When a married man falls in love outside of his marriage, this is what is called an affair. It can be an intimate affair or an emotional affair, but an affair is an affair. If a man is at a point where he is talking about "love" in a relationship, chances are the relationship has been going on for some time.
Any man, with the exception of teenage boys, looking for a sexual encounter, does not use the word "love" lightly. By the time a man gets married, falling in love outside of marriage would generally signal that the love within the marriage has somewhat subsided.
Human beings can, and do, change with time and the sanctity of marriage is not what it used to be. It is doubtful any man sets out to fall in love outside his marriage especially when he still loves his wife but three's a crowd in a marriage and eventually he has to choose. Contrary to popular belief, most men do not leave a marriage over an affair, whether they are in love or not.
There are three types of affairs; sexual, or emotional, or a combination of both. An affair based on sex generally does not lead to love. It is based on lust, not the natural progression of loving someone by getting to know a person over a period of time. Sneaking around and lying to avoid detection is usually not conducive to a long-term relationship. However, in some instances, it can lead to love for a married man but an emotional affair is much more likely to have the potential for love developing between two people.
An emotional affair, where two people take friendship to a higher level, leads to a much deeper bond than a sexual affair. Once you get close enough to a person to start sharing hopes and dreams, worries, anxieties and the joys of everyday life a friendship between a man and woman takes on a life of its' own. This is a large part of what a bond between a husband and wife is supposed to be and when a married man begins to share that with another woman outside of his marriage the potential for love to grow is greater than it is if the affair is simply a sexual affair. The combination of an intimate and emotional affair would have the greatest chance of growing into love because it is really a marriage outside of a marriage.
Marriage is made up of several things but the emotional, spiritual and intimate bonds are generally, what hold a marriage together. Spiritual not necessarily in the religious sense, although it certainly can be, but more so on the value that a couple places on the marriage vows, how hard they are willing to work to make their marriage succeed and thrive. When the emotional bond between a husband and a wife are broken or weakened, it is very hard to regain or rebuild this trust. I believe that most women can forgive a sexual indiscretion easier than forgiving an affair where an emotional bond has been forged between her husband and another woman.
Marriage is a fluid entity, with its ups and downs, peaks and valleys. No marriage is perfect no matter what intentions we start out with. The best of marriages, the ones people often think will go the distance, sometimes fail while marriages that seemed doomed from the start thrive and prosper.
Falling in love outside of your marriage can and does happen. How strong your marriage is will dictate what you choose to ultimately do about the situation but remember, no one gets to have both ways.