There’s an oft-quoted bit of conventional wisdom that goes something like this: "Any relationship is under the control of the person who cares the least."
Where did I see that first? Ann Landers? Dear Abby? Dr. Laura? Take your pick. I check Google, and the miraculous engine shows me that psychiatrist Gordon Livingston has a lot to say about it in his book, Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart, and that the phrase shows up in the lyrics of at least one country-western song.
By whomever codified, the little truism certainly resonates, doesn’t it? Because too many of us have been there and done that, or been done that. A romantic relationship can be a very bumpy ride indeed for the person who cares the most.
So if you’re in that position, especially where there’s a large imbalance of power, take your foot off the gas and reach for the brake pedal instead! At least that’s what many relationship psychologists advise, if you want to avoid an emotionally devastating smashup.
In Female Led Relationships, 50-50 is out the window and everything is topsy-turvy. Here, where the imbalance of power could hardly be more extreme, with the wife often in control of every aspect of the relationship, you find results (based on overwhelming anecdotal evidence) that are rewarding and positive for both.
The greater the imbalance of power, when you’re talking female-led, the greater the romantic and erotic potential… and the fewer arguments or domestic disputes. Where the wife rules, and the husband follows, as one such wife put it, “things go well and love is in the air.”
This is why, on the issue of power imbalance in a relationship, the leading lights of the FLR movement all dispense advice that is totally contrary to that of most psychologists. Wives and husbands alike are urged to take their feet off the brake pedal and go full speed ahead.
For instance, Fumika Misato (quoted in Chapter 6 of my book) counsels a new-to-the-lifestyle husband to “Consider a true and honest confession of your feelings to your wife. Express yourself without reservation. Don’t be afraid to let your wife know how powerful she is.”
Or take Au876, also offering advice to a wife-worship newbie: “It sounds like your wife is on the road to taking charge. I hope you will not resist her or try to hold any power for yourself that she wants. Serve her with a smile!”
FLR couples counselor Paige Harrison explains: “My concept is to help the submissive male understand his role to worship, adore and obey his dominant wife or female partner. Learn how to lower yourself to your knees and worship her.”
For those of a certain age, this may recall the Surrendered Wife concept of Laura Doyle or the Total Woman of Marabel Morgan, both of whom held that the secret to a blissful marriage is for wives to cater to their husbands in the bedroom and out. With the proviso, of course, that FLRs turn that traditional advice upside-down.
“What better life [for a man] is there than to serve a superior lady?” Elise Sutton asks rhetorically. “A man’s masculinity is complimented when he humbles himself to serve a woman.”
And she proceeds to lecture another husband, who has voiced misgivings about certain aspects of the lifestyle, “Your life should be a life dedicated to serving your beautiful Mistress. After all, she deserves your love, devotion and complete obedience… [It is clear in your letter that] you revel in your wife’s power over you.”
And the formidable Ms. Sutton positively unloads on another husband with last-minute misgivings about relinquishing marital control: “What is your problem? You know you love submitting to your wife so just relax and get with the program… Why do you have to retain some control? Your wife has it right. Men should submit to women and the husband should submit to his wife… you should count your blessings. Forget your male pride and humble yourself before your wife. Tell her that you are eager to serve her as often as she desires. Cherish your wife and serve her like the Queen that she is.”
The Addisons, Emily and Ken, of Around Her Finger fame, jointly propose that, during an initial trial phase, wives make a formal declaration to their husbands of the power imbalance that is to be a cornerstone of their wife-led relationship:
“As you approach the last night of the trial period, have him write you another letter telling you his thoughts and feelings over the last two weeks. On the last night, have him kneel naked in front of you and read the letter to you.
“At this point you will make a decision regarding whether or not you want to continue with a wife-led relationship. I suspect that you will both have enjoyed it tremendously and that neither of you could imagine abandoning it. Importantly, if you decide to continue, make it very clear to him that you expect your authority to be respected, and that you expect his continued obedience.”
Might that naked, kneeling husband be having some chills along with his erotic thrills? Could be. It’s risky, handing over that much power to your wife, deliberately placing yourself in a classic posture of physical and emotional vulnerability. But aren’t risk and vulnerability part of the thrill of original courtship?
A husband comments on this delicious predicament: “Relinquishing total control to a loving trusted spouse provides a base thrill. Not the thrill of taking your hands off of the steering wheel while going 75 mph, but knowing that your life will be controlled by another, to such detail as decided upon by the dominant partner.”
As I wrote in my book (Chapter 6, “Daring to Be Known by Her”): "The goal here, of course, is not to hide one’s worshipful feelings from one’s beloved, but to reveal them. Don’t try to be the ‘strong, silent type’ when it comes to your adoration and devotion.”
I yield the last word to a professional domina, Dianna Vesta: “There is no greater sight nor braver man than one who melts to his knees, relinquishing control to the one he adores, doing anything that will please her.”