I have gone on in several different threads about “men” I’ve know who’ve become married AFCs and older guys involved in LTRs where they allow themselves to become the passive/submissive partner in the relationship. From experience I can relate the stories of guys who laugh when they tell us how fortunate they are to have a gal who ‘allows’ them to watch Hockey or Football or men who make their own rationalizations for ‘obeying’ their Women’s insecure natures. Just recently I was reviewing the Qualities that make an AFC when I came to realize that the condition we include that characterize what we term as AFC, change and evolve as we age.
The Beta mindset or AFCism (for lack of a better term) and all of its inherent frustrations are a disease, and like any disease, if left untreated, it will mutate into different forms as it progresses until it kills or debilitates the host. Most ‘advice’ threads online approach dating, love, personal relationships from a very short-sighted, dare I say, juevenile point of view. We’re fortunate in the manosphere community to have a broad spectrum of insight including the perspectives and related experiences of older gentlemen. This is a gift in that it helps to lend credence to the philosophies that seem counterintuitive to the newly unplugged and Game-aware. Most others see things in short term behavioral patterns and only very rarely from a truly mature life-long perspective.
Needless to say, making short term decisions with long term consequences is hardly a way to live. I know far too many 40-60 y.o. men and women who internalize and put into practice the advices of 20-30 y.o.s who have entirely too immature realtional/social skills to be giving advice. When I read a 22 y.o. girl going into explicit detail about dating advice for a 45 y.o. divorcee “getting back into the game” I can only cringe. So desperate for help is this person that they’ll disregard the maturity of the source.
This all brings me to the idea that mature AFCism, if left unchecked, will evolve into behaviors that will have lasting consequences not only for the AFC, but also for the people who’s livelihoods depend on him. This degree of AFCism filters down into many aspects of his own life and the lives of others either directly or indirectly. Bear with me while I illustrate this with some personal experiences.
One of the men I presently work with is a 66 y.o. AFC. He is a very successful, millionaire with many financial endeavours and a credit to his sense of business. That said, every success he has achieved was prompted by his need for feminine approval, women (and one in particular) have always been the PRIZE to him. He has built a small financial empire based on this AFCism that many other people are dependent upon. He constantly drops what he thinks are pithy comments about how “women are the power behind the throne” or how men will “never understand women”, all completely oblivious to his own personal status. I constantly see his business decisions colored by this very AFCism and I think about how people are dependent on this man for a paycheck.
When I lived in Nevada I had a 63 y.o. man I counseled who had spent the better part of his life trying to find the ‘key’ that would make his wife of almost 30 years be intimate with him. Both in their 60′s, she had gradually become indifferent to him and only held him as a concern when he was between jobs. When times were good he would buy “them” toys they couldn’t afford – boats, ATVs, vacations – and in thin times it was nothing but constant bickering. This situation didn’t develop because she was materialistic, but rather because he perceived this as a method to buy her affections and she became conditioned to it. At 63 the guy is bawling his eyes out since he’d reach the end of his rope. He’d run out of AFCideas that would appease her. It was when I suggested he “Man-Up” and start implimenting some positive-masculine behaviors and developing this mindset he said, “I could never do that, it’s just not me. She’d leave me for sure if I got tough.”
AFCism isn’t just for kids. The fallout and long term consequences carry over into middle and old age. One element to this is the notion that the last few generations of men have been brought up in a greater concentration by single mothers, absent fathers and negatively masculine/AFC fathers who themselves were brought up similarly. This is an easy mark, but observing and sorting out AFC behaviors of mature men and the complex dependencies they bear on others around them is tougher. I wish I could say that AFCism was an indication of failure and would be gradually weeded out of the mental schema gene-pool so to speak, but I can’t. There are many successful men who still cling to AFC mentalities and in some cases are more driven than positively masculine Men.
Beta by Design
I think in most men’s beginnings, adopting an AFC schema is viewed not so much as a path of least resistance as it is a path of least risk. Children are the sum of what both parents contribute to their development and an understanding of gender roles is crucial in this learning. A personality is the result of seeing examples set for them. If a father is an abusive alcoholic and a mother’s a meek, submissive victim, the model for masculinity and femininity is shaped by this. Likewise if a mother is an domineering bitch and a father a soft-spoken cuckold this also colors perspectives on gender. Taking this a step further, if one parent is absent this creates a gender role vacuum and the child either has to seek it from outside sources or from the existing parent, and this is where it gets real dicey.
When that parent is required to provide their interpretation of the opposite gender, all of their misinterpretations and misgiving become imprinted on that child. This works for both sexes. The pensive, brooding & resentful mother teaches her son “how to be a man” by insisting he pee sitting down (to leave the lid down) and to be passive/submissive. The other side is she expects him to be an overbearing parody of masculinity since this was the example set for her. Either situation is unhealthy.
The Path of Least Risk
Since we’re discussing the development of an AFC schema, this example of masculinity had to be set for a man. It had to have been reinforced often enough (by both men and women) that it becomes an ego-investment in his own personality. This investment gets to the point where anything counter to it becomes foreign. He has to defend it with rationalizations and usually ridicule of positive masculinity because anything opposite to his understanding is an attack on his personality. This is why it is soooo difficult to break a guy with a heavily invested sense of beta-self out of the Matrix.
The AFC mentality is comfortable because it involves the least chance of risk of rejection. One of the hardest obstacles a recovering AFC has to get over is approaching and initiating, because for more than half his life he’s avoided doing this for fear of rejection. This is what led to his AFC status and now he’s got to confront it. I should also add this is why serial monogamists chosse this option – there’s safety from random rejection in monogamy, regardless of how miserable their monogamy is. Miserable monogamy is perceived as preferable to risking random rejection, and over time a personality is welded to this subconscious understanding. “I’m just a shy guy”, “I’ve never been ‘lucky’ with the ladies”, and “I guess us men will never figure women out” are the catchphrases of this mentality.
As the AFC ages, gets married to a woman that’ll settle for him, or marries the single Mom who needs a provider, he lays on even more cement to this ego-investment. It’s not enough that he can’t figure out why he’s miserable, he needs affirmation from other guys that they’re just as lost as he is. And when the Man comes around who is even peripherally critical of his lot he falls back on his learned rationalizations and ridicule, while his wife’s eyes dialate, her cheeks get flushed and she gets wet listening to the Man give her husband some masculine advice.