How to Manage Drama and Arguments When You Live with A Woman

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In going along with our theme of relationship management when you live with your girlfriend or are married to a wife (The Ultimate Open Marriage Manual and Video Course is only available here for a few more hours so get it now!) today I will lay out how to handle drama and arguments when you live with a woman in a romantic context (regardless of if you are legally married or not). 

-By Caleb Jones

The greatest, most powerful, and most effective weapon in your relationship arsenal against drama and arguments with women is the soft next. I have discussed that technique in great detail at my blogs and in my books. It’s when you temporarily remove yourself from a woman’s life (usually from 24 hours to seven days, depending on how bad the drama was she gave you), ignore all contact from her, and then circle back to her like nothing happened. 

Since women’s greatest need from men is attention, the soft next, i.e. the strategic removal of attention, is nuclear-level effective, far more so than all the stupid stuff most men do, namely arguing with women (giving them more attention), lecturing or correcting women (again, giving them more attention), or contacting women all the goddamned time (again, giving them attention). 

The problem is that when you move in with a woman, you lose the soft next as an option. You can’t vanish out of her life if you live in the same house or apartment she does.  

Sometimes men in marriages or co-habiting relationships attempt weaker variations of the soft next to little effect. A common one is when a husband gets pissed off and then goes and sleeps at a hotel for a night. This is very weak and comes off more as pouting than anything else. The problem with going to a hotel for a night is that she knows you have to come back. Much of the power of the soft next is the factor of the unknown; she doesn’t know if you’ll ever be back. When a wife sees her pouting, angry husband drive off to a hotel for a night or two, she just shrugs and thinks “Oh well. I’ll see him tomorrow when he comes back.” 

Another common one is when men run the “silent treatment” on their wives. Indeed, a lot of married/co-habiting men online actually recommend this technique in order to manage drama. This is a mistake. As I’ve explained many times, the silent treatment is drama. It’s a passive-aggressive move where you look like an idiot by not talking to or acknowledging a person who is standing right in front of you. Instead of the power of the soft next where you aren’t actually there, the guy doing the silent treatment comes off looking childish. I certainly think this if a woman attempts it on me. (And I soft next her if she does, and have, because the silent treatment is drama.) 

The only way you can actually soft next a woman you live with is if you are wealthy enough to have two homes and these two homes are located close enough to be within convenient driving distance (a second Five Flags home on the other side of the world isn’t going to help you here). You can just go to the other house and stay there for as long as you want, alone. The issue here is most men reading these words don’t have the financial ability to do this. 

Because soft nexting isn’t an option when you live with a woman, this means you need a completely different technique. While no technique is going to be as good as the soft next (giving up the soft next is one of the things you sacrifice by moving in with a woman) there is a technique you can use that is still powerful.  

This technique combines two aspects: 

  1. Ensuring that she understands you are listening to and understanding her complaint, even if it’s completely irrational. With an FB or MLTR you can blow off their complaints if you like and just go spend time with someone else, but with your OLTR wife you’re going to have to listen to her grievances at least somewhat (unless you don’t mind getting divorced soon).
  2. Nicely but immediately terminating the conversation if she is still irrational or hysterical even though she realizes you are listening to her.

The reason most married women (and as usual, I consider you and her “married” even if you didn’t get legally married since you’re living the lifestyle of a married couple) get really upset with their husbands/boyfriends is because they feel the man isn’t listening to them or understanding them. Again, women’s biggest need from men is attention. If she feels she’s not getting it from you in a marriage, massive problems arise. 

This means you need to make very sure that when she complains about something or starts to argue with you, you need to show her that you are actually listening to every word she’s saying and that you understand what she’s saying. 

The flip side of this is if she is still screaming at you and/or being irrational after she knows you understand her, now you have the right to terminate the conversation immediately. No, it’s not a soft next, because you can’t soft next her if you live with her, but you can still kill the conversation and leave the room with the stated intention of circling back to the topic later that evening or the next day when she’s calmed down and wants to discuss it with you like an adult. 

I call this technique the Drama Corrective Procedure. It’s been vetted by multiple marriage therapists and it works very well. It’s one of the many reasons why Pink Firefly and I almost never argue, and during the rare times we do, our “arguments” last literally just a few minutes and then they’re done. Compare that to when I was in a TMM the first time I was married; we were the typical married couple and thus would argue all the damn time. Our arguments would go for 30 minutes, 45 minutes, and sometimes even an hour (and often still not get resolved!) 

Above is only a basic summary of The Drama Corrective Procedure but I go into great detail on it in the Ultimate Open Marriage Manual and Video Course (I devote an entire chapter and video lesson to it) where I cover all the steps in detail, including troubleshooting (“But what if she does this….?”). The point is those two key factors: ensuring that she knows you’re listening and understand her, then ending the conversation immediately if that doesn’t get her calmed down enough to solve the problem rationally. 

Of course, this all assumes that you are calm as well. If you are screaming and ranting then none of this will work no matter what you do. You want to be the calm and relaxed one while she is the one ranting like a madman… this gives you the moral high ground as well as heightens the odds that she’ll realize she’s acting crazy when you aren’t, possibly getting her to take a few deep breaths and calm down on her own (maybe). That’s why emotional control is a core Alpha Male 2.0 trait. Long-term happiness is not possible without it. 

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