Saturday, February 16, 2008

Your Wife's Mother-in-Law and Your Relationship and Marriage

We’ve talked about handling her mother, but what about yours? She can have a major impact on your relationship, too, if you let her…

We talked yesterday about how to deal with a man’s mother-in-law, but what about a man’s mother? You’re about to see, if you haven’t already, how she can also have a major impact on your relationship, as many of you have found out, sometimes the hard way.

All too often, a tug-of-war between a man’s mother and his wife or girlfriend ends up forming, and while it may not always get as vicious as the situation in
“Monster-In-Law,” it doesn’t have to get real vicious to cause a wife or girlfriend to decide that she doesn’t have to put up with the hassle, deliver you an ultimatum, and leave immediately when you say something lame like, “But Honey, she’s my mother,” as if that gives her license to be nasty to your partner. Here’s one of many letters I’ve received on the subject; I chose it because it sums up a lot of the most common issues. Meet Jean:

Dear David,

I hope this note finds you well and happy since this is supposed to be one of the happiest times of the year for lovers. I know this will be a better day for some than others. What I am writing you about today is not a happy subject but one that I could use your advice on. It has to do with my mother in law, my husband and I are now what they call middle aged and are for the most part happy and still very much in love.

However, there is one very difficult subject we can not get the same decision on and I was hoping you might have some words of wisdom for us. We live a very short distance from my mother in law who still refuses to let us have our own life after 18 years of marriage. Every chance she gets she is always hanging around or calling my husband on his cell phone instead of the home phone so she can talk to him without the possibility of me overhearing what is being said. To be honest with you I could care less what she has to say about me but when she starts problems between me and my husband over nothing I do have a problem.

For instance, if he says he’s taking me out to dinner or shopping or anything else come to think of it she says something like, “But Donnie, I was wanting you to come over here for supper tonight.” If we make plans to go out of town, she either invites herself along or comes up with some dire emergency, like needing us to feed her dog while she is gone for the weekend. Just anything to try to foil our plans. She’s over here almost every day making snide comments about the way I cook, the way we I have differed from her in raising our kids, my housekeeping, and bringing up Don’s highschool sweetheart every chance she gets.

Could you offer some advice as to how I can make my husband see she is just out to cause us to get into a fight or cause a problem without me coming off as the witch? I have never been good enough for her since day one and the truth is when I married her son no other person would even go out with him much less marry him because she was such a witch to everyone and word got around the small town we live in. There is a lot more to the story, but I’m sure you get the idea, since you seem to “get it.” Please help.

Yours truly,
Jean

My reply:

Yikes! Jean, I don’t know how you’ve endured it for 18 years, but Don’s a lucky man, and you should start by telling him so. I notice that you’ve been subscribing for several months, so I’m sure by now you know that you need to be fairly blunt with him, but not accusatory or combative. Tell him that you would never try to come between him and his mother, but she needs to pay you that same respect too, and that either he can have a word with her, or you will.

Give him specific examples of what has happened; he’s already seen them, but you’re telling him to let him know that you know and that it bothers you. Don’t dramatize, and be factual and to the point. If he does wuss out and doesn’t want to talk to his mother, then you need to. Tell her that you have not in any way tried to come between her and her son, and that you demand and expect that she pay you the same respect, because you have been respectful of her and been loving and faithful to her son for 18 years, and it’s high time that she accepted it and started making some effort to try to get along instead of trying to antagonize you.

Take care, and keep in touch,
David Cunningham

Gentlemen, there are a great many mistakes that men make with their wives and girlfriends that involve their mothers. The biggest is in comparing your wife to your mother in any way. Women HATE that! If your wife cooks something that you prefer the way your mother did it, chances are a thousand times better that she’ll do it they way you like it if you said, “I really like it done (however you like it done),” instead of saying, “That’s not how my mother does it,” or “I like it better the way Mom does it.”

That’s not your mother’s house you’re living in; it’s yours and your partners, or at least it better be. If your mother has come to live with you because you don’t want her in an elderly care home, that’s great, as long as you are still leading the household and your wife maintains the respect she should command as your wife and co-owner of the house, but if you and your wife are living in your mother’s house, every goal you have had better take second place to getting a place of your own, because your partner needs a place in which to nest, and you have no idea of the grief you’ll be inviting on yourself if you don’t facilitate one quickly.

As with your wife’s mother, your mother is above all else, a woman, and must be treated as such. If she is too involved in your household, it’s because you let her. You must lead her, gently but firmly, to the level of involvement that you and your partner are comfortable with. You don’t ask her to give you a break, you tell her that you love her as much as you always did, but you are an adult and you need to lead an adult life, which includes making and being responsible for your choices. You tell her that while she has always been and will remain an important part of your life, she must pay you the respect of letting you lead your own household and live your own life with your own family. You tell her that she did a good job raising you, and she needs to accept that and let you rise to the challenges she prepared you for.

She may not like it at first, but she will respect it, and she’ll go along with it in the end. There may be testing from time to time to see if you were serious or just trying to placate your wife, so you must be consistent.

Men, women are not as difficult to talk with, get along with, understand and enjoy as we’ve been led to believe. Indeed, we’ve been programmed to think that it’s hard or impossible, just like they’ve been programmed to think that we’re insensitive jackasses who have no use for them except for sex. Our mothers were primarily the ones who programmed us, and their parents primarily were the ones who programmed them; there’s also been a lot of inappropriate reinforcement heaped on you from Hollywood and the politically correct media. But…

Deprogramming is a painless and fun process, and requires nothing but some good information about what women REALLY want, and what REALLY makes them tick. And contrary to what the world thinks (including Sigmund Freud, the renowned psychiatrist/psychologist, who is famous for saying, “The great question... which I have not been able to answer... is, ‘What does a woman want?’”), that information is available, thanks to some hard work and the input of a few hundred women, and it’s entirely affordable for every man. Indeed, compared to the cost of a divorce, it’s damned-near free!

Luckily for you, it’s in “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage,” and you can download your copy right now at
http://www.makingherhappy.com. You’ve spent your whole life wishing somebody had written a book to tell you what women want and what makes them tick, and now it’s here, and there you sit, not seeing that what you’ve wished for your whole life is a few mouse-clicks away. Open your eyes and start living a life with your partner that will be even better than either of you have ever dreamed.

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

Friday, February 15, 2008

Gentlemen, the Proper "Care and Feeding" of Your Mother-In-Law Is Critical to a Great Marriage

Your partner’s mother is also female, but the governing dynamics of your relationship with her require special handling.

We’re going to spend the next few days addressing the ways in which mothers can influence your relationship. Today, we’ll be talking about the woman’s mother, and tomorrow we’ll talk about the man’s, and then we’ll explore defending your wife from a meddlesome mother.

My mother-in-law has been in the spotlight in my own life over the last several days, and it has made me take a closer look at that relationship and what you might do to improve your relationship with your partner’s mother; whether you are married or not, her mother can be a significant influence on her life and yours, in either a positive or negative way; she can be a powerful ally or a formidable enemy, in which case, unless your partner is very young, rebellious, and impressionable (qualities you probably don’t want anyway), she could kill all attraction you could hope to create in your partner. Fortunately, you can have an influence on which way it goes. Think with me here for a few minutes, because understanding is requisite for success:

Your partner’s mother, to whom I will be referring as “MIL” (“Mother-In-Law) for brevity’s sake, is obviously and above all else, a woman. She therefore has “girly radar,” and picks up on all the nuances in your speech and behavior that any woman would. However, she is also, by definition, a mother, so she’s also equipped with “mama radar” (the eyes in the back of the head that can see through buildings and across space and time, the super hearing that lets her hear the cookie jar being opened in the next county, and an uncanny ability to identify the elusive “Mr. Nobody”), so she’s always on heightened alert with regard to any shenanigans that might affect her offspring, a.k.a., your partner. What does this mean to you?

For starters, with regard to B.S. (“bovine manure”) detection, she’s likely to be the equivalent of your partner on perception steroids. Hence, you cannot, under any circumstances, try to B.S. this woman. Aside from being more sensitive to it and naturally suspicious of you because you pose a potential threat to her daughter, she’s more experienced at spotting it than your partner, and since she’s not likely to be feeling attraction for you, has no reason whatsoever to overlook or forgive anything that feelings of attraction might mitigate.

Trying to impress her is also the kiss of death; the only real reason to try to impress someone is if you are so unsure of yourself that you don’t think it can happen naturally, and that is not a characteristic of any man that any woman wants her daughter mixed up with. Indeed, you can take any anti-attraction behavior I describe in this newsletter or in “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage” and multiply the impact by ten or more if you exhibit it in your MIL’s presence. What happens then?

She switches into “protective mama mode” and starts telling her daughter all the bad things she’s seen in you to try to get her to see the same thing she sees “for her own good.” Even if your partner doesn’t accept it at first, it plants the seeds of worry, brings on more testing and more worry, which escalates until it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. How can this be avoided?

Actually, it’s pretty easy if you’re on the straight and narrow. It’s going to sound weird at first, but the answer is to treat your MIL just as you treat her daughter, just without the strong sexual overtones; fun and a bit flirtatious at times, but never seductive. You want her to see you as a strong, attractive man and good for her daughter, not feel like you’re coming on to her.

Be strong and playful with her. Showing her that you can be strong and playful will assure her that you will be able to protect her daughter from that most heinous of female enemies, the one that gets them in the most trouble the fastest, boredom.

Be of good character. Tell the truth at all times, and don’t be afraid to say the difficult things as long as you are factual without being mean or rude. She will have both her mama radar and girly radar engaged and sweeping on maximum sensitivity, and being a wuss or a liar is not an option. Remember that ANY woman’s first criteria for assessing a man is “If you can’t stand up TO me, you can’t stand up FOR me.” In the MIL’s case, it’s more like “If you can’t stand up TO ME, you can’t stand up FOR MY DAUGHTER.”

Communicate with her as if she is important to you, because she is. Create a little tension by flip-flopping from naughty boy to alpha male, but don’t make it overtly sexual tension by dropping in bits of sexual innuendo like you would with your partner; the privilege of that kind of intimacy is exclusively for your partner, and is one of the things that makes her feel special. Lead your MIL as you would lead your wife, just lead her to fun or results, not to the bedroom.

The bottom line? Your MIL can have nearly as big an impact on your life as your partner, and you must give her the respect that this position commands. You will find that if you do, she will be making positive comments to your partner, which make your partner both feel better about you and appreciate that you are treating her mother as a special person as well.

If for some reason you can’t respect her, then benign avoidance until you can is the only good answer, because if you try to fake anything, you’re toast. And yes, it’s true that a very few MIL’s will detest their daughter’s partner simply because he is her daughter’s partner, maybe because she perceives him as having stolen her daughter and maybe because she’s just nuts, but it is important that you try to find out what the problem is and fix it if you can.

If she really thinks you’ve stolen her daughter, it may require nothing more than encouraging your daughter to make a weekly or biweekly habit of having afternoon tea, a shopping trip, trip to the salon, or something distinctly and femininely social with her, or something else that is gives them some regular time together to demonstrate that you’re not trying to come between them. Don’t worry about how she’ll find out; your wife will let her know in the proper way that it was your idea. She wants this to work out, too, you know.

Showing up on time for all visits to her home helps too. It shows that you are responsible, respectful of her time, and that you aren’t trying to avoid her. Indeed, most people in any part of your life will tend to judge you and your relationship with them based on how timely you are. Being a little early is perceived as being enthusiastic, well-prepared, and engaged, being on time is considered at least a sign of preparedness and respect, and being late carries all manner of negative connotations with it, including indifference, disrespect, disorganization, incompetence, avoidance and irresponsibility, to name a few.

If she’s just nuts, well, we’re back to benign avoidance. What is that exactly? You accept invitations to her home, but avoid deeply personal and controversial subject matter. You still give her an input channel as you must give any woman when you want to get along with her, but you don’t give her a channel through which to exert undue and unwanted influence. Be cordial, diplomatic, and aware of her non-verbal communication at all times, but don’t let her have control of a conversation to the extent that she can get a fight started, which above all else, means don’t be defensive or suck up. When trouble starts looking imminent, it’s time to take charge by changing the subject or simply leave if she persists – don’t let a fight get started.

In short, if you treat your MIL right, she can help your partner to see you in the positive light that helps to amplify your attractiveness, and if you don’t, she can kill it dead for you. Either way it’s your choice, so choose wisely. Much of your success with her will also come from understanding how to accurately and effectively communicate with a woman and being able to project the image of a manly man by BEING a manly man, both of which are covered clearly and effectively in “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage.”

Man, just think about that, one book that can bring you closer to your wife and your mother-in-law! (Through the understanding that you will gain of what women want and how they communicate, it will also improve your relationship you’re your daughters, sisters, mother, and all the other women in your life!) That’s a bargain at any price, but what you pay is less than the cost of a good meal for two at a good restaurant.

The question – and CHOICE – is whether you are going to go for it, get the bargain of the century, and make your wife and her mother – and thereby, YOURSELF – happy, or are you going to sit there thinking you already know all the answers, when in fact, you wouldn’t be reading this if you did and you know it. Quitters never win, and winners never quit, right? There’s your answer. Jump over to
http://www.makingherhappy.com and download your copy today, because life’s too short to spend it with a pain in the neck (or the butt)!

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

Thursday, February 14, 2008

What Is Your Partner's Motive for Being in Your Relationship or Marriage

What is your partner’s REAL motive for having you around? The answer lies in their words and actions…

Another lovely morning with a big country breakfast, a huge mug of coffee, and a whole bunch of friends trying to find a way to make their lives together better. For me, that’s a great way to start a day, pleasure and productivity.

A quick note before we begin today’s lesson: One of you sent me a link to an article that is revealing, revolutionary, and for some, downright scary. Entitled “Mommy’s Little Secret,” it describes, among other things, statistical evidence that 10% of children in the western hemisphere think that their father is someone other than who their biological father really is, if you know what I mean. DNA evidence is causing all manner of revelations of infidelity, and it’s so bad that the courts are now trying to figure out when people are bound to tell fathers and “duped dads” (the one who is paying the bills thinking it’s for his own child) and when they’re not.
I strongly recommend you read it this article; even though it is five years old, it's still relevant and accurate.

As for today’s lesson, one of your cohorts said this in response to the issue where I talked about men using guilt and pity tactics to try to obtain sex, the article titled “Sex for Pity’s Sake,” which you can access in the archive if you missed it:

Meet Tanja K.:

In my eyes women who use guilt or pity for sex are pathetic.....my hubby and I have been married for almost 22 years and there's what real married for love partners call give and take....my hubby is like my kids, spoiled to death and well adjusted...2 in college and 2 in grade school, if you get my drift, sex is our way of being one with each other, and trying new thing together, is what makes our marriage so to die for, so if you got out of me somehow that I use guilt or pity, you better find some new info about real women, not this new age “I'll sleep with you if you'll pay for my hair cut, or my college ed”....those are the women that make good men say dumb hurtful things....my hubby has been my prince from day one, if he's guilty of anything it might be that he hasn't taken time to find friends to have fun with, besides me, but then again, neither have I, our kids have made our life busy and full....hope you find a real women w/real moral values....

Tanja

Tanja’s beef is with women who prostitute themselves, not honestly as professionals, but as surreptitious gold-diggers; those parasites who land a man to take care of them, give them means to create and maintain babies and/or self-destructive habits, and use guilt, pity, and sex to keep the man engaged and thinking everything is peachy. Gentlemen, I have to agree.

There are many kinds of relationships that can exist between a man and a woman, but this kind, especially in its most extreme variant, the codependent relationship, is the most destructive. One partner sucks the life out of the other and wastes it in destroying themselves, effectively rushing both of them to an early grave. How can you tell if you’re in one of these?

It’s not that difficult. Indeed, detection is the easy part; accepting the truth and acting upon it is where most people fail.

First, take a look at who is contributing what to the relationship, and how those contributions are being distributed. If you’re working your butt off and she (or HE! – it can go both ways, Ladies, as you’ll see in my next book) is spending it faster than you can make it on things that you find you secretly resent, such as a lot of extras for her and the kids, like eating out a lot and designer labels on all their clothes while you have holes in your shoes and take a cheese sandwich and store-brand soda to work for lunch, that’s a big red flag.

There’s no need to keep a detailed score; it will either be equitable because the relationship is committed and tight or completely lop-sided because one partner is using the other, depending entirely on whether the partners truly love each other or one is using the other.

Next, take a look at language. Even the best liars screw up from time to time, usually when they are either too relaxed, too stressed or have had a drink or two and their guard is down. A partner who really loves you will tell you so for no apparent reason, and their body language and actions will confirm it. One who is indeed NEEDING AND USING you and not loving you will say that they love you in order to get you to tell them that you love them; the statement “I love you” is indeed the question, “Do you love me?” – a plea for confirmation that their ploy is still working. When it comes, it sounds forced, like the ritual “I love you” that ends all too many phone conversations with that hint of whining or desperation that makes what should be a profession into an interrogation.

You can also learn a lot from the nature of compliments and explanations that inappropriately follow or replace declarations of love. A woman who says, “I love you because you make me feel safe,” is most likely saying that she loves the feeling of being protected, not you; anybody with an alpha personality and a weapon (or a large bank account) could make her feel the same way.

Gentlemen, real women don’t need a caretaker any more than real men do. They’re “all grown up,” strong, independent, intelligent, and sexy, not a clingy, needy, neurotic ball of insecurity looking for someone to blame their entire miserable existence on. Being able to take care of themselves, they want a real man who can take care of himself, to form a true symbiotic – nay, synergistic! – partnership, in which the partners can achieve more together than the sum of what they could achieve separately. Such a woman will enjoy watching you being strong and taking the lead, instead of depending on you to do it, and you’ll enjoy doing it with her, instead of resenting the whining and pressure.

If you feel like you’re being sucked dry, you’re in the wrong relationship. You can assess yourself, your partner, and your relationship, as well as have great contacts to help you get out of a bad relationship and find a great woman if you have to, with the information in “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage.” Download your copy at
http://www.makingherhappy.com right now, read it, and get things on the right track. If they’re already on the right track, use the rest of the book to stoke that attraction boiler and kick things up to the stratosphere where problems just don’t happen! The woman in your life can be a ball and chain or a ball of fire, and the choice is entirely yours. Choose well, and choose NOW!

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

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The True Essence of Romance, What Every Woman Wants and Needs

Let’s look at a wonderful movie in which to see the personification of the proper expression of “romantic.”

(After yesterday's diatribe, today's edition is short and sweet!) Happy St. Valentine’s Day, to those of you who live where it is celebrated, and a wonderful day to the rest of you as well. Since St. Valentine’s Day is today held as a day of romance (it was originally a day set aside for old flames to get back in touch with each other, and it was okay on that day for women to let previous suitors know that they were again entertaining gentlemen callers, usually after a broken engagement or they were widowed, and therefore had nothing to do with existing couples), let’s take a look at a movie that gives a very clear picture of what “romance” and “romantic thought” is really about. It’s called “Don Juan DeMarco,” and it’s at all of the better movie rental houses.

For those who have not seen the movie, you have been missing out, especially if you are a man trying to get a grip on the rules of romance and attraction. In a nutshell, Johnny Depp plays the main character, Don Juan DeMarco, who is a 21-year old man who has decided that his life has been fulfilled as he has romanced the 1,000th woman of his lifetime. He climbs a billboard and says that he will throw himself to the street if he is not allowed to duel with another Spanish don who lived in the 17th century, a contemporary of the original Don Juan.

Marlon Brando is playing a psychiatrist who just happens by, talks him down off the billboard by posing as another don who invited him to come down and discuss life with him, and promptly admits him at a local psychiatric facility where he works. Brando thinks at first he is schizophrenic, until he starts to see that DeMarco’s not delusional at all, that he merely chooses to look for the best, the greatest, the most heroic, and most enjoyable in everything he sees.

I won’t spoil the rest of the movie for you, but the way that DeMarco looks at things, seeing the mental hospital as the don’s villa instead of the doctor’s treatment center, seeing women as beautiful, sexy creatures who want to be wanted and who want to express their sexuality, focusing only on the best in everything is what I want you to see. He is taking it to the extreme, but there are times and situations when it is safe to take romance to this same extreme.

If you do so when it is safe, and let yourself be swept up in it when nobody can be hurt by it, it helps make you more acutely aware of the beauty, wonder, heroism, humor, and other things around you that you can still appreciate even when things are bad, so that you can see the proverbial sliver lining in clouds and not let bad situations overwhelm you. Instead you can keep your chin up, shoulders back, and be inspired by the romance of even the worst situation and overcome it, instead of being swallowed by it and becoming a has-been who gave it up instead of a hero who gave his all.

This is something that everyone, especially the woman in your life, just loves to see. Indeed, the reactions of the women in the movie to the somewhat exaggerated romanticism is not at all exaggerated. I’ve seen them first hand, reacting to things I’ve done, and watched them grip tablecloths, napkins, sofa cushions, until their knuckles turned white as they fell under the spell of romanticism; while in my twenties, I watched one woman clench her fist until her nails dug into her palm and bled as I described an interpretation of a dance to her. When I saw the blood drip from her fist, I grinned a naughty grin and said, “You sprung a leak, there, didn’t ya?” She knocked me flat on my back, saying, "Yeah, and you're about to!" tore our clothes to shreds trying to get us out of them, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Women will literally kill to feel attraction, and if you can’t make them feel it at least sometimes, it doesn’t matter how much they love you, they will be driven to have somebody make them feel it or they will fall into a depression that can after a time become suicidal, and you cannot blame them for this in any way. Make no mistake, this need is 100% biological, and there is no amount of love, faith, religion, guilt, or even brute force or beating than can stop them from needing it and responding to either finding it or lacking it.

It may take a few years for them to gradually decline, and they may leave you before you ever see the full force of the decline as a survival mechanism takes over, but lost attraction and boredom are a major cause of midlife-onset depression, substance abuse, spousal abuse, and suicide, and since women don’t always recognize and treat their needs because they get caught up in the needs of their family, the drama of hardship, etc. It is YOUR job, as the man in their life, to recognize their need for this feeling and provide it; it is the price you pay for their nurturing and all the other things they provide for you. Anything you do that creates this feeling for them will be repaid many times over; it is the only sure thing that you are likely to ever encounter in this life.

Creating attraction is not difficult, IF you know how to create it, and not hard to maintain if you also know how to avoid killing it, which under some circumstances can be done with as little as a glance or a word. “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage” was written for the sole purpose of making your long-term relationship all that it can be, by teaching you how to evaluate and manage a relationship, how to communicate with a woman on a level that will give you the answers to the ancient question, “What makes women tick and what do they really want?” and to give you that understanding of the nature, creation, and destruction of attraction. (In the unfortunate case that you are paired with someone who is a hopelessly bad match and with whom you can never be happy, it will also help you to figure that out, get out, and find someone infinitely more suitable so that you both can be happy.) Now, think about this for a second…

If you could buy dinner for two and have your dinner guest tell you what women really want, what makes them tick, how to talk to and listen to them, how to turn them on and off sexually, and how to make sure that they would be fun and exciting for the rest of your life, and if it turned out that you couldn’t or just plain didn’t use what they told you they’d send you the money for the check, would you do it? I’d have bought that dinner a hundred times over to get back the first umpteen years of my adult life, before I did the research to write this book. I’d be coming up on my 25th anniversary instead of my 12th, too, and would likely have been in my first marriage instead of my fourth, because I would have chosen well the first time and made it work instead of having to go through three false starts when I was probably too young and immature to be married at all.

It’s never too late to take corrective action, and it’s never too soon to start preventive maintenance. Just go for it. Right here, right now. Hop on over to
http://www.makingherhappy.com and download your copy, before you do another thing, because life is too short to settle for the mundane, boring, frustrating, and painful potential disaster (DIVORCE!) you leave yourself open to if you don’t.

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

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A Conversation with a Very Sharp Woman About Men in Marriage and Relationships

Sometimes readers don’t catch on to concepts the first time through, and when this happens, I like to publish the clarification in case there are others who need it. Such readers often have wonderful experience and insight to share themselves, and it’s always worth the read.

We’re going to have something like a Monday morning meeting today, a meeting that will help everyone get on the same page, get focused, and get ready to get with the program and get results. Unlike most Monday morning meetings, this one won’t be boring at all, nor will you have to be stressed with a presentation. Patty, an absolutely extraordinary woman, and I, will take care of that for you.

I say she’s extraordinary because she really does go after what she wants, to an extent few would dream of; she has a son on military duty in Iraq, and in order to be close to him, she went to work as a civilian contractor there! That’s results-orientation, folks, the mark of a true achiever. What follows is a somewhat long but very intense and revealing conversation we’ve had, and you can learn a lot from it. Meet Patty:

David,

Your newsletters have provided some valuable insight; however, there are many things with which I fail to relate. As a woman, it is comforting to be in the presence of a man who is "alpha" as you describe. I know I am vulnerable in this world. However, anyone, male or female who exhibits confidence, excellence in their profession, along with good character inspires respect of me. It would be very selfish to expect the man in my life to "always have the answer." The testing attributed to women and examples you quote leave me with a feeling of indignation.

I have no desire to "test" my boyfriend. I would not "set him up" to monitor his response and would greatly resent the same. Cooperation, honesty, and mutual respect are the components of a good relationship. There will be times when we both are required to take the lead.

Presently, I am working in Baghdad, Iraq. It is amazing how many men are marrying women from the Philippines, Thailand, and other third world countries. They say that American women are too demanding. They want a woman who "knows how to take care of a man. "Any comments on this would be greatly appreciated.

I'll continue to read the newsletters and promise to buy your book for women! Thank you in advance for your response…

Sincerely,
Patty

Good morning, Patty!

I’m glad you’ve been able to get something useful out of my newsletters. I’m going to try to help you get more by explaining a few things that apparently I have failed to make clear, and may end up turning this conversation into a newsletter or two to help clear these points up for anyone else who is bothered by the same apparent contradictions as you.

Let’s start by addressing the issues of alpha personalities and testing. It doesn’t matter if you are vulnerable or an alpha personality yourself, the attraction mechanism is biological, not logical. Traits like confidence and excellence do inspire either respect or envy in everyone, depending on whether they are smart enough to see someone of superior capability as a resource to follow and learn from or a superior competitor whom they need to destroy to create the illusion of bettering themselves.

However, attraction is not the feeling of respect or admiration for another person; attraction in the context in which I speak is purely sexual, and because it is biological, not logical, is not a matter of choice. It is the result of a cascade of chemical reactions in the brain; as you may remember from high-school biology, all nerve activity, thought, etc., that uses or is the result of a nerve impulse is in fact the result of chemical activity that causes electrons to move between nerve synapses, and this is no different.

The same thing goes for testing, because it is a part of the attraction mechanism, not a conscious action for most women. There are some women who are complicated, insecure, and conniving, that do make obvious efforts that Machiavelli would have envied to try to investigate and even manipulate men, but the testing I speak of is much more simple, such as when a woman smiles at a man or tosses her head in a flirtatious manner to try to get him to approach. That is a test, to see if he is available, gutsy enough to approach, intelligent enough to pick up on and respond to the signal, etc.

You have probably tested men thousands of times in your life without ever realizing it, because it is a biologically-driven response that does not require conscious thought or conscious response. It feels so entirely natural that you most likely never notice it happening until someone calls it to your attention. I’ve had this same discussion with many women, all of whom denied ever testing a man until the testing mechanisms were pointed out to them, at which time they all agreed, some with amusement, some with embarrassment, that they did indeed test men, and frequently; they also noticed that the more insecure they felt about anything going on in their life and the more bored they were, the greater the frequency of testing, even to the extent of saying, “I love you,” to their partners, not for the sake of expressing love, but to hear their partner express it. This is also a test, and I’ll spare you the explanation, because at this point, I’m sure that you already see it.

You are quite right in your assertion that cooperation, honesty, and mutual respect are components of a good relationship. However, these components are not even close to the only components required for a long-lasting, exciting, and fun relationship that can lead to things like 50th wedding anniversaries. These components are all subcomponents of love (value, friendship, loyalty, trust, respect, etc.), the result of deep compatibility, and manifested as the deep friendship that occurs between mates. They are entirely independent of those components that are inspired by attraction, which are things like sexual excitement, fun, naughty intimacy, spontaneity, etc.

You can love someone for a long time and still be bored and lured into an affair with someone who trips your attraction triggers. You can be swept off your feet by someone whom you not only do not love, but in fact despise and are terrorized by, hence women who would defend their wife-beating husbands to the death, and wait for them to get out of prison to come home and beat them again. This is not the product of love, it is a response to alpha male characteristics manifested by these men who, in the absence of good character, use attraction as the tool of a predator, not something to enhance a loving relationship.

There are indeed times when a woman is required to take the lead, and to make unilateral decisions. That doesn’t mean that women enjoy it, and in fact, usually do not. Again, due to a biological mechanism, the attraction mechanism, even the most fiercely independent women enjoy watching a man take the lead. It’s not because they are not capable of it, it’s simply exciting to watch. Women are social in nature, and critical unilateral decision-making is often stressful for them, not because they are incapable, but because their social nature tends to drive them to manage by committee rather than taking the lead.

You may have noticed this in yourself and/or women around you, who before taking any significant step, want to discuss the situation and obtain the input of all their girlfriends. A woman generally doesn’t need the input to know what to do, she is simply driven to obtain the input of others before acting, as it feels improper to do otherwise because it is anti-social, as if she would be disrespecting the others by not asking for their input.

Don’t get me started on these lame-ass, lazy, chauvinistic wussy boys, parasites, users, losers, abusers, and predators who want to be kept by a woman. They aren’t looking for a partner, they are looking for a foster mother to do their laundry and cook for them, and if you look too closely, that makes them incestuous jerks, don’t you think? It brings a whole new meaning to the vulgar “MF” variation of the F-word, does it not?

A real man doesn’t need or want somebody to take care of him, and generally will pitch in and help with any sort of household chore at which he is competent and well-suited. I myself handle all the cooking and a share of the cleaning and laundry duties in my own home. I’m no good at dusting, because I can’t see the dust, so I leave that chore entirely to my wife. Conversely, she loves to do the yard work, which I don’t enjoy at all. So, rather than being a macho idiot who does all the yard work and then complains about it, I let my wife do it, because she enjoys it and is good at it, while I cook.

When my neighbors make snide remarks about how I have it made, and they wish they could make their wives into gardeners, I set them straight in no uncertain terms; she does what she enjoys and is competent to do, and I do what I enjoy and am competent to do. It’s a matter of suitability to task, not control. I wouldn’t give a nickel for the whole lot of the men you are talking about; to me, they are not men, and I am insulted by the very idea that they would refer to themselves as such. At best, they are needy little slacking adolescent boys, and need to grow up.

I hope this has clarified things enough for you that we are now on the same page. I’m not one who is in any way interested in being right; I’m one of those dry, philosophical maniacs who is only interested in what is right. That’s why I sought the input of a great many women in learning everything I could about women before writing a word about how to get along with them. Indeed they were involved in the writing of my book, and continue to be involved as I produce newsletters and even some reader responses to keep me accurate and focused, able to fully consider the female perspective at all times. I have had three women, including one of my best friends, who is a very girly girl, on the phone with me throughout the composition of this letter to make sure that I didn’t fail to address any part of your concern or conflict with any part of general female perspective. They say “I did good;” what say you? If we are still somehow at odds, please write back and let’s see if we can get to the bottom of it.

Best wishes to you and yours, and be careful over there. The first objective of any mission is to return home in one piece; failure is not an option.

David Cunningham

Good morning, David!

Thank you for your prompt reply. When one thinks of a test, (ladies in particular) think of those horrible word problems in math...if truck A was traveling at X speed and truck B was traveling half the speed of truck A How long...you know!

The woman who decorated her bedroom without consideration for her husband was the example that upset me the most. That test seemed to be very conscious behavior. You did an excellent job of clarification and I am indebted. I definitely test men and it is ongoing. In this environment, it is essential to make quick assessments observing body language, eye contact, and other behaviors to evaluate risk.

We lost one of our young truck drivers today to an IED [Improvised Explosive Device, like a pipe bomb or booby trap]. Last month I lost a dear friend, an Alpha male for sure to the same. Just his presence reassured me. He was a man with conviction, impeccable character, and very proficient in his work. Thank you for your kind wishes, I plan on returning home with all my parts intact!

In my early fifties, after a divorce that was terribly underhanded, I started over. My youngest son served in the National Guard and their unit was deployed to Iraq. You know Moms...there was no way my youngest son of five children was going to Iraq alone. So, I applied for a job with a contract company and have been here 20 months. My son accuses me of ruining his war stories!

When you speak of weak men, it rings true. I notice that some men, especially when they enter mid-life become fearful. They haven't accomplished what they hoped and think with tunnel vision. They focus on their losses instead of setting goals to succeed. They retreat into television or a hobby and refuse to take the necessary steps to improve their live with what they have left.

In retrospect, I wouldn't trade this experience. I've learned life can bring you down; but it is up to you whether you are out. I've accomplished in 20 months by the grace of God; what usually takes 20 or more years. I refuse to allow fear to stop me from really living. The character flaws of my ex-husband won't affect my view of the entire male race. I am using what I have learned and am learning to assess my current relationship.

Thank you again for your kindness and I'll look forward to purchasing that book!
Patty

Good morning to you too, Patty!

Sometimes unconscious testing can be very sophisticated, even conniving. There is also a lot of intentional testing that goes on with a lot of women, especially those who are of extremely low self-esteem and those who are of the “gold-digger” persuasion; it’s funny to watch what happens when a gold-digger gets hold of a skilled male predator and they start trying to rob each other, but I never feel sorry for either of them because they both deserve what they get.

Fortunately, there are very few real predators around, far less than the Hollywood sensationalists would have us believe. Most losers are parasites, not predators, and they’re easier to spot, because they usually have a crappy, unattractive loser’s attitude. Some women have a problem with having their maternal mechanisms engage when they encounter one, because there is often the air of a helpless teenage slacker about them that makes them appear helpless and “sweet” that sucks some women in; I’m helping two such women get out of marriages to such men at present, one in Florida and one in England.

As I’m guessing you have surmised by now, I’m not a bigot, sexual or otherwise; I’m an Objectivist, someone who accepts nothing less than stark reality because problems can’t be solved with fantasies, and sometimes reality just doesn’t want to jive with what people want to believe; In any conflict between fantasy, hope, and/or faith and reality, reality will always win, so it must be embraced at all times if one is to succeed at anything. You can’t sail around the world if you hope or believe that the world is flat. One of my favorite literary quotes is by Aldous Huxley, who said, “No bad idea, no matter how popular, can withstand the onslaught of logic,” and to deny the profoundness of that statement is to invite one’s own demise. If you found yourself toe-to-toe with an Al Qaeda terrorist and you were armed, would you want to believe that he had some goodness buried within him somewhere that would just let you pass, or would you accept the reality that as he raised his rifle or knife that he did indeed intend to kill you and raise your own weapon to defend yourself?

The same choice is made every day when you look at others around you; they may not be armed with machine guns, but every one of them has the capacity to either add to or take from your life, and fantasies like, “there’s some good in everyone,” or “there’s no way he’d treat me badly after I’ve been so good to him,” are as dangerous to you as thinking, “one man has hurt me, so all men will hurt me,” or “this man has hurt me once, so he will always be trying to hurt me.” Character differs from person to person, and unfortunately, a few are entirely devoid of it.

By the same token, men and women are built differently from each other in some ways, and those ways must be acknowledged and used to our mutual benefit in productive and enjoyable relationships. Men are also different from each other in many ways, as are women, and we must try to see and understand those things which are common to all members of a gender and differentiate them from things that can vary from person to person regardless of gender, so that we may choose better company to keep and protect ourselves from those who would take from us what we earn, whether it be happiness, security, respect, wealth, or whatever.

These things are our right and responsibility as people, and they are what I have built my work upon. Luckily, most of the people who seek me out are people like you, who when they see something that doesn’t set well, they ask for discussion and we always find that in the end, we are on the same page. The others rant and rail without having any clue of what they are saying or thinking, because I have touched some hot button, and they leave nasty messages when they drop their newsletter subscription, calling me things like “elitist” and “chauvinist,” which is laughable, because I spend a lot of time in my books attributing the sorry state of things today to the foolish and very unfortunate oppression of women by men over the last five millennia or more.

I don’t bother to reply to them, because they aren’t looking for discussion, facts, or truth; they’re simply looking for attention while they grind their ax, and I have far better things to do than feed their fragile ego. I have intelligent people like you, who are looking for facts and truth to use to improve their lives, to teach and to train in how to get along better with themselves and others, and it’s the greatest job a man could ever have, because I get to see the results of my work daily as my own achievement is echoed in the achievements of hundreds of others who write to me to tell me how they have used what I have taught them to improve their life, and even to learn new things on their own that are specific to themselves and their partners, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. It takes me 8-10 hours per day every day just to answer reader e-mails, plus the time to write another book, conduct seminars, manage the business, and have time left to spend with my wife, and I wouldn’t trade it for all of Solomon’s gold; I get paid to make people able to secure their own happiness for all time, and a job just doesn’t get any better than that.

Come home in one piece, and bring your son with you; America is a little less right now than what it would be if you were here. We need all the good brains and good women we can get here at home.

Take care,
David

I know this is long, but there was really no way to effectively deliver it broken up into pieces. I’ve noticed that some who publish newsletters and include reader letters will spend several days giving you a piece of a conversation each day, but I’d rather give you the whole thing and let you take it at your own pace than to send it out in pieces and lose part of the message in the process. I’d rather have the achievers, who are looking for something to learn, get all they need than to lose the impact of good information in trying to cater to those casual readers with a short attention span and don’t have the smarts to realize they can come back to it later if they have to.

In any case, I hope this has been helpful in clearing up some things that are well-explained in my book, “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage,” but may have been less clear in this newsletter. I do normally try to keep these brief because I know that too much information is as bad as not enough, but finding that fine line between too little and too much for a large group of people is truly an impossible task; one must simply make their best effort and then make improvements where required, very much like relationships.

Speaking of which, what are you doing? Are you making your best effort with insufficient information, or are you not making the effort that you could? Maybe both? There’s no time like the present to put things back on track.

Jump over to
http://www.makingherhappy.com and download your copy of “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage” and start getting your relationship (and marriage, if you’re in one) back on track. There are a lot of reasons that honeymoons end, but very few (like death of a spouse) are permanent; you can bring it back easily with some good information and a little time and effort, and believe it or not, it’s FUN! Start this week off right by making the best move you can make to put your relationship back on track and kick it up notches previously unknown to humankind, because life’s too short to settle for less.

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

I Shouldn't Do This, but I Just HAD to...

For all of you who are fans of the Garfield comic strip and have not yet figured out what I'm talking about, the following is offered for your consideration... ;-)



Jim Davis obviously gets what so many don't, that being a guy is about doing "guy stuff" and allowing women to join in, not about doing "girl stuff." We must lead, not follow (and not control, either).

Just a fun thing for the middle of the day, and thanks to Jim Davis and Universal Press Syndicate for continuing to share the exploits of the only cat I happen to like, well, except for Tony the Tiger and The Pink Panther, of course. :-)

Take care,
David Cunningham






Monday, February 11, 2008

What Women REALLY Want in Relationships and Marriage, According to WOMEN!

A major success story from a couple who went from dreadfully boring to acting like a couple of teenagers in the throes of honeymoon passion!

I hope you're having as great a day as I am! Yeah, I say something like that nearly every day, and every day really is that great, especially when I start going through the mail and find success stories. It’s true that I make part of my living from the sales of this book and others, and I’ll not insult your intelligence by saying I don’t enjoy the money, but when people take the time to write to tell me that something I spent a good chunk of my life creating has made a positive change in their life, that really hits home.

The sales tell me I’m successful selling the book, but the success stories tell me I’ve been successful in WRITING the book, because people are using it to create a better life for themselves. I don’t reprint as many of these reader letters as some authors do, because they can be both long and boring if you read too many of them, but this one really hit home.

By the way, I had to omit a few details from the original because they were a little too spicy. I’m dead-against censorship, but I don’t know whose kids might be looking over their shoulder as they read this, and I don’t want any reader having to answer embarrassing questions from their kids. Parents hate that… ;)

Here’s her letter, and I’ve enclosed edits in square brackets. Meet Amy:

Dear David,

I would like to make a strong plea to all men to read your book. Even if you think there is nothing wrong with your relationship reading this book can make for the relationship that everyone only prays to have as an adult. I am no longer just living with the father of my kids, I am with a man that women would kill to be with and I would kill to keep.

He used to just ask me what was for dinner, now he is in the kitchen cooking with me when we are not taking breaks to make out like we were teenagers. We no longer just have sex or spend time together. We are finally after 10 years a real couple and we can not get enough of each other.

Sex is not all there is to a relationship, but I would like to say that more women than you think want sex just as much as men do. The thing is most men do not know how to pick up on our body language and how to interpret the signals we are giving off. Yes, I admit it would be better to be blunt and just tell the guy what we want, but we all know women are not like that and that is not likely to happen any time soon. When Bill started picking up on mine and we started understanding each other better, we just started getting closer, then hotter as he started noticing the things he did that set me off and the other things he did that get me off.

Bill and I now find ourselves in all kinds of places doing all kinds of things. For example, we were out having dinner the other night and started playing around under the table. A couple of minutes past and he told me he was going to the restroom and to follow him shortly. I was more excited then I had ever been with this man. When I walked back to area of the restrooms he grabbed me into the Men's room and we kissed me so deeply I was dizzy. Before I thought about it I was on my knees giving him the kind of [naughty attention] that makes a man loose feeling in his legs. This is only one of the things we do now, anytime we are together we are turned on and there is not a place we go now that the only people we notice is each other.

So for all the men who think that woman are complicated and not worth the trouble think again. When a woman is really deeply attracted to her man nothing comes between them, not even in a public place. Trust me, I know what I am talking about and anyone will once they read your book and put it into action. I only wish your book had been around years ago and it would be a bargin at twice the price.

I have a new man and I am a new woman thanks to you!!

Sincerely,
Amy T.

Wow! Congratulations, Amy and Bill, for taking charge and making your life all you want it to be!

Judging from the spelling and grammatical errors and the way they multiplied as the letter progressed, Amy was getting fired up just telling her story. Guys, There’s not much I can say here that Amy hasn’t already said, except that she bought the book for her husband a few months back, and if you look at what she’s saying, and how excited she got as she said it, I think you can expect, among other things, that she’s going to pounce on Bill when he gets home, because women thrive on anticipation.

Seriously, they love it! Most of us, when we get turned on, pretty well stay that way until we get satisfied, and we don’t want that satisfaction to be too long in coming, either. But with women, they can put it on the back burner when they have to, but it creeps up on them later, and they savor that anticipation for a bit, and then let it cook in the back of their mind for awhile longer while they do other things, and it creeps back out all over again. By the end of the day, when she and her man get back together, she’s ready to explode, as long as he doesn’t hit the door acting like a whining wimp or a drunken abuser and spoil it for her. Here’s the lessons for today:

1. This stuff really works! (Gee, you’d never guess that one was coming, would ya?)

2. Ladies want to be attracted to their men to the extent of doing things to help them become attractive, like signing them up for newsletters, and buying this book and helping them get through it. Is yours trying to tell you something? Can you read signals and body language well enough to know if she were?

3. They know they use lots of non-verbal communication and appreciate it when you pick up on it – and you can pick up on a lot of it if you read any good book on the subject, mine included (so buy it already!)

4. They get excited when they talk about things that have excited them in the past, and they love anticipation of future delights, so the morning after something hot, even if it happened in the morning, before either or both of you leave for the day, make some sexy, pleasurable, and naughty comment(s) about it and promise her that if she’s a good girl, she might get to enjoy a surprise or two when you meet later. Give her a soft, sexy brush on the lips with yours and a gentle stroke somewhere erotic with your hand, forearm, or fingertips, and let her imagination run wild for the day (don’t spoil the surprise by telling her exactly what you’re going to do, and if she asks, tell her she’ll have to be there later to find out. I’ll spell it for you: A-N-T-I-C-I------------------P-A-T-I-O-N! (a la Tim Curry as “Frankenfurter” in “The Rocky Horror Picture Show!)

Ladies and gentlemen, you can be writing a letter like this one to me in a few days or weeks. I’ll tell you what, I won’t even call attention to your spelling and grammar if you do. Go to
http://www.makingherhappy.com, download your copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" (and get a free copy of my “What Women REALLY Want” and “Break-Up Busting 101” reports when you do!), get with the program, and make your life all it can be, because life is too short to accept anything less, right?

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

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Do You "Get It" When It Comes to What Women Want in Relationships and Marriage?

Some men just don’t get it, even when their wife beats them over the head with the truth. Don’t be one of these guys, because when a woman gets tired of beating you, she won’t just stop, she’ll go away…permanently.

Today’s edition will be short and sweet because it is so self-evident that a lot of explaining won’t be necessary. When somebody buys a copy of my book, signs up for the newsletter, or ends their newsletter subscription, I get an e-mail advising me of the activity. I get to create the forms for these tasks, and rather than just notify me of activity, I also try to use them to get feedback from readers about what they need to know, what’s important to them, and even why they end their subscription to the free newsletter as quality control measures. Here’s an example that just floored me:

From: zeusXXXX@yahoo.com [mailto:zeusXXXX@yahoo.com]
Sent: Thursday, February 09, 2006 5:08 PM
To: David Cunningham
Subject: AWeber mhh_tips: This Lead Unsubscribed: zeusXXXX@yahoo.com

This lead has unsubscribed by following the link at the bottom of one of your AWeber messages, and decided to provide comments. Why did I receive this email?
http://www.aweber.com/faq_messages.htm#messages6b

Name: Axxxxxx
Email: zeusXXXX@yahoo.com
Signup Date: XX/XX/XX 0X:XX PM XST

Comments:
Never signed up...EX-wife did...

I’ve sterilized the personally identifiable information to protect his privacy, so don’t be cute and try to send an e-mail to
zeusXXXX@yahoo.com because it won’t go anywhere. Now, look at the “Comments” portion, which is just the field name for a blank on the form that is captioned something like “Reason for ending subscription.” He didn’t sign up, “his EX-wife did…” What can you divine from this comment?

I’ll not get into the macho inference by his choice of the name “Zeus” in the e-mail address; it could be the guy is just likes Greek philosophy. Yeah, right. (His wife also subscribes and she said he really was that full of himself, but without any good reason.) His wife signed him up for it (and according to her, she wasn’t his EX yet, but was now looking forward to it), trying to tell him that he was falling short, and giving him an example of what he needed to be doing to help their relationship.

Rather than being glad that she was providing him valuable information and taking action (not to mention being glad that she was signing him up for a newsletter instead of having an affair with the perfect example of what she wanted and purposely getting caught in the affair to show him, as many women have done and written to me about!) he slams the door on her. Hence, she is now his “EX-wife” in his mind, and soon to be in reality, when she wasn’t looking for a divorce, she was trying to save their marriage.

Notice how he emphasizes “EX;” he resents being told that there’s something wrong, and let a fragile ego, which probably contributed to the wussy attitude and behavior she was trying to get him to change, cost him his marriage. There’s no telling how much or in how many ways she tried to communicate problems to him, but like most men, he didn’t understand that he was being given instructions on how to fix things, and it doesn’t matter whether she left because he didn’t fix anything or he left because things weren’t suiting him, it’s over, and it probably could have been fixed.

All it would have taken was a little less ego and a little better communication skills, and a little effort to follow-up and make the improvements, but “Zeus” here was too busy protecting his ego to develop some real self-esteem and appreciate the fact that his wife wanted him instead of an affair or a divorce. Now, instead of a loving wife who was interested in staying married to him, he lives alone with a big neon sign that says, “Hey, I’m an idiot who can’t see past the tip of my nose!” Don’t let this happen to you!

And there’s no reason you should! “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage” is filled with the benefit of the real-life experience of 118 couples who helped with the research of the original version, my own experience, and the experience of hundreds of readers who have commented and shared since. Each point in it has been tested and proven to work in 90% or more of all test cases, and if you think about that, that’s pretty amazing. That means, among other things, that 90% or more of all the women involved in this have agreed on and responded to each of these things! Can you imagine that?

Believe me, waiting until you have a crisis on your hands is not the best time to start working on fixing it. It can still be done, but it’s a lot harder than if you just get things in order and keep them that way, not to mention a whole lot more of a pain in the neck, with all the frustration, boredom, fights, affairs, etc., that crop up before the crisis is evident – often in an attempt by the wife to MAKE it evident.

So do yourself and your family a favor. Go on over to
http://www.makingherhappy.com/ right now, before you do anything else, and download your copy of this truly amazing book. Get your house in order, and keep it that way, because life is too short to be living behind a big sign that says “OUT OF ORDER,” or even worse, “I’M AN IDIOT!”

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

Is Your Intimate Behavior Killing Attraction, and Thereby Your Relationship and Marriage?

When people are together long enough to get comfortable they start doing things exclusive to their relationship, like “baby talk” and wearing sloppy or goofy-looking clothes, that might be cute to them, but can kill attraction deader than a rock. Sometimes they get so comfortable with it in private that they give the rest of us a dose of it, too! (Yeah, YUCK! is right!) Look for signs of this in your relationship.

I had a visit from a couple of friends today, Bill and Cheryl. It was a study in “what not to do” as they say. They’ve been married for about twenty-six years, and acted SO married it almost seemed scripted to watch them. They finished each others’ sentences, ate from each others’ plates, talked “baby talk” to each other (gag!!!), and were about the shabbiest dressed wealthy couple I’ve seen in a long time. She was in an oversized men’s sweat suit (despite the 90+ degree F. / 32+ degrees C. weather) because it was “comfortable” and wearing no makeup. He was wearing baggy cargo shorts, an over-sized graphic T-shirt, and sandals (accentuating his bow-leggedness, very knobby knees, and extremely large feet).

Eventually she excused herself to the powder room, and I asked him how things were going, ready to bet the farm that they were comfortable and bored stiff; I would have won the bet. They had started out very into each other, having a lot of fun together, and things had cooled off quickly not long after their marriage. They had joined that large group of couples in long-term relationships that sleep together every two months – yes, that’s a sad but true statistic, at least in North America. Adult couples in mature relationships average six sexual encounters per year. Sad, isn’t it?

These two were a textbook example of what happens when two people get too comfortable with each other. Take a close look at what they were doing. Is there anything whatsoever sexually exciting in hearing your partner talk like they are addressing a baby? Or like they are one? Not unless you’re a pedophile. “Sweet” as the girls say, maybe, but no way it’s sexy. As for the flour-sack-esque, nearly homeless-looking attire, she might as well have been in an oversize bathrobe with curlers in her hair and a cigarette dangling from her toothless mouth, and he might as well have been holding up a sign that said “will work for food” and looking like he hadn’t bathed in a month or two, except maybe in a bottle of cheap wine. Just makes you want to snuggle right up to one of them, doesn’t it? It's a shame, because properly dressed and groomed, they're a strikingly good-looking couple.

I also noticed that as they talked, if they weren’t doing the “baby talk,” they acted a lot more like girlfriends than husband and wife, especially the business with finishing each others’ sentences and reaching over to touch each other every time they started a sentence. Now, Bill is anything but effeminate, and when he spoke to me it was very “mano-a-mano,” and I found myself staring at him as he switched modes every time he switched between talking to me and his wife.

Don’t let this happen to you! A man and woman should communicate, freely and openly, but not in a way that kills their attraction for each other. They should be comfortable around each other, but not in ways that make you dull, sloppy, uninteresting, or project an extreme lack of self-respect. Your partner should be the most important person in your life (other than yourself) if you have a great relationship, and as such, they deserve the best in you, not the worst, the most interesting, not the most mundane. That’s how life-long relationships are enjoyed, by keeping in mind that all other relationships are likely to be transient, and are therefore less important than this one.

Many people would shrink back in terror or jump on a stump and start preaching at the mere suggestion that your partner be more important than even your children, and I’m not going to debate that subject with anyone; however, I will ask you to at least take a logical – yes, entirely unemotional -- look at it for a minute. Your children come along, and you live with them day after day for eighteen years, plus or minus a year or two. Then they’re gone except for weekly visits if you’re lucky, if you are the average parent. Your partner, if you manage your relationship properly, was there before the kids, and will be there long after the kids have gone, day after day after day, right?

So logically, who is more important to your life’s happiness, someone who by definition (early death notwithstanding) will stick around for 18 years and be gone, or somebody who (again, early death notwithstanding) could be with you day after day for 50 years or more, if you give them a good reason to stay, like being interesting and fun to be around, sharing their values and celebrating their achievements with them? Men will probably be comfortable with this much more readily than women because of (as usual) biological factors, but everyone should think about it, because it helps you to at least appreciate the full significance of a commitment to a life-long relationship.

This doesn’t have to happen to you. It’s your choice, and it doesn’t take much effort. Basic awareness of the potential causes of the problem and choosing to do something other than commit one of those causes is really about all there is to it. Baby talk, men acting like girlfriends instead of men, and dressing yourself and acting in a way that does not project self-respect are only a few of the ways in which you can kill attraction dead, and knowledge is power!

Know what kills attraction, and what creates it, and use that knowledge to make one of those relationships that has you happy to be together for fifty or more years! (You wouldn’t believe the things people buy you for your fiftieth anniversary! Just kidding…) I put that knowledge together for you in “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage.” It’s there, tested, working and guaranteed. All you have to do is go to
http://www.makingherhappy.com and download it, and then USE IT. It’s just that easy, and life is just that short that you don’t want to spend it being part of some miserable statistic.

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