We Need To Talk

Reader:  I have GOT to get my husband to read this stuff. Somehow. I’m in hell right now; he loves me, probably too much, and that is both not enough and too much. Suddenly I see why. The inability to make a freaking decision, even over the seemingly simplest things, the excess forty, fifty pounds, the directionlessness in his career… I’ve tried to be supportive and properly subordinate but it’s like that just makes it worse. Nagging would only make things SO much worse so I don’t. But the attraction is disappearing, FAST. I am actively holding my tongue! Oh, and the baby-talk. Look, once in awhile is ok but it’s like that’s his default mode when talking to me now. It is embarrassing.

I mean, 15-20 lbs over, I can overlook, sure. I’m not looking for Adonis. but it’s rapidly getting out of hand. Then the way he comes onto me for sex, it’s like, here, I’ll feel your tits. Ready now? Uh, I guess!

Then his coworker shows up… I’m sure you know where this is going. Other guy kisses like he means it, like his entire body and soul mean it. and those eyes! My god, the look in his eyes is killing me. He never blinks. Then touches my face. omg.

I want to make it stop. OR, really, the rational, logical side of me wants to make it stop. The side of me that just wants to live doesn’t care whether living ends tomorrow, or sixty years from now.

Athol: If you don’t give your husband a fair warning, you will have decided to set yourself on a path where you’ll have to live with yourself inflicting the most terrible pain on him.
So hurt him somewhat now and come clean, or let it fester and really destroy him. The Primer should about scare the crap out of him and give him a plan to make changes.
Good luck.

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.

Military Wife Selection Is Serious

Reader:  I sent this to Vox at Alpha game as well….Hi I’m needing some advice about what to do about my girlfriend and you seem to be the best option at the moment. I’m 19 she’s 20 and we’ve been dating on and off for 3 years now. Her grandmother( who she trusts the most)  has had at least 3 divorces and her mom is probably bipolar. I’ve been the one to call things off with her the times that we did split up. I called things off with her because she became increasingly disrespectful and mocking as the relationship progressed. I would get sick of it and break it off with her. My gf and I are once again in a simliar position and right now shes pushing me to marry her in spite of the fact that I cannot find work and am probably joining the Air Force for work. With all her family history and the state of the family court system im more than a little hesitant. We’re both virgins although shes had a lot of highschool boyfriends, some who have come back through the woodwork to cause issues.

Athol:  Short answer…. Oh hell no!

Longer answer…. Alarm surprise statement extreme negatory. Suggest alternate course action improved probability positive outcome. Recommend deploy escape route transversing asteroid field.

Vox said exactly the same thing I did, but with less of a cool geeky style. (You’re welcome ladies!)

Look… you have to have positive reasons to get married, not concerns about why you shouldn’t. I think the scorecard is about 0-8 on that count.

And not for nothing, you really want to be especially careful on the issue of wife choice should you ever intend to join a military service. The divorce, infidelity and non-paternity risks are higher with military marriages than civilian ones. Unless you start off with a great woman, you should simply expect serious difficulties down the line.

Even with a great woman you’re going to have some long periods of walking uphill. There’s the obvious strain of deployments, uprooting constantly, and essentially what amounts to a difficult day to day family life. There’s going to be things that you’re just going to miss out on when you’re away. Your kid walking for the first time and stuff like that. There’s no way to buy those moments back.

Unless she’s actively saying that she’s down to be a military wife, and she actually has a genuine concept of what that means, I’ll bet it all comes to tears for you in the end if you marry her. It’s a job for her as much as it is for you.

Jennifer:  Three years long distance before we married was enough for me. I couldn’t imagine Athol having to go away for a year at random being at all fun. I have a ton of respect and appreciation for those military spouses who do make it work and for those who serve in the military, but these two particular people really don’t seem to be good candidates for making it work together.

Athol:  So did you find yourself snorting at the line that they were both virgins?

Jennifer:  Yeah she’s not. Not even close.

Athol:  Something something something dark side….. you have been well trained my apprentice…

Jennifer:  Shoot me now.

Dance With The One That Brung Ya

On “When She’s Just Waiting For The Hammer.”

Some basic framing for Phase Four of the MAP

(1) I expect you to have a good sexual relationship with me / I expect you to be attractive as you can.
(2) I expect you to hold up your end of the marriage and be productive as a good wife.
(3) Defeatist talk about our relationship is unacceptable. I expect you to support the relationship.
(4) As long as you do (1), (2) and (3) you will never need fear that I will leave you or cheat on you.
(5) I really do have strong feelings for you.

Reader:  Numbers 1 and 2 could be a deep blow to some wives. Number 1 might be hard for someone like OP’s wife to hear because she probably thinks that at 3x a week, they DO have a good sexual relationship or at least as good as she can manage. I wonder if these requirements will actually make her withdraw more but maybe that is the point(?). If she withdraws from the demands, he is free to leave?

Jennifer, since you imply you went through this, I wonder if you rolled up your sleeves and got to work on these things right away or did you have a period of shock and dismay where you withdrew before deciding to forge ahead?

Athol:  Okay…. I got to immediately question how (2) “Hold up your end of the relationship” is going to be a “deep blow to some wives”?  If that’s a deep blow to a wife, the husband is probably going to be well rid of her.

Circling back to the original post though, the husband was hotter than the wife, and the wife was already questioning him as to when he was going to pull the rug out from under her feet and divorce her to be with someone else younger and hotter.

What you have to understand is that those five points in the frame, aren’t actually increasing the threat level to the wife. She’s already imagining much worse than that and just waiting for it to happen. What that frame actually does is reassure her that there are objective and fair levels of behavior she can realistically perform, and she won’t be dumped even if there is someone younger and hotter available to her husband.

Or put another way. If you stick to your vows, I’ll stick to mine.

Part of what caused me to stumble into the realm of Game was the desire to seduce a particular someone else a few years back. It eventually became obvious that I would likely succeed in that goal if I wanted to advance things, and if not with her, with other women if I wanted to. However in fairness to Jennifer I had to admit that she was being quite sexual with me, was basically being just fine as a wife and mother, and generally still excited about being married to me. Cheating on her would genuinely make me the bad guy. So I didn’t. I also don’t toe punt kittens.

Which is not to say that was anything other than a confusing, awkward and painful time for the both of us. We’d had well over a decade of peaceful bliss together, and I went a bit Batshit Crazy on Jennifer aka Mid-Life Crisis and we came out the other side intact. In no small part MMSL is a happy side effect of that period. Jennifer and I are happier than we’ve ever been.

So ultimately I think our agreement together runs along those lines in the frame. Jennifer is being a great wife and I’ve got a healthy dose of “Pikachu I choose you!” running through my veins as well.

Jennifer:  Points 1-4 are kind of the blueprint of Athol’s marriage expectations of me.  I’ve never been “surprised” by him springing them on me…I know that’s what he expects.  My expectations of him are very similar, with the addition of one that says “I expect you to be a good father and pay attention to the children”, and the part about being a good wife changed to being a good husband, which includes holding down a job and not making me a Star Wars: The Old Republic widow.