I never claimed to be an authority on LTR or a marriage expert.
The only claim I make is that I believe I've gained an understanding of the effects our cultural and societal influences, and how they foster dissension and misunderstandings between the sexes that often sabotage their efforts to find personal fulfillment and happiness in sharing a life with a mate and procreating and raising your offspring together.
I see the lies our culture promulgate, and how to avoid the pitfalls and traps of those lies. That is what 'game' means in the context of the long term relationship between a man and a woman.
In my writings on this topic, on this blog, at Roissy's, and at The Spearhead, I really wrote on this topic for my own benefit...to help myself analyze, clarify, and crystallize my observations of the principles of "game" and how they applied to my own marriage - so that I could mentally grasp a coherent, comprehensible vision in my mind's eye; it helped me to see the big picture.
Having so many people email and comment to me over the past couple of years about how relating to this vision has helped them change their own lives for the better merely reinforces that the changes I've seen in my own life are based on a solid understanding of bedrock principles founded in truth...and not just some highly unusual, anecdotal anomaly.
But it gets even better when you read other peoples contributions to this vision of recognizing the truths about gender roles and how interpersonal relationships work in relation to those truths. People that help you see other points and ideas that I never even considered before on my own. But when you read it, you go "aha!" because it fits in so perfectly with the vision you've already brought into focus in your own mind.
Ulysses at Hidden Leaves wrote just such a post I just read, entitled Follow the Leader
In an effort to be the biggest baddest cock, the man of the house, some stop doing anything and leave all the work that having a house requires to the wife, save for basic yard work which involves the use of mechanized tools. They confuse asshole game with just being an asshole. Whether or not their wife works is unimportant to such men. For them, they are in charge and the wife is going to do the woman’s work around the house. All of it. Laundry? That’s pussy shit for beta chumps. Cooking? I’m no kitchen bitch. Cleaning bathrooms? Are you fucking kidding me?
Hopefully, for their own sake, such men are really enjoying getting to spend their money while they still can. They will give away half of it at some point in the not too distant future. Living in a dictatorial household will inspire an insurrection. The laws are designed to facilitate women with such an insurrection.
Dictator of the house is fleeting power. Leader of the house is power with stamina. Being a leader takes more work.
If you want your wife to respect and tingle for you, you have to become leader of the house. You will do some laundry. You will spend some time in the kitchen. If you have kids, you will change some diapers. If you’re me, you will actively pursue other ways to help, even folding laundry, rather than clean bathrooms because you hate that task. My dad is very much man of the house, but I’ll always remember one day when I was in junior high. At that point, we had a maid coming once a week as my mom had gone back to work. Dad worked a weird schedule and I was home “sick.” Dad came into my room and said, “Get up and grab a broom. The maid called in sick and your mom isn’t coming home to a dirty house.”
This isn’t the first time I’ve written on this, but it bears repeating. The secret to a happy marriage is to be the leader of your household. The secret of leadership is getting down in the trenches with the troops. This role requires effort; it cannot be faked. Sure, you may find yourself in the garage, standing with a tiny plastic shovel, scooping cat shit, and thinking about how you wish you’d managed to get rid of the cats before your elder daughter got attached. You will also find yourself balls deep into a very thankful vagina shortly after you finish scooping. The rewards that come from being leader of your household are very worthwhile – good food, a clean house, kids who look like you, lots of sex, the whole nine yards – but you have to be the one to earn those rewards. No one is going to give them to you.
I've seen this exact same dynamic in the martial arts dojo. The difference between a leader and a dictator and it's effects on the entire environment and how it influences the learning and practice of everyone involved.
Brilliant insight Ulysses.
In my own experience, I simply reserve "asshole" game for when I have a good reason for righteous indignation. Attempts to emasculate or belittle me are met with immediate response, sometimes terse and angry. I'm in touch with my inner asshole like that...but it is not an indulgence of tyranny to let it out when it is merited. It's simply a reminder...I am the man here, I do have a spine, and there are some lines I will not tolerate be crossed.
Another excellent contribution to the emerging consensus regarding the relationship between a man and a woman in a Patriarchal model, was the Star Trek analogy Athol Kay at Married Man Sex Life used to describe his own marriage: Dominance and Submission in Marriage: The Captain and First Officer Model
Often a woman will tear her husband apart over quite minor things seeking a reaction to correct her. If she doesn’t get that correction she can become increasingly agitated with her man and progressively more extreme in efforts to force that reaction. The majority of drama queens are just seeking the king to finally show up and tell her to knock it off.I would interject here that many women actively seek this...but don't even consciously realize this truth. Thanks to the message of "equality" that is the dominant meme of our culture, many women seek for this while rationalizing or justifying this need with the 'pretty lies' of our culture when they experience the dominance they subconsciously desire. I've noticed plenty of women who are in relationships with men who are dominant...yet she'll proudly tell her friends that they have an "equal" relationship.
Again - I’m talking about one man and one woman with each other. I’m not talking about all men over all women. Nor am I saying all marriages have to work this way. Just that I believe most would run better for trying it. Many women actively seek domination in their sexual relationships.
Anyhow, back to Athol's* excellent Star Trek analogy
*( BTW - is it just me, or am I the only guy that "hears" the name "Athol" in my head as GBFM saying "asshole" in his Barney Franks "butthex" lisp? heh...I know you're a good sport Athol...cheers mate, I still can't help but laugh at the thought!)
I’ve always liked the dynamic on the Star Trek series between Captains and First Officers. It’s always been quite apparent that the First Officer is always competent and skilled, and if anything happens to the Captain, they step into the role of being in command immediately. The Captains always listen, sometimes the First Officer has a better idea than their own. Sometimes the First Officer actually overrules the Captain in a crisis and gives the crew an order, the Captain usually just trusts the First Officer isn’t doing this to make trouble and runs with it. But at the end of the day… the Captain is the Captain and leadership comes from them, and final responsibility for the ship lies with them. If it all goes to hell the Captain is last off the ship.
My realization is that most wives want the First Officer job. Not Crewman Third Class, but not Captain either. They want to have a say and be heard, they want to be trusted, they don’t want to be micro managed on decisions they are capable of making themselves, they can happily step it up into “having the bridge” when their husbands aren’t available. They just would rather be the second in command and follow someone else’s leadership and general direction.
The challenge for the husband is not to go into marriage as a Redshirt waiting for the deathblow. If that’s what you expect, that’s what you’ll get. Also not to go into marriage and attempt to simply be a member of the crew. The wife will likely try and assume a First Officer role and that makes her the de facto Captain if the husband doesn’t take that position. That may well piss her off. He can even do everything she says wants and asks him to do, and by submitting to her perfectly, that can actually anger and disappoint her more and more. Most men find this extremely confusing.
This was my own experience to the 'T.'
This dynamic is what I believe is precisely how so many men have become "beta-ized" and repel their wives and turn off her attraction for him...and often times she's just as confused and unawares of what is actually going on too. This is when she starts saying vague things like "I don't know if I can do this anymore!" or "Why are we not happy anymore?" or "We need to talk about this relationship!"
Most women simply cannot tell their confused husbands "you are not being dominant, you are not being a worthy leader, and your indecision, unsure self-doubts are killing my attraction for you! Dominate Me, dammit!" Most women can't say this...because the cultural narrative of our declining civilization has associated the word dominance with abuse and domestic violence in the minds of the average blue pill taker.
Talleyrand over at Seasons of Tumult and Discord elaborated on this point as well, in one of his more memorable posts that also added to my overall mental picture - Dominance is not the Same as Controlling
When people talk about dominance and social dominance, inevitably women will think “controlling.”
Generally, women do not like controlling. They will often think of an ex that was controlling and shiver with revulsion.
Being controlling is not a sign of dominance, it is a sign of weakness. It is a sign of insecurity.
Certainly a controlling man or women (and there are plenty of controlling women too, if the henpecked, furtive shoulder hunched men in our society are any example) can dominate another, but the one they are dominating resents it on some level.
When someone is controlling, inherent in there is a recognition that their other attributes, their force of personality, their frame is weak. They need to resort to putting the foot down, shaming, nagging, and belittling another to get them to do what they want.
This is true in all relationships, not just sexual ones. Everyone has had an insecure boss that has been miserable to work for.
The bosses people love and admire, the ones that they would go through fire for (and they are an increasingly rare breed) are the ones that can voice disapproval with just the hint of disappointment, the ones that are absolutely confident in what they do, and the direction of their lives and in their relationships.
They can fight, but they are judicious about it and more often than not they fight for their underlings not against them, they will quell problems when they happen and not abdicate responsibility or hope things go away.
People do things for that type of boss, not because they are afraid of him, but because they love him. So to, the women with a truly dominate man do what they want because they love him. This is not to say that fear is not something that makes men and women both more likely to find another attractive (which doing something a little frightening is actually good for a date, like rock climbing, or sky diving), but that it is only a spice, the dominant man does not need to resort to fear or intimidation.
The dominant man does not need to be controlling to get what he wants. He acts, he pursues, he makes it clear what he wants, and he’s confident that he will get it. He is both self aware and other aware.
Talley, I'm well aware that you and Alkibiades have utterly sworn off marriage...which in this day and age, is certainly prudent and I would never criticize a man for making that decision.
But, I do think you and Alki definitely have the understanding, intelligence and experience to actually make a marriage 1.0 style work for you, even in this day and age of Marriage 2.0.
My final reference is to a piece written by Silas at Everyday Thoughts on Life, in a post entitled Simplifying Sexual Dynamics.
I used to having troubles reading women and figuring out how to determine their perspectives and intentions. But, once you understand one simple fact, it all becomes quite simple. I told LB, "You're overthinking things. It's much simpler than all that." Fundamentally, there is only one thing you have to determine to know where you stand with a girl. Most women quickly and subconsciously assess the sexual value and relationship value of a guy upon meeting him. Generally, within the first 30 seconds to five minutes, she puts a guy in one of two categories:Silas's breakdown is a good means of assessing the state of your own relationship.
Category 1 - Alpha - He is an attractive guy
Category 2 - Beta - He is not an attractive guy
When you're an alpha, a woman will do just about anything for you. You are in control of the relationship and can take things in whatever direction you want. You want to date her? You got it. You want to marry her? Piece of cake. You want to sleep with her and leave her? No problem. You aren't interested in her and just want to be friends? She's up for it. Want to bring her along for social proof or to buy you drinks? No sweat. While the pacing might be somewhat different, depending on the sort of girl, as long as you are an alpha, the ball is completely in your court and she's happy to follow your lead.
When you're a beta, the girl is in control of the interactions. She is in control of the relationship and will allow exactly what she wants to happen, but nothing more. Generally this results in either no contact or the dreaded "friend-zone." With some girls, particularly ones who are more promiscuous, they may even have no qualms about kissing you or sleeping with you, but that still doesn't change the sexual dynamic. In other cases, they may string you along and get you to buy them drinks, dinner and gifts, while knowing that nothing with ever materialize from it.
Remember Roissy's maxim 101:
For most women, five minutes of alpha is worth five years of beta.
Our current dystopia is definitely the result of the war on Patriarchy and it's role as the building blocks of civilization. Understanding what Patriarchy truly is, will probably not help save our fallen world - it's a bit late for that at this point in time. But that doesn't mean having a true understanding can't help you at least achieve your own happiness as the head of your house.