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A blogger named Seth Adam Smith made a post about marriage that went viral. Very viral. It's been re-posted by women so many damn times that it's been plastering my personal Facebook and Twitter feeds like some kind of insane malware. You may have been unlucky enough to see this depressing piece of beta culture yourself.
-By Caleb Jones
1. Is devoutly religious (Mormon).
2. Has only been married for a year and a half. Ahem.
Obviously both of these things are going to strongly and incorrectly color his beliefs about marriage and push them well into Disney zone. Regardless, my argument is not with him specifically. Like most beta males the guy means well, and he will not figure out until much later in life how inaccurate a lot of his premises are, regardless of what anyone tells him right now.
No, my argument is with the thousands of people who are re-posting this article all over the friggin' internet, completely out of context. Let's examine the lunacy. He talks about how he was getting cold feet before his wedding, wondering if it really was the right thing to do. He went to his dad for advice. His dad, who I would bet real money is also a devout Mormon, told him this:
My dad giving his response to my concerns was such a moment for me. With a knowing smile he said, “Seth, you’re being totally selfish. So I’m going to make this really simple: marriage isn’t for you. You don’t marry to make yourself happy, you marry to make someone else happy. More than that, your marriage isn’t for yourself, you’re marrying for a family. Not just for the in-laws and all of that nonsense, but for your future children. Who do you want to help you raise them? Who do you want to influence them? Marriage isn’t for you. It’s not about you. Marriage is about the person you married.” ...
My father’s advice was both shocking and revelatory. It went against the grain of today’s “Walmart philosophy”, which is if it doesn’t make you happy, you can take it back and get a new one. No, a true marriage (and true love) is never about you. It’s about the person you love—their wants, their needs, their hopes, and their dreams. Selfishness demands, “What’s in it for me?”, while Love asks, “What can I give?”
But Blackdragon asks, "Does it work?"
One of the many reasons false Disney Societal Programming is so compelling to so many people is because of how wonderful it sounds. Like communism, Disney sounds really terrific on paper. It really does. Just find the right woman, love her unconditionally, be a good, strong husband, and everything will work out. Because you're a good person who works hard and you deserve it.
I don't care how cynical you are, but that does sound pretty nice, doesn't it? Of course it does. The problem is when we take this wonderful fantasy and apply it to the real world. The real world isn't governed by feelings or fantasies; it's governed by laws, specifically those of man, physics, biology, psychology, and cause and effect. Up against these forces, Disney fantasies cannot be sustained.
You can sustain them for a while, sure. Like two or three years, perhaps a little longer. You can also sustain something that might look a little like Disney but really isn't. That can work also.
But to sustain Disney literally for the rest of your life, for 45 years straight, in the modern era with people the way they are in the western world...your odds are less than 13%, and that's if you have a very low sex drive and marry someone who's the same.
Like millions upon millions of people in society just like him, Smith is looking at the world, trying to determine a path for his life, and asking these two questions:
"What sounds nice to me?"
"What have I been told?"
Instead of thinking, he's feeling. He "feeling" about what sounds really good to him. A beautiful, smart, fun woman who I can be with for the next 45 years of my life who I will love forever, who will never leave me, and who will never have sex with any other man but me. Wow! That's sounds really good!
Then he looks at what he's been told. His father, his church, and his social circle have all told him his entire life that not only can he have that, but if he doesn't get that, he's being selfish.
It gets even worse. After going through a divorce or similar, instead of seeing the light or re-evaluating his approach, he just doubles down like this guy. After all the problems and divorce, he says, "Well, my dad couldn't have been wrong! After all, HE'S still married to my mom! And I still want Disney, so I guess I just married the wrong person. Now I'll go find the RIGHT person and try again!" And the cycle of doom repeats.
When I make a major decision for my life, I ask a very different question first:
"What works?" I start not with what I want or what I've been told, but with what works. Even if there is something my emotions want badly, I take a very hard, cold, objective look at it and make damn sure that it works in the real world. I make my decision based on:
How human beings really behave in the real world, how they in movies, fairy tales, or holy books. How the current laws of the land are actually applied in the real world, not what I think is fair, and not how the original laws were intended to work, and not how the politicians say they're supposed to work.
How people behave in current culture, not how they used to in the 1950s or 1800s or middle ages. What people are doing right now that is working, not what worked for my parents 40 years ago. Statistics and odds. If something only has a 15% chance of working, I'm not going to pursue it. I'll chuck it and focus on something with better odds. I generally like to see odds of success of at least 70% or so.
My personal ability to influence the outcome. This is a big one many pro-Disney or pro-monogamy people like to ignore. There are many areas where our personal ability alone can dramatically increase the odds of success, like starting a business or losing weight. There are other areas of life where this is not so, where much of the odds of success are determined by factors completely outside of your control, like getting married and expecting it to last forever harmoniously.
As the saying goes, even if you are the perfect partner in a marriage, you're still only 50% of the equation. Of course you have an influence over your spouse, but you can't control them. She can still eventually leave (or cheat, or become a bitch, or cut back on the sex) even if you're the perfect husband doing everything right.
Once I determine if something can actually work in the real world, then, and only then, do I ask the next two questions above that Smith was asking. If I determine something can't work, or has very low odds of working (even if I do everything perfectly), then I work on achieving a modification of the item to fit within real-world constraints.
For example, I know that traditional monogamous marriage doesn't work any more, barring the statistically scarce exceptions to the rule. (The argument could be made that it never really "worked"...go watch an episode of Mad Men sometime for a reminder of how marriage worked in the "good ol' days").
That doesn't mean I throw my arms in the air and declare hopelessness and swear off love or women like a lot of jaded, divorced guys do. Rather, using real-world information from people who have blazed a trail before me, I modify the concept of "relationships" and "marriage" into new concepts that work much better in the real world, as I have already done. The same could be said with other areas of my life, such as business, lifestyle, finance, travel, etc.
Smith goes on...
It was in that very moment that I knew that Kim was the right person to marry. I realized that I wanted to make her happy; to see her smile every day, to make her laugh every day. I wanted to be a part of her family, and my family wanted her to be a part of ours. And thinking back on all the times I had seen her play with my nieces, I knew that she was the one with whom I wanted to build our own family.
Again, that sounds great. There is nothing wrong with any of that on a philosophical level. I've been in love a handful of times myself, and yeah, the feelings described above feel really fantastic.
But does that work? And will it keep working long-term? Completely disregarding your own happiness, and devoting your entire relationship life to the goal of making one particular woman happy all the time...does that work? Will it really make her happy long-term? Will she stay with you forever? Will you want to stay with her forever?
Does. That. Work?
Most people reading this already know the answer, even if you're reluctant to admit it.
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maldek 2013-11-07 07:39:03
"For many months, my heart had been hardening with a mixture of fear and resentment. Then, after the pressure had built up to where neither of us could stand it, emotions erupted. I was callous. I was selfish." This makes little to no sense. Could he be refering to months(!) without sex? Any ideas?
Don Jon 2013-11-07 10:58:25
"And the cycle of doom repeats." -- you correctly described LIFE here "Again, that sounds great. There is nothing wrong with any of that on a philosophical level. I’ve been in love a handful of times myself, and yeah, the feelings described above feel really fantastic." -- the word should be "psychological" not "philosophical" (when you're talking about feelings, it's the psychology, not the philosophy) Okay, I don't necessarily disagree with anything you wrote, it's just the underlying premise with which you operate is flawed. The "disney desires" were created out of the same mechanism that created life, and this same life mechanism is the one that created your adjustments to it. Do you not realize that your solution is just as doomed as its preceding solutions? Or another way of putting it: where in history has a new politician come up with a plan that fixed things? It's never happened, because the chaotic life mechanism doesn't allow for it, no matter how much our intelligence tries to scheme, the cycle just occurs over and over. You have this sense that you're "winning" and the others (monogamous) are "losing" when you're both playing the same damn game. It's a futile exercise, Blackdragon (just like the politicians). It makes me feel bad for you writing all these posts thinking that you're accomplishing something. You're not. Your psychology, not philosophy, is tricking you. You're merely taking a slightly different path to the inevitable doom of betas, temporarily protecting your psyche until the flood comes. You say: "After going through a divorce or similar, instead of seeing the light or re-evaluating his approach, he just doubles down like this guy." You're no different than that guy. Your new, non-monagomous approach is eventually headed toward that outcome as well. It's just that your psychology is telling you otherwise. It always does. "And the cycle of doom repeats."
Jon 2013-11-07 12:55:55
"That doesn’t mean I throw my arms in the air and declare hopelessness and swear off love or women like a lot of jaded, divorced guys do" How does a jaded, divorced guy get over that? I wouldn't say I've explicitly sworn off love or women, but they are so far down my list of priorities, that I might as well have.
Blackdragon 2013-11-07 13:47:49
Do you not realize that your solution is just as doomed as its preceding solutions?Why? And remember that I've said open/poly relationships don't last forever either. Rather, the amount of damage they cause the two participants is lessened when they do.
It makes me feel bad for you writing all these posts thinking that you’re accomplishing something. You’re not. Your psychology, not philosophy, is tricking you.I am demonstrably more happy more often than the vast, vast majority of people in monogamous relationships that are well past the 3-year mark. So are other people who follow lifestyles similar to mine. How is this my "psychology"?
You say: “After going through a divorce or similar, instead of seeing the light or re-evaluating his approach, he just doubles down like this guy.” You’re no different than that guy. Your new, non-monagomous approach is eventually headed toward that outcome as well. It’s just that your psychology is telling you otherwise. It always does.Then please explain to me how my approach will: 1. Cause me to lose half my money in a divorce. 2. Cause me to pay alimony to a future lover. 3. Cause me to lose my temper and/or feel absolutely horrible if/when I find out my lover has had sex with another guy behind my back. 4. Cause me to get blue balls and/or sexually frustrated when my lover won't let me have sex with her for whatever reason AND won't let me have sex with other women. Those are just 4 items; I could list many others that monogamous married men regularly suffer. Please tell me exactly how I will suffer these same things following the path I recommend. Oh, I can't WAIT for your answer.
How does a jaded, divorced guy get over that? I wouldn’t say I’ve explicitly sworn off love or women, but they are so far down my list of priorities, that I might as well have.If you're happy with women being low on your current list of priorities, and you're not bullshitting yourself that you are truly happy this way, then you don't need to change a thing. Have at it. But if you're jaded and pissed because you got divorced or dumped or cheated on or whatever, and now you're (consciously or subconsciously) avoiding women or love because of it, now we have a very big problem. (Many men in the Men's Rights Movement are like this; it's a mistake in my view.) You need to find a new dating or relationship structure that works in ways your old one did not, then pursue it, test it, until it works for you.
Matt T. 2013-11-07 18:08:45
BD, awesome post.
JQ Public 2013-11-07 18:25:56
@Don Jon. All BD is saying is that the blogger Smith doesn't need to get married to experience all of those excellent emotions of love and sex. BD is warning guys against marriage. Marriage is where most men go to get 1/2 their shit confiscated. Where they go to bet blue balls. Where they go to get dumped on by the court system. I'm happily married. But with today's legal climate where men are butt fucked in court, I would never do it again.
Don Jon 2013-11-08 09:38:22
Blackdragon and JQ Public, You're both looking at this strictly from the "what-societal-institutions-are-going-to-fuck-me" perspective when the core issue, as I state multiple times, is the fundamental life mechanism. Life at its core is a deprivation, a deprivation that needs to be constantly satisfied; and it's the constant struggle to satisfy this deprivation that eventually blows up in your face. That's the "why," Blackdragon. Your psychology/ego is what makes you happy, and as long as you're satisfied, you're happy. Though, the day is coming when you will no longer be satisfied just like Mr. Monogamy. You don't need a lover to take it away from you either (i.e. it doesn't have to be the "same things" a monogamy guy encounters; it can be any number of issues). It'll likely be some other crap: your daughter is raped or your son is accused (possibly falsely) of sexual assualt; or your children or you get cancer; or your investments perish and you're left with nothing; or you become too ugly, or lose a leg or arm, and you're no longer viewed as fuckable anymore. I'm not trying to be negative here. I'm just pointing out the futility of this "mission." It's just as futile, ultimately, as the monogamy one that you talk down upon. I like the phrase JQ used: "Where they go to get..." That's what my point is: Life is the place where people go to get screwed. After many triumphs, you'll always end up a lost soul wondering how this or that happened to ME. The bottom line is that it happens to people every day. It's just a matter of when is it your time. Best, Don Jon
Don Jon 2013-11-08 09:55:30
Just in case there is still some confusion: There was an article the other day on ESPN.com that talked about the dangers of football and the author said he feels guilty for watching football because the players are out there beating themselves up like gladiators. His assumption was one that football is the cause of grievance, just as you place blame on monogamy for creating unhappiness. Football is not the issue, and neither is monogamy. It's life that's responsible. Thus, instead of hating on institutions, hate on the originating force. That's the only logical thing to do.
Blackdragon 2013-11-08 11:13:53
Your argument is that since 100% happiness at all times is impossible, we should not worry about improving it. It's a very strange argument that makes no sense. We'll just have to agree to disagree.
josh stone 2013-11-08 15:08:55
@Don Jon "Life is the place where people go to get screwed. After many triumphs, you’ll always end up a lost soul wondering how this or that happened to ME. The bottom line is that it happens to people every day. It’s just a matter of when is it your time." I don't necessarily agree with everything Blackdragon says, or how he lives his life, but I can say with some confidence, having read his blog and his comments on Sedfast, that he is not trying to say that I should or shouldn't. He seems to me to be a very practical person who takes the time to look beyond the common wisdom on relationships between men and women, and he has come up with his own solutions to problems that face all but the deliberately celibate heterosexual men. He takes the time to share freely what he has learned and he helps people with their problems with the opposite sex. He is generous, nonjudgmental, and extremely practical, and he is willing to take the risk of living life on his own terms without deception and taking whatever consequences come from it. Even if you don't choose to buy any of his products, he still has put out a lot of valuable information that, even if you don't choose to follow it, is at least food for thought. On the other hand, who the hell are you? If you aren't a conscious troll, you are at very least an unconscious one. There are the obvious trolls out there, who are hard to miss, and then there are the cloaked trolls, the "concern trolls " and the like. The best I can say about you is that maybe you are just a new mutation of troll. I would call you a "nihilistic reductionism troll." Your whole premise seems to be that there is some sort of mystical "life mechanism" that leads ineluctably to failure and unhappiness, and that Blackdragon is merely someone whose time hasn't come yet. Can't you see that this is base nihilism? (And I am giving you the benefit of the doubt here that you are not consciously trolling.) You have created a theory called "life mechanism" out of the ether that you treat as an article of faith, assuming that anyone who doesn't believe it is misguided. It is neither true nor inevitable. It is only a kind of reductionism, and reductionism can be mostly true, and yet at the same time so ambiguous that even though it may encompass the experience of many, it is too vague to really have any explanatory power. Put simply, you would rather have an unsatisfactory answer that is hard to disprove, than work hard to make the best of your life. It also has a huge element of disingenuous to it. You are saying that Blackdragon is wrong because his children have never been raped or had cancer. But you don't know him and have no idea whatsoever how he would react to any of these sorts of life altering events. (And maybe he already has experienced them, but never mentioned it because that is not the focus of this blog.) Perhaps he would find an adult, mature way to deal with whatever happened in his life, the fact is that neither you nor I nor even he knows, and it is wholly fraudulent of you to claim to know differently. It is hard to take you seriously. Ok, I am not giving you the benefit of the doubt anymore. I am pretty sure you are just a nihilistic reductionism troll.
Oxyjinn 2013-11-09 10:45:07
@Don Jon "I’m not trying to be negative here." You have it wrong. It should have been: "I’m not trying to be negative just here." @BD Since Christmas is comming and I haven't bought myself a present yet, when can we await your Alpha Male Book to come out BD?
Don Jon 2013-11-09 17:47:36
Josh Stone: Your response appears to be well thought out, but it is incredibly flawed (though I will give you the benefit of the doubt and say that you don't fully comprehend my argument). Blackdragon himself is a reductionist; he reduces "Disney Desires" to the core functionality of the man and woman, noting that the fantasy build-up many hold is foolish. What I'm doing is taking this process step further. So to call me a troll is just ignorant. The life mechanism I speak of is merely the product of the chemistry of the universe. It's not "mystical." This life mechanism is to the alpha as monogamy is to the beta. Both are running up escalators as fast as their legs will take them, never to reach the top. You say that you want to "work hard to make the best of your life." You're just like the monogamous betas this blog investigates, Josh. The very phrase you used is a beta plea of monogamy, and the end result is the same, just on a different categorical level. I'm not saying "Blackdragon is wrong because his children have never been raped or had cancer." I provided examples of possible dooms. It doesn't matter how he handles them, just as it doesn't really matter how Mr. Disney reacts. Blackdrgaon's point is that monogamy fails, that it's ultimately not possible to improve it. My point is that Life fails, that it too is not possible to improve.
JQ Public 2013-11-10 12:30:55
@Don: Sure in the end we all die, thus life fails. But there is a truckload of difference between having a good life and a bad life on the way to that end point. There is a world of difference between a life of happiness, leisure and frequent pleasurable activities and one of getting a hot poker in the eye day after day,until you die. I am not sure about you, but I know which of those two options I would choose.
Blackdragon 2013-11-10 15:17:59
Since Christmas is comming and I haven’t bought myself a present yet, when can we await your Alpha Male Book to come out BD?It won't be available before Christmas. Sucks, and I don't like it either, and I wish I could give you more detail, but I'm contractually obligated to not talk about it (yet). No matter what happens, I will be talking about this some time early next year. (No, I can't give specific dates. Yet.)
Don Jon 2013-11-12 19:21:19
JQ Public: My issue is with the contradiction men of this community speak: they say they're against societal programming yadda yadda yadda but they're only against it when their dicks aren't getting wet. Most of life is a bunch of psychological mumbo jumbo (religion, ego, etc. -- in addition to the monogamy Disney aspects discussed on this blog) that societies have told their members, and yet the "alphas" of the dating community just go ahead and ignore everything as long as it suits them. As long as their getting laid and have some cash, everything is splendid. Blackdragon has done well shedding some of the fluff, but he's failing in other respects, and to me that's disappointing, sad, and even hypocritical...though I don't think he and others realize it. Thus, the reason for my postings.
josh stone 2013-11-13 14:42:55
Ohhh. The chemistry of the universe. That clarifies things. I stand corrected. You sit serene. I shall scram forthwith. Before you stoop to conquer. Sincerely Josh
Anthony 2016-10-23 06:50:57
One of my favorite wrestlers (yeah, I watch it from time to time) Randy Orton has sure as hell doubled down. Got married in 2007, then divorced in 2012. He dated this woman for 9 years prior to marrying her(similar to Brangelina). Leaves the marriage with a daughter who he now has to pay $4,500 a month in child support for. What does Randy decide to do after this? He marries a woman with 3 kids from a previous marriage in 2014. On top of that, he gets her pregnant and has a daughter with her. SMH for all eternity. BD, these guys really really never ever learn their lesson. I just don't get it.