The Art of Dating the Married Man—It’s Complicated!

Hey, Hey, Hey!!! Slow your roll married ladies, this isn’t what you think! Well, maybe it is in some sense. Let me explain to you the complexities of dating a married man, and also discuss some of the high and low lights.

So, you’re divorced with children, and now you are ready to start dating again! Yay! So fun, right?! No, not so much. However, at some point, either through online dating, or through a friend, you meet someone who is lovely. He is attentive. He is sweet. He is good with your children. He even shares all the same interests that you enjoy. Mr. Wonderful has entered the building! Oh, did I mention that he is still very much married? Yikes!!!

That certainly does put a fly in the ointment! But this isn’t your normal married man cheating on his wife. This is a guy that is married in name only, living on his own, very much separate and apart from his not so ex-wife. Why does this happen so often? Why is it actually fine to date this married man? Well, here’s how it happens.

Man marries woman. It falls to pieces, and they agree to separate. Man lets woman stay in their very expensive marital home with their children while he rents a small home or apartment. Divorce is pending, but if he divorces her, she cannot keep their marital home on her own as she is not financially capable of taking on the mortgage alone.

What is a man to do? Should he be banned from all social activity until he is ‘legally’ divorced? Is that man then off-limits to us as single ladies? I can’t say that I know the clear-cut answer to that question. It is really, REALLY COMPLICATED.

Dating is difficult after divorce. The challenges you find are so much different from when you met your husband at 20-something, and fell in love with his big blue eyes and curly hair—dreamy! You are a grown woman with real concerns about who you allow into your life and, most importantly, into your children’s lives.

When you look at a man, it’s not the Prince Charming situation you were so over the moon about when you met your husband. It’s more about practicality in choosing a life partner. While you may very likely be as much ‘in love’ as you ever were with your ex-husband, you are also taking into consideration several other important factors that were never a passing thought before now.

Here are a few beyond just the fact that the guy is totally married…

Finances. Is he financially sound? I’m sorry. It’s a true story, and I’m here to tell it. I do not date a man who is not financially sound, at least on the same level as me. It creates conflict you just cannot be bothered with at this stage in your life.

He better have a job and a career path set at this point, or he better get to stepping on past this chick. I’m not interested in having another child to support. I already have two little men counting on me for financial support. I do not need a third.

He has to bring something to the table that is at least equal to the amount I am bringing. In most cases, it is preferable that the man have a better financial standing—most men’s ego cannot tolerate a woman being more financially sound than they are at any stage in their lives. This sounds bad, but I’m not here to be popular and I won’t be for admitting these truths about myself, I know.

On finances, my answer is, “Why invite conflict?” If he is not able to be a support system to your family, don’t waste any of your time on him.

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Married Man Problems. If he is still married, but separated, I think it’s okay to date him. I just think you should be aware that there are limitations to where the relationship can go. You will never be his wife. He will never be a support system to you and your life goals.

Try buying a house with a guy married to someone else. It won’t happen. Or, it can happen and the wifey will be looking for her cut of the property you purchase. After all, legally, she is entitled to a share of anything acquired during the marriage. So, in my opinion, I would avoid dating this married man for that reason alone. However…

Married Man Pros. You never have to bother with him if you aren’t interested in doing so—his problems can be his and yours can be yours. You can go out, be well entertained, and not be involved in the cleaning of his underpants or picking up his dirty socks from your bedroom floor. Wham Bam thank you Man! Why not?

We women are entitled to a little fun just like the boys. We can support ourselves and our families without them. So, why be bothered with the mundane tasks of a marriage and/or relationship if you don’t’ want to go down that road again? Been there, done that—just keep me well entertained, tended to, and then BE GONE!! That doesn’t’ sound too bad, does it?

Although with every Pro, you must realize the Con is always lurking in the wings. The Con is that you are never really invested in this man because he is still busy being invested in someone else. He is never a real life partner, because he has decided to continue to be tied to someone else.

This is always his choice to remain married. No point in pretending it’s about his kids or the house they live in—it’s not. He is CHOOSING that woman over you and your happiness. Keep it real. You are secondary. If this doesn’t bother you, have at it.

I have been the wife with the man with the mistress. It’s not fun at all. Here’s the trick—you just make a choice for yourself. Decide that isn’t okay with you and let that man go.

I didn’t know about my husband’s mistress, but she knew about me and continued for over a year wasting everyone’s time—lying and cheating. That was insane to me. The minute I found out about her. I packed a few bags, threw my kids and my puppies in the car, and I moved on with my life.

I think the element that is missing from most people’s lives is realizing that being honest with yourself, and in your dealings with all those you are in relationships with, is the key to finding your own happy space.

Decide for yourself what you can live with, and what isn’t okay for you, then move toward that choice. Personally, I’m on the fence on this topic because it IS complicated for the divorced set when dating the married man. You just have to decide what you can and cannot live with in your life, and choose the path that is right for you.

Maybe dating the Married Man is perfect for you at this point in your life. Maybe you have seen the light and realized that it is a monumental waste of everyone’s time to date the married man? Who knows? Only you can make the final call, but this is happening in our dating world right now.—a lot.

Hope you find the best answer for your life, and that my very odd observation of this dating phenomena hasn’t offended anyone. Happy dating ladies!

Kelly is a successful Entrepreneur, Marketer, and Single Mom. She a partner at Fuller’s Floral & Gift Shoppe, in Gap Pennsylvania, and an Independent Real Estate Salesperson at Hostetter Realty, serving the communities of Chester and Lancaster Counties.

Kelly Fuller Logan

Kelly is a successful Entrepreneur, Marketer, and Single Mom. She a partner at Fuller’s Floral & Gift Shoppe, in Gap Pennsylvania, and an Independent Real Estate Salesperson at Hostetter Realty, serving the communities of Chester and Lancaster Counties.