Married Men: UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES hire an attractive nanny

Jonathan Roseland
15 min readJun 7, 2024

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You can learn a lot about marriage from the way at least half of them end and this book, by a practicing New York divorce attorney, should be required reading for committed couples.

Given the author’s 20-year professional experience, it’s a how-NOT-to book; in an engaging storytelling format, it illustrates how once madly-in-love couples royally screw the pooch when it comes to their marriages and then pay the price ($600 an hour to Sexton’s law firm for counsel is just the start!)

Mrs. Limitless and I, on vacation in sunny Primorsko on the Black Sea coast

I’ve been married for seven years now to my wife; a few of those years were pretty rocky, but we’re now more committed than ever to each other (and very happy together) because we’ve continued to treat our marriage like (this isn’t going to sound terribly romantic) a project. More like a beautiful high-performance automobile deserving of regular maintenance, instead of a painting that sits on a wall.

  • We have certain daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly to-dos that go into habit-tracking software.
  • I maintain a rather large notes file on our marriage; enumerating challenges and goals along with brainstorming solutions and summaries of compromises reached after disagreements.
  • We stack a bunch of different Biohacks and lifehacks; we’re always looking for a smart way to do things.
  • And every year I read a book or two about marriage, relationships, women, or sex — from which I always learn a new thing or two that makes us a happier, healthier couple.

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES hire an attractive nanny

The funniest chapter of the book is about the “Nanny Fascination” — apparently a lot of divorce cases involve a nanny (as do a lot of high-profile cases of rich, powerful men cheating on their wives). Oscar Wilde cynically wrote

“Everything in life is about sex, except for sex, which is about power.”

And there’s some truth in it. So many husbands cheat (or try to cheat) with the nanny because the power dynamic is kind of the best of both worlds. From an evolutionary psychology perspective, it just flips a lot of the attraction switches for both the husband and nanny. Sexton writes…

The power component of the Nanny Fascination cannot be discounted. The power differential between the husband and the nanny is huge. The nanny is subordinate to the husband, who is, in that dynamic, the boss of her. She follows his directions, and his decision-making authority is generally not open to questioning. There’s also no reciprocity required in the relationship: The transaction is simple. The nanny cares for the children and the husband gives her money. The husband isn’t required to fulfill her emotional or familial needs as he would be with a spouse, nor is he required to indulge her complaints or moods unless he feels like it.

In the book, he bends at least half over to be politically correct (which I suppose is to be expected from a New York lawyer), but in regards to the Nanny Fascination, he reluctantly advises wives to maybe be a little more like a nanny. To retain a bit of their allure by having a life outside of being a wife and mother. Also, it sounds like many of Sexton’s clients are New York “power couples” committed to their demanding careers — I can imagine that many of these wives are far outside of their traditional (and undeniably appealing) gender roles (hence the need to hire a nanny that husbands become fascinated by).

But the more important takeaway is obvious, don’t hire an attractive nanny (especially if she’s younger, single, exotically foreign, and going to be living under your roof).

Define, express, or get divorced

Marriages and other committed relationships fail for two fundamental reasons, according to the book…

1. You don’t know what you want. 2. You can’t express what you want.

Reason #1 is why I wrote a book for single men about how to avoid “sticking your dick in a blend” by getting entangled with the wrong kind of woman. Too many unmarried men fail to disqualify the women; they have little more criteria for the women they date (and ultimately marry) than 1) She’s attractive enough to give me a boner and 2) She’s willing to sleep with me. While it may seem unromantic; I urge single people to itemize what exactly they want (and don’t want) in a girlfriend or boyfriend. Define what you want or else it will be defined for you by your selfish genes, your lower impulses, culture, or the impositions of others. My book gives single a good place to start.

I think a big part of the reason so many relationships fail in modernity is “love.” From my article, Musings on the inadequacy of our favorite word

The problem I have with love is that it’s universally held in very high esteem and universally thought of as good. In fact, most people regard love as the most good thing. I blame pop culture mostly for this. The lyrics of most of the songs that we listen to and the themes of most of the movies that play on the silver screen reinforce this idiotic idea that doing whatever feels right in the moment results in true love and love always results in a happy and meaningful life.

In the past love was a word that signified an intense emotional commitment to something greater than oneself expressed through acts of service. Now love just means this intoxicated feeling, that you fall into and fall out of randomly, that makes you act stupid. It’s this insatiable desire for someone or something that makes you irrational. It’s this thing that people say to each other for our own emotional validation. I think modern-day love, does more harm than good.

If you asked a hundred modern couples why they got married, about 98 of them would tell you that it was first and foremost because they were in love. I’d wager most of them are referring to the emotionally intoxicated kind of love. I was also very in love with my wife when we married but I also had several very rational and pragmatic reasons for choosing her.

To address the second fundamental reason for failure, the author suggests…

Hit Send Now — a marriage hack

If your partner does something during the day that bothers you even a little, within a couple of hours — or minutes — write him or her an email or text about it. Don’t censor yourself. Don’t obsessively read and reread the email or text. And then, against all your instincts as a human being who, like most human beings, has a people-pleasing streak, just press Send.

It’s a way to address and resolve small problems immediately, before they mushroom. It says, “This is exactly how I feel right now.” You can express your feelings in an email or text, maybe a phone call. I advocate for email, because the format allows the recipient to digest what’s being communicated and to reread it as the content sinks in; even better, you can make the subject header “Hit Send Now,” to give your partner a little emotional preparation — a little advance warning that this is one of “those emails,”

A sit-down discussion is often not the best venue to express your feelings fully. My wife and I write each other love letters a couple of times a year, but sometimes we also write not-so-lovey letters about something that needs to be addressed.

“Custodial rotation” — a marriage hack

Why can’t parents in a happy or stable marriage leverage this idea? “This is my weekend with the kids, so you go be someone who doesn’t have a spouse or kids — go to a museum or the movies or get away, or if you want to hang around the house reading a book, then do that, knowing that I’m the parent in charge and the kids are okay and you’re on your own.” Suppose you suggested that to your partner. Then the next weekend, or one weekend a month — however often you agree on — you switch. “Custodial rotation” forces people alternately to see themselves as adult parents and as just plain adults. I can’t think of any good reason why divorced people should have all the fun. How many married partners would be happier, or actually happy, with such an arrangement? If you tried a custodial rotation for a month, what would you lose?

Maybe we’ll try this when Mrs. Limitless and I bring Baby Limitless into the world!

Staying interesting (and interested)

You stay interesting to your partner by staying interested in things outside your life together.

One of the points the book drives home is that it’s important to maintain some individuality while married. Make an effort to keep up the hobbies that made single-you interesting and happy (and support your spouse in doing the same).

On infidelity

there’s infidelity in close to 90 percent of the divorces I handle

On Facebook — the digital Shiva of marriages

Facebook is the single greatest breeding ground ever for infidelity. Nothing that has come before — not swingers’ clubs and key parties, not chat rooms, not workplace temptations, not Ashley Madison, Tinder, or Grindr; no, not even porn — comes within a thousand miles.

Quit Facebook. You don’t need the temptation and you don’t need to create the temptation for someone else. Let the past be the past. Don’t put the future in jeopardy just to indulge in some frivolous nostalgia. The negatives far outweigh the positives.

Every status you post on Facebook may be used against you in a court of law.

He adds in a footnote

If I had a dollar for every divorce caused by infidelity that started on Facebook, I would have … well, just about the same amount of money I have. Bless you, Mark Zuckerberg.

Maybe you’re saying: Oh, that’s no problem — I’m not on Facebook. But what about Instagram, TikTok, or whatever addictive social media app comes out next year with an algorithm singing an irresistible siren song drawing you toward destructive behaviors? These apps may seem innocent but they represent a significant, insidious risk to your relationship. If you’re an idiot if you use them cavalierly and aren’t doing at least a few things to lifehack your self-control.

On “open marriages”

I meet lots and lots of people who, in a last-ditch effort to stave off the emptiness and discontent they’re experiencing in an obviously bad married life, have attempted an open marriage. In virtually every case (again, I see a very particular, self-selected segment of the population), it only delayed the inevitable, giving the one party who really wanted to sleep with other people cover for doing so, while the other party got the chance to risk contracting chlamydia. Good stuff!

Not shockingly, open relationships are a really bad idea. There are countless examples of them ending disastrously. Are you and your spouse such paragons of emotional self-control that you’ll be able to stomach the jealousy of your life partner and soul mate banging someone off Tinder? If so you really wouldn’t be the kind of people seduced by this dumb trend. Oh, and he makes a good point about chlamydia; you can get nasty STDs from “safe sex” and even blowjobs which your spouse may catch from you.

I get it, monogamy isn’t always easy (or exciting). And post-modernist populizers of open relationships are probably right about humans not naturally being monogamous. I’ll give you a major lifehack for loyalty; years ago, I heard a pickup artist instructor/guru on a podcast talking about how Tantric practice is a loyalty hack, it helped him resist the temptation to cheat on his girlfriend while doing his job. Personally, when I got more serious about practicing tantra, staying loyal to my lady (in my head) got easier. It’s the best toolset I know of for taking back your sexual sovereignty as a man, which is why I created a deep-dive course on the topic which you can watch the first module of here…

On sex

Having lots of bad sex does not equal a good sex life.

This approach is why, for some people who like sex, monogamy can be ideal: Sure, you give up the novelty of frequent new partners, but you trade it for a partner who knows your sexual highlight reel, who knows what buttons you like pushed and how best to push them.

Good sex is THE ultimate marriage hack. When you take care of each other in the bedroom that has knock-on network effects in marriage. The enemy of great sex is ego; thinking you’re good enough, know it all, and don’t have to try harder to please your partner. This is why I read a couple of books every year about sex; sharpening my game in the horizontal department.

On money

My experience has taught me that money, like any tool or technology, is an improved means to an unimproved end: It offers real solutions to imaginary problems and imaginary solutions to real problems.

The three pools model

Make three pools of money: Yours. Mine. Ours. At the outset, agree with your spouse that anything in the “Mine” category is yours (well, “mine”), meaning assets and debts, and anything in the “Yours” category is your spouse’s. (Or vice versa … I’m not sure who I’m talking to now.) Create bank accounts for each of these pools, funding them however you like (in equal amounts; in some portion from each of your earnings; in some portion from joint or separate savings…). Create another account for the “Ours” category. Fund that pool with whatever sources you agree are appropriate (a portion of each of your earnings; proceeds from a joint asset you recently sold, and so on).

On storytelling

I often feel that getting the more favorable deal comes down to this: Whoever tells the best story, wins.

Referring to the divorce cases he brings to trial.

On family

you’re marrying your partner’s whole family dysfunction.

Good point, this is why you need to take a good look at your partner’s family before proposing marriage (or set clear boundaries going into the marriage about leaving dysfunctional dynamics out of it!)

On roles

Occasionally shifting roles in the marriage is a potential win-win for even the happiest couple. At best, it gives each partner insight into what the other is doing, potentially creating new approaches to tasks. At worst, it reinforces why each spouse has fallen into the existing roles and routines (because the other one sucks at that task), and ensures that neither party knows nothing about anything and both parties know something about everything.

Writing assignment for overcoming entitlement

For partners who’ve been together a while, how do you guard against slipping into the entitlement mind-set? Sit down and write a list of all the things your spouse does for you.

On fighting

If you’re fighting about a specific issue, stick to that issue. You can bring up the old stuff later, after you’ve worked this one through and are both in a calmer state of mind.

If you conjure an image of your partner’s best self and address that person, you can often defuse a fight or break an impasse.

On workaholism

I’ve had countless clients (often women but, in the last few years, more and more men, too) tell me that their partner’s status as a workaholic is in itself a major reason for the divorce or else is an underlying contributor to the behaviors that led to the divorce (for instance, neglected spouse looks to third party for attention/affection/sex, and marriage dissolves thereafter). When you talk to the workaholic spouse, they will frequently tell you that the work habits that led to dissatisfaction or estrangement from their partner were born in the early years of the relationship. “I always put in a ton of hours at the office! She knew that when we were first married. It’s been that way forever.”

On couples therapy

In my profession, couples therapy is affectionately referred to as “delaying the inevitable.” It’s a bizarre hybrid of the least effective aspects of combat and counseling: On one hand, confrontation without the authentic “no holds barred” catharsis; on the other hand, an attempt to gain insight but without the focus of looking solely at yourself or solely at the other person. It’s like trying to learn to juggle with five balls all at once, right from the first lesson…

In nearly twenty years of practicing divorce law, I’ve encountered only two couples who started out in my office and, years later, remained happily married. In contrast, I’ve had at least fifty couples that “quit” the divorce to “go to counseling” and “reconcile,” only to return to my office a week, a month, or a year later, ready to continue the divorce, often from a far more disadvantaged position, having given their spouse advance notice of the battle ahead.

My wife and I went for a few couples therapy sessions once upon a time to try to address a pernicious point of conflict and it was pretty useless. What did help us move beyond this conflict was negotiation and an objective third party. A close friend did several calls hearing us both out and offered some counsel. Based on that we negotiated an addendum agreement to our marriage, enumerating different reciprocal responsibilities meeting each other’s needs, and signed it. We’ve both kept up our sides of the agreement and that’s resolved a significant conflict we struggled with for years.

Pay attention

Marriage is not hard work, as long as you don’t consider paying attention hard work.

On the topic of pay attention to your partner, another marriage book I’m in the middle of now, Cherish: The One Word That Changes Everything for Your Marriage, references work done by Dr. John Gottman on how couples “bid” for each other’s attention and how this is a good predictor of divorce. A bid is simply any time one spouse is trying to get the other’s attention; it could be sharing something stressful that happened at work or caressing their shoulder while they are watching TV.

These bidding interactions had profound effects on marital well-being. Couples who had divorced after a six-year follow up had “turn-toward bids” 33 percent of the time. Only three in ten of their bids for emotional connection were met with intimacy. The couples who were still together after six years had “turn-toward bids” 87 percent of the time. Nine times out of ten, they were meeting their partner’s emotional needs.

The takeaway from this research is to try to “turn towards” your partner’s bids for your attention 90% of the time. 100% seems like an unrealistic goal; sometimes you’re busy doing something important or it’s in the middle of a pivotal scene of your favorite show is when your partner bids for your attention. But shoot for 90% and give your partner that 10%.

An AI marriage-hack

Every Sunday, I sit down and write seven original verses praising my wife’s beauty which I tell her in the mornings when she gets up (makes her forget anything dumb I did the previous day). Then I use the tool Suno.com to turn these verses into romance or pop songs which I then play for her. I’ll append a few of these songs to the podcast version of this review (they sound about as good as anything you’ll hear on the radio!)

Get a divorce prevention plan

It’s a shame more people don’t read books like this. Divorce is kind of like cancer, another subject I’ve studied, according to the American Cancer Society about half of us will be diagnosed with some form of cancer one day. And if you get married, statistically speaking, you’ve got about a similar chance of getting divorced. Both will wreck your life for at least a couple of years — costing you a fortune in time, money, stress, and suffering — yet most people ignore them until they are bearing down on them. Most people are too mired in the trenches of life to look over the parapet, survey the horizon, and come up with a plan of attack. Sexton puts it poetically…

it can be as hard to see the contour of life as it is to see the curve of the earth.

What American Cancer Society cancer statistics don’t tell you is that the people with a cancer-avoidant lifestyle get it a lot less and tend to survive it. I’m not in the least bit worried about getting cancer because I do fasting every day, take my Vitamin D, eat organic food, and have habituated a bunch of other anti-cancer Biohacks. Divorce is similar. Prevention is the cure (and it won’t cost you $600 an hour!)

Originally published on LimitlessMindset.com. I’m not a doctor, medical professional, or trained therapist. I’m a researcher and pragmatic biohacking practitioner exercising free speech to share evidence as I find it. I make no claims. Please practice skepticism and rational critical thinking. You should consult a professional about any serious decisions that you might make about your health. Affiliate links in this article support Limitless Mindset — spend over $150 and you’ll be eligible to join the Limitless Mindset Secret Society.

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Jonathan Roseland

Adventuring philosopher, Pompous pontificator, Writer, K-Selected Biohacker, Tantric husband, Raconteur & Smart Drug Dealer 🇺🇸