Don't be an "if only" person

If you are single and you have a definite and clear idea about what sort of relationship you want in marriage, then I think it advisable to ascertain before marriage whether the other person is willing to have the kind of relationship you want or not. Lots of people have developed Taken In Hand relationships after marriage, but there are also frustrated people who have found themselves married to partners who are simply not that way inclined.

Marrying someone in the hope that they will develop an interest in Taken In Hand is an extremely dodgy thing to do—particularly if you want a lot of control. That's not something you would want to leave to chance. And if you crave spanking/punishment, marrying someone who has no interest in that could be terribly frustrating. Domestic Discipline sites on the Internet are full of people who go outside their marriages for spanking because they can't get their partners interested in it. Frustration POURS out of people who have found themselves married to partners who do not share their desires, the words “If only...” crop up again and again. “If only he would do this.”—“If only he understood.”—“If only she'd let me...”

Admittedly, I was an “if only” person myself when I discovered this site, and I was fortunate to find that I could have what I wanted after all. But then I didn't have any clear idea of what I really wanted before I was married. If you are singe and looking for a partner, I would strongly advise finding someone who shares your desires before you are married, rather than marrying someone and just hoping that they will turn out to be the right type for this relationship.

Don't be an “if only” person.

Louise C

Taken In Hand Tour start | next


Read the clues

I also didn't have a 'clear' idea of what I wanted in a marriage before I got married. I thought I wanted an equal, 50/50 partnership. I wanted respect & loyalty. Beyond that, who knew?

I did, however, always have a supressed desire to be controled. Though it was suppressed, it was always there somewhere. My husband was always a 'take charge' kind of guy, though he respected my wishes & has always treated me as an equal.

I think if you are contemplating marriage with someone, you should know them enough to see this side of them. It may not have completely surfaced yet, but if it's there it can. It's just like a garden. If you water it & give it lots of light it will grow.

So, my point is, even though your potential partner may not know exactly what they want in a relationship, as long as they posess these important taken in hand qualities, they can evolve. I wouldn't rule out someone very special just because they may not have it all figured out. If it's real, you'll know it.


Letting it develop

I always had a suppressed desire to be controlled too too, and I suppose that is what attracted me to my husband, the fact that he is basically a take-charge sort of person.

However, if I had had a definite and clear idea of what it was that I wanted, then I think I would have discussed it with him before we were married, to see how he felt about it.

And i do feel that if you have a very definite desire for a particular kind of relationship, then it is best to find someone who shares your desires before you marry them, rather than leaving it to chance that they will develop into the kind of person that you want.

There are too many frustrated people who are married to those who can't give them what they want for me to have any real confidence that leaving things to develop is a wise way to proceed.


Reading the clues

But there are an awful lot of people around who seem to get married without knowing their partners enough, because they find that they haven't got the qualities they desire. Hence all those "if only" messages on DD groups etc. There seem to be rather a lot of people who can't read the clues right.

I think if you have a clear and definite idea of what you want in a partner, it is best to make your desires known in a clear and definite way, so that you can be sure of finding someone who suits you. Otherwise you could end up as an "if only". It is evident that reading clues is not a surefire way to get what you want. If you know what you want, it may be best to spell it out, so there's no danger of clues being misread.


what about the others

Great article yet again Louise and I agree with you 1000% but what advice can you give those who are married and crave and desperately need this in their lives and can't get it from their marriage mates? Any thoughts on that? Anyone???

Kathy G


I think the saddest thing about your post is this statement:

"Discipline sites on the Internet are full of people who go outside their marriages for spanking because they can't get their partners interested in it."

If their partners could know how personal this type of relationship can be, I do not think they would want their spouse to go outside their relationship for it. It is kind of like sending your spouse to a prostitute because you are not in the mood for sex. You may not want to spank your spouse, or be spanked by your spouse, but let us look at what the alternative are. The person desiring this kind of relationship is left with a few options.

1. Continue on in an otherwise OK relationship, with the acknowledge that their spouse is not willing to do whatever it takes me make them happy. In my opinion, a sad settlement, but one of the most honorable ones.

2. Negotiate an open (polyamory) relationship where the person is allowed to go out of the relationship to have there need fulfilled. Lets call it what it is people. This is erotic needs being met outside the relationship. Is that really what you want your spouse getting form someone else?

3. With a completely non-understanding spouse, a person who does not want to leave their spouse might find themselves going behind their spouse's back. This is cheating. Yes I said it, getting spanked by someone outside of your marriage without permission is cheating. Believe me it is erotic, it is personal, it is cheating. Especially if you know that it is something your spouse would not want you to do.

4. The last and final option to the completely dissatisfied spouse might be divorce. Really people, if you had to choice between spanking, because they really want it, and divorce, what would you do then? Would you wish that you had at least given it a try? It might even save your relationship if you give it a good try and still do not like it. At least you have shown your spouse a willingness to explore there fantasies. Who knows, you might surprise yourself.

So I realize I am preaching to the choir, but I also know that there are a lot of people who come to this sight looking for just the right words to say to the person they love. So I hope I have made myself clear. I also hope that these words might help other convince their spouse to at least give it a try for the sake of your relationship.

Ultimately, I agree with Louise C. For those of you who are not yet in a relationship, if this is one of your priorities, do not settle. I for one think you will be happier in the end.

The Priority of Taken in Hand for Each Person...

Great advice Louise :) I think what it comes down is how important the Taken in Hand components of a relationship are to each individual.

I think for some, it's a nice to have, but it isn't so ingrained into their personality that they'd be truly unhappy without it. For those individuals, they wouldn't get to the "if only" point because they would find happiness within the relationship in other ways.

In my case though, I've gone through enough self-reflection and acceptance of who I am to know that I could never be happy with a man who wasn't willing to take charge. I would resent him and I would resent myself for accepting the relationship. To the point that I am not willing to marry a man because he "shows signs" of wanting a Taken in Hand relationship. When/if I find him and he and I are standing at the alter, I'll already know from experience that he takes charge—or we wouldn't be standing at that alter.

The flip side is reality :) I can't guarantee that "he" will ever come along...and given that, I have had to become happy enough with my life as a singleton to know that I will be happy even if I am single forever...because to Louise's point, I don't want to be an "if only" person—I want to be an "I'm happy" person! There was a time when I thought I needed a man, any man, to be happy. But now I'm single and I am happy. In a relationship, I would only be truly happy if my man were leading me. So I am not willing to compromise! :)

The Big Cs

Over the years, people have confessed that they really were not sure why they married a particular individual. They have no idea how it happened.

Suddenly they woke up one day and it seemed as if that other person was from a different planet. It was as if they had nothing in common anymore.

Despite such assurances, I must confess that I really do have some difficulty understanding marrying someone without really getting to know them. Part of a reasonable process of discovery involves discussing all sorts of things—even if it is on a purely theoretical level.

When it comes to Taken in Hand, if nothing else, how one's parents did things and how they felt about it not only offers some insights into the person, but also provides a platform for further discussions.

Perhaps couples do not take dating seriously or they spend too much time doing other things—not necessarily *those other things* but, still, other things—rather than more meaningful communication.

Possibly fear of risk-taking thwarts personal interaction. Dread of rejection and ridicule can also be a deterrent to more genuine interaction.

Another difficulty—as Stephen pointed out—is commitment to another human being. Marriage is not about *me* anymore; it really is about *us*—what do *you* need that *I* have to offer? This level of loyalty really is great training for staying up all night with a colicky child!

Between the Big Cs of commitment and communication, two adults should be able to resolve most difficulties. The failure to do so usually involves a childlike avoidance of reality.

The big C's, marriage, & divorce

Noone, I couldn't agree with you more! Way too many couples rush to the alter before really knowing the person they're marrying. I've seen so many couples divorce because they either got married for the wrong reasons, or weren't truly committed to each other.

People, a lot of times, go into marriage with the idea that if it doesn't work out, then I'll just divorce them. It's sad. If that's the attitude, then what seperates marriage from dating?

My husband & I were (and still are) best friends when we married. We knew each other inside & out. If I'd had a clear vision of what I wanted from our marriage, then yes, of course, I would have discussed it with him & made sure he was on board. But we *knew* each other. We knew we were committed to each other. We went into it with the mentality that divorce is not an option. We married for better, for worse. It's our *committment* to each other that guides us through the 'worse' times. And it's those 'worse' times that strengthens our characters & our bond.

Like I said before, if you have someone special like that & they posses the Taken In Hand qualities you desire; don't rule them out if they don't have a clear vision of what they want. When you have such a committment, you *want* to please your partner & you'll be open and committed to their needs.

Rush to the alter without the two 'big C's', then whether they want a Taken in Hand relationship or not, you'll likely end up in divorce court.


Money To Be Made From Failure

As a society, we over-romanticized marriage and under-stigmatized divorce because there was money—big money—to be made by merchants and service providers from doing both.

We have made *commitment on the cheap* fashionable precisely because it is profitable. Divorce is never anyone's *fault*—they just did not get along.

Everyone else is supposed to play stupid and believe that two intelligent square pegs suddenly found themselves in an unexplainable round holes while attorneys and merchants furnishing a second homes rake make a fortune. A second home for a divorcing couple is one of the things that has driven housing prices so high in the United States.

The reason Taken in Hand is so misunderstood—if not outright despised in some quarters—is that it comes from a longstanding tradition of commitments that meant something and expectations that marriages would last.

Anyone can walk a way from a marriage and everyone can come up with an excuse. That is—almost quite literally—child's play. Picking up the marital marbles and running back *home* is not a solution because unresolved issues begin to hound like a pack of nipping dogs.

When husbands fail to take their wives in hand, they drift. It may be into emotional cave or into the arms of another woman—but they drift apart from the woman they once loved.

Nature is not stupid. Fleeting ecstatic feels of love exist for a reason. They give couples time to come up with workable solutions beyond *feelings* and similar *emotional* responses.

As one woman pointed out many years ago, in he long term scheme of things, getting spanked by a husband in love really is a harmless way for a bride to get over the *he hit me* fixation and move on to more serious matters in building a lasting relationship. At the same time, it also teaches husbands how to take a woman in hand and do no real damage.

For what it is worth, the elderly may not have sex as much as twenty-somethings. Twice a night or sleeping inside all night may be impossible, but the passion is still there after all these years. When the children are on their own, life can be honeymooning with never a worry about pregnancy!


Noone wrote. "When husbands fail to take their wives in hand, they drift. It may be into emotional cave or into the arms of another woman—but they drift apart from the woman they once loved."
Not being in a taken in hand relationship was nothing to do with the reasons why my marriage failed.
Noone seems to have this idea that if all marriages were taken in hand there would never be divorces. This in my view is nonsense.
Often in the past abused women were forced to stay with their unworthy, useless, bulling husbands because of the societal stigma. I think that you have a very rose coloured view of the world. Not all men are responsible enough to be taken in hand men. Some are just arses.
Taken in hand does not solve all of life’s ills. It makes marriages much much better though when it is something both parties want.

I think the reason Taken in Hand is so misunderstood is nothing to do with commitment but the fact that many people cannot understand why a woman would give power over to a man and why she would want to be spanked.

Noone also said:
"getting spanked by a husband in love really is a harmless way for a bride to get over the *he hit me* fixation and move on to more serious matters in building a lasting relationship. At the same time, it also teaches husbands how to take a woman in hand and do no real damage." I don't agree with this at all. If I was spanked hit or whatever you wish to call it and it was not something I had agreed to, as being beneficial to my marriage, I would feel bullied, abused, humiliated, belittled and it would be emotionally damaging to me. It would also be damaging to my marriage as I would feel resentful and hateful towards my husband. I get really very disturbed that noone feels it is ok and justified to spank women against their will. This is not what taken in hand is about.

The Reuther-Adams Duck Test

A recurrent argument from angry divorcees is that they would only be angrier if they had been spanked and made to dump their obviously overwhelming load of emotional baggage in a flood of cleansing tears.

An angry woman writing about having been taken in hand obtains a positive score on the Reuther-Adams Duck Test. Someone writing like she is an angry woman just might be an angry woman never truly Taken in Hand.

(The quote, "If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it just may be a duck," is frequently attributed to American labor leader Walter Reuther. British author Douglas Adams modified Reuther by noting: "If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae [duck-like waterfowl] on our hands.")

Despite extensive attempts at reeducation, marriages in which the woman is firmly taken in hand never disappeared because many women really do behave differently across a determined man's lap. The truth is angry women do get spanked and it does calm them down. That is one of the lessons in Princess4rev's childhood memory.

Angry woman and angry men

Personally, I have found that spanking is more effective at making the spanker less angry rather than the spankee. If my husband is angry with me pre-spanking, then he is generally a lot less angry post-spanking. I think the act of spanking is at least as calming to the spanker as the feeling of being spanked is to the spankee.


Reuther-Adams Duck Test Confirmed

A mutual de-escalation would seem to confirm the Reuther-Adams Duck Test in writing.

Re: Money to be made From Failure

Noone, not all divorces are caused by laziness, a single incident or lack of trying. I nearly fell off my chair when I read, “Anyone can walk away from a marriage and everyone can come up with an excuse.” I had numerous opportunities to leave, hundreds of friends and family telling me to go, but I also had young children and a deep sense of commitment to the vows I had made. I did all the right things (or so I thought) marrying my high school best friend, going to college then having a family, giving him the sons he so dearly wanted, putting my wants and needs off to see to his. I changed my entire personality to his specifications, yet in the 28 years of marriage, he pulled further and further away, then punished me psychologically for all our problems being “my fault”. I had seen what broken homes had done to my children’s friends so I promised I would not do that to them. I left shortly before my youngest graduated from high school.

I am telling you this because it is not easy to walk away from a marriage, even if you want to. As for your comment, “When husbands fail to take their wives in hand, they drift” I have to agree. I lost the man of my dreams to his burning desires to succeed then his tendency to blame me if he did not. I could not get through to him what I needed and while he did spank me, he used it as a further way of saying it was all my fault, not to help our relationship until they degenerated to true beatings. He was all the things I read here on the website of an allegedly alpha male who is total narcissistic. I guess I should have known when he kept saying that the best person he knew looked at him from the mirror every day.

I do appreciate the point you are trying to make about strength of commitment. Marriage should be a total commitment to each other. But when it is all one-sided, then there is nothing left but divorce.



"Suddenly they woke up one day and it seemed as if that other person was from a different planet. It was as if they had nothing in common anymore."

I think all marriage go through this. I like to call it growing pains. What I think is sad is how willing people are to throw the whole marriage out. I think divorce is to common.

Love is not an emotion it is a commitment. I have never heard any on say...I promise to stay married to you as long as I "feel" like it....or as long and you excite me. Know we say "till death so us part". "I want to grow old with you." Do you think the elderly are as sexually able as 20 year old newly weds? Are you going to leave your spouse if they have to go through cancer?

OK not marry someone you have not gotten to know well. And if there is something you really want in a spouse write it down and try to find it. But good grief, if you wake up one morning and do not "feel" in love. Get a clue. There was some reason you married this person. Now work on it. Relationships are like cars. They can go a long time just needing a little gas. Then every once in awhile, they need a major over haul. But if you invest some time and money back into the relationship, you will not regret it. (That is assuming you are both working on it.)

I would hate to think of a single person, totally in love, not getting married at the fear that some day they will wake up and think that they no longer have any thing in common. Make something to have in common. The key to commonality is doing thing together. Making time for each other. Putting you relation ship on priority.


I can't speak for anyone else but I really don't see a problem with people getting divorced if they are unhappy or they feel they could be happier with someone else. I don't see why two people should have to stay together if they are becoming more and more miserable. Many people, like myself and my ex-husband work very hard at trying to make our marriage work. We did not just wake up one morning and say oh I don't know you anymore and I want a divorce.

As life dealt us various blows we just handled them differently and it caused as to take different paths. We communicated all of the way but moved at different paces in slightly different directions. Slowly slowly the gap between us became larger and larger. We made the decision that to bring us back together again would involve changes and sacrifices that we were not prepared to make. So we decided to part whilst we could still be amicable and friendly with each other. We did not want to wait until we were bitter and angry at each other. We separated with no need for lawyers and handled divorce the paperwork between ourselves.

To be honest I think it is a childlike avoidance of reality to stay with someone when it is obvious that you have come apart as a couple. Why keep flogging a dead horse and making two people miserable. Accept it and move on whilst you don't want to destroy each other.

Re: divorce

I am not completely against divorce in general. I can only speak from experience.

There was a time in my marriage when I thought he was going to leave me. I went through the mental exercise of what a divorce would look like. What I would demand, what I would give up. When it came down to it, he thought I was going to leave him. I then realized we both wanted to stay. That is when the real work began. I went to a counselor and realized a lot of things that I had given up for the good of the marriage. It was not for my good. As I slowly mentioned each little thing to my husband, we worked on me having the thing I enjoy again. He had not realized all the thing that I was denying myself for him because it happened slowly over time. I do not think I even really realized it until I got to wits end. Need less to say the number one thing we needed to put in place was better communication. So it was through this process that our relationship evolved from a D/s with no DD to a Taken In Hand relationship.


If you can stop and look at each other and see something there that you want to work on and work for then I think you should go for it like you did and use any means possible to make it work.

As you say comminications is vital. Either to a good marriage or to a good divorce :-)

I'm pleased for you that you found something you both wanted to work on and are making it right again. If you can do that staying together is definitly easier (and cheaper) than the divorce route. X

"Cinderella Syndrome"

I'm not against divorce, per se. I fully understand that there are things that just happen sometimes and couples are better off apart. I just think couples, a lot of times give up too quickly. They don't even give it a fair shot. When the going gets tough, they just quit.

Not all couples are like that. I know there are some, like Sully, that through all of their efforts, they just can't seem to keep it together. It happens sometimes. That's not something anyone should be ashamed of or looked down upon for. Especially when you exhaust all efforts.

I just hate to see people give up so quickly. Especially when children are involved. If you try & try & it doesn't work, that's one thing. But just quitting because the work is too hard is, in my opinion, lazy & weak. Marriage *is* work. It's the hard work in a marriage that brings you closer to one another. Too many people go into it with the 'Cinderella syndrome'. They think everything will just magically work out & they'll live 'happily ever after.'

I meant no offense to those divorced. I do believe everyone should be free to live happily. I just don't agree with people who go to the alter unsure to begin with, thinking they'll just divorce if it doesn't work out. I've seen too many friends go through this & children hurt badly in the process.


Giving in too quickly

I trhink I gave in too quickly in my own marriage, that is I left my husband after less than two years. I think it would have been better if I had stayed and tried to work things out, especially as I got back together with him after three years anyway (in fact during the last of those three years I spent almost as much time with him as I had done when we were married).

However, it wasn't so much me going into it thinking i could get divorced if it didn't work out, I did expect it to work out. It was discovering our incompatability after we were married that did it. My hopeless inability to please him on the domestic front for instance. I had absolutely NO IDEA that he was so particular about things being clean and tidy, or that he would react so angrily to the house being in a mess etc (he gave absolutely no sign of being like this before we were married). This caused terrible stress between us, and indeed still does in a way, though we manage it better now.

I do think I was short-sighted in packing it in so quickly, and I sort of regret that I did. However, perhaps the period when we were apart was good for us, I don't know. We've been together continuously for twenty years now without murdering each other, and I think that's something of an achievement.

If I'd known that we were going to start getting on better together again, I wouldn't have left him. But then if I hadn't left him maybe we wouldn't have started getting on better together again, who knows?


different outlook

I view marriage differently now it's second time around. When I first married I believed it would be forever and found it very hard to accept that we had failed at it.

I now view it as; being married means will try our best to make each other happy and to make our marriage successful.
Not thinking of it as a permanent thing makes it a bit more fragile and therefore needing to be nurtured more. If I wasn't married however I wouldn't feel the security to put my all into it. The aim, from both of us, is to grow old happily together.

I do agree that some people want to be married just for the sake of being married the ceremony and all that. I think those marriages are doomed to failure. This can be especially true when people marry young. My daughter for example wants to get married so she can have a child. She has the view of well if it doesn’t work out I can always get divorced. It is very difficult to counsel her on this as I am divorced myself. I just try to tell her how hard it is to see the love you used to have for someone disappearing and there being not a damm thing one can do about it. I just hope she picks wisely…