Thursday, March 14, 2013

You're Just Going Through A Stage

There was another stunning celebration of divorce culture inthe HuffPo, and as much as it turned my stomach to read it, I did.  The Mid-40s EPL divorce-a-thon is in full effect, it seems.  The tragic homewrecker in these impending antinuptials? 

“I don’t feel appreciated.”

These women are usually in perfectly decent marriages to perfectly decent dudes, and they want to split up and destroy their children’s lives and their husband’s souls because “they don’t feel appreciated”.  When confronted with this sudden and seemingly-inexplicable notification of divorce, the poor beta chumps in question are astonished.  “Why didn’t you say anything?” they ask.  “I did,” she replies, tragically, “but you weren’t listening!”

And that’s utter bullshit.

Men do listen – but not the same way women do, and for women to expect that from men is as foolish as to expect women to spend $300 shopping and then not want to show you what they bought.  Men listen, generally, but they do so in analog.  What you say is what we hear, ladies.  It’s like we’re receiving text messages without the benefit of emoticons.  Women communicate in a multi-track channel, with every communication cloaked and layered in context and subcontext and meaning and innuendo.  Men have one, or maybe (in some cases) two tracks, and one of them is probably focused on sex.  But that doesn't mean we don't listen.  The problem is that you aren't saying what you think you are saying.

Men often disparage women for sitting around and “talking about nothing” for hours at a time.  What they don’t realize is that what women are doing is actually talking about everything.  Each sentence, grunt, or expression is part of a complex and sophisticated gender-based language, highly dependent upon relevant social context and consensus opinion. 

Ten minutes of mind-numbing discussion about someone’s aunt in the grocery store can actually be a confrontation, a veiled threat, a warning, and an opportunity to share information about mutual friends and enemies within the Matrix . . . and your husband will be clueless. 

He thought you were talking about Aunt Gertrude, but because he doesn’t understand her relation to the woman in question, or how the scandal she was involved with also involved your mother’s best friend, which puts you on opposite sides of the Matrix and therefore at odds, and if your mother’s friend isn’t careful she’s going to run afoul of Gertrude’s people, and how that’s important because her daughter Eva is gorgeous and engaged to a nice young man who might not appreciate knowing about the scandal . . . you get the idea. 

Most women pick up on those subtextual signals automatically and include them into their general information stream as a matter of course.  (The ones who don't, don't usually make out well in the Matrix). That makes their discussion “perfectly clear” . . . if you know the context, the subtleties, the politics, and the common aspirations and values of all women, particularly those close to you within the Matrix.  Men, not so much.

So when you are in your 40s, you "feel unappreciated”, and you tell your husband “you weren’t listening!” what you are actually doing is holding him accountable for a conversation he had no idea he was having.  By considering divorce, what you are doing is essentially punishing everyone you know and love because of your inability to understand that men and women communicate differently about different things, and you aren’t willing to give a man you once pledged your soul to the basic opportunity to figure it out and fix it.  To make you “feel appreciated” in whatever particular way is going to keep you from killing your family. 

Because by saying “too little, too late” and calling your lawyer, what you are doing is ruining everyone’s life because you are just going through a regular, normal, stupid stage of development that will pass quickly enough.

When you were 14 and dyed your hair blue and got your ear pierced without your mother knowing, when you spent 57% of your life on the phone or on chat with your friends, your parents were indulgent of that – and your suddenly-frequent emotional outbursts – because they knew that you were “going through a stage”.

When you were 17 and had your first love, and the adults around you smiled indulgently and just didn’t understand why he was so wonderful and perfect for you, even if he didn’t have a job or plans for college or even a car, they did their best to keep your virtue intact  because they knew that you were “going through a stage”.

When you were 21 and partying like a drunken fratboy, making out with dudes whose names you didn’t know and arriving home in the wee hours (walk of shame, optional), then your parents and your friends gritted their teeth and bit their lips because they knew that you were “going through a stage”.

When you were 24 and certain that your life would only have meaning if you applied yourself to your career and focused on building a secure future, your parents may have sighed with relief because they didn’t know what you did on the weekends, but they didn't worry too much because they knew that you were “going through a stage” . . . and were probably past the risk of accidental pregnancy and on reliable birth control.

When you were 27 and met the man you knew would be the father of your children, if you chose wisely enough your friends and family and especially your parents gave a collective sigh of relief because they knew you were finally “going through a stage” they could brag to their friends about.

Ditto three years later, when you gave them grandchildren and they started criticizing your parenting.  If you were smart, you put up with it with graciousness and good boundaries, because you knew that they were just new grandparents “going through a stage”.

Your own experience as a parent of an infant likely introduced and thoroughly covered the entire idea of developmentally “going through a stage”, and you have pictures of the poop on the wall to prove it.

When your husband turned 40 and started looking at sportscars and bikini models and started working out a little, you rolled your eyes and kept them peeled for potential rivals, but you probably weren’t too worried because every woman’s magazine in the world has prepared you for your husband’s midlife crisis – you knew he was just “going through a stage”.

But now - suddenly - because of your “pent up frustration at not feeling appreciated”, you decide to ditch him, split up the household, permanently scar your kids, and strike out on your own where, presumably, you will find this elusive feeling of appreciation you are willing to nuke your family over.  You feel you have given everything to the marriage and the family, and you have gotten nothing in return (except for love, support, security, but nothing as important as your "feelings of appreciation").  

It's understandable, kind of.  You feel the last dregs of your youth draining away and want to “enjoy life” (without really knowing what that means for you) before you die . . . and your schlubby Betazoid chump of a husband (who is acting the way you have trained him to act, and respond the way you have trained him to respond) is suddenly just not the dashing man of passionate adventure that would make you feel appreciated.  You can do better, you think.

Bullshit.  Let me say this slowly and loudly, so you can understand the full weight of my words:

You Are Just Going Through A Stage.

Acting on this impulse (or even long-thought-out wallowing in the cesspool of your own emotional turmoil) is like your husband being drunk, on the road, and getting hit on by another woman.  Consider it like that. Yes, it feels right.  It’s exciting and alluring.  It has all the promise of a grand adventure and a change in your life.  Finally, you can truly feel appreciated – for who you are, not just what you do for other people.  Someone out there really likes you, independent of your spouse or family or job.

All he had to do was nod his head, or make a bad joke she could laugh at, or give the slightest indication he was open to the idea, and he could have gone there.  He might have even been able to get away with it without you ever knowing.  

But just as your husband (presumably) waved his wedding ring under her nose and said, “sorry, it’s flattering but I love my wife”, you need to look at that wedding ring on your finger and consider something: if you could go back to that 17-year-old version of yourself and give her guidance about her tragic boyfriend situation, would you tell her that yes, indeed, her hope of a happy life was truly over without this loser . . . or that she was just young and horny, he was cute and well hung, and she was just going through a fucking stage?

Then consider this: if your 70 year-old self could come back and advise you about your present situation, would she tell you that yes, you aren’t really appreciated by the man whose children you bore or even your offspring, and you will be far, far better off on your own . . . or will she tell you that your sudden longing for new places and new experiences and a man who “truly appreciates you" in the approved romance-novel fashion will lead to a miserable existence of a slowly decreasing circle of old women who lean on each other for support because no one else values and appreciates them any more? 

Will she tell you that far from being sorry you left him and genuinely repentant about his poor management of your marriage and his relationship with you he’s going to find a woman ten years younger who treats your kids like gold and raves about what a devoted husband he is, and how foolish you were for letting him get away?  Will she tell you that the fertile pool of handsome, well-educated men eager for a life with a 40-something woman does exist . . . and is in its 70s?  Will she tell you that men your own age will politely decline your attempts to flirt without hurting your feelings, while younger men look at you as either just another horny old cougar or a pitiful old wreck . . . if they see you at all? 

Will she tell you that after the split your kids just kind of stop calling?  That they’d rather spend their holidays with their dad and his fun new wife than with you in your dreary “economy single’s condo”?  Or that when they do show up, it’s out of a sense of obligation and filial duty to let you spend time with your grandchildren while they suppress the rage they feel toward you over how you ruined their childhoods because you “didn’t feel appreciated?”

Will your future self tell you that getting a divorce and becoming a single career woman at your age puts you competing with 24 year-olds who have far more experience and understanding of the emerging technology needed to get even an entry-level job that doesn’t involve a spatula – and they have perky tits?  Will she tell you how those same young women, primed for combat in both their personal and professional lives, will betray you in an instant and keep you from advancing while trashing you behind your back?

Will she tell you about your rapidly-declining professional and romantic market value?  About how the dreams you have today of “feeling appreciated” rapidly turn into a series of concessions and compromises that see your standard of living decline to a low plateau?  About how your circle of girlfriends and the occasional pet will be the only real support you have through your declining years . . . while your husband’s second wife is faithfully standing by with YOUR children at his side in his hours of need? 

Will your 70 year-old self tell you that making a decision like this based on “going through a stage” is the moral equivalent of getting married at 19 because you’re “in love” with some uneducated goober?  Will she tell you that the hours of “me” time you fantasize about now will all-too-soon become endless stretches of loneliness and solitary despair?  That the guilty pleasure of reading or watching movies or gardening you covet now will become the essential distractions of the next thirty years to keep you from dwelling on your solitude, your bitterness, your regret for the decisions you’ve made and the knowledge that you will most likely die alone?

Think about it.  Think about it from your 70-year old self’s perspective for a moment.  Look around at the women you see in their 70s, and count happy faces.  Now count wedding rings. 

Because the feeling that “I don’t feel appreciated” is not just one of spoiled, solipsistic selfishness that we would shame our children for displaying, it’s also a repudiation of your own claim to adult status, the responsibility for making the adult decisions you did and living with the consequences.  You didn’t get married and have kids to feel appreciated, or you did it for the wrong reasons.  You did it to bring more love into the world.   Leaving a marriage because you don’t feel appreciated is, likewise, the wrong reason.  And all it will do is bring more suffering into the world . . . yours, included.

Oh, the first few years will be fine.  After you get through the nasty process of divorce, settle your differences with your ex-husband, try to repair the relationship with your kids, and mourn the loss of that which you killed,  you’ll have a little money in your purse, your own car, your own apartment, and it will be like college again – just you and your girlfriends, your very own Sex In The City.

You’ll initially delight in the prospect of sampling the exotic adventures implicit in a new man, and you’ll pore through the MEN SEEKING WOMEN section of half-a-dozen dating sites with unabashed glee.  There are men out there who know how to make you feel appreciated – you just know it.  All you have to do is find them.  If Bob the Ex-Husband wasn’t appreciative enough, then certainly the successful 45 year-old executive you can’t BELIEVE has a body like that will be . . .

. . . only he doesn’t answer mail from anyone over 30.

You’ll go to singles’ nights with The Girls, just a bawdy gang of cougars on the prowl.  You might even get lucky, and seduce some hot stud with the remains of your feminine charms.  But the next morning you’ll find him gone, and you’ll find the contact information he gave you is bogus, and then you’ll discover a few months later that he took naked pictures of you while you were asleep for his internet “MILF Trophy Room”.

You’ll carry on, meeting one balding loser after another, your heart sinking even as your girlfriends encourage you to try a new hairstyle, a new look, new shoes . . . a new bar.  A new dating site.  But every time you go forth looking for adventure and – yes! – appreciation, you go home a little sadder and a little more frightened.

And then someday, sometime, you’ll wake up in the middle of the night, the terrors of your subconscious breathing down your neck, your whole body covered in sweat as you wrestle with some primal fear from the depths of your brain.  You’ll sit bolt upright in the darkness, your eyes wide, your body wracked with chills, panting with imagined exertion and very real fear, your mind reduced to the whimpering incoherence of a terrified child.  

And then you’ll instinctively reach across the bed for the warmth and comfort you once had, that you promised you’d keep forever, and the bed will be cold and empty. 

You’ll realize that you have no one to talk to about your nightmare.

Then you’ll realize that no one would really care about it, anyway

Such things are inherently intimate, not for “girls’ night” or even the whispered confessions between “besties”.  Only a sister, or a parent, or a husband is capable of soothing fears on that level.  Someone has to reassure you that Everything Is Going To Be All Right . . . otherwise you’ll know everything isn’t going to be all right.  Then you’ll think of your ex-husband’s second wife, clinging to the comfort and the strength of the arms that you accused of making you “not feel appreciated”, and there will be a bitter pang in your stomach and a fierce, savage psychic wail of despair as you – at last – realize what a tragic mistake you’ve made.

Oh, you’ll dismiss me as a doomsaying misogynist, and that’s your prerogative.  But I’m not wrong.  Surf the internet any way you choose.  The number of divorced women living a “fabulous” lifestyle is dwarfed by the number who are living with an increasing state of despair over their bleak futures.  Divorce is good for men, you see, not women . . . even if women initiate 70% of them. 

You’ll find plenty of accounts of women who regret their rash decision, who recognize – now – that they were “only going through a stage”, and that their desire for appreciation was actually a desire for a deeper interpersonal connection with and attention from their husbands . . . or someone.  They are bitter about their decisions, even as they recognize that they must live with them.  Even the Eat, Pray, Love lady ended up with a trollish dud who just wanted a green card. 

There’s even a name for these women, these divorced past-the-Wall women that men walk past and don’t even see anymore: Plankton.  That’s what some of them call themselves, for obvious reasons. 

Sure, your girlfriends want you to do it.  Hell, the ones who took the plunge first want you to do it to validate their own decisions, and the ones who are considering it want to live vicariously through your experience – and how is a happy marriage anything to gossip about at brunch? 

But what you don’t want to admit to yourself is that part of their encouragement isn’t out of friendship and sisterly loyalty, it’s out of spite.  If they didn’t get Happily Ever After, then you shouldn't have it either.  And some of them will even be very, very supportive of your divorce . . . and be boinking your ex before the ink is dry on the divorce papers, if not before.  When abuse or neglect aren’t involved, when your girlfriends encourage you to divorce because “you aren’t happy” or “you don’t feel appreciated”, then it’s functionally the equivalent of them telling to get your hair cut off short because “it looks so cute”.  When, in reality, it really doesn’t. 

But standing next to a chick with a bad haircut always makes you look good . . . and they know that.  Standing next to a woman who voluntarily pulled the self-destruct on a perfectly good marriage makes you look good . . . and they know that, too.  

So sure, they’ll tell you to divorce, and go after everything he’s got.  They’ll let you lean on them, cry, grieve,  and bond and be like sisters in your hour of need.  

And then the catty bitches will stab you in the back, just like you knew they would.  Things start to erode.  The friendships you relied upon to get you through the darkest parts of your divorce are, you discover to your horror, rarely as stable or as permanent as you thought.  The rowdy group of divorcees tearing up the local scene breaks apart, breaks down, get new boyfriends and husbands, move away, just stop returning your calls.  And then it's just you.  Alone.

They want to tell you that everything is great on The Other Side of divorce, how self-fulfilled and happy you’ll be on your own.  They tell you that your husband is stifling you, your family is holding you back and keeping you from being everything you want to be.  They’ll tell you that the world is full of interesting, handsome, successful men, that your kids will be fine, that you’re only cheating yourself if you stay in your gloomy, unappreciative marriage.  Their divorce was the best thing that ever happened to them, they’ll assure you.  It’s a non-stop party, and now you’re old enough to enjoy it. 

They want to tell you all of this because if they tell you anything else, then the tissue of rationalizations that is the only thing staving off unmitigated depression about the mistake they made in divorcing their kind, decent, loving, and largely clueless ex-husbands would evaporate.  They’d have to admit that they made a mistake.  That they should have rode out the stage and hung on for another year or two, and then everything would have been fine.  They’d have to admit that they burn with savage jealousy when they see their ex’s new wife or their new baby.  They’d have to admit the number of times they've been lied to by men who used them for sex and then disappeared or the fact that the men they want don’t want them

They’d have to admit that they were wrong.  And that their lives are, indeed, their own fault.  And they can’t have that.  That would involving self-accountability, and that kind of stark and blunt introspection is as far from their nature as a NASCAR service pit.  The divorced women can’t tell you about the night terrors, the pervasive loneliness, the sense of despair and depression and isolation, or they would have to admit that they made a tragic, terrible mistake that they now have to live with.  That way madness lies.

So they tell you how great it is, and watch with glee as you destroy your own life and the lives of those around you because of your “feeling” of not “being appreciated.”  And they don’t tell you the one piece of advice that would actually be of use to you, about now:

“Relax.  He really does appreciate you.  Far more than you realize.  If you don’t feel that, then you have to consider that part of the problem is with your expectations, and not with his performance.  Your attitudes and perspectives will change as you mature, and a better understanding of yourself and your husband will – ultimately – allow you the space you need to feel the appreciation you crave, and that has been there all along.  This is perfectly natural, perfectly normal.  This will pass.
 “You're just going through a stage.”

Here in the Manosphere (a foreign and dangerous place for most ladies – Here There Be Draygons), particularly in the Red Pill areas, we understand what’s happening better than you do.  We've seen it, discussed it, and understood it until we can pretty much predict exactly what is going to happen, based on thousands of case studies which support the underlying theory:

You aren’t feeling appreciated because you simply aren’t attracted to your husband anymore.  

That “yearning” for “something more” is actually – pardon the crudeness – a desire for romance, passion, and big thick meaty dick attached to a big, strong, masculine- yet-sensitive man.  We understand that at this stage of your life, your body is telling you that – reproductively  speaking – you are at the end of the road, and you have but a few scant years of youthful bloom left.  Biologically and psychologically you have passed through the Maiden stage, beyond the Mother stage of life, but are not yet ready for the Crone.

So you examine the source of your unhappiness . . . and the best you can come up with is “I don’t feel appreciated.”

And the reason you don’t feel appreciated is because for the last decade or so, you haven’t desired appreciation as much as getting shit done: your career, your household, your children, school, work, family, house, cars, insurance – you’ve probably spent the last decade of your life trying to be a grown-up, and likely felt you dragged your husband into that state with you kicking and screaming.  

Finally, when you got him to a point where he was doing more or less what you wanted him to do to keep the trains running on time, you fell out of attraction with him because, well, he was just this boring dad dude who spent all of his time and passion keeping the trains running on time, and not adoring and cherishing his wife.

Yep.  I said it.  It’s largely your fault.

Sex was in there.  You like sex.  Hell, you love sex.  Sex with hubby used to be awesome, a tantalizing delight you looked forward to with undisguised enthusiasm.  Now, it’s a dreary chore made banal by endless repetition and an utter lack of innovation or inspiration.  Yet when your husband tentatively suggested exploring other possibilities, you shut him down – subtlety, perhaps, or maybe you did it in such a way that humiliated and shamed him to the point where he would never dare bring it up again.  But if your hubby’s a dud, remember who trained him to be that way.

When it comes down to it, that’s what “I don’t feel appreciated” means.  It means “I don’t feel vaginal tingles when I look at my husband, I feel a slightly disturbed sense of resentment with maybe a side of loathing.”  

When the only time you feel possessive of him is when another woman admires him, and the rest of the time you just kind of wish he would have an affair to demonstrate some signs of life (or at least give you a convenient escape clause from your “unappreciated” life) then yes, you have fallen out of attraction for your husband.  You may still love and care for him deeply, even respect him as a man and a father.  But your unvoiced and subtextual screams for attention, many of which he actually heard but did not understand, have left you with a monster of your own creation.

You can fix it.  You can fix it a lot less painfully and a lot more easily than you can get a divorce, believe it or not.  Your husband is a perfectly decent man – just ask any of the thousands of women ten years younger than you who see him not as a schlubby Beta chump but as a proven and reliable provider, an experienced lover, and a huge prize at the altar worth bragging about.  

And while you might think “you can have him!” now, I assure you that in two years you will be sobbing into your pillow over what you have given up.  When you realize that a little re-assessment and education could have prevented your tragic mistake, and kept a devoted man next to you in bed to confide your deepest terrors to, you are going to feel like the biggest fool in the world. 

And then you’re going to come up with all sorts of rationalizations why you “did the right thing”, “it was for the best”, and “we’re really better off as friends.”  You’re going to be the one singing the praises of divorce, even as you realize how hot your ex suddenly is now that he has other women chasing after him . . . and you’re only getting hit on by losers and pervs.  There’s a reason why so many people cheat with their ex.  Once you dump him and destroy his family, your hubby’s going to work out like a fiend, become more professionally driven, and essentially become the man you desperately wanted him to be before you dumped him. Congrats.  You finally changed him.

When the man you loved for years – and once had a wild sexual infatuation for – suddenly presents himself as a mature, confident, successful stud, you’ll feel that tingle again – hell, it will ROAR back in a foam of regret and sorrow.  He will be nearly irresistible to you.  When he shows up to a scheduled meeting looking good and smelling good and with that serious look in his eye, your attraction to him will start to grow again . . . and the first time you see another woman in his arms, it will drive you insane.  When you hear how much she raves about him, you’ll feel bitter.  And when you rationalize some damn good reason why trying to sleep with him one last time – for “closure”, for “old time’s sake”, because “I never stopped loving him”, you’ll feel that tingle of excitement once again.

There he will be – the man you wanted.  Ready to appreciate you, finally. If he can stand the sight of you after what you have put him and your children through, if he tries to “be friends”, you’ll even start dreaming of some romantic reconciliation where he finally understands and appreciates you.  In the back of you're mind, every romance novel of reconciliation you've ever read and every bad chick flick about damaged relationships will give you the hope that maybe -- if everything works out right -- then you will end up back with the man you started with, 2.0, better and more devoted to you than ever.  So devoted that you feel appreciated . . . finally.  One look, one wink, one kiss, one quick screw, one rendezvous at "your" old spot to "finish up some business" that leads to a hotel room nooner.  One spark to rekindle your old flame into a roaring, passionate blaze, and Happily Ever After.

But it probably won’t work out that way . . . because he probably really is a stand-up guy.  If he stood by you all of those years, through all of your flakiness and put up with all of your crap and didn’t leave your ass or cheat on you, then you can expect him to give that same level of devotion and love to his next wife or girlfriend.  He’ll probably reject you, brutally. 

Best case scenario, you’re the “other woman”, destined to ruin his life all-over again. 

So ladies, future ex-wives, please take more than a few moments to consider what you are doing.  Step away from the Rah-Rah Sisterhood of divorce cheerleaders.  Stop seeing divorce as a regrettable but inevitable feminist rite of passage, a means of proving your independence as a woman.  It's not.  It's a callous and selfish indulgence of pettiness that demeans every marriage.  "I don't feel appreciated . . ."  Investigate what really happens to women your age after divorce, and go talk to a bunch of them.  Hell, have a few cocktails – get them liquored up and let them tell you how life really is when you're divorced after 40.  And 50.  And 60. And 70.

And if you believe that it's the grand escape and adventure you think it is, then go ahead.  Call your attorney.   Clearly, if you value the inherently selfish idea of appreciation more than you value the love, devotion, and – yes, passion, if you can inspire it, of your husband and the family you have built together, then you do not deserve the man you are married to, and you should call your attorney. 

Because your husband’s next wife is eagerly standing by.


  1. Applause doesn't begin to cut it.

    You need something like a New Zealand Haka:

  2. "You can fix it. You can fix it a lot less painfully and a lot more easily than you can get a divorce, believe it or not."

    So...will the next post be about HOW to fix it?

    1. Read Married Man Sex Life and spend three days wandering through Athol's blog and forum. Then come back and you'll have the answer to that question, hopefully.

    2. That's a cop-out of a reply. As a woman that has already read MMSL, it's incredibly difficult for the wife to bring the husband to red-pill awareness, unless you are willing to take dramatic action that essentially threatens the marriage. Got any better advice?

    3. You're right, but a lot of folks ask me that WITHOUT having gone to MMSL first, so I thought it was pertinent. If you understand the complexities of the situation already, then . . .

      I'm actually working on -- not just a post -- but a whole book about the subject. Some of it will be copped from the blog, but it's a subject that's gotten a WHOLE lot of attention here, so I feel obligated to articulate it properly and usefully. Stay tuned.

    4. And you can always start by sending him the post "Hey, dude, got a minute?" you'll find elsewhere in this blog, send it to him anonymously, and see what happens.

  3. Righteous. This one strikes close to home, as I have had a brother and a friend both go through hell after their wives decided their marriages didn't meet a high enough standard.

  4. I'm a 21yr old woman and I've been reading many of the posts on this blog lately, and even sharing it with quite a few of my friends who also feel refreshed that someone is championing what we value in men. My boyfriend is very much alpha, and also several years older than me, we've been together for awhile now and are talking about marriage. I've never ever been in favor of divorce...but this has really put things in perspective for me in a new way. Thanks for the insight! I really enjoy the articulations of new ways that I can reach out to and communicate with my man that I find in all your posts. I will make sure to thank him tonight for his part in our strong foundation that, largely under his guidance, has been based upon so much more than the shifting sand of changing emotion.

    1. At 21, reading this material makes you an outlier, or renagade of sorts. Way beyond your years. Keep it up.

  5. Brilliant, one of your best posts. Thank you.

  6. Excellent stuff. Needs to be blasted in front of "unappreciated" women.

  7. Way to go, Ian!

  8. A work of art, passing it on to my adult married daughters who struggle at times

  9. God, this hurt to read - as a man.

  10. This is the story of my life. Wife got bored of me at the age of 44. Started an affair, filed for divorce. I then lost 30 lbs and started a new, more prestigeous career. I have women throwing themselves at me and she seems pretty lonely. I'm sure she thinks she is just being picky (or is a closet lesbian). I think its sad what she did to us, to me, to the family, and to herself. And for what? No one will love her the way I loved her. I knew her from when she was 19. I didn't see her the way she looks now, but how she looked then. I wish she had just faced up to this passing phase, but she told everyone to go to hell. Well, the women I date now are much nicer to me than she was over the last 10 years.

  11. Excellent post. This should be required reading fol all men and women before they get married. My wife went throught this exact thing last year, but luckily I found out what was going on in her head in time and took steps to stop it. NMMNG and MMSL woke me up and helped me get my marraige back on track. Things are great now, but I have a whole different outlook on women, love and marraige that's for sure.

  12. >"NMMNG and MMSL..."

    I'm familiar with Married Man Sex Life/Athol Kay, but what/who is NMMNG?

    1. "No More Mister Nice Guy", a kind of anti-Beta guide.

  13. Oh yeah it's fucking brilliant, if you're a man. If you are actually an intelligent woman, this article is nothing but condescending. But it's OK because you are a man and you get a free pass on communication because it isn't your strong suit. Why is it not OK for a woman to feel unappreciated? Why is it that as a woman who is trying to communicate with her husband about what she needs it goes unheard. Maybe your husband was an unappreciative asshole and YOU DO DESERVE BETTER!? Blanket all us poor weak women into one lump because we have no skill in the world compared to the younger ones.... WOW

    1. Interesting how these types of comments are almost always led off with a qualifier, e.g. "Intelligent woman". In any case: there are no free passes. That is part of the point. There are steep costs for all involved. You attack the post for its "unfair" generalizations with a generalization (and reduction) of your own, on a site designed and supported by the very men who are investing time, thoughts, and discourse in their ongoing endeavor to improve themselves, to better understand women and healthy relationship dynamics in order to (among many other things) head-off the potential for an EPL situation, is just a little ironic.

      If women spent 10% of the time looking inward, setting aside their pride-egos-entitlement long enough to make an honest attempt to truly understand men as they spend in the navel-gazing, self-indulgence of the mainstream media, Cosmo rags, and feminized groupthink echo-chambers, perhaps many more of the "intelligent" women out there would stop fixating on their own greatness long enough to step out of the empowered-victim chasm to discuss truths.

      But instead, there is almost no effort on the part of women to understand the male viewpoint. The "discussion" becomes angry attacks that alternate between calling-in the straw man and the red herring. If you have skill, demonstrate it. If you have intelligence, employ it in favor of jaded emotion. These comments are doing women no favors in the context of these discussions.

  14. Why is it not OK for a woman to feel unappreciated?

    You can feel any way you like. But what you do is the key. The problem is, these "feelings" lead to infidelity and divorce in far too many cases. If you are actually unappreciated, from an objective standpoint, then there are ways to deal with that without recourse to divorce. In my experience (and in the experience of many in the Manosphere) this "I'm not feeling appreciated" is a common rationalization for other behavior.

    Why is it that as a woman who is trying to communicate with her husband about what she needs it goes unheard.

    Why do you think we don't hear? Because we don't respond with the feminine-mode of communication you want, and persist in being men? Communication is a learned skill, and if you didn't emphasize it at the beginning of your marriage, then don't expect him to miraculously understand you ten years later. And since most women in this situation can't even explain what it is they need to their husbands -- they just know it ain't them -- that puts hubby in a difficult situation. Perhaps if - first - y'all could try clarifying precisely what it is that you need, and stating it in plain, simple-to-understand language, you would get what you need more. Just a thought.

    Maybe your husband was an unappreciative asshole and YOU DO DESERVE BETTER!?

    The amusing thing about this is that the "unappreciative asshole" you feel is Benet you is going to be some other woman's Prince Charming . . . who feels she deserves him more than you do.

    Thing is, on what basis do you predicate the idea that you do, indeed, deserve better? Seriously, can you objectively look at your life and find the point at which you "deserved" more than that? Or can you find the place where you did something that establishes that, perhaps, you deserve exactly what you got?

    Just something to think about. As an intelligent woman.

  15. Seriously, can you objectively look at your life and find the point at which you "deserved" more than that?

    You bet I can! How many examples shall I give you?

    How about the time my husband was unemployed and I went from Stay at home mom to bread winner over night, and he never once cleaned the house, took the kids to practice and everything else I WAS EXPECTED to do as a home maker?

    What about the time my husband told me I was too fat after only 4 months after birthing my 2nd child who was born 13 months from the 1st?

    I have supported my husband through schooling, unemployment, injuries that required surgery, moving cross country so he can have HIS dream job and not once did I tell him he didn't do enough, not once did I tell him he was a failure. It isn't my job to be his critic, as a wife and best friend it was my job to support and love him, but yet that did not stop him from saying that I wasn't enough for him. It did't stop him from telling me I haven't sacrificed enough for him, that I didn't try hard enough for him.

    So yeah in my case he IS an unappreciative asshole and I DO DESERVE BETTER!

    1. Did you two clearly decide who was in charge of what during the transition? Did you have a transition plan? Did you - jointly - take positive steps to deal with the crisis? Did you hold him to account, or did you just get bitter and complain? WHO, exactly, expected you to do these things, and why did you feel obligated to live up to their expectations? Because those are important factors in the metric of your determination that your normal parental obligation to support your family somehow gets you a pass on the whole marital maintenance thing. You may have expected a better response, based on his previous performance, but if you did not hold him to account as a wife should then it's hardly fair to say that you "deserve" better, when you would not do the work required to "get" better.

      Your husband's comment ... that was rude, sure. But knowing how post-partum women develop selective hearing and an eccentric solipsistic filter about such things, I think it's just as possible that he made a nonchalant, noncommital comment that you decided to take the wrong way. If it was an honest assessment of your health, and an encouragement to attempt to restore your body after pregnancy, then I see it as an attempt to hold you to account, not an insult. Regardless, while it may have been rude and stung, one remark out of a marriage does not prove you "deserve" anything better than that. That's pretty par for the course. I'm certain that if I discussed it with your husband, he'd have plenty of just-as-hurtful things that you said around that same time. All it proves is that you have a fairly normal husband . . . yet you insist you deserve more? Why?

      You talk an awful lot about your husband -- apparently you did not make a wise choice, nor did you vet him out properly. But you don't say much about why you DESERVE better than what seems to be a pretty typical husband. How did your failure to do proper mate selection and vetting entitle you to a superior mate . . . when you clearly were willing to settle for less? What noble endeavors above and beyond the normal range of adult expectations have you performed that singles you out as extraordinary enough to merit a better man than the median husband? Did you save the life of a dying nun, rescue a burning school bus full of kindergarteners, or donated a kidney to a complete stranger? Are you merely so virtuous in your daily life that - with the exception of being able to select a good husband - you live a fulfilling life of peaceful serenity that stands as a beacon of propriety to your neighbors?

      The word "deserve" is powerful. It is subjective, and it implies a judgment. I might think I "deserve" to win the lottery, but the fact is that the fates don't seem to see it that way -- and they are in charge of that. I might think I "deserve" a supermodel wife, simply because I want one, but I would be mistaken (and stupid for wanting that in the first place). I might think I "deserve" a cushy lifestyle and a life of leisure, but unless I do the work to get there, it doesn't matter what I "deserve", I'm not going to get it.

      You might think you "deserve" a husband who is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent, but unless you seek out a former Eagle Scout as part of your mate selection, you didn't do the work necessary to actually deserve the reward. And women who have done their best to "domesticate" their men into Betadudes and then don't feel appreciated don't "deserve" anything but that which they, themselves, have sown. You don't do the work, you don't deserve the reward. Simple as that. If you feel you DID do the work, and still didn't get the reward, then you have to re-examine your basic conceptions and figure out where you went wrong.

    2. The thing is Ian, you make an awful lot of presumptuous statements about my situation when you clearly have no real insight to what my life is actually like. I can sit here and go over, in detail of every conversation I have had with my husband on his and my expectations during each and every event of our lives, but that would be wasteful of mine and your time.

      To put it simply, yes I have communicated, asked for clarification, and got confirmation with my husband. There really is no room for misinterpretation or filling in the holes of a conversation where hurtful things were said or done. We learned to properly communicate over the years and yes it also took us going to marriage counseling to get there. My husbands comments and actions leave no room for wrong interpretation when they have stayed constant.

      However, I will give you that you are correct when you say it was on me for not finding out more of my partner before marriage. I was young and in love, as the saying goes. We got married at 18 & 19 after only meeting each other 6 months prior and this year would have been our 10 year anniversary. My advice to 18 year old me would be in fact to wait, get wiser and figure out myself before rushing into a marriage. I take my responsibility in that.

  16. when i met my ex she was perfect. no one could believe how well i had done. lovely in every way. the only nagging feeling that stopped me proposing was that she'd married and divorced quickly at a young age. sure enough after a few years, me struggling to make up the finances she squandered, she didnt feel it'' anymore. im glad its over im a stayer she never will be.

  17. Interesting article. I somewhat agree; many women do not know what they want. But most know what they don't want, and if they are confused, slogging through 16 hours of mind numbing drudgery, day after day, year after year, usually makes it clear they need to make a change.
    I was married for 31 years and was "unappreciated" for all of them. I don't need you to verify that for me. It's a fact. I stuck it out for my kids, who are now well adjusted and independent and successful. It was hard, I gave up a lot personally and professionally, but it was worth the sacrifice. They are my best work.
    I ended the marriage when my youngest graduated from college and I was 50 years old. I have never regretted it. I left with nothing but half the house and after living paycheck to paycheck for 30 years, I now have a beautiful home, a great job, money in the bank and a wonderful man in my life, who does appreciate me. My ex isn't doing so well. He has managed to drink himself into disability and lives alone in a seedy little second floor apartment. The proof is in the pudding.
    So my advice to women who feel stuck in a lonely and consumptive relationship is fulfill your obligations and get out as soon as possible. I agree completely with your advice, however, to choose very wisely and set-up the rules of the game before you commit.
    Not doing that was my almost fatal error.

  18. I think Ian is a BITTER old man who is ALONE! I think that the very essence of this article proves why Ian's wife left him and ran FOR HER LIFE, a life of sanity and peace FAR AWAY FROM HIM! RUN ladies... run for your self respect and RUN FAR!

    1. That's what you get for thinking.

      I'm 45, so I guess I'm "old."

      But I'm not bitter, not single, I've never been divorced, and the woman I met and fell in love with when she was 19 is still with me after 22 years. Oh, and I get laid more than you do. She's hardly insane, angry, or afraid, and she's the envy of most of her friends and professional colleagues. Our three precociously intelligent, very healthy children keep her busy, but apart from that and my constant sexual interest, she's got a pretty happy life.

      So . . . I'll give you old. Everything else you said is just spiteful crap.

  19. Holy shit, dude.... How can I buy you a drink?

  20. Hi,

    I'm a late 20's woman, in a very young relationship (under 2 years). In reading this post and thinking back to things my bf has said, I can see now that this communication "disparity" you explained is a problem present in our relationship.

    It is leading me to feel unappreciated, and though I know there will be phases like this from time to time, this feeling shouldn't be as pervasive as it has been for me.

    The thing that gets me about this post is that you're saying men aren't aware of these "other channels" of communication....yet you are describing an awareness of them very articulately in this post. My bf has stated things or responded to nonverbal cues enough for me to know that he is aware of more than one layer of communication when we're talking with each other.

    It's one thing if a person is unable to understand or is unaware of these other channels, and quite another for a person to have awareness and just choose to ignore it or tune it out. In my experience the latter is what a lot of men do.

    I find it insulting on my part to assume that a man can't understand what I say if I don't put it in words. Because men are intelligent too, and most have plenty of social and emotional intelligence, more than enough to pick up on all that women are communicating when they're conversing with them. A prime example of this is when a man pisses his woman off, and even if she hasn't said anything, the man knows when she's mad, knows he's "in trouble", and gets proactive about trying to fix the situation. The man starts cleaning up around the house, or buys the woman flowers, or tries to treat/appease her in some way, even though she never said she was mad. If she didn't say anything, how'd the guy know to take action? He knew because he understood the non-verbal communication. So guys know how to read more than one method of communication......they just pick and choose when to act on that awareness.

    It's unfair for you to put down women for how they communicate when as men you can understand those multiple channels and just choose not to expend the effort to communicate in that way/those ways.

    If I'm misunderstanding something about the communication thing you explained, I'd really appreciate you clarifying that misunderstanding for me. I want to be fair to my boyfriend - he is wonderful in many ways and I voice my appreciation for what he does as often as possible. But there are a lot of times when he pulls this "I don't understand what you're saying because I'm a guy" crap on me. I'm trying to understand if he's really incapable of understanding or just choosing not to. I have more evidence of the latter than the former and your post just reinforces the latter. In which bf's only half listening when it's convenient for him, and why shouldn't I feel unappreciated when someone's choosing not to invest the effort to listen to me?

  21. Being a guy and using that as an excuse for "not understanding" doesn't cut it. I tried every which way, during 22 YEARS, and it didn't get through. And, I have been described as a blunt person. I said, "we need counseling", "we need therapy" and it was met with a deer in the headlights stare. In the meantime I was taking care of my elderly dad and handicapped brother while he HAD to deploy with the Navy to kiss ass and make rank. Giving it one or two chances is one thing, trying for YEARS with no effort on his part is ludicrous. To blame women for finally giving up makes you sound like a woman hater. I think you've got bigger issues with women you aren't discussing. To claim men don't understand women is a cop out. But then again a lot of men have mastered narcissism and cop outs, they rest on their laurels till their lady finally says ENOUGH. After 22 years, if I expected different behavior, I was just being stupid and naive. He wouldn't have minded continuing to sit on his butt for the remainder of our lives; I wanted a real partner and soulmate. And, if you really can't figure out what women are saying, BUY A BOOK. There are plenty, and it isn't up to just women to make it work. Stop being lazy and get off your butt and read.

    1. So should we then, as guys, hold you accountable for all of the male-oriented crap that, after 22 years, you still don't know? Think very carefully before you answer.

      If I sound like a "woman hater" to you, Cupcake, that's your baggage, not mine. I'm stating an observable truth, here. And if I have any "bigger issues" with women I'm not discussing on a blog where I discuss issues with women, I'd love to know about it -- I could use the material. The fact is, men don't understand women . . . and most women, as you've cleverly demonstrated in your response, don't understand men - or even try to. If you had, then "sitting on his butt" while you wanted to do . . . whatever wouldn't have been an option for him.

      And sweetie, you can buy and read all the books you want -- I encourage it. I write some of them. But the problems you are facing can't be answered in a book, at least not the types of books you are no doubt throwing at him. If you want a vibrant, resurgent man, you have to know how to cultivate and engage one. The truth is, it isn't too late, but you'd have to give up a lot of your cherished notions about "how men are" and at least attempt to make the transition to observing and learning how men actually are . . . and it sounds like you just aren't willing to do that.

      It sounds, in short, like you're giving up. The funny thing is, the moment you do he'll become INSANELY attractive to most of the women around him. He'll BECOME that man you wanted, but for someone else. You'll let your own bitterness and insecurities keep you from cultivating the relationship you want, but by letting go you're giving him the impetus he needs to become the man you'd love him to be.

      Now, being able to transform your man without letting him go, that, sweetie, is the essence of Red Pill wifery. What you're doing is buying a bus ticket to divorcetown. Your decision.

    2. My husband is a wonderful man. Devoted to me, intellegent, great father and provider. This is why I married him. Sex has never been as you put it "a tantalizing delight that I look forward to with undisguised enthusiasm". It has always been kinda...bleh. What can I do about this?

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