Flirting with a married man...Why does a single woman flirt with someone else's husband?

Whatever happened to respecting the sanctity of marriage?

A friend asked me this question the other day. She and her husband, who are happily married, were at a party when a woman they knew started flirting with her husband. It wasn't the first time she had done this to with him, so he handled it as he always did, by rebuffing her as nicely as he could, and try to turn their conversation in another direction. She did this several times throughout the evening.

My friend stayed out of it completely--she trusted her husband to do the right thing, and he did. But she wants to know why this woman continues to act this way. What has happened in this woman's life to cause her to have so little respect for others' marriage vows? I had no answers for her, because I have seen this type of woman in action many times myself, and had always wondered the same thing.

Excuses they use, and Questions They Need to Answer...

If you ask them why they flirt with married men, you usually hear the same typical answers:

"Oh, it doesn't mean anything"

"I can't help it--it's just the way I am"

"I'm just being FRIENDLY!"

So, maybe some tougher questions should be asked instead, such as:

Do you ever stop to think how much you are hurting the wife of the man you're flirting with? Or how the man himself feels--how embarrassed or uncomfortable you make him?

Whatever happened to respecting the sanctity of marriage?

And as far as respect goes--what about SELF-RESPECT?

Years ago, a woman came up to my husband Tom and me while we were out alone. It was an old girlfriend he'd once had, but had quit seeing after he and I met. Before he could introduce us, she asked to talk to him privately, so they went a little distance away from me.

She asked Tom about seeing him again--Tom let her know kindly that he and I had been married for over a year, and had had a baby a few months before.

And, although I know how disappointed she must have been, she accepted it. She showed respect for our marriage, had the self-respect to not push the issue, and the class to walk away...

So why is that so hard for this other type of woman to do? Trying to drive a wedge between and man and a woman who are happily married is a dangerous and self-defeating game to play.

It's one they can never win because, in my friend's marriage, as well as my own, when couples are deeply committed to each other, NO ONE can come between them. So why do these women keep trying? What will it take for them to finally respect the sanctity of marriage?

My friend and I, and a lot of other woman, I'm sure, would like to know...

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Comments 58 comments

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nazishnasim 7 years ago

I can but only guess the stimulus behind these women disgracing themselves. I think that they do it because deep down they are jealous of the wife whose husband they are flirting with. They have this 'I wish I could have been in her place' kinda thing going on in their minds. So to say, such behavior manifests feelings of insecuirty about their role in life and the course it's taking. That's my view. But no matter what the dynamics are , such behavior is not pardonable and should be rebuffed as tactfully but firmly as possible.

TamCor profile image

TamCor 7 years ago from Ohio Author

Thanks for you comment nazishnasim...I agree with you. I understand jealousy, but but I don't understand why they think they have to act on it.

R. Blue profile image

R. Blue 7 years ago from Right here

My guess is that they are lonely or unsatisfied in their own life and see what a wonderful relationship you have and just want one like it....maybe a compliment in a way.....and good for ones ego regardless.

TamCor profile image

TamCor 7 years ago from Ohio Author

R. Blue--I see what you're saying, but my friend was so upset, I think it was hard for her to see it as a compliment..

Thanks for your comment--I appreciate your viewpoints!

Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder

I have read that a man who is respected by his wife is more attractive to other women than a man who is not respected, even when his wife is not present. This makes sense, in the amount of confidence he has and the way he carries himself, however, it does not excuse the flirt who know the man is married!

Dr. Larkin profile image

Dr. Larkin 7 years ago from In the portrait of a madman

"Marriage", as defined by my exes, seems now widely considered to be a stack of papers gathering dust in an office somewhere, stating that two human beings share property. It seems to be little more than that for a slew gob of people.

TamCor profile image

TamCor 7 years ago from Ohio Author

Ivorwen--Thanks a lot for your comment--I do agree with you that a loved man, or woman, feels more confident, and that could be a factor in attracting others to them.

Larkin--You're absolutely right--thankfully, though, to your dad and I, and many others, like you--it still means something!

Cris A profile image

Cris A 7 years ago from Manila, Philippines


So true. There's always something malicious about flirting no matter how you look at it. Oh yes it's all friendly at the start but we all know where it leads to - have you seen Fatal Attraction? LOL

Thanks for sharing :D

TamCor profile image

TamCor 7 years ago from Ohio Author

Cris--Thanks for your support-I really appreciate your opinions on this...and yep, I have seen Fatal Attraction, lol...flirting gone WAY bad, huh???

erin boote 7 years ago

Very thought provoking subject, as I have been in this situation myself many times. I can't figure it out but I must thank you for writing about it. Perhaps some of these "classless woman" may read this hub that you wrote and get the message.. Maybve if we are lucky.. keep these types of hubs alive.. im loving them!

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J-Mae 7 years ago

Great hub.

I have to agree with the rest. Most of these women/men are missing something or they were never taught respect for others and their commitments.

TamCor profile image

TamCor 7 years ago from Ohio Author

erin-Thank you! I don't usually write about this type of thing, but this topic is very important to me, so I took the plunge...

J-Mae--Thanks...I think that respect is the no. 1 issue--some need to learn to give it, and to also, expect it of themselves...

Susan Ng profile image

Susan Ng 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

In my experience, the people who do this are very insecure, and they get their sense of self-worth by trumping other people. :o

TamCor profile image

TamCor 7 years ago from Ohio Author

Thanks Susan--I think so, too...kinda sad, though, isn't it?

Susan Ng profile image

Susan Ng 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

Yeah... they're rarely conscious about their insecurities, too, which makes things more complicated. :o

Susan Ng profile image

Susan Ng 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

I remembered something I thought I would add: The intense yearning to feel loved and accepted can make one blind to everything else. :o  This could be one reason women flirt with married men. :o

You know, I was once very insecure, and I so craved for love that I tried to get it from wherever I could.  When I finally understood this, I couldn't really condemn people for "looking for love" anymore, even though they were looking for it in the wrong places. :o

lyla profile image

lyla 7 years ago from India

Tamcor..these type of women are so very selfish and self-centred with no values ,concern and respect to the feelings of others.They see,they want! That's it!To hell with hurting a wife or breaking a marriage.Let me also add,Tamcor,many men do resist at first and one fine day they do give in..a la Fatal Attraction!The hero loved his family didn't he?Still he gave in to a fling on the spur of the moment!Just my view!:)

TamCor profile image

TamCor 7 years ago from Ohio Author

Susan--That's true...I once felt that way, too, very insecure and craving love. I was lucky enough to find my husband, though, and he fulfilled those needs for me--guess that's why I can empathize to a certain extent with those who don't have it. But on the other hand, I feel like there are so many single men around--why don't these women concentrate on them, and leave the married men alone? I do know how hard it is to find the right person, but who's to say a married man who might fall into her trap would be the "right" man anyway...if he's unfaithful to his wife, wouldn't these women realize that they could be just as unfaithful to them, too? I guess there's just no cut and dried answer here, is there?

lyla--Thanks for your comments...maybe that's why some women don't give up--they think if they persist long enough, any man will eventually give in...maybe the weaker ones do, but I know that men who are devoted to their wives heart and soul are more likely to be annoyed and frustrated with this type of women. I know that's how my husband felt when he was targeted a couple of times...

Susan Ng profile image

Susan Ng 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

You're most probably right, TamCor. There are no cut and dried answers and nothing is ever black or white in this world. :o Things just ARE. :)

BetsyIckes profile image

BetsyIckes 7 years ago from Pennsylvania

Good hub! Probably right for the most part!

rosariomontenegro profile image

rosariomontenegro 7 years ago from NEW YORK

A psychoanalist would say, I suppose, that the woman who acts like that is the eternal daddy's little girl, for ever thinking that she can take him from mummy. This is one of the classic forms taken by the OEdipus complex. Every man is potentially daddy for her, and every wife is potentially mom. She's trapped for ever trying to win dad's heart, even though dad takes the appearance of every married man that happens to be attractive to her. Or rather, she will be attracted to him because he's married. Bachelor, probably he wouldn't have the same attraction.

From a religious point of view, the Buddhist view is that a person like that is acting out the imprints of previous adulterous deeds or attitudes from previous lives. People think that bad karma is only the unpleasant results from non virtue, but the main and worst component of bad karma is that a mistaken action from the past leaves a tendency to act again in the same non virtuous way in future lives. One more reason to consciously decide to act following morality today. But morality is not widely studied nowadays, it's taken for granted and it should not be.

Gerg profile image

Gerg 7 years ago from California

Wow - you received a lot of comments on this one! You pose an interesting question, and bottom line, I think it points to the emotional maturity of the women you're discussing. It sounds like you and your husband not only connect very well, but both have the awareness and emotional intelligence to say and do the right thing. You are fortunate. Thanks for an interesting hub!

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dennisematt 7 years ago

OH..ouch. You are lucky. Women do it for a thrill, to know they are better. For power. I be so HOT as to be able to take away a taken man? They say, he never would have looked if SHE had been making him happy...and then there is the woman who says ..I just want a fling..I know that Im safe with a married man....your lucky because your husband makes it clear that he LOVES you. NOT that he just "cant..Im married" but he DOESN'T WANT TO. Big me...

TamCor profile image

TamCor 7 years ago from Ohio Author

Thank you all for your comments--I really appreciate hearing all of your thoughts on this subject.

It's a tough one, with no one easy answer, but I like hearing so many different opinions on the matter--thanks again!

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dennisematt 7 years ago

I was thinking about this last night and thought of something else. (This actually is an issue quite close to me.) Another problem is just the fact that, in reality, a lot of people married and single, really DO NOT respect marriage anymore. its as simple as that. To many, marriage is just something you do, it doesn't mean anything. I am glad to have met another woman, even on line, who feels marriage is something precious, to respect and uphold.

TamCor profile image

TamCor 7 years ago from Ohio Author

dennisematt--I so agree with you, in every point you make...I see this attitude all around me, and it's so disheartening...I'm very glad to have written this now, because I hesitated at first...not sure how it would be taken.

I am just as happy to meet you, too. Sometimes it feels as though marriage has become less of a commitment, and more of a temporary fling to so it's great to know that others share my feelings on it, too! Thank you very much!

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Useful Knowledge 7 years ago

Great hub. This is something that all marriages go through. I have learned that some women think your life is so perfect and they want to try to steal that away from you. They think you have this fairytale life (which no one really has). You are right to say that if the husband and wife are committed enough to each other, this wedge can't break that bind. However, some homeweckers never give up.

TamCor profile image

TamCor 7 years ago from Ohio Author

Thanks, UK, for your comments! It's true, some don't ever give up, you see it time and time again, and it's really sad.

Have to disagree with your one comment, though, lol...I feel like I DO have a fairytale life with my husband--and it's gotten better with each passing year! :)

Thanks again!

Kelly Contrary profile image

Kelly Contrary 7 years ago from Kansas--if evolution is outlawed, only outlaws will evolve

Great hub, though I can't really relate. I plotted, drugged, and tricked my wife into marrying me because she's the only girl who ever paid me any mind. So, no idea what it's like for a women to flirt while I'm married. Actually, not certain what non-married flirting is, either. Thanks, now I'm so depressed. Still have enough energy for you to have an even 140 fans.

TamCor profile image

TamCor 7 years ago from Ohio Author

Kelly...I'm so sorry to make you depressed.......even though I think you're fibbing--someone with your sense of humor probably draws women in like flies, lol!!!

Thank you for being fan no. 140, though!!!!

Wealthmadehealthy profile image

Wealthmadehealthy 7 years ago from Somewhere in the Lone Star State

Being the person I am, I know this goes on a lot but it is still wrong. Maybe if you told the girl that in the Bible it states that if you look upon a married woman/man with lust it is committing adultery which we all know is against the Ten Commandments and OMG deems a person to hades. Your husband is doing the right thing, and I admire him for his behavior....but the shamelsss huzzy needs to get a grip!!

Sorry, I don't know how else to put it...You don't mess around with married men in a way that it could/would lead to something else via temptation....Every man should have his own wife and every woman her own husband...

TamCor profile image

TamCor 7 years ago from Ohio Author

Thanks, Wealthmadehealthy, for your comments--I agree, you don't mess around with married men!

As far as my husband--thanks for the compliment about him. He really is one in a million, and I am so blessed to be married to him...:)

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ralwus 7 years ago

My guess is that these women are cats in disguise and that is what cats do. My neighbor is one and a lawyer too, twice divorced. I'll say no more, *cough*

TamCor profile image

TamCor 7 years ago from Ohio Author

lol--Good guess Charlie!

Watch out for that neighbor! :D

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cerenawilliams 7 years ago

a woman will behave that way because she is insecure, sad, and lonely. she wants what you have and so will attempt to entice and seduce your husband until he gives her the attention she is looking for. even if he doesn't give her attention she will continue to disgrace herself until someone takes her aside and respectfully ask her to cut it out and respect their marriage..... unfortunately, i have a friend like that. she stops at nothing for attention. i feel bad for her because she does not realize how she looks to others.

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ralwus 7 years ago

I kind o' like it when they flirt wi' me. LOL I just return the favor. hehe Sometimes I'm first. bad me

TamCor profile image

TamCor 7 years ago from Ohio Author

cerena--Thanks for your comment...I'm sorry that your friend hasn't realized how harmful her actions can be. I agree that these women are disgracing themselves--good analogy.


Bad Charlie, Bad Charlie!:D

Honestly, though, what does your wife think about that?:)

breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 7 years ago


Great HUB. I have been through this kind of thing as well. Women who behave like this have a lot to be ashamed of. They are irresponsible, childish and incredibly selfish. Clearly, they have very little respect for other women and none what-so-ever for themselves. Imagine how wonderful life would be if women, all women, refused to behave like this? I can dream, can't I?

TamCor profile image

TamCor 7 years ago from Ohio Author

breakfastpop...Yeah, we can dream! Sometimes they DO come true..:) I think that there must be some low self-esteem issues, why else would someone lower themselves to that level?

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rednckwmn 7 years ago

had to come back to this. i feel better reading everyones comments, hopeful that there are so many like-minded people out there. thanks again for sharing.

TamCor profile image

TamCor 7 years ago from Ohio Author

rednckwmn--You're welcome--I hope you're doing okay???

DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

DeBorrah K. Ogans 7 years ago


Nice hub!

It is because of their own security. If they can find the slightest opening they try to enter so they can justify not having their own committed relationship. To them "all men are just the same." It takes a strong committed man to show them that this is not the case. When you are fulfilled and secure you do not want something that belongs to someone else. As a matter of fact you are happy for them.

Thank you for sharing!


TamCor profile image

TamCor 7 years ago from Ohio Author

Thank you DeBorrah, for the great comment--I agree with you completely.

I have a close friend who has never been lucky enough to have a relationship like my husband and I do, but she is fulfulled and secure enough in her own life, and is nothing but joyful for what I am fortunate enough to have in my marriage.

She is a REAL woman, and a true friend...:)

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cathinfrance 7 years ago

Heck, who knows? I think that type of woman sees other women as rivals and wants to test her powers of attraction: "Can I get him away from his wife?" It's pretty repulsive. Actually, I read a horrible hub the other day where a second wife was whingeing that the first wife - who had several children with the errant male - kept contacting the husband for various practical matters. "Why doesn't she just go away?" was the question. This shallow second wife was unable to see that she will react exactly the same way - probably worse - if and when her now-husband nips off with a third woman leaving HER with a few kids. If a guy gives a woman a life commitment and several kids, what is she supposed to do when he runs off with another woman? - just go into a corner and keep quiet...?

Faybe Bay profile image

Faybe Bay 7 years ago from Florida

I had this explained to me by a woman who based her life on being 'The other woman'. They are unable to believe in true love and commitment. They believe there is more than one soulmate for everybody. They think it was just a fluke that the two of you are together and happy. In fact maybe you just think you're happy, because you haven't had the option of them. He looks good because he has already shown that he is able to commit. Some of them even believe they are doing your marriage a service. By testing it they are giving you the option of proving it, which makes your relationship stronger. And if the spouse is a cheater he is going to get caught eventually anyway, so better now than later. I know it sounds like a justification. Some probably never give it a second thought, but this one did. She thought she was doing something good and right. I have known 'husband stealers' who say they can't take a man who is truly happy away from his wife. Some don't even really want him, they just believe they can do it and it is a game. Sad that, and worse the one's that say it's because of their parents. The fact is people can find a way to justify themselves for just about anything.

dc 6 years ago

ummm... don't know how welcome my comments will be here, but I'm an incorrigible flirt. And I don't agree with most of your sweeping judgements about my insecurity and unhappiness, I'm actually quite happy. Also, while I do think married / taken men are off limits, and I try to curtail my behavior around them, I want to point out that the things that I DO NOT consider flirting, you might. (I'm not talking about specifically propositioning your men in so many words, which I think is a huge no-no but nobody has really defined flirting here.) I'm talking about chatting, smiling, laughing. No serious intentions whatsoever. Not touching, but maybe the occasional greeting/departing hug/peck on cheek. Some wives have a problem with even their husbands even being in contact their exes, so this is definitely considered bad behavior.

But I like people, I like men, and honestly, I like my exes, and I tend to stay friends with them. Because I like them, I also try to be friendly with their partners. That is, until (sometimes insecure) wives eventually get a problem with this friendship. Friendship. If you trust your men, I say GREAT. You should. He picked you, he is no longer with her. And if he is someone who you think is tempt-able, wouldn't you rather know sooner than later? In those cases, it isn't the Other Woman you need to worry about, you should look closer to home.

I'm sorry, this is a subject that is close to me as well. I recently lost my best guy friend, an ex-boyfriend I dated over A DECADE ago, to a new girl, completely without warning, and she's never even met me and given me a chance. I don't think it's fair that I should lose a good friend for over a decade simply because in the distant past we once dated.

I don't know. What do you think? What do you consider flirting? And how do you consider your man's ex's? Are they competitors? Nuisances? Friends?

TamCor profile image

TamCor 6 years ago from Ohio Author

dc--Thank you for taking the time to comment here, I honestly do appreciate hearing your point of view.

You ask what I consider flirting? From what you said of yourself, I personally wouldn't consider what you do flirting if you were talking to my husband. The things you consider off-base are the things that usually irritate wives the most, I would imagine.

As far as my husband's ex--I never had a problem with her. We weren't "buddies", but we also weren't enemies by any means. I wasn't threatened by her at all, and jealousy has never entered into it.

You also asked if I wouldn't rather know sooner than later if my husband was "temptable". I have been on both sides of this--my ex-husband was one of those who were tempted, and I suffered much embarrassment and pain because of it.

But Tom is NOT like that, and never has been. I know a lot of women(or men) say that about their spouses, and for the most part, their faith in them is rewarded. I know mine was, and still is, after more than 21 years together. :)

I have no problem with women being friendly, chatty, or even affectionate(hugging or a peck on the cheek) towards my husband--I know more than anyone what a wonderful and compassionate person he is.

My problem is when they deliberately cross that "line" if daring me to take issue with them. I won't do it, though--I wouldn't give the the satisfaction, and I know that Tom would be able to handle the matter himself, anyway, with tact, because that is the type of man he is.

Thank you again for taking the time to state your opinions on here!

TamCor profile image

TamCor 6 years ago from Ohio Author

catinfrance and Faybe Bay--Somehow I completely forgot to come on and thank you both for your comments--I'm so sorry!

catinfrance--I think I know the hub you were referring to--I saw it, too, and felt the same way you did...

FaybeBay--How sad that that woman actually lived her life with the goal of being the "other woman"...and honestly felt justified in doing so...:(

Thanks again for your comments!

lovelypaper profile image

lovelypaper 6 years ago from Virginia

Not only d affairs hurt all who are involved but any children that they may have. It's disgusting that women go after married men. There are plenty of single men in the world. Great hub.

TamCor profile image

TamCor 6 years ago from Ohio Author

Thanks for your comment, lovelypaper. You're right, of course--there ARE so many single men...why not go after them instead? Thanks again!

valery elias profile image

valery elias 6 years ago

This really hits home to me. I will never understand why some women go after a married man. Good hub.

TamCor profile image

TamCor 6 years ago from Ohio Author

I'm with you, valery--100%!

Thanks for your comment! :)

joe mama  6 years ago

I had this woman flirt with me knowing I was married. She had a tradegy in her life and I think that she was jeolous . I mean in a way I do not blame her. As they say life is unfair. She is not a bad looking woman. And I get really mad at my wife and feel that she doesn't respect me as a person. I know a lot of people are religeous and say you should have morals, but we are human and have instincts. I think this woman would be more than my wife could be. I have moved but not to far away that could never see her at least as far as I know. Unless she no longer works at the same place

TamCor profile image

TamCor 6 years ago from Ohio Author

Thanks for your comment, joe. I would like to suggest that you talk to your wife...try to see if you can work things out before you contact the other woman again.

They always say the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's better...

Good luck! :)

sexyponkie profile image

sexyponkie 5 years ago

For some women pursuing a married men is about wanting that which they cannot have and this ties in together with the need for excitement in their lives,the chase of it all. The more unavailable he is,the more attractive he is and they will pull all the stops to get him. For some women ,its about validation.They look at the wife and think he could have done better so I deserve him more than this woman he calls his wife or girlfriend and the games begin.

So no need to try to reason with these type of women. They are sad and have no self respect which are two things noone can teach another person because these are internal characteristics one must discover on their own.

The Single Woman! 5 years ago

I'm the single woman that keep coming to your married man! We do it, because we know we are attractive and flirt with married man and it's fun too. Married man like "eye candy" that is, to look at other woman and flirt. Women like me mean nothing serious with married man, we like to make them think they are nice men and act as if we want them...but we don't. Plus to know that "he" is happy with his wife that is not that much well looking but can attend to his needs and be a wife, mother, friend...whatever. Doesn't make a difference. I flirt because I can... So you better trust your husband.. I don't bite... ha ha ha

Rachel 4 years ago

To The Single Woman:

I'm sorry your father wasn't more involved in your life that you feel you need to degrade married mens wives to say they aren't "well looking but can only attend to their needs" Once you have a real fufilling relationship, you will understand the true meaning of marriage and maybe will respect what it stands for.

angel 3 years ago

to the single women

sad you feel you need to flirt for that reason but we all grow up and we all get married you just be careful of the words that you have used regarding you better trust your husband

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