Agreements are a two-way street

A couple enters into a Taken In Hand relationship because we find that it fulfills our emotional needs. We discover a special form of connectedness (and rapture) in this, whether or not it involves spanking.

Now that we have discovered the mutuality of that special chemistry, we need to figure out how to live together, to make our love last, day in and day out, through thick and thin. (My wife and I are in our 30th monogamous year together, and I have no doubt that we will go the distance.)

We strive to create norms and agreements, a division of labour and responsibility, based on mutual respect, likes and dislikes, temperament, job demands, and so on. As everyone who has read around on this wonderful website will know, our ways of living together vary greatly. But I would assume that for the great majority of us, male and female, we agree that both partners are responsible for our conduct; we need to be accountable to one another to make a Taken In Hand relationship work.

However those basic understandings are worked out, they form the covenant of daily life. The rules of the road may differ enormously from couple to couple, but (I assume we can agree) they need to be maintained, or revised, from both sides. If the man violates their basic agreement, he acts selfishly or inconsiderately—wrongly.

Many, many times, I find that I owe my wife an apology, and I don't hesitate to give it to her. It's become a point of pride with me to be non-defensive, open to criticism. Her emotional need for my erotic dominance doesn't weaken her capacity to hold me accountable for upholding my side of our agreements in daily life. If it did, I know what would happen—she'd put a lid on her desire for my dominance in order not to forfeit her negotiating power in our relationship and the amour would begin to drain from our relationship.

So call it fairness, accountability, respect, consideration—call it what you will—just make sure she is free to speak up and express her frustration without proscribing the complaints as a way of stifling her feelings or evading the consequences of your actions. Regardless of the balance of power you consensually establish between you, agreements are a two-way street.

[NOTE TO THE WRITER: If you give me a name I will attribute your piece accordingly.—Editor.]

Taken In Hand Tour start | next

Have you seen the following articles?
Equality isn't all it's cracked up to be
Why Taken In Hand isn't actually unfair
It's not really natural for either of us
Violence in the garden
Mistakes made in forming relationships
Trials and errors—appeasement for anger
The King of the Dark Chamber, by Rabindranath Tagore: a book review
My deep dark secret
I am a strong woman but I want to be taken in hand. Is this normal?
Why you shouldn't mention the 'M' word



The rules of the road so to speak is something we have revisited a few times. They remain pretty much the same but it is nice to revisit them.

We each have a car but we enjoy driving to work together so he takes me and drops me off a few times during the week when we know our schedules will be the same. I am in charge at my workplace and the standing joke is "you won't get out on time" which is pretty much true depending on what has gone on during the day. Well again I was in and out before I could go then realized I had misplaced my work key. (again). My husband shook his head, just looked at me then held up my keys.

When we arrived home he was gracious to make dinner for me (he is the better cook) then started talking to me about my work responsibilites I was annoyed and let him know that he is not responsible for the choices I make while at work. He was getting into my work mode which he knows I can handle except for the stress at times. When that happens I call him and he talks me through whatever the stress is. One of my issues that he reminds me of is my stress level and I tend to forget some days. If that happens then he reminds me in a more meaningful way bringing me back into alignment once we are at home.

Anyway he realized that he had moved in on my work business and came to apologize to me. He is a wonderful and loving man who does not allow pride to get in his way when he is wrong and that deeply touches my heart.

To sum this up we do hold each other accountable and we are both individually responsible for the choices we make however in this taken in hand marriage he does have the final word in things and I do appreciate that.