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

Friday, January 13, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Airing Your Dirty Laundry in Public: A Great Way to Ruin a Relationship or Marriage

Problems at home can be so frustrating that you want to vent them outside the home. Don’t do it, unless of course you like the idea of sleeping alone…

We’re going to do something just a bit different today. I usually write primarily to and for the benefit of the men, occasionally throwing in something that the women reading will also find useful or at least amusing, but today I’m speaking to everyone equally, and I hope that the majority of you will have at least one person to whom you can forward this little wake-up call to help them stop making this really big mistake. It’s not just an attraction-killer, it’s a relationship-killer, as sure as the sun rises in the east every morning. It’s also a symptom of a pretty big problem, much bigger than the one being voiced when this happens, as you will see.

One of the two couples who live next door to me are an elderly couple who married late in life, and for the life of me, I figure out why they got married or have remained married. They don’t even like each other, let alone love each other, and don’t seem to need each other either, unless it’s simply in the capacity of having someone available to call for an ambulance if they collapse from a heart attack or other emergency. They seemed okay when I first met them several years ago, but either their relationship has steadily declined or they have become less concerned with keeping their problems private, and they are now constantly at each other’s throat whenever I visit them or see them away from their home in a public place.

The main problem seems to have started because they don’t communicate very well. They’re both head-strong, and neither are good listeners, but people manage to live like that for fifty years or longer without the kind of malicious behavior I see these two engaged in regularly. So what’s continuing to escalate the hostilities?

Every time I talk to either of them, they are demeaning and insulting the other, and even worse, wanting me to validate their insults and other behavior, and they both know this is going on, so when I see the two of them together, it’s like a competition to see which of them can say the nastiest things about the other to me and another competition to see who can defend themselves against whatever insults they suspect have been dealt in their absence. Hence, they’re both hurt, mad, and frustrated all the time, quite paranoid about what is being said about them while they aren’t present to defend themselves, and constantly seeking validation and approval from others.

I remember the day it started like it was yesterday. The man and I were standing in my front yard talking about grass seed, fertilizer, weed killer, etc., as our lawns had not fared well through the winter, and she drove up, having been out shopping. He had remarked to me earlier that she was out and he’d had to give her all his cash because they were out of checks and they had cut up all their credit cards, much more personal information than I would have ever been comfortable hearing from a neighbor. He went on to say that he hoped she’d not spent all his cash while she was out because the home center where he was going to buy fertilizer and seed was only a little over a mile from our homes but his closest credit union branch was across town and he didn’t want to have to drive that far out of the way to get more cash. When she got out of the car, he said, “Well, I’d better go see if I have any money left,” and she heard him. Most unfortunate…

She exploded! “What are you doing telling our neighbor that I spend all your money all the time??? What else are you saying about me behind my back???” she yelled. That one remark, taken almost entirely out of context, caused an explosion, the shockwave from which is still tearing their relationship down and the fallout from which has not begun to settle, several years later. What do you think happened next?

You guessed it! She found occasion later that day to come over to my house to defend herself, and make a few nasty remarks about him in retaliation. He walks up quietly behind her while she’s railing about him using her good towels (“the show towels”) and messing up the kitchen, stands listening for several minutes before clearing his throat to let her know that she’s busted, and then says, “And you had the nerve to jump on me about talking behind your back???” War was at that moment declared.

Since that time, they’ve thrown each other out of the house regularly; every other week I’m outside getting the mail or something and hear, “Why don’t you just pack your s**t an get out?!” and they’ve become the two unhappiest people I know; combatants seemingly locked in a duel to the death to see who can get in the last and worst word about the other.

The lesson? Keep your problems to yourself, especially your relationship problems, and don’t succumb to the temptation of verbally bashing your partner, whether in front of them or not.

Ladies, I know that is a particularly hard pill for you to swallow, but face it, if there’s a problem between you and your man, it’s between you and your man, not between your man and your fourteen girlfriends with you acting as the mediator. You know as well as I do that your girlfriends will most often say either whatever they think you want to hear or whatever they think will keep you upset so they can continue to feed on your emotion, and that’s okay when you’re discussing a television show or a party that didn’t work out well, but don’t take chances on screwing up your relationship or marriage by inviting your girlfriends into your intimate life. You never know which of them has secretly wanted your husband since she met him and might take the opportunity to drive a wedge that will help her get him, right?

Nor do you know which of them is competitive and jealous of your relationship and secretly watching for a way to help you become as miserable as she is, do you? Or what about the one who wants to break up your relationship or marriage because she wants more time with you? Or doesn’t like your husband and thinks she knows what’s best for you better than you do?

I know you’re driven to share and commiserate, but the stakes are too high when it comes to marital issues to risk having someone say something to you to manipulate your emotions or sabotage your relationship under the guise of helping you. And before you say, “Oh, my friends would NEVER do that, that’s what every woman I’ve interview on the subject has said before or while her friend did EXACTLY that.

I can give you an example from today, as a matter of fact. A personal friend of mine found out on Christmas Eve that his wife wants a divorce. I could write a whole book about what has happened since then, but her best friend, the person she always consulted about major decisions, moved out of town a few months ago and was replaced by a new “go-to girl.” The old friend hears about the divorce and that there was an attraction for an old friend and comes storming into town to read her the riot act, and then calls my friend and insists that he both call her new go-to friend and the guy who the wife may be seeing.

There was nothing to be gained from talking to the go-to because their problems include major compatibility issues that go back to before they were married and the wife is in the first days of mid-life crisis. Nothing the husband can say to the go-to can do anything except get him boiled in oil when the wife accusing him of going behind her back to try to manipulate her through her friends. And as for calling the guy, that’s the biggest wuss maneuver in the universe, as it only solidifies the other man’s position and defers authority to him, plus makes the wife angry at you meddling in her new relationship.

This “old friend” had nobody’s interests but her own need for drama motivating the advice she was giving, and she had been this 37 year-old woman’s “best friend” for decades. And if you know anything at all about female mid-life crisis, the two biggest elements at the beginning are panic and rebellion, so any push in any direction other than the direction the MLC woman is convinced she must go merely escalates and intensifies her efforts to do her own thing. So much for getting advice from your BFF, Ladies.

And guys, even though we’re generally not as socially-oriented as women, there are still times when you’re sitting in the bar, the barber’s chair, a coworker’s office or the break room, etc., during which you might be sorely tempted to vent as well. For some of you it’s like some kind of bonding experience to bitch and whine about your wives. Don’t do it. Nothing good can come of it, and disaster can come of it he the person you whine to happens to repeat what you said to anyone within six degrees of separation from your wife, since most women tend to think they must consult everyone about their relationship issues but men must not talk about anything outside the home and you will be punished, badly, when she hears about it.

Be a man, and deal with the problem at its source, and don’t wait for your partner to take the lead. That’s your job, and if you can’t do it, there are others who can. And you can bet she knows where to start looking for them and has plenty of time to do so while you’re out with your friends bitching about her instead of being at home fixing your marriage.

Indeed, do I need to remind either gender that anything you say can eventually make it back to your partner or spouse? Would you care to guess how much damage will be done? Kidding around about something can evolve into a ranting, railing fit of earnest rage if the rumor goes through enough people, so don’t join in on the “ball-and-chain” jokes, etc.

If you have a problem with your partner, you need to be at home fixing it, not bitching about it to someone outside your family. The person you need to be talking with is your partner, not your bowling buddy, your drinking buddy, your girlfriend, your hairdresser, or anybody else, other than maybe a professional counselor if the two of you can’t work it out on your own. The likelihood of anyone else being able to give you much appropriate and competent input is very slim at best, unless that person’s own marriage is such a shining example of a truly great marriage that they’re a bona fide expert, and that’s going to be hard to know if they are keeping private things private like they should. You never know what really goes on behind closed doors.

Look at what usually happens in such a situation, attacks bring defensive action and then counter-attacks, and then the feud has started and isn’t going to go quietly into the night. The fastest way on Earth to escalate such a feud is to bring the outside world into it, especially by trashing your partner in front of his or her friends. It’s embarrassing, demeaning, even humiliating, and if you think trying to take back something you’ve said in anger to your partner is hard to take back, trying taking something back that you’ve said to or in front of your partner’s friend or coworker, or to anyone who lets something you said get back to her.

Treat each other with respect. If some of your friends start trashing their partners or your partner’s gender in general, try to break the momentum quickly by saying something positive about your partner, especially if they are standing there listening, before your partner has too much time to wonder if you’re thinking the same thing about them. When you show each other that kind of respect and support instead of publicly airing your dirty laundry, you will be more willing and able to work your problems out peacefully, and will try harder to work them out before they become a heated debate or a fight that you’ll later regret. It creates trust, which is crucial in any problem-solving operation, not to mention a secure relationship or marriage.

There is nothing about heated conflict that is good for a relationship. If you’re in one of those relationships where you’re constantly at the extremes, either fighting or in bed together, you need to take a good hard look at your relationship, your life’s desires, yourself, and your partner. I can tell you what you’ll find: a relationship that is based on attraction or need, not compatibility and love coupled with attraction. Lacking anything in common, your life together is one contest or conflict after another, one fight after another, and the only part left to enjoy, or escape to, is the sex. That’s no way to live, and you can both do a lot better.

Good relationships that last require being well-matched to your partner, communicating effectively, and keeping the fun and attraction level up to the point that you enjoy living your life and living with each other. That sounds difficult because you see so few couples doing it successfully in the long-term these days, but it’s not. The reason that you don’t see it often isn’t because it’s hard; it’s because very few remember how or ever learned how. “Knowledge is power” became a cliché because it was universally true, not universally false, right?

Opinions are like bowels; everybody has one, and they are usually full of crap. That’s why we don’t tolerate opinion-slinging and judgmental ax-grinding on our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com; the stakes in relationships and marriage are about as high as they get, LIFE, so we stick with the facts. On the other hand, real, factual knowledge IS power, the power to create a great relationship and the power to fix one that you started but has become stale and boring over the years, as well as the power to take one that is going fairly well and kick it up to notches unknown to humankind!

That knowledge is contained in “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage,” and if you don’t have your copy, get over to http://www.makingherhappy.com and download it right now, because you’re missing out on a better life. Life’s too short as it is, without wasting it in a bad relationship that could be improved or replaced, so get to work!

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

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Ex's: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Former Relationships and Marriage

Depending on circumstances, ex’s can be a valuable asset, a nightmare, and worst of all, an attraction-killer to your present partner. Let’s explore…

As you may remember from the bio on the MakingHerHappy.com web site and in my book, a lot of people have called me “Doc” since childhood, not because am a medical doctor, psychiatrist, dentist, veterinarian, or college professor, but because I’m the guy that makes whatever ails you go away, no matter what it seems to be.

Hence, I spend a large part of my life hearing other people’s problems and providing solutions for them, and one of the problems I hear about most are “ex’s” – ex-husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, employers, customers, suppliers, etc. I don’t know if you’ve ever thought about it, but how people become “ex’s” in your life and how you deal with them once they do says a lot about you. We need to talk about some of the things it can say, because some of it is really good, and some of it is really, REALLY bad. And whether you have an ex now or there is some chance you may have one in the future, you NEED to know this and think about it.

Let’s start with the worst case first, and work our way to the better ones. The worst case is the ex that became an ex because war was declared, and you got angry and/or hurt and have never gotten over it. You talk about the relationship and the break-up all the time, even though it’s been years ago. Have you noticed how people react?

Have you noticed that they tend to “glaze over,” look at their watches, or roll their eyes, and suddenly remember somewhere else they need to be or rather aggressively change subjects? If not, open your eyes, because they do exactly that, and it’s costing you. People don’t like hearing the same lament over and over, and they don’t like being around people who harbor pain, depression, grudges, etc., instead of resolving their problems and moving on with their life. It’s annoying, embarrassing, and can be quite depressing. It’s also a major respect and attraction-killer, and labels you as a socially-challenged, immature wuss who can’t deal with life and move on.

Face it, everybody goes through at least one bad relationship in their life, and most get over it – usually picking up a lesson or two along the way. They learn how to better choose a girlfriend, wife, friend, business partner, employer, or whatever, and they move on to have a better life. Or they wallow in unresolved anger or misery and become a pain in the neck to everyone they know.

If you’re not resolving problems and moving on, the only thing keeping you from it is YOU. How you respond to past events is entirely YOUR CHOICE! Make the choice to accept reality and whatever responsibility is yours, stand up, dust off your pants, and step forward. If it was so traumatic that you need professional help, get it, and get it done. Life’s too short to spend it looking backward and feeling crappy (and annoying the hell out of everyone else) instead of moving forward and experiencing the joy that you were born to have if you only step up and choose to earn it.

“But you don’t understand!” you say. Oh yes, I DO understand. You loved her, you needed her, the sex was great, you really loved that job, you never thought that buddy would screw you over. You never thought you’d come home to find your brother or best friend in bed with your wife. You loved being self-employed, or having money, status, and respect. You thought after all the slack you cut that customer they’d always pay their bill on time, or you thought that employer would recognize how good you’ve been and give you a raise instead of firing you when the company had to downsize. I’ve seen and heard it all. Lived through a lot of it, too. And I can tell you with authority that none of those things has any impact on TODAY, unless you CHOOSE to let them. They are steps along the path, not destinations, and certainly not barriers to further progress.

There are lessons to learn from the bad things that happened to you. Stop lamenting the events and seek out the lessons. Learn them. Consign yourself to using those lessons to be more successful in the future. And relegate those events to the past and never, ever look back. The clock is ticking, and every second that passes can never be regained. You can spend each second looking back and wasting it or looking forward and living a better life. It’s your call. Let that choice and that ability to choose empower you to live well and be happy. After all, the best revenge is living well, right?

Stepping down off my stump now… ;-)

The next worst case isn’t much better. It’s the dependent that you can’t quite get rid of. The ex-wife or lover that you’re constantly having to bail out of a jam that they stupidly chose to put themselves in but want someone else to pay for; the child who is well into adulthood that you keep bailing out, even though a person their age usually has a family, mortgage, and established a career, but they reached adult age without becoming a functional adult; the ex-employer who either fired you and continues to call on you for help or the one you left that keeps leaning on you instead of hiring a competent replacement; any of which causes you to complain and be distracted when you’re around people who currently really do matter to you and want to enjoy your company.

Those who matter don’t like listening to you repeat the same laments and frustrations any more than you want to hear it out of them. It labels you as a push-over, or in modern parlance, an “enabler,” another breed of wuss who just can’t say “no,” no matter how badly “no” needs to be said. You guessed it, another major respect and attraction killer that will send both genders scurrying when they see you coming down the hall.

People who don’t want to be partners of some sort and share life with you, whether it’s a wife, girlfriend, buddy, employer, business partner, offspring, or whatever, don’t deserve to have you sacrificing yourself to their stupidity, incompetence, delinquency, etc. Altruists around the world are cringing as I say this, but you know it’s true. You are not your brother’s keeper and your life is too short and too precious to allow yourself to be bled dry by a bunch of parasites who won’t let go of your jugular vein and expect your self-sacrifice to allow them to afford their mistakes. Let them keep themselves up instead of sucking you dry, Brother. Do you understand? Their need is not a demand on your life; a poor choice on their part does not constitute an obligation or emergency on yours. Remember that. Quote it daily.

There are good people around you more than willing to share life with you, no matter who or where you are unless you are a parasite or predator, so why cheat yourself and them of the great things you can do -- and BE -- together while throwing your life’s energy away to these parasites? You’ll find that when you do this, all you will attract are more parasites, as well as a few predators, because good, competent, independent people will shy away, not wanting your problem overload to spill over on them, while parasites and predators will be watching for a sucker like you to come along and latch on as soon as you give them an opening.

What impact do you think this will have on any relationships or marriage you might enter into? If the good people are steering clear of you and the bad ones have you targeted, well…it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see how that will turn out, especially when parasites and predators are masters of using guilt and a person’s own insecurities to manipulate people into doing things they know better than to do just for approval and acceptance. Such people are usually also masters of using your virtue against you. If this is you, you’re going for ride after ride until you either choose to live better or they drive you all the way to the gutter. And again, the choice is yours, not theirs, so make the right one.

The last kind of ex to which I want to call your attention is the only good kind to have, the kind with whom you have shared something for a while, and as you grew apart or found yourself at odds, you responsibly recognized that you were evolving in two different directions or at incompatible paces or that you started a relationship without sufficient compatibility to sustain it and you went your separate ways on friendly terms. You’ve probably seen this at one time or another, a situation where both of you recognized that you were both good people in a bad match-up, and knew that you’d both be better off at arm’s length than close-up, “better friends than lovers” as the saying goes.

This would be the former employer who keeps you in their Rolodex as a potential paid consultant and gives you a good employment referral (not just a reference, but calls up somebody in their own network to help get you placement), and to whom you would refer competent sources of help, materials, or whatever. We’ve all seen a bad fit in the work place, and employers appreciate how it can happen and will often treat you much better if you sit down with them to discuss it instead of trying to hide the fact that it’s a bad fit until you’ve found something else and have to leave on short notice, leaving them hanging with a job to fill and no warning.

It would also be the ex-wife or ex-girlfriend who steers opportunities your way, and to whom you steer good-quality people. Maybe you even double date from time to time to help each other meet new people, steer contacts to each other’s’ businesses, etc. This is highly attractive behavior to all but the most insecure of women, because it says that you can accept responsibility for your actions and decisions, keep a level head and reach workable agreements with people, and won’t be a needy wuss who hangs onto them and tries to control them if things don’t work out for the long term. It says that you’re strong and of good character, that you focus on the value in people, not their flaws. It says loudly and clearly that you’re mature and socially-skilled, not an immature social retard – which come in all ages, unfortunately. I don’t know about you, but that’s precisely the kind of thing that I want to be known for, and consequently, am known for.

Fights are neither necessary nor desirable to resolve a bad relationship of any kind. At 49 years old I’ve never been sued, and every conflict I’ve engaged in during my adult life has been settled in a logical and equitable manner by mutual consent, including all former marriages, contracts, employment, and customer relationships. I know of nobody that I’ve ever dealt with that I couldn’t call up right now and engage them in a good conversation, and probably find some way of stirring up a business deal or some kind of fun. It sounds like quite an accomplishment, but while it may be unusual, it has never been difficult, and should not be difficult for you, either.

Why?

Because all it takes is the willingness and respect to deal squarely with those around you, looking for what you can accomplish together instead of what you can cheat each other out of, put over on each other, get away with, or control. Being known for being such a person makes you attractive to all people in all respects, and when it comes to women, they want a man who will take the lead, act responsibly and fairly, keep a positive attitude, help them to filter drama, and keep things moving for them, not somebody looking for every possible way to screw them, cheat them, lie to them, etc., or who feeds their drama instead of trying to keep them from getting lost in it. Sounds rather like an employer, does it not?

They also want someone to share life with, who knows when to say, ‘Yes,” or, “No.” They evaluate men using an iron-clad rule: “If you can’t stand up TO me, you can’t stand up FOR me, and if you can’t stand up for ME, you won’t stand up with me or for US.” They don’t mind you sharing yourself with others, moderately, as long as you save the best part for them, which in a good relationship is a very fair trade for the nurturing, loyalty, and many other things a loving wife will give a good man who’s making her happy. And I’ll guarantee you that if you are with the right partner, saving the best part of yourself for them will be automatic, since that will be how you experience the most pleasure yourself.

Knowing how to evaluate and maintain a good relationship at home, how to communicate with people, and how to create attraction in the woman you love has far-reaching effects, much farther-reaching than you might ever imagine before doing it. Look around you. Those men who are happy at home are happy at work as well, and they have solid relationships with all the people in their life. They know how to choose good relationships, how to communicate with people, and how to be the kind of guy that people want to be around.

You’ll find that when you do the things described in "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," the rest of your life will start improving at the same pace that things improve at home. Your confidence level increases, your communications skills improve, and you become more fun, interesting, competent, and generally enjoyable to have around. You can keep putting it off because you don’t know if you can do it, or you can accept the fact that a lot have people have already done it, many of which may not be as sharp as you, and you can make just as big a difference in your life as they have, if not even bigger. All it takes is to claim your birthright as a man and BE a man.

Download this fascinating and highly-effective book at http://www.makingherhappy.com. It’s guaranteed, it’s fun, and quite frankly, you can’t afford to not do it, at least not if you realize just how short life really is and don’t want to spend it watching everybody else enjoying it more than you do. Join us, right now! Indeed, speaking of joining us, join us at our forum, too, http://forum.makingherhappy.com, where you’ll find friends, help, reinforcement, fun and motivation, to say the least.

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

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sweep Her Off Her Feet for a Great Relationship or Marriage

Do you know what it takes to really sweep a woman off her feet? Unlikely. Legend has it that it takes a mansion, cars, money, jet-setting, etc., but that is unmitigated “bovine feces” (B.S.!). Sweeping her off her feet requires nothing more than creating a special feeling – one that she will kill to keep once you create it for her – through entirely natural and fun means!

I keep getting mail from men and women that refer to “sweeping her off her feet.” It would be comical to go through what most of the men think that sweeping her off her feet entails, if it weren’t so pathetic. I’m not going to print letters from the men because I don’t want anybody being embarrassed by seeing their effort used as an example of what to avoid doing or thinking on this most sensitive of issues, but we are going to talk about it, in detail, from both sides of the issue.

In a nutshell, the guys keep asking the question, “How do I sweep her off her feet when [I’m not/I can’t/I don’t have/etc.]”

What they aren’t, but maybe could become to some degree, is dashingly sexy and handsome, rich beefcakes, but that doesn’t really matter.

What they can’t do, at least today, is be dashing, charming, traveling with their women all day every day, shopping like there’s no tomorrow without a care for where the money comes from, but that doesn’t really matter either.

What they don’t have, at least not yet, is a few million bucks, a mansion, an island retreat, exotic car, private jet, country club membership, huge male organ (which, by the way guys, is grossly unpopular with many women because while it’s fun to look at, a 10-inch long “member“ being forced into a 4”-6” long vagina hurts like hell according to the women, at least those who have not yet had a hysterectomy to make room for it!), etc., and you guessed it, that doesn’t matter at all.

Did you get that? Not one bit of this matters!!! At least not to any woman worth having. Yes, many of these things CAN be used as part of a ploy, because some women do respond to some degree to some of these things, but when women talk about being swept off their feet, these things aren’t what come up on their wish lists, and we’re not interested in anything that requires a ploy, because if it requires a ploy, it’s not going to work anyway after a very short time.

When women talk about being swept off their feet, they consistently mention self-confidence and sense of humor (especially a naughty – but not trashy and especially not demeaning or disrespectful -- sense of humor) more than anything else. They mention “having him know what I’m thinking,” but when questioned on this point, will eventually explain that they don’t really expect a man to be psychic, but they want a man who listens and picks up on all their signals (non-verbal stuff, like body language, as well as hints, etc.) to the extent that they can tune in to what the woman wants and even anticipate it, who can pick up on her emotions even if they’re different from his own.

They also mention a man who acts with and even defines authority by making decisions, being intelligent – even an expert on something – and leading conversations, not to mention knowing how to lead a negotiation with them (yes, most conversations with women involve some sort of negotiation!) without trying to dictatorially control (bully) the conversation and outcome.

And more than half of them, believe this or not, said that they liked being grabbed, pressed up against a wall, and aggressively kissed and ravished. But there was a deviation amongst those that responded this way that means you must be very careful. A few said this scared them, some said they liked this, but liked for it to go on for a minute or two and then be left hanging so they could anticipate the finish later in the evening, while others just wanted to go for broke.

I noticed in two polls that I did early in this project that women who said this kind of sudden action scared them had also been abused or forced into sex, and described themselves as chronically insecure. The most secure of the respondents said they liked to be “pounced upon” and then left hanging, to be ravished fully later in the day or evening. (You may recall that I’ve told you that women often enjoy the anticipation of an event more than the event itself, and this is one of the things they enjoy anticipating most!!!)

You might be shocked at just how much a woman will tell you if you just ask her in a way that says that you’re genuinely interested in hearing what she has to say. And feel free to discuss this with your wife, and I do mean DISCUSS; DO NOT ask her permission. Tell her that you’ve heard about this and are curious as to what she thinks about it.

She’ll tell you how SHE’D react, because that is the question behind the question and that’s how women speak. But beware: if she says she would like or love it, use it sparingly, else you’ll spoil it for her by burning her out on it so that it bores her instead of giving her an adrenaline rush. Indeed, wait several days before doing it the first time, as she will be expecting you to do it immediately, and will love the anticipation and suspense of waiting and the adrenaline rush when it finally comes after she’s stopped thinking it’s going to happen.

This sudden ravishing is alpha male behavior that flips attraction switches like mad, causing undamaged women to go nuts with excitement and desire – the FEELING of being swept off their feet, walking on clouds, being overwhelmed with anticipation of the next meeting with a man, his next smile, next touch, next authoritative statement or naughty remark, etc. Mature women who are the picture of sense and sensibility can be observed giggling like school girls when under the influence of this feeling, because it is that rare and delightful for them. It makes them feel alive like nothing else can; not just alive, but excited about being alive. It’s the extreme opposite of that dreaded curse of curses to women everywhere, “boredom.”

No matter whose advice you read or follow, read a romance novel or two to see the examples of the scenarios women fantasize about and the details these fantasies are built upon – and be smart about it by picking them off the best-seller list or asking a couple of really “girly” girls for their favorites – and tune in to the descriptions of this feeling in the characters in the books, and also pay some attention to what goes on to create that.

If this sounds like a stupid idea, think about this: If you are not invoking attraction in a woman, you are at least boring her, if not annoying the living hell out of her. Being able to sweep a woman off her feet is the second “Holy Grail” of a lasting relationship, only infinitesimally less important than a high degree of compatibility. It’s magic if you can pull it off, and guaranteed hard times if you can’t, because you will be failing to fulfill one of her most basic needs.

By the way, the women on our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com, have also shared some personal observations about things that have swept them off their feet, and some of it is surprising, to say the least. One said that the most impressive thing her husband did on a completely perfect day was to take her to dinner and not be fiddling with his cell phone checking messages and such while they were out. It was the simple act of giving her his undivided attention, something she had been sorely lacking and missing, that did the trick. I’m telling you that no matter who you are, if you have a “Y” chromosome you will be shocked at what you can learn when you simply ask a woman, or a group of women, a question that expresses genuine interest. They are so sick of us not “getting it” that they will bend over backwards to try to help us understand if they see even a modicum of effort and genuine interest, and there are SEVERAL such women at our forum just waiting for a man to ask such a question.

Think about this for a moment: when you’re boring a woman, you are in an inferior and adversarial position, trying to gain or regain her favor. If you were commanding an army against another army, and could read their Standard Operating Procedures manual and high-level stratagem papers to find out how they could be expected to behave in a given situation and how they could be expected to respond to a given maneuver, wouldn’t you? Sure you would! So what’s the difference, other than the obvious difference that a woman can be turned from adversary to ally much easier than a soldier?

For that matter, why do you think there are so many women subscribed to this newsletter, active members of our forum, and buying my book, “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage”? They want to know what you are being told, to know what to expect of you, if you’re smart enough to follow good advice! They also want to understand their own attraction mechanisms better, and want to identify the core of what makes some men so exciting so they might get a good one, possibly instead of the incredibly attractive losers, users, and abusers they’ve been dating in the past. Take a cue from them and get with the program! They’re a lot better at playing the relationship game than most of us are, so learn from them, especially their diligence in learning about and actively managing their relationships.

What else can I say, Gentlemen? Women are buying and reading this book, writing daily saying that it’s “spot on” and they wish their men would read it, or that they have their men reading it and it’s working for them. I have their letters to prove it. You can see a few of their testimonials in the archive at the address below and at http://www.makingherhappy.com, and download your own copy while you’re there. Several hundred of them have provided the information to create and maintain this book (can you imagine several hundred women agreeing on anything???), and their men put it to the test and confirmed it before the first copy of the book was ever sold, so if you want to sweep your partner off her feet, get your copy today, not later, because life is too short to waste it living less of a life than you could live. Never put off until tomorrow the improvements you can make today in any part of your life.

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

Monday, January 09, 2012

How Much Is Too Much? Gifts, Rings, Appreciation, Parasites and Predators in Relationships and Marriage

MUST READ: Where do you cross the line from an appropriate gift to a red flag? Where does she cross the line from a woman of taste to a gold-digging abuser? It’s not hard to tell if you know what to look for…do YOU?

Welcome to all who just arrived by way of Shelley McMurtry’s newsletter. Shelley is about as sharp as they come, and especially good at being self-aware and reporting an honest and accurate look at female perspective. She’s a dating guru, but I encourage all who have not yet at least read a month of her newsletters to do so, because there’s always something to learn about women when a woman like her is speaking.

The only point upon which we diverge, to the best of my knowledge, is that I’ve found that high compatibility makes for a naturally low-stress, fun relationship or marriage, while she thinks it’s boring and you have to have some incompatibilities to keep things interesting. I can see where being “identical” might be a problem, especially if neither person is the type to push the envelope a bit, but not highly-compatible. Keep in mind that what I found about compatibility is from my own marriage and hundreds of other marriages, while Shelley’s advice does come from the dating world.

I don’t know if she’s ever been married, but I have to wonder if she’s confusing “easy” relationship with “lazy” relationship, or if maybe she has no desire to be married and uses her dating life to broaden her personal horizons instead of to seek a life-long mate, in which case, easy would be quite boring, since in that case she’s looking for variety, not longevity. I’m not speaking for her, and if you want to know, just ask her. She answers a lot of questions, and the more intelligent they are, the more time she’ll spend on them.

By the way, for all newbies, we also have a forum at http://forum.makingherhappy.com where we discuss my work, your problems and results, relationship and marriage issues, man and woman issues, health issues (especially those that pertain to relationships and your sex life, like hormones and things that interfere with them) hobbies, and all sorts of other things that you won’t want to miss. And unlike other forums you’ve visited, there is no “blind leading the blind,” people who have screwed up looking to validate their mistakes by suggesting that others repeat them, or abusive, judgmental jerks calling people derogatory names because they don’t agree with them, like the ax-grinding jerks who call people who eventually find out their marriage was a mistake “losers” because the wise up and get out, when in fact the name-calling jerk is hanging on because they’re afraid to be alone. Your privacy and dignity are protected to the best of our ability, so join us.

Speaking of our forum, there are a couple of free reports for you in the Welcome section there, at http://forum.makingherhappy.com/showthread.php/144-Free-Reports!. They are called “Break-Up Busting 101” and “What Women REALLY Want,” are about 50 pages or so each, and while they have a very short offer for my book at the end, are not just glorified sales letters, but real reports made up of specially-chosen newsletter lessons on these subjects, the two I get the most questions about.

Let’s get into today’s lesson. I get a lot of questions about specific gifts, how to choose them, what is appropriate, etc., but most aren’t really questions that make for good copy for this newsletter (because the topic has already been covered pretty thoroughly in previous editions) and are therefore answered privately or on our forum, but there is one issue that comes up frequently that is pretty sticky, that of engagement rings. And for those of you with marriage problems who are thinking about trying to buy a gift to get out of trouble or revive the fire in your marriage, there are even bigger lessons for you here, so stick with me.

One of my friends has been dating a woman for nearly two years, and finally decided it was time to pop the question, and she said, “No!” – immediately, emphatically, and with conviction. Why?

Because he had made two mistakes. The first was in buying and presenting the ring before she answered, a blatant wussy maneuver if ever there was one, and unfortunately a very common mistake. Guys, think for a minute: If you have to buy a woman’s acceptance of your marriage proposal with a piece of jewelry, what does that say about each of you?

First, it says that you don’t think you’re worth marrying and are trying to buy your way into her life. It also says that you think that she can be bought, which is one whale of an insult to any woman of character; a woman who could be swayed by the presentation of the ring at that moment isn’t worth having. However, in this case, making this mistake probably saved my buddy’s life, because she rejected him due to his second mistake, which in truth was no mistake at all…

She rejected him because the ring wasn’t expensive enough! She flatly told him that if he couldn’t present her with at least a two-carat diamond he could forget it. He was heartbroken when he called, thinking he’d been a fool and had blown the best thing that could ever happen to him.

It was actually the greatest thing he could have done, because she proved in that one simple statement that she could be bought, wanted to be bought, had already established her price, and was high-priced and high-maintenance. I asked him to describe their history to me and it was just as you would expect.

They met in a bar, he bought all the drinks, the dinner later, paid for everything every time they went out, ended up buying her a car when hers needed a major repair and making all the deposits and down payments on a new apartment when she was evicted for not paying her rent, refused to talk to him days and even weeks at a time if he showed up without a satisfactory gift, etc. He was calling me to find out how big a ring to try to buy to salvage the situation. Can you guess what I told him?

I told him to not bother, because she was a gold-digging parasite who had bled him for two years already, and that if he didn’t believe me, she would gladly prove it to him. Just don’t call her, and when she calls, tell her that he didn’t want to talk to her because he had realized that she was just asking for too much. Her response would be one of the following:

1. Indignation, to try to press his buttons and guilt-trip him into reversing himself,

2. Abuse, to try to shift him into approval-seeking mode and get him to try to buy her approval,

3. Complete capitulation without discussion, as she realized that she pushed too hard and scrambled to try to regain control of her meal ticket.

He agreed after considerable discussion, and she didn’t make him wait long. She called two days later wanting to know why he hadn’t called. He responded as instructed, and she went berserk, first yelling at him about how he didn’t appreciate all she’d done for him in the last two years, which pretty much came down to being late every time he was to pick her up and giving him something other than his retirement account to stuff money into, as there had been no sex in months and it turned out he’d asked her to marry him in hopes of reigniting their sex life. (If I had known this was happening I could have helped long ago, but unfortunately, most guys don’t talk about these problems with other guys they know, especially their friends, because it’s embarrassing.)

He pointed out to her that the relationship had been terribly one-sided and that in fact he had done a whole lot more for her than she had for him, and she shifted gears and went into the pity ploy, talking about all her hard times and how if he really loved her like he said he did he would have tried to make it up to her with a bigger ring. (Guilt trip!) He responded that those problems had been the result of her own choices, many of those choices against his advice, and that he was tired of paying for her to have the luxury of making bad choices.

Right on cue, she burst into tears, started begging, promising that she’d change, there’d be sex every day, and it would be better than it ever was, and all that nonsense. Just too predictable for words.

Now understand, most bad women will not go into a melt-down like that. She was betting large while holding a trash hand and he called her bluff. Most bad women would only go through one of those three little dances, not all three, but apparently she was inexperienced. Some women actually hate men so badly that they want nothing but to control them and bleed them dry. Others are just losers who drift from bank account to bank account…er…I mean, man to man, draining them dry along the way.

Fortunately, these are a small minority (and there is absolutely NO reason to settle for one of them when there are so many good women around), and as you can see, or are about to see, pretty easily spotted. Good women want a good man, and want to share love, life, victories, celebrations, tender moments, sex, and even bad moments, not as a parasite or predator, but as a real partner. Thankfully, they greatly outnumber the bad ones, especially as they get past their mid-30’s and their reproductive hormones slow down.

If you’ve been reading this newsletter for a while or have your own copy of “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage,” you’ve seen me post quite a few red flags, especially in my book. Here’s a list of the biggies:

1. A woman who makes demands regarding gifts, especially if she isn’t contributing to the household income, and doubly so if she insists on choosing her own gifts, especially her own engagement ring, or makes sure that you get a message through one of her friends about anything except the ring’s size (not the size of the diamond, but the diameter of the ring, i.e., size 7)

2. A woman who is frequently in trouble, and expecting you to bail her out

3. A substance abuser who defends their substance abuse in any way

4. A woman who seems to always be having problems but never doing anything about them

5. A woman who has all the trappings of wealth but no visible means of support, i.e., expensive clothes, car, etc., but expecting you to pay for everything (Women of means generally insist at least on going Dutch treat and often prefer to pick up the check themselves in an expression and assertion of independence and celebration of same.)

6. A woman who constantly acts helpless, especially if she is also overly-flirtatious with everyone at all times, obviously seeking attention and assistance.

7. A woman who left a well-paying career to have kids so that she could be a "stay-at-home-mom," but baby-sitters and daycare providers see much more of the kids than she does and she’s not gone back to work, but instead has taken up a new career having champagne brunches on your credit card and shopping all day – the so-called “toxic wife.”

As I said, this list is not comprehensive, it’s just the biggies; there are a lot more in my book and past issues of this newsletter, available in the archive at our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com/forumdisplay.php/4-Daily-Newsletter-Lessons or past posts on my blogs. If you’re currently in a relationship with one of these women, face it, you’ve screwed the pooch, and you need to face reality: she’s not going to get any better, and you’re going to continue to foot the bill, financially, emotionally, etc., for her indiscretions.

Sad, but true. And it’s not too hard to tell, either. Aside from the above list, if you’ve tried giving gifts to get out of trouble and it’s taking larger and larger gifts to get you out of the doghouse, bad news, Brother. You’re performing according to program. You may think that she’s eating out of your hand for at least the few days following that gift, but the truth is that she’s had you eating out of hers all along. Your solution is the same (dumping her hard and fast). It will just cost you more to get out of a marriage than an engagement.

If you’re still having a hard time grasping the facts that such women exist and that you may be dating or married to one of them, don’t take my word for it. Go to Google or Bing! and search for “toxic wife” and you’ll get the picture -- and the proof -- fast.

If you take nothing else from this lesson, take this: NEVER, EVER, in any facet of your life, commit to someone to get them to do anything; if their commitment doesn’t match your own because of their own values, desires, character, and integrity, the best thing that can happen to you is still bad: you get taken for a ride, unless of course you recognize how unbalanced the situation is and bail out before the real trouble starts.

Examples: Don’t marry a woman to get her to have sex with you. Don’t make babies to try to bring a marriage closer together. Don’t buy a house to give your wife something to focus on and stop being a nag. If the good behavior that should be present in a good relationship isn’t there, you can’t buy it, with commitment or anything else. Further entangling yourself with someone with whom a relationship isn’t working is just giving you more to have to detangle – and most often, simply sacrifice – to get out.

Ladies, that goes for you, too; if your marriage is on the rocks, getting pregnant isn’t going to fix it. At most it will get you child support payments in the divorce, which are not going to make up for the hassle of raising a child alone and without paternal influence, nor the damage to the children. Buying a big house isn’t going to fix it either, because adding a big mortgage payment and more maintenance effort and expense to your troubles is just going to drive you farther apart, and for you young girls with a head full of mush where your brain will be when your hormones stop raging to make a baby, I wouldn’t count on getting the house while he gets stuck with the payments; that doesn’t happen much anymore.

Gents, there are a LOT of good women in the world, luckily far more good ones than bad ones. You may have to wait for them to mature enough to not be under the spell of reproductive hormones to be able to be the good woman they were born to be, but they are out there, in abundance. Identifying them is easy if and when you know what to look for, and getting along with them is really easy when you understand how to communicate with them and what they want from both life and you. Luckily for you, there is a single source where you can learn everything you need to know to do exactly that, to have a great relationship with a great woman, even if you have to get a bad one out of the way first. Best of all, you can afford it!

It’s called “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage,” and it’s an instant download at http://www.makingherhappy.com. It costs less than dinner for two at a good restaurant (and tens of thousands or even millions less than a divorce or life with a gold-digger!), and is guaranteed to work. Download it now and start putting your life back on track, because life’s too short to live it doing anything less than enjoying it.

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

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Know the Biology Behind a Great Relationship or Marriage

If you make her happy, she can’t help herself but to make you happy, as this most wonderful joke demonstrates.

I very seldom use jokes as the focal point of instruction, but this one, while hilarious, also has a ring of truth that a man will ignore only at his own peril. Observe:

Jack wakes up with a huge hangover after attending his company's Christmas Party. Jack is not normally a drinker, but the drinks didn't taste like alcohol at all. He didn't even remember how he got home from the party. As bad as he was feeling, he wondered if he did something wrong.

Jack had to force himself to open his eyes, and the first thing he sees is a couple of aspirins next to a glass of water on the side table. And, next to them, a single red rose!

Jack sits up and sees his clothing in front of him, all clean and pressed. He looks around the room and sees that it is in perfect order, spotlessly clean. So is the rest of the house. He takes the aspirins, cringes when he sees a huge black eye staring back at him in the bathroom mirror. Then he notices a note hanging on the corner of the mirror written in red with little hearts on it and a kiss mark from his wife in lipstick: "Honey, breakfast is on the stove, I left early to get groceries to make you your favorite dinner tonight. I love you, darling! Love, Jillian"

He stumbles to the kitchen and sure enough, there is hot breakfast, steaming hot coffee and the morning newspaper. His son is also at the table, eating. Jack asks, "Son, what happened last night?"

"Well, you came home after 3 A.M., drunk and out of your mind. You fell over the coffee table and broke it, and then you puked in the hallway, and got that black eye when you ran into the door."

Confused he asked his son, "So, why is everything in such perfect order and so clean, I have a rose, and breakfast is on the table waiting for me??"

His son replies, "Oh THAT! Mom dragged you to the bedroom, and when she tried to take your pants off, you screamed, "Leave me alone, lady, I'm married!"

Broken Coffee Table $139.99
Hot Breakfast $4.20
Two Aspirins $.38
Saying the right thing, at the right time. PRICELESS!

Stop and think for a minute about why this is funny. It’s because it is so universally true! It’s something that you don’t think about, but when called to your attention, you can see virtually every woman you’ve ever known having the same response! Why?

As humans, we are the only species of life on Earth that lives by the power of volitional choice. Our mind is our primary tool of survival. Every other species simply reacts to its environment with regard to any issue of survival; they cannot grow past the point of being competent to survive. There is even room for debate on the question of whether if you put a piece of steak and a piece of cheese in front of a dog if he chooses one over the other because he has a personal preference or whether something the dog smells triggers a response that is based on a nutritional need within the dog’s body.

However, contrary to what many academians have been saying for decades, the scientists who are mapping brain activity are showing conclusively that we do still have some instinctive responses to stimuli. Some of us may be strong enough to consciously override these responses, but few can, and in practice, few want to!

For instance, they’ve shown that when men are shown sexy pictures of women, activity in the area of the brain that controls sex drive, the fight-or-flight response, and several other things, called the “limbic system” or “lizard brain” since it’s the oldest part of the human brain, lights up with activity. In most men, there is a greater response to ample breasts, rounder hips, good skin, etc. Why?

This isn’t because men are pigs, it’s because these are characteristics consistent with a physical structure of a woman who could survive childbirth and bear strong children. Being in the limbic system, the response is entirely biological, not logical, just the same as if a hungry bear charged you, you would automatically run like hell or try to kill it before it killed you.

In women, when shown pictures of sexy, naked men, there is only a mild stimulation of these same areas. HOWEVER, when alpha male behavior – authority, confidence, leadership, justice, sense of humor -- is demonstrated, their limbic system lights up just like ours do over the sexy photos. This isn’t because women are weak and worthless; it’s because these are the traits exhibited by a man who could contribute good genes, creating a strong fetus, and be able to provide for and protect the family unit, formed thousands upon thousands of years ago through the process of natural selection – evolution was kind to those bloodlines who had good survival skills and who made the best contributions to the gene pool, while the rest became food for dinosaurs, bears, etc.

Just as a woman responds biologically to alpha male behavior with sexual attraction, she responds to the feeling of loyalty, commitment, and emotional protection with nurturing. Women are smart, too. While they like and need to hear that you love them and are committed to them, they are ultimately watching for proof of it in your actions, and testing you for it, too. You might fool them for a little while, but if your commitment isn’t genuine, they will find out, and pretty quickly, so don’t think that a “fake it until you make it” ploy is going to work.

To engage her natural nurturing behavior, lead and appreciate her! If she’s not doing sweet, nurturing things for you now, remember the things that you and she did in the past that brought you together. Get back to that fun, adventurous behavior that caught her attention at first. Play with her. Nearly all communications with a woman are a negotiation, so negotiate.

Stand up TO her (when appropriate, of course!), so that she knows you can stand up FOR her and WITH her – a partner and protector, not a dependent. But don’t be a bully in an argument, especially if you know you’re in the wrong. That’s not standing up to her; it’s just being an ass, and she knows the difference even if you don’t! There are accounts of men “getting their guy on” and how their wives’ behavior consequently changed on our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com, and it’s quite enlightening, so take a few minutes and check it out.

Look at the things she does for you and appreciate them instead of just taking them for granted. Respond to them with loyalty, commitment, and love, in word and deed. Listen when she talks with you. Learn how to listen better by learning how she speaks, using questions to make statements and vice versa. Prove to her that she is the woman you love above all others by showing her real love, not in the form of senseless sacrifice, but consideration, which proves to her that you do indeed love her and think her worth the investment of your time and life’s energy. She will see this commitment and – unless she is the most unscrupulous of parasites or predators – respond by nurturing you in ways that will make you want to come home from work instead of stopping off for happy hour.

Biologically, a woman responds to being protected from boredom, and she responds to that protection with sexual attraction. Then, being protected from rejection and other forms of fragmentation of her nest and household, she responds with nurturing. If you can find a better trade than that anywhere on this planet, you’ll have to prove it, because I’ve never seen one.

All you need to know to evaluate your relationship, find out what kind of woman your partner is, and how to make both your lives as great as they can be is in "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," derived from working with hundreds of couples and tested to make sure it will work for everyone who tries it. So far it has; I don’t get refund requests; what I do get are a great many success stories and other compliments that occasionally even show up in these newsletters and on my blog, with their permission, of course. You can join them by going to http://www.makingherhappy.com right now, and downloading your copy. Never put off until tomorrow the happiness and success you can enjoy today, because life is short, but failure feels like eternity!

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