@lil_spitfire: As I arrived at the playground with my daughter, the truck parked at the curb roared to life. Immediately I saw three kids running and jumping off of the play equipment, heading over to the truck. They climbed in, the dad behind the wheel helped them buckle up and drove away. There wasn’t a moment’s hesitation once they heard that truck start up.
All I can say is Wow.
Athol: When the girls were little we had a very simple rule for taking them out somewhere fun like the park.
“If you cannot leave happy, I’m not bringing you back here.”
The rationale is quite simple, if this places make you cry, I’m a monster for bringing you here and making you cry. I’m not going to be a monster.
Some other parental tips and tricks….
(1) Copious trips to the park and playgrounds, i.e. we really will be back. (It’s free entertainment, but you don’t know that lolz.)
(2) “There is no X until Y”, i.e. Please clean up the toys and then we can go to the park.
(3) Catching them when they are being good, i.e. Thank you for being good girls, yes we can have an ice cream from the truck.
(4) The Faux Sense of Control Choice, i.e. You can be mad and we stay home, OR you can be a good girl and we can go to the park. Either way I win, so I don’t care which you choose. The kid gets a sense of self-control mattering.
(5) Speak like a Klingon to toddlers. Alpha dominance, coupled with stripping away all the excess verbiage. Toddlers have limited language skills and you can overwhelm the message by too many words. Just limit the words to directives firmly spoken. Anglo-Saxon words are best.
Nap. Now. Quiet.
Dinner. Go. Table.
Shoes. Coat. Get Ready.
Carry to Car.
(6) Invent a older sibling that you killed shortly before they were born for their insubordination. i.e. “That’s how your brother died.”
It’s important to smile bigger and bigger and finally laugh with that last one and get them to know for sure it’s a joke. If they start to cry though, tell them their mother dropped them when they were a baby, so you’re actually the #1 parental option.
TL:DR Be the guy that owns the shovels and rents them out, instead of a guy that shovels.
@sf64 – I have been able in my life to accumulate a great deal of financial resources. That accumulation of resources was the result of serious risk taking in the form of entrepreneurship. And it was the result of conscious decision making and a willingness to accept the risk to actively manage it.
I have said it previously and I will say it again. Entrepreneurship is one of the keys to leading a truly Alpha life.
There is a virtuous / self-reinforcing cycle that is present in world right now. Financial freedom enables Alpha behavior which fuels greater risk taking which fuels greater rewards which enables Alpha behavior…..
I am not advocating blind risk taking. I am not advocating just quitting your job and starting your own business. That isn’t taking a risk. That is being foolish. But I do think that finding a way to stop “making another dollar for the man” and become the man that others are making money for… should be considered as part of everyone’s long-term MAP.
Athol – This is something I really agree with. Most of my personal MAP to date had been aimed at getting out of a nursing job into making MMSL a going concern and source of consistent income. I’m by no means rolling around in money laughing my ass off, but it’s coming closer to getting into true profitability. It’s been a lot of work getting to here and some rather extreme risks as well. I’ve got some good stories to tell for “life story TV interview” should the big time ever truly arrive.
Something Jennifer and I have talked about is just how badly we screwed ourselves over the long term by both working in the non-profit sector. Lots of wonderful social service done, fairly simple lives of giving… but after seven years of no pay raises while inflation has eaten our paychecks like a Pac-Man after a Power Pill… well… we’ve screwed ourselves a fair bit.
So we’ve taken some risks. If they all fall to shit, we’ll have nothing but each other… which is the exact same outcome we’d have if we play it safe. The way the economy looks to be shaping up for the next 20-30 years, playing it safe is simply going to get you an utterly horrible retirement for a very large number of people. The truth is being a wage slave is the most horribly risky thing in the world to do. Your strategy boils down to simply hoping that there’s going to be a welfare net for you in 20-30 years.
I’d say “LOL”, but it’s about the least funny thing I can imagine.
Explaining the way the money really works…
George Carlin…. “The Owners”
The ugly truth is that not everyone gets to be a guy that rents shovels, most people are going to be a shoveller. Personally I’d rather work like crazy to get to be a shovel renter.
That being said, if you want the metaphor extended properly, MMSL is the shovel I sell. It’s low-cost, durable and does it’s job as advertised.
So yeah, the game is indeed rigged, but it isn’t impossible. It’s like I’m giving you the advice the Red Queen gave Alice…
“Well, in our country,” said Alice, still panting a little, “you’d generally get to somewhere else — if you run very fast for a long time, as we’ve been doing.” “A slow sort of country!” said the Queen. “Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!” 
Her foolishness, so her job to bail herself out.
She threatens the takeaway.
Amused mastery and is otherwise non-reactive.
The Red Pill is great, but we do actually need a little bit of Blue Pill too. There’s a balance… let me pull up the Hitchhikers Guide for a second…
The Belcerebons of Kakrafoon Kappa had an unhappy time. Once a serene and quiet civilization, a Galactic Tribunal sentenced them to telepathy because the rest of the galaxy found peaceful contemplation contemptuous. Ford Prefect compared them to Humans because the only way Belcerebons could stop transmitting their every thought was to mask their brain activity (or its readability) by talking endlessly about utter trivia. The other approach to dampening telepathic communication was to host concerts of the plutonium rock band Disaster Area. Thankfully, during the concert, an improbability field flipped over the Rudlit Desert, transforming it into a paradise, and cured the Belcerebons of telepathy. A Disaster Area spokesman said that this was “a good gig”.
You catch that… sentenced them to telepathy.
If you actually knew what every person was thinking 24/7, you’d quickly go insane from hearing the random thoughts of everyone else.
Imagine having sex with your partner and seeing their thoughts flick off topic for a few seconds. Without telepathy you’d just see them shut their eyes for a couple of seconds and you’d assume they were into it. Instead you’d know they were thinking about the grocery shopping, the truck, fuck my thighs hurt, I wish he’d just cum, I miss my ex-gf, that’s a big zit on her forehead, I shoulda peed before I started, shit don’t cum yet, why the fuck won’t he tie me up, it’s the top of the seventh and coming up to bat with a .365 average is… ah dammit I came, is that it?
Hell I was standing in line at Dunkin Donuts today and the three teenagers in front of me in line seemed a little on the douchebag side and I had a whole fantasy about just beating their underweight asses into the ground. Look I’m not saying it’s right, I’m just saying I was thinking about smacking that one first because he’d just run, one shotting the other one and then staring down the other one and saying “When you’re unconscious I’m not going to stop hitting you.”
I just need my coffee and no one gets hurt. Just be cool. We’re all going to be like little Fonzies.
Anyway, obviously I didn’t do that, because it was just a random thought, but I would imagine if they actually heard all that, standing in line would have gone differently.
The trouble is, a lot of the Red Pill approach to life assumes a near telepathic assumption of negative intentions in others. Is it often right? Sure it is. But it’s almost impossible to live happily if you are endlessly paranoid and jaded about the intentions of everyone around you. If every woman is a hot mess of whorish desire and nothing else but a lying cunt of a hamster justifying her Alpha male sperm seeking… well it gets tiring being on edge after a while. Likewise every man is a third wheel seeking an opportunity and plots behind your back, pumping you for information about your woman, seeking to make a run into the endzone the moment you blink too slowly.
After living like that for long enough, well…
I see it a lot in Red Pill people. There’s often an expression of wishing they could just believe everything was fine, that love exists, that they could love and be loved… just for no reason.
I get it. I totally get it.
The standard line is that the Red Pill is the truth and the Blue Pill is the illusion. But it’s more like the Red Pill is muscle and the Blue Pill is fat.
To be sure, you want more muscle than fat on your body, but if you cut the body fat down low enough… eventually you keel over and die. You simply can’t be 0% body fat. Nor can you be 0% Blue Pill without being a rather paranoid and dysfunctional person. It’s simply not possible to sustain an endless state of assumed telepathy assuming your partner or opposite sex is out to get you.
If you see all women as gold-digging-cuckolding-false-rape-raptors, you can’t have a successful relationship with one. It’s no different than a dyed in the wool all-men-are-rapists-and-beat-women-as-a-default-setting feminist can’t have a relationship with a man. You eventually assume the worst and tear the relationship apart from the inside.
By all means pay excellent attention to building your muscle and getting your life in great shape, but at some point, you just have to say fuck it… and trust that your partner isn’t out to sneak some on the side as soon as you stumble for a moment. Obviously choosing a partner well is part of that decision matrix and having them on board with positive relationship standards matters too. But at some point you have to trust.
Jennifer and I do love each other very much… but it’s not a 100% perfect 24/7 experience. If we started fixating on the minor points of bad mood or inattention and assuming evil intent, we’d slowly tear each other apart. I’ve seen that effect play out with people snooping on their spouses over and over. I do advise at times getting your hands dirty and digging into their email and phone records to find out the truth, but I always say you should get in, get what you need and get out. Every time I see a spouse turn into a mini police state monitoring email… they slowly go insane reading and waiting for the slip up.
Do your due diligence, but at some point you have to trust.
When I started MMSL, I figured that I was going to be besieged by angry feminists demanding my head. Instead I got a smidgen of disgruntled SAMH’s ranting on mommy blogs once in a while. Really, that’s been about it. Even when a lone feminist gets into it in the comments, I’ve typically sat back and watched the female readership of MMSL tear into her saying “we like it, go away”.
Instead 95+% of the nasty stuff in the comments et al have been from men. Usually it’s just grindingly negative whining about how something sucks and/or how I suck in particular. A lot about how I’m not hating women to their desired specifications. Everything is feminism’s fault yada yada yada.
If you go back to when I started posting on Talk About Marriage to now, it’s been four years of writing about ways to fix marriages, restart sex lives and generally keeping men out of divorce court. Families together yada yada yada. That’s four years of writing, answering email, putting my name and private life out there and gambling a career on all this. I’m at somewhere around 900-1000 emails, blog comments and forum messages that MMSL has made a serious difference to men in particular.
….and I’m the jerk that doesn’t care about men?
Look I know I’m just meant to not care about whiny assholes complaining on the blog… but the fact is if I wasn’t somewhat emotionally sensitive and driven, MMSL would have folded up shop long ago. It doesn’t hurt my feelings, there’s no box of tissues in use, but it really does just drain the life out of me and kills all motivation to sit down for another day and help another random male stranger in desperate circumstances via email or the forum. It throws off my groove.
So anyway… I’ve come toward the limits of my tolerance and endurance with this shit. Either stick around and help me help married guys in trouble, or fuck off making so much noise and scaring away the Nice Guys who need the help.
Thus a new commenting policy is born….
If you want to leave some shitty “it all sucks and there’s no solution” or snarky “fuck you” directly at me… that just might throw off my groove…
Marriage is always going to have to be a win-win exchange for both sides of the couple. If you want some sort of lubeless-surprise-anal approach to women, it’s just not going to be here.
TL:DR My groove gets thrown off and it’s hard to write creatively and give my best effort at helping people.
There are no guarantees with life.
Sometimes you’ll win, sometimes you’ll lose.
But if you don’t play the game, you will always be choosing to not win.
If you live a life of not winning long enough, you’ll be a loser.
So get in there and play.
The only thing you have to lose… is losing.
Some ruffling of feathers today on the co-ed forum….
Athol: Everyone comes to MMSL in pain and wanting a solution to their problem.
It’s very easy to see the “opposite sex” as a whole as the problem, as opposed to your specific opposite sex spouse as being the issue. Then you get pissed off at the opposite sex on the forum, who have their own pain and suddenly it turns into a Mexican Standoff of Fuck You, No Fuck You.
The answer is very simple. Yes you’re going to struggle with anger and resentment.
As you run the MAP, it’s okay to use that anger and resentment as motivating factors driving you toward success in winning your war. But at some point, as you get yourself to the point where you have a more balanced relationship, you have to let that go if you want to win the peace.
The emotions are negative, but the goal of a great relationship is sufficiently positive that the good outweighs the bad. But once near the goal, all you have is the negative emotion and it turns into a net negative.
It’s easy to say “just forgive”, but the honest truth is forgiveness is some sort of impossible mental trick people tell you to do.
My advice is simply to seek to understand. Understand why you spouse did what they did. Understand what you did to create the situation yourself. Understand that mixed in with your anger and hatred of your partner, is anger and self-hatred of you. As you understand better, you can often find yourself less angry, less offended and less enmeshed in the past.
Also as you come closer to healing, all that locked away pain tends to erupt in nasty gobby chunks that take you by surprise. Your partner does one little thing and you explode on them… your partner can even be doing exactly what you asked of them… and you have a volcanic reaction to it.
SEE, YOU CAN DO IT! WHY DID I HAVE TO THREATEN DIVORCE, WHEN YOU COULD HAVE DONE IT THE WHOLE TIME?!?!
Expect it, plan for it, talk about it with your partner and when it comes, just express your feelings that you are experiencing with your partner, but do not direct them at your partner.
If we all get into a game of He Said, She Said, 98% of the time the person you’re really mad about isn’t even on the forum.
When you negotiate to get something you want from someone, if they agree to grant your wish… STOP TALKING.
Seriously. Just zip your lip. You got them to agree to what you wanted, so stop trying to convince them further that you should get what you want. You already have the yes you want, so all that can happen if you keep talking to them, is you give them a reason to change their mind to a no.
You’ve already closed the deal. Stop yapping. Just let it sit.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a kid asking to go to a party, an employee asking for a promotion, a wife asking her to husband go to the doctor, a husband asking for sex. You’re asking for something, they said yes. Don’t hear the yes and then explain that saying yes is a great deal because…
…Mike’s brother was the one that bought all the beer to the party last year and he’s not coming because he’s in jail now. So it’s cool right?
…that’s you’re the only one in the whole agency that can operate the old TPS Machine and the new ones aren’t being delivered for nine months. So you’re valuable right?
…that you’ve been talking to all your girlfriends about Mr. Droopy and they all agree that you really have to see a doctor. So you’re going right?
…that you’re tired of jerking off. In fact you did that just last night to some Japanese Tentacle Porn. But it was only $4.99 for the show, so that’s no problem right?
No you can’t go to the party. What the hell happened last year? What did Mike’s brother do to go to jail? Who is Mike anyway?!
No at this point you’re just too valuable working the old TPS machine. There’s just no way we could move you until the new ones arrive.
What do you mean to talked to everyone about that?! WHY WOULD YOU SAY THAT TO EVERYONE? I DON’T HAVE A PROBLEM, IT’S ONLY BEEN HAPPENING FOR A YEAR.
What’s Japanese Tentacle Porn? Hang on let me Google… huh… ahh. WTF IS THIS SHIT?!?!? OMG!!! YOU PAID MONEY FOR TH…. Bbbbbbrrrrooooghghghhhhh… You sick, sick bastard. Get away from me. NO. NO. NO.
If you get your yes, just stop talking.
Jennifer: Athol gave me the “what has been seen can’t be unseen” warning for Japanese Tentacle Porn. I’m not looking. I’m not looking. I’m not looking… sigh dammit…
Athol: @Hygenius and @x1134x are married forum members who discovered MMSL in June 2012 and joined the forum when it opening in July 2012.
Some selected quotes from July 2012…
@x1134x - HOW THE HELL DO I MOVE SEX TO THE FRONT OF HER ‘want to get done today’ list? Why is IT the expendable item? It was on her list this morning. The answer to “how could you have energy to work out but not the energy to fool around?” was “I need to workout for my back, its really tight”. Am I being a jerk? Or is the the fitness test I’m just unable to overcome? Feel like we took four steps forward, but now I’m right back at where I started. I DO NOT FEEL WANTED BY HER. Because the first thing on my list is the last thing on hers.
@Hygenius – Am I up in the night to expect that these changes should take longer and that patience should be a factor? 10 years of difficult sex, no exercise and relationship issues can not be solved in a month and surely not after such life changing events, right? Or am I just a cock tease that is fitness testing my husband daily with no intention of having sex with him because I just am not interested anymore….hmmm?
I am HURT and EMBARRASSED but most of all, I’m tired. Perhaps a trial separation would be best. Suggestions anyone.
Athol: @Hygenius actually never returned to the forum after her first set of posts, but @x1134x has stayed active and I assume he posts and they talk. Anyway, the plan we put in place appears to have worked, because today…
@x1134x – Born Tuesday: Baby x1134x / @Hygenius 7 lbs 11 oz born via Cesarean Section. (name too unique to divulge – our last name is very common. A common first name would make him “John Smith” I’ll PM it to anyone interested.)
Baby is 100% healthy, mom is recovering well. Dad is shot. Delirium tired. You might not see me around here for a while. . .
Seriously. Thank you. I haven’t cried happy tears in decades. Thank you. You didn’t just help me fix my sex life. You helped me fix my life.
Athol: So… Happy Mother’s Day.