Covert Contracts vs. The Princess Fiona Plan

From the forum…

Matt266:  So @Athol_Kay talks about Shrek, Donkey Princess Fiona Plan in the book.  One thing I don’t understand is he says that Jennifer gets Princess Fiona preference, fine.  But then he goes on to say, if I rescue the princess I bang the princess.  Isn’t this a covert contract? ie. if I do this for wife then she gives me sex.

Please set me straight, just trying to learn!

Athol: Okay… so the original Shrek-Fiona-Donkey post is here. The TL:DR version being, I’m framing myself as Shrek, and making the women in my life fall in either the Princess Fiona or Donkey categories. I willingly do a lot of nice stuff for a Princess Fiona, but we also have an intense sexual connection, and Donkeys I don’t have a sexual relationship with… and they are their own beasts of burden.

Jennifer is the only woman in my life on the Princess Fiona Plan. I’d usually make some kind of joke about her frowning on other women or something after saying something like that, but it actually felt oddly peaceful to say that. Huh.

Anyway…

A covert contract would be where you decided to do a whole bunch of nice stuff for a woman, and then had an unstated expectation of sexual payment for services rendered. Typically sexual payment doesn’t happen anyway and then you get mad because you did all this stuff and didn’t get paid… which isn’t fair!  Meanwhile she thinks it isn’t fair that you suddenly sprung your cock into the mix like a bill collector.

What I’m doing with Shrek-Fiona-Donkey is making an overt contract.  Jennifer and I both understand and agree to the arrangement. I do X and I get Y. She gives Y and she gets X. It’s a fair exchange.

A covert contract is like when you stop at a red light and some homeless guy with a bucket and sponge starts washing your windshield, then holds out his hand for money.

An overt contract is like when you go to the car wash and pay for a car wash.

So the point of Princess Fiona vs. Donkey is to clarify in your mind, what your relationship is.

(1) A sexual relationship in which you’re all in.

(2) A non-sexual relationship in which you’re not assuming any special services.

I just clear it up ahead of time what it is going to be. There’s no point wasting your entire Saturday helping a girl you’re interested in, only to discover she has no interest in you beyond your labor assistance. If you’re going to end up masturbating no matter what… well you may as well just enjoy Saturday doing what you want to do.

Four More Years

Firstly, thanks to everyone who made today the best day of sales for the Pants Book ever. Much appreciated.

Anyway…

My eldest daughter is back from France today. High school French trip. When all said is done, I have a photo of her looking at some French ducks that cost me approximately $1500.

It’s actually been rather odd to have her gone for a week, she’s very introverted and self-sufficient, so it’s not like she takes up a lot of time and effort to manage. She’s so introverted, if we wanted to punish her, we’d send her to a party. I was surprised that I wasn’t a little sad she was gone, but as soon as she was back and completely gone from view into her bedroom… it was an entire week for her crushed up with other people, so exhausting… anyway… as soon as she was home, the house felt right again.

Jennifer was a little “on alert” all week figuring that sub-consciously she was always missing something. She has a far more attuned kid radar than I do, in no small part because I’m mildly deaf and simply never could hear the high pitched voices of children in the middle of night asking for cups of water. I’m a heavy sleeper too, so that just makes any hope of me being responsive hopeless.

In fact one legendary night a couple months back a raccoon got up on the roof and over the course of an hour, tore a foot wide hole in the roof, before hitting a crossbeam and figuring out he’d never get through that and giving up. Jennifer and both girls of course wide awake and in varying stages of freaked out by it. The girls spooked by the noise and Jennifer by the imagined cost of roof repair. I provided timely moral support and comfort by modeling unaffected concern and stability… by which I mean entire time the raccoon was directly over my bed growling and ripping up the roof… I slept the blissful sleep of the AMOG.

Youngest suddenly seems like she’s flipped from that “little kid” into being what looks and sounds like a proto-adult. Every single one of her close friends has in the last year had their parents go into some kind of marriage crisis… or had a step-parent suddenly die. Plus the usual boy trouble woes lol. I’ve seen her look at her phone once in a while with a “therapeutic frown” and vanish into her room… or occasionally… head to the end of the driveway for a good 30 minutes.

I don’t know what she talks about. I think there’s this assumed confidentiality thing where I don’t talk about MMSL peeps to her and she doesn’t talk about school peeps to me.

“Crazy people are crazy?”

“Crazy people are crazy.”

I’m so proud lol.

I’m proud of eldest too, though if she ever practices her “gaping bloody wounds” makeup for Cosplay zombies again without announcing it first, I’ll kill her. Special zombie contact lenses too which are f-r-e-a-k-y. One of the cats refuses to be petted by her anymore.

Anyway…

Four more years of teens and high school and then Jennifer and I are supposedly child-free for the majority of the rest of our life. The kids will always matter of course, but I won’t lie when I say I’m looking forward to it being just the two of us. We had this weird courtship in separate countries and just got married cold turkey so to speak. I don’t advise that as a plan lol. But still, we got lucky and it worked and in four years we’ll be mid-forties and done with the kid phase. After that…

…I think I’ll ask her out and we’ll start dating.

 

There is No Female Action Plan

A mildly disjointed collection of rantings trying to bitchslap the proper understanding of what running the MAP is, into the minds of the wives on the forum. Somehow there’s this understanding that the Red Pill is in fact pink, and all they need to do is grow long hair, put on some lipstick, fall on their backs with their legs apart, and their Alpha Prince will cum.

Except all that happens when they do that is their fat, underemployed ManBetaPig just enjoys the sex and then lights up a joint and plays Diablo 3 for five hours. I exaggerate to be sure, but that’s the essential problem.

So… ranting…

There is no “FAP”

The only difference between what a man needs to be doing and what a woman needs to be doing is what creates a dopamine response in the opposite sex.

Male Alpha = more dominance, power, strength

Female Alpha = more flirty, girly appearance

That’s about it.

If you’re a female running the MAP, you should have men other than your husband throwing IOI’s at you. If you don’t, you’re not yet in Phase Three.

Why the “default yes” is a bad thing

It’s basically like dumping three tons of fish into the dolphin tank at SeaWorld and wondering why the dolphins are no longer interested in doing any tricks.

If your wife is into you, she doesn’t need a rule to want to fuck you.

Serendipity gets it

 Serendipity: Yeah I learned the hard way that sex = everything is fine, but even when he wasn’t getting sex he didn’t seem to care and just gave up.  MMSL helped me understand WHY I didn’t want sex with my husband for so long when early on in the relationship I definitely did. I couldn’t understand what changed and lack of sex was something my husband complained about forever and I always thought it was the kids, being tired or whatever it was. Now I know why.

So despite my FAP I had to add in an ultimatum because there was some medical involved (anxiety/depression) and possible porn addiction (since deleted and seems done with).  If anything the FAP, some therapy and this site just really made me realize what my worth really is and that I was/am doing everything to fix my marriage and relationship. Been very loyal when other women may have had an affair of some sort.

Athol’s comment: “The central theme of MMSL is to get yourself into a position where you’re so valuable as a potential partner, that you no longer are required to tolerate being in a relationship with a crappy partner who refuses to handle their own shit.”

That’s exactly what did it for me. I got fed up. I was fixing my shit and now it was his turn or else I was leaving.

Female desire is reactive, but…

Female desire is reactive… but there are other men out there she can react to.

If a male 6 watches his wife transform from a 6 –> 7 –> 8  and does nothing about fixing his attractiveness and handling his shit, he’ll eventually lose her to another man if she decides to pull the trigger.

Maybe he does shape up / get to the doctor / get a job / stop being an ass…. maybe he won’t.

If he does, great. If not, well she can collect child support and be better placed to find another man.

That should all sound very familar.

If he’s freaked out and going full Beta…

When he goes full-bore Betamax you bring him to MMSL. Then he takes it all seriously because he has a pathway he can learn to walk where she ends up staying with him.

All the husbands brought to MMSL by their wives come freaking out and wanting to go full Beta. Then they learn.

Wives must work on looking hot

She absolutely must run girl game and spend more time at the gym no matter what.

Unless she maximizes her overall attractiveness to men in general, any ultimatum she pulls will be less likely to succeed.

Her hot gym body is her leverage.

If his dick doesn’t work

The ultimatum is you demanding he go to the doctor to get checked out

Stop listening to the men on the forum, they aren’t your husband

A forum wife who has a crappy husband, listening to a forum husband in a sexless marriage, can’t model her MAP on what he wants his wife to do. The problems are different.

It’s always the unhappy spouse that comes to the forum. The unhappy spouse always has to do the same thing – become attractive and strong enough to gain leverage in their own relationship and then if required, force the issue.

Why sexually rejecting  totally crappy husbands can be helpful over the long term

It’s not “rejecting him”.

You are making yourself more attractive – improving the quality of the cheese so to speak – and rewarding him when he acts in a positive manner.

“No X until Y” is training him to act in a certain way…. but so is “Yes X even if there’s no Y” training him to act a certain way.  It’s just training him to act a different way.

Most of the forum wives doing the “default yes” thing are simply running a variant on a covert contract. “I will X and you will Y” and then because X is given out before Y… Y doesn’t have to happen… so the wife gets pissed off and then can’t help but lower her sexual response to him.

Most women unwittingly ruin the sex as a reward by being so shitty in bed during the sex, that it becomes a form of punishment rather than a reward. Most guys would rather have 12 sexual experiences a year where the girl was really into it, than 120 sexual experiences a year where she lies there disgusted and immobile.

Offer high quality sex for his good behavior.

There’s no X until Y

I mean seriously. Would any of you as a mother walk into a grocery store and hand the kids a bag of candy and say “please be good” and then no matter how bad they were in the grocery store, do the same thing week after week after week?

If you’re a First Officer you’re meant to be able to stand in for the Captain if need be. Get a backbone, have some pride in yourself, have some standards. Stop this Nice Girl crap.

You wouldn’t let a random douchebag screw you, so why do you lower yourself to let the douchebag you live with do it?

Could you ever imagine Jennifer tolerating me being a drunken, unwashed, broke, loser and still fucking me every day? If you can, she wants to talk to you lol. We hold each other to high but not unreasonable standards. I am a better man for her and she’s a better woman for me.

That’s the MMSL model. I’ve been ranting this for over three years. I’m at a loss as to how my message is so distorted on this forum.

Jennifer: Damn straight. That is all.

Everything Is Better Except I’m Not In Love Anymore

Reader:  Okay, I was a beta schlub. That seems to be so far in the past now. I am reading the post on GNO and the man trips and am thinking, if my wife really wants to mess up, I am fine with it now. I won’t put up with it, I will just move on to another woman if that happens. I am content with my wife. She has a lot of great traits. But so do lots of women. I would be giving up some good stuff and a little bad stuff for new good stuff and bad stuff. I am not about to burn my marriage down, but I look at other options as possible if she decides she wants something else.

Have I gone too far in my thinking now? Is this too much lack of oneitis? I am just so far removed from my divorce is always the last option mentality of two years ago.

Athol:  I think there’s always a mental dip in love feelings as you run the MAP. If you’ve had your illusions shattered and figured out you did a bunch of stuff wrong in your relationship, it’s always hard going to own up to it and fix it. Usually there’s a sense of hope and progress as you turn things around, but it’s just not the same blind joy in your relationship you had before. It’s definitely better than the bad stuff that was going to go down… it’s just not as giddy as when it all started and before you realized it was almost about to all get flushed down the toilet.

Oneitis and the Alpha Widow effect are damn near the exact same thing, just two different terms to spin it into the frame of the man better. It’s basically just a high dopamine, low serotonin mental state and looks damn near the same as OCD focused on a person. It’s called falling in love.

That being said, learning the whole Red Pill point of view where everything gets boiled down to chemical reactions and you can consciously start doing things to manipulate your feelings, and your partner’s feelings…

…well after a while it starts seeming like the entire concept of love is all bullshit. Not only that, your entire relationship history was just slot A, tab B and a bunch of chemicals. If it’s all just this giant game, love dies. It’s all fake. Cause, effect. That’s it.

The good news is that you manage to fix your relationship and change all the structural stuff in your life Everything turns out better. You get on great. Sex is up. Kids are behaving better. More respect at work.

It’s just….

…meh.

Everything is meh.

In time though, especially once you start really mastering what you’re doing and understanding about Alpha Beta et al, and you have your structural stuff together… you’ll start to forget you need to game each other. You’ll just be doing what you need to and getting on with it.

Then you’ll read something about some other couple with some kind of freaked up problem and you’ll look across the living room and tell your partner about it. They’ll look back with that “WTF” face and come over and read it over your shoulder and groan at the cluelessness with you. Their hand will be on your shoulder as they read and for some reason, their cheek is so very kissable…

The truth.

The truth…

The truth is that anyone who tells you that Oneitis can finally be killed, is either a badly damaged individual with serious attachment issues, or someone still working their way through the process. Quite obviously the goal of learning Game is not to turn yourself into a Cluster-B personality type, but to discover and master a relationship skill set in which you can love in relative safety of not being taken advantage of. For most of us though, getting to the end of the process is something that can take several years. It takes a long time to unlearn everything we did wrong, stablize and then learn what we need to and have it become second nature.

The truth is that all those chemicals… they. feel. so. real. and. you. cannot. stop. them.

The truth is you can resist all you like, but attraction is not a choice. So you will feel love again. You can’t choose not to feel.

The truth is love will come back.

***

Though I do have one caveat about all that in relation to the woman you are with…

…she needs to be a First Officer worth a damn.

***

Video related / unrelated.

Age Gaps are a Relationship Stress

There’s a fairly well known average age differential in marriages where the husband is about 2.5 years older than the wife. Humans have a mild Sexual Dimorphism with the males growing bigger and stronger than the females and full mating maturity takes a little longer for the men. The rule of thumb being the bigger the males get than the females in any species, the more important male on male violence is to win female sexual interest. Which is the only reason football exists. The girls may have no interest in watching football, but they are interested to know who is on the team.

Anyway…

Average age difference is about 2.5 years older for the men. In more MMSL related terms, the male Sex Rank takes a little longer to build and the female Sex Rank is weighed towards the younger model.

Most couples are going to clump around the average and have normal age spread between the couple between about zero and five years in favor of the husband being older than the wife. So a married 35 year-old man for example, usually has a wife aged anywhere between 30 and 35. That’s going to be a mildly positive effect on the relationship. He’s a little older and it’s easier to lead someone younger than you, so there’s a nice built in Alpha dynamic there.

I know it sounds trivial, but all the little milestones like turning 40, if the husband hits them first… there’s this tiny sliver of knowledge and experience he has over his wife. It’s just a tad easier being Captain when you’re a little ahead of your wife.

However, once you start spreading the ages apart much further than that, it starts becoming increasingly a negative factor the further you get. Whoever is the older partner, must bring a more focused game to the table to maintain the relationship interest of the younger partner.

Take for example a much older man than woman. Say a couple meets when he is age 40 and she is age 25. She cute and bubbly, he’s in shape and has some cash and game. They marry. The 40-year-old husband though, had to be able to be competitive with age 25-30 men (her normal age cohort of interest) in order to win her attention. So he’s had to bring some serious skill and likely just straight up resources to the table. In fact she probably wasn’t immediately interested in him, but he won her attention. She’s probably said, “I didn’t think I would go for an older guy, but….” and then fill in the blanks about why wonderful Mr. X is the exception to the rule.

However, Mr.X is always going to have to remain competitive with men 10-15 years younger than him, to maintain her interest in him. So when he is 55-years-old and she is 40-years-old, he’s still having to act like his competition is 40 to 45-year-old men. Which as time passes, is somewhat of a risk. If Mr. X at age 55 has a major reversal of fortune in either finances or health, he’s quite likely going to have trouble maintaining his wife’s attraction. He must always be on top of his game.

Likewise in relationships with a woman who is older than the man, similar stresses exist. If he is 30-years-old, and she is 35-years-old, her competition for his attention are 25 to 30-year-old women. Thus she must always keep herself in excellent shape, pay attention to maintaining a youthful appearance and generally be pretty pleasing in the sack.

If you’re eager to tell me a story about a hot, sexually insatiable older woman, that’s just making my point. Men barely even notice women older than themselves unless they ooze sexiness and look great for their age. 35-year-old men don’t swap stories about obese 48-year-old women who wear granny panties. A totally put together 48-year-old who swallows, is down for anal and threesomes… well maybe.

There are particular risks for the older woman though. I’m very often seeing the younger man, older woman situation develop, because the man has some sort of limitation with women at the time the relationship begins. Whether that’s just terrible skills in meeting women, some sort of childhood issue unresolved, a lack of understanding his value in the sexual marketplace, it doesn’t really matter. In short, he has a problem. The risk for the older woman is that at some point… he solves it.

So say a couple meets when he is 23-years old and she’s 30-years-old. He’s not the greatest with women, she’s got some experience and makes it easy for him. He’s kinda broke and she’s established. He’s a little lost and she grounds him. It’s all good, because she’s good for him. But if when he’s 35-years-old, his life finally clicks in place, he’s in shape, his career is going well and he learns a little game…. well he’s solved his problem… he can fairly easily pull the interest of 30 to 35 year old women… and she’s 42-years-old. In that situation, if she has any weaknesses in her game, things can unravel rather quickly.

So… what to do?

Well if you’re already in a relationship and you’re the older one… you’ve absolutely got to bring your A-game. It’s no different than any other relationship, but the margin of error is smaller. You want to be with the young hottie… you gotta keep the young hottie interested in you.

If you’re getting into a relationship with a major age spread, it isn’t an automatic ruling out, but you do need to go into it with eyes wide open. Is this something that can be sustained over the long term?

Also if you’re getting into a relationship with a major age spread, is the relationship only interesting because it’s solving a problem for you now, that you will eventually solve anyway? Thus reducing your need for your partner over time, or possibly even encouraging them to sabotage you fixing it?

Plus for normal age distribution couples…

The way women out live men is always a concern for the endgame years. It’s no fun living alone for the last decade of your life. Mutual good health is always a priority in a marriage.

So yeah… kinda depressing to read and think about it I know, but knowing your Relationship Math can be the difference between an easy marriage and a hard one.

Good Beta, Betaized, Butler and Hooker Math

Beta skills are great. Everyone needs to know how to cook a meal, clean a house, buy groceries and generally have a full compliment of basic life skills. These really aren’t male or female skill sets in my mind, any one can do these. Kids can do them, I’ve taught people with developmental disabilities to do them.

Good Beta – I help out around the house a lot. I actually generally enjoy performing house work, I’m not saying our house is spotlessly clean and ready for the Queen to visit, but it’s not a health and safety concern either. Jennifer also does a lot of stuff around the house as well, so we both work and we both keep house. Jennifer is also appreciative of me helping out and I’m appreciative of her helping out.  Jennifer does more cooking and laundry than I do plus the grocery shopping. I do more yardwork, cleaning and move the high and the heavy objects. So in the context of Team Kay, my Beta skills and performance is a good thing.

I was actually quite pleased when in the middle of finishing off Thanksgiving Dinner together, Jennifer’s grandmother said, “Look at you two, it’s like you’re working in a restaurant.”   I’m performing Beta skills, but I’m also getting credit for them. I’m not building attraction that way, but I’m creating comfort and in Jennifer’s mind I’m getting points for it.

Betaized – This is where you’re still performing Beta skills, perhaps even exactly the same tasks as I’m doing, but you’re getting no credit for it. If your attractiveness is low, she doesn’t fear losing you, so all the Beta goodies you do are simply to make her life easier, rather than soothe away any sense of dread that you’re not emotionally attached to her. Thus…

If Jennifer is attracted to me, my helping out makes her feel safe about being attracted to me. I’m valuable to her vagina and I’m not one of those hit and run penises.

If Jennifer isn’t attracted to me, my helping out means my value to her is what I’m doing to make her life easier. Her vagina doesn’t care as long as my penis doesn’t go wandering off on an adventure.

You can tell when you’re in this situation because instead of her acting pleased, delighted or positive by your Beta goodies, she simply expects them. If all she does is a micro-second smile and praise routine, she’s simply being polite. Note the difference between her “positive attention” to you for doing something good, and how she acts when the dog takes a dump. If the dog is winning, you’re Betaized.

She’s also very likely giving you directions, demands, lists and expects task compliance. The marriage is run on her schedule and whim. You may very well be cooking gourmet meals, shelling out for expensive trips and surprising her with jewelry…  but it doesn’t count for shit unless she already wants to fuck you.

Butler – This is when Betaized turns into Betashit Crazy. If your wife is a SAHM… and you’re the one both holding down a job AND running about cooking, cleaning, taxi driving the kids everywhere, grocery shopping, yada yada yada…. you’re doing her whole damn job for her!

Now don’t get me wrong here, a SAHM isn’t going to be 100% responsible for every domestic chore in the house while hubby cracks open a beer and farts as hard as he can into the good sofa, that’s a bit much I agree. (Please refer back to “Team Kay” in the Good Beta section of this post, trust me, I get it.)  But if he comes home from work and then is doing 2-4 hours of chores of some description and then not getting even a whiff of the aroma of pussy… he’s basically her butler. His sole purpose is to provide her with a womb-like level of services.

You know how there’s that SAHM thing, itemizing out the value of everything she does to some crazy figure? You know, the one where it tries to assess the cost of everything she does on a per hour basis if was done by outside service providers. Personal chef $400 a week, maid service $300 a week, laundry $150 a week, personal shopper $250 a week, nanny $300 a week, nurse $100 a week, limo driver $300 a week….. = $1 million dollar value of service provided in a year. Okay, so hold that in your head for the next step…

Now account that value assessment for your own domestic chores, into your Hooker Math equation.

(Total yearly income from job + Bullshit domestic chore value plucked from air)  /  Number of times you have sex a year = Cost per lay

If your cost per lay is a figure that makes you disgusted,  you’re her butler.

Have a think about that.

 

Oh No, Not Again

Jennifer had a mammogram a week ago. Having been through two false alarm / benign biopsy experiences, I really don’t react with back-flips of joy when she has to have a mammogram. Asked if she wanted me to come, said she’s be fine, nothing I would be able to really do/see anyway. It’s just a mammogram.

So I timed my gym for the day with her mammogram and just pedalled particularly fast. When I was done, she was done. The Tech said it all looked fine but would be seen by a Radiologist for follow up. Great, that’s over, and we went out for lunch.

Except the Radiologist didn’t like the look of something, and she went back today for another mammogram.

This time I went. There was nothing I really got to do or see other than sitting in the waiting room. I read a book for fifteen minutes and she was back out again. Once again the Tech said it all just looks like the same calcification’s they’ve seen before, nothing to worry about. Obviously all gets to be seen by a Radiologist and follow up blah blah blah.

Great, that’s over, and we went out for lunch.

Look I know… second worse case scenario if it’s really bad they will catch something early and I think Jennifer would just say, let’s just be done with it and go the double mastectomy and reconstruction route. Lots of pain and recovery, but 6-12 months later life would be back to normal with a justifiable boob job added to the mix.

Really worst case scenario there’s a horrible slow death from cancer. I’d stay with her to the end and get through it and be strong and all that. I know I would. Being an attention whore I’d write about it and eventually find someone new. I’d be okay.

I think it was ten years ago we had the first breast cancer stare… as in idiots mailed the mammogram report to our house that said MALIGNANT. Jennifer was a bawling wreck for nights on end and I was a mess too, I just was full on coping with her being a wreck that I couldn’t really do anything. I was simply terrified she was going to die and leave me all alone with two little girls.

Anyway, we’ve grown. If it’s malignant, we just move forward and face what comes. I think Jennifer almost thinks of that first wrong diagnosis as a semi-near death experience… after that, in terms of health she’ll cope with whatever. For myself, no matter the outcome I’ll be okay. Either she’ll be totally fine, I’ll end up with a wife with a justifiable boob job, or I’ll find someone new.

So I’ll be fine.

Fine.

Just fine.

Totally fine.

Fuck.

“Oh no, not again” reference… (Geeks only!)

EDIT:  Same benign things they’re seen before. Repeat mammogram in six months.

When You Come From Different Countries

Reader: After reading your post about religious and political differences and raising children, I was wondering what you thought about cultural differences and being from different countries. How did you and Jennifer decide where to live and have children? Would you ever go back to New Zealand?

Athol:  Well we did have a plan at the time we got married. Being structural thinkers even then, we realized that the exchange rate between New Zealand and America was very much in America’s favor. So we figured if we ever had to switch countries it was going to be much easier to move from America to New Zealand, rather than from New Zealand to America. As things have turned out, the exchange rates have stabilized somewhat and housing in New Zealand is more expensive than America and any advantage we imagined is gone. Oh well, it was a best guess anyway.

We also figured Jennifer was going to struggle a great deal without her family around, while I’m fairly resilient in that aspect. If we moved now, she’d be fine though. We’re family now. Overall, it’s worked out very well for us. We moved to a middle sized town in Connecticut and then have moved twice within that town since then. So I’ve lived in New Zealand until I was 24, then in America for 18 years .

The good points are that people are the same where ever you go. New Zealand and America are English speaking, Western, democratic, capitalist countries, and there are more differences inside the countries, than between them. If you have money and a job you’re okay, if you’re broke and uneducated you’re not having a good time. So moving here was fairly easy for me.

There’s always a nice little edge to things between you when you’re from different countries. You’re always just a little bit unknown to each other, though the longer we’re married the less those little moments happen. We don’t hear each others accents anymore. It’s kinda fun to be from different countries.

Both kids love New Zealand… though they’ve only been on vacation, so it’s not a true understanding of the culture. They like that they have a mixed heritage. Also they have both been very healthy kids. Cross breeding for the win. I’m totally serious on that point. I think the separate countries deal plays a role in still being attracted to each other.

It also makes for a great destination for a major family trip. There’s a natural drama and excitement to see the other half of the family and you get an insider’s vacation experience rather than a touristy one. The kids get to play with their cousins and meet aunts and uncles and whatnot. It’s a BIG trip. Very memorable. Photos and albums and whatnot. I think it rounds the kids out more.

The bad things creep up on you slowly. We only have one set of grandparents close by for babysitting and visiting. When something bad happens in New Zealand… I can’t really do anything but know about it. I basically lost contact with everyone I knew there for ages upon ages until finding people on Facebook a couple years back. I didn’t realize how losing my entire social network was going to affect me. Looking back I realized dad could have probably made a few phone calls and seriously helped get me a pretty decent starting position somewhere. For a long time I was behind Jennifer in earnings and that was just weird to me.

The most important thing you can do is make a decision to be in one country or the other and just stick with it. There’s good and bad in every country, you’re just picking your poison. If you try and ping-pong between the two places it’s hugely expensive and unless you’re moving for a juicy promotion, you’re hurting your career advancement. Plus moving really screws with the kids.

The separate country marriage is a double or nothing gambit. If it’s good, it’s really good. If it’s bad, it’s really bad.

In-laws are critical. We both have understanding and good parents. I think if either set was nutty it would be vastly harder.

Being similar to each other is important. Aside from the differences in country, Jennifer and I are quite similar. It’s not good to be exactly the same as each other, but some differences are fun and create a little friction that keeps things fresh. But too much different and you run out of common ground and stop relating to each other.

In terms of going back to New Zealand… maybe. I’ve been back three times now and it’s always a really good, but slightly odd experience for me. Like I stumbled into Narnia by accident or something. We might retire there or something. We’ll see. We’re actually looking at a potential move to Dallas in about 2018 when the girls are in college.

Anyway… as long as we go together… we’ll always be home.  (Jennifer: happy mushy sigh…)

 

Jennifer:  The girls are minor celebrities at school every time they go on a trip to New Zealand.  They have a wider appreciation for the world, and understand that not everyone lives the same way.  It’s the little things that they pick up on too…like loving being somewhere where they could walk to town to go to a restaurant or shopping (the whole cafe culture thing…love it!), and the fact that their cousins could go to school with no shoes on and not get in trouble for it!

 

 

 

Girl Thinking About Having Coffee With Plate Spinning Ex-Boyfriend

Plate Spinning = The practice of a single guy keeping multiple women in a soft harem arrangement. Initial effort to get each woman up to speed and spinning on the end of his… er… stick… and then consistent occasional effort split between them all to keep them all up in the air for him.

Anyway…

From the forum… behold the hamster wheel doing this…

Sparrow:  Yesterday was…a trip. This is a bit disjointed; I’m in an emotional tailspin and just bought a bag of cookies. I could use some advice. Even if the advice is: Sparrow, you’re an idiot. And, wait, you acted like that? And, what is your SR again? Just, please, if you do think I’m being that silly, please tell me why I’m being an idiot and not just “yep. Silly birdie.”

Some background: I once dated what is commonly referred to as an asshole alpha. I (unknowingly) shit tested him into beta. I kept breaking up with him and we got back together three times in three years. To this day, I’m not sure if he’s emotionally abusive or has some kind of Cluster B issue. I think it’s a strong possibility, but I also know that, especially towards the end, I was being a bitch. After last breakup, I spent a fair amount of time apologizing because I figured out I was a bitch. Including once, memorably, on my knees. Yes, I did the whole submissive posturing thing. Apology accepted. Then I went abroad for a year (and got more religious over the period of time). Thought I was done with the cycle. During that time, my former best friend carried on an fwb situation with the fellow at the same time he was e-mailing me asking to make up.

I know I handled a lot of it badly. We started dating when I was 19. This was the second guy I ever kissed. Aside from all the emotional stuff that went on, the physical stuff (sort of sex?) was…Really Good. Ok, so I pretty much went from 0 to 500 in this relationship, and have no real basis of comparison, but as far as I can tell, sex type stuff was really good for both of us. Emotionally: good to ok to godawful. Chemistry: through the roof.

Eventually, sort of made up with the friend. She asked me to be a bridesmaid at her June wedding (she’s engaged to a different guy). *sigh* I said yes. Except, she also wants my ex boyfriend in her wedding party. The guy is a starving musician trying to make it big and currently has a harem of six, not counting the ONS. She asked me to play nice. So, Monday, we were all in the same place at the same time. I’m so much on edge that I can barely think straight, but I did my best to be friendly. Boy tries to give me (and assorted other female types) a hug before he goes; I take a step back. Boy asked if he could call me to get a cup of coffee next time he’s in town.  I said: ok.

I called later that night because I wanted to understand what his intentions were. After some phone tag, he said he missed having me as a friend in his life and would call about the coffee next time he were in town. Except…we never did well as friends. That’s one reason why we kept getting back together.

So I’m confused. Is he actually serious about the coffee? I’m a bit skeptical about the friend bit, but he’s also incurably honest. Is he trying to gloat? Be friends? Add me to the harem? Get back together? And how much are regular awesomely good sexytimes worth? I don’t know if you want to label this as, “idiot hamster can’t step away from alpha,” or “ex-stupidity,” or, “bad relationship cycles,” or “what’s the worst that could happen?,” or “men and women can’t be friends” or “Sparrow thinks about sex too much” or “get out and date other guys” or what. I’d just like to know what you guys think is going on. Help?

Athol:  Oh coffee…. why are you so delicious?

It sounds like you have a lot of attraction for him, but it never sounds like it was a good relationship with him. You can’t be his friend, because you’re attracted to him and he isn’t remotely interested in just being your friend, so it’s always going to escalate in the direction of the bedroom. You may have tested him into Beta at the end of your last try with him, but if he’s spinning six plates these days, I doubt he’s going to revert to that for you. So your relationship options are (1) A 4th round of a really bad relationship, or (2) don’t have a relationship with him.

Anyway, I’d write more, but I’ve had this song waiting in the wings for the correct post for THREE YEARS.

Oh and @ your girlfriend… having the prior (?) fuck buddy in the wedding party. Stay classy girlfriend.

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.