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Posted by on Jan 30, 2013 in cheating, divorce, marriage, marriage trouble, men, relationships | 17 comments

Will He Ever Leave His Wife?

loa relationship coachBy: Lisa Hayes


Reader beware — This is a Lisa rant.  Read at your own risk.  Just saying.

Jennifer met Thomas on a work project.  They worked for different companies, but were assigned to work closely together on a contract project for almost three months.   Within the first few days Jennifer knew there was chemistry between them.  They didn’t talk about their personal lives, but it was pretty obvious what his status was.  Thomas wore a wedding ring.

As the days and weeks passed the chemistry became developed into full out flirting and Jennifer found herself finding reasons to meet up with Thomas for drinks after work.  In the beginning it was “to talk about the project”.  However, it wasn’t long before they didn’t bother to make up excuses to see each other.   Jennifer felt alright about it.  They weren’t “doing anything”.  Besides the project would be over soon and she wouldn’t see him after that,


she did.

Three days after the project was completed, Thomas called her and asked her to meet him for dinner.  She was relieved he called and ecstatic to see him.  Over dinner Thomas spilled the whole story of his marriage.

Bullet points as follows.

  • His wife is literally crazy.  She’s been taking medication for years.  He always intended to support her through her depression like a good husband, but she eventually shut him out both emotionally and physically.
  • Therefore it’s been more than two years since they’ve had sex.
  • She’s been emotionally and verbally abuse to him for a very long time.
  • They are getting a divorce.  In fact she asked for it.
  • However, she’s very fragile so they are staying together while they work out the financial details, and there are lots of them.  They share a lot of assets that have to be divided.  It’s complicated.
  • He wants to stay with her during the negotiations to stay on her good side so the negotiations go well.  He’s afraid she’d get irrational if he left the house at this point.
  • His attorney tells him it should be completed by August.

Here are some more bullet points.

  • Thomas feels something for Jennifer that he didn’t think he’d ever feel again.  He thinks he’s fallen in love with her.
  • He didn’t intend to start a relationship with anyone until the divorce was over.
  • However, he thinks Jennifer feels it too, and it doesn’t seem right to walk away right now when his divorce is in motion.
  • It’s now or never.

Although Jennifer was very confused by all of this, she couldn’t deny she felt it too.  She’d never seen herself as someone who would date a married man, but in all fairness, Thomas wasn’t exactly married.  So, before dessert was ever served, Jennifer and Thomas were breathlessly on their way to a hotel.  The rest is history.  Eighteen months of history to be exact.

There have been snags in the divorce.  His wife is crazier than ever.  Thomas says he’s actually afraid for his physical safety and he’s worried she’ll kill herself.  Thomas and Jennifer are more in love than ever, but Jennifer is beginning to wonder if he will ever really leave his wife.

To which I say…

Trust me.  You do not want this man.  You may think you do, but you don’t.  

First of all, statistics are not in her favor.  Many studies have been done on this and they show that in an affair with a married man less than 20% of those men ever leave their wives.  Out that 20%, fewer than 10% end up on committed long term relationships with their mistress.

When I told Jennifer that her answer was predictable.  “We’ll be one of the fewer than 10%.  I’ll be one of the lucky ones.”

Here are my bullet points.

  • Men who still live with their wives are still married.  Period.  It doesn’t matter what they say.
  • Having an affair while married is asshole behavior.  I don’t care how complicated it is.  Good men don’t do that.
  • The 20% of men who actually do leave their wives don’t stop being assholes on the day they leave.
  • A man who treats his wife that way will very likely treat other women that way.

The stripes on a donkey don’t change just because their marital status does.
So, being in the “lucky” 20% turns out to be VERY unlucky for most women who’ve been in relationship with a man while waiting for them to leave their wife.

Some marriages don’t work out.  That’s a fact.   Sometimes married people fall in love with someone else. That’s also a fact.  If that happens, a good man will still try to work on his marriage and if it fails will get a divorce, not a mistress.


So, if you find yourself asking the question, “Will this man ever leave his wife?”   I would suggest you up your standards and think about what kind of man you really want to be with.  What kind of life do you really want to live?  Are you willing to live with the uncertainty about whether or not it will happen to you when the going gets tough, and it will, because life happens, and when life happens you will wonder.  Trust me.  You will.

If you’re dating someone’s husband, no matter how “crazy” his wife is, check yourself.  Why would you settle for someone who’s behaving that way?  Why are you?


Lisa Hayes, The Love Whisperer, is an LOA Relationship Coach. She helps clients leverage Law of Attraction to get the relationships they dream about and build the lives they want. Lisa is the author of the newly released hit book, Score Your Soulmate and How to Escape from Relationship Hell and The Passion Plan. She is also co-founder of Good Vibe Coach Academy, specializing in LOA Coach Training. To get Lisa's FREE Audio, "How to Talk to a Man" click here. You may also purchase her book - Score Your Soulmate.


  1. My God Thank you. Thank you so much for this. Ive been the mistress for three years. Im done, F this. Never again. EVER

  2. Everyone deserves better than a man who behaves that way. Congratulations on taking a new direction in your life. Big love!

  3. What should I do? I Love my wife, been with her for 25 yrs, married 20 years. Sex was and is ok, but so infrequent I could travel the Himalayas in between times we actually have sex. We admire in each other most of the qualities we possess which is why we got together in the first place. We differ on some major family issues, but not so bad that we hate each other. 8 months ago enters a super sexy rival to my wife, who while a functional
    Alcoholic, incurable flirt, insatiable nymphomaniac, and attention whore, gets me excited sexually like nobody’s business. I’ve rationalized cheating by limiting penetration mostly to my fingers, tongue and body parts other than my you know what and now I consider myself the worlds greatest female pleasurer. If anyone is listening, you would be amazed at what edible massage oil brings to a bedroom. Even trying this now with my wife.

    I feel that first I should get a divorce if my wife and I figure out that its time to move on. I don’t like this scenario because I am a family man. I also feel that jumping ship for an alcoholic, attention grabbing, nymphomanic (and I’m talking serious), is not the smartest move.
    She calls me weak constantly because I haven’t manned up and admitted the truth about our relationship.

    A friend therapist encouraged me to go and enjoy life before I’m dead so I took her advice and I was having a lot of fun.

    I have since realized that its impossible to lead a double life for very long, so I have to make a choice.

    Statistics don’t support the decision to jump ship for sex, though sex is not the only attraction in my case. While my mistress has many issues, she is also a very interesting, passionate and engaging person.

    In a perfect world I would keep my life and see my mistress whenever I want to. Problem is she wants it to be permanent, and I don’t. She is also giving me time ultimatums, because even though she’s a nympho she wants a main main now. I’ve cooled our relationship in the last week because it’s been too much for me to handle.

    In Europe, I understand this is natural, in the US, the man is a cheating whore.

    What should I do? I’m frozen at this point. I’m not being a good husband or good boyfriend.

  4. I think the choice you should make for the time being, is neither. Not your wife or your mistress. It sounds to me like you’re terribly confused. Maybe you need to take some time alone to do some serious work on yourself before you include anyone else in your problems.
    Get some professional help. You’re confusion is hurting yourself, there is no need to hurt others along the way until you really know what you want.

  5. Thank you. I should have stayed away permanently. After a few lovely texts and kind spoken words earlier today, just now (probably from some bar or bed) she told me how another lover comforted her today. Like as if I am dealing with two completely different women. What a fool I am.

  6. I’m in this EXACT scenario right now. It’s even been 18 months! He keeps saying he wants out and is doing it “as quickly as he can” (but has been giving me the same story for 18 months). He explains that their financial situation is complex and I don’t understand that he just can’t walk out on his family (they have two teenage boys). Selling the house doesn’t appear to be an option as she refuses to sell it or let him keep it. She WANTS the house, but can’t really afford it, so he says he can’t leave and let her struggle, nor can HE afford to move out and get his own house and help her with the mortgage. He is afraid that if he does leave, she will tell everyone that he abandoned his wife and kids even though they plan to do 50/50 custody with the youngest..the other kid is 18, so not part custody. He plans to have the oldest live with him as well, so it’s not like he’s just walking away, but he doesn’t see it like that. He’s always been a family man and this is very much against the way he was raised and has always been. (I know this isn’t BS-it’s the truth). He has asked me to let him finish the split on his own and I agreed, but then a day later he will tell me he can’t let me go. His greatest fear is that I will date someone else.

    They have slept in separate bedrooms for months, so I know they aren’t sleeping together (which is a minor plus). She just discovered that we are still talking (he told her months ago that he stopped) and realizes the marriage is over, so it may push her a little, but she is not at all motivated to uproot her life.

    He finally told me over the weekend that he really can’t ask me to wait – that its not fair and I agreed. BUT..that is what he really wants me to do. I do love him although I have had the same concerns and doubts as listed above(donkey not changing his stripes). I keep thinking I need to at the very least hang in there to DATE him to see if we truly are compatible as we think.

    We came to an agreement that we would NOT hook up until he is finally separated because he doesn’t want to hurt me anymore, nor can he get caught yet again..but honestly, I don’t really see that he will stick to it. We work together which makes the situation that much messier. I haven’t put a time line on how long I intend to hang in there, but it has gotten OLD.

    It’s a nightmare.. :(

  7. If you made an agreement NOT to hook up until he’s separated, it’s on YOU to stick with it, not him.

    You are in an unimaginably difficult situation, and you might feel powerless, but that powerlessness isn’t really the truth.
    You are the decider. You get to decide if this is working for you or not. You get to decide if you deserve all of a man or part. You get to decide how you want to be treated.

    I wish you peace and clarity. Most of all I wish you love.

  8. I too have been the OW to a MM… NEVER in my wildest dreams would I have ever imagined myself in this situation. You see my last husband of 16yrs left me for the OW. The relationship didn’t last long and he wanted me back but too much collateral damage to make the marriage work again. I made a vow to myself that I would never hurt another women the way my ex husband and his OW hurt me. Now years later I find myself in the very same situation… I was seeing this MM for 15 months… I just ended the relationship “AGAIN”..or whatever you want to call it 3 days ago!!! This is not the first time we ended things… Last summer he stopped calling/texting me for 4 weeks. This was just after he told me for the 100th time he was leaving his wife to be with me. He couldn’t do it and couldn’t find the words to tell me…. Shame on me for expecting him to leave a wife and two step children… Not biologically his but loves them as if they were is own. After the 4 weeks he called practically begging to see me and that’s where it started again… I really love him with all my heart… And here’s the kicker.. I remarried 2 years ago…. Yes I was in love… But husband is very emotionally abusive, he kept it under wraps till after the I do’s were said… That’s probably why I try to justify what I do as being ok… But I know it’s not right! This has been an emotional roller coaster ride that I finally made my mind up that I wanted off…. I know time heals…. But why do I need to know if the MM REALLY loved me?! He told me he did several times… Every time we spoke…. I find myself searching websites looking for an answer… No luck… All I’m seeing is everyone bashing the OW and I completely understand. I HAVE been on both sides of the coin I can tell you that all of us OW are NOT the stereotypical home wreckers and whores that the wives label us too be… We are human and make mistakes and bad choices.. I will not put the entire blame upon him. It took us both to begin this affair…If I have any right to defend myself… I ignored his attempts at flirting for 6 months before I gave in too temptation. As with most affairs… They say here the chemistry is amazing …. So I question is this love or list or some kind of an addiction?! At 43 years old you would think I’d know the difference between the too. I feel it’s real love with amazing chemistry!
    I know what I did was the right thing for me and for his family but it’s still painful saying goodbye to someone you love… But I’m worth more and his wife is too… Regardless if she is B word or not too live with… His words not mine… Including the words from his two friends who know about our affair… Say she is not a good wife….
    But I know no woman should be hurt like I was 4years ago. The selfish side of me wants him to leave but he has to leave because he is truly unhappy and NOT because of me…

    It was great to come across this website today. Maybe I will find an answer to my question if he in fact really loved me. It sure would be nice to have an honest opinion and maybe by a MM in the same situation now. Today is a new day, I pray I stay strong.. I took him off my FB and blocked his #… We have called off relationship several times and this time I’m serious… He and I need to really soul search and reevaluate our own marriages… Thanks for allowing my long rant!! Lol

  9. TO Leah: I’m sorry you are in a similar situation. Sounds a little like mine because MM persued me for several months as well — I was married at the time and was minding my own business, when he started flirting with me out of the blue. He was RELENTLESS and whether anyone believes it or not, I put him off again and again because I didn’t want to hurt my husband, his family OR myself! He insisted I was unhappy and told me he had been unhappy for at least 5 years. I HAD been unhappy for about 1/2 of my 9 yr marriage, but things had gotten better and I felt content. Or so I thought. No one ever pursued me like he did and I’m almost 10 years older than you! He kept assuring me that we were meant to be together. He wanted to do it the “right” way..i.e. by just leaving our spouses with the excuse that we weren’t happy.

    Stupidly, we ended up being caught by both our spouses several times–all before we even got intimate. Too much collateral damage was done in my marriage too and I decided to divorce. I left him in 10/12 – there were no kids involved as it was our 2nd marriage, so it was pretty clean cut.

    I’m sure in his own way MM DOES love you. Just like mine loves me…but they are also family men and feel like if they leave for themselves they appear extemely selfish and dead-beat. In reality, what they are doing is selfish..keeping both the wife and the mistress on the hook because they can’t just make a decision.

    I hope you can be strong and stay away if that is really what you want. It’s so hard, but you can’t beat yourself up. Easier said than done I know because I do it every day to myself! :( Good luck…I hope things work out for the best for you!

  10. Leah,

    It wasn’t really a long rant for such a complicated subject.
    I have to say, good for you to breaking it off even though it was so hard. It seems like he had plenty of time to leave if he was going to.

    I’ve personally been on the other side of it all. My ex-husband had multiple affairs, one quite serious. Obviously our marriage did end, however, even then he didn’t end up with her. So, no one really got their happy ending.

    There is a saying that says unhappy journeys rarely have happy endings. I think when it comes to this subject, unfortunately it’s almost always true.

    Big love and good luck.

  11. This is me. Oh my life I feel so stupid. He explains how his wife is crazy, the house split is complicated so he staying to sort but it is dragging out, I thought it would be done by Christmas. She is trying to move out but stalling and cant get a mortgage, should i wait?? They are in separate rooms and have been for a long time. No kids. But he says he loves me and I feel more that I have ever felt in my life. I

  12. Great article Lisa!

    First question: what you’re basically saying is that a decent man will first divorce his wife before he begins initiating and pursuing a relationship with another woman; otherwise he is just “wanting his cake and eat it to”, right???

    Second question: how would you define “mistress”? In your scenario with Jennifer, if she was not having sex with Thomas, would you still consider her his “mistress”? In other words, is sex (or sexual activity) the sole prerequisite for a woman being a man’s “mistress”? Or can a woman who is merely spending lots of time with a married man and falling in love with him (i.e. dating him) be considered a mistress as well?

  13. How many Mistresses does it take to vacuum a home? ZERO! They don’t like to clean! How many Mistresses does it take to control your cell phone and wallet? ONE! They like to control everything down to the last penny!

  14. We never married but we were together on and off for nearly 5 years. We had a baby boy, he raised my daughter as his own, and we had a beautifully amazing partnership for quite a while…. Well, even when things are great, he would text other women proclaiming they’re the love of his life for a thrill…. I stopped trying as hard bc I gave my all to a man who could take me ring shopping/set a wedding date, and 2 days later tell an old fling that she’s his one and only (after 5 days of flirting online). So we started to fight. A lot. I left him. We stayed living together for months, but a week after we split “titles” of the the relationship, he texted every girl he possibly could, started sleeping with an ex of his who was pregnant by another man at the time, and had a 3 year old from a different man. Within weeks they were talking marriage, though while he was home with me, I still tried everything to rekindle that romance and connection. He was a jerk the entire time, feeling entitled to act however he wanted and would leave again for a week with her, then again come home saying he’s sorry, he loves me, wants to change… Etc… All the while this girl was trying to make me feel sorry for her when she found out I was sleeping with him or doing anything fun or productive together. He moved in with her for a month, couldn’t stand her, and came home to me, right in time to have her baby alone. Perfect timing for him, wasn’t it? She still believes it’s my fault he wasn’t there for the birth of a child that isn’t his. He moves out of state for work soon after. A few months pass, he dates her long distance for another month…. Can’t stand her again…. And comes home to me for Christmas. She calls & texts non stop for a week until he finally answers and leaves his family on Christmas Day! She got pregnant a week later, “on birth control” and he ends up leaving about a month & a half later, lives with family, and gravitates back to me yet again, telling everyone I’m the only person he sees a future with & works out a great plan to raise this baby part time together…. So we get back for 4 months & he sleeps with her again. I took him back yet again & he swears it was a mistake and was attempting to be faithful by all means necessary for yet another month & he helped her move & slept with her & I told him he needs to leave…. Finally. She is joyously abusing him emotionally and physically then going back to acting sweet. He’s lied to her about staying out all night for work and come to my house to stay the night and attempt to sleep with me, which I didn’t let happen. With his week old baby at home and her other 2 kids. He’s been telling me since 2 weeks after getting back with her that it’s only for the baby and he wants to leave and get back with me one day after working on himself…. I almost fell back into it. I’m trying to emotionally steady myself right now. My heart isn’t done loving him but my life is. He wants to leave and live on his own for once but he wants me to wait for him in the process. I said no and that I have to let go. If he does leave and live alone and fix himself, who knows what will happen? If we could have a mature, loving, lasting relationship? If we could fall in love all over again as healthy adults? I just can’t try to count on it anymore. I don’t think their relationship will last whether or not I’m waiting around. He’s got these issues and she’s abusive & on baby daddy #3 in 4 years. I’m just trying to move on and heal on my own right now and he makes it so much harder by doing this. I would marry him if he didn’t have these problems and knew he could move on from her without looking back. Will that ever happen? I don’t know. I know he genuinely feels strongly about both of us. I also know that he had a naturally occurring relationship with me that didn’t include wrecking another family to get here, like them… And I won’t let him do it to her and I won’t enable him to cheat. He has a family with her now… She will always be in his life now. What do I even want?! Peace if mind and being truly loved. That’s all.

  15. Im happily with a married man we live together we been dating eachother for 6 yrs now n lived together for 3 yrs my only problem is he wont divorce her they dont talk they haven’t even seen eachother in 2 whole yrs he told me to pay for the divorce but they were seperated when we hooked up so i am not the cause of there separation i just cant figure out why he won’t let her go n why im being strung along im 35 and i want to be someones wife one day even tho he tells everyone i am his wife i hate that its not really true it hurts because i love him deeply we are a unit we share a lease cars bills….etc its like were married but not legally he is already spoken for and she has the right to call him her husband and carry his last name while im still stuck with my maiden name she keeps claiming to me that she wants a divorce and has filed for one but i haven’t seen a divorce paper yet they act like they hate eachothers guts but wont let go of eachother!!!question is should i stay or should i go?

  16. This website has been so helpful! Me myself had just got out of a 7 year relationship with 3 kids and had met someone in the same position with 1 child except he from the beginning admitted he was in still in love with his ex and was hurt. We always were so honest and became best friends. When I feel like he stopped caring she came back into the picture. He left to be back with his family and I understood. We haven’t stopped caring about each other and continue speaking and the odd time hanging out. I don’t want to feel for someone who is with someone else… But I feel like he is my soulmate and couldn’t imagine life without him. I could go on with the reasons I justify it with the things he says. I know in my heart it is wrong but it feels so right.

  17. I would like to think my situation is different but that seems to be the case for all OW involved with a MM. We all want to think our situation is different and will work out. I met MM almost 6 years ago (we worked in the same office building). We were just friends for 5 years of that time because I knew he was married and I had no intention of getting involved with a married man. I have been divorced for several years and have dated many men but none have been as compatible or hit everything I want in a man like this man. We get along great, never fight, no drama, and I consider him a great guy and father.

    He confided in me about 4 years ago that he hadn’t slept with his wife in several years (something like 12 years!). We basically remained friends but didn’t see each other for a couple of years. Within the last year we became closer and we finally became involved sexually. I have problems dealing with the relationship as it is now because I have never been involved with a MM and don’t see myself as a OW. I am not a person who settles, and certainly not someone who is naive. I am extremely adept at seeing through BS and insincerity. He said he will divorce in about 2-3 years when his oldest child leaves for college.

    If this were someone I didn’t know as well, I would see the situation differently but I think sometimes good people move in a direction that doesn’t fit the norm. I am torn between staying open to meeting someone else (he has said he knows it isn’t fair to make me wait for him) and staying faithful to the relationship to see it through. I want to make sure I am being good to myself yet at the same time want to take extenuating circumstances into consideration. I want to live a life of no regrets and I don’t regret for one minute getting involved with him. As a side bit of information, my marriage ended due to an affair by my now ex-husband. I was not willing to take him back and it did hurt tremendously so I have been on both sides. And, he did wind up with the OW for several years.

    I am basically looking for feedback and other points of view on this because yes I do think my situation is different.

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