Saturday, January 07, 2012

Who Did You Marry, a Wife or a Mother Figure? Roles and Perceptions in Relationships and Marriage

A reader asks how I can expect him to act naughty around women when they are so “pure and virtuous and never have naughty thoughts.” No, he’s not from another planet; he’s been programmed to think that way, as a great many men have. Let’s fix this…

I sometimes get letters from men who just can’t believe that getting naughty with a woman will be well-received. They have a misconception that women are somehow “too pure and virtuous” to do things like tell dirty jokes, pass gas, or most ridiculous of all, think about or enjoy sex! Meet Juan:

Hello David.

Thank you for your e-mails. I like to read them every day. I am having a hard time with your idea that I should be “naughty” with my wife. She is a good and pure woman, just like my mother. She never swears, takes good care of our children, and goes to mass every week. How could such a woman be naughty?

Juan.

Juan, Buddy, it’s time to wake up. Going to church, raising children, and keeping her language “G-rated” has nothing whatsoever to do with how she wants to act or be treated in the bedroom, nor did it have anything to do with your mother. You’ve made the same two mistakes that almost every man alive makes:

1. You put your mother on a pedestal, not allowing her to be human,

2. You put your wife on the same pedestal when you allowed your skewed perception of your mother to define your perception of all women, especially your wife.

Think with me here for a minute, all of you. There was very little that you could get away with as teenagers, right? I mean, even if you managed to sneak out of the house without getting caught sometimes, or went somewhere other than where you told your parents, or dated somebody for a while that you weren’t supposed to, you got questioned about all those things at some point if not all the time. Why do you think that is?

For the same reason that you do it to your own kids! You’ve “been there and done that,” and it’s high time that you realize that your parents have been there and done that too! For many people it’s difficult to accept that your parents enjoy having sex, because you don’t want to envision them having sex, but you know that you enjoy it, so why would you think that they – BOTH OF THEM – didn’t? Or don’t???

Now, take that concept a step further and a bit sideways. Unless they have been traumatically abused or have a serious hormonal problem or physical damage to their genital area, women like sex as much as men, possibly more so, because they don’t need to “recharge” between orgasms, and many don't even need the orgasm to enjoy sex. Indeed, for most women, while they enjoy orgasms, it is the intimacy of sex they really need, so while the orgasm is the point of sex for the man, it is merely the end, albeit and enjoyable end, of sex for most women.

They also have the same naughty streak that we have, the one that makes us like dirty jokes, talk about sex with friends, fantasize about it, masturbate, etc. If you’re treating your wife as if sex is some kind of chore or duty for her instead of something she enjoys, it’s going to be just that, a chore, or even worse, an embarrassment that she feels because she doesn’t feel that you can accept her sexuality. That’s just wrong on so many levels. How can you expect your wife to be sexy, and sexual, and enjoy it, if you act as if you can’t accept her sexuality?

You think not? Think again. In my own life, the dirtiest jokes I’ve ever heard have been told by women; not just trashy, rough women in some dive of a bar, but classy women that you’d think were Fortune 100 executives after spending a few minutes with them. When working as a business consultant, I often overheard conversations between women that rivaled anything you’d ever see in an adult sex film, not to mention tales of gas-passing that peeled the paint from the walls and other bodily functions, and about any other “coarse” behavior you would typically think to be distinctly male until you’d seen otherwise.

Women don’t just “let it all hang out” around men for reasons that make for too long a discussion to get into here (anticipated criticism, low self-esteem, survival instinct, warnings by their mothers to be “made of sugar and spice and everything nice” or a good man wouldn’t have them, to name a few); most women have to be lead into naughtiness by a man to feel comfortable being naughty around him, the way many men wait to hear a woman swearing before swearing in front of her or waits for her to make the first move in sex, which are obviously bad ideas since women generally prefer to being lead over leading in nearly all cases.

Some of you are now saying, “What about a woman who owns her own business, or is a CEO of some big company?” They lead at work and come home quite ready for somebody else to lead for awhile, and for the same reason. They respond well to the spectacle of male leadership. It triggers primal things within them that they enjoy, just like some things about women trigger primal responses in us that we enjoy.

There are differences between men and women, such as our communications methods and sophistication, that are readily recognized and overcome, but sexuality and naughtiness are not among them. We all enjoy both; the exceptions are very, VERY rare, and usually the result of some form of trauma or abuse, or some kind of sick religious or sexually-bigoted oppression; it’s hard for a woman to enjoy being naughty if she fears physical mutilation of her genitalia or being stoned, you know? Accept your wife or girlfriend’s sexuality, celebrate it with her as you celebrate your own, and you’ll both be a whole lot happier. It’s always easier to be yourself than what you think someone else wants you to be.

Think I’m off-base? Do you have even the slightest doubt that women like naughty men? There are quite a few on our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com, right now who would be happy to confirm it for you. A full third of our members are women, and they love to answer questions, so avail yourself of this incredible resource while it’s there.

There’s a lot that you may not know about your partner, or women in general for that matter, that they want you to know and have probably been trying to tell you, but you’ve been either unable or unwilling to hear them. In either case, the result of such an error are fear, frustration, boredom, growing apart, fighting, wanting affairs, having affairs, getting caught in affairs, nasty divorces resulting from getting caught in affairs, celibacy, etc. Why put yourself through any of that? If you’re going through it now, there is a great way to stop it, and if you haven’t arrived there yet but realize that there is a reasonable chance that it could happen somewhere down the road, you’re far better off learning how to prevent it now than having to fix it later, right?

So what do you want to do? Are you one who prays, hopes and waits? Or one who takes action and makes things happen? If you’re one who takes action, here’s the action to take: learn how to assess yourself, your partner, and you relationship to know what needs to be done (even if exiting the relationship is the only thing you can do), how to communicate across the gender gap, and how to do that incredibly fun and sexy alpha male stuff that makes women, especially your partner, want to eat you alive. All you have to do is learn and then do what comes natural as a result of knowing; no acting, no stressing, no worrying about getting caught trying to pull something.

Life’s too short to spend it feeling and doing all those nasty things listed above that happen when a relationship starts cooling off, so don’t go through that. Go to http://www.makingherhappy.com and download your copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" right now and start getting your relationship back on track – back in honeymoon mode – right now!

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

Friday, January 06, 2012

Why Does She Erupt? How to Stop Drama and Testing from Killing Your Relationship and Marriage

Why do otherwise stable and level-headed women sometimes pitch a fit for no apparent reason? And what’s the best way to handle it?

We talked last time about how to tell when a woman is getting ready to erupt for no apparent reason (see http://forum.makingherhappy.com/showthread.php/990-Signs-That-She’s-About-to-Erupt-and-a-Miracle-Cure-for-Tension-and-Drama-in-Relationships-and-Marriage if you missed it), and there was a cursory explanation of how to handle it, but I really wanted to give you more on understanding the cause and handling the situation. To do so, I’ll provide something from my own experience that details the build-up, explosion, and diffusing of the situation to help you relate this lesson to events in your own past so that you can be better prepared next time it comes up, and IT WILL come up. It’s a topic that I frequently need to address, and the following reader question makes for an excellent lead-in for the discussion. Meet Joel:

Hi David,

I bought your book and I'm progressing through the relationship evaluation and it looks like we're good, but I've got to ask you about something that may already be in your book because it's driving me nuts. Donna, my wife, is usually pretty stable and understanding, and seldom raises her voice. In fact, sometimes we don't talk much at all. Occasionally she'll get really antsy and next thing I know she's exploding on me for no apparent reason, literally! Whatever she picks to explode about is usually trivial at best, and really ridiculous most of the time. I've watched the calendar, if you know what I mean, and it's not "cyclic." The only thing I've noticed is that it always seems to happen when I'm traveling or busy a lot. She'll explode, I'll explode back, and then she'll go away and come back in a few minutes cheerful and acting like nothing has happened. Can you shed any light on this?

Joel


Well, Joel, congratulations on taking the first step to making some serious improvements in your life, and thanks for writing. As for your question, yes, it is covered in detail in my book, but I'm going to give you the short version now to help keep you out of trouble until you read that part, and for the benefit of your fellow readers, because every man who keeps the company of a woman goes through this phenomenon at some point in his life, if not with every woman he spends any time around, and it may not even be with a wife or girlfriend. It could be with a "platonic" female friend, or even a coworker, but it will be with someone with whom you have regular interaction.

What's happening is she's feeling ignored (or possibly testing to see if you'll wuss out when she acts like a brat, but they usually use other tests for that), and missing the feeling of having you define or exercise authority for her, which gives her a little rush of adrenaline and attraction and gets the planets back in alignment. Actually, this is a good sign, because if she had already lost all attraction for you, she wouldn't be doing this at all (drama evolves into abuse if she talks to you at all), so congratulations on taking action before your relationship deteriorated to critical status as well!

Here's the deal. If you don't pay enough attention to her in ways that let her see you being the a real man, especially in projecting authority and leading, whether it’s in critical decision-making or just having fun, she'll find something trivial and pitch a fit over it, just to get you to call her on it and tell her to straighten up. Mentally and emotionally healthy women will respect you when you establish a “no brat zone.”

This doesn't mean that you turn her across your knee and spank her, unless you can do it without hurting her and in such a way that it's entirely plain that you're playing with her and you're both laughing all the way through it. Remember, women love to have gutsy, strong men show their sense of humor in naughty ways, but they hate being painfully man-handled, bullied, controlled and abused, again if they are mentally and emotionally healthy. A show of strength when everybody is smiling and having fun is one thing, a show of control or cruelty is something else entirely, and something you never want the women in your life to see if you want them to stay around.

What it does mean is that you must take one of several approaches to call her on it, and it may entail raising your voice a little if that's all she'll respond to, but it mostly requires a show of strength, not of volume; a show of leadership, not abuse.

My wife did this to me once. I'd been neglecting her a bit as I worked overtime on my next book. Read the following paragraphs carefully and make sure you pick up on the details - no yelling, the only physical force was non-violent and smiling naughtily, etc., the very things she was looking for.

She wanted me to verify the quality of a piece of office furniture she wanted to buy and to pick up a pair of eyeglasses before 5:00PM, and it was 3:30PM. We live ten minutes from the eyeglass store, and had 90 minutes to get there. I said that I wanted to stop and pick up something on the way home and it would work best if we stopped to look at her office furniture first. Boom! That's all it took to open the door - I had set myself up.

I could see the change the instant she realized the opportunity she had. In the space of less than a second, she went from excited about getting a piece of office furniture and new eyeglasses to stormy. Then she said, "No, I don't want to go check on the office furniture, I want to go get my eyeglasses before they close. We've got to go there first." I thought, "Oh hell, here we go!" and said, "We have 90 minutes to make the ten minute trip to get your glasses. We can afford the extra five minutes to stop on the way to check out the office piece."

To this, she went totally ballistic. "You know what? I don't even want you to go. I'm going by myself. I've got to get my glasses and I don't have time to go running around all over the place." Do you see how the level of absurdity is rapidly escalating, as well as the sudden reversal of both her desire to see the furniture and desire to be driven? (She doesn't see well enough to drive safely without glasses.)

Then I said, "You can't see well enough to drive without the glasses we're going to pick up, we have 90 minutes to get there, it's a ten minute trip, and we can certainly afford the five extra minutes to check out the furniture. Explain to me why you have a problem with this."

Her response was, "No, I'm not explaining anything. You always want to change my plans, so I'm going by myself." (Big hint: when you "always" do something that you've never done, or "never" do something that you've frequently done, it's said to make you call her on it and you're in this same situation.) At this point she has crawled across the seat of the car and is sticking her keys in the ignition, literally begging for an authoritative intervention.

I reached in, grabbed the keys, and snickered a bit as I said, "Excuse me, but you're not going anywhere unless somebody else drives because you're blind without your glasses. Now, it was your plan to stop and look at the furniture, and your plan to go to the eyeglass store. I suggested stopping one place to pick up one thing on the way home, and that hardly constitutes a change in your plans. You're pushing a bad position in an illogical argument, and until you tell me what's really going on here, I'm not driving your blind ass anywhere."

She went for her spare keys in her purse cursing and I climbed over top of her and grabbed them, and then playfully held her pinned to the seat with my body while she struggled and I said, "Say Uncle!" with a big grin on my face and that was all she could take. She busted out laughing and by the time she was done, she was about too weak to move.

She finally scooted over, we went to check out the office furniture, get the glasses, stopped and ran my errand, and just to put the icing on the authority cake, I announced a change in plans for supper (I'm the household chef) and stopped at a grocery store and lingered just a little longer than necessary in the produce aisle, cracking jokes the entire time about how good the cool air felt and "nature's thermometers" (guys if you don’t get this, ask a woman – I’d never get a more verbose description past the spam filters), exiting as soon as the smile began to fade the slightest bit, indicating that she was on the verge of boredom and starting to feel the cold, and therefore about to stop having fun. (NEVER let the fun come to a complete stop before changing course. Remember the old show biz cliché: “Always leave them wanting more!”)

So do you see what really happened? She was trying to goad me into taking an authoritative action, and may not have even been aware of it because it's such automatic behavior. If you respond to this the first time, you can get away with doing it with a humorous flavor as I did above and not having it get too ugly. However, if you just ignore her, or act bewildered and walk out of the room without doing anything, forcing her to find another excuse and launch a bigger attack, you may push it to the point where you have to yell a bit, physically restrain her from running out the door by standing between her and the door, etc.

Please note that one small change in the scenario, especially the failure to grin naughtily as I said, "Say Uncle," could have changed the event from one of fun to one of control and abuse; she would have been scared stiff instead of amused. Always mind your bearing when in this situation and make sure that it's fun for everyone or it WILL explode in your face; she has to perceive that you’re having fun WITH her, not at her expense. Nobody likes a bully, and you have to sleep sometime, you know? You've been warned...

Understand fully that unless she has been severely physically abused she will not be pushing you to strike her in any way (unless the two of you have a history of playfully spanking and slapping each other on the butt or something), and if she has ever in the past kept screaming and maybe even struck you until you slapped or shoved her, it's a strong sign that she has been beaten, still has issues, and really needs professional help to face those issues and begin healing. NEVER, EVER, for any reason physically strike her with the intent of hurting her, even if she begs you to do it or tries to force you. Use no more physical force than it takes to restrain her from hurting either of you, and if she's crying and hysterical, call a counselor and try to get her some help, because she needs it, badly.

There you have it. Again, it took more to explain that than I had hoped, but I wanted you to see a real-world example so you would have something more than just a rule to try to apply - a real episode with distinct characteristics that you could compare with what you have seen in your own life. If you want to talk with women about this and see how you might have done better in situations you’ve been in, drop by our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com/, and put the question to them. They’re wonderfully open about things like this and enjoy helping us to understand them better more than you could imagine without participating.

Women are constantly communicating things to us, but as you will learn in "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," much of that communication goes right over our heads, while they are thinking it just goes in one ear and out the other because we don't care to listen, when in fact we're simply unable to hear it because we don’t know what we’re hearing or what to listen for.

The problem isn't that we ignore it; it's that we don't have the natural tendency to pick up all the non-verbal and verbally indirect ways they use to try to tell us things. They really don't know that we are that under-evolved with respect to communications infrastructure and skill any more than we are born knowing that they are that highly-evolved and sophisticated when it comes to communications without someone pointing it out. It's just not obvious when you don't have a frame of reference. (I'm explaining it to them in their own book, so hopefully, when everybody knows how everybody else does things, life will go a bit smoother for everybody.)

If you want to learn what you need to know to deal with this problem and others, and get your relationship and marriage (not to mention your “bedroom life”) working at full pleasure and intimacy capacity, go to http://www.makingherhappy.com/ and download your copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" now, before you do another thing. Recognize that life is too short to spend it unhappy and work daily on making it better until it gets there.

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

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Signs That She’s About to Erupt, and a Miracle Cure for Tension and Drama in Relationships and Marriage

A guy asks if there are any tell-tale signs of a woman needing a drama fix. A few do come to mind… (WINK!!!)

This is one of my favorite topics, and it’s something fun and useful. To start the ball rolling, meet Zane:

Hey David,

I’ve been following you for a while and I see the things you talk about in my home every day, especially the testing and the drama. I got pretty good at handling the testing within a couple of days of reading about it in your book, but the drama thing has me stumped. I know she does it, I even know when she’s doing it and not expressing a genuine problem, but I can’t quite catch the knack of seeing it coming so I can head it off before it gets ridiculous. What am I missing?

Thanks,
Zane

Hey, Zane! Always good to hear from a fellow Southerner. (For all non-Southerners, “Hey” is Southern for “Hello, how are you?” We’re not lazy, just efficient.) You are indeed missing something, but it’s not hard to spot.

In "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," when I describe why women create drama (emotional boredom) and how they nearly always use negative pressure to create it because it’s both faster and easier to get a drama fix by stirring up a fight than by achieving something exciting, you missed the description of the progression of the problem in her and how it works up into an explosion.

Remember that in a woman’s emotional make-up, it’s boredom, not crisis, that is the biggest enemy. (See this article on our differing emotional scales for more details: http://forum.makingherhappy.com/showthread.php/875-Understand-Our-Differing-Emotional-Scales-for-the-Best-Relationship-or-Marriage.) If she doesn’t get relief from the boredom, she gets anxious, and then irritable, and you’ll watch her getting more and more uneasy and unreasonable as the tension within her builds. By the time she gets to the point of nearing an explosion, you’ll notice that her attitude has become very sour…

Let’s say your car broke down on your wedding anniversary and you jogged three miles to your house because she didn’t answer the phone when you called to tell her you were in trouble (okay, she was in the shower getting ready to go), and you hit the door late, sweaty, smelly, and tired. A woman in a normal state of mind would see that as heroic and be thrilled, where a woman in need of a drama fix would ignore the fact that you ran home to her and fight with you because you were late getting home. Get it? The need for an outlet trumps everything else.

Fights that break out over legitimate issues usually have some identifiable logic in them somewhere (although you may not be able to find it if you haven’t yet read "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" and become well-versed in what women want and what makes them tick). On the other hand, drama-induced fights are in a word, absurd. These are the fights in which she seems to be raising the roof over nothing, brings up things that happened 20 years ago, and plays dirty, and your warning signs are pretty much toned-down versions of that absurd behavior – being abnormally bothered by more and more insignificant things, preoccupation situations and details that she’d normally ignore, etc. Why?

She’s trying to milk enough emotion from those things to get her fix, and getting more and more frustrated by the hour because it’s not working any better as she deviates more and more from her normal behavior. That’s what you watch for. If on a normal day she’s fairly laid back, then you notice she’s acting depressed and tense, then fussy, then negative about everything she speaks of, trouble’s coming.

There are two things you can do. Let her pick the fight, which you will both regret, or you can buck up and admit that you failed to give her some positive emotion that she needed and make up for it with some sort of surprise act of leadership, mystery, and fun, but be advised, if she’s too far gone, your efforts may end up being the very thing she uses to start the fight, and all you can do is hang tough. What exactly does that mean?

It does not mean you should be abusive, or play dirty like she is apt to do. It means that when tension and voices start to rise, you must step immediately into that leadership role and exercise some stern – and maybe even tough – love, by calling her on whatever bratty behavior she’s committing. For instance…

She says, “That’s it! I’ve had it! I’m so sick of you ALWAYS buttoning the button in the middle of your shirt first and then bouncing up and down from bottom to top! Why can’t you just start at the top and work your way down like everybody else?!”

To which you reply, “Because that’s how I’m comfortable buttoning it, and I don’t really care what you or anybody else thinks about it. It’s ridiculous that you should even bring something like that up, and the only reason you’re doing it is because you’re bored to death and need the a rush. Now settle down, stop being a brat and conduct yourself with a little dignity, and let’s find a more productive way of giving you what you need without the two of us saying and doing something that we’ll both regret later.”

She may try to further escalate the situation after that to test your resolve, and if she does, there’s an answer to that as well, one that involves getting a bit cocky and having some fun with her, but rather than spell it out in detail I’m going to employ it now and tell you that if you want to know what it is, you’re going to have to read it in "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" – LOL! However, if you want to cheat a bit, the number of women who have joined our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com, to help you gentlemen is substantial and they are all willing and ready, so there are quite a few brains to pick.

Face it, Guys; it’s not and has never been a secret that the simple act of wishing your wife a good morning and making it out the door to go to work in the morning can be the joy of your day or like walking through a mine field. You need to know how to listen to her and how to talk with her to get along with her. You need to know when to be tough and when to be gentle and reassuring, when to indulge and when to reject, when to make her laugh and when to stand tall and get serious. If things have slowed in your bedroom, that’s not old age setting in, it’s one of the first symptoms of real relationship problems, the kind that lead to affairs – a symptom of advanced relationship decay – and divorce. There are pills that can help with physical deficiencies, but not with lack of engagement, lack of attraction, lack of desire, etc.

And if you doubt it, I have readers and coaching clients in their 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s that have been together 20-50+ years and are still “whooping it up” 3-4 times per week or more, while the national average for couples who have been together for two years or more is six times per year. Yep, that’s once every two months. Talk about decay…it’s a wonder their “organs” don’t atrophy due to lack of contact.

You can let things continue to decay and try to make a heroic save at the last minute, which can indeed be done under the right circumstances and with the right help, or you can take the easier path and employ the same tools now, when you are not under so much pressure and have far less damage to correct, to fix everything that’s broken and keep your relationship running like a precision machine. The cost is the same (at best – it can be MUCH worse if you wait!), and it takes less time and effort to do it now before everything goes critical.

The big question is whether you are the kind of man who puts everything off and unnecessarily risks the future of his family by letting it fall into crisis before doing anything about it or if you are the kind of man who steps up and does what is necessary to keep his family – and himself – happy. What kind of man are YOU?

If you’re the kind who sees the wisdom of fixing the little problems to keep them from getting big and maintaining a happy status quo, or if you’re the kind who likes to fix them early but have been unable to find answers before things got bad, then you need to click over to http://www.makingherhappy.com right now and get your copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" and put things on the right track. If you’re the kind who puts things off until the last minute because you just don’t want to deal with them until you’re forced to, then I’ll be seeing you later, or if not me, your wife’s boyfriend, and probably her attorney. It’s your call; make it a good one!

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

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Are You a Man, or a "Wannabe"? Be Recognized As a Real Man in Your Relationship and Marriage

Whether you know or not, your choices, tastes, words, and actions tell a lot about you (and also influence you!), so you need to know what you’re saying to the world, including women, because being a wannabe is a major league wussy turn-off.

Let’s start 2012 with a manly resolution: Never again will we say, “I want to be,” or colloquially, “I wanna be.” We WILL be; whatever it is that we desire to be, we will put forth the effort to make it happen instead of blowing a bunch of money (and major attraction points) trying to look like we’ve done it when we haven’t, because it’s pathetic. Take a good look at this with me, because you may not realize you’re doing this…

When I drove to my late best friend’s home for a memorial service, it was a long, rather boring interstate highway drive, so I was dictating text and ideas for upcoming newsletters and book content into a micro recorder when an aggressive driver went flying by me, cut too close between me and the car ahead of him, and almost flipped his vehicle trying to keep control. There were several things about the event that jumped out at me immediately.

First were the vehicle characteristics. He was in a late-model Ford Excursion, one of those mammoth oversized SUV’s that pretty much amount to a well-appointed utility van and a leading contender in the “Interstate Arms Race.” The differential housing (the big round thing between the rear wheels for those of you who aren’t automotive-mechanically inclined) sat a scant six inches off the ground, giving it no more ground clearance than most passenger cars, and it rocked and swayed like a boat on choppy seas, yet despite the pathetically low ground-clearance, soft suspension, soft-sided highway tires, and a custom paint job that must have cost a couple thousand dollars, this idiot had put bright chrome off-road brush guards across the front grill and tail lights.

The immediate impression he created was that of a downtown attorney, banker, realtor, or some other kind of high-paid urban desk jockey, who wanted to be a rugged, off-road exploring kind of alpha male, but what he had achieved was the look of a person who had suddenly came into a lot of money (or credit!), didn’t know what to do with it, and created something that looked like a pimpmobile and a Land Rover had made a baby.

The other thing that jumped out was that his rear windshield was covered in NASCAR racing stickers. I don’t have anything against competent sport driving in a well-maintained sports car – I do it myself frequently – but an oversized SUV driven at over 100MPH and trying to execute tight, race track-style maneuvers in such a vehicle on a somewhat crowded interstate highway in a rural area that only provided for two lanes in each direction doesn’t say that this guy is a competent sport driver, or even a racing enthusiast. It says that he’s a racing “wannabe” who doesn’t have the sense, taste, or motivation to buy a vehicle designed for that kind of driving, nor the self-respect to conduct that kind of driving in a vehicle designed for it. We’ll not even get into his total disregard for the safety of the other drivers around him, because it was painfully obvious that he had no more respect for the lives of others than he had for his own.

The funniest thing was that my wife, who is normally pretty non-judgmental and doesn’t usually comment on such events, even though they scare the mortal crap out of her, said, “Damn! You need to send that idiot a copy of your book.” When I asked why, she said, “Because no real man would ever be driving like that or driving anything that looked like that.” I simply laughed and said, ‘You’re quite right.”

So you see, Gentlemen, it’s like this. Women are a whole lot more attentive than we usually give them credit for, and they notice everything about all of us, even if they don’t say anything (although you may now realize what’s behind a lot of those sudden head tosses and eye-rolling gestures you’ve seen). Single women are comparing all of us against each other, and those partnered with us are constantly comparing us to both their ideal image of a man and to all the other men around, not to mention against how we were when we met them.

What are you giving the women in your life, especially your partner, to compare against that ideal image, or the other guys, or the “old you”? Do you do the things you want to do, achieve the things you want to achieve, etc., or are you terrorizing other drivers in a veritable death trap because you want to be a racer, wearing long hair and motorcycle T-shirts but don’t own a motorcycle, talking about football plays that should have been made in the Sunday game instead of coaching or volunteering at a local school or junior league, reading woodworking magazines when you don’t even own a handsaw, etc.?

Are you starting to get the picture? Is it starting to dawn on you that the reason women don’t like it when guys spend the weekend watching sporting events is that aside from leaving them feeling abandoned, it leaves them feeling like they married a “wannabe” who’d rather engage in being a “wannabe” than engage in being a husband? No, I’m not knocking watching a game. I’m telling you that if you’re obsessing over sports or any other spectator pursuit to the exclusion of your wife, she’s not just resenting being left alone too much. She’s resenting marrying a spectator, and if you don’t do something about it, she will, and you probably won’t like it.

Don’t just try to put up the image of doing something you want to do, DO IT! BE a man, a man of adventure, action, fun and competence, and enjoy those things you want to do, and you will be seen as an achiever, a real man’s man, a guy who lives IN the game instead of as a spectator. You won’t believe what a simple change like that will make in your self-esteem and the way the people around you perceive you; there will be a transition from “that annoying big-mouthed know-it-all wannabe” to “that adventurous man’s man who walks to his own beat, has fun and gets things done.”

Just take action! It’s really that simple. And if you think I’m full of crap and don’t want to accept the wisdom and experience of all the couples that help me develop and present all this advice, ask the woman you love and the other women you know how they perceive wannabe’s and men of action and how they respond to each, and they’ll tell you the same thing. Whatever you do, just stop being an armchair quarterback, a second-guesser, a full-time spectator, etc., and get out and DO something, and enjoy it. ANY hobby will do, as long as you enjoy it and challenge yourself with it.

By the way, did you know that many women won’t go out on a second date with a guy if they find out he doesn’t have a hobby, because it says so much about how he lives his life? A man with no hobby either works all the time or is boring, and a man with a “passive hobby” (like being a television spectator) isn’t a doer and is therefore also boring.

The first thing you’ll notice when you do take up an interesting hobby is that whatever it is you decide to do, if your partner sees you having fun doing something extraordinary, she’ll be there cheering you on, maybe even doing it with you, and getting hotter than nine kinds of hell seeing her man being a manly man who does manly things instead of sitting around flapping his jaws or making an ass of himself trying to look the part of a role that he can’t play. The simple act of turning over a new leaf like this can breathe new life into a stale relationship quickly, and is a great place to start in rolling back the clock to the honeymoon days and a great way to start the year regardless. And there’s no time like now to turn over a new leaf, is there?

The new year is a great time to start any self-improvement effort; indeed, any day is a good day as long as it’s today, but there’s always that bit of extra momentum caused by years of programming that the new year is a time for a fresh start as books are balanced and closed, annual reports are done, etc. Or you could just do what you’ve been doing, and keep feeling the way you’ve been feeling – bored, frustrated, tense, walking on eggshells, suspicious of an affair, seeking or having an affair, celibate – you know what you’re feeling, so do something about it. It’s your move, so make it a good one.

Start this year with a renewed commitment to a better life, starting with a better life with your partner. Go to http://www.makingherhappy.com and download your copy of “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage” and get with the program that any man can follow and every man can love. Also join our forum at http://forum.makingherhappy.com and learn from the experience of others, share successes, and yes, you can even talk or read about your hobbies there as well; there’s a whole forum devoted to various hobbies, and any hobby that attracts enough interest to need multiple threads to host it will be given its own forum. There are also great tips on things like money, health, life, etc., that you won’t want to miss, so really, come on by!

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

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

An Eye-Opening Confession About Bad Relationships and Marriage from the Comfortably Unhappy

One of your fellow readers offers a compelling confession of her 15 years of being comfortably unhappy – nearly half her lifetime! Look to see if you see any part of yourself in her confession…

A very dear friend in London wrote to me confessing having spent nearly half her life in this condition before she finally broke free of her husband, a philandering, abusive, substance-abusing codependent wussy parasite who thought her purpose in life was to provide for him and his was to take advantage of it. Meet Heather:

David....sorry but I read your lesson about “Comfortably Unhappy” from yesterday [See:

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 in the archive at our forum
to catch up]

and...

Do you realise that was me for a long time before I contacted you, comfortably unhappy? You could use me as a perfect example of how not to do what I did and waste years of your life.

I was evaluating how long I was truly unhappy and you know what I came up with..............I was with [him] for 15 years.......at 7 years I had an affair with an older man (gosh how I wish I'd run away then, but things wouldn't have led me to the other things I have today, like my career, if I'd done that, so it’s ok really!!) and I'd been miserable for a good year before that so and the friendship with the guy had been growing through that time where we were meeting each other in a plutonic way before we got it on so to speak and that means I was comfortably unhappy for 8 years David......why I stuck it for so long I do not know and all that happened is things got worse and worse even after I stayed after the affair as his possessive controlling behaviour escalated so how do we explain why people dont 'wake up' to what's going on for so long.............

I mean I didn't properly think about leaving when I was caught in the affair at that time it was easier to stay in the comfy situation than change everything, and I felt awful for the hurt I'd caused [my ex] despite the fact I knew the reason I had done it was because I was being taken for granted and treated like a maid even back then. Is that weird or what?!!

I think after embracing the change I had this time I'd be the first one to say if you’re not happy, run! Do whatever it takes! Just don’t waste life.

Life is a precious gift that is far too short already and the only thing I have grieved for through all of this isn't my failed marriage or my lost childhood love/sweetheart. It’s my wasted years of my life that I cannot ever get back, years literally spent being comfortable but unsatisfied and unhappy in every way.

Do you think if people realised how much you actually kick yourself afterwards they would wake up and sort out their own situations now, rather than waiting and waiting and watching the years of their life ticking away until they can't take it anymore?!!!!

Just my thoughts on the newsletter and if you want to use any of them feel free.......

Heather

Guys, it’s no different for us. We get in a rut, we spend years seeking a woman’s approval, or looking to her for our self-esteem when we should be looking to ourselves and she has none of her own, let alone any to give us. We mistakenly think that things get stale and boring because that’s the way they are supposed to be, and that’s the price we pay for sex, and then the sex stops, too, but we look at the calendar and think that we’re better off putting up with it and having an occasional affair than to give up half or more of everything we’ve earned and a big chunk of our future earnings to get out of it and have a life. What a load of crap that turns out to be!

For starters, unless you are with some kind of parasite or predator, or someone with whom you are grossly mismatched and never should have married, life doesn’t have to be like that at all. The truth is that she probably got bored at the same time you did, or even before, if she’s like most women, and would love for things to be fun and exciting again. Women are nesting creatures, right?

They don’t like crises that cause major changes in their life (like divorce!) any more than we do, even though you will see them craving the adrenaline it causes to combat their eternally-tormenting boredom. It is foolish, not to mention catastrophic, to let a little drama convince you that the average woman would destroy her household and her marriage just to get a little adrenaline rush.

According to the best information I’ve been able to find, only one in two thousand is that insanely damaged. Indeed, one of the ways in which men and women differ fundamentally is that women spend untold hours visualizing their future, and for many, the hardest part of a breakup is giving up that vision; it can be quite literally traumatic, so they don’t tend to just throw in the towel without a very good reason.

And no, it’s not easier to have an affair than to fix things with your wife if you have the foundation of a good marriage. That’s a myth that I’d like to strangle somebody for propagating, not because I think everybody should be married, but because it’s simply not true and has ruined so many marriages that could have been fixed. What does it take?

It doesn’t take much at all! It takes knowing whether you have the foundation for a good relationship, which is a matter of answering a few questions that I have for you. It takes knowing how you and your wife differ as man and woman, and using those differences to enhance your relationship instead of allowing them to remain points of contention, competition, and frustration.

It takes learning three simple rules that govern all communication with a woman, and using them to hear things she’s been telling you for years that you never knew you were being told. It takes shedding the “nice guy” programming that you’re drowning in, and getting back to being the “real guy” that your Y-chromosome has set you up to be, strong, competent, fun, and feeling good about yourself.

It’s the easiest process a man can go through, because it’s a return from your current unnatural self to your natural self, and a process that gives you the answer to questions you’ve spent a lifetime thinking you’d never see answered, like “What do women really want?” and “What makes women tick?” not to mention “Why did she just get mad at me for answering her question???”

So what do you say? Are you comfortably unhappy? Are you ready to learn things you never thought possible to know and enjoy your life – and your wife – like you never thought possible? Start the new year right! Go now, right now, before you do another thing, to http://www.makingherhappy.com and download your copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," and see just how easy enjoying a great life can be!

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

Monday, January 02, 2012

Are You Happy, or Comfortably Unhappy In Your Relationship or Marriage? Your Life Could Depend on Knowing the Difference...

Settling for less and tolerating adversity because it’s easier than fixing it leads to the pathetic condition of being “comfortably unhappy.” It kills self-esteem, motivation, and hence, attraction. That in turn kills relationships and marriages. Don’t let this happen to you! Would you recognize it if you saw it? Let’s find out!

Today’s edition is something I touch on from time to time because it goes almost entirely unnoticed but wastes more lives than the words, “Let’s wait and see,” the deplorable condition of being “comfortably unhappy.” Yes, it sounds like an oxymoron, but as you may have seen around you, even in yourself, it is entirely too easy to get comfortable with being unhappy.

People generally dislike major changes in their life, often even positive ones (that’s a topic for another newsletter, but before you think I’ve lost my mind, stop and consider all the people you’ve ever known who responded to things going well for them by finding some way of sabotaging themselves, such as showing up late for work when they’re in line for a promotion, etc.), and will often choose tolerating things that make them unhappy rather than endure the stress of change, especially if it requires a little effort on their part, even though it’s for the better.

Once this choice is made, its effects are insidious, far-reaching, and destructive. It sets a precedent of settling for less than one deserves, which is to live as happy a life as they can earn through good choices and effort. Then it becomes easier and easier to choose to tolerate more and more, because the choices are now becoming more radically different, between a little more nuisance, aggravation, or pain and a radical improvement if they get tired of settling and decide to make a major effort and fix what’s wrong in their life.

They get comfortable with feeling worse and worse, until being depressed, frustrated, and just plain pissed off all the time is not only the status quo, it’s the EXPECTED NORM. Feeling good is at this point abnormal, and therefore, as strange as it seems, subconsciously UNDESIRABLE! (What’s REALLY undesirable for most people is putting out the effort to change, but for the comfortably unhappy, they may not even be able to tell the difference.)

It can creep up on you over weeks, months, or even years, and will start with a single choice to settle for less: a home or neighborhood that you settle for because that’s all that’s available at the moment, a job you don’t like but is easier to keep than finding a better one, a relationship that drags you down but is easier than breaking up, dividing up the stuff in the house, and looking for better company to keep, etc. Keep your eyes, ears, and mind open, and periodically evaluate what you’re doing and those with whom you’re doing it.

When things could be better, do yourself a favor and MAKE THEM BETTER! Upgrade the job with either a promotion, transfer, or a change of employer. Upgrade the relationship by either improving it or getting out of it, thereby freeing yourself of the restraints and conflict that make you unhappy and creating the freedom of navigation required to find and engage that which makes you happy.

And most important of all, in any situation or relationship, if improvement is impossible because the other party (or parties) won’t be involved in positive change that you’re willing to work for, cut bait and find a better pond to fish in, because you’re fishing in poisoned waters, and it will be the death of you.

Great relationships are uncommon, as are great marriages, but they are far from impossible, or even difficult to find and manage if you know yourself, know your desires, and have the guts to hold out for what you want instead of settling for something you hope you might mold into what you can tolerate. That kind of behavior is precisely the reason why great relationships and marriages are so uncommon. People get insecure and attach themselves to the first person who gives them a smile, approval, acceptance, or most commonly, sex, without checking to see if the rest of the package is something they can live with, let alone enjoy. That’s a recipe for disaster.

You MUST have compatibility and attraction for the relationship to last. If you have the compatibility, the attraction can be created or recreated, but if you don’t have the compatibility, your only choice is to get out and find it. Otherwise, you will consign yourself to a competitive relationship with an adversary instead of a cooperative relationship with someone you truly love and who truly loves you, and the best case scenario there is comfortably unhappy, while the worst one is catastrophic destruction of life as you know it, and in some cases, quite literally your life; substance abuse, suicide, and murder are what some people opt for or have inflicted upon them instead of divorce. Know what you have, what you need, and how to tell if they are the same or different.

If you want a great system for evaluating your relationship, and solid, tested advice for improving it (through better communication and creating attraction, getting her tuned in and turned on to all that is great about YOU) if you find it desirable, as well as solid advice and great contacts for getting the mess cleaned up and getting back into the dating game if this relationship is too far gone to save or never should have started in the first place, it’s in my e-book, “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage” at http://www.makingherhappy.com/. Download your copy today, because life is too short to spend it unhappy, even comfortably unhappy.

And while you’re at it, swing by our forum at http://forum.makingherhappy.com/. We’re all talking about the very kind of thing you read in this article. And aside from being informative, it’s becoming quite entertaining. Get a load of what a couple of the women said about attraction and men’s perception of women:

sg722: Hey David,
Can we clone you and give one to every woman? I think if half of the men out there had your insight, the world would be a much better place.

Steph:
Dear sg722,
Isn't that the truth!!! But, I have to say, when my husband acts in the David manner, woooooo weeeee... Good times...


These posts can be seen right now at http://forum.makingherhappy.com/showthread.php/102-The-Ladies-Room if you still have doubts. So you see, I’m not pulling your leg about my book or the fun and helpfulness of our forum and its community. Avail yourself of both immediately, lest you end up being another “comfortably unhappy” statistic.

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

Do Her Chores Include YOU? Curing the Doldrums of a Stale Relationship or Marriage

There’s a word for forced intimacy born of duty or guilt instead of passion: CHORE. Make your sex life – and HERS – a treat, not a chore! Here’s how…

I want to remind everyone that Facebook Connect has been successfully installed at our forum (http://forum.makingherhappy.com) so you can easily share articles you like with friends, use Facebook’s “Like” feature, etc. It is not set up to automatically echo your posts to Facebook or anything like that, so if you have privacy concerns, you’re covered. We’re always on the lookout for more ways to make our forum more useful and entertaining for you, so if you have an idea or desire, please feel free to leave it in one of the suggestion box forums and we’ll see what we can do.

It’s another happy day, Ladies and Gentlemen! Here’s another couple who have used "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" to make their relationship one of passion and excitement instead of a torturous, miserable, boring coexistence, and you can learn a LOT from them. Meet Marti:

Dear David,

Due to changes in our marriage and the feeling my husband and I had for each other, a few months ago we decided that we either had to make major improvements or call it quits. In doing research for help and talking to friends your book was recommended to us. The couple that told us about you is one of the happiest couples we know, and they said that it is because they have simply used what they learned in your book. So we decided to dive right in and see what you could do for us.

My biggest problem was that I felt as if sex with him was a chore, not something to enjoy or even want. I guess maybe you have heard it all by now, but I felt like maybe I was not the only woman that had ever had these feelings and in writing you maybe you could share this with other women.

What made it worse was that I tried and tried to tell my husband that the passion was gone and that we were in a rut, but I couldn’t get through to him. I asked him countless times how he felt about our relationship and our intimate life, and he would just say that he didn’t have or see a problem, and that was the end of the discussion, never giving me the chance to tell him what I needed to tell him. I just laid there, thinking about other things, sometimes other people, waiting for him to finish so I could go to sleep.

Since we have now completed your book and have put into our everyday life what we learned in it I can say I shocked myself. Everything in our relationship is better than it’s ever been! There is nothing about sharing myself with him that even comes close to a chore now. In fact it is just the opposite. He listens to me, and we really talk now, not just about our sex life, but about everything! When we started tuning into each other it was like our dating and marriage up to that point had just been a practice run. We finally REALLY know each other, all the time, and it’s wonderful!

As for the bedroom, now all he has to do it give me “that look” or touch me in the small of my back or just on my arm and I find myself wanting him as close to me as possible. And when he teases me and cracks that naughty grin I just want to eat him up! Sometimes he starts in on me before we even get out of bed in the morning, caressing and teasing, and then laughs and jumps out of bed and tells me if I’m good I’ll get more when he gets home. I daydream about him touching me, kissing me, enjoying my body as I enjoy his throughout the day every time he does that. Oh God right now just thinking about it I feel like calling him to come home for lunch!

WOW how different our lives are now! Now I am always looking forward to bedtime instead of looking for excuses not to have to go to bed until he is asleep. I do things to get his attention instead of avoiding him, because he is fun and exciting to be around. My friends even comment on how much they enjoy being around him now, and they used to tell me that it was time to move on because he was such a stick in the mud and I could do better. You have saved our marriage in more ways than one and I just wanted to say “Thank you” for all your hard work and for making it easy for us to save what we had and get back what brought us together in the first place - and then some!

Love ya,
Marti

My reply:

Thank you for that, Marti! It always makes my day when I get a success story like this, one in which the couple has followed my recommendation to use my book together, and learned from each other as the process continued. "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" was written for men partially because they have the most to learn, but also because it is the man’s job to take the lead, because taking the lead, even in the pursuit of enhancing attraction, is attractive to his female partner. You’re on the right track; just stay on it!

Take care, and keep in touch,
David

Notice that Marti doesn’t just talk about their sex-life reaching new levels. Their improved communication skills have brought them closer together, making their emotional intimacy more intense in addition to their physical intimacy; you may have noticed that she said she “asked him countless times how he felt about their relationship” and he would say it was fine and end the discussion without her getting to tell him what she needed to say. That’s the “asking questions to make a statement” mechanism at work as I’ve been describing it to you, a statement that she has a problem that she needs to discuss and that she wants the discussion to open NOW. A horribly common problem these days, but one that they will never again make, and one that you don’t have to make now that you know about it.

Being attractive to the woman you love obviously enhances your sex-life, but it also enhances the rest of your life together as well, often being the catalyst in escalating relationships between married couples (being pulled together by attraction makes couples want to explore other aspects of each other) who were functionally just roommates and/or business partners to true LIFE PARTNERS, friends, playmates, adventure partners – even better parents!

Or had it not occurred to you that it would be much easier to be better parents if you could communicate with each other more effectively and prepare a more unified front to present to the kids? And guess what else there, DAD…your daughters are “women-in-training,” and what you learn to communicate better with their mother will also help you to keep from drowning in that estrogen ocean when their hormones start surging and “Daddy’s little girl” turns into “Daddy’s little drama queen”!!! Daughters in their teens grow away from fathers for the same reason wives grow away from husbands, because he doesn’t understand them when they try to talk and they just get frustrated and give up. Don’t let them give up on you!

Gents, there is no downside here, and an unlimited upside. Opportunities like this don’t come along often, so take advantage of this one while you can. Go to http://www.makingherhappy.com and get your copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" for less than the cost of a good meal for two, and start reading, right now, before you waste another minute of your life, because life’s too short to be regarded as a chore, and if your wife regards you as a chore for long, she’s likely to tender her resignation, and take half or more of “the company” with her!

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