Hot Husband, Nervous Wife

I’ve been having this slew of panic stricken messages from a forty-year-old wife worried that her eternally faithful husband is going to cheat on her or just dump her like expired milk. He’s handsome, well positioned at his job, good at it and surrounded by young hotties. There’s no reported tip offs that he’s cheating or thinking about it beyond all purpose attraction to young hotties. (I have a touch of that myself. I also breathe in and out repeatedly during the average day.)
But my Male Mid-Life Crisis post has given her the heebiee-jeebies because, well… she’s forty and he could dump her and basically do better than her. It would be fairly logical if he did actually. Lose a forty, win a twenty-five and head to the bedroom. What’s not to love about that if you’re the husband? Wouldn’t that be the entire point of learning Game in the first place?
Some other things to think about… If it’s an early twenties woman with an early forties man, then that can work reasonably well as a relationship for quite a long time. But once you start hitting forty and sixty together, it’s really starting to be likely that the man is starting to slow down a lot and she likely isn’t. That can create a marked shift in the relationship and there’s probably a marked reduction in her interest in him as she hits her Female Mid-Life Crisis. He might end up celebrating turning sixty quite alone in comparsion to the kids and grandkids pile-on that would have happened if he’d stayed with his first wife.
Should he get embroiled with an affair and end up dumping the first wife, there’s only a 3% chance that his affair partner will end up being is second wife. Affairs rarely turn into permanent relationships. Those that do turn into marriages fail more frequently as after all… you both know than neither one of you can really be trusted.
I suspect that the mid life crisis period is really just a one to two year period where you make an unconscious decision about trying to have more children before the fertility ends. So one of the biggest things to really think about is whether or not you really want more kids. For myself – kinda, sorta, maybe, I dunno…. oh actually that would ruin everything else I have planned for myself. Jennifer and I are just six and a half years away from our youngest being in college. I’m two-thirds of a way through the kid raising marathon, I’d really rather not ride a chute all the way back to the starting square.
So hooking up with a younger woman is probably going to have her keen to start progressing things towards the maternity wing of the nearest hospital in fairly short order. That being the point of her getting with you in the first place. So that’s the logical direction you’ll be heading in. For myself, six years from now I’m meant to be an International Man of Marital Mystery – not picking up a kid from a Kindergarten. Oh hell no.
So despite the natural desire to find someone young, hot and tight, there’s some other good reasons to stay married and play it through with the first wife. Provided of course she’s basically holding up her end of the bargain being a functional adult, generally good company and happy to have sex with you.
For the wife in this situation, it’s really all just the same old thing to do as you’ve always needed to do. Stay in shape as best you can. Dress attractively. Have fun sex together. Really seek to find out if there’s something sexual for him that you can do, that you haven’t being doing up until now. Do things together. Talk with him and let him know you admire him. Most men have a huge weakness to women that genuinely express admiration to them… so you should do that rather than someone else meeting that need.
Affairs develop as fantasy experiences. So do let him know that you can understand him looking, but you’ll bump back very, very hard if it ever turns into touching. It actually helps a lot to hear that from your wife once in a while.The good news is that if he hasn’t cheated on you by now, he’s probably not going to cheat on you ever. The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. So maybe relax just a little.
The other thought I have is this… I know that you had begged him to read this blog, but he didn’t want to. But maybe he does read and he’s got you all a little nervous and worked up about him. Maybe he’s got you right where he wants you…


  1. I love love love love love this post. You have no idea.
    I even blogged it:

  2. Anonymous says:

    If sexual interest and drive is tied in to spreading genetic seed then why not do that? Have children ? Why consider that a bad idea for life even at late thirties and later. Not all attempts at any age end in pregnancy or the successful completion of one either. Thinking of things this way meant my husband and I did not tangle with the side effects of various birth control on our sex life. We have a modestly large family of intelligent,dynamic children and grandchildren. Our intense attraction may have been and still is,related to genetic issues but we actually carried through and had the result instead of panicking about our future. We are now doing many of the things we enjoy that don't directly involve family life but checking in with my husband on whether this thwarted other plans of his,I quote: "Honey,not at all. It was a pleasure all the way." Many readers will never know the particular feeling of hot intense attraction to their spouse,the exciting pregnancy result,the anticipation,the new baby and the bustling happy home of a truly full house. My husband's increasing ability to lead and his enthusiastic willingness to have a family combined Alpha and Beta quite well. We now enjoy seeing our own children settled in happy marriages and my sons and son-in-laws having the same terrific combo of Alpha and Beta though I didn't know what I was seeing at the time. It just seems that people are needing to be so focused on keeping their spouse and sexually enjoying them they can't conceive (no pun intended)getting to the result,a child. Maybe that is the point of your blog,of course, helping people who are stuck but it seemed very manly to me to have my husband pull me to him with a glint in his eye quite regularly (and still does) knowing he would not flinch,but rather welcomed,a possible child that would result. He was confident he could handle this and I was confident our relationship in bed was not going to suffer as a result (intentional on my part). Maybe no one is blogging on that to help people to have more children.

  3. I must say I don't really understand this post. Sure there's plenty of reasons not to leave your wife for a younger model, but do people who cheat or leave their spouses really lay out the logic on a T chart before they make their decision? Everything you've written about cheating wives says they're in the grip of powerful drug cocktails that transcend rationality.

    Dalrock has posted a lot of research suggesting middle-aged women who divorce their husbands do so with a purely fantastic notion of what's ahead for them. Are we to believe men are more calculating than that?

  4. Badger- I think that men are more calculated in the sense that they won't actually leave a marriage quite as easily as a woman. Now whether or not they should cheat is a different story, particularly if they thought they could get away with it. The trick is for the wife to be very clear about the consequences of cheating.

    If this 40 year old woman has an attitude of self-pity that might make cheating seem more "safe". While I totally relate to the 40 year olds fear women in such a situation have to put on their game faces and not seem desperate. If a man tempted to cheat smells desperation in his wife he knows a little fling won't cost him his marriage.

  5. I think Athol nailed it on the male mid-life crisis explanation. It explains everything I've seen happen with other men and even myself. (In my case, we had another child right when some mid-life vibes were kicking in, and *poof* they vanished just like that.) I never even thought about it before reading Athol's post, but looking back, that's exactly what happened.

  6. Athol Kay says:

    Anon – Not everyone can afford to have an unlimited amount of children.

    Badger – The Mid-Life crisis is subconcious in nature. You don't really know what's going on, so you believe your feelings to be rational and true in nature. When you understand the dynamic, you can better predict it and cope with it.

    On a more personal level… I started heading down the road of dumping Jennifer for these exact issues. I'm sure you get that it would have been a horrible mistake on my part to do that. Understanding the dynamics helped us recover from a very difficult time together.

    On one level the entire effort of the blog and book is to carry me through my MLC productively rather than destructively.

  7. Anonymous says:

    The panic stricken wife may want to get her fears under control and have a good talk with her husband and/or therapist. My ex-wife left me because she was worried that I was eventually going to leave her. Between her low self-esteem, fear of failure of the marriage and some poor choice in advisors (newly divorced friends), she left me to 'protect' herself from the inevitable.

    I, of course, had no intention of leaving her and was doing everything to make the changes that I needed to make for the long-term benefit of the marriage. I became more alpha using game and it really worked to turn things around for the final 4 months, but I hadn't found this site yet and I didn't realize what a short window I had to recalibrate with beta. I'm sure that contributed to her 'feeling' of insecurity.

    Unfortunately for our kids and I, she had also met someone interesting and decided to leave while she was still young and attractive and could still find someone (her words).

  8. Athol Kay says:

    That's a sad story Anon. I'm sorry to hear it.

    You really do need to recalibrate with Beta if overly Alpha.

    I've seen a similar dynamic in a few other couples too.

  9. Athol- I laughed my ass off when I read this post. Seriously, a 40-ish guy needs to keep his ego in check when he fantasizes about 25 year old women. I have a beautiful 24 year old niece; recently she and her friend were visiting at my house making fun of the "gross old pervs" who ocassionally approach them. According to them, 40 seems to be near-decrepit LOL. In real life, the only middle-aged guy who ends up with a really pretty much younger woman is very handsome, very well-off or both; or he may have powerful connections that can help her career-wise. Your average middle-aged divorced man with his average job, child support/alimony payments, crappy apartment and ex-wife/children baggage has little to offer a pretty young woman. A woman in her 20's today isn't in any big hurry to settle down and churn out rug rats; the guys her own age are energetic, baggage-free,career-focused and much more naturally appealing to her. Of course, there are young women who marry divorced middle-aged guys; usually, this is because they are less attractive women with fewer options. They may also be financially struggling young single mothers looking for a provider/stepfather for their children, or immigrants looking for a visa. However, a pretty young child-free woman with a decent education has much better options. My niece once broke up with a guy (25)she really liked when she found out he had a child by his ex-girlfriend because she sure as hell wasn't going to play stepmother to anyone else's kids before even had any of her own.
    The fantasy of the middle-aged guy leaving his family for the cute young hottie is no different than the similar woman who dreams of leaving her nice-but-dull husband for Juan the hottie handyman. These are both understandable but largely unrealistic fantasies born of the usual disappointments and frustrations many people experience in mid-life. However, adults with family responsibilities need to deal with reality rather than attempting to escape into fantasy (if they actually try to live them out, the result probably isn't going to be the bliss they expected anyway) and start thinking with their brains rather than their hormones or their crotches.Really, people – grow up already.

  10. Athol Kay says:

    Cameron – she doesn't have to be cute, just younger. In fact she doesn't have to be anything other than available.

    I'm not saying it's a good decision, just that it's a temptation.

  11. generic viagra says:

    "If it's an early twenties woman with an early forties man, then that can work reasonably well as a relationship for quite a long time. But once you start hitting forty and sixty together, it's really starting to be likely that the man is starting to slow down a lot and she likely isn't." I wonder why this is the case. Isn't it so that the longer you spend time with each other, the better your understand and tolerate one another? A couple decades worth of age gap can't resemble that kind of closeness and familiarity.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I'm just wondering where all the average-looking (or, God forbid, homely) older women are going to be hanging out when they are dumped by their husbands of 25-30 years, who want a shot a the fountain of youth from a younger, average-looking woman?
    It sounds like my question has a measure of bitterness in it; it does not. I am an average-looking 53 year old endomorph (ie, not skinny). I love love LOVE sex (in fact, my previous husband once determined that on average, I have a sexual thought every 8 minutes) but if monogamy depends on looks, I'm screwed (figuratively, not literally). While I can control my weight with an enormous amount of effort, without surgery I can't control my wrinkles, and as I look at my aging parents (in their mid-70's), I see a horny old woman and a man who wants nothing at all to do with sex. Is that my future, if I happen to find another love of my life? Is it true, what my male friend says, "Very Long Term Relationships with the same woman are the cause of the huge numbers of ED medication commercials on TV during sports presentations".

    Should I just "get me to a nunnery"?!

    Is it only women who think "the longer you spend time with each other, the better your understand and tolerate one another" (as stated by generic viagra)?

  13. Anonymous says:

    My husband and I hadn't had sex,intimacy,love what ever you call it in since we were married 45 years ago. Thats right 45 years. After the I DOs were done and the wedding night was over sex was gone forever. The next day he move all his things down stairs and built a small apartment. Weve done absolutly nothing together. I guess after the shock and years of depression I finally accepted my fate in life. So here It's over 40 years later no nothing from husband and totally beaten down.

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