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Ghosts of the Alpha Widow

September 8, 2014
Alpha Widowhood is a description of an observed behavior, not a cruel invention of the Game theoreticians meant to plague BETA husbands and give them sleepless nights:
Steve has been with me for the past 50 years and Ron for 47. Neither is the man I am married to, nor have I seen or spoken to either since our love affairs ended in my 20s. All the same, there is no denying they have both messed with my marriage to Olly, the man who has been by my side for the past 40 years.

I found myself thinking about them both as I read recent research that suggested women who played the field before marriage are unhappier with their lot than those who entered matrimony virginal.
Angela Neustatter has often questioned what life would have been like had she married another man

Angela Neustatter has often questioned what life would have been like had she married another man

My first reaction was: why on earth would that be? I have always believed a bit of experience, in both love and sex, to be an asset to understanding what we really want when selecting a partner for life.

Having no history to draw on — settling down with no idea what else the world has to offer — seems a recipe for disaster, not satisfaction.

And yet there is no denying that my past lovers have made their presence felt in my marriage — at times, even making me question my commitment....

[W]omen, far more than men, according to Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, Yale psychologist and author of Women Who Think Too Much, are likely to find themselves ruminating on how life might have panned out with the past loves that seemed so magical in their time. Whether the thrill might have endured and could have made for an infinitely more satisfying relationship than the one we have now.

These fantasies, as I see it, are like powerful ghosts, haunting the darker recesses of our psyche, ready to swoop in and cause trouble, when given the chance.

Certainly, my marriage became crowded with ghosts when, after my first decade with Olly, the little things that had once been no more than niggles began to take on greater significance.
Note that Alpha Widowhood is not primarily about sex, although that is where the ghosts of Alphas past are formed. Even after 40 years of marriage, the woman is still hooked on the memories of the two men in particular who made an impression on her sexual psyche; it's not even a little surprising that one of them dumped her because he found "fidelity too hard". She pines for that long-gone Alpha buzz.

And observe that it is obviously not male insecurity that is to blame when women are literally questioning their multi-decade commitments to their husbands due to their past sexual experience. The simple and observable fact is that sexual experienced women find it harder to bond to their husbands and to live up to their marital commitments. This doesn't mean it is impossible for them to do either, only that it is a material challenge that has to be recognized and surmounted by both parties, particularly the wife.

As for those who would prefer to remain in ignorance, recall that it is always considerably easier to surmount a challenge that one knows is there.

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Post Information
Title Ghosts of the Alpha Widow
Author VD
Date September 8, 2014 8:02 AM UTC (8 years ago)
Blog Alpha Game
Archive Link
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