Know thine adversary! Is it your self?
Readership: Men; Married Men;
Theme: The Integrity and Fidelity of Marriage
Note: This post explores the basic arguments between Red Pill Apostle’s comment, and Oscar’s comments (1 and 2) under a previous post, Dating in the Lion’s Den: Relying on Faith when the options are daunting (2021-12-13).
Length: 3,000 words
Reading Time: 10 minutes
First, I’ll offer some definitions of Dread Game vs. Married Dread Game.
PUA Dread Game
The classical definition of PUA style Dread Game is acting on a mindset of outcome independence and considering alternative options.
PUA Dread Game is usually expressed in only one way.
- He gives the woman the idea that he’s going to cheat on her or leave her. It doesn’t really matter whether or not this is a real threat, it is effective as long as she believes it is.
The effect is that it humbles the woman by throwing her into an existential crisis concerning the relationship. It forces her into a decision to either make some action to preserve the relationship, or else fold and bow out. If she responds by cheating or even talking about cheating with serious intentions, then she is essentially bowing out.
Married Dread Game
The whole premise of Dread Game in a Christian marriage is leaving her behind as he pursues life and his God ordained purpose in life. She’s welcome to come with him or else sit and wallow in whatever she’s doing, but he’s moving forward regardless.
“This is what I mean, brothers: the appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none…”1 Corinthians 7:29 (ESV)
Married dread game can be expressed in many ways.
- Withdrawing attention. For most men, this is the primary go-to with immediately effective results.
- Disregarding his wife’s demands and expectations, either stated or assumed.
- Refusing to respond to the wife’s antics, even if that means walking out the door and staying away from home for a few hours if/when her behavior goes over the top.
- Refusing to let the wifeapotomus suck the joy out of his life anymore, because her contentious refusal to be obedient to scripture can do just that if he lets it.
- Enforcing interpersonal boundaries, defending boundaries of space and personal property, and setting limits on his time.
- Spending more time with male friends and/or pursuing masculine interests (e.g. hobbies, hunting, sports, etc.).
- Being himself with everyone. That means talking and joking with men and women both, like he did when he was single.
- Talking, flirting, teasing, and playing social games with other women.
- Getting in shape again, which tends to increase his SMV and attract more attention from other women.
Oscar noted that certain methods are ineffectual with certain women, such as withdrawing attention from a woman who never cares about looking her best for her husband. Also, wily wives will try to twist and coopt some of these methods to use against the husband, rather than take the lesson to heart. For example, if he flirts with other women, she’ll accuse him of cheating. Or if he spends more time with his buddies or working on hobbies, then she’ll accuse him of neglecting his family. However, wives are certainly not immune to the competitive aspect of mating, even after marriage. It’s a part of human nature, as I described in the post, Sexual competition continues after marriage (2021-02-19). This is the reason why spouses often scoff at their partner’s attempts to improve themselves – they don’t want to look bad to others, they don’t want to feel ashamed or embarrassed, they don’t want the competition, and they don’t want to be left behind.
Both types of Dread Game have the following traits.
- The man is considered to be the prize and the woman should be grateful to have him.
- The man exerts frame by adopting a mindset that is both independent and outcome independent, and expresses this somehow.
- The way Dread Game is commonly expressed in both forms is that the man withdraws access to his time and his attention, and perhaps his resources as well, which are then redistributed elsewhere.
- It delivers a clear message that the woman is not in control, of neither the man nor the relationship.
- It imposes a clear choice to the partner: “My way or the highway!” This choice delivers an implied demand for the woman to either shape up or else lose out.
- The man has to come to the point where he is willing to lose the relationship, in the event that she chooses the highway. If the woman decides to end the marriage, that is her own decision, not that of the man’s. But if she doesn’t, then he can realize a much tighter grip of control over the relationship.
- At its root, Dread Game is a humbling wake-up call for the woman to recognize the value of having this man, and it’s a siren call for her to be thankful for this blessing.
Σ Frame Maxim 27: Inducing humility and thankfulness alone can do wondrous miracles for a relationship.
Married Dread Game and PUA-style Dread Game are different in the following ways.
- Married Dread Game has a goal of achieving Headship, and thereby improving and stabilizing the marriage, whereas the goal of PUA Game is to incite jealousy and instigate a feral sex competition for the purpose of arousing her desire and keeping a steady supply of muff on tap.
- Married Dread Game recognizes the permanency of marriage, whereas PUA Dread Game views the relationship as expendable, as a “(growth) experience”, or as a stepping stone to another one that is presumed to be better than the last.
- Married Dread Game is commonly expressed as a withdrawal from wife-centered living and a renewed focus on God-centered living, whereas, PUA Dread Game is commonly expressed as a withdrawal from one woman and a concentrated focus on other women who are available as a replacement.
- PUA Dread Game allows the woman to consider the possibility of what her life would be like without the man. But Married Dread Game allows the woman to consider the possibilities of what her life would be like if she can no longer control him or predict his behavior.
- The two types of Dread Games arouse different types of fears in the woman. In PUA Dread Game her fear is of losing the man and losing her sense of security in the relationship. But in Married Dread Game, her fear is that she will no longer be pedestalized and obeyed, and that she will lose her control over him. Thus, Married Dread Game forces the wife to face the Curse of Eve within her heart.
- Married Dread Game accesses the power of God to renew and transform the union and the individuals involved, whereas PUA Dread Game relies almost exclusively on SMV traits (in addition to other Game techniques) to exert sexual authority.
Married Dread Game with respect to Marital Vows
Oscar went so far as to say that Married Dread Game is a lie. So let’s consider what he has to say about this.
“As for “married dread game”; it’s a lie. I’m not saying it won’t work. I’m saying that, whether it works or not, it’s still a lie.
Did you say “forsaking all others”, and “till death do us part” when you got married? If so, then did you mean it? If you meant it, then you won’t cheat on her, or leave her. If she knows you meant it, then it doesn’t matter how much “dread game” you play on her, because she knows you won’t cheat on her, or leave her.
If you didn’t mean it, then you’re a liar.
So, were you lying when you said, “forsaking all others”, and “till death do us part”, or are you lying now that you’re threatening her with “dread game”, when in fact you won’t cheat on her or leave her? Either way, you can’t get away from the fact that you lied.
Now, if you’re cool with that, you’re free to play all the games you want. No one will stop you. But, understand that you’re a liar.”
Basically, Oscar is staking out two scenarios.
- The man is serious about forsaking the marriage, either by abandonment, divorce, or having an affair. In the case that he follows through on any one, his marital vows will become a lie.
- The man is not serious about forsaking the marriage or picking up a side chick, and is pretending like he is. In this case, he is lying about the premise of his intentions.
With all due respect to brother Oscar, this is a poor frame to play off of for the following reasons.
First of all, Oscar is viewing both PUA Dread Game and Married Dread Game as essentially the same thing. They are not, as I described above.
In the first scenario, Oscar is assuming that the man is actually looking to abandon, divorce, or cheat on her. This is not consistent with Married Dread Game. (Go back to the top and read what Married Dread Game is.) PUA Dread Game OTOH considers this option to be an actionable possibility, maybe even a real goal, and definitely one if her overall influence is sufficiently reprehensible, but not Married Dread Game. Again, if the wife decides to end the marriage, that is her own decision, not that of the man’s.
In the second scenario, Oscar is looking at the situation from the woman’s perspective. Although it is proper and loving for the man to be sensitive to the wife’s weaknesses, the challenge of Married Dread Game is to revise this ingrained habit to be less like the Curse of Adam and to think more along the lines of God’s prerogatives.
Also in the second scenario, Oscar is assuming that the man can pretend well enough to convince the wife that he’s got options. Not only is this incongruent with the purpose of Married Dread Game, it is also unrealistic. If the man truly has what it takes to step out (LAMPS, charisma, detachment, outcome independence, and game), or at least enough to be convincing that he could, then the wife already knows it. If he doesn’t have it, and tries to pretend like he does, then he’s just making a fool of himself in her eyes. He has to actually make progress in self-improvement to get to that point. I suppose there might be some women who would be ignorant of this, but the grand majority of women have extremely well-honed skills in testing men and sniffing out what they’re made of. But again, this is only a concern for a man practicing PUA Dread Game.
In both scenarios, Oscar is assuming that the man has real options to engage in polygyny, etc., and of course, this would have to be necessary for a man to actually cheat, etc., but cheating is not congruent with Married Dread Game. In the case of Married Dread Game, the man is not lying or pretending about who he is, he is merely allowing his wife to consider the possibilities of what her life would be like if she can no longer control him or predict his behavior (which doesn’t take much at all). It is not a lie or a sin to place God first, and Married Dread Game does not require a man to actually participate in extramarital sex. Whether he actually does so or not is another matter.
Finally, we see that in either scenario, Oscar is assuming that by employing Married Dread Game, the husband is riding hard on the wife’s fears that he will leave or have an affair. Playing her fears like a banjo is not the express intention of Married Dread Game as it might be in PUA Dread Game, but arousing her fears is a probable outcome. Here it should be noted that the two types of Dread Games arouse different types of fears in the woman, as described earlier, and that it is necessary for the woman to face the Curse of Eve within herself if she is to grow spiritually.
Breaking out of One’s Comfort Zone and Overcoming One’s Fears
Moreover, I feel that Oscar’s contention is largely one of conscience. I struggled with this for a long time myself. It just doesn’t feel right to stop obsessing over the wife’s head games, opinions, and whims, often only for the sake of a tentative peace, and to put God first. It feels irresponsible, like a betrayal of sorts, and in a way it is. Your god used to be the pretty p00n on a bedpost pedestal, and you’re forsaking that and embracing God’s covenant order of Headship. I won’t deny that it’s hard to dive headfirst into the drama and make this shift. But once you’ve made this break, it also feels wrong to look back as well.
Granted, one of the similarities between these two kinds of Dread Game is that the man has to come to the point where he is willing to lose the relationship in the event that she chooses the highway. But this isn’t the goal of Married Dread Game. No, it is little more than an internal frame adjustment. It is counting the cost of being obedient to God, of putting Him first, rather than the wife.
26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. 27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’Luke 14:26-30 (ESV)
Married Dread Game doesn’t necessitate a man to break his marital vows to be effective. It just forces a man to face his fears that his wife might do so if he should choose to be spiritually obedient and his wife rebels in response.
I suspect that believing Married Dread Game is a lie, or a sin, or even a transgression, may be an apparition of fear and false guilt that prevents a man from doing what it takes to get his house in order.
For the husband, embarking on the warpath of Married Dread Game can be a deeply introspective journey towards overcoming a number of issues.
- Gridlock in the marriage.
- Poor self-confidence.
- Blind spots of self-awareness and self-development, for both partners.
- His fears of his wife’s possible reactions, spiritual infidelities, and possibly sexual incontinence.
- His fears over the possibility of his own failure.
- Discovering the meaning of masculinity, and the overall purpose of marriage.
- Apprehending the practical application of Headship and getting his house in order.
As Red Pill Apostle noted [emphasis mine],
“Now, for hypothetical purposes, say that soft dread tactics that are perfectly OK in a Christian marriage aren’t enough. Does the husband who has been tricked into becoming a rancher with a single livestock animal have to suck it up and accept his fate? Not necessarily. A man still has leverage over his time, his attention, and if this is something she cares about, the appearance of the ideal marriage. This is why a man will have to contemplate deeply what is most important to him, because at this point, his wife has stopped being his helpmeet and is now just another problem he has to figure out how to best handle.”
Σ Frame Axiom 18: If you keep doing what you’ve always done, then you’ll get the same results you’ve always had. It is unreasonable to expect God to work a miracle when you’re not even willing to change your tune.
The challenge of this approach can bear positive fruits all of its own.
On the other hand, Dread Game is not the “do all, end all” for fixing a broken relationship. As Oscar wisely noted…
“…people are not automatons. People have free will. Even God Himself didn’t keep Adam and Eve – who lived in literal paradise – from using their free will destructively.
A husband can do everything right, and his wife can still turn into a fat, soul crushing, life draining succubus.
A wife can do everything right, and her husband can still turn into a beer-swilling, porn-addicted pervert.
A parent can do everything right, and his/her child can still turn into a drug-abusing dirtbag.
We can influence people in our lives, but ultimately, that’s all we can do – influence. We can’t help someone who doesn’t want help. We can’t change other people. We can’t make anyone do anything they really don’t want to do (unless you’re willing to use the kind of force that goes way beyond the realm of acceptable Christian behavior).”
Yes, Dread Game of both sorts is all about influence. What does it take to draw closer to God? What does it take to induce humility and thankfulness in a wife? When love doesn’t do it, when living with them in an understanding way doesn’t cut it, when kindness, patience, sacrifice, and suffering all have no effect, then what? When all else fails to make a dent, Dread Game might be what it takes to move the mountain of stubborn pride and marital intransigence that would otherwise ruin the marriage (and the children) if left unchecked. At the very least, it will bring the issue to a head where a clear decision can be made, for better or for worse.
- Christianity and Masculinity: Let’s talk about marriage, fear, and dread (2015-11-6)
- Σ Frame: Women want Game! (2017-09-30)
- Σ Frame: Introduction to Game Theory 101 (2018-02-11)
- Σ Frame: On the Spiritual Significance and Social Value of Game (2019-11-03)
- Σ Frame: Why does Game work? (2019-12-19)
- Christianity and Masculinity: Revisiting dread in the Bible with an anti-chivalry lens (2020-6-18)
- Σ Frame: A Revised Understanding of Game (2020-09-14)
- Σ Frame: Game Theory 110 — The Prisoner’s Dilemma (2021-03-03)
- Σ Frame: Not Trusting women is Deep Inner Game (2021-12-15)
- Σ Frame: Social Authenticity Proof: Giving Women Attention (2021-12-10)
I set upon the path of becoming the man God wanted me to be, I used the ‘Red Pill’ method to get there, Married Dread, yeah, whatever you want to call it, all I did was work on me and set good boundaries. I only threatened divorce once right in the beginning when she got physically violent with me and I gave her an ultimatum. My whole process made her face the Curse of Eve, and her response was to file for divorce and alienate my children from me and it cost over $140K in legal bills. All because she didn’t want to face herself in the mirror. She is a FAT, Lazy, contentious, generally just not a good woman, or human being for that matter.
These last two and half years have been misery, but I would do it again in a heartbeat because it was the right thing to do.
— Accused of having affairs — check (with both women and men)
— Accused of abandoning the family — check
— Accused of not being ‘a man’ — check
— Accused of being terrible in bed — check
— Accused of not providing for the family — check
— Accused of turning the extended family against her — check
— Accused of being a child predator — oh yeah.
And the list goes on and on.
To Oscar and all who don’t understand how bad a marriage can be, she asked me one time why I was doing all “this” (going to the gym, taking care of my sh!t, going to therapy, making friends, etc., being more engaged with work, and QUIT being in charge of her feelings)?
I told her I was working out what kind of man God wanted me to be.
Her response, I kid you not: “Well you should have just asked me. I can tell you that….”
In her heart, she believed she either was God or spoke for Him….
In one of her epic meltdowns in the driveway for all the world to see while I was changing the shocks on her SUV, she screamed at me, “Stop watching what I do and listen to what I say”….
This went on for a good 3.5 years and she was a frantic mess! The only time she calmed down was the week she filed for divorce. She started wearing her wedding ring again and tried to be the ‘helpful’ wife, it was surreal. But in her mind, filing for divorce was going to bring me back to ‘heel’ and ‘show me’ who’s boss.
Well here we are! This week the judge will view the final decree and our family will be $140K poorer, our girls will have trust issues with men for the rest of their lives, and she will die old and alone, because she refused to see the sin in her life.
It’s heartbreaking on so many levels, but I move forward with a clear heart and mind knowing I did my best to be the man God wants me to be.
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I hadn’t heard your whole story. She is crazy.
(Some) women believe they talk directly to God and he gives them direct answers. These direct answers are usually their feelings. Whatever they feel, (they think) that’s God talking directly to them. By (their) definition, their feelings represent Truth and can’t be wrong.
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Bro… Don’t even get me started. No lie, l just I met a woman through online dating last week who believes in that. And I’m like, “Here we go again!” Yet, another possible card they can use as an excuse to reject the Bible if they personally heard a calling/message from God to do something opposite from what the Scriptures say.
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I wonder if that’s what manosphere men mean by “solipsism.” One’s feelings as objective reality.
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That’s basically it. Illimitable Men described it very well in a few posts.
Illimitable Men: SOLIPSISM, EMOTION & ARGUMENTS (2015-08-01)
Illimitable Men: A MOST SOLIPSISTIC NATURE (2015-09-04)
Illimitable Men: UNDERSTANDING FEMALE PSYCHOLOGY (2016-03-16)
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You missed an opportunity to flip the script in a good way: “Since you already knew that, what are the roles and responsibilities of a woman/wife of God?”
When you have someone who is so self absorbed all the time, you have to take the opportunities to it call it out in reference to God when you can. That way God can hopefully work on their heart over time.
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For most that is true, but I was not dealing with a typical woman, and for most I would say give it a try, but SHE IS NOT a normal person that I could ‘flip the script’ with. During this time period she physically assaulted me, coming out of the shower 3 days after having my peck tendon reattached, I hadn’t even seen the doctor for follow up yet.
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whiteguy1, I don’t think your woman is untypical. She may have gone to physical violence when you were physically vulnerable, but attacking a weak spot on a man is HIGHLY common for a contentious woman. Mrs. Apostle used to attack the areas that bothered me most. She knew exactly what she was doing because she admitted to me that was what she was doing. My guess is that had you not been physically hurt she’d have tried another tactic. Contentious wives do not think nor operate the way we, as men, do. They operate on emotion with the end goal being power over her man. When you use that lens to evaluate a woman’s behavior you begin to see a pattern of “by any means necessary” to achieve the result. The husband’s weakness will vary by relationship, but the wife exploiting the husband’s weakness will not.
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Flipping the script is extremely dicey. You don’t know how she’ll respond, but most certainly whatever she says (if she says anything at all) won’t be in accord with the bible. Now you’ve opened a can of worms which most likely will lead to more arguments and nothing will be accomplished.
I think it may have been more productive to have taken her up on her claim and have asked her since she said that she can tell you. Then you can compare what she says to the bible and correct her as needed.
Some of the best advice I have ever been given is to calmly state what you believe to be right without worrying about her reaction and to not argue with a woman. There is an imputed authority in saying what needs to be said and then calmly moving on to the next thing that needs your attention. The character Raymond Reddington from “The Blacklist” shows examples of this any time someone challenges one of his statements and he merely moves on to the next topic he needs or wants to talk about. The writers have written this particular aspect of his character into the script often.
Not arguing with a woman in general, but even more so with your wife, keeps you from moving into her realm of emotion. This stems from the captain giving the first mate orders, not bantering with a subordinate about what to do. There is an added benefit of not feeding the emotion monster at her core. When you argue you feed the monster and give it the energy to change directions and subjects in whatever random direction her feelings justify. It is an exhausting endeavor that leaves a man loving his wife less. This is why you tell her what you want, what you need and what to do. She may not comply, but that is on her for not following the Bible, and at least you have not exhausted yourself nor validated the idea that she is your equal in authority.
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I largely agree. There are a few traps with employing supposed “Marriage Dread Game” that a husband can fall into, namely:
#1– Ignoring or forgetting that the whole purpose of changing your life, and hopefully your wife’s life too, is sanctification. Willy nilly withdrawing attention might work, sorta like Dalrock did in his marriage, although it was done in a post hoc understanding way, but it’s better if the purpose is known. If you’re arguing all the time, then withdrawing from arguing is the right move, and withdrawing from outbursts or other antics is the right move, but telling your wife something can help her on the path toward sanctification: “When we argue or get into emotional outbursts with each other nothing good ever comes from it and it’s dishonoring to God, so we need time apart if we sense that this is starting to happen. This will help us keep our heads clear in the future.”
Not only does this demonstrate good leadership (if you actually apply it in the future), but it focuses things back to honoring God with everything we do.
#2– Most people apply tactics without knowing why they are applying tactics. I covered this today:
Christianity and Masculinity: The Bible and the concept of Fitness Tests versus Comfort Tests (2022-01-17)
For instance, most husbands new to Christian/secular RP see everything as a fitness test when they’re not. This leads to the phenomenon described as “a bull in a china shop” if you respond to a comfort test with a fitness response.
This goes all the way back to having an overarching mission for God and focusing most of your attention on that. This allows you to put God first and obeying what God says which helps all the other pieces fit together. Simply focusing on supposedly applying Dread Game is still in the frame of the wife in that your focus is still on your wife. This partly goes to having the goal of sanctification be primary which #1 goes into, but also continually understanding that you’re not here to fight with your wife or be antagonistic to her. It’s quite possible to correct, teach, and do other Biblical things with the fruit of the Spirit. They don’t always have to be extremely confrontational with negative emotions flaring.
Subverting the current relationship/marriage structure (egalitarian, chivalry/inverted, etc.) is always going to be uncomfortable for both. This is obviously not a bad thing, but it’s easy for a wife to think it’s more antagonistic. This is why it’s important to not rely on particular outcomes or responses from the wife but continually contrast your behavior on how you are leading and expressing the fruit of the Spirit back to God’s standard (e.g. Genesis 1-3; Ephesians 5; 1 Peter 3; Titus 2; Colossians 2; 1 Corinthians 7; etc.). The outcome independence helps in that getting butthurt if things aren’t going well is extremely counterproductive in the long run, not to mention it’s not the hallmark of a good leader.
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Oh yes! This! But you left off my favorite, the nuclear sh!tty-comfort tests.
She wants a fight, to emotionally engage in one (to the point of trying to get me to physically hit her), I withdraw, to my actual office, a 10 minute drive, and she follows me there, drunk then re-engages the fight asking me what I would do if she killed herself. Yep. That really happened.
There are times and places for trying to lead your wife to sanctification, but at a certain point you can’t help them. They have to choose it.
I had an ego large enough that I thought I could ‘save’ this woman, that I swore before God and my family to love and cherish, and it was met with hatred vitrol, loathing, and bitterness. I spent countless hours on my knees in prayer and what He showed me was that no matter what I do, I’m still just the guy delivering the message, it is a heart issue between Him and my ex. She hasn’t rejected me she has rejected Him, and that breaks my heart.
What I think that woman needs besides prayer is a good doctor with serious therapy and pharmacological intervention.
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Yup, it is possible to get to that point. You can do all you can, but it’s up to the other person to respond to God and you. If they don’t, then that’s on them not you.
That’s why I use the 4 points:
1– You have control over yourself
2– You have control over how you influence others
3– Others have control over themselves
4– Others have control over their influence on you and others.
Your task is mainly 1 and 2. #2 has the capacity to influence others, but it doesn’t always work the way we want it to sometimes. God can use it at other times.
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I remember “Dread Game” when I was in that silly bootcamp over twenty years ago. Yeah, “Just make the girl you like jealous.” Easy. No problem.
The teacher (DeAngelo) was forgetting that all of us were dead zero losers who couldn’t even get a date. Yeah, “Dread Game” worked if you were the “chad lite” to begin with, and of course… had the checkbook of looks to indeed “back up” this Dread Game.
All this in high school and college. The thing is, when I saw guys doing this to their girlfriends and the like, the girls still took him back even if he was known to have cheated on her. The good looking can do no wrong in this culture.
As for “Married Dread Game” I would have zero idea how one applies this. If he is a “beta-bux” guy (for lack of a better term, I find this insulting to a man who may have worked d@mn hard for a career), again……. him “standing up to his wife” is gonna look foolish to her. It’s like the classic high school nerd going to “challenge” the captain of the football team to a fight because he is tired of being picked on by him. He is gonna be a real man and stand up for himself! He isn’t going to tattle! He isn’t going to cry! He is gonna beat him up, cause that is what real men do!!!
To everyone, he looks like the kindergartener leaving the playpen who thinks he is gonna stand up with and run with the big kids in fourth grade!!! Don’t you forget it! “I’m a chicken hawk!” or “little man syndrome” gone off.
Looks silly and pathetic.
I really don’t know how a man who has been married for ten years, and suddenly wants to become a leader is now gonna pray himself up, go to the gym, start barking out orders at home, and suddenly have his wife “submit” and “respect” him. It may indeed embolden her further to leave, cheat, or laugh him off.
I don’t know.
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Jason, it’s not about barking out orders, for me it was asking her to start actually grocery shopping, cooking meals, pull her weight around the house. She was a stay at home mom who homeschooled the kids, I worked for a small business, and yet in her mind, I “didn’t do enough around the house.”
In 2007-2008 when the economy collapsed, I was struggling with my parents to keep the lights on for our business, doing the hustle. I had vacation saved up, but if I took it, I wouldn’t have a job/business to come back to. Did that stop her from going on vacation with the kids without me, 3 or 4 times? Nope. Then when she filed for divorce, she told the kids the reason I didn’t go with them on ‘vacation’ was because I didn’t care about them…
Dread is not a good word for this, but it is what it is. I finally stood up for the disaster that was my marriage, first by getting myself healthy, physically, mentally, and Spiritually, (steps of dread, ooohhhhh), then trying to lead her and my children to a better place. It didn’t work, she didn’t want to deal with her own issues and her own sins/demons. And the world is a little worse off.
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I guess you were not using Dread Game / Marriage Dread Game. Because its foolproof. Just follow the “easy” steps. I also am very sorry for what you went through. I have never wished ill on a mans marriage, children, or family. I will be honest here. I cannot relate. I know its painful, and I do know THAT (pain in life, and loss).
Not the same of course….
How is getting fit, healthy “dread” game????? How about calling it for what it is. I wanted to get healthy or better instead of using it as motive or tool… or assuming it is only for getting IOI’s from women?
This sphere has a one track mind. Sex above anything and everything!
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I believe this well represents the primary root of the problem between men and women in marriage these days. I cannot imagine how it is possible for a proper and Godly marriage to arise when the man approaches the woman from the position of supplicant.
I have an idea that I’ve been thinking about for some years and it goes like this.
If a person truly did not care about the opinion of other people, they would have nearly a super power. Such a man could walk onstage in a stadium in front of millions without fear. He could walk onto that stage completely naked and be unfazed because their jeers, cheers, derision and laughter mean nothing to him.
Aren’t we called to be accountable only to God and His word, and then tangentially to others?
It seems to me to follow from this that a fear of public speaking is ungodly. That fear of social rejection is ungodly.
To worship women, their sexuality, and their bodies is ungodly. In fact, it flies in the face of the first commandmant. Most would probably assert that they don’t worship women over God, but their actions show the lie.
Incidentally, I make no claim to having arrived to this place. I experience anxiety in certain social situations because I too still care too much about the opinions of other people.
Then, men being afraid of social censure, of the opinions of others, approach all women with their hat in hand metaphorically speaking, and fearing the answer. The result is that men date too little, settle too quickly, set no boundaries or expectations, and marry the wrong women.
All of these things arise from caring about the opinion of man over that of God.
At least this is my opinion and my thoughts.
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Thank You Brother, it was/is hard to deal with this, but it was still the right thing to do, I know none of you wish ill upon me and mine, and it’s hard to convey my/our stories to each other. But the reason I share is to encourage others to keep fighting, keep vetting, and keep being the best version of yourself that you can be.
Back to dread… It started out with me trying to ‘get the girls’ and make her jealous, seriously… But something changed during that grinding process on the back porch in the heat and then in the gym… I started liking the struggle, liking the challenge, liking how I felt when I completed that set of reps that 2 weeks prior would have crushed me. ‘Getting the girls’ disappeared, and something better replaced it, that small glimmer of the man God wanted me to be.
I’m not going to try to blow smoke up anyone’s, but there was still a lot of anger that fueled my lifting/gym time too, it was the only physical outlet I had when she would make me so angry I could have backhanded her across the room, she was purposely doing this mind you, trying to get me to hit her.
This is kind of embarrassing, but one of my goals was to overhead press her body weight over my head… You know what, it took 3 years, but I did it! I overhead pressed 190 lbs back in 2019…. She’s back to her old weight of 205… (married her at 145, so yea, 70lbs, and she told my sister once that the reason she was fat… it was my fault!)
One of the other reasons I lift is because I don’t want to be ‘weak’ anymore, I had a pretty messed up childhood, and I was never strong enough to protect myself or those I cared about from getting hurt. So I fixed that, I took the genetics God gave me and I’m going to be strong enough to handle whatever life throws at me. I’ve got two, I’m called to be strong for others, and it sucks, and the crucible is hot and painful, and lonely on this plane… but it just makes me look to Him for the strength to carry on.
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Thank you for your reply. Well thought out. Explained in a way without psycho-babble and confusing words, or terms. Without gladhanding or negs……..
I also admire the fact you said it was at first “to get the girls”. That sliver of truth does more for credibility (yours) than you can imagine for men like me, and others.
The pious lot in here at times makes out their sexual urges to be justified, but cloak it under scripture as to why they can do this, and at the same time, “it has nothing to do with women, its all and only about God” stuff.
I am not a workout guy……. I would be laughed out of a gym…… I hike and backpack, and dance. That gets me moving, and I like it. A gym full of bros would destroy me. My old roommate and I went swimming in Fresno a year and a half ago…. I got a day’s pass for Gold’s Gym or some chain like that. It was so intimidating. Especially in California.
Jesus never took the disciples for the gym in his day (a very bawdy place of overt sexuality…… wait, nothing has changed!). Nor did he play tackle football. Nor did he go out and lift weights, or go to the local quarry to “keep fit”.
The disciples were fishermen, and I would assume by their trade, they were in pretty good shape. But walking around for three years with Jesus I am sure “didn’t get the girls” to notice. They all just left their wives and children to follow him around. Imagine telling your wife, “Figure it out darling, I am going to follow Jesus. You’re a big girl! Don’t worry about the rent and all, or money, or the gossip around town…. God will provide. You’re strong, figure it out.”
In fact, men who literally drop everything today and “follow Jesus” are viewed as strange, odd, not being a man, a pansy, or a loser (“cause he can’t get girls, what else is he supposed to do? LOL”, and I am sure he will not be doing it ‘right’ according the infamous “they” out there). I have met one man who indeed dropped everything to follow Jesus. I can at least admire that.
I’m glad you have this in your life and it seems to be helping you in this very difficult situation you just endured.
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I tell you what Jason, if I didn’t have a desk job where I sat on my butt all day, I wouldn’t be going to the gym. There are times I feel ‘trapped’ in the city, like I should be ‘out there’, back when I was camping with my troop, swinging an axe, trapping animals, building trails, dams, and houses in the woods. But that’s not where God has me right now, so I push a mouse around a screen and design levees and culverts and then have to drag my stiff and sore body to the gym to feel better. It the only way I can feel at peace. Not for the gym bros, not for the girls, for me. That is my hope for all men who ‘sit’ all day, be active, do SOMETHING, be outside. My gym doesn’t have A/C, it’s a indoor/outdoor gym, in Houston, and I know and feel the weather changes, it’s glorious and brutal and humbling, it gets me outside even when I can’t be.
There was a time just before I married crazy that I felt called to missionary work, but I listened to the voice of my woman (heh, how about that) and got trapped in a 9-5 for the last 20 yrs.
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I like city living. Maybe its because I did grow up “way out there” in the mountains. I appreciate it a ton more now than I did growing up….. but I do like city living. I suppose if it really came down to it, and I “had” to leave, I could go live in a small California Sierra Mountain town… away in Placer, Alpine, Calaveres County, Mariposa County… Lots of gorgeous country in the Sierra’s.
I did a short day hike right before I moved to LA…. in Bootjack out in rural Fresno County in the lower Sierra Foothills (17 miles roundtrip, light / moderate incline). Once the summer comes, will go and check the Malibu / Coastal areas with hiking. I must get back one more time to the Adirondacks and hike up in the Pharoah Mountain WIlderness Area…. I gotta do that one more time. (I camped there and hiked there frequently as boy and teenager… but I have not been to that part of the Adirondacks since 1990 or so.)
Anyway, I enjoyed your take on this.
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You made a comment about feeling called to missionary work but ending up trapped in the 9-5 for 20 years. I’ve been thinking about this recently. As a young single man, with (presumably) a lot of life ahead of me, the ‘ol 9-5 does sound like being trapped. But I’ve worked enough construction management to see that the road warrior life, though adventurous, doesn’t lend itself to my vision of family life, or even much peace as a single man.
Do you have any thoughts, perhaps if you had it to do over again, how a man might avoid being “trapped” but also provide stability for a family?
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I hate my desk job. It’s even worse that I have a useless, make-work job in the semi-private (government contractor) industry. Jason has a desk job but he does real work that makes a difference. Someone has to manage properties that people live in.
I feel like Peter in the movie Office Space. I want to go do something that’s outdoors and useful… like shoveling rocks! LoL!
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I like my job. It’s unassuming. It’s not needed to keep “society functioning”, nor is it changing the world. It’s property management. I am not a multi-taskerer but I am highly organized, hence making me able to get much done with results. I am also not bothered to go to a property when there is a broken pipe causing a flood and be right there with the crew mopping up water…… or helping movers. Nor when a property is down on staffing to go personally to the property and ask the janitor, “What do you need me to do?”
Finally, a personal visit to a client with a handshake that is not then passed with a contract to sign in ten thousand places.
When I was given the chance… “Okay, let’s see what you’ve got! We’re gonna take a chance on you!” I was not going to blow my last chance into a professional job. I knew when I got the offer that this was going to be my last shot to jump back into a professonal career. With my bonus in May, it will be the first time I have pulled six figures since 2001.
I like it, but its not my love. I also can dedicate so much to it because I don’t have a wife or girlfriend(s) yelling at me, causing drama (spinning plates…… young men waste so much time on women not even worth giving time to), nor ungrateful teenagers, nor bratty / entitled kids.
I wish I could’ve been an architect, but I never had the intelligence, drive or aptitude for that field. I do like it when I meet one…. just a profession that I wish I could have achieved. I could work in a different state, but I really don’t want to leave California yet. It’s my home. I am thinking about the UK, and I probably could get work there….. but I will have to wait and see on that.
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Cat, I can actually speak to that.
My first job was as a field engineer for a oil exploration company. This was the ultimate road warrior job. In 18 months, I traveled to 3 continents, 15-20+ countries, picked up 70k frequent flier miles, and my last trip with them started and ended in Houston, but took 46 days, beginning 250 miles south of the Arctic Circle (in Norway), sailing to Africa, and then flying home from Cape Town, South Africa.
So yeah the road warrior life is not made for finding a good woman to help you with your mission, nor setting up a good home life. I liked the physicality of that job but not the isolation. If I could do it again… knowing what I know about myself, I would have picked a path that had me outside more, being more physical with my surroundings. In my life, I’ve met a few engineers who seemed to find that path (of both the physical and the mental) and they seemed to have found a peace that I honestly envied. One was an Agricultural Engineer who specialized in groundwater in New Mexico. The other was a Civil Engineer for the NRCS who was always out running experiments, doing designs, and construction management.
To tell you how far away from being ‘in the physical’ I am right now, I’ve become the expert on our cloud computing for 2D flow modeling for drainage and they are trying to suck me in as a subject matter expert for a new machine learning project… ugh!
I hope that helps some, I’ve still got “covid brain fog” but I will try to answer any more questions that I can.
There’s something to be said for work that involves both “hands on” labor and mental acuity. I believe these are some of the happiest professions there are. That may be the reason why medical doctors, Materials Engineers, Sound Engineers, and Chiropractors are consistently ranked the highest in job satisfaction, whereas, jobs that go heavy on either brains or labor, but not both, like accountants, and cashiers, are consistently ranked the lowest.
We are meant to engage all aspects of our bodies. It seems God designed us to engage in work that engages the entirely of our being.
If we use our minds and don’t engage our bodies it doesn’t turn out so well for us not only physically but negatively impacting our minds too because of the neglect of our bodies.
In that sense being a General of an Army is among those that are the most satisfying. And as Hunter Gatherers there is ample physicality and mental effort in toolmaking and hunting.
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I had jobs that involved both desk work and some type of field work. I found the physical field work to be much more stressful than mental desk work. No thanks.
I had a job involving the inspection, testing and maintenance of gas pipelines. There I found employees trying to cut corners. Example, rather than using the calibrated torque wrench to tighten connections as required by the company, they would tighten without a torque wrench and then claim they used the torque wrench on the paperwork. To them it was a big joke. Or where it was difficult to take an actual measurement using a meter, they may make an estimate and claim it was an actual reading. Thus, I had confrontations which caused a great deal of stress.
Then there was inspection of railroad track using specialized cars that tested the rails. Employees that operated the equipment were basically alcoholics. The would stay overnight at a motel and drank all night, hardly capable of working the next day and then making excuses. Nice working environment, isn’t it?
My first job was in manufacturing which involved working with machine shop people and those doing zinc plating. There I experience downright hatred for anyone who had more education or who was trying to improve themselves and move up.
The men working in these jobs all seemed to be over 6 feet and weigh 225 lbs. Some looked like they worked out others had the classic “beer belly.” In any event, any one of them could beat me to a pulp if they tried. Because of their size, they were very good at intimidating anyone who disagreed with them.
On the other hand working in a cubicle as a corporate drone is soul destroying and sterile. Death of the Human.
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What is it the kids say? “This!”
Yes, a lot of office jobs are BS jobs anyway. Just makework. That makes the soul crushing aspects of a corporate cubicle job even worse. Issues of motivation start to come up.
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Cameron, let me suggest something to you…Engineering technician. Where ever you are moving too there is a NRCS/USDA office in that county and they are all in desperate need for all sorts of field techs, you have a BS so you would be ‘overqualified’ on some things but I tell you what, those guys do a little bit of everything for their local community. Pay ain’t great, buutttttt it’s a government job with all that entails.
Find your county NRCS office (yes there is one in Orlando I betcha) talk to the District Conservationist, and see what sort of jobs the USDA has for smart guys who like to work.
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Yeah, that sounds like what my dad did towards the end of his career – USDA – he didn’t even have a degree. As long as I don’t need to get Vaxxed! Thanks whiteguy!
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