16 Signs a Married Man Is Using You

Last Updated on March 3, 2022 by Alexander Burgemeester

Few people would ever admit to wanting to date a married man. No one dreams of being a homewrecker, but sometimes you find love in unexpected places. You’re in love and it seems he is too, so how do you make this extramarital affair work?

More often than not, dating someone who is already married will not lead to a healthy relationship. There are too many things that can go wrong, too many normal experiences you can’t have, and the relationship never grows beyond the most superficial stages.

So with such a severe taboo against it, why do some women date a man that’s already taken, and what are the signs a married man is using you?

Why Do Women Want to Date a Married Man?

Why Do Women Want to Date a Married Man?

Do you know how they say all the good men are taken? It might be true. All the attractive men with a good job and some sense of responsibility might have tied the knot, but there’s also the possibility that those qualities are more noticeable in a married man. 

Studies have shown that single women find a man more attractive when they think he’s married compared to when they think he is single. Another woman has already committed her life to this man, so it’s obvious that he’s a catch, right? 

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It’s a psychological shortcut, but it also has merit; if another person has already made a significant investment in a relationship with a man, he probably has quite a few attractive qualities.

This social shortcut shapes our preferences all the time, from buying the same phone that our friends have or trying a restaurant because the Yelp reviews are great. We trust other people’s opinions, even when those people are strangers. 

That attraction doesn’t go any farther than the flirting stage for most women. He’s married, which means he’s off-limits, even if the ring on his finger makes him seem more attractive than he really is. Some women take it to the next step, though, breaking the taboo against mate poaching. Why? 

It’s Exciting

Everything is a little more fun when it’s forbidden. Sneaking around, meeting up for afternoon hotel room sex, and keeping the whole thing a secret can be incredibly exciting – for a little while.

But, after a few months of this, you’ll feel less like a secret agent and more like a criminal trying to cover up their bad deeds. 

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During the initial stage of an affair, your brain is swimming in dopamine and serotonin, where all you can think about is your new partner.

That infatuation fades quickly though as the more rational parts of your brain start to consider the ramifications. To keep that high going, some people have a string of affairs.  

He’s Stable

When you date a married man, you know that he’s got his life in order – or at least that’s what you think before you even get to know him. The stereotype is that married men are more responsible, wealthier, organized, and mature. Are those stereotypes accurate? Not exactly.

On average, married men are older, leading to some of those positive attributes, but age aside the stereotype doesn’t hold up.

A married man isn’t necessarily more stable than a single man; after all, if he’s willing to cheat on his wife, he’s introducing some pretty significant instability into his life. A stable married man wouldn’t be having an affair.

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It Makes You Feel Special

He’s got everything to lose: a wife, kids, a home, mutual friends, and the respect of his colleagues – yet he still chose to be you. How desirable does that make you feel? Accepting that level of risk appears to be a huge commitment, but it’s not.

A man that’s willing to throw away his current marriage either isn’t that invested in it or doesn’t believe he’ll get caught.

His willingness to take a huge risk has very little to do with you. If he’s ready to have an affair, he’s probably ready to have one with someone besides you.

16 Signs a Married Man is Using You

You’ve weighed the pros and cons of dating a married man and you’re comfortable with it. There’s still reason to be careful though, as not every extra-marital relationship will be beneficial for you.

Some married men will use you until you no longer serve their needs. These are some of the most common signs that you’re being used.

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#1 His Wife Doesn’t Know About You

If you see him regularly, as a friend or coworker, and his wife isn’t aware of you, he’s probably hoping this relationship will turn into something more.

If you’re dating him and he tells you that he’s separated from his wife, he should let her know that he’s moving on. If she doesn’t know about you, chances are he doesn’t expect this to last.

#2 You Don’t Go on Real Dates

Netflix and chill is alright sometimes, but if all of your dates happen at your place or a hotel time you aren’t his girlfriend. He enjoys having sex with you, but he doesn’t want this to become anything more.

#3 He Never Shares Anything Personal

To maintain a healthy relationship you need to be able to share your life with your partner. The more you know about him though, the more real this relationship becomes and the higher the potential for someone to get hurt.

He also doesn’t want you to know too much about his life since you could use it against him when the two of you break up.

#4 He Doesn’t Want to Know About You

Men usually don’t want to get too personal with the women they’re having an affair with. Those kinds of details lead to feelings and commitment, which is what he’s trying to avoid. 

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#5 He Only Calls When He Wants Sex

For most men, affairs are a physical relationship. Sex is the whole point, with other forms of intimacy just getting in the way. He’s already built a life with someone else, so he only calls when he’s ready for sex.

#6 He Never Texts You

Men that are in a relationship, even an extra-marital one, will send fun or flirty messages to their significant other. It shows they’re thinking about you throughout the day.

If all you’re receiving is sexual messages, you can guess where his mind has been and when he’s willing to engage with you. 

#7 He Rejects You When You’re Not Forthcoming with Sex

If he calls looking for a hook up and you say you’re not interested right now, does he shut down the conversation? A married man that’s using you won’t put forth the effort if you take sex off the table.

#8 You’ve Caught Him Lying

Does everything he tells you check out: where he works, where he lives, whether he’s separated or still living with his wife?

If they don’t, he’s probably concealing those details to limit how much you can hurt him later on.

#9 He Never Shows Affection

Out in public, he might just be concealing the relationship from friends and coworkers. If he’s not affectionate when you’re alone though, that should be a major red flag.

Showing affection would make it seem like you’re more of a couple, something he’s desperately trying to avoid.

#10 He Sets Restrictive Boundaries

Maybe he tells you that you can only call between 10 and 11 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays or that you can’t make eye contact with him in public.

Some boundaries are expected in an affair, but if it seems like he’s ashamed to be with you, he’s just using you.

#11 He’s Not Interested in Your Feelings

Do you pour your heart out to him and get a blank stare in return? He’s not interested in your emotional life, only what you can give to him.

Often that’s sex, but it could also be emotional support – it’s a one-way street though.

#12 He’s Selfish in the Bedroom

Does he head home as soon as he’s finished? If he’s not concerned about your pleasure, it might be time to think about where this relationship is going.

#13 He’s Talking to Other Women

By definition, he’s not being exclusive with you when you’re the other woman. There’s a good chance he’s seeing other people besides you and his wife at the same time. 

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#14 He Has a Wandering Eye

Do you notice him checking out other women when you’re in public? Since this is a more casual relationship, he doesn’t feel the need to conceal his desires. He’s looking for the next best thing before cutting ties with you.

#15 He Buys You Gifts Whenever You Want to Take the Relationship Public

If a shiny new bracelet arrives every time you mention him leaving his wife or telling people you’re a couple, he’s trying to buy your silence.

He’s letting you know that the relationship is transactional, he’ll provide for you if you stay silent and give him what he wants.

#16 He Vanishes for Long Periods of Time

Strike up a conversation about where your relationship is going and he might not speak to you for weeks. Maybe he’s having reservations about the affair or he could be looking for a new side chick that’s less clingy.

In any case, he’s perfectly comfortable walking in and out of the relationship as he pleases.

Some women wonder how you get a married man to miss you enough to come back. The short answer is: be unavailable. This is what he’s doing to you, and it’s your availability that makes him think he can ghost you at will. 


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10 Signs a Married Man Wants to Sleep With You

So you’ve made your peace with having an affair with a married man, but how do you know when one’s interested in you?

You can’t be as forward as you might be with someone single, as public flirting could spell certain doom for the relationship before it even begins.

Instead, you’ll need to pick up on more subtle cues and only make a move once you’re sure he’s interested.

#1 He Compliments You Frequently

Men that are not interested in you might throw out a compliment every once and a while, but a man that hopes to sleep with you will shower you with them. He wants you to feel special and desirable, but not because he cares about your feelings; he thinks it’ll get you into bed. 

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Narcissistic men use this tactic all the time, referred to as love bombing. The compliments are a reflection of his state of mind, which can be somewhat manic, and don’t have that much to do with you.

Love bombing is also a form of emotional abuse designed to build you up so much that your self-image is dependent on him. He can then control you by providing loving compliments or backhanded insults. 

#2 He Buys You Gifts

If a married man buys you gifts, and it’s not Christmas or your birthday, there’s a strong chance he wants to sleep with you.

This is especially true if the gifts are extravagant, like jewelry. If you’re just friends or coworkers, a married woman will be very suspicious of her husband’s motivations if she knew about these gifts. 

#3 His Body Language Gives It Away

He can tell you everything that he’s thinking about you without ever saying a word. When a man is interested in you, he’s more likely to sit with legs and arms spread out.

This has the effect of making him look larger and more masculine, while also showing off his protective qualities. While standing, he might put his hands on his hips; an action-oriented pose that shows he’s ready to take charge. 

Some men take those postures on a daily basis as a way to assert their dominance. If he only looks like that when you’re gazing in his direction, it’s probably a show for an audience of one – you.

#4 His Voice Changes

Men modulate their tone throughout the day depending on who they’re speaking to. If they’re the boss addressing their subordinates, his voice might deepen, while it goes up a little when speaking to colleagues and friends.

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When a man is speaking to a woman he’s interested in sleeping with, he’ll use a lower tone to enhance his masculine appearance. Don’t expect the shifts to be as drastic as a teenager going through puberty, but subtle voice cues serve as strong signs of his intentions.

#5 He Tries to Get You Alone

Whether you’re in a group of friends or work in a large office, married men that want to sleep with you will take every opportunity to pair off with you.

They want to make their intentions known without the prying eyes of friends and coworkers to judge them for it. If he offers to drive you home, and there’s not a situation that necessitates it, be ready for him to make some sort of move.

#6 He Never Mentions His Wife

Bringing up his current spouse would cause him to dwell on the poor life decisions he’s about to make. It also ruins the whole flirting thing – he wants you to feel like he’s available, even if you’re fully aware of his wife.

Happily married men will freely talk about their wives and the things they do together.

#7 He Complains About His Wife

Married men don’t mention their wives when they’re flirting, but they will tell you about how poorly their marriage is going as a way to justify what he’s hoping will happen between the two of you.

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If he tells you that he’s not in love with her anymore, that’s a big red flag that the conversation is about to take a big left turn toward infidelity. 

#8 He Asks If You Have a Boyfriend or Husband

There’s really no reason he needs to know about this part of your personal life unless he sees it as an opening.

He could innocently broach the subject once for the sake of making conversation or finding out if you’re bringing anyone to the office Christmas party, but anything further is a clear sign he would like to start an affair.

#9 He Does Favors For You

There’s nothing wrong with helping someone out when they need it, whether it’s moving a couch or lending money to help pay this month’s rent.

That’s true if he’s being upfront with his wife about the people he’s helping, but if he’s concealing his good-natured deeds, he’s more than likely trying to sleep with you.

If a man helps you move into a new apartment but dodges calls from his wife or lies about where he is during the moving process, he’s probably hoping to get some use of that bed he hauled up the stairs.

#10 He Acts Completely Different Around His Wife

If you’re in a position to see this man alone and in the company of his wife, try to spot any differences in how acts.

If he continues to be flirtatious with you when the wife is around, this may just be his personality or she’s okay with an open marriage. Most men having affairs act very formal when their wife is around and he may even avoid talking to you or making eye contact.

The Reality of Dating a Married Man

Now that you’ve spotted all the tell-tale signs of a married man on the prowl, what’s this affair going to look like?

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Will he send flowers every week and buy you a gold necklace on your birthday or will you get late-night emoji texts to request a booty call? This is what your love life might look like when dating a married man.

It’ll Start Strong

Most married men know how to woo a woman, that’s how they found a wife in the first place.

In the first few months of the affair you can expect a deluge of compliments, gifts, and exciting nights out – just not anywhere near his home or where any of his friends go. The affair is intoxicating for the both of you, and he’ll tell you he’s never felt so alive. 

The Consequences Start to Weigh on Him

Sneaking around is thrilling at first, but becomes a challenge the longer you do it. The more times he’s out in public, the more chances he has to get caught.

His wife may already be getting suspicious, which puts him on edge whenever he’s with you. All the pressure can lead to him lashing out at you, blaming you for the crushing anxiety he experiences.

He Walks Out on You or His Wife

The affair eventually breaks him, and he either goes back to his wife or gets a divorce. Neither of these are great options for you.

If he goes back to his wife, you’re left all alone with the stigma that comes from dating a married man. If he leaves his wife, you’re viewed as a homewrecker and you might not have wanted a serious relationship with him in the first place.

Without the excitement of a forbidden affair, being with him could be downright boring. Your best option is to never get involved with a married man in the first place. 

The 13 Dangers of Dating a Married Man

There is a myriad of consequences that come from facilitating infidelity:

  • Losing the respect of friends and family.
  • Getting your heart broken.
  • Wasting time on a relationship that’s bound to fail.

If you’re trying to rationalize dating a married man, consider these ten pitfalls that are sure to put a damper on your love life.

#1 You’ll Never Meet His Friends and Family

Meeting your partner’s parents and friends is a relationship milestone; they’re ready to share this part of their life with you and they believe those close to them will approve of you.

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Unfortunately, when you’re dating a married man, he already knows that his friends and family won’t approve of you… or him for that matter. He’ll only be sharing a sliver of his life with you, and there’s a lot more to intimacy than just sex and romantic gestures.

#2 Everything Will Be On His Time Table

Unless you’re both married at the time of the affair, there’s going to be an obvious power imbalance. You’re free to come and go as you please, while he has someone waiting up from him at home.

He has a complicated schedule that includes work, time with his kids, a wife, and friends. He’ll want you to be available whenever he can fit you into a break in that schedule.

#3 He Will Resent You for Destroying His Marriage

It doesn’t make much sense to blame you for ruining the marriage when he’s the one that took the vows, but if his wife finds out about the two of you, don’t be surprised if he’s resentful about the consequences. He’s made a life-changing mistake and will hold anyone but himself responsible for it.

#4 You Will Never Trust Him

Once a cheater, always a cheater. He’s cheating on his partner with you, what makes you think he won’t cheat on you with someone else.

He might say that he’s unhappy in his marriage, that his wife doesn’t excite him the way you do, but these are just words designed to get you into bed. A man that’s comfortable with infidelity will tell another woman these same exact things once he’s bored with your relationship.

#5 He Won’t Commit to You

Many men say things like they’ll leave their wife, but only after the kids graduate. He’s dangled a carrot in front of you that’ll never be within reach.

If you try to make future plans, ones where you’re together instead of sneaking around, he’ll brush them off. He’s stringing you along with the possibility of commitment, but will probably tire of the affair before he ever leaves his wife.

#6 He Will Never Prioritize You

Feeling like you don’t matter to him is one of the most disheartening parts of having an affair. In the beginning, it may have felt like you were his world, but he already had a lot on his plate before he started cheating with you. Those past responsibilities always come first – unless he’s looking for sex.

#7 You’ll Become Too Attached

Being someone’s side chick is very different from being their wife or girlfriend. He’s not “yours”, and you have to accept that the relationship doesn’t go beyond sex. Many women find it hard to maintain these kinds of boundaries during their affairs.

#8 He Will Eventually Get Bored of You

When men have affairs they’re trying to fill a hole in their marriage; something’s missing – maybe his sex life is lagging, perhaps his wife doesn’t share his passions, or he might just be struggling with getting older and the pressures of family life. As soon as he works through those problems he’ll be out the door and you’ll be on your own.

#9 Your Friends Won’t Respect You

Unless you have friends that are also dating married people, they probably won’t approve of what you’re doing. Most people won’t even tell their friends what they’re doing for fear of being ostracized. 

#10 You Will Feel Guilty

Chances are if it wasn’t with you, he would have cheated with someone else. That doesn’t make the situation any less painful though. Your part of something that causes immense suffering for this man’s family, even if the blame should be placed squarely on his shoulders.

#11 His Kids Will Hate You

If you’re worried about the scorn you’ll face from his aggrieved spouse, just wait until you see how his kids feel about their father’s affair. They may be young enough to not understand, but rest assured they’ll know about it later on – especially if your affair results in a divorce. 

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Maybe a few kids grow up hating you and being ashamed of their father’s actions doesn’t bother you, but if you live in a small town, this is one, or maybe more, person that’ll be telling everyone what a terrible person you are. That’s without going into how guilty you’ll feel having tarnished someone’s childhood.

#12 You’ll Miss Out on Other Opportunities

There’s almost always an expiration date on an affair. Someone gets bored, someone gets caught, it usually won’t last more than a few months. A few months isn’t all that much, but if you’re consistently dating unavailable 

If you are going to date a married man, it’s a good idea to date multiple men. The chances of him leaving his current relationship are low and that’s something you may not want to be responsible for. 

Most married men only want to have a little fun, something to reignite the spark in them, and then move on. Chances are, he’s still having sex with his wife, so it only makes sense that you be able to sleep with other men during this affair. Just be upfront about not wanting exclusivity. 

#13 You’ll Struggle With Healthy Relationships Aftward

Finding real love after dating a married person can be incredibly challenging. You need to form bonds, share your life with the person, and open up about your feelings. It’s nearly the polar opposite of having an affair, and the transition isn’t always smooth. Unsurprisingly, it’s hard to trust men after you’ve seen what they’re willing to do to their wives.

How Do You Know If a Married Man is Unhappy in his Marriage?

If a man is already unhappy in his marriage and will probably end it soon, what’s the harm in dating him? Besides the aforementioned issues, it’s not always that easy to tell whether a man is happy with married life.

He could be going through a rough patch with his wife and dealing with a mid-life crisis that’ll be over in a couple of months. If you’re going to date a married man and don’t want to break up an otherwise good relationship, you should be absolutely sure that he wants out of his marriage. These are some of the biggest tells that he’s ready to leave his wife.

He Finds Excuses to be Away from Home

Sometimes work and other obligations get in the way of family, but these are short-term problems. If a man is consistently working late, even when his boss isn’t breathing down his neck, that spells trouble for his marriage. If he’s spending half his nights out with his single friends, the marriage probably won’t last much longer. 

He Tells His Friends to Never Get Married

Even if he’s joking, this is never a good sign. Men who are happy with their marriage are encouraging towards friends who are in a committed relationship.

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He should be happy to hear his friend is getting married as it feels more natural to do things with other couples. If he’s telling other men to never get married, he’s regretting that he ever did. 

He’s Lost His Spark

In a healthy marriage, the relationship should continually renew a man’s spirits and give him the strength to pursue his ambitions. An unhealthy marriage will sap him of his strength and feel like a life of domestic drudgery. That can manifest into depression and anxiety, which he may try to alleviate with an affair.

Making the Leap to an Affair

Engaging in an affair with a married man shouldn’t be taken lightly. There’s a high potential for heartache on both sides, and for you, few benefits that couldn’t be found in an available man.

In most cases, the man is experiencing an emotional void in his life, and he only needs a temporary fix for it. Once you’ve filled that niche, he’ll likely move on with his wife or find a new partner to start an affair with. 

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Alexander Burgemeester

Alexander Burgemeester has a Master in Neuropsychology. He studied at the University of Amsterdam and has a bachelor's in Clinical Psychology. Want to know more?

1 thought on “16 Signs a Married Man Is Using You”

  1. My married boss and his married employee have been in an affair for over 3 years now. I just found proof that they both went into the office after midnight and returned again during regular work hours. I read this article and I don’t see how the cheating wife(employee) is discouraged from continuing the relationship with the cheating husband(boss). You have to wonder what the “offended” wife and husband of these cheaters think of what their spouses are doing. Middle of the night meetings??

    Reply

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