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.
I am a woman but somehow found your articles and I think they’re great! Very clearly stated why marriages fail and women cheat on “nice guys”.
Would be great to see an article for women someday – how to help a husband to become more of a lover and less of a provider? He’s never been a “lover” but we just became great friends and then more (my initiative, of course, his first serious relationship – textbook case, I guess). Good looking, wealthy, smart, caring and loving to extreme. But after 6 years I’m bored – I crave for jokes, fun, excitement, sexy, a bit selfish and independent man. I told him so many times. He wants marriage and kids; I dread that as kids would make him even more of a provider and I’m starting to doubt if my willpower will be enough and my innocent flirt with other guys won’t turn into more someday. I love him and want to make it work but not sure I can be satisfied with a provider all my life (I’m financially independent and have no desire for kids).
Should we split or is there a way to bring out “lover” in a man?
There are a couple of things that stick out for me in the description of your relationship. First and foremost is that HE is wanting to settle down and have kids. YOU are pretty much in the mindset of being an independent career woman and have no interest in having kids. Would you say you have no interest in having kids with HIM (since he is already a Provider type and, as you point out, kids will just amplify those traits) or is it more that you don’t want kids ever no matter who your partner may be? I think that’s a question you need to take time out to ponder for a while.
Either way, that alone sounds like a relationship breaker for most people. He wants kids. You don’t.
Setting aside the kids thing for the moment, you say you would like to make your relationship work with him… but you need him to be more fun, sexy and independent. See, the way it works with men is pretty simple: BE BLUNT. Guys don’t work well with nuance. We don’t do subtlety. The best course of action is to simply TELL him what you want and LEAD him to it. Seriously. An example may be to say, “As I get older and more mature, I realize that our relationship needs to be dirty and more fun than it is right now. I need that extra oomph to keep me going. I love you for everything you are, but I do need more… and I’m not the type to go out and cheat. Instead, I want to have sexy and fun adventures with you. I want us to take our relationship to a new level.” See how he responds. He may be a little embarrassed. You may hurt his feelings. He may be extremely turned on. It could be that he has a kinky side to him but he has been shamed into being Mr. Nice Guy his whole life. That’s not uncommon. Maybe all it takes is his hot wife to say, “It’s okay to be crazy dirty. I love it.”
Regardless of his response, the truth is out in the open and that’s always a good thing.
Let’s be honest, having to “lead” your man to be more fun and sexy may just completely turn you off. After all, you want a guy who is just a natural lover, not a guy you have to TELL what you want him to do. You’ll have to fight through that. This is what people mean when they say, “WORKING on your marriage”.
You’ll also have to cater to his masculine side when coming up with ideas for sexing things up. Consider watching porn together. Going to strip clubs. Role-playing. Sending him dirty photos and videos of yourself. There are lots of simple ways you can push his buttons. This is all assuming he’s a healthy adult male and his hormones are in check, of course.
So, in review:
1. Figure out the kids things first and foremost. You don’t want them at all, or you don’t want them with him?
2. You will have to be blunt and be the sexual leader. Watch how he responds.
What IS interesting to me is that she has unknowingly written what may be the most intensely anti-marriage mainstream book I’ve read in quite some time. It’s well-written. It’s smart. It’s funny. Yes, she approaches her subject from an unabashedly feminist perspective, using history and evolutionary psychology to build her case, but the conclusions are the same as your typical angry 20-something guy ranting about women on Reddit:
Women are not anywhere near as chaste and pure as you think they are. They cheat. A lot. Hell, your grandma probably cheated.
Women are every bit as sexual as men. Just because men have higher levels of testosterone doesn’t mean women don’t get crazy horny if the circumstances are right. In fact, women are turned on by WAY more than what men are. Their sexuality is extremely fluid. They’re made for sex.
Women are just not turned on by traditional monogamy. They want fun and excitement. This is why women are the ones predominantly pushing for open marriages and polyamory. They need the extra oomph to get them going. Marriage and kids turns off their sexual machine.
It’s by no means unusual for a woman to get her sexual needs met by one man (her Lover) and her comfort and financial resources from another (her Provider).
What I think Martin fails to appreciate is how much of a “holy shit” this is for one particular (and important) section of our population: Monogamous men that are looking to settle down with one woman for the rest of their lives.
I can just picture some normal guy with a good job, healthy 401k and a girlfriend of three years he’s about to propose to. He’s aimlessly walking through the book store and sees a copy of this book prominently displayed along with other seedy “sex” and “relationship” books. He picks it up, takes a look… reads a few pages… and mindlessly takes it over to the coffee shop area. A few chapters and one large cappucino later, and he’s angrily texting his girlfriend. “We need to talk.”
On a big picture scale, what may be seen as an understandably “empowering”and “freeing” sexual manifesto for many women will be used by a GIANT chunk of our society (men) as a handy excuse to completely bail out of the monogamy industry. In other words, the more the “secret” gets out, the more men may very well opt out of the whole monogamous marriage process.
Men WANT the dream of the woman who has eyes only for him and who will be devoted to him no matter what life throws their way. Most men can’t even CONCEIVE of their married life in any other way. It’s a dream that many of us men have been spoon fed since the day we first noticed girls. We’ve been told out whole lives what marriage was SUPPOSED to be… and books like this are telling us that we were lied to? “Okay… then we don’t want to participate in this game anymore” many men are saying.
Instead, men will live comfortably in their shitty little apartments, with their shitty but comfortable jobs, a steady but not exciting paycheck, their modest 401k savings, their video games, little social interaction, and way too much porn. Other than the pickup truck in the driveway, their vasectomy will be the only other major life expense. They don’t want to have a major “oops” and ruin all the good stuff they have going on!
Make no mistake about it, the “monogamous married couple with 2.5 kids”model is an industry. It drives our consumption economy. From the expensive wedding, to the expensive honeymoon, the way-too-big house, the pointless SUV, the hybrid sedan, the namebrand baby items, the namebrand clothes, the expensive vacations, the expensive divorces… it’s a giant machine that is the hub of a very big economic wheel. A viral change in mindset can shut the machine down a little at a time.
FACT: Women drive 84% of all consumer spending in the U.S. That’s $7 trillion dollars of spending annually. Trillion. With a T.
Good, quality men have always been on the edge of opting out of the marriage industry… and things like Untrue are all it may take to push them right over the edge into eternal bachelorhood. What was once a goal to strive for (marriage and raising kids) is now a giant life-ruining accident they want to avoid, all because their vision of what a relationship is supposed to be has been upturned. Marriage is now seen as a huge fun-killer for the other half of the population. As Wednesday Martin says in the title of the book: “… How the New Science Can Set Us Free”. Set women free from what? Monogamy? I think if your wise old grandma were here, she would tell you, “Honey, be careful what you wish for. You just might get it.”
According to Martin and “Untrue”, it’s time the rest of society get with the program and recognize women’s sexual autonomy and change the game to accomodate their needs. We’ll all be better off for it.
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 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.
On this site, my most popular podcasts and articles are by far the ones dealing with Dead Bedrooms. The next most popular topics are about Infidelity.
On the way more popular website Talk About Marriage, the two most popular “focused” topics are “Coping with Infidelity” and “Sex in Marriage“. No other topics even come close.
So… bad sex and cheating spouses. That’s the bread and butter of relationship discussion on the web. How nice.
So… what’s going on? Why so many people searching for and commenting on issues related to infidelity and sex in marriage? Is it REALLY that bad?
First of all, yes… lots of people get caught cheating on their spouses AND a lot of people have shitty sex lives. That’s just a fact.
Second, there are a lot of men on the internet just trying to figure out HOW to fix things when they go horribly wrong. They want to know what steps they can take to go back to banging their wife 2 times a day. They want to know what they can do to get their wife to fall back in love with them after catching her riding the guy from her spinning class.
They also want to know WHY and HOW the relationship machine broke so “suddenly”. Surely there’s gotta be a relationship owner’s manual PDF they can download for free somewhere.
This is the equivalent of a guy under the hood of his car, checking the oil and brake fluid while the car is engulfed in flames. “Hold on a sec… Let me just check the wiper fluid real quick.It looks a little low, too.”
Men are fixers. We apply our RATIONAL, annoying Spock-like minds to these dramatic, emotion-filled situations and do all kinds of calculations and what-if scenarios to find the magic solution.
We are using our inherent manly qualities of tinkering and figuring things out and applying them to a situation where it not only doesn’t belong, but could actually end up making the situation even worse.
Sure the washer fluid is full… but you now have third degree burns over your whole body and the car is a pile of ashes.
DRILL THIS INTO YOUR HEAD: You can’t overcome emotion with rationality.
“I don’t understand. Doesn’t she realize what she’s doing to our family? This doesn’t make any sense.”
“She doesn’t have any money. How is she going to take care of herself if she’s on her own?!”
“The guy is a LOSER! How can she blow up our family with a guy like THAT!?”
“If she would just TRY to have sex with me every day, she would remember how much fun sex is and everyone would be happy!”
“I don’t get it. We just renewed our vows. The whole time we were so loving and devoted to each other… and she was having multiple affairs. It makes no sense.”
In cases of infidelity and sex, you’re not dealing with somebody who took out a spreadsheet and listed all of the pros and cons in their decision making.
You’re dealing with emotion. FEELINGS. Human NATURE.
In the world of emotion, 2+2 can, in fact, equal 5… as long as it feels right.
Emotion wins. Every time.
Advertisers have known this for decades.
Do you want to sell a product? Show the consumer how bad things can be without it. Show them how everyone else has it and just look how HAPPY and good looking they are now that they have this product in their lives. Create a culture around your product. Create an image and set of rituals around your product. Tap into their innate human programming while at the same time pushing those buttons that release a potent shot of dopamine. Once they feel like they are part of a community AND better than the other guy AND they feel a euphoric high using the product… then it’s over. They’ll pay a premium for the EXPERIENCE of your product. Doesn’t matter that it was made in China by slave labor and will break in one year.
The nerds say “Why buy the iMac when a PC for half the cost will easily outperform it?” They’re the same type of guy that says “Why would she cheat on me with that loser that works at Taco Bell?”
He doesn’t get it. It has nothing to do with common sense and rational thought. It’s emotion. It’s innate programming. It’s human nature.
You can’t beat it with your rationality, dude. Don’t even try. You’ll just go crazy in the process.
“She’s nuts. All women are nuts.”
It’s extremely easy to throw your hands up and just proclaim all women to be varying degrees of crazy. It’s the knee-jerk way out of actually trying to think, empathize and understand people who can have a vastly different perspective on life. The problem is that once you DO get a better understanding of women and their psychology in particular, you inevitably come back with some variation of “Wow, it’s like she can’t help it.” This can be even more disturbing and shocking to a lot of men.
I know, “She can’t help it” seems to imply that she is a child that has no control over what she does in life. No, that’s not it at all.
Women are human and all humans have a “just can’t help it” line of autonomous behavior.
The “CLICK-WHIRR” Effect
In his book “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion“, social psychologist Robert Cialdini breaks down the mechanisms that cause people to DO certain things for certain people. He dives quickly into the dangerous world of our autonomic animalistic behavior. I say “dangerous” because people REALLY don’t like being told that they don’t have complete free will in their day-to-day behavior. We REALLY REALLY don’t like being told that men and women have different instinctual drives that govern our behavior.
We humans feel that we digest every important nugget of information we’re presented with and at least TRY to create the most rational and altruistic response at all times.
“You can do what you decide to do — but you cannot decide what you will decide to do.” – Sam Harris
Cialdini illustrates our autonomic programming with something he calls the “Click-Whirr” Effect.
Basically, think of a machine that clicks on and then the mechanism or tape starts spinning… that’s the whirr. Every living creature has some type of programming in them that is setup to monitor for a specific stimuli (the click) and react accordingly (the whirr).
In a particular species of turkey, for example, they have an internal program that says “When I hear the very specific sound/pitch of a baby turkey that has just hatched, I will sit on it to keep it warm.” Scientists were able to bring a box into a cage… a box with no discernable turkey-like features… and get a female turkey to sit on it just by playing the newly hatched turkey noise.
The baby chick noise was the click. Mama sitting on the box was the whirr.
The turkey didn’t THINK “I hear a noise. Their must be a baby turkey inside this box, I must protect it.” It just REACTED. Instantly. No thought. No rationalizing. Thousands of years of progamming at work.
Cialdini takes the principle of the click-whirr and applies it to humans in the form of persuasion. Getting people to do what you want means knowing what specific buttons to click to get just the right reaction out of them. You can mimic certain innate behavioral triggers and watch again and again just how little free will people actually have.
The dead bedroom is a response. You were having sex… something happened… now you’re not. Simple as that.
Responses like these, for the most part, are NOT thought out or intentional. There’s no genuine malice at play here. This is DEEPLY embedded if/then programming statements that have been around for generations. This is the kind of stuff that keeps the species moving along. This is biology. Biology doesn’t care that you are gold medal dad of the year for the past 10 years. Biology doesn’t care that you bring home a steady paycheck and paid for a new furnace last month.
All biology knows is that you did X and you now get Y in return.
Instead of using the harsh terms like “nature” or “programming”, we can also refer to this as “emotion”. They’re all inerchangeable. Calling it emotion softens the blow a bit and gives it a weakened image of “silly little girl” or “weak-willed man”, when in-fact it can be broken down into digestable and predictable chunks of stimuli-response. There’s nothing infantile or crazy about it.
After much life experience and research, I have reached the conclusion that men just need to push the following clicks/buttons, in no particular order, to elicit the classic “dead bedroom/infidelity” whirr responses we all read about again and again:
Don’t look good. Give no shits about your appearance.
Don’t stand up to her. Let her do, say and act however she pleases… even when she’s being an asshole.
Don’t be fun and exciting. Allow life’s obstacles to give you an excuse to be dull and predictable.
Stop being interested in other women. Don’t talk about them and don’t look at them. Pretend they don’t exist.
Show me a guy who says that he’s not getting his intimate needs met in marriage I will show you a guy that will say “Yeah, you’re right” to three out of the four items above.
When you don’t look good, your wife’s hindbrain says “Not good genetic material for mating purposes… Not attractive to other females…must not procreate with this male.” The whirr: “Not tonight honey. I have a headache.”
When you don’t stand up to her and instead just say “yes, dear” twenty times a day, her brain says “This male is weak. He can’t even stand up to me… how will he stand up to things that are truly dangerous and protect me and the family?” The whirr: “I miss being single…”
When you stop being fun and exciting, her brain says “He must be getting older and less virile. Testosterone must be down. He won’t be able to procreate successfully or protect me from danger. “ The whirr: “I’m going out for lunch with Tom, my ex-boyfriend from college.”
When you stop looking at other women in a sexual way, her brain says “I have no danger of losing my provider. He doesn’t even do the most basic of horny male stuff. He ain’t going anywhere.” The whirr: “I’m tired. I’m going to put on my sweats and just go to bed. But first I will eat three pieces of cake leftover from yesterday.”
These clicks and whirrs are usually not overt or conscious. More often then not they are subtle and pile up over time. The woman is not taking out a flow chart to decide whether or not she still finds her husband attractive. It “just happens”. The subsequent whirr is absolutely mystifying to the unsuspecting husband.
This is when they hear things like:
“I don’t know why I don’t want sex like I used to. I just don’t.”
“It just happened. We were talking, we had a few drinks, he came over… I’m sorry.”
Push the right combination of clicks and the subsequent whirr will wipe your past out as if it never happened. Your history as a couple and all of the past good deeds are NO match for her emotion. “But but… we have marriage VOWS!” Dude… you’re not listening. The programming has already kicked in. There is no line of code that says “If marriage status = true, stop whirr sequence immediately.” It doesn’t work that way.
This is the “affair fog” you read so much about. The spouse becomes a kind of autonomous cheater robot.
*Beep boop* “I love you but I’m not IN LOVE with you.” *Beep boop beep* “It’s not you. It’s me” *Beep bop beep boop* “I think we need to take a break.”
You’re witnessing the whirr happening right before your eyes. Everything in her life but the affair is wiped out. You can call this “being in love”… “obsession” … “this is not my wife”…. or you can say that the other man came in at the right time, pushed the right buttons and the “copulate with competing male” whirr started spinning away.
Same result either way: She’s cheating. The whirr has started. You just let the machine run its course… and you walk away. For good.
Healthy people recognize the reality of the whirr. They recognize their capability for malevolence. To combat this, they construct what we call “boundaries” around themselves. They don’t put themselves in positions where clicks are abundant.
They don’t do girls night outs with that one questionably sane gal from the office. They say “No thank you!” and take their energy home to their husband.
They don’t keep the dirty text they got from the hot 19 year old neighbor girl a secret. They tell the girl that it’s very inappopriate and immediately show their wife.
They don’t have drinks alone after work with the charming guy from the office. They tell him that he should ask his wife out instead.
They don’t stay and listen to the hot girl at the office talk about how she would kill to have a guy like him in her life. They say “Thanks”, walk away, and tell the wife about it.
Beware the person who gets angry about having to put up boundaries to their behavior. Beware people who repeatedly claim “I would never cheat” and get angry when the thought of boundaries are brought up. That is clue one that they don’t have any boundaries and they are more apt to let their guard down and open themselves up to the dangerous clicks all around them. They’re in denial of their capacity for wrongdoing and they project their fears and insecurities onto you.
Crossing the line
It doesn’t take much to cross the line. Not much at all. People are more apt to cross it if the circumstances are right. They are more apt to give in to the impulses and clicks and let the machine take over and whirr away if they have the right stressors and emotional baggage in place.
Wife has baggage galore. Regardless of her past, she has become a successful and well-rounded person.
Red flags are abundant but ignored. Her actions are questionable but they are always short of crossing the line. The man is led to believe that his nagging gut feelings make him a bad person. He looks at all the positives, instead.
One or a series of bad life moments (stressors) take place. A family member dies. Job loss. Demotion. Illness. New job responsibilities. Something happens and it is enough to break down the few boundaries they may have… and they are off to the races. Strange behavior galore. Cheating. “This is not my wife.” The robot has been activated.
In internet parlance, “Alpha” is an overused term meaning “A manly dude who doesn’t take shit from anybody and is successful in health, work, sex, etc.” You know… a “real man”.
A “Beta” on the other hand, is the weak-willed guy who is very needy and succumbs to the demands of those around him. He is used. You know… a “pussy”.
You’ll often read of desperate guys asking “Is it Alpha if I give my three time cheating wife another chance?” or “Listen to this story of my poor Beta brother-in-law.” It’s all a little silly and way overdone, but I get the need for it. Guys compare notes. We like to break things down into digestible chunks. Alphas don’t do this, and Betas do that. Got it.
There’s a saying I particularly like and can say with confidence it rings true on many different levels:
Alpha Fucks, Beta Bucks
Translation: The manly dude gets sex and short-term fun. The pussified guy gets to be Provider and play husband.
I like to use the terms “Lover” and “Provider”, instead. More descriptive.
There is story after story of a guy who has a wife he deeply loves and cherishes… considers her his best friend. Their sex life? Meh… so-so. She often says she doesn’t like oral sex all that much, not really into kinky stuff, and anal is COMPLETELY off the table. Nobody really does that, sweetie. That’s for porn. Speaking of porn… she says it’s for degenerates. He watches way too much of it.
Fast forward to the fateful day when he was going through old files in the attic, or cleaning out the old computer.. and he finds videos, photos or a diary of his wife’s. He learns what a lot of guys in his position learn: His wife used to be way over-the-top sexual… Before she met him. To quote a guy with such a story: “Great. I married a slut that fucks like a prude.”
In relationship-oriented sites and forums, some variation of the story is VERY common (after all… most guys that are on those sites have been badly hurt by women). The nice guy getting ho-hum sex discovers that his wife used to do all the things he has suggested for the past X years.
Oddly, the majority of responses and comments on such stories are usually “Yeah… she used to do those things. Now she doesn’t. She grew out of that phase and chose YOU as her husband. Just be happy. Stop judging her on her past. You have no RIGHT to demand she does those things again with you. That is up to her.”
There’s bullshit in that response and truth. The truth: “You don’t have the right to demand these things.” Very true. It’s her body and her mind and if she wants to do certain things with you, she will. Sorry if that makes you feel unmanly and unvalidated, but that’s your problem, not hers.
Where they get it wrong: She didn’t grow out of that phase. It’s not a phase at all. It’s a state of mind that you’re just not bringing it out of her. She’s still a sexual human being.
You’re her Provider.
She may not have verbalized it, but she pegged you RIGHT AWAY as a Provider. You are a good long-term kinda guy. You’re the guy you bring home to mom. You’re the guy you raise kids with. You’re the guy you get COMFORTABLE with. Unfortunately, comfort does NOT equal desire, as Esther Perel so eloquently captured in her book Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence.
If you asked 100 married guys, 99 of them would be completely cool with being pegged as the comfortable family guy. That’s what we all want! That’s exactly what our grandparents had! BUT… ask those same 100 guys, “Okay, you’re the comfortable provider family guy… but that also means your wife doesn’t have sexual desire for you like you think she does. She actually fantasizes about other guys. A lot. She used to date them and had wild sex with them and never told you about it. She did all that stuff with them she refuses to do with you. Now how do you feel?” That “completely cool with it” number went from 99 guys to 2.
Women innately know this. This is why we have the “divide by three” rule. She knows her faithful Provider will be really hurt if he knows she banged 67 guys before they met. She knows it will knock her right off the perfect pedestal he put her on in his mind, and he will start looking at her as more of a sexual creature. She doesn’t want that. She needs him to remain right in the comfortable Provider role. That’s where he does his best work. If that means lying for life, then so be it.
Should you be the Lover or the Provider? Be Both.
A good guy should be the embodiment of both Lover and Provider. Be the great dad. Be the foundation. Be the guy who looks good with a tight shirt on. Be the guy who slams her up against the wall and fucks her brains out without asking, “Is this okay?” every five minutes. Be the guy who doesn’t take shit from her or anybody.
Women are human. They have needs. They have desires. They want sex just like you do. They want eroticism. They want passion. They just might not want it from YOU.
I think where a lot of the internet writings go wrong is the emphasis on the alpha Lover. It’s sexy and attractive to want to play the he-man role and fuck as many young women as possible, but it has limits. Going too much in that direction can lead to a lot of damaged women and a guy who finally says, “Ok, now what?”after banging his 300th co-ed. Life ain’t all about pussy, Lover boy.
Life is more than Lover and Provider. Life is getting the best of both. Black and White. The Yin and Yang. Where we men go wrong is that many of us naturally err on the side of comfort and love. We see where that gets us, we wake up, and we SWING that pendulum to the other side as far as we can. Also bad.
We need to find the grey area. That’s the sweet spot.
It ain’t easy, friends. Nothing in life ever is. Balance in all things.