Our House, Is A Very Very @#$%ing House

It’s 2006…
… gotta think that in 2012 John is totally screwed as a result of folding on that conversation.
Here’s the thing, women quite like houses, there’s this huge nesting instinct driving that and it’s not going to go away any time soon. Big house good. Small house bad. After that the Rationalization Hamster engages and it’s “the children, the children, the children, the children” until you’re shamed into buying the big house, or the nicer house, or the house over there next to the thing that’s for the children.
Most Fitness Tests that you fail affect you for a day or two, or maybe a couple weeks. But if you buy more house than you can really afford, you’re going to set yourself up for several years of dealing with a bad decision. It creates a massive structural problem for which there may really be no proper solution other than the financial equivalent of reaching into a wood-chipper.
It’s really hard to Game your way out of a low sex marriage if you can’t exercise, help around the house, play with your kids and generally be romantic toward your wife because you need to work an extra job to pay for the house. Her watching every penny and juggling the robbing Peter to pay Paul routine for years on end isn’t conducive to her wanting to make sexy time.
For the record, that video is painfully true for Jennifer and myself. Jennifer not as bitchy as the chick in the ad, more excited than anything and me not willing to pop her bubble about it. We botched on this one in 2006 and it’s been a major strain on us for the last six years. There’s some more complications to all that, but it all sums out to a less perfect decision than it seemed at the time.
The numbers at the time were basically okay as well, but close to our limit of affordability. Then I had an unexpected large dip in my income and the price of heating oil went way way up. There’s a few other missteps along the way as well, but the house drives the lions share of the overall problem.
A year ago we were in a very bad place, and now we’re about three months from all the credit cards being paid off and just the mortgage as the only debt we carry. So there’s a happy ending, but damn I’m tired from this double duty routine for the last two years. I don’t regret starting MMSL for a moment, but when I say I’m thankful for everyone that’s bought a book… I really am thankful.
And to be fair, this has been a great place to live for our kids. The last neighbourhood wasn’t terrible, but we’re somewhere safe enough for the kids to walk themselves and the local school is better. So there have been good things along with the less good things.
Jennifer and I have learned our lesson with this one well and truly. We’ve already identified where we want to move to next and if you want to play guessing games in the comments – airline hub city, warm weather, condo, gayborhood, public transport system, more things to do and better cost of living than Connecticut (that last one doesn’t narrow it down much at all). But we have many small steps to make before that happens and the likely date is 2018 unless I suddenly make so much money that when I go to make deposits, the man running the local branch of our bank starts to spontaneously ovulate.
So anyway, until then… we still have this fucking house.
And for the record, Jennifer gets very upset about this particular issue and feels guilty about it. And being stuck in the house means that aspect of things doesn’t get to vanish easily either. This remains a sore spot for us and people shitting on her in the comments will be deleted just as fast as I get to them.
As the Captain, I’ve taken responsiblity for this mistake. It’s more my fault than hers. No fair claiming leadership rights and not also carrying the can if you make bad leadership decisions.


  1. Anonymous says:

    Why does she feel guilty if you could afford the house at the time that you bought it? It isn't her fault that heating oil went up and her husbands income went way down. There's nothing to shit on her about. Most families will be in trouble if the husband ( usually the breadwinner) doesn't earn enough.

  2. J0haquim N0ah says:


    They fell trap to the planning fallacy, and when the best case scenario for income didn't happen, they didn't have a large enough cushion to absorb the blow. But what really matters is they're moving forward productively to an awesome new situation. Good on you, Athol.

  3. pdwalker says:

    I absolutely detest that commercial on so many levels.

  4. Anonymous says:

    when I say I'm thankful for everyone that's bought a book… I really am thankful

    Yeah, so where's the dang donation button, anyway? :)

  5. Anonymous says:

    All I can say is congratulations for moving on from this so well.

    Stuff happens, and I don't think Jennifer has any reason to feel guilty, even allowing for my agreement with Athol that being Captain means taking responsibility.

    I do wonder who's going to blame Teh Wummum here. I am so sick of some men claiming that they are strong, they are powerful – and the moment something goes wrong they are meek little lambs in the face of those powerful, nefarious women.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I just watched that ad for the first time.


  7. The MacNut says:

    You and me both pdwalker. The thing is, that guy, and most guys in that position, are basically in a damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don't situation.

    If he says "No, we can't afford this" and sticks to his guns, well, better pray the wife takes it in stride and doesn't hold it against him. Otherwise it will be a major chip she keeps on her shoulder and will beat him over the head with for years afterward, accusing him of not giving a damn about their kids, about her feelings and opinion, etc. Think he's getting any then?

    And of course, if he gives in, he may have failed a Mother of a shit test and if they end up struggling financially to pay for the house, she could blame him for that as well. And God help him if, like Athol, he has a major reduction in income and the wife holds that against him too. That Jennifer hasn't says great things about her. Good wife selection for the win.

    Overall, this is just a bad position to put a husband in. No matter what he decides, there could be major downsides that could affect him and the family for years to come, especially in his relationship with his wife.

  8. "Jennifer gets very upset about this particular issue and feels guilty about it."

    And if you wife gets defensive instead when you try to bring up the topic? She may or may not feel guilty about it, probably somewhat, but is not willing to discuss it very in-depth to learn from a past mistake, but instead will just try to end the conversation as quickly as possible or bring up "it was for the children!!!" Along with a couple other financial decisions which she pressed hard for that have really only hurt us in the long run, even though she pressured and used some great sounding logic at the time.

    It is good to hear, not that I like to hear of others troubles, but it is good to hear (learn about) the bad times you both have had while being married. It is nice to see that Jennifer learned from it (as did you). I do not think my wife has ever learned anything from he bad choices, as is evidenced by her continuing to make similar choices again and again.

    Athol, Jennifer is a pretty naturally submissive wife. How should one handle someone who is not naturally submissive? Ramp up the Alpha even more? But then about 80% of day to day decisions and choices become a serious discussion. She wants to do it her way. Which can be tiring. If the issue is not of any real importance to me, then I am apt to say "Fine do it that way." But if I do that frequently enough she sees me as weak / indecisive, etc. So for most things I try to let her take care of it (1st Offc.) and for the more major things I try to take the active lead (Capt.). Although she continues to push for control most of the time. Which as I said is just tiring and garners zero attraction from me, to her and in fact kills it.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Honestly, this is too omega for words.

    "Along with a couple other financial decisions which she pressed hard for that have really only hurt us in the long run, even though she pressured and used some great sounding logic at the time."

    How can she submit to someone like that? You claim you want to be the dominant one, but your entire mindset is that she's the one who makes the decisions.

    You know that's true. If you really want to be the Captain, then you have to take those decisions as being *your* fault. Not that you claim to want the Captain role, but any mistakes are automatically *her* fault.

    It makes you sound like a surly teenager who wants independence NOW, but demands that mommy step in the moment he's in trouble. Not sexy.

    There's nothing wrong with having a dominant woman – submissive man. It works for some people. What is pathetic is a man who claims he wants the opposite, but thinks and behaves in a way that demands the opposite dynamic.

  10. I don't agree that rationalization kicks in after the decision of having house.

    The house is a nest, for the woman and children, for safety purposes, and that feeling is there for that reason.

  11. Athol Kay says:

    Why does she feel guilty if you could afford the house at the time that you bought it? It isn't her fault that heating oil went up and her husbands income went way down. There's nothing to shit on her about.

    Because we couldn't afford the house once potential income and price changes were factored in. We had no cushion to absorb any of that.

    We had come into some money at the time and I strongly wanted to pay off our old house and we'd have been free and clear by 2008 if we had gone that route. Jennifer had become Crazy House Hunting Lady and after six months of it, I just wanted to get off the ride and agreed to a house I'm only mildly positive about.

    Even beyond the money issue, I don't actually like doing home repair and really detest yard work. Big house, large yard. I try not to think about it, but some days… bleh.

    Yeah, so where's the dang donation button, anyway? :)

    Donate buttons typically make very little income for a blog and basically make it appear that your work is so poor that no one would pay for an actual book.

  12. Also, she can pressure him with that shrewish stare and when he buckles, she will say "you wanted this too."

    That's what my wife does. We have a huge house right now. We built moved in May 2006, had our second child in August 2006 and I got downsized in November 2006.

    Hopefully like Athol, I will be able to pull us out of CC debt this year by being flipping a couple more houses. Just to get our asses above sea level for good.

  13. "I don't regret starting MMSL for a moment, but when I say I'm thankful for everyone that's bought a book… I really am thankful."

    So… you're welcome! ;-)

  14. This just reminds me how glad I am that I didn't bend to this same pressure when we bought our house 8 years ago. It was less house than we could afford, but it turns out now we have disposable income, no other debts, and this one will be paid off before I'm 40. Yes, I am patting myself on the back. Hooray for me.

  15. Anonymous says:

    In a ocnvoluted way, I'm glad I'm not the only one in this boat. We had been in a nice "expanded cape" house that we got for a good price and fixed up, and had paid down the mortgage to where we could have owned it free and clear in 10 more years when my wife got the itch for something bigger with a pool and a larger lot. Not only that, but it had to be in a neighborhood that fed into the same school the kids were in. The area is completely built out so nothing new is getting built. That narrowed it down to a small number of "executive" houses that were on the market. We ended up buying one that while a very nice location, with a pool and 4x the lot size, it also tripled our mortgage payment and reset the clock to 30 years, plus being in an executive neighborhood carried a lot of hidden extra expenses needed to keep up with the neighborhood. The house itself is nothing special, and it turns out is pretty shoddily constructed, a lot of short-cuts were taken. I was only moderately excited about the house but she "had to have it" as she was friends with 3 of the 7 families here already. I ran the numbers and if we squeezed we could get into it, so that's what we did. Of course as soon as we were in, the spending went up because she "had" to furnish it and do all the social things that went along with the new neighborhood. Now 8 years later, the house is worth less than we paid for it, we have exhausted our financial cushion and run up a sizable credit card debt, and re refinanced to lower the payment slightly so it won't be paid off until I am 80 years old. She gets upset any time I talk of downsizing once the kids are out, saying she pictured herself retiring in this house. Plus the house really needed a new kitchen when we bought it, and so that is a constant complaint of hers too. This was a shit-test I failed miserably and will be paying for for the rest of my life.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Does any man after marriage really have any choice in where he lives?

  17. Anonymous says:

    I was mowing the lawn, weeding the garden, and trimming hedges from age 10 as part of my weekly allowance.

    You're a family — if everyone uses the yard, everyone should help maintain it.


  18. Anonymous says:

    Yes, any "man" does. Or, was that what you were really asking?

  19. Anonymous says:

    Agreed. It was all my fault for years when we bought the bigger house. And then I got laid off. Yes, the deal was for me to keep working in order to pay for it, but there was no discussion of exactly what the threshold was for that… How long I could stay employed.

    I think Athol's next book should be, "On Being Captainy." The difference between this Omega concept and true Captainship. Maybe a cool infographic on the variants of Captainship, layered with those concepts that aren't, like the bully, Omega and bad beta.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Well I didn't bend to the pressure either in 2004, but did get an express ticket to divorce a year later. Cause/effect.

  21. Anonymous says:

    "No fair claiming leadership rights and not also carrying the can if you make bad leadership decisions." <— Real Manhood Sincerely, Male reader

  22. I'll second that suggestion for Athol's next book!

  23. See Omega comment below. There has to be a way to balance owning the decision and making it clear that throwing it back on you with that tone is not acceptable.

    You two are on the same team, and she should act like it.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I did the same thing, but it was when we were still engaged. Late 2006 purchase, buying more house than we really needed because I thought giving her what she wanted was in my best interest. I can't complain about the house – it's great, but now it is about 100K lower in value thanks to the real estate bubble. In retrospect, it was probably a combination fitness test and strong nesting need that compelled her to bring out the tears when I was going to pull the trigger on a smaller (but very nice) house.

  25. You're welcome from me too. We own three copies of the Primer at my house – paper, Kindle and PDF! And I just posted praise for the book on a sex blog for Christian women (although I'm a bit afraid that my comment will be deleted).

  26. Ian Ironwood says:

    Re Donations: Then hide it at the bottom where common folk won't see it, Athol. Don't think of it as a revenue generator as much as a place for folks to express their gratitude. I mean, we can only buy your books once.

  27. I am so glad we missed the whole bubble….we moved to the US at the end of the bubble and just rented a beach front one bedroom- we lived there for 3 years and are debt free- even with both of us having Master's. I do understand how such seemingly smart people got so caught up with the BUY BUY BUY propaganda- the media and even the government were bent on making debt slaves out of all of us. If renting is cheaper why not rent!?

    BTW buying new furniture is a sucker's game….with some very basic materials and tools you can turn thrifted furniture and craigslist finds into really beautiful pieces….new cars and furniture have the biggest drop in value if you buy new. Just because everyone else is a sucker doesn't mean you have to be….

  28. Ian Ironwood says:

    Testify, my brother.

    I expressed my own take on it here:http://theredpillroom.blogspot.com/2012/03/difference-between-leading-and-dragging.html

    But to sum up, being Captain is about taking personal responsibility and knowing how to lead effectively, two things Blue Pill guys have a hard time doing. But you can't do it by just being a dick all the time. Its a far more sophisticated presentation than Single Game.

  29. Anonymous says:

    If you think she left because she couldn't pressure you into a bigger house, you are better off in the long run. You would just have lost half of a bigger house later.

    My ex SAHM pressured me to sell my business and work an hourly job, and to buy a bigger house in the city when we were having trouble. I told her we'd discuss it when I knew where our relationship was heading and stayed the course. Turns out she just wasn't happy and was hoping the changes might make her feel better. Left me 6 months later for someone making 30000 as a shelf stocker and rents a small shithole out in the country. Apparently she is happy as hell, but I'm hearing the rumblings of how she hates being broke all the time now….

    I do miss her, but time is really helping with that. Plus I have run the numbers showing how much better I will do later in life not having to drag her dead weight around. That helps a lot too.

  30. Anonymous says:

    This was one of the issues that wrecked my marriage. We bought a bigger house than I wanted. I finally gave in on the decision in exchange for her promise that she was going to contribute to the house expenses. What a lie that turned out to be. When she was working, she gave me enough money to meet the monthly bills once, she paid the mortgage one other time. And then she would always throw that in my face in her illogical way whenever I brought up the subject. As a result, I had to suspend 401k contributions for a year at one point in order to stay current on all bills.

    Whenever I complained about that and talked about downsizing, she shut me down hard. When I finally left, she still wanted me to stay. I told her that one of my conditions of staying was that we had to downsize. She said no way so that was that and I walked. She bought me out.

    Fast forward to today, she's been unemployed for the last couple of years and while she refinanced to a lower payment, her savings though considerable are being depleted after she ran out of unemployment insurance. Me? I downsized my housing expenses, could probably fit my house into the living and family rooms at her house, and as a result, while I too am unemployed, I'm not so worried, I can last a lot longer than she can.

  31. Sexy Christian Wife says:

    I like how you stand up for your wife and take responsibility.

  32. pdwalker says:

    What Ian says.

  33. I just watched the ad. This is an advertisement FOR buying a house? Century 21 is really not reading the zeitgeist properly, here…..

  34. Anonymous says:

    The ad is for (unemployed) wives wanting to buy a house, to teach them how to manipulate their husband.

    If he had any common sense, he would have insisted on a spreadsheet of all their monthly expenses, savings and retirement, then discussed it based on money, not guilt.


  35. Anonymous says:


    Perfect, Jaz

  36. Anonymous says:

    "airline hub city, warm weather, condo, gayborhood, public transport system, more things to do and better cost of living than Connecticut (that last one doesn't narrow it down much at all). "

    Austin, TX?

    Also, why a gayborhood? There's lots of ambivalence or outright hostility in the manosphere, I somehow just assumed writers here would shy away from such places.

  37. Dreadpiratk says:

    Funny how common this story is. Ian and Athol are both right. If you're the leader, you can't blame anyone but yourself. When we went through it- lost our business, lost the house, and were literally hours away from declaring bankruptcy, it very nearly destroyed our marriage. I had to stand up and take responsibility as captain and stop the cycle of blame to save my family. When I finally looked my wife in the eye and said 'However we got here, I'm responsible for it. On my head be it'. We called the lawyer, told him to pound sand, and got to work getting out of the hole (first we stopped digging) In the last 3 years we've gone from 350K in debt to 50K in debt, and the house we own has over 60K in equity. It's too small, and takes a lot of time to fix since it was condemned when we bought it, but in a few years we'll be able to cash it in and move down south next door to Athol and Jennifer (Atlanta? do they have gay people there?). In the mean time my mortgage is less then most people's car payments.

    A little OT, but there's nothing like seeing her man making the nest better to get my wife's motor running. Just tearing out the ratty old sheet rock in the hall and replacing it with clean new panels pays off big time. Tearing off the roof and rebuilding it, well….

  38. Anonymous says:

    Fewer men hitting on the wife at the grocery store, safe neighborhood. I live in a gayborhood, as do plenty of open-minded straight couples. No need to fear getting killed or raped, or even beat up in a bar.

  39. A good friend of mine has the best house story ever.

    When he and his wife got married, he was living in a tiny little two bedroom 800 square foot shack that his father had built and given to him. You've seen mobile homes that were much nicer than this place. Anyway, it was paid for so he was very reluctant to leave the place, and she agreed to stay there for awhile.

    10 years later, they were still there, only now with two kids. Every year his wife would beg him to buy them a "real house", and every year he would talk her into holding on for one more year. While this was going on, he opened a profitable series of gyms in a bunch of rural areas (funny because he is very rotund in a non-muscular sort of way) and also started an oilfield equipment rental company that had done very well.

    Finally one morning his wife had enough. She told him she could no longer live there, and she was prepared to leave him if he didn't buy them a new house.

    He left the house, went to his office, wrote himself a a $200,000 shareholder distribution from his company bank account, drove back home, gave the check to his wife, and said (this is an exact quote): "Build a house. Let me know when it's time for us to move. I gotta get back to work."

    Pure alpha.

  40. Stargate Girl says:

    i would surmise there were other issues that led to divorce, not just refusal to buy a larger house.

  41. Anonymous says:

    Pure cheap.

    She should've divorced him. She would have still been able to buy a nice house for the kids, with the benefit of not having to live with him.

    There is a point when Alpha becomes Asshole.

  42. Anonymous says:

    Hah! Badass.

  43. Anonymous says:

    I hear ya, I’m in the same boat AND underwater. 2006 was a great time to buy. Remember? Buy it now! Before the price goes up! Then came 2008. Oops. Ditto on the donation button dude. Hell, I’ll buy the book again.

  44. To AnonymousMar 16, 2012 01:52 AM,

    So if I was to follow your suggestion I would continually push to make the decision, whatever the decision is or is about. Even if that means we would fight 80% of the time when a decision is called for. Sorry that does not sound appealing to me. The fact that a decision about re-painting a random room in the house even though it was just repainted last year and I am the one that needs to do it because she doesn't want to where I would rather not as I feel the color is perfectly fine and it was just painted last year. Oh and if we repaint it we will need to buy new curtains and possibly some other pieces of furniture because the old ones do not match the new paint color. Oh and did I not mention we are in debt by a large amount and should be putting money towards paying that down. Oh and we also need (want) new carpet and we have to do it this year because of reason x, y, and z. Oh but we may not even stay in this house for much longer because she found another house that would be so great for us and the kids…

    It was not this bad when we were dating but it is now. If I put my foot down and say no, not right now or just no. She goes off how I don't listen to her feelings and I don't care about her and don't love her and I hate her and I don't care for the children because I don't want what is best for them, etc, etc.

    You know when I write it out like that it really makes me think I should just leave because a lot of the times this is just f'ing miserable.

  45. Anon 1:15

    Well if she was the kind of woman who'd do that, he'd have never married her in the first place. And if his behavior was cheap, our society would be a whole lot better off if more people were cheap.

    And think about it. They suffered in a hovel for 10 years. Now they have a very nice home that is PAID for, before they are even 40 years old. You tell me that's not worth 10 years of humble. The guy is one of my heroes, actually.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Man might, husband don't

  47. Anonymous says:

    It sounds like he had the money quite a while back, but was too cheap to spend it. Eight hundred square feet for 4 people? My first apartment was that size.

    Don't start a family if you can't (or won't) provide for them.

    And yes, she does sound stupid. She would've been signing those tax returns and known how much money he was bringing in from those businesses. I'm guessing he won't be paying for college for his kids either, because that money could go toward expanding his businesses instead.

    Because it's allllll about him.

  48. From my observations, highly successful men expect their wives to be able to take care of family business on their own. They are simply too busy to take care of everything. When dating I was actually interviewed by such a man – it went something like this "My late wife took care of everything – I only had to work. I'm looking for a lady that can do that."

    Another point, when you start from nothing, you have to save and limit your spending until you gain momentum. Trying to keep up with those born to wealth is unsustainable. And, oh yes, bringing kids up to know the value of money is much better for them than giving them everything.

    The strategy of this couple is good and low risk.

    Well done! C:-)

  49. Athol – you can charge a lot more for your books and people will still buy them. This is good work…

  50. Anonymous says:

    I agree with Ian too.

  51. Anonymous says:

    It was the strategy of the Captain, not the couple. He had to convince her to stay, and she had to threaten to *divorce* before he provided decent digs for his family: "You've seen mobile homes that were much nicer than this place."

    There's a wide range between better than a mobile home and a $200,000 home. I don't get why it had to be all or nothing.

  52. Anonymous says:

    This doesn't seem like a "shit test". I think that plenty of women have nest expectations and this is more a benchmark for them that test of your manhood. The only way to deal with it is to leave it as a request and then come back later with the spreadsheet and state it out as facts. The emotional buy is ridiculous in housing. I know this because I build them for people and I see the wives that are in charge and they are either in charge of the whole thing or he is being magnanimous in the background. There are never equal partners.

  53. I really like this story. Sometimes thinking you are the perfect couple and never had major challenges can be both intimidating and cause lack of trusts "Of course he can make it work nothing like what happened to me happened to them!". I think is very good for you to share all sides of a good marriage, specially in this times of "I want haaaappiness or I want death"

  54. Anonymous says:

    Hi Roi,

    You didn't state whether or not your wife works. If she doesn't, there's your answer: Yes, honey, you may have x, y, & z if you pay for them out of your own paycheck.

    And while she's at it, she can start a college fund for the kids.


  55. What do you recommend for a situation where it is the man who wants to live above their means and it is a woman who wants to live below their means with a comfortable cushion? For the woman, will it be better to be submissive for the sake of the relationship? Or should she stand her ground for the sake of personal security?

    This is not my situation, by the way. It's purely hypothetical, although I have witnessed somebody in a similar situation. She chose to be submissive and follow his lead, but they don't have kids.

  56. Anonymous says:

    Yes, Jennifer being naturally submissive makes it pretty easy to do.

  57. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like a bunch of females second guessing the Captain move by the Alpha guy.

    Hmmm, no wonder your husbands are having trouble "manning up", if you continually second guess him and tell him the RIGHT way to do it and that he is actually doing it the wrong way, not very First Officer of you.

  58. pdwalker says:


    How's your sex life? No need to answer, only to yourself. I'd have the expectation that it is less than idea.

    Read the book. You are not in command of your home. Until you are, until you stop failing her shit tests, until you man up and take control, your wife will turn your life into a living hell while she insists in spending your family into insolvency.

    Athol's advice can help pull you from that dark place.

  59. pdwalker says:


    idea = ideal.

  60. Anonymous says:

    this might be one of the few cases where it might be best to have separate money….most couples fight about money priorities, but if you cant trust your guy to take care of your security needs, then you have to take care of them yourself…

  61. Anonymous says:

    Anon @ 5:37—Can't tell from the OC if they were running C&FO, but do you think it's good management for a Captain having his First Officer to threaten to leave? Maybe Eric knows why it took a 10-year cycle of "begging" from the wife and "convincing" from the husband before she took the nuclear option of mutiny. It doesn't sound like a well run ship, or that they were working toward a common goal. I'd think a well run C&FO would be more harmonious.

  62. tacomaster says:

    I concur. By the way, would you have to pay taxes on the donations up in CT?

  63. tacomaster says:

    GC, what's the name of the Christian sex blog for women called? thanks

  64. Athol Kay says:

    After both of us were dragged to HR for people complaining to our employer about MMSL, I'd rather live surrounded by people that aren't going to hate us for our sexuality.

    It's a quite different experience writing about sex on your real name than hiding behind a nom de plume.

  65. Anonymous says:

    Women are like dogs – you have to show them who is dominant and when they get out of line, you have to be willing to grab them by the throat till they roll over to show their submission. Nothing good ever comes from giving in to a woman – period. So always go with your initial decision – it is the correct one for the situation. If she doesn't like it – show her the door because she isn't worth it. Till she realizes that simple fact, she isn't worth your time…

  66. tacomaster – I know of three – Intimacy in Marriage (for women), One Flesh Marriage (for couples), and Christian Nymphos (for women; this one is no longer active, but maintains a large archive of articles).


  67. Anonymous says:

    Buddy, you need to take this kind of ridiculous and pompous trash elsewhere. Or better yet, keep it to yourself. It contributes nothing to the helpful information that Athol provides here.

  68. "It sounds like he had the money quite a while back, but was too cheap to spend it."

    That is incorrect. They had almost no spare money for most of the 10 years because he was leveraged to the hilt on his businesses. He managed to pay off a lot of his real estate debt in relation to the businesses and then the cash started piling up quickly (very quickly, considering they had *zero* personal debt to siphon off those profits). In order to justify cleaning out his business accounts to build a house, he ended up selling a few of his gyms, when before he had been considering using the cash to invest in more gyms. So they gave up existing income and very real potential future gains in order to build the nice house… but of course now they have the security of a house that is paid for.

    "She would've been signing those tax returns and known how much money he was bringing in from those businesses. "

    Correct, and if you think it through it is probably no coincidence that she gave him an ultimatum when the businesses had $200K cash on hand. Maybe she's not as stupid as you think.

  69. Also, I've always found it interesting that this is the only couple I know who paid for a house in this manner, and they are also one of the most physically unattractive couples I know (though both very personable with a lot of character). I'd rate them as 3's or 4's in terms of physical characteristics.

    I wonder if those two factors are correlated.

  70. Anonymous says:

    Good god.

    Either you're a troll, in which case I urge you to go offline and copulate vigourously with yourself.

    Or you're actually serious, in which case you are a frightening abuser.

    It's sad that Game attracts people like you, but it has nothing to do with what Athol is promoting.

    Oh, and the reason you are in such a pathetic state, and none of your relationships are satisfying? Is you, hon.

  71. Anonymous says:


    While I've seen a lot of spendthrift husbands, it's always around cars, toys, gambling, runaway credit cards, drinking or drugs. Or some combo of that. But … I've never seen a husband want to spend more than the wife on a house. Just. Does. Not. Happen. OK maybe someone can cite an anecdotal case, but all I know is that every time I've seen conflict over buying a house, it's always, always the wife who wants to spend more. It happened to me, it happened to my father, it happened to his father before him, it happened to my friends. Sigh… Nothing new here.

  72. Anonymous says:

    Re a wife's approach to a husband's poor financial management –

    It's not good for anyone to put a spendthrift in charge of the family budget. I'd urge a wife to take action immediately rather than put up with it "for the relationship".

    There are often free counselling services that help families budget and it can be framed as everyone learning how to budget. There will no doubt be crying and gnashing of teeth, but in the end all will benefit from sensible spending and saving.

    My ex used to routinely spend all we had on food, parties, unwise purchases, useless consumer objects and helping others – and totally insufficient on maintaining our house, retirement savings, holidays etc.

    I ended up childless, living in a dump with vermin (and unwanted "charity" tennants) and desperately trying to save for my old age!

    He would have thought the relationship was fabulous if I had continued earning well and giving it all to him – and perhaps inbetween my 18 hour days produced a child or two, worked on his projects (while admiring his fabulous ideas) and did all the housework.

    Believe me – you'll end up hating someone who does not manage the family wealth well!


  73. I would love to see a post and/or comments on what to do with a strong willed, intense wife.

  74. A dog that is treated badly may well jump ship and join a new pack…. I've seen it happen.

    Just sayin'…

  75. With as much great information and suggestions here, you should be buying books for your clueless male friends, boyfriends of daughters, family members, etc. I wish my husband had another male to suggest, promote, and encourage in these ways.

  76. Anonymous says:

    Fair enough- makes sense. And as I'm sure others have said, good on you for writing as yourself. It shows lots of integrity.


  77. highlander says:

    I don't think this issue is easy to win. We purchased a house my wife never liked very much, but it was what we could afford at the time and it saved our bacon during downturns in the economy. The thing is her dislike of this house always festered and she was constantly wanting to upgrade the place as a way of distracting herself. We've spent the last 15 years renovating one thing or another, putting ourselves in more debt to keep her "happy"

    We paid off the mortgage last March and she was looking at much larger houses where if we took the entire amount we'd realize on the sale we'd still end up with a $100,000 mortgage. It hardly made any sense with one kid already out of the house and the other one at 14 to buy a new four bedroom home.

    Long story short, she had vented her displeasure to some guy on WOW for about a six months, developed a EA, then a PA with him. She left in July and now lives in a one bedroom apartment, an example of hamster thinking at it's best.

  78. Athol Kay says:

    That's a sad story Highlander.

    Suspect she was high stimulation / dopamine seeking all along. House hunting + changing + WOW + affair = high stimulation need.

  79. pdwalker says:

    Sorry to hear that Highlander. Had MMSL existed 10 years ago, the outcome might have been different.

    Now, all I can say is that the best revenge is living well.

  80. Anonymous says:

    When my wife and I were looking at houses I flat out refused to even physically go into any house that cost more than our budget. My wife drove us both crazy by going to expensive open houses that were out of our league, then coming home to beg me to go see "this adorable" home. No way. Buying a cheaper house that we could afford pissed her off at the time. Now she's happy we did it my way.

  81. Anonymous says:

    There was a guy up there ^^ who asked what to do with an intense woman with a dominant personality. I might have a suggestion for that.

    I'm a woman with a dominant personality, but I still prefer to be a FO than a Captain. That's to say, I can be dominant at work or at play, but I'm still seeking a man who I can submit to. I think for many women this is the case.

    My SO and I are traveling together right now, and I often find myself making travel arrangements, making decisions, taking the reins, etc. — and I hate it. I hate that I keep stepping up to the plate and making all the calls. With Athol's MMSL in mind, I try to consult SO on all decisions, try to leave the decisions in his lap ("I've done the research, here are the options, you decide for us — I just don't know"), but he just shrugs and goes, "whatever you think."

    I'm not sure whether he's doing this because he thinks that's what I want — because I come across as being proactive and as having a strong opinion — or whether he's doing this because he's far more beta than I.

    What I do know is, I wind up making all the decisions about where to stay, where we're going next, etc., because the few times I've left it entirely up to him, we've gotten stranded, stuck without food, missed buses, etc. At this point, I take the reins of travel planning because I feel like he's incapable of it.

    One day I finally told him that I resented taking the initiative all the time, but did it because I genuinely felt that leaving the planning in his hands would wind up having a negative impact on my quality of life. I was taking over the role of the Captain so that the crew (which was, well, granted, just me) wouldn't suffer.

    He's still a crappy planner. He still doesn't do any of it. Despite having not read any MMSL, however, he came up with a genius Captain move.

    Whenever I start to get agitated because we haven't planned a move yet, and start to get the itch to go above and beyond him and start making decisions, he 'orders' me to do the research and pick our next hostel. He'll see that I'm getting antsy and he'll hear me saying, "well, we have to leave tomorrow if we want to be there by sunday, and . . ." and so his response is, "Do the research and run your decision by me before dinner tonight."

    This kind of delegation is something that Athol describes, and it's a way of keeping the attraction alive in a relationship with an intense, dominant, decision-making woman — without having either party completely change the way that they behave.

    I will add this caveat, though — we haven't had very many difference in opinion thus far. When he vetoes a suggestion, I generally don't have a huge emotional attachment to my choice of hostel, and so I simply suggest my second-best option, etc.

    Sorry for the run-on story: I just figured it was a bit of an example that could possibly help someone else.

  82. Anonymous says:

    "Fewer men hitting on the wife at the grocery store, safe neighborhood. I live in a gayborhood, as do plenty of open-minded straight couples. No need to fear getting killed or raped, or even beat up in a bar."

    Yeah, 'cause I'm totally in danger of getting killed, raped, or beat up in our "straight" neighborhood.

    I hope you were being sarcastic, or ironic, or anything except serious with that post. What nonsense.

  83. Anonymous says:

    If I had the ability to write a check for a house and be free and clear with no mortgage payments, it would be blowjobs morning, noon, and night from the wife. Some women actually appreciate industrious men who can plan, save, and provide security for their family and resist the initial impulse to go deeply in debt on a home they can barely afford… especially in today's economy.

  84. toomanypasswords says:

    Just came across this post…I can relate to this in many ways. We bought a 4 BR house in the ‘burbs in 2006, I ended up agreeing to a somewhat bigger & more expensive place than what I wanted. Like Athol, I dislike the yardwork and keeping up with the house. Also don’t care much for the culture of my particular ‘burb. But I agreed to it and at this point, it makes the most financial sense to stick it out until the youngest graduates HS.

    My father-in-law comes across as hard core Alpha and is in many respects. Was in the Army, pretty hard nosed, can fix or build anything, etc. But when it comes to my mother-in-law and her never being satisfied with where they live & how it looks, his Alpha goes completely out the window. They spent 8 years fixing up a place and making a bunch of expensive (and mostly unnecessary) improvements. He agreed to moving into this place to begin with b/c the understanding was they’d be there until death do us part.

    Well, she suddenly decides last year she wants to move to a different part of town. Oh, and she decided to buy the new place before selling the old one. If there was ever a time my FIL would have been justified in putting his foot down with her with some big-time Alpha, this was it! She flat out reneged on their deal.

    But…he rolled over like Fido. They are now stuck with a place they can’t sell and have no strong prospect of selling anytime soon.

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