I’ve been reading a great book about turning trials into triumph.
The book is called The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday. While certainly not a “red pill” book, the principles are universal and have application to marriage.
Below, I’ve given my take on 9 ways men can use the power of perspective to thrive in a difficult marriage.
1. Contrarian Thinking
Many red pill men like to complain about women. Maybe you got a bad deal in the marriage market. You wish you had learned red pill truths earlier.
But a contrarian thinker sees opportunity where others see tragedy.
If your marriage really is shitty, you have a great opportunity on your hands. You have nothing to lose by transforming yourself into an all-out alpha male.
What can she do to you?
Nag you? (Like she hasn’t been doing that already?)
Leave you? (You can get a better woman.)
Take your money? (Rebuild a better financial foundation from scratch without the burden of providing for a family.)
Take your kids? (Yes, that would suck. But like Job, you can always start over with an even more blessed family.)
Maybe she’ll come around and realize what she’s been missing all these years.
You never know. But the worse your marriage is, the less you have to lose.
2. There’s Always a Solution
Does your wife have a low sex drive? There’s a solution for that.
Does she experience painful intercourse? There’s a solution for that.
Does she think your penis or semen is gross? There’s a solution for that.
Is she depressed? There’s a solution.
Is she a drama queen? There’s a solution.
Is she a prude in the bedroom? There’s a solution.
Is she too busy/anxious to focus on sex? There’s a solution.
Nothing you’re facing is unique. Somebody, somewhere has figured out a solution.
Even if you have to piece it together yourself, there’s always a way. Never resolve to be defeated. That’s what sissies do.
3. Choose the Best Response
You can’t control what your woman says, does, or feels. But you can control how you respond.
“Why is my wife doing this?” is a useless question.
Instead ask, “what’s the best way to respond when my wife does X?”
Build up your arsenal of responses. Before you know it, she’ll be adapting to your frame.
4. Logic over Panic
Your wife will frequently try to suck you into whatever distress she is feeling.
You may be tempted to give into her emotions. If she’s so panicked, something must be terribly wrong! Now you jump into survival mode too. The stress escalates.
But as the man, you need to stop and think.
Rarely is a situation cause for panic. Ask yourself (and her) a series of logical questions to diffuse the situation:
But isn’t this a common part of life?
Are the damages catastrophic?
So this isn’t totally unexpected is it? How could it really be that bad? Why are you getting so worked up over something that we know, at least occasionally, will happen in life?
5. Ask Yourself for Advice
We often think our situation is worse than it really is simply because we’re right in the middle of it.
But if someone else were in the same situation, you would see the problem with more objectivity. The problems suddenly don’t seem so insurmountable. The solution becomes obvious.
So why not take advantage of this bias?
Write yourself a note about your situation. Ask yourself for advice. The solution will often become obvious even as you describe the situation.
6. Context and Framing
A marriage consists of a context (i.e. what does marriage mean) and two frames: the masculine and feminine perspective.
God tells us a marriage represents Christ and the church. This gives meaning to the difficulties. You become more like Christ as you love a difficult bride… just as Christ has to deal with a difficult church.
And, contrary to popular Christian marriage advice, the man will generally understand the needs of the marriage better than the woman. This is why women become unhappy when her husband attempts to “do what she wants.”
She doesn’t know what will make her happy.
You must decide for her in light of Scripture.
The masculine frame must win.
7. The Serenity Prayer
Every married man would do well to take this famous prayer to heart:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
Too often, we spend time focusing on the things outside of our control. We complain about how the legal system screws us over. We feel angry that we were lied to about women. We worry about the size of our you-know-whats.
Obsessing over what we can’t change leaves us stuck. We completely miss the abundance of things we can change (like developing alpha traits.)
As the prayer suggests, what we most often need is not a new situation, but courage to do what we know we need to do.
8. Live in the Present
Yes, America may very well be going to hell-in-a-handbasket.
But what does that mean for you and your marriage?
We spend so much time worrying about future invisible threats that we don’t realize how little the news has to do with our personal lives.
No matter what happens, the solution is always the same:
- Put your faith in God
- Make yourself antifragile (i.e. basic preparedness)
Don’t worry about the future. Focus on what’s in front of you now. You can still have a great life regardless of what’s happening around you.
9. Life can be Molded to Your Will
Yes, there are a few things we can never change. But most of life is malleable.
Don’t like your body? You can change it through exercise and diet.
Don’t have confidence? You can change it through visualizing success, meditating on Scripture, reframing your situation, etc.
Don’t like your wife? You can change her through long-term persuasion.
Don’t like your job? You can start a new career.
Not enough money? You can study the principles of wealth and get more of it.
Not enough time? You can apply the 80/20 principle to cut out unnecessary busy work.
Not enough energy? You can change your state by moving your body.
Does life seem too difficult? Maybe you’re trying to live someone else’s life instead of using your natural strengths.
Too lazy to do anything? You can increase the stakes by putting money on the line.
You get the idea. There’s really no excuse to not having a great life.
This is what it means to be made in the image of God. Use it to your benefit.