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?
I have just recently finished the book, “Untrue: Why Nearly Everything We Believe About Women, Lust, and Infidelity Is Wrong and How the New Science Can Set Us Free” by Wednesday Martin. For a guy like me who has written on female sexuality (and how it pertains to relationship, marriage and infidelity), this is not what I would call a major eye-opener of a book. In fact, I am going to go out on a limb and say that I agree with most of what Ms. Martin says. There’s nothing really ground-breaking here for me or for most of my readers. We’re not her target audience, after all.
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!
Obviously, this would have dramatic repercussions for the economy and for state of the Western family. Economists are already freaking out about dropping fertility rates and subsequent lack of spending. We have real-world examples of how this dynamic plays out with the current situation in Japan and their “Herbivore Men”. It’s not pretty.
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.
Martin’s book and the subject matter is not considered “mainstream” just yet. She’s not a household name. The subject is still considered a “fringe” topic by many, but it’s one that is gaining a lot of ground in a hurry. It seems like everyone has a buddy whose wife just suggested an open marriage, or a wife who got caught sexting a guy from work, or a wife who simply walked away from the husband and kids to be with the sexy loser. It happens.
The question is… okay, now what? If what Martin says is correct… what do YOU do about it?
My own personal experience and that of thousands of other men who have been married and/or dated will tell you the same thing:
If your woman is crazy about you, you will know it. She will leave zero doubt. She will shower you with praise. She will have her hands all over you. She will buy you gifts. She will feel very jealous at times. She will submit to you, sexually. She will be very adventuresome in bed. She will open herself to you mentally and physically. She will feel completely comfortable and safe with you.
So, for all of you guys in long-term relationships or marriages that don’t see any of the above… well, bad news my man.
She just isn’t that into you.
Why is that? Why are there communities of men online talking about their “dead bedrooms“? As with most problems in relationships, it’s your fault, dude. Yep. You.
No, this isn’t some post saying “Women good. Men bad!” This is real life. YOU are the driver of both yourself AND your relationship. You say what goes for both. It’s called being a leader. You want your woman to be crazy about you again? Then do something about it. No amount of begging, pick-me dancing, whining, flowers, house-cleaning, diaper-changing or other horse shit will get her in bed with you. She needs to WANT YOU again. She WANTS to want you again.
But, DSO! My wife is worked to death! She’s tired! The kids wear her butt out! At the end of the day she just wants to lay down and watch some TV or read a good book. I totally get that! I feel that way too, a lot of the time!
This is 100% absolutely perfectly understandable. Life is tough. It wears on you. Work. Kids. Bills. Stress stress stress. It takes a certain mindset to get a woman in the mood for intimacy… And those are some pretty big obstacles that get in the way. But, here’s the thing:
The energy is in there. Trust me. It just needs to get pulled out.
Many husbands/boyfriends out there are noticing or have learned two things about their completely exhausted, stressed-out female partners:
- These women sure are obsessed with porn. Yeah, those “romance” novels she reads? The photo shoot with that hunky pop star her friend posted about on Facebook and your wife liked and commented on? That’s porn. Woman porn. Ever read Fifty Shades of Grey? Synopsis: Dominate, sociopath rich man picks out shy, homely woman for crazy bondage sex. Women all over the globe at that up. They made a movie of it. Women went to the cinema in DROVES to watch it. Gajillions of dollars were spent.
- She’s talking about other men. At work. At the gym. At the playground. At the soccer field. She’ll talk about their butts. Their pecs. Their tight stomachs. She’ll talk to her friends about them. She’ll talk about celebrities on TV. Athletes. Her favorite country singer in tight pants. Maybe even in front of you. Probably in front of you. Wow, for an exhausted mom… she sure does have her eyes constantly open and taking in all that hot sex on display, doesn’t she? Interesting. Yes, it’s mostly harmless and fun and EVERY mom does it, right?!
SIMPLE RULE: If your woman is crazy in love with you and turned on by you, she has no need openly partake in poorly-written woman porn or sharing pictures of some soccer dude’s abs and butt on Facebook. She looks at those as silly and brags about YOU instead. Oh, and she’ll want to bang you. You won’t need to Google things like “Wife won’t have sex with me“. Crazy, I know.
Alright, so maybe you’re coming to terms with the fact that your wife isn’t so crazy about you anymore. So what?! Maybe she never was. What’s the worst that could happen, right? You already have kids, a house, jobs, etc. Life is already set in stone. This is just how marriage IS, right!? Maybe you’ve convinced yourself that sex isn’t THAT important to your well being as a man.
Stop kidding yourself. Is that why you find yourself looking at porn on a daily basis? So much so that double-anal-double-vaginal fisting bukake amputee porn is the only thing that gets you mildly erect. You can’t walk outside of the house without looking at and drooling over every female of legal age. Your fantasy world exceeds your reality in every way imaginable. But hey… every other married guy is the same, right?
Wrong. It doesn’t have to be that way. A robust and healthy sex life is NOT out of the question for married people. Not at all. Ironically it’s usually the WIFE who is the first to come to this realization. That’s right, your woman isn’t happy about the lack of sizzle in your marriage, either.
She wants more. She wants better.
She wants to be picked up, thrown on the bed, man-handled and turned into a sex slave. She wants to drive out to the middle of nowhere at 2:00am, be dragged out and thrown on the hood of the car by a man who rips her panties off in a lustful rage. She wants a guy who is not afraid to say what he wants in bed in the most direct way. She absolutely LOVES dirty talk.
SHE JUST DOESN’T WANT TO DO ALL OF THOSE THINGS WITH YOU.
She’s just not that into you, dude. Sorry. She may not have ever been.
Many of us dense men don’t come to this realization until we catch our wives in an affair. Here’s a very common phrase out of the mouth of a betrayed man who endured a dead bedroom for years:
“She did THAT with HIM?!?! She never would do THAT with ME! What the hell!?”
Yep, that super exhausted partner of yours managed to dig deep down inside and find enough sexual energy to power all of Eastern Europe.
“Wonderful. Now what?!”
So, you’re like a lot of guys and you’re nodding your head right now. This “dead bedroom” phenomenon sounds way too familiar and way too depressing. What to do?! Well, a common refrain is “couples counseling!” Get in an office with a professional and freely communicate. Get things out in the open. Yeah, it makes sense on the surface. Communication is a huge thing in any personal relationship. But, ask yourself this:
Will openly talking and pussy-footing around the main issue (her lack of attraction towards you) REALLY get her libido going? Will that ignite her dormant fire?
This has never been said, ever:
“Oh my gosh, honey! You know what? Now that I hear you tell me bluntly that you need more intimacy… I am suddenly all turned on!! WOW I had no idea sex was so important to you! NOW I AM ALL KINDS OF HORNY!! Let’s get home and do this!!”
It’s a fantasy that has never panned out.
FACT: You can’t negotiate attraction. It’s there, or it isn’t. No amount of talking it out will pull it out of her.
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.I have finally put that prescription down on paper, and I call it The Dead Bedroom Fix.
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 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.
For the male victims of infidelity, more often than not the answer they get from their community is some variation of “Dude. Stop. Just leave the whore already.” He doesn’t listen. “Just leave” is an irrational, knee-jerk reaction that has long-lasting and negative repercussions to the family unit. Besides, all these people on the internet don’t know his wife. She’s really not the evil creature his story might make her out to be. She has just lost her way and there is STILL a chance to right this sinking ship. She just needs to be reminded of all the good things they have going on and she will snap out of this “fog” she is in and come to her senses.
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.
In today’s society we often misconstrue “different” as implying “inferior”. That hurts feelings and causes anxiety. People are more than willing to gladly ignore science if it means not hurting feelings. See the uproar from the latest Google “manifesto” as a perfect example.
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 Click-Whirr Effect in Real Life
Take, for example, the infamous dead bedroom.
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.
- They don’t keep messages from their ex a secret. They block the number and immediately inform their husband.
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.
In short, if you come from a broken home, have a history of abuse, were sexual at a very early age, have a history of substance abuse …. you are one finely tuned whirring machine. Your defenses are frequently down and it takes A LOT more consistent boundary enforcement to keep car from going off the road.
One common scenario I see again and again:
- 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.
You’re newly divorced. You’ve joined a fraternity of men who spent a good chunk of their adult life with one person…. but now find themselves where they never thought they would be: Deep in the crazy world of single people.
It can be surreal.
In short, dating today is really very much NOT what you expect. Not at all.
Prepare yourself, my son. This is a crash course in what the dating world is like for the divorced adult man.
I HOPE YOU LIKE TEXTING
The primary means of communication is now texting. Your dates will expect you to text at any time of the day. Since you’re a busy guy and can’t spend all day typing away at your phone… you will drive her nuts if you don’t reply right away. She’ll accuse you of playing games. This actually works in your favor. Nobody said the dating game was mature.
People today, especially young women, are now addicted to little doses of validation that they get from texts, Facebook posts, Twitter replies, etc. So, don’t be thrilled if that hot thing from the bar carries on a 990 message long conversation with you about your awesome arms. They all do that. Just try and keep it short, sweet and polite (ha, good luck).
Oh, and look up Emoji. Install it on your phone. Get used to using funny face icons. Congrats, you’re 8 years old again.
DON’T BE THAT GUY. THE DESPERATE ONE.
Women are bombarded by men. If they’re online, they’re getting hundreds of messages. If they’re at the bar, they’re getting hit on every 20 minutes. All of these women will tell you that the vast majority of these guys are NOT guys they would date seriously. BUT… a lot of them will tell you that they may be guys that they string along for free stuff. They sense the desperation and take advantage of it. Meals, presents, validation… nobody provides all of that better than the desperate guy. He thinks all this pushover behavior may one day end in a relationship (sex). It never does. Don’t be that guy. Everyone is repulsed by him. You know she’s not interested. Be honest with yourself. Don’t waste your time or hers.
DON’T LET THE BAD APPLE SPOIL THE WHOLE BUNCH. WARNING: THERE ARE A LOT OF BAD APPLES.
You’re divorced, so your past notions of “Women are angels and not at all evil like us men” have probably been squashed long ago. Don’t think that dating will help bring those old positive feelings back. In fact, you can easily slip into woman-hating mode if you allow it to take over.
If you play your cards right, you will be involved with a lot of different, attractive women. You will also witness a lot of horrible things:
- Wives hitting on you.
- Engaged women sending you nude selfies .
- Bible-thumping, church-going women telling you that they want to fool around with you because they’re bored with life and their husbands “work too much”.
If you have the gift of gab and women find themselves frequently “opening up” to you… prepare yourself for the mindfuck. Many an evening with single women have left me with me with a semi-permanent shock face. I led such a sheltered, boring married life. I had no fucking idea.
These women are not the rule. They’re not necessarily the exception, either. They’re just broken human beings. Listen to them, take it in, learn, move on. Up to you if you want to be intimate with them. You will end up hating yourself and them more if you do… but that is your call. Sometimes we are slaves to our balls. I get it.
SINGLE WOMEN TODAY ARE HAVING A LOT OF SEX. WAY MORE THAN YOU THINK.
Unless you have specifically stated this as a firm boundary in your relationship, don’t assume that the women you are dating is being monogamous and loyal to you. She’s most likely screwing around. A lot. She may have banged a guy that morning and then met you for drinks at 4:00. You have to be cool with that. If not, your dating pool just shrank down considerably. This is the new reality in the dating world.
Condoms are your friend. Use them. STDs are rampant.
YOU WILL NOTICE PATTERNS AMONG THE AGE GROUPS
The young 20 somethings are VERY picky about the men they sleep with. They tend to like the bad boys and aren’t interested in settling down at all. They are BRUTAL when it comes to the pushover/desperate guys. They hate these guys. They are approached every day by them. This group is where the “just be an asshole” techniques work the most, unfortunately. Ignore them…and they will come running after you.
The single 30 and 40 somethings are way more open and not as picky about who they date. Why? They’re ready to settle down. They’re way more loving and emotional. Some may say it’s because they aren’t as attractive to the bad boys so they settle for the nice guys. Or, they’ve learned from life and now know what is valuable in a relationship. Might be a little of both.
Dating can suck. Hard. It’s enough to scare away decent guys who are just looking for the one soul mate in life. For those of us with an abundance mindset, and armchair psychologists like me… it’s actually pretty damn interesting.
Approach it like a game. That’s exactly what it is.