When Wives Get This Blog Completely Backwards

I have a lot of female readers and some of them just love what I’m saying on the blog. And by love me I mean they get a little moist down below and they want their husbands to magically transform into the alpha beta hybrid I suggest. Then they throw this blog under their husband’s nose and generally beg him to start making changes.

It’s usually just a way of nagging him. Why won’t you go do this for me? Why can’t you just do that? I need you to blah blah blah. Why don’t you read Married Man Sex Life like I ask you to wah wah wah, Athol Kay is a very smart man and I chew through C batteries just thinking about him and if you did just some of what he said I might be happy in this relationship it’s all so easy he spells it out like a road map and you won’t ask for directions and I’m starting to think my mother was right about you and I’m not attracted to you anymore and you’re breaking my heart with all this.

So how is that working for you ladies?

It’s not working at all, is it.

So here’s my question to the wives that want the changes in their husband towards my alpha / beta hybrid.

Are you even reading the blog yourself?

Maybe you are the one that needs to learn the message of my blog.

You can’t really change him.

You can change you, and that change in you can cause changes in him.

Your relationship is becoming increasingly intolerable and you are talking to him about that, but you are taking no real action that makes it seem like the relationship really is becoming intolerable.

If your relationship was becoming really intolerable, you would be taking some kind of action towards addressing that which you find intolerable. Failing a positive response to what you addressed, then creating an exit plan to leave the relationship.

As an example – if the lack of him helping with chores was really intolerable like you say it is, you wouldn’t just follow him around the house bitching about it (talking) and still cleaning up after him (action). Your action is saying “it’s tolerable”. At some point you have to stop enabling the entire situation by your actions, and simply let whatever he didn’t do just pile up in a heap. That action says “I’m not going to do your work for you”.

You threatening divorce and yelling is just talk. You suddenly losing 30 pounds, dressing better and just starting to go to a mysterious place called “out”… that’s action.

Sending your husband to the blog is a good idea when he needs ideas, understanding and confidence. But if he already knows what he should be doing and the blog is just a secondary nagging system, it’s really not going to help.

Change you.

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Comments

  1. Julia says:

    Good points, Athol. Nagging is the most ineffective, irritating thing women can do in a marriage; and counterproductive – it wastes more energy and induces more stress to nag than to just do something yourself or work on self-improvement and let the chips fall wherever. I've found if I just step up and start doing something whether it's household chores/repairs or an exercise regime, my husband will eventually join in or take it up himself; no words necessary.

    (And he has no idea I read this blog!)

  2. Anonymous says:

    This is on the Money, I've explained this to my wife time and time again and still she don't get it, we take note of what you do OVER what you say.

    Also the level of emotional distress she generates over chores left undone compared to me is very different, I think this is also a big factor.

    FL

    "At some point you have to stop enabling the entire situation by your actions, and simply let whatever he didn't do just pile up in a heap. That action says "I'm not going to do your work for you"."

  3. aphron says:

    Agreed. If you expect someone to change his/her behavior simply because you wish it, you will be disappointed and bitter. It comes down to picking your battles.

    The longer a marriage lasts the more opportunity there is for bitterness to set in. Constantly worrying over little things only adds stress to already stressful life. Home becomes less a refuge and more a prison. Nagging leads to the nagger becoming background noise to the naggee. This adds to resentment and bitterness. Rinse and repeat.

    It comes down to deciding what is important. Is getting pissed about how an undershirt is folded really that important? No. To have a happy, loving marriage do not expect the other person to bend him/herself around your will like a pretzel.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Related to Julia's comment, if the wife steps up and does things herself doesn't that make the husband feel useless? I thought men liked to be the ones fixing the car and getting greasy and all that ultra male stuff. Wouldn't it make a husband feel like less of a man if his wife is the one doing car repair, lawn work, and that? Or are you saying the bloke would actually enjoy the chance to sit down with a beer more often?

  5. Dana says:

    I don't agree with this post at all. I'm a woman and a wife. I don't read this blog to get my husband to be more alpha. No way!

    Most of the alpha stuff I've been reading here is just an excuse for the male to feel superior, have his own way, be the ultimate decision-maker, get what he wants, and act self-centered without guilt.

    I would never refer this blog to my husband because I wouldn't want him doing most of the things Athol suggests.

    I began reading this blog out of curiosity. Thought it might give me insights into the male psyche. That interested me. But what I've learned about how men think, or at least the men who comment on this blog, has been largely disappointing. If anything, it's made me appreciate my husband and his kind, considerate personality even more.

    When I read comments by the subscribers, I often find myself thinking, "Wow, what a jerk. So glad I'm not married to that prick!"

    My husband and I don't worry about who is alpha in the house. There is mutual respect, not any dominant partner versus submissive partner.

    Nagging, such as mentioned in the post? No, you won't find that here. It's not necessary. We both recognize that we are part of a team, and we both contribute to that team in a variety of ways.

    The result is a happy, peaceful, love-filled home in which to raise our children and enjoy life. It doesn't get any better than that.

  6. Joe says:

    Dana, this blog doesn't reflect how men think in general. It does, however, reflect a frustration many men have with their wives and girlfriends. I personally find alpha/beta theory largely bogus and agree that it's an excuse for many men to act like jerks guilt free (problem is that they tend to attract women who like jerks and then wonder why their relationships suck.)

    In defense of Athol, though he gets a little carried away sometimes, he has some really smart observations and is a softie at heart who believes in treating women with respect. (I'm also quite sure he sometimes errs in thinking his cool moves impress his wife when, in fact, she just rolls her eyes and lets him live his delusion because she loves him regardless.)

  7. Dana says:

    @Joe,

    Well said. I agree with your comments.

  8. Athol Kay says:

    I agree that this blog doesn't mesh with what men think in general, that's precisely the point.

    I'm interested though Dana. If a man is in a marriage where he is denied sex very frequently by his wife, what would you recommend he do? And please assume that he isn't otherwise abusive or neglectful and helps out around the house already.

  9. Jack Amok says:

    if the wife steps up and does things herself doesn't that make the husband feel useless? I thought men liked to be the ones fixing the car and getting greasy and all that ultra male stuff. Wouldn't it make a husband feel like less of a man if his wife is the one doing car repair, lawn work, and that?

    Okay, so the guy feels useless and emasculated because his wife is fixing the car and the dripping faucet. Why is she doing those things? Oh, yeah, because he wasn't getting around to it. So, if he wants to feel better about himself and reclaim his masculinity, he can get off his duff and get to work.

    And that's Athol's whole point – you can't get him to be more helpful by nagging him. Instead, force him to react to a change you make in yourself.

    If he doesn't, well, he he wasn't going to anyway.

  10. Joe says:

    Okay, so the guy feels useless and emasculated because his wife is fixing the car and the dripping faucet.

    Or the woman actually knows how to fix the car and plumbing better than the man.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Doubt Dana will answer your question Athol, as it would prove that she's reading the words in the blog but not understanding any of it.

    Probably another feminist who thinks all marriages are happy-hunky-dory egalitarian paradises where nobody's sex really matters and as a result, nobody's sex really matters.

  12. Dana says:

    Athol said: "I'm interested though Dana. If a man is in a marriage where he is denied sex very frequently by his wife, what would you recommend he do? And please assume that he isn't otherwise abusive or neglectful and helps out around the house already."

    @Athol – I don't think there's any one answer. You have to find out WHY she is denying sex. Then solve the underlying problem. Some examples:

    If it's that she doesn't find sex enjoyable anymore, then figure out a way to make it better, more fun. Get creative!

    If it's that she's using it as a control mechanism, then find out what her real agenda is and get it resolved.

    If it's that she wants to feel appreciated and romanced, then try acting grateful and plan a romantic date night.

    If it's that she's too tired from work, kids, or some other time suck, then make changes in her schedule or the things that are her responsibility so that she has more time and energy.

    If it's that she's feeling too stressed, then determine what's causing the stress and work on eliminating it.

    If it's that she doesn't feel attractive, then find some way to make her feel beautiful and loved.

    In my opinion, the key is to find out what the real problem is and then come up with a real solution. And here's where I really differ with you, Athol, I don't ever think the solution is for the man to simply be more demanding, more forceful, more unappreciative, or to use your phrase, more alpha. If anything, unless the woman gets off on playing the role of the submissive (a la 1950's wifey), that behavior is only going to add to the tension in the house and make the woman even more resentful about giving in to sex.

    (Note to Anonymous 9:00 pm. I typed this response before I saw your comment posted just a minute ago, saying "I doubt Dana will answer your question Athol.")

  13. Athol Kay says:

    I think you're misunderstanding my entire approach Dana. I'm very clear that a husband needs to bring both Alpha and Beta traits to the table and they are two quite separate skill sets. It's really not Alpha or Beta, it's both.

    Essentially your solution that you're suggesting is "More Beta". But the majority of my male readers that are struggling with low sex marriages have already worn themselves to the bone trying to love / support / cater / nuture / romance wives that have less and less interest in them.

    The solution isn't to add yet more Beta, it's to add in some Alpha.

    The opposite problem is out there too, that of the complete bastard that does nothing in the relationship but demand hot food, sex and domestic chores. That's overly Alpha and very few men can pull that off for very long. Obviously the solution for the bastard is to add Beta trait goodness into the mix and gain some balance.

    But the basic problem for many men is that they become doormats for their wives and their wives detest them for it. And women tend not to have sex with husbands they detest. Hence add some Alpha being the standard solution discussed.

    I've never suggested men be unappreciative either.

  14. Athol Kay says:

    And incidentally Dana, I do understand that much of this is wildly counter to what most relationship advice is. It's taken me several years to learn this and come to terms with it. My younger self would have been appalled at what I believe and do now.

    It's been a long road to get here.

  15. Marcus says:

    Dana cracks me up

  16. Athol Kay says:

    Give her some time. Much of what Game covers is essentially the opposite of everything tells you about relationships. It's taken me years to get to this point. I don't expect people to get it all instantly.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I loved the post, and the comments! Funnily enough everything you've typed out happens in our marriage. I (the wife) just gave up on the nagging, and do it if it needs done. And of course, once I start doing anything. he simply follows too.

    Now I've tried to share this blog with him, give him ideas. Impossible. He's convinced he knows everything already. So, I read for my enjoyment.

  18. CSPB says:

    Dana's advice was all formatted as "If she…(feelings)…, then… he…"

    The presumption that it is still the man's responsibility to change and cause the wife to feel diferently is contrary to the egalitarianism she promotes. I'd like to hear from Dana what the wife should do to improve such a situation.

  19. Anonymous says:

    I agree with Julia that nagging is so ineffective…I used to nag my boyfriend to turn the headlights off in my car when we parked, and he would get so frustrated with me. So one day I decided not to. He forgot, my battery died, and it cost $70 to jumpstart since no one was around with cables. But guess what? He never forgot again and I don't nag him at all about that anymore (and try hard not to about other things). Was it worth those $70? I think so! We joke about it now and have a better relationship as a result. The trick was to make it a humorous situation and NOT to nag after the fact (as in, "I TOLD YOU not to do that blah blah blah")…People have this strange urge to say "I told you so" when it doesn't fix anything at all.

  20. Dana says:

    @CSPB – Yes, my advice was formatted into if/then sentences. Was just a writing style.

    I don't presume that it's only the man's responsibility to change. Athol posed the situation as the man's problem; he wasn't getting enough sex. So I wrote my response with the man taking the first course of action.

    I believe if a problem exists in the relationship, then both partners need to discuss the situation. They have to understand each other's point of view and come up with a solution or compromise that works for both of them. Seems logical, doesn't it?

    If only one partner buys into the solution, the problem will persist. Then all you have is a relationship strained with tension and disappointment.

    @Marcus – Glad I amuse you, although I have no idea how.

  21. Dana says:

    @Athol – I liked your comments about finding a balance between Alpha and Beta behavior. You're right, nobody likes or respects a doormat; and the "complete bastard" as you described him is even more distasteful.

    Balance is a good approach. I think you get that, but some of your male subscribers don't, as evidenced by their comments. Seems some of the men here view your suggestions to be more Alpha as a license to be selfish, forceful and demanding in their relationships. And that's not something any woman/wife will appreciate.

  22. Athol Kay says:

    Dana – but if the husband is a doormat… the solution is for him to become more "selfish, forceful and demanding". And the wife will usually respond to that positively.

    It's how the balance is restored.

  23. Novaseeker says:

    The issue with the "if we just discuss it openly and rationally, and have good will, it will be fixed up just fine" is that discussion doesn't fix attraction-related issues. Attraction isn't something negotiated, bargained, agreed-upon and so on. It's deeper than that, and in quite a few marriages, it is a thread that has been dropped by one or both parties.

    What Athol is trying to get at here is that there are *actions* men can take which will help to improve their attractiveness to their wives, which will in turn improve marital sex lives. That kind of thing isn't really subject to being negotiated, really. It's much more raw and visceral than that and much less logical/cognitive in nature.

    Regardless of what the relationship gurus tell us, it isn't the case that these kinds of issues can be discussed/negotiated away.

  24. Anonymous says:

    @Joe: Your comment is exactly what I've been scared of in my marriage.

    If he wants to feel better about himself and reclaim his masculinity, he can get off his duff and get to work.

    …If he doesn't, well, he wasn't going to anyway.

    I don't want to leave him, but I don't know how much longer I can run the household by myself. I didn't want a big baby to take care of, I wanted a husband!

  25. Jenny says:

    I agree also that nagging is ineffective, though I think there's an important issue being overlooked here – taking positive action is a great approach (losing 30lb, etc, if it's "needed" – some men don't even appreciate their acceptably sized women!) but if quitting the enabling behaviour doesn't help, creating an 'exit strategy' can be a painful and difficult decision to make. It'd be nice if we all had the confidence to walk out on a relationship (rent/mortgage/kids, etc, not withstanding) and onto a better life, but the black & white approach isn't always realistic and doesn't necessarily ring true.

    I don't really disagree with anything that's being said here (or elsewhere on your blog) but I know that emotions can complicate things greatly when love lingers despite an unhappy domestic situation.

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