It should go without saying that seeing a married man is complicated, messy and asking for trouble. It is by no means a straightforward relationship.
Not only will you be navigating through him being married to someone else, but you will have to work through your own emotions of being the woman on the side.
As complicated as this is, it can be made worse if you think he might be using you.
He could be promising you the world, giving you gifts, and doing things to keep you close, but there is a tingling feeling you have that he might be using you.
A polyamorous relationship is one thing, but if a married man is having an affair with you, there is a very high chance he is using you.
Married men will rarely begin an extra relationship without the sole purpose of meeting THEIR unmet needs, with little regard to anyone else’s.
Yes, there are situations where a married man will fall in love and he’ll leave his wife but as the saying goes, ‘how you got them is how you’ll lose them.’ So tread carefully.
But if you have begun any kind of relationship with a married man, even if it isn’t sexual in nature, and feel like he may be using you, these are some of the signs to look out for so you avoid heartbreak and drama!
Signs A Married Man Is Using You
When dating or getting to know a married man, it really is worth your time and your dignity to take a step back every now and then and reevaluate your relationship with him.
Your relationship dynamic with a married man is very different from a relationship dynamic with someone who is single. It can be really easy to let things slide that you wouldn’t normally.
When looking at your relationship with this married man, you need to look for warning signs that he is just using you and that he has no intention of building a meaningful relationship with you.
Let’s dive into some of the most blatant signs a married man is using you and be honest with yourself so you don’t miss anything…
You Are Just A Booty Call
Okay, we have got to get the most obvious ones out of the way!
If a married man is only calling you late at night and you two are only doing one thing, I’m sorry to break it to you, he’s just using you for physical intimacy. And that’s the kindest way I could phrase that.
Consider all the times he has called you or texted you to meet up, did it always just involve sex?
Does he only message you when he wants something from you? And even if he takes you out for drinks or dinner, does it always end up with the two of you in the bedroom?
He won’t be bothered to see you or even message you if he doesn’t feel like being intimate, but the moment he wants something, he switches the charm on and does his best to win you over.
It might be fun at first – feeling like he wants you so badly and is attracted to you, but after a while, it can become really toxic and it can cause you to lose sight of what you want, and what you actually deserve.
Some guys are also really good at manipulating you to the point where you do not even realize they only call you when they want sex.
So you will have to pay attention to how he acts, and whether or not you spend quality time outside of the bedroom.
He’s A Closed Book
When you are in a relationship with someone, even if they are married, you would want them to share some of themselves with you.
Opening up about who they are, what they have been through, and anything else that gives you insight about their life. But this guy’s personal life is a complete mystery to you.
A married man who is just using you, and who is most likely keeping you a secret, will be a closed book, and he won’t open up to you about his life, dreams, hopes, anything! He will always leave you guessing.
Especially if he’s a cheating husband, he wants you to know as little as possible about his real life.
He might offer up some very basic details, such as the area he lives in and what he does for a living, but nothing deeper than that.
He does not want to let you in, because, for him, there is no point in spending the effort in letting you get to know him if he doesn’t see you as someone who will be around for very long.
It could also be that he thinks that if you get to know him, you might put his marriage at risk more. He isn’t willing to compromise his marriage or his relationship with his wife.
He is using you for your body and for company to fulfill some desire of his. He doesn’t want to put the effort into letting you in, so it is a very one-sided relationship.
The entire relationship can feel very lopsided, with you telling him about yourself and him not opening up.
Or worse, he cares so little about you that conversations are extremely surface-level and no one knows each other very well (or at all.)
This is a major warning sign that the he is just using your to meet some need he isn’t getting from his marriage.
You’re His Emotional Sounding Board
This can be a little more tricky to spot – as you might assume that he isn’t using you because he opens up to you emotionally, but it can be the opposite.
This relationship can also be completely platonic so it makes it tricky to spot.
I actually experienced this one a couple years back. I had a ‘friend’ who was a married man and would only reach out when he had problems he couldn’t talk to his wife about.
I realized quickly he was just using me as a therapist, and even though we were just friends, it was an unfair relationship for me.
His connection to his wife might have lessened over the years, and he doesn’t feel as though he can turn to her for emotional support. Instead, he (selfishly) leans on you to fulfill his emotional needs.
As rough as it might be to hear, he could have turned to anyone for this emotional support, it just so happens that you were accessible and there.
He knows he can manipulate you to be there for him when he needs you, to pour his heart out and load his emotions onto you.
To pick up on this, think about the conversations you have together. Does he seem to only talk about himself and his problems and never let the conversation focus on you and your stresses?
While this is different from him just using you for sex, he is still using you, but for emotional support, and does not offer any support back to you.
One of the most obvious signs a married man is using you is that they only reach out when they need something from you.
He Plans To Stay With His Wife
A married man does not take you seriously and does not see a future with you if he plans to stay with his wife.
Longterm, there really is no way you can have a healthy, substantial, life-long relationship with a man who has commitments to his wife and kids.
In the early stages of the relationship, it is understandable that he might not be willing to throw his marriage away for someone he barely knows (even though he pretty much ended his marriage the moment he decided to be unfaithful) but if you have been seeing each other for a long time and you want to take the next step, and he doesn’t, it shows you’re not his priority.
And trust me. That will never change. You will always be a secret part of his love life.
This shows that he sees you as someone on the side that fulfills a certain purpose in his life. Not as someone who would become his priority.
He doesn’t consider you to be worth changing his life over, which speaks volumes about how he really feels about you.
You can look for all the signs in the world he loves you, but if he’s staying with his wife, you have the answer to where you belong for him.
He Doesn’t Pay Attention
When someone is really into you and values you, they will take the time to get to know you and learn as much about you as they can.
One clear sign that he is using you for a specific purpose is when he doesn’t pay attention to you.
Perhaps you’re even talking and he rarely makes eye contact. He just can’t be bothered to pay you any mind.
This could present in many different ways. It could be that he simply doesn’t listen when you talk about yourself or your life and he replies with a generic answer which shows he isn’t invested in the conversation.
It could also be when he avoids talking about you and your life over text, and he diverts the conversation back to himself or what he wants instead of spending time talking about you.
You might also notice this when you mention something about yourself that you know you have told him before, but he acts as if he has never heard it before.
Someone who is interested in you will hang on to every detail you tell them and remember even the smallest details about your life!
One way a married man might keep you coming back, even when he is using you, is to promise you the world and hint at a future together but never actually deliver on this.
He likely knows that you want more from him, that you want him to leave his wife, and for the two of you to be together. So if he constantly leads you on to believe that this will happen one day, he will keep you by his side.
The fact that he is already cheating on his wife and probably lying to her, shows that he is capable of lies and deceit.
There really is no guarantee that he would be telling you the truth about your future together or his intentions with you.
So if a good amount of time has passed and he has promised you the world but delivered on nothing, then it is a sign that he is just using you for his own purposes and not for the best intentions.
You’re not going to go from side piece to happily married woman with this guy. He just knows the exact words to keep you on a string. (Read: breadcrumbing.)
You’re A Complete Secret
It makes sense that a married man would want to keep his relationship with another woman secret, but there are some cases where he and his wife acknowledge their marriage is over and you aren’t kept in the dark as much.
If the two of you have been seeing each other for a while and he still hasn’t told his wife, friends, or family about you, then it is a really clear sign that he is planning to keep you hidden away forever.
This means that he never plans on having a full, proper relationship with you. Point blank.
If a married man falls in love with you (and his marriage is over,) he wouldn’t be keeping you in the dark.
This can extend to the two of you never spending time in public together, which can be stifling after a while, and it really puts such a limit on your relationship.
He does not want to be caught, he is ashamed of his cheating, and he has no intention of making you his main partner.
If the two of you work together, it can be even more pronounced, as he might go even more out of his way to pretend there is no relationship between the two of you, and even as if you do not exist.
This might be fine at first, but after a while, it can be really difficult for you.
He Cancels Plans Often
You are his mistress on the side (as tough as it might be to read that), and this is because his wife and his family will always come first.
This will mean that he will often cancel plans on you, as something might come up with his wife or kids, and because they are his priority, he puts them first and will see to them even if it means canceling with you.
It might extend beyond this as well, and he will probably put his career, friends, and hobbies before you too.
He doesn’t see you as someone who he needs to commit to, and he doesn’t regard your time as equal to his, so he doesn’t feel bad canceling on you and leaving you stranded at the last minute.
He could try to smooth things over by giving you every excuse in the book, but if this happens often and you find that you can’t rely on him to be there for you or carry through with plans.
It shows he is only using you for what benefits him and it is not a mutually beneficial relationship.
He’s Never There For You
If you like him, or even love him, you will do your best to be there for him whenever you can.
You make sure that you help him out whenever possible, even if it is just giving him a shoulder to lean on. You do this because you care about him and because you want more from the relationship.
However, do you notice that he is never there when you need him? Whether it is after a tough day at work and you need someone to vent to, or if you have a flat tire and need some help – you can’t rely on him to be there for you.
From your partner, you need stability and reliability, and he cannot give this to you because you are not a priority in his life, and it doesn’t suit what he needs you for.
So if you notice that he isn’t there for you when you need him, it is likely because he is just using you and can’t be bothered to put in the extra effort.
He Asks Too Much Of You
If he is using you for physical intimacy but is not willing to commit to you or end his marriage, there is no reason why he wouldn’t try to use you for other purposes too.
This could present as him asking too much of you, giving you very little in return, and not giving you the commitment that you need.
He might ask you for help running random errands, ask you to give him a ride somewhere, complete a task, etc.
Even though relationships are about giving and not expecting, there is a trade balance that needs to be held between two people.
If you feel as though he is taking advantage of you and asking too much, it could be because he is just using you to his advantage.
He Sees Other Women
This can seem super contradictory, as he is cheating on his wife to be with you, but it is not unheard of for you to expect him to have some loyalty, or to at least not put himself out there that much with other women.
Most people will say that you cannot trust a man who is cheating on his wife. If he has cheated on her, there is a good chance he will cheat on you when someone else catches his eye.
This is something I agree with 1000% but sometimes we lie to ourselves and think we’re ‘special.’
This is even more true if he does not feel a deep connection to you and he is just using you for sex or intimacy. He wouldn’t really think twice about flirting with someone new or even pursuing something with someone else.
He could make this obvious, or he might try to hide it more, but there is only so much time in a day, and one man can only juggle so many women, and his lies will begin to show themselves soon enough.
You might find it really hurtful to discover that he is cheating on you with someone else, and that is completely fine, but take it from where it comes from.
He Uses His Affection And Attention As A Bargaining Tool
He knows that you want affection and attention from him, and through leading you on, he knows that you want more from the relationship than he is giving you, so he uses this to his advantage to try and get what he wants.
He will withhold any affection and attention to get sex or attention from you, and when you give him what he wants, he will reward you.
Simply put, this is a transactional relationship, and he is prying on your insecurities and weaknesses to get what he wants from you, and this is too toxic to put up with.
You deserve someone who gives you love and attention because they want to spend time with you, even if they get nothing in return, and you do not deserve to have someone use your desire for affection to get a hall pass to your body.
He Wants You To Be Available All The Time
When he is just using you for sex, he would probably expect you to be available to him at all times, whenever he calls for it. The irony is that he is probably never available when you want or need him, but he gets really upset when you say no.
He expects you to make him your priority, and drop everything whenever he calls, and see to his needs before you even see to your own.
This is obviously incredibly unfair to you, as you have other commitments to see to, and there are definitely going to be times when you just don’t feel like being at his beck and call.
Relationships are a two-way street, and if he is not willing to be there for you whenever you call, then there is no reason you should offer him that. You should put yourself first and not become his servant who is only there to see to his needs.
He Doesn’t Do ‘Nice’ Things
Another sign that he is only seeing you for the physical benefits you offer, is that he doesn’t ever do nice things for you.
He never takes you out on dates, he doesn’t surprise you with flowers, and he doesn’t really go out of his way to make you feel special at all.
This doesn’t mean you should expect the world from him – after all, he does have a wife to care for as well, but if he never does anything to make you feel special or valued, but he still wants to sleep with you and keep you close, it shows that his affections are very directed to the physical aspect of your relationship.
Using you for sex alone shows that he doesn’t see you as a potential long-term partner, so there would be no drive for him to make you feel valued or special, especially if he is still getting what he wants from you without putting this effort in.
He Never Talks About The Future
If he is using you for a specific purpose, most likely sex, then he would not necessarily see a future with you, and this means that he would not put in any time talking to you about your future together.
He has saved his future plans for his wife and his family, and he just sees you as temporary satisfaction which is serving a sole purpose at the moment. As tough as this is to hear, you need to understand that there is no point looking forward with him, unless your aim is to have your heart broken.
This will show as him never bringing up the topic of your future together, as well as him avoiding any conversation about the future when you bring it up.
He Ghosts You
Does he stop talking to you for days, or even weeks, on end, just to show up again acting as if nothing has happened?
This is because he is being fulfilled by his wife and his family until he feels lonely and then tries to pick up where he left off with you.
Married men have a tendency to disappear and pop back int your life at random times.
A healthy relationship isn’t built with these flaky guys who only want one thing from you.
Constantly disappearing and reappearing in your life is a clear indicator that he doesn’t respect or value you for who you are, but rather he just wants to get what he wants from you, without putting any work into building a proper healthy relationship.
(How healthy can it be if it’s an affair anyways though?! But I digress)
When you confront him about this, he will likely come up with every excuse in the book as to why he disappeared for some time.
He will manipulate you back to where he wants you, only for the cycle to repeat again and again.
He Leaves Straight After Sex
This is an obvious sign, but we often overlook obvious signs to try and paint a picture that we want to see, but you need to be real with yourself to notice when you are being taken advantage of.
When the two of you meet up, and eventually land up in bed together, instead of staying and spending time with you, he leaves straight after sex. There is no cuddling, spending the night together, or waking up to pancakes.
He gets what he wants and he leaves when he gets it, probably to go back to his family and wife who are expecting him.
He Tells You So
You don’t have to read his body language or try to piece together the clues for this one.
It could very well be that he makes it abundantly clear that your relationship is just about sex for him, but you are seeing it all through rose-colored glasses, and hope that eventually, he will change his mind and fall madly in love with you.
Listen to what he says to you, and don’t try to change him or change his mind, or only hear what it is that you want to hear.
What To Do If You Are Being Used By A Married Man
At the end of the day, you are really the only one who can decide what to do if the married man you are seeing is using you.
It might take you time to pick up on the signs that he is taking advantage of you, but once you notice it, then you need to consider what it is that you want and if the relationship is enough for you.
You might not be looking for anything serious in a relationship, and the casual, fun relationship you have with him could be perfect for where you are in your life at the moment.
However, if you are looking for someone to settle down with and have a more serious relationship with, then there is very little chance he is the right person for you.
Just the fact that he is cheating on his wife and is using you for what he wants, shows that he does not have your best interests at heart and is not necessarily invested in a future with you.
Dating married men is never worth it. Being second best will take a horrible toll on your self-esteem and not knowing where you stand can be incredibly draining.
It’s almost impossible to be in a loving, committed relationship with two women when one is a secret.
Relationships take work and a one-way street that will only boost his ego is not fair to you and your well-being.
Let’s not even get into what could happen if an accidental pregnancy occurs! An extramarital affair is on thing, but a lovechild is a whole ‘nother bomb.
Take all these clear signs as a red flag and get out of this relationship before you get in even deeper!