If you are dating a married man, you are definitely not alone. Affairs are a reality and have been since the beginning of time. However, just because something is common does not make it right. Dating a married man is fraught with difficulties and heartbreak for not only yourself, but everyone who is affected. Nonetheless, life is not always cut and dried and you may feel that you have mitigating circumstances that make the situation less concrete. Here are some things to consider if you are dating a married man.
The Status of His Marriage
Be careful with this one. The type of man who would have an affair is not necessarily the type of man who will tell the truth about his marriage. Do a little digging to find out if what he says is true. However, it is a reality that some couples choose to split for all intents and purposes but remain legally married for reasons ranging from laziness to tax breaks. If he truly has split with his wife all but legally, it is a far different situation than one in which she believes the marriage to be happy and secure.
The caveat is that you probably do not have a future with a man who is in this situation. For one reason or another, he is content with the status quo. Unless there is a very specific, time-limited situation that needs to be resolved before his divorce, he may choose to remain married indefinitely. If you are looking for marriage, you may be better off not dating a married man.
It is easy to ignore the presence of a wife, particularly if she is someone that you have never met.
Nonetheless, it is harder to ignore your own moral conscience. Most religions have taboos on harming others. Your affair brings shame, disrespect and other consequences onto the married man’s wife and children. If it is discovered, it may lead to the breakup of a home. Are you able to live with the knowledge that you were part of something that caused suffering of innocent parties?
Remember that no matter what he tells you about his wife, your dating a married a man is your choice not hers. She made a commitment to him, and he to her. No matter how you may justify the relationship in your own mind, you are still treading on someone else’s territory. If the two of you are truly soul mates, then why not wait until the marriage is truly and officially over?
Although today’s more progressive society has removed many social stigmas, that of adultery still remains on many levels. You may be labeled, scorned or even shunned by some in your community. This tends to be truer in small, conservative towns than in the relative anonymity of big cities, but remember that you never know how people are connected. You may risk discrimination by people who happen to be in some way connected to your boyfriend’s wife.
If he is lying to his wife, how can you can be sure that he is being honest with you? You already know that he is willing to say what he needs to say and do what he needs to do to get what he wants.
It is very easy for a married man to paint a picture of an evil wife and himself as a hapless victim. He wants you to feel sorry for him and believe his stories.
Give yourself a reality check. If what he says about his wife is true, then he must have extremely poor judgment and taste in women. Not to mention that he must be seriously lacking in backbone to continue to stay with such a woman. Would you want to date a man with such poor judgment? Of course, the other possibility is that he is lying to you, or at least stretching the truth significantly. Are you comfortable with a man who lies to improve his position?
If you are dating a married man, you will need to give…a lot. Your time with your man will be scheduled around his family obligations. You may not be able to call him at home. Your needs and desires will be subjugated to those of his legal family. You may not even be able to see him publicly.
You will need to be hardy enough to recognize your diminished role. It requires a lot of love to sacrifice as much as you will need to sacrifice, yet the love that you get in return will be split.
What Does He Expect Of You?
Many women who start dating a married man find themselves treating the affair like an exclusive relationship.
Your man may expect you to remain available to him, refusing dates with other men and arranging your schedule around his. Yet this is not quite fair to you. His love and commitment are not exclusive, no matter how many times he may protest to the contrary. As long as his wife and children are in the picture, you are exclusive while he is not.
How Long Will You Wait?
A man who is having an affair is in a “best of both worlds” situation. He is able to keep his marriage together, present a respectable front and sneak off for an illicit relationship. What is the advantage to him to change up the status quo? If you are serious about building a legitimate relationship with him, you will need to set a time limit. Otherwise, you may find yourself waiting around forever.
After the Divorce
Assuming that your dreams do come true, and he does in fact leave his wife for you, what next? Your entire relationship was built on a series of lies and deceptions. How likely is it that he will be honest and forthright with you? What happens if the two of you marry? How long before the next younger, prettier girl turns his head? Will you ever be able to fully trust his commitment to you? How will the two of you deal with problems that crop up in the future? How will your community react? What will you tell your friends and family about how you met?
A Better Way
True love is patient and kind. If what you have is legitimately love, then it will wait. Encourage him to work out his relationship with his wife in whatever manner is best for them. Allow the breakup of the marriage to evolve naturally, without your interference. If your relationship is meant to be, then it will be, even if it takes some time.
Of course, the possibility exists that he will reconcile with his wife. If this is the case, then you may be sad or hurt at first. However, it is better that you not be involved when this happens. You will recover, and you will be stronger for the experience.
Dating a married man is fraught with difficulties and problems. If you decide to proceed, you will not be alone. However, it is important that you think through the potential pitfalls before you begin this type of relationship. Follow your heart but use your head. Only you can decide if your affair with a married man is worth the risks and dangers.
Do You Have Healthy Relationship Boundaries?
A healthy relationship consists of two people who each have an independent sense of self worth. When one person in the relationship is suffering from a severe lack of self esteem, relationship boundaries can blur. If a relationship has unhealthy boundaries, it can result in abuse, emotional scarring, and a lack of growth both together and apart. How healthy are your relationship boundaries? Take our quiz and find out. – By Lisa Fritscher for lifescript.com
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