Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Most Important Skills in Building, Maintaining, or Saving a Relationship or Marriage, Part 1

A reader writes about his success and discoveries in reviving his marriage in the post-affair situation that many of you have written to me about. Do yourself a big favor and learn from him…

I love letters like the ones I’m about to share with you. They prove just how much a guy with genuine desire, a little courage, and the right information can accomplish.

The following is a partial transcript of several e-mails that have passed back and forth between Mark and me today. He inspired a few noteworthy remarks from me, but his insight and achievement are the real stars today. This is really long, so I’m going to break this up over the next couple of days to keep from overloading your schedule. Join us now…


Well I've been subscribing to your newsletter for a couple of months and bought your e-book, but I was really having some trouble putting your ideas to work. You see I had let my marriage get to a point that my wife was bored enough to have an affair. We've fought our way back from the brink and through your help I could see that I needed to take action, but I just couldn't figure out how to do it. So the other night I figure I'm going to make my wife notice that I'm different.

We're sitting on the bed watching TV and I just think I have to do something right now! So I sit up and lean over and look very serious. And I say, "you know, there's something that I've always wanted to do to you in bed." The look on her face was priceless. I could tell she thought that I was about to suggest some kind of sexual act and she obviously didn't want to play. But instead I grabbed the pillow and smacked her over the head with it and yelled "pillow fight!"

Talk about fun, we spent a couple of minutes rough housing on the bed and laughing so hard we woke up the kids. She was so surprised that her mood completely changed from somber to happy. This led to us having all kinds of fun that night. So I am totally getting the cocky and fun aspect of what you suggest.

The only thing that I am having trouble with at this time is that I am a stay-at-home dad. I am in the process of changing that but I'm still a couple of months out from getting the necessary training I need to get back to work. What specific ideas could you suggest for me to keep my wife attracted while I go through this transition?


My reply:

Hi Mark!

The pillow fight was a masterful move, so you're really getting it. That kind of fun is what makes intimacy happen, especially when you initiate it. And you can turn it up a lot hotter than that, too.

For example, one reader’s wife is one of those curious women who have a compulsion to pick up anything you point at. He sets her up by dropping something in the floor, and later when she's in the vicinity, he looks over at it and says, "What's that?" When she bends over, he gives her a playful little pinch or swat on the behind, or some other kind of mildly sexual "gotcha" maneuver. She laughs and tries to act mad because he got her again and can't stop herself from laughing.

The thing, if you’re not naturally spontaneous, is to dream up things that are fun for you and not somehow degrading, humiliating, or painful for her (which would kill the fun for her instead of making it happen). That has a two-fold benefit. First, it takes the pressure off of you because you're having fun and she's along for the ride, and second, a woman will go along with just about anything for fun as long as it isn't somehow disrespectful, painful, or downright scary-reckless.

Case in point, consider the "wedgie." If you do it just far enough for it to be called a wedgie and surprise her, or just gently snap the band on her panties when it's exposed as she bends over, it's a shock, and when she sees that naughty boy grin she can't help but to laugh, where if you pull hard on the wedgie you can hurt her, or if you give her elastic the extreme snap it might sting that sensitive skin to the point of pissing her off.

(By the way, that’s the reason most women don’t like having their bra straps snapped. It’s been done excessively, too hard, and disrespectfully, and they have bad memories associated with it. Once you’ve earned her trust by doing these other things in a way she finds fun and trusts you not to hurt or disrespect her, the bra straps become fair game, too, but make sure you earn that trust before going where she’s likely to have bad feelings from the past. Personally, I’ve found the threat of snapping a bra strap much more effective than an actual snap, to pull it out and hold it and say something like, “Got money?” or “I wonder what it would be worth for me to not let this thing fly,” with the big grin, of course, and then after milking it just a little, letting go of it gently.)

Stunts like wedgies and snapping elastic are much more about insinuation than achievement; "I could have really burnt you up if I wanted to, but I didn't because I love you and want to have fun with you, not hurt you," is the underlying message. (Be careful about pulling hard on elastic with the intention of letting up to only a gentle snap as well, because sensitive skin or tissue in the breast or groin area can be hurt as much or more by the pull than the snap if you catch it just right – not to mention the fact that good, comfortable bras are apparently both expensive and hard to find.) And you can have a lot of fun and excite her with anything that conveys that message.

You may have caught the e-mail a few days ago in which a guy interrupted his wife's bratty rant by pulling her pants down and walking out of the room grinning. That works great if she's just in a bratty rant and not genuinely pissed about a legitimate issue, and as long as it's just you and her in the room. Change any one of those variables and it's an act of disrespect instead of fun.

And by the way, there's nothing wrong giving her a playful nip on the breast or neck or something when nobody's looking, either. The earlier in the day you put a sexual thought in her head, the more she'll stew on it through the day and the easier it will be to ramp her up to the point where she's ripping your clothes off of you at bedtime. As you read in my book, anticipation is the name of the game, remember?

As for your home situation, it's not so difficult as you might think. Being a provider is part of the biological trigger equation, but so is being a protector, and being fun, intelligent, self-respectful, etc. If you get anxious and depressed about not having a job, it will have a negative impact.

If you treat your training as a job, and get excited about the training and the job prospects, that attitude and confidence will come across as heroic, and build trust and intimacy, not to mention be exciting to your wife. Women like to live vicariously through other people at times because it provides an emotional lift, and if she sees you striving heroically through a career change, it excites her and makes her feel safe.

In contrast, if you get insecure and anxious about it, you become a high-maintenance problem like a girlfriend and her confidence in you drops like a rock. You also point out how at the moment you are not a provider, but a dependent, and that’s really bad in the attraction equation. So in short, as long as you go through that transition with confidence and continue to look forward to success and remain fun and dedicated in the meantime, you're golden.

Just keep the communications lines open so that she gets an occasional taste of your confidence and excitement. Answer her questions with real answers instead of just "okay," or "It's going well," and then shutting up.

Give her a few details of things that you're learning and things you're excited about -- not verbose descriptions of technical processes that will bore the hell out of her, but stuff like, "I learned how to operate such-and-such today, and it was tough, but I enjoyed it. I'm getting really excited about this."

If it's not enough, she'll ask you specific questions, and if it is enough, she'll say something like she's happy for you that pretty obviously moves toward a new subject. And by the way, best wishes for whatever it is you're pursuing...

Take care, and keep in touch!

Mark’s reply to this advice carries some insights and reports of further success and experimentation that you will not want to miss tomorrow, so don’t. But let’s take a closer look at this and make sure you catch the most important parts of today’s lesson.

First, women love to play just as much as we do, and sometimes I suspect that it’s more than we do, but I don’t have any way to objectively measure it. They can get just as wild, crazy, bold, raunchy, and irreverent as any man, given the right circumstances. They don’t tolerate disrespect any more than we do, and pain isn’t any more fun for them than it is for us. Don’t be afraid to be yourself; if you go too far, switch gears fast and find a new way to play. Don’t dote and start apologizing all over yourself.

If you do trip over some hot button that you didn’t and couldn’t have known existed, apologize, once, not many times like a wuss would, cuddle her up and tell her that you’re there to love and protect her, not to deliberately say or do anything to hurt her, and as soon as you feel her tension wane a bit, start back in on her with something else. You’ll find that “two steps forward, one step back” applies to a lot more than just attraction-building.

Second, take a close look at what I said about his career situation. That’s a general formula for dealing with any kind of adversity. If you act all distraught and whiney, you appear weak and dramatic, and in the back of her mind, an alarm sounds that says, “Warning! Warning! Another drama queen to manage!” You lose man points, lots of them. And if you allow her to see you as a dependent instead of a partner, the clock starts running faster and faster as you move toward the point where she’s done with you.

But, if you keep the attitude that adversity creates opportunity, deal with the situation with an air of looking forward to success, and talk with her about how you see that success and your effort to reach it, you will inspire her to trust you and support you, possibly to a degree you would have never expected. Heroism is a form of romance, and when you take the heroic approach to dealing with adversity, you put your wife right in the middle of epic romance – an outstanding opportunity in the midst of adversity when you think about it.

It doesn’t take a whole lot to be the guy who pulls this off all his life with grace and very little, if any, conscious effort. A little knowledge will go a long way, knowledge about what women want, need and respond to, about how they communicate, and what flips on the fun, excitement and attraction switches. Sound like a lot?

Sure it does. It has all our life. We grew up hearing the story about the genie who thought it would be easier to build a bridge from Los Angeles, California to Hawaii than to tell the man who’d rubbed the lamp what makes women tick, or what women really want, depending on which version of the joke you hear. Apparently I’m a lot smarter than that genie, because I did it in 118 pages, not with the help of a genie, but of a whole bunch of women and their men.

When you want to learn something, you go to the source, plain and simple. I went to the source, learned everything they could teach me, translated it into man-speak, and gave it to their husbands to test on them. There were some discrepancies where the women thought they wanted things and didn’t like it when they got them – the old “be careful what you wish for” scenario. But we got it all ironed out and on paper, so to speak.

Actually, it’s in an Adobe PDF file, called "THE Man's Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," and you can download it right now at if you want to be one of us guys who knows all that mysterious stuff about women that you’re not supposed to know – and your wife or girlfriend WANTS DESPERATELY for you to know. Give it a shot, and in a couple weeks you’ll be writing me letters about success instead of sitting there in front of that computer wishing you had a success to write about, because once you tune in, it’s like driving a car or tying your shoes, something you do all the time without having to think about it. And if you think I’m exaggerating, drop by our forum at and read others’ experiences. Gain strength from them, then go forth and conquer, young man. ;-)

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

No comments: