Could Have, Should Have, Would Have, Didn’t.

A fair amount of angst in yesterday’s comments that the wife was a gold digger. In fairness, she may well be, but then again that just makes my point… women on the whole react positively to men with money. If you have a choice between having more money or less money, the more money route is the best choice by default.

The other concern in the comments was that the husband might fail and his wife leave him in the lurch. This is also quite possible and is simply the Hypergamy impulse. Women happen to be more attracted to winners than losers. Whatever it is that you do, I advise you to be a “winner” at it. Even in terribly geeky things there is a pecking order of winners and losers. If you’re in the chess club, at least be the big swinging dick in chess club that everyone fears to play.

Jennifer and I both have worked at a non-profit for what amounts to 95% of our entire careers. We’re by no means impoverished, but the reality is that I don’t think that was a wise choice for both of us to make. Yeah MMSL is a payoff stemming in no small part from my life experience, but writing a successful book is a very long shot to take. I tried making a break into higher earnings by going into real estate sales in 2006 and met the crashing housing market and to be quite blunt, failed remarkably hard. That’s failing remarkably hard despite genuinely putting in effort to make it work. Jennifer is by nature supportive, not crazily motivated by money and quite bonded to me. I failed and she stayed.

Jennifer isn’t a gold digger… but money is part and parcel of reality… so while she’s probably not a silver digger, she’s at least a copper digger. Take away medical insurance, ability to pay the mortgage, money for food and clothes for the girls, I would expect her eyes to start narrowing to slits when looking upon me. I would expect her rationalization hamster to start getting into motion. But that would only be fair wouldn’t it?

So I failed hard at real estate, and nursing was still being sort of a financial equivalent of a goal-less soccer match. Not winning or losing, but it’s boring as hell. So I started MMSL planning to win, but also knowing it might fail. Something I did not tell Jennifer before I started writing was that if it all turned into a second round of serious failure, I planned to offer her a divorce and cash her out with everything that was left. Note I said offer divorce, not threaten divorce. I don’t think she would have accepted, but you never know. I think she would have taken it as the most profound apology I could make. I don’t know if I would have been much fun to live with after that though.

As it is, it’s all working out quite well. I won. We’re by no means rolling in dough, but we’ve made an excellent step in the right direction. Jennifer is visibly happier and less stressed about money. We’ve had a pretty great marriage and this last year has been easily the best year we’ve had together sexually. At this point I’m more excited about making more money than she is. In the end, neither one of us is particularly motivated by expensive toys and bling, I just want her to feel unstressed by money, and for me to get to do MMSL all the time and see how it all plays out over the years. I want to travel and speak and write and talk to people. I want Jennifer to work for me so we can be together for work instead of apart. The money is just a tool to get to do that.

So enough of me, let’s talk about you…

Naturally I am not advising ya’ll to quit your day jobs and just believe in the power of your dreams. I did that once going into real estate and it was a disaster. Nor am I saying everyone needs to start a blog and write a book. Based on Amazon data I’m somewhere in the top 0.5% of authors for book sales and I make a way better royalty split as a self-publisher than 80% of the books out selling mine. So I shit you not when I say trying to make a livable income from writing books is like The Hunger Games in essay form.

However, whatever it is that you do for work, you’re at a certain level of status and income. There is as you know, another tier of status and income above you. By default, women are wired to be more attracted to you if you are at that next higher tier. So the questions to ask yourself are (1) whether or not you can realistically make that step up, (2) whether the risks and effort associated with making that step up are reasonable, and most importantly (3) whether you can afford to not try and make that step up.

Stepping up to the next tier is going to take time, effort and some risk. The world seems fresh out of easy advancement, but that just makes it all the sweeter for advancing. To be sure not all women are gold diggers, some are silver diggers and some are copper. The real gold diggers give the copper ones a bad name. If a copper digger gives you the I Love You But I’m Not In Love With You speech and waves goodbye from the passenger seat of some dudes BMW, it’s fairly likely it’s more your fault than hers.

Could have, should have, would have, didn’t.

Sometimes the biggest risk you take, is to not take enough risks. Be the Captain.


Jennifer: hey…I would have stayed. And boy is he happier now that we are not so money-stressed.  The truth is that he has the talent and ideas to make the switch to another career while I am stuck where I am with no hope of promotion or moving elsewhere for more money.  That’s not to say I’m not happy in my job, I am…but I am at the limit of my earning potential in my current career. 




  1. Athol Kay at the top if his game.

  2. Mr Burgundy says:

    As Athol will know, I’m the reader who contacted him with that original post: and don’t I feel like I poked a wasps nest! A few of the comments were spot on, a few were way off the reality of the situation. I’ll address a couple in a minute. First, an update. We talked (once) as Athol suggested, and it was actually Mrs B who brought it up the day after the sulk. And she made sure I was in a good mood first…

    FWIW, the tax return thing came after a full week of one serious setback after another in our moving plans… we’re both feeling a bit kicked around by life in general right now.

    Athol’s analysis of the situation correct, and although I’ll accept most women have golddigger tendencies, this certainly isn’t Mrs B’s overriding characteristic. To address some comments:

    Brian: “Ummmmmmmmmmmmm HELLO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GOLDDIGGER ALERT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She wants a nice house and her to be a SAHM and you do all the work and then she divorces your ass and you pay her house bill forever. Seriously, red flag time. I’d be pissed. What is she bringing to the party???????”

    No. *WE* (not SHE) NEED a bigger house. Trust me on this. And she doesn’t want to be a SAHM, she was just maybe hoping for some breathing space before a change of career. She has a thankless, difficult, shitty job (which, frankly, I wouldn’t have the balls to do). That’s what she’s bringing to the party: she’s now staying in that job SHE HATES to help us make ends meet.

    Southern Man: “…it still wasn’t enough to satisfy her endless craving to spend money. And in counseling, what was her number one complaint? “You’re weren’t home with me and the kids often enough.” My advice is to earn what you can in forty-ish hours a week, then stop and enjoy the life that your income provides.”

    The woman you describe is like Mrs B’s cousin, and I can’t begin to tell you the contempt Mrs B has for HER. Mrs B’s spending is minimal. I’m the one who spends more than I should.

    Ben: “The question is: are “we” looking to move house, or is “she”? Is there a valid reason why your current living situation is no longer tenable?… pushing you into buying more house than you can afford can be the mother of all shit tests on the other.”

    Not a shit test. Many valid reasons we need to move, forgive me if I don’t go into all the detail!

    Ben: “There’s also the matter of, “What’s more, she hates her own job; I think she may have been looking to my income to compensate if she left.” If that’s just an unspoken assumption, it sounds like something you need to talk to her about; if it’s a spoken fact, then it’s DEFINITELY something you need to talk to her about, because the income she should be looking to to compensate if she left her current job should be the income from her NEW job that she, as a responsible adult, should go out to find before leaving the old one.”

    Good points, well made; I can completely understand her desire to quit, given the nature of her job that I outlined above. But, she is sticking with it while looking for other work.

    Ben: “There’s definitely a balance to be struck between getting your own financial house in order (as it sounds like the OP has concrete steps that he can take toward doing) and making sure that she’s holding up her end of the bargain as well.”

    You’re one of the commenters that have got a handle on the reality of my situation!

    girl4: “The OP didn’t say he did not want his wife to stay home, or that he resented becoming the sole breadwinner… Also, the OP realises he was not living up to his own potential. He sees he should be challenging himself more – for his own satisfaction and self worth as much as for added income. I think his wife approached this subject the wrong way and he took it as critisism, rather than encouragment.”

    Your first sentence is right, I didn’t say those things and didn’t intend to imply them either… and she approached the subject the “right” way the following day.

    girl4: “If the OP can provide for his family, allowing his wife to stay home if that’s what they both want, then that is something for him to be proud of. If his wife wants more than he can provide, she has two options – compromise on what she wants, or be happy to contribute what is necesary to get it.”

    All true. But, as outlined above, “happy” is a bit much to ask for given her current job. But she’s sticking with it.

    Thanks to Athol for the Blog and Primer, and advising so perceptively. And thanks to all the commenters, even those who didn’t “get it”.


  3. FeralFelis says:

    I had a discussion with a male friend the other day and the topic of gold-diggers came up. Our 35 year friendship has lasted into our 50’s, and we’ve both been divorced twice. In his early 50’s, he came to the conclusion that he was going to follow the advice in the song, “If you want to be happy for the rest of your life, never make a pretty woman your wife”. He has found a gold mine of horny, average (or even a little below-average) looking middle-aged women who already live a modest lifestyle and are the cast-offs of men in search of “happiness” and “manliness” most often thought to be found in the arms of younger, HSR women with expensive tastes. He thinks whatever lesson they needed to learn about keeping their man happy seems to mostly have been learned through living alone for quite some time, and now they are happy to have a man in their life again. There is no gold-digging, no withholding of sex, no bitchiness. In terms of income, he is a 5 (but he LOVES what he does, so he doesn’t bitch about low income, he is quite happy to be able to do what he loves). Appearance is a good 7, possibly an 8. In terms of personality, intelligence, being a good lover and having a high dose of Alpha, he is a 9. The point is, his dance card is full weeks in advance and he barely makes $35,000 a year. I don’t think any of his women are copper diggers; they are fellow mine-workers, as is he, but he has to shoo the women in his “niche” away.

    So my point echoes Athol’s statement which said if you’re not going to be a high income earner, you better be Alpha at other things. Be the best chess player, hunter, outdoorsman, runner, skier, potter, blacksmith, deacon, Egyptologist, whatever, just be the leader. Nothing is as attractive as having a quiet confidence and excellence in one’s chosen hobby or field.

  4. Changed Man says:

    I couldn’t agree more. While I choose to be in the ‘lower paying’ public sector, I get to play with state of the art technology that others in my field would be envious of. I look forward to coming to work every day and feel like I’m at the top of my game… Wouldn’t trade it for anything.

  5. I dunno. This is all a bit depressing, in some ways. What about for people whom disaster strikes–accident, cancer, injury, PTSD, etc.? Athol, you seem to be implying that their spouse would be justified in leaving, since the other spouse can no longer fulfill their needs. Isn’t it possible to have a happy marriage with regular sex even if you get sick after being mauled by zombies on your way home from work?

    There have to be marriages where it works out.

  6. Or, slightly more realistically than zombies, what if you return from combat with your arm missing? It’s not like you can man-up and grow another arm. Is your wife justified in leaving because you are less attractive and find it hard to get work? (Let’s assume that there was no compensation).

  7. And for the sake of balance, say a wife has thyroid surgery and her body weight ends up increasing by 50% without the chance of it ever going down?

    (These are both hypothetical examples, so ignore it if I’ve missed some important medical details).

  8. I changed jobs at 40. Wife hated new job. Considered teaching akin to hairdresser. At two years into new job, “don’t care if you divorce me or die”. Two years later (and 35 pounds lighter) she travels the country with me (if she likes where I’m going) teaching teachers and advanced students. I make more than I ever have and I’m back at the top of my field. This morning she BIT me to wake me up because I hadn’t given her enough sex recently. I kept taking her pillow away so that she couldn’t cum loudly. (without the kids hearing) “You get sex if you need it. Asking nicely gets you what you want!”

  9. @Mark – Our next door neighbors: he’s an 8. She’s a 4. She has had serious organ replacement surgery. He moved out the day the youngest graduated from HS. AND THEY’RE CATHOLIC! The illness was a HUGE strain on the marriage and he saw her through it. Now he just wants to be happy.

  10. Athlon

    The same guys who judge women on age and facial beauty (two factors they cannot control) get into a hypocritical rage when a woman wants her husband to earn a little but more for the family.

    If she were a gold digger, she wouldn’t have got together with her husband in the first place.

    When a woman gains weight after getting married and loses interest in sex, the husband is right to be frustrated.   If this is to be a committed marriage, she’s not holing up her end of the (unspoken) deal.

    Similarly, when a man marries, he takes responsibility for the financial health of the family.  The woman does too, by contributing her income if she works.  If she does not work, she should not waste the money the husband brings in.

    Everyone knows life is better with money.  Especially when you have bills and are responsible for children.  It seems a little naive for men to expect a woman worth marrying to be happy with a husband who isn’t bringing in a reasonable income.

    Just as no man with choices should not be criticised for preferring a slender, attractive woman, a woman with choices should not be called “gold digger” for preferring a financially stable man.

    Remember fellas, a wife isn’t going to love you unconditionally like your mom.  Your moms happily cleaned and cooked for you while you did nothing but played with your xbox or whatever was around when you lived with your folks.   She happily did this because you were the child, and your dad (the man she had sex with) was bringing in the bacon.

    The women chasing you aren’t gold diggers… You don’t even make a blip on a quality gold digger’s radar.  The women who want you to improve yourselves are doing so because they want a better future for both of you.  Xbox days are over fellas, it’s your turn to bring in the bacon like your dad did for you and your mom.

  11. Didn’t mean to address my comment to you, Athol. It’s to the guys who are crying gold digger.

  12. Flipper says:

    Its pretty simple in my opinion. @Mark, I know this sounds cold, but the amputee needs to simply be the best he can be. If he hangs on to her and she to him, she is in charge. Its simple. If he wants more sex and she can’t bring herself around, he has to improve himself. Will he ever get there? Who knows? But if he plays victim, why should she stay?

  13. Random Angeleno says:

    This discussion reminds me of something I was told some years back: a man can only have a woman he can afford; if he can’t afford her, he needs to let her go and find someone else. So that’s part of vetting women for me: her attitudes about money and status. I know that all women looking for LTRs including marriage have some minimum standard they’ll accept, it will vary from one woman to the next, but they will all want at least some; what I want to know is far up the ladder are they and do I have what it takes to afford that comfortably?

  14. FeralFelis says:

    “I dunno. This is all a bit depressing, in some ways. What about for people whom disaster strikes–accident, cancer, injury, PTSD, etc.?”

    I agree with you on such a deep level it is sad. I am old-school. I stick through thick and thin (literally). I am there for dying friends, friends with cancer, friends who win the lottery. I was there for a BF who has BPD. I am not a doormat, but I understand that good and bad happens in relationships, and I want relationships (friendships, LTR, or marriage) to last and grow throughout the years. It seems to me there is a lot of desire for short-term self-gratification these days, and that depresses me to no end.

    When my brother was in the hospital, dying of leukemia, I saw a 30-something man look into the eyes of his wife and tell that bloated (kidney failure), yellow (liver failure), bald, no eyebrows or eyelashes (chemo) woman that She. Was. Beautiful.

    OMG…I didn’t know that kind of love still existed.

    Now that I think about it, the Love word is not frequently mentioned on this site. Not to be rude, but even Athol recently said that Jennifer is “bonded” to him. I bet she Loves him.

  15. “Or, slightly more realistically than zombies, what if you return from combat with your arm missing? It’s not like you can man-up and grow another arm. Is your wife justified in leaving because you are less attractive and find it hard to get work? (Let’s assume that there was no compensation).”

    Well, that depends on how he handles his new situation, doesn’t it? After a reasonable recovery time to get over the shock and trauma and learn to live with his new limitations, does he continue to sit and play one-handed Xbox ten hours a day, living off his wife’s income and bemoaning his lot in life? Or does he get out there, find training in a new line of work that’s less reliant on physical prowess, and be the best damn one-armed man he can be?

    I’ve known quadriplegics who could give me lessons on being a functioning, productive member of society, in ways including but not limited to earnings potential. It wouldn’t be easy, it might take a long time, and he might never get back to 100% of his former income, but if all he can reasonably expect is 80%, she needs to be able to see him working to get back to 80% instead of using his new circumstances as an excuse not to try.

    (Again, this is AFTER a reasonable recovery period. Nobody should be expected to go through such a traumatic experience and then jump back on the horse the next day.)

  16. FeralFelis says:

    This thought also just hit me. This site is for people who are not happy with the status quo, so it self-selects for unhappy commenters, or those commenters who used the system to improve their situation. Ergo, the happy married campers are all off being happy (or so miserable they don’t even look for help)

  17. Mike M. says:

    I think the question should be why a sensible woman would NOT find a high income attractive. It’s all about bringing resources to the business that is a family’s day-to-day life. To me, a real gold-digger marries with the specific intent of a profitable divorce.

    The irony being that women of 50 years ago were much more honest in factoring a man’s potential as a provider in…as opposed to many women today, only too eager to hook up with a faux Alpha “bad boy” with no potential whatsoever to support a family.

  18. Flipper says:

    I agree. I think we had it down pretty good there for a couple hundred years before Wall Street decided it could drive down wages if they doubled the workforce to include women. Now both members almost need to work and gender roles are completely confused. Even women who don’t want to work outside the home need the money nowadays. It isn’t easy for a man to provide the entire income nowadays. But when we are able to do so, we deserve to be compensated for that in quality relationships and sex lives with our wives.

  19. alphaguy says:

    I kind of did the same thing as Athol did. Started a business right before the recession and things had been OK, but not great. Wife quit her job to help out in the business. (Big mistake, never work with your spouse out of the house in the same business!) Sales weren’t where they needed to be to support both of us. She goes back to work after we almost got divorced because of the lack of money. I have basically given up on my business and it limps along while I try to go back to a corporate job after being out of it for 8 years. It’s all about the money. I would’ve never started my own business if I had know what I know now.

    Athol, I hope sales are good enough on the book that it will take you and Jennifer have enough for college and retirement otherwise you’ll be back at nursing in a couple of years. But, I love my wife and the kids and I will gladly go sit in a cubicle again for all of them!

  20. Joe Commenter says:

    There is nothing wrong with being a gold-digger. The key thing is to match the G-D up with the high earning man. If the woman places a high value on something (money in a G-D’s case) and the man cannot deliver on what she values, there will be trouble.

    Same with a man who values having a hot wife. If she gets fat and ages poorly, there will be problems in the marriage. I personally make it known that I want my wife to watch her weight. She makes it known to me that I cannot quit working until we have enough money to secure our future. This is all very fair.

    We all want what we want. Just be honest about it with your sig. other.

  21. PastorofMuppets says:

    I think you’re ignoring an important fact here … a woman doesn’t go into a marriage blind when it comes to her future husband’s earnings prospects. Especially these days when most are waiting longer to be wed. A woman who marries an unambitious 26 year old manchild who spends half his time playing video games shouldn’t be surprised or upset when he’s not earning six figures by the time he’s 40. A woman who marries a house painter – a completely honorable profession – can’t honestly be disappointed when she’s not living the life of a surgeon’s wife. Nor would it be remotely fair or reasonable to expect him to earn more on her whim.
    It is totally fair for either party to be unhappy and express it if the other is not taking advantage of his or her abilities and opportunities for financial gain, but a woman shouldn’t marry Joe Sixpack and them resent him for not providing the country club lifestyle she somehow she thinks she”s owed on the basis of her genitalia and anachronisitc ideas on gender..

  22. PastorofMuppets says:

    There’s a ton wrong with being a gold digger, starting with the fact a gold digger is a person who is either unwilling or incapable of taking responsibility for his or her life, but rather demands that others work hard to provide for their needs. Not to mention the fact a gold digger is by nature narcissistic, lazy and lacking in ambition.
    Who wouldn’t want to marry that?

  23. PastorofMuppets says:

    That’s a fun narrative for the “things were better back when” crowd, but it’s not accurate. Average wages have gone up, not down, since women entered the workforce in large numbers. The “need” for two-income households s driven almost entirely by our consumerism, not lower wages or some Wall Street conspiracy. Our houses are way larger, we own more cars, more clothes, more TVs, travel more, etc. I’m not complaining about this – I like having a big house with a big yard and three TVs, etc. But I recognize it’s those things that are to blame for my financial needs, not the fact women work these days.

  24. FeralFelis says:

    “Even women who don’t want to work outside the home need the money nowadays. It isn’t easy for a man to provide the entire income nowadays.”

    I am an Anglo living in a mostly Hispanic (most are citizens) neighborhood and NOT ONE WIFE works!! Most of the husbands only earn in the mid to upper 20’s! This fact shocked me.

    The difference: the lots are huge, the houses are small (most around 1,000 sq ft and cost less than $60K) and 50years old, most families have no mortgage, or a mortgage less than $300 because they saved up and paid cash or a big down payment, there is one inexpensive vacation a year, and few electronics or expensive toys.
    BUT the wives are hot, the husbands are proud and satisfied, the marriages are sound, kids are happy (almost all are graduating from high school; many are going to trade schools), and it’s a fun neighborhood where everyone knows everyone else.

    ….. Oh, yeah! A lot like 50 years ago. Not before women entered the workforce, but before everyone felt the need for big houses, three TVs, multiple cars, expensive vacations or even two homes. It can be done; it’s all about family priorities.

  25. I’m going to skip over all of the golddigger BS and come to a more important and perhaps pertinent point in Athol’s sagacious post. As part of your due diligence before proposing, regardless of whether you’re male or female it’s important to remember that you are betting on the horse, not the race. That is, you are committing to share your life and your fortune with another person, not investing yourself in their performance in one particular role.

    An important question to ask yourself about your spouse, if morbid, is whether or not you think that they could support themselves deprived of their primary means of doing so. If you married a famous pianist, for instance, is he the type of dude who could segue into something else if his hands were maimed in a freak manicure accident? If your prospective wife is a first-rate accountant, are you confident in her ability to make a living doing something else if suddenly she were deprived of the ability to do math?

    The importance of this point is outlined above: Athol and Jennifer hit a major career bump, in which they had to regroup, re-plot their course, and re-commit to it. Had either one of them been married to the job-title or the earning potential, then that short shock may well have put an end to the marriage (as it has to many folks). Since they were committed to the family first and foremost, not the career, when a career avenue dried up it was painful but possible to marshal their resources and — together — plan a way out. It’s one of the hardest things to do in a marriage, when everything you do is so critical to the health, safety, and welfare of others, but granting your spouse the room to fail (or at least dealing with their failure if it occurs without summarily judging and rejecting them) is part of the high art of marriage.

    My first big marketing gig on my own concerned a large piece of heavy construction equipment and a very, very narrow market. I didn’t know the first thing about marketing heavy construction equipment. But I waded into it and I gave it my all for six months . . . until the client fired me and I lost a very lucrative contract. I was devastated. My first foray into Big Time Marketing . . . failed. Mrs. Ironwood (still in college) never blinked — she hadn’t married a marketing mogul, she’d married Ian Ironwood, and she had every faith in my ability to learn from my mistakes and persevere. And plenty of reproductively active years ahead of her to ditch my sorry ass and find a replacement if I didn’t get my act together.

    The combination of unlimited support with reasonable accountability and high expectation on both of our parts has gotten us through economically harsh conditions, grueling employment, and sudden and unexpected changes in job situations. If either one of us had to quit and change careers tomorrow, I have no doubt that we’d be successful again in short order in our new jobs — because we bet on the horse, not the race. The horse isn’t going to win every race. But if it’s a good horse, it will win enough races — and the right races. But you don’t beat the horse for losing a single race, and you don’t sell the horse as long as it’s still trying to win races. In fact, you might have to work with it a bit to get it back into shape. But if it’s a good enough horse, then in the long run it will pay off.

  26. @ Ian
    How very well stated. I really appreciate the time you spent putting those words together. I believe it was something that I needed to read at this very time. Thank you.

  27. Ian – as always, great comment! An excellent metaphor for marriage that combines both love and logic =)

    Mr. Burgundy – thanks for posting further clarification. As ussual on the internet, people take harsh positions without the full story and I’m glad to hear that things seem to being on the right track for you and the Mrs.

  28. Ian, if athol will allow, would you mind posting your blog site? I think it used to be in his blog link section, but I can’t seem to find anything like that now….

  29. Just adding that it’s entirely possible to be a #10 and physically disabled — look at the late actor Christopher Reeves. He was an 11 before he became quadriplegic, a 10 after. If you know his story, you know he had more Alpha attitude than anyone … to the end he was positive he would walk again, and funded research to help everyone with spinal cord injuries.

    As an older newly single woman, I’m concerned about money. I want a man who feels like he’s “arrived”, that he has “made it.” As long as he’s earning enough to support himself and have some left over to “spoil” me, I’m fine. [And I’m no gold digger … taking me for a weekend of tent camping would be spoiling enough.] I just don’t want to feel like I have to financially support *him*.

    Captain = responsibility –> financial responsibility

  30. Hey Mr. B,

    The thing that concerned me was her quitting her job because she didn’t like it and living off your income.

    My ex didn’t work, and when we were getting divorced her “I don’t want to get a job” attitude was suddenly re-framed as “I gave up my career for you.” Naturally she expected me to keep paying her bills for the rest of her life in return for the sacrifice she made. Fortunately the laws in my state aren’t that screwed up – I got off with only a year.

    I’m glad to hear you’ve got that situation under control. Good luck with the business!

  31. True North says:

    This is so true! From a MMSL point of view, there is nothing like no income to kill, and I mean kill, intimacy. I have all the practical advanced brand-name degrees needed but have recently struggled in my career. To the point where I was a stay-at-home dad for a while and am now working for little income (but high prestige) at a startup.

    Several years of low (or zero!) income has really hurt my standing with my wife, whom I love very much. Frequency is hugely dependent on income. No income = no intimacy. But, it’s both ways. At some level, I don’t think I have “earned” it. That being said, it sucks.

    Athol, any suggestions on how to rekindle now that my income is coming back? I am starting from ground zero sexually.

    Background, I am a natural greater Beta/lesser Alpha with 80+ notches prior to meeting my wife. . I am also quite fit, tall and objectively decent looking. I get lots of female attention, even after 10+ years of marriage and being in my 40?s. (I am so bummed that I was not introduced to the manosphere earlier. Suffice to say, my sons and their friends will be coached properly!)

  32. Flipper says:

    @Z. I agree. Nobody is the total package, even George Clooney or Clint Eastwood. There is always room to grow, and anyone can push that number north with enough dedication.

  33. According to Wikipedia, the official definition is: gold dig·ger (Noun): A person who dates others purely to extract money from them, in particular a woman who strives to marry a wealthy man.

    A woman who married for money, not for love. My concern about some women is pure greed developing in a marriage where there was none originally, as a replacement for a dying love life. IMO, quitting your job and expecting your spouse to pay for everything is the equivalent of reverting back to a teenager.

  34. JCclimber says:

    Athol, gotta thank you. I just ordered the book, I’ll read it myself, but I primarily got it for a friend who desperately needs it to save his marriage. I may order a second copy for another friend who is getting married this weekend.

    The reason I have to thank you and Jennifer is that you helped make a little more clear something that I had noticed over the years but couldn’t quite put my finger on….I grew in a committed Christian home and my own family is one now, too. None of my friends within the church (about 15% of our friends) seem to worry about money, whether they are low or high income. But many of our friends from other or no religions seem to have it as a centerpiece of their lives, unfortunately.

    Centerpieces are just that, in the center of the table, not the actual dishes, so I’m not implying they don’t enjoy life or anything, just that their centerpiece is different. Anyway, I appreciate your last two posts that helped me come up with an analogy that may make this topic easier to explain to my wife and children.

  35. liked this post a lot. And Ian Underwood’s comment really addresses very well the ups and downs that are part and parcel of life. It is tricky picking that horse, though, really tricky.

  36. It’s the brutal truth. After reading this post and the one that inspired it, I was left with one thought.

    As men, we use “game” and techniques to show our women we’re the man. If that’s the case, we can’t cry for fairness when it’s time to ACTUALLY show her we’re the man.

  37. Well, a guy who seems incapable of supporting himself is frankly unattractive, no matter how physically sexy he is. That’s basic though.

    I don’t require that a boyfriend or a date spend money on me. My tastes are modest and my ability to earn money is high (higher than I need as a single person). However, wealth makes men sexier, same as power. It’s not that I need to partake in that wealth or power, but the guy with those is somehow much more attractive. At minimum, a guy with greater earning power than me gets a huge attractiveness boost over a guy without. I think most women find wealth attractive. That’s why romance heroes are disproportionately CEOs, nobles, etc, rather than janitors or bus drivers.

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