When we first started exploring Taken in Hand relationships we looked at a lot of information. We knew we were attracted to the control dynamic of my husband being in charge but what that meant exactly was unclear to us. Our ideas about this have evolved quite a bit since we first attempted to bring this dynamic into our relationship.
When we started we did what I think a lot of couples do: we implemented rules. We thought this was what it meant to lead. For some people rules are very important. We found them cumbersome and my husband did not like the feeling of policing me to see if I was following all the rules he set out. My husband is a very easygoing person and we figured out that he did not really care about all this stuff we had figured we needed to make rules about. Micromanagement was a lot of work, and given our lifestyle it was not very practical. How can you say such-and-such needs to be done every day with a couple of kids and a variable schedule? We also found we did not really care if X was done or not. It just seemed that it was impossible for us to have the consistency we wanted this way.
So we chucked the rules out the window and started over from the beginning. We did not want to give up the control, because we found that my husband’s control in our relationship—his leadership in our relationship—was a very powerful thing. When we reflected back on when we felt his leadership was most effective and most powerful, what we found was that we preferred the times he acted on his instincts and made decisions based on what he thought we needed on any given day. He could still say that he wanted X done if he wanted to, but he did not need to make a rule about it. He could just say X is bothering me, so today we deal with X.
My husband’s leadership for us is not about rigid, micromanaging controls, it is more about the day-to-day things that arise. He can still make decisions about whatever he wants, but we do not feel the need to have a list of rules posted or written anywhere. We do not have a contract, and we do not have any kind of progress reports, or scheduled discussions about how he finds my behaviour in any given day or week. We find all that rigidity stifling. It just did not work for us. We prefer to leave it open ended. He can still make rules if he wants to, but the few he does make I know are very important to him. Mostly we just go about our daily lives and when he feels he needs to take control, he does. He just leads us as a couple day in and day out. It is a less rigid kind of leadership but it works for us very well. That is the beauty of Taken in Hand relationships. Each couple does what works for them.