One of the useful heuristics that has come out of married red pill on reddit is distinguishing between fitness (AKA shit testing) and comfort testing from a wife. For those of you not in the know, basically this was figured out through a bunch of trial and error.
Typical tactics that work for fitness testing such as agree and amplify, pressure flipping, ignoring, diversions, and a bunch of others don’t work well if it’s a comfort test. This is a non-Christian RP guide to fitness testing if you’re curious about the concept.
The way to distinguish between fitness and comfort testing is relatively simple, but it can be hard for most men who are not the head in their marriage because they’re used to DEERing (defend, excuse, explain, rationalize). A man who consistently DEERs in his marriage is not leading it. The head/leader generally shouldn’t be arguing in the first place whether it’s a wife, workplace, or whatever type of authority-submission relationship. Jesus does not argue with the Church. He just tells what He expects of us but is also willing to drop us before marriage if we don’t follow Him (e.g. Revelation 2-3).
The main ways to distinguish these two scenarios are “you” and “I.” I think I’ve covered this before sometime but a refresher:
- Fitness/shit tests generally start with “You” — You always do X, You are like this and I don’t like it, You make me feel so X sometimes, etc.
- Comfort tests generally start with “I” — “I feel so X because Y”, I’m not feeling good about this decision, I’m afraid because of X, Y, Z, etc.
In general, the tactics for the fitness/shit tests are the ones listed above while the comfort tests tactics are like the common saying of the strong oak weathering the winds of emotion of the wife. Most of the time it’s simply listening to allow her to vent feelings and/or pulling her in a deep hug and kiss and letting her get her tension out. Responding to a fitness/shit test with comfort and a comfort test with fitness/shit tactics can erode trust and make a relationship or marriage deteriorate further.
One common line you see in married RP is the concept of a bull in a china shop. This is where the husband is very inexperienced with RP so he’s responding all the time with fitness tests tactics when some comfort is needed sometimes according to the situation. In this case, the wife usually starts to pull away more when the relationship should getting closer, so going back to these two pathways is helpful in that instance.
So where does the Bible fit into these? I never really thought about it before, but it popped into my head that generally these two concepts are also likely Biblical in nature.
- Comfort is along the lines of understanding the wife is a weaker vessel and needs understanding as the weaker vessel at times. You’re the strong leader she can confide in and wants to trust. 1 Peter 3:7 You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.
- Fitness is generally about diffusing contentiousness and disrespect (Prov 21:9, Prov 25:24, Prov 27:15) but Christianity takes it a step further than secular RP with the goal of the husband influencing wifely sanctification (Eph 5:25-27) and the wife coming to obey God’s commands of submission and respect on her own (Eph 5:33, 1 Peter 3:1-6) in the long term. Like we covered in Trust is earned and an expression of the character of godliness this is generally a process.
To be clear, there is no inserting “RP” into Christianity. Christianity is the Truth (big T) but God made the world observable and knowable. Thus, we can learn from secular sources about some aspects of truth (little t) that may be true from a theological perspective but usually incomplete since it isn’t a primary reality. Covered this more here: Unpacking and tying together the meta-levels of Christianity, reality and the red pill into a hierarchical understanding: theological, scientific, and philosophical/cultural.
I’ve used this some in my marriage to good effect though I don’t typically see any/many fitness tests. I saw more when I was dating before we got properly established to the headship-submission and love-respect dynamic. Even though we knew in our heads what we were supposed to do, there were times when we didn’t know how that was supposed to look. Mostly I really only get comfort tests now if my wife is overly emotional for some reason. I know many of the men at RPC/MRP use this as well to fairly good effect, perhaps not understanding that what they are doing is based on the way God created men and women and marriage.