When Does Flirting with a Married Woman Become Cheating?

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When you spend eight or more hours a day at work, it is natural that you will form a bond with someone. You will confide in each other, laugh at one another’s jokes, and maybe even flirt a little. To you, it is just harmless flirting, but to your coworkers and supervisors, they may see you flirting with a married woman and think there is something sketchy going on — even if there isn’t.

Michael Brickey, the author of Defying Aging, and other notable experts on relationships believe that harmless flirting with a married woman is alright as long as there are strict boundaries in place. What those boundaries depend on the people in the relationship because what is alright with one couple may not be with another.

With that said, you may be wondering when does flirting with a married woman cross the line and become cheating. Sure, you may not be the one in the relationship, but the weight of knowing that you are contributing the demise of a relationship can be too much for some to handle. Here are some signs that your harmless flirting with a married woman has crossed the line.

1. Secrets

In the beginning, you and the woman may be engaging in playful banter at the water cooler. You may be exchanging silly emails and sitting together at lunch. The moment when things change and she starts to want to eat lunch with you away from other co-workers, or when you call her to chat, she has to make sure no one is around, that is a clear indicator that she is trying to keep you a secret from her husband.

2. Sexual Undertones

When you are flirting with a married woman, the sexual undertones may not be obvious. Once you start to notice that the flirtatious exchanges become too sexual, then things are starting to get much more serious than you may have intended. If your flirting feels like a precursor to sex, then you need to abandon ship!

3. Spending A Lot of Time Together

Because you spend 8 hours a day at work together, you may not notice that you are spending too much time together — especially if you work on a lot of projects together. Unfortunately, if you find that you are talking to each other a lot outside of work and meeting up for coffee or whatever, maybe things are getting more involved than you originally thought. This could be a big problem if the woman you’re flirting with is spending more time with you than her spouse.

4. Sharing Intimate Detail

While you may think that you are confiding in a friend and feel comfortable enough to share intimate details about your life, this could be seen as crossing the line — especially if she is talking to you about her sex life and marriage. Not only is it something that you should not know about, but it is disrespectful to her spouse and marriage.

5. Rationalizing

When you are friends with someone, you normally do not have to rationalize why you are friends with them. If you are flirting with a married woman and you tell yourself or others that she is just a friend and there is nothing going on, then maybe you may want to re-evaluate the situation. You must be doing something that gives others the impression that there is something going on if you have to state otherwise.

6. Boosting Your Own Ego

Some people flirt with a married woman because they are seeking attention and validation from someone who is unavailable. Think about it, you present yourself to a married woman, flirt with her, win her trust and admiration. She may boost your ego by flirting back and telling you that you are a great person. However, you don’t have to worry about pursuing the woman for a serious relationship because she is already married, so you are essentially getting that ego boost without any strings attached. Whereas, if you were to go out and try to meet single women, you aren’t guaranteed that same level of admiration and attention.

Flirting with a married woman can be harmless and a highlight to your day, however, if you notice any of these signs, perhaps you may want to step back and leave her alone.

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