Saturday, November 20, 2010

Buying Her Off With a Gift, a Great Way to Ruin a Great Relationship and Marriage

For all you who have made that most dire of mistakes with women, trying to buy their affection, attention, approval, silence, forgiveness, or flesh, heed the words of one of my best friends and students…

In the post-holiday letters that come in, I see mostly success stories from readers who have been following me for a while and did a good job, and a few requests for help from those who didn’t get expected results from their previous offerings to their wives. Today I’m trying to take preemptive action to get those of you who still don’t understand this to get prepared well in advance of “the holidays” and get it right this year.

I’ve revealed how to handle this both in "THE Man's Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" and in several newsletters that reveal that section of my book. I usually publish a newsletter a week or two ahead of traditional gift-giving holidays; it was published in October and will probably be published again around Thanksgiving just to make sure the newbies see it.

For those of you who got it wrong in the past and want to get an early look at how to get it right, see http://forum.makingherhappy.com/showthread.php/423-Choosing-the-Perfect-Gift-for-the-Woman-in-Your-Relationship-or-Marriage for the aforementioned instructions on choosing a gift for a woman, but there are few of you who are needing special attention, not because of how you chose a gift, but why; giving a gift to buy your way into a woman’s good graces (or her sexual favor) or buy your way out of the doghouse is a REALLY bad idea, in case you had not noticed. And I have just the thing for you, a highly-effective wake-up call from the real world. Dig in…

For those of you who’ve caught the “King Arthur and the Witch” contest I have every year, you’ll remember David C., who was one of the contest winners. He’s become a very close friend and one of my greatest students, and his job, managing a convenience store, puts him in an ideal place to study women. Hence, he occasionally sends me a pearl of great value to share with you all. Without further ado:

Dear David,

As a convenience store manager, I meet, talk to and get to know a lot of different women, from young girls to professional business women. I easily see and talk to at least 40 or 50 a day and on seeing your newsletter about gifts for women, I asked a few for their comments and heard from quite a few others without saying anything. It seems no matter what the season, Valentine's Day, a birthday, an anniversary, or Christmas, they keep hoping for something unique and special. Flowers, rings, necklaces are expected and not very special because of that. What I wanted to mention though was how often I saw and heard the frustration from them about feeling like he's trying to buy them off.

Instead of talking to her, learning what's making her so angry and snippy, they buy her something to try and appease her. They take it usually because they don't want to hurt his feelings. They try and give him credit for at least putting forth some effort but are frustrated at the same time. "Why can't he understand it's not the gifts I want, it's him?"

It's also sad but funny to hear the men talk about how nothing seems to make her happy. No matter what they get her, it's okay for a while but it's back to the carping at him again. When I try to explain, “Maybe she just wants you to spend some fun time with her,” they shake their head. Why?

Most commonly because they see watching TV, eating out or catching a movie as their fun time. Then when they get home it's back to business, a hobby or on the computer. Why can't she see he's busy? He's trying to relax and unwind after a stressful day and she's hounding him to do all this stuff. There's a show on TV he wants to watch, a game or work to get ready for tomorrow.

They are stumped why the kids can give her a page from their crayon book and tell her I did it for you Mommy and you can see the word Mommy scrawled across the top and she cries or gets all worked up and they're baffled why. I've heard more than a few ladies getting ready to go out who refuse to allow a guy to buy their way in because they think it automatically entitles them to go home with them.

I can tell you from first-hand experience, ALL the women I've talked to resent feeling "bought off." Flowers to say they're sorry, a necklace or perfume because he missed an anniversary or something. "Here honey. Take this and get off my back, would ya?" holds no water with a real woman. And yes, many have broken off relationships because they got sick of all the presents and feeling like a tramp because of them. They got tired of feeling "obligated" to be nice because he got her "things" instead of him.

Tell the men out there, trying to make a woman obligated to you will only send her out the door that much sooner. It won't save your relationship, get your butt out of hot water or make her forgive you. It will only turn her resentment, frustration and anger deeper. She will give you a little credit at first, but if it turns into a habit, get ready to sign some papers. I mention this because it's not getting better, according to the women I talk to, even the young ones, it's getting much worse.

Thanks for the great stuff!

David C.


That pretty much says it all, doesn’t it? There is nothing that any good woman would freely give you that you can buy, and any attempt to buy that which they deeply want to give someone in like-kind exchange will insult them and/or hurt them. Don’t do it, because whatever is wrong, trying to buy your way out of it will just make it worse.

Successful relationships and marriages are about partnership and sharing, not leverage, manipulation, and control. If you disagree, you need to seek psychotherapy, because you either have a monumental self-esteem problem or a personality disorder such as narcissism, borderline personality disorder, or antisocial disorder.

David is now one of the administrators on our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com. When we met, he was like about every other man, clueless when it comes to women, and now he’s such a master that I have invited to help me to teach the rest of you. And there are others, too. This isn’t some great mystery, or rocket science. It’s something every heterosexual man on Earth can easily grasp and take on because he’s wired for it.

So what do you do if you want the love, attention, forgiveness, etc., of a good woman? I’ve published over a thousand newsletters on the subject, but rather than read all 6,000 pages of those newsletters, there are exactly two things you should do:

First, download my free – and very substantial – report, “What Women REALLY Want,” at http://forum.makingherhappy.com/showthread.php/144-Free-Reports! and get the whole real scoop. Then, when you’ve seen the error of your ways and you’re ready to step up to the real deal, the dream relationship and marriage of a lifetime, go to http://makingherhappy.com and download my book, "THE Man's Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" and get on the path to happiness while you still have some life left to live. Or just keep screwing up and being miserable. It’s your call. Make it a good one. ;-)

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

Friday, November 19, 2010

What to Do When She's "Mean" to You: Horseplay and "Picking" in Relationships and Marriage

Men frequently write to me complaining that their wives pick at them, needle them, push them to do things they don’t want to do, etc. How are you supposed to handle this? The answer might surprise you…

I get a lot of letters like the following, and I’ve addressed the issue in "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," but the frequency of these letters is scary. There are too many men who don’t recognize what this issue really is and how to deal with it, and families are literally coming apart at the seams because of this simple misunderstanding. Meet Jeff:

Hello David,

I need help. I haven’t yet read your book but I’ve been reading your newsletters for awhile and I think you can tell me this. My wife has picked up a bad habit of picking on me, making fun of me, being a smart-ass in front of our friends, etc. It’s really abrasive and embarrassing, and getting worse by the day. The more I ask her to stop, the more she does it, like she’s trying to push me into a fight. How can I stop it?

Thanks,
Jeff

Well Jeff, you slacking cheapskate, if you’d read my book you’d know! ;-) Just kidding! LOL! Seriously, she’s not trying to start a fight at all. She’s trying to get you to stand up to her and play with her! You’re boring her to tears, and she’s trying to bring you out of your shell.

Women like challenge, and they like a man to act like he “has a pair.” She’s challenging you to a verbal “joust” to have some fun. What she’s expecting from you is that you pick back at her, not in a mean, hurtful, insulting way, but in that fun, naughty, pranksterish way as you probably cut up with your friends, at least at first, escalating it to get into chasing, tickling, playful pinching or spanking – you know, that kid stuff that you used to do when you drove her wild!

What’s happening now is that she’s trying harder and harder to provoke you into showing that you have reproductive glands and a sense of humor, which is, in effect, punishment for not doing so all along. If you don’t do it, you’ll find her losing interest in you pretty soon, so you’d better be finding your sense of humor, fast.

And we are talking about humor here, no matter how pissy you might think she’s being. If she makes a smart crack about your big feet, make a smart crack about something that obviously IS NOT a problem; i.e., only make a remark about her big butt if she DOES NOT have a big butt and doesn’t obsess about having one. Find something to exaggerate to crack wise about so that it’s obvious that you’re playing, else you may strike a nerve and end up starting a fight while trying to play.

I cannot overstress how you need to exercise a little sensitivity here. If she stubs her toe and is limping around but not seriously injured or embarrassed about the accident, then calling her “gimpy” is fair game, but if she is crippled, or if there was something embarrassing about the injury, like she was in a public place, stubbed her toe and ended up dumping a cup of coffee on a white blouse in front of her boss because of it, “gimpy” is off limits, at least until you see that she’s over the embarrassment, which will usually be if and when you see her smile or laugh a bit when talking about it with a girlfriend.

The idea is to be obviously fun with your picking to give her a giggle and demonstrate that you are a playful guy, not some wuss who can’t take a joke and is afraid to dish one out for her or a jerk who is retaliating and being a mean bully instead of going along with the joke. If you’re still not sure how to pull this off, the women on our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com, would be happy to help you figure it out. There are times when a woman’s perspective is invaluable, you know?

Women don’t really want that much from us, Gents. It’s just that what they want is virtually left untaught these days; they’re politically incorrect for wanting it, and we’re politically incorrect for giving it to them. However, I am teaching it, after learning it from some gurus before me and adapting and expanding that by working with several hundred married women and their husbands, and I’ll teach you if you want to learn. Screw political correctness. It wasn’t in my wedding vows; was it in yours?

So how about it? Are you ready to learn what may turn out to be the most valuable lessons of your life? Remember all those jokes you cracked about nobody ever being able to understand women, or know what they want, or what they’re saying, or how to pass all those damnable tests and traps they’re always laying for us? I could give you the old “be the first kid on your block to own it” spiel, but it doesn’t really matter if you’re first. What matters is that you’re successful, as quickly as you can get there.

The quickest path to lasting success in your relationship is to go to http://www.makingherhappy.com and download your copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," and then just reading it and putting it to work. You’ll not find too many opportunities where you can have so much fun being so successful, if you find any at all like this one, so get busy.

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

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Getting It Done, No Matter What "IT" Is, Is Great for Your Relationship and Marriage

There are all sorts of things that create or kill attraction, both in dating and in committed relationships and marriage. In dating, unpredictability is wildly attractive, but in a committed relationship, while unpredictability is attractive to a degree (and under several unsurprising constraints), it is far surpassed by…

When I was growing up, I was constantly hammered about character, especially in terms of doing what you say you will do when you say you will do it. "Do what you say you'll do, perform as if somebody is watching even when they aren't, shake hands with a firm grip, look people in the eye when speaking or listening, always be on time no matter what, hold your head up and speak clearly. That's what a man does, Son. He respects himself and is respected because of it." The lesson sunk in, too, so much so that while I hold nobody to a higher standard than I hold myself, incompetence and tardiness are nearly intolerable to me.

When you keep your promises consistently, no matter how large or small they are, it creates the one form of predictability that actually enhances attraction. Normally, predictability equates to boredom for women, and unpredictability in a man provides a never-ending chain of surprises and delights. However, doing what you say you will do in a timely manner, being on time for appointments and dates, and keeping people apprised of changing schedules when circumstances beyond your control do make keeping a scheduled appointment or milestone impossible is a hallmark of good character, personal strength, self-respect, and leadership, the combination of which is the hallmark of strong, heroic alpha male behavior that women find so irresistible.

In addition to projecting that crucial image of trustworthy, competent leadership, in this day and age, you’re also distinguishing yourself from the vast majority of other people as special, because incompetence and lackadaisical attitude has become so prevalent that while we don’t like it, most of us have come to expect incompetence, lack of commitment, and tardiness from the majority of people and businesses we deal with daily. Showing your partner that you are one of us rare men who get things not just done, but done well, and on time every time makes her feel as if she has the “catch of the county,” and when you do anything that tweaks and satisfies a woman’s sense of competitiveness, you’re making magic.

Another thing you must see is that even the most secure women want a man to make them feel “safe,” that is emotionally, physically, and financially (not so much that she will be “kept” as just being plain responsible, especially with debt-management and retirement planning), and showing such self-respect, leadership, and character marks you as a man into whom she can invest her emotions, energy, and life without fear of becoming one of the horror stories that other women are telling. You’ve heard the stories they tell, stories of men who falsely promised love to get sex, hung around just long enough to spend the woman’s savings, acted like such a great guy until the first time he got mad or depressed and beat her, left her, or just got drunk and worthless and stayed that way. Being able to see you as a man who gets things done is one of those really big things that makes the difference between a guy who’s a fun date and a guy she’ll give anything to spend her life with.

If you find yourself unable to meet a lot of commitments, consistently tardy, or having things blow up in your face frequently, and it doesn’t bother you, wake up, because you’re bothering the hell out of the rest of us. However, if you are indeed concerned and just can’t seem to find the answer, the first step is to make sure you are looking in the right place. It’s not the system’s fault or everybody else’s, or for that matter anybody’s FAULT. Fault and blame are the tools that losers use to evade what you should be focused on, which is RESPONSIBILITY.

When you take responsibility for performing competently and being timely, you can look to yourself for the answer. Am I late because I’m overloading myself, or because I just wait until the last minute to start? Am I incompetent because I don’t know enough to do a good job, or because I’m ill-suited to the task, or because I dislike it so much that I really don’t want to do it at all? Just find out what it is that is causing the problem and fix it. For example…

No, wait. Before I give you an example, I’m going to very quickly answer the question that has some of you scratching your head: “Why is it so important to be timely?” Because when you keep people waiting, you are wasting THEIR life, in addition to your own. It’s bad enough when you can’t respect yourself enough to do what you say you’ll do, but when you tie somebody else up by being late when you had the ability and the choice available to you to be on time, you’re disrespecting them, and interfering with their ability to achieve what they have on their schedule in a timely fashion. Look past the end of your nose and realize that your attitude and actions can have a negative impact on the lives of others that they have not earned, and minimize it. Otherwise, you make people want to disassociate from you at best, and beat you severely at worst – not exactly the formula for attraction, huh?

Now, for your examples…

If your wife is always riding you because the yard work is getting put off, ask yourself why it’s being put off. Is your schedule too over-loaded? Do you have arthritis or something else that makes it painful? Or something that makes it irritating, like a grass allergy? Is it just much lower on your priority scale than on hers and you never make it down that far on the list? If the cause is something that you can’t remedy yourself, then hire it out. If it is something you can remedy, like with a “riding mower” to overcome arthritis or a surgical mask and antihistamines to overcome allergies, do it.

If you just hate doing it, then see if you can trade that chore with your wife or somebody else who does enjoy it for something that you enjoy doing that they aren’t good at or don’t like. Barter is the oldest form of trade, and the oldest form of cooperative problem-solving. Maybe you like fiddling with cars and your neighbor likes mowing the grass. Change his oil and do his tune-ups in exchange for him doing your yard. You both win.

We swap chores at my house. I hate yard work. I don’t mind the labor, and I love being outside. The repetitiveness is boring, I have a grass pollen allergy, and it reminds me too much of the farm work I did as a child that I hated, which in turn wasn’t because it was hard work, but because it kept me from extra-curricular activities and was as boring as riding the lawn tractor. Yes, it’s an “issue,” and maybe one that I could deal with better, but I don’t have to deal with it, because my wife loves to do yard work.

She likes repetitive tasks, likes being outdoors, and enjoys the fresh air and the smell of freshly cut grass. I’m an exceptionally-skilled chef, and I do all the cooking, which she doesn’t like to do. That’s not to say that I don’t help with an outdoor project, like setting a flower bed or building a planter, or that my wife doesn’t occasionally cook. We’ve each traded the ongoing responsibility for the timely completion of tasks that we deem as chores for the responsibility of the timely completion of tasks that we deem as fun and enjoyable.

As a quick aside, I told you guys that anything goes on the Hobbies section of our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com, and you guessed it, there’s been a bunch of gardening discussion in there while discussions of kissing, hugging, mid-life crises, etc., are going on in the various relationships forums. We’re exploring chili peppers, Lord Baltimore hibiscus, spinning primroses (I found a great video of their incredibly rapid opening on YouTube and posted it), and I suspect by the time I log on again, other stuff, too, so drop by and learn something, give us your two cents’ worth, introduce yourself, and have a good time. And, believe it or not, I finally have the notes ready to post concerning my recent trip to the Front Sight Firearms Training Institute that will be of special interest to women, and I’ll try to have them up in the next 24 hours, so watch for them.

Handy tip: When visiting the forum, you’ll notice a button on the tool bar that says, “What’s New?” and it will produce a list of all threads containing posts you’ve not yet seen.

The bottom line is that there is always a way to handle whatever comes up, if you just use your head and think it through instead of letting your emotions interfere or letting problems just fester unattended. And, when you handle things as they come up, meet your commitments in terms of both outcome and schedule, it builds your self-esteem and you are seen and appreciated by everyone else as a man’s man. It’s also an especially effective turn-on for the woman in your life, the kind that she will not only appreciate, but nurture and defend (but if it just stopped the nagging it would be great, right? LOL! Just kidding!)

Guys, there are a lot of small, simple things that you can do to spice up and strengthen your relationship that on the surface may not even seem to have any bearing on it, things that you should be doing for your own sake, or that of your business. When you understand your partner’s needs, both by knowing all you can know about female mental and emotional mechanisms and learning how to effectively communicate with her so that you can be aware of her individual needs at all times as well, you can take a sub-mediocre relationship to rock-solid and hotter than nine kinds of hell in a matter of weeks or even days, as many of my readers have, provided that the two of you are just fairly compatible and have a positive basis for the relationship.

(Having been through a shared trauma like an unwanted pregnancy, tornado, or a hostage situation and getting married in a fit of passion just because you survived it together without any common values, common priorities, etc., does not make for “fairly compatible” partners.)

What do you need to proceed?

Just some solid, tested and proven information like I’ve included in "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage." It worked for the 118 couples in the test group during its development, and if it’s not working for anybody who’s using it now, they’ve not told me. I get letters daily with success stories from readers, and in fact, here’s one that arrived as I was composting this newsletter:

David,

Thank you so much for your newsletters and your e-book.

I have to say that you have helped me more than you could know. I started reading your book when things in my marriage went south. I was unable to salvage that relationship, due mostly to my spouse's issues rather than mine. I was in extreme wussy mode towards the end of my marriage and have made great strides in removing that mentality from my existence.

I have since entered into another relationship and have put into practice many of the things that you suggest. My new lady friend has made comments to me such as "I really like your self-esteem" - "everyone says you’re a nice guy, but there is a naughty side to you too" and other comments along this line.

I have caught myself at times slipping into wussy mode and have kicked myself out of it. Your teachings have helped me not only in this relationship but with myself in general. I can't thank you enough.

Sincerely,
Steve


I often share readers’ letters when they hold a lesson for the rest of you and can be conveyed while maintaining the reader’s privacy, and this one just happened to pop up saying something you needed to hear, that a real guy with real problems took this ball and ran with it, and he’s happy now. You’re welcome to peruse my newsletter archive on our forum at your leisure for other testimonials and lessons, as well as download my free reports and put them to work for you right now. But…

Your best move right now is to go to http://www.makingherhappy.com and get your copy of this instantly downloadable e-book, "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," and get started, because it works, and you should never put off until tomorrow the success and happiness that you can have today. That’s how a real man lives, getting it done when it’s there to do and moving on, happily, not stressing about what he’s going to do next. And come on over and join our forum where you can find people of similar experience to be your mentors and emotional support. That’s why we’re gathered there.

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

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Firing a Bad Partner from Your Life, Career, Relationship or Marriage

What do you do when a romantic partner or life partner shows you that they are a detriment to your life and instead of supporting you and growing with you, want to destroy you as they destroy their self? This is a dark subject, and probably the darkest edition of this newsletter I have written, but it’s one you won’t want to miss, no matter how happy you are, because it has relevance -- and possibly purpose – in every part of each of our lives.

This is a sad day for me, because I have to “fire” a reader for the first time. That’s right. There is a reader who is such a loser with such a defeatist attitude that he refuses to be helped, and I can no longer afford the time and energy to try to help someone who so obviously doesn’t want to be helped. However, rather than sit and lament, I’m going to turn it into a relationship lesson so that the rest of you may learn something from this experience.

My policy is to not reprint letters without the permission of the writer, a courtesy that I have not seen anyone else practice on any other newsletter, but I am going to reprint part of this reader’s letter today and give him a fake name, because loser or not, I’ll not violate his privacy or anyone else’s. In fact, the fake name I’m going to give him is simply “Loser,” not because he disagrees or asks questions, but because he’s too busy denying anything could work for him to try anything or listen to the answers to his questions. People like this, in any part of your life, are a drag and a drain. Here’s an excerpt from his letter:

Hello again, David,

As usual, I can’t see why you think that this could possibly work to any productive purpose. Why should I go through the trouble of faking a “naughty boy” act for a women to get her to like me better, or try any of this other stuff you keep harping about? Even if this stuff does work for some buff young stud muffin, why would I think this would work for me, being overweight, middle-aged and balding? If all you experts have so much wonderful advice to give, why isn’t everybody happy? If your advice is so good, why don’t you send it to me and let me pay you for it after it works for me instead of making me ask you for a refund?

(Several more paragraphs of self-defeating negativity omitted here to spare you…)

Loser


I sent him the following direct response:

Dear Loser,

As of today, you have been on my mailing list for 22 days. On 17 of those 22 days, you have e-mailed me stating that nothing I’ve recommended could possibly work, yet asking me for a free copy of my book. Listen up, because this is the last free advice or other favor I’m going to waste my time giving you:

You’re attitude isn’t that of an achiever, or even a skeptic or a pessimist; it’s truly that of a loser. You’re insecure about being unattractive because of your increasing age, weight, and hair-loss, and rather than taking the achiever’s path of looking for a solution, you’re taking the coward’s path of looking for confirmation that you’re hopeless and therefore can’t be expected to do any better so you won’t have to try.

I’m not going to apologize for being blunt about this, because the 17 letters I’ve already sent you to try to help you see, among other things, that I am middle-aged, overweight, and losing my hair yet quite happy have produced nothing but frustration for either of us – for me, because you don’t want to improve, and for you, because I won’t be your enabler and confirm for you that any effort you might make would be wasted.

I however, will waste no more effort with you; I’ve spent more than a full work-day trying to help you see that you can be attractive to your wife and everyone else, and you refuse to even try to listen or understand, let alone try to do anything to make it happen. I have removed you from my mailing list, and ask that you don’t reinsert your name unless and until you decide that you want some help being more than what you are instead of confirmation that “not good enough is good enough.”

In short, your fired, and if you don’t get off your butt and realize that you can make a change and can lead a productive and happy life by doing nothing more than changing your attitude to that of a man and doing what comes natural afterwards, your wife and employer will likely be considering the same action. My list of readers is for achievers, heroes, and winners, not cowards, whiners, or losers.

Sincerely,
D. Cunningham


Folks, there are several lessons here. Before I get into them, I want to point out that I have never suggested, let alone instructed, anyone to fake anything. That’s how bad his self-image was; he couldn’t even conceive the possibility of genuinely feeling like a man. And now to the lessons:


First, I hope it’s crystal clear that nothing I did or said was done to punish this man; I was indeed trying to help him, and spent a little over nine hours reading and writing to him to try to get him up on his feet and get him moving. I coach and consult for $130-$450 per hour, depending on the project and expertise required, and have plenty of work with plenty of customers, so I don’t need a $39 book sale bad enough to work one hour for it, let alone over nine, and I really wanted to see the guy develop some self-esteem and accomplish something.

Doom, gloom, laziness, and cowardice are insidious foes that can slowly creep into the lives of the best of people when they are having a weak moment, and slowly erode their self-esteem until there is nothing left of them. It can happen so slowly that you never see it happen, rather like the frog who would jump if dropped into a pot of boiling water but would lie still and boil to death if placed in cool water and slowly heated on the stove until it boiled.

I sincerely hope that if I started exhibiting this behavior, there would be someone around to call it to my attention and give me a chance to recognize and correct it. That is why I said what I said. I said it bluntly as men must have it to take it seriously, yet also left the door open for him to return if and when he gets his mind and attitude right and is fit to participate in any kind of self-improvement instead of blocking his e-mail address.

That is the second lesson. When somebody wants help and is willing to participate in it, go for it if you can afford to and want to, but you cannot allow someone, no matter what kind of plea they make to you, to dump their problems on you and expect you to fix it for them when they are not willing to be a part of the solution and work for it.

In a relationship, the most flagrant examples of this would be:

• The addict who won’t stop using…(right Larry?)

• The abuser who won’t seek help to address the problems that make them abusive…(right Mike, Gene, and Warren?)

• The liar who would endure ten times the repercussions of a lie rather than tell -- or face -- the truth…(Right Noel, Will, John, Jake, and Louis?)

• The self-validating self-deceiver who would spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on weight loss drugs and supplements and blame the drugs when they kept gaining weight because they also maintained a poor diet and didn’t exercise…(right Garrett, Boyd, Dallas, and David?)

• The chronic complainer who always has a gripe to express but never has a single word to say about anything they have actually tried or even would be willing to try to fix it... (right, about a quarter of my mailing list?)

These kinds of people, no matter how they approach you, can do nothing but destroy your life if you let them, and you have to cut them off, even if you have made the mistake of marrying them, if you are ever to find true happiness. You can’t take responsibility for curing a problem they don’t want to cure.

Some would say that is a cruel attitude, but I submit that it is not cruelty but justice, as they are getting exactly what they have earned. It is also justice that if they should manage to turn their life around that you give them an opportunity to show they have achieved it. You should celebrate it with them if they have done so instead of holding an eternal grudge based on some ridiculous emotional idea like “they didn’t think me important enough to straighten up for me.”

People with problems fix their problems for themselves, and for nobody else, ever, under any conditions. That is the meaning of the old saying about leading a horse to water but not being able to make them drink. They will drink if and when they are thirsty, not when you tell them you want them to drink because you want to be that important to them that they would do it for you.

I started “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage” with a set of guidelines and questions to help you evaluate yourself, your partner, and your relationship for that very reason. Love can’t happen and attraction doesn’t matter in the least if you are bound to a person that cannot allow their self or you to be happy. You must recognize such a person, whether it is you or your partner, before any progress toward fixing the problem can be made.

Whether something’s “a little off” or there’s a pool at your office in which people are betting on who in your relationship dies first and how, there’s help in identifying and fixing it in "THE Man's Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage." Download your copy today at http://www.makingherhappy.com, and join us at our forum at http://forum.makingherhappy.com.

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

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

(MUST READ) When She Gets Mad: Keeping the Peace in Relationships and Marriage

Women get mad at us for a lot of different reasons, a significant number of which have nothing whatsoever to do with us. Handle it wrong and you’re in the dog house; handle it right and you’re golden…

Today you’re going to get a HUGE favor. I’ve abstained from writing about today’s subject in this newsletter because quite frankly it’s something I want men to learn after reading my book, but something has happened that compels me to do so before I can do another thing.

I got a call telling me that another of my best friends has died, this one in a car crash after he and his wife had an argument about something they shouldn’t have even been discussing at the time. She was moody and upset, needed an outlet, picked a fight with him over something he’d said two weeks prior, and he left in a huff, apparently to try to cool off.

He got plowed at an intersection. He was not intoxicated or otherwise impaired, but witnesses said he ran a red light and was struck in the driver’s side door by an oncoming car. It was only two blocks from his home, so while there is no way of knowing what really happened, we must admit that there is at least a high probability that he was angry or otherwise distracted, or possibly driving too aggressively, and paid for it with his life. Fortunately, the driver of the car that hit him sustained only minor injuries thanks to safety belt and air bags.

Dane was a good guy, a very rugged, manly man, but he was stubborn as the day is long and repeatedly refused to read a copy of “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage” because he thought it was silly for a man to read a book about how to get along with women. A pity, because it could have saved his life.

Dane never learned how to deal with his wife’s temper and moodiness. He had an odd temperament himself; it took a lot to make him angry, but if you pushed him that far, he went all the way and just blew up. He never hit his wife, and never said anything purposely to hurt her, but he would yell and knock things over and then leave to keep from destroying his home any further or hurting his wife, and thought that was handling it well enough. As I said, a good guy, but stubborn.

So to try to make sure that this doesn’t happen to any of you, I’m going to tell you about women’s anger and how to handle it. And I will ask something of you in return for improving your relationship and possibly saving your life as well, but we’ll get to that in a bit…

Sometimes women just get angry to bleed off the emotional energy of being bored and frustrated. I’ve written frequently and at length about this problem how to avoid it, and you can find a lot of articles in my archive about it, but the two most relevant are “Women’s Biggest and Loudest Complaint About Men, and What You Can Do About It BEFORE It Kills Your Relationship” and “Differing Emotional Scales: A Key to Understanding Women and Improving Your Relationship.”


If you’ve not read them, please do so, because understanding boredom and a woman’s emotional scale are critical to properly handling and avoiding fights.

Women can also easily get mad at you for something they THINK you’ve done, without first trying to find out whether in fact you’ve done it. They’re much more emotionally-driven than we are, and worse, emotionally-dominated. The reasons for both these traits are spelled out in the two aforementioned archived articles, so I won’t repeat them here; there’s already a lot that must be said (and read) today and limited space (and time) in which to say it (and read it).

Then the clincher, they get mad at you over something you really have done, whether you realize it or not. It’s important that you understand all this so that you will then understand how critical it is to try to find out which kind of anger you’re dealing with. For instance, if she’s mad at you for something you haven’t done, there’s not a whole lot you can do to “undo” it, right?

So, the obvious first step is to try to determine, OBJECTIVELY, whether she has a legitimate issue, just thinks she does, or doesn’t care whether she does because she just needs to vent and you happen to be handy.

If she’s just in a foul mood or picking a fight over something ridiculous, point out to her that she’s angry at something that normally wouldn’t be an issue, and that you’ll be happy to either try to do something with her to bleed off that energy or she can pitch a fit at somebody else, because being a whipping post isn’t in your job description.

Or, if you’ve mastered the art of the naughty boy grin, call the preceding “plan B” and bust on her a bit and convert that negative energy to positive, playful energy. Even if you’ve not mastered it, give it a shot, and if she insists on remaining pissy then go with “plan B.”

It’s a little tougher when she thinks you’ve done something that you haven’t, because you’re facing genuine anger instead of general moody pisstivity. She thinks she really has an issue.

Instead of sticking your foot in your mouth and blurting, “What did I do?” which almost instantly pins guilt on you by triggering psychological anchors from past fights, or “What’s wrong with you?” which is absurd when you think about it because it’s obvious that what’s wrong with her is that she’s angry, in a leadership tone, tell her, “Tell me what’s really bothering you so we can get it fixed and move on.”

It’s important that you direct her to open up rather than asking her anything. The act of leadership alone will help to calm her anger and subconsciously make her feel like you are interested in listening and making amends. The same thing applies when you suspect that she really has a legitimate issue, and the same process should be followed up to this point.

The difference here, when you’re dealing with “real” anger, is that there are two and only two possibilities: that she does or does not have a legitimate issue. In neither case do you want to argue with her, because nobody ever wins an argument. Now that you’ve ascertained what she thinks is the real problem, your job is to lead her out of being mad.

That doesn’t mean that you con her. I’m talking about true leadership and a real solution. If she just thinks that you’ve done something that you really haven’t done, start with, “I think I may see where you could think something like that, but here’s what’s really happened…” and then just explain it to her. If she tries to reject your explanation because she’s still amped up or wants to stay pissed until she can milk some more adrenaline out of it, go back to the plan for handling a mood, and try first to convert the negative energy to positive by getting playful and if that fails, tell her she’s going to have to be angry with somebody else because enabling pissy, bratty, bad behavior by arguing or fighting with her is not in your job description.

If you have indeed done something wrong, your job is still to lead her out of the situation. First, you admit that whatever you did was wrong, could have been handled better, or whatever is an appropriate admission for the offense, and tell her that it was a mistake that you won’t be repeating, at least not deliberately, and that you didn’t do whatever it was to hurt her or make her angry.

There is no need to be heaping apology on top of apology, and in truth, much of the time an apology can actually work against you if you have already admitted that you were wrong. An admission of guilt and expression of remorse is strong, while many women – but not all – view apologies as weak, especially if they are repeated. And it can be one of those “be careful what you wish for” things too, where she wants an apology and loses respect for you if you give her one; unfortunately today, the general attitude in many business is that it’s easier to ask forgiveness than permission, and we all hear the words “I’m sorry for any inconvenience” so often that it induces nausea instead of relief, and you don’t want to tap into something that has already put a bad taste in her mouth.

This issue of apologies varies widely from woman to woman, and you’re best bet in handling it is to ask her at some time when she’s in a good mood how she views apologies, and whether she’s ever noticed losing respect for someone or seeing them as somehow weaker after they did so. This is the kind of “what’s really inside you” question that women like to discuss, and you’ll get the best answer she can give you. Then when the situation arises, watch her reaction to see if it is congruent with what she’s told you.

Getting back to the altercation, once you have admitted guilt and pledged a better effort in the future (which you’d better make good on or you will lose credibility very fast!), if she continues to act pissy and like she’s trying to hang on to the anger, again try to flip it around to playful, and if she refuses to go there, refuse to be an enabler and tell her that you’re not going to be a wuss and grovel before her. You’ve admitted guilt and pledged reform, and if she wants anything more than an apology beyond that, she can talk to you after she calms down.

There are several caveats here. First, NEVER, under any circumstances, try to buy her off with some kind of gift or favor, even if she demands it. You’ll only anchor the gift to a negative meaning and emotion, and look like too big a wuss to handle a problem head on. Indeed, if she demands it, she’s doing one of two things: she’s testing you to see if you’ll wuss out and try to buy her or she’s proving that she can be bought, proving in turn that she’s a prostitute, not a wife, and you need to get her out of your life quietly and quickly, before she decides that she’s going to leave and has time to bleed you dry and hide the assets.

Next, never succumb to the urge to return fire if she starts saying things to try to hurt you, because once it’s said, it can’t be taken back. Don’t slink away with your tail between your legs, but do tell her that there is obviously an issue that needs to be worked out and she can talk to you about it when she has calmed down and is ready to address the issue instead of pitching a fit or being abusive, but in the meantime, you’re her husband, not a whipping post, and she will deal with you as her husband or not at all. (If you can’t stand up TO her when you should, in her estimation, you can’t stand up FOR her when you should, which causes her to instantly lose respect and attraction for you, so don’t hesitate to stand tall.)

There’s never anything to be gained from a competition to see who can hurt each other the most. That’s called “war,” the most spectacular and costly of all human endeavors, and it is a last resort, not a standard operating procedure. You fight when all other options have been exhausted, and not until, and when you fight, you fight coldly and deliberately to end the fight, not out of anger to punish. If you find yourself pushed to the point of having no choice but to fight with a woman you’re living with, you’re either with the wrong woman or she’s with the wrong man.

And if there is a single rule that will help you get through delicate situations without a fight, it is this:

“Always focus on what is wrong and how to fix it, not who is wrong and should be punished.”

It sounds simple because it is, and it works better than anything I’ve ever seen. As long as the two of you are focused on the problem and fixing the problem, you are in a mode of cooperation, even if one or both of you is upset. It’s when the discussion turns competitive – Who’s right? Who’s wrong? Who gets punished? Who gets to “win” the fight and who has to “lose”? – that things escalate and get ugly, and there’s really no good reason that should ever happen.

So that’s it. Use it in good health. Live long and prosper.

That’s some of the most important advice that anyone will ever give you, and it works for everything from a moody little spat to a working through divorce issues. It’s also one of the cornerstones of "THE Man's Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" and I’m giving it to you unsolicited and with my blessing.

In return, I’m going to ask a favor or two. First, invite your friends, whether they are having trouble or not, to subscribe to this newsletter by filling out that short subscription form at the bottom of the page at http://www.makingherhappy.com/. Also download my free “Break-Up Busting 101” report at http://forum.makingherhappy.com/showthread.php/144-Free-Reports! (and go ahead and join and browse the forum while you’re there!), and attach it to this e-mail and forward it to them as well, and invite them to pass it on so we can start putting an end to at least some of the fighting and frustration that goes on in every couple before somebody else ends up dead during or after a “domestic dispute.”

Second, visit my new web site, again at http://www.makingherhappy.com/, and seriously consider downloading your own copy of "THE Man's Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," especially since there’s new content going in and there’s about to be a price hike. (All buyers get free lifetime updates.) It’s time to learn all those things that you should have been taught earlier in life about women, relationships, and marriage, and make your life and relationship all it can be, because life can be fleeting; it can be gone before you know it, and for no good reason.

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

Monday, November 15, 2010

Know What a Naughty Boy Looks Like for a Great Relationship or Marriage

What exactly do I mean when I tell you to be “naughty”? And what is it about “naughty” that drives women crazy?

Over the years since high school graduation, I’ve talked with old classmates and found out all kinds of things that I never knew about myself and the girls I went to high school with. If I could go back knowing what I know now…

Well, I can’t, and really, I don’t know that I’d change anything at all, because the idea of dating a bunch of teenage drama queens is even less appealing now than it was then, but it would sure be fun to see all of that through new, more aware eyes! You see, what I’ve been finding out was how many of the girls “had the hots for me,” including the hottest ones in the school, even some a couple of years ahead of me, and I never knew. That begs several questions, among them:

1. Why didn’t I know?
2. What made it happen?

Both questions have answers that are easy today, but in those days would have amounted to hidden, mystical knowledge that no man was supposed to have! And which, by the way, I can now provide… ;-)

I didn’t know because I didn’t know how to listen to women and read their signals. One girl had such a crush on me that she bought tennis shoes that matched mine trying to get my attention; I had no clue. We were “just friends” as far as I knew, and I thought it was an act of camaraderie. Others asked questions that, at the time, I found extremely annoying because the answers appeared so obvious; they already had the answers. The questions were just excuses to try to get my attention and strike up conversation; I was the stupid one, in spite of graduating as class valedictorian and receiving a congressional appointment to a military academy.

What I knew about communicating with girls when I was in high school wouldn’t have taken a whole paragraph to record. I still thought, as nearly all men do, that women talk just like we do, but a whole lot more, and usually too much about too many things that I don’t want to talk about or hear. That doesn’t take anywhere near a paragraph to write, huh? But I learned…

I eventually found out that what caused all those girls to want my attention was two things: I didn’t give two hoots in Hell what anybody thought about me and was about as independent and often rebellious as a kid can be if somebody tried to push me to do something that didn’t make sense (alpha male behavior), and I was about the most devil-may-care, mischievous little demon in the school. It was impossible to be bored around me because there was always some prank, adventure, or impossible mission, mainly because I was so bored with school and had to find ways to challenge myself. Much to the chagrin of the faculty, they weren’t always academically productive. ;-)

You went to school with a guy like me, the one who couldn’t keep his mouth shut when there was a good joke to crack, always a smart-ass but usually a likable smart-ass. The prankster who seemed to be at the center of every spectacular stunt, joke, or uprising. The guy whom the teachers were always having to punish for breaking some rule or disrupting something, but never wanting to punish because his mischief brought some fun and excitement to their boring routine and because he was the curve-buster and teacher’s pet as far as grades went. And most of all, the guy who, in spite of all his shenanigans, never hurt anybody, and was always leading the action, recruiting others to join his quests and adventures, sometimes causing a whole group to sit in the principal’s office, brothers-in-arms, waiting for the group ass-paddling to commence and laughing it off.

(For you youngsters, yes, they used to beat our behinds with paddles, not send us to “time out” or “sensitivity training,” or “home for personal reflection.” And we turned out fine, by the way.)

Remember him? You never really knew what he was going to do next, or what he was going to say. A teacher would ask a question, and if he raised his hand to answer, everybody would turn and look at him, silently trying to guess if he would be serious and give an authoritative answer that would ensure his position as teacher’s pet for another week or crack wise with something that he and everybody else knew he shouldn’t say but had to say, and when the teacher would reprimand him through clenched teeth trying to keep from laughing themselves to death, would cock his head a little and with a sly grin say something like, “Who, me?” or “Now you KNOW I didn’t mean it THAT way! Get your mind out of the gutter, Ms. Teacher. There are children in the room!”

Sure he meant it that way, and so did I! But it was that attitude of selectively bucking the establishment when there was really no harm done, leading the way in making mischief when it was least expected, and grinning that manure-eating (taken from the colloquial “grinning like a ‘possum eating s**t”), fun-loving grin that drove the girls wild. They have a naughty streak, too, but for centuries they’ve been told that they shouldn’t let that be seen, because “nice girls don’t do that if they want to find a nice man and get married.”

And they won’t, until a man gives them such a dose of it that they can’t help themselves, and become overwhelmed with a feeling that it’s safe to cut up and let their own naughty side come out; some would say they’re waiting for your permission to show their naughty sides, and I couldn’t argue with them, but what I’ve seen looks more like they’re waiting for leadership to go down that road. AND BE ADVISED…

It must be only a side of you that you expose, not your whole being, especially in a committed relationship. Why?

Think about the guys you knew who cut up in school. There was the “class clown” who was constantly into something and getting in trouble, right? How did he fare? The teachers thought he was a mildly-amusing, constant pain in the ass, and nobody, including the girls, took him seriously, right? Everybody would go to him to get a levity fix and then move on to other things, because that was all he had to offer, a quick chuckle or a good laugh, but nothing of real substance. Like what, you say?

Like a deep conversation, or a challenge met and conquered, or an example set by leadership, or homework answers, or anything else that people naturally look for in other people. Do you think a woman wants to be married to a clown? Or do you think she’d prefer a man who gives her the feeling that he can handle the world, protect her from the world and the boredom it threatens her with, can have a deep conversation with her and leave her with something to think about, and when she least expects it, do something outrageously naughty that lets her show her own horns for awhile too? Kind of a no-brainer when you think about it, huh? If you’re one of those people for whom comedy is a defense mechanism, you seriously need to get your issues addressed so you can enjoy a good laugh for a change instead of hiding behind the laughs of others.

So how do you develop this naughty boy bit? You don’t! It’s already inside you, no matter who you are. What you have to develop is the courage to let him out on occasion and the discipline to put the genie back in the bottle after you’ve had some fun. If you really don’t think you have it in you, then expose yourself to it, explore it in others, until you can remember it in yourself, or simply feel it trying to come out. You’ve been in situations where something serious was said and a sly, hilarious thought crossed your mind, but you didn’t let it out. Why?

Answer that one question, “Why did I not allow myself to be myself in that moment, and cut loose with that naughty thought as a naughty remark to be shared by everyone in the room?” and you’ll be well on your way to reviving your naughty boy side. Somewhere along the line you locked him in the closet, maybe because you were afraid of mom finding out, losing a job, being punished, or sounding silly – who knows? Find out!

That’s not to say that if you are invited to report at a board meeting that you should make a farce of it. But if you’re sitting in a meeting at work and things are just getting too tense, lighten the moment if it’s not going to get somebody fired. If you’re having a fight with your wife over some sort of drama and you have a funny thought cross your mind that won’t come across as you making a cruel and embarrassing remark to her or minimizing a legitimate issue she’s put on the table, let it fly! It will probably end the fight – maybe with her giving you a sound smack in the head for interrupting her rage and making her smile, but end it nonetheless – and how can that be a bad thing?

Just remember that naughty is about fun, for everyone. It’s never mean or cruel, and laughter should never come at anyone’s expense, including your own. If something that goes through your head has realistic potential to hurt others, keep your mouth shut. It’s far better to be silent and thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. It’s also okay to poke a little fun at yourself along with everybody else, but don’t embarrass or demean yourself for the attention.

As an aside, you should hear the women on our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com describing the things they like and listening to how they talk. Extremely naughty, but not trashy. And understand, they talk trash with the best of us, but they don’t talk trashy. You could learn a lot just from reading for an hour or two.

So now you know. Just like when I was in high school, you can be doing everything right and never know it, or worse, be doing everything WRONG and never know it! Most men are, and if you were doing everything right, it’s highly unlikely that you’d be reading this, right? It takes two skills to really make it with any woman, no matter how much you love each other.

You need to be able to create attraction within her by creating and releasing sexual tension. This is done by alternating between various types of behavior ranging from strong and serious to thoughtful to naughty as a man can be. You also need to be able to really read and understand what she says and signals to you through words, deeds, body language, vocal tone and volume, etc., so that you know WHEN you are succeeding at creating attraction, and succeeding at receiving and returning her love, respect, friendship, and loyalty, or when you are killing any of the above.

THAT is one of the secrets of relationships that are enjoyed for a lifetime, and I can tell you about the others, too. Sound like something you want to get in on?

I thought so. Here’s what you do: Go to http://www.makingherhappy.com and download your copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" and read the inadvertently best-kept secrets in the universe, those of what women want, how they think, how to communicate with them, and how to turn them both on and off pretty much at will. It doesn’t put you in control of them; it puts you in a position to lead, understand, and enjoy them, and to be enjoyed BY THEM. Do it now, before you do another thing, because you should never, EVER put off until tomorrow the success and happiness you can have today!

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

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Personal Responsibility and Abundance Mentality: Great Tools for Great Relationships and Marriage

One of the cornerstones of creating attraction is leadership, and the hallmark of leadership is personal responsibility. Let’s talk…

I was reading one of Shelley McMurtry’s newsletters (which you can sign up for here – she talks a lot about dating and provides some great insight into the female point of view and priorities in relationships and may be something you’ll enjoy) and she was talking about something a lot of us refer to as “perceived reality,” which is a phrase used to describe a condition where a person’s outlook on the world is inconsistent with reality because of how they have chosen to construe certain events.

An example she was using was a common one, people who have a few bad dates or bad relationships and give up, presenting the reason for their cowardice as “all men are bad,” or “all women are bad,” or “relationships just suck and aren’t worth the hassle.” She also told of a friend who has been married to a man who just got lazy, started spending all of her income and savings, and she ended up kicking him out, but instead of developing the “all men are lazy bums” mentality or “perceived reality,” she took responsibility for her situation, acknowledged that she had made a bad choice, took corrective action (kicked him out) and went on with her life.

It dawned on me in the course of reading this that what we (several of us newsletter and e-book writers) had been referring to as “perceived reality” was actually the product of a failure to take personal responsibility for one’s life, and I wrote to Shelley about it. I want to share that letter with you, and point out how you can use this to enrich your life and your relationship afterward.

Hi Shelley!

I wanted to thank you again for introducing me and my e-book to your readers, and to lodge a comment on this "perceived reality" concept that I think that you and many of your readers will appreciate.

Like you, I differentiate between "perceived reality" and plain, simple reality. However, we are both being too kind when we refer to it as "perceived reality," because it is indeed not at all perceived, but contrived by people who refuse to accept reality.

Perception is the process of the sensory organs of the body doing what they do, nothing more. The American Heritage Dictionary defines "perceive" as "1. To become aware of directly through any of the senses, especially sight or hearing. 2. To achieve understanding of; apprehend." What we have been referring to as "perceived reality" is actually a fantasy that people manufacture when they interpret their perception and choose to reject what their sensory organs pick up and conduct to their brain.

What's worse, they expect everyone around them to validate their fantasy by buying in! As you've noticed, every time you tell someone something factual and they come back at you with "BUT YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND!" they're trying to force some fantasy on you to the extent that you either buy in or give them a superficial sanction or validation just to shut them up and get them out of your face.

What differentiates such people (like the prissy butt-nuggets you speak of) from us and your friend the university professor with the ranch is that we acknowledge that reality is what it is and take personal responsibility for functioning within it, where these other morons and losers take no responsibility for anything. They can be spotted from a great distance, or at least heard from a great distance, because they share the same pet phrases, like "Well it looks like it ought to..." "Well people say that..." "Well, it's generally conceded that..." "All men/women are..." and my favorite, "But I'm ONLY human." Such phrases are the leper's bell of an approaching loser butt-nugget who will not get with the program but expects you to get with it for them.

Personal responsibility not only allows, but compels a person to assess their situation and take steps to improve it. Those who take personal responsibility see the world around them and mold it to suit them through action; they don't need to fabricate some fantasy to validate their pathetic excuses.

That's what being human is about, and why we are at the top of the food chain of all life on this planet. Being human is not something for which we should apologize; it's something to which we should aspire! And reality, for all its punishment and rewards, is the court in which our achievements or lack thereof are judged.

Take care,
David “Doc” Cunningham


Can you see where personal responsibility works in your favor, and failure to take it works against you? No woman will feel love, respect, or attraction for a man who can’t take personal responsibility for his life, at least not for long. A man who doesn’t value his own life enough to take responsibility for it will make it plain that he can be nothing more than a dependent, and never a partner.

A woman’s maternal drive may engage and try to nurture such a man, but she will also be “wearing the pants in the family,” and in her eyes, he will be no more than a weak, grab-asstic adolescent slacker, definitely not a candidate for intimacy or capable of creating attraction for her. Eventually she will get bored and look outside the marriage for relief from that boredom, and it won’t matter if it’s before or after the divorce, because she will feel justified and entitled.

Compare this to a man who does take personal responsibility. Like the butt-nugget (Shelley’s term for a person who doesn’t take personal responsibility, apparently a polite term for “turd”), his situation is of his own making, but the man who takes responsibility will use that situation to define his options in achieving his goals and go after them, not just in his relationship, but in all aspects of his life. His bearing will be confident and heroic, where the slacker’s will be victim-like. I’ll give you a guess as to which one creates attraction and which one has the woman secretly (or even overtly) looking at the online personals and smiling at strangers.

(Men, the same applies to women, with a slight twist. If a woman refuses to take personal responsibility for her life, it can engage a man’s “protector mechanism,” and cause him to think he needs to “save” her. Never allow yourself to fall into this trap; any woman worth having doesn’t need saving. Those who need saving can’t be saved, and will only suck you dry like any other parasite and then move on to their next host.)

I’ll also give you a guess as to which one sees opportunity as seizes it and which one sees opportunity and says, “But what if it doesn’t work?” Or even worse, “I wish I could do that.” Which of those two guys is going to go the farthest in his career? Have the most friends? Have the most fun? Have the best marriage? Yep, you guessed it. And BAM! That thought just opened another door!

Do you recall (if you’ve been with me for awhile) me (or maybe John Alanis if you’ve been in the dating world recently, or any one of many motivational speakers) mentioning “scarcity mentality”?

Scarcity mentality is a state of seeing everything in your life as limited and scarce. It makes you hang onto a bad relationship, bad job, etc., because a bad one is better than none at all, where an abundance mentality is a state of seeing everything as a journey to better and better things, knowing that you can create your opportunities and do what is necessary to reach your goals.

Take two people, one with a scarcity mentality and one with an abundance mentality, and give them ten thousand dollars. The one with scarcity mentality will live in fear of losing his money, and will most likely spend it on things that bring him no real value rather than risk losing it, or will never spend it and enjoy it because he’s too busy keeping his options open to ever exercise one of them.

However, the one with the abundance mentality will see the opportunities that cash presents, and use it to make even more money, and will reach financial independence if he is diligent in the conduct of his business, or if someone manages to steal it from him or his market takes an unexpected turn against him, he will say, “Wow! Now I know how to do this right, and can protect myself from it next time. I’m going to raise capital and try it again!”

A lesser man might make it that far, but when faced with failure, have scarcity sneak in on him and cause him to decide, “Well, I’m just not cut out for this, and any business I start is going to fail, so I’m just going to not bother trying again.”

That same thing happens in relationships. People take responsibility, have a great relationship for a while, things go sour for some unexpected reason, and in a fit of emotional weakness, they say, “Well, I had the wool pulled over my eyes, and relationships aren’t worth it after all,” instead of just acknowledging the reality that either they made a mistake or their partner did, or maybe even both of them, and sitting down to discuss it and making repairs to the relationship or exiting to find a better one.

We could explore this subject for hours and still never talk about all of the ramifications of personal responsibility, the lack of it, and the effects of scarcity and abundance mentalities, but instead, I’m going to leave you with this to ponder and search your own life for the answer:

Personal responsibility coincides with abundance mentality, and a lack of personal responsibility coincides with scarcity mentality. It’s consistent, but is there a single cause-and-effect relationship, or does the door swing both ways, meaning, will taking personal responsibility induce an abundance mentality and will an abundance mentality also induce personal responsibility?

Ask the same questions of lack of responsibility and scarcity, and send me your thoughts on all of the above by replying to this newsletter. The point of the exercise is to help you identify ways to improve your life and relationship as well as traps that may cause you to get sucked into a pattern of thought and behavior that could rob you of everything you love before you know what happened. We’ve been having some discussions about this on our forum as well; come join us at http://forum.makingherhappy.com.

If your own relationship is in anything less than the best condition it could be in, which is highly unlikely or you wouldn’t be reading this, you have an opportunity right now to take personal responsibility for it, regardless of fault, blame, or any of the other tools of the guilt-inducing parasite, and start making your relationship what best suits your life. You can take on the mentality of abundance with a single simple choice to see that things can be better and you can make them so, to see everything you want as an opportunity instead of a deficit.

If you do, the first step you need to take is to jump over to http://www.makingherhappy.com and get your copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," where you will find everything you need to get your attitude in order, your relationship skills assessed and up to par, and get your relationship assessed and fixed (or replaced with one that works, if you’re one of the unfortunate ones in a destructive relationship). Take it now, because life is far too short to spend it doing, living and being anything less than the best and happiest you can, and this is your ticket to success.

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