Saturday, March 05, 2011

What to Do When She Gains a Few Pounds, Keeping the Flame Burning in Relationships and Marriage

Spring is almost upon us, and many of us have put on an inconvenient layer of winter fat that we’re now wondering how many extra trips to the gym it will take to get rid of it. Women are especially troubled right now because bikini season is just around the corner! What do you do when she gains a few pounds? Inquiring minds want to know, at least if they ever hope enjoy being married again…

That’s right, it’s time to shed that winter insulation and get ready for bikinis, volleyball, backyard barbecues, and all those other fun activities that require baring skin, and exposing your jelly belly if you picked one up through the winter. Here’s a typical letter about this most common problem, and a very sticky one to say the least. Meet Tia:

Dear David,

I need your help. The past few months I have put on a few extra pounds due to a medication that I have to take for my asthma. Everybody tells me that they don’t notice it and I look good, but to me I feel like the Goodyear blimp and have no desire to be intimate with my husband at all because I’m embarrassed over having curves in places that were flat. The more he tries to tell me I look sexy the more his advances just make me feel pressured, and I hate feeling under pressure this way. It has nothing to do with not loving him or not wanting to enjoy each other the way we always have. We have always been very in touch with each other and being together in the bed was always one of the best parts.

I was hoping you could give me some advice as to how I could bring this up with him. I want him to understand just how awful I feel I look and how it has nothing to do with him at this point.

Thank you,
Tia


Tia, I’m going to make this really easy for you, because it’s such a great question. Just print this article and let him read it, because I’m going to tell him and all the other men about this. He won’t know it’s you unless you tell him because I’ve changed the name to protect your privacy.

Get ready guys! Pay close attention, take notes, and make sure you fully understand what you’re about to read. This is some of the most critical information to ever appear in this newsletter and you need to get this down pat and cold, right now, because sooner or later, EVERY woman will experience a bit of weight gain that makes her uncomfortable with her appearance, and consequently, with YOU.

If you’ve read "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," you know about the difference in the male and female brain structure. Aside from making our communications styles and methods grossly different, it also makes women visualize and dramatize to the extreme compared to males.

You also must remember that nearly all of the advertising in the fashion and beauty industries is designed to prey upon a woman’s sense of competitiveness to make her feel insecure about her appearance. Women are literally bombarded with this crap everywhere they look, and while you or I probably wouldn’t even notice a little weight gain until we had to loosen our belt a notch or sew a button back on our trousers that had popped off, to them a pound or two can be nearly or wholly traumatic, especially if they’ve taken pride in a flat stomach for a long time.

We often respond to this by telling them that they look “fine,” “sexy,” “hot,” etc., and that is precisely the wrong thing to do. Why?

She knows what she sees in the mirror, and thinks that you see what she sees in the mirror. If she thinks she looks fat and you say she looks sexy, all that says to her is that either you’re lying or your standards are really, really low. Don’t go there, even if you really think she looks better with a couple of extra pounds because you like the curves, and whatever you do, DON’T tell her you like the new curves! That can get you killed, because in her ears, that’s, “But honey, I like you better when you’re fat like this.” Ladies, you are cordially invited to write and tell the men just that – I’ll reprint your letters so the men will know just how serious an issue this is. And guys, there are some women at our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com/, that will verify this and everything else I tell you, and often elaborate as well. Check it out.

So what are you supposed to do?

You’d already know this, too, if you had read “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage,” because you wouldn’t be making those kinds of advances and doing really stupid things like asking her to have sex with you. You’d be tripping her attraction triggers with alpha male behavior, naughty talk and gestures, and making her have fun and get so hot that she didn’t concern herself with her additional weight because she’d still feel sexy and desirable, and she’d be coming after YOU!

When you know what a woman wants, what “makes her tick,” how to both listen and talk to her, and how to have fun with her, she doesn’t feel like a middle-aged housewife that can’t compete with the 20-somethings anymore. She feels like a real queen who rules the world at your side by day and a red hot vixen by night, keeping that naughty little secret for you and you alone because you create it for her. There's a time and place, not to mention a right way and a wrong way, for everything, and that includes delivering genuine, honest compliments, and giving them because they have been earned, not because you’re trying to get something in return. That’s called “flattery,” and it will get you absolutely nowhere with anyone who is worth getting anywhere with.

That, Gentlemen, is how a real man makes a real woman feel, and that is what you learn when you read “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage.” So how many more times are you going to have to stick your foot in your mouth and spend the night in the doghouse before you go to http://www.makingherhappy.com/ and download your copy? Go now, and get it done, because there are far better things to do with your feet (and your mouth!).

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

Friday, March 04, 2011

Speaking of Alpha Buffoons, How Do You Handle Them? Keeping Attraction and Respect Intact in Relationships and Marriage

I told you not to be the “alpha buffoon” yesterday, but we didn’t talk about what to do when you meet one. Failure to handle him properly can cost you dearly in terms of how your wife or girlfriend sees you, no matter how “alpha” you may be yourself.

Before I get into today’s lesson, I want to note that we are slowly but surely winning the war against male wussitude at the grass roots level. While Hollywood and others seem hell-bent on turning us all into bumbling, sniveling, beta males and worse, there are those among the masses who are noticing that this is the wrong way to go and are joining in the fight. Please take a minute to read the following article by David Von Drehle of Time Magazine, entitled “The Boys Are All Right.” It is compelling, encouraging, enlightening, and for most, entertaining as well. You can find it at http://tasinastime.blogspot.com/2007/07/boys-must-read.html.

To get into our lesson today, I received a letter that we need to take a good look at together. One my top guys, Dee, wrote me about an encounter with an alpha buffoon, and he learned a lesson after the encounter that he wanted to share with all of you. (I so love it when my students become teachers! That’s when I know that the lessons have really hit home and they “own” the material.) Check it out:

Hello David,

I want to tell you something I found out only two days ago that was making withdrawals from the "attraction bank." Perhaps some of your readers can benefit from my experience.

There is a man (let's call him Bill), that works for the same company as my wife and I, who is, let’s say an alpha buffoon.

A few days ago we happened to be in the office at the same time he was. There was a box a pecans which looked to be “wild” as I called them, which to me meant not from trees which are trained, pruned, etc.

He couldn't resist telling me there is no such thing as wild, only native or paper shell and proceeded to tell my wife she was married to me (like she’d made a bad decision). I popped off a few comments to him which were so far over his head he didn't even know they were insults.

Later one of the secretaries’ son was in and had been swapping punches with kids at school. For the fun of it I told the boy to go ahead and let me see what he had. I wouldn't hit him back.

Well, Bill heard and couldn't resist, said he "wanted in on it" when I told him “Let's go,” he backs out.

Bill then starts a long monologue how it's been too long since he hit someone without trying to hurt them that he better not. He bounced for so long and had been around so many top martial artists who taught him so much.

Although it was all I could do to keep from laughing in his face, I let him ramble and basically say in all his actions that I was a moron who knew nothing. No one but my wife knows that I used to be an instructor of martial arts years ago, and I prefer to keep it that way. I don't brag about it.

NEVER EVER EVER let anyone put you down in front of your wife no matter what.

Here's why.

When we left my wife acted like she was mad at me. Wouldn't hardly talk. (Sometimes I'm a little hard-headed and my mind has been focused on business I am trying to start.)

When asked, she said no, she was not mad at me. Finally, after much silence I told her to tell me. "I WISH, SOMETIMES, YOU TWO WOULD JUST FIGHT AND GET IT OVER WITH! I'M TIRED OF THE MACHO BULLS**T. You’re always at each other’s throats."

My response was “What did I do?”

"You didn't do anything," she said.

(I was still not using my head yet.) And asked, “Then what is the problem? I never attacked him, he started it, I ignored it, so what did I do?”

She said that whenever he popped off "well you’re the one married to him" that she just wanted to rip him to shreds, and it was all she could do to keep her mouth shut.

David, let me tell you, it sank in then.

"Do you know why he was always that way," I asked?

"Yes, because he is afraid of you, but you eat it up, you just have such an air of confidence that people either want to be like you, or are intimidated and afraid of you," she said.

That helped her calm a little and seemed to make her feel better.

As much as I hate to I guess I am going to have to put a stop to it. With his kind usually physical is the only way to go. The bad thing, he is the owner’s nephew.

If I had told him I was at one time a teacher of self defense, it would have only shown him how pitiful he was and made it worse, for it would have shown him he was not the expert he thought he was. He would have looked the fool.

He is one of those who always know more than anyone else about everything no matter what.

I told my wife these things, and also why I refuse to let things get physical with people. All this has helped with the damage a little.

The point is, even if a woman knows someone is a buffoon she expects her man to be able to handle it in a quick, efficient manner. NOT TO IGNORE IT as has always been my custom, no matter if you don't want to waste your time and energy with such nuts.

Watch yourself around men like this if your wife is with you don't let them "seem" to be getting the upper hand.

You will be losing many attraction points.

Maybe you can use this lesson learned by me to help someone else.

Sincerely,
Dee


Dee wrote back in response to some advice I gave him about how to put a stop to it without getting physical (which I’ll get to in a minute):

Lessons learned:

It would not have bothered my wife so much, I do not believe, if there had been no one else around.

I should have put a stop to it. I allowed the protective or motherly instinct to kick in which was a no-no.

Plus, I allowed someone to seem to get the better of me. I realize it embarrassed her as there were others around.

My confidence is enough it did not bother me. As much as I hate to waste my time and energy on someone such as he, I now realize it is imperative to handle such situations quickly, not to ignore people such as he. Especially in the presence of my wife.

Thank you for the advice. I appreciate it. I will use that or something similar. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Dee


Those are some pretty powerful lessons, are they not? And what pleases me the most is that now that Dee’s eyes are open, he’s able to spot these things without having to be prompted – or punished by his wife! Thanks to Dee for sharing all of this, too!

The advice he thanked me for was something I picked up back in my corporate consulting days. Diffusing situations is a matter of leadership, which, by the way is an attraction-builder.

This “Bill” character is not in the chain of command, so there’s no apparent risk to anybody’s job by stomping on him a little bit. The advice was to take him aside next time he started this nonsense (by telling him, “Let’s talk over here for a minute,” instead of asking, “Can I talk to you a minute?” which establishes him as the “big dog”) and adopting a tone that is somewhere between friendly and fatherly and saying something like:

“Do you realize that you may be the only person in this company who doesn’t know that what you were doing over there is approval-seeking behavior and instead of making you look like an expert, makes you look like an ass? If you want these people’s respect, show them some. Just be yourself, and when you talk with them, ask about them, their families, and the things that interest them. They don’t care what you know or think you know about something until they ask you.

“The more you know about them, the more you’ll find that you enjoy talking with them, and the more they’ll like about you and the less you’ll embarrass yourself. For instance, I was a martial arts instructor for a lot of years, and I know you wouldn’t have said a whole lot of things you said to try to impress me about being a bouncer if you had known that. Now just lighten up and enjoy everybody’s company and you’ll see them start enjoying yours.”

That’s how you take a guy off at the knees and make him thank you for it. But the simple act of cutting his tirade short and pulling him aside shows your partner that you can take the lead and fix the problem in that situation just as well as any other, and makes her proud to be there with you instead of embarrassed because you let the buffoon get away with boring and insulting her. It doesn’t take “fisticuffs,” as they used to say, but it does take action, especially action that involves authority and/or leadership, and action is all she needs to see.

So now the question of what to do when you meet up with the alpha buffoon has been answered, but there’s a bigger question here for you: do you want to continue to wait for these lessons to come trickling in through this newsletter or my blog posts, or do you want to grab the bull by the horns and bring yourself up to speed and be able to spot things like this yourself?

When you know what you need to know about women and how to communicate with them, it’s really pretty easy. In spite of what we were all taught growing up about how impossible a task that’s supposed to be, that knowledge does exist, has been compiled for you, and wonder of wonders, it’s easy to learn and use.

Indeed, we’re not talking about some grueling academic exercise requiring that you rearrange your schedule, take classes, and conduct all manner of experiments that stand a good chance of royally pissing off your partner. Just a few hours of light, entertaining reading and thinking.

Desperate for help? Intrigued? Or think I’m full of crap? Put it to the test! Go to http://www.makingherhappy.com and download your copy of "THE Man's Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" and see for yourself. But a word of advice: don’t bet against success. There’s a very good reason why these men and women write me these letters and all those testimonials on my web site… ;-) And if you think I’m kidding, check with the folks on our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com, and see what they have to say.

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

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Be an Alpha Male, not an Alpha Buffoon, for a Great Relationship and Marriage

There’s a fine line between being an alpha male and being a bully, buffoon, or a show-off. Know where it is, and don’t cross it!

Before we get into today's lesson, I had a very telling e-mail from a new reader that I must share with you, one that all you Gentlemen need to let soak in and grasp the full impact. It was regarding a recent post about the difference between men and women’s emotional scales (see http://forum.makingherhappy.com/showthread.php/217-Understanding-Our-Emotional-Scales-Another-Key-to-a-Great-Relationship-and-Marriage). It read:

“David are you available for marriage??????? Surely you're taken!”

There was a follow-up e-mail after this one in which the woman introduced herself and made it quite clear that she was hoping we could get on. And all because I could explain the difference between male and female emotional structure. I’ve had quite a few letters like this when I’ve discussed this in the past as well, so you must take this at face value: Understanding a woman’s emotional needs, their source, and the behavior that they induce is one of the most important things that a woman wants you to know. (Right Jan?)

And I GAVE that to you in that post. Read it. Use it. And then think for a minute about how great the information in my book must be if I’m going to give you information like that. ;-)

Let’s move on to today’s lesson. Have you ever had a “textbook moment”? One of those occasions that provide a textbook example of exactly what to do or avoid doing in a certain situation? I have a lot of them because I look for them, and I had one over the weekend that I really need to pass along to you.

There’s a wonderful Mexican restaurant a couple of miles from my home, one of those little “hole in the wall” places that you’d probably never go into if you didn’t know how to read a parking lot to find a great restaurant (look for cars of all makes, models and ages, meaning that everybody eats there, regardless of income, indicating the food is exceptional but priced affordably, and is crowded because it’s exceptional and affordable, not because it’s trendy, in which case you usually see only late-model high-end cars. An old pick-up truck parked next to a new BMW is a great clue, especially for Mexican cuisine and barbecue!).

This place is in the middle of nowhere and is packed all day and all evening, every day of the week, and it’s a great place to watch people. As you’ve noticed if you’ve ever done much of it, people-watching in a restaurant comes with its risks, such as the risk of having to endure an insufferable drunken buffoon at the table next to you while you’re trying to enjoy a good meal and your partner’s company. Such was the case Saturday night.

We walked in, and this really pretentious jackass was standing up at his table, trying to order the serving staff around in Spanish, and changing the dinner and drink orders of those at the table with him because he thought he knew what they wanted better than they did; every other sentence ended with, “Trust me, I come here all the time.”

My Spanish is poor at best, but I heard this guy order a fence for one of his friends and a bathtub for another; the waiters repeatedly had to question his selections in English and he was being abusive to them because of it. Even worse, he had had too much to drink, and was trying to justify his own inebriation (at 6:30PM) by forcing alcohol on the other guests, including one woman who was obviously about to give birth and another man whom I know to be a non-drinking alcoholic. Are you getting the picture?

What this man either didn’t know and apparently didn’t care enough to learn (he was in his late fifties) was that what he was doing was not alpha male behavior, and did not remotely resemble leadership. He was loud, obnoxious, over-bearing, bossy, bullying and controlling, and generally annoying to everyone within earshot, and I could see from the expressions on their faces that he was downright offensive to the majority of people sitting at the table with him after trying to force an alcoholic beverage on a pregnant woman and an alcoholic. Nobody was having a good time, and would you care to guess how his wife was reacting to this?

You could see the storm building, and lightning struck when he stood and yelled at a waiter across the room, got his name wrong for the fourth time, and tried to get him to bring “Maggie-ritas” to the pregnant woman and alcoholic for the second time. She grabbed the tail of his sport coat, yanked him down in his seat very hard, and said, “You have embarrassed our guests more than enough, and me for the last time,” with such venom that it was clear that she was either going to kill him or divorce him when they got home.

True leadership, that thing that excites women to no end when they see it, is about initiating action, not dominating it against others’ will. It’s about being decisive, not dictatorial. It’s about being authoritative, not autocratic. It’s about inviting and stimulating participation, not browbeating a crowd into submission while you grandstand for them.

For example, if when they arrived he had said, “I come here often, and I strongly recommend their Fajitas Supremas and Enchiladas Especiale, as well as their Margaritas,” that would have been great, but trying to impress everyone by barking bogus orders in a language he couldn’t speak and changing people’s food and drink orders (not to mention ordering alcohol for a pregnant woman and a reformed alcoholic who had ordered iced tea and already refused a drink when offered) was beyond bad; his wife was mortified, and rightfully so! As you can guess, mortifying your wife with obnoxious behavior is not the way to entice her to join you in the bedroom for dessert.

You can’t command respect as long as you are seeking attention and/or approval. Is it obvious to you that this is the underlying reason for this man’s behavior? He’s not a leader, not knowledgeable of a foreign language, doesn’t hold his liquor as well as he should to be drinking in public, and plainly sucks as a host. He’s a “wannabe,” not the real deal, and knows it. His efforts to try to impress everyone around him are in fact an attempt to gain their approval, and is indeed subordinating himself to their acceptance and approval, not elevating himself to the post of a leader. Bad move. “Nuff said.

Not everyone is a born leader, but anyone who steps up can lead if they know what leadership is about. People will naturally follow anyone who steps up to lead if they do nothing more than project self-respect, a noticeable level of confidence, and appear to be acting out of common sense instead of hysterical frenzy or emotionally-driven recklessness. It doesn’t have to be in a critical situation; making a decision to go to the beach and getting everybody and everything together to do it and enjoy it creates just as much excitement for a woman to watch as you ordering a work crew around, which is considerable if you do it like a leader and not a wannabe or a dictator.

For those who don’t quite grasp the concept, the bully or control freak barks out orders, like “Everybody drop what you’re doing and grab your stuff. We’re going to the beach, and don’t aggravate me by making us late, or else!” Participants are threatened with punishment if they don’t go along with the bossy person in his quest to have a good time.

The social approval-seeker is on the opposite end of the scale. He lobbies, almost apologetically, to get his way: “Wouldn’t you like to go to the beach today? I mean, it seems like everybody has fun there when we go. Can’t we all just get our stuff and head out there and try to have a good time?” Note all the negativity, telegraphing the expectation of a bad time, not a good one.

The leader’s approach is irresistible: “Hey everybody! Let’s jump in the car and head for the beach! The weather’s great, and we’ve all earned some fun. C’mon!” Not irrationally exuberant, but visibly excited about the prospect of having some quality time and expecting to do so.

Learning and doing little things like this can make you an entirely new person, in your eyes and hers. It makes you feel better about yourself, and anything that makes you feel better about yourself will get your partner’s attention. The strangest divorce-stopping story I’ve ever heard was told by one of your fellow readers (congratulations again, Dale!), who was promoted to a managerial position near the end of the divorce negotiations.

His pay increase was so marginal that it had no bearing on the situation. The promotion put a different image of him in her head, one of a man leading a group of people, where she had formerly regarded him as “a prairie dog in a cube farm” (a guy who sits in an office cubicle day after day, raising his head to watch other people come and go while he is going nowhere), and her response was, “I didn’t know you had it in you, so I’m sticking around to see what else you might surprise me with.” That was her way of expressing new-found respect. I wasn’t surprised when he told me about it, and after he finished reading “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage,” he wasn’t surprised either. Why?

Because he then knew about attraction, both how to create it and how to kill it. He also understood communicating with women well enough to understand that when his wife said she was sticking around to see what else he might surprise her with that she was giving him instructions and success criteria. She liked seeing him succeed, liked seeing what it had done to him, liked being surprised, and expected him to understand and continue instead of falling into another rut and leaving her bored to death. Would you have understood that from what she said?

If not, go to http://www.makingherhappy.com and download your own copy of “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage,” right now, before you do another thing, because you need to know what makes women tick, what they want, and how to correctly interpret and act upon what they tell you. That knowledge will stop a divorce from ever starting, and stops one cold that’s already happening in many circumstances, because most divorces are initiated by women, and most are initiated because a woman gets bored after attraction is lost and the man can’t understand her when she tries to tell him what’s happening and how to fix it.

Protect yourself and your family by becoming one of us guys who know what most men don’t, what women want and how to listen to them, because life’s too short to have to start it over in the middle if you don’t have to. Ask some of the guys on our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com, about it.

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

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Reader Comments on How Testing and Emotional Scales Can Make or Break Your Relationship or Marriage

Recent lessons have brought some great comments from readers that you can learn from, so here they are!

We’re going to do something a little different today. Some of my best students have recently shared comments that are insightful and pertinent, but wouldn’t provide sufficient content for a whole newsletter, so I’m going to put them together here for you so that you may share their insights and hopefully have something “click” that may not have occurred to you.

Regarding a recent article on testing (http://forum.makingherhappy.com/showthread.php/392-The-Bottom-Line-on-Testing-and-Why-Being-a-Nice-Guy-Is-Bad-for-Your-Relationship-or-Marriage), the following paragraph was embedded in a status report from my top student:

“Great newsletter, by the way - if it isn't one of your ‘must read’ reprints, it should be! The whole subject of testing is so critical that it can't be talked about too much. The key, I think, is to get men beyond the recognition of it [we all recognize it, whether we name it or explain it properly or not], and get us to understand that women aren't to be BLAMED for it, just understood. It would get rid of a lot of anger, but deny comedians a ton of material!

“Of course, it wouldn't hurt women to learn a bit about men and stop BLAMING us for things, either. So much of the relationship advice is of the "what men do wrong" type that it leaves women thinking they have to change their husbands or leave them - no alternatives. What a huge disservice to the women that is, not to mention the men. One of my favorite quotes from you is that people need to be concerned about WHAT'S the issue, not WHO'S to blame. Huge.”

That is absolutely right. Blame is for losers; you NEVER see an achiever of either gender engaging in blame at any time. If you look at the people who are respected in the world on any level, they don’t try, they don’t blame, and they don’t wait. They DO. They simply see a problem, figure out what needs to be done, and get it done. The biggest favor you can do yourself in your entire life is to do the same thing, forget about trying, blaming, and waiting for others to act and take responsibility for what’s happening in your life. It’s only then that you can make it better. One of my favorite lines from a movie is when Yoda said to Luke Skywalker, “Do, or do not. There is no try.”

That doesn’t mean you should expect to do the impossible; a rational decision must be made about a solution before the solution is implemented. It means that once you’ve identified the problem, you take responsibility for whatever part of the outcome you can influence and you take appropriate action. For example:

You’re in a hypothetical marriage that started off too young and with the wrong person. The two of you have had a great sex life because there has been abundant attraction, but you’ve fought tooth and nail in all other aspects of your relationship because there is no real love, common values, common or shared goals and interests, etc., to give the rest of the relationship substance, and everything other than sex is a point of conflict. Your wife says she’s had enough and it’s time to move on. What do you do?

You take the only rational action available to you, and you take it quickly and fairly. You move on.

You don’t wait for things to get better, because compatibility problems don’t go away over time. You don’t make some heroic attempt to do the impossible, because it only causes more pain and resentment. You don’t blame her and go to war and punish her or allow her to punish you; it was a mutual mistake that requires cooperation to get out of without further pain and frustration, not to mention totally unnecessary escalated legal expenses. In a nutshell, you just do what must be done.

Second hypothetical situation: you’ve been married twenty years, your lives have revolved around your children, who left home a year or two ago, and the two of you have love, respect, trust, loyalty, and communicate better than most couples you know. But you’re not having fun. You’re in a rut of watching TV every night while you eat dinner, then the two of you go off to your computers to chat with friends or to other hobbies, and you go to bed without saying “good night” to the other whenever the mood to sleep strikes you. Your sex life amounts to one episode every month or two that can be described as “relief without gratification.” Your neighbor starts making advances toward you. What do you do?

Do you succumb to the temptation of the affair? No, because it’s a stupid move. Too easy for it to get out of control and get you caught. Any other affair has about the same probability of the same outcome. Behavior changes too much to go unnoticed.

Do you accept the realization that life could be more fun and hope that things get better? Also a stupid move. When was the last time you saw people ignoring their relationship problems and their problems just fixed themselves?

Do you blame your wife for the rut you’re in and wait for her to take the first action in making life fun again? Utterly ridiculous, given that it’s your job to lead the action because you’re wired to do it and she’s wired to respond to you doing it.

Do you just break it off and get a divorce because you can’t take the boredom anymore? Throwing away genuine love is the most foolish and destructive act a person can inflict upon oneself, except for suicide.

So in a nutshell, you have a whole lot of options, but only one good one: Recognize that you have a great foundation for a lasting relationship, but have indeed fallen in a rut. Take responsibility for the rut, find out what it takes to get out, and get out! You may have to “try” a few things to see what helps get out of the rut, but there’s a big difference between experimenting with potentially fun things to help your relationship and failing to commit to fixing the relationship and following through. If you’re attitude and conviction are where they are supposed to be, you’re “trying” activities and solutions, not “trying” to fix the relationship; you’re FIXING the relationship.

This excerpt is from another of my top students:

“Your newsletters and e-book have helped immensely. I saw that I was a wuss. I couldn’t and wouldn’t make choices for a fear of hurting someone’s feelings. Now I make choices or give options and if someone says ‘doesn’t matter,’ I make a choice and stand to it. I am still in the learning phase of reading my wife. She is a very independent woman and makes decisions without me. I have to learn how to deal with that. One of her hot buttons is the ‘making a decision’ button. I have learned that when she says ‘it doesn’t matter’, she is testing me and she wants to be led and she wants to follow.”

He’s noticed that some things are simply a matter of choice and attitude, like decision-making, while other require some study. He’s mastered the principles and is now methodically looking everywhere for new opportunities to apply what he knows. Ultimately, he realized that success, self-improvement, and great relationships are not destinations, but journeys that can last a lifetime and take you places that the rest of the world doesn’t even know exists.

From a new student who rapidly went to a seat in the front row of the class, in response to my remark that “I have looked extensively and intensely for a downside to attractive behavior, and have failed utterly to find one”:

“Abso-friggin'-lutely. And we seem to exude that simply by expressing more of what it means to be human; for example, expressing anger or disapproval quickly, but in a calm, controlled, constructive manner...setting boundaries...having self-respect, taking charge, leading, etc.”

I wish I had said that. Really. I’ve been trying to tell men for years, since long before I took up this project, that…

“…being human is something to which one should aspire, not something for which one should apologize…”

And that being an attractive male is all about doing those things that come naturally to men: leading, protecting, being deliberate and competent, not to mention confident, enjoying their life and being able to laugh at themselves and with everyone else, all with self-love and self-respect…

Yes, self-love is required! Those words cause altruists to cringe, but think back through your own life and identify even one person who was self-abusive that you wanted to be around, indeed, felt COMPELLED to be around (unless you were codependent, of course), and I’ll be thoroughly shocked, to say the least. That’s not to say that narcissism is an admirable trait, because it’s not; EXCESSIVE regard for anything is inherently unattractive, but a man must love himself enough to be able to respect himself before others can.

And one more quickie, because this newsletter is getting longer than some of you may have time to read, regarding the crying incident at the dinner party, after which I gave the crying woman a mug of hot chocolate after I “…shot some whipped cream on top of it and set it in front of the woman, who I knew to be a ‘chocoholic’ and very sensitive to the serotonin-boosting effects of the polyphenols in dark chocolate."

“Sir - you are a genius. Great newsletter, thanks.”

No, I’m not a genius. Come to think of it, I’m 38 IQ points above genius, regardless of what my typos may cause you to think. ;-) But what I described was not the result of genius, and you don’t have to be a genius, either. That was the result of being OBSERVANT, and taking action where action is prescribed. That is something ANY MAN CAN DO. When you know what a powerful comfort food chocolate is and that women respond simultaneously to the smell, taste, and feel of a mug of hot chocolate in addition to the powerful effect is has on the brain, being ready and able to quickly dispense some when there are women around is like keeping versatile tools like a hammer, flashlight, and screwdriver within easy reach in your home, something that every man does because it is his nature to make problems go away.

If you watch women, they have their tools, just like we do. They have things like their treasure box and chocolate to fight melancholia. They have gadgets for painting their faces and curling their hair and eyebrows, not to mention removing hair. They have tools like romance novels and chick-flicks to fight boredom and help them manage their hyperactive hormone pumps that can mess with their moods at inopportune times. They are masters of communication and social networking because they are driven to engage in it, and you’ll find they always have things like telephones, notepaper, stationery, and these days a notebook computer or Blackberry for e-mail, etc., within easy reach of them, no matter where they are. A good look into a woman’s “tool box” can teach you a lot about women, if you have the sense to raise the lid and look.

There’s more, and I may continue this tomorrow, but I’ve noticed that many of you say you read this newsletter during coffee breaks at work so I make it a point to keep it short enough to be read in five minutes but long enough to make sure you can really learn something that can help you each day.

There is one other thing I’d like to point out in closing, and that is that all of my top students have a common characteristic: They seek out solid information (like the pages upon pages of newsletters, coaching, and problem solving at our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com) and they act on it when they find it. They try different information sources, but they don’t try to arbitrarily make improvements or mix and match methods; they recognize facts, truth, and what much be done, and just do it.

Plato said, “Fortune favors the bold,” speaking of men of action, but if you’re like me, you don’t put much stock in “fortune” anyway. However, history is another matter, and while history also favors the bold, it seems to favor most THE PREPARED. And it makes perfect sense: The prepared are those who can be the boldest with the greatest chance of success.

So what about you? Are you blaming somebody for your problems? Or waiting for them to just go away? Or waiting for somebody else to fix them? Taking responsibility sounds tough, but in fact it’s the easiest thing in the world to do, because all it takes is a simple choice to seek appropriate action and take it. The decision is most often harder than the action itself.

So go on and make a choice, right here, right now, to make your marriage or committed relationship better and keep it that way. There’s no sense taking a bad trip when you can have a grand adventure, is there? Go to http://www.makingherhappy.com and download your copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," and then join us, the truly happy men of the world who know what men have always wanted and needed to know about women, and make your life one that you want to get out of bed every morning to live.

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

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Understand Our Differing Emotional Scales for the Best Relationship or Marriage

MUST READ: Men’s and Women’s emotional scales are calibrated very differently, and understanding how can literally make the difference in being happy and being divorced.

If you’ve been following me for long, you know how seldom I put the words “MUST READ” in a title or summary, and I promise it will be worth your time to read this time, too.

If I could teach everyone on Earth only one thing above all others to help them get along better, not just in intimate, committed relationships, but in ALL inter-gender relationships, it would be a hard choice between compatibility, our difference in communication skills and protocols, and the difference in the structure of our emotional scales. All are critical to getting along well, and if I had to choose one, I’d feel like I was being asked by King Solomon to cleave and split a child between three mothers, because the three are so indispensable; the absence of any of them spells disaster.

I discuss communication protocols and compatibility frequently, and today I want to focus on these emotional scales. One you your fellow readers, who is now a moderator on our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com/, contacted me in crisis once and now has his situation under control, thanks mainly to the understanding of these two points. (His attraction skills were already fairly strong and needed only minimal improvement once he realized he had let them slide.) He agreed to allow me to share excerpts from our discussions to help explain both the concept and how important it is to any relationship.

Here’s an excerpt from one of his status reports:

“...It quickly rolled into the ‘emotional scale’ speech, which she seemed to really listen to - I think it's starting to sink in, and makes sense to her. Taking it slow has allowed her to process that and buy-in piece by piece. Honestly, David, if that were your sole contribution to the world, you should be famous for it. I'm not sure of its origins, but it's absolutely brilliant. Applies to all men and women, and the only trick to applying it is to understand that each woman has different levels of tolerance and varying coping abilities. I was able to give her an awesome example for evidence - a fight we had years ago - that also included a basic communication problem as well, and one where she's always ‘fought to win,’ [instead of ‘fighting to get what’s right’] and never admitted her role in the thing. Tonight, her silence told me she's seeing it, or admitting it to herself. There were a few instances of her processing those things and allowing that she was partially at fault. Big step for her lately - she used to do it, but hasn't at all lately.”

An excerpt from my response, just for clarity:

“As for the emotional scale thing, that was my own, something I've noticed in working with all these women. I looked for weeks on Google and everywhere else for any mention of it, and never found it.”

And here’s “the emotional scale speech,” as he called it, a suggestion I made to him for explaining to his wife why she had done some things that she was feeling very guilty for and why he had failed to recognize her problem and do something about it:

"I just read a thing about the difference between how men and women build, process, and prioritize emotions, and it sounded weird at first, but after looking back it makes a lot of sense. Our emotional scales are different, at least with regard to what we need to feel to be comfortable. My emotional scale or range runs from extreme negative to extreme positive, with neutral being in the middle of the scale.

“The female scale or range runs from neutral, or emotionless, to extremely emotionally charged, overwhelmed even, with little to no discrimination between positive and negative emotion. Both of us are most comfortable when we are just slightly 'to the right' of the middle of the scale, me feeling a little positive (too much positive makes a man irrational and silly) and you being just a little more emotionally charged than the center of your emotional range (too much emotion, positive or negative, with no way to vent it overloads you as well.)

“What's really interesting is that we act similar when we are at the same place on our scale. Being bored to you feels the same as being scared or angry feels to me: agitated, desperate, ready to do anything, even if it's wrong, to change the situation, and potentially irrational. We’re both very comfortable just a little to the opposite side of the center of the scale, and at the far right, we get irrational, overwhelmed, and don't know what to do next, and have a strong tendency to do the wrong thing because our inhibitions and discipline go right out the window.

“One of the points it brought out of that is that men are naturally a bit comfortable with emotional neutrality, at least for a short time, while it is downright torturous for a woman. I never realized it was such an issue until I read that, and now that I know, I'll never let a woman be bored in my presence again, because I won't see someone tortured like that."

A couple of weeks passed after that discussion, and it apparently really produced understanding, some forgiveness, and cooperation where none was possible before. His last comment follows:

“You've really, really got to get that ‘emotional scale’ idea out there - everyone will steal it, but if you put some marketing behind it, you can retain credit as the source. Maybe there's a visual you could create so it instantly made sense to those who see it.”

That’s quite an accolade, having a reader see something as so important as to want to protect the author’s ownership of a concept that he paid to learn. Think about that for a minute…it would take some pretty significant results to convert a “reader” into a “disciple” in any case, would it not?

By the way, the graphic is pretty easy (comfort zone is at the “+” symbol):




Learn this concept and keep it in the front of your mind at all times. Recognize when the women in your life are bored, and try to do something about it whenever and however it’s appropriate. You’ll find yourself attaining a sort of hero status among them, and triggering a lot of appreciation, cooperation, and nurturing. A coworker will watch your back and try to help you out, a friend will be more attentive and supportive, and your partner will reward you with the relationship of your dreams, as long as you don’t blow it by engaging in wussy, deceitful, or abusive behavior.

How do you do something about it? Sometimes a kind or funny word or two will do it, sometimes a smile, sometimes a surprise or even an adventure. It varies from woman to woman, mood to mood, and setting to setting, and there is no laundry list that will get you through. If you need a rule of thumb that will fit all situations, here it is:

“Attraction is any and every woman's ultimate salvation from boredom.”

There is nothing bad that can come from just being a confident, fun leader at any time and many great things that can come from it, so if you’re doing what you should be doing as a man, no woman will ever be able to be bored while you’re around. But your partner deserves more, right? She’s the one you share everything with, and the one you’re trying to fix things for so you can spend the rest of your life with her. For her, you must learn more about women: what they want, what makes them tick, how to listen to and understand them, how to speak to them, and what flips their attraction switches, among other things.

Are you a guy who likes a single source to fill in a whole lot of gaps? I certainly do; the older I get, the more I try to find ways of simplifying everything. If simplifying your life sounds good to you – and you won’t believe how much having a great relationship with your partner will simplify your life until you actually experience it – then you need to jump over to http://www.makingherhappy.com and download your copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," and get up to speed, fast and easy, and start clearing some of the relationship clutter, nuisances, and even disasters out of your life.

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

Monday, February 28, 2011

Can You Do What It Takes to Fix YOUR Relationship and Marriage? Sure You Can, and It's FUN!

A great example from an average guy of how to turn an uncomfortable situation into an instant attraction builder, the kind of thing that can stop a divorce cold in its tracks.

I hope your week is going well. Mine is going great. I’ve received some truly wonderful success stories over the last few days, and I’d like to share one with you today. These stories always make my day, because they confirm not only that the information in “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage” will make a positive impact on any life in which it is employed, but also that any man can put it to good use and turn his life and relationship around, regardless of history, personality, etc.

Meet Jay:

Hi David,

I just had to tell someone about an incredible response I had from my wife's best friend. This woman has never liked me, she even told my wife not to marry me. I have not told my wife or anyone else that I have your book, but I have been using it to slowly change my attitude back to the way I was before I became "whipped".

Anyway, back to the best friend story. My wife and I were at a community event when she started to tell her friend that we had enrolled in ballroom dance lessons. I was very self-conscious about everyone knowing this. But to shift the attention from me I began to tease her friend and bust on her for not really being able to dance herself. After a few minutes of quick verbal jabs between us, she grabbed my arm and said, "I've never seen this side of you before, you’re a bad boy."

During the entire exchange I had my arm around my wife holding her while she was holding onto me. When we got home we barely got our children to bed before she jumped me right in the kitchen. It was of the most intense sexual encounters of our life. The attraction between us seems to grow stronger every day. I just had to tell someone! I never knew how good I could have it, until I started acting like a man, and not apologize for it.

Thanks,
Jay


Jay’s been married over ten years, and in the last year they were talking about divorce, before Jay read “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage.” As you can see, he’s not only turned things around on the home front, he’s reaping the benefits of understanding inter-gender communications and attraction all around him. Think about what’s happened in this scenario for a minute…

Jay was uncomfortable about having something private like those dance lessons disclosed publicly, but he knew from reading "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" that women talk about everything and that she may have even been talking about it in front of him to put him on the spot and test his mettle. He knew that jumping down her throat for putting him on the spot was the wrong thing to do because it telegraphs insecurity. He also knew that leadership is attractive and exciting to women and bullying or throwing a tantrum repels them, and he took charge of the conversation and led it in a different direction, using what he knew of creating attraction to not only shift the focus of the discussion, but make it fun and interesting for the women. But that’s not all…

He knew that the approval of his partner’s best friend is a huge benefit in his own relationship because of the reinforcement or damage she can provide with his partner, and he knew that approval-seeking behavior is a great way to instantly become disgusting and repulsive to any woman, so instead of seeking her approval, he did something that left her no choice but to approve: he expressed his approval of her by joking and flirting with her! That could have blown up in his face, but…

With his new understanding of how women think and what they want, he understood that it was critical that while he was flirting with his partner’s best friend that he define the bonds and boundaries in the situation by remaining in physical and visual contact with his wife, which he did by keeping his arm around her waist (and probably frequently looking at her as they laughed together while he picked on her friend). Do you understand what happened here?

In flirting with the best friend and invoking attraction in her, he created an air of “social proof” for his partner. She didn’t just enjoy seeing him acting like a man, she saw that her friend also enjoyed it and saw her involuntary signals as she responded to the attraction he created, heightening her own attraction for him. He was more of a “catch” since another woman flirted with him. The end result?

Short-term, a mind-blowing experience in the kitchen that exceeded anything he had known previously, and in the long-term, their bond is now stronger because she is more attracted to him and enjoys him more. As long as Jay continues to just act naturally, seeking self-improvement based on what he has learned, and just let himself be the charming, witty leader that he is, his wife’s pleasure in having him around will continue to escalate in a slow, sustainable manner for the rest of their life together.

Something that Jay may not yet realize, but will soon, is that now that he is attracting her friends as well, every time she talks with her friends about him, all these memories she is building of his attractive behavior will wash over her like a flood, and be amplified by the envy of her friends – he now has the help of her entire network of friends to bring her even closer to him.

When Jay first wrote to me, he sounded like about every other guy who writes; he knew there were some shortcomings, knew he needed to fix them, and knew he needed some good information to do so. He got the information, and put it to use instead of sitting around like a wuss saying, “Can I do this?”

Don’t bother asking if you can do it. You can! Take Nike’s lead and “Just do it!” All you need is the same good information that Jay had. And in fact, you have more than Jay had available at your disposal, because Jay did all this before we started our forum at http://forum.makingherhappy.com.

So it’s your choice. Do you sit on the fence or do you finally hop off the fence and step up to the plate? The people who are hopping off the fence are hitting, and you’re up. Your options are to pass the bat, and eventually let your family be broken up and lose half or more of everything you own, or step up, download your copy at http://www.makingherhappy.com, and swing for the fence, keeping your family together and all that stuff you’ve worked half your life or more to earn and save. Quitters never win, and winners never quit, so go for it, right now, because life’s too short to spend it sitting on the fence watching everybody else enjoy their life.

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