Saturday, April 19, 2008

Lying, Part 3: Lie Detection, a VERY Useful Skill in Relationships and Marriage

Part of determining whether you should attempt to reverse a break-up is determining whether you can trust your partner. Knowing how to detect a lie is a VERY useful skill, even when everyone is truthful!

No discussion of lying in a relationship would be complete without a discussion of lie detection, especially for men, because women are naturally more adept at both lying and its detection than we are; their brain structure makes them more sensitive to “tells” (and are VERY dangerous poker players if they have math skills!) and more creative. It could in fact take years with a woman to determine how her character dictates whether, when, and for what reasons she will lie to you, but chances are that if you are lying to her, you’re already busted whether you know it or not, so let’s level the playing field a bit.

And, by the way, I’m not talking about “leveling the playing field” in the context of helping you to lie, but in determining whether you’re being lied to. Nor am I saying that every woman is a liar and is lying to you; I’m saying that due to brain structure – higher creativity and more advanced communications infrastructure – they are capable of being far better at it than we are. So stop typing that nasty-gram and listen up. ;-)

The following is from an article I first published as part of my crash course in stopping and reversing a break-up, now my “Break-Up Busting 101” free report
. I’m reprinting it today both because it gets the job done and because my subscriber list doubles every few months, and many of you have not yet taken advantage of the very valuable information in either of the free reports linked at the bottom of this newsletter or in the right-hand margin of my blog at http://blog.makingherhappy.com. I strongly suggest that all of you read those two free reports thoroughly; they contain more solid, proven information than a lot of authors’ for-fee products, and they can help you to avoid many of the potential disasters that can befall a relationship as well as start you on the road to recovery if you’re having problems.

Now let’s get into the meat of today’s lesson:

Lie detection is a necessary survival skill in all facets of your life, because unfortunately, there are those who think that lying is a survival skill. It’s not. The truth always ends up coming out, and then on top of whatever mistake you’ve made, you’ve destroyed trust. At best, it's a tactic for stalling the inevitable. The only people who get away with lying in the long term are those who spend their life on the run bouncing from place to place and not staying anywhere long enough for anyone to catch them in a lie before they’ve left. That’s not going to work in a long-term relationship, is it?

Gentlemen, the deck is stacked against you from the beginning with regard to lying, because women are better at doing it than men and they are better at detecting it than men. Both of those advantages come from their more highly-evolved communications infrastructure and skills (as compared to our own). However, since you shouldn’t be lying anyway (statistically, women will tolerate just about anything before they will tolerate a liar, even if they are chronically “factually challenged” themselves), you need only concern yourself with how to detect if and when she is lying.

Making you an expert on the subject would require an entire book, and we only have the space of this article to work within, so I’m going to hit the high spots for you to show you how easy it is if you have good information and then point you to some other very good information which, incidentally, I am not selling. (I am developing a primer on lie detection to include as a free report with my other e-books, and anyone who has purchased “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage” at the time of its release will be receiving a free copy if I have your current e-mail address on file.)

First, everyone has heard about how body language can be used to detect lies. That’s true, yet not true. There are many body language clues that indicate both that a person is lying and that they are very nervous about telling an unpleasant truth. When attempting to determine if someone is lying, you must watch for several different indicators and make sure they are all consistently pointing in the same direction.


A person who exhibits a single indication of lying may indeed only be nervous about the truth, have an itchy nose, be trying to cover bad breath, etc., but when the signs start stacking up and you see five or even ten signs that someone is lying, the statistical probability that they are telling the truth becomes such a long-shot that a penny placed on that bet would win you roughly the sum of the world’s oil and currency trade for a day – literally trillions-to-one. So where do you start?

Let’s start with the eyes. The eyes move when the brain does certain things. When a right-handed person attempts to access short-term memory, their eyes will move up and to the left, where if they are lying, which engages a creative center in the brain, they go up and to the right. Oddly, this is reversed in left-handed people. A big clue as to whether someone is right- or left-handed (if you don’t know them well enough to know) is to look for their wristwatch, which will be on the opposite hand, if you can’t get them to write something down for you. (Ask for their phone number, and if they try to hand you a business card, get them to write something on the back like their cellular phone number, business hours, secretary’s name – anything at all will do, just to see which hand wields the pen.)

People also tend to become less animated when they are lying, clasping their hands or crossing their arms when you have observed them “talking with their hands” in most of the rest of the discussion. The will also tend to look away from you and even move away from you as they lie, a subconscious effort to try to distance themself from an uncomfortable situation. Touching the nose and covering the mouth while speaking are classic body language signs, but when you look at these, you’re looking for CHANGE in behavior, not so much the behavior itself. People do sometimes get an itch in their nose, or realize they have bad breath or ugly teeth, or shift their posture because of an aching joint.

It’s because of this that you must realize that it takes several minutes of observing someone to make this determination, not just a quick jab with an incriminating question. You must see enough of how they act when they are speaking normally and truthfully (by getting them to talk about something non-threatening or non-incriminating) before bringing up the subject you think they lied about or before thinking they’ve lied about something they brought up with you. That’s the value of small-talk, something that most men are very, very poor at engaging in because we really just don’t like to talk that much; we prefer to take action. That’s another reason women have such an edge on us; they enjoy small talk and are very good at conducting it, especially in getting to the truth. However…

There are some techniques that can be combined with body language reading that nobody, not even experienced con-artists, can beat. They involve watching for hesitation in response to a question. Let’s say you think your partner was on a date with someone else, and you say that somebody she works with whose name you can’t remember stopped you in the grocery store to say hello and asked how you were getting along after the break-up, and mentioned that they assumed there had been a break-up since she was dating this other guy. If she is innocent, she will immediately protest, because she has no idea what you are talking about, but if she hesitates, it’s because she’s guilty and has to think and make a choice about whether it is safer in that moment to accept that she’s been caught or to try to deny it and bluff through. The hesitation before she speaks, not whatever she says, is what tells the tale.

Another good tactic is a diversionary one. You tell a partner that you know all about something they’ve been doing (that you really are only suspecting), and that you understand how and why it happened and are willing to let that go if they will promise that something lesser won’t be happening again, like hearing it from her friends instead of her. When she agrees to make the promise, which is easier than the confession, she has confessed to the transgression.

Even here, you can still take advantage of hesitation. A person with nothing to confess will immediately deny they did anything, and a person with something to confess looking for an easy way to do it will immediately make the promise or will pause while weighing their chances of getting away with another denial, the only reason for them to hesitate.

People also tend to objectify and generalize when they are lying. A person who really worked late will tell you that they worked until 10:30PM, while someone who is lying is much more prone to say they “worked really late.” Also, they will tend to say, “left MY office” if they were really there, as opposed to, “left THE office” if they were not. Again, this must be weighed with other indicators, as the use of these pronouns can vary because of personality, level of detail-orientation, etc. It’s the change from using words like “my” to words like “the” or the change from speaking actively, like “I did this,” to passively, like “this was done,” focusing on the event or act rather than on them that tells the tale.

There is a book by David Lieberman, PhD, called “Never Be Lied to Again,” that has been on the NY Times Best Seller list and is an excellent book if you really want to dig deep into this subject and become a true expert. I’ve also used a lot of the hand-held lie detection gadgets and computer software that do voice print analysis, but was not impressed; there were too many false positives and false negatives for me to see them as useful tools at the time (the manufacturers’ reports of their own tests indicated that they were proud of numbers like 62% accuracy, which is only 12% better than half the time!). Over time, you can expect these products to increase in accuracy, just as voice recognition software that lets you give input to your computer has improved, but it may not happen until most of us are too old to care.

Communications is a tough subject, even when everyone is telling the truth. There are good and bad ways to ask questions of women, good and bad ways to start conversations, and good and bad ways to end them as well. When you’re already in a stressful situation like a fight or after a break-up, the last thing you want to do is trip over some protocol that you don’t know about and end up with your foot in your mouth and your signature on divorce papers because of it. Let me help you with that…

Go to
http://www.makingherhappy.com and download your copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" right now, and get with the program. If your relationship is not in crisis, it will show you exactly how to not only keep it from getting there, but how to make it better. If you are in crisis, it will show you how to determine whether you should indeed reverse it or let it go, and if it is a relationship that you should save, it will show you what to do to quickly get things on stable footing and get everyone in a state where they are receptive to working things out and making positive change.

If it shouldn’t be saved, you’ll learn how to turn your combative soon-to-be ex into a cooperative soon-to-be ex who may go so far as to set you up with dates after a non-contested divorce without using control, threats, tricks, or deceit. Seemingly far stranger things have happened to my readers…

I’m sure you’ve heard that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure;” this is about a pound of prevention and it’s worth several tons of cure, and it can be yours for less than the price of a good meal for two, so get it done – or would you prefer to be alone after shelling out that $27,000 that the average contested divorce costs in the U.S.??? I didn’t think so!

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

David Cunningham

Friday, April 18, 2008

Lying in Relationships and Marriage, Part 2, Response to Faking It Until You Make It

A reader tells of her own experience with lying to the one she loves. It’s not pretty, and is a perfect example of what I warned you about in yesterday’s newsletter.

Yesterday’s newsletter on lying to your partner got some pretty predictable responses. If you missed it, see the archived article because it’s one you will definitely want to read.

Those who don’t lie to their partners wrote in agreement, while the vast majority of those who do wrote in defense of their actions, saying ridiculous things like, “Good relationships are based on lies,” “It’s only a problem if you get caught,” etc. I feel sorry for those people, because they will never experience the wonderful feelings that true love, trust, loyalty and respect generate, which I’m glad to say that many of you, based on your responses, do seem to appreciate.

There was one letter in particular that I wanted to share with you, from a woman who got caught in a pointless lie and almost destroyed her relationship with someone who seems to be a really good man. Meet Darla:

Dear David,

I wanted to share with you what really can happen when you tell a lie to the one you love. My story I guess is simple to many people, but it is hard for me to tell because I have to face something horrible to me. I come from a long line of people with addictive personalities. By addictive I mean to drugs and drinking. My mother was and is addicted to pain medication among other things and my brother has spent time in jail for his addictions. As for me I had started down the same road with prescription medications. Every day I thought I had to have one kind or the other, uppers in the morning and downers at night and had lived this way for awhile. I was in a marriage that was the worst of nightmares and two kids who could care less if I were living or dead.

I met this wonderful man one that loves me and God only knows how much I love him. He noticed right off I could have a problem if I did not control myself. We have had long talks about it and I really had made the choice to give up the drugs. I wanted to be with him and I wanted to love him and to be sober to enjoy what I had finally been given.

Yesterday morning I awoke with a migraine. I have them from time to time and it was bad enough for me to try a new medication my doctor had given me. I took the pill and a short time later he called me to say good morning and I was spaced out on the pills. He asked me about it and in a panic I lied to him and told him I had not taken any medication. It was the worst choice I have ever made. I should have been honest and told him what was going on, but I lied.

He was so upset by what I had done that he would not hardly talk to me and when he did I felt like the lowest life form on the planet, not because he was abusive or belittled me, but because he pointed out to me that there was nothing in our history that gave me a reason to lie to him, and I was mimicking my mother’s behavior, and we both knew that the idea of me turning into my mother was not going to work for either of us.

He has no problem with me taking a pain medication for pain, and has told me so on several occasions. It is just the issue of me abusing pain killers for things other than pain that he has a problem with. We did talk it over and after many tears on my part we decided that since I had not lied to him in the past that the migraine medication may have been responsible for my choice to lie this time, and he forgave me on the condition that I never lied to him again, especially about drug use.

I will never lie to him again ever, because no matter what you think you are getting away with you are not. If you want to lose the man of your dreams because you want to be a dumb ass then you deserve what happens to you. I’m just thankful that my John loves me enough to work it out with me and not throw me and nine years away because I was worried about the truth where if I had just said to him I was not feeling well and had taken the pills and since it was the first time and I was not sure what they would do to me it could have been avoided.

What I am saying is tell the truth not matter what. It hurts worse to lie to the one you love and you are not a good person if you can lie to the one you claim you love in the first place. Thank you so much John for loving me and letting me still love you and you still love me.

Darla


My response:

Hi Darla,

That’s quite a confession; thank you for sharing it with us. I’ve studied people a lot over the years, and I’ve seen a few things over the years that I’d like to point out here. Chemicals notwithstanding (a lot of medications can alter your personality, adherence to your value system, inhibitions, etc.), you would be hard-pressed to prove to me how anyone who truly loves and respects another could lie to them for any reason, especially to cover their own ass. That’s an act of cowardice and need, not of love and respect. If your partner is claiming to love you but lying to you (or vice versa), you and they need to take a look at the meaning of love, need, attraction, etc. (see the article in my free “Break-Up Busting 101” report
and get a fix on reality, because you’re not in it.

Another thing I’ve noticed, in my marriage, in the world around me and in the hundreds of couples who have been involved in the development, testing, and tweaking of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," is that there is nothing that two even marginally rational people who truly love and respect each other can’t discuss, no matter how bad it is. You just have to put the problem first instead of the people, and focus on WHAT is wrong instead of WHO is wrong so you can find a solution and fix it. Of all the things that come together to make a good relationship work, unfettered, respectful, honest, and factual communication is the most important tool in the tool chest, because through it, all the other things are achieved.

Take care,
David

Do you know what kind of a relationship you’re in? Do you know if your partner really loves you, or if they’re just clinging on because they’re afraid to be alone? Do you communicate effectively across the gender gap? Has the honeymoon ended and left you as part of that ugly statistic wherein the average couple who has been together longer than two years has sex once every two months?

If you’ve become part of that statistic, it may seem like a problem, but you’ll soon see that it’s merely a symptom of a MUCH bigger problem. In any case, it’s logical to expect that you have or are anticipating at least one of these problems or you wouldn’t be spending the time to read these newsletters, so why keep putting off the solution?

Yes, what you need to know is in “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage,” and it’s not going to get into your head where you can use it until you go to
http://www.makingherhappy.com, download it, and then read it. What you need to know is in there, laid out point by point and step by step, and people are using it every day to make their relationships better and better, some even snatching their marriage from the jaws of the divorce monster in as little as a week after receiving it. Do yourself and your partner a favor; get it and get busy, because life’s too short to spend it unhappy, bored, frustrated, scared, cheating, or celibate.

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

David Cunningham

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Lying in Relationships and Marriage, Part 1, Faking It Until You Make It

Is lying to your partner ever a good attraction tactic? Is it ever good for anything in your relationship? Only if you’re a predator…

This is the first part of a three-part series on the various aspects of deceit in a relationship, which will include, among other things, lie detection, so don't miss any part of it!

I’ve been asked frequently about the tactic of “fake it ‘til you make it” when trying to revive stale relationship or rescue a failing one. We’ve not talked about it in several months, and since many of you have commented (all comments are welcome and read; see the text below my signature for instructions if you need them) that you like it much better when we focus on a subject for a few days and thoroughly explore it, we’re going to focus on lying and deceit in general for a few days, such as detecting it, damage it can do that you may not expect, etc. Let’s dig in!

I recently read (for the third time) the scariest book I’ve ever found. It’s entitled “The Rules: Time-tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right,” by Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider, in an effort to find out why women do so many things that are bad for them and their relationships with men, and I don’t know if this book is “the root of all evil,” but while some of the advice it gives is sound, practical advice, especially on personal security for women, parts of it are pure poison, and there’s much for both genders to learn from it if you can filter the good advice from the bad.

Frankly, I’d recommend that every man read it to see what kind of tricks and ploys are used to pull a man into a bad relationship to help him know that either his partner is a great woman who didn’t prey upon his insecurities or that he got sucked in and is being manipulated so he can take appropriate action with confidence. Make no mistake, there are good relationships with problems, and there are bad relationships that need to be dissolved, and no matter which you’re in, you need to know what you’re in to fix it. Your first responsibility is to your self and your own happiness, and until you’ve met that responsibility, you might contribute to someone else’s needs or cause, but not their happiness.

“The Rules,” according to its authors, is based on advice that a woman gave her daughter a hundred years ago or more on how to catch and marry a man. At that time, marrying well was a survival skill because many women could not make it on their own due to social prejudices, etc. Being “in love” was a luxury; “finding support” was a prime motivator in finding a husband; being “cared about” took a back seat to being “cared for.” Hence, much of the advice given under “The Rules” is how to prey upon a man’s insecurities to make him jealous and over-react to her scarcity, marrying her in order to control her availability.

This will get the job done, if simply getting married and being “cared for” is a woman’s goal, but at what cost? In short, turning him into a sniveling, jealous wuss that no woman could possibly be attracted to because a woman won’t respect and can’t feel attraction (that “swept off her feet” feeling that is an integral part of female sexual arousal) for a man she can control. This is a sure-fire recipe for disaster (especially if you have a healthy libido!).

I’ll get into more of this in a future newsletter, but what I want to talk about today, and the reason I bring this up, is that much of the advice given in this book entails lying to men to attract them. I’m going to address that issue for the women in my upcoming book written for them, but it begs the more general question: “Is lying ever a good way to handle anything in a relationship, especially the building of attraction?”

The short answer, for both genders, is “Not just no, but HELL NO!” unless you are indeed some kind of predator or a total loser. Among other things, it leaves you feeling that you had to lie to attract the partner and therefore aren’t good enough to have him or her, even if you are! It also labels you as needy and weak, and is a tactic for losers and predators who cannot be attractive in their own right. That alone is devastating to self-esteem, if you have any to start with, and when you look at the bigger picture, how can you feel or express love or respect for a person you lied to in order to have them involved in your life? Or for yourself? Even without getting into what happens when you get caught, it’s a losing proposition for both sides.

What should you do? Work your attraction magic with things that are really part of you, incorporating new things that fit well into yourself if necessary. Start by emphasizing – NOT exaggerating -- your best behavior and avoiding – NOT disguising -- your worst. Then, take on a bit of self-improvement in areas that are appealing to you. If you’re not naturally funny, learn to be. Don’t just try to fake it, and stress over it, study it, understand how it can brighten your life and your outlook on life, as well as make you more attractive to your partner, and treat it as a self-improvement exercise because it is. Don’t try to act funny, BECOME funny. Join Toastmaster’s or something and learn how to tell a good story and see the humor in things.

Another example? Don’t try to act romantic, BE romantic. Develop a genuine appreciation for the great, the beautiful, the larger than life, and be able to spot it and point it out to others as you do in a way which helps them to get excited over it and appreciate it, as you see in the movie “Don Juan DeMarco.” This isn’t changing yourself for her, it’s changing yourself for you, to have what you want, which is a strong, positive, attractive personality that you enjoy living with, people enjoy being around and which will attract viable candidates for a great relationship.

Or, you could just try to “fake it ‘til you make it,” and be stressed out over having your cover blown and somebody seeing the real you and not liking what they see. No? I thought not.

This process is not difficult; indeed, it’s most enjoyable. Most people who don’t engage in self-improvement avoid it because of fear of failure, not because there’s really any reason for them to fail, while most people who do engage in it succeed.

By the same token, if you don’t have any exciting stories to tell, don’t make them up – get off your butt and get out and do something exciting! If you’re not an expert at something, don’t fake it and make an ass of yourself, pick something interesting and useful to you (and hopefully fun for you as well) and BECOME an expert. It is far better to be silent and thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt!

Never, ever, lie to your partner. Even without regard for moral or ethical issues; it’s just too stressful for both of you, and too damaging to your self-esteem, whether you get caught or spend years trying to maintain a lie, not to mention damaging to the relationship. It’s far easier to actually become attractive than to try to just put on the act, and once you do become attractive, BEING attractive isn’t just stress-free, it’s fun! And then, if the potential for love is there, it can develop and make for a truly great relationship.

There’s tons of solid, tested information in “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage” on what women find attractive, and just as important, what will kill it in a heartbeat, not to mention how to communicate with her in a way that has her talking with you instead of spending hours every day complaining about you to all her girlfriends, or the guy she’s having an affair with! It can even help you figure out if you’re in a relationship that has a good foundation and can make it or if you’ve been pulled in by a “Rules Girl” and are truly too mismatched for there to be any hope.

This is it, your best shot at getting things back on the right track no matter how far astray they’ve gone, so download your copy today at
http://www.makingherhappy.com, because the information works, the price is right, the guarantee is unconditional, and life is too short to miss living it to the fullest.

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

David Cunningham

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Are You Happy, or Comfortably Unhappy? Asking the Hard Questions of Relationships and Marriage

Settling for less and tolerating adversity because it’s easier than fixing it leads to the pathetic condition of being “comfortably unhappy.” It kills self-esteem, motivation, and hence, attraction. Don’t let this happen to you! Would you recognize it if you saw it? Read and find out!

Today’s edition is something I touch on from time to time because it goes almost entirely unnoticed but wastes more lives than the words, “Let’s wait and see,” the deplorable condition of being “comfortably unhappy.” Yes, it sounds like an oxymoron, but as you may have seen around you, even in yourself, it is entirely too easy to get comfortable with being unhappy.

People generally dislike major changes in their life, often even positive ones (that’s a topic for another newsletter, but before you think I’ve lost my mind, stop and consider all the people you’ve ever known who responded to things going well for them by finding some way of sabotaging themselves, such as showing up late for work when they’re in line for a promotion, etc.), and will often choose tolerating things that make them unhappy rather than endure the stress of change, even though it’s for the better.

Once this choice is made, its effects are insidious, far-reaching, and destructive. It sets a precedent of settling for less than one deserves, which is to live as happy a life as they can earn. Then it becomes easier and easier to choose to tolerate more and more, because the choices are now becoming more radically different, between a little more nuisance, aggravation, or pain and a radical improvement if they get tired of settling and decide to make a major effort and fix what’s wrong in their life.

They get comfortable with feeling worse and worse, until being depressed, frustrated, and just plain pissed off all the time is not only the status quo, it’s the EXPECTED NORM. Feeling good is at this point abnormal, and therefore, as strange as it seems, subconsciously UNDESIRABLE! (What’s REALLY undesirable for most people is putting out the effort to change, but for the comfortably unhappy, they may not even be able to tell the difference.)

It can creep up on you over weeks, months, or even years, and will start with a single choice to settle for less: a job you don’t like but is easier to keep than finding a better one, a relationship that drags you down but is easier than breaking up, dividing up the stuff in the house, and looking for better company to keep, etc. Keep your eyes, ears, and mind open, and periodically evaluate what you’re doing and those with whom you’re doing it.

When things could be better, do yourself a favor and MAKE THEM BETTER! Upgrade the job with either a promotion, transfer, or a change of employer. Upgrade the relationship by either improving it or getting out of it. In either case, if improvement is impossible because the other party (or parties) won’t be involved in positive change that you’re willing to work for, cut bait and find a better pond to fish in, because you’re fishing in poisoned waters, and it will be the death of you.

If you want a great system for evaluating your relationship, and solid, tested advice for improving it (through better communication and creating attraction, getting her tuned in and turned on to all that is great about YOU) if you find it desirable, as well as solid advice and great contacts for getting the mess cleaned up and getting back into the dating game if this relationship is too far gone to save or never should have started in the first place, it’s in my e-book, “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage” at
http://www.makingherhappy.com. Download your copy today, because life is too short to spend it unhappy, even comfortably unhappy.

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

David Cunningham

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Who's That Woman You're Living With? Filling the Right Role Is Crucial to Having a Great Relationship and Marriage!

Are you living with a lover or a mother? Women are often very naturally nurturing, but there are different mechanisms that make them do it. Attraction is a great one, because it creates the honeymoon atmosphere. Maternal drive, however, is a bad one, and you can trigger maternal drive in any woman, even those younger than you, and in case you haven’t already seen it, you won’t like the results, especially in your bedroom.

While on the subject of how motherly behavior and relationships can impact your relationship with your partner, we’re going to look at a man and woman who are married, but fell into a functional “mother-and-son” relationship, which can lead to affairs and divorce for reasons that will become obvious as you read.

I was recently on a road trip and visited some extended family where I grew up, and as is usually the case when visiting people you haven’t seen in a long time but have known most of your life, it was really fun and interesting. As luck would have it, I caught one of my old high school buddies at home, and it was a study in “what not to let happen in your house.”
I went in and sat down, and we were talking, and his wife, whom I’d never met, kept bustling about, straightening things around where he was sitting, interrupting him to offer him things, etc., and arguing with him when he would refuse something. As we got into dinner, when he wanted something, she would portion it out and put It on his plate, was constantly getting up to get things for him, and all the while making little remarks about how he needed this or should have that or was making a mess. She even whacked him with a rolled up newspaper for tracking mud on the floor when he came in and scolded him like a child, right there in front of me! (He was just short of his forty-seventh birthday at the time of this visit!)

Everything in her demeanor was as if she was talking to a young “grab-ass-tic” boy who had to be told to use soap when he washed his hands. She wasn’t just smothering him; she was MOTHERING him.

The difference is subtle, but significant. When a woman engages in mothering, she is defining and asserting authority, and it’s one of the few roles in which she is completely comfortable making unilateral decisions and universal rules on every conceivable level. This is great if the object of mothering is a child, but a man to whom she is married and shares four children and a mortgage with? Hardly! If she’s defining and exercising that kind of authority and seeing him as a child figure, there is no respect, and no adult – especially sexual – interaction, and attraction cannot form because the man is in an inferior position.

After dinner we went outside with a couple of beers and I asked him how things were going. He said, “Well, in case you haven’t noticed, I’ve got her wrapped around my little finger. She does everything for me. I don’t have to do anything but go to work and come home and she takes care of everything else.” As you can imagine, I’m hearing alarms going off everywhere and seeing a red flag about the size of Texas waving, and asked, “What about at night, after the kids are in bed?” I knew all too well what was coming.

“Well, that’s not going real well. She’s always been so busy with the kids and taking care of everything around here that she’s just got no interest in it any more. I guess she’s just tired.”

He and I have always been brotherly in our friendship and had the kind of relationship where we could say anything to each other without starting a fight, no matter how personal it was. I said to him, “Really? Last time I saw you, you were pinching your girlfriend on the butt and winking at her, and the absolute cock-of-the-walk, and saying you were having sex more than once a day. I just saw your wife whack you with a rolled up newspaper and scold you in the same tone she scolded your nine-year old for putting his elbows on the table at dinner and acting like she’s wearing the pants in the family. Do you think there might be a connection?”

He asked me if I thought there was a connection and what made me think there was, and I told him about all the research that went into “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage” and my still-in-progress book for women, and we talked for a couple of hours about how their relationship had developed, the point at which he could remember changed behavior (which was, not surprisingly, when there first child got to be a handful at the age of two and he really didn’t know what to do about it and she took charge of the child-rearing), and a lot of other things about their individual personalities, likes, dislikes, etc., and then we decided we were going to conduct an experiment.

We went in acting like a couple of college kids, and started picking at his wife, just giving her nine kinds of hell but in a very playful and cocky way, he much more than I. He took the lead role and I was just acting like I was going along with the gag because we were guys and it was his house.

She was annoyed with this sudden testosterone storm for all of about five minutes because we were being a little too loud and the kids were getting ready for bed and kept coming downstairs to see what the commotion was, but you could watch her expression change, then her attitude, then her posture and bearing, as she felt attraction starting to flood back in because he was acting as he had when they were dating and had continued to act until the “transition of power” that occurred after their first child was born. It was an incredible thing to watch, and I just kept egging him on and he kept busting on her, until finally he spotted the same rolled up newspaper she had whacked him with earlier and grabbed it and whacker her on the behind and said, “You’d better get up those stairs and quick, because after that great dinner you put on the table, I’m fancying dessert!”

Her jaw dropped, and she looked like a deer caught in the headlights as she finally realized what was going on. Then she smiled a little smirk of a smile and said, “Dessert’s here in the kitchen,” to which he replied, “Yes it is, and if it doesn’t get its ass up those stairs and into that bedroom it’s gonna get whacked with the newspaper again,” and lunged toward her. She started giggling and took off for the stairs, stopped half-way up to taunt him again, and he winked at me and took off after her.

The next morning they were two different people. He was the guy I had grown up with and known for a long time, and she was very obviously once again his wife and mother only to his kids. I spoke with him a couple weeks later and he said it was like it had been in the early days; she was still occasionally doing things out of habit that she did before, but instead of looking at him as a slacking teenager that couldn’t dress himself, she was looking at him with a twinkle in her eye and a smile, especially when he’d give her a playful hard time about it.

Obviously, not everyone will overcome this problem this quickly. I’m still amazed at watching several years of bad habits and attitude reverse over the course of a few hours, and as I said, there were a few relapses from time to time, but when they happened, this couple could laugh about them instead of being irritated by them or falling back into old habits because they liked having fun again. She likes being teased, and he’s very, VERY good at it. What’s more, my buddy had learned what he needed to know about child-rearing over the years, and was perfectly capable of being a strong father figure, but his wife had taken on that role too, at the time that she began mothering him.

If this is happening in your relationship, it might take you hours to fix it, but it’s more likely to take a few days to a week or two to firmly re-establish old patterns of attractive behavior. It will take longer than that if there are any new patterns of behavior that need to be established because the attitude that creates that behavior must also be created so that the behavior is natural and comfortable, not forced, but it’s fun, rewarding in more ways than one (wink!) and anyone can do it if they have only average intelligence and sufficient desire to improve to read a book and do as it suggests.

That book is called “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage,” and it’s at
http://www.makingherhappy.com, waiting for you, to help you make your relationship the best that it can be. Jump on over there and download your copy now, because life is just too short to spend it unhappy, bored, frustrated, or living with your mother.

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

David Cunningham

Monday, April 14, 2008

Women Test Men, Constantly, Especially in Relationships and Marriage

Women test us constantly, so why don’t we test them? Not in retaliation, but to help determine if they are testing us and what they might be trying to communicate. Here are a few tips…

I was listening to an old set of self-improvement tapes, Roger Dawson’s “The Secrets of Power Negotiating,” (a classic if you’ve not heard of it, available at Nightengale Conant) and in a section on negotiating tactics, he was talking about overcoming objections and said the main tactic to overcoming objectives is to “always test for validity.” Here’s an example:

You’re negotiating a car deal, and the seller says he can’t possibly go a penny under $25,000 for the vehicle. You ask, “What if I could bring you cash instead of a cashier’s check?” If he says it won’t make any difference, he’s rigid on the price for some reason, and you need to dig deeper to find out what his issue is to see if there is any way to address it, but if he says, “Well, then I could possibly come down a little,” $25,000 is not a firm price and he does have some negotiating range.

The same tactic can be used when women test us, or when we suspect they might be testing, to either neutralize the test or establish that we are dealing with a legitimate issue and need to give it due attention. Let’s say your wife is saying she wants new furniture, and you don’t know if it’s a test, a whim, or a legitimate need. You can test the legitimacy of the issue by finding out how much she’s willing to do to have it: “Well, I [like this furniture/don’t care either way/might be interested in replacing this, too] IF our budget will allow it. If the budget won’t handle the extra expense, do you want this bad enough to do something extra to make up the difference?”

Now you’ve got her. If she says, “Well no, I guess not,” it wasn’t that important. “Well I thought you might be nice and get a part time job to do this for me,” definitely means it’s a test, and we’ll deal with that in a minute. “Yes, I would, because I really want this stuff out of here,” means it’s definitely important, and you should then consider saying, “Well, then I’ll see what I can do as well, but if I’m going to help buy it, I reserve the right to help pick it out, at least to the extent of declining on anything that isn’t comfortable for me to sit in. Agreed?”

It’s not required, but it’s a good idea to remain involved so you don’t end up with a houseful of furniture that you hate, and doing things like that together is part of what long-term committed relationships are about, isn’t it? Besides, women love it when you take the lead and make decisions – as long as you provide that needed and expected input channel for them– it’s ATTRACTIVE!

Now, what if you find out it’s a test? The test looks on the surface like it’s to see what she can get away with, but what it is really about is to see if you can say “no,” a check to see if you can define and exercise personal authority. This is a good time to switch back and forth between the responsible budget administrator and “the naughty negotiator.” Starting with something like, (straight face) “Well, I might consider being nice and helping with it, but if you want it that bad, you’re going to have to help, and you’re going to have to give me a pretty good reason to help, (sudden switch to naughty grin) so whatcha gonna do to be nice to me?”

Banter back and forth and make it plain that you’re not just going to roll over and give it up, even if she has recently done something nice, but make it fun for her to be told “no.” Bring sexual innuendo into it, like, “I don’t know, we’ve had a lot of fun on this couch, I hate to see it go,” or “We’ve not finished breaking this couch down…er…I mean in…It would be a shame to get rid of it before we’d got all the nookie….er….I mean useful life out of it…” However, do NOT get into anything that sounds like you’re willing to trade furniture for sex, because it can be taken as a very degrading remark that hints at prostitution. I’m appalled to even have to say that, but I did get an email about it once in the past, so for the sake of the very few who won’t realize it, I’m stating what’s obvious to most of us.

Use your imagination, but make sure you keep rocking back and forth between serious and naughty to keep her off balance, and keep dropping bits of sexual innuendo. You’re likely to end up having sex on the furniture before the discussion is over, just because the playful, naughty attitude and sexual tension may get to her that much, and then you can say, “See, we need to keep this couch!” and wink at her.

It’s easy to test for validity once you get used to the game and get skilled at playing. To see the rules in vivid detail, along with lots of examples of how to play the testing game, go to
http://www.makingherhappy.com and get your copy of “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage.” What you’ll save on furniture the first time it comes up will more than pay for the book! Just kidding! Seriously, it costs less than a good meal for two, and any time you can throw a few dollars and a little time at a problem and watch it go away, that’s an offer you simply have to take!

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

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Can You Take a Hint? Indirect Communication in Relationships and Marriage

It is a woman’s nature, due to the physical structure of her brain, to speak in directly, often employing hints, signals, etc., that she has no idea that you can’t see. Do you have any idea what you’re missing? Or what she’s thinking because of it? It’s not likely to be a pretty picture…

Gentlemen, I have a real treat for you today! A woman has written about the hints she dropped to her boyfriend to try to seduce him, and it’s an eyeful to say the least! Meet Evelyn:

Dear David,

I’ve read your book, and I wish I had the money to buy your book for every man on the planet, but I would have to read to them and no one has that much spare time. My god how hard can it really be to buy a book that tells you all you need to know about woman and be able to understand how woman speak??? It’s not brain surgery we are looking for them to perform, its just simple everyday things we are looking for them to understand.

For example today I went over to my boyfriend’s to pick up some tapes he had made for me. I wasn’t going over there with just sex on my mind, but to be honest I was really wanting to spend some time with him and hoping for a good roll around the bed while I was there. I was not sure just how good he was feeling so I was not going to ask him straight out if he wanted some. I would just feel it out and see how he was acting. As I walked in he was doing something and we talked for a little bit then I decided that before I left I was going to give it a try and see if he wanted to spend some time on the sofa or in the bed with me.

I started dropping hints, talking about sexy things and even went as far as to stroke his crotch one time while I was looking into his eyes and grinned and winked at him. When that did not work I would rub against him and kind of purr at him, lean in for a kiss, just anything I could do to get him to touch me and look at me.

In the end I finally told him I was going out this weekend and he could not touch my breasts because I wanted them to sit up and look nice in this low cut shirt I was going to wear. I know how he hates it when I go out with the girls because yes, we do drink and knowing I can not always handle my drinks like I should and that I sometimes get into trouble flirting after a few drinks he looked at me and said “it’s time for you to get undressed.” Well you know what went on from there, but my point is this, what else could I have done to get the same results without saying “let’s have sex” straight out? I have no problem doing that once in a while, but a woman likes for a man to know what she wants by actions with her having to spell it out for him every time.

Thanks for your time,
Evelyn


My reply:

Hi Evelyn, and thanks for writing. I would have had to be there to see what happened to give you a good answer, because what you are describing can be taken more than one way, and his demeanor and body language would have provided details that you left out.

It could be that he’s really that daft, but I’d find it hard to accept that a man couldn’t take the hint of you stroking his crotch to know what you wanted. It could be that he was making you chase him to heighten your arousal, but a man in-the-know will usually try to make that more fun for you instead of frustrating. It could be that he was extremely busy but didn’t want to tell you that he didn’t have time for sex play at the moment because he didn’t want to hurt your feelings, and either recognized your “desperation” or got jealous when you spoke of going out with the girls. It’s hard to say.

There’s nothing wrong with just inviting him to the bedroom or starting to undress him, as long as you are sure of his mood and physical condition, and as long as you don’t do it so often that he feels no challenge; men can get bored in the absence of challenge just as easily as women. I’d strongly suggest trying to talk to him about it, in an exploratory, not threatening, complaining, or accusatory tone, and find out if he was unaware of the hints, just trying to save your feelings, or whatever.

I’d also suggest you mention having bought my book and offer to let him read it because it would be the easiest way to bridge the communications gap the two of you may have, not to mention point out to him that if he’s going to tease you and hold out on you, it’s a lot more effective if he makes it fun instead of frustrating.

Take care, and keep in touch,
David


Gentlemen, there are several things here for you to learn. The most obvious is that women do think about sex when we’re not around, and that they don’t like to just bluntly initiate their own seduction. They will drop hints because they want you to take the lead in the seduction process, playing, teasing, creating sexual tension to the point that they can’t hold back any longer and tear into you like they haven’t experienced an orgasm in twenty years.

I will go to my grave saying this: Emotionally and mentally healthy heterosexual women like men and like sex, a lot, some of them even more than men. But they are biologically wired to enjoy being led and to be aroused by alpha male behavior, and they need for you to take the lead in moving them from curiosity or mild arousal to that wild, uncontrollable state that gives them that “swept off their feet” feeling. You need to learn how to recognize the hints and signals that she is so inclined, and you need to know the behavior that causes her to direct that curiosity and attraction at you instead of letting her get bored and ultimately directing it at someone else.

What? Your wife would never do that? Don’t bet on it, because what you are wagering is literally your marriage and family life. Affairs and divorces can happen between two people who love each other deeply, and they do happen all too often. Love alone does not create the attraction and excitement that keeps you intimately involved, and defeats her worst enemy, literally a woman’s arch-nemesis: boredom. (And conversely, attraction without love won’t keep you together either; rather, it creates one of those relationships where you have good sex but everything else sucks and you fight all the time because the compatibility isn’t there. It takes both.)

Women deal with boredom the same way men deal with crisis; boredom appears on a woman’s emotional scale in the same spot as crisis on a man’s emotional scale. They will take desperate action if they have to, and if desperate enough, an involuntary survival mechanism kicks in and she literally cannot be held responsible for her actions. It’s not a moral or logical issue; it’s pure anatomy, physiology, and biology.

The good news – indeed, the GREAT news! – is that doing your job in the relationship and protecting her from boredom is one of the easiest and most natural things you will ever do, not to mention great fun! The biggest requirement is that you become a “real guy,” and shed all that ridiculous New Age and politically correct programming that we’ve been inundated with since the 1970’s. How hard can that be?

Quickly picking up your communications skills to a level much closer to hers is also easy. Very few of us will ever be on par with women as communicators because we don’t have the biological infrastructure to do so, but we can get close enough that they’ll meet us in the middle. Luckily, it’s one of those things were sheer awareness goes a very long way toward ensuring success, and it really doesn’t take that much effort once you know how everything works.

The bad news is that in order to be one of the very few guys who know, beyond any doubt, what women want, how to communicate effectively with them, and how to turn their sexual attraction to you on and off, you’re going to have to take a few hours out of your busy schedule of sitting on the couch channel surfing with a beer and read a book, 118 pages to be exact. And it’s going to cost you, too, a little less than dinner for two at a decent restaurant. That’s not so bad, is it? Think about it!

How many decades have you been telling yourself that “no man will ever know what women want” or that “communicating with a woman is a lost cause”? Well, you can fix that in a few hours for less than forty bucks. Interested?

Yeah, I thought so. So click on over to
http://www.makingherhappy.com/ and get your copy of the book Evelyn mentioned, "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" and become that guy you always wished you could be, that manly man who does manly things and who knows what women want, and what they are saying and even THINKING when they’re with you. It doesn’t get any easier or more affordable than this, so get moving! Never, EVER put off until tomorrow the success you can enjoy today!

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

David Cunningham