Saturday, September 18, 2010

Mistakes Create Distractions, and Distractions Create Mistakes, Especially in Relationships and Marriage

Sometimes what looks like the easiest thing to do for a relationship problem ends up creating more trouble than you can imagine. Let’s take a look at some options and what really makes sense…

I once got a note from my buddy Ken that I’m sure many of you will find amusing, especially if you noticed the same mistake he did:

Hi David

I found it interesting reading the header on this email. I have read in the past that one of your pet peeves are emails that you get with improper punctuation and sentence structure. It is a pet peeve of mine also. So when I read the header of this email I had to chuckle.

I’m in a mood to bust chops of anyone who deserves it today, so I figured I’d start with you. No hard feelings, it’s all in fun my friend.

By the way, my wife is moving back in at the end of September.


(I did this several years ago. For those of you who weren’t around or didn’t notice, the title read “What Is Does Your Partner REALLY Keep You Around?” but was supposed to read “Why Does Your Partner Really Keep You Around?” Let’s look at what happened, because there’s a lesson in it…)

My reply:

Hi Ken!

What can I say? BUSTED!!! LOL! I started using one title (What Is Your Partner’s Real Motive for Keeping You Around) and decided to change it to “Why Does Your Partner REALLY Keep You Around,” and got interrupted by a phone call. Not an excuse by any means, but rather an example of what happens when you’re distracted. Can you imagine the mistakes that we make and never find out about while we’re having relationship troubles? Yikes! In fact, I think we just scored the topic for tomorrow’s newsletter! Thanks for the inspiration!

Congratulations on your progress! Keep me posted!

I didn’t mention to him that the verb “are” doesn’t agree with his subject, “one,” because I was distracted by the lesson I was formulating for you folks! Indeed, I just noticed it. Distractions, distractions. What’s a guy to do except have a good laugh. ;-)

So think with me here for a minute; have you thought about the distractions relationship problems can bring, and the problems those distractions create?

What happens when you have trouble? It can make you bored, depressed, nervous, fearful, frustrated, maybe feeling dejected, rejected, disconnected, etc. All of these feelings require huge amounts of mental and emotional energy, especially for a man, since we are wired for problem-solving, right?

What’s the most popular quick fix? An affair, right? But does it fix anything? Maybe it temporarily relieves some of the negative feelings you have about your wife, or yourself, but they simply get replaced with other distractions, don’t they?

During a new affair, you feel relieved, thrilled, excited, etc., which makes you daydream about meeting up with your lover, and juggling your schedule and telling all the lies to cover everything has you are pulled in too many directions at once, causing things to fall through the cracks. And it doesn’t end there, does it?

If the affair ages, you hit that 2-3 month mark where a woman starts wanting to know if the relationship is going somewhere, you know, wanting to have “the relationship talk,” and now the resentment starts setting in. You resent your partner for leaving you hanging, and resent your lover for the pressure to commit when you’re not ready for more complications, and all that resentment mixes with new fears that start to pop up, like will the lover get impatient and expose the affair, or blackmail you in revenge for not committing to her if you break it off. Right?

What is all this commotion and distraction costing you? How many blunders have you made while you weren’t at the top of your game because you were distracted by a fight you had before you left the house, wondering if it was going to continue when you got back home, or if there was even anybody there waiting to continue it? I’ve known a lot more guys than I care to count who have lost jobs, trashed careers, made trading errors that bankrupted them, and even a few who ended up being sued into bankruptcy or in jail over their choices while distracted by a fight or an affair. We’ve all seen a suicide or murder in the newspapers over this same thing as well, right?

So how well do you think those affairs really worked for them in the end?

Guys, I’m going to ask a huge favor of those of you who have had affairs. I want each of you to go to Hotmail, Yahoo, G-mail, or any other place you can think of and create an anonymous e-mail account with bogus information that can’t be traced to you, and send me anything you care to write about your affairs without so much as initials or a nickname so that we can save those who have never been through one the hassle and risk without reward. E-mail your response to and then delete the account and clear your browser history, Internet cache, etc., so nothing can be traced back to you. I want to show the men (and women) who haven’t yet made the mistake of an affair what can go wrong and what they can expect when they get into one. Your experience could save more than one person the pain of repeating your mistake, and they will appreciate it.

So what SHOULD you do when things start downhill, or even reach the bottom of the hill?

The first thing to do is see if the relationship is fixable. There are problems like incompatible values and life goals that are not fixable, and others like poor communication and lost attraction that can be easily fixed. Believe it or not, the biggest bonehead that will ever be on this mailing list will be able to make this determination accurately within an hour or less, depending on how fast he reads and how long it takes him to think something over. It’s crystal clear when you know what to look for and want an honest answer enough to put your emotions aside and look at the truth for a minute, and we’ll get to that in a minute.

Based on that evaluation, you either get out of the relationship or fix it. Getting out can be achieved as friends just as easily as mortal combatants, and probably easier, for most people, but less frequently because most people don’t stop to realize that those really big problems like compatibility issues are not value judgments, but just simple reality, the result of not asking the right questions when you first got together in most cases, and getting out to have a chance at a happy life is a favor to both of you, not an insult as it is usually taken, like tossing out yesterday’s trash. But you have to know how to talk about it, and we’ll get to that in a minute as well.

If you have the foundation for a good relationship in terms of compatibility, shared values, etc., and have just fallen in a rut or have never communicated well enough to know how to excite each other, have fun together, speak to and listen to each other in a way where there are seldom if ever any kind of understandings, YOU GRAB THE BULL BY THE HORNS AND FIX THE RELATIONSHIP! And guys, it’s not just easy to do once you know how things work, it’s also a lot of fun!

What? Have fun fixing marital problems? Yes, it is!

It’s great fun to learn be able to understand a woman. It’s incredible fun to see the things that you’ve seen a million times before and know what they really mean this time. It’s fun to know that you’re probably the only guy you know who knows everything you know! It’s fun to be able to flip her attraction triggers on and off like a light switch, dialing the attraction up, then easing back a bit to tease her and let her savor the anticipation before ramping it up higher.

And you know it has to be fun to watch her getting more and more excited and anxious until she can’t wait any longer and pounces on YOU! I can tell you from personal experience and that of many of my readers that there is a lot of fun to be had in life, and that certainly ranks in the top few! It’s also fun to read what the women on our forum,, write that confirms all this great stuff I keep telling you, since they usually let their own reactions slip into the stream and you get to see just how big a deal some of these seemingly little things are!

So yes, there is a clear path to follow: Evaluate, and then either acknowledge your mistakes and move beyond them to try again in a different relationship or acknowledge your mistakes and remedy them within your existing relationship. In the end, it’s really that simple over 99% of the time.

Results require action, action requires a plan, and a good plan that brings successful action requires solid information. If you’re ready to be a man and get things in your life back on track, go to and download your copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" and get started. Life is short, and it’s getting shorter by the second, so make what you have left of it count.

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

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