How to Avoid Having Feelings for a Married Man

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Most women don’t set out to fall in love with a married man; sitting alone on holidays or weekend nights because he’s doing activities with his wife and kids, writes marriage and family therapist Linda Lewis Griffith in a February 2013 “Tribune” article, “Why Do Women Fall for Married Men? It's Almost Always a Hurtful Affair.” When faced with attraction feelings for a married man, it’s time to realistically look at the situation and move in the opposite direction.

Discover Your Motivation

If you feel insecure on the inside, need to prove you’re a sexual siren or had a disconnected relationship to your father, a married man could be very attractive, according to M. Gary Neuman, a licensed psychotherapist, in a June 2012 Fox News story, “Kristen Stewart: Why Go After a Married Man?” Married men are less demanding, require less of your time and energy, could offer you financial and emotional support or be appealing because they appear more mature and experienced, according to Griffith. Griffith also identifies poor self-esteem and a fear of commitment as characteristics common to women who choose married men. Discover your motivation and work on your inner issues so an available man is more appealing to you than the unavailable married man.

Examine Reality

Only 10 percent of married men marry their affair partner, according to psychologist Shirley Glass in a July-August 1998 “Psychology Today” article, “Shattered Vows: Getting Beyond Betrayal.” If you are hoping that some day you will share that house with the picket fence with the married man you’re attracted to, that statistic should give you pause. If he has kids, they are likely to resent you because you broke up their home, and his wife is not likely to welcome you with open arms and a loving smile. You are doomed to live with the consequences of the affair if you marry him, and your reputation with family, friends and co-workers could suffer. A realistic look at your future could suddenly look far less rosy and attractive.

Uncover Your Strengths

Your outlook and self-esteem could take a more positive turn if you take a realistic look at what you have to offer a life partner. Seek out a therapist if you aren’t sure what someone might find desirable about you. Be clear about the information you discover about yourself and include parts of that information in a profile on a dating site, specifying that you seek only single men. The number of responses you get should help you see that your prospects for a romantic relationship are not limited to a man who will probably never be yours, or if he is, he will be so encumbered with baggage that you have no chance for happiness.

Define Your Needs

You can weed out many of the undesirable men if you know what you need in a relationship and can articulate it to a prospective date partner. Once the initial infatuation stage of your attraction is over, you can take off the rose-colored glasses and begin to see if this man can give you what you need. If your need is for frequent affection, sexual fulfillment, family and economic commitment, conversation and honesty and openness, it soon becomes obvious that a married man might meet some, but not all your needs. Ask yourself how he can meet your need for honesty and openness if you have to hide the affair from your family and friends or how you get frequent conversation and affection if his off time belongs to his family. Soon he becomes far less attractive and you realize you’re fishing in the wrong pool.