If you are thinking about having an affair, let me first tell you why dating a married man (or woman) will only lead to heartbreak.
The concept that dating a married man (or woman) will only lead to a broken seems like a no brainer – they are married and therefore off the market. A vow has been made that both people need to honor and straying from those vows just shouldn’t be an option.
Unfortunately, in this world of life and love, it’s just not that simple. Married people do, for many reasons, get involved with people outside of their marriage. Perhaps they are unhappy or insecure or lonely or chronically unfaithful. For whatever reason, people stray.
While it seems that the spouse would be the one left most injured in this situation, it is often the person who chooses to date the married person who will suffer most. Don’t believe me?
Here are 5 reasons why dating a married man or woman will only lead to heartbreak. Read them and you will see that my words are true.
#1 – They will never leave their spouse. Ever.
I had a client who reconnected with a college boyfriend via Facebook. They struck up an innocent conversation and agreed to meet the next time he was in the city for work. He was married and she was not. Unfortunately, when they met under the clock at Grand Central Station their college connection sparked back up immediately.
He had been unhappily married for years and she was very lonely after her divorce and the connection was so organic and easy. Within days they fell in bed, within weeks they were professing their love for each other and within a month he said he was leaving his wife for her. She was so happy. All of her dreams were coming true.
Two years later, my client was still waiting for her lover to leave his wife.
Her lover genuinely loved her, that she knew, but there was always a reason why he couldn’t leave. His daughter was having a hard time, his son was going off to college, a summer vacation had been planned, the holidays were approaching.
‘I will do it after that’ he was always promising. And he never did. Never.
I can tell you story after story after story like this one, where the married person swears they will leave their spouse for their new lover but they don’t. They don’t want to hurt their children or make a decision that has financial consequences or disappoint extended family or damage their reputation in the community. So, they don’t leave.
And, really, why do they need to? They have you hook, line and sinker. You are sitting at home waiting for them, always available for support and sex. They have everything they want from you without giving up their family.
So, first and foremost, know that, one of the major reasons why you should never date a married man (or woman) is because they will never leave their spouse. Period.
#2 – Life as you know it will cease to exist.
When you are dating married man or woman, your life will cease to move forward in any meaningful way.
Think about when you start dating someone. You meet, you are attracted and you get to know each other. You talk about hopes and dreams for the future. You commit to being exclusive. You meet each other’s friends and family. You take steps to move in together and maybe get married. All of those things are the natural progression of a healthy relationship.
When you get involved with a married man or woman, everything is different. Yes, you have the fun beginning – the meeting, the attraction, the staying up all night talking, the belief that you have found the love of your life. But that is where it ends.
If you are involved with a married man or woman, you will never meet their friends and family, you will never be able to take steps towards a future together. All of your talk about a future together will be empty because your person isn’t leaving their spouse.
So, there you are, in stasis, not moving forward with life and love because you are waiting for your person to take action. You get sadder and lonelier and angrier and obsessed with the situation you are in. You give up dating and friends and hobbies so that you can be available whenever your lover wants to see you.
Life as you know it stops.
Life is short and every minute that you spend waiting for someone to leave their spouse and commit to you is a wasted one and one that will keep you from finding the person who can love you fully and give you the life you want.
#3 – You will hate yourself.
For my client, one of the reasons that her lover was so attracted to her in the beginning was because she was a hot ticket. She had a cool studio in the city from which she had started her own business. She did volunteer work and made a huge difference in the lives of people living with mental illness. She was a great parent and an amazing lover. All of those things made him fall in love with her hard and fast.
Over the two years she waited for her lover to leave his wife, my client’s life fell apart. Her work suffered, she lost touch with her friends, volunteering because increasingly hard and depression was her constant companion.
Furthermore, she detested herself for her inability to walk away from her lover. She grew to realize over time that his promises, while well meant, were empty. She knew that she was lonely and angry and that her self-hatred grew every day and yet she found herself incapable of picturing a life without him and she just couldn’t say goodbye.
One day, my client told me that she felt like a shadow of the person she was when she started out on this affair. She didn’t have to self-confidence to take the steps that she needed to take to get her life back. She was lost and empty.
The love that initially fed her, body and soul, was sucking her dry.
#4 – You will always feel alone.
The days that my client felt most acutely unhappy in her relationship with her married man were those special days – the birthdays, anniversaries and holidays.
She spent her birthday alone with a bouquet of flowers that had been delivered in the morning. She spent Christmas alone, looking at pictures of his family around the tree that his daughter had posted on Instagram. Weekends were spent waiting for text messages. Night times were not for dating but for watching TV. Alone.
Once, for his birthday, she bought him a new briefcase – a beautiful leather one to replace his raggedy old canvas one. She presented it to him with excitement only to be told after he opened it that his wife had purchased him a new one and that he would have to use it. She was devastated. All of the thought and love that she had put into the gift was for not.
So, as you consider embarking on an affair with a married man or woman, consider that you will spend a lot of time alone, waiting on your person to take steps to be with you and knowing that chances are good that they won’t.
#5 – It will all fall apart in the end.
Every healthy relationship is based on two things – communication and trust. An affair involves the absence of both of those things.
Obviously, if you are dating a married man or woman, you are involved with someone who is cheating on their partner and all trust is nonexistent. How can you ultimately trust someone who you know is willing to cheat? The old adage “When a man marries his mistress he creates a vacancy’ rings true every time.
Furthermore, the foundation of a healthy relationship is communication and if most conversations are full of lies and false promises and lead to only hurt and disappointment, healthy communication will cease and any relationship will be doomed from the start.
In other words, if in fact your dreams do come true and your lover leaves their partner, your relationship will be doomed to fail. After all that pain and suffering. Doomed.
Dating a married man (or woman) is an excellent way to ensure your heart, and your life, will be shattered into a million pieces.
Know that, if you choose to go down the infidelity path, your lover will never leave his spouse and his family, your life will be put on hold, you will always be lonely and your self-esteem will plummet. Moreover, should you ever get the relationship you desire, it will be dead on arrival because trust and communication will no longer exist.
I know that right now your married person seems like the answer to all of your dreams but know that they are, instead, the stuff that nightmares are made of.
I am a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. My writing has been published on The Huffington Post, Prevention, Psych Central, Pop Sugar, MSN and The Good Man Project, among others. I work with all kinds of people to help them go from depressed and overwhelmed to confident and happy in their relationships and in their world.