This man's authority just IS

Until recently I thought an “equal” relationship was the ideal. The thought of obeying was foreign to me. The man as the authority? Head of the household? Wearing the pants? Hah!

Then, at age 45 and with four teenagers, I met the man who is now in my life. He is undoubtedly different from the others. On one hand, he is strong, confident, firm, and direct. My father, when he met this man, warned me: he’ll take crap from no one, including you. And my father was right. But on the other hand, this man is warm, caring, gentle, and giving. I’ve never before been treated with such tenderness.

He made it clear early in our relationship that he must be the leader. Slowly, as I have learned more about him, I have become more comfortable with him in that role. He doesn’t give me overt orders or demand my obedience in any way. He simply acts with authority—and leaves the rest to me!

The interesting thing about all this is that I have never yearned to be obedient nor do I actually feel obedient—but to him, in this relationship, I AM obedient. He expects me to follow his lead, and (oddly, it still seems to me) I do, usually gratefully. I feel incredibly satisfied when I please him, and I am more content than I’ve ever been in an “equal” partnership.

He does not tell me what to wear; yet, I’ve subtly changed my wardrobe to better suit his tastes. He does not tell me not to curse; yet, I’ve given it up because he views such language from a lady as unbecoming. When he tells me of a decision (i.e., we’ll not meet for lunch today because the snow has made the roads dangerous), I listen and agree. In other words, I am willfully obedient and respect his authority.

Do I ever question his decisions? Yes. He encourages me to do so, telling me that it’s my job to help him make decisions that are right for both of us. He wants my input and appreciates me for it.

Yet I have never questioned his authority. Somehow, it just is.


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You are fortunate....

You are fortunate that you have found a man who asserts his authority so seamlessly and in a way so agreeable to you. It seems that most of the Taken In Hand readers report a somewhat rockier road wherein either the woman or the man occasionally either resists or backslides into old behaviors. Which is to be expected, since none of us humans are perfectly consistent.

I remember a couple of years ago when my sweetheart and I had been "doing very well" with our Taken In Hand roles and it really felt like our natures were in unison. I surrendered to his authority in most things, and he asserted himself. We were trying to settle on the details of our upcoming vacation and I asked him what he wanted to do about a certain arrangement. He sighed and looked at me for a moment, then said, "For once, can the final decision on something not come back to me? Can I relinquish authority once in awhile?" I was pretty shocked, since I thought I was completely sensitive about giving him the authority that he wanted when he wanted it. But...he's human, and his brain hurt from constant decisionmaking, and he just didn't want to lead at that moment. So I did.

We can appreciate and respect each other even if overlap each other's "zones" sometimes! It makes the journey fresh and interesting.


It just is.

That is how I feel too. You said: My father, when he met this man, warned me: he’ll take crap from no one, including you. My mother told me the same thing about my man. She did not want me to marry him, but I could not be happier.

So much of your message was like someone took the word out of my mouth. It was nice to read...thank you.