My own personal ideal relationship, although it would contain the element of male leadership, would never be a situation wherein I had absolutely no control at all. Now if life was a fairy-tale then that would be possible. But life isn't a fairy-tale. Realistically speaking, the older I get, the less I trust other people -even my husband- in regards to always knowing what all is best for me.
Besides the fact that each of us is a very unique, complex and evolving individual with often deep and changing needs, I do very much believe in freedom, and would not be able to throw that precious gift away so completely.
It is male leadership that I desire, and a few other interesting things, but not in an extreme sence of him directing arbitrarily over every aspect of my life. I couldn't agree to a relationship wherein a man said to me “You will do whatever I say, whenever I say, however I say, and that is all there is to it!” That just wouldn't work for me. Sure I've fantasized about that, and perhaps at some point in my younger years may even have been willing to agree to it, but I've done alot of thinking about it since then.
If I could explain it in an analogy, I'd say that my ideal relationship would be like a long road-trip in some ways. When my husband and I go somewhere, we both decide together where we're going to go. We decide together on the best route. We plan together what we're going to do when we get there, what we want to accomplish, and we try to plan something for everyone. All of this is done together.
The kicker here is, he always drives. On our typical seven or eight hour trip, I might drive an hour, I might not drive at all. Very rarely he will take a short nap. Generally speaking he doesn't want me to drive. But he does want me to keep the kids content and when necessary quiet, and he likes me to do a few other things that help make the trip more pleasant. This of course was a lot more fun before we had children.
The point is though, that at any time on our road trip I could very well say “Pull over”, and he would. I could say let's turn around and go back home and forget this trip, and he'd at least consider it. If I begged him—or bugged him—he might consent to let me drive even if he didn't want to take a break. I am not sure of that, to be honest, as it's never happened. Ideally of course, well he might. And theoretically, I could get out of the car and walk away at any time. I can't really imagine him letting me do that on a road-trip though. He'd probably throw me in the car—or even the trunk if necessary—and bring me back home and then let me leave if I was determined to do so. Of course for my own good, if for no other reason.
Other than that it is pretty much the same as how we conduct our marriage. Never am I in a position wherein I have no input or influence over what I am going to do or what he is going to do to me. Well okay that's not true. But speaking non-sexually, I am never in a position wherein I have no input or influence over our actions. And I do reckon that even sexually, while in one of those short-term sexual positions of no control, I do still have influence. Even if the exact situation wasn't pre-discussed, my limits are respected.
Commonly, I hear these assumptions that domestic discipline or male leadership equals slavery or oppression or abuse. That is just so far from the reality of it for us, and for many others who live according to this lifestyle -most others I think.
Now there are situations wherein it might appear that I have no control, such as when my husband may decide I need discipline, and I may be reluctant at that time to comply. So to onlookers—who generally don't exist—it would appear that he is forcing me to accept it, or that his words or actions are demeaning rather than helpful and pleasurably appreciated reminders, but the simple truth in my own marriage is that in discussion we have agreed that he can't let me get away with developing unhealthy or unpleasing habits.
Even as I am angry and defiant, or wheedling as the case may be, I am glad that he is taking control, and glad that my downward spiral has been noticed and stopped. I do realize that not all women who practice domestic discipline really have such severe behavioral problems and lack of self-discipline as I and some others do, but none of us are always perfect. For me, I am a weak-willed person. I have trouble doing what I plan to do. I have little self-control, and I see nothing wrong with admitting this and asking for my partner's help in overcoming the problem.
Some people have indicated to me that they feel this is somehow an unfair burden to a man, but I cannot really understand why. I don't view successful long-term marital relationships as being all about fun, all of the time. I would think that two people in love would be eager to help ensure the well-being of the other.
No, this could never be a one-way thing. Well I guess it could, but that wouldn't be very successful, or very satisfying to both partners, heavy masochists possibly excluded. I spend my days doing things for my husband, things to make his life more pleasant, less demanding, less stressful. I force vitamins on him, since I'm a not very great meal-planner, and I watch his salt intake and on many an occasion I have talked him out of doing ridiculously dangerous things, like the time he wanted to set up a ladder next to the pool and use it as a high dive platform.
These things aren't really due to our domestic discipline arrangement, it's just the way it's always been. He's always tried to help me with my weak areas and look out for me and encourage me and I've always done the same for him. Now however some things we just do differently, in ways which are more effective for us, not to mention more enjoyable. The smoother our marriage runs, and the more time we spend together ”enjoying” ourselves, the closer we become. With the trust factor in active obvious play on a regular basis, the relationship becomes more honest, and more intimate.
Indeed, it is killing two birds with one stone, so to speak. Problems within the relationship are being effectively handled, and -for us- it's healthy for the relationship and great fun!
If the government of our marriage was divided into three sections, legislative, judicial and executive, I would say that he has by mutual agreement been given the judicial role, acting as the cop and sentencer. We're both legislators, deciding what is important and what is unacceptable, and we're both actively executing the plan, but he is the only “cop” so to speak.
Now, here would seem to be an imbalance. Who polices him? Who disciplines him when he screws up? Nobody. Depending on the top involved, the seriousness of that imbalance would vary. However, there are other things which can be done to influence his behavior, less direct, gentler approaches to motivating him and helping to correct his own veerings from the path of marital health and harmony. For him, and perhaps for many men, these less aggressive approaches are much more effective anyway.
So then there really is no imbalance at all, no abuse, no oppression, and no slavery, just differing approaches. Just two people in love who decided together to interact with each other in ways which make our own personal relationship ever so much more satisfying to us both.
Have you seen the following articles?
Do you 'meet as equals' or 'establish roles from the outset'?
What women need to know about men
Look for love
Taken In Hand—the bare essence
He isn't interested in or capable of taking you in hand?
My deep dark secret
Now I want my husband all the time
Wanting a masterful man