Important Lessons I Learned From Dating A Married Man

Important Lessons I Learned From Dating A Married Man ©iStock/fotostorm

I’m not necessarily proud of it, but I’ve been with a married man. I was young, didn’t know he was married at first and totally didn’t understand the consequences of perpetuating such bad behavior. I should’ve stopped when I figured it out, but I thought I was in love and figured he was the married one, so really it wasn’t my problem. Many years later I look back on that and see how wrong I was, but it wasn’t all bad — I learned these 11 important lessons:

  1. It really does take two to tango. When I was younger, I felt like if a guy chose to cheat on his girlfriend or wife, it wasn’t my problem. It was his relationship, and if he was choosing to stray then that was on him, right? Wrong. I would feel terrible if I was in his partner’s position and it was my responsibility to put a stop to it.
  2. Karma is a serious bitch. If for nothing else, I should have known better than to put such negative vibes out into the world. Karma always comes back and bites you in the ass hard. It did come pay me a visit, and although it probably wasn’t as bad as I deserved, it hurt a lot. #reapwhatyousow
  3. Sisterhood is important. When we let men cheat, we ruin the bonds of sisterhood that should exist among women. Even though I didn’t know his wife at all, I should have been driven harder by the fact that she’s a fellow woman who deserves better.
  4. Making crappy decisions impacts your character. Your character and who you are matters, and when you do things that are crappy, it reflects poorly on your character. Now that I’m much older and have spent several years acting more like a mature adult and less like a self-centered jerk, I understand this and make my decisions much more judiciously.
  5. Forgiving myself is tough. At the time, I didn’t give a single damn, but now that I look back on it, I can’t believe what a tool I was. I’ve more or less forgiven myself, but there are plenty of occasions when it makes me wince and wish I could go back and tell him to spend more time with his wife and not with me. So young, so dumb.
  6. She didn’t deserve it. No one ever does. Regardless of what he says (she didn’t pay attention to him, all they did was fight, there was no sex), she didn’t deserve to be cheated on. No one ever does. If he was unhappy at home, he needed to man up and say so rather than betraying her. Divorce is easy enough to secure if it was really that bad.
  7. I deserved better than being the other woman. I’m worth more than a guy who already belonged to another woman. I deserve to be a guy’s number one priority and the only one he’s seeing. It’s really that simple.
  8. There was someone else out there for me. He was already married and was never going to be truly mine, and while I worried I was never going to find the right guy, I eventually did — and now he’s married to me.
  9. I should never take what isn’t mine. We learn when we’re young that we shouldn’t steal things that don’t belong to us. In this case, you can’t even share it. He was someone else’s husband and not mine to be involved with. I would never put myself (or anyone else) in that position again.
  10. Actions have several layers of consequences. It can be hard to look at the moment and be wise enough to understand that there are so many layers of consequences associated with every action — especially the bad ones. The choices you make today will haunt you tomorrow if you’re not careful. For now on, I will be.
C. is an aspiring yogi and Ph.D student who loves her dogs, bright lipstick and to travel. Find her on IG @drparko121314