Loving a married man, even a separated one, is risky. He's not fully available to you and your child, because at least a part of him is still connected to his wife. Take a stand against this relationship limbo by ending your relationship with him, advises Dr. Phil McGraw in his website's article, “Dating a Married Man.” Cutting these ties opens the door to your meeting someone who is available.
1. Grieve the Relationship
Ending a relationship hurts and your emotions might include anger, frustration, confusion, anxiety, fear and sadness. Take time to feel your emotions and accept them as a healthy part of detaching from the relationship. If your emotions frighten or cause your child to worry about you, assure her that you are going through a difficult time, but you will recover.
2. Use Your Support System
Find a few safe, supportive people you can talk to. They can assure you that exiting an unhealthy relationship is the best move for you and your child. They can offer shoulders to cry on and remind you of your great value. They can help you resist letting him back into your life and provide a respite for your child on days when you need time alone. Once you are ready date again, those in your support system can encourage you and maybe even help you to find an available man.
3. Take Care of Yourself
Remember to take care of yourself during this period of grief, suggests therapist Jeanne Segal in "Coping with a Breakup or Divorce" for HelpGuide.org. Eat nutritious food, get plenty of sleep and exercise. Take time to do fun things so you feel better about your choice. If you have trouble motivating yourself to do these things, remind yourself to set a good example for your child. Acknowledge that you can’t care for her if you don’t take care of yourself first. Don’t become so depleted that you can’t function.
4. Set a New Course
Clear your mind by focusing on new things and deleting his connections, such as unfriending him and removing his number from your phone. Look at the relationship objectively and see what you learned about your own needs and goals for the future, advises psychologist Gerry Heisler in his "Psychology Today" article, "How to Get Through a Break-up." Enjoy time with your child and being on your own before entering a new relationship. When you are ready to date again, find a man who can fully commit to a relationship with you and your child.
- Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images