Falling for a married man is asking for heartbreak and misery. Approximately 70 percent of couples who experience an affair in their marriage end up staying together and working it out, according to “Psychology Today” editor Hara Estroff Marano in “From Promise to Promiscuity.” If you’ve developed a romantic and emotional relationship with a married man, face the statistics realistically, for the sake of you, your child and your affair partner’s family.
He Says He’s Leaving Her
Many male affair partners promise to leave their wives, according to “Today” relationships editor, Dr. Gail Saltz, M.D., in “Help! Will My Lover Ever Leave His Wife?” The sad truth is that most of them are lying and have no intention of ending their marriage. If cornered by the betrayed spouse, he is more likely to abandon his mistress than his wife. The only real way you know he’s going to leave is if he packs his bags and moves out, reports Saltz. More than 75 percent of cheating spouse stay in the marriage and at least try to make it work, according to Marano.
For the Kids' Sake
Some affair partners say they can’t leave because it would hurt the kids -- as if finding out that Dad is cheating on Mom isn’t harmful. If he does pack his bags and file for divorce, you will have bitter stepchildren to deal with, advises family therapist Dr. Kristina Randle, Ph.D., in “Dating a Married Man: for PsychCentral. The angry children may treat your child with anger because of the affair. Consider how this will affect your child and how you will deal with angry stepchildren and their betrayed mom before you encourage him to make a trip to the lawyer’s to draw up divorce papers.
Leaving Doesn't Mean You Win
If your affair partner moves out and files for divorce, he might not decide to build a future with you, according to relationship coach Lisa M. Hayes in “Will He Ever Leave His Wife?” Of those affair partners who leave their spouses, fewer than 10 percent build a long-term relationship with their mistress. This could be devastating to you and your child, if after all the upset and turmoil, you are still alone and picking up the pieces of your life. If you do try to make a go of it, will you trust him or wonder if he is cheating on you? Only you can decide if it is worth that concern.
Actions Speak Louder Than Words
No matter what your affair partner says, if he makes no move to leave the marriage of his own volition, it’s empty words. If he shows up at your place because his wife threw him out, there is no guarantee that he won’t talk her into taking him back. Walk away and tell him to talk to you after the divorce is final.
Rev. Kathryn Rateliff Barr has taught birth, parenting, vaccinations and alternative medicine classes since 1994. She is a pastoral family counselor and has parented birth, step, adopted and foster children. She holds bachelor's degrees in English and history from Centenary College of Louisiana. Studies include midwifery, naturopathy and other alternative therapies.
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