Saturday, December 20, 2008

Party Advice for Men in Relationships and Marriage

Have you ever thought about what might be appropriate or desirable post-party behavior when you’re in a marriage or committed relationship? Gentlemen, lend me your ears, because there is indeed more to it than you might expect…

I wish I could gather all my “students” in one room for a day for a caucus. The ideas and observations that some of them e-mail me explaining what they have learned and especially what they have figured out on their own after reading my book are stunningly brilliant. Get this:

Hi David,

Here's a newsletter idea for you: It occurred to me recently how different men and women communicate when it comes to classifying their experiences. A man and woman can spend the day, the weekend, or a lifetime together, and at the "end" (of whatever), the man will know that he had fun, think it's obvious [because it IS], but a woman will ABSOLUTELY need to review the experience and HEAR him say: "I really enjoyed myself with you today". KEY communication issue, particularly with those in a troubled or "young" relationship, but still important at any stage. It might be partly because men are less talkative about their emotions, but there's something more basic to it than that. So there's your newsletter:

"Guys: on the way home from the Christmas party, tell her how much fun you had with her, how nice she looked, and then listen while she relives the best parts. Then go home and have sex, because you've done the prework. Oh, and don't forget to flirt with her while you're there."

There might be a whole "Christmas Party Newsletter"
needed, since I'll bet about half of them (family or otherwise) end up in fights. Maybe you could make it a New Year’s Eve Party newsletter.

Johnson

This is the kind of thing that happens when a man tunes in after reading "THE Man's Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage." He no longer has to sit around wondering what the right thing to do or say is because it all just becomes naturally obvious. I’m proud of every one of them, too.

So let’s look at Johnson’s observation. He’s spot on. It’s not good enough for a woman to see you enjoying anything with her; her social nature demands that it be verbalized, just as she still needs to hear that you love her and are committed to her to believe it, no matter what she sees. And yes, that’s why all those relationships from your youth that you thought were going great for two or three months suddenly ended without you having a clue as to why. You didn’t verbalize the love and commitment you felt and she didn’t believe it was there.

When it comes to parties, especially the kind where she puts on the little black dress, she takes extra pains to look good. Granted, part of that is because she wants to compete with all the other women there, but she still wants to know that you noticed and that you appreciate the effort, because part of what she is competing for is your attention. She also wants to feel like you were glad to be there – WITH HER. That’s the important part.

Yes, really. She wants to share your fun by hearing the accounts of the fun you had with other people, but the icing on the cake for her will be the feeling that going with her was better than just going. A girl likes to hear that if you hadn’t taken her to the party you’d have damned sure picked her up if you’d found her there, if you know what I mean.

And she wants to share her good time, her conversations, etc., to relive them and feel the rush again. Believe it or not, this is a privilege of sorts; remember that women snub and shut out people they don’t like. Most of the time their accounts will be fun to listen to, but if they stray into uncomfortable territory like telling you about so-and-so’s menstrual problems or some gossip that you really don’t want any part of, don’t be afraid to encourage her to save that part for her girlfriends because you’re not stepping out of the husband role to indulge in it. Just make sure you say it with a smile and try to be fun about it; that’s not a maneuver that can be aided with whining or irritation. For example:

“Hey! Hey! Hey! The gossip window is closed! (Laughing) Save that for when you’re talking to Charlotte tomorrow and tell me about So-And-So-I-Saw-You-Talking-To-By-The-Fireplace.”

A diversion, a laugh, and leadership into some other topic, got it? Fun, not cranky or whiney. And that’s not hard if you allow yourself to be amused by her excitement over some juicy piece of gossip or the drama of something that you couldn’t possibly be interested in because it’s just too girly for words.

Now tell me something. Why am I telling you all of this? Why aren’t you part of this army of men that I’m building who “get it”? Sigmund Freud, the renowned psychiatrist/psychologist, is famous for saying (among other things) “The great question, which I have not been able to answer, is ‘What does a woman want?’” I know, my students know, but Sigmund Freud didn’t. Fancy that!

So how about it? Why don’t you cast in with us? It takes a very few dollars and a very few hours; I’ve had meals that lasted longer and cost far more than what it takes you to read this book. The bragging rights alone are worth more than that, for crying out loud! You’ll be able to prove that you know what women REALLY want, how to communicate with them instead of getting the eye-rolling and “whatever!” There’s also a return to honeymoon activity, in the bedroom and out, and you get to say you know something that Sigmund Freud couldn’t figure out in a lifetime! Can you beat that deal with a stick? LOL!

Seriously, you really should join us. Just make it a holiday gift to yourself that your wife will benefit from as well. Go to
http://www.makingherhappy.com and download your copy of "THE Man's Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" right now, and before New Year’s you’ll be turning things around and kicking them up to notches unknown to humankind.

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

David Cunningham

Friday, December 19, 2008

Hobbies That Work FOR Your Relationship and Marriage

It’s all too common for men and women to take up hobbies to have time away from their spouse. That’s understandable if you don’t know how to improve things, but not excusable. Besides, you should see what can happen when you invite your spouse to enjoy your hobby with you!

Any of you who have been with me for awhile know that woodworking is one of my hobbies, and I was somewhat amused when I got the following letter:

Mr. Cunningham,

My wife and I have been married for 32 years, and we are okay, I guess, as long as we do not spend too much time together. But I have a problem and I hope you can help me with it. It is with my woodworking hobby and my wife.

I have been building furniture and cabinets all my life, literally since childhood. I love wood. The smell of it when it is being cut or worked. The way it changes as I shape it. The way the grain can be made to look like a hundred different things depending on what I put on it. The sheer fact that I can take a piece of a tree and turn it into something useful and beautiful.

And my wife apparently resents the hell out of it.

I love going to my shop and making things, as you probably guess from my description of how I love wood, and every time I go out there it puts me in a good mood, which my wife manages to spoil very quickly as soon as I come back into the house, if she can wait that long. Half the time she finds some excuse to come out and interrupt me. And it is always when I am not in a good position to stop.

Stupid stuff, you know? Like killing a spider in the hallway, or to taste something she is cooking, or hold up something she is puttering with while she does something to it. Or she will want me to come in the house to talk about the movies playing at the cinema or something like that. I never interrupt her when she is doing any of her hobby things, and the hypocrisy of this double standard is driving me nuts. Can you tell me how I might get her to leave me alone and let me enjoy my woodworking without invoking any more punishment?

Thank you,
James


My reply:

Hello, James,

No, I can’t tell you how to get her to leave you alone. But I can tell you how to get her to let you enjoy your hobby: Invite her to join you in it!

No joke, that’s what her interruptions are most likely expressing. She wants to do something with you.

Women hate to feel like they’re being left out of anything, because they have such a huge problem managing boredom, and if you’re going out to a space that she deems “off limits” to her, and you come in the house in a better mood, that smells to her like she’s missing out on something fun, in addition to missing out on YOU.

Yeah, I know. You can’t see your wife in your woodshop. But hang with me here for a minute or two and you will.

Women absolutely love to see a man doing just about anything with competence. It’s a huge turn-on. And that especially includes making things from wood. Women “nest,” remember? Your hobby could actually BOOST your bedroom life. And when was the last time that you made something for your wife to put in the house?

You may recall from one of my newsletters about choosing the perfect gift for a woman that one of the most important things about the gift be that it is something special, just for her; mass-produced gifts only point out that you can spend money, not that you have paid attention to her. Making something for her in your shop could end up being a more-prized possession than even her wedding ring. And that’s not even the best part!

We men love to make things out of wood, but we hate finishing. There’s a really good reason for that. Building things satisfies a primal drive we have to create and provide for our family. But finishing (sanding, applying stain or protective finishes, etc., for you non-woodworkers), at least for most of us, is a lot of tedious, repetitive work that has extreme potential to take that thing we just built and make it both aggravating and ugly (if something goes wrong during finishing, again for you non-woodworkers). Now, brace yourself…

Finishing is a “nesting” type activity! Many women actually love doing it. To them, it’s like painting a room in the house, or any other kind of decoration, something that takes the plain and utilitarian and makes it both beautiful and personal. It’s intimate to them. And most of them are, quite frankly, a lot better at it than we are.

So instead of trying to keep your wife out of your shop, invite her to join you. Don’t expect her to want to be ripping sheets of plywood for cabinets or running rough wood over your jointer, at least not until she indicates that she’d like to learn how, but she may well be very good at and enjoy helping you keep things organized, stacking pieces and marking them off your cut lists as you mill them, sanding and checking for defects while you’re milling the next piece, and ultimately doing most if not all of the finish work that so many of us really don’t like to do.

This will put you in a position of authority, which is exciting to her, put your woodworking competence on display, which will also be exciting to her, give you a chance to be a leader in her presence, which will be greatly exciting to her, will give her access to that “man sanctum” in a way she never expected, also exciting, and will replace the interruptions and aggravation of which you complain with help and support. And when she sees all the wonderful things that can be made with all those tools, she won’t mind hearing how much you REALLY paid for them, either. LOL!

Take care, and keep in touch,
David


What about the rest of you? Do you have some sort of hobby that your wife interrupts that she could be joining in? Frankly, I’m shocked at how many women I’ve met that actually enjoy watching baseball, football, hockey, etc., with their men or even by themselves once invited to do so. I’m also amazed at how many literally are enthralled by the shooting sports, many of whom talk about “getting wet” while doing it. Can you imagine? You should see the women I’ve seen at gun shows, and you’d know they weren’t kidding.

So no, it doesn’t have to be woodworking, although it’s probably the best of all of them, because it’s the one that creates a special one-of-a-kind gift for her or your home or solves some problem (like storage problems or displaying some cool new vase she just found at a yard sale or boutique), which enhances her nesting ability, and entails a lot of things that she’s naturally good at. Just take what I’ve taught you, or will teach you if you read my book and newsletters, and look at what you do for fun.

You’ll find that there’s probably more than one thing you’ve excluded your wife or girlfriend from that she’ll not only enjoy doing with you, but can bring you closer together in other areas of your relationship or marriage, including the bedroom. All you have to do is learn a few things about women and keep your eyes and ears open for opportunity. Once you spot the behavior that says she thinks she’s being left out of something fun, BOOM! Invite her in, and see what happens.

You can pick up a few things out of my newsletters, but if you really want to make life great, literally returning to honeymoon status even if you’re currently contemplating (or defending against) divorce, you need "THE Man's Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," and you need it now. So go to http://www.makingherhappy.com and download your copy and get started. Or keep putting up with the nagging and all the parts of your hobby that takes all the fun out of it. It’s your choice. Make it a good one.

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

David Cunningham

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Preparation: Key to Easy Success in Relationships and Marriage

It’s pretty easy to see that taking on any challenge fully prepared is infinitely better than doing so unprepared. This is just as true in relationships and marriage as it is in anything else. Were you prepared when you started? Are you prepared now? It’s never too late…

I’ve talked about preparedness before, but I got an e-mail from a reader that really drives the message home, and I want to share it with you. Meet Mark:

Hey David,

How's it going!

Well I'm doing pretty good indeed!

You know what, before, like a year ago, my girlfriend told me that she wasn't ready to move with me in a apartment. I wasn't either. After applying the information in your guide now she sure is! And I, also! She called me yesterday to ask me if I was ready to move in with her!

Like many of your readers, after reading your guide I now have much more respect for my woman. And I understand much more her needs, which is extremely important.

Here are a few things I've realized, summarized:

I've got to keep doing the things that attracted her to me at first.
I've got to display an alpha male personality in her presence.
I've got to improve my life in every way possible.
Finally, I've got to make her FEEL great about herself

David, thanks for everything, you’re the man!

Mark


Mark is one of many who is seeing the value of preparedness in relationships. When you’re unprepared, it shows, not just in your incompetence, but in your confidence level. And women can pick up on that from light years away.

And rightly so. It’s a defense mechanism. As I’ve shown you many times in the past, much of our courtship and relationship behavior is biologically driven and involves filtering mechanisms that have protected our ability to procreate and continue our existence at the top of the food chain for as long as we’ve been walking upright, or longer. They need to feel safe, especially in making an emotional investment in a relationship with us, and if they don’t, the relationship suffers.

And it doesn’t matter what kind of relationship, either. It doesn’t matter if you’re married, contemplating marriage, living together, dating steadily (committed or not), dating to find a relationship, dating for fun, or if the relationship is even of such a nature that se’xual contact might ever be an option or consideration. Women are just as protective of their lives and feelings with friends, family, coworkers, etc., as they are with men they may have some sort of se’xual contact with. And you should be, too! Think about that…

We’re talking about your life, are we not? Would you let a guy off the street act as a brain surgeon and start hacking at your head with a hammer, chisel, and table knife? Would you let a guy who didn’t know which part of your car was the engine start working on yours?

Would you employ the services of a doctor who didn’t speak the same language as you, so that information about symptoms, diagnosis and treatment could be exchanged? Would you put your retirement nest egg in the hands of a person who knew nothing about using it to build wealth for you?

Certainly not! Yet so many people will enter into human relationships without knowing the first thing about the corresponding issues of getting along with people, without understanding what makes men and women who they are, how they are alike and different, how to communicate effectively with them, how to know when something is broken and how to try to fix it.

And it continues to blow my ever-loving mind that these things are so crucial and so easy to learn and use, yet nobody seems to be insisting on getting this information until they’ve already screwed up, possibly several times. We spend years of our lives either chasing this information, begging people who purposely make it more complicated than it is to protect either their livelihood or the secret of their incompetence and ignorance, or consigning ourselves to the mistaken idea that knowing what we need to know about the opposite gender – and ourselves, for that matter – is some “great mystery of life” that we are doomed to never solve, and that having any kind of satisfying relationship is a matter of luck, fate, compromise, sacrifice, or some sort of divine intervention. A load of “bovine male fecal matter” if ever there was one.

The good news is that no matter how unprepared you are right now, you can get prepared, quickly and easily. And I’m talking hours, not days. Hell, I’ve had sex for longer than it will take you to get prepared, without any sort of chemical support or enhancement, and I’ll bet that if you go back to your teens or twenties, you probably have, too, so we’re really not talking about a lot of time here!

And even if it’s too late for this relationship, you can get prepared for the next one. Speaking of which, do you even know how to really tell when it’s over and no matter what you do she’s not coming back? Don’t you think you should know this before a conflict arises so that you don’t waste your life beating a dead horse? I know, and I can tell you. We’ll get to that in a minute…

Gross compatibility problems – personal values, goals, etc. – are the main reason that relationships fall apart, and about the only good reason to not try to put one back together, but when people get emotional they forget about reason and will sometimes go so far as to cut off their nose to spite their face. And believe it or not, sometimes a woman might just have a better grip on the situation than you do.

But either way, the only time that it’s not even worth your time to try to determine whether your relationship should be saved is when a woman puts up barriers to communication – court-issued restraining orders, moving to another town, changing her number and not giving you the new one, saying nothing at all to you except, “Don’t talk to me anymore,” having friends answer her phone to filter you out or directing you to her attorney for all communication.

That’s right. As long as she is still talking to you, even if she’s yelling and screaming at you, she’s emotionally engaged, and resolution is possible. You still have to determine if there is a sound basis for the relationship and act accordingly, but if you can make her feel safe in joining you in looking at everything and making that determination according to what’s best for both of you, she will calm down and work with you. But you have to be prepared for that, too.

You have to know enough about women in general to be able to also grasp the things that make her an individual. You have to be able to speak and listen to her in such a way that the message gets through and is interpreted correctly by both of you. You have to understand what part of her needs are the same as yours, different from yours, compatible with yours and in conflict with yours. And this is not something that you were born to do, else you wouldn’t wind up in such a predicament, but as the people whose letters I keep sharing with you clearly demonstrate, it can be learned. I can’t say that EVERYBODY is doing it, but I can say that EVERYBODY WHO IS USING WHAT IS IN MY BOOK is doing it, and I have their testimonials to back it up.

Yes, I said EVERYBODY. It’s really that good. And for the simplest of reasons: I was prepared to write it by gathering data from the source, a large group of women, and tested and refined that data by turning it over to the men in their lives to test on them. No opinions, no theories, no “branded methodology,” just the facts and a process for using them to quickly and easily set things right. And again, I have the testimonials of a lot of real people who had real problems to back it up.

So how about you? Do you want a piece of this action? Would you like to discuss something with your wife or girlfriend and know going in that even if the subject matter is touchy the two of you will be able to talk about and work something out instead of usual result of eye-rolling, shouts of “whatever!” as somebody leaves the room, and the accusations of “never listening” and “being a bitch” that always seem to come up? Would you like to go back to feeling like the woman in your life is a partner instead of an antagonist, or competitor?

The correct answer here is “yes!” by the way…

So go to
http://www.makingherhappy.com and download your copy of "THE Man's Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" and get prepared for a relationship that makes you both happy. It certainly beats hiding at the office or at “happy hour” somewhere to minimize the time you have to spend at home, wouldn’t you think?

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

David Cunningham

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’m sure you’ve heard that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure;” this is about a pound of prevention and it’s worth several tons of cure, and it can be yours for less than the price of a good meal for two, so get it done – or would you prefer to be alone after shelling out that $27,000 that the average contested divorce costs in the U.S.? Or better yet, the $1.8 million paid out over the next seven years and guaranteed with a life insurance policy that I was told about in an e-mail yesterday? I didn’t think so!

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

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Lying in Relationships and Marriage, Part 2, Response to Faking It Until You Make It

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

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

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

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

Dear David,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Darla


My response:

Hi Darla,

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

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

Take care,
David


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

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

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

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

David Cunningham

Monday, December 15, 2008

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

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

This is the first part of a three-part series on the various aspects of deceit in a relationship, which will include, among other things, lie detection, so don't miss any part of it! Reader comments indicate it is one of the most popular topics we discuss and the second most popular newsletter series I issue, and truth be told, I should probably turn it into a stand-alone report, so even if you’ve seen it before, read carefully and treat it as a “refresher course” if necessary.

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

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

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

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

This will get the job done, if simply getting married and being kept is a woman’s goal, but at what cost? In short, turning him into an insecure, jealous wuss that no woman could possibly be attracted to because a woman won’t respect and can’t feel attraction (that “swept off her feet” feeling that is an integral part of female sexual arousal) for a man she can control. This is a sure-fire recipe for disaster (especially if you have a healthy libido!), as it is what creates that marriage in which the woman spends everything the man makes but has sex with the proverbial gardener or pool boy instead of her husband.

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

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

What should you do? Work your attraction magic with things that are really part of you, incorporating new things that fit well into yourself if necessary. Start by emphasizing – NOT exaggerating -- your best behavior and avoiding and ultimately reforming – NOT disguising -- your worst. Then, take on a bit of self-improvement in areas that are appealing to you. If you’re not naturally funny, learn to be. Don’t just try to fake it, and stress over it; study it, understand how it can brighten your life and your outlook on life, as well as make you more attractive to your partner, and treat it as a self-improvement exercise because it is. Don’t try to act funny, BECOME funny. Join Toastmaster’s or something and learn how to tell a good story and see the humor in things. Take dancing lessons if you’ve always thought about it but never got around to it. Learn how to have real fun and adventure yourself and you will be fun and interesting to a woman.

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

Or, you could just try to “fake it ‘til you make it,” and be stressed out over having your cover blown and somebody seeing the real you and not liking what they see, kicking you to the curb while yelling “Fraud!” and walking away without another thought. No? I thought not.

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

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

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

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

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

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

David Cunningham

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Are Your Friends Helping or Destroying YOUR Relationship and Marriage?

Who’s giving you advice? Are they succeeding in whatever way you want to succeed and living the way you want to live? If not, they’re not the people to be advising you, especially about your relationship.

I was out with my wife once at a local Mexican restaurant and saw something disgusting that we need to discuss. No, it wasn’t something with legs in the enchiladas or the salsa verde. It was a couple of fairly young men, seemingly in their early thirties. One of them was slouched over, in grungy clothes, looking like a total slacker – I looked under his table to see if there was a skateboard hiding there. His clothes were wrinkled, his hair disheveled and if he had come to my door to visit my daughter looking like that I would have kicked his sorry butt out the door and told him to come back when he’d acquired soap – both the body and laundry varieties – and some self-respect.

His companion looked considerably better. He sat up straight, and was dressed for being in public. He was fairly well-groomed, His shirt was tucked in and his clothes were not wrinkled. He had more of a worldly air about him. There was a near-empty margarita pitcher between them and they were both talking louder than they should have been. (It’s amazing how tequila damages others’ hearing and not your own, isn’t it??? LOL!)

The more respectable-looking of the pair was dating a co-worker of theirs, apparently a high-quality girl that was pretty popular in the office. He told his friend he wanted to escalate the relationship because he thought they were right for each other. Before he got to the end of the sentence, his friend the slacker said, "Dude, no way she’ll hang with you! You're not her type. She’s into power and sleeps with the boss. Even if she did hook up steady with you, you’d just screw it up like you’ve done with every other woman you’ve dated."

Doesn’t sound like much of a friend, does he? Unfortunately, it’s not that uncommon amongst "friends" for one whose having a hard time or just generally negative about everything to rain on everybody else’s parade. In his mind, if he’s not happy, it’s not fair for anybody else to be. Instead of being happy for his friend, he’s throwing cold water on his friend’s desires/ambitions, possibly for no better reason than to keep himself from having somebody to drink with or complain to.

The disgusting thing is that it worked! The poor guy sat there a moment and then said, "Yeah, you're probably right." He allowed his so-called "friend" to rob him of his ambition and convince him that he didn't have a chance with her. They worked in the same office! If she’d really been sleeping with the boss, wouldn’t they BOTH have heard about it by then? It’s ridiculous that so many people do this to one another, and still call each other “friends”! It’s just plain sick to think about, but it’s the nature of people who lack self-esteem.

Losers have a tendency to want to pull others down to their level, instead of learning from their friends and drawing on their successes as inspiration for their own success, which would elevate them to their mentor’s level. Lacking character, it’s easier for them to talk trash to the achievers around them than to get off their lazy butt and achieve something. Is this the kind of person you want to take advice from, about anything in your life??? I hope not, and I can tell you categorically and with authority that it is not.

This kind of person is a prime target for the “hire slowly, fire quickly” method of forming relationships of any kind. No matter how much you want to do or try to do, they will try at every turn to discourage and disparage anything that is above them. This is the last person in the world that you want to be discussing anything important or personal with, because they can’t possibly have anything good going on in their life or they wouldn’t be talking to you this way.

Their opinion of what you should be doing or any advice they may offer is therefore worthless; otherwise, they would be having some successes and being upbeat about at least a few things in their life. Their sole purpose in any conversation with you will be to bring you down, not celebrate your dreams and successes with you.

Always make sure you are fully supported by your friends and family. If you have any “friends” that are constantly telling you that you will not be able to accomplish something, or that you’re wife will end up leaving you, or that you can’t possibly get that better job you’re going after without any facts to back up their claims (if you’re trying to learn to play piano with no hands, or you’re a violent spouse abuser, or the job you’re applying for requires a PhD and you don’t have a high school diploma, they may have a point, but you know what I mean), fire them!

They’re not worthy of sharing your life’s energy and your space. Know the difference between a good friend who has relevant facts that you don’t yet possess and cares enough to give them to you and the pessimistic gothic ne’er-do-well who thinks it rains 24/7 and wants to make sure you stay soaked in their misery.

People like this can insidiously turn you into a carbon copy of themselves, and as you can imagine, that’s about as unattractive as it gets. Just ask any woman (who’s not one of these constantly complaining losers) what she thinks of them. She’ll tell you, in no uncertain terms, that she wants someone fun and upbeat, somebody with brains and vision and leadership skills, not some loser who ridicules greatness because he’ll never aspire to it, let alone achieve it. Nobody who looks at his shoes when he talks and walks and disparages everything he hears is attractive, to anyone, in any way, except maybe to a hard-up mugger looking for a target.

Besides, what kind of valuable advice would someone who is always negative and never going anywhere or doing anything have to give? There’s an old Chinese proverb that really comes into play here: "The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it." Ayn Rand also had something very valuable to say about this: "The ladder of success is best climbed by stepping on the rungs of opportunity." What opportunities will you be availing yourself of while you have Joe Doomengloom constantly telling you that you’re just going to fall off the ladder? Kick his (or her) ass to the curb and get on with the business of being a man.

Always surround yourself with positive, up-beat people -- people who have confidence in themselves and in you. Real friends will strengthen and support you when you’re onto something good, and if they do say something negative, it will be to give you the benefit of their experience or insight and keep you out of trouble, not to keep you from achieving.

Also, no matter what you’re doing, if you are going to ask somebody for a recommendation or advice, make sure that they have been successful in pursuing whatever you are pursuing, and therefore have valid experience to draw on and valid advice to give. Don’t ask your CPA for legal advice (unless he’s also a lawyer) or your lawyer for tax advice (unless he’s also a tax accountant). Don’t ask somebody who doesn’t even use a computer and has never sold anything to review your Internet business and give you suggestions. And above all, don’t ask an unhappy slacker who has no history of lasting, happy relationships about anything having to do with your relationship. If you want to succeed at anything, find somebody who has already succeeded, and learn from what they did, both right and wrong.

I’m a guy you can ask for help with a relationship, especially one that’s gone stale over time and needs reviving. I’ve done it, and I don’t think I could ask for things to be much better. In addition to my own experience, I have that of 118 other couples who all helped develop and test the content of “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage” – they all improved their relationships dramatically with this very material as we researched it, as did thousands more who have added the benefit of their experience in the years since. We all learned how to evaluate relationships, how to communicate to effectively bridge the inter-gender communications gap, and what it takes to trip a woman’s attraction triggers and bring that honeymoon back with a bang!

Learn from us and make your own relationship all it can be by going to
http://www.makingherhappy.com right now and downloading your copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," because it works, it’s guaranteed, and life’s too short to wait for good things to happen – YOU MUST MAKE THEM HAPPEN, AND YOU CAN!

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

David Cunningham