I'm late 40s, married 20+ years, career beta, a few months into this journey. You can check my post history for the Own Your Shit themes, mostly. A few months in, I'm happier in my marriage than I've ever been, and my wife is too. I'm leading for the first time, becoming the Oak.
If I can make this shift, you certainly can too.
In the last three months, I've read the sidebar, the top posts here and /r/marriedredpill, most of the books both subs recommend, reread NMMNG and MMSLP in particular, radically changed my diet, lost 18 lbs of fat, starting lifting heavy iron, gained 9 lbs lean muscle, noticeable to her and to others. I'm confident, not arrogant. I'm learning what it means to be the Oak.
For the first time in my life I've started dressing well, have been Kino'ing my wife, playing IDGAF and wasting shit tests that used to derail me, playing rough and alpha in bed, demanding specific panties or outfits or positions or scenarios (sometimes because I want, sometimes just because I want her to know I'm the Alpha), making decisions without her approval, leading. Learning to be the Oak, and not flipping out when a new test comes. One night, in heavy sex, after I was very much the dominant one, I demanded that she tell me why I was doing what I was doing, and kept eye contact. She said I did it because she loves it when I dominate her. Nothing too hardcore, but our roles are working well for both of us.
I'm bouncing from Dread 5 through to 8, where 6/7/8 are really just about me being confident and recognizing that I'm worthwhile, and I can be Awesome and not manipulative or needy or afraid, all of which I was before, and am surprised that it's not an insurmountable challenge to be strong.
Meanwhile, wife - with whom I've always felt a power struggle, who has been controlling and at times just mean - is thrilled with "the new me". She keeps asking why I've changed, telling her friends she's not sure what started it, that she used to think I was having an affair but I'm so into her she feels confident enough. When she asks me, I just say I'm being the guy I want to be. At first that freaked her out; now she finds it mysterious and invigorating.
A couple days ago I was flirting with my wife via text, and she responded with a shortish wall that I think represents what we're up to here.
I was doing some mild role play flirting, telling wife that I'd be home late because I was gonna be with a MILF I know (her). She said this:
This milf is feeling radically inadequate for you-seriously. Between my moods, constantly being tired and extra weight I have been feeling incredibly lacking for the new you. BUT you look SO hot and your new expressions of love for me have been overwhelming . You have become this fantasy man emotionally physically and spiritually that any woman dreams about. I just feel like I xan't keep up with it.
What did I text in response? Nothing. Radio silence. Did she shit test me after? Nope. We had a nice evening together - dinner, kids, then intimacy. But let me read between the lines a bit so you can see what's changing for us.
This milf is feeling radically inadequate for you-seriously. Between my moods, constantly being tired and extra weight I have been feeling incredibly lacking for the new you.
She's a work-from-home (professional career, home office) mom of 2. Understandably tired. She does a lot around the house, especially in last few months. I've had more dinners ready for me, dishes done, laundry up to date, than in years. I didn't ask for it or demand it. It just started happening when I started to lead. Because I'm leading, she's got somewhere to go. She senses the vacuum and knows she's invited along, and that I'm going and not staying put. I initiate sex most every night, and she's asked that we have a "closing time" so she can get some sleep. That often means no long, delicate foreplay. Which is great by me.
She's always had weight problems even as a kid, and is a gym goer, but food is hard to tame. But she's seen my diet and is intrigued; while jumping in with both feet is scary to her, she's tiptoeing, and making good progress. I haven't demanded it. She sees me changing and doesn't' want to be left behind. I doubt she'll be able to have the willpower to get to where I'll get (I'll be at 15% bf by end of the year, and want to settle at 12% and then re-evaluate), but she'll improve, lose weight, and gain self control and self confidence. That will be great for both of us.
BUT you look SO hot
I've moved form "puffy/pudgy" to 17% body fat, and noticeable growth in all muscles, but still a belly, not cut, not shredded. But she's really impressed. Runs her hands over my body. Tells her friends I'm muscular. Overshares, really, but if she's happy with how I look, and horny from how I look, good.
I'm also dressing nicely. I'm wearing nice, cool, slightly hip stuff, thrifting, good shoes, but look my age. I'm not a metrosexual or skinny jeans dude, but I'm no longer wearing Costco Relaxed Fit shit and baggy button downs.
I've recently gotten measured for fitted shirts, neck and arms only, just as a transition. I'm sorta a large-tall guy now, but broader shoulders than that fit, and longer arms than a regular large, but don't want to swim in XLs anymore. I took her with me, asked her opinion on a couple shirts and ties, bought the ones I liked anyway.
Tonight she remarked, mostly teasing, that I needed to stop buying clothes for me and buy clothes for me. I won't (though I'll buy lingerie).
and your new expressions of love for me have been overwhelming .
By which she means 'kino', ten second kisses, caveman, DEVI. All of which has resulted in radically increased pleasure for her, as well as me no longer being a three pump chump.
You have become this fantasy man emotionally physically and spiritually that any woman dreams about.
Our marriage has always been a struggle, from the beginning. Three times I didn't think we'd make it, and probably hoped we wouldn't, but I wasn't going to eject.
I know that we're not in magical shangri-la land now, and that we'll hit land mines and road bumps. But we've had some pretty bad situations arise in the last month, including this week, and we're more stable than ever, even when tired and stressed. I'm becoming the Oak; she's enjoying being led.
I just feel like I xan't keep up with it.
Oh, and that last line? The hamster is a powerful thing, even when he's just jogging on the wheel. I didn't demand it, but I'm leading it.
TL;DR Work the program. Take your time. Do the stuff. Read, lift. LEAD. Become the Oak. If it can work for me, you owe it to yourself to try.
[edit: moved a paragraph for clarity]