The biggest problem that I have encountered over the decades in understanding Taken in Hand has been the failure of men to comprehend that women have two natures.
To understand the dual nature of a woman, one might begin by reading the children's tale of Saint George and the Dragon with the insight that the dragon and the maiden are one in same creature. Thus, if the knight in shining armor fails to slay the dragon, this aspect of a woman's personality will, most likely, become the dominant persona in the relationship.
Women really do understand their duality much better than do men. It is part of their mystique. They also have a very keen understanding of what it takes to slay the Dragon Lady within that beguiling façade.
In today's world, one need not search diligently to find dragon ladies. These most unfeminine creatures seem to be everywhere. Usually, they leave a string of wrecked relationships in their path as they move from one calamity to another.
Another problem encountered by most men in today's superficial and fast-paced society is that they often lack the insight necessary to understand why some marriages are rock-solid, while others crumble like sandcastles at high tide.
A few weeks ago, my wife and I had an impromptu conversation with a woman young enough to be our daughter. Apparently intrigued by how my wife and I interacted, she asked us how long we had been married.
When we told her how long we had been together, she was obviously shocked. She signed, "They don't build marriages like that any more." I assured her that marriages can still be built the old-fashioned way, to last.
In response, the young woman admitted that she had been through three rotten marriages—as well as several boyfriends in between. She freely added that she had a reputation of being hard on men.
Real problems develop when a man does not know how to handle a difficult woman. To be sure, while some men can become tyrants, a more common problem is timid men. Despite propaganda to the contrary, women still despise weak men.
In truth, nature did not intend men and women to live in promiscuous and transient relationships. Nature is not a neutral; she has an agenda.
While not everyone should have children, the intent of Taken in Hand relationships is to produce a stable environment in which to raise viable offspring.
It is also important to understand that this strategy has been going on for so long, that it is probably embedded in the interaction of the genes.
The above interaction may explain why, when the right man comes along, even a strong-willed woman develops an irrational urge to be taken in hand. As was the case with my future wife, it has happened to teenage virgins as well as to women with a failed marriage or two in their past.
An equally important component in the failure of men to come to grips with reality is often politically correct brainwashing. The propaganda often causes men to think that they should never 'hit' a woman.
Women know they can be hit and, if a man listens, women will all but tell a man exactly where—if not when. Part of the misunderstanding of the intrensic difference between men and women results from misguided social engineers creating a legal menagerie in which verbal abuse is permitted while any 'unwanted touching' is treated as an unpardonable transgression. Again, women know better.
Privately, most women admit there are those times when they need to be taken in hand. Sometimes, they will state it quite explicitly. More often, there are indirect references.
As one professional woman recently told me, again after she found out how long my wife and I had been married, "I'll bet you can be very persuasive!" The inflection of her voice left little doubt what she meant.
Consequently, it is important for men to understand that, if they listen carefully, a woman will tell a man everything he needs to know about taking her in hand. Believe it or not, a woman in love wants the love of her life to take charge, as my wife calls it.
There are no deep-dark secrets to Taken in Hand. All the woman wants to know is whether or not she is important enough for him to care enough to take her in hand when needed.
Despite any testing—and women do test men to assure themselves of the man's resolve—a woman needs to know that the man will be there for her when she needs him to either slay her dragon or otherwise protect her. That is why a woman's repudiation of a weak man is far more visceral than it is cerebral.
Fourth, it is important to understand that men and women make their relationships. Nothing is handed to them. They must work at it.
One of the dumbest mistakes that a man can make is in failing to listen to what a woman is really telling him about love and life. Women don't bring up the Taken in Hand topic unless they are really interested in a guy and they expect him to act on their expectation.
Wise men listen. Wiser men act on what they have heard. Only a fool says, "No!" to both nature and woman. Then, many men have turned their life into a living hell by not raising their hand when they should have taken their wives in hand and spanked them.