Do you think he doesn't have it in him?

Melanie surrenders: Although I”ve been thinking about this for a long time, reading Random”s last piece inspired me to take the plunge, to have faith in the magic.

The story: A young woman had been on her own for many years, supported herself, put herself through college, and started a business. She fell in love with an even younger man who still lived at home, and they got married. It made sense, didn”t it, for her to keep doing what she”d been doing all those years—paying the bills, earning the money, running the business? She was experienced, he wasn”t. The trouble was, he never had a chance to develop those skills because they weren”t necessary.

Ten years later, he still has very little experience supporting his family and managing his home. He has turned his formidable intelligence to important projects outside the home, projects to make the world a better place. His wife is exhausted. But she figures he's doing important stuff that only he can do, and perhaps it's her place to take care of everything at home so he can devote his time and energy to making the world better. The world, after all, is more important than just their family, isn”t it? But she feels that something is missing from their marriage and their family, and wishes it could be different.

What”s missing is that while he”s a “big guy” out there in the world, he”s not a “big guy” in his own home. He”s not really necessary in his home. So he feels important only when he”s out there working on his projects, and less important when he”s home with his family. His wife respects and admires him for what he does, but she feels let down as a wife. She resents all the stuff she has to do, all the big decisions she has to make. She longs to be cherished and taken care of. But she wonders if it”s fair to ask him to take her burdens. She wonders if he”s even capable of it.

Well, one day she does ask him. She tells him that she wants him to be the “big guy” in their marriage, their family, their home. Months ago she told him that she wanted him to be in charge, to be stronger than her, to discipline her if necessary. He agreed and he liked it. But now she wants him to run the business and manage the finances. She acknowledges that she had never given him a chance to grow up in this particular direction, and that he might make mistakes, but probably not worse than the mistakes she had made herself. She wants him to be captain of the ship, while she concentrates on giving him a happy, well-ordered home. She wants to trust him completely, to demonstrate her faith in him by giving him this power, by actually needing him.

She is afraid this will sound like a lot of burden and responsibility to him. But no. He starts talking about the details as if it”s a done deal. As if he”s wanted this burden and responsibility all his life. In spite of his important work, he”s always felt an emptiness at home. Like it wasn”t really his house. Like his wife didn”t really need him. Like his authority wasn”t real because his wife made all the financial decisions. Right before her astonished eyes, he grows about ten inches. He tells her that as of today, he”s in charge, and if she bitches and moans about his decisions she”ll be soundly spanked.

Perhaps, as he”s just grown 10 inches, he might just be able to handle it all.

Melanie

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Comments

Lovely!

Hi Melanie!

Thank you for sharing that with us, it was wonderful... I am glad you found inspiration in the way J and I organise our lives, and I hope yours goes as well as our has! It is a big step, and in some ways a risk, but if it pays off, the rewards make it well worthwhile.

best wishes,

Random

Good luck, Melanie!

Hey Melanie!

Good luck, sounds like you've been doing a lot of soul-searching. That's great! I turned the finances completely over to Dan years ago, and...I hate to admit this, but I still struggle with keeping my mouth shut sometimes! LOL! Yes I still do.

Last night he paid bills. When he's done, we always go over it together, and he shows me what he paid and how much went here, etc., etc..and I couldn't keep myself from criticizing some decisions he'd made. I mean, I didn't just make a suggestion about something I thought should happen: that's always okay, of course. We are a *couple*.

No, I said he'd made an incorrect decision and I took issue with it. He couldn't believe I did that; he just stared at me. Then we had a very long serious talk that wasn't much fun.

I'm not saying this to scare you, but to let you know that even with the best of intentions, and a LOT of lip-biting, I still can't help but try and control things at times.

Please let us know how it goes and feel free to email me should you need some support:
ambercastaway@yahoo.com

Thanks

Amber, thanks for the support. I expect to screw up a lot, so I won't be surprised when it happens. Paul has been teasing me tonight by saying all my "lines" for me. I haven't been saying them, and he knows the script too well. I just focus on the sense of peace I have when I let all these responsibilities go, even the little ones. The important thing is that we both have a different picture of how things should be and how we should interact with each other, and we just have to work on changing all our little (and big) behaviors to fit that new picture. We also have new images of who we are, but we'll need some time to mold ourselves into those new images.

Random, your piece inspired me because you so vividly described what you get out of the relationship, and I realized I would be giving all that to Paul. Not just giving him responsibilities that I don't want, which didn't seem very nice. I realize now that things feel very different to him and me. For me, controlling things is a burden that stresses me. For him, it's empowering and liberating. So by shifting this from me to him, I turned a bad thing into a good thing.

I think he hated doing what he was "supposed" to do because he still felt like a kid in his parents' home with chores to do. Now he owns everything—the house, the wife, the finances. Now whatever he does is taking care of his own.

Confused

I don't think I get all this stuff about letting go of the finances and putting him in charge. If the husband's been fiscally responsible up to now, then I don't see any risk taken in letting him deal with the finances. But if he hasn't been, why would letting him take full control of them magically improve his abilities?

I'd rather get a spanking for my "bitching and moaning" than wind up on welfare if the guy screws up.

For the record: my attitude isn't the least bit surrendered but my life is... a lot more than some here. Hubby deals with all the financial stuff. I don't tell him how to pay the bills, how to invest the money, what to save, etc. I do tell him what I want to spend money on and if he says there's enough money around, fine.

If not, I don't buy it. I can subtract, too, and negative numbers in the bank account don't benefit anybody.

I have to write every single little purchase on a sheet we have posted on the refrigerator. Do you? I bet not! He's got things so well counted out, he often can tell me to the penny how much money I have in my wallet. Anyone else here as "surrendered" as that? Raise your hand.

But, when he got a little too heavily into trading on the margin and realized he had borrowed over $100,000 that he was gambling on (call the stock market what you want, a hoss race is a hoss race),

he got scared and asked ME what I thought he should do. I sent him to a friend who has a masters in finance, we listened to his input and then I said, in no uncertain terms, get out, sell everything, before you lose more.

And he listened. So what is wrong with that? You bet, if he makes a poor decision, I will bitch till the cows come home. Until then, he can take care of the finances all he wants. I just don't understand why anyone would put making hubby feel important and dominant ahead of the family's financial security.

letting him take control

"Why would letting him take full control of (the finances) magically improve his abilities?" His abilities aren't in question; the "magic" is more about motivation. When he wasn't head of the household, a financial chore was just another chore he was "supposed" to do. Being in charge transforms an onerous chore into an act of love. Caring for his family, and making us happy, is something he intensely wants to do.

I'm not sure what it is about men ... but it seems that their desire to protect and provide is wrapped up in a sense of ownership and control and pride. The more he feels this is HIS family and HIS home, the more responsible he feels and the more he wants to do for us. This may be politically incorrect, but I think it just the nature of the beast, at least many of the beasts!

I am confident that he will always seek and consider my input on important decisions, and that he will never minutely control my spending. In fact, just last night, he considered what I had to say and then decided to do something different, and with MY money! Now he's asking for my input, not my permission. I'm not "making him feel important." I'm stepping aside so that he can be important.

Melanie

Ownership and Masculinity

Melanie says, 'I am not sure what it is about men ... but it seems that their desire to protect and provide is wrapped up in a sense of ownership and control and pride. The more he feels this is HIS family and HIS home, the more responsible he feels and the more he wants to do for us. This may be politically incorrect, but I think it just the nature of the beast, at least many of the beasts!

I am glad that you and your husband find it fulfilling; I find it neither mysterious nor surprising that some western men link their identity and status to his ability to provide, and to the things (including woman) he owns. I suspect western men have been tying their identity to their mode of production since the end of 18th century, at the great development of capitalism. Coincidentally, birth control and "sexual repression" [sic] also begins at this time. (Reich)

I don't think men are born to inherently tie their self-worth to what they own; I see it as a manifestation of patriarchal society in which the general expectation is to link masculinity to power and femininity to lack of. That is to say, you are somehow "not masculine" even though you ARE INDEED a man, if you do not produce, provide, and own; and you are somehow "not feminine" even if you ARE a woman, if you are forceful, productive, successful, and hold great financial power.

I do find it arbitrary to define masculinity not as what men are, but how the ideal man should produce in a capitalist society. But hey, I am not immune to this cultural expectation either, I even identify myself as submissive—I just don't happen to think this is "how human naturally are."

Just a note: I personally do not believe in "sexual repression," thats Reich's words, but that's irrelevant to Melanie's comments.

-sudolly
-----------------------------
the belief in truth is precisely madness—Nietzsche

Depends on the couple

At home, I am the boss. I don't wear a label that says "BOSS" on it, and I don't need to. But I run the show, because two people can't drive a car at the same time and expect to get someplace safely.

- I control where all money comes from, and where it goes. Any "spending freedom" on my wife's part is an illusion that I allow when I want to.
- Her hairstyle, clothing, makeup, are my property. Anything not deemed feminine enough, will be changed immediately.
- If I need sex from midnight till 6 AM because of my stress level, there is no such thing as "having a headache that night." Consideration will be given to real sickness, but in exchange for a ten hour session
- I'll ask for advice, but if I don't think it is the correct course, the advice will not be taken and there will be no questioning
- I want my wife to maintain a healthy weight, and I won't accept talk about "wanting to be thin." Discussion about "dieting to be thin" ended years ago. Moreover a plump rear end is padding for a paddling, so is in her best interest.

This is not the way everyone runs their household, and depends on the couple and what each will accept. I think men have a lot more lattitude than they think to have what they want.

Male Chaunvinist Pig

You know, there have been times when I have thought that my husband was a bit of a Male Chaunvinist Pig, but when I read comments like yours I realise that he isn't even in the running for that title.

How does it actually work?

I just read this comment and thought it was extremely sexy. Exactly the thing I wanted for Xmas and don't have!! Of course, it's probably b/c its a fantasy that it is so appealing and not real life. In real life it might be stifling. If you are still around could you expand on this post? You control everything? She has no choices? How does it actually work? Even makeup and hair are your decisions? Is your wife happy? Tania

Once again

You know, there have been times when I have thought that my husband was a bit of a Male Chaunvinist Pig, but when I read comments like yours I realise that he isn't even in the running for that title.

...you have written what I was thinking, Louise.

Maddy

A different perspective

I'm a woman and when I read what he wrote I thought it very sexy not MCP. I guess it depends how you read something. I'd give a lot for a man like that. To each his own, right?

A different perspective

You really find it sexy that he talks about his wife like she's just there to gratify his wishes, and that her wants and needs don't matter to him at all? He talks about her like she's a horse or something. 'Consideration will be given in turn for a ten-hour session' Yuk! Anyway, who is he kidding. Nobody can keep at it for ten hours, not unless he's overdosing on Viagra or something. If you aks me, he's just a fantasist, I don't believe he's got a wife at all.

Ten hours...

LouiseC wrote:

Anyway, who is he kidding. Nobody can keep at it for ten hours, not unless he's overdosing on Viagra or something.

While I happen to agree with most of the central points that she makes, I have to note that, yes, many loving couples do keep at it for 6, 10, or even 12 hours.

The key thing is your definition of "it". The MCP wrote about "a ten hour session" and "need[ing] sex from midnight till 6 AM because of [his] stress level".

I don't think he was talking about intercourse for ten hours. I think he was talking about having sex for ten hours. That would include foreplay, afterplay and, in all likelyhood, having intercourse more than once during that stretch of time.

While I can't speak for all husbands and wives, I can say that my wife and I do this quite frequently (a couple of times a month).

Sure, on a normal night, we have sex for about an hour or so, again, including foreplay and afterplay etc. But on the weekends or on nights when we want to connect, serious lovemaking takes a minimum of six hours and can easily take all night and into the next day.

We might lie together, head to foot and caress and talk for an hour or two, then work up to more and more intense sexual activity, including intercourse. Afterword, we would kiss some more, bask in the afterglow, talk about our deepest feelings and look up and see that six hours have passed since we started.

Sometimes in the afterglow, we decide to build up again and eventually have intercourse a second and or third time, taking a couple of hours to go through another cycle.

So, what I'm saying is that long sessions of sex and lovemaking are hardly impossible and are actually quite normal for some couples.

Granted, Mr and Mrs MCP might be doing very different things in their ten hours. He might be the only one getting anything out of it and Mrs P might be serving his needs the whole time (or perhaps not). But having intercourse two or three times over the course of ten hours does not require Viagra.

In fact, it is a great way of relieving stress and reconnecting as a couple.

You might want to give it a try sometime, albeit within the context of a more mutually satisfying relationship.

For the record, having *intercourse* for more than four continuous hours or even having an erection that lasts for more than four hours is dangerous and can cause serious medical problems.

Some people think I'm crazy too

I'm with Louise and Maddy on this one! I would be out of there so fast, all he would see would be a blur down the driveway. However, if another woman finds his attitude erotic and just what she's always wanted, then I would be happy they found each other. Some people think I'm crazy, too.

Melanie

Ten Hours?

Gosh, the way you put it it sounds very nice, but I couldn't keep at it for ten hours, not even including foreplay or discussing deepest feelings (not something either of us goes in for much)Honestly, I don't think I could ANYTHING for ten hours at a stretch, I haven't got that sort of attention span, except maybe reading a book.

An hour, hour and a half maybe would be the average for us I should think. Then my husband usually wants to go and make a cup of tea, and sometimes something to eat as well, cheese on toast or bacon sandwiches or something, he always makes enough for both of us because he knows perfectly well that even if I say I don't want anything, I usually change my mind when I actually see the food(he makes wonderful cheese on toast). then we both read. some nights, if I'm really exhausted, I'm asleep by about 10pm, which usually means I'm awake again at about 3 or 4 am, he usually sleeps from about 11-12 through to 8 or 9 am. Neither of us has the stamina for a ten-hour stint I'm afraid.

On the subject of prolonged lovemaking, I've just been re-reading Jeffrey Bernard's 'Low Life' books, and in one of them he relates how a friend of his told him she was spending the night with some man, and after they'd been having sex for about an hour and a half and he was still banging away, she got bored and turned the bedside light on and started reading 'Middlemarch', and I could understand that. Sex is very nice and all that, but ten hours?

Wow! This is me!

Melanie wrote:

"She is afraid this will sound like a lot of burden and responsibility to him. But no. He starts talking about the details as if it’s a done deal. As if he’s wanted this burden and responsibility all his life. In spite of his important work, he’s always felt an emptiness at home. Like it wasn’t really his house. Like his wife didn’t really need him. Like his authority wasn’t real because his wife made all the financial decisions. Right before her astonished eyes, he grows about ten inches. He tells her that as of today, he’s in charge, and if she bitches and moans about his decisions she’ll be soundly spanked.

Perhaps, as he’s just grown 10 inches, he might just be able to handle it all."

I read this post and a light went on in my head. This is MY situation you're describing. I thought he wouldn't take charge so I continued on my merry way being in charge of everything. I never trusted him to take charge so I never stopped being in charge. Ding!!!!

"burden and responsibility"

In the light of recent criticisms of my posts on this site, I find it interesting that you talk of him taking burdens and responsibilities. I think most men suitable for a Taken In Hand relationship would rather take these things upon themselves, especially when also acknowledged to have full authority. I know I can heap responsibility upon my shoulders from any source but that's not the point. I want to be responsible for my woman, our home, our destiny. I don't even understand how to care properly without—and with me, the ability to care is closely tied to feelings of love.