Unconditional Love And Being Taken Advantage Of

We have a newish reader at MMSL and her comments have been long (and good) so rather than quoting them all at length, I’ll more selectively quote than usual and summarize her story and situation.
She’s been married for 40 years, and I believe married at age 20, so she’s 60. Recently her husband unleashed apparently out of the blue, an ultimatum that she loses the fat and trims down – or the marriage is over. The weight appears to have been gained from when she was 20 to 40, and stayed stable but high from 40 to 60.
She complied with the ultimatum, did manage to lose the weight, he’s happier with her appearance and more into her, but she is so hurt by the ultimatum that she’s no longer in love with him. She appears to be staying for the history of the relationship and not much else. Or put another way, she has all these sunk costs in him, so leaving now is hard.
The additional information is that through the marriage she cared from him “unconditionally” through two bouts of alcohol addiction and one of prescription pill addiction. He also lost a job through his own fault at some point, and then later quit his job and never returned to work. She’s also had to increase her earnings to ensure they stay solvent, and his ability to earn an income is in her opinion lacking except at the very beginning of the marriage.
So… as I see it, our friend has two critical errors in her understanding of how marriage and male sexuality works, that have driven her to this point. Essentially she done the female version of the exact same things that a Nice Guy / Betaized Male does wrong. 
The first mistake is not understanding what creates attraction (Alpha Traits) in the opposite sex, and wrongly believing that creating relationship comfort (Beta Traits), creates attraction. So for her, all that effort doing housework, caring for him, earning money, making dinner, raising the children etc, only create relationship comfort. Instead to her horror, she discovers what creates attraction in her husband for her, is simply her looking sexy.
Some quotes…
“I dressed well, wore appropriate makeup and my hair was professionally styled. I received compliments on my appearance frequently.”
“Well, he had me. He didn’t want ME, he wanted something that would satisfy his visual needs. He got that. He can (and now does) feel passionate about me because I am thin, not because I am a good person, a loving wife and the mother of his children.”
 “Athol, ironically, I came to your site as a result of the ultimatum. I wanted to learn more about what my husband had said to me and figure out why he was so totally unhappy. I found the link here as a result of reading on TAM.
I get the man’s need for a visually hot wife. This was not something that I had any idea about prior to the ultimatum. I knew all men looked at other women, even to the point of the head snap and that overly long gaze bestowed on the young sales girl at Sears. I just did not realize that at 60 I was supposed to look that way, too. This was not covered in our premarital counseling 41 years ago. Just wasn’t.”
Believing female friends that you are attractive is a mistake, when it’s the men that decide if you are attractive. You can see once the weight was lost, he did become attracted to her again. The way she looks is creating Alpha, and she gets no attraction points for being a good person.
That being said, she’s obviously starting to get it, and trying to come to terms with having “done it all wrong for so long.” Which is an extremely common experience for men who get the “I Love You But I’m Not In Love With You” speech from their bored wives. After forty years of marriage, it’s got to be a bitter pill to swallow to accept that.
The second mistake is that just like a Nice Guy playing the White Knight savior to an entitlement princess, she’s been playing a forty year game of Wendy taking care of Peter Pan and desperately hoping he grows up. He never does, and frankly the ultimatum of weight loss kinda seems like a husbandly tantrum from that perspective.
She has repeatedly allowed him to take serious advantage of her multiple times over the course of the marriage. Alcoholism twice, prescription pills once, a self-destructive job loss, and a flat-out refusal to work in the recent past until present day. Any one of these things could have been cause to bring things to a head in the marriage, but she’s “unconditionally” just coped with them.
So from his perspective, it would be fairly rational to think, “She’s put up with every other outrageous demand and bullshit I’ve put her through, so why shouldn’t she just put up with the demand she lose a ton of weight?” So in a real sense, she has helped train him to treat her badly. She has trained him not to respect her. There would have been a fairly good chance that if she made a serious stink about the first major issue happening, that the others would never have happened.
Having a belief that unconditional love for another person is a requirement of marriage, can be a major factor in creating a horrible marriage. Unconditional love demands that you tolerate the intolerable.
If you actually love someone else, you don’t demand unconditional love from them. You love them, so you would actively seek not to place intolerable demands on them.
Some quotes…
“He can go Beta all over my axx but bushels of roses and tons of words of affirmation won’t erase my memory of what he said and how I was treated. My vision of marriage, the meaning of my marriage and the love and admiration I had for my husband were forever changed as a result of the ultimatum.”
“I am or was guilty of believing in unconditional love. I took my marriage vows seriously. I took care of my husband through two bouts of alcohol addiction and one of prescription pill addiction. I stayed with him when he lost his job through his fault and when he quit his job and never returned to work. I stepped up my earnings to ensure our financial solvency. (Bear in mind financial security is very high on my list of emotional needs and he has never met that need except at the very beginning of our marriage. Kind of like the thin girl who gets married and then gets fat, thereby failing to meet the attractive spouse need of her new husband.) At any rate, I did not EVER threaten to end our marriage during any of these difficulties. I made sure he had the best care possible. That was my responsibility as a wife. It was easier to do because I truly was in love with him. It never occurred to me that it would be OK to use a threat of divorce to get him to sober up or to get a job or to stop spending money we did not have.

Perhaps I am disappointed in myself. I wasted many years taking my marriage seriously, doing the best I could for us and our family. And the whole thing boils down to I am not thin enough to suit his taste. It is more than unsettling to realize that giving unconditional love does not result in receiving unconditional love from your spouse and that my marriage was conditional all along.
I wish I had the feelings back that I had before the ultimatum. They are not gone because he hurt my feelings. They are gone because I am looking at marriage the way he does now, as a conditional contract. Setting love aside, he is not currently meeting and has not met my needs in quite a few years. The fact that I could be justified in issuing marriage ending ultimatums based on my unmet needs is something I am trying to process intellectually and emotionally.”
I think you’re confusing realising you have a “conditional” relationship with the end of your in love feelings. The veil may have lifted and you see the true picture, and it’s the not liking what you see anymore that’s killed your in love feelings off. Jennifer and I for example have a conditional relationship and are still in love with each other.
I’m sure you could imagine me reading Jennifer the riot act if she turned into an alcoholic. I’m sure you could imagine Jennifer trying to shove me out an airlock if I just quit my job to play computer games. Discovering the other cheating wouldn’t be just tolerated either. Violence to each other or the children would be instantly addressed as well. We have conditions for each other, and we have respect for each other. Our marriage agreement is the agreement to met the conditions of marriage.
And there’s a world of difference between caring for a spouse who is the victim of circumstance, instead of being the architect of circumstance. Jennifer would see me being injured in the process of being robbed as quite different than me being injured in a bar fight I started. I would see Jennifer having pneumonia differently than her having Chlamydia.
Furthermore, your actual marriage agreement is defined by your state’s marriage law. Most states allow no fault divorce, so your actual agreement is “Until someone doesn’t want to be married anymore.” Which really isn’t much of a promise to do anything, but there we go. I just report the news, I don’t make it.
So from here….
I think you have a lot of reading and processing to do before deciding to do anything major. Meanwhile I think you can stop catering to him quite so much. Start doing the things that you like to do. Keep your appearance up, and I do mean your attractive to men appearance up. Shameless plug – buy the book. Chapters 10, 11, 12, 16 and 25 would seem to apply fairly well to you.
Hang in there. Welcome to the Red Pill club.

Comments

  1. Ms. Cause, meet Mr. Effect. MAYBE the guys chronic, desperate escapism into drunkeness and hopelessness was 100% related to the early and complete descent of his wife into the nightmare of fattness? Actually, who could doubt this? What are the odds, really, that any man could go on feeling like working hard and soberly for a woman who volunteered – for her own sick reasons – to turn herself into a pile of cellulite shaped like fireplug? "Oh mY!, she squeals, I had NO idea that having sloppy, super abundant folds of lard-flesh on a woman did anything to put him off. Because I am a woman and therefore INNOCENT of everything including the expectation to know that men are repulsed by women shaped like jaba the hut.".
    Here is the test of her truthfulness… Say she met a new guy that she wanted to lure closer and fuck. Would she keep the lard-flesh or lose it?
    Actually, she would lose it and make herself hot but be unable to explain why she was doing it. When a womans self image is at risk, no truth is safe.
    She is fat = she does not want the guy. Full stop. In fact wanted him to leave. The ultimatum just confused Fat Wife. Her hind-brain said "If he makes ultimatums maybe he is worth keeping". But of course her fore-brain cannot own that thought. So she writes you to help her with the contradictions.
    Besides, this story stinks of troll.

  2. Athol Kay says:

    Women are sexually responsive to men.

    If she didn't want him and grew fat to drive him away, why was that…?

    Was getting drunk, unemployed and pill popping a good solution to that problem? There's no point complaining that women don't follow correctly, when the leadership is setting the bottom of a bottle as the goal.

  3. Rum, I have trouble imagining that someone would get addicted to alcohol and painkillers due to his wife gaining weight. Well, the drinking, maybe, but not all of the above.

    The multiple addictions and reluctance to find work suggests that he has deeper issues of his own that need resolving. I say, kudos to his wife for being there for him. However, he really needs to find a positive way to address his issues. Perhaps he already has. Perhaps he ran the MAP, felt great about himself and then decided his wife needed improving now, too. IMO, he should have been subtler with his approach rather than giving the ultimatum so fast, especially after she had stayed with him through his troubles. You can be firm without being brutal.

  4. I've been given that reason, as to why my wife gained weight, she said she was trying to push me away. Now whether I believe that or not, I am not really apt to.

    In my case I think it is / was a convenient excuse for her lack of discipline in regard to her fitness and physical health.

  5. ROI – it's just vanilla blameshifting.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Rum … speaking of blameshifting.
    If there's anything sadder than a man blaming a woman for his personal failings, it's another man doing it for him.
    Owning and being the master over your own sh– is an essential part of being a man. Blaming this "man's" problems on his wife's weight is nothing short of pathetic. Really, how weak-minded must a man be to develop multiple addictions and refuse to work because of a woman?

    Other men should be calling out this guy for his lack of manliness, not making excuses for and defending him.

  7. CantBeJustMe says:

    RUM: Wow…a bit too much coffee this morning? Maybe you experienced or know of something that happened along these lines?

    Either way I think ALL of us are missing the boat a bit…and of course this is just my opinion…but I think the AGE of the couple in question, especially the wife, has a lot to do with this dynamic.

    People getting married FORTY YEARS ago had an entirely different view of marriage from people getting married even 20 years ago.

    "No Fault" Divorce didn't become the "in and out" industry it is now until well into the 70's and 80's. No fault divorce was never a buzz word until around 1970 (right around the time this couple was married) in California.

    The mindset of our country was DIFFERENT. It was a different generation.

    My wife has gained some weight since we met. Hell so have I. But I'm still very attracted to my wife. I'd say she's probably 30lbs heavier than she was almost 20 years ago….but then again I never was into women without curves.

    Now morbidly obese, I can see that…but if you marry someone and they gain weight, and now you "aren't attracted" to them sounds odd to me.

    With all the issues the husband had, sounds like he wanted a Mother figure for a wife, and he got one…one he could have sex with. Maybe now his outlook his changing.

    Just my 2 cents.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Doormat marries Cad, is surprised that he is a Cad.
    Hilarity ensues.

  9. Ian Ironwood says:

    Once again, outstanding analysis Athol. You picked up on things I missed. Like her mistaking Beta Love for Alpha Love. She was the caring nurturer for so long and feels entitled to unconditional loyalty and unconditional love in return.

    This is partially a result on the perpetually unfulfilled feminine fantasy of True Love (or "Twue Wuv", as romance writers call it). The idea that Love is enough to overcome ANYTHING. Like stories of Faith, you only hear about the successes (a tiny minority), not the failures.

    Twue Wuv provides the cultural expectation that a heroine, in a bad marriage (say, to an abusive pirate, rapacious barbarian chieftain, or miserly old lord of the manor) will "put on a good face" and do as she is bid to maintain her own honor, while secretly seething and despising the man to whom she is bound. Indeed, Twue Wuv mandates that she keep her heart from him at all costs, no matter how unfair that is to anyone involved. "He can have my body, but he'll never touch my heart!"

    Twue Wuv actually rewards the Rationalization Hamster for its efforts. Indeed, that's the goal the RH is running towards most of the time — see my "follow your heart" post on my blog for details. The allure of Twue Wuv is the ultimate feminine end for which any means are accepted as permissible. That's what allows the RH to foster hypergamy, the whole EPL idea that "I'm not happy" means "I'm not getting the Twue Wuv I was promised". See how the EPL lady's story ends for details.

    The insidious thing about Twue Wuv is that it is accepted as the highest feminine ideal across all socioeconomic demographics, from hardcore traditional romantics to die-hard feminists. The plucky heiress or the determined, gorgeous environmental activist, no matter how successful and fulfilled they are in the rest of their lives, can never be truly complete until they have Twue Wuv…preferably with a wealthy, handsome Count or a studly billionaire industrialist who's willing to toss a multimillion dollar project for a choice piece of tail. It's a cultural meme that goes back to the Courtly Love period in medieval France, and beyond.

    But there's a reason that the wedding happens at the END of romance novels. Because Twue Wuv is easy when you're having an adventure, all tingly and exciting, but actually living day-to-day with a real human being erodes all of the misty passion around your husband and leaves nothing but the tantalizing memory of Twue Wuv to torment you.

    So Twue Wuv, via the RH, inspires this "white mutiny", a passive-aggressive tendency for women to blame their husbands for how they feel and use resentment and emotional distance to "shield their hearts" from his filthy clutches. Because in Twue Wuv, your Prince Charming never tells you your too fat.

    This unrealistic ideal is the feminine equivalent of the male pornstar fantasy, and it's fed by thousands of cultural messages every day. Just as a husband should accept the fact that his wife will never be a pornstar (or at least look and act like one), a wife should accept the fact that her husband will never be Prince Charming. He might, in fact, tell her that she's too fat.

    Twue Wuv is the feminine Blue Pill. It inspires countless women to stay in poor relationships, and countless more to break up perfectly decent relationships.

  10. Ian Ironwood says:

    I feel a post on Twue Wuv coming on.

    In short, the same RH that can make a woman leave a good relationship can also make a woman stay in a poor one and take solace with festering resentment and "hiding her heart from his filthy clutches". The feminine emotional ideal of True Love (romance writers call it, cynically, Twue Wuv) not only justifies a woman's hypergamy, it also allows a woman to take emotional revenge in a relationship out of spite. Apparently Prince Charming never tells you you're too fat.

    There's a reason that romance novels end with the wedding. Twue Wuv doesn't know how to be in a stable relationship.

    Yes, definitely a post coming on . . .

  11. Ian Ironwood says:

    Sorry for the double posting — it looked like my computer ate my first one, so I tried to summarize in the second. Sorry if it came across as pedantic.

    But in case it got lost along the way, righteous post, Athol.

  12. Ian Ironwood says:

    No doubt . . . this dude needs a serious shot of masculinity, stat.

    But it wasn't he who came here (I'd love to hear his side of the story). She did. So we're working off of her story, and some people really do think fat is an impeachable offense. So they have no problem justifying his actions, because of their own fat phobias.

    The ironic thing is that a hefty (!) minority of porn buyers are HIGHLY enthusiastic about ample women. Skinny isn't everyone's cup of tea.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for your words of wisdom, Athol.

    A couple of things…..my weight was normal and fairly steady until I reached 40. About then, I slowly started to gain weight and with the exception of the periods of time involving the final illnesses and ultimate deaths of my father and my only sibling when I may have gained several pounds in a short time, I probably gained a pound or two a year. I was about 55 lbs heavier than my wedding day weight at the time of the ultimatum (at age 59).

    H has never worked MAP. Has no interest, either. Sorry, Athol!

    I reread my posts and I can see how my marriage would be viewed as a very dark place. I highlighted the "low lights" so that Ian might better understand my position and life view. H and I have had many good times, as well and he is in recovery and protective of his sobriety. He had, in the past, thanked me for helping him and staying with him despite his shortcomings. I admire and love him for doing both of those things. We had a good daily rhythm and were actually humming right along until the ultimatum. I suppose that is part of why I was so thrown off by it. I had no clue he was so terribly unhappy.
    I do have boundaries with respect to marriage. They were more directly tied to religious vows. I never saw the "easy out" the law provides. And in looking at the law, who decides what the boundaries actually are? Sort of scary to think it is OK to divorce your partner because they don't make you happy or are too old and crotchety or won't visit the inlaws.

    I do have a lot of things to think about. I did think I was doing the right thing by supporting my husband through his illnesses (IMHO addictive behaviors are not character flaws, but a chemical/ psychological issue that can be treated with medical and psychiatric intervention.) and employment issues. Looking back, I can see that he just got comfortable knowing I had his back. I thought that was what you were supposed to do and thought he would do that for me.

    I am not sure about the keep up the "attractive to men" appearance thing. At my age, I don't think there is not much about a 60 year old woman that is attractive to men unless I start trolling the nursing homes for 80 year olds with poor vision, LOL. My reproductive years are past and from what I have read here and on other sites, no man, given the choice, would choose old over young and fecund. If the purpose is to destabilize H, I doubt he would notice. He knows I would never cheat and he knows 99.999% of men aren't interested in older women anyway. Nature is not kind to women.
    And Ian, thanks for your input as well. I had not considered H may have been ruminating about age related issues and the ultimatum may have come from his feelings about those. Doesn't make it sting any less, but it is certainly another point to think about.
    Anyway, thanks again for the advice and I will get the book. Been meaning to anyway.

  14. "Really, how weak-minded must a man be to develop multiple addictions and refuse to work because of a woman?"

    Ummm… Growing up I was taught that my "job" when I "grew up" was to find and marry a woman, start a family, and spend the rest of my life supporting her and my children. So, when my marriage started going south, I honestly did lose several years because of my lack of ambition to do anything better. I mean, I saw the reason for my existence slipping away and I had no idea how to fix it. In the end, I didn't learn until it was too late.

    Instead of just getting depressed and over weight, I could have very easily started drinking or doing drugs. For me, it was my children that kept me away from those, but perhaps this guy didn't have a good enough reason.

    I'm not saying its at all right, but when a man puts all his effort, ambition, and energy into a woman, and she doesn't return it with whatever he expects, it can send him down a very dark path. And THIS is why we need to teach our sons to be men. That they should live for themselves, and do for themselves first before they try to settle down and partner up. Extreme betas tend to be very fixated on their women, but in the wrong ways. And when the relationship starts to crumble, those same betas can react in some very self-destructive ways.

  15. OK, let's say the husband isn't attracted to the wife because she got too fat too quick. So he became a drunk who abuses prescriptions and got himself fired…messing up his own reputation? Because he was bitter at her? Um, no.

    If the lady who wrote Athol is reading these comments, I'm sorry for what you're going through. I am often taken advantage of in my marriage too, and I thought unconditional love was the way to go. Now I see where I might end up decades down the road…and that there are changes I'll have to make too.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Sixty year old men aren't exactly in demand either unless they can offer a younger woman money and help with her daddy issues. IMO you should be the best version of yourself, for yourself and not worry about your husbands opinion. He doesn't exactly sound like a prize, and I doubt that an unemployed alcoholic has anywhere to go.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I actually think that the wife protecting herself emotionally from her husband makes sense in this scenario. A man who would leave you over your appearance after 40 years of marriage is not someone that you can trust emotionally. He's border line emotionally abusive.

  18. Anonymous says:

    My husband asked me lose some weight. I asked him to grow that hair back on top of his head. Until that happens he can do jumping jacks on thumb tacks, I will weigh what I want.

  19. Anonymous says:

    At least your husband gave you a solution along with the ultimatum. I'm not excusing any of his bad behaviors, but just saying. I got the red pill force fed to me (ultimatum) from my wife and there was no solution offered. She could not even tell me why she was unhappy. Many of Athol's guy readers find themselves in this boat to some degree or another. They seem to be doing everything right, totally committed to wife and marraige, working hard to provide, but the sex life and emotional relationship ends up on the rocks or seriously lacking.

    I found Athols blog as the result of an ultimatum in the opposite direction as you did. At least your husband was able to tell you what the solution was. Count yourself lucky in that regard. I know this doesn't make it any easier to accept the red pill. But I have accepted it after months of anguish and denail. I still want the blue pill world of unconditional love that I offered to my wife for so many years, but its a pipe dream. There is no such thing.

  20. Anonymous says:

    On the fatness issue, I have two observations.

    1) re: the subject of the post: water seeks its own level. He's a lazy drunk, you're fat. Sounds like SMVs have been equal for most of your marriage.

    2) fat in general: Ladies, if you are 15 lbs+ overweight, when he introduces you to his friends, family or coworkers, you embarrass him. When you are fat, you do reflect poorly on him as a man. Here is the perception: men of quality have good looking wives. This is not right or wrong, it just is.

    If you don't believe #2, try this thought experiment. Go out to a mall, or Home Depot, or anywhere else you'll see husbands and wives together. Look for an obese woman with a normal weight man. Now try to be honest on your reaction. Don't you feel sorry for the man? Imagine that he has to come home each day to THAT. Seriously, that's who he lays down next to at night?

    Chubby chasers are < 5% of the population. No, it is not ok to be fat.

  21. Ian Ironwood says:

    "And THIS is why we need to teach our sons to be men. That they should live for themselves, and do for themselves first before they try to settle down and partner up. Extreme betas tend to be very fixated on their women, but in the wrong ways. And when the relationship starts to crumble, those same betas can react in some very self-destructive ways."

    Bravo. Reclaim masculinity for the 21st century, and a lot of this crap will resolve itself.

  22. Ian Ironwood says:

    Again, we only hear her side of the story. And how is she "protecting herself emotionally"? She's slamming the door shut on any fulfilling emotional relationship for the rest of her life. So what is she "protecting" herself from?

  23. @ Anon 7:28

    Sounds really supportive of you. What's next, tell him you won't grow your hair any longer until his penis gets bigger?

  24. Anonymous (Feb 9, 2012 06:32 AM)

    Firstoff, thanks for sharing your incredibly painful story, so MMSL readers can try and learn something from the experience. Hopefully Athol's, Ian's, and others' perspectives can provide some useful perspectives and open some doors for you.

    It can be hard to keep track of who-is-saying-what, so I hope that you'll pick a pseudonym for future comments. Even initials will do! ;-)

    IIRC, on the prior thread, your husband has also weighed in with his side of the story (also as "Anonymous"). Is that correct?

  25. The best reason to watch one's weight is to make YOURSELF happy (and healthy). Pleasing the spouse is a side benefit. Living for and through another person leads to resentment and finally, failure.

    I hope the woman who wrote the initial letter can work it out and make the best decision to make herself happy…she's earned it.

  26. Ian Ironwood says:

    To follow up on that last bit, you might take some solace in appreciating his perspective, even if he is currently unwilling to try to appreciate yours.

    Around age 60, there's a precipitous drop in testosterone and desire in most men. Since sexual vitality is the gold-standard for male self esteem, that's as problematic for many men as menopause is for many women. In addition, he is at a stage in life that signifies, essentially, that he should be dead (preindustrial lifespans were less than 50 years). No doubt you both hit the obits every day to see who else has passed on. Friends and relatives are dropping away, your peers are getting sick, and the sense of desperation sets in. If a man has had a poor relationship with his father, you can get some really wicked manifestations of that right now.

    But among this cascade of internal emotions is the idea that at this stage of your life a man needs to feel some demonstrable sense of success and achievement, or his sense of fulfillment and satisfaction will be so low that he feels his whole life has been a failure. If he hasn't been particularly successful in his career, then his wife is likely the best token of success he has — it is for most men.

    Unfortunately, our society doesn't value the contributions that fatherhood makes in any important way (this is starting to change, thankfully) so men still tend to judge other men and place them within the male social matrix based on a) financial success b) professional respect or c) how well you married. If a) and b) suck, you're going to cling desperately to c). And if c) sucks, too, then you might as well give up and let your kids push you out into the ocean on an ice floe.

    Of course this isn't going to help you much, but perhaps understanding the greater context of his ultimatum might add some helpful perspective. In some ways, he couldn't help it any more than a woman can avoid menopause. It's part of life, and, unfortunately, an uncomfortable part.

    But don't give up on him taking the Red Pill. Buy him a fedora and a copy of Athol's book and see what happens.

  27. Ian Ironwood says:

    That's very daring of you. And if he gets implants?

  28. Anonymous says:

    He criticized my appearance, I criticized his. Sounds reasonable to me. I am actually working on the weight because I don't want to be unhealthy, but he wasn't worried about my health when he made the comment. I am also going to ask him to make more money and point out that he could be better in bed. Maybe buy him an instructional video. That's the thing about criticizing your spouse. It opens the door for her criticizing you right back.

  29. Anonymous says:

    I'm curious … how is it some acceptable for a guy to say he'll leave his wife if she fails to conform to his demands regarding weight, and yet it's not supportive for a woman to demand a similar appearance standard from her husband.

    I'm not suggesting it's wrong for either side to have expectations regarding appearance. In fact, I think a marriage is better when their are expectations. But it seems you're saying her demands are unreasonable, while failing to make the same disparaging remarks regarding men and their expectations.

  30. Anonymous says:

    I agree with this. Also, men who don't earn good salaries or have great careers embarrass their wives. The perception, right or wrong is that high quality women are married to successful men.

  31. Anonymous says:

    If he gets implants then off to the gym I go.

  32. Anonymous says:

    If he gets implants then off to the gym I go.

  33. Anonymous says:

    If her husband is willing to leave her over weight gain then he can't offer her a fulfilling emotional relationship. She's just protecting herself from pain.

  34. "If her husband is willing to leave her over weight gain then he can't offer her a fulfilling emotional relationship. She's just protecting herself from pain."

    How can you know this? Maybe physical appearance is one of his primary needs. Perhaps he is truly concerned for her health, and doesn't know how to express it in a different way.

    I'm not saying you are wrong necessarily, just that it is easy to jump to conclusions based on a partial story.

  35. Anonymous says:

    The wife who posted about it would certainly know, and she seems to think that he can't offer her an emotionally fulfilling relationship.

  36. Wow. For the most part, male baldness isn't something that can be "cured". You can't just grow new hair.

    You can, however, keep from stuffing your mouth with bonbons and cupcakes.

    I honestly hope you are the troll I suspect you are. But, I've been sad to see that this outlook is common from many women.

  37. ExtremeBalance says:

    "…she gets no attraction points for being a good person."

    Gotta call for clarification on this. I think you only mean 'attraction points' in a physical sense. But if what I want is an LTR, there are definitely attraction points for being a good person.

  38. "For the most part, male baldness isn't something that CAN'T be "cured".

    I fail at typing. :P

  39. True. But unless you know clothing brands and/or see what a guy is driving, how will you know if he is or is not making good money?

    On the other hand, you can't miss someone who is overweight.

  40. "and yet it's not supportive for a woman to demand a similar appearance standard from her husband."

    I expect my SO to tell me when I look like hell. I want her to kick me in the butt to keep me working on my health. I've never once said that this should be a one sided deal, and Athol makes a point of telling men to get in shape.

    This particular conversation is very one-sided, but I don't think I've seen anywhere on this blog that it is OK for a guy to turn into a lazy slob once he is married. On the contrary, Athol advises men to always try to maximize their physical appearance.

  41. Anonymous says:

    Just knowing what a man does will tell you if makes good money most of the time. Also friends and family certainly know what he drives, where he lives, how he educates his children. Markers of financial success or the lack thereof are obvious to most people.

  42. "But if what I want is an LTR, there are definitely attraction points for being a good person."

    To an extent yes. But, most men are very visual when it comes to sexual attraction. I love my SO because she is a good person, I want to have sex with her mostly because I think she is sexy. Sure, her being a good person certainly helps, but it really doesn't help much.

    It is the harsh truth of sexual attraction for men: it is mostly a visual thing.

  43. Anonymous says:

    Rogaine, transplants, etc.
    Some might suggest that rubbing some foam on one's head a couple of times a day, or a simple one-day outpatient procedure, is far less taxing than hitting the gym for an hour or more every day and sacrificing junk food to lose weight.

    And please don't play the victim card regarding women's outlook. If you think it's fair for a man to demand appearance standards from his wife (and I agree that it is), then she should be able to make the same demands of him.

  44. Well the comment above was about being out in public, so I was a bit confused. Of course family and friends will know, and a man should always do his best to make a good living. Again, I don't think anyone is saying the husband's bad behavior is acceptable. If nothing else, it sounds to me like both of them have contributed to where their relationship is now.

    The real question is: is she willing to put her pain aside and try to fix it? Because, in the end, someone has to break the cycle if it will ever be better.

  45. Anonymous says:

    And yet you suggest that a wife who makes known her expectation regarding physical appearance (in this case, that he do something about his baldness) is not supportive?

  46. Anonymous says:

    Don't try and be an attractive 20-30-40 year old. Strive to be as attractive as you can be at your age and your weight.
    I find the comparison of obesity and baldness disingenuous. Obesity is an indication of eating too much and being insufficiently active. It brings with it health complications. Male pattern baldness is a function of genetics and age. It can be remedied by drugs or masked with surgery, but left alone, it poses no health risks.
    Jason

  47. Ian Ironwood says:

    Actually, that's not what she said. She said that she, herself, is unwilling to pursue an emotionally fulfilling relationship, not that he was incapable. It's quite possible that he is capable and that she is just not receptive to the possibility.

  48. Anonymous says:

    The comment mentioned being embarrassed in front of friends family and coworkers.

  49. To confront a wrong but maintain a sweet dignity is the mark of a lovely woman. You can only control you, and if you hold on to bitterness over the cruel way he treated you, it will only poison you. You have been a good wife, a loving wife, a wife who tried to do everything right. Don't give up now.

    However, you are certainly within your rights to demand that he in turn get a job- any job- in return for your weight loss. Welcome to the new world of communicating reasonable expectations! Figure out what you want the future to look like and describe it to him in a loving way. Learn from his mistake and keep it civil and sweet.

    Honestly, I feel Ian Ironwood has a real point: your husband is summing up his life and not liking what he sees and what he has accomplished. That he is taking this out on you is unfortunate. At this stage in life, it behooves a man without much career or financial success to take up a hobby. Woodworking, birdwatching, model trains, RC aircraft, trainspotting, etc. Just a thought…

  50. Anonymous says:

    Excess weight becomes visually unappealing long before it is a health risk. We are talking about attractiveness here and for most women, losing your hair is not attractive. The comparison is valid, and regrowing hair is a lot easier than losing weight.

  51. Anonymous says:

    Do we only get to be critical about the stuff a husband can change? My husband likes to work on weights for his arms but he has a substantial beer belly that sometimes feels like it is crushing me when he is on top. I have actually gotten nausea if sex is not too long after a meal or drink due to the pressure on my abdomen and that is even when he keeps his weight on his arms! He is also not very endowed and his semen volume is small (I do miss a previous lover's large volume). He can't change the endowment so I try to do Kegels to keep things tighter on my part but it can still be disappointing. I would never tell him this as he can do nothing about it though I wonder if sperm volume could actually be enhanced–drinks? vitamins?

  52. No, he suggests that we should be reasonable and ask for reasonable changes. You can ask him to make more money if he is not making enough, but you can't do it just as a "revenge" over him for asking you to lose weight.

    You look like one of those people who can't do anything if you don't get something in return, even if you don't need it.

  53. "Do we only get to be critical about the stuff a husband can change?"

    That goes without saying. If he cannot change it, it is rude to bring it up. Don't be the source of negative energy in your relationship. And words cannot be erased- saying something mean about a physical attribute he cannot do a thing to improve is CRUELTY.

  54. Pills for curing baldness can have really horrible, lasting side-effects. They can interfere with hormones and destroy sex-drive. It's really not a good trade.

  55. Anonymous says:

    Hey as i said i would never say anything about his lack of something he cannot change but it is not necessarily sexy to live with.

  56. Ian, I enjoy reading your posts, but I have a very pedantic disagreement with something you said.

    "preindustrial lifespans were less than 50 years"

    Actually, this is a common misunderstanding of mathematically averaging lifespans. That is, it's a low figure because so many people died at childbirth or in early childhood—mostly due to diseases caused by poor sanitation and nutrition. But when people made it past adolescence they often lived very long lives. Adults outside of war times lived in better health than many people do today.

    Anyways, carry on.

  57. From personal experience, there are a few things to increase volume:

    - Have less sex. It takes a few days to get to full capacity, as it were
    - Work up to it. The longer orgasm is postponed, the stronger and bigger the ejaculation is (And it makes for a wonderful orgasm)
    - Be healthy. Eat healthy, work out. But this goes for everything
    - There are some types of food that will change the consistency,taste and might change the volume, but you can google those.

  58. Anonymous says:

    R.
    "You look like one of those people who can't do anything if you don't get something in return, even if you don't need it."

    Nice ad hominem.
    Perhaps you mean I look like someone who can't do something – say, like, keep a marital vow – I get something in return – say, like, having my wife accede to my demand that she lose weight.
    Is that what you're saying?

    All I'm saying is that if you're going to go around making demands of your spouse, you'd better be ready for, and open to, similar demands from her.
    How is that somehow controversial?

  59. Anonymous says:

    Who said anything about pills, Mark?
    Rogaine …. not a pill
    Transplant …. not a pill.

    The smart-a** in me requires that I add:
    "Issuing an ultimatum that your wife either lose weight or you'll leave her can have really horrible, lasting side effects. It can interfere with your relationship, destroy sex drive, build resentment and give your woman – once she does shed the pounds and find herself awash with opportunities for other men – more inclination to seek comfort elsewhere."

  60. Anonymous says:

    Correct Ian.
    She is unwilling because she said she cannot engage in an emotionally fulfilling relationship with a man she cannot trust. And a man who threatens to end a 40-year marriage (one in which, it seems, she's done most of the heavy lifting) solely because of her weight is, for her, not a man to be trusted.

  61. "(one in which, it seems, she's done most of the heavy lifting) "

    And you can tell this how?

  62. "and regrowing hair is a lot easier than losing weight."

    And you are a male baldness specialist? Medical Doctor? Geneticist?

    I've successfully lost weight, so I can say that although it isn't easy, it is absolutely doable. I'm not going bald (at least not yet) so I can't say if I can or can't grow back hair. But, the fact that "Hair Club for Men" even exists tells me I can't.

  63. Well, Rogaine and Transplants cost money. Losing weight is free and can SAVE you money because you will cut down on food consumption. And, the last time I checked, it is free to walk on the street and sidewalk, so there is NO excuse for being lazy and not exercising other than being lazy.

    look. I was massively over-weight and am getting into shape now. It sucks, but it isn't hard other than keeping the will to stick to it. I eat less, eat smarter, and walk for exercise. NONE of that costs a cent.

    So, from a practical standpoint, losing weight is easier and more affordable than getting Rogaine or transplants. Plus, you won't die from baldness, but being over-weight has so many health problems I won't even bother making a list. We both know this, but you choose to deny it because you don't like the truth.

  64. I was building from this comment:

    "Go out to a mall, or Home Depot, or anywhere else you'll see husbands and wives together. Look for an obese woman with a normal weight man. Now try to be honest on your reaction. Don't you feel sorry for the man? "

    Out in public with strangers. No family or friends involved.

  65. "All I'm saying is that if you're going to go around making demands of your spouse, you'd better be ready for, and open to, similar demands from her."

    OK. I will be sure to tell my SO that I am not demanding she stay in decent shape, but that I expect it as a minimum requirement for my continuation of our marriage.

    To me it is kinda assumed that in a relationship, I will need to meet some demands, and I will expect some to be met. Here is the key difference:

    I shouldn't have to demand it at all. She should take it upon herself to keep in the best shape she can, and I should take it upon myself to do the same, and make the most money I can, etc.

    I guess I better make sure to include a "physical attraction" clause in any marriage vows I might recite in the future. I wouldn't want my future wife to be pissed that I demand she do her best to stay in shape.

    Oh, and going bald isn't a choice. Unless there is a medical issue, getting fat IS a choice.

  66. Hey as i said i would never say anything about his lack of something he cannot change but it is not necessarily sexy to live with."

    And this is key. I don't understand why some people are so upset over a request/demand to lose weight. Sure, maybe he totally blew the delivery and could have done a MUCH better job of communicating. (I can't imagine my grandfather doing a better job, and they are of the same generation so…) But regardless of "how hard" it is to lose weight, unless she has a medical condition, IT IS TOTALLY IN HER POWER TO DO IT!

    My SO has a scar from a medical procedure she had years ago. It isn't at all attractive, but I certainly would never pick on her about it, because she can't change it. However, if she were to start gaining weight, you can be damned sure I'd bring it up.

  67. Anonymous says:

    So, now it's a financial argument?
    Yikes.
    As in, "It's OK to have expectations of one's spouse …. so long as it doesn't cost money to meet those expectations."
    Really? That's the best you can offer us? So you'd be OK with an overweight wife in the upper Midwest because, after all, walking on the sidewalks frequently is not feasible year-round and gym memberships cost money?
    You're getting desperate.

    Wouldn't a new wardrobe to fit the slimmer spouse cost money? And healthy foods, especially produce, typically costs more than junk food.
    Losing weight isn't free.

    Speaking of "the truth," couching one's desire for their wife to lose weight as a health concern is a long, long way from the truth.
    The truth is husbands with overweight wives want them to lose weight because they want them to look more appealing, not because they're oh-so-concerned about their health. There's nothing wrong with wanting one's wife to look better, by the way. so why life about your true motives? Because it's more PC?

    Oh, and you kick puppies, drown kittens and hate children. (As long as we're tossing out stupid pejoratives in a lame effort to enhance our argument).

  68. Anonymous says:

    Ted … did you even bother to read the initial post?
    She stood by him through two bouts of alcoholism and another with prescription drug addiction. When he got himself fired for cause, she stood by him. And when he refused to go back to work, she went out and increased her earnings to provide for the family.
    And what did that get her?
    "Lose weight, tubby, or I'm outta here."

  69. Anonymous says:

    Both scenarios involve embarrassment. What is your point?

  70. Anonymous says:

    I can tell you that as a man who began losing his hair at 17, it is not easy to regrow hair; that for most women, baldness is extremely unattractive; and that it is a completely valid comparison between female obesity and male pattern baldness.

    deti

  71. Anonymous says:

    Wow, Anon @ 7:28 am. Your retort to your husband about weighing what you want shows you don't appreciate your husband, don't care what he wants, and don't care what he thinks of you. You obviously don't care much about your husband or your marriage. Don't be surprised if you are the recipient of a similar ultimatum or ILYBINILWY speech. If you were my wife, my response would be "you can weigh what you'd like, but you'll be doing so alone."

    deti

  72. Anonymous says:

    You know something, Anon @ 7:28? You obviously don't love, care about, or even like your husband. You're spiteful, mean-spirited, vindictive, and vengeful. You obviously made the comment to him about his baldness to get a jab in at him. Maybe you should just do yourself and him a favor, and end your marriage.

    deti

  73. Ian Ironwood says:

    She can try to rebuild the trust (recommended) and take a chance on finding a fulfilling relationship with her husband

    or

    she can accept defeat and live out a life of quiet misery.

    It sounds like the ball is in her court.

  74. Ian Ironwood says:

    Mark, I stand by what I said. While "some" people did, indeed, live to ripe old ages, before the Germ Theory of Disease and vaccinations, that number was very, very low.

  75. Nah, Deti, she's just trolling. And doing the blame-throwing that is so popular with women.

    MAN: "I'd like it if you—"
    WOMAN: "But you do this and that and the other thing! How can you say anything to me while you're doing all that!"
    MAN: ". . ."
    WOMAN: *feels vindicated and doesn't have to change*

  76. My first comment raised the possibilty of the trollishness of this letter. I said that because the scenario depicted is just too perfect as a fat-girl-as-victim fairy tale.
    The whole of story could be summarized as "I am a virtuos wife who has sacrificed so much for a man who is cruel, powerful, and unworthy all at the same time. He gave me an ultimatum to lose weight, to which I complied, but there was a bad result. Which means fat women should not lose weight. And I deserve a trainload of emo worship!!!"
    All of that sounds like a fantasy scenario designed to stroke-off her ego. Then she has the grace to tell the world that her husband is less than well endowed and she feels nausea when he fucks her. And he makes little sperm and she misses her more virile "lover" who pumped her with more.
    The pattern here is easy to spot. The writer of this shit is just a middle-aged woman who wants somehow to injure the emotions of men and is putting made-up shit onto relationship forum like she was poking with a knitting needle in the dark hoping to draw some blood.
    The formulaic nature of this form of literature reflects badly on the creative skills of its practitioners.

  77. Rum,
    Untwist those Jockys. I am the older woman with the 40 year marriage and I did not make the post about the less than well endowed, pot bellied husband. That was another commenter. My H may be difficult to understand but I would never say things like that about him.

  78. It was pretty obvious that the anonymous commenter whose husband worked out with arm weights was not the middle aged woman referred to in Athol's post.

    Quit while you are behind, Rum. :D

    Kathy

  79. So you wouldn't try to regrow your hair for your wife. You must not care much about your wife or your marriage.

  80. SETI- if you were my husband, my response would be to help your bald ass pack your bags, screw you over in divorce court and then lose weight for the man that replace you with. A man with hair.

  81. If your vows included "for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad," you don't get to change to conditional relationship after the fact. Period. Now, if your agreement with your spouse was, "for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, *unless* you become alcoholic, become a lousy provider or gain 50+ pounds" then that's another story, but I doubt most people do that.

    None of us are perfect or easy to live with over decades. Long term marriage is difficult. If it were easy, everyone would get married and stay married, children wouldn't be devastated by broken homes, and divorce lawyers would be poor.

    You're in love, you're out of love. You get along great, you almost hate each other. Some years are lean, some are prosperous. All of that is irrelevant to a true marriage. Marriage isn't about being "in love" for 50+ years; it's about making a *decision* to share your lives and raise a family for the rest of your life. With the exception of self-defense (avoiding physical abuse or protecting your children from it), be prepared to suck up the rest or don't get married.

    Seriously, the idea that a marriage is conditional on weight or whether or not your wife lives up to your vision of a good wife is just appalling.

  82. Well if you want to quote vows Kat, "forsaking all others" is in there too.

    You demand unconditional love is a requirement for marriage because you aren't meeting the conditions of the marriage agreement.

    You know this to be true because you still hide your cheating from your husband and write about it online.

    And in anycase, we have already done the unimportance of the vows to death here. The actual agreement is what is defined by marriage law. Most places are no fault divorce, so the actual agreement is an extremely conditional one. As you well know.

  83. Wow….thanks for sharing your story. I'm 48 and my hubby of 20 + yrs is 52…,he says I look 30 but I'm scared. No way to keep up….does a sense of humor count for anything guys?

  84. I skimmed over most of the fat trolls vs anti-fat trolls above. Let's just say excess weight is both a turn-off and darned hard to get rid of without some very, very good incentive. [It's possible, though ... as a post-menopausal woman, I lost 40 lbs in 18 months when my blood sugar came in as diabetic. I stopped eating most carbs, and the weight, and diabetes went away.]

    One point the armchair experts missed … the Wife gained weight (about 50 lbs) early in her marriage, **stayed steady** for 20 years, then took the weight off. This is **not** the "bonbons and television" pattern of weight gain! This is normal late 20th century eating well and trying half-heartedly to not gain weight. And when she decided the weight had to come off, it did. [I gained my weight the same way ... my ex was an excellent cook -- batshit crazy, but a good cook.]

    Note that her husband didn't complain about her weight for 20 years after she put it on, then sprung the ultimatum. That's important.

  85. Most people don't think about divorce laws when they marry. They are planning yo live up to the vows spoken at the alter and consider their love unconditional. I meet the conditions for love in my marriage, but I still want unconditional love.

  86. I have lost a lot of weight. But I cannot *will* my hair to grow back. Rogain helps retain existing hair. Nothing makes hair grow back.

    And have you seen how men w/ transplants look? Why would anybody pay for that?

    Signed, former fatso

  87. That's because he just recently swallowed the Red Pill.

  88. If I were the OP's husband I would be worried. In my experience the only time women lose weight is when they have found new love. It is almost cliche by now the story of the dumpy wife who starts working out, dressing well and getting in shape….because they have something going on outside the marriage.

    Add in the idea that the wife is supporting the H. and his sexual market value starts plummetting.

  89. A happy wife w/ a sense of humor is very important. But it is a diff type of attraction than being fit and a healthy weight. Not skinny. Just not fat. The attitude and the looks are both important.

    But be realistic. Don't we all know a bunch of men who are married to the hot bitch? The physical attraction can outweigh the bad attitude sometimes.

    on the other hand, my wife could lose 15-20. She knows this too. But I still think she's hot. My wife thinks of herself as attractive even w/ the extra weight. I like that attitude. I do not want to be married to someone who's always beating themselves up about weight. What a downer. Just be happy w/ yourself and your man likely will too.

    Signed, former fatso

  90. If the original letter writer is innocent of making the small-dick comment; I apologize for the aspersion.
    On the other hand, whenever the story line is a variant of "I was told I should lose weight so I did(or tried to) and then something bad, negative, or punitive happened" we are hearing the voice of the Fat Acceptance Movement. In the whole history of bad ideas, this one is probably the worst and the one most dependent on lies and obfuscation. Buyer beware.

  91. Athol,
    "forsaking all others" was not among the vows I spoke on my wedding day, although I'll agree it was implied. And my husband is now aware of all of my activities. I don't believe in an unconditional committment because it is the only way I can stay married. I believe in it because that's what I agreed to.

    It sounds to me like your opinion that that those vows are conditional because civil laws allow no fault divorce is just *your* rationalization hamster at work. It gives you the justification to cut and run if it gets too hard.

  92. You told your husband you still have sex with JJ? Please link to that post please, I was under the impression your husband had specifically not agreed to an open marriage.

    The vows aren't even particularly relevant. They carry no weight in a courtroom, the marriage law defines the scope of the legal agreement.

    I think I've written enough on Marriage 2.0 to have my viewpoint understood. I've not advising it as a way out, but a warning that continual courtship is a requirement for a long marriage.

    But then you knew that.

  93. I'm pretty well aware of what it takes to make a long term marriage work, and having one foot near the door and making it clear that you will leave if you're not happy – that's not how.

    I don't post every single thing that happens between my husband and I, as I know you don't post all the truth about what happens in your marriage. Why is it so hard for you to believe that there are people who can choose to stay married in spite of big challenges?

    I know your position. But that doesn't make marriage vows irrelevant. You want to make it nothing more than a civil contract so your "be the wife I want or get out" mentality is justified, but it is much more than a civil contract.

  94. Well as long as you have finally been honest with your husband and told him about your lovers and the blog and he's okay with it, I don't have a problem with anything you're doing. I'm proud of you for coming clean with everything to him.

    I just imagined he wasn't going to take it very well at all and you would have written about the drama!

    The purpose of underlining the nature of MArriage 2.0 law is to provide a warning to husbands that they need to pay attention to their wives or else they may wander off to another man, and/or end up divorced from them. But then you knew that already didn't you.

    And not for nothing, you're commenting on a post where I'm advising a wife who has been facing the same general set of issues of being taken advantage of as many of my male readers have been. One should note that my advice is the same for her as it is for them.

  95. Well, I may not always agree with you Athol but I do have to say that you are a very fair minded kind of guy and try to see both sides.

    You are also quite congenial and easy going which I think is quite essential here because people(particularly those who have been badly burnt) can be quite volatile and vociferous in their comments. ;)

    Kathy

  96. "Perhaps you mean I look like someone who can't do something – say, like, keep a marital vow – I get something in return – say, like, having my wife accede to my demand that she lose weight.
    Is that what you're saying?"

    No, I am not saying that, but you obviously does not want to understand.

    "All I'm saying is that if you're going to go around making demands of your spouse, you'd better be ready for, and open to, similar demands from her.
    How is that somehow controversial?"

    Yes, you must be open to it — no issues with that. The problem is in the examples you have been throwing around. That's why what I have said above is not an ad hominem attack — I was just saying that you sound like a child: "he is having something? Then I must have something too!". Not that you are one. It's the context…

    Well, as Mark said, you are trolling. I rest my case.

  97. Well, you could tell him that his belly is hurting you during sex. Have you done that?

  98. Due respect to ya, Kat, you really aren't in much of a position to come in here and pontificate about marriage.

    deti

  99. In my opinion, prowling around qualifies as "having one foot near the door".

    deti

  100. "She stood by him through two bouts of alcoholism and another with prescription drug addiction. When he got himself fired for cause, she stood by him. And when he refused to go back to work, she went out and increased her earnings to provide for the family."

    Sure, but we never heard his side of the story. I'm not accusing anyone of lying here, but we are going only on one view of all this.

    It's fine. I just think many people here are jumping to conclusions based on little real knowledge…

  101. Deti – really? So being bald is a choice for a man? Did you decide to start losing your hair at 17?

    Listen, I'm not saying being bald is or is not attractive to women, but being bald is not a choice. You can not CHOOSE to go bald (well I guess you can shave your head…) You can however choose NOT to be overweight. If there is a medical condition, get it resolved. If not, eat less and exercise more. It really isn't rocket science.

  102. "You're getting desperate."

    And you still refuse to admit that being fat is a choice.

  103. At this time I don't have a point. I'm feeding trolls I suspect.

  104. The vows you speak in Church mean absolutely nothing if you do not truly believe in them. I realize lots of people recite those vows on their wedding day, some in Church some at a JP, but they are still completely unenforceable, and in the end, THAT is what counts. I can convince a women to say that she will be my slave in her vows, but I would have no legal ground to enslave her on.

    Kat – Interesting that you still lurk here it seems. You realize that there are very few men reading here that take you at all seriously when it comes to marriage advice. Even IF everything you do was out in the open and above the board, (meaning a real open marriage) your opinion still wouldn't count for much with men looking for long-term monogamous marriages. The fact that you lie and cheat (or at least did you years. I'm not a reader of your blog and have NO IDEA what you are up to) pretty much seals your fate in terms of anyone taking you seriously. I'm not saying you shouldn't have an opinion, I'm saying most guys here don't care what your opinion is.

  105. "Rogaine, transplants, etc.
    Some might suggest that rubbing some foam on one's head a couple of times a day, or a simple one-day outpatient procedure, is far less taxing than hitting the gym for an hour or more every day and sacrificing junk food to lose weight."

    You apparently have no idea how hair regrowth/replacement works. Rogaine and Propecia are stop-gap measures. They'll slow down hair loss, but you will gain back little of what has already been lost, and it will only be on the crown.

    Hair transplants are equally sketchy. First off, it's incredibly expensive, and incredibly painful. Assuming the surgery is not totally botched (which is entirely possible – there's a reason Axl Rose always wears a hat these days), you are limited by the amount of transplantable hair. And then, assuming you're sporting a Terry Bradshaw-style power donut, you will never have enough donor hair to cover even a large majority of your scalp. Even if it's successful, it's usually very obvious that you have had work done – see: Joe Biden.

    Compared to that, watching one's diet and exercising is a (pun inteded) cakewalk.

  106. *intended

  107. Ugh, that's what I get for posting too early… large majority should be large minority.

  108. Kat – I see your husband knows about your "activities". Perusing your site, you report he told you he was up to "activities" of his own.

    Sorry. That doesn't make it OK in my book. It does mean you and your husband richly deserve each other.

    deti

  109. Kat –

    Yikes.

    I don't think Athol would be very successful in advising somebody from another culture with different ideas about what marriage should be. Say, a Turkish pasha trying to figure out how to keep his #3 concubine from expressing jealousy towards his #1 wife.

    Good luck with your own relationship.

  110. fat women can not be reasoned with.

    jesus lady, NO ONE likes a fatty, not even you

    being fat is a sign of a lack of respect for one's self. a visual manifestation of lack of control. it is the badge of gluttony and slovenliness of the soul.

    the bald argument in retort is a straw man.

  111. Sense of humor? What men find funny and what women find funny are usually pretty different. My wife thinks she's hilarious, and she cracks up her friends with regularity. But to me and my guy friends she mostly comes off as goofy, not funny.

    Even assuming you're actually funny, and your husband appreciates your humor, it's not going to do anything as far as sexual attraction goes.

  112. Athol – The fact that you are consistent is a strength of yours. Much of the advice you give is great, some of it is bullshit, but you are consistent, and that's a good thing.

    Athol and Ted – It's very, very sad that you think the only vows that count are those that are legally enforceable. That must mean that you place no value in the promise of a friend and a man's word means nothing. This whole perspective is profoundly cynical. You may call it "realistic," but the vast majority of the people in the world believe that marriage is intended to be a lifelong commitment. You may point to all those who get divorced, but why do you ignore the half (or more!) or stay married. I can guarantee you that they don't do it by giving their spouses ultimatums.

    Ted – I have no illusions that I can change anyone's mind, particularly those who have already partaken of the cool-aid that's sold here; however, the ideas I am expressing on the lifelong commitment of marriage and the importance of staying married no matter what are those of the majority of people who have stayed happily married for decades. I just think it's wrong for folks to give the OP the idea that she was wrong to believe in lasting and unconditional commitment. Her husband sure is a piece of work, but her commitment for 40 years was not a big mistake.

    deti – "Perusing" my blog will only give you erroneous ideas and the wrong impression of me and my life, juts as only perusing Athol's blog will give many the opinion that he's a misogynist asshole, which he definitely is NOT. As for me and my husband deserving each other, I'd like to think that's true. We are two people who have gone through some VERY rough times, have raised children together (and we're still raising the last one), and we're still unconditionally committed to each other and working out any issues we have. Yes, we still love each other. We enjoy each other's company and the sex we're having these days is amazingly hot (if you "perused" the blog, surely you know that, right?). Don't you think most of those reading this would give their right arm for that?

    You WANT to dismiss me because you have labeled me and you just can't accept that there is a possibility to walk through tough stuff and still be happily married. You can't, or your whole ultimatum escape hatch would be exposed for what it is – bailing out because you're simply not able to hang in there and walk through the hard times. And yes, sometimes those hard times last years.

  113. "and we're still unconditionally committed to each other and working out any issues we have."

    If your definition of unconditionally committed includes screwing around on the side, then I will gladly pass on your version and take my cynical views to the bank.

    For the record, I was married the "traditional route" and my now ex-wife chose to look at the vows we spoke in church as a legal matter. So now I do the same. If it can't be enforced by law, it doesn't exist. I'd love to believe in people's word, but that has proven to be a losing bet time and again. Maybe if the world were more honest (for instance not sleeping around on a spouse to "get the thrills in") I might be able to go on faith. But for me, faith is gone.

  114. Well I'm not quite sure what a Turkish Pasha is, but I would instruct the #1 Wife that it is up to her disgression how she keeps the concubines in order. As a suggestion, if concubine #3 is unhappy and would prefer to be a wife herself, perhaps she would be happier if she was married to a pig farmer somewhere nice and quiet… and remote.

  115. Plenty of people believe the vows mean something, and they take them seriously. Their spouse can divorce them at will though, and the vows and committment offer the good spouse no protection from that fate.

    There is no ultimatum escape hatch, there's already a huge emergency/boredom exit built into marriage law. I didn't put it there, I just acknowledge its existence. The MAP is designed to actually slow down the process of heading to the exit and allow the other partner time to respond positively to the potential ending of the relationship.

    In anycase, you've already admitted that your vows implied sexual fidelity, and you purposely hid your sexual infidelity from your husband because you knew you were breaking your vows. So you fail to impress me with your argument that the vows matter to you.

    Also you purposely targeted married men to have your affairs with. In this case you used other peoples marriage vows as safety net for lessening the chances the husband would attach to you and blow your cover. So you don't actually respect other peoples vows either. Every time you slept with a married man, there was a wife offering her "unconditional love" to her husband, and getting cheated on as a reward.

    I would be curious as to how many marriages failed in the wake of you sleeping with another womans husband.

  116. Re: Athol Kay (Feb 10, 2012 12:04 PM)

    LOL

  117. More than half of marriages last a lifetime. People who see marriage and love as conditional are probably a lot more likely to get a divorce. I agree that the woman in the OP didn't make a mistake in staying married. I admire her for keeping her vows. Sometimes your commitment to the principles of marriage can be bigger than your commitment to the person.

  118. Let me get this straight – He is unemployed with no income and he is going to divorce you?? He will be HOMELESS and HUNGRY. He has no money to pay a lawyer to get a divorce. Did he think you were going to give him money while you are separated? It takes a while before he gets his share of the divorce settlement and you could have stalled it for years because he couldn’t afford a lawyer. Doesn’t he know he is UNMARRIAGEABLE because he is unemployable?

    You should have called him on his BLUFF. But now that you’ve lost the weight, you should start feeling better about yourself and you should do your own BLUFFING. Tell him he either has to immediately get a job or volunteer 40 hours per week or YOU WILL DIVORCE him. If he doesn’t start volunteering immediately, then take all the food out of the house so he is hungry and has no money to get food (warn your kids not to give him money or food). You can cut the cable TV and internet off, too. Make him realize that you are not going to keep enabling him to do nothing.

    You don’t have to divorce him – just don’t get around to filing for a divorce. However, he is going to be able to collect Social Security when he is 62, so do something quick.

    You both need counseling. You are an enabler. You are still in the same dynamics as if he were an alcoholic. Go to the Alcoholics Anonymous for families and learn how to quick being codependent.

  119. Fascinating reading, and while i was disgusted in the husband at first i can now actually relate the entire situation to my own life. Luckily i’m still young and there’s hope left for me yet. A definite eye opener.

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