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Turn Him into Your Dream Man

Aug 29, 2007
Men (people) will treat us badly if we let them. Most people don't realize that they train people on how to treat them by showing them what we will and won't put up with.

If you'll hand out with him and not expect him to call you in advance or buy you dinner, yet you'll still have sex with him, he learns that disrespect and bad behavior toward you is okay.

If he cheats and you take him back without repercussions (and lots of therapy), he learns that cheating on you is not only okay, but worth it because the consequences are not great.

If you date a man and he tells you that he not only is dating several other women, but also sleeping with them and that he hopes you can handle this because he wants to have multiple relationships with other women even if he's married, and you keep dating and having sex with him, you are indirectly (through your behavior) saying it is okay for him to treat you that way, even if your words say it isn't. {This is a true story from one of my clients.}

Women are often so eager to be in a relationship that they will put up with bad behavior from a man, and then wonder why he treats her so badly. If you let him treat you disrespectfully at the beginning of a relationship, he will escalate the bad behavior. Why? Because he knows he can. Being nice to someone who treats you badly does not make him love you more, it simply makes him disrespect you and treat you worse.

What To Do to Change Him into the Man of Your Dreams:
1) Set up behavior modification techniques similar to "tough love" with a child. Don't try to reason with him. Make choices and decisions and set boundaries using your head, not your heart. Let him know in no uncertain terms what behaviors are allowed with you and what aren't. I had a client who met a man on the internet and let him talk sexual with her right off the bat. Then the met and dated and everything was about sex, including an attempted date rape one night. She doesn't understand that she help set that up (certainly she did not deserve it), but she needed to be more careful with the respect issue right off the bat.

2) Keep your own personal strength so that he knows you mean it when you say something. Don't chase him; keep your own friends and interests; don't spend too much time with him; remain financially independent.

3) Pull away from him when his behavior is bad. Keep him thinking he could lose you. If he acts rejecting, you need to act more rejecting than him.

4) Practice, "What's good for the goose is good for the gander," or vice versa. If he stays out late, you need to stay out later. If he doesn't call you back when he says, don't take his calls or call him for several days. Counter-intimidate and call his bluff: if he says, "We need to take a break," agree and say, "I was thinking the exact same thing, maybe a couple months apart?"

5) Use power communication with consequences at all times. No whining. Whining teaches him you don't really mean it. Instead, use the 4 Steps of Powerful Communication: I feel _____ when you ____; I want _____; Will you ____? If not, I will _____.

How to Change Specific Behaviors:

Emotionally -- don't be any more open than he is or share any more information about yourself than he does. Any time he is emotionally unavailable, withdraw from him completely, saying, "Since you don't seem to want to talk about this, I think I'll call Suzie and meet her so I'll have someone to talk to."

Money Issues -- whether he is controlling with money or an overspender, keep 3 separate bank accounts--yours, his, and ours. Make sure you both contribute to the joint account and that all bills are paid and covered from that account. Then what is spent from individual accounts is up to each person. Don't let him control what you spend and/or don't enable his spending by letting him use the joint account.

Chores and Childcare -- Set up a schedule, giving him chores that aren't urgent (so it won't make you crazy if he doesn't do them, like feed the dog or water the plants). Set up consequences if doesn't do them, i.e. "If you don't clean up the dishes after dinner, then I won't make dinner for you the next night -- the kids and I will go out."

Friends -- You can't choose his friends, but if he makes his friends a priority, don't nag him. Instead, get your own friends and make yourself busier (with your own friends) than he is until he has to beg you to spend time with him.

Flirting & Jealousy -- When you feel jealous make him jealous instead of acting jealous. For instance, when Alan was going to a cocktail party at a woman's house (who I knew was after him), he accused me of being jealous. I turned it around with this comment, "I just need to know the rules in our relationship. Let me get this straight, we can go to a person's house of someone who is interested in us and drink with them all night as long as we're not interested in them. Okay, it sounds a little dangerous to me, but if you want that to be the new rule in our relationship, I'll remember it when I'm in L.A. this weekend." He said, "Let's not do this to each other."

ALAN & I have now been together 20 years and he is the man of my dreams. Alan and I have been dating/living together for 20 years now, AND we both did not want to get married again (both been married before). Alan and I had our issues and fights, mostly in the first few years of our relationship. We didn't ignore them, we worked them out and made deals. Because of this, we have not built up resentment; we have not killed the passion; we have not grown bored with each other. Our love has grown as we've handled and faced situations together. He's my lover and my best friend. I sent him a couple of love cards for our 20-year anniversary, and these are the words from
the card he sent me last week.

Alan's card to me:
I remember our first date,
our first kiss,
our very first "I love yous."
I rememer how natural it felt
to start out together,
how comfortable we were
despite all the crazy stuff
that was happening
in the world arund us.
I knew I had found a companion
for the journey ahead,
someone who would stay beside me,
no matter how the road turned or where it took us.
More years than I can believe
have slipped by us.
But I feel the same way now
as I did all those yers ago...
I feel anything is ppossible--
I know we can count on each other,
and I want to go on
sharing everything
on life's journey
with you.

What a wild & wonderful 20 years!
About the Author
Carolyn Bushong,a Denver,CO licensed therapist,helps
couples and singles in her office,on-line, by phone.
Author of: Loving Him Without Losing You, Bring Back
the Man You Fell in Love With, The 7 Dumbest Relationship Mistakes. Has appeared on Oprah.http://www.carolynsays.com 303-333-1888
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