You want to stop seeing your married boyfriend, but every time you go to delete his number in your phone, you stop. He's attractive, attentive and everything else you've ever wanted in a man, so breaking it off is difficult. But, he is also taken. Opening your eyes to the full reality of the situation will make it easier to end what is, in truth, an unhealthy relationship.
1. Consider the Future
There is no secure future when you are dating a married man. First of all, it is unlikely that he will leave a relationship in which he is comfortable in favor of a future in which child support and split assets loom. If he does, however, consider that he is not reliable marriage material, as he has already shown how seriously he takes his marriage vows. A life with this man means you will forever be looking over your shoulder for 'the other woman.' Remind yourself of this and it will be easier to discontinue the relationship.
2. Increase Your Self-Worth
By dating a married man, you are putting yourself in the position of being second. On holidays, you will be alone while he spends the day with his spouse. Should his parents find out about your relationship, they will likely view you with disrespect. You are worth more than this relationship dynamic. You deserve to be first in a man's life and to gain the respect of his friends and family. To remain in a relationship with a married man is to denigrate your own worth. Once you decide you are good enough to warrant a man who can be yours and yours alone, you will find it easy to move on. Increase your self-worth by opening yourself up to experiences in life that teach you just how much you have to offer the world, advises psychologist John M. Grohol, Psy.D., in an October 2011 article, "6 Tips to Improve Your Self-Esteem," on PsychCentral.com.
3. Ditch the Lies
A relationship with a married man is often based on lies -- not only the lies that the man tells his wife and family about his absences, but the untruths you tell yourself about the relationship. Know that he is not your soulmate, as a soulmate wouldn't allow you to sit on the sidelines, Dr. Phil explains in his online article, "Dating a Married Man." Allow yourself to see the human collateral that the relationship creates, such as the possibility of a broken home for his children. Also recognize that you may not have all the truth about the man you are seeing or his situation. Dr. Phil notes that if a man has demonstrated that he will lie to his wife, the other woman shouldn't delude herself with the notion that he would never lie to her.
4. Seek Therapy
When you're in a relationship as emotionally unsatisfying as one with a man who's already taken, there are reasons. Work with a therapist to identify those reasons and boot them out of your life. Without resolving the issues that led you to make the choice to date a married man in the first place, you risk leaving your relationship and entering another one that is equally inappropriate. Once you've figured out what makes you tick, you'll be ready for an equal and healthy partnership.
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