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When You Are The Other Woman

Updated on November 21, 2009

When You Fall In Love With a Married Man

It isn't ever planned or well thought out, but women can and do fall in love with married men on a fairly regular basis.  It is by no means an easy situation, and like it or not, someone is going to get hurt, that's just par for the course.

Do women go out with the intent to find themselves a married person to fall in love with?  Of course not.  Attraction, destiny, soul mate connections, current life circumstances, physical attraction, discontent with current relationship, they are all ingredients in the recipe for an affair.

Being the other woman requires you to take a step back and take a cold, hard, analytical look at the realities of your situation.  There will be serious limitations and you should consider them thoroughly before embarking on an affair or continuing your affair with a married man.

It is entirely possible that someday he may leave his wife, however, you live in the present, not the future, and you have no guarantees that his marriage will end.

What you can expect when engaged in this type of relationships are a lot of spontaneous changes in your ability to see each other.  Expect last minute rendevous at the drop of a hat, but also expect that even your best laid plans are subject to last minute cancellations.

Expect to be spending all major holidays alone.  He will be in the company of his family, which does include his wife and not with you.  Unless you are well socialized, you can expect to be very lonely during these times.

You will need to keep your relationship discreet.  You will be unable to share details of your relationship with friends and family as you would in a normal relationship.  This can begin to have an isolating effect on you.  You will never get to know his parents, his siblings, his children or his circle of friends unless he gets a divorce in the future, which again, is not where you are now.  That part of his life will be compartmentalized away from you, where it is entirely possible that he is fully integrated into your life, creating a major imbalance.

You will truly be living in the shadow of his life.

The married male who is seeking companionship outside of his primary relationship, (his marriage), may be a male who has absolutely no intention of divorcing his wife.  It is possible that he does project himself into a divorce, however, he may have reasons that lead him to believe that the timing of a divorce is just not right for him at present.

The question you must ask yourself is, what kind of a relationship to you really want?

Has he ever stated to you that he is getting divorced?  How much time are you willing to invest in waiting to see if he will end his marriage and move forward into a relationship with you?  You need to be realistic, these situations can and do drag on for years.  Set a time limit in your mind as to how long you are willing to wait on the sidelines keeping your own life on hold and stick to it.

Do you want a relationship that you don't have to hide?  Do you want to be able to go out in public together without fear of discovery?  Do you want to be able to introduce your partner to your friends and family and spend holidays and special occassions together?  If these are things necessary to your happiness, you must take them into account when deciding whether to continue your affair or not.

Are you realistic in your expectations of how his current wife and any children he may have would react were your affair to be discovered?  It is highly likely to be very unpleasant.

If you feel that you just cannot let go of your married partner and are willing to suffer through this uncomfortable situation, there are ways for you to cope.

Try to regain some balance in this totally unbalanced situation.  Don't be ready to see him each and every time he can slip away because he suddenly is available unexpectedly.  Although you may be tempted to take advantage of sharing that special, limited time with him, you will not allow this to occur as it shows him that he is your number one priority, although you are not his primary concern.

Never forget that these types of relationship contain high levels of romance and drama just by their very nature, whether real or imagined, this is so.  Grand gestures and excessive professions of love are not unusual in these affairs.  Why?  Because he well knows that you are in a precarious position by being involved in him and he has to make it seem worth your while.  Don't take everything he says at face value.  Married men who have girlfriends lie.  This is a cold hard fact.  There is no way for him to maintain two honest and open relationships in this situation (unless he is part of an open marriage agreement, which is rare).  If he is lying to his spouse, do not think for even one second that he is not lying to you as well.

The biggest and most common lie that married men who cheat utilize is that they no longer are sexually active with their wives.  Many will even claim to have separate sleeping quarters,  Don't believe that lie even for one fleeting second.  If he is still married to her and they are still living under the same roof and she has no idea that your relationship exists, he is still sleeping in the same bed with her.

With that in mind, the biggest mistake a woman in this position makes is being exclusive to the married male in question.  Until he files for divorce, a woman in this predicament would be wise to continue to date single and available men concurrently.  The best remedy is to walk away from the married man and tell him to look you up after his divorce, but if you simply can't, don't limit yourself to being his woman on the side, continue to investigate other relationship options.  If you can't bring yourself to do so, you are going to be very lonely at times.

Exercise caution in sharing information about your affair.  People love scandal and gossip, and a secret is only a secret when only one person knows about it.  Many, even close friends, will judge you harshly for dating a married man, so be extremely cautious about whom you discuss your situation with.

Set a definitive time limit for your affair.

Unless you want to spend decades as the other woman, as Katherine Hepburn did, only to have the married man you love die married to his wife, bring up the discussion of divorce early on in your affair.

If he does not give you an explicit time frame, you should leave him, this indicates he truly has no intention of divorcing.

If he informs you that he is waiting for his children to finish high school, seriously consider their current ages, if they are still very young, walk away.  If you were to continue your involvement with him throughout their primary, middle school and high school education, what motivation would he have to leave his marriage if you were still with him?

In all of this, you must also ponder how he speaks of his current wife.

Are his references to her respectful and honest and definitive of why he no longer feels he wants to be married to her?  If this is the case, he respects women and is probably being honest about how the marriage went wrong. 

If, on the other hand, he runs her down and blames the failure of the marriage solely on her you need to be extremely careful.  This may make you temporarily feel secure because it convinces you that he is no longer in love with his wife, but, consider that someday you may be in her shoes and would you like to hear him speak of you in that manner?

Remember, these relationships are full of drama and deception, he has to keep you feeling like your stifled relationship is worth it, and he will lie to do so.

It is a volatile and potentially painful situation you are in.  You could verly likely have your heart broken.  He may stay married permanently.  It does happen.  Remember Katherine Hepburn.  You could potentially spend years in the shadows of his life loving him and hoping for change only to find, in the end, all of your love was in vain.

It is best to avoid the situation altogether if possible, but if you find yourself in this predicament, you are not alone.  There are situations like these that do work out, contrary to popular conjecture, each situation is unique, but you must assess the emotional risks you are undertaking and be realistic about them if at all possible.


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    • TheThinkingOtherWoman profile image

      A Nonymous 

      5 months ago

      Yeah. Definitely agree here.. I had the opportunity to go back to mine and I held out. Glad I did. It would have been a terrible mess.

    • TheThinkingOtherWoman profile image

      A Nonymous 

      8 months ago

      This is a great article. Balanced and fair … and realistic.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      I’m married and experienced the worst experience a woman could have. Was cheated by my husband during my pregnancy. I’m still with him and now ive got into an affair with a married man. I feel terrible for doing the same thing which happened to me to another woman. I even got pregnant with him and i had no choice but abort the pregnancy. He says he loves me and also he loves his wife. I know that i am never going to be his first priority. I’ve met him 2 times so far and we were intimate both times and I clearly know that he enjoys it and I’ve noticed after he drops me off he goes home and he doesn’t want to text me much. He also says things with his wife are a little bit better now. I know I should be stopping this for the sake of my family and his family. But its just so hard when you don’t get any attention from your husband and when you don’t have feelings towards him but this man who is a total stranger gives you more confidence and shows as he’s in the same situation i am and that’s why we are together in an affair... i wish I could talk to someone about this. I don’t know whom to talk as I know most people would judge me.

    • profile image

      Other woman 

      3 years ago

      This is so true and it hurts. I've been with him for 4 years !!! And each week he "promises" to go sign to finalize his divorce. I'm miserable. We got into a huge deadly car crash last summer and it scared me what will happen to me if he dies? I live off his money, he pays the bills but doesn't want me to work. I think of leaving all the time but he's like my drug I'm addicted to him and not strong enough to leave. The longer time goes on and the more I beg him and "nag" him about signing the more meaner he gets. I know it'll never change and he will never leave her, I just wish my heart would let go. I want a family, to get married but each time we plan a date something happens to postpone it. I pressured him into buying a ring but it's almost like it was only to shut me up for a while. I wish I was strong enough to walk away but I have nothing but him now and there's the slightest hope in me he will leave her.

    • profile image

      Been there II 

      3 years ago

      I agree with Been there, having been there myself I was also pursued heavily by a MM. I loved him dearly and I pushed him away all the time, he just kept coming. When you're in love with someone it's incredibly difficult to walk away. It's not so simple, people and hearts are complicated. We are all only human, and we all make mistakes and sometimes fall in love with someone when we wish we didn't. The same goes for the MM, they can be in their M, happy or unhappy and meet someone that just stops their heart. It happens, people change, love can grow or stop no matter how hard we try to control it.

      It's always the other woman vilified as a huntress, a wh*re, the one doing the wrong thing, when it ultimately is the responsibility of the MM. We can't MAKE them have an affair and most women don't pursue this kind of relationship. I had a 3 year affair with a MM and it was the most beautiful experience I have ever had. Yes, it ended it tears, mine, as they normally do but you can't help who you fall in love with.

    • profile image

      Miss guilty 

      3 years ago

      Am in a relationship with MM and we have dated for 5years. I want to get out of this relationship but I can't cos I love him so much

    • profile image

      Miss Wrong 

      3 years ago

      This article is on point. I just ended a 15 month affair with a MM. He found me when I was vulnerable and showered me with affection. By the time I stopped to think about what I was doing it was too late. I was in love with him. Thankfully I have come to my senses, mostly because of the awful way he talked about his wife. And the fact that I will never be able to trust him. Life lesson learned.

    • profile image

      Princess Deee 

      3 years ago

      Been are SO right...just ended a 3 1/2 year relationship with a MM....yes, of course he was going to divorce her, he had not loved her for years... AND..he had been in relationships for 75 % of his marriage... I trusted him... I believed him... I gave him the time he needed until his kids started school... which was what he supposedly was waiting for...but when he told her he was leaving, she threatened suicide...he could not bear the guilt... so ... I left him... as I should have years ago... I also will never do it again...but please.. biggest misconception is that they are innocent... HA...I can guarantee you this... he will wait until the dust settles on this... and he will be looking again... He is NOT happy.. and has not been for years...he also was the one in hot pursuit...and he was anything but innocent...

    • profile image

      Been there 

      4 years ago

      To "The Wife" that posted:

      "Many married men are not philanderers. They are not looking for an affair. Don't kick it with married men. Share drinks after work. Chill discuss personal info. Share poems or personal dreams or goals. You aren't Wong friendly ... You are hunting. Any women who finds herself in a situation like this was looking for it. This is not innocent. It doesn't just happen. Trust me."

      I'm sorry but that may have been the case in your circumstance but it's rare for a single woman to "hunt" married men. I was in a 2 year affair with a MM and he pursued me until I eventually gave in. The connection was there, and undeniable, I pushed him away alot.

      Why is it always the other woman that is vilified as evil, stalking and hunting the innocent MM, and the MM just making a mistake. I'm not condoning affairs and I will never do it again, but it's the married person that is breaking all their vows and promises. Ultimately THEY are the ones that choose to allow it. It takes 2, unless you think all Other Woman have magical mystical controlling mind powers!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      robinsonbuckler @ yahoo. com did a love spell for me about 3 days ago and the results came like miracle….

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Well... Its sad to hurt the wife..I was in love with a married man we work in same centre ...his wife pregnant.. He always criticised her as lazy I blivd him the wife called me I told her her husband was going to marry me.we did spend a lot of time together he even

      Ate breakfast at my place.but now he wants nothing to

      do with him n I still love him cos I see him everyday at work but learnt a lesson .I will never do it again

    • profile image

      The wife 

      8 years ago

      If he is married dont consider him an option as though he is single. Many single women pursue married men as by that they ask them questions about his wife about his kids and life. This does not "just happen". Before she falls in love she is hanging all over his wedding ring like cheap gold. Many married men are not philanderers. They are not looking for an affair. Don't kick it with married men. Share drinks after work. Chill discuss personal info. Share poems or personal dreams or goals. You aren't Wong friendly ... You are hunting. Any women who finds herself in a situation like this was looking for it. This is not innocent. It doesn't just happen. Trust me.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      i liked the article for the vision that it looked at the understanding and helpful in this horrible situation and its hurting so much when you have no right to even get jealous to his real partner ... but still i want to stick

    • Yaduvanshi profile image


      8 years ago from Bharat Vrse

      This hub is a must read to the other or to be other women

      very well said and educative hub

      Well done

    • wonderful1 profile image

      Sheila Varga Szabo 

      8 years ago from Southern California

      Great article, thanks for that. Until you've walked in the moccasins, it's impossible to be a fair judge. I guess I'm thankful that I got the "I can't communicate with you" message before things got physical in my situation. I was the person who scorned "other women" since my ex left me for his mistress, and yet, smooth talkers are really good at convincing you to trust them. I am a caring person, and when I told the man who was messaging me that I can no longer communicate with him, once I found out he was married, he wrote: "I'm so sad, I think I'm going to throw up." That hooked me into continuing our contact. Now, looking back, I feel ashamed that I let myself down with my own rules of avoiding men in relationships. Life lesson learned.

    • profile image

      Barbara Turpin 

      9 years ago

      So true. NOT been in this situation, but know those that have.

      Sad to me, the new fad, girls looking for a "sugar daddy". NOT a relationship....just their money and an rare "romp in the hay".

      God only knows when one of these young girls end up with an STD that could ruin the rest of their lives!

      GREAT info and well written!!

      Voted up and everything except

      funny! Great read for some young lady.....

    • christalluna1124 profile image


      9 years ago from Dallas Texas


      Excellent hub. This information is crucial to any woman involved in this type of relationship. It is difficult and painful no matter how you look at it. You will often be left feeling hurt and rensentful even though you thought you knew what you were getting into before hand. Unless you are made of steel it takes a lot of strength knowing that after what was a special moment to you, or lying in bed at night alone...knowing he is with her. Also why should he leave his wife when you are available to him under the present circumstances. Either way all you are getting is sloppy seconds.

      Warmest regards,



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