Saturday, October 23, 2010

Some Profound Comments About Retail Therapy and Boredom in a Reader's Marriage

My top student has seen “retail therapy” at work in his own marriage before he and I met, and as usual, his comments are not only astute and educational, they’re proof of just how much a man can really know about women…

In a recent edition of this newsletter, I told you about how women engage in “retail therapy” to alleviate boredom that their husbands leave them room to feel. If you missed it, you should read it now before continuing for maximum benefit from today’s edition. See it in the archive at our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com/.

There’s a guy about 900 miles from where I live who has become both my top student one of my best friends. He’s a leader, a “brainiac,” and I dare say the guru of gurus in his part of the country where women are concerned, because he’s learned about everything I’ve taught and went beyond that to make a few discoveries of his own.

His comments are always good material for these newsletters, because he has a gift for taking whatever I’ve said and grabbing an example of applying it to his own life or something in his history that either increases the impact of the lesson or generates a new, advanced lesson worthy of your attention. He sent me this in response to the October 22 edition on retail therapy:

****
Your response to Kent was perfect:

"There's no amount of explaining that you can do that will help the situation, and that's not because your wife is stupid, impetuous, or enjoys trying to put you into the poor house. It's because she's bored.

“I don't see your name on my customer list and you've only been on this newsletter list for a little over a week, so I'm going to bet that you have no idea just how destructive an emotion boredom is for women.

“Boredom is one of the things that a woman looks to a man to for protection; it's the price you pay for her nurturing, and it's a biological mechanism, not a logical one;"

Boredom is deadly, and women aren't to blame for being women - that's your real message. Say it over and over and over, and you'll be getting somewhere. Most men on Earth, including TV scriptwriters and all the guys every guy works with, BLAME women. Most women BLAME men for being men, with the full backing of the media and politicians. Stop that nonsense and everyone can be happy and start communicating.

Excellent newsletter, all the way. As far as the retail therapy goes, my wife was totally aware that it was not reasonable, but couldn't identify "why". One of the brutal ironies of our marriage is that she thought I wasn't listening, when in fact I listened myself nearly to death. It's perfectly REASONABLE to think she would know what I needed to do to make her happy, but it just so happens that she didn't. I suspect there are a few million more wives within a hundred miles who don't either. They can describe the feeling they want (maybe!), but not how to get it. I'd be interested in your thoughts on this, but I'll bet 90%+ of all marriages have that problem. Just my observation, nothing more.

How many men say, "All she does is complain," and how many women say, "He never listens to me" or "He's never nice to me,"? One of my favorites is the old "He never takes me anywhere," from women with great jobs, nice cars, and the ability to go anywhere they want anytime they want. And they often earn as much or more than the men! Now THERE is a potential newsletter, because "you never take me anywhere" is a message about as strong as "whatever" or "OK", but typically misunderstood by men!
****

Let’s go through his comments and make sure you get everything out of them you can.

First, let’s talk about “blame.” What does it ever accomplish? Has anything ever, just once, in the course of your entire life, improved because you or somebody else blamed someone for something that has happened? Neither you nor anyone you know can recall such an instance, yet everybody does it! Why? Because blame is easier to lay than responsibility or action are to take!

Taking responsibility invariably means that you also have to take action. Now, think about this: why do most people shy away from taking action? No, it’s not because they’re too lazy, although that is also a valid reason. Most people shy away from taking action because they don’t know what action to take. Not knowing something you need to know can be frustrating, not to mention embarrassing and downright scary. It’s far easier to point the finger and put somebody else on the spot, in hopes that they’ll either fix the problem or reveal to you something that you can do.

What I’m about to say falls under that “If I can teach you nothing else, let me teach you this” category: There is nothing wrong with ignorance. We are born not knowing anything, and should spend our entire life learning – curing ignorance. I’ve spent my entire conscious life learning things to fix other people’s problems, and most people who know me swear I know everything. I don’t, not even close, nor do I claim to or try to. I see my own ignorance of any subject as an opportunity to learn and do something new, a new area of problems to solve. That’s precisely why it’s not a problem. (The illusion that I know everything comes from the fact that I never open my mouth unless I do know something that I can prove. I’ve never understood it, but somehow never offering a wrong answer equates to “knowing everything” instead of “speaking factually and responsibly.”)

While there’s nothing wrong with ignorance, there’s nothing right about apathy – the choice to remain ignorant and unable to do something that you need to do because you just don’t care. That’s when ignorance can hurt you, and cause you to hurt others as a result. So when you recognize that you are ignorant of something, and the answer evades you, what do you do?

Ask somebody who knows, by virtue of having succeeded at what you need to do! Don’t ask for people’s opinions, ask for their knowledge and experience. People who have successfully achieved anything love to tell you how they did it. They may not disclose the secret combination of herbs and spices in their fried chicken recipe, and if they’re a professional problem-solver they may ask a price for the knowledge you need, but good how-to information is usually worth more than its asking price because it makes your problems go away and either provides you something to enjoy or provides the means for you to enjoy something you already have. How cool is that?

He’s quite right that often women know what they want but don’t know how to get it, or don’t know how to express it to us so that we understand what they want. Volumes have been written on that subject, some of it useless fluff, opinion and theory and some of it stuff that you can put to work immediately because it slaps you in the head with reality and says, “Do this!” I’ve written some of the latter myself.

What he doesn’t mention is that often women get an idea in their head and think they want something, but are grossly dissatisfied when they get it. Retail therapy is such an instance. Wanting a “nice guy” who cries with them at chick flicks, and “metrosexuals” are others. Some things sound fun when they talk about them, but when they bring them home, they don’t pack the punch the women anticipated, and they’re right back to being bored and crazy.

In the end, what women say they want and what they respond to are sometimes two different things, so giving them what they say they want isn’t always the answer. You don’t just drop something in their lap and leave the room hoping everything will be alright. You have to stick around and watch, and listen, and think about what you’re hearing and observing. You must learn, and test both her response and your existing knowledge base for contradiction, and if you find contradiction, you must resolve it.

And when you see that whatever it was you gave or did wasn’t right, you can’t just blame her for telling you the wrong thing. Nor can she blame you for giving her or doing the wrong thing. You both must take responsibility for communicating and working together to resolve your problems, and you must take personal responsibility to lead the way through problems to their ultimate solution. That may at times even include her problems, the ones that don’t directly involve you, if she tells you that she needs your help.

And no, that doesn’t mean that you just take over and do it for her. That means you listen to what she has to say, then take the lead in a cooperative effort to solve the problem and get past the crisis. I said “lead,” not “control,” and certainly not “save.” Know the difference, or screw up and be punished.

Not your responsibility, you say? Then prepare to accept the consequences. A woman can go without something they want for a lot longer than we give them credit for, but they will not go without what the need for long, any more than we will. And if you don’t get on top of this situation, she will start trying to find out on her own by experimentation, and the female brain is more often dominated by the creative side than the analytical side, and she will act as if she has nothing to lose, because in her mind, she doesn’t.

If she ends up running you off or with another man, it’s very easy for her to just blame you. After all, if you had provided what she needed, she wouldn’t have had to experiment. You can argue against that all day long with me, but don’t try it with a woman. I’ll try all day to help you understand it, where the average woman would cut you off and tune you out with a king-sized “Whatever!” in a heartbeat. She knows what she’s doing, and if you don’t, in her mind you’re just a moron who doesn’t get it.

So here we are again. All of these relationship issues keep coming back to the same things: be well-matched with your partner, take responsibility for the health of your relationship, learn to communicate, lead and behave like a man, and take signs of boredom as a warning sign that you are letting her down somewhere and get to the bottom of it FAST! Could it really be that easy?

Let’s say that every day of your life, you get out of bed, stump your toe on the bed post, stumble into the bathroom and squeeze hemorrhoid ointment on your toothbrush, get on the wrong bus to go downtown to work, and spill your lunch in your lap trying to eat it. Could it be that you just need to open your eyes before you get out of bed so that you can see what you’re doing? Rather like the old joke in which the patient complained to the doctor that every time he drank cocoa, he got a sharp pain in his right eye, and the doctor told him to take the spoon out of the cup, huh? Clichés become and remain clichés because they are so universally true.

Complex problems often have simple solutions, and solving them is impossible for the people who don’t realize that because they spend all their time looking for complex solutions. Recall if you will the highly popular but quite incorrect summary of Occam’s Razor: “The simplest solution is most often the best.” Women appear to be a complex problem because there are things about them that are very similar to us, yet others that are radically different, and we simply don’t see the ways in which we are similar and different accurately.

More appropriate, and entirely accurate, would be Sir Isaac Newton’s constraint on problem-solving: "We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances. Therefore, to the same natural effects we must, so far as possible, assign the same causes." The truth is that women are not a problem at all; there is nothing mystical or magical required to explain or understand them, in spite of the untold thousands or even millions of incorrect assumptions that every man thinks he knows about women. In truth, women are quite wonderful to have around if you simply spend a little time and effort to learn what you need to know about getting along with them, and once you know, acting upon it is pretty automatic, because it’s fun, and unless we’re so depressed that we can’t see straight, it’s pretty hard to avoid doing fun things that just happen naturally.

So there you have it, the answer you’ve been looking for all your life. How do you get along with women? You take responsibility for learning what you need to know, and you learn it. Big deal. It will take you 2-4 hours to read it the first time, depending on how fast you read and how much time you spend actually thinking about what you’re reading.

It will take you a few times through to integrate your history and life into what you learn and become a true expert. Understanding and experience open the door to more understanding and experience. It’s one of the keys to the universe. And compared to a lifetime of misery, those few hours are insignificant.

You shed the bad programming that has been pumped into your brain for nearly four decades now. Also insignificant in terms of time and effort, because that’s going to happen as you read.

You live the life that you were born to live, enjoying being a man, maybe for the first time in your life. Sound like fun? Well, it is!

Are you ready to begin? Ready to be a guy, maybe the only guy you know, who really understands women and loves every minute he spends with his wife, not to mention knows which minutes to spend with her and which ones to be elsewhere doing something else he enjoys? If so, go to http://www.makingherhappy.com/ and download your copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," and get started on that first 2-4 hours of awakening to the wonder that is woman.

Waiting for tomorrow, waiting for a sale, waiting to see how somebody else makes out are just excuses, excuses that are costing you your own happiness, so do it now, improve your life and don’t look back. That’s what a man does.

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

Friday, October 22, 2010

Boredom: Just How Far Will a Woman Go to Escape It? Far Enough to Wreck Your Relationship and Marriage!

MUST READ! I’ve talked a lot about how much of a problem boredom is for women, and why, but the obvious examples of boredom, affairs and dramatic outbursts, don’t hold a candle to what this woman reveals!

I hope you’re ready to have your world rocked, because it’s about to happen.

Anybody who has been reading this newsletter very long knows that I rarely use the words “MUST READ” in a title or summary, quite simply because I want to maintain credibility for the few times when I really send you a true “MUST READ” issue. This is one of them. Why?

The letter I’m about to show you left me speechless for several minutes, a feat I’m sure many of you may perceive as bordering on impossible. I had heard of such things happening, but never with such destructive and self-destructive force and disregard for the consequences. Meet Hannah:

Dear David,

I have something to share with you and your other readers that I think will shock some and make some say “My wife would never do something like that, “ but it happens and I think it’s about time that a lot of eyes were opened. After 18 years of marriage I recently was divorced and could not for the life of me figure out why, that is until I looked back at our marriage and what went on year after year. What I found was not pretty, but until I faced it, I knew I could never have a successful relationship ever again.

For years I and a group of very close girlfriends had what we always called a book club. We would meet twice a month to discuss what the latest book we were supposed to have read. Key words here are “supposed to have,” because we never turned the first page of any book at all. This was our excuse to get out of the house and have a few drinks and really think of ways to cause major damage to our marriages.

At the time, major damage to our marriages was not at all what we intended, but the truth is we were kidding ourselves. Actually lying is what we were doing, but we were too busy calling it a contest to make it seem as if we were only playing around, not hurting our husbands and dooming our marriages.

We were horribly bored, because our husbands left us alone constantly to keep house and watch the kids while they worked late (whether they really worked or had an affair), played golf, worked on their cars, went fishing together, etc. We got one night every two weeks and they got the other 13, so on our one night, we made up for lost time with too much booze and drama.

We were also immature and honestly, in need of male leadership that wasn’t there, and two of our group ended up being alcoholics from trying to drown their boredom in vodka. One ended up with a “disease” from one of her affairs, and several of us are now divorced.

I guess I need to explain in detail what the contests are and the rules of the game. This way you can better understand what took place and how some of us are now alone and why at 40+ years old we are looking for jobs to put food on the table and clothes to wear.

It really started out that I did not have the ability to keep my big mouth shut when I should have sit quietly. One night after a few drinks, I bragged to my friends that I could get my husband to do anything I told him or buy me anything I asked him too. That was all it took for the idea of the contest to be born and as time went by you will see what happened.

The contest, as we called it, was just simply a cruel way to see who could get the biggest and best thing from their husband, money be damned. Each woman in the group took turns thinking of what outcome would make one the winner of the contest. There was no prize to be won except for bragging rights until the next contest.

The first contest was actually pretty mild compared to what was going on when my divorce papers were delivered. We went from seeing who could get their husbands to pay for girl’s nights out to who had the biggest and best house, car and the most expensive jewelry. At first it was so easy to pull off without the worry of the husbands finding out, but as you can guess with each bigger and better thing we wanted it would take endless hours and sometimes days to make sure all the tracks were covered and secret details of the truth hidden.

We lied to ourselves and husbands so much that we actually believed that no harm was being done and it was something they really wanted to do for us. When the truth was we were pulling string that would come back to bite some of us in the very purse we were depending on for our very lives.

I cannot remember when the first contest even started. What I can tell you is that after I shot my mouth off bragging it started with a few partially drunk women claiming to have the most control over their husbands. It was simply to have a new credit card with the highest spending limit before the next meeting of the book club. To some that is no big deal, just get the card and just not use it, right? Well, that is what a smart and sane person would do, but we were bored women who were only interested in treating our boredom by seeing what we could get out of a man.

The second contest was not so easy. It was decided at the next meeting that we needed something a little harder to get something that the men would really have to work harder to make happen for us. Mindy thought we should see who could talk their husbands into a new car. Now that did not mean it had to be brand new off the show room floor, just new to us, and with the biggest price tag. On this contest I was not the winner, but I did score a new car only a few months old. The winner of this contest if you are interested scored a brand new Lexus fully loaded with a sunroof. Even at this we still were not satisfied we all wanted to win at least once.

The third was a house if you did not already own one. This contest to some of us was nothing because we already owned homes and I knew that we had already bought the biggest and best house we could afford on his salary and I did not really participate in this one.

The next one was a new set of wedding rings with at least a $4,000 price tag. This one I took with a four-karat set of diamond wedding rings that it took my husband maxing out one credit card and taking out another one just to pay for my rings. These rings did not mean anything to me and I later sold them at a loss just to get rid of them. The truth is that I really did not like them from the start they were just something to put me on the top of the game for once.

Over the years there were many other contests and some I won and some I did not and with each loss I worked harder the next time to be the one on top. Soon this was a way of life for the women of the book club. Since our husbands weren’t giving us anything constructive or exciting to think about, all we could think about was the competition, and being women, it was fierce to say the least. For some of us it seemed like the best time of our lives, but it was really the cancer that consumed our marriages.

This is still going on with some of the women. I received an e-mail a few days ago telling me that this year there was to be a Christmas contest and the rules were that it had to be a diamond of at least one karat in a solid gold setting. The winner would be the one with the biggest price tag.

I know what I did was cruel on some level, but I can’t say that I feel bad about it, or that I will take the blame for the divorce. I was ignored to the point of not being able to love or be loved, and I was so bored that I would have done anything for a thrill. I guess we are all lucky that much worse damage wasn’t done. I will tell you this: there are times that a woman can be her own worst enemy. So be careful with the action you take and be smart. Know if you are the one being cast in the part of the fool of your marriage.

I hope that is something you can share with your readers, this was my real life and I hope others can learn from it. I’m having to restart my life at the age of 40, so you figure out who was really the one with control of the marriage in the end and who, if anyone, were the winners of any contest.

Sincerely,
Hannah


Gentlemen, I know that I talk about this a lot, and I do it because this is so much more critical an issue than what we have any frame of reference to understand or empathize with. When we get bored, we just do something goofy, grab our tools, flip on a ball game, or play grab-ass. Women can’t be satisfied with that, because their need for emotional energy is so much higher than ours.

By the time they take radical enough action to alleviate their boredom, they’ve already reached a point where rational thought, self-control, and even compassion are no longer possible, because they are truly desperate for relief. I’m not at all saying that they should never be held accountable for their actions, but I will point out that it is a whole lot easier for you to alleviate their boredom than to clean up the aftermath of them doing it themselves.

What’s really sad is that not only do women give off all kinds of signals that we could read to know when they’re in this kind of trouble but don’t know to look for them, they also tell us, but not in ways we are born to understand. For example, she doesn’t ask you if you think everything is alright to find out what you’re thinking, she asks to try to tell you that she has a problem, but you have to recognize the attempt and invite her to open up, proving that she has your attention and you care enough to listen, before she will spend the time to and effort to try to talk with you about it.

Regardless of who is ultimately responsible for a woman’s actions, there’s no denying that we can do a better job of positively influencing both their actions and our lives together. You tell me, would you rather see your wife smile because you just surprised her with a cute note or a subtle pinch or pat on the behind or see her angry and frustrated, rolling her eyes and walking out of the room? Either one is your choice, possibly even more than her own, and equally easily-achieved.

Or maybe you’d like to see, as some of the men on our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com/, have seen, what female mid-life crisis looks like up close and personal. Drop by and read about what they’ve been going through, and I’ll bet the farm you don’t want anything to do with a problem like mid-life crisis, and you’ll happy to know that women who are happy and fulfilled don’t seem to fall prey to this menace, so given that her boredom level is largely under YOUR control, you can do much to prevent it – and I suggest you do, because once it starts, there’s nothing anyone can do to arrest it and it has to run its course, possibly destroying the entire family permanently.

It’s not that we are responsible for a woman’s happiness, but we can help facilitate it much easier than they can themselves in a lot of ways. We can lead, we can share, we can protect, validate, and help to justify and celebrate their achievements. They are capable of many things, including many of the same things of which we are capable, but being far more social in nature than we are, they need a degree of social reinforcement to feel worthy of their happiness. Men generally look inside themselves for feelings of self-worth, while women are often compelled to look to others for such feelings.

The bottom line is that everything in your life needs attention, preventive maintenance, if you will. If you gas up your car and drive it until it breaks down, it will break down a lot faster, will it not? The same thing goes for your relationship and marriage. There are things you need to know and do that will keep your life together running smoothly, and it will break down quickly if you don’t know and do them.

So, you want me to give you an owner’s manual for your marriage? Sounds weird, but okay, here you go. Go to http://www.makingherhappy.com/ and download your copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," and make sure that you’re not the guy going to the poor house and divorce court because you couldn’t recognize the red light on your wife’s dashboard.

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

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Retail Therapy, Sign of a Bigger Problem in Your Relationship or Marriage, and You Can Fix It

If you’ve noticed your wife (or yourself!) buying things not for the benefit of ownership, but for the thrill of making the purchase, you have a problem on your hands. Yes, you are responsible, but it’s something you can easily fix…

As promised, I’ve posted a run-down of our trip to the Front Sight Firearms Training Institute in Pahrump, Nevada, on our forum at
http://forum.makingherhappy.com/showthread.php/416-Self-Defense-and-Home-Defense. You may remember that I said I was going to post it in the Hobbies forum there, and I apologize for that momentary lapse of reason. Competitive shooting, hunting, gun lore, etc., can be hobbies, but defense of one’s self, family, and home is a right and responsibility, not a hobby, and therefore should be addressed with the vigor and respect it deserves – that YOU AND YOUR FAMILY DESERVE.

The review is quite detailed, and after I get this newsletter posted I’m going to try to post the notes from the course that will be useful to anyone considering taking it; these notes cover where to stay, what to take, dealing with training in desert conditions, and a lot more, and should you decide to attend, you’ll definitely want to check them out as well.

I have to mention something I noticed while there, because there is a lesson in it. There were a lot of women there, and by and large, they made more progress than the men. Why? Two reasons. The first is that most of the women there had never fired a handgun before and didn’t have a lot of bad habits to overcome. The second, and apparently much bigger reason, is that women naturally respond to male leadership better than males. When an instructor would tell a male student he was doing something wrong, the man would almost invariably make some excuse or do something verbally or non-verbally that was a challenge to the instructor’s authority, even though he had paid to be trained in their methods.

The female students, on the other hand, accepted direction extremely well and made a concerted effort to perform as directed, except for one woman who was very obviously bored stiff because she had come with her husband and really didn’t want to be there. She cursed her gun, her ammo, her trainers, her targets, her range bag, and yes, most of all, her husband, for having her out there in the desert. I was quite glad when she and her loser, excuse-making husband left; he arrived with the idea that the trainers were going to make him a man and a good shot, and when he found out that he was going to have to listen, practice and perform, his favorite phrase immediately became, “Well, yeah, in theory, but…” Everybody there was performing but him, but it only worked in theory. Yeah, right. They seemed to deserve each other. ;-)

Let’s get to today’s lesson. I wish every one of you could know how much fun it is at times to be me and do what I do with and for all of you. Yes, there’s a lot of stress and frustration at times, but the success stories are exhilarating and some of the questions I get are just downright hilarious, like this one. Meet Kent:

David,

My wife and I have been married for 18 years, and we love each other deeply. However, we’ve fallen into that rut that everybody seems to fall into. We do things together and talk, but we just don’t seem to have real fun or real intimacy anymore. We’ve done nothing but sleep in our bedroom every night this year but three, and I know exactly which three they were.

If it weren’t for our hobbies, I don’t know what we’d do. I spend much of my evenings in my workshop making jewelry boxes, turning pens, and doing other small woodworking projects, and my wife watches mystery and cop shows on TV. Every few days, she’ll get particularly antsy and fidgety and announce that she’s “going out for retail therapy” and come home with a bunch of stuff that she never wears or uses and it just ends up cluttering up the house, and then she complains about it and gives it away.

I keep telling her that she’s giving away our retirement when she does this, and that she should keep receipts and return items that she’s not going to use, but she claims that’s too embarrassing for her. I’m at the end of my rope. Can you tell me how to explain to her why she needs to stop this?

Thanks,
Kent


My response:

Hi Kent!

There’s no amount of explaining that you can do that will help the situation, and that’s not because your wife is stupid, impetuous, or enjoys trying to put you into the poor house. It’s because she’s bored. The thrill of the purchase gives her a temporary rush of adrenaline and serotonin that relieves her boredom for about long enough for her to get home, then she’s over it, and the purchases go into storage where she doesn’t have to look at them and admit that the purchase was a mistake and face her embarrassment.

I don’t see your name on my customer list and you’ve only been on this newsletter list for a little over a week, so I’m going to bet that you have no idea just what a destructive emotion boredom is for women. In a nutshell, it has much of the same impact on them that sheer terror has on us. Yes, it’s really that bad. I’ve proven it 100% consistently with several hundred women. They have feelings and thoughts of desperation, are almost entirely incapable of logic, and in extreme cases even have physical manifestations like trembling hands and nausea. The good news is that this is something you can fix.

Boredom is one of the things for which a woman looks to a man to for protection; it’s the price you pay for her nurturing, and it’s a biological mechanism, not a logical one. It’s the result of chemical reactions natural to the female brain, and denying it or trying to find a way around it just doesn’t work. The good news is that acting like a man and using a few well-timed surprises and other little things can give her the small but frequent doses of excitement she needs (something so small as finding a Post-It note with a few well-chosen and heart-felt words on it will more than suffice, as an example).

You’ll find all of that and more explained in my book, should you choose to pursue it. Do the math, and I’m sure you’ll quickly realize that your wife does more damage to your checkbook in each outing than my book will do to it once, and the results are not just guaranteed, they’re a foregone conclusion if you use it. My customers have proven that consistently, time and again.

Take care, and keep in touch,
David


So how about it, Gents? Is something like this going on in your household? Wives aren’t the only ones that engage in retail therapy; men can be just as guilty of it as women. But where men can fix their boredom with a new hobby, women have the need to see a man, preferably their man, acting like a man, and to be entertained by him to some degree as well. They look to us for leadership (NOT control), and when we fail to provide it, boredom quickly ensues. Mark down the following as one of the most profound and useful things you will ever learn:

Boredom really makes women crazy. And it makes them crazy vulnerable to attraction.

That’s a double-edged sword, as some of you have found out a little too late in life. If you realize your mistake and create attraction for her to relieve her boredom, she’s swept off her feet and good to go for as long as you keep it up, but if somebody else creates it for her, it is possible for her to turn her back on you completely, especially if she has tried over the years to tell you that the problem exists and your inter-gender communications skills have been lacking enough that you didn’t understand what she was saying, because when that happens, a woman takes it that you don’t care to hear her, not that you can’t do it. Why?

Because she thinks that you speak and listen the same way she does, just as you think that she speaks and listens the same way you do, and no matter how much you want it to be that way, it just isn’t so. Both of you can easily learn the other’s natural communication style and quickly come to terms (you can easily communicate accurately with a woman by following three simple rules you’ll find in my book), but you do have to learn them and then use what you have learned.

That doesn’t take a staggering intellect; just a genuine desire. It’s not rocket science, Gentlemen. It’s women. They make up a little more than half the world’s population, and if it were that difficult, our species would have been extinct long ago – they are, after all, HUMAN, just like us. But the knowledge you need has been ignored and even buried for so long that you never got the opportunity to learn it.

Instead, you had a bunch of idiots with a misandrous political agenda telling you that to make a good impression on a woman you take her to a chick flick and cry with her, and you spend more on clothing and skin care products than she does. And you’re supposed to be nice and let her make all the decisions, like Mom said, right? Oh, and let’s not forget that absurd business about buying their love with expensive jewelry and other gifts, or impressing them with big money and expensive cars. A bunch of pure, unadulterated B.S., or “bovine fecal matter” as we used to say in the service, especially that last bit; women have told me personally that expensive gifts presented to try to buy their affection are insulting, and they will take them and then abuse the man to get back at him for insulting her.

So what’s going on at your house? Maybe your wife isn’t indulging in senseless shopping sprees, but is she happy? Fun? Engaged in your life and happiness? Or is she acting as bored, frustrated, and confused as you may be right now as you read this? Or would you even know?

Why take the chance? If you were hit with a divorce right now, what do you think it would cost you, in both financial and non-financial terms? Most of the men who write to me to say that they desperately need help because their wife just filed for divorce also say that they didn’t know that there was even a problem, so yes, that’s a fair question that you really need to answer.

Now, for a bigger question: If you could read a book that could mitigate some or all of that cost, especially the emotional cost of having that divorce bomb dropped on you, and put you back into a happy relationship, or get you out of a relationship or marriage that you never should have entered with some dignity and finesse, not to mention having a friend for an ex-wife instead of someone waiting around every corner to stick a knife in your back, would you read it?

When I had to answer that question, there wasn’t even a book to read. I had to write one! Everything I bought, studied and tried blew up in my face and made matters worse, and doing enough research and testing to be able to write my own book ended up being what was required to save the marriage. But you don’t have to write a book.

You can read mine; indeed, you can start reading it in the next few minutes. Just go to http://www.makingherhappy.com/ and download your copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage." You’ll see what I mean, and you can thank me for it when you’re done. For now, just get started! The longest journey ever completed started with a single step, and for you, this is the one.

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

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Keeping Mothers (Your or Hers) from Wrecking Your Marriage or Relationship

A mother-in-law can be a wonderful ally or a destructive juggernaut, and unfortunately is even a significant factor in choosing a mate, as those who didn’t give the issue due consideration will now attest. What can you do to ensure that your mother-in-law – or hers – doesn’t wreck your marriage?

I’ve written several issues about interaction with your mother-in-law, and if you’ve not read them, now would be a good time to do so before advancing into this fairly delicate issue. See:

The Proper Care and Feeding of Your Mother-In-Law


Your Wife’s Mother-in-Law and Your Marriage"

Today’s issue is a touchy one, one that many couples deal with, and much to their chagrin I’m sure: the issue of a pushy, bossy, over-protective, and/or just plain busy-body mother of the wife. Don’t get me wrong; men’s mother’s can be a pain in the neck, too, but wives’ mothers have a little more room to be obnoxious and we men often don’t have nearly enough appreciation for how much stress their influence can cause, nor that we can do something about it. To wit, meet Hillary:

Hi David,

My mother has dominated me in every part of my life since childhood, and won’t stop. I’m now forty years old, and she continues to be the same overbearing and over-protective woman she was when I was in pigtails. I can’t even discipline my own children or have a serious discussion with my husband without her trying to push her agenda to the exclusion of my own. She calls me several times each day and literally interrogates me about what’s going on with everyone in my family, what I’m doing, what I’m thinking, and anything else that might give her an opportunity to force her values, priorities, and opinions, which often differ from my own, on me and my family,.

There have been times when I could overcome the childhood fear of having her mad at me, but most of the time she upsets me to the point where I am reduced to that same emotional wreck I was as a small child, giving in to everything she says to seek her approval. I know that I need help with this, and I’m in counseling, but it is proving to be a long, slow battle, because the counselor says that the way she treated me is genuine emotional abuse, and was traumatizing. I don’t necessarily believe that my mother meant to hurt me, but I do know that she meant to control me and she knew that she hurt me frequently.

I’m sharing this with you because my husband of 22 years, Dirk, still refuses to get involved in this, in spite of me begging him repeatedly to do so. I’m not yet strong enough to get her off of me and keep her off, and apparently he’s not either, or else he just doesn’t care. Every time we try to talk about it, he ends up yelling at me for being weak and unable to control my mother. I need more from him than to just tolerate my mother’s abuse and leave me on my own to handle this. I need him to intervene because he should be able to be strong enough to protect me from her or anybody else who tries to abuse me. Is that too much to ask?

I don’t know what to think. I can’t get him to talk to me about this enough to know whether he really thinks my weakness is disgusting or whether he’s making a big show of being mad at me to hide the fact that he’s also afraid of her. I’ve asked him to come to just one counseling session with me so my counselor could help me sort this out, and he just gets angry about me asking and complains about the money and time I spend to go to counseling. How can I make him understand what I’m going through and why I need him to help me? I’m at the end of my rope, and I can’t get my husband to start relieving some of this stress instead of adding to it, I’m going to have to do something that we’re all going to regret, because I can’t take any more of this.

Thanks so much,
Hillary


Well Hillary, I’ll tell him for you. Have him read this, and hold an iron skillet in your hand aimed at his head when you suggest to him that he read it, just to make sure he understands the importance of the issue. ;-)

Dirk, and the rest of you, listen up. When there is a conflict between the woman in your life that even remotely involves you and is obviously not getting resolved, it’s your job and responsibility to step in and address your wife’s adversary directly, and it is imperative that you do so swiftly and firmly, but with an even hand. Why?

For starters, you’re built to fight and protect, and better suited for it, and doing so is part of what you offer in trade for the benefits of the nurturing nature of a woman – the marital contract, so to speak. It doesn’t matter if it’s your wife’s mother, your own mother, one of your daughters, somebody’s sister, or a busy-body friend who wants to stick their nose into family business; if somebody is stressing your wife to the point that she wants to talk to you about it, you need to offer to help, and if she comes out and asks you to help, you’re not a man if you don’t, let alone a husband.

Let’s clarify a thing or two before some of you get riled up and start sending nasty-grams. First, I am not implying that you should give your wife license to be a total screw-up and defend her stupidity. If she’s a substance abuser and her family is trying to talk her into straightening up, by all means you should be joining them, not protecting her from hearing the truth. That’s how you fulfill your responsibility to protect her life and well-being.

But if your mother-in-law (or your mother!) is trying to force her value system on your family as Hillary describes, or if your daughter is being an insufferable brat, or some single friend of your wife’s is relentlessly hassling her to leave her family at home and go out bar-hopping with her and won’t take “no” for an answer, some sister who has no children is trying to experience motherhood vicariously by trying to instruct your wife on how to raise your kids, or something like that, “it’s time for an intervention,” as the saying goes.

Also note that not all women will need help, and if you butt in when they are handling it they will resent your actions. You don’t need to ask permission, but you do need to verify that there is a need and that your assistance isn’t going to cause your wife to resent you for trying to help. You also need to be fully informed about what’s going on and it never hurts to hear all sides of the story before drawing your sword and shield. Your objective is to be a hero protecting his wife, not a controlling bully. “Is there anything I can do to help?” will sound and be taken quite differently from “Do I need to handle this?”

Also be aware that women have been known to adhere to deceitful and abusive family members when it came down to a choice between them and their loving, supportive husband. Yes, that sounds crazy, but there is a sort of illogical logic behind it if you can follow it. An insecure woman, especially one with issues of not getting enough attention as a child or having been abandoned by one or both parents due to divorce or death, will see her family as her “fallback” position if something goes wrong with her marriage. When I have seen this in the past, it took a combination of a strong husband not giving in to the wife’s desire to seek the approval of her family and personal counseling to resolve the childhood issues that cause her insecurity.

This is all conditional, of course, on knowing that she really wants help for a real issue and it isn’t some sort of contrived drama-fest just looking for attention, which you will know by the nature of the issue in dispute; a mother trying to exert control over an adult child and your household is a far bigger deal than some girlfriend of hers having something snide to say about her choice in shoes. You’re not required to dive into “a tempest in a teapot” unless you’re just tired of listening to all the hoopla and are shutting it down for some peace and quiet. ;-)

Now for the good news, bad news element. If you do stand up and take the leadership role and tell whomever is making life hard for your wife that they will either stop or their contact with your wife will be stopped until they can behave themselves, one of two things will happen. If your wife wants your help in the matter, you will be seen as the strong, attractive knight in shining armor and you’ll quickly see her love, trust, and appreciation of you skyrocket, and her attraction switches will also be flipped on full power. You gotta love it when that happens…

However, if your wife is very emotionally damaged (provided that you have listened carefully and have appropriately stepped in to take appropriate action), she may in fact become enraged, defending those from whom you were protecting her! This is the worst of all possible scenarios, especially if she refuses to see that there is a problem, and is a sign that you in fact married the wrong woman, because she is too damaged or for some other reason just doesn’t choose to love you and be loyal to you as a wife should be to a husband, which is not one whit less than a husband should love and be loyal to his wife.

Unconditional love you say? Don’t get me started. If you think you can love someone and remain married and loyal to someone who does not love you and cannot remain loyal to you, then you deserve every ounce of pain you endure because of it. To love is to value. How can you value that which does not value you, disrespects you, and would act to steal or destroy your life? How can you remain loyal to that which would cheat you out of your life, or abuse you as you try to share your life? How can you even consider loving or remaining loyal to someone who has a reckless disregard for any life, especially theirs and yours?

There must be a condition for real love to exist: that it is offered in trade for your fair share of the same, otherwise you pour your life down the drain, offering it to those who would destroy it without regard for the fact that every second you give of your life is one that can never be recovered. Anyone who would have you believe otherwise is setting you up to steal a piece of you for himself or herself, just like those who would have you believe that money or the love of money is the root of all evil is looking to take your money from you for himself or herself. And no, that’s not my opinion, that’s the reality that surrounds us, and you ignore it at your own peril. If you want proof, all you need to do is open your eyes, but if you can’t see it, just ask.

So there it is, Gentlemen. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to be a man, protect your wife and family when necessary (all the way, and if you aren’t up to going all the way, I strongly suggest a trip to Front Sight Firearms Training Institute for at least a defensive handgun course, because when seconds count, the police are always just minutes away), and protect yourself in the process. That can be a tall order, especially if you don’t know how to communicate well with women, but if you do it right, with justice (the principle of getting exactly what one earns and therefore deserves, no more and no less) and reason as your sword and shield, your reward will be everything your wife can muster to love and nurture you. That’s a prize worth winning, for sure!

So how about it? Are you fit for duty? Do you have the communications skills, the understanding of women, and the “intestinal fortitude” to handle the job? If you do, I’m a bit curious as to why you are reading this, but if there is even the slightest question in your mind as to whether you could maneuver through this mine field successfully, including navigating through any possible aftermath, then you need to go to http://www.makingherhappy.com/ and download your copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" and go through Uncle David’s “boot camp in a book” before the situation arises. You can join us at the forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com/, as well, and tap the immense resources of minds who have already been where you are going and navigated safely through.

Or, if you really want, you can wait and try to learn how to do this when you’re already under fire and too stressed out to make good decisions. Do yourself a favor and do it now while you can do it the easy way; I’ve done it the hard way and in a nutshell, the hard way really sucks, more than you can imagine before you’ve lived through it.

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

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Reader Responses to Female Eruptions and Getting the Short End of the Stick in Your Relationship and Marriage

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

I’m still catching up from being gone to the Front Sight Firearms Training Institute last week, gradually digging out of the hole, and when I take a break to reset for the next task, I take a few minutes and make notes on the Front Sight trip that will be useful to any who want to attend. I’ll be posting them in the Hobbies section of our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com/, when complete, and I’ll post a link for you at that time.

Again, it is an experience I would recommend to anyone, no matter how green or skilled you think you might be. I have never seen a finer training program, especially with training you to defend your home safely, with full consideration for the fact that if you are prowling around investigating a noise, you may run upon a child, spouse, neighbor, or police officer, and need to be able to quickly identify anything you see and treat it appropriately. There are times when you issue a warning, such as when you don’t see a weapon, and times when you shoot on sight, such as when you see a ski mask on an intruder’s face and an Uzi in their hands.

You’ll find that there are right ways and wrong ways to deploy a flashlight in a home search, some of which will help you stop an intruder and some of which will be a big bullseye for the intruder to stop YOU. And there are some really expensive accessories, like laser sighting systems, that can do more to get you killed than they can to help you hit your target by disclosing your location too far in advance. All of this and more is covered in great detail by some really impressive people; as I said, on my own training cadre were a US Navy SEAL and a former member of Korean Special Forces. Check it out and see for yourself.

By the way, there is a lot more to the site and there are a lot more programs being offered than what’s on that linked page. There are two-day (20-hours of instruction and training) classes being offered right now for $49, so make sure you sign up for their newsletter to get notification of these offers.

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

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

Good morning David

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

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

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

Cheers
Keith


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

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

Cheers
Keith

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Faith

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, October 18, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Care to join us? We’re literally in a revolution, revolting against the mistaken and life-destroying ideas that bad relationships can only get worse or must be suffered in silence, that it takes months of expensive therapy to get over common problems, that bedroom intimacy is going to die, no matter what, after you’ve been together for a year or two and an affair is the only way that you’re ever going to enjoy that kind of life again.

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

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

Sunday, October 17, 2010

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

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

After an intense week of defensive handgun training at the Front Sight Firearms Training Institute near Pahrump, Nevada, I am back, sunburned, about half exhausted, and wishing that everyone would go through a week like this. Personal safety is a personal responsibility, and a man who won’t acknowledge that responsibility and the responsibility for the safety of his family isn’t a man. As you may have heard, “When seconds count, the police are just minutes away.”

This program will help anyone, even the absolute newbie who has never fired a pistol before, to become proficient in using a pistol for defense of home and person (I was already an expert marksman but wanted to take the course to update tactical methods), determine what criteria they would use to determine when the use of deadly force is appropriate, choose an appropriate weapon, holster, etc., and even how to shoot in low-light conditions, such as an intruder in your home in the middle of the night, without endangering anyone else who might be in your house because they are supposed to be there. Everything is about safety and accuracy, hitting the target and nothing else.

I must also say I have never seen a finer training staff. The trainers I was exposed to were military and police range masters of many years, a Navy SEAL, a Korean Special Forces vet (a soldier in Korea’s Special Forces, not a Korean soldier in the US Army Special Forces), and a couple of US Army Special Forces vets. Yet in spite of all the military and paramilitary experience, there was no bulldogging or badgering, no barking, no hazing or other abuse. It was intense, but because of the focus required and constant eye to safety, not because of someone in your face yelling all the time, and I have to say more fun than about anything I’ve ever done with my clothes on. It impressed me enough to make me want to become an affiliate, I highly recommend it, and if you want to check it out, visit this page for more information.

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

Hi David,

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

Joel


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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