Sunday, May 17, 2009

Is Somebody Getting the Short End of the Stick in Your Relationship or Marriage?

Some men (and women) work their asses off for all the wrong reasons. Are you one of them? Would you know? There’s an easy way to tell, and there’s a way to fix it, too…

Today I was reminded of something that happened to me a long time ago that really teaches a great lesson about making a contribution in your relationship. I’ll spare you the details of the event because it was both boring and pathetic; I’ll merely say that it involved a broker who had resorted to scamming his clients to feed his wife’s insatiable appetite for shopping and ultimately ended up jailed, divorced, and selling used cars after he got out of jail, all because he didn’t say “no” or “stop” when he should have.

Have you ever asked yourself why you work the way you do, and who it’s really for? Whose goals you are trying to meet? If not, you should. That answer is definitely one worth having.

If you and your wife have sat down and planned your retirement together and you have jointly chosen things that you want to accomplish before and during your retirement, great! You’re on the right track. If the two of you are so independent that you keep your finances separated and are both making your own arrangements for retirement, that’s great too, as long as everybody holds up their end. But…

If you’re doing all the working and she’s doing all the spending, or if your both working but she’s still doing all the spending, something’s wrong. And no, I’m not talking about your wife being the one to handle paying the bills out of a joint account. If your wife is better at that kind of thing than you are and you can trust her to do it right and honestly, that’s the best thing to do.

What I AM talking about is when all significant financial decisions -- indeed, all decisions of any kind -- serve her goals and not yours. I see this around me nearly every day, and get letters from men asking for help with the issue. I won’t say that it’s a problem in every household by a long shot, but it’s getting common enough that I feel compelled to address it.

Why does it happen? Because you wussed out! No, there’s no other explanation, so don’t try. You wussed out and gave in and spoiled her rotten, or allowed her to spoil herself rotten because you didn’t have the spine to say, “No, that doesn’t work for me and I don’t want to do it. Working for no reward at all is slavery, not love, and you cannot leave me without reward for my work.”

Maybe it was fear of retaliation, or fear of rejection, or fear of making the wrong decision. Maybe it was just being too lazy to make a decision. Maybe you were such a wuss that you thought that you had to buy her love by turning everything over to her and living for her pleasure to the exclusion of your own. Only you can know that, unless you want to give me the details of your history and have me point it out to you. But what I can deduce with 100% accuracy is that it happened because you were not involved in the decisions, except possibly as a “yes man.”

If it hasn’t happened to you, congratulations, but pay attention and make sure it never does. The broker I mentioned was an alpha male sort who ran onto some hard times, and his conniving wife smelled blood and told him that if he didn’t continue to keep her up in the manner to which she had become accustomed, she’d leave and take everything he had. He panicked, plain and simple, and turned against everything he was (he was my futures trading broker for years and was the only honest broker I had ever met until this happened) out of fear that he would lose her.

I hope that it’s obvious to you that a woman who would leave you because you won’t spoil her isn’t worth having anyway, because she’s only there for the money, to take your life, not share it with you. And before anybody goes off half-cocked and sends me a nastygram because I’m saying that “all women are just after money,” NO, I’M NOT. Most women are good women, just like most men are good men. But the bad ones tend to be really, REALLY bad, and if you find you’re with one, you’re options boil down to precisely two: Remain a slave to her desires or free yourself of her and start over with a good woman who will share your goals and desires and help you to attain them – a partner, not a parasite or predator.

There is nothing you can do to change a bad person into a good one; they must do that, of their own free will and because they desire it, if it is ever to happen. You can’t blame a good woman for letting you spoil her, or a bad one for making you spoil her if she succeeds. All you can do is force a correction of the attitude and behavior and let the chips fall where they may. The woman’s character will be indicated by whether she straightens up or hits the door running (or tries to throw YOU out).

The point? It all boils down to who benefits from what you do. If you don’t benefit from your labor, why do it? (And for that matter, if you’re putting all your love and energy into a relationship and not getting any in return, why do that, either???) If you’re not benefiting from the time and effort you spend to generate income (or be a good husband) while others in your family do, that’s not being a man and a provider, it’s being a slave, and there is nothing loving or noble about being a slave.

Stand up and at least share in the benefits of your labor, and if somebody gets mad about it, tell them to either get over it or hit the road, because their days of reaping all the benefits of what you do while you get nothing more than the headache and the backache are over. That leaves them two choices, respect you and stay, or leave. Either one is a good option for you under the circumstances, right? Even if they take everything you have as they exit, you weren’t getting to enjoy it anyway, and with a fresh start, you can enjoy everything you work for and earn. Starting over, if things are bad enough to require it, is not the end of the world; it’s the beginning of a whole new world.

A great relationship and marriage is based on love, which is in turn based upon compatibility, and love brings with it respect, loyalty, trust, and friendship; the absence of those things is an accurate indicator of the absence of love. It also requires attraction to provide the fun and excitement that keeps the relationship alive for the decades that the two of you live together. Without it, life is boring, especially for her, and she’ll find a way to cure her boredom if you don’t cure it for her, either with drama or with somebody else.

Nobody who loves you would allow you to work as their slave, and nobody to whom you are enslaved could ever feel love, respect or attraction for you. It’s really that simple. You have to either turn it around or start over, the right way, with somebody else, if you are ever to be happy. Otherwise, at best, you’ll spend the rest of your life “comfortably unhappy,” settling for trying to keep things from getting worse because it’s impossible for them to be better, holding survival, not joy, as your goal. End of story.

Sometimes mistakes are made and people get off-track, and you can turn it around just by making the choice to correct mistakes and get back on track. Other people start off the wrong way, marrying for need instead of love because they don’t know the difference, and you simply can’t get it back on track because it was never there to start with. How do you know the difference? And how do you respond when you do?

It’s not hard to do, just hard to recognize when you’ve not studied women, couples and relationships, and nobody who has studied them has told you what they’ve found. I’ve studied them, and still have women and couples working with me regularly to expand the knowledge base by testing new ideas and scenarios. Once you get on this road to improving your relationship, you can’t get off. It’s not that it’s an addiction; it’s just so rewarding to feel yourself getting more and more happy, intimate, excited, and safe in the knowledge that you are indeed living with a true partner, not just a dependent who may stab you in the back or leave you for no apparent reason.

Care to join us? We’re literally in a revolution, revolting against the mistaken and life-destroying ideas that bad relationships can only get worse or must be suffered in silence, that it takes months of expensive therapy to get over common problems, that bedroom intimacy is going to die after you’ve been together for a year or two and an affair is the only way that you’re ever going to enjoy that kind of life again.

If you want to know what we’ve found so far, go to
http://www.makingherhappy.com and download your copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" and start reading. If you’re already feeling the strain and think a break-up might be imminent, also download my free “Break-Up Busting 101” report and feel free to share it with your friends. Together, we can fix just about anything, one way or another, so climb aboard and let’s get busy!

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

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