The Betaization Cure: Do Stuff That You Like For A Change

There’s a lot going on when you’re married with kids. In terms of the sex ratio at home I’m outnumbered 3 to 1. Sometimes I wonder how life would have turned out with a son or sons, but it’s kinda hard to imagine beyond having to attend sports team events a couple times a week. And don’t get me wrong, I love my girls, I wouldn’t swap them for anything.
Anyhow at times the place gets a little heavy in la femme that I just have to take a break from it and do something that I enjoy.
Obviously writing is part of that, but also getting out and watching a movie with things blowing up and more cleavage than plot points is fun. I check and see if anyone else wants to go, but then I go regardless of followers. So last weekend I saw Iron Man 2 by myself. We’ll probably get it on DVD later, but I wanted the big screen for it.
I also love hard rock / metal / grunge and it’s just not a favorite musical flavor for anyone else but me. Jennifer still tells horror stories about her Freshman year at college with the Def Leppard loving roommate. LOL Def Lepard one of my favorite bands, so I love it and it gives her PTSD. Sometimes we’ll go as a family to the same place in separate cars, it gives us both a little space and slightly deaf daddy can create a public noise disturbance all the way home. It energizes me.
Likewise exercise time is pretty much me time. I work out… probably less than I should, but generally more and better than I have for almost my entire life. It’s stress relieving and good for me. I dislike thinking about exercise but like having done it. Weights are key. The rowing machine is much more enjoyable with porn with the sound off.
I’ve never been a huge sports fan, but I love messing about with a soccer ball. We have a pee-wee sized one that my youngest and I play with inside the house. I’ve not broken too many things with it. Well… nothing Jennifer needs to know about anyway. I’ll stop and watch soccer once in a while and same with MMA too.
My general time sink is online gaming, and I’ll player vs player for hours if nothing else needs to be done. I actually have to watch that a bit as I find it very addictive. I’ve been World of Warcraft free for six months lol. One of the things I like about League of Legends is the more defined game times of about 40 minutes. I can play just one.
The point is there are a lot of pressures on men to turn into de facto women once the wife and kids arrive. The Game word for that is “Betaization”. The trouble is that the majority of Beta Traits are vital for keeping your relationship together and everyone happy and healthy. But swing too far in that direction and kill off all your male interests, you actually start to lose some of your appeal. If you start cutting out all the things that you enjoy in order to try and make your wife happy, it won’t make her happy, but it will make you unhappy. And an unhappy man isn’t particularly sexy and attractive. So eventually she’ll just start to loathe you.
Your wife was attracted to a man, she doesn’t need you to turn into her BFF girlfriend.
Ironically, despite the final outcome that will turn her off, many women grate on their man to give up his male interests in order to please her. In the short term it may well please her, but continue on this path long enough and it won’t.
So don’t be afraid to get out and do something you’d like to do if you’re not already. If you’re at all clingy on her she will love you out of her hair for a few hours. How can she miss you unless you’re gone?


  1. Miles Anderson says:

    I sometimes question the use of the terms Alpha and Beta wrt Humans but I think the idea of bring strength to a relationship is important. Just as two strong people (not in terms of dominant but in terms of abilities/interests/skills) create synergy for an even strong union two weak people tend to create negative synergy and self destruct. Spend every day actively learning and doing. Some of it will be for yourself and some will be for the union. But unless you and your mate are the same person it won't all be the same. And if you are the same person I doubt it is a good relationship. Maybe its the old "opposites attract" aphroism or a David Deida polarity concept but like people should be friends, not lovers.

  2. Couldn't agree more something I'm doing now for myself is building a life for myself.I have started a martial art and it is a late class so i still get to see the kids.In the past I have always felt guilty about going to such classes as I felt I should be seeing the kids ( I work shifts so not home every night).I watch a bit of sport,and workout 5 times a week.It keeps my spirits up

  3. My college roommate listened to Billy Joel – the album with "We Didn't Start the Fire – on loop. Def Leppard would have been a kindness.

    I had to sit through Ironman 1 – twice, I think. I'm not doing Ironman 2. My house is the opposite of yours; it's an estrogen desert. I can and have sat through LOTR marathons, Narnia movies, Batman, Ironman, Robin Hood, X-men, Ninja Turtles (with my son) and endless dry documentaries with my husband, but I am not doing Ironman 2. They don't make me watch that one, and I won't make them sit through Anne of Green Gables or Pride and Prejudice. That is more than fair.

  4. wonkawilly says:

    Ironman 2 wasn't nearly as good as Irnoman 1.

    Although I've seen it twice already.
    Went to see it in Imax with my brother the night it came out. Then my crush wanted to go see it, so wound up seeing it again – I made her pay for the date though since it was her idea and I had already seen it. So, at least it didn't cost me anything to see it a second time.

  5. Flahute says:

    I'll share 2 stories to reinforce this point. I am the adventurer type, my wife is a big city girl. When we first started dating, I was transitioning from backpacking to whitewater and sea kayaking as my main interest. These things involve 3-5 day trips usually. After we married I also pursued hang gliding for a year but then focused on kayaking. After our first child was born, we got in a fight because I was planning a kayaking trip. She claimed that it would be too hard on her to take care of the kid alone, with commuting to day care and to work and that I was being selfish and insensitive. So I didn't take the trip and decided for the good of the family that multi-day trips were no longer possible. In retrospect, I think this was a betaizing situation and I failed. Even thought I came up with a tactical plan to make it work, I couldn't break through the resistance she had to me going off and having fun and sticking her with the childcare. To her it wasn't fair. (As an aside, our marriage started out as an equal parenting thing, over time I have made it clear that childcare is the primarily the mother's responsibility).

    Since I am not one to give up my lust for adventure, I needed to find something more local to pursue that fit my new family lifestyle. I did trail running to keep in shape, but that wasn't enough for me. There was one sport I had always wanted to try and that was cycling, specifically road racing. I had been a crazy BMXer as a kid and always loved bikes. So I told my wife I was going to buy a race caliber bike and start riding. 5 months later I told her I was joining a racing team. 4 months later we got in a fight where she was complained that I was often gone for 4 hours at a time riding my bike. I told her, "When I told you I was going to race, what did you think I was going to do? If I said I was going to run a marathon do you think I would just show up to the race without having trained?" This was a big issue between us. I raced and trained and she pretended it didn't exist. She never came to a race, she never asked me how my races went and we never talked about it. I ploughed on, I didn't care. I do this for me. 2 years later I finished the season ranked #1 in the state and her attitude finally changed. She was finally on board. Now she is supportive, now she asks me about the race, and now she brags about me to her friends. WTF! Did she really not understand my dedication and how serious I was?

    Men, don't give up your life for your wife. Live your life like you would live it without her (minus the other women of course). Live your passion, leave some room for her.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Would it be too "beta" to send both Dad and pre-school son for "man time" together? If I remember correctly, you said before that caring for children was a "beta" activity…so does it not count as "man time" if he's also being dad?

  7. Athol Kay says:

    Some good responses here thank you.

    As to wether or not time with a pre-schooler is "man time" or not, my feeling is probably not. However as the kid gets older, the male interests can come in more and more. Sports, martial arts, power tools!

    Kids do love rough but safe play with daddies.

  8. Susan Walsh says:

    This post is right on! I know from experience that when my husband is unhappy for whatever reason, my attraction for him falls off a cliff. It can't always be helped – he should be able to vent about work when he comes home, but a little bit of "takeaway" and "me time" is good policy.

    It's well known that women go bonkers when their husbands retire – they need to do exactly what you're prescribing here.

  9. Meg at Demanding Joy says:

    You are SO right! I am attracted to a man who has his own life and his own interests. If he isn't happy, I'm not happy. And if he's trying to be my girlfriend, I'm really not happy. I respect my husband's desire to go shoot guns and see science fiction movies and do other dude stuff that I don't care about. And I would never dream of asking him to do chick stuff with me. It's because we're not joined at the hip that we do enjoy our time together.

  10. Anonymous says:

    great post.

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