What can I do to calibrate Taken In Hand appropriately in the beginning of a relationship?

I wish I could invent a word that carried enough power to describe my utter shock and amazement that people would want this kind of relationship. I grew up being taught to be a “nice” guy. That if a girl is being a brat and disrespecting me, I had better be the “man” and be nice back. Girls have it harder than guys so if she embarrasses me or walks all over me in front of people, I should pretend like it's nothing because it's wrong to express that you're angry, or to stand up for yourself. That shows that you're weak and her actions are affecting you. Heaven forbid that I should ever be the one that doesn't treat her like Goddess Athena, while I take my role as the rock dwelling caveman grunting “Ug like girl. ooga ooga. Girl like Ug too?” Shame on me for following my drives. You get the idea.

I've read plenty of articles in the past saying that a man should be a dominant, confident, take-charge type of guy but thank heavens for a community that actually explains what that means from both the male and female perspective. I cannot even express how thankful I am to you.

I was with my last girlfriend for about 2 months before I broke up with her. I decided to end it; 1. Because I realized I wasn't in love with her. 2. Because she did things to test and see if I was really a man, and I didn't pass them. I felt that she was beginning to lose respect for me. At the time, I was pissed off because she was testing me. But now I see that it is her necessary drive to see if the person she is with is really the man that he presents himself to be.

I will admit, I failed. There were times when I wanted so badly to express my frustration to her, but I was afraid I would lose her or come across as too emotional (due to my parents teaching me never to express frustration to somebody). One time I wanted to call her and tell her that if I had to choose between self-respect and her, that self-respect would win and she would go. But I didn't have the guts to say it, rationalizing that I shouldn't be so emotional and reactive, I should avoid conflict when possible. So I met up with her and told her that we should break up, and she certainly didn't put up a fight.

It is weird to me because I wasn't even that in to her. But now a month after we broke up I see her in church in her sexy new dress, new shoes, flirting with other guys, and seems to be doing just dandy since the break up while I am drowning in jealousy. I know this is selfish and wrong, but I am absolutely consumed with it. I can't help it; everything I do is painted with “what would she think?” Subconsciously I want to move on and see other girls not to move on and see other girls, but so that she can see me move on and want to run back into my arms. I've deleted her off my Facebook and blocked her off of my phone. I talk to lots of different girls on campus, and am actively trying to get over her. I am open to advice from anyone that is inclined to give it, but what I really want is to read from someone that has been in this situation before and is now over it, moved on and not thinking about their ex.

Almost all of the articles I read on this site are about couples who have been married for a while. How does Taken In Hand apply to dating? Of course I wouldn't act as though I own a girl after the first date or anything, but what can I do to calibrate Taken In Hand to an appropriate level in the beginning of a relationship?

Truly Nice

First off, if you weren't in love with your girlfriend before, you're not going to be in love with her even if you now understand her better and would like to show her what's what. Plenty of fish in the sea, and only one you. Look for a woman who you might love and who might respect your integrity.

And be nice. Being nice is not letting a woman run you. Men who do that seem lazy and uncaring to me (unless they and their wives really enjoy that). My husband is very nice and by that I mean direct, forgiving, and loving. Dating, he was nice too -- he told me honestly and openly what he thought of what I said and what I did, so I knew pretty much where I stood with him. He took me seriously enough that he wouldn't go along with whatever I said.

Physical affection right off the bat established his lead nicely. From our first date, he had his hands on me tightly and kissed me publicly. You should only do that, though, if you like the woman a lot.


Dating from a different perspective

As for dating, I don't think you can ever go back. While I hate the idea of being controlling, it would be much nicer if women were more sensible and not need to be checked, there is no doubt that it is something men have to learn in order to be happily married. Women will always test and they need to be curbed when they go too far. My suggestion is to tell them, don't ask them what to do.

If dating, you can buy dinner the first and maybe the second time, and tell them it's their turn to make dinner or time to take you out. While most women, especially younger ones, are poor, this is a good way to find a woman that has a heart of gold and is not a typically spoiled selfish American girl. If they can find money to buy expensive clothes and can afford to buy dinner with their girlfriends, they can afford to buy you dinner.

While you may want to see a particular girl again, don't cave in if she doesn't call you back. You have to have loving toughness and make the smart decisions. One final point, if you are having fun, girls will come to you. Concentrate on having fun, and things will work out for you. Good luck to you.

Do you want to find a wife?

When a man tells a woman to pay for his dinner, he reduces himself to a Peter Pan boy wanting a Wendy or a mummy to look after him. That may suit women who feel anxious to ‘prove’ themselves ‘equal’ to men, and who want either to be in charge or a strictly equal relationship, but it is extremely off-putting to any woman who wants to be in a Taken In Hand relationship. The last thing such a woman wants is to feel like your mother or a Wendy to your Peter Pan. It is just not sexy.

If you are poor, create imaginative dates that involve spending no or little money rather than telling her to pay. A girl with a heart of gold does not want you to spend money you don't have but she does want to be taken out by you rather than taking you out, because when she takes you out, that makes her feel like the man in the relationship, and a Taken In Hand inclined girl is definitely not going to want to be the man in the relationship. As a woman, she needs to be pursued.

Pursuing her does not mean buying her lots of expensive gifts, or pursuing in a desperate-seeming way, but it does mean taking her out as opposed to demanding that she take you out. That does not mean throwing money at her. For example: a moonlit walk along a riverbank like the Thames in London, the Limmat in Zurich, the Hudson in New York, or whatever river, lake, reservoir or sea front is local to you can be a far more romantic, delightful and memorable date than many an expensive dinner in a fancy restaurant.

Getting her to pay tells her that you are either just not that into her—i.e., a good relationship isn't possible with you—or that you are not a man who has the traditional man's desire to protect and provide for his family.

Many women with hearts of gold want to raise their children themselves rather than putting them in daycare institutions to be raised by strangers. A Taken In Hand inclined woman is more likely to want to stay home with your children than is a woman who wants to be in charge or wants an equal-and-seen-to-be-equal relationship.

If you expect your wife to contribute hard cash in the marriage, that raises the problem of who will be raising your children while you both work. And the more you expect your wife to contribute financially, the more she in turn will expect you to contribute in ways that you might find unmanly. Ultimately, this attitude leads to an indifferent, score-keeing, quid pro quo business-like arrangement in which everything is ‘equal’ and ‘fair’ including what is traditionally considered women's work, and thus there is little or no difference between the man and the woman, so little or no thrill from the male-female difference between you.

By contrast, part of what makes a Taken In Hand relationship so deeply pleasurable and satisfying is that the spouses are not hung up on being ‘equal’, having no one in charge, both contributing equally in every way, etc, so the relationship is very unlike a platonic business relationship or house share arrangement, which would be very unexciting.

While those who need a strictly equal relationship of course would not find the ‘inequality’ of a Taken In Hand relationship in any way delightful, those who prefer a relationship in which the man wears the trousers find the ‘inequality’—the polarity—exciting. The ‘inequality’ thrills them sexually. They each enjoy feeling aware of themselves as the man or woman that they are rather than feeling unaware of their sex, like in a business or other platonic arrangement. They actively prefer a marriage in which the husband is firmly in charge and his wife worships him and would do anything for him.

If you haven't met a woman you want to pursue, protect and provide for, do not get married! The moment you start feeling the need to keep score in a dating relationship is the moment to end it. Never never marry until you find someone to whom you want to give the entire world.

Yes to control, no to getting her to pay

Cassander wrote:

Women will always test and they need to be curbed when they go too far. My suggestion is to tell them, don't ask them what to do.

Yes, but I assume you mean only if you know in your heart that what you are telling her to do is truly best for her and your relationship. It is almost always the case that doing what is best for her is also best for you, but even on the rare occasion when you are not also better off because of your control of her, put her first. For example, if there is only one tiny bed in the NYC hotel room you are placed in because of a snow emergency and airline flights are cancelled, you decide for the both of you that you will be the one to sleep on the hotel room floor.

Women will test for a while to make sure that you are the man that you say you are. But your whole life does not have to be a fight with a woman who constantly tests. After a while she gets the idea that you are in charge. Then there is a symbiotic joining of the two of you. She trusts you to lead because you have eliminated from her mind the idea that you will not fight for her and your relationship, will not care for your future children together, will not fail to find love, respect, and compassion for her even during the toughest of times, and most importantly, will not abandon your commitment to continually working to solve all problems, no matter how challenging.

When you are trying to submit to higher moral values, she will follow you where you lead. In exchange for your moral leadership (even when you make mistakes) you earn her obedience because of your greater concern for her welfare. This level of control of her can only occur with full commitment to her, in marriage, although one can glean the signs of a woman's willingness to go on this path with you earlier.

If dating, you can buy dinner the first and maybe the second time, and tell them it's their turn to make dinner or time to take you out.

But this part I don't agree with. If she has much more money than you and you know that she wants to go to a restaurant in which she is very happy to pay, then maybe let her pay if she wants to, but ask her to pay? No. You need to be the man, not she. I did not let my wife pay for our dates, and my wife is thoroughly Taken In Hand and has a heart of gold. Having a generous (not stupid or weak—generous) heart is much more likely to attract a generous-hearted woman like my wife.

So instead of getting her to pay for dinner, which is unchivalrous, it is much better to teasingly order her about in the kitchen while commenting on the shapeliness of her legs (if you are not a good cook and she is) or actually teaching her how to cook (if you are a better cook than she). Much better to spend just a little money at the grocery store but maintain your authority, morally and otherwise.

In order to truly control a girl, don't hurt her—because that hurts her creativity and then you lose control of the benefits of this. Marriage (and life) is not a zero-sum game: we can grow together.


Insecure Feminists

I thought of something I did not mention above. Often insecure women who call themselves “feminists” will fall for a man who tells them to pay. They feel insecure about themselves, so emotionally they feel they need to work hard to attract a good man. Telling an insecure woman to pay makes her feel unworthy of being cared for and therefore encourages her to work to be worthy of a date with him. This helps the man in the short-term because it makes the woman more likely to fight for him, which is his goal if he would like her to sacrifice for him to earn his attentions. The next sacrifice she will be required to make (to earn his continued attentions) is to go to bed with him to prove that she is worthy. After that, she usually gets dumped.

To the extent that an insecure girl has been taught to think of herself (intellectually) as an independent strong feminist, the man’s strategy of asking her to pay is even more effective. She feels she ought to do it.

So the strategy of asking a woman to pay can be a way of manipulating a prideful feminist girl who is insecure. This no doubt works in many situations over the short-term. For the man who just wants sex, this strategy (that relies on manipulation) can work. Men do it in the PUA/Game community a lot.

But it is no way to have a meaningful relationship with a good woman over the long-term. The reason is stated in my post above. Taking advantage of someone hurts her ability to feel good and therefore her ability to grow. If a man hurts a woman, he makes her into less of a human being and he has less to control over the long-term. It's no fun and it's no way to feel good about yourself, either.


This whole topic is going off course

I used the example of asking a woman to pay, or make dinner as a good option to show you are not a doormat. My experience is that if you always buy women dinners they come to expect it and I come to resent it. I can afford to take women out to dinner—money is not the issue. The issue is establishing control.

I find that telling people what to do, is part of the role of a leader. I run boats for a living and I've found it worsk. People are naturally obedient, or rather helpful. Sometimes other people will try to tell you what to do, and ask you to do things that don't make sense. A leader has to be comfortable telling people what to do, and ignoring others whose opinions do not matter.

For example, countless times while docking, busy bodies try to tell me where or how to steer a boat into the dock. The Captain is not the person standing on the dock. My reply is to ask them if they want to help and then tell them what to do—stand by with that line and keep silent and don't distract me. Of course if you ask someone to do something that makes no sense, then your leadership is compromised.

Early on in the relationship, you need to start telling your prospective wife, what to do. If you are passive and don't take control, you will lose her respect.

Another thing that is good to do, is to let her see you in command of something. I try to bring a woman out on a boat with me and let her watch me control a situation.

The resentment problem

Cassander has raised two important issues here. One is control, and whilst I disagree totally with his suggestion that telling the woman to pay for your dinner is a good way of establishing control, I do very much agree that it is imperative to start taking charge appropriately from the start if you want a Taken In Hand relationship. The other important issue Cassander has raised is the resentment one.

Telling the girl to pay for your dinner might reduce your resentment but at what cost? Far from reinforcing or establishing control, what that does is to make you seem to her like a Peter Pan looking for a Wendy or mother to look after him. It thus immediately drastically reduces your perceived manliness and attractiveness to a Taken In Hand inclined girl. It also tells the woman that you have a score-keeping victim mentality that will likely destroy any relationship you attempt.

Having said that, Cassander is absolutely right when he suggests that it is imperative to solve any resentment problem there may be, because resentment itself eats away at people and destroys relationships.

So the question is, how can you solve such a resentment problem in a way that does no harm?

Here's how—and this applies to all forms of resentment, whatever sex you are:

Only ever give anyone anything or do anything for someone if you truly want to do so assuming that that person will never give you anything in return. Instead of asking the other person to do something for you in return, which is likely to make them in turn feel resentful and compound the problem, drop the quid pro quo thinking and give only that which you can give wholeheartedly, freely and willingly. Stop over-giving, and start taking better care of yourself. Stop giving to get, and stop expecting others to give in return for things you give.

Telling her to pay for your dinner would be to ask her to over-give to you. You gave too much, so now she herself has a duty to give to you in turn whether she likes it or not? Is that your idea of a good relationship? Really?? That kind of quid pro quo thinking is inimical to good relationships. Stop it! Just stop!

Admittedly, it will take time to learn to live this way, but it is so worth it. While you are teaching yourself this better way, remind yourself, whenever you feel resentment, that that is not a sign that the other person is failing to give you enough, it is a sign that you yourself have given to get, or given too much. It is no reflection on the other person whatsoever, it is you who have caused your own resentment. Keep this in mind and it will be easier and take less time to make this change.

The Taken In Hand Site Owner and Creator

Making dinner

I usually ask a woman to "make" me dinner rather than take me out, mostly because I see that particular woman as a potential mate and want to see how she handles that role. The costs are lower for her, and she can choose what to make and keep it inexpensive if she chooses, or go all out--either way is fine. I highly appreciate of any effort a woman makes on my behalf. It is a woman's role, although not exclusively, to cook.

Often I don't have to ask. A hint might be, can you cook? Or what is your specialty dish? It is a nice conversation piece, and frankly, I enjoy talking about food. A simple, "when are you inviting me over for dinner?" is a nice thing too.

Aside from all this, while I like going out to eat, and would never give it up, it is rather wasteful of resources I'd rather direct towards buying real estate or some tangible asset. Typically I prefer going out lunch because the costs are lower at lunch and I like going out in daylight.

What most liberated women seem to want is for me to do half the housework, and 95% the outside work. If I'm the strongest, it doesn't also mean I'm stupid and should be using all my time to do less productive things. I do outside work for exercise because I need exercise.

Smart capable woman should not be stuck doing housework either. Frankly I'm all for off loading some of this stuff onto hired help. I am not going to do housework--it is a misuse of my time and earnings capabilities. It is misuse of a smart capable woman's time also. If a woman has a career, a college education, and good income, then why not hire a maid or nanny to help out. It is smart. If you chose to be a housewife then you need to do that sort of work yourself and help rake leaves or do some of the outside work also.

Why are you doing things you don't want to do?

Cassander, if you want to be in charge in a relationship, why are you going out with ‘liberated women’ who want you to do things you don't want to do? And why are you doing things you don't want to do?

The Taken In Hand Site Owner and Creator

Why are you doing things you don't want to do?

The Taken In Hand Site Owner and Creator sez:

Cassander, if you want to be in charge in a relationship, why are you going out with ‘liberated women’ who want you to do things you don't want to do? And why are you doing things you don't want to do?

Precisely the question that puzzles me.

But then, my own puzzle lifted me up to reality. I wanted the perfect “toy”. I wound up with nothing.

Then, I gave up. I resigned myself to the fact that I would never find the woman I could truly desire. Then I find one who truly has potential. I need true, I need genuine, I need real, straight, direct.

Mick McCloed

Who is in control of whom?

Cassander sez:

Women will always test and they need to be curbed when they go too far. My suggestion is to tell them, don't ask them what to do.

As far as that goes, I can agree with that. I understand a woman's need to “test”, but if she does it excessively, I'm ready to look elsewhere for companionship.

Cassander sez:

If dating, you can buy dinner the first and maybe the second time, and tell them it's their turn to make dinner or time to take you out.

It appears we part ways here. “Take YOU out,” as in “Take me out”?!? Whoah, back it down, Bronco! That does NOT happen! I myself take her out, and not the other way around! That would give her control, which would give me hard-felt doubts of her worthiness of a relationship with me. OTOH, if she were to suggest a home-cooked meal at her abode, I could be tempted, but I would never mention such a thing. That idea must come from her own volition, and would definitely imply some progress in the relationship.

Cassander sez:

If they can find money to buy expensive clothes and can afford to buy dinner with their girlfriends, they can afford to buy you dinner.

I'll grant you that. If she is financially well-endowed, she most definitely can buy me dinner, which in turn would eventually make me a kept man, rendering her in control. Such a woman does not entice me. I have no desire for wealthy women with a penchant for high fashion. She would fight a losing battle if she were interested in me.

Cassander sez:

While you may want to see a particular girl again, don't cave in if she doesn't call you back.

I don't “cave.” I pursue until my interest wanes. When that happens, I search for someone more interesting.

Mick McCleod

Who's paying?

I can see how it might be hard to come up with money for the next date, but you'd be much better off to think up some place cheap or free instead of asking her to pay or cook for you. If it's not hard to pay for the next date, asking her to pay seems purposefully offensive. I really would have wondered at my husband's motives if he had asked me to spend my waitressing tips (that I needed for my steady diet of Lucky Charms, not expensive clothes or dinners with my friends) on his dinner. When he mentioned cooking, it wasn't the third date, and he suggested we cook together.


I make more money than he does

I've been out of work for the last year and a half. I am getting ready to go back to work (fingers crossed), and the two jobs that I am interviewing for will pay me quite a bit more than what my boyfriend makes (talking marriage so I hope I am welcome here since we seem to be on the Taken In Hand track, and I am trying to write a post about dating & taken in hand). I generally earn two or more times than his salary. I’m guessing since I have not asked him what he earns; he has also told me that I will be making “a lot more” than he makes.

I've been out of work the whole time that we've been dating. He pays for everything without saying a word. I am sure to thank him, although he even seems a little irritated at this sometimes. He is clear that he does not care if I contribute money to the relationship or not. He says that we are together and the fact that I am not earning any money is just a fact and it does not matter to him. We are together, we need groceries and other things, and he can afford these things.

While I've been interviewing, I said to him that he must feel relieved that I will soon be able to contribute to the relationship, financially. He seemed mildly disgusted by the comment/ question, and said that he doesn't care about my money. He does not say this in an offensive manner. The mild disgust in his voice is at the implication, not at me. He is supportive of me going back to work, and since we do not officially share a household yet (although I am at his house about 85 percent of the time), there is a reality of my need to pay rent and utilities for my apartment, on top of my other personal bills.

He is in a profession that has a relatively limited range for income potential. I love what he does for a living, and so does he. It is pretty awesome to like what you do so trying to do something else for the sake of ‘one-upping’ me in salary would probably make us both miserable. His profession also affords us a certain kind of flexibility in the time that we spend together and, of course, his own personal time. I have been in consulting for a long time and my earning potential has grown over the years. It is just the nature of what we both do that creates the difference in pay.

Going back to work full-time is going to diminish our personal flexibility so I am looking at going to work for myself, or reducing from full-time to part-time in the not-too-distant future. He seemed to like this idea and said that I should take that time and do things that make me happy instead of worrying so much about making money.

I have always believed that men felt ‘burdened’ by paying for dates, groceries, etc. – although most of the men I have been in relationships with paid for the vast majority of dates and activities (not groceries though – they were usually silent when I bought the groceries). What I am reading here is that this is not the case. That real men feel good about providing, and providing usually involves spending their hard-earned money.

How should I handle my money when I finally start earning a paycheck again? Do I pretend that I don’t have the money to spring for dinner or for groceries?

Re: I make more money than he does

Do I pretend that I don’t have the money to spring for dinner or for groceries?

No, of course not. But if you want a good relationship, it is important to handle this very sensitively, since many men do feel uneasy, humiliated or emasculated if their wife starts earning a lot more than they do. This is not always the case of course, but as you appear to have found already, this can be a source of stress. Your man appears to have reacted more as I would expect a Taken In Hand inclined man to react—with disgust at the idea of being a kept man, a Peter Pan to your Wendy.

No doubt your man is supportive of you working and enjoying your career, but perhaps you should take seriously the fact that he likes the idea of you working part time and his suggestion that you be less concerned about making money, if doing that won't damage your career?

It is no good going part-time if doing that will damage your career, make you feel sad or anxious about money or if it will make you feel resentful towards your man. But if that is not the case, by all means go part time and enjoy your days off.

In a good marriage, the spouses are not keeping score and checking that everything is fair, they are too busy enjoying their lives together. Your man not insisting that he pay for groceries you are buying does not mean that he wants you to start taking him out and paying for his dinners out. It means that he is graciously accepting your giving back and cooking for him, which is exactly what I would hope he would do, just as I would hope that you are buying the groceries and cooking for him because you wholeheartedly want to, of your own volition, and not because he is asking that of you.

My advice is the same as I gave before: only give that which you can freely give, wholeheartedly, assuming that you will get nothing in return for that gift. And assume and hope that your man is doing the same, and don't ask him to give you things either, because when you ask him to give you something, he may comply but he may feel resentful. Expecting the other person to cook for you or take you out deprives him or her of the joy of giving freely and willingly out of his or her own volition and turns him or her into your servant, and that is decidedly unsexy.

Don't pretend anything. But also don't be insensitive to the possible impact on your man if you are earning a lot more than he is. For example, if you have children, will you want him to stay home with the children while you work? Many men find that humiliating and emasculating even if they consider themselves pro-feminist. Or might he want to stay home with the children, and how will you feel about that? Many wives find themselves despising the husband they are supporting despite thinking intellectually that that amounts to having a double standard that is very unfair.

You earning so much more than he does may decrease his attraction to you, or it may decrease your attraction to him, or both. It might not, and no doubt in a more rational future it wouldn't, but in the real world of real people now, it is a possibility to consider. Tread carefully.

The Taken In Hand Site Owner and Creator

Thank you for more input

In reply to The Taken In Hand Site Owner, I'm so sorry. I somehow did not see your post above before now. Very valuable information. Thank you.

Children: No. I'm 47 and he's 44. I'm not having babies so no issue there. But, no...I would not expect him to stay home if I were to have babies. As independent as I am, I have always had an old-fashioned streak.

I am now realizing that I may never make the kind of money that I used to - mainly because I don't want to live in a pressure cooker anymore. There is no doubt in my mind that my SO would not really like the Me that used to live in her office and had to deal with stressed out clients because I was managing their massive projects.

We're not married or living together so I have to look for work that makes me and my (single) life strong and happy. However, since we are talking about living together, I'm looking at different types of jobs and/ or new career paths that will support me now but that might offer me some flexibility in the near-future.

Do you think that just by me saying that I would be relieved to be able to contribute financially that he felt like he would become a 'kept man'? I didn't imply that I would support him or pay his bills. I was more talking in the context of buying groceries sometimes, and other random things. Maybe his reaction wasn't so much disgust as...irritation?

But there's a certain reality to the fact that his income is modest, as my future income will be since I don't want to be the big bad project manager anymore. The reality is that two cannot, in fact, live as cheaply as one.

He and I are talking about co-habitating. While that's a whole different topic in itself, it seems that one of the things we will need to discuss before doing so is the finances of the household. When/ if this happens, I will be sure to listen to how he would like things to go.

Right now, I'm feeling like I have a whole different issue that I should post, or find a post about. He seems to be a Taken In Hand kind of man but, of course, he has never been to this site - and I have not brought it up to him yet. (Now that I have posted about our finances, I am hesitant to bring this site to his attention. What do you think?) So while he clearly wants to be in charge and moves to put me in line at times - and he is usually firm about it - he has exposed to me that he has a short fuse, and he then withdraws, leaving me floating out here alone. This is terrible for me because I easily being to doubt the solidness of the relationship.

I am truly in a very dark cave when he does this. It cannot possibly help to make the foundation of our relationship stronger by withdrawing and leaving me without a bouy. Perhaps that's why it seems that most of the couples here are married - there is a different level of commitment in place.

But I need to know that when my imperfections pop out that, although I may be put in my place in one way or another, I am not being abandoned. The cold shoulder and indifference is debilitating. When he does this, I feel the foundation weaken when, at this stage, I need to feel it getting stronger.

I think he would be intrigued and interested in the Taken In Hand approach. It is too early in our relationship to put myself in his hands completely but, much as your original post was getting at, I may want to introduce the idea to him sooner rather than later so I know which direction we're going.

Maybe he's not a Taken In Hand guy. I don't know yet. I mean, it seems like many of the members here 'found' or were able to own their inner Taken In Hand aspect after coming here. Funny how I didn't really think that's what I needed and wanted until I met him and came across this site.

Off I go to look for threads about these things or post my own.

Much thanks.


Financial Security = more income than outgo

Dear Gina,

I truly understand your need to feel financially secure. As a man I take great pride in doing my very best. However, pride and hubris are two different things.

When my wife speaks, I do listen. She is an intelligent, clear headed woman who I respect and from whom I have learned a great deal. I listen, discuss, consider, but in the end it is my decision to make. When I am right that is great when I am wrong I admit it, limit the damage and change course.

Does this make me less of a man? I don't think so. Any topic is open for discussion. When she makes an offer, she offers herself. I treasure that. In the end the decision is always based on two things. What is right for her. What is right for our relationship.

If a man is too insecure to receive graciously, he does not know himself, he also gives grudgingly.

Give as if receiving. Receive as if giving! Leave the frail male ego to the brutes and losers of this world.


Frail egos

Thank you, Joe.

I appreciate the comment about frail egos. I am understanding more and more about the healthy ego. Your comment confirms for me that, yes, indeed, some male egos may be too frail to strongly step into a Taken In Hand relationship.

This seems to be confirmed overall on this site. I mean, it seems to take a truly strong man to take charge—and being able to appreciate a woman and what she has to offer, even when she needs to be reminded of her place.

As I write this, I realize that perhaps I am actually testing my bf/ SO, and I never realized it on a conscious level. In fact, we had a dispute last night, and I found myself wishing that he would have stopped yelling and just taken me with force.

Overall, he is a gentle man but has a very strong undercurrent. This is very attractive to me and I'd appreciate of he would harness that undercurrent in regard to our relationship.

Maybe it's time to put it out there to him and he can decide if what I'm looking for is something he is up for.

Economics: Money Is Power, Power Is Control

Gina L sez:

I've been out of work the whole time that we've been dating. He pays for everything without saying a word. I am sure to thank him, although he even seems a little irritated at this sometimes.

And I'm sure that is one of the many attractions he feels for you.

Gina L sez:

He is clear that he does not care if I contribute money to the relationship or not. He says that we are together and the fact that I am not earning any money is just a fact and it does not matter to him.

Ahh, come ON! If he is dyed-in-the-wool Taken In Hand inclined, it really does matter, hugely. Your present lack of resources is one of his major attractions to you. After all, he is the provider, and Provision combined with Control are ingrained in his psyche. Competing with these selfish desires is his loving wish that you satisfy your dreams. Bear in mind he, as a man with Taken In Hand inclinations, will sacrifice everything, even his happiness, for the achievement of your goals. But, regardless of the procession of events, to maintain his own contentment, he must maintain his control over you. If he senses failure in that, regardless of the truth, he will eventually be swept away from your relationship. Be sensitive to his control. Be mindful of the fact that a man's ego is more fragile than anything on this planet.

Mick McCleod

Yes, It Matters

Thank you, Mick. I appreciate your comments. I understand what you're saying.

As I've been interviewing for work over the last few weeks, he has been very supportive in regard to me choosing the right new position (I have two job offers right now). He knows how much money these firms are offering me. He discusses the details with me (he is nearly always an amazing listener) and gives me his open and honest input about what he thinks would be best for me (always expecting that I will make my own choice when it comes right down to it). He is very clear in his thinking and reasoning. I value his input.

He definitely IS a man with Taken In Hand inclinations. While we have not had this discussion (about a Taken In Hand relationship) explicitly, it is clear that he feels comfortable leading and expects to be the head of the household when we get married.

So, you are right, of course. When we're not discussing the details of the job offers themselves, he does not want to talk about my soon-to-come paycheck and my ability to contribute to groceries, outings, etc. Sometimes he occasionally grumbles something at me about it, even, which is not his normal mode of expression about important topics. When I have expressed my relief at finally being able to contribute, he gently but firmly cuts me off, telling me that my money is not important to him.

First, thank you: I will never express my relief at finally being able to contribute again. I hear your comments about control and ego. You're right. I can see that he has felt really good about being the Provider.

Second: He does not make a lot of money but he is not materialistic - neither am I - although we both enjoy good quality or the best of the things that we do want. While his pay will increase after a current training series that he is completing this year, it will still be somewhat less than mine.

The fact is that we are still dating, albeit I am at his house more than I am at my own. I will not co-mingle my money with his prior to marriage (and I would not expect that he would want to co-mingle his with mine before then, either). I have seen the advice to not do so on this site (and it's just common sense). So how do I handle my money in the current context of the relationship?

Do I pick up groceries and other needed items that we use together more often, shopping without him so he doesn't have to experience me pulling out wallet in front of the world with him standing there? One thing I know I can do is be sure to purchase my own personal items prior to going shopping with him for other things. I will occasionally put some personal items in the basket, keeping them separate from the other items but he will always mix them in and pay for them at the register. We both love to cook and eat at home so we don't go out to eat all that often but this, too, will come up when we go out to eat.

Does this sound like I'm on the right track? What else would you suggest?

While I certainly agree that

While I certainly agree that money is a source of power, within relationships and without them, I think it is hard to generalize about the topic of the woman making more than the man. People react to these things in different ways. I don't doubt that the fact that the husband is the provider for the household provides a great environment for a a taken in hand marriage. But there are other sources of power in each relationship, and many of these are also excellent foundations for a taken in hand marriage.

My wife made about 20% more than I did for many years. I only caught up to her about three months ago. During our marriage, we have had periods when our relationship was more taken-in-hand-ish and other periods when it was less taken-in-hand-ish. I don't think our respective salaries had any impact on that at all. My wife is an intelligent and highly educated woman. She is very good at what she does, and is compensated accordingly. I take that as a given. It has not affected my sense of masculinity, or “husbandly-ness” at all.

If the wife making more than the husband does affect the equanimity of one spouse or the other, it needs to be a subject of honest communication and understanding between spouses. But I think by far the most important thing to a successful taken in hand relationship is that the woman really wants it, and it suits her. Husbands want to give their wives what they need. If he sees she wants and needs him to be the head of the household, and the lines of communication are open, he will find a way to be the head of the household.

Different expectations and professional changes

Encouraging post, Artlover. Unless I change careers, it is probable that I will always make more than he does.

But therein lies some of the beauty. I've been wanting to get out of the high stress business that I've been in for 12 years. My upcoming job opportunity enables me to step down the ladder a few rungs, and I am looking forward to less stress/ responsibility, frankly.

However, I would really like to pursue a complete change in career, and the paths that I have in sight will surely bring a lot less money but much more personal satisfaction and even service to others (not the same type of service as occurs at home - more of a human-to-human service/ support).

Since I now know how he probably feels about my paycheck, in general, perhaps he will be supportive of me switching careers over the next year. The work that I want to do will not only be more fulfilling on a soul level for me but it will allow for more flexibility in choosing my work hours, thus increasing my availability to care for our home and for him (when we get married).

Who is responsible for whom?

Gina L sez "The fact is that we are still dating, albeit I am at his house more than I am at my own. I will not co-mingle my money with his"

Wheewhoa!!!! You have no money to "co-mingle" with his! Do not insult him like that! Please! You are his responsibility. He is not yours!

Gina L sez "So how do I handle my money in the current context of the relationship?"

You do not handle any money. He himself handles the money, and that which he handles is his own! You have nothing! Regarding finances, you have nothing to contribute to him but his pride! Give THAT to him! If he wants more, he is wrong for you!

Mick McCleod

Need more guidance re: finances


I would appreciate a bit of elaboration. I get the gist of what you're saying but I'm unsure of the specifics.

Currently, we do not live together but I spend a lot of time at his house. He has never asked me to pay for anything nor has he ever complained or even brought up the fact that I don't have any income right now. The only time he comments on it is when I mention it, which I almost never do anymore because it irritates the heck out of him—and thanks to this site, I understand why.

I will be going back to work as soon as I can find a job. I have to. I have my bills, my rent, my personal care, all those things we need to pay for—so I am trying to better understand is your comments:

You do not handle any money. He himself handles the money, and that which he handles is his own! You have nothing! Regarding finances, you have nothing to contribute to him but his pride! Give THAT to him! If he wants more, he is wrong for you!

When/if we get married, does this mean that you believe that I should give my paycheck to him and consider it out of my hands—and he give me an allowance of sorts? Or are you saying that I keep my paycheck and we just pretend that I don't get one (i.e., that I have nothing)?

And what about if we decide to live together before getting married?



To Mayer about the turn-the-other-cheek rule

Mayer M wrote:

I grew up being taught to be a “nice” guy. That if a girl is being a brat and disrespecting me, I had better be the “man” and be nice back. Girls have it harder than guys so if she embarrasses me or walks all over me in front of people, I should pretend like it's nothing because it's wrong to express that you're angry, or to stand up for yourself. That shows that you're weak and her actions are affecting you

Wow, I thought my mother was the only one giving such bad advice. She used to tell me to “rise above it” and “turn the other cheek” when kids were picking on me at school.

The result? I was bullied, picked on and beaten up for 5 years of my schooling, by large groups of kids, not just one or two. Five years of terror and misery, that's what pacifism got me.

The daughter of a friend of mine was being bullied a few months ago. I told that girl what had happened to me and what bad advice my mother had given me. I told her that if anyone so much as looks at her funny she should beat the sh*t out of them, or at least make them aware that she might do if they try anything further. I told her that if she's being picked on or bullied in any way, she must always give a bit better than she gets, otherwise they will think she's weak and pick on her more.

I told her that in life, particularly in institutional settings like school, if you aren't ready to defend yourself including with violence, you will be the one they pick on. Do the opposite of what my mother taught me. Si vis pacem para bellum. Let them know you won't tolerate being treated disrespectfully. Don't whine and complain, act. Make the cost of treating you badly so high that they don't want to pay that price.

I told her that another way to increase the price they pay for bullying her is that whenever anyone calls her a name or picks on her verbally, she should put them down with a funny comeback that will make others laugh at them. We brainstormed a list of humorous comebacks for her to use as counterattacks, each one giving better than she gets without being too cruel. I guess I am still my mother's daughter.

I never thought there'd be a lesson in that for men in a dating situation but if the girls you meet treat you badly, my advice is to make them wish they hadn't, without overdoing it. You have to nip it in the bud.