Saturday, January 26, 2008

The First and Most Important Step in Having a Great Relationship and Marriage

The first step in any great relationship of any kind is being well-matched. If you are not well-matched, you may be able to survive together, but the odds of being happy together are slim to none. If you are, you’ll find you can conquer about anything! This is one of those “must read” issues, so dig in…

As I promised yesterday, today I want to talk about something that seems to be so logical that it would be self-evident to all, but obviously is not practiced by many at all, the first step in having a great relationship. Those of you who have been banging your head against the wall after receiving advice from someone claiming that “any relationship can be saved regardless of circumstances” will want to pay particular attention to this issue, because this edition may be addressing your biggest immediate problem.

That first step in any great relationship or marriage is being well-matched to your partner.

Yes, some of you are right now saying, “Duh!” but others are saying, “but can’t you learn to love someone?” Here are the facts and truth of the matter:

When you first meet someone, the emotion that pulls you together is either attraction or need (or in rare cases lust, but lust is seldom responsible for keeping two people together long enough to get married, unless they’re incredibly stupid), which are both independent of love; indeed, need is in fact mutually exclusive of love – you cannot love someone that you need, because need actually makes you resent them as the object of your dependence.

This in itself is a complex and difficult concept for most to embrace, and if you find yourself wanting to argue with it, see Lesson 3 in my free “Break-Up Busting 101” report,
entitled “Love, Need, Lust and Attraction – Do YOU Know the Difference?” or skip to the similarly-titled section of “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage” and gain an effective understanding, because it is crucial. We’ll address need first because it’s easier to see, then we’ll get into attraction and love.

Need never develops into love, and sooner or later, the other person (unless they are hopelessly codependent) gets tired of neediness and moves on. There is nothing you can do about this, especially telling them that you need them and can’t live without them. That is the very thing that they are trying to get away from, and your fight for independence is going to take too long for them to wait around for you to complete it, if you can; most truly needy people, those who would be called parasites because they take from their partners without giving anything significant in return, spend their life moving from host to host because it’s just easier for them to find a new host than to evolve into a non-needy person of independence.

In short, if the person you are with is telling you it’s over because you are too needy, take the hint and grow up, become self-supporting and independent, and you’ll find that people enjoy being around you for the long term. Make no mistake, fighting this break-up is only going to make things worse, because you are severely mismatched; a chronically needy person cannot coexist with an independent person who resents neediness. You got away with it for awhile because you were somehow charming, physically attractive, wealthy, funny, or something, but now that the cat is out of the bag and it’s known that you’re a needy wuss, you have two options: find another host or evolve so that you can enjoy another’s company instead of needing it. It’s harsh, but it’s really just that simple.

Now, on to the more complex case, where attraction was the reason for you to come together. Once attraction has brought you together and you’ve had your initial episode of “physical exploration and gratification,” there should be a period where you get to know each other, find that you have common interests, philosophies, values, etc., and come to value each other – love develops. This is the source of the friendship, respect, loyalty and commitment required for long-term relationships to survive, while attraction is where all the fun, excitement, and energy come from. There are several possible scenarios that arise from the various permutations of these two emotions between two people.

The most obvious two are having both love and attraction, in which case you can be together happily and feel like you’re in a never-ending honeymoon (the ideal situation, right? and it can be sustained for a lifetime if you are aware of its requirements and constituents, and we’ll get back to this in a few minutes), and having neither love nor attraction, after events have eliminated them both, in which case the relationship must end, because even though lost attraction can usually be easily rekindled, lost love just doesn’t happen. Peoples’ values and personalities just don’t naturally move radically away from some baseline and then go back there.

Now, the other two are a bit trickier to deal with. We’ll talk about the harder of the two first, the case in which love is lost but attraction survives. It is common for people under tremendous pressure that they ultimately cannot handle, and they degrade themselves somehow. They could then become a loser, maybe a criminal or spouse abuser, and/or possibly a substance abuser, but they still project the personality traits that trip attraction triggers.

This would typically be a marriage that started out like a story book romance, but currently one spouse is drunk or high all the time after losing a loved one, a business, or career, etc. They have lost their self-love, self-esteem, and self-respect, but have still managed to somehow remain fun, funny, sexy, or something that holds the other spouse’s attention. You can’t base a great relationship on nothing but sex, jokes, and parties, and you can’t “fix” somebody else.

You’re only choices with such a relationship are to either get this person some professional help so that they can be redeemed or move on. Again, it sounds harsh, but statistically and historically, this is reality, and if they won’t get help, moving on is your only option; having once loved someone is no reason to go down with a sinking ship.

The last possibility is the one I like dealing with the most, where love is still alive and healthy, but attraction has failed. In the dating world, lost attraction nearly always means that you blew it and you just move on immediately, because the other person already has; the window for creating attraction opens once, and very briefly, period. However, when you’ve been together for long enough for attraction to fade, you develop a vested interest in keeping the relationship alive. You acquire memories, security, a mortgage and property, and usually children, which motivate you to try to work things out. Hence, the window that closes in seconds in the dating world can be open for months or even years when you're committed.

Men are generally pretty easy when it comes to attraction. We’re attracted mostly to physical appearance and seductive talk and actions, and if attraction is lost and must be recreated, women seldom have to do any more than correct whatever major issues have developed with their appearance, if any, and act like a woman. Women aren’t so easy though. Physical appearance barely makes them curious, and then only for a short while, and that curiosity can be destroyed in an instant by any non-alpha male behavior, such as approval-seeking or trying to impress them, being lazy or boring, etc.

That’s not to say that it’s impossible, or even difficult, to rekindle it. Indeed, if you have the right information to work from, it has been proven to happen in less than a week to a sufficient degree to halt the signing of divorce papers already prepared and move an estranged spouse back into the house. This is the failing relationship that you fight for, even if there has been an affair, because love is hard to find and to earn, and a physical affair – which virtually always happens out of boredom and means absolutely nothing unless you choose to assign meaning to it – is no reason whatsoever to abandon a proven love.

Yes, I said that, and I’m about to say it another way: a one-time physical “fling” that happened out of boredom is not proof of lost love, nor a sign of disloyalty or disrespect. It’s an unfortunate and very STUPID thing that happens when two people can’t or just don’t effectively communicate with each other and allow their attraction to fade, nothing more, and nothing less. I’m not saying that the person who does it is stupid; I’m saying that it’s ridiculous that people will let their problems go to the point that this happens before realizing there is a problem and trying to fix it.

If you’re sitting on the couch with a beer and the TV remote every night while your partner is doing something else, and you’re part of that statistic that says that the average mature couple (mature meaning having been together, married or not, for two years or more) has sex six times per year (yes, that’s once every two months on average), trouble’s not just coming, it’s HERE!

And, there’s no sense waiting for it to get that bad before taking action; a good relationship is far easier to maintain than it is to fix if it gets broken, right? What you need is a plan for evaluating and then fixing and/or maintaining it and the knowledge required to empower you to do that. Luckily for you, it’s already been figured out, tested, proven, and published, and it can be yours in the next few minutes.

It’s called “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage,” you can download it right now at
http://www.makingherhappy.com, and it’s working for everyone who’s used it. Don’t make things rougher on yourself than they have to be by waiting. Do it now, and do it for keeps, because life is too short to do it any other way.

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

Friday, January 25, 2008

Kissing Ass Never Saved a Good Relationship or Marriage

About any trained salesperson will tell you that to resolve any conflict, you should always agree. That’s ill-advised when a woman is involved. Why? Do you relish the idea of wearing the label of “WUSS”?

I generally try to focus on what works and avoid discussion of what doesn’t, but over the years I’ve run into some advice that has the potential to be extremely dangerous, based on what I’ve observed and proven in my own research. Over the next two days, I want to talk about that advice and show you both the pitfalls of following that advice and a much safer tactic that I found to be entirely effective.

Today’s issue will concern the advice to “always agree” to resolve conflict, and tomorrow’s will be the idea of trying to stop a divorce (or any kind of break-up) before thoroughly evaluating a relationship to see if indeed it should be stopped, because a great many relationships that break up do so because the participants are horribly mismatched and should have never come together in the first place.

Now, let’s talk about this business of always agreeing to resolve conflict. This is a very old basic tactic used by sales people to overcome objections to a sales pitch, and has been taken out of context for use in relationship problem and dispute resolution. The idea is to agree to get the other person to calm down and let you disagree peacefully.

There are a couple of big pitfalls in this premise. First, holding a relationship together is a matter of cooperation, not of salesmanship. Women communicate on a level that is so far above men that they will immediately recognize this as just a tactic more often than not (it has always been known to work better on men than women anyway – remember, I’m a former marketing and management consultant, and this was something I used to be intimately involved in and teach almost daily). To make matters worse, when you give in to a woman to quell a stressful situation, you are instantly labeled a wuss! Really! You think not? You’re gonna love this:

I got several of the women “advisors” on the phone and told them about the “always agree advice,” and the most common response was a tie between “You’ve got to be kidding!” and “Oh my God! They didn’t say that!” Their overwhelming consensus was that a woman will lose any respect she still has left for a man who deploys such a tactic because women hate it when a man just gives in instead of holding out for what’s right. Now, notice I said “holding out for WHAT’S right,” not “holding out to BE right.” Hang with me here…

As a little background, while the biggest cause of rocky relationships, fighting, and destructive competition in relationships is incompatibility, the biggest cause of break-ups and divorce is lost attraction. This happens to a women when a man just stops being manly, fun, and interesting, and the woman gets bored and wants out, or gets bored and plays around and gets caught. (Women do things that cause men to lose attraction for them too, but I’m writing to the men today.)

The last thing in the world you want to do under those circumstances is something wussy like always agreeing with her every gripe, because some of her gripes are not going to be real gripes, but rather tests to see if you are going to remember that you are a man and stand up against an obvious falsehood. A woman’s first criteria in evaluating a man is “If you can’t stand up TO me, you can’t stand up FOR me.”

The next big thing you want to avoid is use the words “I” or especially “YOU” at the beginning of a sentence during an argument or while the problem is being identified. Once you start pointing fingers, the conflict escalates and everybody loses. What’s the right move?

First, you must understand that women don’t speak to report information. Everything with them is a negotiation. They make statements to ask questions and ask questions to make statements, and will seldom if ever state the obvious. It’s all very diplomatic, even when they are just angry as hell. To keep from escalating what’s already a very delicate and volatile situation, you must shift the focus from “I” or “YOU” to “WE.” “WE have a problem, so what can WE do to fix it?” You must also shift the focus from “WHO” is the problem to “WHAT” is the problem as much as possible to address the issues instead of the blame for and emotions caused by the issues. For example…

Let’s say you have the stereotypical male habit of grabbing the TV remote and starting to channel surf every time you come into the room, and she resents the hell out of you being so disrespectful of her to interrupt something she is watching without asking. She starts out by saying, “You really make me mad as hell when you just start flipping channels when I’m watching something.” (That’s the statement she’ll be making with the question that you’ll actually hear: “How would you feel if I changed the channel while you were watching TV?” Statements are questions and questions are statements, remember?) If you respond with, “Well then why didn’t YOU tell ME?” it comes across as blaming her for your ignorance and disrespect, and that won’t fly.

If you respond with, “I’m sorry. I’LL let YOU be in charge of the remote from now on,” you’ve probably just ensured that you won’t have sex again for about 2 months, whether she does or not, because you just gave in. Something like, “Well, it’s MY house and MY TV and I’LL change the channel whenever I feel like it,” will get you more punishment over the coming months than you could ever fathom, and you won’t know that most of it hit you.

She wants you to take the lead in decision-making and be a stand-up guy, but in trade for sanctioning that position of leadership, she reserves the right to an input channel, in ALL negotiations, and you have to respect that or pay a price that you will invariably find you don’t want to pay, so you’re only option is to recognize that a negotiation has begun, and negotiate cooperatively, responding with something like, “Then WE obviously need to come to some kind of agreement here so that WE don’t continue to have this problem.”

Now you have her attention, and respect, because you have followed the form that she needs to follow to ensure involvement and a fair hearing. At this point it becomes okay to say “I” and “you” as long as you aren’t slinging mud with them. The purpose here is a peaceful and equitable settlement, resolving a problem, not winning a battle, remember?

Follow up with something like, “I didn’t realize that you were interested in that show, and to be honest, I probably never gave it due consideration. In the future, I will make sure that you aren’t enjoying a show before I change the channel. Will that satisfy you?”

Now, there are several really big things that you need to notice in that. First, you will notice that nowhere are you directly apologizing. You are indirectly apologizing by saying “never gave it DUE consideration,” and that is important, because you are acknowledging the mistake without being a big mushy wuss about it. Believe it or not, the words “I’m sorry” should rarely if ever come out of your mouth; acknowledging your mistakes in a manner that says that you should have performed better or with more consideration of her input is almost always enough and even preferred because it refers to something specific instead of a generic apology that everybody gets all the time. (If there’s ever a time that it’s not enough, she’ll let you know.)

Next, you are offering the first suggestion for the resolution, again, taking the lead, but not dictating terms. It doesn’t matter whether your idea is perfect for her or not, just as long as it’s not asinine. It’s a negotiation, and she will let you know if she sees any part of your suggestion as unsatisfactory. Taking the lead like this is a HUGE deal to a woman; a man who won’t lead, can’t make decisions, and can’t consider the input of others in decisions isn’t worth having around, just as any man who can’t stand up TO her can’t be expected to stand up FOR her. It’s really that simple.

Also notice that you ask if your suggestion will “satisfy her.” You are not asking if it is “okay for her,” or anything that sounds even remotely like you are asking her permission to proceed in this manner, which is also good for several months of celibacy as you shatter any respect for you she may still be holding. You are asking for her input, inviting her to take part in the negotiation in which she expects to engage. Incidentally, she will punish you severely for shutting her out of it or giving in to avoid it. What’s next?

Chances are, in this simple example, she would have been satisfied with this plan because it fully addresses her issue, but you’re not done yet. She cannot have the last word, because whomever has the last word makes the decision, and you must be the one to formally declare the decision made. After she says, “Yes, that will do,” or whatever, then you must wrap it up with the formal declaration, something like, “Then that is precisely what I will do in the future, and if you catch me slipping, I expect you to remind me of it and let me fix it instead of jumping down my throat about it. I will do my best to treat you with the same respect. We are adults and we can both do a much better job of handling problems. I don’t want us to be one of these couples that fight all the time over everything any more than you do.”

That’s leadership, and it gets you more than a solution to your problem, it gets you respect and trust, which in turn creates attraction, which breeds intimacy, and starts an upward spiral that may last anywhere from minutes to years, depending on how diligent you are about acting like a man – a REAL man.

Relationships aren’t always easy, especially when they start coming apart. Indeed, they’re a lot like houses. If the relationship has a solid foundation, it can usually be repaired; if not, it’s better to tear it down and start over. We’ll be talking about how to determine that tomorrow.

For today, just realize that as a man, to make any relationship work, you have to be able to assess the relationship to see if and how well it is working and compare that to how well it can work. You have to be able to communicate with a woman in a way that is considerate of her communication style, which is grossly different from a man’s to say the least; otherwise you can never even identify the strengths and weaknesses in your relationship, let alone fix them.

You also have to understand what it is that makes a woman tick -- what she wants, out of life, her relationship with you, etc., and what flips her switches, especially those that trigger sexual interest and excitement and create that emotion that women will literally kill to have and maintain, full-blown swept-off-her-feet sexual attraction. Sounds like the Holy Grail of relationships, doesn’t it? While it’s true that men have searched for centuries to find such knowledge, this grail has been found, it’s been right under our noses the whole time, and to make things about as embarrassing as they can possibly get, the women have been trying to tell us where it is!

Well, I finally listened, wrote it all down, gave it back to the women it came from to see if I had translated it right and then gave it to their husbands to use to make sure it was accurate. It was then refined and tested again until it was working for everybody involved.

No matter what you have tried, no matter what that state of your current relationship, there’s a lot of information in this book that will help you make it better. Readers have busted their own divorces with it in as little as a week, others have kicked their relationships up to notches previously unknown, while some have found that they have been in the wrong relationship with the wrong person and that getting out was the first step in getting on the real path to happiness.

This book is called "THE Man's Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" and you can download your copy now at
http://www.makingherhappy.com. Don’t wait, don’t sit there wondering if it will work for you, and don’t waste time asking me if it will work for you. It will, so just grab it and growl, because life is too short to spend it unhappy, scared, frustrated, bored, celibate, angry, or any of those other nasty things that bad relationships make you feel.

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

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Be Careful What You Wish For, You Might Just Get It, Part 3: Romance

I’ve run into another of those “Be careful what you wish for” scenarios, and it’s yet another perfect example of how women will say they want something because it makes for a bit of an emotional rush, but it never quite works out the same way in the real world, especially on the subject of ROMANCE.

I got an e-mail this morning from an Australian friend, one who’s pretty bright when her brain is engaged, but who seems to have been living alone and bored just a little too long, because she’s pretty bad about getting caught up in “sweet” e-mails. Check this out:

RE: Awwww

A girl asked a guy if he thought she was pretty.

He
said, “No.”

She asked him if he would want to be with her forever...and he said, “No.”

She then asked him if she were to leave would he cry, and once again he said, “No.”

She had heard enough. As she walked away, tears streaming down her face the boy grabbed her arm and said...

“You're not pretty you're beautiful.

“I don't want to be with you forever, I NEED to be with you forever.

“And I wouldn't cry if you walked away...I'd die...”

I sent this out to two groups of women for their response. The first group was a group of 16-25 year old single women who had responded to a survey I ran last year. Their archetypical responses were:

“Awww…that’s sweet.”

“I wish I had a guy like that.”

“That’s so romantic.”

The other group was ages 30-60 who are married or in a committed relationship of two years or longer:

“’Awwww’ my ass! I’d say ‘EWWWWW!!!”

“Yuck! What a wuss!”

“Yeah, right. Like anybody would fall for that crap.”

“Can I just shoot him and get it over with?”

“Yeah, sure. I can just see Humphrey Bogart or Dirty Harry saying something like that.”

Are you getting the drift? When it comes to romance, young women and teenage girls are pretty silly, and don’t have a clue yet that there are things they respond to differently than how they imagine, while more mature women, while still prone to do that at times, can be expected to be more in touch with their feelings by virtue of having been burned by them in the past, so their reaction in this case is the one that tells you what you need to know.

There’s nothing romantic about acting like a needy wuss. Yet when we are in our teens and early twenties and are making our first efforts to learning about women, we’re inundated with all this silly crap we hear (or more likely, OVERHEAR) from girls, and those wrong answers hang with us into adulthood until somebody pulls the wool from over our eyes and shows us the truth.

So while you can’t necessarily be blamed for not having anything better to work with in the past, now that you know there is something better, you have a responsibility to yourself to seek it out, learn it and use it. So what is “romance”? And what is “romantic”?

Romantic, more than anything else, is that which is larger than life and sparks excitement and attraction, in a word, “heroic.” There’s nothing romantic about blowing a month’s salary to take a woman to Paris for lunch when you live in North America. That’s done for extravagance, and is wasteful. A young girl who has never had to work for what she has might mistakenly see that as romantic, but the average adult woman, while she might fantasize about something like that, would see the actual act as wasteful and stupid...

…and more to the point, a man who is so frivolous that he would blow money he didn’t have like that would not be seen by a woman in or considering a committed relationship as being able to make responsible decisions and be a good partner. He could be a plaything, but nothing more – another one of those things that might get someone’s attention in the dating world but has no place in a committed relationship, unless you’re so wealthy that going to Paris for lunch is something that you could afford to do for fun and would do by yourself. Otherwise it's just a desperate act of attention-getting and approval-seeking.

That’s not to say that a trip to Paris isn’t romantic. But it has to be a real trip. There has to be time to see the city, experience the city and build memories that she can relive, and time to gather mementos to put in her treasure box. There has to be time and opportunity for intimacy to take advantage of being in an exotic place and using it to build excitement, attraction, and all those memories as well.

To be romantic, she needs to remember more than the sights of the city; she needs to remember you and herself immersed in the emotion of being in the city.

And you need to know the difference!

Do you?

Would you know how to use a trip, a dinner, a bouquet of flowers, or more appropriately, a live plant, or even a “sticky note” to create a romantic occasion for your partner? If you don’t, I’ll give you three guesses as to at least one of the reasons that she’s bored and unhappy and you’re reading this newsletter…

…and in truth, should be reading my book, "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," which you can download at
http://www.makingherhappy.com, and getting your knowledgebase in order. You need to purge all the lore, urban legends, bad programming and other utter crap you’ve heard about women that’s swimming around in your head and screwing up your relationship and marriage and get with the real program, the one that lets you enjoy being and feeling like a man and lets her feel like she’s truly living with the man of her dreams.

It’s your choice, and your responsibility, to yourself and to her, so choose well, and choose quickly. The clock is running…

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

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Be Careful What You Wish For, You Might Just Get It, Part 2: Fantasies

MUST READ! (And you know I use those words VERY sparingly!) When women say they have a “rape fantasy,” they are not being literal. They’re talking about a show of power and decisiveness, not brutality and cruelty. Find out exactly what they really mean by reading on…

Today is a great day. I stopped a reader from ruining his marriage and his life, and I may be about to stop somebody else by sharing his letter and my response. Meet Geoff:

Hi David,

I got your book, and things are really coming together fast. I had apparently become pretty boring without realizing it, and now that I’m back to being me, my wife is back to being her old self too, and it’s like you say, the honeymoon is back on. We’ve gone from once every time the seasons change to almost every night and sometimes during the day.

I’ve even overheard her telling her girlfriends about what’s happening and she’s trying to play it off to me like it’s not that big of a deal and teasing me to keep the pressure on, but when she talks to them and tells them about stuff I’m doing and stuff we’re doing, she giggles like a school girl. I walked in on her yesterday while she was talking to one of them and she was talking about what happened in the bedroom the night before and blushed and hung up in a hurry and ran out of the room laughing!

Overhearing her phone conversations is the reason I’m writing to you. I overheard her say something a few days ago about things are getting so hot she’s having “rape fantasies.” That makes me uncomfortable to think about, but if she really wants to try it I guess I’m willing. What do you think? I mean, is this something I should do for her, or is this some sign that she has a problem?

Thanks, and have a good one,
Geoff


Congratulations, Geoff! I just love hearing success stories like this. As for your wife’s fantasy, we need to talk, and fast!

Repeat after me and commit this to memory: NO MENTALLY HEALTHY WOMAN EVER HAS A TRUE RAPE FANTASY! Rape is violent, traumatic, and often damages women for life. It is not about sex, but about subjugation, terror, control, and abuse. It causes women to do things like never want sex, never allow their husbands to see them undressed, fall into suicidal depression, become so paranoid they can’t leave the house or sleep in the dark, etc. She’s talking about something else, and you and every other man needs to know what that is, so here goes, straight from the mouths of women:

Women want to be desired, led, and ultimately taken by a strong, confident man who doesn’t ask permission to initiate sex, but loves and respects them enough to honor the word “no” when they hear it spoken in earnest. A great example is the scene in “The Fountainhead” where Gary Cooper goes to visit Patricia Neal in her apartment. She wants him terribly, and has gone to great lengths to make him know that she wants him, but she still wants him to “take” her, to hold her tightly, kiss her passionately, and take her where she’s craving to go, emotional heights of sexual bliss previously unreached! She fights him off to see how much he wants her, and feel the rush of him winning.

This is what a woman refers to when she speaks of a rape fantasy, the feeling of a man being in charge and taking her where she wants to go, confidently, expertly, without asking permission. It’s a “sweep her off her feet” maneuver, not a “violate her and leave her emotionally ruined for all time” maneuver. They refer to it as a rape fantasy because once in a great while, in sharp contrast to their normal desire to be ramped up through a lot of talk, caressing, foreplay, advancing and withdrawing, it’s exhilarating for them to be taken to an aroused state through naughty play and seeing their man doing manly things to the extent that they’re wanting him, and then to just have him do something like walk in the house, pick her up, and carry her to the bed and ravish her without ever slowing down, shockingly and decisively, or to swiftly, hungrily, but playfully wrestle her to the couch, floor, kitchen counter, etc., and just go for it, hell-bent for glory and orgasm.

Things like firm-but-not-cruelly-painful pulling of her hair, spanking her behind firmly but not abusively, wrestling and struggling a bit as you maneuver for position, etc., can be exhilarating for her and add to the sexual tension greatly if she’s into it, but the true essence of rape, the sadistic beating and threatening designed to humiliate, terrorize and subjugate, are not healthy, and not what she’s looking for if she’s healthy.

The operative phrase there is “once in a great while.” This is something that you do only when you can tell that she’s already amped up and you’ve been keeping her mind on naughty thoughts through the day, and it’s done for the shocking thrill of pure, raw, carnal abandon, not when she’s had a bad day fighting with the kids, people at school or work, sitting with a loved one in a hospital, etc. If you encounter genuine resistance of any kind, this isn’t the time to be doing this; indeed, if she’s sufficiently aroused for this to be a good time for something like this, she may even be tearing at your clothes and clawing at your skin at the same time she’s saying, “stop.” The distinguishing factor is the heat; there will be very little if any foreplay, because she’s already amped up, is aching to have you inside her, and will aggressively be trying to make you erect and get you inside her as soon as possible. By all means, in this scenario, OBLIGE HER!

It’s about a show of power, not a show of force, or brutality. It’s about the man showing that he doesn’t fear his feelings, his desires, or her rejection, and knowing, while seeing and feeling this powerful behavior, that if something weren’t right and she were to say, “No,” or tell him to stop in earnest, that he would do so, not because he’s weak, but because he’s in charge, not desperate.

If you really want to go there, then at least establish some sort of safety signal that she can invoke so that you know that her resistance isn’t just part of the fantasy, such as the words “red light,” which will allow her to say things like “stop” and “don’t” as part of her fantasy but still provide you a way of knowing that you’re going too far, being too rough, etc. One thing that you never, ever want to do is find yourself in a position of wanting to apologize for something after sex. But, as with most things concerning women, a little genuine communication goes a long, long way to keeping things on the right path.

As you can see, women often speak their desires, but even when they do choose to speak directly to us about them, which may be more often than you think, they don’t do it in language that we readily understand. They never state the obvious. When they say they want a “sensitive” man, they don’t mean sensitive instead of manly, they mean in addition to manly. When they say they have a “rape” fantasy, they mean they want to be taken swiftly and hungrily, not beaten to a pulp, verbally abused, scared to death, and then disrespectfully desecrated. But how are you supposed to know this?

You won’t, unless you learn to speak “girly-ese” as I and the many readers of “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage” have done successfully. Effective communications or the lack thereof can make or break a relationship just as surely as being well- or poorly-matched, or sexually attracted or sexually bored. Luckily for you, all of the above are discussed at length in this truly amazing book, and by the end of it you too will be a master of happy relationships. Download your copy now at
http://www.makingherhappy.com, before you cross some invisible line that lands you in crisis counseling or divorce court, or if you already have, because it will get you out of trouble and keep you out if you just read it and use it.

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

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Be Careful What You Wish For, Especially in Relationships and Marriage, Part 1: Nice Guys

A female reader cautions women to be careful what they wish for, because they might just get it. Like many women who don’t realize that what they think they want and that to which they respond are often two entirely different things, she wanted a nice guy, got one, and was bored to tears, but with some help from “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage,” everything is finally the way she likes it.

Today’s episode is a success story from a woman who wrote in once before with a problem, with terrific lessons for both men and women on what women think they want and what happens when that’s radically different from what they respond to, namely, yes, the dreaded “B” word: boredom. Once again, here’s Daphne:

Dear David,

I hope it is ok that I am writing to you more than once, but I have something I think needs to be put out there for all to read. I am sure a lot of women have said "IF I could just meet a nice guy I would love that!" Well I am here to tell you be careful what you wish for. I used to say those exact words and I did find a nice guy. Then I wished he had found someone else besides me.

The trouble with a nice guy is just that. He is a nice guy. Now I am not saying all men should be jerks. I have had a couple of those as well. What I am saying is a typical nice guy is not attractive to a real woman. Women have all these ideas as to what a real man should be like sensitive and open and always doing everything for us and waiting on us and to be honest we are dreaming. Nice guys are fun for about an hour and after that you find yourself looking over his shoulder and yours for the naughty boy because the naughty boy excites us and we find ourselves so attracted to him he is all we think about or want especially in our beds.

After I bought your book and read it myself I left it for him on the bedside table in hopes he would take the hint, because I got goose bumps reading parts of your book and thinking about a man doing all those things with me and to me and wanted him to be the one to do them. I know men do not take hints very good, but I was hoping for once it would work and I would not have to totally crush him with the truth. No such luck. I finally had to tell him either read the book or I was out of there. After a few days of really taking your work serious I have a real man starting to form right here in front of me. I still have a nice guy sometimes but we’ll get past that eventually and the man’s man I see him becoming is great. But when I have the naughty boy come out to play I’m on fire all over again. He’s hot and he definitely makes me hotter than I care to mention.

If I could give some advice to your male readers, take this book to heart do what it says and you will never find yourself alone in the bed or in life again. No woman wants a wuss or a total ass. What we want is the best of all things in one package, and with some reading and a few attitude adjustments you could be what every woman is dreaming of in a man. Is that not what it’s all about? Being a man who is wanted enjoyed and loved by the woman of your dreams?

Men you can take things as they are and pretend all is well or you can make your wildest dreams come true. Women like to be just as sexually aggressive and free as most men so let us out and let’s enjoy the passion and heat with each other. Make it work for your life the way we have made it work for us. I can tell you our bed is never still and even when we are out I know the look in his eyes when he is thinking about us and now I want this man all the time.

David I know your wife has to be the luckiest woman ever since you already know the true secrets of making us happy. Thank you for giving the rest of us the chance to live it as well.

Daphne

Wow! What do you say to something like that, except “thanks for writing it and congratulations on finding what you want”? Well, on second thought, there is a thing or two.

Daphne’s right about the “nice guy” thing in several respects, if you know what she’s saying, which the women here probably do, and anyone who has read “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage” probably does, but many of you men probably don’t have a clue. No, she’s not saying that women want a man to be mean to them, in spite of the reference to the naughty boy.

What she’s saying is that when a man spends all their time together aggressively seeking to please and appease her, it’s weak, approval-seeking behavior that bores the mortal hell out of them, and they don’t like it at all. Yes, they want a man who is considerate, moderately well-mannered, etc., but ass-kissing, trying to buy their affection with gifts, especially expensive ones, etc., is not going to get it done.

Indeed, constantly being the considerate and well-mannered gentleman isn’t going to go over very well, either. He’s nice, but not interesting. There must be that naughty element of fun and mischief popping up when she least expects it, and several other things, all of which are interesting and fun for a man to be and do, brought to bear before you can sweep her off her feet and keep her up and happy.

I need to comment on one other point. Daphne seems to say that some reading and a few attitude adjustments are all that is required. That’s not always the case, but that’s probably what she saw, and it’s pretty close. To be the man that every woman wants and the woman you love wants to stay with, you will most likely have to make some fundamental changes in either your life or your knowledge base and habits, changes that you will enjoy, but which may take some getting used to, like…

…becoming independent so you can act and feel independent, becoming a man who enjoys his life so you can act and feel as if you enjoy your life, genuinely, not as part of some fa├žade.

Faking it causes stress that kills relationships as fast or faster than the problems you try to fake your way through. Besides, who wants to fake being happy when you have the option of really doing it??? Or fake feeling confident when you have the option to really do it? Do you want to fret over blowing your cover or do you want to be calm and relaxed in your relationship because things really are going well? Duh! ;-)

You really can do it, and people like you are proving it every day. Do you really want to put this off any longer? I advise you to start fixing problems and improving your relationship now, because it only gets harder as you wait. Fix existing problems, large and small, and prevent those that haven’t started or are just starting from becoming huge, painful issues, especially since it’s far easier to prevent any problem than to fix one.

The fix and the preventive medicine are the same, it’s just a matter of how much pain and pressure you can endure if you put it off until it forces you to deal with it. So you finally see the light? Good. Get on over to
http://www.makingherhappy.com and download your copy of “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage” right now, and get started turning your life around, before your wife gets sick of having what she may have wished for before she knew any better and goes looking for someone to make her new wishes come true.

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

Switching Gears: Coping with the Expected and Unexpected in Relationships and Marriage

What women want, they get; the only question is from or with whom will they get it…

I hope you're having a great day! The following reader comment blew me away when it first came in, and these many months later, it still does. Of all the letters I ever expected to get from readers, this one would have never been on the list. Meet Dawn:

Dear David,

I have been putting off writing you because I did not want to sound crazy. My boyfriend David and I bought your book so that we could see if we should really get married or not. He wanted to get married before now, but I kept putting him off because I felt there was something missing in our relationship. The thing is that I started finding his roommate attractive. I ended up spending the night with Eric (his roommate) while he was out of town. That night I found out that Eric had been reading the book the whole time and my David had not. I just wanted to say thanks, because Eric and I will be getting married in a few weeks and David is last week’s trash.

I hope your book helps everyone as much as it helped me find the man I always dreamed of calling my husband.

Sincerely,
Dawn T.

I didn’t write “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage” to help anyone FIND a mate, and to tell you the truth, I wrote it for GUYS (with a few BIG HINTS for women included). BUT, I’ve found through e-mails from readers that a lot of my sales have been to single women who are apparently smarter than us guys because they are reading material for guys to see what to prepare themselves for. I had expected sales to women to be for their men, not for themselves. Women are taking initiative and going for it! After all, a huge part of their life is managing relationships, and we could learn quite a bit from them about relationships if we'd take the time to do so -- I sure did!

However, Gentlemen, there are a couple of huge lesson here for all of us to learn, aside from the fact that what’s in this book works. Women pay attention to what’s going on around them, and they are extremely sensitive to not only behavior, but CHANGES in behavior. That’s why I recommend in the first part of the book that if a man evaluates his relationship and finds out that it is one that should be kept and improved that he have the woman in his life read it as well.

This is to help her understand that the changes she’s about to see are for her sake and that of their relationship or marriage, and not because he has a new girlfriend, which would often be a woman’s first thought when she sees positive change in a man. Let’s face it Gentlemen, one of the things that get men caught having an affair is its effect as a confidence booster, which does change his behavior toward most, if not all, the people around him.

Another lesson is that women recognize when you’re committed by the effort you make, and if you’re caught slacking, you will be punished for it on some level, usually by having them withhold some part of themselves from you, whether it be time, consideration, support, favor, intimacy, sex, or whatever. Being assertive and taking the lead in achievement, even the achievement of a better relationship, is sexy; being lazy or timid is anti-sexy. Take the hint, and get on the ball.

Make a hobby and a habit of doing constructive things to improve yourself and your environment, and encourage others to do the same thing, a strong sign of leadership that no woman can resist. There is no person or group that can save the world, but if we all start taking better care of ourselves and the part of the world we live and work in, there won’t be much room left for problems.

We all have a bit of a tendency to slow down and let things slide a little as we get older, and the more we let slide, the more the momentum builds, and the faster we go to pot, so fix it before it becomes broken, and I’m talking about every aspect of your life – marriage, job, hobbies, physical and mental condition, EVERYTHING! There’s no need to be an OVER-achiever, but be an achiever and take care of yourself and your situation.

Start by going to
http://www.makingherhappy.com and downloading your copy of my book “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage” and get your love life (and sex life) in order, and then keep right on going, with the job, friends, physique, etc., using the confidence gained by a happy home life to build your momentum. Do it now, because life’s too short to do anything less than LIVE it.

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

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Attitude Adjustment, Part 2: It's a Double-Edged Sword in Relationships and Marriage

We’ve talked about how an attitude adjustment can build attraction, but we need to talk about how the wrong attitude adjustment can just as effectively kill attraction, to the point of trashing a relationship or marriage completely!

First, I’d like to tell everyone how proud I am of the letters I’ve been receiving from you folks. I have a very good group of readers, people who make the choice to improve and follow through on it, something that I don’t see much in the rest of my day-to-day activities. Constant contact with people who get things done is both therapeutic and motivating, and if you don’t have any other “winners” in your social or work circle, I strongly urge you to find some.

It’s very easy for the members of any group of people to sink to the lowest member in the group, and surrounding yourself with high-quality people is excellent insurance against this, not to mention a whole lot more enjoyable than listening to some mealy-mouthed worm complaining about his mishaps and shortcomings every time you see him. Good people should keep the company of good people, not those who want to be supported by good people rather than expend the effort themselves.

Getting into today’s lesson, I was reminded by a letter from one of you that attitudes can be adjusted in both directions, for the better and for the worse, and it can go entirely unnoticed until it’s too late. Meet my buddy Joe, one of the older among you:

Hi David,

Thought I'd take advantage of the invitation to share a current example and the observed effects.
I'll try to make this the 'readers digest' version, but some back-story is probably beneficial.

About 8 months ago some friends and I pooled funds and bought a business that would otherwise have disappeared. Three of us contributed money and one was to be sweat equity.

At the time I was exerting leadership and authority it triggered attraction in a woman (we'll call her Judy) I'd known for about a year and who was involved in the purchase as well. We were spending an increasing amount of time together, sharing more of our lives and becoming intimate. After being alone for about 4 years (long separation and divorce) it was a very welcome addition to my life.

After things settled in I neglected to 'keep it going' in terms of leadership, (mistakenly) feeling that since she and I were doing well and had a definite affinity that things would continue. WRONG. There are other factors involved, but basically I failed to continue in the leadership role and the attraction waned considerably. The end result was that the relationship that had been hot and very mutual was put 'on hold' until we 'each got things in our lives straightened out.'

This last week we had to remove the 'sweat equity partner' from managing the restaurant. Since I'm the geographically close partner AND the person that put the deal together AND have worked the business as well, it has fallen to me to organize and manage the restaurant. This created a lot of strain and even induced a bit of 'panic' initially. A lot communication went on with the partners with status, decision-making, etc. Again I failed to take a strong enough leadership position.

Since that point I've gotten a handle on things, however, the affect on my relationship with Judy took a worse turn in that she's not confident with my assertiveness and there's now some struggle and even bossiness on her part in how things will proceed. Yep, classic wussiness and deference have caused her to feel she has to 'be the man'.

Now there are other issues in play here, and an evaluation of Judy as an appropriate partner is clearly required as she has her own set of issues. HOWEVER, observing the progression of events here it's clear that FAILING to take the leadership role has tanked what was once a clear affinity and pretty fun and interesting relationship.

I'm re-evaluating my process of relating information to my partners with an eye towards framing the issue, identifying options and suggesting the most effective choice, INSTEAD of coming across with a 'what am I going to do now' type of attitude.

It's a learning process and some of take longer to 'get' the lessons. The thing is that the lessons continue to come until we DO get it.

Thanks David for your help and newsletters. They're helping me to change into a better man and better partner...for someone, sometime.

Regards,
Joe

As you can see from Joe’s account, letting your attitude deteriorate in the face of stress, deadlines, boredom, and a lot of other things, and it can cost you. Dearly. So keep an eye on your attitude, mood, deviation from good habits (like being on time, or being well-groomed) that show self-respect, etc., and don’t let things go down the tubes when they could easily be maintained or improved. It’s far easier to maintain the good things in life than it is to regain them once lost.

So now you have to ask yourself a question: “Do I know what my attitude, demeanor, personality, habits, etc., are projecting about me???” And do you know how the people, and specifically the women in your life, are interpreting what they see? If somebody, especially a woman, tried to tell me what they see, would I understand?

You will after you’ve read my book, "THE Man's Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," and you’ll also know what they like seeing and how to adjust your attitude and outlook so that they see what they’re looking for and you enjoy your life more, not because they see it, but because YOU do. It’s fun, easy, and every man who has tried it to date has succeeded in making his life better, so whatever is holding you back, skip it, and get over to http://www.makingherhappy.com and download your copy right now. Never put off until tomorrow the success you can have today!

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

Attitude Adjustment, First Step in Dewussification and Building a Great Relationship and Marriage

The first step in being attractive is a good attitude, and a good attitude is entirely a matter of choice.

Those of you who have been receiving my newsletter for awhile have seen many letters from women complaining about their husband’s wimpy, wussy, defeatist attitudes and how much of a turn-off they are. We’re going to dig a little deeper into fixing that today.

Guys, in case you haven’t noticed, when you bitch and moan about how things are just crappy, you can’t get ahead no matter what you do, everything and everybody is against you, or “the system” is stacked against you and responsible for your present situation, there are two things that you can be absolutely sure of:

1. Nobody wants to hear it
2. Nobody believes it for a second

The rest of us know that your life is what you choose to make of it, within the limit of your ability. How you deal with that is what determines your level of success, your self-confidence and self-esteem, and how people react to you – specifically, whether they want to spend time with you because they find you interesting and enjoyable to be around.

The good news is that how you deal with life is entirely your choice. Let’s take an extreme example to make the point clear, and then apply the principle to more common situations in every day life. Let’s say your walking down the street, looking wussy, staring at your feet as you shuffle down the sidewalk, shoulders slumped, pouting, and looking like you’re having a crappy day and want the world to know about it…

Out of nowhere, a stranger steps up in front of you, draws a fist back behind him, and punches you squarely in the face, BAM! He hits you so hard you land squarely on your ass about five feet back from where you were standing. What do you do? It’s your choice, right?

Do you sit and cry because the mean old stranger just walked up and punched you in the face, wanting everyone to feel sorry for you so somebody else will hit him back for you or call the police?

Do you stand up, mad as a wet hen, and punch him back, because you’re suddenly feeling violent and wanting revenge?

Do you stand up and realize that the man just woke you up to the fact that you were being a wuss and knocked you on your ass to prove to you that you could get back up on your feet and carry on, and thank him for the reminder?

Do you stand up and realize that the man just did something that you’re not capable of doing, and ask him to instruct you in how to do it?

Any one of those choices, and many more, are yours to make! How you respond to the situation is entirely your choice, and nobody else’s, and you should make it the most positive and productive choice possible.

No, this isn’t a head game. It’s truly how you choose to receive the situation, and what’s more, choose how you respond to it. You’re not choosing among various lies to tell yourself, but from among various results of what’s happening in front of you. How many of these choices do you get to make during the day? You may well be shocked if you watch for them and count them.

Say one of your coworkers comes into your office and tells you about something new he’s learned to do and that the boss has complimented him or her on it. You can choose to label the coworker as a brown-noser and talk trash about them around the office to try to get them fired, or you can recognize that if your company makes more money, your job is more secure and your retirement contribution will be bigger, and you can recognize that this new skill may help your own career, and therefore ask the coworker to show you this new skill.

Your choice is therefore between seeing your coworker’s discovery as an insult or as an opportunity for you to make yourself more valuable to your company and give them a reason to pay you more. That choice should be a no-brainer.

Another example: Your boss comes in and says that the job you’ve had and utterly hated for the last two years is being terminated, and you’re being moved to another department to a job that pays slightly less, but is one that you’ve tried to get transferred to several times in the past, and which does have advancement opportunities.

Do you whine and complain about having to make an unexpected change and gripe about being unappreciated because you’re taking a slight pay cut, or do you choose to see that you’re finally free of the job you hate and being moved somewhere that you can better both your job and your pay and go at your new job with gusto and start realizing the changes you sought in the past? Another no-brainer, or so you’d think…

I saw two people at a company for which I was consulting quit in this very scenario. Their pay was being reduced by a whole $10 per week until the end of the quarter when a new budget would take effect, and I know for a fact that both of them were blowing far more than that every week buying coffee and single packs of cigarettes at a convenience store on the way to work every morning instead of making coffee at home for the drive to work and buying their cigarettes in a carton each week. They had that same negative attitude, and chose to be insulted rather than see opportunity. And they constantly complained about the lack of attention their wives showed them, too.

I started to list several more examples of how you can choose to see adversity or opportunity, but rather than do that, I’m going to invite you to try to spot them around you, and write to me by replying to any edition of my newsletter or by posting comments to this post on my blog at
http://blog.makingherhappy.com and we’ll revisit this topic in a few days and compare notes.

Meanwhile, let me be very clear about this: There’s little you can do to make your wife, girlfriend, friends, siblings, coworkers, or anybody else want to avoid you any more than by consistently choosing to frame everything that happens in a negative context, and little you can do that will help your relationship with your partner and everybody else by keeping a positive attitude and looking for opportunity. It’s heroic, and an attribute that is found in all effective leaders, and hence, trips those biological attraction triggers that bring women, especially the one you love, closer and closer to you.

It is indeed one of the first steps I look to take in every intervention for a couple in crisis, because it is so important and because it is something that can be changed almost instantly, which is in turn because it is so purely a matter of personal choice. Positive attitude gets positive results, and negative attitude gets negative results. ‘Nuff said.

It doesn’t matter how bad you think your relationship – or your life – is, you will find what you look for with equal ease, whether it’s insult or opportunity. Look for the opportunity, and when you find it, use it to achieve something, even if it’s only something small. Small chains of successes add up to self-confidence and big successes. Yes, that’s a choice, too.

Speaking of opportunity, how many times must I offer you the opportunity to know what every man needs to know about women before you stop bitching about me trying to sell you something in a free newsletter or a blog post and realize that what I’m offering you is something you’ve looked for all your life and thought you’d never find, and that it’s not even going to cost you as much as a good meal for two at a good restaurant? That’s right Big Guy, opportunity is knocking here and now, and once again, you can choose whether to be insulted or to grab that opportunity and make the most of it. If you want to be a whiner, that’s your right and choice to make, but…

If you want to be one of us guys who people love to be around and who knows what every woman wishes all men – especially their partner – knew, then jump over to
http://www.makingherhappy.com and grab your copy of “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage” and make the change. That’s your right, and your choice to make, too!

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