No, I will weep no more. In such a night
To shut me out? Pour on; I will endure.
In such a night as this? O Regan, Goneril!
Your old kind father, whose frank heart gave all—
O, that way madness lies; let me shun that;
No more of that.
An unnamed reader made a first and last comment on this site a while back to express his extreme disagreement at my stance that a man shouldn’t hold himself accountable for his wife’s decision to cheat or walk out on the marriage:
I spent two weeks delving into your blog. I unilaterally agreed with almost every post/point/blog entry that you made… until I saw this.
Never fail a shit test. Never bow down to it.
You fall into the mass of beta… “Don’t marry a whore…”
“My marriage is better than your marriage”
“My girl is better than your girl”
Thanks for the nice articles, I’ll not be reading again. You’ve fallen into the clever p**** trap, “NOT MY P****,” so deal with it.
I know you won’t care, but my god, such a horrid intellectual position? And you defend it?
The assertion of mine which upset him so much was an excerpt from my original post on Gaming your wife:
The foundation for her commitment to your marriage shouldn’t be your game. If she is only one, or a few, or even 50 failed shit tests away from walking away from her sacred vow and/or whoring around, then she isn’t a wife, she is a whore. Don’t marry a whore*. Game should be about making you and your wife happier with your marriage, not about putting the sole onus for the success of the marriage on you.
Presumably a game purist, the reader appears to believe that women are mere puppets to be controlled by the gamer. Any failures from this perspective are of course attributable to the puppet master, since it would be irrational to blame the puppet. I can see where a pickup artist could benefit from adopting this frame for hookups and LTRs. It certainly would be an effective way to perfect one’s game in such scenarios.
However, marriage isn’t a hookup or a LTR. It is something else entirely. Hard core gamers want to apply the rules of hookup/LTR to marriage, and it isn’t appropriate. Many have already pointed out that there are virtually no benefits in marriage for a man. The law, family courts, the church, and society are all stacked against him. A man actually loses protection from cuckolding and is placed at a disadvantage regarding custody if he marries. The only potential benefit a man gains by marrying is the moral force the marriage vows hold on his wife.
Many hard core gamers want you to cede this last benefit as well, out of a sense of purity of game. This is absolutely insane. If you aren’t clear on whether it is morally wrong for your wife to frivolously divorce you or cheat on you, how is she supposed to be clear on this? If you aren’t comfortable making such a judgment, don’t marry; there is absolutely no benefit in marriage for you, and a world of downside.
Commenter Looking Glass makes a more thoughtful but still ultimately very troubling argument relating to his Grind Theory of relationships:
Except in the case of serial affairs (which means a bad marriage choice), cheating only happens in relationships that have been brought to the point where needs are met outside the relationship. This takes actions by *both* parties. No one is blameless in this situation. Choices have consequences, and not minding your marriage and grinding it to dust is just one of those choices.
While I absolutely agree that neither husband nor wife should neglect the needs of the other, this kind of thinking is extremely dangerous. If you open the door for her to blame you for her breaking her vows, you are inviting her rationalization hamster to do the rest. Even good marriages tend to run into periods where there is temptation to stray or to give up. Having perfect game or perfect communication doesn’t change this fact. Successful marriages make it past these periods often out of sheer will.