The very nature of human life is defined by its precariousness, its uncertainty. Yet, all of us desire stability, sustenance, and safety. And that’s why we plan, strategize, and aim – with little knowledge that when it comes to falling in love, all such measures can evaporate in one single moment. You don’t even realize it and one fine day you’re thinking to yourself, “Oh no! I am in love with a married man!”And that’s why it’s a fall, a free fall!
Not without its consequences though. Some survive and some perish. But sometimes, some of us choose the path of suffering and perish with full knowledge. And that’s definitely emotional suicide. When you fall for a married man, the journey is anything but easy.
In this article, Dr. Gaurav Deka (MBBS, PG diplomas in Psychotherapy and Hypnosis), an internationally acclaimed Transpersonal Regression Therapist, who specializes in trauma resolution and is a mental health and wellness expert, writes about how to deal with the emotional curveball of falling in love with a married man.
I Am In Love With A Married Man, What To Do?
If falling is inevitable, let’s at least fasten your seatbelts and hope to prevent it from being a bumpy ride. If you’re falling in love too fast and that too with someone who checks all the boxes of being unavailable, knowing when to start pulling the breaks is crucial to saving yourself from devastating consequences.
Yes, once the deed is done, there is no going back but there is still something you can do to protect your feelings and prevent things from getting worse.
Balancing your expectations
Let’s start with the pros first – given that the dark side is known to almost all of us. It’s not so bleak you see if you have your intentions and expectations well in place. One of the pros of falling in love with a married man has to be this: you don’t have to take over the numerous duties that automatically would have been dumped on you had you been his wife. We all know what I’m talking about.
You only get his love, the good sex perhaps, and the once-in-a-while secret dinners or getaways – along with the every day phone calls.
Of course, our first advice would be to nip this in the bud and look elsewhere for a partner. Leaving a married man for good is actually the best course of action. However, if you want to continue down this treacherous path, know how to keep your expectations on the lowest of the low.
You’ll have to have a very clear sense of boundaries and you’ll need to do away with emotions like jealousy and insecurity. The sudden absence of your partner, along with the thought that he’s still having sex with his wife and you are not the only woman in his life, can be soul-crushing.
If need be, seek professional help because being in love with a married man is no joke and it can really take a toll on your mental health. But if you want to hold on to this relationship and make it work, you will need it way down on your priority list. Your driving force or even your poison has to be something else: career/ambition could be one of the options.
Related Reading: Expectations Finish Off Relationships; Vicky Kaushal
How aware are you of your self-worth?
“I am in love with a married man!” Yes, this alarming thought can bring a whole host of changes to your life. Remember, that in this relationship, legally, financially and emotionally, you clearly have no claim. There can be legal complications of dating a married man too.
Besides, he may not be available to you the way another partner would be. He may be a very kind-hearted gentleman. But he is practical too. Otherwise, he would have left his wife a long time ago. And that’s exactly what makes him unavailable.
There may be signs a married man cares for you and those every day phone calls may make you believe that he is always around. Remember, deep down it’s as much a secret for him as it is for you. Therefore, there is fear too in your relationship with a married man. Yes, there are dangers of dating a married man but don’t let this fear get the better of you.
Always keep friends close by. It’s okay to reveal it to that super-close bunch of people (2 or at the max 3 in number) and keep your support group ready. This will also help you end your guilt trip – if you have one. There is enough booze, fun and dancing that can make you focus on the good things in life and forget about the constant longing and pain that may come from being in the ‘I fell in love with a married man’ stage.
Affairs with married men psychology
There have been a lot of studies on why women find married men attractive and vice-versa. It’s not just a phenomenon noticed in humans but in other animals as well. Being in love with a married man is the result of deeper psychological phenomenons and we are here to uncover that. So, why does this happen?
- Commitment/intimacy issues: Some women who have a hard time committing to people find themselves automatically attracted to people who are emotionally unavailable. They intrinsically know that these men will not be able to offer them a long-term commitment, and hence, they will not have to come to terms with their intimacy issues
- Married men have the stamp of a good partner: The fact that they are married gives them the stamp of someone mature, stable and unafraid of commitment. They took the plunge to marry, didn’t they? See how this is contradictory? We realize this but sometimes our brains do not. They still tend to think that the entire image of a married man is that of a trustworthy and dependable one, despite him being willing to have an affair
- Ego boost/superiority complex: Some women tend to get a false sense of superiority from the fact that a married man who has a wife and maybe children still chooses her over them and is willing to put his marriage at risk. Although this is narcissistic behavior, sometimes it can’t be helped and makes people feel special
For men, the idea is to keep the spice alive: which mostly is the human tendency of pining for things that aren’t completely attainable. That’s more than half the reason why women get into a relationship with a married man.
Is it the sex or love?
If it’s only the lust story, then one can do away with the ‘no hang-ups’ business. But unfortunately, for women, it doesn’t work that way. Something that may start as a casual office romance might eventually find an emotional hook to lodge itself in the heart with such permanency that pain is inevitable at the end of such an experience.
Keeping emotional boundaries for yourself is the trick. But then such things aren’t exactly taught to us and we have to figure them out with experience.
Being In Love With A Married Man And How To Stop It?
“I am in love with a married man!” Well, oops. As already implied multiple times, there is no way that the collateral damage can be averted. If you are really looking for survival in such a relationship, I’m sorry but you’ll have to have the skin of a rhino! No matter how much he complains about his marriage and talks badly about it, remember he isn’t leaving it for you.
- Look for answers from your own self. Ask yourself open-ended questions: Do you respect yourself? Are you really happy in this relationship with a married man? Are you okay with being the second person in his life? Ask yourself, what is that hook that is keeping you here, with him. Is it truly love or is it something else
- Be honest with yourself. After you are done with this introspection, you might realize the reason you fell in love with a married man, to begin with. Perhaps there’s more to it than what you see on the face of it. It usually goes deeper than something that just happened like the reasons mentioned above. That’s why it is important is that you be honest with yourself
- End the relationship. After you have identified the real problem, it is time to end things. Put a stone on your heart and rip the bandaid off. Leaving a married man is hard. But we can guarantee you that it’s easier than staying in love with a married man and living a life of uncertainty and secrecy
- Take your time to heal. Do not put pressure on yourself or dive into self-loathing. Take your time to heal after falling in love with a married man and then leaving him. It’s obviously been a hellish ride and you deserve some time to yourself. Go on a detox or a vacation. Re-learn to love yourself and know your worth
You know you deserve better than this and are strong enough to leave behind your “I am in love with a married man” phase. Leaving a married man for good is the best thing you can do for yourself. Your love might be true and he might give you butterflies right now, but sadly this will only end in an ugly way in the future. However, if you do decide to stay involved, remember to put yourself first and keep your expectations low, to soften the blow that will come. What’s your stake?
That’s up to you. It does happen more often than you think but sadly, it does not always end well.
The biggest danger is the feelings of insecurity that will creep up on you. You might always feel like he is going to leave you or that he loves his wife more. At the end of the day, it is his job to prioritize his wife more and it will make him put you on the back burner.
A married man already has a partner he can love and fall back on. He might only be with you because he wants a taste of something different and is looking for a little excitement. While you might fall in love, his feelings could just be temporary.