For many of us, once we found the Taken In Hand website, we felt we were home. Like many others, I have been in a taken in hand relationship since my husband and I were dating. We have now been married almost 22 years, are nearing 50 years of age, and have lived through the trials and demands of raising a family. (We still have one child, an 11 year old, at home). We have also lived through the day to day struggles of a chronic illness, (multiple sclerosis), which leaves us vulnerable to the knowledge that my husband’s disease can at any time, turn our lives upside down. I feel the dynamics of our taken in hand relationship has preserved and strengthened our marriage through the tough times.
In our rural, Midwest area of the United States, taken in hand relationships are pretty common. We have many, many family friends who are farmers and ranchers who have the “cowboy gentility” of the man protecting his wife and family. For generations, (including my grandparents), families were rather isolated and had to rely on each other. A woman, and children, learned early that their safety often relied upon obedience and faith in the man of the family. For a wife, this feeling of being protected and cherished deepens her love and in turn, she does all she can to reciprocate that love.
Of course, in our area, as in most cultures, a man derives his manhood by being the “man in the family” and taking control. If there is a problem, the man wants to fix it, just as it is in his nature to protect his family.
What happens, however, if a man loses his physical capacity to control, and can no longer physically “fix things”? With MS being an integral part of our lives, this is a question we have had to face. Most recently, my husband had a rather severe exacerbation about six years ago. This left him physically weak and mentally depressed and drained. How did I react? By taking control; of the household, the family, and anything I could which I felt would alleviate some of his stress. How did he react to this? He retreated and became frustrated, which in turn left us more and more distant to each other.
Until, one day, a spark lit in my brain, and I knew I had to give him back that control. So, I began by deferring to him, and when one of the kids had a problem, I would ask him what he felt, or direct the child to go to their father. Same for mundane household matters. This was also a huge relief for me, because doing it all myself was quite draining. He began being “the protector” again, and making me feel cherished by the chivalrous things he would do, considerate things such as scraping my car windows, filling my car with gas on cold days, walking on the side of traffic if we were walking along a street, etc., etc.
I also asked him to spank me again, (which had always been rather erotic for us, mostly as play), but as discipline. I had a couple areas in which I felt I had regressed, and he, as it were, was willing to apply his hand to my bare and vulnerable bottom. Really, it was just another way I was submitting and putting myself under his umbrella of protection. Discipline spanking has been, and still is, very rare with us, but I know it is there, and I know he is willing to apply it. Knowing he has that control is very erotic for me, and rekindled our love life!
A while back someone wrote asking about a taken in hand relationship when the male is impotent. We have had this problem, and quite a bit of it with us, I believe, is related to the fatigue that is inherent with his disease. Sure there are drugs to help with impotence, and they are wonderful, but sometimes daily life uses every bit of his energy. By always thinking of my needs, he never leaves me sexually frustrated, even if he is too tired to engage himself. (Get my drift?). Also, if he tells me he thinks I need a spanking, I immediately get weak in the knees, then very turned on! Believe me, even though he only uses his hand, he knows how to spank and I know it will hurt!
If you met my husband, you would not know he has MS, as he has had no lasting physical vestiges of his exacerbations. Fatigue, however, is a huge manifestation, but can be overcome. We have rekindled our relationship, and perhaps saved it, by applying taken in hand principles, even though we didn’t know at the it had a name! Really, it’s what came naturally!