Monday, April 10, 2006

Break-up Busting 101: Taking Responsiblity

This edition starts our crash course on break-up busting. I’m going to try to take this in a logical order to make it easier for you to build a working mental model of concepts and processes, which in turn should help you evaluate your own situation and see where improvements can be made and how to implement them.

Identifying and correcting relationship problems is no different from any other kind of problem-solving where there is a human element. People are involved in the problem, usually caused it, definitely need the fix, and will benefit from it. Understanding the role of all the people involved and getting their commitment to action are just as crucial as defining the problem and the best possible outcome. Let’s start there.

As a man, your role, as far as relationships are concerned, is to lead. You’re biologically programmed to do it, and women are biologically programmed to respond to it. I don’t care how politically incorrect that statement is to anyone, you can’t argue with human biology. As the leader, you are responsible for everything, period, no matter what you may wish you could delegate. Maybe you’ve heard the old management axiom, “You can delegate authority, but you cannot delegate responsibility.” It’s called an axiom because it is self-evident and irrefutable; there is no escaping it or arguing with it, so accept it and move forward. What does this mean to you as the male in the partnership?

It means that when you take on the role of partner, you take on the role of leader – not tyrant, not dominator or dictator, not delegate or subordinate – LEADER. You struck this bargain when you asked your partner to marry you, whether you knew it or not. Forming that partnership was an agreement to support each other in your natural, biological capacities as man and woman along with everything else. So what exactly does this mean as you move through time?

As a human being, you have a responsibility to yourself to make a good choice in a partner, and as a man, you have a responsibility to keep your partner feeling like you’re holding up your end of the bargain. To do that you must understand her most basic of needs, some of which, like food, shelter, clothing, etc., she’s perfectly capable of providing for herself, and leave room for negotiating an arrangement as far as how to best apply your combined effort to best maintain and improve the household standard of living, but there are others which are entirely non-negotiable, and these are unfortunately the needs that most men are entirely unaware of these days, such as…

A woman’s need to avoid boredom! Believe it or not, that drive is often even stronger than the maternal drive, and often women will even engage maternal drive beyond what is healthy for the family to try to quell boredom if the male partner doesn’t do his part. You’ve seen it, the family of five or six in which the husband comes home from work, has dinner, and spends the rest of his evening with a beer in one hand and a TV remote in the other while the mother tries to manage the kids, and looks a little older than she really is because the stress is wearing on her.

There is a fundamental difference in male and female emotional structure that is responsible for all of this, and as a competent leader, you need to be aware of it and manage it. The male emotional scale has evolved to go from crisis to ecstasy, with neutral (uneventful, status quo, even boring) in the middle of the scale. We don’t really like a lot of excitement, good or bad, because it’s something else to manage, especially if it’s negative. When crisis occurs we spring into action immediately to try to bring things back to status quo; there’s a predator about threatening the village, and it’s up to us primal hunters to vanquish the marauding bastard, whatever it is, and return things to normal. However, women aren’t wired that way…

Women's emotional scale runs from neutral (status quo, uneventful, and very boring for them) to extreme, and internally they don’t differentiate very much between positive and negative. They need an emotional rush, frequently, or they will create one for themselves. Unfortunately, it’s a whole lost faster and easier to create a negative rush than a positive one, so when you fall down on the job as leader and don’t give her some positive “drama” to treat her boredom and she needs a fix, it’s going to come in the form of a tear-jerking movie or a pity party with her friends if you’re lucky, and she’s going to pick a fight if she’s gone the other route and you haven’t picked up on it and resumed your husbandly responsibility.

Yes, that’s really what that fight last week that seemed to be over absolutely nothing was really about. She needed a rush, you failed to provide one, and it went on so long that she picked a fight over absolutely nothing to get your attention and get her rush. That’s a warning shot across the bow, Gentlemen. She’s communicating to you that you are not taking care of her need for energy and excitement. And yes, it would be one hell of a lot easier on everybody if they would just grab us by the arm and say, “Hey, Moron! Can’t you see I’m so bored that I’m about to kick you in the testicles out of sheer frustration?” But they don’t do it that way. They’re not wired to. They’re wired to do exactly what they do, and it is our responsibility as leaders to understand that and deal with it.

This is all very short term. The really ugly picture comes in the long term. The boredom and fighting wear on a woman and make her depressed, and that makes her desperate. She withdraws, trying to find relief in her own world, and after the short time it takes for her to confirm that tactic is not working, she starts looking elsewhere, and is EXTREMELY vulnerable to anything that might trigger excitement, especially alpha male behavior in another man that can juice her up into the throes of attraction, the most desirable of all emotional states for a woman. That in a nutshell, is how women end up having affairs, and why ultimately you have to take responsibility for it, in preventing it or accepting that it happened because you didn’t do what you were supposed to do as a man.

That probably feels like a swift kick in the groin, doesn’t it? Before you get defensive and say, “Well, what about her responsibilities?” with venom and indignation in your voice, yes, she has responsibilities, but we are talking about your life, and your choices. It’s your responsibility to choose a stable, somewhat independent woman for a partner, one who genuinely values you as opposed to a gold-digger, codependent, substance abuser, or somebody just looking to have somebody else pay for them to have babies and play house. Once you’ve chosen such a person, it’s your responsibility to make it worth her while to remain in the relationship with you, just as she has the same responsibility with regard to keeping you in the relationship with her. But the bottom line is…

When you know what she requires and that you have taken on the responsibility of fulfilling those requirements, in exchange for her fulfilling yours, it’s much easier for you to succeed in doing so, and much easier to see where you have failed to do so and correct the problem if your relationship is in crisis.

The good news is that you don’t have to wait for your relationship to be in crisis before fixing it, but if it is, it can still be fixed as long as she is still speaking with you; women who have truly had all they can take don’t move out of the house and keep talking to you. They move out of the house or kick you out and immediately get restraining orders in place to shut you out and your only contact is with her lawyer. They move so quickly when it’s really over that you’ll break your neck trying to watch them move.

So what this all means to you, bottom line, in a nutshell with no B.S., is that in one way or another, all problems are the result of your own choices, which sounds bad until you realize that all solutions can therefore also be the result of your own choices. If you chose the wrong partner, you can choose to take your lumps and get out so you can get a fresh start instead of desperately trying to hold on to a bad relationship. If you chose well but have not lived up to your responsibilities, you can immediately choose to learn what you need to know and be the man you’re supposed to be; believe it or not, it’s far easier to be the man every woman wants you to be than it is to be a man that no woman wants to be around. Did I really just say that?

You bet I did, and every man who has been in both positions will back me up on it, without exception. Being the kind of man women want men to be comes natural, and it’s a whole lot of fun. There is no feeling in the world like walking into a room and feeling like you own it, regardless of who is in the room, and being able to just talk to people and have fun with them, and every man can do this. There’s no feeling in the world like that of getting cocky and naughty with a woman and seeing the spark and fire in her eyes and hear her laugh as you verbally spar and challenge each other, until finally she can’t take one more ounce of anticipation and pounces on you like the wild woman you would have never dreamed she could be. A man needs nothing more than some self-respect and a little solid knowledge to live this way every day of his life. Think not?

Aside from myself (I’m 44, a little overweight, my hair is thinning and quickly turning gray, and what I’m losing in on my head is rapidly reappearing everywhere else), I personally know men who are in far worse shape than I, including one who is in a wheel chair because he lost both legs in a car crash, several others who are literally in bankruptcy, and others who so shy they wouldn’t smile for a camera that all live this life today, because they stopped apologizing for being a man and started celebrating being a man, then aspired to be more of a man than they had ever been. You don’t have to be a rich 20-year old super model who’s hung like a horse to be exciting and attractive to a woman, you just have to be a man who takes responsibility and aspires to be a man instead of apologizing for it.

We’ve all had our relationships on the rocks, and all pulled them out and kicked them up notches unknown to humankind by doing nothing more than learning what it really means to be a man and doing what comes natural, and learning what women need and how to communicate with them. With some good information and the “intestinal fortitude” to make a choice, you can and will do it, too.

I can’t make the choice for you; nobody can. But, if you’re ready to step up and make the choice, I can certainly put the right information in your hands. It’s been tested and proven to work by hundreds of couples, and it can be yours for less than the cost of a good meal for two at about any decent restaurant. Step up, make the choice to be a man who acts and feels like a man and whom women, especially the one you love, just love to be around, and then jump over to and get your copy of “How to Be Attractive to the Woman You Love” and get started down what may be the most rewarding path you ever walk, because life’s too short to spend it walking the wrong path or just wandering around aimlessly, or cluelessly.

In the meantime, live well, be well, and have a wonderful day!
David Cunningham

No comments: