Boo the Villians, Cheer the Heroes

Most women have a need to verbally decompress their day. Which is a fancy way of saying they need to talk when they come from work, or you come home from work when they’ve been home all day. Women tend to be more emotionally fluid than men, and it can often seem to the guy like he’s been dropped into a verbal puking of half a dozen emotions and disconnected storylines. This is just her  clearing her daily event cache.

There are two mistakes a guy can make here.

The first potential mistake is to simply tune her out and ignore her. It’s low effort, but the cost is that more and more she simply feels like you don’t care about her. Also there’s the obvious risk of along with tuning out the clearing of the cache, you are missing more important communications. This is why you never should make grunting noises of agreement without being consciously aware of what you’re grunting agreement to. Unless you want to risk being forty-five minutes drive away from “the thing” when the thing starts in ten minutes and she’s holding seats for you both.

“Got great seats! See you soon!”

Shit. Soon for what?

The second potential error is too listen too hard, and start engaging your powers of problem solving when she doesn’t actually want to have a problem solved. She’s just clearing her cache and reconnecting with you. If you start trying to problem solve when she isn’t actually looking for it, it tends to both be interpreted as you “not listening” and as somewhat demeaning in that you’re acting like she can’t solve her own problems. It’s frustrating to her because you’re stopping the problem solving she was doing, which was simply clearing her head and feeling connected to you.

The actual solution is to do what I call “Booing the Villians and Cheering the Heroes”. Which is to say you treat it something like watching a TV show with a bag of popcorn, and simply enjoy the show. When good things happen you say “woo-hoo”, when bad things happen you say “that sucks”. Her friend does something good in her story, say “she’s awesome”, and when some bitch does her bitch thing, say “that bitch”.

That’s it. Seriously, that’s about all you have to do. Boo the villians, cheer the heroes.

Caveats…

You don’t have to sit through endless reruns of the same show. If you start hearing the same sad story of her failing or losing or whatever negative again and again, call attention to it as her making some variety of a Display of Low Value.  Then ask if she needs help troubleshooting the issue. You don’t necessarily have to run out and assist with the application of the solution either. If it’s her workplace drama for example, there’s usually zero you can do to help anyway.

Also a very high risk option is to tell her to “stop bothering me with all this and take it to your girlfriends instead”. They don’t always end up talking to their girlfriends… it’s a situation tailor made for a Beta Orbiter to get a leg up on her attention. As soon as she says you told her to get lost unless she wants cock, it’s almost impossible for another guy to screw up the stock-in-trade husband/boyfriend destroying tactical responses. Unless of course her talking to another guy, with him saying you sounded abusive was your intention. In which case, carry on.

And ladies… same thing applies to listening to talk about sports.

His team was sporting very hard, and they sported sportingly. Go sports team of his preference. Go!

 

Valentine’s Day and the Gift of an Alpha Experience

@Dewy:  Here’s my dilemma: Earlier today, my girlfriend announced by text that since I am not there on Valentine’s Day this year we should celebrate it this early, this weekend. And she’s expecting a present. Apparently her therapist suggested that we need to be more romantic, and as we don’t normally do much for Valentine’s, we should make a big thing of it this year.

At first the exchange started off pretty lighthearted. She dropped hints about silver or chocolate presents. I dropped hints about more intimate “gifts” instead. She fought a bit for the cause of materialism, and I jokingly pointed out how unmaterialistic I am (and made more sex jokes). But she kept on about presents and eventually suggested that I was making her “feel judged for suggesting we try something fun and different”. (I guess I don’t like being told I’m expected to by expensive presents for someone, or else…).

What do I get her? She just texted me to say she is “buying the components of my present now”. I need to do something in response, however minor, but there are two problems. (1) I have virtually no free time in the next 24hrs to get her anything, and (2) I’m annoyed how she is putting me in this situation of demanding something at the last minute.

Is this sort of a fitness test? If so, is it a shit test or a loyalty test?

Athol: Okay, let’s do the Fitness Test vs. Loyalty Test thing first. Fitness Test meaning she’s looking for some sort of Alpha attraction building response, and Loyalty Test meaning she’s looking for some sort of Beta relationship comfort building one.

This one is pretty ugly because it’s actually a Fitness Test AND a Loyalty Test presented in a Double Bind. Meaning you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

If you act like it’s a Fitness Test and somehow bump back on it and don’t get her something, then it will very likely be announced that you’re failing a Loyalty Test and your lack of gift signifies that you don’t care about her. That claim will be backed up by the authority of the therapist having recommended in. No gift = bad.

If you act like it’s a Loyalty Test and just immediately run out to the fancy gift store like a dog chasing a thrown tennis ball… she’ll eat some of the chocolates, then as her blood sugar dips she’ll find a way to express her quiet disappointment you’re so biddable. Probably by complaining all this chocolate is going to make her fat and you’ll sabotaging her. Gift = bad.

So…. what to do…

Well, (I’m armed with a little extra information from another forum thread,) I suspect a part of the reason she’s depressed / in therapy / on SSRI’s is because she’s in the situation where she’s struggling to find ways to hamster herself into staying with a guy that’s currently low Alpha and high Beta.

My suggestion is to give a gift of something that equates to an Alpha / high dopamine / high stimulation experience for the two of you. i.e. Ride rollercoasters somewhere, parachute jumping, date night out somewhere unusually good, ziplining, waterparks, a seriously extreme bouncy castle with no regard for safety.

There is a gift, so it meets the Loyalty Test side of the Double Bind.  But it turns the Fitness Test around on her and turns the acceptance of the gift into a Compliance Test that she has to pass. She has to step up and do the high stimulation experience, otherwise she’s chicken and/or bitchy for not accepting the gift. Double Bind that back at you baby. Which sounds a little manipulative but all you’re really doing is running your MAP in a way that dovetails with Valentine’s Day. Just add an Alpha experience and give her what she actually needs from you, rather than what her therapist thinks she wants.

@Dewy: Has anyone ever told you that you are a genius?! Most of those activities are a bit out of my budget, but I started rock climbing 3 months ago as part of my MAP and she mentioned she would like to try it. Plus it will be a good opportunity to Display High Value with my mean climbing skills…

Athol: So dear reader…

What’s your plan for Valentine’s Day?

 

Quality Time = Shared Tasks

This one is pretty simple, but it’s amazingly effective for working with a spouse that has a Quality Time love language.

99% of the time men assume that their Quality Time loving wife, wants to just sit around together watching TV. Or go on a date and gaze into one another’s eyes. Or something else completely boring as hell to the male psyche.

Her:  “Let’s have a picnic!”

Him:  *fakes having a seizure*

So…

The solution is in fact stunningly simple and easy. Stop trying to spend Quality Time together, and start Sharing Tasks.

There’s plenty of basic everyday tasks that have more than enough space to share the load together. The most obvious one is the whole cooking dinner –> eating dinner –> cleaning up routine. While you’re both in the kitchen together, there’s plenty of time to Suffer Through Vacuous Crap  (1) Talk About Your Day, (2) Help Out Around The House, (3) Spend Quality Time Together, (4) be Cocky and Funny and (5) avoid a charge of sexual harassment through sheer hotness.

Seriously, that’s all it is. Quality Time = Shared Tasks.

Make the kids lunches together in the morning. Split the Saturday morning cleaning together. Go grocery shopping together. Anything works if that’s her love language.

I also guess you have to act like actually sharing the task isn’t some onerous burden of misery that must be suffered through. Act like you like who you’re working with.

I mean think of all the emotional and physical affairs that start off because people were working together.

Jennifer: Yes! Exactly! People are busy…don’t stress about scheduling Quality Time, just find it where the opportunities already exist.  My favorite is the occasional grocery shopping trip together, which sometimes includes a stop at Panera for a bagel and coffee before we shop.  Task completed + hanging out together = Happy Jen.

Athol: Oh yeah. There’s another type of Quality Time error I see. That’s the one where she seeks you out to offer her assistance, but you’re so amazingly awesome at the task you tell her you don’t need her help. Which naturally she internalizes into you not needing… her.

 

 

The Red Yellow Green Sexual Communication Tool

This is going to be an important post for a lot of couples.

There’s a ton of advice about whether you should or shouldn’t be having sex on any given night. There’s the default yes, fake it until you make it, no means no, push through her resistance, always be closing, don’t push against her shields once they are up, pound her hard and if nothing works be outcome independent.

Got all that?

What I’ve realized is that some of that confusion is coming from me, in that Jennifer and I from the get go were lucky enough to have mutually aligned assumptions about sexual communication. I’ve just assumed that everybody else communicated the same way. So what this post is going to do is reverse engineer what Jennifer and I actually do in terms of a decision matrix about what we do on any given night. Not that every night we have sex, but that every night we make a conscious decision about having it or not. We don’t wait to be “in the mood” to communicate about sex. The goal here is to give you some kind of shared language and avoid misunderstandings and lost opportunities for sex.

For the most part, this is aimed at “MMSL couples” looking to build a better sex life. The assumption is that both of them want to work together to have a better sex life and connection. They may not feel ultra turned on by each other, but it’s enough to want to work on things. It also assumes no medical issues et al interfering with baseline desire.

Also Jennifer is the lower desire partner and I’m the higher desire partner. So most of the time Jennifer is the one making a color choice and I’m more typically the one making an initiation attempt.

Green = This means Jennifer is very sexually interested tonight. Basically anything is up for grabs and I can push for an “above average” night of sex. This is the night of something more rough and dominant from me. Basically the harder I push / desire / want her, the better her response. Green = Just fuck me. Go Alpha.

Yellow = This means Jennifer is neither particularly turned on, nor resistant to sex tonight. This can go one of two ways usually, (1) a longer foreplay toward warming her up and ultimately her coming to orgasm and enjoying it for herself, or (2) her not wanting that but being willing to give me something like a handjob, blowjob, or the quickee intercourse option. This is from me a softer initiation push than a Green night. On a Green night I’m pushing her toward her maximum sexual response. On a Yellow night, I’m initiating for the purpose to get sex and have a mutually pleasant sexual experience together. Yellow = Warm Jennifer Up / Something for Athol. Go Alpha/Beta.

Red = Jennifer does not want anything sexual tonight. I don’t push her at all about this. Not a damn thing. I usually offer some sort of care bear routine for her as well, usually her Red nights she’s sick or genuinely tired. Red = No means no. Go Beta.

Whether it’s a Red, Yellow or Green night, I don’t get upset and complain about it to her. I remain outcome independent about it.

For the most part, my first steps are simply to discover whether or not it’s a Red, Yellow or Green night. Once I know what kind of night it is, I tailor my approach to that.

But until I make a move, I might not know it’s a Green night, because she might not tell me.

Relationship Momentum

In terms of the overall relationship momentum, imagine a 1-100 scale with 100 being the best possible and 1 being the worst possible.

In the 71-100 range, you’ll probably get a mix of Greens and Yellows and a  handful of Reds.

In the 31-70 range, you’ll mostly get Yellow, but also a variety of Greens and Reds.

In the 1-30 range, you’ll mostly get Red, with some Yellow thrown in. Maybe a Green if you’re getting ovulation sex.

Gaining Points

Every night you make the correct call, i.e. she wants Green and you act Green, you get a +1 to your relationship. Same thing on Yellow nights, she wasn’t wildly into it, but you still had a good experience together, you get a +1. On Red nights, you don’t force the issue at all, you get a +1.

Losing Points

Every night you make the wrong call, you get a -1 to your relationship. She wanted “Just fuck me” Green, and you were too soft on approach (Yellow) or ignored her (Red). She wanted something sedate or just for you Yellow and you tried to get her to have pornstar sex (Green) or didn’t make any move on her (Red). She didn’t want anything at all on a Red night and you tried to get a Green or Yellow response.

Adaptive Strategy

What happens with a lot of struggling couples, is that they get advice to “Always Green!”, or “Always Yellow!” or “Ignore Red, just push yourself through it and act Green.” The result of that is some nights get a +1 and some nights get a -1 and they all balance each other out. Thus over the long term, the relationship doesn’t get any better. If your relationship momentum score is a 30 and you go +1 -1 +1 -1 +1 -1 +1 -1 +1 -1…. you’re still going to be stuck at 30 even though you’re both working hard on your relationship.

You have to have an adaptive strategy to heal a fragile relationship.

You cannot force a sexual response from someone who doesn’t want to give one, without risking seriously negative effects to your relationship. So when the relationship is down in the dumps below 30, that may well mean a whole lot of not having sex at first.

If she’s not interested in sex with you (Red), you must stop orbiting her or expressing anger about not getting porn star sex (“Why aren’t you Green?”), or not even bothering to give you a handjob (“I just want a Yellow, why can’t you Yellow?”). When she’s feeling Red about sex and you demand / pout / threaten / tantrum and she lets your fuck her, you get Red Sex and you complain about that…. (“She just lays there like a Starfish!”)

So my advice from here is to actually start using the words Red Yellow Green until you get a handle on it. Over time, you won’t need to say the words because you’ll internalize them.

This has all been largely focused at the guys/higher desire partner, so a final thought for the women/lower desire partner…

If you force yourself to have sex you don’t want and hate every minute of it. In what bizarro world does that fix your relationship and make you love your partner more?

Side Effects of Carrying Cash May Include Sudden Whoretex

Whoretex: A portmanteau of “Whore” and “Vortex”. A whoretex forms when a woman becomes suddenly sexually motivated in the presence of a man with money.

FuzzyBunny:  I work OT and pay off a large bill early.  No reaction.  I work OT again, when offered, and buy new comfy bed she likes.  Still no reaction.  Change out an outlet that was not working, get a BJ while watching TV.  2 months of no OT, griping about money.  I don’t understand.

I make enough to pay our bills and then some.  WTF?

Athol:  Firstly, you gotta get a new member name on the forum. FuzzyBunny isn’t very metal.

Anyway…

Usually the women have to actually see the money to have a positive emotional reaction to it. Money that is in bank accounts is often invisible to women, unless it’s not enough to cover the bills and they have a negative emotional reaction to it. So working some over-time, taking the money out of the bank and buying a new comfy bed with cash = win.  It’s kind of the same with the changing an outlet cover. It’s an objective observable task you did. It nets more points than something she can’t readily see.

Something else to consider is that women do adapt to a certain level of income and you don’t get points for it after a while. So if you make $25,000 a year and get a bump to $35,000, you’re going to get a happy wife reaction. Making $400,000 and dropping to $350,000, is in her mind likely a concerning fuck-up on your part. Objectively speaking $350,000 is more than $35,000, but the $35,000 wife is likely happier about things than the $350,000 one.

I don’t make the rules, I just report them with a wide brush. And just to repeat one more time, women aren’t all gold-diggers, but they are at least copper and silver-diggers. The bills have to be paid, nice things once in a while are nice. But there is unquestionably an adaptation thing where women hate going backwards in standard of living the same way men hate blowjobs vanishing off the menu for no clear reason.

Always have some cash if you can.

Anyway…

In terms of Jennifer and myself, all the book money just funnels into the joint checking account. She pays the bills and I trust her implicitly with handling that. But I do have a affiliate thing that pays into PayPal and now the coaching money gets funneled that way too. There’s been a couple times where “my money” has paid for something and she had truly a palpable look of relief. The big one being the month Amazon paid out several days later in the month than usual… now on the “wrong side” of the forum bill and scary close to the mortgage payment. It’s a nice feeling saying “no problem” and having “magically appearing” money in your hand.

I’ve also lightly teased her that giving her cash entitles me to additional services lol… and she’s been flexible meeting my demands. Bearing in mind all this is a game between us. Half the money is hers anyway. Even if I was technically paying her for sex, I’m paying her with half her money. So it’s really like a 50% off sale… which gets me to second base with Jennifer.

It’s actually kinda fun. Scratch a good girl, wave $300 and see how fast a whoretex forms to suck you dry.