When You Discover That You Were Her Plan B

I’ve come across this scenario three times in the last few days. For whatever reason, it comes out that the husband is in fact the wife’s Plan B for choice in partner. She may like him, she may love him, they may have a great life with house, kids and careers, but he simply doesn’t occupy her head-space of hotness. Someone else does.
Case one the best friend of the husband was the wife’s prior boyfriend, but he dumped her. So ex-boyfriend Plan A, husband Plan B.
Case two was the first husband. The wife makes an international trip to “close the chapter” on the marriage, but discovers on the trip she’s pregnant to her boyfriend and the first husband rejects her. She returns, finalizes the divorce and marries her boyfriend. So first husband Plan A, second husband Plan B.
Case three she has some sexual abuse history and marries for safety to a nice guy. Seventeen years later she’s come to terms with her abuse and announces that she’s never been hot for her husband as really he’s just not her type and requests an open marriage. So “her type” is Plan A, her husband Plan B.
Now obviously the best solution would have been to never get involved with any of these women in the first place – if she’s obviously emotionally/sexually engaged with someone else, or not emotionally/sexually engaged with you – then don’t marry her unless you want to live a life of misery and desperation. But here at MMSL we do our best to play it through from where the ball lies, so that’s all I’ll say about how they got into the situation. You met a pretty girl, she smiles at you, you get all stupid. Shit happens.
The trouble is once she’s openly stated that she is not into you and/or you aren’t her Plan A, it’s a major turning point in the relationship. She’s basically coming out to you that the charade is over, and you aren’t really her sexual orientation. I mean it makes minimal practical difference if she says “I’m a lesbian” as opposed to “I’m just not sexually interested in you”.
Once she reveals the truth, you have few choices, and all of them suck.
(1) You tolerate the situation and try and make things work as before. The trouble with this is that once you go this route, you’re accepting her sexual interest in others by default and eventually she will act on it, so you’re really making a choice that screams weakness here.
(2) You emotionally firewall yourself from her but stay in the marriage for practical reasons (the kids, the house, the career yada yada yada) and start looking for emotionally connection and sex from others outside the relationship too. Of course this only works if you don’t have oneitis for her, and because you’re a Plan B type of guy… you have oneitis for her bad.
(3)  You start the divorce process, which totally sucks. The silver lining to this approach is that it just might shock her into reality as the rug is pulled out from under her feet and you start heading for the exit. There is the possiblity that dumping her sparks a quick (and genuine) hormonal response increasing her interest in you. There’s a whole lot of reality impacting when a good husband holding the moral high ground unleashes a dumping and goes no contact for a few weeks and her Body Agenda may just have a say in how things play out…
OMG girlfriend, we just lost our good thing that we could actually have!!! Okay forget about the other guy, let me turn the dopamine off about him. I’m gonna jack the dopamine for our good thing up and you gotta go get him back!!!
Though quite obviously, you should have your Sex Rank maxed as best you can to increase your chances of success at that gambit, and it is a gambit. It may work, it may not. In any case, all the options are hard roads to go.


  1. Anonymous says:

    Based only on the limited information given…

    Case 1: Sucks, but the guy knew beforehand what he was getting into, and ignored all the warning signs. Seriously, if you take leftovers, then you have to accept that you were not their first choice. Buy the book, start the Map, and become brutally honest with yourself about your situation, SMR and options.

    Case 2: Sucks, but depending on how much the fem-centered divorce industry screwed him over (or not) for something that was provably her fault, he may have gotten off lucky. There were probably warning signs here as well, but whatever – he is now more or less free. Start working on improving yourself and your SMR.

    Case 3: Sucks the worst of all, and if she hid it behind a religious/chaste/sensitive facade, then there probably weren't many warning signs beforehand. Given that she still wants to keep the (open) marriage for now, this guy is totally screwed, especially if there are kids that he is close with. Ouch. If the Map doesn't help, and help soon (i.e. before she starts riding the carousel), then time to swallow the red pill big time and start thinking in terms of extreme contingencies.

  2. ouch! What a nightmare!

  3. Looking Glass says:

    Case 1: Messy
    Case 2: Messier
    Case 3: Why is there no "fraud" option on the divorce papers?

    I guess the more practical option is to plan your divorce, and all the fun stuff that comes with that. Still, what a mess.

    I guess there might be a 4th option: invent a way to kill her attraction to Plan A. Though that doesn't create attraction to Plan B, it makes navigating things easier, maybe. Though doing that discretely would probably take more skill than most people have, so maybe not really an option.

  4. Amid all this there are pragmatic people who are perhaps older, both know they are Plan B and have been transparent about that. You both lose your life partner and then you team up to make life that little bit easier and happier. Plan B does not have to be all that bad, and can be really good, but you need, perhaps, to have permanently lost plan A or at least work out a compromise together?

  5. alphapersona says:

    "Of course this only works if you don't have oneitis for her, and because you're a Plan B type of guy… you have oneitis for her bad."

    lol That got a good laugh from this guy.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Eh… while I see the general point, unless your mate has never dated before, chances are you're a Plan B one way or the other. My wife would have married a previous boyfriend had he stuck around. I could have married (several) previous girlfriends had I not been so painfully beta at the time. Ergo, Plan B.

  7. I think a lot of us went the plan B route in a sense. My own hormone levels went nuts for quite a few women before I married, one in particular was very bad news and it would never have worked. I ended up marrying one of her friends, a fantastic woman I grew to love more all the time over a period of a about a year and a half before we married. It wasn't the hot drugged love I'd had with others, it was a "I meshcompletely with this woman" kind of love, and I could see a future with her. We lasted 24 years until I guess I went too beta and dropped score in her eyes.

  8. What if the wife's current partner was always Plan A, and then years of sexual neglect on the husband's part has closed off her sexual response to him to the point where she is now seeking a Plan B (Plan A?)

  9. Ian Ironwood says:

    There is a fourth option. But it's risky, it won't work with everyone, and it has a huge possibility of blowing up in your face and turning into an Option Three.

    If you discover that you were Plan B, and you're already working your MAP, then you could force the issue with your spouse by insisting that you "win" them somehow before you continue the relationship. I've seen this work twice, in two very different situations.

    A woman who sees you as a Plan B often doesn't feel "won" by you the way that her Plan A "won" her. If she found you on the rebound from him, then your safe betahood probably appealed to her, she was able to use her sex appeal to form a safe relationship where she could think about Plan A the rare occasions she actually let you screw her.

    So "win" her. Find out what it's going to take to capture her heart and her complete attention, find out what made Plan A so damn appealing, and seek to fulfill that need or desire in her yourself. But (and this is the important part) you discontinue normal marital relations with her until she admits to being won. No sex, no sleeping together, no husbandly duties while you work your MAP and formulate a goal to successfully "win" her in her own eyes.

    The key is to ensure that you continue to compel her attention to distract her from other high-value men while at the same time stretching yourself towards that goal. If she liked Plan A because he was a dangerous Bad Boy, then buy a motorcycle or take up firearms as a hobby — scare her enough, and she might see you in a new light. If she liked Plan A because he was rich . . . well, maybe you're screwed, but it does give you some valuable insight to her character. Pick a better wife next time. If she liked Plan A because he was "sensitive", then you need to develop some Beta skills, stat.

    But more than likely her Plan A just had a higher sex rank than you, and you need to come back at that hard by reinventing yourself ala the MAP. Maybe your pre-MAP self was her Plan B, but your post MAP self will either be her new Plan A . . . or some other lucky woman's new Plan A. Her choice, really.

  10. It is a hard row to hoe but, at the end, you have you self respect back. And that is worth alot. I do not see how you can remain plan B and have the knowledge you are plan B without starting immediate divorce proceedings. This includes kids.

  11. Trying to compete with the "Plan A" guy is a non starter really, he's now a romanticised figure in the Wife's eyes. It's unlikely he was every all she thought he was, ten years on in her mind he's now like one of those guys on the cover of "Bodice Ripper" romance novels ;~)

    I'd suggest going full out 180 and become the best you that you can be for you. If she does not come around remember the lesson learned and move on to someone who deserves you. That's been my plan, it's not what I wanted, but it's the only option I have to get my "MOJO" back.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Been there, done that, been the plan B to her lesbianism. I went through each of 1, 2, and 3 in order. It's heartbreaking for all involved, and there are no easy answers.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I hear you.

    My mother's second husband was a widower. She could never win against the ghost of his dead wife. Later, I found out that the dead wife had been deeply neurotic and had a very low intelligence. She was pretty, but that was IT.

    It was the Kobayashi Maru (just for you, Athol). It was an unwinnable scenario.

    Forward is the only way.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Just happened to me last spring. Married for 16 years with two little kids. I was a nice guy, neglected her for far too long and let her run the show. She starts making noise about a year ago and was oxytocined to me but started dopamining the neighbor friend (best friends husband at that!) Gave me the ILYBINILWY speech. Found this blog and started a MAP and upped my sex rank and at the same time told her I wanted a divorce and for her to move out. It was very painful, but we have made a complete turn around and now are having great sex and are way more connected than ever before. So, option #3 can work in some cases.

  15. Anon,

    Glad to here it's working out for you, mine, well I wish I'd found this blog about eight months ago. I only see my wife now when she picks up the kids to go out for dinner or shopping, she has minimal contact with me, and almost seems nervous around me now, even though I'm physically back even better than when she met me. I guess I'll have to keep it up and see what happens.

  16. I would take her to McDonalds daily, maybe twice daily, or the equivalent. Fatten her up all nice and plump and then proceed with option number 3.

    Of course I am kidding, but a funny visual nonetheless.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I had a fruend who went through case 3. He and his second wife are doing very well. The first 2 cases are more survivable, unless Plan A wants to get back in her life.

  18. Up the sex rank in a major way as fast as possible.

    You want to get a 1-2 point edge over her as quickly as you can; practical limit 4 months.

    This will involve life-changes she'll probably be able to detect; you want to paint it not as "I'm scrambling to look good to you," but, "I'm considering what this might mean for my future freedom and needs, and I'll let YOU know when I've decided whether you can stay on in the mom role in this house."

    (That can't last forever before the shock value wears off, which is why the practical limit is a few months. In the meantime, your personal improvement should be sufficient to provide fresh shock value.)

    She can sleep on the couch or in the guest bedroom in the meantime, but she doesn't have the privilege of your bed.

    It can be done, but the odds aren't good, so one must make every second count.

  19. The MacNut says:

    There is a spam filter for the comments section. The "disappeared" comments may simply be in the spam trap waiting for Athol to clear them.

    Also, being someone's plan B is NOT the same as having a romantic/sexual history. In the latter case, the previous partners are in the past in both spouses' hearts and minds, and none of their exes can come back and induce either spouse to run away with that ex. When a spouse is someone's plan B, however, that means an ex is plan A, and if that plan A should show up and announce they're available, then the plan B spouse gets dumped like yesterday's trash as the other spouse runs off with the one they REALLY wanted to be with. In other words, if someone finds themselves as their spouse's plan B, that means they are no longer first in their spouse's heart and mind, if they ever were.

  20. I do moderate comments from time to time. It's a requirement to keeping the overall tone of the blog positive and productive.

    Have a doubleplusgood day.

  21. Anonymous says:

    My father was my mother's Plan B. I shall never do that to any man.

  22. i am curious on this.

    me and my wife are high school sweethearts. we broke up here and there over the first 10 yrs of dating till we both realized we were "right " for each other. (and i grew up)

    fast forward 7 years and i found out shes been having an affair with a coworker. they broke it off not to long ago, an while she hasnt activily committed back to the marriage, she has become transpereant as she works on healing her self after the affair.

    to me it seems i was her plan a and after the birth of our now 4 year old son (and a couple years of "neglect") she gets seduced by her coworker (who incidentally was married, and filed for divorce to pursue my wife {verified through text discussions})

    my question is, intially her being in an affair, doenst that make the affair partner the plan B since i didnt meet her needs,

    and if she comes back and we re commit to fixing it, does that make me the plan b, or am i re asserting my status as her plan A?

  23. It all depends on who she really wants to be with. If she comes back to you, but she'd much rather be with him, he's plan A and you're plan B. If she comes back to you and is fully into you, then you'd be plan A.

  24. That was what I was thinking too. I guess I won't know till she basically figures her shit out. Btw. The book is awesome. Have both in print (for hi lighting) and on kindle.

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