The Do’s and Don’ts of Dating a Married Man

Married Couple and Lover

When dating a married man, it’s natural to cast judgment due to religious and moral beliefs. However, this kind of relationship isn’t always so cut and dry. So, is dating a guy that’s married ever okay?

That depends on all parties involved. It’s fine when it’s consensual, and all parties are well aware of each other. However, if one partner is secretly dating/having sex with another outside of the relationship, it’s not okay. 

Another instance of dating a married man is when he is legally separated from his spouse. In this case, he is still married but intends to make the divorce final.

This article will focus on the dos and don’ts of a consensual dating relationship with a married man. That is when the couple is legally separated or partaking in an open relationship.

Open Marriage Definition

An open marriage or relationship is defined as both partners agreeing that each may have sexual relations with others. Researchers estimate that approximately 1 in every 5 adults in the United States is part of a consensual open relationship.

Roughly twenty percent of couples have experienced an open relationship at some point in time. However, it’s reported that open marriages have a 91% failure rate. Of that percentage, jealousy is a leading cause of the relationship’s demise.

It’s considered a form of non-monogamy in which the partners agree that each may engage in outside sexual relationships without it being considered infidelity. However, in some cases, it is considered infidelity if each partner is unaware of the event taking place. In other instances, no knowledge of the sexual encounter is preferred.

Additionally, having an open marriage means you can continuously have sex with the same person, and it’s not considered infidelity. But only if all parties involved are aware. Every union is different. Therefore, it is vital that each partner communicate what is and isn’t permitted in their open relationship.

Can an Open Marriage Be a Good Thing?

Yes, depending on the communication of all parties involved. Those in open marriages often credit polyamory with helping to strengthen their marriage by making each of them a better, more attentive spouse.

But like any marriage, an open marriage may result in divorce. Communication can break down, making one partner feel as if the other committed adultery.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Dating a Married Man in an Open Relationship

First, if you’re dating a married man in an open relationship, all parties, including you, should be aware. Once established, here are some tips you should follow for a successful relationship.

Do Practice Honesty

This is an essential part of all open relationships. If you are going to settle into a comfortable relationship with your partner, be honest with your emotional and sexual needs. Additionally, be honest about the boundaries you wish to set. What are some of the dealbreakers for you? An open discussion will help to accomplish this.

Putting everything out there can be scary, but if you want to establish a strong foundation, you’ll need to be honest for it to work. Establish your wants and needs first, and if your partner agrees to accommodate, then great. If not, this might not be the relationship for you.

Do Understand Why You’re Doing It

Open relationships are a good option for those who want something different out of a relationship. You may find an open relationship refreshing if you’re used to monogamous relationships. Additionally, you may crave more than one person’s physical and emotional intimacy.

Are you looking to supplement your current relationship with a little more? These are questions to ask yourself before diving into a consensual relationship with a married man. Are your sexual and emotional needs not being met at home, and your current partner agrees that being in an open relationship is an option? In this case, being in this type of relationship is one way to meet your needs.

Couple Talking in Bed

Open relationships are not something to walk into timidly. It would be best if you understood what you hope to gain from the relationship. If, for any reason, you’re unsure. Hold off until you figure it out.

Don’t Forget about Protection

Don’t forget to discuss protection. Creating and discussing sexual guidelines is a must for any relationship, especially when dating a married man, because you know for certain he’s having sex with at least one person, his wife. And she may also be sleeping with others.

Discuss how you will protect yourself. For example, are you testing for STIs? Are you using condoms or dental dams? When you increase the number of people inside your sexual circle, you also increase the risk of contracting STIs.

Don’t Get Jealous

One primary reason an open relationship doesn’t work is that one of the involved parties eventually becomes jealous. If not at the beginning of the relationship, over time, emotions can surface and cause hurt feelings.

This can happen, but don’t beat yourself up over it. Instead, when these fleeting feelings arise, acknowledge them and then do something to help you relax. For example, tell yourself, “I’m feeling jealous right now, but that’s okay. It happens sometimes.” Then, focus your attention on something else.

  • Working Out
  • Journaling
  • Bake
  • Meditation

If you are becoming jealous more frequently and for more extended periods, re-evaluate the relationship and decide if this is still for you.

Don’t Compare Yourself to the Other Partner

First, the less you know about the other partner, the better. However, curiosity can sometimes get the best of us, so if you know about his spouse, don’t compare yourself to her. Resist checking out social media for pictures of the two. Envy occurs when we envision someone having something we don’t and that we want. This is why knowing exactly what you want from the relationship is vital before getting involved.

If you want a partner committed to only you, an open relationship is not what you’re looking for.

Dating a Man Who’s Separated

Dating someone who’s separated but legally married can put you in a tricky position. First, understand that a married man is still a legal husband of his spouse, so he still has obligations toward her and the family. He may not live with his spouse, but according to spousal law, he still has specific responsibilities.

Is It Okay to Date a Married Man?

Once again, judgment aside, whether or not you get into a relationship with a married man is your choice. However, know some of the risks attached, including:

  • Legal Baggage
  • Financial Obligations
  • Possible Emotional Baggage

If you willingly become involved with a separated man, you’ll need extreme patience for the relationship to work. However, some people believe that if you genuinely love this man, you will wait until his divorce is finalized before seeking a serious commitment.

Issues with Dating a Separated Man

This type of relationship can be complicated. Here are some risks you are likely to face when dating a man who is not legally divorced.

  • 1. Emotional baggage: A recently divorced man may not be looking for a relationship but, instead, searching for someone to offer support. You may become his “therapist” when he vents about his dysfunctional married life. This type of relationship is usually one-sided and may cause resentment as he constantly talks about his wife and children to you.
  • 2. Becoming a rebound: One of the most significant risks to dating a separated man is that you may be his rebound. For whatever reason, he’s not legally divorced from his wife. Does this mean he still has emotional ties to her? Is he trying to get back with his family and is only using you for a sexual relationship? Whatever the reason, you risk him leaving you behind if and when he decides to fix his marriage.
  • 3. A long and drawn-out legal process: Divorce is never easy. It can be a long, painful, expensive process if finances, assets, and especially children are involved. It may become even uglier and more aggressive if a custody battle ensues. Ask yourself if you’re ready to go through all those complications for the sake of your significant other. If the answer is yes, strap yourself in because you may be in for one wild ride.
  • 4. Change of Heart: During a lengthy divorce, people can have a change of heart. Even though you may be a supportive partner throughout the proceedings, once the dust settles, he may hesitate to get into a serious relationship with you. This could be due to residing anger toward his spouse or fear of going through this process again. Unfortunately, this may become your reality, so be prepared.

6 Things You Should Know Before Dating a Separated Man

  • The Type of Separation: What type of separation is your partner involved in? Is this something he and his spouse are simply trying, or is this more permanent? Has he even started the divorce proceedings? If not, why? Is this a legal separation or a case of him moving out? These are questions you should ask yourself before becoming too deeply involved. The status of his split can have severe consequences for you and your emotional well-being.
  • Are There Children Involved?: If your partner has children with his former spouse, how many? What are their ages? Depending on who has custody, are you willing to be a full-time or part-time step-parent? Children change the dynamics of a relationship, so what was previously just the two of you may turn into a family unit. If you’re not ready to be a parent to a child, you should seriously reconsider the relationship between you and your partner. It wouldn’t be fair to either of you and the children.
  • Duration of the Sparation: How long has he been separated from his spouse? What stage are they in regarding the process? If it’s only been a few months since the separation, is there any chance of reconciliation? Or have they been separated for an extended period? You’ll want to ask these questions before getting involved.
  • Reason(s) For the Separation: Is this his third divorce? What happened in those relationships? If he’s had several divorces, this is where you’ll want to know the reasons why. Did infidelity on his part play a factor, or were they simply incompatible? Marriages break up for many reasons, and usually, both parties have some culpability. However, if your partner seems to play a more prominent role in the marriage’s demise, look out. For example, if he tells you, “I fell out of love,” or “She wasn’t enough for me,” be wary of becoming the next one who isn’t enough for him.
  • Financial Situation: If you are in it for the long haul and are considering settling down with him, find out about his financial standing. Is he paying for child support? If so, how much? What about alimony? You’re not entering this relationship as a gold digger, but you should know the answers to these questions because if you need to, you can make the proper adjustments to your finances. Additionally, you’ll want to know his current debt and if he has existing assets with his wife. You’re not being nosey; you’re simply finding out what your financial future with him will look like. High debt can make or break a relationship.
  • Feelings for His Ex: Watch how he acts during the divorce. Is he angry or empathetic toward his ex? Does he spew hate about his ex whenever he gets the chance, or is he remorseful to the point that if his ex wanted him back, he’d be open to the idea? If he has a lot of residual anger, he may carry that baggage into your new relationship and take out his feelings on you. The best thing you can do is give it time and wait for any remaining feelings to subside before jumping into a relationship.

Dating a man in an open relationship or a separated guy is an option for many. However, ensure all parties are willing participants to eliminate confusion and hurt feelings.

Since emotions changes throughout a relationship, be open and honest. Communicate how you feel throughout the relationship and if at any time you feel like this relationship is not for you, it’s okay to move on.

Abigail Langton
Abigail Langton

Abigail Langton spends her time deep diving into the facts readers want to know about current dating apps online. You'll find her breaking down the latest price points and how to stay secure dating online.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.