Respect and responsibility

Respect and responsibility

In Dr Pat Allen's view of a covenant relationship, the masculine-energy person (usually the man) gives to, protects, and cherishes the feelings of the feminine-energy person (usually the woman); and the woman respects the man, accepts his leadership and gracefully receives what the man gives her.

Some readers might question whether the men considering this relationship would find Pat Allen's idea of the masculine-energy position appealing, and some might say that, compared to the alternative of reducing one's woman to the maternal servitude and solicitousness to which one has become comfortably accustomed by being raised by women up to and past one's majority, it is indeed not an attractive or particularly agreeable position to adopt.

It is, however, the obligation of the maintenance of a man's integrity, a man's self-concept—if that concept involves the realization that masculine authority (male supremacy) is premised and legitimized upon male responsibility toward his woman.

Of course, the universal human ambition is to enjoy authority without responsibility and to impose that responsibility upon those not given the corresponding authority. Many women have been raised to accept this arrangement with respect to their husbands, whatever the responsibilities imposed upon the wife. But many another woman has now come to hate and reject this inequitable and inappropriate state of affairs—hence the feminist variety of the revolution which contributes to the further declension of societal order and survival.

If, as a masculine man believes, the good order of society depends, inescapably, upon the judicious, intelligent, forthrightly truthful use of power (historically and properly a masculine prerogative, burden, and authority), then the reactionary dis-empowerment of women toward eliminating the societally destructive effects of radical egalitarian feminism involves the general resumption of masculine responsibility and equity (in appropriate form) toward women and wives.

This means that the complementarity of which Pat Allen writes and speaks is realized, in terms of responsibility and authority, in the relief of wives from responsibility—for anything—if men are to equitably claim authority and thus to be truly worthy of respect. No cooking, no cleaning, no having to earn money, other than that which the wife merely feels like doing of these routine familial activities, so that she might genuinely feel cherished rather than enserfed.

In classical terms—men, who are men and worthy of respect, are warriors who go out and take slaves brought back for their women to put to work at domestic activities. In more modern times, of course, servants are paid to perform these activities to which women, wives, and lesser males are otherwise put.

But few men are materially capable of sustaining this arrangement, so wives must work and/or act as the missing servants—and are correspondingly resentful and at least casually contemptuous of husbands who rightfully lose their wives' respect and grant of authority. The natural complementarity of an aristocratic existence dissolves under the pressures of the common man's penury.

And so Pat Allen's complementary covenant relationships for heterosexuals, fully realized in fact or in spirit, have little appeal or practicability for any but a few unusual men. My own circumstance is one where my wife and I do not want the presence or expense of servants in our home, so there is much servants' work to be done by ourselves, inside and outside. In assuming authority in our family, I am responsible for the doing of all such work, and I personally do at least two-thirds of it as a matter of obligation toward the doing of the whole, my wife doing the remainder merely as she pleases.

Reference: Dr Patricia Allen: Getting to “I Do”.

Mike

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Comments

Masculine men give

I can't say if masculine men enjoy giving to, leading, protecting and cherishing their partner but I've noticed that's what they do. I definitely prefer masculine men--that's more in line with how I am as a feminine woman. What do the guy readers say?

It's a job for a real man

Wow, this is one of the most original and thought-provoking ideas on male dominance that I've read in a long time.

Mike wrote:

Masculine authority (male supremacy) is premised and legitimized upon male responsibility toward his woman.

Yes, absolutely. I have always had nothing but contempt for what I call the "Lazy-Boy Doms"—guys who think being "dominant" means that he has the privilege of lounging around passively on the sofa like a limp wet noodle while his woman must scurry around "serving" him. That seems the very opposite of masculine behavior to me. For me to feel the desire to submit to a man, I need to respect his masculinity, and that implies that he has the energy and strength of character to do things for himself—and for me, and for us as a couple. It means that he is capable of getting things handled, without relying on me as a "servant."

This means...the relief of wives from responsibility—for anything—if men are to equitably claim authority and thus to be truly worthy of respect. No cooking, no cleaning, no having to earn money, other than that which the wife merely feels like doing of these routine familial activities, so that she might genuinely feel cherished rather than enserfed. ...In assuming authority in our family, I am responsible for the doing of all such work, and I personally do at least two-thirds of it as a matter of obligation toward the doing of the whole, my wife doing the remainder merely as she pleases.

Well, this is a very appealing idea to me, and probably most women. But I have to wonder how realistic it is, to expect that a man can handle both a career and having the main responsibilities around the house. For those of us who don't want children, it might work out fine; but I think having kids might make it hard. Then again, there are plenty of single women who manage to juggle careers, child care, and all the domestic duties of the household; so why should a man not be capable of doing that? (And I know some men who are and who have done that, when their wives became incapacitated.) And it's typically the case in two-career couples that the woman ends up doing all the housework anyway; so men should be able to handle that equally well.

But maybe the "zero responsibility for wives" idea can be carried too far. At the very minimum, I would prefer that she has the responsibility to be available for sex whenever her husband demands. But maybe that's more about the husband's authority than about the wife's responsibility. Because when you come right down to it, she doesn't actually have to do much if he decides to ravish her.

There's also the possibility that she might decide to do nothing at all to help maintain the household, which could make it near impossible for him. But I doubt it; because many or most women seem to have an almost compulsive need to see the home maintained well, and they will readily jump to doing some task as soon as they observe that a man is doing it, and somewhat less than perfectly. And if she's doing that out of her own free choice, instead of as a "wifely duty," then it becomes less like drudgery and she'll be more cheerful about it.

Anyway, this idea sounds like a wonderful corrective to the unfortunately common notion that "guys are just lazy," and left to their own inclination would just drink beer, watch sports and play with their toys. Maybe most "guys" are lazy, because they never grew up into men. But a real man recognizes that his power and authority derive from his ability to take responsibility and get things done. Thanks so much for bringing this concept to our attention!

A Job for a Real Woman

DeeMarie wrote:

But maybe the "zero responsibility for wives" idea can be carried too far. At the very minimum, I would prefer that she has the responsibility to be available for sex whenever her husband demands. But maybe that's more about the husband's authority than about the wife's responsibility. Because when you come right down to it, she doesn't actually have to do much if he decides to ravish her.

My understanding is that this type of husband doesn't have to worry about his wife's "availability"—she's had plenty of leisure for building up her energy and desire. Her "responsibility" is in being *desirable*—being on her best behavior and appearance.

DeeMarie also wrote:

There's also the possibility that she might decide to do nothing at all to help maintain the household, which could make it near impossible for him. But I doubt it; because many or most women seem to have an almost compulsive need to see the home maintained well, and they will readily jump to doing some task as soon as they observe that a man is doing it, and somewhat less than perfectly. And if she's doing that out of her own free choice, instead of as a "wifely duty," then it becomes less like drudgery and she'll be more cheerful about it.

Precisely!

And finally she wrote:

Anyway, this idea sounds like a wonderful corrective to the unfortunately common notion that "guys are just lazy," and left to their own inclination would just drink beer, watch sports and play with their toys. Maybe most "guys" are lazy, because they never grew up into men. But a real man recognizes that his power and authority derive from his ability to take responsibility and get things done. Thanks so much for bringing this concept to our attention!

My pleasure, Ma'am.

I have a closing suggestion for women who are "interviewing" prospective husbands:

Casually make the observation—when a pretext arises—that many men *do* take pride in the number and the measure of the demands and impositions that they can place on their women without effective protest from them. And then ask your prospective partner what he thinks of the women that endure such treatment and whether that's the sort of woman that he wants to marry. If you do not have an immediate, firm and heartfelt, assurance to your satisfaction on the point, waste no further time.

Mike's Girl to DeeMarie

DeeMarie wrote: But maybe the “zero responsibility for wives ” idea can be carried too far. At the very minimum, I would prefer that she has the responsibility to be available for sex whenever her husband demands. But maybe that”s more about the husband”s authority than about the wife”s responsibility. Because when you come right down to it, she doesn”t actually have to do much if he decides to ravish her.

In Mike”s short essay, he didn”t have the chance to expand on Dr. Pat Allen”s theories. In Pat”s world (and her jargon), the feminine energy chooses to be:

  • receptive

  • available to receive

  • respectful of the giver.

The first means, as Mike wrote, she “gracefully” receives—and we discussed that word and he chose it intentionally. The woman doesn”t just *gratefully* receive from him the stuff she wants—she also must *gracefully* receive the stuff he chooses to give that she doesn”t want! When Mike tells me that it bothers him if I do something, I must gracefully receive that direction, and, to the extent possible, take it for action.

The second means HIS plans and life take priority. I choose not to be a career woman, I choose to be a woman with a career. That means if he wants to move, I go. If he wants me to quit my job, I quit. My career is NOT as important as my desire to be available to him to receive as he wishes. And yes, that availability includes sexual and any other availability. When he calls for me for whatever reason, I am his to do with as he chooses. (I used to joke to friends or boyfriends, when they asked me “if I was available for something,” that, “For you? I”m available for anything. Within reason!” For Mike: I”m available, period. (If I feel uncomfortable with whatever he wanted I would respectfully let him know, and since he wants my happiness above all, he will almost always modify his request. How and why would I ever turn him down for any trivial reason?!)

And finally, respecting the giver is not always easy. When he refuses me permission to, for instance, put in hardwood floors in the bedroom, which I really, really, really want to do, I agree because I respect his decisions. By accepting my designated role as the cherished follower in our relationship, I have agreed that HE leads, HE directs, HE decides, and I (choose to) go along.

DeeMarie wrote: There”s also the possibility that she might decide to do nothing at all to help maintain the household, which could make it near impossible for him.

As Mike was courting me, I made clear to him that I had a great deal of wariness about becoming some man”s “house servant.” One reason I had not married was that I knew I was not willing to be a man”s mommy; to be the one who was, in the end, responsible for making sure the housework got done, the food got on the table, and so on, for some (other) adult human. (My mother”s “martyrdom ” had ensured *I* was not willing to do that!) In the beginning (and I mean the first couple of years) we struggled because my (unconscious) understanding of how to be a wife was to be a martyr, to cook and clean and serve; and I had a very strong desire to “take care of” Mike. He didn”t marry me to get a mommy, and he resented and resisted my attempts. Then there was a stretch of time (also a couple of years!) when I became comfortable that he didn”t resent me not being the house servant, and I did, essentially, nothing! I struggled with my own guilt about it, but Mike was quite clear about his preferences. I was his princess, not his servant!

Now, 8 years in, I know in my bones that he does not expect me to be his servant; he does not resent it when I don”t do the dishes or whatever housework; that he does not want me to “do,” but only to “be.” And so now, I am comfortable taking care of him in the ways he allows. I do the cooking, I usually do the dishes (but not always, and I have no guilt about leaving them—knowing that either I will do them later/the next day—or as is most often the case, he will do them. I vacuum when I feel like it, and don”t when I don”t.)

DeeMarie wrote: But I doubt it; because many or most women seem to have an almost compulsive need to see the home maintained well, and they will readily jump to doing some task as soon as they observe that a man is doing it, and somewhat less than perfectly. And if she”s doing that out of her own free choice, instead of as a “wifely duty,” then it becomes less like drudgery and she”ll be more cheerful about it.

Ah, but if I thought he were doing a task less than “perfectly ” I would absolutely positively not get involved!! It is not my place to set a standard for him to do anything—it is my place to be grateful for whatever he chooses to do. And you”re right: I am quite content to cook for him or get him a drink (on those rare occasions when he actually asks me for something). And even when I”m feeling tired or busy, if he asks for a meal; I don”t resent getting up and doing it. I am so grateful for the care and protection and cherishing I receive from him.

In her second book, Staying Married... and Loving It, Pat Allen describes a man thusly:

“I believe that marriage is an equitable barter of sex for money, with each partner sharing the responsibility for each other”s need to be adequate partners and desirable lovers. The person who chooses to be the masculine energy is the primary provider, the generous and protecting partner who brings status and security and is in charge of the material side of the relationship—money, property, work. He (it is usually, but not always the he) sacrifices his natural god-given right to be irresponsible, polygamous, and spoiled, in order to lead the team toward their mutually negotiated goals.

“The person who chooses to be the feminine energy is the sensual and sexual partner, who is receptive, responsive, and available to the masculine partner. She (it is usually, but not always the she) sacrifices her hard-earned, liberated right to be independent, to initiate, to be respected, and to co-lead, in order to follow her man and serve on his team. The male initiates, and the female follows, but with absolute right to veto anything unethical or immoral as well as anything that doesn”t feel good to her body or hurts her money, property, or career.”

Mike is a man, in the best and most worthwhile respect I can imagine. He has my loyalty, my fealty, my gratitude, and my attention. I share his world views, I share his picture of how things should be, and I respect like hell the man he has made himself into. I will follow him anywhere, and in any way he desires. I willingly gave up my liberated feminist self to become his woman.

Mike”s Girl

Not Respected?

You gave up your right to initiate and be respected? Or am I somehow reading your exact words wrong?

I can see giving up being the leader but giving up being respected???? I decline. I respect my husband and he respects me. Feminine energy doesn't mean you are not worthy of respect.

"Pat"

Not Respected

"Pat" wrote: You [Mike's Girl] gave up your right to initiate and be respected? Or am I somehow reading your exact words wrong?

I can see giving up being the leader but giving up being respected???? I decline. I respect my husband and he respects me. Feminine energy doesn't mean you are not worthy of respect.

Pat Allen's point in this regard is that the feminine-energy person feels respected by virtue of being cherished.

My own point would be that men who are fighters grant "respect" to those who are also. The feminine, effeminate, childish, and vulnerable do not warrant this respect. These latter are valued in other ways.

Mike

Boy, am I NOT what y'all seem to think!

Wow! Let me just say on my own behalf: I'm not flighty and irresponsible. I'm not boring and dull. I HAVE meaningful and interesting work and I am sharp and, well, I don't know if I'm fascinating to other humans, but I'm interesting and well-liked by others, so I guess that counts. Clearly, y'all have misunderstood. I am not some brain-dead lady of luxury who lies around beckoning Mike to take care of me! I spend nearly as much time at his company as he does, working at his side; I have my own clients in my own vocation, as well. We discussed me working "outside" and not being with him all day every day; and he decided that he'd support us both so we wouldn't be apart, but I also work with him in his business.

"Pat" wrote: You gave up your right to initiate and be respected? Or am I somehow reading your exact words wrong?

Well, sort of. A woman whose feelings are cherished FEELS respected. Mike doesn't "respect" me as a worker or an economic cog or a peer. He cares for me and takes care of me, and so I feel respected and loved and... well, just wonderful! I haven't given up my right to initiate—merely my right to DEMAND that we do something. If I want ANYthing I just ask for it—and to the extent Mike can and decides to arrange it, usually I get it. (But not, for instance, hardwood floors in the bedroom.<G>) The only "restriction" I choose to abide by is that I do not ask for what Pat Allen calls soul gifts: love, time, sex and affection are the only "gifts" I may not ask for, but I graciously receive as he wishes to give.

And Mike has given up his "right" to be cherished—he has to manage his own feelings unless he first gets my agreement to listen and respond to his feelings; however, because I respect him and follow his lead, HE feels cherished! But if he ever has negative feelings he wishes to share, he lets me know, and we make an appointment (usually, of course, it’s when he brings it up, because I AM receptive and available to him) and we discuss them.

So it’s not that I’ve become a mute, order-following doll and he never gets his feelings attended to—it’s that we have chosen our "sides" and unless we made special arrangements, we stay on them!

LouiseC wrote: The idea that it is natural for a woman to be totally irresponsible and leave everything to the man is utter nonsense, this has never been true.

Huh?? Did EITHER of us say that?!

LouiseC wrote: I am a pretty idle woman myself, but I never get to be as idle as I would like to be, because my husband can't afford to keep servants. He certainly doesn't expect me to wait on him, he never has,

But SOOOOO many men DO! So many men want their wives to be their mommy, their servant! They view the woman as their own house-servant—the one who cooks and cleans and "serves" the man—as if he were the aristocrat and she the peasant. In too many male-led relationships, the woman gives up her independence. Instead of ending up the cherished beloved prize of the man, she ends up doing his drudge work while he reads the paper—and often her OWN paid work too! How is that "version" of manhood or womanhood a good thing?!

LouiseC wrote: but I think he'd be a bit taken aback if I suddenly announced that I wasn't going to do anything at all any more because it was my 'traditional' woman's role to be idle and irresponsible. This is quite untrue historically and is economically unviable in most of today's world.

Ah, but *I* didn’t announce it. Mike taught me how HE believes the world "ought" to go—and me being his house-servant is NOT it!

Mike's Girl

Both of us express our thoughts and feelings more freely now

There was a Golden Age of idle women,in the 19th century, of course, when upper and middle-class women were not expected to be actively involved in running either the home or their husband's business, but that was in contrast to previous centuries, when it was thought dangerous for women to be idle because they might get into mischief. Which of course they did. Women who in olden times would have been too busy to foment mischief had too much leisure time, and therefore the energetic ones needed something to fill it.

Some women took to social reform, like Elizabeth Fry, Florence Nightingale, Josephine Butler etc. Others took to what Queen Victoria described as "this mad, wicked folly of women's rights" and started demanding the vote etc. And look what that led to. See how dangerous it is to let women have time to think? If all those women had been as idle as me, feminism would never have happened, because a life of unlimited leisure would suit me down to the ground, but it drove all those energetic Victorians crazy.

I certainly think it is a good thing that the woman shouldn't be expected to do all the work in the home, but I think the implication that she shouldn't be expected to do any of it is somewhat unrealistic, unless you can afford those servants.

And I really don't think a marriage where my husband had to make an appointment to discuss his feelings with me would be very satisfactory. One of the things I like best about our Taken In Hand relationship is that both of us express our thoughts and feelings more freely now, I don't think I'd like to have to make an appointment to tell my husband what I was thinking (quite often he knows without me telling him anyway "I can read you like a book" as he frequently remarks).

I'm not sure about not asking for love, affection, and sex. I mean I don't usually ask for those things directly, but again having a Taken In Hand relationship has made me more demonstrative, I never used to go in much for saying "I love you" or things like that, but these days I try to say them more often, since he has always been a lot more free with demonstrative affection than I have. This gives him a lot of pleasure. And I suppose I do 'ask' for sex more often than I used to, since being Taken In Hand is a big turn-on for me, I find myself indicating a desire for sex more frequently if not actually asking for it outright.

The trouble with having all these rules about what you can/cannot say or ask for or do etc is that it all sounds terribly inhibiting to me, whereas I have found the changes in our relationship have made me a lot less inhibited about expressing myself, whether verbally or physically. It's the relaxing of our relationship that has been the best thing.

Honesty Honestly

"Pat" wrote:

"Tell a woman that she can't do any of it and then try to stop her."

Well, it sure wouldn't work with me, since I hate housework. It also shows that obedience is a matter of convenience, isn't it.

So, let's see, if your man told you that you didn't have to do any housework, you would still *do* housework—but out of grudging duty to the relief of your husband (whom you kinda respect) of his responsibility for all of it—and in the belief that it's self-abusively good for your character and personality. Sounds perverse to me. Sounds like *you're* the man. [Sounds like *my wife* before I got her straightened out as to who was responsible for what.]

How fortunate the woman who can, to the contrary, rejoice in her own relief from drudgery and light-heartedly contribute out of the passing impulse to do so.

Finally, it's rather manipulative to use the Tom Sawyer method of getting her to clean house. I'd frankly rather have my man say, "This place is a pigsty and we are both going to spend today picking it up!"

Heaven forbid that we should grant our spouses the gift of motivation to the cheerful and willing performance of common tasks.

Pat, somehow you're missing the point

... having just finished dusting, cleaning, and vacuuming the bedroom and main hall, and taking a break before doing the living room... I just wanted to add: I am MOTIVATED, and pleased to "help out"—to do whatever feels good to me, in order to lessen the burden on Mike. I would not be motivated by him saying: "we live in a pigsty!" I would be offended at both the creation of the pigsty, and the description (and implications) of my living conditions.

Do I just love vacuuming? No. Who does?! Do I feel like I'm a drudge, slaving away at vacuuming? No—I feel like I am helping the man I adore, I am contributing to HIS success in taking care of me! It is not a burden on me, it is a way I can contribute to our lives. I happily and willing do this because it is to our benefit, not because it "has to be done and somebody's got to do it and damn it I guess that's me... grrrr."

Mike accurately describes the process of ... um... awakening me to reality as "taming a feral female." I (now) concur. I was a hostile bitchy feminist who resented men for not taking up the burden of cleaning their own houses (why did they get to just "help out," as if they had no responsibility for the house—and then have to be shown how to sweep or where to find the dustrag!?) I managed to buy, care for, repair, and renovate my own house—why shouldn't a man be AS responsible for "our" house?! Hence, my wariness at Mike's coaxing, my resistance at surrendering to him, my hostile defensiveness at perceived slights or assumptions... (It really was like taming a wild animal!!)

Thank The Force for Mike's patience and willingness to slowly and gently allow me to let down my guard and come to trust him. No longer the brittle, defensive, resentful, angry, and hostile feminist, now I am calm and happy; entirely willing to follow Mike' suggestions, directions, corrections, and desires... (I trust him to do the right thing for me—even when it's not necessarily the thing I want...)

Our relationship guru, Pat Allen, describes a completely satisfactory relationship style she calls "convenient"—as Mike wrote earlier, where each partner wants to be (and often is) both respected and cherished.

Pat Allen suggests both partners use her complementary communication style to avoid clashes. So; as compared to our covenant relationship, where I may freely and always speak of my feelings but must get his permission to cross the boundary and speak as a Yang partner—so he is not ambushed by it nor is his competitiveness aroused (and the reverse for him); in a convenient relationship, either partner may speak at any time from either masculine or feminine energy.

However Pat Allen cautions; the roles, the boundaries in communication style, should still be observed. So, either partner may say: "I have a thought / opinion / want / suggestion." ("I want" and "I think" are Yang/masculine-energy words.) But to avoid a competitive reaction, the initiating person then asks "How do you feel about that?" (That is, each partner takes the complementary position in discussions.) If the initiator says: "I want pizza. What do you want?" (want and want; Yang to Yang) the other person might very well say: "Well *I* want Chinese!" and the battle is on.

However, in Pat's way, the initiator says: "I want pizza. How do you feel about that? Then the other person is not going respond also out of his or her Yang/masculine energy, but instead will respond out of yin/feminine energy. "Oh, I feel like Chinese, how shall we decide?"

A convenient relationship is not as intimate as a covenant—but it's also not as fragile. It's disco dancing as against a waltz. In a waltz, each partner had prescribed (designated) steps (roles) (Mike the Yang, I the yin.) If one of us trips, both can fall down! In a convenient, it's like disco dancing; you're both moving to the music, approximately together, approximately in synch—but if one falls down, the other doesn't. Mike and I have chosen to waltz—we are willing to give up (some of) our individual independence to be what Pat Allen calls UNdependent—we depend on each other in a way convenient partners choose not to.

I hope that makes it clearer.
Mike's Girl

A misapprehension

"Pat" wrote:

You are living an arrangement that suits you and your girl, cooked straight up out of the mind of some self help self appointed expert, but you are puzzled by consensual spanking?

Your premise is incorrect, in that our arrangement is one that was determined by myself without regard to Allen's work (of which I had not heard) or any other such product. Allen entered the picture, by accident, when Mike's Girl discovered that Allen's books were explaining what I had been trying to tell her. This "arrangement" represents, in part, the recovery of traditional aristocratic attitudes toward the institution. That I should be slightly puzzled by mutual consensual spanking strikes me as not at all remarkable in view of my classical orientation toward sexual relations.

MIKE

Honesty

Yes, that is my husband's approach to housework "this place is a pigsty, let's get it cleaned up(or else the workshop)" and I must say I prefer it. I like to know where I am with a man. All this manipulative, sneaky stuff really freaks me out. Being able to communicate in a straightforward manner without all this strange dancing about suits me much better.

More Honesty

LouisC wrote:

Yes, that is my husband's approach to housework "this place is a pigsty, let's get it cleaned up (or else the workshop)" and I must say I prefer it. I like to know where I am with a man. All this manipulative, sneaky stuff really freaks me out. Being able to communicate in a straightforward manner without all this strange dancing about suits me much better.

Your points in order:

1) Different strokes—we "prefer" the house always clean.

2) I, too, like to know where I am with a man. I like a firm handshake and someone who looks you straight in the eye. If he shares my interest in armored fighting vehicles and the locking mechanisms of automatic weapons, he's a friend for life. I'm sure you feel the same way.

3) There has been a mis-impression created regarding "manipulation". The discovery that my wife, "Mike's Girl," would cheerfully do things that would otherwise be drudgery under another regime was an accident. But it is simple psychology that things done by election are (to some people, at least) more agreeable than those done under pressure of necessity. And, again, she doesn't *have* to do *anything*. I do just about everything, and if something goes undone, I will do it.

MIKE

Different strokes

My husband prefers the house always clean as well, whereas I am more like Pat's husband, I really don't care so long as I can make a pathway to the bathroom. As is so often the case with marriage, we have reached a compromise. I make more of an effort with the housework than I used to, he makes more of an effort not to lose his temper because it isn't always immaculate. Even before we had a Taken In Hand relationship though, I did make some effort, even if it was a lot less than I do now, I mean I would never have expected him to do it all. This idea of expecting the man to do it all unless the woman chooses to help out just seems totally bizarre to me.

But then I don't believe in all that Yin and Yang stuff anyway, I think it's total cobblers (and what my husband says about it I couldn't possibly repeat on here). Cleaning has to be done because it's necessary, and because my husband will beat the living daylights out of me if I don't do it. That works for me.

Stroking Louise

"Cleaning has to be done because it's necessary, and because my husband will beat the living daylights out of me if I don't do it. That works for me."

I assume—I hope—(and correct me if I'm wrong) that this "beating" involves something more like *spanking*[?] than is suggested by your terminology.

In any case, you will understand that many, if not most women, have to arrange their submission to their husbands in less graphic and colorful ways. And that the husbands have to acquire their authority as such much more industriously than by simply man-handling their wives.

But I grant you the point you might make that yours is a wonderfully economical (and pleasureable?) way of maintaining male authority in at least one dimension.

MIKE

Maintaining authority

Since housework has always been the main bone of contention between my husband and me (my almost total lack of interest in it), I have found that relations between us have greatly improved since we agreed that I would make more of an effort with doing it, and he would make more of an effort not to lose his temper with me if things weren't up to his standard, or if I'd done something/not done something that he wanted me to do/not do. My suggestion that he spank me rather than yelling at me in this situation has helped a lot, since being spanked has a positive effect on me rather than the negative effect that being shouted at always has.

Finding that he can keep his temper even in the most trying of circumstances, like when our youngest son got into his office and trashed it, or when he's just sat down on a sticky patch of bubble gum while wearing new clean black trousers ("How often have I told you not to let the children have bubble gum?"), has made me feel a lot more respect for him than I used to, and made things considerably easier between us. I feel a lot more relaxed.I find also that if he keeps a hold of his own temper, he can also stop mine from going out of control.

However, if I told him that I wasn't going to do any more housework, because it was his responsibility as a man to either do it himself, or provide me with slaves to do it, this would not have a beneficial effect on our relationship! Not to mention the fact that I think it's utter nonsense.

Louise Takes a Hand

However, if I told him that I wasn't going to do any more housework, because it was his responsibility as a man to either do it himself, or provide me with slaves to do it, this would not have a beneficial effect on our relationship! Not to mention the fact that I think it's utter nonsense.

For the sake of argument:

Were you to make this declaration to your husband—and stick by it—what do you think he would do?

Would he physically punish you or scream at you to the point of injuring you—to the point of your inability to refuse to comply for having been tortured into it?

Would he divorce you?

What other wonderful incentive would you imagine he might provide the wife he supposedly loves?

[And "what a guy" he must be, about whom such a list of alternatives can be assembled.]

What would he do?

I can't imagine. What would anyone do if told something so silly? I mean, my husband could say to me "I'm not going to work any more, I'm fed up with it, I'm going to spend all day in the workshop making engines" (which is what he would like to do)Then what could I do? Go out to work myself (my earning capacity was never much above the minimum wage) and where would that leave us? My husband earns a substantial salary which keeps us all very comfortably, I would earn probably a fifth of what he earns, if that. I certainly couldn't afford to keep myself in the style to which I have become accustomed, not to mention the children and the husband.

Most people regard marriage as a partnership, the assumption being that both will contribute something to the marriage. My husband has always worked rather harder at contributing than I have, both on the work and the home front. I make more of an effort these days, but I still lead a pretty easy life. I would absolutely hate having to go out to work, and leaving the children with a childminder or something. I like being able to stay at home with the kids, and I couldn't do that without the substantial financial contribution made by my husband.

Your view of the woman's role in marriage is actually the role that was traditonaly occupied by the mistress, not the wife. A man could keep a mistress, if he could afford it, and nothing more was expected of her than sexual favours. The traditional role of the wife is to raise the children, manage the household, and (in pre-industrial days) participate in the family business, if any. Not lead a life of idleness (however much she might like to)

Anyway, once you have kids, the luxury of 'choosing' or not to do housework, cooking etc comes to an end. The children have to be fed, washed, dressed, taken to school, put to bed, picked up after etc, whether you like it or not.

What Would He Do?

I can't imagine. What would anyone do if told something so silly? I mean, my husband could say to me "I'm not going to work any more, I'm fed up with it, I'm going to spend all day in the workshop making engines" (which is what he would like to do)

He might "say" so, and he might "like" to do so—but would he, in fact, do so?

MIKE

Not a lament

Just pointing out that life for most normal people includes a great deal of tedium, work, cleaning up etc. Life is not just pure enjoyment for most people. It may be so for you and your 'girl', but you don't, as far as I can make out, inhabit the normal world at all. Your lives are so far removed from anything that I recognise as reality that I can't imagine what planet you come from. Certainly not Earth.

As for all this hogwash about how you are happy to do all the housework etc, yeah, I bet we'd hear a different story if your 'girl' decided that she really wasn't going to do any work in the house or elsewhere. If she took to lying on the sofa all day scoffing chocolates and not lifting a finger we'd see how long your pose would last then.

Louise

Louise Just Points

Just pointing out that life for most normal people includes a great deal of tedium, work, cleaning up etc. Life is not just pure enjoyment for most people. It may be so for you and your 'girl', but you don't, as far as I can make out, inhabit the normal world at all. Your lives are so far removed from anything that I recognise as reality that I can't imagine what planet you come from. Certainly not Earth.

Well, Louise, as it happens, *my* life "includes a great deal of tedium, work, cleaning up, etc." That doesn't mean that *my wife's* life has to or should be likewise.

As for all this hogwash about how you are happy to do all the housework etc, yeah, I bet we'd hear a different story if your 'girl' decided that she really wasn't going to do any work in the house or elsewhere. If she took to lying on the sofa all day scoffing chocolates and not lifting a finger we'd see how long your pose would last then.

If only she *would* do as you suggest—but she doesn't *want* to—so I let her do what she wants. [Hell—I remember when she had to *ask* me to let her do the clothes washing that I was doing!] I am *shamed* by my wife's having to do drudge work. I take it that your hubby (the one who periodically strikes you) does not share my sentiments in this regard.

MIKE

My hubby

Has just done nine solid hours of office work, with the occasional cup of tea to keep him going, then cooked the dinner while I went and had a nice long bath.

And yes, he does strike me periodically, and I'd be very disappointed if he didn't! It's something he does for my gratification, not his own!

Dave's Girl

Louise's Hubby

Has just done nine solid hours of office work, with the occasional cup of tea to keep him going, then cooked the dinner while I went and had a nice long bath.

Excellent! We seem to be making progress with "Dave's Girl" toward giving her what she deserves as the wife of he who would have her proper respect.

MIKE

Putting all the burdens on the man

For all "we" know this has always been the way Dave does things.

Mind, I'm not disapproving of this particular evening as described here but as a forever thing? It seems to actually put all the burdens on the man. He gets back "respect" that he could have had anyhow just by being a decent and good husband.

"Pat"

Louise wrote:Your view of

Louise wrote:

Your view of the woman's role in marriage is actually the role that was traditonaly occupied by the mistress, not the wife. A man could keep a mistress, if he could afford it, and nothing more was expected of her than sexual favours. The traditional role of the wife is to raise the children, manage the household, and (in pre-industrial days) participate in the family business, if any. Not lead a life of idleness (however much she might like to)

Then is it any wonder, taking the testimony from your own fingertips, that my wife is the envy of women, in that I chose to provide her the lifestyle of a mistress, rather than of a wife? That way, she gets the best of both.

Talk About Being Ruled By Rules

In general I keep hearing that in Taken In Hand there aren't a lot of absurd rules restricting the behavior of one or both parties. Here I definitely do see absurd rules. Mike's girl is not allowed to ask for love, time, sex or affection. Excuse me, why not? What kind of nonsense is that, when forever we are told, he's not a mind reader, if you want something you better ask for it!

And he can't discuss feelings with you without your permission. Gee. This sounds like a nice lively and spontaneous relationship: NOT. Why in the world are you two allowing yourself to be ruled by some huckster and his or her peculiar version of reality?

Our ancestors died for freedom and for their descendants' right to be free. Kind of seems like a desecration to throw it all away cause someone who cranked out a self help book says so.

"Pat"

Not rules

Pat, I think it is a bit disingenuous to call that "rules". It may not be for everyone, but they have together chosen to interact in that way. By your logic you'd call it a rule if I and a friend of mine never turn up unannounced on one another's doorsteps. We both consider this simple manners, but others evidently don't see anything wrong with visiting without ringing first to check that it is convenient for the other person. That is not a rule in the sense Taken In Hand folk object to, and nor, I think, is what Mike and Mike's Girl are doing. Nor does Mike punish Mike's Girl if she slips.

I am not saying that what they do is for everone, note.

Adulthood

As an adult female I have many responsibilities. I do not look to my husband to take them all on himself. Even if I accepted him as an authority over me that would hardly compensate for working him to death.

This makes absolutely no sense to me, but then neither does reducing women to domestic servants.

Grownups pull their weight.

"Pat"

All Very Well But

I'm happy to be married to a man who hates housework as much as I do and we both avoid the drudgery by just not doing it until it has to be done (such as someone who doesn't know us well enough to overlook it coming over).

I don't want a cherished and protected position of having to do no work. All play and no work makes Janey pretty flighty and dull. It's meaningful and interesting work that keeps us sharp and makes us fascinating to other humans. And yeah, once in a while someones got to empty the garbage and clean the toilet.

"Pat"

All Very Well But

"Pat" wrote: I'm happy to be married to a man who hates housework as much as I do and we both avoid the drudgery by just not doing it until it has to be done (such as someone who doesn't know us well enough to overlook it coming over).

I don't want a cherished and protected position of having to do no work. All play and no work makes Janey pretty flighty and dull. It's meaningful and interesting work that keeps us sharp and makes us fascinating to other humans. And yeah, once in a while someones got to empty the garbage and clean the toilet.

Sounds like what Pat Allen calls a "convenience" relationship: both parties want to be cherished *and* respected—and both then learn to balance their energy with respect to one another as circumstances vary.

It also sounds like you've got a lot of the "bachelor" in you—not particularly wanting to be cherished and not particularly attentive to the housework. Wanting to be sharp. The variety of males is such these days that just about any woman can find one to make her happy.

Mike

More Drudgery and Respect

LouiseC wrote: It all depends what you consider drudgery. Interminable spinning and weaving was expected of the women of ancient Athens and Rome, and I daresay some of them got pretty fed up with it.

Perhaps not to the extent that a modern woman would anachronistically imagine, given the alternative for the well-off ancient woman, for whom spinning and weaving was hobbyist craftwork compared to the labors of all others.

And modern women of leisure have no such burden. Charity work, shopping, parlor visits, and lunch with friends seem to be the impositions under which they labor.

And certainly upper-class and middle-class women of the Medieval and early modern periods were expected to be actively involved in domestic tasks, not just supervising. Women whose husbands ran businesses were generally actively involved in the business as well, some were in business for themselves.

The Christian proscription of "idleness"—no longer a consideration. Modern women have to be *restrained* from being useful.

Besides, if the only criteria that makes a man 'worthy of respect' is that he can afford to employ servants so that his wife doesn't have to perform domestic tasks, that surely leaves most men as unworthy of respect, and where does that leave most women?

Demanding that their men make themselves worthy of respect.

Mike

Doing what feels right

I have been following the discussion on this topic. I find the relationship model a little restrictive to me, but I do find the whole thing quite fascinating. People in Taken In Hand relationships are choosing how they relate together, in this instance the choices that Mike and Mike's girl are making are just more clearly defined. If I had read the book I never would have thought this could work. I would have thought it would be completely unworkable in fact. Mike and Mike's girl seem very happy with the way their relationship is going.

I must admit that I know a lot of women who feel frustrated and taken for granted in their lives. They work all day and come home and do the bulk of the housework too. They cook, clean and take care of their children on top of working all day. Their men seem to have much more time for leisure activities. I am not sure that this is the solution to those issues, but it is a solution that this one couple has adopted to change that attitude and it seems to work for them. I do not get the sense that they are doing it because it said so in a book. It just seems that they found a book that solved a problem that they were having in their relationship.

I am surprised that I find myself agreeing with some of what is being said. When my husband starting taking me in hand some of what you have described started happening for us in some ways naturally. As my husband was able to exert his authority and take responsibility for our marriage, instead of being a rather minor player, my respect for him grew. In turn he feels that he needs to take care of my needs. We were out all day one day a few weeks back and I was starting to get hungry and asked if we could stop for lunch. My husband said not to worry that he had a place planned and that he was taking care of me. It was the first time he said that, but it felt good. It is not that I need someone to look after me, but it still feels good to me when he does. In turn he can have sex when ever he wants.

We do not have any prearranged plan about it; it just works out this way. What we do is not nearly as methodical as Mike and Mike's girl's life seems to be. But we are finding that we are living more by what feels natural to US. We are not worried so much about what is fair, or what is right by society's standards. We are following our instincts. Mike (my Mike) is doing what feels masculine to him and I am doing what feels feminine to me. What we are finding is that is very sexy and connecting to live this way. Some of what you are saying is true for us also. Thanks for sharing; I think it is neat that you are so comfortable this way.

Take care,
Tevemer

Conclusions...

Well, I've been following this thread quite a while, and though I find the discussion a bit obscure, I've drawn a few conclusions about the main players in the last half:

A) Mike does a lot of housework and doesn't mention spanking his wife. B) Louise gets spanked a lot and does as little housework as she can get away with. C) "Pat" and her husband spank each other, and only do housework when they really need to pee.

In unrelated notes, Louise likes to read history books, "Pat" approves only of consensual butt-whacking, and Mike has not yet heard of all the possible variations of human sexuality.

So if I understand correctly, everyone on this thread is happy! Yay! It's nice to have some good news in this troubled world. :-)

Anyway, Mike, the whole feminist-submissive-spanko thing does seems weird. But what one the great blessings of middle age is that you can finally say, "Who cares if it makes sense, I like it anyway!" And gracious knows the more I find out about sex, the less sense it makes.

I must admit that I don't entirely understand all the details of your relationship with your wife, but that's fine. Most of my reasoning powers are currently taken up with luring my husband into scolding me and whacking me with a piece of wood. So I'm willing to let you guys be the judges of your own happiness. ;-)

~~~~ Valerie