Is it ever OK to FORCE your wife to do something?

Is it ever OK to FORCE your wife to do something?

What should happen in a Taken In Hand marriage when it runs into a block wall of resistance on the woman's part? That is, when she is so clearly opposed to the man's orders that even punishment will not work; and it appears that there is no way she will comply unless the man forces her. Is a man in a Taken In Hand relationship ever justified in forcing his wife to do something that she is so vehemently opposed to?

Taken In Hand is a marriage where both parties feel happy and fulfilled. But it's also about the man's leadership and control; and in some couples that indeed means that the man has the final say in most things, or all. Ideally, a couple would not need to sacrifice either the wife's happiness or the man's control. But sometimes there are difficult or intractable issues. How does one balance the wife's happiness against the man's control, when the man makes a demand that his wife is very resistant or even resentful towards?

This question is hard to answer without knowing more details about the nature of the command in the particular case, and just why his wife is so opposed to it. The two of them need to discuss this thoroughly, if they have not already done that. But in general, Taken In Hand is about making both parties happy. If anything, the husband has an even greater responsibility than most men do, to ensure that his wife is feeling happy and fulfilled under his leadership. That's what being the husband in a Taken In Hand marriage means: Not that the man gets whatever he wants, and the woman just has to put up with it; but that he is able to guide them both towards a happier, more loving, sexier, and more fulfilled relationship.

In some cases, it's possible that either the man or the woman is being unreasonable or uncompromising; or maybe even both. As a woman, I would want to feel not only happy in the relationship, but also safe, dominated, protected, respected, and appreciated. The man needs to exercise wisdom, caution, understanding and compassion in his leadership. The woman may have good reasons for her disobedience, and he should be willing to have a long talk and listen to her reasons, instead of just trying to bully her into something that he knows she is strongly opposed to. There may be some acceptable alternative: another way to accomplish the thing the man really desires, that does not involve the wife at all; or there may be some compromise that is acceptable to both of them.

(And please note that I'm not saying that it's always wrong for a man to bully a woman. Sometimes they both enjoy that, as part of a romantic game of dominance and surrender. In that case, it's usually not about something where the woman strongly objects, but something where she is putting up some token resistance, just to provoke him into getting more forceful with her. Women can be kind of tricky that way, so men need to be alert and perceptive as well, so they can understand just what is going on.)

In my view, the man should never try to force (or even command) his wife to do something that she strongly feels is: unsafe, illegal, unethical, dishonorable, or deeply repugnant to her. (And something that is clearly unhealthy would count as unsafe, in the long run.) It's usually pretty clear what's legal and what's not; the question of what's unsafe or unethical will probably require some discussion or even debate between the man and woman.

An example on the safety issue: Personally, I feel that I have a right not to ride in a car with someone whom I feel is not driving safely. Couples can and do have disputes on that, and perhaps some things are not as dangerous as I imagine. But when it comes to safety, I feel it's best to err on the side of caution, so both parties should feel like the driving is safe. But also realize that driving always carries risks, as does anything else in life. People may assess those risks very differently. If the husband were commanding his wife to drive 80 miles an hour, or tailgate, or run through red lights, then he is clearly the one in the wrong. But if the wife were to insist on driving so slowly that cars are piling up behind them and other drivers are getting angry and swerving around them, then she is probably overly fearful.

What can the man do when the woman is overly fearful in general, or has irrational fears about some particular thing? Again, it depends on just what it is. I happen to have arachnophobia, an irrational fear of spiders, that I have no control over. I really dislike having this phobia, and I would love it if there was a good cure. But if a man decided to try and “cure” me of that phobia by tying me up and dropping spiders on my naked body, you can be quite sure that would end the relationship at the first spider. (If not my sanity and his life.) There is probably a way to work around specific phobias, to some extent. But when someone is excessively fearful in general, then it may require getting a therapist involved. Men in general seem more willing to take risks of a physical nature than women are; so it might be that they just need to find ways of accommodating both personalities. But if the man and wife are very badly mismatched from the start in terms of what they consider safe and acceptable versus unacceptably risky, then that may spell long-term trouble for the relationship.

A similar caution holds for what they might find unethical or dishonorable. (Honor and ethics being related but not identical. It's probably not strictly unethical to flip off another driver, or tell your aging grandma that you're annoyed at hearing her aches and pains, or relate scatological jokes at the family dinner table, or leave porn magazines on the living room coffee table. But all of those things are bad manners, and they can make someone seem like a less than honorable person. So honor is perhaps halfway between ethics and manners, and it concerns the important question of human dignity.) Here again, it helps a lot if the man and wife are well matched from the start, in terms of how they view ethics and dignity and manners. That does not mean they need to be identical, of course; and this is another area where there may be gender differences involved. For reasons known only to the Gods, most men find seem to find bathroom humor and slapstick much funnier than women do. On the other hand, a man will often be the first to rush in and rescue someone who is in danger, because heroism is part of the ideals of dignity and manhood for many men. (Well, the good ones, anyway.)

Perhaps the broadest and fuzziest area of dispute is in the issue of what people consider to be deeply repugnant. Women are often repulsed at finding the toilet seat left up, which puzzles men. That's a relatively minor dispute, and it could be resolved either way, in a hygienic manner. Many women are repulsed by pornography of any kind; and many men seem to find this puzzling, and feel their porn addiction is harmless. Sometimes the man will try to talk his wife into some sexual activities that he discovered in porn videos, and his wife will find this deeply repulsive to her, and be adamant in her refusal to cooperate. The man may take this as a personal rejection, and a sexual one; and if sex is very important to him, then he may feel his wife's rejection of some particular sexual activity as a rejection of him as a man. That is probably an unreasonable interpretation, as it's almost never the wife's intention. But knowing that men can feel that way can help the woman to be more sensitive to his feelings about it—provided that he is also willing to be sensitive to her feelings.

The bottom line with sexual activities, I would say, is that it's not really good sex unless both people are enjoying it and finding it sexy. If the man coerces or manipulates his wife into accepting some sexual activity that she is not interested in, then he may as well be having sex with a blow-up doll. If he coerces her into engaging in some sex act that she really hates, then he is probably killing their marriage. That does not mean that he is a bad man for desiring this particular thing; nor is it unreasonable of him to want his wife to enjoy it too. (Assuming here that the activity in question is safe, and something that most people would not find repugnant. There are some fetishes out there that would make almost anyone gag.)

But the wife has a right to her feelings too; and if the husband repeatedly violates her feelings, especially in a sexual way, then that may backfire and the man may soon find that his wife is deeply repulsed by all sexual activities with him. It's probably best if the wife and husband both are willing to expand their erotic horizons and do a bit of sexual exploring with each other. But that does not guarantee that anyone will like what they explore; and with some things they may know full well they would hate it without even trying it. So it really all comes down to finding sexual expressions that both man and wife really enjoy. The rest will need to be relegated either to a solitary fantasy life, or perhaps even totally forsworn. Like all other important areas of compatibility in marriage, sexual compatibility is an issue that is best explored well before committing to the marriage.

Okay, so let's assume now that the thing that the husband is commanding his wife to do does not fall into one of those hard-line categories. That is: it's not unethical, nor unsafe, nor deeply repugnant, etc. It's just something where the wife has a huge amount of inner psychological resistance; and perhaps even resents the man for being so persistent in his demands. Maybe she feels that he's asking her to do something beyond her ability; something that she would find too difficult and arduous, and perhaps she also regards it as useless and pointless and a waste of time. From her viewpoint, he is perhaps being unreasonable in his demands; but here they should both realize that's a subjective judgment, and that they each have a right to their own ideas about what's worthwhile and what's not. Does the man's leadership in the Taken In Hand marriage mean that only his ideas count? No, I don't think so. Again, his leadership is about helping them both to feel happy and fulfilled.

So if his wife is an artist who needs several hours a day to draw and paint, and he insists that she should instead be spending all that time washing his socks and taking out the trash, and other chores—then he is not treating her with respect or appreciation. He is dismissing something that is very dear to her heart—namely, her art—and in doing so he is dismissing her as a human being. On the other hand, if she is a stay-at-home wife who has become so engrossed in her latest art project that she spends 18 hours a day at it—while the dishes pile up in the sink and the dust bunnies multiply on the floor—then the man may be well within his rights to demand that she needs to take better care of the house, and ration how much time she spends on her art. He may even be justified in setting goals for her to meet each day, or making her fill out a schedule, reporting how she spent her time and what she got done that day. If the wife refuses to accept his leadership even when it's clearly in their best interest, then I would question whether she is really interested in a Taken In Hand marriage at all; and maybe even whether she is even interested in keeping her husband.

Some other ways where the husband might intervene and make demands of the woman that she is not really happy about: insisting that she go on a diet and exercise program; or that she take responsibility for other mundane tasks, such as paying the bills and maintenance on the car. She might not enjoy doing any of these things; but they do need to get done, and someone has to do them. They just need to ensure that both parties have some free time for their own interests and hobbies, and soul commitments. There should always be an opportunity for the wife to discuss things with her husband, to give her viewpoint and her feedback, and to have that respected, considered, and taken seriously. But if they are in a Taken In Hand marriage, then the man will likely have the final word, after all is said and done. If he takes his leadership seriously, then he will strive to support his wife and her happiness, and her personal commitments. Sometimes his leadership means that it's wiser to do what his wife wants than what he wants, on some particular issue of importance to her. Being a strong leader means knowing when to compromise and when not to. If he views the Taken In Hand marriage as a chance to indulge and encourage his inner lout—by enforcing all of his own interests and desires while ignoring all of his wife's interests and desires—then that is not a Taken In Hand marriage. Indeed, it's not much of a marriage at all; and it's probably doomed.

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Comments

Prior Blanket Consent—that's the key

Thank you for the encouraging words, ceopet; I do hope it was helpful. I realized just now, though, that I did not fully address the question in the title: Is it ever acceptable for the man to force the woman when that is clearly against her will, when she is putting up intense resistance? I was trying to address the question of when that seems like a reasonable thing to do, and when she should submit to his leadership, even if it means submitting with resistance. But what if she clearly does not consent to the man forcefully taking her in hand and coercing her when he feels it's in their best interests? In that case, she is not consenting to be in a Taken In Hand marriage. And a Taken In Hand marriage must be by mutual consent.

A key idea here is the idea of prior "blanket consent" or "consensual non-consent"—which means that the wife gives her consent to be in a Taken In Hand marriage in the first place, and that agreement then overrides what might be her momentary anger and resistance and refusal to consent at some particular moment in the future. (The couple may or may not want to include some "escape clauses" in that agreement, some things that the husband agrees never to force his wife to do. On the other hand, they may both decide that the exceptions to the Taken In Hand agreement are so obvious—he will never order her to jump off a cliff, eat spiders, etc.,—that they don't really need to be spelled out in detail.)

So she needs to give her informed consent at the beginning—fully understanding that she is giving up her right to pull her consent away at any given moment when it might seem convenient or advantageous in the future, when things arise that she is vehemently opposed to. That is, she is giving her prior consent for the man to literally Take Her In Hand and even coerce her into obeying his will, even when she might really not want to. So the man has a right to override her objections in any moment, and use force if he feels it would be in their best interests; that may be the force to compel her to do something she is resisting, or the physical force involved in dealing out some physical punishment or control. In a Taken In Hand marriage, the man should be able to feel secure that even if his wife is crying and objecting and getting angry at the moment, that he is within his rights to force her.

That is clearly an idea very much at odds with current social trends, which seem to insist that the wife has the right to revoke her consent at any given moment; often by means of a "safeword" as in bdsm. The Taken In Hand marriage is more like an "old-fashioned" marriage where the husband really does have the right to impose his will on his wife, even over her objections. BUT: It is quite different from the olden days, because in this case the wife has fully agreed to have that sort of marriage, and both parties realize that she deeply desires it, and that she would not trade it for an egalitarian marriage even if she could. So she should be very clear of her willingness to submit to the man's leadership, especially when he literally takes her in hand. If she does not agree to that, then she should be honest about it, and not agree to be in a Taken In Hand marriage.

What if the wife agrees to be in this kind of marriage—that is, agrees to give the man her prior blanket consent to take her in hand, control her and even coerce her—and then every time she runs into a situation where he is imposing something on her that she really strongly resists, she tries to revoke her blanket consent to the Taken In Hand marriage? In that case she is playing a game, and one that is very risky to their love and their marriage. She is treating the man with disrespect by promising him one thing, and then pulling it away just when he starts to get too close to it. So you could say it's almost like a kind of teasing, that can torment a man who deeply desires to be in a position of real dominance and control over his wife. If a woman plays that game too many times—maybe even once—then the husband may lose interest totally. He may decide either way: maybe he stays with his wife, but he refuses to get involved in the Taken In Hand aspects of their marriage any more, if she's going to treat it as some kind of bizarre game; or maybe he decides that having a Taken In Hand marriage is so deeply important to him as a man that he feels he must leave his wife and seek it elsewhere.

So the woman should be very clear in giving her prior blanket consent for the man to take her in hand, and actively control and even forcefully coerce her. She cannot just revoke that consent at whim, or else it is not a Taken In Hand marriage. However: that does NOT mean that she must submit with mute and meek compliance to all of his demands and commands. In a Taken In Hand marriage, she may be very resistant, she may get angry, she may even refuse to obey him. But if the husband is living up to his share of the agreement, he will be willing and able to compel her to submit, even against her resistance. And when he does that, she must honor her commitment as well: her prior blanket consent for the man to take her forcefully in hand and compel her to obey him. Again, if she tries to withdraw that consent any time she deeply resists his control, then she is playing a dishonorable game.

What if, for example, the woman in the heat and anger of the moment insists that she never intended to submit to this sort of thing, and threatens to divorce him, and etc? Then the man may well want to tread cautiously. That's almost like she's trying to use a "safeword" with him, but it's a safeword they did not both agree on beforehand. But if she actively resists and expresses her anger and complaints—but she never claims to withdraw her consent to his forceful leadership—then that seems it would fit well within the boundaries of a Taken In Hand marriage, and he should feel that he has the right to compel her to obey. That does *not* mean that compelling her to obey when she is so strongly resistant is necessarily the wisest thing for him to do at that moment; it may or may not be, which is the question I was addressing in my original article. But at the very least, if he has her prior blanket consent—and if he is not violating any mutually agreed-upon exceptions or escape clauses in that original agreement— then he should safely feel that if he compels her to obey him, she will not later turn around and accuse him of "abuse" or anything like that.

Obviously, this requires a huge amount of trust from both the man and the woman; as well as much discussion and maybe even negotiation before they both agree to the Taken In Hand commitment; and also some ongoing discussion and review of how that's going, whether they're both feeling happy and fulfilled with the arrangement. They may want to add some of those exceptions and escape clauses, if there is something that turns out to be a perpetually thorny issue. But in most cases, the man and wife will be matched well enough in the first place, that a long list of exceptions won't really be needed. (Or perhaps it could be phrased in more general terms, with the man agreeing never to try to force his wife to do anything that is illegal, unsafe, unethical, etc.) The bottom line is that they should both deeply desire to be in a Taken In Hand marriage; and to be willing to trust their partner fully, and face some acceptable level of risk involved.

The risk for the woman is obvious: she may be forced to do or to put up with things she really does not want to, or maybe even some things she really hates; or she may be forced to endure a physical punishment that she really dislikes. (There should be no significant risk of real physical injury, of course.) The risk for the man is that the woman may start trying to play a dishonest and manipulative game with him, and withdraw her prior consent at any time she thinks it suits her. For either party, if they feel that their partner is violating their trust and betraying their agreement, then that is a serious issue that could destroy the marriage. So this is something that both parties should go into knowingly, with fully informed consent, and an awareness of the possible risks.

Not to make it sound more dangerous than it is, though; many or most couples who are lucky enough to have a Taken In Hand marriage find that it's a huge thrill, sexy and exciting, and that it leads to greater marital harmony and deeper romantic love than they had ever imagined possible.

RE: Prior Blanket Consent

Obviously, this requires a huge amount of trust from
both the man and the woman; as well as much
discussion and maybe even negotiation before they both
agree to the Taken In Hand commitment; and also some
ongoing discussion and review of how that's going,
whether they're both feeling happy and fulfilled with
the arrangement.

Thank you for including the above comment in your well-reasoned response. My wife and I are new to Taken In Hand, but have found it a wonderful way to express our love and devotion for each other. We are fortunate; we've been married more than 20 years and are still very much in love. Taken In Hand has enhanced our marriage, and we are thankful for this site and the people who've helped us through their postings.

For my wife and me, trust is the essence of marriage, and particularly a Taken In Hand marriage. She and I carefully discussed, and often re-visit, the parameters of our Taken In Hand relationship. After two decades with this woman, I know there are some things that she will just not want to do, and she trusts that I will not ask (nor force) her to do them. However, if it's something I feel very strongly about, I will raise the issue with her and we will discuss it. We agreed to this prior to moving our relationship further along the Taken In Hand continuum. This has worked for us. I occasionally do push her limits, and she does accept my decisions as final. But, I feel that effective leadership involves getting input from the people being led, then making a final decision. Her trust in me stems, at least partially, from the fact that I seek her input before making a final decision. She's my wife and best friend, and the trust works both ways. In the end, she trusts me and my decisions.

I realize our arrangement may or may not be what others who enjoy a Taken In Hand marriage do, but it works for us. And frankly, isn't that what it all boils down to ... Couples finding what works for them?

In my opinion, a husband that absolutely forces his wife to do something dangerous, is abusing his role as the head of the household. If he's pushing her to extend her comfort zone—diet, exercise, work, etc.—that's a totally different discussion and probably well within his purview as head of the household.

many or most couples who are lucky enough to have a
Taken In Hand marriage find that it's a huge thrill,
sexy and exciting, and that it leads to greater
marital harmony and deeper romantic love than they
had ever imagined possible.

Well said. My wife and I are one of the lucky couples you refer to.

Signed,

A Lucky Head of the household

An alternate viewpoint on obedience, resistance, and consent

Before I begin this, I'd like to clearly state that I do not think those who use the term "consensual non-consent" are evil ogres. I am writing this comment because I believe word choice is important. Words shape thoughts. As I read DeeMarie's post, I do not think I'm looking at anything other than a healthy and happy marriage. But I also believe that the concepts presented therein may lead to potentially harmful situations and so I offer up this alternate viewpoint which I, at least to me, encapsulates many of the same end objectives, but from an entirely more positive foundation.


A key idea here is the idea of prior "blanket consent" or "consensual non-consent"—which means that the wife gives her consent to be in a Taken In Hand marriage in the first place, and that agreement then overrides what might be her momentary anger and resistance and refusal to consent at some particular moment in the future.


I have always been deeply suspicious of the concept prior blanket consent. I like it even less when the next statement comes out... Consentual Non-Consent.

con-sent
1. to permit, approve, or agree;

Consent and non-consent are mutually exclusive concepts. My wife either permits something or she does not. She either approves of something (in her final tally) or she does not. She either agrees with something (in her final tally) or not. It is not possible to form a final opinion that she both agrees AND disagrees simultaneously. That is commonly called "undecided". If she does not agree to something, then she is non-consenting. There are no additional qualifier to put there.

Nor do I believe that consent is durable. Whether she consented to something yesterday has no bearing on whether she consents to it NOW. LIfe is change, no? My wife and I participate in a full authority transfer relationship. That is to say, she has, in fact, consented to everything. But she might unilaterally modify the terms of her consent on a moment's notice and I must either acknowledge that she no longer desires this type of relationship in part or totally, or I must truly "force" her in the darkest sense of the word.

Much more imporantly though, implied in this entire concept is the idea that there is some sort of competition between us. That is not true between my wife and myself. We do not play games with each other. I have no interest in "forming an agreement" with my wife. What would I use such a thing for? If she came to me and said that she wanted to modify such an agreement, what would I say to the woman I love, "Sorry babe, that's your signature right there."? I cannot imagine a situation in which I would want to force an agreement on my wife that wasn't working for her. She doesn't test my authority or other similar substitutions for honest communication. She brings a vast amount of integrity to her choice to be taken in hand. All of that implies that if she actually does decline some command, then there is something deeply flawed either with the command itself or her understanding of it. Neither situation is acceptable to me. My wife and I walk this road together. If, somehow, we found ourselves that far apart, I would be much more concerned with however we had gotten to that spot than whatever command I had issued that highlighted the problem.

I give my wife a great many commands that she doesn't particularly want to obey. The pleasure and joy she finds in this new relationship exceed whatever resistance she is experiencing at the moment. I don't call that "consensual non-consent". I call it "bringing discipline, strength, and integrity to her choice to be taken." I call it, "Demonstrating trust and respect for me, the man she has chosen to lead our marriage." She does not resist commands because they are inconvenient. Such behavior would be detrimental to her own goals. The motivation to obey is not externally imposed by me. It is a natural result of her considered opinion that I am a good leader for her.


So she needs to give her informed consent at the beginning—fully understanding that she is giving up her right to pull her consent away at any given moment when it might seem convenient or advantageous in the future


At last count, my wife remains a free agent and may withdraw consent as she chooses. If she does so, she inevitably does harm to the roles that we have chosen and that'll have to be worked through. But in the united states (and much more importantly to me), in my living room, she can never give away her right to rethink her decision.


But if the husband is living up to his share of the agreement, he will be willing and able to compel her to submit

I do not compel my wife to do anything. I identify goals and she pursues them to the best of her ability. I give commands and she obeys to the best of her ability. She does so because this relationship model works for us/her, not because I compel her to. If it did not work for the woman I love, why on earth would I want to do it? Again, we are a team, hand in hand.

That is an entirely different thing than discussing whether I enforce the rules I make. Yes, inevitably, rules are made to be broken. And when they are broken, there must be consequence or the rule is meaningless. Consequence, in our case, does not mean that I must somehow now coerce her—not with corporal punishment and not with stern looks. I simply reminding her that this is the way we BOTH want to run our marriage. If she is persistent, I will ask her if she still wants to run the marriage this way. If she does, she is compelled to obey not by myself, but by her own needs and wants. If she does not, then we are no longer in a consenting arrangement and we must together decide how we'd like to tune, adjust, or otherwise adapt.

In all cases, our collective priorities are to ensure the happiness and health of our marriage and each of us as individuals within that marriage. There are no other "considerations". We are not wedded to any particular practice or role stereotype. We behave as a single, indistinguishable unit and so transitive verbs like "coerce" and "compel" really have very little meaning. My left hand does not coerce my right hand to do something. They just work together to get it done.

This viewpoint STILL ends up in a relationship that definitely leaves me as the head of my household with all the rights, duties, privileges and responsibilities that accrue to that role. But it bases my authority not on some agreement that was made in the past by my wife and myself. Rather, my authority is based upon my continuously demonstrated ability to be a good leader for her. I have a great deal of confidence in my ability to be such a leader and so I see that as a very very strong foundation to build upon. Certainly, if I became a bad leader, she could withdraw consent, but that's not going to happen. And if it did, I would want her to withdraw her consent.

I hope this different way to view the issues around obedience, resistance, and consent is helpful to someone.

~Jeff

There is no "one size fits all"

In response to you, Jeff, I 100% agree with you about what you said. Consent is ongoing, not a beginning decision that must be the golden rule forever. Consent is shaped by each experience we face as a relationship. I admire the wisdom and understanding you use in judging how best to direct your relationship and the respect it seems you always extend to your wife.

When I chose this article to read, I was interested in finding out what "FORCE her" meant... I have never had to perform with my actions something I could not see reason in. There are lots of things I do out of love for him that I would otherwise not do ever... and plenty of things i only do because he wants or needs me to.

Sexually, we agree on mostly everything and if anything I would choose to explore our limits in the bedroom more. But in our relationship we both agree that it is most important to us that he remain most sexually satisfied. (in our opinion men tend to wander for fulfillment more than women). Now, please believe me when I say I am completely sexually fulfilled. Pleasing him as he needs pleases me more than trying to find kinkier things to do. So in this realm force is simply a matter of him deciding when, and no force necessary because I am always willing to please him as he needs.

Doing daily tasks never require too much force either for us, and usually there is a mutual back and forth on what needs done and who should do it. For example, he will tell me that I need to let the dogs out at a specific time because he forgot to do it when he was home, or because he isn't going to get up to do it in the morning. Or he will say to be, "It would be so nice to come home to dinner in a clean kitchen." and I know he is not just asking. Now, let's say for example something happened within my day and cleaning up the kitchen never got done, he will be disappointed, but I know that he is not going to take the offensive that I purposely disobeyed him. His disappointment is my punishment because it breaks my heart to disappoint him. If I know I could have tried harder to arrange things to meet his request my own guilt for lack of better judgment will also be a burden I carry. But if life just happens to put more pressing issues than the kitchen on my plate I will promise to make sure it gets done the next day and my emotional stress of seeing him disappointed will ensure I try everything to make sure he does not have the same disappointment two days in a row. That is often the force that drives daily tasks. Our desire to please one another in the things that need done on a daily basis.

If I need him to take care of a pressing issue that I didn't have time or ability to take care of, he takes the responsibility, and our "together life" is improved by this mutual sense of duty. It truly becomes our simple desire to see one another happy and well cared for that "FORCES" us to do these types of things.

Now, true force come in the thought rather than action. Truly he will never be able to make me do anything that I choose not to do, and I cannot force him to do anything he does not choose to do. But "force" comes in understanding why we stand for our position or a situation and why it is important. I am a great leader, naturally. I am a control freak who has organization, structure and a weird OCD relationship with my time and how I use it built into every action I take. Sudden changes in plans disturb me a lot. My husband understands how naturally well suited for micro-management I am and lets me run wild with getting things done down to the last detail. But we agree that it is up to him to decide what is in the overall best interest for our family and as stated in the above comments there is a mutual trust between us that he is capable and responsible with those decisions.

The hardest adjustment of forced will, is when I am being emotionally irrational, rude and outspoken in such a manner that respect often leaves me while in my own sense of right.

This is best described in example too. I have two that happened this week actually (it happens more often now that I am pregnant). We were at a Subway and I wanted to special order the meat on my sandwich. The server made a big deal about their pre-designed serving sizes of the meats and how they "have" to make the substitutions a certain way. But I just wanted a few extra slices of this meat and not that one (turkey ham with extra turkey only). She insisted the whole sandwich needed to be doubled. I got my way by telling her to charge whatever she had to and just give it to me the way I wanted. then i added,"You are supposed to be a customer service person so just give me what I ask for." I could tell that my husband did not approve of the scene I was making over a little extra turkey... but under my breath and to him I said,"Geez, you'd think a machine was trying to prepare my food." He nudged me on the arm indicating that it was enough of the display, but I kept fuming. When we got to the car, he took a stern tone and said,"When I grab you, and you know i want you to drop it, then you should just drop it. You got what you wanted and you should have stopped at that." I replied that she was acting like a moron... and he cut me off... "She should have just given you what you wanted rather than argue with you, but you took it way too far. His tone, his look, his truth, told me I needed to drop and I won't act like that again, ever. I settled myself, by deciding that in the future I will just choose not use that specific Subway again.

But worst yet, was a different kind of rudeness. I had just gotten up from a nap that hadn't allowed me to sleep at all because the migraine I had was too intense to ignore and sleep through. I had to get up so I could return to work for my second part of the split shift I work to cover programs as needed. I was angry that I had a headache, angry that it wouldn't go away, and angry that I was now going to have to go work through it. I walked into the study and took two tylenol. Upon me taking them my father-in-law asked,"Are you livin' or dyin'" I thought of a thousands evil things to retort, but my retort came, "I'm not talking to you." I could see the disapproval on my love's face, but my attitude took no adjustment. i leaned over kissed him goodbye and went to the car. He followed me out, stopped me and asked what was wrong. I told him nothing and went kissed him again and went to work. Later that day he asked me again why I had been so rude, I said that I wasn't rude and that his dad was lucky that was all I said. He explained that I shouldn't take things so serious like that, and I told him that even if he had said it, I probably would have just walked out of the room and left. He told me I needed an attitude adjustment and I told him that he always takes his dad side (both of us know that is not true). I said," 'cause he's always right and I'm always wrong!" My head of the household said, "I am not discussing this with you while you are acting like this and when you want to be rational we'll talk about it." I said there was nothing to talk about. He said there is but that it would be done later.

It took me literally three minutes of standing in the kitchen mumbling about fairness and silly stuff, before swallowing enough of my pride to face my head of the household before he got upset over my pettiness. I walked head held low into the study and sat down. I said," Let's talk, what do you want to say." In a much more humble voice. He said, "There are times when my dad says stuff that isn't right, but today your response was completely uncalled for. I was so shocked that if it had been my child I would have smacked him in the mouth for that kind of rudeness even if he had been talking to a stranger. I don't want our children to think that is okay, and I expect that you as an adult could at least admit that it was rude." I sulked taking in the truth of it and feeling all the more scolded because of the comparison of me to a rude child. I was fighting back tears because inside myself, I had come to the conclusion he was right and I had been rude even in my situation. I responded because he hates having the last word... he likes for me to acknowledge. I said, "the next time I feel like a comment does not deserve a response, i simply won't give one." The verbal admittance that my behavior could have been controlled into being less rude made me need to leave the room. I got up slowly and as soon as I had my back toward him, tears rolled out of both eyes. I went to the kitchen and let out my shame. Not five minutes later his father walked in. When he arrived in the kitchen, it took a few extra seconds to swallow my pride, then i said to his dad, "I am sorry about my comment and attitude earlier." He said not to worry and I had to go to my room to let out the flood of guilt and shame that came with admitting I had been rude and my comment was uncalled for. The whole discussion and change of mind took only about 20 minutes of our lives, even with the release of emotion. Then I went back into the study to enjoy the rest of the day with my husband.

These are the tactics that create "force" of wills in our relationship, and in all examples it really does not come from him forcing me to do or think anything, but rather when we both do for each other and guide one another in what is best regarding one thing or another. The reason he is in charge is because I feel safer that way, because in most cases I am the one who needs someone to guide me on deeper more important things. he really only needs things like being reminded about taking out the trash. We also, support each other emotionally and spiritually and in the end our agreed roles create a good relationship.

It's all about feeling loved and protected!

Serious stuff

it seems to me that you take everything way too seriously. I mean, all this anguished guilt because you didn't manage to clean the kitchen, don't you think you're overreacting a bit? I mean, surely he can't be all that disappointed just because the kitchen hasn't been cleaned?

And if your lover is urging you not to take things too seriously, it seems to me that he should do the same. I mean, if he doesn't think you should take his father's comment too seriously, then surely he shouldn't take your reply too seriously either?

As for the Subway incident, I personally think he should have been on your side. They ought to be able to give you some extra meat without making a big drama out of it.

Personally, I think both of you need to lighten up a bit. He needs to stop trying to make you feel guilty at every possible opportunity, and you need to stop taking everything so terribly to heart all the time.

Louise

how a man feels about forcing someone

With my relationships, she either trusts, respects and follows my lead or if not I would break it off. She would be very stupid to follow the lead of a men that is a bad leader, so I always try to be a good one. First I collect all the information, How important is it for her? How important is it for me? How is the current balance? What are her feelings about it? and so on. And then I make a decision as best for both of us as possible.
Now I make mistaken decisions sometimes but I always know I did make the decision with integrity and so does she. I never intentionally tried to cause hurt.
I never force anyone, because I would lose respect for myself on some level, and the most important thing in this world to me is my view of myself: I compromise that for no one.

Forcing your wife

I agree with everyone here... Trust is the primary issue. Without it, you have nothing.

My husband and I have total trust in one another, consequently, when he asks me to do something, I usually do it. There are definitely times that I don't want to do what he is asking. At those times we discuss and he explains the 'why' of his request. If, I don't 'come around', he will force me to obey (as we've agreed upon), but he would never ask me to do something that is illegal, unethical, immoral, etc. And if I ever thought he would compel me to do something wrong, I would not be with him.

M-

You're 100% right

I do take things too seriously... it is one of those things that life should help me grow out of, eventually, I hope... I take everything seriously because for me everything is serious... I don't know when that might be different and my Love is the only one who can put my overreaction into perspective for me... maybe peace will come with experience but for now I am the way I am.

It's all about feeling loved and protected!

Prior Blanket Conset

I gave my word, last night, on one particular issue, that I would not hold a specific action against him, should he feel the need to employ it.

Nervous as hell now!

But I will maintain that promise!

His azure