What Do I Do if I'm in Love With a Married Woman?

Updated on June 17, 2019
theraggededge profile image

I've been a freelance writer for a long time. One of my favorite topics is the complicated one of human relationships.

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So, you’ve fallen in love with a married woman. This is a very challenging situation. You'll be asking yourself many questions, including, "How do I cope with the emotions involved? Do I believe she will leave her husband for me?" These are hard to know the answer to, so you'll want to read on to learn what to do to navigate these difficult waters. But, first, let's look at an example.

Example Relationship: Stu and Angela got together two years ago. She was in a stable marriage with Stu’s boss. Stu wishes that they hadn’t got involved because Angela has now become emotionally dependent on him. Every time there is any drama in her life, she expects Stu to get her back onto an even keel. He has tried to break up with her, but she threatens to tell her husband about the affair. She also told him she’d tried to take her own life, but he is not sure that he believes her. He feels trapped. What should he do?

How to End a Relationship With a Married Woman

As always, prevention is better than cure. While being with someone who is married seems deliciously dangerous, things can go horribly wrong very quickly. If you’ve made the decision to end it, then do it fast. Don’t draw things out, hoping that the problem will just go away.

  • Tell her that you aren't prepared to deal with the situation any longer.
  • Delete all contact details.
  • Unfriend her on social media.
  • Unfriend her friends.
  • Don’t call her to see if she’s okay.
  • Don’t answer her calls and messages to you.
  • Delete old messages and photos.
  • Change your behavior or even your job, if necessary, so that you don’t see her.

You may find yourself going through a kind of grieving process. This is normal, so allow yourself to process the feelings. However, don’t let it go on and on. Make a conscious effort to get involved in some mind-engaging activities, take part in sport or physical pastimes. Don’t look for someone to take her place too soon. You won’t be in the best place to be able to relate to someone new. Take your time.

FAQ About Affairs With Married Women

Why Do Women Look for Love Outside of Marriage?

According to research by Eric Anderson**, a professor at Winchester University, UK, married women look for affairs to replace the lack of romance in their marriages. He gave a survey to 100 heterosexual married women, between the ages of 35 and 45, who were having affairs. All came back with similar results. The women were looking for the emotional and sexual spark which was missing in their love-life. Interestingly, not one of the hundred said they intended leaving their husband.

So a married woman having an affair is, essentially, using you to satisfy her craving for excitement and something ‘different’ that she is unable to ask her husband for.

**The paper, "Life is Short, Have an Affair: Middle-Age Women and Extra-Marital Affairs," was presented on August 18, 2014, at the American Sociological Association's Annual Meeting in San Francisco.

She Won’t Leave Her Husband for You

Your lover has probably spent years investing in her marriage, her home and her children. It is unlikely she will give any of that up for you. When it comes down to it most women will choose certain security over an uncertain future every time. We are programmed in that way.

Remember, that just as she is deceiving him, she is probably deceiving you too. Also, if she did leave her husband for you, can you be sure that, in the future, she won’t treat you in the same way?

The Other Man’s Viewpoint

Harry is perfectly happy with his married lover. He’s not interested in a long-term relationship. It is simply a mutually pleasing arrangement. He’s young and has no wish to settle down so he sees this affair as ideal. No strings. He says if he breaks up with his current mistress, he will probably look for another married woman to take her place.

David is at the other end of the scale. He feels completely alone. He’s not allowed to discuss his relationship with a married woman with anyone. He has to make do with only seeing her once a week, sometimes even more infrequently than that. She dictates where and when they meet. He loves her. He can’t do anything about it. She refuses to leave her husband. He wants to end it, but can never make that final move.

Darren got a little drunk one night and decided to write a letter to his mistress’s husband, telling all. He wanted everything out in the open so that she would leave her marriage and be with him. However, she managed to convince her husband that ‘this guy’ had been stalking her. Darren was arrested for harassment and he never saw her again.

Mike thought he’d hit the jackpot when he met his married lover. At first, the fact that she was married didn’t bother him at all. But as time went on, he began to fall in love with her. The worst thing, he says, is being alone on those nights when they had made plans and she’d canceled them due to some family commitment. And, he says, those times when you really want to be with the one you love, Christmas, Valentine’s, birthdays - that’s when he realizes that he is not important enough to her to make her want him permanently.

An Unwanted "Affair"

In some cases, a married woman seems to be the perfect object of affection for some men. Vijay, had recently lost his mother and was emotionally strung out. He made friends with a married woman at his place of work, who offered sympathy and a listening ear. This lady had no intention of beginning an affair, but Vijay was certain that he loved her and was convinced that if he worked hard enough, she would love him too.

One day she mentioned that she and her husband had had a fight. That was Vijay’s sign that her marriage was in trouble and that he was the man for her. He bombarded her with texts and emails. He just couldn’t accept that she wasn’t looking for love outside her marriage. She pleaded with him to stop, but he carried on. Eventually, the woman cut off all contact, threatened him with the police and complained to her boss at work. Vijay was transferred to another city. He is still convinced that she will realize ‘the truth’ and leave her husband for him.

Stuck in an Abusive Marriage

Occasionally, a woman will have an affair in order to get relief from an abusive husband. The problem is, that she is usually too frightened to leave him, and will not let you intervene. This scenario can leave you desperate because there’s nothing you can do. You worry because of what he might do to her if he finds out about her cheating. You worry when you don’t hear from her. You worry when you are together in case you are caught. Your life is a mass of heaving tension. It’s not fun.

Pixabay
Pixabay

Full Disclosure

In the interest of being truthful, I was married once and had an affair with a married man. To be fair, my marriage was over anyway. I left my husband, and my lover left his wife. We eventually married. It was not a good marriage and we divorced after ten years. Do I regret it? Yes… and no. He taught me a lot—mostly how not to treat people. He died in 2016.

Are you having an affair with a married woman?

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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.

Questions & Answers

  • I've been with a married woman for over a year. She claims she and her husband are separated but live in the same house. They have two children who were the result of manipulation and her playing games to get him when he was in a previous relationship. She tells me I'm the love of her life, but after a year and a month of being involved with her, she hides it from him. I need some real advice. Can you help me?

    My real advice is that she is also playing games and manipulating you. If you like that idea, then carry on. If, however, you would prefer to be in an equal, mature, and mutually rewarding relationship, then run away. She is destructive, self-serving, and obviously doesn't care about the pain she is inflicting on her husband, children, and you. She will never find true happiness with anyone. You, on the other hand, could do so much better.

  • The married woman I am seeing is still sleeping with her husband, and it's hurting me. How can I deal with this? She tells me she loves me, and I love her too.

    You know there is no future here for you. She's not going to leave him. How can you put up with a lover who sleeps with someone else? Walk away and get your life back.

  • I have been in a relationship with a married woman for six months. Her husband recently found out about us. Now her husband is becoming cruel to her. He wants to end the marriage. She is now in a dangerous situation. What should I do?

    You shouldn't do anything other than give her the support she needs. Then she should agree to divorce her husband. Don't forget that he is the injured party here. What you chose to do has put them both in this situation. The best for all is to end the marriage quickly and sort yourselves out. Her husband gets to move on with his life and you two can be together.

  • I am in love with a married woman, but I do not want to be for obvious reasons. There is no relationship, and I am not sure if she knows about my feelings. What should I do?

    Unrequited love is so painful. However, it seems you understand that there is no future in this, so you need to put some strategies in place to help you get past this. For instance, avoid seeing her and find some distracting activity to turn to when you start thinking of her.

    I promise that what you feel is not real love. Real love can only grow when two people share an emotional bond. When it is from a distance and one-sided it can only be infatuation. Once you think this through and understand what you are feeling, you should be able to deal with it.

  • I've been in a relationship with a married girl for a couple of months. The way she acts, the way she talks or how she shows that she cares about me is just amazing. They are living in the same house but they use different rooms to sleep. Everything is perfect so far but when I ask her about her opinion about getting divorced, she always keeps ignoring that question. I don't know the reason why?

    If your girlfriend is not planning a divorce and refuses to talk about it with you, you can stake your life on the fact that her marriage is intact and they are sleeping in the same room. I guarantee it. You are being used.

© 2017 Bev G

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    • theraggededge profile imageAUTHOR

      Bev G 

      2 months ago from Wales, UK

      People get angry when their husbands and wives are unfaithful. I can't advise you what to do. He probably won't come, but you won't make that mistake ever again, will you?

    • profile image

      Lost in love 

      2 months ago

      Her husband told me he will come to my country and he know where I live and threaten me ,I did send complaints to embassy that he threatened me and my family..we close all contact what if he come?

    • theraggededge profile imageAUTHOR

      Bev G 

      2 months ago from Wales, UK

      Sounds like a big mess. The fact that this lady is so much older than you means that if you make a future with her, your own chances of fatherhood are just about nil. Plus, you need to think what it will be like 20 years down the line.

      You two have to work this out between you. No one else can make the decision.

    • profile image

      Lost in love 

      2 months ago

      I met a Married woman through online she decide to came to my country and we made love she came twice total of 3 weeks ,Its a year now since we know each other, at beginning her husband didn’t know about us but he knows at the end,he kept sending me messages to stop talking to her otherwise he will come to me.I love her so much and she said she love me too and I changed her life to a better way she started to take care about herself.They have daughter same age as me , difference of age is 23 ..She asked if I want to be with her or stay away so will be no trouble for me..I don’t know what to do keep being with her or leave..When I asked about divorce she kept saying it’s not that easy and for her daughter and her parents kept telling her to think about it before divorce. She also said he cheated on her. Need advice I don’t wanna lose her

    • theraggededge profile imageAUTHOR

      Bev G 

      4 months ago from Wales, UK

      I don't think it's wrong, Isaiah, but I think you are very right to hold back until she works out what she wants to do. Her children should be top priority.

    • profile image

      Isaiah 

      4 months ago

      I've been working at this place for about 3 months but I also spend 12 hour days 6 days a week so I see her often. I'm a salesmen so I get a lot more free time then other jobs. I spend a lot of my time talking to her and getting to know her as time goes by. She is the nicest person I've ever met and we've gotten to know eachother a lot. I'm sure I'm mistaking her acts of kindness towards me as mere friendship. Then my brain thinks other wise. She's married but admits she's only with him cause of the kids. The love is gone it seems but, I don't know for sure. I'm more than willing to take on a step father role and whatever I have to make it work with this woman. I've been alone for the last 6 years and I only look for real relationships instead of flings. She's helped me with a lot and I help her with her. She never talks about her husband with me but she does others. There's a lot of variables in this. I will 100% not break up her marriage. I hate to admit this but, I hope her marriage works itself out. She deserves the best and if he just can't work it out any more than I'll be 1st in line once everything is said and done. They've gone through counseling already but, it didn't work. I don't think there doing it anymore. Is it wrong to fall in love with a woman that is in a bad marriage?

    • theraggededge profile imageAUTHOR

      Bev G 

      4 months ago from Wales, UK

      Sorry to hear that you (and her husband) were betrayed so easily by this woman. All you can do is consider it a life lesson learned and move on. And... avoid getting involved with another married woman in the future.

    • profile image

      Vikas 

      4 months ago

      I met my childhood love after 22 years

      But i met her shes married and she having 3 kids we met after 22 years we exchange phone no.s and started video calling once shes ask do u still love me i said yes then we did physically relationship 2 to 3 times few days i caught her with another boy shes told hes my ex boy friend i hurt a lot i thought after her husband am the only one but i was wrong shes has anothers boys too i brokeup my relationship with her but now i want to forget my past please tell me what am suppose to do my name is vikas am from india

    • theraggededge profile imageAUTHOR

      Bev G 

      4 months ago from Wales, UK

      Your user name is apt. You are heading straight for a dead end. There is no future for you along this path. She is married to another man. Why would you want to ruin their lives?

    • profile image

      Deadend 

      4 months ago

      I am crazy mad about a married woman. I liked her initially with her enthusiasm and passion in her job. When she shared some painful moments in her life I started feeling like I should be the guy holding her in all her life. I started giving her all the support she needs and I think am in love with her. I want her to reciprocate the same but am not sure if he has any feelings for me.

    • theraggededge profile imageAUTHOR

      Bev G 

      4 months ago from Wales, UK

      You know what to do. read my article and my answers to all the other people asking the exact same thing.

    • profile image

      Pratiek 

      4 months ago

      I am dating married women I broke up with her but she called me and came in relationship with me again she love me but she has her family and husband as her first priority....she shares things with me but when I ask to meet she refuses many times......but she talks to me on phone daily and tells me I love you daily also we do video calls as well what should I do how should I deal with this relationship

      I don't know what to do

      Any advise??? Bev G

    • theraggededge profile imageAUTHOR

      Bev G 

      4 months ago from Wales, UK

      Find a nice single woman who can love you back. The married woman loves her husband... leave them alone.

    • profile image

      Jackson 

      4 months ago

      I'm in love with married women. We work together. I know that she like me somehow but she has a caring husband, both of them love each other very much. I want to say every thing which is in my heart but I'm afraid of. So what should I do. Can you please give me a best suggestion

    • theraggededge profile imageAUTHOR

      Bev G 

      4 months ago from Wales, UK

      What do you think you should do? Xyz

    • profile image

      Xyz 

      4 months ago

      I am dating married women I broke up with her but she called me and came in relationship with me again she love me but she has her family and husband as her first priority....she shares things with me but when I ask to meet she refuses many times......but she talks to me on phone daily and tells me I love you daily also we do video calls as well what should I do how should I deal with this relationship

    • theraggededge profile imageAUTHOR

      Bev G 

      4 months ago from Wales, UK

      Just keep going. You've made the right decision. It will get easier. Good luck.

    • profile image

      Ysam 

      4 months ago

      in my case ,ends in last month , after my wife read our chats , she is married but she don't live with her husband , she hate him .. anyway , we are not together any more, in last time we met we decide to end this relation … and delete every things can connect us , even changed out phone number ….

      … I feel guilty and pain at the same time … traying to fix my relation with my home , but I feel like im lost .. or acting .. i don't know how to make it right … any advice …..

    • theraggededge profile imageAUTHOR

      Bev G 

      5 months ago from Wales, UK

      Run away. Only pain and trouble lie ahead.

    • profile image

      Gabriel 

      5 months ago

      I am in love with a married woman. We broke up in just a month and she had another affair and had sex with it. Now i accepted her. She is still with her husband. She is telling me that she loves me. She has bipolar, anxiety and depression. What should i do?

    • theraggededge profile imageAUTHOR

      Bev G 

      5 months ago from Wales, UK

      Yep. Walk away. Only two people are going to get hurt in this scenario... and it isn't her.

    • profile image

      Lancelot 

      5 months ago

      I started feeling close with a woman in a workplace. We began chatting, spend the nights together and she even admit that she loves me. After 2 months, she confessed to me that she was actually a married woman. (Her husband was out-stationed) She knew what she did was wrong. The reason she is getting closer to me is due to her husband lack of attention. What should I do? Am I in a danger zone?

    • theraggededge profile imageAUTHOR

      Bev G 

      6 months ago from Wales, UK

      Presumably it's not your baby?

      If not, you have to let her go. You have no choice.

    • profile image

      Someone 

      7 months ago

      Im a married man and i had an online relation with a married woman. She have 2 kids and i have 2 kids aswell. We both had problems in our marriage and we both planned to split from our partners to get together. Everything seemed to be ok. She used to talk to me about everything. She messaged me everyday. One day she said that she was feeling funny at morning so she used the pregnancy test. But it came with positive results showing that she is pregnant for real. She said its no point now for our relation and that she need to keep her family happy and together. I need to mention she was using a pregnancy prevention method but nothing is 100%. At 1st i didnt argue and o just wished her a good life. After 2 weeks from breakup she msged me saying she need to remove me from friend lost cause she is afraid if her husband may find out about me also she asked me to act like i dont know her if her account msged me. I said okay. But well i was acting cold. To be honest , i love her but at 1st i couldnt accept her pregnancy its not that easy thing. After another 2 weeks i decided to talk to her. So i did. She seemed happy to see my words and asked if i wanna play online game with her. I said “om not here for games. I love you and i want you” well she didnt agree and she wanted me to get over it. So i said i will respect her wish but i asked for the reason. She said she is getting a new baby now and she still love her husband. Its been 3 weeks now but im feeling so much pain. I do want her and idk what to do. Need an advice.

    • theraggededge profile imageAUTHOR

      Bev G 

      7 months ago from Wales, UK

      What do you expect from the relationship? Whatever it is, you are unlikely to get it.

    • profile image

      sp 

      7 months ago

      I am dating a married woman. She says that her marriage is over because he cheated on her but they still do family things together and never seems to have time for me. When we make plans she always cancels them but always keeps plans with her husband. I watch her kids for her and they adore me and my son. SHe works nights and goes to college during the day so lately with finals i get that her time is limited. Do I wait until her schedule frees up to see if things change or do I just end it?

    • theraggededge profile imageAUTHOR

      Bev G 

      11 months ago from Wales, UK

      It's crazy what people put themselves, and others, through, Rochelle. Sometimes they can't see what's right in front of them.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 

      11 months ago from California Gold Country

      Your advice on this subject is spot on. I can't believe some of the questions you are getting. I guess it proves that love (or at least lust) is blind. Apparently a lot of people do not understand the concept of "marriage".

    • theraggededge profile imageAUTHOR

      Bev G 

      11 months ago from Wales, UK

      Hello Surabhi, thank you so much for sharing your story. I have no advice for you because only you can decide what to do.

      Personally, and this is from my own point of view, I would not stay together for the children. I split with my husband when my child was five and we agreed to manage the situation very carefully. So we had joint custody and often did things together as a family. The only difference, as far as our child was concerned, is that we lived in different homes.

      Hope you get a resolution.

    • profile image

      Surabhi 

      11 months ago

      hi Bev,

      My husband has never been so loving or caring since we married, but his affair of two years has changed my perception that he fell in 'love' with another woman, that i almost believed he was never capable of..

      Its been two years since he told me very briefly that he liked a woman but its 2 months since i realized depth to that relationship he is nurturing at cost of our marriage.

      My husband has never been rude to me in our 11 yr of marriage, but none of my questions about his loyalty to our marriage has been answered. He rather did speak to me about his mistress and how she left her husband to be with him.. Ironically all hell broke lose in last 2 yrs affair, her divorce, my husband continued cheating to be nice to her etc..

      Not once in these two years or I should say 3 yrs when he began losing interest in our marriage, he discussed he wanted to set things right for us, but he rather chose to be with another woman over me... WE have two children and goes without saying we both have stuck in this marriage to give our children a family.

      But I know I stand to lose peace in the family if I brought up her topic as he is very stubborn about not leaving her and this will break the whole purpose of us being together for the children.

    • profile image

      hope 

      12 months ago

      You know, it's really something when you realized that the percentage of spouse who cheated on their wife/husband and almost proud of it. 48% according to this article vote. That's a very high number of cheating spouse. What's the heck?

    • theraggededge profile imageAUTHOR

      Bev G 

      16 months ago from Wales, UK

      Probably not, jproy. She wants to maintain the family stability for the sake of her child. And, as you say, she still loves her husband.

      Can you carry on with the affair knowing she will never leave him?

    • profile image

      jproy 

      16 months ago

      I have an affair with a lovely married woman with a 4 years old kid. She is the best gift, the best feeling that I ever have received. She is not happy at her marriage but loves her husband. I NEVER push her to leave her husband but I really love to be with her. She trapped in a cycle between me and and her husband and she will try to keep me in distance but all the time text or call me and saying she missing me so much. Its very hard situation for me. Any idea that she may leave her husband for me?

    • theraggededge profile imageAUTHOR

      Bev G 

      17 months ago from Wales, UK

      I have no idea... I've never swapped a wife :D

    • profile image

      Mykola 

      17 months ago

      I read that in English speaking countries wife-swapping is flourished. What is a real situation? My best wishes. Mykola

    • theraggededge profile imageAUTHOR

      Bev G 

      18 months ago from Wales, UK

      Can't help you, John. If she truly loves you, she will do the right thing and leave her husband. If she's not prepared to do that, then maybe you should walk away before you really do get hurt?

    • profile image

      John 

      18 months ago

      I reconnect with my high school sweetheart and we have been talking and seeing each other when we can. I have asked all the questions about why she reached out to me and she has told me that she never stop loving me and she tried to find me before now. Problem is she been married for 40 years but clams she never been happy with him. I am in love with her even though I know I will probably get hurt again. Help

    • profile image

      happiness 

      20 months ago

      Dashingscorpio,

      Just want to say I admire your comments in many of these posts. You're right on - very well said!

      :) thanks

    • theraggededge profile imageAUTHOR

      Bev G 

      21 months ago from Wales, UK

      I suppose it depends on the individual circumstances, Pen. I don't think the statistics go in favour of relationships that begin in cheating circumstances.

    • pen promulgates profile image

      pen promulgates 

      21 months ago from Mumbai, India

      Wow Bev, a lovely article. Quite useful.

      Have a question. What if the husband leaves the cheating wife upon learning the truth?

      What is best for the lady then?

    • theraggededge profile imageAUTHOR

      Bev G 

      21 months ago from Wales, UK

      Thank you, Anusha. Problem is, people aren't going to pay attention to any advice while they are falling in love. Emotions, in this case, almost always trump common sense :D

    • anusha15 profile image

      Anusha Jain 

      21 months ago from Delhi, India

      Usually in such an article, one would expect the author giving advice against such an "arrangement". While you did that, I loved that you first gave facts and stats -- always very effective, and then a very practical, commonsensical set of warnings including some forecasts which a man would know subconsciously (like not leaving her marriage, children and/or security), but maybe wouldn't want to accept because of the mixed-up feelings and emotional turmoil such kind of relationship can put you through.

      I wish more people write like this without sounding preachy, and more people can take the good advice.

    • Shrouds profile image

      Shrouds 

      22 months ago from Malaysia

      This one never been discussed before.What i can say as a 40 plus guy,maybe this could be the best experience for anyone above 40 years of age.

    • RoadMonkey profile image

      RoadMonkey 

      22 months ago

      Interesting. Some years ago, I was talking to a woman who lived in the Republic of Ireland. At that time, contraception of any kind was illegal there and it couldn't be obtained, unless you travelled over the border into Northern Ireland and smuggled it back in. She said single women were safe from harassment but married women were constantly being propositioned. She said it was the fear of pregnancy that was the cause, as married women were expected to get pregnant and it was a great shame for single women.

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 

      22 months ago

      " The women were looking for the emotional and sexual spark which was missing in their love-life. Interestingly, not one of the hundred said they intended leaving their husband." - This shouldn't be a surprise!

      There are a lot of people who are pure romantics as well as those who have desire for intense passion with high sex libidos. The vast majority of people act and behave this way during the "infatuation phase" of all (new) relationships.

      However once there is an "emotional investment" or "commitment" they revert back to their "authentic selves". They believe it's "normal" to relax and slack off.

      For them being in a "secure relationship" means you no longer have bend over to impress one another. You can "settle down" without the fear of losing your mate.

      However the true "romantic" feels like a victim of "bait & switch". They long for things to be the way they use to be.

      It's a cliché to hear: "He/shee not the man I fell in love with."

      The goal of most cheaters is to hold onto all that is "good" in their primary relationship while addressing their other "needs" on the side.

      Very few cheaters are looking to (replace) one relationship with another! Whatever it is they deem to be "missing" in their marriage does not rise to the level of being a "deal breaker" in their eyes. If it had they would have left. The irony is most people cheat in order to STAY!

      They're looking to {compliment} what they already have or a form of medication to help them tolerate/cope.

      Probably the best solution for Stu is to find another job. Ultimately if someone decides to take their life that's as (personal of a decision) one can possibly make. It's on her!

      Your own situation is also a fairly common one. There are lots of people in unhappy marriages and relationships who treat them like jobs. They won't leave one unless they have another one lined up. Also having affair gives them courage in addition to intensifying the romantic angle.

      It's one thing to meet "the right man" at the "wrong time" and other to go bar hopping and having "one-night- stands". Believe it or not society romanticizes affairs!

      It's the "obstacles" that makes us pull for them.

      "They love each other but can't be together because....etc"

      However many times once those "obstacles" have been removed and they are together full-time they discover they're not really (in love) with each other.

      Essentially they were just {kindred spirits} who came to rely on each other during an unhappy period in their lives. Once whatever was causing them both misery is removed it becomes clear that one or both of them used the other for a rebound whether was intentional or subconsciously.

    • Necento anto profile image

      nicci 

      22 months ago from ukraine

      Wow!! I loved reading your article. I liked the practical advice you gave. Thank you for such an interesting article.

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