You gotta love science…

In a study that analyzed the roles of 4,500 heterosexual married couples in the United States, researchers found that when women handled the cooking, cleaning and shopping, and men did yard work and car maintenance, they had more active sex lives.

“The results show that gender still organizes quite a bit of everyday life in marriage,” Julie Brines, a University of Washington (UW) associate professor of sociology and a co-author of the study, said in a statement.   “In particular, it seems that the gender identities husbands and wives express through the chores they do also help structure sexual behavior.”

The findings, which are published in the American Sociological Review journal, showed that couples with traditional roles at home had sex 1.6 times more per month than those in which the husband did all the traditionally female work.

Now I happen to not mind helping out around the home and I’m fairly skilled at it, so never really think too much about it. But I did sit back for a minute and actually think things through today and….

…well I do help out…

…but I really am a bit of a sexist pig in the way I do house work.

Let me give examples.

I do all my own personal laundry. Jennifer does all her own personal laundry. We’ll happily switch things from the washer to the dryer if it’s the other person’s stuff, but we don’t really start it. I tend to wash the bedding and towels more than she does. Admittedly that’s my man juice everywhere, so I guess we better count everything my cum hits as my personal laundry.  Also don’t sit in my chair. Just sayin’.


I don’t touch the girls laundry. Don’t know why.  That’s up to Jennifer and the girls to figure out. Just not my problem.

The lawn. Okay I’m not crazy lawn proud, but I’m the one that mows the lawn. I’m totally sure Jennifer could push the mower around the lawn and do a fine job. I just don’t care for that kind of insubordination. That’s my job.

Likewise when it’s time to shovel snow, I totally don’t mind Jennifer helping out, but it’s still my show. I’m going to do the heavy stuff the plow-trucks have compacted at the end of the driveway. She can do the steps and around the recycling bins and stuff. Because you know how women worry a cardboard box may be wasted and the planet might instantly turn into a WALL-E level environmental nightmare.

I vacuum far more than she does because frankly it’s just easier for me, using Upper Body Strength (TM) to move chairs and tables out of the way. Plus I vacuum one-handed. That’s all a woman really needs to know about me really. That’s right ladies,  I vacuum one-handed… a strong, steady back and forth motion.

Jennifer does this thing with clipping coupons and being part of some women’s circle swapping coupons. I know it saves us a curiously large amount of money, but honestly I can’t quite follow exactly how it all works, and I worry it’s really some sort of ponzi scheme. When the shit hits the fan I’m just going to plead the fifth and hope Jennifer gets out of jail before we run out of the 640 rolls of toilet paper the grocery store paid her $6.40 to buy from them last November.  (Jennifer: Yeah, yeah, just for the record I’m not that bad.  Nobody’s going to invite me to be on Super Coupon Ladies Don’t Have Room in the House for Their Husbands Because of All of That Toilet Paper or whatever that show is…)

In the kitchen things are a little more free flow. I like cooking, but somehow it’s Jennifer’s job to decide what’s for dinner as the default. It tends to be me muscling in and taking over for a night of cooking more than her asking for help. Likewise on the nights she works late, I handle dinner no issue. I’m the one that authorizes takeout rather than cooking something, though we do that less and less over time.

Jennifer is the one that plans grocery shopping, though I do like going along and I tend to be the one hunting for the choice meat on sale or whatever when I go. Which she doesn’t mind because it sorts out a few meal choices for her. Women really do hate deciding whats for dinner.

So all in all… I really don’t think Jennifer is worn out from catering to me or anything like that. It’s fairly even, just not equal. I really am doing something around the house frequently…

…I’m just doing it in a sexist manner.

Okay pro tip time.

You can do anything in house domestic chore-wise and pull off a male vibe by (1) using up cleaning wipes like you own stock in the company, (2) the obvious placement of an adult beverage on the kitchen counter, (3) moving chairs from one room to another to vaccum/mop (just trust me on this one) and most importantly….

….(4) Truly obnoxious decibel levels of metal / hard rock / fuck you music driving her out of your face.

That’s right. I’m scrubbing out the kitchen sink with baking soda. CLICK CLICK BOOM!


And don’t let her boss you around doing something you already know perfectly well how to do.


Wife Leaves For Other Man, Husband Doesn’t Cry Long…

I’ve had a *very* busy December. I mean crazy busy because so many of the relationships I was tracking suddenly seemed to intensify in the second half of December. I think the combination of Christmas parties and New Year’s Eve parties is almost like a “resolve the relationship” trigger. If there’s another man in the picture, she’s going to try to get to him on those special events. There’s alcohol and opportunity… and all those Emotional Affairs turn into Physical ones.

I’ve had some super salvaging of relationships in December. The husbands that have won have won big, but not everyone has won.

In January, it seems the December failures have all the shit hit the fan. In those cases wives are all leaving my guys that have been running the MAP faithfully.


…the husbands are all starting to crack up laughing.

Let me explain that.

I’m 5 for 5 with the following pattern of guys who have been running the MAP and have had wives leave them in January.

At some point in 2012 the husband figured out all was not well in the marriage and sought out MMSL. They all started running the MAP and self-improving. They all had varying degrees of positive response from the wives. They started digging into the problems and sorting them out. But for one reason or another, the wife wasn’t interested in staying, and when the ultimatums came down… actually more often than not the ultimatum was triggered by the wife rather than the husband… she left the marriage.

So let’s be clear here – ALL of the husbands were very much trying to save the marriage. I’m talking 5 for 5 husbands have endlessly emailed me or been on the forum, actively trying to save the marriage and fix things with their wife.  But despite best efforts, each one have been dumped and left.


I am 5 for 5 for having those husbands get hit on by other women as soon as the wife is out of the picture. As in attractive other women. As in younger attractive women. As in… “Athol, I don’t understand why I was trying to save things with X anymore. I know I’m going to miss her, but being completely honest, I don’t think I want her back anymore.”

I’ve had so many emails and messages in the last month to the effect of, “My SBTX wife is 44, my new gf is 32.”  The overall feeling husbands have about their wives is one of amused sorrow. They are more sorry for her that she’s fucked her own life and happiness up than anything else.

Or as a message today read…

“And good luck to her. OM is a total flake. Still living with his wife as they go through divorce. And his job is still on the line. Work wise I’m 2-3 levels above him. Even if they got together I give it 6 months max. Which means she is a forty something divorcee with four kids in the marketplace. And I’m me!”

So all in all, I’m kind of expecting about 4 of 5 of those same wives attempt to make their way “back home” at some point in 2013. Which has got to be a humiliating moment for them to admit they made a mistake. It’s also got to be a stomach churning moment to realize as a 44 year-old woman that to move back home, you’ve somehow got to outclass a 32 year-old that’s sleeping with your husband. Good luck with that.

So like I’ve said from the very beginning, there’s no magic bullet that makes the wife be into you, but if you run the MAP, there’s going to be a woman out there that will be into you. Plus I think the MAP approach of holding the moral high ground really matters in how attractive you are should she decide to bail on the marriage.

Being an attractive man, who did the right thing, and doesn’t turn fetal going…. “Whhhhhhhhhhhyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?!?!?” with snot pouring from your nose = a hot item.

Don’t misunderstand me here. To a man, the desire has been to fix things with the wife, but she didn’t buy in…

A good wife should have nothing to fear from her husband reading MMSL. But if she wants to go spread her legs for a douchebag… well… this is how it all ends for her.

Anyway… still working on the new book… but quite obviously the original one isn’t all that bad lol. Buy it on Amazon.


Coffee and Croissant with Miss Communication

One of my favorite Star Trek scenes.

Picard and Beverley Crusher get captured and have devices attached to their brain stems by their captors. They eventually escape but there’s an interesting side effect in that the devices create a telepathic link between them. Most of the episode is devoted to the interplay between the two of them who already have a deep relationship  together, but are still miscommunicating because they like each other. They still have some strong defensive walls up to save face with others, despite being invested enough to meet for breakfast every morning. The private breakfast being an important part of their routine together and Beverley puts some effort into being creative with the food to please her Captain.

Riker is of course the actual First Officer of the Enterprise, but there’s no question that Beverley Crusher is the wife-like emotionally intimate “First Officer” to Picard.

(EDIT:  I’m fighting the YouTube.  Link to the video is here.)

There’s always the danger of miscommunication in marriage, leading to both of you being unhappy trying to please the other.

Just say what the hell you want. Stop being so damn polite.


What’s your coffee and croissant moment?


Relative vs Absolute Sex Rank and the Forty-Year-Old Wife

Comment on Dread Game and the Gym.

DrocK: Fun thing to try! Since it can be a challenge to set-up a good Dread Game scenario, especially early on, I’ve found that there are mildly effective ways to get your own ‘in-house’ game going and throw her Hamster through a loop just by pushing the right buttons. While not as effective as getting real IOI’s, it’s a good way to mess with her a little bit, generate a little sexual tension and can have a profound effect if you’re creative about it. Case-in-point – I casually threw out the Old Guy vs. Young Guy game idea at my wife over the weekend by simply shaping it as a question. She’s loosely aware that I’m MAPping, but is not aware of MMSL. We’ve been sexless for about ~55 weeks or so (not that anyone’s counting!), but things are improving quickly and dramatically.

So I asked her who she thinks would have a better chance at winning her over – the Young Me that got her when we met (at 23) or the now me about 10 years later. I don’t doubt that I’m much wiser and more attractive now, so I was comfortable asking her. Might not work too well if you’re brand new to MAPing, so the timing could make a difference. So she said the now, older me. Hands down. I let her think about it for a few seconds and then clarified, ‘WE ARE talking about winning over the 20 y/o you from 10 years ago… still think the now me would have a better shot?” Again, yes, without hesitation she affirmed that the now me is far more attractive and would get the ‘younger her’ attention much more readily vs. the younger me.

After that I didn’t have to say anything at all. Just watching the wheels turn and the expression on her face change slowly from ‘happily content with my more attractive husband’ to ‘holy shit, I could lose him to a friggin’ 20 year-old if I don’t step it up’ was classic.

Athol:  If there’s a single moment women have where they get the Red Pill for themselves, it’s the moment when they realize relative Sex Rank doesn’t count, only absolute Sex Rank does.

Women all start off their sex lives pretty close to the peak of their attractiveness and are very attuned to their peer group. So they think of themselves as being hot relative to their peer group cohort…. and then keep thinking of themselves as being hot relative to their peer group as they age. So if a twenty-year-old looks at her peer group and decides she’s a 9… she’s a 9. But then twenty years later when she’s forty, when she looks at her peer group of other forty-year-old women and decides she’s a 9… newsflash, she’s not a 9.

Obviously the same woman at age 20 isn’t going to be as hot at age 40. Relative to her girlfriends, she may still be the hot one, but in absolute terms compared to all the women in the Sexual Marketplace… maybe she’s a 6 or a 7. Hell if she got properly fat, maybe she’s a 4. Meanwhile her husband has potentially continued to gain Sex Rank as he gains money, power and social influence.

This is utterly horrifying for women to realize.

It’s a bitter pill to men to realize they screwed up a bunch of stuff in the past, but at least there’s a hope for the future. Sure it’s hard work turning things around, but every single guy that’s run the MAP, eventually gets to a sexy outcome if they put the effort in and make the hard choices. It may take a couple years to get there, but there’s always hope.

Women are just screwed though. You’re forty. The best bit is over, you’ll never be as hot as you were. This is as good as it gets. Please keep your arms and legs inside the train, it’s all downhill from here. Abandon all hope ye who enter here.

Actually that’s not entirely true. There’s a loophole that will carry you into your golden years, loved and desired… your husband’s oneitis.

So if you are an older girl, yes you’re getting older, but you don’t just throw on sweatpants, give up and plan to negotiate for alimony, chocolate ice cream and cats. You age gracefully. You exercise, you wear makeup, you play with him, you keep your game on. Yes it’s all building a sand castle below the high tide mark, but that’s what life is all about anyway. You battle to the end in a mighty effort, repairing, rebuilding, until that one wave that’s unstoppable washes over it all and it’s finally gone. It’s hopeless, it’s always been hopeless, but that’s okay.

If you’re a woman, if you keep your attractiveness together as best you can, that’s going to trigger his oneitis, his memory of the young you imprinted on him. You’ll be fifty-three and dancing with him, a shot of your cleavage, your smell, your touch, those same adoring eyes… and you’re twenty-three again. Maybe no one else sees it, but he will, because he has oneitis. He’ll look around at all the other husbands with chubby screechtards and think to himself, relative to everyone else, he’s got it really good.

But leave it too long. Don’t bother trying. Ignore him. Shun him from your bed. Eventually the scales will fall from his eyes.

If you’re a husband, the dread of relative and absolute Sex Rank can wake her up. Indeed if it does, it’s potentially doing her a favor. She shouldn’t confuse the fiction of older women in the dating market with the reality of it.

The truth is, most husbands idly fantasize about hooking up with younger women, I mean I do. But given a choice between a bunch of hook ups, short term relationships an/or a soft harem of younger women… most husbands would still choose their wife provided they had reasonable assurance there would be a good sex life with her. The kids, the history, the aroma of… pie.

Personally I don’t need Jennifer to be twenty again. Forty is fine. Just a good forty.


You’re Late, You’re Late, For A Very Important Date

Via text…

Athol: I’m going to Big Steve’s for lunch. Free?

Jennifer:  OMG yes. Meet you there in 20? You can order for me if you want.

Athol: What do you want?

Jennifer: Lobster soup, or whatever other soup if there’s no lobster.

Athol: K

Athol: 1pm

Jennifer: Kk

Okay first things first. Big Steve’s is in Plainville, Connecticut. If you’re within striking distance, it’s worth the trip for a proper burger. Yeah, yeah I know it involves bread, sorry Paleonazi’s, but if you’re going to have a burger it’s a good, “homemade” burger and no more expensive than McDonalds. I get it with lettuce, cheese, mustard, ketchup, raw onions and a fried egg. I know the egg sounds weird, just trust me on it.

I could have been all Lord Alpha and just ordered whatever and Jennifer would have eaten it because she’s like that. I was actually thinking she wanted a burger and if she texted me what she wanted, I’d not have to remeber it because it would be on my phone. As it was… lobster soup… oh yeah… that’s her Plan B dish here. So glad I didn’t order a burger.

Anyway… I said meet at 1pm because that would have been 26 minutes after Jennifer said “Meet you there in 20?”

You know where this is going.

I was there at 12:58 and ordered the food.

At 1:02…. Jennifer: Traffic on Queen St. Coming!”

Check the GPS app as the food arrives… [Jennifer is 3.2 miles away]

Well seeing the office is 3.4 miles away, I don’t think she even left until 1pm. Meaning, yeah traffic (I believe her there was traffic), but she didn’t even leave until 1pm. Meaning she was always going to be late. Hmmm…. I’m actually mildly annoyed by that. The food is already here.


(1)  Tell her off about being late. Be grumpy.

(2) Scamper about finding a cover for her soup and just pick at my fries healthfood until she arrives because it’s rude to start eating before anyone else.

(3)  Pretend everything is fine and make her pay somehow.

(4)  Cover her soup with napkins keeping the heat in a little better. Just start eating my burger.

Jennifer arrived about 1:10… to the scene of (4) the soup a little cooled and then we had a fun lunch.

So, let’s analyze the options and why I choose (4)

Once upon a time I probably would have done something even worse than (2), as in not even order until my date arrived, even if we had agreed I would order in advance. The improvement to that anxious behavior being brave enough to order, but then freaking out like a lost minion once the food arrived. (2) Just telegraphs fear of displeasing her, a very low display of value.

(3) Is somewhat of an addition to (2). Having let myself get anxious and freaked out, now I’m just brave enough to sucker punch you somehow on something else. It’s indirect rage and very ineffective. She won’t even have a clue why I got her back either. Passive-aggressive sucks.

(1) Is almost right. It’s better than (2) and (3), at least I’m standing up for myself and demanding to be taken seriously. But it’s also just a little much… it’s a spur of the moment lunch. For all I know Jennifer had to cram 45 minutes of work into 26 minutes to make her date with me. There really was traffic. I might unwittingly punish her for making an effort to be with me. That makes everything a net negative experience = “Lunch with Athol is unfun ” = “Unsexy”

The correct answer is (4). She was late and the natural consequence of being late was that her food was slightly sub-optimal in tempature. I was on on time and my burger was great. Because it was a natural consequence, it’s not me punishing her. It’s low key, straightforward and not me taking it personally. If she had complained, I’d just parrot back, “We agreed I’d order this to be ready at 1pm, you were late, not my fault.”

Anyway… I am of course writing about all this, so it’s potentially also a pot shot at her and potential (3), but jeepers… it’s just soup and I know Jennifer well enough to know that she runs and then she hop, hop, hops and wishes she could fly and I was semi-suprised she could even make lunch in the first place.  Besides, I really only wanted a defense for eating a huge hamburger. I don’t have to watch what I eat on a date right?

Jennifer:  If I’m late, does that make you the Mad Hatter?


Religious and Political Differences: How to Raise the Kids?

Reader:  I’m sure you’re busy so I’ll try to make this brief. Girlfriend, mutually in love, happy relationship (not quite 1.5 years), talking about marriage and eventual children. Nearly all points in your Chapter 28 are met beautifully. Important differences: 1) I’m strongly libertarian, she’s stubbornly liberal; 2) I’m agnostic leaning toward Christianity, she’s Jewish and, well, Jews don’t do Christianity (so she says). Neither one of us are severely politically active. We prefer to keep our beliefs to ourselves, so these differences have been minimally problematic in our commitment-free, children-free pre-marriage state. But when it comes time to raise children and lead a household, I intend to inculcate my children with my values. On fundamental issues, I don’t see where I can bend and I don’t care to. However, encouragingly and impressively, she is beginning to come out of that reflexively liberal mindset in which she was raised.

But what to do? Shall we accept that maybe not everyone in our hypothetical future family will be on the same political and spiritual boats? Should we give it more time and see whether we come to see more eye to eye on things?

From your own experience and your nearly limitless opportunities for observation of others’ relationships, how divisive do you think such differences could be in the long run? I’m sure the right course varies greatly from case to case, but what questions would you consider? What are some specific points she and I could examine together to figure it out?

Thanks for any help. Of course, your contributions to a sane perspective on relationships have already been valuable help.

Athol:  Well you also have to understand that you will both change too. When I met Jennifer I was the guest speaker for a Christian retreat weekend. Now I’m an atheist. Jennifer has softened her religious views over time too. For all you know you’re going to going to turn into a Zen Buddhist Republican fifteen years from now. Then what?

If you can agree together to educate your children in knowledge of both faiths – Jew and Christian aren’t that oppositional in terms of content – and then allow them to choose, then that’s the solution. The kids are going to choose what they want to do anyway. Your job as parents is to educate, not to “win”. Nothing like forcing it down their throats to make them rebel against it.

You’re actually going to find the basic behavioral approach to parenting the most effective anyway. “When the mess is cleaned up… then we can go to the park.”  “If you throw a tantrum, you don’t get rewarded for it.”  “Sometimes when you’re good, we’ll randomly reward you.”   That isn’t a religious or political thing. Works for everyone too. Works for cats, dogs and killer whales as well.

You’ll find as the kids get older they will make their own choices. My youngest is mildly interested in church, mostly because she likes being part of a group of nice people. My oldest actually has a highly negative reaction to religious services, believing everyone around her is having a mass psychotic episode and is genuinely made anxious by it all. Which considering it was a Lutheran service was pretty funny. I can’t say we’ve done anything differently for either one of them either.

Hope that helps.

 Oh… seems like she’s a go to more seriously consider marrying if this is the worst issue you can dream up.

Oh yeah… trust me on this one too. By the time they are teens, the only moral / religious / political issue you’ll really care about in relation to your kids is that they don’t start having babies in high school.


The Green Peppers and Sausage Incident

(TL:DR  Yes Jennifer is a magical unicorn, but unicorn’s have a long horn and occasionally it gets inserted up my ass and I’d like to break the damn horn off and shove it up her ass.)

I’ve tried to write this post about six or seven times now, but it always comes out being too angry and too blaming of Jennifer, so I’ve trashed it every time I’ve tried to write it. Anyway, some important bits of information before I begin.

(1)  My least favorite house related task is raking leaves.

(2)  My least favorite meat is sausages. I believe I have eaten my quota of these growing up, I do not wish to eat any more of them.

(3)  My least favorite vegetable is green peppers. I hate them. They taste bad and give me heartburn.

So… anyway…

In August 2010 we fly to New Zealand because dad has crossed the threshold from “really unwell” fighting his cancer, to “the doctors finally let slip that he’s totally going to die”. So we winged our way to go see him before the end. Our last conversation together was how if he didn’t in fact die after all the travel and expense, that it would be socially awkward next time we saw each other.

About a month or two later mum Skypes us and turns the camera on dad for a bit. He looks at the screen and says “hello” with a tone of expectant but polite confusion. My father is a very bright man… and that’s all gone. I can’t react to that though. I don’t really know how.

The Friday before Thanksgiving in 2010, I’m at work and my cellphone rings. The incoming number being a long line of numbers scrolling across the screen leading off with the 0064 meaning a call from New Zealand. Thus I know dad is dead before I even answer it. It’s mum, dad had a really rapid decline at the end and it’s over and both sad and a relief.

My work day is planned to be over in about five hours, but I know I’m not going to be coming back at the start of next week, and then it’s Thanksgiving. I’m somewhat sole charge of my area and effectively just got handed a nine day vacation. I stay at work for about another seven hours tidying it all up and prepping for me being away. I can’t remember when I called Jennifer, but I do remember holding off on telling everyone around me and my boss until later in the day. Just didn’t want to deal with people trying to “support” me, when I just needed everyone to say out of my way so I could crunch out a whole bunch of work and then not come back for a week and a half.

Now because Jennifer and I are so much in step with each other, having a mild form of telepathy after then 16 years of marriage, when we miscommunicate it’s like a tire blowing out on a NASCAR Sprint Cup car at 200mph. It’s bad. Really really bad. The corner goes left and the car goes right. The wall comes up at you so fast and you hit it so hard. After that you’re just a passenger on a badly maintained rollercoaster.

At some point on the Friday, I told Jennifer that I would be okay by myself. What I meant was, on the Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday before Thanksgiving, I would be okay staying home by myself. We had the weekend together and then Thanksgiving was coming and after that was our wedding anniversary too. So plenty of family time and stuff around me. I would be okay. Not like dad’s passing was a surprise out of the blue, it was just here finally.

Unfortunately what Jennifer understood was that I’d like to be… by myself. So she very dutifully gave me a lot of personal space all weekend, including shepherding the girls to friends places and she had work events on the Sunday she kept as well. This I experienced as being totally abandoned by my family.

I can’t remember much of the Friday night, or the Saturday… but I do remember that by Sunday afternoon… raking fucking leaves all by myself… that I stopped feeling upset about dad and started feeling upset squarely at Jennifer. Plus I seriously hate raking leaves. Hate it , hate it, hate it… and as the sun went down, I raked leaves into the darkness.

I can’t imagine I was pleasant to look upon when Jennifer got home with the kids, because I think she scampered fairly quickly into the kitchen to cook dinner. She knows by this point I am really off balance and is simply trying to recover the situation. Immediately cooking something is a great idea. What’s not so great however is what she cooks…



I bite into one.

There’s actually little pieces of green pepper inside the mother fucking sausage.

I do remember being sorely tempted to simply bat the entire plate across the room, but resisted it in favor of coolly getting my car keys and driving to the nearest McDonalds. I purposely left my phone at home to punish Jennifer. I know she’s going to be freaking out and don’t want to let her off the hook. Anyway I eat and about a hour later I go home and we don’t even have an argument because that would require communication skills on my part.

I’m just mentally cycling through all the times I was there for her… pregnancies, miscarriages, bad mammograms, surgery, another bad mammogram, another biopsy, the death of her grandfather… and now it was finally my turn getting something nasty happening… and Jennifer was a no show. So decided in that moment to divorce her. If you cannot act like my family, you cannot be my family. I couldn’t actually tell her though, because after I decided that I completely, totally and utterly lost it. I met the wall at 200mph.

I remember feeling at the time completely disconnected from my body, just a passenger as my body convulsed in the most appalling crying I could ever imagine. It was more like throwing up than anything else I can describe it as. Just so far beyond anything I thought myself capable of. I don’t remember really anything else of that night. Just an emotional cartwheeling that never seemed to stop.

The Monday morning I’m still hazy on too. I think Jennifer went to work for like 30 minutes to do something vital and then was back home again in full panic mode. Meanwhile the first twinges of intellect started returning to me as I simply didn’t understand why Jennifer was acting as she was acting. It all simply didn’t make any sense. Why would she ignore me all weekend? That’s not like her at all. I’ve never seen Jennifer screw someone over… why would she do that to me of all people?

There were still more leaves to rake and haul to the curb. I forget how, but somehow in that process of trying to figure out why she avoided me, her coming back home from work and immediately helping… and looking like she had accidentally run over a box of kittens… somehow it all started to come out. She had been trying to do the right thing all weekend… it was just the wrong thing. By the time she figured that all out, it was too late as I’d already flipped out on her.

We made up and went out for lunch together. Later that evening Jennifer and the girls gave me/us all a big long group hug. That’s all I really wanted and needed.

I’d love to say everything was peachy right after that, but it wasn’t. This one really hurt. It really hurt both of us too. Jennifer put sausages and green peppers on the banned substances list, then forgot her own rule a month later and burst into tears cooking dinner with green peppers. It took a while to work through and stop smarting, plus dad’s passing was much harder on both of us than either one of us suspected it would be.

This time last year everything kind of bubbled up again. I was kinda mentally off as I was raking leaves but Jennifer was around, so didn’t really get bad bad. I tried writing about all this last year and basically devolved into framing Jennifer as a cunt, so tossed it. This year, I’ve raked up most of the leaves myself and haven’t felt that cycling down into darkness. Had a little sad moment writing about dad during the post, but that’s it. I haven’t had a random tear up about losing him for a long time now.

Anyway…I know I’m meant to have some kind of wondrous point to all this, so here goes. Jennifer and I have a really good marriage, but no one is perfect. Of all the people in the world, I think we can hurt each other the most. Almost always it’s been accidental though, one of us hurt, the other horrified at what happened. It’s also not like I’ve been brooding about this for two years, it’s only when I’ve tried to write about it that I get sucked back into the emotion of the moment. If there’s a bright side to all this, Jennifer and I have such a strong relationship, that it survived this colossal wreck of miscommunication.

Jennifer: And we’ve also been reminded that we cannot, in fact, always read each other’s minds, so it’s important to have that “Did you mean…” or “Did you really want…” conversation just to be sure.

Athol: You just figure out what the problem was and correct it. You slowly build the Relationship of Tomorrow.

Five Steps Forward, Nuked For One Step Back

I’ve noticed a pattern happening a number of times now in my email…

Wife finds MMSL, turns husband onto it, he makes decent progress, everything going better… then stumbles somehow… gives a display of weakness… and she goes nuclear on him.

It’s like having had a taste of Alpha… having FINALLY had a taste of Alpha… her expectation for him, is to be like this all the time.

The trouble is that no one can be like that 24/7. Not even Batman. Not even Ironman. Not even CaptainThorIronBatman. Even Gandalf would rather have a wee sit down and pretend he can’t remember the Elvish word for “friend” instead of marching into the Mines of Moria.

The source of the trouble is fairly simple though. After running on an Alpha deficit for so long, the wife doesn’t have her tank filled on that particular need yet. So when it seems like it gets suddenly stopped again, that’s alarming to her. It’s like losing power to your house for a week and then finally having it come back online again… only to shut off again after an hour. It’s actually more tolerable to have the power off for eight days and come back on, than to have it out for six days and be punked with it on and off repeatedly on the seventh.

In time as her tank fills up more, little stumbles here and there won’t be nearly as serious. Eventually it turns into Vulnerability Game where those little soft spots actually engages her to you… just not yet.

The solution is to breathe. Reset. See the big pattern of things getting better. Several steps forward, one step back. Rinse and repeat. You can also bump back on it like a Fitness Test. Not too hard, more of a calm-the-hell-down pushback.


…how to use your Guy Shields to stop her getting in your face so much.

Y’all know about Guy Shields right?


Can Your Wife Be Your Best Friend?

GC:  Athol you said “I’ve long thought of Jennifer as my best friend …. she is certainly the person I am closest to and we are friends, but I also sense in myself a slight pulling away from her as well…”

This is very discouraging to me. I want more sex/better sex to bring my husband and me and all married couples closer, but you’re saying that by following the MMSL principles you are pulling away from Jennifer, not drawing closer. I don’t see how that can be a good thing. I know that men and women are different and that wives in general want their husbands to be strong, but wives who are in it for the long haul also want to be close to their husbands in all ways, even if that means he’s vulnerable some of the time (vulnerable adult male, not whiny toddler – which wears badly on both sexes!) I know that the biological mechanisms of attraction are important, but we’re not just animals – we can make choices that favor our marriages, even when one spouse is going through a time that makes him or her less “attractive.”

Jennifer:  I reacted negatively to the phrase “slight pulling away”.

Athol: Well I also went on to say…

“I’m the Captain, thus I’m always a little more on duty than she is… or at least more on duty than I was before staring MMSL.   So I don’t think it’s the case that you can’t ever be friends. But it is the case that you can’t ever not be the Captain. Not forgetting that you can order her to take command of the ship while you’re either not available or are having some R&R. I’m pretty sure that on commercial aviation flights, the First Officer doesn’t nap the whole way while the Captain does everything. Balance people, balance.”

You have to remember that I’m a born and bred Care Bear. For the longest time it would have be unthinkable for me to try and do anything without being joined at the hip with Jennifer. Some of that came naturally in that we both like a lot of the same stuff, we both are introverts and we both like each other.

But once you say to yourself, “Okay I’m going to be the leader in this relationship. I’m going to be the one who is the most responsible for how it all plays out.” It starts becoming a little less buddy-buddy. Once you become the one that makes the final call on big decisions… knowing that she may or may not like them… that if you consistently screw up enough it eventually all ends in tears and drama… that takes some of the fluffy thinking away.

I think if you go too soft and cuddly, you end up killing some of the attraction. It all comes back to the thing where a woman is far more likely to fall in love with her boss at work, than with a co-worker… and there’s minimal chance she’ll fall for someone below her status at work. While you can be a considerate and good boss, you also have to hold your people to standards or they sorry start despising you, so ultimately you can’t be their BFF.

You also have to remember that men are constantly told to throw themselves into emotional bonding activity and expressions of devotion to their wives. The whole Blue Pill edifice that for the Low Alpha High Beta guys is the problem not the solution. If that all worked, there would be no need for MMSL at all. Guys have tried that until they have passed out from exhaustion of devotion while struggling with a never-ending hard-on.

A little distancing though, seems to do the trick. Don’t get me wrong though either, I do love Jennifer, more than just a little. If I lost her for whatever reason I would be devastated. We spend a lot of time together hanging out and talking. We do things for each other. When she’s not around for an extended time, I miss her… but I’m still the Captain. It’s just a balance thing.

Or coming at it from another angle, if you asked me who I thought Jennifer’s best friend was, I’d say it was her college roomate.

 Jennifer: Okay, my first instinct at that last sentence was to be insulted and upset that Athol doesn’t think he’s my best friend.  Then I thought about it for a moment and realized that he’s more than my “best friend”…I’m not sure there’s a word for it. 

Athol:  I think the word is “husband”.

The great concern I have is the sheer number of husbands who only come to relationship consciousness when it’s all finally too late to fix. After she’s already cheated. After she’s already checked out on him completely. After she’s visited the divorce lawyer. Beyond a few sociopathic women, wives don’t just walk away.

In the editing round, Jennifer and I had a back and forth about this for 15-20 minutes. The crossed wiring being her hearing “pulling away” as “not caring”. Me explaining that it’s in fact the opposite. It’s like how Jennifer is always somewhat “on duty” when our girls are around. She’s always got 10% of her processing power set to “Mommy”. Likewise I always have 10% of my processing power set to “Husband”. I’m always mindful of her and of our relationship.

You have to be emotionally engaged with her, but you cannot be emotionally enmeshed in her.



But The Blue Pill Tastes So Much Sweeter

Some questions from the last post…

Greenlander:  Will someone please remind me again of why I should want to get married? I’ve forgotten why I should want to give up my single life to jump through stupid hoops for sex with someone who agreed to provide it.

Athol:  The main reason to get married is to have children together. I think a stable couple is a far better arrangement for raising children than trying to do it as a non-couple. Otherwise marriage is simply a very binding agreement that isn’t a critical need for a long term sexual relationship. Marriage is primarily an agreement for legal status and wealth sharing in a family structure.

If you don’t want to have children with her, there isn’t any driving need to marry her. If you have a child, you’re on the hook for 18 years of child support one way or the other, regardless of your martial status. A lot of effort flagged as “marriage” related is actually “child raising” related.

You’re going to be jumping through hoops for sex whether your single or married. Don’t tell me picking up women in bars is something you can just throw together in 5 minutes on any given night.

Jeigh Di:  Or, as has been pointed out elsewhere, remind her that if the grocery store is closed, there’s a convenience store just around the corner who will gladly do business with you…

Athol:  And likewise by that same logic, should you become less than enticing, she can get delivery.

Don’t get me wrong, if you can reasonably prove that you are someone she should find attractive, the proof being other women are hitting on you, and she still has no interest in you, then yeah sure I don’t see why you stay.

Badger:  I have to go with Athol’s first reaction – if this hair-trigger treatment is what you can expect, why get married? Why pledge your life, fortune and sacred honor to the sword of Damocles that can decide you’ve emoted enough for her taste, thank you very much, and you should just share your problems with your drinking buddies like single guys do anyway?

Athol:  It’s not quite that hair-trigger, and it’s also going to be the same with any women you’re with too. When you’re out meeting a new woman, it’s an incredibly bad move to start being overly sensitive and emotional. You don’t bounce to a second location to tearfully talk about how dolphins getting caught in tuna nets just needs to be stopped.

I think if anything wives give you more leeway on this issue than a girl you just met will. But if you blubber it up on them and morph into a sad four-year-old sitting in the sandbox quietly banging his trucks together… the vagina is closed.

Chesterfield:  This post about Ricky Raw’s 31 days of game over at badger’s site earlier really drove this home for me.   Item # 6 Your Woman Can Never, Ever, Truly Be Your Best Friend or Closest Confidante.   (Athol: Chesterfield links to Badger, not sure where it is on Ricky’s site exactly.)

It struck me (hard) that no matter how much I long to truly open up to my wife and let her be my best friend in the whole world… I can’t allow it. If we’re friends then by definition I’m in her friend zone and that’s definitely NOT where I want to be with her. I can be her friend and confidante, but she can never truly be mine. When I accepted this I felt the last thump of my blue-pill white knight’s dying heart. I understand now why I can not draw strength from my wife without losing her respect. If she’s the strong one then which one am I? Of course I can have a bad day now and then where I need her to encourage me and help me get back on my feet, but the more strength I draw from her the more of her respect it costs me.

Athol:  I’ve long thought of Jennifer as my best friend, but having accepted the Captain / First Officer model of relating… she is certainly the person I am closest to and we are friends, but I also sense in myself a slight pulling away from her as well. I’m the Captain, thus I’m always a little more on duty than she is… or at least more on duty than I was before staring MMSL.

So I don’t think it’s the case that you can’t ever be friends. But it is the case that you can’t ever not be the Captain. Not forgetting that you can order her to take command of the ship while you’re either not available or are having some R&R. I’m pretty sure that on commercial aviation flights, the First Officer doesn’t nap the whole way while the Captain does everything. Balance people, balance.

I think having your relationship stay Functional and Productive are the two key goals to work toward, rather than trying to seek Happiness from your marriage. Being Happy is always a side effect, not something you can directly pursue. Though it seems to be a pretty common side effect of making your relationship Functional and Productive.

Once you stop talking about marriage law and family court… which are slanted toward women… and start complaining about being married and having a family as requiring effort, it all starts sounding increasingly like mourning for the fantasies of Marriage 1.0 where you were independantly wealthy and had a trophy wife.

Being quite blunt, some of the general complaining is nothing more than hamstering complaints about being men. Women get all hot and bothered thinking about having sex with winners. Winning isn’t easy though… so if you want to be a breeding male… your life isn’t going to be easy either.