“People who cannot find time for recreation are obliged sooner or later to find time for illness.”
If you haven’t read the previous installments on this series, I would highly recommend doing so here, here, and here. This level of the Dread Game is all about reclaiming your freedom and enjoying life to its fullest and how to deal with the inevitable pushback from your wife.
By this point, you should be no less than three months into the entire process, preferably longer. You should be making great strides in your fitness levels, getting your finances under control, sharpening your mind with mentally stimulating books and activities, and deflecting your wife’s shit tests like a Kung Fu master. Level 3 is all about developing hobbies away from the home. It might seem rather of a benign step in the grand scheme of Dread Gaming your spouse, but like all the others, this one is crucial…but why?
I Don’t Need You
Show me a man who relies on his wife to be happy and I’ll show you a miserable man. You shouldn’t rely on someone else to provide you with fulfillment and satisfaction in life. Your wife should complement your life, enhance it, but if you’re using her as a crutch, you’re relinquishing your power and happiness to her fickle whims.
By developing hobbies outside the house, you are becoming emotionally self-sufficient. Moreover, you’re showing your wife that you are independent and not beholden to her. This might sound like a fight starter and it can very well can be if your wife is used to having you under her thumb for a long time. That’s why it’s so important to master Level 1 of Dread Game first and foremost. During each level, especially during the transitions between each, your wife will be throwing out shit tests like machine gun fire. Chances are she’ll throw out quite a few doozies during this one as well, but more on that later.
Most of the shit tests during Level 3 will be of the nagging variety. Keep calm, smile, and tell her that as much as you enjoy spending time with her, you need to reserve time for yourself and your interests as well. Be gentle, but firm. In this digital age, it’s more important than ever to occasionally get out into the world and bond with other men in real life.
You’re Out and About. Now What?
“Leave all the afternoon for exercise and recreation, which are as necessary as reading. I will rather say more necessary because health is worth more than learning.”
So what should you do? It all depends on your interests. Get out there and try many different things. Try activities you aren’t even sure you’ll like. Engage in physical activities as well and mental ones. Hang out with different groups of guys so you get exposed to different types of personalities and viewpoints.
I personally run the gamut with different groups of men:
- With one group, I participate in a flag football league.
- With another, I play cards.
- Finally, with my third group of guys (my tribe), I get together for drinks and talk about current events, philosophy, politics, and women.
If you haven’t caught onto it, you should be keenly aware that I never mentioned that I hung out with women in any of these scenarios. Nothing against you ladies out there, but having you in a group of men changes the dynamic. Men need time with other men without the company of women. It is absolutely critical to maintain strict guidelines on your time out in regards to women. If you start casually allowing them in, they will eventually take over the group. Now it might be possible to occasionally schedule a night out where all the guys bring their wives’ to the local watering hole, but that should be the exception and you should state, in no uncertain terms, that this is a special occasion and not the new protocol.
Handling the Fallout
As mentioned earlier, guys who were squarely under their wife’s thumb will be fighting an uphill battle on this one. You will need indefatigable frame to make it through the initial transition, but after your wife accepts the new expectations, things will even out, more or less.
Undoubtedly, she will ask you a bunch of probing questions about who are the guys you are hanging out with, what exactly you are going to be doing, when you’re going to be back, and so on and so forth. Now she IS your wife so you should answer at least a few of her questions, but this little exchange shouldn’t become a game of Twenty Questions where she gives you the third degree for a simple outing.
If she does start to get out of control with the questions, simply state you got to go or you’re going to be late, give her a kiss, and leave. Don’t lose your temper or change your tone with her. She’ll use that as a springboard to start a fight with you. Just use a neutral, matter of fact tone of voice and tell her that it’s time for you to go. She might act gloomy or sullen at this point. Ignore it.
Conclusion: Use It. Don’t Abuse It
Level 3 is about reclaiming your freedom and independence. That being said, this is not an excuse to leave your wife high and dry every night watching the kids while you are out drinking with your buddies. This type of behavior is a breeding ground for contempt and anger. Marriage is about give and take and if you are going to take time away from the family, then it is only proper to be a man of honor and give back an equal amount.
If I know I’m going out to play cards with a group of buddies, I’ll do some things to make her evening easier like getting the kids’ rooms ready for bed and cleaning up the house a bit. Gestures of good will go a long way towards negating any negative feelings about being taken advantage of.
Stay tuned for our next entry into this series, where we begin to focus more on addressing which behaviors are acceptable or not from your wife and how to respond to them.