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But He Says He Loves Me: How to Avoid Being Trapped in a Manipulative Relationship

But He Says He Loves Me: How to Avoid Being Trapped in a Manipulative Relationship

by Dina L. McMillan

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Effective and powerful, this chilling exposure of the psychology behind emotionally abusive relationships proves to be an invaluable resource for women in the dating pool or those questioning their current partnership. Identifying the traits, traps, and manipulations that abusers employ, this authoritative guide aids readers in recognizing red flags early


Effective and powerful, this chilling exposure of the psychology behind emotionally abusive relationships proves to be an invaluable resource for women in the dating pool or those questioning their current partnership. Identifying the traits, traps, and manipulations that abusers employ, this authoritative guide aids readers in recognizing red flags early on, allowing them to get out early and avoid further ensnarement. Utilizing a dynamic new approach, the point-of-view splits providing a complete view of the situation—with the right-hand pages offering advice and tips to allow women to recognize destructive patterns, while the left-hand pages use the alarming voice of an abuser giving advice to other men on how to take control of a woman through lies, finance, accusations, choosing her friends, and more. Counselors, police officers, legal professionals, and concerned loved ones will also benefit from this crucial information.

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Allen & Unwin Pty., Limited
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But he Says he Loves Me

How to Avoid Being Trapped in a Manipulative Relationship

By Dina L. McMillan

Allen & Unwin

Copyright © 2007 Dina L. McMillan
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-74175-196-3



The important first step to getting the relationship you want is to select the right woman. This process is not too complicated, but requires some thoughtful action on your part. Fortunately, most women have already been brought up to submit to the leadership of a truly masculine man. When you show her who you are, she will naturally assume her rightful, submissive place.

Be careful not to invest too much of your own emotion at the very beginning. Cast your net wide and put some energy into it, but save your emotions for the later stages when a particular woman has proven herself worthy. Even one who seems a likely prospect at first may not agree to be fully trained. Do not waste your emotions on defiant women.

There are several ways to find the right woman for your relationship: (1) select a woman who is already primed; (2) choose one who is easy to shape; or (3) go for the challenge. The information below can help you decide which is best for you — or you can try a combination.


For those of you who do not want to start from scratch, the easiest way to find a submissive woman is to get one from a right-minded group. Not only will these women see your leadership as natural, they will gain status within their own group if they are seen to be in a committed relationship with a masculine man. Look for these women in:

• cultures that understand that women are supposed to submit to men. If you live in an English-speaking country, you may need to look overseas. The internet makes it possible to find an international bride relatively easily and inexpensively;

• families originally from the cultures mentioned above. It is best if you find women reared in the traditional way who are not too influenced by feminist values. Such women can be found in most cities, where large groups of people from non-Western societies often live together and promote their traditional way of life;

• religious groups that teach women their proper role — that is, submitting to the leadership of their husbands and taking care of their man and their children; or

• traditional families with set roles for men and women. These are harder to find in the Western world, but not impossible. Families that live in rural areas (on farms, ranches, etc.) are often more likely to fit into this category. Sometimes a family is just traditional, other times the father was a true dominant over the mother. Any of these cases is fine for your purposes.

When you choose a woman who has been raised to submit to her man, you will be able to rely upon her family and community to support you if she veers from the path you have set for her.

Note: a woman from another country may not speak English. Ideally, you should learn some of her language so you can communicate. However, it is best if you do not allow her to learn English. If she does not speak English, she will not be able to travel outside of the home without you. Also, her relationship with you will be her sole means for staying in the country. If she does not want to return to her native land she has to comply.

Also keep in mind, women from traditional religious groups may be pressured to marry someone of their own religion. This may require your conversion to her religion. As long as the religion is not too far from your own beliefs or too strict you may want to consider it. After all, most traditional religions expect women to conform more than they do men.

By the way, even if women are Western and consider themselves to be modern, keep an eye out for women whose last relationship was like the one you are seeking. These women are already mentally set and have been trained to submit.

Whether or not you select a woman who is already primed and ready for the relationship you want, you should still pay attention to the advice that follows.


Some women are not fully prepared to initially accept your leadership. This is not a problem as long as you choose one who will allow herself to be trained. A woman is more likely to do this if you have clear advantages over her. The more advantages you have and the greater distance between you in these areas the better. (If she is traditional, it will make things easier still for you.) The gap will make it easier to train her to accept your leadership. Some of the most common advantages include the following:

Age — one of the simplest ways to gain leverage is to choose a woman at least seven years younger than you. (In fact, the younger and more inexperienced the better.) This will create a dynamic similar to that between a parent and child, with you more naturally in the leadership role. Sometimes there is a variation on this with a younger man selecting a woman who is at least seven years older (usually an older woman with financial assets). The older woman fears being replaced by a younger woman, making her more likely to submit and less likely to complain or be possessive.

Education — formal education gives women marketable skills and changes the way they are treated in society. Educated women also read more and are more likely to question their man when they are told to do something. Ideally, you want a woman intelligent enough to understand you without thinking she knows more than you do. It helps if you have more education than she does — the greater the difference between you the better.

Income — in spite of the changes over the last twenty years, men still usually earn more than women. The greater the financial difference in your favour, the more she will depend on you to establish and maintain her lifestyle. Even if you begin at the same level, if you get control of the money this will give you some of the same advantages as earning more — she will be unaware of the family assets and will depend on you for her general lifestyle. Knowing she must do things your way or face poverty will make her more open to your training and influence.

Attractiveness — a lot of men resist this one, but there are real benefits to being with a woman who is not as good looking as you. She knows she can easily be replaced by someone prettier. She knows you have more choices for partners than she does. She realises she got lucky this time and the next man she gets, if you leave, will not be as handsome, well dressed, or as desirable. She will enjoy being the envy of her friends. She will therefore make a lot of effort to keep you in her life and will not resist her training.

Sophistication / experience — you do not have to be James Bond; what you are seeking is someone who has not done as much as you have so she feels a little naive or provincial compared to you. This is helped if you have knowledge in a variety of areas where she knows little or nothing.

Sexual experience — first of all, you do not want your woman to be a slut. You have to be able to trust her. If you have more sexual experience than her you can train her to do what you like without her expecting you to fully reciprocate. She will also wonder if she is really sufficient to please you, which is all to the good.

Ethnicity — in most societies there is one ethnic group that has the strongest position. In English-speaking countries it is whites (Anglo-Saxons). If you are a white male and she comes from another ethnic group, she is likely to feel at a disadvantage compared to you. This is strengthened even more if she is from a disadvantaged racial minority, or is an immigrant or a child of immigrants.

Loneliness — regardless of her education or income, if she is lonely and you come along she will be desperate to keep you. She will feel awkward and insecure. She will be far more likely to do whatever is necessary to keep you without questioning you too closely.

Rebellion — this does not quite fit here; however, there is enormous power in the 'Romeo and Juliet' relationship type. If she has to go against her family and friends to be with you she is not likely to back out easily, even if she resents it when you assert leadership over her.

In general, the greater the number of areas in which you have an advantage and the larger the distance between you in those areas (in your favour), the easier it will be to shape your woman to fit what you want.


If you are inclined toward this group, you will have to process a larger number of women or spend more time examining potential candidates before you find a woman you can keep. Moulding a woman who starts off strong and independent requires a lot more time, effort and skill. There are a few things you can look for to make your search easier:

Loneliness — this was mentioned in the previous category, too, because it is an important one. Even women who think they are feminists or modern can be moulded if they are lonely and need a man. Your ability to work this area is increased if you improve your sexual skill. Being sexually attentive to a lonely woman will probably get you the keys to the kingdom. She will do whatever you say so you will keep coming back to her.

Excessive independence — if she has to do everything for herself, sometimes you can get in by helping out where no one else does. Do not let appearances fool you — most 'independent' women are still searching for a real man to take care of them. Offering assistance will get even these ball-busters to let you in.

Pride / stubbornness — this is harder to spot, but worth looking out for. Women who are very proud think they are too smart to be Smooth Manoeuvred, and are unlikely to admit, even to themselves, that they have been influenced. Once you can get your foot in the door, they will often continue on rather than acknowledge that you are the one making the decisions. They will not realise it when they have been trained by you — they may even think it was their own idea (which is good for a laugh).

Emotional crisis — modern, independent women who are experiencing a personal crisis are temporarily open to being moulded. Much of the guard they keep around themselves will be lowered and they will be grateful for a shoulder to cry on. A crisis can be everything from a job loss to a divorce to a death in the family. You have to pay attention to find this one.

Bonding with their children — independent women with children are often exhausted and need a man to help them with their little ones. If you are able to get their children to trust you, these women will often be swayed in ways they would not if you approached them directly.

If you go for the challenge, you have to be very attentive, not to mention convincing. These women are often wary and on the alert for men who want to mould them. There are easier women to find. However, transforming a 'modern woman' into 'the little woman' can be supremely satisfying and worth the additional effort.

For any woman you consider, make sure she is seeking a committed relationship with a man. If she is looking for something casual or seems tentative about commitment, she is not worth the work you will put into training her. Move on to the next one.

Once you have selected a woman, make the experience intense. Talk to her and see her as often as possible — every day if you can. Whenever you speak with her use all of your persuasion to keep her from hanging up or going home. Make sure each interaction lasts as long as possible (sometimes called 'marathoning'). Keep her focused on you and she will soon see you as the centre of her universe.

Be responsive and listen more than you speak. Bring up topics she feels emotional about, then ask her for details. Keep her talking by validating her feelings and interjecting agreement once in a while. Encourage her to tell you everything and pour her heart out to you. Always take her side in support about anything that has happened to her or anything she believes (you can correct her wrong-thinking later). Keep her going until she is wrung out.

And make sure you are accessible to her. At this stage, it is critical for you respond to her immediately if she attempts to contact you. Without going to the point of excess (no more than three contacts by you per day) let her see what a priority she is to you. As she begins to feel reassured and close to you, continue her training.



The last chapter discussed the importance of intensity. This is a critical part of the training process. You have to be attentive, fixed and concentrated upon her. Every interaction between the two of you should last as long as possible. Use your powers of persuasion to keep her from breaking off contact. If she wants to hang up or go home, begin talking about something that interests her to get her to continue. She may be tired, but fatigue is part of your aim. People are easier to train when they are tired — the more exhausted the better.

And pay attention to what she says. While the intensity has power and importance, so does the information she is revealing.


Your ability to persuade and mould a woman relies on your ability to understand how she thinks and feels. You are specifically aiming to find out what she wants, what she fears and what she values. You must get as much information as you can in all of these areas — and you must remember it, not just pretend to pay attention during the early days of the relationship.

Luckily, with most women there is some important information that can help you. Most women's wants, fears and values include these things:

She wants: She fears:
She values:

to be pretty she is not attractive feeling beautiful
to be adored she is not loveable feeling special
to feel safe she is vulnerable feeling protected
to be skilful she is inadequate feeling adept
to be important she is insignificant feeling exceptional
to be a mother being a single parent feeling like a good mother

You start off having a general idea what she wants, fears and values. Your future success will depend upon you getting a detailed, specific grasp on the woman you are pursuing. Learn how your woman thinks and feels about things. Pay particular attention to the following things:

• What she wants in her life, especially with regard to her relationship with a man. Does she want to be rescued? Does she want a man she feels she can save? Does she believe she wants an equal partner?

• Where she has made mistakes in her life. What does she feel guilt or remorse about? Old relationships are usually a good place to start, as are the teen years or when she first moved away from home.

• Areas of her body, mind or experience where she is least confident: her looks, her intelligence, her social class, her sexuality, her social skills, her family, and so on. What is she most self-conscious about? How easily does she get embarrassed?

• Her ideals, goals and dreams. What does she want so much that she is willing to risk everything to have it? What has she always wanted and feared she would never get?

• What she is afraid of most. Growing old? Being lonely? Being poor or homeless? Never having children, or rearing them as a single mother?

• How she has been hurt. Who did it? How did it happen? Is that person still around or is it someone from her past?

You can set about gathering this information in two ways: by asking a lot of questions, or by watching her reactions. Listen to her closely when she speaks and try to remember as much as possible. Also, watch how she says it. Look for topics that inspire passion and emotion in her.

Your attentiveness will separate you from most of the men she knows. This will make you more attractive to her, regardless of your looks, profession or bank account. Most men make the mistake of talking too much and only about themselves. You will be smarter than that — what you want is information about her. Keep the information about yourself to a minimum at first, other than basic facts about yourself and sympathetic assurances to her.

Remember what she says and exactly how she says it! Pay close attention and practise memorising every interaction. You will soon need to recall specific details, so the better your memory, the simpler it will be for you.

After she tells you all of her hopes, fears, dreams and experiences, do your best to convince her that the two of you as a couple will heal her hurts from the past. Make her believe the secret to getting everything she wants and values is having a relationship with you. Assure her that what she fears will not happen if she is with you. The more she wants to believe this and the better you are at convincing her, the more leeway you will have in the process of training her. Repeat it often until her resistance is gone.


While the woman is pouring out her heart, there are certain things you should say in return to help her lower her guard and keep it down. Most women respond positively to the statements below. However, it is up to you to watch your woman and notice which statements really seem to touch her and make her feel close to you. They will encourage her to continue to open up and follow your direction. They will also persuade her to ignore suggestions from her own intuition or from her friends or family that could otherwise prompt her to question you or your motives.


Excerpted from But he Says he Loves Me by Dina L. McMillan. Copyright © 2007 Dina L. McMillan. Excerpted by permission of Allen & Unwin.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Dina L. McMillan, PhD, is a counselor who has provided training for human service professionals, advised the Australian government on domestic violence policy, and assisted agencies in developing domestic violence support groups.

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