36 y/o. 190 pounds. Bench press 235. Squat 350. Deadlift 415.
I've been swallowing the Red Pill for 2 years. I've read the side bar. Read some of it twice. I'm better. Marriage is better. Many good things have results from lifting, reading, actively changing as a man, and leading.
Let me preface this by saying my wife is pretty impressive, but then again, I know the concept of AWALT.
However, I have plenty of work to do. The question I have arrive to lately is "How do I determine what's my shirt versus what's her shit?". Basically, the wife and I have had some major conflict lately that I am struggling to resolve. I recognize, on my end, that I need to improve frame and confidence. I know this this because of how much she has frustrated the fuck out of me lately. So, I work on frame. I also try to operate in the kind of frame in which I get the outcome I want in a way that benefits everyone involved (Ecology Frame). I'm pretty assertive and typically do well with setting boundaries and enforcing them. Overall, I do well with responding in a quality manner.
On the flip-side, I also understand that no matter how much I own my shit, she is not without fault, too. I try to make it a point to look at what I'm doing and see if I need to correct my behavior before I confront her with something. In other words, I try not to be a victim nor do I try to make her the enemy.
The issue I'm having is I have recently realized that she fights extremely dirty. Looking at Gottman's Four Horseman, Contempt is her go to. In conflict, she weaponizes what I say and do, gives a lot of low blows, holds herself morally superior to me, etc. I'll say it, its abuse. As my frame and responses to her shit tests have improved, so have her shit tests. I've been failing them lately. I seem to be taking the bait.
Clearly, I need to establish boundaries with her dirty fighting. However, in my attempts to do, she brings up shit about me and says I get defensive about it. All while getting defensive and deflecting my boundaries I'm attempting to establish. I've taken different routes: discussing things calmly, stating my case and walking away, etc. However, even with all the skills I've used with her in these moments of conflict, she remains adamant about me being controlling and simply wanting her to submit to me without questioning me.
My dilemma is that I don't see it, yet, as The Way of the Superior Man would point out, my woman knows what I am capable of, what I'll settle for, what my weaknesses are, and what my potential is. It would also echo much of what I read here and in MRP about leading and creating a safe place for your woman. I can see both the need to establish boundaries and the need to lead her and be a safe, emotionally reliable place for her.
I've already written to much garbage, so I won't go into too much detail. But if I'm not leading and being emotionally reliable, then I want to know. Apparently, I don't know myself well enough, or have enough confidence in this particular area, to recognize whether or not this is true. I don't see it. I don't think I am. But a false negative (assuming I'm doing everything I'm supposed to be doing when I'm actually not) here could be costly by not leading. But if I default to risking a false positive (assuming I'm not doing what I'm supposed to do when I actually am) then I lose frame and I'm still fucked.
I'm sure there is way more than what I'm seeing. I appreciate any insight/ass kicking that may ensue.