Saturday, June 07, 2008

Why People Grow Apart and End Relationships and Marriage, and What YOU Can Do to Stop It!

Why do people who are in long-term relationships, whether married or not, grow apart? In a nutshell, it is because they have lost interest in each other. That, my friends, is a preventable and curable condition! The medicine, you ask? ATTRACTION, of course!

I had a call last night from a friend, Bill, with whom I’ve not spoken in a nearly a year. He and I used to work consulting projects together frequently, and we were pretty close. He found this gal that he really meshed well with, and they got married and were happy for a long time, but a major problem had come up that he needed to talk about.

Her father died a few years ago and they moved away to be near her mother, and Bill and I kept in touch for awhile, but our interests started growing in different directions because he changed careers and we lost a lot of common ground that used to give us a lot to talk about. We fell to calling each other at birthdays and major holidays, and as we started finding we had less and less to talk about, quit calling because there just wasn’t enough to talk about to make it interesting.

It’s bad when friends grow apart like that, but I wasn’t the only one from whom he’d grown apart. He and his wife had a great foundation for a good marriage, being extremely compatible in all regards, especially the important ones like personal values and tastes, and having plenty to talk about when romance wasn’t in the air, but over the course of the last year, he and his wife had grown apart to the point of not enjoying each other’s company anymore and frequently getting on each other’s nerves.

Bill called because we were old friends, I had known him and his wife for a long time, and he knew from working with me that I had conducted seminars on getting along with people and was hoping I could help him and his wife figure out what had happened and fix it. He had no idea that I had published “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage,” and boy, was he in for a shock!

Bill’s wife had started spending more and more time with her mother, eventually giving up her job to care for her full time, while Bill had sought to enhance his career and make up for the lost household income by taking on extra duty at work and starting a small, part-time home-based business. They had previously averaged about five to six waking hours together per day, and this had fallen to about an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening, much of which wasn’t even “quality time” together.

Their interaction with others increased and their interaction with each other decreased, and they got out of the habit of spending time together. As this happened, their interests were influenced by people outside their household, pulling them even further in opposite directions. Bill’s wife had taken up volunteer duty at a local retirement home where his mother volunteered, and Bill’s home-based business was the result of something one of his co-workers was into. By the time they realized what had happened, lack of mutual interests had insidiously reduced them from a happy married couple to a pair of disgruntled and celibate roommates.

In case it’s not obvious, and it probably wouldn’t be to anyone who hasn’t either read "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" or been subscribing to this newsletter for quite awhile, it wasn’t so much that their personal interests had changed as the fact that their interest in each other had failed because they had stopped doing the things that made them interesting to each other. When they lived near me, they were constantly challenging each other, playing with each other, picking on each other in a very good-natured and often thinly veiled and obviously sexy way.

Stress, fatigue and time constraints had limited their time and attention, and finally attraction was lost. When attraction goes, boredom sets in, then frustration, and then the all-to-well-known steps down to the dungeon of affairs and divorce are taken one by one, often rapidly. Bill and his wife had both been married before, and knew what was coming, and wanted to fix it rather than go through giving up what they had once had and breaking up a household while in their early fifties.

I sent Bill a copy of “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage,” and he and his wife are going through it. I’ll probably be keeping you posted on their progress. Most of you subscribing to this newsletter are doing so because you’re already where they are or can see yourself getting there at some point. Don’t let this happen to you. It’s far easier to prevent the loss of attraction than it is to get it back, but you can get it back if you want it.

(Update: this lesson was originally published on September 4, 2005. In the few months that followed, Bill and his wife did indeed figure out where they had gone wrong, made corrections, and are now happier than they have ever been. They always had fun together in the years before their problems, but communications had been lacking, and now that they really understand each other because they know how to listen to the opposite gender, they’ve made a connection that would have never been possible otherwise. She tells her girlfriends that “he always just knows what she’s thinking.” He’s not psychic; he just listens to her as a woman instead of as a man!)

The dating gurus say it’s impossible to regain lost attraction, but in their world, you’re dealing with a window of seconds to a few hours at most; in that context, that is quite correct. But in a mature, committed relationship, you have months, maybe even a year or two, because you both have so much invested in the relationship, and anyone can recapture and then go beyond the attraction felt during your first hours and days together if they have the information to (re)develop the skills needed. Indeed, if you started out with enough compatibility to make for a good marriage, success is almost a foregone conclusion. Everything you need to know to start doing that this very minute is contained in “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage,” so set yourself up for success in your relationship by downloading your copy right now at
http://www.makingherhappy.com/.

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

Friday, June 06, 2008

The Biology of Happy Relationships and Marriages

If you make her happy, she can’t help herself but to make you happy, as this most wonderful joke demonstrates.

I very seldom use jokes as the focal point of instruction, but this one, while hilarious, also has a ring of truth that a man will ignore only at his own peril. Observe:

Jack wakes up with a huge hangover after attending his company's Christmas Party. Jack is not normally a drinker, but the drinks didn't taste like alcohol at all. He didn't even remember how he got home from the party. As bad as he was feeling, he wondered if he did something wrong.

Jack had to force himself to open his eyes, and the first thing he sees is a couple of aspirins next to a glass of water on the side table. And, next to them, a single red rose!

Jack sits up and sees his clothing in front of him, all clean and pressed. He looks around the room and sees that it is in perfect order, spotlessly clean. So is the rest of the house. He takes the aspirins, cringes when he sees a huge black eye staring back at him in the bathroom mirror. Then he notices a note hanging on the corner of the mirror written in red with little hearts on it and a kiss mark from his wife in lipstick: "Honey, breakfast is on the stove, I left early to get groceries to make you your favorite dinner tonight. I love you, darling! Love, Jillian"

He stumbles to the kitchen and sure enough, there is hot breakfast, steaming hot coffee and the morning newspaper. His son is also at the table, eating. Jack asks, "Son, what happened last night?"

"Well, you came home after 3 A.M., drunk and out of your mind. You fell over the coffee table and broke it, and then you puked in the hallway, and got that black eye when you ran into the door."

Confused he asked his son, "So, why is everything in such perfect order and so clean, I have a rose, and breakfast is on the table waiting for me??"

His son replies, "Oh THAT! Mom dragged you to the bedroom, and when she tried to take your pants off, you screamed, "Leave me alone, lady, I'm married!"

Broken Coffee Table $39.99
Hot Breakfast $4.20
Two Aspirins $.38
Saying the right thing, at the right time. PRICELESS!

Stop and think for a minute about why this is funny. It’s because it is so universally true! It’s something that you don’t think about, but when called to your attention, you can see virtually every woman you’ve ever known having the same response! Why?

As humans, we are the only species of life on this planet that lives by the power of volitional choice. Our mind is our primary tool of survival. Every other species simply reacts to its environment with regard to any issue of survival. There is even room for debate on the question of whether if you put a piece of steak and a piece of cheese in front of a dog if he chooses one over the other because he has a personal preference or whether something the dog smells triggers a response that is based on a nutritional need within the dog’s body.

However, contrary to what many academians have been saying for decades, the scientists who are mapping brain activity are showing conclusively that we do still have some instinctive responses to stimuli. Some of us may be strong enough to consciously over-ride these responses, but few can, and in practice, few want to!

For instance, they’ve shown that when they show sexy pictures of women to men, activity in the area of the brain that controls sex drive, the fight-or-flight response, and several other things, called the “limbic system” or “lizard brain” since it’s the oldest part of the human brain, lights up with activity. In most men, there is a greater response to ample breasts, rounder hips, good skin, etc. Why?

This isn’t because men are pigs, it’s because these are characteristics consistent with a physical structure of a woman who could survive childbirth and bear strong children. Being in the limbic system, the response is entirely biological, not logical, just the same as if a hungry bear charged you, you would automatically run like hell.

In women, when shown pictures of sexy, naked men, there is only a mild stimulation of these same areas. HOWEVER, when alpha male behavior is demonstrated, their limbic system lights up just like ours do over the sexy photos. This isn’t because women are weak and worthless; it’s because these are the traits exhibited by a man who could contribute good genes, creating a strong fetus, and be able to provide for and protect the family unit, formed thousands or even millions of years ago through the process of natural selection – evolution was kind to those bloodlines who had good survival skills and who made the best contributions to the gene pool, while the rest became food for dinosaurs, bears, etc.

Just as a woman responds biologically to alpha male behavior with sexual attraction, she responds to the feeling of loyalty, commitment, and emotional protection with nurturing. Women are smart, too. While they like to hear that you love them and are committed to them, they are ultimately watching for proof of it in your actions, and testing you for it, too. You might fool them for a little while, but if your commitment isn’t genuine, they will find out, and pretty quickly, so don’t think that a “fake it until you make it” ploy is going to work.

To engage her natural nurturing behavior, lead and appreciate her! If she’s not doing sweet, nurturing things for you now, remember the things that you and she did in the past that brought you together. Get back to that fun, adventurous behavior that caught her attention at first. Play with her. Stand up TO her, so that she knows you can stand up FOR her. (But don’t be a bully in an argument, especially if you know you’re in the wrong. That’s not standing up to her; it’s just being an ass, and she knows the difference even if you don’t! Negotiate.)

Look at the things she does for you and appreciate them instead of just taking them for granted. Respond to them with loyalty, commitment, and love, in word and deed. Listen when she talks with you. Learn how to listen better. Prove to her that she is the woman you love above all others by showing her real love, not in the form of senseless sacrifice, but consideration, which proves to her that you do indeed love her and think her worth the investment of your time and life’s energy. She will see this commitment and – unless she is the most unscrupulous of parasites or predators – respond by nurturing you in ways that will make you want to come home from work instead of stopping off for happy hour.

Biologically, a woman responds to being protected from boredom, and she responds to that protection with sexual attraction. Then, being protected from rejection and other forms of fragmentation of her nest and household, she responds with nurturing. If you can find a better trade than that anywhere on this planet, I’ll quit right here and eat a bullet, because I really don’t think I would want to live in such a world.

All you need to know to evaluate your relationship, find out what kind of woman your partner is, and how to make both your lives as great as they can be is in "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," derived from working with hundreds of couples and tested to make sure it will work for everyone who tries it. So far it has; I don’t get refund requests; what I do get are a great many success stories and other compliments that occasionally even show up in these newsletters and on my blog, with their permission, of course. You can join them by going to
http://www.makingherhappy.com right now, and downloading your copy. Never put off until tomorrow the happiness and success you can enjoy today, because life is short, but failure feels like eternity!

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

David Cunningham

Thursday, June 05, 2008

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

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

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

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

What’s happened?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

David Cunningham

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

How to Program Your Very Own Wuss and Sabotage His (YOUR) Relationship and Marriage

Wusses are made, not born (with rare genetic exceptions, of course), and the only kind of women who like them are sadly their own mothers and the parasites and predators who can take something from them. How are they made? That’s easy…

I caught something on television recently that I can’t get out of my head, partially because it’s offensive to me and partially because there is a lesson in it for all of you. And it’s not one that is easy to teach, so I’m going to ask you to bear with me.

First of all, some of the examples I’m going to have to use have potential political implications, and we’re not here to discuss politics. There could also be controversy over whether what I’m about to show you is coincidental, accidental, or deliberate.

For the purpose of this exercise, I’m going to ask you to ignore all of that and look strictly at the mechanics and psychology of what is really happening so that you can learn this universal process and not only protect yourself from its dark side, but use it to better yourself. So turn off the emotions, political bias, conspiracy theory machine, etc., and put on your thinking cap for a few minutes, because you need to be as cold and ruthlessly logical as I am to get through it with maximum benefit.

Sometimes it’s late in the day before I find inspiration for the content of this newsletter; I prefer to do it as the very first thing after responding to whatever reader e-mails are in my Inbox when I first sit down at my computer in the morning, but the world doesn’t always work the way I want it to. Sometimes I can receive as many as 200 e-mails from readers and not be able to use anything out of them for a newsletter, either because of the appropriateness of the content or not being able to obtain permission to reprint their letter in time (I a stickler for reader privacy).

When that happens and I end up not being able to compose a newsletter until late evening, my wife likes to watch some flavor of the CSI (Crime Scene Investigation) series on television while I work, and I hear it in the background but pretty much ignore it. A few nights ago I heard something that caught my attention.

The investigative team was standing in a metal building with about a hundred bullet holes scattered all over the walls, and one of the guys had looked it over and was reporting to his colleagues that it was a 9 mm, and then tagged onto the end of the sentence, “probably semi-automatic.”

For those of you who don’t know anything about firearms, that means that you pull the trigger, one shot is fired, and the next round is chambered and the weapon cocked and ready to fire, but it does not fire until the trigger is released and pulled again. A firearm that will keep shooting round after round for as long as you hold the trigger pulled is fully automatic, also called a “sub-machine gun” or simply “machine gun.”

A few minutes later in the show, they had finally figured out how all the bullet holes were put in the wall. Some boys had held up a very long bamboo cane, about 30 feet tall, run the cane through the trigger guard of a fully automatic sub-machine pistol, and pulled the trigger back with a wire tie just before giving it a spin and letting it spiral its way down the cane pole. Yes, stupid, and one of the kids got shot through the chest.

Now here’s the important part. For everyone who didn’t know the difference between a “semi-automatic” and “fully automatic” firearm, they thought that the fully automatic sub-machine pistol shown spraying bullets all over the building was semi-automatic, which is simply the pistol that most police officers carry in their holsters, because the CSI officer erroneously said that's what it was.

Intentional or not, that is what’s called “disinformation.” Someone shows you something that is incorrect or misleads you to assume something incorrect and you have a tendency to accept it as correct because of the source, or because you see it a lot, and the message, although wrong, is consistent.

A lie or error told often enough becomes the perceived truth (but not the truth). The Earth is at the center of the universe and it’s flat and you’ll sail off the edge of it if you go too far in any direction. Bleeding someone with leeches will cure any ailment. Governments love and serve their people faithfully and flawlessly. And women like nice guys. Remember?

Yes, that lie has been told for decades. Look at what you see on television today. Stunningly beautiful women running around with hopeless wusses and acting like they’re “Studly Do-Right,” totally ignoring the fact that the guys are dressed sloppily, don’t project an ounce of intelligence, sense of humor, social skills, leadership skills, or most importantly, self-respect. Men are consistently shown as being sub-average, bumbling jackasses who can’t make a decision to save their life, and yet they still get the girl at the end of the show, and to beat it all, they cry for joy and thank her for the privilege of being seen with her. (I’m so sick of those commercials for Sonic restaurants making men look like idiots that I joined John Alanis long ago in boycotting Sonic, and wrote them a letter telling them so.)

When you see that all the time, there’s something that happens in your subconscious mind that tells you that you should be acting as those guys do. They have what you want, and if you do what they do, you’ll have what they have. But your subconscious mind doesn’t know that it’s only television fantasy; it can’t discriminate like that.

So the lie that is told over and over becomes perceived reality – accepted as truth by those who don’t know or seek the facts, but not really true.

However! Awareness can override this negative programming, and better still, you can use this same principle to lift yourself up! Instead of watching wusses give all men a bad name on television, hang out with successful friends who are happy with their lives and have the alpha male tendencies that women enjoy! Since your environment can program you, let it program you for success instead of failure!

But that means doing something really smart: You have to acknowledge your betters as potential mentors and positive influences instead of envying their success and resenting them. Can you handle that? Can you handle hanging around with one or more guys who have a strong personality that women love and are successful at what they pursue?

No, they don’t have to be filthy stinking rich to be successful. Wealth is not always a man’s goal. Some men prefer to succeed at fishing, hunting, wood or metal working, rebuilding cars, throwing darts, collecting stamps – you name it. But a man who succeeds at one thing will generally succeed at many things, because he has the formula – and he can demonstrate it to you simply by you being around him.

This isn’t rocket science, Gentlemen. Not by a long shot. Do you recall hearing an axiom called “Occam’s Razor” when you were a student? “The simplest explanation is most often the correct one.” By the same token, the simplest paths to success are most often the best. And what can be simpler than exposing yourself to people who are what you want to be and just letting it all soak in?

If you hear hooves beating behind you, do you think “horse” or “zebra”? There’s a reason clichés become clichés: they’re so universally true and therefore so frequently quoted that people get tired of hearing them. At least in most cases.

Some would have you believe that you can never understand what a woman says or what she really wants. I believed it for a long time, as did many who came before you, until it came down to a do-or-die situation and I had to learn. How do you think I learned? Did I go to the Himalayas and ask the Dali Lama, or to Rome to ask the Pope? Did I consult ancient mystical texts like the Bible, Quran, or Cabbala? Did I seek the counsel of alien races? Or contact the dead through a crystal ball? Hardly…

I asked a bunch of women!

I had to learn to speak “girly-ese” (some of my readers are calling it “feminese” and I rather like that one, too) before I could make sense of a lot of what they wanted to tell me, but believe me, they wanted me and every man alive to know. All this time that we’ve been shaking our heads in frustration because we can’t understand them, they’ve been angry and frustrated because they didn’t know we didn’t understand and thought we were choosing to ignore them. Imagine that!

In the end, they are neither complex, weak nor stupid. They’re just enough like us to make us think that they’re entirely like us and just different enough to drive us crazy sometimes, but they are simple, strong, smart, and one hell of a lot of fun to be around once you tune in and gain their trust – they’re mostly emotionally driven, and want more than anything to feel safe in feeling anything for you, lest their emotions be used against them as they have many times in the past, like when date after date said, “I’ll call you tomorrow,” or “Sure, I’ll still respect you in the morning.”

What you need to know is how we’re alike and how we’re different, and in plain language, not an encyclopedia full of psycho-babble. You need to learn to speak girly-ese, which sounds a whole lot like whatever language you speak, but the protocols are different. You need to know things about a woman’s emotional make-up, like the fact that being bored is as detrimental to her health and ability to think rationally and make good choices as being terrified is to you. And you need to know how to flip her switches and ignite that spark that will never let her feel bored again and make her fight – indeed, to kick the crap out of a running saw mill if necessary – to protect her relationship with you.

If you’re interested, go to
http://www.makingherhappy.com/ and download your copy of "THE Man's Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" -- it’s ALL in there, just as I described, in plain language that a child could understand (and a few smart-ass remarks just to keep you entertained as well!). And if you’re not interested? Well, I hear you can get used to being in the dog house, getting yelled at all the time, and even getting divorced and losing everything you have in the process, but that’s one challenge I’d just as soon skip.

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

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Too Many "I Love You's" in Relationships and Marriage

Some women keep writing about wanting to hear the words “I love you” more often. Others write complaining they hear it too much! Just how much is enough?

There are times when women’s emotionally-driven drama and antics really get on our nerves as men. There are also some things that appear to be dramatic because they are so irrational, but are in fact not dramatic at all, and things that you need to be aware of and address when necessary. This is some of the most important information ever presented in this newsletter, contains advice for both men and women, and if you miss part of it you can absolutely wreck your relationship with what you skipped over, so read this carefully and in its entirety and make sure you understand it. First, meet Tasha:

Hi David,

Can you tell me how to get my husband to stop being a needy little twerp? Every time his mouth opens, he says, “I love you.” It’s like a compulsion. He can’t end a discussion, enter or leave a room, or hang up the phone without saying it. It’s more like a greeting than a declaration of any kind of feeling. He’s coming across to me as saying it just to get me to say it back to him. It’s been happening for a month now, constantly since we went to my high school reunion (20 years) and I saw my high school boyfriend there (and his wife and pictures of their five children) and we talked for about 20 minutes and had a dance. He’s making me nuts!

Please help,
Tasha

Tasha’s problem was handled privately by a counseling session with her husband, in which I helped him realize that a 20 minutes of conversation to catch up on 20 years of absence and a dance, which didn’t even turn out to be a slow, intimate dance, was nothing to worry about, but do you see her primary complaint? Too many “I love you’s” equated to habit and insecurity, not an expression of love. Now for the other side of the coin, meet Carol:

Dear David,

I have read every newsletter you have ever written, and I have read your book as well and loved it. I had to learn to do many of the things in your book since I was taught a totally different way to handle relationships. I am sorry to say that I was one of these women that would let a man into her life and then totally turn it over to him to run because I wanted to be lead. I learned that I was not letting them lead me, but was letting them run over me.
Now I see just how wrong and how dangerous it was to me and to my future to let men run my life.

The reason I am written this letter is because I want to know something and I felt like you would be the one to help me answer this one.

I know that my boyfriend loves and wants to be with me and that I am the only one in his life, but I still like to hear it from time to time. I know that sounds like I may be needy or insecure, but I’m sure you know all women like to know that both parties in the relationship they are in have the same feelings. I am sorry if that is wrong but that is how I feel.

Thank you for you time,
Carol

Hi Carol, and thanks for writing. I’m going to point out something to you here, something that I know you’ve read in past editions but may have missed the significance of, and then I’m going to clue you and everyone else in on why this is the way that it is and how men should handle it.

First, I want to caution you and all women, for reasons you will fully understand in a moment, that while the words “I love you” are good for an emotional rush, they should never be trusted in and of themselves, period. Your knowledge of whether a man or any other person loves you should come from their actions; a man, especially a predator, could put a bullet or a cudgel right between your eyes or open your throat from ear to ear while saying “I love you,” but no man can keep up the act that creates the illusion of love for very long at all if it is indeed just an act. It doesn’t take a lot of testing and there’s no need for suspicion; simply check that his normal actions say that he loves you before accepting the words. For instance…

Does he beat the hell out of you and then say, “I’m sorry, Sweetheart! I really love you!” If he does, he’s a lying sack of crap.

Does he drink up his paycheck, and when he tells you there’s no money for groceries that week, say, “but I love you and everything will be okay”? No, he doesn’t. He loves his bottle, not himself or you.

Does he work at his job, come home, and spend quality time with you (and the kids if you have them)? Does he make decisions that consider how they will affect you as a couple? Does he treat you with respect, as if he values your company and your input, instead of putting you down or even worse, whining about how he can’t live without you? If so, listen when this guy says he loves you, because he does.

Now to the hard part: Why is it that even the most secure women, those who live in a relationship in which it is blatantly self-evident from a man’s actions that he loves her deeply, constantly complain that they don’t hear “I love you” enough?

Guys, I have to admit that this evaded me for a long time, and it wasn’t until I learned how women communicate and about their socially-oriented nature that it made sense to me, and most of them are unaware of it as well. You should have seen their faces when I asked them about it; it was like a light coming on when it struck home for them. Ready?

Women need to hear this because they are biologically-driven to need to hear it, just like they need to hear a verbal commitment to a relationship after a couple of months of dating or they walk out on a perfectly good thing. It’s part of the emotionally driving mechanism that distinguishes their behavior, especially their socially-oriented nature and their communications methods and infrastructure, from ours.

They need to hear the words when they already know we love them because they need that little romantic/dramatic lift that it creates when it “seals the deal,” and they also need to see that we can say it frequently enough without blurting it out every few minutes like some needy wuss who spouts it like a litany to hypnotize her into staying around. It's like their need to share and emotionally milk their problems with their girlfriends, irrational, involuntary, and potentially self-destructive, but nonetheless a fact of life and a need that must be fulfilled, one way or another, by somebody.

Now, how much is enough? Or too much?

That depends on the woman, but generally speaking, no woman I’ve interviewed, when asked how she felt about the frequency with which her man said he loved her, who was satisfied said any more than once or twice a day (once every day or two was average), and for those who were dissatisfied, their men were at the extremes, either pestering or boring them to death with it every time they spoke or going many days or even weeks without saying it at all.

Take heed here: You can say it too often, as well as not enough. Women bore easily, and with most things, less is more, but there has to be some, because none is unacceptable. If you have a healthy love relationship, there should be some intimate moment come along every day or two, or even twice a day sometimes, that makes you realize how much you love this woman. When that happens, that’s when it’s good to tell her, because during those intimate moments is when she’d really like to hear it. It helps feed the emotions that she’s feeling, and if it’s honest, it’s right. No act, no routine, no pressure – simply letting it come out when its genuinely on your mind is likely to be just right.

Do NOT, under any circumstances, let “I love you” become a habit. We all hear so many people closing telephone conversations with it, as if it is some ritual greeting, and that’s not a good thing because it makes the experience so mundane and boring. If you’re with somebody who has to hear it every time your mouth is open, that’s a HUGE red flag, because it’s not the emotion of love that she (or he) is feeling; it’s that really ugly one: NEED, the kind that breeds and feeds dependence and insecurity. If that’s where you are, you’re in big trouble, and you need to do a serious evaluation of your relationship.

Relationships are only complicated when you don’t know enough about how they work, and/or about each other. Learning about them and each other doesn’t have to be a matter of reading an encyclopedia of dry, technical, academically-oriented psychological theories and then trying to apply it without knowing whether the theories even hold water. I’ve seen those books, and if you’ve been looking for answers for your relationship, you’ve likely seen them as well. If they worked, you wouldn’t be looking here, either, would you?

There’s a better answer, written in plain conversational English, that contains solid, tested explanations of how relationships really work, how women really think and speak, and what they really want, with examples and advice, and the best part is two-fold: you can afford it, and you can do what you find within it. Interested?

It’s called “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage,” and you can download it at
http://www.makingherhappy.com/ and be reading it in the next few minutes. Go head, do it now, because while all the achievers are reading this book, getting answers and putting them to work to better their life, the losers are sitting around questioning whether it will work for them and going further and further down that unhappiest of all roads, relationship boredom and crisis.

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

Monday, June 02, 2008

Can You Ever Be Too Prepared for a Great Relationship and Marriage?

A reader reminds us that it’s never too soon to start working toward a better life and relationship, and I provide additional tips on how to get it done.

I got a quick note from a new reader I’d like to share with you. It holds a wonderful lesson for anyone whose eyes are open. Meet Brad:

Hello David, I just bought your book and I just wanted to let you know that it is very insightful. I am still single but you have much needed understanding of the most interesting female mind...you've got to love them. Brad

Here’s an excerpt from my response, followed by additional commentary:

Hi Brad!

I’m glad you’re finding my book useful. I’ve had quite a few readers comment that they wish they had been able to read something like that before they ever got into a relationship, and others go so far as to say that it should be required reading in high school. Do yourself a HUGE favor and don’t skip the first part of the book, the part on evaluating relationships. That part works wonders in mature relationships to make sure they have a foundation sufficient to warrant improvement, and it also really shines if you use it as you see a relationship starting to develop and do your validation as you go in and as the relationship develops, so you can get out early if you start seeing red flags. An ounce of prevention is worth several tons of cure when it comes to relationships and marriage!

Also remember that the rules for creating attraction are different in the dating world, mainly because your window of opportunity is very narrow in dating, so once you’ve finished my book, if you’re having trouble meeting women let me know and I’ll steer you to the dating gurus who can really help you; most of them are about as full of crap as most of the marriage gurus, selling snake oil and academic theory, but there are a few that get results every time, and I know who they are and will be happy to point you in their direction if and when you decide the time is right.

Take care, and keep in touch. I can’t tell you how delightful it is to see a young single man taking the bull by the horns and doing his relationship prep work on the front end instead of trying to do crisis control on the back end.

David Cunningham


Brad has it right. He’s thinking both ahead and “outside the box.” He’s single, but looking for a permanent relationship, so instead of just looking for information on how to get phone numbers, he’s looking for what will help him understand women and choose the right one for the long haul. (Remember the old adage about dressing for the job you want, not the one you have? Same principle!) Getting the phone number might get you a date, or even two or three, but being a man who understands women and can converse comfortably with them near or at their own level, and knows what flips their attraction switches will get him his choice of women in a relationship that lasts for as long as he continues to act like a man.

It’s never too early to prepare to succeed, and not just no, but hell no, there is no such thing as being too prepared for success. If your relationship or marriage is anything less than a honeymoon now, it’s because you went in unprepared to sustain it.

If it is at honeymoon status right now, do you know that you know what it takes to sustain it, or are you just guessing that it will go on forever without you needing to have a back-up plan for when the novelty of the new relationship wears off and reality sets in? You need one, because it won’t. Do you even know that there are chemical changes in men and women at between one and two years into a relationship that stop automatically providing the honeymoon spark? Ask anyone who’s been married more than a couple years where the magic went. They know it’s gone, but don’t know where.

That doesn’t mean it’s too late for any of you. Unlike in Brad’s world, where windows of opportunity are very small, perhaps only seconds long, and the window tends to get slammed on your fingers because there are so many possibilities and little or no vested interest in a relatively new relationship, couples that have been together a couple years have a vested interest (“sweat equity,” kids, real estate, time, life, etc.) in continuing the relationship and will only let it go as a last resort.

Hence, where a wrong remark or sideways glance can ensure that you won’t have a second or third date (or maybe even her name and phone number!), a woman will give you months, maybe even a few years, to straighten up and fly right, especially if she knows that you’re making an effort, not to just do everything her way, but just to try to meet her in the middle on some basic issues, like understanding her when she speaks, being a stand-up guy who exercises a little personal authority, enjoys life with her, and protects her from boredom by giving her some excitement from time to time.

It’s not hard to do; indeed, much of it is quite natural, and the part that isn’t all that natural is still a lot of fun. Imagine, after all those years of telling those jokes about the genie who could build a bridge from Los Angeles to Hawaii but couldn’t grant a man’s wish to know everything he needed to know about women, you suddenly knew! How would that change your life? No matter how much you think it will, based on the history of my readers, I’ll bet it will still be more than you think, and for the better.

Or maybe you’d just rather sit and wait and let things blow up in your face, like it has for your friends. None of your friends saw it coming when it hit them either, did they? And how’s that working for them, by the way? All that business of having their family torn apart, losing half or more of everything they own, plus getting saddled with alimony and child support – yep, sounds like something every man looks forward to, huh?

Frankly, I’d rather have my testicles pounded flat with a wooden hammer than to go through that mess. How about you?

It’s never too soon and seldom too late to get on the right path, the path to personal authority, success, and happiness. Even if she’s gone, she may not be gone for good, and if she is gone for good, there’s a whole bunch more that will be lucky and happy to take her place after you’ve read "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" and become one of the few of us who women recognize at first glance as a man “who just knows what a woman wants.” Go to
http://wwwmakingherhappy.com and get your copy right now, or wait awhile and let things blow up in your face and catch you unprepared, so you can see if you handle disaster any better than your friends did. It’s your choice; choose well…

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

David Cunningham

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Being Your Own Man, Crucial to a Great Relationship and Marriage

There are two ways to react to the successes of those around you. You can let them make you insecure and jealous, or you can learn from them and use them as example and motivation to bolster and enhance your own success. You might be surprised at the self-destructive power of the first, and the achievement that can be brought on by the latter, not to mention the attraction created by that achievement!

I got a call from a man who thought he had a problem, but really doesn’t, unless it’s a memory problem. He’s apparently forgotten who he is!

I didn’t get to take the call, but my publisher said that he was about fifteen years older than his wife, who had recently gone through some self-improvement and suddenly had the attention of a bunch of younger men. He described himself as physically fit, pleasant-looking, etc., and my publisher described him as articulate, intelligent, and outgoing and very personable. So what’s his problem?

The sudden spike in the attention others pay his wife has left him feeling a bit insecure. He’s feeling like he’s competing with men who are young enough to be his sons, maybe even his grandsons, and it has made him question his attractiveness. In addition, he’s been wrapped up in some work issues and is concerned that his wife may succumb to the temptations these younger men put before her.

What he’s forgotten is that it’s not him that has changed, it’s her. She has straightened her act up and brought herself more to his level of attractiveness. That’s a good thing, because her improved self-confidence will make her feel sexier and more playful, and enhance their intimacy. However…

If he lets himself be challenged by these younger men and responds by feeling competitive and resentful, he will lose the attractiveness of his intellect, self-confidence, personality, wit, etc., and begin appearing to his wife as an over-the-hill wuss instead of the man she was striving to upgrade herself to please in the first place!

The answer? Simple! Celebrate her success with her, and laugh at all the young bucks chasing her. She’s old enough to know that what they’re after isn’t a wife and children, and if he celebrates her success with her and shows her off instead of acting insecure about her new attractiveness, that confidence will spark desire in her like little else can.

Ask any woman what they look for and especially respond to above all else in a man, and they’ll tell you: confidence. Not looks, not money, not power, not a fancy car or home. Confidence. But, when they tell you, will you hear them?

If this man’s wife is like most women, she has told him repeatedly what she wants and expects from him, but like nearly all of us, he didn’t hear a word of it, because she didn’t say it as a man would say it. She said it as a woman would say it, and with good reason: She’s a woman! (Duh! LOL!) So he doesn’t hear it, and thinks she’s saying nothing and he therefore has to either read her mind or guess, and she thinks she’s being ignored – one of the oldest stories in the relationship book.

She may even be telling him that he needn’t be worrying about these silly boys thinking they’ve fixed their sites on a “cougar,” (a mature woman who pursues much younger men, often young enough to be their son) that she finds them amusing and their compliments entertaining, but not truly alluring. His non-responsiveness, of which she is totally unaware because she doesn’t know how differently men and women speak either, will be construed as weakness and push her exactly where he thinks she already is if he doesn’t straighten up pretty fast. Textbook example of a self-fulfilling prophecy, right?

Fortunately, he’s already purchased his copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" and will be realizing all of this shortly when he reads and learns what he needs to know about both her and himself. His worst case scenario is that he may feel some subconscious insecurity triggered by the presence of these younger men until he comes to grips with the fact that he is not only their elder, but their better, especially in his wife’s eyes, and he’ll return to his confident, attractive self, then kick it up to notches previously unknown as he learns what makes women tick, what they want, and how understand them so well that they indeed think he can read their mind; he’ll be one of those rare guys who “just knows…”

A sagely word of advice: If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got. You can do better, MUCH better, by going to
http://www.makingherhappy.com and downloading your own copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," or you can continue doing what you’re doing. Unless you really like the way you’re feeling right now, you’d better get your mouse clicking!

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