Saturday, May 22, 2010

Getting the Mix Right for a Great Relationship and Marriage

Building a great relationship isn’t a matter of an abundance of any one big thing; there is no “magic spell” or “magic bullet” that’s going to instantly put you over the top. But that’s a good thing, because the alternative is creating a mixture of more common, attainable things, and any man can do that, IF he knows what goes into the mix!

Before we get started,
check out this news article on the current state of divorces, counseling, etc., as influenced by current economic conditions. It’s downright scary to see how many people are unhappily stuck together because they think they can’t afford divorce or even counseling!

One thing that caught my eye in the article was how these people who seek counseling because of the expense of divorce are looking at $1,000 or more for 10 or more sessions. Most of my readers never need counseling, and the few who opt for having me coach them have never required more than a session or two, sometimes even only a half-hour. Un-freaking-believable. I was flamed on the Divorce Busters’ web site by some guy who said that he was a counselor and was appalled because I gave specific advice. If it takes others ten to thirty sessions to get things on track and it takes me one (and I’ve had some tell me that they got more done with me in one hour than in thirty sessions with a counselor), I can see why that might upset him. ;-)

By the way, in the end he ignored my advice to leave a woman who obviously had no love or respect for him, as evidenced by the way she chronically abused and demeaned him, because he found that by deceiving her, his situation became tolerable, and that in his estimation, deceit was the key to a happy relationship. I didn’t bother responding out of respect for the owner of the web site, Michelle Weiner-Davis, PhD. She tries to help people, while this guy was just looking for validation of his mistakes instead of a solution.

Come to think of it, if you want to see what I say to people in trouble outside of these newsletters, drop by our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com/, and see for yourself, and see what’s happening as a result while you’re at it. You may well see something that will help you right now, too!

Getting into today’s lesson, as many of you already know, one of my acquired talents and favorite achievements is that of being a chef. The fact is I’m a “very alpha male” and therefore not only a leader, but also a consummate do-it-yourselfer, the most secure route to the independence that every alpha male demands, and a man who loves good food as much as I do needs to be able to create it at will, because unless you live in New York City, there are more places to get an average or bad meal than there are to get a good one.

(As a quick aside, New Yorkers are probably the only people on Earth that I envy as a whole, because in my experience, you just can’t find a bad meal in New York City. I’ve literally had better food from a NYC street vendor’s cart than I’ve had at restaurants in other places. A bad restaurant isn’t going to survive very long in a densely populated city with commercial real estate prices and rental rates as high as they are there. If you love good food, a vacation there is worth the stay just for the food!)

Getting back on topic, I was making omelets for breakfast this morning (“guy omelets,” loaded with pizza sauce, cheese, pepperoni, mushrooms, etc. – use your favorite pizza toppings!), and it hit me how much has to be just right for the eggs to set right, and how that equated to a relationship.

If you add too much water or milk, they don’t hold together and you’ll end up with runny scrambled eggs. If you let the mixture reach too high a temperature by leaving it in the pan too long, the proteins “spasm” and force all the water out of the eggs, giving you rubbery lumps sitting in water. Too much heat quickly will cause them to scorch and burn. Like baking anything that turns into a set foam (omelet, cake, biscuits, etc.), it’s a matter of chemistry and physics, and you have to have the right amount of everything to make it perfect, and getting close will get you something very good.

It’s the same way with relationships. Think about the things required to keep a woman happy:

You need to be sensitive to a woman’s emotional condition and have good communications skills, but if you over apply either you end up being treated like a girlfriend.

You need to project a strong leader-like personality, but if you cross the line and come off as controlling, you’re toast, unless she happens to be particularly needy, in which case you’re in a codependent relationship, one of the worst kinds.

You need to have a good sense of humor and know how to have fun and make her laugh, but if you do it too often, you’re an over-aged adolescent clown, not “her dream guy who can be so much fun and makes her laugh when she feels bad.” (She really will get bored with too much comedy.)

You need to project self-respect and groom and dress in a manner that does so, but if you go too far with that, especially if you go “metrosexual,” you become conceited, fussy, spend more on skin and hair care products than she does, and you’re fun to shop with but nothing else (GIRLFRIEND AGAIN!), not to mention getting all the attention that she wants when the two of you go out.

You need to be a friend and companion, but if you take that too far, you become “just friends,” and a “nice guy,” somebody she wants to watch a chick-flick with, not somebody she wants to have come into the house, sweep her off her feet, and ravish her. Just another relationship for her to have to manage, and women manage a lot of relationships, actively. And, regrettably, you’ll also be someone who can’t stand up to her, and hence, in her eyes, someone who can’t stand up FOR her.

There are a lot of people touting a lot of ways to instantly get results, and as men, we tend to try to make each thing we hear about be that one magic thing we’ve been missing to make everything wonderful again. We heard women wanted a man to be “nice” and “sensitive” back in the 1980’s. We gave up on being the men that our fathers taught us to be and started being wimps who cried in front of their women while watching a movie.

What they wanted was for us to be real men, treat them as someone we liked (nice) instead of taking all their money and beating them up and then leaving them for one a little younger, and to be emotionally aware enough know that there would be times when they would be upset for no apparent reason, and other times when they needed to talk to somebody, and that busting through the door yelling “I’m home! Where’s my damned dinner?” wasn’t going to work out very well for anyone involved.

You don’t need to know every little thing there is to know about women, but there are some things that you do need to know if you ever want to be happy with one or more of them. And there again, it’s not just one thing you’ll need to know about, but a mix of things: compatibility, communications, emotions, mentality, needs, wants, and reactions, just to name the big ones. And then you need to throw into that mix everything that makes the women in your life (wife, daughters, sisters, friends, wives of friends, coworkers, wives of coworkers – there are probably a lot more women in your life than you realize) individuals, their idiosyncrasies that will endear you to them if you notice and appreciate.

With all these “mixes” going on, it sounds like you need a HUGE cookbook, doesn’t it?

Well, no, you don’t, and no, I’m not going to drop that “recipe for a happy marriage” cliché on you. However, you do need to learn a few things because there are several aspects of your relationship that you need to master and manage.

But! That’s not to say that you need a dozen books on psychology, several on communication, a few on seduction, a bunch on female physiology and sexual technique, one on women’s history, etc. Yeah, that’s a mixture, too, but it’s a whole lot of overkill, and quite frankly, since a lot of women think they want things that they really respond to quite negatively, it’s also going to be pretty confusing.

There is an answer for you, though. It’s not a freebie, but you can easily afford it, no matter what your situation. It’s not a magic pill, but it’s a regimen you can easily swallow. It’s not likely to turn your life upside down overnight, but some of my readers have stopped their divorces cold within less than a week of receiving it, and over the course of several weeks after that put things back on track and then went on to make them better than they’ve ever been.

Some are going more slowly, taking a few months, because sudden change just isn’t in them (you know, the detail-oriented sort who take the time to check and double-check and study everything before taking action), but even if you are one of those people, what’s two or three months compared to extending your marriage as much as thirty or forty years, and making it a great marriage instead of a trap that sucks the life out of you?

Or worse, what are two or three months compared to the years you might continue to be unhappy and/or alone, or stuck with the wrong person, if things continue the way they’re going? Not much, not much at all. Let’s see, three months study and self-improvement for 30 years of happiness. That’s a 12,000% return, and unlike the stock market, you’re in total control of whether that investment pays off, because it’s based on choices you make and actions you take, not the choices and actions of others. And I don’t even want to try to compute the percentage gain if you only have to spend the two to four hours required to read a book and hit the ground running!

Your answer is at http://www.makingherhappy.com/. It’s called "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," and from what my readers and I have seen, it has that which will cure what ails your relationship, if you do nothing more than read and apply it. Don’t tell anybody I told you so, but just between us, it’s a whole lot of fun, so get to it now, before you do another thing!

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

Friday, May 21, 2010

So She Says She Has a Headache: The Oldest Lie in Relationships and Marriage

A reader asks about the age-old lie, “Not tonight; I have a headache,” and its other iterations. He may not like the answer, but if he’ll accept it he can fix the problem, which is not her; it’s him.

I’ve wondered for a long time why I seldom receive a letter on this subject, because in the research phase of “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage” it was one of the first things to come up: the ages-old lie, “Not tonight, Dear. I have a headache.” It has other iterations, such as cramping, nausea, too tired (an extremely common one and easy to fake), menstrual discomfort, etc. Sometimes these complaints might be legitimate issues; at others they won’t. There is a pretty good way to know the difference, and a fool-proof way to eliminate the bogus ones. We’ll discuss all that in a minute, but first, meet Randy:

Hey David,

I have run into a stone wall with my wife and was hoping you might be able to shed some light onto a problem that is driving me straight to the sofa. It has to do with what else, sex. I know women think that is all a man thinks of, but how can you not when you never get it!

Every time lately I want to have sex with my wife she always has a reason that we can not do it. I have heard them all at this point, I am on my period, I have a yeast infection or bladder infection, I am too tired I have had the kids all day. Hey I am not a heartless SOB, but enough is enough how can a woman have a problem all of the time? I need some help here, how do I get her back in the bed with me and have sex instead of fighting for half an hour and ending up on the sofa every night?

Randy


My reply:

Randy, Buddy, let’s talk. There are two possible reasons for your wife’s behavior, those being that she’s really having that much trouble and that she’s not having that much trouble but it’s easier to fake something than to argue and fight about sex. It’s simple logic. She’s complaining of a problem, so the problem either does or does not exist. If the problem exists, there should be some signs of attempted remedy, and if not, she was bound to slip up sometime.

When she claims she has a headache, is her behavior consistent with having a headache? Taking some form of pain reliever, wanting you to rub her neck if it’s tension or taking antihistamines or decongestants if it’s sinus or avoiding bright lights and loud noises if it’s a migraine?

Incidentally, last I heard, the AMA was still saying that the average person has 6 headaches a year. That’s really ironic because that’s also the number of times the average couple who has been together longer than two years has sex in a year. (That is, of course, if they’ve not discovered "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage", in which case they’re having sex several times per week to several times per day!)

Is she saying she’s too tired for sex and then going to sleep? Or is she claiming she’s too tired and then sitting on the phone with a friend, sitting at her computer, or watching TV for another two hours? Are there wrappers from feminine hygiene products in the trash can when she claims to be having her period?

Is she going to the doctor and/or pharmacy and bringing home prescription or over-the-counter treatments for bladder infections or yeast infection when she claims she has one?

The point is that there is behavior that can be logically expected if someone has a genuine ailment, especially if it’s frequent. If their actions are contradictory to their words, they’re faking it to avoid sex. There is no other explanation.

Now the big question, why would she want to be avoiding sex?

There are very few people who don’t enjoy it, and their problems are pretty severe. If she has enjoyed sex with you in the past, it’s unlikely that she would have developed one of these major problems (like being raped) without you knowing about it. That leaves only one conclusion.

She’s no longer feeling attracted to you! Get this:

The slow-down of sexual activity a year or two after your marriage may seem normal because everybody complains about it and there’s a chemical change that stops forcing you to want it constantly, but it’s actually the first major symptom in the slow decay of a relationship. It doesn’t mean the relationship is over, but it’s now, not when you or she gets busted in an affair or somebody gets served divorce papers, that is the best time (other than before trouble starts, as a preventive measure) to start learning what you’ve needed to know all along and doing what you should have been doing all along to set things right while it’s still easy to do so. At this point, her feelings are still mostly positive, right?

Loves you? Maybe, even probably.

Loyal to you? Maybe, maybe not. It depends on whether someone else has created attraction for her and she’s responding to them. A woman will have sex with a man to whom she is attracted, and will not with a man to whom she is not attracted, at least not without resentment. It’s just that simple. There is also a strange tendency for people having an affair to refuse to have sex at home because they’re having feelings of fidelity for the person they’re involved with. So what do you do?

First, you forget about trying to find out if she’s sleeping with another man or who he is. That is irrelevant, and nothing good can come from finding out. She’s living with you, and that’s all that matters. Any woman would rather feel attraction for a man she’s living with, especially if she loves him, than any other man on the planet. It makes for a nice, tidy, secure, and enjoyable environment that is not possible under any other scenario. That is your edge. Don’t blow it by making accusations and digging around to find out something that you won’t want to know afterwards anyway. And finding the other guy to tell him to back off is the biggest wuss move of all, because you’re acknowledging his presence and even his superiority. If you handle this right and your wife has any character at all, she’ll end up confessing sometime in the future anyway, or else her past will come back to haunt her. Forget about it.

Second, start creating attraction for her. You apparently did it for her at one time, or she wouldn’t have married you (even if she married you because she was pregnant, she slept with you – drunken daze notwithstanding – because you created attraction for her), so you have to bring it back, which is nowhere near as hard as creating it for a stranger, for a variety of reasons that I won’t get into here, but are fully explained in the book that will tell you how to create attraction for her, “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage.” She lives for it, yearns for it, and wants you to be the one creating for her, of all the men on the planet. Give her what she wants!

Take care, and keep in touch,
David


Gentlemen, that feeling you get that you would describe as “I’ve just got to have her,” is the same feeling women get when in the presence of an alpha male who creates sexual tension for her by flipping switches and withdrawing in a “two-steps-forward-one-step-back” dance that can go on for minutes to days. They’re not visually stimulated like we are with the human physique; it’s alpha behavior that gets them fired up more than anything, the confident, cocky, almost swaggering arrogance of a man who knows he can do anything balanced with the intellect to do what he chooses (it doesn’t matter whether you can do everything, only that you can do what you aspire to and need to do), the authority to pull it off, and the sense of humor to make it all enjoyable.

Putting on the act won’t do it, at least not for long. You might get away with it for a date or two with a stranger, but with your committed partner, it’s got to be you, the REAL you, not just an act you can put on and constantly be stressed out over the possibility of having her see through it. Help is instantly available if you’re ready to be the man you can be.

THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage” teaches you, as it has taught thousands of men, what you need to know and helps you to incorporate it into the real you, making you that confident alpha male you takes care of business and has fun in ways that drives women wild with desire.

It also teaches you the difference in how you communicate and how women communicate so that when she tries to tell you what she wants you’ll be able to hear and understand it. Believe it or not, many women have reported having affairs and getting caught in them so that their husband will see the example that “the other man” sets, because she’s tried to tell him and the message didn’t get through! The boyfriend wasn’t a boyfriend, he was the illustration in a “how-to” manual she tried to give him!

And, since women need love for security and attraction to feel alive, it teaches you what attractive behavior is, and the personality that causes it to happen naturally, the alpha male personality, and how to develop it so that you can enjoy the confidence that it brings you in all walks of life, not just in your relationship. It’s not just about relationship improvement, it’s about MALE improvement, about being a real man, and doing the manly things that real men do, and loving every minute of it.

You should see some of the guys at our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com/. One of them has gone through almost a total evolution just in the last two weeks. His first posts sounded like a scared man who had never worn the pants in his family and was scared of his wife. He’s now sounding like a guy who is not only not scared of his wife, or scared of losing her, but a man has discovered himself, loves life, and is going to make his wife prove herself worthy before he’s going to take HER back, when she was the one who initiated the separation and has been pushing for divorce. And you should see how SHE’S responding.

She pitched a fit at him one day, said she was going to file for divorce the next day and fight to keep him away from the kids, and not only didn’t file, but called to apologize the next day and said that she was enjoying talking with him, but was scared because he’s acting so different. She already had her life mapped out to be without him, and he’s shaking the pillars of her universe to the point that she’s worried about what he’s telling his mother about her when she’s never thought much of or about his mother at all, meaning she’s covering the bases in case she goes back. Two weeks, folks. Two weeks, to go from a mouse to a man. Indeed, if you follow his posts, you’ll see that it actually happened in one, and the impact happened in under two. Gotta love it.

The coolest part is that the manly things that manly men do and women love to see them do are fun! They’re things that men just naturally do, but in that idiotic fiasco of the 1980’s when women said they’d like for men to be more sensitive and men took that to mean sensitive INSTEAD OF manly and not sensitive IN ADDITION TO being manly, as the women wanted (they never state “the obvious”), men have just stopped doing and turned into a bunch of wusses.

Kill that inner wuss and let your inner manly man and inner naughty boy come back out to stay. I’ll teach you how. Click over to http://www.makingherhappy.com/, download your copy of "THE Man's Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" and let’s get started, because life is just too short to spend it being a wuss, not to mention celibate and on the couch!

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

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Where Have All the Real Men Gone? Fighting the Extinction of Great Relationships and Marriage

Real men, alpha males, are nearly an extinct species, in spite of all the information available to help men avoid drowning in a sea of wussitude. Why? What can you do to protect yourself and reverse the damage that has been done? Will the woman in your life appreciate it? (You BET she will!)

There is something I have to talk about from time to time because it bugs the hell out of not only me, but out of every woman alive. Women and the dating gurus are also mentioning it, so it’s not just me. Men are rapidly deteriorating into miserable wusses at an accelerating rate, and it’s getting scary.

During conversations with men, the most ridiculous things keep coming up. Fights over things that wives have found out from non-family members that they should have found out from their husbands, leaving decisions about outings, dates, etc., to the women, total indecision about career and asking their wife not for input, but for decisions about what they should do! Men being afraid to be men!!! It’s a disgusting and unfortunate by-product of a lot of miscommunication in the 80’s and 90’s.

I still keep tabs on the gurus in the dating world, and Shelley McMurtry has reported that she went into a bunch of bars in a major Texas city where men and women used to “hook up” with regularity, and it was the same story, singles style – the bars full of women, dressed to the nines and obviously looking for action while the men are playing pool, talking to each other in hushed tones with slumped shoulders and drinking, sneaking a peek at the women and mentally undressing them but rarely if ever walking up to them and introducing themselves, let alone initiating a conversation. Again, disgusting!

Being married, I’m seldom in a bar, but on the rare occasions I’m in a bar, coffee house, or anywhere else that single men and women are, I see the men eyeing the women, looking sheepish, and not approaching; the only ones who appear to be taking any action are the nerdy-looking pick-up artists, sporting their peacock gear a la Neil Strauss, in “The Game,” and as Strauss describes finding out at the end of his book, that’s all just a show to get women’s attention, and has nothing behind it worthy of a relationship or that could ever sustain a relationship, and women are so aware of this that they refer to the pick-up artists’ approach as “running game” on them.

("The Game" is a great book, by the way, and while you won’t learn much about long-term relationships other than what to avoid doing if you want one, it’s still fascinating to see how far wusses will go to try to make up for not having alpha male characteristics they could easily develop in themselves.)

When I’m out and watching couples interact, I rarely see a man walking with his head up, smiling and looking confident; he’s usually looking either angry or lost as his wife or girlfriend seems to be leading him around and making all the decisions, and when she stops to talk to another woman, you can see the looks of “yeah, I’m out with stupid wuss-boy here again, and I’ll call ya later and give you a good laugh about his latest stupidity” from across a shopping mall. Double disgusting!

Gentlemen, it is our station in life to make decisions – not to force our decisions on everyone else, mind you – but to be decisive when we have information; strong, and confident to the point of being benevolently aggressive and even a slight bit arrogant, and having the gonads and intestinal fortitude to talk to women about whatever we want or need to discuss with them, looking into their eyes, not at our feet. We are born and bred to lead. There is no excuse for failing in this regard. Nor is there an excuse for being towed around a place we don’t want to be like a little red wagon, or more appropriately, a child being led by the nose or ear to a place to be punished for his bad behavior.

Yes, we’ve been programmed by our mothers, our teachers, ex-girlfriends, Hollywood, etc., to be “nice,” to “share our feelings,” to be “sensitive,” and do a whole bunch of ridiculous crap that literally annoys women to death, whether they realize it as they are doing it or not, but we are not born or built that way. We are born male, with the capacity to be “alpha male,” and it is our natural state. No matter how long and how severely you have been programmed, you can deprogram yourself with a little knowledge and very little effort.

By the way, how are women responding to all these candy-asses? They’re getting more and more bored and frustrated with them, and pushing them harder and harder towards an emotional explosion in hopes of just getting a glimpse of their maleness. There are quite a few men and women on our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com/, right now who are in the worst stages of this problem, women trying to find something to hang onto so they don’t leave their husband (and absent attraction, having a very hard time doing so), and men who are losing or have lost their wives to the same cause, seeing and correcting their errors and hoping they can get their departing or estranged wives to pay enough attention to them to see the change before the divorce is final. And reading the stories on both sides make you wonder how our species has survived, let alone flourished.

Women don’t want us to be supermen, just real men, to the extent of risking a huge fight to see us do it, and when they don’t get what they want, they continue to escalate until your worst nightmare begins: they decide you may be unsalvageable, and then either affairs or divorce proceedings start, because such things will either get your attention and finally call you to action or at least provide them some relief in the form of drama and a change of scenery. (The one partial exception I’ve noted is in marriages where there is a high level of religious involvement, in which cases the woman “wears the pants in the family,” and both parties to the marriage are obviously unhappy, usually stuck in that “comfortably unhappy” state I warn you about.)

At that point, they have nothing to lose either way. It takes time, and they don’t like going through it, and if they see you suddenly start trying to improve, they will cautiously encourage you while skeptically testing you to see if you have the courage of your convictions and will see it through, or just shrug it off and consign yourself forever to terminal wussitude.

You can fix this, starting right now, if you have the desire and guts and of course, know how to read. That’s all it takes. You’re reading this, so you’re one third of the way home already. Go for broke. Go to http://www.makingherhappy.com/ and download your copy of “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage” right now. Fix this before it gets out of hand, and be one of the few and the proud instead of one of the many and lame.

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

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

What Holds a Man Back from a Great Relationship or Marriage?

My readers are having such successes that some of them have started sending me their own versions of my newsletter and telling me to publish them. And they’re good, too! Tune in…

You know you really have something that works when the people you advise start trying to help you spread the word. I occasionally get suggestions for newsletters from readers, and lately, I’ve even been getting drafts of newsletters asking me to publish them. And they’re good, too, taken from these readers’ own experience.

So I’m going to start publishing some of them, and keep in mind as you read them, these people came to me for help and were in as bad a shape as any of the rest of you when they did; these students have become masters. This one from David C., one of the winners of my “King Arthur and the Witch” contest, also known as “Think-First,” now an administrator on our forum:

I've had this question floating around for a while and some of it started bouncing around in my head and I can't seem to get it into clarity. You see with all the rewards of being the Alpha Male in any relationship, I've often wondered what could hold someone back?

Alpha: Noun - the first in a series of related items: frequently used in chemistry and physics. Adj. - being the most prominent, talented or aggressive person in a group: the alpha male of investment bankers.

Male: Noun - a person bearing an X and Y chromosome pair in the cell nuclei and normally having a penis, scrotum, and testicles, and developing hair on the face at adolescence; a boy or man. Adj. - pertaining to or characteristic of a male person; masculine: a male voice.

What has held me back in the past? While there is an intense desire to succeed, there is always that underlying risk or fear of actually becoming successful. Then I began to see that what I was picturing in my mind was my own lack of self-confidence and hence the fear of making mistakes and imagining the ridicule that would result from it.

Notice here that I am building a picture in my mind, despite all evidence to the contrary, of what a failure I would be and how I would be made fun of because of it.

Defeated before I ever entered the contest.

Now I be could fully justified in choosing the passive voice, the kind and understanding guy, a nice friend. Buried underneath all this is the basic rule that there is no conflict, there is no challenge and there is no pressure to succeed; hence there is no failure. Something or someone else is always at fault for my problems in this victims’ universe of how being nice will save us all. Blame can be passed off as lack of training, lack of knowledge or lack of other people understanding how nice you are.

"She'll appreciate how nice I am when she gets tired of that jerk she's with now." Yea right! LOL!

"The Princess Bride" syndrome as I like to call it. How this lowly stable hand became the true love of her life after being the passive Mr. Nice Guy for so long, she was overwhelmed with love for him. And we've seen just exactly how much evidence of this? Reality is the antagonist in this kind of thinking because no matter how much of it attempts to intrude, subtly or with a slap across the face, it is always "THEY" who don't understand or appreciate what YOU do for their love everyday.

This got me to thinking the only possible way this could succeed is if the natural drive to excel got buried so deep in BS, that any attempt to help them see it for what it is means they would have to look around and see, smell and taste what the world they are living in is really like. Remove the rose colored glasses, the potpourri infused nose filters, soothing sound filters for the ears and the velvet gloves to see a harsh, cold world waiting to stomp on them. "But I love them warts and all. Why can't they see that?" Because reminding them of their warts is fine, reminding you of yours proves they don't understand how nice you are. The most selfish person in the room is a martyr for the noble cause of themselves.

The Alpha Male - The first to generate the chemistry of attraction in those around him by being the most prominent, talented, or aggressive person wherever he goes by demonstrating that “having a pair” is not just about what's between his legs.

Like a babe born into a cold new world, it may seem harsh at first but that birth had to happen before they could experience a life of their own making. If you haven't read "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," you're still waiting to be born. Because while a baby is in a controlled environment, seemingly comfortable, warm and happy, it also has no clue why things that jostle, push and prod it are happening and no way to stop it when it does.

The question is “Are you going to keep letting life happen to you or does life need to get ready to for you?”

Straight from the hip, straight from the source; I corrected nothing more than a couple of spelling and punctuation errors that his word processor software didn’t pick up. And he’s asking the right question, too!

“Are you going to keep letting life happen to you or does life need to get ready for you?” Are you going to keep sitting there taking what comes, or are you going to stand up and start making things happen? One of my favorite movie lines comes from the football spoof, “The Replacements,” when Gene Hackman says to Keanu Reeves, “Winners ALWAYS want the ball.”

Men who want really success want to act, because they know that’s how to make success come fastest. They don’t wait for things to just work themselves out because they know that seldom if ever happens. They get tools, information, and whatever else they need and they get busy. And women love them for it. Women also hate it when they don’t.

We have more than one gent on our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com/, who is dealing with the aftermath of failing to act. And they freely admit that if they had acted earlier, they wouldn’t be staring down the barrel of a divorce. They’ve learned from their mistakes, the hard way.

So now it’s your turn. The question has been put to you, and since you’re here, it’s safe to say that you have been put to the question as well! Do you want to do it the hard way or the easy way? Proactive, where you can lead the action, or reactive, where you are constantly on the defensive and trying to play catch-up? Are you ready to step up and make life happen the way you want it to? If so, go to http://www.makingherhappy.com/ and download your copy of “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage” right now, before you do another thing. Live the life you’ve dreamed of instead of just dreaming about the life you’d like to live.

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

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Reader Feedback on Female Eruptions and Getting the Short End of the Stick in Your Relationship or Marriage

Some interesting feedback from some readers who have made some very positive changes in their lives that will open your eyes to some success you could easily enjoy as well.

I continue to be proud of the feedback I get from all of you. I’ll put my readers up against anybody’s in terms of intelligence and being motivated to make positive change. If I have a slacker among you, I don’t know who it would be (especially since the few who look like slackers seem to unsubscribe almost immediately and leave derogatory comments!). Let me show you what I mean with some excerpts from letters responding to recent newsletter topics (as always, names have been changed to protect their privacy)…

Meet “Keith,” who wrote in response to the issue on handling “female eruptions” (a.k.a., “hissy fits”):

Good morning David

I have a story to relay to you that happened to me last Monday. My wife and kids had just moved in on Saturday. It was a hectic weekend with moving and chores and such. I had forgotten to tell them that my year old dog Taz likes to run out open doors. My wife gets home on Monday and Taz runs out the door and is gone. I am not home and one of the kids had let Taz out of his kennel when they got home. He is in his kennel when no one is home.

I get home from work one of the kids is vacuuming, I say “hi,” and my wife greets me at the door with “YOUR dog is not allowed out of his kennel ever again”. She goes off on me for about 5 minutes; all the while I am just soaking in all this anger. Once the anger had subsided I pulled her aside and asked why she went off on me. She said because MY dog had run off and it took her half an hour to get him back. She was so angry with him she was ready to come home and phone me at work to come pick up MY dog. I asked what good that would have done. I said it’s the same as me calling her at work if her dog had pooped on the floor and asked her to come home and clean it up.

The old Keith would have exploded in defense when my wife started in on me like she did. But this time I waited for her to subside and then we talked calmly and rationally. I know she appreciated that because we were able to talk later that evening about other things and there was no animosity and we joked around a bit.

Cheers
Keith


First note that his wife and kids have just moved back home! Congratulations, Keith! And he’s learned how to handle her eruptions in a way that not only doesn’t escalate a problem, but gets it resolved and allows them to get back to having fun being together. He’s quite astute. Indeed, look at an excerpt from his previous e-mail, sent two weeks earlier:

Your newsletters and eBook have helped immensely. I saw that I was a wuss. I couldn’t and wouldn’t make choices for a fear of hurting someone’s feelings. Now I make choices or give options and if someone says “it doesn’t matter,” I make a choice and stand to it. I am still in the learning phase of reading my wife. She is a very independent woman and makes decisions without me. I have to learn how to deal with that. One of her hot buttons is the making a decision button. I have learned that when she says “it doesn’t matter”, she is testing me and she wants to be led and she wants to follow.

Cheers
Keith


He took what he had available, and instead of wasting time looking for all the things he could blame on his wife, he looked for the things he could fix, and handled it. That’s what being a man is about, isn’t it? Now, put these two e-mails together and get the big picture:

First, he saw there was a problem, got help, and fixed what he could fix. Great. But he didn’t stop there. When his wife reared up on him about the dog, first he handled her outbreak without escalating the altercation, then very astutely called her attention to the fact that she was unnecessarily escalating an issue – without igniting another conflict – and reduced his chances of having to deal with that problem again instead of just letting her go berserk on him and not holding her accountable.

Yes, Gentlemen, some women (it doesn’t matter if it’s the majority or not – concern yourself with the women in your life only) don’t particularly like being held accountable for their behavior while in a heightened emotional state (when you call them on something, they get mad, and come back with something like, “You’re just mean!” or “That’s not fair!”), but they will respect you when you do it as long as you’re not abusive about it, at least after they calm down; more often than not, calling them on bratty behavior in a firm, calm voice that does not bully will settle things down very quickly. Respect enhances both love and attraction, so nothing bad and many wonderful things can come from commanding it.

Keith should be applauded, so join me in doing so. Yes, I gave him the information to work with, but just like everyone else, he had the choice to put it to work and make real changes or to say “I can’t do that,” or even worse, “Why should I do that when a lot of this is her fault?” He chose to be a man and fix what he could and hold his wife accountable for fixing what she can. Well done indeed.

And now, a note from my friend from across “the pond” (The Atlantic Ocean), Faith, who is writing in response to the “Getting the Short End of the Stick” article from yesterday:

Good newsletter David... but... it was the other way round for me and it’s getting more common for men to be earning less than their counterparts so maybe next time you mention the topic you could point that out as in the role reversal I had. I was working my ass off for little or no reward while he spent it all on computer games, CD's and drugs....and he was working in a crappy two-bit job but blew all his money so I think it can work both ways don't you?!!!!

I did enjoy reading it though and although you write predominantly for men there are plenty of us girls getting the newsletters who will probably be thinking the same as me!!!

Faith


Yes, it certainly can work both ways! Faith was married for more than a decade to the most disgusting slacker I’ve encountered in a long time. In his mid-thirties, he was working part time, changing jobs often, goofing off most of the time, being so abusive to her as to keep her in approval-seeking mode, and so controlling that she had no interaction with anyone but him. This was the worst part for her, because they had been together since their teenage years, and she didn’t know it could or should be any different.

Her biggest problem was that he projected such an image of a teenage slacker that he engaged her maternal drive, which is for some women just as strong as attraction; indeed, for some it is much stronger. She saw him as a helpless child and didn’t want to leave him because she knew he couldn’t survive on his own, but she also knew she needed more. That was what ended up tormenting her the most during their separation and divorce, too.

But, she woke up one morning after we had spent weeks discussing the situation by e-mail, realizing that she had no respect for him, despised his slovenly ways, and wanted something more from life. She had originally contacted me to see if there was any way to make him grow up and be a man, and I told her the truth: the only way that could happen was if he wanted it to happen, and if he wanted it to happen he would already be seeking help and making improvements on his own behalf. He wanted to be mothered, and was making quite an effort (through abusing and controlling her) to make sure that he was.

Faith is a high-powered executive in one of the world’s oldest and largest cities, and when she finally cut the apron strings, she was an entirely different woman. She got a copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" and set to the task of learning what kind of man she wanted to have and determined for herself that her husband not only wasn’t it, he was never going to be.

She’s now happily divorced and dating a real man, one that could accurately be described as “a man among men,” and having the time of her life, not just with him, but with all the people that she never got to socialize with while her ex was guarding his turf. By the way, his whereabouts are unknown, and her last mention of him was to say “good riddance to bad rubbish.”

Women will do extraordinary things to nurture a man when they think they have a reason to. There are a few bad reasons that you can give them, like being too much of a slacker to take care of yourself, but they usually get wise to the bad reasons and leave, usually punishing you in ways that no court could touch. But why give her bad reasons at all?

It’s so much easier to give her good reasons to nurture you. Being a real man is fun, exciting, and full of challenge and adventure. A real man is loved and respected by those who know him, especially his wife or girlfriend, who will reward him with the best that a woman can offer: herself, to the exclusion of all others.

So you want a piece of that action, huh? Then EARN IT, Big Boy! Buck up and learn what you need to know about women, which as elusive as that knowledge has been doesn’t turn out to be all that much, and what it really means to be a man, not that wishy-washy, politically correct, cry-with-your-wife-at-a-chick-flick wuss that they started telling us in the 1980’s that we should be, and get with the program!

Good grief! Think about it! Could you diffuse a fight like Keith did? Do you know how and when your wife is testing you, and how to pass those tests with flying colors (and win a trip to the bedroom for something a whole lot more exciting than sleep!)? Do you know how to listen to her so that you really know what she’s saying and you never have to see her roll her eyes at you and hear her spit “WHATEVER!” before stomping out of the room, ever again? Do you know what her deepest, darkest fear is, and that if you’re having trouble with her, it’s largely because YOU, in spite of your love for her and desire to protect her, are actually making her deepest darkest fear a reality? Would you like to put that fear to bed permanently?

It’s highly unlikely that you have the right answers to many of those questions; otherwise, you wouldn’t be here, would you? There are some guys on our forum,
http://forum.makingherhappy.com, right now learning how to do exactly this. One is staring down the barrel of a divorce and his wife is showing signs of mid-life crisis, but he’s still going after it like a dog with a bone, learning how to counter her unreasonable arguments and either get her to a place where she can listen or realize that he has exhausted every reasonable avenue and she’s become someone he can no longer tolerate in his life. Thousands of other men have learned before you, and they are getting it done, just like you could be right now, if you had the information they had.

But you CAN have it, in the next few minutes, if you want it bad enough to use it. It’s easy to get it. Just go to
http://www.makingherhappy.com and download your copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," and just learn what’s in it and put it to use. Then you can be writing to me with your own success story like everyone else has, and what’s more, you can be LIVING WITH THAT SUCCESS! “…And they lived happily ever after,” doesn’t just happen in fairy tales. It can happen to anyone who wants to make it happen, but you have to take that first step, so step lively, Mister!

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

Monday, May 17, 2010

Is Somebody Getting the Short End of the Stick in Your Relationship or Marriage?

Some men (and women) work their asses off for all the wrong reasons. Are you one of them? Would you know? There’s an easy way to tell, and there’s a way to fix it, too…

Today I was reminded of something that happened to me a long time ago that really teaches a great lesson about making a contribution in your relationship. I’ll spare you the details of the event because it was both boring and pathetic; I’ll merely say that it involved a broker who had resorted to scamming his clients to feed his wife’s insatiable appetite for shopping and ultimately ended up jailed, divorced, and selling used cars after he got out of jail, all because he didn’t say “no” or “stop” when he should have. (Haley, you knew him.)

Have you ever asked yourself why you work the way you do, and who it’s really for? Whose goals you are trying to meet? If not, you should. That answer is definitely one worth having.

If you and your wife have sat down and planned your retirement together and you have jointly chosen things that you want to accomplish before and during your retirement, great! You’re on the right track. If the two of you are so independent that you keep your finances separated and are both making your own arrangements for retirement, that’s great too, as long as everybody holds up their end. But…

If you’re doing all the working and she’s doing all the spending, or if your both working but she’s still doing all the spending, something’s wrong. And no, I’m not talking about your wife being the one to handle paying the bills out of a joint account. If your wife is better at that kind of thing than you are and you can trust her to do it right and honestly, that’s the best thing to do.

What I AM talking about is when all significant financial decisions -- indeed, all decisions of any kind -- serve her goals and not yours. I see this around me nearly every day, and get letters from men asking for help with the issue. I won’t say that it’s a problem in every household by a long shot, but it’s getting common enough that I feel compelled to address it.

Why does it happen? Because you wussed out! No, there’s no other explanation, so don’t try. You wussed out and gave in and spoiled her rotten, or allowed her to spoil herself rotten because you didn’t have the spine to say, “No, that doesn’t work for me and I don’t want to do it. Working for no reward at all is slavery, not love, and you cannot leave me without reward for my work.”

Maybe it was fear of retaliation, or fear of rejection, or fear of making the wrong decision. Maybe it was fear of her leaving if you didn’t. Maybe it was just being too lazy to make a decision. Maybe you were such a wuss that you thought that you had to buy her love by turning everything over to her and living for her pleasure to the exclusion of your own. Only you can know that, unless you want to give me the details of your history and have me point it out to you. But what I can deduce with 100% accuracy is that it happened because you were not involved in the decisions, except possibly as a “yes man.”

If it hasn’t happened to you, congratulations, but pay attention and make sure it never does. The broker I mentioned was an alpha male sort who ran onto some hard times, and his conniving wife smelled blood and told him that if he didn’t continue to keep her up in the manner to which she had become accustomed, she’d leave and take everything he had. He panicked, plain and simple, and turned against everything he was (he was my futures trading broker for years and was the only honest broker I had ever met until this happened) out of fear that he would lose her.

I hope that it’s obvious to you that a woman who would leave you because you won’t spoil her isn’t worth having anyway, because she’s only there for the money, to take your life, not share it with you. And before anybody goes off half-cocked and sends me a nastygram because I’m saying that “all women are just after money,” NO, I’M NOT. Most women are good women, just like most men are good men. But the bad ones tend to be really, REALLY bad, and if you find you’re with one, you’re options boil down to precisely two: Remain a slave to her desires or free yourself of her and start over with a good woman who will share your goals and desires and help you to attain them – a partner, not a parasite or predator.

There is nothing you can do to change a bad person into a good one; they must do that, of their own free will and because they desire it, if it is ever to happen. You can’t blame a good woman for letting you spoil her, or a bad one for making you spoil her if she succeeds. All you can do is force a correction of the attitude and behavior and let the chips fall where they may. The woman’s character will be indicated by whether she straightens up or hits the door running (or tries to throw YOU out).

The point? It all boils down to who benefits from what you do. If you don’t benefit from your labor, why do it? (And for that matter, if you’re putting all your love and energy into a relationship and not getting any in return, why do that, either???) If you’re not benefiting from the time and effort you spend to generate income (or be a good husband) while others in your family do, that’s not being a man and a provider, it’s being a slave, and there is nothing loving or noble about being a slave.

Stand up and at least share in the benefits of your labor, and if somebody gets mad about it, tell them to either get over it or hit the road, because their days of reaping all the benefits of what you do while you get nothing more than the headache and the backache are over. That leaves them two choices, respect you and stay, or leave. Either one is a good option for you under the circumstances, right? Even if they take everything you have as they exit, you weren’t getting to enjoy it anyway, and with a fresh start, you can enjoy everything you work for and earn. Starting over, if things are bad enough to require it, is not the end of the world; it’s the beginning of a whole new world.

A great relationship and marriage is based on love, which is in turn based upon compatibility, and love brings with it respect, loyalty, trust, and friendship; the absence of those things is an accurate indicator of the absence of love. It also requires attraction to provide the fun and excitement that keeps the relationship alive for the decades that the two of you live together. Without it, life is boring, especially for her, and she’ll find a way to cure her boredom if you don’t cure it for her, either with drama or with somebody else.

Speaking of which, we have an interesting new development on our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com. One of our women advisors has disclosed that she’s having man troubles. Her man has a case of low self-esteem, she’s bored to tears, but instead of hiding in an affair, she’s trying to help him see the light and man up. It’s interesting seeing a woman helping like that, because it’s so easy for her to do something else. Warms my heart, as the saying goes, and you should join us and watch it unfold. You might be surprised at how much what you read that she complains about sounds familiar, and how easy, and even fun, it will be to fix it.

Nobody who loves you would allow you to work as their slave, and nobody to whom you are enslaved could ever feel love, respect or attraction for you. It’s really that simple. You have to either turn it around or start over, the right way, with somebody else, if you are ever to be happy. Otherwise, at best, you’ll spend the rest of your life “comfortably unhappy,” settling for trying to keep things from getting worse because it’s impossible for them to be better, holding survival, not joy, as your goal. End of story.

Sometimes mistakes are made and people get off-track, and you can turn it around just by making the choice to correct mistakes and get back on track. Other people start off the wrong way, marrying for need instead of love because they don’t know the difference, and you simply can’t get it back on track because it was never there to start with. How do you know the difference? And how do you respond when you do?

It’s not hard to do, just hard to recognize when you’ve not studied women, couples and relationships, and nobody who has studied them has told you what they’ve found. I’ve studied them, and still have women and couples working with me regularly to expand the knowledge base by testing new ideas and scenarios. Once you get on this road to improving your relationship, you can’t get off. It’s not that it’s an addiction; it’s just so rewarding to feel yourself getting more and more happy, intimate, excited, and safe in the knowledge that you are indeed living with a true partner, not just a dependent who may stab you in the back or leave you for no apparent reason.

Care to join us? We’re literally in a revolution, revolting against the mistaken and life-destroying ideas that bad relationships can only get worse or must be suffered in silence, that it takes months of expensive therapy to get over common problems, that bedroom intimacy is going to die after you’ve been together for a year or two and an affair is the only way that you’re ever going to enjoy that kind of life again.

If you want to know what we’ve found so far, go to http://www.makingherhappy.com and download your copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" and start reading. If you’re already feeling the strain and think a break-up might be imminent, also download my free “Break-Up Busting 101” report and feel free to share it with your friends. Together, we can fix just about anything, one way or another, so climb aboard and let’s get busy!

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

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Why Does She Erupt? How to Stop Drama from Killing Your Relationship and Marriage

Why do otherwise stable and level-headed women sometimes pitch a fit for no apparent reason? And what’s the best way to handle it?

We talked yesterday about how to tell when a woman is getting ready to erupt for no apparent reason, and there was a cursory explanation of how to handle it, but I really wanted to give you more on understanding the cause and handling the situation. To do so, I’ll provide something from my own experience that details the build-up, explosion, and diffusing of the situation to help you relate this lesson to events in your own past so that you can be better prepared next time it comes up, and IT WILL come up. It’s a topic that I frequently need to address, and the following reader question makes for an excellent lead-in for the discussion. Meet Joel:

Hi David,

I bought your book and I'm progressing through the relationship evaluation and it looks like we're good, but I've got to ask you about something that may already be in your book because it's driving me nuts. Donna, my wife, is usually pretty stable and understanding, and seldom raises her voice. In fact, sometimes we don't talk much at all. Occasionally she'll get really antsy and next thing I know she's exploding on me for no apparent reason, literally! Whatever she picks to explode about is usually trivial at best, and really ridiculous most of the time. I've watched the calendar, if you know what I mean, and it's not "cyclic." The only thing I've noticed is that it always seems to happen when I'm traveling or busy a lot. She'll explode, I'll explode back, and then she'll go away and come back in a few minutes cheerful and acting like nothing has happened. Can you shed any light on this?

Joel


Well, Joel, congratulations on taking the first step to making some serious improvements in your life, and thanks for writing. As for your question, yes, it is covered in detail in my book, but I'm going to give you the short version now to help keep you out of trouble until you read that part, and for the benefit of your fellow readers, because every man who keeps the company of a woman goes through this phenomenon at some point in his life, if not with every woman he spends any time around, and it may not even be with a wife or girlfriend. It could be with a "platonic" female friend, or even a coworker, but it will be with someone with whom you have regular interaction.

What's happening is she's feeling ignored (or possibly testing to see if you'll wuss out when she acts like a brat, but they usually use other tests for that), and missing the feeling of having you define or exercise authority for her, which gives her a little rush of adrenaline and attraction and gets the planets back in alignment. Actually, this is a good sign, because if she had already lost all attraction for you, she wouldn't be doing this at all (drama evolves into abuse if she talks to you at all), so congratulations on taking action before your relationship deteriorated to critical status as well!

Here's the deal. If you don't pay enough attention to her in ways that let her see you being the alpha male, especially in projecting authority and leading, whether it’s in critical decision-making or just having fun, she'll find something trivial and pitch a fit over it, just to get you to call her on it and tell her to straighten up. Mentally and emotionally healthy women will respect you when you establish a “no brat zone.”

This doesn't mean that you turn her across your knee and spank her, unless you can do it without hurting her and in such a way that it's entirely plain that you're playing with her and you're both laughing all the way through it. Remember, women love to have gutsy, strong men show their sense of humor in naughty ways, but they hate being painfully man-handled, bullied, controlled and abused, again if they are mentally and emotionally healthy. A show of strength when everybody is smiling and having fun is one thing, a show of control or cruelty is something else entirely, and something you never want the women in your life to see if you want them to stay around.

What it does mean is that you must take one of several approaches to call her on it, and it may entail raising your voice a little if that's all she'll respond to, but it mostly requires a show of strength, not of volume; a show of leadership, not abuse.

My wife did this to me once. I'd been neglecting her a bit as I worked overtime on my next book. Read the following paragraphs carefully and make sure you pick up on the details - no yelling, the only physical force was non-violent and smiling naughtily, etc., the very things she was looking for.

She wanted me to verify the quality of a piece of office furniture she wanted to buy and to pick up a pair of eyeglasses before 5:00PM, and it was 3:30PM. We live ten minutes from the eyeglass store, and had 90 minutes to get there. I said that I wanted to stop and pick up something on the way home and it would work best if we stopped to look at her office furniture first. Boom! That's all it took to open the door - I had set myself up.

I could see the change the instant she realized the opportunity she had. In the space of less than a second, she went from excited about getting a piece of office furniture and new eyeglasses to stormy. Then she said, "No, I don't want to go check on the office furniture, I want to go get my eyeglasses before they close. We've got to go there first." I thought, "Oh, hell, here we go!" and said, "We have 90 minutes to make the ten minute trip to get your glasses. We can afford the extra five minutes to stop on the way to check out the office piece."

To this, she went totally ballistic. "You know what? I don't even want you to go. I'm going by myself. I've got to get my glasses and I don't have time to go running around all over the place." Do you see how the level of absurdity is rapidly escalating, as well as the sudden reversal of both her desire to see the furniture and desire to be driven? (She doesn't see well enough to drive safely without glasses.)

Then I said, "You can't see well enough to drive without the glasses we're going to pick up, we have 90 minutes to get there, it's a ten minute trip, and we can certainly afford the five extra minutes to check out the furniture. Explain to me why you have a problem with this."

Her response was, "No, I'm not explaining anything. You always want to change my plans, so I'm going by myself." (Big hint: when you "always" do something that you've never done, or "never" do something that you've frequently done, it's said to make you call her on it and you're in this same situation.) At this point she has crawled across the seat of the car and is sticking her keys in the ignition, literally begging for an authoritative intervention.

I reached in, grabbed the keys, and snickered a bit as I said, "Excuse me, but you're not going anywhere unless somebody else drives because you're blind without your glasses. Now, it was your plan to stop and look at the furniture, and your plan to go to the eyeglass store. I suggested stopping one place to pick up one thing on the way home, and that hardly constitutes a change in your plans. You're pushing a bad position in an illogical argument, and until you tell me what's really going on here, I'm not driving your blind ass anywhere."

She went for her spare keys in her purse cursing and I climbed over top of her and grabbed them, and then playfully held her pinned to the seat with my body while she struggled and I said, "Say Uncle!" with a big grin on my face and that was all she could take. She busted out laughing and by the time she was done, she was about too weak to move.

She finally scooted over, we went to check out the office furniture, get the glasses, stopped and ran my errand, and just to put the icing on the authority cake, I announced a change in plans for supper (I'm the household chef) and stopped at a grocery store and lingered just a little longer than necessary in the produce aisle, cracking jokes the entire time about how good the cool air felt and "nature's thermometers" (guys if you don’t get this, ask a woman – I’d never get a more verbose description past the spam filters), exiting as soon as the smile began to fade the slightest bit, indicating that she was on the verge of boredom and starting to feel the cold, and therefore about to stop having fun. (NEVER let the fun come to a complete stop before changing course. Remember the old show biz cliché: “Always leave them wanting more!”)

So do you see what really happened? She was trying to goad me into taking an authoritative action, and may not have even been aware of it because it's such automatic behavior. If you respond to this the first time, you can get away with doing it with a humorous flavor as I did above and not having it get too ugly. However, if you just ignore her, or act bewildered and walk out of the room without doing anything, forcing her to find another excuse and launch a bigger attack, you may push it to the point where you have to yell a bit, physically restrain her from running out the door by standing between her and the door, etc.

Please note that one small change in the scenario, especially the failure to grin naughtily as I said, "Say Uncle," could have changed the event from one of fun to one of control and abuse; she would have been scared stiff instead of amused. Always mind your bearing when in this situation and make sure that it's fun for everyone or it WILL explode in your face; she has to perceive that you’re having fun WITH her, not at her expense. You've been warned...

Understand fully that unless she has been severely physically abused she will not be pushing you to strike her in any way (unless the two of you have a history of playfully spanking and slapping each other on the butt or something), and if she has ever in the past kept screaming and maybe even struck you until you slapped or shoved her, it's a strong sign that she has been beaten, still has issues, and really needs professional help to face those issues and begin healing. NEVER, EVER, for any reason physically strike her with the intent of hurting her, even if she begs you to do it or tries to force you. Use no more physical force than it takes to restrain her from hurting either of you, and if she's crying and hysterical, call a counselor and try to get her some help, because she needs it, badly.

There you have it. Again, it took more to explain that than I had hoped, but I wanted you to see a real-world example so you would have something more than just a rule to try to apply - a real episode with distinct characteristics that you could compare with what you have seen in your own life. If you want to talk with women about this and see how you might have done better in situations you’ve been in, drop by our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com/, and put the question to them. They’re wonderfully open about things like this and enjoy helping us to understand them better more than you could imagine without participating.

Women are constantly communicating things to us, but as you will learn in "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," much of that communication goes right over our heads, while they are thinking it just goes in one ear and out the other because we don't care to listen, when in fact we're simply unable to hear it because we don’t know what we’re hearing or what to listen for.

The problem isn't that we ignore it; it's that we don't have the natural tendency to pick up all the non-verbal and verbally indirect ways they use to try to tell us things. They really don't know that we are that under-evolved with respect to communications infrastructure and skill any more than we are born knowing that they are that highly-evolved and sophisticated when it comes to communications without someone pointing it out. It's just not obvious when you don't have a frame of reference. (I'm explaining it to them in their own book, so hopefully, when everybody knows how everybody else does things, life will go a bit smoother for everybody.)

If you want to learn what you need to know to deal with this problem and others, and get your relationship and marriage (not to mention your “bedroom life”) working at full pleasure and intimacy capacity, go to http://www.makingherhappy.com/ and download your copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" now, before you do another thing. Recognize that life is too short to spend it unhappy and work daily on making it better until it gets there.

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