I found Taken In Hand during a Google search (I don't even remember exactly what I was looking for) and was intrigued that there were so many others who had an appreciation for loving, responsible, male-led relationships. My wife Tricia and I have been married for a little over three years, though we have been best friends for nearly thirteen (be sure and marry your best friend, guys!) Without getting into too much detail (or going on like a romance novel), I'll just say we are truly soul mates with only the greatest respect for each other.
On top of that, I am in control of our household, and have the final say regarding virtually all matters. From a 21st Century 'social' perspective, the two would seem incompatible. Yet, I think those who post to this website understand how mutual respect can still exist within a Taken In Hand relationship. Tricia prides herself on saying she 'knows her place' in our marriage, and I am eager to make ‘her place’ somewhere that she can flourish and be free from the responsibilities that weighed her down for the first forty-plus years of her life. I am honored to be the one to which she defers. She is an extraordinarily beautiful woman, and very intelligent. And yet, she lovingly gives it all to me.
That being said, we are also complementary personality types. When it comes to matters literary and logical, we share the same brain. When it comes to expression and reaction, we can be near-opposites. I tend to be the even-keeled analyzer, whereas Tricia is the emotionally driven quick-responder. For many years she had issues with anger and self-image, fueled partly (if not largely) by repeated abuse at a very young age. Because of the trust we were able to build during our ten-year friendship before marriage, she slowly, gradually allowed herself to relinquish control of many of the things that burdened her. The realization that solving the world’s problems was no longer on her ‘to-do’ list for each day, allowed a certain amount of release, and my lovely wife was somewhat more at peace.
Throughout all this, I had been occasionally reading Taken In Hand posts, looking mostly for those that discussed the attitude of the responsible husband. Of course, many of the posts dealt with spanking, and I read some of them with interest, though never associating them with my own circumstances. When I showed Tricia the site, she read many posts as well, and we both felt somewhat validated that there were others out there who shared our vision for a relationship. But the spanking was just an ‘extra’ feature that neither of us took very seriously. After all, she tried so very hard to make me happy and to follow my guidance, so how could I think about spanking her? I’m also not the type to make a nit-picking list of minor infractions that will eventually "add up" to a spanking. Because of my temperament, those little things seem to fade away very quickly. It was when I read a post stating that "sometimes the relationship needs a spanking" (or words to that effect) that I first said "hmm…" and began to entertain the thought. The biological information out there regarding the release of various hormones from spanking was also intriguing, and I talked about it with Tricia. We both thought it was interesting, but again, there wasn’t any driving compulsion to add it to our relationship.
So, I’m not exactly sure how or why it happened the first time, but the experience was revelatory! Our sex life has been white-hot from day one (it’s the first area where Tricia gave up control to me), but in the midst of lovemaking one evening, we were both surprised to find her over my lap, receiving the first spanking of her lifetime. Apparently, the ‘minor infractions’ that I thought had faded, did in fact accumulate; but it was mostly Tricia who had tucked them away! With each swat she cried out, and when asked if it was too hard, replied with a firm "No!" After the spanking (and its erotic result) was over, we were both a bit cautious in our analysis of what had just happened. Finally, my wife was able to articulate a single, very telling thought about the event: "This is going to sound silly, but I feel like I’ve been absolved of my sins!"
That was a few months ago, and we have since realized the importance of physical control in our particular "male-led relationship". It is as if the floodgates have opened; Tricia says she has never experienced a greater or more satisfying release in her life. But this has also been a tremendous realization for me. For years (even before we married) I was aware of the great power of Tricia’s femininity, and the great gift of her welcoming my control. I don’t exaggerate one bit when I say that men want her; she is one of those girls that just "has it". Yet she unhesitatingly gives all of her delightful self to me, and I often wondered how I could give back anything equal to her gracious displays of love and obedience. A few nights ago, she asked me what was "in it" for me when I spanked her. The benefits to her are obvious: she feels relaxed, docile, and free from anger, worry and self-doubt after a good spanking. But I’m not the type who would enjoy spanking a woman just for its own sake; so where was my reward? This was when we finally clarified everything: I love spanking Tricia precisely because of what it does for her. I now see the flip side of the coin: my masculinity is also a very powerful thing, and my control is a great gift. And the gift of spanking has become an important part of that control. The astounding intimacies my true love and I now share have given her the ability to finally trust another person completely. And for the first time, I see her becoming comfortable with the idea of trusting herself.