Most men, when questioned, would welcome the opportunity to date and marry an extremely beautiful woman. In fact, most men dream of precisely such a scenario – this is why the “trophy wife” phenomenon exists.

That being said, there is one question associated with this reality that we too rarely seem to ponder: how many men are really capable of handling a full-time, committed relationship with a physically elite woman? Of all the men who dream of dating the models and beauty queens of the world, how many are truly capable of maintaining a healthy, long-term relationship with them?

Recently, Andrew Stern showed us what the darker side of the relationship with the physically elite woman might look like:

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This picture reveals Andrew Stern, the estranged husband of model Katie Cleary, out partying with friends in Beverly Hills just hours before he went to a gun range and killed himself.

Friends say he was in ‘good spirits’ at the dinner at trendy DOMA Italian restaurant with about 15 friends, celebrating the birthday of one of them. The group went on to a club in Hollywood where a new DJ was spinning. A friend says Andrew wasn’t drinking or doing any drugs.

Andrew even posted a photo of him and some pals at the party on Saturday night on his facebook page. It was the last picture of the heartbroken husband.

Just hours later at around midday on Sunday he turned a gun on himself at a shooting range in Van Nuys, 15 miles from the upmarket eatery.

So, why did Stern off himself? What drove this affluent, good-looking man to the edge (and, eventually, off the edge)?

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Speaking about his break-up with his wife, the source added Andrew was ‘heartbroken’:

‘They have been separated for a few months. I don’t know what happened. She was the one that wanted the divorce.
‘I just knew her through Andrew. It’s hard to tell when you’re on the outside when they were last happy.

‘I think he really was heartbroken, I don’t know why she left him but I think he wanted to try to figure out how to make it work. He was so upset over it, he just could not get over it, he could not mentally move on.’

The source said the photos of Katie with Leonardo DiCaprio and Entourage star Adrian Grenier didn’t help.

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Another friend told MailOnline that he was already on a dark descent when he realized he couldn’t hold on to his ‘dream girl’.

‘Andrew changed at the beginning of the year,’ the source told MailOnline. ‘He worked more and socialized less. He began investing even more money and more time into his charity and fundraising work… He got sad. Sadder.’

The friend explained that something was ‘broken’ in him and no matter how he tried to fight it – with eating well, exercise or counseling sessions – he couldn’t shake it.

His struggling marriage to Cleary was not to blame for his suicide but just added to his pain because of the fantasy he had about their life together, the friend said.

‘But the marriage wasn’t based on pure, unadulterated, love. Wasn’t solely based on the forever do us part love,’ the source said. ‘He knew what he was getting into when he started even dating Katie. She’s too pretty. She’s just too pretty. And she’s just too charismatic and affable and kind that Andrew knew he couldn’t keep her to himself.

‘I’m not saying Katie did anything. If she did, I didn’t know about it. But he couldn’t really have her like he wanted her. Like his fantasy of her. He would talk about her in ideal terms. He idolized her and wanted her to himself, maybe a little too much. He wouldn’t show it. He gave her all the freedom she wanted for her career. But he realized he wasn’t the only one with eyes for her and wanting her and it deepened his pain.’

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Stern had a few issues, and his involvement with Katie Cleary was certainly one of them. It is difficult to overstate how challenging it can be to get involved with a physically attractive woman like this who is also an extroverted, highly flirtatious and aggressive attention seeker. Women of this type have become substantially more common in the modern age, as narcissistic millenials grow up with the presence of social media and the smart phone, along with an increasingly less traditional culture more concerned with clubbing and what Justin Bieber ate for lunch than family formation. This is the beautiful woman who is so insecure about her beauty that she requires constant validation of it in the form of blatant attention from other men, and she will often directly seek out such attention herself. To some degree, this kind of woman will always value the attention of other random individuals more than she values the attention you give her.

This is what makes her hard to be with, because she will constantly and aggressively solicit that attention/validation from other men and stoke your own insecurity in order to satiate her own. You will want her for yourself and you’ll have a vision of her in which she is ideally focused on building something with you, but she will eternally push back against that vision. If at any time you appear to be getting too close to that ideal you want (you two are starting to look like a set pair and she is starting to look like she is truly off the market and in your orbit entirely), she will adjust by deliberately seeking attention from other men in order to balance things out.

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She does this because she understands the risk associated with investing in you and allowing herself to become entirely yours: she needs the constant attention and validation of other men in order to deal with her insecurity, and this attention is less likely to come when she is seen to clearly belong to another male in a marriage/relationship. The more available she makes herself appear to be, the easier it is for her to satisfy her insecurity, and the harder it is for you as a man to deal with her.

Andrew Stern was ‘constantly ridiculed’ and driven to distraction by his ‘flirtatious’, ‘social climbing’ wife Katie Cleary prior to his tragic suicide, a former friend has claimed.

Now his former friend and housemate David Pachkofsky has told how Katie made Andrew’s life a living hell as she tried to change the down-to-earth Midwesterner, 40, into a ‘Hollywood type’, using him to climb the social ladder and boost her career.

‘Like going to a wrap party and not coming home,’ said Pachkofsky.

‘She was taking him to a place he didn’t want to go. The part of Hollywood life that she liked but is very superficial.

‘He had to struggle to keep up with the Joneses. She would constantly ridicule him for the way he looked and acted and always let him know that he wasn’t in good enough shape.

‘He was never a really good dresser, and she made him dress perfectly for her. That was her doing. Drew’s always been comfortable in a T-shirt and really not caring. She was just so hard on him.

She kept trying to create this image for him as handsome and virile to help uphold her image,’ Pachkofsky told MailOnline.

‘She had a negative effect on him. He always felt like he was about to lose her and was always chasing her. She always flirted with men all the time in front of him and this hurt him….

‘The more she pushed him away, the more he’d come on. This was always the case with her and every woman. Just much worse with her because she was his wife and he’d have to tolerate the pain on a whole other level…. She’s a very flirtatious girl and it killed him.

‘…Hollywood dragged him down. Hollywood women did him in. And Katie was the worst of them. Very self-motivated, a real climber, climbing up Drew to get to bigger stars. ‘

Men have only one real option when it comes to dealing with physically attractive women who must aggressively seek attention like this: limit emotional investment.

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These women (physically attractive women who are aggressive attention seekers) inflict the most damage on men who have made deep emotional investments in them and are seeking some sort of romantic reciprocity. The physically attractive woman who isn’t an aggressive attention-seeker (yes, they do exist, even today) will not punish you for this, but her more attention-hungry counterpart will. When he’s invested and she responds by seeking the attention of other men and intentionally failing to reciprocate, it can be devastating for the male involved. He will want her, and he will love her, but she’ll never allow him to have her, and that will hurt. The notion that she is instead possibly allowing other men to have her (implied by her direct efforts to seek and welcome their attention even as she pulls away from him) will simply crush his soul. He will be left with a very empty, dark feeling, and arrive at one of the most hopeless emotional states you can ever hope to reach as a man.

When you avoid investing emotionally in these women, you essentially cut this dynamic off at the knees. Her persistent attention seeking will bother you less because you’ve not invested too much emotionally in her, and can thus feel little envy or jealousy. The fact that she is less willing to respond to a man’s expressed love and romantic investment with reciprocation is irrelevant to you, because you’re not offering too much romantic investment. At the end of the day, the physically attractive woman who aggressively seeks attention exercises great control over the emotional, physical and psychological well-being of the men that invest too much emotionally in her (investment which, I must note, she depends on to some degree in order to feed her validation). She cannot control those men who do not make this investment.

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If you want to deal with these women and give yourself the best chance to remain sane, you limit that emotional investment. Granted, this is easier said than done as such women are very good at drawing that emotional investment from the men they associate with (they need to be because, as I said earlier, they depend on that investment for validation).

Men like Andrew Stern are simply not equipped to handle this kind of situation. Stern’s emotional fragility likely made him prone to intense early emotional investment – Cleary was his “dream girl”, and had total control over him from the word “go” as a result. As a physically elite woman with an aggressive attention-seeking streak, Cleary was going to get a lot of looks from a lot of men. If you’re seeking to get with such a woman, you must be confident and secure enough to deal with the fact that a lot of other men have eyes for her and keep that reality from impacting you (read: making you anxious, nervous, depressed, scared to lose her, etc). The type of man that can handle Cleary is one who is not only very confident and secure in himself, but not overly emotionally invested in her either (to a point at which she cannot easily control him). Such a man is, essentially, the oak I referenced in this article.

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Andrew Stern was not that oak. He was, as his close friend described him…

Drew was a good-looking guy. No problem getting girls but he had a problem keeping them. He likes to keep to himself. Very quiet and kind of a nerdy guy with a big heart and super nice.

…precisely the kind of man that a woman like Cleary would not struggle to control. Her attention-seeking personality combined with her beauty and his decent but very quiet, introverted nature (and likely propensity to put a lot of emotional investment in fairly early, as most “nice”, introverted guys do) made for a very unhealthy combination. As a man who once perfectly fit the description of Stern above, and probably still does to some extent, I speak from experience when I say that this relationship was bound to implode before long and that Stern was certain to get the worst of it.

Quintus Curtius described his situation well in a forum thread discussing Stern’s story:

Overall, I think the overriding problem here was this guy himself. I don’t really see this woman as being any more or less conniving or devious than any other beautiful woman. Her selfish, domineering, and entitled behavior is about what you would expect. He should have known what he was getting.

Of course, a more nurturing, caring type would have been just the ticket for this poor soul. He was so wound up with “performing” like a organ-grinder monkey for everyone: in his work, job, home, office, whatever. He had no identity of his own. He was a slave to what others thought of him.

He was empty inside because his entire life was focused on false status, on collecting trophies, and on impressing everyone around him. Everyone but himself.

Because he could fool everyone but himself. At the end of the day, he had to look at himself in the mirror. And all he saw was a scared rat.

From looking at his eyes, his demeanor, and overall presentation, it’s clear that he has some psychological problems. He is a deeply insecure, flawed person. Others have noted here that he likely was medicated. Or heavily medicated.

This should be another cautionary tale to us to remember that material things (women, money, cars, businesses, etc) can’t fill the inner void that a man feels. Men are not mechanical contrivances.

We can’t just be wound up and sent on our way like Energizer bunnies. To sustain us, we need something deeper, more profound, something that comes from within.

And this person never cultivated his own identity. His entire “identity” was built around his material possessions: his toys, his money, his useless trophy wife.

He who doesn’t spend his time to develop his identity and inner strengths, but instead wastes his energy chasing Rolex watches, trophy wives, expensive cars, and other meaningless things, can expect nothing but pain and self-destruction.

And once his biggest trophy (his “wife”) was pulled out from under him, he had no further reason to live. There are many men like this today, floating around, their chests puffed up with false arrogance, that one pinprick of hardship will deflate.

Stern may have been best served avoiding women like Cleary altogether – he couldn’t handle her without making some serious improvements on a personal level, and he was merely a means to an end for her (a good-looking, easily manipulated ticket to a lifestyle she simply couldn’t afford otherwise).

As Scorpion noted on the forum:

The girl is a hard 9 (touching 9.5 or even 10 depending on individual taste) with a strong personality and a desire to climb the social ladder. Women like that should come with a extreme bodily harm warning label, because they will fuck you up bad if you aren’t careful. She is the equivalent of handing a 16 year old kid a bottle of Everclear and a Ferrari.

This guy was just in way over his head. He managed to get his hands on way more woman than he was capable of handling. And just like in any other area of life, when you get in over your head bad things usually happen.

Stern’s story carries important lessons for any young male concerned with romantic self-improvement. It is one thing to seek relationships with very beautiful women, but it is another thing entirely to do so absent any consideration of what you bring to the table. If you want to have beautiful women in your life, you had best make sure that you are the kind of man capable not only of attracting them, but keeping them around.

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If you take the time to ensure that you have made and maintained these necessary improvements, these women could bring a lot of value to your life. You’ll have the chance to meet you “dream girl” and actually build a healthy long-term relationship with her.

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If you fail to ensure that these improvements have been made, your pursuit of your “dream girl” will destroy you emotionally (just as it destroyed Stern and many others), and any significant association you have with said “dream girl”—and probably most other girls—will become a nightmare sooner or later. Don’t put yourself in that position.

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