Shit tests abound...

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February 27, 2017

There's a lot of amateur bumbling in this post so I'm placing it here rather than the main sub.

I've been incredibly busy lately and yesterday, in hoping to have some down time, I managed to lower my guard and wander into a shit test storm. I wasn't prepared and now there's a cold war being waged in our home.

I woke up this morning having realized my wife and I haven't spoken since just after the kids went down last night. With 4 kids, our fights are rarely vocal.

I'm reflecting on yesterday and realize I was getting one shit test after another. All.Day. I think I handled most of them pretty well since my memory of my responses weren't memorable. At the very least, they didn't draw me into her frame since I don't recall really caring about what she was saying...except.

She made a comment to me later in the evening, in front of the kids, that was incredibly disrespectful and out of character. Didn't see it coming and certainly didn't like it. I didn't react, I laughed it off. Probably wasn't the best laugh it off, most likely forced.

After the kids get into bed, she actually makes a similar statement toward me. I'm sure she saw the first one sting and decided to retest.

She makes the comment and then says,

"what, does that upset you?"

"a little, yeah" <-- too honest. Should have continued laughing this off

"are you going to do anything about it?" <-- Could have made a joke

and here's where I sorta froze. Not sure what to say, I vocalize what I'm thinking.

"you're actually pretty easy to ignore"

and I head off to finish my evening.

We went to bed at different times. She woke up well before me and was getting on with her day. She did what she could to avoid me and there has been no contact since.

She appears to be leveling up her game as I level up mine. That's why I say her comment was quite out of character.

So. You and your wife engage in a cold war. You're apart all the next day as you're both working. When you get home, do you act as though nothing happened? Do you maintain silence? What's the plan.

Finally, if you don't know me:

  • Married almost 20 years
  • 4 kids
  • mid 40s
  • strong SMV, wife is the same
  • good job
  • well known and liked in the community
  • lift, stay fit

Post Information
Title Shit tests abound...
Upvotes 7
Comments 38
Date 27 February 2017 03:14 PM UTC (4 years ago)
Subreddit askMRP
Original Link
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[–]dandar460014 points15 points  (2 children) | Copy

If it bothers you, is it possible that there is a hint of truth in what she is saying?

Marcus Aurelius wrote:

"If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment."

So if what she said unnerved you so much that you froze and then tried to hurt her back by saying she's easy to ignore (let's face it, you were trying to hurt her feelings with that statement) whatever she said is either so much out of the left that she knows it's untrue, or it might have a hint of truth to it and is magnified from her point of view.

Either way, breaking the cold war is easy. Just go ahead and act as if it didn't happen. She hurt your feelings, you hurt hers, you guys are even.

Ps. Sometimes my wife will say something and thinking back on it, it may be a point that I did not do something and did not own my shit. Sometimes they don't have any tact and will remind you of that in most hurtful way possible, but shit test or not, it might be a reminder that you are not owning your shit.

[–][deleted] 4 points5 points  (0 children) | Copy

let's face it, you were trying to hurt her feelings with that statement


[–]ProbablyAMonkey1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Awesome post. Thanks for the insights and the Aurelius.

[–][deleted] 6 points7 points  (0 children) | Copy

My wife is a shit-testing machine. Pulls stuff like that all the time. I used to take it so personally. Now I laugh it off. Or, if she's being particularly bitchy, I spend more time out of the house. Not because I want to "punish" her. Mostly because I don't want to spend my precious free time with someone who is unpleasant. When I go home, I'm upbeat and friendly because that's my personality. 99% of the time her mood will change because the substance of her shit tests is like a ghost. Ephemeral. She can't even remember why she was bitchy.

If I took her moods seriously (like I used to) I'd spend my days as a nervous wreck.

[–]ReddJiveRed Beret5 points6 points  (1 child) | Copy

"what, does that upset you?"


"are you going to do anything about it?"

About what?

"you're actually pretty easy to ignore"

"Yeah?" smack ass walk away

You engaged too much. WHAT the shit test says or is about it irrelevant. No matter what you do. AA AM, LMNOP, QRS....any of it you must reduce your words, your exposure.

There's a cold war? heat it up or better yet don't show up for it...meaning there is no war. She wants one. It validates her position that you're an ass. Come in like it's the best day ever. Because it is right? You're fantastic. She's fantastic, The kids are awesome.

Arguing with a woman is like wrestling with a pig.

You're dirty. Pig's happy.

[–]UEMcGillI am become McGill, Destroyer of Blue Pill0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

or better yet don't show up for it

This. My favorite saying is "you can't get on the crazy train if no one is at the station"

Through active boundaries and passive dread women should know that at some point they are not worth it.

[–]2ndalRed Beret5 points6 points  (4 children) | Copy

The other night I got the same shit test that I get every month or so. You're an asshole, why do you treat me like shit, you only want me for sex. That stuff. I have learned to deflect this pretty well, mostly stay out of her frame, and let her emotions run their course before she finally shakes free and returns to her normal self. Every once in a while, though, she'll throw out some truly disrespectful shit.

The other night it was something along the lines of... actually, you know what? I can't even remember exactly what it was, which is a good sign. I just let it roll off my back when she said it.

Anyway, whatever it was, the next morning when she apologized for being a shit head the night prior, I laughed off her apology just like I laugh off her shit tests, and gave her a kiss. But I narrowed in on the disrespectful shit she had said and told her plainly: don't do that, it's disrespectful, and I won't tolerate it.

And you know what? She won't do it again. She knows the boundry and she'll respect it. I know this because I've done it a dozen times in the past. I deflect her shit tests and disrespect, and later--when things are calm and there's no chance of slipping into her frame--I let her know what boundary she has crossed and that I won't tolerate it being crossed again. Sure, she'll continue to shit test me, but she knows not to cross those boundaries I have set.

[–]BluepillProfessorMod / Red Beret1 point2 points  (3 children) | Copy

You're an asshole, why do you treat me like shit, you only want me for sex.

That is a very different type of shit test than the one she pulled. That is a tease and a fun time. What she did called for an immediate shut down. She knew it. She didn't get it.

[–]milkywayer1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy

deleted What is this?

[–]BluepillProfessorMod / Red Beret0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

You only use me for sex is easy.

"Aww, sweetheart. That's not true. I also use you for blowjobs."

An accusation that you "treat me like shit" is also easy. Don't treat her like shit.

If you are being passive aggressive dickhead and she complains you treat her like shit then you need to recognize it and stop.

If you are treating her well and she says "you treat me like shit" then treat it like a little girl complaining for no reason. Pat her on the head. Offer her some candy. Don't take it seriously lest you give the charge credence.

[–]2ndalRed Beret0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Yeah, true. I wasn't comparing the two, but instead pointing out how I calmly deflect shit tests and disrespect and then, when she's calm and the chances of me being drawn into her frame are lessened, lay out my expectations.

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

I know this may not be canonical MRP, but for me shit tests get ignored / blown off, but blatant disrespect gets both barrells.

From where you are at now, I'd blow it off, and act like nothing happened.

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

shit tests get ignored / blown off, but *blatant disrespect gets both barrells. *

Especially in front of the kids.

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

"are you going to do anything about it?"

bad girl wants a spanking? Or wants a legitimate fistfight? Honestly, you can jokingly tell her you'll put her head through the drywall, then keep eye contact as if you will. That kind of in-congruence can get her hamster spinning.

[–]tslextslex7 points8 points  (0 children) | Copy

"are you going to do anything about it?" bad girl wants a spanking?

Seriously, exactly this.

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

If this was a one-off or you were early in your MAP, I'd say that she's still getting used to the new you and testing your changes. But to call you out like that a second time in a day... that's testing boundaries.

While the standard advice is acta non verba and not to engage her emotions, she's trying to provoke a response from you. Maybe she wants you to overreact or capitulate, or just to demonstrate that you are serious, but she's trying to draw you into her frame.

If this really is outright disrespect, then you can't just come home with forced happiness like nothing happened. You need to draw a line in the sand. Pull her aside, be clear about your boundaries, and either (a) leave the consequences to her imagination or (b) be very explicit about the terms of your marriage. You're smart enough to know the dangers of DEERing or going Rambo. If an apology is necessary, then you carry on with your business until it comes. If that means "cold war" for a few days, then so be it, because it's now on your terms.

But you can be sure that this won't be the end of it. You have to figure out why she's lashing out.

  • Is she demanding your attention because you've been MIA lately?
  • Is there something else that you've neglected?
  • Or is she just unhappy with the new terms of your relationship,

Basically, is your first officer trying to tell you something's wrong (iceberg ahead), or is she actually challenging your leadership as captain?

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (2 children) | Copy

Is she demanding your attention because you've been MIA lately?

there's probably some of this

I think the first officer is testing to see if the captain is strong on the wheel

[–][deleted] 6 points7 points  (0 children) | Copy

Good indicator.

If it's insolence, she's lashing out. If it's condescension, she's rebelling against the new power structure. If it's belittling, she still thinks she is in charge.

If it's the way a teenager would shit talk you, it's boundary testing, an adult belittling a child? Again, power play.

If it's flirting? she wants a little dominance.

Context is everything here. This is where a few concepts help. Transactional analysis, status/harmony, to help you understand the subtext involved.

Or you can just caveman the shit, tell her to STFU and be done with it. I find it better to play with different responses, see what the results are. Give a nice framing of CADS old line

Anything outside my frame is either interesting, intriguing, or funny.

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

Then maybe a little push-pull is necessary. Be her oak and let her cast you as the bad guy in her internal drama, and then bring her back into your frame with AA/AM.

[–]BluepillProfessorMod / Red Beret3 points4 points  (1 child) | Copy

"you're actually pretty easy to ignore"


The goal is a good marriage, not passive aggressive attacks like that. I would take control of the situation. Lay down the rules that mean people suck, we will not behave like this any more, or whatever but lay them down. You should not behave like this with your wife. When she pokes, you need to stop the pokes before you explode into a multi day silent treatment / sulky little boy routine.

You needed to challenge her bullshit immediately. You needed to tell her to knock it off. She was begging you to challenge her. The only reason a person has power over you is because you give it to them. It looks to me like she was challenging whether she had it and of course she became upset when you went all passive aggressive asshole.

Now it is all about frame. How important was this little tete-a-tete? If it wasn't important, then you can still take control, assure her this was not a big deal and in the future we will not let it get this far. Done.

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

It's been handled and I agree, should never have gotten to that point. That's why I posted, trying to show the missteps along with the wins. I enjoy feedback on both

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

"are you going to do anything about it?"

That's pretty confrontational, does she talk to you like that a lot?

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

almost never.

as I mentioned, she's levelling up, it appears

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (4 children) | Copy

So - how often does she "usually" shit on you?

Maybe you were doing what they call "being distant" and the only way she knows to get your attention successfully is by being bitchy.

As to the interaction you outlined... wtf did she say? Just curious.

It sounds like she was playing the classic playground bully with "what you gonna do, cryy??? Pussy pussy pussy"

Edit: you know how to handle a playground bully, right??

Further thoughts:

You and your wife engage in a cold war.

Its either you or your wife... or you decided to get into her frame by engaging in cold war. On her terms...

Either way, I smell PUSSY at this point.

: * Married almost 20 years * ( so?) 4 kids * mid 40s * (ok) strong SMV, wife is the same ) not to her, obviously * good job * (want a cookie?) well known and liked in the community * (so?) lift, stay fit (ok fine, have a cookie)

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (3 children) | Copy

She's usually pretty good, shit testing right in the PMS kill zone.

Above everything else, I find her to be really respectful. That's why a disrespectful comment caught me off guard. Especially in front of the kids.

I like your comment about Or rather than And. I can end this way by not engaging. Thanks.

if you smell pussy, you should close your legs...

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

if you smell pussy, you should close your legs...

Oh, sorry. Didn't get a chance to wash off wife's smell from this morning yet. Good call!

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


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

Either way... I stand by my playground bully comment. One of two ways to react. You know the deal, so its your choice given the limited details.

[–]98fxstc0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

I think you're gonna need to go with, act as if nothing happened. It was a shit test. Plain and simple. A pretty shitty one, but it sounds as though you held fast. Continuing the silence that she initiated would be getting drawn into her frame. Don't let it bother you. Reading your past posts I'm pretty sure you're going to be fine here. I am torn however, on what to do if she brings up the "breaking the silence". Do you go with STFU and keep on ignoring the shit test or have an AM quip at the ready. Something along the "I just figured your temper tantrum was over by now" in a father-talking-to-a-child voice. I'll leave that up to you and the experts here.

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

Not sure what to say, I vocalize what I'm thinking. "you're actually pretty easy to ignore" and I head off to finish my evening.

Ha! that is fucking gold right there. Almost a neg, but with a searing bight that drags her into your reality of "I am not bothered by your little foibles, silly girl." The fact that you just said what is on your mind means it probably came out with smooth, confident delivery too. Sometimes you don't have to overthink it, don't be afraid to let it rip on her. Sometimes she just wants to rub up against your manhood.

Try this, give the silent treatment a day or so, that way she has time to let the searing sting of the verbal slap her ego just got wear in a bit. Then, just proceed on with business as normal. You act as if nothing ever happened and continue gaming her like normal.

[–]BobbyPeru0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

Well, at least you realized where you went wrong. So, next time you can make the necessary corrections. Overall, I'd say you handled it pretty well.

My wife was throwing some heavy duty shit tests at me first thing this morning, mostly talking about a couple of orbiters. I handled it by just going about my morning and mostly STFU. Then, I took a little time to get my thoughts in a good place, and drove her to the airport (her business trip)in pretty good spirits.

Sometimes, just putting a little space in there for some new different thoughts makes all the difference in the world instead of reacting.

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

Yeah thanks. It's all part of the process, I'm starting to see that more than ever. I'll post tomorrow what happened when I got home. Certainly better than I would have thought.

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

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