In Love With a Married Woman

Updated on October 5, 2018
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.


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.

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.

She Won’t Let Us Break Up

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.


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.

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 he left his wife. We eventually married. It was not a good marriage and we split up and divorced after ten years. Do I regret it? Yes… and no. He taught me a lot - mostly how not to treat people. He died two years ago.

**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.

Are you having an affair with a married woman?

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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.

  • 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 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'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.

  • I started feeling close to a married woman via online chatting. Her current marriage is unfulfilling given the lack of intimacy, and that she had been doing online dating as a way to cope with it. However, her last online relationship proved to be bad given they fought and argued. When this woman and I began talking, we grew more and more close. Our feelings are genuine, and we're growing more in love each moment. What do I do to make this work?

    Ask her if she's going to file for divorce. If the answer is no, the relationship will never work out. Think it through. As I said in the article, these women are looking for the emotional support and excitement they are not getting in their marriage. However, staying with their husband provides other benefits. Are you okay about being a spare string? Because that's all you are.


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    • theraggededge profile imageAUTHOR

      Bev G 

      3 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 

      3 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 

      4 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


      4 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


      5 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 

      9 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


      9 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 

      10 months ago from Wales, UK

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

    • Mykola profile image


      10 months ago from Ukraine

      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 

      11 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


      11 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


      13 months ago


      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 

      13 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

      Imran Khan 

      13 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 

      14 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 

      14 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


      15 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


      15 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


      15 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


      15 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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