When you realize that you're in love with a married woman, feelings of excitement, worry, and guilt could afflict you all at once.
Whether you're in the middle of a full-blown affair or just harboring unspoken feelings, part of you has to recognize that falling in love with a married woman is not a good idea.
You're inviting drama, and probably heartbreak, into your life.
You're almost certainly losing opportunities to meet an available woman.
The time has come to step away.
All that remains is figuring out a way to end the relationship.
Is It OK to Fall in Love with a Married Woman?
You don't have to beat yourself up for falling in love with anyone.
She might be desirable and a good match for you in many ways, except that she has a husband.
Right now, the secrecy surrounding your encounters might feel titillating.
She most likely enjoys this aspect of the affair as well. Researchers have found that men and women will experience a cheater's high after getting away with something they shouldn’t do.
However, at some point, the secrecy might grow old for you because you won't be able to do regular couple activities, like spend holidays together.
She already has a husband and family for that. She has compartmentalized you, like a drawer to pull open when she needs emotional support, physical pleasure, and fun.
Although it is OK to love her because loving is not wrong, the fact remains that you're dating a cheater. If you're hoping that she will leave her husband for you, then disappointment may await you.
The past does not always write the future because maybe she is the one for you. You’re fighting a statistical improbability if you expect a long-term committed relationship with her.
A study that looked at whether previous infidelity was associated with infidelity in subsequent relationships found a three-fold greater risk of cheating occurring again.
If you want companionship from someone you can trust, she is not the one. The time has come for you to figure out exactly how do you stop loving a married person?
How to Stop Loving a Married Woman: 9 Steps to Manage Your Feelings
1. Recognize that your needs are going unmet.
Dating a married woman leaves you relatively powerless. There are restrictions about when you can see her. She has to fit you into her schedule carefully.
Even if you initially thought that a casual relationship suited you, the limitations of a relationship with a married woman mean she has control over what happens when. Over time, this situation becomes stifling.
If you're hoping that she'll leave her husband and give you the attention that a new partner deserves, then you could have a long wait. In reality, this relationship is about meeting her unmet needs at home.
Although she may care about you and adore you, she's ultimately not there to make you feel better.
2. Imagine the stress you'll experience if her husband finds out.
You might fantasize about her husband finding out so that she can be with you full time. If this happens, though, prepare yourself for a bunch of turmoil.
The pleasure and excitement of your affair will dissolve into a crisis. Getting caught could very likely send her into damage repair with her husband.
She could leave you at the side of the road, which would be heartbreaking and embarrassing.
3. Stop viewing yourself as her rescuer.
You're not the first person to become enamored of the idea of being someone's hero. Her husband is no good, but you can bring her joy.
You might imagine that your love for her will motivate her to end her marriage and move forward with you. Even if that did happen, then your relationship will forever cast you in the role of the rescuing hero.
That could set you up for failure. Once the pressure is on you full time, she might decide that you are as emotionally dissatisfying as her current husband.
4. Decide that you deserve better.
You may see some advantages in your relationship with a married woman if you want sex without commitment and lots of free time. However, those desires hardly mean that you have to settle for someone who lies to her so-called life partner.
Give yourself a chance to fall in love without someone who is not “forbidden fruit” for the sake of your self-esteem.
If you have yet to act on your love towards the married woman, this advice still applies. Shouldn't you put your energy toward courting an available woman instead of one who will automatically bring stress and drama into your life?
Pursuing your love of a married woman is not setting you up for a happy ending.
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5. Be honest and accept that she is not in love with you.
She might find you thrilling and like you in many ways, but those are different things than love.
A woman who leaves her husband to focus on you loves you. Otherwise, you're a recreational activity. Lust and boredom define her affection for you more than a desire to care about you every day.
Although she says that she loves you, she may be manipulating you, hoping for a real relationship in the future. This behavior could be a ploy to maintain her status quo.
Alternatively, she may sincerely love you but probably not enough to withstand the test of going through the financial turmoil of a divorce to be with you.
If forced to make a choice, she is very likely to go back to her husband. Staying with him is much safer and easier than packing her bags.
6. Explain to her that you dislike being part of her deception.
Once you've decided that your trysts must come to an end, do her the courtesy of telling her. When people get dumped, they want to know why.
You can answer by saying that you're tired of playing your part in her lie. This is a difficult answer to argue against because most people have the integrity to know they shouldn’t lie constantly.
7. Stop responding to her messages.
Stepping away means exactly that. The affection, attention, and emotional support that you provide keeps her coming back.
When you understand that your relationship cannot lead to a healthy partnership, explain that you don't want to continue it and end communication.
If she has a problem, keep yourself from swooping in to lend aid. Focus on your life and nurturing relationships with people who don't have to lie to be with you.
8. Remove yourself from her social circle or workplace.
Affairs require an opportunity to get together. Many people who are unfaithful to their spouses fall for co-workers, colleagues, neighbors, or friends in their social circle.
Of course, some people meet online, but the same advice applies. Delete the dating app or unfriend her on social networks. In real life, you may need to start socializing elsewhere or even find a different job.
9. Allow yourself time to grieve and move on with life.
After ending the affair, brace for normal feelings of grief and loss. You really liked her and wished that she was not married.
For a long time, you'll daydream about what could've been if only she had gotten a divorce. But she didn't get a divorce, and your energy is better spent on life-enhancing activities rather than entertaining someone in a flagging marriage.
Time to Make a Decision
The married woman that you love might be the woman of your dreams. It's not unheard of for people to meet in this way and enjoy a long romance after she gets a divorce.
This is why you need to honestly answer the question, “Will she leave her husband for me?” If you want a real relationship with her, you need to ask her if she will choose you.
If divorce is off the table for her, then you should take steps to disconnect from her. Ending the affair on your terms will feel better than waiting for her to get bored with you.