I figure this doesn’t belong in the main MRP forum, so I wanted to leave it here as a thank you from a work in progress.
Married to wife for 16 years. We have one son, age 13. About 3 years ago marriage went to complete crap. Long story. I know, they all are and they all share common themes. Sex had been about once every week to 2 weeks for a long time, with occasional exceptions, but then dried up to complete dead bedroom. After a couple months of dead bedroom and me asking what the hell was the problem, the wife told me she wanted a divorce. She was done, ready to move on. The backstory would make this post a War&Peace length novel. I pleaded to work things out, more for the sake of our son than anything. We’d had issues off and on for years and the thought of us splitting had entered both our minds more than once. Family however outweighs all to me and I knew my son was better off with both parents under one roof. This is why I pleaded for her to stay. She refused. She said she was done.
I found MRP much the same way as others, through another subreddit. Can’t remember if it was dead bedrooms or relationships. I found MRP when I was still in the “woe is me” and depressed stage. It was and remains to be the kick in the ass I needed. I already hit the gym moderately, but I started kicking my gym and lifting habit into overdrive. Instead of machines I switched to mostly free weights and upped my game at the gym a lot. Started following programs and reading forums on the best lifts. I read MMSLP, NMMNG, SGM, WISNIFG, Book of Pook, watched some of BluePillProfessor’s videos and read all posts daily and religiously.
I saw a counselor a total of 4 times. Initially, in hindsight, I think I wanted someone to help me deal with it and probably console me. While the guy I saw was empathetic, he let me know he wasn’t there to tell me he had a magical cure and that all would be well. He opened my eyes much like MRP did. He told me it sounded like she’d already checked out and I needed to get my stuff in order – with lawyer, exercise, and treating the relationship like the dead one it had become. Be a good father and let my son see me happier separate from my wife. Let him see me with a woman who was passionate about being with me instead of being unhappy in a relationship with a woman who doesn’t love or respect me. It was a cold bucket of water dumped on me that I needed. He didn’t want to see me over and over for months on end. He addressed the problem, called it like he saw it and we were done.
I started thinking more for me and what I needed to do to get my life in order. I’d always put her and her thoughts and wants first and up to that point had tried to nice guy the relationship back into existence. As expected, this disgusted her even more. Now I went and did more on my own and started living life like the single life I expected to be living soon. Family still came first, but I made more time for me and things that improved my life.
With the increase in muscles and better physique, and the independence I displayed more and more, the wife took notice of the changes and seemed more concerned about who I was becoming and what I was doing in life. We had seen a divorce counselor for the sole reason of how to handle the whole split with our son and how to break it to him. We’d had a dead bedroom for almost a year and a half, sleeping in separate bedrooms for a year(she moved out of it , not me) and had an agreed upon date for us to tell our son about the split and when his mom would be moving out. Yes, by that point I’d started to man up more and told her if she wanted the split then she could move out. The house was cheaper for me to keep and she could afford more as she makes a good deal more money than I do.
Long story short (too late, I know), the date to tell our son came and went. If she wanted out, she needed to make the move. I maintained my abundance mentality and outcome independence frame of mind, going and doing stuff either on my own or with my son. She started to show little signs of wanting to be closer – talking more, casual flirting, etc. I mostly ignored or mildly acknowledged. I made her work for any reconciliation. I wasn’t going to puppy dog my way with the relationship ever again.
MRP also reminded me not to be an a-hole or Rambo my way, to balance the alpha and beta, and to just be a better man than I’d previously been. If she wanted to be a part of it, great. If not, I’m okay there too. It’s easy to read some books and think “I’ve got it now, no more work needed here”, but any man who’s been mostly beta their whole life needs constant reminders and guidance to deeply internalize what is being preached here – how to be a better man than you have been.
This story is getting long, so to get to the end here I have to say that a year and a half after we were to split I am still married, our sex life has dramatically improved more than prior to the dead bedroom, and I’m doing things with and to her that I never would have thought would happen years ago. My son can see the difference in our relationship. He’s commented on us getting along better and sees real physical interaction between us much more now. Before dead bedroom all he ever saw was an occasional hug or peck on the cheek. He sees me joking with her when she throws the occasional shit test and not taking her moods seriously. I am continuing to up my lifting game all the time and still being outcome independent. I'm a better person overall.
I rely on the guidance I find here all the time. Just when I think I have it down pat, a shit test or something else comes along to remind me that this is something I always need to keep up with, that I can’t just sit back and relax, thinking I have it under control. I always need to work to improve myself and to strive to be a better man. I do slip some still, and that is why I rely on the guidance I find here to help me keep on keepin’ on. I am still not the ideal man I know I can be so I still strive for more and more improvement. That’s why I come here almost daily. I need the reminders and reinforcement to push me sometimes. I’m a work in progress and will never claim I have it all down pat. Always so much to learn and ways to improve myself.
One last thing to say is that there are a couple handful of really great commenters here, so please don’t stop dispensing the wisdom. There’s many men who really count on the good information you relay to us. There’s some guys on here who try to drop wisdom and act like they have it all figured out, but you can tell they are still in the wannabe stage. And some guys here try to dispense advice and you can tell they just don’t truly get it yet, or have it misconstrued. I really, really wish posters /r/jacktenofhearts and /r/iratemd would come back. I think those 2 guys dispensed some of the most sound, well thought out, well reasoned logic to be found on here. There are still guys on here dropping good knowledge, and I genuinely thank you, but I miss the wisdom from those 2 especially since they no longer provide it. There is a lot of details about my marriage I could have listed but this post was mostly meant to be a big thank you to all of you on here who “get it” and take your time to help all the men who truly need it.
I credit this forum with giving me the tools to make me a better and stronger man, emotionally and physically. In return, all of that saved my marriage. And I truly know and have deeply internalized that no matter what happens with my marriage going forward, I am going to be just fine married or unmarried.