Four Year Year Cycles

Okay I gotta be honest here. The damn kids have got to go back to school. Summer is too long. I’m starting to go stir crazy.

Oh don’t get me wrong, the girls are great kids. They are well behaved and compliant with the rather minimal demands we put on them. We’re four introverts so everyone is usually pretty easy going and giving each other lots of space. They are just here during the day, which means neither Jennifer or myself 100% switch off.

The good news is that youngest is finally starting high school and we’ve got just four more years of school age kids. Which means right now is a finishing line of sorts and in four more years there’s another finishing line.

Looking backwards in time, summer 2009 is when I started this whole MMSL journey. Four years ago. Back then there wasn’t even the phrase MMSL… no MAP, no Alpha Beta Balance, no Captain and First Officer, no Primer, no Time Before Writing… nothing. It’s really hard to imagine a time of not knowing that information and concept collection. Just me lost on Talk About Marriage trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life and marriage as the starting point. The ending to that four years has been writing The Mindful Attraction Plan and pretty much the final polish on The MAP as a concept. Plus leveraging all that into the Life Coaching.

 So…

2009-2013 has been MMSL 1.0

2013-2017 youngest does high school and lets call that MMSL 2.0

2017-2021 No more kids! Which creates a new freedom for Jennifer and myself and let’s just say that’s MMSL 3.0

We’ve actually somewhat decided what MMSL 3.0 will be in that without worrying about kid watching, we’ll be vastly more able to travel. By travel I mean speaking, appearances, the whole touring craven fame monster thing. Jennifer and I traveling together. Which means we really need to be based out of a hub airport city. Jennifer likes warm weather. Yada yada yada, we’re kinda fixated on Dallas as the targeted city to move to.

We’re already starting to talk about fixing and replacing things based on the move in four years. It’s going to be one massive garage sale / large trash pickup summer 2017 and we’ll move with exactly what we must keep and no more. Then buy new of everything else when we arrive. Plus we both hate maintaining a house, we plan to travel a lot, so we’re obviously more looking toward a condo unit or even a rental when we go.

We ah… still haven’t visited Dallas yet. We’ll do that sometime and see if we like it. But we picked the neighborhood already anyway lol.

Apart from that, I haven’t really visualized what we do other than travel all over the world doing events for MMSL 3.0.

Now of course it’s MMSL 2.0. Which as far as I can tell is whipping myself harder to write more blog posts, but it’s really going to be repeating the same process as The Mindful Attraction Plan five or six more times. Taking one slice of the Primer/MMSL thought and then really expanding that into something properly targeted and marketable. I don’t see everyone needing *all* the books for their own life, but I do see all the books fitting into a shared theoretical framework. Hopefully everything cross sells and it’s all awesome. Plus the coaching and seeing exactly where the whole forum thing goes… 2000+ members now. Wow.

It’s going to be a very busy four years. Five or six more books in the next few years seems crazy, but I think I’ve found my groove with them finally.

Oh and Pro Tip. It’s the exact middle of these four year cycles that seem to be the hardest.

So how about you? Are you in a four year cycle? What’s the next step for you?

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.

 

Prayer-in-Action Beats Prayer-in-Talk

Asked in the Faith and Spirituality section of the forum…

@European_Bob:  As I’ve been progressing through the MAP one of the key points that I’ve found for men is to not let your wife’s mood have an influence on your’s. i.e. if she is complaining then stay aloof and happy. Another aspect is OI – if she doesn’t want to have sex then I’m still fine, I can go off and do <manly thing> instead. Follow this train of thought through, it appears that one of the goals of the MAP is to become self-sufficient, not reliant on your wife or anything else for what you need and/or want in life.

That however seems to be in contradiction to the whole Christian perspective of being reliant or dependent on God. Personally I’m not sure I even understand 100% what it means to rely on God.

How do these seemingly 180 degree opposite positions work together?

Athol:  I admit I do start to get frustrated with the constant attempts to make MMSL a perfectly Christian thing. There’s a lot of overlap that I think Christians can identify with,  but I’m just as close to Christianity as say Buddhism. You could make a case that running your MAP is a close cousin to the Noble Eightfold Path. There’s a Kiwi twist on a Taoist symbol on the front cover of The Mindful Attraction Plan.  Outcome Independence is classic mindfulness… be here now… oh hang on, let me cue up Yoda…

Yoda:  Ready are you? What know you of ready? For eight hundred years have I trained Jedi. My own counsel will I keep on who is to be trained. A Jedi must have the deepest commitment, the most serious mind. This one a long time have I watched. All his life has he looked away… to the future, to the horizon. Never his mind on where he was. Hmm? What he was doing. Hmph. Adventure. Heh. Excitement. Heh. A Jedi craves not these things. You are reckless.

So as you can see I’m not exactly dipping my pen in one ink well. MMSL is a multi-layered synthesis and there is still more to come from me.

All that being said… let me try and answer the original question and really, I’m not trying to piss Christians off here. I’m trying to motivate you to get into action and do something about what ails you. That’s all. The world is going to hell in a hand basket. We are so far beyond needing to just save the marriages of our own little sects and corners of the world.  We save every relationship we can. We’re running out of time to turn the tide.

/rant on

The MAP isn’t about self-sufficiency in the sense of not needing people, it’s about creating personal value that other people want to be associated with. If anything it’s acutely aware of people needing other people and works to ensure you’re in a state of attractiveness to be loved and wanted.

It is self-sufficient in the sense that it is aware that no one is going to just gift you with a happy life and relationship, so you have to create those conditions for yourself.

Because MMSL focuses on what you can actually do for yourself under your own steam, it is in one sense in direct opposition to a faith-based approach to personal development.

Also when you consider that God isn’t required to answer your prayers the way you want him to, you should also consider the need to be outcome independent on getting God’s help if you’re a Christian. I mean if he thinks you need to learn something through suffering, it might be several years or even decades before your situation is resolved the way you hope it will be.

Prayer is more often than not a verbalized negative statement to the effect that you cannot do something. It’s a negative energy statement that you are powerless to create the change you want. That without some outside force, you will fall, fail and falter.

Well I say bullshit.

You damn well can do this stuff. It just works. It works for the same reason powered flight does not require angels to lift a 747 off the ground. It works because God’s assistance is not required.

When you stop waiting on God to provide and support you, and you just get into action and start making changes in your life…that’s when changes start happening.

There is unquestionably a spiritual component to what I teach, unstated in the Married Man Sex Life Primer but stated clearly in The Mindful Attraction Plan . Namely that your actions are your true statement of faith and that they influence the universe around you in positive or negative ways. I believe spirituality is seamlessly interwoven with the mundane tasks of everyday life. Trying to separate activities into “spiritual” and “non-spiritual” categories is misunderstanding the nature of the universe. I believe you create a greater sense of positive spirituality by building a deck, helping a friend, cleaning a room or working your job, than you ever will in prayer. Prayer-in-action will always be better than prayer-in-talk.

In fact more often than not, your prayers worsen your situation because they are negative in tone. Faithless prayers are a negative energy effect. You don’t actually have faith things can be better when you complain to God about your life.

If you had faith God can help your life, you’d just walk out your front door and start living your life like you had God’s help. You don’t have to keep praying like you’re feeding God’s parking meter or your spirituality will expire.

God is not sending a limo to drive you to the gym. Some shit you have to handle yourself.

/rant off

 

And tomorrow we’re talking about Jennifer’s amazing thighs.

Jennifer: ???

Negative Energy Means You Struggle to Visualize a Positive Outcome

I’m starting to see a pattern over and over again.

When you have a low energy couple, typically there’s some sort of mutual dysfunction happening. He’s got some major issue that’s unresolved and she’s got a major unresolved issue.  Those two dysfunctions are enmeshed in each other in a Vampire and Victim dance.

But even though there are negative things happening, the way the couple relates to each other is stable.

The relationship sucks, but it sucks in a very predictable, routine and reassuringly same way. When the couple fights or disagrees, it’s almost as if they are pulling scripts out and doing a play together. First he says this, then she says that, then he gets mad, then she cries, then he slams a door and marches out, then she calls her sister and her sister tells her to leave and she agrees she should leave, but then she cooks dinner and he comes back and he says the food was good and they look at each other and disappear into the bedroom while the kids roll their eyes and announce they can’t wait to turn 18 and get the hell out of here.

Same shit, different day.

Then one of them stumbles onto MMSL and the MAP and the light bulbs start going off inside their heads.

It can be different. It can change. It can be better.

But then the questions come….

But what if it really works?

What if I really change and get better. Will I still want to be with her? Or if she really gets better, will she still want to be with me?

What if we both run the MAP and become stronger better people… and the only thing holding us together was our problems? What happens if we break up because of the MAP working?

Here’s what I’ve been saying to that line of questioning.

When you have a crappy relationship, you always have a low energy / negative energy mood and mindset. One of the symptoms of that mindset, is that you cannot visualize how a positive relationship between the two of you can be. You can kinda visualize getting better as an individual and you can usually visualize your partner getting better…. but the combination of the two and how the pattern of interaction between you will be, always seems to slip out of reach when you think about it.

When you have a negative mindset, when you start to imagine the future turning out good…. you tend to bring it back into alignment with your current negative mindset and blow the future up. I.e., we both become better, stronger, happier people and then we divorce each other in a firestorm of emotional carnage.

Well….

….that hasn’t happened to anyone yet.

What I have seen happen is couples saying, “I couldn’t have imagined how good this is right now”. Or saying they could imagine about half of what was good about their relationship, but there are entire other unexpected areas that suddenly blossomed for them.

It’s a little like climbing a mountain with low lying clouds. You can’t see the summit because the clouds block your view. It’s only when you just keep climbing, just keep climbing and climbing, when suddenly you’re above the clouds and the sun is shining and you can see forever. It’s always a bright sunny day on planet earth, it’s just a question of having enough elevation.

You both run the MAP. You both make huge advances. You both get hotter.

It will be fine.

You have no idea how good it can get.

And if you want fast track to better… there’s always the 12-Week Guided MAP.

 

 

What are Your Three Monkeys?

Ages ago my dad told me a story of one of the other executives in his office, who had a peculiar method of dealing with the problems of his department. Outside his office door was a small shelf and on that shelf were Three Monkeys. The traditional hear-no-evil, see-no-evil and speak-no-evil trio. I believe they were plush toys of some description.

When an underling was reporting a problem to the executive, they had to pick up one of the monkeys and take it into the office with them while they presented the problem. If the executive accepted the problem as something he was going to work on… he kept the monkey on his desk.

Which left just two monkeys sitting on the shelf outside his office. When he accepted a second problem, there would be just one monkey. After a third problem was accepted, the shelf would be empty of monkeys.

No monkeys meant underlings weren’t to bother him as he was already busy and a fourth problem would reduce his problem solving effectiveness. So in all likelihood, bringing a fourth problem to him would simply result in the fourth problem taking longer to solve. The rationale being simple – people can only work effectively on changing about three things at once.

As a problem was solved, the associated monkey would return to the shelf outside his office. This was the signal for the availability for a new problem.

I tell this story because it’s one of the first concepts I tell my 12-Week Guided MAP coaching clients. Part of that process is identifying twenty-four different things to work on and improve over the 12-week period. The twenty-four things to do come from four things in each of the six spheres from the new book: Physical, Money, Displays of High Value, Relationship Comfort, Personality and Sexuality. I rank them all in a priority list. I could explain how I prioritize the list, but it’s rather arcane and the description resembles a recitation of Vogon poetry.

So far everyone’s eyes bug out at the mother of all to-do lists I create. Except each week, we’re just going to work on three things starting at the top of the priority list. As something gets mastered / completed, we cross it off the list and add a new monkey.

This overwhelming sense of “there’s too much to do in my MAP” is I think very common. If you’re in a sucky place in your life, with multiple large problems, it’s easy to just give up and not try fixing any of them. But if you can narrow it down to just three things you need to get done it’s more manageable. You can even forgive yourself some failures on things that haven’t made the Three Monkeys status yet. Sure you’re going to clean the spare room out and get to a dental appointment, the kids are still running wild… but this week your Three Monkeys are joining a gym, creating a budget and getting a plumber to come fix that mysterious water problem. So don’t freak out about how bad things are, or how crappy you feel. Just trust the process that fixing anything is better than doing nothing. It’s going to get better.

So leave a comment…

If you only have to do just three things to make your life a little better this week…

What are your Three Monkeys?

Coaching Finally Available

One of the purposes of The Mindful Attraction Plan book was to widen the scope of what I write about to a whole life perspective. Which then is a platform to allow me to advise from a whole life perspective…

…which is a way to say we’re finally in the position to do coaching services.

There’s still some odds and ends to add to the website, but for now I’d like to get started. The website is http://mindfulattractionplan.com/

The intent is that the MMSL blog and forum continue to roll on into the future as they have been. By adding the coaching as a separate website it helps keep it distinct as a service.

Behind the scenes, it’s also been a very interesting time for us. The publication of The Mindful Attraction Plan has been extremely clarifying for me as a writer about what works and doesn’t. It’s also been a major income bump… though it’s hard to know exactly where sales will go, but all in all it’s doing moderately better than the Primer and the Primer hasn’t dropped in sales. So assuming it holds, I just doubled my income. Which is both awesome and mildly freaky.

Added onto that, we’re starting the coaching practice. Yes I said we. It’s an LLC and Jennifer and I partners. She’s far more business connected than I am and has been invaluable. Assuming the life coaching takes off and can expand to multiple coaches, she’s the first on the list for the job. In all seriousness she deserves it and would be good at it. What she’s doing for work now (it’s a small field, but she’s endlessly #1 in Connecticut for her job) isn’t that dissimilar.

So…

MMSL = Athol as an author.

MAP Coaching = Athol + Jennifer LLC

So anyway, what it sums out to is that I just signed another legally binding agreement with my wife. It’s the first one I’ve signed since turning on to the Red Pill et al. It’s a different experience. I expected some sort of “moment” doing it, but in all honesty it was anti-climatic and rather peaceful.

I think it’s called trust.

I trust my wife.

That’s a precious thing.

Anyway… go buy some coaching!  http://www.mindfulattractionplan.com

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.

Women Wear Money as a Display of High Value

@Angela:  What does everyone think about a woman letting her hair go gray at 50? I am toying with the idea. Can this be sexy, or am I completely ruining my Sex Rank? Can’t get any opinion from my husband, I don’t know whether he doesn’t care, or what.

Athol:  Whatever it is you chose, just make it look like money was involved in it’s production.
<insert many pics of doggystyle approved older chicks with gray hair>
@Maria:  One shouldn’t forget though, that grey hair as shown in the pics above, is NOT natural. Only very few women are so lucky to have shiny, all over grey hair; most of the time it’s mottled. So all that glamorous grey hair comes out of a bottle, too. It’s actually the most high-maintenance hair color after platinum blonde.

Athol: There’s obviously things like cut and design et al for hair and clothes, but the Display of High Value for women is to be effectively “wearing money”.

@Angela:  Thanks for all the input. I went to the hair salon this morning, the long, grey roots are gone, my hair is a nice rich auburn and I feel 15 years younger. I didn’t realize how much I was hating the gray experiment till it was over.

@x1134x:  Grey hair is not near the DLV that SHORT HAIR is.  At any age. Whatever you do, don’t cut it short.
Dye as long as you can do it and it still looks natural.  If you have wrinkled face skin from age, and a young, youthful head of hair, it looks off.

@Geekengineer:  Agree x eleventy bazillion.

A couple ladies at my office recently went from “actual upper-40s with long hair” to “actual upper-40s looking like a sad 60 year old grandma with no style” overnight by chopping it off to the poofball look. One had very grey hair that ended up getting colored black (looks terrible), the other had 1/2 grey that she colored dog-poop brown (looks… well, you know).

Athol:  So there you go. Keep your hair long. Keep it looking intentional. Keep it looking like some guy shells out cash in your direction.

That’s your Display of High Value for today.

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.