Something that comes up a lot in the androsphere is the notion that hypergamy — the biological urge women have to mate with the most socially dominant man they can get — means that the only way to be sure your wife will be faithful is to be the most alpha man in the world. Otherwise, your marriage will only last until she meets a man who’s a little more dominant than you, then she’ll be gone.
Often the people suggesting this are simply anti-game trolls, but sometimes it comes from a guy who’s new to the concepts and seems genuinely puzzled and overwhelmed by the implications. So rather than cutting and pasting the same long response on other blogs, I’ll attempt to answer that here where I can link to it.
Hypergamy doesn’t mean you have to be the most alpha man in the world. To understand why, turn it around to the man’s perspective. If you marry a woman, the odds are very good that she’s not going to be the most attractive woman in the world — not even to you while you’re still in the initial euphoria stage, let alone after the rush wears off. You’re going to see more attractive women on the street, while you’re at work, maybe even on your block. Heck, her younger sister might be hotter than her.
Does that mean you’re going to drop your wife and try to trade up every time you see a hotter woman? Probably not, but it depends on just how much hotter. If you’re a 7 who married a 6, and age and job success have bumped you to an 8, and she’s put on a little weight and lost some of her interest in sex so she’s dropped to a 4 or 5 in your eyes, and there’s a secretary at work who’s a 9 who keeps batting her eyes at you and talking about how her boyfriend just doesn’t excite her, then unless you’re a saint, you’re probably going to stray. But if you’re a 7 who married a 7, and the 9’s still ignore you like they always did, and your wife manages to stay a 6 at least and is a good cook and mother to your kids, then you’re probably not going to upend your whole life to try to trade up for the 8 who lives down the street. The potential gain wouldn’t be worth the certain cost.
A woman is much the same way. If she’s a 9 like Lisa Whelchel who marries a 6 because she mistakes him for a 9 or she’s a neurotic mess and marries a guy she’s not attracted to for stupid reasons, then before long she’s going to dump him and start looking for 9’s and 10’s. But if she’s a 7 who marries an 8, then as long as he stays an 8, she’s probably going to be satisfied. Now that we’re coming from the woman’s perspective, that 8 reflects attitude more than looks, so it means he’s fairly alpha, but not a super-alpha. There are certainly bigger alphas around than him, and if she meets a 10 or sees one on TV, she may be entranced by him, but he probably won’t notice her because he’s busy banging 9’s and 10’s. Her husband doesn’t have to be more alpha than those guys; he just has to be alpha enough to give her tingles, so that added together with their family and comfortable home equals contentment.
One area where this breaks down is when women enter the workplace, and the 7 wife with an 8 husband has a 10 for a boss. Now there’s a big problem, because the convenience and dominance of office sex means the 10 will pursue her the way he wouldn’t if they’d simply been in the same social circle, and their constant proximity will drive her tingles through the roof. Now it won’t just be a fantasy that revs her up a little for her husband; now it’s a real option, and her hamster will work every day to convince her it’s a smart one.
The other problem, of course, is that frivorce laws mean she doesn’t have the same risk/reward equation that a man does. A man who tries to trade up from 7 to 8 risks losing his kids, his house, his standing in the community, maybe even his job. A woman who tries the same thing risks not having someone to kill spiders for her. So she’s more likely to try to trade up if her husband’s SMV is significantly lower than hers and she has the opportunity to snag a higher one, but that doesn’t mean her husband has to be a 10.
The takeaway from all this is that you don’t have to be the Top Dog Alpha over all men to be reasonably confident that your wife won’t stray. It’s probably good to be at least one point higher than her in the SMV department, though. Maybe two points, to balance the fact that the risks for a woman divorcing aren’t what they used to be. More than two points, you’ll probably be unhappy yourself, so what’s the point in that? Of course, if you’re a 7, that means marrying a 5, which doesn’t seem like an attractive prospect. Fortunately, a typical man can raise his SMV a point or two by learning or unleashing masculine alpha traits. So a typical beta male 7 can become an 8 or 9, and if he really internalizes those traits and isn’t just aping them, he’ll be able to attract a 7 and keep her.