Saturday, July 04, 2009

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

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

I’m swimming in testosterone right now (Saturday afternoon, July 4), because there’s a hundred pounds of pork ribs in my smoker that is going to feed an army of hungry “good people” shortly, and I smell of hardwood smoke and burning pork fat, which where I live, is a very powerful aphrodisiac! No matter where you live or what your life is like, find a reason to get together with others at least once a month and practice these rituals of cooking over fire, communing and telling stories, all of which have evolved from the ancient hunt. It awakens something primal and wonderful for which there does not seem to be any substitute.

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

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

“NOTHING OF VALUE”

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

Hello David,

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

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

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

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

Rock on Dude,

Mike

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

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

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

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

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

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

Parenthetically, NEVER, EVER discuss intimate family problems with anyone outside your household unless they are a professional problem-solver who is both competent and paid for their confidentiality. Aside from the fact that it’s unlikely that they are emotionally-unattached, rational, and experienced enough to get to the root of your problem and help, when personal relationships end badly, all information that you have given a former friend, coworker, etc., or even a relative that you can’t really cut off, becomes a weapon to embarrass and hurt you with.

People do horribly hurtful things that cannot be undone when they are angry, and the things that go on between you and your spouse – YES, I am talking to both men and women here – are fodder for a quick-tempered and later-regretted revenge. Don’t tempt fate by arming people you care about with information about other people you care about. I see it every day, and it NEVER ends well.

Getting back on subject, do you have any idea how many missed opportunities to deepen and improve your relationship and your life occur as a result of assuming that your partner won’t be interested? Or how many affairs are started because of that? How many misunderstandings it generates?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, July 03, 2009

Pleasure or Pain: More on Horseplay and "Picking" in Relationships and Marriage

One of the women takes issue with being picked on the wrong way, and rightly so. If you’re going to do it, you’d better do it the right way, or you’ll be paying for it later. Understanding our differences makes it easy to get it right…

Happy Independence Day America! Take a minute and remember what bought the liberties you enjoy today, a great many human lives over the course of two centuries, and resolve yourself to start doing a better job of protecting those freedoms before all the special interest groups end up stealing them right out from under your nose. Indeed, take a minute to read
this Facebook post about what happened to the men who signed the Declaration of Independence.

It will put things back in perspective for you. And by the way, that’s my Facebook profile, so if you’d rather follow me on Facebook, just do a friend request. My daily lessons are posted there every day, along with MySpace, Twitter, WordPress, and blog.makingherhappy.com. Write to me at
support@makingherhappy.com if you can’t find me on one of the above and I’ll hook you up.

And for those of you not in America, whatever freedoms you enjoy were bought with blood, too, and may be disappearing right under your nose, like the frog in the pan of cold water who won’t jump out before being boiled to death because he doesn’t notice the change. So be vigilant, and do what you can to earn more freedom instead of being disinterested, disenfranchised, and disinvolved while the disingenuous usurp control over your life.

Yesterday’s newsletter on picking and playing touched off a barrage of “Amen’s” from the women whose husbands shied away from playing, but there was one that was on a different plane that we need to discuss. Her husband tries to play, but he goes about it all wrong. Meet Gina:

Hi David,

I loved this and all of your e-mails. I wish you could get my husband to understand this. He’s constantly making mean remarks about me, thinking that he’s being funny. He demeans me in front of his friends and family, my friends, family, and coworkers, and he’s embarrassed me to tears more times than I can count. He’s a good man, attractive, very alpha male, and keeps me moving, but when he does this I could just kill him, because it really hurts.

He tells everybody I’m always late everywhere I go; it’s true. We have four kids and I have a hard time getting all of them ready to go anywhere. I have a hard time keeping my weight under control because I tend to eat more when I’m stressed, and I’m always stressed, and he’ll point out to people when I’ve gained weight or my clothes are too tight. He makes fun of me when I make any mistake, and makes it his mission to point it out to everyone for a week or more after.

I can’t get him to understand that this isn’t funny and it hurts badly, and I’ve about had all I can take of it. When I told him that, he made fun of me for being dramatic! I love him with all I have, but I’m starting to feel like a verbal punching bag and to be honest, the main reason I’m always stressed isn’t our four kids, it’s living in fear of what he’s going to say next to mortify me! Can you help?

Thanks so much,
Gina


I handled Gina’s request for help by private correspondence because there were some specific issues and instructions that I don’t want to go into here for several reasons, among them her privacy, but we do need to talk more about this.

I have a good friend who also does this, and his name is Rick. He’s an alpha male from the ground up: retired cop, now consulting in law enforcement, sharp, articulate, and one of us guys who enters a room and everybody just turns and starts moving in that direction because they can sense leadership from across the room.

He loves his “wife” (they never had a wedding, but have been together since dinosaurs roamed the Earth and regard themselves and conduct their lives as if they are married), and she both loves him and is wildly attracted to him, even after years of putting up with his sense of humor, but it is indeed a problem. He sounds just like Gina’s man, making fun of things like her weight that she is really sensitive about, and nobody, myself included, can get him to understand that he’s hurting her. He says she’s as tough as he is and that’s why he loves her.

She’s tough as nails, but she’s also a woman, and even the toughest women have their hot buttons, just like men. She lives in constant torment of loving and being attracted to a man who inadvertently hurts her every other time he opens his mouth, and I really don’t know how much more of it she’s going to be able to take.

Being tough doesn’t mean that nothing hurts; it means you go on with your life in spite of hurting, just like being brave doesn’t mean you’re never scared, it just means you do what you have to do in spite of being scared. And if something hurts too much for too long, most people will remove the cause, or remove themselves from the cause.

What’s escaping Gina’s husband, my friend Rick, and a lot of other men I know is that this is an area where men and women are fundamentally different. Men jab at each other’s vulnerabilities to play and to help each other toughen up, and to challenge each other to do something about our vulnerabilities. We poke each other in the stomach when we notice a few more cheeseburgers and beers collecting around the belt line and make a crack like “Expanding the shed to keep your tool from rusting there, Bob?” There’s no telling how many thousands of years we’ve done it, and it’s a ritual of strengthening, and bonding, a sort of intimacy that only our friends are allowed to engage in with us.

With women, it’s different. The only time you will hear a woman bring up another woman’s vulnerability to her face is if she is on the offensive. They only do it to hurt each other when they are being competitive or vindictive, and it hurts them badly when we do this. They may even try to excuse it as just us being us, but there’s that subconscious link to their communications infrastructure that still eats at them as if we had been a woman when we said something about their weight, or their feet, or a mole, or a gray root on a hair. It’s rejection, or an attack, not a joke, in their book.

In our world, any minor flaw is something to rib your buddy about; in their world, it’s ammunition for the big guns. For us, mentioning our flaws is like a slap on the back and gets a laugh, while in theirs, it’s a slap in the face. That’s why I’ve said in previous newsletter that you can only say something in that kind of play if it’s plainly an exaggeration, like telling her she has a big butt if she has a very skinny butt and knows it, or call her “Bigfoot” when she has tiny feet, something so absurd as to be obviously a joke. Once you’ve established that baseline, you can push the envelope a VERY little at a time and gently find out where her limits are, and then push the envelope a bit, but start in the safe zone so that everybody has fun.

We’re alike in many ways, and it often deceives us into thinking that we are alike in ways that we are entirely different, even opposite. It is these deceptive differences that make us unwittingly hurt each other when hurting each other is among those things that we indeed NEVER want to do.

Not knowing about them – simple ignorance – is very treatable; it takes only a little knowledge. Not caring about our differences and not trying to learn about them and avoid hurting each other with them – apathy – is also treatable, but it takes more drastic measures, like a pitcher of ice water on the crotch, an iron skillet to the head, or in extreme cases, a divorce, or even a bullet or worse; Google “Lorena Bobbitt” if you need an example.

The question you have to ask yourself is which ailment do you have, ignorance or apathy, and how is your ailment going to be treated?

I’m going out on a limb here, but I’m going to guess that if you didn’t care, you wouldn’t be reading this, so we’re going to treat ignorance. That’s easy, fun, and dirt cheap. Yeah, yeah, yeah, you can thank me later… LOL! If you’re here looking for validation of your mistakes instead of a fix for your problems, that’s not going to happen here. There are a bunch of people calling themselves a “support group” somewhere waiting for you with open arms and a big ol’ sob story just like yours if that’s what you’re after. (Yes, I know there are legitimate support groups who really help people, too, and so does everybody else, so hold the hate mail if you’re in one of them.)

For right now, just concern yourself with getting the knowledge to fix this condition, and any others you may have, into your head and into practice, while your problems are still easy to fix. You can do it when they get hard, too, but it takes longer and everybody hurts a lot more in the meantime. Taking care of it NOW is your best bet.

If you’re smart enough to see that, and want to fix your problems before they get any worse, and even go on to make everything better than it’s ever been, start by going to
http://www.makingherhappy.com/ and downloading your copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," and you’ll see what those before you have already found: it’s solid, tested, proven knowledge and advice, and if you can put your pants on in the morning instead of offering them to a passer-by, you can do what needs to be done and enjoy it, for the rest of your life.

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

Thursday, July 02, 2009

What to Do When She's "Mean" to You: Horseplay and "Picking" in Relationships and Marriage

Men frequently write to me complaining that their wives pick at them, needle them, push them to do things they don’t want to do, etc. How are you supposed to handle this? The answer might surprise you…

I get a lot of letters like the following, and I’ve addressed the issue in "
THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," but the frequency of these letters is scary. There are too many men who don’t recognize what this issue really is and how to deal with it, and families are literally coming apart at the seams because of this simple misunderstanding. Meet Jeff:

Hello David,

I need help. I haven’t yet read your book but I’ve been reading your newsletters for awhile and I think you can tell me this. My wife has picked up a bad habit of picking on me, making fun of me, being a smart-ass in front of our friends, etc. It’s really abrasive and embarrassing, and getting worse by the day. The more I ask her to stop, the more she does it, like she’s trying to push me into a fight. How can I stop it?

Thanks,
Jeff


Well Jeff, you slacking cheapskate, if you’d read my book you’d know! Just kidding! LOL! Seriously, she’s not trying to start a fight at all. She’s trying to get you to play with her! You’re boring her to tears, and she’s trying to bring you out of your shell.

Women like challenge, and they like a man to act like he “has a pair.” She’s challenging you to a verbal “joust” to have some fun. What she’s expecting from you is that you pick back at her, not in a mean, nasty, insulting way, but in that fun, naughty, pranksterish way as you probably cut up with your friends, at least at first, escalating it to get into chasing, tickling, playful pinching or spanking – you know, that kid stuff that you used to do when you drove her wild!

What’s happening now is that she’s trying harder and harder to provoke you into showing that you have reproductive glands and a sense of humor, which is effect punishment for not doing so all along. If you don’t do it, you’ll find her losing interest in you pretty soon, so you’d better be finding your sense of humor, fast.

And we are talking about humor here, no matter how pissy you might think she’s being. If she makes a smart crack about your big feet, make a smart crack about something that obviously IS NOT a problem; i.e., only make a remark about her big butt if she DOES NOT have a big butt and doesn’t obsess about having one. Find something to exaggerate to crack wise about so that it’s obvious that you’re playing, else you may strike a nerve and end up starting a fight while trying to play.

I cannot overstress how you need to exercise a little sensitivity here. If she stubs her toe and is limping around but not seriously injured or embarrassed about the accident, then calling her “gimpy” is fair game, but if she is crippled, or if there was something embarrassing about the injury, like she was in a public place, stubbed her toe and ended up dumping a cup of coffee on a white blouse in front of her boss because of it, “gimpy” is off limits, at least until you see that she’s over the embarrassment, which will usually be if and when you see her smile or laugh a bit when talking about it with a girlfriend. The idea is to be obviously fun with your picking to give her a giggle and demonstrate that you are a playful guy, not some wuss who can’t take a joke and is afraid to dish one out for her or a jerk who is retaliating and being a mean bully instead of going along with the joke.

Women don’t really want that much from us, Gents. It’s just that what they want is stuff that almost nobody is teaching these days, as we talked about with the Superman example yesterday; they’re politically incorrect for wanting it, and we’re politically incorrect for giving it to them. However, I am teaching it, after learning it from some gurus before me and adapting and expanding that by working with several hundred married women and their husbands, and I’ll teach you if you want to learn. Screw political correctness. It wasn’t in my wedding vows; was it in yours?

So how about it? Are you ready to learn what may turn out to be the most valuable lessons of your life? Remember all those jokes you cracked about nobody ever being able to understand women, or know what they want, or what they’re saying, or how to pass all those damnable tests and traps they’re always laying for us? I could give you the old “be the first kid on your block to own it” spiel, but it doesn’t really matter if you’re first. What matters is that you’re successful, as quickly as you can get there.

The quickest path to lasting success in your relationship is to go to
http://www.makingherhappy.com/ and download your copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," and then just reading it and putting it to work. You’ll not find too many opportunities where you can have so much fun being so successful, if you find any at all like this one, so get busy.

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

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Lessons From the Past About Women, Relationships and Marriage

Many lessons from the past, before the feminists and media decided to attempt the castration of our gender, are being lost, things that our fathers and grandfathers knew from childhood about women and keeping them happy. Tune in to see a biggie…

One of your fellow readers, truly one of the sharpest of you, sent me this little pearl of wisdom:

You might point this out to your readers someday - an idea I got from one of my son's movies:

Clark Kent and Superman are the same guy, but Lois Lane is only attracted to Superman - Clark is someone she can only see as a friend. A little story we all learned so young it's permanently part of our thought process!

How profound! And how sad, that we’ve seen that story and that double image for so long and so many of us have been unable to make that connection until this moment. Superman acted as he did in the guise of Clark Kent to kill Lois Lane’s attraction for him. Think about that!

He was nice, agreeable, indecisive and ultimately left decisions up to her, never assertive, never took the lead on anything, never initiated conversations – the consummate wuss! And he was the same guy as Superman, the guy she couldn’t stop thinking about.

“Oh, but that was a comic strip,” you say! Sure it was, written by men of the early and middle 20th century, before the wussification movement of the late 60’s through the present. These men who wrote that comic strip and did those shows (it was in black and white for a long time, and if memory serves, was on radio long before it was ever on television) knew about attraction because it wasn’t politically incorrect at that time to acknowledge that there are distinct and delightful differences between the sexes that can enrich any relationship if the partners in that relationship understand them.

Decisive man of action, or nerd who talks to his feet through his hand – which one do you think any woman would go for? It sickens me to think about the hero images being painted for our kids today. We had Superman, the Lone Ranger, Babe Ruth, Lou Gherig, The Green Hornet, The FBI Guys, James Bond, etc., and what do they have? Barney, the Teletubbies, and that man’s man of the world, Sponge Bob Squarepants. Gender-neutral at best.

And it doesn’t get any better if you look at films for people our age. You may recall from the editorial in the “Where Have All the Real Man Gone” editorial quoted in my free “Break-Up Busting 101” report that Gary Cooper, John Wayne, Chuck Norris, Clint Eastwood, etc., have been replaced by Demi Moore and Angelina Jolie, with our gender being represented by Will Farrell, Hugh Grant, etc. Real fine examples of attraction-building heroes, huh?

Gents, it’s like this: A woman’s greatest enemy in the world is boredom, bar none. Wussy men who won’t act like a man, take the lead, make decisions, etc., are boring. When she gets bored, she picks fights, then has affairs, then leaves if you don’t finally get the message. It’s really just that simple, and Ladies, please feel free to comment on this to help me get these men to see that this is as big an issue to you as their job security is to them!

You need to know how this works, and you need to know how to listen to and speak “girly-ese” so that when your partner starts trying to tell you that you are boring her (and you can bet the farm that she will, whether she wants to or not!), you can respond appropriately in a timely manner and head off the trouble that is going to follow. And most of all, you need to know that being the kind of man that every woman enjoys is a whole lot easier and more fun than being the one they merely tolerate, or dismiss as a wuss.

I can and will teach you, as hundreds of women have voluntarily taught me, if you’ll jump over to
http://www.makingherhappy.com and download your copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage." It’s easy, it’s enjoyable, it’s easily affordable, and it’s guaranteed, so you have no excuse. The earlier you stand up and take action, the easier it is, so stand up and do it now, or maybe you’d prefer to continue making life hard on yourself…

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

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

It's Never Too Late to Fix the Problems in YOUR Relationship or Marriage

A reader who has been married for forty years demonstrates that it’s never too late to fix common relationship problems, even forty-year old problems, if you know what to do and just do it.

There have been a lot of new readers sign on lately (welcome aboard!), so for the benefit of you newbies, I want to start by saying that while I get a lot of e-mails with success stories, I don’t share them with the rest of you unless there is some specific lesson that you can learn from it. I never liked receiving such e-mails (or reading blog posts) that said nothing more than, “So-and-so did good and you can too if you buy now,” and I’m not going to bore you with them either. Yes, I have a book to sell if you need it, but I have a lot to teach you outside of that book, too.

I also want to urge you to grab my free browser toolbar
to have instant access to blog posts, flash messages, a reader chat room, great stuff like pop-up blocking and Internet radio, games and gadgets, and other goodies. Some of us are having a lot of fun with it, and you should join us.

This story started in April 2006 when “Roger” (name has been changed to protect his privacy) subscribed to this newsletter and in early June 2006 bought a copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," a few days after that. He had a little trouble downloading the e-book because of Windows security features (128-bit SSL for you computer geeks) that had not been installed on his computer, and in the course of getting it straightened out he dropped a few details of his situation. I’ll quote some of them here to give you a feeling for where he started at the time of his purchase:

Hi David

Many thanks for your help in this. What little I saw indicates it is going to be a very useful reference book and answer some questions concerning things that happened years ago. We have been married for 40 years this year, but it has been a rocky road and still is occasionally.

Regards,
Roger

Hi David,
Your recent letter concerning your friend Matt has made me realize just how common such a situation can be. I have been married for almost 40 years with two daughters and three grandsons and for as long as I can remember, I have never been able to please her; always there is something else that she wants me to do. I realized this many years ago and now always make a joke of it. So as fast as I complete one project, she will have the next ready for me, sometimes before the first was finished! I just add them to my list of tasks these days, some will get done, some will never be done. My problem is that she has a real knack of making me feel guilty.

This is not just about projects, it could be a social event or something she simply does not approve of, but always I have a guilt feeling when I refuse. The feelings haunt me and I end up doing what she wants sooner or later in most cases. If I argue or try to discuss, I am accused of always wanting to control her. I am driven to succeed because I want the quiet life and the brownie points that come from approval. I am told she sings my praises to others, but never to me.

To give you some idea how it works, she wants me to tidy the garage so it can have a workbench, all the machines and space for me to work. She tells everyone how it will improve things for me, but she also wants me to move all the items stored in the garden shed to the garage so that I can demolish the shed. Then I am expected to build her a summerhouse in the space, not a prefabricated one, a purpose-built brick and tile fantasy!

In my spare time I am expected to remodel and transform the gardens, paint the house, build a new two-level deck across the back, turn the second bathroom into a "wet" room and keep the maintenance of our other two houses up to scratch! I must finish the kitchen sometime too! In all this she has ignored the plans we had to convert the garage into a dining room whilst we built a new garage with attached workshop. Maybe this is because her new greenhouse currently occupies the site?

David, I am tired! I work a 9-hour shift, six days per week and generally get just one day off. I cannot afford to pay someone else to do the work as I am still clearing debts from a failed business venture and I am earning just a tad above the minimum wage. I am reading the book you kindly emailed to me after it got lost in transit when I downloaded, but have yet to put it into practice.

Recently she took a vacation with my daughter and grandsons at one of our cottages. It was tiring, but different and the boys were easy, spending their time surfing. What was I doing? I spent my evenings and a rare weekend off work, repairing and painting the beach hut! Trying to please her again! My own vacations are limited and restricted to the extent we cannot have time together and if I take time off without her, I am expected to work on one of the projects!

I am considering building her a dungeon! :-))

There is a lot more to this than meets the eye, but I will not bore you with all the details of the problems in our marriage. I do not give up easily, but there are times when I seriously consider cutting my losses. Divorce is out of the question as we both feel it might make the other happy!

Any advice you can offer would be appreciated. I simply want time to complete a few things on the list without her adding items faster than I can delete them! I can live without the approval for completed projects, but it would be nice if the feelings of guilt could be stopped too.

Thanks for listening
Kind regards,
Roger


Do you see what’s been going on here? Roger’s been married to this woman 40 years, and has been tested and tested and tested to see if he’ll stand up to his bratty wife’s whims. Think about this: If they’ve been married 40 years, he’s around 60 years old, still working a 54-hour work week, and she’s dominating every free minute he has. When he tries to stand up to her, she guilt-trips him into complying anyway.

I sent Roger a brief bit of encouragement, pointing out that she could only make him feel guilty if he allowed her to do so, and that from his description of his situation, he could easily take charge and turn things around after he had finished reading "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" and knew how to position himself and interpret his wife’s words and actions to separate the whims and tests from the legitimate issues that she really expected his full attention and cooperation on.

Three weeks passed, and then I receive this in response to the lesson on attitude (the reader who chastised me and ended his subscription because I was boring him by providing TOO MUCH valuable information free of charge):

Hi David,


The guy who wrote complaining you were too verbose, is never going to listen to women! He has missed the point completely and seems ill-educated concerning a number of matters, which makes you wonder why he signed up in the first place. As you say, the winners listen, read and learn.

I am putting some of the advice contained in your book into practice, with some spectacular results and a lot of amusement. There is a long way to go, especially after 40 years, but I can feel the difference.

I thought you might also be amused by a couple of little anecdotes. The first concerning the first time I listened as she went around the house, to tell me about her day. Instead of requesting that she comes to the point, I allowed her to ramble on as she wanted, I asked occasional questions, nodded now and then, made comments and all the time I was making eye contact. Not once did I try to fix anything and after about 30 minutes of this, she suddenly stopped speaking and stared at me. I asked what was wrong, only to be told that I was behaving strangely and had not walked off when I got bored because she did not come to the point!

I simply grinned at her and said I was simply listening to her experiences of the day!

Since then, I have repeated this procedure and it has resulted in her being much more relaxed and a lot more helpful to me.

I also spotted a recent test of my resolve following which she behaved like a spoiled brat. I forget now what it was about, but I know I explained my reasoning and asked if she had any other thoughts, but warned if she continued to behave like a spoilt child I would put her across my knee and give her a good spanking! I then grinned and made a grab for her, but she was too quick and ran off laughing! Not long ago this would have degenerated into a full blown row.

As I said a long way to go and a lot more to introduce, but results are coming faster than anticipated. Thank you.

Enjoy your day
Regards
Roger


I don’t know about you, but in my experience, heading off even one spoiled brat tantrum and turning it into an attraction-building exercise like that would be worth the time and effort to read a whole encyclopedia of e-books, and he only read one! That’s two to four hours, depending on how fast you read. And what’s really cool is that Roger will now be able to do that every single time the situation arises, and will be able to take charge when real issues arise and get through them with respect and cooperation instead of a “full blown row” as well! Knowledge is indeed power, Gentlemen, the power to shape your environment, your day and your destiny.

Now, get this into perspective. Forty years of bad behavior creates a lot of inertia – the strong tendency of things to keep doing what they are doing until acted upon by an opposing force of equal or greater magnitude. In behavior, we call it habit. Roger’s wife has a forty-year old habit of being a brat and pitching a fit. Roger HAD a forty-year old habit of putting up with it to keep the peace. In under three weeks, he learned and improved enough to break a forty-year old pattern of bad behavior and turn it into a positive event (that had SERIOUS positive repercussions in the bedroom that night – and there’s another thing for you to ponder: a healthy and fun “intimate” life at age 60 after being together 40 years! Can you imagine?).

The lesson? It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been a wuss, or thought that giving in to all your wife’s whims was what you needed to do to get along, or how long you’ve been going about communicating with her the wrong way, it’s all correctable, if you know what to do.

You don’t have to live out the rest of your life having someone you love drive you nuts with control issues, bratty behavior, dramatic fits, talking for hours and seemingly saying nothing, treating you like a child instead of a husband, being bored with your bedroom life (or having none at all), or any of those common problems (other than incompatibility, which unfortunately can only be fixed by divorce) that established couples complain of so commonly that they’re all as cliché as the image of a knight in shining armor on a white horse.

Just learn what to do, then do it. Roger’s no dunce by a long shot, but you have to agree that if Roger can overcome 40 years of bad behavior in a few weeks, while working that 54-hour work week and doing everything else he has to do, the odds are pretty good that anybody, including you, can do it in your own relationship or marriage, no matter how long you’ve been together.

So give it a shot! Jump over to
http://www.makingherhappy.com and download your copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," and learn what you need to know to fix what needs fixing, and just do it! (Nike really struck gold with that slogan, didn’t they? It’s a powerful statement, and an even more powerful attitude, one every real man has and every man and woman alive should have.)

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

Monday, June 29, 2009

Emotional Pain and Clear Thinking Don't Mix, Especially in Relationships and Marriage

A reader’s letters over a three-month period demonstrate how the pain and stress of a troubled relationship or break-up can kill your ability to think clearly and make you very vulnerable to having your buttons pressed by people trying to help you, and how you can recover if you choose to.

I want to get away from the subject of break-ups for awhile, but I have to give you this one last lesson before we get completely away from the subject, because this level of stress may happen to you someday and I need to prepare you for it.

Fair warning, this is a little longer than usual because I’m quoting several e-mails, but men and women alike can learn a lot from this if you’ll take a few extra minutes to read it.

Fights, fear, insecurity about your future, etc., those things that eat at you when your relationship isn’t going well or has ended, are a lot more destructive than most people imagine. Yes, it’s obvious that it hurts and makes you lose sleep, but the degree to which it can inhibit logical thought and even make you lash out at those who want to help you through tough times is not so obvious.

I’m going to share with you three letters, all written by the same reader, two of which were written within less than a week of his subscribing to this newsletter, and the third one today. Bear with me, as the point will become very clear toward the end. Meet J., a man who has been in a lot of pain but is obviously finding his way out of it and back to mental clarity and stability:

(His first letter, captioned “ohmigod,” received after he had read only one issue of this newsletter:)

astounding

does anyone actually believe any of this?

so - if your partner is bored of you, its your fault

my parents told me that only boring people get bored

its you, the man's job, to dance attendance on her and make her feel special

just what kind of relationship do your readers have with their women - and what kind of woman is it who lounges around like a spoiled teenager expecting to be "swept off her feet" by her man

maybe if she made an effort to find stimulating shared experiences and PUTTING SOMETHING INTO the relationship, instead of seeing her husband as some kind of personal satisfaction service, she might not be quite the miserable self-centered bitch you think all women are

holy cow, get a grip - if you REALLY think this kind of woman is the best a man can get you're lost lost lost buddy

kind regards,

J


Kind regards, huh? I didn’t know it until later, but he had just come out of a bad relationship, and pretty much got the meaning of the newsletter he read entirely backwards, as any of you who have been reading my newsletters longer than a couple of days already realize. It was pretty obvious that he was angry and in pain, especially in the level of sarcasm in his writing, but I wasn’t yet sure that it was a relationship at the core of his problem.

I wrote back to tell him so, and not realizing that he had just been through a break-up and was looking for an outlet to ventilate, replied with a fairly short and demure response:

Good morning, J.,

I'm sorry, but you have taken whatever it is that you're responding to so far out of context that I can't even determine what post or newsletter you might be speaking of. I don't ever speak of fault, except to tell men and women not to preoccupy themselves with fixing fault and blame, and to take responsibility for whatever they may be able to improve in their relationship instead.

As for being part of the problem, yours is the first negative comment I have received from anyone since I began this, and I can forward you hundreds of e-mails from readers of both my newsletter and my book where these people are telling me that they have turned their relationships completely around and that they are now better than they have ever been, including their original honeymoon period. I can only guess that you either have a hot button that was pressed by something you read or that this is yet another case of two peoples being separated by a common language.

I appreciate you taking the time to write, but frankly, I might have been a lot more interested in what you have to say had you exercised a bit of tact in lieu of sarcasm about how I write and where I live. I hope you find whatever it is that you are missing, because you are obviously not a happy man.

Regards,
David

…and he replied with the following, captioned “OK” the next day:

read your latest contribution with interest

of course men shouldn't habitually complain about how little support they get from their wives

but its my experience that men are caught in a double bind, their women are allowed to be behave like dependent irrational little girls and be as assertive and independent as they like - they are encouraged to be both - "girls" and "women" - and woe betide any man who questions their right to be which they want to be at any given time

men on the other hand are expected to be supportive and independent at the same time, and find their support away from the relationship - "Big Guys"

support, unfortunately, is often needed at inconvenient times

so men are screwed, not by women, but by blogs like yours which tells them to stop being a "wuss" and insists that its their fault that they can't be superheroes and not have ordinary human needs like everyday love

well, buddy, you seem to be part of the problem and not the solution

and you use 10 words (badly written American corporate-speak at that) where one will do

keep up the good work!

kindest fraternal greetings

J


"Keep up the good work!" and "Kindest fraternal greetings"??? At this point it was pretty obvious that he’d been through a break-up or two, was awash in a sea of negative emotions, and needed somebody to rough him up a bit to wake him up to the fact that he was indeed reacting emotionally and needed to pull back and look at what he was doing, attempting to alienate me with sarcastic remarks and possibly others who were interested in helping him.

I hate having to “read somebody the riot act” as the saying goes, but every man knows that there’s nothing like getting stomped on a bit to make you realize that somebody does care about what’s going on with you, else they would just leave you, exposed and vulnerable, to wallow in pain and self-pity, so I sent him the following:

J.,

You'd probably be a much happier person if you spent a little more time listening and learning and a little less time trying to argue with people to defend the mistakes you've made in your life. People use all of this, every day, and they write letters to confirm how well it works. Before it was ever published, it was tested on over a hundred couples with complete success. The information I use concerning attraction is based in part on information that people like John Alanis, David D'angelo, F.J. Shark, and Ross Jeffries (dating gurus) proved effective as much as ten years or more before I ever took it up and adapted it for use by people in committed relationships.

I couldn’t care less what your parents taught you. Mothers teach their sons to be "nice guys" and kiss women's behinds, try to buy their affection, and dump all the decisions in their laps with regularity, because it's what they think they want, but when they get it, it turns them off completely. Making a woman feel special is done by listening and responding, and by acting like a man, not by "dancing attendance on her" or any other form of serving her.

I have no idea where you get this idea that I said anything about a woman lounging around like a spoiled teenager. Women do day-dream frequently throughout the day about feeling sexual attraction. It's why they read romance novels, and why they start fights when men ignore them. It’s how they prevent boredom if left to their own devices, and is far preferable to affairs and such. Women do try much harder than men to put something into relationships, but it usually comes after attraction is triggered and after they feel commitment. I don't know of any mentally healthy women who see their husband as some sort of personal satisfaction service, and I see no evidence of them being miserable or self-centered.

This is the last time I'm going to waste my time writing you. You've read one of my newsletters, apparently half-assed because you have no clue what I am telling people, and you're trying to argue with me that what I'm teaching doesn't work when (a) you don’t even know what I'm teaching, (b) if you were such an expert, you wouldn't be reading anything I've written to start with, you'd be getting rich selling what you know, and (c) everybody who has and is using it is doing so with outstanding success. Nobody who has ever used my information has ever said anything about it except how well it works, and nobody who has ever used it has asked for a refund, and I extend a satisfaction guarantee for a full year after purchase, so if they wanted to do so, they would have. That speaks for itself, as does the reality of the results that my material is giving those who use it.

Your options now are to either read and learn or argue with somebody else, because I don't really care what you think, what you agree with, or what your parents told you, and until you understand what I'm saying and have tried it, you're not in any position to criticize it. What I'm teaching came straight from working with hundreds of women to find out what they respond to, and then working with their men to make sure that men can understand and do what is required. It's reality, there is no arguing with it, and if you don't like it, you can sod off and be miserable while the rest of us are enjoying a great relationship with our wives and girlfriends. I don’t deal in opinions and have no time for armchair pundits; either get in the game or get off the field.

David


I didn’t hear back from J. for awhile, and he did exactly what every real man does when confronted with such a wake up call. He dug in, paid attention, found his way out of the pain and frustration, and put his brain back in charge of his well-being, proving to himself and the rest of the world that the pain of even the worst break-up can be very temporary if you can keep your wits about you, with or without the help of friends and other concerned parties. This message was received captioned “from your (former) tormentor”:

Hi David,

Remember me? I was the guy who pissed you off a few months ago.

Well, I still haven't read your book, but I have been reading your daily emails and I am not too proud to admit when I have made a misjudgment. I'm looking forward to reading your book, but a lot of what you say in your emails makes rock solid sense to me (and at 41, I've had enough unhappy girlfriends/bad relationships to realise that I must be getting something wrong).

I'm going to recommend your project to friends, read your book and come back with some constructive comments (I am presumptuous to say). I think you come from a good place.

I latched onto "makingherhappy" in a bad way, because, in my last relationship, I spent a huge amount of energy trying to make an immature girl happy and made myself very unhappy and ill in the process.

Here's a thought though: I have to go into a workplace where this girl will be. Ex-partners and work, now there's a thorny issue. Maybe not for you, but it’s a tricky one nonetheless.....

with all good wishes,

J

So, J., no, you didn’t piss me off, and this time I believe you when you send “best wishes.” And you’ll know how to handle the girl in the workplace after you’ve read "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," so don’t worry.

You see, Folks? When you’re having relationship troubles and feeling like your guts are being ripped out at every turn, you need a release for that frustration, and the most likely and unfortunate outlet is someone who is trying to help you precisely because you have their attention. Remember that, and guard yourself against it, because not everyone is able to recognize that an outburst is an act of reaching out for help, and you have to admit that it’s a very poor way to ask for help in any case.

What I recommend when anyone is having relationship or other problems that breed frustration, fear, pain, etc., is ACTION! Don’t sit back wondering what will happen next and waiting for it to happen. Dig in and find the cause of the problem and do something about it. It’s an excellent outlet for all that negative energy because it converts it into something constructive, achievement and stress relief, and it has the added benefit of MAKING THE PROBLEM GO AWAY! You can’t beat that with a stick, can you?

Whether you’re facing nuisance or disaster, the key to making it go away is two-fold: knowing what to do and then doing it. “Think things through, then follow through,” was famed U.S. Air Force test pilot Chuck Yeager’s “six-word formula for success,” and it works. “Thinking things through” in your relationship requires a sense of reason and a solid working knowledge of what you and your partner want and need and how you can best communicate.

Yep, that’s in "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," which you will find at
http://www.makingherhappy.com. The best news is that if you read it before you have problems, you’ll likely never have any because you’ll work together to keep them out of your relationship, but if you do have problems, you can fix them. Just don’t alienate everybody you know while you’re trying to get through it.

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

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Why Is Breaking Up So Hard? Surviving the End of Relationships and Marriage

We’ve talked about stopping a break-up in my free “Break-Up Busting 101” report, but what about those times when a break-up really is the best thing for both parties? Specifically, why is it so bloody hard? Would you believe it doesn’t have to be?

This is one of those newsletters that had to be written; one that a fool would hope that none of you would ever need, but which reality says nearly all of you will find useful, either in surviving your present or some part of your future, or in understanding something very painful in your past, the difficulty of breaking up, even when it’s the best thing for both parties and everybody, including the two parties in the relationship, know that it’s best.

Some people get into relationships that are based on things like faith and hope instead of reality. Others based them on need, attraction, or simple lust instead of a combination of love and attraction. These couples ultimately find themselves painfully mismatched and moving apart is the only solution to the problem they have caused themselves. You can’t put a mongoose and a snake in the same place and expect them to just bend to meet each others’ needs and get along, nor can you expect incompatible men and women. Compatibility doesn’t come from the choices you make, but from the values and tastes that cause you to make the choices you make. Those things just don’t change that much over the course of an entire lifetime, and they certainly don’t change because somebody else wants or needs for them to.

I’m not like most of today’s “relationship guru’s.” I won’t tell you that all relationships can or should be salvaged, and have no respect for those who would. That’s why you’ll find the list of other relationship gurus I do respect and endorse very short. I maintain a list of those who have been recommended to me by my readers in this newsletter and in the margin on my main blog at http://blog.makingherhappy.com, and those are the only others offering advice on the emotions and issues of relationships that I would have any of you read, because they do embrace this self-evident truth instead of trying to convince you to buy what they are selling to have you save that which should not be and ultimately cannot be saved.

Notice that’s a very short list of resources taken from a very large pool of authors. Sad, isn’t it? And by the way, feel free to help me add to it by letting me know if you have had a positive result with any product. Word-of-mouth isn’t just the best advertising; it’s also the best way of weeding out the charlatans and bad ideas that sound good “on paper” but don’t work in the real world.

I’ve been working closely with one of your fellow readers, one whom at this point is facing the possibility that the break-up his wife initiated may indeed be the best thing that could happen to him because they are so grossly mismatched and she’s carrying a ton of baggage that she may well choose to hang onto, in spite of the fact that right now she’s facing the greatest opportunity of her life to drop all that baggage and make some incredible improvements in her life.

I’ll spare you the intimate details of their problems, but the bottom line is that he’s on solid ground, logically, morally, ethically, and every other way I’ve been able to observe, while she is hyper-creative and therefore rejects reality with impunity, is morally ambiguous, and is thirty-nine years old going on about seven.

He’s highly analytical and disciplined, knows what’s before him and how to react to virtually any word or action from her now (he read "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" and we’ve been talking as well), and yet, there are times when he still has a hard time accepting what he knows to be reality, that in all likelihood, they never should have come together and he made a bad choice, because his wife appears incapable of growing up and becoming responsible enough to rejoin him as his wife, or indeed as anything more than a chronic, irresponsible and dangerous dependent.

He asked me why he was having a hard time accepting and emotionally committing to that which he knew to be irrefutable reality, and why people generally found breaking up so hard even when it was painfully obvious that it was the only option that could allow either of them to ever be happy.

I answered, "We all make bad choices, and being human, we tend to try to make the best of them and pick up a lot of good memories along the way that end up confounding us when we finally are faced with the reality that our bad choice is working against us."

It struck a chord in both of us. I did not, until the moment I wrote that to him, understand why I had had trouble with break-ups in the past, and those who know me closely would describe me to you as the most ruthlessly logical person they have ever met. I never stopped to ask myself while I was going through it why it was so hard. I was too busy asking myself another ridiculous question: “Why does this have to happen?” when I already knew the answer.

His reply to that pearl was as profound as the pearl itself:

“That needs to go in the evaluation section of your book - over and over! The main struggle in deciding whether it [salvaging his relationship] is a go or no-go is in sifting through all the wonderful memories to decide if they were ‘real’ or not...”

That’s the real rub, isn’t it? Were all those “good times” born of real love, friendship, respect, and loyalty worth celebrating? Or were they just born of two people trying to make the best of a bad situation they had created and didn’t want to face? Or was it something somewhere in the middle? Trying to resolve those questions, and cope with the reality the resolution presents, is what makes breaking up so hard when every available fact tells you both that there is no other alternative.

So in the event that you have to go through this torture, what do you do?

Look at the whole relationship and weigh the good and the bad. Identify what can and cannot be repaired, and how important those things are to you. In the end, if the relationship can’t be fixed, get out, but do it like a civilized adult, with dignity, and leave the other partner room to do the same. Indeed, LEAD HER to do the same. And if a friendship can be maintained, by all means do so; you may not have enough compatibility to live together happily, but you may still have common interests that you can enjoy together. Think about that...

Not being able to live together happily is by no means an indication that you can’t have an enjoyable conversation or dinner from time to time, help each other with a project or hobby on occasion, or do any of the other things that friends do. It takes a lot more compatibility to live together than it does to visit, as the focus of a visit is much more narrowly defined and creates boundaries that protect you from the things that caused trouble while you were married – if you pay attention to them, that is.

Don’t ever let things fall into the context or perspective of who is or isn’t good enough for the other. It has nothing to do with that. People are who and what they are, and have spent a lifetime becoming so. Thinking that you can or should be “good enough” to induce someone else to change for your sake that which they would not change for their own sake is foolish, arrogant to the point of being narcissistic, and just plain childish!

(Pay attention, Ladies, in case you’re thinking that you’re going to rebuild your man as you want him. If you do manage to accomplish it, you won’t respect him precisely because you were able to change him. A man who can’t stand up TO you can’t stand up FOR you, right? The attitude that "he should love me enough to change for me," has broken more women's hearts than men ever could.)

Admit that there have been problems, and that those problems have been caused by the two of you having too many fundamental differences to be compatible. You gave it a good shot, you had some fun and good times, made some money and accumulated a few things, and have a few fond memories, but the stress of walking on eggshells trying to keep from tripping over your differences is killing you both.

You’re good people, just not good for each other, and if you are the type who needs to or enjoys being married, you need to get out and find someone whom you are good for and who is good for you, compatible with you, and whom you can enjoy living with as your natural self. Work together to divide the rewards of your combined efforts fairly and help each other get a fresh start by introducing each other to friends that are more like them. You may not be worth a plug nickel together as husband and wife but may be great assets to each other in starting over. (This is all assuming that your problems are differences in your values, preferences, priorities, etc., and not that one of you is an abuser of some sort.)

There is no point in your life where being able to evaluate a relationship will not serve you well. You need to know yourself as well as your needs and desires, and you need to be with someone who can naturally fulfill those needs and desires while being fulfilled by you. That in turn requires that you know other peoples’ needs and desires with regard to you, does it not? You don’t want to enter a relationship in which you have no chance of fulfilling the other’s needs and desires, do you?

That means knowing before you get into a relationship what the relationship should look like if it’s good. It means knowing after you get into a relationship if it is going to work based on how well you meet each others’ needs and desires. It means being able to communicate factually and honestly to express those needs and desires to each other, as well as how well those needs and desires are being met.

Contrary to how it often appears, relationships and marriages very seldom fail after ten or twenty years or more. What really happens is that they fail at their inception due to bad choices and that failure isn’t conceded until years later, when every option has been exhausted, there is no longer anything to hide behind (like children), and both partners have become miserable spending so much time and effort trying and failing. If you have a good foundation for a relationship, it’s not hard to tell; there’s little if anything fundamental and significant that you’d want to change about your partner, such as their values, political leanings, etc. You can talk and get along, and have probably just become a bit bored because attraction is waning. That’s fixable.

But…

If you’re in one of those relationships where the only place you get along is in the bedroom, and especially if you find yourself fighting to have an excuse to make up because that’s the only part of your relationship that IS working, you have a serious problem, and believe it or not, there are people with whom you can get along both in and out of the bedroom.

And since so many of you have asked, yes, it is still a good idea to learn about attraction and try to create it for your partner even if you are breaking up. Being attractive is about being a leader, being smart, being fair, handling tough situations and being able to keep your sense of humor about you. Stirring up a little attraction in your partner as you are splitting up will help ease the transition for her and you both, because it tends to keep tempers at bay. It will help her to feel that you are being strong and supportive during this crisis, and make her feel good that you are making the effort to help her hold herself together emotionally while you go through the process together. Nothing bad can come of that for either of you, and may indeed help you to part friends instead of killing each other in a war that never had to be fought, a war in which the only victors are the lawyers.

There you have it, the dark side of relationships and marriage. It is my sincere desire that you never have to go through a break-up, and that if worse comes to worst and you do have to go through one, that you can get through it with your dignity (and assets) intact and help each other to move on to a better life with someone better matched to yourselves by understanding what it is that you’re fighting: the basic human tendency to try to make the best of even the worst situation, no matter how inappropriate or even self-destructive it might be, not each other.

No matter where you are in your relationship, from looking for one to having been in one for 40 years or longer, there’s help waiting for you in "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," and it’s just a few mouse clicks away at
http://www.makingherhappy.com. Go check it out, and get the straight story while you can; there are very few of us around who can and will give it to you, and your life is too short to fail to have and use it.

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