and called him out on it, as he explained to me in his thick French accent, "Oh, we both take occasional lovers. It's OK." But it wasn't OK for me. As much as I chalked it up to cultural differences, knowing that yes, some people have open relationships, didn't change how I felt.

RELATED: I Left My Husband For An 18-Year-Old (And I Have No Regrets)

I had slept with a married man. I beat myself up about it for weeks and weeks. How could I do that to another woman? Did this mean I was going to be stripped of my feminist card because of it? It made me sick; no matter how many "lovers" he and his wife "took."

When it happened again, I found out the man I was having a brief fling with was married after seeing him in the neighborhood with his wife… and his daughter. I was sick to my stomach. I thought that maybe this was my fate: To always (unknowingly) be the mistress.

I know I wasn't the first, nor will I be the last to be duped by a married man but what I do know, in both these situations is that I would have never done what I did if I knew these men were married.

Fast forward several years: I found myself on the other side of being a mistress. I was a wife whose husband cheated on her with someone 28 years his junior. A child mistress who moved into our apartment in Paris within just a couple of weeks after I had come back to the States. (I had assumed my husband was going to follow a month or two later, as he had done the year before.)

RELATED: I Had An Affair With The Married Dad I Nannied For

In this case, the mistress didn't just sleep with my husband but fell in love with him. She fell in love with him long before they slept together and basically waited for her chance to pounce. When things got rocky between my husband and me, she made her move.

Her defense? That she was in love with him and you can't help love, and therefore, by her rationale, she was entitled to him, my husband.

That's not how life works, sweetie. You are not entitled to something just because you want it.

No woman is entitled to a man, especially a married man, just because she wants him. If you run around thinking you're entitled to everything you want in this life (with zero regard to whom it might be hurting or whom you're stealing from) then you have some pretty jacked-up views of the world.

Feminism exists for a reason. Women are still making 79 cents for every dollar a man makes. In the workplace, women still struggle to break the glass ceiling. Women are constantly fighting to have control over their own bodies and their reproductive organs.

RELATED: The Brutal Truth About Why You Should (Almost) Never Ask A Guy Out

Women are victim-blamed more often than seen as victims when it comes to sexual assault cases. We live in a world where in some countries, women can't drive cars, where women have to fight to get an education, and where female genital mutilation is still practiced as a means to control female sexuality. And while some countries are progressive in how they treat women, there are those who treat them as if they're second and third-class citizens.

With just these few examples (of many), doesn't that mean that, as women, we should support each other? Isn't it our duty to build each other up, instead of tearing each other down? Don't we owe it to each other, and every other woman out there, to do the right thing, even if that right thing is as small as not sleeping with a married man? I'd say yes.

I'm not na├»ve enough to not realize life isn't fair. Sometimes things go in your favor and other times it all comes crumbling down. But I do think if we, as women, bound together, instead of driving a wedge between us, that would be a step in the right direction.

So, yes, if you're a mistress who willingly sleeps with and/or falls in love with married men, there is a special place in hell for you. You're not doing anything good for women, and you're selfishly inflicting pain when you clearly have the ability to choose otherwise.

I'm not sure what that place in hell will look like or just how much it will resemble Dante's Inferno, but either way, it's not going to be fun. And that's after karma comes to bite you in the ass first.

RELATED: When "The Other Woman" Is A Girl

Amanda Chatel is a regular contributor to Bustle and Glamour, with bylines at Harper's Bazaar, The Atlantic, Forbes, Livingly, Mic, The Bolde, Huffington Post, and others. 

This article originally appeared on YourTango