On being a man

Whether a man is a head of state or a husband, taking charge is predicated on doing what is best for everyone involved. Sometimes the strongest men are absolute pushovers on the simplest of things. They have a tender touch.

Yet, underneath, there is a core of resiliency that will not be moved. There are simply things that this person will not do. Likewise, there are things that he will not allow to be done.

As head of a household, a man does not always have to be right. He certainly does not have to be perfect. Nor does he always have to be superficially strong. What he must have is a capacity to look beyond himself.

That said, if he has dealt with a woman given to needling and pushing buttons, there comes a time when he may need to straighten a few things out. This may be as simple as jerking a knot in his wife's rear end or it may be as complex as making significant changes in the family's lifestyle.


Take the Taken In Hand tour


Jerking a Knot?

Whatever does "jerking a knot" in his wife's rear end mean?

One thing you miss is that when a woman needles and pushes buttons it is often the man who has been at fault. I know for myself, I went through a very bad year with my husband some years back. A dear friend of ours died and he reacted by making really awful insensitive jokes about this friend.

At first I asked him nicely not to make these jokes around me because I found them upsetting. His response was that I "shouldn't" be upset by them because he meant no harm. This is completely in violation of taking one's partner's feelings into account. He kept making the hurtful jokes, and eventually I had enough.

For a number of months, this friend's name was the trigger word: whoever uttered it, it would end up in a fight. He didn't let up on the jokes so I came to feel that he didn't care how I felt. Thus, my needling and button pushing began.

None of this starts in a vacuum, Noone, and rather than whipping her butt, perhaps the "man in charge" ought to look WITHIN himself and see where his own actions have goaded her into poor behavior.

In our case we went to marriage counseling. I can assure you that if he had spanked me for the needling that HE caused, I would have packed my bags and left. The marriage counseling helped.

Now, six years later, he's finally realized just how painful and obnoxious those jokes were, and he realizes that he played a major part in turning me into a needling button-pusher during that time. How did that happen? Another friend of ours died and my husband was grieving over it..and some smartaleck pal of his made the SAME kind of obnoxious jokes about this man. Amazing! He wanted to slug the guy, because it finally dawned on him that this kind of joking about the dead HURTS!

So rather than "jerking a knot" on his wife's rear end I think a hubby who is being needled should take a serious look at his own behavior. A few women are nasty and would be needling anyway. That, he should have found out before he married her. If she has suddenly turned on him, the problem may be staring him right in the mirror.


A man who loves his wife and serves his family

When I read Noone's posts I see a man different from the callous portait "Pat" has portrayed. I see a man who loves his wife, who understands what it means to be a man who selflessly serves his family, and who is willing to lead instead of retreating into passivity when his wife is not behaving as she should. Just recently he wrote how after 4 decades of marriage he still loves his wife's touch. How he is willing to set aside his own interests when his wife desires something different than him.


Deadly Termagant

A few years ago—as I recall on Tom Newman's old traditional marriage board—I addressed the issue of men provoking women. My advice, then and now, is for men to make sure that they do not provoke unseemly behavior in women with whom they are intimate.

At the same time, men should not tolerate termagant behavior in their wives. It has been scientifically proven (American Psychosomatic Society) to be detrimental to a man's health.

Pat, Don't Project

Noone is not talking about a situation in which he was provoking his wife. Sometimes women do find fault, needle, etc.

It is then the man's responsibility to stop this. When a woman trusts a man enough to discipline her, even when she thinks he is wrong, she is deferring to his judgement. This act of trust occurs because of her long and loving experience with a man who has a repeated past history of putting the life of his wife and family, including their needs and preferences, well ahead of his own.

Yes, such a man sees beyond himself, and beyond the immediate verbal protests of a wife who nonetheless submits to the head of house when she needs a spanking.

With Respect,

Who is Projecting?

Michael, my point is that it takes two to tango. There are very often reasons why a person feels driven to unpleasant behavior. Before leaping to the judgment that "she needs to be spanked," a sensible man should take a good look at himself and decide whether his own behavior hasn't somehow set it off.

You make it all sound sweet and cloying. It's noteworthy to me that my husband has now realized and apologized for his part in what happened, and says now that he bore more than half the responsibility for the problem. If he'd "taken me in hand" back then without that bit of self knowledge, we'd be divorced now.


Noone, please advise me

I owe my own company, I pay the bills of my mother's house and mine, and I have found a strong woman who means everything to me. Without her I would be lost and run over with work and worry. In a few short months back to back she has helped me feel like a man again in business and in life...this Christmas I asked her to marry me. I am 38 and single and have never asked someone for their hand in marriage. I told her that I wanted her to say that she would love me honor me and obey me. I am not a sexual monster BUT she told me YES she would marry me and NO she would not make those vows.

She always challenges my business decisions, as she is now my accountant at the company. The other day I almost rolled out of my skin when I heard her speaking to one of my clients explaining that it was OUR business instead of mine she was helping me with...I now notice that she has had major issue with my clarifying that it is my business and that she has helped me greatly. That it is OUR life that we share and it is for that reason I pray she has dedicated herself to me and why I find myself selfless in her presence. I want her as a life’s partner not a business partner and I want her as a woman not a Co-Manager....

In all of this I need your help here...I agree with Noone and while I do not want to lose this woman I now have no sexual drive for her. I do not want to be with her sexually. I have no attraction for her just months after I have asked her to marry me! We are with each other at work at home and weekends...I was single and now I have found WHAT?

I just can not afford to lose her in my business or in my life, but my business is the way I have my shield and my love is the way I wield my sword for what is mine and is hers for the taking but when it is demanded or the assumption is made of it before I have confirmed it I have a REAL PROBLEM and it seems as if now that things are turning around she still wants the man I was not when she met me. I have a real problem with that...

YOUR THOUGHTS, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN? She is 41 and I 38...I am going crazy with this very thing that Noone speaks of.

One last comment: her father and I get along very well...her mother barks at him and he gets cranky and resistant and then just gives up and stands down...I'll be single again I fear with ALL lost for pride or for the meaning of Noone's writing that I feel is in my soul. My father always told me that you will know the right woman because she will help you get where you are going without steering unless she is told to. I wish I could talk to him now.

Losing her

You say you can't afford to lose her in your business. If that is the case then it sounds to me very much as if it is her business as well as yours, if it was just your business then you wouldn't need her so much. Why do you object to her being your partner in business as well as in marriage?

What You Have Found: Business Or Pleasure

It seems to me that you have found an excellent business partner.
But, from what I have seen personally and from observing others around
me, a business partner is ordinarily a very poor choice for a spouse.
I think your misgivings about this relationship is due in great
measure to the fact that you sense this but don't wish to really admit
it to yourself.


The woman taking over...

Great sympathies for you (Mr. whoever you are). I was the woman moving in my man’s business. I didn’t know any better than to move in and take over as if I had been hired. And I didn’t actually have a “real” position with the company—although I did do a website for it, and that was part of my editing field/professional skill set. I just helped out with assembly and component manufacturing, in-between playing computer games or writing... I cringe now, at how high-handed I was about pushing my now-husband of 7 years to "do it my way"—since *I* was the expert at this thing. And I kept making suggestions and giving ideas about how he could do things {wince} better...

He finally had to sit me down and speak gently and lovingly to me—that it was HIS business, and I was welcome to participate only if I recognized that and behaved accordingly. That meant, generally, I did NOT get to offer up suggestions how he “should” do things—he’d been running the company for 20-some years, and quite successfully too. Mike wanted me to be with him all day, but not if I was going to make his work life uncomfortable.

Was I hurt? Of course! Was I a bit embarrassed? Not so much then, but later, when I had come to my senses and ever since, I’m mortified! Having owned my own business, my own house, and worked for big corporations and being naturally of “executive temperament” I felt I could just move in and “share” the company with him. (After all, we were going to be sharing our lives,—and his work was part of “our” lives... Except it ISN’T; I was not marrying his business—just HIM! And I did need to have that pointed out to me, oh so gently.)

Women are raised (and we often don’t realize it) to feel as if when we marry a man, the two of us become a unit; and so we slide right into speaking and thinking of “us” –- without realizing we’re tromping all over the man’s boundaries. (Men, as I’m sure you know, highly value autonomy –- more so than connection and interdependence. That’s just a guy thing, and not a girl thing!) It’s what leads us, all too often, to try to “correct” the man in public –- so “we” appear “right” in public... (We often don’t realize how dreadful an assault that is to a man’s sense of himself!!)

I’d suggest you find a time and place with her—alone, and NOT at work or at home! Take her out somewhere (that is, neutral ground: neither home nor work) –- but not to dinner or for coffee –- the sensory input (women are creatures of their senses; because of our larger corpus callosum between the two hemispheres of the brain, we have access to our thoughts and feelings the same time. So, you must keep her in her masculine-energy, Yang mind; not her feeling yin mind. Oh, that means not to the park amidst the spring flowers either!))

Tell her you are having some real hardship with the lack of established, negotiated boundaries as you plan to join your lives together. A relationship needs complements, not competitors. If you are going to be the masculine-energy partner, then she HAS to be willing to be the feminine-energy partner. (I strongly recommend you read Dr. Pat Allen’s book: Getting to "I Do" before you speak with her, and offer the book to her as a template of how you see your relationship being built.) Gently make her aware that even though you are marrying, there MUST be boundaries negotiated between you; and a biggie is how you will keep your business and personal lives balanced; and how much you will allow her to assume some roles and responsibilities in YOUR business –- but it remains your business, and the lack of negotiated boundaries is causing a problem for you—and you want to negotiate and heal it before it destroys your personal relationship.

I cannot stress strongly enough you MUST retain your emotional balance –- if you whine or get angry or express your annoyance too strongly, you will throw her over into her competitiveness, and end up fighting. As the man in the relationship, who loves his wife-to-be, you must take the lead and set up the relationship in a way that will most likely make it succeed. That’s your job! Sometimes that means you have to refuse her something she wants, or channel her into some other direction in order to best suit the relationship.

I wish you luck. I know it can be done, because my husband did it for me. Yes it hurt—but had he not pulled up the reins on my exuberant “helping” in his business, I would have destroyed our marriage before it even happened!!

Mike's Girl

The woman taking over

This sort of thing may work if the woman is the type who doesn't mind her life being directed by the man, but she may not be. Also, she may not have your faith in self-help books. If, for instance, she is the sort of woman who is allergic to them, like me, she could react very negatively to being told to run her life according to some lame book. If my husband had told me to read a book to tell me how I should be have when we were married, we would never have got married. I would have been deeply hurt and insulted that he thought I should model myself according to what one of these inane books said. Self-help books are not helpful if you are a nonconformist, as this woman may be. Being patronised by her husband-to-be may not have a beneficial effect on her at all, it may merely make her fling the ring back in his face.

And Then Some

I think the whole thing is patronizing. If you want to bring a woman into helping you out in your business but you want to keep a professional, highly skilled person as the good little helpmeet, you are barking up the wrong tree in the first place.

Men seem to do this..get their girlfriends into helping them on an aspect of the business..often at no pay..oh, btw, are you paying her? Were you paid, Mike's Girl?

But heaven forbid she should have an opinion about the business and how it is run. This despite her having the expertise, this despite her caring deeply about the man and wanting his business to succeed. This is overstepping? I don't think so. Why shouldn't she think of it as a joint venture when she is already working for you and marriage is in the offing?

If you want a good little helpmeet who won't argue with you, then hire one. But she likely won't have the business savvy either. As far as self help books to tell a woman how to behave in a marriage, please. My vote is with Louise.

I think it's cold feet plus ego that is causing the problem. Here's a woman who is eager and willing to help him in any way possible, even if it means disagreeing with him (good for her!). But that's not what he wants now. OK: fire this woman, watch your business head south, and find that obedient little helpmeet you believe you want. Live together happily on much less money than you would have had with your strong woman. Poverty is worth it when the woman knows her place, eh?

(If anyone thinks I'm overdoing this, note that HE says he needs her in his business. So it heading south without her is a valid supposition).


Books that tell a woman how to behave

I can`t imagine to work in a business together with my husband, so I can’t really give any advice on that. Some people probably manage just fine but I can`t imagine it being easy especialy if the man wants the woman to be submissive and she`s not really into it. I don`t think their relationship has any future, not in business and not in private life.
As far as books go that tell women how to treat their men. It might not be for everyone, but I know a few women that should take at least some the advice written in those books. I know a few women, no matter what their husbands do, they just can`t do anything right, weather it`s the way they drive, the way they dress or if they try to make their own children behave in the right kind of manner. And some of them children are really brats because the women don`t let their husbands dicipline them. I don`t mean hitting them, but teaching them right from wrong. My cousin is a woman like that. Whatever her husband does she bitches at him and then complains that he has withdrawn from her. He is a real nice man and tries his best, but she doesn`t appreciate anything he does. As a matter of fact nothing is good enough. Autumn


I am the guy some comments back...I wanted to thank ALL of you for your comments. I can't believe how deeply and honestly you have all wrote to me on my problem here. I'm big on the self help books but realize that some are not...I like the idea of the mind gearing thing with the feelings and the logical thoughts being tied together...I'm a bit out of the water there but I think you have made yourself clear enough for me to understand. I think you are all wise and your opinions come from life as well as things and the heart...I'm almost choked up...I do mean that...

To all U Guys -n- Girls THANK YOU AGAIN!!!

Does anyone else hear bells?

I'm certainly getting the feeling that your good sense is talking to you through a bull horn here. If the alarms are ringing, then you'd best heed the call. Speak clearly and plainly to your significant other about your idea of defined roles in a relationship, and if she can't abide by that, then the painful process of weaning yourself from her intimately may be in order. It's amazing how the shine tarnishes in a relationship when one's most basic needs are overruled. Communication may well save the day. One way or the other. Please consider me one who learned the hard way. A couple further thoughts here. When it really is right, there are no niggling questions or reservations, and certanily no fear. Imagine living a life where your passion, in every sense of the word, withers and dies. Imagine living a life where two people bring out the best in one another and each becomes the highest and best possible for them. Clear communication will pave the way. I wish you the very best.

My thoughts for post, 'Noone, please advise me'

In the last few days I have started to implement a Taken In Hand relationship with my new partner in response to an almost identical scenario as you describe above.

I am a competent, capable, qualified businesswoman who has offered (erroneously, it would appear) to help my new man sort out his business finances. He is great at doing the billable work but needed assistance at managing the financial side of the business. Needless to say, allowing me to see this has emasculated him (in his own eyes) and caused me to view him as less of a man than I did before.

Having recently discovered, and voraciously devoured, the content of this site, the concept of a Taken In Hand marriage has restored my hope for finding a contented, loving and sexually thrilling relationship. Being the thoroughly educated girl that I am, I rushed out and read 'The Surrendered Wife', 'Getting to I Do' and 'The Surrendered Single' (all excellent tomes), all of which helped me to flesh out the Taken In Hand concepts that I did not fully understand.

My point is that I wish to relinquish the involvement in my beau's business, and the handling of the finances in general, in order to restore him to the position of leadership in our relationship that we both want him to have. For the short time that I was involved in the business, I felt stressed by the burden, resentful of how he was allocating money, and actually quite angry toward him. I completely lost my sexual desire for him and, as sex is important to me, it would have killed our relationship before much longer.

Subsequent to reading the books and this website, I have gently introduced him to many of the Taken In Hand philosophies and he is taking to them like a duck to water. He is a natural, gentle and respectful leader and is loving what is coming back to him from me (even though he doesn't know why I've made an 'about face'). Our desire for each other is electric and I am feeling aroused at a level, and with frequency, I would not have known to be possible.

With regards to his business finances, I will trust his judgment, without being financialy naive (it is sooooo hard to let go of that control!), and allow him to find another solution to this issue. He may conclude a bookkeeper would be a more suitable option, I don't know, but it WILL be his decision ultimately.

So, in response to the earlier post, don't burden your intended with your business decisions if you want her to remain your romantic partner in a Taken In Hand type marriage (indeed any marriage). Do some reading if you want to understand 'Why?' this is happening if you feel the need, but I can tell you, from a woman's point of view, it was a real passion killer for me!

It may be some time before I overtly discuss The Surrendered Wife and Taken In Hand philosophies with him, but in the meantime he is getting all the adoring approval, affirmation and sex he requires and I am feeling more secure, protected, contented and desired than I knew was possible!


I can see why you would be bothered by her referring to the business as "ours." Unless you have told her otherwise, it is your business. The fact that she is already anticipating it is in part hers before she has a ring on her finger could make you nervous. You've never been married before, but you're likely old enough to have seen friends lose their shirts in bitter divorces. I certainly wouldn't blame someone in your position for being a little leary.

That being said, if you thought she were a gold digger only after your business, you wouldn't have asked her to marry you in the first place.

It's my guess that your bigger worry is about losing control in both your business and your relationship. You want to lead the business, and the relationship, and she may not like to be led. If it is important to you to lead the relationship, you need to have someone who can accept that position. It is possible that she doesn't see you as worthy of obedience yet, but I think it's more likely that she's like my best friend who is "her own woman." Some women just weren't built to be in a male led relationship. They feel it somehow diminishes them. If this is truly important to you I suggest you talk to her now. Maybe if she understands why you want to lead and sees that it's not because you're an ogre, but because you love her, that will be enough. Or maybe that's just not her thing. Either way you owe it to both of you to find out before the "I dos"

being a man

Though my wife and I are new to the taken in hand way of life, I'm quite confident in my manhood. Noone's idea of manhood since I have began reading the article has done nothing but turn my stomach. What rock did he crawl out from under? At forty-two I've never felt that a man's measure was in his ability to "jerk a knot" into my wife's bottom. Though I believe in discipline as a way of resolving some issues in a healthy relationship, Noone's statements do not indicate such a relationship. I do hope people use a large dose of discernment whenever reading this article.

Reply to Greg

Wow! You and I seem to have diametrically opposing views of Noone's piece. I love it. That is why I put it on the front page. Noone's writing about relationships really speaks to me, and his marriage looks very healthy to me. I find Noone's calm, laid back but thoroughly in charge sort of attitude very soothing. So if there are more men like Noone out there, I for one will be cheering.

being a man

I agree, I am new to this site, and notice that this post is quite old, so unsure how current this topic is. One of the hesitations I have is the, shall we say 'quaint', way men refer to their wives. My (soon to be) wife is intelligent, educated, successful and completely capable of living independently. However, the fact that she chooses to pursue this with me is a very, very important first step and an indication of her free will and compliance, which can only be a good start. Yes, I will make the major decisions but crucially, I will also shoulder the ramifications of those decisions. Some will be wrong, I will need to be man and adult enough to bear those consequences. And I will be. If I can't earn the complete love, whole-hearted respect and obedience of my wife, then I don't deserve it. I must say as a slightly old-fashioned Englishman, you American guys do seem a different breed and I am wading through a lot of posts from some men that are very difficult to take seriously, so I am glad to have found this post by Greg. However, I am going to persist because there is really nothing similar to this over here in the U.K

Manhood is in a state of crisis and speaking as a guy who has never doubted the power of masculinity and revels in it, it would be nice to find like minded brethren that celebrate manhood, enjoy taking the lead, want to make their wives feel loved and aren't afraid of being a real man.

Real men

I don't personally think that a man who wants to take the lead is any more or less 'real' than one who doesn't. Any more than I think a woman who wants a man to take the lead is more or less real than one who doesn't. I think it is a matter of personal inclination.

Even men who are quite assertive can be assertive in different ways. My husband, for instance, has absolutely no interest in making major decisions on his own. The minor decisions are the ones that used to be a source of friction between us. Is he a less 'real' man because he doesn't want to make major decisions on his own? I don't think so. People are all different from each other.


I agree with you

I believe that men have been conditioned most recently not to take the lead in a relationship, and I am pleased to read about those men who are comfortable doing so. I do believe that this is the natural state of affairs—and I know that most others on this site do not hold this view—but I wanted to weigh in to support EnglishCharlie here.

Sarah Dinah

On being a Woman in a Taken In Hand Relationship...

...which I'm not at the moment, (although it is something that appeals to me,) so perhaps I'm not qualified to judge either the article or the subsequent replies.

But I have a question to ask, both men and women, if I could beg your indulgence?

Many posts on this site written by women say how they love being in this type of relationship—for all sorts of reasons—but the common denominator appears to be a man being 'in charge' that pops their corks, so to speak.

If Taken In Hand is not a BDSM/DD or-all-the-other- abbreviations-that-do-my-head-in relationship, but a loving and more importantly 'consensual' relationship between a man and a woman, with the man in complete charge, surely Noone should be exactly the kind of man women seek?

It seems to me that he will brook no argument—he is a man—and therefore in charge. I can't see any problems with anything he said in his article.

It was the core of resiliency overlaid with a tender touch bit that I read—and I would trust a man like this quite frankly. Because he wouldn't put up with any nonsense from me—however much I pushed him. And I would only push him if I wanted to let him know I wanted a bit more security anyway, I think.

Security can mean many things, of course, but many women on this site see a spanking as security—and their men see a spanking as a means of giving them that security. The fact that it can be enjoyed as part of a sexual act—well—even better! Nothing wrong with that at all—in fact I see it as an expression of love, because they are giving their women what they desire—and enjoying it themselves, let's be honest here!

I'm not sure, but I don't think the bit about 'jerking a knot' was particularly meant to be taken literally—unless of course you like that sort of thing, which let's face it, some people do—which is fine too if we're not here to be judgemental about the desires of others—so long as it is consensual, of course.

If it is not consensual, on the other hand, it is not only unloving, but simply abuse—which could also be said about a spanking....But I always thought the Taken In Hand site was about consensual relationships—if it's not then I will be out of here so fast you won't see me for dust!

If I am going to be brutally honest here, I liked this article and what I considered it stood for, i.e. a man I could lean on and trust, because he wouldn't change course half way through and leave me floundering—and it turned me on—I don't mean the thing about jerking a knot etc., necessarily...although....do I....?

But then, that's up to me, isn't it?

Lois Lane.