Jason: Would it be fair to say that whatever is your “glaring” issue, is the one that needs to be worked on. Say I were in decent shape, but underemployed, relative to my wife. Is that “the” issue that’s putting our sex life and relationship at risk (and the one to focus on)?
Athol: The short answer is “yes” you should absolutely work on whatever your glaring issue is. It’s going to give you your quickest gains.
The explanation of why that is so, is a little longer.
Let’s assume that say you’re a basic good guy with a great job pulling in say $100,000 a year as your primary selling point as a husband, but you’re 50 pounds overweight, and that’s your primary weakness. If you decide to do “more of what works”, you might work an extra one or two hours a day and bust your ass up into a promotion and make $120,000 a year, but still be fat. The extra $20,000 is going to be nice, but it isn’t really going to make your wife all that more excited sexually about you. It’s a lot of effort for a slight improvement. But if you instead spent the extra time working out and getting in shape, now you’re going to be a fit guy making $100,000 a year, and that’s going to get much better results.
The opposite would hold true as well. Imagine now you’re an in shape guy stuck in a crappy job making $24,000 a year. If you keep doing “more of what works”, you might have to work crazy hard in the gym to get even more in shape, but still be making crappy money. It’s a minor plus. But if you hold the exercise steady and maintain what you have, and make a push to educate yourself / get promoted, up to a $40,000 job, that extra $16,000 a year is going to be huge.
There’s a law of diminishing returns on self-improving on any one area of your life. Whether that’s physical fitness, dressing, income, help around the house, being cocky and funny, or anything… the more you do it, the harder it becomes to squeeze out even better results from it. The trap is to get fixated on continuing to “do more of what works” long after you’ve really pretty much maxed out on an area.
This is why I keep saying if you’re good on the Alpha front, the solution is to add Beta, and if you’re all set on the Beta front, add more Alpha. It’s vastly easier to work on the weak area, plus it’s really the only thing that works.
A wife getting endless Beta support, isn’t going to be craving yet more Beta. Even a tiny bit of Alpha improvement is going to be exciting to her. It’s like her having a full meal but nothing to drink, and then having him offer more food…. that would just annoy her.
So work on one thing, and then work on another. Crazy about fitness for three months, then work on dress sense, then figure out how to cook a few new things, then get on top of cleaning the house, then figure out how to fix a few things around the house, then ramp up the cocky and funny. Just rinse and repeat in a cycle of minor but consistent self-improvement. She won’t have time to adjust to everything and it will keep her a little off balance, but impressed with you.
(I have a slight counterpoint to this advice planned for tomorrow.)
Jennifer: Yes! If Athol didn’t have a job I would tire of the cocky and funny thing eventually lol.