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.