Some women sleep with married men because they most likely have been “mean girls” for a long time. These mean-girl man-stealers do not understand the bond of true sisterhood, and may have trouble with establishing or sustaining authentic female relationships because it is probably hard to find a nice girlfriend who would support their home-wrecking ways.

Such a woman may not have ever gotten enough attention from her father, and craves male attention at all costs. The fact that she can get a married man to stray from his wife may also feed her insecure ego, because she inherently feels in competition with other women. Which, in her twisted logic, means that getting him to stray places her as the winner and the wife as the loser. What she has really done, however, is lose big-time — she has lost her self-respect.

The mistress probably likes the thrill of the hunt and feels her self-esteem boosted at the thought that a man would risk so much to be with her. She may like the drama and illicit experience too. I predict, however, that the mistress also feels comfortable being the victim, because ultimately, at least most of the time, she gets lied to and cheated on herself in the end. She winds up crying alone because her romantic life has been a secret, or she simply doesn’t have any friends to cry to. It becomes a sad cycle of false hope fueled by desperation and desire, while being led on by a married man who himself obviously has a host of his own issues and demons he hasn’t faced.

The high of being with a married man also extends the illusion of the “Romantic Love” experience for such a woman. She is pursued, desired passionately, and the possibility of an amazing future seems almost available. “Almost” is the key word, because the married man is lying to her in order to keep the emotional and sexual attention coming (no pun intended). But 90% of the time, the cheating man knows that even the illusion of “Romantic Love” is just that — an illusion. It is mostly hot sex and emotional attention with no strings.

As the woman willing to be a mistress, you must have been hurt by a man and have real trust issues. By being the one who is cheated with, you have a false belief that you are in control of things, and that at least you are not being “cheated” on. You choose to believe that he doesn’t “love” his wife and he really wants to be with you, so it seems safer to you than being in an authentic, honest relationship with a man who is actually available. You unconsciously fear being truly vulnerable with a man, so you collude in the cheating to avoid really being vulnerable and trusting a man.

You mistake him wanting your body sexually for love. It is not and will not ever be the same. He may love how you make him feel, and love that you allow him to not focus on the reality of his life, but remember you are not actually in his reality — you are a part of an illusion. This illusion of his will most likely fade due to age or interest, and he will either move onto another newer and hotter illusion, or he may man up and deal with the problems in his “real” relationship with his wife.

As a marriage and relationship expert, I am always hoping he will man up, especially when there are children involved. With my female clients who have cheated with married men, I have learned that deep down they actually do want more for themselves, and also desperately believed the illusion they chose to live because they themselves felt so unworthy of an honest, connected, healthy relationship.