I asked my husband to write for me what taken in hand has meant to him. Tonight is our 21st anniversary and he obliged me. Here is what he wrote. With his permission I share it with you.
Today is an important day to my wife and me. It is our 21st wedding anniversary. I thought that there might be some interest in how the last two years has been so wonderful, whereas the first 19 years were not.
My father raised me to put women on a pedestal. Open their doors. Treat them sweetly. Defer. Act like a gentleman at all times. My father very seldom pushed the point with my mother. She won most arguments by default. When he did try to assert himself, their roles were so set in stone that he had no chance. Although he was a ‘man’s man’ in public, a big man whom other men looked up to and tried to emulate, in private he was a pushover.
| 3. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance|
As I look back on it, the image is kind of like taking John Wayne, and while keeping his honor and respect for women, sending him to finishing school so that he lives his life with proper comportment, rubbing off all the rough edges, until he looks more like Jimmy Stewart in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance than the hero who saves the day, and who, by the way, gets the woman (Yeah, I know, I know – Jimmy got the girl in that one!).
So I entered into marriage with this idea of a man. Nice, sensitive, sweet, shy, romantic. I tried all of the romantic candlelit dinner, mood setting, ambience enhancing methods I could think of. Poetry, song. But something was missing.
Plus my wife was very strong willed, or so it seemed to me. She says that she was normal and I was just a pushover.
I remember when we were married just a few years. My wife asked me to spank her. I didn’t get it. I had in mind “You’ve been a bad little girl, haven’t you?” But that wasn’t what she wanted. She wanted a man in charge of a woman, not play acting where she had to assume the role of a naughty little girl. Instead of explaining exactly that to me, she got frustrated, mad, and probably a little embarrassed and said “forget it.”
That was the last I heard of it for about 16 years.
| 5. What my father taught me |
The next 16 years followed the same pattern. Nobody really in charge. The two of us butting heads. Usually I would give in, but I was passive aggressive, and she lost more and more respect for me. If not for our strong belief in God and dependence on him, and if not for our strong commitment to our vows, our marriage could not have lasted. But it wasn't a marriage that honored each other, or that honored God.
Then in our 19th year of marriage, she explained her desire to be disciplined. She told me what she really wanted. Oh, I thought. What a difference from what I thought she wanted. And what an amazing difference from what my father taught me women wanted!
So we tried it again. And she loved it. It was like a match had suddenly lit off a fuse connected to an unlimited storehouse of gunpowder. BANG! I couldn’t believe the response. She was so sexually interested! Amazingly motivated. After 19 years of being married to what I thought was a frigid hausfrau, I was now married to a woman with sexual need, with magnetism, who couldn’t get enough of me. And I couldn’t get enough of her.
Eventually she found this web site, and a few others. She began to explain to me about a dominant and submissive relationship, which honors each other and God, where roles are defined, where both partners are secure and happy.
And so our relationship expanded from a sexual nature to all aspects of the marriage. We had begun to develop a relationship and we were both extremely happy.
I believe this new state of affairs is an answer to both of our prayers. All this time we waited, and after 18 years of artificial sweetener, when we tasted the real thing we knew this was for us.
My wife has been very patient with me, as I often tend to revert back to my old deferring self. She reminds me of what it used to be like, and I don’t want to go back. Just because she resists doesn’t mean she doesn’t want to follow my authority. I am learning to be strong, yet just. Firm, yet loving. And I am learning to accept the respect she gives me now, respect I didn’t even have for myself in much quantity in the past.
As we begin our 22nd year of marriage, I am thankful for my wife. I am thankful she explained her needs to me. I only wish she had not waited 19 years to do it!
Here’s looking forward to the next 21 years, dear. I love you,