My husband and I are rather new at living a Taken in Hand relationship. While most Taken In Hand couples don't use physical punishment in their relationship, we do. One of his concerns from the beginning has been, “It doesn't seem fair.”
It doesn't seem fair to him that I should be subject to punishment when he is not. It doesn't seem fair that he should be in charge when I am equally intelligent and capable. He does admit that he enjoys the changes we've made, that it's revitalized our relationship, and that it's like having a second honeymoon sixteen years after the first one... but it still bothers him that it is basically unfair.
We were talking about this one evening after I received a punishment. “It just doesn't seem fair...” he said while rubbing my hair softly and comforting me.
“I didn't ask for fair,” I replied seriously. “I don't want fair. I want this.”
I could see the light bulb go on in his brain. He thought about it for a moment and asked, “What exactly is ‘this?’”
I thought, but I couldn't come up with a way to express everything that our new way of relating means to me. I am giving up fair in favor of what, exactly? How can I express it? It means a lot of things to me: comfort, security, feeling protected and desirable, arousal, direction, guidance, covering, accountability... I couldn't find a simple way to put it into words.
After a while, I finally told him that I couldn't give him a full answer, but I could give him a partial answer. Our new relationship doesn't feel fair, but it does feel like respect.
When he turns me over his lap, I feel respected. That may seem odd, but it's true. I asked to be taken in hand. When he does it, I know he is respecting the fact that this is what I want. He is respecting that I am adult enough to choose, and what I have chosen is to be under his discipline and direction.
I also feel like he respects my intelligence and maturity. When he holds me to a standard and punishes me for not making it, I feel respected. I know that he thinks I can do better, and that instead of making excuses for me or lowering his standards and expectations of me, he's showing enough respect for me to demand my best. I like that.
Finally, when he punishes me hard enough to hurt, I feel that he respects my strength. I'm not a little baby who can only take a spat on the hand or a swat to the diaper. When he disciplines me hard enough to challenge my self-control and ability to accept the correction, I feel like he respects me. He's not treating this like a game. He's not just playing around. He's showing me enough respect to make it a serious consequence.
It's so strange. For many, many years, my husband trusted me to make most of the decisions about the children, the finances, and the household. But instead of feeling trusted and respected, I felt lost, neglected, overwhelmed, and ignored.
My job in the household has not changed significantly, but my feelings about it have. I am more interested in my work, more eager to please, and most importantly, I feel the love and respect I have always craved from my husband.