A 5-Step Plan To Stop Being The Mistress And Finally Walk Away From An Affair
Updated: Jun 6
It's time to move on and find a real relationship.
No one sets out to be "the other woman." True, some women may set out to have an affair or a fling with a married man; however, most will avoid intentionally falling in love with a married man.
Despite the best of intentions, you may suddenly realize one day that the "casual" fling has turned into a full-blown love affair. Whether the love affair is mutual or one-sided, being in love with a married man rarely works out in your favor in the end. In fact, it often brings on nothing but pain and heartache.
Knowing that and doing something to change it are often two different things. Learning how to end an affair with a married man is harder to do than with a single man, for a variety of reasons. The good news is that it can be done by employing a few hardcore tactics.
There are a number of psychological and practical reasons why falling out of love with a married man is frequently more complicated than with an available man. Often, a married man spends a considerable amount of money on his "mistress," whether in the form of lavish gifts or straight out support; giving up that aspect of the affair can be difficult.
When you end a marriage or long-term relationship with a man, you typically divide the assets and walk away with something; however, when you end a relationship with a married man, you walk away completely empty-handed in most cases.
Falling out of love with an available man generally happens because the relationship has simply run its course, or because he did something that changed how you feel about him. Ironically, that something is often cheating behavior.
With a married man, you only see him at his best for short periods of time. You don't spend enough time with him to get bored of him, and the relationship never really gets out of the "honeymoon" phase. It's a constant rush of endorphins and adrenaline — so hard to resist.
As a result, it doesn't run a "normal course," so to speak. In addition, since you have already accepted infidelity from him, which is generally considered one of the worst relationship "crimes," he is unlikely to do anything that angers you enough to cause you to fall out of love.
Once you have decided that continuing the relationship with your married man is only going to bring you heartache in the end and that the relationship is unlikely to end without you taking affirmative action, it is time to do something about it.
Here's how to end an affair with a married man for good and reclaim your life:
1. Find a distraction
One option is to fall in love with another man, preferably a single and available one. Interestingly, many women who become involved with a married man are surprisingly faithful to him.
Even if you are inherently faithful, the bottom line is that he is not being faithful to you and you owe him no loyalty. Get out and open yourself up to other possibilities.
Ending a relationship when you are still in love with someone is hard to do, but it can be easier if you can open yourself up to another relationship, or at least the possibility of a hot, sexy distraction.
2. Up the ante on the financial front
If you have never actually asked for money or gifts, start asking. If you do typically ask, ask for more. While he may acquiesce to begin with, he will eventually get irritated with your requests, leading to a rift in the relationship. In the meantime, stash the money or gifts in case you are left financially worse off when the relationship finally ends.
3. Spend more time together
Another tactic to employ, when possible, is to push for more time with your married man. Extended periods of time together are even better. When you only see someone for brief periods of time, they only show you their best side. Try spending a few days with him and you might be surprised at what you see.
Let those little things irritate you and don't hold back when you find yourself disagreeing with him. Although picking a fight might be going too far, don't avoid one either.
4. Let it all hang out
Let your bad side show as well. As he has likely only shown you his good side, you have probably done the same. Now is the time to let loose — complain, cry, yell and develop expectations.
In short, act as though this is a normal relationship. You will likely be surprised at how quickly Mr. Wonderful loses his halo and you start to wonder why you ever fell in love with him in the first place.
5. Love yourself instead
Finally, and most importantly, fall in love with yourself. Ask yourself why you accept the "breadcrumbs" thrown to you by this person. Remind yourself that you deserve love and that you are worthy of a real and loving relationship.
Dr. Marni Feuerman is a licensed psychotherapist and author of Ghosted and Breadcrumbed: Stop Falling for Unavailable Men and Get Smart about Healthy Relationships. 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. It was viewed over 100,000 times in the first year it was published. The success of the article gave me the original idea to write my self help book, Ghosted and Breadcrumbed .
You may also like to read: 10 Harsh But True Facts About Being in Love With a Married Man