Make Believe

It was past 6:30. He was late.

“Jesus I hope he’s okay”, I thought. “Fuck this is so bad he may try to off himself”, I mumbled. I couldn’t stop worrying. I’d already downed two tall beers waiting on him, and a third was on deck.

He showed up disheveled, but in one piece.

“Sorry, man, I just got off work. It’s been a rough couple of days”, he stammered.

“I’d imagine”, I talked back.

“So what the fuck is going on? She cheated on you?”

“Yea, with one of my friends. At least I think so. She’s already left the house with the kids when she knew I knew, so….”, he looked exhausted.

This once proud man, who now was a shell of his former self, had the “perfect life”. He had a wife, 3 children, and, according to his social media, a white picket fence life of pure happiness. He worked as a dispatch operations manager for a large trucking company, successful, his wife was a stay at home mom who had recently gotten a new job after she had studied to be an accountant.

For years, this couple was the toast of my trucking friends circle. Beautiful house, a loving family, the whole dream that we are told that we should all aspire to, and the friend get-togethers were the best. Always smiling, rarely stressed, the picture of happiness. Family pictures every year, vacations, their social media was abuzz with the facade of perfection, joy, and general envy of all those around them.

He didn’t know where to start. I could see he was reeling. As he started to tell me what happened, I began to see the cracks in his facade.

“Dude, dude, you have to be kidding. You’ve always been the perfect couple. The marriage everyone wanted. What happened?” I asked in disbelief.

As he sat across from me on that humid August night, sipping a beer, nearly in tears, he then realized that his marriage had been an elaborate game of pretending. And now, shit got real.

The house, the cars, the wife, the kids, the life, all of it, was an elaborate ruse to show people how life was “supposed” to be, but not how it was. He was putting on a show, an expensive, debt crushing, false act whose consequences were now inevitably showing themselves in his mind.

And the more he spoke about it, the more terrified he became. It was hitting, it was real now, all the shit was falling down around him, and all he could do was watch.

She had cheated. She had gone outside the marriage. This perfect picture he had built, on a rusty foundation of lies, bitterness, jealousy, and mistrust, was gone. When the cameras were snapping, it was the picturesque family life. But when they turned off, the dark side of the marriage came up.

He explained that the arguments were off the charts. He would go so far as to punish the kids for not lying about how happy they were when they talked to their friends. He was in debt hundreds of thousands of dollars. He had a boat, two cars, a camper, and a gigantic house.

All for the show, it seems. All for show.

Paint the Picture

As he stuttered through his sentences, trying to grasp the gravity of his situation, I thought about my own marriage. I was struggling with my own life. I was still married, but not two years earlier, my wife and I had gotten ourselves a gigantic, 4300 sq ft house with 4 car garage, pool, two wings, and plenty of space for guests. We dreamed of entertaining our guests, making them envious of our new space, all while painting the picture of two people very much in love with each other and their lives being a natural growth of that.

But, under the picture perfect house and world….

  • My wife and I weren’t having sex, nor were we engaged in a marriage, it was now a business partnership.
  • I was killing myself at work at the time to pay for this monstrosity.
  • My kids were having issues at school and were seeing the dead marriage manifest itself into other areas

But what we were doing as a couple was trying to cover up the fact that we were both miserable. And the only thing that this house and this life did was stress the cracks that were already there, and they were getting bigger.

All of this happening as my friend poured over his drink talking about his wife’s betrayal to him. But was this a betrayal to him? After all, the dude he was wasn’t the dude he was portraying himself to be. She was cheating on that other guy, not the man who sat before me.

For 2 decades, he had carefully crafted a narrative and told his family to live by it, damn the consequences.

So they did, convincing themselves everyday that this was their life, even if it was the furthest thing from the truth.

And all of their friends, including myself, were playing the game as well. We all wanted to be pictured as successful, happy, and driven because, well, envy and adulation gives you that dopamine kick and makes you think you’re doing well, even when you aren’t even close.

So I made decisions that would come to haunt me in my future, all because I wanted to be liked and admired.

When people would ask, I’d lie. I had to. They saw my posts, they saw my life, I know they wanted to be just like me, successful, happy, and confident. But I was none of those things. Friends who I’d known for longer started to understand my moods. They knew I was lying about my life. And it took me talking to my therapist about it to realize that my life was a fiction.

But here’s the really scary thing. It seemed as if every person was inventing a life to be seen on social media.

Husbands cheating on their wives and the family showing a perfect face every time the camera was on.

Financial ruin or layoff that was played off as the rubble burned.

“Keep your face in front of your friends. Don’t let them know you struggle.”

And more and more of my friends were trying like hell to bury the body of their failed lives by buying new things, all while smiling as the snake bit their calf and the venom circulated in their body.

“You can’t show people weakness, they’ll not respect you….”

I was told this on many occasions.

You Can’t Invent A Life

Showing you have the perfect life most often means it’s not perfect.

Being married doesn’t guarantee good advice.

Being successful in view very rarely means you are behind the scenes.

We invent these lives because it’s not about what we want, it’s about what we want to prove.

Be careful, young kings and queens, putting your faith in those who’s world looks perfect from the outside, but on the inside, it’s crumbling.

Your advice should come from the goods, the bads, and the uglies of the marriage world.

The iceberg tends to be bigger under the water.

As I found out from my friend that night, you can’t invent a life, and you sure as hell can’t put band-aids on it to fix it if it’s irretrievably broken.

But people will try to keep the mirage going, many times to a terrible detriment to their own mental and physical health, to show everyone else that they are the best, they are successful, they are better than you.

And it’s more relationships than you think. And the ones who outwardly give advice are the ones who so desperately need to take it. And their friends will defend them to the hilt until the billboard sign falls and charred remains of the fake life are there for all to see.

It all looks so good on paper, in photos, in the eyes of those you wish to impress, but if it’s all a sham, why even do it? People who see you for the person you pretend to be were never going to be your true friends anyway. They glom on to whoever is most successful in their eyes, amateur bullshit artists looking for someone who plays the game better than they do so they can emulate the pretend life.

Social media has given us the opportunity to pretend to be someone we’re not with much more ease and less push back. So many people gun the throttle into this new life and make mistake after mistake eventually leading to disastrous consequences, but like when a Miss America contestant falls and tries to get back up with a smile, it’s going to ring hollow for those that you are trying to impress.

It’s a pissing contest that way too many people are playing way too often. And it’s time for all of us to stop and accept the reality that we sometimes aren’t successful, sometimes we fail spectacularly, and sometimes, yes, we can’t be the best we can be because of limitations.

We worry far too often about the opinions of people we don’t like, but are desperate to impress.

Wanna impress? Try being real. I’ve had times in my life I’ve been called out for lying. Blatantly, and the only thing I felt was shame for trying to bullshit the bullshitters. I felt bad I got caught, not the fact that I actually fucking lied.

My life is boring as fuck, but that’s the way I like it. I travel to meet people on Twitter, I type a blog, I own a small family owned company, I am divorced with two great kids. I don’t scream excitement.

But…..

Let’s stop pretending. It’s a sham and you know it, so take down the walls and have folks see you for who you really are. You’ll make more life long friends that way, and you’ll also have less stress of trying to hold up the curtain in Oz.

And if you are pretending, hold tight on giving advice to others. You’re putting on a show for the audience but when you speak the bullshit that people are really listening to, you are forcing them to put on a show as well that they aren’t ready to perform.

It’s time to stop the make believe. That’s the real red pill.

Redemption

“Light Redemption” – Richard George Davis

“Arms wide open
I stand alone
I’m no hero and I’m not made of stone
Right or wrong
I can hardly tell
I’m on the wrong side of heaven and the righteous side of hell”.

Five Finger Death Punch “Wrong Side of Heaven”

I’m not a religious man, never was.

My family was officially Protestant, but my father, as my grandfather before him, was agnostic. My mother took his lead, and my exposure to church was periodic trips on special holidays, or the rare every year Sunday “guilt trip” my mother put our family in that we were going to all burn in hell if we didn’t go and start making a habit of it. But in general, my father helped the family avoid the church because of his uncomfortable relationship with the afterlife. My father was fearful of death, still is to this day at 74, and wasn’t about to have his life, nor his potential afterlife, explained to him in a fiery diatribe from the pulpit. So he did what we all do when we have uneasy thoughts about anything, he avoided it.

I couldn’t totally avoid it, as I was an impressionable young man who needed to be trained in the correct way to worship, led by family friends and eventually by my own friends, whose family would gladly drag the “devil kid” to any service they could on days I spent the night at my friends’ houses. A chance to show him the right way to worship, at the right church, with the right congregation, with the right sermon, from the right priest, reverend, or bishop.

My experiences in church were quite unremarkable. I would go with friends who were Catholic, spend my 90 minutes on Sundays not kneeling when the congregation knelt, feeling like the priest would call me out any time I didn’t know what to say during the hymnal, or yell at me if I dared to come up and take bread and wine. As I got older and went to these functions with friends, I always joked that as soon as I entered the church I’d catch fire because I was “THAT” bad, but I wasn’t even close. God’s light nor Hell’s lighter could touch a kid that didn’t know any better.

My family, at first, when I was younger, would go every Easter, myself and my three older siblings, being force marched by our parents to church to try and atone for the sins of the past year. When my younger sister was born, we started going again sporadically, but we eventually stopped again. It was like each child born was a new attempt to salvage the faith my family didn’t have, until it got to the point where we stopped going altogether.

My mother would occasionally bring up that we should go to church again, meet people in our community, become a family of faith, but my father would grumble and tell her to forget about it. He wasn’t going. He wasn’t having it. No place of worship was going to take the fear of dying away from him, so he continued to stay away, as did his family.

As my adolescence bloomed into adulthood, I was pretty much in the same boat as my father, save the fear of dying. I was uncomfortable in churches, I didn’t understand the sermons dooming me to eternal hellfire if I didn’t worship the way that was required, the music was nauseating, and my high school and college years were spent being socially backward while experimenting with recreational drugs, so the cross wasn’t even in the ballpark of my mind.

I do remember the college religious crowds were annoying. The women, sworn to virginity during the meetings, would hook up with frat guys on the weekends after getting wasted, do the walk of shame home (I saw three girls who were the most religious of the group walking from Fraternity row on three separate occasions, disheveled and hung over) just in time to get back to their halos and the Monday – Friday sanctimoniousness that permeated every aspect of their pretend lives.

Like the parents that sent them there to be good girls (one floor in one of the dorms was called the “Virgin Vault” for super overprotective parents (quick hint – it wasn’t a vault nor were they virgins)), the parents lived their lives differently when the Jonenes were watching and the complete opposite when the curtains and the garage door closed.

I remember hearing my religious floor mates chuckling about who was real and who was fake and I just wondered if church, like high school and college, was just another popularity contest.

As I got married, my now ex-wife, who was about as religious as I was, tried to get me to change my set in ways, but I wasn’t having it. We’d go to church services on Easter, or Christmas Eve, but every church was the same. When my ex and I were on our Dave Ramsey kick, we even went to the church for over 3 months taking Financial Peace University, taking the kids to Sunday school while we did it (the church’s trap for free child care, hell it worked) and learned to manage our finances. But I kept seeing the church trying to aggressively sell us on their services, their message, and their congregation and spirit in the community, and I just saw through all of it. To me, I saw a facade of helpful people hiding a glorified social club, made up of people trying to jockey for prime positions in the church and in the community in case they wanted to run for public office someday.

The local churches even had soccer leagues we enrolled our girls in, hoping to meet new people, gain some perspective, but everywhere I went, I saw the same bullshit people crowing the same bullshit lines that I had heard for years. “If you don’t worship, you’re going to hell. And by the way, our church is the best.”

The church and I have never gotten along….

Sinner, Not a Saint

Sins, I have them. A lot of them.

In my writings, I’ve spoken at length about all of them. My past is full of it.

Cheating (sleeping with married women knowingly and not so), hitting on wives and girlfriends of friends, stealing, anger (I’ve put many a hole in walls), lying, drugs, you name it, I’ve done it all, and the mile long rap sheet would make any priest in confession have to stop and ask for a breather and a glass of water.

That’s why I know there’s no forgiveness for me. I don’t deserve it.

Even if I decided to go to church and absolve my sins, they are too burned into my personal psyche to think that a few thousand hail Mary’s and a dip in holy water (which would boil if I stepped in it, I’m convinced) would absolve what I truly know can’t be absolved. A blessing from a holy man doesn’t help me overcome the fact that I did these things. It doesn’t cleanse my mind of the acts, nor does it help me to sort them out any further. People are under the impression that you can wave a magic wand and be cured of sin when in fact it just gives them an excuse to go out and sin again.

Confessing that I cheated on my soon to be ex-wife with another woman doesn’t take the sting out of my mind. Should ‘t I have worked on the marriage, even if we were separated? Shouldn’t I have tried? Why did I walk away? Why didn’t I do more? No amount of getting it out will make the pain of what I did go away. Emotional affairs with friends wives, sex with women who were married, cheating on a girlfriend, lying to women about seeing other women, hell, even lying to the cops to cover for a troublesome friend gets to me everyday.

There aren’t magic words to make it all go away. The point of it all is I still did it.

What matters is I have to live with myself and my past. I don’t get to forget, nor do I get to move on until I know, myself, that I have done all I can to redeem myself. And, honestly, that probably won’t be enough.

I don’t want pity. I’m telling you there’s a lot of men out there who’ve done worse that I have, that are haunted everyday by the parts of themselves that they can’t change.

But what I am realizing, slowly but surely, is that I can take my troublesome past and create something with it. I can create a future that I can be proud of. And I want to show that any man, with any past, can overcome and push through to redemption.

Reclamation

“I’m sorry for the demon I’ve become.”

  • Five Finger Death Punch – “Walk Away”

After a life of tough lessons, lost friends and family, and absolute disregard for any kind of nuance or respectfulness, I had to change this life. My red pill unplugging was the first part of this, but seemingly I was getting into the same issues even after that, except now, there wasn’t much of a conscience to this new scorched earth policy of alienating myself from friends, lovers, and family with my actions. I didn’t care as long as I got mine and while many call this the “black pill” I can tell you it was putting my life on self-destruct for the sole purpose of getting my dick wet or at least the potential of it. I was better with women with the explicit distinction that all attractive women were fair game to me. It landed me flirting with married women who’s husbands had had affairs on them. I tried to become the equalizer with some success, but I was trafficking in a dangerous trade.

It’s become one of the worst moments in my life, but also one of the biggest realizations and awakenings that I’ve experienced. This low point of this supposedly new me was breached.

This is not me finding the church, or God, or anything else. This was an experience of finally finding MYSELF and knowing what was important.

My first 31 Days to Masculinity was at about the same time last year and during this time, I started to use my past to build for my future. I made amends with those I’d hurt and broke off relations with those that weren’t salvageable. I knew that my life, at that point being dedicated to helping men, wasn’t looking so good for men who were wanting to improve their lives. A dude who’s sex life thrived on jilted lovers, broken marriages, outright lies and deceit, or unhappy house wives wasn’t what I was trying to sell. Men didn’t need to walk the fucking razor line to truly find a better life. 31 DTM made me face this fact head on. And, even as a man without a country, I was an island at this point, but it was time to start swimming back to shore.

So I started to make it right and started to apply the red pill the right way. No more of this bullshit. It was time for me to grow up, sack up and make my life better by focusing on it primarily, and practice what I was preaching. At that time, I was really covering game and attraction in my tweets and blog. I was applying it to women I shouldn’t have been applying it to, but did it anyway because “enjoy the decline” right?

Dammit, there had to be more to this fucking life…

There is. I’ve found it. Renewed vigor towards my own goals of fitness, finances, foresight, and yes, even a little bit of faith. Once again, the church and I don’t see eye to eye, and probably never will.

The game is never as fun when you have the cheat codes, so I reset and started it over, this time making sure I covered all my bases. I made it a point to go out and meet new people, men and women whom I admire on Twitter and elsewhere, and to go out and meet the men of FoE. It was time for the world to meet the man that sits in between the forgiveness of God and the eternal damnation that I know may be waiting for me.

So, I wake up tomorrow working on a new future for myself. Living the true red pill life. Taking the game that I’ve learned and adding confidence, honesty, authenticity, and a shit ton of attitude. It’s about me now, not anything else. I’ll still approach women, I’ll just be more mindful about their intentions, especially if there’s a ring on that finger. Never rub another man’s rhubarb, even if you think he deserves it. You’ll cash that check with your life if you aren’t careful.

Bros before hoes really does cover it.

The worst I can think of is that I continue to improve my life with the prospect of no forgiveness and no LTR, or a MGTOW wet dream, but I would appreciate a women in my life who supports me in all my endeavors and truly enhances my life.

But if I am running the rest of this life marathon alone, then I am absolutely prepared to do that.

The best I can hope for is being on the wrong side of heaven and the righteous side of hell, as Five Finger Death Punch put it so eloquently.

Forgiveness is lost, but give me redemption so that I may live as a symbol to those who walk in my footsteps.

Promises

Photo Credit: wordsIseek.com

Back when my marriage was spiraling out of control towards the inevitable conclusion of divorce, I was having to justify my decision to end this union with all of my family, friends, and co-workers.

The unavoidable question would always start the conversations.

“Why did you do it?”

There were many reasons I tried to justify my actions, with these being the primary:

  • Sex was non-existent
  • We were two people running a business, not a marriage
  • No communication
  • Lack of understanding
  • Change averse
  • Staying married for the kids was toxic for said kids

But the biggest one, after 4 years of reflection of my decade long marriage, was one thing.

I didn’t keep my promise.

I had made a promise to my then girlfriend, future wife, and future ex on a cold day in Noblesville, IN at a Wal-Mart. And no, I didn’t propose to her there, or the marriage wouldn’t have lasted longer than Black Friday.

It was a serious conversation we were having about her father, who disappeared from her life for 5 years. She straight up told me about this rough time in her childhood, where she literally didn’t have a childhood because of a crazy ass mom and a dad who left her. She was essentially abandoned by her dad and in absolute disgust, her mom took her anger for her dad out on her, her sister, and her cousin. There they were, living together while their mothers did everything but raise them, and their father, at least for two of them, had essentially abandoned them.

She didn’t trust men, and why would she? Having that stuff happen made me realize that despite all of my parent’s issues, they stayed together, worked on stuff together, and truly loved each other. What compels a man to leave his family, even if he didn’t like his wife?

So there we were, on that day, talking about my commitment to her.

How I wouldn’t leave her….

How I wouldn’t run when the going got tough….

How I would be different than her father…

All because I wanted to make her happy.

I was keeping a promise because I thought that was what she wanted me to do. We had been dating for almost a year when this happened, and I wanted her to think I was different. I wasn’t. I failed.

A Choice

So, flash forward to the end of our marriage, my justifications for leaving, and my reaching for anything that would make this choice feel better.

There wasn’t a way to feel better, it just sucked. I had to go through two years of therapy to try and avoid the major issues confronting me and my marriage, and trying to find a way to keep my promise. I kept coming up short. I had written a check that was going to bounce. And it was past me’s fault.

I knew I’d be breaking my promise. It was all my fault for doing so.

I had told her that I wasn’t going anywhere, no matter what. I had made vows to the same commitment. I had reneged on my promise.

I hadn’t just broken it, I had shattered it, ran a lawn mower over it, and taken a sledge to the rest.

I’d made a promise to not leave her, no matter what, because I’d be proving her right, because men leave.

At every therapy session, at every discussion with my then wife, at every family function when asked “How are you guys doing?”, I had to think about my answer very carefully and lie to cover up the promise I made.

So here I was, breaking promises to family and friends to keep the promise I made to my wife. I had to miss events, I had to tell my friends I couldn’t hang out. I had to tell my co-workers they couldn’t count on me because my wife needed me to be there. And be there ALL THE TIME.

What promises are worth keeping? What promises are worth breaking?

NONE.

But what do you do when a promise you made is affecting your life so adversely that keeping it is destroying your soul?

What do you do when a promise you keep is keeping you from making other promises or worse, breaking promises to other people you love?

What the hell did I do? I was torn between a choice of the promise I made to my wife and promises I was breaking to everyone else, especially myself….

That was the reason I had to have two years of therapy to convince myself of the correct answer. No one was going to understand it except me, and even then, I would get backlash from all of the family and friends I was trying to protect by making this decision.

In other words, it was a shit sandwich with no choice but to take a bite.

When you make too many promises to too many people, you’re eventually going to be forced to break all of them….no matter the situation.

So I had some soul searching to do as I pondered my decision. I knew I needed to take my life back, because I had made a promise to myself to change, put myself back in charge of my life, stop doing things to make people happy and start doing things that made a difference in my own life.

And I knew, when I made this choice to leave my wife, EVERYONE was going to hate me for it. When you choose your own self interest after years of choosing everyone else’s, you’re bound to be on part of the journey alone because of all the hurt feelings. Once again, a shit sandwich….

So, I made my decision. And 4 months later, I was alone in a gigantic house, no furniture, going to my mother’s place for dinners, 40 year old grown man trying to get his life together. But I knew that my decision would have short term consequences, the long term of being able to look at myself in the mirror again was severely outweighing the short term stuff.

But I still couldn’t escape the fact that I broke my promise. I screwed up royally, and this break would affect me for the next 4 years, in all facets of my life.

Getting Passed It

My life was a mess, but it was at my own choosing. I’d much rather rebuild from the rubble into something I wanted versus trying to balance all the promises I made that I couldn’t keep. It was me trying to make myself happy versus trying to make the world happy.

I still had lit the fuse….and the shit had blown.

So, I continued therapy to make sense of the rubble and piece it back together into some semblance of order in my life.

I remember a night in particular, drunk off my ass, three days before my closing with a shit ton to do to the house, deeply in debt, depressed, suicidal, and having empty sex. I was stressed beyond belief, contemplating bankruptcy. It was then I was at rock bottom, and I saw me for who I really was. This was my decision, but this was what I needed in order to be who I wanted to be.

You always second guess decisions that are going to adversely affect your life as if they are even needed. You look back and wonder what you could’ve done differently, but as I stared at my drunken reflection in the mirror, I realized that the promise I broke freed me from a life that wasn’t real, that wasn’t me. And I needed to break the promise in order to get on with my life.

But I knew it was going to suck, and it sure did. But slowly, the rubble of the broken promise started taking shape into a life that I could actually have to make the promises I really wanted to make. The promises that I knew I could keep.

You can’t pick the promises you want to keep. You have to have the confidence to make a promise you’ll be sure to keep. Breaking promises is a serious issue and I, of all people, know the consequences of it.

You have to be able to understand that you make mistakes, that we all make promises sometimes that we shouldn’t, and we all do horrible things to ourselves in order to keep them, JUST TO MAKE ANOTHER PERSON HAPPY IN THE SHORTEST OF SHORT TERMS.

Promises are what you do for people, not how you feel for people. If you truly love someone, you won’t have to make a promise because your presence, your true self is enough for that person to know you are there for them. A promise is a task, not a goal.

But you still have to keep them. You still have to have your integrity. A promise is an extension of yourself to someone else. And if you can’t keep your word, you really don’t have much left to keep.

Which is why, 4 years later, after countless hours of guilt, shame, and perceived failure, I can finally make promises again, but I’m careful what I promise and who I promise to. You have to take what you can do very seriously because when people count on you, you have to come through for them for yourself, not for what they can give you. A promise is trust in yourself, what you can accomplish, and who can trust you.

Because if you can’t trust yourself, who the hell can you trust.

Realizations

As I’ve documented on many occasions in my blog, countless Twitter feeds, and in my videos, I used to be absolutely terrible with women.

I lost my virginity at 27, I had three girlfriends in high school and college who I never kissed, and the only sexual experience I had before 27 was a bad blowjob in college.

I was so petrified of women (and people in general), I locked myself in my dorm room freshman year of college, only smoking pot with my closest friends and not even going to eat in the cafeteria.

I would clam up, become stiff, make dumb statements (oh look a pooper scooper!!), or just said some general statement that wouldn’t do anything except cause her to look at me in disbelief (or disgust at times).

As I’ve documented, I was the quintessential beta with many of the hangups men today still have. Socially I was retarded. I was awkward with all types of people, and I would not talk to women if I could avoid it.

I developed oneitis for several girls as I grew up and I tried to get them to like me by being the “nice guy”. I failed. Miserably.

Lack of approach, no confidence, social anxiety, as well as fears of about every aspect of personal communication kept me single and a virgin for a time when I should have been laying everything with a pulse.

But, alone I sat, for years, until 2003, when finally, mercifully, I started to get out more, get some hobbies, work out, and then I met my future wife on eHarmony. That was the wall I crashed into.

She loved that I was a virgin. She wanted to “teach” me how to please her. I was a weak, ball-less fuck. I did what I was supposed to do. Name, rank, serial number for 10 years. And it resulted in sex three times in three years at the end of the marriage.

After divorce, I got better with women, only because during my depression, brokeness, and utter discontent with my life, women seemed to come out of the woodwork, as they always do. So by natural progression, I got better with women because they were around more. But I still had a ways to go and had to learn more.

Over the next two years, I got into several relationships where I let the woman lead, all of them ending in a breakup. Liberal women who were desperate to control their relationships are who I fell in with. As you can guess, it didn’t go well. Sex was robotic, I didn’t take control, I kept asking permission, asking “does this feel good?”

It was an unmitigated disaster 4 times over.

Then, I found the red pill. I decided to go to the “monk” mode or MGTOW (men going their own way) phase. I studied, read, and worked on myself at the gym. I lost 70 lbs. I fought to discover who the hell I was.

This intensive period that I needed, in turn, gave me success in my life in other ways.

It really isn’t a secret, either. There’s no magic bullet, no expensive course or book, so I’ll share it with you today, free of charge.

The Breakthrough

So, how the hell did I get over my fears of dealing with women?

Here it is, the definitive guide to everything female from a man who has lived it.

These are the things I’ve learned after what I was told was complete and utter bullshit.

These are the myths that were concocted to throw men off of what women really want, how they really think, and why it’s important.

I know the secrets now. Hint: They aren’t really secrets, they’re well known, common knowledge that don’t need financing to know.

Sure, you’ll get the women who are NAWALTS (Not all women are like that) professing their mistrust in the information I present here today, but the bottom line is this:

A vast majority of women (meaning all) have the same reproductive organs, mindset, and emotional software installed by whoever you want, God, evolution, the boogeyman, or Santa Claus, it’s all still the same because in the end, NOTHING trumps biology.

Yes, it’s the same for men. We scream that it’s not about sex, but guess what, it IS about sex. It’s always about sex. ALWAYS.

Here’s some quick and dirty tips from yours truly. Many will say they aren’t true, especially women, but I know one thing with my experience. I know women. And what you’ve been told is not correct.

Here’s the list of all the cliche manosphere stuff that I learned. Why post it? Because every last part of it is true.

Here you go:

  • Get thee to the gym

The first thing I recommend guys do is get into shape. It cures so many ills in regards to life in general, and women specifically, that it is the first thing I recommend. Get to work, get your diet right, and start looking the part. It’s the crucial first step in a man retaking control of his life.

  • Boundaries

You have to establish a line that no one can cross when it comes to your personal convictions and beliefs. If you are conservative, don’t date liberals, if you are religious, don’t date an atheist. If you don’t like sushi, don’t take your date to a sushi restaurant. Hold fast on the stuff that’s important to you, and don’t compromise for any reason.

  • You have to have confidence

Building confidence in yourself is the KEY to all of this. You have to be successful in your life in some way to gain confidence. So, I’d recommend getting to the gym, getting involved in some sport, activity, or hobby and get good at it. When you develop your skills and gain confidence when you are successful, you have a blueprint from which to build more.

  • You have to do MGTOW or monk mode for a while

And with that, you have to take the time to develop these skills. You need to make time for yourself. You need to put you first, pull no punches with your time, and get better everyday. 6 months is a good period, but depending on how much you have to do, you will need all the time in the world.

And yes, you still have to show up and do the work.

  • You’ll never be done

The work will be a lifelong commitment. You have to put real work into yourself every day. You have to be mindful to making yourself better. You aren’t just done and then you talk to women. You progress doing both. And you learn from it.

  • Rejection is required

Everyone hates rejection, but men especially do because, especially with a woman, it’s a personal dismissal for something you are presenting. Of course it’s going to burn, because it IS personal. My first rejection was a woman saying she wouldn’t date a fat guy. That hurt, but I took that rejection and put it towards bettering myself. You are going to get rejected. Tear the bandage off and get it over with, then do it again.

  • She doesn’t care

Regardless of what your hangups, complaints, life issues, or insecurities are, she doesn’t care. She has no motivation to bring you into her life if you are a rebuild or a project. She’s looking for a man who’s sure of himself, put together well, and won’t apologize for living his life his way.

  • Your self interest is most important

You have to put yourself first. You can’t pour from an empty cup, and if you have yourself put together, you only add value to those around you. A solid foundation is what you are, and the bigger and more sturdy the foundation, the better and bigger the building.

  • You HAVE TO APPROACH her

You can’t get around rejection and you certainly can’t get around having to pursue and approach a woman. If you find her attractive, you must tell her that and make your intentions known. And you must be prepared for any answer she gives. “Yes?” Play ball. “No?” Walk and go to another girl.

  • Boldness goes a long way.

Yes, it’s the #MeToo era, but being bold, especially with women who are in a social setting is a lost art. You must state your intentions clearly and boldly, damn the consequences. You don’t get anywhere without taking a risk, and the higher the risk, the greater the reward. But you have to put your ass on the line for her, she’ll respect you a ton more if you are honest and open in your interactions with her. YOU SET THE TONE.

  • Understand women

Women will say I don’t understand them, but I do, better than they understand themselves. Remember, women are chaos. Women are emotional creatures who don’t respond to logic as much as they respond to feelings, settings, and imagination. You have to use her imagination in conjunction with your skill. Understand what gets her going. What gets her going is a man who knows what he wants and isn’t afraid to be bold to take it. She LOVES a man who takes control.

Remember, men lead with action. Women follow with support, love, and spirit.

  • Body language is key

Not only do you have to make sure your body language is on point (chest out, speak clearly and forcefully, smile, eye contact), but you must also watch hers. She will show you if she’s into you by coming close to you, smiling back, mirroring your actions, and really reactive to your moves. More experience with women will yield this understanding on when she likes something and when she doesn’t.

  • Avoid Online Dating

Many men will instantly go for the online route because it’s easy and doesn’t require a lot of heavy lifting. But, remember this fact, online dating, for the majority of people, is a raging dumpster fire. Damaged, hurt people on there looking to get their kicks without even working on themselves. It’s the trash bin of dating and shouldn’t be used.

  • You are the prize

We’ve seen hundreds of guys in the sphere talk about it, but it really is true. When it all boils down to it, you can’t move forward in your life until you realize that your presence sets the tone. You are the focal point of your life with special emphasis on choosing the correct person to share it with. You have an obligation to choose what you feel is best for your life. Selfish? Sure. Required? Absolutely.

  • You have to have some semblance of style

You have to put forth effort in your wardrobe. Like every other part of your life, you have to dress for success and wearing old, crappy clothes as a part of your wardrobe doesn’t help you get anywhere but where you are.

  • Looks matter

They do. You have to look your best. You have to brush your damn teeth, shower, manscape, and take care of yourself. Women will appreciate it and you’ll appreciate yourself more. The most important aspect of confidence is putting up the goods when it comes time to.

  • Social skills (game) trump all other things

You have to learn solid, lifelong social skills with men to make friends and with women to have sex/relationships. This not only ups your networking, and career success, but you become more comfortable with people and can do more things in your life. Your height, money, or disposition don’t mean anything if you can’t get out there and operate among others.

  • Thirst is not your friend

Men allow their sexual appetites to get the best of them. The little man drives the big man and it can result in disastrous, life altering issues that will affect the man for the rest of his life. When a man learns to not only control his urges, dropping porn, upping his game, using condoms regularly, he protects himself from these possibilities. He also has an amazing amount of self respect to protect himself from these issues. The world’s not going to change, so the man must operate as if he’s in complete control of everything he can control, including his thirst.

Look, men want to have sex with women. It’s in our blood. But you can protect yourself and choose where you stick your dingus. Be smart about who you sleep with, we don’t need anymore single moms.

The Secret of Women

So what are the secrets of women?

What have I learned that I didn’t know before?

Well:

  • Learn to operate on a sexual level

Men and women are sexual beings, bottom line. If you don’t ask for the business and show your intentions to her, it doesn’t matter. I always thought it was wrong to tell a woman you wanted to have sex with her.

When you ACT like a man in front of a woman, she absolutely wants that. She wants you to take her, she wants you to be forward and confident.

Women don’t like begging, sniveling, men who have to ask permission for everything. They want you to lead.

  • Women are emotional

Emotions are a woman’s realm. When you appeal to her with a vivid imagination and unreal confidence, she absolutely loves it. She needs to feel, whereas men need to use logic and solve problems. When you treat her like a man (i.e. try to solve her problems), she’ll resent you. She doesn’t want you to solve her problems, she wants you to reflect her and feel her emotions with her. Being present, more than anything else, helps her to work through any emotions that she has. And when she sees you’re a rock to her, she can trust that you will listen to her while working to understand her.

  • Women are pragmatic, men are romantic

Women, when it comes down to it, are pragmatic. If they see that things aren’t going to end well, they will jump ship to make their way to another option. If you die, they’ll move on. If you sink, they’ll swim elsewhere. They see the writing on the wall in their commitment, they will make sure to find the door. ‘Til death do us part only applies if the man is showing promise, and yes, even if he’s at rock bottom, she can tell if he’s a high quality dude.

  • Women want security and to know they’ll be protected

Men do just these things. If you fall asleep at the wheel, do be surprised if she finds another man’s car or jumps out of yours. You HAVE to provide the rock she ties herself to. You run the show, she knows that you do. If you falter in any aspect of your masculine duties, she’ll know, and her respect for you will dwindle. She’s hooked her anchor to you so you’d better be ready to perform for her and make sure she and your tribe stay safe.

  • She wants your pleasure

Men think they have to pull out all the stops to pleasure her in bed. You don’t. She gets off on your pleasure. She wants to see you orgasm and wants to please you. That’s the biggest thing standing between guys and their happiness in sex. You need to get yours and she’ll get hers too. You can’t neglect yourself in the quest to make her happy because she start to resent you.

  • Be proactive instead of reactive

Women want a man with a plan, regardless of what happens. When the shit hits, she wants to know that the issues are handled. If they aren’t and she has to be involved, it takes away from your lead. You can’t be desperate, consistently show emotions that are detrimental to her respect for you, and argue with her. She doesn’t want to argue with you to win the fight, she wants to argue with you to show her you care.

I’ve learned a ton about these subjects, but I still have more to digest. But today, nearly 21 years after my entrance into the world of dating and women, I finally have some direction and some competency with women.

The one thing that has permeated all of this new found confidence is the fact that not only do I take responsibility for my life, but I push my life in new directions because of how I interact with women. My give a damn is broken when it comes to women and if they are truly going to be in my life, they have to make the effort. Before, I thought I had to do everything to make sure that they’d like me. Being a people pleaser brings you dry panties every day.

I hope to continue to help men realize what I have in my life. They need to take control and drive their lives. It’s helpful to have these quick tips to get a man in the direction he needs to head.

One thing I’ve always said is that if I hadn’t taken action in my life, I’d imagine I’d still be in a loveless marriage, celebrating 15 years of little sex, motionless and lifeless stability, and lack of a direction. I didn’t want a life like that, I wanted a life on my terms, and many men are starting to awaken to the fact that they want that same thing too.

But in search of that, you have to be willing to be uncompromising on certain principles in your life. You have to be willing to walk.

But you must also be willing to stand a post. You are never done. You sleep when you’re dead, and many men don’t want to accept that harsh truth.

It’s time to understand these realizations and spread the word to other men lost in the world. They need to know these things, and my job is to make sure they do until my last breath.

I owe it to them and myself.

There Is No Chad

Chad Thundercock, the famed internet meme and PUA boogeyman for nearly 2 decades, has been the stuff of blue pill beta nightmares.

He’s the dude that makes all of your wives or girlfriends wet with just a single smile, the guy who lives in the gym and fucks your girl.

He’s the “dream” for any woman who’s looking for that quick score, the guy on Spring Break in Cancun who hosts the wet t-shirt party, the guy who smashes the beer can over his head, the guy with confidence for years.

Here’s the issue: He doesn’t exist. He’s a figment of an imagination of guys convinced that hypergamy is an immovable object and Chad is the unstoppable force. He’s painted as the main villain to guys who don’t do enough in their lives to lead their wives / girlfriends.

“Chad” lives in the minds of terrified men.

“It’s Not My Fault”

Men are lost in these troubled times.

But what’s worse, men aren’t taking responsibility for being lost. In our current climate where victimhood is rewarded with attention, men would rather blame some faceless meat head than admit they have work to do. They’d rather fire off the “hypergamy doesn’t care” trope than look at the dude in the mirror and realize that maybe, just maybe, he’s responsible for his own life, and not some steroid induced alpha trying to spread his seeds all over God’s green Earth.

I’m here to break it to you, guys. “Chad” doesn’t exist. He’s just a dude who outworkes, outshines, or out-talents you in a certain aspect of your life. That’s it.

Men, you have a responsibility to yourself to make strides and improvements in your life.

Nowadays, men instead settle for the fact that they must do things to gain intimacy with their wives, high fives for eating a whole pizza (I’ve been there), watching porn, cheering on other guys playing sports, playing video games, and generally not doing anything to improve themselves or their relationships with their significant others.

They allow themselves to get fat, destitute, and slovenly, as well as refuse to work towards any kind of self improvement.

So imagine their surprise when their girlfriend or wife sleeps with another man. Instead of facing the potential embarrassment of realizing the issue was possibly their fault, they rely on “Chad” in all of his perfection, to come to the rescue and keep their pride intact just enough to push off any doubts that he was the “loving husband” and supportive man.

“How dare she sleep with another man? She’s obviously letting her hypergamous nature off the leash and Chad Thundercock was the right man at the right time for her.”

See how it works? He’s let off the hook for his actions, and hers are absolutely abhorrent. “Chad” saves the day again, and saves the man’s face.

The cycle repeats. “Chad” is both a villain and a hero.

“It’s Hard to Take Responsibility for Yourself”

So why does “Chad” exist?

Because it’s hard to admit fault. It’s hard to take responsibility for shitty choices in life. It’s hard to get rid of destructive habits.

It’s hard.

People don’t want to accept they’ve made a mistake, especially men. It’s emasculating to men if their significant other cheats on them, especially with another man who they may deem “less” of a man than they are.

So “Chad” is invoked, and it makes men feel better.

“I couldn’t possibly competed with this dude, he was jacked, runs a million dollar business, has a nice car, etc.”

What they don’t want to admit is that their wife / girlfriend cheated with Rob in accounting or Dave who buses tables at the local pub.

The point?

“Chad” exists because men allow him to, rather than becoming their own version of “Chad”.

Self improvement is hard. I know. I’m living it. I make mistakes daily. I admit them and sack up and move on.

But is it so hard to try and make a better product for your wife or girlfriend so that “Chad”, evil “Chad”, doesn’t take her away from you?

Apparently, yes. Men no longer challenge themselves to be better, instead opting for victim hood and the prize of sympathy. “Chad” cures a lot of ills, especially any indication of a man’s lack of character, strength, sexual prowess, and leadership in a failed relationship.

Men don’t want to be seen as weak. We don’t like showing our deficits.

But here’s the thing.

If we’re going to grow up and get out of blaming “Chad” for everything, we need to start by owning it. Every fucking ounce.

“Kill Your Beta and Kill Your Chad”

Just like a blue pilled beta, the “Chad” crowd likens him to an untouchable man, someone so perfect that no one could compete. Six pack abs, football star, killer smile, the woman getter, etc. You have to kill the “Chad” fantasy. It doesn’t exist.

So what’s the quickest way to kill “Chad”? Well, start by acknowledging that he never existed, and that only you and your situation exist.

Acknowledging that you made mistakes and failed in your responsibility of a doomed relationship is the first step in getting rid of “Chad”.

Seeing your faults and weaknesses and working on them is not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of growth and strength. Make this mindset the cornerstone of your new outlook, and Chad continues to fade away.

Look at ways your life is below average. Do a self evaluation about what happened to your relationship. The only thing you can control is how you act, react, and contribute. That’s it. What shortcomings did you have? Get them all out on the table and work on every last one of them.

Can’t talk to girls? Learn game.

Fat? Work out.

Crappy clothes? Style.

Carry yourself better, work to improve, and all of the sudden, “Chad” is gone and the real world “Chad” that is you emerges.

You’ve become “Chad”. What a fucking concept.

But you’ve got to want to do the work.

Most men wait out their self improvement phase until something bad happens in their life. Stop waiting.

The more you work, the less you’ll tend to blame “mysterious” outside forces beyond your control, “Chad” included. He’s not to blame. You are.

The red pill’s primary goal is to get men to take responsibility for their own lives, and stop living under the guise of not having control over yourself. “Chad”, just like being blue pilled, is another mechanism used to try and push blame away from ourselves and onto another entity. It shows that we lack control. It shows that we’ll gladly preempt responsibility for anything else. It shows laziness and lack of self esteem. It’s the easy route, it’s the comfort zone. That line of thinking sucks.

Blue pilled men who take the red pill try desperately to avoid the hard truth. And one of those hard truths is that you alone control your destiny, not imaginary dudes with a six pack. Your failures, your setbacks, your disappointments, your lack of control, your general lethargy to your own life are all yours.

Stop blaming “Chad”.

The Red Pill Dad Podcast – Episode 3 – Live from the Red Pill Brewery with Not So Special Guest Jack Gefferson

So I thought we’d have some fun and get away from the serious topics of the last two episodes, and so I went over to the Red Pill Brewery, connected to the Red Pill Dad Studios and had my good friend Jack Gefferson on for some beers and some man talk.

Completely unedited and unscripted (the “you know’s” fly fast and heavy from me), but it was a nice change of pace from the personal topics I’d covered in the past.

So pull up a chair, pop open a beer, and enjoy our discussion.

It’s 90 minutes you’ll love.

Men In Divorce

Source:  Armistead

This is Part 1 of my “Men In” series:

Marriage.  Man and woman, joined as one in the eyes of God.  In sickness and in health, ’til death do them part.    This was the way it was supposed to be.  Find a good woman, settle down, have kids, white picket fence, 50 year marriage.  
My, how times have changed.
Divorce rates, although down, are still hovering around 50% in the US.  Divorce is big business, funding family law offices, and financially stifling those unfortunate enough to be caught in it.  So what are the basics on divorce?
Divorce is a state level jurisdiction, which means the Federal Government never usually gets involved (it has only ever gotten involved in child support).  Almost all states have a form of what’s called a no-fault divorce system, which means one party can file for divorce at any time.  There used to be a “fault” divorce, premised on reasons for the divorce (abuse, adultery, etc.), but now it’s not really about the reason, it’s about the divorce.  There are really two main ways a divorce can go monetarily, and it depends on what state you got married in.
The first is called a “communal property” state, which splits the divorcing couples assets 50/50.  This is what Jeff Bezos will be going through in Washington.  There are other states that do what’s called an “equitable distribution”.  These laws take into account to what the state thinks each person is worth in the divorce.  It’s a misnomer as “equitable distribution” is not equal, it’s what’s “fair” as deemed by the state. 
As you can see, marriage has become less and less about love and companionship, and is exclusively a business transaction.  When the government became involved, the decline of marriage became inevitable, especially today, where family law, still antiquated and not updated in almost 40 years, savages people financially. 
I’m writing today to talk about men in divorce, and not just men, but men who actually take responsibility.  In many cases, these men are punished more than men who shirk their responsibilities.  Family law is so backwards these days, there are many examples of men being arrested for not paying child support for a child that isn’t even his.  Men can spend years in jail for being unable to pay alimony.  Custody of kids is skewed towards the woman, as men only received custody is 10-15% of cases.    
Men are hit harder by divorce.  Men are more likely to develop suicidal thoughts after divorce.  Men don’t have the social network that women have.  Men are the hopeless romantics.  Even in my personal experience of divorce, even when I initiated, I was devastated.  It was the most difficult time of my life, because I thought my marriage defined me.  It’s a blue pill norm that I couldn’t handle.  I’d lost myself.
 
However, my divorce was not typical.  It flew in the face of a lot of the norms, and I can confidently say that my divorce was very smooth.  I filed against my ex, and, by acting like mature adults, we had very little issue with the process.  We agreed on everything in principle, and with my job, I was lucky to be able to afford what was thrown at me.  We went through mediation, and never went to court.  My feeling was the money I was spending on lawyers could be better used by my kids.   
Child support in my state is figured with two factors in mind.  First, and most important, is time spent with the child.  The second, lesser figure, is income.  There are some states that factor income over time spent with the child, but the big picture for any state court is the child’s well being.  “Well being” is a broad definition in family court, so whatever the judge decides, is the law.
But for every example you give of a “deadbeat dad”, I can give you examples of men, who just want to be in their child’s lives, being victimized by a woman who knows there are times you can exploit the system, and it brings horrible tragedies to families already going through tough times.  While fathers not paying for their children is still a major problem, and with men still cheating more than women, family law has yet to address these new problems.  
The system is weaponized over hurt feelings.  This has to change.

“He’s Going to Pay for What He Did To Me.”

Women initiate divorce 69% of the time, according to a recent study by Stanford University.  The reasons are many behind the study, however, the study also recognizes that women have an easier time after divorce, because divorce, for many, is good for women.  Men who make more than their spouses have much more to lose.  With states that provide alimony, women have a base for which to grow economically, while men finance their endeavors, with jail time hovering over them if they don’t provide “an income for which she was accustomed to”.  The playing field is rigged much of the time, with the State becoming the de facto third parent, dolling out justice to those it feels have wronged the other party.  But it takes two to tango, and while we weep for those that feel they were wronged, both parties need to examine why divorces occur and if we need to re-examine the entire concept of marriage, much less why we get married in the first place.
With all the talk of gender equality, no where is gender more proportionally misrepresented than in the family courts.  We need to update family law, so all sides are more equitably represented and protected.  I’m all for women making more money than men, because then family law will have to contend with the fallout of traditional gender roles in marriage.  When you apply gender dynamics of the early 50’s to today’s family law decisions, it makes judge’s decisions that much easier (men work, women stay home).  But as we all know, it’s changed, and the system is hurting those it was designed to help.
As a man who constantly discusses divorce and what not to do, I always say that, especially in states without alimony, it’s child support, not spouse support.  I make sure to support my kids in every way possible.  I see fathers everyday who do the same thing, but are punished by a ex who uses the system to their advantage.  For every man cheating on his spouse, I have examples everyday of a woman cheating on her husband, claiming abuse where there wasn’t any, and ruining his life simply because she can, with the state as a willing accomplice. 
I have been soured on marriage.  I recommend to all of my readers to not get married.  Not even prenuptial agreements are safe for you.  Until you understand the consequences of marriage, you have to make sure you’re protected.  Always err on the side of caution, especially if you don’t know the whole story.
I lead with a story on divorce because when it all boils down, marriage and love are secondary to the very real effects that divorce has on a man’s life.  
If, and that’s a very big “if”, I get remarried, it will be with the express understanding of both parties of financial consequences and fallout from divorce.  It’s not about love anymore.