Saturday, June 26, 2010

Handling Tough Times and Avoiding Marital Boredom, a Relationship and Marriage Survival Skill

One easy time for a woman to become bored and frustrated is when you have to be away a lot. Let’s touch on that before leaving this subject for awhile.

I got a very humorous and insightful comment on
the recent edition concerning how far women will go to escape boredom from one of the newest readers which spawned a great lesson for you. It’s great because it’s an issue that is tough for the untrained man to deal with but the solution is easier and safer to implement than you might otherwise imagine. Here’s the note that started it all (the name has been changed to protect the brilliant):

*****
Note to Self:

Rule #1. Do not under any circumstances allow your woman to become bored. Rule #2. Do not under any circumstances allow your woman to become bored. Rule #3. See Rules 1 & 2, above.

~~~~~~

Hi David,

Damn. That is scary. And VERY instructive.

Thanks, - H.

*****

That made me wonder about the rules, and I wrote back:

*****
Note to H.:

Rule #1: A woman must never, EVER be allowed to be bored.
Rule #2: If you ever fail to be a man, a woman will become bored.
Rule #3: Should you break Rule #1, you will find it happened because you broke Rule #2!

Yep, it is scary, until you realize that Rule #2 makes the whole thing a matter of your choice. That's the silver lining in the "take responsibility for everything" cloud. Once it's your responsibility, it's your choice as to how it works out, and that's not at all scary when you have the information to make it work out. Indeed, it's a lot of fun! You don't even have to worry about tough times if you make the right choices, because a woman will be thrilled to be invited into a challenge. Take for instance you having to do late nights, 12-hour days, for two weeks to get a project wrapped up on schedule. First, you conscript her help:

"Honey, I have a problem at work and I'm going to need your help. I have to do 12-hour days for the next two weeks to bring this project in on time. I need you to take over the (insert list of chores here) that I usually handle so that when I get home, we can still have some time together. (That's leadership, authority, delegation, issuing a challenge, trusting her to be competent, and a whole world of other things that women yearn for, including a commitment to keep her close instead of shutting her out in favor of your work.)

"After the project is finished, we'll take off for the weekend and catch up on some rest and time together. No, don't ask, because it's a surprise!" (Anticipation, mother of all pleasures in a woman's world, if you’ve been paying enough attention to her to know what she likes.)

Being a hero instead of an a**hole is just a matter of paying attention and framing things right. Get it? Sure you do. That was a silly question. LOL!

Take care, and keep in touch!
David
*****

It really is that simple, as long as it’s not an on-going problem. On-going problems like working long hours for months on end are not heroic. They are a declaration that you can’t handle things and your life is out of control, even when she wants to believe otherwise. While there are some predators and parasites around, most women do not marry a man to have somebody pay their bills for them and be gone all the time to do it. They marry a man to have someone to love, trust, respect, be loyal to, and share their life with. Women are generally emotionally-driven creatures, and a large part of why they marry a man is his ability to make them feel things they enjoy. That doesn’t happen when the only time the two of you are together is while you’re asleep.

The point? She will help you get through problems, but only so long as you can continue to give her the companionship (and leadership) she needs. Women are social in nature, and they need interaction with others; it’s a matter of biology, not of choice, so don’t make a habit of over-committing yourself and expecting her to take up the slack. Don’t get into that rut of trying to force problems to go away by just spending more time working on them. Learn to work smarter instead of longer and harder.

How? Get help when you need it! Using work as an example (since I’ve been a management consultant for a lot of years and have fallen into this same trap myself on occasion), there’s a big difference between saying to your boss, “I’ll get this done, no matter what,” and then missing the deadline, missing work because of fatigue, illness or family disputes that arose because you over-committed yourself, and saying, “I may be able to get this done in the time you need it, but the risk to both myself and the company is considerable because I’ll be spread too thin and something can fall through the cracks and hurt us. Get me some help on this to ensure that we come in on time with acceptable quality so that we all look good at review time.” (Or if you’re a manager, declare that you need to hire or borrow temp staff, etc.)

People who want to get things done will support your effort to the best of their ability because they have others leaning on them for performance. Even the owner of the company has people leaning on him: his customers! Nobody wants to finish the day with egg on their face, and when you speak up like this you establish yourself as somebody who looks ahead and acts rationally instead of an egomaniac with a hero complex or a persecution complex who would sacrifice himself to be noticed and risk his boss’s and his company’s reputation to do it.

Your life has to maintain some semblance of balance for you to be able to enjoy it. Part of that balance is your job, part is your wife and family, part is yourself, etc. If any one part starts getting too much attention, it will be at the expense of the other parts. There’s no escaping or denying it. If you don’t give your job its fair share, you’ll get fired. If you don’t give your wife her fair share, you’ll get fired, too, in the form of a divorce! If your kids don’t get their fair share, they’ll fire you, too, and replace you with whomever will give them the attention they need, even if it’s the local drug dealer, pimp, gangster, or the warden at the jail.

Balance may not be the key to all things in the universe (although it sure looks like it is from here!), but it is certainly an essential part of a healthy relationship, a happy marriage, and a happy life. Take a good look at your life and see for yourself if everything is in balance, and make a serious effort to correct any balance issues you see.

Involve your wife in the examination after you’ve looked for yourself, invite her input and compare it to your own. Impress upon her the need for balance as well. She shouldn’t be letting her job, hobbies, you, or the children consume her entire life any more than you should. She needs the variety that balance provides to keep her from getting bored with any one aspect of her life!

Or keep doing what you’re doing, don’t involve her in anything, and watch your marriage come apart, or worse, watch her enter mid-life crisis as she starts thinking about how different her life could and should be and hormones and other brain chemistry remove inhibitions and create a self-validation channel that would seem so psychopathic at times it could make Charles Manson look like a choir boy. There are some men on our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com/ that have already provided you a first-hand look at that disaster.

We’ve about beaten the subject of boredom to death recently, so tomorrow we’ll be moving on to something else, but I hope that over the last few days you’ve come to realize, if nothing else, just how different a woman’s needs are from your own and what you can easily do to fulfill those needs and keep your relationship and marriage enjoyable. We can’t expect them to be entirely like us because they’re not, nor are they entirely different.

Our similarities and differences are not always obvious, and at times are even deceptive; you may recall articles I’ve sent you in which we discussed how men and women can use the exact same words to express the exact opposite meaning, and have no idea that it’s happening. (If you missed it, it’s the third of the communications lessons in my free “Break-Up Busting 101” report.) We, as men, being born to lead, must be aware of these similarities and differences and should take the initiative to make sure that everyone else in our family understands them as well. Otherwise, we fail as leaders, and we fail as men. I hate it when that happens…don’t you???

It’s time to step up and get the information and training you need to be the man you were born to be, but others have tried their best to make sure you never could be. Conspiracy? Maybe. Theory? Hardly. We’ve been told the wrong things about how to be a man for thirty years or more. We’ve tried it, it’s failed miserably, and it’s time to get back to what works.

Your guide is called “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage,” and you should go now to http://www.makingherhappy.com/ and download your copy immediately. Thirty years is long enough to do it the wrong way and be punished for making the effort. Start being a man as you were born to be and be rewarded for it, with happiness, success, and possibly best of all, the love and adoration of the woman you love.

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

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