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Husbands chosen for reliability = plan B

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cocoplus5nuts posted 4/30/2019 20:20 PM

I've been reading this a lot here. BHs feel like plan B even if their CWs are attempting R. They seem to not like to have been chosen because they are safe, reliable, responsible, a good provider, etc.

I don't understand. It makes perfect sense to me that those are the traits a woman would look for in a mate. That's why I chose to marry my fch. He was all of those things. I didn't need a provider. I had a good job making more money than he did with regular, noncompetitive advancement. But, I sure wasn't going to marry some lazy bum who did nothing. The a logical and practical person. I don't make decisions based on emotion alone.

There's an evolutionary reason women choose men like that. They need the security of knowing the father of their children will be able to provide for them so that they will more likely survive. The most exciting is not necessarily the best choice. That doesn't mean the responsible one is less desirable and women are settling. They are choosing the most desirable mate.

So, I don't understand why this is seen as a bad thing to men. Would it be different if you weren't a BH? If your W had not cheated, but told you weren't the most exciting or best sex she had, but you were the man she chose because of these other characteristics, would you still feel like plan B?

I'm not trying to minimize that feeling. I'm trying to understand it because it's the opposite of what I think. I think the fact that you were chosen (and I don't mean over the OM. I know that should never be a choice made.) makes you more valued.

I hope this doesn't come off as offensive.

Rideitout posted 4/30/2019 20:35 PM

I'll take a shot at giving what I think the "female equivalent" is; perhaps that'll help.

Choosing me because I'm "reliable" would be like me choosing you because you're a "good mother". Doesn't seem offensive on the surface, but, how does it really make you feel? I think it you dig down, you'd start to find that offensive; I don't love you because your funny, I find you attractive, your good in bed, your sexy to me. Nope, none of those things, I love you because you can make a good PB&J sandwich and send the kids off to school. And there's nothing wrong with that, that is an admirable trait, but it just feels so.. IDK.. Replaceable? Like, all you love me for is my PB&J sandwiches? Something that literally 99% of the world can do?

I want someone to love me for me. And the thing that's most "me" is my sexuality, not my reliability. McDonalds is very reliable, open 24x7 and serves the same food, no matter where you are in the world.. But I can sure tell you, there's no "passion" in my "love" for MCD reliability.

Changing analogies, I want to be the sports car that you love like a child, wax once a week, only take out on the nice days and even, after all that, it still breaks down and costs a fortune in maintenance. And yet you won't give it up because the feeling that car gives you is irreplaceable to you. When I hear "reliable" I think "Honda minivan". Nothing wrong with that car, but certainly not the subject of much lust from well.. Anyone, ever.. I don't want to be loved like the family minivan, I want to be loved like the temperamental sports car that's just so goddamn sexy you can't keep your eyes off it.

Everyone knows that minivans are a very practical, reliable and reasonable choice. And yet nobody lusts for one. They lust for a Ferrari, a car that will cost you a mortgage payment in maintenance, break down 10X more than the Honda, carries less, and it's performance is totally unusable on the roads we have. That's the kind of love I want from a woman, the unreasonable, against all better wisdom, just have to have you love. I don't want to be a minivan, I want to be a Ferrari.

h0peless posted 4/30/2019 20:45 PM

I was going to post, but I couldn't do a better job than RIO did above me. I was even going to use a similar car analogy. Your point sounds an awful lot like the Jerry Springer trope "But I came home to you!" It's supposed to be somehow reassuring, but it's really the exact opposite.

Add to the fact that women often do things in bed with the sleazy pieces of shit they cheat with that they wouldn't do with their boring, reliable husbands, and perhaps you can see why men who are cheated on feel like plan B.

[This message edited by h0peless at 8:46 PM, April 30th (Tuesday)]

layla1234 posted 4/30/2019 20:53 PM

I felt like WH's plan B because he literally told me he wanted to be with OW, detached from me for a week and tried to get her to make up her mind on leaving her husband. She hesitated, and he was hurt. I think it was then he realized what they had was definitely not real and she was lying to him about how bad her relationship with her husband was.

[This message edited by layla1234 at 8:54 PM, April 30th (Tuesday)]

NeverHealed posted 4/30/2019 21:12 PM

I'm more with layla than RIO.

When I think of myself as Plan B, it is not that my WW chose me for the “wrong” reasons (reliability, good provider, etc.), it is that she didn't chose me, at all. She's stuck with me. That in a perfect world, she would be with AP. But for a bunch of practical reasons, or maybe because the AP dumped her, she stayed with me.

It is in this sense, that she would rather be with AP, that I am Plan B.

cocoplus5nuts posted 4/30/2019 21:12 PM

I guess the difference is that I assume there is also love and attraction there. I wouldn't marry someone just because he's reliable. I couldn't marry someone that I wasn't attracted to.

But, if I have a choice between hot guy #1 who is still living in his parent's basement playing video games and hot guy #2 who has had a good job for years, pays his bills, and takes care of me, I'm choosing #2 every time. Like they say, there are plenty of fish on the sea.

So, in that sense, I would not be upset if my H said he chose me because he thought I was a good mother. I don't expect to necessarily be the best everything he has ever experienced. No one can be that.

I did not intend for this to sound like that trope. That is not what I think at all. I'm sorry if it came off like that. Like I said, the choice between a spouse and an AP should never be. None of us are lucky as betrayeds. If my fch had said that to me, I'd be all kinds of pissed, too. But, I never felt like plan B.

Layla, I'm sorry, but that does sound like you were plan B. Are you ok with that?

GoldenR posted 4/30/2019 21:13 PM

Having her just want to stay with me bc I'm reliable and safe, yet she will always prefer OM sexually over me?

Nope...no thank you, WW. Take that shit elsewhere. That's just a recipe for more cheating.

DevastatedDee posted 4/30/2019 21:14 PM

Changing analogies, I want to be the sports car that you love like a child, wax once a week, only take out on the nice days and even, after all that, it still breaks down and costs a fortune in maintenance. And yet you won't give it up because the feeling that car gives you is irreplaceable to you. When I hear "reliable" I think "Honda minivan". Nothing wrong with that car, but certainly not the subject of much lust from well.. Anyone, ever.. I don't want to be loved like the family minivan, I want to be loved like the temperamental sports car that's just so goddamn sexy you can't keep your eyes off it.

Yeah. Damn. Yeah, that. I get that I have to do laundry, make meals, blah blah blah, but I want that to be just taken as a given as things I must do to live life, but I DO NOT want to be seen as the mother role person to a romantic partner. That is what I wound up in and that is gross. If I can't be a responsible adult who takes care of what needs taking care of and ALSO seen as sexy by my partner, then let me remain single. I get why BHs don't want to feel like old reliable plan B. Screw that. My kids can see me that way. That's cool. It's limited to them, though.

DevastatedDee posted 4/30/2019 21:17 PM

Add to the fact that women often do things in bed with the sleazy pieces of shit they cheat with that they wouldn't do with their boring, reliable husbands, and perhaps you can see why men who are cheated on feel like plan B.

Fuck that too. That's not okay. I was nasty with my husband because I had this insane idea that if I were choosing to only have sex with him, I'd make sure it was a good time. If you don't want to do all the things with the person you married, why in the hell did you marry them??

JoyfulMourning posted 4/30/2019 21:24 PM

As a woman I want my man to appreciate all of the traits in my character that makes me a reliable partner. However, at the end of the day I want him to want ME. Technically, everything else can be outsourced to the cleaners, a cook, maid, au pair, etc.. and paid for. I'd rather he outsource my contributions to the family than for him to outsource the intimacy.

WS's don't say they were seeing the AP, ONS or hooker for their cooking or laundering skills. The AP wasn't there for my WH ill parent or to build his career. He only saw her as a woman. Not a partner, a woman. A person.

I was willing to reconcile the relationship to be first and foremost his woman, his only woman, his beloved, his intimacy partner, passionately sensual playmate, the woman he's most attracted (his must have), confidante and friend, the person he most enjoys spending time with. That's basically what you have at the beginning of the relationship. You lose that then all you have are the marital duties and chores. Boring.

My WH couldn't guarantee me the position I needed. I jokingly told him that I'd rather be one of his GF's because they get to have all the fun together. Then I seriously divorced him.


[This message edited by JoyfulMourning at 9:27 PM, April 30th (Tuesday)]

Adaira posted 4/30/2019 21:29 PM

Yeah, I think loving somebody and choosing somebody for these characteristics is normal and not something to scoff at, but it all flies out the window when you find that your spouse is keeping you around for the reliability and paying the mortgage on time while getting strange on the side. It’s no comfort at all to be told “I chose you because you’re so great at putting dinner on the table” when you know they were getting freaky with their coworker. I’m a woman, but I was absolutely dumped into the “reliable/good mom/caretaker” role while he had his fun - and I think the cake eater would have happily kept me there forever if I hadn’t caught him. No thank you.

NeverHealed posted 4/30/2019 21:30 PM

Coco,

Let's make this a little harder.

Hot guy in basement vs. hot guy with job, that easy.

What about hot guy in basement vs. average looking guy with job?

What about the old saying, women want to marry a good boy, but have sex with a bad boy.

And it's not just sex. I actually believe my WW when she says the sex wasn't as good. That made me feel worse. Because I think I am Plan B for her emotionally, and that's more important to her.

NeverHealed posted 4/30/2019 21:41 PM

And just to be clear, I think I was Plan A when we married. But she found someone she liked better than me, and I became Plan B.

OwningItNow posted 4/30/2019 21:43 PM

What about the old saying, women want to marry a good boy, but have sex with a bad boy.

It's the same with women.

I had no interest in the hot guys with big egos and big attitudes. Even though on the surface, they might be sexually appealing, that was fantasyland. I would never have sex with a guy like that, a guy who acted cocky and sure of himself. Authentic people don't run around with attitudes like this. Red flag! Whether I think a guy like this is hot or not, I would not waste my time. I never did, never have, never would. Nice guys are sexier every time. If a WW is cheating, it's because of shit in her own head, not because of the guy she's married to.

But whatever.
Not willing to argue this point with people. When women run after the hot guy with a shitty attitude, it shows that woman is messed up. There's nothing to talk about here. Plan B is not the issue.

[This message edited by OwningItNow at 9:46 PM, April 30th (Tuesday)]

DomesticTourist posted 4/30/2019 21:46 PM

I was Plan A.

I loved her deeply for a long time. I provided for her and our children. I was safe. I was reliable. I was responsible and respected.

But then she decided I had "checked out." She told her AP that she wanted to divorce me, that she couldn't stop thinking about him and she "loved him with all her heart." And she went and fucked him for over two years.

But then she discovered that he was not reliable, or safe, or responsible. I guess we'll never know what might have happened had he been as safe, reliable and responsible as me.

So she gravitated back to me.

But make no mistake, for three years I was her soon-to-be-ex-husband-annoying-roommate who jammed up the life she'd rather have had.

No, I'll never feel like Plan A again. She gutted that.

dri4039 posted 4/30/2019 23:09 PM

Huh, guess this is going to be my first post of all things. This post touched off (I wouldn't say triggered) some uncomfortable feelings in me while reading this, although I don't blame the OP for that. If anything, I actually appreciate the question, inasmuch as it's got me thinking about this subject in a nuanced way that previous gender and sex threads didn't.

These thoughts are a bit jumbled so apologies in advance.

On a basic level, I can agree with cocoplus5nuts' statement that being a good, solid, stable provider for the people you truly love is a positive thing, all else equal. I don't think anyone could say otherwise. And I'd agree that in most contexts, most men (heck, most human beings, I don't think this is gender specific) would react positively to being referred to as a good provider, as opposed to a shitty provider or a deadbeat or a bum.

I think it's also an obvious point that while compliments are generally good, we would want to be praised in ways that matter most to us, on the values that we feel represent what we honestly want as people. At the risk of sounding obvious, praise that misses what we want or value can sometimes come off as the complimenter being uninterested in us or appreciating us for the wrong reasons, if not downright being disingenuous- and that's even without accounting for the curveball of infidelity.

To use an extreme and probably inflammatory example, if a man were to come up to the street on a woman and tell her crudely that she has a nice-looking chest or posterior, I think most people would agree that that's more of a "positive" statement compared to, I guess, something like "You're @$$-ugly". I think most people would also agree that this wouldn't be the kind of "positivity" that most women would appreciate, no matter how much the men making the comments might want to believe otherwise. (yes I know there is a rule against generalization, and I actually have grown up with a couple of real-life women who reacted very positively to what others would consider borderline sexual harassment, but for some reason I feel like this is one generalization that the community might be ok with.) The Golden Rule says "treat others how you would want to be treated"; the Silver Rule says "treat others how they would want to be treated". Sure, as I said, the example I gave is definitely extreme, but I think this is in the same basic category.

OK, admittedly, you can argue that "compliments" in the form of catcalling vs. being called a good provider are too extreme to be a comparable or sympathetic example.
But consider the women in this thread who have talked about their home and domestic roles in their marriage. Speaking as the son of a stay at home mom who held multiple college degrees and put her professional career on hold for a significant time, I can confidently say that my mother's role at home was invaluable, tireless, and sadly underappreciated more often than not (including, I admit, by me). Her staying at home and teaching me life lessons while we did chores rubbed off on me in ways I've only begun to realize (not to mention the fact that a lot of the time when I tried to help her out, I almost unintentionally doubled her workload by screwing up), and I can confidently say my life and our life would have been a lot worse off without her.

But having said that, I'm still sure everyone reading this thread can picture the reaction if my Dad were to cheat and told her that he stayed or she should stay solely because of those things, as if her domestic and child-rearing role was her entire worth and dowry. (N.B.: my dad has his faults, but as far as I know, he never cheated, this is just an example.) It wouldn't be an untrue statement to say that she should be valued for those aspects of her life (not to mention that many BSes both male and female do actually "stay for the kids"), but in that context it probably wouldn't be helpful or productive, unless the BS had a threshold of charity and goodwill that is superhuman...and A's are not known for fostering charity and goodwill.

Also, now that I think about it...I think one aspect of the "good provider" description that might be overlooked is that for most people, being a good provider is a compliment...but also a very basic, mutual, and universal desire for someone in a marriage or long term partnership (admittedly maybe not short-term ones). Maybe I am being too cynical but "being a good provider" feels a bit like "not being an axe murderer", no one ever deliberately introduces themselves on dates as a "good provider" because...well...it's generally assumed that most people don't return calls for partners who are BAD providers and might pose a threat to their family's future well-being? So on one hand I can understand why the OP points this out, but on the other, I can't deny that if this were to come up to a BS, their reaction might be "well, guess at least I passed THAT bar", and it may not be as much of a self-esteem booster or reality check as we would all like.

The reality is that in the aftermath of an A, "being a good provider" is not necessarily going to be read in the most charitable light, and I think when it comes to partnerships and marriage, most people see themselves as the sum of their parts...we see ourselves as complex, full-grown people and individuals with our own life paths and experiences, that another full-grown individual with their own experience and free will supposedly chose to partner with...and I suspect we all deeply dislike having our entire identities and value as people either directly or indirectly reduced inside a single box, especially if that person has betrayed us. (Consider all the posts in recent SI history from women disliking feeling "only" valued for sex and/or domestic duties in their relationships and marriage.) Sure, I'd agree with the original post that "being a good provider" is a pretty big box compared to others, a very important box, adorned, if you will, with fine jewelry and engraving, and I'd be loath to be rid of it...but it's still a box, a part of me that I didn't consent to have magnified in the worst way and warped into my own insecurities by someone else's actions.
Because in the end, a BS isn't in a situation where their spouse was on a game show with two doors titled "Good Provider" and "A" and chose the first, where they could see firsthand their commitment to a provider as a desire; it's more like they went through the "A" door and then came out an hour later with their clothes and hair rumpled and crawled in through the second door in violation of the show's rules.

Apologies again if this came off as rambling- I don't know if I will edit or delete this, I can definitely think of better first posts, but at the very least I do appreciate this (admittedly difficult) subject being broached and appreciate everyone's input so far.

edit:grammar

[This message edited by dri4039 at 11:19 PM, April 30th (Tuesday)]

firenze posted 4/30/2019 23:50 PM

Fuck that too. That's not okay. I was nasty with my husband because I had this insane idea that if I were choosing to only have sex with him, I'd make sure it was a good time. If you don't want to do all the things with the person you married, why in the hell did you marry them??

Because a lot of women have a very unhealthy relationship with their own sexuality. They can't reconcile the wife/mother side of themselves with the sexual being who wants to do dirty nasty things in bed. It's basically the female version of the madonna/whore complex and it's why the tale of the wife who only ever has relatively infrequent, strictly vanilla sex with her husband but is hiding either a past or an affair (or both) filled with frequent freaky sex is such a cliche.

So why do I not want to be chosen because I'm reliable and a good provider? Because I know there's a good chance that the woman who chooses me for those qualities isn't actually hot for me and doesn't really want to jump my bones all the time like I do her. Sure, sex will be good and relatively frequent during the honeymoon phase, but after that it'll just decrease and become more cold and perfunctory in nature until we're basically roommates with kids. Why? Because the attraction was never really there on her end. Being loved because you're hardworking and responsible and mature is nice, but for most men there's just nothing as satisfying as having a woman in your life who can't keep her hands off you and wants you up her skirt all the time.

FloridaMan posted 5/1/2019 00:41 AM

I could never stay married to a spouse who had better sex with their AP than they did with me. It would make me second best sexually in my own marriage to another man and I would assume she would be fantasizing about him sexually forever.

My wife did have exciting sex during her affair which included BDSM sex.

She says sex with him was not better than me. I did not believe her so she took a total of three polygraphs which focused mostly on the sexual details of her affair. The polygraphs suggested she did not enjoy sex with him more than me. It showed she never had an orgasm with him. Nonetheless, I am in the male camp that understands being sexual plan B is intolerable.

I am seeing a divorce lawyer on Thursday so I can end our marriage.

[This message edited by FloridaMan at 12:51 AM, May 1st (Wednesday)]

Rideitout posted 5/1/2019 05:58 AM

So why do I not want to be chosen because I'm reliable and a good provider? Because I know there's a good chance that the woman who chooses me for those qualities isn't actually hot for me and doesn't really want to jump my bones all the time like I do her. Sure, sex will be good and relatively frequent during the honeymoon phase, but after that it'll just decrease and become more cold and perfunctory in nature until we're basically roommates with kids. Why? Because the attraction was never really there on her end. Being loved because you're hardworking and responsible and mature is nice, but for most men there's just nothing as satisfying as having a woman in your life who can't keep her hands off you and wants you up her skirt all the time.

^^ Perfectly put, exactly how I feel.

Everything else in a relationship can be "outsourced". So I'm good at maintaining the house and keep the yard looking great.. Wonderful. Except all it takes to replace me is a call to a local plumbing and landscape company. Sex is the only thing that's "unique" to the married relationship, you can outsource most of it and you can love and have intimate (non-sexual) relationships with other people (of the same sex) when your married. But if the sex is off, or your trapped in the a M with perfunctory sex as the order of the day, well.. That's the beginning and end of your sexual world. It's something that cannot be outsourced, you're either "hot" for me or your not. And if you're not, I'm going to live a life of mediocre sex for the rest of my days.

I'd much rather marry a woman who can't keep her hands off me/her skirt on around me but who's terrible with money and can't keep a job than a woman who's great with money but is not into sex at all. Why? Because I can always work harder and make more money. But I can't "fix" a lack of sexual interest (assuming, of course, I've already done my part, I'm as fit and attractive as possible, etc). I did that once (married the "sensible choice" who didn't have a lot of sexual interest but had a lot of other great characteristics), you know what that got me? The label of BH and the personal joy of hearing how my WW can't keep her skirt on with OTHER MEN, but, with me, it was glued down. Nope, been there, done that, have the scars to show from it.

If I were to remarry, I will not be the minivan. Yes, I will be reliable, I always have been. But if that reliability doesn't cause the "lust" that the Ferrari does, well, I'm out. "Plan B" is over, both in my M and if I D, in any relationship moving forward.

NotTheManIwas posted 5/1/2019 05:59 AM

Bottom line, what a man wants, if that matters, is still getting his girlfriend when alone with his wife. A man wants the feeling he had when she was making an effort to attract/please him when they were courting. A man wants to feel he's still with a female, and not have evolved into something likened to an Oscar/Felix style odd couple arrangement. Even if she harbors fantasies of the Bad Boy Alpha, at least make the reliable hubby feel his masculinity. And this is all heightened post Dday.

And this just fucking pains me...

I was nasty with my husband because I had this insane idea that if I were choosing to only have sex with him, I'd make sure it was a good time.

Many of us men can't even fathom having this and still going out to chase tail. <head.just.shaking>

ETA:

If I were to remarry,

Yeah, never again. From what I read, what I see around me IRL, this man sees no upside to exchanging vows again. I've already raised a family. Marriage serves no other purpose IMO.

[This message edited by NotTheManIwas at 6:07 AM, May 1st (Wednesday)]

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