Dear Dr. Buckingham,
I recently dated this guy who appeared to be the right man for me, except he never had time for me. When we were together we had great times. However, I would only see him every other weekend. After six months of dating, I asked him why he had never introduced me to anyone in his family, including his children whom he talked about frequently. He told me that he did not bring women around his children until he knew that things were going to work out between them. As a single mother, I understood and respected his view, so I did not mention it again.
I enjoyed his company, and we spent the majority of our time together hanging out in my favorite places and occasionally at my home. I never made a big deal about going to his place because he made things very convenient for me. However, after nine months of dating, I told him I felt it was time I learned more about his family. He said no problem, but nothing happened.
I started getting concerned, so I purchased him a new cell phone as a gift. He was excited, but he did not know that I had a tracker placed in the phone. This is when everything came out. After hanging out several times, I noticed that the phone showed him returning to the same place. I looked up the location and decided to investigate. I parked down the block and watched him come and go with a woman and two children. I let a few days pass and decided to call him. I asked about the woman and children. He did not respond immediately but eventually told me he was married. I felt like passing out, and I was so angry with myself for letting this happen. I felt totally violated. He was married but was acting like he was single.
Three months have passed, and I am still traumatized by this experience. I’m afraid to date again. I do not want any single woman to experience what I experienced. How can single women avoid dating these sneaky married men?
Thanks, Ms. Hoodwinked,
Dear Ms. Hoodwinked,
I am truly sorry that you were hoodwinked and violated. Unfortunately, in this day and age, this “single-husband” behavior is becoming more common. There are a lot of men who claim not to be involved in any type of serious romantic relationship but in actuality they are married.
I am glad that you allowed your intuition to guide you into Inspector Gadget mode. I am also glad that you are concerned about preventing this from happening to you and other single women again.
Given this, here are five behavioral indicators that can help single women identify men who claim to be single. Note: Please be mindful that these are just indicators. Always investigate further if you are suspicious about the man you are dating.
Exhibits “Overly” Accommodating Behavior
“Single-husbands” are notorious for being overly accommodating. They go out of their way to please and make things too convenient for women and rarely complain. Being accommodating is not a bad quality, but “overly” accommodating can be problematic, if all else, suspicious.
As you stated, “…I never made a big deal about going to his place because he made things very convenient for me.” During the honeymoon phase (the first two to five years) of a relationship, it is not uncommon for individuals to go out of their way to please their partner. However, anything done in “excess” will and can cause problems. Whenever you meet a person who places their needs on the back burner, please proceed with caution and increased vigilance. Selflessness is a great quality, but so is self-care.
Engages in Secretive Behavior
Secretive behavior can include many things, but his phone mannerisms are easy to recognize. Does he receive “secretive” phone calls that must be taken in privacy? If you ask, “who called,” does he say, “It’s not important” or “we have to trust each other in order to grow in this relationship” or “please respect my privacy.” Do you ever hear conversations when he is just talking with guy friends or family members yet he is normally super private on other calls? Also, are you instructed to call him at certain times? And does he answer your phone calls outside of those scheduled time frames?
These are all questions that could alert you that something is up.
Triggers Uncomfortable Feelings in You
You are probably dealing with a cheater if your intuition or gut feeling tells you that something is not right. If you feel slightly uncomfortable or disconnected, please pay attention to your intuition.
Remember that a “gut feeling” is a feeling worth exploring. If you feel that something is wrong, there probably is. If you have a nagging worry about why you’ve never been to his place, don’t write that off. You should always be upfront and express your concerns. If you still feel uneasy and cannot shake off what you are feeling, you probably need to move on.
You are probably dealing with a cheater if your intuition or gut feeling tells you that something is not right
Keeps a Tight Schedule
Single-husbands are not very flexible individuals and will occasionally express anger if you ask them to change their plans. They are usually accommodating, but only if arrangements do not throw their schedules off track.
As a matter of fact, being overly accommodating is a way to disguise their need to keep a tight schedule. Women are so impressed with being catered to that they do not recognize that they are being controlled and held to a schedule.
Loves to Set the Dating Agenda
By setting the dating agenda single-husbands can avoid being seen in places their wives visit. Also, there is a high possibility that single-husbands will not date or seriously connect with single women who like to do the same things as their wives. Managing the dating agenda allows them to dictate interactions and avoid being caught.
I hope the behavioral indicators outlined above are helpful. The best thing that single women can do to avoid being hoodwinked by married men is to move slowly with open eyes. Some single women get so excited about being connected that they jump in with their eyes closed.
A woman’s intuition and heart are her guideposts. I did not say a woman’s emotion is her guidepost. I said intuition. When you do not feel something is right, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.
Bottom line: Pay attention to interactions that appear to be unusual, a rigid adherence to routines and his moments of apprehension.
BMWK, what signs usually inform you that someone is trying to hide a secret from you?
If you have questions for Dr. Dwayne Buckingham regarding relationships (married, single, etc), parenting, or personal growth and development, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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.