15 Painful Signs He Loves His Mistress (Is It More Than Just Sex?)

Last updated on June 8, 2022 by April Maccario

It is no news that infidelity is one of the top contributors to marriage failures. In the United States, for instance, affairs add up to 40% of the cause of divorce. 

Going by several indications, history inclusive, cheating is hardly a new trend. People have been stepping out on their partners since time immemorial.

Nevertheless, something seems to have changed about the reception of infidelity in recent times. While the act is still largely perceived as an act of betrayal in a relationship, it appears having an affair isn’t quite the deal-breaker for many. 

On the probability of a marriage surviving infidelity, one study found that about 75% of couples remain together after discovering an affair. While each betrayed person’s reason for sticking it out may differ, giving the cheating partner and relationship another shot seems to be a common factor.

For many women, this shot is contingent upon the assurance that the affair was a mistake. As long as their husband isn’t in love with another woman, a slipup is forgivable. This begs the question; how can you tell if he loves the mistress or if she truly ‘means nothing’ to him? Find out below.

15 Signs He’s In Love With His Mistress

1. She Is His Only Mistress

she is his only mistress

In any relationship, one mistress is more of a threat than multiple ones. Here is why, the specifics may be subjective, but the general reason behind extramarital relationships is it scratches an itch that isn’t quite getting scratched at home. An exciting quest that makes one’s blood rush again and provides a break from commitment.

When a married man cheats with different women, his wife can easily chalk up the issue to being unable to keep it in his pants. The ladies he sleeps with mean little more to him than a means to an end. However, it signals something more when he keeps going back to the same woman repeatedly.

Ironically, it might mean he doesn't mind managing two relationships just so he is sexually satisfied. However, it could also mean he has seen whatever he is looking for in her and has chosen to commit. He may not fall in love immediately, but with great chemistry in the sack and a budding history, cupid isn’t far removed from their situation. 

2. She Takes Priority Over Everything Else

While it isn’t a rare occurrence for a wife to suffer some neglect when her husband starts treading a treacherous path, some lines remain uncrossed when things are just casual. For instance, the man may consider some days of the week fair game, yet try to keep up with standing traditions like date nights.

In another case, he may draw the line at kids’ events or special occasions like anniversaries and holidays. Whether out of respect for their wives or love for their children, men usually tend to compartmentalize well enough to keep their business with the other woman separate from vital family time.

However, if your husband does love his mistress, everything else, including what used to matter the most, becomes secondary. Her convenience becomes his purpose, even if that means rearranging his entire schedule and churning out excuses for missing the important stuff.

3. He Is Emotionally Distant

Historically, multitasking isn’t one of men’s strongest suits. Regardless of his best efforts, a married man tends to distance himself emotionally from his wife once things begin to get serious with his mistress. 

As far as indicators go, this one is quite reliable because it is hard to fake, and with no other stuff going on with him, equally hard to excuse.

While guilt certainly plays a part, it isn’t the only reason a man avoids his wife when he is cheating. He does it so she doesn’t suspect what is going on, even more important, it doesn’t always happen consciously. We all know how ‘all-consuming’ new feelings can be, and the forbidden nature of an illicit relationship adds to the thrill.

Men who are only in it for physical reasons would never neglect their duties at home, they tend to notice and fix the gap at home as their interest in their lover begins to diminish. However, if the distance goes on for too long, and she remains the only object of his affection, then what is going on between them is most likely more than just sex.

4. She Gets All Of His Attention

she gets all of his attention

Married men cheat for different reasons, but more often than not, they do it because they miss the passion that the relationship has lost. Many of them have stability at home, but they still want the best of both worlds. This means that for most, the mistress is really not much more than an exciting new person that makes them feel attractive and virile again.

Once the limerence begins to wear off, she becomes another routine in his life, in which case he changes her like a piece of clothing or sees her less. However, if she continues to take center stage in his life after their ‘honeymoon stage’ when the rush is naturally supposed to be over and done with, it might mean he’s already attached.

Like all investments, emotional ones yield results too. As he grows more loyal and committed to the other woman, your marriage suffers neglect. When conversations with you deteriorate at home, it is likely because your man is building from scratch with someone else. 

5. He Isn’t Afraid Of Being Found Out

For many cheating husbands, their affection for the other woman is often with a conditional clause. “I really enjoy your company, but my wife cannot know,” “I love you as long as you don’t ask me to end my marriage,” and the other variations of that. 

The point is, the spouse factor has always been the thing that keeps many of them in check. Unfortunately, this only holds when the man in question still has some level of respect for his wife, or when the husband stands to lose if his wife finds out. In this case, he still makes a conscious effort to keep you in the dark.

I mean, cheats seldom come home with hickeys or reeking of another woman’s scent as they do in the movies, but they still have their tells. When he stops attempting to cover his tracks, it means he isn’t afraid of you finding out. And that, in turn, says he’s either blinded by love, or his wedding ring would be going off permanently soon.

6. He Showers Her With Thoughtful Gifts

From the movies, we all know one of the perks of being a mistress, especially to a rich man, is the unending stream of gifts, mostly jewelry. From the cheat’s point of view, diamonds and shopping trips do not require much thought, and that makes them the perfect gifts for someone they don’t think about till they are horny.

If money is what this other lady is after, she appreciates the gesture and treats him well. The more expensive the item, the better, it’s a win-win for both parties, if the guy can afford it. However, when he begins to deviate from the norm and starts to put some thought into his presents, it’s a sign he’s trying to speak her love language better.

So, if as a wife, the usual unexplained payments on your joint credit card goes from bracelets and necklaces to more practical stuff. Whether more expensive than usual or not, as long as those purchases didn’t come to you or the kids, your husband is probably in love with someone else.

7. He Tries To Make You Two Get Along

he tries to make you two get along

The audacity of some guys in this life knows no bounds. This may be hard to believe, but there are those who actively try to make their wives and their lovers get along. He may start by introducing her into your life as a friend or co-worker. 

If you happen to not like her probably because something about her feels off, he will try to convince you until you start to see her good side. And if it happens that you and the other woman hit it off immediately, then better for him.

This may be an attempt, albeit disrespectful, to get you to like her personality before you figure out the true extent of their ‘friendship’. It could also be that he wants to get his wife’s indirect approval of his choice. Anyhow, he wouldn’t go to such an extent to ingratiate her into your lives if he doesn’t love her.

8. He Wants The Kids To Like Her 

When you love someone, you want to bring them in on the stuff that matters the most to you. Similar to the above, if you and your spouse (or ex-husband) share children, best believe yours won’t be the only approval he tries to win. In fact, his whole reason for starting with you could be just to get to the kids without you standing in the way.

If he’s already going to this length to bring his paramour into your home, it has probably gone beyond just how he feels. It shows he already has designs on replacing you with her, and it would be better to have his children on board.

Recent events in your marriage notwithstanding, as long as your children are his, their opinion probably means a great deal to him. Whether or not he’s in love with her is no longer in question at this stage, it is where he wants that love to lead that should bother you more.

9. He Incorporates Her Into His Circle

War has nothing on the kind of strategizing that goes on in the head of a married man in love with another woman. When he realizes that she means more to him than a booty call, the next piece on the board is figuring out how to make her a more visible part of his life.

In order to minimize the fallout from his decision, he tries to do things gradually as one drastic step could have a domino effect, and ruin everything. To this end, he starts by introducing her to his friends during hangouts, to slowly get them acquainted.

From there, he might graduate to taking her as his date to work functions, if he can get away with it. Then he proceeds to the next phase, inviting her to extended family events, where he introduces her as a friend at first. He would eventually break the news to everyone, but that usually comes after he’s had the talk with his wife and kids.

10. He Makes You Feel Like The Other Woman In Your Marriage

he makes you feel like the other woman in your marriage

No matter how you look at it, you can’t help but feel like an outsider in a relationship with a man who is in love with another. An indicator that your husband’s feelings for his lover run deep doesn’t get any clearer than when you begin to feel like an abandoned mistress in your home.

He could be away on a business trip for months without so much as checking in, but when he gets back, he comes with a little apology in a jewelry box. And when he is home, it’s like he isn’t there. Bringing it up or trying to have a conversation only drives him further away. 

He barely touches you anymore, and you both know he can’t stay that long without getting some action. On the rare occasion that you two get intimate, you can feel the guilt oozing out of him like someone who has just betrayed his partner. These are indicators that his loyalty lies where his heart is, and you bear the title of partner in name only.

11. He Is Protective Of Her

It is not uncommon for guys to throw their mistresses under the bus when found out. Some do it to save their marriage, others do in a pathetic bid to shift the blame away from themselves, but not a man in love. He won’t blame his mistress, or stand by and let you call her names in a fit of rage.

Being able to maintain a relationship and have another lady at the side boosts the self-esteem of many guys. So, if your husband is overly defensive of his mistress, even as he swims in a pool of remorse for hurting you, right there is a sign that what they have isn’t just nothing. He would sooner take her share of the ‘punishment’ with his own before he lets anything touch her.

In a situation like this, you will notice that your husband will conveniently leave personal details that might lead you in anger at his paramour out of his confession. He would do anything to keep her safe and her reputation intact, even if that means he has to sacrifice your marriage, because of the way he feels around her.

12. She Isn’t Seeing Other Men

As we know, ’there is love’ in sharing does not typically apply to romantic affairs, threesomes notwithstanding. Can a man love his mistress and still not mind her being with other men? Maybe, but not most men. Despite being in a whole marriage themselves, married guys, like their single counterparts, prefer their women to just be theirs.

The thing about mistresses is that they are regular women like you and me, not some she-devils in leather with horns. While you may not see what they have with your husband as anything more than a dirty affair, those who are committed make sacrifices to make it work too.

Just like in a regular relationship, when their feelings are mutual, she would probably go to any length to make him happy. If that means staying single for him, then so be it (unless she is also married).

13. He Says He Loves Her

All the points above speak to the effect that you know your husband is having an affair either because he told you or you figured it out on your own. Once the cat is out of the bag, the next step for several women is to confront their spouse with a myriad of questions, including when and why he did it.

Now, most cheating partners just go with, “she means nothing to me,” but that’s usually not enough for their wives. An apprehension that makes sense because a man who has lied before will probably do so again, and it’ll be a long time, if ever before you can take his word for it. So, they embark on their own search for the truth.

However, on rare occasions, some men do not feel the need to lie when discovered. When asked why they stepped out on their marriage, they say it as they feel it, “I love her.” Those three words may hurt to hear, but it is their truth, and the most definitive sign you’ll ever get.

14. He Names Her A Beneficiary Of His Inheritance

Most married men manipulate their mistresses with promises of a future together they do not intend to keep. They say all sorts of things about their spouse, use the children as an excuse, layout a fake plan to leave their wife, some even talk about eloping just to extend their dalliance. These types of guys are the most common.

On the other side of the spectrum, though, are the ones who follow through with their promises. This category usually includes powerful and influential men, who, despite their love for the other lady, cannot officially make her a wife due to their public status.

So what they are unable to do for her in terms of visibility, they more than makeup for in benefits. In addition to what she gets from him while he’s still alive, you know it’s love when your husband includes his lover as a beneficiary of his trust, will, or insurance policy. No one makes that kind of commitment to someone’s future otherwise.

15. He Leaves His Family For Her

he leaves his family for her

Although some are content with leaving the liaison as is, many ladies eventually grow tired of being introduced to people as their partner’s secretary or a work buddy. From that standpoint, the ultimate display of love would be for the man to make their relationship official by starting a family with her. 

Not a family he has to hide, but where she gets to take his name and live in their home as his wife. This is often where the bone of contention originates from because, despite their empty promises, most cheats would rather not tamper with the stability they have in their home.

The probability of an affair culminating in marriage is so low that it seems almost negligible. Marriage and Family Therapist Gabrielle Appelebury noted that only about three percent of guys actually marry the women they are in affairs with. That said, leaving his wife and kids for her would be the ultimate sign of love… or stupidity.


Can a man love his wife and mistress equally?

I don’t believe so. By the very virtue of taking a lover outside his relationship, the distribution of his love is already anything but equal. He can either love his wife and feel something that feels like love for the other woman. Or, pour all his affection into the other lady while a sense of duty keeps him tied to his partner.

Can a married man be faithful to his mistress?

According to the dictionary, a mistress is a woman who has a sexual relationship with a man outside his marriage. By this definition, the guy can’t remain faithful to her while he is still married unless he stops all forms of romantic involvement with his wife.

What does a mistress mean to a man?

For a married man, a mistress means a woman (other than the one he is wedded to) with whom he has a romantic relationship. But for an unmarried fellow, it simply means a female lover, which can either be his girlfriend or someone he is cheating on his partner with.

How do you tell if a married man loves you?

When a man loves you, you can tell by the way he acts around you, and the same rule applies if he is married. He would make your happiness a priority, be attentive to your needs, and wouldn’t make you feel like a second choice, no matter the consequences. These actions speak louder than mere words.

Can a married man really love you?

It is not impossible for a man who is married to fall in love with another person, but there is a lot more to consider in this case than just his feelings. One also has to be careful not to mistake lust or limerence for love as the former is often the case for most married men.

In Conclusion

Infidelity has been a thorn in the side of marriage for too long, and will probably continue to be. Whether you are ‘the other woman’ or were cheated on, I hope you take a thing or two away from this post. While you’re here, don’t just read, contribute if you have experience on the subject, and share the article with other women you know, thanks.

April Maccario
I'm a huge nerd when it comes to understanding how relationships between men and women work, and what drives a certain behavior. I spend much of my time getting into the nitty-gritty and try to share my findings on this site with the hope of making life a little easier for women that are struggling in their relationships or love life.

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