Candice: Is it really true teamwork when one partner implements MAP and then issues an ultimatum to the other or when someone spies on their partner to check out alleged cheating?
Athol: MMSL is a fluid strategy. I’m starting to see how that confuses people and it is a good question Candice.
I think the confusion can come from the way the Tit for Tat strategy of MMSL can come across. Tit for Tat is a consistent principle that is unchanging in MMSL, but it is a highly responsive strategy, so its practical application is one of constant change.
The consistent principle is that if (1) she is acting nice to you, you should be acting nice back. But if (2) she isn’t being nice to you, you need to respond to that with a non-nice response. Which is not to say that you should be hostile, punishing or mean to her, but simply that when she isn’t nice to you, she doesn’t get what she wants from it. It’s about striking the balance of being able to be the Nice Guy, but also have a Hard Edge that stops the Nice Guy getting taken advantage of.
So yes, marriage should be teamwork and I advocate for that strongly. That’s the desired outcome we work toward. However, should it break down into a Husband vs. Wife dynamic, MMSL has tools for that too. They aren’t very nice, but they are very effective. No apologies.
The key importance of having a Hard Edge is that your wife will respect you for it. That will in and of itself be a positive factor in her attraction to you, and provide a disincentive for her to ever try screwing you over. She knows she’ll get caught, she knows she’ll get exposed, she knows you’ll end things. So she doesn’t try it.
The cheating issue is absolutely vital to assess correctly. Cheating spouses are extremely devious and are actively trying to deceive you, so you need to be creative in finding out the truth. (Covered in Chapter 27 of the Primer) What you need to do when your wife is involved with another man is nearly opposite in style to what you do when she isn’t. Getting it wrong means you make the situation much worse.
In anycase, by the time you’re getting to ultimatums, the teamwork has been dead and gone for a long time. You’re getting to ultimatums because they are refusing to be a teammate.
What you do with MMSL, is situational. It can be as softly romantic as leading her in a slow dance, alert and engaged as a play fight, or as unflinching as a full contact MMA take down. It all depends whether or not she’s being sweetly submissive, testing your strength, or trying to purposely screw you over.
You may not wish to have to use the Harder Edge stuff I teach, and I do sympathize because I don’t want to use them either, but you do need to know them. Without it you’re defenseless in a serious engagement, just when you need it the most. MMSL is a practical real-world blog and book, so I cover the Hard Edge bits too. If it doesn’t work in the real world, I have no interest in it. If it works I don’t care where it came from, I’ll just add it in and adapt it for my own. This is not a university course in Advanced Uselessness.
So be water my friend.
I mean let’s face it, nice has gotta stop if you think she might be giving you herpes.