20 lies men tell to their mistresses

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We all know that falling for a married man is dangerous territory to stumble into.

Least of all because if he can lie to his wife, he can just as easily lie to you too. I learned that the hard way.

When you are in love with a married man, there are certain truths you need to hear.

We want to believe so desperately what they say, that we can find ourselves soaking up every single untruth that falls from their mouths.

But sadly there are some common lies a man will tell his mistress time and time again. I should know because I have heard pretty much all of them.

A married man used me

It’s probably a familiar story. We met and there was this instant rush of chemistry. Finding out he was married was a big blow. I certainly didn’t go looking for an affair.

I fell in love, and I really thought he had too. But at the same time, if I’m completely honest, I realize now that the fact he was married also probably added to my initial yearning for him in some way.

Science has shown that the less available we think something is, the more we want it. It becomes this unattainable thing that you can’t have, and so crave even more.

I ended up falling for his lies, hook, line, and sinker. I thought he loved me, but in the end, he was also using me. It wasn’t until plenty of heartbreak later that I understood that.

I don’t even think he was a terrible guy. He wasn’t some evil mastermind plotting behind the scenes. He was just a bit of a coward, who was selfishly putting his needs in front of both his wives and mine.

The funny thing about being the “other woman” is that even though you know a married man who is having an affair is a liar (because they are lying to their wives), you think somehow that you are in on it together.

You might not even suspect that they are lying to you, because you think of yourself as a team. The reality is that as a mistress you are usually lied to just as much as they lie to their wives.

Some lies a married man will tell you are intentional, to keep them out of trouble. But others they tell, they may not even realize themselves are lies.

Whatever their motive, watch out for the lies married men tell, as they are going to come back and bite you in the ass.

What a married man will tell you (and why it’s probably a lie)

1) I’m going to leave my wife

The mother of all lies that married men will tell their mistresses has to be that they are planning to leave their wives.

In actual fact, a poll on the behaviors of cheaters found that less than 20% of men even think about splitting up because of the affair.

Even for those who do consider it, thinking about leaving and actually doing it are two very different things.

For every odd story you may hear about a guy who left his wife, there are countless other women out there with stories about endlessly waiting around for a married man.

A poll by Women’s Health found that only 13.7% of women who found themselves in an affair with a married man ended up being with him (compared to 86.3% who didn’t).

If you’ve had fantasies about him marrying you one day, then it’s an even bleaker picture. Dr. Jan Halper, in her book on successful men, says it’s so rare that only 3% of men will actually end up marrying their mistresses.

2) I’ve never done this before

We all want to feel special, and so when any man tells us we are, it’s understandable why we fall for it so quickly.

Statistics on cheating show that it is pretty common. Apparently, around 50-60% of married men will engage in extramarital sex at some time during their relationships.

But here’s the thing, most cheats are repeat offenders.

Any wife who discovers her husband is having an affair, will most likely wonder will he do it again? But mistresses should probably be thinking the same thing.

Apparently, cheaters have a 350% higher chance of cheating again than someone who’s never cheated.

That means, if he says you are the first (and you do believe him), then there’s still a strong chance you still won’t be the last.

3) It’s not about sex

There’s no denying that people cheat for all kinds of reasons, but high on that list is sexual desire or unmet sexual needs elsewhere.

Men are more likely to be looking for sex from an affair, whilst women are more likely to be filling an emotional void.

Sure, there are emotional affairs too which may not involve anything physical. Although for most affairs, it’s very much about the sex.

It’s not always easy for a woman to tell if he only wants you for your body. But if most of the time you meet, you’re only sleeping together, then what you have is sex, not a relationship.

It doesn’t mean he doesn’t have any feelings for you, but that also doesn’t make it a relationship.

Ultimately, you are not doing those couple things like meeting his friends and family or going out together in public.

4) We’re practically separated

A married man wants to paint the picture that he and his wife are estranged.

He knows that the more you think of him as being truly committed to another relationship, the less likely you are to want to be with him.

He may tell you that he’s practically separated from his wife already. The inference is that they live very separate lives, there isn’t an emotional intimacy or strong bond between them anymore.

Another common tactic is to say they’re in separate beds, separate rooms, or that he sleeps on the couch. He wants to make it seem like they need to stay in the home for some reason (whether it be financial, practical, or “for the kids”) but that they’re not really together.

From the way he tells it, it sounds more like they are strangers who just live in the same house. It’s an easy lie to tell, as you can’t really prove him wrong.

5) I don’t sleep with my wife anymore

About 15% of marriages are sexless — meaning couples that didn’t have sex in the past 6 months to a year.

But that means that the vast majority of married couples are having sex, even if it’s not frequently.

You’re never going to know what is going on behind closed doors. Do you really think he is going to tell you if he had sex with his wife?

After all, how would you find out, and why would he risk making you mad or upset by telling you the truth about it.

6) I can’t leave her because of the kids

Family life is complicated and having children is a huge factor.

He could be scared of losing his children, or the impact of separation and divorce on them, but then again, he could also be using it as a justifiable excuse not to leave.

There’s actually evidence that in the long run, divorce can be better for children, for example, if the parents are incompatible or arguing a lot. Despite short-term problems, the vast majority of children rebound after a year or two.

Meanwhile, research has shown that a parent’s infidelity can be harmful to kids.

Feelings of betrayal and an impact on their own attitudes to love, relationships, and trust are some of the consequences.

7) I don’t love my wife anymore

Let’s face it, love is such a complicated thing. Love shifts and changes over time and we enter into different phases.

We can find ourselves falling in and out of it, and we often don’t even know why we love the people we love.

But even if a married man has genuine problems in his marriage, it’s a safe assumption that at one point, he loved his wife. After all, he walked down the aisle with her.

Feelings of love don’t disappear overnight.

Even if he’s convinced himself that his feelings are over, countless men have realized what they’ve lost and gone running back to their wives later.

He may say he doesn’t love her, but it’s never that simple.

8) The marriage was over long before we met

If it were true that the marriage was over long before you met, then why is he still with her?

Some men are cowards and are looking for an escape from a relationship because they don’t have the courage to leave.

Even if he has been in a dead-end marriage for many years, it’s still worth questioning what type of man would stay in such a miserable relationship.

If he has been unhappy for so long, then he had plenty of opportunities before you came along to do something about it, but chose not to.

What could also be the case is that he is lying to you, and telling you the marriage was already failing as he knows that sounds better, and makes him less guilty for what he is doing.

9) My marriage is unhappy

Feeling dissatisfied in your marriage is clearly a contributing factor for why men cheat, but it’s usually an oversimplification too.

What counts as being unhappy? For example, is boredom a good enough reason? How about feeling unappreciated? Because these are also reasons why people have affairs, and they are also reasons to feel unhappy in a relationship. But is it really a good enough reason?

Marriage takes work, and without both parties putting in that work, couples can grow apart.

The idea of a marriage being unhappy right now is just a snapshot of a very large picture. It’s perfectly possible to find that happiness and satisfaction in your relationship again if you are committed and willing to make the effort.

Telling you that he is unhappy in his marriage is ultimately a cop-out, because he has a choice. He can do something about his unhappiness or walk away. Yet he isn’t really doing either.

10) I didn’t mean to cheat, it just happened

One of the biggest lies we tell ourselves is that an affair just happened.

We might not plan it out, but falling into bed together is rarely a completely spontaneous event. Actually, he has allowed or even created the conditions for an affair to take place.

Saying he didn’t mean for it to happen is a way of sidestepping responsibility and dodging guilt. That way, he still gets to feel like he is a good guy and some kind of innocent victim of Cupid’s arrow.

In reality, there is usually a far slower erosion of trust and intimacy in his marriage, followed by a conscious crossing of boundaries that led to the affair.

He isn’t an innocent bystander, he made a choice. Plenty of other men may have had reason or opportunity to cheat, and made a different choice.

11) I love you

If he tells you he loves you, it’s far more likely to be infatuation or lust.

It’s a rush of feel-good hormones that flood your body in the first flush of romance. These early stages can be intoxicating.

According to Business Insider:

“Research shows a link between strong feelings of love and increased levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain, which tells us rewards are ahead. The same chemical gets released in response to other sources of pleasure too, which explains the “high” feeling new lovers often experience.“

Real love isn’t a fleeting feeling and requires much more than the initial high. Falling in love may be easy, but staying there isn’t.

Lasting love is built on firm foundations of trust, honesty, and commitment. These are things he isn’t giving to you. He cannot give them to you, because he is in a relationship with someone else.

12) My wife is crazy

This lie can come in many subtly different forms, but underneath they’re all the same.

He may say “my wife is crazy”, “my wife is a total bitch”,  “my wife is completely unreasonable”, etc.

The theme is always, poor me, look at what I have to deal with. It turns her into the villain, and justifies his behavior.

What I’ve come to learn in life is to beware of the man whose partner or ex is “crazy”. Because research has shown it, opposites do not attract, like attracts like.

If she really is as bad as he suggests she is, why is he still with her? Wait, let me guess, he has another excuse for that, right?

Sometimes as the other woman, we want to believe that saving him from a terrible situation is some kind of noble cause.

As Mira Kirshenbaum puts it in her book When Good People Have Affairs: Inside the Hearts and Minds of People in Two Relationships:

“Sometimes a woman decides that a guy is with a partner who squashes his potential, and she hopes to help liberate him.”

But rather than feel sorry for him and his “woeful” home life, you need to consider whether this is just a lie to get your sympathy.

13) I can’t afford to get divorced

It’s true that splitting up has certain financial consequences, but it’s still a very bad excuse.

Realistically if he were that unhappy, and wanted to be with you, this wouldn’t be a deciding factor.

A man who really wants out of his marriage will get out of his marriage. If he genuinely cannot afford to leave her for whatever reason, where does that leave you?

But the reality is that this image of a man being taken to the cleaners by his wife in a divorce settlement just isn’t true.

In fact, studies have found that divorce makes men – and particularly fathers – significantly richer.

As reported in the Guardian newspaper, research showed that when a father separates from the mother of his children, his available income increases by around one third. Meanwhile, when a man leaves a childless marriage, his income immediately rises by 25%.

As family consultant Ruth Smallacombe explains:

“The general belief that men get fleeced by their divorces while women get richer and live off the proceeds has long been due for exposure as a pernicious myth. In reality, women often suffer economic hardship when they divorce.”

14) I’d never cheat on you

Sadly, that saying “once a cheater always a cheater” holds some scientific weight.

If you are clinging to the idea that his  transgressions with you are a one off special circumstances type of thing, then think again.

In 2017 a study looked specifically at infidelity in a previous relationship as a risk factor for infidelity in a subsequent relationship.

It turns out, a leopard doesn’t change it’s spots. The results showed that cheating on their partner meant that someone was three times more likely to cheat again in their next relationship.

The fact that your married man is cheating with you significantly increases the chance he’s going to do exactly the same to you in the future.

15) My feelings for you won’t change

According to experts, desire is significantly driven by novelty. It’s easy to desire something that feels new and fresh.

As the mistress, we are the forbidden fruit, we are someone other than his wife, and that fuels the strong sense of desire.

But what happens when you are no longer “unattainable”. Are you really confident his feelings will not change for you then?

As psychologist Esther Perel puts it:

“The very ingredients that nurture love – mutuality, reciprocity, protection, worry, responsibility for the other – are sometimes the very ingredients that stifle desire.”

The fact that you are not his wife is most likely what creates a thrill for him. But when something becomes familiar, we want it less.

16) I only married her because…

“I only married her because…**insert excuse**…

I was young and naive, she pressured me into it, I got her pregnant.

It doesn’t matter what the excuse is, the theme is the same: victimhood.

He wants you to believe that it’s not his fault. That the responsibility for the situation he finds himself in right now lies elsewhere.

Maybe he did get married too young, or some other external influence played a part, but so what.

Now is now, and that’s all that matters, and right now he is married.

The reasons for that do not change the fact.

Neither does it change the reality that if he doesn’t want to be married, he has the option of getting a divorce.

17) I’m actually a really good guy

This isn’t a moral character assignation. Maybe in many ways, this married man is a good guy.

Nothing in life is black or white. All of us are capable of making mistakes, and doing hurtful things to others. We’re all only human.

But at the end of the day, we also will be judged on our actions rather than our intentions. And wanting to be a good guy, doesn’t make you a good guy.

That’s down to how you behave and the way you treat people.

Maybe this is out of character for him, but it still doesn’t excuse it.  If he is cheating on his wife then he is lying and breaking promises.

The vast majority of people believe cheating is wrong. Whilst unexpected things do happen, he still has a choice over how he handles that now.

Continuing to lie to people who love him because it’s easier for him isn’t exactly the behaviour of a good guy. It’s the behaviour of a weak guy.

18) You mean more to me than she does

If you really meant more to him than his wife, then he would be with you and not her.

She is a permanent feature in his life. She knows his family, his friends, and 1001 intimate details about him. She lives under the same roof as him, they share a life together and he goes home to her at night.

You only get stollen moments with him, you have to sleep alone at night, you cannot get caught with him out in the street.

Does that sound like a balance in which you are more important than his wife?

Words are very easy, but actions are not. His words may say you are more important than her, but do his actions support that?

19) All that really matters is that we love each other

In the movie of our own lives, we are the centre of the Universe. In real life though, it’s not that simple.

Love conquers all and your love for one another is the only thing that matters, right? Sadly, not really.

Other things matter too. Other people’s feelings matter too. The consequences of our actions matter too. Respect and decency matter too.

The reality is that studies have shown that infidelity is usually damaging and leads to psychological distress both for those who engage in infidelity and for their partners.

We may like to think that the most important thing is the way we feel for someone, but in the real world, there is far more to it than that.

20) We will be together properly when I leave her

A lot of mistresses hang in there for so long because they really believe that one day, they will be together.

But statistics show this is so rarely the case. Most affairs are short term.

In an overview of infidelity research from the Zur Institute, it was found that most affairs don’t go beyond the “falling-in-love” phase.

It’s something that has been backed by numerous studies which agrere that most affairs don’t last long.

How long do affairs generally last?

  • 25% of affairs last under a week
  • 65% last under six months
  • 10% last more than six months

Even if you are one of the few who last longer, according to marriage counselor Frank Pittman, men who do marry their mistresses, have a divorce rate as high as 75%.

What that means is the future which you are waiting for, most likely doesn’t even exist.

Why do mistresses stay?

The real problem with the lies that married men tell their mistresses is that it all feeds into a promise of false hope.

Whilst some women out there may not think sleeping with a married man is such a big deal, I suspect that the vast majority of us do not feel good about it.

This is backed by the results of a Women’s Health poll that found 79% of women said having an affair with a taken man was never acceptable. Yet at the same time, 46% still admitted to having done it.

So what gives? And why do mistresses still stay?

The science of mate poaching

Affairs are nothing new, and neither is stealing someone else’s guy. Scientists say that so-called “mate poaching” happens in pretty much every society on the planter.

According to a survey of 17,000 people around the world, it’s estimated that around 10-15% of all romantic relationships could start this way.

David M. Buss, Ph.D., an evolutionary psychologist at the University of Texas and the author of The Evolution of Desire: Strategies of Human Mating says:

“From a historical perspective, women compete with each other for the best mates. Mate poaching is an effective strategy because high-quality men are often in scarce supply, so women are in competition for access to them.”

Why do married men lie?

If a married man is having an affair, he’s most likely prepared to lie to save his own skin and get his needs met. That may sound cold and calculating but the reality is that he is lying to his wife, and so he is just as capable of lying to you too.

But the lies often go further than that. The reason untangling the lies from the truth in an affair can be so difficult is that he is probably lying to himself too. And you are most likely lying to yourself as well.

Why? Because the truth can be incredibly inconvenient and uncomfortable to us.

We don’t always like the harsh reality of the truth and so can choose to believe a more palatable lie instead.

The reason a married man can so easily get us to believe the long list of lies they tell their mistresses, is because we want to believe them.

We want it to be the truth, even if there are signs a married man is using you, we’d rather go looking for those signs a married man is in love with you.

8 truths you need to know when we’re in love with a married man

As I’ve said, it’s not only the lies that married men tell us that can confuse and cloud our judgement, it’s also the lies we tell ourselves.

That’s why, as difficult as it may be to face, if you are in love with a married man it’s important to get real.

Even though every situation is different, there are still some important general truths when it comes to being the other woman, that there is no getting away from.

1) You can’t trust him

Can we be really honest for a moment? You can trust this guy about as far as you can throw him, right?

One of the most damaging things about affairs is that they are built on lies. Trust relies on believing someone, knowing that they will have your back, thinking that they respect you and will honour you.

Knowing that a married man has broken bonds with his wife is always going to play on your mind.

And for good reason given the stats on repeated cheating rates amongst people who already have a history of infidelity.

2) It probably won’t last

The statistics prove it, long lasting relationships very rarely come from affairs.

You are taking a huge gamble with your own heart in believing that you can be the exception and not the rule.

It feels exciting now, but is it going to be worth it in the long term? Especially knowing that you aren’t playing for keeps.

There is a potentially huge fallout that comes from an affair, with pretty much zero reward for the future.

It’s important to go into this with your eyes open, rather than clinging on to a fantasy. What you are embarking on now, most likely will not last.

3) You’re not his priority

If you were his number one priority, he would be with you right now. Regardless of the excuses he throws your way, this is the brutal truth of it.

We all have competing priorities in life, but if you were at the top of his list, you would know it.

Plenty of married men will pretend that one day, you will be his number one priority and that this is only temporary. And plenty of mistresses waste their precious weeks, months, and years clinging onto this hope, only for it to never happen.

You deserve to be with someone who is free to give you that time, energy, and devotion right now.

4) You could be waiting indefinitely for him to leave his wife

If he wanted to be with you, he would be. That is the bottom line.

For all his grand excuses, they are just excuses. They may sound credible right now, but how long are you prepared to hear them for?

Do you want to be in exactly the same situation 1 year, 5 years, 10 years from now?

If there is not a definite plan in place (and that has already been put into action) that shows you he intends to leave his wife, do not expect there to ever be one.

5) Being with a married man is stopping you from finding better

You may think you love him, but that isn’t enough. Not if you want a relationship and to build a life with someone.

It almost becomes like unrequited love. It’s not really love, it’s selling yourself short.

You are not in a real relationship with a married man. You cannot be because he is not really available for that.

You are getting the crumbs of a relationship instead.

Not only is that wholly unsatisfying, but you’re not allowing yourself to potentially be with someone who can give you 100%.

Being tied up with a married guy is like standing in the doorway of your own life. You’re not letting anyone exit or enter, and you’re keeping yourself stuck in the process.

6) You’re having to live a lie

You might think that the majority of the lying is being done by him, after all, he is the one who is married. Whilst that is true, the lying will take its toll on you too.

It might feel quite thrilling to have to sneak around at first, but that will soon turn into a drain.

There’s no public displays of affection that come with this illicit romance. There’ll be no romantic candle lit dinners in the newly opened town hotspot.

You are his secret, and you need to stay hidden.

You cannot be open with the people in your life either. You cannot freely tell friends, coworkers, and family about your guy.

The lies will span across both your and his lives.

7) You do have a choice

When we feel guilty about something we have done, our minds will look for ways to rationalise and let us off the hook.

I’ve been there, so I know it’s not simple. I understand that things happen. Desire can be a heady cocktail in the heat of the moment. Feelings can be powerful and seem difficult to control.

But even so, you always have a choice over your actions. If you believe what you are doing isn’t right, you can make another choice.

Facing this truth isn’t about judgement or telling yourself you are a “bad person”. It’s actually a way of being kinder to yourself in the long run.

Moments of weakness now could be setting yourself (and others) up for real pain later.

Even if you feel like it’s too late and that ship has sailed, it’s never too late to make another choice. Every moment offers a new chance to take another path in life.

8) It’s probably not worth it

I am not in your head, and I don’t know your situation, so I realize I cannot say with 100% certainty that what you are risking right now is not worth it.

Only you can hand on heart answer that for yourself.

But what I can say is that it is fact that the vast majority of affairs are:

  • About sex rather than love for the men
  • Do not last long
  • Cause real pain and long term negative consequences for the people involved

Knowing these truths, it is fair to say that the damage caused means that getting involved with a married man is just not worth it.

In summary: lies men tell mistresses

Some of the common lies you can expect to hear from a married man are:

  • I’m going to to leave my wife
  • I’ve never done this before
  • It’s not about sex
  • We’re practically separated
  • I don’t sleep with my wife anymore
  • I can’t leave her because of the kids
  • I don’t love my wife anymore
  • The marriage was over long before we met
  • My marriage is unhappy
  • I didn’t mean to cheat, it just happened
  • I love you
  • My wife is crazy
  • I can’t afford to get divorced
  • I’d never cheat on you
  • My feelings for you won’t change
  • I only married her because…
  • I’m actually a really good guy
  • You mean more to me than she does
  • All that really matters is that we love each other
  • We will be together properly when I leave her

Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash has years of experience writing relationship articles for single females looking for love. After being single for years with no hope of meeting Mr. Right, she finally managed to get married to the love of her life. Now that she’s settled down and happier than she’s ever been in her life, she's passionate about sharing all the wisdom she's learned over the journey. Pearl is also an accredited astrologer and publishes Hack Spirit's daily horoscope.

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