Sunday, June 13, 2010

What Women REALLY Want in Relationships and Marriage, Part 3A, Reader Tale from the Dark Side

We interrupt this series to bring you a reader’s own “Tale from the Dark Side,” a forty-year marriage in which the reward for good work was more work and the reward for wanting rational discussion was false accusations of control – BY THE CONTROLLER! Learn from this man’s mistakes, as he is now doing…

Yesterday’s edition got a lot of responses, a lot more than I expected. Many of you have had a run-in with “ignorance of a woman’s true desires,” and most of you who did gave strong evidence of having learned something from the experience, even if it was only that you needed to learn more about women to get along with them well in the long term; you’d be surprised at how many men never even learn that.

There was one letter that stood above the rest as having lessons to teach that all could learn from. Meet Roger (as always, the name has been changed to protect the reader’s privacy):

Hi David,

Your recent letter concerning your friend Matt has made me realise 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 realised 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,

What can you learn from Roger’s predicament? Do you recognize the trade he has been engaging in for many years? He’s trading unappreciated effort for the prospect of approval. A man shouldn’t seek the approval of a woman any more than a woman should seek the approval of a man. It tips the balance in the relationship too far to one side and throws everything out of whack.

Do you also recognize that she’s using guilt as a tool to usurp the authority that he should be both defining and exercising in their relationship to keep excitement and attraction alive? And the bit about when he wants to discuss something she truncates the discussion by accusing him of wanting to control her, when in fact her manipulations are for the purpose of controlling him? “She doth protest too much,” as the saying goes…

Roger and I have had other correspondence since this letter, and he’s going to do well in cleaning this mess up. He’s reading and learning, and getting his ducks in a row. The task before him is to refuse to allow his wife to use guilt and manipulation to control his actions, stop seeking her approval, and to take back the authority she has usurped from him, the authority over his own life, effort, schedule, the money he earns and how it is spent, etc.

His wife is in for a rude awakening, but history indicates that unless she is sociopathic and entirely devoid of character, a genuine predator, she will actually love him and respect him, not to mention become wildly attracted to the new authority and strength in him, when he makes the changes he is currently preparing for. If she is indeed a predator, he’ll recognize it and get out. “But he’s been in it for forty years!” Yes, and that’s forty years too long to live with a manipulative predator, right?

As an aside, guilt is something you CHOOSE to feel, not something that someone can force you to feel. If someone tries to make you feel guilty, you can simply choose to feel righteous (if you are) instead of letting them motivate you to ignore reality and accept the guilt they want to heap upon you for their own gain. Withholding your sanction of the other’s pronunciation of your guilt is all that is required; without your sanction, they have no ability to use your values against you.

If you do indeed owe a debt, you should make good on it out of good character, not guilt or fear of reprisal. That’s just what real men do. Anything else is too complicated and dramatic.

It’s not often that you see two people remain in such a one-sided relationship for so long, but even when things have gone so wrong for so long, they can still be fixed, and a lot faster than you’d ever think until you’ve experienced it. It requires only that you know what the woman in your life really wants as a woman and as your partner, and that’s just not that hard to find out if you have the tools for the job.

The tools? Knowledge and desire. Knowing what women want in general, how to clearly communicate with them, and how to turn their attraction on and off will take you to a level of intimacy you never imagined possible, and from there you can learn what she as an individual secretly yearns for and responds to with complete certainty.

If you didn’t have the desire, you wouldn’t be reading this newsletter day after day looking for the knowledge. I’ve had a couple of complaints that my newsletter and blog posts sound like a sales letter, and maybe they do at that. I give away a lot of really good information to prove that the information I’m selling is both valid and valuable.

All that I ask in exchange for all the free information I give you is that you take a good hard look at your life and try to find a way to apply what I give you. I’d also appreciate it if you occasionally at least consider taking the plunge and committing to a few hours of reading to go ahead and learn everything you need to know now, and making the effort to make your relationship all that it can be.

Some of you do, and write me letters describing fantastic results, and some of you don’t, apparently thinking that you’ll learn all you need to know from my newsletters or that you really don’t need to do anything. You will eventually find that position to be in error, and you’ll be downloading this book somewhere down the road when your relationship is in much worse shape and harder and more painful to endure and try to fix. Or even worse, maintaining the comfortably unhappy status quo as Roger did, wasting years or even decades of life, or heading for divorce court.

Indeed, there’s a gentleman on our forum right now who has been in the clutches of a manipulator, and didn’t realize it until he started describing to us how he never got her approval as we were trying to figure out how to help him reconcile. As it turns out, reconciliation is the last thing in the world he should be trying, because she’s a reckless predator who got tired of paying her own way in the world and married him to help her out, not to share a life with him. You’d be surprised how much a skilled predator can get away with and how many of them there are in the world. The majority of women are good women, looking for love and partnership like we do, but there are those toxic few who marry to have someone pay for them to have and raise babies, or to have all the finer things in life while someone else raises their babies, and most of the men who have one of them have no idea until they get the divorce papers and find out that she’s trying to take it all.

Should this happen to you, even if she’s not toxic and you’ve just drifted apart or not been able to wade through your problems to get to a good place, it is at that time that you will realize that you could have read my book many times over in the time that you have spent only reading my newsletters (which, by design, are infinitely more meaningful to those who have read my book), and that the cost of a good meal could have saved you a lot of time and a lot of pain, frustration, anger, money, celibacy, and no telling what else -- it’s hard to say what you’ll have left after her divorce lawyer gets done with you if the two of you can’t work out something better.

So I would urge you to make things easy on yourself. Go now to and download your copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," as well as a couple of free reports I’ve bundled with it on how to quickly understand the true causes of a break-up and stop it quickly when things finally blow up and the full version of the series you’re now reading. Life’s too short to waste it, so don’t waste any more of it being anything less than happy.

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

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