Negative Work and Energy Vampires

So following on from yesterday’s Good Beta, Betaized, Butler and Hooker Math.

Wolfie: OK. So how do we move from Betaized to Good Beta then? I’ve been running the MAP but this is an area where in the last couple of weeks I’ve started noticing directions & expectations.

Athol:  The only difference between Good Beta and Betaized is her attraction to you. So the only solution is to increase your attractiveness. If that entails cutting back on Beta goodies to work on your exercise and Alpha moves, you may as well do so, because all your Beta efforts count for nothing other wise.

Beta Tester:  So how do you change this? Don’t just say “run the MAP”. My wife works part time but parks her ass on the couch for 4 or more hours after work. She does not even put her clothes away after I wash and fold them. If I stop doing these chores, the house becomes a squalor pit and the kids and I have to live in it. Her solution is we need a larger house (big time shit test).

Athol:  I think the immediate move is to stop washing her clothes. Stop folding them. Stop putting them away. Don’t even touch them. Either she washes her clothes or she can look and smell bad. She’ll get mad as hell that you aren’t doing her laundry, but that’s simply a tactic to try and get you to change your attitude and get back to work catering to her. Ignore the entire issue. Ignore everything to do with her clothes. If she gets really pissed, start laughing and film her having a fit about you not washing her clothes.

Though I get the feeling that you’re doing a lot more than just the laundry. I also have a vague hunch that your wife is performing “Negative Work” in that she actually creates more mess by her presence in the house, than she provides in terms of chores and child care. Or at least she’s breaking even on positive vs negative effect on her presence in the house.

Several times I’ve ended up in situations at work where one employee is performing Negative Work. The days they don’t come in to work, or are on vacation, are more functional and productive with them not being around. The mood is better and more gets done without them, even if you’re short-staffed that day it can be better without them. Usually they are in a position of some kind of middling authority. Their mere presence drains the energy from the room as they demand, distract, delegate, depress and dominate an entire team. They also complain loudly that the team is failing, unmanageable, disloyal, requires constant supervision and that they are very unhappy in their job. Complaints about them, or direct criticisms of them, are typically met with harsh sanctions as a response.

Sound familiar?

The only solution that I’ve ever seen work with dealing with these people is that they get reamed out by someone in authority, nearly get fired and get a smack down a level on the totem pole. Otherwise, you simply have to get out from their sphere of influence. But there is no magical cure where they see the light and turn their shit around and become wonderful people. Sometimes though the rot goes up a couple of management levels, so it’s just easier to move sideways or out completely.


Assuming you’ve reasonably maxed out your attractiveness, well into a Phase Three and other women are showing you attention. You’ve stopped doing all the personal catering to her that you can without making the entire house a health and safety risk. Yet she’s still digging in like Jabba the Hutt on the couch and performing Negative Work. At some point you just have to either stop fighting her and be her minion forever, or say enough is enough and make a bid for freedom and stop carrying her through life.

There just are some basic functional practicalities about running a household. You need income and chores done. How that all gets assigned between the couple and the kids I really don’t care. But part of life is being a self-supporting functional adult and for lack of a better word… doing your job… and if you can’t do your job, you can’t have your job.

So yeah… run the MAP. Not what you wanted to hear I know and a whole lot easier for me to say, than for you to do. It’s worth it to be free of energy vampires though.

And yes… all this applies to husbands too. Even if you’re struggling to find work, there’s always something positive you can be doing. No free lunch. No rest for the wicked or something. About 40% of my email is from women about this exact same sort of issue. The advice I give them is no different than this post.



  1. Beta Tester,
    Dude, I’ve been there and it sucks. In my case it was a SAHM that made more mess than she did. Instead of a wife, she was much like a crapy messy baby sitter who thought facebook was the most important thing in her life — and why wouldn’t it? When you post some drivel on facebook, you get nothing but positive comments!

    I did not know about MMSL or the Red Pill before the marriage failed. I was too busy trying all that crap that the marriage books and marriage counselors tell you … be more sensitive, listen to her, show her your appreciate her. It never worked. She would still spend all day and evening on the couch with her laptop. I was too Blue Pill to take a firm stand or do anything about it. I could have pulled the cord to the internet, but that would be “too controlling” and not treating her as an equal.

    From this vantage point, I give advice that I got from my father. I did not follow it because it seemed “too extreme”, and now I wish I had. When you come home and the place is a wreck, leave. Go do something else. Take the kids to the park and out to dinner. Leave her at home. Don’t stay in the trashed home. Basically, you and kids go somewhere and be awesome.

    I’d love to hear what others have to say about such a non-politically correct, non-sensitive, non-relationship building action.

    It’s a good taste of her potential future so worth a shot. How did things play out your way?

  2. You just described the boss who refused to get me off the floor when I was hemorrhaging after having a baby! Working there while I was pregnant sucked. Coming back? Yeah, even though our income dropped by half, it was worth it to get away from that environment.

  3. BetaTester says:

    Thanks for the insight Athol. Even my mother in law makes comments on how messy and cluttered the house becomes and how much I have to do. I need to be less passive aggressive about this and just start making reasonable requests in a reasonable tone. I will have to think about this for awhile to get in the right frame of mind so I do not sound bitter. I have a good job and income, not quite maxed out on physical fitness (but who is), and have been doing OK with shit testing. This and sex are the big hurdles. I have to let this marinate in my attitude for awhile. I have a plan and will post back later.

    Start with cutting off her personal laundry though. If your MIL is making comments against her own daughter… there’s your sign.

  4. Yeah, basically you have to tell her to hold up her end of the bargain.

    Do you have kids? If not, that makes things much easier. No laundry, no dishes, no chores, nothing extra. Don’t put up with doing it yourself. If she makes any comment about you not “helping out”, then you calmly tell her that you work and it is her responsibility to take care of the domestic chores.

    Expect a scene. Ignore her.

    Good luck.

  5. “If you can’t do your job, you can’t have your job.”

    This. FTW.

    I’d love to proclaim this throughout the cosmos, not just the Manosphere. It’s the Rectification of Names principal of Asian law, and it’s a major ingredient of the Red Pill. When you got married, you weren’t just a permanent boyfriend/girlfriend, and let the chips fall where they may — you signed on for the job of “Husband” and she took the job of “Wife”. Each of those has basic job descriptions, along with specifics that change by situation. But the basics are pretty clear. ‘Husband’ means doing certain thing, as does ‘Wife’. Your performance is reviewed and rewarded by one person alone. Now, they might be a shitty reviewer, or you might be shitty at your job, but having a shitty reviewer doesn’t excuse a shitty performance. Nor does letting a shitty employee slide indefinitely when they are creating negative work. As their reviewer, you have to hold them account in terms of their job description.

    BT, your wife is a lousy ‘Wife’, according to your standards. She is failing or needs improvement in several key areas. Regardless of your own performance as Husband, as a reviewer you have a duty to the “corporation” (the marriage) to execute your review objectively, fairly, and constructively. That ain’t easy. But I think you will find the more you do it, the easier your job as Husband becomes.

    The hardest part will be the “constructive” part. Especially if she’s already oppositional. But this is also the area in which you can exercise a tremendous amount of control as Captain, and a creative approach can dramatically improve your situation. As Athol said, the first thing is to start holding her to account as an ‘Adult’. That means she needs to become responsible for her own crap . . . all the time. You quit doing things for her that she should be doing as an adult. She’s going to whine and bitch and moan about it but . . . YOU MUST NOT RELENT. Not on this. When she’s searching for clean panties in the morning, you let her search. “I can’t find any underwear!” should be answered with ‘Where did you put them away?”. “Why aren’t you doing laundry?” should be met with “I’m doing mine. And the kids — for now. As soon as they’re old enough, they’ll be taught how to do it like responsible adults. But I’ll run a load of sheets and towels for the common good, if you aren’t using the washer right now.”

    Expect a scene. Then a sulk. Then some vindictive pettiness and attempts to shame you. If she does so in private on the phone to her mother, let her. If she tries to do it in front of the kids, you grab her hand and drag her into the bedroom and then after sharply warning her about disrespecting you in front of the children, ask her to repeat what she was saying so that you can understand her feelings and position precisely. Then expect a blow-up. Ignore it. Keep the kids out of the way, but ignore her utterly until she’s willing to be reasonable. And walk away the moment she gets disrespectful.

    I’m planning on doing a Red Pill retrospective of Shakespeare’s classic Taming of the Shrew, but my basic summation is this: Petruchio Games the hell out of Katherina, and while the usual “reverse psychology” thing is often blames, what he does is actually more subtle. He dominates Katherina by utterly controlling the frame. He is In Charge. He exerts control over her even as he is verbally kissing her ass, using wild rationalizations about how much he loves her as a justification for his control. Eventually, she comes to respect his iron resolve and unwavering course. She recognizes him as the stronger of the two, and — once that has been established — she becomes the most loyal and dedicated of wives.

    Be stronger than her. More importantly, demonstrate you are stronger than her . . . and that your standards have just gone up. Don’t be a dick about it. Just be utterly resolute. Tame her. Hell, rent the movie and force her to watch it some night, just to see what she says. But you MUST take control, or she’s going to shrew you far more than she’ll screw you.

  6. I was in a similar situation, not nearly as bad, but when my marriage was on the rocks and I was doing all the housework, working and taking care of the kids while she just complained about our marriage I just stopped doing that stuff. I do my fair share now and she knows that she needs to pull her own weight, but when I stopped cleaning the house it get pretty bad and she ended up realizing that started cleaning. I think part of it was her being distracted by our marriage problems and when those cleared up the house got cleaned by both of us. One thing I did learn from my marriage counselor (he was really good) was that this is one of those things that won’t get done unless you ask and in firm way for it to get done. With the tone that if this stuff doesn’t get done there will be consequences. You really have to be the man about the house and setting the tone and taking the lead and that means asking (well, really telling her at this point) what to do.

  7. “I will have to think about this for awhile to get in the right frame of mind so I do not sound bitter.”

    It’s important to do more than think. You may have to get the horrible things said, although you don’t have to say them to her.

    Dr. Glover talks about this in his book No More Mr. Nice Guy. He describes a common pattern where men, when first liberated from their self-imposed servitude to women, will “spew.” They say everything they’ve been meaning to say for years. It’s not the way a fully-mature man handles problems (men deal with problems before they fester, and they control their emotions and maintain control of the conversation), but spewing is often a necessary phase to go through.

    Try saying it in a letter that you don’t send, or say it to yourself in the mirror, or something. But get it out. Then, you will be able to deal with your slob of a wife in a more authoritative and less emotional way.

    “I have a good job and income, not quite maxed out on physical fitness (but who is)”

    I am. I’m nearly 44 and in the best shape of my life. I used to be nearly 250 pounds.

    Don’t make excuses. Take action. That’s what men do — they act. Get fit and healthy. Eat right. These things will improve your testosterone production, which men need in order to have a healthy, authoritative mindset.

  8. Newly Aloof says:

    Beta Tester: How much did your wife weigh when you married her and how much does she weigh now? Just curious. And ballpark, how much did you make when you married her and how much do you make now? If you’re going better than when you got married, it’s only fair that she not be a couch cow. Also, sex when you got married vs. now. I’m betting that’s not even close right?

  9. Milf in Training says:

    @Ian Ironwood:
    Be stronger than her. More importantly, demonstrate you are stronger than her . . . and that your standards have just gone up. Don’t be a dick about it. Just be utterly resolute. Tame her.


    Like most human beings, I have my slacker moments. My ex went through the same very un-Captain routine every time: ignore, whine a little, sulk, do it himself, sulk some more, then pitch a complete fit. Not very productive. And, men who sulk have zero sex appeal.

    Men, you have to tame her from an Alpha position. Petruccio did not whine about Katherine’s behavior. He laughed. She called him insults — he didn’t wine about respect, he made jokes about them. If you don’t have the personal Alpha to do this, get it.

  10. BetaTester says:

    Yeah the sex is maybe 2 to 3 times a month. I am not afraid of pissing her off, that’s easy. However if I do, I at least want a clean home to live in. What is she going to do? Not have sex with me even more? Yes I make more than when we were first married and yes she is a bit heavier. I am now about the same weight as when first married since running the MAP and have lost quite a bit of weight (daily exercise). I am not going to put it in a letter since I am seeking to increase my confrontational skills. A fault of mine is to just do it myself rather than fight with someone. No more.

    My Plan: She is a nut with the calendar. Things have to be on the calendar to happen (except getting naked). I am going to make a few days “clean-up” days where other events can not be scheduled. ALL residents of the home will participate. If you do not participate, do not be pissed about what is disposed of. We will also have laundry nite. All the laundry will be done.

    Of course no TV, internet, or games before the work is done. Otherwise I will go out and cut the the GD cable.

    But it will all begin with reasonable requests in a reasonable tone.

  11. MILF – “And, men who sulk have zero sex appeal.” Ya think? As soon as I quit acting like a child, my wife started treating me like a man. Very good point there.

  12. Now I have to ask. This means a good housewife keeps the house spotless, or if she does the most important basic stuff cooking, laundry,childcare keeping the house reasonable clean even though some days is messy is this good enough or there is not middle ground?

    Usually if the house is spotless, she’s expending so much energy on the house, she’s paying minimal attention to her husband.

  13. All you can do is start requesting that she pull her own weight in the marriage, that’s all any of can do and when asking doesn’t work, then you start to put boundaries around it and the doesn’t work you start taking steps to inch away. Somewhere along the way she will get it. Marriage counseling can also work if you can find a good therapist. It’s a neutral way to bring these things up, but I have to say when you take the lead and set the tone of the relationship and not worry so much about her feelings then she might follow…

  14. Reading over the comments, I thought of this blog- Great advice from a female perspective if BT’s wife would read it. Having clean clothes and food to eat is the essence of housekeeping/homemaking so that about answers your questions Anacaona- more is good (clean floors, looks decent, etc. basically something that wouldn’t be horribly embarrassing if anyone showed up unexpected to the door). I think this is one of the big pitfalls for modern wives/mothers- we see picture perfect homes on TV/magazines but then realize we can’t attain that and lose motivation. Additionally, while some ppl take to cleaning as effortlessly as breathing, others are fairly clueless. Flylady ( great resource for housekeeping issues) calls the first type Born Organized- the rest need a plan of action. Businesses know this- every restaurant, store and any where else has detailed up keep guidelines. You do what’s on the list- no thinking about it. BT’s wife sounds like a planner so maybe this stuff would help.

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