Sunday, May 08, 2011

Lying in Relationships and Marriage, Part 1, Faking It Until You Make It

Is lying to your partner ever a good attraction tactic? Is it ever good for anything in your relationship? Only if you’re a predator…

It’s good to be back “on the air.” Between the tornado that passed through my neighborhood and a dying computer (the graphics chip in my laptop getting hot and locking up every time I try to do anything), it’s been a rough couple of weeks. A new computer will be here on Monday (a monster I7 quad-core rig that should keep me current for a few years) and by the end of the week I should be picking in tall cotton. In the meantime there is a fan blowing a lot of extra air through my computer to keep it from overheating as rapidly, so as long as the fan holds out I’ll be able to answer your questions and keep things up on the forum until I get the other computer set up properly.

This lesson is the first part of a three-part series on the various aspects of deceit in a relationship, which will include, among other things, lie detection, so don't miss any part of it, even if you think everything is okay in your relationship! Reader comments indicate it is one of the most popular topics we discuss and the second most popular newsletter series I issue, and truth be told, I should probably turn it into a stand-alone report, so even if you’ve seen it before, read carefully and treat it as a “refresher course” if necessary.

By the way, there has been copious and candid discussion of various aspects of lying, such as faking it until you make it and lying to yourself about whether you have marital problems (a truly devastating self-deception) at our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com/, and you should join us and check it out. There’s nothing like seeing the impact a lie can have on you to make you a ruthless seeker of the truth.

I’ve been asked frequently about the tactic of “fake it ‘til you make it” when trying to revive stale relationship or rescue a failing one. We’ve not talked about it in several months (except on the forum, of course), and since many of you have commented (all comments are welcome and read) that you like it much better when we focus on a subject for a few days and thoroughly explore it, we’re going to focus on lying and deceit in general for a few days, such as detecting it, damage it can do that you may not expect, etc. Let’s dig in!

I recently read (for the fourth time) the scariest book I’ve ever found, with the possible exception of Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals.” It’s entitled “The Rules: Time-tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right,” by Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider, in an effort to find out why women do so many things that are bad for them and their relationships with men, and I don’t know if this book is “the root of all evil” in relationships and marriage, but while some of the advice it gives is sound, practical advice, especially on personal security for women, parts of it are pure poison, and there’s much for both genders to learn from it if you can filter the good advice from the bad.

Frankly, I’d recommend that every man read it to see what kind of tricks and ploys are used to pull a man into a bad relationship to help him know that either his partner is a great woman who didn’t prey upon his insecurities or that he got sucked in and is being manipulated so he can take appropriate action to safely exit with confidence. Make no mistake, there are good relationships with fixable problems, and there are bad relationships that need to be dissolved, and no matter which you’re in, you need to know EXACTLY what you’re in to take appropriate action. Your first responsibility is to yourself and your own happiness, and until you’ve met that responsibility, you might contribute to someone else’s needs or cause, but not their happiness.

“The Rules,” according to its authors, is based on advice that a woman gave her daughter a hundred years ago or more on how to catch and marry a man. At that time, marrying well was a survival skill because many women could not make it on their own due to social prejudices, etc. Being “in love” was a luxury; “finding support” was a prime motivator in finding a husband; being “cared about” took a back seat to being “provided for.” Hence, much of the advice given under “The Rules” is how to prey upon a man’s insecurities to make him jealous and over-react to her scarcity, marrying her in order to control her availability.

This will get the job done, if simply getting married and being kept is a woman’s goal, but at what cost? In short, turning him into an insecure, jealous wuss that no woman could possibly be attracted to because a woman won’t respect and can’t feel attraction (that “swept off her feet” feeling that is an integral part of female sexual arousal) for a man she can control. This is a sure-fire recipe for disaster (especially if you have a healthy libido!), as it is what creates that marriage in which the woman spends everything the man makes but has sex with the proverbial gardener or pool boy instead of her husband.

I’ll get into more of this in a future newsletter, but what I want to talk about today, and the reason I bring this up, is that a “scary big” portion of the advice given in this book entails lying to men to attract them, in spite of the authors’ assertion that they don’t advise lying. I’m going to address that issue for the women in my upcoming book written for them, but it begs the more general question: “Is lying ever a good way to handle anything in a relationship, especially the building of attraction?”

The short answer, for both genders, is “Not just no, but HELL NO!” unless you are indeed some kind of predator or a total loser. Among other things, it leaves you feeling that you had to lie to attract the partner and therefore aren’t good enough to have him or her, even if you are! Indeed, feeling a lack of self-esteem can also make you feel that you have to lie to be worthy of someone else’s attention. And once you’ve done that, you have the stress of worrying about your lie being exposed to dampen any pleasure you might otherwise enjoy.

It also labels you as needy and weak, and is a tactic for losers and predators who cannot be attractive in their own right. That alone is devastating to self-esteem, if you have any (death spiral, anyone?), and when you look at the bigger picture, how can you feel or express love or respect for a person you lied to in order to have them involved in your life? Or for yourself? Can you love and respect yourself after lying to trick somebody into a relationship with you? Even without getting into what happens when you get caught, it’s a losing proposition for both sides.

What should you do? Work your attraction magic with things that are really part of you, incorporating new things that fit well into yourself if necessary. Start by emphasizing – NOT exaggerating -- your best behavior and avoiding and ultimately reforming – NOT disguising -- your worst. Then, take on a bit of self-improvement in areas that are appealing to you. If you’re not naturally funny, learn to be. You’ll find that as you pay attention to people looking for something entertaining, you’ll often find something that entertains everyone, and the more you do it, the more you develop the nerve pathways required for a genuine sense of humor.

Don’t just try to fake it, and stress over it. Study it, understand how it can brighten your life and your outlook on life, as well as make you more attractive to your partner, and treat it as a self-improvement exercise because it is. Don’t try to act funny, BECOME funny. Join Toastmaster’s or something and learn how to tell a good story and see the humor in things. Take dancing lessons if you’ve always thought about it but never got around to it. Learn how to have real fun and adventure yourself and you will be fun and interesting to a woman. Learn how to enjoy your life and just do it, and you will be irresistible.

Another example? Don’t try to act romantic, BE romantic. Develop a genuine appreciation for the great, the beautiful, the larger than life, by exposing yourself to it, and be able to spot it and point it out to others as you do in a way which helps them to get excited over it and appreciate it, as you see in the movie “Don Juan DeMarco.” Take a music appreciation, ballroom dancing or art appreciation class to get you started, or take up some kind of hobby where appreciation for greatness will be an inherent part of it as you delve deeper into the hobby, and gain self-esteem from your achievements as you progress.

Like to make sawdust? Study people like Sam Maloof. Like cooking? Read not only the cookbooks written by the world’s greatest chefs, but their stories; see how they became great chefs, and you will be impressed. And just as I said about developing a sense of humor, you can also develop a sense of romance, adventure, etc., by looking at it and for it.

And make no mistake, this isn’t changing yourself for her, it’s changing yourself for YOU, to have what YOU want, which is a strong, positive, attractive personality that you enjoy living with, people enjoy being around and which will attract viable candidates for a great relationship. And all you have to do to make it happen is actively explore and enjoy your life and the things that interest you.

Or, you could just try to “fake it ‘til you make it,” and be stressed out over having your cover blown and somebody seeing the real you and not liking what they see, kicking you to the curb while yelling “Fraud!” and walking away without another thought. No? I thought not.

This process is not difficult; indeed, it’s most enjoyable. Most people who don’t engage in self-improvement avoid it because of fear of failure, not because there’s really any reason for them to fail, while most people who do engage in it (and I do mean ENGAGE, not just buy the materials and set them on the shelf or skim them instead of using them) succeed, because they look forward to success and enjoying their life more.

By the same token, if you don’t have any exciting stories to tell, don’t make them up – get off your butt and get out and do something exciting! If you’re not an expert at something, don’t fake it and make an ass of yourself, pick something interesting and useful to you (and hopefully fun for you as well) and BECOME an expert. It is far better to be silent and thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt! Besides, a man needs a hobby. ;-)

Never, ever, lie to your partner. Even without regard for moral or ethical issues; it’s just too stressful for both of you, and too damaging to your self-esteem, whether you get caught or spend years trying to maintain a lie, not to mention damaging to the relationship. It’s far easier to actually become attractive than to try to just put on the act, and once you do become attractive, BEING attractive isn’t just stress-free, it’s fun! And then, if the potential for love is there, it can develop and make for a truly great relationship that stands the test of time.

There’s a wealth of solid, tested information in “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage” on what women find attractive, and just as important, what will kill it in a heartbeat, not to mention how to communicate with her in a way that has her talking with you instead of spending hours every day complaining about you to all her girlfriends, or the guy she’s having an affair with! It can even help you figure out if you’re in a relationship that has a good foundation and can make it or if you’ve been pulled in by a “Rules Girl” and are truly too mismatched for there to be any hope.

This is it, your best shot at getting things back on the right track no matter how far astray they’ve gone, so download your copy today at http://www.makingherhappy.com/, because the information works, the price is right, the guarantee is unconditional, and life is too short to miss living it to the fullest. (There has been some discussion about that on our forum recently, too!)

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

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