failed marriages

The Marriage Game

As a few of my readers know my daughter is presently a sophomore at college. Every time she reaches a new milestone in her life I have a tendency to mentally go back in time in my own life and consider how utterly different her experiences are in comparison to my own. At 19 the thought of being as organized and honestly well off as she is in life now would never have occurred to me. For a very brief moment in my life back then I’d kept a journal of what it was I was doing and thinking at the time. My first ‘real’ girlfriend had given me this blank journal (she was one of those girls who wrote diaries) to write my thoughts in and being the Beta I was then most of it was filled with my Blue Pill frustration with girls. She’d gifted me this journal, I found out later, as an effort to absolve her of all the guilt she knew was coming her way for having cheated on me and deciding that, at 18 herself, she wanted to move on into her Party Years without the baggage of a dutiful Beta who thought he was going to marry her.

This was 1988 and the then 19 year old Rollo Tomassi was very much a typical Blue Pill Beta. I sometimes read back through the dozen or so pages I actually took the time to write back then to remind myself how I thought back then. I was very much and idealistic Beta back then, but I had several other friends who subscribed to the same Blue Pill delusions; and now with hindsight I realize this phase in a Beta’s life is one that was around long before and long after I went through it. This was the ‘Break Phase’ I outline in Preventive Medicine.

As it turned out, the girl who I predictably developed ONEitis for, the first girl to spread her legs for me (‘enthusiastically’), the girl I thought had to be “quality” if she appreciated a guy like me, was every bit the ‘play the field’ skank I would’ve never called her because it was what a “typical male” would say about her. At one point I had thought I’d want to marry her. My Blue Pill conditioning had taught me it would be the right, “supportive” thing to do; marry her and support her ambitions and goals (it’s what good Blue Pill boys ought to do) at the sacrifice of my own. And as directionless as I was then, that was an easy decision to make.

My daughter recently informed me that her boyfriend’s best friend just proposed to his girlfriend at 19. Both this guy and his girlfriend are also sophomores at the same school and this is what triggered the reminiscing for me. At 49, and having lived the life I have and the experiences I use on this blog today, I’m very glad my first girlfriend dumped me. That’s hard to say sometimes, particularly when I think back on the pit of misery years I spent with the BPD girlfriend I’d gotten involved with later, but I’m thankful for those bad experiences as much as the good ones. So, it’s really difficult for me to tell my daughter’s friend “oh, congratulations”.

It’s very difficult for me to endorse anyone getting married at so early an age these days or when I was 19. Modern marriage is a menagerie of horrors for today’s men. People say, “Rollo you’re married, how come you’re so hard on marriage?” It’s either that or they presume my marriage is a shit show and I’m venting like a petulant boy. When I’m critical of marriage it’s in spite of my own (very happy for 21 years) marriage. But I cannot condone it for men today – not in its present state. Hardline MGTOWs and PUAs agree on one thing, if you ever consider marriage you’re Blue Pill. I’ve written in many prior posts that I don’t necessarily agree with that assessment, but I do understand it. The risks today far outweigh the rewards, but still there are men who, even with Red Pill awareness, will still take it on.

There’s a running debate I have going on with Hunter Drew (The Family Alpha) and Tanner Guzy (Masculine Style) about how marriage is a lifestyle decision, and depending on how informed a man is about the risks he assumes and when he decides to get married, this decision is literally a question of life or death for that guy. Both these guys married early in life, both have kids, and both will have far different experiences than myself in this respect. Both of them and myself have assumed the risks and sacrifices this entails. I’m fully aware that my wife can detonate the marriage at any time. I’m sure both Hunter and Tanner are well aware that their wives also have the right to have them removed from their home and take their children away from them for any reason. But we’re all married, and as I wrote in Surrender, we have all willingly put ourselves in the most vulnerable position a man can be in; we’ve bet our lives, livelihoods and the future health and happiness of our kids and families on what today is the ultimate suckers bet for a man. And what’s worse, we cannot ever expect women or our wives to ever relate with just how dangerous a position we willingly put ourselves in.

So I’m thinking about all of this after my daughter tells me about this 19 year old kid proposing to his girlfriend. Statistically his marriage will end before he’s 28. I would also bet that, like myself at 19, he’s making a decision that will affect him and his fiancé’s based on Blue Pill idealism – an idealism that’s informed by the Feminine Imperative and delusions of egalitarian equalism. Naturally I can’t possibly think this is a good idea. If I were this boy’s father I’d strongly advise against it, but there are others in the manosphere who would encourage this.

“Grown” Men

There’s an old saying that goes “marriage is our last, best chance for growing up”. I also disagree with this from the perspective of today’s version of marriage, but I understand how homey platitudes like this are appealing to a social order of men who it seems don’t want to grow up. It’s becoming a new way of AMOGing (particularly in religious circles); if you’ve got your shit together enough to see the wisdom in being married and starting a family you’re a “better man” than the ‘boys’ who they believe want to extend their adolescence. It’s really nothing new.

According to strategic pluralism theory (Gangestad & Simpson, 2000), men have evolved to pursue reproductive strategies that are contingent on their value on the mating market. More attractive men accrue reproductive benefits from spending more time seeking multiple mating partners and relatively less time investing in offspring. In contrast, the reproductive effort of less attractive men, who do not have the same mating opportunities, is better allocated to investing heavily in their mates and offspring and spending relatively less time seeking additional mates.

This is one half of strategic pluralism theory for men. Men who invest themselves in the long term aspect will always look for ways to validate their inability or unwillingness to pursue multiple partners. It’s easy to think that these men make their necessity a virtue, and that may or may not be the case, but what’s undeniable is that investing themselves in a one-mate strategy necessarily selects them out of experiences with women that would otherwise aid them in vetting a woman as a good long term prospect. The Blue Pill has always subjugated men to be predisposed to the one-mate investment strategy while simultaneously encouraging women to adopt a multiple mate strategy. That may seem counterintuitive, but when we look at the Sheryl Sandberg plan for Hypergamy we can see that what they believe is prudence is having a large selection of potential husbands from which to choose.

In Trad-Con manosphere thinking it seems like conventional wisdom to encourage men and women to marry younger. Look at where we’re at today; women forestall marriage – ostensibly to further a career, but really to falsely extend their Hypergamous decision making years – until their Epiphany Phase (29-31) or even beyond by freezing their eggs. Men take much more time to mature into their peak SMV potential, but what’s the common complaint? These men aren’t “being men” by preparing themselves for a life of family and marriage. They aren’t catering their lives’ decisions to fulfill women’s sexual strategy, and really what incentive do they have to when women are following the Sandbergian path of Hypergamy? Men and women marry later and later – if at all. Women unmarried by the time they’re 34-35 are likely to never marry in their lives.

Marrying Early

So it seems like wisdom to tell this kid, “good on you”, in spite of all the odds staked against him and despite the Blue Pill idealistic delusions that are prompting him to propose. Trad-Cons love the idea of a return to something resembling “traditional values” in order to save western culture from itself, but it’s important to remember that those old books values are really just leverage in a new books world.

Marrying early, as I said, is usually the result of Blue Pill naiveté. Both young men and women are still ignorant of who they are or who they have a potential to become. I see a lot of early-marrieds originating in religious circles because this is their only means to “legitimate” sex, but there are the guys who see marrying early a better way to ensure ‘permanent’ sex for themselves. In some respects it’s almost a blessing that women at this age are so anti-marriage – most young men on the investment side of strategic pluralism are far too willing to kill their own dreams to accommodate their investment.

Marriages that begin between 20-24 are almost 39% more likely to end in divorce. A lot of this, I speculate, is due to women feeling like they need to make up for missing out. The idealism of young Blue Pill men marrying early has one big obstacle and that’s the influence of Hypergamy on their wives. In Preventive Medicine I made the case that no matter the woman’s choices she makes or has made for her in life, it will not negate Hypergamy’s influence on her. Yes, that influence can be mitigated culturally (laughable in western societies) or personally, but it doesn’t remove the evolved influence. By the time that 20 year old mother and wife is 30, she’s had ten years to develop the resentment of her choice by living vicariously through her single girlfriends’ experiences. The context may change, but Hypergamy doesn’t.

Early marriage limits a man’s potential. Trad-Cons will fight me on this one, but the responsibilities of marriage and parenting will necessarily limit a man from opportunities he would otherwise have were he single. Aristotle said, “The Ideal age for marriage in men is 35. The Ideal age for marriage in women is 18”, not unlike my sexual market value graph, but the reason for this is because it takes much longer for a man to establish himself as a man. The simple truth is that part of the sacrifice of being married means a man will not be able to capitalize on opportunities he would have were he single. Some opportunities may never even be made available to him because of him being married. This isn’t something most early-marrying men consider.

Men who marry early and stick it out through their peak SMV years often feel the mid-life crisis (epiphany) years much more acutely. This is kind of the man’s making up for missing out resentment a wife may feel as she becomes more and more aware that she can’t compete in the SMP for a better Hypergamous prospect. I don’t believe men have a “crisis” per se around this time, but what they do experience is a sense of introspection that’s colored by their now better capacity to understand the game they’ve been a part of with regards to women. When a man’s married well this is less of an issue, but there is a definite remorse over the “life he could’ve lived” if only he’d known better. This is an assessment of the sacrifices he’s made, how they paid off (if at all) and a sort of survey of his life up to that point.

The biggest ‘con’ to early marriage is that it’s always going to be a learn as you go prospect while trying to establish a world that a his wife of the future will want to defer herself to. This worked far better in a culture and time when women would be compelled to defer to a man’s mastery due to religion, social norms and respect. We do not live in those day anymore and women have actionable ‘outs’ of any commitment that doesn’t suit them, while men have more responsibilities to qualify themselves to suit women.

Advantages?

Early marriage has a few advantages, but all of these depend on the personal nature of the woman a man marries. That sounds kind of obvious, but if you go into a marriage with a solid Frame and a woman who expects to defer to your dominance, I think young marrieds might have a better shot at long term success. If a woman is a virgin, yes, this can be a real source of attachment for her if her husband imprints on her as solidly dominant Alpha. I always advise men not to get involved with a virgin girl if his only plan is to spin her as a plate. There is far too significant and imprinting with virgin women and sex with an Alpha man, or even a guy who seemed Alpha. This is the recipe for an Alpha Widow, but in a marriage it can make for a strong bond.

As has been mentioned countless times, the most stable and healthy way to raise children is in a committed marriage. This might be the only advantage marriage may have for a man today. In an early marriage I would think that a woman being at her sexual market value peak, combined with following her true biological clock (her prime fertility window 22-26) the odds of having happy healthy children are improved. I have a cousin who spent more than half his life building himself into a millionaire architect, but at my age (49) his children are 5 and 7. I can’t imagine living this life now. I suppose money might make it easier, but evolutionarily speaking he and I should effectively be grandfathers by now. I married at 28 and there are advantages and disadvantages to this as well, but I cannot imagine having young children at my age.

Finally, for the “well, duh” moment, it goes without saying that a young wife/mother should necessarily be playing on your team. The only possible successful prospect for a younger marriage to have any stability is if that woman understands what it is she’s sacrificing. Women likewise sacrifice their own personal potentials and later this becomes their source of resentment. The stakes are high for men, particularly if they aren’t Red Pill aware, but women too must understand her own sacrifices; I think this is the most difficult thing. Women’s solipsism, Hypergamous nature and a social order that ‘fempowers’ them to believe not only can they “have it all” but are entitled to it all makes this the bridge too far for young marriage.

In the Trad-Con sphere today there is a constant droning for personal responsibility on the part of men. There is little to none about the responsibilities of women. We’re constantly told that women are only the way they are because men have allowed it. I’ve written before that this is a cop out and an absolving of women’s complicity that mirrors what the Feminine Imperative has put forth. Women are taught not to do anything “for a man” and anything a woman does that might be expressly for a man is is conflated with subservience. Consequently we get generations of women who only indulge their natural solipsism and expect men’s sacrifices as part of the utilities. This is one of the primary reasons all marriages fail; there is no complementarity. Marriage becomes nothing but a naked exchange of resources on the part of the man and anything a woman might do ‘for’ him is frowned upon. And don’t think this is just limited to those blue haired feminists, you can find it at your church.

Women can only willingly want to please a man whose Frame is the dominant one. You’ve got to have that world established that she wants to enter and become a complementary, supportive (of you) and willing participant in. This world-building takes time. Women evolved to seek competency in men. Hypergamy cannot afford to bet all of a woman’s genetic legacy on a guy who has “potential” – they want the proven commodity. This is one reason women look for men older and taller than they are. More importantly, you need a woman who is playing on your team, not against you. And sadly this is the state of marriage promoted by the Feminine Imperative today. Egalitarianism doesn’t promote complementary cooperation, it promotes an adversarial state of competition between husband and wife.

Divorce Incorporated

What I’m going to get into today is going to be kind of dark. I’m doing this not to exacerbate any guy’s negative feelings, but to shed some light on the reality of how divorce operates in the United States as well as many other western societies. A lot of guys tend to focus on the logistics, the laws, the process of how a divorce proceeds. Much of what I see coming from Men’s Rights advocates about divorce centers on the need for legal and institutional reform of the process in their misguided hopes of creating a more ‘equal’ state between men and women. From what I understand, MRA’s primary hope (for most every issue they address) is that this reform can come from a top-down approach – changing the system to be more fair – rather than confronting the fact that these laws, divorce and others, are manifestations of an endemic social dynamic that is based on a fundamentally unfair, unequal interrelation between the sexes.

What I’m going to focus on here is dissecting this process, but doing so from a Red Pill aware perspective. While it may be the purview of the MRM that this process is fundamentally corrupt and in need of reform (I agree), what they willingly ignore is the root level inequalities that are part of men and women’s evolved differences that are the source of this process. This isn’t meant to be some take-down of the MRM; I find their causes worthy enough, but I believe their approach to solving them to be fundamentally flawed due to a refusal to accept the core, evolved differences in men and women and a stubborn refusal to reject the ideals of egalitarian equalism that the feminism they claim to hate is ostensibly founded on.

This system is designed to create conflict, but that conflict is rooted in the presumption that men are always at fault in it. This is why there can never be an equalist solution to correcting the endemic problems of modern divorce procedures.

At present I have a personal friend I’m counseling who is in the opening phases of this process. He and his soon to be Ex are also in ‘marriage therapy’. First thing I ask, “is it a man or woman therapist?” He says woman. I say, you’re fucked; start planning your exit now.

He agrees, but still has that Blue Pill hope he’s not wasting his money (she’s a SAHM) and they’ll be able to negotiate some mutually amicable feigning of her desire for him. When we invest ourselves in something we’ve accepted is supposed to be effective we’ll hold on to hope that it will because there’s a part of us (especially in idealistic men) that doesn’t like to think we are able to be conned. This is a very well studied psych phenomenon. We convince ourselves that we ‘got something out of’ an experience regardless of it being a provably bad investment. We like to believe that in all labor there is profit, but reality shows us, quite often, that this simply isn’t true.

I gave him a list of things to keep in his head as he was going to these counseling sessions, but I also told him the truth that marriage counseling is almost always ‘last stop before toll’ and that he needs to be careful now because his wife will eagerly use this therapist’s testimony to destroy his character at a later date. That’s the profit model for therapists in divorce proceedings. They’re getting paid when you’re coming and going.

I told him she will turn into someone he never thought she could become and most of it will be at the prodding of their therapist and her attorney (who he’ll also be paying). It’s in all of their best interests that they create a monster of him. The male anger bias I write about here will be the primary basis for his character assassination.

Anything even remotely, positively masculine or Alpha is still a ‘man being a man’ and this can always be reinterpreted as potentially aggressive or violent. In a feminine-primary social order where feminized men and women are taught that men are inherently evil and prone to anger and violence (the “culture” of masculinity) there’s an army of women and White Knight sympathizing men who want nothing more than to stick it to the ‘man’ symbolically. And when they draw a paycheck from doing so they’re all the more eager. Add to this that they feel a sense of moral justification in “making the world a better place” by burning him in an effigy of all men and you get to where we are now. We presently live in a social order that presumes any masculinity is “toxic” or “hyper” masculinity. So disassociated from anything positive has society become with regard to conventional masculinity that just the term is now masculinity is a negative connotation.

Needless to say this will be the starting point from which a soon-to-be-divorced man will have his undoing begin. So prevalent is the presumption of abuse on a man’s part that even the most saintly father can be remade into a secret monster. It’s just ‘how guys are’ and this presumption also serves as a point of justification for women, and Blue Pill male sympathizers, to feel okay about pillorying him.

Yes, I understand that there is at least a reportedly higher incidence of men being the abuser in domestic cases, but we also have to understand that the definition of “abuse” has been rendered so ambiguous that most men don’t realize virtually anything they do in a domestic confrontation can fit the definition of “abuse”. Just raising one’s voice is enough to qualify as psychological abuse. Denying a woman access to money also fits a new definition of abuse. I once counseled a guy who had been taken to jail for snatching the car keys away from his drunk wife so as to prevent her from driving drunk. She called the police and, as you likely know, the man is always the party removed from the home by police. Snatching the keys was enough to qualify his removal. 5 months later he’s living with his parents (at 43) and paying rent on a home and car payments on a car only his now ex is allowed to occupy and drive.

I know how my friend’s story is going to end. I’m doing what I can to give him fair warning – it’d be better for him to completely pull up stakes and remove himself from the situation than stick around and ‘try to make it work’ because the longer he lingers the more ammunition she and the therapist potentially get. I think this is also the profit model; keep the Blue Pill chump husband around the house for as long as it takes to build him up as a stereotypical ‘man’ and then escalate the most marginal conflict as a ‘typical’ domestic violence incident and he’s gone. If you watch the above documentary on the divorce industry you’ll see how many lucrative profit opportunities there are at every stage of divorce; and there is no incentive to dissuade divorce profiteers from doing anything different. And, as I stated earlier, there are many ready-made social and moral conventions available to help them justify their profits.

Old Books and New Books

‘No one cares how mean your ex was, how unfair she was to you and so on … at the end of the day, the system can’t right wrongs, they only process your case’

The above and following  quote was from an article in the National Post, Family court advice for men, from one who’s made it through;

I’ve had hundreds and hundreds of notes; on a gender breakdown, probably 80 percent are from men, 20 percent from women.

I’ve heard from family court lawyers, some of whom are angry at my suggestions that fathers get the tough end of the stick in child custody cases (though the actual evidence is reasonably clear that they do), some of whom say “the whole system is B.S … one of the first things out of my mouth when I see someone is, ‘What’s your budget and how much does he/she dislike you?’” I’ve heard from judges and former judges and psychologists and counsellors.

Without exception, they agree that the system is beyond broken.

What we have, fundamentally, in the state of modern divorce is a conflict between old books social contracts serving as the ethical basis of a new books resource transfer from men to women (Thomas Ball even described it as such). Really this conflict is at the root of much of what Red Pill awareness (from the social perspective of intersexual dynamics) describes, but in this instance there’s an entire social complex that influences policy and profit. Judges, attorneys, psychologists and counselors all make a very good living from this fundamental conflict; and if you watch the Divorce Incorporated documentary I linked you’ll see that there’s no incentive to ever change that profitable conflict at any stage.

However, all of the people involved in even a typical western divorce are all subject to the belief sets that the Feminine Imperative has predisposed them to about men and women. We presume a default state of victimhood is to be applied to a woman and the benefit of that victimhood doubt runs deep. We see it evolve into the kangaroo court systems that govern what we’re told to believe is an endemic ‘rape culture’ on college campuses – up to and beyond denying a man his civil rights.

We’re taught that any slight appearance of abuse towards a woman is an opportunity to teach any man doing so a lesson, but should a man be the victim of the same abuse? Well, he probably had it coming. The Feminine Imperative has (and still is in some senses) prepared women and Blue Pill men to believe that women are untouchable; always to be believed, by default, in their victim status no matter the circumstance.

Now we can expand this presumption to every party involved in a divorce proceeding. We get female therapists whose livelihoods depend on following the victimhood of women and demonization of men (and masculinity) script the Feminine Imperative has laid out for them for most of their lives. We get Blue Pill Alphas eager to prove their authority by punishing any man who might remind them of their asshole fathers or who fits their idea of what the imperative has taught him is a “misogynist”. The imperative plays to the natural ‘protector’ impulse of these men. We get well-conditioned attorneys, counsellors and judges ready to follow that same script by legally enacting the retribution and restitution upon which feminism has always been based.

But underneath all of this we have the fundamental inequalities in ideology between what the old books social contract expects of men while the divorce industry enforces, almost unilaterally male, punishment based on a new books social paradigm to better empower women – presumably to right the past wrongs they believe were endemic in that old books paradigm. What we have today are new books divorce and marital laws based on those old books presumptions of men’s evils, indiscretions and addressing the toll it allegedly took on women. The result is a system that is designed to psychologically, financially and personally ruin any man whose idealism led him to believe that men and women share some mutually recognized concept of love; enough to compel him to a lifetime commitment in modern marriage. It is a system calculated to destroy the same Blue Pill conditioned men who will eagerly stand up to defend their ego-investments in it.

The common refrain to this is always “just don’t get married”, and it is precisely this system’s goal to disincentivize long term commitment between the sexes so that this response is the only logical one. Thus, we get women spending small fortunes to freeze their eggs in the hopes that one day some man will be foolishly idealistic enough to look past all the inherent life-threatening risks marriage and divorce uniquely disposes men to. Thus, we get old books moralists berating men for wanting to prolong their adolescence (never mind women doing so is considered empowerment) by avoiding the dangers of marriage that they’ve been smart enough to understand, or have been a party to in one way or another.

In my next essay I’ll be addressing the misguided opinion of some ‘stand up’ Purple Pill moralists that the Red Pill is “just for guys who are obsessed with sex and make getting laid their life’s mission”. I’ll elaborate on why this is simply a distraction from the much larger meta-scope of Red Pill awareness and intersexual dynamics. However, understanding how the divorce industry is based on the same dynamics the Red Pill has described for a decade and a half is a good illustration of why the Red Pill isn’t just about men basing their lives on getting laid. This system is fundamentally unegalitarian and unequal, and the designed imbalances are entirely founded in Red Pill intersexual principles. This is why the MRM will never be successful in their hopes of a top down institution of social change. The laws and the social imperatives that crush men are symptoms of a deeper problem that requires a bottom up changing of men’s minds about women and themselves.

The Peacekeepers

Whenever I’m asked for examples of ‘successful marriages’ it’s usually in response to a comment or forum thread breaking down the cost-to-benefits ratio of the travesty that’s become Marriage 2.0. To me, the real irony in these evaluative debates is how often they arise. They come up so often it’s as if these men, in their most rational and prescient minds, are seeking permission from more experienced men to enter into marriage in spite of all the overwhelming downsides to what the institution has become. Even when they’re staring down the gun barrel, guys still want to get married. They want it to work like it’s supposed to.

‘Successful’ and ‘Failed’ Marriages

I’ve made prior posts about my own marriage and how I’ve developed it, but I’m always reluctant to hold myself up as some model for other men to follow because I’m painfully and personally aware of the marriage stories of other men. As good as it sounds, don’t use my marriage as your benchmark.

In fact I think the very idea of a “successful marriage” is a very abused, feel-good Oprah-esque term. ‘Successful’ and ‘Failed’ marriages are Matrix-speak. They’re goal oriented terms for a relational condition that’s constantly in flux. You have to stop thinking of a “successful marriage” in terms of years on the clock. There are people married for 50+ years who are absolutely miserable with each other, and there are couples married for 2 or 3 who have a better love and mutual respect for each other than their parents ever realized themselves after 40 years. Perpetuating a life-long state of misery because it became normalized is a much greater ‘failure’ than divorcing a woman who’s poisonous to your well-being, to say nothing of your family’s. Longevity does not equal ‘success’ in marriage.

Whenever I’m asked for examples of ‘successful marriages’, and particularly when asked by guys seeking to turn their Beta-framed marriage around, I always refer to this inspirational post from Dave in Hawaii. This is my go-to model for both the questioning unmarried man and the desperate beta-married man.

Experimentation

The underlying, root problem most men have with regard to women, intimacy, their relationships, etc. is fear. Fear of rejection, fear of isolation, fear of missing out on or fucking up what they’ve been taught should be their legitimate, socially approved desire. So pervasive is this fear that in trying to avoid the consequences of it, it trumps even the fear of death. I personally know Marines who’ve bravely faced real bullets shot at them, who’ll manically avoid any situation they think their wives or girlfriends would even remotely consider leaving them for. Bullets don’t scare them, but the chance of losing a girlfriend’s intimacy paralyzes them with fear. This is the “Yes Dear” fear.

In order to compensate for that fear men will devise all manner of rationales for their relations, but furthest from their mind would ever be ‘experimenting’ or engaging in risk taking situations with their LTR woman. So influential is that fear that they will never attempt changing their own positions no matter how beneficial it would be to both him and his partner. Guys embodying the peak of confidence in other aspects of their lives would still rather “keep the peace” in the face of a bad situation with their wives than risk that loss (of the ONE or otherwise), and be cast back into uncertain conditions where they may actually grow, but again be subject to real rejection.

Dave in Hawaii’s story I linked is an example of a guy who would’ve otherwise divorced his wife and was already in a “nothing left to lose” situation while married, so he overcame the fear and experimented. That led him to a new reframing of his relationship; one where his wife had a renewed respect for him. The possibility existed that she could have taken such offense to his behavior that she would’ve been prompted to leave him, but her leaving was already a foregone conclusion if he hadn’t initiated something new.

There comes a point in a Man’s life where the fear of experimenting with a potentially disastrous outcome is out weighed by the cost involved in not assuming that risk.

Whether it comes (preferably) before he’s committed to a situation (like marriage) or as a result of the conditions created by that commitment, at some point he realizes the truth that he will only get what he has gotten if keeps doing what he has done. This is the internal debate the ‘peacekeeper’ has to confront – is his peacekeeping so debilitating that he wont experiment with risking a new outcome? If you’re still having this internal dialog you haven’t reached that threshold yet.

In July I’ll have been married for 16 years. Mrs. Tomassi and I have always enjoyed a mature, adult, mutual respect and understanding of each other’s identities and how we relate to each other. I’ve been in LTRs where I was constantly walking on eggshells, nervous that any slight might mean the end of what was really a twisted, adolescent level BPD relationship. You cannot live like that forever; you will break it off, or you will commit suicide. For over 16 years I’ve fearlessly ‘checked out’ other women and ask my wife’s joking opinion about them. And yes, she playfully hits me back by saying some random guy is cute, but my confidence to roll with what we’re both aware is part of the Game only serves to amplify her continued attraction for me. That push-pull is an essential part of my wife’s respect for me. Experimentation and a sense of fearlessness is an intentional foundation of my marriage.