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The Three Dysfunctional Captains and First Officers of Married TRP

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March 12, 2015

My first attempt to post something to /r/marriedredpill and not just comment. Hope y'all enjoy it.

I've noticed with men having problems with their marriage, their wife's behavior seems to fit three archetypes. I'd like to outline them here and I'm curious if you gents will agree with me.

1. The Drunk Captain With A Pissed First Officer Who's Had to Take Command:

Your wife asks you to pick up something from the grocery store for dinner. You pick up a slightly different brand, size, etc of whatever she wanted. This results in her yelling at you and criticizing you for a lot of unrelated issues. She works all day, she's waking up all night, breastfeeding your infant child, and you're apparently so worthless you can't even pick up the right kind of ground beef. The warmth is draining from your marriage, and you feel you're try your best to make her happy, but she seems to find fault in even your most minor mistakes. In the morning, she hinted at having sex that night, which you were really looking for to since it's been a whole month. But then you had to go and buy 90% lean ground beef instead of 93% lean ground beef, didn't you? That 3% more fat might as well be the 0% fat chance you have of having sex that night.

The Problem: If your story starts with saying, "I was alpha, met my wife, and turned beta," this is probably you. But your wife didn't turn you beta, you did. In other words, you're the Drunk Captain.

It's not about the groceries. She's berating and henpecking you because she's pissed off that you haven't stepped up as leader of the household. She's reluctantly had to take the reigns, because she feels the ship will crash otherwise. She's no longer telling you what structural improvements she wants -- she's given up completely on your ability to execute anything meaningful. So all your attempts to "help" are looked at almost with contempt. No amount of running errands or doing chores will make up for the major deficiencies you've allowed in your life.

The Solution: Get your shit together. Read MMSL, and start working on your MAP. Make those structural improvements she wants. Hit the gym. Focus on work. Make real improvements in your life and in your children's lives, if you have them. This will almost definitely piss her off at first. Like I've said, she's written you off. When she sees you doing things like going to the gym, her gut reaction will be, "Oh, the Captain thinks he can just sober up and take command overnight? I don't trust him for a minute."

There will be a period where she doesn't trust your leadership, and on top of that, now sees you declining the pathetic ways you used to "help" her before. This will be tough and you can expect a lot of Shit Tests, but your road is actually is the easiest to navigate of these three scenarios. This is because your wife fundamentally wanted to be a First Officer, not a First Officer Who Had to Take Over For a Drunk Captain, which is why she was attracted to the Younger Alpha You to begin with. Follow your MAP, maintain your frame, and become that guy again. You'll know you've turned the corner when those Shit Tests have given way to Comfort Tests, and you'll eventually be able to regain her trust, respect, and eventually admiration.

Degree of Difficulty: Depends on how long you've been figuratively drunk, but this is the easiest of the three dysfunctional Captain and First Officer scenarios. The failure mode here is the husband's decline into betadom, the woman's nagging/henpecking as she's resentful she's had to take command, and the husband lets himself be beatdown by said nagging/henpecking. Then they go to "marriage counseling," which only encourages a deeper rift. The husband is told, "you need to appreciate your wife," but no amount of appreciation will make her happy -- she doesn't want to be appreciated for being in command, she doesn't want to command the ship at all! And the wife is told, "you need to stop busting your husband's balls," but the easiest solution to that is to stop making them such a big target!

2. The Captain and the Constantly Complaining Passenger:

You've made plans to meet up with some friends for happy hour after work, and you're excited; you haven't seen them in months and you feel lucky they're even still talking to you. You're wrapping up your day at work, when your phone starts vibrating; it's your wife. Just seeing her name pop up on your phone causes your gut to tighten and make you feel slightly anxious, even if you'd never consciously admit that to yourself, let alone her. You pick up the phone, and she immediately launches into how annoying her job was that day. Normally you'd entertain the hours of verbal diarrehia that inevitably will come out of her mouth, but you're going to be late to meet with your friends. You try and gently interrupt her story, which immediately causes her to direct her wrath at you. "So it's more important for you to get drunk with your friends then listen to your wife's problems. I see how it is." You try and backpedal, offer to keep listening to her, but now she's entrenched in her anger at you. You defend yourself, saying you're hardly going to "get drunk," and will be home well before 7pm. Some how this leads her to start crying, saying how stressed she's been lately and how she feels so unsupported by everyone, including her own husband. You sigh, tell her you'll be right home. Looks like happy hour isn't going to be so happy for you after all.

The Problem: You're the Captain, but somehow this means you're responsible for everything that goes wrong, and don't get any credit for anything going right -- pretty much as discussed in Rollo's post "Mutiny." Your wife isn't a First Officer, she's just a passenger -- and a very critical one at that. If your wife feels negatively for any reason, it's automatically your fault. If anything negative happens to the family; again, your fault. It's impossible to reason with her, because so much of her responses to anything are based on her "feelings," and she has a way to twist anything she doesn't like as your lack of consideration for said feelings.

Pick your analogy: eggshells, a tightrope, or a bed of nails, either way, you're walking on them constantly and it sucks. Any suggestions from her are basically just negative criticism, and work much like George Steinbrenner's old rationale for insulting players in the media. If you fuck up, she was right. If you succeed in spite of her criticism, then she "lit a fire under you" or "is glad you proved her wrong by finally stepping up." Your sex life isn't barren, which is nice, but only seems to happen after an epic fight, which isn't so nice.

The Solution: Your story probably doesn't start with "I was alpha, then became beta." Sadly, you were probably "beta" for most of your life, likely stemming from codependency issues developed during your youth. Your parents divorced and you found yourself having to console and comfort your mom or younger siblings, and this what you equated with "love" -- protecting people from bad feelings, even if you have to take responsibility for all of them. Or attributing love to dealing with some sort of conflict, even if it's self-imposed.

So Mr. White Knight, this doesn't get any better until you stop that. The good news is, you're probably already a pretty good Captain. Anyone viewing your marriage from the outside would probably see a nice house, happy kids, bills paid, and food on the table. You can't turn your wife into a good First Officer overnight, but you can stop caring about her criticism about your failures. It's going to be terrifying for your wife to not have you taking responsibility for all her emotions, and you're going to see that right away. She'll alternate between Shit Tests and Comfort Tests, sometimes within the same conversation. She'll criticize you, get hysterical when you brush it off, and then end up in tears because, "it just seems like you don't love me anymore." This likely won't end until you manage to hold frame through a level DEFCON1 Nuclear Shit Test, but then there's nowhere to go but up from there.

Your bible is WISNIFG. For too long, you've attributed your value to how pleased others were by you. That needs to stop, especially because chances are your wife isn't the only codependent relationship you're in. But while your game is boundaries, this is going to instill a radioactive level of Dread in your wife without you even trying all that hard. Focus on techniques like Fogging and Negative Inquiry and Negative Assertion, because this gives you the best chance to navigate setting boundaries without your wife freaking out that "you hate her and she can't live like this anymore," and torching your house.

Degree of Difficulty: Generally this marriage is what happens when you mix a codependent man with a "Cluster B" (narcissistic, histrionic, or borderline) personality disorder. If these traits are acute in you and/or her, get ready for a lot of intense drama that your marriage may not survive. Your wife may decide that taking responsbility for her emotions was her condition to being married to you. Or you may feel her hysterics are just too emotionally trying for you to keep maintaining frame.

Otherwise, if you'd describe your wife as just "emotionally needy" but not necessarily to a pathological level, you should be able to come out of this just fine. The only other pitfall is when you inevitable instill that Dread, you'll be tempted to enjoy and relish it. The opposite of Dread is taking you for granted, which is what she's essentially done for most of your marriage. You've probably built up some resentment about that, and it'll tempting to watch that Dread and even intentionally fail Comfort Tests. But you do you want to save your marriage, you're going to need to learn to resist this.

For what it's worth, this is only scenario that I consider talking to a professional -- separately -- to be helpful. Individual therapy can help you overcome your codependent ways of thinking, and if your wife truly is truly a full-blown Cluster B, a professional will be able to help her deal with (or medicate) her moods in ways that you can't.

Post Information
Title The Three Dysfunctional Captains and First Officers of Married TRP
Author jacktenofhearts
Upvotes 51
Comments 35
Date 12 March 2015 08:30 AM UTC (5 years ago)
Subreddit MarriedRedPill
Original Link
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Red Pill terms found in post:

[–]BluepillProfessorMarried-MRP MODERATOR[M] [score hidden] stickied comment (0 children) | Copy

Dysfunctional Captain Type IV: The Omega Male

We have had some real quality posts on MRP in just the last few hours. Wow! This post could be the topic of an entire book. Analyze different Captain/First Officer arrangements and how to handle them in the same way Rollos new book analyzes women at different life stages and how to handle them (or at least what to expect).

I would bifurcate the true "Drunk Captain" who has been hiding in his ready room for (sometimes) years while the pissed off First Officer handles everything from your concept of the Drunk Captain just being a slowly marriage/betafied guy. These are different situations but the solution appears very similar- ONE IS IS THE OMEGA MALE AND THE OTHER IS A TYPE I- DRUNK CAPTAIN.

Also, what about the Mutinous Screechtard Sex denying First Officer and the Captain?

Finally, I think there may be a different approach where the woman is a competent Captain in her own right and things are superficially smooth but...the sex, what happened is distinct from the scenario of the incompetent female Captain who has the ship headed for the reef.

[–]strategos_autokratorMan, Married, Mod11 points12 points  (3 children) | Copy

Quality post. A post really resonates with me when I'm reading and I think "I wish I had read this months ago, it would have saved me a lot of pain" or "I wish I had written this." This post made me think both several times.

Some of the descriptions there are as if you took them out from my own posts, and are right on the mark, both on the shit I had to focus on, on the challenges and difficulty level, and on how success looks like.

Thanks for this, this post is amazing.

I'm putting it in the wiki.

[–]let_terror_reign3 points4 points  (0 children) | Copy

Completely support that. Please do, this is top quality

[–]enskipp1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy

What's the link to the wiki?

[–]strategos_autokratorMan, Married, Mod2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

It is at the top of the subreddit main page. One of the tabs, right of top, new, etc tabs.

[–]jacktenofheartsMarried MRP APPROVED[S] 16 points17 points  (3 children) | Copy

3. The Captain and Her Husband:

You're on your way to a double date with your wife and your friends. Your wife arranged the date, picked the restaurant, and made the reservation. She texted you twice that day to make sure you'd be home and ready on time, and made you change your shirt three times. Despite that, you were still ten minutes late, as your wife spent a full hour rummaging through her wardrobe and complaining "she looked fat in everything." You suggested she wear that sexy black dress, and she snorted and said, "of course you'd say that," since clearly your preference for her appearance is her last priority.

You apologize to your friends when you meet them at the restaurant for being late; well, they're really her friends, and you can't remember the last time she was willing to get together with yours. They say it's no problem, and your wife chimes in, "You know how [your name] is; he really has no sense of direction." You're tempted to defend yourself, but you know your wife is smart enough to turn any public argument into a scene where she's calm and composed, and you look juvenile and whining. So you shake it off, and have a pleasant dinner -- although it's a bit hard to swallow your food with your jaw clenching every twenty minutes, since that's how often she throws another emasculating comment your way. At least you can look forward to having sex when you get back home -- wait, no you can't, since it's Thursday, and she's designated Sundays at 7:50pm to 8:00pm as "sexy time" for both of you.

The Problem: Your wife has a high SMV, and everyone knows it. In the beginning, everyone complimented you on how "you did really well" and "you're a lucky guy" for dating such an attractive and intelligent woman. You embraced this, joking about how you somehow "tricked her" into dating you, as if she'd normally prefer someone of a much higher stature. When her focus and energies were spent on you, you felt like a million bucks, which is why you didn't hesitate proposing to her -- and that's where things went south. She dove headlong into wedding planning, and your input was barely solicited, let alone factored into a decision. On the big day, you mostly felt like a tuxedo mannequin stand-in. Since then, the tone's been set for you as the barely complementary piece to her life.

You're not without your own achievements and value, and you're secure enough to be a Husband First Officer to your Wife Captain. The problem is your wife isn't nearly secure enough herself to be a good Captain. She makes her share of mistakes, and she knows it. She does things like emasculating you in front of friends, or soliciting and then disregarding your opinion, mostly out of insecurity. And unfortunately, she's intelligent and creative enough to be really good at it.

The Solution: Your wife as Captain isn't working for you. And it's probably not working for her either, but that would require admitting mistakes, and you can't remember the last time your wife apologized for something. At some point, you abandoned your MAP; go read some Athol Kay and create a new one, because it's time to launch your own ship. You'll actually have the easiest road getting started, because your wife is probably so self-involved she won't care that much about your self-improvement goals. You may even get comments like, "glad to see you're going to the gym again; I was wondering if you were ever going to care about what the doctor said about your blood pressure."

Eventually though, you're going to run into some problems. Because while you're becoming the Captain of your own ship, you're going to become a shitty First Officer on hers. You're no longer knee-jerk following Her Plan For Us (or really, Her Plan For Herself and You As Long as You Agree With Everything), so you're going to quickly butt heads. You'll decline going out with her friends, and say you're going out with yours. She'll see this as a "withdrawal of duties," and will likely withdraw her own "duties." Say goodbye to those 7:50pm to 8:00pm Sunday sexytimes, buddy. Learn the term "Outcome Independence," because you're going to need it.

You "win" this with Dread, but not the "go out and pretend my phone died" or "flirt with attractive coworkers" Dread. She's probably too smart for that, and will see them as the emotionally manipulative tactics that they mostly are. Your Dread is just a gradual but real, pure, raw, SMV increase. Would your wife defer and be a good First Officer to George Clooney? Fuck yeah. So you, my friend, need to become her George Clooney. Right now, she probably considers herself physically, mentally, emotionally, and professionally superior to you. And you won't convince her to get on board your ship until that changes.

But the road is long and hard. She won't hesitate to tell your social circle that you're being a shithead, since she works all day at her high-powered career, then comes home to "run the household" (since "you're so forgetful" and naturally couldn't manage cell phone and utility bills yourself), and has an ungrateful husband who just wants to spend all day at the gym and then Home Depot. If you have kids, this is only going to be more acute, especially as you become the "fun parent," while she's frustrated that you're no longer supporting her efforts to make them trilingual at age 3.

Degree of Difficulty: This essentially comes down to her willingness to stop trying to "have it all," and accept she can "lean out" a bit and it's actually pretty great not being an emasculating control freak. Her Comfort Tests will largely revolve around you showing you want her as First Officer, both emotionally and practically. After all, she was a bad Captain because she never even considered you a First Officer whose opinion she should occasionally give a shit about. Once she realizes being your First Officer doesn't mean "1950s housewife," it's downhill from there. In fact, if she's on board, she's the most likely of the three archetypes to figure out your Red Pill journey and actively assist you in realizing your goals. She used to make you feel like a million bucks before; she can do it again.

If you fail, it's probably because, well, being George Clooney is fucking hard, and you may never be able to get your SMV to the levels required for her to defer to you. Or it may be because her mind is just too deeply rooted in being Captain that she can't tolerate anything else. You'll only know for sure if you divorce, because her next marriage will either be to someone closer who made it closer to George Clooney than you ever did, or a HUGE beta who will never threaten her command the way you did.

[–]RedPillDadMarried- TRP APPROVED3 points4 points  (2 children) | Copy

I really enjoyed this. Well thought out and well written.

[–]jacktenofheartsMarried MRP APPROVED[S] 2 points3 points  (1 child) | Copy

Wow, looks like this was pretty well received. I'm relieved this wasn't perceived as a rigid taxonomy, which was my main concern in how I organized this. As a lot of you commented, it's possible for your marriage to transition through these archetypes, or combine elements of more than one.

Thanks to everyone for reading (especially given this was so big of a wall of text, I needed to extend it into the comments), glad you guys got some value out of this. I hope to contribute more posts and comments on this sub in the future.

[–]strategos_autokratorMan, Married, Mod0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

I can tell you really thought this through well and the taxonomy does seem to consider a lot of stuff. In my own case, I definitely I'm more of one, but found bits of the others as well. But your categories really helped me understand things.

A taxonomy isn't so much to pretend that things are strict, but to helps us simplify something complicated so we can think about it more effectively.

[–]dandar4600Unplugging9 points10 points  (1 child) | Copy

You forgot the 4th scenario to which I belong. The bumbling half drunk captain. It's my ship but I was too drunk half the time to manage it so she took over and managed it 90% of the time (through me being drunk and the following hangover.) We hang out with my friends or her family. But it was 90% that she made plans. We seldom see her one friend left over from her teenage years (I met her and we've been together since her 16th birthday.) I'm the only one she has ever been with. She never berated me in public or in front of my friends. There were times though in our 12 year marriage 17 year relationship (she's 33 now) that she was ready to walk. She was sick of me bumbling around and not taking the reigns.

For her me announcing that I am reading self improvement books and joining a gym was met with dread, pessimism and quiet anticipation. She was ready to go back to being first officer full time. She wanted to do it and was simply waiting for me to wake up and take over the captain's chair full time.

For me there was almost no transition and almost no shit tests. There have been a few comfort tests and that's about it. She fell in line from the first weekend and our sex life took off like a rocket.

I wouldn't go so far to say that MRP saved our marriage, but it definitely improved both our lives. Degree of difficulty: child's play.

[–]BluepillProfessorMarried-MRP MODERATOR[M] 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

I was also the drunk captain before I discovered TRP- not actual alcohol but an orgy of depression following some bad shit.

She was ready to go back to being first officer full time. She wanted to do it and was simply waiting for me to wake up and take over the captain's chair full time.

This as well. However, I would not say it was child's play.

I had MONTHS of deliberate and sophisticated shit tests to see if I was really suddenly reliable and responsible. Layers of them actually. Sex took many months and a gigantic and obvious improvement in SMV. I agree her attitude improved immediately and she was eager to adopt the role of First Officer but she could not bring herself to let go. In fact I have that annoying song "Frozen" (Let it go) set to play for her on my IPhone any time she needs to be reminded to back the fuck off.

I discovered MRP well after this but I would say beyond doubt TRP saved my marriage.

[–]RoughknotMarried5 points6 points  (7 children) | Copy

Wow. This is top quality material.

Our marriage is a number 2, actually it's quite scary how accurately you have portrayed my life in that summary and the issues that have arisen.

I have taken some professional help but she still refuses to seek therapy.

This has become a large deal breaker for me in one of the periodic melt downs that have occurred.

At this point our marriage won't survive, balancing on razor thin edge of shit and comfort tests while in a cyclone is too hard.

[–]strategos_autokratorMan, Married, Mod5 points6 points  (5 children) | Copy

At this point our marriage won't survive, balancing on razor thin edge of shit and comfort tests while in a cyclone is too hard.

Man, I was compelled to write because I felt exactly like this for very long. The worse was during some nuclear shit tests she threw. Check out this, then this and finally this one.

It was fucking hell and brutal, but I knew I wasn't going back to the old ways. I kept frame only out of pure stubbornness to not slide back to the old shit that was horrible for all of us.

Looking back, it was the only way she internalized that I was strong. This pushed her into some big changes in herself, and things are much better now. I still get shit test and comfort test, but they are much weaker, and i pass them very regularly. Not perfect, but quite good, and getting better all the time.

I'm not saying that your marriage can be saved by you alone, that is ridiculous, and shouldn't be your goal. But I am saying that staying strong with your needs and clear with your vision is the way to be happy, no matter what that means.

Finally, when I was exhausted, /u/theultmatecad posted this quote fron The Way of the Superior Man that was exactly what I needed. I'm copy pasting it here for visibility, but please, upvote his.

If you are like most men, you probably aren't too fond of feminine bad moods and hysterical emotions. You may find yourself wondering, why is she so complicated? Whats her problem? You may find yourself saying "just calm down and take it easy." The feminine bad mood is so foreign and dark to you that you may find it somewhat repulsive. And when your woman goes really wild, a part of you is afraid of the damage she might do. Her emotions are so much more wild and less predictable than yours that you would rather not be around them. Basically most men are afraid of, disgusted by, feminine emotions. That's why you try to fix them or escape from them. One of the deepest feminine pleasures is when a man stands full, present, and unreactive in the midst of his woman's emotional storms. When he stays present with her and loves her through the layers of wildness and closure then she feels his trustability and she can relax.

[–]RoughknotMarried0 points1 point  (2 children) | Copy

I appreciate the response, you guys are solid at stepping up. I've just reread your posts you linked I can relate however I believe my wife has more of the Histrionic personality traits.

The thing is now with the rose coloured glasses off and when I'm not dealing with the crazy shit I don't find much I value in her any more as a person or lover. This is very sad realisation. It's true when you care less, and need her less it gets easier to disengage from her moods. You handle the shit tests better, but it makes it easier to disengage from her entirely (and miss comfort tests).

During times of reflection I do realise that a part of this thinking is my hamster overcoming the cognitive dissonance as I contemplate leaving her. However I know that hamster is only a small part that is also derivative of my true feelings.

[–]strategos_autokratorMan, Married, Mod2 points3 points  (1 child) | Copy

If she isn't adding to your life, then, it is reasonable for you to decide to find happiness somewhere else. I can see how that realization helps with the shit tests but not with the comfort tests.

If you are passing shit tests, doing dread, and things aren't better, it is her fault if the marriage isn't a happy one.

Stay strong and maintain frame, it will be essential no matter what. And also, be prepared that some of the crazier women are even worse as ex wives, especially if there are children in the middle, so plan for all the possibilities.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Glad you said it already. Sometimes, women don't add value. When people don't add value, you need to let them go in order to have a clean slate. There are more factor to think about when it's your wife, but the process should be similar.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

I just read through the three posts you linked first and I gotta say, I wish we had more like you in /r/PurplePillDebate. This quote is gold because the biggest issue is that many have the wrong idea of TRP supposedly is or is not.

TRP isn't about being an asshole or controlling to our wives. It is about having frame so we control ourselves and have vision about what is REALLY important to us. From that, wives feel safer and happier with us, and then, they are inspired to make us happier as well.

Thanks for posting your reports. I thought my wife was difficult to deal with, but she is nothing comparatively. I would have nope'd the fuck out of there (so I like to say) but you dealt with it well and the reinforcement you experience of the ideas here is great to read about.

[–]strategos_autokratorMan, Married, Mod0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

My wife was out of control for many reasons but the most important is that she needed a captain. She wouldn't say it because she is a very educated succesful woman that always complains abut gender imbalances. She might bot know it conciously. But after TRP I totally understood she was really telling me with actions she wanted me to be the captain.

She is strong willed and difficult. But she loves me so much when I'm a strong oak.

I recommend you read one of my latest posts which is a Thanks MRP because it is a bit of a happy ending to that arc.

[–]ProjectShamrock0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

I have to second this. #2 is definitely the situation I've been trying to work my way out of, and there is some success but there's still a long road ahead of me to get things to a point where I'm satisfied. The part about failing comfort tests hit home especially because it's true, I don't really care enough to pass them and just want her to stick with the program as I set it.

[–]marxistbacon 5 points5 points [recovered] | Copy

On first reading the title ("three dysfunctional captains and first officers") I was kind of expecting a Penthouse Forum tale. But this is better. Waaaay better. Holy shit, /u/jacktenofhearts, you knocked it out of the park with this one. Solid, solid, post. And seriously, who told you about the ground beef thing? That happened to me too, once, in the dark mists of time.

You're no longer knee-jerk following Her Plan For Us (or really, Her Plan For Herself and You As Long as You Agree With Everything),

This is gold, pure gold :-)

As I read through the categories, so many flashes of deja vu from my old broken marriage popped up. The funny thing is that bits from every category seemed to resonate. I guess this goes to show that all these categories, like much of TRP/MRP itself, are broad strokes that do overlap in some ways specific to each situation. But I really like the classification and analysis. Thanks for the contribution.

[–]Dev_onLTR0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

I've never had ground beef, but usually can tell it's coming, when it's not what needs to be done, but how to do it.

I've had mini rebellions from micromanaging at work, so I was aptly prepared for any sign of it at home.

I feel bad about it for guys who don't, that can seem like brainwashing.

[–]RPSigmaStigmaMarried- MRP APPROVED2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

That's a very insightful way of looking at it and it makes a lot of sense. Thinking back over my marriage, I'd say I probably started off as #2 and slowly became #1. In fact, I think the henpecking in the #2 scenario leads a lot of men who used to be (semi-)alpha captains to start "drinking", either figuratively and/or literally.

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (2 children) | Copy

This is a fantastic post and very important. Although I've been MAPing for almost 3 years now, I haven't really had the success I've wanted (or other's experience). Certainly things in my marriage have improved (and I'm much, much happier with myself, regardless of my marriage), but they still aren't quite where I would like them to be.

One of my big criticisms of Athol's books is that he focuses too much on structural attraction (i.e., essentially the first of your three dysfunctional marriages). He certainly talks a little bit about maintaining frame and that kind of stuff, but he never goes into exactly HOW to do that. I've always known that my main problem was frame (I've always been in decent shape, make good money, pursue what I want, etc.), and despite my efforts to maintain my frame and set boundaries, I don't think I've ever really been very good at it. I think that's why my progress has been slow. Essentially, I have the second type of disfunctional marriage, but for the past 3 years, I've been working under the assumption that I had the first type.

It wasn't until I discovered WISNIFG, that I finally felt like I had found a good explanation of how to deal with my wife's persistent negativity and criticism. I've only just finished reading it and am still learning and practicing how to implement it, but for the first time since I discovered MMSLP I have renewed hope that I can turn my marriage into the kind that I really, really want.

Hopefully your post will help others keep from making the same mistakes that I have.....

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Make a post with your own situation and relevant details so people can give more exact feedback.

[–]strategos_autokratorMan, Married, Mod0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

He certainly talks a little bit about maintaining frame and that kind of stuff, but he never goes into exactly HOW to do that.

I really struggled with this as well. I had no frame at all, and couldn't figure out what to do to build my frame. It was fucking hard, but having no frame, and keeping a diary, gave me a lot of insight into how to build a frame. In fitness they say "Never waste an injury", and I like to think "Never waste your weakness" in the sense that by being very weak in some area and then overcoming it we can make a lot of improvement very quickly.

I've taken a lot of notes on the main areas of frame, and intend to write some posts about it, but i haven't had time.

[–]TheGreasyPoleMarried- MRP APPROVED1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Guess I've gotta say my situation is closest to #3.

On other threads I used a metaphor about spinning/crashing planes signifying a beginner, and straight and level planes signifying an intermediate.

In my own case, when I woke up the plane wasn't spinning/ crashing. It was a bit "nose down" and "lazily veering to the left" and so problems would have come without me waking up (Another few years might have seen us in a spin).... But the reason I believe I woke up in a situation far better than a typical "RP entry point" is that I was in scenario #3 and my wife was doing a reasonable job of keeping us in the air. She's a competent FO who knew enough to be a competent Cpt. She's also been remarkably reasonable about slowly and steadily handing over the controls, no mutiny or rebellion so far.

Position #3 can, in my experience, not be a bad place to "wake up" in. If your in #3 and your wife can be persuaded (by actions not words) to "hand over the stick" you may find yourself in the best situation of all.

However, waking in such a "good" situation has downsides.... I don't think I'm advanced in applying some techniques/principles as other guys are Because I've never really tested them in the "white hot heat of battle".

A lot of you guys are forging the new you in the "white hot heat" and it's making you like tempered steel. In my case I'm experimenting with this stuff in the "medium warm heat of a decent oven" and I sometimes doubt my steel is getting as hardened as yours because of it.

If I ever face a REAL balls-to-the-wall battle stations scenario I'll be using ideas I've never tested in that battle. It's one of the reasons why I am reluctant to discuss beginner stuff (as you guys are still fighting in that white hot heat) and I'm focussing on intermediate stuff (where, hopefully, the days of full on close-quarter-no-holds-barred battles that categorises others beginner phases, but not mine, are over)

[–]rediscover03Unplugging1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Wow man, you nailed it. Awesome post. As I read, I kept thinking "yep, that's us", so we have aspects of each scenarios. Sometimes it feels like 1, mostly like 2 (I have found I tend to be a huge people pleaser) and like 3 too sometimes, though I have cut her short a lot and wouldn't tolerate extreme examples of taking over and berating me. Great post. I will come back to it often.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Do you write for a living? You should consider it if not. This is extremely well-written. Maybe it's just compared to the oft-atrocious writing style I see here but I'm not really inclined to believe so. All the better that the content is extremely spot on. Thanks for sharing!

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[–]CaptainWasHereMRP APPROVED / MRP Diplomat0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

I did exactly that while engaged. I thought I was being nice in letting her decide. I was being "Mr. Nice Husband" Luckily we figured it out after a couple rough months. We figured it out b/c I found MRP. I told her that I was going to make most of the decisions and stop asking her to. She explained how relieved she was to hear that. She does not want an equal partner, she wants a Captain she can follow so that she can be a "girl". Luckily, my SO is working hard to be the best first mate she can be. We both know our roles now and are much happier.

[–]LaV-Man0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

Can you prove the name of the source material so I can reference: Fogging, Negative Inquiry and Negative Assertion?


[–]blarggggggggggg1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy


'When I Say No I Feel Guilty' - a great book about assertiveness though conversational techniques. Especially good for recognizing the subtle ways that people can manipulate you and how to handle them.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

So my meetings would begin with : My name is Countpudyoola and I'm an alcoholic.

I think I was a drunk Captain long enough that my wife was starting to move into "The Captain and Her Husband".

[–]TotesMessenger0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

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[–]crayonsred0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

What a great post.

I'm a mix of #2 and #3, maybe closer to #3. Your post is actually really useful for thinking about dread.

My wife is sometimes too clever and smart for straight dread. I need to get ripped which is something I want to do for myself.

You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.

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