TL;DR - STFU does NOT mean simply keeping your mouth shut when she's irritated. It applies to every single thing you do, and it is the core of your independence and command of the household.
I've been reading and attempting to internalize/understand Red Pill concepts for what feels like a long time. I only became aware of MRP within the past six months or so, and it's been a breakthrough. The Drunk Captain post set off an introspective journey that has honestly saved my future.
I think I'm at the point that I can submit some of my understanding to the community with a reasonable chance of being right and edifying those who have yet to understand this particular topic: STFU.
In colloquial use, STFU translates exactly. Just be quiet at this exact moment. In RP parlance, it has a much wider application. When I stumbled onto /r/TRP and saw that term, my first thought was, "Oh great! I already don't talk a lot during arguments." That was not nearly as true as I thought, and it frankly missed the entire point.
If anybody else sees STFU and doesn't understand why not talking when she's upset doesn't seem to really get you anywhere, perhaps this will add some clarity.
Let's get this out of the way. STFU is not "Just don't talk a lot during arguments."
It is a philosophy with two core tenets. First, always maintain control of your speech. Respond. Do not react. When she's upset and blaming you, this means taking time to think about what she's saying, mostly by applying the concepts of The Emotional Process to the conversation. Is her recount of events accurate and truly linked to her frustration, or are her emotions simply riled and she's externalizing them by blaming you? Do I fog, neg, A&A, disengage?
In my own marriage, this means that I always have to remember that she is emotional before she is rational and that she exhibits highly narcissistic behavior on a semi-regular basis. Every time that I forget to do this, the conversation goes off the rails. Every. Single. Time.
Second, STFU translates to, "Actions speak louder than words." At no point in the beginning should you be talking about taking ownership/responsibility for your life and your house. At every point, she should be discovering the results of you simply doing so, and it should be a pleasurable thing (unless you don't care about the relationship, but this is MRP).
When you finally start explicitly directing the marriage or talking about things you want to change (more/better sex, financial objectives, children), it should be against a backdrop of OYS achieved in practical silence. Dread 9 and 10 only occur after months, possibly a year or two, of demonstrating SMV to her. The point of STFU is not that she'll magically change her behavior by fulfilling your covert contract. The point of STFU is to force you to demonstrate your competence and attractiveness to her thoroughly enough before opening your mouth and laying out how you want her behavior to change. Doing otherwise is a surefire way to blow up the relationship.
Tenet One, Benefits of Controlling Your Speech
STFU when she is upset has two very important positive aspects. First, you are driving the conversation. When she comes to you upset that you didn't take her where she wanted to go on the date or that you didn't ask her about starting your gym membership, responding, not reacting, means you are in control of yourself and where the conversation is heading. It means that you are solving the real problem, rather than the one her hamster brought to you. This means you can resolve her emotions without sacrificing your frame, and that conflict gets resolved quicker and smoother than before.
It will take months, possibly years, for the surface lesson of this pattern to sink in for her: you know what you are doing when she is upset. She may never learn the true lesson of this pattern: she is emotional before she is rational. If she accepts that deeper awareness, you have found a woman who you can probably rely on to a moderate extent like you would your male friends. That is, she will be able to see past some mistakes and maintain respect for you and your emotional leadership.
Regardless, the second benefit is the authority that will come from reliably and successfully applying this principle. Remember, leadership is hard. Your LTR, presently, has absolutely no clue why she can't talk to you about being upset without it devolving into a fight, and she will have no clue why all of a sudden it starts getting better. She might think she has an idea (my wife certainly does), but she doesn't. Over time, the absolutely bat shit things she says will start to pile up, and she'll begin to realize that she actually has no clue how you're staying so calm and collected while steering her back towards tranquility and happiness.
If she has an ounce of rationality and good will, there will be a tipping point at which she begins to trust in your ability to soothe her, because even thinking about doing it herself is exhausting.
Tenet Two, Benefits of Action Over Words
Even more important to /r/MRP than STFU is OYS. It's why the only recurring thread there is the weekly OYS post. STFU is merely the most important piece of advice when talking about how to OYS. Before you set your 1RM goals or your budget or the hobbies you want to nurture or the bad habits you're going to ruthlessly exterminate, you must internalize STFU. We do not talk about fight club, and this is why.
First and foremost, it establishes control in fact. If you look around and decide that X needs to happen and simply make it so, by definition, she has no control over your action. This will freak her out in the beginning, especially if it's some massive policy change for the household. So, it is best to start with small objectively good things. It is objectively good that your yard and house are neat and in working order. It is objectively good that your body is in shape. It is objectively good that you stop jacking off to step-daughter porn.
Secondly, think about the times that some buddy of yours has said, "I'm going to do X," and you knew that was as likely as getting struck by a meteor. I guarantee that your LTR has heard you talk about objectives ad nauseum that never get achieved with the exact same attitude. Do not give her the opportunity to deride you, either internally or externally, and do not hand her confirmation of her opinion of you. STFU ensures that she only sees your attempts at change when you succeed.
Tightly coupled to that point is the fact that talking about your plans softens the impact when you complete them. If finances suddenly aren't in disarray, that's a jarring positive thing. If the yard is always mowed, edged, and trimmed, this is a surprising and pleasurable experience of your responsibility. If you suddenly get haircuts regularly and dress well, she will be happily surprised.
Good surprises equate to dopamine. They tap into your reward circuitry. It's why you scroll reddit for hours on end, looking for that next hit. As you introduce good changes into your life, your wife will adopt a similar mindset.
The more surprising you can make your achievements, the more pleasurable they will be to her. STFU optimizes how your LTR experiences OYS.
Contrast this with a point I made earlier. Leadership. Is. Hard. Every single thing that you don't own falls on her shoulders. She has to figure out the standards for keeping things in order. She has to figure out how to achieve them. She has to execute that plan. That all takes time and energy, which is stressful. Most of these things will never not be an issue, which means that the difficulty of planning and executing will never end.
When you OYS, it is a massive weight off of her shoulders, especially if you get it to a point that you can look her dead in the eye and say that thing she just brought up doesn't matter or is already taken care of. When you STFU, in the exact same moment she discovers you have taken ownership of something, she also discovers the wonder of not having the ultimate responsibility for that matter, either.
Finally, and very importantly, she is not interested in the details of OYS. She does not give a flying fuck about the nuts and bolts of lifting. She could not care less about what you are doing to make sure she doesn't have to worry about the vehicles. She really really really is not interested in your raspberry pi fixation or why exactly you're excited about turbocharging your project car. I can think of nothing more boring than an intimate description of how you keep the house in order. All she cares about is how exciting, attractive, convenient, and/or socially recognized the results of OYS are.
Which means that talking to her about OYS is shooting yourself in the foot. There is no version of you talking about it that does not end up with her trying to wrest control from you, deriding your plans (internally or externally), or seeing you as some tone-deaf conversationalist who can't recognize that she's listening to you prattle on about <insert masculine hobby> because she wants to be polite.
There is one really notable exception to this process. If it's been a while (1000 Foot Rope) since you know you started successfully and consistently applying an accurate model of your LTR to your conflicts and it really doesn't look like she's recognizing the benefits of a man who can handle her shit, you need to deeply consider that you're married to some flavor of a Dark Triad. This is especially true if her combative behavior has escalated, rather than diminished or acquired some level of humility.
Find a counselor who has experience with Dark Triads and figure out where exactly she is on the spectrum. Be prepared to blow it all up and for her to go on the warpath when you do.
The Final Result: Admiration, Independence, and Great Sex
Female love equates to admiration, and it exhibits itself through varying degrees of starry-eyed cooperation. A good woman recognizes her true nature and encourages her man to act in such a way as to create that admiration. You create that admiration by OYS and STFU. If either of these components are absent, you might as well burn it all to the ground.
Once you successfully OYS while STFU, though, two things happen. You gain increasingly peaceful access to independence and authority, and she becomes more sexually interested. You still have to initiate and flirt, but if that's not part of OYS, then you're doing it wrong.
I wrote this as much for criticism as for the community's edification. I'm pretty sure I'm on the money here, but if anybody disagrees, I'd be interested to understand why. I think one thing that doesn't really come out in the post is the fact that I'm following OYS and STFU as much because I just want to be the one taking ownership of my life as I hope it will make the relationship better. I've got a 65 point plan to OMS, and I legitimately don't care if she approves or even notices. Even if it doesn't shift the paradigm of the relationship (which I think is only possible if she's diagnosable), the confidence that it will create will be worth the struggle, all on its own. This is not a covert contract. Once I OMS for a time, I will make my desires for certain changes known.
I also don't think that I connect this to sexual strategy very well. I'm kind of capitalizing on STFU being an established concept, but I wanted to get into what I think the mechanics of STFU are and how they drive an LTR towards viewing your independence as a good thing in her life. Connecting her admiration with her sexual availability is best done more rigorously in another post, though (and has been done. I'm not really breaking new ground here, just figuring out if I understand STFU).
Finally, for the life of me, I can't find the 1000 Foot Rope post. I think that's an important concept to this post for giving guys here healthy expectations for how their LTR's will respond, and specifically set a reasonable upper limit on the grace they dole out before fundamentally evaluating the relationship. If somebody has that link on hand, I'd appreciate it.