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Being Settled for? or Plan B? (long post)

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fireguy87 posted 7/27/2013 08:57 AM

Greetings Fellow SI'ers

I have put this in the Reconciliation area since I think it is a issue many BS or FBS may deal with at some point during or after reconciliation. Mods: please feel free to move it if needed. I do not post much, but have read quite a bit since finding SI in Sept 2012

I am a FBH, the DDay of my FWW's affair occured almost 20 years ago during our 3rd year of marriage. It was a 2 year long affair with a Married OM that she worked with. Back in those days, the internet was still in it's beginning stages and these types of resources weren't available. Without going into the entire story (which I will put in my profile if needed) here are some highlights;

- I went through 4 months of pure hell from DDay to starting day of reconciliation. (I will admit that most of my hangups are sexual in nature, I don't know if this is male thing or I'm just screwed up)

- She wanted to be with OM. I kicked her out about month after DDay, and she was officially with him for 3 months. (his wife moved out the week of our Dday and my FWW saw this as her opportunity to be with him)

- I never got an entire account of the details and have suffered mind movies on and off for the last 20 years. Early on she compared us sexually (besides the fact he paid more attention and made her laugh), (he lasted longer than me, could go more than once in a session with no refractory period, and more passionate during sex). Pretty much any questions about details were rugswept with the phrase "I don't remember." I truly wish I could have gotten a full timeline and writtens details as lack of has only made me have some bad mind movies through out the years.

- He was the last man she gave a full (to completion, with swallowing....sorry for TMI) blow job to (last time she did it to me was the Wednesday night prior to her confessing the affair to me 20 years ago). Note: in the years since, she has performed oral sex on me for a few minutes a handful of times, just never to completion.

- For the year and a half prior to her confession, they had a lot of car sex (something we have not done since we dated)

- Other than during these 4 months, we have never really had fights (pre or post affair). We've had our share of disagreements, but no yelling, screaming, not talking to one another type things. That being said, when ever we did have a disagreement, we could never have sex after making up because she felt that we were only making up just to have sex. However, she had no problem having make-up sex with OM. I realize that sex for the last 20 years could be considered make-up sex, but I can't seem to look at it this way.

- In month 4, she moved home to start reconciliation. One week into it she wanted to break off the R and go back to him. I Left the house sick to my stomach. She decides to call OM and he basically blows her off because he has other action on the side (who he was doing while also doing my FWW). She then calls me to come home and wants to apologize and work on R again. The next day we have sex again for the first time in 4 months and we have been together ever since.

- We have been happy, have a home, have 2 beautiful children (we started our family post affair, there were no children before or during). We have a great life.....but last year my daughter had a relationship go bad and turns out her BF starts dating her best friend immediately afterwards. My daughter is now back together with her BF. My daughter's issues have caused me to restart mind movies and reliving all the memories from my FWW's affair. In addition, I have run into and seen the OM (lives in same town) more in the last year, than the previous 19 years. And he stirs a hatred inside me like no other.

Hopefully that is enough information to ask my question: What did you do as a BS that has reconciled or is in reconciliation done to get rid of the feeling that your WS in the long run settled for you? I thought I came to terms with this years ago, but I guess not. I sometimes think I was nothing more than plan B because things didn't work out well with OM.

I keep feeling this way since I never got all the information I wanted, I don't seem to deserve oral sex like he did, there is no make up sex still like they had, and most importantly, when he blew her off on the phone the day before we started true R, he in essence decided for her. Yes she ultimately decided to stay with me but it was only after she couldn't have him.

Is there something wrong with me? If you experienced the settled for or plan B feeling, how did you deal with it.

Please note: my FWW has not done anything to make these issues pop up. I basically triggered over my daughters relationship problems and then seeing the OM. After almost 20 years, I don't want to dive back into this with my wife. As far as the sexual items are concerned, it would only cause her guilt and then if she decided to do those things again I think it would only be out of guilt and not a desire to please me and I really don't want that. I just want to be able to not have this affect me anymore.

PS - a therapist has told me these are classic signs of PISD. Also, if any WS has been able to help your BS deal with this, please feel free to comment.

canteat posted 7/27/2013 09:38 AM

What did you do as a BS that has reconciled or is in reconciliation done to get rid of the feeling that your WS in the long run settled for you?

The WS has to do the work to make you feel like you were not second choice! They can do this in many ways but it is their job not yours!

After almost 20 years, I don't want to dive back into this with my wife. As far as the sexual items are concerned, it would only cause her guilt and then if she decided to do those things again I think it would only be out of guilt and not a desire to please me and I really don't want that. I just want to be able to not have this affect me anymore.

It does not sound like you have done much in the way of R. It sounds as if the two of you got back together, put the A away in a closet, closed the door and never looked at it again. Well now it's back to rear its ugly head because none of these issues have been delt with in their entirety.

I think you need to talk to your W about the A and about what you are feeling now. Your feelings are valid-it doesn't matter that the A was many years ago-if the issues surrounding the A were not addressed to YOUR satisfaction. You haven't really healed from it. I am sure that you have worked through some of the issues from the A on your own but there are some things that need to be shared. They can only be made better by working on it together.

Maybe she can come with you to a few of your IC sessions to open those lines of communication. Ask your IC if they can help you with this.

I know it seems like you are dredging up the past-but thats only because it is still effecting the present and future.

Being open, honest and talking to each other about these things can create greater intimacy in the relationship. Greater intimacy=better sex. Maybe she will want to do things to please you because she feels closer to you. She is probably still dealing with issues stemming from the A too and working on those will help you both heal and create a closer relationship.

[This message edited by canteat at 9:40 AM, July 27th (Saturday)]

ItsaClimb posted 7/27/2013 10:20 AM

I understand how hard this must be for you. I struggle a LOT with feeling like Plan B. My fWH's OW broke up with him (he assumes it's because she found someone else, as another guy moved in with her a couple of weeks after the A ended.) I so badly wish he had been the one to end their relationship, it would have made a big difference to how I view it all. Several people have said to me since D-Day "but he chose you"......thing is he didn't, OW tossed him back to me. It HURTS. So I feel your pain, I really do. What I cling to is that he is here NOW. He could be with someone else, but he isn't he is with me. He has chosen R. I try to keep that thought front and centre - not always easy.

Your wife has been with you for the last 20 years, she has had children with you, she has built a life with you. I honestly believe she wouldn't have built a life with someone she didn't want to be with. She was not being kept there against her will, she CHOSE to be with you. I am certain she wouldn't have chosen to have children with you if you were not the person she very much wanted to be with, that is a HUGE commitment.

I have no doubt that horrible little thought of "I'm Plan B" will always linger in our minds - one of the nasty legacies of an A, one of the scars, but I really try to push it out of my mind.

I will be interested to read the other responses.

ItsaClimb posted 7/27/2013 10:20 AM

double post

[This message edited by ItsaClimb at 10:20 AM, July 27th (Saturday)]

fireguy87 posted 8/11/2013 12:37 PM

I haven't responded so I just wanted to say thanks for the responses.

SecondHelping posted 8/11/2013 13:55 PM

I don't think we will ever get over that feeling. Just after D-Day I felt disposable and when we started R, felt like she settled. He was younger and in better shape than me and I still wonder if that's what she REALLY wants.

This feeling still lingers, but for my fWWs A, it hadn't progressed to the ILY stage yet so I see it was eiser for her to return to me after DDay. She still says it was basically almost over when I found out, but I have no evidence of that, so I'll always wonder if she would have left me for him (he was not M at the time).

For you, as with my fWW, it's what they do showing that they are committed to R and the M is what counts. It helps lessen the feeling but I'm pretty sure it won't erase the feeling. If she, and my fWW, really have chosen us again, and they show it, then I can try to let those feelings go (trying hard to).

I hope you can come to terms with this as I doubt the feelings (and memories) will ever go away.

[This message edited by SecondHelping at 1:58 PM, August 11th (Sunday)]

brokensmile322 posted 8/11/2013 13:59 PM


I think you do need to deal with your thoughts and feelings. You never have. You have pushed them aside all these years and it took your daughter's relationship crisis to bring it back to the surface. Truth is, it could have been anything; eventually it was going to rear its ugly head.

I am sorry that you have felt the lesser choice all these years. That is an awful feeling and a terrible burden to drag around with you.

I agree with the other posts, it is your WW's responsibility to make you feel like you are not second choice. I also agree that her choosing to start a family with you and to be with you for 20 years means something.

In regards to you thinking you were only the 'choice' because the OM blew her off, I guess you will never really know unless you talk with her. At that time, she may have felt that way. You can read many stories on here where the WS struggles after the A. The fog could have been thick then, but it does not mean that she didn't come to realize her mistake.


Likewise, there could be many reasons why she is not more willing to give you a BJ and to completion. Many women do it when they are first with someone and they have no desire really and stop later. There are some women I know who aren't 'swallowers' but who did it at first because they thought they should etc.. It could also be that she can 'feel' your being uncomfortable with it and it makes it uncomfortable for her, she doesn't know why and so she doesn't do it.

My point is, you don't really know the answer to these questions you have, unless you ask them. And her reasons may be more simple than what you have tortured yourself with all these years.

Gently, I would encourage you to get into IC and to bring this up with your WW. You deserve to be healed, even at this late date. Don't waste anymore time shoving it down. Peace

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