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.

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?

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.

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

36 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?

      • i agree with Jody saying . once women have an affair, their heart for you will not be the same any more but men are different. They can finish their affair with outside women to go back their home if their wives forgive them.

  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… 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 {{❤}}

          • Claire…..I just received a notification as there is a new comment on this thread.
            And wow!!
            In the last 2.5 years I can barely recognise the person I am now.
            I want to thank you and all those on this post. I am prove that time is a healer.
            I am happy, In a new loving, truly honest relationship with a man who gives me his entire heart!!
            Be strong ladies, you WILL get through this and you deserve so much more xxx

  11. Hey Claire, Thanks for writing this.
    I am so happy that you’re healing people. Those words like Sunshine and Soulshine that you used for us make me feel a little less screwed up. I am a mess right now. I had this strong feeling for one of my classmate who happens to be in a long distance relationship with a girl from his high school days from last 5 years.
    I knew this from the beginning, but he made me feel special on so many occasions that i actually felt attracted to him. I was dealing with a messed up first love break up prior to meeting him, and i assure you i am not the kind who goes for a rebound. I have known this guy from 3 years as of now; we were best friends until this last 6to 8 months. and its in these last 6 months that things started changing.He does not ever talk about his girlfriend. He holds my hand, is kind to me and had expressed that he feels attracted to me. I had told him that its mutual. This led to a makeout session and ended up being messy. He doesn’t intend to leave his relationship and does not let me cut all ties with him. He asks me to be his friend only, but i cant be just friends with him. Whenever i take a step to maintain no contact with him, he starts chainsmoking or starts drinking. This makes my stand weaker and i find it hard to cut all ties with him.
    He says that he doesn’t mind me not being his lover but he cant stand my ignorance.
    But he does not understand that its hard for me.
    What do you suggest me?

    • Claire Casey

      Sweet, shining Grace

      Yours is an easy one, but none of us are born knowing it:

      His bad behavior is NOT your responsibility.

      You must do what is good and healthy for YOU. You already know what that is (way to go, savvy sister!), and that is blocking all contact with him. You’re nearly there! Now you have to resist thinking that his destructive behavior (smoking, drinking) is somehow YOUR fault. It’s not.

      He is choosing what to do, and YOU can’t make better choices for him. Only HE can do that for himself.

      But he doesn’t want to. He thinks that by smoking or drinking or calling you “ignorant” when you tell him you want to cut ties will help him keep his girlfriend and also have a little bit of you on the side. Right now he’s under the mistaken assumption that grown, intelligent women are willing to be used by him this way.

      So don’t allow this! Your instincts are right on track. Choose better for yourself and allow him the opportunity to choose better for himself too.

      You got this, beautiful. And I’m cheering for you.

      • Thank-you so so much Claire! I have done just what you suggested…
        I was in dilemma if i was doing the right thing, but reading your response reinvigorated the will to remain strong.
        I wont go that messy way ever again.I am going to lose my friendship with him and that’s definitely a loss (because he was my best friend before clumsy things started happening), but i guess that cost i need to pay in order to reorient myself. You are more than correct when you say “Your instincts are right on track”
        I really love you for this.
        I just want to tread on the right path. I want to be a good person again.
        Thank-you so much Claire. I am keeping screenshots of your answer to remind me my strength if or when i feel weak in future…

  12. durve56

    So I am a well educated woman. A doctor. Just recently emerged from an almost 20 year relationship/marriage. Met and started a relationship with a guy that I knew was married. Being very sour on my previous relationship was essentially just looking just for sex and friendship. But, long story short, I have fallen in love with this man. A feeling of love that I haven’t felt in over 20 years, meaning I didn’t have this strong a feelings even for the man I married. The rollercoaster of emotions being involved with a married man is ridiculous! At the beginning of our relationship he said divorce was not an option. I met another guy who I dated for 2 months, and so I broke it off with him during this time, or rather I told him we should just be friends. Then his tune changed. He wanted a divorce and needed time to sort it out. It totally reeled me back in. He pretty much says everything listed above, and I know that he’s likely never going to leave his wife, and that I am going to have to end things. I’ve actually tried a couple times… unsuccessfully. Mostly because I maintain contact. So I think it would have to be a complete severing of communication. I know I am going to have to do this, and probably soon. It just sucks. Why do they fight so hard to keep you on their leash? I’ve told this man multiple times that I do not want to be his mistress, and that if he does not intend to actually leave his wife and have a true relationship with me that he must let me go. He swears sincerity, but its been almost 6 months and I see no proof he’s trying to leave. He says his wife is abusive… and I have seen bruises on his arm before in the shape of fingers.. so I don’t know if he’s telling the truth. He says his wife has power over him and leaving is not easy. That he has to be calculated about it. But, I don’t want to be a mistress. I know I deserve better. And that I can’t do this for too much longer. But it still sucks.

    • Claire Casey

      I’m totally impressed, durve56! You absolutely DO understand what’s going on here, and you know that you’re going to move forward. My favorite part of your story was the bit about how you started dating another man (BEST POSSIBLE MOVE). I only wish you had kept on with that plan. Yet another example of how your married boyfriend is preventing you from finding the love you deserve. Don’t forget: the very best way to get your married boyfriend off your mind is to date other men. So do it, and soon. ♥️

  13. My story is very similar to those women mentioned above. My on/off again boyfriend of almost two years is married and says he is getting a divorce. It took him over one year to retain a lawyer when in the beginning he said that he would do so right away.

    Initially when I met him although married he didn’t not live with his wife. He said his wife decided to move out to live with her parents after they had a big argument. A year later, she was over to his house taking care of their kids (while he had the flu-it also happened to be the day after Valentine’s Day) and she found a card in his vehicle. The card was signed by me. Since this incident she has moved back into the house. I’m unsure whether she ever was moved out to begin with as to this day I have never seen/been in his house.

    Regardless, his wife and him still live together but supposedly share separate bedrooms. They have two children who also live in their house. He says that he cannot leave the house/rent somewhere else because it would be abandonment of his children and the court would frown upon it.

    I don’t want to be waiting forever but I’m not sure if I will ever find a love like this again. We have a soulmate connection that I feel will be hard to replace.

    • Claire Casey

      I bet he won’t be all that hard to replace, lovely Susan. Why not start dating now and find out? <3

  14. Thank you Claire for this article. You made so many good points made me cry reading. Cry because it hit me to the core. Being in a 14 year relationship with a MM is soul crushing. I say I want to get out but don’t follow through. I’m so tired of feeling sad, depressed, not good enough. Long story short he was my first boyfriend when we were teens. We lost touch in high school and ran into each other in our late twenties. We’ve been on this rollercoaster ride since. Broken up many times. I’m tired of this, I really am but I hate to lose our friendship. I know it’s most likely not possible to only be friends. But I hate to lose this person that has been a big part of my life for so many years.


    ‘hello claire i am experiencing the same ….
    back 2017 august i met this guy and went on a date with him .first it was justb sex since i was out of break up with my ex boyfriend.
    At the begining i didnt know the guy had a wife ..When i asked him about it he told that they were not married yet they have been living inthe same house for the last 13yrs.Last year june i lost my job as arestaurant manager and since then he has been supporting me financially.
    His wife found out about us this year january and asked him to leave me .
    He first hesitated to let me go until this month of july he told her he was going to break up with me.

    So he called me asked me if we could continue being in a secret relationship without his wife knowing we were stilling seeing each other in secret.
    So i agreed since i love him soo much …claire i never felt like this before ..
    Again he is my hope for now since i dont have a job at the moment.
    My relationship with him is soo beautiful .He calls me several times in a day and we do talk alot since he have alotb in common .
    Our relationship is a long distance since he lives in amsterdam and i live in kenya(africa).He is an african man ..He told me he is planning of coming back to africa in the next couple of years and actually he has been buying properties back here at home..
    His girlfriend told him nshe will not be accompaning him to africa since she doesnt feel safe i thought wow this might work out …
    But what hurts me the most is because if by any chance i get pregnant with his child i should abort it cz he is not ready for a child yet he is 51yrs of age …im 27 yrs .And his wife is 35 yrs trying to conceive…
    So to cut the story sht i feel soo drained and hurt every time i think about my married boyfriend…I would like to leave him but where will i start from (no job, dont come from a rich family, in my country finding a job is hard especially this covid 19 time since im in a hospitality industry..
    Claire its soo hard for me but i reallr want to leave this relationship behid cz it really messing me up especially emotinal wise and healthwise …I think about him almost 24hrs a day since im npot working at the momentbt i feel relaxed when i go to the gym .

    It has really affected me socially…i dont find any other guy attractive or cute
    My world just revolve around him and yet we meet 2times a year ..Atyms i fe.el worthless …i am soo messed up.

  16. Kaye De la Torre

    Hi Claire,

    I’m with a married man for almost 8 years now(met him when I was 18 years old, now I’m 25). He’s 33 years older than me(now he’s 58). We spent so much memories together and I really really really love him and I know he loves me too but not enough for him to leave his wife and family. We went through difficult times in our relationship and almost broke up several times. He always threatens to leave me everytime we fight but I am always the one who begs him not to..

    Fast forward to this year 2021, we went through a rough patch mainly because of my insecurities and clinginess(contributing factor is my jealousy towards his wife). I never spoke bad about his wife and never talks about her at all since hearing her name breaks my heart every time. He wants to breakup again via messenger and told me that he wants to focus on his family this time. And as expected, I begged him not to. I love him very much Claire and he’s also supporting me and my family financially. Please help me, Claire… what shall I do…

  17. Reading all of this helps me tremendously but yet makes me incredibly sad. I was with a married man for 7+ years and he lied to me, told me he was getting divorced but never did, and begged me to take him back more times than I can count. Every holiday I would realize how unhappy the situation made me and how one sided the “relationship” was; although I’m the only one that thought it was a relationship. I finally hit my rock bottom, breaking point this last week when I was sick and got denied comfort Bc he was too busy. And now while trying to pick up the pieces of what my life used to be, I am noticing that I’m so used to being alone and antisocial, to a degree, Bc that’s the way we had to be to hide, even though he would deny we needed to do that. I feel so foolish, ashamed and like I wasted years of my life. I know things will get better but I hope someone reads all of these posts and it prevents them from making the same mistakes we all did. You all can act and pretend like your situation is different, but much like mine, we are all cliches.

  18. I just dumped the MM I was seeing for 5 years. Literally 3 days ago. Now I’m trying to figure out why I didn’t do it sooner. I’m sure it won’t take him long to find his next latest and greatest. I have to deal with the self loathing and tears for a little bit. But guess what, I’m not being lied to anymore. I’m not putting my life on hold anymore. I’m not constantly worried about whether I have cell service (just in case he decided to grace me with a text) I have slept better the last couple of nights than I have in the last couple of years. Yes I still love him, but somewhere in all of this mess I realized I deserve so much more!

    • Claire Casey

      Woo-hoo! Good for you, Holly. Your whole life is going to open up now that you’re finally winning free of this tangle. I’m cheering for you from here!

  19. Christine Espinosa

    What if the married guy is a co worker?

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