It's NOT too late to stop living in conflict with who you are

It's NOT too late to stop living in conflict with who you are

I was born into a strict, but affectionate family with my father as the head of the household. When I was 8, my parents split up and my mother eventually remarried another take-charge man, who also took control of things the way my father did.

So I suppose I had this dynamic was already in me when it was time for me to find a mate for myself. The guys I dated admired my inner strength and my quiet straightforwardness, but shied away when I told them I wanted a man to be in control of himself and me as well as the relationship. They loved that I was a straight shooter and that I didn't play head-games, but it seemed that they didn't know what to do with me. I missed one very telling clue at this time: My girlfriends could not understand me. I wasn't independent enough, they said. I was single-handedly setting women back 200 years; what was WRONG with me?

But eventually, I found a man who was willing to take me in hand. It felt right to me and we married. The only problem was that even though it felt right, we thought it was wrong and we tried to live as a “new” couple for 8 years. For 8 very long years we lived and loved against our inclinations, with disastrous results.

I always had a tendency to become withdrawn and cold as opposed to angry, and he went in the opposite direction; he became angry and vengeful, even forced himself on me—not out of love, but out fury, despair and fear of losing that love. It was as if trying to live like everyone else just twisted his Taken In Hand inclinations and then magnified them to the point of violence.

Looking back, I think the only thing that saved us was that we understood that we were not being true to ourselves and each other, and so we were really in the same boat, and being in the same boat, it was up to us to patch the holes and bilge out the seawater, because both he and I knew that was not the kind of man he was.

We didn't have a clue as to how we should go about doing that. Until, that is, I met and became best friends with a woman who could only be classified as a feminazi-man-hater. You'd think that that would have been a death-knell to our marriage, but it ended up having the opposite effect. I more or less ignored her advice about marriage, but when she started criticizing my man, I stopped ignoring her and started listening to her. Really listening.

It was at that time that I consciously realized that what we were doing was wrong for us. I went home one day, knelt at my man's feet, put my head in his lap and wrapped my arms around his waist and told him that I'd been wrong, that we had been wrong in living and loving each other against our natural inclinations. I begged him not only to take charge, but to do so with the confidence that he so obviously possesses. I told him that I wanted him to be in charge from this point on and that I forgave him for all his anger and the physical manifestations of it. I apologized for my occasional outbursts and constant remoteness and said that I was ready to put our marriage, as an entity, first. And if that meant him imposing his will, then would he please impose his will on me because that was what we both needed!

He stroked my head so tenderly as I stated all that, then after a while, he heaved a deep sigh and asked me if I was sure about this. I told him I was, if he was.

It didn't happen overnight, but it's the way we were both raised and it came so naturally back to us that we wondered why we had tried so hard for so long to be something other than what we are. After all the struggle and grief, we had to rebuild, but we rebuilt on an already strong foundation. The results: It's been over 9 years since then and—I know it's cliché, but I'm going to say it anyway—we have never been happier and more in love.

He hasn't raised a hand to me in anger in all that time—not once. It's as if following our hearts provides him with an outlet for a more productive expression of his masculinity, which—in my husband, at least—has always been more intense than most other men. For him in a relationship with me and my Taken In Hand inclinations, to repress that only resulted in fury and angst.

Mariela

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Comments

Third Party Hostility Becomes A Stabilizing Agent? WOW!?!

OK, you REALLY fried me on this one. You say "a feminazi-man-hater" Sealed and Gold-Coated your relationship with your husband? In a "Taken In Hand" relationship? Whoa, double-take from a Sunday-Punch to the SolarPlexus! This one really winded me! I can't figure how virolent opposition inspires VIOLENT SUPPORT!?!

How does THIS happen?

Mick McCleod

Seems plausible to me

It seems very likely to me. At any rate, I have often had the experience of suddenly seeing something particularly clearly when exposed to opposing ideas/statements.

Imagine that your Taken In Hand inclinations were thoroughly buried, so that you were not really aware of them or not taking them seriously, and then you became good friends with someone whose ideas about relationships were radically different from your buried inclinations.

That friend's statements would be highly likely to bring your suppressed inclinations to the surface, because every time a comment were made it would grate on you, so you would think about why, and realise the truth.

When you spend time in the presence of couples whose relationships are far from Taken In Hand, do you not find that if anything this does the opposite of influencing you in their direction? Do you not experience a physical aversion to their relationship preferences, or at least find yourself thinking that that would never work for you?

Being exposed to what you don't want often highlights what you do want.

Clarification

My reply to Mr. Mcleod was going to be somewhere along the lines of "Every action has an equal and opposite reaction", but The Editor explained it better.

I eventually figured out that this "friend" of mine was a dyed-in-the-wool man hater, I mean nasty! It took a couple of years and it reared its ugly head very slowly, but I picked up on it and I realized that somewhere along the way she had given up on happiness. And you know, it's true what they say about misery loves company, and she wanted me to be as miserable as she was.

At that point, I looked at her and then looked at my husband, and it became clear to me that while our marriage was far from perfect, at least he wanted me to be happy. He wanted us to be happy. Neither one of us was ready to give up the ghost yet.

I hope that clarifies things a little. : )

Feminazi Blindness Can Obscure True Desire

The Editor sez "Being exposed to what you don't want often highlights what you do want."

Yeah, I have been victimized by that. A close friend who may not be on the same wavelength opposes a given path and expresses displeasure toward a given path and I have accepted it as Gospel, to the ruin of a relationship I later learned could have been QUITE beneficial to me. I still don't understand why my desire was a target for destruction. I may never know.

Mariela sez "I eventually figured out that this "friend" of mine was a dyed-in-the-wool man hater, I mean nasty!"

Isn't it odd that things tend to work out that way? I mean, from BOTH sides of an awaiting expression of a given desire. Opponents pop up and trash something that could have been beautiful.

Mariela sez "It took a couple of years and it reared its ugly head very slowly,"

You suffered far longer than I did, apparently. but you seemed to have recovered. I have not.

Mariela sez "but I picked up on it and I realized that somewhere along the way she had given up on happiness. And you know, it's true what they say about misery loves company, and she wanted me to be as miserable as she was."

Fortunately for you and unfortunately for me, the alarms were out, which you saw, but I was oddly blind to. Normally, I am aware of when I am being trashed, and I willingly accept or reject the ensuing fallout. But, this time, the backlash caught me totally by surprise. At this point in my life, total trust in the one I love has resulted in a mule kick in the face.

Mariela sez "At that point, I looked at her and then looked at my husband, and it became clear to me that while our marriage was far from perfect, at least he wanted me to be happy. He wanted us to be happy. Neither one of us was ready to give up the ghost yet."

Far be it from me to cast a shadow upon your glorious experience, but mine has a much less glorious glow. You handled your self well with what you have and you were blessedly successful.

But, I wound up with your "Best Friend", complete with the basic turnoffs associated with Taken In Hand and apparently anything that would be wonderful among traditional male/female relationships.

I tire of enticements that freeze upon the expression of desire.

Mick McCleod

No guts no glory!

Hi Mr. Mc Cleod,

I hope that this takes the sting from your cut a little:

I didn't stick with him because I'm a co-dependent doormat. I stayed with him because he loves me more than anyone else ever will and I him.

Also, I'm no Shrinking Violet ;) I admire and respect him greatly, but I no longer fear his aggression since he no longer allows it to master him.

Boy, relationships do require a bit of leg work, don't they, Taken In Hand, or otherwise! I hope that you and your girl can find some equilibrium, or else you can find an alternate route to fulfillment. It's a lot trickier for men than it is for women, there's no doubt.

Good luck on your quest.

Mare

Re: No guts no glory!

Mariela sez "I didn't stick with him because I'm a co-dependent doormat. I stayed with him because he loves me more than anyone else ever will and I him."

Whoa!!!! What did I say that accused you of anything? I merely stated my experiences and I truly did not intend to superimpose them on yours.

Mariela sez "Also, I'm no Shrinking Violet ;) I admire and respect him greatly, but I no longer fear his aggression since he no longer allows it to master him."

Hmm, this is a good thing, a meeting of the minds.

Mariela sez "Boy, relationships do require a bit of leg work, don't they, Taken In Hand, or otherwise!"

With that I will grudgingly agree. That in mind, I wonder if it is worthwhile to even bother pursuing this one or even waste my time with another. I recently passed my 60th birthday without celebration or circumstance. This means I have little left on this oddball clump of a mudball which we claim in a God-Like effort to name "Planet Earth". I won't bother with such a depressing discussion about that, so I will just state that my life, like many others, wanes into inevitable nonexistense.

Mariela sez "I hope that you and your girl can find some equilibrium, or else you can find an alternate route to fulfillment."

Thank you for your well-wishing, but I seriously doubt that will happen. My relationship with her is beyond hope and my age statistically precludes any further fulfilment.

Mariela sez "It's a lot trickier for men than it is for women, there's no doubt."

Agreed, it is far trickier for the man, ESPECIALLY for one who is as picky as I am.

--
Mick McCleod

Sorry.

"I didn't stick with him because I'm a co-dependent doormat. I stayed with him because he loves me more than anyone else ever will and I him."
Whoa!!!! What did I say that accused you of anything? I merely stated my experiences and I truly did not intend to superimpose them on yours." —Mick McCleod

That came out of my mouth wrong, or rather, my Android tablet. I'm not a techie by any stretch of the imagination, so for reasons I can't figure out my tablet changes the words I type into it. Frustrating. I was using it because I was on the road, and I'm seriously considering giving the stupid thing flying lessons through a closed window!!

Anyway, I'm home and my desktop P.C. allows me to be a little more articulate. I didn't take offense to anything you wrote, don't worry.

What I was trying to say was that there were a number of times when I thought that things wouldn't EVER pick up for me, and then, in the most unexpected place, I found what was required to fix what was wrong. You never know what the future holds. Anyone telling me 10 years ago that I would be happy, would've earned themselves a laugh in their face!

And we never know, maybe 10 years from now, I could be a divorcee or a widow. Any one of us could. I'd given up on finding anyone I could be happy with when I met my husband—stopped actively looking for a few years—then, he walked into the shop I was working at, wrote his name and number on a slip of paper and the rest is history.

-Mare

Happy Birthday! Now snap out of it.

Mr. McCleod,

It may be far trickier for you to find the right woman at 60 but not impossible! Do you not know that the odds are in your favor? Be thankful you are not a 50 year old women searching for a Taken in Hand man in a sea of enlightened wimpiness. After reading your post I pulled up a graph on aging in America and discovered a ratio of 86 men to every 100 women between the ages of 65-75! Sounds like an awesome challenge with great odds to me.

You are frustrated, which I really understand, but I hope you will pull yourself out of it and get back out there. She's out there, you just haven't met her yet. Remember most Taken in Hand women usually don't come to the realization that they want to be Taken in Hand until later in life, and even then most don't understand what they are feeling and have no one to discuss, share or explore those feelings with. Just think of the good you could do! Make it a mission to let the women out there know that the wonderful, thoughtful, capable prince charmings that they have been waiting for all this time are still out there waiting for them.

practicallyperfect

Re Practically Perfect's message to Mick McCleod

PracticallyPerfect wrote:

Be thankful you are not a 50 year old women searching for a Taken in Hand man in a sea of enlightened wimpiness. After reading your post I pulled up a graph on aging in America and discovered a ratio of 86 men to every 100 women between the ages of 65-75! Sounds like an awesome challenge with great odds to me.

You are frustrated, which I really understand, but I hope you will pull yourself out of it and get back out there. She's out there, you just haven't met her yet. Remember most Taken in Hand women usually don't come to the realization that they want to be Taken in Hand until later in life, and even then most don't understand what they are feeling and have no one to discuss, share or explore those feelings with. Just think of the good you could do! Make it a mission to let the women out there know that the wonderful, thoughtful, capable prince charmings that they have been waiting for all this time are still out there waiting for them.

So true. Hear hear! 60 is young to many people, Mick. Leave your bitterness and regrets behind and GO FOR IT! Give the women you meet a chance. It doesn't sound as though you have really done that. Consider the possibility that it might be you who is behaving in a way that guarantees failure instead of blaming the women you meet. Understand that women who don't want to be promiscuous have to protect themselves from predatory men, and that that sometimes makes them seem anything but submissive. Unless you give them a chance over time, you will never know what is in their heart. When women display their submissiveness on their sleeve, they attract players. Don't write women off so soon. They can't show their inner selves until they feel safe with you. And that takes time.

The Boss Comments On Practically Perfect's Message

The Boss sez "Don't write women off so soon. They can't show their inner selves until they feel safe with you. And that takes time."

My problems are discerning "too soon" from "too long" combined with my reluctance to date more than one woman at a time. I have always restricted myself to one woman at a time and generally waited too long to break away from someone who was far too troublesome.

I now find myself in the same dilemma with my current GF. She shows herself to be noncommittal most of the time because of her less than ideal previous relationships. But, there is the rare occasion when she shows herself to be the woman I want. I find this quite confusing.

--
Mick McCleod

For Mick

Sometimes you seem like a very sweet man, and I like the wildness of your writing even though I don't agree with a lot of it, but clearly you run into extremes, and you are too harsh with yourself and others. I don't know what your girlfriend did, but I don't think she deserves to be shut out from your heart. You are not too old to learn to play nicely, Mick.

Um

Re: Sorry, Birthday, Play Nice

Mariela sez "we never know, maybe 10 years from now, I could be a divorcee or a widow. Any one of us could."

True, no one knows the future. But my track record is not as good as it could be. ;-)

Practicallyperfect sez "You are frustrated, which I really understand, but I hope you will pull yourself out of it and get back out there."

Oh, I haven't TOTALLY given up, although I am quite close to doing so. I'm still plugging away.

Um sez "I don't know what your girlfriend did, but I don't think she deserves to be shut out from your heart. You are not too old to learn to play nicely"

Suffice it to say that her attitude is somewhat less than appealing. I haven't shut her out yet, and I am playing as nicely as I am able.

Mick McCleod

Thank you

I want to say thank you for writing this. In many ways your story matches my own, I to come from a family where my father was head of the house and on some level it is what I have sought for my own life.

I am in a relationship with a very alpha man, but it has not always been easy. I was wondering if my relationship was going to work. I knew my man would never seriously hurt me but at the same time his anger and forcefulness frightened me. Three months ago I decided something had to change. I didn't know what but I knew we couldn't go on as we were. While surfing the net a few weeks ago I found this site and started browsing and many things seemed to click in my mind.

I just had to say thank you for your post as I can fully relate to it. I am doing my best to make some needed changes in myself, and I think I'm already seeing a slight difference in our relationship.