Someecards Logo
Husband hears wife say, 'settling isn't the worst thing,' explains why she's wrong. UPDATED 2X

Husband hears wife say, 'settling isn't the worst thing,' explains why she's wrong. UPDATED 2X


"AITA for telling my friend that being settled for isn’t the worst thing in the world?"


My friend Anna and I were talking about her dating life. Anna is an incredibly beautiful woman and she could have her pick of men. She broke up with her boyfriend because she was out of his league and he knew it. He would act in insecure ways. Anna stated that she didn’t want to settle for someone less than the best.

She asked me why would anyone settle and brought up my marriage as a positive example of love. I told her that my husband settled for me and he wasn’t attracted to me and we still had a happy marriage. Being settled for isn’t the worst thing in the world.

My husband Allan and I are happily married high school sweethearts. He was heavily bullied in middle and high school. When I moved into his hometown in sophomore year, I stood up for him. By the end of senior year, he had friends and he asked me to prom. 10 years later, we are happily married.

However, I know that my husband doesn’t find me attractive. I’m naturally taller and more muscular than the average woman. It’s a huge insecurity of mine. A year after we married, my husband drunkenly confessed that he didn’t find me attractive (he prefers petite women with delicate facial features) but he was grateful for what I did and felt obliged to thank me.

Which is why he asked me out to prom, why we dated throughout college, why he proposed. He still loved me very much but wasn’t attracted to me. The next morning he was hungover and had forgotten his confession. He doesn’t drink much because he doesn’t have a filter and tells the unvarnished truth.

I felt crushed but our marriage was very good otherwise. I never told him what he said that night. He was a great husband. I don’t think most men are attracted to the way I look anyways.

I explained this all to Anna and she was grateful for the advice. That night, Allan started crying. He was crying silently but I woke up. I hugged him and asked what was wrong and he admitted he overheard our conversation.

I didn’t expect him to overhear since I was in the basement but he heard his name and decided to listen in. I apologized for hurting his feelings but it just made him sob harder. I don’t know what I did wrong/if I did anything wrong? AITA?

Edit: I wasn’t advising Anna to settle. She would never be happy settling for someone. I just told her that settling isn’t the worst thing in the world and my marriage is one of settlement. My husband settled for me and we’re happy. My advice was to stay true to herself and her beliefs. If she’s not happy, then the relationship can’t move forward.

Here were the top rated comments from readers after the OP's initial post:


NTA but you need to talk to your husband about this. Either he is really struggling with guilt about his confession or is really triggering with unhappiness in the relationship, and either way you two need to talk about it. Also whew you are a saint for dealing with that confession so gracefully.

The OP responded here:


I have tried to talk to him about what he overheard. He has just started crying, sometimes even sobbing, and I just comforted him. I didn’t want to hurt him more so I’ve left the topic alone for now until he can tell me how he feels.

I don’t think he’s unhappy in our relationship but you never know. I wish I was a saint. It would probably hurt less but I love my husband and didn’t want to hurt him by bringing up his confession ever.


I don't think you are the asshole in this absolutely not in anyway. But I am curious if your husband ended up talking to you about it?

The OP again responded here:


No, we haven’t really gotten around to it. He’s been down for the past few days and any time I’ve tried to gently prod him, he started crying and I comforted him. I’ve decided to leave it alone until he feels comfortable to talk but I feel guilty in case I did something wrong to hurt him that deeply.


It sounds like he thinks you think you settled for a guy who doesn’t find you attractive. Like he broke both your hearts.

One month later, the OP returned with an update.

"(Update) AITA for telling my friend being settled for isn’t the worst thing in the world?'


Hello, I’m back with a short update. I got a lot of messages on my post and it was a bit overwhelming. I want to say I am a people pleaser not just for my husband but for my friends and family too. I want them to be happy. I love my husband and want the best for him. We are very monogamous and I value fidelity.

We had sessions of couples therapy and he now has a personal therapist. It was surprisingly easy to find someone that suited us but I did pay a lot of money for our sessions but they left me feeling baffled.

Our counselor was a no nonsense but comforting older woman. We went through our life, how he was bullied, how we met, how we married, our careers. I told her about how he had drunkenly told me he wasn’t attracted to me but that didn’t matter because we loved each other and I don’t know what made him upset.

She asked us honestly if we wouldn’t be happier as best friends but married to other people. Allan adamantly said no. She brought up affection, love life, those things. We told her we had an active love life with a couple quirks and we’re very affectionate, etc. which she focused on. She basically said someone is lying at some point because you can’t have all of those thing together.

She asked Allan to walk through his attraction and he snapped and said he didn’t want to talk of having disgusting/bad thoughts about me. It was a very long conversation after and I’m still confused but essentially he thought that anyone sexualizing or having those kinds of thoughts about me was bad, especially other people.

He loved me for me. It wasn’t even about me being his wife, or me being a woman, or those common things. He thought anyone who had thoughts about me was bad and I should be protected from them.

Allan told the counselor that I was too soft and gentle and pure to think that there are bad thoughts about me and bad people. I’ve never heard that before from anyone. I told our counselor nothing bad has happened to me.

I was worried if Allan had trauma in his past that made him wary of others since he had been bullied so viciously in school but he said that I was thinking of him again and I should think about myself. He said I still didn’t realize that the world is scary for me.

The counselor asked about any guilt he felt about attraction and he broke down. A couple of years ago, I had intensive surgery and Allan helped me with everything, even eating, showering, and getting around.

He confessed that when he helped me with bathing or dressing me, he accidentally looked more than he should and he could feel that I was starting to realize he was having those thoughts about me and shut down.

I don’t really remember that but he’s my husband. I didn’t and don’t mind if he looks. He talked about how much he loves me and wants to spend the rest of his life with me.

My counselor said I have grown up to think of others wants and desires above my own and I do have people pleasing tendencies but on the whole I’m pretty mentally healthy. I got a few booklets and packets to fill out.

My husband was told he needed intensive therapy as soon as possible. He had his first session a few days ago. I don’t know where this is going or what happened to make him think the way he does. He didn’t grow up in a religious environment. His parents are very affectionate and have a strong marriage. I still love and support my husband.

Here were the top rated comments from readers after the OP's first update:


Oh wow! This is NOT how I expected the update to go but it makes so much sense. I thought YOU would have had the serious trauma and that's where the people pleasing tendencies come from. Turns out that doesn't have anything below it and your husband has the serious trauma.

I'm glad he is getting help, and it sounds to me like he said that because he was projecting his own shame for being SO attracted to you. I hope that he has significant healing from his trauma, and that you can start to heal your self esteem now that you know that none of this was a reflection of you at all.

The OP responded here:


I have no real trauma. I get up happy, healthy, and well loved. I’ve always been a people minded person. I’ve taken care of my siblings as the oldest daughter but that was because I wanted to, not because my parents forced me to.

Because I was taller and looked older than the other children, I’ve always been treated as older and more mature than my age. It was what confused me about my husbands comments on me being more innocent and basically more naive than others and how worried he was about me.

No one has ever said that about me. I don’t know where my husband’s trauma comes from but we’ll work through it together. I know he will heal and we’ll be stronger.


Honestly, you just seem like a really wonderful person. I personally have an extensive trauma history, and the two best predictors of recovery are a strong therapeutic alliance with your therapist and a strong support structure.

If your husband is finally in therapy and taking it seriously, there is no doubt in my mind that he will heal from this, whatever the root of it is. I wish you both the absolute best. If you feel comfortable doing so, please update us at some point in the future.

The OP again responded here:


Thank you for your well wishes. and I will update in the future.

Six months later, the OP finally returned with an update.

"(Update 2) AITA for telling my friend being settled for isn’t the worst thing in the world?"


Hello I am back with some updates. My husband Allan and I still go to marriage counseling but he quit therapy because he said it made him worse. We found out a lot during therapy. Much of his trauma came from school where he was being brutally bullied.

The adults turned a blind eye, his friends abandoned him, and he couldn’t tell his parents. So he felt alone until I arrived. I was well liked and because I protected him the bullies stopped and people were nice to him again.

He loved me and saw me as his savior. The problem was his mental state wasn’t good. I think my husband was in the process of being diagnosed, but he has intrusive thoughts.

I’ve always been taller and more muscular than other kids and treated as older. I’m still obviously female, just one that’s naturally taller and stouter. With beauty standards emphasizing small and thin, I always felt weird about my body.

But that doesn’t stop creepy men and it didn’t stop teenage boys. And his bullies made comments about me that are degrading but not atypical for cruel teenage boys.

Some of what they said matched his thoughts because they were normal thoughts, intrusive thoughts, or just fantasies. He had a lot of fantasies and a lot of intrusive thoughts about me.

It confirmed to him that people have bad thoughts about me and he is just as bad but the difference was he could control it. So he made a decision not to be attracted to me.

He said the more he got to know me, the more pure and precious I seemed and the less he could let the rot out. He had to keep me safe because the world would destroy me. And the comments he made when he was drunk was one of deep denial and trying to reassure me that he didn’t have disgusting thought about me.

That does explain some things about how my husband behaves around me and especially in the bedroom. It also explains why he’s very protective of me. He’s always been an adoring husband which is at odds with someone who is not attracted to me.

The bathtub memory affected him a lot because he could rationalize a lot of things but for the first time I was vulnerable physically and in need of his help and his fantasies and intrusive thoughts got worse.

Some of the therapy was to try to get me off the pedestal but it didn’t really work and his intrusive thoughts got worse. He said he had to quit and I supported him. He told me some of his fantasies and some were normal and some were disturbing I told him that I loved and trusted him. Our marriage is strong and I will stay by his side and help him.

Here were the top rated comments from readers after the OP's final update:


Idk why but this one just left me… uneasy?


Which, to me, means it’s probably real. Very little in life is black and white, especially relationships. So to hear that two people have landed in a “happy marriage”, but yet have some deep seated trauma it is built upon, feels about right.

I hope they continue getting help and are able to nourish the healthy parts of their relationship while viewing some of their individual weaknesses with love and kindness.


The fact that he's deified her to this point is very disturbing.


Wow. There's a lot going on here and honestly I'm not sure that hubby is going to get past his hero-worship of her. Especially if he's refusing therapy. If I were her, I'd be concerned that things might get worse.


I don't think it's hero worship. It looks like that at first, but as someone who HAS intrusive thoughts... a lot of comments here are completely ignoring them and focusing on his trauma or "hero worship" but to me, the intrusive thoughts explain everything.

She touches very lightly on intrusive thoughts. She doesn't actually describe what those intrusive thoughts are, but the impression I get is that they're probably rape related. I hope it doesn't sound like I'm pulling that completely out of my ass or that I'm accusing him of being a bad person, not at all.

Intrusive thoughts don't reflect on who you are as a person or they wouldn't be intrusive. I say that because they seem to be specifically triggered by his attraction to her, AND because he feels protective of her.

He may be getting these awful, vivid mental images and thoughts of assaulting her that he can't control and being protective of her and quashing his attraction is how he copes.

When I was a teenager I used to get intrusive thoughts about pedophilia. I wasn't worshiping kids or attracted to them, I was just convinced that I was some dirty piece of garbage who'd one day act on my thoughts and assault a child.

If that kind of behaviour is fixated on one person then it could look like hero worship from the outside because you're treating them like a precious thing to keep the thoughts at bay.

Thankfully having a good sleep schedule and simply being aware that intrusive thoughts aren't something I can control actually made them go way down. They used to torment me. That poor man.

People don't talk about how crippling intrusive thoughts are because of the shame. I thought I was a pedophile, no way was I going to talk about that. I'm nervous just posting this comment. He needs medication. When I was on antidepressants for a while it stopped them entirely.

So, what do you think? If you could say anything to the OP, what would you say?

Sources: Reddit,Reddit,Reddit
© Copyright 2024 Someecards, Inc

Featured Content