An Open Letter To My Single Sisters: He’s Married.. LEAVE HIM ALONE.

By Neysa Ellery Taylor

Recently, I was at dinner with several women. One of the steamy topics of discussion was the fact that ”Tamicka” was being sought after by a new beau. But this beau had one problem – he’s married.   Tamicka was quick to point out that he was separated.  But the question I asked was, “Isn’t separated still married?”

Tamicka’s friend jumped to her defense and stated that the man was about to be divorced. But me being me re-iterated, “about to be divorced is still MARRIED, right?”  Lots of folks are about to be something. Some folks are about to be employed, about to be in school, about to be pregnant, about to be thin, about to be in rehab. About to be speaks to where you want to be, not to where you really are. And this is a dangerous slope when you are talking about many things. If you use the aforementioned examples, those about-to-be folks are currently unemployed, uneducated, without child, fat, and a crackhead.

So here is my question for women: When did it become ok to get romantically involved with a married man? I am not even going to touch on those in committed relationships.  For this rant/post I will only talk about married folks. (Cheating boyfriend and girlfriends can relax and take a deep breath.)

Those close to me know that I love Denzel Washington. I mean really love Denzel – from Mississippi Masala to Pelham 123. And I have joked about attacking him if I ever met him. But the reality of it is, he is married and I respect that. Period. End of story.

Ohhh, I hear you whispering, “This must be a recent feeling. She must have gone through something that made her feel this way. Something must have happened.” Well, for the haters let me tell you – call my girls and ask them – my position on this hasn’t changed from the time I started dating to now. Why? Because while I might not of always believed in God’s power, I believed in karma. What goes around, comes around. If you take someone’s husband, then later on someone will take yours. I firmly believe that. This a belief is deeply rooted in my soul. So let’s talk. I’ll calm down. I’ll give every mistress/jump-off /#2 /chick-on-the-side a chance to make their case.  So, what do you have to say?

“There’s a shortage of good black men. What am I to do?” Be strong and wait for a single man to come. Have fun with your friends and your life without coveting someone else’s life.

“But he is my soul mate. We were meant to be together. If we had only met first.” Ummm, but you didn’t. So he isn’t your soul mate. Due to the covenant that he made with his wife, their souls are now intertwined. Their destiny’s are connected. Remember that part in the wedding where the pastor says that “let no man put asunder?” Yeah, that included you.

“If his wife was doing her job, he wouldn’t be over here.” Not true. Are some wives trifling? Yes. Are some wives busting their asses to take care of their families? Yes. She could be the best looking, well educated, best lover in the world and he could still act a fool. His missteps are not a reflection of her shortcomings.

“But he is wonderful. He does XYZ.” Yes, he is wonderful. Do you want to know why? Because his wife is washing his clothes. His wife is feeding the kids. His wife is cleaning the house. His wife is taking care of business. You don’t see the day to day activities. You don’t see the husband gassy, or trifling. All the mistress sees is the PR agent. As much as I love Denzel, I know that his greatness is mostly attributed to Pauletta. And my favorite church-going mistress line is this one:

“But I am praying that the Lord will move him from his wife and deliver him to me.” Do you really hear yourself? God isn’t a thief. He will not carjack someone’s marriage for you. What God has for you is for you? Not what God has for me is for you. How did you miss that in church? Pray for your own husband to be revealed.

So let me be nice for a moment. I know women are tired of the crap on the dating scene. Most of my friends are single and believe me, I’ve heard it all. But being lonely, broke, tired, or impatient is no reason to settle for a married man. Did you ever think that your own blessing/soulmate/husband could be around the corner but you are blocking that blessing because of your disobedience? Don’t you want someone all to yourself? That you can spend nights and holidays with? I hope so. I want it for you and I pray that you find it. I really do.

CLICK HERE to read Part 2 “An Open Letter To Married Men: She Ain’t Your Wife…LEAVE HER ALONE!

Neysa Ellery Taylor lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband, Chris, and their 4 children – Asyen, Maya, Preston, and Patrick.  An Emmy-Award winning journalist, she hopes to share her passion for marriage and God through her writing.  You can read more of her work at

45 replies
  1. Why Not Me!
    Why Not Me! says:

    Why do we tend to point the finger at the woman who is involved with a married man. I've read a few of these post and see some people are using quotes from the bible. Don't you realize that some people aren't equally yoked. I got married to a man without consulting God, and ended up going through soo much. I kept asking God why me….his answer was why not you…when I tried to get your attention concerning him you couldn't hear me. I had to think about how God reveals things through other people, and in this case it came from several people including my mother. I can hear her to this day saying….DON'T MARRY HIM HE'S STILL A BOY!!! God knows what I had to endure to see where I went wrong. The reality is that we as women should consult him first and stop thinking we're marrying our Soul Mate. Know a baby doesn't hold him, you asking him doesn't hold him, only God can. Be woman enough to stop pointing the finger at the next woman for what is going on in your life, yes it's painful, and yes it's hard to let go, however with God all things are possible.

  2. fisystide
    fisystide says:

    enjoying it 100%.

  3. Mrs. Tee
    Mrs. Tee says:

    This article header should read. "Get Rid of The Lying Cheating – Demonic Husband". You would not have to tell anyone to leave a married man alone if he had common sense not to cheat. You women are so stupid !!!!

    • The Blackman
      The Blackman says:

      Mrs. Tee These Women Chose These Husbands, So They Have to Take responsibility in their Choices. And For the Most Part. These Females Are Throwing Themselves @ Men. Like Tomorrow Doesn't Exist.. I've Never Seen So many Undiscilpined Women In My 51 Years o this earth. They Go Harder than any Man I know.

  4. True Story
    True Story says:

    I've been apart from him for almost 3 1/2 years and my life is going very well now..I do think about if I get married will karma come back on me. I pray it doesn't but I would understand if I did. My advice to any single woman, if a married man approaches you…RUN!!! Don't listen to how unhappy he is in the marriage, etc. because if he was that unhappy he'd already be divorced when he met you. Wait on God to send you someone available for YOU! Learn from what I went through because it's truly not worth the pain in your heart and the uneasiness in your soul. Peace.

    • locutrice
      locutrice says:

      I feel you. I doubt you're the kind of person that this article is addressed to, given how the man in your story was the one who knowingly pursued you. He manipulated you and his own wife; he and others like him aren't capable of real, true love, so you did well to get out. I pray that the Lord heals you, purifies you and reveals to you the one who truly is yours.

  5. True Story
    True Story says:

    but if I could go back I would have walked away immediately because back then I was in the mindset of "if she was doing her job he wouldn't be trying to leave" but now I look back she was a woman trying to keep her family together..we loved the same man and he lied to both of us maliciously and really never felt that he did anything wrong or the need to apologize..well at least to me, not sure about her. I truly feel bad about the part I played and I'm not playing the victim however I was deceived into believing his lies just as she was. I sometimes wish I could just apologize to her but I know anything I would say can never heal the hate she has for me and her feeling that I was solely responsible for breaking up her family..I will take some blame but unfortunately there were other women other than her that I had to deal with with him, so like I said it could have been anyone but unfortunately I was the one too crazy to walk away.

  6. True Story
    True Story says:

    When I say it was the ABSOLUTE WORST 3 years of my life..filled with drama, hundreds of lies from him, 2 pregnancies of my own (that did not end up going to term), emotional breakdowns, nothing good went on in my life..just terrible. The divorce finally did happen (because SHE filed not him) though in November 2008 albeit too late because I had already prepared to move to another state to get away from him and start my life over..he put the guilt trip on me saying he left his marriage for me and then I left him for a while. But I told him you stepped out of your marriage because you wanted to step out. I could have been any other woman on the planet and no good would have come out of it. I could type for hours all of the things that happened in those 3 years

  7. True Story
    True Story says:

    We remained friends and over time our connection got stronger as well as my feelings and his as well…he told me one day that she couldn't afford to live on her own and had to move back into their house until the divorce was final and as a woman I respected him not leaving her to the wolves while the divorce was proceeding and by that time me and him were in a full fledged I believed him. He was spending A LOT of time with me and also spending the why would I be suspicious. I thought I found my soulmate..he was everything I've ever wanted and he was in the midst of tying up the loose ends from his marriage and we would be together…however all of it was a LIE! There was never any talk about divorce, she was pregnant (which I found out 30 days before the baby was born) which was 8 months after I met them, they were never seperated (until she found out about me), it was lies on top of lies on top of lies with him. I should have left the moment I found out all of it was a lie but my emotions were too caught up in the situation to leave.

  8. True Story
    True Story says:

    I wasn't going to post but I felt the need to speak as someone who was the hated "mistress". Might I add it was unintentional as I did not know he was married when we met. There was once instance when he was over my house late night and received a call about 4am and he explained it as he was picking someone up from the airport early that morning. We were still friends with no intimacy or commitment at this time so I just chalked it up to him maybe having a female friend or even a booty didn't affect me because it was still early and we hadn't established anything besides a friendship. There were absolutely no signs of marriage until one night about a month into I noticed the tan line on his finger. When I questioned him about it he told me they were seperated and in the process of a divorce. Now I know you all say seperated is still married and I agree but at the time I had no intention on going any further than the friendship.

  9. lettersfromawhoremongerswife
    lettersfromawhoremongerswife says:

    Your blog and site is great. I don't fall under the Black Love and Marriage category, but I was on the hurting side (the wife) of a cheating man. No matter what color you are, it's no fun being a wife and or mother trying to hold her family together while her man is out acting as if he's got nothing to lose…promising his naive…unsuspecting…uncaring "New Woman" love, diamonds,etc, etc,…(all promises he will never keep), while his family is home picking up the pieces of his destruction. I've written a book (not yet published) regarding my experience and have posted an excerpt from the book, Letters From a Whoremongers' Wife on my blog

    Keep up the good work….you're doing a good thing here….we all benefit from your sound advice…black, brown, yellow, red, white, green….it doesn't matter. We're all flesh and blood, we breath and hurt exactly the same.

    PEACHES says:

    If he is separated or not u need to be addressing the man that is married because he is the one married and he needs to leave the single woman alone,.. stop putting all the blame on the single woman…. because if it is anybody that is a homewrecker then it is the married man who is breaking up his own home and not the women… any man that is seperated and wants to be with another woman other than his wife can do what he wants cause life goes on…. there have been people who seperate for years before gettin a divorce…. if they ever get one…. people need to stop tryin o be so dam stuck up and phony when it comes to people being seperated and being married and cheating and deal with the reality of these situations…. and no one really adresses the man for cheating in his marriage only the outside woman and it's not fair…. the one who is cheating in his marriage needs to be responsible for being A CHEATIN AS HUSBAND….. STOP JUST BLAMING THE OUTSIDE WOMAN…..

  11. Angela
    Angela says:

    Different laws, different places. In many places, you have to be separated for at least 12 months before getting divorced. So if he is separated, moved out, has his own place, has his own bank account etc – what's the problem? Now if he is separated for 3 years, problems. But where I live, separation means its basically done but law says gotta wait a year.

  12. SmartLady
    SmartLady says:

    What happens when you fall in love with a married man that has his own apartment, completed seperated except for legally? It's not so easy to walk away, especially if you are NOW the one washing, cooking, and cleaning for HIM. Do I give him a timeframe to get the divorce finished??

  13. Brooke
    Brooke says:

    Some of these comments reflect the desperation and selfishness that many people feel in today's society. Separated is not divorced. It just isn't. If you have to do all this explaining and justifying, then you are working to hard for something that is not going to work. That applies to any situation, not just dating a married man.

    As long as he is still legally, spiritually or otherwise connected to her, he cannot be completely yours. Relationships are too precious to enter into one where you are sharing and comparing from the start. Not worth it. You are here to experience every good thing in life, not some half-ass thing that you have to explain and argue yourself andf others into believing is a good thing.

  14. Girlygirl
    Girlygirl says:

    I mean't to say you "won't" have it by staying hung up, not "want."

    • locutrice
      locutrice says:

      Moral arguments aside, my first reaction to your series of comments was this: Wait, what? So you're saying that relationships should all be centred around the man's will and that the woman should simply acquiesce?
      I know you're trying to offer tips from a point of view that doesn't bring in any form of moral argument, but this… goes a little too far. While you do raise a few good points (marriage being a sometimes fragile union that needs work in order to be sustained, couples that really stick together do have a strong impetus to work together at the union, one should move on if the other person is not interested), I don't see anything about any form of responsibility coming into the picture, and the way you view things just keeps on trapping women. (You did say that "no one owns anyone", but so long as there are people acting as if they do, and these people are out there imposing themselves on others, there is a form of 'ownership' that exists. Furthermore, you yourself are using the language of patriarchal society, and so you're trapping your own kind – assuming you really are a woman.)

      Relationships are mutual responsibilities, especially the long-term ones. Anyone who cheats anyone else's feelings is in the wrong, and it has to be made known.
      Society is a system we can change, however long it takes. We do not need to merely work within the framework that has been given us; we can work towards a better society, and that starts with calling out cheaters.

  15. Girlygirl
    Girlygirl says:

    Single ladies, if a man is separated and you choose to see him, you'd better do it with an open mind. Get to know his character before you invest too much. And if he decides to move on, let him move on. There are 3 billion males in the world. There must be someone with whom you can have the relationship you want. But you want have it by staying hung up on a man who does not want you, whether he is separated or single.

  16. Girlygirl
    Girlygirl says:

    The bottom line is that no one owns anyone. If a separated man and a single woman want to get together, that is their business. There's no law against that, only laws (in a few states) against a single person initiating the break up of a marriage. As far as moral laws, well, we don't all think the same way and we never will. If a couple has something that is very special, there is no one who can put it "asunder." Married women can sometimes be a bit cocksure and arrogant about their "position" and refer to the single woman as the jump-off. Well, if she is the jump-off, then so is the wife because he is jumping off one and on to the other one. Women, be smart: if a man is separated from you and seeing someone else, move on. Single ladies, if a man is separated and y

  17. LaWanda
    LaWanda says:

    i thank the writer for speaking the truth

  18. @AtlantaBizWomen
    @AtlantaBizWomen says:

    I ran into an old friend who was separated from his wife, I opted not to pursue a relationship until the divorce was final and I'm so glad I waited because they ended up getting back together. I didn't get hurt and there was no drama.

    Separated IS still married.
    My recent post ??Mechelle Bowser?? Celebrity Columnist

  19. Patricia Knight
    Patricia Knight says:

    It's no wonder we're contracting HIV and other venereal diseases at such a high rate. We haven't dealt with our carnality! As the old folks used to say, "if you lie down with dogs, don't be surprised if you get up with fleas"! And the "baby daddy", "baby mama" drama you will experience! My God, if I weren't careful, I'd think we don't want anything decent for ourselves…..

    It's no wonder some are saying, "marriage is for white people". If we keep acting like dogs in heat, marriage (and all of the benefits it brings) will never be our portion!

  20. Cee Palmer
    Cee Palmer says:

    Great post! When I was single, I never dated separated men. First, they were still married. I didn't want to become emotionally involved with a man who could decide that he wanted to save his marriage. Second, I believe in karma. If a man will cheat with you, he'll cheat on you.

  21. Anita Bankhead
    Anita Bankhead says:

    Use that time to better refocus invest in some personal time before jumping back in a relationship. That’s why the courts set it that way. An adjustment period. Find someone else.

  22. Jay
    Jay says:

    For the ladies out there considering dating a man who is involved with someone else – just a thought – if he didn't give her the honor of closure and honesty what makes you think he'll give you that honor? Any woman who gives a man her regard, time and affection deserves that – don't settle.

  23. maria
    maria says:

    Why is the blame just on the woman! Does the married man not know he is married???

    • Neysa
      Neysa says:

      There is a follow-up piece coming focusing on the men. Believe me, neither party is off the hook.
      My recent post How to REALLY Love…

  24. SpenserAvery
    SpenserAvery says:

    cont. –
    I have turned down more opportunities than I will get the rest of my life. But I have acted on 3. I was clear. "I'm NOT leaving home, if you can deal Cool". Women need to recognize that they are built physically & Mentally just different from men. Like you said:

    "Yes. Are some wives busting their asses to take care of their families? Yes. She could be the best looking, well educated, best lover in the world and HE could still act a FOOL. HIS missteps are not a reflection of her shortcomings."

    So, while it will always take two to cheat. There will ALWAYS be a Male/Female to cheat with. Communicate with your partner (hopefully Wife or Husband), but don't become a nag. Deal with their imperfections as they are most LIKELY dealing with yours. My marriage has weathered a storm.

    If my Wife chose to seek comfort outside of our marriage, well that's just Karma kicking ME in MY A**. But she is still the woman that I chose 26yrs ago. Sometimes that's the problem, Most times I'm thanking God that she STILL CHOOSES ME.

  25. SpenserAvery
    SpenserAvery says:

    Married Man here. … Been there & done that.
    While you make a lot of good points. It will always take 2 (the MAN & the woman) to cheat. In my case. I was frustrated. I Love my Wife. She has given me a Great home (as you have touched on in your article), and two beautiful kids. The intimacy (while infrequent) is OK. I just wanted MORE.

    It is NOT always about the other woman. I didn't get cute, handsome or even attractive till my Wife cleaned me up. Till I had responsibilities and a home to go HOME to. Talking to other married men (we travel in packs). It is pretty much the same consensus. When we put that ring on! It was like "Wonder twins powers activate".

  26. Happily Separated
    Happily Separated says:

    While I agree completely and respect the sanctity of marriage and do not think you should ever date a married person. I cannot agree with your statements that separated, or waiting to be divorced, is still married. Sure, in the legal sense until the divorce decree is signed, sealed, and delivered a couple is still legally married. However, you have to also consider that marriage and divorce is highly legislated in some states. For example, in my state spouses must live separated for a year and a day before you can even file for divorce, let alone the months you will then wait for a court date due to overcrowded court dockets once your initial request is filed (average wait time~18-24 months). That is a very long time to wait to date or move on with your life if you are absolutely certain your marriage is dead and will not be revived. Also, I view marriage in the covenant/spriritual sense. Once the covenant and spiritual relationship is dead, to me the marriage is dead. And, yes, just in case you're wondering, I am separated and waiting my time to legally divorce and yes, I am dating in the interim and do not have a probelm with doing so.

    • Amber
      Amber says:

      You mentioned spiritual, but what you said goes against God's word. Do you not think that God is so powerful that he can restore a marriage even after you consider the relationship dead? Don't short change him. To be honest, 18-24 months in the grand scheme of things is not that long. A marriage is a serious relationship and time should be spent reflecting on what went wrong and how things can be changed so that the next relationship is better. Just my $0.02.

      • Happily Separated
        Happily Separated says:

        Amber-I'll take God's will and word anyday over your $0.02. Here is what I know for certain– I am a happily separated woman, who cannot wait for her divorce to be final. I do not view my desire to date and move forward and find the right man to be in my life as SIN, nor do I believe God does. Dating does not equal SIN. Nowhere in my post, do I say I am sexually active, only then could you make the argument that I am sinning. I appreciate men not counting me out as an option just because my divorce cannot legally be filed yet. I believe God broke my marriage to deliver me out of an abusive relationship. I am very certain of this because I prayed intensely for years that God save my marriage and if it could not be saved that he break it in a complete and permanent way. I waited years for God's answer and when I heard from God it was in a miraculous, so I am absolutely certain getting my divorce as soon as the law permits is absolutely God's desire for me and I do not, nor do I believe God has a problem with me dating in the interim.

        • Tanaia
          Tanaia says:

          There is nothing wrong with being "Happily Separated" because if a marriage is dead and you've tired all possible solutions and nothing worked it's time to call it quits and I bet if people were in an abusive relationship getting separated they won't be saying its a sin to date someone. Like you said dating is not a sin having sex is, but if you find someone you connect with then try it. We as humans make mistake no one is perfect and we learn from our mistakes. I say have fun God will make a way and show you the way to where you need to be.

        • locutrice
          locutrice says:

          @ Happily Separated:
          You didn't give us the full context in your first comment; I believe that that's what ended up sparking off Amber's and I'm Just Saying's remarks. In any case, I doubt anyone can fault you if it's an abusive partner you're getting away from.

    • I'm Just saying
      I'm Just saying says:

      You are trying to justify your actions. If a man is married whether he is seperated or waiting to be divorced, he is still married. There is not an average wait time to date a married man he is still married. You view marriage as a covenant/spiritual sense?? Yes marriage is a covenant between a man and a woman who took vows before God. Marriage is honorable before God. Until that person is divorced he or she is OFF LIMITS! However, if you want to be someones rebound or someone he/she is using, go for it. I fault the married man as well. do not put God in the middle of SIN bc he has no part of it. I'm Just saying.

      • Happily Separated
        Happily Separated says:

        I'm Just Saying-Did you bother to read my post completely? You really should not make assumptions. I am a happily separated woman, who cannot wait for her divorce to be final–so I am no one's rebound girl, nor am I dating married men. I do not view my desire to date and move forward and find the right man to be in my life as SIN, nor do I believe God does. Dating does not equal SIN. Nowhere in my post, do I say I am sexually active, only then could you make the argument that I am in some way sinning. I believe wholeheartedly, that God broke my marriage to set me free and deliver me me out of an abusive and very dangerous situation. I am very certain of this because I prayed intensely for years that God save my marriage and if it could not be saved that he break it is such a way that I could never go back to it again (a complete and permanent breaking). I waited years to be sure I knew God's will for me, my life and my marriage and eventually I heard from God in such a miraculous way that I am absolutely certain leaving my marriage and getting my divorce as soon as the law permits is absolutely God's desire for me.

    • Rodney Duff
      Rodney Duff says:


  27. healthycurve
    healthycurve says:


  28. Alecia
    Alecia says:

    Single Women and Married Men both have their own agenda. it is SAD when the faithful wife has the blinders on. So, when people change and affect the married household financial and emotional it is very sad.

  29. Briana Myricks
    Briana Myricks says:

    I'm with you, I definitely am, but I also know divorces aren't quick. Some people truly are done with each other, separated, and just waiting for papers to be processed (or even filed). I don't know, it's such a touchy subject, but I agree: if a man is still married, just leave it alone. If you guys are truly meant to be, just wait until he's divorced. Don't try to speed up the process, or pray it up (LAWD I have never heard of that, but I believe people have done it). Let things happen how they SHOULD happen.
    My recent post Marriage Monday: Til Death Do Us Part

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