Friday, May 30, 2008

She Decides, I Abide

My parents argued an awful lot. Even when they weren’t arguing, there was too often a palpable air of cold hostility around the house.

Not fun.

My wife and I never argue. Well, almost never. Nor are we, I venture to boast, storing up grievances and recriminations for later use—like maybe in divorce court.

What’s the secret?

As I wrote in my book's final chapter, “Happy-Ever-Aftering Takes Work”:

“At some point… I stopped arguing with my wife. Not all at once, and not without occasional blowups or fits of masculine pique, but gradually I began accepting what we had both known for years—that things work out better when we do them her way.”

Here’s how another husband puts it: “I no longer mind that she is so often right. I can deal with it—happily, in fact.”

And another: “I have found that not bickering is a refreshing way to live. It's about deferring to her.”

And finally: “We get along really well because there is no power struggle.”

It’s even scriptural, according to St. Paul’s injunction (1 Cor. 1:10): "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all say the same thing; and there be no dissensions among you, but that you be perfectly united in one mind and in one judgment."

But there’s another aspect to this.

Like TV's Judge Judy, my wife is a wise and practical woman, in touch with her standard of values, capable of weighing evidence and reaching sound decisions, and doing so in the heat of controversy. On the fly, if need be.

Whereas I vacillate, hem and haw between “the one hand” and “on the other.”

This is why, when the kids ask me for stuff, or to do stuff, the best answer is almost always, “Ask your mother.” She’ll not only know the answer, she’ll be able to say it without equivocation. Even if I think I know the answer, I may be too spineless or conciliatory to say it.

Now this is not necessarily a bad thing. I know my limitations, and the kids know them, too. If it was just the three of us, we’d be living in a chaotic house, without rules. But we all three know that Mother Knows Best, she makes the rules and will enforce them.

That creates order in the home, as well as harmony, domestic tranquility.

Of course, the kids sometimes challenge the rightness of her decisions, though in the end they know she will prevail. I have learned not to challenge, not only because I know she will win, but because I know she is right.

She decides, and I abide by her decisions.

A final note: Right now there’s a point of contention between my wife and me, concerning something I want to do, which will cost money, and which she opposes. She’s right on principle and practicality.

And yet, I’ve been pleading my case, being as persuasive as I can, and recently she emailed back to me, “You’re getting to me.”

So she will entertain my objections, and listen. And she may even alter her decision in my favor. But, ultimately, I know, and she knows, and we all know, that it will no longer be my decision at that point, but hers.

She’s the decider, I’m the abider.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Wife-Worship Syndrome

Okay, maybe wife worship is just a bit offbeat. Maybe husbands aren't supposed to get stuck in perpetual courtship mode. Some wives might say, Enough already with the flowers and gold Godiva boxes, all the pedicures and footrubs. Take me for granted, please, why dontcha?


But if so, as personality syndromes go, this one has got to be pretty darned benign. And, unless the affected hubby is really relentless in his ministrations, his wife is unlikely to complain about all the amorous attentions. More likely is she to complain if they’re suddenly discontinued.

So suddenly she is seen plainly, wrinkles and all, and no longer transfigured as a goddess. What happened, she might wonder, to those rose-colored glasses he’d taken to wearing around the house? Is it a bad thing to be beautified by the eye of the beholder you’re married to? Couldn’t a wife get used to that kind of amorous impairment in her man?

In my book (chapter 5, page 38), I touch on this briefly: “My wife accused me of having a foot fetish,” said one [husband], “but I told her no, I have a wife fetish.”

“By their fruits ye shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?” (Matthew 7:16)

With effects so pleasingly benign, the aberrant condition of wife worship may be infinitely preferable to the ho-hum-drummery of marital normalcy.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Avoiding the ‘S’ Word — Part 2

In sprucing up its image, the FLR (Female Led Relationship) movement has tended to avoid terms with kinky or bizarre overtones. So, husbands or boyfriends in FLRs often resort to euphemistic synonyms for “submissive”—for example, “attentive,” “accommodating,” “considerate,” “chivalrous,” “deferential,” “obliging.”

Anything but submissive.

I’ve been one of these euphemizers. For good reason, I think. But some of my postings, as a consequence, may convey a sense of less than full disclosure.

But I begin to notice a counter movement in the world of FLRs, from guys especially, married or otherwise, who are up front about using the “S” word. Openly “submissive husbands” and “submissive boyfriends.”

In fact, I’m seeing stirrings of “Submissive Pride.” There’s a blog called “Yes, I’m a Submissive Man!” where each posting ends with a rallying cry, “I am submissiveProud.”

What’s next, “Submissive Pride” marches? I don’t think so, except perhaps as a subset of Gay Pride events, replete with the off-putting paraphernalia of stable and kennel. I'm afraid that’s not the way back to the social mainstream, but rather deeper into the subculture swamps.

Nonetheless, some husbands in FLRs are trying to come to grips with the “S” word, like this thoughtful guy: “I myself struggle with my political beliefs in democracy and equality and my desire to serve and submit to my wife. It is hard to reconcile these two seemingly opposed impulses.”

Another offers this candid insight: “Part of my thrill is the denial, the humiliation, the power trip for my wife. I like the idea of inherent unfairness, unreasonableness, inequality; for example, my wife controls all the money and can do pretty much whatever she wants. I, on the other hand, always have to ask for permission for my non-routine purchases. She can have me pleasure her to multiple orgasms, then she can roll over and fall asleep. She can masturbate anytime she wants to. I, on the other hand, need her permission before I can even touch myself for any purpose other than cleaning. The bottom line is: Her control makes me happy.”

And this husband has attempted to codify his submissive status as part of an MOU (Memorandum Of Understanding) between him and his leader-wife:

“I accept the inequality inherent in a relationship based upon my erotic need to submit to my wife’s will. Therefore, though I will talk to her about my thoughts and feelings, I will not try to limit her in the exercise of the prerogatives of power.”

There are, to be sure, avowedly matriarchal marriages, in which the husband cannot pretend he is anything but completely submissive and subordinate, whether or not his matriarch-wife chooses to disclose their lifestyle to others.

Here’s a typical example: “Before we got married, my girlfriend explained to me how she would be in total control, and she sure wasn’t kidding. Now that she’s my wife, she wants me to have a submissive attitude toward her at all times, not just during sex. She started asking me to do more and more housework and has become generally more and more assertive with me. We get along really well because there is no power struggle. She has begun training me to help me maintain a habit of reflexive obedience without letting my brain or ego get in the way.”

“My wife reprimanded me the other day for doing something without asking permission,” writes another husband. “I stated that I thought she didn't want to be bothered with that level of detail. She looked at me as if to say ‘you silly man,’ then she said ‘You are mine and I expect you to ask permission before you act on anything not already approved or directed.’”

I doubt that most wives in FLR marriages would want that degree of micromanagement over their husbands. But, more often than not, the degree of wifely control and of husbandly submission will be up to her to determine.

And what about the husband’s part? Well, it’s up to him to … well, to oblige… and accommodate… and defer… and yield… and, okay, dammit, to submit!

I “yield” the last word to Au876:

“Abide by her decisions. Do not argue with her. Never question her but strive to make her decisions work just as you would do for your boss where you work. She is in control. Adore her and work for her.”

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Avoiding the ‘S’ Word — Part 1

In previous postings here and in my book, I describe the power imbalance in wife-worship marriages as a recreation of the classic rituals of courtship, where the suitor is figuratively, and often literally, on his knees before the object of his affection:

In FLRs, or female-led relationships, the transfer is done in favor of the woman. And, since we’re clearly talking about consensual relationships, that means the man has voluntarily ceded some of his power or authority over to the woman, to create an imbalance that both partners may find stimulating.

“Right now I am really feeling her power over me.”

The quote is from Au876, one of the mainstays of Lady Misato’s original husbands’ forum on Yahoo. He goes on: “Guess I better go iron her blouse and maybe find some surprise chore to complete that she will notice.”

This shows the kind of provocative imbalance that can exist between worshipped wife and worshipping husband, another aspect of the queen-knight paradigm. The queen has merely to enter the room and her knight-courtier is instantly alert to serve her in some way. (Blogpost: “The Power Transfer,” April 23, 2008)

Yes, I know. There are many more obvious, and far-less-flattering labels that can be applied to “courtly” or “chivalrous” husbands. For example: “milquetoasts,” “wimps,” “wusses,” “pussywhipped” and “henpecked.” I attempted to deal with these and similar putdowns in my book and in a recent blogpost (“Pecked & Whipped,”April 26, 2008).

But I seem to have tiptoed around the worst slur of all, the “S” word—for “submissive.”

There’s good reason for that, of course. If the husband in a wife-worship marriage is nothing more than a thinly disguised “submissive,” that means the wife is just a plain old “dominant.” And suddenly we are right back in the old D/s world with “Dommes” and “subs,” only a sidestep away from B&D and S&M-Land, with all the whips and chains, leather and latex.

And the whole point of the recent acronymic upgrade to LFA, or Loving Female Authority, and FLR, or Female Led Relationships, was to escape that mondo bizarro ghetto, and to go mainstream with an ultra-romantic “female-led” dynamic.

And thus far, I’d say, the FLR/LFA repositioning has been amazingly successful.

So “submissive” is definitely not the noun or adjective of choice for us… well, us, uh, female-led but exceedingly macho guys.

On a message board identified with Barbara Abernathy’s Venus on Top Society, but now changed to the Women Leading the Way Message Board, some male posters seem to exude verbal testosterone. They brag that they are captains of industry, or retired Marines, black belts, cage-fighters, and so on. Anything but submissive.

They just like to, you know, cater to assertive women… behind closed doors, of course.

Even the above-quoted Au876, a passionate advocate of the wife worship lifestyle, could go to ludicrous lengths to escape the “S” label, as in this posting:

“Someone said we were submissive husbands. I do worship and adore my wife. I will do anything she tells me (she loves me so she doesn't make me do bad things). I do all the housework, all the cooking. I take care of her, perform personal chores for her, run her errands. I put her first in everything I do. I look for ways to serve her and to show her my devotion. Her word is the law. She has complete control over all our assets and is free to do as she pleases while I am only free to do as she pleases. But you know, if some one asked me ‘Are you submissive?’ I would tell them no. I don't feel submissive. I feel devoted. I don't feel bossed around, I feel honored. I don't feel controlled, I feel guided and loved. Are we submissive men? Or are we men who know our place in life and are lucky enough to have a wife who cherishes us as we fulfill that place?”

Doth he not protest way too much? If that’s not the life of a perfectly submissive husband he just described there, I don’t know what is.

But is he wrong, and are other guys (like me) wrong, in scrupulously avoiding being branded with the flaming “S” word? (Excuse the kinky metaphor.)

Comments solicited, but more thoughts will follow in the next posting.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Turkey vs. Groundhog

Groundhog Day? Not the holiday I’d pick for endless repetition. I opt for Thanksgiving instead. And, no, not because I want to OD on turkey and tryptophan in perpetuam.

It's because the act of giving thanks, over and over, day after day, never palls. It renews. Thanksgiving is the most basic of prayers. Before petitioning the Almighty for any boon, you should first acknowledge your blessings.

End of sermonette.

Because this post is about wife worship, not moral obligation. And gratitude also happens to be the starting point for wife worship. The worshipful husband gives thanks, each and every day, for the miraculous presence in his life of the woman who is his wife.

Life without her is not unimaginable. He can imagine it all right, and it’s a wasteland! But God, or the Goddess, has given her to him. Or, to juggle the grammar to make it come out right, the God or Goddess has given him to her. And that is another act that the husband can affirm each day, giving himself to his wife, again and again.

“Each morning I try to declare my dedication, homage and gratitude to my wife,” a husband writes. “I look into her beautiful eyes and tell her I love her. Then I kneel and kiss her feet. After kissing her feet I remain on my knees and thank her for allowing me to be her husband, for making my life wonderful, for making me the luckiest man. It's always an expression of gratitude… and I always mean it.”

Amen to that. I wish I could institute that particular ritual in my own domestic agenda. From time to time I’ve been able to do it, but not on a daily basis.

Another man lectures on the importance of husbands' showing their gratitude to their wives: “A drink, a snack, a kiss, a caress… These are all signs of gratitude… If she assigns you a task, do it immediately, to the best of your ability, and thank her for the opportunity to serve her.”

“Be patient, be obedient, reverent, grateful and attentive,” adds another. “When my wife lets me make love to her, I always do it with much gratitude. I am the luckiest man I know. There is nothing I could do in twenty lifetimes to deserve such a gift.”

The grateful male chorus continues: “I will never take my wife for granted. I will be mindful of how lucky I am to have her and seek a thousand little ways to express my gratitude.”

Here’s a husband who realizes it is not an easy thing for a wife to assume the leadership responsibility in a marriage: “Be sure to express that happiness and gratitude for Her leadership and dominance. Ask for her leadership but don't dump responsibilities on her if she is not ready. I make a point to thank my wife for taking certain responsibilities and providing leadership—‘Thank you for taking leadership on finding daycare for our daughter.’ I thank her for correcting me, too.”

I conclude with three quotations from women, beginning with pioneering female supremacist Elise Sutton. “You are a truly blessed man,” she advises a husband whose wife is quickly assuming command of their marriage. “So count those blessings and show your gratitude by increasing your efforts in serving your superior wife in a manner that she can appreciate and enjoy.”

Paige Harrison offers similar counsel to husbands, not only those in acknowledged FLRs, but all husbands:

”Males must recognize and acknowledge that they are fortunate to be with a Woman. Those males who are wed and married should express their gratitude frequently and thank the Woman in their lives frequently.” In particular, Harrison says, “If her body has borne children, he should praise her for all she has given."

“If every husband showed this kind of devotion and gratitude to his wife,” writes a contented and well-worshipped wife, “divorces would be very rare!”

Friday, May 16, 2008

Part 3: Wife-Worshippers as Monks or Fakirs?

I'm going to explore, ever so briefly and lightly, another way of looking at the wife-led marriage, at least for the husband who has dedicated himself to this way of living, who finds himself drawn to it by deep and enduring feelings.

I’m going to suggest that it can be viewed not just as a lifestyle choice, but as a kind of spiritual path. And it can be lived as such, on a daily basis. Again, I can speak only about husbands, the worshippers. About the “worshipees,” those empedestaled wives who are on the receiving end of daily devotions, I do not venture to speak.

I believe there are some obvious parallels between the man pursuing a deeply wife-led marriage and a person who dedicates himself to a certain spiritual discipline or way of life.

In both instances, there may be a daily sacrifice of certain creature comforts and personal prerogatives in favor of a simplified existence focused on service and devotion.

Whether or not vows are sworn, in either case the individual attempts to set aside his own wants and wishes and to submit his will to that of another. And whether the backdrop be sacred or profane, there can be considerable struggle in this setting aside of one’s natural inclination.

The devotee, in either instance, may be required to sacrifice favorite and even cherished things—hobbies and pastimes, appetites and desires, even traditional rights, as well as bad habits and vices—to keep his pledge and further his quest.

Now this is not intended to be a heavy discussion here. Just some preliminary thoughts that might, perhaps, provoke serious discussion. That being the case, please don’t ask me to what spiritual destination the path of Wife Worship might ultimately lead.

You can give it a name, if you like. Illumination or enlightenment, Self-realization or self-actualization. Satori or samadhi. Take your pick. Or maybe that old Army tagline, “Be all you can be.” If you prefer something with more emotional or religious impact, then fine, call it Salvation.

An interesting description of spiritual disciplines was advanced by the Near Eastern mystic, G.I. Gurdjieff, during the first few decades of the 20th century, and popularized by his most famous pupil, the Russian writer, P.D. Ouspensky. (Books by both men remain in print, and there are thousands of people who profess to be following or even continuing their “esoteric Work.”)

Gurdjieff divided the various spiritual pathways, or “Ways,” in terms of the physical, emotional and mental disciplines required by each. The “First Way,” he said, is more about physical discipline, the “Second Way” emphasizes emotional discipline, while the “Third Way” is all about mental or intellectual discipline. Or perhaps “concentration” would be a better word.

In Gurdjieff’s shorthand, the First, Second and Third Ways were referred to as the Way of the Fakir, the Way of the Monk and the Way of the Yogi.

The Fakir struggles against the disobedience of the body, forging a sense of will over the physical machine, making it endure pain, etc. (Lying down on a bed of nails, walking on coals, holding one arm aloft for hours, etc.)

The Monk often does likewise, in order to pray without ceasing, ignoring the clamoring of physical and emotional desires in order to focus on God.

The Yogi endeavors to bring body, emotions and mind into a single focus, second by second, minute after minute, in defiance of the entire world of distractions.

Gurdjieff and Ouspensky called their system the “Fourth Way,” or the Way of Sly Man. The claim was that the Sly Man must do all these things, and do them while immersed in all the distractions of the world, pursuing the daily business of life. But that is another topic, and preferably for somebody else’s blog!

By the way, I make no endorsement of Gurdjieff or Ouspensky; I’m simply borrowing a kind of convenient template for measuring a person involved in a spiritual quest, to see if wife-worshipping husbands might qualify.

And I kinda think they do. As Fakirs sometimes, and Monks, even as Sly Men, secretly pursuing their objectives amid social distractions. Not sure about the Yogi part, though.


Friday, May 9, 2008

Part 2: Worshipping Your Wife – If Not Literally, How?

So, picking up from the previous post, why do I use the term “Wife Worship” if it’s not to be taken literally, or seriously?

To quote R.M. Nixon, “Let me say this about that.”

Many of us husbands in FLRs do experience strong emotions of reverence and devotion toward our wives. These emotions can be downright intoxicating.

We may even attribute mystical or religious significance to these experiences, seeing our wives transfigured before our eyes as goddesses, or incarnations of feminine perfection.

We intend no sacrilege; I think we just get carried away.

Female supremacists, like Elise Sutton, sometimes refer to these visionary and worshipful states as “sub-space.” “Sub” meaning “submissive,” which conjures the attitudes and postures of worship, in this case of one’s beloved.

However labeled, this amorous intoxication, like any mystical state, is not easily sustained. Nor is it easily forgotten. The afterglow endures and continues to entice.

So a husband inquires on an FLR message board, “Does anyone else out there have a wife-worship mantra running through his head?” Clearly, this is guy is trying to induce his favorite trance-state.

“I’ve never been able to relate to an abstract concept of God,” writes another husband. “Now all my spiritual yearnings have found a focus in my wonderful wife. At times when we are together, I feel the presence of divinity.”

What ought a husband to do with these worshipful yearnings? What ultimate purpose do they serve, other than as expressions of devotion?

One might ask the same sort of question of anyone who pursues higher consciousness or any mystical state as an end in itself. What’s the point of “illumination” if it doesn’t leads to some kind of benign transformation of the one supposedly illuminated?

Let me quote Elise Sutton further on this point: “Meditating before an altar may allow you to show your love, devotion and respect to a deity you cannot see nor touch. But women are amongst you, so in order to love, adore, respect and revere women it takes interacting with them. Women have needs that must be attended to, and I believe man was put here on this earth to meet those needs.”

Most devoted husbands have figured this out: “We men aren't learning to serve some abstract entity called 'Woman,'” one man counsels his fellows. “We are learning how to serve specific women, each of whom has highly individualized expectations and desires.”

By connecting all the dots in this way, Wife Worship can become a unifying principle and give shape and purpose to a man’s life.

Commenting on previous posting on this topic, “enoch” wrote: “I certainly don't view my wife as a goddess, but I have, in my mind, considered her in a way as a ‘savior’… The way I see it, she has literally saved me from wasting my life… I view her as my leader, but not as my God.”

“Men were given a wonderful power, a great gift from Mother Nature,” writes another man in a similar vein. “We are capable of tremendous service and sacrifice, when we are truly committed to a goal. We are most content when we have a great adventure before us. We have that cause at the feet of our Goddesses. To lift Them to their rightful roles as the Divine Inspiration to our otherwise sad and empty lives. To give our bodies, our minds, and our lives, to serve and defend these Brave, Beautiful, Nurturing, Challenging, Life-giving, Playful, Wondrous Women. With Their guidance, our lives once again become real and connected to the natural world.”

Female supremacist Paige Harrison proudly affirms all these wifely roles in her own marriage: “I am [my husband's] Mentor, Teacher, Priestess, Goddess Queen and the Matriarch of the Family.”

To be more explicit, wife worship can be a portal through which a husband is led into a deeper and wider worship, with the wife as his spiritual leader. One wife puts it thus:

“For families that are matriarchal, religion can be made more important and the man can submit to God and his wife so that he can experience the grace he was missing.”

“My household is a definite matriarchy and it's Christian,” a husband boasts. This man adds that his marital problems were resolved and his faith restored after a female evangelic minister (“Pastor Florence”) gave him and his wife a special prayer for daily use. The prayer goes, in part:

“Dear Jesus, let me recognize your image in my wife, and give my wife grace and courage to take the reins of leadership as mother and wife. Help her to lead our marriage with compassion and wisdom. Open my heart to loving submission to You and to her and by this may we avoid a broken marriage and through You may she strengthen my resolve for You."

“My gift of loving submission to her has made my wife blossom into the leader God intended her to be,” this husband concludes, “and things are great at church, in our social life, at home, and in the bedroom.”

It is even so in my own marriage, I hasten to confess. Like enoch quoted above, my wife has rescued me from wasting my life. I have prospered under her guidance and leadership from the moment I became attached to her romantically.

I have only a few more thoughts on wife-worship and religion, but I think I’ll save them for another post.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Part 1: Worshipping Your Wife -- Literally?

The short answer is, “Of course not.” But, because long-winded answers are my stock in trade, I'm going to unpack "Of course not" into a whole slew of paragraphs, and maybe even stretch it out over several posts.

But why even raise the question, you may wonder. Does anyone advocate, or actually practice, idolatry of the female?

Yes, in fact. As I wrote in a sidebar on my Worshipping Your Wife website (a sidebar not incorporated into the actual book):

“In some female-supremacist organizations, males literally worship females; and in coupled relationships, literally worship their partners (by whatever agreed-upon exalted title). In some instances, there are even religious trappings—thrones and altars and confessions and so forth.”

Here’s an example, from a letter to Elise Sutton by the daughter of a self-proclaimed goddess: “My Mother was a staunch Female Supremacist. It was her lifestyle and her religion… [My father] had to worship her as his earthly Goddess and be her slave. My Mother had ceremonies and rituals where the men had to worship the women.”

“My wife makes me worship her, pray to her and chant to her,” writes another husband. “It is a beautiful thing. I humble myself before my wife and pray to her. Then I kiss her feet and slowly work my worshipful kisses up her legs and eventually make my way…”

Heavens! Our devoted husband gets awfully intimate at this point, so let’s take an elliptical break… and pick up with: “It is not uncommon for both I and my wife to have tears in our eyes during this sacred ritual.”

And yet another husband, similarly driven, once asked Elise Sutton: “Is it normal for me to create an elaborate altar that idolizes beautiful women?.. It is about serving a living deity to me.”

I like Elise Sutton’s answer: “Women are worthy to be worshipped but you must be careful to worship women in a manner that will meet their practical needs... You can build an altar in your home and meditate all day long but unless you get our there and serve women in practical ways, your faith will be without works and thus be meaningless (to borrow from the Bible).”

And she went on to chastise him lightly for his idolatrous theology: “I think you are confusing religion with spirituality. A woman is not a deity nor God. Don’t confuse the Creator with the creation.”

Or, as I wrote in my online sidebar: “This is not what Worshipping Your Wife advocates. It is not about literal worship (goddess or otherwise), idolatry or anything even remotely sacrilegious. It is about respecting and honoring, revering and protecting, adoring and cherishing.”

So, summing up, of course not! I’m not advocating literal wife worship.

And yet, I do use the term “worship” quite a lot—and talk about enshrining one's wife as a domestic goddess and what-not. And in both my book and blog there’s a lot of stuff about kneeling at her feet (though it’s supposedly just for massage).

So what’s really going on? I’ll have to think about it and get back to you—in part two of this post.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Primal State of Things

In the old “Spouseclub” message board (a long-defunct online hangout for corporate househusbands), a member who signed himself “Mr. Louise” spoke frankly, and proudly, of the “blessings” of living in a matriarchy:

“My wife is the absolute center of our home. I have learned complete submission of our finances (though I work, I get an allowance), our home (which means my wife decides all with my loving help, and gives me maternal discipline), and our sex life (which means she decides when, where, and how, which for me as for all submissive men is a thrill). This has led to the blessings of matriarchy: greater harmony, peace, and togetherness… Any one of our friends knows just what I mean when I jokingly say I am under her skirt and that our marriage is a petticoat government. They can see her obvious maternal/matriarchal control over our house and accept us. It is no secret.”

In my book I use terms like “wife-worship marriage” or “courtship marriage” instead of “matriarchal marriage” or “matriarchy.” Likewise, I advocate a man “court” his wife, “pamper,” “adore” and “respect” her, even “defer” to her, rather than, say, “submit” to her.

But in the final chapter, “Happy-Ever-Aftering Takes Work,” you will find a fess-up: “If this sounds like modern matriarchy, so be it. According to many husbands who live this lifestyle on a daily basis, it can also be likened to heaven on earth.”

Ideally, I should stop relying on euphemisms and drag some of these forthright terms out of the linguistic closet. After all, a WLM, or Wife-Led Marriage, is clearly a matriarchal marriage, in which the husband “agrees” to submit to his wife’s authority. And some degree of matriarchy is clearly the governing principle of any FLR, or Female-Led Relationship.

However, I may not be quite ready to embrace that degree of candor, at least in this blog, which, for a number of reasons, I intend to be strongly vanilla-scented and -flavored.

But I will say this. Even the most macho husband, if he truly cherishes his wife, knows that, in a very real sense, he is enfolded and protected by her in the maternal embrace of marriage, just as the developing babe is enfolded and protected in the maternal womb.

“For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh.” (Matthew, 19:5, KJV)

So the man is to “leave” one woman only to “cleave” to another, the wife who will replace his mother. Man was obviously not designed to be on his own, however much he may strut about and assert his primacy.

In the wife-led, wife-centered, wife-worshipped marriage, the man fully recognizes this primal state of things… and revels in it. To underscore that point, I yield back to that most devoted spouse, “Mr. Louise”:

“Now boys, if you will excuse me, I'm going to go and draw Ms. Louise a nice, long hot bath with rosehip and sandalwood oil and fix her tea. She's spent all night at the office and is waiting for my attention. I, as I hope all matriarchal men, would rather wash and massage her body, shave her legs, get her silky robe, spray her aroma therapy, put on her soft music and just listen to her day over chocolate and sparkling wine than almost anything else in God's world.”