TLDR: Wall of emotional english-major text. Had a major blow out with the wife that took everything I had to maintain the small amount of frame I could. Afterwards, had intense sex. What I took away from it? She is intense need of emotional stimulation, and up till now I have been stable, pleasant, and boring as fuck.
I've been pursuing MRP/MAP since around November of last year. Hitting the gym regularly, dieting, reading everything I can get my hands on, coming here every day, etc.
Someone on here once called me a "100% Pushover Prince," and that's exactly what I've been. I've had a massive covert contract with the world that if I helped everyone and was nice, and pleasant, and put their needs above my own, people would love me back and I would get my needs met.
You probably have some idea how that turned out.
By the time I found MRP, my wife and I hadn't had sex in 1.5 years, since my first son was born. Even before then, we were at most once a month, a slow and steady decline over our 6 year relationship. I had and (let's be honest, still kind of have) a major case of oneitis for my wife, and spent my days doing everything I could to please her, be more agreeable, more affable, etc, etc.
I've come to realize that frame is by far my biggest weakness. Hers is strong, mine is weak. Even though she's a SAHM, I make extremely good money running my own business, only work 4 days a week so I can help with the kids, wake up early to make everyone breakfast and feed the kids so she can sleep in, do all the dishes at night, pay her each week so she has spending money, etc, etc, etc - somehow she is always the one sacrificing, and I am the one who "has it easy."
Her Depression, Her FB addiction, lack of sex - all these things came between us, and I blamed her for them. I was getting more and more hurt, more and more rejected, more and more bitter.
Only MRP was willing to tell me that it wasn't her fault - but mine. It wasn't that she was a sexless harpy; it was that I somehow expected that I could make everyone love me by playing doormat. She needed a leader and I was acting like a butler.
The Shit Test:
I actually posted about this before the event - you can read my original question here.
Suffice to say, one night out of many I simply decided not to do all the dishes. This prompted angry silence and, the next morning, a flurry of texts letting me know she was incredibly pissed, and that we needed to "have a talk" about it that night.
(Note that something very similar had happened a few weeks before - refused to do something, angry texts requesting a talk, which led to me simply ignoring it when I got home, on MRP advice. That evening, she cried in bed and we had sex for the first time in 1.5 years.)
I got a ton of great advice from folks on here, and so went into that conversation in a completely different frame.
Before coming here, any disturbance in her emotional reality was a serious issue that needed to be addressed, and her emotional reality was my responsibility. Is she unhappy? I must be a bad husband!
After coming here, I went into the conversation with a mindset of: I can't control how you feel. I haven't done anything wrong and don't need to feel guilty.
She had requested that I initiate the conversation, so I did, comfortable in my frame and approach.
What followed was a 2.5 hour long rant about how depressed she is, about how leaving the dishes in the sink in the morning causes a domino effect that ruins her entire day and makes it so she can never catch up or be happy (direct quote), how I don't care about her or her feelings, etc, etc.
The sheer intensity caught me completely off guard. I struggled to maintain my frame - and so kept coming back to WISNIFG-style replies.
*"I understand that you feel that way. I don't want you to be sad. But...."
"What about my going to the gym makes you upset?"*
Etc, etc. Eventually, she caught on to what I was doing.
"Stop talking to me like a fucking therapist. Show some fucking emotion, show me some fucking empathy!"
Oh no! I thought. I'm being autistic MRP new guy. Don't be autistic MRP new guy! Say something not autistic!
"I understand that you're upset that I'm not showing you empathy. What about..."
She kept escalating, trying to break my weird pseudo-frame. Eventually, she crossed a red-line for me: she spoke to me in insulting and derogatory terms, tone of voice, etc.
I had decided when I started the MRP journey that this was one of my hard boundaries: I will not let anyone speak to me this way. I never insult my wife - ever. I always show her respect, even when we disagree, and I expect the same.
Hearing the insult, I let her finish, then stood up.
"I can see you're upset. I get it. But I do not accept the way you're speaking with me. I want to talk with you, but only if you can treat me with respect. I'm going to go upstairs now. If you want to continue this conversation, I'm here for you - but only if you can speak to me respectfully."
I moved to walk up the stairs. Her face looked shocked - then quickly flushed, her face transformed.
I was halfway up the stairs...
"Don't you dare fucking walk away from me. Don't you fucking dare. I swear to god, if you walk away from me right now I'm going to LOSE MY SHIT and get in the car and drive it into a fucking...I..."
I stopped. I backed up and looked at her. We had both heard it - a line being crossed.
And now, I was pissed. Angry. Upset. I had almost killed myself, once. And I couldn't believe she would utter those words in our house - where our kids play.
I came down and sat straight in front of her. She had been holding a book in front of her, facing away from me this whole time - I made her look me in the eyes, put the book down.
I told her: "I understand that you're upset. I understand you feel depressed. But you will never, ever, threaten something like that again. If you ever did something to yourself, the effect that would have on the kids? On me? I would never forgive you."
At this point, I was tearing up. My voice was shaking. My hands were balled into tight fists. I felt energy surge through me - all that anger, that rejection, that fear of her responses, that love - This was my house my family, and I wouldn't stand for anyone threatening it. Not even her.
So. Pulled into her frame? Yes. We kept talking. I treated her problems like legitimate problems. I talked way more than I needed to (if you've read this far, I'm sure you recognize this behavior). I over-explained, I DEERd.
But. I didn't offer to solve her problems for her. And I didn't let her cross my hard boundaries.
We went upstairs, and we made intense, passionate love. We were both shaking. I was more dominant. She was more submissive. It was good.
For me, the big takeaway - besides the importance of holding frame - is about how this all feels to her.
To me, this is a fight - a needless emotional blowout over problems that are easily solved. it's about playing defense, not letting my guard down and my bad habits take over. She's the adversary.
For her, it's a huge adrenaline rush - dopamine flooding her brain as she hits intense emotional highs and lows. Her sexuality is deeply attuned to her emotional reality, and even though, from my perspective, the emotions are predominantly negative, they're still exciting to her. Creating any reaction in her is better than sitting on the couch and calmly watching TV for the millionth time.
I've initiated several times since, but only had sex once. Why? Because I'm not doing a good job of giving her those emotional highs and lows when we're not in a huge blowout.
She's bored out of her mind. That's on me. Just like everything else, attraction-wise, has been on me this whole time. Only this experience really drove that point home for me.
The more I put her on a pedestal and make her happiness the point of all this, the less happy she is. She isn't my adversary - I am.
I still have so far to go. I must ignore 40-50 MRP best practices every day. But pattern recognition is starting to take hold, and I'm starting to see subtleties where before I saw none.
Anyway, a long story. Still processing. But I wanted to share here in case any one else has a similar experience. I hope some of you can find some value in it, the way I've gotten so much value from the comments, questions, stories, and insults here.