Dread Game vs. Reality Game

 @Isthereastar:   So something I have been wondering about is whether there is a form of dread that women can use on men when they are in tough spot in their relationship (AKA lazy bear husbands/long term boyfriends) Clearly dread works on women, but can it go the other way?

Athol: Well lets define Dread Game first.

Dread Game: To purposely set out to create an appearance that you would or could cheat on and/or dump your partner, unless they comply with your demands. You underline the replaceability of your partner. Some examples of this are creating dating profiles, going out without your partner to bars and clubs, sending flowers to yourself “from an admirer”, purposely seeking to pull Indicators of Interest from the opposite sex in front of your partner and so on. Basically anything you purposely do to make your partner feel a sinking sensation in the pit of their stomach that the relationship is heading to a very bad place, very soon, unless they comply with your demands.

So to answer your question… women using dread on men is about as equally effective and ineffective as it is when men use it on women.

It’s unquestionably an attention getter. It creates a huge impulse for your partner to behave the way you want them to. However, it’s a very risky move. What it does is sacrifice a lot of Relationship Comfort (Beta), in order to create an impression of you having a much Higher Value (Alpha) than they do. Which is fine if you were running a standard Nice Guy / Nice Girl, low Alpha and high Beta frame. Dread Game can create a quick correction of that. However, if your partner ever figures out your Dread Game moves are simply designed to purposely panic them / are in any way deceptively created / you don’t have the guts to follow through on them anyway, then you lose all the Alpha credit the Dread Game created and you’ve also lost a great deal of Relationship Comfort for nothing.

In other words, Dread Game can be effective and it can also blow up in your face leaving you with a disgusted partner who thinks you’re playing games with them.

Ultimately my biggest concern with Dread Game is that it’s a shortcut and I suspect at some point, you’re going to have that catch up with you somehow. This is especially true for a marriage situation. It’s much easier to snow a short-term girlfriend or boyfriend, than the husband or wife you’ve had for 15+ years.

It’s also very easily a negative approach in that it can gain a “well fuck you for ignoring me” element and it’s a very short pathway to getting off on the infliction of pain on your partner. Purposely inflicting Dread on a partner is a stock-in-trade move of Borderline Personality Disorder, or Narcissistic Personality Disorder spouses for example. Dread Game and Emotional Abuse are at times simply a matter of perspective.

The question then, is what to do when you need to gain your partner’s attention.

The approach that I’m seeing as most effective is slightly slower to work, but less risky. It’s called Reality.

There’s a fairly big overlap in what Dread and Reality look like, but with some subtle differences. The most important of which is the change in frame from consciously doing something to try and evoke a positive change in them, to that of making a positive change in yourself, thus creating natural consequences your partner will have no option but to be affected by.

This is the difference between going out and seeking to pull attention from the opposite sex in front of your partner (Dread), and simply having the opposite sex respond to you in front front of your partner because you’ve improved your Sex Rank (Reality).

The Reality is you’re just hotter now.

The Reality is the opposite sex responds to you better.

The Reality is you’re hotter than your partner.

The Reality is they aren’t holding up their end of the relationship.

The really good news with playing this as Reality Game, is that when Reality is discovered by your partner, it only becomes more effective rather than backfiring on you. You’ve not been doing anything wrong, you’ve kept the moral high ground, you’ve been self-improving but not been trying to destroy the relationship.

What you’ve been doing is pouring a more positive energy into yourself. So if you’re heading toward an ultimatum, it’s only because the Reality of the situation is that you’re moving toward where your partner is forced to either join you in a more positive energy place, or be increasingly determined to try and drag you back into a negative one. A standard Reality Game Phase Four statement is something akin to…

“The reality is that if you don’t allow us to have a win-win relationship, I can’t sustain a win-lose one. So the reality is I’m going to have to find what I need to get for me.”

Or perhaps put more bluntly, something like…

“If you keep drinking, I can’t stay.”

“Go to the doctor, or I’m going to a lawyer.”

“How much longer do you realistically think I’m going to stay and put up with this?”

So eventually, Reality becomes more effective and safer as a strategy than trying to use Dread. There’s just one catch though…

Reality Game can’t be faked. It has to be real, because that’s what Reality means.

The Leadership Moment Quota

Captain and First OfficerSomething I’m seeing a whole lot of these days is what I’m calling the Leadership Moment Quota. Which means, the wife needs to experience some minimum weekly amount of moments of leadership from her husband, for her to act right feel happy about the relationship.

If she gets these Leadership Moments, everything goes pretty smoothly. She likes her husband. She’s agreeable. Sweet. Doting. Charming. Horizontal.

If she doesn’t get enough Leadership Moments… she has to create them by Fitness Testing her husband to try and force them out of him. This annoys her somewhat even if you pass the Fitness Test and really annoys her if you don’t.

So, what’s a Leadership Moment?

It’s any time you (1) create a default choice for something to do, (2) make a decision for her, or (3) ask her to do something for you. Let’s walk through them.

Create a default choice for something to do.

“Let’s get Chinese food and watch Battlestar Galactica on Netflix.”

“Let’s go to the beach on Saturday.”

“I’ll come grocery shopping with you, but we should hit Panera for lunch first.”

“I’ll get the wine, you get the lingerie.”

This works because rather than being some hardass command from above, it creates a default course of action. If she wants to suggest something else to do, she can, but it’s going to require a lot more mental effort coming up with something else to do and justifying why it’s better than your idea. Most times, she’ll just take the path of least resistance and say, “okay”. Which nets you a +1 for a leadership moment. She doesn’t care what happens, she just wants you to create some basic direction she can go along with.

Make a decision for her.

Jennifer: “The red or the blue?”

Athol: “Blue.”

Jennifer: “Peach or cherry?”

Athol: “Well I’ve had your cherry… so peach.”

Jennifer: “We can have leftover chicken and make soup, or I could go get fish and do it on the grill.”

Athol: “Do the fish. Whatever looks good at the store is fine.”

That all seem stupidly easy, because honestly it kind of is stupidly easy. Unfortunately most husbands just see these questions as pointless and annoying. We don’t care if it’s red or blue, we don’t care if it’s peach or cherry, we don’t care if it’s soup or fish. She probably doesn’t care either, that’s why she’s asking. All she’s looking for is for you to make a pointless, trivial, token decision because it makes her feel attracted to you when you make decisions like a boss. Just pick one.

Ask her to do something for you.

This is one mildly harder than the others, but still fairly simple. You just ask her to do something for you.

“Hey can you roast a chicken for dinner? We haven’t had that for a while.”

“I need new shirts, can you shop and find me a couple please. Something like the purple one I have, and anything else that you like is fine.”

“In case we lose power, can you please check on batteries, food and water. I’ll do the propane tank refilling.”

“Can you take this to the post office please.”

As long as the task is easy enough to do, and there’s no reason not to do it, she’ll very likely just go do it and enjoy it as you creating a Leadership Moment. The key is that these are reasonable requests in a reasonable tone of voice. You’re just asking her to do them because you can use her assistance… which frames her as your assistant… which makes her see you as the leader.  Thus generating more attraction to you.

The point is that these are all dominance moves, but they are essentially an understated dominance. There’s no threat behind them or harsh tones. It’s simply setting a direction, asking for what you want, asking for her assistance. You’re just assuming her submissive instinct is going to kick in and she’s going to enjoy the direction. Because after all, female submission doesn’t need to be forced, simply evoked.

Displays of High Value Need to be Tangible Displays (Behold the Wall of Smart)

I keep coming across this thing where genuinely high value people… don’t display their value tangibly. By tangible I mean that in the movie version of your life, the director could just do a 20-30 second pan across your stuff  in the opening credits and we’d have a pretty good head start on your character development. Look at all the awesome stuff about this guy, the opening credits stop… aaaaaaaand… then the reveal shot of our story’s hero. Boom! We already like this guy, don’t we? Yes we do.

Instead…

…I see a lot of Nice Guy faux humility where supposedly material stuff doesn’t matter. I get there’s some obvious concerns about not appearing to be bragging or displaying a bunch of faked high value. That sort of thing is always found out eventually. But I’m talking about guys who take their hard earned value and then bury it so no one can see it. So in the movie version of their life, that 20-30 second pan shot covers a bunch of non-descript crap. Then cue up the narration about how the wife is great, loyal, pleasant and has a horribly low libido.

See how that works?

Look, if you don’t actually display your genuine high value, she’s not going to react to it the same way as she would if it was displayed effectively. You don’t make the opposite sex get horny for you via logic. You have to offer tangible displays of high value. Here’s what I mean…

You have $20,000 cash in your checking account. Logically that’s more than $2000 in cash, but take a roll of twenty $100 bills out of your pocket and it’s far more tangible and real. The cash will have a greater pull on the emotions of everyone around you. The cash is far more tangible.

You have a college degree. That’s nice. But where is the actual degree itself? I mean it’s all nice written on a resume, but why isn’t it framed on the wall somewhere so everyone can see it? Why aren’t you displaying your degree?

You own your own business and can easily afford a nice suit, but instead you dress semi-casual. You’re telegraphing that business isn’t going that great by the clothes you wear. Everyone responds better or worse based on your clothes. Put on a suit and suddenly everyone thinks you’re doing fabulous.

You’ve worked out hard in the gym and your body is finally in the best shape it’s been in for the longest time. But you still wear baggy clothes that hide your body. Where’s the clothing upgrade?

In terms of myself…

One of the things I worked out about a year ago is that Jennifer is attracted to smart guys. Money is nice, hard body is nice, power is nice, dangerous is unwanted and smart is really important to her. So I’ve somewhat unwittingly been Displaying High Value the entire time I’ve been writing MMSL It’s a giant display of smart guy as I’ve written three books and endless blog posts and the forum and coaching yada yada yada.

But unless she’s actually looking at the books, or reading the blog or forum, it’s not really in her face enough to be truly tangible. Which is why I slapped together one of those Ikea cube bookshelves and artistically arranged my books as a pride of place display. It’s got my books, a few other framed things and enough other books to make it look like a functional bookcase, which it is. It’s now very tangible. I call it my “Wall of Smart”.

So in the movie version of my life, when the camera pans over the Wall of Smart, you’d know I was an author several times over, what I wrote about and read, you’d know I was married to Jennifer and get the sense that I was a kind of a deep thinking person. Even better, I’ve placed the Wall of Smart behind my desk, so that on coaching calls on Skype or Google Hangouts, my clients get to see me sitting in front of it. Thus Displaying High Value to them as well.

More importantly, it covered up the horrible 1970′s wood paneling I had been sitting in front of previously.

But even more importantly than that, I just feel so good looking at it and knowing it’s there. I’m displaying higher value and it makes me feel higher value. Which then makes everyone else react to me better because feelings are infectious. I feel better about me, so you feel better about me.

So enough of me. What about you?

In the movie version of your life, what would be in your 20-30 second opening pan shot? What would it tell us about you?

What’s your version of the Wall of Smart?

When You Don’t Think You’re Allowed to Win, You Find a Way to Lose

If I had a dollar for everyone I talk to that has a completed university degree… except for one or two credits of work… I’d have an extra four dollars this week.

What’s maddening to the outside observer is that the missing credit is often not even a hard course, it’s something like Finding The Library 101, or Embarrassed to Be White 203. You literally just have to show up with a pulse to get a B+ and then you have your degree.

Then the obvious question is “Why didn’t you finish?” “Why don’t you just go back and finish it now?”

Then they give the speech their White House Press Secretary Hamster has prepared for exactly those questions. You know, the one that spins a thick whitewash over everything, implying that circumstances beyond their immediate control has resulted in a sub-optimal outcome, only when considered from a stereotypical measurement of immediate success. That the entire exercise was in fact extremely valuable and will unquestionably provide an expanded viewpoint upon which to better engage in an upward career momentum and thus cannot be framed as a failure when the objectives have in fact been met. Which is not to preclude the possibility of revisiting the location of elevated instruction at some later chronological point in the narrative, but for now more important tasks must take precedence.

Yeah right.

Let me tell you what really happened.

You got that close to the end of the degree and then suddenly everything just turned into this Alice in Blunderland experience where suddenly all your mental ability turned into mush, you lost motivation, something distracting happened and you focused on that, then suddenly something was due and you just hit this wall of critical personal failure that you can neither explain or wish to dare to happen again. It’s like one of those Epic Fail videos where someone is winning a race by a country mile and then they trip and slam into the ground like a fat guy having a stroke.

Okay, fast forward to now…

You’ve worked your ass off to be successful. Hours of work every week. Money down, risk up.

Everything is in place for success.

Well…

More like 99% of success is in place.

You just have to do the billing.

Doesn’t take all that long really…

One second.

Dammit the moderately important thing just broke down and it’s really important you have to fix it. Right now.

Then your mom calls.

Dammit mom, why call now? I really have to do the billing.

Then the grass on the lawn looks really a bit long and it really should be mowed.

Then…

Then eventually you’ll end up somehow failing. I know how familiar this feels to you.

The core of the problem is that you’re experiencing a low energy state and lack feeling entitled to succeed, to win, or to simply have things go right. So you sabotage yourself to align your level of success, love and happiness to the same level of your current energy set. This is why you can’t have nice things.

Knowing that, you do two things…

(1) DON’T WORRY ABOUT WHY YOU HAVE THIS MENTAL BLOCKAGE. I really can’t emphasize that enough. You’re not going to have some great moment of understanding and insight and then suddenly have the clouds part on your life and all be suddenly wonderful. In fact, the more you try and think about it this way, the less progress you’ll make on fixing the problem.

(2) JUST GO COMPLETE THE TASK YOUR STRUGGLING TO COMPLETE. Seriously, just force yourself to sit down and grind out that last credit for the degree, just grind out the billing, just go and ask her out. That’s it. That’s all you have to do. Just go do it, no matter how task avoidant you feel.

Then as you complete the task and gain that extra bit of success, happiness and positive energy, it makes you feel more entitled to have achieved success. Having finished those major tasks you’ve left undone will change the way you feel about yourself. You’ll stand taller, feel stronger and most importantly be at peace with yourself.

So what’s your blockage to success? What’s your unfinished task?

Outcome Independence

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

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

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

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

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

… is really called Phase One.

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

Anyway…  from the forum…

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

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

Emotionally Independent of the outcome, I am MAPing.

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

Kind by nature, cold by requirement.

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

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.

Getting Through to the Lazy Bear Husband

Short version… lazy bear husband, ten year marriage, crappy sex, four kids and husband rarely around….

OneFootOut:  Wanted to add, the reason the ultimatum has to be bigger and more impactful, is because I’ve called our pastor a few times over the years to initiate divorce plans, and I’ve told him I’m done,  told him I’m not attracted to him, etc. I’ve even left for a couple days, and kicked him out for a couple weeks, but nothing changes. It’s all beta-niceness for a couple weeks then back to normal old boring roommate mode. (I actually prefer the roommate thing to having him approach me for sex, though)

I also, after reading through many posts, am curious what it is about ME that’s most often attracted betas. The only 2 alphas I was with, were my absolute most amazing relationships, but the rest of them were just nice guys.

Athol:  Actually right now. Don’t do a damned thing to try and attract his attention to MMSL, it will only weaken it’s impact.

I would like you to read The Mindful Attraction Plan for yourself and report back where you think you are in the process, what you’ve tried and failed at before now.

It sounds like you’ve been unwittingly throwing Display of Low Value after Low Value at him.

OneFootOut:  Will do. I have started the book already.

I didn’t understand the last line of your post. Does that mean I’ve put him down? I’m very careful not to, but it happens. The only time I’ve ever said outright that I wasn’t attracted to him, was months after my first daughter was born (9 years ago) and I was having panic attacks during sex/from him approaching me. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong.

Athol:  No, I mean you’ve unwittingly put yourself down to him.

Every time you’ve gotten upset and begged him to change, you’ve told him you’re powerless in the relationship and that he is in charge.

Every time you’ve threatened divorce etc and then failed to follow through, you’ve told him you’re powerless in the relationship and that he is in charge.

Every time he’s ignored you and you’ve just soldiered on like it’s okay and done everything at home alone, you’ve told him you’re powerless in the relationship and that he is in charge.

Every time you let him drain your energy and get nothing in return, you’ve told him you’re powerless in the relationship and that he is in charge.

These are all Displays of Low Value.

Liberty:  This is so hard to grasp and REALLY understand but it is the truth.  If you fully embrace it, it will cause such a shift in your mindset, you’ll wonder what you’ve been thinking all these years.

I feel for you.  I came here with very similar experiences of complaining, trying to change, trying to get him to change etc, nothing works or sticks.  Gag!

I know you’ve been trying to fix it for years and feel like you are on your last possible tiny thread of tolerance.  But I believe this forum is where the magic is and you just got here.  It is working for me and things are changing.  Learn, read, change yourself and your perspective.  Good luck!

Serenity:  It is a tricky thing when the woman finds MMSL first and is the one who wants her husband to change.

Many of the wives here have stumbled around, making mistake after mistake with our husbands and being counter-productive.

Recommend that you save yourself a lot of time and heartache and take advantage of Athol’s private coaching option. Had it been available when I first started running my Map, I would have avoided a lot of pitfalls that slowed down our progress.

At some point, if you and Athol both feel that it’s time to bring your husband in, there’s no additional charge to include him as well.

Athol:  Actually Serenity got to be a guinea pig for some of this stuff, so coaching might not have helped much for her back then. But it’s proving to be rather effective for drawing the attention of the less interested partner now. There’s just something about your husband or wife getting “sort your life out” help that seems to really make the other person pay attention. Plus the no additional charge for a couple as opposed to one person doing it seems to be appealing too.

And yeah… ugh, I really have to get the coaching ads up on the blog and forum… and the MAP book linkage on the blog too.

There’s Enough Pain For Everyone

There’s enough pain for everyone.

The way to get past the pain and anger is to learn the pain and the anger of the opposite sex.

Then you start to realize that for every total fucking cunt that’s out there…

…there’s more women crying themselves to sleep because their husband doesn’t love them, cheats on them, has a broken dick, or is just totally fucking useless.

Then you start to realize that for every wife beating asshole that’s out there…

….there’s more men lost and confused as to why they held down a job, were nice, didn’t have some crazy addiction or defect but still live a life of endless rejection and grinding sorrow.

There’s enough pain for everyone.

 

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.