Some husbands and wives in long-term FLRs report that their daily life feels kind of vanilla, more or less as it was before the power exchange of putting the wife in charge.
But, then, you usually find that the power exchange is always there, a kind of subtle subtext to every conversation. A look, a word, a hint from the wife is all it takes for her to reassert her authority over him, and for his submissive side to snap to attention.
Or, in other cases, the couple may appear vanilla in social settings, yet with the ever-present threat of the wife playfully “outing” the husband’s submissiveness, to whatever extent she chooses. A case in point:
“My wife likes to keep our power exchange mostly secret, yet at the same time she loves to tease me by hinting to neighbors and friends about what a ‘henpecked’ husband I am. This ‘hen pecking’ suits her dominant nature and my submissiveness perfectly. By stretching my limits in this way, she has made our power exchange a reality. There is no turning back for either of us. She is as addicted to her current level of control as I am to my current lack.”
In other words, the female-male power exchange is always there, a palpable thing, whether cleverly veiled or revealed in all its glory.
This radical imbalance of power between the female and male is probably the defining quality of an FLR, more than the presence or absence of certain behaviors or rituals. Conversely, a couple can work their way through a daily checklist of D/s practices and be merely going through the motions, without the underlying reality.
This is what sets FLRs, or WLMs, (wife-led marriages), apart from the fantasy worlds of femdom. A wife-led marriage is not a make-believe dressup game until the novelty wears off. It is daily reality—at the breakfast table, watching TV, getting the kids to bed, wherever and whenever. Throughout, the wife never loses her mantle of power, her orb and scepter, her crown.
As Lady Misato (Real Women Don’t Do Housework ) has written, “Marriage is an institutional vessel within which the power exchange may occur. In effect, it makes the investment worthwhile.”
And in a wife-led marriage, or “wifedom” as Lady Misato has called it, no matter how trivial the pursuit or mundane the circumstances, the husband never loses his sense of healthy respect and even awe for who this woman is in his life. The power that flows from her is something he can feel whenever she is near, or speaks to him, whether or not she is even asserting her primacy over him.
As one husband notes, “For years I had read about the power exchange inherent in FLRs. Well, now I know what it means. I no longer look at my beloved bride the way I did. Whenever I think of her, whenever she is in the room or speaks, there is an aura of power that surrounds her. And, yes, it is sexy. And she knows it, too.”
Again, this is not some fantasy that an addlepated husband superimposes over his wife to spice up his life. And it’s not because the wife is swathed in furs, or sheathed in wet-look vinyl. It’s because the husband is seeing her, and valuing her, as she truly is—the goddess by whom, miraculously, he is owned.
He knows, of course, that her word is law, no matter how softly spoken or politely couched.
It is certainly so in my case. As with other wife-led husbands, I know that she controls all the money, and how it is spent, and all our schedules, long-term and short, and what we will do, and what we will eat, and, of course, all our sexual activity. I know that I must turn to her for advice on all matters, large and small, because her judgment and practical sense so far exceed my own. And that I will benefit and prosper from her wisdom all the days of my life.
So, yes, my wife has been owed deference and worship and obedience from me all these years. And now, finally, I'm starting to “get it.”