The Fungible Wife

Reader: So here’s todays issue.  I have been doing everything you told me to do — okay everything you tell everyone to do in your blog and in the book.  One of my favorite plays was to spend some time with a very attractive female friend of mine who has kids.  Added benefit is that the wife does not like her, so it gets her attention when I meet with her…
…It was one of those moments when you think to yourself:  Why am I putting all this bloody effort to seduce the one woman (i.e. the wife) who doesn’t want to be seduced by me?  What the fuck is the point?  I feel lonely with my wife.  I feel like I don’t connect with her anymore, and given the choice I would have preferred to keep talking to the other woman.  I think about divorce more often than I should.  But I have two children…
…Am I falling for another woman, am I falling out of love with my wife, or am I just tired of feeling like a jerk in my own house?  I just don’t know if this is worth all the effort when I could just say I am done and be with someone else in one day.  I know I can.  Women like me, I like women.  What am I fighting for?  If she isn’t interested why should I be?  I feel like I am begging for scraps in one restaurant when I could go next door and have a feast.
Athol: It seems like you’re getting closer to the fork in the road where things either start getting better with your wife, or they start getting worse as the situation starts heading toward a resolution.
The truth of the matter is that for the most part, women are fungible. Meaning one can be replaced with a different one and life can move on ahead much the same as it was. It’s like, as you say, a restaurant where everything sucks, is easily replaceable with a restaurant that doesn’t suck. What really makes one woman more special than another one is our feelings for her.
So if she’s special only to you, but not really anyone else, then she’s not really truly special. If you start thinking someone else is special, and your wife is no longer special, then she will very quickly become uncomfortable about what is happening.  
The one angle where they aren’t 100% fungible is that often they are the mothers of our children, and that complicates things as I’m sure you know.
From your wife’s point of view, the options that are starting to come in focus as being made available to her are either (1) Be a better wife / more positive relationship, or (2) Get shunted off to one side by either your affair or divorce. What she wants is to keep the status quo, but that is vanishing quickly because you need to consent to keep things as they are.
Therefore your wife is going to be terrified that you’re attaching to this other woman. Your sudden emotional response to the fungible factor frightens her further. Your feelings for her are starting to change and that’s whats holding you in the relationship rather than anything she does for you. This may well create the spark that makes her realize what she has in a marriage with you. There’s nothing like a takeaway to make someone suddenly clutch on tight to it and declare how much they want it.
My advice is to keep this relationship with your friend as positive of a friendship as you can. I’m fine with demonstrating the ability to attract another partner, but you do have to keep the moral high ground as best you can or things can get very messy later on.
The fungible approach to women is on one hand very pragmatic and emotionally cold. The idea that a wife could be simply discarded like a broken toilet seat so you can install a new one, is extremely unsettling to women. The old terror of being dumped for a newer model runs deep.
However the flip side of the fungible coin is that is that when a woman knows you can think this way and could actually reasonably easily replace her with a woman of equal or better value, she knows you love her from a position of strength. A “strong man” being an attractive man she can more easily respond to.
But when you stick around because she has what you can’t get anywhere else, you love from a position of weakness. And she knows that, so it’s a turn off.
 

Comments

  1. Boy, I can't wait to see what the ladies have to say about this one.

    But the point is ultimately sound. If someone is treating you poorly, it's natural you are going to start wondering about getting your needs met elsewhere. On a related note, it's a major mind-f*** to think that a man's commitment to his wife could be a turn-off to her.

    I notice there's a lot of uncomfortable resistance to your advocacy that if a man is making himself as high-value as possible and his wife isn't responding, he should seriously think about splitsville and find someone who appreciates him. I gave a female friend a copy of MMSL and she was turned off by the line that "most women could make a good wife for you if they wanted to." I don't want to bring the MRA viewpoint into your living room, but since women are twice as likely as men to file for divorce it seems like nothing more than naked self-interest for women to complain that men might consider using divorce in their favor, to effect their own "happiness."

  2. "However the flip side of the fungible coin is that is that when a woman knows you can think this way and could actually reasonably easily replace her with a woman of equal or better value, she knows you love her from a position of strength. A "strong man" being an attractive man she can more easily respond to"

    On the other hand she might just see you as a manipulative arsehole who only keeps her around as long as she dances to your tune. Love and respect are replaced by resentment and deferrence, and she pisses off to someone who doesn't treat her with the same level of affection he has for a second-hand car.

  3. Looking Glass says:

    @Gomper:

    It's one of those "go past X line" situations.

    For the vast majority of men, they won't look to eject from a relationship unless pushed. (It's an Apex Fallacy that men want to trade up, very few will, compared to women) If the wife has gone cold to the husband, he's left in a very bad situation. She's the one that's turned to manipulation (especially with doling out sex), so his only recourse is to either radically change the relationship dynamic or leave the relationship.

    Once one side of the relationship has turned to manipulation, the other side cannot work off the assumption of "good will". They must proceed from a position of strength and strategic insight. It is the only counter balance.

    And, do realize, Athol's audience is men that fell in love and married a woman, then after some years, they've become a shadow of the "loving wife" they used to be. Part of it is on the husband, part is on the wife, but given the power position a wife is in – legally and from society's teaching of how to "love" a wife – the husband is at a massive disadvantage in all regards. The status quo will be enforced upon him, so his only option is to force change upon it. That can require being very, very cold, but the other side is the very, very cold things a Court will do to him.

    This is simply the reality of it.

  4. Looking Glass, unless she has a brain the size of a pea she will soon work out that the marriage dynamic owes more to the auto trade than "love honour and cherish". Both sides have shitcanned any semblance of good will. Both sides are acting to chisel as much as they can from the other at minimum risk and effort from themselves. I know it works – it's the same relationship that most bosses / subordinates have. But it's no model for a loving marriage.

  5. So Gomper,

    If the relationship is no model for marriage, why stick with it?

    Athol's strategy is this:

    1) Become a good husband.
    2) Wait for wife to respond to good husband.
    3) Make needs known explicitly.
    4) Wait for wife to respond to known needs.
    5) Demonstrate ability to attract other females.
    6) Issue ultimatum. Meet marriage needs or I can demonstrably get them met elsewhere.
    7) Replace wife.

    1-5 are all about meeting the wife's needs and becoming a better husband. Even number five. Some women just cannot be attracted to a man unless she sees other women taking an interest. That's not his fault. He is meeting her need. At the end of the program, he is a "catch". He has striven to become the best man that he can be. He has looked her in the eye and told her his needs. In the end he can raise or fold. Continuing to match her bets will never result in winning. By raising the stakes, she must then decide to match his bet or fold.

  6. Reader,

    It sucks being in your position, I know I have been there for awhile. Tired of the BS tests, did not know what they were til recently. Failed them miserably. Tired of being treated like crap. Just staying around for my kid. I have fallen out of love with her and do not want to even try to save the relationship at this point.

    I know that I would be screwed in the courts if we divorced, not to mention what might happen to my kid. Being a father is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I want to be around him as much as possible when he was young and need to be a positive influence over how she deals with him.

    I have some women friends at work and it is nice having some attention. It is interesting that when I talk to a women that my wife does not know, how she makes the beeline right to us.

    My kid graduates from high school in a year and a half. I will have some decisions to make.

    jeff

  7. There are sometimes multiple problems going on that a husband refuses to see or address. These can be going on for quite some time until finally the woman starts to emotionally and physically give up.
    The husband then starts to realize he needs to do something but it can be perilously too late or require a lot more persistance then he is used to showing. Adding the threat of a third party to the mix can just erode things further.

    It must be pointed out that many of these new relationships fail to succeed either due to some of the same issues arising with the man and maybe new ones with the new woman. Add on an ex wife and children in the picture and he may not be changing his life for the better.

    Remember,there may be good wives out there who are having trouble meeting their husband's sexual needs because of serious problems that are just not being resolved. Those can be a killer to the sex drive and respectful feelings.

    Men who write in here are not having their wives write in also as to what the issues are so… the wives can come across as selfish,sexless and mean spirited. Of course, there may be some that fall in that category but all? Working out,demanding his sexual needs be met and flirting with other women seems pointless if there are other quite difficult things going on between them.

  8. @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.

  9. @Anonymous-9:50AM: The problem is…you're applying the two sides to every story theory. Sadly, after being married to two different BPD women, I can solidly tell you that there's three sides to a story- what he saw, what she saw, and what actually happened. In many cases, what actually happend will coincide closely with one, the other, or both.

    Rest assured, while you're seeming to be even handed there, there's quite a few where the woman really IS selfish, sexless, and mean-spirited. I know, I married two o' them. Remind yourself that the NIH has reported numbers that indicate 1 in 10 have a corrosive mental illness in the form of one of the B-Cluster Type II personality disorders. As much 6% of that being BPD, which typically afflicts women.

    Putting it simply, while Athol gives SOUND advice, some women aren't worth the effort- they really are damaged goods.

  10. 446 "Some women just cannot be attracted to a man unless she sees other women taking an interest. That's not his fault. He is meeting her need." And plenty see this is a total abnegation of any kind of fidelity or honesty, and reduces the relationship to the level of "good enough until I can trade up". On another post there was a lot said about how married women having wild sex isn't like prostitutes do because for prostitutes it's a totally business-driven activity.

    The only thing the above has and the "fungible" model lacks is money changing hands. It's still demand-driven, not love inspired.

  11. Anonymous sez:
    "And plenty see this is a total abnegation of any kind of fidelity or honesty, and reduces the relationship to the level of "good enough until I can trade up"."

    I am sure that there are women who would feel that way. That's why this is AFTER dealing with his own issues and meeting her needs and declaring what his needs are very clearly.

    If you really think that "trading up" is a problem for most men, then google hypergamy.
    Preselection is a bit harder to google because you come up with lots of political and "make my baby a boy" gunk. Googling "mate preselection" or "sexual preselection" is OK. (but no better)

    It IS a risk. So is staying around when she clearly refuses to meet your needs. I am currently in stage 1. I am trying to be the best husband that I can be. I want to meet her emotional, physical, social, etc. needs. I want to become such a great guy that she would be have to be crazy to consider divorcing me. I'll look deep into what I should be doing for her, for me, for our marriage, for the kids. I'll keep doing it. I'll wait for her. Then I will demonstrate that I'm not making this shit up. I AM attractive to women and if she doesn't think so then she is ignoring what is right in front of her nose. Women pick up when the lady at the checkout line or the waitress flirts with you. Last, I will issue the ultimatum. I can't see this as being any sooner than one year of steady improvement. (and I've done lots of improvement before that)

    What isn't loving about being a better husband?

    What IS loving about continuing to be cold and aloof to your partner?

    Finally, don't give me CAN'T. If I loose my voice, I'd find a way to communicate with my wife. If I choose not to talk to her. I'd expect to lose her.

  12. I remember being told as a kid that any two reasonably good people can make a marriage work. The trick is that they both have to be trying to make it work. Most of a good marriage is being thoughtful and kind to each other. There are times when I feel madly in love with my husband, and other times when I feel much more meh. But I always try to think of his needs and meet them, and I know he does the same for me. It's what makes "us" work. We are for each other. We are on each other's side. We are loyal to each other, and best friends, and well as lovers.

    Get a marriage where one of you is refusing on a consistent basis to do that (place a high priority on the other's happiness and well-being), and things start falling apart in big chunks. It's like carrying something heavy, and one of you just dropped your end. The other person can only keep their end up for so long, before they start weakening and their grip starts slipping.

    In other words, both of you are fungible, nobody – husband or wife – is a special, irreplaceable snowflake, and it's not unromantic to keep that in mind in dealing with your marriage. I'm with my husband because I want to be, and it's the same with him. If I were to start playing games and doing things to hurt him, assuming that his love for me would keep him around anyway – well, he does love me and would tolerate it. For a while. And then he'd probably leave, if only to preserve his own sanity. And I'd deserve it. And if he pulled a stunt like that on me, same thing.

    I'm not talking about dealing with a genuine problem. I went through severe postpartum depression with our youngest. I wouldn't have blamed him for leaving me, honestly, since I was pretty crazy for a while, but he stuck with me and seems to feel it was worth it. And he's had his problems, and I've supported him through it. That's one of the nice things about a good marriage. You have enough credit built up, so to speak, that when something difficult comes along, it can help carry you through. And isn't it nice to know that you've got someone who'll stick with you through those nightmare times?

    But if one of you falls into a pattern of self-pitying, self-indulgent, selfish (notice the repetition of the word "self"?) behavior more appropriate to a spoiled brat with a single digit age, you're using up that credit. And yes, your spouse is going to be able to tell the difference from a real crisis and manufactured crisis. When that happens, you run out of credit at the love bank, and again, things start falling apart in big chunks.

    Keeping my husband happy and feeling loved and content, is simply smart. He's amazing, the best man I've ever met, and I respect him beyond all telling – but he's still human, and I am not at all interested in seeing how far I can push him before he breaks. I like to think I'm not that stupid.

  13. Other women in checkout lines and at work may agree you are attractive and worth flirting with but they do not have to live with what is required in marriage. If you are just looking to have some laughs and bed someone often women can play at that game too (including unfaithful wives).
    Women can also hang on your every word and do lovely things. However, it is never the same as being married and having to hurdle (and hurtle) through life together. Life can be tough and crappy and sometimes one or the other of you is not feeling ok sexually,emotionally and otherwise. Whaddaya gonna do then? Start the whole cycle over?
    Are you really all that it takes to be a husband to a (noncrazy) woman vs the guy that flirts and gets a date even maybe an overnight date? Man vs boy behavior? Same goes for women–Woman vs spoiled brat teen or childish behavior.

  14. Sorry,it just ticks me off when I am standing right there and a woman starts that flirtatious behavior. And if he joins in he is not going to get something from me that night. I look at it as disloyal on his part and an attempt at infringement on her part. Selfish plus selfish does not equal wife attraction.
    My policy now and when single was that if he has an inclination to wander and even dabble in it we are done. We have to be the prority and he has to rein it in as much as i do.

  15. Why are you here if your relationship is going so well then?

  16. I could do with using this,but my wife has issues if I even say hello to a woman

  17. A guy leaving his wife, after following Athol's plan does not HAVE to get re-married. In fact I would strongly encourage him not to, at least for a couple of years. Why get yourself out of a miserable situation and then put yourself right back in to another potential miserable situation? You think that just because you are a bit more attractive and know about alpha / beta you will be able to keep it up on the next girl you marry? I say why bother, the risk is not worth the reward. Find a few girls and get your needs met that way. If you still have kids from the 1st marriage put time and energy in to them as well.

  18. To Anon at 3:33pm,
    If that's how you are regarding him and other women, do you honestly give him your best effort at taking care of his sexual needs at home? Meaning you take care of him without using sex as a manipulation tool?

  19. I was the guy who catered to his wife pretty endlessly until a couple of years ago. I'd had financial problems, she'd had a family crisis, and out of nowhere she was flirting with other men and telling me I'm just not up to par. She laughed at me when she wasn't ignoring me, and at one point began at least testing the waters with a guy from her work. Other men were encouraged to flirt with her in front of me, and one men was allowed to see too much of her body. She'd never behaved this way at all before in the 15 years I'd known her. Finally, she told me she wanted to begin having an "adventurous" sex life, with all that that entailed.

    This stuff went on for a long time, with me using a variety of methods to try and right things again. I used some of the methods mentioned on this blog, though the lack of sex problem was the only one we didn't have strangely enough. We've had consistent sex 4-5 times a week since we were married more than a decade ago.

    None of it really worked for me though. The married man type game as Athol describes and other methods got her in a better place and got me some better treatment. But the underlying message from her always seemed to be (shown in actions more than words) that I should just forget how she behaved, but that she reserved the right to act that way again if I ever fell down.

    It wasn't until a night about two months ago that all this changed. We'd had our usual dustup with me arguing that she typically received far more benefit from the marriage than I did. She reverted to her usual argument that though she treated me badly, we were soul mates so my job now was to overlook her bad behavior and work hard to keep her happy. I told her no, I no longer thought of her as a soul mate (we'd met at 18 and I bought into a lot of romantic nonsense very young). I told her she was the same to me as the next woman and that though I wanted to work on the marriage, I considered the possibility of divorce to be at least on the table.

    This changed her quite a bit. Like night and day. Because I'd been the foolish white knight type husband for so long, I knew she couldn't replace me. I had plenty of women interested over the years, though I of course had always made plain I had no interest.

    My wife changed dramatically over night just by me telling her that no, she wasn't one of a kind, and no, I didn't consider her irreplaceable. She tried to buy me off with a lot of things. For example, I can't do housework anymore though I of course help when she's not around to stop me. Also, I hadn't played video games in years and she showed up with a new xbox for me and some games one night. Last night she told me she wanted to spend the rest of her life "making me feel like a prince." I'll believe the change is real when I've seen it for a while (it's just been too short a time), but just letting her know that I wasn't a sure thing definitely has changed the outlines of our marriage.

  20. "Why are you here if your relationship is going so well then?'

    I'm assuming this is addressed to me. Short answer is, I like what Athol writes, and I find it helpful in upping my Girl Game. I'm always looking for ways to improve my efforts to strengthen my marriage, and I've found several ideas here.

  21. @Anon 7:03pm It's unfortunate that in Marriage 2.0 that in many times that some people only change once you put the option of divorce on the table.

  22. It is a fine line. The goal is to make yourself a better man, so that women WANT to flirt with you. But, Unless you are actually ready to leave your wife then flirting needs to end up with your wife feeling good about herself, proud and excited that 'this man is taking ME home!' and hopefully she is a bit giddy about that. If you are openly flirting with another woman and looking interested in her then she is just going to be pissed off. If you're in a group and a woman flirts with you, you can flirt back and be complementive to the woman, but turn your attention back to your wife.

    I have had a lot of attention from my wife's friends… I can easily impress them and treat them like a lady and take charge, the friend gets excited and a bit flirty, I might dance with them and spin them around and they get excited and impressed (I ballroom dance a bit) But, it is all in good fun! I am still always paying attention to my wife primarily. She gets to see that other women find me attractive, and I feel good because they find me attractive… and I really think that that helps our sex life. But it is a fine line and it could easily be crossed if I went to far, and it wouldn't be fun for her anymore. The ultimate goal is to make your wife/woman feel good and comfortable (beta)with a bit of excitement to keep it interesting(alpha). She won't feel comfortable if she thinks your going to cheat or leave her. I want her to want to have sex because I have turned her on, not just out of fear that I will run to someone else.

  23. F**k would you people come up with a name other than Anonomous!!

    It's not that hard! how are we supposed to know who is saying what????

  24. or however it is spelled…. ;-)

  25. @GumbyMan: Some of us would prefer to stay "Anonymous" :-D Some of us are in the middle of divorces and the like and as I'd mentioned earlier…there's quite the number of nutballs out there- some turn beyond vindictive (Do google BPD/Borderline Personality Disorder…) and we stay in the fringes, sharing insights as best we can

  26. Anonymous at 11:30- I think GumbyMan means pick a name like he has, an anonymous name but distinctive.

  27. Anon @5.34pm – that's kinda the point :-)

  28. You don't have to post under your real name. We don't care if you call yourself Mickey Mouse or Darth Vader or Pee Wee Herman … it doesn't matter what you pick, just pick something other than "anonymous".

  29. yes! exactly! even Jane or Allison aren't necessarily their real names… just be distinctive. so we don't have to scroll through and try and figure out who is who to follow a thread.
    :-)

  30. Anon @5.34pm – that's kinda the point :-)

    Meaning do it anyway and then face the Wrath of shit test onslaught??
    Kind of need help is that my best option

  31. Looking Glass says:

    "Anon 7:03 PM" pretty much explained how it works. She was abusing the "soul mate" stuff to act to her own whims. (Self before Marriage) Once put in the stark relief, after years of getting there, what the consequences of her actions will be, things become far more clear to her. (Though, don't oversell the ability for self-rationalization of "feelings")

  32. > She won't feel comfortable if she thinks your going to cheat or leave her. I want her to want to have sex because I have turned her on, not just out of fear that I will run to someone else.

    I'm new here, but believe that Athol would say that realizing that you "rate" with other women will release dopamine in your wife's brain.

    According to Athol, feeling comfortable releases oxytocin and vasocidin, which make you feel "close"; fear and aggression release dopamine, which "turns you on".

    Jason

  33. > She won't feel comfortable if she thinks your going to cheat or leave her. I want her to want to have sex because I have turned her on, not just out of fear that I will run to someone else.

    Rereading your post, Gumby, I realize that you understand the alpha/beta thing, you're just saying to not take it too far.
    Jason

  34. This is a bit off topic but I posted a comment under the Don't model sexual dysfunction article at 10:18 on 11/21 as anonymous.

    Though I was disagreeing with the whore/slut model (whatever that is) that has been praised here, I would sincerely like to understand a man's thinking on that.
    If you agree with my reasoning in the post feel welcome to say why (if Athol is ok with me asking for this response).

  35. I'm "Anonymous 7:03" above. I'll use a name now. I think for me the point wasn't to threaten to leave her for its own sake. I love my wife and have used Athol's good methods to try and fix things. Those make the marriage livable, but as long as one partner is perceived as totally devoted to the marriage, he has no leverage.

    I was that kind of husband, and the idea of leaving my marriage just never occurred to me until things had been bad for a long time and no amount of work would fix it. I realized after a time that to her I was a sure thing. Even now she tells me how no matter what I say, "we're soulmates."

    I think that the threat to leave could be used as a weapon against one's spouse, which is bad. I would never have thought of it. For me it was just verbalizing a realization I'd had that I didn't have to comply with her demands, listen to her complaints, work 60-75 hours a week to pay for her nonsense, and then put up with her giving another man a look at her body or a young coworker a chance to talk his way into her bed.

    Just letting her know there is a line that can be crossed changes the tone of things. Is a totally devoted husband a better husband in some traditional sense? Yes, I think so. But being one of those husbands today is like being a Galapagos Island type creature who evolved to not fear predators. It may seem nice and sweet at some level, but such a creature becomes endangered real quick.

    I thought for a long time that we were a rare marriage. She had all the qualities that are rare in women today given social trends. But even then it didn't take that much for her to start shopping around. I'm a man who makes a lot of money (usually) and also does well with women. I worked at a university known for its attractive young ladies and had no shortage of offers while I was there.

    I can understand the economics of a wife-initiated divorce if the husband has been mediocre at best in his conduct, but I was the husband who "did it all" so to speak. She got used to it and it became something she expected. So the mention of divorce as being within the realm of possibility became a genuine threat to her worldview of herself and us. But I'm not sure how this would work in those cases where both partners kind of do their thing and don't worry about each other.

  36. If you are working such long hours it might help to firmly set a playtime agenda up.
    State that you will be going to do xyz at such a time and will follow through whether she is there or not and then do so. You don't have to pick an activity that she enjoys unless that is what you happen to like,too. Insist that there will be no heavy discussions during the activity about marriage issues. Actively tell her about what you are doing or thinking about in your everyday life and see if,on her own, she has any interest in sharing a good conversation.
    If you are in a situation to follow your activity with sex,kiss her ,possibly intently and then go off to bed–to sleep.
    This should leave her brain buzzing with: he knows what he likes to do (but he brought me along for the ride),he has interesting things to say from his own perspective (I forgot he was so interesting and funny), and he obviously likes me sexually (but he is going to make me come to him?)….All of this can be pleasantly unsettling to her.

  37. I think these kinds of game methods are solid advice and I continue to use them. I'm not sure if hours working matter so much as the opposite. It was when I had only partial employment that this all started. Fewer hours, less dollars and she started to look around. I think its automatic for women, even if they're otherwise good women. My issue now is moving beyond that so it doesn't happen again. I would have accepted some of this earlier on, but after 15 years together I expect loyalty, especially in the hard times.

  38. Loyalty in itself might keep her from not sleeping around but it won't make her sleep with you more or making her fall more in love with you.

    Game methods are not just a game in itself but a way to stir the por a little and get things moving again in a positive direction.

    You do want her to enjoy doing things with you,being interested in what you think, and wanting to be sexual with you,don't you? Loyalty is not something you can inspire as a stand alone quality,it seems to be an outcome that goes beyond the vows that is motivated by the rest of the relationship.

  39. You want to find out how much your wife loves you? How much the vow of for richer, for poorer means to a woman? Get laid off from your job for 6 months. Have the factory close and move out of state. You'll find out fast just how long "I'll love you forever" is. Hint: not long. The day you are out of work, your fault or not, the clock is ticking friend…tick…tock…tick…tock…

  40. When my husband was in a job loss situation several times we were in dire financial straits. We had a good size family to take care of at the time. He got right out there and every day kept looking for work and accepted employment at one time that was beneath his degree and previous employment. We also had friends that stepped in and helped us out at Christmas and our church helped us with food until things got better.

    Job loss is not just stressful on the husband but on the wife and children. If the husband allows himself to become mired in depression about it and sits around wallowing,his wife will lose respect for him.
    My husband made me feel secure despite these job losses by actively and daily looking for employment even when it took quite awhile. He did repairs around the house and played with the children but he didn't let those things take the place of looking for a job (he didn't act like Mr.Mom or like he was on vacation).
    We found very simple ways to have fun as a couple and he was kind enough to listen to my fears about no money that would crop up from time to time. I could readily see he was doing the very best he could.
    I've seen other men sitting around being angry and depressed about their jobless situation and maybe even taking that out on their family. It is a good time for a wife to have patience and supportive words for her husband but that can't go on always. She has her own worries in the midst of it and needs to know he is still willing to be the man and do whatever he can. She will admire him for that. If they are parents they need to present a steady and hopeful front for their children
    My church and friends were a great support several times.Marriages probably suffer more without this help.

  41. Steel Magnolias says:

    I am at the point where I'm trying to decide if I should divorce my husband. I honestly think if I saw him flirting with or getting close to another woman, I really wouldn't even care. I've been becoming friends with this guy from work and we've been flirting, but I couldn't have an affair and still be around my husband. I just couldn't live with the guilt, even if he never knew. But maybe if he had an affair too, I wouldn't feel so guilty. I'm just not attracted to my husband anymore and dread having sex with him (though I still do it). We have kids and I don't want to tear their lives apart by getting divorced. Also, my husband and I get along very well much of the time. I just keep finding myself fantasizing about getting it on with other men.

  42. Steel Magnolias – does he know all that, or is it all just thoughts whirling around inside your head while he believes the relationship is fine?

  43. Steel Magnolias says:

    Athol, I'm scared to tell him too much of my thoughts for obvious reasons, but I have told in fights in the last few months that I'd just like to get divorced and I don't feel close to him anymore. He just thinks it's because I'm mad at him and being dramatic. (I don't mention anything about wanting other guys, and I try to stay away from situations with the work friend where anything could happen even though I think about it way too much). I love my husband and our family, but I'm not sure what to do about not being attracted to him and about having all these feelings for other guys. Maybe I'm just bored with life in general, and I just think about sex way too much. I don't want to betray my husband or destroy my family, though.

  44. Tell him when things are calm and you aren't in the middle of a fight.

  45. Anonymous says:

    This is the most sensible post I have read in this forum. Thank you for that superb insight.

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