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Is It Wrong to Date a Married Man? How to Date a Married Man the Ethical Way

Jorge's relationship advice is based on experience and observation. Let his trial and error be your success (hopefully).

How to Date a Married Man Successfully

So you've found yourself interested in a guy who is already married. Maybe this is a pattern for you. Maybe for some reason you find yourself turning to married men for romance, and you can never understand why.

Is it wrong to date a married man? Should you avoid dating him because he's already taken?

This really depends. Are you planning on being shady and sneaky about it, or are you considering ethical non-monogamy?

That's right, there is an ethical way to date a married man. The key here is that his wife must know what's going on. If you keep it a secret, you will invite all kinds of drama and the situation is bound to blow up in your face.

I'm not here to judge you, but it's the truth: If you help someone cheat and lie, the bad karma will eventually come around to bite you. However, if you're willing to help a couple expand their relationship and make it more open, then it's possible for this arrangement to be beneficial for all parties.

Here is what you can do to openly date a married man without guilt:

Step 1: Make Sure His Wife is On Board

Don't take his word for it. Speak to his wife yourself.

Unfortunately, there are people in this world who cheat on their spouse and convince others to help them by spinning a story about how the relationship is "open" when it really isn't. Verify this for yourself if you want to avoid drama and keep from becoming an accomplice of someone else's dishonesty.

In addition, try to figure out if his wife really is happy to share him with another woman, or if it is just grudging obedience. If she seems to only be doing it because he convinced her, then bow out. It really won't be worth the explosive emotions that are bound to bubble up.

Ethical relationships with married men are possible, but only if his spouse knows.

Ethical relationships with married men are possible, but only if his spouse knows.

Step 2: Try to Figure Out If Non-Monogamy is Something They Decided On Before You Showed Up

Sometimes a couple will be uninterested in non-monogamy until someone hot shows up, then magically the issue comes up. Is this the case for the married guy that you're dating?

If so, this might spell trouble. He could be uninterested in actually leading a life of open relationships, and more interesting in jumping ship to another woman. You might be okay with this, but keep in mind that you could end up being the "home-wrecker" unintentionally.

Step 3: Evaluate if the Married Guy is Mature Enough for Non-Monogamy

Has this guy's marriage really evolved to the point where it can handle new people? Is he making a mature decision to open the relationship up to other intimate connections? Does he see you as an addition to an already great relationship? Or does he have an immature view of the situation, and is only looking for something new and exciting because he's bored of his wife?

If he's just looking for adventure and wants to get away from the old battle ax, his wife won't take too kindly to this. Drama is bound to happen.

On the other hand, if the idea of having an open relationship is noting new to them and it was established from the beginning of their marriage, then your presence is much more likely to be welcome. This is the sort of situation where you can date a married man successfully and his wife will even be happy for you.

Step 4: Does He Have a Good Marriage With His Wife?

You might think it would make sense for him to look outside his marriage for fulfillment if his wife doesn't do it for him, but this is actually a recipe for trouble. Don't let yourself be the band-aid for their marital problems. Again, the ideal situation is that you're becoming part of a mature and well-established relationship.

Unfortunately, many people who decide to have an open relationship do so for the wrong reasons. For example, they may decide to be non-monogamous as a response to cheating in the marriage, instead of addressing the actual root cause of the lies and deception. Don't get involved in this kind of circus.

Your Experience With Married Men

Step 5: Consider the Married Man's Whole Family

Both you and the married guy might be tempted to compartmentalize your relationship, but the truth is that there's no way he can keep you completely separate from the rest of his life.

Consider how your relationship will affect his marriage, his children, and both of your everyday lives in general. If you response to this idea is, "I don't care," then you're probably not mature enough to get into a relationship with a married man who already established a life with someone else.

Are you jealous?

Are you jealous?

Step 6: Evaluate Yourself for Jealousy and Other Sticking Points

Are you possessive and jealous? Are you going to attempt to compete with his wife and steal him away? Does the fact that you're not his "main woman" wear away at your ego?

If so, do yourself a favor and don't date a married man. Unless you want your life to turn into a soap opera, it's better to focus on single men until you are able to exist in an open relationship without your insecurities rearing their ugly heads. Try practicing ethical polyamory with people who aren't married or in serious relationships while you get over these problems; you will cause less damage.

Step 7: Be Willing to Let Go

Ultimately, if you are dating a married man, chances are low that you will be his first priority. Recognize this and be willing to let things go if he can't give you the attention that you need. Understand that if he has a wife and family, getting dramatic and clingy will affect more than just the guy that you're dating.

In fact, this is a pretty good argument for avoiding dating a married man altogether. If you want to have a long-term relationship and aren't willing to basically form a triangle with his wife and become part of the family, your relationship with him will only be able to go so far.

When you date a married man, always be willing to let go. Many times, his family will come first.

When you date a married man, always be willing to let go. Many times, his family will come first.

Are You Addicted to Dating Married Men?

Clearly you're interested in knowing how to date a married man for a reason. Maybe this is your first time in a situation like this, or maybe this is something that you've done before.

If you find yourself falling into these scenarios over and over again against your will, take a break from dating for awhile and consider some hard self-reflection. Is there something about unavailable men that turns you on? Do you like competing with other women and feeling like you stole their man? Does it feed your ego?

This is a huge problem. Besides making enemies of perfectly innocent women who were just trying to have a happy marriage, you are putting yourself into very negative patterns filled with pain and drama. Don't you think you deserve better than that?

While dating a married man isn't wrong per se, as long as his wife knows, most of the time this won't be the case. Know how to smell trouble and don't let a guy convince you to help him cheat. Your relationship prospects will be much better if you just find a guy who isn't already taken.

Open Relationships

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.

© 2017 Jorge Vamos


Samantha Lee on March 19, 2019:

I dated this guy for like 8 months now

At first he told me he’s separated and then later on I found out that he’s wife doesn’t even know they’re separated he told me so basically he really is married like married

So everytime he’s wife calling

I should be quite or leave the room so he’s wife won’t see me or anything like that

But he told me that it’s temporary he’ll divorce her and wants to be with me and wants to get married with me

I just don’t know if he’s telling me the truth because he’s really good at lying to his wife he lied to her really good

So I’m scared that someday he’ll do the same to me

I need ur advice guys

Thank u

Faiffy on January 27, 2019:

Is it ethical to date a married man, whose decision is it to judge. We now live in societies that are so mixed. Different culture, different religions and so on. The euroscentric thought is that it is wrong. One man for one woman. There are many societies where a man can openly have more that one woman. Modern societies say no, causing men to go underground. Can a man genuinely only ever have one woman. Throughout all the religious books. Most men had more that one wife. When did it all change. If a man can afford to have and look after more than one woman is that wrong? Statistically, there are far more women than men in this world. What will the unmarried women do. Stay single for life when there is a man willingl to have them. This is a huge issue in society now. Women are now equally financially as independent as men. It is not just about money. There is intimacy and sense of belonging that goes far deeper than the surface which is considered to be cheating. Yes, most men will not leave their wives. This is because they genuine respec their wife because they both probably went through a hell of a lot together and also especially if there are children involved. Stepping back and assessing a situation in a mature way is far better than seeing things in black and white.

Mzzy on December 08, 2018:

But what if u love him so much Though and u don’t want to let go ?

lady t on September 06, 2018:

i am in love with the married guy and i have been trying deny my feeling for him........and i cant take it anymore

Nay on August 03, 2018:

Had a good relationship n love the guy,but the real question is for how long will i keep it a secret.

li on May 09, 2018:

Thank you for your article.

Dating married man is equally stepping into a TRAP. Good luck with that.

Jorge Vamos (author) on April 16, 2018:


"Why? because it just is."

Haha, quite the compelling argument you have there.

ok on September 27, 2017:

Is it wrong to date a married man? -YES (NOT MAYBE)

How to date a married man in the ethical way? sorry but there is no such ethical way no matter what angle you are looking at. You really try to push it-

Why? because it just is.

So what if you felt in love with a married man unintentionally? what if he kept chasing you and won't let you go knowing you are in love with him or he is in love with you?

No matter what if - the only question here is are you strong enough to be able to get yourself out of the situation? you get yourself in then only you can get yourself out. Other than that there are consequences for dating married man, bad karma and it's bad all over from all different angles. Learn to live with "You can't always have what you want" so learn to live with disappointment - but it's part of life. and you are not exclusive.

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