Why does a married man act hot and cold in his affairs?

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Having an affair with a married man might be wrong — and it’s certainly risky — but it can also be hot as hell.

I know from my own past experience.

I had a four-month affair with a married guy. I’m a bad girl and I know it. Our time together scorched me with its passion but it also left me stranded and alone crying like a rag doll.

There were some great times — and even though I still feel guilty sometimes — we really did have a connection that was more than just physical attraction. I do truly believe that, I really do.

But the biggest frustration was how this guy, let’s call him Calvin, played hot and cold with me.

One week he’d be texting me like a madman and running his hands all over me like he was Michael Phelps winning a championship swim race at the Olympics, the next week he’d basically ghost me, and if we did meet he’d avoid eye contact and seem desperate to head out as soon as possible.

I was so pissed off. I’m still a bit pissed off just remembering it.

I wanted to know what was behind Calvin’s behavior.

Here’s what I found…

There are quite a few reasons why some men blank you out for days and then are all over you with no explanation.

By researching what the experts say and comparing it to my own time with Calvin and his bizarre behavior, I was able to put together the following list of 15 reasons why married men act hot and cold when they’re having an affair.

Some of these are going to be downers, to be honest, and that’s because the reasons a man plays hot and cold aren’t always flattering. But I’m going to lay it on you because I think you can handle it.

And I know that if I could write a letter to myself at the beginning of the affair, I would tell myself to read an article like this so I would know what was up with my guy’s annoying and fucking frustrating behavior (excuse my French).

And with that, I’m going to get right into this. I’m gonna list 13 unlucky reasons that a married guy is playing you hot and cold.

I have a bit of a tongue and I grew up on the really wrong side of the tracks so I should probably add that there’s going to be some graphic language here. (Warning: the following list contains graphic language, blah blah).

14 reasons married men act hot and cold with their mistress

1) It’s biology

Men have a biological drive to mate and procreate. As modern as we are, this is the subconscious driver of a lot of what men do.

When a man comes on strong and acts very hot at the beginning of an affair and then fades away like a limpdick bastard after a few weeks, it could just be his biology triumphing over basic respect.

Then you withdraw and he pops back up a few weeks out wanting to come to rock your boat again. It’s a real pain in the ass and I had more than enough of it with Calvin to last a lifetime.

Janice Hiller explains in the Journal of Men’s Health and Gender:

“Boys are more sexually motivated from puberty on, whereas girls tend to seek emotional connections as a precursor to sexual contact. Although feelings and thoughts are important for both sexes, women are not always psychologically aroused by genital vasocongestion, while the opposite tends to pertain to men,”

I wasn’t that surprised when his initial interest faded out, but when he kept waxing and waning, I started to find it super fucking annoying.

Either be into me or not, I’d think in my little one-room apartment drinking alone while I looked at my unanswered texts.

Fine so he was in a bad mood, or tired or busy: at least fucking tell me, am I right?

2) He’s using you for sex

That leads directly into the fact that a married guy who goes hot and cold with you is probably just using you for sex.

No shit Sherlock.

Sorry to break it to you Cinderella, but if this guy is coming on strong and then backing out the most likely reason is that he wants to get a slice of your cherry pie and then hit the road.

You’re nothing more to him than a few moments of enjoyable pleasure for his wang.

Did that hurt your feelings?

It’s better that I hurt your feelings a bit here than that this guy rakes your heart over the coals and takes months — or even years — out of your time that you could be using to meet someone who actually cares about you.

How this works is simple:

He texts, calls, and is very affectionate when he wants to bang.

He ghosts, avoids and treats you like a stranger on the Subway when he’s had his fix or his wife or family is taking up more of his attention or supplying his sex needs.

Meanwhile, there’s you, feeling like shit for being the second choice.

3) Sometimes you trigger this instinct, sometimes you don’t

When a man has the hots for you, it’s because you’re triggering a very natural male instinct. You’re giving him something he craves. More than love. And even more than sex.

I’m talking about his hero instinct.

If you haven’t heard of it before, the hero instinct is a new concept in relationship psychology that’s generating a lot of buzz at the moment.

Simply put, men have a biological drive to feel needed, to feel appreciated, and to provide for the woman he cares about. In other words, men want to be your everyday hero.

This is deeply rooted in male biology.

Conversely, when a man goes cold, it’s more than likely this instinct is not being brought to the fore.

Male desires are not complicated, just misunderstood. Instincts are powerful drivers of human behavior and this is especially true for how men approach their relationships.

Both with their wives and girlfriends.

If you want to keep a married man interested, then it’s essential that you trigger his hero instinct.


The best place to start is to watch this free video from the relationship expert who discovered this concept. He reveals the simple things you can do starting today.

By following the simple tips from this video, you can tap into his protective instincts and the most noble aspect of his masculinity. Most importantly, it will unleash his deepest feelings of attraction towards you.

Here’s a link to the excellent free video again.

4) He’s insecure or has issues

Sometimes a married man runs hot and cold on you because he’s fucked up.

I’m not perfect myself and we all get a little messed up in the head from time to time, but I mean like, this guy has serious issues. Baggage of the emotional kind.

It could come from childhood or it could come from issues with his wife or he could just be a genetic reject — who am I to tell you?

For example, this guy may be what relationship author Mark Manson calls the “anxious avoidant” type and be deeply scared of intimacy on some subconscious level.

It’s still his fault and it ain’t your job to fix it for him.

Either way, he’s displaying weird behavior and backing off as soon as things get close because of his trust problems.

This can also explain why he plays so hot sometimes if you withdraw your attention.

It’s simply because his insecure beta self wants reassurance and validation so he turns on the charm tap until you reciprocate and then detaches himself again.

This guy’s an insecure emotional vampire. I’d slap his face and head for the hills if I were you.

5) He realizes he’s not that into you but is bad at being honest

Some guys are weak assholes. That shouldn’t come as news to you, but I want to really emphasize just how weak some guys can be.

Calvin broke up with me by text after playing hot and cold for months and told me he’d never really been that into it. He erased any doubt from my mind that he was a manipulative little bitch who’d been using me for sex.

I had only myself to blame because I’d ignored so many of the warning signs and let my own insecurities out so that he knew all the right buttons to push to keep me emotionally addicted to his affections.

I felt like a dumbass.

If Calvin had just been honest after our first few steamy meetups then I would have known that he wasn’t even into me at all and I was just a pair of tits to him.

But he was such a coward that he played me out for months for his own emotional and sexual comfort before letting me know I was nothing more than the equivalent of a rag he masturbated into.

Thanks, Calvin.

If you’re wondering if you can have a future with your married man or not, then check out this video that show the signs he won’t leave his wife for you. 

6) His wife is suspicious

This one is tricky and I don’t really know if it ever played a part in the sad story of Calvin and me.

Like I was saying, Calvin was just using me and I’m pretty sure he didn’t care much about things like his wife’s suspicions or even basic decency.

But for many guys, they will play cold on you because their wife is breathing down their neck.

Women who read about the signs their husband may be cheating could start to notice him “working late” a lot and angling his phone away like a pervert whenever they come into view.

Then they start asking questions and exerting pressure and things like that, and he starts dodging your calls and not returning messages and avoiding mentioning when you can meet next.

Because he’s a scared little bitch boy who’s too afraid to man up and leave his wife for you, so he wants to lay low until the heat blows over and he can have his cake and eat it too.

Maybe it’s time to blow him off and find a man with balls.

7) It’s his nature

In some cases, a guy is going to act in a hot and cold way that isn’t actually that hot and cold. You may feel he’s being hot and cold but he’s actually just being…like…a guy.

Yeah… So, with Calvin, it was in your face. He’d be Mr. Romantic one day and then a block of stone without the ability to return calls the next. For months.

With some guys, they just need a bit of a cooldown period and need their space a little, and if you’re being super clingy and weird about, it then it’s kind of on you.

Sure I like to stand with my sisters but I’m not gonna lie and say we’re always on point. If you’re being an oversensitive hussy then check yourself and ovary up.

Ain’t nobody got time for that, least of all a married man with a lot on his plate.

If you’re stressin’ and bringing the drama like a fiend, why should you be surprised if he drops you for another side piece?

Some guys need a little space, just respect that and don’t read too much into it…

8) He’s double-dipping

Another reason that a guy can play hot and cold is that he’s double — or triple or quadruple —  dipping. In other words, he’s getting some on the side — of getting some on the side…

How does it feel for a guy to cheat on his wife with you and then cheat on you, too?

Kind of like poetic justice, maybe, but I strongly suspect this was part of Calvin’s game, too.

Although I never found proof.

A horndog married man sometimes acts hot and cold because when he’s not busy being hot with you he’s being hot with another wild lady.

Rock n’ roll is a vicious game.

Lea Emery has the goods at Bustle, observing that in a recent study:

“People who had cheated before were a lot more prone to unfaithfulness. Like a lot more. Those who cheated in their first relationship were three times more likely to cheat again. So it may not be that people are learning from their mistakes, instead they may just be getting used to their bad behavior.”

9) He feels guilty about cheating

Let me abso-fucking-lutely promise you that this was not the case with good ol’ Calvin, but some guys really do feel bad about cheating.

Then they go a little cold on you. Then they get horny and lonely and want to get back together again.

It’s a boring little dance that you feel like you have to play along with if you want to keep your dance partner.

Lizzy Francis profiled guys who have felt guilty after running around on their wives and she has some touching stuff there.

One guy says he felt so bad that “As soon as I got done getting high, so to speak, sure, there was guilt and shame and remorse, but also, I really just felt like I needed to get high again.”

And there you go: you have your standard hot-cold cycle.

Except instead of coming out of the wash nice and clean, you come out feeling like shit and covered in all his own underwear and stinky ass clothes.

10) He has other huge pressures on him

If your married man has kids or an intense job, then there can be times he goes cold on you because he really is too swamped with work or busy with dad duty.

If you don’t have kids it can be hard to imagine just how time-consuming and stressful a job being a dad and mom can be. Even if your guy doesn’t love his wife, you can bet he probably cares about his tykes and wants the best for them.

I know that in the case of Calvin he was a real bastard, but he did love his son, I could always tell that was true.

Maybe there’s still hope for Calvin to become a better guy. (Just joking, fuck him).

If you could take the emotion of bitterness and distill it into a person it would be me.

Sorry, not sorry. I am who I am, and who I am — at least at the moment — is a very angry woman.

But back to the subject…

Men sometimes go hot because they have time to do that. Then they go cold because they literally barely have time to eat, much less spend time with you or get intimate.

Don’t take this personally and realize that in some cases, it really is true that he’s up to his neck in work and family responsibilities.

11) Your behavior is putting him off

If you’re being clingy, obsessive, negative, or too full-on with this guy then it can make him go cold on you.

Don’t start trying to pressure him to leave his wife or going on about how he’s such a handsome devil who’s the definition of perfection and can make all your dreams come true.

Come on man, as Joe Biden would say.

Like I said before: Ain’t nobody got time for that shit.

“While clingy tendencies may have been “ok” in your previous relationship, being overly needy is generally considered a toxic dating habit,” says Alexis Anderson.

And she’s right y’all, that shit is toxic as hell.

If this guy really is your dream guy and you’re destined by your Zodiac signs and past lives and some constellation of solar magic to be together then let the process happen.

But putting him as part of your hopped-up psychodrama is only going to scare him away. So go easy on this guy and let him reach his own conclusions about you.

I was fairly easy-going with Calvin the whole time in my opinion, but he just didn’t care enough about me to even communicate and he really let me down. (Yeah, yeah, pity party for me, I know).

12) He finds you too high maintenance

Men like to know that you’re doing well, but they don’t want to wait on your hand and foot like they’re your slave. I’m sure they already get enough of that at home with their wife (*cue laugh track*).

OK, seriously though, what is up with some women being total princesses who expect the guy to take their shoes off and feed them and do every damn thing they ask?

I thought, we’re these modern empowered women and all, that right?

Let’s act like it.

If you’re too high maintenance like that, then a guy is going to start avoiding you sometimes. Sorry, brutal truth-telling time, remember?

It’s good to get his hero instinct jiving and hell yeah you should be asking him for favors — and credit cards to use and whatever else you can score — but don’t be going all Princess Extra on his ass.

That guy will go cold on you, guaranteed.

13) He sees you as low value

I told you I was gonna be honest with you here and I meant it.

If a married dude is going hot and cold on you then he probably sees you as low value in one way or another.

Maybe he doesn’t even find you that hot or your personality isn’t really his thing when it comes down to it.

Hey, different strokes for different folks and all that jazz, am I right? OK, so this guy doesn’t really think much of you in some way or another.

So the attention he pays to you and the affection he gives out is pretty minimal. It’s hurtful and it makes you feel like shit but you have to admit it’s kind of logical.

If he finds you low value why would he put much into his interactions with you?

It’s up to you to know you’re worth more and drop his sorry ass.

14) You’re being unrealistic

I got some bad statistics for you.

Only 3% of affairs lead to marriage, and around 5% lead to long-term relationships.

If you think this guy is going to become your one and only the very high chance is that he’s not. He’s going to be out of the picture quite quickly, in fact, since 90% of affairs last less than 6 months.

That means that only 10% of affairs last for longer than 6 months

After the honeymoon phase of your affair, whether it lasts a week or three months, you’re going to have a harsh reality check where you — and him — realize this probably isn’t going anywhere.

I admit that with Clavin I was a bit unrealistic too. I hung on to some hope that this guy could somehow be the right fit for me instead of noticing his selfish, narcissistic behavior.

I also believed his side of the story about how his wife was such a she-devil when in fact I now know that he was making a lot of that shit up.

Here’s my advice

If you have a guy who’s going hot and cold on you then there are a few things I recommend.

Number one is to have some fucking self-respect.

Do not chase this pig you’re porking just because he makes you feel starved of attention or decides to host the 2022 Mind Game Olympics inside your head.

1) Turn into glass

Make like a mirror and follow his lead.

If he wants the conversation to run dry for days then you help turn it into a fucking drought.

It got to where Calvin asked me what was wrong and I just gave him a look. A “did you just hear yourself ask that shit?” look. It worked.

Eventually his hot phases became even more see-through and he eventually text broke up with me, like I said.

If you want to get out as unharmed as possible then make like a mirror and reflect his bullshit behavior right back at him. Fuck this guy (well I guess you already probably are, but you know, as in forget about him…)

2) Stop treating him like a king

When a married man snaps out of a cold phase and wants to go hot again, you need to show his toxic male ass that he’s not the only one in control.

So he wants to go back to steamy bedroom bliss with his mistress? So what?

Are you his personal servant who responds like a cat when it hears the cat food hit the tin?

Come on, man.

Make him wait. Tell him to get serious and come back. Tell him you’re a woman who demands respect, not a doormat for him to step on.

3) Don’t play his game

Regardless of the reason he’s going cold, your best bet is to not play along and get on with your life.

If he’s going cold for valid reasons then you come across cool and confident.

If he’s got issues or is being a dick then your non-reaction shows him that you’re stronger than his games and have other fish to fry.

Have some sympathy for his poor wife who has to deal with this guy and let him flounder with his bullshit.

4) There’s nothing wrong with you

I mean, with me personally, I’m far from perfect, and maybe you’re far from perfect, too. But in general, there’s nothing wrong with you.

You made a bad decision, maybe, to get involved with a married guy, but mistakes happen.

Don’t let the guilt weigh you down or blame yourself as if you’re the only one who went off track. If he’s going all hot and cold on you then that’s 100% his issue.

There are going to be some cases where a married guy really is serious about you. And that’s great, don’t let me get in the way of your fairytale ending love story.

But in most cases, he’s just using you or has all sorts of issues that lead to him treating you like garbage.

Respect yourself and walk on, you’re worth more.

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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