To be honest, affairs/divorces in general just give me such a desperate Connecticut vibe, but I'm coming to terms with the fact that that's just the world I live in. Brooks Brothers, strippers, and divorce. Gag me.
Anyway, while I would personally advise to steer clear of men who want to cheat on their wives, as a general rule, I am open to the fact that there are different "stages," per se, of the "level" of married that they really are. Three of them, to be exact.
Stage 1: Still lives with his wife and has active substance abuse issues
No. Hit them with a read receipt and never look back. Don't go on a trip to Europe with them. I accidentally did this once, and I swear it was the only trip to Europe worse than the "cathedral tour" that my parents roped me into in 2003.
Stage 2: "In the process" of moving out
A for effort! Just kidding, participation trophies are bullshit. In the real world results are the bottom line. You're either living with your wife, or you're not. This isn't a philosophical debate with an ambiguous answer, it's a very simple a/b decision path.
Stage 3: The "fully" separated man
This person is potentially safe to go on a date with if that's what you're into? As long as they're clear about the situation, and you're kind of into the idea of an actively disrespectful relationship dynamic.
All that being said, there can also be a few perks to dating someone who's separated. If you're not looking for anything serious, obviously.
They're not going to try and impose themselves on your lives (nor will they want this in return), but they will be eternally grateful to spend time with any woman who won't hold them accountable, talk about alimony, and will even entertain the thought of having sex with them. Especially if you're younger and hotter than the wife. Sorry... it's harsh, but it's true. Anne Boleyn got Henry VIII to change the religion of England with this methodology.
Anyway! If you do decide you want to flirt with the boundaries of basic self respect and date someone who's married/separated, I would suggest familiarizing yourself with the potential outcomes below.
- You don't have sex with him and he pays for things. Maybe use him to start a college savings fund for your future children (that will be with a different, non-cheating man).
- That's the full list. There are obviously no other "ideal" outcomes.
Less than ideal outcomes
- Love. Um, that's just not realistic in this scenario. Sorry. If you think it's love then you're confused. Pinky promise.
- Becoming a step parent. Ew. This is the only thing worse than becoming a real parent.
- A crazy scorned wife comes after you. No thank you. Hard pass. Block the number, put your phone on airplane mode. Get a restraining order. I actually had this happen to me once, but now she's in a basement in New Jersey. You know, to match her personality.
Basically, I would try to avoid catching feelings for someone who is very clearly a sinking ship. Tether me to a stronger ship, or do not tether me at all. Unless it's in the bedroom. Then that's a different conversation.