Practical hints for men - times of stress

A Taken in Hand relationship does not need to be put on hold because of stress in your life. In fact, that is exactly when the relationship needs the man's strength the most.

Your wife might decide that she does not want to obey or submit or whatever. However, it is very helpful to her to stay in charge and keep her in hand.

Otherwise, she has the added stress of having to keep herself in hand and, perhaps, taking on some of the dominance of the relationship.

Yes, it is difficult, but it is part of your role. You are providing stability for her when the other parts of her life are unstable.

So, if the dog dies or if you get fired or if your mother in law does... whatever... use your moments of discipline as a change to get away from the stress.

Focus her thoughts on you and her relationship with you in order to distract her from the outside pressures. She may rebel but that rebellion might really be a form of “acting out” caused by the stresses. Rein her in but make sure she continues to know that you love her.


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Refined and Refocused

I appreciate your article. I have a very demanding position at work, always on the go,solving problems and lately I have come to realize it is like being in one of those extreme challenge reality shows at times. It sounds silly but true.

I find that there are different things that work with me to alleviate my stress. Such as my husband's listening ear, walking and weightlifting help as well. But There are times when he takes me in hand. It is at that time when I know that my husband's control stabilizes me. It is quite painful when he punishes me. But it brings peace to my life. It is a place where we meet, my life is brought to a halt and I am refocused! I have been refined!

Any advice?

Times of stress, indeed! Despite his best efforts, yesterday my husband was let go at work. This has put an incredible amount of stress on both of us. I know he feels like he's letting us down. He is the sole income provider in our house. He prides himself on being able to take care of our family & give us the things we need & want.

I really wonder how this will affect our taken in hand relationship. He can get pretty low & lose confindence in himself. This, of course, adds to my stress. So far (and again, it's only been two days) it hasn't affected our relationship. He conducted a maintenance spanking last night as scheduled. It was a stress reliever for me, and I assume it was for him too. But I know it's hard for him to lead & control sometimes when he's feeling so down. I just wonder if our taken in hand relationship may fade during this time.

Has anyone else experienced anything similar? And if so, how did you get through?


We haven't experienced that y

We haven't experienced that yet, but I remember a college psychology teacher telling us once that: "you may think you are the most important thing in your man's life, or that your family is the most important thing to your father. He may think that too. When it comes right down to it though, losing his job is tougher on him than losing you."

I'm not sure I completely buy that. I think that, especially now, unemployment is becomming so common that people take it less personally and are more able to write it off as a truth of a bad economy. Nonetheless, losing a job is tough on anyone. I would imagine the stress is magnified if you are the only income.

I'm not sure how helpful this is, but I think if it were me I would try to be very understanding if things in the relationship changed for a while and he started to need more emotional support than he provided, but I wouldn't expect it to happen and make massive relationship changes until it does. He may need a bit of a break from being head of household for a while, or, he may need to have something in his life remain stable. I can see a man becomming frustrated if he lost his job and then lost his position of head of household.

I know I'm probably applying irrational female thought to a male brain, but I think I'd see it as: "Great, I lost my job, and now I lost her respect. She doesn't even trust me to lead the relationship anymore."

I guess what I'm saying is I'd try to give him what he needs right now. If he needs someone to lean on (certainly fair, expected, and not a sign of weakness), provide that. If he needs to know he's still in charge of at least one thing in his life, don't take that away from him.

Thank You

Well, CJ, I'm with you. I don't buy that losing his job is worse than losing me would be. We have friends who are going through divorce right now & he's told me several times how he's thankful he's 'only' lost a job & not his marriage with me. That really surprises me coming from a psychology professor. You can replace a job, but people can't be replaced.

Anyways, I read your post & talked to him about it last night. Last week he didn't take charge nearly as much as normal (quite understandably, of course). As a result, he said he noticed me testing & pushing back a lot more. I'm not really sure if it's because I didn't feel his authority or if it was just simply the stress of the situation. Maybe both.

However, in our conversation, (which, by the way, took place after a maintenance spanking) he said he felt really empowered after he spanked me. While, the first time (since he lost his job) was really hard for him to 'step up' & take charge, he's discovered that it helps build his confidence & relieves stress. He now jokes that he should do it every day!

So, anyways, I wanted to thank you for your advice. I know we'll make it through. And I do have a wonderful, strong man leading the way!


Buy That

CJ said:

"I'm not sure I completely buy that[..."losing his job is tougher on him than losing you."...]. I think that, especially now, unemployment is becomming so common that people take it less personally and are more able to write it off as a truth of a bad economy."

I'm not being critical of CJ, but her "buying that" is of little relevance. Her acceptance that he feels this way is what's important.

As a man who's been laid off twice in the last 15 years, I can speak to how great a loss it is. In it's own way, it's a far greater a loss than any other—if I never found a new love it would be painful, but I have no idea when/how I'm to be in charge of my life again.

The loss of someone I love has a presumable end-the end of a layoff is completely uncertain.

It may be that at the end of life what I did for a living will be less important than what my impact on others, and what kind of man I was. But right now, my ability to care for myself and others defines who I am.

The bottom line is a layoff is far more challenging for a man than women often seem to realize.

So whether you "buy" it, he may feel much like your teacher described.

I beg your pardon!

Just because you feel this way does not mean her husband does or ever did.
I'm sure getting laid off is tough, not trying to devalue that painful experience. But doesn't it say something about priorities when you feel more pain for the loss of a job than the loss of a life? Any life?
A person is just more valuable than a means of making money or a career. If you could choose, are you saying that you'd pick a career over the life of a fellow human being?
To say that a career is more important than a person, especially a spouse, is most selfish.
I understand that it is painful. But why is it so painful? Because your identity and ego are defined by your career? Understandable. But still selfish.
(A person's identity shouldn't be so fragile as to be defined by something so impermanent and material as a job. When you pour yourself into a career, you risk loosing yourself over something that never spared one thought about you. Never even had the AWARENESS to spare a thought about you! Jobs abound, but people worth spending the rest of your life with are few and fare between.)
Pride is the author of shame. Humility is the source of security.

Job loss

My husband lost his job, just after I found out that I was pregnant with number two. It really does NOT make it easier to know that it is a common thing these days. It just means that the competition for a new job is fears. He got a lay off package and unemployment. I asked him if he wanted me to go get a full time job to supplement. He said, "NO" He needed me to continue to take care of the house and kid so he could look for a new job, which he did full time for nine month. The one thing he did ask me to do was take care of the finances. He just could not face that one job at that time. In addition to that, we turned the situation on its head by looking at it as a wonderful time to bond. Ultimately in the end, we came to the conclusion that in order to get a job, we where doing to have to move to an area with more jobs. In this time of economic struggle companies are less willing to pay to move a family. With the last of our savings and new baby in tow, we sold our big beautiful house at a loss and moved into his parents' basement. He got a new job the day we arrived to our new location.

The important thing for him was to remain the head of our household through all of that. I still differed dictions to him, even on finances. (He just did not want to sign the checks.) He even did a little home improvement before putting the house on the market. It would have been a mistake for me to try to stop him from spending money on that. If he was going to lose his home he needed to do it with pride. That was four years ago for us and we have about two more years to pay off the debt. The lessons we learned during that time where priceless. I hope you fare well, and you are luck to have each other to help you get though this. It is one thing most people cannot understand unless they have been there.

Thanks for the encouragement!

Good Girl,

Thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement. You're right, it is tough. My husband is like yours in that he doesn't want me to get a job either. With daycare costs as high as they are and what I'd get paid due to my inexperience in the job market, it just wouldn't be worth it for us.

Our taken in hand relationship really has rekindled his confidence. I believe it's helped him through this hard time.

I'm happy to hear you're doing well now. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. He wasn't happy in his last job & he's looking at a much better job now. If all goes well, he'll be employed there by the end of the month. Wish us luck! :-)


Job loss is a mood killer

We discovered this Taken In Hand site 6 months ago. It was the new year and as I knew that something had to change in our relationship, new year's resolutions needed to be made, I realized that this Taken In Hand way is "the ticket" to a new re- energized relationship after almost 30 years of marriage. I carefully presented it to my husband with some articles from the site and he was immediately ready to try. He was thrilled, enthusiastic, and totally on board. He, was wise enough to say let's take it slowly so we don't burn out. So we agreed to proceed.

Within the next 3-4 days there was word from his company that they were eliminating his position nationally. He was devastated. His demeanor totally changed. Talk about a mood killer. His enthusiasm for this new way of life (Taken In Hand) simply waned. He kept saying "I don't feel powerful anymore." He felt defeated, diminished, worthless and the decriptions of how he felt go on and on..... He continued, on occasion, to try taking me and our relationship in hand, but I can assure you he just couldn't get his head wrapped around this relatively new idea, feeling the way he did. So my approach was as follows:

I repeatedly told him that I acknowleged his feelings of "powerlessness". I remained supportive constantly. Never did I waiver. I encouraged that he could regain his sense of power within the confines of the four walls of our home by living this taken in hand way of life. I told him not to let his job or career define him as a person. At the end of his life it won't be important as to the job he had at his career, but the job he did as a husband and father. (He has always been the greatest husband to me, even when I have been overly controlling etc....that's a totally different topic for a different day). But he just couldn't psychologically get to that place of feeling powerful and authoritative in the home.

Well, months have come and gone. He went off the bandwagon as far as Taken In Hand goes and then on again.....more off than on. I remained patient and willing to try again each time, even though I felt less trustworthy of him to make this work. LOTS of discussions occur when we start things up again. He takes total responsibility everytime for things not working out. I simply told him that I will submit to his dominance and authority when I feel he can provide that. He has to do it when he is ready. He has to understand in his own mind when the time is right for him. It was critical for me not to "drive" this decision. I did not want to be the one to be in control of this Taken In Hand style would defeat the purpose. He completely agreed and understood.

He was just reemployed and has recently been given another job offer by his old company with a raise and promotion. Even so, it has been a slow process of him starting up things again with us. I guess on day one of our Taken In Hand attempt (6 months ago) he wanted to take it's funny how things happened. We were forced to take it slow. Now I see a bigger spark than ever within him that is ready to ignite. He knows the ball is completely in his court. We deep down know that Taken In Hand is for us. Once a couple decides that Taken In Hand is right for them, I think the spark doesn't smolders. That is why, I believe, that I read on this site that people work at this for years until things are right between them.

So here we go again.....hopefully this time we both will get it right, never to abandon our new, great, way of life again.