I have been reading the postings and articles on Taken In Hand for a couple of years now, but always with a bit of a heavy heart. I would read of these marvelous marriages that had both genuine love and wonderful passion, and I would yearn to have that kind of fully committed love relationship with a truly strong man.
Earlier this year, the man I have waited my whole life to find actually found me. After weeks of giddy falling-in-love energy, and with us clearly moving into what he and I both knew was a life-long commitment, I could see that this amazing, wonderful, very smart man had been in relationships that left him feeling powerless and less like a man and more like a child. I cringed when I heard some of his stories about what he went through with his ex. Wow.
Because this website had given me such a clear idea of what was possible in strong love relationships (more than any book out there!) and because I had become so certain about what I wanted and desperately needed in my life, I made the effort right from the beginning to speak directly to his inner, masculine strength. I looked for, recognized and praised his accomplishments with genuine love. I thanked him every time he took charge of anything in our lives, saying how much I appreciated not having to do absolutely everything myself, as had been the case for more than a decade. And I made sure he knew that, despite my professional successes and academic achievements, and despite having served in the Army, I loved how he made me feel fully feminine.
He started out using a lot of humor and joking about “Being The Man,” probably because it was just so new to him to be honored as a strong man. So when we shared an especially tender moment together, I softly told him again how much I valued his strength and how protected and cherished he always made me feel. And then I took a deep breath and I told him I knew it was a lot to ask because it was so much responsibilty, but that I would really like him to be the head of our household—to be the one in charge in our life together. He responded with an outpouring of love I have never experienced before. We talked for hours about our needs and experiences.
Something must have clicked, because he began to seek out ways to lovingly take charge of things. For instance, instead of my planning our entire road trip next month, as I always had to do in my previous marriage, he's insisted I stay focused on what I'm doing and let him make all the arrangements and plans. I can't describe how thrilled I was! What a gift! I don't care if he does it the way I would have done it—obviously the whole point is to allow him the pleasure of doing it his way and allowing me the pleasure of revelling in his wanting to take care of us. I can't wait to see what he's got cooked up!
Not a day passes that he does not express his abundant love for me and his amazement at how different he feels about this relationship. He is flourishing! Since we've been together, he's been offered a promotion at work, his friends are commenting on how happy he looks all the time, and he is actually caring about his health in a whole new way because he now sees a happy future for himself.
Best of all, having suffered from a “low libido” for at least a decade (which of course only added to his poor self image as a man), he is now a love-making machine! He cannot believe that in his mid-50's, he's now experiencing more sexual desire than he did in his 30s or 40s! And our love making is amazing, because we've brought the Taken In Hand concepts into our bedroom, as well. Nothing is hotter than having a man take full charge of an afternoon of lovemaking!
A relationship that is true to the Taken In Hand concepts is one that brings to both people a sense of joyous balance. There's nothing to argue about if both want the husband to be in charge. A good man will always want and listen to our advice and input, and he may even ask us to make recommendations to him. But in my case, I always add in the reminder that they are just recommendations, that he will always have the final say. He needs that reminder to help him break the old patterns, and to be reassured that this really is what I want, day in and day out.
As this year comes to a close, we are filled with a sense of such gratitude and hope, I can't begin to describe it. Thanks to everyone who has posted here over the years. You gave me the education I was unable to find anywhere else—and lessons that have given me a chance at the relationship I have always dreamed of having with a wonderful man.