Saturday, September 25, 2010

What Women Need Emotionally from a Man in a Relationship or Marriage

Let’s talk about what women want from a man in a relationship, especially their emotional needs, and how knowing this can save your relationship or marriage.

I’ve been working on an interview that has stirred up a lot of new ways of discussing things we’ve talked about in the past, different ways of approaching and explaining the same problem and solution that may shed more light on the age-old questions of what women want, need, and expect from a man in a relationship.

In my free “Break-Up Busting 101” report, you’ll find definitions and ramifications of the four emotions that relationships are most often based upon: love, attraction, need, and lust, all of which are incorrectly thought to be simply love. Please review this article before continuing if you are not familiar with its contents.

Of those four emotions, two of them are both healthy and required in a successful long-term committed relationship, love and attraction. You, as a man, need to be an expert on these two emotions and how they work, if you ever want to be able to be happy in any relationship with any woman, committed or not. You’ll see why very quickly. You may also see very quickly that you don’t have a clue as to what love really is.

Love, being the value and/or importance that you place on someone, is the source of friendship, trust, loyalty, security, respect, etc. It’s the thing that creates the friendship that allows two people to “bond” in any capacity and to any degree. This doesn’t just pertain to your wife, but to all women in your life, and even the men you would call “friend.” It’s not a feeling of duty, or altruistic drive to sacrifice. It’s the source of the feeling of celebration of your next encounter, whether intimate or public, personal or professional, work or pleasure, not the source of fear that it won’t happen. It is the recognition of your values reflected in another.

It’s important to understand this so that you can see both why a woman needs to love and be loved, and why it’s not enough. Love provides for a woman feelings of stability and security, and creates the environment in which she can feel safe in letting her natural drive to nurture drive her and be satisfied. If love is lost as partners grow apart, she can become mildly to severely depressed and feel a sense of lack of purpose, and her feelings of loyalty, respect, friendship, etc. for her partner will diminish.

Women can lose their feelings of love and still stay under the same roof with a man, but it becomes a very limited partnership – you’re pretty much just roommates. You can get along, but there’s no trust, no real respect, no friendship, no intimacy, etc., a strained existence at best.

Attraction is an entirely different matter. If you’ve been with me for longer than a few days you’re familiar with the difference in men’s and women’s emotional scales, and how while male emotions run from negative to positive, with crisis being the male emotional nemesis, women’s emotional scale runs from zero to infinity, with little to no discrimination between positive and negative (as far as emotional comfort zone), and their emotional nemesis is not crisis, but boredom (see this newsletter on emotional scales if you have not yet seen this topic discussed). If you never learn another thing from me, learn this:

Attraction is any and every woman’s ultimate salvation from boredom. Boredom is any and every woman’s ultimate torment, the very bane of her existence.

A woman can reach the same feelings of physical and emotional discomfort (desperation!) from being bored that men can reach out of fear, anger, or any other emotion born of crisis. Stop here and think about that and let it burn in to such a depth that you will never forget it, because that one bit of knowledge can do more to save or prevent a troubled relationship than about anything else you can name.

Attraction, that “swept off her feet” feeling is what makes a woman’s life wonderful. There are things that reward her, like seeing that she’s been a good mother, etc., but creating attraction for her is her ultimate reward and the ultimate act of nurturing her, in exchange for all the nurturing that she gives the rest of the family.

So you see, what it all boils down to is that in a committed relationship, women need love to feel secure in giving of themselves, and they need attraction to feel alive and motivated to give their best. If you are going to sit on your duff with a beer and the TV remote control all evening, every evening, don’t expect her to be looking forward to doing anything but sleeping when bedtime arrives, and possibly sleeping with someone else at that.

No kidding. Since attraction and love are two entirely independent emotions and boredom is so utterly devastating to a woman, there may be no amount of love – hers or yours -- that is sufficient to keep a woman from engaging in an affair if you aren’t creating attraction for her. Think about that one for a minute, too…

It’s a double-edged sword. The bad news is that a woman can love you more than anyone else on Earth and still be compelled to engage in an affair to relieve the boredom the same way a man might be compelled to rob a bank to obtain the money to recover his wife or children if they were taken hostage. In extreme cases, it can literally be that overwhelming for a woman.

Yes, there are those who have self-esteem problems and have affairs in rapid succession, just like men do, looking for acceptance, approval, validation, etc., that they will never find, but those women are so consumed with feelings of need that they are not capable of love. I’m talking strictly about a woman who loves you here. And now for the good news…

It’s really the same news: a woman can be driven to have an affair even if she loves you more than anyone else on Earth, meaning that if she does have one and confesses it sincerely, along with a genuine desire to work it out and salvage your relationship, your best bet is most likely to do so. Why?

An affair isn’t a problem; it’s a symptom of a problem. If the problem is a simple deficiency of attraction, you can fix that, easily, and from what I’ve seen from the men who have used "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," pretty quickly, too.

Not so obvious is the fact that a woman who is rational enough and emotionally self-aware enough to realize that the affair was just a tension-breaker, that she loves you enough to discontinue the affair and confess it, and has the strength of character to do so is going to be very vigilant in protecting your relationship from similar problems in the future, so long as you continue to be committed to your marriage with her. Some even say that an affair is like a near-death experience, and those who survive them find they commit to and enjoy their relationships to degrees they never thought possible.

And no, I am absolutely not suggesting that women be given a blank check to have affairs or be categorically forgiven regardless of the reason for the affair, any more than I would suggest that women do the same for a man. The old Scottish adage, "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on ME," comes to mind. I am saying:

1. When a man and a woman have attraction and no love, they have a great relationship in the bedroom, but not anywhere else. These couples fight to make up because sex is all they have together. Their relationship is one of those bipolar catastrophes wherein the participants are either having sex or at each other’s throats, no middle ground. If you hear a man saying, “She’s great in the sack, but man, what a bitch!” or a woman saying, “He’s such a jerk, but he gets me off,” they’re in this kind of relationship.

2. When a man and a woman have true love, but have lost attraction, realizing that lost attraction, not lost love, is indeed the problem and addressing that by recreating the attraction creates a stronger relationship and should be pursued if possible. The only time it is unlikely to impossible is if another man has created attraction for the woman; again, attraction is a double-edged sword in the extreme. If you’re not creating it, there are others who can and will, and they’re not far away at any given moment.

3. When a man and woman have both true love and attraction, there’s nothing that can separate or take them down. Their relationship is impervious to outside influence because they will actively protect what they have.

4. When a man and woman have neither, and their relationship is based on need, lust, or anything but the combination of love and attraction, well, I’ll just say that I certainly wouldn’t want to live that life…and way too many couples are stuck in it. Such relationships are doomed to failure before they ever begin because they have no foundation for a relationship.

This may sound like a lot to take in at once, and may fly in the face of much of what you think you know or have been told, but it’s reality, and if you’re having trouble swallowing it, there are a lot of people at our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com/, who would be happy to discuss it with you and help you see it, myself included. Among those there are people who have succeeded with what I teach and others who have failed because they didn’t know it when they needed to but now see the facts and will not repeat their mistakes.

Everyone is there to learn and make a better life for themselves, not to judge and give you a hard time about your choices, as you may have seen at other forums. We focus on cause and effect, and “axe-grinding” is discouraged; first offense gets a warning and second offense causes permanent banning, so you will be able to post your questions, concerns, observations, get help or give it, without having to worry about being abused by some psycho looking for validation of their own bad choices.

There you have it, and on the surface, it looks like a mess, but it is in fact a clear roadmap for getting out of a mess and staying out; a roadmap, but not detailed directions…

Those detailed directions, including how to accurately evaluate your relationship, how to accurately communicate with any woman so that you can have the intimate discussions required to overcome hardships and celebrate your life together, and everything you need to know about what makes women tick, what they want, and how to build and kill attraction in your relationship (straight from the mouths of women!), are in "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," so go now and download your copy at http://www.makingherhappy.com/ while there’s still time to save yours, because every day that damage is done makes it just a little harder, and being men, we like to do things the easy way, right?

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

Friday, September 24, 2010

A Lesson on Great Relationships and Marriage from a Dinner Party

There was a dinner party at my house, most of the attendees were women, and there was much to learn from their behavior. Let me share some of it with you…

As I write this it is late on Sunday night, and I’ve spent the day cooking and serving a traditional southern feast – barbecue pork, grilled chicken, baked beans, coleslaw, potato salad, and miscellaneous tidbits like a relish tray for the light eaters and Buffalo-style hot wings (yes, made with Frank’s “Red Hot” cayenne sauce and butter, the real deal, and kudos to The Anchor Bar and all the other wonderful places in Western New York that serve them!) for the more adventurous. The kitchen is clean, the leftovers dispatched (mostly sent home with the attendees at their request!), and here I sit with a big cup of coffee to tell you about it, because anytime you get this big of a group together, there are going to be lessons to learn.

The group was a bunch of people, mostly women, who work in my wife’s office and a couple of their husbands, and some of my neighbors, 22 total, 5 men and 17 women, who had come to walk in a local breast cancer awareness event. Four of the five men were very strong alpha personalities like me, and the other was “just one of the girls,” if you know what I mean. Annoyingly flamboyant and effeminate, and a total drama queen. We’ll not be talking about him, by the way…

First, I have a reputation as a talented chef in my wife’s office because a few of her employees have been to our house for dinner, and many of the women who came without an escort were there simply to see what all the hubbub was about. I was buzzing around the kitchen getting things together and running outside occasionally to check on the grill, and there were pots and pans on all five burners on my stove with beans, sauces, etc., and I wish you could have seen the women’s faces as I was emptying pans into serving dishes, washing the pans up, and keeping the kitchen squared away and neat with all this activity. Why?

Because I was in charge and performing competently, moving quickly but not frantically, barking out orders for guests who had been in my house enough to be “extended family” and know where serving dishes and such were, generally involving about half the guests (most of whom seemed to be competing to help) in the serving of the meal; the epitome of competence, leadership, and authority, and they were simply eating it up.

I’d catch them staring, smiling, and even primping, and if you want to see something funny, watch your wife’s best friend catch herself involuntarily sending flirtatious or even seductive body language signals to her best friend’s and boss’s husband! And there was my wife in the middle of all of it, with all the women telling her that she married well and how lucky she was to have a husband who “gets it”…you can imagine how that went over as well…

So the first part of the lesson, Gents, is that in any kind of a gathering, no matter what is going on, if you are the guy in charge and acting like you belong in charge, the eyes of every woman around will be on you, attraction will be building quickly if you are acting like a man, and your partner will get hit with a double-whammy of attraction because she’ll not just be seeing you do the things that light her up, she’ll also be getting social proof of your attraction value from all the stares, comments, flirting, etc., from all the other women – we are talking attraction overload here, gentlemen, as long as you don’t start acting like you wish your partner wasn’t there so you could bed one of her friends, that is. That will get you either a lot of grief or killed unless your wife has rather versatile tastes, so don’t go there.

The second part of the lesson is a big lesson on knowing what makes women tick. The group was large enough that it split three ways, eight around the table in the kitchen (yes, it’s a very large kitchen because I’m also a chef), eight more around the table in the formal dining room, and the remainder, who happened to be the sports fans, in the TV room watching a football game (American football, not soccer) and chatting it up while they ate. This made for an interesting dynamic as the group divided, because those who ended up in the formal dining room were the more analytical of the group and in the kitchen were the more creative and emotional. I, of course, was in the formal dining room with those who are like me.

I heard voices rising in the kitchen as the emotions started to rise, and went in to find one of the women, a close friend of over 20 years to both my wife and me, crying. Thankfully, nobody was fighting. One of the men had made a remark about single parents not being able to be there for their children, and this woman had lived a very hard life to make sure that she was indeed there for her children in every respect, and she got overwhelmed as she was trying to describe some of the things she had gone through and was crying pretty hard.

The man who had touched a nerve kept trying to interrupt to apologize and smooth it over, and the women (and the effeminate drama queen) were sitting there rolling their eyes at him because he was interrupting, some trying to comfort her non-verbally and all trying to get him to take the hint. What happened next was magic, and something that you can and will do yourself after I describe it to you.

When women get amped up like that, they don’t want you to fix it, or make it better. They NEED to pour it out and vent that excess emotion because it literally tears them up inside. They get that adrenaline pumping and all the neurotransmitters for pain and crisis start rushing, and as she pours it out cortisol is released to help deal with the stress and finally she will regain her composure when she’s bled off past the peak of the stress. Knowing that, I caught the man’s eye while standing behind the crying woman, and shook my head slightly in a “no” gesture and held up a hand in a “wait” gesture. He sat back with a concerned and rather pained look on his face, and I motioned to him to lean back in, thus inviting the woman who was talking about her experience to continue.

Again, I wish you could have seen the women’s faces. They were looking at each other and my wife like “How the hell did he know to do that???” Literally awestruck because none of them had ever seen a man understanding a woman in an emotional moment, let alone coaching another man to handle it right. When she finally had poured out enough to pause and take a deep breath and try to regain her composure, I nodded to the guy who had struck the nerve and he apologized for upsetting her, assured her that his comments were not directed at her, etc., to smooth things over, and I stepped over to my espresso machine, dumped some heavy cream and bittersweet chocolate into a mug and melted it down with the steam wand, then quickly hydrated it and shot some whipped cream on top of it and set it in front of the woman, whom I knew to be a “chocoholic” and very sensitive to the serotonin-boosting effects of the polyphenols in dark chocolate (which cause enough of a serotonin rush to cause a mild euphoria in many people and everyone to simply feel more content). As far as these women were concerned I was walking on water. Why?

Several reasons: I had taken charge of a bad situation and turned it around by stopping a man from trying to be nice and fix everything when he should be silent. I had known how to best help their friend while she was having a dramatic crisis, and had given her something that was so supremely personal to help her feel better after the crisis was past.

That was followed by all these women wanting to help clean up the kitchen, not to be polite, but because they wanted to be lead through something fun. (Yes, everything that happens in my kitchen is fun!) The flirting, hugs, compliments, etc., escalated all over again, and every one of those women thanked me for taking care of their friend like that. To them I was a hero, the icing on the attraction cake. Had I been a single man instead of their boss’s husband, I could have expected any of the single ones to stay the night, and probably longer. As for my wife’s response, that’s personal, and I’ll leave it to your imagination, but I will say that she smiled a lot and it was exactly what I expected. ;-)

I’ll admit, maybe you had to be there to appreciate the full impact that this had on everybody; as long as I’ve been writing, I’ve never found words to accurately describe a woman who is eaten alive with attraction. I will tell you that the men were somewhat awestruck, and I got several covert comments from them to the effect of “I want you to teach me how to do that,” as they were leaving. All but the one who was “just one of the girls,” that is. But like I said, we’re not going to talk about him…

So, gents, that was the day, and here I sit. I wasn’t born knowing how to read and respond to women like that, not even close. Twenty years ago I would have tried to be nice, tried to immediately fix everything, and stuck my foot in my mouth and had that woman crying harder and every one of those other women so angry with me they would have left with their friend in tow to save her from me.

Today, my wife has a reputation for having the greatest husband in the world. I don’t know if I am or not, and will never claim to be, but if she and her friends want to think that, I’m not going to argue with them, because I’m close enough for her and that’s all that matters.

In fact, I’ll tell you a quick personal story to demonstrate.

We went to Niagara Falls once to visit friends and family (she’s from that area) and ended up in a tourist shop. I bought her a bottle of water colored with green dye that had a label indicating that it was taken from the falls at night while the lights were shining on it, which is pretty funny when you see the bottle and have seen the spectacle of Niagara Falls at night. Normally she would have come out with something similar to that, but she found a T-shirt that says, “My husband is the 8th wonder of the modern world,” and she snatched it up, held it close to her chest until she paid for it, then held it there most of the way home. I’ve noticed her wearing it often, and she smiles and hugs me when she sees me looking at it, often misty-eyed. Any questions?

What’s important to you is that I learned everything that was necessary for today’s events to unfold as they did, and so can you. It’s not rocket science, it doesn’t involve memorizing some encyclopedia of female behavior – I know about serotonin and polyphenols in chocolate from studying herbs and alternative medicine and making desserts, not studying women; all you need to know about it is how much your wife enjoys it and that it contains caffeine, so it can keep you awake if you eat too much of it too late; some nights that may even come in handy. ;-) In reality, women aren’t that complicated. They merely seem complicated because they are different from us.

They take the long way around in doing some things, like getting through a conversation or making a plan, and they do some things that are downright self-destructive, like dwelling on negative emotions when there aren’t any positive ones available, but once you see the ways in which they are different, it’s very easy to understand and anticipate them, which in turn makes it incredibly easy to do something they love to have a man do: LEAD them, competently and with confidence, which turns them on like a light switch, and nearly as fast.

I had to learn all this the hard way, first by making the same mistakes that you have made, and probably more and bigger ones since it took multiple marriages to get it right, and then by getting a bunch of women together and working with them to figure out what I was missing, like really understanding how women think, what they need, what excites and bores them, and how to communicate with them, followed by getting their husbands into the action to test everything we’d uncovered, some of which turned out to be quite wrong, by the way, because women will at times say that they want something but will in fact respond very negatively to it when they get it.

They called that a “booby trap” when I was in the service. Life with a woman is filled with them, and if you don’t know how to watch for them, you are going to get something, possibly your reproductive organs or your life’s savings, blown off sooner or later.

Or maybe you already have. I don’t know. What I do know is that no matter how good it is, you can make it better, and it usually has to be so bad that she’s obtained restraining orders from the court before it’s too bad to save. I also know that there are some relationships that were doomed by compatibility problems from the beginning and should not be saved, no matter how badly you think you want to. It’s a mine field, but I can walk you through it if you’ll let me. Take a look at a comment left by a woman who recently joined our forum to get help with her own problem:

“Actually, if you can't help me then I don't think anyone can. I found your blog a few days ago and I've been reading like crazy. I have to say how excited I was to know that what I was reading was written by a man. Finally! A man gets it. I haven't yet read anything I've disagreed with and even a couple of things that initially gave me pause, I ended up agreeing with once I was honest with myself.”

You can read her story, and the discussion that ensued and is still developing, at http://forum.makingherhappy.com/showthread.php/388-The-High-School-Sweetheart-Who-Won-t-Get-Off-the-Fence. It’s one of the more elaborate situations you’ll hear about in middle-age people and yet quite common, with common enough elements that no matter who you are, there is something valuable for you to learn. I help people like this all the time, literally every day, and if you’re in trouble, or maybe you don’t think you’re in trouble but things seem a little too quiet to be healthy, it’s time for you to get some help, too.

To get started, just go to http://www.makingherhappy.com/ and download your copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" and get started. If you’re having problems, you may also want to download my free reports, “Break-Up Busting 101” and “What Women REALLY Want,” to help you understand what’s happening and help you focus on fixing it instead of the fear that may be overwhelming you. There’s not a thing in the world to lose except the time it takes to read it, and after four years, I’m still not hearing anybody saying anything except how great it is and thanking me for the results they’re getting, so the evidence says you should try it, too.

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

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Know What Attraction Feels Like to a Woman to Have a Truly Great Relationship or Marriage

A woman writes to describe how overwhelming her feelings of attraction are. It’s a real eye-opener!

I don’t know how things are in your neck of the woods, but where I am, you couldn’t ask for more beautiful weather, at least when the occasional momentary thunderstorm isn’t dumping a quick deluge on my cars and garden, saving me the trouble of washing and watering, respectively! It’s about time to throw a few racks of ribs in the smoker and have friends over! Nuts. It’s also time I remember to get my rib recipe and some other barbecue recipes posted in the hobbies section on our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com.

Speaking of which, I’ve been posting a lot of helpful info for you single folks recently in the “Hot Tips: Dating” forum since noticing that nearly half the members are in fact single. We’re covering red flags, cell phone etiquette, and more, and I’m trying to add new content for single people at least every other day, so don’t miss out because you think it’s just for us old married fuddy-duddies. There’s something there for everyone.

I got a letter from a new subscriber I’d like to share with you, because he asks a very important question, and about as succinctly as possible. Meet Brad:

Hi David,

What does this “attraction” you talk about feel like to a woman?

Thanks,
Brad

I got another wonderful letter once from a female reader that goes a long way toward answering the question, the kind that really makes this job a pleasure, and we’ll start with that, because there’s nothing like going to the source when you need to know something. Meet Bethany:

Dear David

I hope this letter finds you and your family doing well this holiday season. As the seasons change and the temperature becomes colder that is when you really get to know a person when most of the time you are in close quarters during the cold weather. I guess for some this may seem like a death sentence but for a few of us lucky ones it is the best time of the year.

I wanted to share with you today something that happened to me just a couple of days ago and when I finally understood just how strong attraction can be and knew it was worth all the work we had to do to make it happen. My husband and I have been working really hard on making our marriage as close to perfect as one can hope for and with your book it finally seems that we have it all. I have never in my life loved being with anyone the way I do this man and yes I know he feels the same for me.

We both work hard, and we have six wonderful children to keep us busy at home so we try our best throughout the long days we put in we make time for each other. For instance this past Friday my husband and I meet at a local restaurant near his office to have lunch. We ate and talked and I loved just sitting there with him and looking into his eyes as he smiled at me when the conversation made reference to what we wanted to do later on that night at home. I could talk with him for hours and never be bored. I have never been so happy in my life but then the check came and it was time to leave and go our separate ways for the rest of the afternoon. I was really upset because I did not want to leave just yet but I knew we had to. I never said anything to him as he walked me to my car and kissed me and told me he would see me later.

In the car however driving back I became so upset I started to cry. At first I was not sure why I was upset, but then I knew why. I did not want to go back to work. I wanted Allen my husband to take me home and to spend the rest of the afternoon in bed with me. I was just so attracted to him I wanted to drop everything for that day and be with him. It did not matter to me that we both have jobs that if we are not on top of things we will miss major orders that leads to paydays for us. I should have just called him. I wouldn’t have had to say much for him to know something was wrong and he probably would have figured out what pretty fast because he’s gotten so good at reading me. But we both need to work because keeping six kids fed on what we make doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for play time.

What I am saying is that I am so attracted to this man (I know how you hate it when people say “in love”) I was willing to give up half of a day of work and maybe even my job just to be with him and spend time alone. I think about it every day that we are not together and I know we have to work but the attraction for him is so strong all I want is for him to have sex with me all the time to feel his body next to mine and his lips kissing me. I never thought that I could truly say I would kill for attraction but I know now that I could and would if anyone came between me and this man I love so much.

Thank you so much for making my marriage the one thing in this world that I want to keep for the rest of my life and giving me a real man one that is all I have ever dreamed of.

Bethany


You’re most welcome Bethany, and thank you very much for taking the time to write and tell me about it. People are always very eager to write or call someone to complain, but so seldom take the time to say “Thank you” or to tell someone that things went well for them. If we all took an extra minute or two out of our day to let those around us know that we appreciate the time they give us, the world would indeed be a happier place. Think about this…

Life is the most precious of all resources, and your own life is the most precious of the precious, at least if you are mentally and emotionally healthy, because not one second of it that passes can ever be replenished, and when someone thinks enough of you to give you some portion of their life, you owe them the appreciation due such a gift, a trade of your life for theirs. Indeed, respect the time of others as being a measure of their life, and make an effort to show up on time and conduct yourself in a way that does not waste the time and life of others.

Okay, I’m getting down off my stump now. So how would you describe the feelings Bethany is speaking of here? Rather “honeymoonesqe”? Somewhat unusual for two people who have been married long enough to have six kids? You’re quite right! It is unusual, but nowhere near impossible, nor abnormal. Being happy together in a good relationship is a natural state for two well-matched people to enjoy, especially when they can communicate well with each other and enjoy doing so. If you’re not there too, you’re missing out, but you can fix it. How?

Do what Allen and Bethany did! Jump over to http://www.makingherhappy.com and download your copy of “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage,” because it will get you there if you just take advantage of the experience of the 118 couples who tested everything that went into the book. Life’s too short to spend it any way but happy, so get moving!

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

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Are You Looking for Success or Attention? Proper Motivation for a Happy Life and a Great Relationship or Marriage

Do you do what you do to enjoy doing it well, or to be seen doing it? Attractive behavior isn’t just an act to try to mimic an alpha male. It’s the result of BEING the alpha male, a real man of competence and confidence, which virtually any man can be. It’s both his birthright and responsibility, and for the vast majority of men requires only shedding some programming and attitudes that are oppressive, stressful, and lead to gross insecurity and stagnation in all parts of a man’s life. Read on and learn why and how!

I’ve mentioned in the past that I don’t watch much television, and the little I watch is either informative (news, how-to, or self-improvement) or mentally challenging, and when I find an on-screen example of something readers can watch for an example or explanation of attraction and attractive behavior, I write about it, because a picture is truly worth a thousand words.

Having been deeply involved in alternative medicine for all of my adult life and more, the NBC series “House” (about a doctor who’s supposed to be the world’s best diagnostician and determines what’s wrong with people when nobody else can – and this season’s premier didn’t disappoint) is challenging (the writers rarely make a medical mistake, but when they do, it’s hilarious, such as when Dr. House had a sinus allergy and claimed to take 1,000 mg of diphenhydramine, the little pink pills that most of the rest of us know as “Benadryl,” and are dosed out at 25 mg per tablet, meaning that he took a dose of 40 of those little pink pills, which would likely ruin an elephant’s day and knock a human out for a month), and the governing dynamics of the personalities of the characters on the show are diverse, well-conceived and fascinating.

Dr. House is an alpha male, but with a twist. He’s brilliant, strong, funny, cocky, etc., but somebody on the writing staff apparently is intimidated by alpha males because they gave him a permanently damaged right leg and chronic pain to go with it, and a hydrocodone bitartrate (Vicodin, hydrocodone, et al, regarded as “morphine-like in all respects” according to http://www.streetdrugs.org/hydrocodone.htm) addiction to go with the pain, which I find somewhat perverse, but it does make for some interesting twists in the plots.

One episode featured a doctor who spent his entire career treating tuberculosis in remote parts of Africa, contracted the disease himself, but with a pancreatic tumor that caused life-threatening symptoms unrelated to the tuberculosis. What was interesting about the character, and what both the character of Dr. House and I took exception to, was that this doctor didn’t present the appearance of doing the job to do it well, but to be seen doing it; he was constantly courting the media, even to the extent of refusing treatment for his own tuberculosis and calling a press conference to call attention to it.

The script writers did a good job of keeping it unclear as to whether the character’s main motivation was altruism or a need for attention, but it made me think about some of the letters I’ve received from readers of this newsletter and my blogs, complaining that it was hard to keep up the image of an alpha male and call sufficient attention to themselves without being too obvious. That’s an understatement if ever there was one; one that makes me want to pull my hair out, because DOING IS INFINITELY EASIER THAN FAKING.

First, putting on an act for a woman, especially in the long term, is a practical impossibility. The sheer fear of being caught putting on the act creates insecurity that gives it away, and no matter how many times I state that to some people, they still don’t get it. Attractive behavior is not the result of some theatrical effort or following some script; it’s the result of BEING attractive, having the confidence, attitude, wit, and competence to naturally be in this attractive state. You can fake it a little and for a short time in an emergency, but the successful on-going presentation of alpha male behavior depends entirely on the successful attainment of alpha male characteristics, which is not difficult at all, and a lot of fun.

So you see, the “trick” is NOT to act attractive and find a way to call attention to it that doesn’t give away the fact that you are trying to call attention to yourself. Seeking attention (or approval) is the opposite of alpha male behavior, regardless of why you’re doing it. That’s why the PUA’s and their peacocking (“Styles,” “Mystery,” etc., a la Neil Strauss’s “The Game”) is so bloody annoying to the rest of us.

(In one of John Alanis’s newsletters, he talked about getting almost mad enough to deck one of them. A PUA cut in on John while he was talking to a woman and the “wingman” running block for him kept putting his arm around John like he was some sort of buddy. All I can say is that John is probably a little more patient than I could have been with either one of them, and the PUA’s still lost in the end because he got the girl. John tells some very interesting stories and I highly recommend his newsletter as both entertaining and, if you are divorced and dating or wanting to start dating again, educational, as is Shelley McMurtry’s. There are links to them at the bottom of this newsletter.)

Indeed, there is no trick, and the solution is far easier to pull off. You must simply understand what it is that women respond to with attraction, which turns out to be confident, fun, intelligent, “cock of the walk” behavior that any man who enjoys his life with exhibit naturally, realize that there are some things in your life that you can take pride in, develop them so that you can fully enjoy that pride, see yourself as worthy of having fun and enjoying your life, and let nature take its course. While nature is taking its course, you learn all you can about women, especially what they enjoy and how they communicate, so you can recognize the feedback that they’ve been giving you for years. Feedback that you were never able to interpret because you didn’t realize it was feedback. What???

Yes, they really have been giving you feedback for years, but most of it is non-verbal, and the verbal part is very indirect. For instance, when a woman says she wants a man “who just knows what she wants,” she isn’t speaking of a psychic (unless she’s a complete idiot just “parroting” something she’s heard other women say). She’s saying, “I want a manly man who does manly things, and pays enough attention to me to learn how to communicate with me so I don’t have to explain everything to him like I would a three-year old.” She saying that she wants a guy who is a guy, but who knows to communicate with guys like guys and be more perceptive and attentive when communicating with a woman, recognizing her social nature and her need to negotiate and be a social conduit instead of stating, reporting, and dictating as men do. Where’d that come from?

You’re right. Most women would never come out and explain that to a man, but a few of the very smart ones are always on the lookout for men who want to communicate effectively with them, and I had 118 of them who were in long-term committed relationships or marriage plus nearly a hundred more who were single respond to a survey I conducted before researching “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage.” They taught me everything they could think of about how women communicate with each other and how that affects the way the communicate with men, and when we finished that training, we talked – in “girly-speak,” or “feminese” as one of my readers is fond of saying – about what they thought they wanted in men and what they actually respond to, and exploded many, many myths, especially about the “nice guy.” (You’ll be shocked when you find out about the one version of the “nice guy” that women do respond well to, and you’ll do so when you read my book!)

As we made lists upon lists of good and bad behavior and what caused it, we got their male partners (husbands and boyfriends, for future reference) involved, and tested everything we’d found. Some we fine-tuned and improved, some wasn’t as consistent as I wanted because it was affected by culture or personal taste and was culled; everything that made it into the book worked for 90% or more of the couples, and in the end, everybody’s relationship was improved to the point of being fun and exciting again, not because the men learned how to act, but because they learned how to be and live NATURALLY as “real men,” which creates – BY DEFAULT – the very behavior that women respond to best, because it’s genuine, stress-free, fun and exciting for everyone involved.

There were even unexpected benefits of improved sleep, motivation to improve diet and exercise, children doing better in school, and a closer-knit family because the parents were feeling better about themselves, setting better examples for the kids and creating a more nurturing environment for them. (How nurturing an environment is it when parents are bored, frustrated, avoiding home and yet scared of their family coming apart at the seams, or worse, so frustrated by an unhappy marriage that they no longer care if it comes apart at the seams?)

Since opening our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com, we’ve continued discussing, exploring, getting feedback, seeing how what I teach can be applied to specific situations and problems, and it continues to amaze even the “oldest” of us, myself included, how really simple what I teach really is and universal its application. You really should join us and see what you can learn, because there is much there that will never appear in my newsletters and blog posts. That forum is now the epicenter of the MakingHerHappy.com world, and it’s where all new content will appear first.

The bottom line is that there are no tricks, no magic bullet, no cute lines or secret potions (or positions!) that will save a stale relationship, but the solution to the problem is far easier and more enjoyable than employing any deception could ever be. It’s in my book, “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage,” and it’s waiting for you at http://www.makingherhappy.com, fully tested, proven and ready to deploy. Go get it and get busy, because life is too short to spend it enjoying your relationship even a little less than the most it can be enjoyed. Don’t settle; SUCCEED! (And you’d be doing yourself a favor to make that your personal motto, too!)

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

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

How to Be the Man that Women MUST Have in Their Relationship or Marriage

An odd chain of events and the resulting train of thought have provided something that many of you will find useful: EXAMPLES of the man women find most irresistible, and how to make sure she sees him!

Today has been an unusual day to say the least. I post this newsletter for broadcast at 8:00AM Eastern time every morning because that’s when statistics say it is most likely to be read by the most people, but as many of you know, it is composed at least one day prior to broadcast. (Those of you who want an early jump can always check my blog at http://blog.makingherhappy.com or the archive at our forum in the Daily Newsletter Lessons archive, because it gets posted there as soon as it’s finished, often 12 hours or more ahead of the e-mail broadcast!)

Frankly, I recommend the forum over the blog, because there is a LOT more content and the search engine at the forum searches all the forum posts in addition to the newsletters, and there is a lot of information on the forum that will never appear in my newsletters. There’s also a private messaging system and live chat at the forum, and personal blogging as well. It’s at http://forum.makingherhappy.com and unlike most forums, it’s not indexed by the big search engine spiders and I’ve blocked a lot of spam farms by IP address, so you won’t be reading a thread about mid-life crisis and be interrupted by some spammer’s ad for something you’ve already received a hundred spam e-mails about today.

I mention all that about my schedule and the massive amount of content available to you so that the following comment makes sense: I’ve been at my computer for eleven hours straight answering readers’ messages, posts, etc.! That’s not necessarily odd, but their polarization certainly has been. The gross majority of them have been questions about attraction, especially what a woman needs to see for it to be triggered, especially if it has been lost and the man is trying to recreate it.

There are a few of my newsletter lesson editions that always receive abnormally high reader response. I retransmit them every few months because most people just don’t have the time to browse the newsletter archive and it’s easier for them to see the best-received lessons if I send them out quarterly or semi-annually, but I don’t use or even have boilerplate responses to reader e-mails or questions. While many of them have common elements, each situation is different and requires a personal response, so can you imagine what focusing on the same subject that intensely for eleven hours might produce?

This came after I was asked today by a blind man how he might project a more attractive image to his wife, who had grown a bit frustrated with his borrowing of her eyes, and he confessed that he had been asking her to do things that he did himself when he was alone. I reminded him that instead of feeling and acting dependent, he should feel and act heroic, relating to him a flood of stories that came to mind about athletes who had lost legs and ran races on their prostheses, and Def Leppard’s drummer who lost an arm and instead of retiring, re-engineered his setup and retrained himself to play as well as he had before with only one arm and his feet.

Then came the first revelation: men with this heroic, leader’s attitude that women find so irresistibly attractive don’t do things to PROVE that they can, they do them simply BECAUSE they can and want to. They live to IMPROVE, not to PROVE. They literally define authority at the most basic level; they don’t care what anybody thinks of them or their achievements. They achieve because it suits them to do so, because it MAKES them a better man, not because it makes them APPEAR as a better man. There is no form of authority, role model, or leadership higher than that. “BE as you wish to SEEM,” as Socrates said.

I tripped over another great example in that same letter. In trying to explain the hero’s attitude and how he could continue to “borrow his wife’s sight,” but in a way she found attractive instead of a way that made her feel like his keeper, I said (paraphrased), “Assuming that you lost your sight and have a sufficient frame of reference to remember a sunset, there is a big difference between saying to your wife, ‘I wish I could see a sunset’ and saying, “I want to see the sunset. Describe it to me so that I may enjoy it with you.’”

That differentiation has universal application, Gentlemen. You can feel sorry for your shortcomings and complain, or you can work around them and live your life. That’s what being a man, and for that matter being human, is about, and that, more than anything else, is what women find attractive in a man, because it is that attitude that makes everything else work.

A secondary theme that kept reappearing was regaining trust after a bad period in a relationship. Yes, attraction may be or is dead at this point, but there is also a wall up, and while attraction is an automatic thing, it can be not resisted, but confounded, when there are trust issues. A woman needs to feel “safe” in letting you into a position where you can significantly influence her emotions, and while you are making these improvements that will reignite attraction, you also need to radically improving your communication skills. Why?

Because that’s where women gain trust, through the intimacy of talking and being heard. It’s how they commune. We men commune primarily by sharing acts of achievement or crisis and getting through them, while women commune by talking about their experiences, especially the emotions of their experiences. We DO, they TALK and then do if something needs done.

When a woman feels you aren’t listening or understanding her, or especially that you don’t care about her feelings, that connection cannot be made, let alone made strong enough to let her tear down that wall and let you back in. Luckily for you, as complex as it seems, the whole communications issue boils down to three simple rules that you can learn in minutes and master over a period of hours or days, not decades. And those rules are in my book, of course! ;-)

So there it is, Gents: the product of eleven hours of answering the questions of troubled men wanting to put their relationship back in working order. Use it in good health. And if you’re ready to rise to the challenge of putting your house back in order, go to http://www.makingherhappy.com and download your copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," right now, while it’s still there to be had and correcting your problems is easier than it will be months down the road when you have much more to correct and much more pain to heal.

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

Monday, September 20, 2010

What Are Outside Influences Doing to YOUR Relationship and Marriage?

Is your environment, especially the part of it you choose and create for yourself, increasing or killing your attractiveness? It’s easy to tell by taking a good look around you, if you know what to look for. Do you?

I get a lot of mail from men who are feeling bad about themselves, complaining that their wives disrespect them, don’t like their job, feel like they’re alone and have no friends, and generally have a crappy outlook on life. There are a lot of causes for this, but generally when a man is disrespected, disregarded, and/or has nobody around him he would call a friend, it’s the result of bad attitude. And that’s fixable.

Most of the causes of both good and poor attitude are in the things that surround us daily. Let’s take a look at your living and work environments to see what they may be doing for you, or TO you. Much of male attractiveness is the direct result of attitude, self-esteem, and confidence, and your environment can impact those things directly and profoundly, so it can impact your attractiveness directly and profoundly, which in turn determines how – and whether – those around you will want to interact with you.

Feeling good about yourself requires that you take action to succeed, which in turn requires that you feel worthy of success and motivated to go after it. How does your environment affect you in this regard? Everything around you can impact you, so let’s look at some of the big ones to give you a feel for what to look for, and you can refine your search from there. Let’s start with music.

Yes, that’s a biggie! Even if you aren’t listening actively, it’s still there, being interpreted and assimilated, and there are subconscious mechanisms that act upon what you hear, so to what influences are you exposing yourself? First, what do you choose to listen to? If it’s depressing, as a lot of alternative rock, death metal, and some country and honky tonk, ballads, and of course, blues can be, it’s working on you. In my own experience, according to pop culture lore Michael Bolton was a great guy, but his music was so depressing that I couldn’t listen to it, and while I like some of the instrumental portions of Iron Maiden and Metallica, the death-oriented lyrics of many of their songs make me want to just shake somebody and tell them to wake up and get a clue. (The same goes for the angry-sounding rap that glorifies rape and cop-killing; fortunately, this isn’t all rap, just the worst of it.)

It’s a shame, too. Whether you like “hard” rock or not, there is no denying, debating, or escaping the fact that Trent Reznor, the heart of the now-defunct band, Nine Inch Nails, is a modern-day Mozart. Really. The richness and complexity of his composition easily rivals Mozart if you listen to it actively. However active listening also requires that you hear the lyrics, which caused one music critic to describe Reznor as “having taken self-loathing to an art form.” But what do you expect from a guy who just broke his 20-year heroin addiction he was toward the end of when that critic spoke. It’s hard to write happy or uplifting song lyrics when you hate yourself that badly.

I grew up in an area where country, bluegrass, and honky tonk music was the music standard, and in my childhood, country music was all about trouble. Even if somebody had something good to say in a song, it was in the context of missing it, or somebody else having it and wishing they could have it. I can remember even as a small child wondering why people wanted to listen to songs that spoke of people hurting each other, breaking up, divorcing, being lonely, etc., and I could see that those who listened to depressing music were depressed. That made me wonder which was the cause and which was the effect. I learned later in college that it goes both ways, and once in the cycle, it forms a feedback loop that sustains and even amplifies itself.

Even if you’re not choosing what you listen to, as in cases where you have piped-in music in your office that someone else chooses, or have a partner or a child that tends to dominate the household music listening (which luckily isn’t as bad these days since personal computers and personal MP3 players make private listening much easier), you may consciously just ignore it, but your subconscious mind ignores nothing. Hence, the music you expose yourself to, at least with regard for helping you to maintain a positive attitude and good self-image, needs to be fun, uplifting, motivating, etc., providing at least some positive influence; at worst, it should be attitude neutral, like some form of light instrumental or dance music.

What about television? Do you watch informative shows that help you feel better-prepared to achieve? Comedies to help break the tension? Heroic adventures to see the good guys kill the bad guys and go home with the girl for “gratuitous whoopee”? Or do you watch sad stories, a.k.a., “human interest” stories, where the object is to pull you in to feeling sorry for the subject? Or nothing but news, which tends to be negative because disaster gets better ratings that acts of heroism? Being informed is necessary, but you have to be careful of the source, because between sensationalism and bias, it can wreck your outlook and attitude in a cold minute. How can anyone expect to have a good outlook on life if a good portion of what they see every day is negative? There is obviously a lot you can’t choose, but there is also a lot that you can, so choose well.

Speaking of what you see in the workplace, how is your job affecting your outlook on life? Are you well-suited to your chosen profession and advancing through achievement? Are you appreciated and rewarded by your current employer? Do you enjoy getting out of bed in the morning to start your work day or do you leave home at the last possible minute and arrive a few minutes late every day because you just really don’t want to be there?

High self-esteem comes from achievement and no other source, and in everyday life, that means mainly from success at productive work or a productive hobby, one that offers challenge – eating donuts or watching football is not a productive hobby. It’s a “pastime,” and you need to distinguish between them. Pastimes provide no mental challenge. That’s why I cringe when baseball is described as “America’s favorite pastime.” Passively watching the game is a pastime, but playing, coaching, or even scorekeeping is absolutely not. So make sure that in addition to work, you have at least one real hobby and not just a bunch of pastimes sucking up the time and energy you could be using to enjoy achieving and feel better about yourself.

Getting back to work, if your work conditions keep you from feeling like you are accomplishing anything, either in your job or your career, or if it’s swallowing you (as seems to be frequently portrayed on police dramas like “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit,” or any of the various flavors of “Crime Scene Investigation” where the officers are constantly exposed to the worst elements of human behavior and cannot avoid it because their job is to deal with it), depression and unattractive behavior is virtually inevitable.

The statistics available on divorce rates bear it out, too, by the way. Social workers, vice cops, criminal lawyers, and doctors all have higher divorce rates than bakers, telephone operators, etc. If your chosen field is killing your marriage or has killed more than one and marriage is important to you, it’s time to look at a career change, even if it’s a bit of a step backwards. And before you say, “But I can’t afford to make less money!” how long is it going to take you to pay for another divorce? How much will the medical bills inflicted by the stress of a career that is more pressure than you can safely endure cost you? A career change might actually be cheaper and help you live longer in the long run.

Take a hard, objective look at your job and your career, and if it is not satisfying you, talk with a professional headhunter or placement agency, no matter what you do now or think you may be capable of doing. They stay in business by competently matching people with good jobs, and often have aptitude tests and other placement aids they will be glad to offer you on the chance that they may be able to pick up a commission by placing you in a good job. And don’t let the idea of a career change scare you into failing to act. You may be surprised at how radical a career switch you can make but still be able to leverage your experience and be able to make more of a lateral – or UPWARD LATERAL! --move instead of having to start over at the bottom of another career path.

Another huge influence, and the last one I’ll speak about today, are the people around you. Achievers will influence you to achieve, and slackers and miscreants of every sort, being unwilling to do what is necessary to achieve, will seek justification and validation by spreading their lackadaisical or defeatist attitude around like a virus.

You know them, the people to whom you announce good news and they insist that all good fortune is either fleeting or something bad must happen to you to pay for your good fortune, and they’re always blaming their sorry life and lack of achievement on limited opportunities and some oppressive entity or system instead of doing what achievers do to make their own opportunities. You may include these people in your circle of “friends,” but they are not friends. Friends don’t try to impede the happiness of friends by trying to negate every good thing that comes their way.

If you have any of these people around, even if they are blood relatives, get them out of your life before they take you down with them; if they had any interest in climbing out of their funk, they would have done something about it already, so don’t bother trying to “save” them, either. Learn to let people be accountable for their own choices, and be accountable for your own. It’s a lot easier to successfully manage your life and affairs that way, and you’ll never be put in a position of feeling like a failure because of someone else’s failure to act.

Once you find and eliminate all these negative influences from your life, you’ll find it much easier to maintain that confident, “can’t touch this” attitude that women find so irresistible, not to mention finding your life a whole lot simpler and more enjoyable, and you’ll also find you have new-found room in your life for people you enjoy being around as well.

Think you can’t do it? Talk to me. Just sign on to our forum at http://forum.makingherhappy.com and post your concerns in any forum there that seems appropriate for what’s on your mind; I’ll find it and we’ll figure it out together. There’s a nifty “What’s New” feature that shows all new posts every time you log in, and I use it every time I log in to make sure I don’t miss anything.

And here’s a big bonus: when you couple that improved attitude with a solid working knowledge of how to evaluate relationships, how to effectively communicate with women, and what they automatically respond to with curiosity, excitement, and desire, a great relationship with a great woman is a foregone conclusion, even if you’re not currently with one!

What you need to know about all of that is waiting for you in a single source, my e-book, “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage.” It’s an instant download at http://www.makingherhappy.com, fully tested and guaranteed to work -- and for less than the cost of a good meal for two at a nice restaurant! Can you afford to ignore such information? NO! Can you use such information? YES! So get clicking, Bub, because life’s too short to waste it feeling lousy about your life, job, and marriage! ;-)

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

Sunday, September 19, 2010

What is Your Partner's REAL Motive for Having You in Your Relationship or Marriage?

What is your partner’s REAL motive for having you around? The answer lies in their words and actions…

Another lovely morning with a big country breakfast, a huge mug of coffee, and a whole bunch of friends trying to find a way to make their lives together better. For me, that’s a great way to start a day, pleasure and productivity.

A quick note before we begin today’s lesson: One of you sent me a link to an article that is revealing, revolutionary, and for some, downright scary. Entitled “Mommy’s Little Secret,” it describes, among other things, statistical evidence that 10% of children in the western hemisphere think that their father is someone other than who their biological father really is, if you know what I mean.

DNA evidence is causing all manner of revelations of infidelity, and it’s so bad that the courts are now trying to figure out when people are legally bound to tell fathers and “duped dads” (the one who is paying the bills thinking it’s for his own child) and when they’re not. I strongly recommend you read the article; even though it was published in 2002, it's still relevant and accurate and may apply to you or one of your friends who hasn't heard yet.

As for today’s lesson, one of your cohorts said this in response to the issue where I talked about men using guilt and pity tactics to try to obtain sex, the article titled “Sex for Pity’s Sake,” which you can access in the archive if you missed it:

Meet Tanja K.:

In my eyes women who use guilt or pity for sex are pathetic.....my hubby and I have been married for almost 22 years and there's what real married for love partners call give and take....my hubby is like my kids, spoiled to death and well adjusted...2 in college and 2 in grade school, if you get my drift, sex is our way of being one with each other, and trying new thing together, is what makes our marriage so to die for, so if you got out of me somehow that I use guilt or pity, you better find some new info about real women, not this new age “I'll sleep with you if you'll pay for my hair cut, or my college ed”....those are the women that make good men say dumb hurtful things....my hubby has been my prince from day one, if he's guilty of anything it might be that he hasn't taken time to find friends to have fun with, besides me, but then again, neither have I, our kids have made our life busy and full....hope you find a real women w/real moral values....

Tanja


Tanja’s beef is with women who prostitute themselves, not honestly as professionals, but as surreptitious gold-diggers; those parasites who land a man to be kept, provide means to create and maintain babies and/or self-destructive habits, and use guilt, pity, and sex to keep the man engaged and thinking everything is peachy. Google or Bing “toxic wife” for some extreme stories that will stand your hair on end, and if it looks familiar, don’t fly off into denial. Investigate and analyze the evidence. Gentlemen, we should all protect ourselves against such a woman; fortunately for us, they are the minority.

There are many kinds of relationships that can exist between a man and a woman, but this kind, especially in its most extreme variant, the codependent relationship, is the most destructive. One partner sucks the life out of the other and wastes it in destroying themselves, effectively rushing both of them to ruination and even an early grave. How can you tell if you’re in one of these?

It’s not that difficult. Indeed, detection is the easy part; accepting the truth and acting upon it is where most people fail.

First, take a look at who is contributing what and how much to the relationship, and how those contributions are being distributed. If you’re working your butt off and she (or HE! – it can go both ways, Ladies, as you’ll see in my next book) is spending it faster than you can make it, possibly on things that you find you secretly resent, such as a lot of extras for her and the kids, like eating out a lot and designer labels on all their clothes while you have holes in your shoes and take a cheese sandwich and store-brand soda to work for lunch, that’s a big red flag.

There’s no need to keep a detailed score; it will either be equitable because the relationship is committed and tight or completely lop-sided because one partner is using the other, depending entirely on whether the partners truly love each other or one is using the other. I have a story from one of you that just came in within the last week or two from a client-turned-friend that is an excellent example, and I’ll try to get it together for you ASAP. And as you will see, your status will be obvious if you merely open your eyes to what is happening around you, regardless of what is being said. “By your works shall you be known” is one of the greatest bits of wisdom to come from the Christian Bible, a tactic that has been working for two thousand years, right? Professing love and devotion is easy; faking it is not.

Next, take a look at language. Even the best liars screw up from time to time, usually when they are either too relaxed, too stressed or have had a drink or two and their guard is down. A partner who really loves you will tell you so for no apparent reason, and their body language and actions will confirm it. One who is indeed NEEDING AND USING you and not loving you will say that they love you in order to get you to tell them that you love them; the statement “I love you” is indeed the question, “Do you love me?” – a plea for confirmation that their ploy is still working. When it comes, it sounds forced, like the ritual “I love you” that ends all too many phone conversations with that hint of whining or desperation that makes what should be a profession into an interrogation.

You can also learn a lot from the nature of compliments and explanations that inappropriately follow or replace declarations of love. A woman who says, “I love you because you make me feel safe,” may be saying that she enjoys not having to worry that you’ll abuse her emotions, she can also be saying that she loves the feeling of being protected, not you; anybody with an alpha personality and a weapon (or a large bank account) could make her feel the same way. So can anyone who doesn’t place any demands on her for love and commitment.

Gentlemen, good women don’t need a caretaker any more than good men do. They’re “all grown up,” strong, independent, intelligent, and sexy, not a clingy, needy, neurotic ball of insecurity looking for someone to blame their entire miserable existence on or pay their way. Being able to take care of themselves, they want a real man who can take care of himself, to form a true synergistic partnership, in which the partners can achieve more together than the sum of what they could achieve separately.

Good women are looking for a man to SHARE their life with, not GIVE them a life or all the trappings of a life. And there are plenty of them around, but they may not be looking for a man because while they would immensely enjoy one, they don’t need one. So they may not be obvious to you when you first see them. You have to explore, and evaluate. Remember that for the rest of your life.

Such a woman, one who is looking for someone to share a life with instead of someone to take care of her, will enjoy watching you being strong and taking the lead, instead of depending on you to do it, and you’ll enjoy doing it with her, instead of resenting the whining and pressure. And she will hold your feet to the fire, constantly holding you to the standard “if you can’t stand up TO me, you can’t stand up FOR me.” Good women very seldom actually need you to stand up for them, but they need to know that you’re able to so that they can respect you, since respect is a prerequisite of both love and attraction.

If you feel like you’re being sucked dry by your partner, you’re in the wrong relationship, unless of course the only time you feel that way is in the bedroom while she’s…well, you know. And if she does happen to be really proficient at “well, you know,” don’t let that cloud your judgment and cause you to excuse or ignore things that you’ll look back on at retirement age and think, “What the hell was I thinking???”

Good sex, even great sex, can be a lot easier to find than a good mate, so don’t let the fear of scarcity of sex put you in a position of real scarcity of self-esteem, self-respect, home, retirement savings, a life, etc. Think with your head; that other thing that whispers in your ear from the vicinity of your trousers makes some REALLY bad decisions, and you know this. If you haven’t learned it yet and require proof, there’s plenty of it on our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com, where you’ll find accounts of men who married for good looks or good sex and found out too late just how much such a mistake costs a man.

I like what Ron White says about women. The following is paraphrased: “Marry an ugly woman with a brain and some character. You can take a little nip here, a little tuck there, and next thing you know, she’s pretty easy on the eyes. But you can’t fix stupid.” Nor can you fix conniving, entitlement-minded, and deceitful. Those are problems that go too deep to fix.

You can assess yourself, your partner, and your relationship, as well as have great contacts to help you get out of a bad relationship and find a great woman if you have to, with the information in “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage.” Download your copy at http://www.makingherhappy.com right now, read it, and get things on the right track. If they’re already on the right track, use the rest of the book to stoke that attraction boiler and kick things up to the stratosphere where problems just don’t happen! The woman in your life can be a ball and chain or a ball of fire, and the choice is entirely yours. Choose well, and choose NOW!

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