Aren’t You Just Teaching Women to Manipulate Men?

This isn’t just a question I’ve received before via email or in a comment, it’s a criticism that many people have pointed out whenever there’s a woman teaching (in real life or online) other women how to treat their husbands better in order to have a happy marriage.  I’ve seen it time and time again throughout the 4 years of blogging at this site.  And yes, I’ve been accused of selling “snake oil” to wives – manipulative feminine behaviors and techniques to get their husbands to give them what they want.  In reality, anything considered to be “snake oil,” would prove to be false over-time.  And I’ve many men and women tell me that these things are truth.  Manipulative techniques don’t actually work long-term in a marriage for producing good.  So no, I’m not selling “snake-oil” to wives.

This accusation always comes up though… always.  Even when I’ve come across women teaching others about simple femininity (not for wives but in general, how to be a woman), there’s always a few sour women who seem to scream from the sidelines, “MANIPULATION!!!!!! You’re just manipulating your husband into doing what you want him to do!!!”

***Side note***

Here is where a woman I love and admire, and have talked to privately in the past concerning what to do over these accusations (been meaning to email her again soon for daughter advice – if you’re reading this sweet Stingray, heads up for an incoming email), Stingray, has also confronted this accusation (albeit in a totally different way of accepting these tactics as manipulation)!  I’ve emailed with her a few times in the past, and respect her opinion greatly, so I’m adding it in to give you more insight into how like-minded women view this topic.  Click the link above if you want her specific take on this accusation that we’re teaching women to “manipulate” men.

I thought it would be good to go into this on my own blog, and go ahead and answer this question and criticism I’ve had off and on, because it IS important and women have a right to know an answer.

I hope this proves to be a thought-provoking post for you, no matter which side of the fence you sit on.

The Feminine wiles

Even by definition, the feminine wiles are described as clever talk or tricks, used to persuade someone to do what you want.  I’ve seen many women say behaving in a  feminine manner that brings out the best in men (your husband, but also your dad, brother, even sons are affected by this!), is just tricking him into behaving the way you want him to behave.  Using your femininity in order to inspire masculine virtues to come out in any man, is supposed to be a beautiful and good thing.


But yes… to answer the critics… it CAN fall into manipulation IF the woman’s heart isn’t pure, and into it for the pure motivations of loving her husband.


Manipulation is ugly.  Manipulating men to get them to do what we want is horrible.

No.  I am not trying to teach women how to “manipulate men,” with what I write or offer up here.  I don’t believe it is even possible long-term, for a wife, or even a single girl, to keep up a manipulative act.  Eventually the act will fall away, and her real self – her terrible character – will come out and chase men (even her husband in a multitude of small ways) away.

This criticism is only looking at the ugly side, and ugly heart motives, when it comes to using these behaviors and actions.  So while yes, a woman CAN use my advice to manipulate a man into falling in love with her or marrying her even, it’s intended to help women who have a pure heart, who genuinely want to love their husbands better and build a beautiful marriage.

I can’t help a woman whose heart is bent on seeing things only through a filter of sinful thinking.  Only she can lift that veil with prayer and making the choice to ask God to give her a clean and pure heart toward her husband.  So since I can’t really help a harpy screaming from the sidelines “MANIPULATION!!!!!!” I’ve gotten used to this false accusation (like Stingray had as well back when she was blogging) that it’s all “snake oil” and “unethical.”  This used to bother me, but now that I’ve talked to more women and have had the chance to see (in real life) the difference in their attitudes when presented with this stuff, I “get it.”  It all comes down to whether or not their heart is pure in wanting to love and be good to their husbands.  The sad thing is that a lot of women really don’t have pure intentions.

I’ve also seen women try to implement these things when their husband is already divorcing them.  If they’ve treated him terribly for 20+ years, and then suddenly try to implement these behaviors and techniques, yea he’s going to have a hard time believing his wife is sincere.  Then I’ve seen the wife (after becoming divorced and getting very bitter) usually complain that applying these techniques only made things much worse for her.  These are often the ones screaming “MANIPULATION!!!” the loudest.  If it didn’t work for her, it can’t work for anyone else!  Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned!  

Her husband’s strong negative reactions are actually explainable in a psychological way – it’s called “The Pandora’s Box.”  Sometimes it’s salvageable, but often it’s just not.  Usually there’s just been way too much nastiness there, and for decades long.  You can’t just easily undo that kind of trauma you’ve done to your husband, by acting kind and respectful now.  Even if you are sincere now, he has to work through MAJOR forgiveness issues, trust issues, etc. and a lot of men find it too painful.  A lot of men get angry that you’ve wasted so many years treating them horribly, and are only now just “waking up,” and taking responsibility for how you’ve damaged his soul.  It’s all very ugly and dark… but it’s reality when you reap what you’ve been sowing for decades in the heart of your husband.

I may write on that more (I do love to write!), but to me that is why these things are so crucial for women to know before they even start dating!  How many marriages would have been saved if women were only taught these crucial things about what men want when they were teens?  This is why I was motivated to start writing, and why I often target the younger crowd.


This is why your Character is important

Your character is talked about a lot on my blog.  Who you are – if you are truly all these things women teach about (including many posts on my blog) – others will understand and take note that you’re consistent.  This is best displayed in real life – with the real life men around you – whether it’s your father, husband, sons, etc, they will be the ones who ultimately know you and your character, especially over time.

I guarantee that your husband is already aware of who you truly are, and you’re either working to have a beautiful character and implementing these behaviors in your marriage to make it flourish, or you’ve let these things slide and you live with a somewhat happy marriage – but with no idea how great it actually could be.

Either way, your “real self” will always be exposed to the people you live with, especially your husband.  I’ve written before that who you are online, when no one is looking or holding you accountable – that’s who you really are.

Having a beautiful character is what will make these teachings work.  Having a pure heart is what will make your actions not seen as manipulative, but instead, sincere and they will inspire your husband’s love for you to grow immensely.

No matter how good you look on the outside (physically and in behavior like when practicing being kind or respectful to your husband), if you don’t have it together on the inside, if your heart isn’t in it, he will know, and he will hate it.

He will hate it because he will feel manipulated by you.  Hence why if I was really selling you “snake oil,” it just wouldn’t work for the long-haul of a marriage.

Your actions will always be manipulation on your part if it’s not coupled together with your heart intentions – in other words, if you aren’t loving him with purity and sincerity, you may as well not be loving him at all.



  1. Odd..

    You get pissy and uber self righteous when Seriously Serving states we sinners are no better than child molesters yet you- yes you- support and comment in agreement on the Pedophile blog- yep the man who thinks it’s fine to marry off young girls as early as ten years old- just cause bleeding and boobs( biblical ya know) ya- the perve known as Bibical Gender Roles.

    The mere fact that you comment there- and support this pervert might be of interest to your husbands superiors. And guess what? You will be reported.



  2. [REDACTED] right? [REDACTED] right ? Your misogynistic internet foot print, and the fact you agree with a latent cho- mo might not be in the best interest of your husbands career.
    I know you won’t publish this but..

  3. Manipulation is the result of a power imbalance, of a weaker party using tact, argument, skill, misinformation, etc. in order to achieve their goal by swaying the stronger party. It’s not uniquely a feminine trait; but it’s employed by various person in scripture. Ehud, for example, manipulated Eglon into clearing out the room of bystanders so that he could perform his assassination unimpeded. Jonadab gave Amnon bad advice which allowed him to manipulate his father David so that he could rape Tamar. The parable of the shrewd manager was a story in which a bad servant manipulated the books and people who owed his master in order to find favor with them so that when he lost his job, he’d at least have some allies who might take him in. Then of course, there’s Esther manipulating Xerxes into dealing with Haman. Ruth manipulating Boaz into being her kinsman-redeemer.
    Ideally, it would be great to live in a world where men and women were on such equal ground that they could have a conversation, both present their arguments on a matter and come to a conclusion, coming to a reasonable compromise and no manipulation is needed – the idea of somebody manipulating another person would be a distant memory of a time where things like people not respecting one another, people being enslaved to a stronger party’s will, are things that used to be but are no more. After all, it seems that in God’s kingdom, manipulation was never meant to be. Not if you uphold to the idea of the fruit of the spirit – being self-less and putting the needs of others above your own; you wouldn’t even need to be manipulated or to resort to manipulation!

  4. You are exactly right! If a woman has a bad attitude about doing what it takes to be a channel of light in her husband’s life, then she will describe it in disparaging terms, and dismiss it out of hand. Calling it “manipulation” is an excuse to convince herself that she doesn’t need to care so much, or go to the trouble to be kind, sweet and respectful. I imagine putting this spin on it can also alleviate her guilt of irresponsibility on the matter. I can understand how some women just can’t “get it”, like some men just can’t learn game. But for the ones who DO know, and REFUSE to follow, well, that’s just like the story of the servant who buried his money in the ground.
    Yes, all husbands have a gut feeling about how much (or how little) their wives are a Proverbs 31 woman, and how faithful and altruistic their motivations are for what they do. But they aren’t likely to talk about it, because they know that ultimately, it’s her choice to be who she is. They feel really disappointed if their wives think Godly submission is a form of manipulation, but men tend to categorize their wives poor influence, so that it minimizes the damage, and they focus their attentions elsewhere.
    I can’t tell you how relieving it is for me to read this post and find a woman who can recognize this difference.

  5. LOL… I love it when the trolls come out to play at night.

    1. No where do I support child molesters here or anywhere.

    2. My recent public criticism of Seriously Serving condemns child molestation, while her post actually calls for us to see it as the same as any sin. (Erasing the difference between evil people, and normal sinners)

  6. I’m not sure how giving women advice on how to be a better wife, and improve their marriage, turns into selling Snake Oil or manipulation. If change is done with good intentions, how is it manipulation? Using that as an argument, then any good deed is manipulation? I don’t see it that way.

    You are right, a husband knows his wife, and knows if their intentions are not genuine, she will be exposed if it truly manipulation.

    I believe those who think giving women good advice is evil are angry because it goes against their feminist agenda of all men are evil, and deserve nothing good. Self pity and a desire for company drives their anger.

    I will never understand why people read, and comment on, blogs and articles they fundamentally disagree with. Do they really think they will sway a person with their angry comments? Why not produce their own work to promote their agenda instead of espousing hate on everyone else?

    It is one thing to question an idea to promote discussion and understanding, but so many go straight to accusations and hate from the start. If it upsets you that much to read then don’t read it.

    At the root of all negativity, is unhappiness with oneself, and an unwillingness to make the changes necessary to improve. Negative people would rather bring everyone else down, to them it is much easier. As they say, Misery Loves Company…

    Keep up the good work.

  7. I have recently found your blog via dalrock and Americandad/Scott. I am sorry you catch so much flak for sharing. I think you give a lot of solid advice and you clearly have a happy marriage – the proof is in the pudding! P.s. the Halloween post was hilarious

  8. It’s so true that your real self will be on display when you start living with someone. I learned the hard way, that you think you know someone and then you see their day to day behavior and you start to understand a lot more about who they are and why.

    My advice has also been accused of being manipulative or more specifically, game playing. The way I see it, there’s difference between mind games/manipulation and simple dating strategy. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having a strategy whether you are dating, in a relationship, or even married. Many people have a basic strategy. Look hot, be cool, impress your guy/girl. Mine is a little more in depth, but I would never encourage anyone to lie or deceive. Be honest, sincere, with good intentions always.

  9. Let me say, that as a husband to a wife that walked out on me a few months ago, that I find your blog enlightening and powerfully insightful. I don’t where you are teaching woman to be manipulative or deceiving in any way. The only people that seem to be upset seem to have some internal issue that is driving this anger. Please just continue to do what you are doing and stand for marriage and love as God intends it to be, ever faithful and unending!

  10. It’s fine Rachel, thank you! The only things that really get to me is slander and libel. But we have a lawyer group for my husband’s work who we meet with yearly to go over all our accounts and wills, etc. We already pay for them continually, so it’s nice that they offer to deal with things like this where someone is blatantly threatening to silence me by going after my husband’s job.

    Blackmail is illegal. Harassment, even cyberharassment which people don’t think about when they’re doing it, is illegal depending on where you are (state laws and other countries like Australia).

    May I remind all the haters who continue to read here, I get your IP address every time you comment or even stop by my site. I’ve paid for this site, and continue to pay ever year to keep it up. WordPress gives me to right to know who you are, where you come from, all the way down to where you are located on google maps.

    When you think you are some anonymous person just stopping by to insult and harass us, you’re giving me everything about you, including your internet provider company. WordPress does this SO THAT you cannot just harass, slander, libel, and blackmail another blogger.

    WordPress gives us the IP address, and all this free info about you personally, just in case a lawsuit is in order. So be nice, be respectful. You wouldn’t harass me at my house right? Ringing the doorbell and shouting harassing statements at us face to face, my husband would deal with that right away being a police officer – you’d have CHARGES of HARASSMENT of STALKING.

    Well, turns out, legally it works the exact same way. Which is why WordPress gives me your IP address.

    So abide by the law, unless you want a lawsuit.

  11. That’s what my wife wants, but I have to stand on God’s promises and the facts that He is a God of restoration not destruction, of life and not death! Jesus said in Matthew 19:4 “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning made them make and female” and again in Mark 10:6 it’s repeated. Divorce is a creation of man not God, all I can do is continue to pray and ask those around me to pray for the restoration of our marriage. I would appreciate you your families and your churches prayers Stephanie. Be Blessed and a blessing to others!

  12. I disagree as banning her would leave holes in the conversations that to me throw up red flags that casts doubt on the moderator and the blog itself. Let her rant!

  13. Recently two bloggers who asked me to stop posting began following my own blog so you never know… Leaving comments on sites – even those one disagrees with – is just one way to generate traffic. Besides one needs to challenge themselves once in a while by stepping outside the bubble of ideology they prefer.

  14. Dana you need to look up the definition of intellectual dishonesty feminism is full of it and so are you.

  15. I get the generation of readers, but I’m not sure the broadening of horizons is the goal of those who relish in playing devils advocate. If they truly wanted to see what the other side was saying, why argue so vehemently against their beliefs? To the point of telling them not to write anymore. Again, if it bothers you so much, just move on. I believe some truly enjoy being argumentative. Personally, I don’t have time for that. I suppose those with nothing else to do love the attention.

  16. Stephanie,

    I literally just saw this. I don’t know why I didn’t see it before. I don’t think WordPress sent me a notification.

    There is no email in my inbox. I checked spam but it empties every 30 days. I really hope I didn’t miss it! Feel free to send it again, if you’d still like.

    I hope this finds you well.

  17. Aww Stingray! Yea just asking about raising a daughter – it feels so much harder for some reason than it did with our boys when they were born. I’ll email you again 🙂 Hope you’re doing well, too!

  18. Manipulating men is what women are raised to do.
    I watched my own mother teach my sisters how to do it.
    I watched my wife teach my daughters how to do it (which luckily didn’t take).
    I heard my MIL brag about all the times she manipulated her ex until he’d left her in disgust – which was the point so that her position as the aggrieved wife would play better in divorce court.
    I thus find it interesting to read lately about how women are leaving their men and pairing up with other women in romantic relationships. Women clearly no longer feel like men have anything they want, so they are moving on. Women who do this claim to be happier.
    So I approve of unhappy women pairing up, for them doing so makes two men happy that their lives aren’t being externally controlled by someone who could fend for herself if she really chose to.

  19. @MGTOWman, Wow! Your mother-in-law sounds more like a Monster-in-law!!! What a horrible family situation and I’m so sorry your wife is like this, too. Unfortunately, I’ll be surprised if that doesn’t influence your daughters because it’s VERY hard for daughters to not be like or imitate the way their mothers behaved. It can be done, but it sneaks out in ways sometimes the daughter isn’t even aware of (like it can be subconscious). It helps if the men they marry know the mother was unhealthy in certain ways, and then points it out to them if they’re acting like that.

    “. Women clearly no longer feel like men have anything they want, so they are moving on. Women who do this claim to be happier.”

    LOL… I think A LOT of women who make destructive choices, “claim” to be happier, but it may not be the case. But you’re right, at least that means they are making other men miserable!! 😀

  20. ” It all comes down to whether or not their heart is pure in wanting to love and be good to their husbands. The sad thing is that a lot of women really don’t have pure intentions.” *Wanting* to love… some people don’t *want* to love — someone else, that is.

    Manipulation is to handle something in your hands. Manipulating a person is treating the “target” as an object. It’s contemptuous, and the opposite of love.

    “It’s all very ugly and dark… but it’s reality when you reap what you’ve been sowing for decades in the heart of your husband.” (That whole paragraph expressed an understanding I *rarely* see.) I suspect that many cases involve a wife (or husband) who *wants* the other to leave. They don’t see the wreckage for what it is. They may not truly reap what they’ve sown until they stand before God.

  21. I’m honored that you think I’ve understood something you rarely see understood. I think I just observe a lot… even growing up I was like that, and maybe most kids are. But I did pray to God a lot, like all throughout my childhood, to give wisdom.

    And I agree, many people won’t actually reap what they’ve sown until Judgement Day before God. He’s the ultimate Avenger as per what Scripture says.

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