How to be more consistent - a practical guide for husbands in Taken In Hand relationships

How to be more consistent - a practical guide for husbands in Taken In Hand relationships

My wife loves decisive strength, and I’m happy to provide it. She is very capable, by any estimation, and has learned to offload serious problems onto me, trusting that I’ll protect our future, our home, and our kids. She really seems to enjoy watching me, as I wrestle with sticky situations, and set them right. She definitely loves the results. I resolve things quickly, tying up any loose ends and sparing her from guilt and nagging insecurity.

We tried doing it differently for many years, equally sharing authority and responsibility. Guess what? We were miserable. It’s no wonder, since we aren’t wired that way. I focus on specific problems, stripping away the debris, and choosing the best solution. In contrast, she juggles a million thoughts at once, with each one impacting all of the rest. Our complementary strengths and weaknesses define our relationship, so understanding them is critical. With the benefit of hindsight, we’ll never again swap roles or behave as though we’re interchangeable. No, we've shifted toward a Taken in Hand marriage exactly because it makes us more effective—and so much happier.

I’m fascinated by her feminine subtlety—especially the mysteries that she keeps hidden. She’s a challenge, on any given day. Her overlapping, fluid notions are all intertwined with powerful emotions. I might give up in frustration, except that on rare occasions, in just the right light, she reveals herself.

A few weeks ago, I caught a glimpse of her core, and it wasn’t very flattering. I got lazy and let my responsibility slip, telling her to resolve a problem on her own. She responded to my failure in a startling manner; going rigid, as all color drained from her face. I noticed a sudden chill and guessed what was wrong. She confirmed my suspicion; I had let her down. She also confessed that it was a purely emotional reaction, but that wasn’t the point. As my control waned, she became very anxious; her protection was missing, and she felt abandoned and vulnerable. She doesn’t need perfection, she just needs commitment and attention. I need to keep my hands on the reins, at all times. She’d feel it if I let go.

I fixed things by admitting my mistake, and reasserting control, insisting that it’s always my job to keep us calm by absorbing stress. It was astonishing. She sighed and visibly relaxed. Relieved of that burden, she refocused her energy toward me, in the form of affection and complete dependence. My blunder turned into renewed intimacy and trust. It was a fantastic trade. I blew it, and felt lousy, but I learned a valuable lesson.

Of course, some choices are tougher than others, and may take more reflection. Usually, that’s fine. Lacking an instant answer, I’ll tell my wife to wait, while I think it through. She’s fine with that. There’s a big difference between hesitation and due consideration. A moment to weigh the cost is reasonable, and I’ve found ways to make it pay dividends.

When I’m smart, I take advantage of my gal’s abilities without compromising my role as head of our household. It would be foolish to heap worries onto her pretty shoulders. There are better uses of her time. When I need her help, in finding a solution, I make it into something positive. Here are some easy examples:
1. If I need more time to think, I just tell her to wait. She can sit still and realize that I’m dealing with it. We both get positive reinforcement.
2. If I need more information, I ask what else she knows. She gets to help out in a significant way, but the final decision still rests with me. No worries.
3. If she doesn’t volunteer any ideas, I can require her opinion without passing off the responsibility. Either way, I take her views into account, and she sees me doing my job, considering all of the options, because I care about us.
4. If I don’t see the importance, I ask her what she wants. I don’t trivialize her interests, but rather place them front and center. I want her to be happy.

As long as I acknowledge her value and keep a steady hand, she complies, without objection. We stay tightly connected, and everything works out in the end.

I try to be consistent, and avoid switching in and out of my leadership role. She would notice any discrepancy and become frustrated, so I pay attention, even to the little things. When we both feel secure and comfortable, our natural intimacy multiplies. She needs my strength and I need her affection. It’s a powerful dynamic and we’re thoroughly hooked—and very fortunate.

Alan K

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Comments

All the burden on the husband?

Hi Zephyr: why does it seem to you that all the burden is on the man? My husband apparently doesn't agree with you about that, because he's always telling me marrying me was the best decision he ever made in his life, and he thanks me often for being his and for loving him the way he is—a traditional man in many ways, who needs to be in charge. Whenever I thank him for everything he does for me, and us, he always tells me I've done more for him than he could have guessed would ever be possible. He honestly doesn't seem like a man feeling burdened. He said trying to have relationships that weren't Taken In Hand was a nigthtmare for him. This is what he wants. We are so happy in our Taken In Hand relationship. Perhaps Taken In Hand is not for you if it seems like a burden to you? Maybe you'd rather your wife be in charge instead? Or neither? Or perhaps you'd rather not be in a relationship at all? Taken In Hand is not compulsory. There are other options you could explore.

Hi T,

Hi T,

why does it seem to me that all the burden is upon the man? Well: the man has to lead, the man has to pursue, etc. Where are the "the woman has to"? Because I don't see them. Yes, the woman has to accept his control/leadership, but that's not a burden, or is it? It is giving away a burden, if anything.

Now, we may say that men are born to lead, to pursue, etc. therefore such tasks are not a burden for him, but even then, they are real value contributed by a man to a relationship. It seems that women feel that all they have to do is to show up with a nice dress and combed hair. No wonder Taken in Hand is so alluring to women. Also, no wonder there is a feeling in the manosphere - or androsphere - that women are self-centered creatures that expect men to be selfless creatures catering to them.

Decades ago, when the roles of each sex were defined, men were expected to be providers and women to be housewives, and they depended on each other. I easily see how men a generation before mine felt almost lost without a woman caring for them. But times have changed. As women have gained independence from men, so men have gained independence from women. As such, in a relationship a smart modern man will look for the bottom line: what's in it for him? I know that many men fear loneliness and a woman providing companionship is value in itself, but that's a weakness on the side of the man, isn't it? I know that many men get a rush from running the show in a relationship, but there are many shows waiting to be run in this big world for those who have the balls to rise to the challenge, aren't there? I know that many men crumble under the pressure from society to cater for women's needs, but again that's a weakness on their side. And I could continue.

So, what value does a woman bring to a Taken in Hand relationship? Maybe you may ask your husband what you have done for him.

Cheers.

The Man Gets a Lot

What does the man get?

1. Sex whenever he wants and how he wants (with due consideration to not hurting his wife)

2. A woman who does not argue (as much)

3. A partner who does not tell him how to drive

4. A wife who does not interfere with his running his own business (if he does not want her input).

5. A wife who is fun and creative, since she's not spending her time undermining him (and he is not spending his time trying to convince her that what he is doing is best for the family).

Obviously a smart man listens to her input about how to help the family, but discussions cease when he decides the discussion is over.

6. A way to solve problems that ends with erotic fun.

7. Having time to lead, rather than fighting to lead.

8. Getting things accomplished in the family.

9. Her temporary silence, when he needs it.

10. The feeling of being respected.

11. His own success, because of her support.

12. Feeling good about helping his family and his wife to succeed, and being recognized as the leader who engineered the success.

13. Her undying love and the privilege of giving it back to her.

14. Solving problems creatively and easily in the family because of so little fighting and so much creative energy devoted to making everyone better off (so the man gets no feeling that she is withholding love in order to get something, as if she and he cannot both get something better if they work on the problem together. )

This type of relationship sounds essentially perfect to me. Sort of like my wife.

A Longer List?

Bill,

I like your list of benefits! It could easily extend past 14…

#11 is really practical:

I get a lot more done with my wife’s full support. She helps me to succeed in many, many ways. At home, at work, or with the kids, she gladly yields to my direction.

#5 is my favorite:

My wife doubts me less and less, and gladly follows my lead, because I’m building up our family. Now, I have a free hand to do anything that’s necessary. There’s no more debate or negotiation, just a calm and cooperative attitude.

Whenever I lighten her load, her creativity soars. She is a completely different woman, and I am awestruck. Best of all, she focuses her newfound energy on me!

Beware of Preconceptions

Zephyr, you might be correct, if we followed common practice, living as autonomous individuals under the same roof. In that circumstance, I might try leading the family, but with little expectation of compliance or support. Even with the best of intentions, my strength would eventually disappear, and I would resent the whole situation.

I think that the key point lies within your own words: “The roles of each sex were defined, […] and they depended on each other.”

Exactly! Specific chores aside, our roles ARE clearly defined, because WE defined them. I lead, she follows, work gets done, problems get solved, we move ahead. No one is perched on a cushion, sewing notions and whatnot. We dance at a brisk pace, but without trampling on one another’s toes. We support each other to the fullest of our abilities, contributing in practically equal measure, pursuing the same goal. Our roles are distinct, but are essentially balanced. This is how we thrive.

By mutual consent, our relationship is a tightly closed loop. During the occasional rough patches, Taken in Hand dynamics really help to correct our course, without bitterness. That’s a miracle in itself. If you’ve ever seen a toxic relationship up close, you know the value of a peaceful home and a vibrant marriage. I recognize the enormous blessings that I enjoy and I hope that many others find the same sort of contentment.

Beware of preconceptions. Throughout my journey, I have misunderstood every last facet of my wife’s character, before finally discovering the truth. Her perceptions are completely counterintuitive to me. I have to pull on every thread, learning how she’s woven together. Eventually, I approach her from a completely different direction and discover the answer right in front of me.

Be patient. Stay curious. Keep asking questions. Enjoy the adventure.

Alan K

Zephr's question

Zephyr wrote:

why does it seem to me that all the burden is upon the man? Well: the man has to lead, the man has to pursue, etc. Where are the "the woman has to"? Because I don't see them. Yes, the woman has to accept his control/leadership, but that's not a burden, or is it? It is giving away a burden, if anything.

Now, we may say that men are born to lead, to pursue, etc. therefore such tasks are not a burden for him, but even then, they are real value contributed by a man to a relationship.

I hate being pursued by girls and I avoid dating girls who chase me. I don't agree that girls are bringing value when they pursue me or want to lead/control me. The kind of girl I want is one who reflects my highest values, not one who wants to lead/control me or take care of me. We're not in the 1950s, it's 2012.

I easily see how men a generation before mine felt almost lost without a woman caring for them. But times have changed. As women have gained independence from men, so men have gained independence from women. As such, in a relationship a smart modern man will look for the bottom line: what's in it for him? I know that many men fear loneliness and a woman providing companionship is value in itself, but that's a weakness on the side of the man, isn't it? I know that many men get a rush from running the show in a relationship, but there are many shows waiting to be run in this big world for those who have the balls to rise to the challenge, aren't there? I know that many men crumble under the pressure from society to cater for women's needs, but again that's a weakness on their side.

Loneliness has never been an issue for me, and I despise the idea of being dependent on a girl and the kind of girl I want would be independent and proud of her independence too, but unlike Zephr I nevertheless choose to seek a relationship because I value love and family. I want a wife with whom to share my life. I want kids. That's not weakness. Weakness is fearing love. Weakness is avoiding relationships because you fear you don't have the balls to stand up to pressure to cater to excessive 'needs'. Weakness is fearing that being in a relationship will remove your balls or make you dependent on your wife. I don't have those fears. I think when you find a girl who's the embodiment of your highest values, the two of you together as a couple can be more than the sum of the parts.

I Am Highly Excitable And Easily Enraged

And, Zephyr, the previous posts quite successfully diluted the venom of my wrath toward what you said. Your lack of comprehension engaged the responses of Bill D, Um, and Alan K. Their posts defended you valiantly against what my response would have been. You should be grateful to them for the fact that they are more tolerant toward ignorance than I am.

--
Mick McCleod

My husband's response about what I do for him

My husband believes in love, intimacy and marriage. He listed a whole lot of things I do for him but he asked me not to post his list. However, I am allowed to tell you that I'm a highly-educated, intelligent, competent woman with many very useful abilities I use to make my husband's life better. He says I bring "truth, beauty and meaning" to his life and that I am his "reason for living". He lived fine before he met me but that's what he says.

I have my own list of what I as a Taken In Hand wife do that not all wives do:

My friends consider it their right to argue with their husband. One of my friends saw me accept it when my husband ended a discussion when I wanted to argue a point. She said she could never do that.

My friends insist marriage should be 50-50 and that they're equal decisionmakers in their marriage. My husband prefers to be in charge and he prefers to make decisions, so I often stop myself saying what I think a given decision should be, and stop myself arguing with my husband. Sometimes this is very difficult. I think you are totally underestimating how difficult it is for an intelligent, competent woman to keep quiet or not argue when she disagrees with her husband. The urge to direct, take over, make sure the correct outcome occurs, etc, can be very strong. I resist it. I don't always succeed but most of the time I do. It takes a lot of effort and self control to be silent when you feel like offering criticism, advice, 'help' or when you feel like taking over. To say that my husband making the decisions is a burden for him and removing a burden from me is backwards, and my husband would agree with that. It is a burden to shut up and accept it when you disagree with a decision that affects you. Before I met my husband I made all my own decisions and it never occurred to me to consider that a burden.

I'm a calming influence on my husband. He tends to be a bit impulsive and hot-tempered and he's always on the go. He appreciates me because I help him relax.

I take care to maintain my appearance and body the way my husband likes them. I exercise often, stay thin, and I keep my hair long because my husband prefers that. I generally wear what he likes, not what I like, because I love to give him pleasure. My husband gets a kick out of having a wife other men want. My husband loves the fact that I don't mind being 'objectified'.

Some of my friends disapprove of me keeping myself thin and attractive for my husband. They also tend to bitch about their husbands. I would never do that. They openly disrespect their husbands. I would also never humiliate my husband or put him down.

I cook for my husband most days becase I love my husband and he loves my cooking. Before I met him I never cooked—I hate cooking. But I do it for him. My husband loves to entertain but was never able to do that until he met me. Now he can. He loves having parties and dinners, and he now has a beautiful home in which host events and a beautiful wife with whom to host them—a wife who is willing to serve his friends without demanding the spotlight or embarrassing him.

My husband is running many shows in the world and he's very successful in his work. He has little time to deal with the small details of everyday life. I do that for him. I put my own successful carreer on the back burner to be the support my husband wants me to be.

My husband says to tell you that if you knew what I myself have given up to be with him you would ask what's in it for me not what's in it for him.

Benefits

Zephyr, there aren’t enough words to explain the benefits of taking my wife firmly in hand. After satisfying her needs, any expended effort echoes back to me, magnified in countless ways. My girl is intelligent, capable, and imaginative. She can match or exceed my intensity, whenever she chooses.

Since the original post was specific about my duties, I’ll append some specific benefits:
* Firstly, if I’m pressed for time, or want a reprieve from the day’s struggles, I can call on my wife, knowing that she’ll be there, ready at a moment’s notice, to give me anything and everything that she possesses. That’s no trivial gift. She’s a grown woman of substantial accomplishment. When she suspends her work to help me out, it’s a labor of love. While sharing my burden, she also confirms her commitment to me, to us, to our relationship, and to our home. The chore itself might take only a moment, but the affection lingers long afterward.
* Secondly, either deliberately or habitually, she mentions that she needs me and affirms my role as the singular head of our household. It’s not a contrived act; I am truly important in her world. As a result, I swell with joy – not from a vain sense of pride, but rather, a profound satisfaction that we have something quite rare and valuable. Many women on this site mention melting in a strong man’s arms. This is the opposite, male response. My heart melts in the presence of an affectionate woman.
* Thirdly, our intimacy multiplies. It’s just hot around here, regardless of the weather. My wife has always been affectionate toward me, but nowadays, she’s on full-burn. She grabs me, hugs me, curls up in my lap, purrs, glows, runs to meet me. She finally has her childhood dream, a man who will stand to her defense, whether against the whole world, or just her own feminine mischief. Since I am her husband, as long as we’re here, I get to call this wildly wonderful creature, “Mine.”

If I implied that my job is overly demanding or difficult, let me clarify something: I am responsible for leading and she is responsible for following. Who is getting off easy in this arrangement? Absolutely no one. I deal with her quirks while she deals with mine. It works much better for us than trying to master our own shortcomings. Bound together in mutually supportive roles, we’re a lot stronger.

T’s comment is right on target. My wife and I meet each other’s needs. Subsequently, our desires are fulfilled upon that foundation. I build her up, she builds me up, our relationship becomes tighter, and everything else falls mostly in line. We’re far from perfect, but we keep moving in a positive direction.

I don’t brook any nonsense these days. If something needs fixing, then I’ll get right after it. If my wife needs a little maintenance, I’ll get after her, too. At the end of the day, she’s humming along in good repair, as I’m smiling in the driver’s seat!

Always happy to hear other thoughts, questions, accolades, or complaints. Thanks to all.

Alan K

Showing up

Zephyr, I don't think women are attracted to taken in hand out of laziness. I do think women want to be loved when they show up combed hair or tangled. Some men seem to be angered at or oblivious to this desire in women to feel especially loved for themselves, and some men help with the combing. Love is real and significant, not romantic nonsense, not a feminist plot to enslave men.

Certainly there are many women to run if you prefer that route. A gay friend of mine happily explained his popularity to me today, "Darling, there are always more bottoms than tops." I thought of Taken in Hand.

You ask what value a woman brings to such a relationship. I thought of what value my man brings: Himself showing up in jeans and his hair uncombed.

Um

So...

Interesting replies. Let's tackle them one by one.
--
@Um
"I don't think women are attracted to taken in hand out of laziness."

Based on many posts I've read here, I do think that many do. Hence my post.

"Some men seem to be angered at or oblivious to this desire in women to feel especially loved for themselves, and some men help with the combing."

What some men might be angered at is women's desire to feel loved for themselves, whilst they themselves have a 467 bullet point list of qualities a man must match before deeming him worth of their attention. Women, having never dated women, seem oblivious to this.

"You ask what value a woman brings to such a relationship. I thought of what value my man brings: Himself showing up in jeans and his hair uncombed."

Apparently, you are not such a woman, so you may have not realized what I was saying (and I wasn't upfront enough).

"Love is real and significant, not romantic nonsense, not a feminist plot to enslave men."

This is true.

"Certainly there are many women to run if you prefer that route. A gay friend of mine happily explained his popularity to me today, "Darling, there are always more bottoms than tops." I thought of Taken in Hand."

I don't understand what your friend meant. Did he mean that there are more stupid women than smart ones?
--
@Alan K
"If you’ve ever seen a toxic relationship up close, you know the value of a peaceful home and a vibrant marriage."

Agreed.
--
@Tyler
" Weakness is fearing love. Weakness is avoiding relationships because you fear you don't have the balls to stand up to pressure to cater to excessive 'needs'."

Maybe I wasn't clear enough in my post. I didn't mean that all people - men or women - fear loneliness. I said that many people do, men included, and resort to whatever it takes to mitigate loneliness. And I didn't say that men should fear the pressure of their women's need; it is about what they get. As strong as they may be, men are not inexhaustible resources. If they are not emotionally fed, sooner or later they'll die.
--
@NinthMcCleod
"I Am Highly Excitable And Easily Enraged"

Uh oh! Anger issues anyone? A wise man said that "You can tell the greatness of a man by what makes him angry". If an inquisitive post on a website can anger you... An hair-trigger temper does not make a good leader, does it?
--
@T
From the way you describe your relationship, it seems that you are doing your work to fill your part of the bargain. My criticism was not aimed at you, then.

"My friends consider it their right to argue with their husband. One of my friends saw me accept it when my husband ended a discussion when I wanted to argue a point. She said she could never do that."

Just yesterday I read in an article how Eastern women make fun of Western women who argue with their husbands in public. Eastern women see this as lack of respect, and pity Western women who get in a relationship with men they don't respect.
--
Thanks everyone for sharing your opinion.

Cheers.

Female DHVs

Zephyr: you wrote:

What some men might be angered at is women's desire to feel loved for themselves, whilst they themselves have a 467 bullet point list of qualities a man must match before deeming him worth of their attention.

And your issue with that is...? It's female DHVs, mate. What's the big deal? So you don't meet a chick's criteria? Big deal! It's her loss mate. It's all part of the game. Quit whining and play elsewhere.

Purvis

[DHV = demonstrations of higher value, a term used by the seduction/pickup artist community - Moderator]

Then...

@Purvis
"And your issue with that is...? It's female DHVs, mate. What's the big deal? So you don't meet a chick's criteria? Big deal! It's her loss mate. It's all part of the game. Quit whining and play elsewhere."

This is not the point. The point is that many women seem to think that they are value in themselves and are oblivious to what could be manly needs, hence my original question. After reading many posts by women who talked about what they were looking for and glossing over what they were offering in exchange, I felt pushed into asking for clarifications. After all, we expect a man who goes after what he wants that he would always be looking for the bottom line, don't we? Answers by both male and female users have shown that indeed there can be value for the man in a Taken in Hand relationship.

@Um
Now I understand, thanks.

Women's modesty

Zephyr wrote:

The point is that many women seem to think that they are value in themselves and are oblivious to what could be manly needs, hence my original question. After reading many posts by women who talked about what they were looking for and glossing over what they were offering in exchange, I felt pushed into asking for clarifications.

Some women don't like to brag about themselves. It's their natural modesty. Don't knock it. It's a female thing.

Gabai

Zephyr,

Zephyr,

Um wrote:

"I don't think women are attracted to taken in hand out of laziness."

You replied:

"Based on many posts I've read here, I do think that many do. Hence my post."

Who are these women on this site and where are their posts? Without some concrete examples how can we judge whether your criticism has merit? Cite some posts and let us judge for ourselves.

My wife is not a lazy woman and I've not seen these posts/women on this site. There may be some but I've not seen them, and neither has my wife, and she's read about everything on this site.

Having made a judgement about women possessing the quality of laziness, you then complain that women "themselves have a 467 bullet point list of qualities a man must match before deeming him worth of their attention."

If you think a woman is unworthy of your attention (eg because you think she's lazy) what's wrong with women having some standards too? If my wife had not had her standards she might have married someone else and not been free to marry me when I met her. Thank god for my wife's standards. I wouldn't want a woman without them. But I guess if you have little to offer YMMV.

A query for Zephyr

Zephyr wrote:

As strong as they may be, men are not inexhaustible resources. If they are not emotionally fed, sooner or later they'll die.

Zephyr, could you explain what you have in mind? You seem to be suggesting that in a Taken In Hand relationship a man is "not emotionally fed". I am as puzzled by this suggestion as some of the others responding on this thread are. Might you explain why you think this? Might there be a misunderstanding? Taken In Hand wives care deeply about their marriage, and actively love their husband, focusing on him, striving to please him. They have fun with their husband, they don't deny him sex like many wives do. They consider themselves his. They respect him.

Of course no one is perfect, and no spouse, Taken In Hand or otherwise, is always perfectly respectful, perfectly pleasing, perfectly loving. We all have bad moments, bad days, bad moods, stress, and so on.

But the idea that the husband in a Taken In Hand relationship is "not emotionally fed" to such a degree that you write "If they are not emotionally fed, sooner or later they'll die." is, well, baffling.

Taken In Hand is neither all about the man nor all about the woman. It is for both. If one or the other is not finding the relationship exciting or at least positively enjoyable—if one or the other is finding the whole thing a burden or a drag or boring etc.—then something is not right. That is a problem to solve. It is a problem that both spouses should want very much to solve, because they love their spouse and want their precious marriage to be vibrantly happy, not just indifferently sufferable.

Would you mind clarifying your concerns further?

Sorry for the late reply.

@The Editor

Yes, there has been a misunderstanding. When I said:

"As strong as they may be, men are not inexhaustible resources. If they are not emotionally fed, sooner or later they'll die."

I was not referring to Taken in Hand relationships, but to regular ones. After reading the replies to my comments, it seems to me that some women do make an honest effort to contribute their share in a Taken in Hand relationship.

Also, I've realized that "burdened" and "laziness" were too strong as words.

"Burdened" makes you think about a weighed down donkey. This was not the meaning I was trying to convey. I'd rather say "being expected to contribute more".

"Laziness" makes you think about a couch potato. I'd rather say: a kind of mental laziness where you find it easier going with the flow than making an effort to steer such flow.

As T has pointed out, following takes effort, too. However, it is easy to think that following means nothing more than taking a seat and enjoying the ride, the same way it is easy to think that leading means nothing more than doing whatever you want while disregarding other people's needs and desires. The devil is in the details, they say, and reality, when written down, easily loses those nuances that matter. Actions are easier to describe than vibes, therefore I suppose that whenever you read "he did this", "he did that", etc. it is easy to jump and ask yourself "and what did *she* do?" The answer got lost in the transcription, I guess.

Hopefully I'll find ways to make my thoughts clearer... before months pass by ;-)

Cheers.

What he meant

My friend wasn't talking about women. He's a top which seems to mean the man in charge in the sexual relationship. Being in charge is his sexual preference, but most gay guys desire a top and therefore are bottoms. When he explained this, I thought of how this site records more women wanting to be taken than men wanting to take, and I speculated that a desire for someone in charge might be more prevalent than the desire to be in charge in straight people too. This isn't a matter of convenience but desire.

Um

Thank goodness for love blindness

Am I alone in feeling a bit inadequate when I read all these posts from and about perfect wives with supermodel looks, designer homes and superwoman careers—and they do everything for their husband too, and they are perfectly self-contained, independent and self-sufficient?

I mean, what do I have to offer my husband?

[Moderator's Note: To read the full text of this comment, click here.]

What most women won't tell you

Alan K, how right you are. Whether it be a taken in hand marriage or something in between, if a woman does not feel safe or feels like her husband is off-loading his responsibility she becomes insecure. We want our husbands to feel pride in us. When he introduces us as his wife with a sense of pride and not a ya here's my wife, we are gushing inside. He moves up the ladder on our list of things to do to #1. We feel sexy, safe and loved.

Guess what else we feel? Passion—white-hot passion for our man. He just slayed the dragon in our mind when he handles a problem.

What a lot of men do not understand is that many of us women are emotional beings. Our knee-jerk reaction is to panic and start worrying. When we are freed from worry, and panic, we feel safe.

I have never been unfaithful in my life. The thought sickens me, but I'm betting dollars to donuts if your woman strays it because she feels insure, unsafe, and unprotected. The same when a man feels the loss of his wife's respect. If I had found this site sooner I might have been able to save my marriage.

Oh BTW we don't tell you because we don't want you to see us as weak or be disappointed in us. Now tell everyone who confides in you. A hand around our waist and a big smile as he says this is my wife, [insert name], will mean fun when they get home. And never ever make her doubt you because all you will get is a closed-off, scared wife.

Tracy

What could have been...

Tracy,

One line of your comment stands out:

"If I had found this site sooner I might have been able to save my marriage."

That hurts and I believe every word. I hang my head with sorrow for what you lost. Unfortunately, you were missing some valuable information. I also struggled in the dark for too many years, before finally waking up.

Now, I wonder how many couples are suffering just as you did, for lack of a few simple facts. I wonder if there is a better way to share what I’ve learned, but the problem isn’t with the medium or the message or the messenger; it’s the audience. On most occasions, when I warn someone that they’re killing their marriage, they smile condescendingly and dismiss me. Their comments are typically like this:

"You poor, deluded, sexist man! Did you hit your head? We don’t want to go back to the days when men ruled the world and women were treated like second-class citizens. That’s horrible. Now, please, be quiet before someone hears you. Sensitivity training isn’t much fun, and you’re really not a bad guy. You just have some very funny, old-fashioned ideas."

I see the writing on the wall and move along. Many days, I wander back to this site and read comments from others who feel the same way. It encourages me that I’m not alone. Some couples understand, and their marriages will endure. I’m grateful.

Make the most of what you know, building the life that you want. Grab all of the happiness that you can. And as much as you can stand the inevitable ridicule, please tell others what you’ve learned. Just don’t expect much. I’ve watched most of my generation be consumed by crackpot social agendas.

Personally, I’m well on my way to being a crazy old man. Oh well, it sounds like fun. And I’ll be holding the hand of my crazy old wife, sitting on a beach somewhere, counting my blessings.

Best wishes,

Alan K

What could have been

Yes what could have been. He was the love of my life. I stayed long after I knew it could never be. I'm not sure if he was capable of ever taking charge. I still cringe when I think if we had worked as hard to save our marriage as we did to distroy it my heart would not bare a wound that shall never completely heal. He was the love of my life. How do I know because I've never stopped loving him. But what's best for me is to continue to work at having a relationship with someone who can lead. But yes I still cry when no one can see for the loss of the other 1/2 of my heart. The pain I felt when I found out he had cheated on me was not as great as the pain I suffered the day I realized I had lost all respect for him. Why oh why must we cause so much pain to those we love.

Thank you Alan K

Alan, I just wanted to thank you, not just for this post, but for several articles you have written on here.

You have a great deal of insight into what women want.

Of all the articles I have read on here, it was yours that spoke the loudest and gave me the courage to speak up and tell my husband what I needed.

So thank you for being the spark that I needed, in order to achieve the marriage I wanted.

Your wife is a very lucky lady. ( as I am now)

Best Wishes. Susie

The Spark

Susie,

Congratulations on finding the right answer for your marriage. It’s a great feeling when it finally makes sense. The mystery unravels and all of the pieces fall into place. Problems still arise, but they’re easier to manage, given the right tools, and a general understanding of what to do. It’s a huge relief.

I always expected to be married, but good advice was rare. Instead, I got the following:
• “Make her happy.” Oh, what does that mean, exactly?
• “Men and women are different.” Yeah, I noticed that, but what do I DO about it?
• “Marriage is a lot of work.” Well, thanks, that’s very helpful.

A useless collection of platitudes and riddles; nothing like the Taken in Hand site. I’m amazed at the collection of honest, enlightening articles, here. The wonderful clarity among varied authors is fantastic. I appreciate the personal accounts of success (and occasionally, failure) as couples grapple with the perennial gender war raging within our culture.

Once the truth seeps in, we can’t ignore the facts, any longer:
• Men and women NEED each other, with few exceptions. We’re built this way and we can’t simply change the wiring. Must we lie, in order to protect everyone’s pride? No, thank-you.
• Loving my wife is important, but so is helping her. She accomplishes more with my support.
• Someone is in charge. Decide who IS, and get on with it. Shared authority is fiction.
• Authority and responsibility are inseparable. Show me someone who brazenly yearns for authority, and I’ll show you someone who doesn’t understand responsibility.
• Risk is unavoidable. Don’t fret about offending each other. Do what’s right.
• Natural affection is a powerful force within a marriage, and too often neglected.

I eventually figured it out, and did what any crazy husband would do; I experimented on my wife. It sounds awful, but with curiosity and care, I gradually, significantly increased my control over our home and marriage. It worked and I’ve found no reason to stop. We’re both happier and more relaxed.

My wife deserves a lot of credit for any insight that I have about women. Her longsuffering patience has borne up under my scrutiny and fumbling. She deserves every happiness that we share. She also demonstrates how many women share the same general traits, combining them into unique individuals.

Go figure. I’ll never be bored. And I’ll always be blessed.

Alan K