A 27-year-old woman recently wrote to me: “I can’t stop dating married men. They tell me they love me. They send me cards. They take me to faraway places. But I’ve never been in a real relationship. I’m always the other woman.”
Women date married men for lots of reasons. Some plead ignorance (“I didn’t know he was married when we started dating”) yet continue the relationship long after his marital status is public knowledge.
Others profess unflagging optimism; he tells her he wants to get a divorce and marry her as soon as he’s free. She promises to wait until that happens — which very rarely does.
Still others enjoy the thrill. They find sneaking around to be a turn-on, binding them to their lovers in an us-against-them kind of drama.
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There are other perks, too. Married men are well-known for pampering their girlfriends, buying them luxurious gifts, taking them to exotic places and not making demands on their time. They’re usually older and further along in their careers. Emotional maturity and a hefty bank account say “Come get me!” to many single gals.
But let’s be honest. Dating married men is a despicable act. It’s dishonest. It must be hidden. It undermines the well-being of another woman and her family.
It’s also demeaning to the women who do it. They deserve to have honest, trustworthy partners who place them front and center in their lives.
HOW TO TELL IF A MAN IS MARRIED
He refuses to give you his home phone number.
He’s only available to talk while he’s at work or in transit.
He never answers his cellphone. It always goes to voice mail.
He is extra slow to respond to calls, emails and texts.
He refuses to introduce you to his friends. He won’t bring you to his home.
He gets agitated, looks away or breaks into a sweat when you ask if he is married.
He only takes you on dates that are out of town.
He receives lots of phone calls he won’t answer in your presence.
He has to be home by 10 p.m.
IF YOU’RE DATING A MARRIED MAN
Make married men off limits. Set a new standard: Single men only. Stick to your guns, no matter how tempting it is to stray.
End a relationship with a married man ASAP. Yes, it will be painful at first. But the sooner it’s over, the sooner you’ll start to heal.
Don’t be overzealous. Get to know a man well before becoming too emotionally involved. It’s easier to call it quits if a problem arises.
Watch for signs that a man is married. Know what to look for. Get out if you have any doubts.
Pick guys close to your age. The older they are, the more likely they are to be married. Involve your family and friends. They’ll be able to spot problems you’re overlooking. They want what’s best for you.