Exegesis on the Married Over-Sharer

Long-lost commenter NMH showed up at my recent post about a married woman unloading on me, flattering me and then musing on the elephant in the room of the couple in question’s wide age difference.

I loved the way you milked her for information. This is the Badger at his best.

8 year difference between her 33 and his 25 is usually not much in terms of looks. Wait until she hits 50 and he is 42. Disaster.

I didn’t think of it as consciously milking her for information, but NMH is right – the information flowed very easily and I played into that. One of the things I’ve found about people, and I suppose you could call this a cognitive bias, is that when someone is upset and is emotionally venting, they’ll tell you almost anything as long as you can ask for it in a smooth, non-demanding way. (This is closely related to the fact that when someone is upset, they won’t listen to logical reason nor display much empathy.) They are in an autonomous spiral where they feel comforted revealing information, whether they are compensating for guilt, loneliness or whatever. And if you’ve put yourself in a position to be the person that gives them that comfort, you have a very powerful gravitas in that person’s life.

My thinking is that her husband’s emotional energy was tied up in his own family issues, leaving her to seek someone else to comfort her. It’s not that he’s trying to ignore her, he just can’t service her emotional needs at that time, and the imperatives of marriage implore us to occasionally put our own needs on the shelf for a little while in the event that our partner really does have it worse than us for a time. Some people do this better than others, and some people just coincidentally fall into a situation where someone (ahem, me) all but volunteers to be the sink for their release.

Maybe Athol Kay will stop by and give us his opinion.

As for the age difference, that’s obviously a proxy for a bunch of sex-rank issues like declining fertility, energy difference, lifestyle compatibility and social-status dynamics. I don’t think there is any doubt they were reaching a point where she was starting to pass out of young adulthood entirely, and this was a major anxiety for her – she even said as much to me, not in so many words.

That being said, she looked excellent for a 33-year old in that environment. She was in very good shape and her skin glowed, it hadn’t been ruined by tanning, excessive drinking or stupid duckface photo poses (she also had the most precisely tailored dress pants I had ever seen, they alone hugging her thighs were a sight to behold).

This all got me thinking about why she at 30 got together with a guy who was 22 – what motivated each of them to choose the other? The manosphere is rife with the meme of late-20′s women getting anxious to lock down their beta provider before they hit “the wall,” but a 22-year old man doesn’t have a lot in the name of accumulated status or money. Especially if he’s college educated and just starting out in the real world.

This last sentence got me thinking that maybe he didn’t go to college. That would have given him opportunity cost to spend on early entrepreneurship, or working at a friend’s or family member’s small business, and come into his 20′s much wiser than your average Benjamin Braddock.

If what she told me is true and she fell in love with him during a job interview, it’s highly likely he had ample stores of good looks and natural charisma (i.e. game), attraction factors that are readily apparent on a moment’s meeting. That plus even a bit of apparent ambition can compensate for the lack of tangible paper value of a very young man. She also referenced his maturity; if he put off a fatherly vibe, that can be a very attractive alpha characteristic to the right woman, one who is seeking that kind of stability and leadership.

Now as to the guy’s choice of mate – I didn’t meet him so I really can only speculate from what she said. Clearly she chose him in some way, and so part of his choice was responding to her interest. We can’t discount the fact that (hat tip to reader Mike C) for a young guy, consistent sexual access to a woman is a big motivator in staying with her. If he’s not that interested in having kids then her fertility isn’t going to be a big concern for him. If he is the daddy type she says, he was probably more receptive than your average 22-year old to a relationship with an older woman. And let me tell you from personal experience, a young guy who is really looking for a rewarding relationship with long-term potential gets easily frustrated with women his own age.

And we might also have to think that both these people, in their own ways, were motivated (possibly too strongly) to lock it down, to secure the future before thinking hard about what it was actually going to be. She certainly gave off the airs that the whole thing wasn’t quite was she expected.

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42 Comments

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42 responses to “Exegesis on the Married Over-Sharer

  1. "M"

    This all got me thinking about why she at 30 got together with a guy who was 22 – what motivated each of them to choose the other?

    Their sex ranks likely matched or were very close.
    http://delusiondamage.com/2011/12/18/one-graph-to-rule-them-all-explains-marriage-hollywood-aging-bitch-syndrome-teachers-sleeping-with-students-etc/

    Male age 22 = Female age 30
    And as NMH said, this has high potential to become an issue in the future, as he is on the ascendant and she has started her descent.

    [I]t’s highly likely he had ample stores of good looks and natural charisma (i.e. game)

    While the younger guy may have the good looks and natural charisma, at that age he lacks the life experience to make the wise decision. This is not so uncommon among guys who establish themselves at an early age, due to social and self pressures to settle down and start a family, etc. Given that people tend to marry a similar SMV rank, and that the average late teen/early twenties guy is lower rank than girls his age, sometimes the older woman starts to look good because he sees what she is, and has been, instead of what she will become. Again, a lack of life experience.

    Or, things may work out and he may stay happy.

    But if I were a betting man…

  2. Mike C

    And we might also have to think that both these people, in their own ways, were motivated (possibly too strongly) to lock it down, to secure the future before thinking hard about what it was actually going to be.

    Sounds like she is a looker based on your description, and based on your previous post potentially insecure about again and her looks. So that might explain her motivation for locking it down,

    Just speculating here, but the guy might be a greater beta type who really came into his own from say 16-18 to 22-23. Just my opinion, but I think greater beta type guys especially ones who really physically mature say during college actually tend to underestimate their SMV substantially. It is the exact opposite of the girls who are 5s who think they are 7-8s because a guy will ONS them. These are guys who on paper and outward appearance actually are attractive but maybe just haven’t been that successful from say 17-22, and at 22 they look nothing like 17.

    So. They are willing to lock it down with the first attractive woman who throws in a solid bid (even if much older) while not really having much of clue what they could really sell for.

  3. Also, depending on the Husband’s lifestyle, her being established could have seemed attractive at the time. A woman he wouldn’t have to spend his whole paycheck on, less likely to smother him, and seems like she knows what she wants.

    If he has a band, does art, or has any other hobby he can pursue it without having to worry about it financially affecting them.

    Little does he know her clock is ticking down, she wants a baby, and her hypergamy could be kicking in…. Some serious issues for a mid 20′s guy who might not be ready to handle those life changes.

  4. NMH

    “Milking” was not the right word; better to say you “facilitated” her disclosure without making it seem that you were purposely gathering information. Its fun to do as the information makes good anecdotal evidence that you can use to support or refute your hypothesis about intersexual relations.

    It probably bothers him that she is 8 years older, but her hotness balances it out. But I think that happiness with a age disparity like this is more likely to happen when you’re young, because women age poorly compared to men. It seems like the few times I see a couple pass the 40 year mark the great age difference between the man and women (her older) shows and it looks bad (thinking of one right now).

    Im 48, am dating a 53 year old woman, but she looks about 40. Better to date older women after the years verify she will age well.

    Keep up the great work Badger.

  5. Zesty

    You’ll enjoy this I think:

    http://antiduckface.com/

  6. Her boyfriend wasn’t going to marry her, so when that relationship came to an end she rebounded into her husband. Seems like she got caught up in the whole wedding drama and is now waking up to the fact she’s married. Being a bride was fun!

    Her husband got this hot girl and amazing sex trumping the age difference.

    I suspect the story of the meeting of her husband and the end of her prior relationship has been thoroughly vetted by her raltionalization hamster for the appropriate spin. It’s as much to convince her as anyone.

  7. Athol has some very interesting thoughts, I hadn’t considered the husband as a rebound. Rebound + age pressure to get married = decisions made in haste => buyer’s remorse.

    There is also the null hypothesis – that they are legitimately a happy in-love couple with compatible life goals, and that her attitude is a response to transient age anxiety and the temporary impact of her husband’s family situation. It is indeed hard to get a definite read from a five-minute conversation.

  8. Hello Badge — the aging egg is an unfortunate problem for the older woman, younger man scenario. However, the advantage definitely shifts in favor of an older woman, younger man frisson later in life as women tend to outlive men by ten to fifteen years. This means I should be married to a 30 year old man. Unfortunately women my age tend to terrify younger men with the force of our voraciousness. Be warned laddie.

  9. Shannon,

    Ha, the manosphere has several writers who have argued against the middle-age female sex peak, but I have read a good number of stories around the Interwebz of women whose libidos go through the roof in their 30′s.

  10. Zesty

    As a 40 year old woman I can totally vouch for the increased sex drive. NOTHING compared to my 20′s that’s for sure.

  11. NMH

    Not surprised, Ms. Zesty— but it doen’t mean much if you dont have the looks to make a man interested. It doesn’t matter how sexy you feel–what matters is how sexy you make men feel for you.

  12. Zesty

    Fair point NMH. I’m beginning to learn that they kinda dig me. :)

  13. Zesty,

    Do you have an idea what’s behind it? One theory has been that as women age they throw off sexual inhibitions (the ones who weren’t slutty and uninhibited to begin with at least).

  14. Zesty

    Badger, I think it’s a number of factors. Certainly the lack of inhibition you mention is one. You just have more experience sexually by middle age. You know what you like, know what you don’t and you’re not afraid to articulate it. Generally speaking, you’re generally more sexually confident and I think men pick up on that. Certainly speaking for myself, it’s more about whether or not I feel a man and I are connecting as people, versus needing him to validate me – which is another dynamic entirely.

    I’d also say that by “this” age, you’ve been through some stuff in your life. Sure, you’re an adult at 20, but you’re just on the threshold of gaining life experience. By 40, you’re still young [relatively speaking], probably still have your health, have some financial security and career progression and in general are in a better place. But now you’ve got a solid 20 years of adult life experience behind you. It clarifies what’s important. If you’ve been through your share of crap, you really don’t want to waste time anymore. You want to enjoy life and get the most out of it, whether that’s moving to a new career that you love or having great sex.

    I’ve also read about a theory of biological basis for this as well, that increased libido in older women is nature’s reward for their time of child birth and child rearing. It’s more pleasure driven, as the increased sex drive is kicking in when the chance of pregnancy is lower,

  15. Zesty

    PS. One other thing — with age generally comes self-confidence. When you’re younger, you tend to be more in your head while you’re having sex – “does he like my body?” , “does he think I’m fat?”, “does he like me?”, “will he call me again after this?” etc etc etc. At a certain age you realize “hey! we’re in bed naked together. He likes me!” and since you’re not worried about all the other questions you can just focus on having fun.

  16. Io

    Hi I just came across your blog and can I just say I’m stunned at the amount of information you’ve imagined about this woman that you talked for what…five minutes? It just sounds to me like she was a bit chatty. For you to assume that just because she talked to you she wanted to cheat on her husband with you strikes me as a bit of a stretch. I was aware that guys can get carried away and misinterpret friendliness as flirting, but this really takes the cake. By these standards a woman who have to be comatose in order to make sure she’s not giving the wrong signal.

  17. I will like to mention that my best friend that got married a virgin at 22, also reports better sex with her husband after 30 and beyond so the benefits gets enjoyed even if the woman didn’t had a lot of bad experiences in sex before, it seems like at least.

  18. Doug1

    I think the 25yo guy should avoid having kids with his wife like the plague and divorce her in a couple of years, if not sooner. 7 years from now when he’s 32 and she’s 40 it’s gonna be brutal and only getting worse.

    It’s simply unnatural for a guy to marry a much older women, though I can see why it seemed a good short term deal to him when he did get married 22 to a young looking 30yo, who makes a lot more money.

  19. Io

    Maybe he’s ugly and overweight and she’ll always look better than him. Being with an unattractive guy would also explain why she’s unhappy in her marriage–if we can assume she is, which of course we can’t. At all.

  20. Mike C

    and can I just say I’m stunned at the amount of information you’ve imagined about this woman that you talked for what…five minutes? It just sounds to me like she was a bit chatty. For you to assume that just because she talked to you she wanted to cheat on her husband with you strikes me as a bit of a stretch. I was aware that guys can get carried away and misinterpret friendliness as flirting, but this really takes the cake.

    Thanks for the chuckle. Badger, how about that plausible deniability thing. A woman can always backpedal into friendly chattiness that you the guy just misunderstood, but if she wanted you to really act, then you are dope missing “obvious signals”. Amazing that women can play it both ways.

  21. Io

    Wow, more projection. Your welcome for the chuckle. Now join reality. Come on, it can’t be hard to understand that if a woman says four words to you it doesn’t mean she’s thinking about leaving her husband to be with you.

    Just wow.

  22. Io,

    Welcome, thanks for your comments. I get your point that we’ll never be sure, but I’ve already accounted for the possibility there is nothing going on. But I think it an unlikely story compared to the alternatives.

    “I’m stunned at the amount of information you’ve imagined about this woman that you talked for what…five minutes?”

    I’m actually “imagining” very little. In little more than five minutes she subjected me to a deep factual and emotional disgorgement complete with kinesthetic counterpoint. That’s just not normal behavior for a happily married couple to have one of them begging for tobacco, unloading her anxieties onto another man and touching him. Given the demographic profile and background of the couple, it’s certainly not out of bounds to wonder if they’re having problems.

    One of the interesting things about studying social dynamics is seeing that most situations map very well onto a finite number of stereotyped cases. This is especially the case in relationship troubles.

    It’s a very clever reframe, by the way, to suggest that I’m too naive to tell when a woman is hitting on me or not. Mike C is on the money.

  23. Io

    It’s not impossible that you’re right; I just think it’s too big of an assumption to make, and people will unload all kinds of things while drunk, as well as doing other things like craving tobacco and getting too physically close to strangers.

    By the way, I didn’t “frame” or “suggest” anything. I was being perfectly straightforward about you probably being too imaginative. I’m not sure I could have been any blunter, in fact.

  24. Io

    I just read both of your comments again and I find them strange. The only way I could “reframe” or “backpeddle” anything would be if I was the woman you talked to. I can assure you I’m not. Meanwhile I’m just giving an interpretation of what probably happened from a woman’s point of view. I find it a bit creepy that you’re both acting like I’m trying to defend myself or something.

    This is a small point, but your choice of words was odd.

  25. Mike C

    I find it a bit ***creepy*** that you’re both acting like I’m trying to defend myself or something.

    How about that Badger, she goes to use of “creepy”.

    I find it hilarious and telling that you go to this usage in a context where it totally doesn’t fit. What I’ m wondering is if it is intentional, or literally in your subconscious. I almost wonder if there is a class where they take women aside, and say “If you ever want a guy to back off, get apologetic, or try to retract previous statements” be sure to whip out that creepy term as a shaming mechanism.

    Badger was more polite with you than I probably would have been. He was there, and he is a socially savvy guy. What you are saying has to do with the notions of feminine mystique, and really providing the optionality for women to play it both ways. Send the indirect signals, but maintain the option that either 1. The guy read too much into it or 2. He was too obtuse to pick up the signals. And no, we aren’t talking about you personally. We are discussing generalities of behavior and social situations. Stay up with the pace of the game or go sit on the sidelines. You are new…you admitted as much….one flaw of most women in all these discussions is the tendency to want to personalize everything.

  26. Mike C

    Io, just to be clear with you, when a woman whips out the use of the “creepy” word, in my book that is an unwarranted escalation. Essentially, it is a fighting word. Again, not sure if it is intentional on your part or not, but it would be comparable to me trying to weave the word “slutty” or “whorish” into a reply to you where it most certainly did not fit. We are discussing something on the Internet….I haven’t been following you in a trenchcoat for 10 blocks down secluded alleyways.

  27. Io

    Mike C, your whole tone is creepy. If you hear that a lot it’s because it’s how you present yourself.

    “Game.” Oh ye gods.

    Okay, I’m leaving now. I will leave you boys in peace.

  28. “Okay, I’m leaving now. I will leave you boys in peace.”

    That quick? I guess some people just can’t handle Vegas.

    But seriously, her first comment on this blog is hostile and contrarian, and as soon as she gets a little pushback on it, she decides to take her ball and go home…

  29. Io

    Oh, I’ll stick around if you want me to. I just thought maybe I was being rude.

    So which is it? Do you want me to stay and argue or do you want me to leave? I consider myself a guest and don’t want to outstay a welcome, ya know.

  30. Io

    I thought over this whole thing and decided to read the original post again, wondering if I had misunderstood it.

    As it turns out, you went out of your way several times to engage this woman in conversation, and she went out of her way to leave just as many times. Did it escape you that she was always the one ending the conversations and trying to walk away? She exhibited a certain amount of sadness because her husband’s grandmother was dying, and because you kept asking questions, she confided how she met her husband and went on at length about how great he was. She made a passing remark about her age and thinking she was old, which is something women do every single time they mention their age, whether they are twenty or eighty.

    You then assumed that she was going to cheat on her husband. With you.

    Now you know why I showed up here a bit hostile; it’s because it’s disgusting for any man to make such a disgusting assumption about any woman without having very good reasons to do so.

    I’m pretty sure that if the sexes in this situation were reversed–a girl in a bar trying constantly to talk to a slightly drunk man, who makes a few passing remarks about his wife, and then the girl assuming that he was trying to sleep with her–most people would find it absurd.

  31. Io has a point; it’s possible this woman might just be an extrovert. I’m a talkative busybody; I love talking to people, including strangers. My friendly chit-chat doesn’t resemble my flirting [although I guess it could be misinterpreted as such?] Unlike you Introverts [I assume you're an introvert], solitude makes me feel uncomfortable….so I’ll strike up a conversation with a stranger for no reason. I don’t want to get intimate with the individuals I randomly talk to, I just want to talk.

    @Badger: I could pull Tarot cards to determine the 30 year old woman’s intentions. That’s not sarcasm – I have a wonderful spread I use to analyze individuals’ intentions. We’d be looking for Cup cards; they symbolize family & romance. For example, a 4 of Cups would mean she’s dissatisfied with her current relationship.

  32. “Do you want me to stay and argue or do you want me to leave?”

    As difficult as it may be to imagine, there are more options than “argue” or “leave.” There is the option to discuss the issue at hand without trying to make personal digs at the host.

    I have over 200 posts on this blog; I think the record is clear that I’m a pretty fair judge of the behaviors of both men and women.

    “As it turns out, you went out of your way several times to engage this woman in conversation, and she went out of her way to leave just as many times. ”

    Now you’re just being dishonest. She initiated conversation with me once, and I ended it by all but telling her to scram; I initiated once, only to reference our first conversation. She took the positive step of assuming a conversational posture so as to continue talking. It’s total sophistry to say that I was browbeating her somehow.

    One of the people on this thread has accounted for all the possibilities, from innocuous to nefarious. Another is dug in to an extreme position and seemingly obsessed with defending the character of a woman she’s never met.

    “Now you know why I showed up here a bit hostile; it’s because it’s disgusting for any man to make such a disgusting assumption about any woman without having very good reasons to do so.”

    Dear, you are just naive. The last numbers I saw were that about 3 in 10 married women will cheat on their husbands (the numbers are about the same for married men). Where do you think these things come from? Women picking numbers out of the phone book and calling men saying “I’m bored with my husband, come over here and pound me”? A large number of infidelities begin when one spouse seeks emotional comfort in a third party of the opposite sex, including during trying family times when their inter-spousal support system is offline for some reason. They don’t start with a “hey you, let’s go home tonight.”

    Do you think her husband would be comfortable with her exposing their personal business to strangers?

  33. Io

    Bottom line: you gave her a lot more reason to think you were hitting on her than vice versa….”as difficult as that might be to imagine.”

  34. Io

    She asked you for a cigarette. You then spent the rest of the evening obsessed with getting her to keep talking to you. You became over-imaginative about her marriage and personal life, to the point where you felt the need to blog about it twice. When challenged and told that perhaps you were making too many assumptions about a total stranger, you invoked your OWN WRITING as proof that you know a lot about women. It’s all a bit farcical.

  35. Mike C

    You then spent the rest of the evening obsessed with getting her to keep talking to you. You became over-imaginative about her marriage and personal life, to the point where you felt the need to blog about it twice.

    This isn’t even personally directed at me, yet it pisses me off. He wasn’t “obssessed”. He was engaged in a social interaction in a social setting. He didn’t stalk her around the bar. To your second point, Hello, duhh.., this is a blog largely about the SMP and social dynamics. The point is to discuss and analyze these things. You’ve had multiple opportunities to reengage in a more agreeable manner, yet you take each opportunity to amp up the subtextual insults (creepy, obssessed, etc) Badger has been gracious, but you are basically a troll bitch.

  36. Io

    You’ve been far more insulting towards me, Mice C, than I have been towards anyone. How do you explain your “troll-bitch” behavior? And where is your blog?

    I am discussing and analysing. I make my points in a blunt fashion and always have. That is not an excuse for you to call me demeaning names or question my intelligence. I haven’t said anything unreasonable and your responses have not addressed any of the points I’ve made; you’ve simply insulted me.

    Who was asking questions of whom in the exchange in the bar? Who continued the conversation after it would have died out naturally? Oh yeah….the author of this blog did those things. I’m pointing out the obvious here, which is that most likely this woman went home and told her husband about some guy who kept hitting on her even after he realized she was married. She probably made a couple of comments about how men always seem to want what they can’t have.

    Even if she was open to the idea of cheating with someone, which is one among many possibilities of what was going on in her head, but far from conclusive, how is the author not every bit as responsible for leading her on by acting so very, very interested? It takes two to cheat, does it not?

  37. Io
    Are you married?
    Because if a guy asks you questions you don’t answer them just because and married women should always make themselves scarce to interested men unless they need the attention of strangers.
    If I were her I first would had bought my own damn cigarettes, or ask a woman (safe social interaction smaller chances of getting hit on) but even now when a man seems very interested I answer with yes or no to signal “taken” and remove myself from the situation ASAP.
    Badger has meet a lot of women and knows when they are displaying IOI to know when a woman is open to sex or not how many women had you picked up to assume that he is wrong this time?

  38. Candide

    Where I live, a chick asking you for a cigarette is code for her wanting to smoke your cigar.

    However, I’ve also met the occasional looney type who would vehemently deny that coming over to watch a movie is not code for monkey sex.

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