Reader: I’ve been running the MAP for six months and things picked up almost immediately (improving Alpha, reducing Beta), but I hit a snag recently. I’m self employed, and here in the UK our tax year ends in April, so I made my tax return. The business has always been profitable, but I’m a long way from being rich; I usually increase income by about £1000 per year, and this year was the same. The problem is we’re looking to move house and although I *never* said anything like “this year we hit the big time baby!” it was clear when I showed her the figures that it wasn’t what she hoped to hear (for the mortgage applications we need to make in the near future). What’s more, she hates her own job; I think she may have been looking to my income to compensate if she left. Long, long, silent treatment yesterday without her actually saying outright what the problem was. I got “I’m thinking about stuff”. So I think my Alphaness suddenly dropped in her perception. It was a wake up call for me, because there’s a marketing plan I developed that I’ve kept meaning to implement, just… never got round to it. So I’m starting on that! I do work hard, and she sees me working hard, and acknowledges it. But she has said a couple of times recently “you should put your rates up.” (Part of the marketing plan is changing my charging structure, so this is in progress). My question is, how do I deal with this perception drop in the short term? Do I compensate by going harder on my other Alpha qualities (hit the gym more, get a bit more bossy with the kids, etc)? And how do I show her I’m implementing the marketing plan without sounding like I’m trying to prove something (ie, being needy)? Thanks for any advice!
Athol: If the problem is money, the solution is more money, so work on the money.
Working out and getting buff isn’t going to make her concern about money go away. She’ll just think you’re wasting time when you could be fixing the actual problem. Likewise getting bossy with the kids, (lol use the word “leadership” rather than bossy) will just make you a guy that isn’t holding up his end of the deal… who is bossy.
So here’s my advice…
(1) Talk with her about the money issue. Talk once, get her viewpoint, see what’s up.
(2) Regardless of her… you’ve been holding back on yourself by not doing your marketing. Are you afraid to succeed? (A completely serious question.) Admit that you’ve been holding back and apologize once and once only. Basically you’re saying, “Okay I get it. I need to get this up to speed and have waited too long to do it.”
(3) Get into action and do your thing at work. Roll out the plan, put up your rates. Make some fuck you money.
(4) When you talk about your job to her, don’t talk about what you will do… talk about what you are doing and your successes along the way.
In short, you’re just telling her you’ve gotten it wrong and set out to make her believe in you again.
Look there’s no real way of spinning this to sound like anything other than women are superficial Ferengi. Women quite like money. Given a choice between the same guy with money or without money, the one with money always wins. Women dream about being rescued by princes and not janitors. Working hard is great and all, but the bottom line is the bottom line… your resulting income matters.
In your wife’s case she wants the money to upgrade the
house nest. A nice big nest is great for babies and raising kids so it’s a sexy move in her mind. She’s just trying to do what she’s biologically set up to do. It’s not like it’s evil or anything. You already knew what to do anyway. You’re just asking for me to push you a little and get you started.
Jennifer: Not having enough money is just stressful. If there’s something you can do about it and you don’t do it, that would make me stress further.