Talking Or Walking (But No Hitting) And Being The Cheese

Strong Man has left a new comment on your post “Coming Soon(ish): The Marriage Action Plan“:
I’ve already mentioned the issue of ultimatums or consequences that are short of divorce. After you’ve stepped up your own efforts and increased your sex rank, what can you do to show your wife you are serious before dropping the D-bomb?
Many people don’t really respond to words–don’t know you’re serious until you show it in your actions. How can you do that?
Athol: The short answer to that is the Divorce Ultimatum is the last resort that happens in Phase Six of The MAP. All the self-improvement stuff happens in Phase One through Three. Phase Four drops the boom that change needs to happen and you are serious. Phase Five can last months or a year even as you stage yourself for potentially divorcing them.
The longer answer is something Jennifer and talked about a lot today and we essentially came to the conclusion that everything boils down to three basic strategies for dealing with a spouse with an intolerable relationship breaking issue.
The first strategy is talking. This works great with a normal spouse. Sometimes problems can just be talked through and resolved and life continues on. But with a truly troublesome spouse, talking essentially proves pointless, for as Strong Man agrees, many people don’t respond to words… only actions.
The second and third strategies both use action and are good at evoking behavioral changes. One possibility is creating an aversive experience, that the spouse actively wishes to avoid happening to them. The classic example of this, is the husband’s closed fist slamming into the wife’s face for doing something he doesn’t like. I use that example of domestic violence quite purposely, because ultimately all the aversive techniques require the use of force as a backing.
Some examples; a time out on a toddler requires that you are physically capable of returning them to the time out corner if they decide to simply walk away from the corner. Grounding a teenager means nothing if they can simply leave out the window, it’s nothing but talk unless you can march them back into the house by the arm. Yelling threatens potential physical contact. Breaking their stuff for being bad requires the use of force. And quite clearly anything the police, courts and prisons do to control behavior is an aversive technique based on force. Spanking is an aversive method too.
The other basic option is negative punishment, which means you take away from them something they want, or simply fail to supply it. The toddler throws a fit, and there’s no ice cream. The teenager is bad and you simply refuse to drive them anywhere. You cut off an allowance for bad behavior. None of this requires the use of force, just simply not giving them something they want.
As you may guess, The MAP works in part on negative punishment. The whole point to becoming highly attractive is to become the sort of spouse they actively want in their life. The ultimate “taking away of what they want” is you leaving them. You’re their cheese and cutting off the cheese supply is meaningful. But before you actually get to that point, there’s a hundred little points of display of the fact that you will be leaving if things continue as they are. Some examples;
Collecting business cards from divorce lawyers.
Losing weight and looking more attractive.
Starting to pack your bags.
Removing precious (to you) items from the house into storage.
Saving money for a new apartment.
Changing the bill paying around and names on accounts.
Searching for divorce related issues on the Internet.
Opening a dating profile.
Changing Facebook relationship status to “it’s complicated”.
Taking your wedding ring off.
Separate vacations.
Separate beds.
Going out alone.
Asking for marriage counseling.
Going into individual counseling.
All in all there are hundreds of little actions that hint or plainly state that the ultimate removal of what they want is a potential threat. You just don’t need to say the word divorce for any of it to be effective.
As I said, Jennifer and I tossed this around a lot today, and everything turned into either talking, using some degree of violence, or involving a movement toward divorce. As I hope is exceptionally clear, I don’t advise physical force as a method for evoking change in your marriage. Quite obviously you’ll likely end up in jail for trying it and rightly so. (I don’t believe Strong Man would advise violence either!) 

Oh a fourth way… duh. The other way The MAP works is by positive reinforcement. As I said before, you’re trying to turn yourself into the cheese that they want. Once they want you, they tend to do whatever it takes to be with you. Which is also the reason so many husbands running The MAP don’t get past Phase Three before everything comes together and they get laid like tile.

Hmmm…. cheeeeeeese….

Comments

  1. Thankful man says:

    Athol, I agree very much so that physical force isn't a great method. But with some women it seems to be their only way. Also, I think men should drop the d-bomb a little sooner and not do all of the little hints. Some women dont get it at all, which leads me to say…Athol, I think i'm the first person that after doing the MAP I was propelled into a divorce!

    I'm not as heartbroken as I thought i'd be. I do love my wife and my feelings for her never changed since the day I fell in love with her but, I mean…my marriage was a living hell. I know some women and men say theirs was hell. but mine was truly. I honestly hope the divorce helps her see how much she truly meant to me.

    3 years before we got married we met and had sex 3 times and kissed 3 times, then fast forward some drama and crap we get married. yeah so, i've been married for 8 years. Never have i had sex with my wife in those 8 years..never have we kissed, not even on our wedding day (I'm not lying..I wish I was) and never have I held her hand. I would consider a hj or a bj some form of sex…but never got those from her either. I'm 29 for goodness sakes! but, my wife was…..interesting. she believed that being a house wife was degrading (to her,she doesnt care about other women really) she feels as if the man shouldnt be the leader of the relationship but they be completely equal. She never wanted to be submissive but wanted me to be submissive cause she makes 5-6 times more than me. I felt like her youtube partnership and her dang 500,000 subbers were her true husband. I never cared she was a p.surgeon and had her youtube partnership. I still loved her the same even though I was so deprived. What was the last straw though was when we were fighting verbally (I refuse physically cause…shes a beast..shes a 5th degree blackbelt,knows tai-chi,and knows how to use many weapons effectively) I threatened to close her youtube account and she never has yelled at me but made threats which I dont take. So I closed it and she never showed any signs of anger but one night she took me off guard by dressing sexy and then fractured my penis. So I told her after she laghed at me and called me a p.o.s and spat on me that I was tired of her bs and I want a divorce.

    But, I think your book is amazing Athol and it has taught me alot that I didnt know about women. Keep up the good work, i'll def. buy the second book cause your first was amazing. Maybe she'll come around, if not theres plenty of fish in the sea. I was always at least a 9 on the sex rank so im not worried at finding another.

  2. So what are the things that would make a man use the MAP on an otherwise nice wife besides lack of sex?

    I am thinking: alcoholism, shopping addiction, gambling problem, excess flirting, nagging, weight problem, filthy home, lying… What else?

  3. No, Anon 11:51. Just move on from her. She is psycho. You can't fix that.

  4. Thankful man says:

    @ Lainey,

    I think along with those, her job, being too prideful, being selfish, being overly annoying, a know it all, being lazy.

  5. Thankful man says:

    @ Lainey,

    I am..slowly, its just hard cause shes so nice and sweet and her trueself…till being intimate comes up and me trying to get her to see her place then she's all defensive and says that sex and its entirety is gross(including kissing,etc). and she'll bring up other crap but whats the saddest thing is that she's sorta willing to change cause she doesn't want me taking her money…sad.

  6. "I think along with those, her job, being too prideful, being selfish, being overly annoying, a know it all, being lazy."

    Do you mean generally being witchy and causing discord? I'm having a hard time really understanding vague issues. Can't we all be annoying, selfish, and lazy?

    Are men that run the MAP making sure they are being reasonable and not expecting too much out of their spouse?

    I mean this as more of a discussion/question and not an attack on husbands or the MAP.

    What is reasonable to expect out of a wife? What if a wife has an overly controlling husband? Would a man know if he were overly controlling or easily annoyed?

  7. "I am..slowly, its just hard cause shes so nice and sweet and her trueself…till being intimate comes up and me trying to get her to see her place then she's all defensive and says that sex and its entirety is gross(including kissing,etc). and she'll bring up other crap but whats the saddest thing is that she's sorta willing to change cause she doesn't want me taking her money…sad."

    Yeah, but she fractured your penis. I'd move one.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Divorce? Sounds like grounds for annulment.

  9. Thankful man says:

    @ Lainey

    I mean in the sense that they are way worse than that. Yeah, everyone can be those things but they take it to a whole new level…like those extreme couponers.

  10. Thankful man says:

    "Are men that run the MAP making sure they are being reasonable and not expecting too much out of their spouse?

    I mean this as more of a discussion/question and not an attack on husbands or the MAP.

    What is reasonable to expect out of a wife? What if a wife has an overly controlling husband? Would a man know if he were overly controlling or easily annoyed?"

    I had some problems with that. before i married my wife i was with an ex of mine and i did control her a little and i was a llittle rough with her and i would wrestle her because she was being a big pouty baby or id lift her over my shoulders. My wife helped me to see how I wasnt the nicest bf to my ex gf (this is when we were best friends) and that she'd get back at me. So some men dont truly know they are being overly controlling but the majority of men do know. I truly didnt know I was doing it.

    I cant truly answer what to expect from a woman cause each man is different. I think the main thing is awesome sex.

    I dont think while using the MAP I expected too much from my wife. I wanted her to realize how much I truly love her and how I want her happy and me to be happy and to have sex and make children and be happy together forever. Also that there cannot be two captains.

    But, like i said earlier each man is different so its hard to answer your questions Lainey

  11. Anonymous says:

    Anon 11:51

    Your wife sounds beyond psycho. I think your wedding day was the major red flag but what it seems to me is that she has lost respect for you. Did you maybe do something that hurt her and shes taking out revenge on you? Did the MAP work at all?

  12. Stephenie Rowling says:

    Thankful man
    Your wife is a psycho with sex issues.
    I think you took too long to get out of the marriage. The fact that she fractured your penis shows that she has serious issues and you should totally file for domestic violence, she has shown to become physically violent and with premeditation. Don't trust her nice side she is a flytrap, she does that to cover for the bad.

    I wouldn't even sleep in the same house that woman is, if you are seeking divorce and she is afraid of losing her money. Move out! One never knows how her mind will rationalize she keeping her hard earned feminist money.
    Take care.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I have to agree with the post today.

    I did the talking, worked on myself, requested both individual and marriage counseling but got absolutely nowhere. It wasn't until my wife realized I was looking at apartments that she knew she had to step up.

  14. Thankful man says:

    @ Stephenie

    I know she seems psycho, but when I think of everything that has gone down between us she just seems overly vengeful towards me. I've been trying to figure out why but she wont tell me. But yeah she is psycho….i think. I called the cops on her and she got arrested but I still cant stop feeling the way I do about her….sigh, the divorce stuff is so hard for me. Every second she's not there it hurts beyond measure.

  15. Athol Kay says:

    Thankful Man – It would seem she intended to never have a sexual relationship with you and married you with that purpose in mind. It's amazingly cruel of her.

    Can you email me? I'd like to ask a potentially embrassing question. athol.kay@gmail.com

  16. Athol Kay says:

    Lainey – I think I have about 30 potential relationship breakers on my list so far.

    Essentially anything pushed to a dysfunctional extreme can create relationship breaker.

  17. Are they listed in your book? I need to pull it out and finish it.

  18. Athol Kay says:

    It's coming in the new book Lainey.

    But now I'm deeply hurt to know you haven't finished my first book!

    :-)

  19. Looking Glass says:

    We sure "Thankful Man" isn't a troll? I kind of have to ask.

    Did you have a lot of money or something? While you're obviously not saying everything, there's a whole of "what?" going on with those posts. There has to be some reason for what happened there…

    As for kind of the point of this thread, any form of action that has negative consequences, taken to an extreme (or allowed to get there), can and will destroy a relationship. Even generally "good" things can become a problem if taken to an extreme. Know a story of a wife that basically volunteered her marriage to death. (She also got diagnosed with OCD after the fact)

  20. " I need to pull it out and finish it."

    Come on, you know that's not an effective method of birth control.

  21. "But now I'm deeply hurt to know you haven't finished my first book!"

    Well, if I could lounge on the couch and read the book without kids coming up to me asking why I am reading a book about a married man's sex life it would be done. :)

    And Badger I have a lot of kids. It's pretty obvious I have no clue about effective birth control. LOL

    Oh, I will say Athol that my hubby is a much happier man since I found this site (and we were pretty happy before). I still don't get everything, but the biology and biochemistry information about men and sex helped clear up a lot.

    Looking Glass – Is it possible to fracture a penis?

  22. Athol Kay says:

    Lainey – Penis Fracture is real and a medical emergency. 911 to ER immediately.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penile_fracture

  23. Looking Glass says:

    @ Lainey:

    As Athol pointed out, yes, it is. I've heard it's the most sickening "pop" sound you can think of, like popping a joint. It won't kill you, but it can kill your boner for all time if not treated. Very serious injury.

  24. Thankful man says:

    @Looking glass

    Nah man, i'm not. I think i'm just a young fool. And it was a terrible noise and the pain is and was soo bad i've thought about breaking my arm to focus off the pain.. I've been to the er, got surgery and now i'm seeing doctors left and right. It's humiliating beyond measure.

    And i dont know if your asking me if i have alot of money. If you are then no I dont. I make enough to live comfy.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Great post! Exactly what I needed to read today!

  26. I am not going to look at the links. I'll take both of your words for it.

    Thankful, anyone that would do that to you obviously hates you. I cannot fathom someone hurting another human being that way without being evil.

  27. Stephenie Rowling says:

    "Thankful, anyone that would do that to you obviously hates you. I cannot fathom someone hurting another human being that way without being evil."

    Yeah is like she wanted to cut it, but went for the "mild" version. And really any woman that doesn't love her husband penis, probably doesn't love him either, YMMV.

  28. Thankful man says:

    @ Stephenie and Lainey

    I can see her doing it cause I closed her youtube account which she's worked hard for years but I wanted to be more important than her job or her youtube account. but I guess cause i dont make nearly as much as her im not that important but things were so different before.

    But for Athol, I think you may be right. I remember her talking about her ex fiance years ago about how he wanted a sexless marriage because it makes the couple grow differently and stronger than ones who have sex. Maybe that was the reason but she did have medical issues with her lady parts and they're mostly under control but she cant have kids and if we did have sex we could only do it for a few mins and then we would have to rest. But i'm tired of trying to figure her out when she wont tell me anything hardly. And what was your question you had wanted to ask?

  29. Stephenie Rowling says:

    "I can see her doing it cause I closed her youtube account which she's worked hard for years but I wanted to be more important than her job or her youtube account. but I guess cause i dont make nearly as much as her im not that important but things were so different before."

    I think you are suffering for the battered woman syndrome. Nothing you do justifies violence on her part (except for self defense) to place it the other way around, do you consider she deserving of you being violent towards her for whatever reason? My guess is that you would never touch her no matter what she did right? You deserve the same treatment.

    Please get out and seek help, not sure if there are shelters for men, but if you can find one get help there soon, if not maybe a male relative or a female one can take you in for a few days.
    Take care

  30. Thankful man says:

    This is a serious question I have. What can justify a man or womans' violent action(s)? I know people say nothing but I don't believe that in a sense.

    @ stephenie

    No, I have touched her inappropriately two times before… And I'm not living with her anymore, we have our own places and we've been going to counseling (I know I seem hopeless but I'm not going to give up…yet)

  31. Stephenie Rowling says:

    I say only self defense, in the measure that person is threatening you, of course isolation and avoiding confrontation is be better like locking yourself in a room and calling the police, but there are situations were this happens so fast that all you can do is react. In the case of the broken penis you were in the middle of sex a very vulnerable situation were you couldn't run fast enough from her or react fast enough to protect yourself, so that is what makes the situation worse, it was not a moment of anger but a coldly calculated move. That woman is dangerous, IMO.

    What do you mean touched her inappropriately? That could mean everything…elaborate please?

  32. Athol Kay says:

    Thankful Man – she should be facing crimminal charges for what she did to you. Anything she has ever told you is to manipulate you, you do not need counseling with her. Do not continue a relationship with her.

  33. Thankful man says:

    @ Athol

    I wont, i'm going to go out and date other women and hopefully right the true mrs.right.

    @Stephenie

    First time was 3 months after being married and she kept nagging me about my ex j who was still trying to get back with me. She kept saying how j used me and took my money and I got mad at her. she said I told you j was going to do that and before I knew it I threw her on the couch and yelled at her saying stop being jealous of j. j was the best gf i ever had, she was able to have kids and was the best at sex out of the girls I had, you fucking suck at sex and will probably always suck, the only thing your amazing at you wont give me We continued to arge and to shut her up I hit her twice. (And yes i know, I was COMPLETELY wrong but I actually tried to make things better by doing whatever I could and i've changed my ways since then.) I've had 6 plus years to change and I have.

  34. Anonymous says:

    @Thankful man: Dude, you need to do two things. 1 – get as far away from this woman as you can and never have contact with her again, and 2 – find the best damn psychotherapist in your (new?) city and work through all your inner shit that let you be with her at all in the first place, (let alone 8 years, holy crap! Scary…)

  35. Stephenie Rowling says:

    @Thankful man:
    I agree with the OP, seek help and distance you two were in a really miserable, twisted relationship. You should get help to avoid letting go anger and frustration in a physical way, the same for your wife.

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