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In love with a married man

Hi, I don’t actually have a question, but I just need to unburden myself and find out what you think. I’m in love for the first time. I’m 22 and in love for the first time. ‘That’s great!’ you’re probably thinking. Being in love is a great feeling, but there’s a big problem.

The guy I’m in love with also loves me, so our feelings are mutual.

But here’s the problem: he already has a family. He and his live-in partner have a small child. At the very start, when I realised that I might fall in love, I asked God to prevent me from falling in love with him. But as time went on I did fall in love, and I found out that he was in love with me too. I’m really ashamed of being in love with him, and of ‘allowing’ him to be in love with me. I’ve been talking to him a lot about it, and he’s promised me that he’ll marry his child’s mother when they have the money, if she wants to get married. But he’s also said that he won’t force her if she doesn’t want to. I’m afraid of our relationship damaging their relationship, and I’ve talked to him about this. He’s assured me that it won’t be my fault if it doesn’t work out between them. His partner is a good friend of mine, and I just want the best for her. It would break my heart if I found out I had destroyed a family.

We’re both Christians, and we’ve talked about God bringing us together for a reason, even though we don’t know what will happen in future.

My problem is that I can’t stop thinking about him. He lives really far away, so I won’t see him again for a few months. I miss him every day, and he feels the same way. He’s become my best friend, so I’m not going to cut off all contact with him. I’ve told him that I’ll be happy if he marries his partner. What really hurts me is that I really don’t think they will be happy together, but he said to me that he’ll marry her because he has promised me, and we both know it’s right as they have a child. Another thing is that he has told me that he’ll be happy if I fall in love with someone else. But deep down I know that we both want to be together. The problem is that we can’t as he has a family.


Thanks for sharing your challenging situation with us. It’s not always easy to know what we should do with our longings and desires especially when they go against our own values and ethics. On the one hand we want to satisfy our longings, but on the other hand we know that prioritising our own feelings will lead to hurt and pain for others. Our understanding is that you have fallen in love with a man who already has a partner, and they have a child.

We think that the most important thing to take into account in this situation is that the child and its mother need a future with a loving man who will support the family he has created. God has created us with such wisdom that a man and a woman are necessary to create a baby, the result is a family with a child who needs both a mum and dad. The child who has been born into this family needs both a mum and a dad, and has a natural connection to them because of their relationship. Marriage was God’s idea, and it’s a gift to us. He instituted marriage, where a man and a woman promise to be faithful to each other for the length of their entire lives, as a secure framework for the family. In this way a family can be a safe place for a child to grow up, and safe for the man and woman who can stay together in a committed relationship and build a secure and good family.

Marriage is a unit made up of a man and a woman who are meant to be a picture of a loving relationship between God and His people. In marriage God has made a covenant with people (a covenant is a contract that cannot be broken). God has promised to cleanse us and forgive us for all the bad things we’ve done. He promises to stick to the covenant and will be with us till we die, and on into eternity. In a similar way, marriage is a covenant between a man and a woman who promise to be faithful to each other until death. This is a really powerful picture of the covenant and commitment which the triune God has promised us. He has given Himself to us in love, so that we can be with Him in eternity (John 3:16).

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In the same way we also think that the man you love should be encouraged to be present for his child, and to be faithful towards the child’s mother who he’s living with. It’s great that you’ve encouraged him to marry her, even though you have strong feelings for him.

The success (or not) of a marriage is based largely on how determined each of the partners is to make it work well. We can often hear that people try this and that before finding the right person, but very often our feelings for others can change with time – this goes for every relationship and every marriage. So the main thing about marriage is that when entering into it, both partners should try to be the right match for their partner.

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This means that every day you have to choose to give yourself to the other person, even in the days when one of you is in a bad mood, frustrated, or not really feeling in love. When you enter a marriage covenant with your partner, you choose to love and give yourself to the partner as a binding choice. This is a demanding, lifelong commitment that presents an opportunity to grow and become more like Him who loved us so much before we loved Him. God gave His life for us; He sacrificed Himself so we could be with Him. The marriage covenant goes deeper than feelings, it is a choice you make that will be tested and that requires total dedication. No one has managed to have the perfect marriage, but many people do practice this daily, and after a while begin to resemble Him who made us and loves us perfectly.

As you probably understand from our answer, we advise you to keep encouraging this man (who you love, and who is in another relationship) to commit himself to his partner and their child. A break-up would lead to a terrible loss for the mother, the father and not least for the child.

This means that you might have to realise that you will have to live with the strong feelings you have for him; but after a while they will get less and less strong. This might not be easy, but please be aware of how much time you spend nurturing these thoughts. You can try to find some practical things to do, instead of sitting alone for long periods of time thinking about this man. If you try to change your focus and the amount of attention you give him, then your feelings will also change, but this can take time. In order for this to happen you have to be willing not to have confidential conversations with this man, as it’s often in conversations like these that strong feelings crop up and are strengthened. Your feeling of being in love will more easily fade away if you stop having deep conversations with him. Another thing to think about is that it is not right for someone who is in a serious relationship to talk more deeply with a person of the opposite sex other than their partner. It would be best if you stop having contact with each other for an extended period, in order to cut the strong emotional ties that are there; otherwise they will remain and make it hard for him to build up that type of relationship with his partner.

The emotions of being in love are given by God, but they are also affected by the fall of man. This means that some feelings can tempt us and lead us away from what the Bible says about God’s good will for us. These are not emotions that God gives us, they come from ourselves and our own inner desires and longings, which are not always good.

As Christians, we are privileged in that we can present all our thoughts, anxieties, and difficulties to God, talk to Him about them and ask Him for grace, help, and power to overcome the difficult emotions. He knows us better than we know ourselves, and He will help us. We think you will fall in love again. Most of us have experienced at least one period of being in love; sometimes these feelings are mutual, and sometimes they are not. Whatever the case, it is still demanding and perhaps painful to love someone but to be in a situation where you can’t give an outlet to these feelings. Usually these feelings diminish over time, and you will start to notice other things and perhaps have feelings for someone else. Who knows – maybe they will become stronger and lead to something permanent?

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Love is passionate yet fragile. That is why it needs to be handled with care. It makes us vulnerable to the fear and the risk of rejection, but at the same time there aren’t many other ways to build loving relationships. Love is based on mutual trust and we also take a risk when we open ourselves up to others. We can’t be sure we will be received the way we want to be. This is why we urge you to spend time getting to know the other person, if you meet someone you would like to spend your life with. Spend time getting to know each other well, so that you really know who the other person is, that way you will also be ready when the strong feelings of being in love change.

Best wishes

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