In response to my joyous news, G asked: “How was your marriage before you ‘discovered’ game ? Is this new child a possible outcome of the new you?”
The child was conceived in January. I discovered Game in the Cambrian Explosion of August 2009. I was looking for patches to my cosmology; what I found caused a chain reaction of cascading re-alignments. The cosmology didn’t have holes; I had blind spots and willful ignorance.
My marriage has been a mixed-up, messed-up union. My wife deeply despised and resented me for the first five years. She was raised in a conservative church, and she believes what she believes with less fickleness than most women. “Katie” was inoculated with dogma, if not with culture. She knows divorce is wrong, and so she did not divorce me when she wanted to leave. On the recommendation of our preacher, we visited a counselor who in private sessions let Katie know that she saw through Katie’s bullshit. Uneasy peace followed.
Five years in, Katie stopped refusing to consider having children. Moreover, she joined me in deciding that contraception was a positive wrong. Conception is the telos of coitus, to mix a few tongues. We had never stopped copulating, which I gather is contrary to the experiences of most beta husbands. Katie has a strong libido which she distrusts, and she resents the necessity of soothing it. She uses me to take care of her needs on a regular basis, but honestly is not aware that this is so. The capacity of a woman to deceive herself is astounding. She stopped taking that poison colloquially called The Pill, and our first son was born a year later. His brother followed after another year and a half, and then our daughter after a similar span.
During Katie’s third pregnancy, I realized how fruitless and self-destructive were my efforts to please her, how futile they had always been. Her contempt for me had waned somewhat, but her resentment and self-pity still ruled her. Unless she decides to give up all her precious grievances, they always will. I stopped trying to please her and started trying to build a self that could act independently without engaging in bitter resentment myself. Like the pagans that C.S. Lewis describes, I sought to find the right way to act and stumbled on fractured images, hints of truth.
One of the shards: of all the divorces I know of in my age-group, only one involved the cheating of the husband. The wife in this case almost certainly drove him to it. All the rest were initiated by the wives, because they were “unhappy.” You know what this means: they have found other men.
Another: Katie was happier while a heavily pregnant mother of two insane rapscallions than she had been ever before. She was still an angry, seething bitch to me half of the time, but she blossomed as a housewife.
A third was the realization that I had been overcompensating for her weakness. Though not trying to please her, I was still doing what little housework I consider necessary to a sanitary home when she couldn’t manage to get it done. My hard work enabled her to be weak. I stopped. I used to change diapers gladly: my children deserve to be clean. Now I change them only when my comfort or personal belongings are at risk, or when someone’s health is at stake. I clean only enough dishes to make the sink usable for my purposes.
The discovery of Game was a blinding light that struck the scales from my eyes, as opposed to putting them there. I practice what I can on Katie, some aloof asshole, but mostly stern authority. She is not ready for the brat-you’re-cute treatment. Her contempt for me is maturing into a more healthy hatred; snakes are better out in the open where you can see them. At the same time, her resentment seems to be disappearing. A couple of weeks ago, about the time the baby was due, the insane rapscallions started fighting about 6 in the morning, and their sister joined in. I decided to ignore it and stay in bed. Katie waited a bit, then lumbered up and dealt with it herself. She made coffee, which she has only recently started doing. Then she brought a cup to me in bed. That does not exist in this dojo. She surprised me even more by saying in a tremulous, uncertain, please-like-me voice, “I brought you some coffee. I thought you would like that.”
I maintained state, but only just. Fake sleepy voice (fake because I was so shocked): “Oh, nice. You can put it on the table there.” Then I waited until she left to drink it.
The worthy aspect of Game is often called Inner Game. I call it arete, or virtu, after Aristotle and Machiavelli respectively. It boils down to the manly virtues, facets of which we call confidence, authority, self-control. It can make a better man of me, but only Katie can decide to become a better woman. I strongly doubt that she will. Even so, she is inoculated by dogma, inoculated by motherhood, and she is a tolerable wife.