If I had to get on my knees to beg you NOT to do one thing in your life it would be this –having an affair with a married person. I’ve read that in the US 56% of married men and 54% of married women have extramarital affairs and that in the US alone almost 50% of all marriages fail. Speaking from experience, having an affair with a married person is the single most stupid thing you will ever do. Period. If you want to lose all the dignity you ever had, lose your self-worth and wreck people’s lives on top of your own then please go ahead.
I will be brutally honest here; You are stupid if you do. Affairs with married people often happen due to purely selfish desire and due to sheer boredom. It will hurt you. You will not come out of it well. An opportunity is presented to you and you are too greedy to say no and walk away. Sex with a married person is dramatic, passionate, open, stimulating and very exciting. That is when you get it. For the married person it is all these things plus a release from the mundane situation they find themselves in; a release from the boring sex, unhappy marriage, and drudgery of daily life. And none of it will last.
As a single person I have had an affair with a married woman and it was a disaster for me. She hurt me through her constant deceit. She lied almost everyday either to her husband or to me. She made promises she couldn’t keep. She provided an endless gauntlet of creative excuses. She unrelentingly played manipulative games and she forced me to be many things I was not. At the end of the affair, I walked away with a wasted year of my life, a broken heart, nothing of substance, too many lonely weekends, no vacations and a sense of worthlessness. I hated her for what she had done. I tell you this only as a warning because I too was as sensible as you are.
The problem with dating a married person when you are single is that you remain single throughout the affair. You are NOT a couple, let me repeat that, you are not a couple so don’t fool yourself. Sure you may act like a couple when youare together, but you aren’t. In the very beginning you will see quite a lot of your new lover. Secret dates will be established and the excitement will make you feel alive. But as soon as the guilt sets in for your married lover or her husband wants more time, excuses will develop and you will be kept hanging on, but expected to be ever available just in case they can make it. It’s a subtle process and by the time you realize it, it’s often too late to save your heart.
Oh yes, you will never be without a phone on the off chance that your lover will call. They want to see you but you must understand that it’s not easy for them. And as you except yet another excuse you will be praised for just how understanding you are. You have just become a saint and a martyr. In the meantime, they will be tucked in bed, snuggled with their other half trying to fix things. Of course, they won’t tell you that, they wouldn’t want to hurt you. You will have to endure endless months of discussing what it will be like when you are together (which you can almost be assured you never will be) and you will face comparisons with their spouse at every turn, even if they never vocalize it.
You will be expected to be available, just in case, because one can never tell when your crutch-like strength will be required. And you will be expected to be thankful for any small morsel of time you are given. They will insist that the evening you had a 4 weeks last Tuesday was a great deal for them to arrange so be grateful and that you should just hang on for them if you love them. And so it goes on, day after day and month after month. Of course the key thing that makes your affair different from everyone else’s is that it is ‘different’, right? Your passion and love is almost unique, your connection is that of soulmates and you know they are in a terrible marriage and they made a mistake and you will be perfect together. In other words, you will begin to make excuses whenever possible to justify the situation and actions – just a little more time and things will be fantastic.
No one else can possibly understand what you both are going through and so you will withdraw from some of your friends, partly because they’ll strongly disapprove of what you are doing. Your weekends will be wasted as will vacations because whilst you are alone waiting at home for the phone to ring. Meanwhile, they will be at social functions and parties and all kinds of domestic events that you would die to have with them but are never afforded the opportunity of having. You trust your lover implicitly. After all you are in this together. The thing is your entire relationship is already founded on deceit. And if they can do it to their spouse, they can also do it to you. And most likely, eventually will.
You see, if your lover was going to leave their partner they would have to leave for themselves and not for you. If they are going to do it for themselves it will be much sooner rather than later. Think about it. When something benefits you; happiness, health, self-worth, a better life for you or your family, whichever, whatever – How long does it take for you to react to it and to grab on to it with both hands? If they haven’t become single or made plans towards becoming single within say 12 weeks they probably never will. They must leave not for you but for their own reasons. If they leave for you, you will beheld silently accountable in future every time life is not perfect. And for all you know, they may always be looking backwards with a half-glance and all thatthey left behind.
Walk away as fast as possible in the opposite direction and keep walking. Neverfool yourself here, an affair with a married person is a complete waste of time in 99% of cases. A very few do make it through but almost all don’t. You will have absolutely no idea as to what your married lover is going through and you will be nothing more than light relief to something far more serious. You will lose self-respect because you are sharing your lover, you are falling in love with someone you cannot have, you are second best most of the time and you will be extremely lonely. Most of the evenings will not be with your loved one so your relationship cannot grow, much of what you do will be based around sex not love. Your relationship will be extremely intense but will be sporadic and unfulfilling. As a woman you will be made to feel cheap and may even fall pregnant in which case your situation has just become even more highly complex.
The thing I cannot stress enough is how much you will be lied to. The person you love will be telling you lies almost constantly. It is not that they are essentially bad, it is that they will over time get used to lying to spare feelings whilst protecting themselves and their marriage. And do remember that in the midst of such emotional turmoil, they will have no option but to start considering only themselves. In the end, they will find lying to everyone second nature, even though it may be cutting them up emotionally. A married lover simply wants to sit on the fence and never make a decision. They want you to decide for them, which of course you cannot. You could demand that they leave their partner for you once and for all, but in doing so you are now standing in the firing line.
The simple question I will ask is that if you really do value yourself and understand yourself and if you truly believe that there are some truly great single people out there, why would you waste your life on a married person? For all these words, people will continue to learn from their own mistakes and in doing so pass on their valuable lessons to others. But for the sake of someshort-term relationship, maybe even passionate sex, you truly could be risking everything. I hope that you have the wisdom to walk away and not look back.
My thanks to my one time married affair. She taught me a great deal about life, trust and the true meaning of friendship.
I’ve learned that life is too short to waste waiting around. I learned to becareful with whom I trust and entrust with my heart to. And most importantly, deceit, manipulation, and game playing, have NO place in friendship.
Walk away. I did. Maybe I’m not so bad after all.