Background. I'm late-30s, she's mid-30s SAHM, married for 15 years. We were each other's first. We have 4 kids. I've read the sidebar, NMMNG, WISNIFG, 48 Laws of Power, MMSLP, SGM, Rational Male, Year One, Sixteen Commandments of Poon, Book of Pook, and just started Saving a Low Sex Marriage. I've always dressed well and have been reasonably attractive, although I let myself go for too long and at my worst was about 50 lbs overweight. I've lost 40 lbs over the past two years and am 5'11, 170 lbs., about 16% bf. Still some room for improvement, as I'd like to get into the 10-12% range. I lift (SL 5x5) 3x per week with some cardio mixed in on the other days.
I began an affair a few months ago, about 5 months into my MAP. Wife found out about it on Sunday -- the same day it ended. I didn't have sex but went as far as having oral. After having had a few days to reflect, the following are my observations and thoughts from a red pill perspective.
Observation No. 1. I rushed through the 12 steps of dread and unnecessarily skipped from step 8 to step 11. My changes and self-improvement led to a much more fulfilling and exciting sex life with my wife, and an improved relationship in general. I justified the affair by telling myself I was developing abundance mentality. Bullshit. If that was my motivation I could have done that through catch and release. The reality is I did it because I'm a pussy who seeks external validation and I need to get over that.
Observation No. 2. I suffer from nice guy syndrome. I read NMMNG several months ago and picked it up again Sunday night. This excerpt hit me particularly hard: "IF I can hide my flaws and become what I think others want me to be THEN I will be loved, get my needs met, and have a problem-free life." I've always tried to hide my flaws and project a false image of myself. Whether it was hiding porn, masturbation, having an affair, or any other undesirable habits or flaws, I have always gone to great lengths in order to hide them from others while projecting a very different public image. If I was truly owning my shit, I wouldn't feel the need to hide these things from others, and I would be a big enough man to accept the consequences of my decisions rather than trying to hide them. I have a lot of hard work ahead on this issue.
Observation No. 3. Failing to lead, weak or ambiguous sexual initiation, and being butthurt following a rejection of my advances are undeniably unattractive. Of course, this is not new information. But in a rare moment of truth, my wife confided to me that my lack of leadership in the home, my indirect sexual advances, and my pouting after being rejected are highly unattractive and turn her off. Clearly I have work to do in these areas.
Observation No. 4. Holding frame is vital. Again, nothing new here. In the past, when I would fuck up I would immediately lose frame and try to "fix" things by doing whatever she told me I should do to fix the problem. After finding out about the affair, she asked me what my plan is for moving forward. Rather than respond like a pussy with "whatever you want me to do" I told her I want to lead my family to great things and I want her to be along for the ride. I was able to lay out a general plan of action that I think provided some comfort and security in a time of uncertainty.
Observation No. 5. STFU. She needs to process and work through some pretty serious shit. She doesn't need me to fix it, she needs me to be a fucking rock. I have to fight my natural tendency to DEER, and just keep my fucking mouth shut.
Observation No. 6. I need to be more involved here. I haven't posted much here and have been primarily a lurker. I previously posted a few times in OYS on the main sub under a different username, but I'd like to become a regular contributor if for no other reason than to track my own progress and to keep my ego in check.
I have a long and hard road ahead of me and welcome any comments or feedback, good and bad.
[Edited for formatting and to add missing details] [Further edits to round out the sidebar materials I've read]