Tuesday, January 08, 2008

How Much Is Too Much? Gifts, Appreciation, and Predators in Relationships and Marriage

Where do you cross the line from an appropriate gift to a red flag? Where does she cross the line from a woman of taste to a gold-digging abuser? It’s not hard to tell if you know what to look for…do YOU?

I had quite a few questions during the holidays about specific gifts, how to choose them, what was appropriate, etc., but most weren’t really questions that made for good copy for this newsletter (because the topic had already been covered pretty thoroughly in previous editions) and were answered privately, but there was one issue that came up that is pretty sticky, that of engagement rings.

One of my friends has been dating a woman for nearly two years, and finally decided it was time to pop the question, and she said, “No!” – immediately, emphatically, and with conviction. Why?

Because he had made two mistakes. The first was in buying and presenting the ring before she answered, a blatant wussy maneuver if ever there was one, and unfortunately a very common mistake. Guys, think for a minute: If you have to buy a woman’s acceptance of your marriage proposal with a piece of jewelry, what does that say about each of you?

First, it says that you don’t think you’re worth marrying and are trying to buy your way into her life. It also says that you think that she can be bought, which is one whale of an insult to any woman of character. However, in this case, making this mistake probably saved my buddy’s life, because she rejected him due to his second mistake, which in truth was no mistake at all…

She rejected him because the ring wasn’t expensive enough! She flatly told him that if he couldn’t present her with at least a two-carat stone he could forget it. He was heartbroken when he called, thinking he’d been a fool and had blown the best thing that could ever happen to him. I beg to differ!
It was actually the greatest thing he could have done, because she proved in that one simple statement that she could be bought, wanted to be bought, and was high-priced and high-maintenance. I asked him to describe their history to me and it was just as you would expect.

They met in a bar, he bought all the drinks, the dinner later, paid for everything every time they went out, ended up buying her a car when hers broke down, ended up making all the deposits and down payments on a new apartment when she was evicted for not paying her rent, refused to talk to him days and even weeks at a time if he showed up without a satisfactory gift, etc. He was calling me to find out how big a ring to try to buy to salvage the situation. Can you guess what I told him?

I told him to not bother, because she was a gold-digging parasite who had bled him for two years already, and that if he didn’t believe me, she would gladly prove it to him. Just don’t call her, and when she calls, tell her that he didn’t want to talk to her because he had realized that she was just asking for too much. Her response would be one of the following:

  • Indignation, to try to press his buttons and guilt-trip him into reversing himself,

  • Abuse, to try to shift him into approval-seeking mode and get him to try to buy her approval,

  • Complete capitulation without discussion, as she realized that she pushed too hard and scrambled to try to regain control of her meal ticket.

He agreed after considerable discussion, and she didn’t make him wait long. She called two days later wanting to know why he hadn’t called. He responded as instructed, and she went berserk, first yelling at him about how he didn’t appreciate all she’d done for him in the last two years, which pretty much came down to being late every time he was to pick her up and giving him something other than his retirement account to stuff money into, as there had been no sex in months and it turned out he’d asked her to marry him in hopes of reigniting their sex life. (If I had known this was happening I could have helped long ago, but guys don’t talk about these problems with other guys.)

He pointed out to her that the relationship had been terribly one-sided and that in fact he had done a whole lot more for her than she had for him, and she shifted gears and went into the pity ploy, talking about all her hard times and how if he really loved her like he said he did he would have tried to make it up to her with a bigger ring. (Guilt trip!) He responded that those problems had been the result of her own choices, many of those choices against his advice, and that he was tired of paying for her to have the luxury of making bad choices.

Right on cue, she burst into tears, started begging, promising that she’d change, there’d be sex every day, and it would be better than it ever was, and all that nonsense. Just too predictable for words.

Now, most bad women will not go into a melt-down like that. She was betting large holding a trash hand and he called her bluff. Most bad women would only go through one of those three little dances, not all three, but apparently she was an amateur. Some women actually hate men so badly that they want nothing but to control them and bleed them dry. Others are just losers who drift from bank account to bank account…er…I mean, man to man, draining them dry along the way. Fortunately, these are a minority, and as you can see, or are about to see, pretty easily spotted. Good women want a good man, and want to share love, life, victories, celebrations, tender moments, sex, and even bad moments, not as a parasite or predator, but as a partner. Thankfully, they greatly outnumber the bad ones.

If you’ve been reading this newsletter for a while or have your own copy of “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage,” you’ve seen me post quite a few red flags, especially in the book. Here’s a list of the biggies:

  • A woman who makes demands about gifts, especially if she isn’t contributing to the household income, and doubly especially if she insists on choosing her own gifts, especially her own engagement ring, or makes sure that you get a message through one of her friends about anything except the ring-size (not the size of the diamond, but the diameter of the ring, i.e., size 7.5)

  • A woman who is frequently in trouble, and expecting you to bail her out

  • A substance abuser who defends their substance abuse in any way

  • A woman who seems to always be having problems but never doing anything about them

  • A woman who has all the trappings of wealth but no visible means of support, i.e., expensive clothes, car, etc., but expecting you to pay for everything (Women of means generally insist at least on going Dutch-treat and often prefer to pick up the check themselves.)

  • A woman who constantly acts helpless, especially if she is also overly-flirtatious with everyone at all times, obviously seeking attention and assistance.

As I said, this list is not comprehensive, it’s just the biggies; there are a lot more in my book and in past issues of this newsletter, available in the archive (see the link below) or past posts on my blog. If you’re currently in a relationship with one of these women, face it, you’ve screwed the pooch, and you need to face reality: she’s not going to get any better, and you’re going to continue to foot the bill, financially, emotionally, etc., for her indiscretions.

There are a lot of good women in the world, luckily far more good ones than bad ones. Identifying them isn’t that hard when you know what to look for, and getting along with them is really pretty easy when you understand how to communicate with them and what they want, out of life and out of you. Luckily for you, there is a single source where you can learn everything you need to know to do exactly that, to have a great relationship with a great woman, even if you have to get a bad one out of the way first. Best of all, you can afford it!

It’s called “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage,” and it’s an instant download at http://www.makingherhappy.com/. It costs less than dinner for two at a good restaurant, and is guaranteed to work. Download it now and start putting your life back on track, because life’s too short to live it doing anything less than enjoying it.

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

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