Saturday, June 12, 2010

What Women Really Want in Relationships and Marriage, Part 3A, the Dark Side

Is your relationship a good one, or are you just swimming in wishful thinking? My old friend Matt was drowning in it, but he – and YOU – can do better, if you know what the woman in your life really wants…

As we continue to talk about what women want from a man, we’re going to deviate momentarily to the dark side, and call your attention to the calamities that can occur if you don’t know what the woman in your life wants. We’ll start with my old friend Matt:

I ran into him over the holidays, and it really made me realize just how great a life I live; it’s not a perfect life, as any life has room for improvement, lest it get too boring to bear, but I know exactly where I stand on every aspect of my life, and know what’s working, what could be better, and at any given moment, if something isn’t working, I can make a rational decision as to whether to fix the problem or separate myself from the situation because there’s nothing to be gained by making the effort. I know what my wife wants, expects, and responds to at all times, and there are no nasty surprises.

No so for my old friend Matthew…

“Matt” was a pretty mediocre guy in most respects when we were growing up together, but he’s a great communicator, has an eye for detail, and hence has made a very successful career in business-to-business technology sales, but he’s never been able to really accept that success, and has a huge self-esteem deficit. To make matters worse, to try to feed his ego – that nasty stuff that fills the void between a person’s current self-esteem level and their needed self-esteem level – he’s surrounded himself with the trappings of success – big house, expensive cars and jewelry, private aircraft, and unfortunately, a totally unappreciative trophy bride – to try to make himself feel better about himself.

There are a few laws in this universe that cannot, under any circumstances, be broken, no matter how much one wishes to break them; one of these is the law of cause and effect. Unfortunately, this seems to be the one that everybody wants to try to break routinely and with impunity, and nobody has ever gotten away with it. In the case of success, success causes the attitude and trappings of success; faking a successful attitude and surrounding oneself with the rewards does not create success, nor the genuine attitude or self-esteem of success. In Matt’s case, because he was never really able to see himself as having risen above his mediocrity to excellence, in spite of having been the top salesman in his company since the first year he was there. He’s trying to fool himself into believing what he should already have accepted long ago. As if that weren’t bad enough, there’s his trophy bride…pronounced “toxic wife.”

His trophy bride is a gold-digging predator. They’ve been together fourteen years and he catches her in a new affair about every month. She knows just what buttons to push to keep him seeking her approval, and blaming him for her affairs in such a way that he accepts the blame and works harder at his job to try to buy more of her attention! I didn’t get to talk to him long enough to find absolute proof, but at the time we parted, there was a huge body of evidence that she was in fact the sole cause of his total lack of self-esteem and acceptance of his success, because he had never been “good enough” for her to accept him and be happy with him instead of having all of her “toy boys” while managing to keep him on the edge of bankruptcy the entire duration of their sham of a marriage.

As we talked, she would disappear for long periods, show up for a few minutes to push his buttons, and then flutter off again as a social butterfly constantly does. When he finished describing his situation, I asked how he saw their future, he said, “Well, we’ve been together for fourteen years and she’s not left yet, so she must be incredibly patient with me. I’ve just got to work harder to find a way to satisfy her and when I do, I’m sure everything will finally come together.” My jaw about hit the floor.

In fourteen years, she’s had a dozen affairs per year on average (that’s 168!), she’s spent everything he’s made and has them pretty deeply in debt with no retirement savings, despite his million dollar-plus annual income, and he thinks she’s “patient”??? Sure she is! She has a very generous sugar-daddy footing the bill for her “brattitude” and excesses thinking he needs to work even harder to buy her love! There’s no way she’s going to get impatient with him, except to the extent required to keep him in approval-seeking mode! That is, until the ten million dollar or hundred million dollar annual income opportunity shows up, of course.

As you might have surmised, when I asked him why he hadn’t ended the relationship long ago because he obviously wasn’t getting anything but an early trip to the grave out of the deal, his reply was, “But she’s such a great person, and she really loves me!” Yeah, she was great alright; she looked like something off the cover of a fashion magazine, indeed, quite a bit like super model Christy Brinkley in her prime, and that was about as far as great went.

She was haughty, aloof, thoroughly abusive to him (she said some things to him while he and I were talking that I would say to somebody to try to start a fight), and was coming on to other men just a few feet away from where we were talking, not just in plain sight from where we were sitting, but she would even look over at him and toss her head with a smug look on her face like he wasn’t good enough to watch her enjoying herself with another man and wasn’t man enough to stop her. It was truly pathetic.

So what’s the point? Matt could have saved himself years of a pretty bad life if he has just accepted the law of cause and effect, especially with regard to his wife. Her actions did not in any way support her – or HIS -- claims of loving him; she said she did, but her serial affairs and open disrespect for him said otherwise. He knew nothing of what she really wanted, even though it was plain as day in front of him the whole time.

Matt’s case is a great example of the more sinister side of female desire, but what about the more benign or even nurturing woman whose needs are not being met? Meet reader and counseling client “Jack,” whose name has been changed to protect the blind and knuckleheaded:

Hi David,

I can’t thank you enough for your help and your insight. After a bitter divorce and custody battle, losing most of what I had in the world and getting saddled with alimony and child support payments that reduce my take home pay to about minimum wage, I finally got her to talk to me, stop treating me like the enemy, and tell me her version of what brought us to where we are. There was a lot of drama, a lot of finger-pointing, a lot of what I would have called rhetorical questions in the past, and a lot of anger and tears, but along the way there emerged two repeating themes. I never listened to her and I never gave her the chance she gave me by helping her to finish college.

You know all about the listening problem from our sessions, and it was just like you said on the phone and in your book. She never uttered a direct word in her life, did the whole questions and statements reversal thing and always assumed that what was obvious to her was obvious to me so she never stated the obvious, but this time I heard her, drew her out with questions to show interest and led the discussion when she stopped talking like you said, and found out along the way that she didn’t quit school because she wanted to have babies, she quit because she was GOING TO HAVE A BABY, and wanted to go back to college when our son entered grade school! In my deafness and arrogance, I thought she wanted to be a stay at home, full time mother and homemaker, because I misunderstood what she said when I asked her about it and didn’t press her for more detail, making her think I’d closed off the discussion and her desire and need for achievement didn’t matter.

We have called a truce, we’re talking daily, and there is a lot of testing going on right now, but she has brought up the subject of getting back together twice, and a discussion of her going back to school and having a career has followed that quickly both times. We’re putting our life and our family back together now, thanks to you. If there’s ever anything I can do for you, let me know.

“Jack”


Jack leaves out a few details that we spoke about on the phone later when I called to follow up, such as the motivation behind his wife’s desire to have a college degree and a career. She didn’t want to be a kept woman, resented kept women (which sounds like an issue that she needs to see a coach, counselor, or therapist about, because resentment is never healthy and she could just ignore them), and wanted the degree and career to make a fair contribution to the household and help facilitate early retirement for both of them.

Do you see what she was upset about? Her husband had so badly misconstrued what he saw and heard that he thought of her and her desires as exactly opposite who she really was and wanted! No wonder she left! And her desires, unlike Matt’s wife, were about as honorable and loving as they could be! It’s not just what all women want, think and respond to that is important to you as a man; what your partner wants, thinks and responds to as an individual is equally important, and if you know what you should know about women in general, especially how to listen to and talk with them, you will have everything you need to know the specifics that make your partner who she is.

What’s going on in your relationship? Do you know where you stand? Do you know what needs to be done to make things as good as they can be? Are your partner’s actions consistent with her proclamations of love? Do you know enough about the emotions of love, attraction, need, and lust to know if it’s really love that she’s professing – that being “in love” has nothing whatsoever to do with love?

And by the way, what exactly are YOU professing and really feeling? You say you know exactly what you’re feeling? You say how could anybody be so stupid as to not know what love is? The overwhelming majority of the men I coach who are facing divorce got married for the wrong reason or their wife did, because one or both of them mistook attraction, need, or lust for love. Read the confessions and consequent evolutions of some of your fellow men on our forum if you don’t want to take my word for it, and compare what they’ve said about their life to what’s happening in yours. And if you’re still not sure, there is a fool-proof evaluation system in my book that will tell you what everybody is feeling and what you should do about it.

Are your communications skills such that if she were to tell you what she needed that you would hear her and understand what she wants, or are you one of those men who thinks that his relationship is going great when he finds his wife in his bed with another man or opens the envelope and finds divorce papers? If you don’t know whether you do or not, or if you know that you don’t know, you don’t know enough, and I can help.

“THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage” was developed to serve precisely this purpose, to help you assess your relationship, see what might be lacking, determine whether or not it’s worth fixing, and either get out gracefully or go for the gold with determination and confidence. It teaches you what is known about all women so that you can probe for and discover these fine points about your partner, and bring things in line to a degree you’d never dream possible.

Jump over to http://www.makingherhappy.com/ and see what it can do for you. Download it. Put it to work. Make your relationship everything it can be if it’s a good one or get out and start over if it’s not, because life is too short to spend it bored, frustrated, scared, cheating (or with a cheater), or celibate.

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

Friday, June 11, 2010

What Women Say They Want in Relationships and Marriage, Part 2A, GREAT Reader Questions Answered

This topic of what women want is really waking some people up. Check out what this reader has to say about “sharing the drama of the day,” and how the situation is easier to handle than his experience has led him to believe…

I’m downright proud of the responses I’m getting from readers on this subject, even when they don’t get the whole message, because they’re taking the time to really look at their life and situation and taking the time to discuss it, looking for solutions instead of just ignoring a bad situation and letting it fester and finally erupt.

This reader didn’t include his name, so I’m just going to refer to him as “Steve.” Check him out:

OK. I understand that women do not operate by logic. However, it is beyond me as to why in this scenario Alyson can't take a step back, reflect and say to herself "Gee, he's doing everything else right - all other areas of the relationship are great - I'll just leave him alone on this one." The guy is batting at least .900 by her very own words!!!!! I know it is a "logical" statement to say "you're getting everything else you want, so give the guy a break" - especially since he's not necessarily doing anything "wrong" even in her complaint.

I know in the real world things aren't fair, but having been the guy at the dinner table, I have felt the heat from "Alyson's" complaint and I have always felt it was extremely unfair to be accused of doing something wrong just because I had no dialogue about the day. At least now I know the thought process that has driven me at the dinner table. I now realize that if there were no significant achievements in the day, the day had no value or meaning to me by the time I would get home and I would feel like there's nothing to share. So I guess you could say my "male filter" translates questions like "How was your day" into "Did you have a major victory today?" If my logical search engine doesn't find anything to match that query, then my response is "It was ok". I have returned the search results and that's the end of the story about my day. Then her "female filter" translates "It was ok." into a marriage crime punishable by nagging, poking, accusations and the most tortuous punishment of all - forgetting all of the other really important good things that the male has done.

So why can't "Alyson" just step back and leave well enough alone considering how great everything else is? Is the argument for emotional connectedness that heavy or is there some selfishness included which doesn't allow "Alyson" to look at the situation and ask herself "What is it that HE needs at the dinner table rather than focusing on what HER need is - again considering the fact that most if not all of her other needs are being met??????????????????


My reply:

Good morning, Steve,

This isn’t so much because women don’t operate by logic as because they are wired to do things differently than we are, and don’t realize that we have different emotional scales, different communications methods and protocols, etc., any more than men realize it. Until a woman is aware of how differently we think and communicate, she takes everything that you say as having meant the same thing and been said for the same reason that a woman would say it. In “man-world,” a succinct terse reply of “status quo, nothing to report” is a favor, where in “woman-world,” a terse answer without details says, “I don’t like you and don’t want to share with you because you’re not worth enough to me for me to allow you into the intimate details of my life, so go away.” It’s hurtful at best, and insulting at worst.

Alyson can step back and leave well enough alone if she understands that you are not closing her off and that there was really nothing to discuss, or that you find rehashing a bad day irritating. Women want to nurture the man they love, not torment the life out of him. Women generally don’t find rehashing a bad day irritating; for them it’s like a bonding ritual and a show of support to sit and listen to another’s problems with no expectation of getting involved in a solution; most women are offended by the offering of a solution before all the sharing and dramatizing is complete. You’ll notice that Alyson did acknowledge that the problem may be on her end when she said, “What can I do to make him talk or am I going about it the wrong way, the nagging wife syndrome?”

Remember, our emotional scale runs from extreme negative to extreme positive, while theirs runs from no emotion to extreme emotion without much discrimination between positive and negative. That’s not to say that they enjoy disaster; they simply find the “rush” from crisis to be as “emotionally relieving” as success and celebration.

Women accumulate emotional energy, and if they don’t have some outlet for it, they will create one, and here’s a big hint to chew on: It’s a lot faster and easier to create negative emotional energy release than positive. Achievement and success take a lot of time to arrange, at least a lot more time than negative. Next time you’re having a fight over what seems to be absolutely nothing, it’s possible that it’s a real issue that the two of you are not able to communicate effectively about, but it’s more likely that she got so bored that the emotional energy boiling up in her erupted over something insignificant, because a fight over something insignificant is very easy to start and very easy to end when she gets all that pent-up energy out of her system; she can simply say, “I’m sorry, that was silly. It just struck me the wrong way and I exploded,” and proceed to making up.

Be advised, she has another option, which a woman who does not love you will take, and that is to suddenly say she doesn’t know what you’re all bent out of shape over, basically blame YOU for starting the fight, and then disengage, leaving you with all the blame and a profound feeling of wondering what you missed and what just really happened.

I know all too well how frustrating this scenario is from personal experience. It was one of the things that put me on the road to doing the research for "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," and the women in the test group were quite surprised to find out what I just explained, and when they understood that sharing the details of a bad day was different for a man than a woman, they had no problem with being satisfied with a few minor details and a declaration that the rest of the day was something the man didn’t want to discuss as long as there was nothing that threatened the man, his job, or the household, and that he wasn’t trying to hide some on-going problem that they should know about, like his life, health, job, financial security or happiness being threatened.

If you can grasp the significance of 118 women agreeing on something, you’ll understand how important this distinction is: the entire group agreed that women want to know that if trouble comes, the man can deal with it and involve them if they can help, and DO NOT want to be shielded from news of a potential credible threat. They don’t like being blind-sided any more than we do, and most of them are a whole lot tougher than you might think when things get tough as long as you take the lead and keep them informed and involved to whatever extent they can help.

As I wrote that paragraph it immediately put me in mind of a scene from “The Rookie,” the story of Tampa Bay Devil Rays pitcher Jimmy Morris who found that after an injury and surgery that had taken him out of professional baseball for over a decade, he had a 98 MPH fastball and went back into Major League Baseball for 2 years. In the scene, Jimmy is telling his wife that if he takes the offer to enter the minor league team in preparation for the major league performance, it will put too much of a squeeze on the family finances and too much strain on her, and she says, “Jimmy Morris, I’m a Texas woman, and that means I don’t need no man around to keep things running. This is your dream shot, and you go on and take it. We’ll be fine.”

That's paraphrased because I can't remember the exact quote, but the point is obvious. He was assuming she couldn't cut it or didn't want to have to, and she stepped right up. Mentioning that “some bozo squirted ink all over himself and somebody else got caught being naughty in the supply closet, but otherwise the day was a waste of time,” is a small price to pay for that kind of support, any good woman will gladly give that and more once you tune in and connect with her.

I hope this clears things up a bit for you. I’m not suggesting that you just give in and talk about everything you don’t want to talk about at all. I’m saying that if you and your wife understand each other’s priorities, preferences, communications styles and needs, etc., there is an easy and very agreeable solution to this most common and frustrating problem.

Take care,
David


There’s not a lot I can add to that, except to say that readers of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" know all of this and much more about how to understand and connect with the women in their life and how to navigate and negotiate these sticky situations so that all this stress and frustration are not an issue for them, and you have the same opportunity for a better life that they have. We even have some women at our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com, willing to help you practice doing things the right way.

All it takes is a quick trip to http://www.makingherhappy.com and a few mouse clicks to download your copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" and a little time and effort. It really doesn’t get any easier or any better, so go ahead and be good to yourself and your family and get it now. Everybody involved will thank you for it, and you’ll be glad you did.

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

Thursday, June 10, 2010

What Women Say They Want, Part 2, Sharing the Drama of the Day in Their Relationships and Marriages

Continuing the series, to help you understand what women want from a man, this issue is another must-read. It addresses a specific issue and scenario that is addressed more generally in "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," the issue of “How was your day, Dear?” and how women want to share in the bad as well as the good like they do with their girlfriends, while men don’t want to relive a bad day by going through it, and prefer to skip it and move on to something positive. A real eye-opener!

I hope you’re having a great week. I’m having a blast with reader e-mail. Lots of good questions with good lessons for all to learn, so keep them coming. I’ve had some questions about women wanting to share drama with their men, a topic from my free “What Women REALLY Want” report, and since many of you have apparently assumed that free report was worthless because it was free and chose not to download it, we’re going to go through that chapter today and then handle the reader questions and comments concerning it tomorrow. It’s good, so hang with me and stay tuned.

I’ve promised you statements directly from women about what they want, and here you go: This one, which demonstrates the difference in the emotional make-up of men and women, that a woman’s emotional scale goes from zero to infinity, without much regard for positive and negative, where a man’s scale goes from negative to none to positive, and the emotional upheaval that can come as a result of not understanding those differences and that both scales tend to run in the middle.

What exactly does that mean? What’s in the middle of a woman’s scale? A significant amount of emotional energy being absorbed and expended. What’s in the middle of a man’s emotional scale? Neutrality! Women need to have something going on pretty much all the time or they get bored stiff (their “emotionometer” goes to the far left, at zero emotion), where men don’t mind deviating from the middle a bit on an on-going basis, but the farther we stray and the longer, the more we’ll try to push things back toward that calm and simple state somewhere near the middle, where everyone is fed and protected.

Note that on the “left” side of our emotionometer is the most negative, and to a large degree, both men and women exhibit a lot of the same symptoms when the needle moves to the left; extreme boredom makes a woman as agitated and physically uncomfortable as fear, anger, and pain to a man. See my “Emotional Scales” article at http://forum.makingherhappy.com/showthread.php/217-Understanding-Our-Emotional-Scales-Another-Key-to-a-Great-Relationship-and-Marriage to see a graphic representation of the scale and a lot more information about it and how it works.

Without further ado, meet Alyson:

Dear David:

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!! I need some help. I am totally frustrated! My husband and I have been married for a year now. We are happy and communicate wonderfully except in one area. When we sit down to dinner, that is our time to talk. I ask him how his day was and get the standard [one-word] answers, fine, ok, good, rotten...etc. That's it, except when he is having an incredible day and tells me of the rewards. I want to know the good and the bad, but he won't talk about them. If he did tell me it would be great, I would continue to get to know him and how he functions and solves problems.

All other aspects of our marriage are great, he is kind, courteous and an incredible Alpha male but that one area drives me nuts. I have tried to prod and probe and he just says "leave it alone, I don't want to talk about it". What can I do to make him talk or am I going about it the wrong way, the nagging wife syndrome?

Can you help me?

Alyson

My response:

Hi Alyson!

I’m going to give you the answer that you need to hear, probably won’t like too much, but will have to accept because this is just how it is in the real world.

Men of action, achievers, the strong alpha male that women respond to with overwhelming and magical-feeling attraction, don’t like to dwell on problems, they like to fix them and get them out of the way. We learn whatever lessons these problems and solutions present and put the events behind us, taking only the lessons forward with us. This is part of what makes us who and what we are, because it is a huge influence on self-esteem and self-confidence, things which you and all women admire and want in a man.

We don’t like living through these events the first time, and to discuss them as women do, as an accounting of the day and exploration of the emotions, as you no-doubt go through with your female friends, is like living through the problem a second time, dwelling on it, and having that negative influence of that frustration and aggravation eating at us all over again.

It’s not that we don’t want you to know about the day or how we handle problems or anything else. We simply don’t want to relive a bad day and unnecessarily expose ourselves to those negative influences all over again, which can erode confidence and expends time and effort that could be spent in spending quality time with you or doing something else we enjoy, building achievements that we can celebrate with you, etc.

You’ll also notice that your husband does share his triumphs with you. This isn’t to brag and pound his chest; it’s an act of intimacy. When a man of action relives a victory with you, he’s inviting you to share in and celebrate something that is special to him: ACHIEVEMENT.

This celebration reinforces his feelings of strength and independence, and makes him better prepared to face the next day’s challenges. Bear in mind that being an alpha male and loner by nature, a genuine male achiever doesn’t need anyone else’s recognition or approval of his achievements; telling you about it is purely an act of sharing, of trust, and of intimacy, and not to be confused with the bragging of a man who one-upped someone by some trick of cunning or stroke of luck instead of through competently performing whatever tasks were at hand.

All of this is in stark contrast to the female social practice of sharing and even dramatizing everything that happens, indiscriminately reliving everything that has happened and trying to milk every last drop of emotional energy from it, regardless of whether it was a positive or negative event, and hence, whether they are bombarding themselves with positive or negative emotions.

(Gentlemen, you need to understand that they are not being nosey or trying to rub your nose in a bad day; this sharing is a reaching out for intimacy and when you just stomp on them for asking it’s a severe rejection, which we’ll discuss further in a minute, and it’s just as natural and automatic a drive as your own drive to bury negative things once they’ve been resolved and move forward.)

Women are frighteningly effective and efficient at this, and I must wonder how damaging this practice must be to women, and how much better their lives could be if they didn’t spend so much time and energy digging into negative emotions and drama and milking the emotion from it the way they do.

Take care,
David

I’ve never seen this in print, or heard anyone discuss it in any venue or forum, but it is statistically ridiculous that nobody in the 10,000 years of recent history has ever noticed this, so I can’t help but also wonder if it’s never been mentioned in public because those who noticed feared the outrage that women might voice at the mere suggestion that negative emotions and negative drama could be bad for their psyche, self-esteem, and by virtue of the chemical impact of stress on the body, their health in general.

Nonetheless, I’m saying it now; I wonder if women acted as men do in filtering out negative influences like those encountered in the ritual sharing of problems, especially those marathon drama-fests where the same problem is iterated over and over until everyone in the conversation gets bored with the repetition and moves on, this would leave them with time and energy to spend planning, achieving, celebrating and reaping the benefits of much more positive energy and influence on their psyche, emotional balance, and physical well-being, not to mention the boost in self-esteem and confidence and proportional drop in insecurities this would create.

This hypothesis is based on observation of a limited number of women, under 300, and of those, the ones who do not get bogged down in negative emotion are indeed much more happy, motivated, and successful than those who do. The evidence says that negative emotion creates physical stress in both males and females. I’m still looking for a way to test this hypothesis on a very wide scale, and if anyone hears of an existing study, I’d like to know about it immediately.

A word for the ladies reading this: Please think about this, Ladies. I realize that the concept sounds like suggesting you cut off your arm, more accurately, like you cut out a piece of your heart, emotionally speaking, but look at your own life and assess how much time you have spent in the last day, week, month, year, etc., indulging in negative emotions to milk the rush from them before setting to the task of solving and eliminating the problem. Then try to get some feel for how much time you spent that you could have spent doing other more positive and productive things, and what your life might be like right now if you had spared yourself all that negative influence and had those extra achievements and decreased stress from less time pressure. If you feel comfortable talking about it, I’d love to hear from you, and would love to eventually do a formal study of a large group of women, but this is strictly for your benefit, and I’m sure that if you are objective in your assessment, you’ll find that you could have done a lot with that time and positive energy.

Now that everyone hopefully understands where everyone else stands on the issue, and the origin and nature of the behavior, let’s talk about what can be done to bring everybody closer together. Ladies, don’t feel like a man is being closed off or rejecting you when he doesn’t want to relive a bad day. Be glad that you have a partner who is an achiever and is strong enough to do this instead of doing what many men do: whining and acting weak and pissy, and sometimes getting caught up in the frustration and abusing you to release the frustration that something or somebody else caused. That makes him look like a girlfriend instead of a man, and kills your attraction for him.

Gentlemen, be aware that any time a woman is asking you questions about yourself in any non-accusatory, non-confrontational context, she’s trying to learn about you, trying to be closer to you and connect with you, so don’t just stomp on her if she’s asking about something you don’t want to talk about. Give her the gift of a little understanding and dignity by telling her that it was one of those days that was bad enough the first time you lived through it, and rather than going through it all over again and reliving all that negative emotion, you would rather put that part of the day behind you and give her the best part of your day, the enjoyable part, and rather than rehash bad memories it would be far better for both of you to use the time to make some new, positive memories.

When you do tell her about things, tell her as much as you can about the emotional aspects of it, the details that let her feel what you felt, and while it is still not good to rehash the really bad stuff, you could share the neutral to positive things with her to give her some part of the day. It may not have been something you thought worth celebrating, but it’s still something that she can examine to get to know you better, and it helps eliminate that illusion that you are trying to shut her out. And if it was a bad situation that you resolved and the day had a successful ending, by all means tell her, because women love to hear how anyone, especially their man, saved the day.

This was the best solution found by our test group, but is by no means the only possible solution. If you can find something that works better for you, write about it, and we can possibly discuss it here. If readers were more active, it might inspire me to set up some blog or discussion forum software on the website to allow you interact and exchange ideas and success stories directly, but I won’t be going through that trouble and expense without seeing that those resources, if provided, would be used for the benefit of a significant group of people, so if you want it, get involved by e-mail and let’s see where it goes. Just kidding! The forum is already open, at http://forum.makingherhappy.com. ;-)

There you have it, the answer to one of the toughest problems in any good relationship. In my men’s book, “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage,” men are instructed about women’s social mechanisms and their need to share, and encouraged to be sensitive to those needs to whatever degree possible, as well as many other critical topics and skills in the areas of relationship evaluation and understanding, communications with women, and a wealth of knowledge about attraction, that magical feeling poets refer to as “being in love,” including how it works, how to create it, and how to kill it (like making your partner feel shut out!), which is the beginning of trouble of paradise and the end of more relationships than you can imagine. In case it’s not obvious, these are all the very things that women REALLY want from a man!

Relationships can survive without a lot of things, even without love to a large degree, but they seldom survive without effective communication and attraction, so don’t let it happen to you. Jump on over to http://www.makingherhappy.com and get your copy today, because life is too short to spend it bored, fighting, or worst of all, lonely.

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

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Knowing What Women Want, a Key to a Great Relationship or Marriage, Part 1

This is another multi-part series, the purpose of which is to help you understand some very critical issues in getting along with women instead of competing with them. It will include some revealing comments by some women about what they want from a man, as well as some examples of things that women think they want that they respond to quite negatively when they actually get them.

This lesson is part of my “What Women REALLY Want” free report, but the web stats say that many of you have not downloaded it, and I understand that, because I’ve been there. I’ve seen “free reports” that were just a sales letter; not even a thinly-veiled sales letter, but rather a blatant pitch that had no information in it and raised more questions than I already had.

It ticked me off, and I’m posting this for two reasons: first, that you see that this free report actually is a report and has something valuable enough for you to take the time to read it (yes, there is an invitation to buy a book in one sentence near the end, but wait until you see what I’ve provided for you in the 50 or so pages between here and there, because this report alone has changed more lives than you’d imagine!) and second, because I want to see your feedback and hear your stories in the form of reader letters and blog comments, so let’s get on with it.

I don’t know about yours, but my weekend was great! I don’t normally look forward to weekends because I try to live every day as if it were my last, so my weekdays are very full and rewarding, but the weather was great for outdoor chores and recreation (a short thunderstorm notwithstanding), and there was a stockpile of charcoal in my garage begging to be reduced and a beef rib roll crying out “cut me into steaks and sear me over hot coals!” You know I had no choice but to listen! (And there are still leftover ribs in the refrigerator!)

Obviously, this triggered a testosterone rush of the first order, and I never fight the urge to be a manly man who does manly things. We’re pretty simple, right guys? It just really doesn’t take a whole lot to make us happy.

But what about our women?

That’s the kicker, isn’t it? They have all that networking going on all the time, all that drama, all those nasty little rituals to go through. And trying to get a straight answer out of one of them is like pulling dragon’s teeth, isn’t it? ;-)

Are you ready for some good news? Women really aren’t as complex as they appear, and they really aren’t difficult to understand at all, IF you learn a little about them and learn their language, or maybe more to the point, their customs and protocols…

What’s that? Sounds like something a travel agent told you once? Maybe, but while women really aren’t from another planet, they have evolved to do some things differently than us. Some of these differences work to their advantage, some to their disadvantage, but the same thing can be said of us.

Most women don’t do well with spatial issues like reading maps or knowing how parts will fit together, while most men are fairly adept at it. Most men are very bad at detecting and correctly interpreting hints, while women could effectively converse all day without ever directly addressing anything. Indeed, they can tell a whole story with a glance, or as you’ve noticed, a roll of their eyes! And unfortunately, they often think we can do the same thing.

This can affect us in our relationships in one of two ways. We can identify and understand these differences, and use them to our mutual advantage, or we can fail to understand them, and get sucked into a competition over whose way is better and who is going to be in control of things.

Let’s take buying a car, for example. Most men know more about the mechanical workings of a car than most women, and are more excited by and interested in automotive performance, cost and difficulty of upkeep, etc. Most women are naturally much more sensitive to non-verbal communication, hints, innuendo, etc., than most men could ever hope to be, and they are also more likely to appreciate the aesthetics and comforts a car offers.

I’m not going to go into all the ways in which buying a vehicle can cause a couple to start a series of bitter fights; we’ve all been through the friction of the male trying to take too much control of the process, being too aggressive or controlling on the issues of selection of vehicle and dealer, etc. But think about the possibilities that a little understanding and cooperation could offer! And I’m not talking about compromise, either.

If a man understands more about the ownership issues of vehicles, what he knows can be invaluable to a woman who doesn’t necessarily care what brand the vehicle is as long as it has a certain look, or certain features that she needs or wants to enjoy. But, for that value to be realized, he must LISTEN to her to find out what is important. When she says, “I liked the pink car the best,” it’s highly unlikely that she is saying that the fact that the car was pink was THE deciding factor. She’s waiting for him to ask what it was about the pink car that she liked so she can tell him about the comfortable seats with built-in heaters, the accessibility of controls without taking her eyes off the road, or whatever it was that she won’t get into until he shows that he’s interested in hearing it by asking about it.

A woman’s natural sensitivity to unspoken communications can make her invaluable during the negotiations over the purchase. Men are much easier to lie to or lead on than women because we don’t notice the nuances that declare deceit that nearly every woman alive readily sees without even watching for them. But again, he must LISTEN to her when she spots something amiss during the sales presentation or the purchase negotiation in order for them to derive any benefit.

That’s just the beginning of the revelations you’re going to have over the next few days, so brace yourself.

To give you something to ponder, here’s what one of the test group said she wanted in a man:

“I want a man to listen to me and take me seriously when I’m trying to be serious, to laugh with me when I’m happy, and let me get problems sorted out and fixed without distracting me or trying to take over my problem when I’m not happy.”

Sound familiar? As I said, women are NOT that hard to understand, and they’re really not that different from us in a lot of ways. They just DO things differently from us that makes them appear too complex to understand, when in fact, our problem is that we simply don’t know enough about them, their “culture” (what it’s like to live as a woman) and their language. We’re going to work together to fix that.

I’m no travel agent, but no woman who knows me will tell you they wish I knew more about women; a lot of them come to me to help them understand themselves! They send me e-mail asking questions, they join our forum, they call me on the phone, and they even buy my book, which is written for men, and the comments from those who have concur: it’s “spot on” accurate.

It should be. It’s the result of working closely with a large group of women to learn how to listen and speak “girly-ese” (or “feminese” if you prefer!) to learn what it’s like to live and experience life as a woman, to learn what makes them do the things they do the way they do them, and to learn what they think turns them on and off and how that differs in some cases from what REALLY turns them on and off.

My job was to translate what I learned from them into “man-speak” and give it to you, straight and to the point, without cluttering it up with theory and opinions. I did that job well, according to those I’ve served, both as a counselor and in "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" which you can download at http://www.makingherhappy.com/ if you’d like to join the ranks of rare men who really do know what women want and how to enjoy giving it to them.

We’ll take this up again tomorrow, with more from women about what women want. Don’t miss it! Sigmund Freud, the renowned psychologist wouldn’t have. One of the most significant things he ever said was, “The great question... which I have not been able to answer... is, ‘What does a woman want?’”

I know; would you like to? Then join me!

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

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Understanding Our Emotional Scales: Another Key to a Great Relationship and Marriage

MUST READ: Men’s and Women’s emotional scales are calibrated very differently, and understanding how can literally make the difference in being happy and being divorced.

If you’ve been following me for long, you know how seldom I put the words “MUST READ” in a title or summary, and I promise it will be worth your time to read this time, too.

If I could teach everyone on Earth only one thing above all others to help them get along better, not just in intimate, committed relationships, but in ALL inter-gender relationships, it would be a hard choice between compatibility, our difference in communication skills and protocols, and the difference in the structure of our emotional scales. All are critical to getting along well, and if I had to choose one, I’d feel like I was being asked by King Solomon to cleave and split a child between three mothers, because the three are so indispensable; the absence of any of them spells disaster.

I discuss communication protocols and compatibility frequently, and today I want to focus on these emotional scales. One you your fellow readers, who is now a moderator on our forum, contacted me in crisis once and now has his situation under control, thanks mainly to the understanding of these two points. (His attraction skills were already fairly strong and needed only minimal improvement once he realized he had let them slide.) He agreed to allow me to share excerpts from our discussions to help explain both the concept and how important it is to any relationship.

Here’s an excerpt from one of his status reports:

“...It quickly rolled into the ‘emotional scale’ speech, which she seemed to really listen to - I think it's starting to sink in, and makes sense to her. Taking it slow has allowed her to process that and buy-in piece by piece. Honestly, David, if that were your sole contribution to the world, you should be famous for it. I'm not sure of its origins, but it's absolutely brilliant. Applies to all men and women, and the only trick to applying it is to understand that each woman has different levels of tolerance and varying coping abilities. I was able to give her an awesome example for evidence - a fight we had years ago - that also included a basic communication problem as well, and one where she's always ‘fought to win,’ [instead of ‘fighting to get what’s right’] and never admitted her role in the thing. Tonight, her silence told me she's seeing it, or admitting it to herself. There were a few instances of her processing those things and allowing that she was partially at fault. Big step for her lately - she used to do it, but hasn't at all lately.”

An excerpt from my response, just for clarity:

“As for the emotional scale thing, that was my own, something I've noticed in working with all these women. I looked for weeks on Google and everywhere else for any mention of it, and never found it.”

And here’s “the emotional scale speech,” as he called it, a suggestion I made to him for explaining to his wife why she had done some things that she was feeling very guilty for and why he had failed to recognize her problem and do something about it:

"I just read a thing about the difference between how men and women build, process, and prioritize emotions, and it sounded weird at first, but after looking back it makes a lot of sense. Our emotional scales are different, at least with regard to what we need to feel to be comfortable. My emotional scale or range runs from extreme negative to extreme positive, with neutral being in the middle of the scale.

“The female scale or range runs from neutral, or emotionless, to extremely emotionally charged, overwhelmed even, with little to no discrimination between positive and negative emotion. Both of us are most comfortable when we are just slightly 'to the right' of the middle of the scale, me feeling a little positive (too much positive makes a man irrational and silly) and you being just a little more emotionally charged than the center of your emotional range (too much emotion, positive or negative, with no way to vent it overloads you as well.)

“What's really interesting is that we act similar when we are at the same place on our scale. Being bored to you feels the same as being scared or angry feels to me: agitated, desperate, ready to do anything, even if it's wrong, to change the situation, and potentially irrational. We’re both very comfortable just a little to the opposite side of the center of the scale, and at the far right, we get irrational, overwhelmed, and don't know what to do next, and have a strong tendency to do the wrong thing because our inhibitions and discipline go right out the window.

“One of the points it brought out of that is that men are naturally a bit comfortable with emotional neutrality, at least for a short time, while it is downright torturous for a woman. I never realized it was such an issue until I read that, and now that I know, I'll never let a woman be bored in my presence again, because I won't see someone tortured like that."


A couple of weeks passed after that discussion, and it apparently really produced understanding, some forgiveness, and cooperation where none was possible before. His last comment follows:

“You've really, really got to get that ‘emotional scale’ idea out there - everyone will steal it, but if you put some marketing behind it, you can retain credit as the source. Maybe there's a visual you could create so it instantly made sense to those who see it.”

That’s quite an accolade, having a reader see something as so important as to want to protect the author’s ownership of a concept that he paid to learn. Think about that for a minute…it would take some pretty significant results to convert a “reader” into a “disciple” in any case, would it not?

By the way, the graphic is pretty easy (comfort zone is at the “+” symbol):


Learn this concept and keep it in the front of your mind at all times. Recognize when the women in your life are bored, and try to do something about it whenever and however it’s appropriate. You’ll find yourself attaining a sort of hero status among them, and triggering a lot of appreciation, cooperation, and nurturing. A coworker will watch your back and try to help you out, a friend will be more attentive and supportive, and your partner will reward you with the relationship of your dreams, as long as you don’t blow it by engaging in wussy, deceitful, or abusive behavior.

How do you do something about it? Sometimes a kind or funny word or two will do it, sometimes a smile, sometimes a surprise or even an adventure. It varies from woman to woman, mood to mood, and setting to setting, and there is no laundry list that will get you through. If you need a rule of thumb that will fit all situations, here it is:

“Attraction is any and every woman's ultimate salvation from boredom.”

There is nothing bad that can come from just being a confident, fun leader at any time and many great things that can come from it, so if you’re doing what you should be doing as a man, no woman will ever be able to be bored while you’re around. But your partner deserves more, right? She’s the one you share everything with, and the one you’re trying to fix things for so you can spend the rest of your life with her. For her, you must learn more about women: what they want, what makes them tick, how to listen to and understand them, how to speak to them, and what flips their attraction switches, among other things.

Are you a guy who likes a single source to fill in a whole lot of gaps? I certainly do; the older I get, the more I try to find ways of simplifying everything. If simplifying your life sounds good to you – and you won’t believe how much having a great relationship with your partner will simplify your life until you actually experience it – then you need to jump over to http://www.makingherhappy.com and download your copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," and get up to speed, fast and easy, and start clearing some of the relationship clutter, nuisances, and even disasters out of your life.

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

Monday, June 07, 2010

Why People Grow Apart and End Relationships and Marriage, and What YOU Can Do to Stop It!

Why do people who are in long-term relationships, whether married or not, grow apart? In a nutshell, it is because they have lost interest in each other. That is a preventable and curable condition! The medicine, you ask? ATTRACTION, of course!

I had a call last night from a friend, Bill, with whom I’ve not spoken in a nearly a year. He and I used to work consulting projects together frequently, and we were pretty close. He found this gal that he really meshed well with, and they got married and were happy for a long time, but a major problem had come up that he needed to talk about.

Her father died a few years ago and they moved away to be near her mother, and Bill and I kept in touch for awhile, but our interests started growing in different directions because he changed careers and we lost a lot of common ground that used to give us a lot to talk about. We fell to calling each other at birthdays and major holidays, and as we started finding we had less and less to talk about, quit calling because there just wasn’t enough to talk about to make it interesting.

It’s bad when friends grow apart like that, but I wasn’t the only one from whom he’d grown apart. He and his wife had a great foundation for a good marriage, being extremely compatible in all regards, especially the important ones like personal values and tastes, and having plenty to talk about when romance wasn’t in the air, but over the course of the last year, he and his wife had grown apart to the point of not enjoying each other’s company anymore and frequently getting on each other’s nerves.

Bill called because we were old friends, I had known him and his wife for a long time, and he knew from working with me that I had conducted seminars on getting along with people and was hoping I could help him and his wife figure out what had happened and fix it. He had no idea that I had published “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage,” and he was in for a shock!

Bill’s wife had started spending more and more time with her mother, eventually giving up her job to care for her mother full time, while Bill had sought to enhance his career and make up for the lost household income by taking on extra duty at work and starting a small, part-time home-based business. They had previously averaged about five to six waking hours together per day, and this had fallen to about an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening, much of which wasn’t even “quality time” together.

Their interaction with others increased as their interaction with each other decreased, and they got out of the rhythm of spending time together. As this happened, their interests were influenced by people outside their household, pulling them even further in opposite directions. Bill’s wife had taken up volunteer duty at a local retirement home where his mother volunteered, and Bill’s home-based business was the result of something one of his co-workers was into. By the time they realized what had happened, lack of mutual interests had insidiously reduced them from a happy married couple to a pair of disgruntled and celibate roommates.

In case it’s not obvious, and it probably wouldn’t be to anyone who hasn’t either read "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" or been subscribing to this newsletter for quite awhile, it wasn’t so much that their personal interests had changed as the fact that their interest in each other had failed because they had stopped doing the things that made them interesting to each other, trustful of each other and intimate. When they lived near me, they were constantly challenging each other, playing with each other, picking on each other in a very good-natured and often thinly veiled and obviously sexy way. They were not only spouses; they were playmates, adventure partners, workmates, confidants, etc. They enjoyed each other for long periods every day.

Stress, fatigue and time constraints limited their time and attention, and finally attraction was lost. When attraction goes, boredom sets in, then frustration, anger, resentment, blame, etc., and then the all-too-well-known steps down to the dungeon of affairs and divorce are taken one by one, often rapidly. Bill and his wife had both been married before, and knew what was coming, and wanted to fix it rather than go through giving up what they once had and breaking up a household while in their early fifties.

I sent Bill a copy of “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage,” and he and his wife are going through it. I’ll probably be keeping you posted on their progress. Most of you subscribing to this newsletter are doing so because you’re already where they are or can see yourself getting there at some point. Don’t let this happen to you. It’s far easier to prevent the loss of attraction than it is to get it back, but you can get it back if you want it.

(Update: this lesson was originally published on September 4, 2005. In the few months that followed, Bill and his wife did indeed figure out where they had gone wrong, made corrections, and are now happier than they have ever been. They always had fun together in the years before their problems, but communications had been lacking, and now that they really understand each other because they know how to listen to the opposite gender, they’ve made a connection that would have never been possible otherwise. She tells her girlfriends that “he always just knows what she’s thinking.” He’s not psychic; he just listens to her as a woman instead of as a man! And this second honeymoon has been lasting for nearly five years now.)

The dating gurus say it’s impossible to regain lost attraction, but in their world, you’re dealing with a window of seconds to a few hours at most; in that context, that is quite correct. But in a mature, committed relationship, you have months, maybe even a year or two, because you both have so much invested in the relationship, and anyone can recapture and then go beyond the attraction felt during your first hours and days together if they have the information to (re)develop the skills needed. Indeed, if you started out with enough compatibility to make for a good marriage, success is almost a foregone conclusion…unless…

There is one thing you must realize about attraction: it’s a double-edged sword. A woman who isn’t feeling it is vulnerable to its influence, and she will latch on to whoever makes her feel it, maybe for a night, maybe for years, depending on the guy and whether she eventually sees a future with him. That guy can be you, or it could be any other guy who creates attraction for her; whomever gets it done first wins her whether he wants her or not. If somebody beats you to it, even if she drops him like a hot rock a week later, your task escalates from “not so hard” to “what the hell was I thinking???” Attraction must be nipped in the bud if at all possible because the earlier they’re fixed, the easier it is, and the later you wait, the more the odds of success are diminished while the level of effort is escalated.

Being attractive isn’t difficult, but when you get to that late stage, being able to have her see you being attractive may not happen. A woman can “get her mind made up” and dismiss you for life. You’ll know it because she won’t want to talk about anything but divorce and will arrange all manner of barriers to communication. Women have a “move on” circuit that once activated is all but impossible to deactivate, and if you don’t think that sounds quite right, drop by our forum and read some of the threads concerning mid-life crisis, the most extreme form of this problem, where a woman realizes that she’s bored, wasting her life, and basically panics, going out of her mind in a quest to try to make up for lost time. As the ugly truth goes, mid-life crisis is about as ugly as it gets. You don’t want to go there, and you don’t have to, either.

Everything you need to know to get on the right path this very minute and stay there is contained in “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage,” so set yourself up for success in your relationship by downloading your copy right now at http://www.makingherhappy.com/.

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

A Great Joke That Reveals One of the Keys to a Great Relationship or Marriage

If you make her happy, she can’t help herself but to make you happy, as this most wonderful joke demonstrates.

I very seldom use jokes as the focal point of instruction, but this one, while hilarious, also has a ring of truth that a man will ignore only at his own peril. Observe:

Jack wakes up with a huge hangover after attending his company's Christmas Party. Jack is not normally a drinker, but the drinks didn't taste like alcohol at all. He didn't even remember how he got home from the party. As bad as he was feeling, he wondered if he did something wrong.

Jack had to force himself to open his eyes, and the first thing he sees is a couple of aspirins next to a glass of water on the side table. And, next to them, a single red rose!

Jack sits up and sees his clothing in front of him, all clean and pressed. He looks around the room and sees that it is in perfect order, spotlessly clean. So is the rest of the house. He takes the aspirins, cringes when he sees a huge black eye staring back at him in the bathroom mirror. Then he notices a note hanging on the corner of the mirror written in red with little hearts on it and a kiss mark from his wife in lipstick: "Honey, breakfast is on the stove, I left early to get groceries to make you your favorite dinner tonight. I love you, darling! Love, Jillian"

He stumbles to the kitchen and sure enough, there is hot breakfast, steaming hot coffee and the morning newspaper. His son is also at the table, eating. Jack asks, "Son, what happened last night?"

"Well, you came home after 3 A.M., drunk and out of your mind. You fell over the coffee table and broke it, and then you puked in the hallway, and got that black eye when you ran into the door."

Confused he asked his son, "So, why is everything in such perfect order and so clean, I have a rose, and breakfast is on the table waiting for me??"

His son replies, "Oh THAT! Mom dragged you to the bedroom, and when she tried to take your pants off, you screamed, "Leave me alone, lady, I'm married!"

Broken Coffee Table $139.99
Hot Breakfast $4.20
Two Aspirins $.38
Saying the right thing, at the right time. PRICELESS!

Stop and think for a minute about why this is funny. It’s because it is so universally true! It’s something that you don’t think about, but when called to your attention, you can see virtually every woman you’ve ever known having the same response! Why?

As humans, we are the only species of life on Earth that lives by the power of volitional choice. Our mind is our primary tool of survival. Every other species simply reacts to its environment with regard to any issue of survival. There is even room for debate on the question of whether if you put a piece of steak and a piece of cheese in front of a dog if he chooses one over the other because he has a personal preference or whether something the dog smells triggers a response that is based on a nutritional need within the dog’s body.

However, contrary to what many academians have been saying for decades, the scientists who are mapping brain activity are showing conclusively that we do still have some instinctive responses to stimuli. Some of us may be strong enough to consciously over-ride these responses, but few can, and in practice, few want to!

For instance, they’ve shown that when men are shown sexy pictures of women, activity in the area of the brain that controls sex drive, the fight-or-flight response, and several other things, called the “limbic system” or “lizard brain” since it’s the oldest part of the human brain, lights up with activity. In most men, there is a greater response to ample breasts, rounder hips, good skin, etc. Why?

This isn’t because men are pigs, it’s because these are characteristics consistent with a physical structure of a woman who could survive childbirth and bear strong children. Being in the limbic system, the response is entirely biological, not logical, just the same as if a hungry bear charged you, you would automatically run like hell or try to kill it before it killed you.

In women, when shown pictures of sexy, naked men, there is only a mild stimulation of these same areas. HOWEVER, when alpha male behavior is demonstrated, their limbic system lights up just like ours do over the sexy photos. This isn’t because women are weak and worthless; it’s because these are the traits exhibited by a man who could contribute good genes, creating a strong fetus, and be able to provide for and protect the family unit, formed thousands upon thousands of years ago through the process of natural selection – evolution was kind to those bloodlines who had good survival skills and who made the best contributions to the gene pool, while the rest became food for dinosaurs, bears, etc.

Just as a woman responds biologically to alpha male behavior with sexual attraction, she responds to the feeling of loyalty, commitment, and emotional protection with nurturing. Women are smart, too. While they like and need to hear that you love them and are committed to them, they are ultimately watching for proof of it in your actions, and testing you for it, too. You might fool them for a little while, but if your commitment isn’t genuine, they will find out, and pretty quickly, so don’t think that a “fake it until you make it” ploy is going to work.

To engage her natural nurturing behavior, lead and appreciate her! If she’s not doing sweet, nurturing things for you now, remember the things that you and she did in the past that brought you together. Get back to that fun, adventurous behavior that caught her attention at first. Play with her. Nearly all communications with a woman are a negotiation, so negotiate.

Stand up TO her (when appropriate, of course!), so that she knows you can stand up FOR her. But don’t be a bully in an argument, especially if you know you’re in the wrong. That’s not standing up to her; it’s just being an ass, and she knows the difference even if you don’t! There are accounts of men “getting their guy on” and how their wives’ behavior changed on our forum, and it’s quite enlightening, so take a few minutes and check it out.

Look at the things she does for you and appreciate them instead of just taking them for granted. Respond to them with loyalty, commitment, and love, in word and deed. Listen when she talks with you. Learn how to listen better by learning how she speaks, using questions to make statements and vice versa. Prove to her that she is the woman you love above all others by showing her real love, not in the form of senseless sacrifice, but consideration, which proves to her that you do indeed love her and think her worth the investment of your time and life’s energy. She will see this commitment and – unless she is the most unscrupulous of parasites or predators – respond by nurturing you in ways that will make you want to come home from work instead of stopping off for happy hour.

Biologically, a woman responds to being protected from boredom, and she responds to that protection with sexual attraction. Then, being protected from rejection and other forms of fragmentation of her nest and household, she responds with nurturing. If you can find a better trade than that anywhere on this planet, you’ll have to prove it, because I’ve never seen one.

All you need to know to evaluate your relationship, find out what kind of woman your partner is, and how to make both your lives as great as they can be is in "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," derived from working with hundreds of couples and tested to make sure it will work for everyone who tries it. So far it has; I don’t get refund requests; what I do get are a great many success stories and other compliments that occasionally even show up in these newsletters and on my blog, with their permission, of course. You can join them by going to http://www.makingherhappy.com/ right now, and downloading your copy. Never put off until tomorrow the happiness and success you can enjoy today, because life is short, but failure feels like eternity!

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