How are we equal?

How are husband and wife equal in a taken-in-hand relationship? In what senses are we equal? Every taken-in-hand relationship is different of course, but what do you mean when you say (if you say and believe) you and your spouse are equal?

Um

Equality in love, not function

My husband and I are fairly new to the Taken In Hand style of relationship between husband and wife, but before venturing down this path, we had to really talk about and figure out various aspects, and this was a HUGE one. In function, of course, my husband is in charge, with all that that implies. It may look like we are not equal, and at times it may not feel like we are equal (on a very very bad day) but I know that we are. Functionally he is in charge, but that is because both of us want that, including me. He is in charge but that doesn't mean I have no input. He carefully takes my thoughts, needs, and desires into account when making decisions. I am equally valued in our relationship, in our home, and in his heart, but we both prefer him to be the captain of the ship. Being the captain of the ship, he wisely listens to his crew. If the crew were to see a problem that the captain could not, or if the crew were to fall ill, or feel so devalued as to fall into a depression and not be able to complete their duties, it would be unwise of the captain to not listen and tend to their needs.

My husband must do the same. He must be attuned with me and value me enough to deal with my personality quirks, he must be strong enough to give me confidence in and excite me about his being in charge, and he must be a good enough person not to put his own needs above those of his crew and the ship.

In a Taken In Hand marriage, the husband has to keep firmly in mind that the whole point of him being in charge is that that is fun, exciting and relaxing for both him and his wife, and it thereby keeps the relationship vibrant and happy. My husband makes me feel valued, loved, excited and soothed, and he cares enough about me to make me take care of myself when I forget. He makes me feel safe. In return I express my gratitude for and enjoyment of his leadership, and create the best home and life I can for him. As this is what we both want, we are equally responsible for the success or failure of our relationship, and the happiness of our home.

I suppose it's a bit complicated, but my husband truly does make me feel like an equal, however unequal it might look from the outside. I wouldn't want our relationship any other way. That is how it works for us. When I am firmly in his hand, I feel safer and more loved and more excited than I ever thought possible. Ultimately, this is a fun and enjoyable way for a married couple to solve some of the typical problems couples encounter, and it's a way of keeping their relationship exciting and interesting. It's fun! The form may appear unequal but the substance is not. It's what we both prefer.

Inequivalent

I would never characterize my relationship with C as equal! The point of us moving in the direction of a Taken In Hand relationship was that we had tried a modern, equal relationship and we had been miserable. He felt unnecessary and I felt like I was trying to be independent Superwoman. But we fell into our apparently unequal roles so easily that it really made me wonder whether men and women were ever designed to be equals.

Are we equal? Clearly no. C could snap my neck in 3 seconds if he wanted to. I can read and write much better than he can. However, we are a team, and both members of the team are important and necessary.

Interesting question

Thanks for the question. I would have said that the premise of a taken-in-hand relationship is the observation that the partners are not equal in the sense of being the same as each other. It's this recognition that allows each person to realise their true nature that we are normally taught to suppress.

On the other hand, by accepting this, it is then possible to fight for the same goals using a combination of the best of each person. In this, both parties have an equal stake and equal responsibility.

Recently, we have had a

Recently, we have had a difficult situation that has disrupted our family life. To get us back on track, I sat us down and said that we would each tell each other two things we wanted the other to do for us, or to recommit to doing. I asked for two small tasks to be done daily in the morning. My wife asked me to commit to one night a week just for us, and to always tell her what I want her to do in a certain situation. I then asked her if she trusts me to lead her and our family and she, smiling and with some tears of relief, reaffirmed that she did. I think this is illustrative.

equal / equal value

In dutch, wich is my mother tongue, we would say; We zijn niet gelijk maar wel gelijkwaardig. Translated directly it says; We aren't equal but we are of equal value / worth. To us it says it all.

Hello and a comment

I am new here. Hello to everyone, ladies and gentlemen. I am happy to answer questions about my lifestyle with my husband, which is a longterm taken-in-hand kind of one. I am not sure how intimate to get, but I am not a prude.

As for this question, I think I see it as women needing strong guidance. That's all!

Mandy (from Australia)

Hello, Mandy. I am also new

Hello, Mandy. I am also new here, and interested to learn from others. The Australian men I know seem to be naturals at this alpha stuff! Perhaps these relationships are more normal where you live than for my community, so there are a lot of 'social norms' that I am transgressing. I liked how 'basilransom' referred to it as "subversive".

How are we equal?

Thank you Um for yet another thoughtful posting.
Pursuing a notion of equality that too often gets equated with sameness seems to have created a lot of cycles of misery and unattainable expectations between men and women on this planet.

I would not and could not be attracted to the Taken In Hand philosophy and practice if it did not have at its core the right for individuals and couples to choose. I must be able to choose. If I cannot, it is as if my life has been taken from me. My husband knows this about me, which is why it has probably taken 7 years since I first introduced this site to him, for him to see at the deepest level that I truly choose to live under his control. Every day is a conscious, empowered choice to be in this sacred relationship where our differences can be valued and elevated to bring intention, joy and peace to our family and our community.

When my husband cherishes me, listens to me, puts me in charge of our home life, values my talents and insights, I feel his equal regard. When I trust his judgment, respect and accept him for who he is, appreciate his leadership and skills I am operating in my relationship from a place of equal regard. This allows us to weave our lives together smoothly while maintaining our own individual personhood.

I am not an advocate for tolerance of difference. That would suggest I can live with that which is different than myself but I can hardly wait to get back to my base line of “sameness”. I am an advocate for acceptance. Acceptance values and allow us to live our highest creation and live in our different strengths. Thank goodness we are not all equal or the same. Nature knows, the survival of the fittest depends on diversity.

I am thankful for my ability to choose. I am thankful that I can choose thoughts and practices that allow me to live my best and allow my husband and family to accentuate their best. We are all equal in our right to live our best. Thanks Taken In Hand for offering something to my life that is a powerful choice and allows me to have a stronger voice as a woman.

Agreed

I agree! This site has been so helpful in my self-discovery. Whenever I venture elsewhere on the internet, I come running back here. I don't want to be labeled and boxed in, I want to be me. I feel safe on this site in the unfolding of this very intimate part of my being.