Almost 6 months ago, I began on the path of self improvement in order to fix my hellish marriage. We'd had a dead bedroom for years. She was always bitching and so contemptous towards me. It felt like we were always fighting.
When I swallowed the pill I got some initial results - and then they were all undone by PMS. It got better with ovulation, then bad with the next PMS. Handling her PMS would be my bar.
This time, I nailed it. Every time she got pissy I just went amused mastery and teased her lightly like "aw poor you with your PMS". It worked like a charm. The first time she just looked at me askance, smiled and gave me the "you just get it" look, pulled out her phone and showed me her Clue app and put in "mood: tornado." No bad arguments, and she was still taking my dick in her mouth every time I took out.
At the height of her PMS, she went to bed (she sleeps 2 hours more per night than me) and texted me that she was worried that I was trying so hard to look good for other women. I texted her back "you're doing a good job, don't worry". She texted back something about it made her feel bad and if I was on the way out she'd want to know. I wrote "if you're fishing for attention you're using the wrong bait ;)". She texted back more of the same, I went up to her, smiled at her, kissed her sweetly on the cheek and went back downstairs. The next morning she was super sweet. I had to go out of the house and meet someone at lunch, and right before I had to leave I called her up to show her something - which was my dick. Normally she'll just suck on it for 30 secs, but this time she went "I can get you off before you have to leave". I really like her newfound eagerness, and this was on PMS.
Yesterday (on her period now) she randomly texted me "I love you and I'm so lucky that we've been together so many years and I'm still so happy to be with you and attracted to you [kiss emoji]". Even though it completely glosses over the years of dead bedroom and constant bitching, it's a nice text.
And things are even better the rest of the time. She's pleasant company. Shit tests happen, sure, but they get handled and we move on instead of getting into arguments. She's actually horny now: she likes sex, she talks about it the day after, she asks for it, and all her inhibitions are gone.
I'm thinking Mission Accomplished. And don't get me wrong, I have no illusions about the difficulty of winning the peace. I'm far from being all I can be yet, and growing complacent will turn me into the sucker I was before and sink our marriage. But I fucking won the war.
In an attempt to add a little value to this post, I'll recap the process here. Maybe someone starting out their journey can find it useful.
My wife and I had both set out 2014 as the year we'd either get our marriage fixed or we'd divorce. She was putting in zero effort - dead bedroom, and not just bitching but being so mean and hitting me where it hurt the most.
We were approaching year's end and I thought it was over. I don't know if it was a last ditch effort or me preparing to get back into the dating game, but I pulled my shit together. I didn't know about TRP, but I had some issues that obviously needed fixing - mainly a porn addiction that was spinning completely out of control, and on top way too much gaming. Total escapism, probably due to my wife's constant tormenting. So I quit porn, gaming, social media completely and poured that energy into work, my kids, our house.
I made a habit of telling my wife's friends about this when we'd meet them, and they all had the typical smartphone zombie husbands so they responded with "you're so lucky to have a husband like that, I was mine was like that", which I guess was a kind of dread. And on top I was in good shape, I had been lifting and doing MMA for years.
So the sex started happening. It was frequent, it seemed good (I now know it was just decent), she was into kinky stuff, putting on lingerie and collar and leash.
Her first PMS and period was a complete reversal to the old days. I relapsed back into excessive porn usage, and my otherwise awesome therapist gave me pretty much the only piece of shitty advice I got from her: ask your wife for support. I was feeling really shitty about my relapse and I had figured out my wife's rejections were the main source of my addiction, so I bared my soul and asked for my support. My wife shot me down. I then begged for her support, and she shot me down even harder in the cruellest manner you can imagine.
I hated her so much in the following days. And then I found the red pill.
A lot of the stuff made sense to me. I've managed people and negotiated a lot in my business and the concepts behind holding frame, shit tests, posturing and such were easily recognized. I've read a lot of evo psych, and I knew of studies that totally described AF/BB. I've always called feminism bullshit and I wasn't far from MRA.
And when I read TRP I was like "why didn't I connect the dots like this myself?" I knew intellectually that the blue pill idea of how to treat was women was bullshit but still I had the idea that you had to put your woman on a piedestal and treat her like a princess, cater to her whims. It's classic cognitive dissonance, I was an indoctrinated sucker.
So I read, and I began implementing, and the results were immediate. Holding frame, passing shit tests, not doing small favors for her, leading the household, not asking her what she wanted but just doing it, it worked right away and I felt like I understood her. I wasn't perfect from the beginning, far from it, but I could see how it improved things instantly. My rejection issues went away and with that my porn addiction. I had it under control.
One thing I really struggled with was not always asking her for her opinion or what she wanted. Just little things, like where to get take away from her, it was difficult not to ask her but just decide it. But I forced myself to do it, and soon she was asking me "what do you want for dinner?" And she was cooking, but she was asking me. My blue pill thinking wasn't gone so I was considering was she tired so I should choose something easy etc. and picked something that considered her. I know, I know, I was still in her frame. But then I tried asking for something that took a lot of preparation, and she did it and was happy.
This was one of the big ideas I had to internalize: she didn't want it easy. What she wanted, more than anything, was a strong man. I was physically strong, but she wanted someone that was strong mentally and socially too. I had to be dominant. She wanted me to be dominant. She would be more than happy to work hard for a dominant man. You can't both be dominant and also care for her fee fees.
And this is the idea behind shit tests too. She's programmed to test mens' social dominance just like us guys are programmed to check out girls' asses. Your frame is like a girl's ass. A strong frame is like a firm, squat-toned ass. That's what you want to put on display. It's unfortunate that shit tests are done using language which makes them fly in the face of our normal value set (for example that we trust and respect what people tell us), but that's the reality of how women test for social dominance. The great philosopher Sam Harris believes we should always tell the truth, but understand that sometimes people are not really saying what they say - when your wife asks you "does my ass look big in this?", she's really asking something else.
I was getting all of the initial push back people describe. Things seem to be going good, then she gets all "are you mad?" and you wonder if this is really working. Stick to it, hold frame, don't engage - she'll get over it and be much more pleasant company afterwards.
One thing she tried hitting me with several times was that she accused me of acting like her teenage boyfriends - unpredictable, selfish, wouldn't talk seriously, blah blah - and that she had started dating me because she didn't want to deal with that sort of immaturity anymore. It was a good attempt and for a while I was doubting myself. But then the AF/BB reality of what she was saying set in - these guys she supposedly didn't like were the guys who got to fuck her in the ass for free. This was a good sign.
This was phase one for me. I was feeling great, but it was more like "fake it till you make it". I was getting by and improving, but my frame wasn't really strong yet. I was on our subreddit and asking for advice, and I got a lot of great advice. It was pretty rough at times what people said, but when you need guidance from tough people that can't really be any different. I fought some of it, insisted on some stuff that later turned out to be irrelevant. The thing is, this is a process. The more experienced guys turned out to be right, but you're not going to get it right away. You start with your baby steps and you think you're so awesome for walking. Then this guy comes a long and says "you gotta run, boy" and I'm like "but I'll fall!" And that's true, when you're learning baby steps you'll fall if you try to run, but you have to keep your eye on that goal. Don't try to perfect your baby steps just because you can't imagine yourself ever getting to run. I might have insisted I needed to perfect my baby steps once or twice...
Phase two was Sex God Method. For many years I had operated under the idea that my wife had low libido, and while our sex life was now frequent and she was submissive, she was still giving off that low libido vibe. SGM changed that. She talked about our sex the next day. She asked for sex. She got bitchy if we didn't have sex, but aside from that this made things much better, more fun. She became happier outside of the bedroom. Phase one felt great, but I was just getting a passing grade. When you also begin fucking her good, the whole mood of the relationship changes.
The next book I read was the Book of Pook, and I thought I was going to get PUA moves, but it was all about being a natural. But it didn't have instructions on how to be a natural. So halfway through I quit it. Book was right, I had to work on me, I had to become the prize and I really had to internalize this, but I didn't need another 100 pages of it.
This was phase three, and that's when I picked up stoicism. Stoicism is awesome. It is a deep system that can and will improve your character, and it fits nicely with red pill. It was what I need to built a solid frame, to make it about me and not about my wife. A lot of my early progress was about my wife. I was not entering her frame as such, but I was operating from a frame that was about being attractive to her. A bit further on it became about being attractive to women in general - my wife was very welcome to continue holding the job as my SO, but there's a standard that has to be met and the company is making sure the position is attractive to future candidates. With stoicism my frame finally began being about me. I'm sure there are other ways, and I guess I could have arrived there in other ways, but it did the trick for me. And the thing is, when your frame starts being about you, the TRP mentality really starts to spill out into other parts of your life.
And that's where I am now. Things are awesome. Even when she has PMS, I can tease and get her on her knees for me. When she's ovulating, she's talking about getting a Brazilian wax. I've successfully flirted with other women. I'm enjoying being me, being tough. I'm lifting hard, starting the day with a cold shower, growing my beard longer. I'm self employed and being pushier with my sales calls. I'm leading my household. I'm down to 14% body fat and dropping; it's a fucking shame I've been hiding my muscles behind a layer of fat. I bought a squat rack and I'm taking my wife down to use it every other day.
I still have lots to improve on. Of course my wife isn't all submissive: I still get shit tested, but I don't mind and see them as a form of flirting. I pass them, but they still rattle me to some extent. I guess it is like when you're getting extorted for money. My old frame facing a shit test was like how most people see the tax man - he's entitled to take your money because democracy and the social contract. When you begin with TRP, it is like a mugging - you know the robber is wrong, you're seriously offended by it but you're scared and you're not sure you can handle the robber if he assaults you. These days, I feel like it's some punk trying to rob me on the street - I don't expect anything else from punks, I'm pretty sure I can handle it and outwardly I stay cool, but it still gets the adrenaline flowing; I don't have that deep sense of calm I'd have if I was sitting in an armored truck.
But fuck, this journey has been amazing. I can't believe how miserable I was just 6 monhts ago, and now I'm on top. Thanks for the guidance from all the great men of this subreddit.