He’s Married – So Is He Just Using You?

Dating 101
20 Jun 2023
15 min read
8 Tell-Tale Signs A Married Man Is Using You

Getting into a serious relationship with a married man is always risky business. Even if he and his wife have an open marriage, your relationship status will inevitably become the “other woman” or the “side chick.” Of course, you may agree to this, especially if you’re not interested in a committed relationship. But enjoying the perks of extramarital affair without any of the responsibilities comes at the price. Lack of partnership means that the person is taking without giving – or using you. How to understand if this is your case? Check out these signs a married man is using you to know for sure!

Is Dating a Married Man Wrong?

About 20% of married adult males will cheat on their wives. And of those who engage in an affair, that affair lasts an average of two years.

Who Cheats More? The Demographics of Infidelity in America, IFS research

The answer if it’s right or wrong depends on who you ask. Your grandmother, great-aunt or pastor of your church may not approve. But extramarital affairs have been going on for centuries – a dirty little secret that no one talked about publicly. And the side-chick has typically been the bad guy – the homewrecker. So, what to do if your life situation calls for seeing the signs a married man is using you?

Are you a bad person if you’re already dating a married man? Of course not. Unless, of course, you kinda get off on hurting other women (wives) and potentially breaking up a marriage and family. If you find pleasure in that, sorry, but you are wrong in assuming that this pleasure is stable and will last for long.

Have you fallen in love with a married man and wandering what to do with that? Do you believe he needs you because there is something he is not getting at home – support, encouragement, love, sex, etc? Well, there is nothing wrong with it either. And he’s not a bad guy either unless he’s a narcissist who must have continual conquests to pump himself up.

As you may have noticed, this article has nothing to do with passing judgment on you. What we want to do is make sure you understand what you have chosen by becoming involved with a married guy, and what your personal life will probably look like, as opposed to a partnership with another single or married life. Such a relationship is complicated to be sure, and you probably may already know that.

Related reading: Does Distance Really Make the Heart Grow Fonder?

Dating a Married Man: When It Can Work for You

Here is what you will get out of this now and moving the relationship forward:

  • You are highly independent: Part-time love let you have your own life without the responsibilities of being with someone else all the time and having to think of them as you make plans.
  • You value alone time: In this relationship status, you’ll able to focus on your own well-being, self-love, and other obligations you may have. You’ll enjoy the occasional booty call and the sex life he offers.
  • It’s sex only: If your sexual relationship with him is your entire relationship, and that’s all you want, you are in the right place for you right now.

Disadvantages of Dating a Married Man

One of the big disadvantages that leads to the appearance of signs a married man is using you is that you risk developing feelings that are not mutual. In other words, he will not be ready to have a healthy relationship with you even if things change for you. That’s a huge risk, along with other disadvantages:

  • His wife may find out: It’s possible that she will confront, stalk, or embarrass you in front of friends and others. It’s not pleasant.
  • You’ll feel guilty or upset: You may develop icky feelings that you are harming a marriage and family when he is with you or that he is not available being with his wife when he is away.
  • You may fall deeper: With time, it may happen that you’ll want more than just physical intimacy. Are you ready to accept the fact that this won’t happen? Sometimes, married men leave their wives for their side chicks, but it is not as common as you might want to think.
  • You have to hide: It is probable that you will not be able to go out in public with your squeeze unless you arrange to go out of town where you are not known. This can get a bit “old” after a while if you can’t have a relationship public.

Looking at this list, are you ready to acknowledge that your married man is just using you? If not, here are some obvious signs that a man you’re spending time with is not worth your time and feelings.

Some obvious signs a married man is using you

8 Signs Your Married Man Lover Is Only Using You

Being used in a relationship means that someone is taking advantage of you in order to get their own needs and desires met. In this scenario, your dreams, needs, and desires don’t really count at all – but his are so important that when you’re incapable to satisfy them any more, he’ll just leave you. Nice, huh?

If you have a gut feeling that you are in this situation, listen to that gut. But also read through these signs a married man is using you. If you find yourself nodding your head as you go along, then you will have some choices to make.

1. He Sees You Only at His Convenience or Need

OK. So, a married man has obligations at home. You get it, and you understand that there are only certain times he can get away to be with you. But what if he only sets up times to see you at times when it is convenient for him or when he needs you?

Here’s a simple example. He’s had a bad day at work. He goes home, and his wife is totally unempathetic. In fact, they have an argument over something just because they are both in a bad mood. He calls you. He needs you. Because he knows you will listen, give him comfort, and help him regain his peace.

But what happens when the opposite happens? You have a horrible day, and you need a shoulder to lean on right now. You get in touch and tell him you need emotional support. Instead of making an excuse and getting to you, the excuse he makes is to you. He can’t get away. He’ll try to find some time tomorrow.

This is a one-way street in your relationship and is one of the blatant signs that he is a taker and not interested in being a giver. Now if this only happens occasionally when he truly can’t get away, that’s one thing. But if it is consistent behavior, it should be a red flag and one of the clear signs a married man is using you.

2. You Are a Compartment in His Life of Many Compartments

If you feel like a file cabinet in the life of the married person you are seeing, then it’s a good sign you are being used, not really treasured. When we treasure someone else, they are in our minds, no matter what else we may be doing.

One strong clue that you are nothing but a “file cabinet” is that this married man doesn’t really listen to you when you are together. He may do a lot of talking, constantly complaining about his “real life” of work, marriage, etc., but when it comes to really listening and hearing what you have to say, it’s as if he has closed your file cabinet.

He isn’t interested in how you might feel about life, your favorite music, a movie you have seen or a book you have read, or a course you might be taking. You’ll get a lot of head nodding and a few mumbles, but it’s obvious he is not truly interested in your interests that don’t relate to him.

Related reading: A Guide on How to Be a Better Boyfriend

3. He Goes Overboard to Be Distant Around Mutual Friends and Co-Workers

He deliberately puts distance between the two of you when you are at gatherings with mutual friends and/or co-workers. You can usually tell this via his body language and more directly when he tells you that you must be extra cautious around these people so they don’t catch on.

In these situations, he rarely makes eye contact with you and expects you to do the same. In fact, he may even flirt with other women which he justifies by saying he is trying to “protect” your relationship.

Don’t fall for this. It’s a major red flag that he doesn’t really care about your feelings. If he really cares, he will steal glances with a smile and wink, even find a few seconds to get close and whisper something sweet in your ear. And he certainly wouldn’t deliberately flirt with others in your presence.

Related reading: Is He a Body Language Guy? How to Read The Subtle Signs

4. You Have Never Met Even His Closest Friends

When a married man has one or two really close friends, he will usually confide in them things he won’t tell his wife. This is true for a married woman and her female friends too. When they are having an affair with someone they truly love and cherish, they have to tell someone about them, and that someone will be a best friend.

Has he told his very closest friend about you? Have you met this friend? If not, this, again, is one of those signs a married man is using you for his own selfish purposes.

5. Your Married Man Avoids Talk of Future Plans

When a man plans a future with you, he normally:

  • tells you his love life was dead until he met you,
  • that you are the one woman that has revived his faith that true love does exist,
  • that he wants to spend the rest of his life with you, and
  • that only you can fulfill him.

And when you hear something of these, you begin to believe that he will leave his wife and begin a permanent, long-term future with you as his new partner. All you need is to wait until the “time is right.”

The months drag on. You keep asking; he continues with vague responses. Yada yada yada.

Related reading: Right Person Wrong Time – It is Really All About Timing

If you are experiencing this, it is one of the most blatant signs a married man is using you. And if you cling to the belief that he is sincere about his plans to leave his wife and family for you, you will be the one with a heart broken, not her. He’s simply a married player.

On the other hand, if he tells you upfront that he has no intention of leaving his marriage, he is a man of some integrity. And if that is okay with you, carry on.

6. He’ll Ask Big Favors of You But Won’t Reciprocate

He calls you with urgent requests:

  • Can you pick up his dry cleaning before he has to leave on a trip?
  • Can you loan him some money until he gets paid?
  • Can you come pick him up and give him a ride to his poker party with his buddies (but of course, just drop him off without coming in)? Being seen and known by his friends is strictly off-limits.

You drop what you are doing and accommodate him as best you can.

But what happens when the tables are turned? Check if he can:

  • Come to pick you up because your car has broken down.
  • Loan you a bit to tide you over.
  • Go over to your place and let your dog out because you are working late.

If he doesn’t seem to be able to do these things for you, you have one of the most common signs a married man is using you. There’s nothing in doing these favors that benefits him, and only what benefits him is important, so he’ll have excuses. What a one-sided relationship. Heed these warning signs.

7. His Ego is Fragile and Needs Boosting

You probably won’t recognize this as one of the signs a married man is using you at first. He’ll tell you a lot of things:

  • His marriage has hit a rough patch and he is considering a divorce
  • His feelings for his wife died long ago
  • She is cold and unfeeling, and they are in a toxic relationship.

You listen, believe, feel empathy, and do everything you can to make him feel loved and wonderful. You’ll boost him up, do all sorts of things for him, give him amazing sex, and “restore” his self-esteem.

Related reading: Insecure Men: How a Fragile Ego Can Ruin Romance

In fact, his real issue is that he has a huge ego that must be fed and one of the ways he can feed it is by having someone like you think he’s just the “best thing since sliced bread.” You’re really a conquest.

Gradually, you may come to see this as a clear sign he is using you for his own purposes. There’s no give and take as there should be in a true loving relationship. And he has picked a single woman because he doesn’t have to compete with anyone for your affection and attention. His current spouse is not the monster he portrays her to be. And he’s most probably had other single women before you. He’s not a monster either – just an insecure man who probably needs some therapy.

Check out this article from the Mayo Clinic on the signs of narcissism. If this looks like your married man, don’t bash yourself for not seeing it sooner. Many women are “givers” and fall for these types. the question is, what do you intend to do about it?

8. It’s All About the Sex

Think about each time you meet up. What actually goes on? Sex, of course. But what else? Do you have long conversations about important stuff? Do you discuss topics of current or common interest over dinner? Does he even really know about your values or causes that you support? Does he ever speak to the intimate details of his deep feelings about things? Married people, or those who are in loving and healthy relationships talk about these things.

How often does he take you on a real date? If not, there is no courtship here – it’s only and always just about the sex. Married men who are not getting enough at home will find it somewhere else, and you are the current target.

What to do if you happen to date a married man

He Is Clearly Using You: What Now?

So these are not all the signs that he is using you, but these are probably the top eight that any woman should be looking at if she wonders if she is just being used. If your married man falls into these characteristics, you really need to take a good long look at what you are doing in the relationship at all. You deserve better and more than such married men.

While it’s really tough and heartbreaking to end this relationship, it may the wisest move for you. Here are the steps you need to take.

1. Start By Being Honest With Yourself

If you see this relationship in terms of the list above, admit it to yourself. Don’t try to convince yourself that he means what he says. His behavior is what speaks, not his words. You are being used.

2. Bring It Up

Are you afraid to broach the subject with him? Now is not the time to be timid. Speak your mind. Tell him what you feel. Watch for his response and listen carefully. Does he come across with the same words he always has, or does he really hear you and agree to make changes? If so, give him the opportunity to make those changes. If they don’t come about right away, his promises are not genuine.

3. Set Some Boundaries

Decide what you will and will not tolerate in this relationship and make those boundaries very clear to him. For example, you’re not his ATM. He is not to meet up with you, have sex, and then leave shortly after. You either have real dates, real conversations – or you are not interested.

Related reading: How To Maintain Your Individuality While In a Relationship

And you will no longer drop everything to be at his beck and call. And you must make the effort to reconnect with your friends more regularly and pursue your own interests. You will let him know when it is convenient for you to meet up. And you will initiate contact as you wish. He can just deal with that.

4. Prepare Yourself for an Ending

If your married man cannot meet your needs and wishes, it really is time to end it all and get out. This may be the toughest thing of all to do. Get strength and support from your family and friends; stay really things; find some new interests that will take up your time and your mind. And make it a clean break – block him if necessary.

Dating Married Men: Are You Wiser Now?

We hope so. Having a loving relationship with a married man can be fulfilling or just what you need if you do not want any commitment right now. But if you find yourself getting in deep, look at these signs a married man is using you. Don’t ignore them, and take action if you need to.

Dating Tips Author
Shelly Standford
After a devastating relationship breakup, I threw myself into the dating scene by registering on Hily. I had over 100 dates - some absolute disasters, some pretty average, and some that were actually great. So many stories to tell and insights to share with you guys!

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