Discovering that the partner is married is a devastating experience, especially for those who have plunged headlong into the relationship. When you discover that the person you love is legally committed to someone else, you may feel betrayed, disappointed, or just plain angry. Maybe you don't even know how to react and need to work to control your emotions. If you don't know what to do when you find out your partner is married, try talking to him about your feelings. Then decide whether or not you should end the relationship. It might also be a good idea to ask people close to you for advice.
Method 1 of 3: Talking to Your Partner
Step 1. Find a secluded place to talk
If you decide to talk to your partner about the issue, make sure you meet him in an empty, quiet place. Choose a neutral location, such as a square or a coffee shop, or invite them over to your house when you're alone for a face-to-face conversation.
- Preferably, wait a while before calling your partner to talk. After discovering the truth, the first thing you should do is think hard and understand your feelings.
- Try talking to your partner face-to-face rather than over the phone or text. This way, you can express your feelings clearly and sincerely face to face.
- Say something like, "We need to talk about your being married" or "We need to talk about your marriage and our relationship."
Step 2. Tell your partner that you know he is married
Start by telling your partner that you know he is married. Explain how you found out. Perhaps you spoke to their spouse or were told by a mutual friend. Put all your cards on the table to start the conversation as honestly as possible.
- Say, for example: “I know you are married” or “I found out you are married”.
- Even if you're ashamed of how you found out your partner is married, be honest. So even if you feel like you've done something wrong (like reading your partner's e-mail), the dynamics of the relationship will start to change, becoming more honest and truthful.
Step 3. Explain how you feel in the first person
When you are alone, explain to your partner how you are feeling. Use first-person phrases so your partner understands how you feel and listens to what you have to say. Speak clearly and calmly, without raising your voice, so that the conversation is productive.
Say, for example: “I was sad to hear about your marriage. I don't know what that means for our relationship” or “I'm angry that you didn't tell me you were married when we started dating. I think you weren't honest with me, which makes me feel betrayed.”
Step 4. Ask for a break if you feel really bad
It may be difficult for you to remain calm during the conversation. This is perfectly normal. You may need a few minutes (or more) to regain your composure and calm down. In that case, tell your partner, “I need to take a break” or “I need some alone time to process this. Let's talk another time."
- You may only need a few minutes to regain your composure. Or it may take you several days. Tell your partner that he or she must respect your needs and give you time to understand what's going on. Come back to him when you're ready to talk.
- It's also possible that you may need several conversations to understand how you feel and figure out what to do.
Step 5. Think about the next steps together with your partner
The conversation should end with you and your partner discussing what to do next. Think carefully about what you want out of the relationship and talk honestly with your partner. Then, think together with him about a plan of action so that no one else feels cheated.
- Say to your partner, for example: “I don't feel comfortable going out with someone who is married. Would you be willing to part?” or “Can we be honest with each other from now on? I don't expect you to leave your spouse, but I need there to be no more secrets between us.”
- If they can't agree on what to do, maybe it's time to put an end to the relationship. Some people choose to go against their own values in the name of a relationship, but it's best to always follow your intuition. Otherwise, you will regret it in the future.
Method 2 of 3: Ending the Relationship
Step 1. Talk to your partner about your feelings
It may be that you are no longer willing to stay with your partner if you discover he is married. Be honest about your feelings and acknowledge the weight of the situation. You may no longer be able to trust your partner or emotionally prepared to have a relationship with a married person. Talk openly about your feelings with your partner so he knows what's going on in your head. Give preference to sentences in the first person.
Say, for example: "I can't be with someone married" or "I feel that there is no more trust between us"
Step 2. Make it clear that you are ending the relationship
Leave no doubt for your partner that you are no longer together. Try to be gentle and firm so as not to deceive him. If your partner tries to convince you to stay with him, explain how you feel and what you expect from a relationship. Make it clear that you don't want to have a relationship with a married person.
- Say, for example: “I don't want to have a relationship with a married person. I think we need to break up” or “I don't feel more comfortable in this relationship. I think we need to finish.”
- In fairness, let your partner explain why he thinks you should stay together, but don't let him bullshit you. After he's said all he has to say, close the matter, even if he presses you.
Step 3. Stay away from your partner
Tell your partner that you need some time away from him. Make it clear that what you want is distance. Explain that it is you who will decide if and when you will talk to each other again.
You can say, for example: “We need space. When I'm ready to talk to you, I'll find you. For now, I need some time away for myself”
Step 4. Keep your distance from your partner
After the breakup, it is essential that you keep your distance from your ex-partner. Agree with him that you don't look for each other. Ideally, you give each other space. Delete your partner from your social networks and don't answer or answer when he calls or texts you.
- If you see the other person often at school or work, make arrangements with your partner to avoid interactions whenever possible. Then you will have the time and space needed to recover from the breakup.
- Making the transition from a love relationship to a friendship without intermediate steps is virtually impossible. Although you can even become friends with your ex, it's essential that you keep your distance from each other and don't look for each other, for now. Both need time to recover and deal with their own feelings. So, maybe you can't become friends in the future?
- You may also be tempted to throw yourself headlong into a new relationship to forget about your ex. Do not do this. Give yourself time to recover.
Method 3 of 3: Asking People Close to You for Help
Step 1. Talk to friends and family
If you don't know what to do when you find out your partner is married, look for close friends or family to talk to. Choose people you trust and who are able to listen without judgment.
- You can, for example, say to a close friend: “I found out my partner is married. Can I vent to you without judgment?" or “My partner is married. I need to talk about this. Can you Hear me?".
- If the other person makes you feel bad or ashamed, drop the subject and find someone more receptive. Say something like: “Thanks for listening. I don't think I want to talk about it anymore."
Step 2. Talk to a therapist
If you don't feel comfortable talking to someone you know personally, how about seeing a therapist? This is a great way to talk about your feelings without being judged or lectured. A good therapist listens to patients and offers help or support when needed.
Look for a therapist near you on the internet or ask your friends or even your general practitioner for recommendations
Step 3. Look for people with similar experiences to yours
You may feel more comfortable talking to people who have been through the same thing as you, that is, who have discovered they had a married partner. You can, for example, look for a friend or family member who has been through something like this and handled it well. Someone with a similar experience to yours can better identify with you and provide the help and support you need.
You might, for example, go to a friend and say, “I know you found out your partner was married last year. I'm going through the same thing right now. How did you react?” or “I remember you had a partner who only later found out was married. What did you do?"
Step 4. Practice self-care.
Look within and practice self-care to handle the discovery as best you can. Set aside an hour a day to do something relaxing, like meditate or do yoga, or treat yourself to a massage or a good bubble bath. Engaging in hobbies that you enjoy, such as painting, drawing, or playing music, is also a form of self-care.