Hello all -
How can you tell whether it's counter-productive, in the context of improving your marriage, to game your wife?
Context: We're both 37, married 5 years. I've been a career-beta with just about the worst-ever case of oneitis. Two years ago we were at MAYBE sex 1x a month; after our second kid was conceived we didn't have sex until just a month or two ago (a 1.5 year dry spell). Sex three times since then, all after big melt-down encounters where I more or less held frame for the first time since...well, ever.
Found MRP in November, lifting, reading, etc. Lost 10 lbs, body fat down to around 16% from near 22%, look better than I ever have at this point. Very successful with my own business. Grooming and clothing games much improved, owning shit around the house, having a fantastic time with the kids, trying to set more direction for the family. My biggest challenges are holding frame, being assertive, and uncovering those deep covert contracts.
Background on Situation:
MRP is pretty big on gaming your wife, and rightly so - keeping things fun, flirting, etc. That's been a weak spot of mine, and after finally getting over at least the majority of my anger/butt-hurt phase, I started working on it. It's been even more of a focus since many MRP commenters thought I was going "rambo", doing too much pulling away.
(keep in mind that, throughout our relationship, including before MRP, I've always been the physically affectionate one, and so things like a hand on the thigh and so on are not out of the ordinary. These are almost never reciprocated, however).
I've been doing "drive by" touches, on her arm, legs, etc; going in for hugs and kisses throughout the day; tried the 10-second kiss a few times; started teasing her/making occasional sexual comments, etc.
I am by no means a Don Juan, but I've never been particularly autistic about social interactions either. My feeling is that these attempts aren't the smoothest things anyone's ever seen, but probably aren't particularly terrible either.
I've also been initiating sex around 2-3 times a week.
I am rebuffed in every single one of these instances. She pulls away, turns her head, flat out says no, no engagement or humor whatsoever to any of my flirty comments.
To do any of this, I need to constantly invade her space - even in terms of how she angles or holds her body, she is almost never "open" to me, making any attempt to be physically affectionate feel incredibly awkward.
She had had a particularly emotional day with the kids the other day, so after I put them down I came into the kitchen and found her on her phone (she is always on her phone - it is a constant and impenetrable barrier between us). I said, "Hey - put that down a sec and let me give you a hug." I pulled her in, gave her a strong hug, hand on the back of her neck. "I know you had a tough day today. How're you doing?"
Silence. I pull back to look at her face and realize she'd been using Facebook over my shoulder the whole time. I say, in a goofy voice, "You're still using your phone? Good lord, woman!" laugh, go do my thing. A minute or two later she sought me out to chat about something else.
Most of my "game" attempts end similarly, or just end without any acknowledgement on my part at all.
I enter into our bedroom, after just putting our son down for his nap. My wife is changing and is bottomless (middle of the day, so this was unusual).
As I enter the room, I say, "Well, Mrs. Resolutions316, this is all very sudden - you really should buy me dinner first." Her eyes roll so hard I am worried for a moment they will pop out of her head and I'll have to fish them out from beneath the bed.
While eye-rolling could be done in a fun way, this was not fun, nor was she at all amused.
I'm 100% on board with the idea that I fucked up our relationship by being so fucking beta for so fucking long. My relationship with my wife is a reflection of me, I'm with you on that.
I'm also working very hard on internalizing the idea that flirting does not equal sex, and most (but not all) of my engagements with my wife are just in-the-moment things.
But I feel like I can interpret this situation in two ways, in terms of how I proceed:
The OI-Sparring-Partner Model - My wife is my sparring partner, helping me improve my game. Either she'll come around, or she'll get me ready for when we split up.
Plus, every time I initiate/flirt, get rejected, and don't show pain/bitchiness, I'm building up my sense of OI and showing her I don't require her for validation. (I'm there sometimes, and probably not there others, but I'm 100x better than I was).
The Pursuer-Distancer Model - then again, maybe constantly pursuing my wife and getting rebuffed is not a great idea.
If she simply isn't attracted to me, no amount of "game" is going to fix that. If she was never attracted to me to begin with, even more so.
Constantly pursuing her in this instance simply causes her to run further away. It also reinforces her frame - she's the one who's desired, I'm the one who desires her.
In that case, maybe pulling back - stopping the physical affection and just focusing on myself - is the better move.
I'm down to improve my own game and OI, but am I doing that at the expense of my actual marriage?
If your wife rejects or ignores all of your advances, including fairly ild kino/non-sexual touch, do you continue to pursue game, in hopes that she'll eventually come around? Or is that a sign that it's perhaps too early to focus on that at all, and instead you should pull back and focus more on yourself?