How To Stop Being His Mistress And Finally Walk Away From Your Affair With A Married Man

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Heartbreak

No one sets out to be a mistress. True, some women may set out to have an affair or a fling with a married man; however, no one intentionally falls in love with a married man.

Despite the best of intentions, you may suddenly realize one day that the "casual" fling has turned into a full-blown love affair.

Whether the love affair is mutual or one-sided, being in love with a married man rarely works out in your favor in the end. While a married man can love another woman (like you), that situation often brings on nothing but pain and heartache.

Knowing that and actually doing something to end an affair with a married man are often two different things.

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Learning how to end an affair with a married man is harder to do than with a single man, for a variety of reasons.

The good news is that it can be done by employing a few hardcore tactics.

There are a number of psychological and practical reasons why falling out of love with a married man is frequently more complicated than with an available man.

Often, married men spend a considerable amount of money on their mistress, whether in the form of lavish gifts or straight out support; giving up that aspect of the affair can be difficult.

When you end a marriage or long-term relationship with a man, you typically divide the assets and walk away with something; however, when you end a relationship with a married man, you walk away empty-handed in most cases.

Falling out of love with an available man generally happens because the relationship has simply run its course, or because he did something that changed how you feel about him, such as infidelity.

With a married man, you only see him at his best for short periods of time. You don't spend enough time with him to get bored of him, and the relationship never really gets out of the "honeymoon" phase.

It's a constant rush of endorphins and adrenaline — so hard to resist.

As a result, it doesn't run a normal course, so to speak.

In addition, since you have already accepted infidelity from him, which is generally considered one of the worst relationship "crimes," he is unlikely to do anything that angers you enough to cause you to fall out of love.

Once you have decided that continuing the relationship with your married man is only going to bring you heartache in the end and that the relationship is unlikely to end without you taking affirmative action, it is time to do something about it.

Here's how to end an affair with a married man​ for good and reclaim your life.

1. Start dating other people.

One option is to fall in love with another man, preferably a single and available one.

Interestingly, many women who become involved with a married man are surprisingly faithful to him. Even if you are inherently faithful, the bottom line is that he is not being faithful to you and you owe him no loyalty.

Get out and open yourself up to other possibilities.

As Heather Havrilesky writes for the Ask Polly column on The Cut, one of the best ways to get over an affair partner is to "Look around and ask yourself what this guy had that you wanted. Ask yourself what you were avoiding. Ask yourself what you hate about showing up and speaking to a real, relatively powerless guy who is needy and fragile, just like you, in real time."

Once you do this, you can "Figure out how to meet someone who is also reckoning with these questions."

Ending a relationship when you are still in love with someone is hard to do, but it can be easier if you can open yourself up to another relationship, or at least the possibility of a hot, sexy distraction.

2. Ask him for financial assistance.

If you have never actually asked for money or gifts, start asking. If you do typically ask, ask for more.

While he may acquiesce at first, he will likely get irritated with your requests, leading to a rift in the relationship.

In the meantime, stash the money or gifts in case you are left financially worse off when the relationship finally ends.

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3. Spend more time with him.

Another tactic to employ, when possible, is to push for more time with your married man. Extended periods of time together are even better.

When you only see someone for brief periods of time, they only show you their best side. As psychotherapist and renowned relationship expert Esther Perel explains, affairs are often "an alternate reality in which [people] can reimagine and reinvent themselves."

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Try spending a few days with him and you might be surprised at what you see.

"Because we cannot have our lover, we keep wanting," Perel writes. "It is this just-out-of-reach quality that lends affairs their erotic mystique and keeps the flame of desire burning."

Once that "mystique" is out of the picture, you may very well find that there's nothing all that special about your affair partner after all.

Spend enough time together for the little things to irritate you and don't hold back when you find yourself disagreeing with him. Although picking a fight might be going too far, don't avoid one either.

4. Be your true self.

Let your "bad side" show as well. As he has likely only shown you his good side, you have probably done the same.

Now is the time to let loose — complain, cry, yell, and develop expectations.

5. Love yourself instead.

Finally, and most importantly, fall in love with yourself. Ask yourself why you accept the "crumbs" this person throws at you.

Remind yourself that you deserve love and that you are worthy of a real and loving relationship.

Getting over an affair partner is painful, but possible.

Just like any other breakup, wading through the stages of grief that come after leaving an affair partner will take time.

Once you've taken time to care for yourself, you'll realize that you deserve much more than what the affair gave you.

You can find the thrill of love in a relationship that gives to you just as much as you give to it, without having to hide anything.

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Dr. Marni Feuerman is a licensed psychotherapist in private practice in South Florida. She is also the author of Ghosted and Breadcrumbed: Stop Falling for Unavailable Men and Get Smart about Healthy Relationships.