Winning The Ultimatum, But Losing Anyway

Reader:  My wife used to be very touchy feely with me, but has stopped. If I touch her she’ll move away after a moment. If I ask her for sex, 90% of the time she’ll say yes, but she’s stopped having orgasms. Not sure what to do.
She was overweight for a while, and I told her that I wasn’t all that attracted to her and would leave her if she didn’t lose the weight. I put up with her being fat for years and it was long enough. She cried and yelled at me for two days and after I held my ground, she started dieting and working out. She lost 40 pounds and is maybe 10 pounds away from what she weighed when we got married. She looks great. She started dressing better, wearing makeup, changed her hair. We still had sex while she was losing the weight, but she wasn’t into it anymore. She’d say lets just have a quicky since you aren’t really attracted to me. Well now I am very attracted to her and she’s still not having an orgasm during sex and not interested in trying to have an orgasm with me. She does use her vibrator in the shower sometimes.
I’m not sure what to do next. The MAP and ultimatum worked to get her to lose weight, but she’s basically giving me duty sex. She’s not cold exactly. She’s polite and distant and won’t tell me what she’s thinking. I can’t find any evidence of an affair, but I bet if I asked her about her feelings she’d say that she loved me, but isn’t in love with me.
Athol:  Sometimes you can win a battle, but lose the war.
Having given her an ultimatum, and stuck to your guns that you’re willing to actually end the relationship, you’ve given her a massive shock to her system. She’s been wandering along through life believing all the Blue Pill rules about unconditional love and so on, and you shoved the Red Pill down her throat and held her nose until she swallowed it.
So she complied with your request, but she’s still in shock and has near zero relationship comfort anymore. I think you might have it backwards on the “in love and love” front. She’s probably in love with you, but determined not to love you. You’ve got an oversupply of Alpha and an empty tank on the Beta stuff.
The lack of orgasms, and the lack of desire to be touched, is very likely her Body Agenda being determined not to continue bonding to you, and not to continue to trust you. She complies with sex because she thinks without giving you sex, you’ll just leave her. She likely thinks you don’t love her and will probably just ditch her anyway. She may also think you were cheating on her around the time of the ultimatum, or at least had a backup woman to jump to if she didn’t comply with the weight loss.
At this point you need to turn the Beta up, way up and quickly. Do whatever it is that she most likes as comfort building things. Flowers, cards, love notes, acts of service…. whatever it is that speaks to her best.
My advice is to do a combination of apologizing and reframing. The apology is for making the issue solely her weight. I’m completely serious that you should apologize for that. The reframing though is that you thought that her losing the weight was going to get you what you really wanted, and what you really wanted, was things to be how they were when you first got married. You wanted to feel passionate about her again, you wanted the energy between you both to be there again.
But now that she flinches when you touch her, and doesn’t orgasm and obviously isn’t into it anymore, you’re even further away from what you really wanted than you were before. The weight loss has been a good thing and you’re proud of her for doing it, but what you wanted was her. Express to her your grief for what you’ve lost. You don’t want to feel passionate about anyone else, you want to feel it about her.
Apologize for making it “Me vs. You” when you really should have been trying to make it about “Us.”
See what happens.
As a very serious note: The ultimatum is the tool of last resort and by giving an ultimatum you have to accept that the relationship may fail as a result; I offer no promises it will work. That being said, I’ve tended to express the results of ultimatums as resolving into “success” or “failure” outcomes, it’s been somewhat of an oversight of mine to omit the “limping on together” outcome. In a sense though, you’re still stuck in the matrix of the ultimatum and waiting to have it resolved one way of the other. The ultimatium itself is a massively powerful Alpha move, her compliance needs to be rewarded with a solid dose of Beta.

Related posts:

  1. An Ultimatum Is The Last Resort Many comments on yesterday’s post “Fat Wives Demanding Unconditional Love”...

Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Isn't it also possible that she realizes she's hot now and you're hot for her, and she's wondering who else's eye she might catch? "Turning up the beta" is probably a good idea too, except she might not appreciate the direct reminder that you're only acting warm and fuzzy because she's hot, and otherwise you really don't care about her. If you see what I mean.

  2. Athol Kay says:

    A revenge ploy is always possible on her part.

    Whatever he's doing now isn't working though, so he needs to change something. Seeing he just hit her with major Alpha, that something needs to be Beta.

  3. Gwen says:

    "otherwise you really don't care about her."

    That's the whole thing, right there, and that's why he needs to convince her that he did this because he loves her and was trying to regain what they once had, as Athol said.

    I do find myself wondering how old this couple is. I know I have been regarding my body with increasing dismay ever since I hit 40, to where I now feel very insecure about my ability to be attractive to my husband. For the first time in our marriage I really don't want the lights on, or to let him see me naked. If he were to ever say to me that he would leave me if I didn't say, get plastic surgery to tighten up all the nasty saggy bits, yeah, I'd get the plastic surgery. The last thing I want is to lose him. I am not so sure, however, that I'd ever trust him again. I'd be really worried that he might decide at any moment that I just wasn't good enough anymore and that he'd decide I was easily replaced with a younger, not-so-saggy woman.

    If this couple is old enough that the wife is starting to feel her aging, she's going to be a lot more upset about this than a younger woman would. And yes, I think in her shoes I might be inclined to consider preemptively walking out. Dump him first, while I'm still young enough to find someone I feel safer with.

    "lets just have a quicky since you aren't really attracted to me"

    And he let this kind of statement go? She was begging for reassurance and beta.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I understand the idea that with enough alpha, she will possibly be inspired to stay thin, and I understand that a lot of the folks on this site are showing up long after problems have metastasized into things like morbid obesity, but I'm curious about preventative measures. Say you've got a decent marriage, decent sex life, decent balance of alpha/beta, all that good stuff, but wifey's putting on weight, and it's obvious from her eating and exercise habits that it's an upward trend. At what amount of weight gain should the man say something?

    Stories like this are why I'm pretty sure it's best to say something about weight gain at the +5 pound mark, rather than waiting for 50. Anyone can lose five pounds; ten is harder, and fifty is a hell of a lot harder. It seems to me that fat people respond more defensively to being told to lose weight than people who are just a little over. I want to think I'm off base with this, but I'm pretty convinced it's better to act fast and early than late.

  5. Mark says:

    Is it possible to tell a woman to lose weight without her feeling resentful? And with her actually doing something about it?

    My wife gained about 70lbs in the first year of our marriage. Yeah. For months all I said were positive things. I never mentioned the weight (she was aware of it). I just said she was beautiful and other supportive things. Whenever she said anything about exercising I was casually positive, without guilting her into it. After a few couple of years I started making gentle suggestions. After another few years I openly asked her to do something about it.

    Nope. Nothing.

    This past year I started to get into better shape myself. I was underweight due to an illness and I've gained about 20% more muscle weight weight. I also ran some of the MAP, though not the ultimatum. My wife has started exercising regularly. I haven't said a word about her weight in months.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I am Anon 5:15 from Is Physical Affection Beta.
    Amen to "sometimes you can win the battle but lose the war".

    I cannot fully express how profoundly the ultimatum has affected me, us, and the very foundation of our marriage.

    I had gained weight over a period of about 20 years, mostly because I was overwhelmed with working and raising a family and because I did not pay attention. I dressed well, wore appropriate makeup and my hair was professionally styled. I received compliments on my appearance frequently. My health was excellent, actually better than my husband's.

    I was blindsided by the ultimatum. H had never intimated he was concerned about my weight prior to ultimatum day. I complied with the DEMAND, not the request, that I get thin, all the time listening to the complaints that I was not losing fast enough and how long did I expect him to wait for me to be attractive..

    "The lack of orgasms, and the lack of desire to be touched, is very likely her Body Agenda being determined not to continue bonding to you, and not to continue to trust you. She complies with sex because she thinks without giving you sex, you'll just leave her. She likely thinks you don't love her and will probably just ditch her anyway. She may also think you were cheating on her around the time of the ultimatum, or at least had a backup woman to jump to if she didn't comply with the weight loss."

    Well put, Athol. This is exactly how I feel.

    "The weight loss has been a good thing and you're proud of her for doing it, but what you wanted was her. Express to her your grief for what you've lost. You don't want to feel passionate about anyone else, you want to feel it about her."

    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. Unfortunately, somewhere between the ultimatum and getting thin, my passion for him waned. I do not refuse him sex. I recognize it as an obligation of marriage and I alway meet my obligations. I simply have no feelings for it, no anticipation, no excitement. I sometimes wonder if he had it to do over, knowing what our relationship has come to, would he do the same thing, trading a passionate, loving fat wife for a thin, reserved one.

    I do love him. We have been together 40 years and have gone through many good and bad times. We have a lifetime of shared memories and have made a family together. I am not IN love with him.

    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

    You are right again, Athol. I think we will limp along through our golden years. There was no success or failure this time.

  7. Mark says:

    Forgive?

    You're obviously deeply offended, but it sounds like you're punishing him in revenge. You also don't understand how men feel about women and how important the visual aspect is. As hurt as you are from what he said to you about your weight, think about the fact that with your heavier weight he probably felt the same way–that you didn't care about him, in a sense. Someone else might explain this better than me. I'm going to bed.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I'll give it a shot!

    He might have spoken up sooner about the weight issue rather than boom, bang – here's an ultimatum! Praising her for making progress might have been a wiser move rather than bitching that it wasn't coming off fast enough.

    But where he really screwed up was not doing his fair share around the house and parenting his children. Sounds like the woman was exhausted and overwhelmed with working a job plus doing all the house/yard/kid duties so she probably over ate as a comforting mechanism and didn't have time to hit the gym. Trying to be a real live Barbie is a tough gig!

  9. Suz says:

    I expect I'll get a lot of crap for posting this. Not everything Shore says golden, but he "gets" a lot, and he's a highly skilled "good beta." I'll preface this article by clarifying that it's only for men who have gone too far, as this man clearly did.

    http://johnshore.com/2010/11/22/9-steps-to-winning-back-your-estranged-wife/

    "Reades's" ultimatum, especially after so many years, was not a rejection of "female" manipulation, it was a rejection of HER. I hope she can forgive him, because it appears that he genuinely loves her, but it will take time. If after decades, my husband's love suddenly became conditional, I wouldn't trust him either.
    The title of this post is perfect. He demanded what he wanted and he got it. It was naive or foolish of him not to consider the whole of what he needs. When he gave the ultimatum he should have been prepared to lose her, because its possible that now he HAS lost her.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Be careful what you wish for…

  11. 446 says:

    Athol and Anon 5:15 PAB,

    I am in a similar situation. My wife resents me deeply for several issues and it affects our marriage.

    I have spent the last year and a half running MAP. I've seen baby steps in improvement of her attitude toward me but it's still obvious that all of that resentment is lurking just under the surface.

    Athol's "fair warning" and "ultimatum" model isn't going to work in our case. It will just push her farther away. I was seriously Beta for a seriously extended period of time. I threatened divorce all the time and never did anything about it. No amount of Alpha and leadership will ever get her to take "fair warning" seriously. An ultimatum will just drive more of a wedge in any surviving relationship.

    We will run out of time to fix this in the near future. You can not improve your alpha this much and remain with a woman intent on ignoring you and punishing you.

    I intend to reframe the model as a set of Crucial Confrontations. (see the book by the same name)

    My real question is where to pursue the confrontation. Do you confront on the symptoms (behavior: lack of sex, lack of orgasms, lack of quality sex)? Do you confront on the cause (resentment, anger)? I think confronting on the cause is dangerous as it involves some mind-reading but only a little as she has stated her resentments on occasion. (but prefers to act them out)

    I am especially interested in Anon's opinion. Please understand that while I had SERIOUS lacks in our marriage before, I have made great strides in all areas. I need the intimacy of our marriage back in order for me to maintain it. Limping along through our golden years isn't going to be an option.

    (PS My wife is seriously overweight while I have lost 30 pounds and counting, but that is the LEAST of our problems.)
    Thanks

  12. Tequila Mockingbird says:

    @Mark, I read and re-read Anon 5:15's post, and I didn't see the word "forgive" anywhere in there. I think she was explained quite eloquently that she was doing the best she could and had no idea that her husband found her unattractively fat until Ultimatum Day. That is far different from her saying, "I have every right to be fat and if he doesn't like it, tough noogies," which is what it seems to me you got from what she said.

  13. Athol Kay says:

    Anon – I'm going to address some of this in a post tonight hopefully. I can see a couple of points where you have not understood how men are attracted to women.

    It sounds like your husband stored up a couple decades of resentment for your weight, and then "puked" it in one massive bomb that worked in one sense, but didn't in another.

    If you read this post http://www.marriedmansexlife.com/2011/04/girl-game-defining-few-terms.html you might start understanding where you went wrong.

    I do appreciate that you thought you were doing the right thing all along and were blindsided by his demand.

  14. Ian Ironwood says:

    Let me get this straight . . .

    Your husband gave you an ultimatum about your weight. You took it to heart and lost it. But because you have HURT FEELINGS about the way he did it, you not only want to punish him for it, you want to punish yourself?

    And just what are you getting out of this, then? Satisfaction? "I'll show him — he can treat me like a Princess and want to love me in a way that a million women all over the world would slit my throat to have an opportunity to feel, but he can't make me love him anymore!"
    Really, ladies. Of course the ultimatum hurts. It's rarely the first thing a man tries. It's quite likely that your husband did approach the subject of your weight before the ultimatum, but that you missed his more subtle persuasions because of your unwillingness to face the issue. He didn't cheat on you. He didn't bang a 25 year old Zumba instructor. He didn't have gay sex on the DL. He didn't do any number of other things than men in his situation often do to ruin their lives because they were too afraid of their wives to stand up to them about something they feel is important. Instead he came to you, talked to you about it, and tried to save the marriage. That's what a GOOD husband does.

    And his reward for this? Passive-aggressive reluctance from the wife he clearly loves. Her active disdain that he would dare, DARE to "hurt her feelings". You're so wrapped up in your own head crap about your self-image (Solipsism, anyone?) that you can't imagine that perhaps under this terrible affront to your feminine dignity there was a genuine concern not just for his eye candy, but for your welfare.

    Your attitude is you punishing both of you for your hurt feelings. Women often do this — it's part of the way they are socialized. No doubt you have a sympathetic best female friend who is encouraging you to do all sorts of passive-aggressive things to "get back" at the sumbitch who dared — DARED — to hurt your precious feelings, urging you to cut your hair or find some other way to "make him pay".

    If you gave him an ultimatum about a gambling or drinking problem, how would you prefer HE respond? Do you think he'd thank you for your concern and understanding? Do you think he'd fell pleasantly towards you for pointing out a deep character flaw and demanding that he change for the good of the relationship? Would you want him to carry around festering resentment and anger toward you for years because you had the best interests of the marriage at heart? Of course not. That would be petty. But the fact is that we rely on our spouses to help us through the rough parts of our own psyche. You may blame him for hurting your feelings, but the fact that you have this reaction is telling. It means that you have issues that he successfully challenged, and that is almost never a pleasant process. You should be grateful, not petulant.

    But you won't be. This is female entitlement at its most insidious — the belief that you "deserve" a man to love you "just the way you are", without precondition. News Flash, only children get unconditional love. The rest of us have to work at it. And the pleasant life that you have (one which most of the woman of the world covet) isn't something that you're entitled to just because you're a special snowflake. It requires work, hard work, and sometimes your feelings are going to get hurt. I can guarantee you've hurt your husband's feelings a hundred times over and you never even realized it, and he never said anything about it. When you get married, if you're truly committed, that's part of the deal.

    Check your hamster, lady. It's at Warp 4 and accelerating.

  15. Robertson says:

    This is the conundrum, in my opinion and experience. If it gets to the point where you tell her she needs to lose weight because you are no longer attracted to her, then that statement will be tossed back at you when you try to initiate sex, along with a heaping dose of resentment.

    I will it could all work as Athol outlines in the book — wife sees you losing weight, working out, becoming more attractive, and follows suit, perhaps even without doing so consciously. Then it all remains under the surface. Once you put it out there, you can expect it to come back to you.

  16. Athol Kay says:

    Easy Ian. I agree with some of this, but I suspect she's a mirror image of the Beta Husband who suddenly discovers all that Beta didn't make his wife attracted to him. She's still reeling from the shock of it all. Forty years of not understanding what attracts her husband thinking doesn't flip overnight.

    Usually people don't admit to ignoring warning signs until after the drama all plays out. She isn't there yet.

  17. Anonymous says:

    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.

    To Ian, 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 am not trying to hurt him, Ian. I love him but I am not in love with him. 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.

    What Athol said is how I feel. I do not trust H with my feelings and I need that trust to feel close to him. If he can issue a marriage ending ultimatum for appearance, can he use the principle to insist I get plastic surgery to look better or perform a sex act I am not comfortable with because he needs it? Should I issue an ultimatum that he stop spending so much or find a way to get more money because financial stability is important to me. We could end up slinging ultimatums at one another ad infinitum. I don't get how that makes a marriage stable, safe, or loving. I guess I will figure it out eventually.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like the OP did it all wrong

    he made the ultimatum from a position of weakness

    that just makes you look like a right fucking asshole.

    ultimatums have to be made from a position of strength and that means you're doing everything that you should be as a man: earning, providing, being strong and present. NOT being an unemployed drunkard.

    this guy had it all backwards.

    if i were her, i'd be reeling at all of this as well. sounds like she is totally in control and her rank is MUCH higher than husbands. therefore, of course she is not in love with him.

    she earns, she provides, she takes care of his ass and now she is looking hot at 60 too?

    I'm sorry lady, this must really hurt.

    -5:59

  19. Ian Ironwood says:

    Thank you for clarifying your situation, and please understand that I meant no disrespect.
    I can certainly see why his ultimatum would be emotionally wounding to you, and I'm not trying to invalidate your pain. I can also see why it might erode the intimacy and trust you feel for him. Further, the admission that he felt hurt by something you were responsible for is going to wound your sense of femininity. And a long and loyal history through rocky times does cast his actions in a different light.

    However, if you wish to salvage the emotional investment you've both made in the marriage, I'd ask you to consider a few things. Firstly, men in general have traditionally had very limited tools for dealing with powerful emotions, and limited acceptable means of manifesting them. Men also have (believe it or not) more sophisticated motives about their emotions than often given credit for, particularly men later in life. Even highly expressive men have difficulty expressing their more complex emotions in their relationship, sometimes precisely because of your long history. After all, you know him literally better than anyone he knows, good and bad. A husband who has made it that far in a marriage fears his wife's judgment more than anyone's, and when it comes to something as intimate and personal as your weight and sex life, his own judgment is likely going to be affected by that fear.

    Without a more sophisticated tool-set, he isn't going to be able to tell you, essentially, "Hey, Hon, I'd really appreciate it if you lost a few pounds" without pissing you off — that's the risk every man takes when approaching this subject. So perhaps that inability to express that desire led to a build-up of emotional resentment that, eventually, exploded into an ultimatum, simply because he feared nothing less than going "all in" would demonstrate a lack of resolve on his part. In other words, because he was artless in handling his own emotional business, he was artless in communicating to you.

    I'm not trying to excuse the coarseness of his delivery, but I would urge you to consider creating an environment conducive to both an honest discussion of your mutual fears and an opportunity to engender the beginnings of trustful intimacy again. Not as an act of capitulation, but as a positive act of growth and an expression of your own disquiet.

    But if you want to treat the root cause, it's that he doesn't feel as virile and manly any more. It's quite possible that some other issue — a recent death, destruction of a boyhood icon, loss of status or income, sexual insecurities of his own — has inspired this. Your appearance isn't the only way to reinforce his masculinity, however. Whether you want to invest the time to investigate this is up to you, of course, but at the very least acknowledge the validity of the fears behind his action, articulate exactly why and how he injured you, and suggest that he re-examine his approach and reconsider his own motivations.

    You are entitled to call him to account in the marriage. One thing I'm starting to notice about successful marriages, is that even when the Captain is the indisputable leader, that does not excuse him from accountability. No matter how well or poorly he captains, the Mission is still decided by mutual consensus. If he violated the parameters of the Mission, i.e. the marriage, then you have a right to question him on his motivations.

    This is a very complicated issue in any marriage. Bottom line: avoid ultimatums.

  20. Ian Ironwood says:

    Athol, can you recommend any specific steps to consider before you leap to an ultimatum? Most men, as I've said, have a limited number of emotional tools to work with, and too often a lack of an ability to adequately express themselves in a productive way leads them to the erroneous conclusion that only an ultimatum will serve. If they've been in Beta mode for too long, their latent fear of their wife's displeasure and judgment might suggest that only such a dire ultimatum will communicate their feelings and resolve, and that just ain't so.

    From my own experience Mrs. Ironwood and I have developed casual rituals in our marriage that keep that sort of thing from happening. Plus we communicate exceptionally well and have a better-than-average intuitive understanding of the other gender.

    But what could you suggest to a man unused to voicing his opinion on such a sensitive matter do before he reaches for the Self Destruct switch? I understand every situation is different, but how can a man approach his wife and say "I'm concerned, I'm unhappy, and I love you, and something must be done" without inspiring a reaction like this?

  21. Ponyboy says:

    Wow. Some guys don't get it. I was actually thinking this yesterday and didn't want to post it here cause it wasn't relevant, but the universe works in strange ways cause today it is extremely relevant!

    Why do so many guys think being Beta is such a horrible thing so they go all Alpha? If you want to just pick up chicks at the bar and have short term relationships then by all means up the Alpha and keep it there.

    If you want to have a happy and healthy marriage or LTR then you need to learn some frigging balance. Think of it as a spectrum with Alpha on the left and Beta on the right, your wife will likely be attracted to you if you fall somewhere on this spectrum. It's your job to learn where you need to fall on the spectrum for her to be happy. Some women will respond better to more of one than the other, but they both need to be there.

    I actually feel real sorry for this woman, and ironically this guy thinks he was making progress but he likely has a lot of harm he now needs to unravel.

  22. Ian Ironwood says:

    It has to do with just HOW Beta most of them have been for most of their lives. Once you take the Red Pill, the shock to your system can be quite dramatic. But the disproportionate problem in most modern marriages isn't a lack of Beta, it's a lack of Alpha in the menfolk and an over-abundance of Beta. Contrast this to marriage circa 1950, on the heels of the greatest war victory against the toughest odds in human history, where the entire culture was ultra-Alpha. You need an ever-changing balance of both to get the right results, i.e. both people are happy with the marriage, even if they are unhappy with parts of it.

  23. H says:

    Hyperbolic reaction is common. I've seen a few guys do it. First to beta. Then to alpha. Then if they get a 3rd shot they land in the middle somewhere.

    I was unclear if the OP did any lead up to the ultimatum, I assumed he ran the MAP for a while before. If not, as Athol instructs, you have to slowly increase the pressure to change over time, not all at once, even though it's easier to be lazy and skip to the end.

    You have to slowly feeling her out (ha) for where her tipping point is that she feels the need to change herself.

  24. H says:

    Athol makes good observations as usual. The US frame is the correct move.
    However I would not apologize. It will make you look weak, which is unattractive, and would probably be confusing for her since she worked hard to be what you wanted.

    I would game her. Make her feel special. Date her. Reward her with your attention.
    Buy her something nice, tell her to put it on when you give it to her and take her out.

    Raise the beta for sure but keep the alpha.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Anon 6:58am hit the nail on the head. Issuing an ultimatum from a lower sex rank is insane. I ran the MAP for a year and a half; worked out changed my wardrobe, went out after work with the guys with little accountability for my whereabouts, stopped buying flowers and failing fitness tests… Already had the job and education. I never needed an ultimatum; sex life has improved immensely, wife has lost 20lbs. This husband is doing it wrong.

  26. Mark says:

    Tequila Mockingbird,

    Sorry, I obviously wasn't clear last night. I was pretty tired. When I said, "Forgive?", I was not questioning something she said, I was suggesting that she forgive her husband.

    I think that this is the main issue right now for her marriage. Rather than try to work out how she or her husband coulda-shoulda-woulda done things differently in their marriage so that she never got to this point of hurt over the ultimatum is somewhat beside the point. He fumbled the ultimatum ball; she is very upset about it. For any progress to be made she needs to forgive him. It will be hard, but it is absolutely necessary.

    Maybe she doesn't think he deserves forgiveness. And maybe that is true. So what? Forgiveness is almost never deserved or earned. She talks about loving him, but her lack of forgiveness says otherwise. She needs to do it or she needs to face up to the fact that the marriage is dead without it and leave immediately. Limping along in limbo is not an option. Forgiveness might not happen easily, but she needs to make a decision one way or another and then start to work on it.

  27. Stargate Girl says:

    I think OP made a major mistake when he said he's leave if she didn't lose weight. Ultimatums, imho, should be saved for a marriage in dire straits. It doesn't read as that was the case. I would interpret ultimatum as " I can't love you if you aren't skinny. If you're not thin, you're worthless to me", which seems to be more or less how his wife(assume that was her who commented) feels. I wouldn't want to be touched either after a statement like that. That comes across as blatant rejection of her, not concern about weight.There had to be a better way to encourage wife to lose weight. Is OP in the same shape now as when they married? Or should he perhaps work on ridding himself of a beer gut?
    Quite honestly, after a day of working and caring for kids and maintaining my home, I have no desire to exercise at all. I know I should, OTC would love it if I did, but I just can't find the energy. I feel for this woman.

    Can they recover from this? Possibly, but it's gonna be a long, long road. One ultimatum undid 40 years of trust and security. Words hurt. Something everyone should remember.

  28. Anonymous says:

    I feel sorry for both the husband and the wife in this scenario. My husband and I went through something similar (no ultimatum was given but he was very outspoken about being disgusted with the extra weight I gained when I quit smoking) and a part of what I felt for him died at that point. I lost all the weight and then some but I never felt as sexually open to him again. I would no longer initiate sex and initially I resented it when he would. There has been some healing in the 15 years since then but I've never felt the same about him. Since then there is a part of me that he cannot have – he cannot even reach. We both wish things had been different – that the subject could have been brought up & discussed differently than it was but it wasn't and we've had to deal with the outcome. I wish this couple the best. They have a lot to overcome.

  29. Mark says:

    Stargate Girl, I just came across this exercise idea yesterday, which might suit you. I do something similar myself, though I'm a bit more scheduled. When I used to teach music, I suggested a similar practice approach for my students who found it tough to get time during their school weeks when exams were on and they had assignments.

    I also like that it somewhat mimics a simple, active lifestyle, with little workouts during the day, rather than slogging away for an hour at a time.

  30. CantBeJustMe says:

    Interesting situation. I’m new on this scene, but not to marriage. I think just MAYBE we’re missing the point here. You can say that “Generation Gaps” are BS all you want…but if this husband and wife are approaching 60 years old, they likely have a different view on marriage, commitment, and the wife / husband relationship.

    The wife obviously took her commitment and ROLE as a wife seriously. Seriously enough to stay through situations and actions from her Husband that would have many (men and women) yelling “You should have ditched that bum a long time ago. You deserve better.” Sounds like her romantic love definitely turned into a partner / bonding love. You should see the difference by the way even the husband admits that she hardly ever refuses him sex, but she doesn’t seem to enjoy it. That’s her way of telling him

    “I’ll do this for you, because I’m your wife. But don’t expect me to enjoy it or get pleasure from it. Don’t you see you hurt me?”

    This isn’t about Alpha or Beta. This is about a guy coming across Athol’s book or blog and simply hearing (reading) what he WANTED to hear. He thought he saw a way to get what HE wanted and he did it. Because of the commitment (and likely the generation / cultural mindset of his wife) he got what he wanted. Obviously he didn’t read the entire book. He didn’t realize that the first step is to work on and IMPROVE your OWN weak areas. Hell if my wife had stayed with me 40 years , supported me through all the trash he’s put her through, and she was STILL passionate and cared about pleasing me…I’d kiss the ground that she walked on. But of course that’s BETA.

    Athol’s book and blog just finally made something click in place that I’ve known all along. HUSBANDS, take care of your STUFF. Don’t walk around fat and out of breath and expect your wife to want to have mind-blowing sex with you. Doesn’t matter what she looks like or not. FIX YOURSELF FIRST. Do the things a husband SHOULD do. The things that are important to YOUR wife (if you even know what they are). THEN…and ONLY then, should you even consider an ultimatum.

    Kind of goes along with my latest post.

    http://alphaplease.blogspot.com/2012/02/its-that-simpleill-be-damned.html

    In today’s society, a 30 something, or even 40 something wife would have probably left LONG ago.

    If any guy thinks their wife doesn’t KNOW THEMSELVES that they have put on weight, and they aren’t VERY AWARE of how they look….well…you need to take your head out of your ass, or move on. Because Athol’s book isn’t for you. It’s not a road map to get laid whenever you want and get whatever you want. It’s common-sense explanation of how to assess who you are NOW, compared to who you were when your wife fell in love with you and married you in the first place.

    What kills me is this guy told his wife to lose weight , he wasn’t attracted to her anymore, but yet he still had sex with her? Yeah okay.

    Just my 2 cents.

  31. Stargate Girl says:

    What area of music did you teach? I was once upon a time a instrumental band/piano teacher.

  32. Stargate Girl says:

    "
    If any guy thinks their wife doesn’t KNOW THEMSELVES that they have put on weight, and they aren’t VERY AWARE of how they look….well…you need to take your head out of your ass, or move on. "

    AMEN to that.

  33. Orange says:

    Here's what I'd want my husband to do… Take the morning or afternoon off, and literally drive her to a weight watchers meeting (or somesuch). On the way in the door, hug her and say "Babe, we gotta do this". It might be painful, and a kick in the pants, but she won't feel like you don't love her. This would have far more impact than just complaining. Also, it will take both of you to lose weight.

    I'm quite sure I'd have lost more sooner if my DH took the time to do this. Now that the kids are in school, I'm down 30, with 50 more to go.

    Just stay through the meeting with her, maybe taking her to 3 or 4 weekly meetings to get her comfortable with it. IMHO that would be the caring alpha move.

  34. Anonymous says:

    He threatened to leave and she in turn bettered herself and emotionally speaking left him first. Bet he didn't see that one coming…

  35. Anonymous says:

    People talk about "working the MAP" for up to two years – what are you supposed to do in that time while nothing is improving sex / relationship-wise?

    I understand the idea that the "end product" is worth it, but what are you supposed to do with the two years-odd of ongoing resentment and piss-poor sex while you do this improvement plan? It's a long time for a by no means certain result…

  36. 446 says:

    Anon 12:08,

    You enjoy the other benefits that it has brought to your life.

    You feel better because you've lost weight. You enjoy the time with your children more because you are choosing to spend time with them. You enjoy the promotions and advancements at work because you dress and carry yourself better. You enjoy the attention from other women.

    You enjoy each and every day more. Your mood no longer depends on whether or not your wife is in a good mood (disconnecting the emotional hose). You enjoy the fact that you no longer put up with her bad behavior and know that you can step in and stop it or remove her from the equation if she is exhibiting bad behavior. You enjoy your life knowing that you are in a much better place to live it with or without her.

  37. Suz says:

    Totally. Awesome.

  38. CantBeJustMe says:

    Obviously if you found this blog, and posted this comment, you've had trouble in your relationship for quite a while. So if you love your wife and you want to give the best shot at getting your marriage to work, work on YOU. It may not take 2 years. If you already thinking of "ongoing resentment" then you might not be ready or willing to do this. Be honest with yourself.

    Your relationship didn't get where it is overnight…fixing it is no different.

  39. Suz says:

    Athol, I'm new here. The balanced nature of your insights really impresses me, and I'm blown away by the caliber of your commenters. (I just bought your book.) I sort of expected to see a flurry of comments encouraging this guy to stand his ground, and the sanity here is refreshing!

    To the gentleman who wrote the original letter: The absence of support for your actions here, from men who share your values, should be very telling. I know you realize you messed up, but I'm not sure you know how badly. Your 40 year marriage is over. Gone. On paper or not, make no mistake. You ended your marriage the day you told your wife, "I'm leaving you for a thin woman." I'm sure you didn't use those words, but that is what you said. The message was in no way mitigated by offering her the "opportunity" to become that thin woman.

    This isn't a matter of a hypersensitive woman getting offended and overreacting, nor is it a misunderstanding. You gave her a clear ultimatum – get thin or get out. What in God's name did you expect? Has she been such a phenomenal wife, served you so well for so many years, that it never once occurred to you that you might not be entitled to absolutely everything?

    You now have three choices: get a divorce, limp along in limbo, or START OVER. From scratch. It may not take too long to win her forgiveness, because she is obviously a compassionate and loving woman. But it will probably take you years to regain her trust. You, and you alone, annihilated her trust in you and in your marriage. The fact that she's still in the same zip code as you, let alone the same house, is due solely to her love for you. She doesn't need you, she doesn't desire you, and in many ways she'd be better off without you. She loves you. Period.

    Yet you're still not satisfied. Why not? You wanted a lovely, desirable wife, so badly that you were willing to throw away the great wife you already had. You got exactly what you demanded.

  40. Stargate Girl says:

    "Obviously if you found this blog, and posted this comment, you've had trouble in your relationship for quite a while. "

    That's not exactly true. There are commentators who have perfectly good relationships, but blogs like this have perhaps helped bring them into the realm of Fantastic relationships. Not all marriages need to be in trouble to want to improve or make relationship better.

  41. Anonymous says:

    I am the Reader from the OP. My wife and I are both 34, we have two children. We actually had an OK marriage before this ultimatum. I do help her out around the house, but she does most of it. She teaches part time at a special needs preschool and gets home by 1pm everyday, so she has time for that. I earn a good salary and work full time. I wouldn't have tried the ultimatum if I wasn't sure that my sex rank was higher and that I was taking care of things at home.

    I will try apologizing to her and upping the beta. She doesn't want to go out for date nights, but she will go on family outings. Basically she avoids spending any one on one time with me. If I walk into a room she will find a reason to walk out of it.

    I think that she's planning to leave me because she's talking about going back to school and finishing her masters. She seemed content to work part time and handle the kids and house until now.

  42. Stargate Girl says:

    "
    I think that she's planning to leave me because she's talking about going back to school and finishing her masters. She seemed content to work part time and handle the kids and house until now."

    Quite frankly, I wouldn't blame her. You two may need some SERIOUS marital and individual counseling if there's any chance of healing and rebuilding.

  43. Kat says:

    To the gentleman from the original post, I'm so sorry that you ended up in this situation. Bad advice is bad advice, but what you did to your wife is something YOU did. It's lousy all around – for you, and her, and the kids. Like Stargate Girl, I hope you get some marital and individual counseling right away. I sincerely hope it works out for you.

    Anon 10:49 (previously Anon 5:15) – I understand *exactly* what you are saying about unconditional love versus a conditional contract. If someone who enters into a marriage saying that he'll stay no matter what and then starts talking about the conditions under which he'll leave, it changes everything.

    I don't deny that the issues are complex. But I think it makes sense to look at the big picture and realize what the consequences of your actions are. And never, EVER give an ultimatum unless you are really prepared to leave – or have your spouse leave.

  44. Suz says:

    I agree with Stargate Girl. Read that link I posted to John Shore. Increase your beta long enough for her to understand that you're sincere, you love her, and that you will do anything for your children. Then be the Alpha she needs. But I've got to say, that ultimatum wasn't as alpha as you think it was. Open a dictionary and study the difference between "dominating" and "domineering." Alphas and high betas dominate. Women and omegas domineer.

    I'm concerned about your priorities because you were willing to split up your family over your wife's appearance. Either that or you called her bluff. No matter what a woman tells you, ever, women instinctively want dominant men as fathers for their children. (Why do you think so many end up with domineering jerks? They don't know the difference either!) If you are a spoiled domineering asshole, she doesn't want you raising her kids and she will leave. If you are a decent young man with a good tract record, who is learning to be dominant, she may forgive you and become attracted to you again.

    Don't strive to become the PUAs' ideal alpha. If you have a family your goal should be "wolf alpha."

    I have described it on my blog:

    "*Among wild dogs, the human “alpha” would be an adolescent lone wolf – a guy with alpha potential, who has yet to establish his own pack, and who has been kicked out of his original pack due to his intolerance of the alpha’s authority. An alpha wolf doesn’t sit around on his fluffy butt all day, screwing anything that moves. He earns his territory, he earns his harem, he fights to protect his pack, he leads the hunt in order to feed his pack, and he teaches his cubs how to behave like proper wolves. Yet among humans we call this guy a "high beta." Go figure. The Game gurus are telling us some real truths about human nature, but you can bet they’re fiercely territorial and biased in favor of underemployed twentysomething sex machines."

    You have told the mother of your young children that she means nothing to you as a person. If that was a lie, you have a lot of work to do. She believed you, because she needs to believe in her husband.

  45. Athol Kay says:

    We actually had an OK marriage before this ultimatum.

    Then why did you give an ultimatum??? I've only advised it if the situation is intolerable and you're willing to divorce if it doesn't work out.

  46. Ponyboy says:

    Good point Kat regarding the ultimatums, really in any circumstance in life if you choose to pull the ultimatum card you have to ready for the consquences that will come of it, either the consquences you wanted or the ones you didn't.

  47. Ponyboy says:

    OP…

    Get off this website and get into full damage control. You gave her an ultimatum and your marriage wasn't even in trouble?

    I bet you're right, I bet she is thinking of leaving you. She probably figured you were being shallow with your ultimatum and is giving you exactly what you asked for.

    Marriage counseling is probably better than the online community. I mean no disrespect to Athol or others here, but it's clear you didn't really understand the concepts to begin with and we don't know you, your wife, or all of the details.

    I do hope you can recover from this. Good luck.

  48. Mark says:

    Hey SG,

    I played several instruments—guitar, bass, drums, mandolin—but I really only taught guitar professionally. :)

  49. Ponyboy says:

    I love it! Well put.

  50. Anonymous says:

    Reader again – So you are saying that you will never get over this? There's nothing that your husband could do to help you get over it? You're just going to hang around tolerating him for the rest of his life because he hurt your feelings once?

  51. Anonymous says:

    Reader again –

    When I say OK I mean that she was doing all of the wife stuff. She WAS fun to be around, she cooked, did housework, took care of the kids and had sex when I wanted most of the time. But I wanted to a lot less because she was fat. It was a serious turn off and she refused to work on it seriously. She'd exercise for a few days then sit on the couch eating big plates of food again.

  52. Anonymous says:

    Interestlingly, I was thinking about how to broach this topic with my own wife. This has certainly been a great example of how *not* to do it! Those wounds are going to take a long time to heal, if ever.

    What's interesting to me in this whole topic is how dysfunctional it is. Women already know how overweight they are, yet if they knew what it really meant to their men they wouldn't let themselves get fat in the first place. So, because women are so sensitive about their weight already, their men can't talk to them about it without seriously risking emotional wounding.

    Ahh, thank you feminism.

    K_C

  53. Ian Ironwood says:

    I'm amazed at how many women let one comment, one discussion become the frame for an entire relationship. If my wife told me what you just did, then I'd have to reconsider the entire relationship. Not only because I would feel cheated out of a full-fledged marriage, but because that kind of obsessive focus over a poor communication is just not healthy.

    A friend of mine is going through this. Her BF told her two years ago that she should join him working out, and he did it unartfully. Now, he's utterly perfect for her in every way . . . but she let this one thing eat at her until she withdrew, pushed him away, and eventually drove him to get his own place.

    Now she's going nuts because she's starting to realize the grim prospects she faces . . . and just how much he really was perfect for her. But he's hurt now and moving on, and she's desperately lonely, all because she couldn't handle some criticism about her weight.

    Ladies, sometimes it seems like you are your own worst enemies when it comes to your own happiness. I'm truly amazed.

  54. Ian Ironwood says:

    What SGG said. My marriage was great. Now it's legendary. It wouldn't be, without MMSL.

    Just the truth.

  55. Suz says:

    "It was a serious turn off and she refused to work on it seriously. She'd exercise for a few days then sit on the couch eating big plates of food again."

    …and this is more important than your family? THIS justifies the threat of divorce??? Don't even go there, dude. Your response to a legitimate problem was WAYYYYY out of proportion to it's scale. If you don't get professional help (not from the church!) right now, and fix this if you can, you're toast. You might as well get a tattoo on your forehead that says, "I'm selfish and I'm too irresponsible to raise my children," because that's what the judge will see when he hands you your ass. Ponyboy is right, get the hell out of cyberspace and call a professional. Before you go to work tomorrow! I'm dead serious. You have no idea how badly you screwed up, but you are about to find out.

  56. Ian Ironwood says:

    Browbeating a dude for trying to fix his marriage — however inartfully — isn't very productive. EVERYONE's mileage varies, and even if he had approached it in a more reasonable manner there's still the possibility that she'd take it the wrong way. For some women, any discussion of their weight WHATSOEVER is a personal attack on their character and femininity.

    Where's her responsibility in all of this? You ask what he expected when he delivered the ultimatum, and that's pretty easy to see: he expected his wife to take what he said with the utmost seriousness. If my wife comes to me and says something is a big enough issue to consider leaving, I don't BLAME HER for it unless it's actually her fault and then spend the rest of my life in passive-aggressive resentment.

    It's fat. It's not a moral judgment. It was an issue, and it was addressed. Lingering hurt feelings like that are a painful sign of solipsism.

  57. Suz says:

    So true. It's why men do need to learn to communicate with their wives, but not in Fem-speak, not on the wives' terms. This is what Athol's trying to teach. Speaking to a woman's subconscious brain may be primitive, but it's not clumsy. It requires subtlety, and the intelligence to predict a likely response. ('Cause your gonna get a "likely response," whether you see it coming or not)

  58. SMH says:

    Advice should be taken and followed with the proviso that your mileage may vary – use at your own risk. Depending on how you deliver the ultimatum – what you said? when? where? How? Tone, inflection and context. If you have been unfeeling and insensitive prior to giving the ultimatum – then you get what you get. Athol Kay did say the ultimatum is the weapon of last resort!

    Clearly this poster put his foot in it and now it is what it is and chances are the damage has been done. Only pull the ultimatum card if you are prepared to walk away and or face the unintended consequences. Everyone presumes the other person is not/will not be prepared and/or willing to say no, walk away or disengage if they do not like the terms and conditions of the ultimatum. Get over that fallacy!

    Own up to the fact that what you did caused pain, hurt, anger and probably fear so now she is rethinking her options. If he even wants to have a chance at fixing own it – own up and honestly talk to her and this time listen and create a context in which she will at least be willing to listen.

    Given her response she may hear him out and quietly continue to make plans to leave. Now she is at the top of her game; knows she is with someone who is interested only in what he wants so she has no reason to stay if she gets a better offer. She can do bad by herself.Chances are she did not mention his "flaws" and give him an ultimatum and sees him as selfish, greedy and insensitive for not taking her feelings into consideration and making demands. Who wants to remain a relationship with someone like that, so she got her act together and realized I can do better.

    If everything was ok before – nothing is perfect. No one gets everything their way in life. No one is perfect and no one sees themselves as others do. The poster claims everything was ok -and that he upped his game. What he saw as upping his game in his mind may not have been upping his game in her mind. We only have his side of that issue. In order to improve a situation and enhance what is already working and to it takes both parties each working with and for the good of the whole. The poster should make sure his kitchen is clean and approach correctly because at this point he has maybe one shot at reconciliation and it is a long one at that! Be careful what you ask for and how you ask for it because you just might get it and have to live with it or in this case without it!

  59. smh says:

    Yes but from what he posted it sounds like he delivered the ultimatum like a moral judgement. What matters here is not what was said but what was heard and how it was received. If the receiver did not get the intended message or heard something not intended the burden of clarification falls on the sender. Problem is as in this case the receiver is not obligated to ask for a clarification and in this case has put her own plan in action. At this point the question is does he want to be "right" and win or does he want to maybe repair a mess he created. She is not blaming him she is giving him what he asked for. He does not like it. His problem to fix. Each person Capt or LTC has the right to say no – he "solved" an issue and now has another.

  60. Stargate Girl says:

    "But I wanted to a lot less because she was fat. "
    Whoopdie do! She bore you 2 children. Are you even aware of the toll that takes on a woman's body? Holy selfishness. I'm surprised she hasn't given you a serious boot to the head.

  61. Stargate Girl says:

    Until you have carried children and dealt with how that changes your own body, don't assume we "let" ourselves get fat. Some women's bodiues bounce back like they were never pregnant, others of us have muscular damage and skin stretching that no amount of dieting and exercising can fix. It's not always as easy as our husbands think. We don't have the testosterone and muscle mass to lose weight as easily as men.

  62. H says:

    Knowing and being motivated to change it are two different things.

  63. Mark says:

    If the wife is not having an affair or planning one right now, she is almost guaranteed to go for one if things don't change. It's a tough situation. Even if you apologise profusely and back down, she may forgive you, but there is still the chance that she will either gain the weight back (to test your love) or have an affair anyway (she might feel like you gave "permission" by threatening to leave first). Right now she probably has her eye out for someone who will "love her for who she is". At the very least, an emotional affair is looming.

    You guys need to have some serious talks fast. And you need to be super-mega-alpha and super-mega-beta for a good year or two. Don't be sycophantic! But be serious about your love for her. Lots of beta, but don't drop the alpha.

    As for counseling, you can do it or not. I'm not a big fan, because the odds of coming out worse are more likely than you coming out better off. If you do go, I would not be so quick to dismiss someone with a church background, contrary to what Suz says. Although feminism has encroached into churches, it's not nearly so bad as it is in non-Christian counseling. Many professional counselers give worse advice than most peoples' friends. That's actually backed by statistics. And don't see a female shrink. She will side with your wife and possibly seek to punish you.

    I recommend that you start HERE. I prefer Athol's advice for men in marriage for most things, but Michelle has some decent stuff to say and she is wife-friendly in ways that should be better for your current situation.

    Don't write it off. There's work ahead, but you can come through stronger than ever.

  64. Mark says:

    Excessive weight-gain during pregnancy is a very Western thing, with other cultures not nearly so much effected. It's mostly due to diet. Pregnency is a huge rationalization hamster for eating whatever the hell you want. In some other cultures women are physically active right up until the birth and never eat the crap that Western women eat. And their babies are generally healthier, too.

    No, I haven't carried babies, but due to my own health issues I've researched health and nutrition for twenty-five years like my life depends on it (sometimes it did).

  65. Stargate Girl says:

    excessive weight gain has nothing to do with it. I never gained any more than I was told to. I still had MASSIVE muscular damage and sever skin stretching. I was meticulous in watching what I ate, not gaining more than I was supposed to. I still had a stomach that flopped to my thighs and flopped like crazy. I had a tummy tuck. My Dr was quite surprised at how much damage to my muscles I had. I was under an hour or more than they expected because I had so much damage to repair. The amount of skin removed was equal to that of a bariatric patient. I wasn't blessed with bounce back skin. I weighed less after my first child than I was when I got pregnant. mt tummy hung to my knees. I was a size 8.Pregnancy wreaks havoc in ways none of us expect. everyone is different. Until you have experienced it,don't accept that your learning gives you the final word in how a body is affected.

  66. Anonymous says:

    Ian, you slid a point in there that I've missed so many times: "Your appearance isn't the only way to reinforce his masculinity, however."

    Let me rephrase that, and please tell me if I have this right: My attractiveness to him reinforces his own perception of his masculinity. So, if he sees me as his hot wife, that boosts his ego.

    I know, I know! Geez. It all sounds so simple that I should have gotten it with all the girl game posts. Women can be dense, too. We see our men as strong leaders, and we can forget that something so virle as masculinity can also be so fragile.

    My husband is still uncomfortable telling me what he likes and doesn't like, but I'm also learning to try new thing in terms of clothes, styles, etc. Talking about what *is* attractive about my body helps me take guesses at what else he might like, or maybe what he doesn't like. Before it (hopefully) gets to an ultimatum.

    Thamks for stating that from the flip side, Ian. Looks like I shouldn't ever give up finding ut what turns him on.

  67. Suz says:

    Best case scenario regarding her degree: it may be that she wants it not so that she can leave, but so that she can survive when you leave. If you would walk out on her and your children over 50 pounds of body fat, she'd be stupid to believe you'd stick around for a real crisis.

    Mark is right: "super-mega-alpha and super-mega-beta" You have to accomplish two very different things at once – show her how deeply you love ALL of her, and prove that you are a dependable provider/protector for her children.

  68. Anonymous says:

    "their men can't talk to them about it without seriously risking emotional wounding"

    If you're going to go there please don't overlook the ever so fragile male ego

  69. Mark says:

    SG, although I replied to your post, my reply was general in nature. So, please don't feel like I'm specifically picking on you and your dietary practices. I have no idea what you eat.

    But this is a problem in the West more so than in many other places. Despite your diet-consciousness, your own experience was obviously not ideal. Massive muscular damage is certainly not the way pregnancies are supposed to end up. There was a reason for it. Perhaps the reason was not diet, though I couldn't offer an informed opinion on that unless I knew what you ate. But either way, something caused your condition, because that's not how things are meant to work.

    Just like I can't say you did anything wrongly, you can't extrapolate your own experience to everyone else, either. Not every woman has problems (health or weight) after pregnancy. And I've seen a lot of women eat like crap during pregnancy. Also, from what I've read it's fairly typical to eat poorly during pregnancy.

    In any case, my own priority for myself and anyone else I talk to about this stuff is good health. Good weight usually follows.

  70. Anonymous says:

    You said:
    "he expected his wife to take what he said with the utmost seriousness."

    She did. The idea that no matter what else she did or didn't do, all that mattered was her waistline. She took it seriously and decided he had his head jammed so far up his ass he wasn't a person she could love, and so she hung around out of habit. She took him seriously – deadly seriously. Just not the way he wanted.

    This is always a risk.

  71. Anonymous says:

    "You enjoy the promotions and advancements at work because you dress and carry yourself better. "

    Now I KNOW you are detached from the real world! In this climate, no one is advancing or getting promoted!

    Also, everywhere I've worked, you advanced on ABILITY, not because you wore a better suit. The guys at the top reserved their uttermost scorn for the sort of people who thought that better clothes were a substitute for knowledge, experience, aptitude and application.

  72. Chudley says:

    Athol, you said
    Apologize for making it "Me vs. You" when you really should have been trying to make it about "Us."

    Good advice, but you can't unring the bell. She is always going to be looking for the next time he decides to make it "me vs you".

  73. Suz says:

    "Lingering feelings?" I hope you're not implying that she should "man up" and get over the fact that her spouse rejected everything she is and everything she's done (for 40 years) because of her "low status." The guy just pulled the classic, "I'm not haaaapy" stunt, like a spoiled woman. How would you feel about a woman who gave the same ultimatum? Should women be sheltered from a little browbeating?

    I don't apologize for holding both genders to the same moral standards. If you do it right, I'll cheer. If you screw up, I'll boo.

  74. 446 says:

    Troll yawn.

    "no one is advancing or getting promoted"

    I am. I had the ability. When I upped the dress, carriage and attitude, I was promoted over those with equal ability.

    No substitutes here. You have to have both ability AND a better suit. The journey is the destination.

    Pontificating on the attitudes of the guys at the top just means that you aren't one of them. Life's a garden baby, dig it.

  75. Anonymous says:

    A woman may indeed understand that she has put on a lot of weight. It would be hard to miss after all. However, that does not mean that she understands the effect of that weight gain. See Anon @ 6:41: "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." The effect on her husband is the important point that she was missing. Society has also been shaming men for a long time that we are shallow for not liking fat women and should never ever mention a woman's weight to her. This may have been festering in him for 20 years or more since a "good" husband should not care about or mention his wife's weight.

    Also, if he wasn't willing to cheat on her, and wanted to have some form of sex with a woman, then he would indeed want to have sex with his wife even though he wasn't as attracted to her anymore. It isn't all about sexual attraction after all. The intimacy from sharing a life and caring about one another will overcome some physical flaws. However, if it came to the point where she was sexually repulsive, then no.

  76. Anonymous says:

    Suz, you may not understand how big the sexual attractiveness issue can be for a man. It is likely most similar to a woman having a husband that does she does not want to talk to or share her feelings with. We see from the post how that is going. Now, if she has the strength to figure out what she needs from him and ask for it then they have a real chance.

    Remember, this isn't about shaming him or whether or not he should have realized that his 50 lb overweight wife was a great wife or not and that he should be grateful to have her. We have to take him at his word that he had already made the decision that he was going to leave her if she didn't lose the weight. At least he gave her a chance. Possibly he could have done it in a different way but based on "She cried and yelled at me for two days and after I held my ground, she started dieting and working out" it sounds like nuclear was the only way to go. His only other option was to just leave the marriage. Which option would you as a wife prefer?

  77. Anonymous says:

    Disinformation is rampant about weight gain during pregnancy and some of the comments above excusing it are good examples. Keep in mind that muscular damage is a far cry from gaining carrying 50 extra pounds a couple of years after giving birth. When my ex was pregnant the doctor said a healthy weight gain is in the order of 25 to 30 pounds. Pretty sure you lose some of that once the baby is out too. After that, the equation is simple. Calories in > calories out = weight gain. With working out and going to dietician to examine our lifetime eating habits, my ex had a six pack after our third child, and there was no surgery involved.

  78. Stargate Girl says:

    my point, as round about I tried to make it, is one cannot assume that all women just sit on their asses and LET themselves get fat, which has been implied, tacitly or directly, in some posts.

  79. Mark says:

    "my point, as round about I tried to make it "

    Bad pun? :)

    Obviously not all women let themselves go. It's the whole, "Bring me pickles and ice-cream, because I'm craving them!" thing that is more of a problem than anything. What most women don't know is that while they may legitimately crave something, there is always a healthy food that will satisfy the craving, but many would rather indulge in unhealthy foods, using pregnancy as an excuse.

    But we've gone on a bit of a tangent now, eh?

  80. Anonymous says:

    SG, what I thought was interesting about what you said is that you had a tummy tuck. That's a surgical procedure to effect a cosmetic outcome, so to you it had to have been important to look normal again. It was a serious step to achieve serious results. For most women, such a serious step is not necessary; simply not eating that bowl of ice cream at 9:00 every night would be start.

    K_C

  81. Anonymous says:

    Heh, I was waiting for someone to bite.

    That's the great thing about taking the Red Pill. You begin to define your own masulinity and not allow yourself to be beholden to the whims of your woman so that your ego isn't so 'fragile'. And ultimately, it's about respect, and you don't understand that from your obviously derisive use of the phrase itself.

    K_C

  82. Stargate Girl says:

    After my kids, my belly skin never shrank back. I had HORRENDOUS stretch marks, and a pile of skin that flopped over(pannus). It didn't matter if I lost any weight, the horrible flop was there. It appeared after my first baby. Got worse after each baby, and I hated it. I didn't want my husband to see me in the nude. I didn't like to look in the mirror. My husband supported me in having this fixed.
    During the surgery, Dr. discovered my muscles had been severely damaged from A) C-section and B) carrying my babies. Do I look like a supermodel? NOpe, but I like my body SO MUCH more now. I have more confidence and I feel sexier. Scar isn't the prettiest thing, but it will fade. rebuilding my self esteem and self image was definitely worth the pain of the surgery. It was something I thought about for a long, long time. I certainly don't think someone should have such a major surgery without researching and having realistic expectations. I didn't expect a flat washboard tummy. I just wanted the flop gone. My results were better than I expected.
    I would have to say that the improvement in self image/esteem has definitely been a boon for the sex life. I'm much more adventurous(not that I wasn't before), but my inner vixen has come back out, with a Vengeance! Makes hubby happy guy :P hehehe

  83. Suz says:

    "It is likely most similar to a woman having a husband that does she does not want to talk to or share her feelings with."

    Um. No. It's not. Humans males have a naturally high sex drive, and visual stimulation is a large part of it. A married man's desire for a sexy wife is often a sign of his deep commitment to her – having a hot wife can curb his natural, involuntary attraction to other sexy women. The fact that he wants a sexy wife is a GOOD thing, but I'l bet neither one of them knows that. They've both been raised in a feminist society which teaches her that his sex drive is a problem with impulse control, and teaches him to apologize for it.

    "We have to take him at his word that he had already made the decision that he was going to leave her…"

    On the contrary, he has made it quite clear that he doesn't want a divorce. Nor did he when he gave the ultimatum; he did it out of desperation, not because he hated her and wanted to get away from her. He called her bluff. If he wanted a divorce, he would have filed or broken his vows to induce her to file.

    What I really DON'T understand is how you or anyone can believe, "His only other option was to just leave the marriage." Marital conflict is not resolve by this process: Ask for what you want, demand it, beg for it, nag, cajole and criticize for it. Then when that doesn't work, blackmail your spouse into agreeing to unilaterally revised marriage vows.

    He skipped a few steps. 1. Negotiation. She hates working out, he should offer her something in return. 2. Education. An intelligent and loving 34 year old woman is capable of comprehending the nature of male sexuality. If she learns about it from a neutral, credible source, rather than from her, uh, somewhat biased husband, she might be motivated to meet him half way. 3. Participation. I wonder how many times he worked out WITH her and made it fun. (I said, "fun," not "easy.")

    What I DO understand is that if his tactics are generally considered to be legitimate, it's no wonder the American family is all but dead. His problem was legitimate, but he approached it with the shortsighted, single-minded, poorly informed mentality of a child. Now he has a much bigger problem. (And he's surprised at the consequences of his actions?) The only way he can save his marriage is to understand the depth of his mistake, humble himself enough to admit his mistake, ask for forgiveness, and ask for a second chance that he has not earned. Why on earth would she trust him to make good on ANY promise to her, after he already told her he wasn't planning to keep the most important promise he ever made?

  84. Ian Ironwood says:

    You're quite welcome. And I always feel the most manly when I have Mrs. Ironwood on my arm.

  85. Anonymous says:

    Actually, I understand it perfectly.

  86. Anonymous says:

    SG, you must remember the corollary to NAWALT (Not All Women Are Like That) is MWALT (Most Women Are Like That). You have made a good case as to why your excess weight is not caused by just letting yourself go through diet and laziness. Obviously that hit a sensitive issue for you, but that does not absolve other wives' responsibility to keep their marriage happy by maintaining their attractiveness to their husband.

    Do you realize that your talk and your actions do not line up? From the way you were talking at 5:41 and 6:43 you were originally just feeding excuses why women could shirk their responsibilities to maintain their weight. Your post at 11:19 was much more helpful as it showed your actions and therefore your true values. You declined to use the excuses and did everything you could, including surgery, to regain your self image and confidence and your marriage is much better as a result. You say your husband is happier too. Congratulations! Understand that other men are just asking that their wives be willing to put in the effort that you did so that both can receive the same positive effect in their marriage.

    To that end, it would be more helpful to your friends if you can say "NAWALT" but encourage women to put in the effort to get to their attractive (to men) weight and allow them to reap the benefits that you have found in your own experience. Hopefully if they hear the truth from enough women, then husbands won't be on the hook for educating them on this sensitive topic.

  87. Anonymous says:

    Oh how I wish it had just been a discussion. I would've been hurt but it would've been much easier for me to recover. No, I got my message WHILE WE WERE HAVING SEX. Apparently he could no longer hold back his disgust. As you can imagine that made the red pill much harder for me to swallow. So, being what my self defense mechanisms are I could never truly be 100% sexually vulnerable to him again. Like I said – that part of me died and I cannot bring it back.

    Sorry about your friend. Hopefully they can work it out – key word here being "work".

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