Her husband was her best friend.

I found a link to a very moving blog while looking at other sites which link to mine.  The author is a woman who divorced her husband 7 years ago and now deeply regrets her actions.  I can’t vouch for the authenticity of any site on the Internet, but her story does match both anecdotal evidence as well as the AARP study focused primarily on people who divorced in their 40s.  In her blog post titled My husband was the best friend I ever had, she describes the reasons for the breakup of their marriage:

My husband was an easy-going, simple man.  He never complained about anything, helped with anything when asked, worked hard and made an above average living, didn’t cheat on me, didn’t drink, never hit me, and was a loving father.

His faults were many: sleeping too much, clowning around too much, being too interested in sports, not knowing how to cook, not remembering the names of his childrens’ teachers, not getting home before 6 pm because of his 2-hour commute, not liking poetry and art, and other heinous offenses.  All deserving of divorce, right?

The truth is that he endured years and years of my contempt, grinding criticism, big mouth, and deep character defects and he loved me in spite of it.

You see, he didn’t demand perfection like I did.  He was just there for me through the good and the bad, doing what a real husband does.  Too bad he didn’t have a real wife.

I think husband and wife being best friends is much more common than not.  At least it is the case for my wife and I and the couples we know.  Our 5 year old daughter complains that we talk all the time, and has commented that she can’t wait to have a husband who will be her best friend.  Given the nature of female relationships and the difficulty of non romantic female to male relationships, this would seem like something wives should especially treasure.    But somewhere along the way many can be talked into believing that they need to divorce.

About 6 years ago my wife was working for a small branch office of an insurance company and a woman came in crying and visibly upset.  When she asked the woman what was wrong, the woman explained that her husband had just told her he wouldn’t continue their weekly lunch date since she was divorcing him.  He was her best friend, and she treasured their lunches together more than anything else.  When my wife asked why she was divorcing him, the woman struggled to explain.  All she could come up with was that she had asked him to fix the garbage disposal in their sink several months ago and he hadn’t gotten to it.  With some more probing my wife learned that all of this woman’s friends were divorced and were egging her on.  When the woman left she had changed her mind on divorcing him, but given her choice of friends I suspect she might have reversed course again and gone through with it.  I also wouldn’t blame her husband for not wanting her back.  How could he ever trust her again?  The words from the divorced woman’s blog could well be what she is saying to herself today:

I didn’t have the strength of character to make it through the demanding years of our childrens’ teenage and college years.  If  I had endured those tough years, I would now have a companion to come home to, to eat dinner with, to go to a movie, travel, and grow old with.  I do all of those things alone now.  Seven years after the divorce, I still miss him.

Another woman has him as a husband and best friend now and he has forgotten me.  Good for him.

The primary reason women gave in response to my post on movies like EPL being tacky was that women were too smart to be influenced by the media’s ever present drumbeat selling them divorce.  But this simply isn’t true.  Happily married women are influenced by this message and the messages they receive from their peers.  This is why divorce is catchy in a social group.  Dana shared the example of her own mother being influenced by the pro divorce messaging on the comments section at Hawaiian Libertarian’s blog:

My stupid f***** baby boomer mother called me after the announcement of al gore’s divorce to tell me she was going to divorce my dad (41 YEARS of marriage) and LITERALLY pointed to an article about baby boomer women divorcing to back herself up. thank god i talked her out of it
women=morons

At least that story has a happy ending. I raised the question before of the authenticity of the blog I quoted in the beginning.  I have to say I really hope it isn’t real.  But even then, from the data the AARP found her story is far closer to the norm of what happens to women who frivolously divorce than anything the media sells them.

This entry was posted in Choice Addiction, Grey Divorce, Marriage, Post Marital Spinsterhood. Bookmark the permalink.

85 Responses to Her husband was her best friend.

  1. Gorbachev says:

    I found this post somewhat painful.

    There was a time when I would have said, hoo-rah, yeah, stupid women; my own divorce devastated me. I came out fine, in the end. My ex didn’t. I don’t feel so hoo-rah, though.

    It’s nothing to be happy about: It’s just sad.

    My ex is my age (mid-late 30’s), and unlike me, is single. She had a string of bad relationships and was heartbroken by one guy who treated her like garbage.

    I heard from one common friend that she made a huge mistake getting a divorce- well, actually she said she “might have made a mistake”, but our friend said what she said and what she meant were two different things.

    She’s unhappy, no longer the hot babe she was when we married, few men she wants give her attention, and in the meantime, my career has developed, I’ve become much more interesting as a person, and I’ve had to work hard at it – it took six months to even leave my apartment after we divorced.

    Not that I’d go back, but had we stayed married, our lives would be very different. I feel badly now that her mistake cost her so much; she’s a genuinely good person, and not some vicious, bitter harpy. But her expectations were great. She was a very active feminist. She still is, from what I know.

    I think feminism really played on her weaknesses.

    It’s just sad.

  2. dalrock says:

    I found this post somewhat painful.

    Likewise. Her story is really crushing. Reading something like that makes you wish you could somehow put it all back together for the person.

    This last year I have experienced a great deal of personal joy, and also directly witnessed the misery of the weakest among us (the elderly and children). All I can do is enjoy and be grateful for the wonderful things I have in my life, especially my family.

    Slow. No wake.

  3. OneSTDV says:

    I’m glad you’ve discussed this. It’s really disheartening that the Roissysphere is so populated with pessimistic men who think women are vaginas and that’s it. They would be horrified at the idea that a man and a woman can form a relationship that’s both sexual and deep.

  4. What a heartbreaking site to read through. The whole Eat Pray Love thing is just awful.

  5. Ulysses says:

    My wife and I fell into our relationship through friendship. I didn’t game her or pick her up in a club when we were strangers. We met through a mutual acquaintance, ended up working together, and succumbed to an undeniable physical attraction. We’ve been together for many years now.

    The importance of friendship is definitely underrated by a certain contingent of men.

  6. jack says:

    I can’t decide whether to pity these women or to dance on the grave of their broken dreams (wicked, selfish dreams, of course).

    Maybe God spared me by keeping me single. I was exactly the kind of nice guy Christian that would have eventually bored my wife if she any sex and the city latent tendencies.

  7. J says:

    It’s great to hear a guy in the Man-o-sphere say that! My husband and I have a similar story and a 20+ year marriage. Friendship and companionship are a big part of that.

  8. J says:

    Dalrock–

    It’s a bit off-topic, but my husband and I finally caught Man, Woman, Wild last Friday night. Fun show! We watched two back-to-back episodes.

    So remind me again, just what is so “beta “about the husband other than the fact that he seems to love his wife? What an impressive guy!! He’s the sort of man a woman would really feel secure with in a dangerous situtation.

    In the South Seas episode, he was trying repeatedly to catch an eel. He kept at it until he finally got it; his persistence and even-emperedness was amazing. Both my husband and I were really happy for him when he finally caught it.

  9. J says:

    Great to hear you say that! Thanks!

  10. J says:

    A sad situation, Gorbachev. I think many of us have a broken relationship of that sort in our past. It’s great that you landed on your feet, and I hope your ex does as well.

    Sometimes a marriage just isn’t meant to be. A male friend of mine and his wife of thirty years recently broke up. The official version is that she kicked him out, but they’ve been unhappy for a number of years and have both made their mistakes. He was pretty upset when she asked him to leave, but he seems to be bouncing back. Despite the fact that the wife is filing, she seems the more miserable of the two. I think that she will live to regret this, but I also think that he will be better off in the end if they go through with the divorce.

  11. Pingback: Divorce costs | Dark Brightness

  12. Gorbachev says:

    @J,

    I know that some marriages are just ill-made. Mine was fine, but my wife just got distracted and needed to find herself. She was tortured about this for about 2 years. She’d had a good number of BF’s, but none of the Bad Boys that her friends drooled over. I also had less game than a hunted-out game park. I had Anti-Game. I was social and nice and everyone liked me, but as Alpha as a church mouse.

    So I can’t fault her, knowing what I know now. And my post-marriage experience has, shall we say, clarified it all for me.

    But that said, I regret the way it ended – with a squeak and a whimper. And I regret that she lost out, so far. I hope she finds what she needs.

    There’s a certain kind of bad-boy that goes over better than others. She found the others.

  13. That’s a sad tale too Gorbachev.

  14. dana says:

    J

    my husband and i canNOT get enough of that show! every time she has to kill something and he is sweet to her it makes me cry. she seems like a good egg from the outset, but it is obvious she is learning to appreciate him on whole new levels.

    best friendship in a marriage is REALLY important, its what will sustain you into the later decades of life. you have to be careful when younger though, the conclusion we’ve come to is that the only thing that staves off falling into a SEXLESS brother/sister relationship when you are best friends is to purposefully concentrate on your sexual relationship and make it a priority. that entails application of ltr game on the mans side and keeping yourself sweet and appealing on the female side.

  15. David Foster says:

    Gorb…good to see your kind comments about your ex, so very different from the bitterness so often encountered on these blogs.

    The woman’s story is indeed very sad—it’s very very unusual to see anyone being so self-critical, which does make me wonder about the authenticity just a little.

  16. J says:

    Yeah, I hear you, but I have to say that I don’t personally understand the “bad boy” attraction. Perhaps because I married later, I find it unusual that a older woman would go for that and that her friends would support and encourage it. Maybe your ex didn’t get enough of that in the dating world before she married you. IME, dating a few arrogant, blowhards is the cure for that line of thnking. I’ve said this before, but I think that young woman confuse sizzle for steak. They see a bad boy and think, “He looks and acts confident; he must have a reason.”

    I quickly backed off that sort of man when I realized that the more a guy talks, the less he does. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever heard my husband, who is a very together guy, make any sort of self-aggrandizing public statement. When I hear too much of that stuff or see too much posturing, I automatically dismiss the man.

  17. Gorbachev says:

    She didn’t get enough before we met. I was kind and decent and nice, and Mr. Reliable, and appetizing in bed. But she felt aching ennui – that she’d missed out on life.

    Her troop through Bad Boy land landed her with a relatively locally-well-known musician who treated her like garbage, was addicted to several substances (some of them pretty surprising), had a suite of really insane girlfriends and who was shockingly badly behaved. She fell for it all. He broke her heart, and then some, leaving her bitter.

    She once apologized to me for being really difficult in our marriage; then she went out and dated a fine guy, one I knew, at least peripherally, really a straight-up no-nonsense character with some natural game, but too straight for her. She lef thim because he was dull – no push-pull (yank-shove). He later got married to another woman.

    A lot of her friends were similar; they have strings of bad boys and like tall, frightening characters as a mater of course.

    Her friends are all hard-core feminists and Have It All women; movies like Eat Pray Love are their territory.

    But it’s left my ex unhappy and single, and childless. Seeing me 2-3 progressively more attractive women, one now relatively seriously, hasn’t helped her self-esteem any, apparently.

    One friend reported to me that she’d said that maybe getting divorced was a mistake. Coming from her, this is a huge admission. and it means she must be particularly despondent.

    She’s a decent and charming and intelligent person. As broken as I was, I’d never wish this unhappiness on her. I blame our society. Society seems to take the blame for everything these days, so it may as well take the blame for this.

  18. dalrock says:

    Thanks OneSTDV. I’m very glad that part of the post came through in your reading of it. It was my intent, but I wondered if the profound pathos of this woman’s story didn’t overwhelm this point.

  19. dalrock says:

    We met a couple on a cruise who mentioned that they had been friends first before they started dating. My wife replied “we weren’t friends”, and then had to explain what she meant. When I first asked her out I evidently made it clear that I wasn’t looking to be friends. I don’t recall this, but she recalls it vividly of course.

  20. dalrock says:

    We saw that one too. She really did great in gathering food in that one, didn’t she?

    As for what makes him beta, you have it. I really did have that conversation with my wife where I used him as an example of what Roissy would consider Beta.

  21. J says:

    every time she has to kill something and he is sweet to her it makes me cry.

    Did you see the show where he spares the turtle becaue she really likes turtles? They really could have used the shell to boil water, but he lets it go because she’s upset. It made me go “Awww.”

    she seems like a good egg from the outset, but it is obvious she is learning to appreciate him on whole new levels.

    I think she’s more than just a good egg. She’s a professional journalist. While his survival skills are the focus of the show, I’d bet the impetus for it came from her. The hook for the show (vs, “Survivorman” or “Man vs. Wild”) is that it’s about a couple having adventures. She brings that to the show; they are a good team.

    Teamwork, BTW, is what I think it’s all about–or at least a big part of it. While sex is extremely important to me, I really feel bonded to my husband when we are working together to something happen. I think that’s why the show is so appealing. Even though, you know there’s a back-up team in case of emergency, it appears that they are working together to survive. That’s a huge bond. It would behoove couples to realize that, even though most of us aren’t living out in the wild, they too are working together to survive.

    that entails application of ltr game on the mans side

    Actually, I’ve been working some ltr game on my husband all summer. Despite the evo-psysch explanantions for its effectiveness on women, it works on men too. Mostly, I think because everyone wants to be with someone who values themselves.

    and keeping yourself sweet and appealing on the female side.

    That sort of surprises me. I picture you as a pretty tough cookie. (That’s not a criticism. I’m pretty tough myself.) How do you do that? (Again, that’s not a challenge; I’m just curious as to how you blend a strong personality with traditional femininity. I don’t visualize you tying little pink bows in your hair.)

  22. J says:

    Gathering,… hell. She KILLED those crabs. She also dealt with some brown recluse spiders in the Moab Desert episode. She’s tough! (And I’m scared of spiders.)

    As for what makes him beta, you have it. I really did have that conversation with my wife where I used him as an example of what Roissy would consider Beta.

    Well, I’d follow his Beta ass into danger any time. Competant, knowledgable, cool-headed, patient, persistent, loving….that’s a real man! Not some keyboard “alpha” tantrum thrower or some bar-dwelling player.

  23. J says:

    LOL. There’s a big difference between friends and “just friends.”

    My husband and I palled around for several months before he asked me out. There was an obvious attraction, but we both needed things to go slow.

    Did you see the clip of Helen Fisher at Athol’s? She talks about friendship and attachement leading to love. It’s interesting. Take a look.

  24. J says:

    Gorbachev,

    I just wrote a long response to you post at 10:10 am, but it’s not showing up. I’ll try to recreate it later.

  25. dana says:

    its funny you mention pink bows J, since ive been with my husband hes turned me from basically a biker chick into someone who wears pink yoga pants and i NEVER wore pink in my life. the truth is im exceedingly dominant in real life, i am an excellent closer as a realtor and am famous for attempting to destroy my opponents in debate. thing is, i have never searched for a mate who is LESS dominant than me, but more–basically i am not attracted to men of my own social and education class, my husband is very blue collar and very natural. he MAKES ME SWEET by being so dominant and masculine with me, hes also garnered my respect with his intellect, his general demonstration of valuable skills and his sense of humor–i think i could be a real cunt to an easy going milquetoast who let me get away with it, but ive never tried one

  26. Zammo says:

    It’s amazing what women will do when faced with peer pressure. Strong and independent is this generation? Not hardly.

  27. Justin says:

    I have also seen the peer-pressure-to-divorce thing played out on Facebook. Recent divorcees are nothing but giddy and partying all the time, literally encouraging their friends to leave their “abusive relationships”.

    The man in the article you mentioned made the mistake of allowing his wife to disrespect him. As she put it, “The truth is that he endured years and years of my contempt, grinding criticism, big mouth, and deep character defects and he loved me in spite of it.”

    If he had yelled at her, fought with her, and fought back with criticism and demands of his own, today she would be complaining about how controlling and abusive he is, but they would still be married.

  28. Hope says:

    I’ve taken this to heart from the beginning of being with my husband: Never criticize or nag or demand anything. Not only do these things lessen his feelings for you, causing him to treat you differently, it also lessens him in your own eyes. It’s just a downward spiral from there.

    Instead (and this is a bit like dana’s approach) elevate him above yourself in your own mind, and treat him like a god walking the earth. I joke with my husband all the time that he should start his own religion, and how I worship him (apologies if I offend anyone with my blasphemy). I really do admire and respect him a lot, and by behaving this way I reinforce the feeling.

    Admittedly I am not religious, but it can become a bit of a spiritual feeling of awe and love. In my opinion it is much more preferable to feeling contempt and disdain for one’s own spouse. I suspect religion was originally designed to perform this function in the old marriages, but its power has since waned.

  29. dalrock says:

    I really do admire and respect him a lot, and by behaving this way I reinforce the feeling.

    This is great insight! I wrote a tongue in cheek post about making your husband more alpha a while back and the consensus in the comments was that women didn’t have the free will required to do such a thing. Obviously you are living proof that women do.

  30. dalrock says:

    Even though, you know there’s a back-up team in case of emergency, it appears that they are working together to survive. That’s a huge bond. It would behoove couples to realize that, even though most of us aren’t living out in the wild, they too are working together to survive.

    100% agree!

  31. Zammo says:

    “The truth is that he endured years and years of my contempt, grinding criticism, big mouth, and deep character defects and he loved me in spite of it.”

    I truly doubt a woman wrote this. It’s been my experience after quite a few decades on this planet that most women are fundamental incapable of such introspection and self-honesty.

    Regardless, it’s still good information and should be shared widely.

  32. Hope says:

    That is actually a good post for women who have good husbands who don’t seem “sexy.” Women really do like looking up to men, and it’s why men in positions of authority are seen as sexy.

    On the other hand, if the man has qualities that aren’t admirable, like drug using, habitual drunkenness, illegal activities, etc., elevating the man is a bad idea. Then again these kind of guys are usually not lacking female attention.

    The key is to making the man feel like he is great, he is powerful, that he should be confident. The woman should make him feel like she has his back and is loyal to him (unless, that is, he betrays her trust). This is a very important trait men value in their male friends, and it makes sense that they would want it in their best friend wife.

  33. Hope says:

    If the woman is old enough she might become wise to the ways of the world.

    At lunch one day with some of my coworkers, one married woman mentioned that her grandmother had told her to stop nagging her husband and stop sweating the small things. Subsequently their marriage got better. The grandmother must have learned this in her time.

  34. David Foster says:

    “excellent closer as a realtor”….sales training programs often suggest that the ideal salesman must be both *very assertive* and *very responsive*, whichis correct in my experience. The “responsive” part allows him to understand the client’s true desires and perhaps-unspoken needs, the “assertive” part allows him to direct the conversation in his own interests. An assertive but low-responsiveness salesman might be the prototypical loud-mouthed car salesman: probably not that great even at selling cars and certainly couldn’t sell airliners or locomotives or expensive enterprise software suites. A responsive but unassertive salesman would just waste time empathizing with prospects who had low chance of actually buying anything.

    Somewhat maps to the alpha-beta model.

  35. dalrock says:

    I truly doubt a woman wrote this. It’s been my experience after quite a few decades on this planet that most women are fundamental incapable of such introspection and self-honesty.

    Check out Hope’s comment above for a great example of a woman being introspective. I would agree that she is exceptional in this area, but she still proves it is possible.

    But I also agree that the level of introspection in that blog is hard to imagine coming from anyone, man or woman. Very few people ever have that level of clarity when considering their own mistakes. Plus I would prefer to assume it isn’t true. But again it is in line with the data, so it is true in general even if not in specific.

  36. Julius Sweet says:

    This post is so depressing. Below is a link to Joe Tex’s hit “Hold on to what you’ve got.” Marvel at how much pop-culture has changed:

    JOE TEX lyrics – Hold What You’ve Got

    You’d better hold on to what you’ve got
    You’d better hold on to what you’ve got
    Cause if you think nobody wants it
    Just throw it away and you will see
    Someone will have it before you can count 1, 2, 3
    Yes they will, yes they will
    Listen fellows, you know it’s not all the time
    That a man can have a good woman
    That he can call his very own
    A woman who will stay right there at home
    And mind the children while he’s gone to work
    A woman who will have his dinner cooked
    When he comes home
    Where some men make mistakes is
    When they go out and stay because they feel
    No other wants his woman but him
    Well listen, if you think no other man wants her
    Just throw her away and you will see
    Some men will have her before you can count 1, 2, 3
    Yes he will, yes he will

    Listen girls, this goes for you too
    Because you know I’ve seen so man women
    Who’ve had so many good men in life
    Men who would stand by them thru thick and thin
    Men who’d go to work everyday and
    Bring home their hard earned pay
    Men who’d give their woman anything
    Their little hearts desired
    Where some women make mistakes is
    When their men go out and let em play they would stay
    Because they felt that no other woman wanted him but her
    Well listen, if you think no other woman wants him
    Just pitch him out in the street and you will see
    Some woman will have your man
    Before you can count 1, 2, 3
    Yes she will, yes she will

  37. jack says:

    Neither of my grandmothers ever learned it. They both ride their husbands harshly to the end.

    One of them was an especially broken man by the end, and he did not put up much of a fight with cancer or emphysema. Probably saw them as his deliverers.

  38. jack says:

    Hope touches on an interesting point.

    I would assert that women either have admiration or contempt for their husbands, with little area in between.

    Many women like to snicker about the “fragile male ego”, which is a feminist fallacy.

    In fact, what they think is a fragile ego is a man clearly understanding the nature of women. The minute a woman sees you as negative status relative to her, she will be thinking about upgrading. Men understand that many women have an insatiable thirst for trading up.

    When you couple womens’ natural hypergamy with a culture that applauds the most ruthless of women, and you have a situation where men realize that one mis-step and they are blown out. It is only when you decide to live beyond the reach of immature feminine caprice that you experience true freedom.

  39. J says:

    She didn’t get enough before we met.

    Well, there’ the biggest advantage of later marriage for women. You know a jerk when you see one.

    But she felt aching ennui – that she’d missed out on life.

    It’s a real pity that most women go into marriage not understanding what to expect. We think we are going to find Prince Charming and then live a life of unremitting romance. Instead, we end up spending a lot of our time picking up socks off the floor. No one tells you that’s gonna happen–although it’s not a bad life if your expectations are in line. No one tells you that marriage run in cycles. There are bad times, but if you’re patient, the good times come around again.

    Her troop through Bad Boy land landed her with a relatively locally-well-known musician who treated her like garbage, was addicted to several substances (some of them pretty surprising), had a suite of really insane girlfriends and who was shockingly badly behaved.

    Ha! I dated him too. I spent about five years, off and on, watching my brilliant, handsome, atheletic, symphony musician boyfriend turn into a jazz musician/drug addict. Good times…. I eventually figured out that it wasn’t my job to save him.

    She once apologized to me for being really difficult in our marriage;

    That can be so satisfying and so tragic. The music man and I currently live a few blocks away from each other. He is a train-wreck now–old, sick, broken down and burnt out. He inherited his parents’ house in our fine and privileged neighborhood. The hubs and I OTOH worked hard to get here and take advantage of the best school system in the state.
    Making amends is part of the ex’s 12 step program, so about two years ago, he stopped me on the street to apologize. There was a time in my life I’d have given an arm and a leg to hear that, but at this point I honestly didn’t recall about the stuff he apologized for.

    It’s ironic. He obviously took the time to relive and review it all, and I not longer cared. I did accept the apology, but the best “revenge” in this case is that I had moved on, prospered, found love and was happy. He’s still stuck. Half of the men in the neighborhood have heard that we were an item when I was “younger, hotter and tighter,” and many ask me if it’s true. I sadly shake my head and tell them that my ex was a different man back then.

    To top it all off, my sons are musical. They are starting to play out at little gigs that his neice and nephew mention to him. My boys are smart, handsome and talented kids–that could have been his. He knows it. It’s heartbreaking.

    I blame our society. Society seems to take the blame for everything these days, so it may as well take the blame for this.

    I never blame society, political movements, books, articles or movies. We all make choices. The bad influences will always be there. You have to side-step them, or pay the consequences. I don’t mean to sound harsh. It’s just how things are.

  40. J says:

    hes turned me from basically a biker chick …

    Biker chick! Wow! My SIL is a biker chick; she’s tough. (Of course, in a differnt way, I’m tougher. LOL)

    the truth is im exceedingly dominant in real life, i am an excellent closer as a realtor and am famous for attempting to destroy my opponents in debate.

    I’m not surprised.

    thing is, i have never searched for a mate who is LESS dominant than me,

    Me neither, but I hate being dominated as well. I have a very narrow comfort zone. I don’t want to be dominated, but I don’t like a push-over either. I’m a hard woman to please.😉

    but more–basically i am not attracted to men of my own social and education class, my husband is very blue collar and very natural.

    It’s funny. You ended up where DH and I came from and worked hard to escape.

  41. Gorbachev says:

    @J,

    I jest, of course.

    I don’t blame society. But after she met my current absurdly hot, talented and cultured GF at a company function, I made a point of not rubbing it in her face. It’s gauche. I no longer feel the need for revenge. I’m also terrifyingly happy. I want to be nice to everyone.

    Ever get that?

  42. The best revenge is living well.

  43. dana says:

    yes david–i am extremely responsive–i am alpha when selling myself FIRST, then i have to feel them out for personality type and adapt and once they are on the line i become their super helpmeet, inobtrusively there for them yet subtly directing their actions and reframing issues in other lights to make problems seem more palatable. its a great deal more complex than people who haven’t done it realize. having to catch and retain your own customers and be a 100% self-starter isn’t for everyone. i always recommend sales training and experience to ANY man looking to be more successful in dating

  44. J says:

    Instead (and this is a bit like dana’s approach) elevate him above yourself in your own mind, and treat him like a god walking the earth.

    A bit further than I’d go, but I agree that MUTUAL respect is of the utmost importance.

    Ever read John Gottman on marriage? He is a genius at predicting divorce. He can watch an interaction between a husband and wife and then predict their future with over 90% accuracy. Contempt, according to him, is a harbinger of divorce. Once you’ve lost the respect, you’ve lost everything.

  45. J says:

    So happy that all I want is for others to be happy? Yes. When I’m at my best, yes.

  46. JackAmok says:

    Roissy’s definition of “alpha” includes “cheats on wife.”

    Yes, it’s a lame definition.

  47. Badger Nation says:

    “I’ve taken this to heart from the beginning of being with my husband: Never criticize or nag or demand anything. Not only do these things lessen his feelings for you, causing him to treat you differently, it also lessens him in your own eyes. It’s just a downward spiral from there. ”

    Yessssssss. As sin begins in the mind, nagging begins with the instinct to control, which is a combination of contempt, condescension, manipulation and self-superiority. The sense that the man is there to do your bidding as you see fit. Then you build up a vicious cycle of resentment and stop taking responsibility for your own emotional well-being – you attach your happiness to pointless extrema like whether the laundry was put in the hamper just right.

    If there’s one thing that could be changed that would make most American women bearable again, the socialized instinct to control would be it.

    (I was raised by who I now realize was a very controlling mother, so I am unusually sensitive to control behaviors.)

  48. Badger Nation says:

    “We think we are going to find Prince Charming and then live a life of unremitting romance. Instead, we end up spending a lot of our time picking up socks off the floor. No one tells you that’s gonna happen–although it’s not a bad life if your expectations are in line.”

    The ideas being pumped into young women’s heads are so damn stupid you’d think it was a misogynistic conspiracy to make women look bad. One thing I’ve only come to in my late 20’s is the truth that no relationship can make someone happier than they are themselves. A partner can enable you to achieve as a person or parent, or grease the skids or whatnot, but you can be with the best partner on earth and if YOU don’t have your mind straight to be happy, it won’t matter a lick. I think of this when I hear about these walkaway divorces – “why is it HIS F’ing job to ‘make’ YOU happy?” If you invest more than a minority stake of your happiness in someone else, you are codependent.

    An enormous number of young women I know (and a good number of young men) have not learned this, and go around looking for partners to be entertainment devices to spice up their boring-ass life. I’m not talking about sex buddies – I’m talking people who feel a partner is the key to their social life, moving up the ladder, gotta have some sex, looking cool to friends, in other words “arriving.”

    I’ve done all these things without a partner over the last few years. It’s one reason I’m not nearly as hot on marriage as I used to be (the other reason obviously being the biased family court system). And the socks always need to be picked up whether you’re single or not.

  49. Badger Nation says:

    How about this entry from that blog:

    “Had I been able to talk frankly with a divorced person about the devastating aftermath, I may not have gone through with my divorce. But I did not have anyone to warn me, to tell me I was stupid, to counsel me. My friends went along with the “women are victims” ideology of the day and encouraged my divorce. Not that any of it was anyone’s fault but mine. In the end, I pulled the trigger alone.”

    Social science has shown divorce to be infectious, and the EPL people are wrong – people ARE influenced by silly Hollywood films and other trite factors. All the more reason for men to screen for a wife who is not a loyal member of the sisterhood and will stand up against this garbage when the clucking starts. As Dalrock’s advice points out, you can subtly test for this behavior: if a woman rationalizes or excuses bad behavior by a woman (an unbelievably common occurrence), you can bet she’ll be susceptible to virulent fads like twilight, EPL and choice addiction – and divorce for the hell of it based on solipsistic victimization paranoia.

    Forget women who are “independent” because they make enough $ to support themselves – I’m talking about psychologically independent people who don’t feel the need to be crutched by a social group.

  50. Hope says:

    Exactly. I was also raised by a naggy, controlling and extremely critical mother. Asian mothers are famous for this though, so it’s not just a Western thing.

  51. J says:

    The ideas being pumped into young women’s heads are so damn stupid you’d think it was a misogynistic conspiracy to make women look bad.

    Well, it’s a very old idea; Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White basically stop doing housework after they marry the prince.

    You are absolutely right though that people mess up by making their partner responsnible for their happiness.

  52. Pingback: Women’s expectations in marriage. | Dalrock

  53. Badger Nation says:

    “Well, it’s a very old idea; Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White basically stop doing housework after they marry the prince.”

    I’m not really talking about housework…I’m talking about the overt or covert implication that men are stupid and should be crudely manipulated to a lady’s ends, the idea that what a woman wants is what should happen and damn him if he wants to do something else, that he is a jerk for daring to disagree with her opinion, that it’s OK to blow untold sums on purses and other frivolous items, that she should have veto power over all of his free time, you get the idea.

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  55. Great post and great comments.

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  62. Anonymous age 68 says:

    The reason I believe that blog is a divorced woman has to do with a conversation I had with a then older woman in the 80’s, she was in her 50’s. I was an infamous MRA at the time, and well known in our city for my beliefs.

    She told me one day that for years, she was angry at her husband all the time. Nothing he did suited her. Somehow as she aged, she began to understand he was really trying to please her all the time, and that she gave him no credit for it.

    She did admit it was all her fault. She did not divorce him, but realized what a jerk she had been. She hoped she could make it up to him while they were both still alive.

    So, women do figure it out at times.

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  65. Omnipitron says:

    I know I’m coming into this situation late, but I had to comment on this post and the blog that Dalrock is referring too. I agree with the others that this situation was very painful to read and I have indeed seen others in this situation as well. The thing which messes me up personally is the realization that these women are living, breathing people just like you and me who have goals, dreams and desires that mean as much to them as ours do to us. Listen, no matter what it is that we all do with our lives, we will all have regrets over things we did or didn’t do, but when you have regrets the size of football stadiums, that can be really difficult to live with. I just find it really sad that due to a miscalculation on their parts, they have made a choice, one very bad choice that alters their life in a horrifically negative way, which they cannot take back no matter what they do.

    There is nothing like looking across a chasm at your former family or life, wishing like hell that you could go back but you can’t. The bridge is out…and you where the one to blow it up.

    While I won’t say that there aren’t times that some indoctrinated women (or foolish men) make absurd choices and I simply couldn’t give a rip, there are other times I really do feel sorry for people and the consequences that they now have to live with. This is the reason why Feminism rubs me the wrong way so much, that if certain women take the wrong message from this movement, it can cost them the very hopes and dreams that they seek so readily. While this situation may not be as dire as the owner of this blog, my wife has a female friend who desperately wants to get married and have kids. She doesn’t really have much of an idea as to what pleases men, thinking that since she has a good solid job and is good with money, that this is what men value. She hadn’t dated in the last 6 years and currently, the man she is seeing is a divorced father of 3 who has stated many times that he doesn’t want to get married again.

    And this is currently her best chance.

    I think about her situation and it makes me want to shake my head, chances are she will never realize her goals, not because of lack of action or even desire, but because she believed the hype that the media is constantly pumping out. I’ve read about people in the same situation as the author of the blog, leaving for reasons stated in here in the comment section, ‘he didn’t make me happy’ or ‘this man is a better choice’ and then realizing once it’s too late that the ideas which they thought was reality was nothing more than foolish fantasy. All I can say is that I would be plenty upset that by following what I thought to be the right instructions led me down a path so that I never would be able to fulfill my desires and it’s really unnerving sometimes to see people in that situation.

    While there is no doubt in my mind that Feminism does indeed hurt men, women have also been paying a very steep price too.

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  67. MarkyMark says:

    I don’t feel sorry for this old bitch at all; she got EXACTLY what she deserved for dumping a good man! It was her choice, and she pulled the trigger. She made her bed, so now she can lie in it and like it…

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  73. moses says:

    “With some more probing my wife learned that all of this woman’s friends were divorced and were egging her on.”

    The example in your post is *exactly* what happened with my parents. Eerie.

    My father is a good man, never drank, never laid a hand on my mother, a good father and good husband. When I was a teenager in the mid 80s (beginning of “you go grrl!” culture) two of her best friends and her sister all initiated divorce within a span of 18 months.

    Women are easily influenced by their social group. My mother started expressing vague “unhappiness” about my father never wanting to go to the theater or do other artsy-fartsy things. It was weird because he had *never* done that stuff. My mother acted up, then cheated on him. My father moved out, absolutely devastated.

    A year later my father told me my mother had asked to get back together. “What do you think?” he asked me. I was 17. I told him “Don’t do it. She’s asking for the wrong reasons.” My mother was terrible with money. I suspected she wanted to get back together for financial security.

    After about 18 months of depression my father moved on and rebuilt his life. He’s been happily remarried to a wonderful woman for over 20 years. My stepmother probably is a better fit for him than my mother.

    My mother thought the divorce would solve all her problems. She was wrong. Her problems got worse after the divorce. She entered a downward spiral for years. Eventually she recovered, although she never remarried. Today she is alone.

    I’ve forgiven my mother. Her own behavior has punished her enough.

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  75. I noticed a couple of comments here and they mirror my own. Here are a couple of common threads of divorcing for the wrong reason:
    – thought the divorce would solve all her problems
    – She was wrong
    – Her problems got worse after the divorce
    – She entered a downward spiral for years.
    – Eventually she recovered, although she never remarried. Today she is alone.
    – I’ve forgiven
    – Her own behavior has punished her enough.
    The way to come out a better person is to not get bitter and blame the other person for their behavior and do ones best to learn from it much like Job did – “Stone Walls Do Not A Prison Make. Stone walls do not a prison make – Nor iron bars a cage”.
    Btw, after my divorce I met a gal who did the same thing to her husband( I admire the honesty)- she admitted it was the worst mistake she ever made and still regrets it – it destroyed her life and the her childrens.

  76. semar says:

    I just found this … so sad.

  77. thehumanscorch says:

    SCREW that unmitigated selfish illogical harpy. She got just what she deserved. This story didn’t make me sad at all, I’m LAUGHING at that stupid woman for throwing away a perfectly good life, like they’re just a dime-a-dozen.
    BEING MISERABLE IS JUST WHAT SHE DESERVES.

  78. I honestly got the feeling that the only part about being divorced she regrets is that it was too late for her to get child support money out of the guy.

  79. Constance says:

    My ex husband and I had a mutual divorce 5 years ago and I’m still not over it. It hurts every single day. There was no cheating, just a long period of separation and drifting apart. I suffer from depression, so that also contributed. Now, he has moved on, but I can’t and don’t know if I ever will. I still love and miss him. Always will. I deeply regret the divorce and I feel like I had amnesia and trying to find my life back. But, the wall is thick and tall. Feels like a living nightmare that is inescapable. I dream of trying to find him, but he can’t be reached. I can’t find any peace in my life. Drowning with sorrow and anger. Angry at my depression. Angry at the demise of a marriage to the only man I will ever love.

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  81. jeff says:

    constance,

    I bet you Loved him but weren’t in love with him, am I right?

  82. Pitt Harman says:

    Ok Constance, so you read Eat,Pray,Love and doubled down on stupid. My ex-wife did the same thing. You gave this guy a gift, feel good about it. I went from being told I was garbage to having one woman run to the door when I picked her up for a date. I could here her little feet in high heels clicking on the floor.

    Ex-wife started calling me a year or so after liberation day but I instituted a policy of “no further contact.” Apparently it was all some cry for help or a big misunderstanding!

    Relax Connie, the handsome, swarthy internet billionaire is right around the corner.. smile.

  83. tickletik says:

    @Constance

    Rough. Very rough. Very heartbreaking. Thank you for writing this.

  84. ho says:

    Get a load of the omega incels commenting on this blog.

  85. I felt a bit of empathy for Constance but ho made me lose it all.

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