The ways we do things

I totally love a man who is traditional-minded in relationships. He likes a woman to take care of him in the kitchen and to be there for him in the bedroom. He's smart, he's fun, he's responsible. He has the qualities that I find I want at this stage of my life.

I've always been independent, yet, I find that I like all of the ways he has introduced me to and I grow fonder all the time of being in a position to give him the care he wants. It feels as though I have a special purpose that was lacking in my independent world.

He has started to make more decisions in our relationship (over simple matters) and taking more control of decision making. While this may be an uh-oh signal for some, I like this, too. It lifts burdens off my shoulders and I like knowing he is there to handle some of the everyday struggles—battles that are a challenge for me yet second nature to him to easily handle.

He does Taken In Hand in subtle ways, the emotional.

I've done the feminist-type way of life, not to the extreme but in the sense of being independent and in control of what I want. Now, I find that the way of life that he wants with a woman in a traditional role seems to make me happy. I don't know why. Is this what woman are really supposed to be when we cut away the layers of clutter that society has laid down?

[EDITOR'S NOTE TO THE WRITER: If you give me a name I will attribute the above piece accordingly. Secondly, could I persuade you to say more about the subtle ways your man is taking you in hand? I think readers would be interested to hear more detail, should you feel inclined to share it.]

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purpose vs independence

The article “The Way We Do Things” touches on several ideas that have been on my mind for almost a year. I'm thirty-six and I've had very little experience with relationships. My inexperience is the result of two factors in my life. I have a fear of men and marriage that developed from observing my parents' unhappy marriage. I was also under continual pressure from family, peers and friends to focus on college and career. Since, in my mind, relationships were out of the question, I focused solely on work, college, and career. I do not have a dominant or ambitious personality and focusing my life on career has brought nothing but anxiety, loneliness and unhappiness. About a year ago, I realized what a self-centered, selfish, and unfulfilling existence I've been living. I began to reexamine my fear of men and relationships. I realized that all my fears were irrational and started thinking about the type of relationship in which I would be happy. My mind immediately jumped to my grandparents' relationship.

My grandparents have been married for over fifty years and have a traditional relationship. They each have specific roles in the marriage, and are content with their roles. My grandmother keeps the house clean and attractive and prepares meals for my grandfather. My grandfather ran the family business before retiring, provides a strong leadership role, and keeps my grandmother's safety and happiness as his top priority. Even though he makes all the final decisions he always seeks out my grandmother for advice. This is the type of relationship I am now seeking. My grandmother receives fulfillment from knowing that she is making her husband happy and comfortable. I realize now that as a woman this is what has been missing in my life. A career will never give me a sense of purpose or make me feel fulfilled. Like the writer of the article I referenced earlier, I too like the idea of a man who “likes a woman to take care of him in the kitchen and to be there for him in the bedroom.” In return, he will love me, keep me safe, and provide for me.

I discovered this site a few months ago. I'm thankful that people share their thoughts and experiences. It is comforting to know that there are a few people out there that have similar feelings to my own. Knowing that others have managed to build fulfilling relationships in today's society also provides me with a sense of hope about my own future.

Tradition and Taken In Hand

I have never thought of a 'traditional' relationship and Taken In Hand as going together particularly. I am married to a man who does quite a lot of cooking and housework, and isn't too bothered about defining our roles in the domestic sphere. He likes me to make an effort with housework etc, but because he likes the house clean and tidy rather than because he sees it as particularly my role to be that way. A lot of stay-at-home wives are not at all Taken In Hand, as I have frequently observed, my mother was about as Taken In Hand as Atilla the Hun. Likewise a lot of women in Taken In Hand relationships are career women. I don't really see that having a career and being taken care of by a man are incompatible.


career and Taken In Hand not incompatible

Hello Louise,

You have made valid points. The aspect of the man being the head of the household and having the final say seems very traditional to me. Of course, I'm basing my opinion on my grandparents relationship which is very traditional. I, also, agree that a career and Taken In Hand are not necessarily incompatible, unless the career takes up so much energy that there is nothing emotionally left for the relationship. I teach at an urban high school. After a day with my students, I am emotionally and physically drained. When I arrive at home, I barely have enough energy left to prepare myself a small supper. I often wonder about the teachers who go home to families. I don't think I could be a good homemaker and continue with a career in teaching. I might be able to handle a regular forty hour work week job. But, teaching is a career which involves much more time and energy. I admire and am in awe of my coworkers, who teach, volunteer to sponsor extra-curricular activities, and, then, go home to families. Likewise, I can't imagine being a lawyer, physician, etc. and having energy left over for husband and home. Responding to your message has really made me think this through. I suppose the question of a career vs. Taken In Hand relationship would apply to any relationship and not just a Taken In Hand.

Staying at home

I agree that the man being head of the household and having 'final say' is considered the 'traditional' way for marriages to be, but the stay-at-home wife part is something that I don't think necessarily indicates that a man is the head of the household. I think of the many stay-at-home wives I have known who have not deferred to their husbands in the least. I, for instance, was a stay-at-home wife for 17 years before it occured to me to try to defer to my husband,which I've now been doing for two and a half years, with mixed but mainly satisfactory results.

I admire teachers tremendously, I spend one morning a week in my youngest son's class helping the children with reading, writing etc, and I am amazed at how hard their teacher works, she really knocks herself out to get them working and keep them interested and concentrated etc. I am really impressed. I go home absolutely shattered afterwards just from spending a few hours helping out, I can't imagine how tired she must be at the end of the day. I imagine it must give her great personal satisfaction to feel that she is achieving somuch with the children, but it must be exhausting as well. I don't know whether, in her postion, I would want to give it up and concentrate on being a homemaker. I think if you have children, it is very difficult to combine being a mother with having a career when the children are very young, because most work nowadays takes place away from home, and the worlds of home and work are so seperate. Once the children have started school though, teaching is the ideal job to go back to, since your work hours mainly coincide with your children's school hours.

It is probably true though that a job like that might leave you with less energy to concentrate on your relationship, but if you really love teaching I suppose that makes it worthwhile. But if it is too strenuous for you then I think it would be a good idea to give it up if the opportunity arises. I'm sure that there are men around even today who are happy for their wives to stay at home if that's what they want.


Having taught for thirty year

Having taught for thirty years and through two pregnancies I'm bound to say teaching is NOT a job I'd recommend my worst enemy to go back to. It's an extrememely demanding job that bites relentlessly into family time. With inspections, being knee-deep in paper work, accountability and polictical correctness it has caused many breakdowns and divorces. Believe me I know—I'm a casualty and I LOVED teaching. I miss the chidren very much, but not the endless planning, recording, target settting, assessment, and STRESS.

Taken in hand teacher

At risk of making this a teacher's forum, I have to say that paperwork, preparation, inspections, creating an audit trail constantly and having to still be creative make teaching a terrible job to try and do when you have a home to run. I have had 15 years of watching my husband taking my girls off to fun places at the weekends and in the evenings, whilst I stay home and do paperwork. I won't go into all my gripes of the difficulty of finding occasional childcare for training days or the weeks I spend every holiday preparing work.

Psychologically I sometimes find it hard to switch from being the boss in my classroom, to deferring to my husband when I come home. I don't think that being taken in hand negates the possibility of working outside the home, but it does bring challenges. My energy and enthusiasm at the end of the day are depleted and I don't think that I support my husband, or listen to him, as much as I would like to do. I went part-time recently which has helped enormously.

I think it depends what you both want to get out of this sort of relationship. If my husband wanted me to be a full-time housewife then I would consider it. I suppose for us that is inextricably linked with Taken In Hand now, but a woman doesn't have to be Taken In Hand to be a housewife.

The foundation of any intimate relationship should be listening to each others' needs and meeting them if we can. I can meet most of my husband's needs whether I work or not, but I could meet more of them if I stayed at home I think. Anyway, he sets me more interesting targets and the repercussions of not meeting them are more fun too!

Jane M


Maybe not the same, I am a university teacher. Fulfilment of this job makes me who I am, times are of my overloading and times of holidays. Maybe my husband being also an university teacher, things are easier. And also grown up children release us more. My husband never wanted me be a household wife, when our children were little he only agreed with my staying home. Not long, for 6 years. I thought it was too soon leaving the younger, but this is how it was. I am happy to be a teacher.