Dear Vix: ‘Is it ever acceptable to date a married man?’

Dear Vix,

Is it ever acceptable to date a married man? Recently, on a relationship website, I matched with somebody who appeared too good to be true – he’s beautiful, clever and we’ve the identical pursuits. He rapidly instructed me that he lived in a completely different European metropolis, however got here to the UK usually for work. Then it transpired that he was nonetheless married. He stated that he’d married his greatest buddy, however after the kids got here alongside, their intercourse life had evaporated as a result of she didn’t need it anymore. They’re simply collectively for the kids and he’ll go away once they’re older. I get it – that’s what my mother and father did, too. I requested if his spouse knew that he was wanting elsewhere and was instructed, “sort of, as long as it’s not obvious”. He seems to be saying that she is conscious, however doesn’t need to know any particulars and isn’t relationship herself – so it’s not fairly an open marriage, however it’s not far off. I suppose it’s extra like a “turning a blind eye” scenario.

We haven’t met but, however we’ve talked – a lot – as soon as for 2 hours straight! He stated he looks like he’s recognized me perpetually – and I really feel the identical. Plus, he’s so completely different to my ex. I’m feeling actually lonely in the intervening time, and he’s protecting me sane. At the again of my head, although, I hold pondering that I want to cease it as a result of I’m the one who’s going to get damage. I can see that I have already got robust emotions for somebody that may by no means be obtainable; it’s a scenario that I actually didn’t need to get into – and may maybe have stopped as quickly as he stated he was married. At the identical time, I’m addicted – I’m already evaluating everybody else to him, and no-one else appears half as handsome, clever or humorous. I can’t wait to hear from him, and I’ll admit to hoping sooner or later he would possibly go away if issues actually are as dry as he says they’re. I additionally really need to have intercourse once more – and mid-Covid, that’s a fairly exhausting job. Please assist. I don’t need to lose myself. Susan

Dear Susan,

I ache for you, I actually do. And you’re not going to need to hear what I’ve to say – however I’ve to say it. This man could be beautiful, charismatic, clever and enjoyable, however it doesn’t sound to me like he’s in a simple, ethically non-monogamous relationship (the place relationship a married man, in case you’re certain you’ll be able to deal with it, would be acceptable) – probably not. And I don’t assume he’s going to go away his spouse.

How do I do know? Well, he’s already proven what he’s fabricated from: by occurring relationship web sites, slightly than selecting to work on the plain points in his marriage, it tells me he’s looking for escapism. So many individuals do that, and I perceive it – as a result of the exhausting and unsightly work lies in confronting the terrible inevitability that you simply’re not in love anymore, or that your relationship has come to a pure shut.

When you might have youngsters collectively, it could be even tougher to face up to what you want to do to transfer on. I get it. But this doesn’t present power of character. Going to couple’s remedy, having exhausting conversations, going through up to the reality and having clear boundaries in case you resolve to open up your marriage – not burying your head within the sand or residing in denial – that’s power of character. And that’s the kind of man you have to be with.

While divorce can have an effect on children, research have proven that youngsters don’t profit merely from having two mother and father in the identical house – the truth is, being round two mother and father the place there’s battle or unhappiness could be extra damaging to children than two fortunately separated (or divorced) mother and father.

And whereas I’ve each sympathy with individuals who can’t bear to consider splitting as a result of they love their children, and fear about harming them, these exact same mother and father have to personal the truth that they may nicely be damaging their youngsters anyway – by creating a house crammed with loneliness, resentment, battle or lies.

We all have a proper to be comfortable. And there are methods of splitting harmoniously – it doesn’t all the time have to be a dramatic showdown (see right here for an earlier Dear Vix column from a “consciously uncoupled” reader). But the possibilities of a break up being messy are far, much more doubtless if somebody cheats.

I say “cheats” as a result of, if I’m trustworthy, I see some main pink flags in your beau’s clarification of his house life. Let’s begin by his assertion that his spouse “is aware, but doesn’t want to know any details”. Convenient that she isn’t relationship herself, isn’t it? But doesn’t thoughts him doing it. Really?

Is it not totally potential that he’s spinning you a line and is simply plain, old school dishonest? I’ll provide you with one trace as to how to inform: on his relationship profile, did he have pictures which confirmed his face? Or did he fastidiously lower these off on the neck, leaving pictures of his physique or torso – and solely swap ones that might establish him when you’d related? Look for these form of clues. Something tells me you’ll discover them.

Still, I’m not shocked that you simply and this man have been drawn to one another – as a result of aside from the truth that you’re single and he isn’t, you might have some distinct commonalities. You’re each lonely and wish to have intercourse once more; you’re each on the lookout for connection: bodily and emotional, particularly after lengthy durations of lockdown and self-isolation. That’s why you spend hours speaking, and that’s why you’ve gravitated in direction of one another. These are fundamental human wants that we are able to all relate to.

But your paramour is married. He shares a mattress with another person (and if he claims in any other case, I’d suggest taking that with a big pinch of salt) – which suggests that you’re in a love triangle. There aren’t two folks on this relationship, there are three. More, in case you embrace his youngsters. And I feel there are severe points with consent when one particular person is being intimate with one other with out the total information and settlement of their partner.

I don’t need to be overly-judgemental, right here: life is messy, persons are human. We all make errors. But I’d be wanting to know a lot extra about his intentions, if it have been me – okay, in order that they’re “just together for the children”. Will he go away as quickly as they flip 18? How previous are they now – how lengthy, feasibly, would possibly you be ready, if issues work out? What are the phrases of their residing preparations? What will they do when the kids begin asking questions? Why isn’t his spouse relationship, if he’s? What in case you fall in love?

Also, I discover you say “date” in your electronic mail, slightly than “sleep with”. That tells me you need extra. But you gained’t get “more” from a man who’s already married.

Sometimes, affairs do work out – however it is uncommon. For starters, you’d doubtless have a big situation with trusting this man, even in case you have been in an above-board relationship with him. And even in case you consider (after intensive interrogation) that he’s telling the reality about his relationship along with his spouse and you’re completely comfortable to be somebody’s “bit on the side” – nicely I’d ask you to ask your self this query: why? And (crucially): don’t you deserve extra?

Hard as it is, I’d wholly suggest reducing this off now, earlier than you meet and (inevitably) have intercourse. After that, your emotions are solely doubtless to develop stronger. Start by going “no contact” with him – there are different suggestions you may attempt, right here. You already know what to do, since you stated it your self in your electronic mail: cease it, since you’re going to get damage.

Victoria Richards is The Independent’s recommendation columnist. Having issues with work, love, household or buddies? Contact

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