A man finds out his wife cheats on him. His world is crushed. What he thought was up is down. Black is white. The universe just pulled the rug out from under him and he’s still wondering what in the hell just happened. Where does he go from here?
He’s more than likely one of those sensitive nice guy types, so he fully expects the rest of the world to take a moment, pause, and fully appreciate what a depraved slut wagon his wife is and how awesome he is.
Newsflash, dipshit: NOBODY CARES.
Your mutual friends will still like her. They will still like you. Sure, they will talk about her around the water cooler at the office and snicker at the stories… but they give about as much thought to your predicament as that ingrown toenail they have. Actually.. the toenail gets A LOT more thought and attention. They feel that sucker all day long. You’re not a thought until they happen to see you at the supermarket alone buying yogurt for the kids. They will smile, ask how you’re doing, and then move on to wondering if apples are on sale again.
NOBODY GIVES A SHIT.
Have you ever had a loved one die? You have that sinking, depressed gut feeling of loss. It’s awful. You feel like you’re in a daze. You go out to the mall to get a nice suit for the funeral… and why the fuck is everyone laughing? Why is that saleslady so happy? Don’t they realize what horrible thing is going on in your world?
No. They don’t. THEY DON’T GIVE A SHIT.
It’s not all about you.
The idea of the world going on and doing it’s own thing should be a freeing concept. You’re now free to reinvent yourself. To make mistakes. To fall down and get back up. You have been given a gift that a rare few ever get to appreciate. You get to start over. On top of that, nobody is watching you… because nobody gives a shit.
When you realize you have complete control over how you behave and conduct yourself going forward, the less you care for what the world thinks about you and your situation. Even if the whole world collectively gets together and shames your ex for being so awful… you still have a cheater ex-wife and you still have to pick up the pieces and move on.
Don’t be one of those people that sits back and constantly says “She’ll get it in the end. Karma will bite her in the butt.” No it won’t. Stop waiting on some cosmic force to right things and provide you with a sense of balance. She may very well end up marrying some rich dummy who buys her a Ferrari and takes her on vacation every other week. She may also go broke and be single for the rest of her life with 19 cats and bad case of diabetes. Either way… who gives a shit? It has no bearing on your life. You’re wasting precious minutes of your life thinking about it.
Nobody gives a shit, dude. So why do you?
Do you want to be the guy that people shy away from? Do you want to lose friends and eliminate good women from your dating pool? Then be pathetic. Be sad. Be weak. Always talk about your ex and your situation. You will very quickly learn that the world has next to NO patience for a weak man… especially a weak man who can suddenly get over his predicament as fast as he can say “Alright, enough of this horse shit.” Your constant negativity will be a drain and a major turnoff. Keep it to yourself. Tell one buddy and your therapist. That’s it. As far as the rest of the world is concerned: You’re a man. Get over it.
“But but but… EVERYONE fucking seems to care about HER, and SHE cheated! She’s the bad guy and SHE gets all the attention, praise and pity!”
Whaaaaaaa! Feel better after that emotional vomiting, snowflake?
Newsflash, fucko… life ain’t fair. When it comes to issues of emotion like this, men get the shaft. Every time. We’re expected to get over it and move on and keep being the provider and protector of those around us.
Real world example: My ex ain’t doing too well right now, financially. She was left in pretty good financial standing when we divorced, but she made some piss poor decisions and is paying the cost. Job demotion. Wrecked her perfectly good paid-for car… 3 times (totaled it on the last one). Lots of personal debt. A quick few social media postings and she has a used car dirt cheap, some used furniture from friends, a cheap home to rent, and enough “you’re the bomb!” replies to fill her validation coffers until the next day.
I don’t care. Good for her. That’s how it goes. Damsel in distress syndrome. Even MY OWN MOM feels sorry for her and wonders if she should pay off her school debt as an interest free loan to her.
Yes, it sucks.. but that is life. Worry about yourself and your situation. Forget about petty things like what other think and feel about your situation. You know what’s right and wrong. Keep the moral high ground.
Become a better YOU, and the rest of the pieces will fall into place.
A little background on me… I do marketing work for companies. Mostly local small/mid-size businesses. I help them push their brand, look professional, and grow their business. I do a lot of creative design work, branding, photography, videography, social media… and website work. I’m the cost-effective and just-as-good alternative to going with a full ad agency. It’s basically just me and a young man helping me right now. I sometimes work in my pajamas from home. Yes, I have a good life.
When it comes to websites, I get the same question. Every time. Every single time.
“How can we be #1 in Google?”
In other words “I want the magic bullet that will propel my company’s website to the top of the list so that people looking for what I sell can very easily find me.”
So, here’s what I tell them:
“What you’re talking about, in part, is Search Engine Optimization. We need to construct your website in a way so that people will have no choice but to see you online and learn more about you.”
*client nods emphatically*
“Okay, here’s what we have to do. It’s not easy, and I will need your help on this. We have to add good, real content to the website. We need to update it often. We need to create separate pages for each product line. Separate pages for each of your branch locations. Photos of products. Photos of your staff. PDF’s people can download so they have the detailed info they need about your products and services. You have to be the undeniable go-to resource of information for your industry.
We will work with you to create the right content. We will do the work behind the scenes to make sure everything is programmed correctly and that Google can see what it needs to see. This is the nuts and bolts of SEO work.
In addition, we also need to work on your social media presence. Your prospects and clients are there, and you need to be there too. You will provide links and references that go back to your website. Google likes that. You are creating the connections in the ‘web’. We need to create a Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. Instagram and Snapchat may also be helpful. All of these sites should be reflective of each other. If we’re pushing XYZ widgets this month, ALL of your sites showcase XYZ widgets. There should be no doubt that you have a special on XYZ widgets going on.
We also need to create videos and post them on Youtube. Video is, in my opinion, the best way to convey an idea in a relatively short amount of time. A one minute video can cover A LOT of ground, and if done right, can make you guys look like a million bucks. We will then link to those videos on all of the social media sites. We will embed those videos right on your website as well. The videos will reference your website.
We also need to work with your vendors to see if they will be kind enough to post the link to your website on their own sites.We can also post press releases out that that have links to your site. These may get picked up by the news sites… and they will in turn give links to your site. Google loves that. Again, we’re creating the connections in the web. That’s what the internet is all about.
When all that is done, you will most definitely be higher up on the Google results than you were before… but I can’t guarantee you will be #1 on the list. After all that is done, somebody out there may be just a LITTLE better than you. What I can guarantee is that somebody will find you and you will be better off than you were before. It just takes time and patience and you will see the rewards.”
At this point I get one of two replies:
“Awesome. Let’s get rolling. What do you need from us?”
“Well… we had a group come in that told us we could pay $700/month and they would make us #1 in Google..”
Can you guess which group is successful?
#1 recognizes the hard work involved, likes the idea of seeing their company out there and getting recognition, and is willing to do what it takes to get the work done and reap the rewards of a few extra clients. They are also more likely to trust me to get the work done and help out however they can. Their success will snowball and they will be a client for a long time
#2… They just want a quick fix. All of that stuff sounds daunting and they’re not sure they trust me 100% to get it done. Somebody already told them that it shouldn’t be work on their part… they should just pay $700/month and they will get them leads. What they don’t know is that the company will just put up Google ads, get some mediocre leads, and move on to the next sucker after milking them for a few grand. The scammy SEO firm will start doing work but also send the client emails saying things like “You guys should also create a Facebook page. That will help.” Client gets pissed that they have to do something. They thought $700 would take care of it all. They then come to me for help.
The game of sexual attraction is very similar. I call it SEO:“Sexual Energy Optimization”. You want your partner to be in a frenzied sexual state. You want them to WANT you. You want to see that spark in their eye. That desire. That “I just can’t help it” lustful gaze. You want her to grab you by the hand and take you in the back room and blow you.
You want to be #1 search result when they type in “Guys I really want to fuck.”
You don’t want pity sex. You don’t want excuses. You don’t want another “Not tonight, baby. I’m sorry.”
If you’re like most, you just don’t wanna do the work. In fact, you’re in denial that work is even necessary.
Instead of alt-tags and content, your SEO work should be fitness and health. Mental and physical. It should be a healthy combination of the “shallow” physicality and the deeper programming of abundance mentality and independence. It should be an acceptance of knowing that even if you do everything right, you still may not be #1… and that’s ok. You’ve constructed a great presence. Others will find you and are ready to buy.
Let this be hammered into your head: She cannot help that she is not sexually attracted to you. She can’t. It is not a decision. Sexual attraction is not negotiable.
It’s like getting mad at somebody for not finding your site. “How come you didn’t click on my site when you did your search?!!” — “Ummm… you weren’t on page one of results. I never go past page one.”
The physical act of sex is a decision, yes… but that visceral drive and feeling is not. It’s there, or it isn’t. It’s the difference between starfish “Just hurry up so we can watch Game of Thrones” sex and “Did we really do it for three hours!?” sex. You know it when it happens.
So many people buy into the magic of sexual attraction. That “spark” is just there with this certain guy, and they just don’t know why! They want to love their perfect little angel of a sweet husband/boyfriend… but why are they thinking about fucking that asshole from work all the time!?
It’s not magic. It’s not some little certain super secret undefinable quality… it’s a combination of things. It’s pushing buttons and needs in the right combination. It’s doing a lot of little things. It’s becoming undeniable. It’s being ok with not being everything to everybody. She doesn’t want to fuck you? Cool. Not a big deal.
Here’s a common scenario. Let’s look at two different ways it can play out:
Woman standing in kitchen cooking. Husband walks up behind and puts his arms around her waist. Kisses the back of her neck. She winces. “Babe… I’m trying to get this done quickly. We have to be out the door in 30 minutes for the PTA meeting. Not right now.”
Reaction #1: Husband – “Sigh… whatever.” *He starts slamming things around in the kitchen. Stomps off mumbling something. Very obviously pissed.* Wife chases after him. “You know… you’re a real asshole sometimes. Don’t you see what I’m trying to do?! I don’t see YOU doing the cooking! It’s not like I can just get turned on and do whatever, whenever you want! Stop being a baby!”
He’s furious. He escapes to the basement to look at porn. “Can’t she just fucking ACT like a loving wife for once?! Fucking Christ.” He will probably pout and fume for a while. He will try again later with more forceful touching. She will once again roll her eyes and shame him for trying. She may even get physical and push him away or hit him. She is now officially repulsed.
Reaction #2: “Okay, baby. Mmmm… Those potatoes smells good.” Then he smacks her on the butt and goes away.
Reaction #2 says “I am not a slave to your emotional response to my physical advances. If you don’t want to do anything or don’t feel like it right now… that’s perfectly fine! No pouting. No anger here. Your libido and response is not my responsibility. I’m happy and sexy and awesome either way. I got shit to do… so see you later, sexy pants!”
The breakdown of reaction #1: Man wants woman. Woman says no. Man gets pissed because, gosh darnit, she doesn’t like him like she’s supposed to like him in that moment. He has NEEDS, dammit! She’s SUPPOSED to like him at all times. He had a vision in his mind of how that little kitchen groping scenario was supposed to work out, and she didn’t play her part appropriately (an example of a Covert Contract).
She really wasn’t feeling sexy in that moment right then and there. She hasn’t felt sexy in a while, actually. She has come to accept his needy ways and it’s a giant turnoff. She wants to NEED HIM, but she doesn’t… and that’s bothersome to her. Must she remind him every day of his inability to turn her on? Why doesn’t he get it? Why does he put her in that position? Just give her some damn space. Oh great… he’s pouting again. Awesome. What a fucking baby.
The breakdown of reaction #2: Man wants woman. Woman says no. He’s cool with that. Gives her a pat on the butt to assure he that he’s confident and all is well. He goes away.
Her mind at that moment: “Sigh… I kinda feel bad for that… but I have to cook this food right now. We’re running late. Hehe… little stinker spanked my butt. Jerk face. Where’d he go? Is he mad? He never gets mad when I turn him down. Why is that? I’ve only seen him mad like twice since I’ve known him. Does he just not care? No, he loves me. He says it all the time. I love him so much. Shirley at work said I’m lucky to have a guy like him. She’s pretty. Her boobs are awesome. Wish I had those. But my butt is better for sure. I showed her that picture of him at the beach and she told everyone about it. I wonder if she would do him? Probably. I think a lot of girls would. Would he do her? Not sure. Why does the thought of that turn me on? LOL. I’m such a perv sometimes. Wait, does that mean he has affairs? Oh god.. he did go away on that trip that one time and didn’t respond to my texts for two hours. This is how Sally said her husband left her! Oh man… where is he?? Did he leave the house? Oh shit, the potatoes are burning.”
Take scenario #1- What happens if husband walks in a second time, pushes her up on the kitchen counter and plants a fat kiss on her? I would think a very strong “WHAT DID I JUST GET DONE TELLING YOU?!” would happen. She feels assaulted.
Scenario #2? She’d probably not stop smiling for the rest of the evening.
This relationship thing… it’s a game. Stop acting like you don’t have to play it. Stop acting like you don’t have to play by the rules and put in hard work… just because.
Do the SEO work. Most of the work is attitude. The attitude comes naturally if you truly ARE the kinda guy who can get sex if/when he wants from who he wants. Women can smell it. Just as much as they can smell neediness.
If you do the hard work and you’re STILL not #1 in her search results… that sucks…but no worries. Got other shit and other people to do. The ironic part is that with that “abundance” attitude, you are less likely to have to use it.
In internet parlance, “Alpha” is an overused term meaning “A manly dude who doesn’t take shit from anybody and is successful in health, work, sex, etc.” You know… a real man.
A “Beta” on the other hand, is the weak-willed guy who is very needy and succumbs to the demands of those around him. He is used. You know… a pussy.
You’ll often read of desperate guys asking “Is it Alpha if I give my three time cheating wife another chance?” or “Listen to this story of my poor Beta sap brother-in-law.” It’s all a little silly and way overdone, but I get the need for it. Guys compare notes. We like to break things down into digestible chunks. Alphas don’t do this, and Betas do that. Got it.
There’s a saying I particularly like and can say with confidence it rings true on many different levels:
Alpha Fucks, Beta Bucks
Translation: The manly dude gets sex and short-term fun. The pussified guy gets to be provider and play husband.
I like to use the terms “Lover” and “Provider”, instead. More descriptive.
There are story after story of a guy who has a wife he deeply loves and cherishes… considers her his best friend. Their sex life? Meh… so so. She often says she doesn’t like oral sex all that much, not really into kinky stuff, and anal is COMPLETELY off the table. Nobody really does that, sweetie. That’s for porn. Speaking of porn… she says it’s for degenerates. He watches way too much of it.
Fast forward to the fateful day when he was going through old files in the attic, or cleaning out the old computer.. and he finds videos, photos or a diary from his wife. He learns what a lot of guys in his position learn: His wife used to be way over-the-top sexual… Before she met him. To quote a guy with such a story: “Great. I married a slut that fucks like a prude.”
In the manosphere and other relationship-oriented sites, a variation of the story is VERY common (after all… most guys that are on those sites have been badly hurt by women). Sweet guy getting ho-hum sex discovers that his wife used to do all the things he has suggested for the past X years.
Oddly, the majority of responses and comments on such stories are usually “Yeah… she used to do those things. Now she doesn’t. She grew out of that phase and chose YOU as her husband. Just be happy. Stop judging her on her past. You have no RIGHT to demand she do those things again with you. That is up to her.”
There’s bullshit in that response, and truth. The truth: “You don’t have the right to demand these things.” Very true. It’s her body and her mind and if she wants to do XYZ with you, she will. Sorry if that makes you feel unmanly, but that’s your problem, not hers.
Where they get it wrong: She didn’t grow out of that phase. You’re just not bringing it out of her. She’s still a sexual human being. In internet speak… you’re a Provider.
She may have not verbalized it, but she pegged you RIGHT AWAY as a provider. A good long-term kinda guy. The guy you bring home to mom. The guy you raise kids with. The guy you get COMFORTABLE with. Unfortunately, comfort does NOT equal desire, as Esther Perel so eloquently captured in her book Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence.
If you asked 100 married guys, 99 of them would be completely cool with being pegged as the comfortable family guy. That’s what we want! That’s what our grandparents had! BUT… ask those same 100 guys “Okay, you’re the comfortable provider family guy… but that also means your wife doesn’t have sexual desire for you like you think she does. She actually fantasizes about other guys. A lot. She used to date them and had wild sex with them and never told you about it. She did all that stuff with them she refuses to do with you. Now how do you feel?” That “completely cool with it” number went from 99 to 2.
Women innately know this. This is why we have the “divide by three” rule. She knows Beta Brian will be really hurt if he knows she banged 67 guys before they met. She knows it will knock her right off the perfect pedestal he put her on in his mind, and he will start looking at her as more of sexual creature. She doesn’t want that. That’s really gross. She needs him to remain right in the comfortable Provider role. That’s where he does his best work. If that means lying for life, then so be it.
Alpha or Beta? Be Both.
A good guy should be the embodiment of both Alpha and Beta. Be the great dad. Be the provider. Be the foundation. Be the guy who looks good with a tight shirt on. The guy who slams her up against the wall and fucks her brains out without asking “is this okay?” The guy who doesn’t take shit from her or anybody.
Women are human. They have needs. They have desires. They want sex just like you do. They want eroticism. They want passion. They just might not want it from YOU.
I think where a lot of the manosphere writings go wrong is the emphasis on Alpha. It’s sexy and attractive to want to play the he-man role and fuck as many young women as possible, but it has limits. Going too much in that direction can lead to a lot of damaged women and a guy who finally says “Ok, now what?” after banging his 300th co-ed. Life ain’t all about pussy, Alpha Dude.
Life is more than ALPHA and BETA. Life is getting the best of both. Black and White. The Yin and Yang. Where we men go wrong is that many of us naturally err on the side of comfort and love. We see where that gets us, we wake up, and we SWING that pendulum to the other side as far as we can. Also bad.
We need to find the grey area. That’s the sweet spot.
It ain’t easy, friends. Nothing in life ever is. Balance in all things.
“What tips do you have for a happily married person to strive to be the best they can be?”
Don’t get comfortable.
You now how when you first started dating that you worked hard to look your best? You put on your best clothes. You got frequent haircuts. You went to the gym. You were happy and outgoing. Yeah… keep doing that. Don’t take your situation for granted.
Comfort is the enemy of men. It lulls you into a sense of complacency. Comfort tells you that everything is “good enough”.
Comfort is the way of saying “Ok.. I can relax now. This feels good and SAFE.” Safe… meaning you have NOTHING to worry about.
Tell that to the guy at the office who did his job every day and was passed over for the promotion, or was canned to free up money in the budget. Tell that to the guy who did everything “right” in his relationship but found the wife banging the 18 year old pool boy.
Safety and comfort are an illusion. If you let your guard down, somebody will come along to remind you that your moment of relaxation is fleeting. All of it can be flipped in an instant.
So why do we insist on actually SEEKING out comfort in our relationships and try to expedite the inevitable “holy shit” life moment that will flip us upside down?
MEN THINK “BORING = SUCCESSFUL LIFE”
I often say of the bored, depressed wife: “Their man feels that the lack of drama and relative boredom in life is a sign that he has done his job. There are no dangers. Bills are paid. Food is on the table. All is well. Men are fixers and he has done all of the preventative work to keep things from falling off the rails. Job well done. He can rest.”
What he doesn’t know is that there are demons lurking… waiting for him to let his guard down. Ready to pounce on any sign of weakness.
The wife is yearning for more. She’s daydreaming A LOT more now about the grass being greener on the other side. If only he had kept going to the gym and kept playing guitar in the band he was in when he first met his wife. What happened to the guy she fell in love with?
The boss at work is about the drop the axe and cut 20% of the workforce. Our boring man is expendable. The poor schmuck has his feet up and is watching the Packers vs. Vikings game with a bowl of pretzels on his belly and his third beer of the evening in his gut. He has no idea just how close he is to losing it all. If only he had taken those night classes to earn his certification that would’ve given him that promotion last year.
So… they think comfort equals success, when it absolutely doesn’t. Why?
Well, ladies.. I’m looking at you first.
It’s a known fact that a woman will do everything she can to knock her man down a few pegs and mold them into the blob of comfortable bubble gum that she so despises. We call these things “fitness tests” or “shit tests”. It’s one of the more interesting phenomena in the relationship game.
A woman will be yours because of who you are… and then do everything she can to see if she can change you. If she succeeds, she will leave you for somebody that is like who you were when you first met.
Very often a man will err on the side of “safe” when his woman bitches or questions his authority. “Yes, dear.” Instead he should err on the side of doubling down on his decisions and reminding everyone who the man is in the relationship.
Again, he thinks lack of drama is a good thing. Why rock the boat?
“Happy wife = Happy life!” <– The biggest bunch of relationship bullshit ever uttered.
Another reason for a man’s desire for comfort: our culture.
In the minds of many people, “Dad” = guy sitting in recliner with beer belly and football jersey, yelling at the TV. You see it on TV on a daily basis. It’s so pervasive, that every single man I know emulates it. It’s not like it’s a natural state of being. No human being has “be a slob and sit for long periods of time in one spot and yell at glowing entertainment box for hours on end” imprinted into their DNA. Sure, us men need escape and time to ourselves fairly often, but that doesn’t have to manifest itself in such a way. You can read. You can go out. Take up a hobby. Hang out with guys doing guy stuff. Hit the gym.
I remember when I found out that the local rec center in town had open gym hours. Sweet! I’ll ask some guys I know if they want to get together to play some ball. You would think I asked them if I could bang their wife in the ass. Nobody was interested. So… I went by myself. Played with a bunch of 20 year olds. Felt awesome. Now I coach my son’s team. To me… that’s life. That’s masculine. That’s fun. Helps get me in shape and takes my mind off things.
Now, I enjoy my TV games. I like college basketball. I like the occasional NFL game or NBA playoff game. But I draw a freakin’ line at some point. I don’t do fantasy football. I don’t put on a team’s jersey while watching a game like I’m 12. I don’t schedule my entire life around watching other men play. It’s just fucking weird.
I think if every man could float outside of his body for a moment and look at himself watching game after game after game… watch himself cave into his wife’s shit tests… watch as he slouches his shoulders and says “yes, dear” for the 500th time, he would have an epiphany.
What the fuck am I doing? What does THAT accomplish?
Nothing. It accomplishes nothing. Oh, wait… yes it does. I makes you comfortable. It makes you unaware. It makes you less of a man.
Don’t lose your edge as a man. Don’t get comfortable. You’re holy shit moment is right around the corner.
You go to work. Monday through Friday. You do your job. You don’t complain. You don’t ruffle feathers. You come in, do your tasks, clock out and leave. You’ve never called in sick.
You don’t like to attend the after-work parties or cocktail hours if you can help it. The company Christmas party is torture enough. All of the gatherings are giant drunkfests that make your skin crawl.
You don’t golf with your boss. He’s invited you a couple of times and eventually gave up and stopped asking. Finally. Someone in his golfing entourage keep asking you, too. “No, I don’t even know how to hold a club.” You like to avoid the boss and the asshole golf dudes as much as you can and spend time with the family.
You eat by yourself at your desk and read. Why listen to a bunch of whiny coworkers babbling about nothing? You’ve been reading an average of one book every other week. Gives you time to just relax and think in the middle of the workday.
The quality of your work is fine… nothing above what you’re supposed to do, but nothing below, either. When they hired you they gave you a list of responsibilities and you have stuck to it. You’d be a schmuck to do more and an asshole to do less.
The day is here. Promotion day. You had a great annual review and the boss is calling a meeting to announce who in the group gets bumped up to the two open positions in the management group. Every other year they rotate people in and out of groups to keep things fresh. If you do well in the management group, you eventually get into one of the six figure executive jobs everybody dreams about.
You’re pretty sure you have one of those two spots this year. You’ve been around the longest. Both you and Gary do the best work. They’d be idiots to not promote both of you. You have a seat next to Gary in the conference room. He’s sitting up front like always. His arm around the person next to him. Gary always charms the people around him. You like Gary… he’s a cool guy.
The boss gives the usual BS about profits and losses. Budgets. Project goals and achievements. Finally after the first coffee break he gets to the good stuff. “Now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for. I’m just going to get right to it … and say a very big congratulations to both Gary and Dennis for earning a spot into our management team. We’re lucky to have them aboard!”
You start clapping along with everyone else. Somebody in the back is pumping their fist and barking. You start to do the same but have no idea why. Problem: You’re not Dennis. You’ve never been Dennis. Your name sounds nothing like Dennis. This has to be a mistake.
You see your buddy Gary standing up and shaking hands with the boss. His grip is so firm his knuckles are turning white. His teeth are also white as snow. Shoes polished. Wears a tie every day. Gary is a good looking dude. Everybody likes him. Sigh…
You take the long walk back to your desk. You slump down in your chair and just stair at the book you just finished over your lunch break. You wish you lived in that imaginary world of elves and wizards. Seems like a simpler time… except for the dragons and regular deadly battles.
“Come on, my friend. Let’s go for a walk.” It’s your best office buddy, Sandra. Sandra has been with the company a long time. Worked her way up from mail clerk to now management. She’s a good 20 years older than you. A mother figure.
“I know you’re pissed about getting passed up. You didn’t hide it too well. You didn’t hear the boss calling for you as you were walking out? Don’t worry, you didn’t miss anything. He just wanted to tell you that Gary will be your boss now. You’re lucky. Gary likes you a lot and he’s a good dude.”
You nod. Still very bummed. Another two years before you get a chance at that promotion. The promotion you fucking DESERVED now.
Sandra sees you seething. “Alright, look. You and I need to have a talk.”
She grabs your arm and leads you into an open conference room. She flips the sign on the front to “occupied” and shuts the door, loudly. “SIT. DOWN.”
You get wide-eyed and have a seat. This isn’t going to be good.
“Are you one of THOSE guys?”
You’re genuinely confused.
“You know… one of THOSE guys that thinks that you can just come in here, do your job, keep to yourself, and everything will take care of itself? You’re not that guy, are you?”
You manage to stammer out “Well… yeah? Why the fuck wouldn’t I think that?” Sandra is the only management person who welcomes cursing and you do it every chance you get around her. It’s now habit. You once saw her at the grocery store and yelled “How the fuck are you?!” She had her kids with her.
“Well who the hell told you that’s all it would take?! Have you SEEN anybody in management that you would say is quiet and keeps to himself and doesn’t talk to other people? Do you?!”
In an instant you are shocked. She’s right. You’re not cut out for management. You never have been. You’re in a dead end job. What the fuck were you thinking?
She notices your shocked face. “Yeah… you thought you could get comfortable here. Amigo, this is the CORPORATE world. This is kill or be killed. These guys here will chew you up and spit you out. The second they feel like they get all they can out of you, they are DONE with you and you’re taking your stuff home in a box and trying to explain to your wife why you’re home early.”
You feel like your heart is stopping.
“Your call, tough guy. You want to play along and get ahead and stop bitching… or do you want to be one of THOSE guys who sticks to himself and complains every time there’s a promotion he gets passed up for?? You can do your own thing if you want, my friend… but that shit ain’t gonna work HERE. I’ve seen way too many good people come in here and get passed up and get depressed and end up getting fired.”
She said it. The F word. This is real.
“I’m not asking you to be somebody you’re not. I’m telling you that the writing is on the wall and it’s up to YOU whether you want to play by the rules the rest of us follow, or the rules you’ve written in your own little head. Because, frankly, seeing you mope around here is getting old. You’re too good for this little game you’re playing. Wake up.”
You finally look up at her.
“Okay… fuck it. I’m ready. What do I do now?”
I’m always amazed at just how much a relationship is like a JOB for a man.
So many guys grinding it out in their job. Playing by the rules. Being the “good” guy. In the end… the gold watch, a pat on the back, and if he’s lucky… a pension. Or, he becomes obsolete and gets fired. Either way, he spends the rest of his days pleading with his grand kids to never give up on their dreams.
The same occurs in a relationship.
Men are lulled into a state of either “I’ve made it. This is good enough” or “Why is this relationship not what I want? I played by the rules. I’ll keep doing what I’m doing. Eventually the relationship will come around.” Either way, it’s a fantasy land conjured up by the dude who is too lazy and too comfortable to flip a switch and fucking MOVE and do something about it.
Your boss looks at you as a resource. You are the thing that costs him $65,000 a year and in turn makes him $200,000 a year in extra revenue. You are a good investment and a valued team member. That is until a younger and spunkier version of you comes along. One that wants $100,000 in salary, brings in the same $200,000 in return… but also is fun to be with, shmoozes with the executive team, looks nice and flirts with all of the ladies in the office. He’s the shinier, quicker, sleaker model Ferrari that makes people say “Ooooo… nice.” You’re the dependable station wagon. Nobody gets wet over a station wagon.
As the male half of a relationship, you are only as good as the resources you provide… as well as the confidence and flair you bring to life. Stop kidding yourself. Everything in life is a sales job. It’s a game.
Same thing with your status at work. You thought you checked all of the boxes on the good employee checklist, but you completely skipped over the “be a charming and fun guy that everyone wants to be around” and “learn how to be a more powerful person in the office” boxes.
You’re surprised when the boss says “Yeah… we’re gonna need you to take the office in the basement. Behind the furnace. Next to the stacks of toilet paper and copy machine toner. Thanks.” You’re shocked when your wife says “I love you, but I’m not in love with you.”
Both of them are saying the same thing. “Yeah, I may not be able to explain why exactly… but I don’t feel like you’re a good investment.”
They lost attraction to you. You can’t negotiate attraction. No amount of begging with the boss or the wife will get them to suddenly change their mind. They may say fine and keep you around a little longer, but the clock is ticking, as Chris Rock so eloquently puts when describing the differences between men and women.
Just as with the wife, your boss is rarely going to pinpoint WHY he picked Dennis over you for the promotion. It may come down to something vague like “Dennis is just a real team player. He gets things done. He’s going places. I can see him being on the executive team down the road… I know he won’t let me down.”
Your wife may bang Chad from the party and rationalize it away as “He just understands me. He gets me. It’s not you, it’s me.”
Both sides are telling you the same thing: You neglected a particular need that they had. You didn’t play the game properly. They’re not about to TELL you what those specific needs are.. because they may very well not know how to verbalize it themselves! Chad just… he’s just.. Chad. Dennis.. is just cool. You.. are dependable.
I heard these words a few days ago while lifting weights with some teenage boys at the gym. They normally see me fully clothed, but this time I took my sweatshirt off. I was sweating like a pig, just got over a virus and felt dizzy. I’m not ashamed to say that I felt like a million bucks when the 17 year old said that to me. Here he is in the prime of his life, and he’s looking at a 40 year old with admiration. Felt good.
The last time I heard something like this was when I was in college. I started lifting weights in a big way and was making fast progress. I looked damn good. I was getting on the elevator with a guy from my dorm. He was a football player for our school. “Damn son, you gettin’ BIG!” Same effect. I smiled for about 3 hours. Yes, even dudes like a little validation every now and again.
I’ve thought about when I’ve been the happiest in my personal relationships with women. Was there ever a time when things were going well for me and not a drama-filled soap opera ? Oh yeah. At the end of college and a few years into my post-college career… the early 20’s… and right now. Is it a coincidence that I was the most “jacked” during those two time periods? Nope.
A man needs to feel like he can take care of himself and can take care of his family. He needs to be able to look at himself in the mirror and say “Damn.” A man should fill out a shirt. Other men should give you the respectful man nod and get out of your way.
“Wait up kids… dad… fat. I hate me.”
Being “jacked” is awesome. Being awesome is… awesome. It permeates everything you do. You are respected. Women flirt with you. Men want to be your buddy. You are confident. Your work improves. Your relationships improve. As a man in his 30’s and 40’s and above… being muscular puts you in the top 1%. Just look around you. Fat dads. Everywhere.
Speaking of fat… I see a lot of guys, especially those older dudes, going down the road of “LIFT EAT EAT EAT EAT LIFT EAT EAT EAT”. They get into the “ME WANT BE STRONGER AND MORE MUSCLE” mindset. They get fat. Not healthy and not attractive. It’s important that you stay lean. All that muscle doesn’t mean anything if you look like a potato. Sure, you can lift a fridge… but nobody will give a shit and you’re not healthy. You don’t want to be a shape that women will say “ew” to.
Even a few extra pounds of fat will be enough to cover whatever muscular gains you’ve made in the gym. I tend to put on weight easily, so if I don’t really watch what I eat… I put on a quick 10 pounds like it’s nothing. Then I look sloppy. Doesn’t matter that I just did an awesome workout and pressed 100 lb dumbbells. My personal barometer is “Can I see my abs?” If so, I’m in good shape.
I’m not going to outline a workout program. Google it. “Starting Strength” is good. Any program that gets you in the gym on a regular basis is good. A program should be heavy on the weights and relatively light on the cardio. Running around the block isn’t a workout. It’s just activity that you can easily do that convinces you you’re doing SOMETHING. You need to be straining against some weights in the gym. Watch what you eat and the fat pounds will melt off. The occasional game of basketball, treadmill or stairmaster is good to keep your heart rate up and the muscles working when not lifting. Get massages. Stretch. It’s really not complicated.
Yours truly – in 2016
Again, if you hit the gym and take care of yourself… you are in the top 1%. Enjoy the spoils.
P.S.: Get your hormones checked. If your testosterone is low, you’ll just be banging your head against the wall and frustrated at your lack of progress.