The Alpha + Beta Relationship Frame

This is a very simple way of thinking about your overall approach to being in a marriage.
The Alpha side of the equation is your demands and expectations of the relationship, that you are putting on your wife. One possibility is the demand that she will stay emotionally connected to you as her primary relationship interest and have a vibrant sex life with you.
“Demands and expectations” can sound like an offensive approach, but when you consider how many wives are simply bored to tears of their husbands for his total lack of leadership qualities, reasonable demands and expectations are in reality quite positive.
The Beta side of the equation is what you bring to the table and offer her as a husband. That could be emotional support, income, affection, parenting of the children and so on. This is the security and comfort side of things.
The potential weakness to the Beta angle is that you offer it blindly and without receiving anything in return. All the demands and expectations are placed on you, and when you understand that you control the relationship frame as the husband (because most women respond sexually to men rather than seek a sexual response from a man), you’ll understand that all the demands and expectations are placed on you… by you.
So the all Alpha approach sums to “All Take, No Give”, and the all Beta approach sums to “All Give, No Take.” Thus the wisdom of the Alpha+Beta approach makes sense because of the mutual give and take arrangement.
Because the husband controls the frame, it’s important to frame the relationship correctly. So for the husbands making the demand that the wife lay him like tile and generally be his personal sex toy (Alpha), that should always be balanced with her being made to feel very secure in the relationship, genuinely loved and wanted (Beta).
So as long as she holds up her end of the marriage, she should have complete assurance that you will hold up yours. If she starts slacking off on her end, she should have an expectation that you will have a problem with it. So it’s the old Tit for Tat thing. But you’re the one that sets that frame.
Jennifer: This is something Athol is very good at. For all his sexual energy and impulse I have a deep trust in him to do the right thing. It makes giving myself to him easy.


  1. haylestales says:

    i couldn't agree more with you and jennifer. this is bang on. ha.

  2. Spot on, Athol. Men forget that too much of either will inevitably lead to separation; the healthy balance is where lifetime relationships are made.

  3. Curious Athol if you have read Passionate Marriage by David Schnarch. I think it would be right up your alley.

  4. Amen! Women need security to really give their all, at least that is the way it is here.

    I love the words in one of Stevie Wonder's songs, "…She doesn't use her love to make him weak She uses love to keep him strong…"

    It applies to women as well as men. :)

  5. I like that Jennifer has been adding little comments at the end of the posts recently. Keep up the good work, you two.

  6. Lainey, +1. Thank you.


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