Signs a Married Man is Using You

What are the signs a married man is using you? If you’re in a relationship with a married man and you feel overwhelmed with uncertainty, you may have reached a point where you’re confused about the connection you share. Is your relationship with your affair partner true love, or is this married man playing you?

The idea that someone you deeply care about might be using you is extremely difficult to contend with, even when the signs are there. For the longest time, I found myself deep in denial about the areas in the affair relationship that I had been mistreated. Deep down, I knew if I acknowledged one thing, my perfect picture would crumble… and force me to look at the 1000 other things I was ignoring. 

In this blog, we’ll explore some red flags that indicate you’re being taken advantage of by your affair partner.

If you’re looking for a safe space to explore your feelings, you’re in the right place. You can let go of shame and guilt—we leave no room for judgment here. You can learn more about our supportive community and 1-1 Affair Recovery Coaching options in a discovery call with me. 

Recognizing the Signs a Married Man is Using You

Being with an affair partner who isn’t as invested as you, or as committed as they claim to be, is extremely difficult to reckon with. With how quickly your partner was willing to dive into a relationship with you, or how much he has proclaimed his deep love, you still have seeds of doubt. 

Does this married man truly love me or is he playing with me? 

You’ve invested a lot of yourself in your affair partner, and dreamed about what your future could look like together.

At the same time, certain signals have popped up, indicating that perhaps he’s not being totally honest about where he stands. Remember that these signs exist on a spectrum—they may be apparently overt, or they may pop up occasionally from under the surface that makes you question or doubt yourself and the affair relationship. 

Recognizing the signs that your affair partner (AP) is using you isn’t about putting down your affair partner or demonizing them. It’s truly all about prioritizing your well-being and self-respect—and figuring out how you can make room for the confident, deep connection you deserve. 

Now let’s move onto the signs.

Hot and Cold Behaviour 

Hot and cold behaviour is a clear sign you are being used by a married man you love. Hot and cold behavior may indicate a lack of genuine interest or commitment, with the person only engaging when it benefits them. Here are 4 questions to help you determine if there are any signs your affair partner is using you:

  1. Does your affair partner frequently blame external factors (e.g., stress, work, personal issues) for their inconsistent behaviour?
  2. Does their level of attention and affection towards you fluctuate significantly over time, with periods of intense closeness followed by sudden distancing?
  3. Does your affair partners hot and cold behavior leave you feeling confused, anxious, or insecure about his level of interest in you?
  4. Have you experienced your affair partner becoming overly critical, argumentative, or distant following moments of intimacy or vulnerability?

Lack of Emotional Investment

One of the most significant signs that your relationship isn’t based on mutual level of love and respect is a lack of emotional investment. If your AP seems indifferent to your feelings, it’s a clear indication that they are not genuinely interested in a meaningful connection.

Does the emotional connection with your married lover feel a bit out of reach? At times you feel close, but in other moments you know you crave more. True intimacy in a relationship requires participation from both parties. If your affair partner is really emotionally invested in you, they’ll make ample room for your concerns and experiences. In a healthy relationship, your partner will do their best to ensure you feel seen and heard. This gives you no room to doubt his commitment or where he stands with you. 

“Sex with my affair partner is the best I have ever had.”
So the sexual chemistry with your affair partner is on fire. And he’s raised the bar for what makes you feel alive better than anyone ever has. However, if you remove the sexual attraction, his physical appearance, and the chase, how compatible and connected are you really?

“I feel so angry and hurt right now. When the topic of anything more comes up he drops me. It’s like I have been used for sex all these years. I feel guilty now for asking for more. Like I am being too needy but I can’t keep being in hiding like this. This is so painful. I feel like I’m going crazy”- Women’s Words

A dark green graphic with white letters that reads "they prioritise you when it's convenient" referring to how your affair partner may be treating you.

What do you do when a married man only wants to sleep with you? Physical connection may be an extremely strong, fun and fire-y part of your relationship, or it may even be the main focus of your connection with your affair partner.

If you’re sleeping with a married man and you don’t spend time building a connection outside of the physical, it signifies he has not emotionally invested himself in the relationship with you and primarily sees your relationship is a physical affair.

How can you make sure that your relationship has emotional intimacy, not just sexual chemistry?
Focus on slowing down the sexual aspect of your relationship. How does that feel? What is your partner’s reaction? 

If he’s more than happy to slow down and get to know you on a deeper level, that’s a great sign. However, if he questions why you would want to do that, says you’re looking into it too much, tells you to “have a little fun” and “live a little”, or gets angry and withdraws himself then you,  know he is placing your value more on your sexual connection than your emotional connection. 

In the support community, we have a whole course on this called Untangling The Allure: Learning how to recognise healthy attraction vs unhealthy attraction. 

“This group of women accept you no matter what stage in your affair you are in. Non-judgmental in every way possible. The community has helped me when I was happy, sad, angry, crying, etc. I felt that I finally found a community that I could be truthful and honest and share every secret because we were all confidential. We respected each other’s journey and that is very important. 

In today’s society, being in an affair is so frowned upon, but so many people are in it. I am so thankful I found this community to help me get through the worst year of my life. This amazing community meets you where you are at, no pressures. We would vent, offer advice, not offer advice, and just an ear to listen and sometimes that is all you need.” Community Member

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Inconsistent Communication

If your affair partner only reaches out to you sporadically or their communication patterns are erratic, it suggests that you are not a priority in their life. While that can be painful to hear, remember that one’s actions should always be taken to heart more than their words. 

“He says theirs is a loveless marriage and that I am the only woman in his life.”

“He chose his wife but he still contacts me.”

“He keeps saying he will get a divorce but it’s been a long time and that hasn’t happened.”

“Next Christmas will be ours to spend together”

If these words resonate with you, you may have started to recognize that your affair partner’s communication does not always line up with his actions. 

At the same time, these words are so significant to you. He knows how to say just what you need to hear, and because you want to trust and believe this person, you become overwhelmed with confusion. 

Remember that consistent communication is essential in a healthy relationship, and a lack of it could indicate an intention on behalf of your AP to say whatever is most convenient for them, rather than how they truly feel.

Secretive Behaviour

The nature of your affair relationship may be secretive, but if there is a high level of suspicion or secrecy inside your relationship it could be a sign you’re being used. What does that mean? Consider whether or not your partner is overly cautious about their actions. 

Are they constantly checking their phone? Do they have a habit of getting defensive? Does your affair partner often leave unexplained absences? Does he use deflection to avoid talking about your feelings? Eg “Why are you worried about that, you know I love you” Healthy relationships are built on trust and openness, and secrecy may point to deception.

Manipulative Behaviour

Manipulation is a relationship red flag and could be a sign your affair partner is using you. Manipulation isn’t always easy to recognize, and it can take various forms. 

It took me years—YEARS—-to truly understand manipulation. Despite the number of times people pointed it out to me, or I read about it, I was confused. Why? Well the reason I found it so hard to spot the patterns was because I grew up with it around me without noticing. 

If this resonates with you, I encourage you to open to new perspectives. With time, you may spot patterns you originally overlooked.

Common types of manipulation include:

  • Guilt-tripping
  • Gaslighting
  • The silent treatment
  • Negging
  • Emotional blackmail

No matter which tactic is employed, the intent is always to gain power and control in an effort to get what they want.

Skilled manipulators can leave you second guessing whether you are reading your situation correctly or not. If you feel like you’ve been losing yourself in a relationship, or even if you simply don’t “feel right” about your partner’s level of control in your relationship, manipulation could be why.

Remember that controlling behaviours and manipulation are not acceptable in a healthy relationship. You should never be exploited for another person’s gain. Don’t settle for any less than the connection you really want—and the relationship you desire for your happy future.

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Financial Exploitation or Financial Dependance 

Have you thought about the role money plays in your relationship with your affair partner? For instance, if your affair partner is constantly borrowing money or expecting you to pay for their expenses, it’s a strong indication that they might be using you for financial support. 

On the other hand, if you’re financially dependent on the married man you’re seeing, that can lead to a situation where he can use this as leverage over you. Your AP could use money as a means of control over you if they’re willing to use this to their benefit.

Healthy relationships are based on equality and mutual respect, so if you find yourself being taken advantage of financially or are in a place of financial dependance, it may be time to reevaluate your connection and consider breaking the relationship off for good.

Many affair relationships happen in the workplace. Which only makes the situation more complicated—especially if he plays a role in helping you up the employment ladder. For some, this relationship brings a benefit that’s hard to let go of, and it may even keep the affair going because it’s bringing you closer to your personal goals. However, if your affair partner is your boss or superior, ask yourself : Where does he “benefit” from giving me these perks? Is it also benefiting him? Could he be manipulating me to stay onboard for longer to his own advantage? 

Lack of Support 

A genuine partner supports you through thick and thin. So a lack of support, especially during difficult times, is a sign your AP isn’t highly committed to you. If your affair partner is absent during your low moments, unwilling to lend a listening ear, or dismissive of your problems, they are not invested in your well-being like a loving partner should be.

“But Kate I feel like he’s supported me more than anyone”

Notice when his support is on his terms, or when it’s most convenient to him. For example, you say he’s been there fully for you, he’s rented you a house, helped you get a job, fixed your plumbing, and changed your car tires.

But is he there to call on when you need him? Can you pick up the phone to call him and be confident he will pick up? He supports you with physical things, what about emotional matters of the heart?

Don’t settle for being left alone at your lowest moments. Emotional support is a fundamental aspect of any balanced relationship, and its absence could signify that their intentions for your relationship are not aligned with yours. You have every right to want to be in a relationship with someone who provides the same level of support you so willingly give.

Shining Light on the Truth of Your Secret Relationship

It can be painful to acknowledge the signs a married man is using you, but gaining clarity on the truth of your relationship empowers you to make decisions that align with your happiness and self-worth. 

There’s no one-size-fits-all checklist that can confirm whether or not you’re being taken advantage of. Some of these signs may click for you, while others may not. Ultimately, it’s up to you to read through these signs and check in with how your body feels while reading this. 

Deep down, your answer is waiting for you. 

If something inside tells you that you’re being used, consider seeking support. Having an Affair Recovery Coach in your corner can help you navigate the complexities of understanding—or even ending your relationship—if or when you’re ready. 

If you want to learn more about what taking that step looks like, let’s connect on a call. I can tell you all about our supportive community and the 1-1 coaching offered to help you move in a healthier direction.

Remember, you deserve to be in a relationship that doesn’t leave you in confusion, where you are valued, respected, and genuinely loved.

Find more support for navigating your relationship with a married man:

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