IS BRAD PITT HENPECKED?
Don't Lie - Men Don't Listen
Success Coach - Doc Love
Dear Doc Love,
I'm kind of frustrated with my marriage situation. (My wife and I have been married for
almost 3 years now.) It seems like we used to be very happy and loving and affectionate
but not so much these days. I don't even know if I can give you an explanation as to why
things have changed. Maybe it's just what happens with time. I know that a lot of guys at
work have the same complaint.
I still feel very loving towards my wife, but she seems to have lost a lot of her
motivation to be romantic with me. She's also become very critical of me, which she never
used to be. The other day we were shopping together and she started arguing with me in
front of a bunch of other people about how I should go on a diet. I was really embarrassed
and ticked off too.
There still are times when we get in a groove and things are more like they were in the
good old days. But it doesn't seem to last long. It doesn't take long for her to go right
back to letting me know that I've done something wrong. And telling her that I don't like
the way she acts doesn't seem to have any impact. Then what happens is we hardly talk to
each other for days at a time. I guess we both have a lot of resentment.
I don't know if I'm being self-centered or not, but it seems like she's the one who's
changed, not me. But I can't figure out why she's changed. Is it because of something that
I've been doing wrong or is this just the normal thing to expect after you've been married
awhile? Could you please tell me if there is anything I can do to turn things around?
William - who longs for the good old days
As the actress Jacqueline Bisset once said: "Marriage is great for children, but it's
hell on romance." In even the best of marriages, maintaining mutual respect and
affection over the long haul takes real determination. Kudos to you William, for asking
for advice as you find yourself in a not-so-great situation. Millions of guys just tough
it out in unhappy relationships, year after year, without seeking any kind of help.
Now William, if your wife's romantic Interest Level in you is still 51% or higher, then,
with time, we can turn things around. If her Interest Level is 49% or lower, then it won't
matter what we do, we're past the point of no return. The best thing you can do right now
is to follow my recommendations and see what happens.
Our two basic goals here are to: 1) stop her nagging and regain her respect for you and 2)
get her to start chasing you for affection and intimacy.
Nagging is the most under-reported crime in America. If the Catholics had used nagging
instead of the rack during the Inquisition, we'd all be Catholics today. Every guy in a
relationship with a female, even a rich and powerful movie star like, say, Brad Pitt has
to deal with some amount of pushing, prodding, testing and criticism from his wife. Even
Jennifer Aniston is not always all sweetness and light. Women like to push, to check if
there's anything solid there to push up against.
The best way to stop a nagger in her tracks is not to react. Remember that, as the man in
the relationship, you can never win an argument with your woman - any woman. Why? Because
they cheat. Even when you think that you've won, you really have lost. So just don't even
get into it with her. Don't respond. Don't allow her to get into a confrontation or start
a debate with you. The man who passes the test is the man who refuses to be tested.
When your wife starts her whining number, just smile and nod and then walk away. Walk out
of the room. Get out of her space. As she begins to understand that she's not going to be
able to intimidate you, that her nagging has no impact on you, there will be no motivation
for her to continue. She's only been doing this because you've been rewarding her by
Now a happy wife who has high Interest Level in you is not going to be giving you constant
zingers and criticism. Rather, she's going to be consistently sweet and affectionate. So a
husband has to make sure that his wife's romantic Interest Level stays high. How did
things deteriorate to the point where your wife would rather nag you than make love with
you? Well, the fundamental thing you did wrong is that you stopped being a Challenge. You
gave away your power.
Even in marriage, a man must continue to maintain a sense of Challenge in the
relationship. That means that he should still be unpredictable, full of surprises,
slightly mysterious, and not always available in every way every day. He must set limits
and say "no" when appropriate. And he can't always just go along with his wife's
agenda to get her approval. Additionally, he should let his wife initiate all touching
much of the time. And, he shouldn't tell her about all his personal fears and
Even leaking out little bits of information at a time, about one's personal doubts and
frustrations, starts to take its toll. Too many men turn their wives into their therapists
or Mamas. Once they do that, they're asking for advice, and "advice" begins to
switch over to criticism before you know it. The hero on the white charger doesn't need a
Making your wife your shrink, is a sure-fire route to having her level of respect for you
plummet. Even after 30 years of marriage, your wife shouldn't know everything about you.
Oprah and Sally are telling men that they have to share "everything" with their
spouses, but there's no law that says that you have to do what they say. One of the most
destructive myths perpetrated in our popular culture is that the only way to really truly
bond with your relationship partner is to share your deepest pain with them. NOT! Whenever
possible, keep it light. Keep it positive.
Since things with you and your wife have deteriorated so badly, I'm going to recommend,
that at this point, you become a SUPER Challenge. Don't initiate ANY touching with her at
all. Don't come on to her physically or verbally in any way.
Even if you're dying for sex and affection, wait. When she feels you backing off, she'll
slowly start coming to you. Once she does, don't automatically respond. Let her work for
it. And when she begins to respond, don't just go back to your old pattern of being the
supplicant. Keep working Challenge. Study "The System" to gain a deeper
understanding of how to be a Challenge in the context of day -to - day
life in a relationship. Let her chase you. It's for the highest good of all concerned.
While you're being a total Challenge, it's also important make sure to be respectful,
lighthearted and humorous. Those are things that you should always be doing. In addition,
be sure to withhold all physical affection and compliments or gifts until she starts
initiating the affection herself, on a consistent basis, AND until she also stops the
nagging - the most unloving act.
Assuming, William, that your wife's Interest Level is above 51%, you should be able to
turn things around within 60 days. Once you do, then you can initiate the romantic
behaviors, which should always be present along with Challenge in a long-term
relationship. Those behaviors include things like making a "date" with your
wife. Tell her to dress up, and take her somewhere exciting that she's never been before,
maybe dancing at the nicest hotel in town on Big Band night. But don't tell her where
you're going ahead of time. Just take her there. (See how we're integrating Challenge with
Be thoughtful and considerate. Always treat her as someone very special. Open the car door
for her and pull out her chair at the restaurant, even if you've been married for 20
Surprise her with a flower or a card or take her on an impromptu walk in the moonlight.
Never fall into the pattern of taking her for granted. Keep things fresh by not putting
pressure on your partner to do everything together.
William, this is where you are hopefully headed in your marriage. Back to the place where
you can enjoy being romantic. In order to get there, carefully follow my instructions
Remember guys, in all successful long-term relationships, the man is consistently a
To send me your love questions or to find out more about The "System," visit me
at http://www.doclove.com or call (800)
Doc Love is a talk show host and entertainment speaker who coaches men in his seminars.
For the past 30 years he has asked thousands of women, "Why do you stay with
one man versus another?"
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