bait and switch marriage

Bait-And-Switch: Can a Marriage Founded on False Pretense Succeed?

bait and switch marriage

Bait-and-switch, hook, line, and sinker. Did your carrot end up being a rotten tomato?


Although I’m long divorced, issues from my marriage still come up periodically. If I’m working with clients who have issues similar to the ones I dealt with in my marriage, my mind will start ticking and reliving those times. Not a bad things since some of my best article ideas come up when this happens.

My marriage was virtually sexless from day one. The relationship had been normal in that area until we said, “I do,” and then everything changed. Thirteen years into the marriage, my ex informed me that he had never felt that “sex was a big deal.”

He pretended to have the same level of interest in an intimate relationship that I had, right up to the point of reeling me in, hook, line, and sinker. I often hear men talk about how women use the old “bait-and-switch.” According to some men, women play a role and then change completely after a commitment is made.

It’s been my experience that women aren’t the only sex to engage in bait-and-switch behaviors.

And the damage to a relationship and marriage is immeasurable. Not to mention the emotional upheaval it can cause a spouse when they find themselves married to a person who barely resembles the one they fell in love with.

I recently received an email from a woman who was questioning her own sanity and her worth as a person. She had dated and married a man who was into hiking, fitness, and taking care of himself just as she was. He was all about working out together, planning and cooking healthy meals, and all things that were important to her.

They got married; he became a couch potato, gained 80 pounds, and started telling her she was being abusive if she broached the subject of how much he had changed since they married. On top of missing the man, she fell in love with, she was spending a lot of time beating herself up emotionally because she was buying into his accusations of abuse.

And who wouldn’t? She married one person and quite literally ended up with another.

I believe that most people go into marriage with the goal of becoming one, building a relationship with each other that is beneficial to both. Even those who wear a mask and fear exposing who they are or what they feel desire a close, loving relationship with their spouse.

A marital foundation built on pretense is doomed from the start. No one can pretend to be someone they aren’t indefinitely, and no one should marry someone who isn’t fully aware of their deepest being and beliefs.

To do so sets your marriage up for failure and your future spouse up for extreme emotional pain. And, what do you think pretending to be someone you aren’t meant for you and your future? Want to find someone who loves you for you? Take the mask off, be yourself and find someone who finds every aspect of you irresistible. Your marriage, spouse, and family court system will be forever grateful.

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