Thursday, September 25, 2008

What Women Need Emotionally from a Man in a Relationship or Marriage

Let’s talk about what women want from a man in a relationship, especially their emotional needs, and how knowing this can save your relationship or marriage.

I’ve been working on an interview that has stirred up a lot of new ways of discussing things we’ve talked about in the past, different ways of approaching and explaining the same problem and solution that may shed more light on the age-old questions of what women want, need, and expect from a man in a relationship.

In my free “Break-Up Busting 101” report, which you can download by following the link at the end of this newsletter, you’ll find definitions and ramifications of the four emotions that relationships are most often based upon: love, attraction, need, and lust, all of which are incorrectly thought to be simply love. Please review this article before continuing if you are not familiar with its contents. (Also grab my free "What Women REALLY Want" report, and feel free to share both of these free reports with your friends, as they an help anybody, whether or not they are currently in a relationship.)

Of those four emotions two of them are both healthy and required in a successful long-term committed relationship, love and attraction. You, as a man, need to be an expert on these two emotions and how they work, if you ever want to be able to be happy in any relationship with any woman, committed or not. You’ll see why very quickly.

Love, being the value and/or importance that you place on someone, is the source of friendship, trust, loyalty, security, respect, etc. It’s the thing that creates the friendship that allows two people to “bond” in any capacity and to any degree. This doesn’t just pertain to your wife, but to all women in your life. It’s not a feeling of duty, or altruistic drive to sacrifice. It’s the source of the feeling of celebration of your next encounter, whether intimate or public, personal or professional, work or pleasure, not the source of fear that it won’t happen.

It’s important to understand this so that you can see both why a woman needs to love and be loved and why it’s not enough. Love provides for a woman feelings of stability and security, and creates the environment in which she can feel safe in letting her natural drive to nurture drive her. If love is lost as partners grow apart, she can become mildly to severely depressed and feel a sense of lack of purpose, and her feelings of loyalty, respect, friendship, etc. for her partner will diminish.

Women can lose their feelings of love and still stay under the same roof with a man, but it becomes a very limited partnership – you’re pretty much just roommates. You can get along, but there’s no trust, no real respect, no friendship, no intimacy, etc., a strained existence at best.

Attraction is an entirely different matter. If you’ve been with me for longer than a few days you’re familiar with the difference in men’s and women’s emotional scales, and how while male emotions run from negative to positive, with crisis being the male emotional nemesis, women’s emotional scale runs from zero to infinity, with little to no discrimination between positive and negative (as far as emotional comfort zone), and their emotional nemesis is not crisis, but boredom. If you never learn another thing from me, learn this:

Attraction is any and every woman’s ultimate salvation from boredom. Boredom is any and every woman’s ultimate torment, the very bane of her existence.

A woman can reach the same feelings of physical and emotional discomfort (desperation!) from being bored that men can reach out of fear, anger, or any other emotion born of crisis. Stop here and think about that and let it burn in to such a depth that you will never forget it, because that one bit of knowledge can do more to save or prevent a troubled relationship than about anything else you can name.

Attraction, that “swept off her feet” feeling is what makes a woman’s life wonderful. There are things that reward her, like seeing that she’s been a good mother, etc., but creating attraction for her is her ultimate reward and the ultimate act of nurturing her, in exchange for all the nurturing that she gives the rest of the family.

So you see, what it all boils down to is that in a committed relationship, women need love to feel secure in giving of themselves, and they need attraction to feel alive and motivated to give their best. If you are going to sit on your duff with a beer and the TV remote control all evening, every evening, don’t expect her to be looking forward to doing anything but sleeping when bedtime arrives, and possibly sleeping with someone else at that.

No kidding. Since attraction and love are two entirely independent emotions and boredom is so utterly devastating to a woman, there may be no amount of love – hers or yours -- that is sufficient to keep a woman from engaging in an affair if you aren’t creating attraction for her. Think about that one for a minute, too…

It’s a double-edged sword. The bad news is that a woman can love you more than anyone else on Earth and still be compelled to engage in an affair to relieve the boredom the same way a man might be compelled to rob a bank to obtain the money to recover his wife or children if they were taken hostage. In extreme cases, it can literally be that overwhelming for a woman.

Yes, there are those who have self-esteem problems and have affairs in rapid succession, just like men do, looking for acceptance, approval, validation, etc., that they will never find, but those women are so consumed with feelings of need that they are not capable of love. I’m talking strictly about a woman who loves you here. And now for the good news…

It’s really the same news: a woman can be driven to have an affair even if she loves you more than anyone else on Earth, meaning that if she does have one and confesses it sincerely, along with a genuine desire to work it out and salvage your relationship, your best bet is most likely to do so. Why?

An affair isn’t a problem; it’s a symptom of a problem. If the problem is a simple deficiency of attraction, you can fix that, easily, and from what I’ve seen from the men who have used "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," pretty quickly, too.

Not so obvious is the fact that a woman who is rational enough and emotionally self-aware enough to realize that the affair was just a tension-breaker, that she loves you enough to discontinue the affair and confess it, and has the strength of character to do so is going to be very vigilant in protecting your relationship from similar problems in the future, so long as you continue to be committed to your marriage with her. Some even say that an affair is like a near-death experience, and those who survive them find they commit to and enjoy their relationships to degrees they never thought possible.

And no, I am absolutely not suggesting that women be given a blank check to have affairs or be categorically forgiven regardless of the reason for the affair, any more than I would suggest that women do the same for a man. I am saying:

1. When a man and a woman have attraction and no love, they have a great relationship in the bedroom, but not anywhere else. These couples fight to make up because sex is all they have together. There relationship is one of those bipolar catastrophes wherein the participants are either having sex or at each others’ throats, no middle ground. If you hear a man saying, “She’s great in the sack, but man, what a bitch!” or a woman saying, “He’s such a jerk, but he gets me off,” they’re in this kind of relationship.

2. When a man and a woman have true love, but have lost attraction, realizing that lost attraction, not lost love, is indeed the problem and addressing that by recreating the attraction creates a stronger relationship and should be pursued if possible. The only time it is unlikely to impossible is if another man has created attraction for the woman; again, attraction is a double-edged sword in the extreme. If you’re not creating it, there are others who can and will, and they’re not far away at any given moment.

3. When a man and woman have both true love and attraction, there’s nothing that can separate or take them down. Their relationship is impervious to outside influence because they will actively protect what they have.

4. When a man and woman have neither, and their relationship is based on need, lust, or anything but the combination of love and attraction, well, I’ll just say that I certainly wouldn’t want to live that life…and way too many couples are stuck in it. Such relationships are doomed to failure before they ever begin.

There you have it, and on the surface, it looks like a mess, but it is in fact a clear roadmap for getting out of a mess and staying out; a roadmap, but not detailed directions…

Those detailed directions, including how to accurately evaluate your relationship, how to accurately communicate with any woman so that you can have the intimate discussions required to overcome hardships and celebrate your life together, and everything you need to know about what makes women tick, what they want, and how to build and kill attraction in your relationship (straight from the mouths of women!), are in "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," so go now and download your copy at
http://www.makingherhappy.com while there’s still time to save yours, because every day that damage is done makes it just a little harder, and being men, we like to do things the easy way, right?

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

David Cunningham

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