On July 20th my wife and I celebrate our 16th wedding anniversary. It’s no secret to my readers that I have a very good marriage and I’m constantly asked what my ‘secret’ is for keeping things positive, or the Oprah classic, “what do you do to ‘Keep It Fresh™‘?’. The manosphere is littered with stories of guys and their divorces contrasted against the stories of single guy’s decaying LTRs or dealing with recovering from them. I try not to make a habit of personalizing things that gloss myself, but when I do just understand it’s more from a sense of being a wild card. Guys with successful marriages (a dubious term at best) don’t really have the motivation to come to forums like the manosphere and share their insights. Why bother if that area of one’s life is more or less taken care of? So in light of this, I’ll share a few things I’ve learned in the last 16 years that make for a good marriage from my perspective.
Let me begin by giving you all some background; Mrs. Tomassi is my first marriage and Bebé Tomassi is my one and only daughter. As I’ve said before, by society’s current standards I’m a freak. I’m a freak in that I met my wife and we dated for 8 months (non-exclusively for 4) before I proposed to her. I was 28 when we married. After 2 years being married we decided to have one child – by design. My wife expected me to be a Man and I in turn expected her to be a Woman. I did not knock her up and then marry her. She was not a single mother, nor did she have excess baggage from previous relationships.
This is important to know, because when I relate stuff like this I often get the “well, you did everything right” response, when in fact every bit of what I enjoy with my wife today is due to me doing much more wrong. I had to unlearn what 26 or so years of feminized and emasculated teachings had taught me up to that point. Admittedly unaware, I had come across a unique situation – a woman who actually wanted a Man to be a Man, and in all honesty I was completely unprepared for it. I was an AFC (really a recovering AFC by that point due to a psychotic relationship prior to all this) and there was no community back then to inform me otherwise. I had read some of Dr. Warren Farrell’s books, but that was the extent of my own self-understanding with regard to my own gender conditioning.
Being the Driver
Now I had come across a woman who on our first date insisted that I drive HER car. My truck was a piece of shit of course , but after years of this gender equalism brainwashing, a woman, upfront, wanted me to take control. Since then I’ve always been the driver (with the exception of her driving us home after I had my wisdom teeth pulled). This was symbolic of how the next 16 years would play out.
Mrs. Tomassi is no push-over and she most certainly gives me shit tests even to this day. In fact I’ve described marriage as one life long shit test and I still hold to that, but from the begining she expected me to be positively masculine – to be the decider, to be the initiator, to have the ideas and to confidently execute them. Even in my worst failures, the fact that I attempted honestly was more important than the outcome. This may not have been the case in the short term, but in the long term is where you can see the appreciation in the behavior. We compliment each other in our understanding of our gender roles.
When we met my wife was dating two very rich men (we were non-exclusive, remember?), I had 2 nickels and a beat up pickup truck to my name. Mrs. Tomassi is a medical professional and the men she’d dated prior were E.R. doctors and specialists; guys making well over $300K annually. They had boats, cars, large homes, status, dispoasable wealth, and yet despite all of that I’m the one she pursued and locked in with (her Mom thought she was insane to marry me at the time). They had it made, but for all that wealth they were still clueless when it came to being Men – they were uncomfortable in their own masculinity. A lot of guys mistakenly believe that having a large bank account is the key to getting women, and while that might help in the short term, in the long term it’s to your own detriment (she’ll end up with half after the divorce) if you don’t ultimately kill the inner AFC and fearlessly embrace the postiveness of your own masculinity.
There are so many aspects I can detail about what makes for a good marriage, but all of these really boil down to two things, genuine desire and mutual respect. Too many couples become complacent and comfortable in their marriages and this leads to a decline in both of these areas. A certain degree of subtle anxiety and constructive discontent is necessary for a good marriage. That comes off as negative to the plug-ins of the Matrix, but it’s really what makes each partner want to be better for themselves and each other. Taken too far it becomes abusive, but none at all and the marriage becomes stagnant which is equally dangerous. In the right proportion, this anxiety makes for a marriage that retains it’s mutual desire (which is really analogous to Interest Level) and mutual respect.
So how does this anxiety manifest itself? An easy example is staying in shape together. I can honestly say my wife is still hot (if not more so since the boob job). I want to bang my wife as often as humanly possible; how many men married for 10 years can make that statement? My wife is a piece of ass and I see guys eye her all the time. Likewise I’m a bodybuilder and keep myself in peak condition. I get women in their 20′s flirting with me often enough, and this confirms for her and myself that we are both desirable people – this is one example of this anxiety, and we both recognize it and respect each other for it.
There are other ways this anxiety can be applied, for instance C&F (cocky & funny) goes a long way in marriage. Mrs. Tomassi loves just enough C&F attitude from me to reaffirm her perception of my confidence. As I said earlier, marriage is a life long set of shit tests and carefully used C&F is a tool that can be used to diffuse a lot of these before they even happen. Confidence is still the thing that makes a woman want a man, even in marriage. Generally a shit test IS a test of confidence. Prior to marriage, it’s latent purpose is to help a woman determine whether a guy can provide for her long term security. After marriage, a shit test is used to reassure a woman that she married the right guy.
I’ve come to find that Game is even more necessary in marriage than when you’re single – there’s far more at stake when the commitment is intended to be for a lifetime.
I have a lot of rules I pop off with about LTRs & marriage. I emphasize that a man not even become monogamous until he’s 30 and that he shouldn’t consider marriage until his mid 30s. Again, I state this not because I did so myself, but from my side of the fence I can see the huge advantages to doing so now. Marriage should be a last resort, something to be forestalled until a Man, by virtue of years of experience, has the ability to recognize with measurable accuracy, a woman who deserves what he provides her. The PRIZE mentality is essential. A man must be a Prince first, before he can be a King when he marries.
After 16 years of marriage I can honestly say there are no appreciable advantages (outside of raising children) that a man cannot enjoy single that he can married. That’s not meant to be pessimistic, but rather a caution to emphasize how important it is to disabuse yourselves of this AFC, romanticized, marriage-as-goal mentality. It’s also not to say marriage is never worth it – just that marriage is complete advantage for women with negligible, if any, benefit for men. Marriage will either make a man’s life or destroy his life; enter into thinking about it like this and you’ll make a better decision. Is this person deserving of what I provide? Women will NEVER, even in the best of marriages, fully appreciate the sacrifices a man has to make in order to fulfill his commitment of marriage. Entering into a life-long binding commitment of fidelity that offers a man very little appreciable advantage, and knowing the totality of the risk he’s assuming in accepting that sacrifice will never be fully understood or appreciated by the woman he marries. This is why you have put your head into thinking whether she’s deserving of your provisioning, security, confidence, attention, etc. even when it goes against what you think is your kind and good-hearted nature. If you’ve come to a point where in spite of the acknowledged risks you still want to make that commitment, you must be as self-concerned about marriage as you would be in saving your own life.