"Now Laban had two daughters. The name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. Leah's eyes were weak, but Rachel was beautiful in form and appearance. Jacob loved Rachel. And he said, 'I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.' ... When the LORD saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren." - Genesis 29:16-18, 31 ESV
At times I have wondered that western civilization has moved in the direction of monogamy. So much of the Bible, and history, shows men with more than one wife but in God's economy, there is no 'other woman' each woman is the apple of His eye. She stands and sits alone in that she is irreplaceable and precious.
Rachel and Leah were each a wife and the 'other woman' at the same time. Rachel had her husband's love and desire but Leah gave him children and the need she met produced tangible results.
The other woman may be a sexual predator or she may be a very kind person who believes that the man she is with will change or make a change to eventually put her first. The man may dangle that status in front of her eyes. The third scenario is that she just doesn't know she is the 'other', even though she may suspect it, and then at the point of discovery decisions need to be made. Perhaps she is slow to make them because of the emotional consequences of separation.
As I read these accounts I marvel at God's grace and mercy. You could say, 'Why did He even allow situations like these?' but clearly He lets us be who we are and these biographical accounts instruct us don't they? Who among us hasn't not felt second class for one reason or another? Perhaps we console ourselves that at least we contribute something even if we are not 'the special one'. Then in other areas we are in Rachel's place loved but useless. Our production is off and our self-worth is wrapped up in our 'doing'.
"I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God; incline your ear to me; hear my words. Wondrously show your steadfast love, O Savior of those who seek refuge from their adversaries at your right hand. Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings," - Psalm 17:6-8 ESV
Let me say it again. God has no 'other' in relation to you. You are the apple of His eye. You are what He looks at. If you get close enough to Him you will see your reflection in His eye as He looks lovingly at you.
Knowing God spoils us for manipulating scenarios. We are no longer victims nor do we feel the need to victimize. Grace and love fill a void and we can make hard choices to swim against the current. When you are special you can do that.