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11 Rules for Sleeping with a Married Man and How to Avoid Hurting Yourself

June 7, 2024

If you’ve been sleeping with a married man and can feel yourself becoming emotionally attached, there are things to consider to avoid hurting yourself; that’s not to mention the consequences of his wife finding out. 

Generally speaking, there is a taboo surrounding sleeping with married men, but at the end of the day, no one will fully understand the situation unless they’ve been there. It can be heartbreaking coming to terms with the fact that you’ve fallen for a married man.

Think about how many partners we have in our lifetime, and how many times each person finds themselves in love. It’s an unrealistic expectation that we will all only love one person in our lifetime, and it just so happens that some of us are unfortunate enough to find the right person at the wrong time. 

It’s also possible to love two people at once. Of course, this isn’t always the case, and some men simply want to test the waters and see if the grass is greener on the other side. This is where it can be problematic. He could be telling you one thing and his wife another, and generally speaking there’s no way of you knowing his true feelings. He may simply be conflicted himself. 

A survey conducted by Health Testing Centers1 in 2021 found that “a little over 46% of respondents in a monogamous relationship said they had affairs.” What's more is that “nearly 24% of marriages affected by infidelity reported staying together.” This is where you have to consider, is it really worth it? Will he actually leave her or is he having a midlife crisis?

It can be incredibly difficult to be ‘the other woman’, mainly because you find yourself so conflicted; between feeling bad but also wanting to be happy, especially if you think you’ve found your true love. You focus on your own happiness, and it can be hard to put yourself in the shoes of his wife.

It should also be noted that this is an awful thing for a wife to go through; discovering that her husband is having an affair. If the wife finds out, it can break up a family and cause pain for everyone involved. However, here we are specifically looking at ways to avoid hurting yourself if you find that you’ve fallen for a married man.

Is It Wrong to Sleep with a Married Man? Should I care?

There is no definitive answer to this question. There are many different scenarios that you could find yourself in, but ultimately regardless of the situation, you should care. There’s no specific way that you should feel – caring can start from feeling guilty, or it can be feeling sympathetic (to either the husband, wife, or children in the scenario).

The relationship might have started from a young age and the two now find themselves in a loveless marriage, his wife may be cheating herself, she may even be abusive, or it might be as simple as him finding himself in love with two women. Every single scenario is a crappy one, and in every single scenario someone is going to get hurt!

I might also add that it’s a two-lane road! Women who find themselves sleeping with a married man may be deemed as a homewrecker (and in some situations this might actually be the case), but what about the man who decided to have an affair despite his wife in the first place? It’s also important to consider that you might not be the only one he’s seeing outside of his marriage; he may have multiple partners. 

Unfortunately, we don’t choose who we fall in love with. Although I would personally advise against sleeping with a married man, it’s not always that easy, and there are certainly precautions you should take to avoid damage.

Potential Harms of Being the Third in the Relationship

At first it might seem fun sleeping with a married man – the secrets, the fear of getting caught, the sex is great, and, of course, it’s always nice when someone is interested in you. However, there can be many consequences to you personally when being the third or a “mistress'' in someone else's relationship.

The significant dangers of sleeping with a married man are about how it will impact your self-esteem. It’s unlikely that you will ever be his first choice, at least not whilst he remains married – you will always be seen as the other woman

You may feel as though he is changing you. Infidelity Specialist Sanya Bari recognizes that married men are “expecting you to be everything his wife is not.” There is something missing from his current relationship, which is why he decides to have an affair, meaning that he looks for those qualities in you; and constantly reminds you of it.

It’s also important to note that of all of those who end up hurt, it’s possible that you may be the person who’s hurt the most. Many married men decide to stay with their wives when all is said and done. Of course, this isn’t a rule, but it's a major possibility to consider when looking at potential harm you can do to yourself when deciding whether to enter a relationship with a married man.

11 Rules for Sleeping with a Married Man and Ways to Avoid the Potential Risks

If you do decide to continue dating him, there are several things to consider to minimize hurt – rules for sleeping with a married man, if you like – to make sure that you are on the same page and not left constantly wondering when he’s actually going to leave his partner.

1. Communicate your emotions

For your own safety, you have to be honest with yourself and with him. If you find that it’s all getting too much for you, or if you feel as though the guilt is overwhelming you, it’s so important to let him know. 

There are several reasons for this, but mainly so he understands that this is difficult for you and that you aren’t willing to continue being his mistress forever, and I don’t mean this as an empty threat… You should have the power and self-confidence to end things if he doesn’t follow through with what he’s telling you.

As much as you may feel like you trust him, there’s no way of knowing if all the things he’s telling you are true, or simply said because he thinks it’s what you want to hear. 

Without this communication, you will struggle to develop a relationship if he actually did leave his wife. If you’ve fallen too deep, it’s important that you let him know. It will hurt now to end things, but not nearly as much as it will hurt later down the line if he were to choose her. 

2. Be strong with your boundaries

be strong with your boundaries

When the relationship started it probably just felt like a bit of fun, but, as time has gone on, I imagine you will have set some boundaries (if you haven’t then you definitely should consider, again this comes down to communication). 

You might have told him that you won’t sleep with him if he’s still romantic with his wife, you may have told him if he doesn’t leave her by a certain date then you’re going to leave him, if you are waiting for a specific date for a reason, ask for proof. You also might have told him that if it gets to a certain date, you will tell his wife yourself. 

Whatever boundaries you have set, follow through with them. Whether it's refraining from sex, avoiding his house, or literally anything that you can think of. Be clear from the get-go, and stick to your word. This is important when it comes to remaining strong and independent. You cannot depend on a man who is still married to another woman.

3. Stay in the loop of his current situation

When sleeping with a married man, it’s most likely that you aren’t close friends of his family. If you are a close family friend, then you’re likely to be kept in the loop about his marriage. If you’re friends with his wife, then you are going to find out if he’s lying to you and still stringing you both along. 

Use this tool to check whether he actually is who he says he is
Whether you're married or have just started seeing someone, infidelity rates are on the rise and have increased over 40% in the last 20 years, so you have all the right to be worried.

Perhaps you want to know if he's texting other women behind your back? Or whether he has active Tinder or dating profile? Or worse yet, whether he has a criminal record or is cheating on you?

This tool will do just that and pull up any hidden social media and dating profiles, photos, criminal records, and much more to hopefully help put your doubts to rest.

But, if this isn’t the case, it’s important that you try to stay informed. You might know a friend of a friend, or if he’s a work colleague you can try to gather information about his current marriage from other colleagues. Any way you can to ensure that he’s not lying to you. 

I’m sure most of us will have seen the 2014 film ‘The Other Woman’; a great film if you haven’t watched it! But if you have (SPOILER), you’ll know that the only reason Mark's infidelity was possible for so long was because none of the women could have known each other. Carly thought he was single, sure, but Kate knew that he was married; she just thought that it was a dreadful one that he was trying to get out of.

You can’t fully trust some people, so you must take precautions to ensure that you don’t get hurt in the future. 

4. Don’t change your values or morals

There are many reasons to change your values throughout life. You already might have done it by starting an affair with a married man; it’s not something that women tend to plan!

Remember that he will try to make you be everything that his wife isn’t, and that he might actually be the problem, not his wife. Just stay true to who you are and what you stand by. Like in any relationship you find yourself in, take note of his actions, not his words. If you aren’t happy with the relationship, regardless of his being married, leave. 

5. As a rule, don’t sh*t-talk his wife

You aren’t in a relationship with his wife, you’re dating him. There's no need to encourage negativity surrounding his wife and his marriage. Regardless of the situation, or how awful she might be, there’s simply no need for it.

Again, this comes down to your morals and values. You might find that, generally, you feel less guilty if you constantly remind yourself that she’s a horrible person, but it sets a negative energy in your relationship with him and doesn’t separate your relationship with him from that of hers.

It’s also not going to do any good. He will most likely speak badly about her, again to try and get you to sympathize and feel bad for him. It’s important to stray away from this and tell him that you don’t want to hear about his wife unless it's to tell you that he’s left her.

6. Consider all those involved

It’s not just the three of you that this affair will impact. Sleeping with a married man will impact anyone who is involved in your social life, work life, and family. The main reason being, that secrets don’t tend to end well and can cause you to distance yourself from those close to you. 

Another significant point to make, is that if there are children involved, tread very carefully (like in all relationships). The worst thing about breaking up a marriage is breaking up a family, and it can be quite difficult for a child to deal with it. Of course, this isn’t necessarily on you, but this is why it's important to be cautious, as respectful as can be, and honest. 

If confronted, you speak the truth, you apologize for the pain that it caused, because ultimately you will feel bad. But regardless of confrontation, just make sure that you’ve considered everything that will be impacted and how you can minimize the damage. 

7. Keep your options open

keep your options open

If you’re sleeping with a married man who you’re falling for, you’re probably not dating other people; it’s like you’d be cheating on him right?

But here’s the deal: How can you cheat on someone who is already married? Don’t limit yourself with what ifs. If he’s not left his wife yet, there’s a big chance he never will, depending, of course, on the person and situation. If you meet someone and feel like there’s chemistry, consider pursuing it. You never know, you may find yourself in a much better situation than you’re in now.

8. Don’t be too trusting

As much as he may tell you exactly what you want to hear, you have to remember that it's his wife’s bed that he ends up in at the end of every day. Stand up for yourself if you don’t trust him and communicate your worries. 

This is where it’s important to stick to your boundaries, apply limits and don’t exceed them. It can be difficult to get caught up in a fantasy, so you just have to constantly remind yourself of the reality, and that reality is that he’s married, and he’s not yet yours.

9. Accept that you are the other woman

Being the other woman can be exciting at times but remember that this could end in heartbreak for more than one person. This is crucial for your own self-confidence too. I think we all feel a sense of securitywhen we find ourselves in a relationship but there is nothing secure about an affair. Think about how this misconception would then feel if it all went badly.

10. Prepare to feel constantly guilty

If it’s early days, you’re just having casual sex and dates, you probably don’t feel much towards his wife and family. But you have to think about how guilty you will feel the more serious you and the married man get. As the affair progresses, you will learn more about him and what you’re taking away from him if the two of you go public. 

You’ll feel guilty for all parties involved, alongside feeling sorry for yourself for falling for a married man. This is simply a consequence of the unfortunate situation, what matters is if you’re willing to go through with it, and if he is worth it. 

11. Finally, consider what will happen if he does leave her

finally consider what will happen if he does leave her

You will face many consequences throughout your time sleeping with a married man, but ultimately, the worst will come when the truth is out. You will both experience judgment and resentment, you just have to consider if this is something you can handle. 

You may be one of the lucky ones and end up growing old with this man in a long happy relationship. Like entering any relationship, it’s a gamble and you have to put a lot of trust into another person. Can you trust someone who cheated on his previous wife? It’s a very tricky situation to be in. 

Also, once the honeymoon period ends, you start having less sex, you begin to argue about the type of things he used to complain about his wife for… Is it worth it once the excitement is over?


Is it wrong to sleep with a married man?

There is no definitive answer. Each and every affair is different. Generally speaking, affairs are advised against, just because of the pain that they can cause. However, is it wrong to follow your heart?

There are many steps to take to tread carefully in this tricky situation, the main one being – have boundaries and communicate them to the married man that you’ve been dating. Don’t let him control the entire situation. 

Why do women sleep with married men?

There can be several reasons. Love being one, excitement and danger being another. Some women who struggle with commitment also like the fact that a married man is unavailable. It’s less scary than committing to a safe and secure relationship.

Why does a married man want to sleep with me?

A common reason a married man is seeking an affair outside of his marriage is because he’s bored. He’s having a mid-life crisis, his life feels boring and repetitive, he resents his wife for the life that he chose to settle for, or he simply didn’t mean to fall for you, but did. It doesn’t always have to be a bad situation, but usually, it is.

How to walk away from a married man?

Having the strength to walk away from a married man can be incredibly difficult, just like walking away from any toxic relationship.

You have to tell yourself that you will feel better in the long run. You also can consider (but mustn't rely on) the fact that it might take you walking away for him to actually take the plunge and leave his wife. Of course, this isn’t usually the case but it is a possibility.

The easiest way to cope is to remind yourself of all the stress that this relationship has caused you, and to remember that once you’ve grieved the relationship, you will be much better off.


It can be a very difficult situation to find yourself in; falling for and sleeping with a married man. You have to consider first of all, is it worth it? If you decide that it is, consider the many ways that you can minimize damage to both yourself and all those involved.

If you’re still torn between what you should do, or how to cope with the overwhelming emotions that come with sleeping with a married man, take a look at Relationship Hero; a website that can direct you to a relationship coach who can give you professional advice

Also, as always, confide in your friends! Forget about the worry that they might judge you. It’s important to open up to those close to you about the big decisions that you make in your life, especially those that could end badly.

If you’ve enjoyed reading this article, please feel free to comment; I’d love to hear your thoughts, or any further advice for women struggling after having fallen for a married man. Feel free to share with a friend in need.

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Whether you're married or just started dating someone, infidelity rates have risen by over 40% in the past 20 years, so your concerns are justified.

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