Monday, August 20, 2007

You're single. He's married. What do you do?

I've put off writing this entry for awhile now. But I'm sitting here ... it's late ... I have my wine. I'm in the mood to talk about it.

I was propositioned by a married man. We'd been on friendly terms and I knew there was a mutual admiration society going on. But you know how you think you know what's going on, and you think you're in control of a situation and then you suddenly realize not only are you NOT in control, but you've gotten in over your head? That's what happened to me. One minute we're joking, the next minute he's dead serious. He told me, in no uncertain terms, what he wanted to happen between us. Whatever you're imagining? That's probably what he asked me to do.

And I almost said yes.

Stay cool; nothing happened. But single people, can I get a witness? How many times have you started chatting with someone at a bar, in line at the grocery store, at a football game, anywhere -- and you're thinking, "wow, this is a really cool person and I think there could be something here" and then you glance down and see the wedding band? Or they casually say "yeah, my wife and I went there for vacation," or "my husband read that book and said it's awesome"? And you get that gut punch of disappointment, or you feel like a big ol' fool for not catching on sooner? Sucks, doesn't it?

Or you find yourself in a situation like mine (and it's happened before, but I still didn't see it coming) where you're friendly with a married person you find attractive, but you know they're off limits ... and then, whoops, apparently they're not? What do you do?

Me, I back the hell away. I don't share men. I'm no home-wrecker and I'm no time-filler for someone who's bored, or wants something "different." And to be honest, I believe in karma. How can I expect a man who'll be faithful to me if I'm willing to mess with some other woman's man? Then there's the mother of all reasons not to get involved with a married person: if they'll cheat to be with you, what makes you think they won't cheat on you to be with someone else?

But my overarching reason to stay away: if you want a lasting relationship of your own, why waste time with someone who isn't available in every sense of the word?

Oh, I know why. Being single can be lonely. It can seem hopeless and endless. Sometimes you think you can't bear another night alone in your bed. Or another day without a phone call or e-mail from someone saying they think you're the bee's knees. But more than likely, if a married person is filling those roles, they're doing it for themselves, not you. It's easy to romanticize, but bottom line, you're being used. (Heh. Makes me think of that Bill Withers song, "Use Me": I wanna spread the news that if it feels this good getting used/Oh you just keep on using me until you use me up. You're no help, Bill.)

Look, I'm not here to judge. If you're living an R. Kelly song, hiding in a closet when someone's spouse comes home, well, that's your business. Duck, run fast and don't forget your underwear. But to the single people out there like me who want love and monogamy and domesticity and all that stuff, I say: hang in there and keep your eye on the prize. Tell married and sexy to go home to their better half. You deserve more.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was widowed several years ago at age 41. I couldn't believe the married men that I had known for years that suddenly felt they had the right to "ask me out." One actually told me that we could help each other out because he wasn't very happy at home with his wife.I began to think that I was the abnormal one because in the 21 years I was married to my husband, I was faithful and believed in him and our marriage vows.
I never, ever encouraged this kind of behavior, it was just assumed that I would be lonely enough to agree to their nasty suggestions.
They were wrong.

Anonymous said...

My advice to anyone in a similar situation is to run, not walk away. Someone who will cheat on their spouse is selfish and untrustworthy. If their marriage is that bad, they should divorce.

My own pet peeve, being gay, is the number of men married to women who want to play on the side with the guys. There are lots of those eveywhere, including Charlotte. The same advice applies. If the marriage is unfulfilling, end it and then seek fulfillment.

Anonymous said...

Good for you, Deidre. Shows you have honor - a rare commodity these days. The right one will come along, until then your self esteem is worth more than a night with Mr. Wrong...

Anonymous said...

Sometimes this happens to relieve the married and single person sexual frustration. For those few moments they are both feeling somewhat satisfied and its "exciting"......

Anonymous said...

anonymous at 11:34,do you think that the men that want to cheat on their wives, feel if it's with a gay male, it's not cheating?

Anonymous said...

I was 39 and made that very big mistake. I was very lonely and then a guy in a powerful position starting telling me how special I was and how happy he was to have me in his life. Yes, he said he loved me and wanted to be with me but did he leave his wife.....heck no!! Two days before my 40th Birthday I realized how used I had been and ended it. I was lucky to get out of it when I did and five months later met a wonderful guy who is all mine! All I can say is being alone is better than how you will feel in an affair and it you hold in there you will meet the right guy....I did.

Anonymous said...

2:09:

No, I think they know it's cheating and they don't care. They just want to have it both ways-the physical gratification from the sex with the guy and the security that comes from having a wife, children, family.

That's why you see personal ads that say things like "DL" "discreet" because they know it's wrong and don't want to be found out.

There was an article about this in the NY Times a couple of months back. Many of these guys are middle-aged and are terrified of both coming out and of being alone once they come out. So, they want to have it both ways.

Anonymous said...

Before you start fooling around with a married person in NC - be aware that Criminal Conversation and Alienation of Affection laws exist in NC that would allow the non-offending spouse to sue your sorry butt for fooling around with their legal spouse. Large damage awards are not uncommon.

Anonymous said...

what happens when you get involved with someone and find out he is married after weekend trips, countless I love yous... etc..

Anonymous said...

My understanding is that there is an "ignorance" exception for the Alienation of Affection law if you stop after you find out. The Criminal Conversation law, however, has no exception for ignorance -- if you have sex with him, you're liable. You probably vastly limit the dollar value of any potential damages by stopping the minute you find out, I suppose. But there's no telling.

Anonymous said...

Been there, done that, will regret it and live with the guilt for the rest of my life, and he's still screwing around on his wife. I cried A LOT during that time because i knew what i was doing was absolutely disgusting and wrong. I hope to find the right man for me that won't return the favor.

Anonymous said...

Why do woman have to think so much. Some times life is hard enough, sometimes you need some guilty pleasure. All the woman who come out and say once cheater always a cheater, and I would feel terrible and so guilty. Are the same ones strolling South Park mall spending a whole lot more then they should.

Some times you just need to go out and go after what you want. Do you not go after a better position at work because it is already filled?

Anonymous said...

To reply to Anonymous at 4:18 - women have to "think so much" because they often have to do the thinking for two!

Look. Marriage vows are just that - vows. Not swell ideas. If you can't keep 'em, don't make 'em.

And work your tail off to make sure that, when your other is approached, his/her response is to say, "Hmm. Interesting, but you couldn't be better than what I've got at home, so no."

Anonymous said...

Find a way to talk to the married man's wife - you might be surprised how many of us there are here in Charlotte who are in open marriages. Even supposed Christians can wind up to be swingers...I see it ALL the time.

We have been happily married over 20 yrs and we "swing"; we don't "wife swap" and would technically call us polyamorous but you would never know it unless we told you. We practice safe sex outside our relationship and have no issues of jealousy or sneaking around. Yes we probably should live in Paris; our intimate life together is absolutely fantastic and exciting, the wife in our marriage has sexual encounters with both men and women, whereas the husband in our marriage has encounters with women only. We renewed our wedding vows (including being best friends, 100% honest, and always putting the needs of each other first) on the 10 yr anniversary of our first date as well as a spiriual ceremony on our 20 yr wedding anniversary.

Is is "normal" for a married person to never have desire for any other person except the one they married so many years ago? A person you chose at, say, age 22 and now you are 48? Could YOU be content with eating the one and only same meal every day for the rest of your life, not to ever taste anything different even once? The bad karma here is to "fall in love" with someone else. No emotional betrayal. It's just sex, people!

Anonymous said...

The last post says, "it's just sex." No, it's not just sex - it's about character or the lack of character.

Anyone who has an affair can be certain that the ending results will not be good. In the rare instance when a cheating couple does marry, repeat infidelity is almost assured. Infidelity isn't about sex - it's about the lack of character, commitment, and accountability.

Anonymous said...

How ridiculous, Diedre.
You know all women want it and need it, and all men are always ready.
Forget the holier than thou baloney.
If Brad Pitt came along, you'd turn him down?
Our society is too entangled in the judo-Christian ethic, one-and-only, etc.
If it feels good, what the hell. Just do it.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:31 am: I can't believe you would criticize Deirdre for having some decency and turning away a married man! If you think, "if it feels good, do it," then suit yourself. But there are some of us who have standards. Brad Pitt didn't approach Deirdre, and even if he did, he isn't married!

Anonymous said...

Here's what I would do: I would tell him in no uncertain terms, "Hell No! I have too much respect for myself and for your wife to fool around with you. If and when you get a divorce, we can talk about it again." Some men think they can have it all, a wife and a girlfriend, well it's time us women stop allowing that to happen. Everyone knows that most men that cheat will never leave their spouses and children. They just want some fun on the side, no matter who they hurt. If I were you, I'd stay away from this guy if he asks you for an affair again. Who knows how many other women he has made this proposition to? You deserve someone who will love you and only you - you deserve better.

Anonymous said...

If he is married, I have one word....RUN!!

Quagmire said...

Giggidy ...

Mrs. Quagmire said...

VERY funny Quagmire! I know who you are! ;-) TV Quagmire isn't married (and you are), so he's free to play the field (and you aren't). Now stop causing trouble and get back to work. Giggity, giggity, giggity!

google blogger said...

IM IN LOVE WITH A MARRIED MAN WE BEEN TALKING FOR 10 MONTHS NOW. HE CALLS ME EVERY MORNING BEFORE HE GO TO WORK. HE TRYING TO CONTROL ME. WHAT SHOULD I DO