So: 39, Wife is homeschooling SAHM, kids 14,12,2. Saw the pill from afar for a year to two, it didn't make sense, googled "Red Pill Married" 2 months ago, I would say I swallowed it and am struggling to digest it. Old habits die hard. Read the sidebar pre-reqs, currently reading Iron John, Epectitus (dude those are slow) and rational male volume I. Should probably take another stab at NMMNG.
Wife has been cold/controlling for years. Her behavior seems very similar to this:
That is, we are religious, she sits on the couch a lot, scrolls through facebook, and complains. Overweight - fits in a size 14. She does cook and do laundry and takes care of the kids 100% - so much that I am uninvolved with the oldest, just starting to get re-involved in middle, and am essentially a babysitter for the youngest sometimes. I'll take her to the park after dinner, put her to bed, etc.
When I started here my wife would insult me frequently, but I stopped crying, whining, begging, and pleading. About a month ago, after I came back from a week out of the house (mistake, post history on that, still dealing with nuclear fallout, that incident explains why eldest doesn't want to be around me) she stopped with the tearing-down statements. Now she mostly criticizes what seem like legitimate mistakes, but she blows them up to comic proportions. I typically fog replies, "You're right, I didn't X" or negative assertion "that wasn't a good move of mine, was it?" which end the conversation.
So it seems like we're talking less, just because she isn't bothering to pick fights. Our few conversations are typically logistics.
How I got in this mess
I want to recognize that I screwed up by being a drunk captain. My wife took on all the responsibility for the family. By screwing up again and again she moved from reminding me I was a parent to (I could make the call), to making the call herself, to informing me of her decision, to not even bothering to tell me. NOW when I try to do something, she covertly sabotages it, and nothing gets done.
Oh, I was an increasingly passive bluepill loser for the past 18+ years of our marriage. I totally failed to lead. We spend maybe three to five weeknights of the first years of our marriage watching TV from 6-8PM. She wanted to do outdoor, athletic things and I maybe passively followed. I played video games and worked. I'm a successful consultant and provide for the family, but I didn't lead, at all. Or with the children. Or ...
Sex and physical affection is non-existant. She had a really rough time delivering baby #3, and after that I pretty much just changed diapers and put baby to sleep for a couple months, during which she routinely verbally abused me. I think that screwed up her perception of me and I'm still digging out.
Progress on my MAP
The first two months after swallowing the pill I've been reading, lifting, a little absent, not whining/crying. I work from home for myself, mostly piece-rate work, so I set my own hours, and tend to exercise during the business day or at night after youngest is asleep. I may have come off angry a couple of times. My attempts at AA and AM are lame - my SMV is low and they are poorly delivered. She sees the AA as mockery. My attempts at leading the family are (a) encouraging people to weigh themselves and get on the wii, (b) Painting a room each night after 2-year-old is asleep, (c) inviting people to the gym with me. Relatively weak, only the most modest of success.
Now: I'm 5'1", 175lbs, down from 201, lifting, cardio, running in 5Ks, 20% body fat. In the gym 3-5 times a week, 3 to lift plus some leg days, also doing cardio. Going out for breakfast with friends once or twice a week, poker night once a month, going to a football game next week, etc.
I've lost 5 inches off my waist since June, so I need to buy new clothes, which is running the 12 stages of dread in the wrong order. Over the past three months I've bought 2 adidas running pants, underarmor athletic shorts, 2 t-shirts, 3 fashionable t-shirts, and most recently, 2 sets of chinos and 2 shirts to wear it with.
I don't have hobbies that produce things of value yet. I literally didn't read the 12 stages of dred post until yesterday, don't know why. But it makes sense to me that hobbies that produce value to raise your SMV, then clothes once you've sort of earned a higher SMV. Otherwise you're a kid playing dressup, or too big for his britches, etc.
Which brings me to this post.
The latest episode
My wife is complaining about my life. I (the man) get to do whatever I want. Exercise for two and half hours at the Gym? I just do it. Fancy new clothes? I just buy them. She gets clothes used most of the time or shops for bargains. She wants to do a ten-minute exercise video and can't get time.
I suggest the gym has a kids room right outside the ellipticals so I could take the youngest on leg day -- which is sort of DEERy, I think. So now she complains that all she gets are leftover dregs and scraps.
I am really tempted, at this point, to say something like this:
"That's right. That is what you get. You get to control the family, make every decision about the kids, cut me out of their lives, deny me every form of affection and sex. I get to take care of myself. If you want to change that, let's change it."
However, I don't. Instead, I ask her ideas to improve it. She doesn't have any, she is exhausted. There may be some depression going on.
So I say well then, I'll have to think of ideas to improve it. And leave the room.
~20 minutes later, I have to go upstairs to tell her the construction guys are coming early, and she says some of the same things.
Instead of giving her a speech, or trying AM, I just walk over and give her a brief, gentle hug. Maybe two seconds. Then I walk downstairs again. I initiate the next conversation -- I would like to pick up the middle child from karate today.
I'm not sure if comfort test is the right word. I'll be totally tempted to tell her again about the tradeoff (the italics above) next time she is cranky. MRP dogma would say this is a mistake, I think. Interested in your thoughts.