Emotional Blockages and Apologizing

Athol:  The set up to the reader email below is that she complained he didn’t make enough money, so he made some career changes and made lots of money but wasn’t around much anymore. By his own admission he started ignoring her. He caught her affair just before it became physical. After that the cold war starts with her blaming him for driving her to an emotional affair, and him quiting the big job and not finding that helped with reconnecting… five years later he finds MMSL…
Reader:  I’ve waited for a long time to reply because I wanted to see how things were going to shake out. That said…you were fuckin right on the money. I went back to stage 3 and once again concentrated on myself while waiting for things to sink in with her. Finally after a couple more weeks she came to me and asked me if was leaving her. I told her I didn’t want to leave her but she was pushing me away a little more every day.  Well, our little talk turned into a huge fight until finally she yelled out “why don’t you just leave me like everyone else has!” That was the turning point. I sat there for a couple of minutes, pointed at her and told her I was going to leave the room for a few minutes and I wanted her to think about what she just said. When I went back she was still crying and I told her that I never left our marriage but she did. I told her I would never leave my wife but she stopped being my wife a long time ago and I just wanted my wife back. I also suggested that she was projecting her feelings from her parents divorce onto our situation and that it wasn’t fair to me. She said that her mother complained that her father was never there and that was why they divorced. I told her that I made a mistake working too much but I had been there at her side for five years and that she was the one acting like her father not giving any effort toward our marriage. I asked her if she would read something and I pulled up your January 4th post “Captain and Bored Passenger.” I told her I acknowledged my mistakes working way too many hours and not being there for her. I also told her she was doing the same thing by being there in body but not in spirit. Since then she has been making steady progress and things are much much better. In Individual Counseling she has discussed her mother’s LTR with a married man and her aunt (who she was very close to) cheating on her uncle many times while he was in the military. The counselor says that is most likely where she developed bad boundaries due to terrible role models.
I know you like to hear about your reader’s and their success stories. I just wanted to write you and let you know to make another chalk check-mark in the success column for me on your Saved Marriages Board. Thank you for everything you do and make sure to tell Jennifer that her sacrifices allowing you to do such good work helped save my marriage.

Athol:   Note the lack of a need for an ultimatum in this story. He just ran the MAP for several months and she brought it all to a head. Him simply becoming more attractive and starting to slowly withdraw from pursuing her was all it took.

Also as “non-Alpha” as actually apologizing and owning up to a mistake is, it’s absolutely key sometimes to breaking an emotional deadlock. And yes I agree, she shouldn’t have had an emotional affair and should have come to him with a fair warning of how things were slipping away. But that doesn’t excuse his wrongdoing of ignoring her for several years. Apologizing for your errors is fine. Just do it once and don’t repeat the behavior you needed to apologize for. Do not repeat the apology over and over, if they can’t accept it, that’s now on their end of the problem not yours.

Once you break the barrier on your side of the cold war, it’s far easier for her to break it down on her side. If she doesn’t of course, then there’s not much you can do about it apart from sadly wishing her the best of luck as you really do head for the exit. If she wants to hate you, she wants to hate you. It’s pretty hard living with endless hate when you want to love.

Also during the five year cold war, sex did resume and happen with some frequency, but she wasn’t orgasming. This in fact was the issue that drove him to seek me out. So… how is she on the orgasm front now?

Reader:  She says she is orgasming just like old times and I have also noticed a big difference. In fact the other day after a particularly energetic evening she said she could tell she had multiple orgasms the night before because she was still feeling it the next morning in work.
Athol:  Well giggity giggity giggity giggity, alright.

Training Him To Not Give You The Sex You Want

Reader:  It seems that the last few posts and many of the husband’s comments and replies to comments run along the same theme. The theme is that the sexual relationship has improved if the frequency increases and especially if they are getting more BJs and handjobs (and maybe throw in a different position).
I can see where this might be more pleasurable for the guy but don’t see how this is all that much more pleasurable for the woman. She gives him more orgasms but she gets what?
My husband is all for the BJs and handjobs but he is very particular as to how they are done and he wants them to go on a lot longer than sometimes I have the stamina,jaw and mouth strength for or even interest in. I find myself wishing he would just cum already and sometimes partway through I just feel utterly bored. It doesn’t make me want to do this for him as often as he would like. He also pokes and pulls on my breasts during these times not to get my interest but because he is using that to add to his stimulation.
I have asked for several changes to add to our sex life (sex toys, learn more ideas for sexual together time,play a sexy game,etc.). He will never do any of this and then wonders why he doesn’t get the frequency he’d like from intercourse. He just says he has no interest in those things and we just need to have sex more often (and I_ just need to give him a BJ or handjob more often).
As a shy wife it has taken a lot of effort to even let him know what I would like to do to pique my interest and since he doesn’t seem to want to do any of those things I am now embarrassed I said anything. I also look at some of these “success” stories and wonder why I don’t get all excited at the idea of giving more BJs or handjobs. It seems like these wives are all wildly turned on now but I don’t understand the transition or why the things they weren’t doing before now turn them on!!
He doesn’t like to kiss much or do slow sexy neck kissing or anything like lifting my mouth up for a kiss. I miss that kind of stuff.
He just says we need to have sex more frequently (complains about me) but what he means by sex is more handjobs,more BJs ,no kissing,little foreplay and intercourse in a perfunctory way. I tried to do it his way for three weeks whenever he wanted it and he seemed to like it just fine but I ended up bored and depressed. He probably felt things were going a whole lot better in the sex dept. but they weren’t for me so I just dropped off on most of it again.
I guess I’d like to feel wildly turned on like these improved marriages show but don’t know how to get there.
Athol:  The problem for most of my readers is that the wife has a higher Sex Rank than they do and that causes the lack of attention they get from their wife. So when they increase their Sex Rank, their wife becomes more interested in them.
For you, I suspect you have something similar going on. At the very least he doesn’t seem all that interested in you in the bedroom. So let’s have a look at things you can potentially change.
The first thing to understand is that your orgasm and sexual enjoyment, is your responsiblity. Yes indeed it takes two to tango, but in the end the person that makes your orgasm happen is you. You have to say what works for you, and you have to stand up for yourself and demand it.
Secondly if you don’t like the sex, you don’t have to do it. I know I talk about all kinds of different sex acts on the blog, and I also say that only about 30% of what you try as a couple works. It sounds like you’re living in the 70% of stuff that doesn’t work for you, far more than the 30% that does work.
The third piece of the puzzle is that you keep giving him the sex that he wants, when you aren’t getting the sex that you want. So while your talk is saying you don’t want this to be happening, your actions are saying that you don’t mind doing it. So you’re actually training him to give you awful sex.
As a practical model of having sex….
If Jennifer wants an orgasm or two on any given night, 99.99% of the time she gets her orgasms before I get mine. The reason for this is simply, once I have my orgasm the sex is over. That sounds very self-centered, but the practical reality is that I typical lapse into a 5-10 nap within 1-2 minutes of orgasming, so I can’t really help Jennifer anymore lol. Also the end goal of having sex is squirting a bunch of semen up the vagina, so I think most people get that once the guy shoots his rocket off, that the sex is over. So anyway, if Jennifer wants an orgasm, it’s however she wants it.
If Jennifer doesn’t want an orgasm, I just don’t give a crap about trying to get her one. It’s pretty much the direct road to whatever I want that night to get me off.
Now to be sure, I really really like getting Jennifer off, but it’s very hard work getting her off when she’s not really wanting it, too tired or still too sore from the jumper cables and the butter the night before. Plus it’s not that much fun for her either. I always offer them to her, but in the end her orgasm is her responsiblity not mine.
I know Jennifer gets that lockjaw thing happening with blowjobs and I’m pretty sure her hands get tired with handjobs sometimes too (though she does know me well enough to get it done in under two minutes whether I want to hold back on cumming or not), but she doesn’t mind that nearly as much because she is also getting what she wants sexually. Sometimes I do stuff for her that she likes but I’m ho-hum about, sometimes she does stuff for me that I like but she’s ho-hum about. It’s Tit for Tat, but we’re swapping a good sex Tit for a good sex Tat. Win-Win.
So coming back to you…
Your sex is a Win-Lose at the moment. He’s getting everything he wants and you’re getting nothing you want. So the solution is fairly simple to think about doing. On any night you don’t get what you want, the next night don’t give him what he wants. On any night you get what you want, the next night give him what he wants. Ideally you both get what you want on the same night and repeat it into the future.
Understand that once you’re starting a blowjob or a handjob, you’re pretty much committing to finishing it off. Obviously you can just stop giving one, but it’s going to inflame things if you get him halfway and stop. So if you haven’t gotten what you wanted by the time you started heading him to an orgasm, you aren’t getting one yourself that night.
Also the whole other level of things to do is run the MAP yourself. If he’s truly a terribly inconsiderate lover, that’s really no different for a woman than for a man to have to deal with. If you decide you truly want to have a sex life and no longer want to simply (1) Tolerate it, then the options that remain are (2) Cheating, (3) Divorce and finding a new partner, or ideally (4) He changes for the better.
So bust out the exercise, dress a little better, pull a little extra male attention, display that you have a libido and do all the basic stuff I tell the guys. As an aside though, if he’s bossing you about with impunity, you’re in Phase One of the MAP. Give yourself a little time to get things done. Once you increase your Sex Rank, he will become more interested in pleasing you in bed.

Sexploration: When The Guy Is Hesitant

Reader:  Hi Athol! I’ve been lurking on your site for several months now and have really enjoyed it. Some of the principles you write about have really helped me through a rough patch in my own relationship, in which my boyfriend was basically being a beta doormat with his mother, who was trying to interfere in our relationship. Changing my behavior towards him (i.e. not nagging/demanding and being more supportive) has actually caused him to change his behavior towards his mom, I think, which I find fascinating (and am obviously really happy about).
Anyway, my question is on an entirely different topic. Around the same time that we were having issues with his mom, my boyfriend constantly denied my sexual advances, and when he didn’t he always wanted me to take charge, which felt very unnatural to me. At one point I asked him to take charge more, and he said he didn’t want to “dominate” me, that it would be “emotionally draining” for him, so I stopped being vocal about it. I actually considered ending our relationship because I thought maybe we weren’t sexually compatible, and I had started dreaming/fantasizing about other people, which is bad news (for the record, this relationship is going on 3 years, we’re both in our early twenties, and we were both virgins when we met). Here’s where it gets interesting, though: once I stopped being vocal, I just started being physical in a way that put me in the “submissive” role, and he started taking on the dominant role without even thinking about it. Turns out it’s quite natural for him, the sex is much better for both of us, he’s stopped turning down my advances, and the dreams/fantasies about other guys went away.
Here’s what I don’t understand: I do this thing where I put my arms over my head when we’re in the missionary position, and he’s actually started grabbing my arms and holding them there. To me, it seems like the next most logical step is to tie me up and really go at it. But when I proposed that to him the other day (I was rather embarrassed about it and almost didn’t want to ask), he said it wasn’t appealing to him because he didn’t want to feel like he was raping me. So I have two questions. First, do you think his resistance to experimentation is more of a mental block than anything? And second, if it is a mental block, how can I break through that block without feeling like I’m nagging? Ultimately I do not want to make my boyfriend do things he is uncomfortable doing, but it seems like he doesn’t know what turns him on until we just try it out. Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated!
Athol:  It sounds like he’ll like it in time, but it’s a little further than he feels comfortable with for now. I think you just have to continue doing what you’re doing in terms of putting yourself in a submissive position and he’ll warm to it more.

Some suggestions…

The next time he says “That would make me feel like a rapist” tell him you understand, but that “You can’t rape the willing… and I am very very willing.” Then smoosh yourself into him and purr like a kitten.

Show some obvious interest in bondage “stuff”.

Text him that you’re masturbating thinking about being tied up and him just taking you. Actually masturbate several times before he’s home / you get together and when he’s finally with you, just say, “I have to be fucked and fucked now.”

The whole thing with bondage is that you’re actually 99% in control when you’re tied up anyway. So all those restraints are 99% simply a metaphor for being overwhelmed and out of control, You’re not doing anything you don’t want to happen. As such, you can simply thread a scarf or something through the headboard (or where ever) and just hold onto the ends and not let go as your “bondage”. He may find it less intense that way and be more comfortable with it.
Jennifer:  Hey! The scarf trick was my idea! No really it was!

Rough Sex Accidentally Training Her To Be A Brat

First Reader: Thanks for taking your time to reply, I appreciate that you may be a bit busy, things are definitely on the up for us, we seem to be communicating much better especially about matters sexual, and there has been a slight up shift (3 times in the last week)

All I can say about your book, is that on most things you are absolutely spot on!  We had some pretty rough sex last night, and guess what she was all cuddly after, I could hardly believe it. 

She actually told me she was bored doing the same things, and wanted more kissing etc, prior to this it was something she had shied away from, I am taking one day at a time but a big thank you for your book, I can honestly say I have not read anything like it, it is so counter intuitive to the main stream advice, that on first glance I thought this is so crazy it would never work.

Athol:  One of the things that surprises a long time Nice Guy is that most women do enjoy having rough sex.  Maybe not every night, but certainly some of the time. It’s usually a pretty easy experiment to run to see if she likes you pounding her in the sack. Her being unusually cuddly afterward is the sign that she liked it.
If you’re not particularly excited by rough sex yourself, you can end up doing it less than she wants. So once she gets a taste of it from you, it’s possible to have it backfire in an unexpected way…
Second Reader:  My lady upsets me through unjustified bitching around. I tell her my clearly point of view, that I am convinced she is wrong and to leave me alone. Basically, I put her into place, which is hard for her to accept, but she does in the end. Often, she is passive-aggressive but can be calmed down through sexual intercourse – basically by telling her to shut up, throw her on the bed and “half-rape” her. It’s always fine afterwards and she comes back to normal after sex, often she apologizes then…
So far, so good.
But sometimes, she upsets me so much through her behaviour, that I don’t even want to fuck her, I just want to put her in place and then ignore her until she apologizes. I don’t want to fuck her, although I know it would calm down the situation. I don’t want to fuck her because my lust for her is temporarily gone and I don’t feel like doing her a favor.
So, the bitching goes on, sometimes until I hate-fuck her, which can take hours or even days and distracts me from my duties. What would you advice to do in such a situation?
Athol:  My hunch is that you only give her this sort of sex when you’re pissed off at her. You need to be driven into becoming rough with her because you’d rather not have to do it.
So what’s happening is that she subconsciously seeks to piss you off to get the rough sex she wants from you. Which means you’d be essentially training her to be a total brat, because when she’s bad you give her what she wants.

If so, the solution would be to promise and deliver on rough sex for her good behavior rather than her bad behavior. Or put another way, the agreement would be…  “If you can behave today I’ll fuck the shit out of you tonight.”
She may also quite like to be spanked. Whether that’s a light to hard spank on the ass in passing, or something more planned out would be something to explore. Potentially all she wants is stimulation from you. Basically the solution is to pay her a “firmer” level of attention before she starts seeking it out.

Jennifer: I respond to the enthusiasm of sex that way.

Reader Story: Let’s Get Physical

Hi Athol,
I wanted to share 2 small,but significant, things that happened over the past couple of weeks.  I send this to you because I you seem to be interested in real-world “field notes” and experiences of those of us who are trying to utilize the MAP.
Episode 1:  As I’m changing after a shower following a hard-core workout…
Her out of the blue:  “So how does it feel to be sexier than me?”
Me: A bit stunned.  “What does that mean?”
Her: “Well now that you’re ripped you are sexier than me.  You used to be so skinny and I was pretty hot.  Now you’ve got these muscles and I have some pounds to lose…you just look better and have become sexier than me…”
This blew me away because I never knew she actually perceived us in that way.  Both in the past and now as well.   And clearly she is feeling a sex rank shift…at least in a physical sense.
I can’t agree more with what you have said many times before: if you do nothing else,  start eating better and get into shape.  That alone will give you so much confidence and make you “sexier”.
Episode 2:
Me:  Teasing my teenage daughter…..
Teenage daughter joking/teasing back: “Dad, I feel like I don’t even know you anymore”
Me replying Game-ly: “Ha, I don’t know who I am anymore either!”
Wife overhearing this conversation adding a bit cautiously:  “I don’t know who you are these days either!”
She said it jokingly but we both knew she meant it somewhat as well.
The first thing that struck me here was your post about destabilizing a relationship just a bit.  Apparently, the changes I have been making really are getting through to her and she is just not sure what to make of it.  I KNOW its making her a bit nervous.  Its a bit scary to me also as the older (more beta) way was much more predictable – but full of all the usual negative consequences.
I will add that while the sex is getting better (not where I want it yet but improving), its actually our overall relationship that is getting much better and stronger.  She’s always been a very strong, almost dominant personality and my changes over the past few years (but especially over the last half a year or so) have SLOWLY been whittling that away.  She is now deferring to me more, cozying into me (almost melting into me) as close as she can get at night, coming to me for virtually all decisions, etc…  It has been a slow but tangible change.  Often I’m scared shitless myself as we assume these new, different roles.  But I’m also extremely excited about the future.  They key so far has been slow steady change, patience, persistence and growing some balls.
Athol:  Giggty giggty giggty, allllllright.