When You Feel Like You Married the Wrong Person

There’s always some point in your marriage when you find yourself waking up in the morning next to your not-soulmate. It’s natural to start to wonder if you even should have married them in the first place. It’s tempting to just want out, not even to be with someone else, just to simply be free of ever having to look at them again.

But in the face of a lack of significant personality defects, abuse or cheating, leaving them simply because you feel unhappy is one of those deeply conflicting questions.

i.e. “My wife is an alcoholic and can’t keep a job” is a very different situation than “my wife is lacking some girl game”, or “what’s with all these hair products everywhere?”

Some of the questions you have to ask are …

(1) Whether or not you’re screwing up the situation yourself, and just dealing with a sub-optimal relationship you can improve.

(2) Whether you’re simply expecting too much of any one person in a relationship.

(3) Whether you’re struggling through some stresses external to the relationship, which are making the relationship harder, but aren’t precisely their fault (or even your exact fault)

(4) Whether you’re still hurt by Critical Moments of Neglect by your partner and holding onto the anger etc.

I’ve had instances of all four of those factors with Jennifer.

(1) I bumbled along for years not knowing about Alpha and Beta stuff, and changing some of the things I did made positive changes. Things on this front were never terrible, but they are significantly better now. We’ve also do a lot of different things in the bedroom now than we did before.

(2) Jen is very soft, quiet, gentle, peaceful, forgiving, trusting and yielding… and at times that is something I experience as horribly under-stimulating. I now consciously create a lifestyle for myself where I have more stimulation. Part of the reason I wrote MMSL was it was something to do that was high-stim. I can’t expect Jen to provide all that for me. Likewise she is more conscious that I get bored faster than she does. We have a better balance with this now.

(3) Being broke sucks. She was stressed out a lot. Not sexy.

(4) There have been a handful of miscommunications and major incidents where I got seriously hurt and some took a couple years to work through.

At the end of the day, Jennifer loves me like no other person on earth does. But she’s not my magical soulmate where everything is perfect and we don’t have to consciously work at our relationship. She’s my wife. It’s not like I’m a perfect match for her either.

Thankfully in most cases, when you just have a background sense of vague unhappiness, without some kind of clearly dysfunctional spouse to work around, things can get remarkably better once you start working on improving your life and marriage on a conscious level.

It really can get better.

Is Monogamy Making You Unhaaaaappy?

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-images-sad-man-thinking-image6749199I periodically get asked if monogamy is natural. Usually the asker is bored in their marriage, looking for the loophole justifying cheating and nothing I seem to say pleases them.

If I say it is natural they refuse to let me exit the conversation until I admit there is a volume of evidence suggesting it’s not natural.

If I say it’s not natural, they seem to think that I’m a charlatan for writing in a way that is pro-monogamy.

If I say it’s a mixture of the two, they start insisting that an adaptive strategy like swinging mixing the two is the way to go.

If I’m tired and grumpy and say they just want me to grant them permission to cheat, they tend to get offended.


Rather than by starting with debating whether or not monogamy is natural, let’s start with stating what is natural.

What is natural is the creation of long-term pair bonds between two people. It’s very natural that couples seek each other out, find each other acceptable as mates, start building a nest together, pop out some kids and raise them. It takes a long time to get a baby human to adulthood and pair-bonded parents generally speaking are the default setting for human history. This is, if you like, the Beta Strategy.

However what is also natural is seeking out opportunistic sex with those not pair-bonded to you. In the opportunistic sex method, men seek out as many partners as possible to maximize spreading their genes into the next generation. Women seek out the best possible partner for opportunistic sex, to thereby get the best possible genes added to theirs to spread them into the next generation. This would be the Alpha Strategy.

These two natural strategies lie in a dynamic tension with each other. It’s a gross simplification, but a lot of what I’ve written over the years is a way to play the Beta Strategy, by consciously augmenting it with elements of the Alpha one. I.e., being someone your pair bonded partner would also desire to have opportunistic sex with if they weren’t your partner.

Now while that’s all natural, monogamy isn’t.

Monogamy is an agreement that everyone needs to play nice and do the Beta Strategy. That agreement can be as mild as a social contract of manners and expectations, or it can be enforceable by the death penalty. It’s a sort of collective sexual strategy that makes a lot of good sense on a societal level, but can for more opportunistically motivated people, seem to be rather stifling.

If you’re playing the Alpha Strategy heavily, you tend to expend a lot of effort to get sex. It’s high risk as well. It may work out amazing, or it may turn into a Jerry Springer episode of fist-fights and paternity testing drama. It takes up a lot of resources to play Alpha all the time.

If you’re playing the Beta Strategy, you tend to expend more effort on non-sexual things, like amassing wealth and maximizing your investment into the kids.

If you’re in a position of power in your country, getting as many people as possible playing the Beta Strategy is a fantastic idea. It helps create a stable population who do all kinds of productive, functional work to develop your country. The Beta Strategy people go to work in the morning even when they feel shitty and they don’t clog up the jails. The Alpha Strategy people though, they’re a pain in the ass.

Let’s be honest here, you want to live in a country where everyone else plays by the Beta Strategy rules. It’s pretty darn awesome. Safe, secure, non-violent, productive and… and… and…

But there’s one small, itsy, bitsy, teeny, weenie problem.

Monogamy as a social contract, does exactly what it intends to do. It works exactly as advertised. You’re getting what you signed up for.

Seriously now, go check the fine print.

All that was promised was a functional, stable, family unit and a day job. You’re imagining the clause about cock exploding into vagina while two bodies writhe together like they are being Tasered. If you both want that, you have to Alpha up. You have to develop the side of you that would do well in the opportunistic sexual market place.

In that sense, what I write about is a mixed strategy, trying to take what you can from the best of both strategies. Which I guess is getting to the place where the swingers want to chime in, so let’s do it. In terms of whether something is natural or not, purposely allowing another person to have sex with someone you’re pair bonded to, is about the least natural thing in the world. The most natural thing in the world is to try and kill them. It requires a huge degree of socialization to be a swinger, so let’s not pretend that it’s all wondrous and natural. There may well have been Sex at Dawn, but there would also have been Killing at Dusk too.

So no, monogamy is not natural. But that doesn’t mean it’s without value. Jennifer and I often talk about how peaceful and relaxed our family life is compared to many others we know. No step-kids, no ex-husbands or ex-wives, no 3rd or 4th set of grandparents, no stepping around how Christmas works because five different families have to be involved. It’s quite lovely. It’s also time and energy efficient and I couldn’t have written MMSL without that as a structural factor in my life. I’d just have been too busy with family stuff.

The core of the issue is that we’re just not perfectly adapted for a modern civilization. We do all kinds of things that aren’t natural but we still think they are a good idea and worth tempering our natural instincts. Some non-natural things that spring to mind…

Flushing Toilets.

The Rule of Law.

The Internet.

Birth Control.

Private Property.

Electric Power.

Powered Flight.

International Soccer Matches.

I could go on and on, but you get the picture.

So let me flip the question around on you a little. If we assume your partner isn’t in some way broken or objectively defective, they love you and are a generally willing sexual partner, is it possible that the problem isn’t monogamy, or you being married, but simply that you aren’t being as Alpha as you want to think you are. Which is to say, maybe you’re boring. If you’re bored with yourself, your partner is probably bored with you too.

One of the things that people I coach keep telling me in moments of self-realization is that, “The MAP really isn’t about sex is it? It’s really about just being a better person, about doing what you want to do with your life. That’s what’s attractive!” It’s usually right after this revelation that they find themselves having the best sex of their lives.

It’s a big world. I’m pretty sure there are still some achievements left for you to unlock.

Nineteen Years Together

Not that the 16 Years post, or the 17 Years post had much to say, but the 18 Years one was a little longer.


Let’s see. This is has been the best and worst year of my life I think. I think if I called it ‘The Year of Starting, Survival, Transition and Body Building” I’d have it about right.

I’ve pretty much spent two hours looking at my screen trying to write something profound that explains the year, but it all sounds either too whiny at the hard parts, or too much like bragging at the good ones.

That’s about all I got.

Happy Anniversary baby.

I’ll bring the Jumper Cables, but I need you to go to the store for the butter. We’re all out of that.


Outcome Independence

Outcome Independence (OI) is usually thought of as making a move for sex on a woman and not caring about the outcome. Free of need for her to say yes, she’s impressed by your confidence and her panties fall off automatically.

What that means in practical reality is you ask for sex, she says no and you walk away trying not to act like Ralph Wiggim.

It’s a good thing to learn, but the true Outcome Independence needed to run a successful MAP is a lot harder than that. Eventually it may come to a place where you aren’t just gambling on a single night, but on the relationship as a whole. That’s all your chips on the table and a single roll of the dice.

This is why I see a lot of guys getting themselves to Phase Three Point Nine Nine and never quite making the jump to Phase Four. Everything is easy and safe in Phase One, Two and Three… but Phase Four and beyond… well that’s starting to get really risky.

But even not pushing to Phase Four is risky after a while, because a long term Phase Three with you being unhappy and not getting what you want…

… is really called Phase One.

The MAP is a bit of a roller coaster some times. Ups and Downs, but you can’t get off halfway if you don’t like it.

Anyway…  from the forum…

 @AlphaBelle talking to one of the guys:  It IS hard, but that’s what outcome independence really is. Not the whole “I didn’t whine when she turned me down for sex” thing it always gets trotted out for.

True outcome independence is saying, “I have no frickin idea how this is going to turn out. Is she going to come around and be a good wife? Am I going to have to go all the way to phase 6? Are we going to divorce? Am I going to push her over the psycho edge by not enabling her anymore? I DONT KNOW.  But I am going to keep moving forward in my MAP and become the best, kindest, strongest, wisest, most productive version of me I can be, and not let the unknown outcome of it all paralyze me or set me off course.”

Emotionally Independent of the outcome, I am MAPing.

Athol:  And frankly it’s no different for the women either. 95% of men and women come to MMSL with the same basic problem – they put up with too much for too long. Eventually you have to push back, stand up for yourself and grow a harder edge to yourself.

Kind by nature, cold by requirement.

And for @AlphaBelle, who is in the middle of her I don’t know…

The Real Reason the Blog has Sucked Recently

I always figured when I started MMSL, that I would somehow run afoul of some kind of combination of employer / feminists / appalled in-laws / basic poverty.

Well the in-laws were shocked, then appalled, then curious, then really appalled, then just sort of disorientated, then impressed and finally there’s a “don’t ask don’t tell” policy with my FIL and my MIL simply adores me.

Feminists… well honestly they never really showed. I’ve had vastly more hate from the Men’s Rights angle. Whatever.

Basic poverty. Well we’ve had some of that for a while, but that’s resolving.

Employer. This is where it starts getting complicated. Back in May 2011 Jennifer and I were taken to Human Resources and had a rather odd conversation in the aftermath of being on Inside Edition. Apparently we’re dangerously monogamous and offensively heterosexual enough to have resulted in no less than six calls of complaint to our employer. Like I said, I always figured I’d be taken to HR, but I really didn’t expect Jennifer to be dragged into it too. Jennifer does have a minor PR role for her company, so we do see their point, but even then, it’s no one’s business but ours.

Thus at the time: Yes sir, no sir, three bags full sir.

There’s really not too much they can do to us directly, it’s not like you can be fired for kissing your spouse on TV. But after that point, I start feeling like the cross-hairs are firmly drawn on my back and I start getting disciplined at work for things that frankly I don’t think I would have been spanked for before that point. I.e. I see which way the wind is blowing, work my ass off and in June 2012 I jump to MMSL full-time.

Which brings us to now, or more correctly a couple months back.

Jennifer gets a message on a Friday, she’s summoned to HR on Monday. Not told what about. I’m unsure if the intent was to ruin our weekend, but it seemed to achieve that goal. Considering Jennifer is the quintessential good employee, it can only be MMSL related and I feel both shitty and angry. We’re just on the very fine edge of me being able to carry the two of us on MMSL income alone, so I Captain up and green light her quitting her job at any point during that meeting.

It turns out someone from a state agency funding Jennifer’s employer, has been printing off a collection of blog posts and anonymously mailing them to the CEO of her company. So anonymous letter, coming inside a state agency envelope. HR really has nothing to say to her but, “Ahhh… this is awkward, but you need to know what’s happening.” It’s also kinda silly being outed to your employer 2.5 years after you were on national television. The surprise factor lacks a little.

Anyway… what it boils down to, is that someone reads this blog, actively hunting for ways to fuck my wife over… and they are willing to play dirty.

So shoot me if I haven’t wanted to write the blog recently.

Plus Jennifer is mentally distancing from her job, and I see the way the winds will probably start to blow as well.

Thus, I’ve spent the last 2-3 months working like crazy taking every coaching client I can take, growing that part of the brand as fast as I can. I’ve been way over my coaching caseload I feel relaxed with, hardly writing the blog and have next to no idea what is happening on the forum most days. It’s just all hands on deck for immediate cash, piling up a rainy day fund and getting the income level up to speed. Yes we went shopping for stuff for the house, but the primary goal was charting an exit strategy for Jennifer.

Which comes to yesterday…

She put her notice in. Three more weeks and then she’s done. After that, we can catch up on a lot of what I haven’t been able to get to recently. Plus she’s an all-purpose useful behind the scenes specialist. Office managing, marketing, billing, customer service… and a somewhat shall we say, “hands on approach” to managing the erratic ball of energy that is me. Purrrrr. Lots to do and it’s going to be fun. Okay, so it’s also a little like the first drop on a rollercoaster, but it’s going to be wonderful and we’ve worked hard for this. So very, very hard. So Jump vs. Push… meh, get over it, it’s just time.

Plus we plan to take exquisite revenge. Which for us means attending the next Wine Tasting Fundraiser dressed like Nordstrom Shopping Peacocks and doing the Mexican Hat Dance. I don’t believe Ms. Anonymous at the state agency will test us again. Which is almost a pity, because I think I could probably make that sort of thing go viral and we’d love the sales bump.


The week of Thanksgiving Jennifer will finally be home and like King Théoden… breathing the free air.

 Jennifer: It was an odd day at the office today…lots of “Nooooo!  But you can’t leave!” and then lots of questions about who had hired me / what company I was going to.  It’s odd that we’ve been so careful to be under the radar, that very few people in my office even knew about the coaching and the MMSL Empire that I’m leaving for.  Looking forward to being able to be more present on the forum and to putting my energies into building new and exciting things in MMSL Land. (maybe Empire is a bit much?)

Athol:  Sigh. Rescue a princess, inherit a queen.

Jennifer: I can haz a Galadriel video? The “instead of a dark lord you would have a queen!” one?

Athol:  No.