Athol: One of the things I’m clear about with MMSL is that if you run the MAP, there’s not a 100% chance your wife will respond positively to your efforts. All I say is that if you pull yourself together, someone will respond to you. Which is why Phase Seven is called “Your new life… and maybe new wife.”
So here’s Tanner Guzy, one of my blog friends from a few years back, who went all the way to Phase Seven and lived to tell the tale…
Athol: What brought you to seek MMSL?
Tanner: My foray into the Manosphere was probably fairly typical. I’ve read GQ and Esquire for a while and happened to see a link on Esquire’s page to the Art of Manliness. I devoured that site when I first found it and was pretty active in the comments and the forum. One day there was a comment by some kid that really struck home for me. I don’t know what he said or even who the (now defunct) blogger was but I followed his profile to his own site. From there I found Hawaiian Libertarian and the whole Manosphere opened up to me. Being married and a Mormon I could see the truth in a lot of what guys like Roissy and Roosh talked about but I wanted a better understanding of how it could apply to me. Dave from HL was married and had some good posts and thankfully he also linked to MMSL. It was nice to see a site that had already done the legwork of converting Game into a marriage-friendly concept.
Athol: How did MMSL help with your first wife?
Tanner: It would be a lie to say that MMSL, Game, and the MAP didn’t help with my first wife. However, there was more of an impact on me than there was on my marriage. I was able to start improving myself and implementing small things; setting better boundaries, not falling for every fitness test, and keeping a better frame. However, where it really helped was in letting me realize that the success or failure of my marriage wasn’t entirely my responsibility. I grew up in a culture that emphasizes the responsibility of manhood and the man in the marriage. Unfortunately, the culture of Mormons (especially in Utah) is about equidistant behind the rest of Christianity as the rest of Christianity is with the rest of Western Society. Basically, it’s still a doctrinally patriarchal church, but the culture is seeking more and more ways to rationalize those uncomfortable truths. This put me in a pickle because it meant that divorce was always the wrong answer. Now I know that’s not the case and there are even times when God will allow divorce in order to allow parties to move on and prepare better environments for their future children.
Athol: So having come to the point of divorce, what did you do?
Tanner: Making the decision to file for divorce was incredibly difficult. What’s difficult about it now is telling it in a way that doesn’t sound cold or calculated. There was one night about four months before I actually committed to file where my wife and I had some sort of petty argument. I left to go to a friend’s house and when I came back she was gone. She sent me a text message informing me that she’d be at her parents’ until further notice. It ended up being a full week without any contact. The sad thing was about two days in I had gotten home from work and was sitting on the couch with my dog. I realized that the house was cleaner than it had been for months because I was cleaning it myself, my dog was more relaxed than he’d been since we got him, and I was more comfortable and happy than I’d been at any point in our four-year relationship. I hated that feeling. I didn’t want to be happier with my wife gone. I wanted to be happy with her. I wanted to be relaxed with her and feel like my home was a safe haven from the battle ground that is the outside world. But it wasn’t. That week was when I really started considering divorce as an option and decided I’d put it on the table.
I spent countless hours fasting and praying trying to make the right decision. We saw a counselor and I kept implementing more of what I learned from reading the MAP and other sites. I started looking deeper into the doctrines of the Church and what its official, not cultural, position on marriage was. Every day it seemed like I came to a different conclusion until finally I realized that all my wife’s attempts to improve things were really just a token effort. She never really accepted responsibility for her part in our failed relationship and continued to expect me to be the one to make all the real sacrifices to make it work. Eventually we both realized (me before filing and her long after) that for years we had only been married and working on our marriage, it had nothing to do with each other. The final thing that made the decision for me was the thought of bringing children into that family. I was willing to accept responsibility for the decision I had made to marry, but I wasn’t willing to subject my children and her children to that just because we were too proud or too scared to split up before they arrived. So, after four long, miserable months I decided to file and end things.
Athol: What’s different about your new marriage?
Tanner: The differences between my first and second marriage are night and day. I’m the king of my castle and my wife actually gets treated better than any woman I’ve ever been with, even in my bluest of blue-pill days. The big difference is that I’m good to her and she’s good to me out of a sense of love and mutual respect. It’s very similar to what you and Jennifer have. With my first wife, any expression of love or affection was like paying taxes – I did it because I knew there’d be hell to pay if I didn’t. But now, it’s like donating to charity, I give up something of myself because I want to.
On top of how differently I treat my wife, I also expect that same treatment from her. I’m quick to compliment and I’m quick to correct if I need to. The great thing is how much my wife loves and appreciates me for it. She looks up to me and respects my opinion. She also knows that I listen to her and her opinion even when I make a decision that is counter to her. She trusts me because I expect that trust, not because I’m supplicating and asking her how I can earn it. She loves me because I’m actually attractive to her. While we may talk about what does or doesn’t work in the bedroom, we don’t have to talk about what I can do to get her going or why she just can’t feel sexy when the dishes aren’t done and other things like that. Having a marriage that’s based in proper gender roles makes things easier and happier for the both of us. It’s not one of us being happy at the expense of the other.
Athol: Tell me about Masculine Style.
Tanner: Masculine Style is a blog I started almost a year ago to help red-pill men learn how to dress better. There are dozens of men’s style blogs and magazines out there but they’re all tough to read because of the way they write and appeal to men. One thing that can be hard about taking the red pill is learning to still read and accept the opinions of those who haven’t. When it comes to things like sentence structure, content choice, and reasons to dress well, it’s difficult to read a lot of other sites. Dressing better is also one of the easiest and most neglected aspects of the MAP (you’ve even admitted to this yourself). However, the reason it’s so difficult is because the decline in societal masculinity has also effected a major decline in men’s conscious concern for their appearance. It’s something that the Baby Boomers and younger generations feel like they can’t vocalize any real concern for and so many of us grew up without dads or other mentors teaching us the fundamentals of dressing better.
What started as just a blog has turned into a consulting business. My wife and I just had our first child and she wanted to stay home. So I needed to figure out a way to earn some extra income. On top of that, I wanted to be able to transition into doing something I love. I was more than just a little bit envious when I found out you were to the point where you could do MMSL full time.
So now I’m offering different consultations for men. They can be as basic as telling you what colors and patterns will look best on you based on your build and complexion, or as complex as helping someone with a budget of 12 grand choose every article of clothing that will work in two different climates. Whatever help a man needs and whatever unique situation he’s in, I can help him dress better and increase his sex rank as a result.
Athol: And for the record, I’m not getting paid anything by Tanner, just giving him a wee push for his new project… and quietly grooming my style minion in case there’s ever a reality show or something. Ya never know lol. (And no nothing is in the works.)
Also, Tanner took the high road in talking about his ex-wife. This wasn’t a walkaway husband for no reason and lets leave it at that. If the best revenge is living well, I think he’s got a good handle on it.
Oh and a pic of the happy couple. She’s three weeks post-partum in the picture, so play nice kiddies. (Jennifer: Ummm…if I’d looked that happy and fit three weeks post partum, I would have thrown myself a party lol)