This week’s question comes from Patricia:
“Hi Orna and Matthew,
I hope you can help me break this pattern I seem stuck in. Why do I attract married men? There must be a way to repel them, so they stop wasting my time.
I must confess, when I was younger, I was the other woman in a few relationships, and I feel terrible about it. So, I swore off married men and promised myself that I wouldn’t be part of that kind of situation ever again. I truly want to be in a real relationship.
Six months ago, I met a great guy and we hit it off right away. I had such a strong attraction to him and I thought I’d finally found The One. Then I discovered that he’s married. Of course, he said they are separated, and probably going to get a divorce.
The thing is I really wanted it to work out between us. Now it’s become clear to me that whatever happens with his marriage he is clearly not ready for a new relationship. I feel so devastated and frustrated with myself.
Why do I keep attracting these men into my life and how can I stop it?”
Thanks for being so vulnerable in sharing your current situation and for reaching out to us. When you’re ready for a relationship it can be frustrating to discover your potential partner isn’t who you had hoped. Let’s see if we can give you some insights into what is keeping you stuck in this pattern of attracting married men.
Common wisdom says that you are doing something that attracts married men to you. You even reinforce this idea with your initial question, “Why do I attract married men?” Let us tell you upfront – that is not the real issue here, and it seems you have it a bit backward.
There is no simple way for us to answer your heartfelt question, so please continue reading with an open mind. Our goal is to help you understand why you feel stuck in this pattern, what you can do about it, and how you can feel better about yourself.
You’re Not Attracting Married Men, You’re Highlighting Married Men
This is an important distinction to make. By assuming that something inside of you is attracting married men, you must believe that there is something broken inside of you that needs fixing to stop the problem. We can assure you that you are not broken and you’re not somehow doomed to be alone.
You don’t have a married man magnet inside of you. You have an attraction to unavailable men – the longing is familiar to your subconscious mind.
Let us explain the brain science of attraction. Your subconscious mind is highlighting men who are unavailable because this dynamic – the emotion of longing – is familiar to you.
The sensation you call attraction or connection is actually an improper setting on your personal GPS for love. This comes from a strategy you developed when you were much younger. Now it is simply corrupted software that needs updating.
Instead of asking “Why do I attract married men?” ask yourself “Why am I highlighting unavailable men?”
Your Subconscious Highlights What Is Familiar
90-95% of your behavior is a subconscious program or habit. You only consciously choose about 5-10% of your behaviors. Your habitual behaviors include those ruled by muscle memory (like brushing your teeth), the random thoughts that appear in your head, and your emotional responses to outer stimuli.
You even have subconscious strategies for who you find attractive and who you don’t. This is all based on what is familiar to you and what is not familiar at all.
Your subconscious mind works by the Law of Association. It’s how your subconscious determines your reaction within microseconds in most situations. Without this ability, you would be overwhelmed by the many conscious choices you would have to make in every moment of every day.
When it comes to why do you attract married men, your subconscious is actually recognizing a familiar energetic pattern and announcing “This is familiar! This is familiar!” Your current interpretation of this signal gives it high value and you’re left thinking you have a great connection with a married man.
Your subconscious doesn’t judge whether that familiar stimulus is good or bad. It just highlights familiar stimuli for you. The meaning you assign to the signal from your subconscious is where things can easily get confusing for you.
Why do you attract married men? Because your subconscious is highlighting the familiar sensations you feel about them.
Who You Find Attractive Is Determined When You Are Very Young
Your internal GPS for love originated in your family of origin. Your experiences in your early childhood (before age 8) create your unique imprint for love.
In your early childhood, you took on beliefs, behaviors, and strategies in order to feel loved. For example, if your father was distant or emotionally unavailable, you may have taken on a strategy to prove to him that you were lovable. This example creates the familiar pattern of having to earn love or to go into sacrifice for love. If your mother was a harsh disciplinarian, you may have taken on the belief that you could never be good enough, creating the false belief that you are unlovable.
There are literally dozens if not hundreds of examples we could give you. All are based on the meaning that you assigned to the events in your early childhood that connect you to the feeling of love.
It all adds up to your subconscious mind highlighting married men for you because something about the dynamic of unavailable men feels familiar and is a match to the feelings you experienced in your early childhood.
Why do you attract married men? Because the situation feels familiar to you and is therefore highlighted by your subconscious.
Married Men Are Currently Co-Stars In Your Personal Love Story
Right now you believe you’re attracting married men when in reality your subconscious is highlighting married men making them co-stars in your personal movie. What if you could downgrade married men to the role of an extra in your love story, and upgrade available men to a starring role?
Here are some tips on how to turn off the spotlight on married men and turn them into extras (kind of gray, out of focus, and in the background):
Remember You Are In Reaction To The Past
Even though you’ve made a conscious effort to decide to stop dating married men, you are still caught up in the emotional dynamic that makes them pop for you. You are still asking the question, “Why do I attract married men?” It’s time to change that subconscious signal from “This is familiar!” to “Run away! This is not what you want!”
Think back on all the married men you’ve dated or you’ve found yourself drawn to. See if you can identify the sensations in your body that coincide with that feeling. It probably feels exciting in some way – it’s the sensation that has you believing you have a connection with these men. What if you could start identifying that feeling as dread or trepidation?
Imagine your subconscious saying to you, “Beware! This man is unavailable! This is not at all what you truly want!” Decide now that the feeling and those body sensations are a false attraction and move on.
Set Clear Boundaries With Men Who Are Unavailable
One of the best ways to stop attracting married men and turn them into extras in your love story is to have strong boundaries with them. Don’t try to be friends with them once you discover they are married, even if you enjoy their company. Cut them off. Don’t respond to their texts or phone calls.
Nip the entire interaction in the bud the moment you feel that familiar sensation. A married man who is looking to cheat doesn’t want the chase to be that difficult. He will turn his attention on an easier target.
Slow Down The Process Of Dating
It can be exciting to jump in the sack when you first meet a guy you like, but if you’re serious about lasting love with an available man, slow things down. Ideally, dating is a process of slowly getting to know one another.
Married guys move fast. They aren’t going to be patient because for them it’s not about creating lasting love. They want what they want right away.
The right guy will wait for you. He will be patient and willing to put in the time to prove to you that he is in it to win it with you.
Say No To Anything That Is Not What You Want
When you accept less than what you desire, you are telling yourself that you are not worth getting what you want. You can’t settle for less and expect to be happy for a lifetime.
Say no to anything that is less than what you truly desire. You will stop wasting time on relationships that are doomed to go nowhere. Keep focused on your goal of lasting love with an available man and don’t let a married guy distract you from your goal.
It’s up to you to decide that you are worthy of your desires. We can assure you that you are worthy of love with an ideal partner.
Prove To Yourself That You Are Lovable
When you are attracted to married men, it’s probably because you need to prove your lovability. If you could get this guy to leave his wife and choose you, then you’ll finally believe that you are lovable.
This strategy only leads to heartbreak and frustration. It’s like setting yourself up to fail, and we want you to set yourself up for success.
Rather than having to prove you’re loveable, focus on developing your confidence, self-esteem, and self-worth. Ultimately, like attracts like, and what you believe is true is true for you. When you believe that you are worth loving, you’ll attract a man who is available to give you all his love.
There is nothing wrong with you, and you are not broken. You simply have a strategy for giving and receiving love that is currently setting you up to fail.
Stop asking, “Why do I attract married men?” and instead decide that you will change this pattern of feeling connected to married men. Making this change can happen a lot faster with a guide and that is exactly how we can help you.
We are here to be your guides to long-lasting, soul-satisfying love with an ideal partner. Take the first step and book a Soulmate Strategy Call with us so you can gain clarity on finding your soulmate. Click here to schedule with us now.
Orna and Matthew Walters are Soulmate Coaches who have been featured guest experts on Bravo’s THE MILLIONAIRE MATCHMAKER. They uncover subconscious blocks to love so that you can select an ideal partner to share your life with. Follow them on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.