Five Steps Forward, Nuked For One Step Back

I’ve noticed a pattern happening a number of times now in my email…

Wife finds MMSL, turns husband onto it, he makes decent progress, everything going better… then stumbles somehow… gives a display of weakness… and she goes nuclear on him.

It’s like having had a taste of Alpha… having FINALLY had a taste of Alpha… her expectation for him, is to be like this all the time.

The trouble is that no one can be like that 24/7. Not even Batman. Not even Ironman. Not even CaptainThorIronBatman. Even Gandalf would rather have a wee sit down and pretend he can’t remember the Elvish word for “friend” instead of marching into the Mines of Moria.

The source of the trouble is fairly simple though. After running on an Alpha deficit for so long, the wife doesn’t have her tank filled on that particular need yet. So when it seems like it gets suddenly stopped again, that’s alarming to her. It’s like losing power to your house for a week and then finally having it come back online again… only to shut off again after an hour. It’s actually more tolerable to have the power off for eight days and come back on, than to have it out for six days and be punked with it on and off repeatedly on the seventh.

In time as her tank fills up more, little stumbles here and there won’t be nearly as serious. Eventually it turns into Vulnerability Game where those little soft spots actually engages her to you… just not yet.

The solution is to breathe. Reset. See the big pattern of things getting better. Several steps forward, one step back. Rinse and repeat. You can also bump back on it like a Fitness Test. Not too hard, more of a calm-the-hell-down pushback.


…how to use your Guy Shields to stop her getting in your face so much.

Y’all know about Guy Shields right?



  1. Guys need to remember that we are wired for focus, progress measurement, and accomplishing tasks. With a life change of significance, if you can’t measure, you are going to tend to flail and fail.

    When you walk in a weight room and look at a bar, you can, in a glance, know if what is on the bar is MORE or LESS than what you can rep. Faster than you can even add up what it racked – you KNOW. Find ways to measure every area where you are pursuing change – don’t expect the female in your life is going to know [or care] in quantitative data.

    Other thing – if you are the captain, there are going to have to look her in the eye and say ‘Pipe Down’. That is the respectful short hand for STFU. There are disagreements, and then there is insubordination. Insubordination is unacceptable, and you BOTH need to know that.

    Bottom Line – Charlie Mike – Continue the Mission. Don’t get distracted, quit screwing around, and focus on your mission.

  2. Useful post, Athol. I’m sure as hell looking forward to your post about guy shields.

    Greetings from a long time reader in Switzerland.

  3. Love that clip. That was one of the best fights in a movie ever.

  4. When that happens would it be good for a guy to come back with a strong display of alpha? Not just like a fitness test, but in some definitive way?

  5. Personality changes take time…especially if you are used to living one way most of your life.

    I think this post describes it well. Unconscious incompetence (blue pill), conscious incompetence (blue going to red), conscious competence (more red, less blue), unconscious competence (red pill).

  6. i read a lot on here about men who are too beta, but what about men who are too alpha? my husband has gone overboard on the alpha at this point, i know he loves me but he has stopped doing the beta comforting things that fill me with oxytocin, even our sex life is so alpha and centered on him and his wants and his needs and fantasies that i derive no comfort there either, it’s very hot but feels like i am acting out porn with him and not that he is there WITH me, even when hes looking into my eyes– it obviously works and keeps me doting and chasing, but its hurting my heart and lowering my ability to let my guard down and really display love for him, its helped me change some things, like i now am working out every day which im actually really happy he got me to do, but its making me filled with resentment over the things he wants me to do that i DON’T enjoy, because i feel im not rewarded for doing them with anything other than his continued presence physically in our marriage. he is not running MAP either, he was never a beta schlep, i think in his case its the opposite of most men, he had to dial down the jerk and falsely up the beta to get me, rather than game me with somewhat put on alpha and then backslide into natural nice-guyness. any suggestions?

  7. Peregrine John says:

    Hey, babe, welcome to our world. Remember how you shut down our sex life? (Don’t give me that lame excuse, either you have moral agency or admit you’re a child.) Imagine that, but in downward-spiral form. So grow up a bit, have a little patience, realize I’m human too, and try on some of that endless support you say you give.

  8. I think this is fairly common for couples recovering from him being a nice guy for so long. It happened to me and many other men I have talked to about this. Their tank is empty of Alpha and you start filling it up and it’s an insatiable apetite for it at the beginning. Give me more! Give me more! but you simply can supply it fast enough. I think women trying to get their guy to be more alpha need to have a little more patience with the process. It’s been almost 2 years since my wife and I start down the road to recovery and I can say for the most part things are going fine. I think we have reached that plateau where her tank is filled up with alpha and it’s something that she is used to so when I stumble there is a reserve of alpha in her tank and she recovers more quickly. All I can say is that if you are starting on the path to recovery in your LTR it will take way longer than either one of you anticipate. Probably a year or two before you are not thinking about it everyday…

    Exactly right.

  9. “All I can say is that if you are starting on the path to recovery in your LTR it will take way longer than either one of you anticipate. Probably a year or two before you are not thinking about it everyday…”

    Been well over 1.5 years, and I’m still thinking about this stuff daily. Well, in truth probably not daily, but there is no doubt that at this point much of it is still concious effort on my part. I’d love to get to a place where it just becomes second nature, but I’ve got a way to go yet it seems.

  10. Mistys Dad says:

    MAP is for you.

    MAP is about you.

    MAP is done by you.

    If you stumble and fall, you deal with it.

    Stop basing your progress on her hamster’s mood. You will never win that battle.

    MAP is about being the best of you, for you. Her reaction is secondary.

  11. LOL, “what women want”…….Deep Fried Ice”. It’s like you have to keep them off balance all the time and it’s exhausting.

  12. This post is very true for us, Athol. He is just in the very beginning stages of his MAP, and not only am I super sensitive to his Beta moments, I also cringe when the Alpha seems so fake. I really wish he would practice in front of a mirror, ya know? Saying something Aloha with a nervous smile *kills* the zing. At first I was just so thrilled that he didn’t roll over and let me win that I didn’t care about the delivery. But after several weeks now, I find myself hoping that he starts to say and do the Alpha stuff like an Alpha guy would.

    Maybe this is just a personality conflict that I was hoping the MAP would change. To me, the opposite FAP comparison would be me learning to put on makeup and dress hotter, but acting like a slob and not like a sexy woman–slouchy posture, bad table manners, chewing on my fingernails, etc. At first he’d be really glad for the improvements, but after a while he’d still be looking around at Aloha females and feeling a bit wistful.

  13. Aloha= Alpha. Stupid phone.

  14. KillaHertz says:

    Could you expand a bit on your mention of Vulnerability Game at some point? I don’t remember seeing that mentioned, but it’s something I feel like I’ve noticed in real life. Thanks.

  15. FJ34,

    You might want to read this article:

    That website deals with a different flavor of “Alpha” (although there is a lot of overlap), but the approach and rationale described in the linked article apply equally well.


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