How to Make a Man Want to Pull His Hair Out

Some women learn from an early age that though they may not be able to overpower the men in their lives, they can use emotional manipulation as a wrestling move of sorts to get their way. As a father of seven with four girls, I have seen this first hand.


How This Plays Out In Marriage


When it comes to marriage, some women have the ability to do and say all the right things from an outward perspective yet be just allusive enough in their spirit to “frustrate the fire” out of a man. At least, this is what some men have told me.


What Men Want That Women Have


Right or wrong, men like approval. Simply put, they want to know that the woman in their life is happy with them. Consequently, I believe a woman knows that this is the one thing she can hold as almost a ransom until her man comes up with the appropriate payment.

The problem, however, is that holding love and approval as a ransom is not only unscriptural, but actually a form of manipulation (I Peter 3:1). Subtle as this may be, it is the cause of an amazing amount of tension in an innumerable amount of marriages.


The Allusive Wife


Women often become experts at holding just enough approval back so as to participate in a form of plausible-deniability. In other words, with their words they will often give a little encouragement here and there and through their actions they will find a way to be congenial on the surface. But, they often find a way of rationing their approval so as to encourage feelings of unsettledness in the relationship.

Though outwardly the wife’s behavior appears innocent, the man senses that something is not quite right. She may hardly ever implicate herself by being the first one to lose her cool, but she has a way of withholding just enough approval and affection so that he will be tempted to be drawn offsides.


Her Lack of Approval


The wife’s lack of approval may come out in her tone of voice, a little sarcasm, or that rolling of the eyes. In her mind, this may all be normal and acceptable behavior. In his, however, it sends out the message that no matter how hard he tries, he is just not going to get it right. Consequently, at some point, he flinches and succumbs to the temptation to lose his cool. Though she is not the ultimate cause of his behavior, she has certainly aided and abetted that evil monster called temptation.

Now, the problem is doubly difficult because, in her mind, she thinks, “I knew I could never trust him.” or “This is why I cannot open myself up to him.”. However, in his mind, he is thinking, “Why try.” or “Is there any hope of me ever really winning this woman’s heart?”

Though a woman in such a case often feels like the man is the problem, it could be that the battle field is prepared for defeat before he even has a chance to win. It is entirely possible that though this man wants to please his wife, she has grown comfortable with the control she feels by holding tightly to this ever so precious commodity called approval.


What Some May Be Thinking


It is as this point, that some may be thinking, “But you don’t know how inconsistent he has been.”, “If you had to live with what I have lived with, you would do the same.”, or “I just can’t put my heart out there for him to break it once again.”

First off, I have heard these retorts a thousand times, and to these I would say the following:


1. If your husband is a dangerous person, then I would fully expect you to be in protection mode.


The scriptures tell us to be wise as serpents yet harmless as doves, and there are times when wisdom will tell you to move yourself into a place of protection.


2. Never stop believing that people can change.


The day you stop believing that people can change is the day you start to stagnate as a Christian. To prosper in affecting others, one has to maintain faith in God and what God can do in the lives of others. (Jude 1:22)


3. Knowing is half the battle.


In cases as such, identification is just as powerful as implementation. That is, for some reason, many are just not aware of such internal behavior, and it is as if many are waiting for someone to point it out in a loving way.


4. Don’t take his behavior too seriously.


As I mention in my marriage book, How to Fight for Your Marriage Without Fighting With One Another, the amount that you look to someone else for emotional sustenance will determine your propensity for disappointment and disillusionment.

In other words, the risk of loving another is only so great if you are not depending on them for your emotional and spiritual sustenance. That is, you should only have so much at stake when loving another person because only what makes you can break you, and it is Jehovah God that has made you not your husband.


5. Bring the focus back to your obedience to God and your marriage vows.


Calculating spouses do not move forward in their marriage, and, as I state in our marriage book in chapter 4, not a one of us vows to love the other when we feel like it or when the other person measures up to our expectations. If I remember correctly, most of us vow to love the other for better or for worse.


6. You will extract more greatness out of your husband with unconditional love rather than conditional love.


It is true that unconditional love sometimes makes us feel inferior, like the weaker party, or as if we are getting walked on. To be honest, it takes an amazing amount of humility to love unconditionally. However, I have found that when I love someone in faith, I have a much better opportunity to see them change than if I used conditional love.

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5 comments on “How to Make a Man Want to Pull His Hair Out
  1. Nena says:

    My husband and I have been married 9 years but together for 12 1/2 years. I know that I know that he was/is my soulmate and that our union was ordained. For the last 7 years I’ve seen my marriage go downhill. Approx 6.5 years ago I was diagnosed with cancer. Our marriage has been in big trouble. I have rededicated my life back to God approx 5 months ago. Prior to that, I pushed my husband away due to cancer’s voice. I was also unfaithful to him – not only because of my defeated state with the cancer but also because of my husband’s severe anger issues. NO excuses – just to give an understanding. Approx 2 months ago, I found out that my husband found out of my infidelity and started an affair himself. He then moved out on Dec 16th. He was/is an absolute monster and treated me overwhelmingly mean while we lived together for Nov & Dec. He reached a new low. He’s not going to church anymore (he was unshakable in God and church). However, to be quite honest, I don’t believe that they are in a relationship anymore but I don’t know that for sure. I suffered a deep depression in that time and am just now coming out of it. I was asked if I still want my marriage – I did not reply “NO” right away. 95.5% of me says NO but 4.5% of me says “yes”. I know and trust God. I think the 95.5% is because of all the damage that’s been done to each other and his severe anger issues is causing me to say no – I don’t know if he’d be willing to seek individual counseling (I would for me) and/or to seek couple’s counseling (I would for us). God has told me to not initiate contact with him & not to reply to his texts or emails. God has told me that He can’t work in him if I interfere so I’ve left him alone. I’ve seen him twice since he moved out and a flood of emotions come when I do. God has told me that He can’t work on him if I interfere. I have to literally force myself to not make my husband an idol anymore (God showed me that’s what I had done). I’m in constant prayer. Yes, I do want reconciliation in my marriage but what I see in the natural is that my husband has moved on and doesn’t want me or the marriage anymore. Regardless, I know that I have to focus on re-learning my identity in Christ and live life as God wants me to. I don’t know if my husband will be in my future or not so I don’t know if I should pray for my marriage’s restoration or not. I can’t override my husband’s free will. I don’t want him back as the monster he’s become.

    • Marie says:

      I was so relieved to see #1 written first about protection mode. So many women are trying to fix things when they are unaware of what a dangerous man looks like when it is covert or emotional abuse. To the two ladies who posted above, you can call the domestic violence hotline and just ask about your confusion. They will be honest with you about what is and what is not abuse. Another great resource is Leslie Vernick… agree is a bible based counselor with a website/ blog and her books on emotionally destructive relationships help you to discern what is dangerous or not and/or your part in the dysfunction and how to handle it in a godly way.

  2. Mary Tully says:

    I have been married 30yrs. My husband says he is not committed. He is very selfish. It is all about what he wants etc . If he doesn’t get his way in anything he has a pity party etc I don’t enjoy intimacy etc. It’s all about him ..Need help .

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