Saturday, January 01, 2011

An Eye-Opening Confession About Bad Relationships and Marriage from the Comfortably Unhappy

One of your fellow readers offers a compelling confession of her 15 years of being comfortably unhappy – nearly half her lifetime! Look to see if you see any part of yourself in her confession…

A very dear friend in London wrote to me confessing having spent nearly half her life in this condition before she finally broke free of her husband, a philandering, abusive, substance-abusing codependent wussy parasite who thought her purpose in life was to provide for him and his was to take advantage of it. Meet Heather:

David....sorry but I read your lesson about “Comfortably Unhappy” from yesterday [See it in the archive at our forum to catch up] and do you realise that was me for a long time before I contacted you, comfortably unhappy? You could use me as a perfect example of how not to do what I did and waste years of your life.

I was evaluating how long I was truly unhappy and you know what I came up with..............I was with [him] for 15 years.......at 7 years I had an affair with an older man (gosh how I wish I'd run away then, but things wouldn't have led me to the other things I have today, like my career, if I'd done that, so it’s ok really!!) and I'd been miserable for a good year before that so and the friendship with the guy had been growing through that time where we were meeting each other in a plutonic way before we got it on so to speak and that means I was comfortably unhappy for 8 years David......why I stuck it for so long I do not know and all that happened is things got worse and worse even after I stayed after the affair as his possessive controlling behaviour escalated so how do we explain why people dont 'wake up' to what's going on for so long.............

I mean I didn't properly think about leaving when I was caught in the affair at that time it was easier to stay in the comfy situation than change everything, and I felt awful for the hurt I'd caused [my ex] despite the fact I knew the reason I had done it was because I was being taken for granted and treated like a maid even back then. Is that weird or what?!!

I think after embracing the change I had this time I'd be the first one to say if you’re not happy, run! Do whatever it takes! Just don’t waste life.

Life is a precious gift that is far too short already and the only thing I have grieved for through all of this isn't my failed marriage or my lost childhood love/sweetheart. It’s my wasted years of my life that I cannot ever get back, years literally spent being comfortable but unsatisfied and unhappy in every way.

Do you think if people realised how much you actually kick yourself afterwards they would wake up and sort out their own situations now, rather than waiting and waiting and watching the years of their life ticking away until they can't take it anymore?!!!!

Just my thoughts on the newsletter and if you want to use any of them feel free.......

Heather

Guys, it’s no different for us. We get in a rut, we spend years seeking a woman’s approval, or looking to her for our self-esteem when we should be looking to ourselves and she has none of her own, let alone any to give us. We mistakenly think that things get stale and boring because that’s the way they are supposed to be, and that’s the price we pay for sex, and then the sex stops, too, but we look at the calendar and think that we’re better off putting up with it and having an occasional affair than to give up half or more of everything we’ve earned and a big chunk of our future earnings to get out of it and have a life. What a load of crap that turns out to be!

For starters, unless you are with some kind of parasite or predator, or someone with whom you are grossly mismatched and never should have married, life doesn’t have to be like that at all. The truth is that she probably got bored at the same time you did, or even before, if she’s like most women, and would love for things to be fun and exciting again. Women are nesting creatures, right?

They don’t like crises that cause major changes in their life (like divorce!) any more than we do, even though you will see them craving the adrenaline it causes to combat their eternally-tormenting boredom. It is foolish, not to mention catastrophic, to let a little drama convince you that the average woman would destroy her household and her marriage just to get a little adrenaline rush. According to the best information I’ve been able to find, only one in two thousand is that insanely damaged.

And no, it’s not easier to have an affair than to fix things with your wife if you have the foundation of a good marriage. That’s a myth that I’d like to strangle somebody for propagating, not because I think everybody should be married, but because it’s simply not true and has ruined so many marriages that could have been fixed. What does it take?

It doesn’t take much at all! It takes knowing whether you have the foundation for a good relationship, which is a matter of answering a few questions that I have for you. It takes knowing how you and your wife differ as man and woman, and using those differences to enhance your relationship instead of allowing them to remain points of contention, competition, and frustration.

It takes learning three simple rules that govern all communication with a woman, and using them to hear things she’s been telling you for years that you never knew you were being told. It takes shedding the “nice guy” programming that you’re drowning in, and getting back to being the “real guy” that your Y-chromosome has set you up to be, strong, competent, fun, and feeling good about yourself.

It’s the easiest process a man can go through, because it’s a return from your current unnatural self to your natural self, and a process that gives you the answer to questions you’ve spent a lifetime thinking you’d never see answered, like “What do women really want?” and “What makes women tick?” not to mention “Why did she just get mad at me for answering her question???”

So what do you say? Are you comfortably unhappy? Are you ready to learn things you never thought possible to know and enjoy your life – and your wife – like you never thought possible? Start the new year right! Go now, right now, before you do another thing, to http://www.makingherhappy.com/ and download your copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," and see just how easy enjoying a great life can be!

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

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Are You Happy, or Comfortably Unhappy In Your Relationship or Marriage? Your Life Could Depend on Knowing the Difference...

Settling for less and tolerating adversity because it’s easier than fixing it leads to the pathetic condition of being “comfortably unhappy.” It kills self-esteem, motivation, and hence, attraction. That in turn kills relationships and marriages. Don’t let this happen to you! Would you recognize it if you saw it? Let’s find out!

Today’s edition is something I touch on from time to time (3-4 times per year, actually) because it goes almost entirely unnoticed but wastes more lives than the words, “Let’s wait and see,” the deplorable condition of being “comfortably unhappy.” Yes, it sounds like an oxymoron, but as you may have seen around you, even in yourself, it is entirely too easy to get comfortable with being unhappy.

People generally dislike major changes in their life, often even positive ones (that’s a topic for another newsletter, but before you think I’ve lost my mind, stop and consider all the people you’ve ever known who responded to things going well for them by finding some way of sabotaging themselves, such as showing up late for work when they’re in line for a promotion, etc.), and will often choose tolerating things that make them unhappy rather than endure the stress of change, especially if it requires a little effort on their part, even though it’s for the better.

Once this choice is made, its effects are insidious, far-reaching, and destructive. It sets a precedent of settling for less than one deserves, which is to live as happy a life as they can earn through good choices and effort. Then it becomes easier and easier to choose to tolerate more and more, because the choices are now becoming more radically different, between a little more nuisance, aggravation, or pain and a radical improvement if they get tired of settling and decide to make a major effort and fix what’s wrong in their life.

They get comfortable with feeling worse and worse, until being depressed, frustrated, and just plain pissed off all the time is not only the status quo, it’s the EXPECTED NORM. Feeling good is at this point abnormal, and therefore, as strange as it seems, subconsciously UNDESIRABLE! (What’s REALLY undesirable for most people is putting out the effort to change, but for the comfortably unhappy, they may not even be able to tell the difference.)

It can creep up on you over weeks, months, or even years, and will start with a single choice to settle for less: a home or neighborhood that you settle for because that’s all that’s available at the moment, a job you don’t like but is easier to keep than finding a better one, a relationship that drags you down but is easier than breaking up, dividing up the stuff in the house, and looking for better company to keep, etc. Keep your eyes, ears, and mind open, and periodically evaluate what you’re doing and those with whom you’re doing it.

When things could be better, do yourself a favor and MAKE THEM BETTER! Upgrade the job with either a promotion, transfer, or a change of employer. Upgrade the relationship by either improving it or getting out of it, thereby freeing yourself of the restraints and conflict that make you unhappy and creating the freedom of navigation required to find and engage that which makes you happy.

And most important of all, in any situation or relationship, if improvement is impossible because the other party (or parties) won’t be involved in positive change that you’re willing to work for, cut bait and find a better pond to fish in, because you’re fishing in poisoned waters, and it will be the death of you.

Great relationships are uncommon, as are great marriages, but they are far from impossible, or even difficult to find and manage if you know yourself, know your desires, and have the guts to hold out for what you want instead of settling for something you hope you might mold into what you can tolerate. That kind of behavior is precisely the reason why great relationships and marriages are so uncommon. People get insecure and attach themselves to the first person who gives them a smile, approval, acceptance, or most commonly, sex, without checking to see if the rest of the package is something they can live with, let alone enjoy. That’s a recipe for disaster.

You MUST have compatibility and attraction for the relationship to last. If you have the compatibility, the attraction can be created or recreated, but if you don’t have the compatibility, your only choice is to get out and find it. Otherwise, you will consign yourself to a competitive relationship with an adversary instead of a cooperative relationship with someone you truly love and who truly loves you, and the best case scenario there is comfortably unhappy, while the worst one is catastrophic destruction of life as you know it, and in some cases, quite literally your life; substance abuse, suicide, and murder are what some people opt for or have inflicted upon them instead of divorce. Know what you have, what you need, and how to tell if they are the same or different.

If you want a great system for evaluating your relationship, and solid, tested advice for improving it (through better communication and creating attraction, getting her tuned in and turned on to all that is great about YOU) if you find it desirable, as well as solid advice and great contacts for getting the mess cleaned up and getting back into the dating game if this relationship is too far gone to save or never should have started in the first place, it’s in my e-book, “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage” at http://www.makingherhappy.com/. Download your copy today, because life is too short to spend it unhappy, even comfortably unhappy.

And while you’re at it, swing by our forum at http://forum.makingherhappy.com/. We’re all talking about the very kind of thing you read in this article. And aside from being informative, it’s becoming quite entertaining. Get a load of what a couple of the women said about attraction and men’s perception of women:

sg722: Hey David,
Can we clone you and give one to every woman? I think if half of the men out there had your insight, the world would be a much better place.

Steph: Dear sg722,
Isn't that the truth!!! But, I have to say, when my husband acts in the David manner, woooooo weeeee... Good times...


These posts can be seen right now at http://forum.makingherhappy.com/showthread.php/102-The-Ladies-Room if you still have doubts. So you see, I’m not pulling your leg about my book or the fun and helpfulness of our forum and its community. Avail yourself of both immediately, lest you end up being another “comfortably unhappy” statistic.

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

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Do Her Chores Include YOU? Curing the Doldrums of a Stale Relationship or Marriage

There’s a word for forced intimacy born of duty or guilt instead of passion: CHORE. Make your sex life – and HERS – a treat, not a chore! Here’s how…

In case you missed yesterday’s announcement, we’re trying something new at the forum (http://forum.makingherhappy.com/) again. Facebook Connect has been successfully installed so you can easily share articles you like with friends, use Facebook’s “Like” feature, etc. It is not set up to automatically echo your posts to Facebook or anything like that, so if you have privacy concerns, you’re covered. We’re always on the lookout for more ways to make our forum more useful and entertaining for you, so if you have an idea or desire, please feel free to leave it in one of the suggestion box forums and we’ll see what we can do.

It’s another happy day, Ladies and Gentlemen! Here’s another couple who have used "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" to make their relationship one of passion and excitement instead of a torturous, miserable, boring coexistence, and you can learn a lot from them. Meet Marti:

Dear David,

Due to changes in our marriage and the feeling my husband and I had for each other, a few months ago we decided that we either had to make major improvements or call it quits. In doing research for help and talking to friends your book was recommended to us. The couple that told us about you is one of the happiest couples we know, and they said that it is because they have simply used what they learned in your book. So we decided to dive right in and see what you could do for us.

My biggest problem was that I felt as if sex with him was a chore, not something to enjoy or even want. I guess maybe you have heard it all by now, but I felt like maybe I was not the only woman that had ever had these feelings and in writing you maybe you could share this with other women.

What made it worse was that I tried and tried to tell my husband that the passion was gone and that we were in a rut, but I couldn’t get through to him. I asked him countless times how he felt about our relationship and our intimate life, and he would just say that he didn’t have or see a problem, and that was the end of the discussion, never giving me the chance to tell him what I needed to tell him. I just laid there, thinking about other things, sometimes other people, waiting for him to finish so I could go to sleep.

Since we have now completed your book and have put into our everyday life what we learned in it I can say I shocked myself. Everything in our relationship is better than it’s ever been! There is nothing about sharing myself with him that even comes close to a chore now. In fact is just the opposite. He listens to me, and we really talk now, not just about our sex life, but about everything! When we started tuning into each other it was like our dating and marriage up to that point had just been a practice run. We finally REALLY know each other, all the time, and it’s wonderful!

As for the bedroom, now all he has to do it give me “that look” or touch me in the small of my back or just on my arm and I find myself wanting him as close to me as possible. And when he teases me and cracks that naughty grin I just want to eat him up! Sometimes he starts in on me before we even get out of bed in the morning, caressing and teasing, and then laughs and jumps out of bed and tells me if I’m good I’ll get more when he gets home. I daydream about him touching me, kissing me, enjoying my body as I enjoy his throughout the day every time he does that. Oh God right now just thinking about it I feel like calling him to come home for lunch!

WOW how different our lives are now! Now I am always looking forward to bedtime instead of looking for excuses not to have to go to bed until he is asleep. I do things to get his attention instead of avoiding him, because he is fun and exciting to be around. My friends even comment on how much they enjoy being around him now, and they used to tell me that it was time to move on because he was such a stick in the mud and I could do better. You have saved our marriage in more ways than one and I just wanted to say “Thank you” for all your hard work and for making it easy for us to save what we had and get back what brought us together in the first place - and then some!

Love ya,
Marti


My reply:

Thank you for that, Marti! It always makes my day when I get a success story like this, one in which the couple has followed my recommendation to use my book together, and learned from each other as the process continued. "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" was written for men partially because they have the most to learn, but also because it is the man’s job to take the lead, because taking the lead, even in the pursuit of enhancing attraction, is attractive to his female partner. You’re on the right track; just stay on it!

Take care, and keep in touch,
David


Notice that Marti doesn’t just talk about their sex-life reaching new levels. Their improved communication skills have brought them closer together, making their emotional intimacy more intense in addition to their physical intimacy; you may have noticed that she said she “asked him countless times how he felt about their relationship” and he would say it was fine and end the discussion without her getting to tell him what she needed to say. That’s the “asking questions to make a statement” mechanism at work as I’ve been describing it to you, a statement that she has a problem that she needs to discuss and that she wants the discussion to open NOW. A horribly common problem these days, but one that they will never again make, and one that you don’t have to make now that you know about it.

Being attractive to the woman you love obviously enhances your sex-life, but it also enhances the rest of your life together as well, often being the catalyst in escalating relationships between married couples (being pulled together by attraction makes couples want to explore other aspects of each other) who were functionally just roommates and/or business partners to true LIFE PARTNERS, friends, playmates, adventure partners – even better parents!

Or had it not occurred to you that it would be much easier to be better parents if you could communicate with each other more effectively and prepare a more unified front to present to the kids? And guess what else there, DAD…your daughters are “women-in-training,” and what you learn to communicate better with their mother will also help you to keep from drowning in that estrogen ocean when their hormones start surging and “Daddy’s little girl” turns into “Daddy’s little drama queen”!!! Daughters in their teens grow away from fathers for the same reason wives grow away from husbands, because he doesn’t understand them when they try to talk and they just get frustrated and give up. Don’t let them give up on you!

Gents, there is no downside here, and an unlimited upside. Opportunities like this don’t come along often, so take advantage of this one while you can. Go to http://www.makingherhappy.com/ and get your copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" for less than the cost of a good meal for two, and start reading, right now, before you waste another minute of your life, because life’s too short to be regarded as a chore, and if your wife regards you as a chore for long, she’s likely to tender her resignation, and take half or more of “the company” with her!

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

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Reader Responses to Asking for Intimacy in Your Relationship or Marriage

Some female readers respond to yesterday’s lesson on not asking for sex. Pay attention, Gentlemen, because this is the real deal, straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak…

A quick announcement: I finally got the Facebook Connect module working on our forum, so if you have a Facebook account you can easily link or “Like” articles, posts, etc. to share with your friends. Come check it out at http://forum.makingherhappy.com and tell me what you think. Note that connecting your Facebook account does not automatically post anything, so your privacy is kept intact.

I love the women who subscribe to this newsletter. They’re smart, funny, and I can always count on them to keep my horizons broadening and help set the things I teach in stone by demonstrating to you gentlemen that I’m giving you the facts, not just some hyped-up theory or opinion. I received a lot of letters from the women on yesterday’s “Don’t Ask for Nookie” lesson, all of which contained a resounding “Amen!” in one form or another, and I’m going to share a few of them with you right now.

First, meet Teresa:

Hi David,

All I can say about being asked for sex is “EWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!” It creeps me out.

Teresa


For those who don’t speak girly-ese, raise “yuck!” “sick!” or “gross!” to about the 23rd power, and you’ll be getting close to the meaning of “creeps me out.”

Now meet Rhonda,

Hi David,

Men just don’t understand how repulsive it is to be asked for permission to do something that they should be doing. If you want to kiss a woman, you should already know whether you can by whether she lets you get close enough to kiss her. And for God’s sake, don’t make an announcement like, “I’m going to kiss you now,” because that comes across as asking. For me, I like the way Will Smith said to do it in that movie Hitch. Come 90% of the way and make me come the other 10% to kiss you. If I don’t come the other 10%, either I’m not interested or you’re going too fast.

Love your stuff. Get these guys into shape for me, will ya? I want a real guy so bad I could just die, and there’s none to be found around here, so hurry!

Rhonda


Hitch was a pretty good movie if you ignore the part where Will Smith wussed out at the end. Rhonda has a great point: if you’re moving into a woman’s space bubble too quickly she’ll back off immediately, and if you’re being so aggressive as to creep her out she’ll break off contact, so talking about kissing or sex or anything else is pretty silly. And besides, if you are generating attraction as you should be, she’s often going to be the one invading YOUR space bubble to get a kiss. Just ask Barb, who includes a LOT of great detail:

David,

I completely agree with your response to "asking" for sex. I can't think of a bigger turn-off than a man asking me if he can hold my hand or kiss me or asking me if we can have sex now. It's like a child asking permission to do something. It's a sign of weakness and insecurity to have to beg for sex.

It's a lose/lose situation. If she says yes, she's doing you some huge favor/chore. If she says no, you're going to feel rejected. Either way, you're setting yourself up for disaster because you're handing her your power on a silver platter.

My suggestion to Marcus is that he needs to do some serious inner work on his attitude and beliefs. Then at some point, take a leap of faith, believe in yourself and your power and trust that this stuff really works. Real men don't have to "ask", they just "do it". I think you'll be shocked and very pleasantly surprised to find that a woman just can't stop herself from responding positively to strength, leadership and personal authority in a man. I am a strong woman, but I want a man who is stronger than I am. I want to be able to surrender to his will. That's what gives me butterflies in my stomach and makes me weak in the knees.

A man may be aroused instantly, but that doesn't mean a woman is. We take longer since we don't have an on/off switch. For us, sex starts in the head, when we begin thinking about the feelings. The anticipation. The suspense. The stimulation of not just my body, but ALSO my mind.

David's book has an entire section called "Great in Bed" to help build confidence in your lovemaking skills. And it is a skill we have to learn since we're not born knowing how.

I wish I'd had this book when I was still in my 25 year marriage, we could have either salvaged our marriage or I'd have known to move on much sooner.

Barb


I couldn’t have said it better myself! And note that Barb confirms that achieving attraction and arousal is not a near-instantaneous thing like it often is for men. We are largely visually stimulated, where a woman’s mind must be engaged to some degree with mystery, adventure, fun, etc. The alpha male attitude gets you noticed and ultimately cranks up the heat, but that “fun” element common to all men with self-confidence has to bridge the gap to get you there.

Notice that Barb says that she “wants to be able to surrender to his will. That takes trust, and if you don’t trust yourself enough to be confident, how the hell is she supposed to trust you at all??? I keep telling you gentlemen this isn’t rocket science…and there’s a pretty obvious reason for that…

Also note that she points out that “making whoopee” (the things I have to do to hide from the spam filters! LOL!) is a skill that we are not born with. We are born with an instinctive capacity for the raw act of procreation, but not for the pleasure that surrounds it if it’s done right. That requires knowing one of those things that Sigmund Freud was talking about when he said he didn’t know what women want. (And yes, I DO, because women tell me these things!)

So that’s it, the women have spoken, and have confirmed for you that I gave you the facts. And I have a lot more of them for you too, including the whole scoop on what women want, so if you want to get your marriage and relationship back in gear and get one up on Sigmund Freud in the process, come see me at http://www.makingherhappy.com right now.

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

Monday, December 27, 2010

Trick Question: How Do You Ask for Intimacy in Your Relationship and Marriage?

A reader asks about the proper way to ask for physical intimacy. The short answer may shock you!

Things have been moving right along at our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com/. A lot of good people have joined and are joining, and the posted content is already beyond interesting and useful, not to mention quite varied. Ladies, there’s a lot for you there, too, some of which may not be obvious when you get there, so PM me upon joining and I’ll make sure you’re set up with all the goodies that are there for you. This is your chance to have an active part in the building of real men, and if you happen to be single, you might just get one when we’re done with him!

By the way, for those of you who are single or divorced, I heard your requests for help, and there are several resources there for you as well, and I’m trying to recruit some guest moderators out of the dating world to join us. No success yet, I suspect because they realize the labor of love that forum moderation truly is, but sooner or later I’ll run into someone who knows as much as I do or more and is passionate enough about it to help out. In the meantime, I have you covered, and we have a place for singles to meet and play in the singles lounge, a forum for posting a personal ad and getting help from the female members in tweaking it, and a place for you to post the finished ad in case one of the “guest advisors on all things female” is looking for you.

Okay, okay, enough about the forum. It’s been online for about eight month snow and I’m still excited about it, and if you drop in you’ll see why. ‘Nuff said.

I hope this day is going as well for you as it is for me. As I write this edition, it’s a typical day at my house. The air is thick with the smell of testosterone as project after project, the kind that require a quick mind, strong back, and if I’m lucky, power tools, has been completed and celebrated with a satisfied grunt and a wipe of the brow before changing tools to start the next project.

Being a guy is easy for me, because I’ve learned that it’s something to aspire to, not something to apologize for, just like being human. There is very little that annoys me more than to hear someone try to cover a mistake by saying, “But I’m ONLY human.”

We are the most highly-evolved species on our planet, the only one capable of sophisticated engineering, fabrication, and decision-making, not to mention art, cooking, music and dance, etc. We have the power of volitional choice, and hence can develop and raise our standard of living well beyond what is required for mere survival, unlike any other species on Earth.

In spite of this status, some of us just don’t get it. We shy away from doing what comes natural, as if there’s something wrong with being human, or with being a man or a woman. Meet Marcus:

Hi David,

I’ve been following your newsletters for several months now, and haven’t yet seen you speak of the proper way to ask a woman for intimacy (sex). Is this something that you cover in your book and just don’t want to discuss in your newsletter or what?

Regards,
Marcus

Marcus, Buddy, if the truth were a snake it would have bitten you. You’ve not seen me speak of it because YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO DO IT! If you were to ask any woman – WOMAN, mind you, not some high school girl who still has a head full of poetic mush from reading too many fairy tales – how she liked to be asked for sex, she’d most likely laugh at you and walk off without an answer. The question is truly that pathetic to women, as it marks you as an “un-man,” a loser.

You should have noticed that what I DO talk about, frequently, is how to flip a woman’s attraction switches on by acting like a man, being a leader, the alpha male who, instead of being wussy and boring and hiding from the world in his easy chair channel surfing with a beer all evening and then asking for sex at bed time, projects an image of confidence because he’s good at the things he does and enjoys being a man leading an active life, who has a fun, playful, flirtatious sense of humor, and can put a smile on a woman’s face by jumping in and out of “leadership” mode to crack a naughty grin and playfully tease and create enjoyable sexual tension for her.

This is what women want (Pay attention here, Sigmund Freud -- he's famous for saying, "The Great Question, which I have not answered, is ‘What does a woman want?'"): They want to be excited. They want to be surprised from time to time. They want to feel safe in investing their emotions. They want to have fun. They want to dance that “two steps forward, one step back” dance with you as the naughty fun and flirting ramps up tension, eases a bit momentarily, and then shoots to new highs, until such a high is reached that they pounce on you, wanting to be “taken.” THAT’S why you’ve never heard me describing the proper way to ASK for sex. It doesn’t exist.

And before somebody jumps to a really stupid conclusion and sends me a nasty-gram saying I’m promoting rape, no, I absolutely am not. “No” means “no” and your desire or need is not a rightful demand on another’s life or person. What I’m telling you is that if you do what you should do in flipping the biological switches to create attraction and excitement, you’ll never hear “no” because she will be coming after YOU, or waiting with bated breath and quickened pulse to be taken by you and making it plain that she wants you. “No” is only an issue when you’re either not creating attraction for her or being insensitive and pushing her for sex when she has other problems.

Whether or not she wants to have sex with you is her right to choose, but if you do what you should be doing as a man, which is creating attraction for her by simply being a man and knowing how to communicate with her, she will be consistently choosing to unless she’s in pretty bad shape, because she’ll be biologically driven to it and you will in fact be holding her off a bit to heighten the tension and excitement!

Attraction is biological, not logical, and there is no request or argument that you can make that will excite her enough to do anything more than tolerate you. Flip those switches off, and you will hear “No” every time. Flip them on, and you’ll not only hear “yes;” you’ll see it and feel it as she pounces on you.

And how do you go about learning and evolving into a man who does this naturally, without the stress of trying to “fake it until you make it?” Come to http://www.makingherhappy.com/ and find out, like many before you have!

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

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Why Is Breaking Up So Hard? Surviving the End of Relationships and Marriage

We’ve talked about stopping a break-up in my free “Break-Up Busting 101” report, but what about those times when a break-up really is the best thing for both parties? Specifically, why is it so bloody hard? Would you believe it doesn’t have to be?

This is one of those newsletters that had to be written; one that a fool would hope that none of you would ever need, but which reality says nearly all of you will find useful, either in surviving your present or some part of your future, or in understanding something very painful in your past, the difficulty of breaking up, even when it’s the best thing for both parties and everybody, including the two parties in the relationship, know that it’s best.

Some people get into relationships that are based on things like faith and hope instead of reality. Others based them on need, attraction, or simple lust instead of a combination of love and attraction. These couples ultimately find themselves painfully mismatched and moving apart is the only solution to the problem they have caused themselves. You can’t put a mongoose and a snake in the same place and expect them to just bend to meet each other’s needs and get along, nor can you expect incompatible men and women. Compatibility doesn’t come from the choices you make, but from the values and tastes that cause you to make the choices you make. Those things just don’t change that much over the course of an entire lifetime, and they certainly don’t change because somebody else wants or needs for them to.

I’m not like most of today’s “relationship guru’s.” I won’t tell you that all relationships can or should be salvaged, and have no respect for those who would. That’s why you’ll find the list of other relationship gurus I do respect and endorse very short. I maintain a list of those who have been recommended to me by my readers in this newsletter and in the margin on my main blog at http://blog.makingherhappy.com. Those are the only others offering advice on the emotions and issues of relationships that I would have any of you read, because they do embrace this self-evident truth.

There are others who will tell you that any relationship can and should be saved just to convince you to buy what they are selling, playing on your emotions to sell something that won’t help. Some will even employ guilt to try to make you feel like you’re a loser for simply acknowledging the truth, because acknowledging the truth would be in conflict with buying their book, seminar, retreat, or counseling or coaching service, or whatever.

Notice that’s a very short list of resources taken from a very large pool of authors. Sad, isn’t it? And by the way, feel free to help me add to it by letting me know if you have had a positive result with any product. Word-of-mouth isn’t just the best advertising; it’s also the best way to weed out the charlatans and bad ideas that sound good “on paper” but don’t work in the real world.

I’ve been working closely with one of your fellow readers, one whom at this point is facing the possibility that the break-up his wife initiated may indeed be the best thing that could happen to him because they are so grossly mismatched and she’s carrying a ton of baggage that she may well choose to hang onto, in spite of the fact that right now she’s facing the greatest opportunity of her life to drop all that baggage and make some incredible improvements in her life.

I’ll spare you the intimate details of their problems, but the bottom line is that he’s on solid ground, logically, morally, ethically, and every other way I’ve been able to observe, while she is hyper-creative and therefore rejects reality with impunity, is morally ambiguous, and is thirty-nine years old going on about seven.

He’s highly analytical and disciplined, knows what’s before him and how to react to virtually any word or action from her now (he read "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" and we’ve been talking as well), and yet, there are times when he still has a hard time accepting what he knows to be reality, that in all likelihood, they never should have come together and he made a bad choice, because his wife appears incapable of growing up and becoming responsible enough to rejoin him as his wife, or indeed as anything more than a chronic, irresponsible and dangerous dependent.

He asked me why he was having a hard time accepting and emotionally committing to that which he knew to be irrefutable reality, and why people generally found breaking up so hard even when it was painfully obvious that it was the only option that could ever allow either of them to be happy.

I answered, "We all make bad choices, and being human, we tend to try to make the best of them and pick up a lot of good memories along the way that end up confounding us when we finally are faced with the reality that our bad choice is working against us."

It struck a chord in both of us. I did not, until the moment I wrote that to him, understand why I had had trouble with break-ups in the past, and those who know me closely would describe me to you as the most ruthlessly logical person they have ever met. I never stopped to ask myself while I was going through it why it was so hard. I was too busy asking myself another ridiculous question: “Why does this have to happen?” when I already knew the answer.

His reply to that pearl was as profound as the pearl itself:

“That needs to go in the evaluation section of your book - over and over! The main struggle in deciding whether it [salvaging his relationship] is a go or no-go is in sifting through all the wonderful memories to decide if they were ‘real’ or not...”

That’s the real rub, isn’t it? Were all those “good times” born of real love, friendship, respect, and loyalty worth celebrating? Or were they just born of two people trying to make the best of a bad situation they had created and didn’t want to face? Or was it something somewhere in the middle? Was it just two people with raging hormones having an adventure with no way to follow through in the long run, a good time that couldn’t be the basis for a life? Could it be that two good people who had been in bad relationships came together, saw what they had as being good when it was merely an improvement over what had become their very low standard? Trying to resolve those questions, and cope with the reality the resolution presents, is what makes breaking up so hard when every available fact tells you both that there is no other alternative.

I could tell you stories on that last point that would make your hair stand on end. I went to high school with a woman whose first marriage turned out to be to a lazy drunk who would drink up her paycheck and beat her up as reward for bringing it home. Several relationships and marriages -- and 30 years -- later I ran into her again and she said she was blissfully happily married because she finally had a man who wouldn’t cheat on her or beat her. He did in fact cheat on her, he took her paycheck and gave the money to his kids, friends, and pet charities, and left her nothing, and attacked her self-esteem at every turn and kept her completely under his thumb.

Every relationship had been better than the last, and was therefore “great” because she had no frame of reference to recognize a functional relationship, let alone a good one. She ended up divorcing that creep and now is in fact single, happy, dating several people, enjoying life and several interesting casual relationships, and having the time of her life, and knows that if she keeps doing what she’s doing she’ll eventually run across a good husband. And it only took her about 35 years and a lot of hours of arguing with her relationship coach – ME – to get there. A full 35 years of dysfunction and torture to finally get to a functional relationship and an idea of what happiness is really like.

So in the event that you have to go through this torture, what do you do?

Look at the whole relationship and weigh the good and the bad. Identify what can and cannot be repaired, and how important those things are to you. In the end, if the relationship can’t be fixed, get out, but do it like a civilized adult, with dignity, and leave the other partner room to do the same. Indeed, LEAD HER to do the same. And if a friendship can be maintained, by all means do so; you may not have enough compatibility to live together happily, but you may still have common interests that you can enjoy together. Think about that...

Not being able to live together happily is by no means an indication that you can’t have an enjoyable conversation or dinner from time to time, help each other with a project or hobby on occasion, or do any of the other things that friends do. It takes a lot more compatibility to live together than it does to visit, as the focus of a visit is much more narrowly defined and creates boundaries that protect you from the things that caused trouble while you were married – if you pay attention to them, that is.

Don’t ever let things fall into the context or perspective of who is or isn’t good enough for the other. It has nothing to do with that. People are who and what they are, and have spent a lifetime becoming so. Thinking that you can or should be “good enough” to induce someone else to change for your sake that which they would not change for their own sake is foolish, arrogant to the point of being narcissistic, and just plain childish!

(Pay attention, Ladies, in case you’re thinking that you’re going to rebuild your man as you want him. If you do manage to accomplish it, you won’t respect him precisely because you were able to change him. A man who can’t stand up TO you can’t stand up FOR you or WITH you, right? The attitude that "he should love me enough to change for me," has broken more women's hearts than men ever could, and it’s a choice that YOU make, not him.)

Admit that there have been problems, and that those problems have been caused by the two of you having too many fundamental differences to be compatible. You gave it a good shot, you had some fun and good times, made some money and accumulated a few things, and have a few fond memories, but the stress of walking on eggshells trying to keep from tripping over your differences is killing you both.

You’re good people, just not good for each other, and if you are the type who needs to or enjoys being married, you need to get out and find someone whom you are good for and who is good for you, compatible with you, and whom you can enjoy living with as your natural self. Work together to divide the rewards of your combined efforts fairly and help each other get a fresh start by introducing each other to friends that are more like them. You may not be worth a plug nickel together as husband and wife but may be great assets to each other in starting over. (This is all assuming that your problems are differences in your values, preferences, priorities, etc., and not that one of you is an abuser of some sort.)

There is no point in your life where being able to evaluate a relationship will not serve you well. You need to know yourself as well as your needs and desires, and you need to be with someone who can naturally fulfill those needs and desires while being fulfilled by you. (I laid out a most excellent process for doing this on our forum at http://forum.makingherhappy.com/showthread.php/175-Getting-Your-Life-in-Order-for-Happiness that will lead you through figuring it out and getting it recorded so that you can regularly consult it.) That in turn requires that you know other peoples’ needs and desires with regard to you, does it not? You don’t want to enter a relationship in which you have no chance of fulfilling the other’s needs and desires and they have no chance of fulfilling yours, do you?

That means knowing before you get into a relationship what the relationship should look like if it’s good. It means knowing after you get into a relationship if it is going to work based on how well you meet each other’s needs and desires. It means being able to communicate factually and honestly to express those needs and desires to each other, as well as how well those needs and desires are being met.

Contrary to how it often appears, relationships and marriages very seldom fail after ten or twenty years or more. What really happens is that they fail at their inception due to bad choices and that failure isn’t conceded until years later, when every option has been exhausted, there is no longer anything to hide behind (like children), and both partners have become miserable spending so much time and effort trying and failing. If you have a good foundation for a relationship, it’s not hard to tell; there’s little if anything fundamental and significant that you’d want to change about your partner, such as their values, political leanings, habits, desires, etc. You can talk and get along, and have probably just become a bit bored because attraction is waning. That’s fixable.

But…

If you’re in one of those relationships where the only place you get along is in the bedroom, and especially if you find yourself fighting to have an excuse to make up because that’s the only part of your relationship that IS working, you have a serious problem, and believe it or not, there are people with whom you can get along both in and out of the bedroom.

And since so many of you have asked, yes, it is still a good idea to learn about attraction and try to create it for your partner even if you are breaking up. Being attractive is about being a leader, being smart, being fair, handling tough situations and being able to keep your sense of humor about you. Stirring up a little attraction in your partner as you are splitting up will help ease the transition for her and you both, because it tends to keep tempers at bay. It will help her to feel that you are being strong and supportive during this crisis, and make her feel good that you are making the effort to help her hold herself together emotionally while you go through the process together. Nothing bad can come of that for either of you, and may indeed help you to part friends instead of killing each other in a war that never had to be fought, a war in which the only victors are the lawyers.

There you have it, the dark side of relationships and marriage. It is my sincere desire that you never have to go through a break-up, and that if worse comes to worst and you do have to go through one, that you can get through it with your dignity (and assets) intact and help each other to move on to a better life with someone better matched to yourselves by understanding what it is that you’re fighting: the basic human tendency to try to make the best of even the worst situation, no matter how inappropriate or even self-destructive it might be, not each other.

No matter where you are in your relationship, from looking for one to having been in one for 40 years or longer, there’s help waiting for you in "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," and it’s just a few mouse clicks away at http://www.makingherhappy.com. Go check it out, and get the straight story while you can; there are very few of us around who can and will give it to you, and your life is too short to fail to have and use it. And while you’re at it, swing by our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com and make a few friends, too. It never hurts to have a few relationship-savvy friends to talk with when you’re not sure what’s going on or what to do about it.

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