When She Makes Sudden Positive Changes… For Bullshit Reasons

When you start running the MAP and making real and positive changes to your life, eventually your spouse will notice. Whether they like those changes or not is a separate issue, but they do notice that you’re changing. What usually happens though is they tend to be aware of you changing for a while but ignore it figuring that it will simply go away. It’s not until it’s really reaching a serious tipping point that they suddenly start asking questions and acting like you’re really up to something. Or it can even be that they are pretending to ignore you changing, and quietly behind the scenes they are checking your credit card, phone and Internet browsing history trying to figure you out.

The point is, when you change because of running the MAP, you really do change because you’re up to something and your spouse really should pay acute attention to that. To be sure you are up to “good” rather than up to “no good”, but how is your spouse to know that until they check into it.

What you also have to be aware of though, is your partner running some variant of the MAP on you.

So when your wife suddenly loses thirty pounds, sure you say “great job honey”, but you also have to wonder why that is happening after all the prior diets failed. When your wife suddenly stops nagging you about everything and actually encourages you to go on that fishing trip all weekend, that’s great, but you also have to wonder why she’s being so nice. When your wife decides to get a job, that’s great because you’ve been asking her to do that for the last year-and-a-half, but you also have to wonder why she stopped resisting suddenly. When your wife suddenly seems interested in buying lingerie, that’s great, but you have to wonder why she’s acting differently. When your wife suddenly wants a lot more sex, out-of-the-ordinary sex, or wakes you up to have sex, you have to wonder why she’s suddenly so damn horny. Which is admittedly, kinda great.

All of those things are good things. I mean who wouldn’t love your wife to drop 30 pounds, stop nagging, send you fishing, add more money to the family income, buy lingerie and be all over you wet, willing and wild. She sounds like the full Jennifer does she not. Now all of those good things could be happening for “up to good” reasons, but they could also be happening for “up to no good” reasons. So you have to find out what the song she’s dancing to is.

What you’re looking for is some clear explanation for her behavior. If you get a good clear answer, that’s probably the real answer, if you get some kind of half-ass non-committal answer, you’re getting bullshit. She needs an explanation that explains her high motivation because her behavior required commitment. Examples.

She loses 30 pounds.

Good: I want to look good for the wedding. I was in a changing room and I overheard the sales girls laughing about my weight and I was so ashamed of what I’ve become. Because the heart attack scared the crap out of me. I have flesh eating bacteria.

Bad:  I don’t know, I just wanted to.  I don’t know, it’s just so easy and really working this time. Why are you asking, aren’t you happy I’ve lost the weight? I’m doing this for you.

Stops Nagging and Fishing Trip

Good:  Because I’ve discovered that when I nag you, you just dig in and it never gets done. I read about it in these books and it seems to be working because the things I was nagging you about, you’re actually doing now anyway. It took so much patience to do at first though. Because when I drag you to my stuff you hate it and ruin it for me, and I have no interest in fishing. This way we both win.

Bad:  I think we both just need our space. I’ve given up asking you to do anything.

Gets a Job

Good:  Because now our daughter has started Middle School and gets the bus, I don’t have to do the pick up and drop off routine twice a day. Because we’re starting to go backward on the credit cards, we’re fine for now, but we need more income.

Bad:  I just want to earn my own money. You’re not making enough money, so I have to go back to work. Because you wouldn’t buy me a boobjob.

Buys Lingerie

Good:  Because my sister told me if she could have changed one thing about her marriage, it was that she should have worn lingerie to bed once in a while. Apparently he asked her to a lot and she never did. Then I remembered how you used to ask too and I always said I feel too fat to wear it… and then you stopped asking. I’m just so scared of what happened to them happening to us. I look ridiculous though and this thong is making my asshole itch.

Bad:  I don’t know, I just like it now. I have to be really in the mood for it though. It was on sale.

Me So Horny

Good:  I’m reading 50 Shades of Grey and it’s getting to me lol. Since you got me that vibrator I’ve had more and more orgasms and I think I’m just on a roll with doing more and wanting more. The hormone patches are working. Because you just look so much better since you got in shape. I just discovered how much free porn there is on the Internet.

Bad:  Why do you have to ruin everything by asking a question like that?

So… if you see major or unusual changes in your spouse, and you get bullshit answers as the explanation for why that’s happening… dig deeper.  And likewise if you’re making positive changes running the MAP and are giving your wife bullshit reasons, don’t be surprised if she starts going all CSI on your ass behind the scenes. I mean that’s what I would tell her to do.

When Nice Guy Gifts Have Strings Attached

Nice Guys aren’t always as nice as they like to think they are. Being nice is often a calculated strategy to get pussy. The thought process is literally “I’ll do all this nice stuff for her, she’ll have to like me because I’m really nice and that’s what women want and react positively to, plus she’ll be socially obligated to be nice back to me because I was nice to her, so she’ll have to drop her pants for me, because that would be her being nice to me.”

Because that entire thought process is in his head and unstated, it’s what Dr. Robert Glover calls a covert contract. The Nice Guy is in fact running a form of Game on his target… it’s just a really ineffective variant of Game. But make no mistake, he’s after the same thing as an “asshole player type” is after.

So, if you pile on Beta support with the intention of her honoring an covert contract that she’s going to burst open like a pinata of sexual favors, you’ll probably be badly disappointed. If you didn’t explicitly make clear and come to a mutual agreement that if you’ll do X, she’ll do Y… she doesn’t have to do Y. In fact she may have no interest or intention of ever doing Y. If you get angry about being taken advantage because you did X and she never paid you back with Y of it’s understandable why you may dislike her actions, but you’re also a big part of why what happened went down.

Oh WTF!?!?!?  She just did Y with someone else she met at a bar two night ago. She told me she didn’t do Y with anyone unless she was in a long term relationship! Nnnnngggghhhaargh!!!

Anyway… a song. The passive-aggressive chumping is painfully dead on.

And yes of course she’s taking advantage of him because she’s aware of the covert contract in his head. He’d chew her out for that, but he still thinks that he has a chance.

When She Has Trouble With The Thought of Having a Captain…

Some snippets of Sundaylove from the forum.

“It gets so confusing to me because I read how women are supposed to ‘want’ to be submissive & let their hubby lead, etc..  For me, I feel idiotic & foolish when I imagine myself trying to take upon a lesser role than my husband.  For example, if I allowed this dynamic to take a real hold in my relationship, I’d feel like a kid always asking dad if this or that is okay. It just feels so ‘off’ for me.

I understand many women are fine & good with the Captain, First Officer roles. In fact, in some little ways we fall into this when it feels right- and it’s nice to have that. So I do get it.

I understand it comes down to trust for my man & that I have, to an extent. However when I’ve tried to be less head-strong & allowed him to lead how he wants, he has, on occasions abused the privilege & acted like a jerk. In turn, my defenses go up & that’s that. Other times though, I can defer to him on small things that don’t mean too much to me & he responds well.

But I wonder, if he never took advantage (in an asshole way) of the alpha male position, would I find it easier to sit comfortably in a less powerful position? Could our marriage be even better in this case?”

Athol:  It sounds like you’re actually attracted to the idea of the Captain and First Officer model and have had positive responses to him leading appropriately. But there is a serious problem in that he’s not going to be the best Captain right now. He has flashes of it, but that’s not enough for you… and that’s fine.

As I’ve tried to make clear, there is no requirement that anyone does this. It’s simply a model that I advance and explain because I think most couples would ultimately like it and find it worked well. The more important MMSL principle is that you don’t let yourself be abused or taken advantage of in your relationship.

So if you let him lead and he turns into an arrogant jerk that rides roughshod over you, then that isn’t something you can let happen. In fact I argue that it’s the job of a good First Officer to actually step up and take control if the Captain isn’t taking care of things. I think it’s fairly easy to see that blindly following anyone and handing over control of your life to someone that doesn’t care about you is basically asking to be taken advantage of.

I certainly don’t have Jennifer on a leash. We talk about the big stuff and I make the call and we do it. She has a job and things she likes and total access to the money yada yada yada. She even has 95% of the moderation power on the forum as I do. (To her vast relief she doesn’t have access to changing the coding of the forum lol.)  But day to day stuff, we’re fairly independent of each other. I don’t micromanage her for the same reasons I don’t play Farmville on Facebook. It’s boring as hell and seriously who has the time?

The most important element to being a good Captain is a sense of responsibility to the well being of the marriage and the First Officer. Should Jennifer and I ever split, I would consider myself more at fault than her.

The Captain and First Officer model is also a conscious one. You don’t simply make him your Captain without telling him what you’re up to. That’s all but asking him to misunderstand the dynamic you’re expecting of him. It’s something to talk about together before you agree to it. Also it took me around five years of thought and growth to accept the Captain and First Officer model for myself. Jennifer arrived to acceptance of it before I did. She certainly did before I had language to express it. So you don’t have to accept it by Tuesday either.

When She Has A Hereditary Genetic Disorder

[Minor editing to obscure the exact organ disorder per reader request]

Reader:  Athol,  I’ve been a big fan of your book and blog since the beginning – I congratulate you on your success.  It has helped me get through a very difficult part of my life, and gave me direction and answers to questions I didn’t even know I had. (Knowing alpha vs. beta = huge difference!)

I have a question for you that I haven’t yet seen anyone else address on your blog, but one that I think would greatly benefit your readers.

I’m in my early 30’s and I’ve been dating a wonderful woman for a year now, someone I consider marrying in the future.  She’s a great partner in life.  By that I mean, she’s very pleasing to be around, fun, has good values (so far), fantastic in bed, and due to her having been born and raised in a different country, isn’t tainted by the typical American feminist entitled views – she actually wants to contribute to the relationship and seeks out ways to make it stronger.

Nobody’s perfect – I accept her for who she is – and vice versa.  However, she has a hereditary genetic disorder [that will cause organ failure in about 30 years] unless we’ll be able to grow her a new one from her stem cells, which is a very real possibility, but just that – a possibility. She does her best to manage it long term with diet, exercise, low stress, which extends her life but doesn’t cure the disease.

The worst part is that it’s hereditary – our offspring have a 50/50 chance of getting it, unless we decide on genetic testing and in-vitro fertilization (~$30k+), with no guarantee that it’ll work.

From a male body agenda perspective, it’s a huge negative, since a) my potential wife may just pass away in 30 years and I’d have to spend retirement by myself w/o my life partner, b) our offspring will have a high chance of getting this disease and they will lose their mother when they’re also in their young 30’s.

On the flipside, it’s in my best interest to find a wife, who has the qualities I deem vital for a viable and very happy future. In her I see all the things that I always looked for and haven’t seen or found in anyone else – she makes me very happy (dedicated to family as much as I, spectacular in bed, giving and caring, loves adoring her strong husband, among a million other things).  As I said, she’s a life partner, a true catch – and I say that from as rational, level headed point of view (as opposed to an emotional one) as I can.  Not to sound like I have one-itis, I doubt there’ll be another one like her.  And that’s the huge plus – or in other words, a trade-off.

On one hand, I can attempt to find someone who fits the profile (i.e. healthy, smart, sexy, etc) but I will find out something else about them that’ll be a turnoff (as it’s inevitable) – or take my chances with her.  Which is what I’ve decided to do.

I’m very curious as to what you think, Athol?  I love her and see great things down the line, but the thought of potentially losing her in some time scared the crap out of me.  I came to terms with it, though.  With most people, you really don’t have much of a clue what they’ll die of (and most of the time, you don’t even think about it), but with her, you’re pretty certain.  I didn’t think facing her mortality at this point would happen – but it makes me appreciate every moment w/ her, and saddens at the same time.

I’d really appreciate a response from you. Look forward to your continued success.

Athol:  I think your mind is made up and there’s nothing I can say to persuade you otherwise. Which is not to say that I think you are wrong. If this is her only defect, it’s a judgment call.

She does sound good in every way but this. I think you just have to hope like hell that medical science advances in the next twenty years and [a new organ] can be grown from her stem cells and thus can be replaced.

Kids are amazingly expensive to raise. The $30,000 may only amount to 10% of the cost to raise the kid over it’s lifetime. So if you’re in for $300,000, does being in for $330,000 really make that much difference?

How much would the extra health care cost over the child’s life if you get unlucky on the 50/50? $50,000? $200,000? I think you might want to see the cost of in-vitro fertilization as almost like an insurance premium.

I would however make sure this something that is discussed and agreed upon before getting married. These are big decisions and you need to be able to move into the future together with a agreed upon plan. Perhaps instead of a big wedding, you have a small event explaining why, and put all the wedding budget and giftage toward the genetic testing and in-vitro. It’s a romantic tear-jerker of a story to tell and I suspect you’ll get a lot of helping hands. Besides that, shopping for wedding presents is a pain in the ass and the option to just write a check is great.

Passing the disorder onto your children would be a heavy burden to carry through life, both for you and for them. I can very much assure you that genetic matching and evaluation will play a role in dating and match making in the nearish future. If they have a hereditary genetic disorder, their life may be very lonely indeed twenty or thirty years from now. Take a peek at Genepartner and 23andme  for example. These are fairly crude now, but not crazy expensive. In a few decades they will be routine and quite accurate.

Personally I passed on pursuing an ill young woman as a potential wife. I wanted her so badly, but I could see the long struggles ahead so pulled back from her. A little while later I meet Jennifer and moved heaven and earth to be with her. Both were excellent decisions and I have no regrets. My life has been amazing with Jennifer.

Life can be random too. I knew a guy who married a perfectly healthy 22-year-old and breast cancer took her within two years. I had a 25-year-old friend killed when she was rear-ended at a red light by a drunk going over 60mph. I also know a guy who was given three months to live when he was born, and one year to live when he was twenty and still made it to age thirty-three before his luck ran out. When Jennifer was twenty-eight and our daughters were still just a baby and a toddler, her mammogram results were sent to our house instead of our doctor and the results bluntly and clearly stated “malignancy.” Jennifer sobbed herself to sleep in my arms every night while I had unstoppable daydreams about her withering away over the next year in pain and despair, leaving me alone with the girls. The biopsy results came back negative. Then much the same shit happened again eight years later.

All you can do is influence the odds in your favor as best you can, but there are no guarantees of anything. You have a difficult road ahead, but maybe the right road too.

And yes you do have Oneitis for her…

…but as long as she also has Oneitis for you, that’s not a bad thing. If you’re getting married, you’re both meant to be in love.

Check Check Check It Out

Following on from yesterday’s post

On the “Rule Out Medical” front, my advice to this reader was to really dig into the whole history leading up to and around the wife getting a hysterectomy. I.e., get thee to a doctor.

A few months later…

Reader: Hey Athol!

Took awhile to have enough info for a meaningful reply. The short recap was whether or not women can really have “low libido”. Wife had a hysterectomy in January. The gynecologist had placed her on a hormone patch immediately after surgery. Once we were through the healing period, I can say HORMONES ROCK! We went from sex every 7 – 10 days to sex 2-3 times a week. I had been worried about post-surgical vaginal dryness but the patch kept things wet when expected. If she forgot to replace the patch, she would get a little moody/bitchy. Sex would spread out farther. When the patch was off, she did not want sex and would be a real bitch. She even told me that she felt like this monster was inside her trying to say the most cruel things (when she was not on any hormones). In an effort to save money, my wife wanted to start using a transdermal gel instead of the patch. Sex went to once a week at best. Vaginal dryness became an issue. (Dry enough for her to say “let’s skip the fingering” when it usually “takes her there.”

In summary, I admit, sample size is only one, but my “study ” entailed a pre-hysterectomy, pre-menopausal 46 year old woman with no hormone supplement – low libido, infrequent sex, moody/bitchy/short-templered, adequate vaginal lubrication. Post-surgical with patch hormone replacement – libido significantly improved (closer to what it was 15 years ago), excellent vaginal lubrication, even-tempered (i.e. minimal bitchiness). When removed, she returned to low libido and bitchy. Transdermal gel – results were only marginally better than without gel – mild increase in libido, adequate vaginal lubrication and above normal moodiness/bitchiness.

So from this, I conclude: If your wife is mid-40’s she may, indeed have low libido AND moodiness due to hormonal ebb. GET IT CHECKED OUT. And also, if one type of hormone replacement does not seem to help, try one of the other types.

Thanks VERY much for your help! And by the way – the Forum was a great idea!  I love it!

Athol:  All this is a fabulous win. Ya’ll see how you can’t just “Game” a hysterectomy?

Plus now they both know the tune, his wife doesn’t have many excuses to use to avoid sex anymore lol. You’re welcome dear reader. You are welcome.


That’s right, I got Beastie Boys and post-hysterectomy hormone replacement therapy in the same post. I’m bigger than style bitches. I wore Ugg Boots once and started a craze. A drop of my sweat gets you laid for days. When I get a lap dance the stripper pays. I hit the juke box just right and the music plays. I’m p-p-pushing six k marital lays. But I sort the recycling just like she says.


Jennifer: Oy… he’s like that last paragraph in person. A lot. He is painfully slow at learning the recycling procedure lol.