A recent glimpse into ACME, Inc.

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June 15, 2017
6 upvotes

In the spirit of some of my early posts (which were requests to anaylize the most recent retarded encounter between my wife and I), I thought I would do another. To analyze a particular annoying and difficult interaction this afternoon. I learned so much from those early posts, time to keep learning.


I left work a little early to come home and take my two oldest kids (4 and 6) on an "adventure". I did this a good bit back in the fall before the time changed, but haven't done it in a while. Its my time to spend with them. Daddy stuff. Usually just code for go to the park, then grab some food after. The kids love it, its a break for the wife (from them at least, still at home with 9 mo old). I've taken the baby on a few of these, but it just isn't the same, and everybody knows. Time and place for me to watch the baby, the "adventures" aren't one of them.

I get home early and let my wife know this is whats happening. As I mentioned in some previous posts, she is particularly perturbed lately about my taking ownership over my life and doing what I want. Of course, I take her into account. If she has a valid reason for why doing this, or that, is not a good idea - it is heard and heeded. But if the reason is basically reasons, I no longer give a shit and I just do it. She has really fought back against this, and this encounter is an example of it.

She says, "No, you can't go." I ask why and she gives reasons (the baby is still sleeping, you don't just get to do whatever you want, etc). Ok fine, I'll wait til the baby wakes up (at any moment because nap time is over), but we're going. See you in a while.

Her: "Fine... I am going for a run." (defacto leaving me home with the baby in an attempt to thwart my plan)

Me: STFU (I'll just take the baby and deal. I can't control her. It won't be the same but we'll make the best of it)

Baby wakes up and I'm preparing everything to leave, even made food for the baby. Going to own my shit and enjoy my children, all I can control.

As we are getting in the car she walks up (did not go for a run, just stood in the driveway).

Her: "I'm coming with you guys"

This forces me here to say, in front of the children, that I was looking forward to some time by myself with them, so I'd rather her not come. This is where I fucked up, I shouldn't have said anything I guess. I don't know what I should have done, but saying that in front of the kids was lame, even thought it was the truth.

Me: "No, you are not coming. I am going to spend some time with just the kids. We'll be home in a while".

Her: "No, I AM GOING".

Me: "Fine"

I really didn't know what else to do. She came and I made the best of it. In the past, somewhere along the way I would have folded and not gone. Too afraid of upsetting her and felt like a step away from a positive relationship with her. I'm no longer scared of her, and I'm apparently just an asshole all the time no matter what I do, so I'm going to do what I want to do. But these power plays and her trying to stand in my way just because she doesn't like it, is getting annoying and I don't know what the next step is.

How would you guys have handled a situation like this because they are becoming common in my fucked up household.

--- And before you say it, no I'm not getting divorced right now. Because reasons.


Post Information
Title A recent glimpse into ACME, Inc.
Author prarrott
Upvotes 6
Comments 42
Date 15 June 2017 01:56 AM UTC (3 years ago)
Subreddit askMRP
Link https://theredarchive.com/post/206008
Original Link https://old.reddit.com/r/askMRP/comments/6hc3ib/a_recent_glimpse_into_acme_inc/
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Comments

[–][deleted] 6 points7 points  (20 children) | Copy

I'm reading your post, line by line, saying to myself, OK this is making the best of it. Then you say the following:

Me: "No, you are not coming. I am going to spend some time with just the kids. We'll be home in a while".

The only thing that does not work here, is setting the unenforceable boundary of: "No, you are not coming." You cannot stop her from coming with. The rest of the statement about alone time is OK.

Yes you did fold like a cheap suit on an "unenforceable" boundary; with the right frame of mind that would be called a good recovery. Then you proceeded to make the best of it with her coming along. Over all, I think you handled it pretty well.

Her stopping you in the driveway and insisting on coming along after all her other usual methods of shaming and blocking your progress; that is a priceless confirmation that she is getting the drift that things are changing.

Your recovery of your composure when she came along, again, well done.

You named it well, her big power plays, they are losing their power over you, and she doesn't like it. And BTW, a woman will grow to hate you if they do work. And, her power plays did work for a very long time in the past. So it would be possible that she is dealing with some anger issues too, caused by her lizard brain that wanted a strong man instead of the beta that you were for so long.

The idea that she is on a 1000 foot rope behind you is understated in your case. Based on your history with her, think of it as much longer(lag time for her to respond) like 2000 feet, and, add some weights to increase the drag a bit. NEVER forget that from what you have said before, that without your support, she would be knee deep in poop, and she knows it. You are dealing with a very scared woman that has a small child, plus I am sure she knows that another woman could take you away easily right now.

Another way to look at this: the more power you gave up, the more power she took. You can see that you are gaining power (and that takes time) and she sees that she is losing power(over time), and she is going to fight you not to lose that power, even though she would be much happier if she did not fight you, but she does not know that. Yes, she acts a little crazy; it is their nature when it comes to power in a relationship.

Bottom line: your story confirms 3 things to me

  • 1 You are improving

  • 2 She is seeing it and feeling great discomfort

  • 3 You are very angry and it is getting in the way of making the best use of your gains.

One more thing. I have seen over and over again where a woman will do almost anything, including murder, for her kids. I think it is hard wired biology that has caught more than a few men off guard. We often talk about the difference between men and women. Again, IMO, a woman will always take care of her children before her man, thus, you are expendable, compared to the kids. It is important to take this into account when dealing with her need for power in the relationship. Understand that her need for power in the relationship is motivated by her hard wired need for her children to survive.

[–][deleted] 6 points7 points  (14 children) | Copy

As the rest of the night played out, I don't think you realize how spot-on this is. I don't even know how to sum up the rest of the night after I wrote this, but I'll do my best to provide the short version.

As I head to the shower I say to her, "Did you have fun at the park?" with a smirk. It starts a conversation between us where she DEERs about her behavior, and the only actionable point is that I didn't give her advance notice, and she didn't like that. Noted, I'll let her know in advance next time I come home early with plans. She also harped a little on her recent theme of me "using her" to watch the kids (in this case the baby) so I can go do whatever. Right before I got in the shower she made a good comment about me "not being that man that I can love and respect and want to be with, even if he does things that annoy me". I thought about this in the shower and thought it actually nailed it.

After the shower I told her 2 things, quite confidently and forcibly with pretty strong frame:

  1. Until you are prepared to stop "using" me (for money and the other resources I provide), then shut up about me "using" you. Its the way it is, deal with it. In fact, you're pretty good at it (mothering and caring for the kids), so take a little pride in it and stop acting like such a victim about it.

  2. What you said about me being "that man" is spot on. I accept responsibility for giving you years worth of reasons to not believe I was, or could become, "that man". The problem is, you have dug so deep into that conviction, I now believe there is nothing I could do, say, or become, that would change your mind (what we talk about when we say "beta that can't be unseen"). The sooner we both recognize that, the better off we'll both be.

She was looking at me pretty wide eyed. She talked for a while and I fogged as good as I ever have. I did not lose frame. She then basically told me that she is tired of me thinking that sex will fix our relationship (I don't believe this), so I just need to have sex with her limp body so she can prove this to me. I smiled and told her I was not interested in that. She pressed a little more on it, and I just smiled again and started to walk away. She then said, "Fine, you're turning me down? That's on you." And I thought to myself, "you know what, I'm going to call her on her bluff. Lets do this and see what happens". So I turn around and go over to her and start to escalate. She almost immediately loses her frown and starts to smile. A minute later she is grabbing me and making out with me. What ensued was the most passionate sex we have had in years. In the middle of it she smiled and said, "I had to make you work for it". It was all in all one of the strangest encounters.

Afterwards she cried, and it was completely because she realized she had given up her power. It was amazing to watch. She even said it out loud, "I'm so vulnerable right now, I don't know what to do. I'm scared".

Maybe this is just another chapter in the saga, or maybe its a turning point. She is not ovulating, she just finished her period yesterday. I'm not sure if I should do anything different, or just keep being me.

[–]PurpleVeteranRed Beret5 points6 points  (8 children) | Copy

She is tired of me thinking that sex will fix our relationship

Keep in mind, that's the mindset you came here with.

Edit: Actually, this is her perception of what you want, and it probably was yours at one point too. But you have to see now, it was just a symptom.

I just smiled again and started to walk away.

And you basically turned down "starfish" sex.

I turn around and go over to her and start to escalate. She almost immediately loses her frown and starts to smile.

"Welcome to my frame."

She even said it out loud, "I'm so vulnerable right now, I don't know what to do. I'm scared".

That's the 1000' foot rope snapping tight.

Maybe this is just another chapter in the saga, or maybe its a turning point.

This is the point where you turn and look back down the road to see how far you've come.

I'm not sure if I should do anything different, or just keep being me.

What would you change? Her actions show that she's been worried about this for a while now, that Dread is working, and only now she's vocalizing it. Still, don't be afraid to bring comfort when she needs it, because that's part of your new frame as well.

You're still on the road, and there's a long way yet to go. Keep improving, keep moving forward.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (7 children) | Copy

"Welcome to my frame."

Don't care, had sex.

I kid, but if her frame has sex like that in it, I'm not opposed to dip in every once and a while. I really dont think it was much of that, though, because of how she broke down after. I think it was her way of hamstering an initiation, and she was happy I took charge

[–]PurpleVeteranRed Beret2 points3 points  (1 child) | Copy

I meant your frame -- refusing starfish was enforcing a boundary.

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

Oh ok, I see.

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

she was happy I took charge

Yes and she will fight you every inch of the way. Game on.

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (1 child) | Copy

This is just never what I imagined it would be like (BP dream) and I'm still learning to put that to bed and accept the reality of the matrix. This is what has tripped me up so many times before. I expect she'll now dive in and open sex to me, and then when she closes back up I huff and puff

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

Yes, agree, Conflict is normal.

[–]weakandsensitive2 points3 points  (1 child) | Copy

that was your frame.. not hers.

She even said it out loud, "I'm so vulnerable right now, I don't know what to do. I'm scared".

translation: shit - i have to follow this guy who's going to walk his own path, and i'm scared because that's the same guy i've seen be a total faggot.

you are MILES from where you started.

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

Thanks man, that means alot. I have no other outlet for feedback on this. Miles to go still. But I'm looking forward to your help along the way.

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

In the middle of it she smiled and said, "I had to make you work for it".

See, she can be honest, and, she does want it. She does not know what to do for sure and is afraid of failing. Have you not also thought this?

Congrats on turning your lemons into lemonade. Even if only for one night, it was your leading that took you both there. Maybe you can lead her there again?

Edit: she might be taking some credit for your success

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

Edit: she might be taking some credit for your success

I cant control what she does.

I know its one foot in front of the other, slowly. But it feels nice to break through every once in a while. I can't be afraid to mess up and overdue it (go beta) like I have in the past. It needs to be different this tim. This is just new territory that is uncharted for me to move forward in.

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

I cant control what she does

Nope, you can't, and you really don't want to. My point is that when she can see that she had a part in something; when she thinks that she has some control over the outcome; when she even gets to the point of thinking that you and she are a team; she then has acquired a buy-in that. From a positive frame, it works for you that she is invested in a positive outcome. It works for you that she has a part in the changes in your marriage.

[–]anythingincRed Beret2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

Congratulations man.

[–]man_in_the_worldRed Beret0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Wow, this may be a turning point!

Looking forward to your next OYS!

[–]bogeyd6Mod / Red Militia3 points4 points  (0 children) | Copy

I love this explanation. She fights to keep her power that she doesn't want just because it is something she is losing.

[–]anythingincRed Beret2 points3 points  (3 children) | Copy

Great post and I just want to really emphasize something:

as we are getting in the car she walks up (did not go for a run, just stood in the driveway)

"I'm coming with you guys"

She came and I made the best of it

As Firetempered said, this is a great confirmation. This is exactly why you have been improving and holding frame for.

I'm coming with you

You want your wife to say this about EVERYTHING. You're improving and building a frame and a life, and she wants to come with with you.

I'm moving for a job

I'm coming with you

Let's go to bed and get naked

I'm coming with you

I have an idea/plan/desire

I'm coming with you

Winning.

Ideally at some point in the future:

She came and I made the best of it

isn't needed anymore. You will be able to plan on her wanting to be a part of your life and enjoying it.

I'm coming with you

I know, it is gonna be great.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (2 children) | Copy

Damn thats awesome encouragement. I saw it as a burden in the moment, but it was secretly a blessing when reframed.

[–]anythingincRed Beret1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy

awesome encouragement

I think so too, just remember progress isn't a straight line, you're gonna get kicked in the nuts again, but you can handle it.

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

Good call.

[–]man_in_the_worldRed Beret4 points5 points  (6 children) | Copy

You are your children's FATHER. A father is not an assistant mom, nor a babysitter. You don't need your wife's permission to parent your children; you must insist on and maintain your right, role, and authority as father. Of course you coordinate with your co-parent, and you respect and support her in her similarly unique role as their MOTHER, but she cannot veto your access to your children nor your (legal) activities with them.

That said, you are making this much more difficult for everyone, and you are failing to fulfill your potential as a father, by your haphazard parenting.

I left work a little early to come home and take my two oldest kids (4 and 6) on an "adventure". I did this a good bit back in the fall before the time changed, but haven't done it in a while.

An engaged father, a Family Alpha, does this with his children almost every day. You, on the other hand, randomly drop out of the sky unannounced, off normal schedule, after literally months of neglect, and suddenly want to be Superdad for a day (which should be everyday family alpha Dad). Sure, a truly gracious wife would accommodate rather than resist your last-minute disruption, but the failure here is yours by not having scheduled this in advance, and by not having this as a scheduled, several times per week, regular and expected part of your family life.

By making this a regular, scheduled, expected part of your family life, you avoid this kind of conflict, and you give yourself the time and opportunity to be the quality father your children need and deserve. Become a Family Alpha, rather than a negligent parent who occasionally compensates by Superdadding.

I'll just take the baby and deal. ... It won't be the same but we'll make the best of it.

Why won't it be the same? This is a failure of either imagination, or strength, on your part. I almost always took the baby with me on these daily adventures, either in a chest carrier or tucked under an arm. I could run around and chase the kids, climb on things, kick or throw a ball around, pick up or tussle with the older kids, too, all while carrying a baby. Babies love watching the action up close that way, so it was a win for everyone. It also gave my wife a much-appreciated break each day from mothering to do her own thing. You say that you've been lifting, so you should be strong enough to handle it; I don't understand your problem here.

She came and I made the best of it.

Great opportunity for her to see your family alpha awesomeness in action! Let her stand around and watch while you do your Daddy thing; whatever.

Of course, if this was something you did every day rather than once every few months, she would quickly figure out that she should take this time for herself, while appreciating that you provide her that time and the unique things you do with your kids as their Dad.

TL;DR: Everything you report is a symptom of your failure to be a regular, engaged father. Quit being a negligent father who occasionally overcompensates, and become a Family Alpha.

Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with /u/TheFamilyAlpha ... but I do like his attitude and ownership of Fathering.

[–][deleted] 4 points5 points  (5 children) | Copy

Quit being a negligent father

Fuck that moralizing...what if his goal is not to become a family alpha? There is no dichotomy of 1) Need to take kids on adventures every other day or 2) Just don't bother because you're a failure as a father. He's not his kids' entertainer. They get to play with him when he decides, and there's no right amount of time he should be doing that.

He states in his post that if he comes home out of the blue, and wife raises serious logistical concerns as first mate, he will decide to not go. But a wife worth keeping, at least on my ship, will totally accommodate you doing whatever it is you want to do if there is no logistical block to the activity...even if it's last minute. /u/Firetempered has it summed up. The only problem here is the unenforceable boundary. OP's wife is flailing, and manic, and any time she's able to push through his unenforceable boundary she feels vindicated. I would wager that if he did let her come along a few times, she'd get bored of it and suddenly decide it's best for her to sit at home and do her thing.

[–]man_in_the_worldRed Beret2 points3 points  (4 children) | Copy

From /u/prarrott's OYS post the day before:

I am re-committing to prioritizing my children above all else

This is his stated goal. Shall we try to help him achieve it, despite his bitchy wife?

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

Looks like I didn't do my homework. Comment withdrawn.

[–]man_in_the_worldRed Beret1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Looks like I didn't do my homework.

10% askMRP pay cut for you for the next month, then!

But to prove I don't hold a grudge, I'll accept the same.

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

Your points are appreciated, taken, and heeded. It is my goal, and I am pursuing it.

At the risk of DEER'ing, I am generally very involved day in and day out, but just do to my schedule and my children's school schedule, it has been a while since we did one of these "adventures" on a weeknight after I get home from work. I spend time with them at the house, and we do things as a family, so its not like this is the only time I spend with them. This is just another tool in the bag of fatherhood, as it were.

But, your points are valid. Always room to improve.

Great opportunity for her to see your family alpha awesomeness in action! Let her stand around and watch while you do your Daddy thing; whatever.

I did my best at this. It wasn't perfect but better than I would have ever done in the past. And that is thanks to the mindset and direction laid out by yourself and some of the others that have guided me.

[–]man_in_the_worldRed Beret0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

I spend time with them at the house, and we do things as a family, so its not like this is the only time I spend with them.

A lot gets lost in this limited text medium.

Particularly because your wife is difficult, the suggestions in the latter part of this comment might help minimize friction with your wife as you step up your fathering, and also help you give and get the most value from the limited time you have with your kids.

[–]AustralianArm1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

You've recognised it as a power play.

If she wants to come along, let her come along. But don't let her stop you from doing what you want.

At least with her there, you've got someone to hold the baby and let you enjoy time with the other two.

[–]PurpleVeteranRed Beret1 point2 points  (3 children) | Copy

This is her way of testing your frame, and figuring out her place in that world. You can try enforcing boundaries, but this is a better place to lead by example.

There's no reason she can't come, so why make a deal out of it? As long as she's not trying to sabotage your fun or time with the kids, then let her get out of the house for a few hours. Not everything needs to be a fully planned family outing. An unscripted adventure is often more fun, as there's no pressure or schedule to stick to.

So if she tags along, then make it fun for everyone. If not, she can stay home and rest, or catch up on stuff,... or just stew that you're OI and DNGAF.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (2 children) | Copy

Exactly. I didn't want her to come because I wanted some special time just daddy and the kids, out of the house. She is around them all day now in the summer. But, I can't control her, so I tried to make the best of it.

Like /u/FireTempered said, I failed to create an enforceable boundary. I am still learning about these, I have been terrible at boundaries my whole life. But thanks to you and him, I am figuring it out. That was a small failure I will learn from.

[–]PurpleVeteranRed Beret1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

She's stuck in the house with them all day, then you swoop in to be the hero by taking them to the park, but leaving her at home.

I mean, I get it... Dad time is great. Most nights my wife considered it a favor -- I got to unwind from work, the kids burned off energy, and she got some quiet time. But making it a boundary (enforceable or otherwise), expecting her to stay home, seems inconsiderate, petty, or punitive. There will be other times for boundaries.

We're going out, need anything? Oh you want to come too? Great, we're going to try that new playground over on the other side of town. Grab a few drinks, it might be hot.

[–]man_in_the_worldRed Beret0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

I didn't want her to come because I wanted some special time just daddy and the kids

She can come if she wants ... but that doesn't mean she has to get any attention.

Don't be afraid to ignore her when you're giving others your attention ... that's part of taking her off the pedestal.

Let her stand around with the other passive parents and tell them "Yes, that's my man climbing on the play structure chasing the kids!"

[–]bogeyd6Mod / Red Militia1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Where the hell were you taking the kids to cause such a big blow up? Im guessing broken needles and bottles park?

[–]sars4451 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Good job up until she said she is coming along, then you majorly fucked up. My response would have been (with a smile on my face) - "Sweet, hey kids mom is coming too, we're gonna have some fun! Hop in, cutie!"

This is a great example of you being a strong, fun, unbreakable leader, her recognizing this, wanting to follow the leader and join in on the fun, and instead of being fun and attractive, you acted autistic.

[–]BobbyPeru0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

So, why did she say 'wait until the baby wakes up?'

Think about that? Perhaps using the baby as a leverage pawn. You should have not agreed to wait.

Also, when she insisted on going next time just say fine if she's that worked up. Then, you won't have to say no and later say yes.

In any case, maybe try to do it more nonchalantly next time so battle lines don't have to be drawn.

[–]redandswollen0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Did you let her know you were coming home early and wanted to take the kids? Kind of sounds like she hates having surprises sprung on her. You travel a couple nights a week, then bounce in unannounced when you're home to take the kids. Her reaction may signal that you aren't respecting her time.

She's shitty but make sure you're not being oblivious to how you're acting with her

[–]weakandsensitive0 points1 point  (3 children) | Copy

Her: "I'm coming with you guys"

Awesome! Let's have a good time.

Let me ask you this, when you say

Me: "No, you are not coming. I am going to spend some time with just the kids. We'll be home in a while".

What is the value add?

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (2 children) | Copy

I wanted to spend time with my older 2 kids, just the 3 of us. She spends ample time with them. That is what I wanted.

[–]weakandsensitive0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

not much of an answer.

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

What did you want your wife to do?

[–]The_LitzRed Beret0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

My take on it is a little different.

Her coming along is a win for you. To me an outing with the whole family is first prize. She wanted to be part of it, she wants to be on the prarrott express.

Spending one on one time with the kids is also essential but you could have planned it a bit better. You don't need to ask her to take the older kids, just keep her in the loop, it is parenting 101.



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