Developing feelings for or falling in love with married men can be challenging. If the married individual is in a monogamous relationship, uninterested in you, or unable to leave their partner, you might feel stuck and unsure how to proceed.
Whether your feelings for a married man are unrequited or returned may also factor into your decisions. There are a few solutions you can explore, and you might also benefit from talking to a licensed professional if you struggle to make a choice.
Unique Solutions For Unique Situations
There are several ways someone may fall in love with a married man. It is possible you were not aware the man you fell in love with was married when you began pursuing him or engaging in a relationship. In some cases, you may be harboring feelings for a married man you’ve known for many years. In other cases, you might have been approached by a married man for a romantic relationship with or without knowledge of the other woman or partner.
No matter the case, whether it’s been a few days, a few months, or many years, situations that involve married people can often involve painful emotions. If you are experiencing any of these situations, there are a few ways you might attempt to navigate them.
What To Do If You Have Feelings For A Married Man In Your Life
People sometimes fall in love with married individuals they know from their personal life. If you experienced this situation, you might have met the married man through a friend or spend time with him at work. The married man might also be the spouse of someone in your family. While it can be challenging, it might be best not to act on these feelings if the man you’re interested in is monogamous or uninterested. Consider opening up about these feelings to someone you trust who is not affiliated with this individual. You can also consider journaling about your feelings to understand them more profoundly. Studies show that journaling has many mental health benefits and is an effective way to externalize emotions.
It might also be common to feel a sense of shame if you have fallen in love with a married man, which could cause you to keep your feelings to yourself. It may feel wrong, and you may feel guilty or hurt by the situation. If you’re experiencing these emotions, consider speaking with a licensed therapist or counselor. There are discrete forms of therapy, like online counseling, which may suit you as you cope with these experiences. It’s important to work through the thoughts and emotions you may be experiencing, and a professional can help.
What To Do If You Were Unaware The Man You Love Is Married
Development of romantic feelings for a married man while being unaware of his marriage could also happen. In some cases, men may hide their marriage by using dating apps or cheating on their partners. These situations can be painful if discovered by the man’s spouse or by you.
If you have discovered that the man you are in love with is currently married, you might feel betrayal, distrust, or fear. It could also be common to experience feeling guilt or shame. When the reality of the situation comes to light, try not to blame yourself. If the guy you were with was hiding the fact that he was married, he knew the risk and is at fault for his choice.
While you might feel true love for this person, consider whether continuing the relationship would be healthy for you. If the individual is polyamorous and open to discussing your relationship with their spouse, you might consider couples therapy. However, if they want to have an affair or hide your relationship from the world, you might end your connection or let their spouse know the truth of what’s occurring. It’s possible you may want to stop dating a married man in this situation. Either way, a lack of trust could occur when you realize an individual has been lying to you. This type of dishonesty might continue if you continue your relationship with them.
What To Do If A Married Man Approached You
You also may have been approached romantically by a married man. The man might be someone you met in the workplace, through a friend, or on a dating site, among other formats.
If you are actively dating a married man, finding a way to end the relationship may be most beneficial. It can be understandable to be in love with him and hope that he might leave his wife or husband, but knowing that the man you love is cheating on someone – potentially with multiple women or men – can lead to future challenges, distrust, or lack of respect in your relationship if he were to leave his spouse. In addition, a recent study found that those who cheated in a prior relationship were three times as likely to cheat in their next relationship.
If the married man insists that he is planning to leave his wife or divorce his spouse, you might consider resuming the relationship when you can confirm that has happened. However, you might tell him you’re no longer interested and would like to stop dating while he is still in his relationship. Even if you miss him now, it may be the best option in the long run while he decides on his next steps and either ends or continues his marriage.
What To Do If You Pursued A Married Man
Perhaps you are in a situation where you have connected with a past love that is now married or a married man that you’ve recently met. You may now be in love with a married man.
A situation where you have pursued and engaged in a relationship with a man you knew is married can be challenging. You can choose to continue an affair. However, if you are tired or hiding or feel that your affair with this man is unhealthy or negatively impacts your mental health, you might benefit from leaving the relationship and seeking professional support.
It may also be valuable not to interact with the man’s wife or spouse. Even if you want to allow them closure, doing so might cause them to feel angry with you, which could leave you and them in an unsafe situation. If you choose to leave the relationship, let the man know you’re leaving them and hope they will tell their spouse about what occurred.
If you’re in a relationship with a non-monogamous individual, your relationship may be healthy. However, a few ways exist to ensure that polyamory is ethical for all involved. Ask yourself the following questions:
Do I feel like a priority, or does he put one person above the other in his relationships?
Do I feel I am getting enough time with him?
Is he practicing sexual safety with me after having sexual relations with others?
Is he open to me practicing non-monogamy or only himself?
Is his partner aware of our relationship?
Do I feel safe, respected, and heard in this relationship?
Where do I see the future of this connection going
Any situation involving the navigation of feelings toward a married person can be challenging due to the stigmas and shame that may come with it. You might benefit from online therapy if you’re looking for a therapist but feel unsafe seeing a counselor in person.
With online therapy, you can partake in therapy from home, allowing you to speak and open up in a safe environment without fear of judgment. You may feel more comfortable talking about dating a married man from the comfort of your home. In addition, you may be able to choose between phone, video, or chat sessions. If you feel unsafe talking to someone over video chat or a phone call, a chat session can allow you to use a nickname and discreetly receive care without showing your face. A licensed therapist will hear your story and can serve as a trained, unbiased party that can help you move through difficult decisions and find the best steps to take.
Recent studies have proven online therapy as effective as face-to-face therapy for individuals experiencing symptoms of anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses. In addition, many couples who have attended online couples therapy have reported that the distanced nature of video chat therapy allows them to feel more comfortable with their therapist than with face-to-face options. If you’re ready to get started, you can sign up with an online therapy platform like BetterHelp for individuals or Regain for couples at any time by completing a short questionnaire.
Developing feelings for or participating in a romantic relationship with a married man can often create a stressful and upsetting situation for multiple parties. In many cases, dating a married person may end in a breakup or an affair, which can be unhealthy. If you’re experiencing the complexity of a relationship with a married man (or woman) or the desire to be with one, consider contacting a counselor. You’re not alone, and talking to a non-judgmental professional may help you make the healthiest choice in this complex situation.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Below are a few of the most commonly asked questions about falling in love with a married man.
Can A Married Man Fall In Love?
Married men can fall in love with someone else other than their spouse. Some men might be able to love more than one person but aren’t sure how to bring it up to their spouse. Regardless, if a man acts on his feelings for another person and is in a monogamous relationship, cheating can be an act of betrayal and is often considered unhealthy and harmful to the men and women involved.
Can You Love Someone Who Is Married?
You can love someone who is married, as feelings often don’t come with rules. However, consider the advantages and disadvantages of being in a relationship with a married man. Many people who partake in affairs experience mental health concerns, fear, shame, and other challenging emotional situations. In some cases, a man might not be interested in an affair or an open marriage or may not be interested in you. Unrequited love can also be painful. No matter your situation, consider reaching out to friends or family or talking to a therapist about how you feel. You’re not alone.
What Are The Consequences of Dating A Married Man?
If you’re in love with or considering dating a man who is married, there may be a few complications, including the following:
Feeling like “a side piece” or “the other partner”
A lack of total commitment
Feeling guilty about the impact on his spouse or children
A feeling like your relationship could end at any point
Fear of being discovered
The potential for no future together
Dating a married man might be exciting initially, but it can come with risks. Over time, you may experience loneliness or depression as you keep the relationship a secret or feel shame about your feelings. You may also develop trust issues. For example, you might think about him cheating if he leaves his partner for you.
Can A Man Have Feelings For More Than One Individual?
Men can have feelings for more than one person, and married men can also be in consensual relationships with more than one person at a time if they are polyamorous or ethically non-monogamous. In many societies worldwide, polygamous marriages are common and part of the culture. In addition, in the animal kingdom, monogamy is considered unusual.
Monogamy is the norm in the United States and much of the Western world. However, even if a man is monogamous, he might love more than one person. Those in monogamous relationships who love more than one person might struggle with conflict in their marriage, the desire to partake in a risky affair, or other challenges.
What Does It Mean When A Married Man Says He Misses You?
If a man expresses that he misses you, it may mean he values your presence and wants your company. However, missing someone might not be an expression of love or romance. Many people can miss those they aren’t attracted to.
Consider the closeness of your relationship with this man. If you are long-time best friends or have a past together, missing each other might be normal. However, if you have recently met or have only spent time together a few times, it may be a form of flirting.
Why Do People Cheat In Relationships?
Although cheating is considered morally wrong and unacceptable in many cultures and societies, there may be reasons people partake in it, which might not be spite, malice, or boredom. Many people may cheat in relationships due to the following factors:
Little to no intimacy or other forms of bonding
Constant, unresolved conflict
Difficulty with commitment
Difficulty leaving a relationship they don’t want to be in
A desire for polyamory but difficulty communicating about it
Loss of love
Shame or guilt
These challenges can often stem from a lack of communication or difficulty productively discussing needs. People may feel their needs are neglected or disrespected. Over time, they might try to seek these needs elsewhere.
If you’re experiencing the above relationship challenges, cheating may not be the healthiest choice to cope. Consider contacting an individual or couples therapist for further guidance on proceeding in your marriage or relationship.
Is Falling In Love With Someone Else Cheating?
What defines cheating in a relationship is often defined by the people within it. For some people, physical affection is the only form of cheating. For others, signing up for dating apps, flirting, or expressing interest in others constitutes cheating. However, falling in love is uncontrollable, and if someone does not act on it and works to move on from their feelings, it may not be unhealthy.
Do Affairs Last?
Some affairs last long term and may lead to remarriage. However, many affairs do not last because they are often built on aspects that could be destructive to healthy relationships, including lies, deceit, and a lack of commitment. Although affairs can feel intense and “destined” early on, they may be exciting due to the aspect of sneakiness that may occur within them.
However, issues can occur if the married individual returns to their spouse, cheats on you, or comes up with more lies. In the end, you might also be impacted by their spouse’s feelings and decisions if they find out about the affair. They might be angry with you for not telling them or willingly partaking in a relationship with their spouse when you knew they were married or had a family. If you’re looking for signs a married man may choose to stay with you rather than return to his marriage, it can be challenging to know for sure whether this may happen.
How Do You Know If A Married Man Loves You?
What Are The Disadvantages Of Dating A Married Man?
Can Extramarital Affairs Be True Love?
How Do You Know A Married Man Is Serious?
How Do You Let Go Of A Married Man You Love?
Who comes first to a married man?
How do you say no to a married man?
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