Have you ever seen a cat on a fireplace mantle or other high place swat a nearby object over the edge just to see what happens when it falls down? People who own cats quickly learn about this tendency and stop putting anything fragile in a high place that a cat could jump to. Human female activity in the emotional realm sometimes reminds me of this feline behavior. Sometimes women will swat at the emotions of the ones they love just to see what will happen. Unfortunately, the damage a woman can cause when seeing if “something” will break when she pushes it over the edge has far more serious and extensive consequences than the breaking of a physical object. And the behavior is often far less innocent than a cat’s.
When a woman in a conventional relationship pushes someone close to her over the emotional edge, she sometimes does so with subterfuge. She creates a false story, an enactment in which she is the innocent victim feeling honest emotions and he is the evil villain, the bumbling incompetent, or both who makes everything so much worse. These false dramas remind me of puppet shows, with the woman skillfully hidden behind the stage, pulling the strings of all who walk across it. Even humbled females may attempt to enact these dramas with the men they’ve sworn to respect and obey. Such behavior, if it’s not noticed or stopped, has the effect of subverting or even destroying constructive, peaceful male-led relationships.
Why do women engage in this sort of tinkering when it inevitably leads to stress, grief, anger, and sometimes terrible consequences for themselves or the ones they supposedly love? This article attempts to answer that question by examining some of the ways in which females, even humbled females, mischievously mess with otherwise happy situations, and, in the process of doing so, do harm to their relationships.
Drama’s Many Forms
The word “drama” has a lot of different meanings, but it’s being used here to indicate a type of behavior that that involves elements of acting, strong hysteria or other negative emotions, and a fictional, made-up story. The kinds of negative emotional experimentation typically engaged in by females take a wide variety of forms. A few that are potentially appealing to women in male-led relationships are listed below. Why do these particular forms of drama appeal to humbled females? Perhaps because they do not involve direct attacks upon a man.
The outcome of constantly worrying about “what might be” rather than accepting and enjoying “what is” has a far broader influence and a potentially more serious impact than merely spoiling the mood.
Overthinking: Perhaps the mildest form of female strings-pulling takes the form of worrying too much about something that doesn’t really need worry or attention. People in general have become more sensitive to this trait in recent years and are vaguely aware that, like PMS, overthinking is something of a “female thing.” While women are more likely to admit to doing this these days than they used to be, the role that overthinking can play in causing unhappiness and even wrecking a relationship is still greatly underestimated. Women often laugh at this tendency of theirs as one might laugh at any trivial weakness. Perhaps this is because they are not on the receiving end of the stress it causes. Being around a chronic worrier who is constantly thinking up worse-case scenarios and who needs frequent and heavy reassurance that all is OK is not very fun. Often, an enjoyable outing, an important project, or other pleasurable or exciting activities are ruined by an overthinker’s stress.
The outcome of constantly worrying about “what might be” rather than accepting and enjoying “what is” has a far broader influence and a potentially more serious impact than merely spoiling the mood. For instance, a woman who imagines her husband is having an affair behind her back but has no proof of this may drive him to desperation with her suspicious accusations. Overthinking is closely linked to over-imagining. And, like Chicken Little, who falsely believed that the sky was falling, the woman who overthinks things typically does so by imaging all sorts of dread possibilities that are not actually happening now—but just might in the near future. Her emotional reactions to these negative fantasies are often quite strong, as strong as they would be if they were actually occurring.
Overplanning: This is a variety of obsessive-compulsive behavior that is often a reaction to overthinking. Trying to plan for contingencies and keep others safe is a natural trait in females who must care for and nurture their young until they are capable of taking care of themselves. But when a female overplans in order to avoid too many imagined negative outcomes she can, like the overthinker, ruin the spontaneous fun of the moment. A female who overplans also faces the possibility that she will, in her zeal to “cover all bases,” start trying to take control of the man’s actions or steer the relationship. There are things she can take care of, goes her reasoning, that “he just doesn’t see or won’t bother with.” Of course, if these things are not important to him then they should not be important to her, but the humbled female who succumbs to the urge to overplan sometimes loses sight of this important aspect of submission to a man’s will.
Over-observing: Overplanning can lead a woman to a sick form of over-observing, or stalking her mate. In the imagined interests of protection, she can become his worst enemy: a hostile spy who keeps tabs on his every action so that she can anticipate him and plan her next move or accusation. Wanting to know everything about a man and feeling resentful if she doesn’t is ugly in any sort of relationship but particularly so in those that involve a purportedly humbled female who claims to live for his happiness. By poking her inquisitive nose into his private affairs, a woman demonstrates a disturbing distrustfulness of the one she serves. And, if discovered, such snooping demonstrates to the man that this woman is beyond all doubt deeply untrustworthy. Spying is also a form of usurping control: the obsessed woman tries to control the object of her obsession through knowing everything she can about what he’s doing and thinking. Her overwhelming “need to know,” whether fueled by suspicion and mistrust or just the result of female nosiness, is far greater than her desire to love, serve, and obey her man.
Emotional Trojan Horses: A far more deliberate form of the female tendency to tinker maliciously with others’ feelings occurs when a part of her wants to mess with someone but realizes that in order not to be blamed for it she must hide what she is really doing within a cause that appears more legitimate. Malicious attempts to upset others often crouch within seemingly valid emotions like fear, regret, angst, anxiety, and other “honest” concerns which serve to make the troublemaker look as if she has a legitimate problem. Some women learn, though the solicitous way men treat them when they are ill, have PMS, or are depressed, that they can get away with upsetting a male if their real intentions are well hidden within a more honorable form of distress.
We’ve all known females whose lives seem to be one constant crisis after the next. As soon as the latest drama has died down, a new one crops up. Some women seem almost compelled to create non-existent problems between themselves and a male partner. Out of the blue, such a woman will suddenly be deeply upset over something allegedly awful that the man did, but if he responds in the right ways, the “traumatized” female magically recovers. Things go back to normal for a while, but a few days or weeks later a new emotional emergency magically appears. Some women have a secret belief that the existence of constant drama—particularly great emotional upsets followed by cathartic reconciliations—is a sign of true love. If things go too long at a calm, steady pace, such a woman may actually feel that something is wrong with the relationship: that it is decaying or that he is losing interest. At that point, she’ll orchestrate a dramatic event to “prove” his fidelity and commitment to her. Women can become so skilled at constructing these dramatic scenes of woe that they manage even to fool themselves: they start to believe that their sad cover stories are the actual truth.
A made-up-drama or other female-designed Trojan horse, is, at its core, an attempt to control somebody through deception and misdirection so that he never fully realizes her actual intentions. Many a humbled female will justify such behavior as “testing” their mate, seeing if he has what it takes to truly control them. If such testing goes beyond a certain stage, however, it’s often just sick game-playing or a masked attempt to steer the relationship in the direction she wants it to head. A humbled female who plays this sort of game is on very thin ice. If the male she is with understands control and the various ways in which it works, he’ll see through these pantomimes fairly quickly and be quite angered by her dishonest and disruptive behavior.
There are some common elements among these various forms of feminine drama. One seems to be a tendency to often confuse imagination with reality. Another is a female’s inability to trust the leadership of the person she is closest to and whom she has sworn to obey. There is often a malicious urge at the heart of all this behavior, an urge to see what will result from her deceptive games and creation of false dramas. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, these behaviors are frequently attempts to covertly control the man she supposedly serves. She is trying, whether she knows it or not, to be the secret puppeteer pulling his strings.
Why do women act in these counterproductive and sabotaging ways? There is no single simple answer. It’s possible, for instance, that overthinking or overplanning may be a byproduct of natural human female nurturing behavior. Planning for the small contingencies can help to keep one’s young safer and healthier. This detailed-oriented style of thinking may be something hardwired into women through genetic selection. Additionally, a less direct manner of relating to the stronger and more aggressive male, as has been suggested in a number of studies, may have had survival value in human prehistory and thus be something a female was likely to pass on to her daughters.
Finally, there is the motivation that is hardest to talk about because it is, quite frankly, so ugly. It is the “cat knocking things off a mantelpiece” urge—the desire to amuse oneself by manipulating someone, playing with their emotions, and then seeing what results from all this.
Giving up control over one’s life and decisions is hard and, at times, frightening, even for the most devoted of servants! At the same time as she is trying to give up personal control, a woman new to being humbled may also, paradoxically, be trying to hang onto it, perhaps in small ways that she hopes her man will either not notice or not care about. The types of behavior being discussed here are clearly attempts to retain control, whether it be through planning for all possible contingencies or the creation of misleading dramas that direct a man’s attention away from the real issues. Her fear or resentment of his control may inspire her to work indirectly to sabotage it. Due to the odd way the mind can compartmentalize conflicting or contradictory thoughts, a humbled female can often do all of this while consciously believing that she is deeply obedient and utterly devoted to the man she serves.
Sometimes there is no fear of losing control or other strong emotion behind this behavior. Sometimes a female’s tendency to deceive is rooted in unthinking habits, her upbringing, or unconsciously held attitudes. Most women, in fact, are brought up to view this way of behaving as normal and only “slightly naughty.” The TV shows, movies, magazines, and online social media that surrounds us all demonstrate and encourage this behavior. Many girls learn it by watching and absorbing the way mom interacts with dad or how a sister treats her boyfriend. Sadly, young females are bombarded from a variety of sources with the message that deceiving men in order to control their attitudes or responses is not only OK but is what is expected of women.
Finally, there is the motivation that is hardest to talk about because it is, quite frankly, so ugly. It is the “cat knocking things off a mantelpiece” urge—the desire to amuse oneself by manipulating someone, playing with their emotions, and then seeing what results from all this. A female who cannot admit that she has this tendency in herself, even if only a little, is probably doomed to engage in this behavior far more frequently than her more honest sisters. Her ego, bound up with being “good,” will be blind her to the reality that she is capable of having these base impulses and even acting upon them. While innocence and pureness are part of many a humbled female’s self-image, a woman who cannot admit to herself that she is not perfectly innocent and pure is a woman living in a fantasy.
How does a humbled female come to realize she is pulling emotional strings to make others dance to her tunes if she has a blind spot toward seeing herself in that light and even believes her own cover stories? This can be a troublesome conundrum but there are a few ways around it. Below is a five-step method that works well for any sort of personal change, but is particularly useful when trying to spot unpleasant truths in oneself in order to do something about them. This method works by taking realizations in slow, gradual stages, each of which prepares the mind for the next step toward truth.
1. Examining the Past: When a behavior or attitude is unconscious but a woman suspects she might have it, the first place to look is in her past. It’s far easier to examine mistakes that are long over as they no longer carry the bite or pain of the immediate. In particular, a humbled female can examine her prior relationships with other men to see if she can remember engaging in manipulative strings-pulling or even just gentle attempts to direct a man’s behavior.
2. Examining the Present: If a humbled female can identify a few such incidents from her past, she can move on to the next step, which is to ask herself, “Have I felt any similar motivations or desires in my current relationship?” The chances are likely she will have felt such things, as her current relationship is often far more controlled, far more dependent on the man’s whims and decisions, than others she’s been in. Her deep dependency on him will quite naturally cause frustration or fear in her at times. Identifying and admitting to these feelings is the next step.
3. Connecting Motivation with Actions: If frustrations or fears crop up, the chances are high that a controlled woman may have taken steps, at one time or another, to relieve them. Maybe she did so in very minor ways like forgetting to confess that she stayed up a half hour later than she should. This is the sort of thing she can start to look for: small omissions and other minor attempts to make outcomes work out her way, perhaps by overemphasizing a physical or emotional problem. This is the most crucial step: to link the emotions or motivations uncovered in Step 2 with actual acts intended to satisfy or relieve the former.
The following checklist depicts some signs that these motivations—and perhaps actions—are at work in a humbled female:
- 1. Worry about a non-existent issue and convincing herself that it is true.
- 2. Testing the man by disobeying him subtly to see if he catches on.
- 3. Thinking about him with clear disrespect or scorn.
- 4. Embellishing or exaggerating negative feelings in order to manipulate her man.
- 5. Indirect communication, perhaps by vague conversations or complaining about his behavior to others.
- 6. Hiding large parts of her life from his eyes; having a second, secret life that doesn’t involve him.
- 7. Attempting to snoop or pry into his private business without him knowing.
- 8. Turning to others to build up support for her victimized position and to justify further disobedience.
- 9. Advising him on the “best” ways to dominate her, instructing him in what works for her and what doesn’t.
4. Refusing to Wallow in Self-Blame: It can be shocking for a woman to realize that she is not as fully devoted to her man as she once believed she was, but remember, martyring out is quite often just another form of female drama, designed to engender pity in those exposed to it. Despite her guilt, it is essential for a humbled female to put this sort of thing into perspective: to err is human and we all make mistakes! But as these behaviors are destructive in the rarified relationship she now finds herself in, it is important for her to see where and how and why they are occurring without being destroyed by angst over what she finds out.
5. Telling Him About It: Communicating these types of things to her partner, as hard as this may be, will greatly relieve the mind of an unhappy, guilt-ridden female, ashamed of her behavior. She knows that when her controlling male better understand how she operates, he will be able to keep her (as well as him) safe from her worst excesses. His forgiveness, when it comes, will feel like a gentle rain on a parched land. She will feel intense relief that everything is out in the open and she can feel proud and happy for owning up to something difficult but very important to admit.
If the humbled female has carefully and conscientiously identified this behavior in herself, chances are likely the male in charge will be impressed by her thoroughness and desire to deal directly with such difficult issues.
If, however, she refrains from telling him what she must, he may eventually feel a sense of unease, of something being wrong or off-kilter in the relationship, even if he doesn’t know what. She will feel uneasy, too, and may even blame him for it. If left unattended, her slight feeling of unease, because fueled by unconscious guilt, may blossom into despair at her situation and contempt for her partner’s obtuseness.
The male may see through the female’s subterfuge and call her to the carpet. She may be disciplined for it or have to undergo many painful discussions in which he attempts to discover the extent of her trickery.
There’s also a possibility the relationship will just dissolve. The male may feel something is deeply wrong between them but may not be able to pinpoint precisely what it is and he might just call it all off citing “mutual incompatibility.”
Even worse, the man might not notice what is going on at all. Someone inexperienced with the ways of women may fall for the plots and subterfuges of his most devoted and loyal admirer. When a woman can control a man’s decisions through lies, false leads, charming guile, and misinformation, she has become the true power behind the relationship’s throne. If a woman who truly needs to be controlled manages to fool the man in this manner, she not only loses respect for him but she’s left feeling empty, sad, and insecure because she cannot count on his control, on his perceptiveness and intelligent ability to see through her ploys. She no longer feels safe.
But none of these outcomes has the potential for as much good as the one that can come from the humbled female simply kneeling before her man, sincerely admitting her mistakes, and asking for his forgiveness.
To prevent such behavior from repeating or to prevent it from happening in the first place, self-knowledge is a humbled female’s greatest weapon. With practice, a woman can become exquisitely aware of when she is doing this sort of manipulation and how she is doing it. As soon as she notices it, it is best for her to honestly admit the behavior to the man who controls her. After begging his forgiveness, she can humbly ask her man for help in fixing this problem and with his help, she can figure out ways in which she can act that are more conscious and straightforward. Further, she can graciously and obediently accept discipline for her transgression, even if it is harsh and unexpected, knowing that the remembered unpleasantness will help her to avoid these acts in the future. Going forward, a humbled female can try hard to stay aware of and on top of her tendency to engage in any subversive behavior. She won’t assume that because she confessed to it once that it will never happen again. Instead, she’ll recognize that female nature is flawed in certain areas and always be on the lookout for recurrences of this behavior.
Deception of any sort toward the man she has sworn to obey is a very serious problem for a humbled female. It can indicate a great many things: that she doesn’t trust him; that she feels, however minor, some disrespect for his abilities to know her, own her, and control her; that she’s still testing him; or that she is unable or unwilling to get a grip on automatic, habitual, and destructive female behavior. Deception can be deadly to any relationship and if it is engaged in by a supposedly obedient female with the intent of turning the tables on her superior, it twists that relationship into a travesty and a lie. What started out as a heavenly way of existing becomes a living hell for the female who tries to assume the role of the puppet master. It is, as I’m sure many of you will concede after deep reflection, not a role worth taking up or continuing in the least.