Interview With a Real Dad Starting Over – “David”

This is the third in a series of interviews with REAL dads and dudes starting over in life. From each of these stories, we can learn a great deal from each other and see that we are nowhere near alone in our quest to start over.

“David” is yet another man with a troubled past that has resulted in a need to rescue and “fix” the broken women he is so very attracted to. His baggage and subsequent life decisions very nearly cost him his life. Fortunately, David is one smart dude and has the gift of introspection and a good therapist. We can all learn a great deal from him.

DSO
Okay, so if you could… introduce yourself. Tell us your name, age, number of kids.

David
David J. 35 years old. Two boys –  9 years and 3months old.

DSO
Oh wow… a little feller. That has to make things interesting for you. So I assume you were married before? Both kids from the same woman?

David
No, two separate women. My 9 year old’s mother and I split amicably when he was 3. My youngest’s mother and I split before we knew she was pregnant. Last November.

DSO
Gotcha. So let’s start at the beginning. You…. good family life? Both mom and dad together?

David
My father passed when I was 14… Suicide. Mom and him divorced the year before. I’m the oldest of 4 boys. Mom is on her 4th marriage. I’m the only one of my brothers that has never married. Although, I’ve had longer relationshipships than any of them. I’m 8 years older than Steve, and 9 years older than the twins.

DSO
Oh I’m so sorry to hear that. That had to have quite the impact on you, especially at such an important time (your early teens). Your mom’s subsequent relationships with men… Were the men all bad news, you get along with them?

David
The one after my dad was bad news. The next 2 were great. She divorced the 3rd after 8 years. I was nearly 30 and an adult when they married, after all of my bothers were out of the house. Without kids, they were both unhappy, and kind of became roommates. So, they mutually decided to go their separate ways.

The most recent was my Dad’s best friend be for he died, so we all know him, and like him. They waited over 20 years, to get together,  so none of us boys have any hard feelings.

DSO
Do you know the particulars of your dad and mom’s breakup? Did dad suffer from depression? Infidelity?

David
Dad, was a career military man, he suffered from severe depression, and was a closet alcoholic. I recall an instance of accused infidelity on my father’s part, just before they split. Then the accusations went both ways. Mom married the next guy, the day the divorce was final, only 6 weeks after meeting him.

DSO
How did you meet the mother of your first child?

David
I was an insurance agent and she was my office’s “smokin’ hot secretary”. We went out once, and spent the next 5 years together, inseperable. Jason, our oldest, was conceived after nearly a year together. She was 21, and I was 25 when he was born. She had an amazing childhood, originally from Canada, intact family, but was the black sheep in her teens and early 20’s prior to our son. She liked to PARTY. I was in the legal system, on probation for a DUI (yes, I was a moron) nearly our entire relationship, so I wasn’t much of a partier. We had a relatively boring relationship and stayed together for so long, because we both dreamt of an intact family for our son. But, one day when he was 3, we looked at each other and knew we no longer had romantic feelings. We parted, on great terms, she is an amazing co-parent. She got married about a year later, to an awesome guy, who I am proud to call my sons “other Dad”, and they had a little girl a little over 3 years ago.

DSO
That’s all to that story… You eventually grew bored with each other, not a great match, and you amicably decided to split?

David
The short hand version, is we just kind of bored each other… We had a great friendship, and lots of laughs, but literally zero things in common aside from our son and our mutual obsession with soccer, playing and watching.

I’m a few years older, and she liked that, but I’m also 5’6″ and she’s 5’10″… I blame the fact that she wanted a man she could wear heels around… Plus, had I ever gotten into a fight, i would have expected her to defend my honor… Lol

DSO
Ha. Did you genuinely feel emasculated around her? Did she “wear the pants” in the relationship?

David
Oddly enough, I didn’t… She was very gracious. When we first got together, I thought it would end up that way, so it was a fear. But, she never even brought it up. I had all the jokes, so in hindsight, it may have bothered me a bit. But, I was still incredibly proud to be with her. Especially after our son came… She is an awesome Mom.

There was a little push and pull regarding our son- but that quickly ended in us compromising on parenting time- and me agreeing to keep him away from my “hussies” as she called any woman I would date, until they showed some staying power, and we decided that we were going to try for the long haul. And I listened to her. We’ve always had a great deal of respect for each other, and our individual relationships with our Jason.

DSO
Well that sounds very mature. How soon after splitting did you both start dating?

David
She starting dating her now husband seven days after we split. Not going to lie even a little- that was a huge gut shot to my ego. I felt easily replaced. I started dating about a month later. Once I started dating, I realized my feelings being hurt was just my ego and that it wasn’t a contest. I dated several women, a month or two here and there, including the one my who would have my 2nd son, nearly 5 years later.  When Jason’s mom and I split, I let her and Jason keep the apartment and everything.  I went and lived with my folks.

DSO
Tell us about woman #2. How did you two meet?

David
My best friend married her sister.. Introduced us, a couple of months after my son’s mom and I split, and a couple months after she ended an insanely toxic 10 year relationship with a DIAGNOSED sociopath.

She was a very damaged woman, but so insanely pretty. Plus, I loved the way she talked to me, and complimented everything about me. Im originally from California, and she loved that I wasn’t an Indiana country boy. Did I mention that she was an ABSOLUTE KNOCKOUT!?!? Like, gorgeous.

We dated for about a month, split up, and then got back together a few years later.

We had a whirlwind relationship. She broke up with another guy after 2 years with him, and was essentially living in my house immediately. We were sleeping together, living together, and planning our lives together within a week. This was break neck speed for me, and cause for concern. I justified it, because we had dated before, and she was insanely gorgeous. She always made me feel like a million bucks. She complimented me, was amazing in bed, and in my eyes was just the absolute perfect woman. Red flags be damned. She would ask me on a regular basis if she could perform oral sex on me. Never had headaches when I was in the mood, dressed so incredibly sexy, and all if my friends absolutely drooled over her. I felt like I was THE MAN when I was with her. But then of course, the cracks started showing

DSO
Are you the guy women tend to go to when shit hits the fan and they need help?

David
They refer to me as “the guy with the 6 bedroom house.”… So, unfortunately, yes. My less politically correct friends, have sometimes called me “captain save a ho”

DSO
Do you get a sense of purpose by “saving” the damsels in distress?

David
I do… Kayla was so needy, and so broken, she gave me purpose. Little by little she revealed that her life was in shambles, and for ever problem I had a solution. And she knew how to show her grattitude. I summed it up to her terribly abusive childhood. I saw this amazing woman so often in her. But, alcohol kept drowning her. Then triangulation with other men. Then she became physically violent with me. Then the lies. Yes, I took her back, at least minimally a dozen times over a nearly 3 year period. Even while she was pregnant with our son. Then cheated on me, with 2 other men, throughout her pregnancy. My self esteem was in the garbage.

DSO
Have you had much time for introspection during all this? Wondering why you’re so drawn to broken women?

David
This particular woman, is the ONLY broken woman I have ever had any sort of substantial relationship with. I sought therapy back in March, and still attend. The clear and obvious culprit is my mother, and my relationship with her. Fortunately, her and I have been able to frankly, and matter of factly discuss this, with the help of my therapist. I’ve been able to logically understand my need to save Kayla. I fight my feelings a lot. But, since identifying many destructive relationship habits, including trauma bonding, my own insecurities, and tendency to lose myself in romantic relationships, i.e. lack of outside interests, giving up hobbies, health, friends, and becoming completely absorbed in the idea of “us”… I’ve been rediscovering myself, establishing a strong sense of self, recognizing toxic traits in potential partners, and overall just taking time for myself. For instance, I don’t and won’t date at all currently. That is of my own decision… For now.

DSO
That is awesome. You should seriously be proud of yourself for that level of introspection and effort to improve. VERY VERY rare.

David
This one broke me… We all have that one that breaks us, I think.

DSO
I often say every dude should hit rock bottom at least once in their life. Usually men hit it via a relationship with a toxic woman.

David
Civilizations have fallen over a toxic woman. Lol. By being with them, we can become toxic ourselves. The whole “Show me the 3 closest people to you, and I will understand who you are” statement comes to mind.

DSO
Exactly.So you have two women you have fathered children with… and how would you categorize you relationships with them now? Has their brokenness affected your efforts to improve going forward?

David
It’s given me, at the moment, incredibly high standards, a desire to undergo a vasectomy, and 9 stab wounds from my 2nd sons’ mom’s ex-boyfriend. Yes, it has affected me. I can experience empathy, but it isn’t my responsibility to fix the things I feel bad for someone for. I can offer to help a person, but only if they aren’t kicking and screaming while i carry them uphill, and after a bit of help, they had better be outpacing my efforts. Most importantly, for my own stress levels, and mental well being, it is ok for me to say NO., even if I have the ability to help, or change a situation. I’m not obligated to anyone, even for something as little as an explanation,  and frankly, they aren’t obligated to me. Its not ok for anyone to make me feel guilty, for doing what I think is best for myself and my sons. Lastly, I don’t have to compromise my integrity, just to make someone else feel better, or so that they might like me. I may not be the greatest guy in the world, but I’m ok most of the time, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with just being ok sometimes.

DSO
Bravo. Very well put. For the readers… would you mind giving more detail about the whole “9 stab wounds” story?

David
Well, first off… I feel like a bad ass, compared to anyone who has been stabbed less than 10 times. Lol. This goes along with the damaged woman thought.

When my son was 6 weeks old, his mother was begging me back. I couldn’t do it. She was still drinking. Well, later that night, she got into a bit of trouble with CPS and the police. Drinking and driving with our baby. They didn’t arrest her, they had her mother come and get her, and take her to the 5th floor(like a mental hospital) and took our son while she was in there. Once she got out she immediately started dating another man. She said he was perfect and that they were getting married…blah blah blah. A few weeks go by, and she discovers he had given her a false name and was a registered sex offender, amongst other things. Violent, violent man. She breaks up with him…he didn’t like that much…once he supposedly leaves her apartment, she calls and asks me to come get our son because she’s stressed out, etc. I agree, and drive over. She asks me to sit and talk with her for a few, and tells me all about this guy. After a few minutes I asked her to pack his diaper bag, so we can get home. I step out to smoke while I’m waiting for her to get our son ready. It’s dark out, her neighbor is out, we start a conversation. After a couple of moments, I hear, “You want some mother fucker” from behind me, (he was hiding beside her apartment building) and a shirtless knife wielding man, is on my back, stabbing me. At the time, I didn’t realize I was being stabbed. I thought I was getting hit hard. I also didn’t know who he was. I get turned around to defend myself, and at some point realize he has a knife. I fought it away from him. And he suddenly stopped fighting, and just stands there. I look at him, and say, “You had a fucking knife!” At this point he runs away… I look at my son’s mother who had come to the door during the scuffle and say “I think I’ve been stabbed.” She goes into hysterics… Ambulance comes, she comes to the hospital with me, and just lays in bed with me for the hours in waiting on surgery. After all is said and done, she wants us again, I’m the man of her dreams, blah blah blah. Her ex is sitting in jail on attempted murder charges, 3 seperate cases for domestic battery, including one on a child, a DUI, and turns out has a different name than what he gave her, plus a worse background than the 2nd alias he gave her has. She was ready to marry this guy after 5 weeks. Had him around our son, and her 13 year old daughter, and expects me to just forgive her, and take her back with open arms.

I’m on temporary disability for the next 6 weeks at least, I have drain tubes coming out of my back, and over a hundred stitches. The knife took chunks of bone out of my spine and ribs, severed muscle, and she wants to talk about a relationship. My 9 year old has been devastated since he heard about it. When he was here, he literally hugged me, or sat on me the entire time. This is what happens when you entertain crazy for too long. They attract more crazy, and that crazy wants you dead.

DSO
Jesus H. Christ. Yes… crazy attracts crazy. So glad you made it out of that alive. Would you pursue taking away the child permanently from the mom?

David
This is why it’s so important for men to be so critical when choosing a partner… Especially if they already have kids. Yes, I will… Her ex-husband already got emergency custody of their 13 year old. My situation is a bit more complex. I’m waiting on paternity for Mason. I told her I will be his Dad, and not miss a beat unless a paternity test proves me otherwise. Paternity isn’t until January 10th.

DSO
I was going to suggest that. Sounds like you have everything as “under control” as possible.

David
She swears he’s mine. Even with all if her infidelity, says the time frames don’t add up for anyone else. Nobody else stepped up, so here I am. And I’ll be damned if I miss these baby months. If he were to turn out not to be mine, I just bought some diapers, and loved on a kid who didn’t have anyone else. No harm done… But, I think and hope he is mine.

DSO
Must be an extremely tough position to be in. So, fast forward seven years from now… Your oldest boy is 16. He’s getting way too interested in girls. What bit of advice do you give him?

David
Man, that’s tough… In today’s climate, I’d almost want to advise them not to date until after college.

The reality is I want them to be safe… Be respectful… And to not fall in love with saving anyone. I will tell them if they don’t bring anything other than baggage and a pussy to the table, just leave the damn table. You need a partner, a teammate and a best friend. Theres no such thing as THE ONE, but there is such thing as mutual respect and love.  After some time has passed respect is more about your own personal integrity, and love is more about being a man of your word. Eventually, it stops being a gushy feeling, and turns into a decision. But, it should never be at the cost of who you are.

DSO
Amen, brother. It’s been a pleasure chatting with you. You’re a great example of a guy who has absolutely had a truckload of shit thrown at him, and you just keep on marching forward. Hope you heal up quickly and please let us all know how you’re doing.

David
It’s been a pleasure to share… I really hope some of the other dad’s can take this all to heart and not make the same mistakes. Thanks for the website, by the way!

Getting Fit – Part 1: Diet

DSOThis is me. This is my typical weight of about 200 lbs at 6′ in height. Bodyfat percentage? I have no idea. Maybe around 15% or more (everyone always grossly underestimates body fat). I’m not a super-ripped glistening fitness model with six pack abs and visible veins everywhere. I’m a 40-something year old dude that is in pretty good muscular shape. I don’t live in the gym. I have a real life. I don’t care about how much weight I lift and I’m not entering a bodybuilding contest anytime soon. To get in this shape requires three things for me:

  1. A very basic diet.
  2. Gym time.
  3. Testosterone replacement therapy.

What I have learned is that with my genetics (I get fat easily) and my temperament (I tend to overthink and overanalyze) I need to keep things SIMPLE or I will fail. This applies mainly to my diet. I eat certain foods and only those foods. I stay away from everything else. That’s it. I don’t calorie count. I don’t track my exact macros (the amount of protein, carbs and fat). Instead, I put up limits to what I eat, eat certain things at certain times, and the rest tends to take care of itself. If I want to get leaner, I make adjustments. A GOOD DIET IS CRUCIAL. I’ll get into the training aspect of my lifestyle in a later post, but please remember: YOU CANNOT OUT-TRAIN A BAD DIET. Sure, you can put on muscle. Yes, you can increase strength. What you can’t do is LOOK GOOD on a horrible diet. They say “abs start in the kitchen”, and they’re absolutely right.  You gotta do the work of eating right and eating right consistently. There’s no way around it.

HERE ARE THE BASICS:

I stay away from crap like packaged snacks and meals. If it comes in a box and is “processed” in some way, it’s a no-no. This stuff is usually loaded with tons of calories along with lots of sugar and salt (which is why it all tastes so damn good). The only things I may eat that violate this rule are protein snacks for when I am traveling. I like the KNOW cookies, or jerky and meat sticks.
I keep booze to a minimum. RARELY do I drink beer. It bloats me instantly and it’s loaded with calories. It’s liquid… so it goes down a lot easier and faster than a big juicy steak or some chicken. You can drink a thousand calories of booze in no time. There’s a reason they call it a “beer belly”.
I rarely eat sweets. Maybe I will share a dessert with the wife around once a month when we go out to eat or if it’s a holiday like Thanksgiving, my birthday or Christmas.
No pasta. Very little bread. If I do eat bread, it’s usually a sprouted wheat bread or some other bread with very high fiber.
I drink a shit ton of water. I have a giant plastic cup that I am routinely filling up at the fridge water dispenser. I sometimes also drink Diet Pepsi. I like kombucha but it gives me really bad gas.
I take fiber powder (sugar-free psyllium husk). Two times a day, usually. Keeps things moving and it has supposed cardiac benefits. Helps me feel full, as well.
Most of my diet consists of meat and eggs. I eat beef, chicken, pork and sometimes fish. The protein keeps me satiated and is crucial for muscle-building and staying lean.  I don’t cut the fat from my steak nor do I buy the super lean ground beef. I like the fat.
I eat salad greens. Usually a spinach and kale mix I get at the grocery store. I add olive oil, balsamic vinegar and sunflower seeds and chicken to it. That’s it. No thick dressings filled with sugar. No croutons or other crunchy goodies.
I love fruit. I eat apples, cantaloupe, pomegranates, bananas, peaches and berries.
It’s not always feasible to sit down cook/eat actual meat to get the protein I need. Sometimes I’m in a hurry, heading out the door or whatever… so instead I will whip together a fast protein shake with sugar-free almond milk and Optimum Nutrition whey protein. I like the double chocolate kind. 

That’s it as far as WHAT I eat. Nothing fancy. Basic.  Lots of protein and some fats and moderate to low carbs. It works for me. With this diet I can afford to do a “cheat” meal once a week if I feel like it. Pizza. Cookies. Pancakes. Just the one meal. Lately I’ve been losing interest with cheat meals simply because of how they make me feel afterward. The bloat, headaches and diarrhea aren’t worth it. With that being said, I absolutely love fried chicken and mashed potatoes and could have that as a cheat meal on a weekly basis. Now, let’s look at the HOW and WHEN I eat the foods I eat. I have a pretty basic rule:

On workout/weightlifting days… I eat around 100 – 200 grams of carbs. That’s when I eat wheat bread with my eggs, some rice with my chicken, some steel cut oats, or fruit.

On rest/light cardio days… I skip breakfast and don’t eat anything until around 12:00 – 2:00pm (just coffee and water). That’s a fast of about 16 – 18 hours for me. No, there’s nothing wrong with fasting. There are numerous health benefits, one being  increased fat burning. The rest of the day I eat protein and fat with little to no carbs. I make sure to drink a ton of water on these days… and I make sure to take my fiber. Amount of calories I eat? I’d say probably around 2,500 on workout days, and around 1,800 – 2,000 on rest days. Just an estimate.

What if I want to lose more body fat? Then I lower the amount of fat and carbs I eat and keep protein the same. My problem is that I CAN get to a leaner state and like the way I look, but STAYING in that super lean state is very difficult. I don’t feel as good (depleted and tired), and after eating juuuuust a little too much of something, my body says, “We need more body fat!” right away. My body always wants to stay in the “200 lbs and can see a little bit of abs” state.  I would need some kind of coach or physique expert to tell me how to break out of that state long-term and feel good in the process. I’ve never figured it out on my own. As far as supplements go, check out my page of “Stuff I like” to see a list of things I take. There’s really no such thing as a magic pill for getting in shape or staying healthy. Just things that can help you along and may be a piece of a larger puzzle that keeps you away from the doc and looking good with your shirt off. How about my health? Does all this meat and fat cause me any issues? No. My blood pressure is always around 120/70. Here are my latest blood test results: Blood test results All looks good.

 

Coming soon: My workout routine.

How to Detach From Your Cheater Ex-Wife

A popular question I get from time to time:

“How can I move on and get over my wife?”

Let’s first look at what it is that men are talking about exactly when they ask for help “getting over” their ex (or soon to be ex-wife).

What they really mean is, “How can I break this addiction?”

Make no mistake about it, you are mentally and physically addicted to your wife. She has been in your little world for YEARS and every facet of your life has her stamp on it. From your daily routine, your kids, vacations, hobbies, etc… she’s there. She’s another limb on your body. For that to suddenly GO AWAY is not a little thing.

It’s traumatic.

Just like trying to break substance abuse, getting over your ex is a big F’ing deal and one that makes your body and brain naturally scream, “Now, hold on a second. Wait… Let’s talk about this first.” 

But just like with drugs, when you finally get over the hump and break that connection and start the real healing process… you’re left with this overwhelming sense of regret. “Why didn’t I stop drinking years ago? I feel so much better. God, what a waste of life that was.” 

Feel Horrible -> Get over the hump -> Begin rebuilding -> Feel a million times better than before.

So… how do you do it? How do you get over the hump?

Well… You just do it.

Sorry, there’s no magic formula here. I can only tell you what makes the disconnect happen faster (cutting as much contact as humanly possible and keeping busy), but It’s still up to you to make that first step and put down that proverbial bottle and not pick it up again. It’s up to you to call the attorney and get your ducks in a row and figure out the steps for an amicable divorce and moving away from her so you can rebuild.

The two rules of recovery:

1, You cannot rebuild while you are in the presence of your ex-wife.

2. You cannot overcome the grief if you are in regular contact with your ex-wife.

You cannot overcome alcohol addiction by having just a little shot of whiskey here and there. It’s the same damn thing.

You absolutely have to break contact with her. Completely. Cold turkey.

“But… we have kids.”

Then your contact should be kept to brief logistical text messages. “Making sure you’re getting kids after school today. I will swing by and get them at 6:00. Thanks.” or “Tommy has strep throat. Got meds from doc. He’ll be ok in a couple of days. I’ll stay home from work with him.”

No personal talk. No casual chats. No friendliness.

If she texts “How are you doing?”, you ignore.

If she calls, you don’t answer the phone.

If she shows up at your place, you don’t answer the door.  If she refuses to leave, you call the police.

If she bad-mouths you to the kids, you don’t respond. You let it go. You let your actions do the talking. You be the best dad in the universe and never say a bad word about mom to your kids. Ever. They will just internalize that negativity and think less of themselves. Your positive energy will pay dividends years down the line.

See, you can’t interact with or bad-mouth a ghost. “A ghost?” Yes… she’s a ghost. Why do I call her a ghost? Because…

SHE IS DEAD.

The woman you knew and loved doesn’t exist. She was an imaginary friend. You think fondly of your memories, but that’s all there is. Memories. Chapter closed. Movie over. You move on. Just like you do when a loved one dies. You didn’t sit around and cry for days on end when Uncle Bob passed away. You attended the funeral, you mourned with family, and you moved on. Bob is in the ground. Life kept going on without him.

In the case of your wife leaving you, you do much the same.

You get busy. You stay away from women for a while.  You focus on yourself. If you are not with the kids, you are Mr. Selfish. You only worry about yourself and what you can do to improve. The gym is your new temple.

IT WILL SUCK.

You will feel HORRIBLE for a little while. You don’t have your drug, after all. What makes it worse is that your drug is RIGHT THERE and only a phonecall or text away.  All you gotta do is answer the door when she cries on your doorstep, and you have your immediate shot of heroin.

You will just go right back to where you started.

Most men know all this stuff. They know you just have to get away from the broken woman for good, but most men don’t want to. They know how much the process will suck. They don’t want to give up the warm, comfortable feeling of familiarity that their drug provides. They don’t want to go into withdrawal and vomit all over the place while having delusions of a dead baby crawling on the ceiling (Trainspotting reference… awesome movie).

These guys are just scared and understandably so.

MOST THINGS IN LIFE THAT ARE WORTH DOING REQUIRE A SCARY LEAP OF FAITH.

Just fucking do it. Get help if you need to. Talk it out with friends. But make no mistake… you NEED to do it. If not, you will slowly die on the inside. It’s as simple as that. You don’t want to be 98 years old and sitting in a chair taking your last breath and saying to yourself, “Why didn’t I just fucking leave? God, I was so stupid. What a waste.”

That’s regret. You don’t want regret. There’s nothing worse.

ARE YOU WORTH IT?

Maybe that’s the crux of your problem. Maybe you feel you’re not WORTH anything better than a cheating wife. Be honest with yourself. Is that it? Maybe you need to dig deeper down into your past and figure out why exactly it is that you: 1. Were attracted to a woman like this to begin with, 2. Stayed with her even though there were lots of red flags, and 3. Tried to stay with her after the bomb drop of infidelity was discovered.

Why the hell aren’t you worth better? Did your wife’s mental issues and gaslighting convince you that you were a crazy, worthless husband? Did family constantly remind you of how lucky you were to be with a woman like her? Does your family now pressure you to stay and keep the family unit together?

Fuck ‘Em.

Seriously. Fuck all of ’em. Crabs in a bucket. They’re all dragging you down, my man. Get out. Move on. You can be whatever the hell you want to be. Do you want to be the guy that people say, “Awwww… I feel so sorry for him” when they see you picking up your kids from school? Or do you want to be the guy that makes them say, “That guy over there… the cute one? His wife left him and then he just totally changed. He’s got like five girlfriends now. Seriously. My sister dated him. He’s a really good dad, actually. Very cool guy.”

Sound stupid and far-fetched? It’s not. Could very well be you…. You just need to take that first step.

Books

Read. Learn something. It makes you less dumb.

Porn

Eugene the porn addict

Meet Eugene.

Eugene will be the first to tell you that he doesn’t have much luck with the ladies. In fact, for all intents and purposes, he is worthless in the mating game. For years he has watched everyone else out there being happy and getting laid. He spends month after month, year after year, alone. No companionship. No intimacy.

His very human needs are not being met.

He’s not dumb. He sees what it takes to get women attracted to him, but he feels it’s just not worth the effort. He just wasn’t made to be a Lover. He’s resigned himself to his lower status.

But, he still has needs.

To relieve the tension, he has resorted to watching his hotter, more attractive friends have sex while he masturbates. That’s right… Couples get naked and have crazy sex while he sits in the corner, hunched over, masturbating like a monkey. They never acknowledge his presence, let alone ask him to join in. He’s basically invisible. He’s cool with that. Everyone agrees on this arrangement beforehand.

He finishes. Doesn’t take long. He leaves. He may leave a little money on the way out the door. Usually not.

He does this daily. Every single day he finds somebody to watch have sex. Sometimes it’s the same couple. Sometimes he likes to mix it up, maybe throw in a dwarf, two or more women together, or maybe some extreme bondage. His tastes seem to get more extreme as time goes on. There’s never a shortage of people willing to help him out.

After doing this for years, this has become his sole means of reaching orgasm. He can’t do it any other way.

This, my friends, is porn.

When viewing porn, you are admitting your lower sexual status. You are throwing your hands up in resignation and saying, “Ok, can I just sit here and pleasure myself while you way more attractive people do all the hard work? I won’t bother you. “ It’s like sexual welfare.

Porn is like that two-way mirror that they use in police interrogation rooms. You’re on one side jerking off while the hot people are on the other side having the time of their lives. They don’t see you, but they know you’re there. They’ll even angle their bodies towards you to give you a better view. Then they’ll all laugh at you when you leave the building. “He’ll be back, they say. “He always comes back. Pathetic.”

You’re addicted.

You can also think of porn as a drug. Like alcohol, some of us can have a little taste one night and forget about it for weeks or months at a time. It’s just a social lubricant and makes things relaxing and fun. For some of us, we have a drink not just to unwind or hang out with friends, but to self-medicate. We have anxiety issues or insecurities that alcohol does a very good job of mending (temporarily).

Booze saves you the hard work of dealing with your deep-seated issues like a grownup. Why go through all the trouble of real introspection and therapy when you can have a few beers on a nightly basis? Everybody does it, right?

The problem with booze is that it’s ok in small doses, but can quickly lead to a HUGE number of problems if taken to the next level. Unfortunately, the “next level” is hard to define. It varies greatly from person to person. Everyone with a drinking problem will tell you how it just “snuck up” on them and one day they found they couldn’t function normally without it.

Porn is the exact same way.

With porn, you’re avoiding dealing with the main issue that is staring you directly in the face:

You’re not getting laid.

More specifically,  you’re not doing things necessary to GET laid. Instead, you’re just doing things that cause you to have an orgasm.

There’s a huge difference between having a real intimate relationship with another human being (even if maybe just for one night) and being hunched over in front of your glowing laptop. Actual sex is the natural result of a fun and drawn-out dating game of socializing with other people. You eventually allow enough trust and attraction to build up so that you can get naked with another human and rub your dirty bits together.

What’s not natural is feeling that itch for intimacy, firing up your computer, and reaching orgasm within minutes. Your brain and body weren’t setup for such an arrangement. Much like eating Cheetohs… or drinking way too much vodka.

Who is the typical porn consumer?

As I see it, there are two kinds of regular porn users:

1. I can’t get sex. I need relief. Porn is a quick way to get what I need. I have grown accustomed to it. It’s the same as having my morning cup of coffee. I’m legitimately addicted to porn.

2. I am married or have a girlfriend. I can get sex if I tried… But it’s just easier to rub one out instead of going through all the trouble of being intimate with my partner. Yes, I use porn regularly. Maybe even every day. But… I don’t have a problem. I have sex with my wife, after all. Sometimes.

#2 is becoming more and more common. These guys are like alcoholics in denial. They have a giant bottle of vodka hidden in their office and don’t think it’s a big deal.  Hey, everybody drinks, right? No, they don’t tell their loved ones about it. Yes, they feel some shame about it… But, again,  it’s no big deal, right?

Ask their partner if it’s a big deal.

There’s a growing Dead Bedroom community of sex-hungry wives and girlfriends online crying about their men repeatedly turning them down for sex. What’s most disturbing to them is that their man has a huge internet porn habit. The wife is told that he is just so tired from work and can’t think about sex. She then goes to his internet browser history and sees link after link of gangbang porn he watched just ten minutes ago. She is crushed.

The quick drug of streaming porn gave him the relief he desired, and now he no longer feels the need for the very real flesh and bone of the woman he loves. He has short-circuited his brain. His natural inclination is to find women and try to have sex with them. Thanks to modern technology and the free market system, he has found a MUCH easier way to achieve the same end result. He’s able to skip steps A – Y and jump right to Z.

This is not a good thing.

The gap between the guys at the top of the Dude Pyramid (who get all the girls) and those at the bottom is widening rapidly. There’s a myriad of reasons why. Most men are out of shape, tired, uninteresting, and lack the oomph they need to crawl up the ladder and better themselves. Porn is a huge component of why this is happening.

You watch porn all the time? Congrats. You’re Eugene.  The porn producers are preying upon your human nature. They have engineered their product in a way that keeps you coming back again and again… while they shove their dick-growing pill advertisements in your face.

They know you’re insecure and not getting any. They know precisely what buttons to push to get you coming back every day and possibly forking over a few bucks in the process.

You’re in the sub-basement level of the Dude Pyramid.You’re down there with the degenerates, weirdos and social misfits that all of society says “Ew, go away” to.

Cut this shit out of your life.

Don’t be another fucking Eugene. Be a man. Go get laid.

My Testosterone Journey

I am on steroids. Really. I mean, if you want to be scientific about it… that’s exactly what I and millions of other men in the world are taking on a regular basis. Steroids. Yes, it’s perfectly legal.

To be fair, I’m not on a “cycle” or a “stack” of anabolic drugs that work to make me as strong and muscular as possible.

I am a “hormone replacement” patient. Or on “hormone optimization“… or “testosterone replacement therapy (TRT)“… or whatever else you want to call it.

Twice a week, I inject Testosterone Cypionate into my buttocks. I also take HCG to keep my balls alive (another injection), and Arimidex (a pill) to keep my estrogen from getting out of control and causing me to grow breasts and cry uncontrollably (read up on aromitization of testosterone). I’ve been doing this for over four years now.

Why do I do this? Good question. Let’s look at a very brief version of DSO’s hormonal history and see if this rings true with any of you.

My Teens:

Puberty hit me HARD and early. I started shaving at the age of 11. This was probably also due in large part to my swarthy southern European background.  I started working out around the age of 15 and realized I could stay lean and put on muscle pretty easily.  I was very active. Lots of basketball. We lifted weights in the off-season for “conditioning” and I was the number one lifter in terms of weights AND repetitions (granted, all of the football players weren’t part of the conditioning program). I was a stud. I sucked at basketball, but I could make weights go up and down really well.

I have no past blood test results to back it up… but I’d say I had an abundance of testosterone at this time. Maybe more than the average kid. My libido at this time was, understandably, off the charts.

After high school I went to college and continued lifting weights. I worked out regularly with some college football players as well as steroid-taking competitive bodybuilders. What I learned from this brief time period:

  1. Wow, these guys look like cartoon characters. They are very open about their drug taking. It’s way more common that I thought.
  2. The dumb musclehead stereotype exists for a reason.

I continued lifting weights and never dipped into the world of steroids.. I was strictly a “eat right and work hard” kinda guy. Because of this, my physique never went beyond “In pretty good shape” levels of development. You could tell I worked out… but nothing that said “bodybuilder” by any means.

During this time I was very much a go-getter. Hard-working in the classroom plus several jobs at the same time. It was a tough grind. It exhausts me to look back on that time, but I did it with ease. I ended up at a pretty nice job with the university my senior year and that led to a really great job waiting for me for a large Fortune 50 company right out of college.

I had drive. I had energy.

My Twenties:

I left school and entered the workforce and quickly found a gym in my new city. I lifted and played a lot of basketball with coworkers. I kept in really good shape. I was also pretty successfull, career-wise. Upward trajectory. I was all about self-improvement at this point in my life. Always hanging out with friends. Starting a family wasn’t on my mind. Wife was there… but I was still very much my own person and so was she. This worked out well for us both.

More drive. More energy.

Then It Happened:

Life. Age. Kids. Stress. Job changes. Money problems.

Kids. Especially the kids… they took the biggest toll on me. It was as if human nature said “Hey, you won’t be needing this body for anything anymore!” and sapped me of my inner drive. The gym went bye-bye. Energy: GONE. My sense of well being went south. I was a mess. This happened over a period of several years.

Divorce. The whole world I knew crumbled. Time for self-discovery and reinvention. Time to get back to the guy I was before the big change.

I hit the gym again and ate right. Not much is happening, really. I don’t like what I see in the mirror. I read up on ways to improve and keep coming back to articles about the supposed epidemic of low testosterone amongst men. I read more and more and end up getting a blood test that confirmed my testosterone was low and my estrogen was a bit higher than normal range. All this stress and kids and father time has turned me into a woman. Nice.

Hello Testosterone:

My research leads me to a clinic that specializes in hormone therapy for men and women. They are pretty liberal with their dosaging (especially when compared to endocrinologists or GP’s), but they do a good job of drawing blood every 8 weeks, looking at my symptoms and adjusting dosages accordingly.

My Results:

Physical –

  • Lower bodyfat
  • Muscles look fuller
  • Strength up
  • Faster workout recovery. Could lift weights every day and still feel good.
  • Certain muscle groups get noticeably larger than others. Traps and deltoids, especially.
  • More vascularity.
  • Skin really oily. Some acne on back and shoulders.
  • Testicles smaller.
  • Fingernails growing faster.
  • Hair growing faster.
  • At first, sleep was worse. Then, back to normal.
  • SWEATING. I wake up a smelly, sweaty mess every morning. After working out, it looks like I jumped into a pool.
  • Blood pressure remains at a healthy level and has never gone up.
  • Red blood cell count went up slightly, but never beyond “normal range”.
  • Lipid profile improved.
  • PSA (prostate) numbers have never gone up.
  • Zero sperm count – confirmed by semenalysis (testosterone could be sold as birth control for men)

Mental –

  • Anxiety way down.
  • Confidence up.
  • Less patient.
  • More dominant in bed.
  • More stoic about things I have no control over.
  • 18 year old boy libido. Constantly checking out every female within 100 yards of me.
  • Less tolerant of weakness, especially in men.
  • Much higher energy.
  • More drive to improve and do SOMETHING productive with my time (I started a website, created a podcast, wrote a book… all while working my real job, raising three kids, taking care of a house, travelling, dating and working out regularly).

So, overall… sounds pretty good. Just more MANLY in general.

Then I had to go OFF of the testosterone temporarily.

When you cease testosterone, you don’t just go right back to “normal” levels. You go WAY down and then eventually things even out and you go back to your baseline levels. Some drugs can help with this “recovery” period.

My overall drive and oomph were gone. Like somebody turned the lights off.

Libido way down… but still there with some direct stimulation. More of a milder REACTIVE libido rather than the normal “ready to go at any time” level of horniness. I still recognized that my wife was hot and I wanted her.. but I wouldn’t feel bad if she said  “Not tonight honey“.  Thankfully, my penis still worked. No “erectile dysfuntion”.

Mentally, I wasn’t clicking. Words weren’t coming to me. I wasn’t mentally in the “zone” I was in before. Almost like a fog was constantly in my head. This surprised me the most.

Just overall… I was a lazy fuck.

Gotta fold laundry, unload dishwasher, help out with homework and go take the boys the basketball?  The chores can wait until tomorrow. “Testosterone me” would knock those chores out in 20 minutes. “Low testosterone me” dreads the work and puts it off until tomorrow.

High testosterone me only watched a select few television shows with the wife. Low testosterone me would planted on the couch and watching whatever… just to pass the time.

I’m more reserved and introverted when off. Happy to stay at home and do nothing. I’m not necessarily super outgoing extroverted guy on testosterone, but I’m open to hanging out with anyone, going out for drinks and will actively seek out new experiences and adventures. Not so much when off of the juice.

Physically, my muscles were deflated. I noticed it most in my arms and shoulders. My upper chest development disappeared. Strength down. Joints started hurting. My cardio endurance did not seem to be affected.

Going on Testosterone Made Me Look at the Nature/Nuture Argument Differently.

All it took was the injection of one chemical into my system.. and I was a different human being. Seriously, it was that drastic for me. I was back to the old me I had long forgotten about. Is the level of one hormone really THAT important and crucial to your overall sense of well being?

Yep.

When I talk to guys and they tell me about them being in their 30’s and 40’s, out of shape, no drive, everything looks grim, etc… the first words out of my mouth are “Have you had your hormones tested?” With most men, they just dismiss the idea immediately. No, they’re not some dumb musclehead moron… and they’re not even going to go down the road of putting stuff into their body.

Meanwhile they drink beer, eat pizza, eat cookies, take ibuprofen like it’s candy, and never get up from the couch.

Makes sense.

Women have been altering their hormonal balance for many years.

For decades now, women have been able to pop pills or have hormonal devices implanted that drastically alter their hormonal makeup. All of this is done in an effort to allow them to have sex without fear of getting pregnant. These drugs can have HUGE number of side effects… some as mild as weight gain and irritability, some as drastic as suicidal ideation and complete loss of libido.

Any woman can walk into a clinic and say “I want to go on the pill”, and around zero percent of docs will say “Are you sure? There are some very real negative side effects with these drugs.” Nope. Instead, they will say “Well, you have the pill, depo shot, implants, the ring, etc… which one do you want?

Hormonal manipulation in the woman’s world is empowering. It gives them control over a body that, in their mind, everyone from their spouse to the government seems to want to exert control over. For once THEY get to decide when to get pregnant and if/when to have a period. They get complete control over their own hormonal balance and are given many tools to do so.

For men, going to the doc and asking to boost your testosterone is instantly met with scorn. “WHY?! You’re heathly. A testosterone level of 200 is now normal. You’ll just increase your risk of prostate cancer (wrong) and heart disease (wrong).

More often than not, you will be immediately dismissed. The doctor will spit back at you antiquated “facts” about your health risk and shame you for even trying to be some kind of Superman.

Dude… you’re a typical boring dad. It happens. Stop with this midlife crisis B.S.

YOU: “But, I feel like total shit. I have all of the symptoms of low testosterone. My levels are 275… and they should be around 700 – 800 for a healthy guy. I’ve done lots of reading on the subject. I eat right and workout and still feel like shit.

DOC: “No,  levels that high aren’t necessarily healthy. That will put you at risk for all kinds of problems. Sounds like you may be depressed. I can put you on a script for Prozac if you’d like to give that a shot for a few months.”

“No testosterone for you. You’re fine. Take this happy pill if you want. Go away. I have 34 other patients to see today.”

So why the stigma against Testosterone?

Well, I think there’s a deeply ingrained thought process in the mind of society: “Know your role“. In other words “If you need this stuff to feel good and be more manly, then we don’t want you taking it. We need to know who the real men are… not you imposters.” It’s the same reason why people hate the pickup artist type of guys. They’re not naturals. They’re just nerds who learned some simple phychological tricks of persuasion. They’re cheating.

By taking hormones, you’re cheating, too. A woman is looking for a true all-around good man to settle down with. Society needs to know which men they can depend on to keep the machine running.  Once you inject the man-juice, you’re putting on the Superman costume… but one or two missed injections and the world quickly learns what your cryptonite is.

“Wait… so you’re not really the tough, no-nonsense, handsome stoic guy who really fills out a shirt and bangs me like a Viking warrior 10 times a week!?”

People want the natural. If that’s not you… that’s perfectly ok. That’s why we have stay-at-home dads and computer programmers (sorry, guys). Everyone has their role. Just don’t fuck things up and come over to this side of the table. Stay over there.

“But, women fake it all the time!” Yep. They sure do. They slather on makeup to make themselves look younger. Tights to smooth out their cellulite.  Hair coloring to cover the greys. They shave a few years of age off their online dating profile. They take the total number of men they’ve slept with and divide by three. Being disengenuous in the mating game is the realm of women. It’s up to men to figure out the real from the fake (who are we kidding, with think with our penises and get fooled all the time).

Everyone is cool with this. It’s just part of the game.

Is there a danger to taking testosterone?

Absolutely. Remember the estrogen side effects I mentioned at the beginning? That’s for real. You absolutely can grow breasts, get hyper-emotional, increase anxiety and increase your risk of heart disease … but these are all from the ESTROGEN your body will produce to counter-balance all of the testosterone now in your system. This process is called “aromitization”. There are ways to combat it, of course. Drugs like arimidex, for one. Staying very lean, for another (fatter people have more aromatase in their system). Not taking too much testosterone, for another. The ideal situation is to dial in the amount of testosterone just right (not too much and not too little) and get your body lean enough so that you don’t need an aromatase inhibitor.

Every body is different, of course. Some men can take gargantuan amounts of several different steroids and never have an issue. Other men, like myself, can just look at a vial of testosterone and our nipples start itching.

Want to improve yourself? You may NEED testosterone.

For all of the people yelling at you to “just do it!” and “Man up!”,  you may have every reason to say “I can’t.” Take a man with testosterone levels of 100, and he will feel every bit like the 90 year old man his blood work says he is. A guy who has to psyche himself up to go check the mail is not a guy who you just say “Go to the gym. Lift. Gain 20 pounds of muscle to. That won’t work. At all.

If your foundation is weak, no amount of mental and physical work will do the trick. You gotta get the basics down first.

Testosterone is the most basic component of all.

At least get it checked out. You may be surprised.

You can’t trust yourself. Take time to heal.

While I was married to my first wife,  I used to cherish the rare moments I would get alone. During those quiet moments, I was able to re-calibrate and get a sense of self that I couldn’t have with three screaming kids, a nagging wife and all that work. A day to just sit… and do NOTHING? Awesome. Thank God.

 

It wasn’t until my “married life” reality was taken away that I realized how conditioned I had become. While I may have been alone and enjoying peace and quiet for a day, I always had the crutch and foundation of family and marriage to lean on.

Divorce peeled the scab back and exposed wounds that I never knew I had.

After the ex left, “What do I do now?!” was never in my vocabulary. I just turned into a post-divorce robot dad and was moving on auto-pilot. I was king of the to-do lists… and three kids made sure those lists were always full. Finding something to DO was not an issue. After a while, I would say my behavior bordered on “obsessive”. Lots and lots of cleaning. Lots of organizing. Trying to create order out of chaos. Avoiding the hard stuff. Avoiding the truth.

I had my fingers in my ears and yelled “LALALALALA!! NOT LISTENING!” as the harsh reality of my world was hitting me upside the head. As long as I stay in my little enclosure, I didn’t have to deal with it.

In hindsight, I would say I was suffering from some post-traumatic stress. I am stopping short of calling it full-fledged PTSD because I think we should reserve that diagnosis for guys that experience combat, death, and truly malevolent human behavior firsthand.

My wife just got caught fucking another guy and divorced me. In the grand scheme of things, that’s peanuts.

But still…. traumatic in its own way.

Divorce is what the kids call a huge “mind fuck”. Reality altering. For me, it was so very sudden. One moment I’m boring dad on the beach with my nag of a wife and our three energetic kids… and the next moment I’m alone in a house looking at online dating sites drooling over 20-year-olds. I had put myself into that “dating” world with the same obsessiveness and tunnel-vision that I applied to house cleaning and organizing the kids’ lives.

Fingers still in ears. Making order out of chaos.

Looking back, there is one overwhelming question that comes to mind when thinking of my immediate post-divorce self:

“WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING?!”

I can now, after years of contemplation and hindsight, answer that question.

I wasn’t THINKING. I was FEELING. I was “broken” in every sense of the word. The brain was randomly firing, looking for a fix, and I was acting out.

I just wanted to feel good. I wanted some kind of justice.

“Hmmmm… maybe if I assemble a group of young, horny 20-something sex-addicted college co-ed commandos to carry out a raid and murder my ex and her affair partner.”

When I get messages from guys, you can always tell the ones that are new to the game. They don’t even have to tell me all the details. It doesn’t really matter. What matters is that their behavior is strange and emotion-driven, and they are ALMOST completely blind to it.

Every situation is different but still the same.  For some guys, it takes just a few months of hell and the fog clears and they are back on the path of normalcy. For others, it may take years. They keep living in denial and kick the can down the road again, and again, and again.

They are too scared to face the truth.

I remember a guy I met at the gym years ago. I don’t remember how we got to chatting, but we worked out together once. Really good guy. He’s what I would call a naturally good-looking dude. Tall. In really good shape. Still young. A little stand-offish. Not the most confident man in the world. He, his wife and two kids just moved into town from out of state. He worked IT for one of the local companies.

After that one workout day and a few messages here and there, he disappeared. I found out later that he ended up moving to a neighboring state to be closer to her family (that sounds familiar).

Then outta the blue, years later and about a year after my own divorce, we started chatting on Facebook. His life had changed dramatically. The wife went crazy, took out lines of credit in his name, racked up debt …AND she cheated on him. Very typical borderline personality behavior. He had admitted to having numerous warning signs/red flags throughout their relationship. He ignored for the greater good of the family…. and now he was paying the price.

She was moving in with her new guy. My friend was fighting for custody of the kids. He eventually ended up getting full custody due to all her issues and the identitity theft.

A story like that wasn’t anywhere close to being new and shocking to me. I had already heard from a dozen other guys just like him by that time… and had also read countless stories just like his online.

What WAS new to me was seeing his immediate post-divorce/infidelity behavior. It was, I would say, a little concerning.

He had drafted a very long and detailed letter that he insisted on giving his ex-wife’s new boyfriend. He just HAD to warn him about her and her BPD ways. He must save this man and get back at her!

This was Nice Guy “save the world” behavior, plus a need for justice and revenge. Not good.

I told him he was asking for trouble. The letter will just kick a hornet’s nest. He was in the middle of trying to get custody of his kids and sue the ex for stealing his identity. Reaching out to her new boyfriend was not a good idea.

He vehemently disagreed. We went back and forth on this for quite a while.

I never did find out what happened with that letter… maybe he gave it to the guy and the ex-wife never found out about it (he is still alive, after all). Maybe he came to his senses and realized that nobody gives a shit and he needs to move on to more important things in life.

Regardless, the strange behavior continued.

Next thing you know, he is posting videos of himself online, shirtless, singing songs he wrote. From what little I knew of him, he wasn’t really the “look at me, I’m shirtless and asking for attention” kinda guy. He was a wallflower when I met him.

Then he wrote strange poetry and shared it with everyone.

Then he started frequently posting photos of himself and his kids on Facebook. He did this every day. Multiple times a day. He needed to remind everyone “I’m the good parent here! Look, no wife in the picture!”

  • Petty revenge behavior
  • Posting photos and videos for attention
  • Patting himself on the back about what a great parent he is
  • Denial of reality

Hmmmm… Almost sounds like typical divorced single mom behavior. But I digress…

It was all just very odd. He was mentally broken.

He was looking for attention. Admiration. He was looking for confirmation that he WAS doing everything by the book his whole life and that SHE was batshit crazy.

“Would somebody PLEASE recognize how great I fucking am, already!?!” 

Nobody gave a shit.

The truth was that he was on his own. He’s always been on his own. The wife was not his, it was just his turn.

The truth was that in his 30 some odd years on the planet he never put the hard work and time in that he needed to develop his SELF. It finally caught up to him.

He was dependant on a severely broken woman to give him a sense of completion. With her out of the picture, he went off the rails.

I see this more often than I would like.

Maybe not “take your shirt off and sing for Facebook” levels of weird, but I see very emotional and irrational behavior from guys out there ALL the time.

The timeline is usually like this:

  1. I’m so devastated. This is terrible. How could she do this? I don’t understand. I did everything right (lots of crazy behavior here).
  2. I really need to focus on getting better. I can’t go on like this. I’m a mess. (more crazy behavior but the fog is beginning to lift)
  3. I realize I have some deep issues that have caused bad things to happen to me over the years. That eventually led to where I am today. It’s sad, but I’m glad I have the clarification now. It’s all uphill from here! (the fog continues to lift)
  4. Oh, look! A woman! She likes me! I’ll proceed to ignore everything I just learned because she makes me feel REALLY good right now! Yay! It’s almost as if all that bad stuff never happened! What’s that? A red flag? BAH! It’s nothing. I can’t always walk away from this relationship if I have to. I mean… I’m not marrying this woman tomorrow or anything! (back to crazy town)
  5. I would totally marry this woman tomorrow if I had the chance. Jesus, she’s perfect in every way. How did I get so lucky? I’m going to bend over backward to keep her around (he’s deep in crazy at this point).
  6. Oh. Never mind. It’s over. Fuck. What was I thinking?? Ok… where was I with this self-improvement thing again? (fog lifting again)

It’s on step 4 that they usually stop talking to me (too busy with their new girl.. and they’re ashamed)… and step 6 is when they come back with their tail between their legs.

100% of men I talk to jump into relationships too soon. 100% of them wish they would have waited a while longer.

Jumping into a relationship too soon is a sign of being broken. A rational person sits back and recognizes their need for help. A rational person realizes that bringing other human beings into their broken world will not end well. It’s not fair to themselves, their loved ones, or the new “girlfriend”.

Men I talk to often qualify their new girlfriends to me. They know they’re not mentally firing on all cylinders just yet… so they need to convince me that “It’s ok… This one is different!”

“Oh no… we’re just casually dating. Nothing serious. She’s fun. Are we dating other people? No… we both agreed not to. I took her to meet my parents last week. They love her.”

“So far no red flags. She’s really very normal in every way. She has two kids from a previous marriage. We already talked about what it would be like to blend our families. We know it’s too early, but we’re tired of being single and we’re awesome together.”

“She’s going to move in with me. She’s going to school right now to get her Phd. She’s really driven. I’m helping her out so that she doesn’t have to work so many hours and can concetrate on her studies.”

Everything is great, casual and fun. Nothing serious. Except that they are only dating each other, she met his parents after week #2, he’s already met her kids and he’s paying for everything.

Everyone outside of the relationship looks at them, shakes their head and says “This won’t end well.” They recognize the crazy manic state he is in. For the guy… he’s in too deep and in love. His brain is firing away with all those feel-good chemicals. Rationality is out the window.

He is now officially open to make a huge number of life-changing mistakes that he can’t see yet. The fog and confusion of love, lust, and happiness blind him. This could get really bad in a hurry.

When the fog finally clears, he discovers that the woman cheated on her last husband, she has borderline personality disorder (medicated) and she is still actively texting three other guys. Soon after finishing her Ph.D., she leaves the relationship and has a new guy immediately.

That’s when I get the email.

“Dude… things are really fucked up right now.”

So, where did he go wrong?

Where he went wrong is that he never fully erased the programming he had from all those years of marriage. He never removed the crutch of marriage that he leaned so heavily on all those years. The “strong” foundation of marriage that was always there was comfortable… but at the same time limited his development as a human being. Having that wife to fall back on was a safety net. Once it was taken away, it made everything a hell of a lot scarier.

He falls flat on his face. Time to get a new net, right?!

The healthy way of looking at it is saying “Do I really need that crutch? Why do I need it? Can I operate to my full capacity in life and gain happiness by being alone?” If the answer is “no”, then he has issues he needs to address.

After a man realizes true happiness on his own, he realizes that the fickle nature of love, romance and women isn’t the foundation of life… but just a really nice accessory.  Romance is the heated leather seats in your new SUV. It’s great to have and it makes things nicer and more comfortable and puts a smile on your face, but you don’t need it.  You can still get from point A to B without it.

There’s nothing wrong with love and romance. Most of us WANT a long-term romantic relationship with just the right woman. We LOVE being in love and having that person to go through life with.  It’s an amazing feeling. The irony is that you won’t find that love until you don’t need it. It’s the great cosmic joke.

Find happiness within yourself. Concentrate on YOU. Tear down those safety nets and kick away those crutches… and the world of normalcy opens to you.

Her: “I have two kids and want to pursue my PhD while you pay for everything. Sound like a plan?”

Mentally Healthy Guy: “It was great meeting you. Take care.”

Her: “Wow that was some great casual sex we just had. I would like to date exclusively now. Can I meet your parents next week?”

Mentally Healthy Guy: “I can appreciate the sentiment, but I’m not interested in jumping into a serious relationship so fast. I hope you understand. You were great. Let’s keep in touch.”

Mentally Healthy Guy (MHG) knows his worth. He knows the PhD and Needy Girl have something off about them and he doesn’t want to waste more time being around them. It was fun… but no thanks. They are literally two of about 500,000 women in his demographic that he would be willing to date. Maybe one of those 500,000 end up being a really great match and she is worthy of settling down with.

Chances are that won’t be the case… and he knows that. He’s cool with that.

My typical reader doesn’t know that. They are broken. They CAN’T see that right now. They have no true sense of worth. They’re in a very confused state. They see the monogamous long term relationship as the finish line because that’s all they’ve known all these years.  If they happen to hit that finish line in week #2 of their divorced life… great!

Take time. Step back. Reflect. Work. Think. Work more. Be honest with yourself.

The women aren’t going anywhere. That ONE girl is not THE ONE. Trust me. If she is your perfect one-in-a-milion match, she will wait for you. She’ll understand, back off, and be a friend.

That’s what good, healthy people do.

Chances are, with time and distance, you will realize just how much she is NOT the one and just how broken she also is. See… when in a broken state, you tend to attract other broken people. Mentally healthy people recognize your brokenness and avoid you. They’re the girls at the bar who look at you wide-eyed and say “Okay… well, it was nice meeting you.”

They’re not playing hard-to-get… they’re running away. There’s a big difference. They have a finally-tuned “broken guy” meter.

Take time. Lots of time. Enjoy life. Discover yourself. You will very quickly slip and fall and find yourself right back on Step 1. Then you’ll go through the process again. Then again. Then you’ll find you’re not slipping anymore.

You’ll be failing a lot over the next few months/years. No need to exponentiate the suffering with a quick new wife replacement.  You can ride the rollercoaster by yourself.

You’re a big boy now.