Girl Game: Husband Management…

What are women getting out of their side of the game?
Short answer: A happier husband. More sex. Companionship. Fun.
Longer answer: What you teach him that you like him to do.
Reward the behavior you want to see him increase, fail to reward the behavior you want to see him decrease.
If you want to have long talks with him, initiate them with him and thank him/praise him/pay more positive attention to him when you have long talks together (reward). When he’s not particularly being talkative, don’t fawn over him and specially cater to him to get him to engage in conversation (no reward).
It’s somewhat like toilet training. “This is where I would like you to poop.” “Oh! Good boy!” “Okay a little accident, next time try remember the potty.”  Obviously a grown adult isn’t a toddler, so you don’t use the kiddie tone with him, but the principle is essentially unchanged. It just takes some time to work through and succeed.
Make reasonable requests of him in a reasonable tone of voice. If you both can agree that the request is reasonable that he does a particular task, just assume it will be completed. If he screws it up or fails to do it, don’t bail him out or take it back over. Just let him clean up the consequences. If he completes the task / does it well… thank/praise/reward.
I don’t advise you try that with critical tasks straight out of the gate – like finding summer camp for the kids – because if that task is screwed up then you have a huge problem to deal with that you probably do have to bail him out of… which would be a reward for his failure to do it.
Start this with smaller non-critical tasks first and establish a precedent that if something is agreed as his task, he needs to complete it.
I am also serious on the reasonable tone of voice thing as well. You can ask him to do something completely reasonable, but if you ask in that whiny-bitch-nagging tone, you are Fitness Testing him and he really shouldn’t comply with you. (He should call you on that and refuse your request until such time as you can ask in a reasonable tone of voice.)
If all this sounds manipulative, it’s because it is manipulative. You are changing your behavior to influence his behavior. But then you being a whiny-nagging-screech who slams the dishes into the dishwasher is also trying to be manipulative. The silent treatment is manipulative as well. You doing everything for him and pouting about it is manipulative too. They are just not as effective as what I’m suggesting to get you what you say you want.
Sex and food are two of the best behavioral rewards out there. You shouldn’t starve your husband of either, but nothing says you can’t put in a little extra effort on either one to please him when he’s pleased you.
Though I wonder if the real question isn’t “What’s in it for me?”, but more like, “How can I get him to step up and be The Captain instead of being a crappy member of the crew?”


  1. Duke of Earl says:

    Hi Athol.
    Your book arrived. It's looking interesting.

  2. Anonymous says:

    "What are women getting out of their side of the game?"

    Well, I'm getting sex! ;)

    See my comments directed especially towards women on the
    "Girl Game: The Step and Turn Move" thread.


  3. Anonymous says:

    DING! The punch line in this post is the reference to the Captain/First Mate post. That's why I love the idea that you started this whole movement by addressing the men first. Remind them that they get to be men.

    Yes, I love the more fun aspects of this "girl game" series, and you did the right thing by pivoting this back to the husband. Not that all the responsibility rests on him, but this one aspect is his. The wife can't make him do anything; he needs to choose it. And the wife needs to participate in (reward?) the process.

    Be careful, Athol… with all this adoration you're likely to get a big ego!

    -a daily reader

  4. Thag Jones says:

    When he's not particularly being talkative, don't fawn over him and specially cater to him to get him to engage in conversation (no reward).

    Uh, that sounds like a reward for most guys – wife leaves him alone and shuts up, lol.

    She'll be stewing because he's not forthcoming, he thinks "I think I'll catch up on those monster truck videos on you tube…." She gets more pissy until she just can't take it any more and explodes at him, he has no idea what just happened.

    Maybe you should use "leave him alone" as a reward. ;)

  5. Anonymous says:

    Here is how the Beta issues play out at my house.
    I ask in a reasonable tone of voice. He "listens" but doesn't follow through. I ignore issue for awhile. Finally,when the issue gets too critical (I don't mean piddly things like cutting the grass,taking the garbage out,etc.)I ask again. He ignores it again. Finally, I get so stressed I mention it again (officially nagging by then?). Then he gets to jump at me for being a nagger (if repeating is nagging?) and he feels happily justified in ignoring me some more. Going to bed with him is the last thing on my mind then.

  6. Anonymous says:

    The men keep saying they want their wives to crave them and crave sex,right? Athol keeps saying if you make certain changes on the husband side your wife will have more sex with you. I'm not hearing many men trying this on any regular basis and reporting back. It could be a wife like me who has a high sex drive and as Athol says is responsible for her own orgasm more often the pleasure I "hand" to myself) has a spouse who is not trying at all to attract me (Alpha) or is half hearted Beta. We can want sex a lot but not with the man in this lazy position. It is just like the husband with a wife who doesn't take care of herself or her responsiblities or neglects attention to her husband–he still has a sex drive but it is waning for her. In my case he takes but does not give much Alpha or Beta.Maybe these guys are not as hot in bed or out of it as they think and their wives are dissatisfied and disinterested because of that. Just because a man is continually a horn dog and likes to get off does not make him hot or sexy. I get good ideas from Athol but I am skeptical these ideas will get me more sex let alone a hotter and more helpful spouse.

  7. Anonymous says:

    "It could be a wife like me who has a high sex drive and as Athol says is responsible for her own orgasm more often the pleasure I "hand" to myself) has a spouse who is not trying at all to attract me (Alpha) or is half hearted Beta. We can want sex a lot but not with the man in this lazy position."

    The ball is in your court Anon. Perhaps he is tired after working so hard.. What are you doing to rekindle his interest? Suggestive text messages indcating how much you want him and what you would like to do to him.. Nice back rub when he comes home from work.. Whisper something suggestive in his ear. Gropping him when he comes into the kitchen to get a drink… You get the picture.

    Make him feel like YOU want him! Continual subliminal negative vibes from you will just kill the mood.
    Another hint, stop rubbing one off, and taking the edge off your sexual appetite.. you have a husband ain't no better feeling than having him pounding away inside you..


  8. Anonymous says:

    Agree with Anonymous 10:12. Two different sets of women.Wife type 1: not interested in sex no matter who ,what ,when ,where,or how. Wife type 2: very interested in sex but not interested in you.
    Solution for wife 1: insist on medical or counseling intervention. Emphasize you are willing to stick with her and support her while she gets help but that sex is too important a part of your marriage to leave out indefinitely.
    Solution for wife 2: men LISTEN to Athol and keep at it. It might take awhile for her to realize the tide is turning and she is married to the sexy guy of her dreams. If you make no changes she is unlikely to desire to do all the sexy stuff she knows will turn you on.Sorry Athol,I don't think women are all that clueless on how to get a guy going. She just doesn't find him interesting or manly enough or she has tried to be sexy and he just sits there putting other things before her (oh yeah,guys do that,too) or he just wants to do the same old thing and wear the same old thing and touch her the same old way and be lame in the Beta when needed,etc.
    Also,agree with the idea that men think because they are sexually turned on easily and a lot and want a lot of sex and a little kink sex and maybe watch porn or wish they could lay multiple women and they get an orgasm from sex that this in itself means their wives should want them and want them a lot. Now it is true it is not fair or wise to ignore these needs in a husband and a caring wife with a modicum of a sex drive would do her best to accommodate him, his drive does not in itself make her crave him. His drive does not make her want to jump into bed with him asap. Listen to Athol,men. What will trigger it? Read,think,take courage and do.
    Athol, appreciate your trying to help the females on attraction ideas but I really don't think women don't know this stuff. You have two types of men: Type 1: doesn't want to have sex no matter who,what when or where. Same thing-support.get help but remain firm on what you need. Type 2: wants sex but is careless and/or clueless in the way he presents himself or handles his marriage. The women have to do all that they can (per Athol's suggestions) but honestly, if you can't get all that excited about him….ummm,I'm in this condition so I got no more ideas…

  9. Thag Jones says:

    Anon Wife, how about something like this? My bf seems to think it's pretty hot (even though it looks a bit like a night gown – maybe that's why, lol – and I'm 39 and a mom of 2):

  10. Anonymous says:

    Looks good to me!


  11. Anonymous says:

    Oh, I hadn't even thought of eBay. Thanks!

    Anon Wife

  12. Anonymous says:

    Simple explanation Kathy. I don't want him,I want a hot,Alpha version of him. I don't want to text and have nooners with someone I don't find sexy. If he did what Athol says he might change the status quo.
    Changing my husband to be hotter is not within my power. I am already sexy and sexual and know how to display it. I'm just not in to him and for good reason. He's lucky I've stayed faithful and take care of everything I can for him without much complaining. I'm just not into him and it isn't my fault.
    My post and the other Anon post is my opinion that husbands can't just want sex and get it frequently if they got no game or manly charisma to their wives. I'll pour it on if I get horny enough to just get some but over all he gets really low points on the Alpha scale or attractiveness. The ball(s) in his court actually.

  13. ExtremeBalance says:

    Anon –

    You're right, you can't change him to be hotter. Have you brought MMSL to his attention?

  14. @anonymous 14April 2011 1:18PM

    Why ever did you marry him? Assuming you were ever attracted to him, I suggest you get serious about behavior modification. Reward him for doing what you want. Ignore the things you don't want.

    You sound frustrated. It probably comes across as anger. You may have been unpleasant enough that he avoids you.

    The carrot works much better than the stick.

    He may actually think he's doing his job. If so you've been communicating ineptly.

  15. Anon-I had the same problem with my husband. My sex drive was through the roof, but I was extremely unattracted to him. I suggested he read this blog(he didn't), so I got blunt. I told him I was tired of having to fantasize about other men. I told him I was finding myself looking at other men and wanting them. I told him I wanted sex, but not with him. I wasn't considering, or even threatening cheating, BTW, but I was honest about how I felt. And boy did he perk up then. He started working out regularly, went to go buy new clothing, got his hair cut, and regularly asks me what he can do to increase my attraction to him. My approach was a bit aggressive, maybe, but I was desperate and couldn't see any other option. And it worked!

  16. The Private Man says:

    On men and nagging rule of thumb:

    First time is notification
    Second time is a reminder
    Third and subsequent times are nagging

    If he doesn't do it nicely after the reminder, he will do it resentfully after the nagging.

    It's just a guideline but it's definitely something to consider.

  17. Anonymous says:

    "The ball(s) in his court actually."

    If I were your husband I'd leave YOU, princess.. You're a legend in your own mind..

    If you don't want him quit your bitching do HIM a favor and leave. Sheesh!


  18. Anonymous says:

    I like MGirl's strategy of brutal honesty.
    I have presented a similar version to my own husband and wish I had understood this decades ago.

  19. Anonymous says:

    @The Private Man

    First time is *discussion*
    Second time is reminder

    Third time is different kind of discussion regarding why agreed upon plans were not followed through

    I do not nag, I followup the initial discussion regarding expectations, follow through and responsibility. Whereas the initial discussion would be one of partners, if it comes to that third time, it would much more like a discussion I would have with a subordinate at work, or a child. I think Athol is spot on there.

    Having too many said followup discussions do make me less interested in sex.

    Feeling like my partner cares about follow through on the things he promised (and the consequent smoothly running household)? Super sexy.


  20. Natural consequences for non-action are the best. Do it yourself, no matter how ineptly, or hire it out, no matter how broke. Then tell him how hot the handyman makes you.

  21. pdwalker says:

    I like MGirl's strategy of brutal honesty.

    In my mind, that is about as subtle as you can be with a man.


    Too aggressive? Heck no. Wonderfully clear.

  22. MGirl, grow up. You told him ONCE to read some blog, he didn't, so you dumped a lot of acidic crap on him? Did you ever think of being more honest with him, and less cruel, a long time ago? How would you like it if he treated you that way, miss demi-goddess of her own world? Ever consider working out yourself and setting the example? Honestly, some of you people and the way you promote speaking to spouses! Ugh. Nor do I care for the potty-training anology in the post; men are not children, and guess what ladies, they're not all dumb either; some can pick up on less than a barbell being dumped on them.

    "and regularly asks me what he can do to increase my attraction to him"

    LOL Rather sounds like you beta-ized him. Wow oh wow, the game theories and stories that differ from blog to blog. I'm glad for them, really; shows that NOT everyone is the same.

    Jennifer 6

  23. Cheeky Simmy says:

    I just heard a lot of negativity towards MGirl but I’m also in her situation and now wondering if I should be leaving my husband.

    Since 2008 (from the birth of our second child) my husband in his early 40’s seems to have lost all interest in me. I have eliminated the reason being an external source of sexual relief (human & porn), emotional and physical. I believe he is suffering some kind of midlife crisis and have suggested he get some medical help (it took a couple of years to build up the courage to suggest that). He has stopped working but I continued. He has become the beta male because now he picks up the children from school and I think that’s bothering him a lot.

    I have tried to give him everything to make him feel more like the man. I earn a lot of money and give him the entire amount except enough to buy myself lunch each week. I’m always cuddling and fussing over him. I cook a three course meal 5 times a week, I look after the kids when I get home too. I even ask him for money (the money I gave him) so that he feels like he is the man.

    I was very overweight after delivering our second child and since then have joined Crossfit and become a bit of an athlete (who would have thought all that sexual energy could produce some sexy muscles in me). I have also taken so many steps to learn how to be sexy. I learned how to pole dance and striptease and got help with buying lots and lots of sexy outfits but he laughed when I tried to put on a show for him. I massage him all the time (I’m a trained massage therapist) and constantly try to put my desire for a clean house aside and do fun things with him (we are the best companions and have lots and lots of fun together). He doesn’t like talking much and I have accepted that (I’m a big talker if you can tell by the length of this comment LOL but I’ve decided to torture my girlfriends rather than him). I have suggested MMSL and even printed out articles for him to read but he refuses. He is happy because I’m fawning over him. I’ve tried not fawning over him but he seems to be happy that way too (like one of the other readers mentioned above). I look much younger than he does and I really take care of my face, hair and body. This sounds really conceited but seeing as though you can’t see me, I should give you a clear picture… I’ve been chased by men ten years younger than me and men of bodybuilding physique (offers to be courted not casual sex). I may dress like a princess but I’m emotionally strong (except when it comes to him) and love to have fun. I put others before me and the nurturing caring type. I was raised traditionally and was taught to look after my man.

    I hardly ever nag because he is a wonderful person to live with. I still do more chores despite working full time but he is really a great handy man and does a lot of putting stuff together and fixing stuff (which is so hot in my eyes).

    I’m really craving what it’s like to have my neck kissed. I still remember what foreplay felt like and it’s been soooooooo long most people would forget the feeling. I would love to have sex everyday if possible but told him I’m happy with once a week. I said we could start off once a month and that would make me soooo happy for now. He does make me happy in every other way but we’re flatmates without the physical intimacy. Since following girl game, my temptation has grown significantly. When I was the fat girl, I was invisible and accepted that he didn’t want me because I was fat but now I dont get it, the most sought after men are chasing me. I’ve done everything right, haven’t I? I want to do the right thing and never regret anything. I hear about a lot of women who do the hypergamy thing and regretting it and I dont want to be that woman. He was my first kiss, my first boyfriend so I’m a little scared of moving on and that’s why there has been such a long time before believing I have to make a decision. Financially I’m the saver and I can budget a new life (infact I’ll probably end up having to help him). He really is a nice person so please tell me the right thing to do. Is it time to leave? He wont get medical intervention or emotional counselling. Do men simply get bored of the same female body. Should I suggest poly-relationship thingo to see if that helps?

Speak Your Mind