I Am in Love With a Married Man: How Do I Let Go?

BY: - 16 Jan '18 | Infidelity

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Dear Dr. Buckingham,

I have been dealing with a married man for a while and I know its wrong, but we just got caught up. I want to walk away and just let it all go, but I didn’t know it would be this hard. I fell in love with him and I don’t know how it happened. I don’t want to do this anymore. I Am in Love with a Married Man, How Do I Let Go?

Please help,

Ms. Mistress

Ask Dr. Buckingham

Dear Ms. Mistress,

I want to commend you because I know that asking for help in a public forum is not easy. Many will judge you and immediately attack and reprimand you for being the “other woman.” Some individuals will also demean you for being a home wrecker. While I can relate to these sentiments, I do not believe that anyone has the right to pass judgment on anyone else. With that being said, I highly recommend that you seek professional counseling and begin the process of letting go by examining your idea of what love is and how it works.

Love is beautiful, love is complicated, love is confusing, love is healing, love is passionate, but love should never be shared with a person who is not available to openly love you back. See, some people become victims of affairs because they allow passionate love, which is a strong sexual or romantic feeling to dominate their thinking and behavior.

Passion is best defined as a strong feeling of excitement for something. As human beings, we are constantly in search of love and have obsessions with things that excite us, and this, in my opinion, is why affairs take place. Affairs are exhilarating because the circumstances and/or conditions in which they are created contribute to overwhelming feelings of excitement. Mistresses like you get excited about the idea of the married man leaving his wife, excited about the idea that you will not have to hide your love anymore, and excited about the possibility of being a wife one day. Please understand that for some people excitement can become addictive.

Being with a married person is a bad habit that one should definitely kick like drug use, but the overwhelming feeling of excitement can become addictive just like drugs and distort your understanding of love. Remember that love does hurt occasionally, but it should not be intentional. By being with a married man, you are intentionally hurting yourself and so is he. Promises of divorce is a self-serving technique used to keep you hanging around.

While it might not be easy to let go, you must do so for your own good. One of the worse feelings in the world is to be with someone who is not totally available to you. With this in mind, here are a few tips for letting go.

  1. Seek professional counseling. Love is a matter of the heart and mind. Seek help so that a professional like myself can help you monitor and cope with both in a healthy manner.
  2. Seek spiritual counseling. Sometimes, feeling convicted about something from a spiritual perspective can trigger a desire for change. This works for some people so it is worth a try if you think it will help you.
  3. Put you first. If you have difficulty with implementing this tip, please pay attention to your lover’s behavior. He is good at putting himself first. He tells you what you need to hear to keep you around and is probably telling his wife what she needs to hear as well. I am not encouraging you to be deceitful. I am simply suggesting that you take note of how your lover gets his needs met. Like him, you deserve to get your needs met. Unlike him, not by using or manipulating others. He puts himself first. Think about what this would look like for you and seek professional guidance.
  4. Make yourself available to date. Unfortunately, many mistresses make the mistake of isolating themselves from the dating scene in hope that they will be with their married lover. Start to date again. Please keep in mind that your lover will probably become more aggressive if he feels that he could lose you. Be careful and keep others informed of your actions.
  5. Change all of your contact information if feasible. If you do not have the mental will to let go, try limiting your availability.
  6. Spend more time with you. Look in the mirror and ask yourself how would you feel if you were on the other side. One of the easiest ways to get over someone else is to get more into yourself. Distractions from the affair can cause you to lose sight of your needs. Desiring and needing love is normal, but how you are getting it is not. You have to be happy with yourself before you can be happy in life or love.

Any time spent with a married person who is not emotionally available to you is time wasted. Instead of being a mistress, focus your energy and time on being the best you. Being an accomplice in a deceitful situation will not bring favor your way. Be patient and trust that God will send you the right man when you get right with yourself and Him.

Best regards,

Dr. Buckingham

If you have questions for Dr. Dwayne Buckingham regarding relationships (married, single, etc), parenting, or personal growth and development, please send an email to askdrbuckingham@gmail.com

Disclaimer: The ideas, opinions and recommendations contained in this post are not intended as a substitute for seeking professional counseling or guidance. Any concerns or questions that you have about relationships or any other source of potential distress should be discussed with a professional, in person. The author is not liable or responsible for any personal or relational distress, loss or damage allegedly arising from any information or recommendations in this post.

About the author

Dwayne Buckingham wrote 216 articles on this blog.

Dr. Dwayne L. Buckingham, author of Qualified, yet Single: Why Good Men Remain Single and Unconditional Love: What Every Woman and Man Desires in a Relationship, is a highly acclaimed international clinical psychotherapist, life coach, relationship and resiliency expert, motivational speaker and corporate consultant. He is also the President and Chief Executive Officer of R.E.A.L. Horizons Consulting Service, located in Silver Spring, Maryland. To learn more about Dr. Dwayne L. Buckingham visit his website at www.DrBuckingham.com.


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Five Lies You Tell Yourself When You Decide to Cheat

BY: - 17 Jan '18 | Infidelity

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Lies. Lies. Lies. When you make a decision to go outside of your relationship with your spouse to get a certain need met that you are convinced you can’t have met within your marriage, you usually come up with some excuse that, on the surface, appears plausible. Well, let me cut straight to it. You are only telling yourself lies, lies, lies. For instance, here’s an infidelity coaching call with a client where she felt led to share her affair justification.

“After meeting _________ (affair partner), he inquired if I ever considered being a Director.  I was taken aback by his view and confidence in my ability to perform in such a role.  Truth be told, I was extremely flattered considering how hard I worked to become a Manager. The compliments and belief in me kept coming and kept flattering me, so much so I became engulfed in his narrative.  He then sought my advice both professionally as well as personally.  I felt so valued both personally and professionally by him that our exchanges turned our emotional affair into a physical affair” 

“Did you feel bad about what you were doing?” I asked.

“Not really. I was brought up to believe if you genuinely loved your spouse you would not cheat. Therefore, I believe that is why I told myself repeatedly that if I truly loved my husband then I wouldn’t be cheating on him.  I looked back on our marriage and relationship from the beginning and can’t recall ever feeling for my husband the way I feel for ________ (affair partner).  So I told myself this must be divine, he’must be my soul mate.  I hadn’t been happy in the marriage for years.  This feels so right!  How could it possibly be wrong?”

Learn how to affair-proof your marriage from this day forward with our FREE eGuide – 3 Ways to Rebuild Your Marriage After an Affair

So what makes a spouse decide to cheat? How do they rationalize their thinking?  Some spouses justify their infidelity by convincing themselves they never cheated. As long as they don’t break their own self-generated rules regarding extramarital involvement, then they avoid feeling like they’ve done something wrong. They will somehow find a way to give an erroneous justification for their behavior. These justifications are thought patterns that push away guilt and allow the wayward spouse to deceive themselves into thinking they have little or no responsibility for their choices.

JUSTIFICATION #1:  “Clearly I married the wrong person.”

Did you think you married the wrong person before the affair? Or did a magical light bulb all of a sudden go off after the affair?  Our experiences taught my husband and me that there is no way our 16 years of marriage could begin to match the steamy hot & heavy phase that is year 1 of a relationship/marriage. Expectations and needs that go unfulfilled often leave spouses feeling they somehow made a mistake. Unresolved issues are excellent catalysts to justify our choices to cheat.

JUSTIFICATION #2:  “Yes. I finally found my true soul mate.”

When we grow up with “Happily Ever After” fairy tales, soul mates must exist…right?  We often use love and the idea of love to be the best justification of all. We live in a society where instant gratification is the norm so we tell ourselves that all yearnings and desires must be satisfied? The consequences of infidelity are repressed under the fantasy of falling in love, with little to no regard for our spouses.

We fail to see the selfishness of seeking our own happiness at the expense of our mate and forget they’ve continued to be with us even after the hot flames of romance have settled into glowing embers. When our own marriage hits the skids, we tend to look elsewhere rather than looking in the mirror. Much worse, we easily find a ‘vanity mirror’ like an affair partner to make us feel great about ourselves, rather than a make-up mirror which tends to reflect our own personal blemishes.

JUSTIFICATION #3: “What he/she doesn’t know won’t hurt them.”

Hurt is hurt, so thinking others won’t get hurt as long as you keep it hush-hush only serves to push away guilt. Infidelity is never without consequences, trust me I know this all too well.  The very definition of infidelity is the keeping of secrets while intimacy means “into-me-see.”

Intimacy is a willingness to be fully known and to fully know another. How can that happen as long as you’re keeping secrets AND in charge of what information your spouse knows about you? Whether or not you get caught doesn’t change the disconnection that occurs for your mate as you close yourself off to them in order to give yourself to another.

JUSTIFICATION #4: “I love my spouse but I’m not in love with my spouse.”

This justification is based on the idea that marriage is about being “in love.” Marriage requires both spouses to DEVELOP a vision of love that lasts far beyond the “in love” infancy stage.  The foundation of marriage is not feelings. Rather, it is choice and commitment. It’s easy to stay with someone if you love the way they make you feel. However, when life is hard and your spouse disappoints, unless you have a deeper understanding of love, it won’t be long until the justification of “being in love” surfaces.

JUSTIFICATION #5: “I didn’t have sex.”

While these people are committed to stay, they are not committed not to stray. For example, a husband may abstain from intercourse, but participate in oral sex since he might think “it’s not sex.”  In his mind, he’s not really “having an affair.” A wife may disclose her inner-most thoughts and feelings to a man at work while leaving her husband clueless. She may justify an emotional affair as not “counting” as cheating so she frees herself to continue her behavior without remorse. While this justification may allow for the unfaithful mate to avoid guilt, it won’t protect their mate from feelings of betrayal.

Make no mistake, when you decide to cheat, you make a conscious decision to betray the commitment and vow you pledged at the altar before God and man. There is no justification for it…only lies, lies, lies.

BMWK, are you lying to yourself before stepping out on your spouse?

About the author

Da-Nay Macklin wrote 57 articles on this blog.

Coach Da-Nay Macklin is a Certified Christian Life & Relationship Coach, founder of the Courageous Conquerors Mastermind and Author of Love After Adultery: The Breakthrough Journey of the Brokenhearted Available on Amazon She is one of the nation’s leading experts on infidelity and a thought leader on maximizing potential as she assists couples and individuals to live life by design and not default. Da-Nay has been has been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Network’s show Unfaithful: Stories of Betrayal after successfully navigating adultery in her marriage, and named one of the 15 most powerful women on the south side of Chicago. She now resides in Charlotte, NC with her loving husband and daughter.


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