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.

Explaining The “In Her Or On Her” Rule

Forum issue…. spent a long time triaging this case and everything went back to the husband having a porn/Internet addiction. As in we figured out the exact month everything started falling apart being when they first had cable Internet installed. Literally a bright motivated guy one month and starting to flunk out of college the next. Then over a decade of unemployment and underemployment after that. Her carrying about 80% of the income load while he stayed home and jerked off to porn. Long story short, I gave her a full and complete triage experience, she unleashed “Option A or B” on him, he went for Option A.

Which brings us to this post. One of my suggestions that was part of Option A was to adopt the “In her or on her” rule. Meaning where his semen ends up. i.e. no jerking off to porn, if he’s having an orgasm, it’s with her in some way shape or form. Don’t care where he comes, just as long as it’s with her.

Then comes the hamstring questions. What if she’s not available, or doesn’t want to? Or other reason to get around the rule. Squeaky squeak squeakum.

My response…

(1) He’s the addict, so anything he says isn’t reasonable or valid related to the addiction.

(2) He’s allowing himself to have his brain be rewired to experience her as the outlet for his sexuality.

(3) Given long enough (months) doing (2) will make his brain eroticize her to him. Just like he’s conditioned himself to particular porn to be a turn-on, now he’s conditioning himself to be turned-on by her. Yes that’s “artificial”, but it will feel completely real when it’s done.

(4) Like any form of hunger, the longer it goes between feedings, the greater his desire to be fed. So if she is unavailable (work) or unwilling (I expect somewhat rarely), all that does is make him more interested in her and more attracted to her. If he routinely masturbates without her, then he basically messes up the entire program. The orgasming without her is the entire problem.

(5) What he’ll come to learn is that 99% of eroticism lies in the feeling of being turned-on. After he orgasms, it’s over. It seems very counter intuitive I know, but he’ll actually find a more satisfying sexual experience on the other side of this process. It’s really not robbing him of anything.

(6) Without the endless dopamine chasing of the porn/Internet addiction, he’ll find greater personal focus in his life as a whole. He’ll think better. Perform better. This is a real addiction he’s been facing and it’s terribly draining on him.

(7) Monogamy isn’t exactly easy. It’s not for me. I’m a higher desire person than Jennifer, but it’s the experience of being turned-on that’s the most enjoyable thing. By a conscious focus limiting myself to her, it actually is sexually frustrating in a positive sense. Much of Oneitis is simply a biological response to sexual frustration coupled with an emotional focus on a single woman. As long as she is a basically good wife, it’s pretty freaking enjoyable.

Or in other words, the “in you or on you” rule may seem like a gimmick, and to an extent it is. But it’s also going to work to make him find her more sexually attractive and help him fall in love with her again.

And even if the process to make that happen is artificial, the feelings he’ll experience as a result of it will be real.

The caveat to all this being that she’s actually into him. She’s been a total Nice Girl slaving away supporting him and being sexually cut off by him. She wants to lay him like tile.

Jennifer:  This can also be a lot of fun for her. We don’t often skip nights but the positive change in Athol’s attention toward me is noticeable the longer it goes since the last time we had sex. It’s nice to be the focus of that level of desire. Now if a girl was mildly evil…

Long Term Relationship Count: 3 + 1 = 4

Just reading Susan’s Cohabitation Blues post and got a memory jag about something I can’t remember if I already wrote about or not.

So…

Men will always be lied to about female partner count. You may as well just accept that. Yeah I know some tiny handful of women don’t lie about partner count, but they look like all the ones that do, so lots of luck figuring which is which. Plus the ones who aren’t lying probably aren’t terribly strongly sexually motivated, or are still “mint in box”, which is potentially another curve ball to think about.

However, women will tell you how many guys they’ve lived with like it’s a badge of honor. It’s a proper relationship, NOT at all slutty or remotely questionable. It’s all on the up and up. Not a problem. She’s an Official Girlfriend(TM) and putting out officially. Besides, the only difference between living together and being married is “a piece of paper”.

Right?

Ah okay, let’s say you’re right.

So rather than worry about a couple of one night stands, or that thing that happened on vacation in Mexico, or anything that happened in high school… or drunk.. or in Vegas… let’s just count the cohabitations. Then you just add +1 to the total to see where you would fall in the progression should you take the next step with her.

So if she’s had three cohabitations, if you marry her, you should think of yourself being her fourth husband.

 

Dragon’s Lair: Princess Daphne Teaches Girl Game

Here’s the thing about White Knighting.

No one tells guys they need to do it, it’s built into their DNA. Pretty girl needs saving? We’ll be right there.

Watch this short video and tell me you don’t have a total craving to hunt for a copy of Dragon’s Lair. Must. Save. Princess. Daphne.

There’s a rather obvious assumed contract at work there. Be the hero, save the girl and you get to pop her out of her chastity bubble.

However in modern society, if a woman is rescued she doesn’t have to pony up like a fairy tale princess. If the fire department rescues a woman from a burning building, there’s minimal expectation she’ll let herself be taken doggy style in the back of the fire truck. As an aside, Engine 7 wishes to apologize.

But for men, the expectation for being a White Knight hero remains intact. If a woman is getting robbed by three men, a male passing stranger is simply meant to rush them unarmed and get shot as a distraction so she can escape with her pocketbook. Your wife will bawl her eyes out on your casket and you’ll be called a hero. Everyone will be proud.

Yeah I know, extreme examples, neither of which is likely to happen to you in your lifetime. Usually the “save me” and “here I come to save the day” is smaller and less dramatic. Here’s rent money. I’ll help you finish your report. I’ll tell them no for you. Take my car. I’ll help you move. No worries, I’ll buy dinner. Here’s something to help get you back on your feet again. I don’t mind staying here all night in case he tries to come back, I’ll just sleep on the couch with a hard-on.

So the rule is, you don’t turn yourself into a chump. You don’t spend unusual time, energy, or money on a woman who isn’t willing to put out for you. You sure as hell don’t put yourself in danger for her. Women killed chivalry by demanding equal treatment and breaking their end of the hero-gives-rescue-princess-gives-poon contract. So men have to stop White Knighting, otherwise you’re just an idiot for doing it.

But…

It’s fucking built into us.

When all is said and done, one of the things I like about being married is I can White Knight Jennifer. To be fair she’s not some dingbat endlessly getting herself in a spot of bother, but it’s really actually kinda fun to provide for her and get to play the all-purpose hero of the family. She also holds up her end of the bargain and puts out rather nicely. I don’t have a magic sword, I have a laptop. I don’t have a dragon, I have MMSL. I don’t have Princess Daphne, I have Jennifer. It’s actually really enjoyable.

When you look closely at most guys, their lives involve finding out whatever their version of the magic sword is, trying to slay their dragon and saving their girl from something. You want to know what the hottest thing about Princess Daphne is? What gives her rock solid girl game? It’s not the sexy voice, it’s not the lingerie outfit, it’s not her long blond hair, it’s not her ass, boobs, lips or legs.

She squeals and claps.

Ladies if you want your husband to act more Alpha, if you happen to notice him doing something good, try an over-the-top Princess Daphne patented Squeal and Clap routine. Watch him puff up with DNA programmed pride. I do Goofy and Groping, so why not see what a couple of seconds of Squeal and Clap gets you. I’m telling you, back in the day guys shoveled quarters into those Dragon’s Lair machines….

 

 

Common Warning Signs Women Give of a Relationship Decline

Actually that’s a trick post title, there aren’t any common warning signs, there’s only one.

The sex starts to go away.

That’s it. That’s all you have to go on. You can fairly safely ignore all the words coming out of her mouth about the state of the relationship and simply focus on whether or not the sex is crappy/gone, or hot/frequent.

Marriage is always a sexual relationship. It can be a good sexual relationship, or a bad sexual relationship, but it’s always a sexual relationship. So if the sex is bad, your relationship is bad.

Unless you can point to clear reasons as to why sex isn’t happening, like she’s totally exhausted with breastfeeding a newborn, or her exam finals are stressing her out like crazy, or her parents are staying over and the walls are paper-thin, then you have a relationship problem happening. Note in all those things I suggested, they can all resolve and sex can bounce back. The newborn can get bigger. The exams are over. Her parents go back home. The sex comes back.

But if there is no bouncing back and your sex life is just crappy…  you’re in a bad relationship.

Any time someone says *everything* is going great about their relationship, except the sex, it’s a crock of shit. The relationship is a sexual relationship and the sex is bad so it’s a bad sexual relationship. Plus if you’re in a bad sexual relationship, so is your wife, so the clock may be ticking on a lot worse than simply you having to jerk off in the shower.

If this is all news to you and you want a good sexual relationship, you gotta buy the MMSL Primer and get the whole story.

Men White Knight Because Sometimes It Works

As a response to Fun Money.

Celeste:  Okay, true, but an extra $2000 isn’t in the cards for us for a few years. A good wife can have fun with a hike at a local park, a good husband can Google around for new local parks and surprise his wife with a visit. Really, $2000 extra is going to be out of reach for a lot of people, for most of their lives. I foresee a future in which we will, but another part of me bristles at this…how did all those peasants and serfs manage to stay married living hand to mouth? No extra shirts, no nights out, no shopping malls, and people made it work. Of course, the whole structure of society was different, and men had some actual power. But does it require wealth and materialism to make this work? I don’t think so.

Athol:  Well as a reminder, what I said was…

When people imagine life changing amounts of money, they always imagine millions of dollars, but consider what just a extra $2000 can do for a relationship if you’re the husband.

An extra $2000 spread over a year, comes to $40 a week.

Is there truly, truly no way to find some combination of extra income or reduced expenses, that comes to a net gain of $40 a week? Then consciously spending that money toward maintaining the attractiveness and playful attention you give each other as a couple.

Women aren’t all gold-diggers, but they are all at least copper and silver-diggers. You gotta pay the bills. Nice things once in a while can go a long way. The whole point is you have to be mindful about creating attraction. Rather than getting torn up about not having millions, work with what you’ve got.

Jennifer and I are doing okay, but we’re not rolling in it. We tend to go out for dinner hardly at all, but we go out for breakfast and lunch because it’s cheaper. It matters, it makes a difference. Our more routine treat is walking together for coffee. It really doesn’t take that much extra money to make a difference.

It’s no different now than it was back in peasant and serfdom days. If you live a life of dreary squalor, the women will all start dreaming of guys on white horses coming to their rescue. After a certain point of being broke off your ass, it doesn’t matter how wondrously Alpha you think you are. Some Betaized white knight can swing by and mate poach almost accidentally. At some point being willing to share hot food, medical insurance, gas money and a paid power bill is rock solid tight game.

Women never want to be rescued from the tallest tower. They want to be rescued from the ground floor.

You Can’t Fix Your Marriage by Being Mad at the Opposite Sex

Backstory: College friend, nice girl, feminist chip on her shoulder.

I was somewhat interested in her and we were friendly, but we never dated because in a three second burst of anger she killed my interest completely. She came from a quite conservative religious group where women were banned from leadership… and she yelled at me, something about men in general, related to the specifics of her church.

The irony was that when she included in me the “evil men” group deserving of being yelled at, I actually agreed with her on the specifics of her complaint. So she took a current soft ally for her issue, demonized me and achieved nothing for her outburst other than the loss of my interest in her. As in even back in college days, I wasn’t going to submit myself to a relationship where I got randomly yelled at, for shit totally unrelated to anything I had done in specific.

Not that we were dating or anything, but ultimately her anger at a Societal issue, damaged her Personal relationships. I don’t recall her dating anyone in college.

Anyway…

That division of Personal and Societal problems is important. Most people come to MMSL with the Personal issue of their marriage sucking somehow. So that’s what I try and fix.

However there are wider Societal issues creating external pressures on your marriage – such as the economy, socialization of men and women, gender issues and marriage law. Seriously, I get it, there really are all sorts of problems making it hard to be married and otherwise a functional, productive happy adult.

Societal problems are worth dealing with, but the difficulties of resolving Societal problems are well beyond any one person. So if you are having an Personal problem in your marriage, trying to fix the Societal pressures on your marriage will not provide a solution. Even as you make some tiny sliver of progress on the Societal issues, your Personal issues will continue to worsen. We might get some social change over the next 20-30 years, but your marriage may not make it that long.

In addition, the frustration of trying to fix Societal problems can generate a lot of negative emotion. When you become an angry frustrated person, you become less fun to be with, which worsens your marriage decline further. If you then also begin transferring the frustration of the Societal problems directly onto your spouse, you become toxic to live with. So if your relationship is in trouble, now is not the time to enmesh yourself in wider gender politics unless you simply want the relationship to accelerate toward the ground.

It’s completely normal to see something unjust and be angry about it. It’s also normal to want to change it for the better. It’s also normal to feel defensive if there’s a chance that the same unjust thing might happen to you. However your emotional state is an important factor in your marriage.

You can’t let yourself become a darkly brooding cynic about the opposite sex, without that beginning to eat away your relationship from the inside.

Entrepreneurship Alpha

TL:DR   Be the guy that owns the shovels and rents them out, instead of a guy that shovels.

@sf64 – I have been able in my life to accumulate a great deal of financial resources.  That accumulation of resources was the result of serious risk taking in the form of entrepreneurship.  And it was the result of conscious decision making and a willingness to accept the risk to actively manage it.

I have said it previously and I will say it again.  Entrepreneurship is one of the keys to leading a truly Alpha life.

There is a virtuous / self-reinforcing cycle that is present in world right now.  Financial freedom enables Alpha behavior which fuels greater risk taking which fuels greater rewards which enables Alpha behavior…..

I am not advocating blind risk taking.  I am not advocating just quitting your job and starting your own business.  That isn’t taking a risk.  That is being foolish.  But I do think that finding a way to stop “making another dollar for the man” and become the man that others are making money for… should be considered as part of everyone’s long-term MAP.

Athol – This is something I really agree with. Most of my personal MAP to date had been aimed at getting out of a nursing job into making MMSL a going concern and source of consistent income. I’m by no means rolling around in money laughing my ass off, but it’s coming closer to getting into true profitability. It’s been a lot of work getting to here and some rather extreme risks as well. I’ve got some good stories to tell for “life story TV interview” should the big time ever truly arrive.

Something Jennifer and I have talked about is just how badly we screwed ourselves over the long term by both working in the non-profit sector. Lots of wonderful social service done, fairly simple lives of giving… but after seven years of no pay raises while inflation has eaten our paychecks like a Pac-Man after a Power Pill… well… we’ve screwed ourselves a fair bit.

So we’ve taken some risks. If they all fall to shit, we’ll have nothing but each other… which is the exact same outcome we’d have if we play it safe. The way the economy looks to be shaping up for the next 20-30 years, playing it safe is simply going to get you an utterly horrible retirement for a very large number of people. The truth is being a wage slave is the most horribly risky thing in the world to do. Your strategy boils down to simply hoping that there’s going to be a welfare net for you in 20-30 years.

I’d say “LOL”, but it’s about the least funny thing I can imagine.

Explaining the way the money really works…

George Carlin…. “The Owners”

The ugly truth is that not everyone gets to be a guy that rents shovels, most people are going to be a shoveller. Personally I’d rather work like crazy to get to be a shovel renter.

That being said, if you want the metaphor extended properly, MMSL is the shovel I sell. It’s low-cost, durable and does it’s job as advertised.

So yeah, the game is indeed rigged, but it isn’t impossible. It’s like I’m giving you the advice the Red Queen gave Alice…

“Well, in our country,” said Alice, still panting a little, “you’d generally get to somewhere else — if you run very fast for a long time, as we’ve been doing.”   “A slow sort of country!” said the Queen. “Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!” [1]

Why You Need The Blue Pill Too

The Red Pill is great, but we do actually need a little bit of Blue Pill too. There’s a balance… let me pull up the Hitchhikers Guide for a second…

The Belcerebons of Kakrafoon Kappa had an unhappy time. Once a serene and quiet civilization, a Galactic Tribunal sentenced them to telepathy because the rest of the galaxy found peaceful contemplation contemptuous. Ford Prefect compared them to Humans because the only way Belcerebons could stop transmitting their every thought was to mask their brain activity (or its readability) by talking endlessly about utter trivia. The other approach to dampening telepathic communication was to host concerts of the plutonium rock band Disaster Area. Thankfully, during the concert, an improbability field flipped over the Rudlit Desert, transforming it into a paradise, and cured the Belcerebons of telepathy. A Disaster Area spokesman said that this was “a good gig”.

You catch that… sentenced them to telepathy.

If you actually knew what every person was thinking 24/7, you’d quickly go insane from hearing the random thoughts of everyone else.

Imagine having sex with your partner and seeing their thoughts flick off topic for a few seconds. Without telepathy you’d just see them shut their eyes for a couple of seconds and you’d assume they were into it. Instead you’d know they were thinking about the grocery shopping, the truck, fuck my thighs hurt, I wish he’d just cum, I miss my ex-gf, that’s a big zit on her forehead, I shoulda peed before I started, shit don’t cum yet, why the fuck won’t he tie me up, it’s the top of the seventh and coming up to bat with a .365 average is… ah dammit I came, is that it?

Hell I was standing in line at Dunkin Donuts today and the three teenagers in front of me in line seemed a little on the douchebag side and I had a whole fantasy about just beating their underweight asses into the ground. Look I’m not saying it’s right, I’m just saying I was thinking about smacking that one first because he’d just run, one shotting the other one and then staring down the other one and saying “When you’re unconscious I’m not going to stop hitting you.”

I just need my coffee and no one gets hurt. Just be cool. We’re all going to be like little Fonzies.

Anyway, obviously I didn’t do that, because it was just a random thought, but I would imagine if they actually heard all that, standing in line would have gone differently.

The trouble is, a lot of the Red Pill approach to life assumes a near telepathic assumption of negative intentions in others. Is it often right? Sure it is. But it’s almost impossible to live happily if you are endlessly paranoid and jaded about the intentions of everyone around you. If every woman is a hot mess of whorish desire and nothing else but a lying cunt of a hamster justifying her Alpha male sperm seeking… well it gets tiring being on edge after a while. Likewise every man is a third wheel seeking an opportunity and plots behind your back, pumping you for information about your woman, seeking to make a run into the endzone the moment you blink too slowly.

After living like that for long enough, well…

I see it a lot in Red Pill people. There’s often an expression of wishing they could just believe everything was fine, that love exists, that they could love and be loved… just for no reason.

I get it. I totally get it.

The standard line is that the Red Pill is the truth and the Blue Pill is the illusion. But it’s more like the Red Pill is muscle and the Blue Pill is fat.

To be sure, you want more muscle than fat on your body, but if you cut the body fat down low enough… eventually you keel over and die. You simply can’t be 0% body fat. Nor can you be 0% Blue Pill without being a rather paranoid and dysfunctional person. It’s simply not possible to sustain an endless state of assumed telepathy assuming your partner or opposite sex is out to get you.

If you see all women as gold-digging-cuckolding-false-rape-raptors, you can’t have a successful relationship with one. It’s no different than a dyed in the wool all-men-are-rapists-and-beat-women-as-a-default-setting feminist can’t have a relationship with a man. You eventually assume the worst and tear the relationship apart from the inside.

By all means pay excellent attention to building your muscle and getting your life in great shape, but at some point, you just have to say fuck it… and trust that your partner isn’t out to sneak some on the side as soon as you stumble for a moment. Obviously choosing a partner well is part of that decision matrix and having them on board with positive relationship standards matters too. But at some point you have to trust.

Jennifer and I do love each other very much… but it’s not a 100% perfect 24/7 experience. If we started fixating on the minor points of bad mood or inattention and assuming evil intent, we’d slowly tear each other apart. I’ve seen that effect play out with people snooping on their spouses over and over. I do advise at times getting your hands dirty and digging into their email and phone records to find out the truth, but I always say you should get in, get what you need and get out. Every time I see a spouse turn into a mini police state monitoring email… they slowly go insane reading and waiting for the slip up.

Do your due diligence, but at some point you have to trust.

Is a Religious Conversion Like an Affair?

From the forum…

Sleepy:  I was reading Athol’s blog yesterday “Quirky Gifts and Flair” and read this line… she starts checking out of the relationship because she’s unhaaaaaappppppy and about to Eat, Pray, Love an exit.

So, my wife of 20+ years and 4 kids who has always been anti religion started to convert to Catholicism in secret. When I figured it out, I felt like she was cheating on me (about 6 months of individual and couples therapy and I still feel this way) as this was done in secret and her reason for needing god was that we were no longer good as a couple and she needed “love”. I flipped and basically took a position of no contact as if this was an affair, which she has done with just enough complaint that I know she still wants too.

Without going into all the details here (if there is a lot of interest I could add a thread in the 911 Relationship ER section) I guess my question is how evil am I and are there others out there who have felt this way?

Athol:  Well Eat, Pray, Love refers to a book, but the answer to your questions is yes / no / kinda / sorta / it depends.

It’s usually a critical junction when one half of a couple changes their religious status, either becoming more religious, less religious, or changing religions. They can be a wide variety of changes in personal interests and personality from benign to quite alarming as someone changes from one religious viewpoint to another. It’s always hopeful that an inter-faith marriage will stay stable, but the more divergent the expressions of belief are, the greater the stress is on the marriage.

This is largely the same effect at work as shared beliefs of any sort. Two democrats or two republicans are likely going to be more comfortable married to each other than a democrat and a republican are. It’s all about being able to relax with each other at the end of the day instead of wanting to disagree about something. Same deal if someone suddenly becomes crazy about a diet while the other isn’t. It’s a relationship stress to have one of you wanting to eat Paleo and the other being a Vegetarian… though the old joke stands that if you really want to piss off a Vegetarian give them vegetables to eat… most of them just want to eat pasta all day.

The more fundamentalist (Wikipedia) the conversion the greater the stress on the relationship is. Note that Wikipedia link to fundamentalist covers Christian, Jewish, Islamic, Hindu and even Non-Religious fundamentalism. As soon as one half of the couple digs in their heels and states they are right and their partner is not merely in misguided disagreement, but utterly wrong… or even literally damned and/or evil for whatever reason… the relationship is heading for seriously choppy waters.

If you’ve ever had your partner educated as to your total failure of morality by their near entire social group, you’ll know just how hopeless your situation is. You could be a tax-paying, law abiding, full and complete stop on red, look both ways before you cross the street, girl scout cookie buying sweetheart, but having 20-30 people tell your spouse that failure to believe in [religious belief] turns you into a horrible fallen person hell bent on destroying everything precious and good… well, it has an effect. Speaking as a good evangelical Christian back in the day my first serious girlfriend was Catholic… it doesn’t take many people giving you “Godly frowns of concern” to make you feel uneasy about your relationship. That was a Catholic girl too, not even a clutch-the-pearls Non-Christian… that would have had people directly saying things to me like, “I’d like to encourage you to seek the Lord’s guidance”, which is how evangelicals tell you you’re retarded.

And yes I get that there are a wide variety of expressions of belief from rather insipid, to rather psychotic in intensity, even within each faith or even denomination. I’m painting with a wide brush here.

Anyway… back to the question at hand…

My knee jerk reaction to your situation is that you have two issues rather than one issue.

(1)  The state of the marriage.

(2)  Her interest in Catholicism.

What she’s saying is essentially, “Because of (1) I’m (2)” which is trying to turn it into one issue. This is a poor solution because the marriage issues aren’t going to be fixed by going to church and it is obviously driving a bigger wedge between you.

My advice would be to figure out the marriage issues as marriage issues, and allow the religious issue to be handled as a religious issue. So grab the free forum booklet and answer the nine triage questions in a 911 thread on the forum and people can help you get to the bottom of things.

Or put another way, if the marriage is chugging along just great, everyone getting along well, lots of sex and laughter… would it matter very much at all if she was a standard issue Catholic?

I will say this much though, I’m not convinced she’s been hiding it from you as a way of hurting you, more as a way of trying not to lose you in the process. When I became an atheist, I kept that a secret a looooooong time. I thought I was risking my marriage coming out about it, which because my faith was part and parcel of my attractiveness to Jennifer, I think it really was. When I finally told Jennifer she bawled her eyes out with me feeling like the worst husband ever. Even after that, it took fourteen years before I felt comfortable publicly identifying as an atheist.

Anyhoo…

As official MMSL policy, I personally don’t care what you believe or disbelieve in. I obviously self-identify as atheist because I don’t believe in a deity, but I’m not trying to actively convert anyone to that point of view on MMSL. I only try and get involved in religious issues on MMSL when it seems to be clearly screwing with the marriage. At this point the entire fabric of western civilization is sufficiently screwed up that individual marriages are like sandbags keeping back the flood-waters. I don’t care what type of sand you have in your bag, just that you have a sandbag that isn’t going to fall apart.