Saturday, August 27, 2011

King Arthur and the Witch: Lessons in Women, Relationships, and Marriage, and a CONTEST!

A very funny King Arthur story holds some very valuable lessons for the man who wants to understand and be happy with a woman.

I received a great story from one of you (thanks Ken!) that tickled my funny bone so thoroughly that by the time the laughing fit had subsided I had literally “laughed myself sick;” I was a bit nauseas, my diaphragm and abdominal muscles were sore, and my jaws and cheeks ached from that ancient and wonderful condition known affectionately as “perma-grin.”

But then I looked past the punch line and looked for the lessons it might hold for us, and sure enough, there they were. Read this story, and then see how many lessons you can pick out and we’ll compare answers at the end of the story, and I’ll give you details on how to win a free copy of my book in our annual “King Arthur and the Witch” Contest.

King Arthur and the Witch:

Young King Arthur was ambushed and imprisoned by the monarch of a neighboring kingdom. The monarch could have killed him but was moved by Arthur's youth and ideals. So, the monarch offered him his freedom, as long as he could answer a very difficult question. Arthur would have a year to figure out the answer and, if after a year, he still had no answer, he would be put to death.

The question? What do women really want?

Such a question would perplex even the most knowledgeable man, and to young Arthur, it seemed an impossible query. But, since it was better than death, he accepted the monarch's proposition to have an answer by year's end.

He returned to his kingdom and began to poll everyone: the princess, the priests, the wise men and even the court jester. He spoke with everyone, but no one could give him a satisfactory answer.

Many people advised him to consult the old witch, for only she would have the answer.

But the price would be high; as the witch was famous throughout the kingdom for the exorbitant prices she exacted.

The last day of the year arrived and Arthur had no choice but to talk to the witch. She agreed to answer the question, but he would have to agree to her price first.

The old witch wanted to marry Sir Lancelot, the most noble of the Knights of the Round Table and Arthur's closest friend!

Young Arthur was horrified. She was hunchbacked and hideous, had only one tooth, smelled like sewage, made obscene noises, etc. He had never encountered such a repugnant creature in all his life.

He refused to force his friend to marry her and endure such a terrible burden; but Lancelot, learning of the proposal, spoke with Arthur.

He said nothing was too big of a sacrifice compared to Arthur's life and the preservation of the Round Table.

Hence, a wedding was proclaimed and the witch answered Arthur's question thus:

“What a woman really wants,” she answered, “is to be in charge of her own life.”

Everyone in the kingdom instantly knew that the witch had uttered a great truth and that Arthur's life would be spared.

And so it was, the neighboring monarch granted Arthur his freedom and Lancelot and the witch had a wonderful wedding.

The honeymoon hour approached and Lancelot, steeling himself for a horrific experience, entered the bedroom. But, what a sight awaited him. The most beautiful woman he had ever seen lay before him on the bed. The astounded Lancelot asked what had happened.

The beauty replied that since he had been so kind to her when she appeared as a witch, she would henceforth, be her horrible deformed self only half the time and the beautiful maiden the other half.

Which would he prefer? Beautiful during the day, or night?

Lancelot pondered the predicament. During the day, a beautiful woman to show off to his friends, but at night, in the privacy of his castle, an old witch? Or, would he prefer having a hideous witch during the day, but by night, a beautiful woman for him to enjoy wondrous intimate moments?

What would YOU do?

Noble Lancelot said that he would allow HER to make the choice herself.

Upon hearing this, she announced that she would be beautiful all the time because he had respected her enough to let her be in charge of her own life.

Now....what is the moral to this story?

If you don't let a woman have her own way, things are going to get ugly!


Yes, the moral presented is a valid one, but only up to a point; giving in too much can make you look like a wuss, make your partner bored, and make things get about as ugly as they can get as the relationship comes apart at the seams, especially if you have a “toxic wife,” but that’s not the lesson I hope you found. A woman can only be in charge of her own life up to but not including the point where she starts being in charge of yours.

Foremost, did you notice that the witch wanted to be in charge of her own life, but submitted to Lancelot’s leadership on the issue when she clearly had the power to choose independently of his say-so? Women will do this in real life as well, every time. Why?

No, it’s not because they are weak, or stupid, or anything like that. They simply enjoy being led and testing a man to see if he’s capable of leading. It’s exciting for them to see a man act with authority and make decisions, and they always have the option of doing as they please if the man doesn’t rise to the occasion. That’s NOT to say that they like seeing a man be a bully and force decisions upon them without giving them a fair hearing and consideration in issues that involve them, so don’t go there. Some women may respond to it, but the pay-off is damaging to both of you, so just don’t.

They can handle things just fine on their own if they have to; it’s just a lot more fun and exciting for them if they tell us whatever’s on their mind and then they see us make a good decision and carry it out, kind of like it’s fun for us to ask them to go get something for us so we can watch their hips swing as they walk away. It’s that same low-key, voyeuristic sexual excitement; they get it from our behavior like we get it from their appearance, and for the same reason: it’s a primal reaction that happens in the oldest part of the human brain.

And yes, some women need leadership because they tend to get drama-swamped and can’t make a decision at all, and some are emotionally-damaged and self-destructive, just like some men are. These are minorities, gentlemen, small minorities. They’re just so noticeable when they do occur that we’ve all seen them, without realizing that a lot of us are seeing the few of them, that they appear to be more common than they really are.

And what about “being in charge of her own life”? Do you know what that means to a woman? Pretty much the same thing that it means to us, but much more intensely. Women have a lot more insecurities than we do, and they tend to be bothered by them a lot more than we are. It’s no wonder after the centuries of oppression and the constant bombardment of their self-esteem by the fashion and beauty industries, predatory men, hyper-competitive women, and others. Coupled with their more creative brain wiring and subsequent heightened emotional tendencies, I’m surprised and pleased that they get along so well as they do, because many of them do have more obstacles to happiness than we do.

For a woman, being in charge of her own life means being able to rise above the insecurities and the drama to feel comfortable in her own skin and confident about her choices, especially the choices she’s made about the relationships in her life. No small task when you consider the conditions they live in as listed in the preceding paragraph.

Where we tend to spend our lives managing tasks and projects, women, because of their social nature, spend their lives managing relationships. When they say they want a man who makes them feel safe, they’re not talking about a bodyguard; they’re talking about a man who earns their trust and loyalty, who gives them a feeling of commitment and continuation of the relationship, because severed relationships are as traumatic for them as failed plans and projects are to us, if not more so. We put our life into our work, and they put their lives into their relationships.

Another lesson is in her response to Lancelot. If you do the things that make a woman happy, like letting her see you being a real man, showing simple respect, and using what you learn about a woman’s needs, wants, communications style and methods, etc., she will be compelled to make your life wonderful. It’s in the wiring, and even predatory women can be turned around to some noticeable but still unhealthy degree if the man is strong and exciting enough; NO, it’s not enough to make them a partner, so don’t bother wondering if you could be the one to turn them around.

Predatory behavior is the result of biological wiring, just like their more-sophisticated communications skills, responding to confident leadership and other alpha male characteristics with attraction, being hyper-adverse to boredom, etc. Don’t let that lesson be wasted.

As an aside, hopefully a quick one, I want to point out a common misconception in this story that has extremely destructive potential. This story speaks of Lancelot’s “sacrifice” in marrying the witch. “Sacrifice” is the trading of value for nothing, resulting in the destruction of value, which benefits nobody at all. Lancelot traded his choice of bride to see his King live and lead his country, because he did not wish to live otherwise. That is a trade of value for value, not a sacrifice.

You often hear people talk about the need for sacrifice in a relationship; if ever you are asked to make a true sacrifice in your relationship, to give up or destroy something of value to you for no appreciable benefit, you are looking at a controller, some form of predator or parasite, not a partner. A partner might ask you to choose between two things of value to you, (like trading a roadster for a car that will carry the whole family) or between two actions (a fishing trip with a friend or a family vacation), but only a predator would ask you give up something of value to you without something in return, like selling your roadster so they could have one or giving yours to them while you do without, or giving up your fishing trip so they could go off on a cruise with girlfriends. Good relationships do involve a lot of trades, but never sacrifices, and if you’re with the right person, you’ll seldom employ compromise, either.

What other lessons can you find in this story? Let’s do a contest. E-mail me at or post your comment on our forum at, and if you send anything I find worthy of repeating to your fellow readers that hasn’t already appeared in print during previous runs of this contest, and I’ll send you a free copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage.” Entries must be received by 11:59PM Mountain Standard Time (Las Vegas, Nevada time) on Sunday, August 29, 2009. I’ve held this contest in the past, and it was a blast. I also met some of my best students and closest friends through this contest. And for those of you who participated last year, no cheating this year! LOL!

If you don’t have an entry, that should tell you that you need to be reading "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," because you should be able to recognize these things if you’re going to be living happily with a woman. Download your copy right now at and start becoming that guy whom legend says does not exist, the guy who knows what women really want and how to have fun giving it to them, not to mention reaping the immense and wonderful rewards they give in return.

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

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