Cheating & Infidelity

Why It’s So Hard to Break Free from Your Married Boyfriend

married boyfriend

You’ve tried to break up with your married boyfriend, but somehow it never works. Here’s why you’re still stuck… and how to break free.

Dumping Your Married Boyfriend: Why It’s Easier Said Than Done

There are good reasons breaking up with your married boyfriend is so hard. The tough thing is figuring out what’s going on, so you can finally get off the crazy ride and onto solid ground again.

Here are the 5 main reasons you’re still with your married boyfriend, and what exactly you can do to break it off for good and get your life back.

1. You’re awash in fakery and lies

Part of the reason it’s taking you so long to dump your married boyfriend and re-claim your life and dreams is because of the lies you’re listening to…

9 Lies Your Married Boyfriend is Telling You

  1. I never would have married her if I had met you first.
  2. I’m leaving her. Soon.
  3. I love you so much, I need you to wait for me.
  4. I can’t leave her because of the kids.
  5. I’m going to marry you; you’re the woman I’ve waited all my life for.
  6. She and I don’t sleep together; we haven’t for a long time.
  7. I don’t love her; I don’t think I ever did. YOU are my soul mate.
  8. She said I can see whomever I want. She has someone else too.
  9. She’s cruel and mean. A real witch.

Stop listening to these lies.

Because the TRUTH is that this isn’t about your married boyfriend. At all.

It’s 100% about YOU, soulshine.

You deserve better than a man’s crumbs and love leftovers, and until you accept that and start showing yourself a little (okay, a LOT) of heartfelt, souldeep love, you are going to keep settling for this sad half-life.

You shouldn’t have to worry if the next man you date is going to stay completely FAITHFUL and COMMITTED to you…

--> Make Him Your "One Woman, Forever" Man

2. You’re a little bit addicted to the drama, and your role in it

No, you’re NOT confused and uncertain. You know exactly why this is a problem because you are incredibly smart. You’re only pretending to yourself when you say “I’m just so not sure what to do. I’m so confused.”

dramaboyWhy? Because something in you kinda likes being the tragic, sad princess.

It’s a plum role in any Hollywood script, isn’t it?

By the way, it’s the same feeling HE’S having. No silly, not “sad princess” but more like “tragic prince.”

It’s perfect for Hollywood, but it sucks when it’s your real life.

And it only gets better if you do the work of ending this relationship.

But here’s a real shocker:

It’s actually EASIER for YOU than for HIM, because he’s in the nastier mess right now. Repairing things with his family or cleaning up his giant mess are going to be much harder than what you have to do.

3. You’re feeling too desperate for some love and tenderness

Yep, I know you want love. Love, a few pretty words, some flattery, gifts, and intimacy. You want love and tenderness, romance and sizzle. Excitement, adoration, pleasure… ANYTHING, really.

hungry loveAnd “anything” is exactly the problem.

Being too clingy, desperate, and needy is a surefire way to repel men (even the ones who want to “fix” or “rescue” women), wreck your relationships, and further damage your self-esteem.

We get clingy and needy because we’re starving for attention and affirmation, and when you’re desperate for those things, you stop spending time building our own life, and simply start scanning for any possible source for a “fix.”

I know, that’s drug junkie language. And it fits in this situation, because what you need to do is break your addiction, and get yourself back to good emotional health. More info on that coming up…

4. You’re telling yourself this ONE HUGE LIE: “I’m not strong enough to leave him.”

You’ve been insanely loving and patient with your married boyfriend. You’ve waited patiently on the sidelines, tried to be understanding, bent over backwards to be accommodating.

In fact, those are the very things that show how incredibly strong you are. You were strong enough to love in ridiculously challenging circimstances…

So yes, you are also strong enough to leave him forever. (And finally thrive.)

You have the ability to keep things exactly the same, AND you also have the ability to change your life!

You are whole, wonderfully made, loving, and capable. You are sturdy and clever. Gather up your courage and set out for the dreams that are waiting for you.

5. You haven’t (yet!) realized that you are BLOCKING the REAL LOVE of your life…

Sneaking around with a married boyfriend isn’t the kind of love you dreamed of.

Feeling stuck, waiting and hoping HE will change something in your life – is not how you thought a beautiful, lifelong love would be.

The good news is that YOU are in charge of your own life, gorgeous woman. You deserve to have all the love the universe wants to send you.

And by staying in this half-relationship with a married boyfriend, by staying in this tragic princess mode, you’re actually PREVENTING real love from happening.

How can the REAL love of your life ever begin if you’re still stuck with the married guy?

The #1 way to make a man FAITHFUL to YOU

Nothing makes you feel LESS secure than being with a man who is “wishy-washy” about his feelings for you, who can’t seem to commit himself 100% to you, and the relationship…

new boyfriend

And even if he SAYS he’s fully committed to you and faithful, can you really be sure that his devotion to you will last? That it will stand the test of time?

–> Faithful FOREVER (how to trigger his commitment instinct)

It IS possible to make a man absolutely monogamous to you. And not just physically, but also emotionally…

So that the thought of ever being with another woman actually disgusts him…and merely SEEING YOU fills him with joy, and send shivers of desire and delight up his spine…

This secret really is THAT powerful…

–> Discover the “Monogamy Method”

You owe it to yourself to learn this unusual, science-backed “monogamy method.” It only takes a few minutes, and it’s like knowing how to flip a switch in a man’s mind, and heart, to make him forever faithful to YOU

Here’s What You Should Do Now…

It’s time to build yourself up, and start exercising those self-care muscles you’ve been letting get slack and out of shape. But before you can do that, you need to address #1 on the list below…

1. Break it off NOW with the married boyfriend.

  • Tell him clearly and plainly that it’s over. For good.
  • Move into your own place, or get all his stuff out of your apartment. Get your own things back from him, or let it go for good.
  • Get rid of anything you own “together” or else agree who will take over that item.
  • Do NOT accept money, gifts, or support from him.
  • Stop cooking for him, contacting him, or checking in with him.
  • Block his calls and texts, block him on social networks, do a total social cleanse.
  • Stop seeing and talking to his friends and/or relatives.
  • Find new restaurants, coffeeshops, and hangouts that are yours; not the places the two of you shared.

2. Work toward your beautiful future

What are your top 3 goals for life right now? Get busy and make a plan for meeting those goals and work your plan. Invest in your passions.

And don’t kid yourself: this is work.

But it’s good work, and it’s going to pay off in lots of life and soul satisfaction.

3. Expand your social network

Now is the time to start renewing and expanding your circle of friends, coaches, and mentors (especially if you’ve been centering your life around a married boyfriend).

4. Start casually dating other guys

When I say “casual” I don’t mean sleeping around. Go out, but don’t leap in with both feet and all your heart. Maintain your reserve. Let things unfold gently over time. See what happens.

M 3 And when I say “guys” I mean more than one. Lightly shop around, see what’s going on in the universe of men. Your world has been too small and cramped for too long, y’know?

5. Take care of yourself, and get help when you need it

Take care of yourself, sunshine. Dating a married guy was not healthy for you. Do the small things that give you joy, whether it’s getting a pedicure with a girlfriend, indulging in a long lunch with a favorite aunt, or finally getting back in shape and eating healthy.

If you’re stuck, spend some time getting help from a emotionally healthy friend or advisor. Life coaches are awesome, if you know one, or can afford professional help.

Learn from your mistakes, and move on with fresh confidence

Remember, making mistakes doesn’t make you a screw-up. Making mistakes is proof that you’re actively trying. Instead of smacking yourself on the forehead and saying, “What was I thinking?” take a moment to breathe deeply and ask “What was I learning?” instead.

You’re gonna be great. You can do this, beautiful woman.

xoxo Claire

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20 comments on “Why It’s So Hard to Break Free from Your Married Boyfriend

  1. Joe Shepherd

    Hi Claire, my wife had an affair for 8 months with a married man. I asked for a divorce. We had been married for 24 miraculous years. She is so beautiful. Any way when Dave found out she was getting divorced, he dumped her! I know his wife, never told her about the affair. She came back to me but the hurt was so deep that we both needed to heal. I medicated myself (I’m a recovering alcoholic, dry for 31 years)with short, intimate relationships for about 4 months. Then realized how destructive that was to me. My wife asked me to forgive her and we have become intimate again. Last night she had her company Christmas party and our son told me that her girlfriend she was going with had left a message that she couldn’t make it and could give her the ride home. So I put on my Tux and headed to the hotel to bring her home.
    She had gone to the party with another man and I ran into them when I got to the front door of the Royal York Hotel. I introduced myself and told her I wanted to bring her home since Lillian hadn’t gone. She just said she was going home with this new man.
    What am I doing
    Is divorce the only way out?
    She is my greatest love

    • Hi Joe,

      I know you are in love with her and have been married for so long, but it seems your wife is no longer the person you fell in love with or married. I’m not qualified to tell you what to do, however my advise to you as someone who is in love with the wrong person…is, she has lost respect for you and your marriage, if she really wanted to work things out, she would have invited YOU to her Christmas function. The fact that she then told you, her Husband, that she was going home with this other guy just makes me mad! She doesn’t deserve you or your love and it saddens me that you are being treated so poorly!
      Please try to let go of your love for her, she will never appreciate it like she used to, she has changed. It’s time for you to change also, but for the better. Because you deserve to be loved and cared for, treated with respect and and in the way that you can trust your love will be met by equal faithfulness.
      I myself am in love with someone who I shouldn’t be, and I feel all of your pain (maybe in different ways) and I wish I could take my own advise and let him go… I just don’t know how?

  2. hi Claire,
    I was dating a married man and we have a 8 months old daughter. At the begenning of our relationship I didn’t know he was married and I found out after 4 months of dating him and that time I’m already 2 months pregnant. Its so hard to walk away. I love him so much.

    • Quintina

      I’m in the same situation I have a 7month old with a married man I’ve dated for 2yrs and it’s so hard to let i love him and I know he loves me. Not enough to leave his wife but he cares for me. I’m confused I have to let go he won’t leave her she puts up with anything he does so why would he leave? But I’m tired of playing second and a secret to some of his family.. we deserve better!

      • Claire Casey

        You DO deserve better, Quintina. The question is whether or not you can make the break. It will be a LOT of work, and your heart will crack and hurt in many ways. But you deserve ALL of someone’s love, not just the leftovers. It will be a major challenge to keep your child’s father in the picture (they both deserve to have a good relationship), but it can be done. Call in your support network; you need them now more than ever. My very best to you, no matter what you decide. xoxo

  3. Sabrina

    I’m in love with a married man and have been having an intimate relationship with him for almost 15 months now. Before entering into that type of relationship we were friends for a couple of years. I never have been with somebody that’s been in a relationship or married before and I dI dnt know what I was getting I to. I thought I did and also thought I had control and since I had left my longterm boyfriend (14 years who is also the father of my 13 year old twin girls ) and I was not anywhere near ready for a serious relationship that it could be a sexual relationship and that was it. Well our friendship turned into so much more after the sexual aspect of our relationship started. At the beginning even though his marriage had major issues,he didnt want to leave for his kids sake, which i was ok with and it made me respect the type of an he was. But the more time we spent together the deeper our feelings became. Honestly I have never felt like this before about anyone. He is the ying to my yang, my soul mate and my best friend. And I know he feels the same way. And he has been talking about wanting to make a life with me. I dnt want to wreck his family and I know I’m being selfish but I love him and can’t give him up. I tried once and it was the worst time of my life. I was actually in physical pain and I had never seen him cry and he is such a tough guy that he never seemed the type. It tore my heart out and I vowed to myself to be patient and not pressure him for any commitment. To just let him come to the conclusion of what he wants and needs in his life. He says it’s me and that he’s leaving. One of his daughters wants to live with him and one is close to the mother and wants to stay with her (daughters are 17 and 15). He just needs to. E to sort out the financial stuff and everything. I really do believe that it’s going to work out. But it’s oo hard spending a lot of nights by myself especially after the nights we spend together and having him hold me so tight all night long. Am I delusional or even though it’s few and far between, can so.e of these situations actually work out? Or

    • Claire Casey

      In answer to your question, Sabrina, yes. Sometimes things do work out. But those are the exception rather than the rule. Many times the same problems from the former relationship(s) cause problems in the new relationship. Rather than making things simpler, you’re usually adding stress and complexity (exes, kids, extended families, travel arrangements, jobs, and of course, emotional issues connected to the breakup) when you have a new relationship built out of an affair, even a long-term affair.

      I think the last study I saw about this said that marriages which began as affairs were twice as likely to end in divorce as marriages that didn’t begin from affairs. Those are hard odds.

      No matter what you all decide to do, I’m sending you best wishes and hopes that everyone will work as hard as they can to make love last. xoxo

  4. Hello!

    I’m confused if I would just vanish into thin air and not settle things with my married guy. By settling things, I mean breaking up with him through talking and remain good friends. Or should I just break up with him by not replying to his texts forever? I have tried breaking up with him but find myself replying to his texts and eventually see him secretly and I would usually regret after. I wanted to forget him but reminiscing the good memories we had makes me want to see him more.

    • Claire Casey

      HI Gina — it IS a struggle, and a hard one. But your absolute best bet for helping you make the break is exactly what the article says: Start dating other men. And if you don’t do that, there’s something in your heart and soul that is making you think you don’t deserve more than these pitiful crumbs your married man is tossing your way once in a while. That’s a deeper issue within you, and you should call in your support network to help you figure that out. I know it’s tough, but you really do deserve ALL of a man’s love, not just his leftovers… xoxo

  5. Thank you so much Claire! I really do hope that the best decision will come my way sooner. Maybe I just badly needed love all along and I thought sticking with the married guy was my only hope. I wish it was that easy to heal my broken heart, move on and find the right guy. I am still hurting from the thought that maybe my married guy was only after of sex which makes me mad at myself.

  6. Hi Claire,

    Where to begin… I have been with my married bf for nearly 3 years. His wife found out via me when we were 6 mo the into this relationship, we were sort of friends and had been carelessly left drinking together one night by himself… I felt overcome with guilt and told her everything. She immediately called him and told him to get out of their house. She could not leave my house due to drinking, at first she felt bad for me as well and we talked and eventually after she spoke to him again on the phone he came and collected her in the middle of the night, he wouldn’t speak to me at all. She kicked him out that night and he slept in his car for about two weeks.told me a few times to leave him alone after I tried texting to apologise. Eventually I did stop, then two days after I did as asked and stopped he texted me again and said I didn’t have to stop talking altogether. She after the two weeks let him back in. He asked me to not text at night for a bit and she wrote me really nasty (deservedly so) emails until I blocked her. He finally came back to my place during a lunch break just after the two weeks in car and we had sex… He was wary of me for a long time and still he promised it wouldn’t be long.

    Long story short(ish) I am still here on the side lines… After repeated promises of “soon”

    They have no children. He sees me 1-3 times a week. He had lost his job due to redundancy a couple of years ago and has since started his own web business. He’s been struggling to get that going.

    He swears they are in separate bedrooms and have been since the night I spilled the beans. She hasn’t seen or spoken to me since (thankfully they live a little ways away in another town) but what I wouldn’t give to be a fly on their wall to know what actually goes on there…

    He says she is miserable in their remote location and wants to go back to her friends and family in a much further away and busier city… But still she stays… And why did he put it all back together if he really wants to be with me???

    I feel like since it’s been nearly three years now of me waiting and hoping… Do I just give up now and acknowledge the loss and move on or wait a bit more and hope he is being truthful with his promises

    I think he is hoping she will be the one to suggest the split then he walks away with his hands relatively clean.

    But I’m so tired of the “soons” clearly we have much differing opinions on that definition.

    I’m tired of the 2-3 times a week visits where we hardly leave my house/my room. And I feel like he still puts her over me by way of not wanting to upset her and knows if I am upset or disappointed (more and more frequently as of late) that I’ll just get over it because I am kind and I do forgive all too swiftly. But I want to be the one put first. To be the one he never wants to let down.

    He always seems so sincere when he’s with me. I always end up falling back down the rabbit hole and back into his arms time and time again.

    I have lashed out and gotten angry and broken up with him countless times the last year. I have given him ultimatums and time lines to “get it done or else!” But he always fails me and I always forgive… So I feel like if I’m to leave him I will literally have to ghost him and block him and leave without trace because he will never take my tantrums seriously now and just lays low for a day or two until I’ve cooled off and missed him.

    I’m in a foreign country and have a young child (not his) and not many friends or support here. So without him and his company no matter how infrequent I feel so alone without him and he knows this. He is my best friend here. So I feel utterly stuck. I can’t understand why he won’t just end an unhappy marriage. He says he is waiting for “the right time” but there will never be a perfect time to end something no matter how unhappy it is. He also claims he is worried she will harm herself if he leaves… Then why risk it with me at all???

    I am at constant battle with my head and heart and so up and down with loving and being so angry I feel like I have two personalities half the time and it is driving me crazy and making me just so twisted up inside.

    If I love him truly should I not trust him and his word? Should I not just wait and see?

    If he loved me so much why has he put it all back together and why is he not leaving to be happy with me?

    My friend I speak to back home about it (bless her because I’d be lost without her love and patience) she says he doesn’t want to lose his comforts and his home and rock that boat. But how will we ever be together if he doesn’t have a bit of disruption?

    I’m annoyed at myself for being so easily swayed by his dazzling words.

    I want to trust him.

    He tells me when I start to kick off and get upset that I should leave him until he is sorted out. We have tried this and it lasted about 11 days and then I cracked and wrote him. It feels more like torture and why should I have to be the one left on my own. The entire 11 days I was sitting there wondering if he’d done anything yet…. And no he had not.

    He tells me they frequently talk about how unhappy she is here and how she wants to be back home nearer family and friends. He says we are slowly getting there… But I’m not sure I can take this pace.

    A lot of time when I am on my own I have these horribly delightful fantasies about secretly having her find out that we are still together. Via some way unrelated to me. Like a secret text from a burner phone or something. Anonymous email perhaps. Not to make her pay but to hurry this along

    What do I do????

    • Oh gosh I wish I could sit and have a coffee with you!!!!
      Your life is my life hun, I’m just 9 years in and was still waiting till I rocked up at his front door when he was at work and told her everything.
      She thought I was still having an affair with him till I told her he’d told me we were in a relationship and he was telling me he was planning on selling up and divorcing her.
      My advise to you would be get out and run….run as fast as you can…..my friends have been telling me to do it for years but I kept believing his false promises foolishly.
      Why would you want a man like that??? You deserve a million times better.
      I’m going through heartbreak right now as his sick deception came to light this weekend.
      Please girl GET OUT NOW!

  7. Claire Casey

    Hi Molly — I know your heart is worn out from all the pain. Is this really what you want? If you decide you want more than someone’s “leftover love” you should follow the 5 steps at the end of the article. It won’t be easy, and it won’t feel good for a while. But then things will start to get better. The longer you wait, the longer you are unavailable for a man who wants the same things you want, a man who will be ALL yours, just like you’ll be all his. I know you can do this. The question is, are you ready to make a start?

    xoxo Claire

    PS: Don’t spend any more time with vengeful fantasies about secret texts to his wife. They have problems, clearly. You don’t need those problems and it’s not a good idea to spend your energy making things worse. Spend your energy on building your new life! {{{hugs}}}

  8. Thank you Claire 🙂 I do believe I am ready for that new life. You are so right ! No more leftovers for this lady😀

  9. Hi Claire,
    I have been with my married bf for nearly 4 months. We are working at the same company and before his marriage we had kinda relationship but did not work out. And he married other woman who was much more wellcomed from his family. After 4 years later he contact me. I was very upset on those days cause of i broke up my bf and tried to figure out what to do. I felt so lonely and yet he contacted with me and I accepted to meet with him. Actually he invited me his home while his wife was on a vacation. We had a such a great time. Unfortunately I found out that his wife was pregnant for their second child.

    He told me he is so happy with me and he would like to see me. I broke up with him many times. All the times he called me or came to my office. I accepted his apologize and listened that how much he missed me…:( He said it is not just about sex its also love. But I know that he will never break up with his wife. I will always feel lonely. I feel emotional gap and try to fill with his attention. however it is not working anymore. I do not deserve this kind of relationship and during the four months i have been crying many times because of guilty. Especially at nights because I know that my loved bf with his wife in their bed.

    Today I texted to him that I do not wanna see him anymore. He has already taken, he will never with me my precious or distressing times. I will be all alone if i continue this affair. I feel so upset right now and thats why I want to write to u. I have already missed him so much because i love him so deeply. My heart is broken and i feel deep pain inside. I have to forget him asap. Even though I would like to relationship with him’ it is impossible to see him at weekends and I can not text him at nights. Thats why I have to forget and move over him to get healthy date.

    Claire pls help me I know what to do but I am so depressed. I can not breathe. How can I forget him ?

    • Claire Casey

      I’m so sorry to hear it, Andrea. But you can do this, if you make up your mind to just do it. Break the ties, date other men, and pick the pieces of your life back up again. What are your life/career/creative goals? Get to work on them again!! You’ll never forget this man, but you will eventually be able to move on. But the longer you wait, the more of your life you burn away. So make the change and reclaim your life and dreams. You deserve SO much more. xoxo Claire

  10. I met a guy 16 years ago when I had a boyfriend and he had a girlfriend.
    2 years in I got married and had a baby all whilst I was still seeing him (totally not proud of it, I was in my early 20’s)
    He got married the following year.
    4 years after that I got divorced, but out affair remained.
    His wife found out about our affair and left him for 2 months, then returned to their marital home.
    He told me that they lived separate lives, separate bedrooms etc.
    I continued seeing him for 9 years. In this time he assured me multiple times that he was going to get a divorce and sell his house to be with me (lots happened in between)
    Last Friday I found out that he has been living a normal married life with his wife ALL the time and his wife is pregnant.
    I’m in bits….the past 9 years have been a sham, he has been a fraud and I feel I have no idea who he really is.
    I’m broken and don’t know how I’m going to move forward.

    • Claire Casey

      Beautiful Sarah — I know this is painful, and your heart is in pieces.

      And you’ve learned some important things in the course of all this. BOTH of you have lived without full honesty and truth. You knew he was still married, but you continued to see him for 9 years. He’s had only a shadow of the real relationship he could have had for the past 9 years if he had truly committed himself to one woman.

      It may have been a half-mess before, and now it’s a full-on mountain of mess.

      The good thing (yep, there’s a good thing, darling) is that now you have a fresh, clear opportunity to re-evaluate what you want: a painful relationship with half a man, or a true, rich, authentic relationship with a man who will give you his whole heart.

      I think I know which one you will choose, fierce soul. You deserve MORE, so much more, and I believe you will pick up the pieces, rebuild and give yourself the great gift of your dream.

      Don’t beat yourself up too much, okay? And don’t focus all your anger and energy on him, either. Everyone makes mistakes, even huge ones. Now things can be different, and they can be the way YOU want them to be.

      Don’t settle for less, sweet sister.

      • Hi Claire,

        Thanks for getting back to me.

        I spoke with him today and found out that he has been looking for every opportunity for the last 2/3 years to break up with me but for whatever reason (him/me being weak) we started up again.

        It’s hard for me as I’ve just realised I’ve been led to believe I had a boyfriend/partner when actually I’ve been a mistress all along.

        He also told me he chose to have a baby with her, not me. That hurts. I don’t know how I move on from this

        • Claire Casey

          Just follow the 5 steps above, Sarah. I know it hurts. I know it’s hard. You can do this. Sending you {{❤}}

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