Monday, June 14, 2010

What Women REALLY Want in Relationships and Marriage, Part 4, What About What YOU Want?

We’re going to take a sudden detour from what women want to address another question that the other question begs: What about YOU? What do YOU want? Do you remember the old saying, “Be careful what you wish for, because you might just get it”? We’ve talked about that subject before, but never in THIS context. Tune in, because it will jerk you upright!

This subject of what women want has opened up either a cornucopia or a hornet’s nest; I’m not sure which. I’m getting flooded with comments and questions, and loving every minute of it. It appears that my readers are some of the smartest people around if they use their heads. Some catch on immediately, while others don’t get it at first because they are so emotionally charged and married to a bad position, but once they see the contradiction in their thinking, they immediately get on the right track and impress the hell out of me with the clarity of their vision and swiftness of their response. I’m proud of every one of you who has responded!

The biggest mistake that anyone can make during relationship crisis is to let insecurity and need take over, driving you to try to save something that is already bad for you, and unfortunately, this is one of the most common mistakes as well. Both men and women can be in a relationship that is so bad that they are considering breaking it off, and if the other person moves to initiate the discussion, they suddenly switch from “I wonder how I can start this conversation to break it off without making an enemy?” to “How can I win them back so I can regain their acceptance and approval???”

Sad, isn’t it?

I’m going to share with you a most stunning response from a reader who has been through "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" and we’ve been corresponding about his current situation. We have been discussing why and under what conditions he should allow his estranged wife to come home and resume her post as his wife and mother of his son after having an affair with a financial parasite who has made her do some rather crazy things to try to keep her options open with her husband, who is successful and very capable of supporting the whole family alone (she’s not worked and contributed as a homemaker in return for a pretty lavish existence).

I described several diverse options for him to analyze and see what made sense to him so that I could gauge his mental state and how much he had learned from "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" and our discussions, and wrapped up by saying,

"I'm not particularly thrilled about the idea of her coming home without a complete repentance and new commitment; I'm just offering you options. The one you choose depends on your own sense of self-worth."

His response was awe-inspiring, the hallmark of a man who has realized that both halves of a partnership must earn their place in it, and that love and trust can only be traded for love and trust. Read and learn from a student who has indeed become a master (and I’ll bet if you spend some time reading posts on our forum you’ll know just how much of a master he is!):

Touché - That's the entire question at this point, isn't it? I really see no value in her coming home as a relief to HER - it has to be for the right reasons. In the past, she's come around to wisdom after some thought, but this is big. If she told me tonight that she and [the boyfriend] were over and she wanted to be home, I'd question her motives. Wanting to be home is not the same as wanting to be my wife, or wanting to repair our problems, or wanting to move past the crap she dwells on for years. I'm uninterested in returning to our former life, and I know she is as well.

Truth is, she may miss our house and comfortable life much more than she misses me, and her anger/blame is directed at me for that loss as much as the loss of our relationship. I've been watching for evidence of that, and finding LESS, but still finding some. If she announced her desire to start over and repair the whole thing, I'd be openly skeptical of her ability or willingness to really do that. In the past she's handled our issues by deciding that I was the problem, but she'd tolerate me because the good outweighed the bad. She'd deny that, but I see it often enough that I stick to my story!

(Yes, name changed to protect his privacy!)

Can you imagine that? A man who has pushed beyond that initial knee-jerk reaction of “I’ve got to have my wife back no matter what!” to see that she may have in fact been a bad influence on the whole family with her philandering and deceit and taken the firm stand that if she comes home, it will be as a loving, loyal wife and mother and a genuine life partner, not simply as another dependent who pisses away the love to get to the security he can provide.

Make no mistake; this is the attitude that should prevail in every marriage and committed relationship, for both parties. If your life together is a fair trade, you should nurture and protect it vigorously, but if you indeed have a dependent instead of a partner, someone who takes and wastes your life and other resources and gives you nothing but meaningless and scant approval – just enough to keep you giving in to their every whim – you really need to be somewhere else, or need for them to be somewhere else.

Contrary to what the altruists would have you believe, your purpose on this planet is not simply to have the life sucked out of you by someone who refuses to take responsibility for making a life for themselves, which is a recipe for resentment, fear, and a tortured existence. Your life is the most precious resource in all the universe, and it is not only in limited supply, as it must come to an end at some point, you don’t know how much of it you have left and every second that passes is gone forever.

You should live to achieve and enjoy the fruit of your achievement, not live in servitude. The altruists say that sacrifice, the trading of life for nothing, the essence of “unconditional love,” is noble. The truth is that sacrifice, working for the benefit of others at the cost of your own life, is simply slavery, and there is nothing noble or moral about slavery. And being enslaved to a spouse rather than sharing and celebrating a life with them, fairly trading part of your life, time, effort, and emotions for part of theirs, is an ignoble, immoral waste of life.

If you disagree, you are free to piss your life away as you please, but don’t bother writing to me to tell me how I need to do the same. You will merely confirm yourself as a waste of my time and be dropped from my newsletter subscription list. I’m happy, and you’re not or you wouldn’t be reading this, so you should be listening to me and learning how to become happy instead of trying to convince me to mimic your miserable existence so I’ll be as unhappy as you are. ‘Nuff said.

I need to be very clear here about parasites and predators. You can’t say that all women are gold-diggers any more than you can say that all men are wife-beaters, and that’s certainly not what I’m trying to say here. Most women are good people, especially when led by a man who is caring, attractive, and responsible and brings out her nurturing nature. What I want you to understand concerning parasites and predators is that committed relationships are either synergistic partnerships or they are something that will destroy you; there is no middle ground.

If your relationship isn’t fulfilling you and giving you cause for celebration, it’s killing you, either through the slow poison of the erosion of your self-worth and self-respect, or the explosive shockwave of excessive demands and manipulation that continue until you are wiped out, when the fatal blow is delivered, the break-up, accompanied by the news that everything you did just wasn’t quite good enough, and if you’re married, you’re going to have to make up for your shortcoming by giving up half or more of everything you’ve worked for.

What kind of relationship are you in? Are you celebrating being together? Are you bored with being together? Are you looking forward to being together tomorrow? Are you living in fear that you might find tomorrow that you are no longer together? Can your relationship be fixed? Or should you get out while you still have some life left to invest in a better way of life, one which may involve a more appreciative and mutually nurturing partner who compliments your existence rather than competing with it?

These are tough questions, some that many people can’t answer, even after being together for 20, 30, and even 40 years! It’s not that they’re stupid at all; they either don’t know the right questions to ask or they’re terrified of the answers. It doesn’t have to be that way…

There are answers waiting for you at in "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," along with the mental and emotional means to use those answers to make your life better instead of allowing them to torment you. Get those answers now, and get a near-instantaneous boost in your own self-worth, so that you can face the tough questions with the courage of your convictions and make your life, especially your marriage or other committed relationship, the best that it can be.

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

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