Stages of Manipulation
When it comes to marriage, one man is as good as the next.
And even the least accommodating is less trouble than a mother.
— Marquise de Merteuil in “Les Liaisons Dangereuses,” by Choderlos De Laclos.
We believe that manipulation is an instinctual behavior deeply rooted within female biology. Manipulation is also a learned behavior, due to one’s need for survival. From a biological point of view there is not too much of a difference between biologically-rooted and learned behavior. In fact, from the point of view of both modern neurobiology and evolutionary psychology, behaviors repeated and learned over time become deeply rooted in the neurological patterns within the brain, to the point where the behavior becomes largely unconscious. As individuals are prone to choose behaviors which support survival, manipulation has certainly been selected as a desirable survival skill.
Manipulation can be defined as the attempt to influence another person’s mind to achieve a certain outcome. Manipulation is very often seen as a negative thing. We, however, are not judgmental about manipulation, and actually consider it a positive feature, which has been designed to keep life continuing on this planet.
In order to best manage relationships with women, the Modern Man should understand that there are various stages of manipulation that a woman will go through during the course of a relationship with a man.
On the biological level, the female of our species is programmed to:
1. Elicit a strong sexual attraction in one or more strong males.
2. Feel a strong sexual attraction for such males.
3. Become impregnated by her choice of male.
4. Have a male to provide materially for both her and her infant child.
5. Afterwards, she will subconsciously tend to operate in such a way so as to have her sexual attraction for that male decrease.
6. Wash, rinse, repeat: she will tend to have more sexual intercourse and more children with other strong males.
We call this process betaization, where the strong, alpha male is rendered beta — which means “secondary” or “subservient” — within the relationship, over a period of time. Quite often, this process occurs gradually and almost imperceptibly to both parties.
Manipulation is widely used by women to achieve:
• Safety and comfort for her and her children, with their survival being the primary purpose.
• To thereby influence the man’s mind in such a way that he will feel compelled to protect her and her children, especially before pregnancy, during the pregnancy and throughout the children’s early developmental years.
Female manipulation can be either creative or destructive, depending on the desired outcome. From the point of view of the man, female manipulation can be considered “good” when it supports life and the man’s interests and “bad” when it destroys life and/or damages the man’s interests.
Succinctly, the more manipulation is used by a woman, the more it becomes natural and unconscious to her. It is like learning to play a musical instrument: at first it is difficult and one needs to pay conscious attention to each note being played. Then, as mastery is gradually achieved, manipulation becomes more and more unconscious.
Behaviors are slow to develop and also slow to be unlearned. In the modern woman of the industrialized countries, the way instincts are expressed has changed slightly with time, due to less-demanding survival conditions. However, the influence of the female’s primal instincts on her behavior remains evident.
It is important for you to learn to recognize manipulation. In fact — as we discussed in Chapter 4 “Female Basic Conflict” — for a woman’s sexuality to be satisfied, it is important that her manipulation attempts against her man not be too effective. You must learn to observe female behavior and give the right responses, with the goal of making her happy on the emotional level, as opposed to responding to manipulation attempts on a logical level.
Learning to respond appropriately requires knowing the various stages of female manipulation.
Stages of Female Manipulation
A woman’s attempt to own you mentally will follow certain incremental stages, which predictably occur with mathematical precision. We will now discuss each of the following stages in detail:
• Testing the Male
• Seeking Communication
• Putting him to Work
• Evolutionary Selfishness
Depending on the woman’s self-esteem, there are big differences in the way these stages will play themselves out. If a woman has high self-esteem (HSE), she will test you and manipulate you in a totally different way than a woman who has low self-esteem (LSE).
Testing the Male
“Let me be a little bitch to him.” A woman knows on the instinctual level — and also on the rational level — that a man can impregnate a large number of women without too many consequences. In our modern age of mandatory child support, this is not always true in practical terms, but biologically it remains the case that the female has a much higher risk and burden when it comes to pregnancy than the man does.
A woman also knows that a weak male will not be able to protect her or her children in any way. Imagine as a man how your thoughts about survival would be different if every time you made love to a woman you faced the possibility of carrying a baby in your belly for the next nine months, followed by the primary responsibility of taking care of the baby for many years to come. Imagine how you would feel if you knew that your partner could leave you at any time and impregnate other women and/or leave for war or for hunting. Get the picture? You would become much more selective in your choices of who to mate with.
From this biological reality stems the deep need that a woman has to test the male for his physical and leadership qualities. In our modern society, the need to test for physical qualities and financial stability has become less important than the need for qualities such as leadership, intellectual capacity, and strength of personality; but that would be quickly reversed in the case of war.
One thing is for sure: a woman in this stage will test the male for his skill of being a hunter. This will happen whether you are skilled in hunting animals in the grassy field or company shares in the business field; you can be sure that at the first stage of manipulation a woman will test you.
A woman will always test a male who she is sexually attracted to. For a psychologically healthy woman, survival and sexual desire must always harmonize with each other. A woman who tests men only for survival benefits — such as a man’s ability to provide — is denying her sexuality. A woman who tests men only for their sexual appeal, is either planning to live her life without men, or is being self-destructive.
“Open up to me, please.”
Once a woman has tested the male, and is relatively sure that he is strong enough to serve her purposes, her concern begins to revolve around making the man serve her exclusively. Many men who are relatively strong and pass the tests of the first stage, fail to understand the meaning of this second stage. This stage is extremely difficult for the average man to detect. It is instinctually and often unconsciously masked by the woman as a purely innocent attempt to “communicate” with the male.
It is a feature of the feminine psyche to appreciate communication above all else, but from an evolutionary point of view what the female of our species is really doing at this stage is using language to befuddle her partner, which will hopefully cause him to serve her and her purposes.
This stage is extremely important to the success or failure of couple relationships. Couple therapy fails so frequently because it tends to disregard the real, evolutionary meaning of this stage. A very common pitfall for couples is when the woman starts to feel that the man is displaying an inability or unwillingness to “communicate properly” with the woman. Modern couples therapy almost invariably places the blame for this supposed lack of communication squarely on the man’s shoulders.
In the first stage, the woman has screened out the weaker males; the man was specifically chosen by the woman for a relationship. In this second stage, the woman acts as if she is seeking deeper communication with the man. A strong man will start to sense that an attempt is being made to weaken him, and he will then usually react with certain predictable behavior patterns. He may get angry or he may withdraw. Arguments that seem to the man to be based on nothing logical at all will often occur at this stage.
Putting Him to Work
“Honey, please take out the trash and wash the cat, and please hurry!” When and if a man opens himself emotionally up to a woman — in the sense of what we discussed in the preceding subsection — from that point onwards the woman effectively owns the frame of the relationship. Now, the active destruction of attraction can begin in earnest, as she starts her attempts to take over aspects of the man’s life which directly affect his material interests. For example, purchase decisions can now be made “jointly” which, in the cool light of rational analysis, really are the result of the woman’s manipulation attempts and the man’s desire to maintain some semblance of peace in the household.
Female Evolutionary Selfishness
“I am never satisfied no matter what you do or how hard you try.” This stage begins once the woman has succeeded in having her formerly-strong male open up to her emotionally. In this stage, any communication with her male partner is only for the purpose of deriving something useful for her and her children. At this stage she will exhibit a total disregard for the man’s psychological and material interests. The man will be put under the power of a strong and constant psychological double bind, along the lines of:
“If you don’t open up to me I am not satisfied. You don’t communicate with me.”
“As soon as you open up to me I will use the information you provide in a totally selfish way for my own needs.”
Either way, the end result for the male is usually guilt, shame, or confusion, finally giving way to resentment and anger. Assuming he takes her seriously — and most men do — he will get caught into an ongoing psychological mechanism, which will make him weaker and weaker, with terribly-negative results for her sexual attraction towards him. At this stage, he is no longer the strong male she admired at the beginning.
“I am full grown, independent woman now.” Of course, the female in the relationship never was a “little girl.” In the self-determination stage, however, another double bind — even more powerful than the preceding — will be thrown at the male. Once he starts to seek out the emotional communication that she had been asking for all along, she will begin to express sentiments such as she is feeling oppressed, or that the man is boring, or that he is too nice, or that he doesn’t understand her, and so on. Again, the usual effect of such feminine expressions on the man is bewilderment, shame and guilt.
If at this point the man decides that he does not care at all about what she says or does, she will assert that “he is not a loving husband/boyfriend” or ”I cannot live with him because he does not understand me,” or “I do not feel anything for him anymore,” or “sex without communication is a turn off”; once again inducing some very negative feelings within the man.
In the Self-Determination Stage, the female expresses her resentment and dissatisfaction with the relationship. This happens virtually without exception in the case of male partners who have become progressively psychologically weaker with time.
Men who are able to pass through these stages without a corresponding decrease in their women’s sexual attraction towards them are exceptionally-strong men. These men avoid becoming psychologically weaker through the process. We believe that such men are more the exception than the norm. It is much better for nature to first create attraction between a male and a female and soon after have it decrease. That helps to ensure both a safe upbringing of the offspring as well as more sexual interactions with other sexual partners, which in turn results in more offspring and a wider spreading of genetic materials.
This is not much different from what happens with many animal species, including species where the female kills the male after copulation. In the case of humans, this “killing” happens on the psychological level. The killing of human males by their female partners is largely symbolic, but we must also take into account those men who take this process so seriously that they start to destroy their health through the abuse of alcohol or drugs, or start to abuse their partners, or even murder their partners or commit suicide.
In other words, permanently-monogamous sexual relationships are not necessarily natural. They are partly a modern, social construct. Or, put another way, they are a social construct, the evolutionary purpose of which lasts for as long as Nature considers it useful.
In traditional, male-dominated societies, if the female cannot leave the relationship when her attraction evaporates through the process discussed above, the end result is often clinical depression and/or cheating. Clinical depression occurs when her sexual attraction for her mate decreases or dies out completely, and she is prevented from having sex with other males by social restraint. The woman in this case has to face a practically impossible conflict between her emotions, which demand sexual satisfaction, and her societally-restrained behavior, which prohibits sexual satisfaction.
In modern, politically-correct societies, a common end result of the manipulation process is the woman ending the relationship, or acting in such a way that the man has no other choice but to end the relationship. Infidelity is very likely to happen in either case.
Psychological counseling and family therapy usually fail to help couples in this situation because they start from the shaky assumption that exclusive committed relationships are always “healthy” and that having sex with different partners is “sick.” They also fail miserably in detecting the slow and dangerous psychological process whereby the mind of the male is confronted with schizophrenic double messages from the female, which would be considered to fit the clinical definition of Borderline Personality Disorder by most experienced clinicians on the planet.
Usually what happens in therapy and psychological counseling in the western world is that the male is made to be the scapegoat of a process which has been actively maintained by the female. There are some professionals who understand this process better than most, but they often do not have the courage to speak out about it. On a meta-level, what is happening with this social process is simply another evolutionary mechanism, one which allows for more pregnancies and for the upbringing of children in the most viable way possible.
There is certainly a strong cultural influence at work here and it behooves men to understand these forces and to work hard to make themselves strong men who do not succumb easily to female manipulation. Above all, a man with children should start from the premise that he is an equally important and vital link to a child’s psychological well being. There are countless studies which show that statistically, children do better in every social and psychological respect when they enjoy the equal influences of a healthy male and a healthy female parent.
Although the onset, intensity and order of occurrence of each of these stages in the betaization process may vary from woman to woman, in our experience this process has occurred in every long-term relationship we are familiar with: ours, our friends, and our families, and in countless case studies that we have researched. In fact, this process is exactly the means by which women turn short-term relationships into long-term relationships. However, female manipulation is not difficult to counter once a man understands the process. Let’s revisit each stage in turn.
Testing never ends. Women test unconsciously. Testing is the woman’s primary method for determining congruency and for discerning a man’s authenticity; his ability to be genuine. Testing ceases to be an issue of any significant consequence when the man is fully congruent — both internally and externally. The woman will still always test, but once a man has it together, he will pass the woman’s tests without much effort or even realizing he is being tested.
Since testing is so closely related to the mechanisms controlling sexual attraction, it is important to remember that testing never ends. Maintaining an appropriate level of attraction within any romantic relationship is very important. One way we, the authors, maintain attraction with our mates is through regular, social interaction with other attractive females. For more information on why maintaining friendships with the opposite sex is important to your relationship, please see Chapter 19, “Male Qualities Attractive to Women.”
Seeking Communication is really her signal that she is suffering from emotional ambiguity. Most men view a woman’s pronouncement of “I don’t feel we are communicating” as a logical statement addressing the exchanging of facts — or a lack of such activity — between two people. It is not. It is an emotional statement involving her confusion and emotional disconnection from the relationship.
When the woman puts the blame on the man, this is normal, for two reasons. For one, women habitually blame their own emotional distress on external factors, thus absolving themselves from responsibility. When a man happens to be the most convenient “blame receptacle”, then he gets the blame. The second reason she does this is that she is actually making a request for masculine leadership. She wants her man to step up and deal with her out-of-control emotional state with masculine strength, and without fear.
The only important word in any such statement coming from a woman is “feel.” It’s so important that in many cases it doesn’t matter what she feels, as long as it’s any emotion stronger than indifference. Anything with passion will do, as long as it’s followed up, in all cases, with the appropriate level of physical commitment. And always make sure that intense displays of passion are followed by intense displays of affection. Let’s be blunt: keep her well-sexed.
Being Put to Work can be stopped simply by saying “no.” Do it sometimes. Just say no! If your woman has become habituated to your instant obedience, then refusing a request is going to stop her in her tracks. She will literally not know what to do. Lots of drama could ensue, so be prepared.
Another way to handle her constant requests is in a spirit of teasing and fun. You can gently make fun of her being “bossy,” and so forth.
Yet another effective way to handle a woman’s attempts to put you to work is to negotiate with her. For example, if she demands that you take the kids shopping for clothes, you can kindly request that she prepare a special meal while you are gone. While tit for tat may seem thoroughly unromantic, by the time a man is in this situation, we believe the romance is far gone anyway. There is nothing to lose, and your self-respect to regain.
Best yet, be proactive and act like a leader: women want to feel useful and contribute to something meaningful. Spend some time to give your female counterpart meaningful work, ensuring that you are the one who determines the direction of the family. You will find that agreeing on specific tasks becomes much easier. When you appreciate a good woman for her specific contribution, she will be delighted in her relationship, and feel she made an excellent selection in a man.
Evolutionary Selfishness is understandable when we consider that the female’s primary concern is always for her own well-being and that of her children. It is difficult — if not impossible — for most women to feel altruistic or merciful towards a grown man. Your role as the man is to be her protector, or to get out of her way. However, as a strong protector you have great value in the eyes of a healthy woman. So the key here is to assert your value and put a price tag on your leadership of her and the family. This means simply that you lead the relationship and continually give her tasks within the context of the relationship.
Putting a price to your leadership also means having your own moral standards, whereby it’s subcommunicated from the beginning and throughout the relationship that you, as a man, expect certain behaviors and certain types of treatment from the female, if she is to retain your interest in being her leader and protector. As we discussed in the chapters on Screening and Female Self-Esteem, certain women, obviously, will never be able to submit to male leadership, no matter how strong you are.
Self-Determination This stage is a very strong signal from the woman that — in her mind — the relationship has ended, or is about to end. She is effectively telling you that she no longer views the two of you as a unit. As difficult as it may seem, at this stage you may need to be prepared to let her go. Your best chance to salvage the relationship may be to start right back at the beginning; let her know that you are equally prepared to leave the relationship if you are not getting the respect and admiration that you want and deserve.
You never want to be in a position where you are chasing or begging a woman. Not only is that a pathetic position for a man to find himself in, but any shred of sexual attraction that had remained in the woman will be completely destroyed by such actions.
In reality, a man can survive just about anything, including the ending of a cherished relationship. Therefore, consider this stage as the ultimate test of how much of a man you really are. If you fail this test, the game is over with this particular woman.