If you’ve watched Unfaithful or even Love Actually, you probably know that dating a married man rarely leads anywhere good. The dangers of dating a married man are far too many, especially if you’re single. It seems like a no-brainer that one should stay away from married men but we understand that the heart wants what it wants. So, despite your better judgment, you may find yourself drawn to a married man, falling for his charm.
While the relationship may start on a high note and be all kinds of exciting, the disadvantages of dating a married man soon become apparent. For one, it will never be like a typical relationship. He won’t be able to be by your side through thick and thin, highs and lows, good times and bad. His life with his wife, and children if there are any, will always get in the way of your connection. That’s just the sad reality of dating a married man.
If you’re a married woman dating a married man, these complexities get complicated manifold. In the end, there just may not be enough time, energy or avenues to nurture this relationship to its full potential. In the event that you end up falling in love with him, his unavailability and inability to prioritize you like a partner should can become a source of constant heartache.
Soon, it may begin to feel like dating a married man is a waste of time. If you are in such a relationship and already feel like you are wasting time with a married man, or confused about whether to step in or out of it, here are some points to consider.
Why You Should Never Date A Married Man
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No matter how deliciously forbidden dating a married man may feel, you will end up hurting yourself, eventually, no matter how beautiful the feeling is. Think about it, the married man you are dating is cheating on his wife. This is among the foremost dangers of dating a married man since it indicates that cheating is his tendency.
If he can cheat on his wife, he can cheat on you as well. Do you really need to live with that constant uncertainty and dread? Even if you’re dating a married man who is separated, there still ought to be a lot of baggage that he may still be dealing with. If he is separated but not legally divorced yet, there is no certainty how things may pan out between him and his estranged wife.
What if you’re making plans of spending your life with him once his divorce comes through and he ends up reconciling with his wife to keep the family from falling apart? What if you’re falling in love with a married man and he gives no signs he will leave his wife for you? The long and short of it is that the dangers of dating a married man are often multifaceted and complex, and there are no easy answers to the storm of questions and doubts this relationship may bring about in your mind.
A grim reality of dating a married man is that it is rare and extremely hard to build a wholesome, healthy relationship with him. You deserve better. These are just a few of the many, many reasons not to date a married man. If that’s got you thinking about whether or not to continue dating a married man or act on your feelings for one, here are 11 other reasons to rethink this relationship:
1. You will always come second
In a relationship with a married man, you will always come second, or at least it will feel like that. He may pledge eternal devotion to you and promise that you’re his ‘real love and life’. But, take a look at his actions instead of these over-the-top words.
Is he constantly canceling plans with you because his wife needs him to run errands or his kids need to be picked up from school? Is he constantly juggling you and his family schedule, and more often than not, you’re the ball he drops? This could also be a sign that your lover is not trustworthy.
Without questioning his commitment, let us just say that more often than not, you will feel like you’re playing second fiddle. Despite his assurances to you, you will end up hearing a lot of ‘I won’t be able to make it today’ or ‘Sunday is with the family’. Then, there will be all these rules about when you can or cannot contact him.
This may mean that you have to weather many emotional upheavals and moments of doubts about your place in his life all by yourself. He will expect you to understand his compulsions. Ask yourself: who is understanding your needs and expectations? One of the many disadvantages of dating a married man is that there will always be a wall between you and your partner that you won’t be able to breach.
2. Say goodbye to PDA
Another one of the disadvantages of dating a married man is that even the most routine acts of PDA can become the stuff of your dreams alone. If you are someone who loves public displays of affection, forget about it, at least till your relationship is out in the open. There will be no holding hands in public, or stealing a quick kiss, or even walking with your arms around each other. And forget about social media PDA.
Even if you’re dating a married man who is separated, he’s going to treat you like a hidden treat until he has formally acknowledged your relationship to people who are dear to him. Likewise, if you’re a married woman dating a married man, a better part of your energy and effort will go into ensuring you are not seen together in public.
You may not be able to go out on dates or do things together, not as often as any other couple would anyway. If even you do go out with your married beau, you will both be on the edge, acutely aware of the danger involved. This danger might be sexy in the beginning, but gradually, it becomes exhausting and ends up making you feel discontent and small. It’s not worth it, and could also be one of the signs that a married man is using you.
Related Reading: Falling In Love With A Married Man? Here’s How You Lie To Yourself
3. You have to lie, more than ever
One of the worst dangers of dating a married man is that you are keeping your relationship under wraps. Most people will not understand your need to be together and even if they do, they will try to convince you to get out of it because they care for your wellbeing.
You will find yourself in situations where lying is the easiest way out when your friends and family ask you, “Why are you wasting time with a married man?” All this secrecy and constant lying can make you feel like dating a married man is a sin. Even if your feelings for each other are genuine, the secret nature of your relationship will induce some degree of guilt, which can bog you down in the long run.
When you’re constantly forced to lie about where you were, or why you were seen with him, it takes a toll on your relationship and your mental health. This is one of the more serious consequences of dating a married man. And honestly, you don’t need the stress.
4. You will be the center of gossip
One of the most painful challenges of dating a married man is the unending, often malicious, gossip you’ll be dealing with. Whether you met this man in office or through a friend, once people realize something is up, tongues will wag. And more often than not, they will not be kind.
More than focusing on your relationship, you will be worrying over being the center of attraction and for all the wrong reasons. This is the stark reality of dating a married man, and one that is terrible to deal with, especially if gossip is against your values.
If you’re a married woman dating a married man, then this salacious talk and constant gossip can impact more than just your peace of mind. You may find yourself losing sleep over the horrific consequences if the affair comes to light and your spouse learns about your infidelity.
No matter how much you justify your relationship in your mind, doubts will creep in if you’re constantly exposed to people talking about it or what will happen if people get to know. The fact that you’re spending so much time and energy justifying this relationship to yourself and those around you is a sign that it is not the best one for you. Even the best of relationships fail when under scrutiny all the time. Maybe it’s time you moved on.
Related Reading: I Had An Affair With A Married Man And I Hoped For An Ever After
5. People will see you as the ‘home wrecker’
Want to know one of the main disadvantages of dating a married man? He’s probably told you time and again that his marriage was on the rocks even before he met you. But, whether or not you were the reason his married life is falling apart, in the eyes of society, his family and friends, you will always be the ‘other woman’ who broke up a happy family. This will be intolerable, especially if you have already started feeling guilty about the relationship.
The psychological effects of being the other woman can be devastating. This is one of the major reasons not to date a married man. The ‘home wrecker’ label is hurtful and will affect you, no matter how intense your love for this married man is. If it’s a choice between a deeply toxic relationship and maintaining your sanity and dignity, we strongly suggest that you choose the latter.
No matter how strong your love for each other is, it is not worth being labeled a home-wrecker and doubting yourself all the time. The reality of dating a married man, especially if you become emotionally invested, is not pretty in the long run. Finding ways of self-preservation is more important than figuring out how to keep this relationship going.
6. Being boycotted
If you find yourself wasting time with a married man, and then realize that you’re slowly losing all your other relationships, don’t be surprised. Your relationship will always be a grey area for most people, even those who are close to you. With the perception that dating a married man is a sin still prevalent in society, most people will find no reason to stand up for you.
First of all, you may struggle to confide even in your closest people about your relationship. When that relationship is far from fulfilling, this can become an increasingly lonely experience. Even if you do, most people will advise you to end things and move on rather than understand your situation.
If you continue the relationship anyway, they will step back to show solidarity with their families or societal norms. Some may even call you names or boycott you completely. Unfortunate but true, this is a hardcore reality of dating a married man. Maybe right now, you feel that you need anything other than your love for your married man. But you do need your friends and a support system. This is one of the many reasons not to date a married man.
Related Reading: Questions To Ask Yourself When You’re Falling For A Married Man
7. You will have to practice great self-control
You thought love sets you free? Not this one. You will find yourself adhering to a rule book but wanting to rip it apart every time. There will be times when you can’t call or even text him. More often than not, the married counterpart calls when the field is clear or when they can talk freely. You will find them hanging up on you abruptly, hurting you every time.
The same is true for prospects of meeting and spending time together. Your partner will meet you at their convenience and on their schedule. More often than not, you may have no say in when you’re going to see him and for how long. Even in your hours of need, you cannot count on your married partner to be by your side. Having your heart skinned by dashed hopes and unmet expectations is one of the biggest dangers of dating a married man.
You cannot give vent to your feelings, you cannot communicate freely in the relationship. Where does all this pent-up frustration go? It eventually ends up hurting you and your relationship. Watch your partner’s behavior patterns carefully and ask yourself if you need to get over a married man you’re attracted to. These might even be signs that a married man is using you.
8. Then there are kids…
Dating a married man can be murky enough. But if he has children, you just stepped into a whole swamp of quicksand. It will get more and more difficult to justify your relationship with him when you know his kids need a stable home and family. Even if you’re dating a married man who is separated, his children will become a huge factor in determining how this relationship plays out.
Irrespective of the nature of his relationship with his wife, his children will remain his priority. Making enough space in his life for you to fit in as an integral part of it may not be the easiest thing for him.
Even though you never planned this, you will constantly feel guilty about the relationship, about taking their father away from them. There will be times when you want to walk away even though you love him and you are perfect for each other. In the end, you will feel that all this while, you were wasting time with a married man.
9. Rubber band relationship
The challenges of dating a married man continue. A relationship with a married man is like a rubber band. You get close to him, then realize what you’ve gotten into, and then start distancing yourself. The distance makes you realize how much they mean to you and the attraction becomes stronger and you’re back. The toxic cycle repeats!
Anita, a married woman dating a married man, has been caught in this gut-wrenching cycle for the past 9 years and now feels extremely exhausted and worn out by the conflicting feelings she has for her affair partner. “I reconnected with my ex on Facebook after a college reunion event, and things just took off from there. It was as if we’d never been apart.
“Before I knew it I got sucked in too deep and all my feelings for him resurfaced whereas he has been rather closed up about how he feels. This has looped us in a cycle of an on-again-off-again relationship. We go through the same highs and lows over and over again. While the highs are exhilarating, the lows are gut-wrenchingly painful,” she says.
Anita’s experience is not an exception but a norm. One of the key disadvantages of dating a married man is that he will never be able to give you a steady, stable relationship. That will invariably take a toll on your bond as well as your mental health, self-esteem and so much more.
You’re intensely attracted to him, your conversation is sparkling, the physical intimacy is wonderful but you’re constantly riddled with doubt and guilt and unsure of yourself. This kind of off-and-on, push-and-pull relationship might seem thrilling, but trust us, it’s exhausting and unhealthy.
Related Reading: Will He Cheat Again: 11 Signs To Watch For
Let’s face it: this relationship is doomed, either for you or for his wife. The reality of dating a married man is that there can be no happily ever after for everyone involved in this situation. There will be heartbreak(s), either every day or once and for all. The odds are that you will be the one that will get the ax in the end, be it 6 months down the line or 6 years.
This will hurt you bitterly if you have fallen in love with a married man. If he does end up leaving his wife eventually, there will always be resentment and sorrow lurking somewhere. Even if you are dating a married man who is separated, the baggage of his past will loom large over your relationship.
Maybe you went into this knowing full well that pain and doubt are part of the consequences of dating a married man. Maybe you thought you could handle it. But since you’re only human, the heartbreak will affect you and make you deeply aware of the dangers of dating a married man.
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11. Ghosts of past life and baggage
Even though you might be perfect for each other, his past relationship will haunt him and you if you decide to be together. You may never have been married but he has and brings a lot of emotional baggage with him. It might be an unknown threat to your new relationship, more serious than you can imagine.
He won’t come to you as an individual, but as someone with a lot of memories of the past, that might have an impact on both of you in the future. This is a harsh reality of dating a married man that you have to accept. Being involved with a married man is dangerous and confusing. Before you decide whether it is for you or not, here’s our two cents of advice – Love may not conquer all, and while it may be worth fighting for but not worth fighting over.
So, keep your emotions for someone who could bring you peace and an uncomplicated relationship. Aren’t these enough reasons not to date a married man? It’s better to look for a man who will be dedicated to you and will weave dreams and memories exclusively with you. Good luck.