Shields Up

Way back in the day I was at my best friend’s then girlfriend’s (now wife) house fairly often. Her sister J would give me a hard time every single time I was there. Looking back I think she was somewhat interested me, but just Fitness Tested me into the ground as a form of enjoyment. I was quite attracted to her, but the regular bitch-hazing she gave just ruled her out on that level. Plus she smoked so ewww.


One time I visit and completely out of character, before J could even say anything to me, I just unloaded on her a fairly roughly spoken one liner. The words leaving my mouth before I fully realized I was saying them.

“So J, are we speaking to each other today?”

Not terribly imaginative was it, but apparently it did the trick as J was stunned into silence and gave me no trouble whatsoever that whole day. I heard after the fact that my short sharp bitchslap was discussed and referred to for some time afterwards and while J still teased me, it was never again unpleasant.

Looking back, that day I didn’t even pass a Fitness Test, I just assumed one was coming and threw up some Shields. Today was don’t-fuck-with-Athol-day. Any other day, sure, pick on me, but today I’m coming in with my Shields up and weapons charged with pent up pissed off.


Half the trouble Nice Guys have in their marriages, is that they are mentally trapped into being so nice to everyone, all the time, that they are in reality always somewhat annoyed at something. That annoyance is often never expressed until it’s really too late to do anything constructive about what’s bothering them, and it all just comes out in a giant Victim Puke of incoherent rage. Instead, they keep up the Nice Guy Care Bear routine and mask it all and pretend everything is just… fine.

If you’ve had a truly shitty day at work, are mentally exhausted and can’t really take anymore of anything… walking through the front door of your house like nothing much is wrong and immediately falling into a Nice Guy routine with your wife, simply invites her to add one more demand to your day. If that’s a Fitness Test she throws at you – an unreasonable request and/or unreasonable tone – then you mentally toss up between exploding on her (which you can’t do because you’re terrified of her leaving you), or simply folding and complying with her demands. You’ve got no defense you can muster up. So you fold.

What is vastly better to do, is actually release some of that annoyance / anger / rage, into useful defensive Shields. If your expressing moderate bad temper because your personal boundaries have already been crossed today, your wife is much less likely to decide to cross your person boundaries that day too. After all, she doesn’t want to unleash all your pent up pissed off about other things, onto her as well.

What is very important to understand though, is this is not an aggressive tactic. You aren’t angry at her, you are simply angry and not in the mood to be messed with. You are in fact trying to calm down and relax. You’re taking space. You aren’t seeking conflict. You’re grabbing your boxing gloves and heading down into the basement and going smack-smack-smack-SMACK smack-smack-smack-SMACK SMACK! SMACK! while listening to some bad-ass testosterone music. She’s not coming down there to ask you to re-hang curtains tonight.

Now you can’t run this routine every single day because it gets old fairly quickly. But you can certainly stop bundling up all your rage into a tiny ball and trying to give yourself cancer somewhere. Relax a little, let some of it out. The most likely thing to happen is that by acting as a stereotypical testosterone fueled male… she’ll actually be more sexually responsive than usual. Women can quite enjoy being on the receiving end of a man who is a bit worked up, it’s a close cousin to dominance.

And just repeating this one more time in case someone doesn’t get it. If she’s not the cause of the anger, don’t direct the anger at her. You’re consciously trying to express the anger, but direct it away from her. If she wants to get in there and offer ways to help calm you down, then that’s fine, but generally you’re suggesting she backs off a bit.

It’s also doesn’t have to be all dramatic either. See how far looking annoyed and frowning a bit gets you first.



  1. Just my two cents… get mad (but not at her)… work it off… take a shower… and if you’re anything like my hubby, your wife will think you smell amazing. The leftover whatever-it-is gives an amp to your personal scent that is simply not fair. (You do reek until you shower though, so don’t skip that step. Anyway it will help you relax).

    Okay. Random women have been known to follow my husband around and sniff him when he wears dime-store cologne, so he smells good anyway, but I’m telling you. It amps. I can taste it on his skin.

  2. If I’m looking annoyed and frowning a bit, however much I don’t direct it at her, she reads it as being about her (cf solipsism).
    Her response to my being annoyed with her is to withdraw.
    So I always have to spell it out:
    ‘Hello, I’ve had a shit day. I don’t want to talk about it just now. I’m not cross with you.’

  3. Plus she smoked so ewww. — Automatic disqualification for DLV. That face isn’t going to last. It’ll looks like a catcher’s mitt in 10 years.

  4. Pegala: “If I’m looking annoyed and frowning a bit, however much I don’t direct it at her, she reads it as being about her (cf solipsism). Her response to my being annoyed with her is to withdraw.”

    Perhaps that’s what you want? Often all a pissed-off man really needs is for his wife to give him space for awhile until he can calm himself down. You can reassure her later, right?

  5. FlyingDutchman says:

    I had some experiences with this as I poured the Alpha back into my relationship. I remember coming home from work and being in a bad mood, she asks me, what’s wrong? I said simply, with no sugar coating, “I”m in a bad mood!”. I made no attempt to re-assure her or apologize or justify it or anything. I did not act mad at her (I wasn’t). But I was surprised she was suddenly super nice to me, giving me affection, and telling me to sit on the couch and take it easy while she gets dinner and waits on me hand and foot. This never happened (not once) in my blue pill days.

    One thing that is so liberating as you really internalize your Alpha frame ( when you are not not faking it) is that you can be totally honest and up front. When you’re in nice guy mode you hide the truth because you are afraid of her reactions.

  6. Well if you don’t want to be pestered with “Please are you mad, please? Please don’t be mad? What did I do? I’m sorry?” It’s more useful to make sure she’s reassured before you go do whatever to calm down. I’m annoying as all get out when DH is mad and he hasn’t made sure to mention that it’s not at me. If that further exacerbates the issue… you might want to take 30 seconds to make yourself clear. Just sayin’.

    “You are fabulous. Today sucked. I need some time to vent off some steam. Shoo.”

  7. FlyingDutchman says:


    If I had wanted to be alone to vent off some steam, then your suggestion would have worked. But if I wanted her to be submissive to me and pamper me and I used your suggestion, then I would have been sitting alone, in a bad mood already, and without a beautiful woman attending to my every need.

    I didn’t say it with any intention of getting her to pamper me and wait on me hand and foot, I was just honest and Alpha without any concern for her emotions and the results are clear. Women respond well to Alpha. If I had shown any concern for her emotions as I express mine, she would not have acted submissively with me.

  8. -nods-

    I was speaking to the original post more than your desire to be pampered. Do what you need to do with your individual wife! For my husband, “I had had a tough day, I’m really wiped” works better to get pampering than does anger display.

  9. FlyingDutchman says:


    Thought you were responding to my post. At any rate, I showed no anger display and I wasn’t looking to be pampered. I was just honest that I was in a bad mood without concern for her mood (remember, nice guys worried about their wife’s mood all the time) and the response, was unsolicited TLC, something my wife does not do if I show any concern for her emotions.

    The point is the Alpha frame of mind (not caring about her emotions) makes the difference.

  10. “But I was surprised she was suddenly super nice to me, giving me affection, and telling me to sit on the couch and take it easy while she gets dinner and waits on me hand and foot.”

    Which goes to show when a woman acts beta…it usually lightens a bad mood in a man (I’m assuming…I know that would have brightened my mood). When a man goes beta…it makes a woman’s mood go from bad to worse.

  11. FlyingDutchman says:


    Exactly! You make a great observation. It definitely lifted my mood. And the reverse is not true in my relationship. If my wife is in a bad mood, and I try and give her beta to brighten her mood, her mood will get worse. I’ve tried this exact thing a hundred times and watched her mood get worse and worse until we were quickly in a fight about nothing.

    I swallowed that shiny red pill. And now, if she is in a bad mood, I seriously could care less and normally that will snap her out of it faster than anything.

  12. Typical Nice Guys have problems setting boundaries with the spouse and asking for what they want. They will let there woman stomp all over them and then in typical passive aggressive behavior will unleash after a certain amount of abuse. I know because that’s what I did for so many years. The best way to handle a hot situation like this is to take a deep breath and think about what is really going on. Is this something you need to get angry about? What is causing you to get into a bad mood in the first place? Sometimes, you can’t put your finger on it and that’s when you need to be upfront with your spouse and just say and tell her you are in a crappy mood and you need your space. (I highly recommend that all men get their own room in the house where her feminine energy cannot intrude. Decorate it as manly as possible!) My wife is good at using humor to break up my bad mood and I do the same for her. Sometimes it just better to walk away and wait until you are in a more calm frame of mind. Sometimes it helps to talk about it sometimes you just need to be alone. Whatever it is, make sure you are upfront with her about your mood. If it’s not about her, make sure she knows it’s not her doing.

  13. BetaTester says:

    This is the coaching I need! Yes yes yes. When my wife is in a crabby mood, beta behavior only makes it worse. I have lately been bumping back on bitchy behavior and guess what? It has been happening less and shorter duration. I like the idea of the defensive Shields. My line could be: “So are we going to be crabby today? Yes, well see ya, I’m going out.”

  14. @betatester – If she is crabby, sometimes just listening to her for a bit will help out, but don’t be a beta orbiter and hang on every word for hours on end. If the crabby attitude doesn’t end, then walk away and let her stew in her own juices. Go do something that doesn’t involve her. Her mood is her mood. Not yours. You need to untangle yourself from her moodiness and walk your own path. Women want to know that their moods will not effect you. Many times I have seen my wife come home in a crappy mode and I’m not having any of it. Most times she lightens up after she knows she can’t drag me down. Occasionally, there is nothing I can do so I don’t do anything except tend to my own stuff and leave her alone…

  15. Women like taking care of their men. Unless we’ve reached mission-critical levels of disgust, we want to make you feel better after a hard day, even if we’re not happy with you. Just be sure you’re clear on if you want space or want pampering.

    As a woman, the best response I’ve ever had after coming home crabby went something like this:
    Me: *snark
    Him: *smacks that down
    Me: *apologizes, get mopier (I don’t actually LIKE being snarky)
    Him: “Put your shoes on, we’re walking to FroYo.”

    Big difference between that and “Do you want me to go grab you some FroYo?” Also, notice the lack of asking me to vent. He didn’t want to listen to me vent, so he didn’t invite it.

    You can still have alpha frame (command) when doing something inherently beta (making her feel cared for.)

  16. I agree with Hearthrose…if you don’t come out and say “I had a shitty day and I don’t want to talk about it”, then I am going to assume that I am the reason for the bad mood. If my husband will at least say the above then I do turn on the pampering and will even suggest going to the driving range and go out of my way to make sure the kids don’t add to the shitty day.
    If I am having a crap day and snap at him…I pretty much always say sorry…not about you. I truly think you need to be alpha/beta at the same time. One of the hottest things my husband did was he walked in from work and I was cooking dinner with a whining toddler attached to my leg, fussing at one kid about not doing chores, and helping the other with homework. My husband went off to the bedroom after we said hellos. He came back…took the spoon out of my hand, took me firmly by the hand while removing said toddler and started pulling me off to the bedroom. I was thinking…seriously…you cannot be thinking- and then I saw what he did…totally had a bubble bath with candles and my book. I said, I can’t I’m…he put his hand over my mouth firmly and said…”You, bath, now. Do not come out till you are a prune.” He took care of dinner and the kids. If he had seen that I was in a mood and said then I am going out(Betatester)…it would not have been pretty. By mixing the alpha and beta, my mood disappeared and I was hot for him when we got the kids to bed. Just sharing my experience…everyone has to do what works for them.

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