When She Rewrites The Relationship History and the “Sexy Moves” Fail

Reader:  I’ve read your book and it’s basically exactly the resource I’ve been looking for.  I’m a natural alpha, but have a serious case of Oneitis and have been Betaized when I’m around her.  I’m working on getting the alpha back.  I felt there are two situations the book didn’t touch on though, that I’d like your thoughts on.  I’m 26 and have been with my wife for 7 years and married for the last 2.
1) In October, I got the “i love you, but I’m not in love with you” speech, but there was a twist.  It was more like “I love you, but I’ve never been in love with you”.  We always had a lousy sex life throughout our entire relationship, but since she was the first person I ever seriously dated and the person I lost my virginity to, I was too naive and stupid to know anything was wrong.  She always had an excuse for her lack of interest like “my birth control is messing with my hormones, but I’m going to change it in a couple months”.  I always believed them and I think she believed them herself as well.  When we first started dating, I think our sex ranks were on equal footing, but within a year she started taking care of herself, lost a bunch of weight, started wearing makeup, etc, and shot up several points.  I’d say her sex rank has been 1-2 above mine for the last 6 of our 7 years together.  How does the fact that she’s never shown attraction to me change the MAP?
2) Though she definitely wants an alpha to take care of her in everything non-sexual, she wants to be in complete and total control of when and how we do anything sexual.  Any attempts at initiating fail miserably and always have.  I tried several of your sexy moves but she interprets them as “begging for sex”, and it’s been a huge turn off.  How should I deal with this?
Athol:  I suspect she’s rewriting the history of the relationship. It’s very common to do that right before they leave or file for divorce. You can have a ten year relationship that’s wonderful, and when it falls apart in the 11th year, they say something like, “I was never really happy and I’ve been just going through the motions since the beginning.”   They do this because it looks bad to say something like, “The relationship has been quite wonderful for ten years and you’ve been a loving attentive husband. But I’ve been having an affair for the last six months, so by me leaving you, I’m quite clearly the one in the wrong.”
By rewriting the relationship history, she’s trying to snow you into being passive, and just accepting whatever she’s about to unleash on you like a spineless chump. She’s also framing herself as “not a bad person.”
The biggest problem is the Sex Rank differences. Basically she “ran the MAP” on you six years ago when she lost the weight and prettied up, but didn’t actually push for anything in particular. So she’s coasted in Phase Three with you ever since. Now she’s pushing to Phase Four or Five. You’re six years behind schedule in self-improving as she was probably unconsciously looking to upgrade to a hotter guy than you back then. (Or perhaps quite consciously, but whoever she was aiming for didn’t pick up her option.)
Because of the Sex Rank differences, she’s in control of the sex completely because she’s way hotter than you and wants to not be bothered unless she’s really horny in a general sense. Basically her sexual interest in you is very low, so all the Sexy Moves that would work if you were equal or higher Sex Rank than her, fail because you’re so far below her Sex Rank.
By way of explanation, if your Sex Rank was two points higher than hers, you wouldn’t need to try any of the Sexy Moves on her to get her interested in sex with you. You’d just say, “Let’s go somewhere private and have sex.” and she’d follow you.  I think the Sexy Moves are a positive influence on your Sex Rank, but they aren’t easily going to overcome a two point deficit.
So that’s all bad news I’m afraid. Even worse is that as you know, the ILYBINILWY speech usually means there’s another man in the picture. Realistically a hot girl with an average guy is absolutely going to be targeted by other men and a wedding ring on her finger isn’t going to stop a fair number of them. If anything it’s going to encourage some of them.
So you immediate steps are to (1) actively rule out another man being in the picture (check credit cards, phone records, email yada yada yada) and (2) immediately get to work on making yourself more attractive as quickly as possible. Also helpful is (3) start creating a contingency plan for getting hit with a divorce filing.
I’m more than a little concerned that you’ve found me too late though. You can’t just watch your wife go from a caterpillar into a butterfly and not try and keep pace with her.


  1. Anonymous says:

    "I'm a natural alpha, but I've had one-itis since age 19, married at age 24, and watched my wife make a leap in sexual market value nearly unprecedented among college-aged females, while placating her and doing absolutely nothing to maintain a dominant frame in the relationship."

    Sorry man, but you're toast. I'd say there's a 75% chance you will find evidence of cheating if you dig hard enough. If you'll allow me to abuse a reddit meme — lawyer up, hit the gym, delete facebook, and for the love of the Manosphere don't make the same beta/omega mistakes in your next relationship.

    Athol, you are doing saint's work both for the readers who write in and men in general. Please keep it up.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Rewriting the relationship. Sounds about right in accordance to what happened in my former marriage.

  3. Not trying to appear negative here, but wouldn't a natural alpha be.. well, alpha enough to prevent this going the wrong way? It's not about what you think you are in this respect, but what she thinks you are. I'd think that being more alpha would mean that you would be more attractive to her.

  4. FAVORAZZI says:

    Like Atol said, how could you have stood by and watch your wife metamorphosize while doing nothing, an Alpha male would'nt have done that, i think you need to invest in your self get a coach!

  5. About rewriting history, the book "Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me) provides all the gory scientific details. (Hey, it's not just atheists who are social science geeks, you know…).

  6. alphapersona says:

    A buddy of mine is going through the same thing. His wife filed on him and started saying their marriage has been a joke for the past 15 years. In front of God, her family, and everyone he said, "It wasn't a joke when I was making 200k a year and you were sitting on the boat every day of the summer." He later told me, "It's like the further into the divorce we get, the more of our marriage was bad. Every time I talk to her she's been unhappier longer."

    The reason, honestly, is the rationalization hamster. She perceives you as low status (no offense) and is trying to worm her way out of having a beta provider – something her biological programming does not like – and so her hamster runs wild. "I've always been unhappy. I've always been better looking. He never treated me right. This isn't my fault."

    In addition to Athol's advice, I'm going to give you a nuclear launch code – use with caution:

    Randomly change the lock on your phone to something she wont know. When you set it down by her, walk away and then run back in suspiciously and give her a bullshit excuse and take your phone with you.

    "OH! I didn't mean to leave it here, I was expecting a call." – but don't ever leave it with her long enough to let her have a look at it.

    Change all of your email and facebook passwords and so forth. Eventually she'll get her hands on your shit – that's how women are – and when she does, she wont be able to access it.

    If she asks you about it, be obviously evasive.

    "Why are you being so weird about your phone lately?"

    "Hahah I'm not being weird about my phone! Hey, lets go get a drink."


    This is only going to work if there is no one else on your end – which we know there isn't – because, once your marriage is on solid ground again, you'll drop the act and pretend like it never happened. This is considerably harder to do when you're actually getting play on the side (trust me).

    The goal is to make her understand that she isn't walking away from a chump – she's giving up a valuable man with options.

    Fear And Dread, my friend, are powerful allies. Best of luck and I sincerely hope it all works out for you. Prayers and thoughts are with you.

    If you want, check out my blog The Alpha Persona tomorrow – I've got a post detailing F&D and a bit more in depth look at how it plays in relationship dynamics.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Don't agree with the fear and dread plan and the deception involved in that. It might work temporarily but more is needed on his part to increase value to her. That plan seems like something an immature high school boy would use.
    Getting her to envision her loss if she continues down that path she is on comes from upping his value in other ways as Athol has suggested.

    Hate to tell ya but if a guy is no longer high on the woman's list of interest and affection playing the "other women want me" card is not going to work
    all the time. She will just look at that as another reason to reject him (not only am I not attracted to him he is a sneaky,lying unfaithful man most likely–good riddance and more justification for me).

    This is a lazy way out–locked phone versus serious pushups and situps and coming up with Alpha statements not just asking for sex.

  8. Alphapersona…

    Dude I have to say I disagree with you. I'm sorry to say to the reader in this case, but he is long past the game playing.

    I think we all agree his wife has mentally tagged out of the relationship and could have possibly been having an affair for some time. Him playing games with his phone or facebook or whatever at worst won't even be noticed because she could care less what he is doing, or at best be perceived as pathetic and desperate.

    I think his best bet is to man up a bit, confront her and let her know he isn't going to eat this sort of shit from her. She can leave but at least she can leave not trashing the years they invested in each other. And if possible begin some serious transformations physically in short order to let her know he is preparing for life after her. The idea of him chasing tail may be enough for her to slow down the process to buy him some more time.

    Some examples:

    -long haired guy, go drastic and cut it off. short haired, drastic change to style.
    -new clothes
    -eat better/workout
    -go out with buddies more
    -lawyer up (in private)

    Good luck man, and sorry it ended up this way for you.

  9. Ian Ironwood says:

    Good advice, Athol, as usual. Your wisdom in such matters is abundant.

    @alphapersona: I agree, but I'd take it a step further. If she's making these noises, then only drastic action is going to make any difference to saving the marriage.

    I would do everything Athol recommended, but would take it up a notch.

    Hit the gym, of course, but do it obsessively, suddenly, and aggressively. Like every day for an hour. The change in your routine alone will start confusing the hamster.

    STOP any attempt to have sex — including "sexy moves". You're past that, and if you want to salvage this marriage, you're going to have to put that on the back burner for a while. When you go from "begging for sex" to "he doesn't desire me anymore" it's like jamming a stick in the wheel. It might start going again, but not as fast and not as sure.

    Go out and invest in a new wardrobe, including shoes and especially including underwear. It sounds silly, but every woman's magazine that has ever done a "5 signs he's having an affair" article includes the tell-tale sign that men buy new underwear when they're cheating. Ordinarily women buy a man's skivvies 70% of the time (that's why Michael Jordan does underwear commercials – he appeals to women) so when a man buys his own, it's telling to a woman.

    Change your hair and/or beard. If you are clean shaven, grow one. If you have a beard, shave it. (Just don't go for the cheesy 70s gay pornstar mustache . . . have some dignity). The key is to make a dramatic visible change of appearance, something that's going to attract attention of everyone, not just her. More sticks in the wheel.

    And for gods' sake, take the Red Pill when you're around her. Don't beta-out ever again in her presence. If she is — essentially — rejecting you on an institutional scale, then regardless of your one-itis you owe it to yourself as a man to objectify her somewhat. Aloof, cold, calculating. All those little things you do to make her life easier? Stop. All those little conveniences you're likely paying for? Stop. Kissing her ass at this point is counterproductive and will just reinforce her negative image of you.

    Be a dick about it if you have to. But remember, it isn't nearly as important that she like you right now. It's far more important that she be attracted to you. She can be pissed as hell at you for your bull-headed, heavy-handed ways, but if her ginny is atingle, THAT'S going to be her focus.

    You're going to have to proceed aggressively if you're going to have any chance. The upside is, even if she does leave you, you will be incredibly well-positioned to find another woman. One-itis can be awful, but it's survivable.

  10. Anonymous says:

    About the rewriting history. Could that be only partially true? As the wife becomes more and more unhappy in the relationship she reviews what has gone on for the entire relationship. Yes, she might remember those moments she felt good or taken care of but she might also have to admit that there have been too many times where she has been unhappy.

    Unless the woman is totally materialistic it may not be enough to have a man with a 200k salary and a boat to sun on. There is something missing. And sir forgive me because I just used that as an example not knowing the whole situation.

    It can be like a chronic low level pain. Sometimes the woman doesn't want to even acknowledge she is having trouble for a long time. This is also the dangerous time when another man seems to give her the answer to her dissatisfaction( I say seems…).

    There are cruel,materialistic,immature,unfaithful women just as there are men of that nature. Buuuutt….

    Her view of him and her rejection of sex with him may have been coming on for some time. If a woman doesn't initially understand her restlessness or unhappiness she might not be able to say in year three or four what she needs. By year six it has become more crystal clear and she is now showing it in her behavior and words.

    Until I read Athol's writings I had a hard time figuring out what was wrong and believing that it was ok to need what I need in a man ! This is why some of the women who respond well to Alpha moves seem to do so with fascination,astonishment and a primal response. Alpha is so misunderstood and in some ways culturally unacceptable.

  11. Ian Ironwood says:

    I'd like to add that she might also be getting encouragement to dump him from her female friends. He should at least try to identify the culprit and take steps to isolate from his wife. I've seen "BFFs" repeatedly sabotage each other's relationships over the years like it's an Olympic sport. And there's no one better to help a woman's hamster re-write history than a girlfriend who is jealous that she actually met and married someone. By sabotaging her friend's relationship she vindicates her own failures, thus increasing her value in the female social matrix.

  12. Anonymous says:

    OOOhh yes,Ironwoods statement is so true! Mothers,sisters,supposed friends,women at work! They all get to man bashing and bashing on your particular man. It is awful. It can make a woman feel so low and as if she is making a mistake for even trying to salvage her marriage. (I am not talking about an abusive man all are urging her to get away from).

    I advise women to be very selective and careful when they are sharing a problem in their marriage.
    Talk primarily to other women who have successful marriages not a string of failed relationships. A woman with a good track record can even bring a sense of humor to the problem.With a twinkle in their eyes they recall their own marital ups and downs and can be encouraging to hang in there.

  13. Fear and dread won't work if she knows she can get men hotter than you, but you can't get women hotter than her. If that's the case, then you just look desperate. Make sure you know exactly where you stand.

  14. Anonymous says:


    I hope you keep us updated on this one. I am very intersted to see how the next few months play out.

  15. Anonymous says:

    This post is brilliant.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I heard the exact same crap. I've never been happy. I didn't want to marry you in the first place. ILYBINILWY. Yeah? Well that didn't seem to be the case when you were spending all my money and buying houses and crap. Nor all the good times together over 12 years. But that's cool, if you wanna trade all that and your future for running around with your friend's husband, peace out. Divorced her after a couple of less than stellar reconciliation attempts.

    The reader with the question is probably 99% chance getting cheated on. Only reason she hasn't left yet is the other guy is either married and doesn't want to lose his house/kids or doesn't want her on his hands full time. Would rather have reader continue to clothe, house and feed her while he gets the entertainment value out of her. So sorry man.

    Life is harsh, mostly by our own hand.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Sounds similar to what just happened to me.

    Excellent dad and provider. Worked had to please the wife. Ignorant of the Alpha stuff because I thought being a sensitive guy was the way to go. F'in feminist BS.

    Married 16 yrs, 3 kids. Wife gave me the ILYBNILWY speech in Feb 2011. Discovered EA in March. Full-on PA with different guy in Oct. I filed for divorce in December. Happy New Year to me!

    Learned alot in the last 12 months. Will apply MMSL in my next relationship.

  18. Scungilli says:

    Describes what happened to me ten years ago to a "T". I got the ILYBINILWY speech, along with a complete revisionist history of our years together (20 at the time, which was ten years ago). After gathering irrefutable proof of the EA and PA, I went dark, did a 180, stopped the "I love you's," got a new wardrobe, starting socializing with my friends by myself, stopped with the footrubs and making myself available to her on her terms, etc. It was painful and rough, but it worked. She decided to resume the marriage after essentially deserting me for 15 months, and got with the program whole-heartedly. I've resolved to keep my alpha way above hers.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Like Athol said in his book, I oxytocin you and I dopamine the other guy. I fear this is exactly what is going on with the reader. She hasn't lined all her ducks up in a row yet to leave, but she is still pair bonded to the guy but now that is falling apart because she is ready to go to the other guy. This stuff is so predictable when you get a few hints about what is going on!

  20. Yah this guy is toast.

    See a lawyer right away and hit the gym. I'm betting you'll be on match.com inside of 6 months.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Wow, dejay vu from 5 years ago… ILYBINILWY on Sunday. Moved out following Wednesday. Divorced a little over 2 months later after 12 years. That Mack Truck emblem is still impressed deep on my forehead.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Scungilli, sorry you had to go through such a miserable time, but thanks for sharing your success. I am pushing through a similar rough time, manning up, and upping the alpha to save my marriage or prepare me for a better next relationship. MMSL and posts like yours are helping me to continue the fight.

  23. As a woman I will agree with the dread advice. At this point he has little to lose and much to win. I think not doing everything within your power to save a marriage for being "ethic" is nothing to boast about. In the end if it works it would be something none of them would even think about it and if it doesn't he would always remember he did his best, YMMV as usual.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Sincere question from a woman. Since there are a number of men claiming the same thing happened to them here is my question. Were there absolutely no signs your wife was not happy or that there were problems to deal with over the years or even the last few months? I have heard women say that they have been trying to get through to their husbands for years about some tough stuff with no response on his part. Are the men paying attention or just brushing the wife off? Same thing happens to me when I complain about something-husband just ignores me or gets mad. This has gone on for years and you do wear out even if you are grateful for the stable parts of marriage. (No I am not going to resolve things with an affair).

    Why are men surprised when women start seeking things outside of marriage they are not getting at home such as a listening ear,fun,sex,compliments,a bit of excitement? Men do the same. Men can do a good job of providing yet neglect some of these other vital areas for a very long time. It ends up with a woman at lose ends in every direction. She sees where those years together are leading her and it may not be a good place. I suspect that a clandestine affair might actually mean she really doesn't want to give it all up and not just the money but it doesn't look to her like her husband is going to completely partner with her and most likely won'tget what she needs (Alpha and/or Beta). There are also husbands that never acknowledge to their wife that she is doing a good job of taking care of them and the children. They take her for granted. Mutual appreciation in little things can go a long way. Maybe there is a chance unless the woman totally abandons him and is permanently with someone else.

    I just say that these stories sound like stories. The innocent,hardworking man that never saw what was coming. In a marriage that will last the husband knows his wife very well. He notices when she is tired,overworked,depressed or excited about something. A few well placed words and he is on the way to dealing with whatever is going on (leadership). He doesn't let it slide or ignore it if it seems to be important or coming up frequently.

    Bringing home a paycheck and not running around on your wife,being a good parent are all very solid things. But have you been observing,listening and tackling things in a straightforward way. The reason it is sometimes too late is that you didn't work on the stuff that kept coming up sooner. And then it becomes too late and sneaks up and smacks you upside the head. Hmmmm,all her fault???

  25. you're not alpha … fix that first. you can't fix the marriage until you fix you.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Anon wife, 1:05 am – +1000

    Yes!! Some men are simply asleep at the wheel. They think they shouldn't have to pay attention to "this stuff." Welm, if your needs aren't getting met after several attempts at asking reasonably? He's obviously not on the same page. Not to say he's wrong, but the teo aren't matched well. These two want different things. Core discrepancy.

  27. Anon 1:05am – It happened to me, but saved the marriage and things are quite good now! But when it happens you are like where the hell did this come from! In hindsight, everything was there. For guys to say that it hit them like a Mack truck is disingenuous. Most likely the signs were there, but many men are unconscious of what is going on around them and then when the wife talks about leaving, it's probably already too late! Also, I think women in general need to communicate their needs in an effective manner to get through our thick skulls. If I had known how unhappy she was, I would have dragged her ass to MC and dealt with it much earlier before it got the EA with another guy…

  28. Anonymous says:

    Depends on the woman, my wife never said a d#mn thing, and couldn't give me an answer when she was asked except "I haven't been happy for a while", ran off and left me with two kids, all the bills and the house. This usually transaltes to a Mid Life Crisis and " I've been scr%&ing someone else for six months"

    Less than a year before the only thing she could relate her girlfriends when they were complaining about their husbands ( I overheard this) was I had once thrown some of her "delicates in the dryer". There was silence after this statement, then one of them said "He does Laundry?".

  29. Anonymous says:

    Anon 3:09, it's possible she *did* say something, many times, and was blown off. It's possible you never did meet her needs and you were both sucking it up because divorce is awful. it's possible she hated.the idea of divorce so much that she did her best to play the Steoford Wife and *not* bitch about you. Hell, she *knew* complaining about laundry would elicit that response. that was a clear, "i'm not playing this game." Some women can actually hatr the position they're in and still smile n wave. Problem is that when you do that for too long, you cease to be able to identify what really is wrong, because you've been stuffing it for so long. And you just die inside.

    I hate hearing people being "left with" kids. I'd love to have my kids fulltime and not have to share them with a constant reminder of past pain.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Oh, and I love how you jump to the conclusion that it's a midlife crisis. And accuse her of an affair by way of extending the metaphor. Maybe she did, maybe she didn't. Women here are telling you that they *are* speaking up. So we're not being heard. That doesn't mean she had an affair or is in a midlife crisis.

    Ultimately the respinsibilitu is on both. Speak up. Listen. Ferl for the disconnect. Athol is dishing out the magic sauce here, and.guys are still acting as if they have no role in this.

  31. Anonymous says:

    What I don't get, is why you would work so hard to get her back if she has been screwing someone else… Sure I get the kids thing, The house, I still love her etc. stuff. But seriously, if she is the type to go screwing around behind your back once, she'll do it again and again and again. It's no different than someone who embezzles money. They always start small and slow, but then it becomes easier and easier. I think if you catch someone else in the picture, you go all alpha, cut the head on the snake off and move on. Otherwise you are always going to be suspicious and looking over your shoulder while you're with her.

  32. Athol Kay says:

    Anon 1:05 – I think I already answered that with the next post. :-)

  33. The problem is that 99.999% of the marriage advice out there is feminist-driven crap. Or well-meaning crap. But crap, nonetheless. It's all about how beta you can be–"If your marriage sucks, you need to talk to her about your fears more, listen to her more, do more things for her, etc". Basically, almost all marriage advice revolves around putting the woman on a pedestal, and apologising more often for being inferior to her and daring to have your own needs.

    So, it's not that men are oblivious that they might be having marriage problems, they are just given really bad advice on how to deal with it. They end up getting more and more beta until the wife leaves. Those who go for counseling probably suffer the most, because usually counselors have no clue what they're talking about and almost automatically side with the women. (I took psych at university and did counseling for years; it's a load of crap).

  34. Mr. Kone says:

    Sorry man, but you are not a natural alpha. A natural doesn’t marry the first babe he fucks, and does not let his woman gain 2 points on him. That doesn’t mean you cannot become alpha – but even then, stop with the oneitis.

    Right now, a divorce might even be a blessing in disguise for you: you get to meet lots of hot chicks, fool around a bit, let your alpha soar mightily – picking up beta-traits later is easy!

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