Bait And Switch?

The other day the topic of a female friend of mine came up. My friend is a single mother and has been married several times. In many ways, she is like a sister to me. She's currently single and dating. Her figure is great, but in other respects, she is fairly average.

It was looking like a serious relationship was forming, so everyone was hopeful for her. A couple of months ago, my friend broke up with her boyfriend. Well, it turns out that she was dumped.

My wife speculated that the problem was that she revealed too much about herself while dating. She felt that my friend should keep her former marriages quiet, and not reveal too much.

My take was that you're better off representing yourself as you are. If you don't like something change it. Be honest while dating, and find someone who likes you for who you really are. While you may not want to showcase your dirty laundry, you don't want to be deceptive while dating either.

While this discussion was going on, it occurred to me that my wife's position was more along the lines of 'bait and switch'. That you should put on good appearances until you 'land' your husband. Almost like you were going fishing for a spouse.

So now I'm wondering if that's how I got here. Did my wife market herself while dating to be just what I wanted? Once committed, and a couple of children later, there's no point in keeping up the act. Then you see who they really are. My final question is, how do you know what someone is really like while dating? Are they being honest, or are they just selling you what you want to see?
R23Olympic R23Olympic
46-50, M
18 Responses Jan 12, 2013

I think that you need to trust your intuition about all people. The bait and switch is one of those culturally acceptable horrors of relationships. Men and women are guilty of it. People that are honest often come across as naive. It is discouraging to think that trust makes you so vulnerable to peoples " being human"

My spouse has changed a lot since we first married. She doesn't like to do the things that we used to do together. She's become more bitter and paranoid. She stopped working, and complains about everything. But for me, the big issue is that she gives me the cold shoulder routine all the time. Somehow every problem in the world is my fault. I work hard and provide a great lifestyle. I'm fit and an have lots of great qualities. Yet my spouse treats me very poorly. I'm tired of being yelled at for nothing, being blamed for things that are out of my control. She'll get mad over nothing, and then I'll be ignored for days on end. My spouse thinks I'll never leave. She is frequently mean to me, and if I say anything about it, she'll look me straight in the eye and say "You'll get over it!" We'll, she's right, I do eventually get over it. Only now, getting over it means moving on to someone who can actually be nice to me. I want to come home and look forward to seeing my spouse, not dread it.

"Only now, getting over it means moving on to someone who can actually be nice to me. I want to come home and look forward to seeing my spouse, not dread it."

Good for you!! {{{hugs}}}

Perhaps you should give couple's therapy a try, or she could see someone. Sounds like she has a lot of personal problems in her head to deal with. Maybe she wants it over. Maybe she doesn't know. What I do know is, not working and staying home all the time with nothing to keep your head occupied but your own mind is a downward spiral.

... or she could be sleeping with the mail man. Usually the paranoid are the one's making the trouble and passing the heat on to you.

IS your wife a different person from the lady you dated? Maybe the guy left because she didn't have wet wipes in the bathroom. Maybe she's been married several times because she's a nut case.

i think sometimes people do pull a bait & switch, but I don't think it's always on purpose. I think that sometimes a person projects how they really want to be.. especially if they have had failed relationships in the past. They may give... less than accurate portrayals of who they are because often they may not have realized their shortcomings yet. They may be trying to start with a clean slate. Now, as far as being honest about your past... ex-spouses, drug/alcohol abuse, number of children you have, etc... I think it should all be put out there. In appropriate timing. Not first date material. Yes, some people are just deceitful manipulators...but i think the majority of women out there are just trying to show their best features... just like we do with make up... have great eyes, play them up... have a great chest, show the girls a little, have a great it often, etc. everyone plays up their positive's human nature.

My position is different. I am a female who never wants to marry again. My marriage was so horrid and I felt so unloved I would never go through that again. So in that respect, I do not have to worry about the bait and switch.

Well, you married the wrong guy... or maybe it's you. I don't know so, I can't say.

This might be a good story to write. It seems like a shame that you might miss out on one of the best things in your life, just because the first try didn't work out.

That's a toughie. Yes many women do put on a show. Then there are many who don't. You should always be honest about things. Even the ugly ones. If your special someone can't love you as you are then they aren't worth your time

Fake people are fake period. It is not because they are women or men.Whether the majority are women or not, we can leave that to statistics.. rumour has it that the people who cheat most are men.

They do tend to cheat with women though sister O. Which would tend to indicate that similar numbers of chicks would be involved. Unless, of your typical woman who is receptive to cheating blokes takes on 100 or so concurrently.


lol so true... And statistically, reports are saying women are on a quick fast pace trend to cheat, just as much as a guy. I really don't think gender has anything to do with cheating.

Agree with you bro, on ..."it takes two to tangle" , but my reference of cheating was directed to married couples. In couples cheating men out number the women.
Most girls who cheat with married men, think they are the better bait only to discover later that, they have become "one more name on the man's list of conquered women". but not to mention that now days cheating women are on the increase after realising that while their men are out there doing what they want, women are at home raising children. I personally i believe in keeping to one partner but having lived a sexless married for 22 yrs!1 I have wished i had the guts to cheat too. Don't ask me why I stayed. Sometimes I ask myself the same question, one thing i have learned is that one has to be in the situation to really know how they will react. I have learn't my hard lesson.

2 More Responses

I took long to date, looking for an honest man. I finally found who seemed so perfect. I have always been honest and royal. If you put us together on a platform and asked people who they think is honest, have integrity and respect marriage values. I would rank far below him! why? because when he/we are with people he puts on a charm of the most irresistible,charming, sophisticated, honest, fun, loving, respectful,.... name it on earth!. But when the last person leaves scene the other personality takes over, and darkness sounds us. For years I thought I was going crazy, I have hard to read lots of books to understand why such people behave that way. Childhood trauma is the suspect.Once you understand that, humanity rules.Thinking that it was me who did not do the right thing. But shock hit me when i discovered that I was put there as a flag for him to look a settled married man with a wonderful wife on paper, great kids and family; while he roomed the streets picking all kinds of young women( have lost count), some half of his age. Lucky he does not touch me. What shocked me most is when I confronted him, he was arrogant enough to say that "who searches finds" meaning that I should not have known what he does. He is wonderful as long as i don't go into his dark side. From that day I came to accept that the man i married was a fake, he lied to me of who is. I still cannot get over my ability not to know who lies and who tells the truth. Truth is that you can never know till you live with someone and fight to see who fights fair. This should not discourage you. If you are in doubt, watch out how she reacts when you fight. Does she have empathy, remorse? Does she apologise,is she honest with you? Does she confront issues and solve them? On the other hand she could just be a wise person, who wants to protect herself in case your turned out not honest; in that case she would not have much to lose if you broke up. Now days when i look at people I cannot fail to imagine if they are acting or they are being themselves. If I was to get married again i would never open my mouth. I would join the Actors and actresses of this mostly fake world. But can i survive the darkens??? People like you and me who are truthful always suffer the most. I believe in total honesty in a marriage. People always know where to press our buttons, (maybe we have to accept that we are not wise)we are vulnerable to cruel people. I am still nursing my trauma, I don't know if could ever trust again, though i believe there are many decent and honest men and women out there. They are just hard to come by. Ever tried to look for a needle in hay? Those who are lucky to find honest men/women are blessed. The good thing is that eventually they cannot hide for long, the truth always floats.. Trust your wife till she lets you down. Good luck.

"watch out how she reacts when you fight. Does she have empathy, remorse? Does she apologise,is she honest with you?"

One of the things I noticed is that my wife never apologizes. I actually took note and watched for an apology on any topic. I waited several years and never heard one. About a year ago, I mentioned that to her, so since then I've heard two very small token apologies.

On numerous occasions, I've felt like my spouse doesn't trust me. It made me feel stupid for being loyal. Being faithful won't cure the suspicion. Over time, you start to think "well, I'm being accused, so I might as well do it." I don't want to be in a marriage if I start to think that way. The lack of trust has certainly helped to erode my marriage.

In what follows here-under I admit at the get go that I am projecting. So apply appropriate discounts.

I reckon that one is best served to be ones authentic self and see what that attracts into ones orbit - rather than adopting a 'hunt' position - because I believe that the 'hunt' position leaves you vulnerable to 'seeing' qualities in the 'quarry' that you want to see.

The 'see what you attract into your orbit' position is NOT in and of itself foolproof either of course. A skilled bait and switcher may be able to penetrate this position by giving off signals that they have qualities they don't actually have too.

In either scenario one does need ones bullshit antenna in operational mode. Difficulty can be though that it does take some years and practice to tune ones bullshit antenna in to the right frequency.

Were you bait and switched Brother R ??


But does that knowledge actually help you move forward in the here and now ?

Tread your own path.

Think "Job Interview". Everyone tries to portray themselves in the best possible light. Dating must be the same. It's only natural. The trick is - what does it take to reveal the truth of the person? To get them to take down the barriers and be themselves? I don't know, but I think we all want to know.

I still don't know the answer to that.

" Are they being honest, or are they just selling you what you want to see?"

your words..but, were you being really honest with yourself, and only seeing and hearing what you wanted to see and hear? It is a 2 way street.

It isn't all on the shoulders of the other person. You were there too.

I think that optimism is one of my better qualities. But along with that comes the notion of filling in the blanks with what you'd like, rather than what is real. I'll need to be more careful in the future.

In the future, I think we all need to be more careful. I think that as a group, we tend to be too caring, too loving, too forgiving, and too willing to look the other way. We put our partner first, and that is not always reciprocal, or in our best interest.

<p>We all put our best foot forward in all new situations. It is part of what everyone does. I have yet to see anyone in any social situation rationally and intentionally put him/herself forward in a bad light.</p><p>As we get to know the other person, we gradually become more comfortable in their presence and reveal more of our true selves. Depending on what is revealed, the other person can then decide if these qualities (behaviours, beliefs, etc.) are acceptable in a friend or partner. If what they see is UNacceptable to them, they can then choose to not continue the relationship.</p><p>The tricky part is when someone is DELIBERATELY seeking to cover up certain aspects of themselves - that is where the genuine "bait and switch" comes in. And when this is deliberate, it WILL continue until the other person is "hooked" - hence the fishing terminology!!</p><p>Personally I think it is not very likely that many people here (or elsewhere in real life) have been the targets of deliberate "bait and switch". IMO it is more likely that they have grown increasingly comfortable with the relationship, and as the early stage hormonal influences recede, they simply revert to type . . . .</p>

I think she just accidentally outed herself... If this is what she suggested her friend do, then you can be sure she used the same tactics when she "landed" you.

My exact thoughts, unjusted.

Part of this sounds like people are trying extra hard during dating to please their mate. In the process, they set themselves up for an unsustainable image after marriage. Then again, it's another thing to intentionally deceive someone into thinking that you are something that you're not. People certainly change over time, which further complicates things.

The term 'misogynist' was used earlier. I confess that I had to look it up. I would find it rare for any of the guys her to really hate women in general. Despite my marriage problems, I can't think of anything I like better than a beautiful woman.

My time is valuable to me. So the idea of deceiving someone and then having them discover the truth later on seems like a complete waste of time. The desired and expected levels of romance, passion and libido seem to be issues that are commonly adjusted to fit someones expectation. Are there any indicators to determine what someone is really comfortable with?

I hate to use sex as an example, but this is the ILIASM group. Before I was married, my spouse used to enjoy oral sex; both giving and receiving. Once married, things changed. Perhaps it was childbirth, or maybe something else, but she won't even discuss the topic any more. I greatly miss this experience in my life, though it isn't the end of the world. But I'm left wondering, did she really change, or was it just something she went along with until I was 'caught'?

I suppose the underlying question remains. Can you really tell if you are being deceived about what someone likes during dating?

I think you can - but maybe it takes maturity and experience to really be able to do this. As some wise person said "the only way to prepare for marriage is to get married". Until you have been through the experience you describe R23, you are unliky to even consider the possibility you are being "played".

To be fair about this.....think about the following...After leaving a long term sexless marriage and you meet someone new, and sharing your history that you have been in a sexless marriage for years, will be very awkward. That individual is going to have a lot of questions. The people here, in our group, know and understand the sexless situation.. But people unfamiliar with this are going to be unsure what to think. Think about all the comments we get here from people that don't have a clue. And so knowing when to share, and how much to share, needs to be thought about. There is no reason to share that personal information with every individual you meet..To me, you wait until you know the person..and that person knows you, and you really are attracted to one another. You wait until you feel your in a relationship with that person.. Meanwhile, I would keep my reasons for my divorce simple..That my spouse and I had moved apart emotionally, and there really was no relationship.

I was lucky in that the individual I met, is from EP, and so he knew my history..I was spared the awkwardness of having to deal with all of that.

I doubt I'd discuss my current relationship with a future mate. I'd rather focus on the here and now of a new relationship, rather than dwell on details about a prior one. That said, I'd like to be upfront about what I like and who I am. What I'd be concerned with is if someone took that information and quickly molded themselves into something they aren't, just to look better in front of me.

but you see, people want to know why the divorce happened..and for me after 43 years..people ask...why? what happened..? why now ?

People also change through time. Deceit may not be involved. When I was 21 I thought I'd enjoy sex with women. After one woman, and 20 cruel years later, I have changed. If I were to divorce and date hereafter, I'd have to honestly tell the date I am almost entirely exclusively autoerotic.

I don't believe she "marketed herself". I feel she honestly wanted a husband and children since it is in her woman makeup. Once she got it, she focuses her energy on other things in life. So it may seem intentional, but I believe she and all other women do it due to human nature. Sucks for us men, which is why the divorce rate is 50%. It is not rocket science.

After seeing just a couple comments on here, I'm pretty sure you ended up in a sexless marriage because you are a misogynist *******.

I second Maleficent77...

Let me ask you one simple question oms: how come HALF of us on here complaining of not having sex are women? HALF. Almost 20,000 on THIS WEBSITE ALONE. Are we all freaks of nature? Your comment is very insulting.

I'm sorry to see all of your anger. You must have a lot to tell a complete stranger what a horrible person they are. Hopefully you find some help.

My comments are simply what I experience, what I observe and what I feel. Nothing more, nothing less. Just adding to the thoughts that exist out there.

I love my wife, always have, always will. Just with middle age comes no sex. I have done a million things to figure it out, few work, and I'm still trying. I'm coming to a conclusion that human nature is what it is, nothing more nothing less.

Once again, I'm sorry you have such hate built up that you lash out to total strangers. I hope you find peace, that is what I'm looking for.

I wish I knew, it makes no sense in my world. I'm not trying to be insulting, just saying what I feel. Have you let yourself go? Is your man a jerk? No real man would not want to have sex with his wife, period.

I like your honesty, and am upset to see it branded as misogyny. I understand your compassion to both genders, but we cannot deny the truth because it is politically incorrect. Btw, a real man may not want to have sex with his wife if he has decided that the wife has not given what she should have to the marriage. Who am I to claim I am a real man, but that is my position.

ulae, thank you for your comment. It is nice to see someone reply without such anger. I really wish I could meet everyone who claims I am way off. It is just so hard to imagine. Obviously, we are all products of our upbringings and surroundings which vary greatly. But I still come back to human nature. A man can't lie next to an attractive woman and not want sex. There has to be something else.

Of course, people are on me for using the words "every, all, etc" . Again, there are always exceptions, but for the general discussion, I don't see it.

Yes, a man can lie next to an attractive woman and not want sex. If he would rather be passive aggressive and enjoys the power of refusal and denying her more. If he is questioning his sexuality (asexual or homosexual). If he has ED and is more afraid of that becoming known or feeling impotent again than he is of losing his wife/marriage.

Oms, it was THIS part of your reply that raises people's ire:
"I believe she and all other women do it ". YOU may believe that - but your beliefs are very unlikely to be correct. Are you sleeping with ALL women? As a happily married man, I'm assuming you have not had the experience of thousands of other women rejecting you - which might give some credence to your statement "all women". Then again, if thousands of women have rejected you, maye the problem lies with you . . . ?

You see, on this forum (and in most places in real life) people object to being lumped into a category based on one example. I see that men also are not exempt from your generalisations. "No real man would not want to have sex with his wife" - simply NOT true.

I recommend you try saying, "in my experience" or "this is what happened to me". Much more inclusive and CORRECT than trying to make YOUR experiences intouniversal reality.

5 More Responses

When I was young I saw getting married as one of the goals I wanted to achieve. I think a lot of girls do. This attitude can certainly lead to a bit of 'bait & switch' behavior. Too bad it's only with experience that we learn that happiness is the true goal.