Is Game in Marriage Always Worth It?

by W.F. Price on August 24, 2010

Chateau/Roissy, Hawaiian Libertarian and others have written a lot of good stuff about how important Game can be in marriage. They’re right — a woman who perceives her husband as in charge and on top of things is a lot more likely to stick around than one who sees him as a pathetic beta provider. So it’s pretty obvious that putting some effort into maintaining one’s confidence, self-assuredness and wit is important to keeping a marriage alive. Guys who neglect this are at least halfway down the path of divorce.

However, one thing I don’t see all that often is a discussion of the unsatisfied, unhappy married man. In our gynocentric culture, we have scores of films, songs, books and TV shows that that detail the dissatisfaction of wives with inadequate husbands, but it appears to be taboo to bring up the fact that plenty of men aren’t all that happy with their wives. Whether it’s taboo or not, it’s a very real phenomenon that is, unfortunately, an exceedingly common problem.

Several of my friends/acquaintances are guys who remain in marriages because they don’t have a viable alternative. One’s a lawyer, one’s a cop, and another’s a corporate manager. What they all have in common is that they feel stuck with their wives. Often, they unload their frustrations while talking to me. My cop friend is totally “alpha” as far as the term is understood in the manosphere. He doesn’t take any crap from his wife, stands his ground, and buries shit tests immediately. However, he is far from happy in his marriage. His wife, although she complains at times, is devoted to him, but he just isn’t all that interested. He told me this evening that he’s sick of sex with her, is at his wits’ end about her irresponsible spending, and would rather be spending more time with his kids than working 12 hours a day to pay off credit card debts that she runs up.

My attorney friend is not even close to satisfied with his wife, who is most interested in the suburban status game. He feels like a caged animal, and lives with the sense that his life could be a lot better if he’d never married his wife in the first place.

The corporate manager is divorced, but then remarried for some reason or the other. I’ve only seen him with his wife once; the rest of the time he’s been with other women, and his wife with other men.

There are millions of men out there who are stuck in similar situations, but they tend to stay with their families because they think it’s the right thing for the kids, and also because they know that they’d be absolutely ruined if they pursued divorce.

So what do we have to offer these men? Sure, we criticize women for leaving because they are merely “unhappy,” but shouldn’t we take into account that men are sometimes unhappy in their marriages as well?

It seems to me that blaming marriage breakups on men’s lack of Game is another one of those examples of unfairly placing all the responsibility on men. In fact, what’s most telling to me is that, for all the feminist criticism of the manosphere and Game, I’ve never seen a woman suggest that there’s anything wrong with gaming one’s wife. It may be true that marriages break up when a man stops being the kind of husband that a woman wants, but we ought to keep in mind that this often follows the wife’s failure to live up to some minimum standard that would keep a husband satisfied. This may not always be her fault, but often it really is.

A wife who blows cash like there’s no tomorrow, who lets herself go physically, who is a nag or who makes no allowances for the husband’s normal recreational pursuits isn’t exactly inspiring a man to be confident and masculine in her presence. If anything, he’s resentful, tired of her, and on the defensive — all of which are antithetical to Game.

Sure, a case could be made that tight Game will bring a woman around and get her to start working out, cooking, saving and acting like a good wife, but sometimes it’s a pretty tall order, and it’s pretty hard to motivate oneself to put all that effort into a wife who’s already become an unattractive harridan. What do guys do in this case? From what I’ve seen, they simply go through the motions, and often things subsequently fall apart and the guys take the blame.

It seems to me that if men are expected to maintain some level of alpha behavior around women, they need a woman who’s worth it. Therefore, making a marriage work is not only on the shoulders of the man — it’s up to wives as well. If family law didn’t automatically punish men and reward women for annihilating families, women might actually take that seriously.

In short, Game cannot be a panacea without some balance in family law. Without a return to equity, women have no incentive to make themselves worthy of their husbands’ devoted efforts.

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