Are you dating a married man or maybe considering it?
You probably don’t need me to tell you that it’s a complicated situation when you entangle yourself in someone else’s marriage.
The decision is ultimately yours, but before you get in too deep there are some things you really need to know before dating a married man.
Some of these truths may not be easy to hear, but will potentially save you from heartache later down the line.
What should I know about dating a married man?
1) His wife will always come first
No matter how much you try to ignore the reality whenever you two are together, the fact remains he has a wife.
And no matter how much he protests that he doesn’t love her anymore, he’s only staying for the kids (or whatever excuse), and that you mean everything to him — she will still be his priority.
If you date a married man, you’ll have to accept that his wife will always come first.
Maybe you think you can handle that. But at some stage, no matter how casual you try to keep things, it is likely to become a huge problem.
Plenty of times he won’t be able to get away. He’ll have to break promises to you or cancel at the last minute.
He has someone waiting for him at home who takes precedence, whether you like it or not.
She is the person who his life is legally, practically, and emotionally entwined with and that is not going away.
Because of all of those reasons, unless a married man has already left his wife, she automatically takes pole position in his life.
2) It all ends up far messier than it starts out
Love affairs with married men tend to begin much like any other.
You feel an initial spark, you enjoy that feeling. Then you spend more time together and let things blossom. You end up talking to a married man every day. As the connection intensifies, things heat up and turn sexual. Then maybe stronger feelings also start to grow for one or both of you.
It sounds so innocent and simple. This is exactly why it’s easy to avoid the self-responsibility of considering your actions every step of the way.
But it isn’t like every other love affair. There are far more roadblocks further down the line.
Unlike meeting someone who is single, your future is far from guaranteed.
You get swept up in the fun and frivolity of the early stages, but you are unlikely to avoid the mess that is bound to ensue.
Deciding to just “see what happens” is naivety. No matter how effortless it feels in the beginning, it won’t later.
For example, you may think you can keep feelings out of it and just enjoy sex, or you might believe that your love is strong enough for him to leave her and commit to you.
No matter how many rules for sleeping with a married man you create to protect yourself, the reality is always more complicated.
3) He’s likely lying to you too
One of your biggest problems with dating a married man is a simple fact that he is a liar. That’s not a judgment, it’s a statement of fact.
He is lying to his wife. He is capable of deceit. This makes it almost impossible to create trust.
As the mistress, sometimes it feels like you are the one who is in on the secret. It’s his wife that’s in the dark, not you. You at least know exactly what is going on.
Don’t fool yourself, if this guy is capable of lying to his wife, then he is certainly capable of lying to you too.
When it comes to lust, men can quickly say things they do not mean. They are thinking with the little head and not the big one.
The list of lies men tells their mistresses is long and varied.
They are usually used as a way of manipulating you, the situation, and pointing him out as a good guy.
They often include whoppers like:
“My wife is crazy”
“I can’t afford a divorce right now”
“I and my wife never have sex”
“I genuinely care about you”
“I’ve never done this before”
You are only ever going to get one side of the story. Isn’t it funny how often married men are the victims?
The victim of feelings and attraction he can’t help himself. The victim of a loveless marriage he is trapped in. The victim of an unstable wife who doesn’t appreciate him and makes his life miserable.
It’s important to remember that whatever he tells you, even when it’s not strictly a lie, is one side of the story.
4) It can be incredibly lonely
How do you have a relationship with a married man? The short answer is you don’t really.
Not a proper one. Dating a married man is not a relationship. A relationship is a full-time thing, not a part-time gig.
But a married man can not give you his full time, energy, or heart in the same way a single guy can commit.
The end result is plenty of evenings on your own. Lots of waiting around for calls or texts that don’t come. Countless special occasions and holidays spent solo.
The truth is that the life of the other woman can be a lonely life.
You should only commit to a married man when he commits. And that has to come through actions and not just words.
5) Part of you will probably enjoy the thrill of it
The forbidden fruit is the juiciest.
That doesn’t make you a terrible person, it makes you human. It’s part of human nature for us to want what we can’t have. If something seems out of reach it feels more desirable to attain.
This can drive what feels like passion in an affair. But it’s not the same thing.
It’s not only you that wants what is out of bounds either. He likely is being spurred on by the same thing.
Once the thrill of the chase has finished, his attention may quickly fizzle, leaving you feeling pretty used.
No matter how much you enjoy the thrill of it all, it’s important to remember that it’s not a game. It does have consequences and people (including yourself) can get very hurt.
6) Statistically speaking at least, “once a cheat always a cheat”
We’ve all heard that old saying, but surely it’s unfair?
Perhaps once a psychological line has been crossed, it somehow feels easier to do so again. Maybe there is something specific within someone’s character that makes them more prone to cheating.
But the fact remains that if a married man can cheat with you, he can cheat on you. This can create huge trust issues moving forward.
Underneath strong feelings, real relationships are based on the foundations of similar values.
It’s important to ask yourself whether you can ever truly trust a married man you start to date.
7) You deserve better
If you know that deep down you are searching for love, a strong connection, and a healthy relationship then you deserve better than to be the other woman.
It can really be useful to ask yourself some soul-searching questions about why you would put yourself into a situation where you get a part-time lover or are second best.
There could be some self-sabotaging behavior going on.
It’s something I learned from the world-renowned shaman Rudá Iandê. He taught me that the way to find love and intimacy is not what we have been culturally conditioned to believe.
In fact, many of us self-sabotage and trick ourselves for years, getting in the way of meeting a partner who can truly fulfill us.
As Rudá explains in this mind-blowing free video, many of us chase love in a toxic way that ends up stabbing us in the back.
We chase after married men who cannot commit to us.
We get stuck in awful relationships or empty encounters, never really finding what we’re looking for.
We fall in love with an ideal version of someone instead of the real person.
We try to “fix” our partners and end up destroying relationships.
We try to find someone who “completes” us, only to fall apart with them next to us and feel twice as bad.
Rudá’s teachings showed me a whole new perspective and finally offered an actual, practical solution.
If you’re done with unsatisfying dating, empty hookups, frustrating relationships, and having your hopes dashed over and over, then this is a message you need to hear.
I guarantee you will not be disappointed.
8) You’re going to face judgment
Is it okay to be in a relationship with a married man?
Cheating is incredibly common, yet the fact remains the overwhelming majority of people still consider it to be “wrong”, no matter what the circumstances.
Whether they are being hypocritical or shortsighted aside, you will likely come up against moral judgment of your actions.
A lot of societal blame can get thrown at the mistress, who is labeled a home-wrecker or hussy.
This can leave you feeling plenty of guilt and shame that you have to process, on top of the stress of the situation.
You may even end up isolated, unable to share what you are going through with family friends or loved ones for fear of what they will say or think.
9) The chances are he will not leave his wife for you
The good news is that there are always exceptions. Occasionally an affair can lead to a new relationship, and a happy one too. But the odds are stacked very much against you.
There are far more side-chicks out there that believe they will get their happy ending than actually do.
In fact, one study revealed that a staggering 88 percent of lovers hope married men or women will leave their spouses for them. In reality, just 13 percent do.
That means 9 out of 10 people will remain a bit on the side.
10) It’s not just about you two
Unfortunately, it’s not just your heart and his at stake.
There is at least one other person involved directly, and potentially more if he has children. But the web can also spread even further out to include family, friends, loved ones, and even co-workers.
Plenty of people can end up suffering the consequences of the collateral damage from an affair. It’s easy to get carried away and start thinking that all that matters is how you feel about one another.
But can I be brutally honest?
Other things do matter — like other people’s feelings for a start or the legal agreements he has signed up for by getting married.
It’s always worth considering that it’s not just about you two before getting involved with a married man.
11) It’s probably not for keeps
Most affairs are short-term rather than committed relationships.
In fact, infidelity research concluded that most don’t go beyond the “falling-in-love” phase.
Generally speaking, a typical affair will last anything from under a week (25%) to under 6 months (65%). Only as few as 10% make it beyond that.
Let’s imagine you are one of the minorities who do go the distance. Let’s say you even date a married man, who leaves his wife, and then marries you. Then what?
It’s still not probably for keeps.
Marriage counselor Frank Pittman claims that men who marry their mistresses have a divorce rate as high as 75%.
12) An affair is ultimately a choice
If you’re considering dating a married man you have to be prepared to be honest with yourself.
That means not hiding in excuses.
A lot of people who have affairs try to justify it by claiming “it just happened”, or they “couldn’t help themselves”.
This simply isn’t true.
We can kid ourselves that certain things “just happen”. But the truth is that we let them happen. We take each step that leads down a certain path.
Those early footsteps often feel effortless. They may not even seem such a big deal at the time.
But you can also take steps to avoid a married man if you really wanted to. You can decide to say no to an illicit encounter no matter how tempted you may feel.
Some people do face temptation and don’t give in.
In short, an affair is a choice — and one you should only ever go into with your eyes open about your motives, intentions, and the potential consequences.
Can a relationship coach help you too?
If you want specific advice on your situation, it can be very helpful to speak to a relationship coach.
I know this from personal experience…
A few months ago, I reached out to Relationship Hero when I was going through a tough patch in my relationship. After being lost in my thoughts for so long, they gave me a unique insight into the dynamics of my relationship and how to get it back on track.
If you haven’t heard of Relationship Hero before, it’s a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people through complicated and difficult love situations.
In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.
I was blown away by how kind, empathetic, and genuinely helpful my coach was.