Saturday, July 16, 2011

When She Gains a Few Pounds: Walking Through a Minefield in Relationships and Marriage

Summer is here, and many of us still have that inconvenient layer of winter fat and we’re now wondering how many extra trips to the gym it will take to get rid of it. And it’s not just winter fat, either. Stress, pregnancy, etc., can put a major whammy on women, who are especially troubled right now because bikini season is here! 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. Just tell him you want him to read it because it sounds like how you feel.

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 destructive programming 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, July 15, 2011

Handling Women's Insecurity and Jealousy in Relationships and Marriage

What to do when your partner gets jealous. It’s a security and self-esteem issue, so you must be careful…

I received the following in response to the recent edition on “Being Your Own Man”:

Hi David....I agree with you on what this guy needs to do. Let me ask you though...When I am showing this confidence which I believe I do and in fact I enjoy seeing my wife getting attention from the younger guys, but is it possible that when she sees me so self-confident and not being jealous etc that the wife may start being insecure herself? Do you think that she could start thinking that all the other women are going to want him and she might withdraw into herself seeing other women being interested in him?

Thanks,
Keith

You can read that edition at http://forum.makingherhappy.com/showthread.php/736-Being-Your-Own-Man-Crucial-to-a-Great-Relationship-or-Marriage if you like, by the way. It’s pretty important, too.

I told Keith that it was purely a matter of her self-esteem combined with his past behavior; if she feels good about herself and he’s shown himself to be trustworthy in the past, she’ll eat it up just like him, but if not, there could be trouble. I also pointed him to this article in my newsletter archive, which does bring a lot of clarity to the picture, especially on how to maintain that “They’re chasing me, but I’m going home with you, so don’t worry” connection going with your wife or girlfriend while others are flirting with you. Read it again if you’ve seen it before, because this is a skill and attitude you MUST acquire, and one that will be richly rewarded:

“When She Gets Jealous”

Let’s talk about our women, and how to give them one less thing to worry about each day.

Why should that be important? If you had read “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage” you would know that women are wired differently from men in some rather fascinating ways (and yes, bothersome and delightful as well), one of which is that they are constantly evaluating and reevaluating everything in their world. That includes us, themselves, and all the other women they know, too, and there are some “competitive insecurities” that still creep in, even though we now live in a world where women routinely make it on their own without a man’s help.

Patience, everyone. It took at least a few thousand years to form those habits, and they won’t go away overnight, especially as long as every time you turn on the television you see commercials aimed at women whose sole purpose is to make them feel insecure about themselves so that they will spend more money on diet and exercise fads, makeup and clothing to try to outpace each other. (Yes, Guys, they’re doing it to us, too, with commercials about “dysfunction,” size, hair loss, etc., just not as aggressively as they do it to the women.) Until everybody gets together and figures out that there’s plenty of partners to go around and we all need to be a little more patient and selective when trying to choose one, we’re all going to have to deal with this.

Gentlemen, this is particularly a problem for us! How so? As you master the knowledge and techniques in “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage,” you will become more attractive – TO ALL WOMEN! Yes, that IS a problem, but only if not handled properly. Put your ego back in your pocket for a minute and think with me here. What do you do when you’re in a public place and other women notice you and come up and start flirting with you, right in front of your partner?

She’s in a quandary, because she wants to be with a man who is in demand (F.J. Shark’s “social proof”), and wants to be proud to be seen with you, but unless she’s feeling particularly strong about you and your relationship, she’s likely to get a little uneasy, especially at first, if this is a new development in your relationship. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to allow her to see her man being in demand without making her feel insecure or even fearful of the other women noticing you. I cover this in detail in my book, but I’m going to give you the crash course here and now so you can have a better understanding of how things work and maybe avoid a bad situation before you get to that part of the book.

First, if you have followed my advice and let her read this book with you, she knows what you’re doing, and probably already knows that you’re becoming more attractive for your own sake as well as with her feelings and needs in mind, and a desire to better your relationship and marriage. She just needs a little subtle but firm reminder, possibly frequently until she gets used to you being attractive and still remaining true to her – remember, women are constantly reevaluating and testing, even when they know things are good. That reminder comes in the form of continuing to make contact with her when other women are around. Care for an example?

Yeah, I thought so…

Okay, you have just spoken at a dinner, seminar, party, or some gathering and have become known to the room as some kind of leader, authority, entertainer, etc., that causes women to pay attention to you because you have just publicly defined and demonstrated authority and established alpha status in commanding the attention of the group, room, or whatever. Your partner is now at your side as these other women come up introducing themselves, asking questions, flirting, etc., which is their lead-in to testing you to see if you can be swayed and to see if you’ll give them attention, and on what level. They’re highly competitive and can’t help it, so there’s no avoiding it. Some of them will be subtly flirting, others may even overtly give you a phone number or a room key (yes, attraction is that powerful, as well as some women’s sense of competition in establishing their own “social proof”!) knowing that your wife is standing there. Some may even be so brazen as to sneer at your wife after handing you the key.

Frequently, yet subtly, make contact with your partner, touching or even squeezing her hand, glancing at her and smiling as you answer the other women’s questions, etc., which telegraphs to her and to the other women that while you are the catch of the room at that moment, you’re committed to her, and happy to remain so. If you are passed any room keys, phone numbers, etc., DO NOT try to conceal them. Try to very subtly and politely refuse them, and if they insist, take it, slip your hand behind your back, and try to get your partner to take it, or slip it in your pocket while smiling and maybe winking at your partner and making a game of it, and then turn out your pockets for her when you are alone again.

Let her dispose of the phone numbers and take the room keys to the front desk, not as an act of giving her control, but as a sort of trophy demonstrating your commitment to her, saying something like, “Well my dear, you’ve earned these, so dispatch them as you wish,” with a big naughty grin, of course. (One of you is married to a woman who would go to the rooms and invite the women to a private party – Keith, the guy who wrote the letter that opened this lesson! – so you never really know what might happen when you do this.)

If you know that you are going to be speaking publicly, discuss it with her! Yes, people really do things like that. “Honey, there are going to be women asking me questions tonight after the presentation, and some of them are likely to try to pass me phone numbers, room keys, etc. You know I have no interest in them, and I want you to be comfortable with handling the situation. I can dispose of the contraband myself or I can allow you to handle it if you prefer. Frankly, I find it amusing, and if you pay attention, you will, too.” Don’t do it apologetically, or like you’re asking permission, because you’re not. You’ve decided what’s to be done – the contraband must be disposed of -- and left her room for input as to WHO will dispose of it.

If your relationship is pretty strong and you want to be really naughty about it, you can take that approach. “Damn, I get so tired of all these women flirting and carrying on at these things. I usually just toss the phone numbers and room keys, at least the ones from the ugly girls (wink and duck!), but I’m getting tired of having to deal with it. Why don’t you take the keys to the desk and trash the notes and numbers for me tonight?”

A big wink and a grin at that point will probably get you get you a good natured slap, kick, punch, or something that doesn’t hurt, along with a choice expletive or two and a kiss. Ride her about it a little bit more to get her to giggle if you can, and let it go. The main thing is to keep it framed as your decision, because it is. It’s your decision to be true to her and it’s your decision to have her participate in celebrating that fidelity. This is something you’re doing because you love her, not something you’re doing because you need her and are afraid of losing her.

Obviously, there are a lot more circumstances than these with the potential for an insecure wife to become jealous. The general rule is to remind her that it is your commitment, your choices, and your actions, not the actions of aggressive women, that will determine what happens, and that her voiced distrust of those other women is in effect expressing distrusting you.

It would be really, REALLY helpful if at this point, you could honestly say to her, “…and all the evidence that you have tells you that it doesn’t matter what these other women do, I’m with you and will remain with you.” You can only do that if you’ve not been caught cheating, so keep yourself out of trouble. The only way to LOOK clean is to BE clean, right? And if you’re not sure how she might take something like this, ask the women on our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com. They joined to answer questions like this, providing the female perspective, and we can’t have them getting bored, now can we? ;-)

There are very few problems that a man and woman can have, or any two people for that matter, that some honest, factual communication can’t fix, even if it’s just to agree to disagree and move on; at least the conflict is stopped and closure secured. Listen to your partner, and trust them to listen to you, always. If you can’t, you may just be calling the wrong person “partner.” (Yeah, that’s another newsletter.) Learn how to make yourself this attractive and how to talk to your partner in the aftermath in “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage;” your copy is waiting for you at http://www.makingherhappy.com, and your life is getting shorter with each passing minute, so I strongly suggest you get moving.

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

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Shopping Together As Foreplay? If Done Properly, It Can Really Boost Your Relationship and Marriage

Attraction is about flipping primal, biological switches that ignite the urge to procreate, or at least go through the motions of mating. Leadership and authority will flip them because it invokes feelings of power and protection; will shopping awaken these primal urges as well? My research and others’ says, “Oh yeah!” but it’s not retail therapy that does the trick…

Strap yourself in, because we’re going for a ride. I’ve written many times about how attraction and flirting are dying arts that are slowly being revived as desperate singles and bored couples seek out people like myself, Shelley McMurtry, John Alanis, and others and learn what it’s all about. I’ve also advised quite a few people to look back to the actions of their parents and especially grandparents, old movies, etc., for visual examples of things that they did then that most people don’t do now but are crucial for relationships. Why?

A lot of that old school, gender-stereotypical behavior that made for manly men and girly girls was obliterated in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s by idiotic ideas like “men should be sensitive instead of manly” when all women wanted was for manly men to continue to be manly men, but be a little more sensitive to things like a woman’s emotional state and her sheer dread of boredom. Incidentally, note that divorce rates began climbing exponentially through those years as well.

I was talking to my dad a few days ago and he mentioned how different things were now from when I was a child, and I asked him about what couples did for fun in the 50’s and 60’s that he no longer saw them doing. The first thing out of his mouth was a revelation: “Well, when you’re mother and I got married and until you kids were pretty much either gone or old enough to be gone, we nearly always did the grocery shopping together. Your mother would get all frisky and cuddly in the grocery store every time we’d go, even if she was ticked off about something when we got there. Didn’t you notice that you kids were often put to bed a little early when we went to the store?”

No, I didn’t notice, but it sure makes sense now!

The act of hunting down and procuring food, and returning home with it is very primal, making the evening meal somewhat celebratory in a primal sort of way. He also talked about having other couples over for card games, and being accused of cheating because he and my mother were playing footsy under the table during the game and stuff like that, which was also primally attractive because of the competition and celebration involved, but I couldn’t get the grocery store thing out of my head. This had to be checked out, because my parents stayed married for 33 years and had five kids; their divorce happened after deep compatibility problems finally wore them down and out.

I’ve spent several hours each day for the last few days wandering around grocery stores and lurking in the parking lot watching for couples to show up (I was accosted by one store manager who thought I was acting suspicious until I explained what I was doing, at which time he took me to the security booth and we both watched the security cameras and tapes, which was a lot of fun for both of us!), and the results were more than impressive. They were downright awe-inspiring!

Couples would come in chatting, arguing, not speaking, even obviously pissed off at each other, and none of them seemed to make it more than about three aisles before they were walking closer together, him pushing the cart and her hand in the crook of his arm, or holding hands, or her stroking and caressing his back and shoulders, and the smiles and other body language was very clear. I also recall similar experiences with the women I’ve been involved with in my adult life, and it went right over my head at the time, as it may be going right over everybody else’s heads today. I wish my grandparents were still alive today so that I could pick their brains about a lot of things; they were married for 66 years, and I’m quite sure they could have told me about a lot more of these kinds of things if they were still around.

So guys, how do you put stuff like this to work? Start by understanding the underlying elements of creating attraction: leadership, protection, mimicking primal survival behavior, decision-making, competition, etc. Now, let’s build an evening out of it.

I’d suggest starting by planning at least an evening meal, and take your partner with you to get the groceries. Take your time and have fun perusing the aisles in the grocery store instead of just rushing straight to the things you want and grabbing them. Turn on a little of that naughty charm and steal a kiss or two, a playful pinch or grope, conducted covertly and intimately, as if you’re a couple of naughty kids getting away with something.

Go home and cook dinner for her, or for her and a guest couple. If you can’t cook, stay in the kitchen with her while she cooks and lead conversation about anything, even how to do what she’s doing. Women adore it when men ask open-ended questions about anything that interests the woman or that she does competently just as much as they like asking men the same things. And I’m not talking about “chit-chat.” I’m talking about real conversation. There’s no emotion or engagement in chit-chat; it’s just a time-filler.

Continue to ramp up the fun and tension after dinner through a movie (yes, a funny one, or one that if filled with action, authority, and some mystery!) or some other activity, like a sunset walk, or if you have the other couple over, engage in something fun and competitive like parlor games or card games, and occasionally when she gets up from the table to get something for herself or the guests, get up to help or suddenly think of something you need to remind her of (don’t worry about being rude, as they may be getting caught up in the energy and wanting to steal a kiss or a grope themselves!), and push the naughty envelope a bit while you’re out of sight of the guests. That “ramp it up and draw back a bit” play builds a delightful tension that women will savor for hours, and when the guests finally leave, she’ll lock the door and probably be tearing at your clothes if you did a good job at ramping up and pulling back.

By the way, DO NOT confuse procurement of needed items with “retail therapy.” Retail therapy, the act of buying things for the thrill of the purchase with no real need or desire for some benefit of ownership, is something that people do when they are bored or suffering from some kind of self-esteem crisis, and make no mistake, it is damaging to a relationship or marriage. It creates financial strain, storage problems, and a lot of stress. Keep your shopping dates to things you know you need or have discussed and decided that you want to own and benefit from ownership, and avoid just grabbing stuff for the thrill of hearing the cash register bells; those bells are for the shopkeeper to celebrate, not you.

I’ve told you gentlemen too many times to count that the object is not to seduce your wife, but to actively induce your wife to seduce both of you by leading her to her sexy side. This is how you get that done, and I shudder to think of how many such secrets our parents and grandparents took to their graves. If yours are still alive and you’re comfortable doing so, you might ask them about their dating days and the early years of their marriage. You might be surprised at how eager they are to share with you.

You might also be surprised at how eager the women on our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com, are to share with you if ask them any question at all, including what kinds of things you could talk about in the kitchen without putting her in the authority role, how to get her to give you instruction, such as cooking, while YOU are in the authority role, and a lot more that is infinitely more useful than you might imagine.

Caution: not everybody’s parents and grandparents will have been good at playing the attraction game. More men and women understood it 50 years ago, but that’s a far cry from being able to say that ALL men and women understood it fifty years ago.

Before you start pumping the older folks for the advanced techniques of their day, you really need a good command of the basics so you can distinguish between something great that can add spice to your life and a mistake that an ancestor made that will haunt generations to come if they don’t know any better than to repeat the mistake. Oops! Where do you go for that?

Glad you asked! Go to http://www.makingherhappy.com and download your copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," where you’ll find all the basics and then some, on attraction, effective communications, evaluating and renewing relationships, and even how to gracefully end bad ones with cooperation and dignity. Yes, really! Here are a few choice excerpts from a reader letter I received today:

“...I think she is missing me more than she will admit and it’s because of the ATTRACTION that YOUR BOOK has helped me instill back in her...”

“...things are progressing back to getting the woman I love back completely...”

“...the thing I like the MOST is SHE is CALLING ME .... NOT Me calling HER...so I must be doing something RIGHT LOL...”

“...have a great day and thanks if for no other reason for making me a better man...”

This guy described himself as “the wuss from Hell” in his first letter to me, and was afraid he was too late to do anything about it; he mentioned in one of his letters that they’d been separated for a couple of years and she had told him that under no circumstances would they ever be together again, yet they’re dating, she’s chasing him, they’re getting totally intimate, and she’s fighting tooth and nail the whole way, testing him to make sure it’s not just some phony act he’s putting on and that this new man before her is here to stay.

He is, he’s getting results, and if a self-proclaimed “wuss from Hell” can have an ex of two years pulling him back into the bedroom after she declared that donkeys would fly through a frozen Hell before she’d ever sleep with him again, you have no choice but to accept that this information works, and you need to be getting with the program, NOW! (Right, “Michael” K.?) http://www.makingherhappy.com.

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

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What Are You Looking for in Your Relationship and Marriage, or Are You Looking At All?

Great things are where you find them, especially in relationships, marriages, and opportunity in general, but you have to be looking for them to see them. Believe it or not, that’s a lot more a matter of attitude than opportunity, luck, or providence…

I sat down to check my e-mail and found a couple of starkly contrasting pieces that screamed out “NEWSLETTER!!!!” So while I usually do this late at night based on some experience of the day, I’m doing it early today while the message is still at the forefront of my mind and easy to share with you.

The first thing I saw was a notice that a reader named Ryan had ended his subscription to this newsletter. Ryan had subscribed eleven days prior, and his comment describing his reason for canceling read:

“NOTHING OF VALUE”

Just below it was an e-mail from another reader, and I about laughed myself sick when I looked up his subscription date and found that it was the same day, and he submitted the following:

Hello David,

Thank you! Your book is awesome! All of your readers of your daily email should sack up and buy your book. Sometimes that macho crap gets in the way and we limit ourselves from learning more about the women in our lives. We do often think that we should naturally know everything....after reading your book I knew that I didn't know much!

My marriage came to an end a while ago and my ex was always turning to "relationship experts" like Dr Phil and John Gray just to name a couple. Yes being the good man (or trying to) I read their books. Although they had some interesting ideas, none of them had an impact on me the way your book did.

I have been in a new relationship with a woman now for about a year. I did not want this relationship to turn sour like all the other ones so I decided to be proactive and read your book. WOW! Over the past couple of weeks since I bought your book, I started to take control and the results have been amazing. I have not had a problem with self confidence or had a problem attracting women throughout my life, but after a while things would always change. I could not sustain the attraction. This woman is amazing and I did not want to sabotage this one too. Your book is the bomb dude and I will direct as much attention to you as I can!

One of my buddies asked me this weekend why I was so happy and I told him I wish that he could feel for 5 minutes what I feel everyday now. My beautiful woman is into me like no one’s business and looks at me in a way where I feel her love, even when we are not together. After almost a year we are more in love today than ever before. Thank you David for doing what the so-called "relationship experts" could not.

Rock on Dude,

Mike

P.S. By the way...I packed her stuff up and we went for a picnic this weekend when she got home from work. The results are too X-rated to put here...lol. Later!

(The picnic Mike refers to in the post script is a surprise outing I describe in the "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage,” wherein after you have learned how to read your partner and pay attention to the little things about her, like what she never leaves the house without on a day trip, weekender, etc., you come home a little early from work or send her off on an errand so you can have the house to yourself for an hour or so and prepare a picnic, day trip, weekend outing, etc. – just any kind of surprise trip to shake things up and give her a break from routine, then pile her in the car and announce the destination after you’re under way, or even better, upon arrival. It’s a wonderful exercise in attraction-building and adventure that every woman appreciates.)

The contrast in the findings and underlying attitudes of these two readers is stark and significant. One was looking for answers and found them, and I’m still trying to figure out what the other one was looking for, but it quite literally took them exactly the same length of time to report their findings; my e-mail is updated every three minutes and these two came in together. Strange, but true.

I wish you could have been here when they arrived, too. I’m hyper-analytical. You could probably count the original thoughts I’ve had in my life on your hands and feet, but I can extract the cause and effect relationships from any situation near-instantly and accurately, and it’s ruthlessly automatic. Everything I see or hear first causes me to visualize, then analyze, then look for parallels once the cause and effect is known and logical deductions and projections that can be made from them. (That’s why you never find opinion or theory in my newsletters or books!)

So when these letters hit me, the immediate question was, “what else do men miss because they aren’t looking for it, or are looking somewhere besides at their partners to find it?”

Think about that. Is there something that you wish you and your partner shared, or could share or do together, that you have just assumed she wouldn’t be interested in or do? Are you right now or have you recently made the mistake of involving others in the problems of your life or relationship because you assume that your partner won’t want to discuss it, or resolve it?

Parenthetically, NEVER, EVER discuss intimate family problems with anyone outside your household unless they are a professional problem-solver who is both competent and paid for their confidentiality. Aside from the fact that it’s unlikely that they are emotionally-unattached, rational, and experienced enough to get to the root of your problem and help, when personal relationships end badly, all information that you have given a former friend, coworker, etc., or even a relative that you can’t really cut off, becomes a weapon to embarrass and hurt you with.

People do horribly hurtful things that cannot be undone when they are angry, and the things that go on between you and your spouse – YES, I am talking to both men and women here – are fodder for a quick-tempered and later-regretted revenge. Don’t tempt fate by arming people you care about with information about other people you care about. I see it every day, and it NEVER ends well.

Here’s an example possibly less destructive but still quite humiliating: one of the guys on our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com, went to a gathering yesterday for the first time without his estranged wife, and everyone who knew that his wife was in mid-life crisis just had to chime in with all manner of negativity (“Leave the bitch. Wanna meet my sister?” I kid you not!) without even asking how it was going, and it actually looks like she’s coming home soon. Needless to say, it pretty-well ruined the gathering for him. The less people, even friends, know about your problems, unless they can actually do something to help, the better.

Getting back on subject, do you have any idea how many missed opportunities to deepen and improve your relationship and your life occur as a result of assuming that your partner won’t be interested? Or how many affairs are started because of that? How many misunderstandings it generates?

Don’t be like Ryan, oblivious to the potential of what’s in front of you. If there’s something missing at home, don’t go outside to find it (and if you ultimately do decide to go outside your marriage, end the marriage first unless the two of you have agreed to do something like “open marriage”) before making absolutely sure that it’s not sitting there undiscovered right under your nose at home. Talk to your partner, and listen – or are you able?

I’ll go to my grave preaching this sermon. Effective inter-gender communication is not something that we are born well-suited to even do, let alone do competently. It is a skill that must be developed, not a talent determined by a gene; indeed, our innate ineptitude in communicating across gender boundaries IS forced by our sex chromosomes. For those of you who have seen the “Men State, Women Negotiate” excerpt from "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" in my free “Break-Up Busting 101” report, you know that as complex as it all seems, it pretty much boils down to the ruthless exercise of three simple rules that anybody can follow.

The question is “What are you looking for?” which begs the other question, “What is motivating you to look for anything?” Are you like Ryan, maybe looking for validation for your past mistakes so that you can blame somebody else for leaving you, or are you like Mike, realizing that you wouldn’t be reading this if everything was perfect, and that something that appears logical, people are using with success, and is guaranteed to work is worth a try, and therefore taking action and getting outstanding results?

Only you can make that choice, and I dare say that it is inevitable that you will be held accountable for it, if by nothing else, the state of your own life and that of your family’s, so choose well…

I don’t want to get too carried away with coincidences, but if you want to be “like Mike” (to those of you who saw the movie, I swear that’s his real name!), just do what he did. Jump over to http://www.makingherhappy.com and download your own copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," and get busy. It took him 11 days to write that letter. How quickly can you turn your life and relationship around?

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

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Pleasure or Pain: More on Horseplay and "Picking" in Relationships and Marriage

One of the women takes issue with being picked on the wrong way, and rightly so. If you’re going to do it, you’d better do it the right way, or you’ll be paying for it later. Understanding our differences makes it easy to get it right…

Yesterday’s newsletter on picking and playing touched off a barrage of “Amen’s” from the women whose husbands shied away from playing, but there was one that was on a different plane that we need to discuss. Her husband tries to play, but he goes about it all wrong. Meet Gina:

Hi David,

I loved this and all of your e-mails. I wish you could get my husband to understand this. He’s constantly making mean remarks about me, thinking that he’s being funny. He demeans me in front of his friends and family, my friends, family, and coworkers, and he’s embarrassed me to tears more times than I can count. He’s a good man, attractive, very alpha male, and keeps me moving, but when he does this I could just kill him, because it really hurts.

He tells everybody I’m always late everywhere I go; it’s true. We have four kids and I have a hard time getting all of them ready to go anywhere. I have a hard time keeping my weight under control because I tend to eat more when I’m stressed, and I’m always stressed, and he’ll point out to people when I’ve gained weight or my clothes are too tight. He makes fun of me when I make any mistake, and makes it his mission to point it out to everyone for a week or more after.

I can’t get him to understand that this isn’t funny and it hurts badly, and I’ve about had all I can take of it. When I told him that, he made fun of me for being dramatic! I love him with all I have, but I’m starting to feel like a verbal punching bag and to be honest, the main reason I’m always stressed isn’t so much our four kids as it’s living in fear of what he’s going to say next to mortify me! Can you help?

Thanks so much,
Gina


I handled Gina’s request for help by private correspondence because there were some specific issues and instructions that I don’t want to go into here for several reasons, among them her privacy, but we do need to talk more about this.

I have a good friend who also does this, and his name is Rick. He’s an alpha male from the ground up: retired cop, now consulting in law enforcement, sharp, articulate, and one of us guys who enters a room and everybody just turns and starts moving in that direction because they can sense leadership from across the room.

He loves his “wife” (they never had a wedding, but have been together since dinosaurs roamed the Earth and regard themselves and conduct their lives as if they are married), and she both loves him and is wildly attracted to him, even after years of putting up with his sense of humor, but it is indeed a problem. He sounds just like Gina’s man, making fun of things like her weight that she is really sensitive about, and nobody, myself included, can get him to understand that he’s hurting her. He says she’s as tough as he is and that’s why he loves her.

She’s tough as nails, but she’s also a woman, and even the toughest women have their hot buttons and weak points, just like men. She lives in constant torment of loving and being attracted to a man who inadvertently hurts her every other time he opens his mouth, and I really don’t know how much more of it she’s going to be able to take.

Being tough doesn’t mean that nothing hurts; it means you go on with your life in spite of hurting, just like being brave doesn’t mean you’re never scared, it just means you do what you have to do in spite of being scared. And if something hurts too much for too long, most people will remove the cause, or remove themselves from the cause.

What’s escaping Gina’s husband, my friend Rick, and a lot of other men I know is that this is an area in which men and women are fundamentally different. Men jab at each other’s vulnerabilities to play and to help each other toughen up, and to challenge each other to do something about our vulnerabilities. We poke each other in the stomach when we notice a few more cheeseburgers and beers collecting around the belt line and make a crack like “Expanding the shed to keep your tool from rusting there, Bob?” There’s no telling how many thousands of years we’ve done it, and it’s a ritual of strengthening, and bonding, a sort of intimacy that only our friends are allowed to engage in with us.

With women, it’s different. The only time you will hear a woman bring up another woman’s vulnerability to her face is if she is on the offensive. They only do it to hurt each other when they are being competitive or vindictive, and it hurts them badly when we do this. They may even try to excuse it as just us being us, but there’s that subconscious link to their communications infrastructure that still eats at them as if we had been a woman when we said something about their weight, or their feet, or a mole, or a gray root on a hair. It’s rejection, or an attack, not a joke, in their book.

In our world, any minor flaw is something to rib your buddy about; in their world, it’s ammunition for the big guns. For us, mentioning our flaws is like a slap on the back and gets a laugh, while in theirs, it’s a slap in the face. That’s why I’ve said in previous newsletters that you can only say something in that kind of play if it’s plainly an exaggeration, like telling her she has a big butt if she has a very skinny butt and knows it, or call her “Bigfoot” when she has tiny feet, something so absurd as to be obviously a joke. Once you’ve established that baseline, you can push the envelope a VERY little at a time and gently find out where her limits are, and then push the envelope a bit, but start in the safe zone so that everybody has fun.

We’re alike in many ways, and it often deceives us into thinking that we are alike in ways that we are entirely different, even opposite. It is these deceptive differences that make us unwittingly hurt each other when hurting each other is among those things that we indeed NEVER want to do.

Not knowing about them – simple ignorance – is very treatable; it takes only a little knowledge. Not caring about our differences and not trying to learn about them and avoid hurting each other with them – apathy – is also treatable, but it takes more drastic measures, like a pitcher of ice water on the crotch, an iron skillet to the head, or in extreme cases, a divorce, or even a bullet or worse; Google “Lorena Bobbitt” if you need an example.

Or drop by our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com, and ask some of the women there what they do when their men act up. The question hasn’t come up yet, so you ought to get some interesting answers.

The question you have to ask yourself is which ailment do you have, ignorance or apathy, and how is your ailment going to be treated?

I’m going out on a limb here, but I’m going to guess that if you didn’t care, you wouldn’t be reading this, so we’re going to treat ignorance. That’s easy, fun, and dirt cheap. Yeah, yeah, yeah, you can thank me later… LOL! If you’re here looking for validation of your mistakes instead of a fix for your problems, that’s not going to happen here. There are a bunch of people calling themselves a “support group” somewhere waiting for you with open arms and a big ol’ sob story just like yours if that’s what you’re after. (Yes, I know there are legitimate support groups who really help people, too, and so does everybody else, so hold the hate mail if you’re in one of them.)

For right now, just concern yourself with getting the knowledge to fix this condition, and any others you may have, into your head and into practice, while your problems are still easy to fix. You can do it when they get hard, too, but it takes longer and everybody hurts a lot more in the meantime. Taking care of it NOW is your best bet.

If you’re smart enough to see that, and want to fix your problems before they get any worse, and even go on to make everything better than it’s ever been, start by going to http://www.makingherhappy.com and downloading your copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," and you’ll see what those before you have already found: it’s solid, tested, proven knowledge and advice, and if you can put your pants on in the morning instead of offering them to a passer-by, you can do what needs to be done and enjoy it, for the rest of your life.

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

Monday, July 11, 2011

What to Do When She's "Mean" to You: Horseplay and "Picking" in Relationships and Marriage

Men frequently write to me complaining that their wives pick at them, needle them, push them to do things they don’t want to do, etc. How are you supposed to handle this? The answer might surprise you…

I get a lot of letters like the following, and I’ve addressed the issue in "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," but the frequency of these letters is scary. There are too many men who don’t recognize what this issue really is and how to deal with it, and families are literally coming apart at the seams because of this simple misunderstanding. Meet Jeff:

Hello David,

I need help. I haven’t yet read your book but I’ve been reading your newsletters for awhile and I think you can tell me this. My wife has picked up a bad habit of picking on me, making fun of me, being a smart-ass in front of our friends, etc. It’s really abrasive and embarrassing, and getting worse by the day. The more I ask her to stop, the more she does it, like she’s trying to push me into a fight. How can I stop it?

Thanks,
Jeff

Well Jeff, you slacking cheapskate, if you’d read my book you’d know! ;-) Just kidding, of course!


Seriously, she’s not trying to start a fight at all. She’s trying to get you to stand up to her and play with her! You’re boring her to tears, and she’s trying to bring you out of your shell.

Women like challenge, and they like a man to act like he “has a pair.” She’s challenging you to a verbal “joust,” both to have some fun and to test your self-confidence; it’s one of the most common tests women throw at a man. What she’s expecting from you is that you pick back at her, not in a mean, hurtful, insulting way, but in that fun, naughty, mischievous way as you probably cut up with your friends, at least at first, escalating it to get into chasing, tickling, playful pinching or spanking – you know, that kid stuff that you used to do when you drove her wild!

What’s happening now is that she’s trying harder and harder to provoke you into showing that you have reproductive glands – confidence – and a sense of humor, which is, in effect, punishment for not doing so all along. If you don’t do it, you’ll find her losing interest in you pretty soon, so you’d better be finding your sense of humor, fast.

And we are talking about humor here, no matter how pissy you might think she’s being. If she makes a smart crack about your big feet, make a smart crack about something that obviously IS NOT a problem; i.e., only make a remark about her big butt if she DOES NOT have a big butt and doesn’t obsess about having one. Find something to exaggerate to crack wise about so that it’s obvious that you’re playing, else you may strike a nerve and end up starting a fight while trying to play; picking on something she’s insecure about is punishment in her eyes, not fun.

I cannot overstress how you need to exercise a little sensitivity here. If she stubs her toe and is limping around but not seriously injured or embarrassed about the accident, then calling her “gimpy” is fair game, but if she is crippled, or if there was something embarrassing about the injury, like she was in a public place, stubbed her toe and ended up dumping a cup of coffee on a white blouse in front of her boss because of it, “gimpy” is off limits, at least until you see that she’s over the embarrassment, which will usually be if and when you see her smile or laugh a bit when talking about it with a girlfriend.

The idea is to be obviously fun with your picking to give her a giggle and demonstrate that you are a playful guy, not some wuss who can’t take a joke and is afraid to dish one out for her or a jerk who is retaliating and being a mean bully instead of going along with the joke. If you’re still not sure how to pull this off, the women on our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com, would be happy to help you figure it out. There are times when a woman’s perspective is invaluable, you know?

Women don’t really want that much from us, Gents. It’s just that what they want is virtually left untaught these days; they’re politically incorrect for wanting it, and we’re politically incorrect for giving it to them. However, I am teaching it, after learning it from some gurus before me and adapting and expanding that by working with several hundred married women and their husbands, and I’ll teach you if you want to learn. Screw political correctness. It wasn’t in my wedding vows; was it in yours?

So how about it? Are you ready to learn what may turn out to be the most valuable lessons of your life? Remember all those jokes you cracked about nobody ever being able to understand women, or know what they want, or what they’re saying, or how to pass all those damnable tests and traps they’re always laying for us? I could give you the old “be the first kid on your block to own it” spiel, but it doesn’t really matter if you’re first. What matters is that you’re successful, as quickly as you can get there.

The quickest path to lasting success in your relationship is to go to http://www.makingherhappy.com and download your copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," and then just reading it and putting it to work. You’ll not find too many opportunities where you can have so much fun being so successful, if you find any at all like this one, so get busy.

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

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Great Lessons to Help Your Relationship or Marriage Are Being LOST!

Many lessons from the past, before the feminists and media decided to attempt the castration of our gender, are being lost, things that our fathers and grandfathers knew from childhood about women and keeping them happy. Tune in to see a biggie…

One of your fellow readers, truly one of the sharpest among you, sent me this little pearl of wisdom:

You might point this out to your readers someday - an idea I got from one of my son's movies:

Clark Kent and Superman are the same guy, but Lois Lane is only attracted to Superman - Clark is someone she can only see as a friend. A little story we all learned so young it's permanently part of our thought process!

How profound! And how sad, that we’ve seen that story and that double image for so long and so many of us have been unable to make that connection until this moment. Superman acted as he did in the guise of Clark Kent to kill Lois Lane’s attraction for him. Think about that!

He was nice, agreeable, indecisive and ultimately left decisions up to her, never assertive, never took the lead on anything, never initiated conversations – the consummate wuss! And he was the same guy as Superman, the guy she couldn’t stop thinking about.

“Oh, but that was a comic strip,” you say! Sure it was, written by men of the early and middle 20th century, before the wussification movement of the late 60’s through the present. These men who wrote that comic strip and did those shows (it was in black and white for a long time, and if memory serves, was on radio long before it was ever on television) knew about attraction because it wasn’t politically incorrect at that time to acknowledge that there are distinct and delightful differences between the sexes that can enrich any relationship if the partners in that relationship understand them.

Decisive man of action, or nerd who talks to his feet through his hand – which one do you think any woman would go for? It sickens me to think about the hero images being painted for our kids today. We had Superman, the Lone Ranger, Babe Ruth, Lou Gherig, The Green Hornet, The FBI Guys, James Bond, etc., and what do they have? Barney, the Teletubbies, and that man’s man of the world, SpongeBob Squarepants. Gender-neutral at best.

And it doesn’t get any better if you look at films for people our age. You may recall from the editorial in the “Where Have All the Real Men Gone” editorial quoted in my free “Break-Up Busting 101” report that Gary Cooper, John Wayne, Chuck Norris, Clint Eastwood, etc., have been replaced by Demi Moore and Angelina Jolie, with our gender being represented by Will Farrell, Hugh Grant, etc. Real fine examples of attraction-building heroes, huh?

Gents, it’s like this: A woman’s greatest enemy in the world is boredom, bar none. Wussy men who won’t act like a man, take the lead, make decisions, etc., are boring. When she gets bored, she picks fights, then has affairs, then leaves if you don’t finally get the message. It’s really just that simple, and Ladies, please feel free to comment on this to help me get these men to see that this is as big an issue to you as their job security is to them! Indeed, drop by our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com, and read the men’s stories and ask the women there yourself!

You need to know how this works, and you need to know how to listen to and speak “girly-ese” so that when your partner starts trying to tell you that you are boring her (and you can bet the farm that she will, whether she wants to or not!), you can respond appropriately in a timely manner and head off the trouble that is going to follow. And most of all, you need to know that being the kind of man that every woman enjoys is a whole lot easier and more fun than being the one they merely tolerate, or dismiss as a wuss.

I can and will teach you, as hundreds of women have voluntarily taught me, if you’ll jump over to http://www.makingherhappy.com and download your copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage." It’s easy, it’s enjoyable, it’s easily affordable, and it’s guaranteed, so you have no excuse. The earlier you stand up and take action, the easier it is, so stand up and do it now, or maybe you’d prefer to continue making life hard on yourself…

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