The Nice Guy Panic Attack After Standing Up To Your Wife

Reader:  I’ve been working hard to actually reform my nice guy routine, and have been standing up to shit tests.  In the last couple weeks, I have pushed back a number of times, highlighting that I don’t like her behavior.  She told me that I was acting like an ass, and then said: “I mean, I know I’m an asshole, but I don’t think we work when you are too.”  Granted, I may have been a little on the rough side when I’ve bumped back a bit, but at the same time, I’ve been telling her things like: “You wouldn’t accept that behavior from me, so why do you expect that I would from you?”  or: “With that attitude, today is going to be a very long day.”  Basically, I just don’t feel like she respects me.  During this argument, I remained calm and patient the whole time.  I explained that I have been working to stand up for myself, and define the ways that we will interact with each other, in an effort to have a healthy, loving, affectionate marriage.

So, I’m sitting here thinking that I was all proud of myself for actually standing up for myself.  But I have a lingering thought that even though I did something different, I get the feeling that it isn’t really working either.  Is this a shift in the alpha dynamic in my marriage, or do you think I’m only serving to push her farther away?

Athol:  It doesn’t matter if it’s “working” or not. If she’s treating you like crap, it’s unacceptable.

 ”I mean, I know I’m an asshole, but I don’t think we work when you are too.”

Translation…

 ”Our relationship involves me treating you like crap and you tolerating it. You aren’t allowed to change that.”

If you defer to this behavior of hers, you will lose somehow. If you stand up to it, you may “win” or you may “lose”. But standing up to it is the only possible chance at “winning.”  Thus, you’re doing exactly the right thing.

What you’re experiencing though is the Nice Guy panic attack that happens right after you stand up for yourself and you haven’t yet heard back either a positive or negative response. Essentially what you’re doing in standing up for yourself is the complete opposite of your normal coping routine which is based on being socially anxious. Now all that anxiety just builds and builds and your own little hamster gets wound up to 100 mph about everything that could go wrong and all that anxiety is intensified into a giant event of dread.

The only way to get over it is to let it pass over you and wait for her response. While you wait though, it’s best to not look like you are experiencing a panic attack because it’s not an Alpha vibe at all. My recommendation is to just get active and do whatever tasks you find most distracting and do them until you get an answer. More often than not, you’re going to get a positive response as long as it doesn’t look like you are currently soiling yourself.

This panic attack sort of thing also hits Nice Guys when they step outside their normal boundaries and do something risky for the first few times. For example the first few times you text her to send naked photos of herself, you’re very likely to experience a moment where you go…

…OMFG what have I done how can I unsend this message OH NO OH NO OH NO she’s going to get the message and hate my guts and tell me that I’m a total jerk for doing something so inappropriate and wrong shit shit shit shit she’s going to tell me to fuck off and stop being a pervert and that will be that oh god why did I send that message to her I’m so stupid I’ve got to apologize before she finds the message and hates me oh but it’s probably too late because she always has her phone and she’s already seen it so I should just wait for her to reply…. okay its been like SIX MINUTES AND SHE HASN’T REPLIED TO ME!!! Oh god it’s over she hates it and is angry at me I just know it I can’t breathe I need to use the bathroom and pee and shit I’m shaking why did I do that why why why oh calm down calm down and EIGHT MINUTES aaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrgggggggghhhhhhhhhh!!!!!

*Bing*

HOLY PATRICK STEWART SHE SENT ME A PICTURE OF HER BOOBS!!!

…. oh no my erection is trapped in my pants and shooting off at a weird angle and it’s painful but there’s too many people around to rearrange myself and ow ow ow ow….

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Comments

  1. OffTheCuff says:

    Of the three responses, the first two are weak because they frame her as being in control, and trying to explainthings. The last one is good – calling her on her shit without explaining.

    Your respect is non-negotiable and never to be explained.

  2. OffTheCuff says:

    Whoops. I see now that the first quote was hers, not yours.

  3. The MacNut says:

    Yeah, us Nice Guys, so conditioned to seek the approval of women at almost all costs, even if that approval is for allowing her to treat us like crap. Naturally we get anxious when stepping outside that paradigm.

  4. Ian Ironwood says:

    Right on, Athol. This is an essential moment, and one you will revisit many times as the Red Pill starts to take affect. The good news is that every time you have a positive outcome, the increase in confidence you’ll feel will counteract this. This feeling, after all, is merely Fear. And if y’all don’t mind me whipping out my nerd and slapping it on the table,

    I must not fear.
    Fear is the mind-killer.
    Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
    I will face my fear.
    I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
    And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
    Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
    Only I will remain.

    That. That’s what you need to do. You can’t be HER rock if you aren’t grounded yourself. Understand this as a simple emotion, a surge of adrenaline engaging your sympathetic nervous system and invoking your fight-or-flight reflex, and let the chemicals wash over you until you have a handle on yourself again. And then don’t back down. Don’t apologize. You have to be The Man, and that takes courage. Courage is facing your fear, acknowledging it, and not allowing your irrational fear to dictate your action.

    And when in doubt, ask yourself how Captain Picard would handle this situation, and do that. If that means you have a cup of Earl Grey, hot, and think about life for a while as you wait for her hamster to spin down, then so be it. If it means having to have a quiet but intense discussion with her about her behavior, and then retiring to your quarters, then so be it. But you don’t back down, once you’ve taken that stand. The essence of Game, and of assertive masculinity, is confidence and coolness, and nothing blows that for both her and you than fear-inspired backpedaling. Better to let her bitch you out and stomp off angrily than fold. Trust me, dude.

    (Dune and Star Trek. How did I get through this comment without a Star Wars reference? I must be slipping . . .)

  5. Harvey says:

    In response to “I mean, I know I’m an asshole, but I don’t think we work when you are too”, I’d go the amused-mastery route by laughing at her, saying “and you’re so cute when you’re an asshole”, kissing her on top of the head, and walking away to go do something more fun, like checking my email.

    If she’s expressing emotions that you don’t like, don’t discuss them with her, introduce a better emotion into the conversation.

    You’re a man. Lead her.

  6. Vae Victus says:

    Ian:

    Great comment.

    As Yoda would say: mind-killer fear is. Do it never you must…

  7. Joost says:

    Holy Patrick Stewart. I’m going to use that. And I think that Cpt. Picard does embody the kind of man that I grew up thinking I should be. Pretty much an alpha, but also a rennaissance man underneath that. What happened to the ideals of TNG?

  8. 446 says:

    I don’t know if my relationship with my wife will ultimately survive or not. I am at the “fair warning” stage. I DO KNOW that he behavior and relationship with the kids is 100 times better since I stopped accepting her bad behavior. I became much more present in the family and call her on her BS when she is out of line. All of us function better without a screechtard in our midst. It took me stepping up to rid our lives of said screechtard.

  9. M3 says:

    Great use of the Dune quote. I have always recited it in my mind ever since my separation a year and a half ago. Fear keeps you from moving forward, from discovery of new things, keeps you controlled. I feared losing my wife. I faced my fear and let it pass through me. And my life is 10,000 times better for telling her we are through rather than meekly live in a home with no love/sex and the pretense of a relationship for the benefit of outsiders.

    And add in Star Trek. Dude your nerd reference power level is over 9000!!!

    Good job!

  10. Boombacca says:

    Tho’ time and time I try to tell her so

    By the time I get to Phoenix she’ll be rising
    She’ll find the note I left hangin’ on her door
    She’ll laugh when she reads the part that says I’m leavin’
    ‘Cause I’ve left that girl so many times before

    By the time I make Albuquerque she’ll be working
    She’ll prob’ly stop at lunch and give me a call
    But she’ll just hear that phone keep on ringin’
    Off the wall that’s all

    By the time I make Oklahoma she’ll be sleepin’
    She’ll turn softly and call my name out loud
    And she’ll cry just to think I’d really leave her
    Tho’ time and time I try to tell her so
    She just didn’t know I would really go.

  11. Anony Mouse says:

    As a wife who used to be that way, I can honestly say stand your ground, she’ll respect you more in the long run.

  12. Ted D says:

    Ian – “This is an essential moment, and one you will revisit many times as the Red Pill starts to take affect. The good news is that every time you have a positive outcome, the increase in confidence you’ll feel will counteract this. ”

    The rub is, you also have to accept that the outcome may be negative, and if it continues to be so it signals the coming of the end. What’s truly tough about finally putting this into action is accepting the possibility that it may truly mean the end of your relationship as well as the possibility that it may succeed and become better. That is where the fear comes from for me. I don’t mind her being angry with me on occasion, but repeated anger doesn’t usually lead to positive results.

    And I’ve said before, I was never really a Captain Picard fan. I won’t argue that he is a leader and alpha, but he is far too diplomatic for my tastes. I actually liked Riker better. He took names and kicked ass, but could play a mean horn.

  13. TEM says:

    Reader, stand your ground now and forever. It is the only way. You are doing great with the calm, controlled, non-emotional approach.

    I explained that I have been working to stand up for myself, and define the ways that we will interact with each other, in an effort to have a healthy, loving, affectionate marriage.
    . . .
    “You wouldn’t accept that behavior from me, so why do you expect that I would from you?” or: “With that attitude, today is going to be a very long day.”

    I advise against explaining yourself, rationalizing with her or appealing to fairness. In my experience it just doesn’t work. Don’t tell her what you are trying to do, she doesn’t care and you won’t win her respect for your good intentions. You need to show her through your actions. The less you say, the better, but say it directly and firmly. Your expectations are not open to debate. In your deep, alpha voice, start stating your expectations of her behavior: “You are being disrespectful and I want you to stop.” “I would like you to change your attitude.” “Do *not* talk to me like that.” Deal with her behavior immediately, don’t let it slide and don’t address it later.

    You don’t always have to be super firm. A mild infraction can be dealt with in a cocky way, “Hey I don’t like that tone, you know sweetness works so much better on me.” “Your parents should have sent you to finishing school. You’ve got a lot of rough edges.”

    Taking back your authority is a painful process for you. Don’t doubt yourself. The voice of fear in your head will tell you that you can’t change a person, that you are only destroying the marriage. Don’t listen to it. Yes, this change will push her away from you. She will resist, kicking and screaming. She will challenge you. She will continue to behave badly. It is a battle of wills and you must win if you want a functional marriage. She might begin to shame you into submission, saying that you are treating her badly, you are being mean to her. She is trying to provoke you into feeling guilty so that you will lose the will to stand up to her. Keep pointing out her bad behavior and demanding she act differently. Remember that you are right and that you are not hurting her. You are actually helping her.

    You have to apply pain to challenges of your authority. Disagree. When she is wrong, tell her. After an episode, if she wants attention and validation, ignore her. Order her out of the room if she persists in talking back to you. She may need some internal motivation to change her behavior. Women internalize criticism, so you can punish her with shame and disapproval. Tell her that her behavior turns you off, is very unattractive, or disgusts you. Tell her she is being childish. Question her character, “What kind of person does that?”

    At the same time you need to play the role of captain better. You need to remove the burden from her shoulders, allow her to relax under your leadership. She will come around.

  14. John Durant says:

    Best line ever: “HOLY PATRICK STEWART SHE SENT ME A PICTURE OF HER BOOBS!!!”

  15. alphaguy says:

    Great Dune quote. I have that on my wall with a bunch of quotes from Dr. Robert Glover, my other mentor (next to Athol of course). Here is some from that list:

    - Put yourself first
    - Ask for what you want
    - Be clear and direct!
    - Learn to say “NO”!
    - Don’t let anyone treat you badly. No One. Ever!
    - Don’t tolerate the intolerable – ever!
    - Face difficult situations and conflict head on!
    - Do it now!
    - Don’t settle! Every time you settle you get what you settled for!

    I could go on but I think you get the idea. If you need to confront your wife on your bad behavior. Take it head on. Put your needs first. Be calm. Be firm. Soothe yourself. Take a deep breath.

    Us recovering Nice Guys have been through this many times. Don’t be a doormat anymore! Women respect a man they can’t walk all over.

  16. deti says:

    Ted:

    “The rub is, you also have to accept that the outcome may be negative, and if it continues to be so it signals the coming of the end. What’s truly tough about finally putting this into action is accepting the possibility that it may truly mean the end of your relationship as well as the possibility that it may succeed and become better. That is where the fear comes from for me. I don’t mind her being angry with me on occasion, but repeated anger doesn’t usually lead to positive results.”

    This. THIS right here. I had to face this too, with my back against the wall a year ago. I resolved that if it meant the end of my marriage, so be it. I really was prepared to walk. And if getting better meant I had to do it alone, then that’s the way it would be.

    Was I afraid? You bet. Still am, to some degree.

  17. Firepower says:

    As long as women truly respect you, your views and your motives
    free and open communication can lead to disagreements
    and occasional noods sent via sexting

  18. UrbanCounselor says:

    “This. THIS right here. I had to face this too, with my back against the wall a year ago. I resolved that if it meant the end of my marriage, so be it. I really was prepared to walk. And if getting better meant I had to do it alone, then that’s the way it would be.

    Was I afraid? You bet. Still am, to some degree.”

    It’s as if women don’t understand that when we *HAVE* to put them in their place…we’ve already lost some respect for them as people. And when they say to us that they want a man that’s not afraid to tell them “no”, that means that for me to truly pull that off I can’t be in love with you as much as I want to..and I ultimately have to be ok with you walking away for good. I have to see her as replaceable (with either another woman or just rather choosing no one for the time being) in order for the fear to be surmountable.

  19. alphaguy says:

    UrbanCounselor what I learned on my recovery path from being a Nice Guy is that wives are replaceable. Don’t take wrong when I say that. I love my wife and my kids and I am totally committed to keeping the family together, but if she pulls what she did a year ago with me again, I will bring the hammer down instead of hiding in a corner. I think women need to know that you won’t put up with some of the crap they throw at you. You need to be the rock.

  20. DB says:

    I have experienced these mini panic attacks several times while working on my Alpha. I have made a lot of changes lately in my life and sometimes it can seem a little overwhelming. Like Athol says though, I just let these feelings happen, try some breathing exercies and let this pass. I know it’s going to be worth it in the end. I don’t think I can fix my sexless marriage at this point, but I can keep working on being a more confident and attractive person. I can also have my wife respect me. She was comfortable with the all beta me. I would work 2 jobs (regular day job and night time job from home), help with the kids, help with the housework, renovate the house, do all the grocery shopping,etc… I’ve actually been getting a little burnt out about this and it’s not surprising. I still don’t get much respect or appreciation for this. Not just in the bedroom, but in basic respect throughout the day. She still tries to talk to me like a child or subordinate. One of her favorite ways to frame a request is “here are your options, you can do A or B”. I have either been calling her on this or simply ignoring the request. She gets more annoyed and so far the response has mostly been negative, but I feel better about myself. I’m done with being a doormat.

  21. Thunder says:

    Several of these comments are missing some important points about their “bossy” wives and losing respect for them.
    Stop with the victim puke and blaming everyone else except yourself.
    You are equally if not more responsible than your wives. Due to your betaness, pedalizing, and deferment to her you created a leadership gap in your marriages. Your wives then took those roles to fill that gap. This led to the bossy, harpy nasty, sexless marriages you now find yourselves.
    This is the red pill in marriages. I know this well. I went through all these things and am finally coming out to the other side. When I look back I can see the mistakes I made that caused her to fill that gap and become THAT type of wife. A heavy dosing of red pill and taking your balls back goes a long way to fixing things with or without her.

  22. DB says:

    Well said Thunder. I know I partly trained her to be this way by just sheepishly doing what I was told no matter how I felt. I also back down from arguments and she is very skilled at deflecting any issue I bring up back on to me and says everything is ‘fine’. I partly trained her to be this way because I never stuck up for myself. She has her responsibilities too though because she would rather be ‘fine’ than confront any difficult issue. Everything is always ‘fine’ when it has to do with my needs. It’s not going to be anymore. It’s time to start having difficult and stern talks (but also rational and calm) with her instead of appeasing her and allowing her to get angry and have me back down. She’s not going to like it, but I will respect myself, even if she won’t. Things are starting to boil over again I can feel and the next time we ‘talk’ I hope I can find my balls.

  23. Ted D says:

    Alphguy – ” I think women need to know that you won’t put up with some of the crap they throw at you. You need to be the rock.”

    But, at least for me, in order to be able to DO that, I have to keep some bit of distance between myself and my SO emotionally. I simply cannot figure out how to be “in love” with her as much as I would like, and at the same time be able to “put her in her place” if/when it is necessary.

    UrbanCounselor said it very well here: “It’s as if women don’t understand that when we *HAVE* to put them in their place…we’ve already lost some respect for them as people. And when they say to us that they want a man that’s not afraid to tell them “no”, that means that for me to truly pull that off I can’t be in love with you as much as I want to..and I ultimately have to be ok with you walking away for good. ”

    This exactly. If I have to always consider her replaceable, I’m never going to feel as strongly for her as I want. So then for me the question becomes: am I OK with that?

    I have to use this type of clinical detachment with my children so that I can do my job as a parent. Of course I love them, but I do have to keep a bit of distance/coldness with them in order to do things like punish them for bad grades. Say what you want about it, but I have on more than one occasion had to lay down the law with one of my kids and then go directly to my bedroom so I can get upset about “being mean” to them in private. I can’t let them know how much it hurts me to have to punish them because they need the punishment. My oldest turned 18 in March, and I can’t tell you how relieved I am that once she finishes high school this spring I will no longer have to be the “heavy” with her. I’ve done my duty in that regard, and I’m very much looking forward to being off that hook.

    Now, that being said, how can I keep that kind of distance/coldness with my SO? It really is a bit like asking me to treat her like my children, for life… And I can’t for the life of me figure out how I can go “all in” and “invest in our future” if I have to keep reminding myself she is replaceable.

  24. FlyingDutchman says:

    This is exactly something I struggle with too. I am very passionate and alpha, but with a strong set of moral values and loyalty to my wife and kids. If I love my wife “all in” as you say, then it actually makes her uncomfortable to her attraction wanes. If I detach and treat her with a level of alpha aloofness and draw attention from other women then she comes alive. Its seems like a cruel fate in a way. I don’t want to pull back from the love of my life and make it something less so she can fully love me. It seem like biology is in control rather than her mind. I hate, hate this very aspect of the female sex drive. It seems like at some point you have to make a choice to just love your family and wife “all in” even at the risk of losing her attraction over it. But then you know that losing her attraction is also a huge risk to the family too. If she is not attracted to you then she gradually becomes miserable and so do you really. So you pretty much have no choice but to play the Damn game “for her own good”. It can be a lonely fate to be the leader.

  25. jklm says:

    UrbanCounselor, Ted D et. al – maybe it can be reframed slightly. I think there’s too much emphasis on “replaceable.” Let’s say you find a woman who is everything you’ve ever wanted, and you fall deeply in love with her (and hopefully she with you). The two of you get married and have children and plan for forever. There is no other woman for you on earth, and you wouldn’t want anyone else.
    Personally, I don’t think any of that is the problem. The problem is when you make the leap from that scenario to being willing to accept absolutely anything in order to stay with her. If she becomes physically abusive and then sells everything you own to take her new lover to Fiji, it doesn’t matter whether you’d ever want a *different* wife, you can’t just stand there and do nothing. Same thing, different scale.
    And you certainly shouldn’t treat her like your children. If your wife decided to get a PhD, I assume you wouldn’t ground her for getting a bad grade. But if your oldest came back for a visit after you were “off the hook” for raising her and threw a screaming fit at you, presumably you’d tell her she was out of line. If your best friend signed you up to drive him to a conference the next state over without asking if you were free, presumably you’d have words. It’s basic human respect, nothing more or less. You don’t need to go around “laying down the law” just for the fun of it.
    That’s all women mean by wanting a man who’s not afraid to tell them “no.” It’s frustrating to deal with absolutely anyone who refuses to express his (or her) own opinion, asks you for confirmation about every little thing, and won’t speak up if he doesn’t want to do something (most especially if he stews silently about it). Doormats don’t make good friends, let alone life partners.

  26. alphaguy says:

    I will never blindly let my wife lead the family again. I definitely was a in fused relationship with her (look up fused). Even now things are so much better between us, but for me there is always going to be a bit of distance in my mind between us (She had an EA about 18 months ago and we nearly got divorced over it). I’ll never completely trust her in the love department and you know what? I don’t think any man should completely trust that their wife won’t have a misstep somewhere along the way. And they shouldn’t trust you either! I think that is what will keep you on your toes for the rest of your marriage. Trust but verify! I think women need you to not be so close to them. It’s kind of a form of Oneitis, but you are married to her. Even if it’s your wife, she is not the only one for you out there but that doesn’t give you a pass to go around fucking other women! It’s a little bit of that you might leave her for another women that if she senses it every now and then it keeps her interest in you up.

  27. Ted D says:

    ” And they shouldn’t trust you either! I think that is what will keep you on your toes for the rest of your marriage. ”

    This is what bothers me. I’m not the type of person to cheat, and even when I was in a sexless marriage I never once stepped out on my ex-wife. Certainly not because I didn’t want sex, but because I am better than that. If I can’t trust her, and she can’t trust me, we have nothing to build on. And “trust but verify” is prudent when a spouse has acted untrustworthy, but operating as such without any justification is simply sneaky and underhanded IMO. I am certainly at the mercy of some biological imperatives that my body strives to achieve, and so is my SO, but I expect a pretty high level of self-restraint and conscious thought to temper that all down. The first time I find myself having to “trust but verify” I will be ending my relationship, because I don’t have the desire to waste energy investigating my spouses activities. And frankly I’d be absolutely furious if I found my spouse doing so to me.

    I’ve clearly laid out what I consider bad behavior at this point in terms of deal-breaking “pack your shit and get out” items. I’m not worried about cheating or even EA (my ex-wife had one prior to her deciding to “go find herself” so I understand where you are coming from) because she knows plain and simple that the moment I catch wind of that, we are done. (we are living together but not married for the record) My issue now is working out the Captain and First Officers roles, and in particular how I go about technically “scolding” any bad behavior while not treating her like a child. I’m boss at punishing the kids (I hate it, but I’m a tyrant when it comes to them meeting my clearly set expectations) but that is also my legally and socially expected job. However, as I said above, this sets a dynamic with them that to some extent has me at odds with their own interests. By that I mean, I often am directly in opposition to their desires, which of course as a parent means I’m probably doing my job. But, being in opposition to a fully grown adult is a totally different environment. To be frank, I don’t know that I will be able to respect an adult I feel I am “parenting” in any way. And, if I can’t respect her, I can’t trust her. Cue up the vicious mental circle.

    And what sucks beyond all of this is that when I do pull away just a little bit, when I purposely insert a little distance, she becomes much more “lovey”, “clingy”, and for the most part exactly the way I prefer her to be. But, I can’t enjoy it as much because I have to remain “unaffected” by it to keep it coming. I can’t reciprocate it, which in some ways makes me want it less. Its as if she is dying of thirst, and I want to give her water to drink, but she will only take it from me if I refuse to give it to her.

  28. Blah blah blah. Beta men and their incessant prattle! As if by the many words we’d het somewhere.
    No, you don’t lecture, you act. You grab a hotel for a couple of days without a word other than “I’m not tolerating this behavior. I’ll be back in a couple of days to see how things are. Do not do anything disruptive while I’m gone and it will be more likely that this can just be a blip.”

    That’s going to see what’s what way faster than anything else.

  29. K_C says:

    Lots of good comments here and as a recovering Nice Guy myself I can totally relate. Part of what got us here is the plethora of bad advice out there. How about this great gem I picked up years ago from a popular daytime ‘Dr.’: “Do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy?”
    Well, they aren’t mutually exclusive; sometimes you have to stick to your position if you are right even though it makes you and your SO temporarily *un*-happy because in the long run always conceding for the sake of keeping the peace leads to much suffering.

    Or this one: “Ain’t nobody happy if mamma ain’t happy.” Yuck! Thank goodness for the Red Pill…

  30. FlyingDutchman says:

    Chris, good point. Women don’t care at all what you say. They only listen to what you do. Which is why you have to decide to stop caring what they say and only pay attention to their actual behavior. Best to ignore any drama or emotions completely and if you have to correct behavior be very brief and you must be willing to stand your ground or you will take steps backwards.

    I have to point out though. If you are starting from the point of your wife is in control and treats you poorly you can’t go all the way to your example in one step. I have been there and any beta-ized guy would cave under the pressure of a walk out ultimatum as an early pushback attempt. Also, his wife probably can’t change that fast either and would possibly just tell you not to come back. The point of the MAP so that you can get yourself mentally tough enough to stand your ground and gain your wife’s respect. If you tried to do it all in one step, you would cave and your wife would own you even more (if not end it herself).

    I point this out because to many times the extreme “Alpha” advice given in these posts won’t work for a guy who is just starting to try and dig out of the hole. He will only get “zapped” even harder and won’t have the emotional strength to stand up to it. Then he thinks this Alpha stuff won’t work. It will work, you just have to take it a step at a time and look at it as a 1 year type process or you might rock the boat too hard and crash and burn in your attempt.

  31. MCM says:

    I’m about a week into the MAP, have been in full Alpha mode the whole time and tonight I stood up to her twice and it felt great.
    1. She used my shampoo and moved it to the bathroom that I never use. The old me would have simply moved it back. This time I took it and then walked by and said “You used my shampoo and didn’t put it back”…she right away said she was sorry and forgot. Small move, but a small win.
    2. 3 of the last 4 Saturdays she has gone out while leaving me alone at home with the kid. She suggested doing this again this coming Saturday. I told her no, that I have been staying home with the kid while she goes out and that its not acceptable and not fair to me. We either get a sitter and both go or we don’t go at all. She backtracked and said she wasn’t suggesting I stay home, etc. Bottom line – we’re getting a sitter. Another win.
    Then I told her to kiss me and she did. Then I said the following, “I like the way you taste, and I don’t mean your mouth.” She made a weird face and wanted to know what I meant, did I mean down there? I said, yeah, figuratively. She said ok, with a slight, weird, almost creeped-out smile. I went about my business. …what do you guys think?

  32. Kat34 says:

    A wife of a really nice guy is chiming in here. You say you can’t love your wife all the way when you have to be so strong and hold her accountable for how she’s treating you. I understand this in a way, but can I offer a wife’s perspective? This is how she feels toward you when you don’t lead. She can’t trust you to engage the situation and make decisions and care about the quality of the marriage/home enough to do things that make you uncomfortable. Also, if you stand strong, you won’t always have so many confrontations. She will learn new habits, you will be able to let your guard down bc you will recognize a fitness test faster and win it with less thought and effort, she will love and be comforted by the strong guy beside her, and you will feel more affection. Really!! It will get better, and you can have hope that your Alpha-Beta guy will feel as loving (more!!) toward his wife as your Beta-only guy did. Love isn’t all warm fuzzies and peaceful snuggles. Love also has an element of hard work and mutual accountability. I use this illustration a lot, but it is like Patriotism in a soldier. It’s not all about hand-over-heart tears as we listen to the anthem…there were a lot of bad days and some bad political decisions and hellish experiences mixed into it, but dealing with all that was the essence of true patriotism. You take the warm fuzzies when they come, but they are tucked in around a lot of hard work.
    Don’t give up! :)

  33. john says:

    “Its as if she is dying of thirst, and I want to give her water to drink, but she will only take it from me if I refuse to give it to her.”

    Its not about the water, its about the thirst

    She will not even WANT water unless she is thirsty.

    So let her thirst some for you – whats wrong with that?

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