Saturday, February 02, 2008

Why Bother Making a Great Relationship and Marriage, or Fixing a Bad One?

Why should you want and expect to make an effort to fix a strained relationship? I couldn’t even type that question with a straight face, but some people really don’t know, and actually think that it’s easier to put up with pain, frustration, boredom, etc., or the stress of extramarital affairs. Wrong! Read, and get the real scoop…

I just got the most ridiculous e-mail I think I’ve ever received. I have always maintained a policy of keeping all comments about reader mail positive, but occasionally I get one that is just so downright idiotic that it makes me want to grab the sender and shake them really hard to try to wake them up. I’m not going release this reader’s name, and I want to make it clear that I am in no way saying that this reader is an idiot; I am however, stating emphatically that what they say is something I would expect from either a moron or somebody really emotionally damaged, not from someone intelligent enough to be able to write a letter like this one.

Dear David,

I’ve been reading your newsletter for several weeks now, and I really can’t see why I should have to go through all this trouble to please my wife. We’ve been married for 8 years, and have followed the same routine pretty much since we got married. I work, she keeps the house and takes care of the kids. In the evening, I watch TV or go to the bar while she helps the kids with their homework. If I fall asleep on the couch she doesn’t bother me, and if I come home late from the bar she’s asleep in the bed and doesn’t say anything. We don’t talk much, don’t go anywhere, and everything’s fine. What’s the deal?


My reply:

Well, “Bob,” (the name has been changed to protect the ignorant), let’s look at a few things from a logical point-of-view:

  • You’ve been reading my newsletter for several weeks, but you say there’s no problem? You’re letter doesn’t paint a picture of you being a proactive achiever, so I’m not buying that, and I hope you’re not either.

  • Doing the same thing, day in and day out for 8 years, and there’s no problem? Ladies, you are cordially invited to write in and comment on this one! (Please feel free to comment on anything at any time, but I’m asking you specifically for your reactions here to help this guy see that unless he’s married to “Rain Man” he’s got a serious problem with a bored wife.)

  • You frequently go to the bar while she stays home with the kids, and sit in front of the TV on “non-bar” nights? Why aren’t you doing something with the wife and kids at least a couple of nights a week? No problem, huh?

  • You fall asleep on the couch and she doesn’t wake you up and tell you to come to bed, or throw a blanket over you, or say something about it the next day? Can you say “bored and disinterested”? But I guess that’s not a problem, either, even though that’s a recipe for your wife to be seeing other men while you’re at work and the kids are in school.

  • Don’t talk much? Don’t go anywhere? And you call that fine? And you think that she thinks that’s fine? At this point, I’m wondering if you’ve beaten her to the point that she sees “no beatings” as being the same as “happy marriage.”

I don’t know what you’re situation or problem really is, and until you come clean about all the contradictions and omissions in your letter, there’s not a thing I can do to help you, except possibly to point out a few universal truths that might motivate you to take a realistic look at your situation.

Let’s start with the old adage, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” Even if you or somebody else has damaged your wife to the point that she really would rather live the life she’s living than to see positive change, is this what YOU really want? A robot who cleans the house, cooks, and keeps the laundry and house clean and the kids out of your way? I suppose next you’re going to tell us that they based several episodes of “The Sopranos” on your life.

And how about “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”? If your letter paints an accurate picture of your home life, you’ve completely turned your back on your family except for giving them whatever part of your paycheck they receive.

Do you really think they, especially your wife and the mother of your kids, are going to go on accepting being ignored indefinitely? Women and kids both do things to get attention, even the wrong kind of attention, when you don’t give it to them freely and willingly. Do you relish the thought of coming home and finding your wife in bed with another man? Or going to a local jail to bail one or more of your kids out for shoplifting, or worse, some kind of gang-related mishap? Get a clue, because it’s coming.

Bob, the best thing I can tell you right now is “wake up and smell the coffee.” You deserve better than the life you describe, and so does your family, and the choice is entirely yours. If your job is sufficient to pay the bills and provide you several bar nights per week without your wife working, then you’re doing well enough to do some things with your family.

You’re in a rut, and you’re not going to come out of it by just holding the wheel loosely and letting things just go where they want to go. Turn the wheel and get out of the rut. "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" is full of motivational stuff that will help you feel deserving of such a life, but you should already be feeling some sort of longing for it or you wouldn’t be reading this newsletter and writing such a letter as you wrote, so what’s your real story? C’mon, lay it on me. I can take it. Can you?

Or are you afraid that the truth will hurt too much? Maybe you’re one of those “comfortably unhappy” people. I don’t know, but together, we can find out.

Take care, and wake up,

Folks, there’s no reason to continue living a life that you aren’t loving to live. The first thing to do when you find yourself in a hole is to stop digging, isn’t it? Whatever has put you in trouble must be stopped immediately or inertia (that physics principle that says that an object in motion will tend to remain in motion and an object at rest will tend to remain at rest until some external force acts upon them, remember?) will just keep right on digging you in deeper.

Stop digging. If you don’t know what you’ve done to make your relationship a mess, go to and download your copy of “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage;” I’ll guarantee you that the answer is in there. Together, we can get you where you need and want to be, if you’ll just take this step in the right direction, and life is indeed too short to spend it digging yourself a deeper hole, is it not?

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

Friday, February 01, 2008

Can a Man Work TOO Hard? He Can Certainly Work Hard Enough to Kill His Marriage!

Sometimes a man can do the right things for the right reasons but miss one little detail and have the world of his relationship come crashing down around him. Learn what REALLY needs to be done for your committed relationship, and what she REALLY wants, before it’s too late. You don’t want to end up getting punished for trying to do the right thing just because you didn’t know what her needs and priorities are.

This lesson is a little longer than usual, but it’s one of those real-world issues that we all encounter sooner or later that never quite work out the way we want them to unless we’re thoroughly prepared, so please indulge the extra text and I’m sure you’ll find it worth the time and effort. I’ve been out of town for a few days, and when I came back, I found a good friend in an absolute crisis that any man can find himself in with no warning whatsoever. I think we’re going to be able to get his problem under control pretty quickly, and I want to share this scenario with you to try to ensure that you never find yourself in this same predicament.

My friend, Danny, is about my age (mid forties), worked in a factory from the time he graduated high school, and really applied himself and was promoted through the ranks to middle management in a large company that bankrupted recently. There wasn’t a position immediately available for him anywhere, and his finances were built around a six-figure income, so he ended up taking two lesser-paying full-time jobs to keep his kids in the private school they were attending and to keep his wife from having to put achievement of her Master’s degree on hold.

One of those jobs requires roughly 45 hours per week running a Quizno’s franchise, and the other requires another 45 hours per week working as an assistant branch manager for a local bank. That’s a ninety-hour work week; do a little math here. Assuming eight hours sleep per night, there are 112 waking hours in a seven-day week, and he’s working 90 of them, and commuting another eight hours or so, plus about six hours personal time during the week to get ready to go to work. That’s 104 of 112 hours, leaving eight hours per week for meals, chores, paying the bills, bathroom breaks, etc., and time with his wife and kids has to come out of that remaining eight hours as well. What do you think is going on there?

Ladies, tell the guys, all together now, on three…ready? One…two…three…SHE’S BORED! That’s right, Guys! He’s not there stirring up attraction for her, and she’s getting antsy as hell, and probably doesn’t realize it. As you would know if you had read “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage,” there’s going to be a drama attack coming soon, because if he’s not creating positive drama for her by keeping her excited, the tension will build until some little insignificant thing is the straw that breaks the camel’s back and she lays into him with something really ridiculous sounding to get him to exhibit the alpha male behavior that excites her by not taking the fit that she’s about to pitch as if he deserves it, which brings us to the crisis…

Again, Danny is in his mid-forties, and there’s a 16-year-old girl there who has his same positive, hard-working, competence- and achievement-oriented attitude, and he’s pretty much taken her under his wing and started grooming her for an assistant management position, much to the chagrin of two other highly competitive but terribly mediocre older coworkers. They retaliate by calling the owner and telling him that his store manager is getting him set up for a sexual harassment lawsuit by flirting with the sixteen-year-old employee that he is treating like a daughter, not a girlfriend.

Now, in order to steal a little extra time with each other, Danny’s wife picks him up at his day job and drives him to his evening job at Quizno’s (restaurant managers often take the evening shift because it’s busier and leave the assistant manager to handle the less strenuous day shift). Earlier that day, she had gone by Quizno’s to pick up his paycheck to make a deposit on her way home from one of her classes, and guess who is working the counter? Yepper, the two ne’er-do-wells who started the rumor. You couldn’t tempt fate any harder than that!

They told Danny’s wife that the owner had been advised of possible sexual misconduct on her husband’s behalf! (They also conveniently left out the part that they had been the informants.) Now, his wife knows that there is absolutely no time or energy for him to be having an affair, and has seen him working with this girl, and is entirely secure in having him work with her the way he does, and they’ve openly discussed it in the past; it was Danny’s wife that had come up with the idea of grooming her for management. However…

By this time, she’s getting so lonely that her need for excitement and seeing Danny standing tall has put her emotions on auto-pilot, so when she picked him up from the bank, he’s had a bad day and says to her, “Hi Honey! How’s your day been?” to which she replied – while vigorously bobbing her head from side to side – “It was just freaking FINE until I stopped at Quizno’s today to get your damned paycheck!” What the hell are you doing messing around with a sixteen-year old and putting your job and our family at risk???”

Now, all Danny had to do at this point was calmly but very firmly say, “Look, I don’t have a clue what you’re talking about, so you’re going to have to back up and fill me in. You know as well as I do that I haven’t been messing around with anybody. Even if I wanted to there’s no time with me working two jobs, and you’ve got nine years of history in our relationship to tell you how I feel about us and about affairs, so calm down and tell me what’s going on so we can figure out what’s really happened and what needs to be done to fix it.” BUT! He didn’t know that, and started acting lost and apologetic – wussy! – which often actually comes off as a confession when a woman hears it. So the drama continued…

She dropped him off at work after giving him a royal earful, and I happened to stop by to see how things were going not too long afterwards. He explained what had happened, and we got the owner off his back with a phone call (I know the owner and had been helping Danny to groom the girl by passing her self-improvement materials, and could vouch for the events), but the big problem was his wife. He was scared to death that they were going to have a serious problem.

I finally got him to understand what was really happening by telling him about “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage,” the research that went into it, and the experiences of the readers so he’d have confidence in what I was telling him, and then explained about a woman’s need for attraction and how drama is used to fill in the void between the attraction level she needs and the one she has, rather like ego fills in the void between the self-esteem level one needs and the level they have. So when she showed up and was bobbing her head and asking if he’d “gotten his sorry ass fired,” etc., he said, “Look, I told you I had no idea what had happened, and if you had told me what you heard instead of raising Cain in the car on the way here, I could have been better-prepared to deal with this when I got here.

“Now, I’ve talked to the owner, explained what had happened, and David came by and talked with him, too. He was aware of the training and suspected this was a ploy from the beginning because he has full confidence in me, as you should have, so the problem is history. Tomorrow I’m going to fire the two people who started this, and temps from another store will be showing up tomorrow morning to take over their jobs. I’ve called the bank and made the necessary arrangements to come in late so I can handle this, so there is no problem with anyone but you, and you can stop being a problem any moment now.

“I realize that I’ve been spending a lot of time here at your expense, but you and I both know that we need the money, so we’re going to have to work together to get past this. That means you are going to have to tell me when you start feeling the strain so I can spend some time with you to keep things from building up to this point again. The only other choice is for me to quit one of these jobs and you put your classes on hold so we can have more time, and we’ve already decided that was the wrong thing to do, so are you going to work with me on this or are we going to be at each others’ throats until the job I want comes through?”

That was all she needed to see and hear. She was all over him, apologizing, cooing, cuddling, smiling, and just thrilled because that alpha male she loved was in front of her doing that alpha male thing she loves and needs so much. Problem solved.

Danny is now reading “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage” to keep this from happening again, and he says his wife is going through it with him. They’ll get through this, not just stronger, but knowing and enjoying each other on a much deeper level. You too can go through this exercise without having to go through an(other) episode like this. Join Danny and the rest in taking charge of your relationship and your life by going to and getting your copy today, because life really is too short to spend it learning from your own mistakes when you could learn from those of others much quicker and easier and spend the extra time to make and learn from successes!

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

Can Naughty Be Nice? It Can Certainly Help Your Relationship and Marriage!

Women have a naughty side just like men; indeed, there is much more about them that is similar to us than different when you can see the whole woman without the blinders that Hollywood, traditions (especially religious), outdated ideas of etiquette, etc., can impose. The thing you have to know is what to do to bring it out…

I hate to say this, but I’ve got some male newsletter readers in whom I’m getting really disappointed, not because they’re not succeeding, but because they’re not trying to succeed. I have talked and even preached ad nauseam about the value of intermittent doses of “the naughty boy” in making men interesting to women and giving women a way to open up and both be and have fun, and huge numbers of people are doing this and succeeding with it.

Men and women have written to me confirming that it works, and some of the couples that helped with the research and testing of “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage” commented that the naughty behavior was the most enjoyable part of the research. In spite of all that, these jokers, instead of just trying it and seeing for themselves that it does indeed work wonders, write me e-mails and even call and pay my consulting fee to sit and tell me that they don’t see how this could possibly work, or even worse, that it can’t possibly work, because “I just don’t understand” their situation or their wife.

Folks, I’m about to let you in on one of life’s very few “great truths,” here and now: the words “but you don’t understand” and “but you’ve got to understand” are almost always the leper’s bell of a pragmatist – a person who cannot accept reality and will fight tooth and nail to try to get you to concede that whatever fantasies and contradictions are in their head compose a valid, if alternate, reality, which it never does. There’s one reality, and we’re all living in it together, like it or not, for better for worse, ‘til death do us part, etc.

As a general rule, I fire pragmatists immediately upon contact because they are a usually a waste of time, but before firing these guys, I’m going to present the scoop on naughtiness one more time, and I’m going to invite all of you, who are welcome to send in comments, questions, etc., at any time, to write in with comments about this specific material to be reprinted for these guys in a final attempt to jerk their butts into this reality in which we all live. Maybe then they can stop looking for rationalization and justification of their mistakes and lack of action and start taking action and getting results.

Women have a naughty streak, just like men, and from what I’ve seen, it runs just as deep and wide as any man’s and might be just a tad more devious because women are generally a bit more emotionally-driven and creative than men. However, many of them won’t show their naughty side until a man does first, thereby inviting her to show hers!

While working as a corporate consultant, I often overheard conversations between small groups of women in offices when they didn’t know a man was around that if transcribed into text without names would be indistinguishable from men’s, to include bizarre sex stories, gas-passing contests and stories (including “pull my finger” games and trapping someone beneath the bedclothes with an “eruption”), tales of marauding sexual exploits, etc., using language that might embarrass the proverbial sailor.

These same women, when men were around, were very prim and professional, not to mention poised and well-mannered when we met at a lounge somewhere after working hours.

The key to unlocking this fun, very naughty behavior, especially the sexual side of it, is to be naughty in their presence, deploying the “naughty boy grin” after making some teasing remark or action that invites them to retaliate with naughtiness of their own. The naughtier you are, the naughtier they will be; very few women have the self-confidence to just let their naughtiness hang out, and we can’t blame them for it, either.

Some of their earliest memories might be of being told that little girls are made of “sugar and spice and everything nice” while little boys are made of “snips and snails and puppy dog tails” and being told that various things are “simply unladylike” and that “good little girls don’t do that.” Whether it was male oppression or mother’s trying to program their daughters to try to look better than a normal woman is irrelevant. And once you get them going, it’s a blast!

Add to that childhood programming the time-honored high school Monday morning ritual where all the guys come in and tell all the sex stories from their dates over the weekend, most of which didn’t really happen, and for the rest of the week the guys who had a good story about getting laid were the heroes and the girls they slept with were the hussies, jezebels, floozies, sluts, whores, or whatever nasty nametag was in vogue at the time. You can bet they hated that, and while we’re all older now and most of us understand that women enjoy and seek out sex as much as men, those idiotic high school games, which were traumatic at the time, left scars that are buried deep but still having an impact today, even though the events that caused the impact may be long forgotten.

As an aside, Parents, talk to your children about this double standard and encourage them to not engage in it. Our generations haven’t dealt too well with the problems it causes, but future generations might be able to avoid them if we tell them how. The feelings of guilt many parents try to threaten their daughters with to try to make them avoid sexual situations doesn’t help them avoid anything but talking to you about sex and their problems, and the only thing it helps them to do other than that is feel guilty about having slept with a boy and feeling like they now need to marry him when he’s not good for her.

Obviously, this is in conflict with religious teachings, and you’ll have to find your own balance between religious satisfaction and these purely biological, psychological and emotional issues; I’m merely trying to call your attention to the psychological impact of things that parents and teenagers do to teenagers that continue to hurt them into adulthood so that you can try to raise them to act responsibly, in a way that doesn’t leave deep-seated emotional scars from repeated guilt trips.

Getting back to our main subject, women love to play and have fun as much as men, in many of the same ways, especially those that include challenge and naughtiness. Once you clear the way for that behavior by leading her into it by example, she’ll not likely go any farther than you do, so gradually in the same manner of stair-stepping that you would use to slowly let sexual tension build for orgasms that would make the darkest chapter of her sexual diary (also covered in “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage”!), lead her into naughtiness, two steps forward, one step back, and watch her reactions. As long as she’s laughing or smiling, you’ve not gone too far. If you say or do something that causes her demeanor to change to anything that doesn’t look like she’s having fun, other than feeling sexy, especially if it looks blank or negative, you went too far, and need to immediately back up to the last known point of pleasure without dwelling on whatever it was that crossed the line.

Now, at some point, the naughtiness builds so much excitement and fun that it starts creating sexual tension, and as you see her transition, go with it! Let it get sexy, and then see how sexually naughty she wants to be as well! Again, if you go too far, immediately back up to what was working without killing everything by dwelling on the mistake. If she wants you to know anything about it, she’ll tell you later. What she wants now is to get back on track and be having fun again.

One caveat: No woman wants a man who does nothing but act like a brat or a clown. They want a man who can have fun WITH them (NOT at their expense!) when it’s time to have fun, the great man who becomes the naughty boy and gets her worked up, maybe for a few seconds, minutes or hours, and returns to the great alpha male who is strong, leaderly and heroic. The switching between the two is very powerful, and keeps you from being tagged as predictable, and worse, irresponsible.

Now, get busy! Keep in mind that having never seen your female partner doing something doesn’t in any way mean she has never done it or never wanted to do it with you. As with all things regarding attraction, you as the male partner must define authority for her by taking the lead; clear the way for her inner prankster and sexual hellion to come out to play, and if you’ve never done it before, well, you’re in for one hell of a surprise!

There are pages and pages of examples of how to understand your female partner and bring out all her best behavior, including all the fun and sexual excitement she’s capable of, as well as how to take her to levels of fun and excitement she’s only dreamed of – maybe even never dreamed of-- in “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage.” Women helped develop it, verified that it works, and are buying it all over the world, both to learn about themselves and to teach their men about themselves. Many are also reporting buying it to learn what a great guy looks like, because they’re tired of picking out losers.

That’s a pretty tough accolade to ignore! Meanwhile, men are writing letters of success and thanks daily, and you’re missing out. So download your copy now at and turn up the naughty dial, because life’s just too short to spend it with a frown on your face, no matter what the cause.

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

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Too Much of a Good Thing Kills...Especially Relationships and Marriage

Too much of a good thing gets boring, especially for women, who generally have a very low tolerance for routine, especially in their love life. Have you made any of these classic mistakes?

What a lovely day it’s turned out to be! There are some days when just being competent and attentive are enough to get everything done, and this is looking like it will be one of them. I hope yours goes as well!

I get a lot of letters every day from readers about their problems and successes, and amongst the problem letters are a few common threads, the biggest of which seems to be female boredom. It permeates every situation in some manner, especially those where the man thinks that everything is going well until the very moment he gets slapped with divorce papers (I’m waiting for permission from a reader before reprinting a classic example of this scenario and the solution!) and when, in his shock, he asks, “I thought everything was fine! What’s this about?” he hears the words, “See! YOU NEVER LISTEN TO ME!”

What’s happened?

She’s bored to tears, tried to tell him in what she thinks is the most verbose means possible (which unfortunately often means that she rolls her eyes with her back turned to him or has asked him if he would like to do something different instead of TELLING him that SHE NEEDS to do something different – we’ll touch on that again in one of the upcoming issues on inter-gender communications, but it’s covered in detail in “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage”), and being a man, he didn’t pick up on the complaint, and she got fed up.

That’s what caused the divorce threat (which incidentally, may be only a wake-up call, which you can determine immediately if you know what to look for, which is also discussed in “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage”), but what caused the root problem, the boredom itself?

Whoa! Did you think about that when you read it? The threat of a break-up or a divorce is a problem, but in the bigger picture, it’s a very telling symptom of a bigger problem, and stopping the divorce is only a temporary stay of execution, not a problem solution. Getting the relationship back on track requires fixing the problem(s) that got you to the stage of the divorce threat.

Now, getting back to the boredom problem, as men, we like a simple life. We don’t mind routine nearly as much as women because for us, a neutral (neither perilous nor exciting) environment means the absence of problems, and that’s a big plus; we’ll take excitement when we can get it too, but we’re happy to just be outside the reach of problems for a day. Our emotional scale is such that negative emotion is on one end and positive emotion is on the other end, and emotional neutrality is in the middle, and therefore better than negative emotions.

All the men who don’t know any better are right now saying, “So what? Anything else would be crazy!” Well, you and I might think so, but…

All the women are right now saying that we are the crazy ones! Their emotional scale runs from zero to infinity, not negative to positive; to them, lack of emotional energy is the worst possible state, and they really don’t distinguish that much between positive and negative emotion, at least as far as their biological need for emotion is concerned (which is different from their conscious tolerance of it). That’s why they enjoy and even NEED tear-jerking movies that we think are a depressing (and somewhat masochistic) waste of time. Do you see the problem?

They need things stirred up more than we do, and in our quest for the problem-free environment, not knowing that our needs are different from theirs, we misinterpret their cooperation as their approval; wrong answer! They cooperate because they are social, and are expecting something in exchange for their cooperation, not because they enjoy being bored. That’s why they need you to be an alpha male, a leader, to get naughty with them when they aren’t expecting it, to leave little surprises for them in places they don’t expect them, the impromptu picnics and vacations, etc. Without things like that, they go nuts! However, don’t go overboard; too much of a good thing ruins it!

This is the other classic mistake that men make. We have such a hard time figuring out what women want that when we find something, we drown them in it. I’ve seen guys find out that a woman likes chocolate and be shoving it in her mouth every time she opens it until she’s literally sick of chocolate, ruining one of her favorite things for her, and women really hate that.

It’s very easy to give a woman too much of a good thing, even when it comes to sex. If you want to ruin your sex life to the point that it wrecks your relationship, all you have to do is find out that she likes something in bed, and do it every single time you have sex until she tells you to stop doing it. She’ll not only grow bored with the act, she’ll hate you for ruining one of her favorite sexual things.

And guys, be honest. Just about every one of us alive and who has ever lived has heard a woman say something like, “oh, I love to be on top,” or “I love doggie-style,” and let that suddenly become 99% of your sexual repertoire. The magic was gone pretty fast after that, wasn’t it? You must mix it up in the bedroom just as much as you must mix it up in the rest of the house and outside the house. Use her favorite things as a reward, put forth at the climax (no pun intended!) of some event, not as part of any standard operating procedure.

Repeat after me: “BORING IS THE LAST WORD A MAN EVER WANTS TO HEAR A WOMAN USE TO DESCRIBE HIM!” Never forget that; you can bet that she won’t. She can’t! Avoiding boredom is literally a survival skill for women.

Guys, long-term committed relationships, whether you’re married or not, aren’t just a piece of cake sitting there waiting for you to bite. They don’t necessarily take a lot of work, especially if you are well-matched and attentive, but there is some work that has to be done no matter how well-matched you are. You can do it on the front end by finding someone with whom you are well-matched and live happily ever after, or you can do it when everything blows up in your face to try to save the situation (and if there are significant compatibility problems, you will inevitably find that it cannot be saved), but either way, you have to be prepared to be in a long-term committed relationship to maintain one whether you have to save it or not.

You have to know whether you are indeed well-matched with a woman, you have to know how to communicate with her so that you can keep things open, developing and committed, and you have to know what sparks and maintains her attraction for you to keep everything fun, exciting, intimate and everything else that keeps it from being boring. Luckily for you, you can find all this in a single source, an instantly downloadable e-book called “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage” at, tested, proven, and working for everyone who is using it. Do it now, because life’s too short to spend it trying to work your way out of the doghouse.

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

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda: the Wrong Words to Say When You Look Back on Your Relationship or Marriage

A MUST-READ ISSUE! How often do you use the phrases “could have,” “should have,” and “would have”? If it’s more than very rarely, it’s a good sign that you’ve got some room for major and easily-achieved improvement in your relationship and your life in general.

It’s another wonderful Monday morning as I write this, another of 52 great opportunities you will have this year to start the week off right. Make the best of it. If you haven’t already made your plans for the week, make them now, and include some form of self-improvement in each of three areas: your personal development, your career development, and your relationship with your partner (or preparing to have a great relationship with a partner if you don’t currently have one).

Think about that! You have 52 chances every year to begin a week the right way and get things done. By the same token, you have 12 chances to start a month right, 260 or more chances to start a work-day off right, 52 chances to start a weekend right, and 365 chances to start a day off right, with a bonus chance every four years. That’s a huge number of opportunities to improve! Have you ever thought about what happens as you let all these opportunities slide by unused?

Time passes, and your life with it – the most precious resource in all the universe, and one that you never even know how much you have left to enjoy. When it passes and you don’t avail yourself of the opportunities it presents, the end result of all the boredom and frustration that breeds is resentment, a grudge against yourself for not living the best life you could live, but few of us ever recognize resentment as the result of our own choice.

People often transfer that grudge to other people because they don’t take responsibility for their life. They sit around singing the old “Coulda-Shoulda-Woulda” song and making themselves miserable, as well as most of the people around them. How attractive do you think that can be? How much of your company do you think your partner (or your friends or your employer, for that matter) can even endure, let alone enjoy, when you’ve become poisoned with resentment to the point that you have developed the mentality of a defeatist, or a victim? Right, not much. What can you do?

You watch for opportunities and you take action, of course! If your partner does something that annoys you, don’t spend months or years resenting it, talk to them about it and see if there is some alternative, or even better, full resolution. The person you live with is the last one you want to resent, because they are supposed to be the one you spend the greatest amount of your life with, right? And if you choose to not tell them that you have a problem with something they are doing, it’s entirely your fault that you are annoyed and feeling resentment, not theirs. It can’t become an issue for them until you tell them it is an issue for you!

If the company you work for has a policy or other employee that annoys you or you think could be improved, don’t just sit around resenting it; discuss it with the appropriate person. It’s entirely possible that nobody noticed the problem you noticed, and also possible that everybody noticed but you were the only one who had the guts to stand up and say something. That can get you promoted or fired, and if it gets you fired, you’re in the wrong company anyway.

If after you notify them and they choose to do nothing you are still upset, find a new place to work! The worst job in the world is the one you resent getting out of bed to face in the morning, and again, that is YOUR choice.

What about your friends? Are they really friends? If they are, you can talk to them about things that are problematic in your relationship with them, and if you can’t, they’re not really friends after all, are they? You can’t expect them to mold their entire life to suit you, but if you’re allergic to smoke you can ask them not to smoke in your house when they visit, or if you’re allergic to pet dander you can ask them not to bring their pet with them or leave it outside when they come to visit.

If they have a different political or religious preference than you and it seems to be a sore spot, you can ask them to stop trying to convert you and just agree to disagree. “Here’s the deal: you don’t invite me to [go to your church/be a conservative/join the PTA], I won’t invite you to stop [going to church/being a liberal/being in the PTA].” If they can’t afford you the respect to make your own choices after having heard whatever they have to say once, they’re not a friend, they’re a crusader, and you don’t need that around when there are so many other people around who could be good friends, right?

What about other opportunities that come up between you and the world? The opportunity to start a small business, trade cars, get a great deal on a piece of real estate? Before you pass them up, take some time and give them an objective look if they interest you in some way, instead of looking back from some point in the future and saying that you “shoulda-coulda-woulda”.

What are you going to miss if spend an hour checking out some seemingly great opportunity, an episode of “Law and Order” or “CSI”? What might you gain? Or what loss might you protect yourself from by doing a thorough investigation instead of being caught up in the emotion of the moment and just jumping in – the other side of the opportunity coin?

There’s a word for people who sit around saying “I could have,” “I should have,” “I would have,” and it’s not a nice one. It’s spelled “L-O-S-E-R,” and combined with the resentment that it forms, it earns you a second label, spelled “W-U-S-S.” All your incessant telling of tales of woe over all the things you should have, could have, and would have done earns you a title as well, “BORING,” which you may remember as the one word above all others that you never want to have a woman assign to you if you want to live happily (and intimately!) with her. Combine that with “wuss,” and you’re done. Period. End of relationship.

Take a look around you, a close look, at your life, your career, your relationship, and how you view the world and your place within it. If you don’t like what you see and it makes you complain to others or silently grumble to yourself, exercise some personal initiative and make some choices and some changes! You don’t have to become a storm trooper or a steam roller, just start taking action according to some well-researched and well-constructed plan that will provide what you want in a consistent pattern of sustainable growth.

You don’t have to move the Earth to be known as a guy who gets things done; you just have to be seen getting things done consistently, and be known for your successes instead of your whining and complaining about what you didn’t do, but should have, could have, or would have done. That’s what makes you an achiever, and a winner. Just start looking for ways to gain either achievement, resolution, or closure, and simplify your life.

Why the self-improvement sermon? Do you have any idea how attractive it is to a woman to be with a man who takes action? Who is pleased with his life? Who wears his successes like a badge of courage with grace and dignity? I’ve asked hundreds of them, and received the same answer from all of them – it drives them absolutely wild because it’s adventure and romance and they live vicariously through it, savoring the emotions of success and celebration – but don’t take my word for it, ask a few yourself!

Ask them not what they look for in a man so much as what they see that makes them sit up and take notice when a guy walks into a room, and when he speaks, whether to them or not, what makes them feel drawn to him to get to know him better and crave his attention and to spend time with him. It’s self-confidence, the bearing of a man of action that draws them close enough to see if he also has the brains, sense of humor, and naughty streak that makes him the real “catch” that they want to spend a lifetime with.

Relationships can be tricky beasts to say the least. People can spend years, even decades in relationships that simply suck the life out of them, filling them with resentment and poisoning their very soul because they never committed the simple act of evaluating the relationship and either making some adjustments or finding one that they could happily live in. Are you one of these people?

Some couples spend as much as decades together never really knowing each other because they never commit the simple act of trying to improve their ability to communicate with each other, in spite of the centuries of time and effort that have been spent writing books on bridging the male-female communications gap. Are you one of these people?

Some couples spend years together just getting along day-to-day, letting life slip through their fingers while they are bored to tears, looking for help, excitement, and even love in all the wrong places, like flings and affairs, trendy focus groups, magazine columns that give the opposite advice this month that they did last month, never finding what they’re looking and maybe even never realizing the full extent of what they are missing. Are you one of these people?

If you’re any or even all of the above, you can find answers and genuine, guaranteed-to-work help in “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage,” 118 single-spaced pages of an instantly downloadable e-book, dense with information tested and proven by 118 couples during its first writing and many more since it was published. It’s working for everybody who’s using it, and it will work for you, too.

So what are you going to do? All you risk by taking action is the time it takes you to read the book; what do you risk by not taking action? A lifetime of unhappiness? Celibacy? Finding your partner cheating? Maybe finding them cheating AGAIN? Or perhaps getting caught cheating yourself? How about losing half or more of all you own plus unfettered access to your kids? You might gain something though, all that free time that you’ll have when your wife and kids are living with some other man. Are you up for some of that? It could be coming your way a lot faster than you think, especially if your sex life has slowed considerably, which is both a cause and a symptom of a decaying relationship.

It’s far easier to fix things at home if they can be fixed than any other alternative you have, so jump over to and get your copy of this truly amazing book right now, instead of saying at some time in the future that you should have, could have, or would have.

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

Monday, January 28, 2008

Handling Tough Times and Avoiding Marital Boredom, a Relationship and Marriage Survival Skill

One easy time for a woman to become bored and frustrated is when you have to be away a lot. Let’s touch on that before leaving this subject for awhile.

I got a very humorous and insightful comment on the October 14, 2007 edition (about how far women will go to escape boredom)
, from one of the newest readers which spawned a great lesson for you. It’s great because it’s an issue that is tough for the untrained man to deal with but the solution is easier and safer to implement than you might otherwise imagine. Here’s the note that started it all (the name has been changed to protect the brilliant):

Note to Self:

Rule #1. Do not under any circumstances allow your woman to become bored. Rule #2. Do not under any circumstances allow your woman to become bored. Rule #3. See Rules 1 & 2, above.


Hi David,

Damn. That is scary. And VERY instructive.

Thanks, - H.


That made me wonder about the rules, and I wrote back:

Note to H.:

Rule #1: A woman must never, EVER be allowed to be bored.
Rule #2: If you ever fail to be a man, a woman will become bored.
Rule #3: Should you break Rule #1, you will find it happened because you broke Rule #2!

Yep, it is scary, until you realize that Rule #2 makes the whole thing a matter of your choice. That's the silver lining in the "take responsibility for everything" cloud. Once it's your responsibility, it's your choice as to how it works out, and that's not at all scary when you have the information to make it work out. Indeed, it's a lot of fun! You don't even have to worry about tough times if you make the right choices, because a woman will be thrilled to be invited into a challenge. Take for instance you having to do late nights, 12-hour days, for two weeks to get a project wrapped up on schedule. First, you conscript her help:

"Honey, I have a problem at work and I'm going to need your help. I have to do 12-hour days for the next two weeks to bring this project in on time. I need you to take over the (insert list of chores here) that I usually handle so that when I get home, we can still have some time together. (That's leadership, authority, delegation, issuing a challenge, trusting her to be competent, and a whole world of other things that women yearn for, including a commitment to keep her close instead of shutting her out in favor of your work.)

"After the project is finished, we'll take off for the weekend and catch up on some rest and time together. No, don't ask, because it's a surprise!" (Anticipation, mother of all pleasures in a woman's world.)

Being a hero instead of an a**hole is just a matter of paying attention and framing things right. Get it? Sure you do. That was a silly question. LOL!

Take care, and keep in touch!

It really is that simple, as long as it’s not an on-going problem. On-going problems like working long hours for months on end are not heroic. They are a declaration that you can’t handle things and your life is out of control, even when she wants to believe otherwise. While there are some predators and parasites around, most women do not marry a man to have somebody pay their bills for them and be gone all the time to do it. They marry a man to have someone to love, trust, respect, be loyal to, and share their life with. That doesn’t happen when the only time the two of you are together is while you’re asleep.

The point? She will help you get through problems, but only so long as you can continue to give her the companionship (and leadership) she needs. Women are social in nature, and they need interaction with others; it’s a matter of biology, not of choice, so don’t make a habit of over-committing yourself and expecting her to take up the slack. Don’t get into that rut of trying to force problems to go away by just spending more time working on them. Learn to work smarter instead of longer and harder.

How? Get help when you need it! Using work as an example (since I’ve been a management consultant for a lot of years and have fallen into this same trap myself on occasion), there’s a big difference between saying to your boss, “I’ll get this done, no matter what,” and then missing the deadline, missing work because of fatigue, illness or family disputes that arose because you over-committed yourself, and saying, “I may be able to get this done in the time you need it, but the risk to both myself and the company is considerable because I’ll be spread to thin and something can fall through the cracks and hurt us. Get me some help on this to ensure that we come in on time with acceptable quality so that we all look good at review time.”

People who want to get things done will support your effort to the best of their ability because they have others leaning on them for performance. Even the owner of the company has people leaning on him: his customers! Nobody wants to finish the day with egg on their face, and when you speak up like this you establish yourself as somebody who looks ahead and acts rationally instead of an egomaniac with a hero complex or a persecution complex who would sacrifice himself to be noticed and risk his boss’s and his company’s reputation to do it.

Your life has to maintain some semblance of balance for you to be able to enjoy it. Part of that balance is your job, part is your wife and family, part is yourself, etc. If any one part starts getting too much attention, it will be at the expense of the other parts. There’s no escaping or denying it. If you don’t give your job its fair share, you’ll get fired. If you don’t give your wife her fair share, you’ll get fired, too, in the form of a divorce! If your kids don’t get their fair share, they’ll fire you, too, and replace you with whomever will give them the attention they need, even if it’s the local drug dealer or the warden at the jail.

Balance may not be the key to all things in the universe, but it is certainly an essential part of a healthy relationship, a happy marriage, and a happy life. Take a good look at your life and see for yourself if everything is in balance, and make a serious effort to correct any balance problems you see.

Involve your wife in the examination after you’ve looked for yourself, invite her input and compare it to your own. Impress upon her the need for balance as well. She shouldn’t be letting her job, hobbies, you, or the children consume her entire life any more than you should. She needs the variety that balance provides to keep her from getting bored with any one aspect of her life!

We’ve about beaten this subject to death, but I hope that you’ve come to realize, if nothing else, just how different a woman’s needs are from your own and what you can easily do to fulfill those needs and keep your relationship and marriage enjoyable. We can’t expect them to be entirely like us because they’re not, nor are they entirely different.

Our similarities and differences are not always obvious, and at times are even deceptive; you may recall articles I’ve sent you in which we discussed how men and women can use the exact same words to express the exact opposite meaning, and have no idea that it’s happening. (If you missed it, it’s the third fo the communications lessons in my free “Break-Up Busting 101” report, which you can download
at your convenience.) We, as men, being born to lead, must be aware of these similarities and differences and should take the initiative to make sure that everyone else in our family understands them as well. Otherwise, we fail as leaders, and we fail as men. I hate it when that happens…

It’s time to step up and get the information and training you need to be the man you were born to be, but others have tried their best to make sure you never could be. Conspiracy? Maybe. Theory? Hardly. We’ve been told the wrong things about how to be a man for thirty years or more. We’ve tried it, it’s failed miserably, and it’s time to get back to what works.

Your guide is called “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage,” and you should go now to and download your copy immediately. Thirty years is long enough to do it the wrong way and be punished for making the effort. Start being a man as you were born to be and be rewarded for it, with happiness, success, and possibly best of all, the love and adoration of the woman you love.

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

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Preparing for Valentine's Day, a Common Test of Your Relationship and Marriage

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and you need to be thinking about it now, not on your way home from work on February 14. Here’s some help in the area of choosing the right gift.

I got a question from a reader a few days ago that reminded me that it’s time to prepare for St. Valentine’s Day. Those of you who are historically-inclined know that this day was originally instituted as a day for old flames to get back in touch with each other, back in the days when very long courtships were the rule and women didn’t approach men; it was acceptable on this day for women to contact a former suitor and invite him to resume his former pursuit, although a proper lady would never do so in so many words, of course!

It has since evolved into an occasion upon which women expect “romantic” gifts, and one of the biggest mistakes you can make with many of them is the traditional, boring, and very impersonal dozen roses and box of chocolates. A woman wants a gift to be very personal, regardless of cost, so that she knows it was carefully chosen – or even constructed, if you are good at creating gifts of any kind – just for her. One of your fellow readers has seen the light, and asked for help. Meet John:

Hi David,

I have read your book and have seen the light. After 12 years of marriage I have slipped into pre-packaged holiday gift mode. I am having trouble coming up with new ideas for this Valentine's Day. Could you recommend some new ideas? My birthday is a few days before the 14th and my wife has planned a short trip out of town for us that weekend. Last February we were talking divorce, this year after reading your book and actually seeing that I had become foolishly predictable and boring, I've turned OUR life back on. I am now running out of ideas to keep her on her toes. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thank You

Hi John! Congratulations on getting things turned around! If you're like most men, you're not running out of ideas, you've run out of inspiration and need a quick refresher course on the art of choosing gifts for a woman to remind you of where to look in your life with your wife for ideas. (I could name off a hundred things that somebody else’s wife would love that your wife may have no interest in at all, and would in fact be insulted by, because they aren't something very personal and obviously chosen specifically for her.) Start by going back to the gift section in "THE Man's Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," which is short and to the point, and then I'm going to give a list of a few newsletters that expand on the subject. As you read these things, plug you and your wife, your upcoming plans, your history, etc., into the processes and examples and you'll most likely be flooded with very good ideas.

(Those of you who have not yet downloaded your copy of "THE Man's Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" can find that same gift advice in my free “What Women Want” report, which you can download at
your convenience.)

After you do this, whether you come up with ideas or not, write back and we'll do a quick double-check and either make sure you've made some good choices or figure out what got in the way of you making a good choice and get you moving on the right road. This is one of those "give a man a fish and he eats for a day, but teach him to fish and he eats for life" kind of things, and luckily, what you need to read to review doesn't amount to more than probably 3-4 pages at most, because the subject really isn't that difficult once you recapture that "groove" that you know you're going to get back into when you start reading; you'll knock her socks off for sure!

Here are the issues you need to read:

Buying the Perfect Gift (This is the book excerpt on gifts, in case it's easier than finding your copy of the book, and you can skip it if you have your book or my free “What Women Want” report handy).

A Female Reader Writes in About Gifts (Probably the best newsletter on the subject after the excerpt from the book)

How Much Is Too Much? (Defining the rules about excessive gift-giving, expectations, buying love, etc.)

Ballroom Dancing (Ballroom dancing lessons are still a huge romance and attraction-builder, especially if your wife likes to dance!)

Girls and Their Toys (about women and adult toys, in case your wife likes naughty things)

(For those of you who have never visited my newsletter archive, the address for the archive index is and it's just plain HTML web pages. You scroll through the directory to find each article and just click on the link to get it on your screen, then hit the "back" button on the screen or press the backspace key on your keyboard to return to the directory.)

And by the way, double congratulations for having the forethought to deal with this now instead of on February 14, like 99.8% of other men will do. That's the mark of an achiever, and you get bonus points for that!

Gentlemen, this really isn’t that much reading to do if you don’t remember the material, so don’t let the fact that it’s five articles deter you from doing this right. There are few things that you can do for a woman that endear you to her like selecting a truly great gift for her, not because she’s some kind of materialistic gold-digging “ho,” but because choosing a great gift for a woman requires that you pay attention to her, know intimate details about her, and consider those things when buying or making something for her.

Most women would melt over a carefully-selected bunch of wildflowers, that contained scents and colors she liked, and only perfect flowers, maybe matched her eyes or something like that, and maybe were accompanied by a brief handwritten note that said something like “You’re my favorite thing, of ALL things…” than a dozen roses or orchids with a piece of jewelry hidden in them and a $10 super-card from Hallmark.

Every woman can receive roses, thousands of women can receive that same piece of jewelry, and who knows how many people receive that same card? BUT! There will never be a bunch of flowers like the one you picked ever again, and if what you wrote on the paper was something she’s never heard, doesn’t sound “canned” (so don’t be an idiot and copy something cute from a card, because many women spend a lot of time browsing card verses in stores looking for good cards and emotional rushes), and is something that she would expect you to mean when you say it, it’s just for her too, and devastatingly special. And let’s not forget the bonus of including something small and durable that can go into her “treasure box” to remind her of her favorite times with you when she feels lonely, down, or really ticked off at you!

Don’t just run out and try to find wildflowers in February because I mentioned them, either! Spend some time getting to know your partner, and think about how you could combine some things she likes into some unique thing that leaves no doubt in her mind as to why she received it. Ha! What am I saying??? There will be no doubt in her mind why she received anything! If it’s the wrong thing, there will be no doubt that you’re in insensitive idiot, and if it’s the right thing, well, take your vitamin E and make sure your medical insurance is paid up in case she injures you when she pounces on you later, because giving the right gift is some pretty hot stuff!

Gift-giving is one of the many areas where men fly blind when trying to get along with women because we’re not trained to know how they think and what they like as we grow up. Our mothers train us to be “nice” and to defer all decisions to women to be “considerate” and to buy extravagant gifts for women to impress them, and bless their hearts (as we say in the South), they have no idea that they’re setting us up for disaster, but they are. They should be teaching us how to choose a good woman, how to communicate with women, and how to keep a woman interested and excited enough to enjoy our company for years and years. They don’t, but I will!

All you need is a copy of “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage,” and you can download it at with a few mouse-clicks. Do it now, because you never know when she might decide she’s had enough and you’ll be another one who’s been thinking everything is just fine until she hands you the divorce papers, and when you ask in that shocked voice, “What’s this about???” she says those immortal, bone-chilling words that sends shock and confusion into the very soul of every man who hears them: “See! You NEVER LISTEN TO ME!”

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