Was sent this interesting story from a subscriber a week or so ago, in response to my email about boundaries:

“This email made me want to share with you how refusing to chase and maintaining frame saved my relationship with my fiancée.We have been together for almost 5 years. I thought I had a good relationship with her parents, asked her dad for his blessing to ask her to marry me and he looked surprised but said I had it. Proposed to her in front of her whole family (wanted them to be there for their first daughters engagement) on New Years at midnight and her mother (classic narcissistic mother) was giving her a death glare, daring her to defy her will, and she did just that.

Fast forward to the morning, her mother tells her the ring isn’t big enough, I don’t make enough money (I’m a 24 year old chemical engineer for context), I don’t drive a nice enough car, I don’t have a nice enough house, etc, and that all they ask is that I get her a bigger ring (her mother expected a $20-30k 2-3 carat), and they won’t be mad at her and will accept me. I believe the exact words from her mother were “If that’s the best he can do, he’s not worth it.”

Of course, being a good southern girl, she told me that’s what they wanted (she and I had talked about rings in the past and she told me that she didn’t care about having a massive ring so it was only them driving the issue) and I told her that I loved her and I wanted to marry her, but I would not get her a different ring just because her parents say so and that if she insisted I do, it would break my heart, but I would end the relationship.

I told her that I totally understood if she chose her parents in this conflict and that I had never in my wildest dreams anticipated the reaction that had occurred. Then I told her that I loved her and that I’d give her time to consider and didn’t expect an immediate answer and I drove home. She spent the rest of the afternoon yelling at her parents and came back to me having made her choice that evening. 6 months later we are still figuring out how to move forward and her parents are barely speaking to her/pretending I don’t exist, but she and I are stronger today than we ever have been because I was willing to let her go.

Being willing to let her walk away if she wanted to because I knew I’d be okay was the thing that made her realize why she was with me in the first place. While her parents were demanding from her, I was giving her a choice but being firm in my stance. I think she sees freedom in her future with me that she doesn’t with them leading her.

I wanted to share my experience and thank you for the role your work has played in getting me to the point where I can stand up to this kind of relationship pressure without cracking. 2-3 years ago I would have failed utterly under this pressure.”


Not much to add to this — this guy GETS IT.

One bit of nuance for the rest of you, though.

The reason this approach worked wasn’t just because my man held his frame and enforced his boundaries… but because he did it in the right way.

A lot of men when confronted with this sort of defiance actually make the situation worse.

For instance, they’d go on the offense against the girl’s parents… and make her choose between them or her.

Which is an ego based approach, and very stupid.

Because it would have put him on the same level as her parents, and placed the girl in an awful position… with a very uncertain outcome for them.

You see, even if he won her in the short-term, this approach would undermine things in the long-term… as the girl would gradually develop resentment to him for putting her in the situation (even though the parents were just as guilty).

In contrast, our reader de-escalated, and made the parents look like the abusive ones.

He enforced HIS boundaries, but he didn’t try to control her behavior.

She could choose.

And since she is a mature person, she chose the person who treated her better.

This was a win-win approach, because a girl who would have continued to vacillate, or agitate on the behalf of her parents would reveal herself to be shallow and cut of the same cloth… which would have been a good reason for the guy to cut ties.

Anyway, our man isn’t out of the water just yet.If I can give a little advice… he needs to be very supportive and encouraging of a reconciliation.

He NEVER wants to be putting himself between her and her parents.

Even though he has more than enough grounds for being upset at them, he needs to take the high road if he wants his future marriage to be blissful.

Difficult? No doubt.

But the reality of the world is that the more “above it” you can be, the better things come to you.

Guys who get absorbed in tit-for-tat games, or who let their ego rule their relationships only end up having crappy ones.

THIS is what feminists and the red pill guys don’t get.

It’s not about “winning” when it comes to relationships.

It’s about loving and respecting her… while continuing to love and respect yourself.


I know a lot of you might be struggling to get this mindset locked down.

To create the relationships you really want.

If you want to change that, apply here: www.patstedman.com/application

– Pat