Saturday, April 23, 2011

Can You Take a Hint? Learn to, NOW, If You Want to Have a Great Relationship and Marriage

It is the average woman’s nature, due to the physical structure of her brain, to speak indirectly, often employing hints, signals, questions that are statements and vice versa, etc., that she has no idea that you can’t perceive and interpret. Do you have any idea what you’re missing? Or what she’s thinking – or assuming -- because of it? It’s not a pretty picture, but you can easily improve it.

Gentlemen, I have a real treat for you today! A woman has written about the hints she dropped to her boyfriend to try to seduce him, and it’s an eyeful to say the least! Meet Evelyn:

Dear David,

I’ve read your book and I wish I had the money to buy your book for every man on the planet but I would have to read to them and no one has that much spare time. My god how hard can it really be to buy a book that tells you all you need to know about a woman and be able to understand how woman speak??? It’s not brain surgery we are looking for them to perform, it’s just simple everyday things we are looking for them to understand.

For example today I went over to my boyfriend’s to pick up something he had made for me. I wasn’t going over there with just sex on my mind but to be honest I was really wanting to spend some time with him and hoping for a good roll around the bed while I was there. I was not sure how good he was feeling so I was not going to ask him straight out if he wanted some. I would just feel it out and see how he was acting. As I walked in he was doing something and we talked for a little bit then I decided that before I left I was going to give it a try and see if he wanted to spend some time on the sofa or in the bed with me.

I started dropping hints talking about sexy things and even went as far as to stroke his crotch one time while I was looking into his eyes and grinned and winked at him. When that did not work I would rub against him and kind of purr at him lean in for a kiss just anything I could do to get him to touch me and look at me.

In the end I finally told him I was going out this weekend and he could not touch my breasts because I wanted them to sit up and look nice in this low cut shirt I was going to wear. I know how he hates it when I go out with the girls because yes we do drink and knowing I can not always handle my drinks like I should and that I sometimes get into trouble flirting after a few drinks. He looked at me and said “it’s time for you to get undressed.” Well you know what went on from there but my point is what else could I have done to get the same results without saying “let’s have sex” straight out? I have no problem doing that once in a while but a woman likes for a man to know what she wants by actions without her having to spell it out for him every time.

Thanks for your time,
Evelyn


My reply:

Hi Evelyn, and thanks for writing. I would have had to be there to see what happened to give you an accurate answer, because what you are describing can be taken more than one way, and his demeanor and body language would have provided details that you left out.

It could be that he’s really that daft, but I’d find it hard to accept that a man couldn’t take the hint of you stroking his crotch to know what you wanted. It could be that he was making you chase him to heighten your arousal, but a man in-the-know will try to make that more fun for you instead of frustrating. It could be that he was extremely busy but didn’t want to tell you that he didn’t have time for sex play at the moment because he didn’t want to hurt your feelings, and either recognized your “desperation” or got jealous when you spoke of going out with the girls. It’s hard to say without the facts.

There’s nothing wrong with just inviting him to the bedroom or starting to undress him, as long as you are sure of his mood and physical condition, and as long as you don’t do it so often that he feels no challenge; men get bored in the absence of challenge just as easily as women. I’d strongly suggest trying to talk with him about it, in an exploratory, not threatening, complaining, or accusatory tone, and find out if he was unaware of the hints, just trying to save your feelings, or whatever.

No matter what he says, as long as it’s the truth, the two of you can get things worked out if you’ll simply focus on the issues and not each other’s fault or blame. ALWAYS focus on issues, not people, when addressing problems – WHAT is wrong, not WHO is wrong. That’s how the problems get solved without the people getting angry.

I’d also suggest you mention that you have read my book and offer to let him read it because it would be the easiest way to bridge the communications gap the two of you appear to have, not to mention point out to him that if he’s going to tease you and hold out on you, it’s a lot more effective if he makes it fun instead of frustrating. He may well have been reading some relationship help material and picked up on the need to create a challenge for you but missed the part about making it fun, IF it was even included. Some really bad books for both men and women advise making your partner insecure as a way of keeping them close.

Take care, and keep in touch,
David


Gentlemen, there are several things here for you to learn. The most obvious is that women do think about sex when we’re not around, and that they don’t like to just bluntly initiate their own seduction. That takes all the fun out of it for them because for them, sex is about anticipation, adventure, and connection; about getting intimate and getting to the orgasm, not the orgasm itself. It sounds odd to a man, but for the majority of women the majority of the time, the orgasm is simply the end of sex, not the purpose of it; it’s good, and lots of them are better, but it’s icing, not cake. It’s the intimacy, anticipation, tension, teasing, seduction, and to an immense degree, trust, that makes it work for them and that they yearn for.

They will drop hints because they want you to take the lead in the seduction process, playing, teasing, creating sexual tension to the point that they can’t hold back any longer and tear into you like they haven’t experienced an orgasm in twenty years. For them, it is that rush of anticipation and the intimacy and attention that follow that is their purpose for sex, and without that, they get bored to death.

Again, that’s not to say that they don’t enjoy the orgasm, or multiple orgasms. Being able to perform like that is important for too many reasons to get into in one newsletter, but at this moment we are speaking of priority, and for most women most of the time, the chase, anticipation, intimacy, etc., will be somewhat more important than orgasm (after all, most of them can give themselves orgasms that we can’t match, but just as it is for us, it’s “sterile,” as in “relief without gratification,” since there is no connection factor) and spending more time with her in those things will benefit you in ways that you will have to see to believe.

Do keep in mind that there is a lot of evidence to support the assertion that if you can regularly bring a woman to orgasm, it will take some extraordinary problems to cause her to leave you, so no slacking in the bedroom! Remember, her orgasm is the result of anticipation, adventure, and connection, three of the most important things to a woman regardless of whether sex is even involved, so it’s not surprising. So like everything else in relationships, balance is required because everything is interrelated!

I will go to my grave saying this: Emotionally- and mentally-healthy heterosexual women like men and like sex, a lot, some of them even more than men; they are physically able to enjoy a lot more of it than we are. But they are biologically wired to enjoy being led and to be aroused by alpha male behavior, and they need for you to take the lead in moving them from curiosity or mild arousal to that wild, uncontrollable state that gives them that “swept off their feet” feeling. You need to learn how to recognize the hints and signals that she is so inclined, and you need to know the behavior that causes her to direct that curiosity and attraction at you instead of letting her get bored and ultimately directing it at someone else.

What? Your wife would never do that? Don’t bet on it, because what you are wagering is literally your marriage and family life. Affairs and divorces can happen between two people who love each other deeply, and they do happen all too often. Love does not create the attraction and excitement that keeps you intimately involved and defeats her worst enemy, literally a woman’s arch-nemesis: boredom. (And conversely, attraction without love won’t keep you together either; rather, it creates one of those relationships in which you have good sex but everything else sucks and you fight all the time because the compatibility isn’t there. It takes both.)

Quick review: Women deal with boredom the same way men deal with crisis; boredom appears on a woman’s emotional scale in the same spot as crisis on a man’s emotional scale. They will take desperate action if they have to, and if desperate enough, an involuntary survival mechanism kicks in and she literally cannot be held responsible for her actions. It’s not a moral or logical issue; it’s pure anatomy, physiology, and biology.

The good news – indeed, the GREAT news! – is that doing your job in the relationship and protecting her from boredom is one of the easiest and most natural things you will ever do, not to mention great fun! The biggest requirement is that you become a “real guy,” and shed all that ridiculous New Age and politically correct programming that we’ve been inundated with since the 1970’s. How hard can that be?

Quickly picking up your communications skills to a level much closer to hers is also easy. Very few of us will ever be on par with women as communicators because we don’t have the biological infrastructure to do so, but we can get close enough that they’ll meet us in the middle. Luckily, it’s one of those things where sheer awareness goes a very long way toward ensuring success, and it really doesn’t take that much effort once you know how everything works.

The bad news is that in order to be one of the very few guys who know, beyond any doubt, what women want, how to communicate effectively with them, and how to turn their sexual attraction to you on and off, you’re going to have to take a few hours out of your busy schedule of sitting on the couch channel surfing with a beer and read a book, 118 pages to be exact. And it’s going to cost you, too, a little less than dinner for two at a decent restaurant. That’s not so bad, is it? Think about it!

How many decades have you been telling yourself that “no man will ever know what women want” or that “communicating with a woman is a lost cause”? Even Sigmund Freud, the renowned psychologist, said, “The Great Question, which I have not answered, is ‘What does a woman want?’” Well, you can know, today, with just a few hours of reading. And I can prove it, because joining me on our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com/, are other men whom I’ve taught and women who will vouch for us. Interested?

Yeah, I thought so. So click on over to http://www.makingherhappy.com/ and get your copy of the book Evelyn mentioned, "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" and become that guy you always wished you could be, that manly man who does manly things and who knows what women want, and what they are saying and even THINKING when they’re with you. It doesn’t get any easier or more affordable than this, so get moving! Never, EVER put off until tomorrow the success you can enjoy today!

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

Thursday, April 21, 2011

But Dad! The Impact of Fatherhood, Good and Bad, on Relationships and Marriage

Being a strong father figure is just as important in being attractive to your wife as being a strong husband figure, as this mother points out.

If any of you gents have even a marginal interest in learning how to talk with a woman or what a lot of their common hot buttons are, you are missing a wealth of information at our forum. Big hint: get it now while it’s free at http://forum.makingherhappy.com/, because it may not be free forever.

I’m kidding, of course; if your attitude is such that you’ll only take good information if it’s free, you’ll never get anywhere in life, with a woman or otherwise. Visit the site and join the community because the information can make your life better; being free is just an added bonus at the moment.

What a week this is starting out to be for reader letters! Get a load of this one from Margret:

Dear David,

I got your book for my husband and he won’t read it. He says he’s already attractive enough because all mechanics are manly men. I beg to differ.

I have a 16-year old daughter who wants to date a 19-year old college student and musician. Coming from a situation similar to this that got me in a lot of trouble I have a problem with letting her go out with this guy, but her father, my husband, who is supposed to be the man of the house, leaves all the decisions about her up to me. A father should stand up, meet the young man and make sure that his one and only daughter is not in harm’s way. In my household it is up to me to make the choices and I hate being the bad guy all the time.

In my eyes this makes him the biggest, wussiest candy-ass I have ever known. What father lets his daughter go out with a guy he has never met? What kind of man lets his wife decide if she should be allowed out with a boy like this? Is it wrong to want a man who takes charge and makes sure his daughter is safe from the world outside? I feel like the husband most of the time and he should be the wife.

This is the biggest attraction killer for me. I want a real man who can make a decision, not a girly-man who has to defer everything to me because he doesn’t have the spine to say “no” to a 16 year old girl. If that was what I wanted I would be married to a woman instead of a man.

When it comes to his kids, a man needs to take the lead in decisions about who and where the children spend their time. I like to have a say in the matter, but I hate that I have to be the one to make all the decisions. Our daughter stays mad at me all the time, and I can deal with that, but why should it be only me she is mad at? Then he gets mad at me when I fight with my daughter because I don’t feel like being intimate with him later in the evening! I wish he had that kind of nerve when it came to making decisions.

Do you have any advice?

Margret


My reply:

Hi Margret!

Yes. Beat him until he grows a pair and fights back. Just kidding. Seriously, he has some issues that he needs to work out. My book can help him if he’ll read it, but you’re either going to have to reason with him, which probably isn’t going to work since he’s obviously in denial and shutting you down every time you try to get him to take responsibility, or play dirty pool.

That’s right, I said that, and I know I told you to hold off on drastic actions, but at this point all other peaceful options have been exhausted and it’s time to escalate. Cut him off completely – no sex, no dinner cooked, no laundry done, and anything else you can think of to isolate him and apply pressure. Tell him that when he is ready to acknowledge that there is a problem and to work with you on it and lead his family, he can rejoin the family, and until then he’s on his own.

And tell him yes, it really is that serious, so serious in fact that he’s flirting with a divorce, because you are not going to be left in the position of always being the bad guy and alienating your children for much longer. I know from your previous letter that these thoughts are already on your mind, so go with them until he realizes that this is serious and he treats you, your children, and the situation with the appropriate consideration and respect.

Take care, and keep me posted,
David


I hate more than almost anything to have to say something like that to somebody, but Margret’s already tried the diplomatic route and there is no more effective solution. Indeed, she’s gone a lot farther than most women would go, because I’ve already told her that she needs to bluntly state what she thinks is obvious because being a man, he won’t readily interpret her questions about the young man as statements that he needs to get involved. Yes, you can spend a lot of money on counseling, file for divorce to get his attention, etc., but they are all grossly expensive, have no better a chance of bringing him out of denial, and may take things in the wrong direction because they are riskier than a few days of simple isolation that she’s already considering.

Gents, the big message for you here is that what you do as a father has intense bearing on how you are perceived and treated as a husband. You can do everything in the world to be fun and exciting and strong as a husband and blow it to bits in an instant by pussy-footing around with your kids when they need leadership or discipline. Women sometimes don’t like that we demand more discipline of children than they do, but they never like it when they are left to be the disciplinarian and decision-making parent, especially the ONLY disciplinarian and decision-making parent. They’re wired for nurturing and we’re supposed to be wired for protection, so disciplining is most definitely in our job description, more than theirs, especially when you factor in that we’re supposed to be in the leadership role.

Make no mistake, most of the biological engine that drives female attraction is based on primal factors that would have made a man a strong provider and father in early times. I’m not saying that you should be a good dad just so you can get laid, and anybody who sends me a nasty-gram making such a ridiculous accusation will be fired. What I am saying is that you must be a leader in all areas of family life, not just in romance, because if you slip up in any part of it, the effect will be the same catastrophic withdrawal from intimacy as if you had said, “I don’t want to offend you, but is it okay if I kiss you?” on your first date. (And if you don’t see what’s wrong with asking that question, you and I need to be on the phone, because it’s time for an intervention.)

Relationships are complex, but the rules are not. The forms of female communication seem equally complex, but broken down into discreet components, almost 100% of communicating effectively with a woman follows one or more of three simple rules. What are they?

Go to http://www.makingherhappy.com/, download your copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," and find out. Be the first and probably the only guy on your block who knows what women want, what makes them tick, and how to work your way through that jungle of hints, signs, and signals that she throws at you every time your together so that you know what’s on her mind at all times (ever heard one say, “I want a man who just knows…”?). It’s easy, it’s surprisingly affordable, and it’s guaranteed to work, so do it now. Never put off until tomorrow the success you can enjoy today, because tomorrow may not come.

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

Words, Deeds, Emotions, and Reality, and How They Can Make or Break Your Relationship or Marriage

A very disturbing example of how women's emotions, left unchecked, cause them to ignore and even reject reality. (For the record, men fall prey to this, too, but usually to a lesser degree because it's at least partially biologically-influenced by the same gender-specific differences in brain structure responsible for gender-specific differences in our communication skill levels and styles.)

My heart goes out to this reader, Dawn. She appears to have the man of her dreams, and knows it, but is apparently suffering the same fate as all men and women who refuse to look at their partners' actions as evidence of the status of their relationship. She presents symptoms of a bit of a self-esteem deficit, and this causes her to question whether she deserves this man she enjoys so much, which in turn is creating a trust issue. She thinks it is him that she doesn't trust, but if you read between the lines, it's actually her ability to hold him that she questions. And make no mistake, this can quickly destroy an otherwise very solid relationship. More discussion after the letter.
Meet Dawn:


Dear David,

I am writing you to tell you I think your book is one of the best I have read in my life time. I bought your book not with my boyfriend in mind, but for me so I could get a better handle on what has been bothering me about our relationship. This wonderful man in my life could have been the role model for your book and I love every part of him. In fact, sometimes I think I love him to the point of wishing he and I were the only people on the planet. Meeting him eight years ago was the best thing that ever happened to me and even though he was married and so was I at the time we fell in love with each other. I know there are going to be people who think our relationship is wrong, but I could care less what they think. After all these years he has never given me any reason to be jealous and most all the time I am not. I am very proud of him. My reason for writing you is that sometimes though I am very jealous. It is embarrassing me and making me nuts. I can not eat, sleep or stop my mind from thinking up all kinds of things.

It has come up at times and he always tells me things like "in the past eight years have I ever given you any reason to even think that?" To be honest he has never given me any reason to think he would even look at another woman, but still sometimes it comes up. The most recent worry is he has joined a small network of professionals who get together weekly and trade contacts, tips and such and I think about the women in the group. Not that he is going out with one of them just that they might spark something in him that I do not anymore. I want to make sure I am the spark that lights his fire if you know what I mean. He needs to be around people who get things done because that is how he is and that is one of the things I so love about him.

I need your help and I am desperate because I hate feeling this way and I would never let him know how I feel about this because it might just drive a wedge between us. I have never been the jealous type and am not sure why I have these feelings now. I would give my life for this man, but now I am not so sure I could give him up. I want to be with this man till the day I die and I need to handle this before I go crazy. I know actions speak louder than words and his actions tell me how much he loves me and I feel that every time we are together, but is it wrong to want to be told you are the only one from time to time? I know according to things I have read that wanting to be told is some sort of insecurity, but I do not feel like that is the case here.

Please David can you help me? I have never loved anyone like I do now and the way he makes me feel I want to be with him making love, talking and just enjoying our time together. He is the ultimate manly man and any woman who can see just how great he is I am sure would want him as much as I do. I am just lucky enough to love him and have him love me back.

Please forgive me if this letter sounds childish, I started writing and it just all came out not in the way I had it in my mind, but it stills says it all. I do not want to make a mistake and take a chance on loosing the one thing I have done in my life that finally makes me happy. I appreciate your time in reading this letter and I hope to hear from you soon.

Dawn


My reply:

Dawn, thank you for writing and trusting me to help you, because you do have a problem. It's pretty bad, and one that's not going to go away until you make it go away. I can see from what you wrote that you did pick up from my book and these newsletters that his actions tell all, and you say you can see in stark reality that you are all he wants. The problem is two-fold...

First, you're having a self-esteem problem. It's not him that you are not trusting, it's your own ability to keep him interested. Read carefully what you wrote and you'll see what I mean. All your fears are focused on you losing him to people who are different from you because you perceive them to be different, and therefore potentially BETTER than you. You have to stop that, and now. Accept what you know of your husband and your relationship, and then dealing with the second problem will provide the remainder of the solution for this problem.

The second problem is that you seem to be comparing people in his professional life to yourself, but you are his PERSONAL life. Notice that your husband didn't say he needs to be around OTHER people; he said he needs to be around "people who get things done." In anyone's professional life, if surrounded with losers, they will drag you down with them. If you surround yourself with achievers, they help you to stay motivated to succeed in your own endeavors. It's like soldiers telling war stories, a self-confirming camaraderie that encourages good professional behavior.

Since your husband is an achiever and seeks the company of achievers in his professional life, he probably sees you as an achiever on some acceptable level in personal ways and maybe in a professional way as well (you didn't mention your professional life so I can't comment), but he doesn't want his personal and professional lives to mingle; otherwise he may have tried to involve you in his business, which logic would dictate you would have mentioned if he had done so. That's how achievers become over-achievers and then get burned out. They need the insulation and separation of their personal and professional lives.

You're not necessarily wrong to want to know that you are the only one, but you admit that you already know it. Does hearing it, when anyone could say it to you, really prove anything? I could tell you that you were the only one for me even though we've never met! Would that mean anything to you? Of course not. For that matter, a man could tell you that he loves you right before beating you senseless, raping you, or even killing you. Words mean nothing without action backing them up, and when the action is there, the words are redundant, so in all cases, they're functionally moot, other than to give you an emotional rush from time to time.

Do this: Let yourself feel the impact of his actions, full force. Don't just play with romance, be a true romantic: look for the best, the beautiful, the heroic, the poetic, in everything around you, especially what your husband does. Don't exaggerate or try to create something that isn't there; simply look for what is, appreciate it, and allow yourself to feel that you deserve it - you obviously do or he wouldn't have been with you for EIGHT YEARS!

Next, have your husband read "THE Man's Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage." It's obvious that he's already attractive, and you can use that to your advantage to get him to read the communications and attraction sections to help him better understand your needs and what makes you the way you are. If you're not comfortable just showing him the book and saying that you have read it, found it interesting and think that he should read it as well, tell him that you've read it and you're thrilled by how much of the things in the book describe things that he does, and that he should read it himself because he would enjoy it and will learn some things about what makes women, especially you, "tick" in the process - things that you would like for him to know but the book does a better job of explaining than you can. No achiever ever turns down the opportunity to check out good information, even if they think they may already know all of it. Achievers are always on the lookout for more knowledge, a new angle on old knowledge, a new way to use old knowledge, a better way to do things, etc.

He'll learn about your needs for knowing that he thinks of you from time to time and how to appropriately communicate that, how to "read" you and tell when you're needing a little extra attention, and learn to appreciate the complex system of things that you do for him every day that he may "feel" around him but has never been able to put his finger on and thereby be able to fully appreciate.

Take care, and keep in touch,
David


Gentlemen (and Ladies), I keep saying it, and will continue to say it until I can no longer speak. The best way for both of you to be happy is for everyone to know what it takes to keep making HER happy, because that in turn ignites the nurturing, playfulness, and sexiness that every woman is born with and literally DRIVE her to make those around her happy. It takes a little understanding and effort for us men to do what is so automatic for women, and once we begin, we start a self-perpetuating cycle that doesn't end until we get stupid or lazy and end it - not even after our deaths do women stop feeling attraction for us if we keep it going for them, because once turned on, it has to be turned off for it to stop.

Learn what it is, how it works, and how to do it better than ever in "THE Man's Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," by downloading your copy at http://www.makingherhappy.com today! And while you’re at it, join our forum at http://forum.makingherhappy.com and talk with the men and women there to see that this really isn’t rocket science, isn’t painful, and is in fact fun. Oh, yeah, I’m there too! ;-)

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

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Truth About Testing and Why Being a Nice Guy Will Kill Your Relationship or Marriage

It’s not such a big secret anymore that being a “nice guy” is bad for your relationship, and men are finally waking up to the fact that much of the bratty behavior they see from women is in fact nothing more than a “wuss test.” Here’s why, and a few other things you really ought to know…

I’m back, and the reunion I spoke of and it was great, albeit intense enough that coming back to work was required to recuperate. We went through a lot together, and talking about old times, both good and bad, was therapeutic for all. There’s not a molecule of “victimhood” in the lot of us, but traumatic events take their toll on everyone, creating issues that sometimes take years, or even decades, before they are identified, explored, understood and finally resolved.

If you’ve been with me for a while, you know that I instruct you frequently to not dwell on the past so that you don’t get bogged down in it, but you can’t run from your past, either. Unresolved issues cause problems, such as nightmares and lack of sleep, hidden stress, etc., that degrades not only your health, but your general quality of life, and it’s good to occasionally open that closet door and see if any of the skeletons in there are ready to come out and go away.

During an interesting discussion with a new student, we got on the subject of women testing men’s level of wussitude and why being a nice guy doesn’t work for either of you, and since I’ve not spoken about it for awhile, I’d like to share briefly with you the high points of that conversation. Even if you think you already know all of this, read it anyway, because you can never tell when the spark of inspiration or revelation will light you up!

To get you newbies caught up, women often push bad positions in arguments, insist on unreasonable concessions, pout, pitch fits, and engage in a lot of other seemingly absurd behavior with a very logical and targeted purpose, and it’s not to get what they want. You heard me; it’s not to get what they want. It’s to get you to say, “NO.” Why?

It’s one of the elements of that “men are hunters, women are gatherers” thing that anthropologists talk about. I’ll spare you most of the boring details, but suffice it to say that as we evolved (and I’m talking about improving and becoming more sophisticated as humans, not about the age-old debate about evolution vs. creation as an explanation as to how we got here, so save the anti-evolution hate mail and “intelligent design” sermons for somebody who will read it), we developed different skills and physical characteristics that made each gender better suited to handle specific tasks.

Over time, men who had larger lungs, bigger skeletons and musculature, and spatial skills (navigation, being able to mentally gauge proximity to guess the arc of a spear as he threw it, developing tools, etc.) to help provide food and protect themselves and others survived better and reproduced more. Women who had wider hips (to aid in childbirth), advanced language skills (to cooperate with others in building huts, processing skins and sinew to build weapons, and other tasks that were best conducted in cooperative enterprises), sharper sense of smell (to sense danger approaching the dwelling and identify edible or poisonous plants), etc., also survived and reproduced more.

As with everything biological in every species of life, those whose survivability traits were the best-developed reproduced the most – survival of the fittest in its purest form. Some men were better protectors and providers than others. Some women were better at tuning in to a man’s traits and determining how much of a hunter and leader he could be. Through the generations, they became biologically “wired” through this process of natural selection (by locking in those genes that created successful traits) to possess skills that helped in finding a good mate.

While chasing down and killing a rabbit or deer with bare hands or a bear with a spear is no longer required for a woman and child to eat, and indeed, in most parts of the world women routinely provide for themselves quite adequately without the help of a man, these mechanisms are still present and active in the female brain, and they automatically engage to size a man up from time to time – indeed, virtually every time they encounter a man, familiar or not. Much has changed, but one thing hasn’t: the nature of the test…

…which, in a nutshell, is to provoke you in some way to see if you will say “NO” to her when she is being unreasonable. Most of the time it is not at all deliberate, and you would laugh yourself silly as you read transcripts of conversations and e-mails in which women said, “I NEVER test a man. That’s silly!” and then confessed to it within just a few seconds as their testing actions were called to their attention, after which many of them said, “Oh my God! He must hate me!”

No, he doesn’t hate you, Ladies. Your testing is a pain in our collective ass, but it doesn’t make us hate you. It makes us think you’re nuts until we understand what it is and why you do it. Then it’s usually somewhere between mildly annoying and wonderfully amusing. So on that note, guys, here it is, in a nutshell:

A woman knows, instinctively, without ever being told, as a result of biological development through the ages, that if a man can’t stand up TO her (when appropriate), he cannot stand up FOR her or WITH her. “When appropriate” is a big deal, too, because when it is inappropriate to stand against her, you must also be able to stand with her, no matter how much ego or crow you might have to swallow, and if she’s in the wrong, you have to be enough of a leader to show her that she’s wrong so she doesn’t push a bad position any further and get embarrassed or hurt.

Write that down, and recite it mentally every time you start to enter a conversation with a woman until it becomes second nature, because you will eventually need it with every women you ever meet if you talk to her more than a few minutes, maybe even a few seconds. They have to know, and are biologically-driven to find out, whether it’s in a casual or formal situation, public or intimate context, and regardless of the nature or longevity of your relationship.

You WILL be tested, and if you can say “NO” to a woman she will feel safe in letting you get to know her better, safe in letting you hold sway over her emotions, safe in letting you negotiate on her behalf or as her adversary (because you’ll say “NO” directly instead of saying “YES” and then trying to trick her or cheat her in some other way). No matter what you may think, there is no possible downside to saying “NO” when it’s appropriate and the logical thing to do.

But when is that? We’ll get to that in a minute, but before we do, let me clue you in on a HUGE difference in the way we communicate: nearly all communication you ever have with a woman, and ALL communication that carries the potential for conflict, will start as a negotiation.

It is EXPECTED that you enter a discussion with either a position or a statement that you require more information. So when saying “NO,” unless you are abusive about it, in a woman’s mind and according to the protocol she will naturally follow, that “NO” is not final; it is merely your opening negotiating position, and she expects a chance to give you input that will persuade you. An inappropriate “NO” will only anger a woman if you deliver the “NO” and deny her the opportunity of negotiation. That’s why they get so ticked off when we act like we’re afraid to say “NO;” it’s just too wussy for words in their world.

But it does make things easier if you try to say “NO” only when appropriate, because it shows that you are reading her, which in turn means that you are paying attention to her, a big compliment in the women’s playbook. The easiest way to draw the line between an appropriate and inappropriate “NO” is to ask one simple question, “Has she earned a ‘yes’?”

If your wife says she wants new furniture for a room, and has contributed to the smooth and secure operation of the household, whether through a job or “domestic efforts,” been loyal and trustworthy, given you love and respect, etc., then she’s earned a “yes,” as long as what she’s asking for is within or can be worked into your budget, obviously. If she’s laid around on her lazy or drunken butt while you and the kids have done everything and complained because you didn’t do it fast enough, abused herself and you, and exhibited a general lack of respect for herself and everyone around her, no, she hasn’t.

Indeed, she’s earned a trip out the door to divorce court, just as you would if you did the same thing. It’s really that plain and simple – ruthless, as one forum member called it, but necessary just the same. (It’s at http://forum.makingherhappy.com, and you should visit, because even though it’s still in beta and there are under 200 people there, the posts are REALLY interesting and helpful already.)

Or, put another way, if you think she deserves it and want to agree because of that, she’s earned a “yes,” but if you’re thinking about giving in to earn some favor from her that really isn’t a favor, but something a wife should be doing, you’re about to get busted for being a wuss, and getting the furniture without gaining whatever favor you were after is just the beginning of your punishment, so don’t go there. You can reward good behavior and punish the bad behavior, and you can exhibit good behavior by acting like a man of self-respect, but you cannot “buy off” a woman, at least not any woman worth having. That is in essence saying to her that you think she’s a prostitute, and they don’t take kindly to such things, sometimes even when they are.

As I said to this new reader today, I have searched extensively to find any rational downside to a man having genuine self-esteem and engaging in attractive behavior like being strong for his wife or girlfriend, and I have failed utterly to identify even an iota’s worth of a good reason to do anything less. If a woman says she wants something, even if you think it’s the right thing to do, invite her to make her case, thereby opening the negotiation that she expects and WANTS to engage in. Yes, you read that right.

Women naturally engage in negotiation to communicate nearly everything, and if she’s testing, you’ve made the right move, and if she’s not, she’ll be happy to build the emotion of making her case instead of just having you give in. The same thing if you think you should say “no” – yes, really! If you think it’s a bad idea, say so, and immediately invite her to make her case so that she doesn’t feel shut down and retaliate. It would sound something like:

Her: “Honey, what do you think about our living room furniture?” (Implied statement: “Honey, I want new living room furniture, and it’s time to negotiate.”)

You: “I like it fine, why?” (The “why” is needed for her to continue; if you don’t say it, she will most likely take it that you shut down the discussion!)

Her: “Well I think it needs to be replaced.” (Or in the long version, “Don’t you think it looks old and worn out (or the color is wrong, or it’s uncomfortable, etc.)?” meaning “I want to change it.” Some women will continually ask questions to repeat the statement they are trying to make until you make it back to them, signifying understanding and interest.)

You: “Well, like I said, I don’t see any problem with it, but you live her too, so tell me what makes you want to replace it.”

From there, she’ll either give you good reasons to do so, like pointing out that it’s stained, uncomfortable worn, or she’s so bored with it she doesn’t feel comfortable in the room anymore (yes, that can be a very legitimate reason, as you would know if you knew everything you need to know about women, depending on whether she is truly bored with the furniture and the room condition or if she is generally bored and wanting “retail therapy” on the magnitude of a furniture purchase), or she’ll stammer around talking about where you can buy it on sale, or giving you the old “you’d just buy it for me without asking questions if you loved me,” routine if she doesn’t have a good reason and is either testing you or showing her true colors as a gold-digger (and maybe it’s time to test her a bit, too!)

The bottom line is that if she has a good reason, she’ll enjoy talking about it and enjoy the intimacy and challenge of the negotiation. And if she doesn’t, her behavior will make it quite obvious.

Living with a woman is easy if you are fairly well-matched in terms of values, tastes and interests and you understand what you need to know about women, which is how they are both like us and different from us, and how to communicate well enough to recognize negotiations, questions that are statements, etc. Now, you have a decision to make…

Are you going to spend a lifetime trying to learn on your own and reach the end of your life lonely and still not knowing?

Or worse, assume that I’m full of crap and you don’t need to learn anything?

Or are you one of us guys who see a problem, seek out a viable solution, preferably one that has already worked for somebody else in similar circumstances, and fix it?

If you’re that first guy, I commend your can-do attitude, but isn’t reinventing the wheel a gross waste of time? Not to mention a HUGE risk of having life – family life – as you know it, come to a sudden halt if you don’t figure it out, or don’t figure it out fast enough?

If you’re that second guy, why are you reading my newsletter? If you’re looking for validation of your past actions instead of a solution to your self-inflicted problems, you’re looking in the wrong place. I help people fix problems, not feel good about having created them.

If you’re that third guy, let me hook you up with what you need, and yes, it has already been tested and proven by thousands of couples. Go to http://www.makingherhappy.com and download your copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage." Read it. Study it. Learn from it the answer to that oldest of man’s questions: “What makes a woman tick?” and that next oldest: “What do women REALLY want?” Then go sweep your woman off her feet…I dare you! (And for those of you in the southern United States, “I double-dog dare you!”)

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