It's no secret that break-ups can be tough, but getting over a married man is a whole new ballgame. He's everything you want -- a wonderful husband, a stable provider, and a respected role model. Except that he is not yours. Whether he initiated the break-up or you finally realised you deserved a better deal, recovering from this heartache can be slow. So give yourself time, space, and a little kindness -- knowing that you'll come out of this stronger than before.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Cut off all contact. Avoid texting, phoning or e-mailing the married man. Limit social gatherings or work-related affairs with him whenever possible, if you both travel in the same circles. Ignore his attempts to contact you or rekindle the relationship -- you need to make a clean break, once and for all.
Rid your apartment, home, or car of all objects related to the married man. Remove pictures, love tokens, letters, and cards. Ask a trusted friend or loved one to accompany you while you ceremoniously discard these items.
Make a list of traits that you find desirable in a partner. Compare this to a list of boyfriends -- married or not -- that you have had. Recognise that your attraction to a married man (or more than one) might be the result of longing for the security, affection, and maturity they show to potential partners.
Make another list -- this one detailing all the reasons that dating a married man is a poor idea. Include items such as, "He's proven he's not trustworthy by cheating on his spouse", and "The fact that he's sleeping around puts me and his wife at risk for sexually transmitted diseases."
Make a third list -- this one should include all the reasons that single men are more appealing than married men. Include items such as, "I won't have to go sneaking around to date him", and "He will be more emotionally and physically available to me."
Give yourself a break from dating before beginning again, if finding a long-term partner is your ultimate goal. Do things that increase your self-esteem, are consistent with your interests, and that your married man would never have done with you.
Ask loved ones to remind you why dating a married man made you miserable -- if you are tempted to return to the one you left, or date a different one. Have them tell you the reasons you are worthy of dating a single, available man who will adore you -- and only you.
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