A reader writes in, initially quoting me:

“He has not shown up as a man. And escaping into another woman is not going to solve what created his current relationship problems.I know, because I spent the first couple of years with my wife in the same sort of situation.”

My question is this, did you fix those issues with your wife, or did it end up in a divorce and you got a new one after you’ve fixed yourself?

Because I am in that situation right now. I noticed that I was pretty “beta” if you want to call that over the last 1-2ish years (pretty much right after getting married).

I realized that, and now – mostly through your wise teachings – I know why she reacts like she does

Starfish sex, none of my fetishes met
Lots of shit testing (which I guess is a good sign)
General loss of respect

The last point sounds heavier than it is. She isn’t rude to me, or anything. And I know she loves me, but I know the respect is gone to spark her sexual desire. Which is just my indicator, of how much of a man I am for her.

Now, we’re currently quite heavily in debt, and money is tight, which is def one of the issues, because we cant go out and have fun. Which is on my part, I made a bunch of mistakes. I am in the process of fixing that, but it’ll take a while and I just want to know if there is a way to fix it (I guess it takes (lots) of time) or if my hope is lost.

By the way, I would love to work with you directly, but as you can tell by the money issue, this isn’t possible right now.


Well, first let’s clear up some misconceptions. I am indeed still with my “first” wife. Although in many ways, she is not the same wife as before… because I am not the same husband.

But to the client’s main question:

OF COURSE this marriage is salvageable. In fact, given her behavior considering the problems presented, it sounds like it has a pretty good prognosis.


When you’ve been fucking up as a man, when you’ve made some serious mistakes, you are going to get a lot of shit tests from your woman.

There is NO woman on the planet who is not going to act this way if the guy’s fuck-ups extend beyond a year.

The fact that she is still having sex and not being rude despite said reader acting “beta” and destroying the family’s finances is a sign she’s a pretty loyal and dedicated woman.

So why the question?

Because the reader is frustrated with the dynamics and isn’t a fan of the tension his wife’s moods and disappointment is creating.

Key phrase being “isn’t a fan of the tension”

Which is the main thing our friend needs to internalize.

Running away from a woman’s tension isn’t masculine and it doesn’t make things easier.

If his woman tests him, he needs to lean in. Use the regular techniques to disarm her, sure… but ultimately make it known to her that he is sorting it out and she needs to chill out or GET out.

This is listening to her. It’s not running away or being passive aggressive when she acts bitchy.

But it’s also establishing boundaries.

Because what a woman is attempting to do when she tests is to get reassurance.

She wants to know her man hasn’t given up. That he is on his mission, that he’s got it handled.

And even more, that he’s got her.

The tests are her way of saying “I love you, but be better please. I don’t feel taken care of. I’m not happy in this dynamic. I’m afraid and need you to lead better.”

The reason my marriage survived three years of making barely anything is because despite all the bullshit, I knew I would NEVER give up.

I heard and acknowledged her concerns. But I never lost frame. She could walk if she wanted to.

It’s when you lose frame that everything collapses.

It takes a woman who loves you a very long time to split when external circumstances don’t represent your internal frame.

And even then she will leave you more out of a lack of comfort than desire, and will not usually “move on” from you emotionally.

Anyway, I know this guy isn’t in the place to afford my services. Which I totally get.

But maybe some of you in a similar situation are.

My recommendation?

Apply here: www.patstedman.com/application

I spent over 10k on coaching to get through this hump in my marriage. How much is it worth for you?

Good news: I don’t charge that much (yet).

Bad news: I’m still not cheap.

But I promise I’m cheaper than a divorce.

– Pat