Negative Energy Means You Struggle to Visualize a Positive Outcome

I’m starting to see a pattern over and over again.

When you have a low energy couple, typically there’s some sort of mutual dysfunction happening. He’s got some major issue that’s unresolved and she’s got a major unresolved issue.  Those two dysfunctions are enmeshed in each other in a Vampire and Victim dance.

But even though there are negative things happening, the way the couple relates to each other is stable.

The relationship sucks, but it sucks in a very predictable, routine and reassuringly same way. When the couple fights or disagrees, it’s almost as if they are pulling scripts out and doing a play together. First he says this, then she says that, then he gets mad, then she cries, then he slams a door and marches out, then she calls her sister and her sister tells her to leave and she agrees she should leave, but then she cooks dinner and he comes back and he says the food was good and they look at each other and disappear into the bedroom while the kids roll their eyes and announce they can’t wait to turn 18 and get the hell out of here.

Same shit, different day.

Then one of them stumbles onto MMSL and the MAP and the light bulbs start going off inside their heads.

It can be different. It can change. It can be better.

But then the questions come….

But what if it really works?

What if I really change and get better. Will I still want to be with her? Or if she really gets better, will she still want to be with me?

What if we both run the MAP and become stronger better people… and the only thing holding us together was our problems? What happens if we break up because of the MAP working?

Here’s what I’ve been saying to that line of questioning.

When you have a crappy relationship, you always have a low energy / negative energy mood and mindset. One of the symptoms of that mindset, is that you cannot visualize how a positive relationship between the two of you can be. You can kinda visualize getting better as an individual and you can usually visualize your partner getting better…. but the combination of the two and how the pattern of interaction between you will be, always seems to slip out of reach when you think about it.

When you have a negative mindset, when you start to imagine the future turning out good…. you tend to bring it back into alignment with your current negative mindset and blow the future up. I.e., we both become better, stronger, happier people and then we divorce each other in a firestorm of emotional carnage.


….that hasn’t happened to anyone yet.

What I have seen happen is couples saying, “I couldn’t have imagined how good this is right now”. Or saying they could imagine about half of what was good about their relationship, but there are entire other unexpected areas that suddenly blossomed for them.

It’s a little like climbing a mountain with low lying clouds. You can’t see the summit because the clouds block your view. It’s only when you just keep climbing, just keep climbing and climbing, when suddenly you’re above the clouds and the sun is shining and you can see forever. It’s always a bright sunny day on planet earth, it’s just a question of having enough elevation.

You both run the MAP. You both make huge advances. You both get hotter.

It will be fine.

You have no idea how good it can get.

And if you want fast track to better… there’s always the 12-Week Guided MAP.




  1. Great mountain climbing analogy! When you get far enough along, it’s hard to imagine ever going back.

  2. Great timing. I needed this post today.

  3. Changed Man says:

    Athol, this describes both my failed marriages exactly.

    The proverbial ‘Can’t see the forest for the trees’. You know you’re miserable, you want things to change, but you can’t envision the end goal, let alone the path to get you there. So, you just keep grinding along, thinking “well, this is what I signed up for”, becoming more hopeless and withdrawn, having the same tired, unresolved disputes, becoming more the victim. Never understanding you are you’re own sole agent of change. Sucking on that negative energy ‘teat’ becomes… comfortable.

    It’s very sad that it takes something as catastrophic as an affair to blow it all up and bring you back to reality.

  4. Very good post. I like the mountain climbing bit.

    I think it also has to do with something I’ve commented on a few times before about guarantees. People really like them. So sometimes it’s almost like they are saying “Well, you have lots of good points but, unless you can guarantee me that it will turn out like X, I don’t know if I can be bothered to make the effort or make it worth it in my mind to attempt it…”

    You see this in all sorts of areas in peoples’ lives when they are stuck in only envisioning potential negative outcomes:

    “If I do this MAP can you guarantee me that everything will work out well?”
    “If I take this class or degree can you guarantee me I’ll get a promotion or better job?”
    “If I try this workout routine and diet can you guarantee that I’ll get good results?”

    So, they analyze potential actions or courses of action to death. Sometimes they actually do one but often they get overwhelmed and do nothing. “I’ll start tomorrow…” Other times they are stuck so far down in the dumps that they can’t seem to muster the will to try something unless they can be guaranteed a good outcome for their effort. But, we know life doesn’t work like that.

    The only thing I can guarantee someone is that if they don’t do something, anything; that things will stay the same or get worse more likely than not. That can be pretty assuredly guaranteed barring divine intervention.

    This guy’s video really drives it home concerning diet and exercise but it applies in many areas. At the one minute mark he lays down the serious motivational smack down.

  5. This is really true. Thanks for the excellent timing. I’ve just been going ’round and ’round in my head about this when it finally occurred to me that the getting fit, getting attractive, almost straying, AorBing on both sides, can and really should be viewed in a way that rests outside of the crap that’s been the last 10 years.

    It’s been as if I can see the light of a great relationship, of how great my wife is for the first time in a long time, but my negative mindset looks for every negative, no matter how small and turns it into an opportunity for expanded doom and gloom, since I now appreciate more what I would lose. I

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