I figure there are married dudes unplugging from their boring, roommate-esque married existence every day, wanting something more. This post is for them, and should be old-hat for most regular readers, or readers of the other most excellent blogs on this subject out there. If you stumbled upon my blog, and are looking to figure out why your marriage isn’t the way you thought it would be, filled with a great family life, great sex life and happily ever after, I’ll show you why as concisely as possible. Think of this as a jumping off point. I recommend you immerse yourself in some of my other posts, as well as partake in other resources I’ll name at the end.
Marriage after kids is hard. Modern family and father roles have changed, where we’re expected to provide emotional and kid support to our wives and to make everyone happy. What happened in doing these roles, is that the traits and qualities that likely originally attracted your wife (you were cocky, funny, put yourself out there to get her attention, did exciting things on a regular basis in the courting rituals) have now gone into hibernation. They are replaced with helping with chores, helping with child care while still bringing home the bacon… the softer side of marriage. The funny thing is, the more you try to be “nice” and help and make your wife feel like a princess, the more you are spiraling down and making things worse. Add to that the 5 lbs a year many people gain, and you’re looking at yourself as a dude 40 lbs overweight who’s expecting or hoping to get laid by someone who you think is still attractive. You feel you deserve it for all you do for the family, I mean why shouldn’t she appreciate you man. Meanwhile, your wife isn’t attracted to you, will have sex with you to keep the fights down and gravy train rolling. Does this sound familiar?
Enter Married “Game”, a term I actually cringe at and dislike immensely, but is a concise way to roll up the ways you can change things structurally and mentally and approach your marriage in a totally different mindset. Game is basically techniques and attitudes designed to attract women to sleep with you, so married “game” are ways to attract your wife again.
A couple of evolutionary psychological concepts and biological factors need to be described before we move further. One is Hypergamy, something that all women possess. Simply stated it is the inherent natural instinct for women to want to be with, and mate with, the highest value male (Alpha is a common term here for the type of male) so her offspring have these Alpha qualities and gene “winning” is perpetuated further. While Alpha, or “high value” may change definition with each woman, in general these men are confident, strong and possess qualities that attract many types of women (and doesn’t necessarily mean they make good money, think about the “bad boys” that get the girls into the sack). This is also the reason while your wife will unconsciously test your worthiness with “fitness tests” (AKA “shit tests”). So while you may think your wife should be grateful and get on your knees for all you do, if you don’t possess at least some of these qualities, attraction becomes flaccid.
Hand in hand with this concept is the chemicals released in our bodies that make us want these things. Alpha aspects are exciting, and when experiencing these types of things release dopamine into our system. Dopamine in our brains is a neuro-transmitter, which plays a major role in reward motivated behavior. Like cocaine and other drugs like amphetamines, it hits our pleasure center and we want more and more of it, bringing on addictive behavior. This is the drug that made you so “in love” when you were first dating, and what could be released when your wife meets that new guy at work. It overwhelms rationale thought, and makes us laser focused on that next dopamine hit. Meanwhile, when things start to get less exciting and long-term bonding occurs, the excitement usually wears off, and the bonding hormone Oxytocin is released. As an example, a massive dose of Oxytocin is released during child birth and during breast feeding that connect and bond mom and kid. It is also released after sex, further bonding couples and providing a stable environment in which to raise children for survival.
What usually happens is the Alpha qualities that made her vagina and mind tingle when you were dating get lost in the weeds, and what’s left are the more Beta qualities that promote love and cuddles and bonding. A successful marriage needs both. Most of us end up like roommtes with our spouses due to too much nice guy behavior and putting her on a pedestal, and not enough Alpha qualities. Much of what attracts your wife is structural, the remaining part is sort of the missing pieces to take things to the next level, the subtle playful manipulation, the “game” stuff if you will. The most important bullet list of structural things are below, but first realize you can only change your own behavior and attitudes, you can’t change hers.
- Leadership – do you wear the pants in the family or does she? Does she make the major decisions and you acquiesce to her? Does she drive? Being a strong leader in your family is one of the core items in bringing back the attraction and an Alpha trait. She will test you, so there may be some fighting as you try to reestablish new roles and new dynamics, but as a man, you must lead
- Physical Attraction – if you’ve let yourself go, put on some fat, why would your wife want to sleep with you? You may still be a nice guy, but that shit doesn’t matter – you can’t negotiate attraction. Get your diet in order, lose the fat, get some muscles, stop smoking, cut down on the booze. This is another key foundation to attraction
- Confidence – Displaying confidence in who you are and what you do goes hand in hand with being a leader and building attraction. Having that cocky, can-do attitude, and being funny about it, can be a learned trait. The fake it til you make it idea. But you need to have something to back it up. Why are you confident? Because you have some great skills. You’ve started doing Jiu Jitsu, or can bench press your body weight, or are learning to rebuild engines or doing improv at the local theater group. Expanding your horizons, or building on existing skills has a funny way of making you more confident… moreso than playing Candy Crush in front of the television.
- Cut the pussy behavior – most of us have at one time begged or negotiated for sex because we “needed” it. This is low value and something that decreases attraction. Instead, going back to confident, confidently initiate relations with your wife. If you get shot down, don’t whine or beg, but laugh it off and do something else.
- Improve appearance – Learn a little bit of style, switch up your underwear (seriously, buy a bunch of new underwear – I like Lucky and Puma brand boxer-briefs that you can find at Marshall’s, and throw out most of your old ones, and watch the wheels in your wife’s head turn. See this blog article by Ian Underwood. ), get a haircut, maybe shave or if you’re clean shaven, grow some facial hair. There’s always something to improve on here.
This is basically it on the structural side. In my opinion, this is 80% of the battle. The other 20% is keeping things exciting, trying new things to hit that dopamine fix, grab her butt, flirt, try new things again in the bedroom. Most of all, BE PATIENT, and again, YOU CAN ONLY CONTROL YOUR THOUGHTS AND BEHAVIORS. If you’re doing it right, and being patient, and slowly improving, and bumping back on unreasonable requests that she’s unknowingly testing you, things will likely improve. She’ll subconciously see the changes and the foundation of comfort and beta pleasure she’s become accustomed to will be slightly shaken. You’ll feel the shift. If she’s gained a little weight too, she may feel the need to stay even with you and start losing weight and looking better too. Win. Again, be patient, and try and be zen about the backsliding that will inevitably happen. Two steps forward, one step back is still progress.
For further resources:
- I’m a big fan of the Married Man Sex Life blog and forum, as well as the books MMSL Primer and The Mindful Attraction Plan
- No More Mr Nice Guy – basically helps you recognize why you are being nice (and surprise! it’s for not-nice reasons) and address some of those mental structural issues
- Mark’s Daily Apple – a great general diet and fitness website and one I highly recommend for those starting their journey
- Starting Strength – While I’ve moved well beyond this as a fitness/strength program, this may be the best starting point when you are finally ready to change your body and get strong and one I utilized starting out. Lift with good form, lift with a plan are two things that I can’t emphasize enough. Google Stronglifts 5×5 for a similar type program. Either will be a nice place to start to improve yourself and put some muscle on.
If you’re just starting your journey, know that there are many success stories of turning things around and marriages and sex lives improving from the abyss. Kid rearing time is a tough one, but you can’t let things get too far along on the roommate track or it’s tough to ever turn that back. Good luck on your journey!