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.

On the Dating Skills Review Podcast #66

Hiya,

I did the Dating Skills Review podcast with Angel Donovan.

http://www.datingskillsreview.com/ep-66-keeping-marriage-and-long-term-relationships-alive-athol-kay/

This was a fairly laid back interview. Ended up going more into my personal life than the Alpha Beta stuff et al, but all good. I forget sometimes people don’t always know the early bits of the relationship.

The one weird moment was a disagreement over the math of how many times Jennifer and I have had sex. He made a corrected note on the transcript. My math wins!

 

Specifically, in this episode you’ll learn about:

  • Athol’s origins (03:58)
  • Athol’s introduction into relationship advice based on his own relationship (05:20)
  • Athol’s personal background and meeting his future wife (07:08)
  • Keeping focus on his long distance relationship (10:05)
  • Athol’s sexual life with his wife (see correction in introduction) (13:00)
  • Is marriage different compared to any other very long-term relationship? (14:55)
  • The positives and negatives of marriage versus a long-term relationship (16:33)
  • Why should marriage be a consideration when in a long-term relationship? (17:40)
  • Scenarios in which marriage should or should not be considered, from one’s own perspective as well as with the other person (19:50)
  • Changes and transition periods leading up to a sustaining marriage (24:05)
  • Scenarios involving men giving up certain traits that lead to marriage problems down the line (24:45)
  • Why men drop their alpha activities when in a long-term relationship or marriage (27:35)
  • When critical moments of neglect or failure take place that result in a lack of trust or support, whether intentional or unintentional (30:20)
  • Excuses pertaining to critical moments of neglect or failure (31:52)
  • Miscommunication scenarios: Athol’s personal example (33:54)
  • Fixing breach of trust and miscommunication issues (39:20)
  • Identifying alpha / beta problems versus trust problems (42:03)
  • Worry benchmarks to consider when there is a decrease in sex (44:48)
  • Reasons for sexual lifestyle changes (46:00)
  • Balancing alpha and beta behavior concepts in a relationship (48:00)
  • Recommendations for high quality advice in this area of dating, sex, and relationships (54:30)
  • Top three recommendations to help men get results as fast as possible in this area of their lives (55:38)

If You Wanna Go Fast… Add Beta

I was digging around on YouTube and found this gem of an interview of Sir Jackie Stewart from 1971.

It’s a discussion on how to take a corner at Monaco – the most unforgiving Formula 1 circuit in the world. It’s interesting enough if you’re into motorsport, then about two thirds of the way into it I suddenly realized he’s talking about the motorsport equivalent of Beta.

 

 

And if you want to see a lap of Monaco back in the day…

 

And again, this is about adding Beta, assuming you already have the Alpha in place. You still have to have the assertive instinct and willingness to sit in the drivers seat.

Maybe go back a few months and read this post again. The Leadership Moment Quota. See how smooth it is?

 

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.

So…

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.

Yellow Alert and Red Alert

One of the most damaging things I’m seeing in relationships are fights about nothing.

Until a while ago I’d been thinking that most of these fights about nothing, were in fact fights about continuing to establish who was in charge of the relationship. The basic principle being that if you can win a bunch of little fights about things you don’t care about, you’re better staged to win the big fight about something you do care about. You can tell these fights are happening when the point of contention is usually about control. I.e. “Don’t tell me what to do”, “You aren’t in charge of me,” and so on. The fight isn’t really about the correct way to stack the dishwasher, it’s about control, the dishwasher is just a backdrop to the conflict where one person demands compliance from the other. I.e. “Stack it my way, not your way.”

But there’s also another way to have a fight about nothing.

It’s when someone is cranky.

When you’re cranky, even normal requests can become grating demands you no longer want to have to deal with. These can even be reasonable requests in a reasonable tone of voice and it would be very reasonable to agree to them…

…except right now you feel very unreasonable.

So you react badly to them.

Then when you react badly to someone making a reasonable request in a reasonable tone of voice, it’s quite reasonable of them to think you’re being unreasonable, rude and disrespectful. After all, you’re basically reacting exactly the same way you would if you were Fitness Testing them.

So they bump back on you.

Which pisses you off.

So then you Bump back on them.

Which pisses them off.

So they BUMP back on you.

Oh hell no. They did NOT just do that.

Dirty Bump Back right back at you screechtard.

Rrrrrrrrwwwwwwwaaaarrkkkkkk!!!!!!

And then as they say, it’s all on. All because someone was cranky.

One of the things I’ve always loved about Jennifer is that she doesn’t really PMS all that much. Even then, when she does PMS, she just announces it in about the same tone of voice one might announce that the mailman came. No anger vented at me, no grumpy pouting and too hard closing the cupboards in the kitchen as she makes dinner. Just a simple, “I’m cranky.”

Those two words are my cue to try and cut her workload down as much as possible. Send her out of the house to relax. Go to the library. Go sip some chai tea in Panera and eat a bagel or something. Whatever it is I don’t care, I just want to move the hand grenade to a safe location. She calms down, de-stresses and comes back. Usually to find basically everything done that needs to be done that evening.

It works because I know she’s not abusing my good nature because she doesn’t fake it. If she’s cranky, she’s genuinely not feeling herself. It also works because instead of things turning into a stroppy evening butting heads together, she takes space and comes back happier and we still usually manage a fun bedtime together. But if I missed her little tell of “I’m cranky”, that would be a bad thing.

My suggestion for clearly communicating you’re reaching the limit of demands on you before you start losing your temper, is a code phrase of “Yellow Alert”. I.e. Yellow Alert =” I’m about to start losing my shit, please give me some space and allow/help me recover and come out of this mood.”

Which brings us to “Red Alert” obviously. That’s when you really have lost your shit and it’s a very dark place to be in. It’s a roiling wave of emotion that overwhelms your ability to “just snap out of it”. It lasts until it’s over. For some people that’s an hour, for some it’s half a day, or a day, or three days, or even longer. When you’re in that place of defensive rage you can say and do some pretty nasty things about and to the people you actually love.

My strong advice is that when you’re in that dark place, simply say nothing other than to announce it and go seek whatever private space you can find, and/or do whatever you can do to get yourself out of it.

Seriously. Just say nothing. Nothing you say will be kind, constructive or helpful. Even worse, what you say might be the Dolorous Stroke that maims your marriage for years to come.

So if Red Alert is an emotional black hole that sucks you in, Yellow Alert is the warning that the event horizon of the Red Alert gravity well is approaching. Take action at Yellow Alert and the Red Alert never hits. It’s vastly easier to take space for an afternoon than walk on eggshells for a couple of days.

Clearly signaling to each other when you are in distress and giving each other space or comfort rather than descending into a fight about nothing is a vital relationship skill. One stupid fight about nothing because someone was tired can wipe out a couple of weeks of positive relationship gains. It’s something I think I’ve gone over with nearly all my couple coaching clients at some point.

Sometimes y’all just need a nap.

In full disclosure, I suffer far more from the risk of falling into the Red Alert realm than Jennifer does. She’s the calm stable one, I’m the passionate intense one. Maybe I’ll talk more about that sometime.

Your Wife’s AAAAAF Report Card (The “F” is for Sex)

I keep coming across this thing where a husband will positively gush about his wife. She’s an amazing cook, looks great, is kind and sweet tempered, keeps an excellent house, fabulous mom to the kids and on and on and on. Then the sad face comes… and he mentions that there’s hardly any sex. The husband always looks depressed and defeated because she’s far too good to leave but he never gets what he really wants from the relationship. There may well be delicious pie and a nice home, but it feels like he stumbled into a trap nevertheless.

For a long time I’ve been seeing that as a form of compensation on the wife’s part. She doesn’t want the sex for whatever reason it is, so she becomes like a kid coming home with a school report card with five A’s and one F. As a parent you kinda have to look at the report card and think… Well she did flunk math… but everything else is amazing, so I don’t think I can really be too much of a hard ass about it.

Except when it’s a marriage and she’s flunking sex, it really is way more aggravating than your kid flunking math.

“In fact”, I usually say, “you’d probably much rather have the house be a bit messy, have her dress down a little, have a little more noise from the kids and less perfection with the money, just as long as you got some more regular sex. Instead of an AAAAAF report card from her, you’d rather see her turn in a BBBBBB report card.” 

That’s the husband’s cue to scream in relief that someone finally understands his situation. Up until this point, complaints about his wife to anyone else typically gets looks of confusion and polite questioning of the husband’s sanity. The wife is after all perfect, because the AAAAA part of the report card is what everyone else sees and only the husband has to lie awake at night with a raging hard-on silently cursing the cruel F that fate has dealt him.

So she’s compensating for her sexual disinterest by maxing out everything else. It’s a great strategy for keeping him on the hook.

But…

There’s another angle here too.

As much as she is compensating for her weakest area, she’s also mirroring her husband.

Pretty much all the AAAAAF wives have AAAAAF husbands.

These guys are really great. Hard working, good jobs, pleasant, agreeable, great with the kids, helps around the house, yada yada yada. But they all have a giant lack of attractiveness somehow.

Maybe it’s their weight. Maybe it’s the cluelessness about how to instigate and flirt. Maybe they just fold up like wet napkins any time she challenges them. Maybe they fail to do anything when other guys blatantly hit on the wife in front of them. Whatever it is, it all sums out to some huge defect in being attractive and pulling her sexual interest.

Meanwhile, the wife probably has her internal hamster treading water coming up with reasons to be happy in her marriage despite the bed death. He’s such a great guy, any woman would be happy with him… just… ugh. This would all be simpler if he just cheated so I had a reason to divorce him.

So…

Whatever it is that’s causing the F in your sex life, you have to find it and root it out. Helping you in that process are the books, the forum and the 1:1 coaching.

So get to it. Class is back in session.

High Fructose Porn Syrup

Somewhat off topic in a forum thread…

Athol:  Actually it’s become clear to me over the last year that it takes very little porn at all to start guys detaching from their wives.

@Haniel:  Might be a derail, but this is where my thoughts are now. I never had a porn problem. My wife never had a problem with me watching porn. I just viewed it as a little extra on the side since I’m more high desire than my wife. It’s way different sensations than sex so I figured just something different and I would do it on off nights–nights were my wife had a busy day and all. Usually two nights a week.

Anyways after reading a few threads here and on r/redpill and the infamous http://yourbrainonporn.com I finally said hey why not just try not using porn ( I thought maybe a month or so to see if there’s a positive change in anything). The main argument to turn me was the simple drop in testosterone. The second was just thinking about how unnatural it is to be able to click click click get aroused anyway you want.

I really didn’t expect much of a change as I was never a heavy user and have a very healthy sex life with my wife, but wow, after two weeks I already decided no porn ever again. My energy towards my wife and during sex just felt so incredibly better.

1) I became much more dominant in my initations. I don’t know if this is because I knew that was the only way I was getting off or just because I hadn’t wasted energy jerking off to strangers.  But I’m just way more proud of the way I initiate and have been getting better reactions from my wife too. It’s hard to define the change it’s just the energy I have when I approach her.

2) Emotional closeness. It’s hard to explain this without getting sappy. I no longer look at other women to jerk off ( I still notice women in day to day life but I’m not stroking at the time so its not as impactful). So my wife is my sexual half. Everything sexual for me is my wife. Every time I get a random boner now I think of her in a hot dress or her sucking me or me pounding her. It used to be oh remember that awesome video the other night, or man that one video I’ve saved for years that always gets me off. Now its random boner  = wife. So now I just feel really connected to her. Boner wife boner wife. That’s the least sappy way to describe it.

3) Noticeable increase in load size, orgasm sensations and duration of orgasm. Even light porn use effected this. The thing is with light porn use say 2 nights a week and with wife 5 nights I never had a break. Now I have a break 1-2 nights a week and that’s enough to really up the pleasure and make the time with my wife more powerful. Who doesn’t want better orgasms with their wife. Now that I don’t watch porn I finally cum like a pornstar.

Its been around 3 months now. Never going back.

Athol:  I’ve had a long time saying that “Something isn’t a problem until it’s a problem.” I still believe that. It’s just become apparent more clearly now how quickly porn does become a problem. We’ve come a long way from a secret stash of stolen Playboy’s.

Never really considered myself a heavy user by any means, and it’s not like I was even jerking off to it. I had a bunch of pic based Tumblrs I was following and when Google Reader kicked the bucket, I was just too busy to find a replacement for it. So the porn just vanished on me one day and that was about it.

It wasn’t until about 3-4 weeks later that I got a adult ad in my email inbox that I got the face full of porny tits and ass. I was shocked by it and that was really surprising to me. Oh I don’t mean “shocked” in a clutch-the-pearls way, just in a wow-that’s-a-lot-of-stimulation way. When you’re a sex writer and a screenshot of box covers makes you have a reaction of any kind it gets your attention. What the fuck just happened there?

So anyway, pretty much everything Haniel said above I’ve noticed too. It’s just a whole lot easier feeling attracted and horny around Jennifer without the porn around. Not like we were even having marriage trouble / sexual dysfunction / serious whatever as a side effect either.

And don’t get me wrong here. I don’t have a moral qualm about watching porn. It’s not even a hard no forever either. I’d just rather not suck down the High Fructose Porn Syrup.

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.

Relationship Power vs Give and Take

@ernestern:  From my interpretations of the MAP, it is basically an exercise to put you in a situation where you are giving less to a relationship and taking more out of it.  In a perfect MAP, it would balance out to a point you are putting in as much as you are taking out, leaving both parties happy.

Athol:  Close, but not quite right. There’s two elements here you’re merging into a single thought. Let me separate them so you see the process better.

(1) Power. The MAP is about putting yourself in a situation where you no longer need your partner. So you aren’t weak toward them.

For example, I could if I liked, dump Jennifer and basically walk right now. I’d find someone new relatively quickly and my life would continue on. She could try the same thing… and it’s not going to go quite as well for her as it would for me. I don’t mean that to sound full of myself, it’s just how the Sexual Marketplace is slanted in women’s favor for the young and men’s favor for the older.

The takeaway is that in relationship terms, I have power over her and thus control the relationship.

(2) Give and Take. The MAP is about finding ways to balance out the give and take so both people in the relationship are getting what they want and need from it.

So for Jennifer and myself, we do have a fairly balanced relationship in terms of what we do for each other day-to-day. We both love and care for each other. I make more money than she does, but she also helps me with elements of that. The books are mine, but I share the income. I’m on her medical insurance. We’re really rather enmeshed in give and take.

So in a sense it’s like I’m the United States and Jennifer is Canada. I’m bigger and more powerful, but it’s not like I’m coming across the border with tanks, or even threatening to. Though I guess Canadians might see that arrangement differently.

Anyway…

So my demand, as the person in power, is that we have a good relationship and fairly and reasonably give and take with each other.

So from Jennifer’s perspective, that’s a good deal. Her main concern is that I’m not going to suddenly end the deal on her. It’s really not like I have to run some horrible dread game on her either, MMSL has been an education and she sees what’s out there. I also display loyalty and she’s involved increasingly behind the scenes with MMSL.

That being said…

When your partner is the person in power and being exploitive, your mission is to balance out the power, or take active control by trumping their power. Part of that process may very well involve refusal to give what they want in order to establish you are capable of such things, but it’s part of the process toward an end goal of a fairly balanced relationship.

Unfortunately, sometimes your partner is simply uninterested in any relationship with you unless they can endlessly siphon your time, money, effort and energy. Whereupon, you have to either leave or remain being their victim.

 If you’re the weaker partner in a relationship, you don’t have to worry about gaining power as long as the stronger partner is treating you fairly. I personally don’t want Jennifer feeling endless rolling stomach churning dread that I *might* leave her for example. That just gets me a freaked out wife for no gain to me.

That being said, if you’re the weaker partner… you are advised to not fall *that* far behind your partner.

If you want to read a whole lot more along those lines, The Mindful Attraction Plan book is the place to start.

Does The End Justify The Means?

I’m often criticized by Christians as being either “too quick” to suggest divorce, or even “pro-divorce”.  Usually it’s not a complete slamming of me/MMSL, more of an element that makes it’s way into my final grade so to speak. MMSL is amazing and wonderful and deserves an A, but the whole willingness to divorce thing drops me to a B.

I get it. I totally understand that point of view. If you have a Christian world view, that makes sense to me that you think that way. The trouble is though, sometimes a completely genuine divorce threat works like nothing else does to unstick a stagnant marriage.

So the difficulty is that it can work, but is wrong to use. Awkward.

So let’s get real about this shall we.

There’s not too much question in my mind that a genuine divorce threat is a non-sanctioned Christian tool. I agree that you’re coming over to the dark side to try this tactic. That being said, I *very* rarely jump to an instant divorce suggestion and those cases where I do are truly horrible. The entire Phases of the MAP is designed to actually slow down the rush to judgment and get everything as good as they can be, before ever getting to a true divorce ultimatum. It’s a true last resort. Even then, it’s a true ultimatum – a choice – with a positive option for the other spouse to choose. All they have to do is act right.

It’s not simply a random nuke tossed out. It’s something that offers a clear and positive resolution if your spouse is willing to take it. So honestly I get a little ticked at being framed as “pro-divorce” or slap happy on recommending it.

So does the end justify the means?

Yes. Yes it does. If that means you’re in a happy marriage as a result, absolutely it does.

It all just needs to be controlled, managed and staged as best it can for minimal risk and maximum possible gain. If it all works out for the best, I think you’ll be able to live with it. But I do get that it’s stressful and stomach churning to think about.

You know what the REAL risk is though? One day something in your marriage is just going to get so bad, you’re going to snap anyway.

I’d rather see you get help before that happens. If you’ve tried everything else and it hasn’t worked, come see me.