Listening

man-woman-talkingWhen I was in the depths of my Nice Guy shtick, my wife would frequently tell me that she could see the screen saver come up in my eyes when she was talking to me. I could feel it in myself and I didn’t know what was going on. The minute she opened her mouth, I just went into another place and simply didn’t listen to a thing she said and she knew it. I did this for everyone I knew. I was not present. She would say… blah, blah, blah… did you hear what I just said?!?!? She got so mad and I couldn’t help myself…

After reading several books and attending men’s groups and almost getting divorced, I learned that no matter who was talking to me, I was not present. I was really checked out! If you find yourself in a relationship where your wife is screaming at you and you can’t seem to remember or want to remember what just came out of her mouth, by far the easiest thing to do on the road to recovery is to listen to your partner. Not just her, but everyone around you.

I think the hardest thing for me to do was to look someone in the eye and be present in the conversation. I would look away when I was talking. Look away when I was listening. I drove my wife nuts! Like I mentioned, I am a recovering Nice Guy. I have gotten my shit together over the past couple of years and feel like I am in control of my situation.

Back to the listening thing. Women love to talk. Women love to listen. Men don’t generally talk as much as women and listening can be a struggle. We are hard wired in our brains to be this way. That doesn’t excuse men from listening to their wife’s talking. This also doesn’t mean you should sit there while she yammers away for hours. All men have a different threshold for listening. I think mine is a little longer than the average guy. I know some guys that give their wives 15 minutes of their uninterrupted listening and then the talking is done. My wife can have a habit of talking too much and I need to steer her into some other activity or she will lose me.

Generally the times I listen to my wife is after we both come home from work and she has to do a dump on me. It’s usually not that long, maybe 15-30 minutes. Then it’s usually done for the evening. That’s not saying we don’t talk or have conversation, we do but the mandatory dump of information is over for the day. This is the most critical time for me and I need to give her my undivided attention.

If you find your wife accusing you of not listening or not remembering conversations, it might be time to sit and listen. It could save your relationship!

Posted in listening, Uncategorized

Difference in Sex Rank, the Petraeus affair

You have to be living under a rock if you haven’t heard of the Petraeus scandal that is rocking the nation’s capital right now. Let me recap briefly for you all, David Patraeus a four star general and former head of the CIA had a woman named Paula Broadwell help write a biography about Patraeus’  life a couple of years ago. One thing leads to another when two people spend too much time together away from their spouses (both are married) and expected happens, they had some rocking sex! OK, it’s not all that simple, but this is a classic case of a super Alpha male loses his way and looks outside of his marriage to get his needs met. Unfortunately, not being able to keep his zipper shut pretty much cost him any type of career he had in the military/intelligence community for the rest of his life (I wouldn’t worry about him, sales of his book are going crazy!) All In: The Education of General David Petraeus

First let’s look at David Patraeus, West Point graduate, highly decorated and famous four star general, former head of the CIA. Must be a super Alpha kind of guy. You’d expect  him to have a hot wife for someone of his stature. He is married to a woman named Holly Patraeus, whom he’s been married to for 37 years. Her pictures are all over the web and she is probably the dumpiest thing I’ve seen married to a four star general! She was the daughter of a prominent official at West Point when Patraeus was going there in the mid 1970s. They got married right after he graduated and s

he’s stuck with him throughout his career. They have two children together that I assume are adults by now.

Now let’s have a look at Holly Patraeus. Man oh Man does she need some work! I’ve seen pictures of her when she was much younger and she was pretty darn cute! But, as is typical in many LTRs that go on for many years, you get complacent and sometimes one of the couple falls off the wagon and gains weight or just let’s their apperance go to the dogs. This looks like the case here at the Patraeus household. I read that David Patreaus is a fitness nut and runs marathons. I don’t think Holly has sweated in many years… So, along comes Paula Broadwell and super fit, marathon running, phd student (It looks like she’s about 40 years old, 20 years younger than Patreaus) Married with two small. She is no slacker. Having gone to West Point herself and a military and intelligence career. So she decided to write a book for her phd thesis on David Patreaus. So they spend a huge amount of time together while she “interviews” him for this book. Apparently, the jogged together and seeing how much her biography is like Patraeus’ there is no wonder they fall for each other.

This is such a classic case where one person in a marriage does not keep up their end of the bargain and gets burned for it. I’m not sure what Paul Broadwell’s husband looks like, but it probably doesn’t matter since David Patreaus is such a super alpha guy there probably wasn’t much of chance for her not falling for him, if she hadn’t already had a crush on him before she started this project. If you put David Patreaus at a 9 in the sex rank department and just by looking at Holly, I would put her at 5 at best. Super dumpy. Paula Broadwell is pretty darn hot for a 40 year old mother and I would put her sex rank at 9 also (she is a little to buff for me). When you get two sex ranked 9s in a room together for any length of time and one or both of them are not getting their needs met back at home, it will only spell trouble!

So, what should’ve David Patreaus have done here. The Alpha way would’ve been to tell he wife a long time ago to get herself in shape or things were going to start happening, but also we see that he is a super busy guy and my gut tells me that they probably spend a huge amount of time apart from each other. So, David should’ve either made his needs a priority and told Holly that her frumpy look wasn’t cutting it anymore. (Clearly in Blue Pill heaven here about his marriage) It’s as simple as that. Usually when one spouse approaches the other about structural issues in their marriage like this the other one sits ups and listens. This is Marriage 2.0 now and you cannot let your sex ranks get too divergent or this will happen to you too!

Posted in Uncategorized

Do not make your wife your best friend!

Over at MMSL blog there was a recent post called “Can your wife be your best friend?”. I’ll answer that question simply… No you should not make your wife your best friend. But it’s more complicated than that. Since the two of you will be spending many years together, like good friends, you should have common interests, goals, ideals and such but there is a hidden trap that many married couples fall into.

That trap is the friend zone… Women keep trying to get their man to be one of their girlfriends with a cock and men want their wives to be a friend with boobs. But it can;t be sustain like that for a long time. Of course after a long day at work you’ll come home, have a glass of wine with your wife and unwind. Maybe watch some TV, put the kids to bed and if you on top of a good romp in the bed. Unfortunately, what happens in many marriages is that husband and wife become “best friends” at the exclusion of same sex friends. I know this all too well because that’s what happened to me and almost caused a divorce. (I should say there were multiple things but that was a big one.)

I don’t know where I started learning this but I was a typical nice guy growing up. My mother was the dominant one in the house, my father a beta orbiting nice guy. I guess I assumed that if treated women like my best friend, I could friend them into a relationship. It worked a couple of times but I always ended up breaking up with them. The few times I had a long term relationship with a woman, I definitely was the Alpha guy with male friends in my life and she was just icing on my life. I can’t believe I didn’t learn this lesson until I was 48. Taking the Red Pill is bitter but self awareness is much better than never quite figuring out what is wrong in your life.

The women in your life don’t want to be burdened by your problems. They want you to have a plan and if you need to go talk to someone about it go to a counselor or hang out with your guy friends. Same with her. You cannot be that guy that will sit there for hour on end listening to every little thing she wants to talk about her friends, coworkers, family, kids or whatever. I’m not say that you shouldn’t talk about things like that but really it should be kept short and sweet. I give you permission to cut her off after about 15 minutes unless there is a death in the family or something like that. Anything beyond that and she should be talking to her friends. Same with you.

So to sum up. Don’t let your wife become your best friend and vice versa. You both need save the major belly aching for friends of the same sex.

 

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Birds and the Bees then the Alpha life

I have two sons aged 10 and 8. They are starting to get to that age where they are paying attention to girls, we aren’t quite there yet, but now my older son is becoming very interested in the female anatomy. The questions are becoming pretty explicit! Pretty soon we are going to have to sit him down and have the Birds and the Bees discussion about sex. Kids are exposed to sex and porn at a much earlier age than I was so it’s better to have that discussion as soon as they can even comprehend what we are talking about. They are going to see it on the internet soon enough and you better get on top of it before it becomes a problem!

I had a pretty limited exposure to sex as a kid. Back in the 1970s when I was a kid, you were lucky if you got to see a Playboy or a Penthouse. Many kids “borrowed” them from their fathers or older brothers and we would stand around in the woods looking at naked women. Oh boy! I really didn’t know what sex was until sex ed classes in high school. My parents never had The Talk with me about sex. My father was too much of a nice guy (beta) and my mother tried to have The Talk with me the night before I went to college. Little did she know I was already having sex with my girlfriend. She was my first girlfriend and I was almost 18. I had never seen porn or anything like it (I know, I lived in a sheltered upbringing but not because my parents were super strict or anything). So I really had no clue what to do when I finally got all my girlfriends clothes off. It took a few tries to get it right. Lucky nobody got pregnant… Then I got to college and all hell broke loose! I got exposed to many things in college and had my first long term girlfriend.

Back to the main thrust (yuk, yuk) of this post. I want to be more Alpha about all this as my boys get older and I know it will mainly fall on my shoulders to talk with them about. I’m sure my wife will be involved, but they really need to hear it from me. But that is just the talk about the Birds and the Bees and how babies are made. They will get more than enough education at school through sex ed and friends. This is all pretty well covered between me, my wife and the school system. We all learn it sometime!

After taking the Red Pill last year I am more concerned about my boys learning the rules of the road when it comes to girls (then women). I didn’t learn anything from my father. He was completely in blue pill world (and still is) and was a complete beta orbiter to my Alpha mother. He never had the guts to sit down with me and my brother to discuss the way of the world. He left it to my mother, who being a woman didn’t have a grasp of the subject! When I was in college I got a call from my mother that she was walking out on my father and moving to another state, leaving my father with my 16 year old brother and 14 year old sister. It must have been pretty bad for my mother to leave like that. They were both around 40. My father (in his 70’s now) never dated another woman and my mother just had her first boyfriend since then and she is happier than I’ve seen in a long time! My father had pretty much become a loner living with two cats and traveling in his RV occasionally. Sometimes I feel sorry for him.

I was the Nice Guy throughout high school, college and later into my 40’s. I thought by befriending women I would get to know them better and then maybe find a girlfriend that way. It rarely worked. I think when my boys get out of college and start working, I am going sit down with each of them and discuss the Alpha way with them. They will be a little more lucky than I was with my blue pill popping father and I had to learn the hard way. I intend to live the Alpha way until that time comes and I hope they pick it up by example. Just in case they don’t figure it out or need it explained to them point blank,  I am going to hand them a copy of Athol Kay’s Married Man Sex Life Primer. Not only for marriage but any long term relationship and it does a great job of explaining how relationships work. It’s not easy taking the red pill but I will force it down their throats if I have to. If marriage and kids are a goal of theirs (and I hope that it were), then it’s very important to choose a mate for life and make sure she has taken the red pill also. I don’t want them to suffer like I did for a couple of years.

Posted in parenting

Living the Stay At Home life! Not!

Athol had a great post up yesterday about Stay at home mothers and dads. (SAHM and SAHD) called The Most Difficult Job in the World I couldn’t agree more with him! His main conjecture is that in this world of Marriage 2.0 either party can lose big in the divorce wars if they aren’t on their toes. He goes on to say that many women (and some men) use being a SAHM a cop out from working. Like I said, I’ve been there, done that! Being the stay at home parent is difficult when they are little babies, that’s for sure. But by the time those kids are in Kindergarten, it’s really not that hard anymore. In fact, it’s a pretty darn laid back lifestyle if you ask me. If I hadn’t taken the red pill last year and also I have a pretty high motivation to get back to work, I would say this is a pretty neat existence!

Let me rewind my situation… in 2002 my wife found out she was pregnant. I was pretty deep into Nice Guy land so when she was about half way into her pregnancy we decided that she should stay at work and I should stay home. Financially, it was the right move. She out earned me by 3x and I wasn’t too shabby since I was a computer engineer at a very large software company. I had no clear goal of going back go work, but I can tell you that right off the bat I was bored out of my mind! We quickly had a 2nd son in 2004 which added to my misery. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my kids and I still think they are (mostly) wonderful boys, staying at home was simply something I didn’t like doing and I was frequently frustrated as I tried to get things done.

To relieve my boredom, I started a business at home and poured a ton of money into it. I quickly became frustrated for the lack of time I could dedicate to my business with two kids crawling all over me every waking moment. I was not cut out to do the SAHD thing. As soon as we could afford it, I put them in daycare when they were about 2 and 4. Later on we got a nanny which helped to some extent but I still worked out of the house (this was not an office job so it needed to be in the garage). Now they are in school in grades 3 and 4. I am still the defacto stay at home parent but I am looking for full time work back int he computer industry (see my previous blog entry). I was completely frustrated by my SAHD decision and in hindsight I wish I kept my job and put the kids in daycare full time. I was so beta back then that I couldn’t make a decision myself and relied on my wife to make them for me. Ugh… no wonder she wanted to start an affair!

So, my advice to you guys that are thinking about becoming a SAHD, don’t do it! UNLESS, you are super alpha about how it’s going to work and the fact that you are going back to work as soon as you can. If you can both work, daycare is not that tough on kids, especially if you can afford to put your kids in a high quality day care. Those women (I don’t think there was one guy that worked at our daycare center) did a much better job of entertaining those kids than I did. It’s in their DNA! Staying at home also puts you in the backseat and you end up DLV to your wife who brings home the money.

The flip side to all this is the the SAHM thing that Athol talks about. First, as a SAHD most SAHM do not want anything to do with you as a person. They think you are a freak show, believe me it’s much harder as a SAHD because you are an outcast. SAHM do not, unless they are trying to get you in the sack, want anything to do with you. They give you funny looks and I can see what they are thinking “Why is here at Target on a Tuesday morning at 9am picking up diapers with the kids?!?? What a loser!”

Anyway, my thoughts on SAHM since I did rub shoulders with quite a few of them over the years. There are two types. Those that basically check out and throw away any career they might have and those that believe that once they get through the pre-school days they are back to work. I would say that the ratio was something like 90% checked out with no clue what their plans are and 10% with a mission. I am generalizing here, but the ones that check out generally just lose it. They put on weight, they forget how to dress, they can’t carry on an intelligent conversation anymore and many of them are college educated in my neighborhood. Many of the SAHM I know get their kids into elementary school and start looking around trying to figure out what to do with themselves. Ha! The PTA! My god our PTA is crazy!

A good friend of mine is a SAHM. I’ve known her for 17 years. She is college educated. She has a 10 year old boy. Her husband works and travels like crazy. I love her dearly, but she is lazy! When I first met her she was pretty darn cute, but these days she is super frumpy. I wouldn’t be surprised if her husband (Super Alpha, marathon running, executive type) has multiple affairs going. I feel sorry she is so blue pill sometimes I just want to shake her!

My advice, is even though it’s tough to go back to work (and it’s tough to get a job right now, believe me) the whole family will be better off for it. Your spouse will think more highly of you in the long run. You’ll have more money in the bank and you’ll keep your sanity! As long as you both aren’t getting jobs at some start up or super competitive workplace that put huge demands on you, you will be fine! The kids will turn out just right! Marriage 2.0 is here to stay and staying at home after all the kids are off to school does nobody any good. (OK, unless you have like 5 kids then you’l be doing laundry all day!)

Posted in parenting, Stay at home dad

Job searching, the Alpha way

Finding a job is a pain in the butt! Anyone who has looked for work recently knows the game has changed quite a bit. Just a few years ago, mainly before the 2008 crash, finding work was difficult but now it’s over the top difficult. Used to be recruiters would get a couple dozen resumes for a job posting, now they are getting hundreds!

My story is that shortly after my first son was born, my wife and I looked at each other and said “Who’s taking care of this kid?”. Being the Beta self that I was, I rolled over and quit my job and became a Stay At Home Dad. Actually, it was more complicated than that. She out earned me 3x. In hindsight, we should’ve put our kids in day care while I worked full time but that is water under the bridge.

So, I quit my job at one of the biggest software companies in the world. A couple of years later and another son born, I started a business that I could run from the home. (I wish I knew more about blogging back then!) It required a lot of cash and we drained our savings accounts to boot it up. Eight years later, it’s not performing at the level we need it to for us to live off her salary and the money from the business. So, it’s back to the corporate grind for me!

Since I’ve been through a major life transformation over the past couple of years, I’ve become more self aware. The old me would’ve done anything I could to not go back to work and I would’ve convinced my wife that I NEEDED to stay home. Totally beta! The new self aware me realized about six months ago that this arrangement wasn’t working, that I needed to shutter my business and get back to work and bring in a steady paycheck!

What have I learned is that for me, I need to make money. The more, the happier everyone in the family is!

Here are a few Guidelines for guys, especially recovering Nice Guys to help you when you are searching for a job:

  • Be in the moment – Job hunting is tough enough on you, plus the family. You must be present and in the moment with all around you. Do not disengage or become unconscious. Many times I find my mind wander to my job search instead of the task in front of me. Stay focused and on course!
  • No attachment to outcome – In many ways, hunting for a job is like dating. You and prospective company (or woman in dating) do this type of dance before you settle down with each other if you get that far. I always go into job interviews feeling like if this is a fit, it will be a fit. I don’t get my hopes up and try not to attach myself to any outcome good or bad.
  • Persevere – As a man it’s your job to push through adversity and have a goal. In this case, the goal is to get a job that you like for a company that you like. Many times companies have multiple open positions that you might fill. If one doesn’t work out, come back another time and try again. Also if one company doesn’t work out move on to the next. Do not get emotionally tied up around any single interview.
  • Confidence – You must show confidence at all times! An un-confident job hunter is not going to get the job. The funny thing about confidence is that you can fake it until you get good at it.
  • Stay in shape – I have found that for my mental well being and health, getting regular, strenuous exercise keeps my mind sharp, I feel more confident and more relaxed. All traits that employers are looking for. I’m not a gym guy and I always got my exercise by either walking strenuously for an hour or doing sports like softball, skiing, volleyball, whatever. The point is to get out there and sweat!

There you have it! Every situation is different but I think if you follow these guidelines you will have a much easier time finding a job!

Posted in employment

Rules to live by, the Alpha way

A wise sage once imparted this wisdom on me a while back and I want to share these with you. Each one of these could make a full length post in the future but here is the quick and easy list:

  • Embrace Abundance!
  • Put yourself first!
  • If it frightens you do it anyway.
  • Don’t Settle! When you settle, you get what you settled for.
  • No matter what happens you can deal with it.
  • Whatever you are doing, do it 100%
  • If you do what you have always done, you will get what you’ve always gotten.
  • Only you are responsible for your needs, wants and happiness.
  • Always ask for what you want.
  • If it’s not working, trying something different
  • Always be clear and direct.
  • Learn to say NO!
  • Never make excuses.
  • As an adult, you are old enough to make your own rules.
  • Let people help you!
  • Be honest with yourself.
  • Never let people treat you badly. Never!
  • Remove yourself from a bad situation, instead of waiting for change.
  • Don’t tolerate the intolerable!
  • Never blame, victims never succeed.
  • Live with integrity!
  • Decide what feels right, then do it.
  • Accept the consequences of your actions
  • Be good to yourself!
  • Face difficulties head on.
  • Never keep secrets.
  • Do it now!
  • Be willing to let go of what you have.
  • Have fun! If it’s not fun, something is wrong.
  • Allow yourself to fail, there are not mistakes only learning experiences.
  • Control is an illusion. Let Go! Life Happens!
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When the wife earns more

Here is something that is near and dear to my heart! Today on Slate.com there is an article from Hanna Rosin the author of the new book The End of Men: And the Rise of Women mainly about how women are taking over the world. Whether in politics or business or at home, women are starting to take over and run everything. That might be a discussion for a book review later but let’s go to the Slate article.

The article is about when a wife earns more than her husband and how does that make the couple feel. Read here first: http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2012/09/breadwinner_wives_when_the_women_make_more_money_who_holds_the_power_.html

Basically, what she is address is the fact that there are so few available men to marry and that men are falling behind women in education and earning potential, that many women seeking a relationship are marrying down the social ladder for the first time. This is happening all over the world as men become fall further behind women on all fronts.

Rosin says: “Still, it was clear from my dozens of interviews that there are tensions under the surface. A power arrangement that’s prevailed for most of history does not fade without a ripple.”

Uh, exactly! This has been the power arrangement since the dawn of man and it’s so ingrained into that it’s in our DNA. What started as an equal rights movement has blossomed into a full fledged reversal of roles in our society. I am not against equal rights. Women should be able to do what every they want (within reason and the law) but when it comes to relationships and the balance of power, this is not a good thing.

She goes on to say: “On the other side of that equation are women who are resentful about carrying the whole economic load, much the way husbands once were. They exhibit the same range of provider symptoms: pressure, fear of the gold digger, frustration at being trapped in the day-to-day with no outlet for creativity.”

Again, exactly! I know my wife felt it for many years as I stayed home. She was resentful of the fact I was home with the kids and she was responsible for earning a living. Deep in their feminine core, most women do not want to be responsible for earning all the money for the household, especially when there is a house and children involved! It goes against their very being.

Then there was me. I really thought I could deal with it and it has gotten better as the children have gotten older but between my wife’s resentment and my wanting to get back and work on something substantial (my wife never wanted to stay home with the kids, maybe wistfully but she is a go getter and likes working) I was in a serious rut that I am just now coming out of after about 9 years.

Basically, I feel this is not good. I mean, there are going to be some seriously betaized men out there and there are going to be a lot of pissed of women and the divorce rate is going up up up! Not because women aren’t smart or can’t run things like big business or politics, but it’s the mainstream woman that is trying to juggle career and kids and her marriage and feels like she has to do it all because the man in her life isn’t stepping up like he is supposed to. I’ve been there and I’m still there. I run a business out of our house and she goes off to corporate America every morning and leaves me to get the kids off to school, clean the house, do laundry and then play soccer dad after school. I can tell you it’s not my first preference but I am taking one for the family right now.

My advice from what I’ve read and seen in my life is that men need to take the lead in a relationship. It’s as simple as that. Most women crave that in their relationships. Men need to be the one that sets the course and has the plan for the family. They don’t necessarily need to make more money than their mate, but it is a huge DLV (Display of Lower Value) when they aren’t bring the bacon home. I know it’s easier to sit around the house and play World of Warcraft all day long, the problem is that many women are letting us men get away with it right now because of the lack of available men. This is not a good role model for our future generations.

 

 

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