Married women may find an article that discusses some of the nuances behind dating a married man to be offensive and in the wrong, and that is an entirely reasonable stance to take. However, the reality is that some women are interested in dating someone who is married and may need advice.
This article addresses that reality in a practical fashion, focusing on how to provide an experience that minimizes the damage to both the woman pursuing the married man and that married man’s wife. This is for women who know they are dating a married man and want to know what to do.
This article is not for women who are dating a man that they may suspect is married, and it is also not for married women who suspect that their husband is cheating on them. It also isn’t intended to encourage deceptive behavior or to start a relationship with someone who is married.
We aren’t here to judge you, shame you, or anything of the sort. We want you to be smart about the relationship you have consented to and to keep any possible harm to a minimum while still enjoying the experience as much as possible in a healthy way.
What do I need to know?
Reasons You May Date a Married Man
There are many reasons why you might want to get involved with someone in a relationship, and you shouldn’t feel bad about any of these so long as you understand what you are doing and the impact that may have. Here are some reasons that may push you into dating a married man:
- You aren’t looking for commitment right now
- You are looking for a rebound after a serious relationship
- You just want to distract yourself for now without any pressure to commit
- You are looking for a sugar daddy
- You double date and you don’t want any questions about it
- You are looking to get financial support or connections for your career/business
However, while this is all well and good, don’t anchor yourself down to him even if you do receive any of these things from him. You always have a say on when the relationship ends, and you don’t owe him anything and are not obligated to do what he may ask.
Ground Your Expectations
First, let’s clear the air. You’re dating someone who is cheating on his wife. Assuming he is doing this without her knowledge or consent, this is someone who has placed his own satisfaction and needs over a committed relationship. It is in your best interest to remember this and not forget it.
Put aside whatever it is that first attracted him to you and you to him. Ignore, for the time being at least, the excitement and happiness you may share with him when you enjoy each other’s companionship and the pleasure you provide one another.
Never forget who the man that you are dating is. He may care for you, but his primary goal is not to make you happy. It is to satisfy his own interests. As much as you may not want to hear it, he is unfaithful and unreliable. This has nothing to do with you, but it is the kind of person he is.
You need to be aware that under 5% of relationships between a woman and a married man lead to a long-term relationship or marriage. Similar statistics go for a man that is dating a married woman. Anyway, this is a man who isn’t fulfilling his vows to his wife and has a history of cheating, and at the same time cannot entirely commit himself to you.
No matter the reason he had for coming to you in the first place, it isn’t important. What is important is you and what you are getting out of this. Don’t expect a long-term romance that ends in marriage and a family. However, if you just want some casual fun, then by all means enjoy yourself.
Your happiness is important, and you are not responsible for his behavior. These two points are crucial for you to remember if you want to keep this relationship healthy. Keep yourself safe by reigning in your expectations and keeping your dating him to a short-term casual level.
Focus on Your Emotional Health
One of the biggest risks to dating a married man is the fact that, the longer you do it, the more likely you will be left feeling unfulfilled emotionally and wanting more. If you don’t keep this in mind from the start you will begin to feel frustrated, bitter, and stressed about the relationship.
To keep yourself emotionally healthy in this kind of relationship, be aware from the beginning that he is looking for someone that he doesn’t have to feel responsible with in any way, shape, or form. Be prepared to keep this relationship to something discreet, mostly sexual, and at times unavailable.
We may be stressing this point, but you must be sure that this is the kind of relationship that you want to have in your life. If not, reconsider it.
You may also find yourself emotionally upset about the idea of him being with his wife or another woman. Jealousy is a common thing when dating a married man, but the best thing for you to do is to ignore it.
Don’t stalk her on social media, don’t contact her, and don’t obsess over her.
The more you think about her, the more you will most likely feel stress or guilt over the relationship and uncertainty. While this is normal and may encourage you to rethink your decision, you should always distance yourself from her to minimize the damage to both you and her emotionally.
Be aware that if he cheats on his wife with you, he most certainly may cheat on you with someone else. You must keep yourself emotionally and psychologically guarded from feeling overwhelmed by this, and the best way to do it is to go into the relationship knowing it is best for only a short fling.
At the end of the day, he will be going home to his wife and, if he has any, children. Don’t expect to become an intimate part of his family or social life. On the other hand, don’t let him expect to be a part of your own family and social life either, and don’t feel obligated to be monogamous with him.
Establish Boundaries and Rules
It is important that you clearly define to him what you are willing to do and what you are not willing to do. You don’t owe him anything and shouldn’t be there for him to sleep with whenever he has the urge to get laid. Be assertive and give him rules from the start if you want this to go smoothly.
Don’t put up with listening to him go on about his wife or comparing you to her. It’s not worth it and having the two of you compared, even if it is to flatter you, is his business and not yours. If anything, keep it positive if he must talk about her or their children. There’s no reason to be nasty, after all.
You should also make it clear that nothing the two of you do will take place in his home. Not only is it unnecessarily risky, but it is pushing a line with the wife that doesn’t need to be pushed further than it already is. Never sleep in their bed, and don’t try to insert yourself into their home.
No matter how long the two of you are together, don’t try to keep him from his family and don’t intentionally get pregnant to break up his marriage. Remember, you come after his wife and family. That is the relationship that dating a married man is, so be comfortable with it for your own sake.
Plan for Your Future
To be blunt, it would be a mistake to fall in love with a married man. Dating him secretly is one thing, but most relationships of this kind tend to get very messy for everyone involved when you fall in love with the married man. Don’t get possessive and keep a plan in mind for where you want this to go.
Set a goal for where you see yourself in the short and long-term, and don’t include him. You need to focus on you and where you want to be, not on making him happy. If you see yourself settled down and married, consider breaking it off with the married man you are dating and starting fresh.
If you see yourself just enjoying casual relationships, then by all means stick with him for as long as you enjoy the experience. Just remember that you can’t expect him to be loyal or faithful to you, and there’s no reason for you to be faithful or loyal to him either.
As soon as the excitement or enjoyment wears off, or you are finding yourself wanting something a little more emotionally involved with some commitment, break it off. The married man is not the guy who will make you happy in the long-run, even if he can make you happy in the moment.
Consider setting a timeline for how long you want to see him and make it clear to him that this is just a casual thing. If you can do that and stick to it, you can find that dating a married man can have its own benefits and rewards despite the risks.
You are married but slowly falling in love with someone else? Read here on how to decide what to do.
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This may sound harsh and if you are dreaming of a life together with the married man you are dating, it may come across as a hard reality check. But it’s true and you should never forget the base facts that serve as the foundation of what he is doing with you while married.
You may feel a connection with him and he may be a great person, but in the end you should never expect that this kind of relationship develops into anything serious, long-term, or committed. You are the other woman, and he may in fact have other women besides you and his wife.
The best thing to do with this kind of relationship is to treat it as a casual dating experience and to be discreet about it. Try to be as respectful to the wife as you can be, all things considered. Avoid their home even if he insists, and don’t become jealous of her or any other women he’s dating.
In the end, you have to focus on yourself and keeping yourself emotionally healthy. Know what you are getting into and keep it casual. Establish clear boundaries for you and him and plan for your future, ideally in a way that focuses on you and what you want, and not what he wants.