So, this was my first introduction to the modern concept of the Beta Husband - because before I read this chapter, I thought that's what you did to get along. I knew it didn't feel right, that I was just plain unhappy (and so was she), just didn't really know the underlying evo-psych stuff that was running on auto-pilot in our lives. All I can say, regardless of what happened in my marriage - the time I spent reading this book was time well spent.
Here's what I read, that just shocked the shit out of me, because he could have been writing about my life...
(2.4) The Betaization of Husbands
The failure to understand the need to have both of the skill sets of Alpha and Beta Traits lies at the root of a wife’s declining romantic and sexual interest in her husband. For example, when a young woman meets a young man, he likely has much of his “warrior” or Alpha mindset still in place and therefore creates a good deal of attraction in her. He isn’t a thug, just somewhat mindlessly demanding and assertive with her. The first time he asked her out he didn’t really ask her, he just told her to meet him at a local restaurant. She told him he was a pig for talking to her like that, but she went anyway. Plus he had good physical health, surfed competitively and she loved watching him. So when he asks her to marry him, she excitedly agrees because he has a wonderful Alpha profile and she is in love with him. Sex is frequent and hot.
But after five to ten years of marriage the situation might be quite different. There’s a job that he now really needs to keep, so rather than just blow it all off and go surfing like he used to, he’s grinding it out at the office. He’s older and thirty pounds fatter. Then there are the kids who he loves of course, but they take up a lot of time and in general he defers to what his wife wants to happen with them. His wife certainly doesn’t have time to just sit and idolize him from the beach either; she has a job of her own and the house to keep up. She’s started complaining about him not doing everything correctly and he does try to please her, but it doesn’t really seem to make any difference. There’s always more complaining. The sex has dwindled to a trickle, mostly because his wife says she is always tired.
As you can see in that little snapshot, the husband started with a high Alpha profile, but as he started “doing everything that he should,” he stopped doing the Alpha things entirely and substituted them with nothing but Beta activity. This switch from Alpha to Beta is called Betaization. As a result of being Betaized, his wife started losing attraction to him and the sex declined between them. She did however feel quite comfortable in the relationship, hence her assuming the role of being the dominant partner in the relationship and being willing to chew him out over household chores. Those that are socially equal typically don’t yell at each other – that is usually something that only the socially dominant does to the socially submissive.
This unwitting transition from a mostly Alpha profile to a mostly Beta one is very common for husbands. The trap for men is that all mainstream media advice on relationships strongly encourages husbands to make this transition and often his wife and family request the same as well. Furthermore most things that are Beta are actually useful and good: helping out at home is good, being an involved father is good, holding a job is good. But frequently the big picture gets lost in everything that needs to get done and the man loses what attracts his wife along the way. The wife is of course usually completely unaware of her role in his decline and is typically bewildered by her lack of interest in her husband. She never planned to neuter him, fall out of love and detest his sexual advances. Most couples just assume that romantic feelings are short term and that failing sex lives a few years into marriage are normal.Kay, Athol (2011-04-09). The Married Man Sex Life Primer 2011 (pp. 27-28). . Kindle Edition.