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relationships - making some changes

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maybe one of the first changes you would like to make in your lifestyle changes program would be one in a significant relationship....

relationships need to be affectionate - click here

Healthy Aging - Live Long with Sex, Marriage, Faith & Pets

by Robert M. Oliva 

Help thy brother's boat across, & lo! thine own boat has reached the shore. Hindu Proverb

When we think of health most of us focus on the need for exercise & diet, supplementing with vitamins & minerals or signing up for a year's subscription at the local gym. We often either forget or don't realize that an important aspect of being healthy as we age is the quality & depth of our social relationships. This isn't a new idea.

For centuries the need for family & social ties has been expressed in folklore & cultural mores. As the Hindu proverb quoted above indicates, helping others is a way of helping ourselves. The difference now is that there's a growing & rather large amount of scientific research that proves that good social relationships have a direct affect on our health & longevity. 

are you honoring your aging parent(s) - click here

Sidney Cobb president of the Society of Psychosomatic Medicine states that adequate social support protects us "from low birth weight to death, from arthritis thru tuberculosis to depression, alcoholism & other psychiatric illness.

Furthermore, social support can reduce the amount of medication required, accelerate recovery & facilitate compliance with prescribed medical regimens."

These are strong words & worthy of consideration if we are to fully care for our own health & the well-being of those we love.

The Medical Profession

The Medical Profession has only recently become aware that a patient's health is tied closely to the degree of social support they receive. One of the first studies to indicate this was one conducted by David Speigel of Stanford Univ. Speigal, a psychiatrist, led support groups for women being treated for advanced breast cancer.

The cancer had spread throughout their bodies. He demonstrated that support groups improved the quality of the lives of the participants. The emotional distress that accompanies this disease was better tolerated by being in a group.

But the big surprise came 10 years later when Speigel went back to the records of the women that participated in the study to see how long they'd survived after the groups disbanded. Speigal's intention was to disprove the idea that mental & emotional factors could influence disease process.

Instead, he found that the women in the support groups had survived twice as long (18 months on average) as those that weren't placed in groups. The even bigger surprise was that the survival time of the women was even greater than cancer medications could have been expected to provide. In other words, the support group experience was more effective than any other therapy!

read the remainder of this article below in the left column....

our relationships can begin in early childhood

continued from above...

slowly absorb the information....

Since the Speigal study, hundreds of valid scientific studies have been conducted that virtually prove the need for social relationships to maintain robust health & recovery from disease.

But what is social support?

Social Support Defined

Social support is simply the degree to which our basic needs are met thru interactions with other people. It's our perception that we can count on others to be there when we need them to solve a problem or to provide help in a crisis. Effective social support usually will include most of the following:

Our social support system provides a variety of resources. Some of these come in the form of direct support such as lending money, being taken to the doctor's office or grocery shopping & watching the kids when we're ill.

But the social network needs also to provide emotional help in the form of affection, understanding, empathy, listening & esteem. Having people we can confide in & that respect our circumstances is a key component to any support system. When both the direct support & the emotional support are balanced we have the lasting affect of health & recovery.

Relationships can be beneficial to your health... that's why it's so important for you to support your relationships to the best of your abilities by studying how to:
  • be a good spouse
  • be a good daughter/son
  • be a good sister/brother
  • be a good friend
  • be a good church member
  • be a good volunteer

and what do I mean by "good?" I mean be the best that you can be. Just like any other topic that you want to do well with, study it, read about what you can do personally to make your relationships better, taking personal responsibility to do what's in the best interest of your relationships! They're more important that you may think! If you're not happy with your life, this simple first step may be all you need to find balance, peace & love in your life.



How does Social Support Really Work?

Although it isn't precisely known how social support works to keep us healthy it's clear that the amount of social support we receive influences our bodies.

According to the authors of Mind/Body Health, social support systems directly affect our biological processes "such as neurendocrine responses, immune responses & changes in blood flow."

Some have gone so far as to state that all diseases are social diseases. In other words, a breakdown in the social structure precipitates a breakdown in the body's immune system. It appears that good friends are as important to health as your vitamins & minerals.

Friends & Family are Good Medicine

The Mind/Body Health Newsletter reports that in a landmark 9 year study of 4,725 men & women death rates were twice as high in those that were socially isolated. The researchers looked at marital status, contacts with friends & relatives & church & group membership. Other studies have also noted a strong link between socially isolated & death:

  • Single men 45 to 54 died at twice the rate of married men of the same age

  • Socially isolated survivors of heart attacks were more than twice as likely to die than those less isolated

  • In a group of 194 Connecticut patients who had heart attacks, 76 died within 6 months. Lack of emotional support was significantly associated with their deaths

  • Results of a study of 276 healthy volunteers showed that people socially active are less susceptible to the rhinovirus.

Ronald Glasser, Ph.D. professor of medical microbiology & immunology at Ohio State University Med. Ctr. postulates that “Our family & social ties translate into social support & social support seems to play an important role in buffering the stress in our lives. It may translate into physiological changes...important to our health.”


Sex & Longevity

We all know that sex feels good but now we have evidence that it can make you live longer too! In a recent study published in the prestigious British Medical Journal it has been shown that men that have frequent sex are less likely to die at an early age.

The authors studied nearly 1,000 men aged 45 - 59. The men were divided into 3 groups:

  • those that had sex twice or more a week
  • an intermediate group &
  • those that reported sex less than monthly

A decade later it was found that the death rate for the least active men was twice as high as the most active. The researchers adjusted for differences in age, social class, smoking, blood pressure & existing coronary disease

Can you imagine some of the consequences of this research? You might show up at your doctor’s office with some complaint & be told to go home, have intercourse & call back in the morning. I bet a lot of men will start getting those medical checkups with this one.

The results have led researchers to strongly suggest further research in this area.


Marriage & Life Expectancy

There's more & more evidence available showing that happy marriages have a dramatic affect on life expectancy. Startlingly, a man who is happily married can expect to live nearly 10 years longer than those who are unmarried.

According to the authors of Mind/Body Health "The unmarried have higher death rates from all causes of death...U.S. mortality rates for all causes of death are consistently higher for divorced, single & widowed individuals of both sexes & all races."

Good marriages seem to inoculate people to a wide assortment of disorders & diseases. Various studies have shown that those that are separated have lower immune function, whereas those that reported themselves as happily married had much higher immunological functioning.

Happily married people have lower blood pressure. In fact, married men & women are 20% less likely to have high blood pressure. Married people have fewer accidents & injuries, according to the National Health Interview Survey.

Cancer rates are also lower for the married population. In a very ambitious study in 1987 & published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, it was found that the percentage of persons "surviving at least 5 years was greater for married persons than for unmarried persons in almost every category of age, gender & stage of cancer."

Health & Touch

Those of us that are touched frequently are the healthiest of all. People who are able to enjoy satisfying touch, a slap on the back, a hug, holding hands, can enjoy many health benefits.

Studies have indicated that those that are frequently touched have stronger heartbeats, lower blood pressure, decreased stress level & a greater sense of well-being.

Touch has even shown evidence of relieving depression. Massage, manicures, hand holding are all life savers. Don't be afraid to reach out & touch someone (sorry, I couldn't resist). When you see friends give them a kiss, a hug or a squeeze of the arm, even have a significant other wash your hair. Enjoy it.


Until just a few years ago most medical & mental health practitioners considered faith or belief in God as a thing of the past & detrimental to our health.

The emphasis was on becoming a "self-sustaining" independent person. Much has changed in the last few decades. Hundreds of studies have shown the positive impact of belief on our mental & physical health.

This isn't limited to those who believe in God but also can be applied to those with less conventional spiritual or religious outlooks. The key element seems to be our relationship with what we consider Reality itself.

Most Americans see this as a relationship with God & is the source of optimism & hope in their lives. These are qualities that healthy people possess.

Recently there's been research that shows that those that attend religious services are healthier than those that don't. Observant individuals live longer, suffer less from chronic diseases & recover more rapidly from serious surgery. They also have a more positive attitude toward living.

It has become more & more evident that religious faith has a beneficial affect on our mental & physical status. Studies have demonstrated that those that possess religious faith 

  • Have lower blood pressure
  • Have lower cancer rates
  • Are more likely to survive surgery
  • Are less likely to become depressed
  • Are less likely to commit suicide
  • Are better able to deal with chronic illnesses
  • And live longer

Some, such as Herbert Benson, MD have conjectured that humans are biologically wired to have faith. The verdict is still out on this idea but it's clear that religious faith & prayer have important roles to play in our health.

Research on prayer has shown that those that pray or are prayed for by others recover more rapidly from surgery or serious illnesses. Larry Dorsey, MD has written extensively on this research indicating how beneficial prayer can be for all of us. In "Prayer Is Good Medicine" he has concluded that:

  • Prayer does work, even across great distances;
  • Asking for general guidance works better than asking for specifics;
  • A compassionate, loving attitude allow prayers to be beneficial;
  • Prayers are always answered but not always in the affirmative;
  • Hope heals.

Prayer can be an important part of your life. It's a relationship between you & God, the universe, etc. Science is now discovering that this relationship can help us live longer, live better & live happier.

If you haven’t prayed lately, give it a try. Remember, you don't have to have traditional faith to profit from a relationship with God. The most important thing is to establish a relationship that is intimate & supportive.

This may be thru prayer, meditation or walks in nature. Also, let that relationship bring you closer to others. Make an effort to find people of like mind & join with them.

Connectedness is a vital component of our health.


Pets & Health

Pets are an important aspect of health for humans. There are over 100 million pets in the US alone. Over 1/2 of all American homes have pets. Pets fulfill many needs for humans.

Pets create an opportunity for meaningful interactions & emotional relationships. Pet owners are able to carelove for another living being. And as all pet owners know, pets love us in return. The greatest benefit of pet ownership comes to the oldest part of the population.

A study out of UCLA followed 1,000 Medicare enrollees for one year. The subjects were interviewed at the beginning of the study & then every 2 months during the study. They were also assessed for psychological functioning at 6 months & 12 months. 1/3 of those in the study owned pets (cats, dogs, birds & fish).

The results were, yes, you guessed it, the pet owners enjoyed better health &16% fewer visits to the doctor.

Pets lower blood pressure, reduce heart rate, decrease stress levels, jump start the immune system, etc., etc. Pets provide companionship that's a form of intimacy. Pet owners know that they talk to their pets, they touch them & they hold them.

And pets are loyal. All of these things are a way of lowering our sense of isolation & tension. Pets have been so successful in providing positive elements to humans that many in the medical profession are prescribing pet ownership as therapy for their patients. Pets are good.

slowly absorb the information....

Love & Live!

As humans we need to love & be loved. We need to experience the warmth & concern of spouses, children, friends & pets. But we also must love in return. Caring for others is crucial to our fully participating in the world.

To reach out & share the concerns & suffering of others awakens our humanity & deepens our health at all levels. The interaction between caring & being caring for is the foundation to our mental, physical & spiritual well-being.

Love is necessary for us to live fully! Without love, our bodies & minds become wounded & disconnected. Love, empathy, compassion, caring & kindness are the qualities we must nurture in ourselves & discover in our communities.

These qualities transform us. They allow us to flourish, grow & heal ourselves & one another.

Larry Dossey, MD, who is the co-chair of the Panel on Mind/Body Interventions at the National Institutes of Health, says that "The power of love to change bodies is legendary, built into folklore, common sense & everyday experience. Love moves the flesh, it pushes matter around...Throughout history, 'tender loving care' has uniformly been recognized as a valuable element in healing."

Don't underestimate the power of relationships. Enjoy being human. It's healthy!

To learn more about natural living go to my new web page at http://healingaction.com.

Peace & Health, Bob Oliva

slowly absorb the information....

about women...combine this with the article in the right hand column for men's meetings & vice versa!
A special note for women:   -  The guidelines are the same for a "Women's Support Community."  Women seem to have an intense need to offer advice & solutions in these groups.
Generally speaking, men have this reputation, however it's been my experience that the opposite is true in "Women's Support Communities."

Most women in groups that have disbanded tell me that they did so because either one person tried to be the leader (or controller) of the group or the group couldn't resist the urge to offer advice & solutions.

This is usually the death of the group. Sandy, my wife, was in a group that dissolved for both of these reasons. A caution to women: offer no advice or solutions & let the group lead itself if you want your group to be an effective tool for healing.

It's wise to have same sex groups only. The only exception might be if there is a therapist present who can moderate or intervene in any disputes that may surface between couples.

Generally speaking, mixed groups don't work as well.

The following Statement of Purpose & Intention is an extremely important part of each meeting. It helps center the group & brings each member of the group back to the intention of the group. Before each meeting begins, have someone volunteer to read the following to reinforce the reasons you're meeting.

Statement of Purpose & Intention

We've recognized a need in our lives for the support of a group of loving, caring friends. We have put aside this period of time to help each other with the emotional stresses of life.

We agree to give these meetings an importance in our lives that we honor by making attendance a priority. It's our intention to create a place where we can collectively experience the value of self-discovery by giving & receiving support in a caring, understanding & respectful way.

In the process of receiving support we'll speak honestly about our thoughts & feelings. By doing this we'll create the freedom to explore our feelings without concern as to whether what we say is well thought out, or worded appropriately.

In the process of giving support, we agree to listen in a non-judgmental fashion without interrupting, giving advice or suggesting solutions. By honoring the value of our own inner wisdom the healing we seek will occur.

We agree to keep in confidence all that is said during our meetings!

Next. . . someone reaches for the TV remote control & begins to talk. There's no time limit. Some men will choose to talk more, others less, but rarely not at all. If you finish early, adjourn the meeting.

Let the healing begin!

slowly absorb the information....

What women really want in a relationship
Candice Davidson
Advice Columnist: datefactory.com

Doesn't it seem like most men learn about sex way before they learn about
love? Actually, most women grow up to fantasize about love rather than sex.
The end result - the passion of romance doesn't seem to materialize the way we imagined it would. It's very important to make your partner understand that love makes sex better because you feel close emotionally.
Sex is technically something one does with an organ. Making love is something you do both physically & mentally with another person. Love is the ability to feel close to a special person without feeling the need to engage in intimate relations.
Making love is a shared responsibility for both people in any relationship.

Many women feel that they're the one who's doing most of the giving in a relationship, especially when it comes to the bedroom but extends to the everyday household duties as well.
She wonders where the sharing responsibility part comes in when he gets satisfied after a quick romp & she doesn't, or after a long work day for both of them...she made dinner & is now doing the dishes too!
This is where many women say they feel that they don't really get the support they need in a relationship. Why? It could be that they haven't asked, or that they may not know how to ask in an effective manner.
Many women feel that if they have to ask for emotional support, it doesn't count. Of course, by then they may be projecting an attitude of anger & resentment. This is definitely not helpful in an already tense situation.

Women need to remember that men need to be asked for support; this is their nature. They're fixers; they want to fix it, but they need to be asked for help!

Here are 5 tips in asking your loved one for support.

  • Time your request appropriately
  • Work on a non-demanding attitude
  • Be brief but direct
  • Be kind but assertive
  • Use non-blaming language

Remember, sometimes the key element to assertive asking is silence. To maintain that good relationship, practice asking for what you need, not, what you want.

Let the word "no" be an acceptable attitude sometimes. Try to find quiet moments when you don't have to rush for special & relaxed lovemaking sessions. Don't discuss the daily challenges at this time.

Then find uninterrupted time to discuss the issues at hand & work together to make this a true sharing relationship.

slowly absorb the information....

about relationships

Co-dependent Relationships

The term "co-dependency" has become a common expression, appearing in articles, books & talk shows. But what does the term really mean? How do you know if you're in a co-dependent relationship?

Co-dependency occurs when 2 people form a relationship with each other because neither feels that he or she can "stand alone." Neither person feels capable or self-reliant.

It's as if two half parts are trying to make a whole. Both partners are seeking to become psychologically complete by binding the other partner to themselves. e.g., a female partner may spend most of her attention & time assisting her lover in recovering from drug addiction.

She feels a sense of purpose & may appear to be wonderfully self-sacrificing. However, she may also be avoiding her own unhappiness & personal issues, like her fear of abandonment.

Her partner may believe that he can't deal with his addiction without her. He vacillates between feeling grateful for her help & resentful for what he feels is her nagging & smothering behavior.

Many co-dependent partners report feeling "let down," "taken advantage of," or "trapped" by their needy partner when they're really "trapped" by their own overwhelming neediness. The addicted partner is also using his complaints about the relationship to avoid dealing with his own neediness & addiction.

In co-dependent relationships, "We need each other," which can be a healthy thing, often covers over "I need you to need me"; this can lead to "I will keep you needy because, if you ever get better, I'm afraid that you'll leave me." This kind of interaction is grounded in desperation & often spawns abusive & obsessive relationships grounded in neediness & control rather than love & respect.

Where does dependency come from? We're born dependent & needy. Becoming self-reliant is the result of a developmental process which involves the support of our parents & other caretakers.

Normal progression begins with "symbiosis," moves to increasing competence, then to independence & finally to interdependence. In co-dependent relationships, these normal shifts get "stuck," leading to an incomplete sense of self & an inability to stand on one's own.

Symbiosis is the stage in which an infant bonds with its mother & perhaps, other caretakers. When this stage gets derailed, it's as if the frightened child within is saying, "I cant live without you," "You have to meet all my needs," "Never leave me!"

Alternatively, some people get stuck with an inner voice of a needy caregiver: "I'll meet all your needs & never leave you as long as you promise to need me & me alone forever."

The next stage of development involves, a growing sense of competence. The individual develops some ability to be a separate person & to care for him or herself. As infants become toddlers, they can stand on their own two feet, walk, talk, assert themselves, grab food from the cabinet & rely on their "blankie" for comfort.

This real progress is often accompanied by a willful denial of dependency: "I'm no baby!!" In co-dependent relationships, such real progress is a threat to the stability of the relationship.

A co-dependent person believes that when his or her partner is no longer needy, he or she has nothing to offer.

The next stage involves the beginning of real independence. Toddlers become children who can make some decisions about what they want. They can go off to school or down the block to play with friends & can give voice to the person they are.

Children who are encouraged to make independent decisions & to deal with the consequences of their decisions can begin to feel in control of their lives. They'll be ready for the challenges of adolescence & for taking their place in the world as competent, dependable, caring adults.

This independence can lead to interdependence, whereby children can move comfortably between being both independent & dependent, competent & needy depending on the situation & their own level of growth.

Children need to know that their competence & initiative are appreciated. It's equally critical for children to know that they can ask for help & support when it's needed without being shamed.

The development of independence & interdependence mark the end of co-dependent relationships. For a co-dependent person, this is scary; without the glue of neediness, they wonder what will hold a relationship together.

Because they don't understand that there are better ways to bind a relationship, they fear that there can be no relationship at all.

This developmental pathway isn't only a story of how we grow up from infancy to adulthood, but is also a map which can help us understand where things could have gone wrong.

Co-dependency could result from any of these stages being interrupted; the death of a parent, the breakup of the family, illness, a move, a traumatic event, are all examples of things that can intrude on the normal developmental process.

Co-dependency can also result from any of these stages not being supported by parents & other caregivers & partners who struggle with their own co-dependency issues.

How do we overcome co-dependency? This developmental pathway to independence & interdependence is always available to us & our loved ones.

We can move from the symbiosis of "I cant live without you," to the counter-dependency of "I refuse to be co-dependent" with its baby-steps toward a separate self, to the more solid foundation of being centered in an independent self & then to the maturity of interdependence.

A first step is to recognize the problem & reach out for help. Once help is received, it's critical to stick with the process of recovery thru the fears & protests of neediness from within as well as outside the self.

In this process, a person needs support from others who can show them the way, challenge them when they're falling back into old ways & cheer them on.

Parenting: Attachment, Bonding & Reactive Attachment Disorder

Secure attachment establishes the basis on which the child will form relationships with others; his sense of security about exploring the world; his resilience to stress; his ability to balance his emotions, make sense of his life & create meaningful interpersonal relationships in the future.

What is secure attachment?

In order to have a secure base from which to explore the world, be resilient to stress & form meaningful relationships with themselves & others, all infants need a primary adult who cares for them in sensitive ways & who perceives, makes sense of & responds to their needs.

Attachment is an instinctive system in the brain that evolved to ensure infant safety & survival. Primary caretakers are usually the natural mothers, but they need not be. A father, another relative or a non-relative can function in the role of primary caretaker provided they sustain a central role in a child’s life for at least 3 & preferably 5 years - the period when a child’s brain develops most rapidly.

Each attachment occurs in a unique way. Infants vary in what it takes to calm & soothe them or what they find most pleasurable. Caretakers also have their own preferences, but the attuned caretaker will observe & follow the lead of the infant.

Relationships characterized by secure attachment have the following attributes:

  • The adult aligns his/her own internal state with that of the infant or child & communicates this alignment in non-verbal ways that the child understands. This “communication” forms a bond of trust that makes the infant feel that he / she is felt, known & respected.

For example:

    • The child cries; the adult feels concern & acts in ways that communicate this concern.

The infant smiles & wants to interact in a positive manner. Seeing this, the adult understands & accommodates the infant’s desire for joyful play.

Thru this mutually attuned interaction, the infant learns to attain balance in his body, emotions & states of mind.

How is secure attachment related to optimum development?

Human beings are highly social creatures. Our brains are designed to be in relationship with other people. Interactive communication shapes both the structure & function of the brain. The technology that brain scans have made available in the past 15 years proves this point.

Attachment experience directly influences the development of children & is directly responsible for activating or not activating their genetic potential. Interpersonal relationships & the patterns of communications that children experience with their caretakers directly influence the development of their mental processes.

Secure attachment establishes the basis on which the child will form relationships with others; his sense of security about exploring the world; his resilience to stress; his ability to balance his emotions, make sense of his life & create meaningful interpersonal relationships in the future.

Secure attachment doesn’t have to be perfect

Attachment isn't destiny because the brain remains flexible throughout life. Relationships with parents can & do change. If communication with the infant is secure at least a 3rd of the time or more, that's enough to support a secure relationship.

Repair, an important part of the attachment process, contributes as much to optimum development as joyous interaction. No caretaker will interpret a child’s needs correctly all the time. And, as the child grows, there will be times of disagreement between the pair. The caretaker, who sets limits initiates repair as soon as the child indicates a desire for reconnection, strengthens the child’s feeling of safety within the relationship.

For example, mom says, “you can’t play with fire” or “you must brush your teeth before bed.” Infants & totters unable to see things from an adult perspective are easily put off by requests they dislike, temporarily severing the relationship with anger & tears. The attuned caretaker isn't intimidated or put off by this disruption in their closeness.

If the child is angry or pouting, the caretaker understands their feelings, but remains firm. Relatively soon the dependant party (the child) gives up because they need to reconnect. An attuned caretaker will respond positively & immediately.

What causes insecure attachment & attachment disorder?

If the attachment bond doesn’t occur with sufficient regularity, then the necessary safe & secure experiences don't occur as they should. Instead, insecure attachments are formed. All insecure attachments arise from repeated experiences of failed emotional communication. They take 1 of 3 different forms.

Before listing some of these, it's important to note that parents of insecure children are themselves products of insecure experiences. Insecure attachment is passed on from one generation to the next unless repair occurs.

When children have experiences with parents that leave them overwhelmed, traumatized & frightened, the youngsters become disorganized & chaotic.

Disorganized attachment leads to difficulties in the regulation of emotions, social communication, academic reasoning as well as to more severe emotional problems.

Socio-economic status has nothing to do with the ability to establish successful attachment relationships. Orphaned children who spend their early years in orphanages or move from foster home to foster home are at risk for severe attachment disruption.

It also can occur as a result of severe illness in the parent or the child, parental unavailability, or emotional trauma. Some children have inborn disabilities or temperaments that make it difficult for them to form a secure attachment, no matter how hard the parent tries.

In any case, there generally are several factors involved. The major causes are:

What are the signs & symptoms of insecure attachment?

Insecure attachments influence the developing brain, which in turn affects future interactions with others, self-esteem, self-control & the ability to learn & to achieve optimum mental & physical health.

Symptoms can include the following:

What is Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)?

Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) is a clinically recognized form of severe insecure attachment. Children with RAD are so neurologically disrupted that they can't attach to a primary caregiver or go thru the normal developmental processes.

These children can't establish positive relationships with other people. Many of these children may have been incorrectly diagnosed as having severe emotional & behavioral disturbances ranging from attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to bipolar disorder to depression.

In response to these diagnoses, they may have received various combinations of unnecessary psychotropic mediation. See References & resources for an excellent website that thoroughly describes the problem.

How is inadequate attachment repaired?

Recent studies show that it’s never too late to create positive change in a child’s life, or in an adult’s, for that matter. The learning that accompanies new experiences can alter neural connections in the brain. Relationships with relatives, teachers & childcare providers can provide an important source of connection & strength for the child’s developing mind.

In attempts to repair attachment, here are some things to consider:

  • Attachment is an interactive process. It's an evolutionary fact that our brains are structured to connect to one another. The attachment process alters the brains of both parent & child. But what makes attachment so unique is that the stronger, older, more experienced parent attunes & follows the lead of the younger, less experienced, more vulnerable child

  • Following an infant’s lead doesn't mean that that the infant makes all the decisions. It does mean that the caretaker follows & responds to the infant’s emotional needs & defers to the infants emotional needs when appropriate.

  • Attachment is a nonverbal process. It takes place many months & even years before speech & thought develop. Communication is accomplished thru wordless means that rely on several things to convey interest, understanding & caring:
    • eye contact

    • facial expression

    • tone of voice

    • speech rhythm & rate

    • posture

    • gesture

    • body movement

    • timing, intensity & voice modulation

Children vary in what they find soothing. There is no “one size fits all” for every child. In determining what constitutes “just right” communication for a particular child, it'll be up to the adult to follow the nonverbal cues of that child.

  • Attachment is akin to falling in love, but can’t begin until both parties feel safe in their bodies & safe with one another. When adults are anxious, mad, tuned out or overwhelmed, they'll not be able to make an attuned connection with a child.

They should regulate themselves before attempting to connect. If a child is overwhelmed or inconsolable, he may not be available for an attuned emotional connection until he feels safer in his body.

Sensory activities such as rocking, singing, moving, touching & feeding can sooth children, but youngsters vary in their sensory preferences. What soothes a parent may not soothe an infant.

Thus, parents may have to become sensory detectives to determine the best techniques for soothing their child & soothing themselves in order to make connection with the child.

  • The key to shared emotional experience isn't simply to mirror or give lip service to the child, but to share his experience by feeling it to some degree within your own body. This process of shared experience helps both infants & children regulate their feeling states. It's usually more important to share a negative state with a child than to problem solve.

Sharing enables children to learn to problem solve for themselves.

  • The shared positive emotional experiences of joy are as important to the attachment bond as the shared negative emotional experiences of fear, sadness, anger & shame. Some parents are very good at detecting a child’s distress & responding appropriately to it. Other parents share joyous moments but leave or space out in times of trouble & unhappiness.

A strong attachment bond includes the full range of shared emotional experience.

  • Rupture & repair is a crucial part of secure attachment. No matter how much we love our children, there comes a point where we aren't in agreement with them, a point when we have to set limits & say “no.”

This is usually a point of rupture in the relationship as the child angrily protests. Such protest is to be expected.

The key to strengthening the attachment bond of trust is to be available the minute the child is ready to reconnect. It's also important to initiate repair when we've done something to hurt, disrespect, or shame a child.

Parents aren’t perfect. From time to time, we're the cause of the disconnection. Again, our willingness to initiate repair can strengthen the attachment bond.

  • Families who have children with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) will benefit from treatment & therapeutic parenting. Other disorders may accompany severe attachment disorder.

about men....

 Every man needs to bond with other men from the heart. He needs to fulfill his needs for intimacy with someone other than his lover, so she isn't his only outlet for feeling.
He needs mirrors of his own quest to understand his masculinity; soul buddies who can validate his journey like no woman ever can. Find a friend. Take off your mask. Show him who you really are.

Barbara DeAngelis, Author
Real Moments

Guidelines for a "Men's Support Community"
  • Set a specific place, time & length of the meeting. Once a week in the same place, at the same time with a 2 hour maximum is recommended.

Important: The effectiveness of the group is dependent upon each member's total committment to making attendance at this weekly meeting a high priority. No committment. No healing.

If you can't commit to be present at every meeting don't join the group. Obviously there will be an ocassional missed meeting because of family emergencies.

  • Our group determined that family comes first. Other than family or you die, there were no excuses for not attending this life-changing meeting. Be on time. Better yet, arrive early & visit for a few minutes before the meeting officially begins. If someone is unavoidably late, don't stop to greet them, continue with the meeting.

I once was late for a sales meeting & made the comment, "Better late than never," to which the sales manager replied, "Better never late!" Lesson learned. It's wise for everyone to commit to meet for a minimum of 6 weeks in the beginning & at the end of that period you can all choose to extend your meetings at 6 week intervals.

  • Our group eventually decided to meet indefinitely. A group of from 6 to 8 is most effective. Decide whether you want to have a closed group once the group reaches capacity. I'm of the opinion that a closed group is a good idea. A new member introduced to the group after the group has been meeting for awhile may feel left out because the others in the group have already bonded.

The older members will often feel the need to bring the new member up to speed. A closed group is recommended. Start the meeting promptly at the appointed time & end on time.

  • Eating, drinking, gum chewing, alcohol & recreational drugs all serve as distractions from feelings. Refrain from alcohol & recreational drugs the day of the meeting. No smoking. Refrain from giving advice & criticism. This is a must. If a member requests assistance, it's best to volunteer it at a private meeting between the 2 of you at another time. A phone call also works.

  • Use "I" messages (e.g., I think, I feel, I believe, etc.) & all the listening skills you can muster. Confidentiality is paramount. This can't be over emphasized. This includes talking to your spouse or significant other about who said what in the meeting. Nothing discussed in the meeting goes out of the room.

If a confidentially breach is discovered is it wise to ask the guilty party to leave the group. No subject is taboo. The focus must be on expressing your thoughts & feelings about what's happening in your life.

Remember: this is a "safety zone;" a place where you can say what needs to be said without the judgment of others & without the fear of anyone else speaking about it to their friends. Avoid chit-chat about the score of the big game or other less important stuff you can talk about at another time.

  • During this meeting it's important to notice what it "feels" like to suspend your judgment about what someone is saying. This will free them up to speak whatever is on their mind. No "raised eyebrows" or "elbow nudging." You're there for them only to be their committed listener.

Always read the "Statement of Purpose & Intention" at the beginning of every meeting. Always. Resist the urge to dispense with this very important part of the ritual because you've "heard it before!" It must be an intergral part of every meeting. Since there is no leader of the group, it's a good idea that each week the responsibility for reading the "Statement of Purpose & Intention" word-for-word be rotated. (See below).

  • When one person talks, everyone listens. No interruptions & absolutely no advice given. This is a opportunity to say what you want to. You may choose to take a turn talking or not. As a gimmick to call attention to who has the floor, when each man in the group took their turn to talk in the group I was in, they held a TV remote control. Somehow it made us feel at home & more in control. There may be some irony there, I think.

Getting the Respect You Deserve

by Brian Caniglia
If a woman doesn't respect you she CANNOT feel attracted to you. Respect is the foundation of attraction... it's absolutely necessary.

Trying to "get" respect is difficult. In fact, the harder you try to GET respect the more it eludes you. It's one of those many things in life where the harder you try the more likely you are to fail.

That shouldn't be discouraging. There ARE things you can do to gain the respect &
admiration of others. BUT, in order to do that, you can't concentrate on "getting respect." Rather, must you concentrate on the SOLUTION. Or, in other words, the root of the problem.

Here are 3 "solutions" for you to focus on:

1.) Be completely congruent...

People (especially women) have an intuitive sense of whether or not you're being genuine. In fact, studies have shown that even when people are *sure* that they fooled someone into believing something that wasn't true... they DIDN'T; the other person knew they were being
deceitful. We're all human lie detectors, we can sense when what's going on inside doesn't match up with what someone is trying to portray on the outside. People don't like &/or respect false fronts & fakeness. Instead, they're drawn to & respect people that are genuine, comfortable & confident in their own skin.

2.) Be "suave"...

HOW we do any given thing in life is sometimes more important than WHAT we do. Interacting with women is no exception. Your body language trumps what you say. It doesn't matter what witty, ultra-cool lines you manage to eek out during a date, if you're as tense as a coiled spring & sheepish when you say them she will still view you as a sheepish, nervous, easily intimidated little weakling.

Suave (adj.) - Smoothly agreeable & courteous.

NOT "agreeable" as in being a "yes-man." Rather, I think what dictionary.com is trying to say here is agreeable as in pleasant. Have you ever been around a pleasant person? Have you ever been around a SMOOTHLY pleasant person? These are the people that men & woman alike BOTH seek out & admire. I'd pay attention to what that "suave" person you know is doing right so that you can figure out what you're doing wrong.

3.) Don't ignore your opinions...

Have you ever noticed how interesting opinions are? When 2 people are debating surrounding people perk up & pay attention. The good thing is you don't even need to be having a heated debate... just stating your opinion on a subject will have the same effect.

Why then do so many men hide their opinions from women? In fact, on a first date, a lot of men forget they even HAVE opinions. Guys think that if their opinion is conflicting a woman will like them less when it simply isn't true. People with viewpoints & opinions are people that think, people that have things to say & people who voice a DIFFERING opinion are people with a backbone... all VERY attractive & respectable things.

Women want to respect you, don't make it hard for them.

8 Mistakes Men Make That Disgust Women 

by Brian Caniglia


Most guys act jealous when there is absolutely NO reason to...  which makes them look extremely silly & foolish. Some guys even think that women are impressed by jealousy, likes  it's manly or something... nope. 

No *healthy* woman would want to be with a guy that feels threatened by other men. Women like men that are confident with themselves & at ease around "the  competition." 

Look at it this way, if your girlfriend or date requires constant  supervision, if you can't trust her around other guys... then why  would you want her? She's not the kind of high-quality woman you  deserve to be with anyway. 


Clingy, sheepish guys who need to be affirmed & reassured all the  time don't get respect (which is EXTREMELY bad because respect is  the foundation of attraction)

Give the woman of your life some space. Show her how strong &  independent you are & then watch how she's drawn to you like metal to a magnet - act needy around her & prepare for her to be repelled. 


Buying women gifts, giving excessive compliments & being too nice all fall into this category,  they're all attempts to increase a woman's interest but all fail miserably

Compensating only draws attention to the fact that you have weaknesses, it doesn't cover anything up. Rather than trying to disguise your flaws focus on becoming comfortable with, & overcoming, them.  

Coming on Too Strong Too Soon 

People (both men & women) have a tendency to get caught up in the emotions of a new relationship & show too much interest way too soon. 

It's especially unattractive when a man becomes infatuated too easily, believe it or not people like to work for what they get. If a woman feels like your affection was too easy to obtain she won't be satisfied with it. 

Don't jump into relationships... ease into them gradually. With 
relationships it is better to error on the side of caution - take things slow.

Centering Life Around Her 

Women are attracted to movers & shakers...  & repulsed by men  who have no worthy ambition or drive to succeed. 

Most people don't  feel worthy to be the core of another person's life so when a woman realizes that she is your sun & your whole solar system is orbiting her she will begin to question how boring & unimportant the rest of your life must be. 

When a man becomes dependent on a woman, psychologically, 
emotionally, or financially he places himself below her (on a psychosocial level) which makes it hard for her to respect him. 

Trying Too Hard 

We're taught since we're very young that if we want something we have to try our hardest to get it. e.g., we're told that if we want a high paying job we have to put forth our best effort & in the end we will be rewarded because 'hard work always pays off.' 

Getting women is one of those few things in life where the less you try the better your results will be. When guys try too hard to be cool or likeable it's obvious to women & their actions seem forced, unnatural & unattractive. 

Don't TRY TOO HARD to be cool, funny, or noticeable,  just relax & be yourself. 


Talking yourself up makes you look bad (which is strange since the whole reason people do it is to make themselves look better). 

Allow your good qualities & life achievements to come to the surface naturally a woman will admire that 10 - no, 20 - times as much & think much more highly of you than if you pointed it out to her. 

Being Sheepish 

Call it what you will (wussy, shy, being a doormat, etc.), women 
HATE it. Don't allow ANYONE to overstep your boundaries (you do have boundaries, don't you?)... especially not her. 

When a weak, untrained man gets around a beautiful woman he 
loses his opinions, he loses his ability to say no & he loses his 
ability to stand up for himself. Don't be one of these guys NOBODY likes a push-over, yes-man people pleaser. 

Oftentimes a woman will deliberately test your inner strength by trying to get you to bend your will for her. This is one test you DO NOT want to fail because it will be close to IMPOSSIBLE for her to respect you if you give in to her. 


Interestingly enough, EVERY SINGLE ONE of these mistakes that 
men make which drive women away are caused by, or indicative of, INSECURITY

Did you notice that? It's amazing. Insecurity repels women. Which is perfectly logical because insecurity means BIG problems for women (abuse, mental problems, "baggage," etc.) so if they even sense it, if they are healthy themselves, they'll lose interest & leave. Can you blame them? I can't.  

Luckily, the opposite is also true. CONFIDENCE ATTRACTS WOMEN, INSECURITY REPELS THEM. Women are DRAWN to real self-confidence like metal to a magnet. NOTHING is more attractive than a confident, competent man. Women are attracted to men with goals, desires & opinions.

Men who are secure & proud of who they are. Men who aren't afraid to be themselves. Men who love to get the most out of life & aren't afraid.

For Men Only

How to Read a Woman

In 1963 I met my first woman. She was beautiful, kind & loving (still is). She's my mother. As time went by as it inevitably does, I would meet many other women. They came in all sizes & temperaments.

Some were flashy & glitzy like brand new cars; others not so shiny & glitzy but very dependable. As I reached middle age I started noticing distinct characteristics that some women had & some lacked.

In my head I categorized women into types. When I was done, I believed, I had put a description on every type of woman that existed.

The only thing to do next was prove my hypothesis.

So, over a period of quite a few months every woman that I met, saw on television or read about got plugged into my theory. After a little tweaking, 7 categories of women emerged. They're presented here in no particular order. They are:

1.) The Beauty Queen
2.) The Amazon
3.) The Drama Mama
4.) The Vestal Virgin
5.) The Black Widow
6.) The Ugly Duckling
7.) The Girl Next Door

What I found was that while there are some women that are 100% one type; they're the exception.

More the norm was that most women were mixes or blends. Dominant Amazon with submissive Girl Next Door & a dash of Vestal Virgin; or dominant Girl Next Door w/an under current of Ugly Duckling.

Every woman was one type at least 75% of the time & spent the other 25% dabbling in others.

I've put pen to paper to share my insights so maybe other men might find some solace in knowing who they're dating, married to or separating from. If my little system helps you, I'm grateful.

The Beauty Queen

For most of us the Beauty Queen isn't difficult to spot. The title's a clear give away. She's first & foremost a sight for sore eyes; a beautiful face, nice figure & sex appeal to match.

She's the Ginger on Gilligan's Island. What sets the Beauty Queen apart from just a regular beauty is the belief that her looks come with some sort of entitlement, special privileges.

The B.Q. (Beauty Queen), as the title clearly states, feels she should be treated like a queen. She shouldn't have to stand in line because she's a queen. She should wear the finest clothes, the most expensive shoes, the Fendi handbag & name brand jewelry (Cartier, Winston, Bulgari, Tiffany) because she's the queen.

B.Q.'s live in their own special world where reality doesn't exist. Price tags are for somebody else to worry about. Children are for nannies to raise but important to have to feel complete.

Marilyn Monroe was a Beauty Queen. Marilyn Monroe committed suicide. Most B.Q.'s are rarely happy because they live in a world of need & expectation. There's always something they need, there's always something they expect.

What blows me away about some B.Q.'s is how many of them think they're all that & a bag of chips, while most guys see them as nothing but tramps. The tramps should really be called "Wannabes."

They're easy to spot because the Fendi bag is a copy, the make up is a little too thick, a little too much hair spray & a total lack of class or demeanor. Certainly these "Wannabe" B.Q.'s turn our head but kinda the same way a traffic accident gets us to slow down.

We just want to see what's going on. These "Wannabes" believe that their beauty is the only card they have to play. Sadly, for many of them, it's true. The "Wannabes" gravitate to the strip club, the street corner & the local bar. Others land 15 seconds of fame on the cover of men's magazines or hard & soft-core adult films.

Someone once said that what every man wants is a virgin who's a whore. These women forgot the virgin part.

B.Q.'s, whether high class or downtown, do have that one thing in common, they all play the beauty card. As men we can't be sucked in. We must determine if she's holding any other cards.

The humor card, the I.Q. card, the compassion card, the reliability card. Are all B.Q.'s bad? No, certainly not. Nobody's judging here. There are a lot of B.Q.'s that are a staple of society; governors' wives, senators' wives, wives of celebrities.

What makes them different from the "Girl next door" (to be explained later) is their lack of gratitude for anything & their demand that everything should be handed to them on a silver platter.

The Amazon

When most people think of an Amazon, a Linda Carter Wonder Woman - type probably comes to mind. But that's not what I'm talking about.

Amazon has nothing to do with stature but everything to do with attitude & assertiveness. Amazons come in every size, from petite to plus sizes, from gorgeous to something the cat dragged in.

A woman isn't categorized as an Amazon by anything but her personality. Amazons are the first to ask questions, the first to speak up, the first to sign up. They are extroverts, Type A personalities.

If a meal isn't prepared just right, back it goes to the kitchen. If someone cuts in line at the movie theatre, she's the first to say, "Hey buddy, there's the back of the line, now get there!"

Amazons I believe were on their way to being overbearing men in their mother's wombs but turned into females at the last moment. Spineless men w/out pants tend to gravitate to these testosterone driven gals.

Rarely will you find an equally brazen muscle bound man who'll team up w/them. Amazons spend a lot of time proving they're just as good or better than a man instead of appreciating the differences. Amazon women don't play games (probably one of their best features).

They always get straight to the point. If you're dating an Amazon, you'll never have to worry why she's mad at you, trust me, she'll let you know.

Men who are very secure with themselves & don't feel the need to tell their woman how pretty they are every 15 minutes might want to choose an Amazon.

They're honest, straightforward & logical thinkers. If on top of that you get lucky enough to get looks thrown into the mix, hang on! You're in for a fun but bumpy ride!!

The Drama Mama

Ever heard the expression, "Making a mountain out of a molehill"?

Well, that is a Drama Mama's battle cry. A Drama Mama can take any small insignificant thing & by the time she's done with it make it larger than Mount Everest. Drama Mamas have a skewed perception on reality.

They're always at Def Con One with a missile launch ready to go at any second. Here's a classic example of a Drama Mama in action:

Wife:  Honey, did you take the garbage out?

Husband: I'll get to it.

Wife: Oh sure, that's what you always say then we get garbage piled for days. Next thing you know, we'll miss garbage pick up day because you failed to take the garbage out to the curb. We'll have garbage piled up for all the world to see, then the dogs
will get into it & scatter it over the yard, THEN THE NEIGHBORS WILL CALL THE POLICE FOR LITTERING!!


Husband: Honey stop, look, I'm getting up, I'm taking the garbage out

Sounds familiar? If there's always drama in your life, you're either married to a Drama Mama or are one yourself.

The Vestal Virgin

Mother Teresa, The Virgin Mary, Princess Di are all classic examples of Vestal Virgins. Vestals have your classic caretaker personality. Many of them are homemakers, mothers & humanitarians.

They'll do w/out until everyone else is taken care of first. Vestals are selfless almost to the point in some cases where it's sickening. In a word, Martyrs.

Vestals are usually not risk takers, conservative by nature & practical. Usually easy to spot because they rarely wear make up unless required. Vestals range in beauty from natural beauties to homely.

The highest levels of Vestals have no problem w/their self-worth but will always choose the best interest of the whole (family, society, country) vs. the interest of the self. At the other extreme, low-level Vestals have a low self-worth & want to please others because they dont feel they are worthy.

Low-level Vestals have one of the highest suicide rates because they believe their life has no purpose.

The Black Widow

Also referred to as the Chameleons for their ability to take any form & any one of the other 6 personas. Black Widows are the most lethal & toxic women walking on the face of the planet.

First & foremost they are takers, opportunists, destroyers. The only thing they care about is looking out for #1, themselves. Their motto is, "What's in it for me?" Different than the bartering Beauty Queens who actually believe the more you need from someone the more you love them.

At least Beauty Queens in most cases allow themselves the belief that they are in love w/the person that's doing so much for them. Most divorces w/Beauty Queens arise when their mate can no longer satisfy the B.Q.'s needs. While long-term relationships w/B.Q.'s are forged, the bartering never ends.

The Black Widow should never be confused w/the Beauty Queen because she never allows herself the emotional attachment. There is no bartering, just the illusion of it. There are a lot of Black Widows doing time right now because they couldn't be patient & allow their elderly husbands to pass on of natural causes in order to collect their inheritance.

Anna Nicole Smith is a classic example of a Black Widow (in my opinion, please no letters) who was patient & did her time to cash in. A lot of people would argue w/me & say she was clearly a Beauty Queen but since Black Widows are inherently such good actresses, who'll ever know if her crocodile tears at the funeral were just a stage show. Either way she's worth more money than me.

A psychiatrist that I consulted for this article told me, just like men, there are women out there prepared to do what ever it takes to get what they want. The end always justifies the means. These women are Black Widows.

The Ugly Duckling

Ever see a beautiful, fit, sexy woman standing in front of a full length mirror talking about how fat she is? To a degree that's what I'm talking about here but at another level. Ducklings see themselves through imperfect eyes.

They see fat when everyone else sees thin. They see ugly when everyone else sees beautiful. They see stupid when everyone sees intelligent. Ducklings radar systems are broken. Most, if not all anorexics & bulimics fall in this category.

Many ducklings are over achievers & seen by the world as successful only to return home at the end of the day to believe they never cut the mustard.

Different than the successful Amazons who know when they've crossed the finish line, Ducklings never measure up to their own twisted sense of perfection.

Julia Roberts is a classic example of an Ugly Duckling. To the world she attempts to come off as the Girl Next Door or pretty woman w/that contagious laugh while inside she hides scars from broken relationships & name calling from a childhood long since passed.

Ducklings need constant reassurance that they're smart enough, pretty enough & successful enough. Needy, to the point of desperation, is the one word that best describes a Duckling.

This overwhelming need for approval is typically the deciding factor that pushes the ones closest to them out of their life. Another good example of a Duckling is Sally Fields. I still remember in her acceptance speech upon winning her second Oscar saying, "You like, You like me, You really like me."

My word, practically the whole world had loved her since the Flying Nun to Smokey & the Bandit but she was still this little girl trapped in a grown up's body looking for approval.

On the plus side many Ducklings turn into swans & overcome their self worth issues & make the kindest sweetest people to live w/but at some level never accept just how magnificent they are. One thing Ducklings should remember is the following quote, "I'm told I'm pretty, I'm told I'm ugly. I'm told I'm fat, I'm told I'm thin. Who's right? Brace yourself, they all are! What I choose to be on any given day is up to me."

The Girl Next Door

When I was in 3rd grade I lived next door to Mary Vinci.

We walked together to school, played together, studied together, got in trouble together. We weren't boyfriend & girlfriend, heck, we didn't even know what that meant. What we were, was buds. I could tell her my deepest darkest secrets & she would tell me hers.

We stuck up for each other, looked out for each other. When I got older & moved away she'd be the one I consulted about girls, even if it was by long distance. Our friendship transcended any & everything else.

As I look back at my relationship w/Mary I realized I fell in love w/all the same traits she showed me were possible to find in a woman:

  • friendship
  • honesty
  • fairness
  • a sense of humor
  • intelligence
  • inner beauty

Mary liked herself. I didn't know it then, but I know it now. All Girls Next Door aren't trying to be something or someone they're not. They like their own skin. They like who they are. That alone should be their biggest attraction.

Try marrying someone who doesn't like themselves. See how far that gets you. But when you can find that woman who likes her reflection in the mirror & is all loving, my friend you have found The Girl Next Door.

is this what women think of you?
  • Someone once said that women are the ones w/feelings.
  • Men are the thinkers & fixers.
  • Men have feelings too, however they often refuse to acknowledge them, much less talk about them; seldom to their spouse or significant other & especially not to other men.
  • Most think it's a sign of weakness. Not so! It's a sign of strength & of courage.
  • Men who get in touch w/their feelings can reinvent themselves. It opens up numerous possibilities.
  • It's possible for a man to be tough AND tender!
  • Often men get caught up in the business of the day & when they arrive home, they express their feelings in unintentionally destructive ways by literally "dumping" on their significant other. This doesn't work. The relationship can only go downhill from there.
  • For the most part, men haven't been brought up to express their feelings at all, much less in a constructive way.
  • Generally speaking, you can trace this behavior back several generations.
  • Remember the song, "Big Boys Don't Cry?" It should have been, "Big Boys Don't Express Their Feelings."
  • Bet your grandfather didn't. Most likely neither did your dad. He was probably the "rock;" the one who must be strong & not demonstrate his feelings lest he be seen as a weak man.
  • Men are suppose to be macho.
  • Oh, really? The truth is, most men lack the skills to express their feelings. "But," you say, "that's a woman thing." Says who? The more you're in touch w/how you really feel about things, the easier it is to communicate those feelings. I call this: getting totally honest w/yourself!
  • Men are notoriously poor at cultivating & maintaining close friendships w/other men.
  • Often when you ask a man how many close friends he has, he'll be at a loss to come up w/more than 1 or 2 (if any at all).
  • Many times the people he'll mention are the guys he gets together w/over a beer to talk about the big game last Sunday or the other men he communicates w/about business.
  • Other men may talk about their childhood friends they no longer are in touch with. How sad. These aren't the kind of close friendships w/whom you can share your most intimate feelings.
  • Intimate feelings? Is that scary, or what?
  • Feelings must be expressed.
  • To stuff your most intimate feelings is to stay stuck w/the feeling. What is the solution? How can you find a way to communicate your feelings in a way that feels safe & where you can always be assured of being heard?
  • One highly effective solution is to form your own "Men's Support Community."
  • To be heard is to be healed. You learn to talk openly & honestly in an environment of absolute confidentiality where there are no rules about what or how you say what you need to say.
  • The other men in the group only listen. No one offers advice. No solutions.
  • The other men learn to suspend their judgments about what they think or feel about what you say. They're there to be your committed listener.
  • Listening IS support. Soooo. . . how does this help you? You get to "vent" all you want, anyway you want but this time w/out the destructive tones damaging the relationship you have w/your significant other.
  • Another way it helps is that you learn when you listen. You discover that you can benefit from the experiences of the other men.
  • You should have learned by now that a solution that you discover on your own rather than being told by someone else is almost always the better & most workable solution.
  • While it may be difficult for men to understand how only talking w/no advice & solutions will work, I can assure you that after meeting & getting to know each other after about 6 to 10 weeks you'll begin to notice a shift in the dynamics of the group -- to say nothing about your attitude about expressing yourself fully.
  • To be listened to attentively feels good. Knowing that you have everyone's full attention to how you feel can be a bit disarming for some men.
  • In "Men's Support Communities" I've been involved w/ in the beginning most men experienced some level of discomfort in only being listened to w/out anyone offering solutions.
  • Men are fixers, remember? This is not the expected way for men to be. Or is it? As the group spent more time together, the bonding that occurred worked its own miracle.
  • Frequency assists in the bonding process. Men can learn a very important lesson from fully participating in a group such as this. They learn to empathize w/women who are often heard complaining,
  • "He never listens to me!"
  • Once men experience the committed listening of the group, they begin to feel more at ease in sharing their deepest concerns about their relationship, their work & their life w/their spouse or significant other. Most often this is the salvation for their personal relationship!

for women only.....
For Women Only

The Man Behind the Curtain

Like the quest for the Holy Grail there's been an eternal quest into the psyche of the adult male. This article picks up where many of my other articles left off.

In "The Scarecrow, The Cowardly Lion & The Tin Man", I began to attempt to explain the psyche which is the male spirit. It was followed up by "Snugglers Blues"; "Superman Syndrome" & "Secondhand Men", which were all snap-shot attempts to explain why men do the things they do.

In "The Man Behind the Curtain", I take a painstaking journey of introspection & personal evaluation of man. Who are we; what are our aspirations; what are our insecurities; what are our fears; & in the end, how do we become winners, sinners & those lost in between.

This piece is a companion piece to "How to Read a Woman". In that article I outlined my observations & conversations w/hundreds of women & took my findings to help outline the 7 types of women that walk amongst us.

While I did my research on the 7 types of women I also developed data on an eventual list to describe men. After the release of "How to Read a Woman", I was bombarded w/inquiries on when I would write the article youre reading now.

My attempts to write this piece were fruitless for countless hours. Every time I tried to classify men I would always end up w/categories that failed to corral all the personas that are male.

I got to the point, more than once, where I felt this article couldn't be written because I was having an impossible time understanding men & their motives. When I asked my own dad why I was having such a tough time explaining men he replied, "Heck, son, you've spent your whole life trying to figure women out; don't be upset if you can't solve this puzzle in a day."

My dad was right! I had spent so much of my time looking over the fence that I never got to know my own backyard; me, my buddies, my friends, my enemies, my contemporaries-- men.

With time, the fog began to clear. In its wake, 8 distinct types of men emerged. They're presented here in no particular order:

1. The Boy Scout
2. The Maverick
3. The Juggernaut
4. The Mogul
5. Nowhere Man
6. The Warrior
7. Mr. Fix It
8. The Playboy

The Boy Scout

Usually, in this day & age, to call somebody a "Boy Scout" isn't considered a compliment. A lot of people I interviewed felt "Boy Scouts" were:

  • too straight-laced
  • conformists
  • anal
  • afraid to break the rules
  • non-risk takers

Those that like the "Boy Scout" felt he is:

These are the men that:

  • pay their taxes on time
  • pay their bills early
  • don't walk on the grass if not allowed
  • give to the poor & live their lives by a strict moral code
  • there's right & there's wrong

Right is not an interpretation but a truth that anyone w/out blinders on can see plain as day. "Boy Scouts" believe that a man is defined by his actions.

A "Boy Scout" aspires to perfection; generally a neat freak, he can sometimes alienate those around him by imposing his strict moral code on others.

A "Boy Scouts" biggest fear is isolation. Fear they won't have somebody to lead; that they'll be left all alone. This obsessive - compulsive disorder that rules the "Boy Scouts" life generally doesn't let a lot of light of happiness in, because happiness is something that is placed on hold till perfection is met.

To love a "Boy Scout" is to believe the same dreams they do: "If you do what's right, do what you're told, work hard, good things will happen."

Sometimes, sometimes, they're right & everything goes according to plan. But if there's anything I've learned about life is this:

  • seldom is it fair
  • the good guy is generally denigrated not celebrated
  • the riches go to those who break the rules 
  • given a choice most women will choose a rebel

No, sadly, to call someone a "Boy Scout" these days usually means you're putting them down. But do me a favor, the next time you hear someone say, "Who does he think he is, some kind of "Boy Scout"? or "What a "Boy Scout, he's no fun!"

Tell them this, "Boy Scouts" went into the twin towers to save people like you & me, "Boy Scouts" die every day for people like you & me. And w/out "Boy Scouts" there is no us.

The Maverick

More years ago than I care to remember, I found myself in the main hub of the Atlanta airport waiting for my connecting flight. Someone once said that when you die you have to go thru Atlanta on your way to your final destination.

Nevertheless, I was there for a 2 hour layover along w/thousands of others on their way home. Of the thousands of people there that day, there was one person I met I'll never forget.

He was a tall, lanky fellow, about 6' 4", jet-black hair slicked back, a large chiseled jaw that would make the gods jealous & a giant mouth full of teeth.

I'd just come back from a managers meeting (from my days of working for a jewelry chain) & was dead tired. All I wanted to do was get on my plane, get home, shower & crawl straight into bed. As I sat in the hard preformed plastic chairs that are attached together at the base (like someone would want to take one as a souvenir) I sat next to Mr. Mouth-full-of-teeth.

The thing I remember most about him is he wouldn't sit still. He was like a 2 year old in his high chair that just wanted out! After what seemed like an eternity (15 minutes) I couldn't take it anymore.

"Dude, (trust me people said "dude" in the early 80's) calm down. Why are you so hyper?"

"Oh, I'm sorry, I'm just a little nervous. I'm on my way to be on my first national television appearance".

"Really?" I said, "What show?"

"Merv Griffin", he replied.

"Wow, why you going on the show?"

"Well", he said kind of sheepishly w/eyes to the floor then back at me, "I'm going to change the world."

"Really, how's that?" I sat straight up in my seat & then leaned over to hear his answer. This guy was certainly more interesting than the crossword puzzle I'd been working on.

"Well, I'm going to help people solve their problems. If they're overweight I'm going to teach them how to be thin; if they're financially challenged I'm going to show them how to achieve financial freedom; if they're lonely I'm going to show them how to attract the love of their life."

This guy definitely had my full attention now. "How in the hell you going to pull off that little trick? Who are you any way, Houdini?"

"No, my name is Anthony Robbins." (For those of you who don't know, Tony Robbins is a world-renowned author & motivational speaker & personal advisor to presidents, CEOs, professional athletes, including Andre Agassi when he had lost his game)

But back then he was still a kid in his 20's & had yet to realize all the future successes that lay before him or the one billion dollar empire he would create.

"Never heard of you Anthony", I replied, "But I certainly like your enthusiasm. But seriously how are you going to pull this off?"

With a big infectious grin he said, "I figured something out."

"Im waiting!" I replied w/baited breath. "I figured there are those special people in the world who will see what has never been seen; say what has never been said; write what has never been written & do what has never been done.

I don't think I'm one of them. But what I figured out was it doesn't make a difference! Success can be copied! For the last few years I've interviewed people that have been challenged w/their weight & become thin & found out their secrets.

I've interviewed wealthy men & wrote down their rules for success. I've even interviewed people in wonderful loving relationships & asked them how they attracted the love of their life.

Point blank I'm going to share w/the world my findings."

I never met Tony, "The Motivator" again, although he wasn't too hard to find on his popular late-night infomercials. Tony said, he wasn't one of those rare people that could see what had never been seen. But he was clearly wrong.

There was one thing he saw that up until that time no one else had, success can be copied. Tony was & is a "Maverick". In fact, w/out him being aware of it, he had helped describe what a "Maverick" is.

A man that sees what hasn't been seen; says what has never been said; writes what has never been written, does what has never been done. They are visionaries.

Their way is a new way. To most people "Mavericks" are bold adventurous risk-takers but at heart they are inquisitors; always asking why; always wanting to know how something works; always questioning past theories.

"Mavericks", although seen by most as Type A personalities are actually quite insecure. They put on this bravado face that they take outdoors but inside they are more petrified of life than most because they are so curious.

I asked one "Maverick" what his greatest asset was & he replied quite matter of factly, "time".

When I told him practically every other person I interviewed answered "health" (Their argument being you have nothing if you don't have your health) he replied, "What good is your health w/out time to enjoy it?"

"Mavericks" think outside the box. If you're going to be married to them, there are some very basic rules for success:

1. Keep an eye out for them; they're impulsive & don't look both ways before crossing the street.

2. Diversify them; don't let them get locked in for too long a time on one goal. They can quickly become obsessed & forget about
everything & everyone else in their life. "Mavericks" need

3. Don't block their creativity when it comes, or make "it's me or your work" kind of demands because you'll lose. "Mavericks" must be allowed to breathe.

Many "Mavericks" are entrepreneurs but there are a lot of these creative geniuses that hibernate when they get stuck on a question like "the meaning of life" or "God" that holds no concrete answer.

When they hibernate, they distance themselves from others & in some cases life itself.

The Juggernaut

Anybody ever tell you something was impossible? I'm sure you have. When we grow up, we're influenced by many different things; our environment, our friends, family & even our biological make-up.

Some of us were born w/out all 10 fingers or all 10 toes. Some of us were given all our senses, some of us were left a few enchiladas short of a full mexican plate. W/out denying it, some of us were born into luckier circumstances than others.

So wouldn't logic tell you that those of us that were dealt the good cards should end up on top & those of us that were dealt the lousy hand should be happy to be alive. It's funny, but it doesn't always work out that way.

Time & time again our history has shown us how the underdog can win. Just ask John Elway what chance his team was given against Green Bay in their first Super Bowl win. They were 17-point underdogs. They were outmatched, out classed, out talented (so the experts said) but they won.

The impossible is possible or so would say a "Juggernaut". A "Juggernaut" is someone who against all odds, win or lose, never quits. And I mean that. "Juggernauts" don't necessarily have high IQ's, but they do have one incredible quality, they're driven.

If they decide to take on a task they stick w/it till the end, till there's nothing left in them to give. "Juggernauts" find the joy in the pursuit. They have an uncanny ability to tackle long-term goals that can only be accomplished through months, years, even decades of practice, hard work, pain & even suffering.

Lance Armstrong is casebook "Juggernaut". Anything he puts his mind to he gives everything he has. He fought through the mountains, the training, cancer & in the end not only competed, he won.

Different than the creative genius of the "Mavericks" who may see a new way; some of them do nothing to implement their grand idea. "Juggernauts" set goals & do everything in their power to achieve them. You'll never ever see a homeless "Juggernaut".

Whereas there are countless "Mavericks" pan-handling because even w/their genius or maybe because of their genius, some are too afraid to take action on their grand idea. Mostly, because they're smart enough to realize the mathematical odds of achieving their success are so small many of them do nothing.

Genius can be a prison.
One of my most favorite stories that has been told time & time again about a couple of "Juggernauts" is about the 2 unknown actors. The way the story goes, the 2 nobodies were up for a screen test to see if they would be asked to join a major studio.

After they both tested, the director said, "You both better find a new line of work because trust me neither of you will ever be actors. So quit while you're ahead. Get out of here!" When they both asked why, the director replied, "Well for starters (he points to one of them) you're too ugly to be an actor (then he points to the other) & you have no talent!!

Now get out of here before I have you thrown off the lot!" As they both walked off one of them was laughing to himself, which prompted the other one to say, "What the hell is so funny?" To which he replied, "Heck I can still learn how to act but you're still going to be ugly!"

What's fascinating about this true story is whenever both actors were stung w/extraordinary criticism neither of them ever quit. If they had, we probably would've never heard of Burt Reynolds (the talentless one) or Clint Eastwood (the ugly one).

In doing this article I interviewed a lot of exceptional driven people (The Juggernauts) & asked them what their main goal in life was. They all had the same answer, to make a difference, to leave a giant footprint in the sands of time. When I asked them their fears they also all replied the same way, "Can you spell it?

Cause I don't know what it means." If "Juggernauts" are putting on some kind of act its a good one because they sure are impressing me! One of my favorite "Juggernauts", if not my own personal hero, is Christopher Reeves.

Even facing all his adversity he still sees himself walking again. He's not just a survivor, he's an achiever. And that's what "Juggernauts" are, they are the achievers, the doer's. The ones who say they're going to do something & back it up.

If there's a flaw & its a big one, is that practically all "Juggernauts" have trouble achieving balance in their lives. In that respect they are like the "Mavericks". If as a woman you're married to one you have to get your jug head to understand the idea of a priority list.

If his goal or goals ever get placed above you or your family or your kids it may be time to give him a reality check.

The Mogul

Randomly choose 10 men from a crowd, isolate them, step back & observe. Almost instantaneously one will step forward; the leader. He's brash, confident, organized & appears to know what to do. Sometimes he's right, sometimes he's wrong but either way he's someone who takes charge.

Flash forward, now take 10 leaders from 10 groups, isolate them, step back & observe. This time it won't be pretty. At least 2 of the men will battle for control. They'll build alliances, the group will be divided & civil war will commence. The battle will rage on till there's one king of the jungle.

Repeat this process over & over & over. Imagine that every time there's a battle, the same man comes out on top.

When this happens, a "Mogul" is born. "Moguls" are much more than simple leaders. In their minds eye they're omnipotent, almighty, better than. They have zero tolerance for incompetence or those they see as inferior to them.

Their power is self-serving. They see people as pawns, assets, pluses & minuses on a balance sheet. They rule not for the people or of the people but in spite of the people. They are takers & opportunists. They build empires on the backs of men, women & children, which ever is more convenient.

Some see "Moguls" as good & will give examples like Getty, Rockefeller & Kennedy Senior as men who used an iron fist where needed to evoke change & survival. While others point to the same list to argue that these men are only poor excuses of human beings that prove the old adage absolute power corrupts absolutely.

It's just as easy to add names to the list like Hitler, Genghis Khan, Gambino.

How do you know when you're in the presence of a "Mogul"? It's easy, he'll be the one using fear & intimidation to sell his point of view. Power is as much a drug as heroin. Even in small doses it can be lethal.

A lot of women I met said they were attracted to a powerful man. They told me that even the ugliest man became more appealing the higher up the echelon he climbed. "Moguls" are typically narcissists who eventually get taken down when the masses eventually have had enough & over throw him or father time takes the edge off .

In any battle of superiority, you'll have a true leader or a "Mogul". The way to tell the difference is to see where the person places himself. The leader is on the front lines, the "Mogul" is at the rear.

Nowhere Man

In the 1960's, John Lennon wrote the lyrics to a song appropriately titled "Nowhere Man".  In the prose, he sang about a type of man that exists but has yet to make himself known.

The opening of the song goes like this:

He's a real nowhere man,
Sitting in his nowhere land,
Making all his nowhere plans for nobody.
Doesn't have a point of view
Knows not where he's going to,
Isn't he a bit like you & me?

Lennon, a "Maverick" of his generation, was a true visionary. He wrote & sang about what he saw. In "Nowhere Man" he introduces us to a man non-apologetic about his existence or lack of determination.

Possibly overwhelmed by the grandeur of it all "Nowhere Man" becomes a drifter w/out a compass or boat w/out a rudder. A non-goal oriented individual whose favorite sayings often spoken include, "That's good enough, it can wait till tomorrow & don't rock the boat".

"Nowhere Men" are in no rush to get anywhere. Often they awake to the sun of a new day only looking to catch another 20 winks. Not necessarily self-absorbed as much as inherently lazy.

Also known as the excuse makers, "Nowhere Men" shirk responsibility like most of us embrace it.

In the last line of Lennons first verse he hints that "Nowhere Man" is a little bit like you & me. And to a degree it's hard to argue, there are probably quite a few of us that are a little lost & can't find our way.

The difference in the "Nowhere Man" is he doesn't care if he's lost. One "Nowhere Man" I interviewed replied, "Of all the places I've been, this is one of them!" "Nowhere Men" either can't keep a job or have had the same one they've been holding on to since the day they turned 18.

"Nowhere Men" were one of the most difficult men for me to write about because as I interviewed them I found countless of them absolute geniuses & great orators. There was so much promise so much ability, but no fire. A man w/no drive is like a Ferrari w/no fuel; it's not going anywhere.

The most frightening fact I found was (as I interviewed male after male w/a lot of the same questions I used to categorize men. "Who are you?", "Where do you see your self in 5, 10, 15 years from now?" What are your priorities?) "Nowhere Men" were popping up everywhere! Men w/out direction or ambition were as common as grandma's apple pie.

By the time I sat down to write the article I found that nearly 80% of those interviewed fell into this category or the "Playboy" category ( to be discussed later). My only advice to women is, if your man is afraid of change, doesn't know where he's going & dreams of dying in front of his big screen watching "Monday Night Football" on his recliner w/a cold one, it's time to pack your bags.

If however he's lost but asking for a roadmap, don't abandon him. Most "Nowhere Men" have good hearts. Show him the forest from the trees & get out together.

The Warrior

Webster defines a "Warrior" as someone who's engaged in or experienced in battle. "Warriors" are ruled by their emotions or should I say their lack of control of them.

"Warriors" in general are filled w/rage. They're either in a fight, looking for a fight or starting a fight. At their most primitive levels they are abusers of women, children & society.

Similar to the "Drama Mamas" I wrote about in the companion article to this piece, in the sense that they're pressure junkies. While most of us look for ways to relieve stress by fishing, sun bathing or reading a good book, "Warriors" look for ways to release their rage.

One "Warrior" I interviewed who always seemed to look like a caged animal when he got a little stressed commented "I just need something to hit!"

Controlled "Warriors" do find constructive ways to vent their anger. A lot of the "Warriors" I met installed heavy bags in their basements or garages that they could punch until their little hearts content.

I also found a lot of "Warriors" who enjoyed weight lifting.
Another common trait of a "Warrior" is their voice. Practically all "Warriors" I met had a difficult time w/indoor voices. They were always yelling at someone, pounding their fists, yelling till their faces turned red & their eyes popped out & the veins in their neck looked like road maps.

I found "Warriors" were attracted to jobs that could supply a steady stream of adrenaline to keep their high. Courtroom attorneys, ER doctors, surgeons, professional athletes, mercenaries, police officers & even salesmen were all professions that could supply enough pressure & stress (that most of us avoid) to keep them fueled.

I found "Warriors" at all ends of the educational spectrum, from the genius of the ER surgeon to the illiteracy of the street brawler. If you look at emotion the same way you describe the temperature of water, "Warriors" tend to run hot & cold.

In their cold states, they are sensible, logical, charismatic. At their hot states, they are impulsive, erratic, unstable & combative. Practically every psychiatrist I interviewed told me that the rage is controllable & is actually most likely caused by a serotonin imbalance in their brains.

From a womans perspective, "Warriors" must be viewed w/caution. A lot of women confuse the rage w/drive & determination & find themselves calling "911" in a desperate cry for help.

"Warriors" are goal setters but they are typically only concerned w/the here & now. Almost all "Warriors" I interviewed were very poor long-range goal achievers. This could be explained by the fact that since their daily lives were so volatile, it would be hard to predict w/any certainty any accurate future.

My final comment to women who choose to be w/a "Warrior" is, "Proceed w/caution."

Mr. Fix It

Everything breaks. Bones, toys, cars, space shuttles, us. "Fix It" men want to restore because that's what they are at heart, they are restorers.

"Fixers" aren't necessarily looking to make things better than new, good as new will do. "Fixers" come in every shape, size & educational background. They can easily be identified by asking them what they're up to.

"Fixers" will always reply w/some project they're currently tackling. It could be restoring a 1969 Mustang to mint condition, the new addition to the house or working on their sons batting swing.

"Fixers" have to stay busy. They are inherently hard workers. When or if they run out of things to fix in their own lives, they tend to poke around in the lives of others to pull out their tool kit.

"Fixers" can be adoring & annoying all at the same time. Their favorite saying is, "Well, that's not how I would do it." "Fixers" also like to start off sayings w/"The reality is", so they can justify why they should be allowed to meddle or repair something.

Since everything is in a constant state of flux "Fixers" don't have anything to worry about in the sense that there won't always be something to fix. Where a lot of "Fixers" get off track is when they confuse change w/broken.

They aren't the same thing. Just because something isn't the way it was in the past doesn't mean it needs fixing. "Fixers" make great husbands. They're responsible, organized & good providers.

"Fixers" are loyal. They know how to keep their ship on course & those on it out of harms way. When I asked women who believed they were married to "Fixers" how they liked it, most responded, "That it was great but irritating".

When I asked them to elaborate, every single person said, "You try living w/someone who always think they're right!" And then quickly commented, "And the real sick part is 99 times out of 100, they are! Thats very annoying!"

"Fixers" pride themselves on always having the facts. Where I was able to find cracks in the "Fixers" armor was when that "One time in a hundred" happens & they end up being wrong, they tend to refuse to accept it.

"Fixers" are slow at changing core beliefs. Once they take a stand on something, it's hard to get them uprooted. Some women I interviewed said that while they like the security of being married to a "Fixer", they wished there was more spontaneity.

More vicariousness & less rules. "Fixers" tend to only make decisions when they're sure they have weighed the pros & cons of every situation. Of course the last thing a "Fixer" wants to do is make a mistake that will just require time & effort to fix. If there's any advice I would give to a "Fixer" is this, relax.

Every now & then put your feet up & just relax. Let go of the reins. They'll still be there when you get back from your siesta. And the second thing, everything isn't life or death. Take things w/more of a grain of salt & realize the world isn't your responsibility to fix.

To women marrying or married to "Fixers" keep enough projects around the house for them to work on or they may start wondering what you're up to.

The Playboy

Without question I've saved, if not the best, clearly, the most interesting for last. There are basically 2 kinds of "Playboys," rich "Playboys" & poor ones.

Trust me when I say this, neither is a picnic or a stroll in the park to deal with. But if I had my druthers, I'd naturally pick a rich, narcissistic, good-for-nothing, life of the party before I'd pick a poor, narcissistic, good-for-nothing, life of the party. So well start there, with the rich kid.

If we dissect the word "Playboy" we get "Play" (a guy just wants to have fun) & "boy" (never grows up, never takes responsibility).

While it's true that the other 7 types of men previously described can be either introverts or extroverts, "Playboys" cant.

They're only extroverts. Rich "Playboys" whether rich by inheritance, trust fund or just the plain lottery only see money as the means to an end. One "Playboy" I interviewed said, "The worst thing you can do with money is save it". Thats why many of todays rich "Playboys" are tomorrows poor "Playboys".

There's no moderation, no self-control, no self-discipline. Rich "Playboys" as with poor "Playboys" are attracted to instant satisfaction. A popular saying amongst "Playboys" I met was "If it feels good, do it."

Rich "Playboys" are a lot like fast food; they are convenient and tasty at first but you cant have a steady diet of them. "Playboys" are different than "Nowhere Men" because a "Playboy" will go to great lengths to keep himself entertained; a "Nowhere Man" doesnt. Some of the "Playboys" I met were intelligent but most were of the eye candy variety.

Poor "Playboys" were a sad mixture of lazy and leaches. Always looking for a free lunch. Poor "Playboys" are always on the look out for a "Sugar Momma" willing to pay the bills or some unethical get rich quick scheme. I asked some psychiatrists if a "James Bond 007" would fit the profile of a "Playboy" to which every doctor replied the same, "No".

Bonds primary goal was always saving the world. If he could get the girl and the loot along the way, why not? "Playboys" arent trying to invent anything, build anything, fix anything or get anywhere but a good time.

A lot of people throw around the word "Player" to describe a "Playboy" and to some respects it fits. "Playboys" see life as a game, not a process with some underlying deeper meaning. And as long as its a game, they want to be the ones holding the dice.

Sometimes they win (the girl, the money, the house, the car) with little or no effort at all. But most of the time they crap out. They dont seem to understand that even when theyre on a winning streak if they keep rolling those dice, "Snake Eyes" is just around the corner.


Who are men? Were scoundrels, were clergymen, were lovers, were fighters, were doers, were haters, were believers, were liars. You can deal with us, lock us up, marry us, divorce us, hate us or love us. Either way, were not going anywhere.

possible solutions & great articles!
the romantic kiss - Larry James
Kissing is an act of quiet intimacy & often borders on the erotic. It can be brief & cool or lengthy & hot.
Perhaps one of the most important keys to having a healthy & successful relationship is to learn to listen to & trust your intuition w/out question.
The #1 problem in relationships is "Undelivered Communications!" Withholding important conversation from your partner nearly always proves to be the destructive force behind the, "My partner will not listen to me!" or "My partner will not talk to me" complaint.
Absolutely amaze your partner w/adoration. Let them know in very special ways that you care. Exercise extravagant respect & devotion toward your lover. Accept them for who they are. Demonstrate your warm attachment & affection to them. Avoid taking your partner for granted.
So often in coaching couples about their relationship, I hear one or both partners say, "The passion is gone. We're just roommates. It's just not the same as it was." How sad to have moved away from the excitement that once was.
It's unreasonable & a breach of trust, to deny your lover's report of her feelings. When she expresses a need, it's your responsibility to do what you can to fulfill that need. Partners who love each other make this a priority.
One of the characteristics of infancy is the "I want it now" approach. Grown-up people can wait. And often they don't. Often they allow themselves to slip back into infancy so they can justify rushing into things.
weigh your words! - Larry James
It's a wise love partner who is aware of the potential damage loose words can cause. Words spoken in anger inflict wounds that sometimes take a long time to heal. Think first, then speak.

For Men Only

Comatopia: by Fred Cuellar "More than a few decades ago I was born in Kittery, Maine; the 2nd child, the first & only son. My dad, a pilot in the US Air Force (later a wing commander) brought me up w/a code of ethics that I still use today,

  • "If a job is worth doing, do it right the first time."
  • "Be a man of your word."
  • "Be a gentleman."

There are a lot of life's lessons he taught me but he never told me about "comatopia."

So Long: by Fred Cuellar

What Women Want: 

When is it Time to Get Married? by Fred Cuellar

Character: by Fred Cuellar - "My dad always told me a gentleman does what's right even when nobody else is in the room. If he starts a job, he finishes it. If he tells somebody he's going to do something, he does it."

The Art of Lying to Your Wife: by Fred Cuellar

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