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- Hide Preview | 27 Comments | submitted 4 months ago by girlwithabike [Post Locked]

In general, I believe that we should nearly always give advice so that an OP can attempt to save a relationship first. Nearly always because the length and level of commitment are factors.

Lately, I've been talking with a dear friend whose marriage is on the rocks. From an RP perspective, their dynamic is a mess. She's a quintessential career woman with a better title and income than his. He's unhappy at work and lacks a purpose in life. He's gone from outgoing to not going out. Her respect for him is somewhat reasonably absent. While I hate to use the term to refer to a person and not a trait, he's an unmotivated beta. She should be beaten over the head with Surrendered Wife until she understands her role.

So I don't want to talk about them specifically (and I certainly don't want to break the "no advice on behalf of friends" rule) but I've gotten to wondering: are there situations where the relationship is just not salvageable. Since we're on RPW, I mean this specifically from the woman's perspective. Are there cases where a woman can't do anything to turn around a situation? Is it always worth the attempt? Are some relationships irrevocably broken?

I'll add as a final caveat: Laura Doyle's rules for when you can't fix it are: abuse, serial cheating and addiction. These are obvious situations when a relationship should end. But beyond these, are there times when it's better to cut your losses?

Edit: To be clear, I'm interested in these questions in regards to a lifetime committed relationship or a marriage. Not a one or two year relationship where life and a future are not yet shared

[-] Ihatemost 21 Points 4 months ago

Of course, I'd say there are plenty.

  • partner is abusive
  • partner is a drug addict and won't seek treatment
  • actually, any addiction without seeking treatment
  • partner has a severe mental illness and won't seek treatment
  • partner has very different life goals (example: he wants kids and she doesn't)
  • if partner doesn't want to salvage the relationship. It takes two to fix and work on the relationship

I could keep going. Basically a lot of those boil down to vetting your partner carefully.

[-] girlwithabike 10 Points 4 months ago

Right, that's why I was talking more about ending a life time commitment. These are all things that you vet against and in a 2 year relationship you walk away. That's obvious and why I mentioned Laura Doyle's rules for when you can't salvage something. We can all agree that you can't save a relationship with an addict.

I'm more interested in if and when you leave, say a 5 year marriage, or a 7 year LTR that you've made a lifetime commitment.

[-] KittenLoves_ 6 Points 4 months ago

Sometimes a person's longterm goals may have lined up with their partner's during the vetting stages and throughout a few years of marriage, but eventually one person may decide that something has changed in their overall desires.

A friend of mine recently split from his ex-wife of five years because when they first got together and throughout the majority of their marriage, both had the same longterm goals (basically "lots of cats, no kids"). However, his ex wife later realized she actually did want children, and my friend still didn't. So, they had to split.

[-] girlwithabike 4 Points 4 months ago

The kid thing is one of life's tragedies. I think that a lot of people change their minds but not everyone and there is just no compromise on that. It's also something that you don't always know until it's too late.

And there is such a time crunch that when one person realizes it, it should be an immediate dissolution.

That'll be one of the driving factors in the above friend's divorce which I think is inevitable. At mid 30s it's probably too late whether divorce happens or not.

[-] KittenLoves_ 3 Points 4 months ago

While I feel bad using the word "luckily" for their situation, because it is really sad, especially since they both recognized that they still loved each other but their life goals were now incompatible, it is lucky that his ex realized when she did (late 20s) instead of trying to stick it out and make things work, only to realize years later that it was the wrong decision.

[-] girlwithabike 2 Points 4 months ago

I have to imagine that timing is an important aspect to how long you stick around to make things work. If she decided at 23 that she wanted kids and he didn't, it might be worth giving up a year to see if he comes around on the idea. At 28 it's a completely different ballgame. At 34 idk what you do.

But yeah, in that regard they were lucky, even if it's a terrible word to use when referring to divorce.

[-] durtyknees 9 Points 4 months ago

Entirely depends on:

  1. Whether the personal principles of the people involved are compatible.

  2. Vetting/whether the relationship only took a bad turn after 5+ years of mutual happiness.

If neither ^ is true, then there's no point in wasting time trying to polish a turd :p

If both parties have compatible personal principles and know how to create happiness together for many years previously, then the relationship deserves saving (more than just "try" --- "try" is an insult in this context).

And I say this because:

as a final caveat: Laura Doyle's rules for when you can't fix it are: abuse, serial cheating and addiction. These are obvious situations when a relationship should end.

I think you can avoid these unfixables with vetting. Abuse and addiction tend to come with more obvious red-flags, so I'll babble about vetting against cheating:

The reason anybody of any gender cheats, is because cheating is not against their personal principles --- it's as simple as that.

My definitions, just for clarity:

  • Cheating is mainly about lies (denying your partner the knowledge that you're doing something you know is "wrong").

    • Idle fantasies of having sex with other women is not cheating.

    • Masturbating to images/videos of women without any emotional connection is also not cheating, despite whatever Thought Police/religious propaganda tries to claim.

    • People in open relationships (in full agreement with their partners) who don't hide/don't lie about the fact they're having sex outside their "main" relationship are not cheating.

    • People who openly talk about their need for non-monogamy aren't cheaters.
  • Cheating is acting on urges you know are "wrong", and it involves another human being outside your relationship to be aware and responsive of your desires for them, while the person you're in a relationship with is unaware of any of this.

    • The outsider/third party may be oblivious of the true situation.

    • Emotional cheating involves an outsider actively participating to fulfill the emotional-connection (romance/validation for women) needs of the person who isn't getting those needs fulfilled in their actual (official) relationship.

    • Sexual cheating involves an outsider actively participating to fulfill the sexual (romance/validation for men) needs of the person who isn't getting those needs from their (official) sexual partner.

People most likely to cheat are people who are either:

  • fickle, reckless, mindless, hedonistic (feel entitled to "happiness") --- usually comes in a package deal with addiction issues, emotional instability, or too many broken promises

  • or have hangups/ a long history of self-oppression (taboo/religious guilt can be a compelling turn-on).

  • or people who:

    • lie to themselves/ often in denial/ have hamsters that lift.

    • don't respect you (respect can't be demanded, as much as attraction can't be negotiated).

    • don't respect themselves (serious levels of self-hatred/insecurity, or always hungry for attention/validation).

    • aren't interested in empathizing with anyone/ self-absorbed.

    • are cowards (unwilling to face the consequences of ending a "comfortable" relationship, or working up the courage to branch-swing).

    • are Chaotic Neutral or Chaotic Evil (my personal bias, and I've never met an exception, so it belongs in any list I make!).
[-] loneliness-inc 6 Points 4 months ago

You answered your own question in the first and last paragraphs ????

In general, I believe that we should nearly always give advice so that an OP can attempt to save a relationship first. Nearly always because the length and level of commitment are factors.

I'll add as a final caveat: Laura Doyle's rules for when you can't fix it are: abuse, serial cheating and addiction. These are obvious situations when a relationship should end. But beyond these, are there times when it's better to cut your losses?

Almost every issue can be worked out if both parties are willing to put their egos aside and work it out. Big if but it's possible.

In a young relationship it may not be worth it to make such an investment.

In an abusive relationship it may not be possible.

The reason why so many marriages end in divorce is the same reason why 3/4 divorces are initiated by women. Because every element of divorce, splitting of the assets, child custody, child support, alimony, accusations of domestic violence, accusations of rape or sexual assault etc etc etc - all make it all too easy for a woman to just throw everything away rather than work things out.

Furthermore, a man who's miserable in his marriage is more likely to do everything he can to work it out because he stands to lose everything and probably go to jail for it too if the marriage dissolves.

This is the main reason why the default in society today is to get divorced rather than work it out.

[-] Kara__El 10 Points 4 months ago

In a young relationship it may not be worth it to make such an investment.

I feel like you touched on a point we rarely bring up, here. As a young divorcee, at 23, I regularly heard about how people divorce for no reason and it drove me crazy, because I knew several people from high school with completely legitimate reasons. Now I'm in my 30s and see people throwing away marriages over their desire for a time machine. They don't want to be single moms at 35. They want to be young and free at 22 and don't understand how time works. I see it now, the frivorce. It does exist, in abundance.

However, if I hadn't left my sociopathic ex at 23, morbidly obese, up to my eyeballs in debt after college, with no job offers, I'd have ruined my life. Because I got out while I was still young and had no children, I was able to essentially start over. I lost 90 pounds and learned how to dress, enrolled in graduate school and worked my butt off building a career that would cater well to family life. I dated and learned what men were actually out there and in my league. I locked down my husband at 27, because I knew what a catch he was.

I think once strong marriages are worth effort. Statistics show most of those couples will be happier if they stay together than if they divorce. That being said, if you're newly married and realize you've made a mistake, for whatever reason, complicating things while wasting your best years, is idiotic.

[-] loneliness-inc 5 Points 4 months ago

Your comment is beautiful and your story is painful.

I only have one small note - I was speaking about the idea of working on your marriage, not whether there's reason to divorce. Almost every couple has reason to divorce past a few years. But that doesn't mean they can't work things out.

At 23 you and your friends were in situations where you should divorce (I'm sure some of these could have been prevented through proper vetting but that's a different story). Your friends who are throwing away their marriages because they don't understand time also have reason to divorce, but most of them can work it through if they tried. They just keep telling each other "you go guuuurl" "you can do better!!!" And they throw away great men.

[-] Kara__El 3 Points 4 months ago

I was speaking about the idea of working on your marriage, not whether there's reason to divorce. Almost every couple has reason to divorce past a few years. But that doesn't mean they can't work things out.

I agree. My problems and theirs just couldn't be solved, because as you said, both people have to want it to work. I was just making a point that, in situations like these, it's better to get out early than try to fix things.

I'm sure some of these could have been prevented through proper vetting but that's a different story

Absolutely. Not marrying right out of high school would have saved most of us from quite a bit of heartache. Sadly, many if them weren't as lucky as I was. They felt obligated to stay and work on things and build families, which naturally only made things harder when it all came crashing down.

[-] girlwithabike 3 Points 4 months ago

Almost every issue can be worked out if both parties are willing to put their egos aside and work it out. Big if but it's possible.

This is one if the things that made me really start pondering the question. In the above case, and occasionally around here, the husband doesn't have his shit together.

The married RP answer focuses on the man. He gets his life together and in many cases the wife will follow. This works because we assume that most women prefer a male led relationship.

Does it hold true from the other end? I've always argued that it does and it's at least worth the effort to attempt RPW 'tactics'. But are there times when a dynamic is so broken or respect is too lost or a man is too unfocused where the woman's efforts will inevitably fail?

Then I guess it's a personal question whether you try to save it just to say you've tried.

[-] loneliness-inc 6 Points 4 months ago

This is one if the things that made me really start pondering the question. In the above case, and occasionally around here, the husband doesn't have his shit together.

Yes. Sometimes that's the case, but from what I witnessed out in the world, it usually isn't the problem. In my experience, most of the times that this issue is present, it's a symptom, not the problem and the RPW solution would have solved it

The married RP answer focuses on the man. He gets his life together and in many cases the wife will follow. This works because we assume that most women prefer a male led relationship.

This only works to a limited degree because the woman holds all the cards in the modern western marriage as explained in the previous comment.

Does it hold true from the other end? I've always argued that it does and it's at least worth the effort to attempt RPW 'tactics'. But are there times when a dynamic is so broken or respect is too lost or a man is too unfocused where the woman's efforts will inevitably fail?

Absolutely it holds true on the other end! In the natural world, men have power over women and women have influence over men and that's how things balance out. Today, power has been removed from men and handed to women, but influence is still in the hands of the woman.

How to influence your husband has been explained at length in your posts on the book - for women only ????

[-] girlwithabike 2 Points 4 months ago

How to influence your husband has been explained at length in your posts on the book - for women only ????

Yes, I suppose you are right. My faith has obviously been shaken recently :-P.

[-] loneliness-inc 1 Point 4 months ago

As long as it's for good reasons!!!

[-] Kara__El 2 Points 4 months ago

One of many of my ex's problems was his refusal to work... at all. I remember thinking we should at least try counseling... and then realizing that counseling wasn't going to make him GET A JOB. Sometimes it's true that if she's a better wife, he'll be a better husband. Sometimes it just means he'll get a sweeter deal.

[-] thatbadlarry 1 Point 4 months ago

“Probably go to jail”. Please. Dude. Out of all the batshit things you say this is the most ridiculous. I know a lot of divorced people and not one of them has gone to jail. What world do you live in?

[-] loneliness-inc 0 Points 4 months ago

“Probably go to jail”. Please. Dude. Out of all the batshit things you say this is the most ridiculous. I know a lot of divorced people and not one of them has gone to jail. What world do you live in?

I live in a world whose court system is extremely biased against men. A system that will give the kids, the house, the pension, the alimony and the child support to the woman while the man goes to live in his car.

What happens if the man loses his job? Too bad, so sad. He still needs to maintain the standard of living "to which she is accustomed".

What happens if due to his loss of job, home and assets, he has no money left to pay alimony and child support - he goes to jail!

There are tens of thousands of men in jail for this reason. Right now

Debtors prison has been outlawed. We - as a society consider it to be immoral and unethical - yet, men still go to jail when they can no longer pay alimony and child support. Oftentimes, their dire straights is brought upon them by the very courts that forced them to pay exorbitant amounts, caused them to lose their jobs due to false allegations and shit like that.

But it's your life. If you want to continue to live in lala land, no one is stopping you.

[-] Hammocknapping 2 Points 4 months ago

I live in a world whose court system is extremely biased against men. A system that will give the kids, the house, the pension, the alimony and the child support to the woman while the man goes to live in his car.

What happens if the man loses his job? Too bad, so sad. He still needs to maintain the standard of living "to which she is accustomed".

If a man loses his job, he should immediately file a motion to modify based on the substantial change in circumstances. Additionally, it is the standard of the marriage that was used, not "to which she is accustomed." The standard is influenced by both parties. Why? Because they were both parties to the marriage and set the standard jointly, so men need to accept some responsibility here. You cannot spend 15 years in a marriage living in a 1,000,000+ house, taking lavish vacations and spending $20,000+ a month and then expect your ex-wife to move into government housing. As a man, you helped set that standard, so yeah there's going to be at least rehabilitative alimony.

What happens if due to his loss of job, home and assets, he has no money left to pay alimony and child support - he goes to jail!

You act like this is automatic, when in fact it is used as a last resort. Why? Because men who are in jail have even less of an opportunity to pay their child support. Additionally, it is a defense that you simply cannot pay the support. In this situation most states will be provide counsel if you cannot afford it.

When is this most commonly used? Typically when the party has the funds to pay and refuses. Often times, it is in a situation where dad does not have visitation right (sometimes, but not always DV is involved), but has to pay support. He withholds support as a way to continue his abuse and influence over mom and kids.

Also, all dad has to do to get out of jail is pay.

There are tens of thousands of men in jail for this reason. Right now

For this reason alone? No, probably not. This reason in addition to other, still probably a high estimate, but this is a civil penalty and not a criminal one so reporting is highly inaccurate.

Debtors prison has been outlawed. We - as a society consider it to be immoral and unethical - yet, men still go to jail when they can no longer pay alimony and child support. Oftentimes, their dire straights is brought upon them by the very courts that forced them to pay exorbitant amounts, caused them to lose their jobs due to false allegations and shit like that.

But it's your life. If you want to continue to live in lala land, no one is stopping you.

In this case, you're the one living in lala land.

​

[-] thatbadlarry 1 Point 4 months ago

We live in different countries and that might be where some of our views differ. It’s not like that at all in Canada. My dad was awarded my full custody in the early 80’s and I grew up with a single dad and birth mom paid child support. I don’t know anyone who has gone to jail for child support. I know one guy who had part of his pay withheld but he deserved it. He was going to Vegas and Cabo all the time while his kids literally didn’t have shoes that fit. So fuck that guy. I have no patience for parents of either gender being deadbeats.

[-] AleaIacta666 6 Points 4 months ago

lying about important things.

​

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[-] girlwithabike 2 Points 4 months ago

What is important enough to not attempt to fix a decade long relationship?

[-] AleaIacta666 4 Points 4 months ago

I'd say massive lies about the personal situation/history/background.

He once was convicted because he raped somebody but he served his sentence and got into a relationship with you without telling you about that.

Or he lost your whole savings during a Poker round because he has a gambling addiction he didn't want to tell you about because he was afraid you'd get mad.

He has affairs since three years, but he's very sorry.

Something like that I'd say.

Something that shakes up the picture you have from that person and the trust you got so massively that you know, you will never be able to trust him again the way you could before.

[-] LateralThinker13 3 Points 4 months ago

But beyond these, are there times when it's better to cut your losses?

When a partner will not respond or grow despite using the supportive RPW techniques, where they dig their heels in and refuse to proceed further down the relationship path (i.e. absent Captain), there comes a time to walk away.

[-] RubyWooToo 3 Points 4 months ago

In addition to Laura Doyle's unholy trinity of addiction, abuse and cheating, I'll add these:

  • It is not possible to save a relationship when one partner is committed to saving it, but the other person wants out. It can be difficult to tell when your partner has reached that point, but one sign could be that he acts so disinterested in you that he can't even bother to engage in an argument with you and basically carries on with his life as if you don't exist. Another sign is if he always looks at you like you're something gross stuck to his shoe.
  • If you have no children but are totally miserable and incompatible, there's really no reason to stay together.
  • If you have differences about whether or not to have kids, that's an automatic dealbreaker. Ideally you shouldn't have married in the first place, but sometimes people's feelings on this subject change over time.
  • A partner engages in felonious criminal activity, particularly if they get themselves locked up for several years or more.
  • A partner continually engages in reckless and potentially ruinous activities, like driving drunk, blowing money at the casino or on horrible investments (and I include ridiculous MLM schemes in this), getting into fist fights with people constantly, etc.

​

[-] merel-- 2 Points 4 months ago

Generally speaking you know a person quite well after a couple of months of dating. But some men are very good at lying. If someone has been in an affair since the two of you started dating and you are 10 years later you might want to consider leaving... If he has been hiding his heroin addiction for years you might want to consider leaving... It doesn't happen a lot but it does happen.

[-] kaylin_xx3 2 Points 4 months ago

Besides abuse, serial cheating, and addiction, yes. It would take something major for me to leave my husband. Bad financial decisions (spending all our savings, making major decisions without me - buying cars, a house, moving states or countries, etc). Illegal activities - breaking and entering, robbery, selling drugs, etc.

As far as if there are cases where a woman can't turn things around, and if some relationships/marriages are irrevocably broken, I think yes. I think there is such a thing as being "too late" to change. If you were to spend years being shitty to your husband and wait to change until he has a foot out the door looking for an out, or another woman, it may be too late.