How You Like Me Now

Can’t tell you guys exactly what it is just yet, but I had some absolutely fabulous news yesterday. And trust me, unless you already know what it is you can’t come close to guessing it right. It’s up there on the “Well maybe there is a God after all” range of improbability.

Here’s the theme music for the happy dance…

Jennifer is excited too… just not as excited as I am lol.

Jennifer: Oh I’m excited, just a little frightened.

Athol: All I heard was that you’re turned on.

Jennifer: Walked into that one didn’t I.

Athol:  /looks in the direction of the bedroom

What Do To If She Miscarries

Just a quick add on to my recent pregnancy post – mostly because I didn’t want to drag it down with this stuff.
Sometimes she loses the baby and miscarries.
As soon as you get that news, no matter what you are doing, or where you are, or how important it is… you make an absolute beeline for her and push the limits of social nicety to do so. This really is an emergency situation as she is in a deeply disturbed state of mind and anything trivial can be blown up into major drama over years. You really do NOT want to “finish off your shift” and get to her four hours later when you could have been there in 30 minutes, not unless you want to risk having “he wasn’t there for me when I needed him” burned into her psyche forever.
When you get there, all you need to do is (1) be physically present, (2) hold her and (3) run interference and block anything other than other than people that genuinely care for her too and want to also be doing (1) and (2).
You don’t really need to say anything. There’s no words that can fix it in that moment, and only words that can make it worse. If you tell her anything, tell her the (1) (2) (3) plan.
It’s going to be a little while until she recovers from this. Her needs for comfort are going to be extreme, so dial up the Beta and ride out the wave of grief.
If she asks why you aren’t crying, tell her, “Someone had to be strong for the both if us.”
Jennifer’s first pregnancy was easy as pie. She miscarried her second pregnancy about a month after she knew she was pregnant. I can’t remember how long she cried, but she pretty much broke down and sobbed in my arms every night for a good 5-6 nights in a row. Even after that she was still drifting along unhappy. In all seriousness I just decided the only thing I could really do was get her pregnant again as quickly as possible and that pretty much played out to plan as she fell pregnant again on her next cycle. I am the Baby Sniper after all. (One Cumshot, One Medical Bill.)
If I have any words of advice and comfort for couples that miscarry it’s this…
It’s less traumatic to say you had a miscarriage and leave it at that, than to do the whole naming your baby, building a shrine and treating the expected delivery date like an actual birthday thing. Doing that can make it all far more vividly real and more painful for you and much harder to let go.
Your body has it’s own wisdom and counsel. You will likely never know the reason the miscarriage happened, but you can have some small faith that your body knew what it was doing. Between Jennifer and myself we now have about 37 or 38 years of experience in the developmental disabilities field. Please take our assurances that while there really are quite fun and happy disabled people with rich lives that defy your expectation of what a limit is, there are also disabled people that live quite tragic existences too. Plus to be quite blunt, it is a rare couple that has a seriously developmentally delayed child that does not ultimately divorce.
But like I said earlier, if she miscarries…  it’s probably best to just shut your mouth and hold her.

Does Fitness Testing Ever Stop?

Reader:  Hi Athol, I have a personal question for you.  You can post it if you want.
Do the fitness tests ever stop even after the sex and emotional relationship is great again?  Does Jennifer still fitness test you?  In my case, we can have several days of amazing sex and emotional high together and then suddenly there are 2 or 3 days where she is irritable and bitchy with me about any little thing.  As usual, if I react at all or even try to talk about what is bothering her, things start to go downhill.  If I don’t react at all she will get over it eventually after a day or so and then the amazing sex and emotions come back.  Its easy to be non-reactive for an emotional outburst here and there, but when it goes on for 2 or 3 days its difficult to pretend like it doesn’t bother me.  I’m not even sure if these episodes are fitness tests or not.  Any thoughts?
Athol:  Assuming that you aren’t confusing her originally asking for something reasonable in a reasonable tone of voice and getting annoyed that you aren’t being helpful as a Fitness Test, then yes you can for the most part hope that Fitness Tests drop away to an occasional blip on the radar.

Fitness Testing is sparked by your lack of Alpha and once you get that together, there’s not much reason for her to test you anymore. It’s more of a calibration thing where you go “oh yeah I have been a little lax on the Alpha and overboard on the Beta recently” and then you readjust and move on.

Jennifer tends heavily toward natural submission, so even my moderate Alpha from obvious sexual intensity pretty much keeps her testing very low. I’m also wired for high mental and emotional intensity and… well… let’s just say I understand women really well lol. I supply Jennifer with all the drama she needs with this whole Tony Stark / Pepper Potts thing going on.
Grrr… not the exact video I was looking for, but watch it anyway. Great recovery line lol.

Jennifer:  I am for the most part the opposite of a Drama Queen.  No need for fitness testing, and I cringe at other people who do it, so that’s not particularly a problem I have.

10 Things To Do When Shes Pregnant

So she’s pregnant. Welcome to hardcore.
The basic advice for dealing with a pregnant woman, is the same as dealing with a non-pregnant woman. Which is I guess  kinda like saying driving an IndyCar is basically the same as driving a Ford Focus. You’re doing the same thing you’ve always done, just with increased attention and respect for the situation.
The essential change with pregnancy is suddenly her interest in responding to Alpha Traits drops markedly, and her interest in your Beta Traits increases. The reason for this is that mostly the Alpha stuff is about demonstrating things that are advertising your good genetics, but once she’s pregnant she’s already got all the the genetic material she needs from you. Once baby is on the way, baby will need a crap-ton of resources to get to reach adulthood. Supplying all those resources is far more the Beta Trait arena than the Alpha. Plus it helps to have a domestically supportive mate helping with baby so she doesn’t have to do it all herself.
So if you were a PUA champ focusing on Alpha and make a whoopise-doodle and get someone pregnant, when things get difficult afterwards, doing nothing but “bumping back on her Fitness Tests” and maintaining your Alpha is the exact wrong thing to do. It’s going to make her even less comfortable in the relationship and make her freak out even more.
If you’re a Nice Guy or recovering Nice Guy, the Betaization Trap is that you completely stop the Alpha stuff during the pregnancy, and don’t ever pick it up again after the baby is born. At some point in the future her Body Agenda is very likely going to want another kid, and she’s going to want to look for genetic material from someone with Alpha Traits in place.
Balance. The answer is always to balance the Alpha and Beta stuff, just that while she’s pregnant the balance point is moved toward the Beta Traits.
There’s also a big dose of random with every pregnancy. Some pregnancies are easy and joyful with her craving sex. Some pregnancies are long, hard and unpleasant. Most women swing back and forth between the two extremes a couple times. That randomness is what gets a lot of men suckered into allowing her to take control of the relationship.
The Nice Guy thought process defaults to the idea that pregnancy is a special time, so simply catering to her every whim and mood while she’s pregnant is a good thing. Not putting her way up high on the Pregnancy Pedestal is unthinkable to a Nice Guy, which does make sense in that a Nice Guy can hardly believe he actually got someone pregnant in the first place, so the golden womb must be protected at all costs.
Of course it is pretty easy to roll the Pregnancy Pedestal into the Won’t You Think Of The Children tactic, which then rolls seamlessly into the I’m So Exhausted From The Children I Can’t Hold A Job Or Have Sex With You strategy. After that it’s the fast track to I’m So Sick Of You Taking Me For Granted I Need To Have Time For Myself…
So how you handle pregnancy is quite critical. Some basic rules…
(1)  Take the approach that bad behavior is in fact bad behavior. There is no Testosterone Defense allowable for bad behavior, so neither should there be an Estrogen Defense for bad behavior. Hormones may very well explain bad behavior, but they do not excuse it. If she’s acting badly, call her on it.
(2)  Don’t fail her Fitness Testing when she’s pregnant. “I’m pregnant” is not an all purpose get out of unpleasant tasks card to be played for nine months. Asking you to do things she is perfectly capable of doing herself is a test. Telling you to take over all the household chores when she is three months pregnant is a test.
(3)  Do respond positively to her reasonable requests made in a reasonable tone of voice. If something is honestly easier for you to do than for her to do, why not just go ahead and do it?
(4)  Understand and appreciate that the further into the pregnancy she gets, the number of things that make up a reasonable request gets larger and larger. Seriously helping out around the home, taking over some tasks she would usually be doing and getting up to the level of “catering to her” in the final month of the pregnancy is fine. If you’ve been doing (1) (2) and (3) all along, by the time you’re in nearly in butler mode in the final few weeks, she should be voicing appreciation for what you’re doing. 
(5)  If she’s screaming at you like you’re her rented bitch, don’t comply with her request.
(6)  Be actively interested in her medical care and progress toward delivery. You may not be able to make it to all the medical appointments depending on your work schedule, but do try and get to a couple. If nothing else text her about them… “How did it go?”
(7)  Continue to seek sexual contact with her. Unless you hear from the doctor that sex shouldn’t be happening, sex during pregnancy is safe and quite normal. Sex may need to become somewhat more opportunistic as the pregnancy progresses and you won’t be able to do a fair number of positions as she progresses further either. The frame is that your need for sex didn’t go away just because she’s pregnant, and as limited as some things are, it’s important to keep the sexual contact together as much as you can.
(8)  If you do happen to get the “No sex” ruling from the doctors, don’t complain about it. It is what it is. Her completely refusing sex in the final month isn’t unexpected either. Even easy stuff like going down on her might not be something she can relax enough for. There’s a lot of pressure down there, it’s not easy to come to orgasm if she can’t tell if she’s going to orgasm or accidentally shit in your face.
(9)  Remain calm. That’s a big one. Having a baby is of course a big change in your life, but if you’re running around like you’re freaking out about it, that means she’s fearing that you’re going to turn into a second person she has to take care of in addition to the baby. You simply being attentive, present and unflappable makes her free safe and protected. Also you don’t need to be a nurse or a doctor to get a feeling in the pit of your stomach that she suddenly doesn’t look right… if you do, just dial 911 and be attentive, present and unflappable.
(10)  Accept that you a passenger on her ride. What you want to happen, or how you feel about her being pregnant, is largely irrelevant to the situation. She is pregnant, so deal with it. You saying anything negative about her being pregnant, not wanting the baby or so on, should be regarded as planting a hypnotic suggestion in her to start hating you. It really is possible to effectively end your marriage with a single sentence spoken particularly poorly. 
Jennifer:  That is fabulous advice all around. The entire way she views life and goes about her daily activities has changed, so be patient and be openminded, but don’t be a doormat.

The Beta Double Bind

Athol:  The back story is shortly after getting married plus two quick kids, the finances take a nosedive, and he works his ass off to turn that around. Things had very much cooled off for a while and then warmed up again once he found MMSL and bumped up the Alpha… and then she got pregnant again and suddenly everything flip-flopped back into cold. (As an aside, I should probably add pregnancy to my disclaimers… or is that an added extra I should charge more for? Hmmm…)
Reader:  She said she thought I had not treated her properly over the last few years.  She felt “ignored, abandoned and unloved.”  I will admit I spent a lot of time working and traveling, so maybe not enough Beta, I don’t really know.  Now I am not being Alpha enough, but before when I was working and traveling not enough Beta?  Can you explain that one to me?

Athol:  Alpha and Beta are two separate Traits. So you were likely being some combination of being “not enough Alpha with her” AND “not enough Beta with her” over the last few years.

The not enough Beta angle is going to seem very unfair to you, but here it is… If you (1) didn’t make enough money, the lack of money means not a very comfortable existence = not enough Beta. But… if you (2) had to be gone an awful lot working your ass off to make enough money, the lack of you being around and emotionally present means not a very comfortable existence = not enough Beta.

So either way, on the Beta front, you were going to come up as “not enough Beta.” This is called a Double Bind. Over the long term I personally think the making the money is a better strategy, but it can feel emotionally hollow to her. I get that you didn’t want to turn yourself into the family ATM, but if you’re essentially gone a lot and your major contribution to the family is your income… you’re the ATM.

Thus the response to combat that now is to bring your own emotions into play and express them to her. Express to her how much you didn’t want to be apart from her and the kids to go to work. Express to her how you thought you were doing the right thing keeping the family afloat. Express to her you thought that if you could push through the rough few years, that she would appreciate what you had put yourself through just so you could be with her. Tell her you thought she would love you more, not love you less.

Tell her you thought you were working to save your family, not lose your family.  It’s okay to lose it a little on this point. I’m not saying turn into the blubbering snot monster, I’m saying let her see that you’re actually invested in the relationship emotionally. Show some force of emotion.

She’s not going to sexually connect to you, unless she feels that you are emotionally connected to her.
The Alpha stuff I think you have a fairly decent handle on. Just keep doing what you’re doing as obviously you’ve seen the benefit of adding that into the mix. She’s starting to experience that as you distancing yourself from her though, so you do need to keep the Beta stuff together and balance it out.

Though once she got pregnant to you again, the payoff for the Alpha increase diminished greatly, and she’s right back at that feeling of needing far more relationship comfort from you. I’ll talk about how to handle her being pregnant tomorrow.

And for those reading who are outraged at the “ungrateful wife”… bear in mind it’s an extremely difficult situation being broke, pregnant twice, dealing with toddlers and with a husband that is away a lot. Logically yes, it makes perfect sense that he was working so hard, but she’s not a Vulcan. You have to expect her to have some sort of emotional response to it all.