It may seem to many people that requiring my wife to be obedient, to follow my directives, is not only anachronistic, but considering modern social “norms” of equality between the sexes, is simply wrong. Yet, in my observation of modern relationships, too many couples I know or have observed are locked in a continual struggle for power. This struggle too often leaves the couple disconnected, unhappy, and disenchanted with the modern relationship. It is not my purpose to suggest that we all return to the social norms of an earlier age, but I do believe in the quest for equality between the sexes we have lost something special.
Right from the beginning of our relationship my wife wanted me to wear the pants in the family. As a matter of fact, those were the exact words she used. She is a highly intelligent, confident woman, who could survive quite well without me, but she really wanted me to be in charge. She was not interested in a relationship based on so called equality. We have a traditional marriage in which she expects to be obedient. To her, obedience is not only a matter of respect for me and our relationship, it gives her a greater sense of security knowing I am deeply involved in her and it also adds an erotic charge to our daily life. Yes, obedience is sexy. It is romantic. It creates passion! For her, knowing her man is in charge partly hearkens back to the kind of atmosphere between couples that was so often evident in some of the old movies she used to watch. You know the ones with Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn or Clark Gable and Carol Lombard, or even John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara. I know this may seem hopelessly romantic, but don't we all want our relationships to be romantic and passionate?
It is the expectation of obedience that creates between us a real connection. I am not the kind of husband who gives many orders. My wife is a capable woman who does not need me to micro-manage her life. In fact, I believe when the head of a household attempts to micro-manage his wife's life it says more about his insecurities than it does about his power in the relationship. We most often consult on important matters. But our consultations are charged with the knowledge that I am the head of the household. I am more than willing to accede to her desires in many cases. I depend on her expertise and advice. But once I make a decision that this is the way it's going to be, she almost always agreeably submits. By being obedient, my wife opens herself to intimacy, trusting that I will do what is necessary for her and us.
She does not really submit to me out of fear or because I am the head of the household and she had better do as I say or else. That is not the primary motivating factor for her obedience. It is true that the threat of a spanking always exists if she disobeys. And the certainty of consequences (a bare bottom spanking) may motivate her, but her decision to obey is really a matter of respect and trust. Her submission to me stems from her knowing me so well and loving me so much, that she wants to submit. She trusts me not to abuse the authority she has given me. It also fulfills the desire she has to be submissive to her husband. Being a Christian, she accepts her role as a submissive wife, but her submission would not be as pure or as meaningful if it were something that was forced or came purely from obligation and/or duty.
Some people make the mistake of assuming that if a woman is obedient she loses her autonomy. It may be true that she loses some freedom of action, but doesn't any relationship require the same? Neither am I free to do as I wish. A relationship requires a sense of mutual obligation. However, if I require my wife to behave or act in a certain way, she does so because she wants to and because I have proved my commitment to her. By agreeing to obey me, she surrenders to the discipline of our marriage. For her it is not so much a sacrifice, as it is a way to connect to me in a deep and meaningful way.
Just because I require my wife to obey me does not mean our relationship is a one way street. If my wife asked me to do something, I would do it. I want to please her and make her feel cherished. But just as a captain steers a ship, so I have her consent to direct our relationship. She may say to me, “hey, let's check that out over there”. And because I love her I would steer the ship in that direction. But I still would control the rudder.
It is difficult for me to understand how a taken in hand relationship could work if it were based on equality. It would lose much of its power to move my wife if there wasn't an expectation of obedience. What does it mean for the man to be the head of the household if the woman gets to pick and choose whether she submits to the man's decisions? My wife would be the first to tell you that that would weaken my authority and denature the dynamic we have together. My wife has accepted me as the head of the household (as undisputed “captain” of the ship!). We have an understanding of “dominant” and “submissive” as equitable and complementary and not “superior” and “inferior” and an acceptance of the “captain's” right to sanction behavior that is harmful to the relationship or to her. This does not mean a mindless obedience either. If I were to demand that she do something that was unethical or against her conscience, it would be her duty to a higher power or set of principles to do what she knows is right. However, if I was the kind of head of the household to demand such a thing I would not be worthy of her trust in the first place.
Here is an example of how her obedience has played out in our relationship. Several months ago I told my wife that she needed to go to the doctor to have her shoulder checked out. For a year she has had trouble with her shoulder, but never did anything to alleviate the problem. Some nights while we were lying in bed she would be in tears from the pain. Claiming she was too busy, she didn't act on my advice, so finally I gave her a direct order to get her shoulder looked at. I gave her two weeks to make the appointment. The two weeks went by and she still hadn't made the appointment. She had disobeyed me. This ended up with her being turned over my knee for a paddling. There was nothing erotic about this spanking; it was a serious disciplinary session. The very next day she made the appointment. This is an example of the kind of control I exhibit in our relationship. We have established a relationship dynamic in which she knows that when I do give her an order she had better obey. She knows that the consequences of disobedience will most likely be a very sound spanking.
Every Taken In Hand relationship must depend on a certain amount of obedience. The very act of telling my wife she is to be spanked is an example of her obedience. When I tell my wife to take down her pants and get over my knee for a spanking or tell her to stand in the corner she may voice some complaint or plead for leniency, but she will dutifully do as I say. She is thereby making herself not only physically vulnerable, but emotionally vulnerable too. This is an important moment not just for her, but for me as well. By obeying me during a disciplinary session, she is creating and nurturing a dynamic that carries through into other parts of our relationship. Isn't this what we all find so powerful about a Taken In Hand relationship? It is this exchange of dominance and submission that makes this such a powerful dynamic.
For those who have their panties tied up in a knot at my audacity (conceit), please understand: this is truly consensual. Also understand that I do not give many orders. But I know that on the occasions when I do direct her to do or not do something she will (usually) obey. What particularly interests me about this is the effect such a trust between us creates—how that ripples into other parts of our life together. This obedience develops between us a tide of feeling that is truly powerful. If nothing else, my wife's decision to obey me creates between us a deep and abiding passion. Does this same passion exist in a relationship where both are equal? Hmmmm.... I wonder.
The fact that my wife obeys me does not mean that she does not hold me accountable too. She does. She will admonish me when I have thoughtlessly hurt her feelings or have done something that she believes is inappropriate. I want her to tell me when she thinks I am screwing up. I do not find this is incompatible or contradictory with the fact that she obeys me. It may seem contradictory, but in practice it is not. She can tell me things because she knows I care about her and value her opinion. She knows I will take her feelings into account. Yet, even though she expresses these things to me, she (usually) does it in a way that is respectful of my authority as the head of our family. It does not undermine my dominance or her submissive nature. I can tell this just by the look in her eyes. Because I feel confident in my role within our family, I am able to humbly (usually) accept her advice and yes, even her expression of disappointment in one of my decisions or actions. In fact I would argue the man who cannot admit to his wife that he has done something wrong cannot be trusted and is not worthy of being the head of the household.
IMHO a taken in hand marriage depends on the obedience of the wife to her husband. Without obedience, the dynamic that makes taken in hand so powerful would be undermined and weakened. Obviously this a delicate matter, especially when in the early stages of a taken in hand relationship. In order to obey or submit, the wife must be able to trust her husband as the head their home. So, of course I would counsel that any couple starting out keeps their dynamic simple or limited to a few small areas that both can agree on. But over time as the woman gains more trust in her man as the head of the household she can comfortably give herself to him wholeheartedly. With this trust comes her submission to his authority which allows the Taken In Hand relationship to truly blossom.