The Incredible Power Women Have Over Men

A woman can have a unique and amazing ability to help her man achieve his dreams.  This might sound silly or too fairytale-like, but trust me, it is anything but silly.  It’s pretty serious.  If you’re a woman, and you’re reading this, you need to know that you have incredible power in the life of your husband (or any man for that matter).

This power truly does affect any man, which includes family members and even male friends.  A woman has the power to inspire, encourage, and believe in them.  She has the feminine power to awaken a man’s dreams, and then the tenacity to help him accomplish them by simply believing in him.

Too often, this power is abused in a relationship, women either fail to recognize and care to inspire their husband’s particular dreams and talents, or they use their femininity as a sexual weapon.  Women have lost the art of inspiration.  The feminist movement has told and taught women to compete with men; the problem is, if you’re competing with someone, it’s extremely hard to want them to do especially well.  A man doesn’t want to compete in that way, but he does want to be believed in.

I love the marriage of Nathaniel & Sophia Hawthorne.  A woman who believed in her husband’s writing.  It perfectly captures how a woman is supposed to believe in and inspire her husband, take a look at how their son, Julian Hawthorne, described his parent’s loving marriage:

“The life of a man happily married cannot fail to be influenced by the character and conduct of his wife.  Especially will this be the case when the man is of a highly organized and sensitive temperament, and most of all, perhaps, when his professional pursuits are sedentary, and imaginative rather than active and practical.

Nathaniel Hawthorne was particularly susceptible to influences of this kind; and all the available evidence goes to show that the most fortunate event of his life was, probably, his marriage with Sophia Peabody. 

To attempt to explain and describe his career without taking this event into consideration would, therefore, be like trying to imagine a sun without heat, or a day without a sun.  Nothing seems less likely than that he would have accomplished his work in literature independently of her sympathy and companionship.

Not that she afforded him any direct and literal assistance in the composition of his books and stories; her gifts were wholly unsuited to such employment, and no one apprehended more keenly than she the solitariness and uniqueness of his genius, insomuch that she would have deemed it something not far removed from profanation to have offered to advise or sway him in regard to his literary productions. 

She believed in his inspiration; and her office was to promote, so far as in her lay, the favorableness of the conditions under which it should manifest itself. 

As food and repose nourish and refresh the body, so did she refresh and nourish her husband’s mind and heart

Her feminine intuition corresponded to his masculine insight; she felt the truth that he saw; and his recognition of this pure faculty in her, and his reverence for it, endowed his perception with that tender humanity in which otherwise it might have been deficient

Her lofty and assured ideals kept him to a belief in the reality and veracity of his own.  In the warmth and light of such companionship as hers, he could not fall into the coldness and gloom of a selfish intellectual habit

She revived his confidence and courage by the touch of her gentle humor and cheerfulness; before her unshakable hopefulness and serenity, his constitutional tendency to ill-foreboding and discouragement vanished away

Nor was she of less value to him on the merely intellectual side.  Her mental faculties were finely balanced and of great capacity; her taste was by nature highly refined, and was rendered exquisitely so by cultivation. Her learning and accomplishments were rare and varied, and yet she was always childlike in her modesty and simplicity.  She read Latin, Greek, and Hebrew: she was familiar with history; and in drawing, painting, and sculpture she showed a loving talent not far removed from original genius. 

Thus she was able to meet at all points her husband’s meditative and theoretic needs with substantial and practical gratification. 

Awaking to her, he found in her the softened and humanized realization of his dreams.  In all this she acted less of defined purpose than unconsciously and instinctively, following the natural promptings of her heart as moulded and enlightened by her love. What she did was done so well, because she could not do otherwise. 

Her husband appreciated her, but she had no appreciation of herself.  She only felt what a privilege it was to love and minister to such a man, and to be loved by him.  For he was not, as so many men are, a merely passive and complacent absorber of all this devotion.  What she gave, he returned; she never touched him without a response; she never called to him without an echo.  He never became so familiar with her ministrations, unceasing though these were, as to accept them as a matter of course.  The springs of gratitude and recognition could not run dry in him; his wife always remained to him a sort of mystery of goodness and helpfulless

He protected her, championed her, and cherished her in all ways that a man may a woman; but, half playfully and all earnestly, he avouched her superiority over himself, and, in a certain class of questions relating to practical morality and domestic expediency, he always deferred to and availed himself of her judgment and counsel.”

As you can see, Sophia not only did her husband a wonderful service in being a capable, inspiring wife, she also inspired her son to greatness.  Julian Hawthorne went on to write several poems, novels, short stores, biographies and histories.

We do our men a great disservice when we as women don’t recognize and put into action the immense power we have in our femininity.

Nathaniel Hawthorne about Sophia:

We were never so happy as now—never such wide capacity for happiness, yet overflowing with all that the day and every moment brings to us.

Methinks this birth-day of our married life is like a cape, which we have now doubled and find a more infinite ocean of love stretching out before us.”[14


“She is the most sensible woman I ever knew in my life, much superior to me in general talent, and of fine cultivation.”

(excerpt from Julian Hawthorne’s Nathaniel Hawthorne and His Wife Vol 1, Chapter 2, Sophie Amelia Peabody)

13 thoughts on “The Incredible Power Women Have Over Men

  1. I enjoyed reading this.
    I just have some food for thought.
    With my ex husband – I championed him, believed in him, and supported his dreams – to the point where it cost me everything. At some point, a woman has to be able to discern the distorted view that loves sometimes gives us, from the reality of what may be squandering all your feminine instincts and energy on lost causes.

    Your post touched a nerve for me, because I believe that partners should and could inspire each other. And that women particularly have unique gifts and abilities that men lack, and therefore can help them actualize their potential in ways they might not be capable.

    But at some point – it may be a fruitless exercise. A costly one. And a profoundly damaging one.

    Thank you for letting me be part of the conversation.

  2. Thank you for your comment. I think you’re right, and I’m sorry for your experience! It should be noted that not every man is worth your love and time… and that if you marry the wrong person, or a man of bad character, yes, your inspiration and talents and gifts will be wasted on him.

    It’s like Abigail in the Bible, she was married to a horrible fool. She was beautiful inside and out, but her gifts and inner beauty were completely wasted on Nabal. He didn’t cherish her, respect her, or even truly love her (in the deepest sense of that word).

  3. And you’re very right that partners can inspire each other… believe in each other… women truly do have their own set of gifts to give to society, and yes, they are very different from men, and that makes society complete when used well.

    My posts tend to be very narrowed to the topic at hand each morning… this was specifically to educate our generation on the lost art of the affect we as women can have on men. But I love your comment and agree with you wholeheartedly!

  4. But I so love what you wrote. Because feminine powers are so complementary to masculine, so very different, and often what is absolutely needed to help a man achieve his dreams.

    And being the inspiration behind the creation is incredibly fulfilling. I’ve experienced is before, in other relationships, and it was very rewarding.

    So thank you.

  5. And your focus was well timed for me. This is what I’m cultivating in my life, knowing and expressing my true feminine qualities. I’d miss-learned and misapplied and arrived at a moment in my life with a fine mess, but I’m learning and realizing it was never something I didn’t know, it was just buried.

    Your words give my faith something tangible which gives me greater faith.

  6. @Dragon, as a married man, I completely agree w/ you. It is difficult for women and men these days. By nature women WANT to support her man in his leadership of the family. But men are taught that women are our equals. So if you are my equal, why should the burden of leadership rest on my shoulders? Women are also taught that men and women are equals. SO why should the man automatically be “appointed” the leader?

    Against this kind of equalist brainwashing, it is the rare and very self aware couple that figures out that the natural state of things is for men to lead and women to support the leader.

    My marriage became infinitely better when I figured out that we were both happier when I made most of the decisions. Before then we always had unspoken power struggles. My wife’s support and inspiration are indispensable to me in acting as leader.

    What is also tricky for women in the supporting role is that they do lead in many ways in the marriage, but it has to be indirect leadership. She has to influence her husband to take the leadership role.

    Lastly, many men are not perfect leaders, like Samara found out. Good leaders never take advantage of their people. Never ever.

  7. I agree with you completely! It really is difficult, but you know the positive thing is that my generation (at least the women and men I know) are seriously eager to learn these things… most are products of either bad, unfulfilling marriages or divorces, so believe me, the ones I know are very eager to know what works and what doesn’t.

    I think as a whole, the generation directly above me (Gen X… people generally over 30 yet under 50) are the hardest to reach, the women at least.

    I’m so glad you and your wife figured out what works! You’d probably like this article I wrote about men being too nice, not making decisions in the relationship, etc.:

  8. I personally am an over 50 male. I think your Nice guy article was spot on.

    I didn’t have the nice guy problem as a single man. But once married it took me a while before I realized that I was not providing enough day to day leadership. Sure on the big stuff like money, housing, cars, career I was leading. But on stuff like where should we eat, when should we leave to go to the relatives, how long should we stay, I would just say “I don’t care”, cause I really didn’t care. I had no idea that this was repulsive to my wife. I finally realized that the more of those day to day decisions I make the more she is attracted to me. We’ve been married for over 25 years now. Nobody tells men that making those little decisions are like catnip to women. As a kid I always thought my mom was semi retarded because she would ask my dad the stupidest questions. It never occurred to me until recently that they had perfected the leader follower model.

  9. I want to inspire my son to think of us as a great team though… LOL if he thinks I’m semi-retarded I will feel as though I’ve majorly failed!! I homeschool him right now! He’s only 3 and starting the basics of reading and math… I teach him science, geography, language, and about the world in general. 🙂 Sorry, I just feel sorry for your mother!

  10. Pingback: Sofia Tolstoy’s Destruction of Her Marital Happiness (A First Look) | All Things Bright and Beautiful

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