Follow Up: Torn Between Wife and Girlfriend

Back in early May I wrote What To Do When You’re Torn Between Wife And Girlfriend. The short version being a guy was torn between two women and I talked him though the options and which I though would work best.

I had a lot of negative comments about the original poster on that blog, because obviously he was cheating on his wife. I also had some negative comments directed at me for not reaming him out for cheating on his wife. So much so that I wrote a follow up post explaining why I seemingly played him soft.

Positive and Productive… the good bits…

Now the purpose of other people expressing moral outrage, is to get you to change your behavior by evoking shame or guilt. When this happens, typically you experience one of two reactions. (1)  You fold up like a wet napkin and admit to your badness, or (2) you engage your Rationalization Hamster and deny you did anything wrong. If your reaction is (2), then you change nothing about your situation and never return to Ingrid Von Banhammer’s blog because obviously she’s a heartless bitch.

My assumption is that when you write to me about a problem, you’re already unhappy about the situation and motivated to change it. Thus I don’t need to jump up on a soapbox and try and shame you into changing your behavior… because you’re already motivated to change your behavior. All shaming you does is make you defensive and thus less likely to change what you’re doing. The question is simply what do you need to do to to solve your problem and be happy?

I get that if you’re used to arguments for sexual ethics based on a pre-existing moral position, my approach seems extremely counter-intuitive at best and sinfully depraved at worst. Just bear with me, with a little patience you might be surprised at how often I can explain that doing “the right thing” is the answer to the problems caused by doing “the wrong thing.” But if the comments drive the readers asking the questions away, they will likely continue doing “the wrong thing.”   Or put another way… if MMSL was a credit counseling blog, it would be really unhelpful if some comments just said the reader was just fucking stupid with their money.

And we never heard back from the original poster again… until today…

Those who commented earlier on this post may be glad (or disappointed) to know that I ended my relationship with my girlfriend two months ago and have recommitted to my family. My wife and I are engaged in counselling. After two months, and still-unfinished grief on my part, we’re not yet back to “normal”, but we’re quietly convinced we’re on the right track and are determined to succeed. My wife has been a heroine throughout all of this: unstinting in her devotion to her (undeserving) husband of 20+ years and our children.

All in all, fabulous news and everything going as well as can be expected. Yes it’s hard and non-perfect but it’s on track and heading in the right direction. So glad to hear back that things are on the mend.

In terms of the grief, often people leaving an affair and returning to their spouse have no one to grieve the loss of the affair with. So the pain and longing never go away. So while this is very counter-intuitive, if your wife is able to tolerate it (and she may not be), if you can cry with her, it’s very effective. On one hand it releases all that pain you’re holding onto, it makes you feel accepted and forgiven, and your partner sees you letting go of the affair partner in real time. It’s just a very intense emotional experience.

Swing by the forum. There’s more support that way too…for both of you.

Jennifer: The whole grieving thing is painful but a positive step.  You are giving up a relationship that you were very invested in.  For your spouse it’s another twist of the knife to see how much you grieve for the affair partner relationship, but it’s also a step in the right direction if you can see it as such.  He chose you, even though it wasn’t easy, and he’s working on getting back to a life centered on your marriage.

 

 

 

What Your Partner Reading MMSL Really Means

So you either found your husband or wife reading MMSL, or they told you about it. If you’re mad as hell, or freaking out about it, this post is for you.

So…

(1)  It’s okay to be mad. Being mad about finding my material in your spouse’s possession is a completely normal reaction. What you’re experiencing though is more properly called the “flight or fight” response, meaning you’re not so much angry, as you’re feeling threatened. MMSL covers some happy stuff and some very dark topics, so your first few glances at MMSL might truly freak you out as to what your partner is reading and planning to do.

(2)  Your partner came to MMSL with a serious relationship concern. I don’t have some massive advertising campaign dragging in people off the street, your partner found me by sitting down in front of the computer and starting to search for an answer to their relationship concern. That problem pre-existed them looking for MMSL. If your partner came to MMSL, don’t kid yourself, you have a serious relationship issue happening right now.

(3)  Good news. Your partner went looking for a solution to the problem online. Often the problem is sexual in nature and they went looking online, instead of simply searching out a more practical and immediate sexual experience with someone else. Your partner came here to research a solution and not to cheat or end things.

(4)  If you’ve noticed recent positive improvements in your relationship, that may very well be related to your partner finding MMSL and applying the advice here. Your partner might also be acting more confident and self-assured. They also have probably started working out and are looking better too.

(5)  Very often when people come looking for a solution to their relationship problem, the problem has existed for a while, but it’s the existence of a potential affair partner that brings it into a crisis point. MMSL has a very strong anti-cheating approach to working on your marriage. An affair just needlessly complicates recovering a marriage, and an affair typically implodes anyway during a divorce process. Very often MMSL readers detach themselves from potential affairs in favor of working on the marriage.

(6)  The other thing that pushes relationships to a crisis point is one partner starting to give up on the marriage and start actively thinking about divorce. MMSL gives a plan of action to correct things. Likewise running the MAP slows the rush to divorce down and creates a plan of action to hopefully fix the relationship issue before divorce is seriously considered.

(7)  Wives in particular tell their husbands about MMSL as a fair warning of impending doom. If you are such a husband you need to take her telling you about MMSL as the first, best and potentially last warning you will ever get from her that your marriage is in serious trouble. Often husbands are totally shocked when what they thought was a happy marriage is cut off at the kness by divorce paperwork, or discovery of her deep involvement with another man. Maybe 10-15% of wives give a seriously blunt statement of unhappiness to their husbands before taking dramatic action. If your wife tells you about MMSL, she’s giving you a gift.

So what to do now…

(1)  You can read the blog in it’s entirety, starting back in January 2010, or the better option is to buy the MMSL Primer on Amazon and get all caught up in a day or so.

(2)  Start talking with your partner about how bad, the “bad” really is.

(3)  Join the forum. Hundreds of helpful people are there turning things around too.

(4)  Start working out. If you’re in bad physical shape, fitness is going to be a major thing you need to work on over the coming months.

(5)  If there is any hint of your partner having an inappropriate involvement, demand that they break off all contact with the other person. That’s absolutely critical to you fixing things for yourself.

A final warning…

MMSL is powerful. I know that sounds like I’m tooting my own horn, but it really is genuinely powerful. I’ve seen some remarkable turnarounds in relationships, so there is hope. I have also seen some relationships end as well. However, MMSL tends to be a polarizing influence, relationships get a lot better, or head toward resolution. So consider that you have a time limit to get yourself in motion.

We do better on the win column than the loss column though. A lot better.

And seriously, buy the book. It’s well worth it.

Being Attractive is a Daily Discipline

The number one problem you have with creating and sustaining your attractiveness, is that you give attention to time-sinks and the urgent but unimportant stuff, while you neglect the non-urgent but important stuff.

Take a peek at the classic Four Quadrants from Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.

The most important quadrant is the first one. You just have to do this stuff and that’s all there is to it. So you do that stuff as a matter of course. Moving on…

The second quadrant is very important too. But because nothing in there is urgent, it’s tempting to skip on it. If you miss a day in the gym, nothing happens to you. There’s no immediate consequence for eating a cupcake. If you don’t go back to school for advanced training, you don’t get fired from your current job. If you don’t plan out your goals for the year, no one yells at you. But skip doing the second quadrant for long enough, and lo and behold you’re Captain Cupcake in a shitty job and no plan for the future…

…there doesn’t seem to be a consequence for all that lack of effort until you’re at a party and your wife hands you her purse and spends the rest of the night twirling her hair at some asshole. Now she’s just laughing at his jokes. Now she slapped his arm and wagged her finger at him like he did something wrong… but she’s grinning at him.

WTF! She just leaned in and whispered something to him… what the hell did she say??!?!

It’s easy to totally neglect quadrant two, in favor of quadrant three and four. So let’s talk about that.

Troubles in quadrant three are typically resolved by time management. The truth of the matter is that at least half the people you work with are vacuous warm bodies, wasting the planet’s precious resources by their mere existence. Every time you have to interact with one of these people, you lurch into the third quadrant. But you do have to interact with them somehow. So productive people tend to structure their day to condense their exposure to the herd. They get into the office early and work like crazy to get as much done as possible before… ah… here comes frakking Jerry making his way across the office like a sloth… don’t make eye contact, don’t make eye contact… ah crap he’s coming right here… ah fabulous, he wants to talk about the quarterly report filing system protocol revision that was discussed at the staff meeting held two weeks ago. Maybe if you went to the meeting you’d know.

See how that whole paragraph got padded with a waste of time. I think I actually got a slight touch of PTSD just writing the phrase “quarterly report filing system protocol revision.”  Jennifer is gonna groan during editing too lol.   (Jennifer: OMG yes. I get more done before 10am than in the entire rest of the day when the office is full of people asking me questions lol.)

Anyway, the other thing you can do is limit when you look at email, make phone calls or whatever it is that you do. Find a way to structure your day to make it as efficient as possible. Find the time lost into the ether of idiots. Use that time to do your quadrant two stuff.

Quadrant four is just all purpose time wasting, which is admittedly fun sometimes, but if done at the expense of quadrant two, you’re in trouble. Classic quadrant four time-sinks are Facebook, Farmville, World of Warcraft, mindless day time TV, standing outside having a cigarette for a total of 1.75 hours of your work day (Seriously will someone please fire those useless sandbags!), a six pack a couple of times a week, yada yada yada. No productive purpose + heavy effort =  a meaningless time-sink.

In one very meaningful sense, all the MAP is doing is getting you to drop as much quadrant four stuff as you can and replacing it with quadrant two. You’re going to eat right. You’re going to work out. You’re going to not just let things slide between the two of you. You’re going to find your way to a better income. You’re going to fix the house up. You’re mowing the lawn, changing the oil, and not letting the kids get away with murder. There are probably some ways you can squeeze some found time out of quadrant three, but the easy move is dumping quadrant four for quadrant two.

And yeah, it’s a bit boring at times. You could be knocking a few cold ones back, but instead you’re at the gym. It’s not always fun, it’s hard work, but there will be a pay off eventually. Keep at it long enough and one day you’ll be out having fun chatting to some hot MILF you just met and having a good time… but dimly aware of some tubby dude holding a purse glaring at you for no apparent reason…

…then the MILF leans in and whispers something in your ear…

Does Wanting To Have Sex With Other People Go Away?

Serenity:  Let me ask you this since we’re being all open and honest and all…I know you’ve said that even though you love your wife, you’re still sometimes attracted to other women. Do you think that can ever change?  I still have to fight that in myself. Is it possible to ever be so much in love with your spouse that you’re no longer attracted to others? It’s tiring sometimes to always have to shut your mind down.

Athol:  Understanding how the three love systems work is helpful here.

(1)  The basic “oh she’s hot” testosterone sex drive will never go away. A nice rack is a nice rack is a nice rack. Velly Nice. This one simply can’t be helped as long as you have testosterone and a pulse. I check out other women all the time. Not in a creepy hands doing something under my raincoat sort of way, more in a sort of a dirty anthropologist way. So if you happen to catch me checking you out, please just relax, the photos are for science.

(2)  The pair bonding oxytocin/vasopressin system between Jennifer and myself is very strong. I can totally appreciate a stunning girl and have no impulse to live with her whatsoever. I really like Jennifer and she’s someone I trust and never want to hurt… non-consensually. Actually back up a little… I can totally appreciate a stunning girl and have no impulse to be her friend or trust her. Some of that is simply being 42 instead of 22 I think, but a lot is just being bonded to Jennifer. After having an orgasm with Jennifer I pretty much have an automatic nap that I have no control over, just the vasopressin pathways with a deep groove in my head.

So I’m horny and happy, and that’s all good. The potential trouble of the (1) system is handled by frequent sex and the (2) system. Being laid like tile really helps. I’ve had a couple of blindingly obvious offers for sex in the last few years (“oh nurse, can I show you something in private, I just want to know if it’s okay… how does THAT look?”) and turning them down was actually pretty easy, especially the guys.

My trouble… and likely your trouble too, comes from the third love system…

(3)  Most couples have a higher desire person and a lower desire person. That’s simply in comparison to each other though, in our relationship, Jennifer is the low desire spouse, really only wanting sex for her own pleasure 5-6 times a week. If she was with a guy that only wanted sex 2-3 times a week, she’d be the high desire spouse.

So anyway, I’m the high desire spouse, and that desire is not just a sexual desire thing, but also an overall need for stimulation and attention. It’s a need for dopamine. Mix in my ADHD and I’m pretty much… pretty much…. okay fuck it I’ll say it, I’m the Crazy Bitch in the relationship.

Jennifer: Lmao, I would like to point out that he said it, I didn’t.

Anyway… I do get bored and understimulated and that’s where I go astray and get into trouble. It’s so easy for me to start chatting and flirting and BAM! I’m starting to emotionally engage with someone and I can feel myself starting to line up a set of crosshairs on them. I’m much, much better at recognizing when I’m doing it and breaking things off nowdays though. Awareness of what is happening on a dopamine level is really helpful in breaking things off. Whoever I’m talking to is simply not my soulmate or a special snowflake, they just emotionally feel that way. In reality she’s just some pleasant, attractive, interested in me woman, and everything in my head is lighting up on cue. Attraction isn’t controllable. But breaking it off early is. I’ve actually done really really well with this the last year.

The other half of the fix is understanding that it’s just a need for stimulation, there’s nothing whatsoever wrong with the relationship, me being bored doesn’t mean Jennifer sucks as a wife. Well she does suck the other way, but you know what I meant. It means I can just ask for stimulation from Jennifer. “Help I’m starting to feel nutty, I need X Y or Z tonight.”  I used to meet that whole dopamine thing via World of Warcraft as a form of self-medication.  Now I write the blog, swoop in to help marital crises yada yada, and ask for particularly intense sex acts.

I’ve given Jennifer near total information on what turns me on emotionally and sexually. Hell you guys can just read the blog and you’ll figure out 90% of what turns me on. It’s really not rocket science or mind reading to push my buttons. There are things that she can do that pull my attention onto her. If you ever hear that we divorce it will totally be Jennifer’s fault for not following the handy 57 page guide to my personal kink. RTFM.

What was the question again?

Oh. No, it doesn’t all vanish. Not if you’re basically high libido and have a pulse. But that doesn’t mean you’re eyeing the exit or standing at the window whimpering to be let out. All it is, is a need for stimulation that you have to pay attention to. I also get that it’s an effort to try and shut your mind down about other people sometimes, but the solution is to ask for help from your partner and clue them into what to do. You just need to have the conversation about “this is asking for help and working on our marriage” as opposed to “I’m threatening to cheat on you”.  It’s completely possible to manage it forever… and have some amazing sexual experiences together “managing it.”

Jennifer:  All true. Athol is fun to live with… tiring lol, but fun.

The Silver Lining Isn’t Gold-Pressed Latinum

If you haven’t visited the forum you should. If you think you can just coast in your marriage or cheat and get away with it, this thread will set you straight.  Lots of reality impacting and several people sharing both sides of being proximal to the really bad stuff. Some of my stuff is in there too, and I’m emotionally raw enough for today I can’t bring myself to cut and paste it all and re-write it to a coherent post. If you wanna know, go read the forum.

That being said, MMSL is a good side effect of me having been a bad person. I’ve spent a lot of time today wondering about the roads not taken, and how life would be different now. If I could rewind the clock and choose again, where would I be now? How many marriages need to be saved by MMSL, to justify having gotten myself mired in an EA that propelled me into making MMSL? If I turned back the clock, what would I choose to do?

It takes a little while to get there, but watch anyway…

So anyway, in the show Picard side steps the incident with the Nausicaan. But as time skips ahead showing him in his career as a Junior Grade Lieutenant… four ranks below Captain.

So in the end, that foolish mistake turns out to be the making of Picard.

So anyway, part of me is completely down with the logic that alls well that ends well and everything is doubleplusgood for my side trip mapping the dark side. It would be logical to not mess with the timeline. So very very logical…

Jennifer:  You are so hard on yourself…we both made mistakes, and we both learned from them.  In a strange way we wouldn’t be where we are now if we had not gone through both the good and bad times.  We win as a team, we lose as a team.  And it’s hard to read comments from people who alternately slam you for having too perfect of a marriage (therefore how can you give advice to those who don’t have fabulous marriages?) and slam you for making mistakes in your marriage and not having a perfect marriage. Oy. You can’t have it both ways, people. (Am I allowed to rant at your readers? I’m usually so mild-mannered…)

Men and Women Can’t Be Friends

Being completely honest, I can’t ever remember having a female friend that I didn’t want to have sex with. Not one. Ladies if the guy is hanging with you, he wants to bend you over something and take up a couple minutes of your time. This is because you can bet that if there was some other woman he was more attracted to than you, he’d be hanging around her and not you. Guys simply aren’t interested in women they don’t want to have sex with. Short attention span and all that.

Women however, if they don’t feel the sexual impulse for the guy orbiting them, still value them as potential chumps and back-up plans. They’re a sort of insurance strategy. You never know when you’re going to need a tire changed or someone else to buy you a cup of coffee. Or maybe lift a heavy object or something.

Importantly…. women pretty much know when a guy likes them and is orbiting them. So if you’re orbiting someone, she knows and you revealing your feelings for her isn’t going to be a surprise. She’ll act surprised of course, but she isn’t. Then comes the carefully crafted speech about how you’re gonna make someone a great boyfriend/husband, but not her and she values your friendship so much she doesn’t want to change something that works so well for her.

So if you’re a single guy and you are with a girl you particularly like, you have to immediately make a move on her to start the relationship heading toward the boyfriend/husband track and not the friend / tire changer / wallet / emotional pit crew / chump track. I’m not saying you have to try and get to second base inside of twenty minutes of meeting her, just at least try and close for a number or a date, touch her arm, tease her or something. Anything other than respectful acquiescence and standing around smothered in your emotional bubble wrap.

If you get a positive reaction, cool. If you get no reaction, you’re probably stuck in a holding pattern and won’t be called in to land. Just don’t stick around and waste too much time with her, find someone else you find attractive and make a move on her.

Now if you’re a married guy, if your wife has a male friend she hangs out with, that’s the top of her back-up guy list. There’s probably another guy you aren’t even aware of, but that guy is gonna be her first port of call should things fall apart with you. He totally wants to do her. You know that because he’s a guy and if he wasn’t interested, he wouldn’t be hanging around her, he’d be hanging around someone else he wanted to bang. Ladies, pussy is always more interesting to a guy that isn’t getting enough, than whatever shared activity you think he’s so into, he wants to do it with you.

Likewise if they are ever alone together. I mean really alone alone. That means he’s passing her Isolation Anxiety defenses. He doesn’t make her feel creeped out. Which means she’s interested in him on a sexual level. Which is of course why wives go ballistic when their husband is ever alone alone with another woman, because they know she’s into him and what the tune really is.

Some videos to illustrate.

And if you want the harsher version… Chris Rock brings the pain. (Some language, cover your ears Sis.)

When The Dark Side Offers You A Cookie

Athol:  I said if you follow the MAP, there will always be The Test…

Here’s how it plays out. You sister-in-law, your wife’s best friend, your female work friend, the chick behind the counter at Starbucks, one of the Mom’s at your kids school… say she’s a 6 or a 7. See before when you were a 6, you were off the market and she wasn’t interested in you. Pulling you off your wife would have taken a lot of effort, and lets face it, you were just a 6.

But now… now you’re an 8, that’s a whole different deal. She’s interested in you. She can’t help it as attraction isn’t a choice. She may not even be consciously aware of it, but you are far more interesting to her sexually now. Women throw off dozen’s of small signals of sexual interest that the alert man can notice…

Here’s one of the forum members talking about his test..

Eagleclaw:  Working the MAP – things are better with wife but not yet where I want them to be – but a work in progress which is all good. Here’s the scary part. I’ve started attracting other people more so. To the point that I had one family friend sending propositions, pics, the whole bit. She’s hot, I’m hugely attracted, and it was very difficult to get my head on straight and not proceed. Cuz, my wife is more immune to me that others. So I’m not getting that kind of attention from her yet. This other person hit EVERY button perfectly. Consumed my thoughts, imagination and said everything any man would want to hear. In the end, it’s still a temptation…. but I used it to make myself more aware of what I was missing with my wife… and applied that enthusiasm back toward my wife.

My point is this. Just as Athol points out…. this is a likely situation to come. And as much as you think you are ready… or can control yourself. If you have been lacking something for a long time and someone mounts a coordinated attack hitting on your weak spots simultaneously….. it is very very difficult to not get caught up in it. This serves as a reminder to expect it… be ready for it… maybe use it a little to gains some sex rank… but be very mindful and careful. It’s sometimes hard to stay on course.

Athol:  So here’s the question…some now? Or can you stick it through to a hopefully better ending?

And note that Eagleclaw doesn’t even seem to be looking for particular attention from this woman. His disinterest is being received as some sort of aloof game lol. She’s hitting on him. If you have the structural stuff in place and running smooth, women will be likely to approach you.

New Rule: Funerals and Reunions

New Rule: If there’s a funeral, and there’s out of state travel involved, either you both go, or you both stay home. Same deal with reunions too I’d say. You both go or you both stay home.

Let’s just say I’ve had this post floating around for a couple weeks and I’ve written it out a couple times and deleted just as many. I had a quite angry couple of days on behalf of someone I know and that’s about all I’m willing to say.  Not even a “five minutes of Alpha” deal either. That would have made so much more sense.

If anyone wants to complain about my “paranoia” about cheating, lets just say this one was pretty much out of the blue and even I was kinda shocked. I really would like to think the best of people, but some days they disappoint me.

Anyway, I keep writing and ranting and deleting. So that’s about it. Good grief I hate the mess cheating causes.

How Walkaway Wives Run a Dirty MAP

This post is going to feel like a sucker punch to some of the guys reading. Please believe me when I say I’m not trying to pin all the blame on you for her leaving or cheating on you. I’m trying to explain the dynamics at work so you can correct them. Yes indeed she did bad things and doesn’t have an excuse for it, but the hard, hard, hard truth is that unless you married a genuine Batshit Crazy woman, you have always been responsible to be the leader of your marriage. Some part of the problem was yours to fix and manage. If you think the Titanic sunk because some bitch put icebergs in the way, you need to take it up with the Captain.

Okay… now that I’ve warmed everybody up to taking this particular dose of the Red Pill rectally, let’s begin…

One of the things Betaized men don’t understand is how they help create the situation where their wife just walks away from the marriage. It’s fairly rare that a wife is just going to wake up one morning and decide she’s going to act like The Joker found the Batcave and blow it all up. It builds and builds and builds and then she makes her move. The bad news for the Betaized husband is that a lot of the effort put into that building, has come from him.

Constant deference and catering to a wife frames her as having a higher Sex Rank than you. It doesn’t matter what she looks like, or what her options truly are outside the relationship, if you bow and scrape and bring mistress pretty things, you’re framing her as being in charge and having a higher Sex Rank than you. Constantly failing Fitness Tests makes her think she has a higher Sex Rank than you. Her cutting sex down to the rate of an IV drip and you sticking around and tolerating it, makes her think she has a higher Sex Rank than you. If she sits at home in a fifthy house trolling Facebook all day while you bring home the bacon and take her on expensive vacations, you’re framing her as having a higher Sex Rank than you. It’s like you’re purposely propelling her to Phase Three of the MAP without her needing to do anything. Just looking at her in a gooey-eyed Oneitis haze lets her know she’s in the drivers seat.

She could objectively be a 6 and you objectively an 8, but if you keep acting like her minion, she thinks she’s the 8 tolerating having made a terrible choice for settling for a 6. Seeing you’ve lifted her up to her own Phase Three of the MAP, she can push to a Phase Four at will. Except that you’re rarely going to get an obvious Phase Four demand moment, because that’s something we do consciously in running the MAP seeking the moral high ground. Oh there may be a tepid demand for something, a “maybe counseling”, a total ending of sex or something, but far more likely she’s just going to quietly slip into Phase Five.

When the lines of communication are broken between you and your wife, you aren’t going to get a message that the lines of communication are broken. That’s what the lines of communication being broken means. When she checks out of the marriage, she doesn’t tell you because she checked out of the marriage. That’s what being checked out of the marriage means. You might think it’s all going great, but that’s probably how a pet cow called “Hamburger” thinks too. Don’t get too excited about seeing Christmas.

Once in Phase Five… she starts checking out of the marriage and getting her ducks in a row for an exit. Again in the actual MAP, I’m advising taking the moral high ground and not getting involved with someone else. Doing that just complicates things needlessly and makes a second problem to address. However in the walkaway wife / dirty MAP, invariably she will get involved with someone else during Phase Five. In fact getting involved with another man likely marks the jump from Phase Three into the limbo of Phase Five.

Then it goes one of two ways.

The first way is that on one perfectly normal Tuesday morning, she just leaves you and someone serves you the divorce paperwork. You’re totally stunned of course. She just walked away for no reason whatsoever. Chances of getting her back – slim to none. And that’s a slim slim.

The other way is that before she does that, you catch her cheating. If you catch her, you have about a three day window to make a fairly complete reversal of fortune where you read her the riot act, stop catering to her, establish clear relationship boundaries and cut off the relationship with the other man. This is of course a huge task to do, and only possible with Sith-like focused anger. I’m not saying be violent, I’m saying if you aren’t acting as “in control but livid”, you’re doing it wrong. And trust me, you’ll have anger to spare. If in doubt, kick her out. You can always change your mind later, and if nothing else, you’re gaining some respect points in her eyes for doing so.

Even then, it’s still a long road back to what your marriage should be, and her actually cheating on you vastly changes things beyond her merely being bored and discontent. It’s pretty much the ultimate Fitness Test topped only by getting pregnant to another guy. I’m always hopeful that a couple can bounce back from an affair, but the odds aren’t wonderful. It’s going to be a major revision of how you live together. I must admit to becoming somewhat less hopeful on this front the longer I’ve written MMSL.

Whether she stays or goes though, getting your crap together and figuring out how to stand taller is always going to be in your best interest. And I know it’s extremely hard to hear that you played a role in setting the scene for her leaving or cheating on you. I’m really not trying to kick you when you’re down, I’m trying to show you what you must change in order to have a hope at correcting things with her… or failing that the next woman in your life.

Not forgetting of course, you can always just say “thanks for playing” and call it a day.

Elitist Jerks Get Better Women

True story:  Once upon a time I had a serious crush on someone in particular in my circle. Great girl. Not the hottest chick in the room, but with the magical X factor that made you forget all about that after talking with her for few minutes. She was interested in me and she got under my skin. Jennifer not too keen on her though. Awkward.

What killed my interest off though, and by killed off, I mean scales-falling-from-my-eyes “WTF was I thinking” switch thrown in my head, was her written English punctuation. Let me just sidetrack here a second to say that I’m a hypocrite on this issue. Despite being an author, I have some kind of highly focused mental retardation for understanding things like what a noun is, or an adverb. Tell me not to finish a sentence with a preposition and I’ll nod and smile and say I understand… but I have no idea what the hell you’re talking about. And yes people have tried. My schooling is littered with English teachers driven to drink and a deep abiding regret for the passing of corporal punishment.

Anyway…

…all that being said, I do know enough to know that sentences need to start with capital letters and the word “I” isn’t written as “i”. I also use periods. And line returns. I got this email from her one day and it simply read as a stream of illiteracy and it was over. Lolcat is fun but not teh sexy. Yous cant haz Atholburger.

I lost all motivation and our friendship just withered away in a fiasco of me trying to half-ass White Knight her during a fairly legit shitty hand her life had just dealt her. Plus to her credit I suspect she didn’t want to do to Jennifer what had just been done to her. In the end nothing happened and we just lost contact. Jennifer happier of course but I’ve always had this really odd sense of rejecting someone for their written English as being extremely petty of me. I did the right thing for the wrong reasons, so I felt like an asshole for doing so. Attraction isn’t controllable.

What makes me suddenly remember all this is my sister’s Facebook image of the day…

Now I know that’s just a Google screen capture, and I really do NOT think my friend was playing STD Pokemon (gotta catch ‘em all) but it made me check up and think about it all again. Seems more and more like a good call to default to being an elitist jerk when it comes to letting women into your life. Have some standards. Make them jump through some hoops to get to you.

I did attend St. Hogwarts so the muggle hating gene might have been activated there. I’d love to claim that my elementary and middle school Christian education bred manners and sexual purity into me, but apparently concepts such as line-of-sight were beyond the faculty’s… faculty. Boys and girls playing tag + can’t see us from the teacher’s lounge = “catch and kiss” games that would make a polyamory convention seem quaintly restrained.

I can probably segue that into a discussion about how females given the opportunity and lack of shaming can be quite happy to experiment with mutliple partners in quick succession. Or open up the “is monogamy natural” debate, but I need to stop here and go check-in on my daughters…

Jennifer:  Lesson learned – Never let your husband do nice things for other women. There are no White Knights, only Horny Knights.