Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Taking a New and Better Approach to a Great Relationship or Marriage

Times are changing, life is happening, and it’s time to take a different approach.

You may have noticed that I didn’t post anything yesterday. It wasn’t due to lack of interest.

There has been a lot happening behind the scenes. As the economy has slowed, it’s impacted me as much as everyone else in some ways. Some of my businesses have slowed and other opportunities have arisen to take their place. Technology has changed the way people seek and access information. And all of it has caused me to need to change some things, for my own sake and that of customers and potential customers, including all of you. Today I’m going to outline those changes for you.

Some of these changes require that I move my physical location back to Nevada. That’s already in the works. I’ll be swamped in relocation and settling in between now and about the end of March.

That means time will be scarce, and I must spend it wisely. It appears that the best way to continue to help you folks is to move everyone along to our forum so that there can be a single point of contact for all of us.

As it is now, I’m circulating this newsletter, posting on blogs on Blogger, Facebook, MySpace, LiveJournal, and Twitter, and reinventing the wheel daily has held back some other very necessary progress, such as getting my existing work converted for distribution through Amazon’s Kindle system and in other formats friendly to smartphones and tablets. So instead of spending an hour a day dispatching newsletters that are already in the archive, I’ll spend that time posting new content on the forum when there is something worth your time to read, answering questions via our forum or e-mail, and working on the aforementioned so I can move on to the big project that has been on the back burner for way too long, a book for women that they’ve been asking me to finish for years.

Copies of this newsletter are already filed in one of the subforums, called “Daily Newsletter Lessons,” and there is another forum where I’ve been categorizing newsletter content in preparation for the release of the next update of my current book with a massive expansion that includes the best information from the last several years' newsletters and examples from our forum. The entire forum is searchable, so finding what you want there as you need it instead of waiting for me to dole it out every day will work better for you, too.

For those of you who haven’t visited, we do have mobile access to our forum through the Tapatalk app; vBulletin has released a development suite for mobile support but I’ve not yet heard anything about it that impressed me enough to implement it. New releases of new products are always bug-ridden and spending a big chunk of money and time on something that won’t give you as good an experience as the $3 (one-time fee, not monthly subscription) Tapatalk app will give you as things are now just doesn’t make sense for any of us.

There is also a live chat facility there that nobody has been using. As more people register for membership (the chat service isn’t available to anonymous users because I don’t want spammers and pranksters harassing or hacking forum users), I’ll start dedicating blocks of time to be in the chat room myself for live discussion and possibly even some chat parties.

There are more surprises coming, but me abandoning this project is not among them for the foreseeable future. It’s just time to evolve, and a man who won’t evolve when changing times say it’s necessary is a coward doomed to failure and extinction, not a man. I practice what I preach.

So that’s it for now, folks. Join us at our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com/forum.php for the next evolution, and for your own next evolution, check out my book, “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage at http://www.makingherhappy.com/.

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

Monday, January 23, 2012

Switching Gears: Coping with the Expected and Unexpected in Relationships and Marriage

What women want, they get more often than not; the only question is from whom or with whom will they get it…

I hope you're having a great day! The following reader comment blew me away when it first came in, and these many months later, it still does. Of all the letters I ever expected to get from readers, this one would have never been on the list. Meet Dawn:

Dear David,

I have been putting off writing you because I did not want to sound crazy. My boyfriend David and I bought your book so that we could see if we should really get married or not. He wanted to get married before now, but I kept putting him off because I felt there was something missing in our relationship. The thing is that I started finding his roommate attractive. I ended up spending the night with Eric (his roommate) while he was out of town. That night I found out that Eric had been reading your book the whole time and my David had not. I just wanted to say thanks, because Eric and I will be getting married in a few weeks and David is last week’s trash.

I hope your book helps everyone as much as it helped me find the man I always dreamed of calling my husband.

Sincerely,
Dawn T.

I didn’t originally write “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage” to help anyone FIND a mate (although enough has been added to it that it will certainly do that quite well now), and to tell you the truth, I wrote it for GUYS (with a few BIG HINTS for women included). BUT, I’ve found through e-mails from readers that a lot of my sales have been to single women who are apparently smarter than us guys because they are reading material for guys to see what to prepare themselves for and ultimately seek out. I originally expected sales to women to be for their men, not for themselves. Women are taking initiative and going for it! After all, a huge part of their life is managing relationships; they are born wired to do it, and we could learn quite a bit from them about relationships if we'd take the time to do so -- I sure did!

However, Gentlemen, there are a couple of huge lessons here for all of us to learn, aside from the fact that what’s in this book works. Women pay attention to what’s going on around them, and they are extremely sensitive to not only behavior, but CHANGES in behavior. That’s why I recommend in the first part of my book that if a man evaluates his relationship and finds out that it is one that should be kept and improved that he have the woman in his life read it as well.

This is to help her understand that she and your marriage are to be the beneficiaries (along with yourself, of course!) of the changes she’s about to see, not a new girlfriend. A new girlfriend would often be a woman’s first thought when she sees positive change in a man, and unfortunately, most of the time she’d be right. Let’s face it Gentlemen, one of the things that get men caught having an affair is its effect as a confidence booster, which does change his behavior toward most, if not all, the people around him.

Another lesson is that women recognize when you’re committed by the effort you make, and if you’re caught slacking, you will be punished for it on some level, usually by having them withhold some part of themselves from you, whether it be time, consideration, support, favor, intimacy, sex, or whatever, and even by giving that part of themselves they withhold from you to another man. Being assertive and taking the lead in achievement, even the achievement of a better relationship, is sexy; being lazy or timid is anti-sexy. Take the hint, and get on the ball.

Make a hobby and a habit of taking responsibility for your life and doing constructive things to improve yourself and your environment (the space and circumstances around you – I’m not talking “green” here), and encourage others to do the same thing, a strong sign of leadership that no woman can resist. There is no person or group that can save the world, but if we all start taking better care of ourselves and the part of the world we live and work in, there won’t be much room left for problems. We’re proving that at our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com, as member after member figures out what’s wrong or missing from their life and fixes it, and you’d be doing yourself a favor to join us there.

We all have a bit of a tendency to slow down and let things slide a little as we get older, and the more we let slide, the more the momentum builds, and the faster we and our situations decay, so fix everything before it becomes broken, and I’m talking about every aspect of your life – marriage, job, hobbies, physical and mental condition, EVERYTHING! There’s no need to be an OVER-achiever, but be a “doer” and take care of yourself and your situation.

Start by going to http://www.makingherhappy.com and downloading your copy of my book “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage” and get your love life (and sex life) in order, and then keep right on going, with the job, friends, physique, etc., using the confidence gained by a happy home life to build your momentum. Do it now, because life’s too short to do anything less than LIVE it.

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

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Attitude Adjustment, a Double-Edged Sword That Can Make or Break YOUR Relationship or Marriage

We’ve talked about how an attitude adjustment can build attraction, but we need to talk about how the wrong attitude adjustment can just as effectively kill attraction, to the point of trashing a relationship or marriage completely!

First, I’d like to tell everyone how proud I am of those of you who have been writing to me and for all but one or two notable exceptions, posting on our forum (there have been a couple of people who were looking for validation of their crappy attitude and refused to step up and face reality when their own self-deception was pointed out to them). Those two notwithstanding, I have an outstanding group of readers, people who make the choice to improve and follow through on it, something that I don’t see much in the rest of my day-to-day activities. Constant contact with people who get things done is both therapeutic and motivating, and if you don’t have any other “winners” in your social or work circle, I strongly urge you to find some.

It’s very easy for the members of any group of people to sink to the level of the lowest member in the group, and surrounding yourself with high-quality people is excellent insurance against this, not to mention much more enjoyable than listening to some mealy-mouthed worm complaining about his mishaps and shortcomings every time you see him. Good people should keep the company of good people, not those who want to be supported by good people rather than expend the effort themselves to be good people.

Getting into today’s lesson, I was reminded by a letter from one of you that attitudes can be adjusted in both directions, for the better and for the worse, and it can go entirely unnoticed until it’s too late. Meet my buddy Joe, one of the older among you:

Hi David,

Thought I'd take advantage of the invitation to share a current example and the observed effects.
I'll try to make this the “readers digest” version, but some back-story is probably beneficial.

About 8 months ago some friends and I pooled funds and bought a business that would otherwise have disappeared. Three of us contributed money and one was to be sweat equity.

At the time I was exerting leadership and authority it triggered attraction in a woman (we'll call her Judy) I'd known for about a year and who was involved in the purchase as well. We were spending an increasing amount of time together, sharing more of our lives and becoming intimate. After being alone for about 4 years (long separation and divorce) it was a very welcome addition to my life.

After things settled in I neglected to “keep it going” in terms of leadership, (mistakenly) feeling that since she and I were doing well and had a definite affinity that things would continue. WRONG. There are other factors involved, but basically I failed to continue in the leadership role and the attraction waned considerably. The end result was that the relationship that had been hot and very mutual was put “on hold” until we “each got things in our lives straightened out.”

This last week we had to remove the “sweat equity partner” from managing the restaurant. Since I'm the geographically close partner AND the person that put the deal together AND have worked the business as well, it has fallen to me to organize and manage the restaurant. This created a lot of strain and even induced a bit of “panic” initially. A lot communication went on with the partners over status, decision-making, etc. Again I failed to take a strong enough leadership position.

Since that point I've gotten a handle on things, however, the effect on my relationship with Judy took a worse turn in that she's not confident with my assertiveness and there's now some struggle and even bossiness on her part in how things will proceed. Yep, classic wussiness and deference have caused her to feel she has to 'be the man'.

Now there are other issues in play here, and an evaluation of Judy as an appropriate partner is clearly required as she has her own set of issues. HOWEVER, observing the progression of events here it's clear that FAILING TO TAKE THE LEADERSHIP ROLE HAS TANKED WHAT WAS ONCE A CLEAR AFFINITY AND PRETTY FUN AND INTERESTING RELATIONSHIP.

I'm re-evaluating my process of relating information to my partners with an eye towards framing the issue, identifying options and suggesting the most effective choice, INSTEAD of coming across with a “what am I going to do now?” type of attitude.

It's a learning process and some take longer to “get” the lessons. The thing is that the lessons continue to come until we DO get it.

Thanks David for your help and newsletters. They're helping me to change into a better man and better partner...for someone, sometime.

Regards,
Joe

As you can see from Joe’s account, letting your attitude deteriorate in the face of stress, deadlines, boredom, and a lot of other things, is easy, and it can cost you, dearly. So keep an eye on your attitude, mood, deviation from good habits (like being on time, or being well-groomed) that show self-respect, etc., and don’t let things go down the tubes when they could easily be maintained or improved. It’s far easier to maintain the good things in life than it is to regain them once lost.

There was one guy on our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com/, who went through this and never could get it right. For the last two of seven years of marriage, his wife tried harder and harder to tell him that his attitude was pushing her away, and it got so bad that she has not only dropped the divorce bomb on him, she’s so much in the habit of punishing him verbally for what he did in the past that she was unable and unwilling to even attempt to see him as he is now. We tried to coach him through it, and his attitude was bouncing around like a ball, rather dramatically in fact.

He’d see the problems and admit what needed to be done, and then start making excuses and fabricating things out of thin air that were in direct contradiction to what he’d already said, trying to evade the fact that he was married to a predator just to keep from having to make a change that could have facilitated a happy life. It’s a fascinating read and could save your marriage or a friend’s somewhere down the road because it exposes so many pitfalls and what happens when you handle them the wrong way, so join us and give it a read. Search for “Lerxst” and you’ll easily spot the relevant threads.

Getting back to maintaining things being easier than regaining them once lost, think of a bundle of asphalt roofing shingles. Once you get them up on your shoulder, holding them there or going up the ladder with them isn’t hard at all, but getting them from the ground to your shoulder (especially if you do two at a time like I do) is rough, and you can get hurt pretty badly doing it if you don’t do it just right. Relationships are the same way. Easy to maintain or elevate from a comfortable position, but having the potential to break your back if you have to bring one from the ground up.

So now you have to ask yourself a question: “Do I know what my attitude, demeanor, personality, habits, etc., are projecting about me???” And do you know how the people, and specifically the women in your life, are interpreting what they see? Another question: “If somebody, especially a woman, tried to tell me what they see, would I listen, and understand?”

You will after you’ve read my book, "THE Man's Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," and you’ll also know what they like seeing and how to adjust your attitude and outlook so that they see what they’re looking for and you enjoy your life more, not because they see it, but because YOU do. It’s fun, easy, and every man who has tried it to date has succeeded in making his life better, regardless of what woman’s company he was keeping, so whatever is holding you back, skip it, and get over to http://www.makingherhappy.com/ and download your copy right now. Never put off until tomorrow the success you can have today!

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

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Attitude Adjustment, First Step in Dewussification, Happiness, and a Great Relationship or Marriage

The first step in being attractive is a good attitude, and a good attitude is entirely a matter of choice.

Those of you who have been receiving my newsletter for a while have seen many letters from women complaining about their husband’s wimpy, wussy, defeatist attitudes and how much of a turn-off they are. We’re going to dig a little deeper into fixing that today.

Guys, in case you haven’t noticed, when you bitch, whine, and moan about how things are just crappy, you can’t get ahead no matter what you do, everything and everybody is against you, or “the system” is stacked against you and responsible for your present situation, or you’re some kind of victim, there are two things that you can be absolutely sure of:

1. Nobody wants to hear it
2. Nobody believes it for a second

The rest of us know that your life is what you choose to make of it, within the limit of your ability. How you deal with that is what determines your level of success, your self-confidence and self-esteem, and how people react to you – specifically, whether they want to spend time with you because they find you interesting and enjoyable to be around.

The good news is that how you deal with life is entirely your choice. Let’s take an extreme example to make the point clear, and then apply the principle to more common situations in everyday life. Let’s say you’re walking down the street, looking wussy, staring at your feet as you shuffle down the sidewalk, shoulders slumped, pouting, and looking like you’re having a crappy day and want the world to know about it…

Out of nowhere, a stranger steps up in front of you, draws a fist back behind him, and punches you squarely in the face, BAM! He hits you so hard you land squarely on your ass about five feet back from where you were standing. What do you do? It’s your choice, right?

Do you sit and cry because the mean old stranger just walked up and punched you in the face, wanting everyone to feel sorry for you so somebody else will hit him back for you or call the police?

Do you stand up, mad as a wet hen, and punch him back, because you’re suddenly feeling violent and wanting revenge?

Do you stand up and realize that the man just woke you up to the fact that you were being a wuss and knocked you on your ass to prove to you that you could get back up on your feet and carry on, and thank him for the reminder?

Do you stand up and realize that the man just did something that you’re not capable of doing, and ask him to instruct you in how to do it?

Do you stand up and realize that the man who just hit you may have thought you were someone else, and simply ask why he hit you to get to the bottom of it?

Do you stand up and tell him that you’re running a two-for-one sale today, and that for the paltry sum of $500, you’ll let him do it again?

Do you stand up and ask him if he has any last words or wants to say goodbye to his wife and kids before you dispatch him?

Any one of those choices, and many more, are yours to make! I know at least one individual who would have responded as described in each of those examples; that’s how I came up with the examples! How you respond to the situation is entirely your choice, and nobody else’s, and you should make it the most positive and productive choice possible.

No, this isn’t a head game. It’s truly how you choose to perceive and receive the situation, and what’s more, choose how you respond to it. You’re not choosing among various lies to tell yourself, but from among various results of what’s happening in front of you. How many of these choices do you get to make during the day? You may well be shocked if you watch for them and count them.

Let’s say one of your coworkers comes into your office and tells you about something new he’s learned to do and that the boss has complimented him or her on it. You can choose to label the coworker as a brownnoser and talk trash about them around the office to try to get them fired, or you can recognize that if your company makes more money, your job is more secure and your retirement contribution will be bigger, and you can recognize that this new skill may help your own career, and therefore ask the coworker to show you this new skill.

Your choice is therefore between seeing your coworker’s discovery as an insult or as an opportunity for you to make yourself more valuable to your company and give them a reason to pay you more. That choice should be a no-brainer. Truth be told, you could be a slimy worm who gets the coworker to show you his new skill and then makes up a lie to get him fired, but if you’re that much of a scumbag, there’s nothing I can do for you, and I’d appreciate it if you’d unsubscribe right now. I’m helping men, not predators and parasites.

Another example: Your boss comes in and says that the job you’ve had and utterly hated for the last two years is being terminated, and you’re being moved to another department to a job that you’ve tried to get transferred to several times in the past. It pays a little less than you make now and what you thought you’d made if you transferred, but it does have advancement opportunities.

Do you whine and complain about having to make an unexpected change and gripe about being unappreciated because you’re taking a slight pay cut, or do you choose to see that you’re finally free of the job you hate and being moved somewhere that you can better both your job and your pay and go at your new job with gusto and start realizing the changes you sought in the past? Another no-brainer, or so you’d think…

I saw two people at a company for which I was consulting quit in this very scenario. Their pay was being reduced by a whole $10 per week (1% of their weekly pay) until the end of the quarter (about eight weeks from then) when a new budget would take effect, and I know for a fact that both of them were blowing far more than that every week buying coffee and single packs of cigarettes at a convenience store on the way to work every morning instead of making coffee at home for the drive to work and buying their cigarettes in a carton each week. They had that same negative, short-sighted attitude, and chose to be insulted rather than see opportunity. And they constantly complained about the lack of attention their wives showed them, too. Gee, I wonder why? ;-)

I saw a great example of attitude a yesterday on Facebook, too:

Katherine
I don't know just how many more lemons I can stand in life! LOL My timing is soooo bad.

Comments:
Teresa: Yeah I don't know about you, but I'm pretty sick of lemonade!
David: I like lemonade. With a bit of lime juice, some salt, ice and tequila, it turns into great margaritas!

So there you go. If life hands you lemons, you make lemonade, and if you get tired of lemonade, kick it up another notch by adding ingredients for margaritas and invite some friends over. Then get back to business. ;-)

I started to list several more examples of how you can choose to see adversity or opportunity, but rather than do that, I’m going to invite you to try to spot them around you, and write to me by replying to any edition of my newsletter or by posting comments to this post on my forum at http://forum.makingherhappy.com and we’ll revisit this topic in a few days and compare notes.

Meanwhile, let me be very clear about this: There’s little you can do to make your wife, girlfriend, friends, siblings, coworkers, or anybody else want to avoid you any more than by consistently choosing to frame everything that happens in a negative context, and little you can do that will help your relationship with your partner and everybody else by keeping a positive attitude and looking for opportunity. It’s heroic, therefore romantic, and an attribute that is found in all effective leaders, and hence, trips those biological attraction triggers that bring women, especially the one you love, closer and closer to you.

It is indeed one of the first steps I look for opportunity to take in every intervention for a couple in crisis, because it is so important and because it is something that can be changed almost instantly, which is in turn because it is so purely a matter of personal choice. Positive attitude gets positive results, and negative attitude gets negative results. ‘Nuff said.

It doesn’t matter how bad you think your relationship – or your life – is, you will find what you look for with equal ease, whether it’s insult or opportunity. (You may recall a famous quote by Henry Ford: “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re absolutely right!”) Look for the opportunity, and when you find it, use it to achieve something, even if it’s only something small. Small chains of successes add up to self-confidence and big successes. Yes, that’s a choice, too.

Speaking of opportunity, how many times must I offer you the opportunity to know what every man needs to know about women before you stop bitching about me trying to sell you something in a free newsletter or a blog post and realize that what I’m offering you is something you’ve looked for all your life and thought you’d never find, and that it’s not even going to cost you as much as a good meal for two? That’s right Big Guy, opportunity is knocking here and now, and once again, you can choose whether to be insulted or to grab that opportunity and make the most of it. If you want to be a whiner, that’s your right and choice to make, but…

If you want to be one of us guys who people love to be around and who knows what every woman wishes all men – especially their partner – knew, then jump over to http://www.makingherhappy.com and grab your copy of “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage” and make the change. That’s your right, and your choice to make, too!

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

Friday, January 20, 2012

Don't Be Caught Frozen in the Headlights When Something Threatens Your Relationship or Marriage

My beloved workshop was once hit by a flash flood, and while I was outside building dams and watersheds behind it to divert the flash flood current in the middle of a deluge of rain, something struck me that every man should know, especially when things aren’t working right in his relationship or marriage.

I live at the mouth of a somewhat shallow sort of box canyon, elevated above the normal flood plain, but in the perfect spot for the run-off from two ridges and a hillside tor run past my house and into a large creek that continues down the hill. The rain started coming down very hard that day, on the heels of a solid week of rain that had already saturated the ground to the point that we already had standing water, and I looked out a window and saw the largest stream of water I’ve seen since I’ve lived here running from behind my workshop and across about an acre of my lawn. Curiosity and concern aroused, I donned rain gear and went out to inspect, and it was a very good thing that I did so, and not a minute too soon.

The rain was increasing, and the run-off had started a flash flood coming down the hills and converging just behind my workshop, and it was slamming into the back of it so hard that the water was shooting under the walls and washing across the concrete floor of the shop. Luckily, all of my equipment is on wheels or mobile bases, so none of the cast iron parts of my table saw, jointer, planer, drill press, lathe, etc., got wet, but there was some exotic wood and a few cardboard boxes with new tools and materials in them getting wet and the feet of my solid beech workbench were sitting in an inch of water.

I quickly got those things out of harm’s way and went out back to address the on-coming flood, which now literally resembled rapids in a large creek. There was a pile of broken concrete where I had repoured part of the driveway and several large ricks of firewood, so I grabbed a shovel and mattock to dig trenches through some high spots that were allowing water to pool near my workshop and then started throwing up dams of concrete chunks, firewood, and spare roofing shingles to divert the water around the workshop to keep it from driving into and under the walls.

While all of this was going on, I was reminded of an old naval comedy called “Down Periscope” (you can see the description and reviews at IMDB’s website at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0116130), in which there was a scene where the submarine they’re on is leaking and flooding and everybody is scrambling, and at the end, one of the crew, who had almost drowned trying to stop a gushing leak any fire hydrant would be proud to produce, brushes the water out of his hair and says, “Now that was FUN!” And it hit me…

I grew up on a farm, and when something bad happened, there was neither time nor tolerance for throwing up one’s hands and saying, “Oh no! What are we going to do?” or to simply do nothing and hope that the problem fixed itself. Problems that affected the farm equipment, or especially the crops, could mean the difference between eating and going hungry. So when a problem came up, we were like the guys on that submarine. Everybody pounced on the problem, handling what they were best-suited to do first, getting the most critical elements handled first, and continuing, quickly and rationally, until it was fixed and the crisis was resolved.

That’s how a man must handle ALL problems if he is to respect himself and be respected. It’s the only way that he can head off trouble before it gets too big, and the only way he can handle trouble that is too big and moving too fast to head off while it’s small. It’s the only way that his wife will trust his judgment and leadership, which must happen if she is going to be happy in the marriage, want to play and have fun with the man, feel like engaging in an active sex life, etc.

So if things around the house, at work, or especially in your marriage are anywhere from slowly deteriorating to being in full-scale crisis, don’t be some scared wuss frozen in the headlights of an on-coming disaster while your life and everything you hold dear washes past your feet. Take action. The self-respect you gain from handling things will boost your confidence, and thereby your attractiveness, and as your self-confidence and self-respect grow, your wife will be drawn inescapably closer to you as primal instinct overwhelms her with the feelings that she can trust you and that she has married well.

It sounds like a tall order, but it’s really not. If you look back at your life, the hardest part of every crisis or major project you’ve ever faced has most l likely been the decision to act, not the action itself. Once the decision is made, everything else is just follow-through. And if you take off in the wrong direction, you can make course corrections, whereas standing still and doing nothing will do nothing more than guarantee that whatever problem you’re facing will get worse until either you do something about it or it runs over you.

If it’s your relationship or marriage that is slowing down, hiccupping, or coming apart at the seams, that is the LAST problem you could expect to fix itself; relationship and marriage problems always get worse without attention. They fester like a boil, and finally erupt in a smelly, painful mess of pus and blood. And it doesn’t have to go down that way, even if the marriage was one of those that never should have happened in the first place. The worst marriages in the world can be dissolved peacefully and with dignity if you know that it must be ended and know what to do to end it properly.

There’s tested and proven help for you in my book, "THE Man's Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," and it’s about a mouse-click away at http://www.makingherhappy.com/. It started with the stated needs and desires of 188 women, and was then tested and refined through the use and feedback of 118 couples, and has been continuously refined with the experience of thousands since; indeed, I’m about to release another, much larger update now, and it has always been and will continue to be my policy to provide free updates (and to replace lost copies) to anyone who has purchased in the past (as long as one of us can find some record of their purchase, even if it’s just an old credit card statement with my company name and the right price on it). It’s working for everyone who uses it, and I have the testimonials to prove it. Think not? This one came the day I first posted this lesson:

David,

Nearly four years ago I purchased your book when it was still titled “How To Be Attractive To The Woman You Love.” I consider it among my personal list of top five most influential and helpful books (a list that includes the Bible). Your book is a short read loaded with invaluable tools for MEN. You not only help understand the advanced intuitive female mind and its machinations but also help each one of us “man up.” It’s when I’ve drifted from your lessons that old habits or new complications have entered my life.

I was in a long-term relationship that recently ended. Part of it I attribute to finding myself unemployed and dealing with the ongoing distractions that presents. The other, deeper problem was the inability to completely connect with the person I loved even after years of being together. I believe the end came about because of a lack of intimacy. Outwardly, she seemed easily offended or embarrassed by matters relating to sex, yet I realized too late that she longed for ongoing sexual intimacy. As men, I think we tend to focus on sex from the physical aspects and easily lose sight of the emotional reinforcement it brings for women we love.

I’m now trying – too late for my last love – to refresh that awareness into my personal spirit of manhood. That has brought me back to a new diligence in following your manly wisdom. Your ongoing newsletter is the best at providing daily jewels of information on how to be a man, a loving man in a relationship. You have done your part. I must do mine with constant vigilance. I honor you for your dedication and the insights you share. You are a great guide to the mysterious path of womanhood. Thanks for lighting the way.

L

You see? Even when unusual stress takes a man out of character, he comes back and regains his manhood, his life, and a great relationship or marriage, whether he has it or finds one. And this guy is a well-read corporate type who is into self-help texts, and he’s listing this on among his “top five most influential and helpful books.” I wonder what he would have said if he had been able to join our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com/, and been able to share his questions and experiences with others as today’s members do.

Today is a perfect example; two men are having intimacy problems with their wives, I’m answering their questions and the women are jumping in to reinforce what I tell them and then elaborate on things I didn’t mention. We’ve spent our lives wishing women would tell us when they had a problem with something we did instead of telling everyone they know BUT us, and here they are, laying it out in detail to help us get it.

So it’s time for you to get moving to http://www.makingherhappy.com/ and start making things better right now. Or you could just keep right on standing there, the deer caught in the headlights, while everything you hold dear (and own!) goes right down the tubes in a flood of emotion, frustration, and confusion, except of course for the part that goes to line the lawyers’ pockets or to keep the wife’s boredom from killing you both. It’s your choice, so make it a good one.

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

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Be an Alpha Male, Not an Alpha Dog, For a Great Relationship or Marriage

I’ve received a lot of questions regarding the nature of the alpha male because there is apparently a lot of confusion about what behavior one should expect from a human alpha male. It’s not what you might think, and here’s why…

This lesson is part of my free “Break-up Busting 101” course (which you can download at the link at the end of this newsletter), but I’m rebroadcasting it now because I’m getting an inordinate number of questions about alpha male behavior and site analytics says that many of you have still not downloaded my free reports.

Aside from the fact that this lesson answers those questions quite well, I’m hoping it will induce some of you to go ahead and download “Break-Up Busting 101” (http://forum.makingherhappy.com/showthread.php/144-Free-Reports!). Not everything that is free is worthless, but I can see how you might expect it to be after reading many other authors’ “free reports” that comprise nothing more than a sales letter. But you’ll see when you read this one that I could have easily sold this report instead of publishing these lessons in this newsletter, as it contains more value than many authors’ “for fee” or “premium” reports, so take advantage of this opportunity while it is still available, and go ahead and prowl around our forum while you’re there and grab the other freebies while you’re at it.

This lesson is part of our discussion of attraction to help you understand what exactly your partner is looking for so you can get her attention in the right way, make her desire your company (even if she’s ticked off), and set the stage for the problems to be resolved. A woman who is feeling attraction is obviously more prone to engage in any kind of discussion with you if it makes her feel good than if it makes her bored or angry. Alpha male behavior invokes attraction through biological triggers and is therefore automatic and extremely predictable and dependable, and you need to know everything you can learn about it, especially how to be a guy who naturally, automatically and effortlessly exhibits such behavior.

Over the years, people who really annoy the life out of me have erroneously referred to the feeling of attraction as being “in love” or some other poetically liberating but otherwise nonsensical term instead of what it is: pure, raw excitement and desire for intimacy, fun and adventure, sexual and otherwise, directed at a particular person, “attraction” for short, because the feeling forces you to want to be in their company and closer and closer to them as time passes; it’s like the closer you get, the closer it makes you want to get.

As we talked about in the edition on love, attraction, need, and lust (another chapter you can read in the free “Break-Up Busting 101” report), this state is entirely biological, not logical. It is also triggered differently in men and women, and you need to understand the difference in order to create it for her. HUGE question: WHY do you want to create it for her in a time of relationship crisis?

The answer has several parts:

• A huge and common reason for relationships being in crisis is because the man has stopped creating the feeling of attraction for her in the first place, leaving her feeling bored, distant, edgy, and vulnerable.

• Being biological and not logical, feeling attraction makes it very difficult for a woman to emotionally or logically convince herself to keep dramatizing or continuing to punish you instead of engaging in a discussion and activities that can correct the problem. It cuts through the anger and grief to focus her attention on trying to save the relationship by giving her evidence of a good reason to save it.

• Making her feel good about spending time with you will motivate her to spend the time required to discover and fix the problems instead of spending it with her girlfriends milking the emotion from the moment and listening to them bash you, which many are more prone to do than to try to address the situation logically. This is because their brain structure makes their response to crisis and change very emotionally-driven. Since the emotional state is enhanced biologically, getting through it to a state where problems can be solved also requires tripping biological triggers.

There’s more, but you get the idea. The attraction triggers in men are mostly visual; anything that creates the appearance of being a good candidate for giving birth and caring for a child (ample breasts, wide pelvis and round hips, good skin, thick hair, etc.) causes the chemical cascade in our brain that makes us feel attraction. However, for women, it’s quite different…

This goes back to that hunters and gatherers model, pure human evolution. It doesn’t matter whether or not you believe in Darwin’s theory that we all came from something like an amoeba; there has been enough evolution just in the last few thousand years of recorded history to explain what has happened between the sexes. Very long ago and until just recently (less than 100 years), marrying well was the most important of all survival skills for a woman. In early times, when women routinely spent their entire day tending children and fires and trying to forage edible plants and tan hides, men were either hunting, protecting the group, or making tools and building infrastructure.

Evolution was kind to women who chose skilled hunters and protectors, especially the leaders. Women’s brains developed to respond to that image, recognizing a skilled hunter and protector, an intelligent man who was good with his hands, and a strong, commanding personality as the best candidates to take care of them. Hence, while visual attributes like healthy, muscular bodies with broad shoulders get their attention, it’s only at the level of curiosity, not attraction.

To push a woman past curiosity and intrigue requires a demonstration of that very male behavior that shows intellect, leadership, and confidence, incidental signs of which are things like a good sense of humor, ability to have fun, and ingenuity – characteristics of the “alpha” or ultimate male. However, there seems to be some confusion as to the characteristics a human alpha male should exhibit.

I was talking with an old friend recently about alpha male behavior, and she kept insisting that there were parts of alpha male behavior that no woman could stomach. She wasn’t feeling well and was being a little “pissy,” and I hadn’t talked with her in a few weeks so there was some drama thrown in there for good measure, but when I finally pinned her down to list the things that no woman would find attractive about an alpha male, they were:

• Possessive of a few favorite women, and very jealous
• Controlling
• Uses force to get his way

I about hit the roof, because these are not “alpha man” characteristics, they are “alpha DOG” characteristics (or any other non-human animal), and it is VERY important that this distinction be made and fully understood by all, or some hideous mistakes will be made.

First, think about what you know about dogs. Even the most ferocious dog is inherently insecure, especially when it comes to his food supply, his bed (turf) and female dogs. He’ll fight a running sawmill to guard any of them. When dogs come together in a pack, the first thing that happens is the dogs challenge each other for the “top dog” position of alpha dog, and then the alpha dog doesn’t just lead the pack, he controls the actions of the individuals as well. In any dispute, there’s either a fight, or the alpha dog just takes what he wants and walks off. Dogs live like most wild creatures, focusing upon and fearing scarcity because they are not capable of productive work and creating their own means of survival. Now, compare this to humans…

We are at the top of the food chain. For the alpha – or “ultimate” -- male, his self-confidence level is high, so he could care less about possessing or controlling a woman because he knows they are standing in line to take the place of any woman that falls out of favor with him. He doesn’t try to control anyone because he doesn’t have to. He’s a leader and people want to do what he says, at least the kind of people he wants to have around him; he has no use for people who look for excuses to avoid performing. His attitude is “lead, follow, or get the hell out of my way!” He’s not afraid of competition; he looks forward to it in most instances.

He demands loyalty of those with whom he shares his life because he knows the value of his life, but unlike the dogs and other wild creatures, he doesn’t live in fear of scarcity. Being human, he has the power of volitional choice, the distinguishing characteristic above all others that puts humankind at the top of the food chain. Hence, he knows that if something isn’t the way he wants it, he can change it or create it. He knows that jealousy over anything is a sign of weakness and finds it repugnant in others and couldn’t begin to feel it himself; if he wants something, he earns it, or it simply comes to him, like friends, underlings looking for leadership, women looking for an attractive man, etc.

He doesn’t have to use force to get his way because he’s intelligent (meaning that he thinks and solves problems efficiently, not necessarily that he has a formal education), a skilled leader and negotiator, and generally gets his way anyway, although he’s more than capable of using it if he has to. That’s not to say that he won’t protect that which he has earned, because he certainly will, but he’s focused on WHAT’s right, not WHO’s right, so fights for him are purely defensive, unless he’s a cop, soldier, etc.

This attitude is natural in most men; we’re born with it, but over the years, different things teach and train us to shy away from this natural behavior. Examples?

How about your mother telling you that you need to be “nice” to women, and buy them lots of gifts and let them make all the decisions to be “considerate” of them?

What about the “experts” in the 1980’s who, when women said they’d like for men to be more in touch with their feelings, advised all men to cry in front of women? (Anybody that tries to tell you that a man crying, in any context, is sexy, is either a feminist propagandist, has some sort of fetish for boys, or is just plain psycho, because that invokes maternal behavior triggered by the image of a crying little boy, not a strong, virile hero, and hence, instantaneously KILLS attraction and male image.)

Or, as I’m seemingly constantly complaining about, Hollywood’s portrayal of weaker and more feminine men with every passing day?

Or maybe the various forces in the “romance” industry assaulting us with ideas like paying two to three months’ salary for an engagement ring (like a woman can or should be “bought” or that jewelry is some sort of “investment” when it can only be sold for scrap value when times are tough) or the sickeningly submissive and subservient image of a man kneeling before a woman asking (or begging) her to marry him?

Think about that last one for a minute. Your courtship was spent having fun, coming together, and being exciting, and if you followed tradition, you made two HUGE mistakes during the proposal, the beginning of your married life. It’s no wonder that attraction and sex lives seem to end with marriage! I think I once discussed the perfect proposal, in which I would dip a woman at the peak of a highly sensual dance, hold her suspended above the floor, look her straight in the eye, and say in a strong but not belligerent tone, “Marry me,” then pull her up, twirl her away and back up close to me, and hold her there until she said, “Yes!” You think not? Ask a woman…not a girl, mind you, but an emotionally mature woman. Kneeling is “sweet,” not manly, and if you ask women what “sweet” means, more often than not it’s associated with exposing frailty and vulnerability. I know because I asked them…a lot of them.

The women in the panel (those 118 who helped with the research and writing of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" ) responded to my proposal scenario with everything from, “Oh, YES!” to “Thanks, I’m wet now,” to just being plain speechless, which is interesting, because they were the ones who contributed the various parts of the scenario, having the man in the superior (head above the woman’s) position instead of kneeling, saying, “Marry me,” “I want you to marry me,” or “Let’s get married,” instead of asking. Speaking of dancing and sensual, sexual and exciting (“the vertical expression of a horizontal desire”), etc., were also quite common among them.

If you can get a woman talking she’ll tell you exactly what she wants and needs, if you can speak “girly-ese.” Well, not exactly; she’ll give you every part of the answer without putting it all together as the answer, but with all the parts, the answer pretty much falls together itself. Sometimes the parts are contained in what they say, others are obvious in what they do, once you learn how to see them and interact with them instead of just staring at their breasts and butts and wanting to ravish them. Indeed, they’ll tell and show you all of that, too.

The problem is that it can take years to pick up on all of it, and most men spend a lifetime with a woman at their side without ever picking up on much, if anything. (Hence, the woman at their side is a long chain of short engagements with a lot of women.) And if you think it’s hard when times are good, I’m sure you can estimate how much harder it would be when the chips are down and she’s ready to kick you out of the house or leave. When things are that bad, often one more mistake is all it takes to put her over the top.

That’s where "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" comes in. I talked at length with these women and their partners (whether husbands or long-term boyfriends), and we nailed it all down, how to know if you’re in the right relationship, how to communicate to keep the love alive, and how to trigger attraction to keep the excitement and fun alive.

With this book, you can use it as preventive medicine and ultimately not only stop your relationship from going downhill, but kick it up notches previously unknown to mankind. If you’re already in crisis, you can quickly figure out whether to try to save your relationship or move on to someone with whom you can be happy (in a case where you married somebody who is just plain wrong for you and compatibility issues make fixing it impossible), and if it’s worth saving, very quickly get a handle on inter-gender communications so that you can work together to fix the problems and then trigger attraction within her, to give her a reason to discuss salvaging the relationship with you instead of just starting over herself.

It’s all that, really, and it can be yours in the next few minutes if you click over to http://www.makingherhappy.com and simply download your copy. Restoring your relationship and rekindling your honeymoon is pretty much a bargain at any price, but at the cost of dinner – not dinner and a movie, JUST DINNER! – that’s a steal. Or maybe you’d prefer to pay the attorney fees and lose half or more of everything you own for no better reason than lack of trying?

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

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

What Are You Doing to Kill Attraction in YOUR Relationship or Marriage?

Among all the wuss behavior that men have been taught over the centuries, appearing inferior, submissive, and/or subservient to a woman is one of the most powerful attraction killers in existence. You may not realize when you’re doing it, and what’s worse, they may be expecting you to do it, not realizing that once you have, attraction has been damaged. Men and women alike need to understand this, because we must start undoing centuries of damage to how men and women get along.

A reader’s letter today (one that I must keep private for the time being because it involves on-going issues that could be used to violate his privacy) made me ponder just how many things do we do that we think are polite (John!), cool (Raymond!), cute (Allan!), sexy (Dale!), romantic (Brent!), etc., that in fact are wussy and kill attraction. Remember, attraction is a subconscious/subliminal/biological mechanism, about the last remnant we have of “instinct,” and it doesn’t matter what we think or choose to believe about behavior, because it’s not our beliefs that determine the response of other people; indeed, for the most part, it’s biology and chemistry, not volitional choice.

Guys, poll the women you know and see how many think a dozen roses are romantic these days. You’ll find that most of them think they are mass-produced, unremarkable, cliché, and therefore boring, not romantic, and if they are received at any time other than an anniversary, they are a good sign that you’ve done something bad and you’re feeling guilty! Sucks, huh? (Some of you guys in your teens and early twenties may get away with it once in a while, but you’ll find that a single flower, especially one you hand-picked and know that she likes, will get a much better response.)

What about cards? Well, if it’s a really good card with a verse that somehow manages to accurately express something that is happening in your relationship, which is unlikely at best, it’s a start, but then comes that ugly truth that there were probably millions of those cards printed, and women would prefer a unique gift that cost nothing or pennies to an expensive, mass-produced thing that doesn’t show that you put a lot of thought into it.

Compliments? Everybody’s supposed to like compliments, right? The more the better? Think again. Excessive compliments aren’t just meaningless, they’re just plain ass-kissing, and the short spelling of that is “W-U-S-S”. Occasional genuine compliments are always appreciated, but when you spit them around you indiscriminately it’s plain flattery, and very annoying, to everyone, not just the ladies.

Mama said we’re supposed to be nice guys, and cater to our women, and let them make as many decisions as possible, especially about dating things, right? Sure, because every woman wants a “nice guy,” don’t they? Wrong answer. Women want a man who has brains, decent manners, respects them, and doesn’t get loud and violent every time things don’t go their way, but the last thing they want or find attractive is to have all the decision-making dumped in their lap. They’re not wired to enjoy it like we do.

(And sometimes I wonder if mamas know that and tell us to do the wrong thing to delay our getting too close to a woman, because while they are our mothers, they are also women, and they know how they would respond if a man did it to them. Go figure. Ladies, if you’d care to comment, feel free.)

Women are very social in nature, and decision-making for them is often a committee process; unilateral decision-making is something they can do when necessary and appropriate, but it frequently pisses them off and makes you look like a wuss who can’t make decisions if you leave it to them. Give your partner full latitude for input into the decision-making, because as your partner deserves that, but once you have your information in hand, including her input, make the decision and follow through! It presents an image of competence and confidence that trips the whole row of attraction triggers.

Do I even need to mention “baby talk,” and those sickening pet nicknames like “pookums” and “honeybunch” that seem to enthrall the newly betrothed but make the rest of us want to gag? Even when you’re talking to a child, “baby talk” is a bad idea, because the child is looking to you for strength and protection, not squeaking, giggling, and “cooing.” Let their mother do that.

As for “pookums,” etc., several of the women in the test panel admitted to deliberately employing the practice to see if the man could be dragged into doing it (see the movie “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days,” the scene at the poker table), and nearly all admitted to noticing a marked decrease in respect for a man who would succumb. It was also fun to note that the six who wouldn’t admit to it were the most dramatic and flamboyant of the group (real “drama queens”), who were known to have self-esteem issues like narcissism and control issues.

How about something not-so-obvious? Ladies, brace yourself, because this one may go a bit against your grain, until you think about it. The subject: marriage proposals! Specifically the deplorable tradition of a man kneeling before a woman, as if begging, to ask her to marry him. Okay, ladies, catch your breath and think, what happens when a man begs you for anything? Right. Wuss image. It may not keep you from saying “yes” to the proposal, and you may not even notice at the moment because it’s one of the most emotional moments of your life, but what does that do?

It locks that image of this man in front of you on his knee begging into your head as one of your most prominent memories, and sets a terrible precedent. With regard to attraction, having your man standing in front of you, standing a little taller than you and looking down from a position of strength and authority, the subliminal image of a protector, like any really steamy scene in one of the classic movies, like Clark Gable and Scarlet O’Hare in “Gone with the Wind” or Gary Cooper and Patricia Neal in “The Fountainhead” is a far better image to take through life, isn’t it? The emotion of the moment will be the same because of the nature of the moment, and let’s face it, the down-on-one-knee bit is about as cliché as the dozen roses – all downside, no upside. If it’s time to get married, you should be leading a discussion about why, when, and how it should happen, not begging for her consent.

Giving in just to stop a fight when no agreement has been reached? Cooperation has to be good, right? Wrong! That’s not cooperation, it’s capitulation – outright surrender -- a wuss maneuver if ever there was one. If you were leading the discussion (not dominating or bullying it) as you should be doing and keeping everybody focused on WHAT was right instead of WHO was right, you probably wouldn’t be fighting to start with, unless you had let your wife get bored to the point that she sparked a fight to bleed off and reset her emotional chemistry. Seek resolution, not victory, not compromise, and not just the path of least resistance.

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are hundreds of ways that attraction can be created and killed; indeed, thousands of ways, and it doesn’t matter how much attraction you create if you inadvertently blow it every time you turn around. I’m sure you’re familiar with the ancient truth that one “oh sh*t” erases a thousand “atta-boys.” One “We’ll do whatever you want” can erase a hundred nights of true romance if it comes out just right.

I’ve not listed all the ways you can make or break attraction in “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage.” I did something far better. I gave you the fully detailed and accurate explanation of the attraction mechanism and process, both how and why they work, so you’ll always know whether any particular act creates or kills attraction, no matter where you are or who you’re with, because you’ll know the attitude proper to a man to enjoy his life and be attractive to all women. You don’t dare miss this information, because lost attraction will kill a relationship long before the love is ever gone. You think not? Prowl around our forum at http://forum.makingherhappy.com and see for yourself.

How many times have you heard things like “I love you, but I’m not ‘in love’ with you…”??? That “in love” thing isn’t love at all and has nothing whatsoever to do with love; it’s attraction. With it, life is grand, a fun and intimate adventure, and without it, it’s a boring cesspool, because it is truly what makes the world of relationships go ‘round. Attraction brings you together and keeps you together, while love adds the friendship, respect, trust, and loyalty that makes the relationship exclusive, strong during tough times, and intimate in all the non-physical ways necessary to keep you together for the long haul and weather the storms together.

It almost always takes longer to bring it back than it does to kill it, and you need to max out attraction as soon as possible, because for a woman, life without it just really isn’t living at all; rekindling it is the first thing that she needs to see to believe that things are going to be good again. So go to http://www.makingherhappy.com and download your copy of “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage” right now, and get ahead of that curve, because you should never put off until tomorrow the success and happiness you can have today.

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

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sex as a Weapon in Relationships and Marriage, Part 2: The Tail Swings Both Ways

A woman writes to remind us that women aren’t the only ones who use sex as a weapon, and that it’s just as catastrophic when a man makes this mistake.

Before we get into today’s lesson, I would like to remind everyone that, our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com, is now open to all; anonymous guests can now read all forum content until further notice. We have several hundred members, but as seems to be the custom with forums, about 2% of the members are doing the posting while the other 98% lurk, reading and learning from the other 2%. That may not be as bad as it sounds, since the few who are posting have posted some really intense situations and problems that about anyone can learn from.

For those of you who prefer your mobile phone to a PC or notebook, we have Tapatalk forum browser installed. You can get the app at your phone carrier’s app store and find our forum by searching for “Manville” in Tapatalk to find “Manville, USA: The MakingHerHappy.com Forum.” A regular web browser works, but Tapatalk is just a lot “smoother,” if you know what I mean, and it tracks your last read posts and such just like on a PC.

I’d like our forum to be the new center of activity for all of us, although I will continue to distribute my newsletter and echo it through blog posts. The envisioned purpose and operation of the forum is always evolving, so if you have suggestions, please write or post in one of the suggestion box forums there. There will be both free and premium features and areas when we get a large enough user community, but all areas are free right now and for the near future, and there should be something for everyone. I’ve been adding forums and features ever since it came online and welcome suggestions. It’s your community; I’m just the mayor. ;-)

Ladies, you will have free access to all features and areas at all times, including coaching for your own issues, in exchange for your participation in helping the men to understand the female perspective, communications issues, etc. You will find it both educational and entertaining, and it will be worth your while to participate. Those who are already doing it seem to be having a ball, and a lot of them are finding that discussing things is very therapeutic for them. The men, too. So join us as soon as you can.

And now for today’s lesson…

Gentlemen, I hope you realize how privileged you are to have access to the experience and input of the women on my mailing list (and at the forum!). They frequently provide extremely valuable insight anonymously, to you as a stranger, that you can bet you would not hear from a woman you know. Take full advantage of this and use it to make your life and relationship better, because their knowledge and experience has been paid for with pain, embarrassment, frustration, etc., and you can bet that they don’t have an easy time reliving bad times to help you out; sifting through the emotions is ultimately therapeutic for them, but you can tell by reading some of their posts that they are sometimes typing through tears.

I can certainly vouch for that in this case. This reader is a close friend of many years, single after two bad marriages to two bad men who on the outside would appear to be good men, or at least “the average Joe.” Meet my friend Elizabeth:

Dear David,

I read your newsletter today about women holding out in order to get something from their men. I wanted to tell you that the converse is equally true and just as revolting.

When I was married to a fairly wealthy doctor, I distinctly remember one Christmas party event (we had a buffet party for 45 persons each Christmas) where my husband gave me $500 to go to the mall and pick out a couple of new dresses for the party. He said that I had been working so hard preparing for the party (I did all the cooking) that I deserved something nice to wear to it.

I came home with two beautiful dresses and did wear one to the party that evening and received several nice comments on it, to which I told the story about my wonderful husband giving me money to buy the dress because of my hard work for the party, etc., etc. Everyone thought he was so great.

That night, after cleaning up the kitchen and house, I collapsed in bed, exhausted, and he wanted to start messing around. I told him that I was totally bushed and wanted to just get some sleep to which he replied, "didn't I get you two really nice dresses today?"

It has been twenty four years and I still remember how small and insignificant that question made me feel. I called him on it saying that I didn't realize that I had to repay him for my dresses with my body, to which he immediately backed down, but the comment stuck, and it was hurtful and demeaning.

Here I thought that I was making love when, in fact, I was repaying with sex any nice things my husband did for me. The marriage ended about two years after that incident and after many more similar situations, but please tell your readers that we don't want to pay for things that you give us with our bodies any more than you want us to withhold from you until we get what we want!

The tail swings both ways.

Sincerely,
Thanks, but no thanks


Think about that long and hard, Guys. The way to make a woman love you and feel attraction for you is not to make her feel like a common prostitute who should trade her body for whatever it is that you have – or think you have – given her. It’s true that every exchange in a good relationship should be in trade, not in sacrifice, but trades should be “like kind swaps,” as the Internal Revenue Service likes to call it; love for love, nurturing for nurturing, trust for trust, respect for respect, good sex for good sex, etc., not lopsided arrangements that cheapen the traders as well as whatever is being traded.

Take-away: You should be creating attraction, not obligation and guilt. DUH!

Sex is the strangest weapon in existence. It’s devastating, yet no real victory can ever be won by using it; in any contest where it is deployed, everybody loses. Used properly, sex is not a weapon at all, but a celebration of life, living, love, and achievement. Used as a weapon, everybody loses.

Besides, if you’re doing what you should be doing and firing those automatic attraction triggers with leadership, authority, humor, mystery, adventure, etc., you don’t need any kind of “weapon” to have all the sex you want, and have your girlfriend or wife jumping on you to have it. And when every man is born to behave that way, why in the world would you use such a self-destructive tactic in the first place? All it takes is knowing a few things about women and yourself that you don’t know yet. (And if you think it has to be harder than that, just drop by the forum and ask the women there. They’ll tell you straight, it’s not rocket science, it’s exactly what I’m telling you.)

You may recall my favorite quote of Sigmund Freud, “The great question, which I have not been able to answer, is, ‘What does a woman want?’” It is a great question, maybe the greatest of all, and with the help of a few hundred women, I’ve answered it, and that answer can be yours in a few mouse clicks and keystrokes for little more than the asking.

So get ready to know what Freud never figured out and live the life you always thought being married should be about! Go to http://www.makingherhappy.com/ and download your copy of "THE Man's Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" and get started.

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

Monday, January 16, 2012

Sex As a Weapon in Relationships and Marriage, Part 1

So you think you’ve never paid for sex just because you haven’t visited a prostitute? If you’ve ever let a woman become even a little bored with you, you certainly have paid, dearly, and probably didn’t even get sex most of the time. Indeed, sex has been the weapon of choice for many women since the dawn of humankind because they can wield it so effectively, IF we let them…

You might remember Hannah, whose “ladies’ book club” had the contest to see who could entice their husbands to buy the most extravagant gifts for them just because they were bored, which you can review by visiting http://forum.makingherhappy.com/showthread.php/895-Boredom-Just-How-Far-Will-a-Woman-Go-to-Escape-It-Far-Enough-to-Wreck-Your-Relationship-and-Marriage!, and I would strongly suggest that you do, because it was a “must read” issue. Hannah, a real “whistle-blower,” wrote with another account of something that many women have been known to do that men never suspect, and this one is a real “zinger”!

David,

You might remember my group of friends that meet a couple of time a month for time away from the family and husbands, our book club, but there were time that we did invite the men to join us. At one of the dinners we had, one of the men stated that he had never nor would he ever pay for sex. Of course all the women at the table laughed and the men for the most part could not figure out why we thought it was so funny. I think that they just thought we believed he was lying to us. The truth was we know all men pay for sex if they are in a relationship, or in his case married for 12 years to one of us. LOL!

His own wife, Carol, had just snookered him out of a pair of Chanel sunglasses that cost a couple hundred bucks. She liked to shop only in the best places. No Walmart for her, only specialty shops where they cater to you every whim, in spite of the fact that she didn’t work and her husband was working two jobs most of the time to keep up.

She called her husband to tell him she was shopping and wanted those sunglasses and he told her that to spend that kind of money on sunglasses was crazy and this was one time he was going to say NO. Well you know how that went over and that night Carol did what most of the girls I ran with did when we really wanted something and were denied.

That evening after her shower she dressed herself up in her best and sexiest nightie and made sure he saw her every time she walked past him. That night she told him to go on up to bed that she was not really that tired and thought she would watch some TV and would be up later on. Later that night she crawled into bed next to him and made sure he knew she was there, but wouldn’t let him get close, teasing and tormenting him to death.

A couple of hours passed of her brushing against his leg in bed and she stated how hot the room was and takes off her clothes and climbs back into bed under the sheet once again making sure to wake him just enough to know what was going on. This time he made sure she knew he was there and as he started making advance toward her for some early morning naughtiness she did what some of us women do best. She reminded him of the sunglasses she had wanted and how much more she would be in the mood if only she could have those sunglasses so she could look good for him all the time.

As they lie together in what she described as “the afterglow of getting her way,” she told him, “Now wouldn’t it have been much easier to let me have the glasses yesterday and you could have had me all you wanted last night.” As I listened to her tell her story and then show all of us her new shades, I could not help to remind all of my friends that this was the same man that only a few nights before had bragged to all of us he never paid for sex and never would.

I would like to state for the record I am no longer a part of that group and have since learned what it is like to take pride in earning what I get, and am so grateful I have a wonderful man now that took years out of his own life to teach me a very valuable lesson on such craziness. We have sex when we want it, which is often more than once each day, because we have both earned the right to have each other at anytime.

I wanted to share this with you because I thought you might get a kick out of it.

Take good care,
Hannah

When I read that, I was thinking, “not just ‘damn’ but ‘DAY-UM!” (That’s “damn!” with the diphthong of a strong southern U.S. accent, about two steps beyond “hot damn!” for those of you unfamiliar with the dialect!) There might be a lot of ticked-off men around when this hits the press!

But wait a minute. I don’t like to talk about “fault” because it’s usually pointless, but an issue of RESPONSIBILITY we can address is what really brought these two to where they are? He’s doing all the work, she’s spending all the money, and since she has no real interest in or appreciation of their sex life, feels free and apparently justified in using sex to get her way and put undo strain on the family finances. That can only be because he’s a pushover – WUSS! – and she’s bored with him and using retail therapy to get her kicks.

Yes, we can divine that from the situation, because even if she had childhood issues with material deprivation, if she were feeling the attraction that a woman should be feeling in a healthy relationship, she’d be finding other ways to arrange fulfillment of her material desires and following his leadership in being responsible if he was presenting any. So guys, brace yourselves for a terrible truth:

If you have let your wife or girlfriend get bored, you are paying for sex. If you’re having any, that is; it’s statistically most likely that you are paying but not receiving it because boredom kills her attraction for you and therefore any desire to have sex with you. As in the case of so many toxic wives, you may be paying for the HOPE of sex that never happens. There’s no other conclusion that can logically be drawn. Does the word “prostitute” ring any bells?

Yes, that sucks. Out loud. Through a straw. But it doesn’t have to be that way. If you were trying to get a woman’s phone number or a date with her and blew the attraction, you’d be done, but if you’ve been together for a while or have married, there’s a level of emotional investment there, for both of you. And that buys you some time to reignite the attraction and some motivation on her part to let you, and even help you! (Unless, of course, another man has unleashed the awesome power of attraction in her, rendering you pretty much yesterday’s news and a non-contender – it’s a double-edged sword.)

But you’re not going to reignite her attraction for you by letting her lead you around by the nose and trade you sex for expensive sunglasses – or anything else, of course. You’re going to have to take a good look at your life, figure out where the attraction was lost, figure out how to get it back (big hint: it left you in the very same instant that your self-esteem did), and learn enough about women in general and your woman in particular that you don’t ever screw it up again. Can you do that right now?

Not likely. If you could you would have already. Most of us simply aren’t born with what we need to get the job done. But there are a few of us who have the kind of personality that makes women like to talk with us and teach us things about themselves, and unlike most of the others, I chose to write a book and set up a forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com, for you to learn about what literally hundreds and now thousands of women have taught me so you wouldn’t have to try to figure it all out on your own.

They taught me about how to really evaluate a relationship, how to talk with and listen to a woman (which is a lot more science and a lot less art than we have been led to believe), and how women think and act, according to both what is important to them and their involuntary reactions to biological “triggers,” such as leadership, authority, mystery, humor, adventure, etc. They also showed me how their emotional scales are entirely different from ours, and how they can get in such bad emotional shape that they can internally justify any thought or action, no matter how strange or destructive, to get themselves back into their comfort zone.

That’s a lot, and it’s a big book, too. But get this: It’s working for everyone who is using it. That’s because it’s not just a grand spew of theory and opinion. It’s a collection of facts that have been put together and tested, refined, retested, and ultimately proven. And among the many testimonials for its effectiveness that readers have sent me are some that I can’t even reprint because they’re too steamy for some adults to want to read and for any to want their children to see. That’s success, because that kind of intimacy doesn't happen in mature relationships that aren't working!

So whether you just realized that you’ve been paying for sex, you’re tired of fighting all the time, you’re sick of fearing – or seeing – affairs, or things have just cooled off a bit and you’re ready to kick them back up and save yourself the pain and aggravation of problems, this book is for you. So go to http://www.makingherhappy.com and download your copy of "THE Man's Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" and get started. The longer you put it off, the worse it’s going to be, so the sooner you start, the easier and better it will be.

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

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Work Smarter, Not Harder, for a Great Relationship or Marriage

If your natural personality is such that you can’t attract and/or keep someone in a mutually fulfilling and enjoyable relationship with you, you need to spend your time and effort on self-improvement, not honing your hunting or acting skills and trying to learn a new way to fake it.

Well Gentlemen (and Ladies!), I’m on fire again. It never ceases to amaze me how people will believe that the hardest and least effective of all options available is their only option when they have a problem, based upon no evidence whatsoever. I keep running into people who want to argue that relationships take a lifetime of hard work if they are going to amount to anything, and it’s therefore easier to have affairs or just put up with problems.

Never has so much time and energy been expended shoveling such a load of crap!

Indeed, if a little work is done on the front end, a good relationship can be almost maintenance-free if a couple gets in tune and is well-matched.

Well-matched -- what is that? Quite simply, if your values and tastes, interests and ambitions are compatible or if you’re lucky, complimentary, and you speak anything close to the same language, you’re well-matched. Being together is then natural, because your personalities and motivations are also compatible and possibly even complimentary.

You cooperate instead of competing, and it feels good to be together, so much so that you look forward to it. Being well-matched isn’t a product of reinventing yourself to suit someone else; it’s the product of being yourself during the dating period so that you attract someone with whom you are compatible and therefore don’t have to walk on eggshells and jump through hoops to get along with them. Been there? Done that? I’m guessing it didn’t work out so well for many of you or you wouldn’t be reading this.

So you say, “What if I’m myself and nobody wants to be with me after the third date?” or “I’ve been married three times and none of them lasted longer than a year!” That’s where the work comes in! Not in faking your way into having someone keep your company, but by going through a self-evaluation and self-improvement period, and the thing that may need improved the most is your criteria and method for choosing a mate, not anything that makes you the person you are.

You may need to hone your evaluation skills. I’ve coached clients who are really great people, but they tend to make very bad choices in a mate, being attracted to some trait that has a high probability of bringing with it something destructive, such as being attracted to the excitement of risk-taking behavior, which can be a mark of an achiever or someone bent on self-destruction, and they don’t make the effort to find out which, or have no clue how to do so. Or being attracted to someone who is very involved in charities, which often brings with it a tendency to be unavailable too much of the time and a heavy guilt element that dampens them and the relationship, not to mention diverting emotional energy to their charities that would be better spent invested in your marriage. You may be hung up on a particular type of woman, like the codependent that is constantly getting into trouble so that somebody can save her.

You may need to determine who you really are so that you can identify someone who is compatible with you in terms of your values, tastes, etc. Some people reach middle age and later without ever knowing who they really are, what they want from life, what they want out of a marriage, partner, or job, etc. You can’t pick a compatible partner if you have no idea what you’re trying to match them up to.

You may find that there are things about you that can be improved, maybe even easily. You may need to do whatever is necessary to gear up and truly become somebody that you can be proud of and that other people will enjoy being around. Sometimes people don’t get enough direction, mentoring, and exposure to the right things to choose appropriate and attainable goals, achieve, and develop the necessary self-esteem to attract people or even enjoy being around others.

You may indeed find that what needs the most improvement isn’t your “self,” but your “self-image,” and that you’re “bottom-feeding” because you can’t believe that a good woman would have you, possibly even in spite of all evidence being to the contrary. Shyness and any other mild form of social discomfort is a huge symptom of self-esteem deficit. Drug companies want you to think that you need a pill to meet people, while bartenders recommend alcohol, but the truth is that except in the most unusual of circumstances, all you need to do to feel at ease with others – of either gender -- is to feel good about being yourself. It’s really that simple. And when you make these genuine changes, there is no stress to try to maintain a façade.

Whatever you find as the problem, the solution will require REAL change, not a repackaging, not an illusion, not a smoother act or a better line. Not a magic bullet or a magic pill, but a real, workable, and easily-sustainable solution. The good news is that you will enjoy the change process and the result, because it will make you feel better about yourself, which must happen before others will feel good about being with you.

I know this sounds simplistic, but folks, I can show you more real-world examples of this working than you can imagine, and I challenge anyone to present a genuinely happy couple who is faking anything to get along or a genuinely happy person who is faking anything at all. One of your fellow readers just went through this exercise, and went from being near divorce proceedings after his wife moved out of the house and negotiating visitation rights to having her moving back in the house and making plans for family relocation and career change in a little over a week! (And there have been several of these guys getting these dramatic results. It’s not an isolated incident or one those cases of “results not typical, yours may vary” you see disclaimed in fine print.)

They were well-matched, and still loved each other, but had both picked up bad habits since their son had been born and couldn’t stand being around each other because it was too stressful to try to be somebody they weren’t. He was being overly accommodating and she was trying to tolerate it because she didn’t want to hurt his feelings by rejecting his favors, and the stress was getting to both of them. What’s sad is that he had every reason to see her as unappreciative of his accommodation, and she had every reason to be bored with his seemingly wussy attitude, because neither knew the real story.

He made a decision to be strong and decisive again, and return to the life-loving alpha male behavior that was natural to him in years past, and BOOM! She was instantly back into attraction, stress was eased for both of them, and life was suddenly very good, because they were doing what came naturally and it worked. No faking, no worrying, no wondering how long they could endure keeping up the façade.

A little work on the front end to become or realize that you are someone you enjoy being and whom others enjoy being around will save you a lifetime of having to live under the stress of living a lie and feeling inadequate. The same goes for finding someone that you really enjoy being with, and especially TALKING with – you have to have something to do to pass the time between sexual encounters!

Having a strong self-image and finding a good fit in a relationship makes you feel confident and worthy of the attention of others, and also makes you feel that the burden of proof, with regard to worthiness, is on everyone else. You know you’re worth having, deserve a good relationship, and can afford to wait for a good match instead of doing what everyone else does and settling for what’s available at the moment, scared to death that if they get away there will never be another chance. That sort of independence is one of the greatest feelings a human can feel, and you can’t appreciate just how good it really is until you’ve felt it.

Finding a good relationship isn’t about being liked, or being popular, and your quest to find a good relationship should be spent as a time of self-assessment, not assessment by others (that’s their responsibility, not yours), as well as a time of exploration, during which candidates will be presenting themselves to you for you to evaluate. If you’re not attracting the kind of people that you feel good being around, it doesn’t mean that you’re bad, or inferior, or any kind of depressing crap like that.

It means that you need to either get a more realistic image of yourself or grow a bit to mesh with the kind of people you like, and personal growth is ALWAYS a good thing, something to make you feel like you have achieved something worthwhile. If you need some anonymous friends to try to help you figure that out, drop by our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com, and make a few. We’re all there to help, and we can help you figure out your strengths and weaknesses, how to find balance, how to enjoy your life, etc.

There is no downside to getting yourself and your self-image squared away; just do it, because you can be supremely happy with others only if and when you are happy with yourself. The same goes for loving and respecting yourself, which must come before you can extend those feelings toward others or they can extend them to you. Sounds like it’s all about you, doesn’t it? Well, it is, so get busy.

Or maybe you’d like to be one of those old guys who has worked the same job for 40 years without promotion, sits around watching TV when he’s not working, and can’t figure out why he never seems to enjoy anything and nobody wants to spend any time with him because they’ve all grown while he’s remained stagnant. No? I thought not. ‘Nuff said.

Improvement, like life or a great relationship or even a marriage, is a journey, not a destination. Yes, here we go with another travel adventure metaphor, because it’s entirely accurate. You need to know where you are and where you want to go to plan the trip, and your travel guide for this trip to a great and lasting relationship and total understanding of women, which will hopefully be a very long one, is “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage.”

It shows you how to figure out where you are by evaluating yourself and your relationship, then takes you down the right roads to understanding and communicating with each other and doing all the great and fun things that keep attraction alive, and therefore restart and/or keep the honeymoon going. Go to http://www.makingherhappy.com and download your copy right now, because it will get you where you want and deserve to be.

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

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Breaking Out of a Rut Can Save Your Relationship or Marriage

Readers frequently talk about “getting into a rut,” whether it’s personal, at work, or in their relationship. What do you do?

I’ve alluded to this problem on occasion, but never really addressed it because the solution has always been so obvious to me, but judging by the number of e-mails I’ve received on the subject, apparently it’s not so obvious for everyone else: How to deal with getting into – and especially OUT OF – a rut.

For men, getting into a rut is just a little too easy. Where women’s emotional scales (see

http://forum.makingherhappy.com/showthread.php/875-Understand-Our-Differing-Emotional-Scales-for-the-Best-Relationship-or-Marriage

for explanation) run from zero to infinity, meaning that boredom is as bad as it gets and both positive and negative emotions will often fit the bill equally, our emotional scale runs from negative to positive, with neutral (boredom) being in the middle. We prefer boredom to problems, and our first priority in any crisis is to return things to that boring norm before trying to move on to great things. Indeed, for a significant number of men, success is as undesirable as failure, because it means shaking things up, deviating from the safe zone around boring, and going to what for them is a stressful extreme.

Fortunately, most of us don’t strive to be bored, but for many of us it does have a way of growing comfortable (see the articles on being “comfortably unhappy” in the archive at

http://forum.makingherhappy.com/showthread.php/986-Are-You-Happy-or-Comfortably-Unhappy-In-Your-Relationship-or-Marriage-Your-Life-Could-Depend-on-Knowing-the-Difference

and

http://forum.makingherhappy.com/showthread.php/988-An-Eye-Opening-Confession-About-Bad-Relationships-and-Marriage-from-the-Comfortably-Unhappy

to get up to speed on this crucial concept). We fall into habits, and we hold there, taking a break from all the excitement in case we need extra energy to weather some new crisis that may jump up.

Guys, this is bad. If you want to experiment with peace and quiet and find out what words like “solitude” and “mundane” really feel like, plan on doing that during your retirement; it will most likely happen to you then anyway. While you are young and healthy (and by young, I mean any age under 70), habits that make you just cruise along without incident from day to day make you “dry up on the vine.” If you can look at your life over just the last month or two and see yourself doing the same thing every workday during that time, and spending your weekends the same way, like vegetating on the couch in front of the TV with a beer and snacks, you’re killing yourself, and likely damaging your career and your relationship as well.

How?

Glad you asked. ;-) Settling into that kind of routine and creating that kind of comfortable boredom makes you uninteresting, and often will make you unmotivated as well – being bored makes you boring to those around you. If you and three other people are up for a promotion, skills and experience are equal, and you’re boring and the other three are not, who do you think will be the first one dropped from the running just to narrow the focus on the evaluations? You guessed it. And unless you’re brand new to this newsletter, you already know that “boring” is the absolute worst label that a woman can ever put on you, because you are then at the most negative end of her emotion meter. If this is you, what do you do?

Break out! Do something different; not necessarily dangerous, wild, or crazy, but something fun or interesting that you haven’t done recently, or haven’t ever done. I strongly suggest taking on at least one mental and one physical self-improvement project (like taking up Sudoku, logic problems, speed reading or a foreign language to stimulate your brain and losing 5-10 pounds or taking up some kind of exercise regimen or active sport like hiking or bicycling – WATCHING football is NOT a sport!) to give you a quick self-esteem boost plus a hobby to keep you away from the television – and consequently away from the wuss programming the mainstream media keeps trying to pour down our throats.

It’s a huge bonus if the hobby can be some kind of relationship enhancer, something your partner will see you doing and be stricken with new-found attraction from having seen you exhibiting distinctly male behavior by doing something independent, adventurous, expert, and/or as a leader of others. Flood yourself with new and exciting things to do for a week or two just to see what really grabs your attention and breaks you out of old habits, then stick with the two or three things that really do interest you. That’ll get a personal or even a work slump (with a minor modification) fixed, but what about a rut or slump in your relationship?

Same thing! Mix it up! Shake it up! Do something fun. Go to a new restaurant. Do something neither of you have ever done, or at least never done together. Take up something interesting and invite your partner to join you. Even if they are in the rut with you and resistant to breaking out, there isn’t a woman alive who can see a man having fun without her and not want a piece of the action. If you invite her to do something fun and she declines, do it yourself.

She’ll either join in or you’ll know for a fact that she detests whatever it is you’re doing. Women hate feeling left out of anything that might be even marginally fun, interesting, adventurous, or mysterious! Just keep doing fun and interesting stuff, day after day, big things on some days and smaller things on others (always keep that two-steps-forward-one-step-back tension going), get good at it, gain the confidence that comes from competence in your new pursuits, and she’ll come around pretty quickly. Like I said, there’s not a woman alive that can stand being left out of the fun for very long.

For most people, a great relationship is one of the most rewarding things in life, and devastating when it goes sour. BUT! Getting into a rut doesn’t have to end your relationship, even though it’s the root cause of more break-ups and divorces than anything else; as you’ll see out our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com/, there’s even a significant body of evidence that it’s a big contributing factor in the onset of female mid-life crisis, the nightmare of nightmares in a marital situation.

It takes being fairly well-matched with a good partner, being able to communicate well with each other (which isn’t easy until you learn the differences in how men and women go about it), and keeping it fresh and fun and the sparks flying. That in turn will make the rest of your life improve, because a happy home life is for many of us the foundation for all other happiness; it makes a great career and everything else much easier to achieve because home-front stresses detract from everything else in your life, robbing you of capacity for and motivation to achieve.

You’ll find that if mama’s happy, everybody’s happy, especially YOU! That’s the cornerstone of the “Making Her Happy” philosophy. When your partner is happy, those wonderfully fun and nurturing things that come naturally for virtually all women get stirred up and she goes on auto-pilot doing the things that make you feel just as wonderful as she does. It’s not hard, and doesn’t involve putting on some act or memorizing a bunch of catchy jokes or lines, just learning a few things about her and yourself and putting them to use. Any man that is worth a hoot for anything can do it, and enjoy doing it as well. All you need is the know-how…

It’s in “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage,” tried, proven, and ready to work for you. Jump over to http://www.makingherhappy.com/ and download your copy right now, because opportunities like this don’t come along often, and they can disappear in the blink of an eye…

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