Every several months or so I find myself assessing my direction, my "narrative" (as it's commonly referred to here) and my MAP, looking for things that could use tightening up. This started out as an OYS post after a realization about one area I could improve on but I decided to throw it up on the main sub instead as it got longer. Because it was an OYS post originally I'm going lay out where I have fucked up, where I've done well and what I'll do going forward to improve this.
I was reading posts on our beloved forum yesterday and got sucked into a Jack10 rabbit hole and came across this post about incentivizing others to express desired behavior (your wife is an "other" for clarification).
I think this gets overlooked a lot of the time on MRP due to the "Levels of Dread" being so prominent of a guide when guys are building their MAP. Don't get me wrong, the dread levels are necessary to grasp but they are mostly about improving yourself and implementing a successful strategy as a married man, from that place of improved SMV. This is another key distinction for another post. Men here get caught up with looking for shit tests, having three hobbies, practicing game, removing time and attention to the point where they are missing opportunities to reinforce and reward good qualities and actions of those around them (I've been guilty of this at times). For your wife, this means creating that environment where her feminine nature is encouraged by your masculine leadership and even occasionally, your praise, be it verbal or action based.
I realized I've been somewhat failing to most effectively create that optimal environment to foster feminine energy and flourish from my wife. I've missed opportunities to craft the narrative and lead her to this and will be trying to correct it. It comes down to this for me right now; I need to do better at creating an environment that encourages good, feminine behavior and lead her into my strategy/narrative. This has some similarities with /u/GargantuaBlarg29's recent post on being a good partner and leading her to good behavior through your micro-actions.
How did I fuck this up pre-RP awareness?
If you examine your past (or current actions for the newest here) I guarantee you will find behaviors of yours that supported the FI and stifled your wife's natural feminine nature. Here's mine... I used to be one of these guys who thought he liked girls who were slightly less feminine. Not "butch" but maybe slightly tomboyish and "sporty." You know the type. Waaaay back when we were dating (10+ years ago), I used to even tell my wife that I didn't like all the overly feminine accoutrements like lots of makeup, heels and stuff like that. I would tell her she looks fine the way she was and sometimes even accuse her of overdressing for events. I was absolutely murdering that instinct to be feminine and sexy. What a dipshit, right? Like the majority of men today, I bought into the feminine imperative lies so much I actually believed this. And in turn, she believed this is what I liked in women (and why wouldn't she? It came out of my mouth on more than one occasion). My point is that I wasn't doing myself any favors and I'm now realizing the damage this caused to fostering a comfortable environment for her to truly embrace her feminine nature. Undoing something like this takes time. This dynamic has to be right for you to be able to validate and encourage "desired behavior."
So what have I already done to reset this dynamic?
On a macro scale I did things like, took over handling our finances about a year ago. She's expressed to me how this has reduced the stress in her life (Now the thought of not doing this conjures up images of me being a man-child). I focus on the larger, strategic family decisions of our lives like; buying a new car, planning big vacations, coordinating large home repairs, vehicle maintenance, etc. Thus leaving her room to worry about things like what's for dinner, laundry, what the kids will be wearing to school and her appearance. The things many women naturally (whether they admit or not) are proud of and enjoy doing for their families. I've become more involved, or at least more aware of, what our kid's are doing at school and what they need to be responsible for. My wife still handles most of this as she works part time and only about 5-6 hrs a day when she does, but as part of my "preparing for any outcome" MAP I want to be more engaged and able to pitch in on this should we ever split. It also builds my own reassurance that I do not need her to be happy and successful. The go plan is the stay plan.
I validate her efforts at eating better and exercising daily. About one whole year after I started lifting, that 1,000 foot rope attached to the "fitness raft" tightened. Now she is watching her calories, doing intermittent fasting and exercising five days a week. Once it became noticeable to me, I wrapped her in a big bear hug, ran my hands under her shirt around her waist-line and commented on how she's looking good lately. Women want this validation.
When she gets a haircut, puts on something sexy or gets "whored up" to go out to dinner, I let her know I appreciate it. I want her to keep doing these things after all. Don't confuse these compliments with pussy worshipping. It's a quick ass slap and "that looks good on you." The hovering pussy drier is not the same as incentivizing good behavior. Don't over compliment or give undue praise.
What can I still do better to further this dynamic?
Be overt about what I appreciate from/about her. I already do this to some degree but I need to start rewarding and acknowledging daily things she does like meal prep, laundry and cleaning. This also goes for when she makes an effort to look good physically. We went to a concert together a few weekends ago and she looked sexy. I told her this. I also made sure I was looking good... come on now. Her hands were on my waist and ass all night . She should know that I appreciate her effort.
Consistently reinforce feminine value. I will be cognizant of when she tries to add value to our (my and our kid's) lives and reinforce that behavior. My wife works with children in a medical capacity for her job. She used to have a blog where she would post things related to this career. It didn't get a lot of traction and she lost interest. I'm going to encourage her to do this again because I know she enjoyed it, whether it was monetarily successful or not.
Lead her into the narrative I create. She doesn't always know what I want out of life, out of our marriage, out of sex. This goes hand in hand with not writing covert contracts. She can't possibly get on board with what I want if she has no idea what that is. See Garg29's post for more on this idea. So being overt about some of this, in a non-dictatorial way will also be something I strive for.
My MAP thus far has been very focused on improving myself, getting what I want out of life, removing my time and attention when she acts shitty and crafting my "strategy" to that end. It's become apparent to me that leading her to a place that reinforces all the positives she brings is just as important. Dare I say, I need to lead her to a place where her efforts are appreciated?
This alone won't make you a more valuable man. This comes after you've lifted for a year or more, after you've lived in your frame and created the life you want. Maybe this a "water is wet" post for some but I see it neglected a lot from newer men. Acknowledging this positive behavior from your wife is a small but key part of the MRP process that sometimes gets glossed over. Don't forget to incentivize.