Some might think that Taken In Hand means wives not being allowed to work outside the home, and indeed, in some cases, where it suits the couple concerned, that might be true. But I am a Taken In Hand woman and not only am I permitted to work outside of the home my husband expects it of me. He doesn't force me but out of respect I choose to work outside of the home. It was understood when I quit working (when our first child was born) that when all our children were of school age I would go back to work.
My husband made enough money for us live at a modest rate, buy a home, have modest vacations mostly staying with friends or relatives etc. We never went without but were certainly not well off. I have a fairly well paying career skill and my husband looked forward for many years to me returning to work. Out of respect for his wishes I returned to work when our last child entered school.
Frankly, I would rather not work. I would prefer to stay home and just focus on my job as a wife and mother. My husband and I have fought many a time over this issue. I have been taken in hand not for disagreeing (I am of course allowed to express any opinion I have) but basically for being bitchy in my expressions of my frustration at being a working mother.
I have been told by my husband that I can quit anytime I want and I know he means it. Yet I know that we won't be unified if I do. I don't know whether I’ll continue to work or not. If I do or don't I want it to be based on a mutual agreement between my husband and me. That’s what he wants too. He knows he can make me work and of course I would. He won't do that. I work because I love my husband and I trust his decision that this is best for our family financially and otherwise.
By the way, lest you think I slave away all day at my husband's request and then come home to complete all the household chores myself I must explain otherwise. My husband has made every effort to help me through this transition back to work. He does more of the cooking, shopping, and cleaning than I do. The children help with the cleaning as well and we have a woman come every other week for the major cleaning.
My husband did the majority of everything the first year I was back to work because I was so wiped out every day. Now he still does more but I am working very hard to take some of the burden off of him. He does a large majority of taking care of the children and their needs. My children have always been fortunate to have a very involved father and since I started working he has become even more actively involved in their care. Again I am trying to find some balance here and am working fewer hours this year so I can have more energy for my family.
The point that I am trying to make is that a woman's working or not has no bearing on how submissive she is to her husband. It will have more to do with the individual relationship and desires of her husband as well as her own desires. I would love to meet my husband at the door with his newspaper and his slippers, but that is not his idea of what he wants out of a wife. He wants a financial as well as emotional helper. I am more than willing to bend my wishes to adjust to his especially since he adapted to me staying home for many years while our children were small. All relationships require compromise, Taken In Hand or not.