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How to Handle Loving and Dating a Married Man

I love giving advice to women and empowering them in their relationships

Flickr CC BY 2.0

Flickr CC BY 2.0

Advice for Dating a Married Man

You may not have set out to fall in love with a married man, but there are times in life when even the most intelligent women find their emotions getting the better of them. They fall into situations that leave them feeling alone, embarrassed, and isolated. Loving and dating a married man can be extremely painful and seldom works out well in the long run. The ups can leave you over the moon with a great feeling of love and comfort while the downs can be all consuming, leaving one bitter and rejected.

But this article is not intended to judge anyone or admonish women to "just dump him!" Assuming adult women are reading this, it's already known that dating a married man is not a "nice" thing to do. This article will openly and honestly describe what the typical experiences and outcomes are in these relationships so that you may be more prepared, educated, and informed about what you should expect, and how to handle it.

Here's my best advice and important things to remember:

  1. Remember that his first priority will always be his children and his wife, no matter what he says.
  2. If he lied to you in the beginning about whether or not he was married, you should seriously consider whether or not you can trust him. (Did he tell you that he is single or separated until you eventually found out? Big red flag) Use intuition. Did he seem remorseful?
  3. Do not sacrifice everything for him. Be independent. Go on dates with other men. (Don't feel guilty about pursuing your own life) Have other hobbies. He's not giving up everything for you, so you shouldn't give up everything for him either.
  4. Your relationship will change if he divorces his wife for you. It will not all be fun and games anymore. Sometimes this alone will mean the end. Its easy to show a person your best side when you only see each other 3 times per week for 4 hours. This is the very difficult part. Many people think that the person they are cheating with is so great because they are the one with all the fun. (Its not real)
  5. Make your relationship worth your time. Ask him to support you financially or at least make sure you're getting as much out of it as you're putting in. Don't let him take advantage of you. Very often the man uses the side piece for as long as is convenient and then runs off. This is why women are the ones who suffer most. If the mistress askes for some support to finish school or start a business, it can be at least not a total loss that causes her to feel resentment for the rest of her life.
  6. Be honest with yourself. What you're doing is risky. Own up to the risk.
  7. Very likely, he will not leave his wife for you.
  8. No matter what he says, he's still having sex with his wife. Don't let your relationship with him keep you from seeing other people.

How many men do you know who are ruining their lives because of a woman? Now, how many women do you know who have sacrificed all for a man?

Women need to think and act the way men do to find happiness.

Questions to Ask

There are issues to seriously consider if you think that this man may be the one.

  • One of the first things to consider is this: Did he tell you he was married from the beginning, or did he lie to you and then have to tell the truth? This will be a major factor as to whether or not you can ever trust him on other issues.
  • Another thing to give some serious thought to is whether children are involved. No matter how much he loves you he is obligated to his children, and if you come between him and the kids, he may resent you in the long run.
  • Is your relationship strong enough to withstand the turmoil of a divorce? How long have you been seeing this guy? One year is about right when it comes to shifting from playing around to getting serious. If divorce begins, then he will have to switch to seeing you in a serious light. He may have trouble trusting you and you may never feel very secure with him because of the way your relationship started.
  • Right now you may be experiencing the best of the best, but when you are living in the real world together, things will change. Sometimes the guy decides that he should not just settle on you and will sneak around. You were convenient when he was married but now that he is going to be single, he can freely date.
  • Moreover, if he divorces his wife for you, the two of you will go through a lot of sad and trying times together. Will you still love him as much as you do while things are nothing but fun?

Tips for Women in Love With a Married Man

Don't Sacrifice Yourself for Him

Women need to think and act the way men do in order to find happiness. How many men do you know who are ruining their lives because of a woman? Now, how many women do you know who have sacrificed all for a man? It is just the nature of women to want romance and then suffer for it.

Men never put their relationships first. At least moderately successful men don't. That is why they are happier than women are. Women have a tendency to meet a guy and then focus their entire lives on him. They will stop thinking about attending school and put business plans on hold after meeting someone who sweeps them off their feet.

This is a bad idea even if the guy is not married. But if he is, you have truly just shot yourself in the foot because you have given up a piece of yourself for a someone who belongs to another. You will become more and more resentful over time. Bitterness will set in.

Look at your lover boy for what he is and control your emotions. If he is obviously lying to you to keep you available to him, consider if the relationship is worth your time or not.

Leverage Your Relationship

If he can somehow help you in life by making you more successful, paying your bills, or buying you a home, then you have gotten something to show for your time. In a few years time, when he is long gone and you don't care about him anymore at least you have something tangible.

Be Truthful to Yourself

It's a matter of being honest with yourself. If he is married and has no intention of leaving his wife, then he may have been dating many women over the years. Usually when a man has this pattern, he dates the woman until she begins to expect more out of him. Then, he dumps her, finds another woman to sleep with before getting rid of her when she gets tired of being a doormat.

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The truth is, a guy will string you along as long as you will let him. It's up to you to look out for yourself and avoid being taken advantage of.

Flickr CC BY 2.0

Flickr CC BY 2.0

Rules for Extramarital Affairs: Make It Worth Your Time

Ask yourself this question: "What am I getting out of dating a married man?" If you are not getting anything, you should ask the man to make the affair worth your time financially or move on. I am not being judgmental here. But if your guy plays with you for free and then goes home to his wife and plays the husband while you sulk, you are only torturing yourself and being a hooker who works for free. To be wise and economical, it's time to ask your "boyfriend" to help you out financially. This way when the time comes that you are not together anymore, at least he helped you pay your mortgage. This seriously reduces bitterness.

Before you go off on a rant about how expecting or wanting money or gifts is prostitution and that it's all about the love here, remember that dating a married man is not exactly moral either. The difference here is at least you are not being raked over the coals as you would be if you simply smile and put out like a "good girl."

You must be realistic here and accept that what you are involved in is risky in many ways. One of the things that often destroys women in this situation is the shock of suddenly being dumped because of something that is happening in his marriage, or because of stress that you are causing him at home. Believe me, when this happens, having that extra money invested will lead you to think, "At least I got something out of it." And that is much better than the feeling of having been walked all over. Yes, many women who seem just fine go bonkers after being used. Betty Broderick, Jodi Arias. Think about it. Very often when we hear of a woman lose it .

I know you are probably thinking that you are in a unique and different situation because he truly loves you, and you love him, etc. But that is what they all say, and when stress and reality get involved, people's emotions and decisions tend to be all the same after all.

I know you are probably thinking that you are in a unique and different situation because he truly loves you, and you love him, etc. But that is what they all say.

A Real Story of Dating a Married Man

For nine years, my friend Darleen dated a man who was married and now regrets it. Her man told her that he loved her, but because he had two children with his wife, he could not leave her. He also said that he no longer slept with his wife, but that they had an understanding. Darleen would tell me that if he could leave his wife for her, he certainly would and that her man often showed great concern for whether or not she was cheating on him.

Love Is Blind and Stupid

Yes, love is blind. I found myself angry quite often as I told Darleen that if he loved her he would divorce his wife rather than play this game with her. Poor Darleen had excuses for everything. She got on her high horse by stating that if a man has kids he can't leave. I happen to have known several highly moral men who divorced their wives even though they had two or three kids. After the divorce, they took care of their children at least half of the time. It happens.

The truth is, a man will change his life around and do anything to win you over if he truly does love you. If he is content to have sex with you and never makes a move to create a permanent life with you, then you must understand that he does not see you as being very important. Or not important enough.

If He Really Loved You . . .

I know that your ego does not want to accept these facts but put the shoe on the other foot for a moment. If you were with a man who you were not having sex with and who you did not love, and you had this man on the side who you truly did love and had a great connection with would you be content to go home to the man you did not really want knowing that your lover is single and could easily find someone who is available for him full time? Men are different. In spite of what is politically correct. They are not necessarily emotionally attached to a women through sex. (This s one of the reasons that the smartest thing a woman can do is not have sex with a man, just go on chaperoned dates and have conversations. This is how couples know if they are truly compatible.)

The thought of this probably sends you into a cold sweat.

Men are concerned with having their woman all to themselves. It is actually proof of disinterest on his part if he does not care who you are with and what you are doing.

If he sees you as a valuable woman, he will know that other men are after you and he will want to make sure that he gets you before someone else does.

Making Excuses

Darleen made excuses for her married lover for years, and she believed him when he told her that he could not stand his wife and never touched her. After listening to her talk about their intimate discussions, I figured out that her lover had caught on to the fact that Darleen seemed to accept him going home to his wife as long as he and his wife were no longer sleeping together. Yes, just keep lying

Things got a little tricky when his wife suddenly became pregnant. Darleen worked in a building across the street from her lover's wife and was able to spy on her every so often. Darleen's guy informed her that his wife had been bugging him for years to have another baby, and he finally gave in. Not that they were sexual or anything—he explained that in order to touch her he had to get drunk. The wife had marked the calendar for the day when she was fertile, and they did it just that once in order to have a baby. And she believed him.

The lies can be clever and convincing, but I always say, "Assume that the man is lying until you are engaged, married, or something very close." If he is cheating on his wife, he has displayed to you that he is willing to lie and you have no way of knowing how far he will go.

Best thing to do is realize that you are not in a normal relationship. This whole thing is entirely different.

Flickr CC BY 2.0

Flickr CC BY 2.0

Should You Be "Faithful" to a Married Man?

If he seems content to let the relationship go on for years as it is, you should realize that he is using you for some fun on the side. So, by all means, date other men. Remember, it's not cheating on your part because he is one who is married.

What Cheating Means

I hear that one a lot. The married guy says, "Don't cheat on me." Unless he is separating from his wife, you are free to do as you please and you should. Otherwise, you will find yourself rejected by your married lover and you will be left alone. Date on the side to keep yourself from becoming too attached to this man and to keep reality in perspective.

When Darleen finally listened to me and began to see other men, her viewpoint changed dramatically. Her married lover began to only see her for sex. They were meeting in hotels and were meeting in his car after work. Darleen was not even getting a meal out of it. Sometimes they would go to a bar and have a few drinks and then go to his car.

What a waste of her time.

Freedom

When she began putting her photo on dating sites, she felt more powerful because she could see that there were a lot of other guys out there. Some of these guys took her to exciting places, bought her nice gifts, and even offered her spending money.

What's the best cure for a man? The answer is another one! When you have a man abusing your emotions, don't feel guilty about seeing what else is out there.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Glenda Goddard

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