Maria Mena sings on her new album They Never Leave Their Wives about an affair she had with a married man. In conversation with NU.nl, the Norwegian singer says that the unhealthy relationship ultimately made her a more understanding, more forgiving person.
“It took me five years to write about this, because I first had to come to terms with it myself. It was only when I got over the shame that I could make songs about it”, explains Mena, known for hits like Just Hold Me in All This Time, the long hiatus after her previous album Growing Pains from.
“An affair with someone married, assuming the role of the other woman, is something that surrounds a lot of shame. A lot of people have been there, but nobody talks about it. In my music I have always seen myself as a guinea pig because I sing about things that others do not comment on, “said the 34-year-old singer, who in previous work dealt with her parents’ divorce and her struggle with anorexia.
“I now understand a partner who cheated on me better and can forgive him.”
“Whatever people say about adultery, if you yourself are in that situation, you see it differently. I also believed that he would choose me. I never chose an affair and on the album I mainly wonder how I let it happen. “
‘I admit things that others are afraid to admit’
Mena says to have experienced the situation of adultery from multiple perspectives and to have been cheated. “Although in an affair you know it goes against your moral compass and you think it’s not who you are, you can still fall in love with someone who isn’t fully available to you, feeling like you can’t live without them. “
“In the end it made me a more understanding and forgiving person. I now better understand and forgive a partner who cheated on me. I look at it less judgmentally and admit things that others are afraid to admit.”
Although Mena realizes that the title of the record is controversial and people the other woman often harshly condemned, she has not received any negative reactions to the new songs. “I just got messages from people who have been in the same situation and through You Live And You Learn (a song on which Mena sings about the moment when she realized that she is worth more than someone who does not fully choose her, ed.) could also put an end to an unhealthy relationship. “
Maria Mena during a concert in Paradiso in 2016. (Photo: ANP)
A deep valley and a more cheerful second album
Her lyrics may now give others the courage to end an affair, but Mena herself ended up in a deep depression because of her relationship. “I reverted to myself and didn’t want to hear when friends were worried. For three years, I slipped and anorexia returned, which eventually resulted in hospitalization and treatment. I literally had to choose between him and myself. myself. “
“It took a long time and I have certainly had relapses in which I like him crazy ex-girlfriend called at night. After a year, I started to realize how lucky I was not to end up with him. When I see him now I don’t understand how I could have fallen for him. “
Mena, who has been in the music industry since she was fourteen, took a conscious break and focused on her own recovery. Although she is now happy in love again, she did not dare to date for a while. “I took a dog and just wanted to live in my castle and have a glass of wine”, the singer laughs.
The period in which she enjoyed the single life and eventually fell in love with her current boyfriend is sung in a second part of the album, which is due to be released in March. “It sounds a lot more cheerful,” she sighs. “On They Never Leave Their Wives I take you along my deepest valleys and on the second part we reach a point where we say: fuck men!“