Most women want to fall in love with someone they can celebrate openly.
Maybe you met when a man changed your tire on a dusty roadside. Or he sat next to you on a long flight and won your heart somewhere over South Dakota.
But the point is:
Nobody should have to hide their love or feel ashamed.
There’s a situation where the rules change a bit, however.
When a man leaves his wife for another woman she’s in an awkward position.
In addition to feelings of guilt, insecurity, and stress, she’s likely to be worried about whether the relationship will actually stand the test of time.
After all, if he left his first wife who’s to say he won’t leave you too when times get tough?
The question here is simple but crucial:
When a man leaves his wife for another woman does it last?
And the answer is:
The truth about starting a relationship with a married man
Even if it begins as just an affair, starting a relationship with a married man is a difficult and challenging thing.
You’re already starting off on the wrong foot. You’re worried about the damage he’s leaving behind and almost everyone seems ready to condemn you and him.
In the eyes of society, you’re a “homewrecker” and he’s a “cheater.”
Not exactly a blessed start to a life together.
Even the worst beginnings can have amazing endings, so don’t give up all hope.
But it is important to honestly find out: when a man leaves his wife for another woman, will it last?
The first key thing to find out is what led to the relationship in the first place. This will provide valuable clues about whether it will last.
Break this tired old routine…
In many cases, the relationship between a woman and a married man started because of some dissatisfaction with the relationship on his side.
In other cases, it could be that he is tempted or loses his judgment due to strong physical or emotional attraction to the woman — and vice versa.
In other situations, a man may have the desire to experience sensations of risk, novelty, and doing something forbidden.
All of this goes against the grain of what normally results in a healthy long-term relationship and is not a good sign.
In many situations, when a man starts an affair, he has a romanticized view of the situation and the new woman. He perceives this other woman in a different way than he perceives his wife.
This is partly because, in a marriage, partners share many mundane and difficult moments and sometimes they end up drifting apart and losing their intimate connection.
When he contrasts this with exciting moments of romance with another woman, he starts to see a golden halo around the new opportunity and dread every moment back in the same old routine.
This can become an addictive cycle for some men, and guys who cheat often do so more than once.
This means you should be very careful.
With that in mind here’s a list of 14 tips for how to answer the question: when a man leaves his wife for another woman does it last?
1) Why is he cheating?
Married men looking for an affair often lack sex, fun, or affection in their relationship.
This feeling of lack generates dissatisfaction and makes the person looking for a way to escape from reality.
In some situations, not knowing how to deal with problems and difficulties drives the desire for escape.
Sex and cheating can become an exciting and “taboo” way to get a thrill and distraction from the mundane.
If he’s cheating because his wife bores or annoys him, then what makes you think he won’t double-cheat on you as well once you tire him out or rub him the wrong way?
On the other hand, if he’s cheating because he really is going to get a divorce or has fallen out of love and he’s never done something like this before — and you believe him — then there may be more potential for something to work.
Keep in mind that this is very rare, however.
2) Why are you cheating?
Next up you have to ask yourself a difficult question.
Why are you cheating?
Are you lonely, depressed, or anxious and looking for something to fill up your life or make it more fun?
A relationship built on this motivation will rarely last long and even if it ends up lasting longer than you expect, it will be deeply toxic and codependent
According to social psychology professor Gery Karantzas of Deakin University, many times those who cheat or seek affairs“have mental health problems, including anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts.”
A relationship that starts off as an affair is not based on honest involvement.
It’s often spurred by a desire for novelty, thrills, and chasing the taboo. It’s also built around a fantasy that prevents both partners from truly seeing what the other is like outside the context of the affair.
In other words, once you settle down or make it official, you might find the shine wears off very quickly.
You may find that the values and beliefs of the other person, or their habits, make daily living unbearable and rapidly sap your attraction for them.
3) Is the affair a bandaid?
An affair is not going to solve either person’s problems.
If you’re a single woman, it will not satisfy you. If you’re an unhappy married man, it will only leave you wanting more.
If the man leaves his wife for a woman, it’s likely that the problems he had in his marriage will repeat themselves with you. Add in the fact that he may have kids and an established life that breaks apart in.
Even if he does leave his wife for you, it’s usually a real mess that eventually ends in a bad breakup or a long, slow decline.
The bandaid stops working and begins to fester.
And when you rip a bandaid off it hurts like hell, especially if there’s a nasty cut underneath.
I can’t tell you that no relationship that starts as an affair lasts. Obviously, some do.
But it’s very rare.
And that unhealthy start to the relationship — and the reasons that led to it — often doom it from the start and make its chances for long-term success very low.
4) You’re only hearing one side of the story
Another thing that’s really important to understand is that you’re only hearing one side of the story.
Specifically: His side.
Is it really true that his wife is verbally abusive, distant, or no longer in the relationship?
Is he telling the truth when he says they went to couples counseling for two years and tried their best?
You’re hearing his side, but what about hers?
You might find out that what he’s telling you is highly tailored or distorted, and that’s not the good basis for a long-term relationship.
In fact, it’s a recipe for failure.
Don’t look for this to be anything more than a short fling if a guy never admits his own faults and believes in a storyline where he’s always the innocent, pure victim.
Give me a break.
5) Reality will come knocking sooner or later
If you started out by having an affair with a married man and it became a solid relationship, then you will find that new challenges arise.
If he has children then prepare for your most prized couch to get stained with juice and prepare to start worrying about finances, where to live, how to coordinate your schedules, and other boring, unromantic things like that.
This isn’t all going to be smoothing sailing. Reality will come knocking sooner or later.
With bills, arguments, and even stress over the relationship because of other people judging the woman and her partner.
This can include his relatives, his ex, the kids if there are any and even the woman herself feeling doubt or shame in moments of weakness and vulnerability.
It may not be fair but in order to survive, the woman is going to need to take a lot of incomings and be sure about her love for this man.
The point is that in order for it to last, you need to be tough as hell and really believe in the love you have.
6) Are you really in love?
Remember that your temporary emotions aren’t always proof of something deeper.
An affair can give you strong emotions and the hot sex and fantasy of a perfect connection can cloud your judgment.
After all, you don’t live together and haven’t yet faced the challenges that all couples face. You also haven’t grappled with each others’ defects and shortcomings.
Precisely for this reason, it is necessary to analyze whether this involvement is real.
Are you really in love?
In her article “Why People Cheat” Professor of Psychology at California State University Kelly Campbell, Ph.D., clarifies that cheating is often linked to a lot of other problems.
She writes that:
“More than 90 percent of Americans believe infidelity is unacceptable, yet 30 to 40 percent of people engage in it. Infidelity is associated with adverse outcomes such as depression, domestic violence, divorce, even homicide.”
Good moments together and steamy sex are not enough to sustain a relationship.
Pay close attention and watch how he behaves in routine situations. This will give you clues as to whether he is a man you would be proud of and could trust to be by your side.
7) Will the ‘new you’ stand the test of time?
As Belgian psychotherapist and author Esther Perel writes:
“Having an affair is often part of a desire to reinvent yourself and become a new you.”
According to Perel, when you get involved with another person in an affair, you’re not just leaving old partners behind: you’re also leaving behind the old version of yourself.
Some people embark on affairs because the transgression gives them a feeling of power they’ve been missing in their lives. This ties directly into sexual desire, which is often closely linked to power and the experience of power.
Perel found that those who have had affairs often said it makes them feel more alive.
In this case, affairs tend to be a reaction to some loss or tragedy or response in the face of emotional fragility. It can also be a common part of a midlife crisis:
“During periods of transition(such as mid-life and retirement), many people experience the unease that comes with the belief that something crucially important has been missed, neglected or left unexplored in their life. There is a sense of nostalgia for unlived lives and unexplored identities.”
The feeling of passion and emotional stimulation evoked by an affair can work to energize and revitalize a man who feels trapped or limited by his marriage.
And you can get swept up in reinventing yourself as well. But will this new you really last?
As I wrote before, reality will always come knocking sooner or later.
8) Are you trapped on a runaway train?
As psychologist and counselor May Moo point out, there are many reasons people have affairs and it’s not always straightforward.
Sometimes the marriage is fairly happy, but the man still cheats.
As Moo writes:
“Many people having affairs are well-balanced, mature, caring men and women who are deeply invested in their primary relationships.
The idea that infidelity can happen in the absence of serious problems in the relationship or the individual is hard to accept in our culture because of entrenched ideas of love and romance. Nevertheless, the fact that many people who have affairs do not fit neatly into these categories mean that we must look beyond our assumptions.”
You’re probably hearing all the right advice already from friends and family, but sometimes it can be much easier to hear these things from a stranger than from someone close to you.
Something needs to change and it will not be an easy journey.
I understand that you didn’t mean to fall in love with a married man, and this is a non-judgment zone. But it’s absolutely necessary to realize that a man who cheats is not usually going to be a reliable long-term partner.
Think of the passion and love of your affair as a runaway train. It’s a lot of fun now, but further down the track what’s going to happen?
Are you willing to support him when his engine starts to chug badly and make crazy noises? Is he willing to support you when you want to slow down or have time by yourself?
Thinking about these issues will help you see this story in a more realistic and less romantic way.
It’s not always fun, but it can save you a lot of tears.
9) Are there other women?
As hard as it is to get seriously involved with a married man, it’s even harder when you realize you might not be the first.
If he’s left his wife for you then there are hard questions that need to be faced:
Will he stay with you or go back to his wife?
Is he seeing other women at the same time as you?
Is he sincere in his feelings for you or just using you as an off-ramp from his marriage and some casual sex?
If you’re not sure then really try to contemplate it.
If he is just looking for an adventure or to satisfy his own emotional or sexual needs, he may do everything possible to convince you that you are unique and special.
The reality is that you may be number 25 in a long “roster” of women he meets regularly.
10) The cheater becomes the cheated
Even if there aren’t other women involved, you need to be aware of the danger of being cheated on.
After all, he’s cheated at least once and told lies to the person he was supposed to never lie to under any circumstances.
This guy may have turned over a new leaf and could be the most trustworthy person in the world. But you shouldn’t give him the benefit of the doubt right away.
When you first got involved with him, did you know he was married?
Did he tell you? Or did he lie or purposely evade the question of his marital status?
This can tell you a lot about whether you can trust him. Even if the sex is amazing and he’s all over you, that can fade.
And in any case, affairs and cheating are often more about novelty and wanting to feel strongly desired and reinvigorated than looking for a new partner.
As Perel writes in her book The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity:
“Many affairs are less about sex than about desire: the desire to feel desired, to feel special, to be seen and connected, to compel attention. All these carry an erotic frisson that makes us feel alive, renewed, recharged. It is more energy than act, more enchantment than intercourse.”
You have to be careful with this guy because there’s a good chance he’ll just recharge himself at you and then move on to the next girl who can give him a thrill.
11) Reading between the lines
If he says horrible things about his wife, but then goes back to her after passionately making love to you, is she really as terrible as he says?
If he’s now taken the step and left her for you, how much of that was motivated by true love and attraction for you, and how much was just him throwing in the towel on his relationship?
Be prepared to have your heartbroken.
If you find out he wasn’t so much wanting to be with you as wanting to ditch his wife, you’ll end up with the ultimate sinking feeling that won’t go away.
Because you’ll realize you were an ancillary part of his life and it was never really about you or attraction to you in the first place.
12) If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there
If you don’t know exactly what you want out of a relationship then the affair you’re having with a divorced man might satisfy you for a while.
But what about down the road?
Do you really want to have a man who has a whole other history with a woman?
If he’s fully moved on then maybe the answer is yes.
But in many cases you’re going to feel like you’re dangling on the edge of a cliff, never knowing if you’re having the time of your life or about to plunge into the abyss.
And that’s not a great place for a wholesome, stable love to grow.
13) Do you want to be a mommy?
If he has children, be prepared for big challenges.
If you’re not currently a mother then prepare to become one.
And if you already are, then prepare for more kiddoes or teens to be added to the brood.
Even if this guy’s kids are all grown up, it’s not going to be a breeze and all sorts of tensions and issues can still arise with adult kids, especially if you’re seen as the cause of a separation between their dad and mom.
It is very common for women who marry divorced and even widowed men to suffer from inappropriate and even aggressive behavior by their children.
And if his kids are small you have to be a very patient woman as his little angels scratch your walls, spill your perfumes in the sink and get stains and food all over your clothes.
Do you believe that his children will be kind to you? Do you think he will take appropriate action to make the children behave?
Do you love him enough to try to resolve any conflicts without causing more suffering to his children and so that his relationship with his children is not shaken further?
If the answer is yes then there is a chance things could last.
14) Are his feet planted on solid ground?
Many marriages end because people are incompatible. That’s the point of dating and relationships: to see if it’s a good fit.
Sadly, many people still get it wrong.
If you’re in a relationship with a married man, try to find out as much as you comfortably can about his last marriage.
How long were they together before they married? Did they have happy years? What do other people say about him?
I’m not saying that you’ll discover that she is a saint, but you might find out he’s less perfect than you imagine.
If you really foresee this being long-term then make sure he doesn’t behave in ways that are incompatible for a long-term relationship.
Closing thoughts: When a man leaves his wife for another woman does it last?
By now having read the list you know my opinion on this matter.
Sometimes when a man leaves his wife for another woman it can last. But usually not.
In fact, it’s usually a big burning toxic disaster zone.
For this reason, I advise keeping your expectations very low and getting out of a relationship with a married man who’s left his wife if you can.
I know this isn’t the advice most people want to hear, but in most cases, it’s the most honest answer.
If you want to enjoy the moment and see how things go with cautious optimism then that’s your choice, and I respect that.
Just take care of yourself and be careful.
If you’ve been able to have a good time with a man who didn’t even offer you a real long-term relationship, imagine how good it would be to have a man who is really yours!
It’s better to be heartbroken for a few weeks than spend a lifetime waiting for a man who won’t ever really be yours.
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