Friday, June 16, 2006

What Women DON'T Want: BOREDOM!

(A quick announcment before I begin: I'm going to be on the road for the next week and postings may be a bit sporadic due to travel schedules and availability of Internet access. I have a "helper" making sure my newsletter is going out daily, and to make sure that you get everything in a timely fashion, I urge you to go to http://www.makingherhappy.com and subscribe to the free newsletter for at least the next week until I'm back in the office. I don't buy, sell, trade, or otherwise share e-mail addresses, and removing yourself at the end of the week takes three mouse-clicks, so be good to yourself and take advantage of this convenience, or use the RSS feed at http://www.aweber.com/z/rss/?mhh_tips with your favorite RSS aggregator.)

It may only take a few weeks, or it may take years, but sooner or later virtually every couple falls prey to boredom, unless you understand a few basic things about attraction and intimacy and can avoid it. Once lost, you can get it back if you act in time, but it’s far easier and loads more fun to keep it going, like an eternal honeymoon, instead of watching the slow decay of something wonderful and then having to go through heroic efforts to heal the wounds.

This edition could rightly have been part of the “Want Women Want” series, because one of the biggest things that women really want is to avoid being bored, but the issue and message here is bigger than that. In case you’ve only been following for a short while, boredom is a woman’s most dreaded state, and is at the most negative end of her emotional range, like fear, anger, and frustration are at the negative end of men’s emotional range.

Interestingly enough, the physical manifestations of either gender being at the negative end of their emotional range are the same: extreme agitation, tendency to be entirely illogical and act out of desperation, physical symptoms like sleeplessness, nausea, tremors, etc.

Boredom’s effect on women is grossly misunderstood by most men (and some women as well) because it doesn’t effect us the same way, so for future reference, Gentlemen, imagine the feelings you would experience in losing your job, having difficulty getting another, watching the bills pile up, and suspecting that your wife is about to leave. Those feelings build up over time and eventually can make you entirely unstable. Those sensations of depression, desperation, fear, agitation, etc., that you would feel under those circumstances are what a woman feels as she gets more and more bored.

Borrowing from medical terminology, “acute boredom” is a short-term severe problem with an immediate symptomatic cure usually gained from radical treatment: a fight, usually over nothing. (We’ve touched on this several times over the last week, so if you’ve missed it, check the last week or two in the archives.) “Chronic boredom” is a bigger problem. It develops over months or even years of very gradual decline in the excitement level in a woman’s life caused by routine, lack of “adult time,” career stagnation, and watching her partner grow apathetic, fat, lazy, and desirous of spending evenings drinking and channel surfing too much and talking with her too little. Yes, months or even years, and when it builds up enough pressure, fights won’t cure it, and divorce starts slipping into the picture as an option.

The following letter caught my attention, not because of the decay of the relationship or its resurrection after reading and applying what’s in “How to Be Attractive to the Woman You Love,” but the amount of time it took for the relationship to fade! Meet Karen:

Dear David,

I have been in a love relationship with my best friend for seven years now. I have always tried to take care of myself and be attractive to him. Last year I began to think that maybe we should have just stopped our relationship at being friends and never become lovers. I found myself looking at other men and wishing that Jack had some of the qualities I found so attractive in them. I made one last attempt at talking and trying to tell him that we were no longer attractive to each other and one way or the other something would have to change or we were over.

He came across your website and bought your book a short time later. Within a few days I noticed a big difference and within a month I was not living with the same man I was thinking of leaving the month before. I was living with the guy I fell in love with 7 years ago! No one could prepare me for the changes not only in Jack, but myself as well. “Taking it to the next level,” whatever that would be, wouldn’t begin to cover what happened to us over the next couple of months, and we’re getting married this weekend, after living together seven years and almost losing it all!

I can not understand why anyone would pass up the chance to have the kind of relationship like what we have after reading your book. The words thank you seem so little compared to what your book as done for us. My whole life is right out the dreams I had as a young woman.

Karen B.


Well Karen, dreams do come true, but you usually have to take charge of making it happen like you and your husband-to-be did, and congratulations for doing so!

Folks, what kills me about this letter is that most relationships die of boredom somewhere between a few minutes and two years, yet this one survived six years before the couple started drifting. Some would blame something once known as “the seven year itch,” and I couldn’t argue with that, but these days I see people who either make it or don’t very early in the relationship.

Indeed, lately I’ve been working with couples who have been together as long as 44 years, and the most common thread in all of them is boredom. What’s shocking is how quickly a woman can build up a head of steam after all that time and start moving for separation; one went from “status quo” to out of the house in four days! I spoke with her in a counseling session, and she said that she still loved her husband deeply, but after 37 years of marriage, the idea of him disappearing into his study to spend the remainder of the evening with his carving hobby until bedtime even one more time was too much to bear, and at 61 years of age, she was ready to start over if that was the only way to escape the nightly abandonment and boredom. The problem has been resolved and they are again happy and reengaging one another, but it was a VERY close call.

Let me be clear; I’m not saying divorces happen that fast, it’s that couples report settling into routine, losing excitement, get lazy, and the magic goes away that fast, even though they may remain committed to each other (or the institution of marriage, the kids, or whatever to hold it together) for decades, like my grandparents did. Karen says they had fun and excitement for six years, and then trouble started.

Boredom is insidious, covert, unpredictable, and deadly to your relationship, and it can slip in unnoticed the minute you drop your guard, just as it did with this couple. The thing is to know the opponent, and know how to guard yourself against it, which in this case is by remaining aware of each other’s needs, lives, excitement level, and having fun and growing together in ways that keep you close, intimate, excited, etc.

As Karen said, what’s in “How to Be Attractive to the Woman You Love” is information for men about women, but a lot of it is also information that women aren’t aware of about themselves and men! It can do you both a world of good to read it, because it will let you keep the home fires burning bright instead of having them go out and having to rebuild and reignite them in the dark and under duress later. Do yourself a favor and go to http://www.makingherhappy.com and get your copy right now, because life is definitely too short to spend it bored and doing all the ridiculous things people do to fight boredom, especially when you have such an option that is so easy and affordable as this.

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

What Women Want, Part 4: The Alpha Male

No discussion of what women want could be complete without discussion of the Alpha Male. Female readers sound off about what they think about the Alpha Male. In short, they WANT him, NOW!

I’ve got tons of e-mails (mixed metaphor, anybody? LOL!) from women about their reactions to the alpha male, his personality, behavior, bearing, leadership, etc., and since alpha male behavior triggers automatic, biologically-based attraction response, this is indeed something very important you must understand if you truly want to be a man who knows what women want. I’ll give you some examples…

Check these out:

David,

Where can I get a man that will propose to me in a dip at the end of a Flamenco????? I watch that dance sequence in “The Mask of Zorro” all the time because it’s a better than any romance novel at getting me juiced up. It’s just too hot for words! And that fire in Aleandru, and the determination in Delavega, they are so smooth and so hot, and just take charge of everything around them, as if no matter how bad things have been or could get, they own the world they walk on! GAWD!!! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to tend to something… ;-)

Denise

(Sent in response to a recent newsletter about the attraction and being able to kill it even in a marriage proposal.)

David,

Just some affirmation from one of your female readers ... I loved what you had to say today about the Alpha Male! And from this female's perspective, you're right on target. There is nothing sexier than a man who knows what he wants and sets out to get it, but still takes care not to trample on others to get there. It sounds lame, but "careful determination" is high on my list of traits that I'm looking for in a mate. I want the man who will set out boldly in the direction he desires, who will make sure he has gathered all the necessary data and considered all the important points of what his next step should be, so that when he makes each step, it is bold, sure, and determined. There is nothing wimpy about this man, because even though he's careful and considerate, he is those things in a way that comes across as prepared and in control, not insecure and second-guessing. He has all the facts, and he operates from logic and knowledge -- he IS the Alpha Male. From this gal's point of view, you've got it nailed! Thanks for your insights!

(unsigned)

Hi David!

I have your book, and I’ve been reading your newsletter for a long time now, and I’m starting to wonder why you’ve not yet been on “Oprah”. I keep forwarding your stuff to my guy friends, and some have said they’ve subscribed. The others just don’t get it. They continue to cower before the women around them, feeding us B.S. compliments in a sorry effort to win our approval, never realizing that if they want our approval, the first thing they have to do is stand up and stop seeking it.

Then they have to listen. They need to recognize when we’re serious about something and when we’re playing, when we’re really having a crisis and when we’re just testing to see how much drama they’ll put up with, and when we’re testing to see if they’re going to act like men or wimps, they need to calmly tell us to “put our big girl panties on” and straighten up. When we’re having a real crisis, we want a man to be strong enough to hear the outpouring of a problem without trying to jump to our rescue, and then tell us get on with handling it, and let them know if they can be of assistance, instead of getting frantic with us and assuming that we’re frantic because we can’t handle it ourselves. We can. We handle ourselves differently than men, but the vast majority of us do handle ourselves. It takes strength and brains to be that man, one who can recognize the difference between expressing crisis and a plea for help and being considerate enough to act appropriately, and those who are that man are the most desirable of all.

They also have to have themselves together enough to have fun with us. We don’t like being around sappy, whiney dorks, or boring sticks in the mud. We want to be with achievers, as you call them, who get things done and feel like they’ve earned a good time, and can have one, and bring us into it at will with laughter and enthusiasm. God! How we hate to hear the words, “I don’t know, what do you want to do?”

Yes, we’re hard to understand sometimes, and most of us know it, but more and more of us are getting past that dime novel idea that men should just know everything. We’re realizing that we don’t really want them to “just know,” but that we do want them to recognize it when we tell them, however subtly we may express it. To that end, many of us are starting to speak out in forums like this, because the time for improvement is at hand, and we all, men and women, deserve better.

(also unsigned)

Whoever these women are, they either have or will have a good man. The first certainly seems to be saying that she’ll accept nothing less than a true alpha male, one who is strong, but earns his way through the world – he doesn’t just beat somebody over the head and take what he wants, he works for it, knowing that he can earn it and is worthy of having it. In Objectivist philosophy, this is called “rational self-interest,” and is the cornerstone of appropriate human behavior.

The second seems to be confirming, albeit more verbosely, everything the first says. In short, They want this “alpha male” in their life, and aren’t leaving us to guess who he is and what he looks like anymore.

When you’ve finished “How to Be Attractive to the Woman You Love,” you might want to follow it up with one of Ayn Rand’s novels, like “The Fountainhead,” or “Atlas Shrugged.” They are incredibly well-written, and project man as a truly heroic being, strong, logical, motivated, walking tall and moving through life with a purpose, an image that every woman wants to see every time she looks at her man, not just because it’s exciting, but because they are “biologically wired” to recognize such characteristics and respond to them – it’s called “attraction.” (Now there’s a clue!) I’ve included pages upon pages of instruction and examples of how to be this man in “How to Be Attractive to the Woman You Love,” and Gentlemen, the women are constantly saying, “Hell YES! This is what I want!” so pay attention! The choice is yours, choose well, and get on over to http://www.makingherhappy.com, because life is just too short to spend it bored and wanting.

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

Thursday, June 15, 2006

What About What YOU Want?

We’re going to take a sudden detour from what women want to address another question that the other question begs: What about YOU? What do YOU want? Do you remember the old saying, “Be careful what you wish for, because you might just get it”? We’ve talked about that subject before, but never in THIS context. Tune in, because it will jerk you upright!

Before I say anything else, I want to correct a rather embarrassing error in yesterday’s newsletter in the following paragraph, which was arranged precisely backwards because I didn’t like the way it was originally worded and changed it without checking precedent and context:

“That's paraphrased because I can't remember the exact quote, but I'm sure you get the point. He was assuming she couldn't cut it or didn't want her to have to, and she stepped right up. That kind of support is a small price to pay for mentioning that ‘some bozo squirted ink all over himself and somebody else got caught being naughty in the supply closet, but otherwise the day was a waste of time.’”

Nobody wrote about it, so everyone either understood and let me off the hook or thought I’d lost my mind. It should have read like this:

“That's paraphrased because I can't remember the exact quote, but I'm sure you get the point. He was assuming she couldn't cut it or didn't want her to have to, and she stepped right up. Mentioning that ‘some bozo squirted ink all over himself and somebody else got caught being naughty in the supply closet, but otherwise the day was a waste of time.’ is a small price to pay for that kind of support.”

Make a lot more sense, right? LOL! My sincere apologies. Now let’s get to today’s newsletter.

This subject of what women want has opened up either a cornucopia or a hornet’s nest; I’m not sure which. I’m getting flooded with comments and questions, and loving every minute of it. It appears that my readers are some of the smartest people around if they use their head. Some catch on immediately, while others don’t get it at first because they are so emotionally charged and married to a bad position, but once they see the contradiction in their thinking, they immediately get on the right track and impress the hell out of me with the clarity of their vision and swiftness of their response. I’m proud of every one of you who has responded!

The biggest mistake that anyone can make during relationship crisis is to let insecurity and need take over, driving you to try to save something that is already bad for you, and unfortunately, this is one of the most common mistakes as well. Both men and women can be in a relationship that is so bad that they are considering breaking it off, and if the other person moves to initiate the discussion, they suddenly switch from “I wonder how I can start this conversation to break it off without making an enemy?” to “How can I win them back so I can regain their acceptance and approval???”

Sad, isn’t it?

I’m going to share with you a most stunning response from a reader who has been through "How to Be Attractive to the Woman You Love" and we’ve been corresponding about his current situation. We have been discussing why and under what conditions he should allow his estranged wife to come home and resume her post as his wife and mother of his son after having an affair with a financial parasite who has made her do some rather crazy things to try to keep her options open with her husband, who is successful and very capable of supporting the whole family alone (she’s not worked and contributed as a homemaker in return for a pretty lavish existence).

I described several diverse options for him to analyze and see what made sense to him so that I could gauge his mental state and how much he had learned from "How to Be Attractive to the Woman You Love" and our discussions, and wrapped up by saying,

"I'm not particularly thrilled about the idea of her coming home without a complete repentance and new commitment; I'm just offering you options. The one you choose depends on your own sense of self-worth."

His response was awe-inspiring, the hallmark of a man who has realized that both halves of a partnership must earn their place in it, and that love and trust can only be traded for love and trust. Read and learn from a student who has indeed become a master:

Touche - That's the entire question at this point, isn't it? I really see no value in her coming home as a relief to HER - it has to be for the right reasons. In the past, she's come around to wisdom after some thought, but this is big. If she told me tonight that she and [the boyfriend] were over and she wanted to be home, I'd question her motives. Wanting to be home is not the same as wanting to be my wife, or wanting to repair our problems, or wanting to move past the crap she dwells on for years. I'm uninterested in returning to our former life, and I know she is as well.

Truth is, she may miss our house and comfortable life much more than she misses me, and her anger/blame is directed at me for that loss as much as the loss of our relationship. I've been watching for evidence of that, and finding LESS, but still finding some. If she announced her desire to start over and repair the whole thing, I'd be openly skeptical of her ability or willingness to really do that. In the past she's handled our issues by deciding that I was the problem, but she'd tolerate me because the good outweighed the bad. She'd deny that, but I see it often enough that I stick to my story!

Noah
(Yes, name changed to protect his privacy!)

Can you imagine that? A man who has pushed beyond that initial knee-jerk reaction of “I’ve got to have my wife back no matter what!” to see that she may have in fact been a bad influence on the whole family with her philandering and deceit and taken the firm stand that if she comes home, it will be as a loving, loyal wife and mother and a genuine life partner, not simply as another dependent who pisses away the love to get to the security he can provide.

Make no mistake; this is the attitude that should prevail in every marriage and committed relationship. If your life together is a fair trade, you should nurture and protect it vigorously, but if you indeed have a dependent instead of a partner, someone who takes and wastes your life and other resources and gives you nothing but meaningless and scant approval – just enough to keep you giving in to their every whim – you really need to be somewhere else, or need for them to be somewhere else. Contrary to what the altruists would have you believe, your purpose on this planet is not simply to have the life sucked out of you by someone who refuses to take responsibility for making a life for themself, which is a recipe for resentment, fear, and a tortured existence.

You can’t say that all women are gold diggers any more than you can say that all men are wife beaters, and that’s certainly not what I’m trying to say here. What I want you to get from this is that committed relationships are synergistic partnerships or they are something that will destroy you; there is no middle ground. If your relationship isn’t fulfilling you and giving you cause for celebration, it’s killing you, either through the slow poison of the erosion of your self-worth and self-respect, or the explosive shockwave excessive demands and manipulation that continue until you are wiped out, when the fatal blow is delivered, the break-up, accompanied by the news that everything you did just wasn’t quite good enough.

What kind of relationship are you in? Are you celebrating being together? Are you bored with being together? Are you living in fear that you might find tomorrow that you are no longer together? Can your relationship be fixed? Or should you get out while you still have some life left to invest in a better way of life, one which may involve a more appreciative and mutually nurturing partner who compliments your existence rather than competing with it?

These are tough questions, some that many people can’t answer, even after being together for 20, 30, and even 40 years! It’s not that they’re stupid at all; they either don’t know the right questions to ask or they’re terrified of the answers. It doesn’t have to be that way…

There are answers waiting for you at
http://makingherhappy.com in "How to Be Attractive to the Woman You Love," along with the mental and emotional means to use those answers to make your life better instead of allowing them to torment you. Get those answers now, and get a near-instantaneous boost in your own self-worth, so that you can face the tough questions with the courage of your convictions and make your life, especially your marriage or other committed relationship, the best that it can be.

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

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

What Women Say They Want from Men, Part 2A: A Reader Response to "Emotional 'Sharing'"

This topic of what women want is really waking some people up. Check out what this reader has to say about “sharing the drama of the day,” and how the situation is easier to handle than his experience has led him to believe…

I’m downright proud of the responses I’m getting from readers on this subject, even when they don’t get the whole message, because they’re taking the time to really look at their life and situation and taking the time to discuss it, looking for solutions instead of just ignoring a bad situation and letting it fester and finally erupt.

This reader didn’t include his name, so I’m just going to refer to him as “Steve.” Check him out:

OK. I understand that women do not operate by logic. However, it is beyond me as to why in this scenario Alyson can't take a step back, reflect and say to herself "Gee, he's doing everything else right - all other areas of the relationship are great - I'll just leave him alone on this one." The guy is batting at least .900 by her very own words!!!!! I know it is a "logical" statement to say "you're getting everything else you want, so give the buy a break" - especially since he's not necessarily doing anything "wrong" even in her complaint.

I know in the real world things aren't fair, but having been the guy at the dinner table, I have felt the heat from "Alyson's" complaint and I have always felt it was extremely unfair to be accused of doing something wrong just because I had no dialogue about the day. At least now I know the thought process that has driven me at the dinner table. I now realize that if there were no significant achievements in the day, the day had no value or meaning to me by the time I would get home and I would feel like there's nothing to share. So I guess you could say my "male filter" translates questions like "How was your day" into "Did you have a major victory today?" If my logical search engine doesn't find anything to match that query, then my response is "It was ok". I have returned the search results and that's the end of the story about my day. Then her "female filter" translates "It was ok." into a marriage crime punishable by nagging, poking, accusations and the most tortuous punishment of all - forgetting all of the other really important good things that the male has done.

So why can't "Alyson" just step back and leave well enough alone considering how great everything else is? Is the argument for emotional connectedness that heavy or is there some selfishness included which doesn't allow "Alyson" to look at the situation and ask herself "What is it that HE needs at the dinner table rather than focusing on what HER need is - again considering the fact that most if not all of her other needs are being met??????????????????


Good morning, Steve,

This isn’t so much because women don’t operate by logic as because they are wired to do things differently than we are, and don’t realize that we have different emotional scales, different communications methods and protocols, etc., any more than men realize it. Until a woman is aware of how we think and communicate differently, she takes everything that you say as having meant and been said for the same reason that a woman would say it. In “man-world,” a succinct terse reply of “status quo, nothing to report” is a favor, where in “woman-world,” a terse answer without details says, “I don’t like you and don’t want to share with you because you’re not worth enough to me for me to allow you into the intimate details of my life, so go away.” It’s hurtful at best, and insulting at worst.

Alyson can step back and leave well enough alone if she understands that you are not closing her off and that there was really nothing to discuss, or that you find rehashing a bad day irritating. Women want to nurture the man they love, not torment the life out of him. Women generally don’t find rehashing a bad day irritating; for them it’s like a bonding ritual and a show of support to sit and listen to another’s problems with no expectation of getting involved in a solution. You’ll notice that Alyson did acknowledge that the problem may be on her end when she said, “What can I do to make him talk or am I going about it the wrong way, the nagging wife syndrome?”

Remember, our emotional scale runs from extreme negative to extreme positive, while theirs runs from no emotion to extreme emotion without much discrimination between positive and negative. That’s not to say that they enjoy disaster; they simply find the “rush” from crisis to be as “emotionally relieving” as success and celebration.

Women accumulate emotional energy, and if they don’t have some outlet for it, they will create one, and here’s a big hint to chew on: It’s a lot easier to create negative emotional energy than positive. Achievement and success take a lot of time to arrange, at least a lot more time than negative. Next time you’re having a fight over what seems to be absolutely nothing, it’s possible that it’s a real issue that the two of you are not able to communicate effectively about, but it’s more likely that she got so bored that the emotional energy boiling up in her erupted over something insignificant, because a fight over something insignificant is very easy to start and very easy to end when she gets all that pent-up energy out of her system; She can simply say, “I’m sorry, that was silly. It just struck me the wrong way and I exploded,” and proceed to making up.

I know all too well how frustrating this scenario is from personal experience. It was one of the things that put me on the road to doing the research for "How to Be Attractive to the Woman You Love," and the women in the test group were quite surprised to find out what I just explained, and when they understood that sharing the details of a bad day was different for a man than a woman, they had no problem with being satisfied with a few minor details and a declaration that the rest of the day was something the man didn’t want to discuss as long as there was nothing that threatened the man, his job, or the household.

If you can grasp the significance of 118 women agreeing on something, you’ll understand how important this distinction is: the entire group agreed that women want to know that if trouble comes, the man can deal with it and involve them if they can help, and DO NOT want to be shielded from news of a potential credible threat. They don’t like being blind-sided any more than we do, and most of them are a whole lot tougher than you might think when things get tough as long as you take the lead and keep them informed and involved to whatever extent they can help.

As I wrote that paragraph it immediately put me in mind of a scene from “The Rookie,” the story of Tampa Bay Devil Rays pitcher Jimmy Morris who found that after an injury and surgery that had taken him out of professional baseball for over a decade, he had a 98 MPH fastball and went back into Major League Baseball for 2 years. In the scene, Jimmy is telling his wife that if he takes the offer to enter the minor league team in preparation for the major league performance, it will put too much of a squeeze on the family finances and too much strain on her, and she says, “Jimmy Morris, I’m a Texas woman, and that means I don’t need no man around to keep things running. This is your dream shot, and you go on and take it. We’ll be fine.”

That’s paraphrased because I can’t remember the exact quote, but I’m sure you get the point. He was assuming she couldn’t cut it or didn’t want her to have to, and she stepped right up. That kind of support is a small price to pay for mentioning that “some bozo squirted ink all over himself and somebody else got caught being naughty in the supply closet, but otherwise the day was a waste of time.”

I hope this clears things up a bit for you. I’m not suggesting that you just give in and talk about everything you don’t want to talk about at all. I’m saying that if you and your wife understand each other’s priorities, preferences, communications styles and needs, etc., there is an easy and very agreeable solution to this most common and frustrating problem.

Take care,
David

There’s not a lot I can add to that, except to say that readers of "How to Be Attractive to the Woman You Love" now all of this and much more about how to understand the women in their life and how to navigate and negotiate these sticky situations so that all this stress and frustration is not an issue for them, and you have the same opportunity for a better life that they have. All it takes is a quick trip to http://www.makingherhappy.com and a few mouse clicks to download your copy of "How to Be Attractive to the Woman You Love" and a little time and effort. It really doesn’t get any easier or any better, so go ahead and be good to yourself and your family and get it now. Everybody involved will thank you for it, and you’ll be glad you did.

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

Monday, June 12, 2006

What Women Want, Part 3A: "A Reader's Tale from the Dark Side"

We interrupt this series to bring you a reader’s own “Tale from the Dark Side,” a forty-year marriage in which the reward for good work was more work and the reward for wanting rational discussion was false accusations of control – BY THE CONTROLLER! Learn from this man’s mistakes, as he is now doing…

Yesterday’s edition got a lot of responses, a lot more than I expected. Many of you have had a run-in with “ignorance of a woman’s true desires,” and most of you who did gave strong evidence of having learned something from the experience, even if it was only that you needed to learn more about women to get along with them well in the long term; you’d be surprised at how many men never even learn that.

There was one letter that stood above the rest as having lessons to teach that all could learn from. Meet Roger (as always, the name has been changed to protect the reader’s privacy):

Hi David,

Your recent letter concerning your friend Matt has made me realise just how common such a situation can be. I have been married for almost 40 years with two daughters and three grandsons and for as long as I can remember, I have never been able to please her; always there is something else that she wants me to do. I realised this many years ago and now always make a joke of it. So as fast as I complete one project, she will have the next ready for me, sometimes before the first was finished! I just add them to my list of tasks these days, some will get done, some will never be done. My problem is that she has a real knack of making me fell guilty.

This is not just about projects, it could be a social event or something she simply does not approve of, but always I have a guilt feeling when I refuse. The feelings haunt me and I end up doing what she wants sooner or later in most cases. If I argue or try to discuss, I am accused of always wanting to control her. I am driven to succeed because I want the quiet life and the brownie points that come from approval. I am told she sings my praises to others, but never to me.

To give you some idea how it works, she wants me to tidy the garage so it can have a workbench, all the machines and space for me to work. She tells everyone how it will improve things for me, but she also wants me to move all the items stored in the garden shed to the garage so that I can demolish the shed. Then I am expected to build her a summerhouse in the space, not a prefabricated one, a purpose built brick and tile fantasy!

In my spare time I am expected to remodel and transform the gardens, paint the house, build a new two-level deck across the back, turn the second bathroom into a "wet" room and keep the maintenance of our other two houses up to scratch! I must finish the kitchen sometime too! In all this she has ignored the plans we had to convert the garage into a dining room whilst we built a new garage with attached workshop. Maybe this is because her new greenhouse currently occupies the site?

David, I am tired! I work a 9 hour shift, six days per week and generally get just one day off. I cannot afford to pay someone else to do the work as I am still clearing debts from a failed business venture and I am earning just a tad above the minimum wage. I am reading the book you kindly emailed to me after it got lost in transit when I downloaded, but have yet to put it into practice.

Recently she took a vacation with my daughter and grandsons at one of our cottages. It was tiring, but different and the boys were easy, spending their time surfing. What was I doing? I spent my evenings and a rare weekend off work, repairing and painting the beach hut! Trying to please her again! My own vacations are limited and restricted to the extent we cannot have time together and if I take time off without her, I am expected to work on one of the projects!

I am considering building her a dungeon!:-))

There is a lot more to this than meets the eye, but I will not bore you with all the details of the problems in our marriage. I do not give up easily, but there are times when I seriously consider cutting my losses. Divorce is out of the question as we both feel it might make the other happy!

Any advice you can offer would be appreciated. I simply want time to complete a few things on the list without her adding items faster than I can delete them! I can live without the approval for completed projects, but it would be nice if the feelings of guilt could be stopped too.

Thanks for listening
Kind regards,
Roger

What can you learn from Roger’s predicament? Do you recognize the trade he has been engaging in for many years? He’s trading unappreciated effort for the promise of approval. A man shouldn’t seek the approval of a woman any more than a woman should seek the approval of a man. It tips the balance in the relationship too far to one side and throws everything out of whack.

Do you also recognize that she’s using guilt as a tool to usurp the authority that he should be both defining and exercising in their relationship? And the bit about when he wants to discuss something she truncates the discussion by accusing him of wanting to control her, when in fact her manipulations are for the purpose of controlling him?

Roger and I have had other correspondence since this letter, and he’s going to do well in cleaning this mess up. He’s reading and learning, and getting his ducks in a row. The task before him is to refuse to allow his wife to use guilt and manipulation to control his actions, and to take back the authority she has usurped from him, the authority over his own life, effort, schedule, the money he earns and how it is spent, etc.

His wife is in for a rude awakening, but history indicates that unless she is sociopathic and entirely devoid of character, she will actually love him and respect him, not to mention become wildly attracted to the new authority and strength in him, when he makes the changes he is current preparing for.

It’s not often that you see two people remain in such a one-sided relationship for so long, but even when things have gone so wrong for so long, they can still be fixed, and a lot faster than you’d ever think until you’ve experienced it, if you only know what the woman in your life really wants as a woman and as your partner, and that’s just not that hard to find out if you have the tools for the job.

The tools? Knowledge and desire. Knowing what women want in general, how to clearly communicate with them, and how to turn their attraction on and off will take you to a level of intimacy you never imagined possible, and from there you can learn what she as an individual secretly yearns for and responds to with complete certainty.

If you didn’t have the desire, you wouldn’t be reading this day after day looking for the knowledge. I’ve had a couple of complaints that my newsletter and blog posts sound like a sales letter, and maybe they do at that. I give away a lot of free information to prove that the information I’m selling is both valid and valuable.

All that I ask in exchange for all the free information I give you is that you take a good hard look at your life and try to find a way to apply what I give you, and that you occasionally at least consider taking the plunge and committing a few hours of reading and the cost of a good meal for two to go ahead and learn everything you need to know now, and making the effort to make your relationship all that it can be.

Some of you do, and write me letters describing fantastic results, and some of you don’t, apparently thinking that you’ll learn all you need to know from my newsletters or that you really don’t need to do anything. You will eventually find that position to be a serious error, and you’ll be downloading this book somewhere down the road when your relationship is in much worse shape and harder to and more painful to endure and try to fix.

It is at that time that you will realize that you could have read my book many times over in the time that you have spent only reading my newsletters (which, by the way, are infinitely more meaningful to those who have read the book), and that the cost of a good meal could have saved you a lot of time and a lot of pain, frustration, anger, money, celibacy, and no telling what else.

So I would urge you to make things easy on yourself. Go on now to http://www.makingherhappy.com and download your copy of "How to Be Attractive to the Woman You Love," as well as a free report I’ve bundled with it on how to quickly understand the true causes of a break-up and stop it quickly when things finally blow up. Life’s too short to waste it, so don’t waste any more of it being anything less than happy.

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

P.S.
I didn't mention this in the e-mail version of this newsletter, but realize that guilt is something you CHOOSE to feel, not something that someone can force you to feel. If someone tries to make you feel guilty, you can simply choose to feel righteous if you are instead of letting them motivate you to ignore reality and accept the guilt they want to heap upon you for their own gain.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

What Women Want Part 3: The Dark Side

Is your relationship a good one, or are you just swimming in wishful thinking? My old friend Matt was drowning in it, but he – and YOU – can do better, if you know what the woman in your life really wants…

As we continue to talk about what women want from a man, we’re going to deviate momentarily to the dark side, and call your attention to the calamities that can occur if you don’t know what the woman in your life wants. We’ll start with my old friend Matt:

I ran into him over the holidays, and it really made me realize just how great a life I live; it’s not a perfect life, as any life has room for improvement, lest it get too boring to bear, but I know exactly where I stand on every aspect of my life, and know what’s working, what could be better, and at any given moment, if something isn’t working, I can make a rational decision as to whether to fix the problem or separate myself from the situation because there’s nothing to be gained by making the effort. I know what my wife wants, expects, and responds to at all times, and there no nasty surprises.

No so for my old friend Matthew…

“Matt” was a pretty mediocre guy in most respects when we were growing up together, but he’s a great communicator, has an eye for detail, and hence has made a very successful career in business-to-business technology sales, but he’s never been able to really accept that success, and has a huge self-esteem deficit. To make matters worse, to try to feed his ego – that nasty stuff that fills the void between a person’s current self-esteem level and their needed self-esteem level – he’s surrounded himself with the trappings of success – big house, expensive cars and jewelry, private aircraft, and unfortunately, a totally unappreciative trophy bride – to try to make himself feel better about himself.

There are a few laws in this universe that cannot, under any circumstances, be broken, even if one wishes to break them; one of these is the law of cause and effect. Unfortunately, this seems to be the one that everybody wants to try to break routinely, and nobody has ever gotten away with it. In the case of success, success causes the attitude and trappings of success; faking a successful attitude and surrounding oneself with the rewards does not create success, nor the genuine attitude or self-esteem of success. In Matt’s case, because he was never really able to see himself as having risen above his mediocrity to excellence, in spite of having been the top salesman in his company since the first year he was there, he’s trying to fool himself into believing what he should already have accepted long ago. As if that weren’t bad enough, there’s his trophy bride…

His trophy bride is a gold-digging predator. They’ve been together fourteen years and he catches her in a new affair about every month. She knows just what buttons to push to keep him seeking her approval, and blaming him for her affairs in such a way that he accepts the blame and works harder at his job to try to buy more of her attention! I didn’t get to talk to him long enough to find absolute proof, but at the time we parted, there was a huge body of evidence that she was in fact the sole cause of his total lack of self-esteem and acceptance of his success, because he had never “good enough” for her to accept him and be happy with him instead of having all of her “toy boys” while managing to keep him on the edge of bankruptcy the entire duration of their sham of a marriage.

As we talked, she would disappear for long periods, show up for a few minutes to push his buttons, and then flutter off again as a social butterfly constantly does. When he finished describing his situation, I asked how he saw their future, he said, “Well, we’ve been together for fourteen years and she’s not left yet, so she much be incredibly patient with me. I’ve just got to work harder to find a way to satisfy her and when I do, I’m sure everything will finally come together.” My jaw about hit the floor.

In fourteen years, she’s had a dozen affairs per year on average (that’s 168!), she’s spent everything he’s made and has them pretty deeply in debt with no retirement, despite his million dollar-plus annual income, and he thinks she’s “patient”??? Sure she is! She has a very generous sugar-daddy footing the bill for her “brattitude” and excesses thinking he needs to work harder to buy her love! There’s no way she’s going to get impatient with him, except to the extent required to keep him in approval-seeking mode!

Of course, when I asked him why he hadn’t ended the relationship long ago because he obviously wasn’t getting anything but an early trip to the grave out of the deal, his reply was, “But she’s such a great person, and she really loves me!” Yeah, she was great alright; she looked like something off the cover of a fashion magazine, indeed, quite a bit like super model Christy Brinkley, and that was about as far as great went.

She was haughty, aloof, thoroughly abusive to him (she said some things to him while he and I were talking that I wouldn’t say to somebody to try to start a fight), and was coming on to other men just a few feet away from where we were talking, not just in plain sight from where we were sitting, but she would even look over at him and toss her head with a smug look on her face like he wasn’t good enough to watch her enjoying herself with another man. It was truly pathetic.

So what’s the point? Matt could have saved himself years of a pretty bad life if he has just accepted the law of cause and effect, especially with regard to his wife. Her actions did not in any way support her claims of loving him; she said she did, but her affairs and disrespect for him said otherwise. He knew nothing of what she really wanted, even though it was plain as day in front of him the whole time.

Matt’s case is a great example of the more sinister side of female desire, but what about the more benign or even nurturing woman whose needs are not being met? Meet reader and counseling client “Jack,” whose name has been changed to protect the blind and knuckleheaded:

Hi David,

I can’t thank you enough for your help and your insight. After a bitter divorce and custody battle, losing most of what I had in the world and getting saddled with alimony and child support payments that reduce my take home pay pretty much to minimum wage, I finally got her to talk to me, stop treating me like the enemy, and tell me her version of what brought us to where we are. There was a lot of drama, a lot of finger-pointing, a lot of what I would have called rhetorical questions in the past, and a lot of anger and tears, but along the way there emerged two repeating themes. I never listened to her and I never gave her the chance she gave me by helping her to finish college.

You know all about the listening problem from our sessions, and it was just like you said on the phone and in your book. She never uttered a direct word in her life, did the whole questions and statements reversal thing and always assumed that what was obvious to her was obvious to me so she never stated the obvious, but this time I heard her, drew her out with questions to show interest and lead the discussion when she stopped talking like you said, and found out along the way that she didn’t quit school because she wanted to have babies, she quit because she was GOING TO HAVE A BABY, and wanted to go back to college when our son entered grade school! In my deafness and arrogance, I thought she wanted to be a stay at home, full time mother and homemaker, because I misunderstood what she said when I asked her about it and didn’t press her for more detail, making her think I’d closed off the discussion and her desire and need for achievement didn’t matter.

We have called a truce, we’re talking daily, and there is a lot of testing going on right now, but she has brought up the subject of getting back together twice, and a discussion of her going back to school and having a career has followed that quickly both times. We’re putting our life and our family back together now, thanks to you. If there’s ever anything I can do for you, let me know.

“Jack”

Jack leaves out a few details that we spoke about on the phone later when I called to follow up, such as the motivation behind his wife’s desire to have a college degree and a career. She didn’t want to be a kept woman, resented kept women (which sounds like an issue that she needs to therapist about, because resentment is never healthy), and wanted the degree and career to make a fair contribution to the household and help facilitate early retirement.

Do you see what she was upset about? Her husband had so badly misconstrued what he saw and heard that he thought of her and her desires as exactly opposite who she was and wanted! No wonder she left! And her desires, unlike Matt’s wife, were about as honorable and loving as they could be! It’s not just what all women want, think and respond to that is important to you as a man; what your partner wants, thinks and responds to as an individual is equally important, and if you know what you should know about women in general, especially how to listen to and talk with them, you will have everything you need to know the specifics that make your partner who she is.

What’s going on in your relationship? Do you know where you stand? Do you know what needs to be done to make things as good as they can be? Are your partner’s actions consistent with her proclamations of love? Do you know enough about the emotions of love, attraction, need, and lust to know if it’s really love that she’s professing – that being “in love” has nothing whatsoever to do with love? Are your communications skills such that if she were to tell you what she needed that you would hear her and understand what she wants, or are you one of those men who thinks that his relationship is going great when he finds his wife in his bed with another man or opens the envelope and finds divorce papers? If you don’t know whether you do or not, or if you know that you don’t know, you don’t know enough, and I can help.

“How to Be Attractive to the Woman You Love” was developed to serve precisely this purpose, to help you assess your relationship, see what might be lacking, determine whether or not it’s worth fixing, and either get out gracefully or go for the gold with determination and confidence. It teaches you what is known about all women so that you can probe for and discover these fine points about your partner, and bring things in line to a degree you’d never dream possible.

Jump over to http://www.makingherhappy.com and see what it can do for you. Download it. Put it to work. Make your relationship everything it can be if it’s a good one or get out and start over if it’s not, because life is too short to spend it bored, frustrated, scared, cheating (or with a cheater), or celibate.

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