Getting Through to the Lazy Bear Husband

Short version… lazy bear husband, ten year marriage, crappy sex, four kids and husband rarely around….

OneFootOut:  Wanted to add, the reason the ultimatum has to be bigger and more impactful, is because I’ve called our pastor a few times over the years to initiate divorce plans, and I’ve told him I’m done,  told him I’m not attracted to him, etc. I’ve even left for a couple days, and kicked him out for a couple weeks, but nothing changes. It’s all beta-niceness for a couple weeks then back to normal old boring roommate mode. (I actually prefer the roommate thing to having him approach me for sex, though)

I also, after reading through many posts, am curious what it is about ME that’s most often attracted betas. The only 2 alphas I was with, were my absolute most amazing relationships, but the rest of them were just nice guys.

Athol:  Actually right now. Don’t do a damned thing to try and attract his attention to MMSL, it will only weaken it’s impact.

I would like you to read The Mindful Attraction Plan for yourself and report back where you think you are in the process, what you’ve tried and failed at before now.

It sounds like you’ve been unwittingly throwing Display of Low Value after Low Value at him.

OneFootOut:  Will do. I have started the book already.

I didn’t understand the last line of your post. Does that mean I’ve put him down? I’m very careful not to, but it happens. The only time I’ve ever said outright that I wasn’t attracted to him, was months after my first daughter was born (9 years ago) and I was having panic attacks during sex/from him approaching me. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong.

Athol:  No, I mean you’ve unwittingly put yourself down to him.

Every time you’ve gotten upset and begged him to change, you’ve told him you’re powerless in the relationship and that he is in charge.

Every time you’ve threatened divorce etc and then failed to follow through, you’ve told him you’re powerless in the relationship and that he is in charge.

Every time he’s ignored you and you’ve just soldiered on like it’s okay and done everything at home alone, you’ve told him you’re powerless in the relationship and that he is in charge.

Every time you let him drain your energy and get nothing in return, you’ve told him you’re powerless in the relationship and that he is in charge.

These are all Displays of Low Value.

Liberty:  This is so hard to grasp and REALLY understand but it is the truth.  If you fully embrace it, it will cause such a shift in your mindset, you’ll wonder what you’ve been thinking all these years.

I feel for you.  I came here with very similar experiences of complaining, trying to change, trying to get him to change etc, nothing works or sticks.  Gag!

I know you’ve been trying to fix it for years and feel like you are on your last possible tiny thread of tolerance.  But I believe this forum is where the magic is and you just got here.  It is working for me and things are changing.  Learn, read, change yourself and your perspective.  Good luck!

Serenity:  It is a tricky thing when the woman finds MMSL first and is the one who wants her husband to change.

Many of the wives here have stumbled around, making mistake after mistake with our husbands and being counter-productive.

Recommend that you save yourself a lot of time and heartache and take advantage of Athol’s private coaching option. Had it been available when I first started running my Map, I would have avoided a lot of pitfalls that slowed down our progress.

At some point, if you and Athol both feel that it’s time to bring your husband in, there’s no additional charge to include him as well.

Athol:  Actually Serenity got to be a guinea pig for some of this stuff, so coaching might not have helped much for her back then. But it’s proving to be rather effective for drawing the attention of the less interested partner now. There’s just something about your husband or wife getting “sort your life out” help that seems to really make the other person pay attention. Plus the no additional charge for a couple as opposed to one person doing it seems to be appealing too.

And yeah… ugh, I really have to get the coaching ads up on the blog and forum… and the MAP book linkage on the blog too.


  1. Kickboxer says

    I’m glad that this was posted to the blog. I was tempted to throw in my two cents but she is in a really bad place and does not necessarily need the advice of everyone orbiting around MMSL.

    I wonder if a key part of the solution to her problem is to employ “no X until Y”. In her case all he wants is sex and to have her entirely run the household without him. However withholding sex as the X would appear to be mean-spirited and breaking of the marriage contract. The more I think about it the more I believe that is the way to proceed. She doesn’t want to be physical so she shouldn’t.

    Most men on MMSL are motivated to change by wanting their wife to have more/better sex. So from a reverse perspective cut the sex frequency down and starfish during the act. Direct exactly how sexy time will play out to minimize your disgust. Things like “lights out”, “take a breath mint”, “no kissing”, or just start talking about the grocery list while he is pumping away will likely cause him to notice that there is a problem.

  2. says

    I’m not sure that cutting sex would work, because he does not seem to have much of a need. He just does not seem to be that much engaged. I’m expecting he needs to change his entire world view and even address some health things! Triggering that and maintaining momentum is quite tricky stuff. I found my ex started to change when I became independent (own job, own transport, own friends). I think I got things in the wrong order – I tried to change him, gave up on the marriage and then changed myself.

  3. Dale says

    Athol, this comment is partly for you.I’ve contacted you in the past, and you didn’t give much hope. I’ve since realized the Elephant in the “Room was my reaction to threats o f divorce she mad years ago. I checked out emotionally, and basicly was just a father to our daughters (and her). Working on turning that around now. (Oh, and she doesn’t even remember making the threats.) I think a lot of times the threats are made, but not in the contect no X unless Y, just no X, because they are made in the heat of emotion.

  4. sasha says

    What I learned on the forums about lazy bears… You can’t bluff your lazy bear off the couch and he won’t look away from the TV if its more interesting than you.

    So don’t make threats you don’t intend to keep and stop talking about what needs to change.

    Talking doesn’t get their attention. Actions do. Get up, get out and get going… with him or without him. Make yourself so attractive you can’t help but look at yourself in the mirror and admire who you see.

  5. Kickboxer_Gal says

    I’m with a lazy bear too but I’ve made drastic improvements to our relationship by literally distracting myself from him in the last month and I got it by reading this Rory Raye woman about backing off from a man and I followed advice on girl game. I was once that dedicated mother and wife where EVERYTHING and I mean everything was about my husband and children. I never once spent any money on myself, my time was always theres and my desires were there desires. I was a little obsessed in pleasing my husband despite being with him for 22 years. I had this thought in my head to be perfect but that perfection didn’t want to upset the status quo and I knew each time I asked for affection it would cause problems. As a result I found myself eating more food than I expended (sometimes when we don’t get the dopamine hit we desire so much from our alpha men, we seek that dopamine hit from food).

    I had tried everything too and couldn’t use the sex as a card because my drive was much much greater than his so I did everything including being the main bread winner, wife, mother and then initiated sex every single time. I was the man and woman in our relationship and he was my child but I wanted it to work so badly for our children.

    Here’s what I did,

    I went on a strict protein vegetable diet and only had carbs on the weekend. I did cardio and weight lifting at the gym (my body was probably a 3/10 and now a 9/10). I know we are all busy but I woke up at 5am and was back in time to get my children ready for school. If you want something so badly you can do ANYTHING.

    I started talking to other men. If he wasn’t committing to me by simply giving me the cuddles I begged and pleaded for, I checked out of our relationship emotionally and treated other men like I treated him (I have an innate need to nurture and love and so many men need it). I know that it borders on emotional affair with a few men, I justified it by making sure they were single so I wasn’t taking any energy away from another relationship and possibly damaging someone’s life). When you get that many chasing you as a result of hitting the gym and eating well, you wont find it hard to have men to treat nicely.

    I’m not sure what has happened, whether it’s because I am distracted, feel good or because I have the companionship of other men but the penny seemed to have dropped and I’m not mentioning anything anymore. No more words are shared, I may even come across indifferent. He sees that I’m no less interested and I’m not chasing him anymore. Words actually work against you.

    I came home to see him doing push ups which he hasn’t done in 15 years. He even promised to seek medical help for his low sex drive. I’m not sure if he’s going to go through with it but it’s a massive start for him and in the meantime I’m happy with the little bit of affection (hugs and kisses on the cheek) I get from the single men. I’ve been without sex for almost a year and I have given him a deadline of six months before

    1. I divorce him or
    2. I cheat.

    But it doesn’t frighten me anymore. Whatever happens now, I’ve got my ducks lined up in a row. I wish it would be him who comes around and is happy to spoon me or cuddle me (OK I would absolutely love to have sex again) but if it’s not, I’m ready to find out what another man french kisses like. Either way both are wonderful things to look forward to.

  6. MNL says

    This story makes my skin crawl on a number of levels.

    The full story (available in the forum) reads like a very familiar script: 1) woman has an early experience of alpha, 2) but later settles for beta-provider, 3) until her kids are weened at which point she finds herself unhaaapy. 4) So she looks for an escape from the marriage and her own bad choices (blaming the beta-provider for her lack of tingles). 5) letting the consequences on her four children be damned. I know it happens every damn day but it still completely sickens me. Her dysfunction is about to get replicated 4x for each of her four kids.

    But what adds to my discomfort is the way the story is expressed here in the blog headline: the framing of the husband as a “lazy bear” which implies *he’s* the one mainly responsible for this wife’s unhaaaaapiness. (Yea, Athol, I know it’s just a headline and much of your later advice is spot-on, but come on. It reifies her pathology)

    One of the key reasons behind the MAP’s success is that it puts responsibility for one’s feelings, the perceived locus of control in the relationship, back onto the person seeking to improve the marriage (and not onto the “lazy bear”). Thoughts of how to improve one’s self replace thoughts of all that’s wrong with the other person. One puts one’s self back in charge. The result is an odd sort of win-win: either the present marriage improves or one’s prospect for a better future with another improves. Funny how that happens, huh? Taking responsibility improves the perceived behavior of another?

    I don’t know what to say to this woman writing in. I suspect her heart (‘gina) is already made-up. She might be looking to able to say, “See, I even tried seeking help from an on-line marriage counselor and forum” before kicking her beta husband to the curb. And if so, I’m confident she’s destined to repeat her present relationship frustrations over and over and over again in the future–forever seeking that elusive “something” in another–when in fact, the “something” exists entirely inside herself and needs repair.

  7. Joe_Commenter says

    @MNL: I feel you on this bro. But if Kickboxer is being honest that she was the one initiating sex all the time, and if she really did actually let him know over and over what he needed to do to keep her happy, then she has done what she should do. Now it is entirely possible that Kickboxer is being deceptive, has not really wanted to give her man any clue about what is going on in her head and he really has is clueless. We will never know.

    I do know this tho. Even before I read MMSL, as a man I instinctively sensed that if my wife all of the sudden started working out, getting thin/in shape, started talking about and interacting with other men, that I had a big problem on my hands. I’ve been married for 25 years. If my wife started suddenly acting like this today, I would be on red alert and I would be digging in to find out what was going on. This is serious stuff. My hunch is that lazy bear kind of senses that something is off, but is too complacent to do anything with that feeling.

    It takes two to tango and I am sure there is blame enough to go around in that relationship. But kickboxer is doing the work to improve herself and go after what she wants in life. This is admirable. If she is a good woman she will lay her cards on the table before it’s too late. But it will be up to lazy bear to prove that he can keep his woman after she does this.

    This is really only fair. Think about this: How many times have we heard men complain that their wives have gotten fat and lazy, no longer want good sex and are just not hot anymore? I don’t see Kickboxer’s situation as being any different than that. She wants what she wants. lazy bear can step up or he can lose her. As a bro, I hope lazy bear gets his shit together in time. Bear actually has genetics on his side. Men are supposed to get better with age. As opposed to women hitting the wall and wasting their best years on the man, only to be dumped for the hotter, younger woman.

    I would just urge Kickboxer to think about the love that she is thinking of leaving. Think about the fact that not everything is unicorns and lollipops in the land of divorcees. Imagine what the kids will think of her when they learn that she dumped their father for the free life. The kids will never forget that. She will feel that guilt very hard. Sometimes it is better for everyone to just call it a day and divorce. But there should be some compassion involved out of plain ole human respect. Give the bear a chance to do what he needs to do.

  8. MNL says

    Joe_Commenter, thanks for a smart and thoughtful reply. You make good points, all of them.

    But Kickboxer’s story gives me a whiff of something that goes deeper than merely a husband that suddenly stopped wanting sex or changed his behavior in some way that’s driving her unhappiness. It’s possible. There are always potential medical/chemical issues too. But the situation sounds like she’s the one that’s changed and has brought upon herself much of her own frustration–and she’s now projecting some of this onto her husband.

    Here’s a more simple example:

    I know a wife who’s main complaint about her husband is that he spends too much time away from the family exercising–he’s at the gym every evening and running triathlons on the weekends, etc. That sounds like a fair complaint. Fitness is great; fitness obsession isn’t. But here’s odd thing is: this woman first met her husband at the gym! They started working out together. She was initially impressed with his physique and this very same competitiveness and determination. The same behavior that she now complains about was actually one of her initial attraction switches. Not surprisingly, she today forgets to tell her friends this early key to her attraction when she bitches about him.

    Like the story above, I’m betting that little of Lazy Bear’s behavior is truly sudden or surprising to Kickboxer. I suspect that, in an odd way, elements of his behavior are some of the things that first attracted Kickboxer. (And she originally downplayed or didn’t see their negative aspects). Perhaps she fell in love with Lazy Bear’s easy laid-back nature, that nothing fazed him. Perhaps it signaled he was a strong, stable provisioner. Perhaps it was a relief from the alpha-drama of Kickboxer’s previous loves. Perhaps he made good conversation; he made her laugh.

    But now–at precisely the moment her primitive hind-brain recognizes that her four children are weaned and no longer need male protection–all those originally attractive behaviors of Lazy Bear’s are now the most frustrating. Where’s the excitement, she asks? Where’s the drama? I want more ‘gina tingles.

    I lay much of Kickboxer’s frustration at her own feet.

    Yea, I’m reading a lot into just a few paragraphs of her story from the forum. But the longer I’m married (it’s close to your own achievement, congrats!), I see that couples tend to choose the very partners that have the potential to both uniquely satisfy their deepest needs AND also infuriate them like no other. It’s uncanny.

  9. Kickboxer_Gal says

    Firstly thanks Joe so much for commenting (I was previously known on this website as Simmy but decided to change it to Kickboxer Girl so you may know of my effort and desire to fix my marriage for way longer than most would before cheating or divorcing). It’s been over 5 and a half years since my last was born and when his desire for me stopped (it could have been a result of seeing my last born naturally – first was a c-section) so a sex therapist suggested.

    I have so many reasons to fight for this… I have two children who love their dad so much (he is a great father). In Australia, men get 50% of all assets so unlike the US it’s not in the womans best interest to divorce. I would also have to pay him child support since I”m the main bread winner. I would struggle separated financially but more emotionally without daily access to my children so I’ve done everything to save my marriage and I will continue to seek out help until I can’t take it anymore.

    I believe MNL was talking about OneFootOut and you’re talking about me. There may have been some confusion. I was not the initial poster. She has 4 kids, I have 2. She’s been with her husband for 9 years. I’ve been with mine for 22 years. She’s had several partners before him and I have none to compare him against (and it’s the reason why I’m also too frightened to cheat). He chases her for sex, I beg and plead him for sex (literally which has turned him more off me).

    When we were younger (I was 16 when we met), he wasn’t anything like he is today. I hear what you’re saying….what we are attracted to in the beginning is usually what turns partners off each other later but that isn’t the case with us. He was motivated when he was 22 years old, he was never the alpha male and I’m not seeking that now either. I would be the first to recognize and probably blame myself if that were the case but I would love for him to remain who he was like in your example of the gym junkie who wanted to continue that lifestyle but he has really changed and gotten much worse around 40.

    My husband used to be motivated to work (he isn’t now), he used to desire me once a week (he now is happy with once every six months), not much bothered him (now he’s very negative towards everyone because he’s sad about something in his life and he wont open up to me), he’s always been more beta but that’s OK because I value kindness over the Alpha Jerks who in my opinion are usually detached assholes who chase me and I’d hate to be their wives so I’m turned off that particular charmer).

    I’m craving intimacy from him that’s all, he doesn’t need to be the leader of the pack to get my gina happening. I find him so hot as he has aged (and no he his status has not increased because he hasn’t been employed for a very long time) and his body is still hairy all over including about 2 inches on his back and his tummy still hangs over his trousers but I love him and have for 22 years. It hurts a little when you guys think that us gym girls have checked out but we are trying so hard to make our husbands love us again and the gym thing wasn’t something I initially wanted, I was happy the fat bubbly girl who loved her husband and didn’t care for exercise, dressing great. I just wanted him to want me like all my friends husbands do. I believed in what many of your wives did of unconditional love but then I read men were visual and I made a change so he would love me. 20 kilos later and he doesn’t love me anymore. Despite the attention from other men, I would have his attention over ANYBODIES. My love for him is loyal. I used to think it was because I was too dominant so in the last three years, I’ve become a submissive woman. I used to think my lingerie wasn’t sexy enough so I bought everything that was available, I thought my sex moves weren’t sexy enough so I spent months on youtube trying to master stripteasing, did a pole dancing class. I’m not making excuses to leave or I would have left by now. I have no one to answer to except my children and believe me, they would never know it was lack-of-sex related if I did leave. How embarrassing sharing with anyone your husband doesn’t want you let alone your children. You know how you feel rejected by your wife, it’s ten times worse for us women with so much focus on our beauty.

    I have been truthful. What would benefit would I get coming onto a saving marriage website so that I could tell my friends, hey I tried to save my marriage by talking to strangers on line…they would piss themselves laughing plus I dont owe them or anyone reasons if I leave (except my children). I have sought professionals, marriage counsellors, doctors and a sex therapist and I’ve written letters to him talking about the consequences of no intimacy between us. His only response is he will change but nothing ever does. He believes I’m too loyal and he doesn’t believe I have much options because I’m not the type of woman to make him jealous. Oh boy do I have options but they are just sex options, I think it’s hard to find a man as loyal and loving towards my children as him.

    He needs a testosterone level drawn. Come visit the forum.

  10. Joe_Commenter says

    @Kick: Bear’s obesity is a problem. Fat encourages estrogen and retards Testosterone, the hormone that makes a man want sex and allows his penis to perform. Have you had him checked for T levels? Is he taking an antidepressant? Many of today’s modern miracle drugs are boner killers.

    It sounds like you are doing what you can do. Athol has written about women in your general situation and what it takes to make a man step up and claim what is his. At the end of the day, Bear has to want to do it. You will not be able to make him do it.

  11. Kickboxer Girl says

    Thanks for your responses. You’re right Athol & Joe, I believe he does have a T problem but he doesn’t.

    I have made appointments for him to get his T levels checked but he makes excuses why he doesn’t see a Dr, bought supplements for men with low testosterone, our pantry is full of unopened supplements for body builders (if any of you live in Australia and body build you’d love them, happy to give them away for free as they’ll likely to expire before he even touches them – they are still sealed)

    I’m exhausted but will keep searching. Fingers crossed I find a way to get him to want to help himself in the next 6 months.

    I’m a comin to the forum ……….

    @MNL – no biggy babe.

  12. holdingallthecards says

    “Think about the fact that not everything is unicorns and lollipops in the land of divorcees. Imagine what the kids will think of her when they learn that she dumped their father for the free life. The kids will never forget that. She will feel that guilt very hard.”

    Not necessarily true. My kids are 18 and they’re not dumb. Mom & Dad sleeping in separate bedrooms for years is not romantic, and not something that they aspire to in their own dreams of finding the perfect mate. I talk with my twins as if they were adults now (not about the sex but about marriage. Parental sex is gross to your children. They will listen to tales of romance and having a respectful friendship, though.)

    @Kickboxer: no sex for a year? Been there, done with that. Your husband sounds depressed or he’s cheating on you or he’s just not into you anymore. If you’re looking good and he’s doing pushups (but not initiating sex), he’s probably getting ready to be served divorce papers. I wouldn’t give an ultimatum. Just give yourself a deadline and stick to it.

  13. OP says

    I’m the OP..I haven’t been back to the forums in months and was just poking around the blog and saw this! I’m amazed at how people know me inside and out, based on a tiny fraction of my entire thread. I have spent THOUSANDS of dollars working on me, from hormonal issues to emotional to personal growth, and I’m generally happy with the changes I’ve made. I came from an extremely abusive/hostile home and I had a lot of issues to sort through. I am calm, I don’t ever swear or namecall, or mistreat my husband in any way. I AM responsible for myself and my actions, and I accept that. So, now that I’ve reached a place where I’m genuinely happy with the person I’ve become, I’m still to ‘blame’? That’s what started this whole process to begin with, was the 100% blame from him, that *I* alone was the problem. He constantly, for years, berated me and spoke down to me, throwing out cold comments of ‘Something is wrong with you”. I dug deep within myself to realize that there *were* things wrong, and I cleaned them up, with lots of support and hard work. Once I got to a place where he could see it wasn’t me, the comments stopped, but the general idea is still that it’s ‘me’ and that there is NOTHING wrong with him or his approach or his lifestyle.

    I left the forums, for a couple reasons…1. because I was working on my MAP, and continue to do so. Working out several times a week, avoid sugar and gluten, working on my business, saving up money, taking care of my kids, working with coaching programs to constantly improve. and 2. because people were so unbelievably harsh and mean, for no good reason. Just because I started out venting out of utter frustration, that shouldn’t negate the things I *have* done to improve our marriage, which I pointed out.

    I don’t want to leave. I want to stay together and make it work. I just refuse to do so with a mediocre lifestyle, especially when it comes to our sex life. So, if he doesn’t step up his game, then what else do you suggest I do? Grin and bear it? I highly doubt that was the point of MMSL.

    At any rate, I’ve given him the book, and the ultimatum is being put together now. I’m giving 3 months to see some action.


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