When I finally discovered the relationship Red Pill and swallowed it hard, it was like all the tumblers of a lock falling into place, or like figuring out a puzzle. Things from the past and present all of a sudden made sense when I began to understand some of the underlying behavioral, biological, and psychological principals that we unknowingly operate under. It’s not inherently easy to figure this out, and some men seem naturally born into this, some accidentally perform this way for awhile before changing, and some struggle to even get started. “Game” and the Red Pill was a game-changer for me and had a big impact on how life currently is.
If you are reading this, you’re likely reading other ‘Sphere bloggers of some sort, so I know I’m preaching to the choir here with many of my thoughts and posts. But what I think is really rewarding is what Athol Kay must go through nearly every day, and that is actually introducing these teachings and thoughts to those who need it and having a positive tangible impact on others’ lives. So the snowball starts with us learning from others, and grows as we teach our own larger circle about this information.
Two recent examples of the snowball effect starting to take shape:
Friend One: This friend of ours we’ve known for awhile and have spent time with his family at our house and theirs. He’s a Facebook fanatic and a few weeks ago he just had radio silence. I thought maybe he got in trouble at work or something, but it was all about him overstepping bounds in personal life. We spent a few hours in the car this last weekend where he confided the whole business. He works in a female dominated field (think along the lines of teaching or nursing) and has women work friends. It turns out the boundaries between work friends and “more than that” started to blur pretty hard. They were both confiding in each other issues they were having in their marriages and they started to flirt on Facebook messenger. My friend’s wife saw some of the messages and shut.it.down.hard. Holly and I both thought “Good on her!”
My friend said in his own vocabulary that they were essentially starting to get into, or was at the start of, an emotional affair. He said it was flattering to be near 40 and having an attractive, albeit married, woman find him attractive and to think, “yeah, I could totally hit that if I wanted.” They didn’t often work directly together, but had just started to cross the emotional boundary. He was rightfully remorseful about his actions and said he REALLY loved his wife and wanted to work it out. I believe him, and since it was caught in time I don’t believe any permanent damage was done.
I wasn’t sure he understood why it happened in the first place, so we started having a conversation exploring this. This friend is very heavy into fitness activities and seems to always be doing some competition or another, and his wife really doesn’t have the competitive spirit or want to partake in these same activities. She generally does her own exercise thing, but has put on typical “mom” weight you see out there every day and hasn’t figured out how to take it off. While she’s a very pretty woman, this weight gain and (my opinion here) short hair cut has resulted in diminished attraction by her husband (implicitly implied by his words). He alluded to the fact that they don’t have sex as frequently as he’d like (shocker! seems like that was a common theme among the men that weekend, with me being the possible exception) and that was probably part of it too.
Frankly, my opinion is they both need to figure some stuff out and work on themselves, and have some hard conversations. I basically started to feed him a little information about why that happened chemically in his EA (dopamine fix) and how it’s a different ballgame with his spousal attraction (mostly oxytocin/vasopresin- pairbonding chemicals) until excitement is added back in somehow. Finally, I passed on to him additional resources (MMSL) and told him that this would pull the curtain back on the “whys” of what was going on and how to improve things.
Based on his humble acceptance of his mistakes, learning more about his past relationships (with BSC women) and how he realizes his current wife is so much “better” (stable, smart, interesting) I have high hopes they’ll get things pulled together. They’ve both lost the tingles after two kids and 10+ years of marriage, a common story. Now hopefully he’ll take the few tools I’ve passed on and start rebuild what they once had. We’ll see (stay tuned).
Friend Two: This guy is one of our oldest friends. Holly has known him since they were little kids and he’s more like a brother than a friend. We see their family fairly frequently, though not as often as before nor are we as close as before. But the relationship is still there. He is in a tough spot right now and is flailing a little as he’s trying to improve. He’s been out of work for awhile and has been taking care of the home-front while his wife works. Suffering from depression and anxiety, he’s kind of been a bear to live with for awhile by his own admittance, but he’s opening his eyes all of a sudden that he needs to change. He’s very fearful that he’s done irreparable damage to his marriage and is desperately trying to figure things out before it’s too late.
Holly has had some minor anxiety and depression in the past herself and basically told him he had to get that squared away before anything else could happen [Deal with major structural issues first]. Because of that he got on some medication that, while too early to really tell, should help him with his chemical imbalance. Having someone to talk to about this, and to get advice from, has really helped as well. Despite his outward appearance of generally having his shit together, he’s falling apart and felt totally alone and scared about what he perceived of as the world crumbling around him. Having an outlet and someone who has been there has been invaluable.
Desperate for improvement, he’s already started down the road of lifting weights to make himself look and feel better (he’s slim, but not much of an exerciser). He’s also applied to and been accepted to a STEM field program at our local campus (dude is a genius but never really applied himself to academics to advance his career potential). Then getting into his marriage part, I’ve always thought his wife adored him. Holly is good friends with her as well, but our friend’s wife is fairly buttoned up and private so we only get minor insights into what she’s really thinking. Reading the tea-leaves, Holly thought that while his wife was frustrated with him for various reasons, she was mostly just concerned for him and wanted him to get better. With the steps he’s taking, I have to think she’ll let some of the ill will go. It’s hard for us to say if his high level of concern that he permanently messed things up is overreaction or not, but I tend to think it is. She may have issues with him and their marriage, but she doesn’t seem the type to blow things up without giving it a good fight, we’re happy that our friend is finally looking for his own answers.
Finally, it’s been Holly (not me) who is feeding him Red Pill thinking. Saying how taking more control of the family direction (LEADER, CAPTAIN) has been something that has worked for me, for us. I’m sure having your wife work, while you aren’t, has to be tough to swallow, despite how it benefits your family. It’s a power shift that can be difficult for both parties to handle and it seems like unconsciously they’re both aware that this isn’t working. The good news is that he’s desperate to come around to this way of thinking and has made some huge steps in just the last week that will improve his life and his marriage.
No one really knows the inner workings of others’ marriages, but if I had to guess, he’s been lacking some Alpha and some Beta (he may cook and do some household chores, but am guessing his emotional comfort side has been lacking… just a guess though) for some time. With a little direction, he should come around in short order. The only thing I would worry about is that the desperation and worry about how far things have spiraled in his marriage (at least in his mind) will result in him overcompensating in the beta things. Compliment and Cuddle may be a good short term strategy if it hasn’t been on the table (like at all) in a marriage, but for a long-term solution it will have the opposite affect.
As Holly tried to help, she also recommended The 5 Love Languages since it really is like they don’t know each other that well despite being together 15 years or so. That book helped us realize what was most important (I’m a physical touch Major, with words of affirmation minor; Holly is Words of Affirmation major) and allowed us to take care to make sure these areas addressed properly. Hopefully it is just another building block they use together to get back to a happier place.
Marriage is an adventure and a journey without a map. Despite our best intentions, we find ourselves looking for answers to questions we previously didn’t even know existed. Luckily, we stumbled upon some things that seem to work for us and hopefully our gentle nudging will help others improve on their own marriages. If I have any updates I’ll be sure to provide them, but I have high hopes for both couples finding the path that works for them. The fact they want things to work is a big motivating factor. Good luck out there in the jungle!