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. 



If Money Is The Problem, The Solution Is More Money

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.

50% of Game is Calling Women On Their Crap

Reader:  I think another great blog posting that I’d love hear your opinion is the old married woman standby….I do it all for the kids.   It is a pretty bulletproof defense for almost anything to a blue piller.  But those who have glimpsed the matrix know there must be a way to destroy or at least work past it.  I mean … I literally got this email from my wife just this afternoon.  She’s overtired and sick because we just go-go-go so I gave her “orders” to quit sabotaging herself.  She wrote that she does it for the kids, so they have things she didn’t.  And she’s willing to push herself through (and bitch and moan constantly along the way) because its for the kids.  Never mind the fact that the kids have to deal with her being overly grumpy.  She just goes to bed at night and our sex life, despite me running the MAP is heading south.

How do you work around “its all for the kids.”

Athol:  Try this response to “it’s all for the kids.”

“Have you heard of the phrase, ‘If mama isn’t happy, nobody’s happy.”

Whatever her response is…

“Well you don’t seem very happy.”

Then immediately leave in the direction of “just out somewhere” and don’t answer the phone for a while.

When you physically leave the house, it’s both to end the conversation and to display a withdrawal of attention. This way she’s left alone with her hamster gnawing on nothing but a taste test of divorce. I’m not saying it’s a pretty tactic, or one you should use constantly, but some women simply don’t get it until they see their husband walking out the door. It is much better to do it as a taste test than let it all pile up into a victimization puke and have a divorcing screaming meltdown.

Later that week…

Reader:  We got into it a bit yesterday.  I stood firm.  When she started crying, I just looked at her and said “don’t whip out the tears here, I don’t buy it.” She kept up with the “for the kids” crap. But I just told her, “me being nice all the time isn’t working, so I might as well just be honest.” I didn’t budge one bit. I took the kids over to my parents for a couple hours. Came back she was much better, even stated “I like a workin man” which was key because she fought me quitting my job 2 years ago and now she’s acknowledging my ability to create income and run my own business. She was nice all night.  Nailed the crap out of her last night. Thumbsup!

Athol:  Sounds like you did great!

Basically if she’s spinning avoidant nonsense, call her on her crap. That’s half the battle right there. If you don’t call women on their crap they perceive you as being weak to them. Which turns them off. Women don’t want to be married to a bully, but they won’t stop saying they want a strong man anytime soon. Be strong.

And from the Captain and First Officer approach. Telling the First Officer to take a break and relax seems like a brain dead easy order to follow doesn’t it. You can actually bump back on this one fairly easily in that she can’t really complain about it to anyone else without looking like she’s losing her grip on reality…

“Oh Mom I can’t stand him anymore, he actually yelled at me just now.”

“Oh no! What did he yell at you about!?”

“He said I was working too hard and needed to take a break. He said I was making everyone else miserable.”

“And then what did he say?”

“Well… just that basically.”


“What do you mean by that?”

“Well you always did hate being put down for a nap.”

“Okay never mind, I’m calling Cheryl.”

“OMG Cheryl he was yelling at me today, so loud I was scared.”

“Oh no! What about?!”

“He said I was working too hard and needed to take a break. He said I was making everyone else miserable.”

“And then what did he say?”

“Well… just that basically.”


“What do you mean by that?”

“You wanna swap husbands? I wish mine offered any kind of help.”

“Okay never mind I’m calling Anna.”

“OMG Anna, he was so angry at me today, over NOTHING. He was so loud, and he banged the counter too.”

“I’m at mom’s with Cheryl. We were just saying how great he looks recently. He sounds really annoyed with you. Is everything okay with you guys?”

“Oh… yeah, we’re fine. I think. No we’re fine.”


The Two Week Rule And Pregnancy

Reader:  I was hoping you could give me some direction on your 2 week rule.  I really like the rule, in that you can nip things in the bud before they become major issues.  However, I’m unsure as to how to approach asking about it.  (Beta, I know)…

My wife is pregnant, and for the last 13 weeks, she has been systematically taking steps away from me.  First it was in the bedroom, then it was stopping approaching me for kisses, then it was no touching at all, then it was general irritability, to now, the last 2 weeks, she hasn’t said I Love You once.

So, my rational male mind is seeing this as a problem…  To me, these are steps away from the long term goal of a happy healthy marriage.  I am just unsure of how to approach asking her what’s going on…  she is extremely against me at the moment, it seems like, and I’m not quite sure how to start the conversation.

I had thought about after work saying something like: “Babe, I’ve got a question for you about some of the communication difficulties we’ve been having lately, if you’re open to talking about it.”  Then going from there with: “I understand that you’re not comfortable and don’t feel well.  That said, you’ve been taking active steps to avoid me since the beginning…  First it was the sex, and we’ve progressed to where you haven’t told me that you love me in 2 weeks.  What’s going on?”  And then, “From my perspective, our marriage is the most important thing in this house.  We have a baby on the way, and it is going to take both of us working together to provide a solid model for how a husband and wife should interact.  Is what we’re doing now what you want to model for our child?”

What do you think?  Any suggestions?

Athol:  Too much flowery language and verbal submission to her in your statements. Try…

“You’re a bitch when you’re pregnant.”

Then leave the house for a few hours. She’ll probably apologize in short order. She knows she’s being a bitch toward you.

Reader:  Ha…  That does sound a whole lot less Beta, doesn’t it…

Just you saying that makes me realize that not getting affected by her jabs are huge…  You see it on TV… people responding to an angry woman with: “Are you finished?”  That, or your comment you would so much better than trying to convince her to behave differently.

Thanks again, Athol!

Athol:  You’re welcome.

It’s also nice in that it draws attention to the pregnancy for the cause of her behavior. Pregnancy does bring additional stresses to the marriage, but that only explains poor behavior it does not excuse it. It gives her an out to save some face and admit the pregnancy is something adding to her stress.

In general her being pregnant increases her need for Beta support. The further along she is, the more support is needed and you should help her through the pregnancy as best you can. However the standard rules apply, you don’t continue to do nice things for someone treating you badly. That just encourages them.

And circling back to the Two Week Rule, if you start to notice that she’s turning to the dark side, say and do something about it. If you let her get away with stomping all over you for nine months… don’t be surprised if your sweet wife doesn’t return after the pregnancy. Enjoy the Brood-Mother.

Also don’t get sucked in to helping pregnant women repeatedly who aren’t your wife. Obviously deal with any emergency and safety issues like you would anyone else, I’m talking about doing tasks for her convenience. Lifting heavy objects easily is always a Display of High Value, but beyond that, if they don’t have a man of their own that can help them, that’s their problem.

How Do You Know When It’s The Right Time To Divorce?

Marriages don’t usually just take a nosedive into the ground. It’s not like you hear a general alarm that a warp-core breatch is in progress and can’t be stopped, everything is about to explode and all you can do is get off the ship as fast as possible. When things are rough, there’s a roller-coaster of good days and bad days. Yesterday might have been good, but today is bad. You don’t know if tomorrow is going to be good or bad. It’s all so exhausting. Hence me getting the question quite often…

“How do you know when it’s the right time to divorce?”

The answer to that is quite simple. You’ll just know. Which of course sounds like a completely cop out answer at best, and airy-fairy nonsense suitable for a Lifetime channel movie at worst. It is however the truth.

There will come a point where you have what can only be described as something akin to a deconversion experience. You felt X, now you feel Y. They will do something, very likely something fairly minor and trivial, but you will experience an emotional change like you just went down the first drop on a roller-coaster.The final straw. This is your Body Agenda deciding enough is enough and rejecting them as a partner. Your dopamine and oxytocin/vasopressin production related to your spouse will switch off and you won’t love them anymore.

Your thoughts will run along the lines of, “Now I realize the last six months have been a pointless waste of effort. I should have filed for divorce six months ago.”

Now you may stay in the relationship, for whatever reasons you have to do so, but they will be practical reasons unrelated to wanting to be with your spouse. Once you’ve crossed this threshold, it’s really over. You aren’t going to want to have sex with them again, save for base ejaculation needs.

It is remarkably rare that those feelings would ever start up again. So plan accordingly. Likewise if your spouse has completely switched off on you, it’s unlikely that they return either.

But until you or they reach that threshold, things are bad, but they are merely bad. By which I mean, there’s still hope. Even on a bad bad day, there can still be hope. Keep trying until the end.

By which I mean you should be taking action.