10 Harsh-But-True Facts About Being In Love With A Married Man
Will he ever leave his wife ... and should you even want him to?
If you're in love with a married man and hope he'll leave his spouse for you, I have some bad news to share. Being in love with and attached to an already committed man is difficult, especially when most people view a woman they know is having an affair with a married man as a heartless homewrecker.
There isn’t a lot of scientific data on these types of extramarital relationships, but what we do know appears to be reliable. And what we know is that men rarely leave their wives for the woman with whom they are cheating.
The most recent statistics show that only 3 to 5% of married men who have affairs go on to divorce their wife and marry their mistress, and the current divorce rate for second marriages is thought to be around 60%.
These numbers are grim, to say the least.
Therefore, if you are sleeping with a married man in the hope you will eventually get him all to yourself, your chances of ever having that successful relationship with him are slim to none.
Despite these horrible odds, many women carry on with this type of arrangement, even as other potential mates, childbearing opportunities and life in general idly slip by.
To help motivate you to get out immediately and not stay the course with a married man, here are ten essential considerations if he really does leave his spouse for you:
1. Your relationship is already off to a troubling start.
It began based on deceit and dishonesty, which is definitely not a good beginning. I am not sure if any woman (or man) looking for love would ever say, “I would like to find a dishonest person.”
2. Good husbands do not cheat on their wives.
They work on the problems in their marriages. He will not magically morph into a good guy who becomes a good husband to you. His behavior — call it immoral, narcissistic, egotistical, or just plain old being a jerk — is part of him, whether he’s married, divorced, remarried or single.
3. You have been living in a fantasy world.
You get his best side. You two are always doing something fun, novel, romantic, or sexual. Such experiences add to the rush of endorphins you get whenever you see him. You do not get to see everything about him, and, therefore, you build up a particular false image of him.
4. You don’t know what it’s like to be involved in his day-to-day life.
If the infidelity is discovered, he might then be in crisis over choosing his marriage or you.
Once that happens, he will not be as present, fun, or exciting. He may even start to have difficulty sexually. When you finally get to see all his habits, quirks, and moods, you may decide you don’t like them. You may even decide you don’t like him.
5. He may realize you aren't right for him.
If he’s like many cheating men, you served a purpose while he was married, but later, you may no longer be needed. Likewise, one of you may decide you're simply not a match once you are in a regular relationship, which will lead to resentment and hurt.
6. His extended family, children and friends might dislike and/or never accept you.
You might be viewed as a homewrecker (or worse). You may not be welcomed by his family and friends. If he gets serious about choosing to marry or live with you, are you ready to be a stepmother? How well do you think this transition is going to go over with his children?
Having stepchildren puts significant stress on even the healthiest remarriages.
7. His former wife will always remain in your lives if they have children.
If the discovery of the affair and the resultant divorce was a shock to her, you might become the target of her anger. Inside, she is likely t feel shock and despair. Her world has crumbled, and she is grieving, which is sure to have a negative impact on you directly or indirectly.
8. You may never be able to trust him fully.
If you get the guy, will you feel deep down that he would not do the same cheating behavior to you? You might not be able to let your guard down and relax, even if he ends up with you.
9. You will be forever branded as the other woman or mistress.
Anyone who meets you or gets to know you by way of these circumstances will find it hard to not view you critically. It may seem unfair, but this is powerful stuff, and one of those things that can stay with you.
10. You might feel extreme culpability over what has happened.
If he is now an outcast from his family and friends, you might feel awful about it.
Such guilt may be healthy because it means you realize you are partly to blame for creating this problem, but it can also seriously eat away at you and cast a dark cloud over your head.
I know there are exceptions to every rule, including items listed here.
If a man is leaving his spouse for you, he should have be actively planning and in the process of doing so already, not just saying he will now because you came in the picture. He should also leave in a reasonably short time, and perhaps be willing to work on himself in therapy, as well as with you in couples’ therapy, to make sure your relationship has the best chance of success given your complicated beginning.
If you are one of the women with life on hold, don’t waste another second of time with this pseudo-relationship. You are worthy of an emotionally available partner with integrity, honesty and a willingness to be fully engaged and intimate in life with you (and only you).
Dr. Marni Feuerman is a licensed psychotherapist and author of Ghosted and Breadcrumbed: Stop Falling for Unavailable Men and Get Smart about Healthy Relationships available on Amazon and everywhere else books are sold. Sign up for her newsletter to keep in touch and get the latest content on love, dating and relationships.
*Author note: This article was originally written for YourTango.com.