GC: Athol you said “I’ve long thought of Jennifer as my best friend …. she is certainly the person I am closest to and we are friends, but I also sense in myself a slight pulling away from her as well…”
This is very discouraging to me. I want more sex/better sex to bring my husband and me and all married couples closer, but you’re saying that by following the MMSL principles you are pulling away from Jennifer, not drawing closer. I don’t see how that can be a good thing. I know that men and women are different and that wives in general want their husbands to be strong, but wives who are in it for the long haul also want to be close to their husbands in all ways, even if that means he’s vulnerable some of the time (vulnerable adult male, not whiny toddler – which wears badly on both sexes!) I know that the biological mechanisms of attraction are important, but we’re not just animals – we can make choices that favor our marriages, even when one spouse is going through a time that makes him or her less “attractive.”
Jennifer: I reacted negatively to the phrase “slight pulling away”.
Athol: Well I also went on to say…
“I’m the Captain, thus I’m always a little more on duty than she is… or at least more on duty than I was before staring MMSL. So I don’t think it’s the case that you can’t ever be friends. But it is the case that you can’t ever not be the Captain. Not forgetting that you can order her to take command of the ship while you’re either not available or are having some R&R. I’m pretty sure that on commercial aviation flights, the First Officer doesn’t nap the whole way while the Captain does everything. Balance people, balance.”
You have to remember that I’m a born and bred Care Bear. For the longest time it would have be unthinkable for me to try and do anything without being joined at the hip with Jennifer. Some of that came naturally in that we both like a lot of the same stuff, we both are introverts and we both like each other.
But once you say to yourself, “Okay I’m going to be the leader in this relationship. I’m going to be the one who is the most responsible for how it all plays out.” It starts becoming a little less buddy-buddy. Once you become the one that makes the final call on big decisions… knowing that she may or may not like them… that if you consistently screw up enough it eventually all ends in tears and drama… that takes some of the fluffy thinking away.
I think if you go too soft and cuddly, you end up killing some of the attraction. It all comes back to the thing where a woman is far more likely to fall in love with her boss at work, than with a co-worker… and there’s minimal chance she’ll fall for someone below her status at work. While you can be a considerate and good boss, you also have to hold your people to standards or they sorry start despising you, so ultimately you can’t be their BFF.
You also have to remember that men are constantly told to throw themselves into emotional bonding activity and expressions of devotion to their wives. The whole Blue Pill edifice that for the Low Alpha High Beta guys is the problem not the solution. If that all worked, there would be no need for MMSL at all. Guys have tried that until they have passed out from exhaustion of devotion while struggling with a never-ending hard-on.
A little distancing though, seems to do the trick. Don’t get me wrong though either, I do love Jennifer, more than just a little. If I lost her for whatever reason I would be devastated. We spend a lot of time together hanging out and talking. We do things for each other. When she’s not around for an extended time, I miss her… but I’m still the Captain. It’s just a balance thing.
Or coming at it from another angle, if you asked me who I thought Jennifer’s best friend was, I’d say it was her college roomate.
Jennifer: Okay, my first instinct at that last sentence was to be insulted and upset that Athol doesn’t think he’s my best friend. Then I thought about it for a moment and realized that he’s more than my “best friend”…I’m not sure there’s a word for it.
Athol: I think the word is “husband”.
The great concern I have is the sheer number of husbands who only come to relationship consciousness when it’s all finally too late to fix. After she’s already cheated. After she’s already checked out on him completely. After she’s visited the divorce lawyer. Beyond a few sociopathic women, wives don’t just walk away.
In the editing round, Jennifer and I had a back and forth about this for 15-20 minutes. The crossed wiring being her hearing “pulling away” as “not caring”. Me explaining that it’s in fact the opposite. It’s like how Jennifer is always somewhat “on duty” when our girls are around. She’s always got 10% of her processing power set to “Mommy”. Likewise I always have 10% of my processing power set to “Husband”. I’m always mindful of her and of our relationship.
You have to be emotionally engaged with her, but you cannot be emotionally enmeshed in her.