Saturday, December 13, 2008

Do You Know How to Listen to a Woman? Walking the Mine Field in Relationships and Marriage

Women are social creatures and want to be heard. Being a good listener is highly attractive to a woman, but don’t let yourself become a girlfriend. Learn where to draw the line!

I got a letter that really got under my skin, because it shows just how simple some of women’s needs are and just how little effort it can take for a man to do incredibly attractive things. Meet Angie:

Hi, David! I’m so glad to see somebody addressing our [women’s] needs like this. There does not seem to be too many men who speak “female,” and your services as a translator are truly appreciated.

I bought your book for my husband, and getting through the first part was an education for us both, but we made it. We’ve been together since early grade school, and have always felt that we were right for each other, but after getting through your instructions on how to evaluate our relationship, we now KNOW that we’re not just star-crossed or the product of long-standing habit, we really belong together. But that’s not what I’m writing about.

My husband is going through the second part of your book now, and he’s catching on fairly fast and I can’t thank you enough for that. I always thought he was a bit short on attention span when we’d talk, but it turns out that I am probably worse than the average woman about using non-verbal communication and expecting everyone around me to pick up on everything, and we didn’t have long conversations because Jay (my husband) would get frustrated or bored with not knowing what I was saying most of the time.

Don’t get me wrong, we talk all the time, but never for long enough to have a really deep conversation, and this has always bothered both of us, but we kept hoping that sooner or later we’d just grow together and it would work out. Well, we’re growing together as we go through your book, and it’s like being with a new and much better man, because he now knows how important communication is to me as a woman, and is quickly learning how to engage on a level that we are both more comfortable with. I’m also learning to be a little more direct with him than with my girlfriends, and that’s helping him to feel better as well.

We (women) don’t really want that much, do we? We want a man who is a man, not a girlfriend. We want you to listen to us. We want your attention. We want you to focus on us when you are with us, not other things around us. We want you to look at us, preferably at our eyes instead of our breasts, when we or you are talking, and really listen to what we are saying, because we know when you are not paying attention. We want you to be interested enough in us to ask us questions, about us, our day, our feelings, our friends, or whatever – just something to show that you are there because you are still interested in us, not because it’s a habit. And yes, when we’re being a brat, we really do want you to call us on it. You don’t have to be mean about it, but we definitely don’t want you being a wuss about it either. Is that too much to ask?

Anyway, your book is helping a lot, and while we are in our 30’s and have been together for almost 30 years (yes you read that right) we are getting closer, and I’m starting regularly to feel intimate desires for Jay that I haven’t felt for him but sporadically in years. A lot of it is just the lower stress level in our home and being able to have longer, more intimate conversations, but he’s also starting to be really fun again, like when we were teenagers and really started “discovering” each other (which is kind of awkward because our two teenage girls are starting to date), and the passion is really coming back. Thanks so much!

Love ya,
Angie


Wow! In their thirties and together for thirty years! The original “childhood sweethearts.” They’ve had thirty years to get bored with each other, and are still young enough to have very healthy libido’s, not to mention another 30-50 years together! Incredible! Well, let’s focus on attraction for a minute.

Angie made it plain that she had needs, and was pretty verbose about what they are. Obviously, she has a lot of other needs, but people take the time to express those that are most important to them, and she expressed wanting a manly man who could be genuinely interested in her and engage her in meaningful conversation, and that the more that need was fulfilled, the more they were rewarded with intimacy and passion. Guys, it doesn’t get any simpler or more basic than that, and this woman is saying that this is what’s most important to her, at least in regard to what she wants from Jay. She could be every woman alive today, too. Those needs and wants are universal amongst women.

Also note what she says she doesn’t want, and because of this, she’s a lot smarter than the average bear: She wants “a man who is a man, not a girlfriend.” I don’t know if she fully realized the wisdom in that statement, or if it’s obvious, so I’m going to explain it. Do not indulge your female partner’s “drama-fests.” If she wants to tell you about a problem, listen, but if she’s in that drama mode where she wants to keep repeating every detail of the problem to you over and over to milk every last drop of emotional energy out of it before becoming bored with it and moving on to the solution-finding stage, don’t go there.

Allowing her to treat you like her girlfriend is an attraction-killer, and often is even a form, possibly a subconscious form, of testing to see what you will tolerate. If you detect that a woman is starting to talk to you as if you were a girlfriend, just tell her that you’re not comfortable in the girlfriend role and that’s where it feels like she’s taking you, and that it would be better for both of you if she continued the conversation with a girlfriend and came back to you to either tell you about the resolution to her problem or to secure your help if she found that she wanted it.

The one place where a little compromise might be in order is in eye contact. Women need it, and are grossly uncomfortable without it. It’s part of how they “connect” when they converse. We men, being results-driven, tend to multi-task and speak while we are doing something else, such as working or scanning the room for threats while in that primal mode of “protector,” which they will often interpret as lack of interest, attention, and respect with regard to both what they are saying and them in general. It’s no longer a realistic possibility that a dinosaur, lion, or bear is going to eat your family, so try to be a little more deliberate and aware of your actions when talking with a woman.

It’s very helpful if you do indeed make an effort to maintain eye contact when both speaking and listening, but if you are in the middle of something that you can’t put down, point that out, saying something like, “Look, I have to finish this. We can either talk while I work (or whatever you’re doing) or you can give me a few minutes to get to a place where I can stop, and then we can talk. Which are you more comfortable with?” Notice that you’re not dumping the choice in her lap, you’re asking for her preference; the difference is subtle, but significant. You will then “decide” to grant her preference. This is both leadership and consideration of her needs, not to mention the kind of diplomacy women tend to engage in, and she will appreciate it without you looking like girlfriend.

Getting back to drama-fests for a moment, when you start hearing the details a second time, you’re getting into girlfriend territory. After making the announcement about not being comfortable in the girlfriend role mentioned above, point out to her, politely and respectfully, that you already understand the problem from her first run through describing it, and if she wants your input or assistance later when she’s ready to do something about fixing the problem you’ll be there for her, but until then she needs to share this problem with her girlfriends until she gets it out of her system and is “over it” and ready to move on. She may pout a bit at having her “emotional inertia” interrupted, but if you handled it right that’s a test, too, so don’t worry about it.

This is one of those areas where you need to define and exercise authority, and you need to gently but firmly make it clear that you’re willing to listen the first time, but the second through “however-many-times-it-takes,” she needs to share with her girlfriends, because they are wired for it and enjoy it and you are wired to fix problems, not relish and explore them. She may not understand this at first (many women really think that we’re all wired the same, just as many men do!), but you must be steadfast if you want to remain her manly man and not evolve into another girlfriend she has to keep up with.

Gentlemen, women seem a little more complicated than we are at times, but their true needs really aren’t. They want the same things we want: self-esteem, productive work (at least the good ones do!), a meaningful relationship with an attractive and interesting partner, and intimacy -- passionate intimacy when the kids aren’t around. And to beat it all, all we have to do to give it to them is act like real men (“manly men who do manly things,” as the saying goes) and pay attention to them enough for them to know we’re interested in them and to know what they’re saying to us.

They find that sexy and attractive, and reward us for it by giving us what we want, which is pretty much the same thing much of the time. It’s just not that hard when you know how, is it? And as Angie points out, it’s easier with my book, “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage,” so download your copy today at
http://www.makingherhappy.com, because life’s too short to spend it any other way than happy.

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

David Cunningham

Friday, December 12, 2008

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

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

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

If mama is happy, everybody’s happy!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So how can you put this to work for you?

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

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

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

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

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

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

David Cunningham

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Learning from Our Ancestors: The Immense Value of Anticipation in Relationships and Marriage

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do NOT read past this point until you have full ownership of this concept, Gentlemen: for us, orgasm is the whole purpose of sex. For women, it’s merely the end of it. They like and need orgasm (the effect of orgasm on female brain and body chemistry is extremely beneficial!) but they are in no hurry to get there, and many could care less whether it is you or they who cause the orgasm as long as they get the anticipation and intimacy. Give her that, and she’ll be quite happy to “finish herself” or have you “finish her” by some other means if she needs an orgasm after you “finish.” (It’s really hard to keep this kind of discussion in such terms that wouldn’t make an adult cringe if their child walked up behind them as they read it without making it sterile and boring as some medical school text. LOL!)

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

Never make the mistake of assuming that a woman enjoys the same things you do, especially in the same ways that you do, nor that she doesn’t. And whatever you do, don’t think that you know more about what she likes having done to her than she does. (Yes, men have written to me puzzled at how their wife didn’t respond to something they just KNEW she SHOULD like because some friend had said so, they’d read it somewhere, some other woman had responded to it, etc.)

They like being naughty like we do, and they like sex as much as we do, but in general they go about it in a very different way for maximum pleasure. For the umpteenth time, communicate, experiment, and find out what works with your partner! Prepare yourself for the greatest revelation you will ever have, a proverbial thunderbolt, and you’ve heard it a million times before:

If mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy.

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

If mama is happy, EVERYBODY’S happy!

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

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

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

David Cunningham

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Fool, the Smart, and the Wise -- Which One Wins in Relationships and Marriage?

There are three kinds of people, the foolish, the smart, and the wise. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to become wise and thereby avoid the mistakes that others have made, especially in regards to your relationship and marriage…

This week is almost gone! Time to buckle down and learn something useful to put to work next week, right? Yeah, yeah, yeah, you’ve got plenty of time for beer and sports, so give me a few minutes here to teach you something, albeit in one of the longer pieces I’ve given you (just a few extra paragraphs, so don’t panic), and then you can go out and play with your friends.

I had a pretty tough childhood because I was precocious and insisted on knowing everything. That in itself isn’t too tough, but I was also independent, and wanted to know everything by learning it the hard way. I learned a lot, too.

On the day my military career started, I was labeled a “mustang” or “maverick,” a guy who has a hard time getting with the program because he has a knack for finding a better way to do things and doesn’t toe the line when he should. I got through basic training, and then got into some sticky situations.

Nobody got hurt or killed because of my choices or actions, but hellfire did rain down on my head a few times, because for every few “atta-boy’s” I’d get for going above and beyond the call, there would be an “oh sh*t” to negate them in one fell swoop. My commanding officer was constantly running interference for me with the big brass, and finally everything came to a head and I was ordered to report to my CO’s CO, a two-star general who shall remain nameless for a variety of reasons, for an “operational competency review.”

After introductions and the traditional reading of my file (I still don’t know why they go through that little ritual, and I’m not sure they do), the general said to me, “Cunningham, you’re smart, too damned smart for your own good. I need you to wise up before you compromise an op and get yourself or one of my other men killed. Do you know the difference?”

Everybody in my unit was young, full of piss and vinegar, and drawing hazard pay, got off on all the gung ho ritual language, and hence I replied, “Sir, I do not know. If the general would explain the difference I will deploy that knowledge in a swift, proficient, and distinctly military manner.”

He got a glint in his eye and said, “Very well. There are three kinds of people in the world, the foolish, the smart, and the wise. The foolish are those grab-asstic pieces of crap who waste time and life by never learning from their mistakes. The smart do learn from their mistakes, even if they are like you and make a lot of them because they want to be smarter. The wise move through life with patience and purpose, paying attention to what’s going on around them and learning from the mistakes and successes of others so that they don’t waste time and life making the same mistakes that others have made before them.

“I need you and every man under my command to be a wise man. We have a system here that is based on the mistakes and successes of those who came before you. It is not perfect, but it does work. You may be able to improve upon it, but you will do so by following the system during operations and providing any feedback you have during the post-operation debriefing. We want anything you can offer that will help to achieve objectives and save the lives of well-trained fighting men, but the time to deviate from the program is not when you are taking fire. That is your CO’s job, and my job, not yours. Do you get me?”

I never forgot that bit about the foolish, the smart and the wise. My mission changed that minute, from trying to do it all on my own to trying to learn everything I could the most efficient way that I could, which for the most part has been to watch and learn from the behavior of others. To that end, we’re going to have an exercise right now to show you just how much you can learn from somebody else, even someone you don’t expect to have anything to teach you.

The following letter is one of the many success stories I’ve received. I chose it for this exercise because it explodes a myth and because on the surface it doesn’t even appear to be relevant to saving a stale or failing marriage or other committed relationship, yet it holds some of the best lessons you’ll ever learn. Meet Tom:

David,

I wanted to take a moment to give you some feedback. My wife and I were recently divorced after 15 years of marriage. We are both in our early 50's. I worked really hard to save my marriage using logic.

I lost her to a bad boy. He is a real bum, without a job and still lives with his mother even though he is in his 50's. What a real mooch.

For the longest time I tried to apply logic to what was happening to my marriage and I failed to understand just what was going wrong. I guess I was too ingrained into my habitual patterns. It was only after the divorce that I started to get your material and receive your newsletters. WOW. Boy, was I ever wrong in my approach to women. I did all the nice guy stuff and provided a good home, clothes, jewelry, cars etc. I worked my ass off to provide for her.

As I started to read your material I came to realize what a bad relationship I had been in and what really went wrong.

I came to realize that I had failed to create attraction in her although I had her affection. That was my fault. The dishonesty (for many years), the deceit, the cheating, the character defects, etc., are all her fault. In many ways our divorce is a blessing in disguise.

I have followed your advice and that of David DeAngelo's program of Sexual Communication. Man what a difference it has made in my life and my approach to dating. I am now not trying to be the nice guy and "win" her favors. I am more confident in myself and out to have fun. I have played with and am learning the real way to create attra’ction in women and it is working. My successes with the new me are just outstanding and I am enjoying my life and playing a lot more. I don't have to call for dates...they are calling me. Really attractive and quality women.

So I wanted to thank you for putting out the information that you do, in such a professional manner that us nice guys can see where we went wrong and how to fix it. Keep up the good work.

Sincerely
Tom

PS: Oh and by the way. The ex has noticed and wants back into my life. NO way in hell will I ever get back into her games again. She has lost the house, cars, clothes, her reputation, is in debt up to her eyebrows, etc. I could go on and on with what she has done to herself. Life is funny sometimes, but I have the ultimate revenge and it does taste good. Thanks.

So what can you learn from this story that will make you a wise man?

For starters, Tom didn’t just automatically blame everything on somebody else and assume no responsibility for what happened that led to his divorce. He buckled down and found information that gave him answers as to what happened and what he could change to make sure it didn’t happen again. Lesson: Take personal responsibility when things don’t go as planned, figure out what happened, and learn how to make it go the right way next time.

Also note I didn’t write one word of advice targeted at those who are dating in "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," yet Tom found all kinds of advice in it that helped him to be more successful in his dating life, BECAUSE HE WAS LOOKING FOR IT. Good information isn’t always where you EXPECT to find it, but it is always WHERE YOU FIND IT, if you know what I mean. Lesson: be ever-vigilant in looking for things that can make your life better; you may not find a pearl in every oyster, but finding a gold nugget lying in a pile of animal manure or a trash can doesn’t make it any less valuable than if it was found in a creek or a mine.

Tom also didn’t limit his options in solving his problems, and took advice to broaden his search. In "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," I teach readers how to evaluate their relationship or marriage to determine if they should try to salvage it, because if you are grossly mismatched in areas like your personal value system or personal tastes, it’s never going to work, and your time and effort is far better applied to make a dignified and peaceful exit instead of beating a dead horse only to fail in the end and exit under fire after war is declared.

Included in the advice for those making such an exit are people to contact to help protect your assets in the event that a property settlement war does break out, and advice to seek out advice specific to succeeding in the dating game by Shelley McMurtry, F.J. Shark, John Alanis, Tiffany Taylor, David D’Angelo, etc., because jumping back into the dating game blind is one of the scariest things a person can do, and I’ve found their material to be very logical and rooted in real-world cause-and-effect relationships.

Instead of saying, “I’m tired of reading. I’ve done this before, I’m just going to jump in and it will be better this time,” Tom recognized that a recommendation from one good source of information about another source of information was likely a good call because no information seller will risk trashing his reputation by steering a customer in the wrong direction for an affiliate sale and blow any possibility of future direct sales. Lesson: Know your limitations, and do everything you reasonably can to obtain help in overcoming them by seeking the advice of those who have succeeded before you.

And as big as they are, those are the small lessons. Look in Tom’s post script (the paragraph that follows the “P.S.,” which stands for “post script,” for those of you who skipped that class in high school). His ex has noticed the changes in him and wants back in his life! The dating gurus will often say that this can’t happen, but you must remember that in the dating world, that’s most often correct. When you meet a stranger, your window of opportunity for creating attraction can be measured in minutes, maybe even a few seconds.

But! When you’ve been together for awhile and your interest is fully vested, that window could be measured in YEARS in some cases, and months in almost all cases. Women like the protective feeling of stability, and will give you ample opportunity to make things right IF they see that you’re trying to do so. Lesson: Even if the divorce is final, as long as she hasn’t filed for restraining orders (which indicate that all hope is indeed lost in nearly all cases in the long term, and in ALL cases in the short term), it’s NEVER too late to fix it as long as the compatibility is there to support it.

Also note he held her accountable for her mistakes, and that ultimately being held accountable and having to live the life that she chose was the worst punishment that could be heaped upon her. Lesson: Justice is sweet, while revenge is a dish that simply should never be served, unless it’s “self-served.” War isn’t just “the most spectacular of all human endeavors” (General George S. Patton), it’s the most costly and utterly destructive, on any scale.

Here endeth the lessons. Right now, some of you are saying, “Geesh, that guy is long-winded. That’s annoying!” while others are thinking, “Wow! That guy must really care about this stuff, because it must have taken him a long time to put that together to share it with me.” I do, and it did, several hours in fact. Several hours that I could have spent with family and friends, enjoying a hobby, cooking an elaborate gourmet dinner, or numerous other things for myself instead of for you. If you don’t need this much help from me, I’m happy for you, really, but I’m doing this to help people in crisis make their lives better just as much as I’m doing it to help other people keep their relationships from falling into crisis. Lesson: Never look a gift horse in the mouth.

Sorry, I couldn’t resist that last one. Seriously, I have a lot to teach you and everybody else who needs it so that you can be wise and keep from making the mistakes that others have made before you. We hit the high spots here in this newsletter and in my blog posts, but dig deep into the tangled and dark nitty-gritty in "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," and no matter what shape your relationship is in, there are many valuable lessons in there for you, lessons that will help you make your relationship better than it has ever been if you should be in it or help you get out of it with your dignity and a few dollars in your pocket and move on to find happiness elsewhere if you’re in the wrong relationship.

Your next move is to
http://www.makingherhappy.com to download your copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" and get started, because life is too short to wait. 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

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

How Hot Buttons Can Destroy a Great Relationship and Marriage

Watch out for somebody pressing one of your “hot buttons,” and for you pressing somebody else’s as well. Whether inadvertent or intentional, the fallout can wreck a relationship quickly, and even permanently, and when it hits, it will likely come out of nowhere, so know what to do before it happens…

I started my day today with a big cup of coffee and my e-mail, and found the following letter, which would have been funny if it hadn’t been so pathetic, but there’s a very good lesson in it for you, so hang with me, because you’ll definitely find that it’s worth it. Meet Carol:

David,

You and people like you make me sick! All you can talk about is how to pick up and sed’uce a woman, or how to manipulate her to get what you want out of her, like we’re all stupid and can be led around by the nose like cattle. It’s no wonder women can’t get any respect these days. Thanks for being yet another a**hole helping men to screw up my life. I really feel sorry for your wife.

Carol

At the bottom of every one of my newsletters is a link to the archive of everything I’ve published since switching to Aweber Communications as my newsletter broadcaster several years ago (my previous vendor didn’t provide an online archival service), and anyone can plainly see that:

1. I don’t ever write about picking up anybody. I leave that to the dating gurus.

2. I only write for people in committed relationships or who are trying to prepare for the time when they are in a committed relationship (including marriage, the most committed relationship).

3. The only context in which I ever mention “seduct’ion” is in explaining to men that women enjoy doing it if properly motivated by having a man create attraction for her, and it works out far better for everybody than for him to try to sed’uce her.

4. If I had a nickel for every time that I’ve publicly said that most women are smarter than we give them credit for because we don’t recognize that they simply do things differently, I could buy a country and retire there.

5. As for respect, see what one of you who has read "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" had to say about how my work relates to respecting women:

“It's funny how these things work, but all the studying I've been doing about understanding women and how they think HAS LEFT ME WITH MUCH MORE RESPECT FOR THEM THAN BEFORE, where I was often just frustrated or disgusted with their behavior. I seriously doubt anyone could read AND UNDERSTAND your book and not have the same experience. Another reason [my wife] should read it.” -- Larry

And this one:

Hi David,

In these uncertain and confusing days, you are a jewel of unlimited value. Because you leave no confusion in the minds of your readers. And you provide a wonderful service. You are not out to simply make lots of money on phony theories with sensational story titles. YOU ARE THE REAL DEAL WHO IS NOT OUT TO EXPLOIT WOMEN, BUT RATHER TO TEACH US MEN HOW TO VALUE THEM FOR THE FANTASTIC CREATURES THAT THEY ARE. You want to preserve relationships and marriages, not bust them up. I commend and thank you. I place you on the same list as the greatest of the greats. You deserve a thundering round of applause. And I personally thank you for the wisdom you share in your writings.

I remain your devoted fan,

Cordially,
Ron

Now, add to that the fact that Carol has been subscribing for a little over two months, and has sent me a couple of e-mails complimenting my understanding of women and hoping that I’m successful in teaching other men how to do the same. She also impressed me as being fairly bright and reasonable. So this outburst appears totally out of character and illogical, right? So what happened?

The only thing that ever causes such an instantaneous and explosive departure from expected, normal behavior is what many refer to as “pressing a hot button,” “touching a nerve,” etc., accidentally triggering a memory of a bad event that alters one’s perception of what is happening now and changes the way they would normally respond to it. I would be surprised if you’ve not seen it, because unfortunately, it’s all too common, but what do you do when it happens?

As tough as it sounds, just let it go, at least until the person who explodes at you has a few minutes to calm down and realize that they just exploded at you for something that somebody else did sometime in the past. Don’t apologize, don’t argue, don’t try to explain anything. Just calmly say, “We’ll discuss this later when you’ve calmed down,” disengage, and don’t take it personally. It’s not you that they are upset with; it’s that demon from the past that they’ve never managed to vanquish.

Later, when the discussion resumes (and you should be the one to reinitiate it for the sake of taking a leadership position, so pay attention to her mood), let the aggressor speak freely for a few minutes, and if they aren’t apologizing for jumping on you for something that you didn’t do, point out to them that they have taken whatever was said or done out of context, and that they are upset about something else. If that’s not good enough, just let it go.

If it becomes a pattern of abuse, it’s time to start looking at options like professional counseling, and if they refuse to acknowledge it’s a problem, it’s time to move on, because you can’t help somebody fix a problem they won’t acknowledge having and life is too short to spend it with an abuser that makes a habit of punishing you for someone else’s sins.

If somebody pushes one of your hot buttons, and you’ll know they have because you’ll feel a sudden escalation in your emotional energy level along with an unusually strong urge to either defend or attack, try to stop the eruption by telling yourself, aloud if you must, that something isn’t right and you need to think about what you’re doing before you say or do something that can’t be undone. The discipline to step back from an emotional surge and make sure that it is rooted in reality is one of the most useful tools you can ever develop.

If you can’t recognize it and stop it before it happens, don’t be shy about apologizing to whomever catches the brunt of your upset. I am not a big fan of apologies because a lot of people tend to use them as license to behave badly, thereby nullifying their credibility and the credibility of others who offer apologies, but in these circumstances, it is necessary and appropriate that you volunteer it as a lead-in to discussion. No matter who has their hot button pushed, make it a top priority to determine what the unresolved issue is that triggered the eruption; get it resolved so you or they can heal from it and not be bothered by it again.

Life has enough troubles waiting for you each day without continuing to harbor trouble from times long past, and while those who care about you may forgive you for your outbreaks, you may not, and they may not after awhile. Failure to address a problem that you know about is the result of choice, not fate, and sooner or later you will be held accountable and as I was saying above, apologies will no longer be accepted. There are few feelings any worse than those that come with the knowledge that you ruined a great relationship that didn’t have to be ruined.

Speaking of which, there are just as many ways of unnecessarily ruining a great relationship as there are of building one, and the bad news is that building a great relationship by accident is highly unlikely while accidentally destroying one is next to inevitable if you don’t know what you need to know to build and protect one.

Building and protecting a great relationship is not at all difficult, it’s simply that the path to success is not obvious to the vast majority of us. For every person who knows what it takes and is willing to share it, there are thousands who don’t know what it takes but are all too willing to poison your relationship with their pet theories and opinions as if they were giving you knowledge and expertise. My refusal to engage in opinion and theory is legendary – and much appreciated -- among those who know me, and has been the secret to my success as a counselor, coach, consultant and troubleshooter all my life. Among my favorite phrases of all is, “I don’t know, but now that you’ve given me a good reason to find out, and I’ll be back with you shortly with facts in hand.”

There are no theories here, no opinions, and plenty of proof to back up every word I put in front of you, in this newsletter, any reports I offer you, and my e-book, "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," which you can download at
http://www.makingherhappy.com, that is, if you’re a man who’s tired of not knowing what women want from a man and guessing wrong more often than not. I have facts in hand for you, derived from extensive research with 118 couples before the initial release and the comments and successes of thousands that have followed since.

Life is too short for you to be stumbling along blindly stepping in crap and more crap when information like this is so easily and quickly available to you. Regrets aren’t born of the things we try, but of the things we fail to try, are they not? Think about it, and then exercise the only reasonable option open to you: ACT!

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

David Cunningham

Monday, December 08, 2008

Women and Affairs in the Real World, and How to Protect Your Relationship and Marriage

A reader shares some shockingly revealing ads from real women looking for real men, as well a man who targets them, and Gentlemen, you really need to understand this…

There are several of you who have moved out of incompatible, irreconcilable marriages who are now dating who send me examples that are useful to those of us who are still married, especially ads by married women looking for thrills and the men who target them. Rick, a very astute reader and now friend, has contributed in the past, and every time he does, it’s an eye-opener, just like today. Check him out:

Hey David, As usual, the above newsletter (“12/04/08 - Why Women Have Affairs, and How to Prevent Them and Get Past Them”) is true to its hard-hitting form. Please allow me to provide (yet more) proof that what you say is the truth. I was on my online site earlier this evening when I saw this married woman had looked at my profile. Check out how she describes herself:


"I am a recently separated, and soon to be divorced, fun lady. I do not have any children and am ready to sew my wild oats (since I never had the chance before). I want to find someone who is only interested in having a good time. I'm not ready for a relationship so if that is what you want, do not reply. Am interested in some physical love. Husband could not satisfy my needs and I need someone who can.”

Now look at what she wants:

“I just need someone who is willing to go out with me and have a good time. I want you to show me what I have been missing all of these years - out on the town and in the bedroom. If this sounds like something for you, please respond.”

Another textbook example of how boredom, left unchecked, can doom a marriage. Gentlemen, please buy David's book so that you don't become another statistic! Do it for YOU.

David, Let me say for the record, that I have not, nor will I ever get involved with a married woman. However, there are plenty of men who will! Take a look at this Personal Trainer's confession:

I'm a lonely wife's dream, and hubby's worst nightmare.

In 30 years in the training business, I've probably had affairs with more than 40 married women. Most of them were in their 30s, married eight to 10 years, with kids, and their husbands weren't paying attention to them. They felt neglected. They didn't feel attractive. Their husbands had become preoccupied with work.

In the beginning, I was scared about having sex with my clients. I was a shy, overweight kid and didn't go to the prom, so I didn't have much confidence at first. Then I got this physique and I discovered that I had this ability to charm women, and I made up for lost time. When I was 17, I put my first ad in a small paper, saying I was looking for clients to train. I had just won Mr. Bodybuilding Teenage New York State, and in my ad I was looking lean and ripped.

The first day a woman called me and said, "Do you really look like this?" She asked what my girlfriend thought of my being a trainer, which I thought was strange. (I now know that when a client starts asking what my girlfriend thinks of my training, she wants to know if I'm available.) She told me she was married, that her husband traveled a lot for work and was never home. She said she found that being so sedentary had made her put on some weight.

The next day I went to her house. I'd spent a lot of my savings and gotten some help from my mom to buy a really nice dark blue warm-up suit and brand-new white Adidas sneakers so I would look like a professional trainer. When the woman opened the door, she was wearing a black negligee. I went home and told my mother and father, and they forbade me to go back. My parents canceled my ad and said, "This will probably be a problem the rest of your life."

It happens all the time now. The wives today feel they have just as much right, and drive, to have a playmate as their husbands do. It's natural to want to have sex with your trainer. Remember that training is very hands-on. I'm touching them, motivating them, encouraging them, listening to them, relieving their stress and channeling their energy in a more positive way. Just as their husbands used to do at the beginning of their marriage. I'm trained to get inside their heads and push the buttons that will motivate them. But I'm also in their heads in other ways. They connect with me emotionally. It's very important for a trainer to be a good listener.

I once had an interior-designer client who was very beautiful. Like every client, she started opening up about her life; women do the same thing with their hairdressers and trainers. "My husband isn't attentive to me, he used to be so passionate," she explained. It was her birthday and her husband had forgotten. I suggested we have lunch, and she said, "How about dinner?" And that's where I went wrong. For a couple of months after that, we would work out, go back to my place and have sex. I would whisper sexy thoughts to her when I was spotting her at the gym. And then it ended. We got caught by the husband. He wound up calling me up and crying like a baby, asking me to stay away from her.

I don't feel bad about having had affairs with married women, because they were feeling neglected and they just wanted to be loved. One woman said to me her husband had never looked into her eyes when they made love. He couldn't have been that smart, because women love the eye contact. I come from a very passionate, Italian family. When I make love to a woman, I like to have spontaneous sex. I like to do it in the elevator, on the beach, underneath the table in the restaurant. I like to make them feel young, mischievous, alive. If they can have a taste of it again, they can realize they haven't lost it.


I'm 47 now, and over the years I've learned to watch out. I realized I couldn't be sleeping with everyone's wife in town. Number one, you start sleeping with them and they want to stop paying, and I make $150 an hour. I was never paid for sex. I would never do it for that. Because for me it would ruin it. I like to make love to please someone. When they say, "I feel like a real woman again," it's the same thing as when I train them and they tell me how terrific they feel because they fit in clothes they haven't worn for 10 years. The high of training is the same high as making love. I've written a screenplay about it all, called "The Trainer." It's "Shampoo" for the 21st century.

That was pretty self-explanatory.

Take care,
Rick

Rick’s right. That is indeed painfully self-explanatory. If you’re not being a good husband, there are others standing in line, or waiting in the wings, or crouched in the bushes waiting to pounce, and once a woman hits a certain level of boredom, she will come unglued with the same lack of inhibition that you feel when you get too aroused to say, “No,” to se’x or to stop when she says, “No,” to you.

Make no mistake. This reaction is primal, biological, and has nothing whatsoever to do with love or the lack thereof, and if you’re not giving your wife a reason to enjoy being with you, somebody else is or soon will be giving her a reason to enjoy being with him. Period.

There is no emotion, logic, or “morality” that will interrupt this process once it has started, and if you knowingly allow it to start, you have nobody to blame for it but yourself when it is complete and at best, your wife is confessing and asking you to work things out with her and get your marriage back on track, or at worst, she’s announcing that she’s leaving you for him, and taking everything you own with her as punishment for putting her through the trouble.

So what do you do to prevent it? Be a man! And be a husband. A real husband, one who makes her feel alive, engaged, challenged, understood, and appreciated, as she tries to make you feel, not some guy who goes to work and sits with a remote control and a beer in front of the television all evening while she tends the kids and spends the rest of the evening in some Internet chat room. Get a clue!

And believe it or not, you’re a lot more likely to need much more than a clue to know what being a man and a husband are really all about. Even if you’re lucky enough to grow up with a good role model, which most of us weren’t because our fathers didn’t grow up with a good role model either, the examples we are barraged with daily – bungling, wussy beta males who somehow trip over themselves and fall into the arms of success by complete accident if at all – are there in your face constantly to confound and corrupt any legitimate concept you may have. But you still have a chance…

There are a few of us around who have not succumbed to all this wussy crap that’s been shoveled at us since the 1970’s, or have succumbed but learned from our mistakes and awakened from that wussy slumber, who can be that role model. A very few of us even have the writing, teaching, and training skills to help. One of us that I know of has even researched what seemed to be the right formula, tested it on hundreds of women and couples, and has made it available for you with little more than a few mouse clicks.

It’s called "THE Man's Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage,” and it’s all that, and more. Go to
http://www.makingherhappy.com and download your copy and see for yourself. Rick did, as did many others, and now they own their lives; join them.

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

David Cunningham

Sunday, December 07, 2008

What Improvement Are You Looking for in Your Relationship and Marriage, or Are You Looking At All?

Great things are where you find them, especially in relationships, marriages, and opportunity in general, but you have to be looking for them to see them. Believe it or not, that’s a lot more a matter of attitude than opportunity, luck, or providence…

I’m swimming in testosterone right now (Sunday afternoon), because there’s a hundred pounds of pork ribs in my smoker that is going to feed an army of hungry “good people” shortly, and I smell of hardwood smoke and burning pork fat, which where I live, is a very powerful aphrodisiac! No matter where you live or what your life is like, find a reason to get together with others at least once a month and practice these rituals of cooking over fire, communing and telling stories, all of which have evolved from the ancient hunt. It awakens something primal and wonderful for which there does not seem to be any substitute.

Since everything is looking good in the smoker and it’s awhile yet before time to greet family, friends, and neighbors, I sat down to check my e-mail and found a couple of starkly contrasting pieces that screamed out “NEWSLETTER!!!!” So while I usually do this late at night based on some experience of the day, I’m doing it early today while the message is still at the forefront of my mind and easy to share with you.

The first thing I saw was a notice that a reader named Ryan had ended his subscription to this newsletter. Ryan had subscribed eleven days prior, and his comment describing his reason for cancelling read:

“NOTHING OF VALUE”

Just below it was an e-mail from another reader, and I about laughed myself sick when I looked up his subscription date and found that it was the same day, and he submitted the following:

Hello David,

Thank you! Your book is awesome! All of your readers of your daily email should sack up and buy your book. Sometimes that macho crap gets in the way and we limit ourselves from learning more about the women in our lives. We do often think that we should naturally know everything....after reading your book I knew that I didn't know much!

My marriage came to an end a while ago and my ex was always turning to "relationship experts" like Dr Phil and John Gray just to name a couple. Yes being the good man (or trying to) I read their books. Although they had some interesting ideas, none of them had an impact on me the way your book did.

I have been in a new relationship with a woman now for about a year. I did not want this relationship to turn sour like all the other ones so I decided to be proactive and read your book. WOW! Over the past couple of weeks since I bought your book, I started to take control and the results have been amazing. I have not had a problem with self confidence or had a problem attracting women through out my life, but after a while things would always change. I could not sustain the attraction. This woman is amazing and I did not want to sabotage this one too. Your book is the bomb dude and I will direct as much attention to you as I can!

One of my buddies asked me this weekend why I was so happy and I told him I wish that he could feel for 5 minutes what I feel everyday now. My beautiful woman is into me like no one’s business and looks at me in a way where I feel her love, even when we are not together. After almost a year we are more in love today than ever before. Thank you David for doing what the so-called "relationship experts" could not.

Rock on Dude,

Mike

P.S. By the way...I packed her stuff up and we went for a picnic this weekend when she got home from work. The results are too X-rated to put here...lol. Later!

(The picnic Mike refers to in the post script is a surprise outing I describe in the "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage,” wherein after you have learned how to read your partner and pay attention to the little things about her, like what she never leaves the house without on a day trip, weekender, etc., you come home a little early from work or send her off on an errand so you can have the house to yourself for an hour or so and prepare a picnic, day trip, weekend outing, etc. – just any kind of surprise trip to shake things up and give her a break from routine. It’s a wonderful exercise in attraction-building and adventure that every woman appreciates.)

The stark contrast in the findings and underlying attitudes of these two readers is stark and significant. One was looking for answers and found them, and I’m still trying to figure out what the other one was looking for, but it took them exactly the same length of time to report their findings; my e-mail is updated every three minutes and these two came in together.

I’m hyper-analytical. You could probably count the original thoughts I’ve had in my life on both hands and a foot, but I can extract the cause and effect relationships from any situation quickly and accurately, and it’s painfully automatic. Everything I see or hear first causes me to visualize, then analyze, then look for parallels once the cause and effect is known and logical deductions and projections that can be made from them. (That’s why you never find opinion or theory in my newsletters or books!)

When these letters hit me, the first big question was, “what else do men miss because they aren’t looking for it, or are looking somewhere besides at their partners to find it?”

Think about that. Is there something that you wish you and your partner shared, or could share or do together, that you have just assumed she wouldn’t be interested in or do? Are you right now or have you recently made the mistake of involving others in the problems of your life or relationship because you assume that your partner won’t want to discuss it, or resolve it?

Do you have any idea how many missed opportunities to deepen and improve your relationship and your life occur as a result of that? Or how many affairs are started because of that? How many misunderstandings it generates?

Don’t be like Ryan. If there’s something lacking at home, don’t go outside to find it (and if you do decide to go outside your marriage, end it first) before making absolutely sure that it’s not sitting there undiscovered right under your nose at home. Talk to your partner, and listen – or are you able?

I’ll go to my grave preaching this sermon. Effective inter-gender communication is not something that we are born well-suited to even do, let alone succeed at. It is a skill that must be developed, not a talent determined by a gene. For those of you who have seen the “Men State, Women Negotiate” excerpt from "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" in my free “Break-Up Busting 101” report, you know that as complex as it all seems, it pretty much boils down to the ruthless exercise of three simple rules that anybody can follow.

The question is “What are you looking for?” which begs the other question, “What is motivating you to look for anything?” Are you like Ryan, maybe looking for justification for your past mistakes so that you can blame somebody else for leaving you, or are you like Mike, realizing that you wouldn’t be reading this if everything was perfect, and that something that appears logical, people are using with success, and is guaranteed to work is worth a try, and therefore taking action and getting outstanding results?

Only you can make that choice, and I dare say that it is inevitable that you will be held accountable for it, if by nothing else, the state of your own life and that of your family’s, so choose well…

I don’t want to get too carried away with coincidences, but if you want to be “like Mike” (to those of you who saw the movie, I swear that’s his real name!), just do what he did. Jump over to
http://www.makingherhappy.com and download your own copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," and get busy. It took him 11 days to write that letter. How quickly can you turn your life and relationship around?

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

David Cunningham