I used to have to travel a lot for work and was always meeting new people, including a lot of men, because I worked in a male-dominated field at the time.
And it would always amuse me (or frustrate me) to deal with some of the married men. I started to refer to them as “good married guys” and “bad married guys.” Not because they hit on me or didn’t hit on me, but because of how they approached dealing with single women.
See, good married guys wanted me to know IMMEDIATELY that they were married.
I remember once walking into a new location and as we were walking back towards the guy’s office he said, “Did you see the full moon last night? My wife pointed it out to me. It was huge.” We then walked into his office where his walls were covered with photos of his children and wife.
Bad married guys on the other hand…
They won’t mention their wife no matter what.
I used to work with a guy like that. I asked him what he’d done that weekend and he told me about going to the movies and the park and said something about his in-laws. The way he described it, he’d spent his entire weekend alone. Except, when I asked him if his wife had been out of town, he said, “Oh no. She was there.”
It was the first time in two years that he’d mentioned her. If he hadn’t said something about his in-laws, I wouldn’t have even known to ask the question.
I have another buddy who will talk about going on vacation as if he’s going alone. Until I make some comment about how odd it is that he’d go on vacation without his wife. At which point he’ll clarify that she will be there, too. In all the years I’ve known him I think he’s used “we” about five times even though most of his activities involve her.
What’s interesting is most of the “bad married guys” aren’t actively trying to hit on me. I think they just like to have that feeling of being single and seeing how a woman will react to them.
It’s stupid. The “good married guys” realize that temptation is dangerous. And that, just because you think you won’t cheat, doesn’t mean that you won’t take small little steps down a path that gets you there eventually.
In my experience, most people don’t set out to cheat. (Some do.)
People make a series of stupid decisions that lead them closer and closer to that mistake. They flirt with that attractive person because it’s fun to flirt. Flirting turns into ongoing communication via e-mails or texts or Facebook. Or maybe hanging out together at lunch or with a group. Eventually, they find themselves alone with that person they find attractive.
And then… well, depends on the two people involved. If one or the other makes a move…well, it’s pretty hard to turn away in that moment, isn’t it?
The “good married guy” knows that he can avoid starting down that path by being very clear and up front with the fact that he’s married. (Even if it does come off as a bit forced and comical at times.)