Why When They Finally Act Right… It Pisses You Off

Forum question…

Reader:  For those who have issued a for-real A or B ultimatum: have you experienced lingering resentment?  Either from your spouse (“remember that time you told me you’d divorce me if I didn’t give you BJs?”) or within yourself (“I can’t believe he was only willing to work on our marriage when I threatened to leave him!”).

I’m just wondering how this goes.

Athol:  It’s fairly normal to have a wave of anger hit you when they “finally” start acting right.

The longer it’s had to build up, the bigger the wave of anger is. It’s pretty much along the lines of “Why did I have to threaten you with divorce before you started start acting right? Now that you’re acting right, I can see that you had it in you the WHOLE TIME to act right and that pisses me the hell off!”

I see it a lot in the wives who finally see their husband acting Alpha and attractive… and then she suddenly flips out and nukes. Often it’s just as he’s getting his crap together and really feeling a sense of inner Alpha too. It can cause a terrible mixed message as it turns into a punishment for good behavior and it can undo a lot of positive progress made as the natural inclination is to throw his hands up and say, “What the fuck do you want lady?!?!” and quit trying.

As long as they are acting right, you kinda have to let the anger go. It’s not unhelpful to actually say that you’re experiencing a wave of anger about the situation, but refuse to go on the offensive about it.

i.e. “I know you’re doing exactly what I’ve asked of you, but at this moment I’m actually experiencing anger that it’s taken so long to have that happen. I’m not mad about what you’re doing *now*, I’m angry about what you did *then*.”

Also the further down the MAP Phases you’ve had to go, the more anger and frustration you’ve experienced, so the bigger the blow back anger is going to be when they finally start behaving properly.

They of course will always resent you putting them in a position where they have to change or lose you. People always resist difficult changes and personal growth. But the truth is, most of them aren’t happy about their situation either, so if you can get them to a position where the marriage is much better, they’ll be happier too… and embarrassed by what you had to put them through for them to finally start acting right.


  1. so if you can get them to a position where the marriage is much better, they’ll be happier too… and embarrassed by what you had to put them through for them to finally start acting right.

    Too true.

  2. Chief_TC says:

    I was pondering this recently also. I think this is way women get angry/jealous of their ex-husbands too. After a divorce, the man goes through a major life change and becomes the man his wife wanted him to be all along, but now he doesn’t want her anymore because she is the bitch that wasn’t happy with his former lazy good for nothing self…

  3. Remember the 16 Commandments, particularly State Control. You must maintain control over your emotional state and utterly be a rock, Gentlemen. That anger and frustration is part of the transformative process, and it is a challenge to that state control. Sure, it feels good to vent it . . . but it’s also a DLV that can set you back months.

    Think of that anger and frustration as a necessary sign of progress, like the aches and pains you get from working out. It’s a negative reward, that is, an unpleasant bi-product of a productive process. You can learn to endure and channel that anger — I recommend doubling down on working out or investing in some creative work, landscaping, lifting heavy objects, spitting, whatever you need to do . . . but DO NOT express that anger to your wife. She can’t do anything about it. She’s the subject of your process, and in this case it’s important that you understand her reactions and backslidings and grumblings are all designed to see just how serious you are about this shit.

    So be serious about this shit. When you feel that anger, let it go. You can still be angry later, if you like, but it isn’t a particularly productive emotion unchanneled. It’s just a necessary by=product that is a strong indicator that the Red Pill is taking effect.

    It’s like when I was dieting and working out for the first time, and all the ladies in my office asked me “So how do you do all of this without being hungry all the time?”

    I shrugged. “I don’t. If I’m hungry, it means I’m winning. I’ll stop being hungry later. I’ve been hungry in the past, and it always goes away, eventually. I’ll be hungry in the future, and it will go away too. But I’ll still be left with this body if I capitulate to it, so I think of hunger as my flab’s way of screaming as it dies.”

    Those feelings of anger and resentment are the screams of your Blue Pill selves dying. Marshal your resources, put your anger in your pocket, put your big girl panties on and keep doing it. You’re winning. It’s working. Don’t fuck it up.

  4. pdwalker says:

    so I think of hunger as my flab’s way of screaming as it dies

    Nicely put

  5. Athol,
    You’re pretty amazing….you can turn a simple post into a blog in a NY minute.

  6. Red Pill Saluki says:

    This post describes my life at present pretty well. She gave me a (laundry list) ultimatum a year ago. I tried my best to comply, but (I now realize) it was totally Nice Guy beta schlubbism and wimpyness with heavy doses of resentment and passive aggressiveness. This resulted in a demand for divorce at the end of the year.

    I backed her away from that cliff. Now, having taken the red pill, I’ve upped the alpha and good beta, both of which she appreciates (she now says she “loves our life”), but she’s otherwise been fairly slow to respond in positive ways (such as sex). And so I stick with the MAP, confident that things will get better with time, one way or another.

  7. Blackfoot says:

    A golfer has been playing for 15 years with the same driver. He never took any lessons, so his swing is wild and he never hits the ball consistently off the tee. One day he starts taking lessons and after a few months, he’s hitting them down the middle of the fairway 50% of the time. Then one day he hits one so pure and straight that the guys in his foursome are in awe. In response, he chucks his driver into the bushes and yells, “Piece of sh*t club! Why didn’t you hit them like that for the last 15 years?!”

    See how ridiculous that sounds?

    Who are you really mad at? If you have anger because your marriage sucked in the past, it’s your own fault for allowing it to be that way. Deep down, you’re mad at yourself. Or, you are not allowing yourself to feel happy because your identity is wrapped up in being unhappy.

    I agree with Ian. Let it go. Confessing your anger like that will not do anything healthy for your marriage. Sure, it may feel good in the moment to vent your anger but pouring negative energy into your relationship will never yield positive results.

    You can’t fix the marriage of your past. You can only work on and enjoy the marriage you have right NOW.

  8. I know we hashed through this on the forum a while back, from the wife-who-found-MMSL-first perspective…and it was amazing how similar all of our reactions were. Crazily consistent.

    So there’s anger because they are finally acting right…which I’m not experiencing yet. But there’s an intermediate anger that the wife feels when her guy is pissed off and embarrassed as he realizes how much of a lazy bear he is and how bad off the marriage really is. He adopts some Alpha to keep her happy but it’s token and still supplicating, and he only does enough to make her happy or get her off his back. He’s not really owning his shit and being the Captain. This anger comes largely (at least for me) from the fact that I’m looking around at what I’m willing to do, how I’m handing him the reins, how I’m busting my tail to be the hot wife his friends are jealous of, how I’m dtf 3x a day and learned to swallow just to make him happy…and he can’t bring himself to do the alpha things that don’t come naturally because “it’s so haaaard…I’m not wired that way…I hate conflict…” This anger in a wife is different than the anger in the OP, and SHOULD be expressed, I think. She should work hard to acknowledge that she loves the X Y Z that he is doing but he CAN’T DO IT TO JUST MAKE HER HAPPY. He has to be motivated by his desire to do the right things and run his ship the way he wants it to be run.

    So I just wanted to clarify for the wives in the trenches that your lazy bear fella may creep his way to an Alpha revelation, and a huge part of his seeing the need to change is you not settling for him letting you plan and prod him through his MAP. Sometimes, as in my case, getting mad and being completely honest about my lack of attraction, washing my hands of passing on MMSL advice, and going on anti depressants in order to be able to make my HD self want have sex, is what it is taking. I owned my shit and I’m running my MAP. But I can’t follow when he won’t lead, and damned if I’m sugar-coating it anymore. Trying to ease the lazy bear into red-pill thought is like pushing string.

    So now that we’ve BOTH been miserable for a while, and it has been impossible for him to avoid the issues that were holding him back from manning up and leading, things are looking better. I play-fought him off me during sex the other night, pushing him off me and laughing and making him have to catch me…and for the first time ever, I made him honestly, no faking, mad enough to hold my arms down and pound me. And it was good clean sexual frustration anger, not the spiteful, passive aggressive, pay-back or give up kind that was his beta squishy pattern before.

    Maybe this intermediate spouse anger I’m describing is more of an aggressive, steely resolve tied to one of the Phases? I’m not sure. Straighten me out, Athol. :) AB

  9. alphaguy says:

    IMHO, when the guy gets his act together there is a lot of disbelief that this is going to last. The wife starts throwing more shit tests at him and they can get more intense for a while as they bounce through the turbulence of the new reality, if all goes well and he sticks to his guns, things will eventually calm down and get back to where they should be. But, sometimes it just gets worse and worse because the wife doesn’t like the new reality and can’t live with it and that usually ends in divorce or the guy just goes back to taking the blue pill and forgetting about it all.

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