Do What Was Working To Attract Her Back In The Day

I’m getting to be a weird age.

My sister messaged me last night just as I was about to fall asleep… “Did you know Justin Duckworth?”

Did you know. Past tense. Another one bites the dust. Justin was always a crazy fun guy and a natural focus for whatever was happening. Only a year or two ahead of me and while I wouldn’t say we were close, we certainly knew each other and ran in similar Youth For Christ circles for a while back in university days. Very bright. Trademark bare feet.

I messaged her back that yes indeed I knew him. It’s been nearly twenty years since I saw him last, but I was saddened.

Thanks to the time difference between here and New Zealand, this morning when I woke up I had no reply from her. Oh a whim I Googled him to see if I could find out anything more.

Oh. My. God.

He didn’t die… they just made him Bishop.

Obviously we no longer believe the same things, but I’m actually very pleased for him. He was extremely unbishopy back in the day, and by general agreement was chosen to be Bishop because of his lack of being bishopy. He appears to have bare feet in his ordination photos and the silly bishop hat looks somewhat out of place on top of dreadlocks. But he looks happy, so I’m happy for him. I think he’ll be great in his position too.

But it’s also kind of funny seeing one of us arrive at a position of importance too. We were all young once and now we have these jobs and lives involving kids in high school. Somehow we got to be middle aged. Somehow we went from me being age 21 and meeting an age 18 Jennifer for the first time… she wore a blue and white dress… to getting married at 24 and 22… and now we’re 42 and 39. It’s been a very long time.

Neither one of us has changed, we’re still the same Athol and same Jennifer we always were. I’m tall, she’s short. I’m smart and funny, she giggles and is very sweet tempered. We’re both introverts. We both care a great deal about doing the right thing and that other people are helped. We really haven’t changed a bit… except that we’ve done two decades of activities and learned stuff along the way, we’ve taken on some responsibilities too. We became parents and homeowners, we had careers. We traveled a few places too.

So while we are exactly the same as we’ve always been, a lot of the content of our lives has changed. I’ve mentioned a few times before on the blog that once upon a time my faith was extremely important to me, and I was very seriously considering the road toward becoming a minster. I’ve always liked helping people, I love teaching, I always loved making people think about how to live. I’m acutely aware how pastoral in nature MMSL is, it’s just not religiously based. If you shut your eyes for a minute, can’t you hear me all but preaching the gospel of the Red Pill?

I’m still the same person, just the content of my life has changed.

So let’s talk about you now.

One of the things I did in yesterday’s post was encourage you to do the same things that you originally did to attract your wife to you. One of the comments was to the effect of “well I was in a grunge band, that really did work to attract her back them, but I can’t do that now, and I don’t know if it would even work if I did it anyway.”

I hear you. But what if the content of your life was “being in a grunge band”, but what you were about was simply “music”?

Do you still go to concerts? Do you still practice your instrument? Do you still get excited about various bands releasing new albums? You may not play grunge anymore, but maybe you could be forming a group and playing something, somewhere, sometime. Maybe you can record your own music and put it on Amazon, or have a blog and have it downloadable or whatever. Maybe you can teach music lessons. It may not matter what you do around music one little bit, you just need to be doing something passionate in your life to energize and engage you. Maybe it wasn’t being in a grunge band that did it for her. Maybe it was the way you looked so vibrant when you were playing that did it for her. Maybe when the music died, you died a little too.

It’s the same with sports. If you’re 42 you can’t re-live the glory days of that one perfect touchdown forever. You can however stay in shape. You can throw a football around with the kids. You can get excited and follow a team. You can coach little league. You can play in a masters soccer league. You can switch sports and learn golf. Hell even a bowling league is better than sitting at home every day and gaining ten pounds every year since you graduated high school.

My father was a racer. He raced cars before I was born and a little after, then he raced yachts when I was a kid, then he raced go-karts after I had moved out. We watched tons of Formula 1 together. We went to speedway dozens of times. When he visited us and it synced up with the NASCAR schedule, we drove three-and-a-half hours up to New Hampshire to watch the race. He ended up building a full International level go-kart track just outside of Rotorua. Dad’s interest in racing never changed, just the content of what he was racing.

My hunch is that whatever it was that you were doing when you meet your wife was, it wasn’t boring. You were doing something you found interesting and fun. But you were doing something that you were naturally interested in and basically good at. So you can be the same person you always were, just change the content for something that can work now. That’s how barefoot and quirky Justin can grow up and become a Bishop. That’s how I met Jennifer by being a guest preacher and here I am all grown up writing MMSL. So find whatever it is that you’re passionate about and don’t let it die.

Oh and if all you were doing to attract your wife when you were young was attending drunken frat parties… the middle-aged equivalent is called a wine tasting.


  1. holdingallthecards says:

    This is such an important concept. For women, too, as they unfortunately wake up one day and realized that they have disappeared into their husband. “I’ve lost myself” is the phrase, and it seemed good at the time until one day it was not.

    I think many of us are just people pleasers, so if a spouse enjoys a hobby, we give up ours to participate in theirs. It’s met with enthusiasm, of course, but if you don’t really enjoy it, it’s just another one of those things that eat up precious time during the day. In the most extreme situations, women even ditch their girlfriends to spend time doing husband’s activities.

    However, when your spouse met you, he fell in love with someone who had some interests that were different from theirs, which made you interesting and unique. It also gave the two of you a healthy space of separation to be individuals. Granted, if you have young kids, this becomes challenging. But you can’t lose yourself because of them either. Happy moms and dads raise happy kids.

  2. I can see the wisdom in this. I have been so betatized I ditched my pursuits for my wife’s interests because I thought I was being nice. I thought if I gave in she would somehow be happy and all would be good. Nope, same ol krabby wife! I still do my hobbies, just very infrequently. Most of my interests and hobbies do not take me out of the house. I am thinking of getting a storage unit for a “shop” where I can have my time as well.

  3. I agree with holdingallthecards and Athol. However, all I can think about here is how embarassing that must have been for Athol.

  4. I'm a man says:

    @Tim C – ditto me too. Did the supreme 90 Day challenge and started getting in shape. It’s been fun and given me something that i only do. I’ve gone on and setup a mini gym at home but the problem is I’m home. I work at home too. So i just bought a gym membership to get out of the house, it will be much less convenient and take up way more time but i need to get out of the house.

  5. RedPillNewb says:

    This makes a ton of sense. When we met, I was doing stuff I liked doing and wanted to do more of, but eventually I dropped it for reasons unrelated to her (which left me kind of adrift). Now I spend the vast majority of my time going through the motions on stuff I actively dislike because I have to–and what’s more, I do it because it’s what she said she wanted me to do. So I have the career she picked for me, I don’t like it, and I’m frustrated and cranky because she’s not rewarding me for the years of sacrifice and unhappiness I’m living for her sake. Sound like the average blue-pill life, or what? But on the other hand I can see why she would be unhappy with a man who’s so unhappy, when back in the day I was excited about what I was doing.

    My other problem, though, is that she actively opposes my hobbies. She complains when I spend money on them, complains when I spend time on them, and accuses me of caring about my hobbies more than about our kids. So, (blue pill voice for a moment, folks), the fact that I spend literally all day (and sometimes into the evening or on weekends) doing something I dislike (at her behest!) to support our family doesn’t register, but the fact that I spend at most a few hours a week doing something I do like while the kids are in bed means I don’t care about the kids? Then she urges me to take up remodeling of the house as a hobby, which actually I would rather enjoy, except that it can’t be done while the kids are in bed.

    I’m living a decade-long fitness test here.

  6. holdingallthecards says:

    RPN: to get real personal here, being pussy-whipped implies that one is getting so much pussy that it doesn’t really matter that you are always doing things her way. You are in such a state of post-coital bliss that you smile and sing through even the worst of chores.

    So if that is not the case for you, then the real red pill may be that your wife married a fixer-upper, and you guys simply are not, nor ever were, compatible (no crime in this, just a reality check). So now what?

  7. RedPillNewb says:

    What if we’re incompatible? I don’t know. It sure didn’t seem that way for a long time, and I still do make her laugh. Her main verbal complaint about me is that I’m not obedient enough, so as far as she’s concerned, I’m the problem for having ideas of my own. That is to say, she’s not threatening to walk out or even particularly cranky most of the time, although when I set her off, she’s going off in a big way.

    I have my hopeful days and my less-hopeful days. I’m early in the process, things seem slightly improved, and still catch myself doing obedient beta stuff when I shouldn’t, so at the very least I can say that I have a ways to go before I have to face that conclusion.

  8. someguy says:

    @RedPillNewb: Have you told her any of that? It doesn’t have to be confrontational, but sometimes it helps to reset perceptions. An example from my own relationship: we have kids, my wife and I take great pains to maintain personal time, both together and alone. My wife’s schedule changed awhile back and our personal time got radically rearranged, she seemed a bit pissy about it for awhile and then as I was leaving for a day out with “the guys” stated flat out that it wasn’t fair I was getting more personal time with the new schedule. It turned out she had somehow arrived at this conclusion from the fact that I had a whole day to myself and she’d been frustrated not being able to book a hair appointment at a convenient time. When I calmly laid out our typical schedule it became clear that she actually had a couple more hours a week than I did on average. (And her hair appointment was very easily made at a time she simply hadn’t considered.) But I had to not only push back and probe to the root of her concern but also make easily understandable for her that she had no grounds for complaint. Ultimately, of course, this conversation led to issues unrelated to the schedule – she felt “less pretty” with her hair a few weeks overdue at the same time I was taking off to have fun without her.

    So have the conversation! And if it doesn’t go well then have it again with a (good) counselor to help interpret. Ultimately, communication issues are the problem. MAP does a really fantastic job of working the kinks out of the body agenda and non-verbal communication, but the verbal is just as important.

  9. PocketAces says:


    I’d pull out the righteous hellfire indignation when she says you care more about your hobbies than your kids. Double win here, you get father points AND you get points for standing up for yourself. Game says be aloof, but sometimes when lines are crossed, anger can be the right response. You are also worried about what she’s going to do when you start pushing back on shit-tests. Manufacture yourself a watershed moment where you get so pissed that things are going to change around here, or else. Watershed moments are easy for people to understand, and can provide a needed explanation for your changed behavior. Then start applying game principles, work on your happiness, etc.

    Do NOT start doing any major fixing up the home. That would be a really, really bad move.

    That’s not usually how it goes. Your definition almost sounds like a good time. The guy is usually doing all kind of chores, supplicating, kow-towing and begging for the pussy. Anyone care to weight in on “pussy-whipped”?

  10. On the pussy-whipped thing, I’d guess that could go either way. Probably it’s more often the man begging for it and thinking he’ll get some if he does everything she wants.

  11. Yeah ‘pussy-whipped’ is not a good thing. It means she (the pussy) has whipped all (or most) of the self respect out of her husband. He can’t make any decisions without her approval and permission. It’s an obvious disfunction in the relationship where she rules the roost so much he is largely not his own man anymore and everyone else can see it too.

  12. RedPillNewb says:

    Ultimately, communication issues are the problem.

    I dunno. Communication is pretty good around here, and the problem seems more that after a bout of good communication, she knows what I want, and I know what she says she wants. Then I give her what she asked for, and she doesn’t give me what I asked for.

    I’ve been foolishly expecting essentially a reciprocal arrangement–I do what she wants, she does what I want. The red-pill realization here is that that doesn’t work. I suppose I should have figured out that it doesn’t work from the fact that it has never worked, but there I was, chugging along and hoping next time it would be different. And what happened (gradually) is that we became mildly affectionate roommates with me unhappy at work and at home and she perfectly happy with a peck on the cheek and hug every day and maybe a bit more attention during ovulation time–but nothing for me.

    I’m working on reclaiming the Captain role and it seems like it’s sort of working, but I’m not sure she even thinks I’m qualified for it (and I haven’t given her any reason to think I am).

    I really do appreciate Athol and everyone here for advice and support. I’m suddenly living in a completely different world and I don’t really know what the hell to do.

  13. holdingallthecards says:

    @RPN: when you two were pre-kids, how often were you having sex? Did sex basically stop after the last one was born?

    There are a gazillion wives out there that are genuinely surprised when they catch their men having an affair. They all think “But we were happy!” What they believe is that because you stopped asking for sex, that you were fine with the arrangement. If your wife seems happy, do you think it’s because she doesn’t like sex and maybe only wanted kids?

  14. GumbyMan says:

    Pussy Whipped to me is essentially the Female as the Captain, and Guy as basically the Ensen.

    She’s in charge and makes the decisions. He follows along doing as he it told, no questions asked. He does it because he is a nice guy and is hoping that he will get the ever more elusive pussy.

    Fun! (not)

  15. Highlander says:

    I don’t know about this whole “be the guy you were” thing, it almost Beta. Let’s face it, our wives are not the same girl we married either. Most guys can attest to the fact their wives pretended to be interested in their activities until they were married, then quit doing them for what ever excuse they could come up with, some barely after the honeymoon.

    I think women need to be told to take responsibility for their own Sh&t on a regular basis instead of blaming their husbands as the source of all their unhappiness. If you’ve ever had the misfortune of listening to “wives who lunch” crab about their husbands when they think nobody is listening it’s an eye opener, “Entitlement Princess” does not even begin to describe them. By all means engage in your passion, but for you, not them, they were probably just pretending to like what you were doing way back then anyway ;~)

  16. @Highlander:

    I think the point is less “Do this thing your wife is attracted to because your wife is attracted to it,” and more, “Do this thing that you enjoy, because your wife is attracted to you when you’re energized and engaged and passionate about what you’re doing.”

    Me, I like games. Board games, card games, video games. Chess, checkers, Risk, Monopoly, anything that pits your brain against another person’s. That kind of thing bores my lady to tears. She claims she doesn’t have the attention span for it.

    In the last couple years I discovered poker and jumped into it feet-first. Joined a weekly home game, read all the strategy books, follow a couple blogs, listen to a couple podcasts, watch it on TV. My lady has never and will never play with me. She has absolutely zero interest in sitting down at a poker table. But when I come home from my weekly poker game and she asks me, “How did you do?” she’s not just being polite. She listens with rapt attention to (a reasonable amount of) my tales of double-bluff mind games, long-shot straight draws, how I suckered in the chip leader with a well-timed check-raise or made a hero call with a perfect read or hammered away at my one-on-one opponent and took his chips through sheer force of will.

    She doesn’t listen to me yak on because she cares a fig for the intricacies of poker. She listens because I’m passionate about this stuff and she gets to experience it through my eyes. It’s the same way as when I listen to her talk about running: the couple of times I’ve gone running with her, I’ve been bored out of my skull. Give me hiking or rollerblading or weight lifting when it’s exercise time. But she loves it, and I love that she loves it. So I’ll listen to her talking about the finer points of marathon training or proper hydration or whatever all day long.

    (Side Note: She also doesn’t ask me how I did because a big win = present for her. My winnings go right back in my bankroll.)

  17. RedPillNewb says:

    when you two were pre-kids, how often were you having sex?

    I don’t have records, but I never felt the urge to go looking for websites or books to help me out. And I recall adopting the habit of saying “It’s 10:00 and I’m going to jerk off, want to join me?” because she had developed the bad habit of waking me up at 2:00 and saying she wouldn’t be able to sleep until I slapped her around a bit.

    Did sex basically stop after the last one was born?

    Yep. And when I realized I was being friend-zoned by my wife, I sort of panicked and wound up here.

  18. holdingallthecards says:

    @RPN: There is the possibility that you aren’t being friend-zoned, but were just used as a sperm donor. Athol’s MAP should definitely help you figure it out, since she’ll never tell you.

  19. RedPillNewb says:

    It’s not impossible, but she wasted about 10 years before getting started if that’s the case. And I, like Athol, am a Baby Sniper, so it’s not like we were trying the whole time.

  20. PocketAces says:

    Hmm. Well, some women get it into their heads that they have to be good mothers and forget about being good wives.

  21. INTROVERTED?!? Introverted people don’t typically dry-hump on the stairs for a TV camera crew.

    You ARE pulling our legs, right?

    Extroverts don’t typically stay home writing a blog. :-)

  22. Dreadpiratkevin says:

    Well said, that’s it exactly. In a healthy relationship seeing your partner happy and excited is a turn on provided what’s making them happy isn’t a detriment to the mission. If you’re wife doesn’t like seeing you happy, even if she isn’t that into whatever you’re doing that makes you happy, there are deeper issues in you’re relationship that need to be dealt with. Possibly that she wants to be in control, and being the sole source of happiness for you gives her that control. Anything else you enjoy without her is a threat to her power.

    I doubt my wife would have ever set foot on a sail boat if she hadn’t met me, but she enjoys sailing with me anyway because she knows it makes me happy to do it. She enjoys singing, so I give her space to participate in different choirs, and I go and smile and applaud at her concerts, even though it’s just really not my thing.

    Part of it is that mastering any skill is Alpha. Doesn’t matter what it is, if you’re good at it, it’s Alpha and that’s a turn on for women. You may be otherwise a Beta, but if you’re the Alpha dog at whatever activity, especially if she sees other guys deferring to you about it, it is a DHV to you’re wife. Granted, some hobbies don’t lend themselves well to this, it’d be hard to be an Alpha stamp collector for instance but many do. Yesterday my son had got out my pocket trumpet to show a friend. I haven’t played seriously in years, but I used to be pretty good. I picked it up to show my little girl and played a few riffs on it. I caught my wife giving me that look…. I think maybe I’ll start playing a bit more.

  23. RedPillNewb says:

    Introverted is not the same as shy. I’m not shy at all–kind of offensive and brash, actually–but I’m an introvert with few friends and who is happiest without a lot of people around.

  24. @Dreadpiratkevin:

    Ha ha, my lady does seem to get a kick out of the fact that I’m definitely the Alpha dog around the poker table, at least in my weekly group. In this case it’s less a matter of them “deferring to me” as it is “good-natured badmouthing about how that scumbag Ben took our money again,” but the effect seems to be the same.

    In a cute coincidence, the common slang for someone who’s able to take charge and dictate the pace of a poker game is the “Table Captain.” Captain at the table, Captain at home? (-:

  25. Dreadpiratkevin says:


    Maybe deferring isn’t quite the right word. Showing respect is probably more what I mean. When I first met my wife I was a hard core crag rat (rock climber). The fact that I could climb a 5.11 didn’t mean anything at all to her, but the other climbers showing me respect because of it was a huge turn on for her. Maybe it satisfies a woman’s hypergamy to know that her man is top dog somewhere. Athol’s advice on this is spot on. It’s so easy to let those things we once loved go as we get older, but a man who isn’t interested in or passionate about anything just isn’t interesting to anybody, even his wife. Being really good at something is always interesting, even if what you’re good at isn’t all that interesting to the other person.

    Ian over at Red Pill Room has some excellent posts on the male social matrix and how keyed into it women are.

  26. :O When my husband and i met we were hitting on the same girl :/ I’m afraid to ask lol!

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