Jennifer on The Fungible Wife

Elhaf said on The Fungible Wife
@Anonymous, I think the beauty of Athol’s blog is that he dares to question whether it is, in fact, always all the man’s fault as you seem to suggest. By following all the steps as outlined above, a man gives himself a chance that if it turns out that some woman somewhere is actually to blame, and that woman is his wife, the man might have a shot at happiness.
If we always assume the woman is a precious snowflake and therefore never at fault, and she can’t control the fact that she doesn’t give the man the one thing that he got married for in the first place, and no matter what the man does it won’t change, where does that get us? Where we’ve always been, bowing down to the almighty women’s needs, meeting them without reciprocation.
Jennifer: I agree, but it’s worse than that. Athol’s advice is harsh but it’s basically realistic. My first gut reaction when I read that post was something to the effect of “Hey, what nasty things are you suggesting that guy should do to his wife?”  But then I thought for a second and realized that if Athol was a woman writing advice for women, no one would think twice about him suggesting a wife should simply dump her husband if he wasn’t doing his share. Athol’s approach is tediously slow to get to the dumping part by comparison to what happens in some relationships.


  1. I totally agree that the advice here does go for both people equally. This whole process simply makes sense.

    I think that many people who find this blog — men and women — do not want to divorce. I believe that they love their partners, but they aren't getting what they want out of the marriages a the moment.

    And, it could be for a lot of reasons, and this site tells them how to manage what they can control. You can control your health and fitness and behavior, and the other person will respond. . . or not.

    This is the same advice that Athol gave me, and I basically had every element of the fitness going well as well as communication with my husband.

    It took a lot of effort, but I think that things are going very well these days, because we "mucked in" and did what was necessary for ourselves, for each other, and thereby saved our marriage.

    Women see men as expendable and replaceable. Women are no different for sure. Women are also expendable and replaceable. I'm sure that if we weren't together, my husband would have NO trouble finding another gal. And I would have no trouble finding another guy.

    But, we didn't want that. We wanted each other, and so we worked at it, and here we are. :)

  2. I think that the fact that sex is "the one thing he got married for in the first place", would be very surprising news to most wives, unless that was something stated from day one. Even if that WAS the very basis of the marriage from the start, there is simply no way that the wife could have known how childbearing and rearing, financial setbacks, in-law struggles, hormonal issues, aging, death of loved ones, and many other life circumstances, would affect her libido. A big libido killer, for example, is depression, clinical depression. There is just no good answer for that. As Athol has noted in the past, the drugs to treat it can do a number on the sex drive. Please don't think that the sex you "got married for" is necessarily lacking because she is manipulative shrew. Rather, life itself can be a bitch.

  3. There are anti-depressants that don't cause libido loss – Wellbutrin and Remeron are commonly used.

    Life does throw you curve balls I agree. However if you can't point to clear triggering factors causing the libido loss, it's very likely the "manipulative shrew" factor at work.

  4. I suppose you have to decide whether loss of libido is a bigger problem than constipation, tremors, weight gain and nausea, per Wellbutrin and Remeron.

    No free lunches with antidepressants.

  5. Case #3 here from a few blog posts ago, wherein my wife has let me know she *never* loved me, a particularly extreme version of ILYBINILWY.

    I've run the MAP reasonably effectively for 6 months, with the possible exception of getting other femmes to show much interest. We seem to be at an impasse, where she said last night she had already gotten as good as she was gonna get, which is nowhere near having enough feeling/love for me as I'd like. Sex happens but at a fairly low rate (much greater rate than pre-MAP, however).

    Having read "Divorce Busting", my question is where in the process might 'Do the opposite' fit in? I think an ultimatum now might not work, and Athol counseled the same. But maybe turning off the spigot but in all other ways continuing the MAP might work as a kind of low-rent ultimatum? Could be that I'd be making it clear that I'm still working on myself but moving on from having any needs/expectations from her–kind of a writing on the wall scenario.

    I really feel like I'm just playing out the string here.

  6. Panther, I'd wager you and your wife are in your early 40's, and this is her mid life crisis issue. Been there, done that, now in the middle of divorce. I wish I had found this blog a few years ago, it might well have helped. There are lots of resources and blog on the net for the LBS (left behind spouse). Do the 180. Read the list of 180 rules every day, 10 times a day.

  7. "I think that the fact that sex is "the one thing he got married for in the first place", would be very surprising news to most wives, unless that was something stated from day one. "

    This suggests that "most wives" have a very poor understanding of men. It's really not that difficult to figure out.

  8. I must be a weird woman but seeing my husband paying attention to or being flirted with by other women in no way turns me on. I would not see him as more handsome,charming or desirable because of that. Maybe you have to be at a deep level of taking your husband for granted to find that intriguing,dunno.
    Athol has mentioned "smacking that shit down" on random shit testing behaviors from women and I would consider that a man's version of shit testing.

    Again,maybe it's just me but I have avoided like the plague men who have a fan club of women or like to show off in that way. If my spouse regularly did so I would see them as saying in an adolescent manner,"See! See! Other women like me so you should now really like me,too!"

    It seems the man should bring to the table who he is and is becoming,skills.etc. (improving as Athol has outlined) but as to engaging with other women I say leave first and then indulge. I

  9. Panther…

    I am by no means an expert so I don't really like dolling out advice.

    But just wanted to pass something on, you can judge whether you think it might work or not.

    I would continue the MAP, but I would be fairly indifferent to her in day to day life. Meaning, I would start taking interest in things without her. i.e., take up a hobby outside of the house, go out with friends more, basically live your life without consulting or involving her. Still take care of your responsibilities around the house etc… But perhaps she is not seeing that you are individual with a life and interests that exist outside of her.

    Just my thoughts. Best of luck.

  10. Woohoo, front page beats "first" any day. @Sweet As, definitely much of it applies in both genders, and it's very practical advice. @Polly, be surprised then, because I think most men would agree it was a major factor. Yes, I made it clear up front and am quite happy. I come here just to maintain the edge.

    But to put it in a gender neutral way, the higher-drive spouse feels captive to the lower-drive spouse's drive, and in many ways is. It is an overconstrained problem, where the HD spouse is not supposed to cheat, leave, masturbate, view porn, etc., etc., with little concession from the other side. Of course medical factors can play into it, but repression, lack of attraction and downright fraudulent marriage are probably far more common.

  11. Ian Ironwood says:

    @Polly: "I think that the fact that sex is "the one thing he got married for in the first place", would be very surprising news to most wives, unless that was something stated from day one. "

    I agree with Badger. Women see marriage as the culmination of a Fairy Tale, wherein they've won their Handsome Prince and can live Happily Ever After.

    Men see marriage as a Porn Flick, in which they will get righteously laid by their wives frequently and with great variety.

    Needless to say, both genders are usually mistaken and misinformed about the realities of the matter. But yes, guys get married primarily because it means (in their mind) unrestricted sexual access to a particular woman, not because they have a pleasant personality or a wicked sense of humor. In male society marriage usually loses you position and rank. In female society, marriage (even a crappy one) usually increases your position and rank. So when a dude takes the plunge and is willing to accept the downgrade, he's doing so because he expects that his ticket will be upgraded after the ceremony.

    Alas, that rarely happens. The Penny Jar comes into play, and things go down hill from there.

  12. Athol, clarify a point for me please?

    I think you've said before that the MAP works for both men and women, yes? The idea being that one spouse gets the ball rolling and the other either follows suit or is dumped.

    The part I don't understand is how to maintain it. Is the husband always supposed to be higher sex rank than the wife if he wants to keep getting laid? Does she need to stay higher rank if she is the one who wants more sex? Or if both are the same number that's Ok too?

  13. Panther.

    Having heard the same words out of my ex-wife and having the statement punctuated with her sleeping around on me. My advice to you is: When someone tells you they don't love you and they never did. Believe them.

    Sometimes, as much as it sucks, you just have to pay the piper and get out. Which is more expensive divorce now or divorce ten years from now? 1 year turns into 2, turns into 5, turns into 10. That's a hell of a way to live and you don't have to.

    I'm pro marriage, but buddy, you are signing up for a marriage death camp by staying in that situation. Good luck, whatever you decide. You do remember you get decide to play the game or not right? Y – O – U get to make choices too.

  14. Anonymous 1137,

    Nobody said that you were weird. Nobody said that you were alone. You're different. So what?

    You're marriage is working for you. You and your husband see eye to eye. You don't have to engage in all of this whorishness for you to be happy. Great. Why are you here?

    What did you think about your reading on preselection and hypergamy?


  15. "Sometimes, as much as it sucks, you just have to pay the piper and get out. Which is more expensive divorce now or divorce ten years from now? 1 year turns into 2, turns into 5, turns into 10. That's a hell of a way to live and you don't have to."

    "Sometimes" being the key word. Sometimes you have to call it a day and move on with your life. But studies (yes, "STUDIES") have shown that those couples that stick it out through rough times tend to be happier five years down the road than those who chose divorce.

  16. Yep sometimes. So Panther says his wife tells him she never loved him. He's run the MAP for 6 months and been notified by her this is as good as it gets, basically take it or leave it. I would give it 6 more months of running the MAP, then leave it if her crummy attitude and behavior didn't improve. Who needs a frigging emotional boat anchor around your neck dragging you down into their dysfunctional and warped hell? No one, that's who.

  17. Studies suggest that couples who stick it out are happier 5 years later. That may be true but correlation is not causation unless the study specifically tests for it. Provide links to the studies.

    Is it because their marriage drastically improved or they just learned to cope with the mediocrity? Perhaps they reported they were happier because they discovered mint chocolate chip ice cream.

  18. I suspect Panther's wife is peri-menopausal, and either having an emotional affair or physical affair. Very strong chance that he is a dead man walking, just doesn't know it. Her mid life crisis (MLC) is overpowering now. Not a hell of a lot he can do, except save himself and kids if there are any.

  19. Anonymous 1137…

    I don't think it is a conscious thought, the idea is your partner seems or appears more attractive because others are interested, invokes the feeling of competition for a mate.

    Not necessarily a conscious thought that you are turned on watching your husband flirt with other women.

  20. Anon 3:31, I'm glad you brought up perimenopause. Being a little older, with my wife going through it now, I wonder how much of the whole ovulation/menstruation cycle remains in play and what changes are wrought by peri/menopause.

  21. Panther – email again. Did you ever find out about whether or not she had cheated on you in the past?

  22. @Panther: been there, done that too. Except it worked out for me with my wife after she had a brief emotional affair. I did a strong 180 and she saw the light and it's been about 9 months since we got our act together. It can work, but she has to want it. Part of the 180 is getting on with your life and if she comes along, great! If not, then you have started going down that path of your life without her. I would also lay it on the line with her. If her crummy attitude doesn't improve, you will replace her!

  23. Chuckling because we are 40-somethings, and my Red Pill was an emotional affair she had through Facebook. So nice job, prescient ones.

    No idea about the peri-menopausal stuff or not.

    I just know she's intransigent in the extreme to the idea she'll ever crush on me again.

  24. Ok so I was anon yesterday that said my wife goes mad at me even saying hello to women.Last night we had a chat/arguement basically she will mention that she spoke to so and so (insert another mans name here).She mentions whenever she gets chatted up and she does get plenty of attention.
    Well last night things got heated I tried to keep calm,I stated that she could be replaced by another woman and she stated I cold be replaced by another man but then I said yeah but my new woman would be 10 years younger,she threw her ring off I threw mine off and she went and slept in the other room,she texted me twice asking if I was having an affair,which I ignored.
    Now please understand that she has always been shitty to me in stating she has other mens interest but soon as even talk to a woman she goes off on one,this has gone on for years..
    Now neither of us is speaking much,I asked her about our childs play at school and asked if she wanted a cup of tea this morning but thats as far as it went.

    She will give me the silent treatment for days now and usually this is when I come round to her.
    am I best now doing the 180,she is moody now over are chat but I need to show her that life will go on without her

  25. Looking Glass says:

    @Anon 4:36 am:

    The hardest lesson in life is that you are replaceable, in most every activity you do. She's been taking your love for granted. It's going to be rough going for a bit. I wish you the best.

  26. Panther and others. I am the one who mentioned peri. Google it Panther. I won't be surprised if your stbx (soon to be ex, sorry) is showing lots of signs of peri. It's part of the mid life crisis syndrome. And Facebook is the devil itself. I'm very sorry for your situation.

  27. Cheers Looking glass
    Still don't know how to play it,she seems to have had the upper hand for a while.I need to cool off I suppose

  28. @Anon 5:59 PM.

    You have to be strong and consistent. Not a dick. But strong and confident. Lead. Everyone is replaceable. You, her. Nature of the beast. Choosing not to replace your spouse when there is the option to do so, is an act of love, especially when they don't particulary deserve it at the moment. But, there does come a point, where if you recognize that if this person is stealing from you: your love, your years, your support, your labor and you get nothing in return. Either they change – or they go – or you go. Don't be a victim or let someone else hold you hostage to their emotional terrorism.

    I will also unfortunately add that those who accuse the loudest often do so because their hands are the dirtiest. Perhaps she always accuses you of having an affair because she did or is? I know "My wife would never…" Brother, if I had a dollar for ever time I heard that followed a couple months later by "I can't believe she did that…" Good luck.

  29. Jason – speaking for myself, re your question about peri-menopause – my cycles became eratic with peaks of desire that corresponded to ovulation, but were sometimes not (less intense) and sometimes very rarely accompanied by the usual increase in libido (ovulation I assume). After this came a time with no periods, but cycles that were just perceptable. Finally no cycles at all. Initially I thought post menopause was sort of like the time between ovulation and period, but now things seem to have settled (with some medical help) and my libido has picked up a bit, but not as rampant as before. I'd suggest you both leverage the last few libido peaks your wife has – I was sad to miss out on doing that. Good luck. :-) C

  30. Panther, if you believe she is being truthful about never having been in love with you, the only thing to do is to become a totally different person.

    If she married for your money or just to be able to say that she's married, then you're really settling. You can't force someone to fall in love with you.

    I'd do the MAP and keep my mind and eyes open for real love.


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