Saturday, December 24, 2011

Lying in Relationships and Marriage, Part 2, A Reader Confesses How Lying Nearly Ending Hers

A reader tells of her own experience with lying to the one she loves. It’s not pretty, and is a perfect example of what I warned you about in yesterday’s newsletter.

Yesterday’s newsletter on lying to your partner got some pretty predictable responses. If you missed it, see the archived article at http://forum.makingherhappy.com/showthread.php/974-Lying-in-Relationships-and-Marriage-Part-1-Faking-It-Until-You-Make-It because it’s one you will definitely want to read. Also, we’ve been talking about female mid-life crisis, among other things, on our forum at http://forum.makingherhappy.com, and women in true mid-life crisis are compelled to tell themselves some horrible lies, so you’ll want to keep up with us on that subject too.

Those who don’t lie to their partners wrote in agreement, while the vast majority of those who do wrote in defense of their actions, saying ridiculous things like, “Good relationships are based on lies,” “It’s only a problem if you get caught,” etc. I feel sorry for those people, because they will never experience the wonderful feelings that real love, trust, loyalty, and respect generate, which I’m glad to say that many of you, based on your responses, do seem to appreciate.

There was one letter in particular that I wanted to share with you, from a woman who got caught in a lie and almost destroyed her relationship with someone who seems to be a really good man. Meet Darla:

Dear David,

I wanted to share with you what really can happen when you tell a lie to the one you love. My story I guess is simple to many people, but it is hard for me to tell because I have to face something horrible to me. I come from a long line of people with addictive personalities. By addictive I mean to drugs and drinking. My mother was and is addicted to pain medication among other things and my brother has spent time in jail for his addictions. As for me I had started down the same road with prescription medications. Every day I thought I had to have one kind or the other, uppers in the morning and downers at night and had lived this way for a while. I was in a marriage that was the worst of nightmares and two kids who could care less if I were living or dead.

I met this wonderful man, one that loves me and God only knows how much I love him. He noticed right off I could have a problem if I did not control myself. We have had long talks about it and I really had made the choice to give up the drugs. I wanted to be with him and I wanted to love him and to be sober to enjoy what I had finally been given.

Yesterday morning I awoke with a migraine. I have them from time to time and it was bad enough for me to try a new medication my doctor had given me. I took the pill and a short time later he called me to say good morning and I was spaced out on the pills. He asked me about it and in a panic I lied to him and told him I had not taken any medication. It was the worst choice I have ever made. I should have been honest and told him what was going on, but I lied.

He was so upset by what I had done that he would not hardly talk to me and when he did I felt like the lowest life form on the planet, not because he was abusive or belittled me, but because he pointed out to me that there was nothing in our history that gave me a reason to lie to him, and I was mimicking my mother’s behavior, and we both knew that the idea of me turning into my mother was not going to work for either of us.

He has no problem with me taking a pain medication for pain, and has told me so on several occasions. It is just the issue of me abusing pain killers for things other than pain that he has a problem with. We did talk it over and after many tears on my part we decided that since I had not lied to him in the past that the migraine medication may have been responsible for my choice to lie this time, and he forgave me on the condition that I never lied to him again, especially about drug use.

I will never lie to him again ever, because no matter what you think you are getting away with you are not. If you want to lose the man of your dreams because you want to be a dumb ass then you deserve what happens to you. I’m just thankful that my John loves me enough to work it out with me not throw me and nine years away because I was worried about the truth where if I had just said to him I was not feeling well and had taken the pills and since it was the first time and I was not sure what they would do to me it could have been avoided.

What I am saying is tell the truth not matter what. It hurts worse to lie to the one you love and you are not a good person if you can lie to the one you claim you love in the first place. Thank you so much John for loving me and letting me still love you and you still love me.

Darla


My response:

Hi Darla,

That’s quite a confession; thank you for sharing it with us. I’ve studied people a lot over the years, and I’ve seen a few things that I’d like to point out here. Chemicals notwithstanding (a lot of medications can alter your personality, adherence to your value system, inhibitions, etc.), you would be hard-pressed to prove to me how anyone who truly loves and respects another could lie to them, especially to cover their own ass. That’s an act of cowardice and need, not of love and respect. If your partner is claiming to love you but lying to you frequently (or vice versa), you and they need to take a look at the meaning of love, need, attraction, etc. (see the article in my free “Break-Up Busting 101” report, which you can download at http://forum.makingherhappy.com/showthread.php/144-Free-Reports!), and get a fix on reality, because you’re not in it.

Another thing I’ve noticed, in my marriage, in the world around me and in the hundreds of couples who have been involved in the development, testing, and tweaking of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," is that there is nothing that two rational people who truly love and respect each other can’t discuss, no matter how bad it is. Of all the things that come together to make a good relationship work, unfettered, respectful, honest, and factual communication is the most important tool in the tool chest, because through it, all the other things are achieved.

Take care,
David


Do you know what kind of a relationship you’re in? Do you know if your partner really loves you, or if they’re just clinging on because they’re afraid to be alone? Do you communicate effectively across the gender gap? Has the honeymoon ended and left you as part of that ugly statistic wherein the average couple who has been together longer than two years has sex once every two months?

If you’ve become part of that statistic, it may seem like a problem, but you’ll soon see that it’s merely a symptom of a MUCH bigger problem. In any case, it’s logical to expect that you have or are anticipating at least one of these problems or you wouldn’t be spending the time to read these newsletters, so why keep putting off the solution?

Yes, what you need to know is in “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage,” and it’s not going to get into your head where you can use it until you go to http://www.makingherhappy.com, download it, and then read it. What you need to know is in there, laid out point by point and step by step, and people are using it every day to make their relationships better and better, some even snatching their marriage from the jaws of the divorce monster in as little as a week after receiving it. Do yourself and your partner a favor; get it and get busy, because life’s too short to spend it unhappy, bored, frustrated, scared, cheating, or celibate.

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

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Lying in Relationships and Marriage, Part 1, Faking It Until You Make It

Is lying to your partner ever a good attraction tactic? Is it ever good for anything in your relationship? Only if you’re a predator…

This lesson is the first part of a three-part series on the various aspects of deceit in a relationship, which will include, among other things, lie detection, so don't miss any part of it, even if you think everything is okay in your relationship! Reader comments indicate it is one of the most popular topics we discuss and the second most popular newsletter series I issue, and truth be told, I should probably turn it into a stand-alone report, so even if you’ve seen it before, read carefully and treat it as a “refresher course” if necessary.

By the way, there has been copious and candid discussion of various aspects of lying, such as faking it until you make it and lying to yourself about whether you have marital problems (a truly devastating self-deception) at our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com, and you should join us and check it out. Just put “lying” in the search box in the upper right and start with the threads that have the most replies. There’s nothing like seeing the impact a lie can have on you to make you a ruthless seeker of the truth.

I’ve been asked frequently about the tactic of “fake it ‘til you make it” when trying to revive stale relationship or rescue a failing one. We’ve not talked about it in several months (except on the forum, of course), and since many of you have commented (all comments are welcome and read) that you like it much better when we focus on a subject for a few days and thoroughly explore it, we’re going to focus on lying and deceit in general for a few days, such as detecting it, damage it can do that you may not expect, etc. Let’s dig in!

I recently read (for the fourth time) the scariest book I’ve ever found, with the possible exception of Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals.” It’s entitled “The Rules: Time-tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right,” by Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider, in an effort to find out why women do so many things that are bad for them and their relationships with men, and while some of the advice it gives is sound and practical, especially on personal security for women, parts of it are pure poison, and there’s much for both genders to learn from it if you can filter the good advice from the bad.

Frankly, I’d recommend that every man read it to see what kind of tricks and ploys are used to pull a man into a bad relationship to help him know that either his partner is a great woman who didn’t prey upon his insecurities or that he got sucked in and is being manipulated so he can take appropriate action to safely exit with confidence. Make no mistake, there are good relationships with fixable problems, and there are bad relationships that need to be dissolved, and no matter which you’re in, you need to know EXACTLY what you’re in to take appropriate action. Your first responsibility is to yourself and your own happiness, and until you’ve met that responsibility, you might contribute to someone else’s needs or cause, but not their happiness.

“The Rules,” according to its authors, is based on advice that a woman gave her daughter a hundred years ago or more on how to catch and marry a man. At that time, marrying well was a survival skill because many women could not make it on their own due to social prejudices, etc. Being “in love” was a luxury; “finding support” was a prime motivator in finding a husband; being “cared about” took a back seat to being “provided for,” especially since life in most of the world was still pretty harsh. Hence, much of the advice given under “The Rules” is how to prey upon a man’s insecurities to make him jealous and over-react to her scarcity, marrying her in order to control her availability.

This will get the job done, if simply getting married and being kept is a woman’s goal, but at what cost? In short, turning him into an insecure, jealous wuss that no woman could possibly be attracted to because a woman won’t respect and can’t feel attraction (that “swept off her feet” feeling that is an integral part of female sexual arousal) for a man she can control. This is a sure-fire recipe for disaster (especially if you have a healthy libido!), as it is what creates that marriage in which the woman spends everything the man makes but has sex with the proverbial gardener or pool boy instead of her husband, or more commonly on a house, children, and other assets she’ll ultimately take in the divorce.

I’ll get into more of this in a future newsletter, but what I want to talk about today, and the reason I bring this up, is that a “scary big” portion of the advice given in this book entails lying to men to attract them, in spite of the authors’ assertion that they don’t advise lying. I’m going to address that issue for the women in my upcoming book written for them, but it begs the more general question: “Is lying ever a good way to handle anything in a relationship, especially the building of attraction?”

The short answer, for both genders, is “Not just no, but HELL NO!” unless you are indeed some kind of predator or a total loser and what you’re “trying to handle” is deceiving another person into keeping you around when they otherwise would not, for which you should have your ass royally kicked for a number of reasons. Among other things, lying leaves you feeling that you had to lie to attract the partner and therefore aren’t good enough to have him or her, even if you are! Indeed, feeling a lack of self-esteem can also make you feel that you have to lie to be worthy of someone else’s attention. And once you’ve done that, you have the stress of worrying about your lie being exposed to dampen any pleasure you might otherwise enjoy.

It also labels you as needy and weak, and is a tactic for losers and predators who cannot be desirable in their own right. That alone is devastating to self-esteem, if you have any (death spiral, anyone?), and when you look at the bigger picture, how can you feel or express love or respect for a person you lied to in order to have them involved in your life? Or for yourself? Can you love and respect yourself after lying to trick somebody into a relationship with you? Even without getting into what happens when you get caught, it’s a losing proposition for both sides.

What should you do? Work your attraction magic with things that are really part of you, incorporating new things that fit well into yourself if necessary. Start by emphasizing – NOT exaggerating -- your best behavior and avoiding and ultimately reforming – NOT disguising -- your worst. Then, take on a bit of challenge and self-improvement in areas that are appealing to you. If you’re not naturally funny, learn to be. You’ll find that as you pay attention to people looking for something entertaining, you’ll often find something that entertains everyone, and the more you do it, the more you develop the nerve pathways required for a genuine sense of humor.

Don’t just try to fake it, and stress over it. Study it, understand how it can brighten your life and your outlook on life, as well as make you more attractive to your partner, and treat it as a self-improvement exercise because it is. Don’t try to act funny, BECOME funny. Join Toastmaster’s or something and learn how to tell a good story and see the humor in things. Take dancing lessons if you’ve always thought about it but never got around to it. Learn how to have real fun and adventure yourself and you will be fun and interesting to a woman. Learn how to enjoy your life and just do it, and you will be irresistible.

Another example? Don’t try to act romantic, BE romantic. Develop a genuine appreciation for the great, the beautiful, the larger than life, by exposing yourself to it, and be able to spot it and point it out to others as you do in a way which helps them to get excited over it and appreciate it, as you see in the movie “Don Juan DeMarco.” Take a music appreciation, ballroom dancing or art appreciation class to get you started, or take up some kind of hobby where appreciation for greatness will be an inherent part of it as you delve deeper into the hobby, and gain self-esteem from your achievements as you progress.

Like to make sawdust? Study people like Sam Maloof. Like cooking? Read not only the cookbooks written by the world’s greatest chefs, but their stories; see how they became great chefs, and you will be impressed. And just as I said about developing a sense of humor, you can also develop a sense of romance, adventure, etc., by looking at it and for it.

And make no mistake, this isn’t changing yourself for her. It’s about changing yourself for YOU, to have what YOU want, because what SHE wants isn’t even relevant unless what she wants is compatible with what you want – probably the most-unused and yet most useful filter in all of relationship evaluation. And what you want is a strong, positive, attractive personality that you enjoy living with, people enjoy being around and which will attract viable candidates for a great relationship. All you have to do to make it happen is actively explore and enjoy your life and the things that interest you.

Or, you could just try to “fake it ‘til you make it,” and be stressed out over having your cover blown and somebody seeing the real you and not liking what they see, kicking you to the curb while yelling “Fraud!” and walking away without another thought. Been there? Done that? Not again? I thought not.

This process is not difficult; indeed, it’s most enjoyable. Most people who don’t engage in self-improvement avoid it because of fear of failure, not because there’s really any reason for them to fail, while most people who do engage in it (and I do mean ENGAGE, not just buy the materials and set them on the shelf or skim them instead of using them) succeed, because they look forward to success and enjoying their life more. Besides, learning is fun when you can take it at your own pace and there’s a huge reward at the end of it.

By the same token, if you don’t have any exciting stories to tell, don’t make them up – get off your butt and get out and do something exciting! If you’re not an expert at something, don’t fake it and make an ass of yourself, pick something interesting and useful to you (and hopefully fun for you as well) and BECOME an expert. It is far better to be silent and thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt! Besides, a man needs a hobby. ;-)

Never, ever, lie to your partner. Even without regard for moral or ethical issues; it’s just too stressful for both of you, and too damaging to your self-esteem, whether you get caught or spend years trying to maintain a lie, not to mention damaging to the relationship. It’s far easier to actually become attractive than to try to just put on the act, and once you do become attractive, BEING attractive isn’t just stress-free, it’s fun! And then, if the potential for love is there, it can develop and make for a truly great relationship that stands the test of time.

There’s a wealth of solid, tested information in “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage” on what women find attractive, and just as important, what will kill it in a heartbeat, not to mention how to communicate with her in a way that has her talking with you instead of spending hours every day complaining about you to all her girlfriends, or the guy she’s having an affair with! It can even help you figure out if you’re in a relationship that has a good foundation and can make it or if you’ve been pulled in by a “Rules Girl” and are truly too mismatched for there to be any hope.

This is it, your best shot at getting things back on the right track no matter how far astray they’ve gone, so download your copy today at http://www.makingherhappy.com, because the information works, the price is right, the guarantee is unconditional, and life is too short to miss living it to the fullest. (There has been some discussion about that on our forum recently, too!)

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

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Are Your Friends Holding You Back from a Great Life, Relationship, or Marriage?

Who’s giving you advice? Are they succeeding in whatever way you want to succeed and living the way you want to live? If not, they’re not the people to be advising you, especially about your relationship.

I was out with my wife once at a local Mexican restaurant and saw something disgusting that we need to discuss. No, it wasn’t something with legs in the enchiladas or the salsa verde. It was a couple of fairly young men, seemingly in their early thirties. One of them was slouched over, in grungy clothes, looking like a total slacker – I looked under his table to see if there was a skateboard hiding there. His clothes were wrinkled, his hair disheveled and if he had come to my door to visit my daughter looking like that I would have kicked his sorry butt out the door and told him to come back when he’d acquired soap – both the body and laundry varieties – and some self-respect.

His companion looked considerably better. He sat up straight, and was dressed for being in public. He was fairly well-groomed, His shirt was tucked in and his clothes were not wrinkled. He had more of a worldly air about him. There was a near-empty margarita pitcher between them and they were both talking louder than they should have been. (It’s amazing how tequila damages others’ hearing and not your own, isn’t it??? LOL!)

The most respectable-looking of the pair was dating a co-worker of theirs, apparently a high-quality girl that was pretty popular in the office. He told his friend he wanted to escalate the relationship because he thought they were right for each other. Before he got to the end of the sentence, his friend the slacker said, "Dude, no way she’ll hang with you! You're not her type. She’s into power and sleeps with the boss. Even if she did hook up steady with you, you’d just screw it up like you’ve done with every other woman you’ve dated."

Doesn’t sound like much of a friend, does he? Unfortunately, it’s not that uncommon amongst "friends" for one who’s having a hard time or just generally negative about everything to rain on everybody else’s parade. In his mind, if he’s not happy, it’s not fair for anybody else to be. Instead of being happy for his friend, he’s throwing cold water on his friend’s desires/ambitions, possibly for no better reason than to keep himself from having to find somebody else to drink with or complain to.

The disgusting thing is that it worked! The poor guy sat there a moment and then said, "Yeah, you're probably right." He allowed his so-called "friend" to rob him of his ambition and convince him that he didn't have a chance with her. They worked in the same office! If she’d really been sleeping with the boss, wouldn’t they BOTH have heard about it by then? It’s ridiculous that so many people do this to one another, and still call each other “friends”! It’s just plain sick to think about, but it’s the nature of people who lack self-esteem.

For all we know, the slacker may have been sabotaging his “friend” just because he’s the one always paying for the meal and drinks at these meetings and just didn’t want to lose the gravy train if his friend suddenly became happy with someone else. Some friend, huh?

Losers have a tendency to want to pull others down to their level, instead of learning from their friends and drawing on their successes as inspiration for their own success, which would elevate them to their mentor’s level. Lacking character, it’s easier for them to talk trash to the achievers around them than to get off their lazy butt and achieve something. Is this the kind of person you want to take advice from, about anything in your life??? I hope not, and I can tell you categorically and with authority that it is not.

This kind of person is a prime target for the “hire slowly, fire quickly” method of forming relationships of any kind. No matter how much you want to do or try to do, they will try at every turn to discourage and disparage anything that is above them. This is the last person in the world that you want to be discussing anything important or personal with, because they can’t possibly have anything good going on in their life or they wouldn’t be talking to you this way.

Their opinion of what you should be doing or any advice they may offer is therefore worthless; otherwise, they would be having some successes and being upbeat about at least a few things in their life. Their sole purpose in any conversation with you will be to bring you down, not celebrate your dreams and successes with you.

Always make sure you are fully supported by your friends and family. If you have any “friends” that are constantly telling you that you will not be able to accomplish something, or that your wife will end up leaving you, or that you can’t possibly get that better job you’re going after without any facts to back up their claims (if you’re trying to learn to play piano with no hands, or you’re a violent spouse abuser, or the job you’re applying for requires a PhD and you don’t have a high school diploma, they may have a point, but you know what I mean), fire them!

They’re not worthy of sharing your life’s energy and your space. Know the difference between a good friend who has relevant facts that you don’t yet possess and cares enough to give them to you and the pessimistic gothic ne’er-do-well who thinks it rains 24/7 and wants to make sure you stay soaked in their misery.

People like this can insidiously turn you into a carbon copy of themselves, and as you can imagine, that’s about as unattractive as it gets. Just ask any woman (who’s not one of these constantly complaining losers) what she thinks of them. She’ll tell you, in no uncertain terms, that she wants someone fun and upbeat, somebody with brains and vision and leadership skills, not some loser who ridicules greatness because he’ll never aspire to it, let alone achieve it. Nobody who looks at his shoes when he talks and walks and disparages everything he hears is attractive, to anyone, in any way, except maybe to a hard-up mugger looking for a target.

Besides, what kind of valuable advice would someone who is always negative and never going anywhere or doing anything have to give? There’s an old Chinese proverb that really comes into play here: "The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it." Ayn Rand also had something very valuable to say about this: "The ladder of success is best climbed by stepping on the rungs of opportunity." What opportunities will you be availing yourself of while you have “Joe Doomengloom” constantly telling you that you’re just going to fall off the ladder? Kick his (or her) ass to the curb and get on with the business of being a man.

Always surround yourself with positive, up-beat people -- people who have genuine, earned confidence in themselves and in you. Real friends will strengthen and support you when you’re onto something good, and if they do say something negative, it will be to give you the benefit of their experience or insight and keep you out of trouble, not to keep you from achieving.

Make sure your relationships, ALL OF THEM, are mutually-beneficial, no exceptions. Any relationship you have with anyone that is not mutually-beneficial is getting in the way of one that is. Clear out the clutter and keep it cleared out, or you’ll end up like the guy in this example, getting talked out of something that could be among the most enjoyable things in your life by someone who has no enjoyable things in their life.

Also, no matter what you’re doing, if you are going to ask somebody for a recommendation or advice, make sure that they have been successful in pursuing whatever you are pursuing, and therefore have valid experience to draw on and valid advice to give. Don’t ask your CPA for legal advice (unless he’s also a lawyer) or your lawyer for tax advice (unless he’s also a tax accountant). Don’t ask somebody who doesn’t even use a computer and has never sold anything to review your Internet business and give you suggestions.

One other caveat, one that I’ve learned over years of consulting and coaching: The best advice a friend can be trusted to give you is the best advice he or she has at that moment, which is not likely to be the best advice you can have, may in fact be worse than whatever you’re already contemplating, and often can be very bad advice delivered with the best of intentions. Being trustworthy means that they care enough to try to help you, not that they are necessarily competent to do so. That’s the main reason I advise everyone to go to someone who has already succeeded in whatever interests you at the moment and let them mentor you, even if you have to pay for it. What little you end up paying for their help is chump change next to what the aftermath of an ill-advised decision on a career, business, real estate, relationship, marriage, medical, legal, or other issue may cost you.

Above all, don’t ask an unhappy slacker who has no history of lasting, happy relationships about anything having to do with your relationship. If you want to succeed at anything, find somebody who has already succeeded, and learn from what they did, both right and wrong. That’s why my moderators and I patrol our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com, so heavily, to make sure that there is no case where the blind is leading the blind, or validation-seekers are passing out bad information to try to get others to repeat their mistakes. We welcome the insight and experience of all who have any to offer, and allow no substitutes, nor judgment of another’s actions.

I’m a guy you can ask for help with a relationship, especially one that’s gone stale over time and needs reviving. I’ve done it, and I don’t think I could ask for things to be much better. In addition to my own experience, I have that of 118 other couples who all helped develop and test the content of “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage” – they all improved their relationships dramatically with this very material as we researched it, as did thousands more who have added the benefit of their experience in the years since. We all learned how to evaluate relationships, how to communicate to effectively bridge the inter-gender communications gap, and what it takes to trip a woman’s attraction triggers and bring that honeymoon back with a bang!

Learn from us and make your own relationship all it can be by going to http://www.makingherhappy.com right now and downloading your copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," because it works, it’s guaranteed, and life’s too short to wait for good things to happen – YOU MUST MAKE THEM HAPPEN, AND YOU CAN!

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

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Be a Good Listener for a Great Relationship or Marriage

Women are social creatures and want to be heard. Being a good listener is highly attractive to a woman, but don’t let yourself become a girlfriend. Learn where to draw the line!

I got a letter that really got under my skin, because it shows just how simple some of women’s needs are and just how little effort it can take for a man to do incredibly attractive things. Meet Angie:

Hi, David! I’m so glad to see somebody addressing our [women’s] needs like this. There does not seem to be too many men who speak “female,” and your services as a translator are truly appreciated.

I bought your book for my husband, and getting through the first part was an education for both of us, but we made it. We’ve been together since early grade school, and have always felt that we were right for each other, but after getting through your instructions on how to evaluate our relationship, we now KNOW that we’re not just star-crossed or the product of long-standing habit, we really belong together. But that’s not what I’m writing about.

My husband is going through the second part of your book now, and he’s catching on fairly fast and I can’t thank you enough for that. I always thought he was a bit short on attention span when we’d talk, but it turns out that I am probably worse than the average woman about using non-verbal communication and expecting everyone around me to pick up on everything, and we didn’t have long conversations because Jay (my husband) would get frustrated or bored with not knowing what I was saying most of the time.

Don’t get me wrong, we talk all the time, but never for long enough to have a really deep conversation, and this has always bothered both of us, but we kept hoping that sooner or later we’d just grow together and it would work out. Well, we’re growing together as we go through your book, and it’s like being with a new and much better man, because he now knows how important communication is to me as a woman, and is quickly learning how to engage on a level that we are both more comfortable with. I’m also learning to be a little more direct with him than with my girlfriends, and that’s helping him to feel better as well.

We (women) don’t really want that much, do we? We want a man who is a man, not a girlfriend. We want you to listen to us. We want your attention. We want you to focus on us when you are with us, not other things around us. We want you to look at us, preferably at our eyes instead of our breasts, when we or you are talking, and really listen to what we are saying, because we know when you are not paying attention. We want you to be interested enough in us to ask us questions, about us, our day, our feelings, our friends, or whatever – just something to show that you are there because you are still interested in us, not because it’s a habit. And yes, when we’re being a brat, we really do want you to call us on it. You don’t have to be mean about it, but we definitely don’t want you being a wuss about it either. Is that too much to ask?

Anyway, your book is helping a lot, and while we are in our 30’s and have been together for almost 30 years (yes you read that right) we are getting closer, and I’m starting regularly to feel intimate desires for Jay that I haven’t felt for him but sporadically in years. A lot of it is just the lower stress level in our home and being able to have longer, more intimate conversations, but he’s also starting to be really fun again, like when we were teenagers and really started “discovering” each other (which is kind of awkward because our two teenage girls are starting to date), and the passion is really coming back. Thanks so much!

Love ya,
Angie


Wow! In their thirties and together for thirty years! The original “childhood sweethearts.” They’ve had thirty years to get bored with each other, and are still young enough to have very healthy libido’s, not to mention another 30-50 years together! Incredible! Well, let’s focus on attraction for a minute.

Angie made it plain that she had needs, and was pretty verbose about what they are. Obviously, she has a lot of other needs, but people take the time to express those that are most important to them, and she expressed wanting a manly man who could be genuinely interested in her and engage her in meaningful conversation, and that the more that need was fulfilled, the more they were rewarded with intimacy and passion. Guys, it doesn’t get any simpler or more basic than that, and this woman is saying that this is what’s most important to her, at least in regard to what she wants from Jay. She could be every woman alive today, too. Those needs and wants are universal amongst women.

Also note what she says she doesn’t want, and because of this, she’s a lot smarter than the average bear: She wants “a man who is a man, not a girlfriend.” I don’t know if she fully realized the wisdom in that statement, or if it’s obvious, so I’m going to explain it. Do not indulge your female partner’s “drama-fests.” If she wants to tell you about a problem, listen, but if she’s in that drama mode where she wants to keep repeating every detail of the problem to you over and over to milk every last drop of emotional energy out of it before becoming bored with it and moving on to the solution-finding stage, don’t go there.

Allowing her to treat you like her girlfriend is an attraction-killer, and often is even a form, possibly a subconscious form, of testing to see what you will tolerate. If you detect that a woman is starting to talk to you as if you were a girlfriend, just tell her that you’re not comfortable in the girlfriend role and that’s where it feels like she’s taking you, and that it would be better for both of you if she continued that part of the conversation with a girlfriend and came back to you to either tell you about the resolution to her problem or to secure your help if she found that she wanted it.

The one place where a little compromise might be in order is in eye contact. Women need it, and are grossly uncomfortable without it. It’s part of how they “connect” when they converse. We men, being results-driven, tend to multi-task and speak while we are doing something else, such as working or scanning the room for threats while in that primal mode of “protector,” which they will often interpret as lack of interest, attention, and respect with regard to both what they are saying and them in general. It’s no longer a realistic possibility that a dinosaur, lion, or bear is going to eat your family, but being mugged on the sidewalk or in a parking lot is still a common problem, so try to be a little more deliberate and aware of your venue and actions when talking with a woman.

It’s very helpful if you do indeed make an effort to maintain eye contact when both speaking and listening, but if you are in the middle of something that you can’t put down, point that out, saying something like, “Look, I have to finish this. We can either talk while I work (or whatever you’re doing) or you can give me a few minutes to get to a place where I can stop, and then we can talk. Which are you more comfortable with?” Notice that you’re not dumping the choice in her lap, you’re asking for her preference; the difference is subtle, but significant. You will then “decide” to grant her preference. This is both leadership and consideration of her needs, not to mention the kind of diplomacy women tend to engage in, and she will appreciate it without you looking like girlfriend.

Getting back to drama-fests for a moment, when you start hearing the details a second time, you’re getting into girlfriend territory. After making the announcement about not being comfortable in the girlfriend role mentioned above, point out to her, politely and respectfully, that you already understand the problem from her first run through describing it, and if she wants your input or assistance later when she’s ready to do something about fixing the problem you’ll be there for her, but until then she needs to share this problem with her girlfriends until she gets it out of her system and is “over it” and ready to move on. She may pout a bit at having her “emotional inertia” interrupted, but if you handled it right that’s a test, too, so don’t worry about it.

This is one of those areas where you need to define and exercise authority, and you need to gently but firmly make it clear that you’re willing to listen the first time, but the second through “however-many-times-it-takes,” she needs to share with her girlfriends, because they are wired for it and enjoy it and you are wired to fix problems, not relish and explore them. She may not understand this at first (many women really think that we’re all wired the same, just as many men do!), but you must be steadfast if you want to remain her manly man and not evolve into another girlfriend she has to keep up with.

Gentlemen, women seem a little more complicated than we are at times, but their true needs really aren’t. They want the same things we want: self-esteem, productive purpose and work(at least the good ones do!), a meaningful relationship with an attractive and interesting partner, and intimacy -- passionate intimacy when the kids aren’t around. And to beat it all, all we have to do to give it to them is act like real men (“manly men who do manly things,” as the saying goes) and pay attention to them enough for them to know we’re interested in them and to know what they’re saying to us.

They find that sexy and attractive, and reward us for it by giving us what we want, which is pretty much the same thing much of the time. It’s just not that hard when you know how, is it? And as Angie points out, it’s easier with my book, “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage,” so download your copy today at http://www.makingherhappy.com, because life’s too short to spend it any other way than happy. Swing buy our forum, too, at http://forum.makingherhappy.com, and listen to what the women there have to say about things we take for granted, like kissing, that are a very big deal for them and can be a whole lot of fun for us, too!

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

Monday, December 19, 2011

Rules of Great Relationships and Marriage: Why Making HER Happy Makes EVERYBODY Happy

The explanation of yesterday’s promised “thunderbolt” – Why making her happy makes everybody happy, and what you can easily do to make it happen, automatically and consistently so that BOTH OF YOU enjoy it.

For those who had the bad fortune to miss yesterday’s edition, go back and read it, because it was good and because it sets up today’s edition. We’ve all heard “If mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy,” (unless some of us have been living under a rock), and we’re all pretty well convinced that it’s a universal truth that will never be disproved. However, have you ever thought about the converse?

If mama is happy, everybody’s happy!

Why would I suggest such a thing? It’s the core of everything I’ve been talking about for a very good reason: it’s incontrovertible reality. Right now, I’m going to help you accept and understand this by explaining why.

It can be quite shocking when you realize how much of how we relate depends upon or is derived from this model (discussed in yesterday’s edition, so once again, if you’ve not read it, go back and do so before continuing here) of “men are hunters, women are gatherers.” The link to this article in the archive is http://forum.makingherhappy.com/showthread.php/970-Learning-from-Our-Ancestors-The-Immense-Value-of-Anticipation-in-Relationships-and-Marriage.

In case you’re not familiar with basic anthropology, here’s the super-short summary: in the earliest days of human existence, before agriculture and for some time after the development of agriculture, before it became commonplace, men hunted for meat and women gathered fruits, nuts, roots, etc., and raised the children; women most likely developed agriculture to have a more convenient food supply. One must remember that during this time, 90% or more of a person’s time and energy was spent in securing a food supply.

We’re talking about a long, long time here, during which women were together, gathering and later farming in groups and learning to communicate, while men were out hunting alone or in small groups that kept very quiet to keep from scaring the game. These activities caused women to evolve to be genetically “wired” to be more social and nurturing, and have more sophisticated communications skills due to their activities causing the more rapid and full development of the bridge between the left and right hemispheres of the brain, called the “corpus callosum,” and the right hemisphere of the brain to develop more densely than in men.

They also developed a system of safeguards against nurturing the wrong kind of man. There are biological triggers that turn on this behavior when a woman sees strong, confident, fun alpha male behavior, which causes her to nurture in a manner appropriate to a mate, and in the presence of children; for many women, child-like behavior, such as a “middle-aged adolescent,” causes them to nurture and protect the man as would be appropriate for a mother, taking charge of the man’s life and affairs and attempting to save him in a codependent relationship.

So since the process is biological and not logical, it is very difficult for a woman to resist and unfortunately, not foolproof. She can end up nurturing a man who is bad for her, like an alpha male with psychopathic tendencies who beats her, or a middle-aged adolescent with sociopathic tendencies who sucks her dry and moves on to his next host.

Whether you accept evolution as the cause of this difference or not, the difference is there, it’s consistent, and the behavior it creates is consistent; it’s what creates the feminine and masculine aspects of personality and communication skills and style, and you ignore it at your own detriment and even peril.

Now, the big question: what does this mean to your relationship or marriage?

Generally speaking, women are naturally social, nurturing, and sensitive. Men are not so much nurturing as protective. We are naturally loners; even when we’re in groups we often act competitively instead of socially and cooperatively. We are combatants; we tend to deal with problems by trying to overpower them or through other competitive means, not through any nurturing means, often even when it would mean converting an enemy to a friend. And let’s face it, a lot of men are finding out the hard way that women’s natural skill in non-verbal communication makes them superior negotiators and poker players in a great many male-female match-ups.

I was reading a post by a new member on our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com, that really brings this issue into sharp relief. The member is a woman, and her husband seems to be basically assuming that because he brings home a paycheck and plays with the kids, she should have sex with him whenever he wants, and that she should make an effort to have sex with him. She was trying to be polite and was very brief, but I asked her for more detail so we could help her better, and you will want to follow this thread, because gentlemen, I cannot say it any more plainly than this: if a woman has to make an effort to have sex with you, you are one of her chores, not her husband. Every man and woman alive needs to understand this completely, because this issue alone can wreck a marriage as surely as the sun rises in the East every morning.

So how can you put this to work for you in your relationships or marriage?

This is the great secret of relationships that is really no secret at all. If a man will conduct himself with self-respect and authority so as to create attraction for his female partner, her response will automatically be to respond with excitement, sensitivity, wife-like (as opposed to mother-like) nurturing, and attractive behavior toward him. She won’t have to put any effort into it, because it will all be triggered by her attraction. It’s biological, and therefore not only automatic, but unavoidable (which is what gets women in trouble with predatory users, abusers, and losers who have mastered attraction tactics and use it mercilessly to attract and hold their victims.) Why?

To fully understand and accept this, you must understand the intensity of attraction. The only good way I can explain this to men is to call your attention to what happens when you start feeling intense attraction, when you reach that point where you MUST have sex with a woman and then MUST experience orgasm with her, a sort of adventurous compulsion. It is different for women in that attraction for us is mostly (but not entirely) a matter of visual perception and happens very quickly (see woman, notice curves and smile, catch glance, boom!) while for women it is actuated by a combination of a lot of triggers that confirm your status as an alpha male.

It is therefore built much more slowly, but if you can recall the thrill and urgency of that attraction and your desire to maintain access to the woman who creates it, you can then have at least a partially accurate frame of reference for the intensity of what women feel; for them, it is even more intense because those feelings build more slowly and have time to create more excitement. Also note that while our excitement creates an intense urgency that is satisfied after the orgasm, theirs creates less urgency but more emotional intensity, making for a longer-lasting effect.

One other thing that you should note is the effect of the hormone oxytocin (do not confuse this with the pain medication, oxycontin). Oxytocin is called “the cuddle hormone,” and it facilitates a mother bonding with her children and her husband. It is released in small amounts during physical touching, especially stroking the skin, and is released in large amounts after orgasm. It therefore follows that taking the time to build attraction for a woman to ultimately increase her excitement, desire, and arousal to the point where she can then experience orgasm (simple physical stimulation is seldom if ever enough for a woman – attraction must happen first) on a regular basis, she will be more apt to remain happily married.

It also means that not allowing that post-orgasmic cuddle that most women want is a REALLY bad move, guys. REALLY BAD. The woman you love is at that point overwhelmingly driven to snuggle up to you, and if you reject her at that point you might as well just call her some really ugly names and slap her, because it would have the same effect – it’s all rejection. Besides, in case you’ve forgotten, it actually feels pretty good to have a woman snuggled up to you, remember? So hang around for a few minutes instead of dashing to the bathroom or falling immediately to sleep. You may be surprised at the response that small consideration will bring.

So yes, in spite of what the politically correct would have you believe, sex is indeed a very important part of marriage and of a mentally, physically and emotionally healthy woman’s life (trauma, hormonal issues, chronic pain, etc., can interfere, but this is the exception, not the rule, so never assume this is the problem), and if it slows down or even stops, trouble is coming, if it’s not already upon you.

The bottom line? Make the effort to become the confident, attractive alpha male that will light her fire and keep it lit and you will start a largely self-sustaining chain reaction that will keep the two of you intimate, excited, and happy for years to come. The choice is of whether to have or lose this happiness is yours, so make the obviously good choice, and follow through. Everything you need to know to make it happen is in the pages of “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage.” Download your copy today at http://www.makingherhappy.com and get started, because the journey is fun, and the destination is one to live for.

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

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Learning from Our Ancestors: The Immense Value of Anticipation in Relationships and Marriage

Time and again, we hear men are basically hunters, and women gatherers, or at least descended from them and still are “wired” like them, but what does this really mean in terms of how we view and enjoy life, and especially our lives together? More than you think; indeed, it permeates the entire relationship, including the bedroom, and can make the difference in whether your relationship lives or dies.

Today I want to discuss something that women have been trying to get men to understand for centuries: this thing they have with savoring anticipation, building excitement, and something that most men just simply can’t abide, at least not much: teasing, sexual and otherwise.

I hope we’re all long past the point of trying to adhere to this idiotic, politically-correct concept that there are no genetic differences between men and women other than the presentation of sex organs. Those of you who aren’t, if there are any of you left, either wake up and realize that we have a lot of differences, some of which can make one gender or the other generally – but not universally – better-suited to some things and not so well-suited to others, or stop wasting your time reading anything I send you.

Now hear this: We have undeniable and easily identifiable differences, and while they do not make one gender or the other ultimately superior or inferior, we must recognize them and use them to understand each other better so we can use these difference to our mutual benefit, and to enjoy our lives together as much as possible; else, they become a competitive wedge that drives us further and further apart.

Among these differences is the way we treat goal attainment. Men, having evolved from hunters, generally enjoy the thrill of the chase to a degree, but the kill is the only reason for doing most things. Think of hunters or fishermen. There are “outdoorsmen” who love being in the country, outdoors, enjoying the sunshine and fresh air, for whom hunting and fishing are good ways to keep busy while enjoying nature, then there are the “sportsmen” for whom fishing and hunting are no fun if they come home with an empty stringer or creel, don’t have something strapped to the hood or bed of their vehicle, etc.

The sportsman characterizes most men’s attitude and approach to most things. We’re providers, protectors, problem-solvers, and repairmen, and we’re results-driven, so anticipation for us is stressful, and teasing can get old really fast; getting close and not going the rest of the way quickly can be utter damnation for us, so we tend to close the deal, no matter what it is, so we can move on to the next challenge or opportunity, and ultimately, the next result.

Gentlemen, women aren’t like us in this regard; indeed, for the most part, they are completely and utterly opposite! Think of the stereotypical image of a woman shopping as opposed to a stereotypical image of a man. When we want something, most of us just run in wherever we think is a good place to grab it and do so, quickly, and rush home with our spoils to share them with family, friends, etc. Women enjoy the shopping – the process of acquisition – as much as or even more than the acquisition itself. They delight in walking around looking at everything, comparing, imagining themselves wearing it, tasting it, sharing it, or whatever – anticipating the ownership and use and relishing it, just as someone would walk through their own garden looking for the best they had to put on their table and envisioning the bounty they plan to offer. As the old saying goes, “it’s not the kill, but the thrill of the chase” they enjoy.

How does this apply to our relationships?

It’s exactly the same story, especially when it comes to creating attraction. We see them, we think about them momentarily (or don’t), we become aroused, we want them, and it’s urgent. If you want to screw up an evening with a woman, a really good way to do it (most of the time – I describe the exceptions to this in my book) is to fast-forward to the romance scene early in the evening, or rush her into a sexual encounter without it having been part of the rest of the day, giving her time to simmer and build anticipation and delight.

Women NEED that feeling of anticipation, that teasing and waiting that we hate, to get amped up to where they need to be to enjoy it. Ask any woman about her most incredible sexual encounter, and you’ll find that the vast majority say nothing about having a man “in the saddle” for hours – it’s having a man hinting and teasing them for hours before the foreplay, then stair-stepping the foreplay, two steps forward and one step back, teasing and building that anticipation until they are ready to explode that they will describe as their greatest sexual encounter, because that’s how attraction and excitement is built for them.

Indeed, the thing they talk about first and often the longest is not how the guy looked, what all they did, how many orgasms she had, etc., but how he kissed her. The flirting and seduction are the phase of anticipation that gets to the kiss, and the kiss itself is the anticipation of real intimacy, including sex. The flirting and seduction are mental, the kiss physical. Kissing, properly executed, starts with teasing and develops into something very similar to actual intercourse.

Properly executed, mind you. That’s why if you aren’t a good kisser, you can count on having a bored wife and marital troubles if you’re married, and not lasting past a date or two with most women – especially the really desirable ones, who have lots of options – if you’re not. You’ll also, if you’re not married, probably end up with a women who’s desperate and needy, because nearly all women hold good kissing to be very important, and statistically, nearly all who settle for less than great kissing are the desperate and needy type. You’ve been warned. And don’t take my word for it. Check out the kissing discussion on our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com/showthread.php/135-Kissing, where you’ll find our women discussing quite candidly not only how important it is, but how to do it right.

Do NOT read past this point until you have full ownership of this concept, Gentlemen: for us, orgasm is the whole purpose of sex. For women, it’s merely the end of it; their driving desire for sex is the need for connection, adventure, and trust. They like and need orgasm (the effect of orgasm on female brain and body chemistry is extremely beneficial) but they are in no hurry to get there, and many could care less whether it is you or they who cause the orgasm as long as they get the anticipation, romance, and intimacy. Give her that, and she’ll be quite happy to “finish herself” or have you “finish her” by some other means if she needs an orgasm after you “finish.” (It’s really hard to keep this kind of discussion in such terms that wouldn’t make an adult cringe if their child walked up behind them as they read it without making it sterile and boring as some medical school text. LOL!)

One seemingly odd thing to note is that if you can bring a woman to orgasm, especially multiple orgasms, regularly, she generally won’t leave until you do something really bad. But it’s not so odd when you look at it. It’s not the orgasms that do it, but the intimacy and the trust that lets them get there; the adventure/romance gets them started and intimacy and trust carry them through. That trust comes in response to your patience and leadership, among other things. It comes from your ability to act like a man.

I cannot overstress how important to your sex life it is, and will remain, for you to prolong the pre-orgasmic activities of sex for your partner to enjoy, because if you don’t, you’ll be done quite literally before she gets started, and it doesn’t take too many unfulfilling and frustrating episodes of that before she shuts down entirely; such sex is nothing more than a chore for a woman. It would be the same frustration and lack of fulfillment as a woman leading you up to the point of orgasm and then stopping, time after time. You would be missing what you see as the whole point of the encounter, just as she does if you move through it too quickly. And you know what happens when such an itch goes unscratched; sooner or later, somebody has to scratch it. She needs intimacy, and she will eventually find it somewhere.

Never make the mistake of assuming that a woman enjoys the same things you do, especially in the same ways that you do, nor that she doesn’t. And whatever you do, don’t think that you know more about what she likes having done to her than she does. (Yes, men have written to me puzzled at how their wife didn’t respond to something they just KNEW she SHOULD like because some friend had said so, they’d read it somewhere, some other woman had responded to it, etc.)

They like being naughty like we do, and they like sex as much as we do, but in general they go about it in a very different way for maximum pleasure. For the umpteenth time, KISS, communicate, get naughty, experiment and push the envelope a bit, and find out what works with your partner! Prepare yourself for the greatest revelation you will ever have, a proverbial thunderbolt, and you’ve heard it a million times before:

If mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy.

No, that’s not the thunderbolt. That’s to set you up for the thunderbolt:

If mama is happy, EVERYBODY’S happy!

I’m going to be explaining this in tomorrow’s newsletter. It is at the same time a so ridiculously cliché and yet revolutionary way of looking at relationships that it will make you laugh at its delightful simplicity and curse your failure to recognize it at the same time.

Meanwhile, you could already be getting the explanation of that and everything else we discuss here in “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage.” It’s an instant-download, an e-Book in Adobe’s PDF format, at http://www.makingherhappy.com. Go ahead and download it now, because while some good things come to he who waits, others get away, and you need to know the difference. Life’s too short to spend it ignorant, especially if ignorance keeps you from living happily with your partner.

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