Saturday, May 16, 2009

Why Does She Erupt? How to Stop Drama from Killing Your Relationship and Marriage

Why do otherwise stable and level-headed women sometimes pitch a fit for no apparent reason? And what’s the best way to handle it?

We talked yesterday about how to tell when a woman is getting ready to erupt for no apparent reason, and there was a cursory explanation of how to handle it, but I really wanted to give you more on understanding the cause and handling the situation. To do so, I’ll provide something from my own experience that details the build-up, explosion, and diffusing of the situation to help you relate this lesson to events in your own past so that you can be better prepared next time it comes up, and IT WILL come up. It’s a topic that I frequently need to address, and the following reader question makes for an excellent lead-in for the discussion. Meet Joel:

Hi David,

I bought your book and I'm progressing through the relationship evaluation and it looks like we're good, but I've got to ask you about something that may already be in the book because it's driving me nuts. Donna, my wife, is usually pretty stable and understanding, and seldom raises her voice. In fact, sometimes we don't talk much at all. Occasionally she'll get really antsy and next thing I know she's exploding on me for no apparent reason, literally! Whatever she picks to explode about is usually trivial at best, and really ridiculous most of the time. I've watched the calendar, if you know what I mean, and it's not "cyclic." The only thing I've noticed is that it always seems to happen when I'm traveling or busy a lot. She'll explode, I'll explode back, and then she'll go away and come back in a few minutes cheerful and acting like nothing has happened. Can you shed any light on this?

Joel


Well, Joel, congratulations on taking the first step to making some serious improvements in your life, and thanks for writing. As for your question, yes, it is covered in detail in my book, but I'm going to give you the short version now to help keep you out of trouble until you read that part, and for the benefit of your fellow readers, because every man who keeps the company of a woman goes through this phenomenon at some point in his life, if not with every woman he spends any time around, and it may not even be with a wife or girlfriend. It could be with a "platonic" female friend, or even a coworker, but it will be with someone with whom you have regular interaction.

What's happening is she's feeling ignored (or possibly testing to see if you'll wuss out when she acts like a brat, but they usually use other tests for that), and missing the feeling of having you define or exercise authority for her, which gives her a little rush of adrenaline and attraction and gets the planets back in alignment. Actually, this is a good sign, because if she had already lost all attraction for you, she wouldn't be doing this at all, so congratulations on taking action before your relationship deteriorated to critical status as well!

Here's the deal. If you don't pay enough attention to her in ways that let her see you being the alpha male, especially in projecting authority and leading, whether it’s in critical decision-making or just having fun, she'll find something trivial and pitch a fit over it, just to get you to call her on it and tell her to straighten up. Mentally and emotionally healthy women will respect you when you establish a “no brat zone.”

This doesn't mean that you turn her across your knee and spank her, unless you can do it without hurting her and in such a way that it's entirely plain that you're playing with her and you're both laughing all the way through it. Remember, women love to have gutsy, strong men show their sense of humor in naughty ways, but they hate being painfully man-handled, bullied, controlled and abused, again if they are mentally and emotionally healthy. A show of strength when everybody is smiling and having fun is one thing, a show of control or cruelty is something else entirely, and something you never want the women in your life to see if you want them to stay around.

What it does mean is that you must take one of several approaches to call her on it, and it may entail raising your voice a little if that's all she'll respond to, but it mostly requires a show of strength, not of volume; a show of leadership, not abuse.

My wife did this to me once. I'd been neglecting her a bit as I worked overtime on my next book. Read the following paragraphs carefully and make sure you pick up on the details - no yelling, the only physical force was non-violent and smiling naughtily, etc., the very things she was looking for.

She wanted me to verify the quality of a piece of office furniture she wanted to buy and to pick up a pair of eyeglasses before 5:00PM, and it was 3:30PM. We live ten minutes from the eyeglass store, and had 90 minutes to get there. I said that I wanted to stop and pick up something on the way home and it would work best if we stopped to look at her office furniture first. Boom! That's all it took to open the door - I had set myself up.

I could see the change the instant she realized the opportunity she had. In the space of less than a second, she went from excited about getting a piece of office furniture and new eyeglasses to stormy. Then she said, "No, I don't want to go check on the office furniture, I want to go get my eyeglasses before they close. We've got to go there first." I thought, "Oh, hell, here we go!" and said, "We have 90 minutes to make the ten minute trip to get your glasses. We can afford the extra five minutes to stop on the way to check out the office piece."

To this, she went totally ballistic. "You know what? I don't even want you to go. I'm going by myself. I've got to get my glasses and I don't have time to go running around all over the place." Do you see how the level of absurdity is rapidly escalating, as well as the sudden reversal of both her desire to see the furniture and desire to be driven? (She doesn't see well enough to drive safely without glasses.)

Then I said, "You can't see well enough to drive without the glasses we're going to pick up, we have 90 minutes to get there, it's a ten minute trip, and we can certainly afford the five extra minutes to check out the furniture. Explain to me why you have a problem with this." The response was, "No, I'm not explaining anything. You always want to change my plans, so I'm going by myself." (Big hint: when you "always" do something that you've never done, or "never" do something that you've frequently done, it's said to make you call her on it and you're in this same situation.) At this point she has crawled across the seat of the car and is sticking her keys in the ignition, literally begging for an authoritative intervention.

I reached in, grabbed the keys, and snickered a bit as I said, "Excuse me, but you're not going anywhere unless somebody else drives because you're blind without your glasses. Now, it was your plan to stop and look at the furniture, and your plan to go to the eyeglass store. I suggested stopping one place to pick up one thing on the way home, and that hardly constitutes a change in your plans. You're pushing a bad position in an illogical argument, and until you tell me what's really going on here, I'm not driving your blind ass anywhere."

She went for her spare keys in her purse cursing and I climbed over top of her and grabbed them, and then playfully held her pinned to the seat with my body while she struggled and I said, "Say Uncle!" with a big grin on my face and that was all she could take. She busted out laughing and by the time she was done, she was about too weak to move.

She finally scooted over, we went to check out the office furniture, get the glasses, stopped and ran my errand, and just to put the icing on the authority cake, I announced a change in plans for supper (I'm the household chef) and stopped at a grocery store and lingered just a little longer than necessary in the produce aisle, cracking jokes the entire time about how good the cool air felt and "nature's thermometers" (guys if you don’t get this, ask a woman – I’d never get a more verbose description past the spam filters), exiting only when the smile began to fade the slightest bit, indicating that she was on the verge of boredom and starting to feel the cold, and therefore about to stop having fun. (NEVER let the fun come to a complete stop before changing course. Remember the old show biz cliché: “Always leave them wanting more!”)

So do you see what really happened? She was trying to goad me into taking an authoritative action, and may not have even been aware of it because it's such automatic behavior. If you respond to this the first time, you can get away with doing it with a humorous flavor as I did above and not having it get too ugly. However, if you just ignore her, or act bewildered and walk out of the room without doing anything, forcing her to find another excuse and launch a bigger attack, you may push it to the point where you have to yell a bit, physically restrain her from running out the door by standing between her and the door, etc.

Note that one small change in the scenario, especially the failure to grin naughtily as I said, "Say Uncle," could have changed the event from one of fun to one of control and abuse; she would have been scared stiff instead of amused. Always mind your bearing when in this situation and make sure that it's fun for everyone or it WILL explode in your face. You've been warned...

Understand fully that unless she has been severely physically abused she will not be pushing you to strike her in any way (unless the two of you have a history of playfully spanking and slapping each other on the butt or something), and if she has ever in the past kept screaming and maybe even struck you until you slapped or shoved her, it's a strong sign that she has been beaten, still has issues, and really needs professional help to face those issues and begin healing. NEVER, EVER, for any reason physically strike her with the intent of hurting her, even if she begs you to do it or tries to force you. Use no more physical force than it takes to restrain her from hurting either of you, and if she's crying and hysterical, call a counselor and try to get her some help, because she needs it, badly.

There you have it. Again, it took more to explain that than I had hoped, but I wanted you to see a real-world example so you would have something more than just a rule to try to apply - a real episode with distinct characteristics that you could compare with what you have seen in your own life.

Women are constantly communicating things to us, but as you will learn in "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," much of that communication goes right over our heads, while they are thinking it just goes in one ear and out the other because we don't care to listen, when in fact we're simply unable to hear it because we don’t know what we’re hearing or what to listen for.

The problem isn't that we ignore it; it's that we don't have the natural tendency to pick up all the non-verbal and verbally indirect ways they use to try to tell us things. They really don't know that we are that under-evolved with respect to communications infrastructure and skill any more than we are born knowing that they are that highly-evolved and sophisticated when it comes to communications without someone pointing it out. It's just not obvious when you don't have a frame of reference. (I'm explaining it to them in their own book, so hopefully, when everybody knows how everybody else does things, life will go a bit smoother for everybody.)

If you want to learn what you need to know to deal with this problem and others, and get your relationship and marriage (not to mention your “bedroom life”) working at full pleasure and intimacy capacity, go to
http://www.makingherhappy.com and download your copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" now, before you do another thing. Recognize that life is too short to spend it unhappy and work daily on making it better until it gets there.

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

David Cunningham

Friday, May 15, 2009

Signs That She’s About to Erupt, and a Miracle Cure for Tension and Drama in Relationships and Marriage

A guy asks if there are any tell-tale signs of a woman needing a drama fix. A few do come to mind… (WINK!!!)

This is one of my favorite topics, and it’s something fun and useful. To start the ball rolling, meet Zane:

Hey David,

I’ve been following you for a while and I see the things you talk about in my home every day, especially the testing and the drama. I got pretty good at handing the testing within a couple of days of reading about it in your book, but the drama thing has me stumped. I know she does it, I even know when she’s doing it and not expressing a genuine problem, but I can’t quite catch the knack of seeing it coming so I can head it off before it gets ridiculous. What am I missing?

Thanks,
Zane


Hey, Zane! Always good to hear from a fellow Southerner. (For all non-Southerners, “Hey” is Southern for “Hello and how are you?” We’re not lazy, just efficient.) You are indeed missing something, but it’s not hard to spot.

In "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," when I describe why women create drama (emotional boredom) and how they nearly always use negative pressure to create it because it’s both faster and easier to get a drama fix by stirring up a fight than by achieving something exciting, you missed the description of the progression of the problem in her and how it works up into an explosion.

Remember that in a woman’s emotional make-up, it’s boredom, not crisis, that is the biggest enemy. (See this article on our differing emotional scales for more details.
) If she doesn’t get relief from the boredom, she gets anxious, and then irritable, and you’ll watch her getting more and more uneasy and unreasonable as the tension within her builds. By the time she gets to the point of nearing an explosion, you’ll notice that her attitude has become very sour…

Let’s say your car broke down on your wedding anniversary and you jogged three miles to your house because she didn’t answer the phone when you called to tell her you were in trouble (okay, she was in the shower getting ready to go), and you hit the door late, sweaty, smelly, and tired. A woman in a normal state of mind would see that as heroic and be thrilled, where a woman in need of a drama fix would ignore the fact that you ran home to her and fight with you because you were late getting home. Get it?

Fights that break out over legitimate issues usually have some identifiable logic in them somewhere (although you may have to look hard to find it if you haven’t yet read "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" and become well-versed in what women want and what makes them tick). On the other hand, drama-induced fights are in a word, absurd. These are the fights in which she seems to be raising the roof over nothing, brings up things that happened 20 years ago, and plays dirty, and your warning signs are pretty much toned down versions of that absurd behavior – being abnormally bothered by more and more insignificant things, preoccupation situations and details that she’d normally ignore, etc. Why?

She’s trying to milk enough emotion from those things to get her fix, and getting more and more frustrated by the hour because it’s not working any better as she deviates more and more from her normal behavior. That’s what you watch for. If on a normal day she’s fairly laid back, then she’s acting depressed and tense, then fussy, then negative about everything she speaks of, trouble’s coming.

There are two things you can do. Let her pick the fight, which you will both regret, or you can buck up and admit that you failed to give her some positive emotion that she needed and make up for it with some sort of surprise act of leadership, mystery, and fun, but be advised, if she’s too far gone, your efforts may end up being the very thing she uses to start the fight, and all you can do is hang tough. What exactly does that mean?

It does not mean you should be abusive, or play dirty like she is apt to do. It means that when tension and voices start to rise, you must step immediately into that leadership role and exercise some stern – and maybe even tough – love, by calling her on whatever bratty behavior she’s committing. For instance…

She says, “That’s it! I’ve had it! I’m so sick of you ALWAYS buttoning the button in the middle of your shirt first and then bouncing up and down from bottom to top! Why can’t you just start at the top and work your way down like everybody else?!”

To which you reply, “Because that’s how I’m comfortable buttoning it, and I don’t really care what you or anybody else thinks about it. It’s ridiculous that you should even bring something like that up, and the only reason you’re doing it is because you’re bored to death and need the a rush. Now settle down, stop being a brat and conduct yourself with a little dignity, and let’s find a more productive way of giving you what you need without the two of us saying and doing something that we’ll both regret later.”

She may try to further escalate the situation after that to test your resolve, and if she does, there’s an answer to that as well, one that involves getting a bit cocky and having some fun with her, but rather than spell it out in detail I’m going to employ it now and tell you that if you want to know what it is, you’re going to have to read it in "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" – LOL!

Face it, Guys; it’s not and has never been a secret that the simple act of wishing your wife a good morning and making it out the door to go to work in the morning can be like walking through a mine field. You need to know how to listen to her and how to talk to her to get along with her. You need to know when to be tough and when to be gentle and reassuring, when to indulge and when to reject, when to make her laugh and when to stand tall and get serious. If things have slowed down in your bedroom, that’s not old age setting in, it’s one of the first symptoms of real relationship problems, the kind that lead to affairs – a symptom of advanced relationship decay – and divorce.

You can let things continue to decay and try to make a heroic save at the last minute, which can indeed be done, or you can take the easier path and employ the same tools now, when you are not under so much pressure and have far less damage to correct, to fix everything that’s broken and keep your relationship running like a precision machine. The cost is the same (at best – it can be MUCH worse if you wait!), and it takes less time and effort to do it now before everything goes critical.

The big question is whether you are the kind of man who puts everything off and unnecessarily risks the future of his family by letting it fall into crisis before doing anything about it or if you are the kind of man who steps up and does what is necessary to keep his family – and himself – happy. So what kind of man are YOU?

If you’re the kind who sees the wisdom of fixing the little problems to keep them from getting big, or if you’re the kind who likes to fix them early but have been unable to find answers before things got bad, then you need to click over to
http://www.makingherhappy.com right now and get your copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" and put things on the right track. If you’re the kind who puts things off until the last minute because you just don’t want to deal with them until you’re forced to, then I’ll be seeing you later, or if not me, your wife’s boyfriend, and probably her attorney. It’s your call; make it a good one!

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

Thursday, May 14, 2009

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: it’s incontrovertible reality. Right now, I’m going to help you accept and understand this by explaining why.

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 right 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 means, not through any nurturing means, often 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 first) 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 of a mentally, physically and emotionally healthy woman’s life (trauma, hormonal issues, chronic pain, etc., can interfere, but this is the exception, not the rule, so never assume this is the problem), 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

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

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 and still are “wired” like 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, and ultimately, the next result.

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 (most of the time – I describe the exceptions to this in my book) 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.

Women 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; such sex is nothing more than a chore for a woman. 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

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Projecting Self-Respect, Another Cornerstone of Attraction and Great Relationships and Marriage

Gentlemen, let’s talk about something you can fix very quickly, appearance, especially pertaining to how you project self-respect.

It’s a busy day! Lots of exciting stuff happening everywhere, lots of phone calls, some great testimonials and stories in the e-mail today – I live for these kinds of days. They’re the kind of day that I can reach the end of feeling not just productive, but downright heroic.

Speaking of which, I am frequently reminded of article in the Wall Street Journal. It’s relevance and timeliness (and maybe timelessness, too!) are as perfect as its message, that being that women are turned on by men who act and look like men, not boys (slackers), wusses (needy little whiners who can’t survive without someone to cook and clean for them), girlfriends (metrosexuals who are fun to shop with and fun to be seen with on a date as a trophy but who, without alpha male behavior, are treated like girlfriends and kept around to display, network, share, and dramatize with instead of having an intimate male-female relationship), etc.

This particular reminder came in the form of a letter from Steve, one of my new readers:

Hi Dave,

I’ve been reading your newsletters for a couple of weeks and I just got your book last night. So far it’s great, but I really need for you to tell me something that concerns an immediate problem I’m having. My wife is constantly dogging me about how I dress, getting a hair cut, etc. She says I dress like a teenager and I just want to be comfortable. I don’t see anything wrong with over-sized clothes and my old running shoes. She also says she doesn’t like my goatee, and wants me to either grow a beard or shave it off, because she’s tired of looking at them. What can I tell her to get her off my back?

Thanks for your help,
Steve

My reply:

Hi Steve,

For the record, it’s “David,” not “Dave.” Don’t ask me why, I just don’t like it, and not even my closest friends call me that. To answer your question, there’s nothing you can tell your wife that will get her off your back, because from what you describe, your choices in dress and grooming project a profound lack of self-respect, and that’s a big problem as far as any woman is concerned.

Check tomorrow’s newsletter for a good lesson that will supplement what you have there in my book, or download my free “Break-Up Busting 101” Report and read it; the lesson will be an excerpt from that report that you and others have missed. By the way, the rest of that report will be worth your while, as will my “What Women REALLY Want” report. It’s not just a poorly-camoflaged sales letter, like you might be expecting. There’s more information in either of them than you will find in a lot of for-fee reports.

Take care, and keep in touch,
David

Well, guys, here it comes. To help you get a mental picture of what women want and the kind of images they respond both positively and negatively to, I’m going to post that article in it’s entirety before we discuss it.

A Lady's Lament
Where have all the Hollywood hunks gone?

BY KIMBERLEY A. STRASSEL
Friday, March 3, 2006 12:01 a.m. EST

This year I plan to conduct my own Academy Awards. And in my newly created category of "Best Red-Blooded Male," I regret to say that I can offer up only one nominee: King Kong.

Where have all the tough guys gone? Really, it's enough to make you cry--that is, if all our leading men weren't already doing it for me. From its earliest days Hollywood has had a glorious tradition of punch-throwing, gun-toting, testosterone-oozing leading men, and the world has loved every one of them. James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, Gary Cooper, John Wayne, Lee Marvin, Charles Bronson, Steve McQueen, Sly Stallone, Mel Gibson, these were men. Some were strong and silent, some artisans of broken noses and busted rib cages, some villains, some heroes. But there was no doubt that they had a reason to walk with bowed legs.

And today? These marvelous males have given way to a new generation of Hollywood consumptives, metrosexuals if you will, the most solid thing about whom are their perky cheekbones. Jude Law, Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Leo DiCaprio, Adrien Brody, Ashton (Ashton!) Kutcher. I make it a general rule to withhold my regard from any man I could bench-press on a feeble day, much less those who've never had need of a razor. If producers are wondering why box-office sales keep falling, they might consider that America wants something more from its men than pouty lips and foot-long eyelashes.

Early cinema specialized in the supermasculine sort, providers and achievers and gangsters who were always in control. They were cool ("Here's looking at you, kid"), daring ("Made it, Ma! Top of the
world!") and cocky ("Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn"). Some were tough through their moral rectitude; think Jimmy Stewart.

Others, like Cary Grant, made up for a lack of outright macho with wit, class and unbelievable suits.
The 1950s brought about yet a new type of tough guy, heroes who specialized in fighting wars, protecting the innocent and getting the job done. They weren't "hunks" in today's sense of that word, but they didn't need to be. They had such presence that they didn't even need to speak. James Coburn had precisely 11 lines in "The Magnificent Seven," including such masterpieces as "You lost" and "Three." But if ever a Western has produced a tougher, more deadly gun-slinger and knife-hucker than "Britt," I'd like to know. By the 1960s and '70s, these tough guys had also discovered the value of props. Clint had his .44 Magnum. Steve had his Mustang GT 390. Sean had his martini.

Starting about 1980, tough guys changed again. This was the beefcake era, and the guys were maniacs. Arnold Schwarzenegger terminated everything in sight. As near as I can figure, Mel Gibson, via "Braveheart" and "The Patriot," single-handedly killed off the entire English population. Sylvester Stallone sealed his career with characters named "Rocky," "Rambo" and "Cobra," for goodness' sake. None of this was highbrow film, but there was something wonderful about the brute strength. Even women came to appreciate the, ahem, upside to testosterone-flicks. I know girls who will admit that they own "Top Gun" for the sole purpose of watching the volleyball scene over and over.

Sadly, reruns are about all we babe-loving women have these days.

The new Hollywood man isn't noble or daring or silent or even beefy. He emotes. He is fragile and flawed. He is a 40-year-old virgin. He is a hobbit. Take a look at the guys who are up for Oscar nominations, and let's go immediately to the elephant in the room. Three -- count 'em, three -- are there for playing men who bat for the other team. Yes, yes, I loved both "Brokeback Mountain" and "Capote," but that's not the point.

Some of the older toughies are still knocking around, but it's getting to be a bit of a geriatric ward. Stallone will be 60 this summer. Even Denzel Washington is past 50. Eastwood is clocking in at 76 and has (wisely) taken to playing senior citizens. My hat goes off to Bruce Willis, who continues to churn out reliable hard-man flicks, even if the tank tops are now gone. As for the younger generation, I find myself grateful to Matt Damon, who had the courage to make two (now three) old-fashioned spy thrillers (as Jason Bourne), the first of which revitalized the concept of a car chase.

Oh, and Vin Diesel rocks.

Where is the next generation of tough guys? They're out there. They just happen to go by the names Michelle Yeoh and Angelina Jolie.

These are our new bad boys: cool, clever and deadly with a six-foot samurai sword. Still, call me a traditionalist; I like my heroes with facial hair, a deep voice and bulging biceps. Which is why, when it comes to this year's nominees for truly manly men, I'm sticking with the ape.

Ms. Strassel is a member of The Wall Street Journal's editorial board.

What does this tell you? Is the tone of boredom and frustration in this woman’s writing not painfully obvious to you? And it’s no secret that most men take their cues from the silver screen on how to dress, talk, and act. I’m not going to say or think that Hollywood and the media are behind some huge conspiracy to wussify the entire male gender as part of some liberal or gay pride political sentiment like some of the conspiracy theorists. I don’t know, and frankly don’t care. What’s important isn’t the reason that it’s happening, it’s the FACT that IT IS HAPPENING, and the outcome.

Men are looking less like Gary Cooper, Humphrey Bogart, and John Wayne and more like Hugh Grant, Will Farrell, and the Wilson brothers every day, and if you know that women tolerate boredom and frustration even less than men do, that it is indeed torturous to them, you know that this is contributing to today’s divorce statistics. The only manly men I’ve seen in movies in the last few years have been Liam Neeson in “Taken” and Tom Jane in “The Punisher.” Otherwise, the “silver screen” has been more like “the estrogen ocean.”

Speaking of Liam Neeson, look at what Hayden Christiansen did in Episodes 2 and 3 of “Star Wars.” The most cool, suave, alpha male villain you can imagine in the first three movies becomes a pouty, out-of-control approval-seeker who throws temper tantrums. Maybe they should have continued to dub James Earl Jones in as the voice of Vader; at least he could have whined and railed with authority. And it’s obviously not Hayden at the root of the problem; he performs as he’s directed to perform. Somebody wanted us all to see Darth Vader being weak and crying.

We won’t even discuss “Paul Blart, Mall Cop”…

A woman who is bored and frustrated will try to tell you she’s bored and frustrated, but it won’t come across in language you can understand if you are in the vast majority of men. Questions like, “Are you wearing that tonight?” that sound to us like a general query are actually statements that read like, “Please don’t embarrass me to death by wearing that out tonight!” (Consequently, we’re going to break away from attraction for a couple of days and talk about communications in our next editions!) In the end, not knowing that we don’t interpret what they say to mean what they want us to understand, they think that we are insensitive and don’t care that we are embarrassing them, ignoring them, etc., and frustration is added to their boredom. Would you care to guess what happens next?

“Well, if he’s going to just ignore me after I told him what I need, I’ll just find somebody who won’t ignore me!”

It might be an affair, or it might be “the papers,” but either way, you’re now in deep manure. Is this ringing any bells? It should be, because this is the root of virtually all divorce that occurs between partners that were well-matched in the beginning. She gets bored, gets frustrated, disengages, he gets bored, and then it’s pretty much a race to see who steps out or wants permanently out first.

This doesn’t have to happen, and if it’s already started, it doesn’t have to continue to spiral out-of-control until your relationship ends in a bitter war. What you need to know to negotiate these obstacles and get your relationship back on track quickly – and a whole lot more – is included in “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage.” Men who have read it have pulled their marriage out of the jaws of the divorce monster in as little as a week; others have found that they’ve spent many years in a bad marriage that made them unhappy and made with confidence the decision to cooperate with their soon-to-be-ex spouse to correct the mistake they had made years ago and move on to have a happy life.

Join them! There’s not one thing in the world that sitting around worrying is going to accomplish for you, except stressing you out, making you old, and letting the problems get worse. Take action now while it’s still possible to have some influence on the outcome. Go to
http://www.makingherhappy.com and download your copy of this truly amazing book, find out where you stand, make a decision about where you are going, and then use the rest of the book to get there, just like all those who came before you. Life’s too short as it is; don’t waste any more of it worrying – ACT! And do it now.

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

Monday, May 11, 2009

Buying Her Off With a Gift, a Great Way to Ruin a Great Relationship and Marriage

For all you who have made that most dire of mistakes with women, trying to buy their affection, attention, approval, silence, forgiveness, or flesh, heed the words of one of my best friends and students…

The Mothers’ Day letters are coming in, mostly from readers who have been following me for awhile and did a good job, and a few from those who didn’t get expected results from their Mother’s Day offerings to their wives. The latter group needs to catch up.

Gentlemen, I’ve revealed how to handle this both in "THE Man's Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" and in several newsletters that reveal that section of my book. I usually publish a newsletter a week or two ahead of traditional gift-giving holidays, but this year it snuck up on me because I was busier than usual and wasn’t looking at the calendar.

For those of you who got it wrong, see
this archived article for the aforementioned instructions on choosing a gift for a woman, but there are few of you who are needing special attention, not because of how you chose a gift, but why; giving a gift to buy your way into a woman’s good graces (or her sexual favor) or buy your way out of the doghouse is a REALLY bad idea, in case you had not noticed. And I have just the thing for you, a highly-effective wake-up call from the real world. Dig in…

For those of you who’ve caught the “King Arthur and the Witch” contest I have every year, you’ll remember David C., who was one of the contest winners. He’s become a very close friend and one of my greatest students, and his job, managing a convenience store, puts him in an ideal place to study women. Hence, he occasionally sends me a pearl of great value to share with you all. Without further ado:

Dear David,

As a convenience store manager, I meet, talk to and get to know a lot of different women, from young girls to professional business women. I easily see and talk to at least 40 or 50 a day and on seeing your newsletter about gifts for women, I asked a few for their comments and heard from quite a few others without saying anything. It seems no matter what the season, Valentine's Day, a birthday, an anniversary, or Christmas, they keep hoping for something unique and special. Flowers, rings, necklaces are expected and not very special because of that. What I wanted to mention though was how often I saw and heard the frustration from them about feeling like he's trying to buy them off.

Instead of talking to her, learning what's making her so angry and snippy, they buy her something to try and appease her. They take it usually because they don't want to hurt his feelings. They try and give him credit for at least putting forth some effort but are frustrated at the same time. "Why can't he understand it's not the gifts I want, it's him?"

It's also sad but funny to hear the men talk about how nothing seems to make her happy. No matter what they get her, it's okay for awhile but it's back to the carping at him again. When I try to explain, “Maybe she just wants you to spend some fun time with her,” they shake their head. Why?

Most commonly because they see watching TV, eating out or catching a movie as their fun time. Then when they get home it's back to business, a hobby or on the computer. Why can't she see he's busy? He's trying to relax and unwind after a stressful day and she's hounding him to do all this stuff. There's a show on TV he wants to watch, a game or work to get ready for tomorrow.

They are stumped why the kids can give her a page from their crayon book and tell her I did it for you Mommy and you can see the word Mommy scrawled across the top and she cries or gets all worked up and they're baffled why. I've heard more than a few ladies getting ready to go out who refuse to allow a guy to buy their way in because they think it automatically entitles them to go home with them.

I can tell you from first-hand experience, ALL the women I've talked to resent feeling "bought off." Flowers to say they're sorry, a necklace or perfume because he missed an anniversary or something. "Here honey. Take this and get off my back, would ya?" holds no water with a real woman. And yes, many have broken off relationships because they got sick of all the presents and feeling like a tramp because of them. They got tired of feeling "obligated" to be nice because he got her "things" instead of him.

Tell the men out there, trying to make a woman obligated to you will only send her out the door that much sooner. It won't save your relationship, get your butt out of hot water or make her forgive you. It will only turn her resentment, frustration and anger deeper. She will give you a little credit at first, but if it turns into a habit, get ready to sign some papers. I mention this because it's not getting better, according to the women I talk to, even the young ones, it's getting much worse.

Thanks for the great stuff!

David C.


That pretty much says it all, doesn’t it? There is nothing that a woman would freely give you that you can buy (prostitutes notwithstanding, of course), and any attempt to buy that which they deeply want to give someone in like-kind exchange will insult them and/or hurt them. Don’t do it, because whatever is wrong, trying to buy your way out of it will just make it worse.

So what do you do if you want the love, attention, forgiveness, etc., of a good woman? I’ve published over a thousand newsletters on the subject, but rather than read all 5,600 pages of those newsletters, there are exactly two things you should do:

First, download my free – and very substantial – report, “What Women REALLY Want,"
and get the whole real scoop. Then, when you’ve seen the error of your ways and your ready to step up to the real deal, the dream relationship and marriage of a lifetime, go to http://makingherhappy.com and download my book, "THE Man's Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" and get on the path to happiness while you still have some life left to live. Or just keep screwing up and being miserable. It’s your call. Make it a good one. ;-)

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

Sunday, May 10, 2009

What the Great Poet Virgil Knew About Saving Relationships and Marriage

“The wisdom of the ages” is so named because it is indeed timeless, and even if it is thousands of years old, still proves effective today. Over 2,000 years ago, the Roman poet Virgil knew a lot more about fixing a failing relationship than you might guess…

I can’t describe to you how much I love this job. Everywhere I turn, I see something that holds a lesson for you, even in my old e-mail! LOL!

I was looking through the e-mail I’ve received from readers in past months to see who I needed to check in on (I try to follow up on everybody who writes to me with a problem to make sure they get it resolved and are still moving forward every day of their lives), and I noticed something about them: those who had the greatest success are the ones who took the most decisive action swiftly.

The great Roman poet Virgil (70 BC – 19 BC) wrote a lot about bold actions and bold men, not to mention a lot of other things that a man, especially a man in trouble, should keep at the forefront of his thoughts.

First those on boldness and bravery:

“Look with favor upon a bold beginning.”

“Fortune favors the brave.”


Those who see opportunity and act not only succeed, they draw the favorable attention of others, especially women, and most especially the woman with whom they are in a committed relationship. After all, bold, well-planned and well-executed action is one of the hallmarks of leadership and alpha male behavior.

But what makes some men bolder than others? Virgil had a few words to say about that, too:

“They can conquer who believe they can.”

“They can do all because they think they can.”


If you expect success, you make it happen, plain and simple. It’s not a mind game, just common sense. When you don’t expect success, you hold back, not wanting to commit everything to the win, holding your options open to such a degree that you never fully exercise any of them, and eventually your options expire and you fail miserably. Henry Ford is often quoted, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, your right.”

Ask anybody who has succeeded why they succeeded. They won’t tell you it was blind luck. That’s somebody who won the lottery, not somebody who has succeeded. Someone who has succeeded at anything will say that they thought things through, and then followed through (legendary U.S. Air Force test pilot Chuck Yeager’s formula for success). They may not use those words, but that’s the message you’ll get, that they were committed to success, and did what it took to make it happen.

The million dollar question is, what gave them what they needed to commit? What say you, Virgil?

“Trust one who has gone through it.”

“Believe one who has proved it. Believe an expert.“

No man is born knowing how to handle every situation, good, bad, or indifferent. We learn as we go, some of us more than others. Those who succeed can commit to success because one way or another, they have come up with the knowledge that it takes to plot their path into the future, anticipating situations and making appropriate choices, thereby having a reasonable expectation of success because they have seen it. They then proceed, knowing that if their own learning and experience don’t cover everything that comes up, there will be others who can provide experience and knowledge that can bridge the gap for them, but one way or another, they will find or create everything that is needed.

But success can be fleeting, you say? Sure it can, if you let it! Virgil knew something about that, too:

“It is easy to go down into Hell; night and day, the gates of dark Death stand wide; but to climb back again, to retrace one's steps to the upper air - there's the rub, the task.”

Many a success, many a fortune, and many a life has been pissed away because someone wasn’t vigilant and started letting things slide, like paying attention to their business, their children, or their wife. But instead of taking action, they thought, “Well, maybe it will just turn around on its own if I’m patient.”

Yeah, right. I’ve had a lot of problems fix themselves, haven’t you? I think the last time I had a problem fix itself I was in high school, had dislocated a shoulder falling down a flight of stairs, and tripped on the way to the ground floor to go to the hospital and relocated it. That was over 30 years ago. Yep, happens all the time, right Sparky?

So what should you do? Virgil, another pearl if you please?

"Yield not to evils, but attack all the more boldly.”

When things start to slide in your marriage, one of the very first things that happens is your sex life goes to hell in a handbasket. Boredom and frustrations build and you become part of that deplorable statistic wherein married couples who have been together longer than two years average having sex six times per year.

That sucks, doesn’t it? And it’s so easy to just go out and have a fling, while you wait for her to wake up and do something, because it’s all her fault, with the headaches, the complaints, right? After all, she’s the one who’s saying “no,” not you.

Don’t be a moron. She’s not saying “no” because everything is the way she wants it to be. She wants to be excited. She wants to desire you. She wants you to sweep her off her feet, as you must have done to some degree on some level for her to marry you unless she was totally desperate and feared being alone, in which case she still wants it and wants it to be you, but doesn’t expect it from you, so it’s even easier for her to be looking elsewhere, too. Isn’t it odd how the pendulum swings both ways?

One of the worst-kept secrets in all of existence is that there are actually VERY FEW headaches that are bad enough to interfere with sex. Ask anyone who has a healthy libido and satisfying sex life. It’s when you don’t mix it up with naughty behavior and alpha male leadership to create attraction for a woman, don’t pay attention to her and learn to communicate with her, and frustrate and bore her to death that it becomes easier for her to just fake a headache or fatigue than to try to explain to you that you’re not “doing it for her” for the one thousandth time knowing that you won’t get it any better this time than the previous 999.

That’s when you have to dig deep within yourself and ask yourself how important this woman and your marriage is to you. Virgil even wrote something about that:

“O tyrant Love, to what do you not drive the hearts of men?”

That rhetoric can be placed in a whole lot of different contexts, both good and bad, but think about it. When you really love a woman, when you VALUE her, and share her values, should you not be willing to do whatever it takes to protect and maintain your relationship with her, short of sacrificing yourself? (Self-love must exist before genuine love of another can.) And if you do not, should you not acknowledge that a mistake that has been made, that you are so mismatched that neither of you can ever be happy with the other, and seek a graceful, equitable exit instead of wallowing in misery or starting some kind of war?

That’s when you summon your expert, learn what you need to know, and commit to making a successful change. You can dread it, or you can revel in the opportunity to start over with better information in hand and do it right this time. Virgil had some pretty good advice about that, too:

“Let us go singing as far as we go: the road will be less tedious.”

There is nothing that can diffuse a bad time, lighten a load, or elicit cooperation like the combination of leadership and humor, and that goes double for any situation that involves a woman, because they are biologically wired to respond to it. They have a choice to a degree and up to a point, but attraction can become just as overwhelming for them as boredom.

Think about that for a minute…

You can create attraction for a woman, and have her nurture you and stay with you for life, or you can fail to create attraction for her, and have her so bored and frustrated that she makes your life hell and BOTH OF YOU end up risking or having affairs while waiting for each other to do something to put off the impending divorce. If he had had such language in his day, Virgil may have said something like:

“Hmmm….a no-brainer!”

So there you have it. Be bold, be brave, find an expert, trust those who have been there before you, and have fun fixing things. Wisdom of the ages.

I’m your expert. I’ve been there, along with the 118 couples that helped in the development of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" and the hundreds that followed them to keep providing you with the wisdom of those who have been there so that you can be bold and brave, and get back to having fun in your marriage or other committed relationship. Download your copy right now at
http://www.makingherhappy.com because it’s not just history that favors the bold and the brave; women do too, including yours!

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