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Why does my married boyfriend love me one day and hate me the next?

Tagged as: Cheating, Faded love, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (17 May 2018) 10 Answers - (Newest, 24 May 2018)
A female age 36-40, anonymous writes:

Hi. I have been in a "relationship" with a married man for approximately 5 years. Before I begin, I am asking not to be judged. I truly and honestly go through enough pain because of the situation I put myself in. And I know what everyone here will say, as I have been following DC for many years.

I know that every mistress will think she is special and different and that her married man really does love her. That she is the exception to the rule. I suppose I am not unlike any of these women. Except I do believe our relationship is different. I have become more like a wife to this man while still being his mistress if this makes any sense.

Most people will not understand our position because they see us as ruthless home wreckers. But this is not always the case. Some of us end up falling in love. In the beginning, we did not anticipate how deeply involved we would become. And even if we did, would we have stayed away? And our love becomes our demise. Yes, all self inflicted. You never fully realize something until you go through it. And it turns out so much differently than everything you had ever hoped for.

My married man and I just spent 3 whole weeks together while his wife was out of the country. We have always vacationed together when the opportunity arose. It has always been wonderfully perfect. It seems to be like an old book re-read over and over as the ending is always the same. When we part ways after it is time to get back to real life, my "BF" always seems to disconnect from me and pulls away and we fight. It almost always happens on our last day together. He gets irritated, quiet, short tempered and moody. It is such a stark contrast and complete departure from the romantic, sweet, caring, attentive guy he has been for the last three weeks. He cooked for me. He cut up vegetables to make my meals. He cleaned and paid for all our excursions. We went grocery shopping together. We slept together every night and every morning he got up to make me fruit salad. He cut up the fruit too. He was like a real life husband. Then he gets angry when I tell him I sometimes wish he was my husband. He tells me that I say silly things. And that it doesn't matter what I wish, or what he wishes. Reality is the way it is and to accept it.

Yesterday, on our last day, he seemed distant and I asked him about it. He got angry with me. He told me that he can deal with his own moods without my help or without my asking what is wrong. He said his thoughts are his own and I have no business getting into his head. I do not own his head or his thoughts. He said nothing was wrong but even if it was, he did not want to talk about it with me. I was just asking because I sensed his mood changed and it hurts when he shuts me off. He told me to buzz off and let him be in not so many words. I kept pressing him because his words did not match his actions. Nothing is wrong he said but his distance said something different. I guess I am wondering why he pulled away after we were so close for 3 weeks? We had such a fantastic, magical time. I saw the real him. The kind, sweet, genuine guy. The one that was modest and funny. I don't understand how he can change so much from one day to the next? From being happy to being pissed off at me and distant?

He tells me I am insecure and clingy. Too affectionate towards him. That he cannot give me everything I want. That he cannot be the romantic guy in the movies. That he cannot be the person I want him to be. He hates when I question him. He wants me to just keep it all in and say nothing if I ever have any insecurities or worries about our relationship. He doesn't want to hear about it. As far as he is concerned, there are no problems.

I don't think people out there realize that it isn't my fault. I got mixed up with him because I was going through a really tough time in my life and he swept in and rescued me so to speak. Oh yes, he knew exactly what he was doing. He loved every minute. He loved the free spirited, fun woman I used to be. Now he is telling me I can irritate him and he tries to change me to fit into his perfect version of a woman. I do worry all the time that he will cheat on me because it seems he has this ability to turn his emotions on and off so easily. He can just go back to his life with his wife so easily, and turn it all back on as if I don't exist and our time together never happened.

He begs me to trust him and tells me repeatedly he is a good man. That my ideas of him cheating are ridiculous and silly and all in my head. That he is a good guy and would never do such a thing. The fact I do not trust him and never will has caused incredibly difficult times between us. It is like he wants this fun, obedient, loyal good time girl to take care of the mundane, boring parts of his life but stays with his wife because he says he loves her and because he has built a life with her over 25 years. Well, he told me he loves me too. And he has shown it to me too. He does everything a man is supposed to do. He seems to feel responsible for me and does take care of me and is there when I need him. I wonder how much is real and how much is an act? I mean, how can one person be this split in their personality and moods? He seems to be one person and then a totally different person. He is so kind and gentle and yet I have seen his Mr. Hyde personality emerge so many times when I question him about possible affairs or shaking up his life to be with me. And he threatens to leave me or says he is not the one for me and suggests I leave him. It is like the weapon he holds over my head when I "misbehave" and ask too much of him. He threatens to leave me to keep me in line. He has done this several times. He just doesn't get that my needs are not being met. That he is falling short. That his emotional distance is cutting away at me. I need more. I need his love and he is pushing me away like the plague. He blames me and calls it insecurity without looking in the mirror and seeing how his behaviour is causing these problems within me. He just gets upset at me for disrupting his perfect little fantasy. Not behaving according to his standards. His script. And I worry once I start to fall short - it is happening already - he will seek some other fun escape to replace me, an almost wife. How could I not fall short? I have been with him a long time. What woman would not fall in love with a man after 5 years? Expect more?

I am not sure what kind of a human being is this cruel. Not only to his wife but to another woman who loves him just as much. Perhaps differently.

He has recently told me to get more outside interests and not depend on him so much. When I call him at home, he keeps the calls brief and to the point. It is like he is off my clock when he goes back home and he just shuts me off. He says he has a whole other life that does not include me. He says that I cannot be the centre of his universe. I get angry when he does not pay attention and goes back to his other life. I feel discarded. Like he has put me back into a box. There really is nothing more destructive to a woman's psyche. Emotional abuse is way worse than anything physical. Somehow he manages to blame me for it ALL. I am too insecure, too clingy, too needy. It is ALL my fault according to him. He tells me his life would be easier if I were not in it and that I cause him so much turmoil. And I am go from feeling wanted to feeling unwanted in such a short time. It is a constant up and down ride and it really does tear you apart from the inside out. He gets so angry with me. I am not sure where that kind of anger comes from. He says I am the only person in the world that makes him swear and makes him this angry. I did not realize I had such a bad effect on him. After all, a mistress is supposed to be a place of refuge and escape.

I feel like he will get tired of me enough and of this fling to toss me away for someone new. I worry everyday I am driving him away. Why? Because he doesn't want demands on him like the ones made in a real relationship? Because he wants a girlfriend and not a wife? Does he see that I am settling for him? Does he see that I am the one with the short end of the straw? Does he see my pain? Does he understand what he is doing to me? He is thinking only about himself. He says I have no reason not to trust him. I don't get how he could say such a thing. I see how he talks to his wife on the phone with me sitting next to him. Sometimes we are in bed together when he answers her calls. He has his home phone forwarded to his cell to fool her into thinking he is always home. He talks to her so calmly and without a flinch of guilt. So matter of fact. Like a sweet, attentive husband. Lying to her face constantly. And he does not see how I would think he is capable of the same with me? He is so good at it. How can I ever trust such a man? A man who himself says he has a whole other life away from me. A man who says the thoughts in his head are none of my business and don't even dare to ask about them. A man who tells me I ask too many questions and nag just like a wife. He made it quite clear what my place is. A fun loving girlfriend who shuts up and puts out. If I don't like it, that's too bad.

What kind of a man is this?

I really think it is time to leave. I guess I really feel like I don't want him to get away with being such an asshole. A man who awakens the love of a woman (for fun and sex and boredom relief) and never fully intends to love her or leave his marriage is scum. He is just so mean to me when I overstep my position.

Do you think I should just leave him and let him get away with how he has been treating me and his wife? Don't some people deserve to be taught a lesson?

How can a man go from one extreme to the other in the matter of just a day, within the same day?? Being a human yo yo is too much to bear.

What kind of a man loves you and then throws you away? Over and over again? Is sex this important to such men that they will destroy a woman in the process?

View related questions: affair, emotionally abusive, insecure, married man, mistress

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (24 May 2018):

Here's a new one! How about the man who is married acting with integrity and decency and not deliberately stringing another woman along (for YEARS) outside his marriage vows? Along with stringing along his own wife!!! Other women feed off the delusions the married men feed them to keep them putting out!!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (22 May 2018):

I am so glad that my answer was somewhat moderated (I think) because I wrote it really fast and didnt reread and found myself worrying some hours later that the woman would just tip over the edge on that account.But rereading all the replies they seem to all be reasonable and understanding enough so that a vulnerable person may draw strength from them.

Thankyou if you altered some of the wording to be a little kinder!

Maybe next time a step by step guide to how to cope with too much hyped up emotion may help her because she seems to be on a vortex like an addict: too high and too low which makes it hard to relate to from a distance.

And I should imagine others worry about her continual voice of pain and wasted emotion from living in a fantasy world.

Is she being groomed to become a prostitute or is she just very unrealistic?

I thought all answers were ok. Its difficult to find a reasonable answer otherwise. As she could just draw a line under the affair and end it but she would have to make a decision to cut him off and she probably lives just for him!

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A female reader, femmenoir Australia +, writes (21 May 2018):

femmenoir agony auntMay i also add,

As you've placed yourself "out there" via this site, you have placed yourself in a position, to receive "constructive criticism".

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A female reader, femmenoir Australia +, writes (21 May 2018):

femmenoir agony auntYou don't want to be judged nor criticised, HOWEVER, i am hear to let you know, that regardless of what you say, you WILL be judged and criticised to some extent.


Because this entire situation exists, not because of this scumbag, sleazebag of man, but ALSO, because of YOUR CHOICE to be with a MARRIED MAN.

Your questions, your concerns, your posting via DC shows that you carry serious concern, guilt and know your situation isn't good, OTHERWISE, you'd never have needed to write in to DC.

You are so worried about this man and yourself, YET, did you ever once consider, from day one, what this man's wife would be going through and what you getting involved with him, would actually do to her?! Did you?

I am sorry, but i do not empathise with anybody who screws up people's lives, especially married peoples lives.

Remember, both YOU & HE are at fault here.

You're both having sex and you knowing that he's married, as much as he knows.

You could well take the higher ground, by way of leaving this man and letting him know that you won't be a marriage destroyer or breaker, BUT YET, you choose not to.

That's such a shame and pity.

You demand his love, devotion, commitment but above all else, respect.

Of course he won't respect you.


BECAUSE you don't even respect yourself! That's why.

This man came to you, sure, however, you had the absolute POWER to reject him and his advances from day one.

Regardless of what he says, what he does, surely you can see that he will never, ever leave his wife, nor family.

He would have way too much to lose.

You are his part-time booty call and you are his big secret.

He lives with his own guilt and he has no respect for you whatsoever.

Here's the biggie.

This low life individual, doesn't even respect himself, nor does he even know what respect means.

There is no true love, there is really nothing.

Do you know why?

Because after all's been said and done, who does this man choose and go back to?

His wife, not you!

You are an adult, yet you've placed yourself in this position.

Sometimes we must learn the hard way, as much as we don't wish to admit it.

You know what you are doing, as much as this adulterous man/husband.

Let me ask you this?

Let's say you had never met this man, but you'd been married and were very much in love with your husband and you one day found out, that the man that you married and loved deeply, was having sex with another woman behind your back, over a 5 year period.

How would you feel, seriously?

I can almost hear your reply.

Well, this is how this mans wife will feel when she finds out about you and he.

She will eventually find out.

KARMA has a way of finding us all and you are no exception.

You are expecting this man to place YOU before his WIFE!

Are you serious?!

If your level of self esteem is so very low that you would resort to living with this and even accepting it (as you have done so for 5 years), then i would strongly advise you to seek professional counselling.

So long as you have no self worth and live in this DREAMLIKE AND DELUSIONAL STATE, you will ALWAYS allow men like this to use you and abuse you both sexually and emotionally.

You will NEVER, EVER get the chance to find the REAL YOU.

My hard lined approach may offend you, but i always speak the truth as i see it.

I'm here to let you know, that your own weak judgement and behaviour is what got you to this place in your life.

STOP acting like the VICTIM and start taking full ownership of your errors of judgement and believe me, when you do this, only then will you get back on the right road.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (20 May 2018):

He is torn between you and his wife. He likes his life as it is but he doesn't want to lose you either. It isn't easy to find a mistress these days, especially one who will stay with him. And I doubt he'd ever be able to replace YOU. As the previous poster said, it's your call as to whether he makes you happy. Or not.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (19 May 2018):

You are his mistress. Always available for the scraps.

Of course he loves you .

Who else would wait attentively for years?

You feel ok about it?

Im afraid time usually reveals that mistresses get a raw deal but as you are so wrapped up in your role it will take you time to realise it.

You will probably cherish the memories long after your sell by date.

But happiness is what it is.

If you feel happy as the mistress with a man who keeps you as a secret in his role as husband then you have what you want.

If you want to change your perspective its up to you.

We are not judging you.

Some of us just want to be a mistress as a life long commitment to someone who is only partially committed to them!

But the choice is yours.

And only yours.

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A male reader, Code Warrior United States + , writes (18 May 2018):

Code Warrior agony auntI can tell you why he turns into a douche at the end of your time together: He knows that you're going to start begging for more even though you know it can't happen. You're only his piece of ass on the side, and he's told you as much practically every time you go away together, but you just ignore it and stick with your delusion. Your entire note is dripping with delusional wishful thinking. You need a serious reality check.

Here's a BIG part of your problem:

"I don't think people out there realize that it isn't my fault."

Uh, yeah, it is. You don't get to absolve yourself of your share of the blame. You never had to agree to any of this, but you act as if you had no choice in the matter. He's an asshole without a doubt, but don't try to make yourself blameless. Adults accept responsibility for their actions.

You say:

"Do you think I should just leave him and let him get away with how he has been treating me and his wife?"

Yeah, that's the general idea. Also, leave his wife out of it. You're not in some female sisterhood here. You're having sex with her husband behind her back. Nothing more. Stop glorifying your place in his life and just leave.

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A male reader, N91 United Kingdom + , writes (18 May 2018):

N91 agony auntIf you’ve read DC for years then how are you still in this situation?

The guy is a piece of shit, I have absolutely no sympathy for cheaters. I hate them, it’s the absolute lowest of the low to be able to stare a partner or spouse in the face and tell them that you love them whilst going off to fuck someone else. It’s dispicable.

Why does he act loving then cold? Because he knows what he’s doing is wrong, he knows deep down in his body that he is betraying his wife and family and he is going back to her, the reality of the situation and it hits home hard, so he lashes out at you because of it.

What do you mean does he see what he’s doing to you?? You’re helping him cheat on his wife for god sake! What about that poor woman? He is a liar, you see it in front of your own eyes and you’re expecting him to be a good person? To you? His piece on the side? Get a grip! You’re living in the clouds here. He will NEVER leave his wife for you, your situation is in no way, shape or form different to the hundreds of posts we see like this on DC and you’re extremely naive to think it is.

Do we think you should leave? Yes, absolutely. 100%. On what planet would someone encourage you to stay? You are being used for the contents of your underwear so some slimy, lying shitbag can get some easy sex outside of his relationship. If that’s all you value yourself as then I really pity you. You could of been in an actual relationship with someone who loves you for the past 5 years yet you’re letting someone fuck you when they feel like it then throw you aside to go back to their normal life.

I think it’s astounding that you’re expecting something from this guy. He’s married with a family and you’re expecting more than a fumble in the bedroom from him. He has told you directly that he can’t give you what you want and you still persist. How clearer can it get that this is all you will be to him? It’s actually sad that people can think this is all they deserve in life.

You will never get anything but heartache out of this and the sooner your realise that and drop this guy out of your life you’ll never heal. Give your head a shake, get your head out the clouds and move on with your life. You complain he’s destroying you yet you’re enabling it, he can’t hurt you if you don’t let him. Stop playing the victim when you have the power to walk away.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (18 May 2018):

Hi sweetie. I am sorry to hear of your pain. I don't wish this sad place on anyone. I don't place the blame on you either. He is the one who perpetrated this entire fantasy. And he knew what he was doing from the very start. He chose you for a reason. Because he found you attractive and sexually appealing, first. And equally because he knew you were vulnerable and that he could control/manipulate you easily for his purposes. Please mark my words. This is NOT the first time he has been unfaithful to his wife nor the last.

You are dealing with a narcissist and egotistical, selfish man who doesn't care about anyone but himself. He is capable of throwing you under the bus at any time. He does not love you. He loves what you do for him. How you make him feel. How it feels to have his cock inside your vagina at his convenience and whim. You are a living sex toy and ego booster. I suspect you are not the only woman he is having sex with. Nor do I believe for one moment that he has been faithful to you during your 5 year affair. Men like this are opportunists. Once their ego is no longer being propped up, due to a woman needing more out of the relationship, and they cannot and will not give it, they seek new thrills. There are plenty of other women out there who are open to sex with no strings and will not get emotionally invested like you did. He prefers this set up. And he will eventually, if not already, become bored and tired of your set up, and leave you for someone else or have sex with someone else and you as long as you stay with him. He is not leaving you because he is afraid you will tell his wife. So, he is hoping to treat you poorly enough that it will wear you down and you will leave on your own.

Unfortunately, you have served your purpose to him. You are no longer his fantasy woman.

He is already grooming someone else or he has already had sex with them.

I am sorry for all your pain. You sound like a good hearted woman. You just got involved with a snake and an asshole. It is rare that I hear of a man this cruel and inhuman. I do hope he gets what is coming to him. He deserves it.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (18 May 2018):

How can you trust a cheater? You can't. Don't delude yourself. You haven't become "his wife" more than his wife. Five years is a long time and he could have already divorced he, had he wanted to.

Where do you see yourself in five years? Unless you do something, you'd be probably posting here, complaining about your "married boyfriend" (which btw does not exist, boyfriends are not married to someone else, otherwise they are not boyfriends, they are lovers).

The only scenario in which he ends up with you is if his wife leaves him. But I don't think he'd like that. He wants you both, because he's afraid of being alone, he thinks he deserves it, because he doesn't want to be the guy that leaves his wife and comforts of his married life... or who knows what else.

What are the chances for his wife to leave him? Slim. You're not the first, so he has been cheating for longer than 5 years. Do you truly believe that she doesn't know that something is going on? Maybe she too has someone on the side and likes the things just the way they are. Or she's insecure and prefers the status quo. Whatever the reason, their marriage is still alive and well. There's a higher probability that he'll ditch and replace you. You come with less baggage. he has a whole life with his wife.

He's treating you the way married people treat their lovers, as a side dish. You have no right to be angry. You have accepted that from the start. Your secret hopes and "who would not fall in love" just show how immature you are. You see things the way you want to see them, not the way they are. That's the main problem.

Another problem is that you have a lack of self confidence, otherwise you wouldn't be satisfied with a relationship with a married man.

He's just a consequence of what you think about yourself.

Reexamine your core beliefs (and I'm not talking morals here although it wouldn't hurt). If you're honest you'll see that many of your decisions were motivated by fear. Fear of loneliness, for one. You'll find others too, like the good old tune "I'm not good enough", etc.

He's not the one destroying you, you're destroying yourself. He was straight from the start. He's married and he wants to have fun on the side. That was your deal. He's not your friend, he's not your husband. Why would he put up with the serious sh*t you keep throwing at him?

You're not a girl anymore. Testing period is over. If you're looking for a partner and a serious relationship, then leave him and move on. What are your goals? Do you want kids? Do you want to advance your career? Do you have one and if the answer is no, would you like one? There are so many questions about yourself you should be focusing on, and not whether or not your driving away someone who's not really there in the first place.

Don't forget that when he met you you were 5 years younger, maybe in your twenties. Wow. Now, you're all grown up and have needs (which is normal, but...) what a bore! He didn't sign up for this.

So wake up and focus on yourself.

If I were you I'd seek therapy. Seriously, who stays with a married man and thinks that he's more of a wife to him than his wife? You.

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