All For One & One For All

lawrenceschiller

Recently I had a man who is in charge of the psyche department in my husband’s line of work, ask me personally what I thought would help couples to survive the kind of stress that is put on marriages when the men (or women) go through their intensive training academy.  He said that often the amount of damage that is incurred to the marriage during that period of time is so intense, that even once the men are out and on the street, the “surprises” of that first year or so afterwards are still inflicting pain long after the supposedly painful period is over.  By the time the academy training is over, so much hurt and resentment has typically built up, their marriages often don’t survive much longer, or limp along in pain.

He asked me how his team could help wives of officers in particular, to be able to cope with their husbands’ stresses, changes in behavior or attitude – if I had any ideas about how to help or what would practically help them.  Our marriage and another (where the wife is a chaplain) are two of the best one’s he’s seen personally.  While this made me feel pretty great, I’m under no delusion that we are somehow better, in fact if anything, the great amount of pain and stresses we’d already experienced from outside stresses in our marriage has been what has made us different in my opinion.  Not that we somehow “get it” and others don’t, its that we’ve been through enough that we’d already be divorced by now if we hadn’t been forced to have “gotten it” already.

We talked about some implementable ideas, group talks or presentations that could be done or that I’d be interested in doing, and I told him how a lot of it boils down to helping the wives understand the bigger picture, a broader perspective.  I told him that I believe things come in seasons.  There are simply different seasons in life – even though it may feel like a particular season of pain or suffering will never pass, the truth is that it inevitably will, and that one mental shift in attitude can change one’s entire perspective on pain and suffering in life.  Understanding and having the maturity to foresee beyond your particular circumstances at the moment, the capability to visualize your life, who you want to be, your marriage in 5 or 10 years, is an ability that I learned a long time ago.

Another thing I’ve noticed in marriages, and he generally agreed, was that resentments, anger, and bitterness will only continue to build up if the couple is stuck in a cyclical way of thinking that the other is purposefully hurting them or out to get them.  When my husband was in the academy, it was the most stressful time in his life to date.  His instructors were cruel and mean, even bordering on (at times in my opinion) sadistic in causing the men and women extra stress.  Their one goal was to beat them down until they failed or gave up and walked away.  They frequently said that they wanted their worst day to be at the academy, and they made good on their promise.  The few that remained at the end of the 7 1/2 months were the ones who fought for their position and honor.

Being a supportive wife during this time, while also a mother to a toddler and a full-time working woman was a juggling act to say the least.  My husband was gone… his physical body came home at night to rest and sleep, but mentally and emotionally he was just gone.  He was under the greatest amount of psychological stress he’d ever endured at that point in his life, and I was his only wife – the only one there to ensure he had all he needed resource-wise to make it through.  I would get up early at 5am, spend time with God, make breakfasts, pack lunches, get my son ready for his daycare school, then take him to school, spend all day at work, pick my son up from his school, care for him alone in the evenings, make dinner, greet my exhausted and mentally drained husband, then he’d put our son to bed, and we’d relax or study together.   Allowing him to go through this season with grace was ultimately what helped him the most, instead of nagging him, complaining about his exhaustion, lack of help with our child, the household chores, etc.  Giving him grace during this time when both of us were feeling the stress on our marriage, while keeping the perspective that it was only a season kept things calm for awhile.

They had uniform inspections everyday, their uniforms had to be ironed and starched to perfection, a piece of lint was enough to get them punished brutally as a group, so to help him, I would iron his uniforms every night.  It was here that our marriage started to experience turbulence.  Since I’d volunteered to help him with his strict uniform expectations, I would do it at my leisure… which meant sometimes the night before, sometimes the morning of, I always made sure I was done with them by the time he needed them at 5:30am.  But due to the immense stress of being late – they threatened to fire men and women who were late, and they were serious – he grew to resent my lackadaisical approach to his freshly pressed uniforms.

I’d never seen this side of my husband, angry, demanding, even shifting into a blaming attitude – we had some heated fights where we both accused each other of being unreasonable.  He actually thought I was trying to make him fail and told me so.  I thought he was being insanely unappreciative and controlling, and thoroughly enjoyed threatening him with doing his own uniforms on top of everything else he had to do.  We had one big fight about it, and in the middle of fighting I suddenly understood what was happening.  He felt too much pressure and was terrified of being late and getting fired when I waited to do his uniforms in the morning.  For him, the fact that I refused to do them at night when he preferred they’d get done, meant that I didn’t love or care about him.  I asked him if this was what really was bothering him, and he admitted that it was.  He wanted me to do them the night before so that he didn’t have to watch me doing them when he passed by in the morning and have that anxiety that I might not finish in time (even though I always did).  Merely watching me do them was stressful enough to cause him extra anxiety – anxiety that he didn’t need on top of everything else.  I realized that loving him meant helping him to feel the least stress possible, he was already undergoing severe psychological stress – why add to it when I could actually alleviate the problem easily.

We sat down and talked like mature adults do who want to work together… and figured out what would solve the problem.  I conceded to do his uniforms at night because I loved him and didn’t want him to feel extra anxiety in the morning, and he continued to love and cherish me at night to ease my own anxieties of feeling like a single parent – we were in it together, and for the long haul of it.  A major shift for both of us was realizing that the other was not trying to cause pain, but that we weren’t communicating effectively or lovingly in our actions towards each other.

Yes, communicating with our actions.  In his mind, he was already sacrificing everything… his physical and mental strength for our family, and still coming home to try to help me with our son.  He was giving literally all he had to give and more at the end of the day.  Him asking me to do his uniforms at night and my actions – brushing him off and refusing to just because I knew I could get them done in the morning – were unloving to him because it caused him extra stress.  My meeting his request with an unloving action – doing his uniforms in the morning when he was trying to be calm before leaving – had him returning with unloving actions until we were fighting like cats and dogs.

Breaking the cycle was me realizing what was really bothering him, realizing that my attitude needed to be loving him in the way that he wanted and appreciated – not in the way I thought he should want or appreciate.

Unloving means it’s all about me, for me, and on my time.  Loving is all for one, and one for all.

59 Comments

  1. I told him that I believe things come in seasons. There are simply different seasons in life – even though it may feel like a particular season of pain or suffering will never pass, the truth is that it inevitably will, and that one mental shift in attitude can change one’s entire perspective on pain and suffering in life. Understanding and having the maturity to foresee beyond your particular circumstances at the moment, the capability to visualize your life, who you want to be, your marriage in 5 or 10 years, is an ability that I learned a long time ago.

    Exactly right!

    Deployments are similar. The separation, stress, and anxiety makes it so easy for the Enemy to swoop in and whisper ugly things for husbands and wives to believe on. If they are ill equipped to fight back spiritually, often huge disasters come about. During our worst, I remember crying out to God in the midst of the pain and fear and hearing that I just need to get on the other side of this year – the season of pain and suffering will pass if I hang tight to Him. I trusted in that and God was Good! A year later our marriage was being repaired and we were in the midst of the most intimate season of our marriage to date. Far removed from the pain and fear I had a year prior.

  2. Good writeup, Dragonflygirl. 🙂
    Like Sarah’s Daughter, I’ve found deployments can be very difficult. When they are away that’s when everything seems to go wrong. Wrong with the plumbing, car, kids, work. The water heater explodes, the car battery dies, you have to run one of the kids to the ER, your pregnancy-induced asthma acts up and as you pass out on the floor your last thought is “what will my kids do when they see my dead body?” and “will they be able to save the baby?”….ad nauseum ect.

    But after a time deployments have a kind of…well, let’s say ‘hum’ to them, for lack of a better word. It’s an “in-between” time where you wait, and you try to make that time special for the kids too (helping to pack daddy’s care packages, planning suprises when he gets home, writing letters and so forth). Breakfasts for dinner, picnics on the living room floor, it all helps pass the time.

    But the hardest times (at least, for me) are the type you describe. The spouse is going through a very challenging, high-stakes and/or high risk and emotionally draining life event. Could be an awful boss, could be a challenging type of school or training, could be a personal loss, anything. Then they’re home, but hardly long enough to even sleep, and life doesn’t have that “hum” to it…you never know what to expect or how bad the day will be, and it’s hard to find those happy moments that sustain you through the bad times.

    I like your “seasons in live” adage. It’s so true. There are very very few things in life that are both really worthwhile and also really easy. I can say every good thing that has ever happened to me (and I’m the luckiest person I know) would not have happened to me if I hadn’t first experienced a great deal of pain. That’s just the way the cards fell for me, and I’m glad because I can offer my sons life advise from first-hand experience. Every bad boss Mike ever had (and he’s seldom had a good one) made him a better leader by offering a direct example of what NOT to do. Things that are easily obtained are typically less valued.

    We have an adage at our home and call very trying times like that “battle testing” (not while they are happening usually, but after…”we’ve been battle tested”). Units that have been battle tested have seen very very challenging times but if and when they survive it, they are stronger and closer and more capable. They are better for that experience and there is a level of cohesive intimacy that others who haven’t seen trying times together will never experience.

    Humor is also very very important. Think I’ve mentioned before we actually look back and laugh at some of the trying times we’ve had (not at the time of course…but often even then). Laughter and joy can be powerful things. Keeping one’s sense of humor is invaluable, not just for oneself but for others too. A happy home is a gift to your spouse and children. Not always easy, but it isn’t easy for soldiers either and they try to keep their sense of humor too and come up with all sorts of macabre poems and songs of bravado. It’s strengthening.

  3. Just thinking further, on humor I think I should add this requires a bit of finesse. I think most people know this instinctively through social intelligence but I’ve run across a few people who might have Asperger’s online so I’ll be more specific just in case:

    It’s always a bad policy to make fun of a person in pain or tell them they need to get a sense of humor. The sense of humor in cases where the spouse is going through some difficult situation should be directed primarily towards oneself or something innocuous and not directed at his situation in any way.

    Example, “This is what happened to me today (something funny/interesting, ect)”. The only time that I can think of off hand would be advisable to poke fun at a situation is one you both share. Example, the people going through pilot training can poke fun at the horrors they are personally experiencing together. Those outside who don’t and can’t understand cannot and should not.

  4. “Every bad boss Mike ever had…made him a better leader by offering a direct example of what NOT to do”…as the old saying goes:

    “Nobody is totally useless. You can always serve as a bad example.”

  5. I’m certain deployments are similar – maybe even harder!! That is one of the main things that kept me going was comparing it to having him gone somewhere in training. I was grateful to have him home in the evenings and weekends. I had a friend at the time that had two young babies back to back and her husband was gone and could only call once a month to talk to her for 10 minutes! Heartbreaking and so hard! Thank God she had family around her, lots of sisters and a helpful mom. When he came back, they got pregnant again imediately LOL 🙂 They actually are kind of famous now… he runs the Thirsting for Truth blog for Catholics.

  6. “Like Sarah’s Daughter, I’ve found deployments can be very difficult.”

    I can’t even imagine how difficult they must be, Liz! Ya’ll are strong women for sure.

    “Could be an awful boss, could be a challenging type of school or training, could be a personal loss, anything. Then they’re home, but hardly long enough to even sleep, and life doesn’t have that “hum” to it…you never know what to expect or how bad the day will be, and it’s hard to find those happy moments that sustain you through the bad times. ”

    ^This is true!

    “I can say every good thing that has ever happened to me (and I’m the luckiest person I know) would not have happened to me if I hadn’t first experienced a great deal of pain”

    That’s so beautiful. I read something once that some of the most beautiful people who have beautiful spirits have experienced some of the most traumatic pain in life… that suffering itself changes them, makes them softer, more compassionate, more loving than if they’d never gone through those experiences.

    “Things that are easily obtained are typically less valued.”

    Ain’t that the truth. 😉 Typical game advice as well.

    That battle testing reference actually is kind of biblical if you’re interested…

    “For You, God, tested us;
    You refined us as silver is refined.
    You lured us into a trap;
    You placed burdens on our backs.
    You let men ride over our heads;
    we went through fire and water,
    but You brought us out to abundance.

    I will enter Your house with burnt offerings;
    I will pay You my vows that my lips promised and my mouth spoke during my distress.
    I will offer You fattened sheep as burnt offerings,
    with the fragrant smoke of rams; I will sacrifice oxen with goats.

    Come and listen, all who fear God, and I will tell what He has done for me.
    I cried out to Him with my mouth, and praise was on my tongue.
    If I had been aware of malice in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.
    However, God has listened; He has pain attention to the sound of my prayer.
    May God be praised! He has not turned away my prayer or turned His faithful love from me.”
    Psalm 66:10-20 HCSB

  7. I became a tech ceo at 34 and for the next 13 years over a few companies often worked 100 hours per week, in an industry in which companies disappeared overnight, and my bosses were boards of directors composed of venture capitalists and private equity bankers, 50% of whom annually attempted to install a pet as my replacement. I was on a plane every week to locations foreign and domestic, developed severe Krohns and collapsed in Tokyo with an uncontrolled bleed, saw my children for a goodnight kiss after they went to bed and were asleep. I used to shudder at Dulles airport, walking through the terminal and hearing another family’s child speaking or laughing. Running startups I made a good living, but a fraction of what I would have made as a cog in an established company or investment bank.

    We managed pretty well for about 10 years, but the marriage ended after 20 years — in my view, when the ex- decided it would never pay off financially. (We were still attracted to each other, and acted on it.)

    So in regard to the “seasons of life” perspective, I agree wholeheartedly. (We had agreed that I would hump it and we would retire early and move back to her New England, where I would write.) However, those seasons had best not be too long, if one’s spouse has “options” and chooses to explore them. It doesn’t matter to me that NAWALT, because it’s hard enough to be an outlier professionally, without deluding oneself that one has a unicorn at home, too. In fairness, as well, and as DFG notes, it’s impossible for a man to sustain high levels of stress indefinitely without the home life being corrupted: home life becomes recuperative and even clinical, rather than the haven in a heartless world that is more constructive. (For a time, and before the meltdown, my ex- insisted I go straight to bed when I would get home at 8 or 9, and she would bring me my books and dinner and wine in bed.) We tried but didn’t make it. Of course, the divorce was legendarily nasty, but I’ve written about that elsewhere.

    ***

    Incidentally, the Newman photo reminds me of the movie Hombre, which stars Newman, and which I saw last night. It’s one of the more incredible red pill movies ever, and unfolds not unlike the red pill narratives a lot of men tell, in thought, character and action. It’s remarkable how a pre-feminist movie from 50 years ago tracks so accurately the dynamics we note in the SMP/MMP today.

    That is: Until the last five minutes, when Newman concludes he must sacrifice his life for the ungrateful and dismissive wife of another man (a coward and thief). I will stop and not completely spoil the movie. But Newman reminds me a great deal of our friend SFCTon. At one point he is singlehandedly, and ruthlessly efficiently, saving a gaggle of pajama boys, callow and hypergamous women, and one beaten down beta of a Mexican. One of them asks him, “Why should we follow you?” “Because I can cut it,” says Newman. And so they did.

  8. I generally love his movies… very red pill. Cool Hand Luke, Hustler, Sundance Kid (so red pill in my opinion – even shows a woman preferring a more alpha man ultimately), love The Sting, etc. But I haven’t seen Hombre, thank you for your commentary on it, BV. http://www.montagu.org.za/events/movie—cool-hand-luke/movie—cool-hand-luke.jpg

    My brother actually looks a lot like him when in shape, and thinks of him as a kind of role model (plus he was a Jew so my brother identifies). Neclace…

    You’re right about the seasons needing to not be too long… there are always men that will go after a lonely wife, or even what they perceive as a lonely wife. Obviously, it’s still wrong, you would hope the wife would then go to the husband and tell him (like a mature adult) what she’s actually feeling, instead of acting out covertly and the husband missing the real message – that she needs him home more often to make a marriage. But it doesn’t always happen that way, the resentments build up, the sex life goes downhill, more resentment, and then if you add in another man (or woman) the marriage is on a very fast spiral down in my opinion. But it’s amazing to me, how fast a beta man will be there to try to “save” the lonely wife.

  9. I disagree that woman men in stressed marriages are victimized by “men that will go after a lonely wife …” or “a beta man [who] will be there to try to “save” the lonely wife.” Women initiate the preponderance of divorces, women have agency and own their behavior, and the very definition of a “beta man” excludes seduction skills. It’s simply sexual entitlement, solipsistic license, feminist cant, and broader hypergamy impulses that explode these marriages — when they are ended by the woman.

    Simply, their feelings overwhelm any abstract understanding of the value of their families, and even their putative “faith-based” churchian lifestyle.

    In this latter sense, we have a different “season of life” to reflect upon: life itself, the unitary, finite number of days we are granted. When any spouse concludes that “I can do better!”, that spouse is asserting a narcissism that can be applied to anyone or anything. Including children, including any belief system.

    Men have a unique insight into the implications here. Women get custody 9/10 times and move immediately, in divorce, to reduce their children’s relationship with their father. They teach their children that just as they divorce their husbands, the children can also divorce their dads. This ethic is then established for the next generation, and the one after that.

  10. I guess it just kind of shocks me how there are so many beta-like men that are almost waiting for something to go wrong – so yes, it is the woman who wants to entertain the idea of divorce and who acts on jumping ship, or who feels like she’s suddenly better than her husband or deserves better…. The man isn’t really seducing her – although sometimes I think that can be the case. But he is still pursuing her, thinking somehow that he can play the hero to her “failed” marriage. It is like the rich man in Gone Girl who still pursued her, tried to keep contact with her years after their relationship ended, even contacting her while she was married.

    He was pursuing her… relentlessly… waiting for a chink in her marriage so that he could insert himself in, and yet he was beta in all the ways he did it. But he was still pursuing her. She wasn’t attracted to him, but was not against using him (like women tend to do to betas) when she needed him.

  11. My experience is that all these panting betas, who do orbit attractive women, are offering their “friendship” — they’re friend-zoning themselves, maybe adding some Sir Galahad spiff.

    They’re assuming that after a woman just learns to “love them for who they really are” good crazy sexy things will happen.

    But they’re not seducers, are generally patronized at best (as are all men who, in the famous words of an ex-girlfriend “think they still have a chance”), are held in genial contempt in the main. If anything out-of-bounds occurs with such a guy, it is only because the woman sees a use for him, as in the case of Gone Girl. I have never seen an instance where such a guy tricks or seduces the subject female; the woman is in charge.

    Not to say that such men don’t get lucky once in a while — but those are the instances where the woman wants to humiliate her husband, or screw her way to revenge (revenge fuck). In the latter case it’s not unheard of for a woman to just text a longtime flirt and say, “Are you up for a revenge fuck?” Women punctuate the demise of their relationships in a profoundly different way than men; men tend to want to JUST GET AWAY and women want vengeance.

    I have a friend with a restaurant (married) and every morning “Bob” shows up at 6:15 a.m. She hands him a grocery list and he hustles off to do her daily shopping for him. I’ve no doubt he’ll “be there for her” one day when she is a sobbing, delicate lass victimized by life. But he has no chance.

    Rather, were she to blow up her marriage she’ll do it (as Tomassi and everyone else asserts) with someone who offers more, not less, excitement than her husband.

    This whole set of scenarios is a very unpleasant, murky corner of the MMP.

  12. I compare a lonely communication-starved woman to an affection & sex-starved man. Just like a woman far less attracted than his wife, can lure a sex-starved man away if she shows him the right kind of lustful attentions, a far less exciting man can lure away a lonely, communication-starved wife if she lets him. Again, just like with the man being lured away, it’s if he let’s himself.

  13. I’ve never seen Gone GIrl.
    I’ll offer one anecdote. First, some background…When Mike went to Weapon’s School (he’s a “patch wearer”, Distinguished Graduate actually) it was a very difficult time for us. Not the first and not the last, but a difficult time. This is Top Gun school for the USAF. He actually rented a dorm even though we lived only five minutes from the base. He kept such odd hours and slept so little he didn’t want to wake our babies up in the middle of the night so he stayed at his dorm most of the week and then on the weekends (sometimes) made it home five minutes away.
    Just putting that out there to explain what the situation at Weapons’ school is like for background information. We did fine, been there done that, good experience for us overall and I wouldn’t change a thing….

    A few years after Mike graduated from the school a married friend of ours went. They were close friends with a Weapons’ School instructor and his wife (you can probably guess where this is going). The instructor and our friend’s wife started hooking up surreptitiously. He controlled the training schedules and would visit our friend’s wife when the husband was scheduled to fly. Serious conflict of interest/abuse of authority type stuff.

    She was one of those edgy artist types (she had a degree in commercial art that had been her livelihood before marriage), and looked like Courtney Cox in her very best years, except better. Black hair, disaffected, broody, complicated. Actually, that’s the sort of person Mike would be attracted to if he never listened to his frontal lobe and reflexively ran on limbic system only (I’m not that type LOL!).
    🙂

    Anyway, after everything came out (and our friend’s wife was the one who ‘fessed up first) the wife of that instructor went certifiable psycho and started stalking our friend and demanding that he divorce his wife, since she was divorcing her husband.

    Our friend’s wife (our friend too, fwiw) was contrite and went into suicidal level depression. He was going to leave at first, but then seriously afraid to leave her alone. The specifics aren’t my business. The end result is they eventually worked it out. The other couple divorced but that instructor’s ex wife became a true stalker for a LONG while. I think she was hoping to latch onto our friend as his rebound choice. He had to change his number and e-mail address. The instructor’s conduct, of course, violated USAF policy and the UCMJ.

    The instructor ended up moving on (post divorce) and wasn’t subject to prosecution, surprisingly. But those two could never be in the same squadron obviously. I’m not going to claim the wife wasn’t a part to all of it but it’s a bit of a variation. Not saying she was a good person, but I’m about as sure as can be that she wasn’t out to humiliate her husband in any way. They had at least one child later on (we got the Christmas cards). They seem happy, and I do believe that they are but that’s a very public level humiliation for him (the USAF is an incredibly small world). No one who matters cares, but it still sucks.

    OT, I went to another website (one I frequented a while back) last night (during one of my typical bouts of insomnia) and wanted to post. But the web owner is now a writer for the Examiner and I can’t post unless I take up a membership with Facebook or Twitter. Interestingly enough, I’ve heard that there is a program in the works that will take any photo anyone has ever posted online, anywhere, and identify them via Facebook (and any other persona they have, presumably). These channels are all connected. Days that we can find solace in our aliases and confide in secrecy are numbered. I’m glad I haven’t over shared, overmuch. It’s a shame because in some respects people who know me via alias know more about me than most people in the real world. They definitely know more about what I think.

  14. Wow that is a horrendous story, Liz. I’ve heard of stories like that, and I understand what you mean that she didn’t probably set out to humiliate her husband… but she certainly didn’t care if her actions did (and she certainly knew that her actions did).

    In things like that, it doesn’t even matter if she thinks it would never be found out. The act of doing something like that humiliates her husband, but that’s just my thoughts.

    Anyway, the beta orbiter thing. If a woman really cares about you (men), she’ll stop responding to them.

  15. “In things like that, it doesn’t even matter if she thinks it would never be found out. The act of doing something like that humiliates her husband, but that’s just my thoughts.”

    I agree 100 percent. I’ve imagined what being Paula Broadwell’s husband must be like.

    “Anyway, the beta orbiter thing. If a woman really cares about you (men), she’ll stop responding to them.”

    Agree again. Infidelity is usually the culmination following a series a small betrayals.

  16. The best way (that I’ve found) to get a beta orbiter back in check with reality is to talk about your husband… bring up the good things – face him as a team. Never go out with him anywhere alone, I would even go as far as to say not to accept rides together even if it’s truly platonic, although some people think this is ok. Basically, whatever your husband is comfortable with and with completely knowing.

  17. Also, in regards to what BV’s friend is doing, don’t take advantage of a beta orbiter’s offers to do things for you. You need to really think about WHY they are offering to do those things… are they hoping you’ll return some kind of affection or love interest someday? Of course. So don’t use them! In any relationship, you can’t just constantly take, take, take – while they give, give, give. Is it bad that beta orbiters allow themselves to be used that way? Yes, but in their blue pill thinking, they believe they’re doing the “right” thing to get the girl.

    Single girls take advantage of men like that all the time – that’s why they call it the friend zone. Men don’t want to be doing your laundry list without some kind of perceived pay off for them someday. And women want a man who doesn’t lower himself to an errand boy… she wants a confident, cocky at times, man who teases her and would balk at some woman giving him a list to take care of that he’s not sleeping with.

  18. Lol! Since I mentioned humor earlier, here’s a conversation I just had with Mike.
    Thought I’d share. It’s always like this, back and forth…no kids around for this one though! We don’t speak like this around the boys.
    🙂
    I found out that Ashley Madison was hacked at Swithy’s site.
    Conversation when Mike just got home.
    Lots of bad language alert:

    Me: “Hey, did you hear Ashley Madison got hacked?”
    Him: (Loudly) “HOLY FUCK! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?”
    Me: “Did you use an alias at least?”
    Him: “Yeah. Pigdick.”
    Me: “Pigdick?”
    Him: “Bigdick was taken. If I went with bigdick it would have had to be bigdick1247, but there was no pigdick! I didn’t even need a number after it.
    Me: “And everyone loves pigdick.”

    We have fun, my man and I. 😛

  19. I should add he does NOT have an Ashley Madison account (of course!). I thought that was pretty quick though…

  20. This was a very professional hack. I’ve yet to read a single commentary that doesn’t raise the oh-serious-question, “Should we out d-bag men, or does personal privacy yet exist?” And then the (male) author goes on a morality-sniffing search for the proper way to punish, or not, male infidelity. That’s fine, but it takes two to tango.

    I’m sure someone out there has done a better job, because my interest in this event is slight. However, I would have thought *someone* would have noted that AM has more than men subscribing. Wandering wives make that site go, not the wandering men. It’s the willingness of ‘respectable’ women to engage in cyber betrayal that distinguishes AM from the multitude of barely-disguised sex markets that proliferate.

    In this way it occupies a spot between Match.com, where the women are single or “separated”, and OKC, where a subset of the women are sex-pozzie females who just announce they’re “poly”, and their men are down with Empowering Cuckoldry.

  21. ” … a far less exciting man can lure away a lonely, communication-starved wife if she lets him.”

    I’ve never seen this, and if true, it contradicts the notion that the dominant behavior we see in the SMP is women dallying with men who are out of their league, but available on the basis of convenience.

    I have *never* seen a woman, who undertakes a new or illicit sexual relationship, or an “emotional affair”, suppress her hypergamous impulse. I’ve also never seen a woman who found a supplicating man (who is far less exciting than her current mate) sufficiently interesting to offer the basis of an “emotional affair.” Emotional affairs contain an explicit projection of sexual desirability. In such situations no one is ever “just friends.”

  22. “This was a very professional hack. “
    I’m starting to come to the conclusion that none of our personal data is even close to “secure” with any government or corporate entity. Regardless of official promises and intent. I should have learned this the first half dozen or so times our information was stolen, but one continues to hope. Now the Chinese now know every bit of information about us (Mike and I), to include the naturalization numbers of our parents.

    Pretty much everyone’s information is just a lost laptop, disgruntled employee, Chinese hacker, and/or crappy company that just can’t wait to sell the details of your life to another even crappier company away from secure.

  23. BV, do you know it was a professional hack and not one of the other cases (lost laptop, ect)? I’m just curious because…well, a person who would come up with the idea and market for this website wouldn’t be the type of person I would trust with my person information in the first place (not that anywhere is safe, really).

  24. “Besides snippets of account data apparently sampled at random from among some 40 million users across ALM’s trio of properties, the hackers leaked maps of internal company servers, employee network account information, company bank account data and salary information.”

    And there’s more, but that’s the basis of my opinion:

    http://krebsonsecurity.com/2015/07/online-cheating-site-ashleymadison-hacked/

    It sounds like the CEO is fingering a former tech consultant, which makes sense to me if they’re stupid enough to hire consultants and then not close backdoors into their systems. If this is true, it’s the same M.O. as the Snowden scenario: disaffected person with insider info.

    My info was also stolen in the OPM breach. (I guess the Chicoms know now that I have previously consumed pharmaceuticals acquired over the internet and sourced from overseas, as well as various anti-authoritarian behaviors I’ve exhibited, plus that one time in 1997 when I was drunk.)

    However, I must say, I was not surprised by OPM as much as Ashley Madison. I would have thought AM would have had security protocols that at least rise to the level of the CIA, which is one very low bar. I cannot describe dispassionately the low level of effort, technology, leadership, experience, achievement and smarts in government IT — and I only know what it’s like in the defense, security and intelligence communities. Goodness knows what it’s like at HUD. Government IT: It’s a sinkhole, a garbage dump for failed or simply lazy humans.

    The CTO of a national bank chain once told me that elaborate security against direct attacks was all well and good, but the simplest way to breach a bank was just to bribe an insider. It’s always cheaper to hire an insider to breach trust. That appears to be the case here.

  25. You probably know more about it than I do, BV, honestly…. But then how do you explain a man being able to be taken away from his wife by a less attractive woman – someone he would never have thought twice about before he found himself in this predicament? I know a case like that – I know the “other woman” personally. She is not even on the HB radar for most men, and yet she’s getting him sometimes multiple times a week, while his sexless wife (that is probably an HB 4 or 5) has no idea yet. It’s because she’s showing him sexual interest and arousing him right? Meeting a need that was lacking in the marriage that he craves.

    I think a lot of people underestimate how important a woman’s needs of communication and emotional intimacy are. If a woman isn’t getting that from her husband, and some man starts filling that need, I can see how it can create the same attraction for someone (like in the man’s case) that the woman would otherwise not be attracted to.

    I am sure you probably understand this better, I’m really just hypothesizing here.

  26. It’s common for men to connect with women of lower SMP value; it’s the opposite with women.

    This is because women use sex to chase a relationship; men do not. So a lower ranking woman will offer sex to get conversation, or a date for the Christmas party. A lot of men take that offer. Meanwhile, women don’t have any interest in taking a dope, drudge or nerd to the Christmas party for their friends to inspect.

    Also, when I got divorced in middle age, and knew nothing about women or dating because I had been with the same woman for 23 years, I read an advice columnist who has proven to be correct about many things. One of them was, “If you want to have a relationship that has a chance, steer clear of any woman of your (SMP) rank or higher. She’ll never stop trying to trade up.”

    Men don’t underestimate a woman’s “needs of communication and emotional intimacy.” That stuff is pounded into our heads, hourly, from the age of 1. Actually, what we’re told is that their emotional reality is far, far more important than any random thought or feeling we might have.

    What you’re overlooking is that men are not rewarded for being Sensitive New Age Guys; they’re punished. This is the classic feminist lie: that men just need to get in touch with their emotions, be a SNAG, and be an emotional backstop for their women. (Like this idiot who rationalizes his cuckolding like the unacknowledged queen that he is: http://nymag.com/thecut/2015/07/what-open-marriage-taught-one-man-about-feminism.html .)

    Alas: Women choose men who thrill them, protect them, and provide for them. Sure, we’re appreciated more if we’re good conversationalists (and conversation happens to be the key to my own heart) — but we’re not selected for those qualities. Conversation and empathy — not that most women have the slightest interest in demonstrating empathy for male concerns, preferring to bathe in their tears — are irrelevant to desire.

    Speculating: If your husband were a pussy instead of a lawman you’d be uninterested, I’d wager. But the marriage works because he’s an alpha who doubles as a decent guy who cares about your interior life.

  27. I think it has more to do with the perception of oneself.
    In a “downtime”/difficult time in marriage each person is more likely to feel unappreciated/undesired/unattractive. Essentially, they feel poorly about themselves.

    When people are attracted to each other and feel attractive/appreciated/desired they feel good about themselves. If there is another person around that changes that and makes them feel appreciated/attractive/desired (for women a SNAG would be far less likely to fill this role, because the act of sex itself isn’t so much the draw or else prostitutes would have the highest self concept of any profession). That’s what the “emotional connection” would be…maybe a different person in your life from the past or could be a new person that makes you feel “hot”. Men are succeptible to this, too. I’ve known a lot of unhappy married men who seemed to be dancing on air when they took on a mistress (at first anyway). Even if the mistress is nowhere near as good looking as the wife, but the wife makes them feel unappreciated and undesired whereas the mistress makes them feel desireable/attractive/accomplished.

    We didn’t have social media when Mike went through pilot training long long ago. I was always careful to not go out where there would be men (not to bars or parties, or whatever…with the exception of obligatory engagements) without Mike. I still don’t go out to places like that without him, I’m pretty boring anyway.

  28. Well… but we were still insanely attracted to each other though. We were the farthest thing from a sexless marriage. If you go with that model of women switching… AF -> BB -> AF, my husband was my first, and he was already doing the 16 commandments of poon unknowingly (and of course not the one with a woman in the wing… soft dread took care of that), but I definitely bonded to him like electricity to water. The other guy coming around is like a BB chance of switching I guess, but why on God’s green earth would I give up such a fulfilling marriage? I knew it was just a season – and a short one in reality. But since women do make that switch, those men are able to get them somehow right? Maybe its a case of Making up for Missing Out.

    Or its that those women aren’t lucky enough to lock down the AF that they bonded to so hard… then they marry a BB before 30 (to at least have children).

  29. “but we were still insanely attracted to each other though. We were the farthest thing from a sexless marriage.”

    Then you were probably in no real danger of straying or being led away. You desired him, and he made you feel desirable as well. Difficult times didn’t change any of that, so the marriage remained strong.

  30. There was never a time in my life where I was in any danger of leaving or straying either. We’re strongly pair bonded. But I do remember the first year of pilot training. Mike was so stressed out he didn’t want sex for two weeks. That was a LONG time for us. It was our second year of marriage. We’d lived with his parents and virtually no privacy for a year and it was our first time alone as a married couple, first time in our own married bed, and he didn’t touch me for two weeks. If it had continued like that things would have become strained.

  31. Just to add, he didn’t reject me kindly either. Pretty severely, unusually so.
    That’s just what a lot of stress can do to people, even people who generally handle stress really well.

  32. Dreams and Empathy…it would be interesting to conduct a study in which each spouse is asked: “What are your primary dreams in life, also your greatest fears?” and also “What are your *spouse’s* primary dreams in life, also his/her greatest fears?” Then compare.

  33. Yes! That is so very true! But a lot of manosphere men think it’s not good for men to share their deepest fears or emotions right?

    When we were engaged, we played a game with our bridesmaids and groomsmen where they asked one to-be spouse questions like that about the other. And we got all the questions right surprising the girls asking 🙂 I was very happy and proud about that.

  34. Right… stress can really harm a marriage if the other spouse doesn’t understand it’s probably just a season, and to try to get to the real feelings behind it (not taking it personal). Really hard to be rejected in that way though!

  35. That’s great Dragonflygirl!
    (awesome idea) 🙂

    David Foster: Mike and I listened to a lot of ‘motivational’ style tapes (Stephen Covey, Tony Robbins, ect) together, especially early on through the first years before kids. That’s I kind of similar concept where the person learns a lot about his/her spouse. There are exercises that ask each person to envision the future, what they want, begin with the end in mind…and so forth.

  36. I was thinking of it not only to share the answers with the spouse, but for gathering data on how often people get it right, or anywhere near right. I expect there would be a lot of projection: spouse A wants something, so convinces herself/himself that spouse B must want it, too…

  37. You don’t think context and observers influenced the answers? During a run-up to a wedding?

  38. We tried the dreams/fears thing earlier today after you suggested it. We both guessed right, with my hubby being just a tad off on my fears. Really Cool David!

  39. Should have added… so they had the answers before asking us individually if that makes sense. They weren’t profound questions really – things like where was his dream vacation spot? How many kids does he want? What’s his dream for the future?

    We just got lucky probably, that we’d already talked a lot about things like that.

  40. Most men who have been around the block just give the expected answers to such questions. Most men of that sort also have private dreams, ambitions and tastes that they never discuss. They show, and never tell. It’s different for men who believe that someone will love them for ‘just who they are.’ The latter are the antecedents for the former.

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