What did I do wrong in my failed relationship?

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

When you write a blog like this one, you run the risk of it becoming a site where a man stomps his feet and says, “I AM AMAZING AND MY EX IS A DEMON AND I DID NOTHING WRONG”. In looking back on my postings over the past few years, I can see where I may come across that way. Hey, it’s understandable. This is an emotional topic, after all. Am I wrong? Well, no… not completely. She did awful things and it crushed me as her husband and partner, but I’m not some infallible perfect angel of a man, either. I had, and continue to have, my faults as a father, husband and as a human being. I’m human, after all.

If there was an overall theme to my time in marriage number one, it would be “Meh”. That was my disposition for much of my relationship: “Meh”. I wasn’t thrilled, I wasn’t upset, I wasn’t angry, I wasn’t super happy… I wasn’t much of anything. Jesus, I was dull. I think deep down I knew my relationship wasn’t what I always wanted it to be, but it’s what I had. I lived with it. This “Hey, it’s good enough” theme permeated everything about our marriage together. I never once put my foot down and said, “I don’t like THIS. This needs to change and it needs to change now, or else we are done.” I could never conceive of such a stance. To be married, in my mind at the time, meant that you accepted certain shortcomings. You accepted life, warts and all. Were there lots of warts? Yes. But hey, that’s life. It ain’t perfect. You keep going.

I remember distinctly one moment in particular. I don’t know why it sticks out in my mind, and it sounds awful in hindsight, but I remember it vividly. I was on the bed, relaxing, and she was in the adjoining bathroom doing her makeup. She was just wearing her underwear and leaning in towards the mirror. I looked over at her… and I was so completey turned off in that moment. What should’ve been a sexy little candid moment that put a smile on my face was just me looking at my wife, the mother of my three children, and thinking, “… Yuck.”

That’s not right. That’s not a good thing. Not at all.

A real husband sees this situation and says to himself, “Okay… why am I so turned off right now? Because she’s out of shape? She’s overweight? She doesn’t workout anymore? She eats way too much? So, what are you doing about that? Anything? What about yourself? Do you think she’s looking at you and saying ‘Yum’? Probably not. Maybe you need to step up and be an example to her.” But, I didn’t. The thought didn’t even occur to me. I just rolled over and put it out of my mind. She was my wife and mother of my kids. What can I do, right? Such is life…

My passivity was completely and totally deplorable. It was lazy. It wasn’t fair to me, to her, or to our family. It was cowardly.

The bathroom mirror moment was one small moment in a series of dozens of moments over 20 years where life said to me, “Alright… here’s another test. What you gonna do, captain?”… and my answer was always, “Just leave me alone. I’m tired.”

I just didn’t care. Life wore me down. Work, the kids, the wife I lost attraction to… too many things to tackle. I just concentrated on my kids. I coached their teams. I helped with homework. I played with them constantly. I convinced myself that jumping completely into the dad box was proof of my awesomeness as a father and husband. No… it was an escape. I saw the hard work that needed to be done in the marriage… and I ran from it. “I shouldn’t have to do that”, I convinced myself.

My overweight wife was a mirror. I was looking at myself… not only in the most obvious way (I myself was out of shape), but I was also looking at the results of my “work” as her loving husband. I didn’t do the work of instilling in her an urge to keep herself in shape “for her man” (Because, honestly, why should she bother?), and I didn’t set an example for what a good partner does to keep the other one around. I didn’t set any example except one that said, ”Your job as a Lover is done once the kids start coming out”. No wonder she gave up… I gave up, too. I had given up as soon as that first kid came out. The combination of stress and need for comfort swallowed me up and spit me out as some effeminate wad of bubble gum. “Yaaay! I’m a great dad!” Yeah, but you REALLY sucked as a husband, dude.

We grew apart. That was obvious. I did my thing, she did hers. To keep that bond, to keep that attraction… that took real effort. I didn’t have it in me to keep up that level of work. Why? Well, we weren’t “meant to be”. In other words, we both should’ve just walked away very early on in the relationship. I knew it, she knew it, maybe even our families knew it. We kept at it in honor of our vows and in honor of the theme of staying together “no matter what”. It can be argued that it was an honorable goal, but when you ignore red flag after red flag… you realize you’re not just honoring your vows but instead ignoring the giant elephant in the room: We shouldn’t be together.

When you put two incompatible people together, it’s just a matter of time until the union breaks down. In my case, she ended up jumping into bed with another man. It was then that the veneer of marriage was stripped away and all the vices and red flags that were there throughout the relationship were laid bare. She had her compulsive behavior and childhood issues… I had my overly agreeable “lack of backbone nice guy” issues. Both sets of issues were amplified a hundred-fold when our marriage disintegrated.

For a giant chunk of the men I talk to, they are in the same boat. They are completely destroyed by their wife’s infidelity and subsequent divorce… then they have months or maybe years of introspection and growth… and they finally realize it was never “meant to be”. They had so many red flags for YEARS, and they did nothing. The relationship wasn’t some romantic fairy tale of love that would conquer all. It was simply two people that were put together with all of their warts and baggage, and neither had the balls to say, “Yeah… let’s both move on. Sorry.”

Live and learn.

The Provider is Dead

Estimated Reading Time: 7 minutes

Modern-day men tend to be very agreeable dudes. We just go with the flow. We are the quintessential “Yes, dear” guys. Happy wife, happy life! “Okay, whatever you want to do is fine with me.”  We gravitate towards the path of least resistance. Whatever causes less unnecessary drama and anxiety in our lives… we go for it. We get fat. We get comfortable. We just do whatever… as long as we can ocassionally escape to our “man cave” and keep our wife’s nagging and drama to a minimum, we’re happy. We’re simple creatures after all.

Therapists will often ask what spouses NEED out of a relationship. Men will boast about how simple they are. We just NEED sexual intimacy and food, and we’re good to go! Is that really the case? Turns out what we label as “needs” are really just strong desires. Our wife can lock the sexual gates for weeks and months and we’ll still gladly say “Yes, dear” as we take the kids to the soccer games, fix the broken thing in the basement, and listen to her complain for hours on end about everything. In other words, these needs really aren’t NEEDS after all. The relationship continues on whether we get them met or not. “Hey… whatever. That’s just the way marriage is.” The mantra of the modern-day man.

What brought about this lazy agreeable way of life? Well, a big part of it was what we viewed as our cultural norm for so many generations: MAN WORKS , WOMAN STAYS HOME AND TAKES CARE OF KIDS AND HOUSE. If the two partners have a list of “Things I need to do to keep this relationship going”, the man’s list consisted of one thing: “Go to work. Come home. Bring paycheck.” He was the PROVIDER. He was the provider of the fuel that kept the household economic engine going. He was the reason they had a roof over their head and a car in the garage. He was the reason the kids had popsicles in the fridge and tennis shoes every year for school. He was the reason the wife could go get her hair done every other week. He was the reason she had 120 pairs of shoes. The husband/dad immediately earned a high level of respect by virtue of his providership. It was known that you left dad alone after he came home from a hard day at work. You go to mom with questions about your homework. You go to mom about getting you to your baseball game. Dad was the boss. Why? Because dad brings home the bacon. Simple.

When you’re the king, there’s very little that will motivate you to go beyond your “king” status and kick things up a notch. Kings get fat. Kings get lazy. Kings also get drug out in the street by a horde of angry people and ripped to shreds… But I digress.

Fast forward to today… and the tables have been flipped. Women woke up. “Wait… you mean I don’t HAVE to play the part of Suzy Homemaker? I can make just as much, if not WAY more than these guys out there? “ With this drastic change in the economic landscape comes some relationship growing pains. Things don’t just change completely overnight. Women, overall, still feel that their prospective spouse/partner candidate should have some strong Provider/King qualities. In short, many successful women won’t look at settling down with the hunky plumber with the heart of gold. He’s a great person and great fun (and great in the sack), but the generations of conditioning and social pressure tells her that marrying him would be a huge mistake. She would always have to worry about “taking care” of him. Having a man in a subservient role is the ultimate turn-off for the ambitious successful woman. She doesn’t necessarily want YOUR money to take care of HER… she can do that herself, but she’ll be damned if she has to dig into her purse to pay for some loser’s way of life.

So let’s summarize the “problem” here: Women are making more than ever. As their bank accounts grow fatter, their list of spouse candidates goes down (there are only so many rich guys to go around). Many, not all, refuse to settle for a guy that they deem less successful and less ambitious than they are. Women complain that there are no good men left. They either “settle” for the good guy who makes less, or they go on dating and having fun with no end in sight. Most go with the latter plan of fun dating. If you asked them, they would say that they “have no choice”. They’d love to settle down, but it’s just not happening. Not with THIS pitiful pool of candidates.

Result: The marriage and birth rates are plummeting. Women drive the marriage industry, after all. When they put the brakes on, the whole system collapses. This will have huge economic implications for the western world.

Men are a little slower to adapt to the change.

Men still prop up their provider traits as their “awesome husband candidate” qualities. Show me a guy whose wife cheated on him, and I’ll show you a guy who says, “I paid for her schooling, I worked 60 hours a week, I paid for her car, I got her the house she wanted…” He’s still playing by the old rules. “I’m the KING, dammit!”

I know that some of you are saying, “But, my wife is jobless. I’m still the main breadwinner. She stays home with the kids. It’s better that way. This is the way it should be.”

This is the point where I could go to my email or my Facebook group and bring up story after story from the quintessential Provider husband who paid for everything for years… only to have the wife and the government say to him, “Hey, thanks for all that providing. Much appreciated. We’ll now be taking half your paycheck, your 401k savings, most of your bank account, and the house… oh, and you won’t see your kids except for the occasional weekend”. 

If you can make this Provider scenario work… awesome. Best of luck to you. Most cannot. Most will fail. That’s just the way it is.

Here’s what I’ll often hear from guys that jump back into dating after divorce:

  1. All that women care about now is looks. “Nobody wants some old fat man like me”.
  2. Women won’t take you seriously if you aren’t richer than them.

The writing is on the wall, gentlemen: The days of the classic Provider are dead. Women are bluntly telling us this. Society is bluntly telling us this. We had our fun for a while, but it’s time to wake up to reality. In the “good ol’ days”, the Provider man was a safety net. He was the fuel for the household economic engine. He was the boss. You, as the man, had a product (your ability to make money on a consistent basis), you put it out on the market, and the buyers came (your new wife). The market has changed. Your put your product out there, and the market is saying, “Okay…. cool. What else you got?” 

So, what else do you have?

For many men, the answer is “Not a whole hell of a lot”. They had the old book of rules and they threw EVERYTHING into that Provider role. They went to work, they helped coach the kid’s football team, they fixed the broken stuff around the house… but now the world just pats them on the head and says, “That’s cute. Now, kindly get out of the way. There’s a handsome guy with abs trying to get to the front of the line.”  You see, when you strip away the elements of economic comfort and stability from the whole mating game, you’re left with the basic elements of human attraction: Women run the mating game… and they want somebody they both swoon over and respect. Yes, they want it all. No, they’re not going to settle. No, they’re not going to die alone with 12 cats and a bad case of diabetes. They have a long list of men that would be more than glad to buy them dinner and take them away for a fun weekend and no commitment. These women are not suffering.

So, is it hopeless? Of course not. You just have to change your entire mindset. You have strip yourself of the old you and rearrange your priorities to accomodate the new paradigm. You gotta get off your fat butt and stop crying about how things should be. You need to get in shape. You need to get your money situation in order. You need to become a more well-rounded and interesting man. You need hobbies. Interests. You need to do things that help out your community. You need to be an awesome father and role model to your kids. You need to do all of these things for YOU. You don’t do all of these things so that you can snag the next Mrs. Right. The chances are that you’re not going to find her, so… have fun! Enjoy. Once you’re ready, go out on dates. Realize what the dates are: two people that have a mutual attraction enjoying spending time together. There’s no need for you to get hitched, move in together, have kids, etc. The rules have changed. All that stuff is great. It’s magic when it works. But, it’s exceptionally rare. It’s like hitting the lottery.

You don’t need to hit the lottery to be happy. Everyone is telling you this. It’s time to listen.

You are free.

The concept of having the Provider weight lifted from your shoulders should be a freeing one. You can focus on YOU for a change. The days of setting aside your dreams and aspirations to make your wife happy are long gone. Is it a selfish way of life? Maybe. Is it safer? Much safer. Is she worth rolling the dice for and paying for everything while she stays at home? Probably not… and that’s okay.

Have a date with a successful woman who you really seem to get along with? Worried that she won’t see you as a professional equal? Cool! That means she likes you for YOU. She thinks you’re handsome and charming enough to spend an evening with. Enjoy it for what it is. You’re just two adults enjoying time together. That’s it. Throw away these old notions of playing the “Marry me!” game. You’re probably out of the running for that, anyway… and that’s okay. It’s more than okay, actually. Congrats… you’re the Lover. Let some other shmuck play the part of the Provider for once. You want to be the one she sneaks off with for a wild night of fun… not the guy left wondering why she’s out all night and not texting him back.

RECOMMENDED READING

How to be a Better Wife

Estimated Reading Time: 10 minutes
Once in a blue moon, I get an email from a female reader. You may think most of it is complaining or expressing their anger towards me… and you’d be right. I have, in fact, been called an “incel” and a misogynist (which is laughably off the mark), but I’ve also received emails from women that agree with most of what I say, they like the honest male perspective, and they want some real advice.
 
What I’ve seen from both men and women is a comically bad misunderstanding of exactly what it is our spouse wants out of a romantic partner. From what I can gather, many of the problems modern couples face can be traced back to the firm belief that gender egalitarianism trumps everything else in a male-female relationship. Men often try their damndest to be softer and more understanding (what their wife seems to push them to be), while the women try to be tougher and less agreeable (what society pushes them to be). Both are trying to portray a more progressive and wholesome image of what they feel is the best all-around modern-day spouse, and they both tend to swing their behavior pendulum too far over to the “wrong” end of the behavioral spectrum. The result? They each unknowingly become what the other finds unattractive. They leave their early-relationship sexy dating self behind and prop up their comfortable married parent provider traits… all in an effort to be a better spouse.
They become precisely what their partner does not want or need, romantically.
I’ve spent a great deal of time working with guys showing them how to be the best all-around man (which in turn makes them the best all-around spousal/boyfriend candidate), so I thought today I will take a stab at creating a more concise prescription for women. I know, I’m treading on thin ice by even considering such an endeavor. Ladies… my experience has shown that you REALLY don’t take kindly to a guy telling you how to be a better wife. Men, to their credit, tend to be much more open to the concept of trying out new things in order to try and FIX something. Men like to tinker around under the hood. Their relationships are no exception. Men love a good how-to guide. Women… not so much.
So, ladies… set aside your preconceptions for a moment. Take in this guide for what it is: a no-bullshit honest take on what I think makes an attractive wife. Yes, it’s MY opinion, but it’s also based input I’ve received after talking to hundreds of men over the years. I would say it’s a pretty good representation of what is “normal” for your average everyday hubby. Sure, there will be outliers. A few guys out there will read this and laugh at how off the mark it is. There is also a cat out there somewhere that barks. That doesn’t mean you can’t safely say, “cats say meow and dogs bark”. Generalizations are generalizations for a reason. You get my point.

It’s All About Validation

If there’s one word that encapsulates all “good wife” female behavior, it’s VALIDATION. I don’t think that most wives have a firm grasp on just how much of their husband’s sense of self-worth in placed at the feet of his wife. What you, the wife, feel and think about husband is SO VERY IMPORTANT to him. He wants nothing more than to gain your approval. He wants and NEEDS your respect. If he gets the impression that he is seen as a substandard husband, he is crushed. Beyond crushed. This is when he becomes the boring “Yes, dear” guy who lets you take care of everything as he sits back and watches TV or goes fishing. He is mentally escaping from the day-to-day life that he interprets as, “My wife doesn’t respect me.” That is a guy who has just given up. That is a guy who has resigned himself to the “reality” of marriage. This is the state of most married men today.
Is it safe to say that most men have “fragile egos”? To some degree, yes. I think, like most things, the “men have fragile egos” theory is a reflection of women’s misunderstanding of how men mentally function within a romantic relationship. We men may not  care what a coworker thinks of a us, we don’t mind when our friend makes fun of us, our boss can yell at us for messing up on the job, but if the wife we cherish and love above all is disappointed in us or makes us feel less than respected, we take that very hard. The degree to which we are affected always surprises women. As far as she can tell, she just said something slightly snotty and her husband is pouting and moping around like a giant baby. This is, of course, highly unattractive to her. If he can’t take her little verbal stabs, what kind of man is he?
This pitiful scene could’ve been avoided with some simple things she can do every day that will get him in a much better mindset… and more like the man she WANTS to have.
Validation comes in various forms. Of course, we all know the most obvious one (sex), but there are subtle little things throughout the day that show a man that he is important and worthy of respect and admiration.
Men will subconsciously seek out validation on a regular basis. Little things here and there. You may be driving around and he blurts out, “Whoa! Did you see that awesome old Corvette back there?! Wow, that is a sweet car. One day I’ll get me one of those!” The wife who is just tired of her husband’s bullshit will often continue to stare down at her phone, grunt, and show her obvious disinterest in the stupid old car. She won’t even acknowledge his excitement. She may sense that her husband is a little miffed at her lack of interest, so she will kick things up a notch or two. “You know I don’t care about cars. I don’t know why you keep pointing them out to me.” Or, even worse, “You’re not getting a Corvette. Not sure why you keep ogling at them. It’s stupid.”
That’s not good.
 
Okay, I can hear some of you ladies now. “Oh, COME ON!? Seriously?! I gotta pretend to like every little thing he likes? Is he that much of a baby!?”
 
Let’s take a trip back in time. Remember when you first two started dating? You probably don’t know it, but you validated the hell out of him back then. If he liked football, you went to games and cheered with him. Did he like a certain beer? You went to the store and bought him some. He had a hobby he enjoyed? You tagged along with him as he did his thing and you cheered him along the way. You were IN LOVE then, and naturally, you did all the little things that say to a man, “Keep me around! I’m an amazing wife candidate! Isn’t it obvious how attracted and loyal I am to you?!” As the timeline of the relationship progresses, both partners start veering off the “attractive romantic partner” path and default to a more apathetic and blah type of partner path. Men let the beer gut go, get boring, and lose ambition. Women put on the baby pounds, nag more, and are no longer willing to validate their husband.
 
Many guys on my site have discovered their wives had an affair. Thanks to mobile phone technology, many of us have discovered plenty of the details of the affair that we later wish we didn’t know. There’s the sexual stuff, the luvvy talk, the sneaking around, the lying to us… all of it points to a general theme that is such a soul-destroyer for men:  She validates the hell out of her new lover. She did things with and for the lover that she hasn’t done in years (if ever) with her husband. 
 
Women in affairs tend to do all they can to keep the affair partner around, and naturally… they know that validation is super important. They will throw themselves 110% into their affair partner’s world. They will take on his interests. They will submit to all of his sexual wants and desires. They will cheer him on in whatever he does. They will morph themselves physically and mentally into the woman that is most likely to keep her new man. 
 
When you don’t give your husband validation for even the dumbest little things in life (like affirming his interest in that cool Corvette) you’re displaying your lack of respect. You’re displaying your lack of true love and understanding. Yes, it’s one stupid little thing… but we see it happen dozens of times a day, every single day. It wears on us. Not because we have a fragile ego, but because we know what it signifies: The early relationship love is long gone. Now that the honeymoon phase is over, we’re left with the cold hard reality: In your eyes, we’re not that big of a deal. In fact, we’re annoying at best. You put up with us. You don’t respect us. 
 
Every man wants to be his wife’s knight in shining armor. We want to be her Lover and your Provider. We want to be the one-stop-shop for all her romantic and life partner needs.
 
Don’t question every little thing your man does. Don’t laugh at his dreams. Don’t belittle his slight emotional reaction to your obvious disdain. Remember… he loves the hell out of you. What you think about him is of the utmost importance. He wants NOTHING more than to impress you. To hear his woman say things like, “I believe in you” or You’re so smart and hard-working, you can do anything you set your mind to” is music to any man’s ears. To hear, “I like your new shirt a lot. You look so handsome in it”… man, there is nothing better. 
 
Be the rare woman that gloats about her awesome husband on Facebook, rather than one of millions of women that go on and on about how negative everything is (except the kids… the kids are perfect, of course).
 
Speaking of kids… they come second. That’s right, your husband comes first. I know, some of you are recoiling in disgust right now. You are married to your romantic life partner. You have to do things that keep you together as romantic life partners. Validation is the main driver, and nothing validates a man more than to hear and FEEL that he is his wife’s solitary romantic love interest. Yes, men get jealous of the unconditional love that his wife shows the kids. He may not tell you that, but he does. Your little consistent jabs at his sense of self-worth show what he innately knows: Your love for him is conditional. Your love for the kids is unconditional. That’s natural and completely understandable, but it doesn’t make the reality sting any less. He sees the reality in front of his eyes every day, and it hurts.
 
Yes, sex is a supreme form of validation. In essence, you are saying that:
  1. You feel turned on by him. His sexy and masculine ways make you want to get busy. He brings about a natural and animalistic reaction in you.
  2. You feel safe with him. You don’t mind being in a vulnerable and free state when with him. He’s your man. 
Do not, I repeat, do NOT give him pity sex. Don’t fake it. We can smell pity sex a mile away. We know the “Here, let me give you a handjob just to shut you up” kind of sex. It’s not a good thing. You’re not a masturbation device. You are our wife. We want to feel wanted by you. We want that animalistic passion. We want to be wanted.
 
If you DON’T  want your husband sexually, then you need to figure out why and work towards a solution that will get you in the right sexual mindset to get the romantic relationship back on course. It may very well mean being VERY blunt and honest with your man. Yes, you may have to tell him what you want out of him. If he’s like most men, society and decades of shame have sucked all the attractive manliness right out of him. He thinks he’s doing the right thing by being the man you no longer feel attracted to. The manly stuff you so long for is hidden under a thick layer of fatherdom and comfort. You gotta help bring that out that side of him.
 
I know I just said men have “fragile egos” when it comes to their women, but if there’s a roadblock in the way of giving him the ultimate validation (sex), then you need to tell him about the roadblock and see if he does the work needed to tear it down. Frame it in a way that so that he sees this as an opportunity to prove his sexual value. Do it in a way that is fun and exciting. Validate him along the way. Lead him by the hand in a way that makes him feel like the sexy stallion he so badly wants to be for you, but feels too shamed and too scared to do. Push him in the right direction. Contrary to what you may believe, he cannot read your mind, and nor should he. Men are not nuanced creatures. We are blunt. Learn to speak his language.
I know that playing the part of the sexual leader is not sexy for many of you. I  get it. You want a man who just GETS it. You want that hunk of a guy on the steamy romance novel you just read. Sweetheart, you’re married. You’re married to your husband. This isn’t fantasy land. Marriage is work. The work means doing those uncomfortable things in the short term so that you can get what you need in the long-term. That means validating him, letting him know what he means to you… and sometimes that means playing a part you don’t feel comfortable playing. 
 
Men have affairs. This is not a secret. MANY affairs begin with a man interacting with some young bimbo that pushes his buttons just by giving him the smallest bit of validation that he so badly needs.
“Oh, your wife is so lucky to have a guy like you!”
“You made THAT?! Wow, that is so cool!”
“You look awful handsome in that shirt today!”
“Oh, I like those old cars, too! They look so cool! I always dreamed about having one!”
The bimbo takes him right back to that early relationship time that was so magical. The sexy young thing we saw from across the room takes a genuine interest in us. She starts morphing her behavior to validate us at every opportunity. She likes us.  She WANTS us. She’s the validation drug we’ve been craving all these years.
 
YOU want to be his validation drug… or else he will get his fix somewhere else.
 
Before you say it, I know some of you are saying “I shouldn’t HAVE to do all these things! He’s a grown man! To have to stroke his ego constantly is not a turn-on.” Somewhere along the line, somebody told you that “Real Love” should be easy. Somebody said that if you’re in a good relationship, that things will just naturally fall into place and you no longer have to “play games”. Well, that’s bullshit. Just like the husband who tells me he shouldn’t HAVE to workout, be more of a leader, put up boundaries for his wife, etc… I will say the same to you. STOP with the “SHOULD” talk and live in reality. The relationship game is, in fact, a giant stupid game. It has rules. It has little things you need to do here and there to keep the game running. If you don’t, the game is over. For you, your rules are simple: Look for opportunities to validate.
 
If you truly don’t see any opportunity to validate (because nothing he does is worthy of your time and attention), then let him go. Let him get the drug he so desperately needs elsewhere. But, don’t come crawling back when you watch him flourish and improve physically, emotionally and financially in life. Good men who leave toxic relationships will often improve dramatically. Let him go.

RECOMMENDED READING

Seven Signs That Your Wife is Cheating

Estimated Reading Time: 10 minutes

As I outlined in “My Wife Wouldn’t Do That” , there is a phenomenon of bewildered and shocked men that just CANNOT believe their wife would be capable of doing awful things like committing infidelity. Even when presented with ongoing warning signs and conclusive evidence of wrongdoing,  men deny and rationalize any bad behavior from their wife. “No sir. Not my wife. Nope.”

These warning signs of a cheating wife are so damn common that every man early in life should be handed a pamphlet titled, “HOW TO TELL YOUR WIFE IS HAVING AN AFFAIR”.  The more we teach our sons these valuable life skills, the more likely they are to keep their girlfriends and wives off the proverbial pedestal and treat them with the same cautious optimism they give to every other human in their life.

Why are men so blind to the obvious?

We think like MEN. We have a hard time thinking like women. It’s an entire perspective on life that we don’t really have a very good grasp of. When we think of cheating, we think of it as a guy.

As guys, we are biologically programmed to be polygamous. We physically want lots of different women (See: pornography, strip clubs, creepily staring at women, etc.). When us good guys are happy and comfortable in a relationship (especially after having kids), we may not be able to completely turn OFF that urge for other women, but we can set it aside and prop up the other needs in our life. We turn the “raging horny sex machine” dial down to a 4 and turn up the “nice guy dad” dial all the way up to a 10.

For most of us, NOT getting lots of different women in bed is not an intense struggle that we must battle with on a daily basis. It’s not a huge deal. If we are doing our job right as a husband, we’re getting plenty of intimacy from our wife. Still not enough? In a sexless marriage? Well… that’s why we have all those outlets for our male libido.

So, when we good guys think of cheating… we frame it from our perspective. We think that cheating is a result of the strong biological urge that we, as good guys, are able to temper and fulfill in other ways. From our years with our wife, it is safe to say that our own libido easily outpaces hers. Since we are able to fight such an admittedly strong urge, surely she can fight an urge that seemed to go dormant for weeks or months or years at a time.

Her affair is not so simple.

What men fail to realize is that the wife’s affair is not just a matter of, “I’m tired of the same penis and need something new”. It’s not something that could have been resolved with Pornhub, a little privacy and five minutes during a lunch break.

Her affair is a huge life-changing event that not only calls into question all aspects of her personal relationship with you but also her overall purpose as a woman on this planet. The affair will elicit extreme waves of emotion that we, as men, can’t conceive of. It’s an existential crisis of gargantuan proportions.

As a result, she will seem to morph into a new human being right before your eyes.

This isn’t just your wife going out and getting a piece on the side. This affair was the result of a little chink in your wife’s armor (lack of boundaries) that eventually resulted in physical bonding with another man. That, in turn, caused a tidal wave of changes in her entire being. Nature took over at that point.

This person isn’t your wife at all anymore. Your wife died the moment she had sexual relations with another man. Saying she went through a metamorphosis is not strong enough language. You now have a stranger living with you.

Since you now have this strange person sitting in your living room, you start noticing all new behaviors. It’s kind of like when you first make a new friend and start hanging out with them for long periods of time. All of their unique flaws, habits, and eccentricities take center stage.

Your spouse’s new role as “adulterous wife” brings with it a whole new set of predictable behavior.

We know what she’s going to do… because they all do it! She’s not special. She’s a cheating wife.

Before we get started with the list…

One thing that I have to mention: Many adulterous wives begin cheating after some kind of stressful, life-altering event has taken place. This could be something as serious as a miscarriage, death of a parent, or major health scare…  or something as innocuous as a job promotion. That life event was enough to flip a switch in her brain and cause the boundaries to collapse and allow in one (or more) of the multitudes of men ready and willing to take her to bed.

So, if any of the below sound familiar to you AND you just endured some type of life-changing event, then I believe that it’s time to be worried.

1. She Spends More Time Away From You and the Family

While I contend that the wife you know and love has “died”, there is still a small part of the old her lurking in there somewhere… under a giant pile of all those new feelings she now has overwhelming her psyche. Every time she sets foot in the house, looks at you, hugs your kid, pets the dog… that little piece of the old her that is buried so deep starts to squirm a little. This is extremely unsettling for her. She is happiest in her new role with her new affair partner, and doesn’t want to go back to the old unhappy her.

How can she best deal with this battle going on inside her brain? She needs to get away from the family and everything associated with the old her as much as possible. She may “walk away” completely, but you typically see more time at the “gym” or “work” or the typical “girls night out” with friends (these are all covers for wild monkey sex with her new boyfriend).

When she’s away from the family unit and with her new man, that completely silences the old her that is buried so deep. This feels beyond amazing. Heroin and alcohol have nothing on this feeling. This is that coveted “New Relationship Energy” you read so much about. Actually, you can call it SUPER New Relationship Energy… because it’s the newness of a relationship combined with the secret, dirty, forbidden nature of the affair. She will do whatever she can to keep it up. She can’t do that when you and the kids are right in her face.

What if she can’t physically get away from you? Well, then she will have to mentally withdraw. She will spend way more time on her phone. Social media, text messaging, etc… They all give her the validation and attention she needs to not only escape from the real world but to also confirm that what she is doing is the right thing. Every little change she makes to herself will be documented and shared online. She will gladly show off the weight loss, the new hair, the tattoo, and the new little nose piercing. The response will be overwhelmingly positive. “You go, girl!” To her, all of these new things she is doing and her affair are all part of her personal reawakening. They are part of a new and BETTER version of her. In her affair-fogged mind, if her friends on Facebook say that they like her new tattoo, then that means they like EVERYTHING else about her new life… therefore the whole affair and crazy behavior that goes with it is perfectly justified and was meant to be.

Yes, women in affairs are completely crazy.

2. She Suddenly Looks and Acts Younger

When the wife is having an affair, she is in the early stages of the mating game. She is restarting the clock and going back into “secure new mate” mode. That means projecting the most attractive version of herself possible. This will involve weight loss and probably dressing younger and more provocatively (because youth wins in the mating game). She’s simply trying to impress the new man and get him to settle down with her and only her. It’s biological. It’s very predictable. All women do this early on in relationships when they deem their man worthy of the extra time and work. They look their best, act younger and are more sexual.

What you’re witnessing is what your wife did with you early in your own relationship (hopefully). You just forgot what it looked like.

3. Random Thoughts Leaking Out of her Brain

Cheating women have a hard time keeping their secrets to themselves. Whether it’s due to a subconscious desire to spill the beans or the love-chemicals fogging their brain, they just can’t keep the cat in the bag for very long. If your ears are finely tuned to picking up the signals, you can hear some tell-tale phrases or questions that should have you concerned. Usually, they come at the most random moments with little to no context.

“I would never have an open relationship. Would you?”

“Tina at work is having an affair.”

“If you were to ever cheat on me, I would chop off your balls.”

Who are you texting? What are you talking about?”

“Why did you come home from work late? You usually get home 10 minutes earlier.”

“I bet you wish you could have other women. You’ve probably cheated on me in the past… like when I was fat and pregnant.”

“Have you heard about being Polyamorous?”

The cheating wife’s Tourrettes-like outbursts are sometimes a form of projection.  She doesn’t realize that you’re not in her brain hearing her thoughts, so when she randomly says “I would never have an open relationship” while you’re at your son’s soccer practice, she’s letting some the cognitive dissonance steam out of the pressure cooker in her head.  It’s kind of like the woman who declares on the first date, “We’re not having sex tonight! Just so you know!” as you are buying popcorn at the movies. You were just thinking about whether or not to also get M&M’s, and she’s thinking about you two having sex. This means she’s thinking about sex with you, and you will most likely have sex with her that night.

4. She is Suddenly More Sexual and Experimental

The cold and frigid wife who used to cringe when talking about oral sex is now suddenly wearing crotchless underwear and asks you if you’d like to try anal sex.

WOW!” most men say. “My cold and frigid wife finally got turned on! This is great!”

No, your wife misses her new man and is going to play pretend with you. You’re essentially a sex toy. Oh, she’s turned on, alright… just not by you. She will shut her eyes and imagine that it’s him doing those things to her. At the same time, she’s also trying new things out on you before doing them with her new man.  She may even say something obvious like, “What does my butt look like from THIS angle? Not too fat?” or “Do you like it when I do THIS or THIS better?” or “Should I shave completely or leave some of it?”

For betrayed men, this is a very brutal time. They were sure that these moments represented true lust and attraction from their wife (towards them)… when in fact it was just the opposite.

5. She Needs Space

I’m reminded of the story of the soldier who is off to war in Iraq, burning up in a tent in the middle of the desert. He gets the typical “Dear John” letter from his woman back home. “I need space, she says. “Space? I’m thousands of miles away in Iraq! How much more space does she need?!” he screams.

“I need space” = You are no longer a couple. The emotional and physical jump from you to the new man is most likely complete.

She now feels comfortable enough to completely detach from you and attach to her new mate. She no longer needs the home base to return back to. She was testing things out for a while, feeling the emotions, figuring out the logistics of living on her own… and finally made the giant mental leap to the new man. By this stage, she has already opened a new bank account, called up the cosmetic surgeon, met with the attorney and discussed the big life move with her friends.

You will most likely be completely oblivious to all this until it is too late.

6. She Rewrites History

While she is in the process of detaching from you, one thought is paramount: “What will everyone think of me?” Her social status is of the utmost importance. She can’t simply tell friends, “Oh, I left him because I fell for another dude that I think is way better.” No, she needs to come up with reasons that nobody can argue with.

“He peed on the toilet sometimes” and “He wasn’t good at doing laundry” or “He was just too nice and boring” aren’t enough to warrant the breakup of a family, so… it’s time to make up some stuff! Whatever it takes to make her the victim and justified in her actions, even if that means completely making up stories with no basis in truth, she will do it. Sometimes those stories can send a man to a police station for questioning, or worse.

That may mean saying these made up stories right to your face. Let that sink in. She will make up stories about your relationship… to you. The guy she had the relationship with.

If she can lie directly to YOUR face, just think what she is saying to others behind your back.

I shared the time that my ex said to me, You never support me in anything I do! You made me take this job!” after I told her that maybe she was leaving me alone with the kids and going out with friends too often. I was completely shocked. It made zero sense at the time. Now it makes perfect sense. It’s much easier to leave a tyrant than to leave a nice guy. Not a tyrant? She’ll just pretend that you are! That’ll do the trick.

7. She Lies About Everything.

With such an intense life-altering experience comes a very foggy mind that just can’t keep straight what is reality and what is a lie. She’s filled with anxiety, joy, lustfulness, sadness, depression… all these ingredients that make up the uniquely awful thing that is the mind of the wayward wife. Considering the turmoil in her brain, it’s no wonder that every little word coming out of her mouth must be scrutinized. “Believe what she does, not what she says” people will often tell you. So true.

More succinctly: She’s an addict. Addicts are liars.

Even the most mundane and innocent details of her life will not add up. It’s almost as if she’s thinking, “It’s so tough to keep straight all these things in my head, I might as well default to lying. It’s just so much easier… and safer.”

Let’s say you asked her if she stopped and bought milk on the way home. If she says yes, you immediately run to the store to pick up a gallon or your kids won’t have cereal in the morning. “Did you pay the utility bill?” “Yep!” she says. You better check to make sure it’s paid or your lights will get turned off.

“I don’t get it. Why did she lie about THAT?” – Every man with a cheating wife.

Don’t try to make sense of it all. Just realize that all of these things are typical cheating wife behaviors. They all point to a clouded mind, intense emotions and physical/mental metamorphosis. This is usually very bad news for you.

Recommended Reading

DSO’s Relationship Rules

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

  1.  Baggage matters. Don’t underestimate the impact of your mate’s childhood on her present-day self. It matters. A lot. Same goes for you. Don’t just gloss over past sexual abuse, abandonment, substance abuse, abusive relationships, etc. If the person you are partnering with hasn’t handled these issues in a healthy and productive manner, they will bubble up at a later time and take you and everyone around you down.
  2.  She’s not perfect. She’s flawed. She’s capable of awfulness. She’s human. Stop treating her like royalty. Treat her with the same guarded optimism you give to the men in your life. Trust, but verify.
  3.  Don’t rely on your mate for your sense of self. They will resent you for it, and rightly so. Put up boundaries between you and them. Be an individual. Let them be an individual. Come together as a team. If they fall, they fall… and you’re strong enough to move on without them.
  4.  Have principles. Stick to them. You know what is right and wrong. You know what you believe in. You know what you will put up with. STICK TO IT. I know she may be great in the sack and make you feel like a million bucks, but you need to be a man of character. A man of integrity. A man of substance. Don’t throw all that out for some woman who gives you butterflies.
  5. Be the rock. Yes, you must show vulnerability to be in a healthy relationship but realize that the more you veer from the path of being the strong oak, the more she will resent you. It’s a delicate balancing game. Be open and true with your feelings, but do so in a strong manner that emphasizes your ability to weather the storm. Show her that she can count on her man.
  6. Looks matter. Women find 80% of available men to be unattractive. Always strive to be in the top 20%. Hit the gym. Dress well. Do it for yourself. Have some self-respect.
  7. Be both the Lover and the provider. Err more on the Lover side. Every nice guy can play the part of the Provider, only a few can successfully play the Lover role. The typical loser Lover can easily gain the affection of the best Provider’s wife. The Provider is no match for the Lover when it comes to the mating game
  8. Don’t ever feel pressured to settle down. There is no hurry. You have no biological clock. Don’t listen to the common shaming tactics. If you’re going to be in a relationship, do it right. Take your time. Date lots of women, because the vast majority you meet will not be longterm relationship worthy.
  9. Comfort and familiarity kill a woman’s sex drive. Women get bored in marriages, way more so than men. Keep her interested. Be a guy other women would gladly fool around with. Don’t castrate yourself and try to nice your way into your wife’s heart. It doesn’t work.
  10. Marry a woman that doesn’t need your money. Otherwise, you’re setting yourself up for a financial disaster. Two strong individuals make a good partnership, and that’s true when it comes to money, as well. In today’s day and age, it’s way too easy for a woman to suddenly leave her husband and take half his assets and a steady diet of child support and alimony. If she’s not gainfully employed, she’s a good girlfriend candidate at best… not a wife.
  11. You don’t NEED to be in a serious longterm relationship. The more you feel you need it, the more likely you are to end in a disaster. Your neediness will just attract all kinds of trouble… and there is A LOT of trouble out there.

Dissecting Dead Bedrooms

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

We all know the tried-and-true stereotype of the typical modern day marriage:

Man is horny and ready to go at any time. Even though his wife is older, heavier and not nearly as bubbly and sweet as she was in the honeymoon stage of their early relationship, he still loves her intensely. He still has the soft/romantic feelings of love and devotion for her, as well as the harder more sexual/lustful feelings that have been there since puberty. Saying “I do” didn’t change a thing for him in the horniness department.

How does SHE feel about him and their sex life? Well, if you watch her actions… she sure seems indifferent and most of the time annoyed by his sexual and loving advances. The husband craves the intimacy and validation that comes with having sex with this wife, and the wife… she just seems to crave rest and a glass of wine. She seems overwhelmed much of the time and the husband is made to feel like part of the problem, instead of the gateway to sexual fun that he hopes to portray.

Sure, the lovable loser husband will sometimes get table scraps from the wife. Sometimes his whining and pouting are too much and the wife will undo her sweat pants and head to the bedroom. “Okay… but we’re not doing oral. That makes my jaw hurt and you haven’t showered yet today. Get batteries from the kitchen. The ones in my vibrator are dead.”

What exactly is going on here? Is this just inevitable? If you have heart-to-heart conversations with your buddies, the majority of them will report much of the same thing. They want sex. She doesn’t most of the time. They are frustrated. They just live with it. What else can they do?

Some men eventually hit the end of their sexual rope. They can’t take it anymore. Usually, some kind of event gets them to the point of no return. Maybe they were hit on by some sexy, pretty thing at the company Christmas party. Maybe some gal at the office was talking about what a lucky woman their wife is to have an attractive and sweet guy like him. Maybe the wife got very angry the last time he attempted a moment of intimacy and said really hurtful things that made him question his role in their marriage. Whatever it was, something has flipped the switch in their brain and they’ve had enough.

Men who have “had enough” usually don’t walk away. They search for solutions. Fixes. They identify the problem, they figure out what to do, they do it, it fails. They try again. That’s usually how they get to websites like this one and buy books like The Dead Bedroom Fix.

The cold hard truth is that your wife is just not sexually attracted to you. Barring any kind of physical issues (birth control, hormonal issues, etc), the fire IS in there… Just not for you.  Instead of reading up on why your wife doesn’t want sex, you should instead look at why you’re not pushing your wife’s “must have sex with this man” buttons. It could be a myriad of reasons, but going down the easy road of “she’s just not that sexual” or “she’s just overstressed” isn’t going to get you closer to a solution.

A lot of men come to my website after discovering their wife in an affair. The majority of these affairs were precipitated by a long dead bedroom period. They didn’t get sex from their wife. She wasn’t into doing THAT anymore. Wife was tired. Wife was cranky. Then the the husband sees or hears something that gives him a bad gut feeling. He starts snooping. He makes the big discovery. He says what all guys in this situation say:

She did that with HIM?! She would never do that with ME!?”

The simple truth is that the fire was in there all along, and it took some loser at the bar or some random coworker to bring it out. Your long, comfort-based relationship of so many years is no match for “Wow… you look really hot” from some casual acquaintance that everyone says is a complete asshole.

Don’t be fooled. This isn’t a rare scenario. It happens a lot. I have the emails and website visitors to prove it.

Want to learn the key to turning around your sexless marriage? Want to fix the dead bedroom once and for all? Already divorced and don’t want to go down that inevitable road again with your next partner? The irony is that the beginning of the long road toward a solution can be found within the frame of the common wife affair.  Start at the end if you want to find the truth.

MEN: ARE YOU IN A SEXLESS MARRIAGE?

YOU'RE NOT ALONE

THERE ARE A LOT OF MEN OUT THERE NOT HAPPY WITH THEIR SEX LIVES. What is going on? Is the tried-and-true stereotype of the undersexed husband and the cold, bossy wife inevitable? Are monogamous relationships doomed to such a pitiful state? Is that just the way marriage is?

I DON'T THINK SO.

To make a long story short, several years ago I was married for 15 years, discovered infidelity, quickly divorced and found myself newly single and sharing custody of three little kids. I then started a website at www.dadstartingover.com. After chatting with many men in my situation , I slowly started to notice patterns of behavior. Most men experienced long “Dead Bedroom” periods in their relationship prior to their divorce. Many of these men later discovered infidelity.I wrote about my thoughts on Dead Bedrooms on my website and it is by far the most popular topic to date. It has outranked all other topics combined. Then I started a podcast and recorded a few episodes. The Dead Bedrooms episode was the most downloaded.Simply put, nobody seems to know what to do to keep the fire going in their longterm relationship. Most of us experience a “honeymoon phase” of intimacy, and then watch it quickly fade as the stress of life and the boredom of familiarity settle in.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

I don’t claim to have all the answers for a happy married sex life. What I do know is that my own experience and the experience of hundreds of other men have helped to create a prescription for what I feel is the only true, honest, no bullshit way to get your wife jumping your bones again. It's worked for me and it's worked for the hundreds of other men.I have finally put that prescription down on paper, and I call it The Dead Bedroom Fix.