I'm not supposed to tell you this...

I'm going to spill the beans and let you know what is going on in the mind of many men. I'm not supposed to do this, but hopefully this will be anonymous enough that I won't pay a personal price for letting the cat out of the bag.

A lot of times we feel like we are competing against somebody or something. Against other guys, against co-workers, against our kids, against our friends, even against the expectations others have for us (as well as our own expectations). Sometimes we don't even known what we are competing against and just feel we are in contest against life.

We do not want to show weakness or let others know let others know where the chinks in our armour are. That makes it easier for others to come out on top instead of us. Our self esteem and even our identity are directly tied to our perception of how well we compete. Rejection and failure make us feel like losers which is nearly unbearable so we avoid them.

This is why men respond so well to praise and affirmation. This is why men can find it hard to let a woman into his heart where he is defenceless against her. This is why he might avoid commitment to things he is not absolutely sure are within his ability. Competition can be good, but it can be unhealthy at times too, especially in the arena of relationships.

This feeling of competition is also why it is so powerful in a man's life when the woman he lives totally surrenders herself to him, it is the greatest victory ever, the only victory that really counts in the end. With that victory, he can let go of the need to compete when it isn't constructive, secure in the love of his love. He can risk more, love more, open up to you more without the fear of winding up feeling like a loser.

So, a big part of him wants to take his woman in hand, but at the same time, if he were treated that way it would make him feel like a loser, so he can't fathom his wife wanting to be treated like that. He loves her and so he is caught between these conflicting emotions, wanting it for his sake, not wanting it for her sake. You have to convince him that you want it, only because he is looking at the way he would feel if the roles were reversed, not because he is a wimp of some kind.

Taken In Hand tour start | next



I think this is half right. "HerMan" is right to say that men don't like showing weakness. But he is wrong to say that men assume that women feel the same way, and that we are reluctant to take women in hand for this reason. Or to use his language, I don't think a man "can't fathom his wife wanting to be treated like that."

I'm no relationship expert, but when my wife says she wants something, or if I can tell that she does, I usually try to give it to her. I know that women are different from men, so when my wife asks for things that I myself would never want, I chalk it up to gender difference and try to give her what she wants anyway.

In my case, my wife has made it pretty clear that she wants me to make decisions but does not want me to spank her. So I make decisions and don't spank.

If my wife said she wanted to be spanked, I don't think my being unable to "fathom [my] wife wanting to be treated like that" would stop me from spanking her.

What would stop me from spanking a wife who said she wanted that?

1. Fear of prosecution
2. Fear that I'm doing it too hard
3. Years of being taught not to hit women

But you still needed her to

But you still needed her to tell you it was OK and that she wanted it, that was the point.

Some guys may need more convincing than you did before they believe she really does want it because the concept of wanting to be treated like that is so alien to them.

So ladies, if that is what you want and he is reluctant, convince him that you want it. Tell him what it is you get out of it because from where he sits, he can't see that.

This is a wonderful article.

This is a wonderful article. It reminds me of something I read long ago. Since men, in general, don't cry as often or as easily as women (yes there are exceptions), they assume that when a woman cries, she must be feeling the level of emotional distress it would take HIM to cry. He often misinterprets her level of emotion and thinks she is waaayyyyy far gone, when in reality we women can cry for nearly anything and not necessarily be emotionally wrecked.

I found it very interesting and taught me the lesson, which this article teaches, that to understand our partner, we really do have to put ourself in their shoes and view the situation the way that they do. Instead of trying so hard to get them to undersand us, we might get farther along if we FIRST try an understand them. It may just change the way we go about things like negotiation, problem solving and meeting each other's needs....

This is so insightful

I have been reading articles on this site for almost a year and this is the first post I have made.

My husband and I have been married for 23 years and we are just now experimenting with Taken In Hand. He says the Taken In Hand concept resonates with him and he is interested in trying it. (I was the one who brought it up to him). But nothing much has happened yet. (it's been a little over a month since we decided to try it out). He is a wonderful husband and friend and we have a lot of trust and happiness in our relationship. It's a long story, but he used to be more "in charge" when we first married, but over the years, he became less so, and I sort of picked up the slack and became more of the head of household -which I hate. And I think he does too. Anyhow, He is a thoughtful, methodical type of person, and he takes things slowly. As a matter of fact, I first brought up the idea of Taken In Hand last February and it took until September for us to really talk about it. Then he didn't decide that he wanted to give it a try until November.

You wrote "This is why he might avoid commitment to things he is not absolutely sure are within his ability." And "We do not want to show weakness or let others know where the chinks in our armour are."

For some reason I never thought about it like that, but I think that is exactly why he hesitated to commit and also why not much has happened yet.

Your article has helped me realize that I need to remind him through my actions that he can risk exposing his inner self to me without fear or judgement.

I feel like I can now act instead of just waiting for him to act. I can work on building him up, so he can feel comfortable being the man I know he is.


History leaves a legacy

My husband attended an English public school where corporal punishment was a way of life. It was a humiliating and painful experience.

This has colored the way he views spanking in our marriage. It is difficult for him to see it as I do—as a simple way of repairing a breach in a relationship; a loving act that heals and restores.

Wanting to make me happy, puts him in smack in the middle of the dilemma described by HerMan.

Inevitably the ups and downs of married life have provided opportunities to see the benefits of spanking in a variety of situations-most notably as a quick and effective way of stopping an argument.

We are making progress as he is coming to terms with the fact that it can be a natural, desirable, masculine response that I relate to. As with everything in life, persistency on his part and patience on mine is the key to success.