A Guest Post By Prince Harry

I know you all, and will awhile uphold
The unyoked humour of your idleness.
Yet herein will I imitate the sun,
Who doth permit the base contagious clouds
To smother up his beauty from the world,
That when he please again to be himself,
Being wanted, he may be more wondered at
By breaking through the foul and ugly mists
Of vapours that did seem to strangle him.
If all the year were playing holidays,
To sport would be as tedious as to work;
But when they seldom come, they wished-for come,
And nothing pleaseth but rare accidents.
So, when this loose behaviour I throw off
And pay the debt I never promisèd,
By how much better than my word I am,
By so much shall I falsify men’s hopes;
And like bright metal on a sullen ground,
My reformation, glitt’ring o’er my fault,
Shall show more goodly and attract more eyes
Than that which hath no foil to set it off.
I’ll so offend to make offence a skill,
Redeeming time when men think least I will.

 

All things going to plan, things will go smooth transfering everything to WordPress on Sunday.

MMSL may blink out of existence for a short while, but be assured I will be back. Until the website is moved and functional, email response is going to be slow.

Toilet Seat Up Or Down?

Reader:  An update and a question…
The wife has continued to attend Mass and 12-step meetings. We have been seeing a lay couples counselor associated with the diocese. Much less conflict and drama, and she apologizes for her previous behavior. She is now willing for us to move 60 miles to the city where I work, which will give me an additional 2 hours/day that I now spend on the highway.
The past 6 months have been just about the best 6 months of the marriage. It still upsets her when she thinks about how I “walked out” on her 6 months ago; though I am convinced that we’d be stuck in the same rut if I hadn’t done this, I don’t rub her nose in it. Now my focus has to be on maintaining a proper alpha-beta balance in the future, rather than lapsing into beta behavior and needing an alpha “explosion” to get things back on track.
Now the question – might be one for your blog. What is it with women and leaving the toilet seat down? Her justifications are:
1) “If you leave the seat up and I sit on the toilet in the dark if I get out of bed at nite, I could fall in,” but she gets annoyed even if she finds it up during the day; and
2) leaving the seat up communicates “disrespect.”  It feels like a shit test, but it generates a lot more heartfelt feeling than I would expect a shit test to generate. Do you have any insight into this?
Athol:  In nursing school we were taught about the aerosol effect of toilets flushing fecal matter into the air and getting poop all over your toothbrush. So high five everyone for doing some ass-to-mouth twice a day. No more complaints about life not being kinky enough okay?

So seat down and lid down to flush. Ya’ll are nasty.
Also leaving the toilet seat up angered my mother during my childhood and I have been the target of extremely well executed behavioral program to leave the seat down. So even though my mother lives nearly on the opposite side of the planet from me, I remain careful not to offend her. One never knows when she may arrive unannounced for a quick inspection and complaints about the quality of American tea. (Which she rates between “Questionable” and “Nun’s piss.”)
Honestly though, this one is trivial and isn’t worth fighting the battle. Put the toilet seat down without prompting and tell her that it’s the way you signal you’re interested in having sex that day.
Oh and big up on reigning in your wife. Knowing the extended history I would have sworn she would have gone the full Batshit Crazy on you. Getting her into a 12-step program is truly tremendous news.
Jennifer: Eeeeeeeeeeewwwww……

Her Milkshake Brings All The Boys To The Yard

Just following on from yesterday when I made the point that the MAP principles work very well for women…
Anna:  Anna still has Oneitis, but has stopped being so nice. Hubby is now baffled as to why I’m suddenly “picking fights.” I wasn’t in terrible shape before, but I tried a class I absolutely love and informed hubby I was doing it and he could just make room in his schedule. 2 inches have come off my waist and I’m starting to get attention from his friends. A few weeks ago, I practically had to peel a 23 year old, fairly attractive, VERY ripped Marine off me. Said Marine, one of Hubby’s childhood best friends, also would not shut up to Hubby about how good I looked. Hubby is suddenly quite attentive and trying to plan mini-dates. He’s also hauled himself to the doctor after about a year of my nagging him, and discovered that he has low testosterone. He’s taking medication and we’re both hoping it perks him up and takes a few pounds off. I had to tell him pretty bluntly that last time he was in the pool with his friends, he compared very poorly. I think the (repeated) bluntness is starting to get through to him. I certainly don’t feel as taken for granted as I did. I really hope this keeps up. Figured you guys would appreciate the update.
Athol:  High five Anna. So happy you’re making progress! (She’s been reading a long time.)
Notice how nagging doesn’t work nearly as well as his friends hitting on her…  funny that.

Game Empowers Men (So It’s Suspect)

A multitude of questions and concerns in a comment on “If She Doesn’t Want You, Others Will“.  It’s long so question and answer as we go. I don’t mean to drag this out, but it is important that MMSL is able to be defensible.
Reader: Is this what we can expect from men? To have a gaming technique used on us until we are bedded and left? Just another notch on the bedpost and hopefully without a disease from their frequent conquests? I hope I am not single again anytime soon,it makes me shudder. Is this what you want for your daughters and sisters?
Athol:  Game is sort of a Jedi Mind Trick in that it works, but only on the weak minded. For women who know what Game is and can consciously recognize it, it’s less effective. Not ineffective, just less effective.
The dating marketplace for age 40+ women is pretty brutal as there is a fairly blunt expectation of sex quite soon in the dating process compared to days gone by. I’m not advising that… just saying how it is.
Your daughters and sisters are only going out into the dating market as lambs to the slaughter if you fail to educate them. There’s no requirement to be pump and dumped by players. I don’t buy into the notion that women are incapable of learning or being required to passively accept their fate. I would hope that you expect more from your daughters and sisters than simply being clueless lost sheep in need of rescue. 
Reader: Gaming may “work” but isn’t there a cost for women here that is rather sad and possibly for healthy relationships of trust between men and women?
Athol:  There’s probably not a single man reading this blog who hasn’t had his heart ripped out by a woman rejecting him for his lack of Game at some point in his life. Many of the male readers of this blog are in sexless marriages too. So learning Game is pure and simple a requirement for the average guy dealing with women. We’re learning it to simply be able to have a relationship with women.
MMSL also has a very high percentage of female readers, many of whom read because their own relationships have become happier for their husband reading here. Women quite enjoy being Gamed provided the guy isn’t going to pump and dump them. Typically my reader husbands aren’t looking to divorce their wife, they are looking to avert divorce and/or make the marriage better. MMSL is like “Husband Finishing School” and churns out men better able to be attractive husbands.
One of my more frequent complaints is that I’m a closet feminist catering to women’s wants by telling husbands how to actually give the wives what they want!
Reader:  There is still an implied “should” or “must” list here for wives. The man follows the MAP and the woman should or must respond with increased interest.
Athol:  That’s nearly right. The implied “should” or “must” is what the woman promised to the man when she married him… i.e. a sex life. If she fails to hold up her end of the marriage agreement, and frankly never intends to do so, yet demands the man hold up his, that’s an exploitative arrangement. The MAP simply empowers men to leave the relationship if she continues to refuse to act like his wife. Once a husband is in that position, it’s surprisingly frequent how often she suddenly becomes interested in him again. Though as I state often, she may simply not be interested in him after all that effort and he’s better able to move on to a woman that does want him.
Reader:  All you have with the men writing in is their word for it (no one to blame for that circumstance) that they did the MAP and it didn’t work. Does this mean the wife was very wrong to still be uninterested in this man? Do not be so quick to judge.
Athol:  When both men and women write in, I’m aware that I’m only getting one side of the story. That being said, we try and help the one that is writing in, and answer questions in their best interest. However seeing we’re outside of the relationship, we’re typically not enmeshed in the emotions of the relationship and can typically be more objective about what is going on. I’ve quite frequently told husbands they are wrong about something and in fact need to apologize for whatever they messed up.
I do judge. I’m pretty damn good at it. That’s why people read me and ask for my help.
Reader:  A man can work out, add some income and flirt ,etc. but have some core issues as a man and husband still present. Marriage is complex and it is unknown if men following this blog do not succeed because they did not follow the MAP thoroughly or for long enough a time period. Or maybe they have other unaddressed issues as husbands and fathers that cannot be improved with the MAP.
Athol:  I agree. MMSL is essentially a coaching experience getting regular guys to be more successful with women,and if men are wandering around messed up from childhood abuse or whatever, I direct them to find counseling. In much the same vein if people ask me about a medical issue or medications I end up directing them to their doctor. I don’t give legal advice either. I certainly shouldn’t be trusted to give plumbing advice.
That being said, Married Game advice is a fairly new field and I’m just going to keep plowing along and doing it. People are clearly being helped.
Reader:  Do you see some of the comments from women stating how they tried over and over to get through to their husbands? Were they all just a bunch of cold,nagging females unaware of how great they have it? Really, ALL??
Athol:  You’re confusing things here. Both my male AND female readers are more typically coming from the side of the relationship that was doing all the work and carrying the marriage. The female readers did try over and over and over to get through to their lughead husbands… just the same way the male readers tried over and over and over to get through to their coldfish wives. Both male and female readers are here looking for help. Only a tiny percentage of readers comment, so there’s really not a gender war going on.
 MMSL is mostly directed at a male reader because women have hundreds of female focused advice sources while men have very few places for advice that are positive in tone about relationships and women. We aren’t excluding women simply because we are focusing on teaching men, women are always welcome to read and ask questions and often come seeking the male perspective.
Also MMSL has covered many Girl Game posts where I teach women the same set of skills for women as I do for the men. It’s helpful to both men and women to see the other side of the coin to understand their own side better. So it’s win-win. To be explicitly blunt, the basic principles of the MAP work pretty damn well for wives dealing with difficult husbands too.
Though in summary…  your essential complaint is that MMSL works. So I concede your point.
Jennifer:  About 1/3 of Athol’s emails are from women seeking advice/help.  Men and women both come here looking to fix what has gone wrong and gain some insight.  And yes, it is amazing how many advice sites are out there for women, but for men looking for self-improvement and better marriages…not so much.
If Athol was a woman and was writing Married Woman Sex Life with the same content aimed at women, it would be “empowering” wouldn’t it?

If She Doesn’t Want You, Others Will

As I’ve repeatedly stated, the MAP isn’t always going to make your wife more attracted to you and save your marriage. But it will make you more attractive to women in general and put you in a better place to attract women after a divorce. This particular reader tried for well over a year to turn things around and she still pulled the plug on him.
Reader:  I just want to pass this on to you for what it’s worth.  As you know, I came upon your advice too late to save my marriage.  However, I took to heart your observation that whatever happens, working the plan is to my advantage: it would either help save the marriage or put me in a better position afterwards. 
I was married for a long time, and I’m not 25 anymore, so a lot of the PUA stuff out there is not really for me.  But the basics of pickup and MMSL are the same.  Confidence, humor, playfulness, etc., so even though I’m more or less a mess after the divorce I’ve focused on not letting that show – and definitely not leading with it, which might have been my instinct fifteen years ago.  Beta.
The end result is that it’s awfully easy to create attraction.  Twice in the past month, I was surprised to hear girls I was with comment that we had, “good chemistry.”  In fact, it’s almost too easy.  The progression from the meet to the date to the bedroom is seamless, and I have to remind myself to be careful not to take things too far too fast.  I feel like I could make them crazy obsessed with me if I wanted to, and if my conscience would let me get away with it. 
Athol:  I’m happy for you. At least now you have real proof that the trouble in the marriage wasn’t you. If you can pull other women with ease… that’s not a bad thing.
Stay up. Keep me posted.

Red To The Dead, Black Back

Reader:  Athol, long time reader here, occasional poster.
I was wondering what your thoughts are in relation to the alpha/beta nature of what I call ‘garage work’.   I’m not talking home improvement/landscaping type stuff particularly, but projects that usually involve moving parts, wrenches, and grease, where it has become increasingly normal to outsource the work at quick-change drive throughs, service centers, or Wal Mart… 
I was once of the opinion that the fact that I could afford to pay others to do these things for us was an alpha signal to my wife, a sign of surplus resources.
About a year ago my wife ran over tree branch that had fallen in the road, and it punctured her car’s radiator (no other damage).  I was trying to get it in the shop for repairs, and nobody was going to be able to work on it for a week or so.  It was a Saturday and I wasn’t very busy, so I drove by a salvage yard, and they just happened to have a parts car there of the same model with a good radiator, which I proceeded to bring home and install.
The response from my wife was incredible.  I knew she would be grateful for me fixing her car, but I completely underestimated how impressed she would be.  I think she had no idea I was capable of fixing it (after 10 years of marriage and an untold number of home remodeling/repair projects), and it was like she had just discovered her husband had an secret identity as a Jedi Knight.   The adoration was almost as wonderful as the sex. 
Since then, I’ve started scheduling time to change the oil on our vehicles myself, rotate tires, and just do basic maintenance work.   Instead of buying new lawn mower blades once or twice a summer, I take the old ones off and sharpen them on a bench grinder (usually timing it just right so that my wife sees, thus ensuring the sparks in her vajayjay are more impressive than the ones bouncing off the shop floor).   Whereas my old view was, “I don’t have time to do this stuff, I’m just going to pay somebody else to do it.”, my new view is, “I wonder if I were to unplug her car speakers and then “fix” them for her this weekend, if the sex would justify the effort?”
It’s not really the finances that drive me to do this… I could easily afford to pay somebody to do this stuff, as I did for years.  I could put the time I spend doing this stuff to much more productive use. 
But the response is fairly consistent and totally worth it.
In short, I think the “alpha” of being seen as a capable man with special knowledge trumps the “alpha” of having enough surplus resources to outsource trivial tasks.
Thoughts?
Athol:  Man’s use of tools is the original Alpha Male skill.
Not to weird you out or anything, but maybe her dad used to do some of that sort of stuff.  Dad = The Man     therefore  You = Dad = The Man
Or maybe it’s simply that when you bring stuff to the garage, other men fix the problem. And it’s the guy fixing the problem that gets the credit… no matter who pays for it. The having money part being Beta / comfort building in nature would tend to suggest that.
Unfortunately for me though, when I open up the hood of a car I’m pretty much looking for a large red ON / OFF switch set to the OFF position… “Ahhh I think I see what the problem is honey, lemme try something…”
That being said, you sure as hell better learn how to change a tire and use jumper cables. No excuses. Below is a wee video explaining how to do just that.
Or as dear old dad taught me…. “Red to the dead, black back.”
Also do not experiment with squeezing your fingers or other body parts in the jumper cable clamps just because they look like giant clothes pegs and you have a compulsion. That’s all I’m saying.

If You Wanna Be Like Tiger Woods

I’m probably the one that’s going to get blamed for this, but JENNIFER was the one that said the last post lacked Steel Panther. I shit you not.

I mean I wrote a fabulous, almost spiritual, post about being a functional productive adult, and apparently that wasn’t what she expected. So hmmm.

Well Jennifer… defend yourself lol.

Jennifer:  LMAO I was kidding!  (But yes, I do have freaking Steel Panther in my head…we went out to breakfast just the two of us this morning and that was in the CD player in the car…)

Happiness Is A Side Effect

People buy and try all sorts of things to make themselves happy and none of it works. It’s entertaining for a bit, but that fades away quickly.

People who expect others to make them happy, aren’t going to be happy very long.

There’s three things required to be happy.

(1) Wake up in the morning and take care of the stuff that keeps you being a functional adult.

(2)  Do something productive in the world.

(3) Surround yourself with people also doing (1) and (2).

That’s about it. Happiness is a side effect of those three things.

Most Attraction Is Structural

I’m getting less interested in pushing the Sexy Moves sort of advice, because increasingly I’m seeing the primary issues of attraction as being quite structural in nature. The Sexy Moves work amazingly well for guys who have the major issues of income, health and house basically in place and functional, but the ones that don’t, see little effect from trying the Sexy Moves.
*****
The story this reader emailed me was a long back and forth, but essentially the extremely common thing where married life seemed pretty good, then suddenly two months ago his wife started pushing him away and things started falling apart very quickly. The good news being that he found MMSL, started the MAP and got into marriage counseling just as it was about to get very bad.
here’s one of my replies to him….
Okay, here’s what’s happened…
(1)  You have a lot of “structural weaknesses” in your ability to attract women in a general sense, in that you’ve stagnated your personal growth a lot. You’re stalled in your career, could be fitter, smoke pot etc. The good news is that you’ve started addressing those and are obviously scrambling to get that all caught up and back to being attractive. But that’s obviously going to take some time in that you can’t gain 20 pounds of muscle in a week, or switch jobs tomorrow. These things take time.
However you’ve been coasting along in your marriage with a very low level of attraction to pull your wife’s interest, which is fine as long as no one else pulls her interest. Which leads to (2)…
(2) There’s a very high probability that another man is involved in the picture somehow, and that started kicking in two months ago… which is when your wife’s behavior started to change. I’m not saying she slept with him, because obviously I don’t know that, but she is certainly attracted to someone else and is torn between him (dopamine) and you (oxytocin).
Your extreme jealousy is probably your intuition picking up on the other guy.
My suggestion would be to actively rule out the existence of this other guy – check credit card receipts, cell phone history, email history etc and see what you find. Though I caution you that it will drive you completely paranoid just doing that even if you find nothing. The taking the ring off, sleeping in separate beds, fighting with you and creating drama are all to get the creation of space between you and her, to allow her room to move toward him.
Bear in mind that (1) is your fault and what was leaving the door open for (2) to happen. If you find she has done something physical with someone else, immediately kick her out of the house and follow up with your marriage counselor.
*****
You simply can’t rest on your laurels as a husband and expect your wife to remain attracted to you, if you do not remain attractive. The relationship can amble along just fine for years with no particular sign of danger, but the foundations are crumbling away underneath you and all it can take is one solid hit of interest from another man and it all can come crashing down.
Fixing the structural problems of your income and health can take a long time. When the shit hits the fan… you simply may not have the time to fix it before she does the unthinkable.
 

The Fog Of Whore

The Fog of War is often used in computer strategy games to hide the position of enemy units unless within the current line of sight of your own units. This is to mimic the reality of warfare where you don’t know where enemy units are, unless you’ve scouted their position out.
“War is an area of uncertainty; three quarters of the things on which all action in War is based on are lying in a fog of uncertainty to a greater or lesser extent. The first thing (needed) here is a fine, piercing mind, to feel the truth with the measure of its judgment.”    Carl von Clausewitz
The Fog of Whore is the lies, bullshit, deceit and misdirection an unfaithful spouse uses on the unwitting faithful spouse, when an affair is in progress or being considered. Affairs require secrecy. And yes indeed, your good, moral, sweet, loyal and, not meaning this to sound like a cheap shot on the religious… even your Christian spouse can be laying on the manure two feet deep.
So…. having caught her husband in an emotional affair…
Reader:  So, back to the point. I snoop, multiple times a day, at work, etc. Again, I’m just so wary of being burned. I haven’t found anything. I don’t think I will find anything. He has a government e-mail account which he cannot delete or change (because, duh, it’s a government account). I’ve explained to him that even if she did e-mail him, I won’t hold that against him– only if he were to respond. I feel like a crazy person. And it’s only a matter of time until his patience wears thin. He understands to me this was emotional cheating, but I know he doesn’t really believe it was cheating, and that I have blown it out of proportion.
What is reasonable in a situation like this? Where is the line between paranoid, obsessive stalking and reasonable self-defense drawn?
Athol: The line between paranoid obsessive stalking and reasonable self-defense is very blurry, simply because reasonable self-defense snooping will make you feel totally paranoid and obsessive. Then because you now feel paranoid and obsessive… you can’t stop snooping. The only way to feel trusting again, is to actually trust and not snoop. Your feelings follow your actions.
I do advise people who suspect their partner is involved with someone else to actively seek to find out if there is someone else… by which I mean snoop. However I always warn them that they will feel extremely anxious and paranoid when they do so. So whatever snooping you do shouldn’t turn into an endless stakeout.
There’s also no perfect solution here either. If you do snoop, you’re paranoid and controlling. If you don’t snoop, you risk not catching the affair in progress. Plus people engaged in affairs or considering them create a great deal of distraction and always attempt to hide the affair from discovery, so a merely casual investigation isn’t likely to find much of anything.
My general advice is if you get a nagging sense that something isn’t right, check into things thoroughly once, and if you find nothing, stop. It’s a somewhat jaded view of things, but good people occasionally do very bad things… even to people they love… or perhaps more correctly, once loved.
Overall though, more information is better than less. Sometimes you just have to clear away the Fog of Whore.