A good use of force

I have been reading here on Taken In Hand and sharing articles that are particularly interesting to me with my husband for more than two years now. It has dramatically changed our relationship and has brought intensity and interconnectedness to our marriage that I never thought to be possible. One particular interaction that we had recently related specifically to several hot topics from this site, so I’ll share.

I had gotten my feelings hurt by some very innocuous comment that my husband had made. I just closed up emotionally and got really sad. I wouldn’t normally have reacted so strongly to such a small comment, but I was tired and brooding on a couple of other unrelated situations so I reacted badly to my husband's comment.

The mistake I made, according to my husband, was to just close up on him. While insisting that nothing was wrong, I fell silent and stormed off to bed. He came to tuck me in and tried to get me to talk. Nothing he said would make me open up again and share with him. He knew how tired I was, so he let me be but said that “it” wasn’t over.

He spent the next day at work and while we checked in with each other on the phone a few times, there was still a palpable gap between us by the time the kids were all asleep and we were ready to go to bed. This is the point at which my husband did something very effective and somewhat different from what his previous reactions to my shut-down behavior would have been.

He came and lay down on top of me and began to kiss me. The voice inside my head was ticked off that he was taking physical liberties when there was such an emotional gap between us. I began to resist and said to him, “I am still mad at you.” Without hesitation, he sternly said, “Get over it.” He continued to press on me and his intention to have me became apparent. I tried to resist, but he pinned my hands above me and removed my clothes. He easily overcame me and took me just as he wanted. Despite my resistance, this was intensely satisfying to us both.

His action in reconnecting with me was so much quicker to bring us crashing back together again than any “sit down and talk” marathon could have ever been. After all, there is no marital annoyance so big that sitting down and talking about it can’t make it bigger. As my husband, he is uniquely equipped to stop me in my place, open me up and get inside me, figuratively and literally. This is not to say that we never solve our problems by communicating verbally with each other, but only that there is another option open to loving and committed couples who trust one another with their whole selves.

I don’t know exactly why being sexually overpowered by my husband reset me psychologically, but it conveniently erased any need to hash over tiny wounds verbally. Contentedly sure of his love for me, his willingness to be the leader in our home (despite resistance), and his commitment to making sure that there were no barriers between us, I was left a soft, purring kitten with no other desire but to be at peace and resume our life with joy.

In sharing this, I am reminded of another Taken in Hand writer who referred to a Bible scripture which says to wives “and thy desire shall be for thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” (Gen. 3:16, KJ Bible) Maybe in this instance, my heart and my desire were returned to my husband because he physically and effectively ruled over me?

Marie M

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Swords and shields

Thanks for sharing this with us, Marie. What a beautiful story, and a perfect example of male dominance as a romantic and loving thing. It reminds me of the story of Alexander the Great using his sword to cut through the Gordian Knot, instead of trying to untangle it.

Sometimes there is a need to sit and talk things out, but not always. Many times there is mainly just a need to restore the emotional closeness and romance and male leadership, a need for the man to break open a shell that his woman has constructed around her heart, out of fear or anger. If he can break that shell open sexually and forcefully, in a way that leaves her feeling even closer to him and more loved, then that may save a whole lot of discussion.

As important as good communication is in relationships, talking can sometimes be counterproductive, as Marie indicated, magnifying molehills into mountains. It's odd how that works, but maybe there's some subconscious strategy going on there, ego defense mechanisms or whatever. Maybe people feel that if they have to verbally explain and defend themselves, then the issue can't possibly be trivial and easy to get over; because if it is, then it would mean that they're just being silly to make such a big deal over it.

So they turn it (often unintentionally) into a very big deal by explaining and justifying and rationalizing, and finding ways of being right about it; that way they don't look silly for being so angry about something so trivial. (Again, I think this ego-protection mechanism is often a subconscious motivation, not a conscious one. On the conscious level, the person may well feel justified for all the rational reasons they're giving.) So instead of being a small, easily resolved problem of hurt feelings and shutting down and then finding a way to open up again, it turns into a hugely complex mess of "All Of The Emotional Issues We Could Possibly Wrestle Over, Tangled Up Into One Knotted Ball of Hopeless Impossibility, With Both Of Our Egos On The Line"—that is, it has grown from a little skirmish of hurt feelings into an Epic Battle of Righteous Indignation and Oneupmanship that neither party feels they can afford to lose.

In that context of a verbal discussion of "issues", if the man were to tell the woman to "just get over it" then it might well seem like he's being an insensitive lout, not willing to listen to her reasons for being upset, etc. But if she has already had a chance to explain what's going on with her, and either she didn't want to explain or it didn't fix anything, then maybe it's time for his forceful intervention, time to whip out the sword (!) and apply it to the tangled knot, and thus to knock down her inner barricades and restore the romantic intimacy of their love. Telling her to "just get over it" while making love to her has a whole different feeling—and maybe even a whole different meaning—than saying the same thing during a heated discussion of "the issues." During a moment of passion, his sword can become the key that unlocks her heart from the tin safety box she's trying to shield it in.

Or sometimes, if he's a good judge of his wife's emotional states, he might even shortcut all the discussion and skip directly to reinforcing their romantic connection in this way, by breaking open her shell and ravishing her lovingly. That is a judgement call that requires that he knows his wife pretty well, though. I suppose it's possible that some men might be tempted to employ this tactic overly much, and thereby try to avoid any and all discussion of relationship issues in favor of just having some hot sex instead.

The key again is balance, it seems to me. There are times to work through it by talking, and there are times to just get over it by restoring the intimacy. For the husband, leading his wife in a Taken In Hand romantic marriage requires the wisdom to be able to discern when it needs talking out and when it doesn't. Men are not omniscient, and few things can raise a woman's wrath more effectively than a man who persistently refuses to discuss issues that she genuinely feels need some honest discussion. So it would be very unwise of the man to use ravishment to evade all such issues, no matter how "romantic" that might seem.

But once in a while, when it seems clear that there is no real issue there except the woman feeling grumpy about some little thing and holding a grudge, then this kind of forceful male intervention can be a wonderful way to break through her inner emotional shields and give her exactly what she really wants, which is a powerful affirmation of his love for her.

Which way to go

Which way to go almost seems like a self-directing solution.

If the issue is external, like how to decorate the house, a woman tends to want to talk. (And talk, and talk and talk.) ;-)

But if the actual problem is that she needs to be reassured that she is still desired and needed, a woman is more likely to not want to talk. And talking (except maybe to identify the problem) couldn't help, since it really isn't possible to debate a woman into believing that she is loved.

So a good rule of thumb might be to actually listen whenever she wants to talk. But when she refuses to talk, show her physically how valuable she is to you, and that she is so vital that you simply won't allow a wall to be created between you.


So a good rule of thumb might be to actually listen whenever she wants to talk. But when she refuses to talk, show her physically how valuable she is to you, and that she is so vital that you simply won't allow a wall to be created between you.

Brilliant response. I'm something of an (unintentional) pro at putting up walls.

I've been lurking here for some time, but never registered until today and that was to post this comment.

Where's the 'reset' button on this thing?!

I think you hit the nail on the head when you said it reminded you. You remembered the caring center he is to your life, and that you play the same part in his. You remembered that at the end of the day, he loves you wholly and has no malice towards you. Personally, it's a lot easier to 'communicate' physically rather than verbally when I'm feeling emotional or irrational over something. That is definitely not to say that you were such! I just know that's how I would be feeling in a similar situation. Touching, physically opening, taking, enjoying, and endearing, all these things re-center you on what your role and your purpose is. Very glad you shared. =)

No malice...

"...at the end of the day, he loves you wholly and has no malice towards you." I would so love to believe that could be possible in my life. I would so adore a husband who loved me enough to save me from my own misery when I shut down. Thank you so much, everyone who posts here, for giving me hope. :)