Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Bottom Line on Testing and Why Being a Nice Guy Is Bad for Your Relationship and Marriage

It’s not such a big secret anymore that being a ‘nice guy” is bad for your relationship, and men are finally waking up to the fact that much of the bratty behavior they see from women is in fact nothing more than a “wuss test.” Here’s why, and a few other things you really ought to know…

During an interesting discussion with a new student today, we got on the subject of women testing men’s level of wussitude and why being a nice guy doesn’t work for either of you, and since I’ve not spoken about it for awhile, I’d like to share briefly with you the high points of that conversation. Even if you think you already know all of this, read it anyway, because you can never tell when the spark of inspiration or revelation will light you up!

To get you newbies caught up, women often push bad positions in arguments, insist on unreasonable concessions, pout, pitch fits, and a lot of other seemingly absurd behavior with a very logical and targeted purpose, and it’s not to get what they want. You heard me; it’s not to get what they want. It’s to get you to say, “NO.” Why?

It’s one of the elements of that “men are hunters, women are gatherers” thing that anthropologists talk about. I’ll spare you most of the boring details, but suffice it to say that as we evolved (and I’m talking about improving and becoming more sophisticated as humans, not about the age-old debate about evolution vs. creation as an explanation as to how we got here, so save the anti-evolution hate mail for somebody who will read it), we developed different skills and physical characteristics that made each gender better suited to handle specific tasks.

Over time, men who had larger lungs, bigger skeletons and musculature, and spatial skills (navigation, being able to mentally gauge proximity to guess the arc of a spear as he threw it, developing tools, etc.) to help provide food and protect themselves and others survived better and reproduced more. Women who had wider hips (to aid in childbirth), advanced language skills (to cooperate with others in building huts, processing skins and sinew to build weapons, and other tasks that were best conducted in cooperative enterprises), sharper sense of smell (to sense danger approaching the dwelling and identify edible or poisonous plants), etc., also survived and reproduced more.

As with everything biological in every species of life, those who were the best-developed reproduced the most – survival of the fittest in its purest form. Some men were better protectors and providers than others. Some women were better at tuning in to a man’s traits and determining how much of a hunter and leader he could be. Through the generations, they became biologically “wired” through this process of natural selection to possess skills that helped in finding a good mate.

While killing a deer with bare hands or a bear with a spear is no longer required for a woman and child to eat, and indeed, in most parts of the world women routinely provide for themselves quite adequately without the help of a man, these mechanisms are still present and active in the female brain, and they automatically engage to size a man up from time to time – indeed, virtually every time they encounter a man, familiar or not. Much has changed, but one thing hasn’t: the nature of the test…

…which, in a nutshell, is to provoke you in some way to see if you will say “NO” to her when she is being unreasonable. Most of the time it is not at all deliberate, and you would laugh yourself silly as you read transcripts of conversations and e-mails in which women said, “I NEVER test a man. That’s silly!” and then confessed to it within just a few minutes as their testing actions were called to their attention, after which many of them said, “Oh my God! He must hate me!”

No, he doesn’t hate you, Ladies. Your testing is a pain in our collective ass, but it doesn’t make us hate you. It makes us think you’re nuts until we understand what it is and why you do it. Then it’s usually somewhere between mildly annoying and amusing. So on that note, guys, here it is, in a nutshell:

A woman knows, instinctively, without ever being told, as a result of biological development through the ages, that if a man can’t stand up TO her, he cannot stand up FOR her.

Write that down, and recite it mentally every time you start to enter a conversation with a woman until it becomes second nature, because you will eventually need it with every women you ever meet if you talk to her more than a few minutes, maybe even a few seconds. They have to know, and are biologically-driven to find out, whether it’s in a casual or formal situation, public or intimate context, and regardless of the nature or longevity of your relationship.

You WILL be tested, and if you can say “NO” to a woman she will feel safe in letting you get to know her better, safe in letting you hold sway over her emotions, safe in letting you negotiate on her behalf or as her adversary (because you’ll say “NO” directly instead of saying “YES” and then trying to trick her or cheat her in some other way). No matter what you may think, there is no possible downside to saying “NO” when it’s appropriate and the logical thing to do.

But when is that? The easiest way to draw the line is to ask one simple question, “Has she earned a ‘yes’?” If your wife says she wants new furniture for a room, and has contributed to the smooth and secure operation of the household, whether through a job or “domestic efforts,” been loyal and trustworthy, given you love and respect, etc., then she’s earned a “yes,” as long as what she’s asking for is within or can be worked into your budget, obviously. If she’s laid around on her lazy or drunken butt while you and the kids have done everything and complained because you didn’t do it fast enough, abused herself and you, and exhibited a general lack of respect for herself and everyone around her, no, she hasn’t. It’s really that plain and simple.

Or, put another way, if you think she deserves it and want to agree because of that, she’s earned a “yes,” but if you’re thinking about giving in to earn some favor from her, you’re about to get busted for being a wuss, and getting the furniture without gaining whatever favor you were after is just the beginning of your punishment, so don’t go there. You can reward good behavior and punish the bad behavior, and you can exhibit good behavior by acting like a man of self-respect, but you cannot “buy off” a woman. That is in essence saying to her that you think she’s a prostitute, and they don’t take kindly to such things.

As I said to this new reader today, I have searched extensively to find any rational downside to a man having genuine self-esteem and engaging in attractive behavior like being strong for his wife or girlfriend, and I have failed utterly to identify even an iota’s worth of a good reason to do anything less. If a woman says she wants something, even if you think it’s the right thing to do, invite her to make her case.

Women naturally engage in negotiation to communicate nearly everything, and if she’s testing, you’ve made the right move, and if she’s not, she’ll be happy to build the emotion of making her case instead of just having you give in. The same thing if you think you should say “no” – yes, really! If you think it’s a bad idea, say so, and immediately invite her to make her case so that she doesn’t feel shut down and retaliate. It would sound something like:

Her: “Honey, what do you think about our living room furniture?” (Implied statement: “Honey, I want new living room furniture, and it’s time to negotiate.”)

You: “I like it fine, why?”

Her: “Well I think it needs replaced.” (Or in the long version, “Don’t you think it looks old and worn out (or the color is wrong, or it’s uncomfortable, etc.)?” meaning “I want to change it.” Some women will continually ask questions to repeat the statement they are trying to make until you make it for them.)

You: “Well, like I said, I don’t see any problem with it, but you live her too, so tell me what makes you want to replace it.”

From there, she’ll either give you good reasons to do so, like pointing out that it’s stained, uncomfortable worn, or she’s so bored with it she doesn’t feel comfortable in the room anymore (yes, that is a legitimate reason, as you would know if you knew everything you need to know about women), or she’ll stammer around talking about where you can buy it on sale, or giving you the old “you’d just buy it for me without asking questions if you loved me,” routine if she doesn’t have a good reason and is either testing you or showing her true colors as a gold-digger (and maybe it’s time to test her a bit, too!)

Living with a woman is easy if you are fairly well-matched in terms of values and interests and you understand what you need to know about women, which is how they are both like us and different from us, and how to communicate well enough to recognize negotiations, questions that are statements, etc. Now, you have a decision to make…

Are you going to spend a lifetime trying to learn on your own and reach the end of your life lonely and still not knowing?

Or worse, assume that I’m full of crap and you don’t need to learn anything?

Or are you one of us guys who see a problem, seek out a viable solution, preferably one that has already worked for somebody else in similar circumstances, and fix it?

If you’re that first guy, I commend you’re spunk, but isn’t reinventing the wheel a gross waste of time? Not to mention a HUGE risk of having life – family life – as you know it, come to a sudden halt?

If you’re that second guy, why are you reading my newsletter? If you’re looking for validation of your past actions instead of a solution to your self-inflicted problems, you’re looking in the wrong place.

If you’re that third guy, let me hook you up with what you need, and yes, it has already been tested and proven by thousands of couples. Go to and download your copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage." Read it. Study it. Learn from it the answer to that oldest of man’s questions: “What makes a woman tick?” and that next oldest: “What do women REALLY want?” Then go sweep your woman off her feet…I dare you! (And for those of you in the southern United States, “I double-dog dare you!”)

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

David Cunningham

Friday, September 26, 2008

Want to Put an End to Fights in Your Relationship and Marriage? Here's How...

A progress report from a female reader proves yet again that personal authority and leadership get results in your relationship and marriage.

I got a letter from an old and dear friend that I want to share with you. She’s not what anyone could call a pessimist or skeptic, just a woman with a logical mind who needs to see proof in her own life before anything can progress from “theory” to “fact” in her own mind. Meet Halle:


Okay, so I've been reading your newsletter for a while now, and of course, I've read your book, but I still wasn't 100% buying into some of your “theories” (don’t spank me, you know how I am about this stuff!)... but my current relationship is slowly but surely striking down each and every one of my "objections." I wanted to tell you about the most recent one.

I've been dating this guy for about 4 months ... we have progressed VERY slowly due to a combination of work schedules (both very busy) and our combined set of "baggage," which, although small enough to fit neatly in the overhead compartment or underneath the seats in front of us, is still sufficient to cause us each to slam on the brakes every now and then. So after 4 months, we've JUST had our first "argument."

It wasn't a particularly bad one by any stretch of the imagination, but due to the late (or rather, EARLY hour - it was about 3 AM), it did go downhill towards the end. I was having a very hard time articulating what I was trying to say, which resulted in several long, uncomfortable silences -- never a good thing when you're having a discussion in a dark room at 3 AM. At one point, I got upset because he was nodding off, so I got up and went into the bathroom.

Actually, to be honest, I probably did more of a "storm" into the bathroom - and closed the door loudly so that he would hear it. He did hear the door close, which jarred him out of his nodding off, and he yelled through the door, "Do NOT get up and walk out on this conversation. If you've got something to say, SAY IT. It's late and I'm tired, so let's get this settled and MOVE ON!" Now, my first reaction was to think, "How DARE he talk to me like that? Who does he think he is?? Talking to me like I'm a bratty little kid and he's my father ... the NERVE!"

But the truth is ... I WAS being bratty. It took about 7 seconds for me to realize that, and his tone of voice was what did it. In theory, I would have told you that an authoritative attitude would NOT have worked to snap me out of any negative behavior patterns ... it sounds like something that just wouldn't work for me. In theory, I would have told you that kind of tone of voice and those words would have hurt my feelings or made me cry ... or just made me mad ... but it didn't.

That one statement was all it took to straighten my ass out! :-) The fact is, I was subconsciously testing him to see what I could get away with, and to see if he was man enough to stand up to me and pull me back in line. I think he's the first man in my life who's ever talked to me that way ... and he's probably the first REAL man that I've ever been in love with. It should be interesting to see where this relationship goes ...

Thanks for your advice and your perspective -- I continue to be amazed at how RIGHT you are!!! :-)


My response:

Well, Sweetie, I thought you knew me better than to think I would indulge in anything that was merely a theory. That would amount to selling people the privilege of testing my theories in that book, which I would call “theft by fraud,” among other things.

I wasn’t kidding about the 118 couples who helped in the research of this book, nor was I theorizing about anything that is in it. That’s the result of working with all those couples and quite a few more after the first edition of the book, and one of the first things that became immediately obvious in doing so was that what women think and say they want and what they respond to are quite often very different, and even opposite, like wanting a “nice guy.”

In any case, I’m glad it’s helping. It will help a lot more if you just accept what you read in that book and seek understanding, benefit, and protection from your vulnerabilities through it. I’m not saying, “Trust me.” I’m saying, “It’s been proven beyond any reasonable doubt through application on a significant scale.” You’ll find it quite empowering to be able to prepare for the unexpected and dispatch most if not all of those secret fears that every woman is programmed to have throughout her life, which is the main reason I wanted you to have it.

Take care, and keep in touch,

You see, Gentlemen, what I keep telling you isn’t theory at all. It’s the result of studying and interviewing real people with real problems and making adjustments that brought real successes in their relationships. Some people are good at visionary things, like inventing or composing. Others are good at organizing things. Still others are good at following instructions and consistently producing a quality result. I’m good at studying cause and effect and developing operational models, policies, procedures, and at using these things to manage and eliminate crisis, not to mention PREVENT it.

That’s how "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" came to be. My relationship with my wife was cooling after a couple of years, and I had a lot of friends whose relationships were somewhere between “strained” and divorce court. I started researching, found a lot of good information (by filtering through and trying a lot of BAD information!) that was making fast improvements in my own relationship, and knew that it was so universal in nature that if it could work for me it could probably work for a lot of other people.

I contacted my troubled friends and invited them to participate in a study and to contact their own friends with problem relationships and invite them in as well. We ended up with 118 couples, plus my own relationship, and all of us found major improvements, literally returning to honeymoon status: being fully engaged instead of going our separate ways after dinner, indulging in romance regularly, holding hands when we walked somewhere and talking about anything and everything with renewed interest, and returning to a satisfying sex-life after having slipped into that “the average couple has sex six times per year” status.

The best news of all is that the key to much of it is to start aspiring – or resuming -- to be a man instead of apologizing for being one. Can you remember how much fun it is to just be a guy? Can you even remember back that far? Were men still acting like men when you came into adulthood, or did you grow up in the age of political correctness and men crying in front of their women because some New Age idiot had told them that’s what women want?

Women want men, real men, manly men who do manly things. Not thugs, not predators or parasites, and although you couldn’t convince one of it until she’d tried it, not metrosexuals, either, because they end up being girlfriends to shop with instead of men. They want a real man with a real purpose and a real smile, who can protect them from their worst enemy, boredom.

They want more than that, but you’re going to have to go to and get your copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" to find out exactly what that is and how to make it happen. You’d better do it now, because every day that passes is another day that you get to spend either happy or unhappy, and you don’t have any idea how many you have left. Neither do I, but even if it were millions more, I’d much prefer to spend them in a great relationship than in misery wishing I could have my great relationship back.

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

Thursday, September 25, 2008

What Women Need Emotionally from a Man in a Relationship or Marriage

Let’s talk about what women want from a man in a relationship, especially their emotional needs, and how knowing this can save your relationship or marriage.

I’ve been working on an interview that has stirred up a lot of new ways of discussing things we’ve talked about in the past, different ways of approaching and explaining the same problem and solution that may shed more light on the age-old questions of what women want, need, and expect from a man in a relationship.

In my free “Break-Up Busting 101” report, which you can download by following the link at the end of this newsletter, you’ll find definitions and ramifications of the four emotions that relationships are most often based upon: love, attraction, need, and lust, all of which are incorrectly thought to be simply love. Please review this article before continuing if you are not familiar with its contents. (Also grab my free "What Women REALLY Want" report, and feel free to share both of these free reports with your friends, as they an help anybody, whether or not they are currently in a relationship.)

Of those four emotions two of them are both healthy and required in a successful long-term committed relationship, love and attraction. You, as a man, need to be an expert on these two emotions and how they work, if you ever want to be able to be happy in any relationship with any woman, committed or not. You’ll see why very quickly.

Love, being the value and/or importance that you place on someone, is the source of friendship, trust, loyalty, security, respect, etc. It’s the thing that creates the friendship that allows two people to “bond” in any capacity and to any degree. This doesn’t just pertain to your wife, but to all women in your life. It’s not a feeling of duty, or altruistic drive to sacrifice. It’s the source of the feeling of celebration of your next encounter, whether intimate or public, personal or professional, work or pleasure, not the source of fear that it won’t happen.

It’s important to understand this so that you can see both why a woman needs to love and be loved and why it’s not enough. Love provides for a woman feelings of stability and security, and creates the environment in which she can feel safe in letting her natural drive to nurture drive her. If love is lost as partners grow apart, she can become mildly to severely depressed and feel a sense of lack of purpose, and her feelings of loyalty, respect, friendship, etc. for her partner will diminish.

Women can lose their feelings of love and still stay under the same roof with a man, but it becomes a very limited partnership – you’re pretty much just roommates. You can get along, but there’s no trust, no real respect, no friendship, no intimacy, etc., a strained existence at best.

Attraction is an entirely different matter. If you’ve been with me for longer than a few days you’re familiar with the difference in men’s and women’s emotional scales, and how while male emotions run from negative to positive, with crisis being the male emotional nemesis, women’s emotional scale runs from zero to infinity, with little to no discrimination between positive and negative (as far as emotional comfort zone), and their emotional nemesis is not crisis, but boredom. If you never learn another thing from me, learn this:

Attraction is any and every woman’s ultimate salvation from boredom. Boredom is any and every woman’s ultimate torment, the very bane of her existence.

A woman can reach the same feelings of physical and emotional discomfort (desperation!) from being bored that men can reach out of fear, anger, or any other emotion born of crisis. Stop here and think about that and let it burn in to such a depth that you will never forget it, because that one bit of knowledge can do more to save or prevent a troubled relationship than about anything else you can name.

Attraction, that “swept off her feet” feeling is what makes a woman’s life wonderful. There are things that reward her, like seeing that she’s been a good mother, etc., but creating attraction for her is her ultimate reward and the ultimate act of nurturing her, in exchange for all the nurturing that she gives the rest of the family.

So you see, what it all boils down to is that in a committed relationship, women need love to feel secure in giving of themselves, and they need attraction to feel alive and motivated to give their best. If you are going to sit on your duff with a beer and the TV remote control all evening, every evening, don’t expect her to be looking forward to doing anything but sleeping when bedtime arrives, and possibly sleeping with someone else at that.

No kidding. Since attraction and love are two entirely independent emotions and boredom is so utterly devastating to a woman, there may be no amount of love – hers or yours -- that is sufficient to keep a woman from engaging in an affair if you aren’t creating attraction for her. Think about that one for a minute, too…

It’s a double-edged sword. The bad news is that a woman can love you more than anyone else on Earth and still be compelled to engage in an affair to relieve the boredom the same way a man might be compelled to rob a bank to obtain the money to recover his wife or children if they were taken hostage. In extreme cases, it can literally be that overwhelming for a woman.

Yes, there are those who have self-esteem problems and have affairs in rapid succession, just like men do, looking for acceptance, approval, validation, etc., that they will never find, but those women are so consumed with feelings of need that they are not capable of love. I’m talking strictly about a woman who loves you here. And now for the good news…

It’s really the same news: a woman can be driven to have an affair even if she loves you more than anyone else on Earth, meaning that if she does have one and confesses it sincerely, along with a genuine desire to work it out and salvage your relationship, your best bet is most likely to do so. Why?

An affair isn’t a problem; it’s a symptom of a problem. If the problem is a simple deficiency of attraction, you can fix that, easily, and from what I’ve seen from the men who have used "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," pretty quickly, too.

Not so obvious is the fact that a woman who is rational enough and emotionally self-aware enough to realize that the affair was just a tension-breaker, that she loves you enough to discontinue the affair and confess it, and has the strength of character to do so is going to be very vigilant in protecting your relationship from similar problems in the future, so long as you continue to be committed to your marriage with her. Some even say that an affair is like a near-death experience, and those who survive them find they commit to and enjoy their relationships to degrees they never thought possible.

And no, I am absolutely not suggesting that women be given a blank check to have affairs or be categorically forgiven regardless of the reason for the affair, any more than I would suggest that women do the same for a man. I am saying:

1. When a man and a woman have attraction and no love, they have a great relationship in the bedroom, but not anywhere else. These couples fight to make up because sex is all they have together. There relationship is one of those bipolar catastrophes wherein the participants are either having sex or at each others’ throats, no middle ground. If you hear a man saying, “She’s great in the sack, but man, what a bitch!” or a woman saying, “He’s such a jerk, but he gets me off,” they’re in this kind of relationship.

2. When a man and a woman have true love, but have lost attraction, realizing that lost attraction, not lost love, is indeed the problem and addressing that by recreating the attraction creates a stronger relationship and should be pursued if possible. The only time it is unlikely to impossible is if another man has created attraction for the woman; again, attraction is a double-edged sword in the extreme. If you’re not creating it, there are others who can and will, and they’re not far away at any given moment.

3. When a man and woman have both true love and attraction, there’s nothing that can separate or take them down. Their relationship is impervious to outside influence because they will actively protect what they have.

4. When a man and woman have neither, and their relationship is based on need, lust, or anything but the combination of love and attraction, well, I’ll just say that I certainly wouldn’t want to live that life…and way too many couples are stuck in it. Such relationships are doomed to failure before they ever begin.

There you have it, and on the surface, it looks like a mess, but it is in fact a clear roadmap for getting out of a mess and staying out; a roadmap, but not detailed directions…

Those detailed directions, including how to accurately evaluate your relationship, how to accurately communicate with any woman so that you can have the intimate discussions required to overcome hardships and celebrate your life together, and everything you need to know about what makes women tick, what they want, and how to build and kill attraction in your relationship (straight from the mouths of women!), are in "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," so go now and download your copy at while there’s still time to save yours, because every day that damage is done makes it just a little harder, and being men, we like to do things the easy way, right?

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

David Cunningham

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Some Great Lessons on Relationships and Marriage from a Dinner Party

There was a dinner party at my house, most of the attendees were women, and there was a whole lot to learn from their behavior. Let me share some of it with you…

As I write this it is late on Sunday night, and I’ve spent the day cooking and serving a traditional southern feast – barbecue pork, grilled chicken, baked beans, cole slaw, potato salad, and miscellaneous tidbits like a relish tray for the light eaters and Buffalo-style hot wings (yes, made with Frank’s “Red Hot” cayenne sauce and butter, the real deal, and kudos to The Anchor Bar and all the other wonderful places in Western New York that serve them!) for the more adventurous. The kitchen is clean, the leftovers dispatched (mostly sent home with the attendees!), and here I sit with a big cup of coffee to tell you about it, because anytime you get this big of a group together, there are going to be lessons to learn.

The group was a bunch of people, mostly women, who work in my wife’s office and a couple of their husbands, and some of my neighbors, 22 total, 5 men and 17 women, who had come to walk in a local breast cancer awareness event. Four of the five men were very strong alpha personalities like me, and the other was “just one of the girls,” if you know what I mean. Annoyingly flamboyant and effeminate, and a total drama queen. We’ll not be talking about him, by the way…

First, I have a reputation as a talented chef in my wife’s office because a few of her employees have been to our house for dinner, and many of the women who came without an escort were there simply to see what all the hubbub was about. I was buzzing around the kitchen getting things together and running outside occasionally to check on the grill, and there were pots and pans on all five burners on my stove with beans, sauces, etc., and I wish you could have seen the women’s faces as I was emptying pans into serving dishes, washing the pans up, and keeping the kitchen squared away and neat with all this activity. Why?

Because I was in charge and performing competently, moving quickly but not frantically, barking out orders for guests who had been in my house enough to be “extended family” and know where serving dishes and such were, generally involving about half the guests in the serving of the meal; the epitome of competence, leadership, and authority, and they were simply eating it up.

I’d catch them staring, smiling, and even primping, and if you want to see something funny, watch your wife’s best friend catch herself involuntarily sending flirtatious or even seductive body language signals to her best friend’s and boss’s husband! And there was my wife in the middle of all of it, with all the women telling her that she married well and how lucky she was to have a husband who “gets it”…you can imagine how that went over as well…

So the first part of the lesson, Gents, is that in any kind of a gathering, no matter what is going on, if you are the guy in charge and acting like you belong in charge, the eyes of every woman around will be on you, attraction will be building quickly if you are acting like a man, and your partner will get hit with a double-whammy of attraction because she’ll not just be seeing you do the things that light her up, she’ll also be getting social proof of your attraction value from all the stares, comments, flirting, etc., from all the other women – we are talking attraction overload here, gentlemen, as long as you don’t start acting like you wish your partner wasn’t there so you could bed one of her friends, that is. That will get you either a lot of grief or killed, so don’t go there.

Now, the second part of the lesson, a big lesson on knowing what makes women tick. The group was large enough that it split three ways, 8 around the table in the kitchen (yes, it’s a very large kitchen because I’m also a chef), 8 more around the table in the formal dining room, and the remainder, who happened to be the sports fans, in the TV room watching a football game (American football, not soccer) and chatting it up while they ate. This made for an interesting dynamic as the group divided, because those who ended up in the formal dining room were the more analytical of the group and in the kitchen were the more creative and emotional. I, of course, was in the formal dining room with those who are like me.

I heard voices rising in the kitchen as the emotions started to rise, and went in to find one of the women crying. Thankfully, nobody was fighting. One of the men had made a remark about single parents not being able to be there for their children, and this woman had lived a very hard life to make sure that she was there for her children in every respect, and she got overwhelmed as she was trying to describe some of the things she had gone through and was crying pretty hard.

The man who had touched a nerve kept trying to interrupt to apologize and smooth it over, and the women (and the effeminate drama queen) were sitting there rolling their eyes at him because he was interrupting, some trying to comfort her non-verbally and all trying to get him to take the hint. What happened next was magic, and something that you can and will do yourself after I describe it to you.

When women get amped up like that, they don’t want you to fix it, or make it better. They NEED to pour it out and vent that excess emotion because it literally tears them up inside. They get that adrenaline pumping and all the neurotransmitters for pain and crisis start rushing, and as she pours it out cortisol is released to help deal with the stress and finally she will regain her composure. Knowing that, I caught the man’s eye while standing behind the crying woman, and shook my head slightly in a “no” gesture and held up a hand in a “wait” gesture. He sat back with a concerned and rather pained look on his face, and I motioned to him to lean back in, thus inviting the woman who was talking about her experience to continue.

Again, I wish you could have seen the women’s faces. They were looking at each other and my wife like “How the hell did he know to do that???” Literally awestruck because none of them had ever seen a man understanding a woman in an emotional moment, let alone coaching another man to handle it right. When she finally had poured out enough to pause and take a deep breath and try to regain her composure, I nodded to the guy who had struck the nerve and he apologized for upsetting her, assured her that his comments were not directed at her, etc., to smooth things over, and I stepped over to my espresso machine, dumped some heavy cream and bittersweet chocolate into a mug and melted it down with the steam wand, then quickly hydrated it and shot some whipped cream on top of it and set it in front of the woman, whom I knew to be a “chocoholic” and very sensitive to the serotonin-boosting effects of the polyphenols in dark chocolate (which cause enough of a serotonin rush to cause a mild euphoria in many people and everyone to simply feel more content). As far as these women were concerned I was walking on water. Why?

Several reasons: I had taken charge of a bad situation and turned it around by stopping a man from trying to be nice when he should be silent. I had known how to best help their friend while she was having a dramatic crisis, and had given her something that was so supremely personal to help her feel better after the crisis was past.

That was followed by all these women wanting to help clean up the kitchen, not to be polite, but because they wanted to be lead through something fun. (Yes, everything that happens in my kitchen is fun!) The flirting, hugs, compliments, etc., escalated all over again, and every one of those women thanked me for taking care of their friend like that. To them I was a hero, the icing on the attraction cake. Had I been a single man instead of their boss’s husband, I could have expected any of the single ones to stay the night, and probably longer. As for my wife’s response, that’s personal, and I’ll leave it to your imagination, but I will say that it was exactly what I expected. ;-)

I’ll admit, maybe you had to be there to appreciate the full impact that this had on everybody; as long as I’ve been writing, I’ve never found words to accurately describe a woman who is eaten alive with attraction. I will tell you that the men were somewhat awestruck, and I got several covert comments from them to the effect of “I want you to teach me how to do that,” as they were leaving. All but the one who was “just one of the girls,” that is. But like I said, we’re not going to talk about him…

So, gents, that was the day, and here I sit. I wasn’t born knowing how to read and respond to women like that, not even close. Twenty years ago I would have tried to be nice, tried to immediately fix everything, and stuck my foot in my mouth and had that woman crying harder and every one of those other women so angry with me they would have left. Today, my wife has a reputation for having the greatest husband in the world. I’m not, and will never claim to be, but if she and her friends want to think that, I’m not going to argue with them, because I’m close enough for her and that’s all that matters.

What’s important to you is that I learned everything that was necessary for today’s events to unfold as they did, and so can you. It’s not rocket science, it doesn’t involve memorizing some encyclopedia of female behavior – I know about serotonin and polyphenols in chocolate from studying herbs and alternative medicine, not studying women. In reality, women aren’t that complicated. They merely seem complicated because they are different from us.

They take the long way around in doing some things, like getting through a conversation or making a plan, and they do some things that are downright self-destructive, like dwelling on negative emotions when there aren’t any positive ones available, but once you see the ways in which they are different, it’s very easy to understand and anticipate them, which in turn makes it incredibly easy to do something they love to have a man do: LEAD them, competently and with confidence, which turns them on like a light switch, and nearly as fast.

I had to learn all this the hard way, first by making the same mistakes that you have made, and probably more and bigger ones since it took multiple marriages to get it right, and then by getting a bunch of women together and working with them to figure out what I was missing, like really understanding how women think, what they need, what excites and bores them, and how to communicate with them, followed by getting their husbands into the action to test everything we’d uncovered, some of which turned out to be quite wrong, by the way, because women will at times say that they want something but will in fact respond very negatively to it when they get it. They called that a “booby trap” when I was in the service. Life with a woman is filled with them, and if you don’t know how to watch for them, you are going to get something, possibly your reproductive organs or your life’s savings, blown off sooner or later.

Or maybe you already have. I don’t know. What I do know is that no matter how good it is, you can make it better, and it usually has to be so bad that she’s obtained restraining orders from the court before it’s too bad to save. I also know that there are some relationships that were doomed by compatibility problems from the beginning and should not be saved, no matter how badly you think you want to. It’s a mine field, but I can walk you through it if you’ll let me.

Just go to and download your copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" and get started. If you’re having problems, you may also want to download my free reports, “Break-Up Busting 101” and “What Women REALLY Want,” to help you understand what’s happening and help you focus on fixing it instead of the fear that may be overwhelming you. There’s not a thing in the world to lose except the time it takes to read it, and after four years, I’m still not hearing anybody saying anything except how great it is and thanking me for the results they’re getting, so the evidence says you should try it, too.

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

David Cunningham

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Relationship and Marriage Success Story: What Attraction REALLY Feels Like to a Woman

A woman writes to describe how overwhelming her feelings of attraction are. It’s a real eye-opener!

I don’t know how things are in your neck of the woods, but where I am, you couldn’t ask for more beautiful weather, at least when the occasional momentary thunderstorm isn’t dumping a quick deluge on my cars and garden, saving me the trouble of washing and watering, respectively! It’s time to throw a few racks of ribs in the smoker and have friends over!

I got a letter from a new subscriber last night, and I’d like to share it with you, because he asks a very important question, and about as succinctly as possible. Meet Brad:

Hi David,

What does this “attraction” you talk about feel like to a woman?


I got another wonderful letter in December from a female reader that goes a long way toward answering the question, the kind that really makes this job a pleasure, and we’ll start with that, because there’s nothing like going to the source when you need to know something. Meet Bethany:

Dear David,

I hope this letter finds you and your family doing well this holiday season. As the seasons change and the temperature becomes colder that is when you really get to know a person when most of the time you are in close quarters during the cold weather. I guess for some this may seem like a death sentence, but for a few of us lucky ones it is the best time of the year.

What I wanted to share with you today is something that happened to me just a couple of days ago and when I finally understood just how strong attraction can be and knew it was worth all the work we had to do to make it happen. My husband and I have been working really hard on making our marriage as close to perfect as one can hope for, and with your book it finally seems that we have it all. I have never in my life loved being with anyone the way I do this man and yes I know he feels the same for me.

We both work hard, and we have six wonderful children to keep us busy at home, so we try our best throughout the long days we put in we make time for each other. For instance this past Friday my husband and I meet at a local restaurant near his office to have lunch. We ate and talked and I loved just sitting there with him and looking into his eyes as he smiled at me when the conversation made reference to what we wanted to do later on that night at home. I could talk with him for hours and never be bored. I have never been so happy in my life, but then the check came and it was time to leave and go our separate ways for the rest of the afternoon. I was really upset because I did not want to leave just yet, but I knew we had to. I never said anything to him as he walked me to my car and kissed me and told me he would see me later.

In the car however driving back I became so upset I started to cry. At first I was not sure why I was upset, but then I knew why. I did not want to go back to work, I wanted Allen my husband to take me home and to spend the rest of the afternoon in bed with me. I was just so attracted to him I wanted to drop everything for that day and be with him. It did not matter to me that we both have jobs that if we are not on top of things we will miss major orders that leads to paydays for us. I should have just called him. I wouldn’t have had to say much for him to know something was wrong and he probably would have figured out what pretty fast because he’s gotten so good at reading me. But we both need to work because keeping six kids fed on what we make doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for play time.

What I am saying is that I am so attracted to this man (I know how you hate it when people say “in love”) I was willing to give up half of a day of work and maybe even my job just to be with him and spend time alone. I think about it every day that we are not together and I know we have to work, but the attraction for him is so strong all I want is for him to have sex with me all the time, to feel his body next to mine and his lips kissing me. I never thought that I could truly say I would kill for attraction, but I know now that I could and would if anyone came between me and this man I love so much.

Thank you so much for making my marriage the one thing in this world that I want to keep for the rest of my life and giving me a real man one that is all I have ever dreamed of.


You’re most welcome Bethany, and thank you very much for taking the time to write and tell me about it. People are always very eager to write or call someone to complain, but so seldom take the time to say “Thank you” or to tell someone that things went well for them. If we all took an extra minute or two out of our day to let those around us know that we appreciate the time they give us, the world would indeed be a happier place. Think about this…

Life is the most precious of all resources, and your own life is the most precious of the precious, at least if you are mentally and emotionally healthy, because not one second of it that passes can ever be replenished, and when someone thinks enough of you to give you some portion of their life, you owe them the appreciation due such a gift. Indeed, respect the time of others as being a measure of their life, and make an effort to show up on time and conduct yourself in a way that does not waste the time and life of others.

Okay, I’m getting down off my stump now. So how would you describe the feelings Bethany is speaking of here? Rather honeymoonish? Somewhat unusual for two people who have been married long enough to have six kids? You’re quite right! It is unusual, but nowhere near impossible, nor abnormal. Being happy together in a good relationship is a natural state for two well-matched people to enjoy, especially when they can communicate well with each other and enjoy doing so. If you’re not there too, you’re missing out, but you can fix it. How?

Do what Allen and Bethany did! Jump over to and download your copy of “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage,” because it will get you there if you just take advantage of the experience of the 118 couples who tested everything that went into the book. Life’s too short to spend it any way but happy, so get moving!

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

David Cunningham

Monday, September 22, 2008

Are You Looking For Success or Attention? The REAL Path to Manhood and a Great Relationship and Marriage

Do you do what you do to enjoy doing it well, or to be seen doing it? Attractive behavior isn’t just an act to try to mimic an alpha male. It’s the result of BEING the alpha male, a real man, which virtually any man can be. It’s both his birthright and responsibility, and for the vast majority of men requires only shedding some programming and attitudes that are oppressive, stressful, and lead to gross insecurity and stagnation in all parts of a man’s life. Read on and learn why and how!

I’ve mentioned in the past that I don’t watch much television, and the little I watch is either informative (news, how-to, or self-improvement) or mentally challenging, and when I find an on-screen example of something readers can watch to get a clue about attraction and attractive behavior, I write about it, because a picture is truly worth a thousand words.

Having been deeply involved in alternative medicine for all of my adult life and more, the NBC series “House” (about a doctor who’s supposed to be the world’s best diagnostician and determines what’s wrong with people when nobody else can) is challenging (the writers rarely make a medical mistake, but when they do, it’s hilarious, such as when Dr. House had a sinus allergy and claimed to take 1,000 mg of diphenhydramine, the little pink pills that most of the rest of us know as “Benedryl,” and are dosed out at 25 mg per tablet, meaning that he took a dose of 40 of those little pink pills, which would likely ruin an elephant’s day and knock a human out for a week), and the governing dynamics of the personalities of the characters on the show are diverse, well-conceived and fascinating.

Dr. House is an alpha male, but with a twist. He’s brilliant, strong, funny, cocky, etc., but somebody on the writing staff apparently is intimidated by alpha males because they gave him a permanently damaged right leg and chronic pain to go with it, and a hydrocodone bitartrate (Vicodin, et al, regarded as “morphine-like in all respects” according to addiction to go with the pain, which I find somewhat perverse, but it does make for some interesting twists in the plots.

One episode featured a doctor who spent his entire career treating tuberculosis in remote parts of Africa, contracted the disease himself, but with a pancreatic tumor that caused life-threatening symptoms unrelated to the tuberculosis. What was interesting about the character, and what both the character of Dr. House and I took exception to, was that this doctor didn’t present the appearance of doing the job to do it well, but to be seen doing it; he was constantly courting the media, even to the extent of refusing treatment for his own tuberculosis and calling a press conference to call attention to it.

The script writers did a good job of keeping it unclear as to whether the character’s main motivation was altruism or a need for attention, but it made me think about some of the letters I’ve received from readers of “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage” and this newsletter, complaining that it was hard to keep up the image of an alpha male and call sufficient attention to themselves without being too obvious. That’s an understatement if ever there was one; one that makes me want to pull my hair out.

First, putting on an act for a woman, especially in the long term, is a practical impossibility. The sheer fear of being caught putting on the act creates insecurity that gives it away, and no matter how many times I state that to some people, they still don’t get it. Attractive behavior is not the result of some theatrical effort; it’s the result of BEING attractive, having the confidence, attitude, wit, and competence to naturally be in this attractive state. You can fake it a little and for a short time in an emergency, but the successful on-going presentation of alpha male behavior depends entirely on the successful attainment of alpha male characteristics, which is not difficult, and a lot of fun.

So you see, the “trick” isn’t to act attractive and find a way to call attention to it that doesn’t give away the fact that you are trying to call attention to yourself. Seeking attention (or approval) is the opposite of alpha male behavior, regardless of why you’re doing it.

Indeed, there is no trick, and the solution is far easier to pull off. You must simply understand what it is that women respond to with attraction, which turns out to be confident, fun, intelligent, “cock of the walk” behavior, realize that there are some things in your life that you can take pride in, develop them so that you can fully enjoy that pride, and let nature take its course. While nature is taking its course, you learn all you can about women, especially what they enjoy and how they communicate, so you can recognize the feedback that they’ve been giving you for years. Feedback that you were never able to interpret because you didn’t realize it was feedback. What???

Yes, they have been giving you feedback for years, but most of it is non-verbal, and the verbal part is very indirect. For instance, when a woman says she wants a man “who just knows what she wants,” she isn’t speaking of a psychic (unless she’s a complete idiot just “parroting” something she’s heard other women say). She’s saying, “I want a manly man who does manly things, and pays enough attention to me to learn how to communicate with me so I don’t have to explain everything to him like I would a three-year old.” She saying that she wants a guy who is a guy, but who knows to communicate with guys like guys and be more perceptive and attentive when communicating with a woman, recognizing her social nature and need to negotiate instead of stating, reporting, and dictating as men do. Where’d that come from?

You’re right. Most women would never come out and explain that to a man, but a few of the very smart ones are always on the lookout for men who want to communicate effectively with them, and I had 118 of them who were in long-term committed relationships or marriage plus nearly a hundred more who were single respond to a survey I ran before researching “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage.” They taught me everything they could think of about how women communicate with each other and how that affects the way the communicate with men, and when we finished that training, we talked – in “girly-speak,” or “feminese” as one of my readers is fond of saying – about what they thought they wanted in men and what they actually respond to, and exploded many, many myths, especially about the “nice guy.” (You’ll be shocked when you find out about the one version of the “nice guy” that women do respond to, and you’ll have to read the book to do it.)

As we made lists upon lists of good and bad behavior and what caused it, we got their male partners (husbands and boyfriends, for future reference) involved, and tested everything we’d found. Some we fine tuned and improved, some wasn’t as consistent as I wanted because it was affected by culture or personal taste and was culled; what made it into the book worked for 90% or more of the couples, and in the end, everybody’s relationship was improved to the point of being fun and exciting again, not because the men learned how to act, but because they learned how to be and live as “real men,” which creates – BY DEFAULT – the very behavior that women respond to best, because it’s genuine, stress-free, fun and exciting for everyone involved.

There were even unexpected benefits of improved sleep, motivation to diet and exercise, children doing better in school, and a closer-knit family because the parents were feeling better about themselves, setting better examples for the kids and creating a more nurturing environment for them. (How nurturing an environment is it when parents are bored, frustrated, and scared of their family coming apart at the seams?)

The bottom line is that there are no tricks, no magic bullet, no cute lines or secret potions (or positions!) that will save a stale relationship, but the solution to the problem is far easier and more enjoyable than employing any deception could ever be. It’s in my book, “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage,” and it’s waiting for you at, ready to Fully tested, proven and ready to deploy. Go get it and get busy, because life is too short to spend it enjoying your relationship even a little less than the most it can be enjoyed. Don’t settle; SUCCEED! (And you’d be doing yourself a favor to make that your personal motto, too!)

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

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Man Women Truly Can't Resist, Especially for Relationships and Marriage

An odd chain of events and the resulting train of thought have provided something that many of you will find useful: EXAMPLES of the man women find most irresistible, and how to make sure she sees him!

Today has been an unusual day to say the least. I post this newsletter for broadcast at 8:00AM Eastern time every morning because that’s when statistics say it is most likely to be read by the most people, but as many of you know, it is composed at least one day prior to broadcast. (You blogglers get to see it
as soon as it’s finished, often 12 hours or more ahead of the e-mail broadcast!)

I mention that so that the following comment makes sense: I’ve been at my computer for eleven hours straight answering reader e-mails! That’s not necessarily odd, but their polarization certainly has been. The gross majority of them have been questions about attraction, especially what a woman needs to see for it to be triggered, especially if it has been lost and the man is trying to recreate it.

There are a few of my newsletter lesson editions that always receive abnormally high reader response. I retransmit them every few months because most people just don’t have the time to browse the newsletter archive and it’s easier for them to see the best-received lessons if I send them out quarterly or semi-annually, but I don’t use or even have boilerplate responses to reader e-mails or questions. While many of them have common elements, each situation is different and requires a personal response, so can you imagine what focusing on the same subject that intensely for eleven hours might produce?

This came after I was asked today by a blind man how he might project a more attractive image to his wife, who had grown a bit frustrated with his borrowing of her eyes, and he confessed that he had been asking her to do things that he did himself when he was alone. I reminded him that instead of feeling and acting dependent, he should feel and act heroic, relating to him a flood of stories that came to mind about athletes who had lost legs and ran races on their prostheses, and Def Leppard’s drummer who lost an arm and instead of retiring, re-engineered his setup and retrained himself to play as well as he had before with only one arm and his feet.

Then came the first revelation: men with this heroic, leader’s attitude that women find so irresistibly attractive don’t do things to prove that they can, they do them simply BECAUSE they can and want to. They live to IMPROVE, not to PROVE. They literally define authority at the most basic level; they don’t care what anybody thinks of them or their achievements. They achieve because it suits them to do so, because it MAKES them a better man, not because it makes them APPEAR as a better man. There is no form of authority, role model, or leadership higher than that.

I tripped over another great example in that same letter. In trying to explain the hero’s attitude and how he could continue to “borrow his wife’s sight,” but in a way she found attractive instead of a way that made her feel like his keeper, I said (paraphrased), “Assuming that you lost your sight and have a sufficient frame of reference to remember a sunset, there is a big difference between saying to your wife, ‘I wish I could see a sunset’ and saying, “I want to see the sunset. Describe it to me so that I may enjoy it with you.’”

That differentiation has universal application, Gentlemen. You can feel sorry for your shortcomings and complain, or you can work around them and live your life. That’s what being a man, and for that matter being human, is about, and that, more than anything else, is what women find attractive in a man, because it is that attitude that makes everything else work.

A secondary theme that kept reappearing was regaining trust after a bad period in a relationship. Yes, attraction is dead at this point, but there is also a wall up, and while attraction is an automatic thing, it can be not resisted, but confounded, when there are trust issues. A woman needs to feel “safe” in letting you into a position where you can significantly influence her emotions, and while you are making these improvements that will reignite attraction, you also need to radically improving your communication skills. Why?

Because that’s where women gain trust, through the intimacy of talking and being heard. It’s how they commune. We men commune primarily by sharing acts of achievement or crisis and getting through them, while women commune by talking about their experiences, especially the emotions of their experiences.

When a woman feels you aren’t listening or understanding her, or especially that you don’t care about her feelings, that connection cannot be made, let alone made strong enough to let her tear down that wall and let you back in. Luckily for you, as complex as it seems, the whole communications issue boils down to three simple rules that you can learn in minutes and master over a period of days, not decades. And those rules are in my book, of course! ;-)

So there it is, Gents: the product of eleven hours of answering the questions of troubled men wanting to put their relationship back in working order. Use it in good health. And if you’re ready to rise to the challenge of putting your house back in order, go to and download your copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," right now, while it’s still there to be had and correcting your problems is easier than it will be months down the road when you have much more to correct and much more pain to heal.

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

David Cunningham