Mistress: Financial security torn away when lover dumped me for younger woman
When a two-year affair between China-born Madam Ye Caiyan and a twice-married man ended, he sued to recover $500,000 worth of gifts and money he had lavished on her. He lost the case. In a recent interview, she said that she thought he would be the one for her, but it turned out to be hell. MAUREEN KOH (firstname.lastname@example.org) speaks to two women on their experiences as mistresses and asks them why they took that path
She and her husband are expecting their first child, a boy.
"He is our miracle baby," says Madam Corina Sim excitedly, almost like a child who has been granted her wish.
She rubs her belly gently and looks to her husband, who wants to be known only as Mr Isaac, with a loving smile.
Madam Sim, 39, a Singaporean, says: "He gave me a new life, a chance to start anew. What is most important is, he loves me dearly for what I am, despite what I was."
Her past is a sordid one that she hopes her son will never find out.
She was a mistress to a businessman for nine years, during which she went through three abortions.
Her ex-lover eventually dumped her for a younger woman and kicked her out of the apartment he had initially claimed was bought for her.
He also took back her BMW and cancelled an insurance policy for her father, which he was paying for.
What was she left with?
The Panerai and Patek Philippe watches and a diamond jewellery set he had given her.
During the two-hour interview at the couple's four-room HDB flat in Sengkang, Mr Isaac remains by his wife's side, holding her hands in a reassuring gesture as she takes us through her past.
One that began in 1998, when her late brother chalked up gambling debts with loan sharks.
"Every two, three days, the loan sharks would be banging on our door, demanding payment," she recounts.
The harassment continued for almost a year until her widower father "nearly went crazy".
Madam Sim says: "We didn't know how to handle the situation. My brother went into hiding, but the loan sharks continued to hound us."
Then came the light at the end of the tunnel, she mutters.
The owner of the factory, where her father worked as a welder, offered her a way out: Be my mistress and I will pay off all the debts.
In return, he promised to take care of her and her father.
Madam Sim pauses for a few seconds, then says: "I was at a loss. On one hand, we really needed help; on the other, he was old enough to be my father."
Madam Sim was 23 and the man, 48.
"In the end, for the sanity of my father and for myself, I agreed."
It was the way out for the then sales promoter, who was earning $1,500 a month. In return for her companionship, she was given $4,000 a month in allowance that gradually went up to $5,000. He also provided a two-room apartment in the west of Singapore for her.
NOTHING TO LOSE
Madam Sim also felt she did not really have anything to lose since she was single.
"It looked like a win-win situation," she admits.
"The first three years of our relationship were good ones. He showered all his love, attention and time on me. We travelled twice a year and I have been to all the countries in Europe and the main US cities.
"He also lavished gifts on me, even though I didn't ask for them," she says.
"To be honest, after a while I actually thought the relationship would work out and I would remain his lover until death do us part. I felt like I was married to him."
The only difference, adds Madam Sim, was that it was a relationship that "I could not share with my friends".
"You know, the photos that we took on our trips? I could show them only to my father," she says softly.
They settled into a comfortable routine where he would spend three nights a week at the apartment. There was only one confrontation with the wife during their affair, Madam Sim recalls.
"His wife came with their son and daughter-in-law and pleaded that I leave him.
"The son, a year younger than me, was the more hostile one. He called me a slut and told me, 'Watch it. When my father meets another woman who is younger than you, he will dump you. You are not the first and you will not be the last.'"
Madam Sim says: "How true. He really dumped me for a younger woman, who was working in his factory (in 2008).
"I was actually heartbroken when it happened and I went into depression."
It was also around the time that her brother died of cancer.
She smiles wryly, then adds: "Give him credit, he paid for the funeral expenses as a parting gift."
Madam Sim met Mr Isaac, 39, a civil servant, through a mutual friend at a church outing in 2010.
"I was wary back then about starting a new relationship, especially because I wasn't sure if I should come clean," she says.
"So I decided to keep it platonic at first."
After two years of being friends, Mr Isaac asked her: Can we take our friendship to the next level?
That was when Madam Sim realised that she had to be honest. She wrote a lengthy letter and handed it to him.
"I told him to read it first and think carefully," she says.
At this point, Mr Isaac, who has been keeping silent throughout, clears his throat, then says: "I was shocked at first.
"I mean, I heard some murmurs but I didn't pay heed at all. But with Corina's 'confession', I felt that she is courageous.
"Instead of putting me off, I appreciated that she saw I was important enough to share the truth."
They married in June last year and are now looking forward to a new life together.
He says: "Corina's past is history. What matters now is the present and the future."
'I'm certain he loves me more than his wife'
She was convinced she had what it takes to become a star.
So when she was introduced to a TV producer who promised her a "sterling career" in showbiz here, she had no qualms about going to bed with him.
But she insists: "I didn't know he is married. The way he behaved at social gatherings, you'd think he is an eligible bachelor.
"You could tell he was always on the prowl for pretty women."
For that matter, Jessie (as she prefers to be known for this story) describes herself: "I am pretty, sexy and definitely still very youthful-looking."
Jessie, 35, divorced her husband of four years in China before arriving in Singapore in 2004.
She claims she came here with hopes of a better future with her daughter, who was then three years old.
She refuses to reveal when or how she became a permanent resident.
"I don't think it is anyone's business and I don't want those 'wang ming' (netizens) to start speculating and pass disparaging remarks about me or my daughter," she says.
What she is willing to reveal, is that the walk-up apartment they live in now is being paid for by her lover.
"That and all our living expenses, of course," she adds.
That includes school and tuition fees for her daughter.
Jessie says: "He has only three sons, so in a way, my daughter is lucky because he dotes on her. Whatever she wants, he will buy for her."
On top of that, mother and daughter get a total monthly allowance $3,800. And a credit card each with a total limit of $5,000 a month.
"It's not much but it's enough for us to survive," she says.
She reckons the man's wife is aware of her existence but "doesn't bother because they are together only for the sake of their sons".
Jessie says: "Anyway, if she ever confronts me, I will tell her, 'If you cannot keep your husband, it's not my fault.'"
She turns down our request to speak to her lover, saying: "You are all in the same industry, so it's not nice."
Her daughter is nonchalant about the illicit relationship, she claims.
"I don't think she cares as long as her needs are met. And even if she does, it's not for her to say anything."
While the promised stardom has not materialised for Jessie, she has had bit roles in several productions.
She says: "Oh well, I am satisfied as it is. My life now isn't that bad, okay?"
Jessie also firmly believes that "there is love between us in some ways".
"We are like, 'lao fu lao qi' (an old couple in Mandarin) now. If he is not at work or at home, he will be at our home," she says.
"He spends Valentine's Day, Yuan Xiao Jie (the 15th day of Chinese New Year) and Christmas with me."
Jessie adds: "If you really think about it, I am certain he loves me more than his wife."