Saturday, September 17, 2011

Women Test Men Constantly in Our Relationships and Marriage, So Why Not Test THEM?

Women test us constantly, so why don’t we test them? Not in retaliation, but to help determine if they are testing us and what they might be trying to communicate. Here are a few tips…

I was listening to an old set of self-improvement tapes, Roger Dawson’s “The Secrets of Power Negotiating,” (a classic if you’ve not heard of it, and probably one of the most wonderfully influential audio books of my life, available at http://rdawson.com/audio.html -- according to his web site over $38 million worth of copies have been sold, and from what I can tell he doesn’t even use affiliate marketing, and quite frankly meeting Mr. Dawson is on my bucket list, so do yourself a favor and check that page out) and in a section on negotiating tactics, he was talking about overcoming objections and said the main tactic to overcoming objectives is to “always test for validity.” Here’s an example:

You’re negotiating a car deal, and the seller says he can’t possibly go a penny under $25,000 for the vehicle. You ask, “What if I could bring you cash instead of a cashier’s check?” If he says it won’t make any difference, he’s rigid on the price for some reason, and you need to dig deeper to find out what his issue is to see if there is any way to address it, but if he says, “Well, then I could possibly come down a little,” $25,000 is not a firm price and he does have some negotiating range.

The same tactic can be used when women test us, or when we suspect they might be testing, to either neutralize the test or establish that we are dealing with a legitimate issue and need to give it due attention. Let’s say your wife is saying she wants new furniture, and you don’t know if it’s a test, a whim, or a legitimate need. You can test the legitimacy of the issue by finding out how much she’s willing to do to have it: “Well, I [like this furniture/don’t care either way/might be interested in replacing this, too] IF our budget will allow it. If the budget won’t handle the extra expense, do you want this bad enough to do something extra to make up the difference?”

Now you’ve got her. If she says, “Well no, I guess not,” it wasn’t that important. “Well I thought you might be nice and get a part time job/sell your hot rod/get a loan to do this for me,” definitely means it’s a test, and we’ll deal with that in a minute. “Yes, I would, because I really want this stuff out of here,” means it’s definitely important, and you should then consider saying, “Well, then I’ll see what I can do as well, but if I’m going to help buy it, I reserve the right to help pick it out, at least to the extent of declining on anything that isn’t comfortable for me to sit in. Agreed?”

It’s not required, but it’s a good idea to remain involved so you don’t end up with a houseful of furniture that you hate, and doing things like that together is part of what long-term committed relationships are about, isn’t it? Besides, women love it when you take the lead and make decisions – as long as you provide that needed and expected input channel for them– it’s ATTRACTIVE! Just keep in mind that nesting is a feminine drive, so lead, but don’t bully or try to stifle her nesting drive unless you can tell that it’s more about retail therapy than actual nesting.

Now, what if you find out it’s a test? The test looks on the surface like it’s to see what she can get away with, but what it usually is really about is to see if you can say “no,” a check to see if you can define and exercise personal authority. And be advised, if you see a lot of this kind of test, and you see a negative reaction when you reject the idea because she’s not willing to help pay for it, you need to be researching “toxic wife” on Google, Bing, or your search engine of choice.

This is a good time to switch back and forth between the responsible budget administrator and “the naughty negotiator.” Starting with something like, (straight face) “Well, I might consider being nice and helping with it, but if you want it that bad, you’re going to have to help, and you’re going to have to give me a pretty good reason to help, (sudden switch to naughty grin) so whatcha gonna do to make it worth my while?”

Banter back and forth and make it plain that you’re not just going to roll over and give it up, even if she has recently done something nice, but make it fun for her to be told “no.” Bring sexual innuendo into it, like, “I don’t know, we’ve had a lot of fun on this couch, I hate to see it go,” or “We’ve not finished breaking this couch down…er…I mean in…It would be a shame to get rid of it before we’d got all the nookie….er….I mean useful life out of it…”

BUT…

Do NOT get into anything that sounds like you’re willing to trade furniture for sex, because it can be taken as a very degrading remark that hints at prostitution. The sexual innuendo is just for the sake of play, and women love the fun of innuendo, so it helps to keep the negotiation light. Whatever you do, DO NOT make it sound like you’re a sugar daddy and she’s a prostitute. Fun, not condescending. Challenge, not control. I’m appalled to even have to say that, but I did get an email about it once in the past, so for the sake of the very few who won’t realize it, I’m stating what’s obvious to most of us.

Use your imagination, but make sure you keep rocking back and forth between serious and naughty to keep her off balance, and keep dropping bits of sexual innuendo. You’re likely to end up having sex on the furniture before the discussion is over, just because the playful, naughty attitude and sexual tension may get to her that much, and then you can say, “See, we need to keep this couch!” and wink at her. And if you think for one second I’m kidding, or simply just plain full of crap, ask the women on our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com, and you’ll see what I mean. Only the bad ones want to be spoiled, and even they get bored and move on.

Do NOT, under any circumstances, fear going into this process. Remember that a woman’s first criteria in evaluating you and any other man is “If you can’t stand up TO me, you can’t stand up FOR me or WITH me.” This is how you earn her respect, her trust, her attraction, and to a significant degree, her love. It’s also how you flush out a predator or parasite who is stealing your life from you. It’s a no-lose situation for you, so get on it.

It’s easy to test for validity once you get used to the game and get skilled at playing. To see the rules in vivid detail, along with lots of examples of how to play the testing game, go to http://www.makingherhappy.com and get your copy of “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage.” What you’ll save on furniture the first time it comes up will more than pay for the book! Just kidding! Seriously, it costs less than a good meal for two, and any time you can throw a few dollars and a little time at a problem and watch it go away, that’s an offer you simply have to take!

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

Friday, September 16, 2011

A Reader Responds to Expecting Good Things in Your Relationship or Marriage

Once again, a student rises to become the teacher, pointing the way to success in all things, including relationships and marriage...

I received this e-mail several days ago. Rick is one of my brightest and most motivated readers, and it's just his nature to hawk something when it works, so excuse the brazen plug for my book. He's results-oriented and achievement-driven, and I can think of very few of you who present such a great example for the rest to follow, so "brazen plug" and all, here's Rick again, commenting on my September 11, 2009 edition about expecting success in your relationship in order to achieve it:

http://forum.makingherhappy.com/showthread.php/851-Walk-the-Matador-s-Walk-If-You-Want-to-Save-Your-Relationship-or-Marriage

-- read and learn:

Hey David,

You have no idea how dead on you are with this particular newsletter. This is one of the greatest secrets of life, and for Marcus's sake, I hope he benefits from that revelation.

When you mentioned Maxwell Maltz and his book Psychocybernetics, that really struck a chord with me because I recently read that book, and it's a part of my library. That book is pure genius, and I'm not surprised you met him.

Let me tell you what happened to me: On Saturday, I got a message saying that my temporary work assignment was ending effective immediately. I admit, it was a blow, but I kept my emotions in check. On Monday, I went to my recruiters office to talk about the situation. She was sorry that it happened, never saw it coming, and said she could send my resume to another company, and I told her to do it [showing authority].

Yesterday I hit the online job boards and called other recruiters on job placement. This morning I talked with the recruiter I spoke with on Monday, expecting her to give me some good news. As it turns out, she set up an interview for me next Tuesday. She also said they usually start people right away and I negotiated a higher salary than my last assignment.

Like your newsletter said, I walked the matador's walk, seeing myself already victorious and I was. Whether it's my job, or any other part of my life, I can sum this up in three simple words: I heal fast. If anyone's reading this and hasn't yet purchased David's book, or is sitting on the fence, I'm telling you: get it NOW. Learn it, love it, & LIVE IT.

Live strong, be well, laugh often, and love much.

Rick.

When you expect good things, your confidence carries you through and inspires others, including irate spouses, to work with you instead of against you. It's really just that simple. Stop by our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com, and listen to what the women their have to say about the men in their lives, and how big a part confidence plays in not just attraction, but how they get along in general. It’s a real eye-opener.

There's not a lot I could add to that if I tried, so today I'll just let the student be the teacher and leave you to ponder the lesson. And if you decide to take Rick's advice, start at http://www.makingherhappy.com with your copy of "THE Man's Guide to Relationships and Marriage."

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

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Understand How and Why Women Test Men to Have a Great Relationship or Marriage

Let’s get a little deeper into why women test men, and what you should do when they do, and tomorrow, we’re going to talk about how and why we can test THEM, so stay tuned…

I like to write about testing from time to time because it’s an inexorable part of life with virtually any woman. To give you an example of how automatic and literally unavoidable it is, look at how women interact with me.

I’m an expert and published author on the subject, have proved it to nearly all the women I know during the course of writing “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage” as I researched and tested the material and constantly since then, and they’ve all acknowledged it, yet all of them test me nearly every time we talk! Some get embarrassed about it, some just laugh, but they know that I know, many want to avoid it because they know they’ll get busted and I’ll give them a hard time over it (in a naughty, mischievous way, not hateful or demeaning!), yet they still do it, often without even realizing it.

Think about what this means to the average guy living with the average woman. She’s not trying to avoid it, because she’s not the least bit worried about getting caught at it. Indeed, she’d probably be happy to get caught at it and have something said because in most cases, in her world that would be an improvement. Why?

I’m going to give you the short version, because this is a complex subject, it took several pages in “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage” (and even more in the still-untitled book I’m writing for the women) to cover it and I don’t want to overload you with “homework.” Besides, I think we both know that I’d prefer you buy my book! (Wink!)

Women are constantly testing men from the time they meet to the last day of their relationship because they are wired to look to the long term and protect their offspring and ability to produce them (whether they have any or not), and avoid getting stuck with a bad man. We can tell them we’re real men, we’re tough, we work hard, we never lie, we’re good in bed, we’ll stand our ground and fight the good fight, but it could be a lie, or could become a lie at any point, so their only option is to test us to see if what we say is consistent with what we do, and stays that way.

You’ve seen both men and women change the instant they figure out they have somebody hooked; most men just aren’t secure enough and smart enough to do something about it. We’re biologically wired to be nomads, father children through multiple mothers, etc., so our biological purpose is to secure food and lodging and make women pregnant. We’re also biologically wired to protect the women before the kids, because we can make more kids in minutes, where women are wired to protect the kids first, since their investment in making a baby is over nine months to the birth and then several more years of close-order care. And no, that’s not all we’re good for, but the biological mechanisms that cause and support behavior can’t be completely ignored, either.

Yes, it’s a mess. But getting back to the point, they have to test, can’t stop testing, no matter how good things are, and if you don’t know how to respond to a test, you’re toast, especially as far as attraction goes – they’ll test you to see if you continue to tell the truth, remain committed and loyal, etc., and the only way to deal with that is honestly; right now, we’re here to talk about attraction.

You’ll be tested to see if you’re a real man or a wuss, and even if you ARE a real man, a weak moment can cause you to do wuss things and kill attraction, so you need to be ever-vigilant. Again, this is a very complex subject with near-infinite possibilities, and I only have room to cover a small part of it here, so you’ll have to consult "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," starting on page 45, for a much clearer picture of how to detect and pass this kind of testing, but let’s hit some of the really common stuff…

First, keep in mind the characteristics of the alpha male: strength, self-esteem, authoritative, confident, playful, intelligent, comfortable, etc. You were born this way, and the programming of the years since tampered with it, hampered it, buried it, or convinced you it was somehow wrong or insensitive. Mothers and other well-meaning women, school personnel, the media and others have tried to beat it out of you, or back so deep inside you that you deny your true nature, and in doing so, your ability to enjoy your life.

You must strip yourself of all the wussification programming that you’ve received since birth and allow the real man within you to emerge; you can’t “fake it until you make it” when being tested. The tests that you face will be tests that challenge these traits and try to get you to expose a hidden weakness, especially in a weak moment, to make sure you’re not just a wuss PLAYING THE PART OF a real man, the alpha male. She wants to know that you can lead her and enjoy life, not just go through the motions for awhile and end up her dependent instead of her partner.

It can come very overtly, such as pitching a fit over something inconsequential to see if you will remain calm and negotiate your way back to reality, remain both calm and strong and tell her that when she gets done pitching a fit and is ready for a rational discussion that you’ll be available if she still wants to talk about it, or go the wrong direction by allowing her to get you upset and yelling or even worse, immediately apologizing for something that you haven’t done. In the former case, you’re allowing her to define authority by dragging you into a bad discussion and setting the tone for it, while in the latter, you’re just caving in to a totally unreasonable situation like a coward.

It can also come very subtly. My favorite example is in one of Jeff Foxworthy’s jokes, where his wife says she’s cold and without a word, he gets up and changes the setting on the climate control for the room. In his joke, he says he’s being trained, and his wife calls her mother and says that the training is working, but in real life, she’d be quite disappointed if this were a test (she’d appreciate it if she were really tired or ill and he was simply being considerate), because he just wussed out and took a non-verbal order to get up out of bed and change the temperature (or turn on the ceiling fan – it’s been awhile since I’ve seen the show).

There are two ways that I know of to pass this particular test (Ladies, you’re invited to write if you have thoughts on this, or join the women at our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com, and discuss it, and guys, always leave a communications channel open, even when you are the authority figure), depending on your relationship. One is to ask her, with a very naughty, mischievous grin, if her legs or fingers are broken, unless she’s in a wheelchair or can’t get up, which is just mean.

(Also, do NOT challenge her intellect by asking if she doesn’t know how to operate the one moving part of the switch unless she is extremely bright and you know she’s secure about it. Many women have a hot button about intelligence if they’ve been around an abusive man in the past, one who would say things like, “What do you know? You’re just a woman!” or “Stupid broad!” etc., and you don’t want to be identified with that guy and catch whatever she needs to vent about him when you touch that hot button.)

Or if you want to be considerate and take care of it for her, you can say, again with a bit of a sly tone and facial expression, “I’ll change it for you, but it’s going to cost you…” and then negotiate a kiss, backrub, favorite dinner, sexual favor, or whatever you’re comfortable with, but turn it into something fun and intimate for both of you.

Unfortunately, many women also use testing as a way to communicate to men things they aren’t comfortable discussing, like feeling ignored or unimportant, and they do this by pulling nasty little stunts like filing for divorce, emptying the family checking account or incurring a huge debt, or picking up a substance abuse habit or a boyfriend. It’s not because they want any of these things, but because they want you to see that they are vulnerable to these things because of your lack of allure, responsibility, leadership, or whatever, and can’t think of any other way to express it than to show you the worst-case scenario. This doesn’t usually come until you’ve failed to interpret their other communications efforts, so it would behoove you to learn how to listen when they speak.

Yes, that sounds really screwed up, and it is, but that’s reality, and you really are going to have to read “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage” to get the rest of that story, especially the tips on how to handle the situation. It’s far too complex and the stakes too high to try to address it in the limited space of an e-mail or a blog post. I can’t over-stress that testing is among the most complicated, misunderstood and potentially dangerous of all male-female issues, and if you don’t give it due consideration, you will be punished when you keep failing tests.

The action plan? Get the book, get the details, learn the alpha male behavior that women love in their men and keep it up while “deleting your wuss program,” learn to spot and respond appropriately to the testing that you will endure, no matter who you have married or are dating, and watch how quickly you start wearing out bedding and beds, not to mention how much more intimate, fun, and rewarding the rest of your life together with your partner will become. Jump on over to http://www.makingherhappy.com and download your copy right now, before you have to face some catastrophe just to find out that your partner would like to have you home for dinner or have a date night once a week.

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

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Walk the Matador's Walk If You Want to Save Your Relationship or Marriage

Your attitude toward your life, your relationship, and everything else may be more of a determinant of how well they go than the actual effort you put into them. Understand this thoroughly before doing anything else, because you can program yourself for failure even easier than you can program yourself for success, especially in your relationship, because it’s the most emotional issue most of us face every day.

I hope you are enjoying your day, safely of course, but with gusto! Wherever you are, and whatever you are doing, do it well, enjoy it, expecting it to work out for you.

Speaking of which, a letter caught my eye last night that triggered a huge rush of analysis and coaching, and I need to share it with you. Meet Marcus:

Good evening David,

I just finished reading "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" and I must say I see many things that I can improve on. It certainly looks like you’ve done your homework, and now I have to do mine and make things happen. Wish me luck, because if this doesn’t work, I’m screwed!

Thanks so much!
Marcus


That last sentence set off alarms and started red flags waving immediately. I wrote the following to Marcus to help him get things in perspective and keep him from tripping himself up:

Hi Marcus!

Congratulations on making it this far; so many people know they have problems but wallow in them instead of fixing them for a variety of reasons, none of them good. If you see what you have to do, you’re already way ahead of the game, because many people’s first reaction is denial; they don’t want to accept that they have caused their problems through the choices they’ve made, which keeps them from realizing that fixing their problems is also a matter of choice and entirely within their control.

I needed to write to you to warn you about something that you did that may seem trivial at first glance but is indeed self-destructive. In the last sentence of your letter, you said to me, “Wish me luck, because if this doesn’t work, I’m screwed!” Take a closer look at this with me…

First, you don’t need luck. You’ve recognized your problem, sought and found help, defined the various components of your problem and have solutions to apply to them that have worked for many other people under similar circumstances. In short, you have the tools, and now must simply use them to enjoy success.

Next, and possibly even more important, is the phrase “If this doesn’t work, I’m screwed!” Do you realize what you’re saying here? First, you’re focused on the possibility of failure instead of the likelihood of your success. Then, to make matters worse, you’ve violated the first rule of self-programming: never use negative language when talking about yourself or your life. Why is that important?

One of the most brilliant men I’ve ever met, Maxwell Maltz, PhD, wrote about it in his most excellent book, “Psychocybernetics,” in which he describes a subconscious mechanism that automatically and constantly works to move you toward whatever you are focused on. Whether you focus on failure or success, that’s where it takes you. And there’s an even uglier part of that at work here…

The subconscious mind does not process negations. For instance, if I say, “I must not fear,” the subconscious processes that as “I must fear;” hence what one should say in that case is “I must be brave.” Now look at what you said: “If this doesn’t work, I’m screwed.” Your subconscious hears that as “If this DOES work, I’m screwed!” That’s a pretty nasty thought, isn’t it?

You have the tools, and you know they’ve worked for many others. Use them with the expectation that they will work for you, too. If you’ve ever watched a bullfight, even in a movie, you will have noticed how the matador always walks around the ring with the bull acting as if he has already won. Walk the matador’s walk! Know that you will succeed because there is no other possible outcome if you merely apply what you have at your disposal.

In your case, it’s a fixed fight, because what you are working with are triggers to involuntary behavior in her and the scoop on all her best-kept secrets, all the things that she talks about with her girlfriends behind your back and more! All you have to do is learn, think things through, and then follow through.

Take care, and keep in touch,
David


Well, Gents, there’s very little that I could add to that, so I will simply invite you to join Marcus and many others in learning and employing the knowledge in "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," which you should download right now at http://www.makingherhappy.com, because if you’ll look at the calendar, summer is almost gone (for those of us in the northern hemisphere, and the winter holidays are fast approaching. What better gift could you give both yourself and your wife than a new and improved YOU??? And while you’re at it, drop by our forum at http://forum.makingherhappy.com and see what else you’re missing.

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

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Don't Be a Deer Caught in the Headlights…What to Do to Fix Your Relationship and Marriage

I have some feedback for you, from the men this time, which demonstrates just how easy it really is to use accurate information when you have it, and how you have a choice of getting results or being road kill.

Over 98% of all the e-mail I receive falls into one of three categories: Success stories, questions from newsletter readers who haven’t yet read "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" about their relationships, and the ones I really feel sorry for, the ones who are in such turmoil that they are too scared to try anything. Take this very typical letter from Dane:

Hi David,

I have enjoyed your newsletters and want to get your book, but I just do not know what to do. What you say in your newsletters makes sense to me, but I can not see myself doing it. I can not afford to make a mistake at this point because my wife is already talking about divorce. How can I know that this will work for me, or that I can even do it? Anything you can tell me will be appreciated.

Dane

The reason Dane and the many others like him are concerned is quite clear. They’re facing crisis and are too scared of making a wrong move to make a right one, and there they sit, like a deer caught in the headlights, unable to decide to move left or right, forward or back, and finally die without having made a decision, or in the men’s case, lose the women they love without ever having tried anything.

What’s really sad is that the answer to their question is almost always included in their letter, and they’re too emotionally amped up and therefore mentally blinded to see it: Dane doesn’t know that it will work for him or that he can do it precisely because he can’t see himself doing it! He is focused on the impending catastrophe, and not the successful resolution of his problems.

One of the greatest and most motivational things I have ever heard in my life is, “What the mind can conceive, the body can achieve.” It’s been quoted so many times that I can’t verify for you who first said it, but that doesn’t make it any less true; if you can see yourself doing it, you can make the choice to follow through and get it done, like these guys:

Hi David,

I just wanted to say this you are so right: when women speak, "Questions are statements and statements are questions, men state, while women negotiate"

But what I have noticed is funny, this basic fact of life must certainly be ingrained in ALL women.

What I mean is my current girlfriend is a French Quebecer and that's the way she communicates... by asking questions when she really wants to say something! I talked to her about it and she told me how bright I was for noticing it, while I know I did not ask for your copyright!

SO bottom line would be: it doesn't matter if a girl only speaks French, only Chinese or Spanish! She will deliver statements by asking questions. Why is that so? I guess it is a mystery of life! Maybe they are always searching authority from the man, they always want his approval unconsciously.

And on BOREDOM: My ex-girlfriend was cheating on me and one sentence she said will stick with me forever: "I'm bored with you" or in French "Je m'ennuies avec toi". Anyways, if I had read your materials while I was with this particular woman, I could have turned the tables if you know what I mean...

But past is past and I now vow to never let my current girlfriend feel that terrible feeling of BOREDOM.

Sincerely,
MV


(No MV, it’s no mystery at all. It’s biological, a matter of the structure of the female brain, and yes, because of that, it does transcend geography, race, language, and everything else. Women naturally do it because they are women, and we naturally don’t do it because we are men and wired differently. It’s really just that simple.)

David,

I subscribe to several email newsletters from John Alanis (http://makingherh.johna5150.hop.clickbank.net), Shelley (McMurtry, a great source of female perspective which I highly recommend, http://makingherh.shely100.hop.clickbank.net) and even David DeAngelo (http://www.doubleyourdating.com). And, I've purchased materials from several, but this email about the baseball player (http://forum.makingherhappy.com/showthread.php/658-What-Baseball-and-Bubblegum-Can-Teach-You-to-Improve-Yourself-or-Your-Relationship-and-Marriage) was quite possibly the best of all of you yet.

The club metaphor, bubble blowing irreverence, etc., was excellent. The best part was using other people as mentors. In the past, I had always been intimidated by people with superior skills, but using them to improve myself is a much better idea.

Thank you so much,
Mike

You see? These guys can see themselves doing as I recommend and see the benefits of it, and instead of asking “will this work for me?” they’re not only applying it, they’re even abstracting greater lessons by following the logic path to its inexorable conclusion.

It’s hard to thrive on reason and logic when your life seems to be falling down around you unless you’re disciplined and have learned through experience that the more facts and logic you apply the quicker the situation and the bad feelings it creates will pass. You should always look into yourself for your confidence and courage, but when all else fails, you can still look at those around you and say to yourself, “Well, if they can do it, I can do it!”

What I’m talking about doing isn’t something unnatural that takes years of study and practice. Most of it is simply removing unnatural, wussifying programming and letting your true self show through, maybe for the first time in your life. The few things you have to learn are things you’ve wanted to know all your life, like what makes women tick and what they really want, and how to really communicate with them, which really boils down to three very simple rules. You would literally have to be brain damaged to not be able to do it; indeed, if you can read this newsletter, you can do everything that you need to do if you simply choose to do it.

So why not get started, right now, while you’re thinking about it and have access to the tools you need to make it happen, quickly and easily? Stop looking for reasons to abstain from acting and take action. It’s the only way you’ll get results. If you have any doubt at all about that, check with the guys at my forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com, and read what they’ve said about their own lives and situations, particularly how things kept getting worse while they waited for them to get better, got worse yet when they did the wrong things out of desperation, and finally got better when they started trying to make them better deliberately and with the right tools and approach. What approach? Come and find out…it’s time for YOU to take action.

Your next action is to go to http://www.makingherhappy.com and download your copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," and join the ranks of men who are happy and with happy women, instead of living bored, celibate, in fear of affairs or divorce, or any of that other nasty stuff that so many of us have lived with since the 1980’s.

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

Monday, September 12, 2011

Cheating and Affairs in Relationships and Marriage, Part 3: Detection and Confrontation

To conclude our series (part 3 of 3) on affairs and cheating, let’s look at some ways of finding the truth without being too obvious about looking for it.

Now that you have a better and hopefully thorough understanding of the nature, causes, and appropriate action to take in dealing with an affair, let’s talk about how to detect one. Taken individually, these methods are not fool-proof and should not be used in isolation, but if you should see multiple symptoms the odds increase to the point where confronting your partner and trying to resolve the problem (or proceeding with divorce preparations if you decide that you simply cannot continue the relationship) is entirely appropriate.

The most significant indications of a woman having an affair are fairly sudden changes in behavior, especially frequent breaks in any established routine. Routines are established by things becoming a priority, and they are displaced by something else becoming a higher priority. Routines develop gradually over time as people and situations evolve, or suddenly when something suddenly enters someone’s life and affects them radically, causing a shift in their priorities.

Among the things you can look for to change is her level of neediness. If she has a history of acting needy and seeking your attention and then suddenly doesn’t seem as if she needs you to cater to her or cover for her, it’s far more likely that someone else is doing it than she just woke up one morning and found her independence under her pillow, a gift from the Tooth Fairy’s cousin. The same thing goes for your presence or attention.

A sudden change in her emotional displays in your presence is another telltale sign. Women will get emotional with you when they have excess emotional energy that they need to bleed off, whether it’s positive or negative (remember our previous discussions on emotional scales and the creation of drama to alleviate boredom, which you can view in the archive at http://forum.makingherhappy.com/showthread.php/217-Understanding-Our-Emotional-Scales-Another-Key-to-a-Great-Relationship-and-Marriage). If she’s suddenly detached, there’s either a bottle of some new tranquilizer in the medicine cabinet or she’s found a new outlet for her emotion. Note that it may be a new girlfriend, or not. Hence the advice not to use any of these indicators in isolation, but as part of a collection of evidence.

A sudden change in her attention level -- catering to you, gifts, etc., is often a sign of a guilty conscience and an effort to try to conceal her interest in another. (Men are generally bad about this one too, buying roses or jewelry at non-holiday times to appease their own guilty conscience, and women watch for this, so if you give a “legitimate” non-seasonal gift, make sure you clearly express the reason so that it is not misconstrued.)

Need I mention suddenly becoming secretive? Women naturally have a tendency to give us much more detail about what’s happening in their lives than we are comfortable hearing; I’ve personally listened to a half-hour melodrama of the trials and tribulations of a cat belonging to a woman I never met and didn’t want to know because it came up in a conversation that a woman I do know had participated in during the day, and I had made the mistake of asking “How was your day?” to a woman who naturally interpreted the question as “What happened during your day?”

If that openness suddenly stops, she’s limiting information to try to limit your opportunities to catch her in a lie. She may even try to make up for this by answering questions with questions, trying to change the subject to YOUR day so that you will do the talking. The same thing goes for refusal to answer questions, asking why you want to know before answering, and if she gets defensive over a question that she hasn’t had a problem with in the past, like “Did you have a good workout at the gym today?” she’s busted.

Sudden guarding of cell phones, computers, and other communications devices are a HUGE signal as well. In short, anything that limits your access to her communications infrastructure or any information source that would only be incriminating if she was in fact having an affair is a big red flag, but again, not in isolation; a woman may be secretive for a few days before your birthday, an anniversary, etc., because she’s planning something for YOU, or for someone else, so watching for multiple signals around holidays is even more important.

Hesitation before an answer to an obvious question, or repeating your question back to you before answering, is a classic sign of someone needing to stall while they decide whether to lie and to formulate a lie. Obviously, asking someone to recite the presidents of the United States in chronological order including their years of office might cause someone to pause before they answer, but a simple question like, “Why did you not answer your phone all afternoon?” doesn’t require a lot of thought if they in fact did not hear it ring, left it in their desk while they were in a meeting due to departmental or company policy, etc. They were there, whatever happened, and the answer is readily available if they want to share it with you; else they need a few seconds to try to figure out if they’re busted, whether they should try to lie their way out of it, and then make up what they hope is a convincing lie.

As an aside, there is a recent three-part series of newsletters from a few days ago in my newsletter archive concerning lying and its impact on relationships and marriage, and the last edition in that series is about techniques for lie detection, if you missed it. The following links will take you to those newsletters:

Part 1, Faking It Until You Make It: http://forum.makingherhappy.com/showthread.php/843-Lying-in-Relationships-and-Marriage-Part-1-Faking-It-Until-You-Make-It

Part 2, A Reader Response to Part 1 with Additional Advice: http://forum.makingherhappy.com/showthread.php/845-Lying-in-Relationships-and-Marriage-Part-2-A-Reader’s-Confession-About-Lying-Nearly-Ending-Her-Marriage

Part 3: Lie Detection, Confrontation, and Correction: http://forum.makingherhappy.com/showthread.php/846-Lying-Part-3-Lie-Detection-a-VERY-Useful-Skill-in-Relationships-and-Marriage

I probably should turn that series into another free report, along with this series on cheating, and I may do that as soon as I can make some time. ;-)

Suddenly picking up a habit of being critical of your every move is a bad sign, especially if you find her moving from critical to angry at every turn. Women tend to seek validation for their emotions, and as Lenin is famous for pointing out, “A lie told often enough becomes the truth,” so if she can find enough reasons to be angry at you, even if she has to contrive them, she can justify her attraction to another man and her infidelity. That’s not to say that any anger she feels will be because of an affair; it could be a legitimate issue or it could be boredom starting to build up a good head of drama. But if this symptom is combined with even one other, you need to be taking a hard look around you.

If you find her talking about somebody new frequently but without much detail, look out, especially if you say something like, “Wow, he sounds really interesting and like somebody I’d enjoy talking to. How about introducing us?” You can imagine how awkward a situation that might be, and she will resist being put into it. Don’t be surprised if you hear something like, “Why do you ALWAYS want to push your way into my friendships? Why can’t you just let me have my own friends?” when you have never before mentioned being introduced to any friend of hers. Otherwise, her social nature will press her to be a social conduit and make the introduction. You might also hear a rather exaggerated assertion that there’s no way you’d ever be interested in meeting that person or ever get along.

The biggest telltale sign of all for most women is no sex at all, and seeming defensive or even angry at the mention of it or any advance. Some even go so far as to stop allowing you to see them in anything more alluring than an old sweat suit at bedtime; it’s like she’s being “faithful” to someone else. You may also notice that the only time you see her looking like she wants male attention is when she leaves the house – without you; smart and somewhat sexy dressing, perfect makeup, and quaffed hair that seem a little much for the office or meeting a girlfriend. Indeed, if it gets YOUR attention, the object is probably to get someone else’s. A “little black dress” in her purse or hidden in her car is a pretty solid giveaway, too.

If she comes home from “a long day at the office” or evening out with fresh make-up, fresh perfume, and especially with an underlying smell of fresh soap, don’t be surprised if you also find the back of her hair wet, especially at the back of the neck, where she’s been in the shower after being in someone else’s bed. Jumping in the shower immediately upon returning home is also a big tip-off unless she’s been to the gym and has an established aversion to the showers at the gym. Speaking of the gym, a sudden interest in the gym, not by itself but coupled with one or more of these other symptoms, is at least grounds to start watching more carefully or even start talking. Both gyms and sweaty sex cause her to be gone for a while, need a shower while she’s gone, etc.

Even the sudden interest in looking better, unless she has seen a therapist or motivational speaker who has mentioned a self-esteem deficit to her, can be a tip-off that she has her eye on another or has already made contact, but again, this one must be taken with at least one other before really being evidence, as sometimes women do just get tired of looking in the mirror and not liking what they see, or get tired of trying on size 14 dresses when they want to wear a size 6. Indeed, going to buy clothes and finding out that for the second time in a row they’re having to go up a size is a fairly common trigger.

Detectives and courts use much more sophisticated means, including electronic surveillance, checking phone records, cross-matching receipts with schedules, etc., but those techniques are for building evidence for a divorce or criminal prosecution; what I’m describing here is more than adequate for recognizing you have a problem and confronting a delinquent spouse. Then there’s the big question…

What do you say to her when you confront her? That's waaaay too much to try to include in this newsletter, and I’ll guarantee you that the stereotypical threats or begging aren’t the answer any more than demanding to know who the other man is so you can tell him to stay away would be. Indeed, threatening the other man is the biggest wuss play of all, and the stupidest move, because the problem is between you and her, not you and him. All it does is telegraph insecurity and transfer authority to him by acknowledging that you see him as a credible threat.

It’s going to take a lot more than simply calling her on it, including some skillful communicating and some specific references to events in your own past with her. You’re also going to have to be able to pick them out appropriately and express how you recognize them as errors and are prepared to do better and lead her into a better future

There continues to be discussion of affairs and mid-life crisis on our forum (http://forum.makingherhappy.com) that can help you to get a handle on it, and you can interject your own questions and concerns into the discussion. There’s a lot to learn even if you “lurk,” but why just lurk in the shadows when you can anonymously put your questions out there and hear from a lot of really great minds and experience by simply joining a free web site?

And to best prepare yourself for whatever comes down the pike, you need to read "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" and learn how to handle everything. If you’re really smart, you’ll read it today and keep these problems from ever developing so that you never have to experience the pain, frustration, and for some of us, sheer terror of seeing your world come crashing down around you. Either way, you need to read it, so go to http://www.makingherhappy.com right now and download a copy. Sure, you can very likely fix it if it breaks, but it’s a whole lot easier to keep it from ever being broken in the first place, so get it done now, while it’s easy and fun!

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

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Cheating in Relationships and Marriage, Part 2, What to Do When You Know She's Cheating

Part 2 of a 3-part series: A man writes to me because he knows his wife is cheating and wants to know what to do about it. Good question! Do you know what to do? Better yet, do you know what causes it, and how to avoid it?

To continue our series, we’re going to talk about what to do when you know she’s cheating. That may seem a bit out of sequence at first glance, but if you learn this first, the odds of you handling the worst-case scenario correctly are better if you happen to be one of the unlucky few who discover an affair in progress as a result of reading tomorrow’s edition on how to detect an affair.

This letter describes a scenario all too familiar to need an introduction. We’ve all either lived through it or watched someone we know live through it. Meet Kyle:

Hello David,

I am writing in hopes you can help me to understand how a woman can change so much after 6 years just by making a new friend. A couple of months ago my wife met a woman at a high school football game and they fell right into being best friends. It quickly came to the point that they are together at least three nights a week and are always on the phone with each other for hours a day. I have never been the kind of man who cared if Cindy had friends to hang out with or not and I really believe it’s a good idea for a woman to have other women to share things with, but I also believe there is a line into each other’s personal relationships that should not be crossed.

Allison, my wife's friend, is also a married woman and her marriage is on very rocky ground. She would frequently go out of town for entire weekends and has been begging my wife to go with her so they could “have some time to be alone and talk,” like they don’t do that all day long while her husband and I are at work and three evenings a week. I did some detective work of my own on these trips out of town and was not at all surprised at what I learned. Allison was traveling several hours to spend the weekend (pretty much in bed) with a man she had met months ago.

She wants my wife to go with her because the man she was seeing has a friend that wants to “spend time” with my wife. I also found out the two women, at the age of 39, had not been going out to dinner as I was told, and were in fact spending hours sitting in local bars flirting with other men and acting like they had just come of legal age and could buy drinks for the first time. Besides being dangerous and possibly causing a car accident, the two would flirt and carry on with the men in the bar to the point I was sick to my stomach. Yes, I did follow them out a couple of times just to see what level Cindy would let things get to.

Last night Cindy told me that she and Allison would be going out of town next week to spend some time with friends of Allison in Nashville. That is straight into the arms of other men, and I am sick about this. What I need to know is how to break up these two women without losing my own wife. Allison is the worst kind of woman, always wanting men’s approval and willing to sell herself to get it and do whatever they ask to keep it. I see my wife falling down that hole and I am not sure if I can still reach her to get her out of it. If I try to talk with her about it she just laughs and tells me my imagination is working overtime. I know for a fact this time she is being set up to spend the weekend with another man and I have the conversation recorded.

How should I handle this? I could leave it up to Cindy, but this would not be the first time she has been in the arms of another man since we’ve been together. I love her and have forgiven many things most men would have never put up with, but if she does this again I am gone. I would like to be able to stop this from happening if I can so what do you suggest?

Kyle

My reply:

Well Kyle, you’re in a jam and a half. Do you know how you got there? I do. No mentally and emotionally healthy woman who is feeling attraction for a man she’s living with is going to be sucked into this situation; she won’t risk losing what she has if it’s working. About the only chance you have of this not being the case is if she’s so emotionally damaged that she would be seeking all men’s approval like her friend Allison, and you make no mention of that.

I hate to break it to you, but you’re being a wuss or ignoring her needs, and she’s either looking for excitement elsewhere or testing you to see if you’ll be a man and step up to the plate. It’s going to be very difficult for you to know which because you don’t have the communications skills to pick up on the hints and signals that would tell you. Otherwise you would have already picked up on everything she gave you that would have told you that you weren’t being enough of the alpha male and creating variety, mystery, excitement, adventure and authority in her life that protects her from boredom, her worst of all antagonists. That’s two strikes against you already. Then we have to address her problems as well…

It doesn’t appear that she’s necessarily in an approval-seeking mode, more like thrill-seeking, but she’s lying to you about what she’s doing. Why is that? Is it because she lacks the self-respect and respect for you to tell you the truth, or because she’s tried to tell you the truth and you’ve been so deaf to it that she gave up? The fact that she’s had other affairs really doesn’t give a clue, because the affair is the symptom, not the cause, and multiple affairs are often symptoms of the same cause.

Then we have the issue of why you are still together if she’s had other affairs? Did you work something out that has since failed, or are you just a doormat who let her back in the house after she had her fling? Is she in mid-life crisis? I see that you say that this is the last straw and that’s understandable, but have you considered whether the last straw should have been several straws before? Have you considered that forgiveness in the past may have set the standard for future expectations and behavior? Or that she’s seeing how far she can push before you step up?

Right now, you’re in more trouble than any other reader who has written me, not because of where you are, but because there are so many unknowns in your equation. I’ve helped several snatch their relationship right out of divorce court, and helped others find their way to it by helping them see that they were hopelessly mismatched or with a parasite or a predator who was sucking them dry of life (and assets) with their abuse, but in the face of all these unknowns, I can’t answer your question. Mid-life crisis with information to process would be easier for both of us to handle than this information vacuum.

A real man would immediately stand up and tell her that he knows what she’s up to and that she can stay at home and be part of the family as you work out your issues or she can leave and never come back, but without knowing whether she is worth keeping, you can’t know if you want to do that. Until you can sharpen your communications skills to the point you can correctly interpret the things she tries to say to you, most of which will be either non-verbal or verbal but indirect, you can’t assess how she feels, because you can’t understand what she’s saying and can’t know if she’s telling you the truth. You have too much work to do before the decision can be made. You also must reach a level of communications competence for her to see that you are hearing and understanding her before she’ll think it’s worth the trouble to tell you everything again that she has already told you many times in the past and try to work with you. But these are merely obstacles, not barriers. You can easily navigate them with a little help.

In “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage,” you’ll find a fairly extensive system for determining whether your relationship with this woman is worth saving, a great course on how to communicate with all women, including a lot about how to distinguish between truth and lies, and the low-down on attraction – what it is, how it works, how to create it, and equally important, how to kill it, and why its absence from your relationship breeds affairs and divorce. Go right now to download it at http://www.makingherhappy.com. There’s no excuse for waiting, because it’s fully tested and guaranteed to work, so go get busy and start getting your house in order.

Take care,
David

What else can I say? ;-) Well, there is more, actually. This problem is discussed in depth from multiple angles, including the mid-life crisis issue, on our forum at http://forum.makingherhappy.com. Real experiences of real people, some of whom are having to make the difficult decision to stay or go right now. Come join us, and read their stories, feel their pain, fears and frustration, and learn from it. It may save your marriage, and even your life.

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