11 No-Nonsense Reasons You Should Dump That Married Man Immediately

Your relationship is not doing anyone any good.

Woman looking at phone sadly debating on dumping married boyfriend Samuel Borges Photography | Canva 

There are some valid reasons to avoid dating a married man besides the glaringly obvious, 100 percent completely valid moral arguments.

When we shame people and use morality as a coverall, the other rationale behind why one should stay far away often gets lost. It also makes the situation a race to get the other person to leave their spouse and justify the whole thing.

"It was true love, it was meant to be."


The problem is, even if he leaves his wife for you, you’re still picking wrong. That’s why it’s so important to talk about the other reasons why creating a relationship with someone married is bad news. There are rational self-interest reasons why a married dude is a terrible choice.

And, when talking about love, it’s hard to reach people’s rational self-interest if we use shame. So, I want to set the judgment part of why you shouldn’t date a married person aside for a moment and talk about the other consequences of dating a married guy.

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Here are 11 no-nonsense reasons you should dump that married man immediately:

1. He doesn’t have much time for you.

Between his job, his family, and his other everyday responsibilities, it’s unlikely that you’ll get a real shot at his weekends or nights off. There aren’t enough hours in the day to provide you with a fulfilling relationship.

Your interactions will take on a boring quality since you are limited by the hours of the day you share.

2. The intrigue, sneaking around thing distracts you from serious compatibility holes.

Sometimes, the draw of forbidden fruit takes over before you know it, you are so hooked on the illicit intrigue of the whole affair that you miss the fact there isn’t much there besides physical intimacy and sneaking around.

Real compatibility includes them being single and having a fulfilling relationship with you, not something part-time.


3. Are you living your life to the fullest?

I like to think about things like this.

"If I saw this on the front page of the NY Times, would I feel good about myself?" If the answer is "no", it requires reflection.

When in love, it’s difficult to keep it to ourselves. Like Tom Cruise jumping on Oprah’s couch, fresh new love has a "sing it from the rooftops" quality. If you fall hard for a married person, the only person who might remotely be happy for you, in this case, is your dog.

Do you want to introduce Mr. Married to your Mom and tell her the truth? I don’t know your Mom, but I shiver at the thought.

4. Why would you invest your resources in someone who can’t invest back in you?

Your body, time, and attention are your capital. They’re what you have to give in a relationship. You should not be a non-profit.


The married person can not give you what you can give them, aside from the fact you divide them with someone else. There aren’t enough hours in the day.

5. If he feels like it’s okay to act like this with you, why wouldn’t he act like this later and cheat on you?

Okay, I know this is a cliche, but it rings true a lot of the time. After months of your affair, Mr. Married leaves his wife for you. You’ve now got him all to yourself.

If you put aside your excitement about finally having him all to yourself, doesn’t that strike fear into your heart at least a little teensy bit?

You might think your relationship is different than his relationship with his ex, and it very might well be. But unless you’re oblivious, the trust between you already starts on shaky ground.


Do you want this in your life? Do you want to look over your shoulder wondering, "What if," all the time?

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6. He skips past a lot of personal growth.

As much as breakups and divorce suck, they foster a ton of personal growth. If done well, this takes hold some time after a relationship fails.

When someone overlaps their relationships, they skip this period of rational self-examination. That leads to trouble when they realize (consciously or not) that they need to do something to make themselves happy — since there was a reason they cheated in the first place, beyond the obvious.


Something that makes them happy cannot be you from the minute things go into rocky territory. They will use the same coping method — cheating — to get happy again.

7. You’re wasting your time.

It doesn’t particularly matter when you date a married person (or which of your years you’re using up), if you do it, you’re wasting a lot of time you could be better investing in finding someone who can be your true partner in all ways. Someone you could build a future with.

Your time is precious and irreplaceable. Don’t spend it on someone who can’t build a life with you.

8. You’re settling for crumbs when you should get the whole cake.

This goes back to the investment of resources. When you’re participating in an affair, you’re using your resources in a risky way. You’re at the track betting on a lame racehorse. Even if you "win" a relationship with them, you still lose.


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9. You’re participating in hurting someone else who you might not even know.

And that other person is real.

No matter how dead your lover purports his marriage to be, by participating at all, you’re still hurting someone else.

This one is tricky because no cheater wants to admit to themselves that they’re being horrible, so they will tell themselves (and you) whatever they have to so they can look at themselves in the mirror in the morning as a justification for the unjustifiable.

Things like:

"We aren't intimate anymore, the passion is gone."

"She's cold to me."

"She doesn’t appreciate me."


The problem with these excuses is that they may very well be true (probably not though), but there is no real excuse. These things are meant to justify being an inconsiderate spouse and not either calling it quits in their marriage or dealing with the problem internally.

They also help make you feel superior like your relationship with Mr. Married is better and therefore justified. We want to help the poor bird with the broken wing. The problem is he’s a predator in disguise.

The idea "but his wife is a terrible person" has helped more women justify dating married men than virtually anything else. You’re still participating in the betrayal of someone else.

10. If he’s cheating to escape his marital relationship, he’s using you.

I can hear your protest about this already: "But, but... Elizabeth, I knew what I was getting myself into. He's not using me if I agree to it!”


Yes, he is.

The thing is, if your boyfriend is trying to escape something that he hasn’t dealt with in his marriage, he’s using you for emotional support and likely intimacy without being able to meet your needs in all senses of the word. This makes him a bad choice as a partner.

11. You’re perpetuating the idea that people don’t have to deal with their problems directly.

If everyone refused to go anywhere near anyone else who was already in a relationship, a lot more people would be forced to deal with their marital problems directly.

There’s a reason why it’s called quiet desperation people don’t face it or deal with it head-on. So it endlessly festers, begging for a resolution that never comes because no one deals with it.


By dating someone married, you’re directly participating in this cycle.

What should you do?

Cut him off. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. This man is NOT the end-all-be-all, last man on Earth. I don’t care if you feel you’ve had the most super connection in history. The fact he can’t give you a full-time, real relationship means it’s game over.

You will fall in love again. Take your higher self out, dust her off, and make her happy. She deserves a whole, complete loving partnership.

Please note that this piece is obviously for women who already know that their boyfriend is married to someone else. If you were lied to, you can’t use this rationale UNTIL you know — at which point you need to break it off.


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Elizabeth Stone is a love coach and founder of Attract The One and Luxe Self. Her work has been featured in Zoosk, PopSugar, The Good Men Project, Bustle, Ravishly, SheKnows, Mind’s Journal, and more.