This story rarely ends well.
Despite what you know, you persevere. Why throw away a relationship that has been nothing but perfect, apart from this minor hiccup?
Before you make the assumption, let me inform you that the following won’t be a litany of reasons why you shouldn’t be dating a married woman. To be fair, most will advise against continuing this unholy relationship, but not all. Let’s start with reasons why you should prolong this forbidden love.
What’s The Situation?
This is a question only you can answer. There are a myriad of reasons why married women date and why men choose to date these women. In the psychotherapist Esther Perel’s famed book, The State Of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity she asks why people look outside of the marriage for sexual and emotional comfort. She conducted most of her information through marriage counseling sessions with clients. She found that infidelity is universally condemned but also universally practiced and that each case is nuanced.
When we learn that our friend’s wife has been cheating on him, we immediately place the blame on the adulterer. But is this always fair? Perel asks this difficult question. As a therapist she encountered hundreds of men and women that had strayed. What she found was that all had looked outside of their marriages and relationships to fill a void.
One of her clients cheated on her husband because he had a chronic illness that forced him to live a sedentary life. Another woman gravitated towards a co-worker because –unlike her husband- he gave her a sense of self-worth that she wasn’t finding at home. Filling a void with the connection a spouse receives from an external source doesn’t necessarily make them a monster. But what does all this mean for you?
You’re the one making her feel whole again. She’s into you because you check off any number of boxes. A lack of social connection from her husband forced her to look outside of the marriage. You in turn are providing this woman with the happiness she wasn’t receiving from her marriage.
Yet despite all the good you’re doing in the moment, you still need to ask yourself the bothersome question of: “Am I a band aid or a long-term solution?”
Dating A Married Woman: What’s Your Goal?
What was your relationship goal before you found out she was married? Chances are it was to find a woman you love and strike up a long-term relationship. Did this goal change once you found out she was married, if so, why?
Perhaps you found a woman that you love, but she’s already taken. Taking this new information into account, do you now diminish your goal of entering into a healthy, long-term relationship with a woman you love?
These are tough questions. My job isn’t to provide you with an answer, but to get you to think about the situation at hand.
Your relationship goals might have changed since learning that your lover has a husband. But is your new goal really what you want or are you just being persuaded by your illicit lover? Don’t let this relationship impede you from obtaining the relationship you really want. If you just got out of a relationship and are looking for nothing more than a carnal affair with a married woman, maybe this dynamic works for the moment.
Think Of The Best Case Scenario
This is what the ideal future looks like. She leaves her husband, moves in with you, and you two sustain the same emotional and sexual effervescence you had when the affair began. Now let’s shatter that fantasy with a question –how probable is this?
Have you broached the possibility of her leaving her husband? Is this even what you want? Asking someone to marry you is one thing but asking a married woman with a complex family life of her own to do so is an entirely different proposal. If you can’t be certain of sustaining the same relationship you two had before becoming a legitimate couple, is the risk really worth it? She might still have the opportunity to salvage her marriage and family life. But if she abruptly tells her husband and children that she’s moving in with another man, there is no going back.
Those considering marrying an already married woman should heed the sage advice of psychotherapist Esther Perel. There’s always a reason that partners choose to stay. Perel urges people in your position to first ascertain why the married woman you’re seeing has decided to cheat on her husband.
It may be as simple as her not receiving sufficient sexual gratification from her husband. Though you also need to consider the possibility that your partner isn’t capable of a monogamous relationship. Investigate their relationship history as well as their beliefs on monogamy.
How Many Times Have You Seen Her?
If you started to date this married woman by accident, at what point did she tell you she was married –or did you find out without her telling you? She realizes that his is must-know information. Refusing to disclose this crucial information speaks to her character. This doesn’t mean that there’s causation between the length of time she waits to tell you and how psychopathic she is.
It’s plausible to believe that she simply doesn’t want to ruin a good thing. It’s also possible that the woman you’re slowly falling for has narcissistic or sociopathic tendencies. In spite of knowing that her actions will be perceived as immoral she refuses to confront her wrongdoing. She displays apathetic behavior when she refuses to inform both you and her husband of her actions.
Yet on the flip side, one can argue that she’s keeping this sensitive information inside because she doesn’t want to hurt the people closest to her. It’s a tough situation, but either way, the longer the secret breaths life, the more likely it is that’s she’s deeply conflicted or deeply flawed. Do you want either characteristic in a partner?
Have You Had Sex Yet?
A lack of sexual intimacy is one of the main reasons marriages terminate in divorce. Her partner may love her, but simply isn’t interested in sex anymore. So to address the need she looks outside of her marriage. That’s where you come in. If you and your illicit lover have a purely carnal relationship, then she’s using you as a sexual crutch. You’re the support system she needs to sustain her other relationship. Is this the case in your relationship? Or did your relationship grow from platonic to sexual in time.
If it’s the latter, she might not be using you for sex. Instead of a sexual void, she’s filling an emotional one. If she’s treating you as she would a partner, one could conclude that she’s testing the waters and is readying herself to leave her partner. This could also not be the case.
It may be that she will never leave her husband for the sake of keeping their family united. The fact of the matter is that there are plenty of reasons why she might be choosing to date you. The one near certainty is that she’s unwilling to give herself to you completely. You need to ask yourself if you’re willing to be a backup partner.
Did She Tell You She Was In An Open Relationship?
This changes the dynamic. By being upfront about the limitations of the relationship she’s giving you an option to opt in or out of a clearly defined relationship. Regardless of her relationship being open or not, this still might not be the type of relationship you’re looking for.
Not every open relationship is the same. Most however involve a primary partner (her husband) and peripheral lovers. Being on the periphery doesn’t grant you the same opportunities as being a primary partner. The rules she set with her husband won’t permit her to go on vacation with you, start a family, or move in together. These are the classical steps of any long-term relationship.
Be skeptical when she claims she’s in an open relationship. Inquire about the situation. Ask her about the parameters of the relationship and how it came about. You need to consider the possibility that she’s lying to sustain the relationship.
No matter what she tells you understand that she’s sharing a home, life, and family with another man. Should her extramarital activities not be consensual her husband will have an adverse reaction to becoming privy to his wife’s cheating.
There’s always a looming possibility that her life could come crumbling down because of her actions. How would you feel if you were an accomplice in her demise? Common sense indicates that her husband will be angered to learn that his wife has been unfaithful. He may take out his anger on her or even you. This is a risk that is forever accompanied by adultery.
Did She Tell You She Was Separated?
A separation is different than a divorce. Separation usually means that a divorce is in the works but not finalized. Legally if she’s separated, she’s still married to her husband. She might even live in the same home as her current spouse. This is a grey area that needs a splash of color.
Understand the situation at hand with probing questions, all the while remaining respectful. Here are the most important questions that will illuminate vital aspects of the relationship:
- Did you or your husband move out of the house?
- Where are the kids staying?
- How long have you been on your own?
- At what stage of the divorce process are you in?
Do You Still Feel Comfortable Dating A Married Woman?
The upside is limited. Nowadays less than 50% of marriages end in divorce. While this statistic might give you hope of her divorcing her husband for you, this next stat won’t. The divorce rate for second marriages is much higher than 50%. According to the data, if you two are to marry, there’s a good chance that your marriage will end the same way her first one did.
Are you prepared to deal with a potentially distraught husband, bitter children, and a conflicted lover? If not, there is a way out.
MegaDating Yourself To Freedom
It’s tough to leave someone –even a married woman- if you have no other prospects. No rational human would leave the warmth of a relationship when their only other option appears to be loneliness.
MegaDating is the act of dating prolifically. It’ll be easier to stop dating a married woman when you have multiple dates lined up for next week. Staying in a relationship that isn’t working is easy when there doesn’t seem to be another option. MegaDating makes these options known and gives you the courage to pull yourself away from an unwanted relationship.
MD uses various channels to meet women. Dating multiple women a month might sound like a far-fetched fantasy at the moment, but it isn’t. Channels such as online dating, social circles, and others can be utilized together to create a dating network. Within this network you’ll be able to mine for single women.
It’s not easy to leave a relationship full of affection. Knowing what’s best for you isn’t always the motivation needed to end a relationship. MegaDating is just one method that will help remove yourself from the situation.
To help you answer the big questions and create an exit plan, book a New Client 1-on-1 Skype session with me today so that we can figure out a plan together. During our 50 minutes together, we’ll also diagnose your dating history, create an action plan, and see if my 3 month coaching program could help you reach your current dating and relationship goals.