Saturday, September 06, 2008

Cheating in Relationships and Marriage, Part 3, Basic But Effective Methods for Detecting an Affair

To conclude our series (part 3 of 3) on affairs and cheating, let’s look at some ways of finding the truth without being too obvious about looking for it.

Now that you have a better and hopefully thorough understanding of the nature, causes, and appropriate action to take in dealing with an affair, let’s talk about how to detect one. These methods are not fool-proof and should not be used in isolation, but if you should see multiple symptoms the odds increase to the point where confronting your partner and trying to resolve the problem (or proceeding with divorce preparations if you decide that you simply cannot continue the relationship) is appropriate.

The most significant indications of a woman having an affair are fairly sudden changes in behavior, especially frequent breaks in any established routine. Routines are established by things becoming a priority, and they are displaced by something becoming a higher priority. It happens gradually over time, or suddenly when something suddenly enters someone’s life and affects them radically, causing a shift in their priorities.

Among the things you can look for to change is her level of neediness. If she suddenly doesn’t seem as if she needs you to cater to her or cover for her, it’s far more likely that someone else is doing it than she just woke up one morning and found her independence under her pillow, a gift from the Tooth Fairy’s cousin. The same thing goes for your presence or attention.

A sudden change in her emotional displays in your presence is another telltale sign. Women will get emotional with you when they have excess emotional energy that they need to bleed off, whether it’s positive or negative (remember our previous discussions on emotional scales and the creation of drama to alleviate boredom). If she’s suddenly detached, there’s either a bottle of some new tranquilizer in the medicine cabinet or she’s found a new outlet for her emotion.

A sudden change in her attention level -- catering to you, gifts, etc., is often a sign of a guilty conscience and an effort to try to conceal her interest in another. (Men are generally bad about this one too, buying roses or jewelry at non-holiday times to appease their own guilty conscience, and women watch for this, so if you give a non-seasonal gift, make sure you express the reason so that it is not misconstrued.)

Need I mention suddenly becoming secretive? Women naturally have a tendency to give us much more detail about what’s happening in their lives than we are comfortable hearing; I’ve personally listened to a half-hour melodrama of the trials and tribulations of a cat belonging to a woman I never met and didn’t want to know because it came up in a conversation that a woman I know had participated in during the day, and I had made the mistake of asking “How was your day?” to a woman who naturally interpreted the question as “What happened during your day?”

If that openness suddenly stops, she’s limiting information to try to limit your opportunities to catch her in a lie. She may even try to make up for this by answering questions with questions, trying to change the subject to YOUR day so that you will do the talking. The same thing goes for refusal to answer questions, asking why you want to know before answering, and if she gets defensive over a question that she hasn’t had a problem with in the past, like “Did you have a good workout at the gym today?” she’s busted.

Hesitation before an answer to an obvious question, or repeating your question back to you before answering, is a classic sign of someone needing to stall while they formulate a lie. Obviously, asking someone to recite the presidents of the United States in chronological order including their years of office might cause someone to pause before they answer, but a simple question like, “Why did you not answer your phone all afternoon?” doesn’t require a lot of thought if they in fact did not hear it ring, left it in their desk while they were in a meeting due to departmental or company policy, etc. They were there, whatever happened, and the answer is readily available if they want to share it with you; else they need a few seconds to try to figure out if their busted and then make up something.

As an aside, there is a recent three-part series of newsletters in my newsletter archive concerning lying and its impact on relationships and marriage, and the last edition in that series is about techniques for lie detection, if you missed it. The following links will take you to those newsletters:

Part 1, Faking It Until You Make It

Part 2, A Reader Response to Part 1 with Additional Advice

Part 3: Lie Detection, Confrontation, and Correction


I know, I really should turn that series into another free report, along with this series on cheating, and I’ll do that as soon as I can make some time. ;-)

Suddenly picking up a habit of being critical of your every move is a bad sign, especially if you find her moving from critical to angry at every turn. Women tend to seek validation for their emotions, and as Lenin is famous for pointing out, “A lie told often enough becomes the truth,” so if she can find enough reasons to be angry at you, even if she has to contrive them, she can justify her attraction to another man and her infidelity.

If you find her talking about somebody new frequently but without much detail, look out, especially if you say something like, “Wow, he sounds really interesting and like somebody I’d enjoy talking to. How about introducing us?” You can imagine how awkward a situation that might be, and she will resist being put into it.

The biggest telltale sign of all for most women is no sex at all. Some even go so far as to stop allowing you to see them in anything more alluring than an old sweat suit at bed time; it’s like she’s being “faithful” to someone else. You may also notice that the only time you see her looking like she wants male attention is when she leaves the house – without you. And if she comes home from “a long day at the office” or evening out with fresh make-up, fresh perfume, and especially with an underlying smell of fresh soap, don’t be surprised if you also find the back of her hair wet, especially at the back of the neck, where she’s been in the shower after being in someone else’s bed. Jumping in the shower immediately upon returning home is also a big tip-off unless she’s been to the gym and has an established aversion to the showers at the gym.

Detectives and courts use much more sophisticated means, including electronic surveillance, checking phone records, cross-matching receipts with schedules, etc., but those techniques are for building evidence for a divorce or criminal prosecution; what I’m describing here is more than adequate for recognizing you have a problem and confronting a delinquent spouse. Then there’s the big question…

What do you say to her when you confront her? Sorry, but you’re going to have to read "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" to learn how to handle that, because that’s going to take some skillful communicating and some specific references to events in your own past with her, and you’re going to have to be able to pick them out appropriately and express how you recognize them as errors and are prepared to do better and lead her into a better future.

Or, if you’re really smart, you can read it today and keep these problems from ever developing so that you never have to experience the pain, frustration, and for some of us, sheer terror of seeing your world come crashing down around you. Either way, you need to read it, so go to
http://www.makingherhappy.com right now and download a copy. Sure, you can very likely fix it if it breaks, but it’s a whole lot easier to keep it from ever being broken in the first place, so get it done now, while it’s easy and fun!

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

David Cunningham

Friday, September 05, 2008

Cheating in Relationships and Marriage, Part 2, What To Do When You KNOW She's Cheating

Part 2 of a 3-part series: A man writes to me because he knows his wife is cheating and wants to know what to do about it. Good question! Do you know what to do? Better yet, do you know what causes it, and how to avoid it?

To continue our series, we’re going to talk about what to do when you know she’s cheating. That may seem a bit out of sequence at first glance, but if you learn this first, the odds of you handling the worst-case scenario correctly are better if you happen to be one of the unlucky few who discover an affair in progress as a result of reading tomorrow’s edition on how to detect an affair.

This letter describes a scenario all too familiar to need an introduction. We’ve all either lived through it or watched someone we know live through it. Meet Kyle:

Hello David,

I am writing this letter in hopes you can help me to understand how a woman can change so much after 6 years just by making a new friend. A couple of months ago my wife met a woman at a high school football game and they fell right into being best friends. It quickly came to the point that they are together at least three nights a week and are always on the phone with each other for hours a day. I have never been the kind of man who cared if Cindy had friends to hang out with or not and I really believe it’s a good idea for a woman to have other women to share things with, but I also believe there is a line into each other’s personal relationships that should not be crossed.

Allison, my wife's friend, is also a married woman and her marriage is on very rocky ground. She would frequently go out of town for entire weekends and has been begging my wife to go with her so they could “have some time to be alone and talk,” like they don’t do that all day long while her husband and I are at work and three evenings a week. I did some detective work of my own on these trips out of town and was not at all surprised at what I learned. Allison was traveling several hours to spend the weekend (pretty much in bed) with a man she had met months ago.

She wants my wife to go with her because the man she was seeing has a friend that wants to spend time with my wife. I also found out the two women, at the age of 39, had not been going out to dinner as I was told, and were in fact spending hours sitting in local bars flirting with other men and acting like they had just come of legal age and could buy drinks for the first time. Now besides being dangerous and possibly causing a car accident, the two would flirt and carry on with the men in the bar to the point I was sick to my stomach. Yes, I did follow them out a couple of times just to see what level Cindy would let things get to.

Last night Cindy told me that she and Allison would be going out of town next week to spend some time with friends of Allison in Nashville. That is straight into the arms of other men, and I am sick about this. What I need to know is how to break up these two women without losing my own wife. Allison is the worst kind of woman, always wanting men’s approval and willing to sell herself to get it and do whatever they ask to keep it. I see my wife falling down that hole and I am not sure if I can still reach her to get her out of it. If I try to talk with her about it she just laughs and tells me my imagination is working overtime. I know for a fact this time she is being set up to spend the weekend with another man and I have the conversation on tape.

How should I handle this? I could leave it up to Cindy, but this would not be the first time she has been in the arms of another man since we’ve been together. I love her and have forgiven many things most men would have never put up with, but if she does this again I am gone. I would like to be able to stop this from happening if I can so what do you suggest?

Kyle


My reply:

Well Kyle, you’re in a jam and a half. Do you know how you got there? I do. No mentally and emotionally healthy woman who is feeling attraction for a man she’s living with is going to be sucked into this situation; she won’t risk losing what she has if it’s working. About the only chance you have of this not being the case is if she’s so emotionally damaged that she would be seeking all men’s approval like her friend Allison, and you make no mention of that.

I hate to break it to you, but you’re being a wuss or ignoring her needs, and she’s either looking for excitement elsewhere or testing you to see if you’ll be a man and step up to the plate. It’s going to be very difficult for you to know which because you don’t have the communications skills to pick up on the hints and signals that would tell you. Otherwise you would have already picked up on everything she gave you that would have told you that you weren’t being enough of the alpha male and creating variety, mystery, excitement and authority in her life that protects her from boredom, her worst of all antagonists. That’s two strikes against you right there. Then we have to address her problems as well…

It doesn’t appear that she’s necessarily in an approval-seeking mode, more like thrill-seeking, but she’s lying to you about what she’s doing. Why is that? Is it because she lacks the self-respect and respect for you to tell you the truth, or because she’s tried to tell you the truth and you’ve been so deaf to it that she gave up? The fact that she’s had other affairs really doesn’t give a clue, because the affair is the symptom, not the cause, and multiple affairs are often symptoms of the same cause.

Then we have the issue of why you are still together if she’s had other affairs? Did you work something out that has since failed, or are you just a doormat who let her back in the house after she had her fling? I see that you say that this is the last straw and that’s understandable, but have you considered whether the last straw should have been several straws back? Have you considered that forgiveness in the past may have set the standard for future expectations and behavior?

Right now, you’re in more trouble than any other reader who has written me, not because of where you are, but because there are so many unknowns in your equation. I’ve helped several snatch their relationship right out of divorce court, and helped others find their way to it by helping them see that they were hopelessly mismatched or with a parasite or a predator who was sucking them dry of life (and assets) with their abuse, but in the face of all these unknowns, I can’t answer your question.

A real man would immediately stand up and tell her that he knows what she’s up to and that she can stay at home and be part of the family as they work out their issues or she can leave and never come back, but without knowing whether she is worth keeping, you can’t know if you want to do that. Until you can sharpen your communications skills to the point you can correctly interpret the things she tries to say to you, most of which will be either non-verbal or verbal but indirect, you can’t assess how she feels, because you can’t understand what she’s saying and can’t know if she’s telling you the truth. You have too much work to do before the decision can be made. You also must reach a level of communications competence for her to see that you are hearing and understanding her before she’ll think it’s worth the trouble to tell you everything again that she has already told you many times in the past and try to work with you. But these are merely obstacles, not barriers. You can easily navigate them with a little help.

In “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage,” you’ll find a fairly extensive system for determining whether your relationship with this woman is worth saving, a great course on how to communicate with all women, including a lot about how to distinguish between truth and lies (see also
this archived article on lie detection), and the low-down on attraction – what it is, how it works, how to create it, and equally important, how to kill it, and why its absence from your relationship breeds affairs and divorce. Go right now to download it at http://www.makingherhappy.com. There’s no excuse for waiting, because it’s fully tested and guaranteed to work, so go get busy and start getting your house in order.

Take care,
David


What else can I say? ;-)

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

David Cunningham

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Cheating in Relationships and Marriage, Part 1, It's a Symptom, Not a Problem

Part 1 of a 3-part series: Many people think that cheating in a relationship is a major problem. It is in fact NOT a problem at all, but a SYMPTOM of a real and much bigger problem. Fix the problem and the cheating goes away, at least as long as the problem doesn’t come back. The questions are “What’s the problem?” and “How do I fix it?” I will answer both…

I’ve had more than the usual number of e-mails in the last couple of weeks asking about detecting and dealing with affairs, as well as casual “cheating,” in sexual and other forms. It’s time we go through a series of lessons on how to detect, understand, and stop affairs and cheating, and we start today.

I have some readers who really, really make me proud to have them onboard. I’m proud to have anyone onboard who has the sense to realize they have a problem and the guts to look for an answer, but in addition to that, there are a few of you who don’t just blindly grab whatever is said and follow instructions like some sort of robot. Instead these special people take my lessons and advice and think about them, and abstract from them other lessons, some which are parallel, other which are advanced concepts from the basic points I provide, and it’s always delightful when I receive one of them.

For example, ponder this question that came in response to the “What Do You Do When You Know She’s Cheating?” article which we will revisit tomorrow as part of this series:

“Is it cheating when she spends hours every day talking to people on the Internet rather than talking to her husband? It sure feels like it.”

This guy gets a big “high five” for seeing past the end of his nose and making the connection. Why?

It is a form of emotional abandonment, and that’s why it feels like cheating. She’s spending a disproportionate amount of time with other people and unavailable to you. However, this isn’t the problem; it’s only a symptom of the same problem that causes what we think of first when we think of “cheating,” an affair.

She’s bored because he is no longer tripping those biological triggers that make her feel attraction for him and make her want to spend that time with him getting that “swept off her feet” feeling. There’s no longer anything interesting or fun about talking or being with him. The only difference is that for some reason, whether her value system, opportunity, or whatever, she’s seeking intimacy and/or adrenaline rushes in e-mail, a chat room, or on the telephone, or being absorbed in some form of hobby or volunteer work that gives her a reason to be around other people where she thinks she has a better chance of escaping he boredom instead of being caught up in a sexual affair.

This doesn’t mean that she is or is not looking for an affair, or that there is anything wrong with having a hobby, but it does mean that if she is spending a lot of time away from her husband and sees nothing attractive about him, she is vulnerable to an affair, whether she wants it or not. And make no mistake; the answer is NOT to start hammering on her trying to control her time like a dictator or to start whining like a wuss that she spends time with everybody but you. The dictatorial route might be VERY TEMPORARILY effective, but if it is, it will be VERY short-lived. The correct answer?

He needs to trip her attraction triggers and get on the same wavelength with her in communications so that she’ll be focused more on talking to him and having fun with him and much less (if any at all – some women need more social connectivity than others no matter what is going on at home) on chat room companions or phone buddies. Of all the women in my test panel, every one of them admitted to spending too much time on the phone and in chat rooms before their husbands started applying what they learned from my book, and all found themselves not even being tempted when their husbands got back on track. Indeed, they freely admitted that their time spent outside of their marriage felt like they were “settling for less” in the absence of the man they thought they married.

Her primary reason for being in the chat rooms is to combat that terrible boredom that grips women when their man isn’t creating enough attraction for them, which is good news for him, because it means he certainly can fix it, UNLESS SOMEBODY IN A CHAT ROOM HAS CREATED ATTRACTION ALREADY, in which case he will have to compete with the new guy and while not impossible, it is VERY difficult to catch up. I cannot overstress this. But as I’ve told you before if you’ve been with me for a while, because the chat rooms, excessive phone use, and affairs, both emotional and purely sexual, are all symptoms of the same problem, BOREDOM, solving that problem eliminates ALL of the symptoms that are or may become present.

And yes, she probably did try to tell him about it at some time in the past, but he couldn’t hear her. When she said, “Do you think everything’s okay with us?” he had no idea that she was in fact making the statement, “I have a problem with what’s going on between us and want you to talk with me about it.” He just said, “Yes, it’s fine,” and she thought, “Well you insensitive jerk! Well, if you don’t want to talk to me, I can sure find somebody who does!” Questions are statements and statements are questions; men state, while women negotiate (see my free “Break-Up Busting 101” report or my book, “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage” for more on this).

Let me be perfectly clear on something here, spending a few minutes a few times a week to check in on friends by phone, e-mail, instant messaging or in chat rooms is not cause for alarm; even a little while each day is not excessive. Women are social creatures and if they become cut off from the rest of the world, as is common in new relationships and with young children, she will find a way to maintain a social circle, no matter what. HOWEVER, if the majority of the day that she has available to spend with you is spent avoiding you and seeking the company of others, it’s a problem, and no different than if she’s disappearing every evening to socialize or even have sex with someone else. Luckily, it’s a problem you can fix, and if you haven’t let it run on to the point she’s done with you (which WILL happen if some other man creates attraction for her – it’s a double-edged sword, and a powerful one!), she’ll be more than willing to let you -- or even help you – to fix it.

Most women are not hard to live with, but it can sure seem like they are when you don’t understand them and can’t comprehend their needs, which in turn seem complex, but are in fact extremely simple, no matter how dramatic or complex they make it seem. You know from your life’s experience that most things that seem mysterious and complex when you know too little about them are ridiculously simple when you learn what you need to know.

What’s more, when you start understanding them better and communicating better with them, they respond with nurturing, loyalty, and intimacy on a level you cannot imagine until you’ve seen it. This is because of a biological drive to respond on an unconscious level and because they consciously know they’ve got a “one-in-a-million man,” one that every woman dreams of having and few ever find. Keep repeating that: “Biological, not logical…biological, not logical…” It’s not a choice, it’s a million year old biological program. So…

If you want to be the happiest man alive, learn the simple things you need to know about her and communicating with her, put that knowledge to use, and nature will take its course; making her happy will make you happy every time. It seems like forbidden knowledge; Sigmund Freud, the great psychologist, is famous for saying, “The great question... which I have not been able to answer... is, "What does a woman want?

Well, I didn’t figure it out either, at least not without some help. I asked a bunch of women, nearly 200 of them, and made them prove to me that what they told me was accurate by putting it in the hands of their own husbands and boyfriends and checking the results. We refined it, retested it, and it is indeed accurate, and is working for everybody who is using it. Unlike everybody else in this business, I don’t get refund requests; I get questions and testimonials.

So now it’s your turn to know what happy men know and most men will never know. This seemingly “forbidden” knowledge awaits you at
http://www.makingherhappy.com in an instantly-downloadable and easy-to-read e-book (on screen or on paper!) called “"THE Man's Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage,” and it’s fully guaranteed to work for you, so now you have a choice: you can let things ride and continue to gradually decay, or you can choose to take charge and make things better than you’d ever hoped they could be. Choose well, because she’s watching…

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

David Cunningham

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Even here, you can still take advantage of hesitation. A person with nothing to confess will immediately deny they did anything, and a person with something to confess looking for an easy way to do it will immediately make the promise or will pause while weighing their chances of getting away with another denial, the only reason for them to hesitate. I don’t care for this particular tactic because it requires lying to detect the lie, but my job is to instruct you, not judge you, and it is highly effective.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

David Cunningham

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Lying in Relationships and Marriage, Part 2, Reader Response Confirming That Nobody Wins with a Lie

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

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

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

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

Dear David,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Darla

My response:

Hi Darla,

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

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

Take care,
David

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

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

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

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

David Cunningham

Monday, September 01, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Another example? Don’t try to act romantic, BE romantic. Develop a genuine appreciation for the great, the beautiful, the larger than life, and be able to spot it and point it out to others as you do in a way which helps them to get excited over it and appreciate it, as you see in the movie “Don Juan DeMarco.” Take a music appreciation or art appreciation class to get you started, or take up some kind of hobby where appreciation for greatness will be an inherent part of it as you delve deeper into the hobby, and gain self-esteem from your achievements as you progress. This isn’t changing yourself for her, it’s changing yourself for YOU, to have what YOU want, which is a strong, positive, attractive personality that you enjoy living with, people enjoy being around and which will attract viable candidates for a great relationship.

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

This process is not difficult; indeed, it’s most enjoyable. Most people who don’t engage in self-improvement avoid it because of fear of failure, not because there’s really any reason for them to fail, while most people who do engage in it (and I do mean ENGAGE, not just buy the materials and set them on the shelf or skim them instead of using them) succeed.

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

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

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

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

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

David Cunningham

Sunday, August 31, 2008

"Let Justice Be Done, Though the Heavens Fall," THE REAL Alpha Male Attitude for a Great Relationships and Marriage

Every great man I’ve ever known lived by the ancient code, “Let justice be done, though the heavens fall.” Women flocked to them, and their own wives worshipped them. Why?

Today has been a day filled with interesting e-mails from readers. One of these e-mails described a conversation that a man was having misgivings about having had with his wife.

They’ve been having compatibility problems – he’s extremely mature and she’s extremely immature, even though they are both within a year or two of 40 – and her immaturity has caused her to have no achievement in her life and hence, no self-esteem, and had become dependent on her marriage and her child for her feelings of achievement and independence, which cannot work because it makes the source of one’s self-esteem something other than one’s self.

This man is quite brilliant and a strong leader, recognized the problem, and loved her enough that when she left to go “find herself,” he didn’t beg her to come home or try to force her to come home, he told her that she needed to grow up and have a life before she was going to be able to share one with him, and that reconciliation wasn’t an option until she had grown enough to feel good about herself and be able to enjoy his company instead of being dependent on it.

Months have gone by, during which she has descended to an embarrassing level of immaturity and arguing with pure fabrication and fantasy to back her up, but suddenly, over the last few weeks, it’s like she’s emerging from the fog, realizing that he was right, that all her machinations and fantasies have brought her nothing but trouble and hard feelings, and has become rational and responsible to a degree that neither of us would have expected for a long time. This is not uncommon when somebody bottoms out hard and realizes that the people who were thought to be their enemies and oppressors were actually the only people left who cared.

She has now set reasonable goals and laid very rational plans to achieve these goals, and has been dropping hints of repentance and testing the waters to see how much damage she’s done and if it can be repaired sufficiently to ultimately allow her to return home. Hence the conversation…

He wants her to tell him in full detail of her desires, goals, plans and whether she currently wants to come back home, and when that might be, but is concerned about whether he could live with the answer. My advice: have the conversation. Let justice be done, though the heavens fall.

That was first said by Julius Caesar’s father-in-law, a Roman statesman by name of Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus. Let’s take a quick look at its true meaning, and you’ll see why great men live by it and women find it irresistible.

“Justice” isn’t about law, or necessarily even about punishment. It’s about getting what one deserves – what he or she has earned by virtue of their choices and actions, good, bad or indifferent. What Caesoninus was saying was that they should do what was just, even if it upset and destroyed the natural order of things, in his case, the unseating of some powerful people, in our reader’s case, hearing something that was other than what he wanted to hear. Why is this so important? And attractive?

A real man knows that no matter what happens, if it is realistic and just, he can build upon it and make improvement and progress, even if he has to rebuild from ruins. He doesn’t like or try to create mayhem, but if that’s the only way that he and those around them can get what they deserve, good, bad, or indifferent, he’s prepared to go that route, because his word, his character, and his self-respect are important to him. This is how he sleeps well at night, and why he wakes up each morning looking forward to the day, no matter what the previous day held or this day holds. It is the guardian of his self-esteem, and the polish on the tools of his achievement: intellect, character, and confidence.

Having read those last few words, is there any question as to why women would find this wildly attractive? A man with a strong sense of justice who consistently applies it defines and exerts authority in a way that inferior men can never hope to do. This is one of those places where the rules for dating differ from those for committed relationships; a woman looking for a night of fun and excitement may seldom look deep enough into a man to see this kind and strength of character, but a woman who is looking for or is in a committed relationship will home in on it from miles away. Such a man walks into a room and everybody knows without question that he owns it, and to a degree, owns them, because he will be the strongest man in the room in terms of intellect, character, and confidence.

It may sound like this is a difficult way to live at first glance, but think about it, and you’ll find that it’s actually easier. There is no deceit to try to cover up, any messes you make are made up of facts that can be sorted through and worked with instead of having to struggle against everything to solve a problem, and women adore you, including your partner, for who and what you are instead of secretly wishing you were something else – and something better.

Strong character and a sense of justice, contrary to popular belief, is a choice, one of the most important choices a man can make, because it in turn is the foundation for most, if not all, of the rest of the choices he makes in his life. It is also one of the very few things about a man that can create both love (a sense of value) and attraction (a sense of excited desire) in a woman.

Add justice, in its true sense, to your personal code of values and watch what happens to the rest of your life, and the reactions you get from women. Those of bad character will run from you, while those of good character – and who will make good wives and mothers, or at least low-maintenance girlfriends, for those of you not looking for a committed relationship at the moment but like keeping good candidates around for when that time comes – will flock to you, and if you’re already with a good woman you’ll find that she’ll whip a running saw mill to protect her relationship with you.

You’ll also find that other people – friends, employers, employees, vendors, customers, etc. – will flock to you. The old bromide “opposites attract” is only true all of the time when speaking of magnetism; otherwise it’s infrequent, fickle, and counter-productive most of the time. Good relationships require compatibility; hence, “birds of a feather flock together” is something you can depend upon.

So you didn’t see that coming, huh? You would have if you knew as much about women as you should to be trying to live happily with one. Do you know what she’s really saying when she says, “Fine!” and nothing else? Do you know what she’s TELLING you when she’s ASKING you a question? Do you know what question she’s asking you any time she’s telling you something? If you’ve been reading these newsletters for several months, I’m sure you can be right at least part of the time, but you’ll find that only part of the time isn’t good enough…

A partial fix to your relationship problems doesn’t fix your relationship. It merely slows down the inevitable break-up. No, that’s not a good thing; it gives you more time to make more mistakes, become more heavily invested in the relationship, and harbor more ill feelings when it does finally blow up in your face. The only time that delaying the inevitable break-up is a good thing is if you have all the information you need to fix all your shortcomings in your hands and are working on learning it. So let me help you with that…

Everything you need to know to become the real man that you were truly born to be, will thoroughly enjoy living as, and can very easily become is in my book, "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," along with everything you need to know to fix your shortcomings in your relationship, such as your ability to evaluate your relationship and the people in it, and to communicate with a woman to such a degree that she tells her friends that you’re one of those extra rare guys who “just knows” what she wants, and understands her without being one of those crying wusses they tried to turn us all into in the 1980’s. Download your copy at
http://www.makingherhappy.com right now, and get started; never put off until tomorrow the success and happiness you can have today.

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

David Cunningham