Friday, March 30, 2012


There are an ever increasing number of blogs about the use of Game in marriage and other long-term relationships. This is a good thing.

At some point, they all touch on the topic of temptation, because it’s eventually going to happen to any man working the Plan. You’ve gotten physically fit, you’ve improved your appearance, you’ve increased your self-confidence. One day, in the midst of an innocent flirtation, you realize the possibilities. “If I just escalate here, I could easily get this woman in bed.”

If you have ever taken a self-defense class, you know the importance of drills. You have to imagine yourself in a difficult situation, and practice your response until it becomes a reflex. When a bad guy attacks you in a parking lot at night, you don’t have time to look up what to do in the textbook. You have to have drilled enough to respond instantly, without thought. You have to practice until you develop the right reflexes.

I’m self-aware enough to know that if I suddenly found myself in a situation that could easily lead to sex, my first instinct might be to do something that I would later regret. So I contemplate the possibilities, and rehearse my responses. 

An important part of my preparation for the inevitable temptation is simply to Know Who I Am.

I am a tall, attractive, intelligent, spiritual, happily-married man. And, quite frankly, my sexuality is too valuable to be shared with the sort of woman who would knowingly bed a married man. (Yes, I know… shades of Grouch Marx. “I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member.”)

I haven’t always been this way. As my previous marriage was going down in flames, I slept with a lot of women. Most of them were married, too. A large part of my motivation was seeking validation. My self-esteem was shot, and I needed them to prove to me that I was still attractive. 

In spite of my comment about “the sort of woman who would knowingly bed a married man,” I don’t look down on any of the women I slept with during my first marriage. In fact, I am now married to one of them. (I’ve changed a lot since I met her, and she has, too. We aren’t the same people we were then.) I don’t look down on them, and I don’t look down on myself for sleeping with them, either. As my spiritual advisor/guitar teacher says, “We all do the best we can with what we have at the time.” 

But I’m better now. I can recognize my own self-worth. I don’t need a woman, or a string of women, to validate me. I know who I am, and I’m too valuable to waste on casual flings.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Don't be a sorry guy

I ran across an idea a few weeks ago that had to do with using the words “I’m sorry.” I’ve been doing so much reading lately, that I’m not sure where I saw this. It might have been in Athol’s book, or it might have been one of the manosphere blogs, but I’m not sure.

I do know that since reading it, I’ve become acutely aware of how often I say the words “I’m sorry.” And most of the time, I haven’t done anything wrong. My wife is going through a long and painful recovery from surgery, so I have a lot of occasions to express sympathy and concern.

But there’s the rub. English being a compact language, most words have multiple meanings. Sure, one of the meanings of ‘sorry’ is “sympathetic,” or “compassionate.” But take a look at some of the other synonyms for sorry:

  • Remorseful
  • Regretful
  • Apologetic
  • Despicable
  • Pathetic
  • Contemptible
  • Disgraceful
  • Insignificant
  • Miserable
  • Vile
  • Worthless

If you keep telling your wife that you are pathetic and contemptible, how long do you think it will be before she starts to believe you?

Of course, there are times when no other term will do. When you screw up, admit it. Take the blame, apologize, do what you can to set things right, and move on. Sometimes, you do have to say you’re sorry, because life isn’t a 70’s novel.  

But apart from actual apologies, resolve now to banish the phrase “I’m sorry” from your vocabulary. Here are some other ways to express sympathy and compassion without claiming to be vile or disgraceful:

“I know this is very difficult for you.”

“We’re in this together. You are not alone.”

“This must be so painful for you.”

“How can I help?”

“I don’t know what to say, but I care.”

“That must be terrible.” 

“I can’t imagine that kind of pain.”

Also remember this: As a man, confronted with a problem, your instinct is to search for solutions. But most of the time, when your woman has a problem, she doesn’t want you to solve it. She just wants to know that you understand her, and that you care. If you immediately jump to offering solutions, she will likely interpret that as a lack of caring. Give her your emotional support first and foremost. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

It's funny, because it's true

It will come as no surprise to readers of this blog: Chicks dig jerks.

Steve Sailer has published a review of Whit Stillman's "Damsels in Distress." In his blog post, he quotes a character from The Last Days of Disco, an earlier Stillman film.
Christopher Eigeman on Disney's Lady and the Tramp: What's the function of a film of this kind? Essentially as a primer on love and marriage directed at very young people, imprinting on their little psyches the idea that smooth-talking delinquents recently escaped from the local pound are a good match for nice girls from sheltered homes. When in ten years the icky human version of Tramp shows up around the house, their hormones will be racing and no one will understand why. Films like this program women to adore jerks. 
 Several reviews of Disco mention this quote. One calls it "...a hilarious deconstruction of Disney's Lady and the Tramp..." I can't argue with that. It's certainly funny. But it's also true.

One could turn this into a big nature/nurture discussion. Do chicks dig jerks because evolutionary biology has wired them that way, or because our culture has programmed them that way? Do films like Lady and the Tramp create culture, or merely reflect it?

Such things may be fun to think about, but the important thing to remember is simply this: Being the perpetual nice guy will only get you so far in life. To keep your woman feeling all tingly when she looks at you, you have to balance it with a bit of being a jerk.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Gearheads and Other Hobbyists

Fellow blogger CantBeJustMe over at Taking Back the Reins has made an excellent post about the proper motivation for working the MAP. His point is that you have to be doing this for your own reasons, not to change your wife's behavior. It took me 10 years of Al-Anon meetings to learn that the only person I can control is me, and I still sometimes need to be reminded of that.

But in getting to that point, he mentioned something else:
    I’ve always been a gearhead.  I’ve worked on and rebuilt countless motorcycles, cars and trucks.  If it has oil and gas in it, I can fix it.  (on the opposite end of the spectrum, if it’s green and grows in the ground, I can kill it.)  Since my kid is almost at driving age, we’ve batted around the idea of fixing up an old car or truck for his first car.  Circumstances lined up and I’ve got a 40 year old truck in the yard, and I’ve started working on it. 

In what would appear to be an amazing coincidence, I also have just acquired a vintage vehicle. Mine is a bit older than 40 years, in fact it's a bit older than 50 years. It hasn't been driven since 1982. It's going to take a lot of work to get it running.

It also just happens that my wife's father was a professional mechanic. 

She suggested the other day that I might want to get some help from my brother-in-law. "You don't think I can do anything mechanical, do you?" I asked. "Well, I've never seen you do anything mechanical..."

And it's true. Working on modern electronically controlled engines just isn't a lot of fun. But my first car was a 1966 Chevy. I was constantly tinkering with it, and those simple old engines are easy to work on. 

I think seeing me with grease under my fingernails is giving my wife a warm fuzzy feeling, since her dad always had grease under his fingernails. More importantly, getting this car running is going to be a DHV. By showing competence in yet another area of life, her estimation of my value will be increased.

Of course, that's not the reason I tackled this project. But it's certainly a nice fringe benefit.

So, guys, take my advice: Get a hobby. Not some girly hobby like scrapbooking, but something manly. Fix up an old car, or build a model airplane. As long as it's suitably masculine, it doesn't much matter what it is. What's important is that you do it well. Display confidence and competence, and you will reap the rewards.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Date Night

It's three weeks since my wife had surgery. She's feeling better and starting to get really bored with staying home and not being able to do much. Also, since I've started tracking her cycles, I knew that she would be approaching ovulation this weekend. A local nightclub had a big costume party Saturday night, and that seemed like a perfect opportunity.

Given the circumstances, this couldn't be a surprise date. For one thing, I had to make sure we both had appropriate attire. Between scrounging in the closet and a quick trip to that tacky mall "gifts" store, we ended up looking pretty good. She was in "sexy schoolgirl" mode, and I was in black leather.

I made sure we both got a good nap Saturday afternoon. We went out for an early supper at one of her favorite neighborhood restaurants, then went home to change. By the time we arrived at the club the party was going strong.

I used all of the stuff I've learned from the manosphere: I paid attention to my posture, making full use of every inch of my 6'1". When we entered, I took my wife's hand and led her to the center of the room. I approached interesting-looking strangers and initiated conversations. I made eye contact, and held it. I kept a totally dominant frame. I even remembered to hold my drink at waist level, like James Bond.

There were some really attractive people of both sexes there, but I pointed out to the wife that she was one of the hottest women in the place. She responded that I was one of the best looking men there, too... and this time, I believed it. I've done a lot of work getting in shape and it's starting to show.

In the past, we would have been on the sidelines, talking only to each other. But now, I made sure that we mingled. We chatted with other couples. She enjoyed the attention she got from the men, and I made sure she noticed the attention I was getting from the women. 

We had a great time, and when we got home it was well after 1:00 AM. By that time, of course, we were both really tired. And the wife was really sore, she said her surgical incisions felt like they were burning. So I made sure she took her pain medication, and put her to bed.

Sunday morning I woke up before she did. I walked the dogs, made coffee, and had breakfast ready when she got out of bed. I asked how she was feeling. "I feel great," she said. "I slept like a rock, nothing hurts right now, and I'm full of energy."

"That's good," I said.

"It sure is," she replied, "because we have some unfinished business to take care of."

Uh... what?

"I haven't properly thanked you for our date last night. Finish your eggs and take me back to bed."

The dog finished my eggs.

Later, we went for a walk. I should mention at this point that I've shown her Athol's blog, and the Red Pill Room. When I "run game" on her, she knows exactly what I am doing... and it still works.

She said "I want to thank you."

For what?

"For all the stuff you've been doing. For reminding me of why I fell in love with you in the first place."

I have to pass her thanks along. I couldn't have done it by myself. So thank you, Athol Kay. Thank you, Ian Ironwood. I even have to thank Heartiste... his game is different from married game, but I used pieces of it at the club Saturday night and it impressed the hell out of my wife.

Friday, March 16, 2012

On Leadership

I was going to write something about leadership today, but first I read some of my daily blogs. I found out that Ian Ironwood had already written what I wanted to say, so instead of writing something, I'm just going to point you here:

The Difference Between Leading and Dragging

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Sexting the wife, sort of

I'm a math geek. So this morning when my wife realized that it's 3/14, she texted me:

"Happy Pi Day!!!!!"

Me: "Thanks. You know, there's another national holiday celebrated on March 14. You should Google it."

A pause while she searched for it. Then:

Wife: "Oh that's funny!!! But since you didn't spend ungodly amounts of money on me at Valentine's day, I should be exempt this year, right? LOL Just kidding."

Me: "LOL. OK, since I didn't spend a lot of money, you don't have to, either. So you're exempt from buying me a steak."

Wife: "You made me snort laugh!!!!!!!"

Me: "You're welcome."

Beta isn't bad

There's a common misconception that being Alpha is good, and being Beta is bad.

This is an oversimplification, at best. As an oversimplification it sort of works, because most men are too Beta so they need to add more Alpha. But as Athol Kay points out, what we all really need is a balance of both.

My wife had surgery a couple of weeks ago. So I've dialed the new Alpha way back, and cranked the Beta up to 11. Right now, she's unable to take care of herself at a very basic level. And she's in constant pain. What she really needs is someone to take care of her, so that's what I'm doing.

A couple of days ago I had just helped her with her bath, and was tucking her into bed, when she surprised me. "I love how you are taking care of me," she said. "It just further reinforces that I made the right decision."

I must have looked puzzled, because she explained: "I mean, to end the affair. To be with you. This is where I belong. No one has ever loved me like you do."


Of course, even Beta caregivers can score some Alpha cred. After her surgery, I took a couple of days off to stay with her. Then a friend spent a day with her, and her mom came over for a day. But the first day that she stayed alone while I was at work, I came home and found her feeling really bad. She had tried to do some housework, and had not taken her pain meds when she was supposed to.

"Get your butt in that bed right now. I'll be there in a minute." I went and got her pain meds and brought them to her in bed. "Take this. And no back talk, you need them." Then I made her dinner, we ate it in bed together, and watched a movie on TV.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Some stuff I did right

Even before I discovered MMSL, and even before I had my Red Pill moment, there were some things that I just did right. I've spent a lot of time beating myself up for the things I did wrong, and Lord knows there were plenty of them, but I want to take some time to acknowledge the things I did right:

1) I got in shape.
This is still a work in progress. When I met my wife, I was training to run a marathon. After the marathon, I didn't want to run anymore for a long time. And my weight started going back up. Before I knew it, I was up to 260 lbs and nearly a 46 inch waist. I also started having chest pains whenever I exercised. After a full cardiac workup the doc cleared me to start exercising again. I also changed my diet. I'm down to 220 lbs and a 40 inch waist. My goal is a 38 inch waist. My original goal was 200 lbs, but since I've started lifting weights and adding muscle, that may not be where I want to go. But I'm determined to get down to 38 inches around the middle, and to see my abs.

1.A) I got tested.
I have the best doc. I was talking to him about my lack of energy, difficulty concentrating, difficulty sleeping, and weight gain. I was afraid I was depressed but didn't want to take an antidepressant. He gave me this test: Take the Quiz. I answered "yes" to 9 out of the 10 questions, so he followed up with some blood work that verified I have low testosterone levels. The Androgel he prescribed has made me feel like a new man.

2) I bought some better clothes
I have a job that requires me to wear a suit to work every day. And after losing all that weight, my clothes looked pretty bad on me. So I bought a couple of new suits. The new ones are slightly more expensive, and much nicer, than the old ones. I also found a tailor who, for a few dollars, makes them fit me like they were custom made. (Still on my to-do list: buy new underwear, with no input from the Missus.)

3) I changed my look
Without consulting my wife, I went to a stylist and changed the way I wear my hair. I'm in my mid-50's and had gone quite gray, so I also added a bit of color to my hair. She came home from a business trip and found me looking 10 years younger. I also started wearing a bow tie. I have more to say about that; in fact, I think I'll do an entire post on it.

4) I went back to school
My wife has a degree in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) field; she's a scientist. I dropped out of college after three years as a fine arts major. I got a few lucky breaks and managed to end up in a job that would normally require a degree. And my employer has a great tuition reimbursement program. So I'm taking classes and working towards getting a degree. And not in Art, either. My degree is also in a STEM area. (I'm two years in, with probably two more to go. I have a 4.0 average so far, which is a major DHV in my wife's eyes.)

If you've read The Primer,  you can see that I was already running the MAP without even knowing it. But all of those things I had done right couldn't make up for the things that I was doing wrong. As good as I looked, and as good as I felt, I still had to take that bitter Red Pill.


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The most important lesson: Leadership

If you haven't already read it, go look at this:

Athol Kay: Captain and First Officer

This post on Athol's blog, more than anything else, turned my marriage around.

I know that my wife has a submissive streak. Yet she's also a strong, capable, professional woman.

We know couples who actually live out a BDSM lifestyle, where one partner is Dominant and the other is Submissive, full time, 24/7. That has no appeal to me, and while my wife's submissive side likes it as a fantasy, she wouldn't like the reality of it.

So we had settled into what I thought was a "relationship of equals." What that really means is that I had abdicated my responsibility to be the leader of my household. On a more practical level, it means that we had a lot of these conversations:

"What do you want for dinner?"

"I don't know, what do YOU want for dinner?"

I'm not like that at work. I'm not like that anywhere, actually... except that I was like that at home. At the office, I wear a suit to work every day. My job title includes the word "Director." I'm highly competent and often have to make quick decisions, and implement them.

Reading the Captain and First Officer model, it finally clicked: that expensive leadership training course that my employer paid for would be useful at home, too.

A man can be a leader without being a full-time Dom. There's no need to wear black leather and carry a riding crop. That doesn't work at the office, and for most people, it doesn't work at home, either. But any organization, including a household, has to have someone leading the way.

In that expensive leadership course, we learned this definition:

Leadership: The act of gaining willing followers for a course of action when the way forward is uncertain or unclear.

Some important points about this definition:

Leadership is an action. It's not a state of mind, it's not a personality, it's an action. And like any other action, one can learn how to do it.

Willing followers: Forcing people to do what you want doesn't make you a leader. You are only a leader if people want to follow you.

When the way forward is uncertain or unclear: If everybody knows what to do next, they don't need a leader. Leadership matters when there are options, and it's not entirely clear which option is the best one.

After reading the Captain and First Officer model, I decided that I would never again be trapped in a circular "I don't know, what do you want to do?" conversation. I am now the Man With A Plan. If my wife says "Want do you want for dinner?" I have an answer: "I'm going to grill steaks, why don't you bake some potatoes to go with them," or "I'd really like that casserole that you make with the chicken and broccoli." If she says "What are we going to do this weekend?" then I say "We're going to go see Ghostrider and have dinner at Chili's." Of course, if she replies "I'd really rather have pork chops," or "Can we eat at Olive Garden instead," I'm open to those suggestions. But I always have a plan.

Sometimes she immediately agrees with the plan. Sometimes she suggests changes. But the important thing is that I am leading, not waiting for her to decide what we will do.

I wasn't sure how she would respond to this. I thought I might get some resistance. But no, she seems to love it. This one thing has changed her attitude towards me from distant and mildly hostile, to close and affectionate. This is really powerful stuff!

Aleph One Gets the Red Pill

I shouldn't have had any need for the Red Pill. I mean, I already knew this stuff.

For the last five years of Marriage #1, my hobby was banging bored middle-aged housewives whose husbands didn't pay enough attention to them. (I'm not proud of that. If I could have a do-over, I'd change it. But I promised my readers the unvarnished truth, and there it is.)

So, note well: If you think your wife would never do such a thing, you are wrong. If you ignore her, or pay the wrong kind of attention; if you don't give her what she needs; she can and she will find someone else who will give it to her. One of the women I was seeing on a regular basis said, "I'm a good old dog, but if you don't pet me now and then, don't expect me to stay on the porch."

I'm instinctively a Beta kind of guy. A SNAG (Sensitive New-Age Guy). A good provider. I had no idea of Game, or the Manosphere, or even what Alpha meant. (It turns out that I have a fair amount of "natural" Alpha, too. But there was one key Alpha item that I was missing.) And somehow, I slipped into a pattern of not paying attention to my wife. At least, not the kind of attention she needed.

Then one day I got the wake-up call. Something hadn't been right for a number of weeks. My sweet wife had been decidedly NOT sweet, and had grown increasingly distant. I was working on the computer one afternoon, while she was in a different part of the house, and her phone was laying there on the counter... so I picked it up and looked at her text messages.

It felt like being hit with a ton of bricks. My darling wife was in love with another guy.

In the next few minutes, the next few days, the next few weeks, I did a few things right and a lot of things wrong. I may post about what those things were, sometime. But not now; my pulse is racing just typing this. It's still hard to deal with. But the end result was that she ended the affair. In trying to figure out how to deal with my feelings about the affair, I ran across Athol Kay's blog.  I found the key ingredient that had been missing in my marriage, and I fixed it.

Within a couple of weeks, things had turned around completely. I'm as certain as is humanly possible that my wife in no longer involved with anyone other than me. She looks at me now the way she did when we were first dating. Life is good.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Some History

I've been agonizing over how much to reveal in this post, and how much to hold back. I know that I have one reader who knows my true identity, but I trust him to keep my secret. So I'm just going to lay it all out there. Some of it is pretty ugly. Try not to hate me.

I've always been the "nice guy." Kind of a geek, good grades, all that. I also had some "bad boy" edge, back in the day. I wore my hair long, played guitar in a band, and at least one preacher's daughter dated me just to piss off her daddy. But I also got "friend zoned" a lot, and one girl actually told me "I like you, but you're just too nice!" (If only I had listened to her!)

Then in college I met a girl who gave me a really bad case of "oneitis." I married her at age 19. She turned out to be batshit crazy, but it took me a long time to see it. We had two kids together, and she got addicted to pain pills after the first one was born. When she couldn't get narcotics, she'd drink. She'd go through rehab, go to AA, get sober for a year or two, then have a spectacular crash. Lather, rinse, repeat.

She was certainly no prize, but then, neither was I. I was just as much an addict as she was, but my drug of choice was sex. I had a series of affairs, some of which were one night stands and some that went on for years.

In 2006, wife #1 fell off the wagon in a major way. By this time our youngest was away in college, and our oldest had a family of his own. So my primary reason for putting up with her crap was gone. Anyway, this crash ended up with her in an E.R. for a failed suicide attempt, followed by being committed involuntarily to a state-run mental hospital. I realized at this point that the marriage was essentially over.

I knew nothing of Game at this point, but I knew that I needed to fix some stuff about me. I started seriously working out. I trained for (and completed) a marathon. I dropped about 30 pounds and bought some new clothes. And I met a woman with whom I started an affair.

She was married, too. Her marriage was about as bad as mine. Her husband had pushed her into a "swinging" lifestyle, and she hated it. She had been raised in a strict Southern Baptist household, and had only had a couple of serious boyfriends. She hated her husband for pushing her to have sex with other men, but then she had several affairs behind his back. She told me this story over lunch, before we had ever had sex. I had already started to fall for her, and I told her "If you were mine, I'd never want to share you with anyone. I'm greedy that way." (At the time, I had not read this post. But I nearly quoted it verbatim.)

We both started this affair saying "I'd never leave my spouse, but I need some physical contact that I'm not getting at home." Within a matter of weeks, though, we were both starting to try to figure out the practicalities of dumping our spouses and being together full time.

It wasn't long before we were both divorced and living together. We joined a church together -- spirituality is important to both of us, and something that was lacking in our previous marriages. We bought a house together. She sold a house that she owned, one her grandparents had left to her, to get the down payment for ours. I knew that marrying someone who had proven to be a serial philanderer was problematic. But then, I'd been a serial philanderer myself. I knew that I was ready to try being seriously monogamous, and she said that she was, so in 2010 we got married.

Then I got the Red Pill. But that's another story.