The problem with 'happy wife, happy life'

"To be clear, they’re not being nice because they actually love and respect their wife. Oh no. They do it because it’ll ...

"To be clear, they’re not being nice because they actually love and respect their wife. Oh no. They do it because it’ll stop her from busting their balls." Photo: Getty

What’s a nice guy to do when the woman he married doesn’t act like a compliant domestic sex slave?

It’s a problem that has preoccupied father of three and self-proclaimed ‘marriage alchemist’ Kevin Crawford — and now he’s shared the answer in The Sibelius Sequence: How To Lovingly Hack Your Wife's Emotional Operating System So You Can Enjoy "Happy Wife, Happy Life" On Autopilot.

The marriage alchemist knows a thing or two about women. After all, he married one.

‘After the "honeymoon glow" wore off, her true colors came out,’ he explains in his promotional material. ‘Wild mood swings. Unexplained weeping and gnashing of teeth. Hot and cold in the bedroom. Overall impossibly high expectations no man could live up to… And the MESS. Periodically, the wheels would fall off and she would let the place go. I'm talking complete pigsty. I would trip over piles just trying to walk to the closet.’


As Crawford — nice guy that he is — goes on to explain on his website, ‘Divorce Wasn't An Option. Neither Was Murder’Such a swell guy!

The 17 page ‘manual’ (written in 19pt font) which Crawford claims he based on findings from female psychology, master/slave relationships, dog training and mind control, advises men to first use a personality test to better understand their wife’s psychology.

So far, so Dr Phil. (Okay, so Dr Phil doesn’t base his advice on research gleaned from dog training manuals.)

The twist, though, is that men don’t get their wife to do the test. After all, what would a chick know? As the Sibelius Sequence explains, men should do the test on her behalf since ‘you’ll be able to generate a more accurate test result for your wife because you’ll be bypassing her natural instinct to cast herself in a good light.’

The crux of Crawford’s advice is for men to put reminders in their calendars to do ‘low hanging fruit’ – things that cost them little effort but the little lady will like, such as giving her a present or a compliment.

To be clear, they’re not being nice because they actually love and respect their wife. Oh no. They do it because it’ll stop her from busting their balls.

‘The idea is to KEEP her in this suspended, happy state with as little effort as possible,’ Crawford writes. ‘You give her a little “love nudge” just as or ideally just before she starts coming down. Think of her mood as a pinball. You watch her bounce around happily inside the machine, only flipping the levers when she rolls close to the hole at the bottom.’

To prove the effectiveness of this cynical manipulation — some would call it psychological abuse —  of women, top bloke Crawford used his own wife as a test subject and ‘gave it to her good.’

‘When I woke up the next day, she was already dressed, with earrings in and makeup on, her hair in a cute ponytail. The kitchen was sparkling clean, and the smell of bacon and eggs filled the house. She was humming happily to herself.’

The catch is that the Sibelius Sequence will only work if women don’t suspect that their strings are being pulled. That’s perhaps one reason that you won’t find the Sibelius Sequence via the open web. The website advertising ‘The Happy Wife Code’ contains code to ensure the site isn’t listed in Google or any other search engine.

As appalling as Crawford’s advice is, it sits on a spectrum of casual misogyny where women are less human beings and more programmable pleasurebots — with Roomba for feet.

At one end is the mentality of pick up artists, documented by Neil Strauss in The Game, where men manipulate women by running pick up scripts and routines.

At the other extreme are the monsters who imprison women in domestic servitude, such as the cases of Josef Fritzl, Ariel Castro and, more recently, the people who held The Lambeth slaves captive.

Both extremes share an utter disregard for women as agents, and instead treat them as obstinate animals or automatons to be controlled by emotional and physical violence.

While Crawford and his ilk reject physical violence, they show the same hatred and disrespect for women. Their concern for their wife’s needs and welfare only extends to what needs to be done in order to control her. And because they don’t inflict physical bruises, they convince themselves that their abusive tactics are social acceptable, even decent.  

Kasey Edwards is the best-selling author of 4 books 30-Something and Over It, 30-Something and The Clock is Ticking, OMG! That's Not My Husband, and OMG! That's Not My Child.



  • Game playing basically! 8 out of 10 (roughly) relationships that I have a connection to are like this, both ways of course. A weird power play. Very sad really. It is dangerous to put your happiness in the hands of others.

    Date and time
    December 02, 2013, 9:41AM
    • Where do I buy the book?

      Malik the magic sheep
      Date and time
      December 02, 2013, 3:14PM
    • We've had our moments here in the 30 plus years we've been married, but how could you not? Everyone's happiness is dependent on so many different factors that it appears to me that the author of this booklet appears to dip into the shallow end. I sincerely doubt that the marriage has been going for a long while, otherwise she'd be out of there when she cottons on to the platitudes. Either that, or it's a Stepford kind of marriage.
      I have an aunt who has been married three times. In each of her marriages she's been miserable. It would appear that she expects her husband to make her happy. As we used to say in school : "can't make monkeys; you buy them in cages". No one can make another person happy. She doesn't get this. She is such a miserable person and it shows on her face. It's quite sad really.

      Happily married
      Date and time
      December 02, 2013, 4:00PM
    • I hope my wife doesn't read this article. It's taken me years to train her up. Sibelius Sequence... hmm sounds like a James Cameron novel... THIS TIME IT'S PERSONALity testing.

      Date and time
      December 02, 2013, 4:28PM
  • Happy Wife Happy Life is a form of domestic abuse but not of women, of men. If a women isn't happy then frankly no one is allowed to be happy.

    Take feminism for example, when there is one in the room even other women, even if they are feminists, are not allowed to be happy. Feminists see happiness as patriarchal conspiracy designed to make women calm and serene, apparently this state of being lures them into having children and sometimes the most appalling outcomes such as staying home and looking after them, can ensue. A happy marriage scars you for life so be careful.

    The remedy? Divorce, it removes all traces of happiness and restores things to their proper balance.

    Date and time
    December 02, 2013, 10:08AM
    • I'm not sure that it's the feminists making other people in the room with you unhappy, Lizzy.

      Date and time
      December 02, 2013, 12:00PM
    • Oh Bec, case in point.

      Date and time
      December 02, 2013, 12:13PM
    • 'Take feminism, for example ...'

      Well, lizzy, you might like to actually take feminism, have a look at what it means for those who use the word correctly, then get back to us.

      Any research that's ever been done shows that men married to feminists are happier. Reason?
      Fewer expectations on them to 'man up' and be the full provider. Yet he can be that if it works for them. Or she can if it works for them. Generally it's a mixture of both, with each being supportive of the other when it's needed.

      Funnily enough, in my age group (either side of sixty) the women in my circle are working much longer hours than the men, for a variety of very good reasons, including me, who still works full time yet my husband's retired. It works for us.

      Date and time
      December 02, 2013, 12:35PM
    • You are a wizard, Lizzy. Literally. From the fifteen words in response to you, you were able to divine my political affiliation and marital status. You must have summoned the dark powers to do that.

      I don't know if you read what you wrote, but you've got all the warmth and charm of the Blackboard from Mr Squiggle. For someone who has a bee in their bonnet over the feminists being strident and devoid of fun, you couldn't be more of a harridan if you tried strangling Germaine Greer with a length of string taken from the world's smallest violin.

      Date and time
      December 02, 2013, 12:37PM
    • I think you'll find Lizzy that the idea at the core of feminism is allowing women to make choices in pursuit of happiness. If that is being a stay-at-home wife/mother, then well and good.
      But the operate word is "choice" ...

      Date and time
      December 02, 2013, 12:50PM

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