"I Am In Love With A Married Woman": How To Tell If She's In Love With You

Medically reviewed by Paige Henry, LMSW, J.D.
Updated May 27, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Love is not easy, regardless of who it is with, but you don't have to figure it out alone. A therapist can be a great ally for understanding your own and others' emotions in relationships. On top of that, a therapist or counselor can help you improve your overall well-being and help empower you to live the life you want.

Just because a woman is married, it doesn't mean you can't fall in love with her. It happens. But having these feelings for a married woman doesn't mean you must act on them. You deserve someone emotionally available to you. As difficult as it may be to hear, the reality is that the love you need cannot be obtained from someone who is committed to another. Luckily, online therapy can help you accept this reality, set healthy boundaries, and overcome your feelings.

A man in a hat and collared shirt is looking out the window in a bright room and thinking about someone.
You deserve someone who is fully committed to you

Should you pursue your feelings? How to tell if a married woman is in love with you

In some situations, it might be worthwhile to talk about your feelings with the woman and watch how they react. She may feel the same way, but not want to act because she wants to remain loyal to her husband. It's best to respect her wishes or boundaries and try to move on.

However, if she wishes for a relationship with you, it would be wise to discuss this with full consideration of its seriousness. Does she want to ignore what you two have? Does she want to pretend it never happened? Does she want to explore the relationship and divorce her husband or leave her family? If that happens, you would be dedicating yourself to a relationship with a rocky beginning. Is this something you are willing to do or commit to? Would you be comfortable knowing you broke up with a husband and wife? Or possibly caused a divorce between a couple with children, a daughter, or a son? If she is a mom this could take a toll on not only her relationship but her family as well. What if she meets someone else during the next season? We will explore these possibilities later in the article.

Evaluating your needs and desires

Likely, she does not feel the same way, especially if she's a mom of a family with kids. If she is a mom this can change the dynamic of the relationship and their lives. After all, she's already married, which serves as one of the clearest boundaries a woman can have. This could be a great way to end the fantasy of being with her, but rejection can be hard to cope with. This can be a lot to think about. It may help to get a second opinion, so if you feel you are overloaded with thoughts, try speaking with a trained therapist at BetterHelp.

If you continue to find yourself falling in love with married women, you must take the time to evaluate your relationship desires. You may feel desperate to connect with this married woman in a very real way, but you have no idea of what a real relationship looks like or any background on how to do it. You seek love but reject it at the same time. So you find someone distant and emotionally unavailable because they're married to another person. You may have learned coping strategies that consistently result in you finding people who are already attached to others. On some occasions, you may have tried speaking with a best friend or one of your good friends about your tendency to choose people, like a mother or a dad with a baby, who are emotionally unavailable.

Hallmarks of a good relationship

A loving relationship has three pillars: intimacy, commitment, and passion. Commitment means deciding to love one another and maintain that love despite any issues that may arise. Passion consists of romantic feelings, physical attraction, and the vast sexual desires that unite a couple.

Intimacy is the emotional closeness experienced between two people. If a relationship is only intimate, it can feel like a friendship. If there's just passion, it is considered infatuation, and if there is only commitment, there is only empty love. All three of these categories are necessary for a relationship to form a lasting love story between two people.

Continuously falling in love with married women can be a coping strategy you've learned that allows you to avoid having to experience the three pillars of a loving relationship. You may be undermining your ability to have a loving relationship that requires availability and connection between two people who are on the same page.

If falling in love with a married woman is a pattern of yours, you might be opting to choose married women because you're avoiding confronting the deep vulnerabilities and insecurities you have about relationships. It is you then and not her who is emotionally unavailable because you are not fully experiencing the relationship.

You may not feel you're good enough to put yourself in romantic situations where a real connection is needed. Instead, you'd rather keep your feelings in a tight "house" because you feel safer knowing the course of the relationship can never proceed in a deep, and thus emotionally vulnerable, way. 

Searching within

In any relationship, you must be emotionally available to not only express your emotions but to be open with another person and yourself. If you have fallen in love with a married woman, you need to explore where you're at at the moment emotionally and if staying with that person is causing any discomfort. Don't pretend that nothing is wrong or point the blame at her. We must look at why you have or continue to choose people who cannot be fully present in your romantic life. Maybe it has something to do with your childhood or your interactions with your parents or other kids when you were younger. Perhaps certain events have emotionally damaged you, and now you subconsciously feel unable to trust another, equal party in a relationship.

Her marital status cannot be used as an excuse for your emotional unavailability either. You may feel a sense of false freedom connecting to her because you both may not have an agenda for the relationship. It also means that you may feel entitled to sit back and judge her without ever having to contribute to the relationship. Is her marital status causing you to treat her differently because you see her as less important?

Make sure the fire won't burn out

A common reason for divorce is to pursue life with another partner. And in the initial stages of love, you may feel that the connection is strong and genuine when it is not. Over time as the feelings of love wear off, you may be surprised to realize that the difficulties in happiness this married woman experienced with her former husband also exist in your new relationship. Divorce or an affair does not mean that relationship problems stop too.

When a man has fallen in love with a married woman, the relationship may move into a sexual phase quickly because you may not be addressing the discomfort that intimacy sometimes brings in the process of being open. If you have fallen in love with a married woman and your sexual relationship has developed fast, slow down. The sexual chemistry you have may be causing you to overlook the importance of your reception of her marital status.

A genuine relationship takes two people getting comfortable with being open with themselves and each other. If you haven't already expressed yourself to her, have a dialogue first with yourself to discover your needs and desires, and then express those thoughts with her. She may have not even known about your feelings and be completely taken aback, immediately shutting down your advances on account of her marital status or upcoming wedding. Being open about your journey is a step towards loving relationships for yourself.

How to cope with having feelings for a married woman

There are a few things you can do to cope with the situation you are in now. These tips may assist you in the navigation of this event or your journey of finding true love, as well as help prevent further episodes like these down the road. 

If you are dealing with heartbreak as a result of the relationship ending, and feel you are at a crossroads, try making more time for yourself. Self-care is essential in all healing processes and is one of the simplest things you can do to feel better and not let this situation mar you.

It may help to turn off the tv and get out of the house, try reading a book, or go on that trip to France you always wanted to go on. Check out the above content and links for references that will help you improve your self-care.  

Meditation might also be helpful along your journey to recovery. Mindfulness can help you get out of your head and into a calmer headspace. This practice originated out of India, but its contents have since become world-renowned in its ability to focus on your senses. This will allow you to make better decisions and be more in tune with yourself. If you don’t know where to start, you can try to find a guided video from a teacher that can help guide you through meditation. A meditation video with a teacher can be a great tool to start the practice.

You deserve someone who is fully committed to you

Journaling can also offer some clarity in confusing situations and may help you to reach your feelings more easily. Writing down your feelings and putting language to the way you feel can help you clarify in English pages of your feelings. It may help to set some time aside each night, turn the tv off, and write a page about how you feel. Sometimes, all it takes is putting your problems down on a page of paper or as a story to get the perspective you need, and it’s completely free to do. You can also look back and review your feelings later to see how you felt.

How BetterHelp can help

If you are feeling too overwhelmed to deal with this alone, a therapist can help. Don’t let this event mar you forever. You might have some underlying issues that are pushing you in your current direction. If this is the case, therapy may be your best hope. Therapy can help you

The counselors at BetterHelp are fully accredited, caring professionals. Read a review below to see what people are saying about BetterHelp counselors.

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Being in love with a married woman can be a confusing and frustrating experience. It is not often something we are proud of, nor do we know what to do when it happens. With the right support and knowledge, you can move forward to truly fulfilling relationships. Take the first step today.
Marriage can come with complex challenges
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