Family, Marriage

How to Get Your Husband to Do What You Want


I think we can all admit that there are some things we wish our husbands would do for us, that they just can’t program themselves to do.

So what is the secret? Is there a way to get your husband to do exactly what you want them to do?


Here is the secret to manipulating your husband….

written by: my husband, James Knoop.

When a man marries a woman, he quickly learns that she is always right.

I don’t mean that the man pretends she is always right in order to ensure he is allowed to sleep on the bed instead of the couch. I mean the wife, with very few exceptions (if any), is somehow always right.

I don’t know how, but somehow, Meredith always knows where I last placed my wallet, even if it’s found its way inside my left work shoe. She can recall details about my childhood that I seem to have misremembered.  She knows that it is my bedtime, even if I don’t think I’m tired.

It’s uncanny.

And so,

while in nearly every other scenario and relationship in life, I would never advise one individual to attempt to manipulate another individual,

it seems to me that it is in the best interest of husbands everywhere to reveal to wives

 the secret to manipulating us husbands. 

Secret #1: Your Husband Is Not Ignoring You

How many times have you asked your husband to take out the trash, only to see fruit flies attack the orange peels inside, make babies, live a full life, die and be buried in that same orange peel before he gets around to taking out the trash? How many times have you asked him to put his shoes in the shoe bin when he walks in the back door, only to watch him continually place them directly beside (but not in) the shoe bin? How many times have you looked at the living room which appears as though a tornado just struck, and with arms spread wide like an eagle cried out to your husband sitting on the couch watching football highlights, “James, do you not see this mess?!”

I wish one of these wasn’t a made-up example from my own household.

Unbelievable as it may sound, your husband isn’t ignoring you, and he isn’t ignoring the mess around the house.

He is simply oblivious. He is utterly and completely forgetful.

When you ask your husband to take out the trash, his first thought is not, “How dare you ask me that, you ungrateful woman?” The truth is…he probably didn’t hear you. Oh sure, he may have responded with a gorilla-like grunt, or even an audible, “sure.” But if he was not directly looking into your eyes at the moment you asked, he probably won’t even remember you asked.

You see, there is a medical condition known as tunnelvisionitis. It primarily affects the male gender and the condition grows worse with age.  Tunnelvisionitis is the inability for a man to grasp anything besides that with which he is currently engaged. So, if he is watching football, eating, chewing gum or staring into space, you will have no ability to engage with him unless he has first been separated from his previous activity.

When it comes to messes around the house, your husband doesn’t notice the mess, because he doesn’t care about it, and a husband will not notice something he doesn’t care about. Throw out any vast ambitions of making your husband care about the inside condition of your home. If your husband did not care about having a clean house when you married him, he never will.

 But that doesn’t mean you can’t manipulate him to help keep it clean. 

Tactic 1: Treat Your Husband like Superman

There are two ways to get your husband to do something. The first is to ask, ask again with a more serious tone, ask a third time with a hint of resentment that he has not listened yet and finally asking the fourth time as you fling a fistful of noodles at the wall.

This tactic is quite effective.

However, the second tactic is far more effective, and will save you time…and your marriage.

Ask your husband just one time. Make sure you have his attention, and then ask him to do such and such for you, because it would be such a help. Here is an example.

“James, will you help me put away the laundry. I’m so tired from dishes and diapers and screaming kids. I just want to get this done so we can go to bed and watch a show.”

This does three things. First, it gives your husband the idea that he has a choice in the matter, which is always a good thing, since he never wants to feel like a child with chores. Secondly, you might as well have just thrown a red cape on his back, because he now feels like Superman, ready to save your day. Sure, you know that your day was 20,000 times more difficult than his desk job, but that doesn’t matter. Because right now, all you want is to not have to do your third laundry load of the day by yourself. Lastly, it gives him an incentive that some time of relaxing will immediately follow his rescue of Lois Lane.

 Sum up: Nagging works, but treating him like Superman works better. 

Tactic 2: Give Him One of Two Options

If you find that Tactic 1 does not work on your husband, or you are a daring individual who wants to explore multiple ways of manipulating your husband, try this technique.

The next time you finish dinner, and dishes and bath time await you, simply ask the following:

“James, would you rather do dishes or give the kids a bath?”

Your husband will completely forget that prior to that moment, he’d had no responsibilities. Now, he will be inwardly rejoicing A. That he must only do one of the two chores and B. That he gets to choose.

If you secretly want to get your husband to do one or the other, gently nudge him in the opposite direction. For example:

“If you wanted to do dishes, you could watch Thursday night football …or….”Dishes will probably take a while, so if you wanted to bathe the kids, you could watch some TV afterwards.”

I have found this Jedi mind trick to work on me many times.

Follow-up: Positive Reinforcement

Regardless of which tactic you choose, ALWAYS follow-up on his good behavior with positive reinforcement.

“James, thank you so much for helping me with laundry. I love you so much.”


“James, thanks for bathing the kids. You’re such a good dad.”

This goes back to the Superman thing. Husbands like to be heroes…even if they are simply heroes of taking out the trash.


Ultimately, you want to respect your husband throughout your marriage. Because if you do not, these tactics will not work. He will feel your lack of respect and all your efforts will go out the window.

This isn’t really about manipulation. It’s about encouraging your husband to be the man God created him to be (and he wants to be) by simply nudging him in the right direction.

Down the road, your husband will eventually begin to pick up on these things on his own. As he learns that doing these things truly brightens your day, he will want to be your Superman.


#whatevermoms #husbandapproved

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Here are some other blogs you may be interested in: 14 Activities to Fill Your Day as a Stay-At-Home-MomGreat Expectations: A Husband’s Perspective on the Most Important Aspect of Motherhood, 11 Ways To Prepare For Another Child, 10 Easy Ways to Get Out of a Bad MoodHow To Be a More Nurturing Mom



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