Exploration, Growth and Instability

Relationship patterns tend to come in sets of linked behaviors. Jumping between sets takes great effort and a period where things can appear to be getting worse before they get better. You tend to need to complete the whole set to get the set bonus.
Lower Sex Rank + Oneitis +
Stable Relationship + Low Alpha + High Beta + Low Physical Fitness +
“Equal” Marriage + Nice Guy Dealing With Fitness Tests = Poor Sex
 Exploration, Growth and Instability  
Higher Sex Rank + Sexy Moves +
Stable Relationship + Balanced Alpha and Beta + Good Physical Fitness +
Captain and First Officer + Nice Guy With An Edge = Great Sex
You may need to do it alone for a while, but if you can recruit your wife into understanding and consciously taking part in the period of exploration, growth and instability, it will all go much smoother and faster.
It’s okay if trying this stuff feels weird at first. Just stick with it.

Most wives crave the sort of husband I describe, even if they aren’t properly conscious of it at first.



  1. Well-put. The phase of growth can also include increased conflict.

    For a recovering "nice guy," the words "growth exploration and instability" can sugar-coat what he feels. Standing up for what matters to you can actually increase all-out conflict and actual pain.

    Lifting weights is pretty much useless unless you actually feel soreness in the process.

    Some men avoid conflict at all costs–but that's not what leads to happiness, nor to what women really want.

    I found increasing conflict in the short-term led to increasing romance, respect, and happiness in the long-term.

    But that only works if you have your own stuff in order first. If she's hot and you're fat, lazy, and poor, you're toast unless you fix yourself.

  2. This all resonates very much with my brother in law's situation.

    I would say him and his wife are equal sex ranks.

    BUT… I think he is waaaay to much Beta now that they have been married awhile and have two girls.

    He complains that she is "allergic to his dick". But when I think back to when they first started dating he was pretty Alpha (maybe too much) but I have a feeling that he has gone way to much Beta. Getting walked all over, going to her for decisions.

    Sub-consciously, I bet she has lost respect and attraction for him.

  3. I think it takes time to calibrate …

    I've been reading this blog, and other manosphere sites, for a few months now and at first I was greatly encouraged by the initial results of putting the MAP into play. As things have progressed, and as I've "destabilized" things some, I've found mixed results.

    I think a lot of it has had to do with going "too far the other way" in some respects. In the past, I had failed some tests by being too beta, other times I blew up over them. Working on the MAP, I've made the mistake of reacting, and overreacting, to everything I've perceived as a test. I think there is a tendency to do this, particularly as one becomes marinated in the manosphere.

    Anyway, after a period of increased strife, I'm now realizing that passing the fitness tests means being cool and controlled about things. Not slamming her for every perceived test.

    It's a lot of work, and for me, it becomes something that I don't see talked about that much in the manosphere … that basically, you're not simply changing some behaviors, but rather giving yourself something of a personality transplant. As someone approaching middle age, it's perhaps particularly challenging for me, but I think anyone who's carried their basic behaviors into adulthood will have such a challenge.

    It would be nice to have a two-second delay…so much of this is about catching yourself before you fall into old habits and say the same old things and do the same old things. Being aware of all of this is just the first step. Training yourself is the long haul.

  4. It does take time.

    I believe I've said it's taken me five years to truly learn all this stuff.

    Jennifer and I havce learned more this year as well. Always growing.

  5. Hi Athol,

    This isn't exactly about today's post but is relevant in passing — is it possible that a woman just stops shit-testing? Say if (hypothetically) I was *the f–king man* and pushing all of her buttons, would she subconsciously even need to shit-test me? Purposefully I assume can be ruled out already. Alternatively, would I even notice any shit-testing? The impression I get is that fitness tests are for when the woman isn't entirely sure of her partner's status, so I figure that if the partner's high status is way out there and not even questionable, there should be some trend towards zero since the primary cause for shit-testing has been removed.

    Is that about right?

  6. B, as a woman in an ltr turning into a marriage, I'm hoping like hell you're right. I'm keenly aware of the hamster and tests as I re-build my self-esteem. It's so painful to see a txt go out or to hear myself say something and realize after it's just a test. And, knowing my man, I know better.

    All I can do is work on me. It's my own issue.

  7. Shit tests are mostly unconscious. They are part of banter and flirting, which should continue in an LTR and still be present in marriage. Assuming that shit testing will end because it is eventually not necessary, is linear thinking. Life is not linear and relationships always have an ebb and flow.

    A woman’s hormonal cycle drives some of this and there are times when she is very amorous and other times when she is feeling insecure. The way she shit tests is different and is for different reasons at different times. In general everything in life is cyclical, and women are not the only cause of this dynamic.

    Equilibrium is never achieved. It is not the way life works. I enjoy this dynamic and even in good relationships the two move away from each other, stretching the rubber band and then they get pulled back together. This happens not only in the sexual realm. It is great when the lows are kind of a "disinterested" friendship and the highs include intimate communication. This is normal. It is fun when a relationship inCLudes this.

    The extreme highs and lows, experienced with a Personality Disordered (PD) BatShitCrazy partner, are another matter entirely.

  8. CSPB, I definitely do not assume that they'll stop forever. However, we all have our times when we're just "on the ball", and right now I'm in one of those times with my long-term girlfriend. Life is really, really good. She's begun to get really naughty (double-virgin relationship here, took time to grow) and I haven't noticed a shit-test from her in about a year. I just have no idea why. In my mind, there are three possibilities: either 1) I'm passing these unconsciously now, OR 2) my girl's inner hamster sees no need to, OR 3) my girl is all sorts of awesome and is filtering these out before they ever leave her lips.

    As much as I never minded dealing with her little tests early on, it just strikes me that I don't REMEMBER dealing with anything in the last year and am curious why this might be so.

  9. B, that makes sense. There are levels of shit tests. I can see tiny ones, where a woman reveals something that is bothering her. She will make herself vulnerable because she trusts. But she also wants to know his reaction. If it is acceptance then she feels CLoser to him and she feels better about herself. I handle these unconsciously and only afterwards do I realize what went on. Most people would not consider these as shit tests and maybe my internal definition is overly broad. But my point is that these are like sonar pings and can satisfy her need before she must resort to mega shit tests.

    These sonar pings let her know if he is listening, if he understands her, if he accepts her, if he is solid, if he is dependable, if he can be trusted with her heart, if he wants her, if he judges her, if he can handle private and dark areas of her mind and life.

    He doesn’t need to always get it right or deal with it on her schedule. A cool “Not now, I’m busy and not thinking about you, but I will give you my full attention later,” is beneficial because it teaches her to be patient and also reinforces her trust in him when he does follow through. She is keeping track of follow through! Remember most men will say this and forget about it thinking the moment is passed. She has been hurt by this tactic in the past.

    A man can do a similar thing by being honest, or sometimes harshly honest to see her reaction. During their “dance,” there are dips and spikes in emotions and attraction. There is a fear component and occasionally an OMG aspect. But as long as; neither over reacts, neither runs away, neither blames and neither accuses, this too builds trust during the dip.

    If there is emotional variability present then she is less likely to need to try a mega shit test, which can be full of drama if a man does not handle it well. I am still learning and what I describe here is a recent discovery.

  10. CSPB, thanks for spelling this out. Absolutely critical is a proactive follow-through when I am put off. I get it that my man shouldn't drop everything just because I need reassurance, or really want an answer to my question. It gives me serious gina tingle when he drops me an email and specifically answers my question. Or works it into a related conversation. He's about 50% on this. So, I simply bring it up again on the other 50, rather than being resentful

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