Saturday, May 17, 2008

Are You Getting the Short End of the Stick in Your Relationship and Marriage?

Some men (and women) work their asses off for all the wrong reasons. Are you one of them? Would you know? There’s an easy way to tell, and there’s a way to fix it, too…

Today I was reminded of something that happened to me a long time ago that really teaches a great lesson about making a contribution in your relationship. I’ll spare you the details of the event because it was both boring and pathetic; I’ll merely say that it involved a broker who had resorted to scamming his clients to feed his wife’s insatiable appetite for shopping and ultimately ended up jailed, divorced, and selling used cars after he got out of jail, all because he didn’t say “no” or “stop” when he should have.

Have you ever asked yourself why you work the way you do, and who it’s really for? Whose goals you are trying to meet? If not, you should. That answer is definitely one worth having.

If you and your wife has sat down and planned your retirement together and you have jointly chosen things that you want to accomplish before and during your retirement, great! You’re on the right track. If the two of you are so independent that you keep your finances separated and are both making your own arrangements for retirement, that’s great too, as long as everybody holds up their end. But…

If you’re doing all the working and she’s doing all the spending, or if your both working but she’s still doing all the spending, something’s wrong. And no, I’m not talking about your wife being the one to handle paying the bills out of a joint account. If your wife is better at that kind of thing than you are and you can trust her to do it right and honestly, that’s the best thing to do.

What I AM talking about is when all significant financial decisions -- indeed, all decisions of any kind -- serve her goals and not yours. I see this around me nearly every day, and get letters from men asking for help with the issue. I won’t say that it’s a problem in every household by a long shot, but it’s getting common enough that I feel compelled to address it.

Why does it happen? Because you wussed out! No, there’s no other explanation, so don’t try. You wussed out and gave in and spoiled her rotten, or allowed her to spoil herself rotten because you didn’t have the spine to say, “No, that doesn’t work for me and I don’t want to do it. Working for no reward at all is slavery, not love.”

Maybe it was fear of retaliation, or fear of rejection, or fear of making the wrong decision. Maybe it was just being too lazy to make a decision. Maybe you were such a wuss that you thought that you had to buy her love by turning everything over to her and living for her pleasure to the exclusion of your own. Only you can know that, unless you want to give me the details of your history and have me point it out to you. But what I can deduce with 100% accuracy is that it happened because you were not involved in the decisions, except possibly as a “yes man.”

If it hasn’t happened to you, congratulations, but pay attention and make sure it doesn’t happen to you. The broker I mentioned was an alpha male sort who ran onto some hard times, and his conniving wife smelled blood and told him that if he didn’t continue to keep her up in the manner to which she had become accustomed, she’d leave and take everything he had. He panicked, plain and simple, and turned against everything he was (he was my broker for years and was the only honest broker I had ever met until this happened) out of fear that he would lose her.

I hope that it’s obvious to you that a woman who would leave you over money isn’t worth having anyway, because she’s only there for the money, to take your life, not share it with you. And before anybody goes off half-cocked and sends me a nasty gram because I’m saying that “all women are just after money,” NO, I’M NOT. Most women are good women, just like most men are good men. But the bad ones tend to be really, REALLY bad, and if you find you’re with one, you’re options boil down to precisely two: Remain a slave to her desires or free yourself of her and start over with a good woman.

There is nothing you can do to change a bad person into a good one; they must do that, of their own free will and because they desire it, if it is ever to happen. You can’t blame a good woman for letting you spoil her, or a bad one for making you spoil her if she succeeds. All you can do is force a correction of the attitude and behavior and let the chips fall where they may. The woman’s character will be indicated by whether she straightens up or hits the door running (or tries to throw YOU out).

The point? It all boils down to who benefits from what you do. If you don’t benefit from your labor, why do it? If you’re not benefiting from the time and effort you spend to generate income while others in your family do, that’s not being a man and a provider, it’s being a slave, and there is nothing loving or noble about being a slave. Stand up and at least share in the benefits of your labor, and if somebody gets mad about it, tell them to either get over it or hit the road, because their days of reaping all the benefits of what you do while you get nothing more than the headache and the backache are over. That leaves them two choices, respect you and stay, or leave. Either one is a good option for you under the circumstances, right?

A great relationship and marriage is based on love, and love brings with it respect, loyalty, trust, and friendship; the absence of those things is an accurate indicator of the absence of love. It also requires attraction to provide the fun and excitement that keeps the relationship alive for the decades that the two of you live together. Without it, life is boring, especially for her, and she’ll find a way to cure her boredom if you don’t cure it for her, either with drama or with somebody else. Nobody who loves you would allow you to work as their slave, and nobody to whom you are enslaved could ever feel attraction for you. It’s really that simple. You have to either turn it around or start over, the right way, with somebody else. End of story.

Sometimes mistakes are made and people get off-track, and you can turn it around just by making the choice to correct mistakes and get back on track. Other people start off the wrong way, marrying for need instead of love because they don’t know the difference, and you simply can’t get it back on track because it was never there to start with. How do you know the difference? And how do you respond when you do?

It’s not hard to do, just hard to recognize when you’ve not studied women and couples and nobody who has studied them has told you what they’ve found. I’ve studied them, and still have them working with me regularly to expand the knowledge base by testing new ideas and scenarios. Once you get on this road to improving your relationship, you can’t get off. It’s not that it’s an addiction; it’s just so rewarding to feel yourself getting more and more happy, intimate, excited, and safe in the knowledge that you are indeed living with a true partner, not just a dependent who may stab you in the back or leave you for no apparent reason.

Care to join us? We’re literally in a revolution, revolting against the ideas that bad relationships can only get worse, that it takes months of expensive therapy to get over common problems, that bedroom intimacy is going to die after you’ve been together for a year or two and an affair is the only way that you’re ever going to enjoy that kind of life again.

If you want to know what we’ve found so far, go to
http://www.makingherhappy.com and download your copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" and start reading. If you’re already feeling the strain and think a break-up might be imminent, also download my free “Break-Up Busting 101” report and feel free to share it with your friends. Together, we can fix just about anything, one way or another, so climb aboard and let’s get busy!

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

David Cunningham

Friday, May 16, 2008

And Why Does She Erupt? Are Inexplicable Female Eruptions Putting a Damper on Your Relationship?

Why do otherwise stable and level-headed women sometimes pitch a fit for no apparent reason? And what’s the best way to handle it?

We talked yesterday about how to tell when a woman is getting ready to erupt for no apparent reason, and there was a cursory explanation of how to handle it, but I really wanted to give you more on understanding the cause and handling the situation, including something from my own experience that details the build-up, explosion, and diffusing of the situation to help you relate this lesson to events in your own past so that you can be better prepared next time it comes up, and IT WILL come up. It’s not a matter of “if,” but of “when.” It’s a topic that I frequently need to address, and the following reader question makes for an excellent lead-in for the discussion. Meet Joel:

Hi David,

I bought your book and I'm progressing through the relationship evaluation and it looks like we're good, but I've got to ask you about something that may already be in the book because it's driving me nuts. Donna, my wife, is usually pretty stable and understanding, and seldom raises her voice. In fact, sometimes we don't talk much at all. Occasionally she'll get really antsy and next thing I know she's exploding on me for no apparent reason, literally! Whatever she picks to explode about is usually trivial at best, and really ridiculous most of the time. I've watched the calendar, if you know what I mean, and it's not "cyclic." The only thing I've noticed is that it always seems to happen when I'm traveling or busy a lot. She'll explode, I'll explode back, and then she'll go away and come back in a few minutes cheerful and acting like nothing has happened. Can you shed any light on this?

Joel


Well, Joel, congratulations on taking the first step to making some serious improvements in your life, and thanks for writing. As for your question, yes, it is covered in detail in my book, but I'm going to give you the short version now to help keep you out of trouble and for the benefit of your fellow readers, because every man alive goes through this phenomenon at some point in his life, if not with every woman he spends any time around, and it may not even be with a wife or girlfriend. It could be with a "platonic" female friend, or even a coworker, but it will be with someone with whom you have regular interaction.

What's happening is she's feeling ignored (or possibly testing to see if you'll wuss out when she acts like a brat, but they usually use other tests for that), and missing the feeling of having you define or exercise authority for her, which gives her a little rush of adrenaline and attraction and gets the planets back in alignment. Actually, this is a good sign, because if she had already lost all attraction for you, she wouldn't be doing this at all, so congratulations on taking action before your relationship deteriorated to critical status as well!

Here's the deal. If you don't pay enough attention to her in ways that let her see you being the alpha male, especially in projecting authority and leading and including her in some sort of fun and/or adventure, whether it’s in critical decision-making or just playing around, she'll find something trivial and pitch a fit over it, just to get you to call her on it and tell her to straighten up. Mentally healthy women will respect you when you establish a “no brat zone.”

This doesn't mean that you turn her across your knee and spank her, unless you can do it without hurting her and in such a way that it's entirely plain that you're playing with her and you're both laughing all the way through it. Remember, women love to have gutsy, strong men show their sense of humor in naughty ways, but they hate being painfully man-handled, bullied, and abused, at least if they are mentally and emotionally healthy. A show of strength when everybody is smiling and having fun is one thing; a show of control or cruelty is quite something else. Keep the word “playmate” in mind at all times, as it will help you see boundaries and play appropriately.

What it does mean is that you must take one of several approaches to call her on it, and it may entail raising your voice a little bit if that's all she'll respond to, but it mostly requires a show of strength, not of volume; a show of leadership, not abuse.

My wife did this to me once. I'd been neglecting her a bit as I worked overtime on a book. Read the following paragraphs carefully and make sure you pick up on the details - no yelling, the only physical force was non-violent and smiling naughtily, etc., the very things she was looking for.

She wanted me to verify the quality of a piece of office furniture she wanted to buy and to pick up a pair of eyeglasses before 5:00PM, and it was 3:30PM. We live ten minutes from the eyeglass store, and had 90 minutes to get there. I said that I wanted to stop and pick up something on the way. Boom! That's all it took to open the door - I had set myself up.

I could see the change the instant she realized the opportunity she had. In the space of less than a second, she went from excited about getting a piece of office furniture and new eyeglasses to stormy. Then she said, "No, I don't want to go check on the office furniture, I want to go get my eyeglasses before they close. We've got to go there first." I thought, "Oh, hell, here we go!" and said, "We have 90 minutes to make the ten minute trip to get your glasses. We can afford the extra five minutes to stop on the way to check out the office piece."

To this, she went totally ballistic. "You know what? I don't even want you to go. I'm going by myself. I've got to get my glasses and I don't have time to go running around all over the place." Do you see how the level of absurdity is rapidly escalating (one stop hardly qualifies as “all over the place”), as well as the sudden reversal of both her desire to see the furniture and desire to be driven? (She doesn't see well enough to drive safely without glasses.)

Then I said, "You can't see well enough to drive without the glasses we're going to pick up, we have 90 minutes to get there, it's a ten minute trip, and we can certainly afford the five extra minutes to check out the furniture. Explain to me why you have a problem with this." The response was, "No, I'm not explaining anything. You always want to change my plans, so I'm going by myself." (Big hint: when you "always" do something that you've never done, or "never" do something that you've frequently done, it's said to make you call her on it and you're in this same situation.) At this point she has crawled across the seat of the car and is sticking her keys in the ignition, literally begging for an authoritative intervention.

I reached in, grabbed the keys, and snickered a bit as I said, "Excuse me, but you're not going anywhere unless somebody else drives because you're blind without your glasses. Now, it was your plan to stop and look at the furniture, and your plan to go to the eyeglass store. I suggested stopping one place to pick up one thing on the way there, and that hardly constitutes a change in your plans. You're pushing a bad position in an illogical argument, and until you tell me what's really going on here, I'm not driving your blind ass anywhere."

She went for her spare keys in her purse cursing and I climbed over top of her and grabbed them, and then playfully held her pinned to the seat with my body while she struggled and I said, "Say Uncle!" with a big grin on my face and that was all she could take. She busted out laughing and by the time she was done, she was about too weak to move. She finally scooted over, we went to check out the office furniture, get the glasses, stopped and ran my errand, and just to put the icing on the authority cake, I announced a change in plans for supper (I'm the household chef) and stopped at a grocery store and lingered longer than necessary in the produce aisle, cracking jokes the entire time about how good the cool air felt and "nature's thermometers" (guys if you don’t get this, ask a woman – I’d never get a more verbose description past the spam filters), exiting only when the smile began to fade the slightest bit, indicating that she was on the verge of boredom and starting to feel the cold, and therefore about to stop having fun.

Do you see it? She was trying to goad me into taking an authoritative action, and may not have even been aware of it because it's such automatic behavior. If you respond to this the first time, you can get away with doing it with a humorous flavor as I did above and not having it get too ugly. However, if you just ignore her, or act bewildered and walk out of the room without doing anything, forcing her to find another excuse and launch a bigger attack, you may push it to the point where you have to yell a bit, physically restrain her from running out the door by standing between her and the door, etc.

Please note that one small change in the scenario, especially the failure to grin naughtily as I said, "Say Uncle," could have changed the event from one of fun to one of control and abuse; she would have been scared stiff instead of amused. Always mind your bearing when in this situation and make sure that it's fun for everyone or it will explode in your face. Again, it’s “playmate” and “playing.” You've been warned...

Understand fully that unless she has been severely physically abused she will not be pushing you to strike her in any way (unless the two of you have a history of playfully spanking and slapping each other on the butt or something), and if she has ever in the past kept screaming and maybe even struck you until you slapped or shoved her, it's a strong sign that she has been beaten, still has issues, and really needs professional help to face those issues and begin healing. NEVER, EVER, for any reason physically strike her with the intent of hurting her, even if she begs you to do it or tries to force you. Use no more physical force than it takes to restrain her from hurting either of you, and if she's crying and hysterical, call a counselor and try to get her some help, because she needs it, badly.

There you have it. A bit lengthy I admit, but I wanted you to see a real-world example so you would have something more than just a rule to try to apply - a real episode with distinct characteristics that you could compare with what you have seen in your own life.

Women are constantly communicating things to us, but as you will learn in "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," much of that communication goes right over our heads, while they are thinking it just goes in one ear and out the other because we don't care to listen, when in fact we're simply unable to hear it because we don’t know what we’re hearing or what to listen for.

The problem isn't that we ignore it; it's that we don't have the natural tendency to pick up all the non-verbal and verbally indirect ways they use to try to tell us things. They really don't know that we are that under-evolved with respect to communications infrastructure and skill any more than we are born knowing that they are so highly-evolved and sophisticated when it comes to communications without someone pointing it out. It's just not obvious when you don't have a frame of reference. (I'm explaining it to them in their own book, so hopefully, when everybody knows how everybody else does things, life will go a bit smoother for everybody.)

If you want to learn what you need to know to deal with this problem and others, and get your relationship and marriage (not to mention your “bedroom life”) working at full pleasure and intimacy capacity, go to
http://www.makingherhappy.com/ and download your copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" now, before you do another thing. Recognize that life is too short to spend it unhappy and work daily on making it better until it gets there.

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

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Signs That She’s About to Erupt, and What to Do About It: Miracle Cure for Tension and Drama in Relationships and Marriage

A guy asks if there are any telltale signs of a woman needing a drama fix. A few do come to mind… (WINK!!!)

This is one of my favorite topics, and it’s something fun and useful. To start the ball rolling, meet Zane:

Hey David,

I’ve been following you for a while and I see the things you talk about in my home every day, especially the testing and the drama. I got pretty good at handing the testing within a couple of days of reading about it in your book, but the drama thing has me stumped. I know she does it, I even know when she’s doing it and not expressing a genuine problem, but I can’t quite catch the knack of seeing it coming so I can head it off before it gets ridiculous. What am I missing?

Thanks,
Zane

My reply:


Hey, Zane! Always good to hear from a fellow Southerner. (For all non-Southerners, “Hey” is Southern for “Hello and how are you?”) You are indeed missing something, but it’s not hard to spot.

In "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," when I describe why women create drama (emotional boredom) and how they nearly always use negative pressure to create it because it’s both faster and easier to get a drama fix by stirring up a fight than by achieving something exciting, you missed the description of the progression of the problem in her and how it works up into an explosion.

Remember that in a woman’s emotional make-up, it’s boredom, not crisis, that is the biggest enemy. If she doesn’t get relief from the boredom, she gets anxious, and then irritable, and you’ll watch her getting more and more uneasy and unreasonable as the tension within her builds. By the time she gets to the point of nearing an explosion, you’ll notice that her attitude has become very sour…

Let’s say your car broke down on your wedding anniversary and you jogged three miles to your house because she didn’t answer the phone when you called to tell her you were in trouble (okay, she was in the shower getting ready to go), and you hit the door late, sweaty, smelly, and tired. A woman in a normal state of mind would see that as heroic and be thrilled, where a woman in need of a drama fix would ignore the fact that you ran home to her and fight with you because you were late getting home. Get it?

Fights that break out over legitimate issues usually have some identifiable logic in them somewhere, although you may have to look hard to find it if you haven’t yet read "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" and become well-versed in what women want and what makes them tick. Drama-induced fights are in a word, absurd. These are the fights in which she seems to be raising the roof over nothing, brings up things that happened 20 years ago, and plays dirty, and your warning signs are pretty much toned-down versions of that absurd behavior – being abnormally bothered by more and more insignificant things, preoccupation with situations and details that she’d normally ignore, etc. Why?

She’s trying to milk enough emotion from those things to get her fix, and getting more and more frustrated by the hour because it’s not working any better as she deviates more and more from her normal behavior. That’s what you watch for. If on a normal day she’s fairly laid back, then she’s acting depressed and tense, then fussy, then negative about everything she speaks of, trouble’s coming.

There are two things you can do. Let her pick the fight, which you will both regret, or you can buck up and admit that you failed to give her some positive emotion that she needed and make up for it with some sort of surprise act of leadership, mystery, and/or fun, but be advised, if she’s too far gone, your efforts may end up being the very thing she uses to start the fight, and all you can do is hang tough. What exactly does that mean?

It does not mean you should be abusive, or play dirty like she is apt to do. It means that when tensions (and voices) start to rise, you must step immediately into that leadership role and exercise some stern – and maybe even tough – love, by calling her on whatever bratty behavior she’s committing. For instance…

She says, “That’s it! I’ve had it! I’m so sick of you ALWAYS buttoning the button in the middle of your shirt first and then bouncing up and down from bottom to top! Why can’t you just start at the top and work your way down like everybody else?!” To which you reply, “Because that’s how I’m comfortable buttoning it, and I don’t really care what you or anybody else thinks about it. It’s ridiculous that you should even bring up something like that, and the only reason you’re doing it is because you’re bored to death and need the rush. Now settle down, stop being a brat and conduct yourself with a little dignity, and let’s find a more productive way of giving you what you need without the two of us saying and doing something that we’ll both regret.”

She may try to further escalate the situation after that to test your resolve, and if she does, there’s an answer to that as well, one that involves getting a bit cocky and having some fun with her, but rather than spell it out in detail I’m going to employ it now and tell you that if you want to know what it is, you’re going to have to read it in "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" – LOL!

Take care, and keep in touch,
David Cunningham

Face it, Guys; it’s not and has never been a secret that the simple act of wishing your wife a good morning and making it out the door to go to work can be like walking through a mine field. You need to know how to listen to her and how to talk to her to get along with her. You need to know when to be tough and when to be gentle and reassuring, when to indulge and when to reject, when to make her laugh and when to stand tall and get serious.

If things have slowed down in your bedroom, that’s not old age setting in, it’s one of the first symptoms of real relationship problems, the kind that lead to affairs – a symptom of advanced relationship decay – and divorce. In a healthy relationship between healthy people, sex is not something you grow out of, or beyond. It’s part of normal, everyday life, and if it’s not happening, it’s a symptom of bigger problems; whether it’s a physiological problem with one of you (diabetes, high blood pressure, circulatory problems, hormone imbalance or deficiency, etc.) or something afoul in your relationship or marriage, it needs attention, because something or someone is dying, slowly but surely, because of it.

You can let things continue to decay and try to make a heroic save at the last minute, which can be done, or you can take the easier path and employ the same tools now, when you are not under so much pressure and have far less damage to correct, to fix everything that’s broken and keep your relationship running like a precision machine. The cost is the same (at best – it can be MUCH worse if you wait!), and it takes less time and effort to do it now before everything goes critical.

The big question is whether you are the kind of man who puts everything off and unnecessarily risks the future of his family by letting it fall into crisis before doing anything about it or if you are the kind of man who steps up and does what is necessary to keep his family – and himself – happy. So what kind of man are YOU?

If you’re the kind who sees the wisdom of fixing the little problems to keep them from getting big, or if you’re the kind who likes to fix them early but have been unable to find answers before things got bad, then you need to click over to http://www.makingherhappy.com right now and get your copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" and put things on the right track. If you’re the kind who puts things off until the last minute because you just don’t want to deal with them until you’re forced to, then I’ll be seeing you later, or if not me, your wife’s boyfriend, and probably her attorney. It’s your call; make it a good one!

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

David Cunningham

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Great Relationships and Marriage: Why Making HER Happy Makes EVERYBODY Happy

The explanation of yesterday’s promised “thunderbolt” – Why making her happy makes everybody happy, and what you can easily do to make it happen, automatically and consistently so that BOTH OF YOU enjoy it.

For those who had the bad fortune to miss yesterday’s edition, go back and read it, because it was good and because it sets up today’s edition. We’ve all heard “If mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy,” unless some of us have been living under a rock, and we’re all pretty well convinced that it’s a universal truth that will never be disproved. However, have you ever thought about the converse?

If mama is happy, everybody’s happy!

Why would I suggest such a thing? It’s the core of everything I’ve been talking about for a very good reason: things really work this way in the real world. Right now, I’m going to help you accept and understand this by explaining why they work this way.

It can be downright shocking when you realize how much about how we relate depends upon or is derived from this model (discussed in yesterday’s edition, so once again, if you’ve not read it, go back and do so before continuing here) of “men are hunters, women are gatherers.”

In case you’re not familiar with basic anthropology, here’s the super-short summary: in the earliest days of human existence, before agriculture and for some time after the development of agriculture, men hunted for meat and women gathered fruits, nuts, roots, etc. and raised the children; later, women most likely developed agriculture to have a more convenient food supply. One must remember that during this time, 90% or more of a person’s time was spent in securing a food supply.

We’re talking about a long, long time here, during which women were together, gathering and later farming in groups and learning to communicate, while men were out hunting alone or in small groups that kept very quiet to keep from scaring the game. These activities caused women to evolve to be genetically “wired” to be more social and nurturing, and have more sophisticated communications skills due to their activities causing the more rapid and full development of the bridge between the left and right hemispheres of the brain, called the “corpus callosum,” and the left hemisphere of the brain to develop more densely than in men.

They also developed a system of safeguards against nurturing the wrong kind of man. There are biological triggers that turn on this behavior when a woman sees strong alpha male behavior, which causes her to nurture in a manner appropriate to a mate, and in the presence of children and for many, child-like behavior, such as a middle-aged adolescent, which causes her to nurture as would be appropriate for a mother, taking charge of the man’s life and affairs and attempting to save him in a codependent relationship. So since the process is biological and not logical, it is very difficult for a woman to resist and unfortunately, not foolproof; she can end up nurturing a man who is bad for her, like an alpha male with psychopathic tendencies who beats her, or a middle-aged adolescent with sociopathic tendencies who sucks her dry and moves on to his next host.

Whether you accept evolution as the cause of this difference or not, the difference is there, it’s consistent, and the behavior it creates is consistent; it’s what creates the feminine and masculine aspects of personality and communication skills and style.

Now, the big question: what does this mean to your relationship?

Generally speaking, women are naturally social, nurturing, and sensitive; men are not so much nurturing as protective. We are naturally loners; even when we’re in groups we tend to act competitively instead of socially and cooperatively. We are combatants; we tend to deal with problems by trying to overpower them or through other competitive needs, not through any nurturing means, even when it would mean converting an enemy to a friend. And let’s face it, a lot of men are finding out the hard way that women’s natural skill in non-verbal communication makes them superior negotiators and poker players in a great many male-female match-ups.

So how can you put this to work for you?

This is the great secret of relationships that is really no secret at all. If a man will make the effort to create attraction for his female partner, her response will automatically be to respond with excitement, sensitivity, nurturing, and attractive behavior toward him. She won’t have to put any effort into it, because it will all be triggered by her attraction. It’s biological, and therefore not only automatic, but unavoidable (which is what gets women in trouble with predatory users, abusers, and losers who have mastered attraction tactics and use it mercilessly to attract and hold their victims.) Why?

To fully understand and accept this, you must understand the intensity of attraction. The only good way I can explain this to men is to call your attention to what happens when you start feeling intense attraction, when you reach that point where you MUST have sex with a woman and then MUST experience orgasm with her. It is different for women in that attraction for us is mostly (but not entirely) a matter of visual perception and happens very quickly while for women it is actuated by a combination of a lot of triggers that confirm your status as an alpha male.

It is therefore built much more slowly, but if you can recall the thrill and urgency of that attraction and your desire to maintain access to the woman who creates it, you can then have at least a partially accurate frame of reference for the intensity of what women feel; for them, it is even more intense because those feelings build more slowly and have time to create more excitement. Also note that while our excitement creates an intense urgency that is satisfied after the orgasm, their creates less urgency but more emotional intensity, making for a longer-lasting effect.

One other thing that you should note is the effect of the hormone oxytocin (do not confuse this with the pain medication, oxycontin). Oxytocin is called “the cuddle hormone,” and is facilitates a mother bonding with her children and her husband. It is released in small amounts during physical touching, especially stroking the skin, and is released in large amounts after orgasm. It therefore follows that taking the time to build attraction for a woman to ultimately increase her excitement, desire, and arousal to the point where she can then experience orgasm (simple physical stimulation is seldom if ever enough for a woman – attraction must happen) on a regular basis, she will be more apt to remain happily married. So yes, in spite of what the politically correct would have you believe, sex is indeed a very important part of marriage, and if it slows down or even stops, trouble is coming.

The bottom line? Make the effort to become the confident, attractive alpha male that will light her fire and keep it lit and you will start a largely self-sustaining chain reaction that will keep the two of you intimate, excited, and happy for years to come. The choice is yours, so make the choice, and follow through. Everything you need to know to make it happen is in the pages of “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage.” Download your copy today at
http://www.makingherhappy.com/ and get started, because the journey is fun, and the destination is one to live for.

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

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Learning from Our Ancestors: The Value of Anticipation in Building Attraction and Preventing Boredom

Time and again, we hear men are basically hunters, and women gatherers, or at least descended from them, but what does this really mean in terms of how we view and enjoy life, and especially our lives, together? More than you think; indeed, it permeates the entire relationship, including the bedroom, and can make the difference in whether your relationship lives or dies.

Today I want to discuss something that women have been trying to get men to understand for centuries: this thing they have with savoring anticipation, building excitement, and something that most men just simply can’t abide, at least not much: teasing, sexual and otherwise.

I hope we’re all long past the point of trying to adhere to this idiotic politically correct concept that there are no genetic differences between men and women other than the presentation of sex organs. Those of you who aren’t, if there are any of you left, either wake up and realize that we have a lot of differences, some of which can make one gender or the other generally – but not universally – better suited to some things and not so well-suited to others, or stop wasting your time reading anything I send you.

Now hear this: We have unmistakable and easily identifiable differences, and while they do not make one gender or the other ultimately superior or inferior, we must recognize them and use them to understand each other better so we can enjoy our lives together as much as possible; else, they become a wedge that drives us further and further apart.

Among these differences is the way we treat goal attainment. Men, having evolved from hunters, generally enjoy the thrill of the chase to a degree, but the kill is the only reason for doing most things. Think of hunters or fishermen. There are “outdoorsmen” who love being in the country, outdoors, enjoying the sunshine and fresh air, for whom hunting and fishing are good ways to keep busy while enjoying nature, then there are the “sportsmen” for whom fishing and hunting are no fun if they come home with an empty stringer or creel, don’t have something strapped to the hood or bed of their vehicle, etc.

The sportsman characterizes most men’s attitude and approach to most things. We’re providers, protectors, problem-solvers, and repairmen, and we’re results-driven, so anticipation for us is stressful, and teasing gets old really fast; getting close and not going the rest of the way quickly can be utter damnation for us, so we tend to close the deal, no matter what it is, so we can move on to the next challenge or opportunity.

Gentlemen, women aren’t like us in this regard; indeed, for the most part, they are completely and utterly opposite! Think of the stereotypical image of a woman shopping as opposed to a stereotypical image of a man. When we want something, most of us just run in wherever we think is a good place to grab it and do so, quickly, and rush home with our spoils to share them with family, friends, etc. Women enjoy the shopping – the process of acquisition – as much as or even more than the acquisition itself. They delight in walking around looking at everything, comparing, imagining themselves wearing it, tasting it, sharing it, or whatever – anticipating the ownership and use and relishing it. How does this apply to our relationships?

It’s exactly the same story, especially when it comes to creating attraction. We see them, we think about them momentarily (or don’t), we become aroused, we want them, and it’s urgent. If you want to screw up an evening with a woman, a really good way to do it is to fast-forward to the romance scene early in the evening, or rush her into a sexual encounter without it having been part of the rest of the day.

They need that feeling of anticipation, that teasing and waiting that we hate, to get amped up to where they need to be to enjoy it. Ask any woman about her most incredible sexual encounter, and you’ll find that the vast majority say nothing about having a man “in the saddle” for hours – it’s having a man hinting and teasing them for hours before the foreplay, then stair-stepping the foreplay, two steps forward and one step back, teasing and building that anticipation until they are ready to explode that they will describe as their greatest sexual encounter, because that’s how attraction and excitement is built for them.

Do NOT read past this point until you have full ownership of this concept, Gentlemen: for us, orgasm is the whole purpose of sex. For women, it’s merely the end of it. I cannot overstress how important to your sex life it is, and will remain, for you to prolong the pre-orgasmic activities of sex for your partner to enjoy, because if you don’t, you’ll be done quite literally before she gets started, and it doesn’t take too many unfulfilling and frustrating episodes of that before she shuts down entirely. It would be the same frustration and lack of fulfillment as a woman leading you up to the point of orgasm and then stopping, time after time. You would be missing what you see as the whole point of the encounter, just as she does if you move through it too quickly. And you know what happens when such an itch goes unscratched; sooner or later, somebody has to scratch it.

Never make the mistake of assuming that a woman enjoys the same things you do, especially in the same ways that you do, nor that she doesn’t. They like being naughty like we do, and they like sex as much as we do, but in general they go about it in a very different way for maximum pleasure. For the umpteenth time, communicate, experiment, and find out what works with your partner! Prepare yourself for the greatest revelation you will ever have, a proverbial thunderbolt, and you’ve heard it a million times before:

If mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy.

No, that’s not the thunderbolt. That’s to set you up for the thunderbolt:

If mama is happy, EVERYBODY’S happy!

I’m going to be explaining this in tomorrow’s newsletter. It is at the same time a so ridiculously cliché and yet revolutionary way of looking at relationships that it will make you laugh at its delightful simplicity and curse your failure to recognize it at the same time.

Meanwhile, you could already be getting the explanation of that and everything else we discuss here in “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage.” It’s an instant-download, an e-Book in Adobe’s PDF format, at
http://www.makingherhappy.com. Go ahead and download it now, because while some good things come to he who waits, others get away, and you need to know the difference. Life’s too short to spend it ignorant, especially if ignorance keeps you from living happily with your partner.

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

Monday, May 12, 2008

Projecting Self-Respect, Another Cornerstone of Attraction and Great Relationships and Marriage

Gentlemen, let’s talk about something you can fix very quickly, appearance, especially pertaining to how you project self-respect.

It’s a busy day! Lots of exciting stuff happening everywhere, lots of phone calls, some great testimonials and compliments in the e-mail today – I live for these kinds of days. They’re the kind of day that I can reach the end of feeling not just productive, but downright heroic.

Speaking of which, I am frequently reminded of article in the Wall Street Journal. It’s relevance and timeliness (and maybe timelessness, too!) are as perfect as its message, that being that women are turned on by men who act and look like men, not boys (slackers), wusses (needy little whiners who can’t survive without someone to cook and clean for them), girlfriends (metrosexuals who are fun to shop with and fun to be seen with on a date as a trophy but who, without alpha male behavior, are treated like girlfriends and kept around to display, network, share, and dramatize with instead of having an intimate male-female relationship), etc.

This particular reminder came in the form of a letter from Steve, one of my new readers:

Hi Dave,

I’ve been reading your newsletters for a couple of weeks and I just got your book last night. So far it’s great, but I really need for you to tell me something that concerns an immediate problem I’m having. My wife is constantly dogging me about how I dress, getting a hair cut, etc. She says I dress like a teenager and I just want to be comfortable. I don’t see anything wrong with over-sized clothes and my old running shoes. She also says she doesn’t like my goatee, and wants me to either grow a beard or shave it off, because she’s tired of looking at them. What can I tell her to get her off my back?

Thanks for your help,
Steve

My reply:

Hi Steve,

For the record, it’s “David,” not “Dave.” Don’t ask me why, I just don’t like it, and not even my closest friends call me that. To answer your question, there’s nothing you can tell your wife that will get her off your back, because from what you describe, your choices in dress and grooming project a profound lack of self-respect, and that’s a big problem as far as any woman is concerned.

Check tomorrow’s newsletter for a good lesson that will supplement what you have there in my book, or download my free “Break-Up Busting 101” Report and read it; the lesson will be an excerpt from that report that you and others have missed. By the way, the rest of that report will be worth your while, as will my “What Women REALLY Want” report. It’s not just a poorly-camoflaged sales letter, like you might be expecting. There’s more information in both of them than you will find in a lot of for-fee reports.

Take care, and keep in touch,
David Cunningham

Well, guys, here it comes. To help you get a mental picture of what women want and the kind of images they respond both positively and negatively to, I’m going to post that article in it’s entirety before we discuss it.

A Lady's Lament
Where have all the Hollywood hunks gone?


BY KIMBERLEY A. STRASSEL
Friday, March 3, 2006 12:01 a.m. EST

This year I plan to conduct my own Academy Awards. And in my newly created category of "Best Red-Blooded Male," I regret to say that I can offer up only one nominee: King Kong.

Where have all the tough guys gone? Really, it's enough to make you cry--that is, if all our leading men weren't already doing it for me. From its earliest days Hollywood has had a glorious tradition of punch-throwing, gun-toting, testosterone-oozing leading men, and the world has loved every one of them. James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, Gary Cooper, John Wayne, Lee Marvin, Charles Bronson, Steve McQueen, Sly Stallone, Mel Gibson, these were men. Some were strong and silent, some artisans of broken noses and busted rib cages, some villains, some heroes. But there was no doubt that they had a reason to walk with bowed legs.

And today? These marvelous males have given way to a new generation of Hollywood consumptives, metrosexuals if you will, the most solid thing about whom are their perky cheekbones. Jude Law, Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Leo DiCaprio, Adrien Brody, Ashton (Ashton!) Kutcher. I make it a general rule to withhold my regard from any man I could bench-press on a feeble day, much less those who've never had need of a razor. If producers are wondering why box-office sales keep falling, they might consider that America wants something more from its men than pouty lips and foot-long eyelashes.

Early cinema specialized in the supermasculine sort, providers and achievers and gangsters who were always in control. They were cool ("Here's looking at you, kid"), daring ("Made it, Ma! Top of the
world!") and cocky ("Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn"). Some were tough through their moral rectitude; think Jimmy Stewart.

Others, like Cary Grant, made up for a lack of outright macho with wit, class and unbelievable suits.
The 1950s brought about yet a new type of tough guy, heroes who specialized in fighting wars, protecting the innocent and getting the job done. They weren't "hunks" in today's sense of that word, but they didn't need to be. They had such presence that they didn't even need to speak. James Coburn had precisely 11 lines in "The Magnificent Seven," including such masterpieces as "You lost" and "Three." But if ever a Western has produced a tougher, more deadly gun-slinger and knife-hucker than "Britt," I'd like to know. By the 1960s and '70s, these tough guys had also discovered the value of props. Clint had his .44 Magnum. Steve had his Mustang GT 390. Sean had his martini.

Starting about 1980, tough guys changed again. This was the beefcake era, and the guys were maniacs. Arnold Schwarzenegger terminated everything in sight. As near as I can figure, Mel Gibson, via "Braveheart" and "The Patriot," single-handedly killed off the entire English population. Sylvester Stallone sealed his career with characters named "Rocky," "Rambo" and "Cobra," for goodness' sake. None of this was highbrow film, but there was something wonderful about the brute strength. Even women came to appreciate the, ahem, upside to testosterone-flicks. I know girls who will admit that they own "Top Gun" for the sole purpose of watching the volleyball scene over and over.

Sadly, reruns are about all we babe-loving women have these days.

The new Hollywood man isn't noble or daring or silent or even beefy. He emotes. He is fragile and flawed. He is a 40-year-old virgin. He is a hobbit. Take a look at the guys who are up for Oscar nominations, and let's go immediately to the elephant in the room. Three -- count 'em, three -- are there for playing men who bat for the other team. Yes, yes, I loved both "Brokeback Mountain" and "Capote," but that's not the point.

Some of the older toughies are still knocking around, but it's getting to be a bit of a geriatric ward. Stallone will be 60 this summer. Even Denzel Washington is past 50. Eastwood is clocking in at 76 and has (wisely) taken to playing senior citizens. My hat goes off to Bruce Willis, who continues to churn out reliable hard-man flicks, even if the tank tops are now gone. As for the younger generation, I find myself grateful to Matt Damon, who had the courage to make two old-fashioned spy thrillers (as Jason Bourne), the first of which revitalized the concept of a car chase.

Oh, and Vin Diesel rocks.

Where is the next generation of tough guys? They're out there. They just happen to go by the names Michelle Yeoh and Angelina Jolie.

These are our new bad boys: cool, clever and deadly with a six-foot samurai sword. Still, call me a traditionalist; I like my heroes with facial hair, a deep voice and bulging biceps. Which is why, when it comes to this year's nominees for truly manly men, I'm sticking with the ape.

Ms. Strassel is a member of The Wall Street Journal's editorial board.

What does this tell you? Is the tone of boredom and frustration in this woman’s writing not painfully obvious to you? And it’s no secret that most men take their cues from the silver screen on how to dress, talk, and act. I’m not going to say or think that Hollywood and the media are behind some huge conspiracy to wussify the entire male gender as part of some liberal or gay pride political sentiment like some of the conspiracy theorists. I don’t know, and frankly don’t care. What’s important isn’t the reason that it’s happening, it’s the FACT that it’s happening, and the outcome.

Men are looking less like Gary Cooper, Humphrey Bogart, and John Wayne and more like Hugh Grant, Will Farrell, and the Wilson brothers every day, and if you know that women tolerate boredom and frustration even less than men do, that it is indeed torturous to them, you know that this is contributing to today’s divorce statistics.

A woman who is bored and frustrated will try to tell you she’s bored and frustrated, but it won’t come across in language you can understand if you are in the vast majority of men. Questions like, “Are you wearing that tonight?” that sound to us like a general query are actually statements that read like, “Please don’t embarrass me to death by wearing that out tonight!” (Consequently, we’re going to break away from attraction for a couple of days and talk about communications in our next editions!) In the end, not knowing that we don’t interpret what they say to mean what they want us to understand, they think that we are insensitive and don’t care that we are embarrassing them, ignoring them, etc., and frustration is added to their boredom. Would you care to guess what happens next?

“Well, if he’s going to just ignore me after I told him what I need, I’ll just find somebody who won’t ignore me!”

It might be an affair, or it might be “the papers,” but either way, you’re now in deep manure. Is this ringing any bells? It should be, because this is the root of virtually all divorce that occurs between partners that were well-matched in the beginning. She gets bored, gets frustrated, disengages, he gets bored, and then it’s pretty much a race to see who steps out or wants permanently out first.

This doesn’t have to happen, and if it’s already started, it doesn’t have to continue to spiral out-of-control until your relationship ends in a bitter war. What you need to know to negotiate these obstacles and get your relationship back on track quickly – and a whole lot more – is included in “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage.” Men who have read it have pulled their marriage out of the jaws of the divorce monster in as little as a week; others have found that they’ve spent many years in a bad marriage that made them unhappy and made with confidence the decision to cooperate with their soon-to-be-ex spouse to correct the mistake they had made years ago and move on to have a happy life.

Join them! There’s not one thing in the world that sitting around worrying is going to accomplish for you, except stressing you out, making you old, and letting the problems get worse. Take action now while it’s still possible to have some influence on the outcome. Go to
http://www.makingherhappy.com and download your copy of this truly amazing book, find out where you stand, make a decision about where you are going, and then use the rest of the book to get there, just like all those who came before you. Life’s too short as it is; don’t waste any more of it worrying – ACT! And do it now.

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

David Cunningham

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day: A Great Time to Know How to Buy the Perfect Gift for the Woman in YOUR Relationship or Marriage

It’s “Mother’s Day” in the U.S. as I write this, which reminded me that it’s past time to revisit the topic of buying the perfect gift for a woman. This is a difficult proposition at best, unless you have paid attention to her and come to know a few intimate details about her. Why? An excerpt from “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage” explains it…

One of the most common topics in the questions I get, indeed, probably next after “How do I save my marriage?” is “How do I buy the perfect gift for my wife?” so for all those who missed it last time, here’s great advice for buying a gift for any woman on your list. (And yes, I know this might have been handier a week or two ago, but if you don’t learn to take a little initiative and be prepared to handle the most basic issues in married life, there is not much I’m going to be able to do for you anyway, so look at the calendar and plan ahead, and if you don’t see an obvious answer to your question, e-mail me at
support@makingherhappy.com in a timely manner and I’ll help you.)

And, by the way, the same rules apply for any other woman in your life, whether it’s your mother, sister, daughter, special coworker, vendor, customer, neighbor or whomever. Why? Because they’re all either women or women-in-training (like your daughter! LOL!)
I’ve published this excerpt from “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage” several times and always received a lot of positive feedback on it, so if you’ve not yet read it or tried it, do yourself and the women in your life a favor and do so now. Indeed, even if you have read it before, call it “a necessary review” and read it again to make sure you have it down pat before embarking on this most difficult, crucial and rewarding of male quests.

Without further ado, the perfect gift for any woman is:

A Gift That You Know She’d Like Because You’ve Paid Attention to Her!

Women want to know that we think about them from time to time when they’re not around, and notice them when they are. Is that really too much to ask? To know her well enough to know her favorite flower, perfume, color, scent, time of year, activity, etc., things that give you serious guidance when it’s time to surprise her with a gift? Can you really say that it’s that difficult? You can know something as intimate and guarded as her dress size by simply looking in her closet and checking a few tags.

How would you feel if you were allergic to wool and a woman bought you a wool bathrobe? Or allergic to peanuts and a woman bought you a box of peanut brittle? Or you were tone deaf and a woman bought you a music box or a guitar? If you had a traumatic experience as a child, like being attacked and mauled by a dog, and a woman bought you something that reminded you of it, like a puppy, especially of the breed that attacked you?

Men do truly stupid and insensitive stuff like that all the time, but we seldom hear about it except during an explosion, at which time it may have happened too long ago for us to even remember it, things like hearing a woman say she’s going on a diet or a pair of pants is a little too tight and then buying her a box of candy or insisting on taking her to an expensive restaurant that violates her diet or causes her to have to face up to having grown beyond her favorite dress for such occasions, or even worse, inviting her to a day at the beach after “being told” (being signaled) that she’s needing to go on a diet.

Have you never noticed how when they buy us a gift, it’s always well-thought out? Even if they don’t know what to get us and end up getting us socks or a necktie, the socks or tie will match what we have perfectly, and be the right size. They pay attention to us, and try to make things nice for us when they can. If a woman’s favorite flower is a daisy, she’d rather receive a bunch of daisies picked from the side of the road or even a picture of a daisy that you drew and colored with crayons for her than a dozen roses – the generic gift that every man gives every woman and is so blasted impersonal these days that if fools like us didn’t buy them for women who didn’t want them, nobody would be buying them except for funerals. Indeed, there are occasions where roses are in fact deemed an attempt to appease a man’s own guilty conscience because they have become so impersonal.

Cost doesn’t matter; the gift is both a sign that you’ve been thinking about her and a measure of how much you’ve been thinking about her – it’s your life that she wants to share most, not your wallet (unless she’s a gold-digger –
see the “How Much Is Enough?” issue from January 8, 2008
-- see how handy that archive is??? -- if you’ve not seen it, and no, this won't apply to your mother, but can save your hide with the rest of them!). After all the crap they endure from us while we’re trying to learn how to get along with them and do what we’re supposed to do as men, we owe them the little extra effort that the daisies – or whatever is supremely personal for them -- require.

Daisies, even when they are her favorite flower, are by no means the perfect gift either; indeed, if it can die and need to be disposed of, it’s probably a bad choice. Women get sentimentally attached to gifts. In some part of your home (or hers, if you aren’t living together) is probably a secret cache of all the notes, cards, and gifts that you ever gave her, every little thing that ever showed that you were really thinking about her.

When she’s feeling bad, including when she’s sulking after a fight, she’ll go to this secret treasure box and commune with all the mementos that make her feel good about herself and you. You’re actually doing both of you a huge favor when you give her things that while not extravagant, are tangible and lasting proof that you took the time to make her feel special – and small enough to fit in this treasure box!

This means that flowers, chocolates or other candies, pets, perfumes, and anything else that has a short life-cycle, while fun and temporarily exciting, in the long term will have to be disposed of, and she will find these things depressing, even traumatic as she has to separate them from her life, while the “sticky note” that you left on her mirror in the bathroom that simply says, “Can’t wait to see you tonight,” or something playful like “I’ll swap you a kiss for dinner when I get home,” (for you newbies, that remark will start a playful negotiation for intimacy later in the evening if you play it right when she says a kiss isn’t going to be enough to get dinner) will stay with her forever, and may indeed get you back into her good graces after you’ve made an ass of yourself and made her really mad as she digs through her treasure chest of memories and is reminded of all the reasons she keeps you around.

Before we wrap this section up, I need to make one thing perfectly clear: I AM NOT saying that you should never buy a nice gift for a woman. I know some of you tightwads are out there saying, “Cool! I can give her crayon drawings and take the money I would have used to buy her stuff and buy beer and hot rod parts!” No, and you should be ashamed of yourself. I’m saying that you should never use a gift to win her favor or approval, or because you feel guilty, or especially not to make her feel guilty (like buying an expensive gift to pressure her for something sexual) or for any other reason except either you think she’ll enjoy it or you will enjoy giving it to her, and when you do give her one, make it obvious that it is specifically for her, well thought out, and has something of you in it for her to relish as a keepsake, especially if it shows that you spent time to make it happen. There will be times when it will need to be expensive, at least to some degree, and if you follow the above rules, you’ll know when that is.

So you see, while holiday gifts should be a little out of the ordinary and may cost more than impromptu gifts, the expense of the gift is nowhere near as impressive, nor romantic, as the appropriateness and personal nature of the gift. Many couples do ask each other if there is anything in particular they were looking forward to as a holiday gift, and if you do, then of course, respond to expressed wishes, but also make sure that there is at least one gift that she’s not expecting, and that is particularly well thought-out, even if you have to enlist the help of your children or her girlfriends (threaten to put a curse on the house of anyone who divulges your secret and DO NOT enlist the help of anyone known to be indiscreet or whom you know to be competitive with your partner or you could find yourself in a trap!), figure out something very special that is so personal that when she sees it, it is obvious that you were thinking intensely and only of her.

(You can also do this with things she asks for, by putting that special little twist that makes something common that she wants special for her, either with the gift itself, or perhaps the packaging or delivery method of the gift, like presenting it to her in your sharpest-looking suit if she has remarked that she misses seeing you in one. Pay attention and use your imagination!)

For example, take a cue from this reader’s real-world situation:

I was discussing this issue with a consulting client (and friend – Hi Joe!), who said that his wife loves coffee, huge mugs to put it in so she can dress it up with flavorings, etc., loves New York City, loves a particular brand of chocolate, and wears a charm bracelet. From this, you can fashion a perfect intimate gift by finding a huge, artistically tasteful coffee mug with a New York City cityscape or something else peculiar to the town that would spark a fond memory for her (like a Yankees logo if the two of you had a romantic experience at a baseball game there), preferably in her favorite color if it’s available, filled with pieces of her favorite chocolate or a gift certificate for a purchase from the chocolatier (if she loves everything that Godiva, Ghirardeli, etc., make, as opposed to having one particular chocolate favorite), and hiding beneath the chocolate or gift certificate, a charm for her bracelet, again something that sparks a romantic memory of an intimate moment shared somewhere. Do you see how this all fits together?

The chocolate is obvious, but it’s short-term delight. To provide longevity, you have the coffee mug and the charm, both of which are related to something special to her, and which will spark romantic memories when she sees them. Everything involved is something personally chosen according to her passions. You see, one favorite aspect is good, but it’s still something that any other woman could receive. By combining all these aspects, ALL OF WHICH YOU CAN BET SHE WILL RECOGNIZE INSTANTLY, you make the entire gift uniquely personal, in spite of the fact that everything is mass-produced. Now, to top it off…

A small, hand-written note or card that says how much you’ve enjoyed having her in your life and how much you look forward to sharing more with her – NO PREPRINTED VERSE OR PROSE OF ANY KIND – includes a permanent piece of you in the mix, and gives her something to put in the treasure box. I have personally seen women burst into tears over simple gifts like this, simply because their man knew them well enough and cared enough about them to make the small effort that it takes to do it. All it takes is knowing your partner, which you should (and will be expected to do whether you have or not!) if you’ve been with her any time at all.

If she’s like Joe’s wife except that she doesn’t like chocolate so much, and her hands get cold when she drives, a nice pair of driving gloves – in the correct size and that match a scarf she wears, her handbag, favorite coat, or something significant like that – stuffed into the coffee mug is perfect. If she doesn’t do charm bracelets and charms, maybe a small coin run through one of those machines that converts it into an imprinted souvenir coin, or a ticket stub you saved from a concert or ball game there, even a subway pass to an event – anything to remind her of a very special time – or tickets to an upcoming event – to create a new special memory – will work.

Know your partner, and choose her gifts based on what you know. Know above all else that the idea behind a gift is to celebrate partnership and make her feel special, not to buy her favor. The idea is to show that you love and notice her, not to be needy or try to buy her, which are creepy and insulting to all but a gold-digger precisely because they imply that you think she is a gold-digger who would expect and respond to such a thing, and no good woman will put up with that for an instant!


Guys, I hope you found that excerpt helpful, and again, this advice pertains to all women – mother, daughters, sisters, friends, coworkers, boss -- under all circumstances, not just your wife. I can’t say it any more plainly or with any more conviction. Over 100 women were brought together for the express purpose of teaching me what makes women tick, what they want from men, what they respond to involuntarily in men, and how to communicate effectively with them.

They did their job and did it well. “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage” was constructed from that research, and those women put this book to their partners to test and refine everything we covered. Anything that worked for 90% or more of those couples is in the book, and less effective principles are being refined for updates or discussed in this newsletter as potentials to explore.

It worked for them, and it’s guaranteed to work for you. Download your copy right now at
http://www.makingherhappy.com and join the many happy men and women who have brought their relationships back from boredom, affairs, and even divorce proceedings – some in under a week! -- to be exciting, fun, sexy, and richly rewarding, often better than it had ever been, because life’s too short to spend it unhappy, bored, in fear of getting caught in an affair, or celibate.

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

David Cunningham