Tuesday, February 17, 2009

How Your Performance As Father Affects Your Rating As a Man in Your Relationship or Marriage

Children can be instrumental in making or breaking a relationship of any length, especially if they come from a previous partnership. Have you ever thought about how your success or failure in acting as a father could affect your image as a husband or boyfriend?

There’s an interesting phenomenon in full swing. I don’t know if reader questions are coming in response to controversial news topics, astrological influence, sheer coincidence, or what, but I keep seeing a predominate topic forming in reader e-mails that shifts every week or so. This week it seems to be questions about children and how they fit into the relationship. I’ll include a couple of them so you can see what I mean. First, meet Daphne:

Dear David,

First of all I would like to say that I have enjoyed and learned very much from you writings. As a woman some of it was hard for me to face in the beginning, but I truly believe that I am a much better person and wife thanks to you. There is however a couple of things that I would like to get you to give me some options on so that I may make the best decision.

I was married for 15 years prior to my divorce last year and was not sure I would ever find a man that I would love and be happy with in my life. Then walked in the most wonderful man I have ever known or will know as to that matter and we hit it off just perfect. A couple of months ago he asked me and my 2 children to move in his home with him and I was very excited and happy to be with him. As the time went by I started to see a problem that has me in a state of confusion.

My children are a girl of 16 and a son of 12 and I love them very much, but hence the problem. Max, the man I live with, has no kids of his own and I am not totally sure knows just how to handle living with two. Since we plan to be married very soon I was hoping he would be able to be somewhat of a father figure to the kids as their father is worthless in that aspect. What I am finding is that he seems to shy away from that role always telling the kids to ask me or talk to there biological father.

I want him to feel is that he has the same right as a biological father and that I expect him to treat my kids as if they were his own in all regards, making choices on their lives just as I do. I feel that by taking responsibility for their support and so forth the way he has that he has earned that right and I have no hard feelings as to him punishing the kids if the needs arise or teaching all the wonderful thing he has to share with them. How can I make him see that he does have to act just as any parent even though he is their step-father?

Thank you in advance for your help and keep up the good work,

And now meet Thomas:

Hi David,

I’m in a jam and need some advice. My wife and I got along great when we first got married, during her pregnancy, and after the birth of our two sons, until recently. The older son has reached “the terrible two’s” and is driving us both crazy getting into everything, but whenever I try to discipline him and teach him to behave properly and not be so destructive, my wife goes ballistic, jumps on the defensive, and grabs the kids up in their arms and acts like a caged animal, like she’s afraid I’m going to hurt the children, in spite of the fact that I’ve never been anything more than “stern” with her or the boys.

To top it all off, from the moment this started, our sex life has stopped dead, and our life together seems to have followed it. It’s like she’s drawn a line and I’m on one side of it and her and the boys are on the other side, like I’ve suddenly become the enemy. I’m at my wit’s end. Can you help?


So you see, you can go too far or not far enough with equal ease, and be just as lost either way. What’s weird is that both women want the same thing, a strong leader to be a father for the children, to treat them with good judgment and a fair and even hand, and to be an “active father,” not just a guy who brings home a paycheck and considers that the end of his fatherly duties.

Daphne’s boyfriend isn’t going far enough. He’s deferring all decisions to Daphne. Bad idea. Deferring all decisions to women makes you look weak and indecisive, not a desirable trait in a husband or a father. It triggers the death of attraction on a grand scale. He needs to just get in the game and do exactly what she is suggesting, treating her kids as if they were his own in every respect. If they disagree about something, they can cross that bridge when they come to it, as all parents do, and if they are smart, they’ll do it behind closed doors so that they may present a strong, unified front to the kids, making themselves impervious to the games kids like to play in pitting Mommy and Daddy against one another.

Thomas’s wife is seeing something that makes her think he’s going too far. She’s seeing him as abusive or potentially abusive, whether he is truly abusive or not. It’s possible that when he is being “stern” as he calls it, he’s not leaving her that input channel that women expect in their relationship with a male partner. It could also be that she was abused as a child or watched some other child be abused and there’s just something about his manner or method that reminds her of that and she gets defensive. We really don’t have enough information to make a determination, except to know that if she’s acting defensive, something is making her feel threatened, and they need to discuss it, openly between them but again, out of earshot of the children, no matter what their age.

The good news? Taking the lead in working out this problem, listening and working the problem out with her, and then taking that leadership role as father is incredibly attractive to a woman, and failure to do so in any degree is a major attraction killer. This is actually a good thing, because there is no middle ground to get lost in. You do the job right, and you get rewarded, plain and simple. It’s a matter of understanding the role and being able to communicate with her in a way that makes her feel like you are doing this as partners, not two separate parental forces that are pulling in different directions.

Even this topic of how children can make or break your relationship (and your sex life) is covered in “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage,” along with evaluating your relationship, accurately communicating with your partner (learning how to speak “girly-ese”), and all the various ways in which you can create or kill the attraction that makes your life together fun, exciting, and sexy. I’m telling you, Gentlemen, if you had this book and not another thing to help you have a great relationship, you could do it, because the content was suggested, tested, and proven by 118 couples before the first writing and confirmed, tweaked, and enhanced by hundreds more since that date.

If it’s important, it’s included, and if you use everything that’s included, your partner and you will easily be able to work out anything and everything that comes up. Even if it turns out that breaking up is the only reasonable option you have because you never should have come together in the first place, you’ll be able to do it peacefully and knowing that there is no other option. So one way or another, this information will enable you to have happiness and the wherewithal to enjoy a great relationship, even if you have to find a new one to enjoy – and it tells you how to do that, too! So go to
http://www.makingherhappy.com and download your copy right now, because life is too short to fail to really live it.

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

David Cunningham

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