Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Where Have You Gone, Nancy and Dennis?

A couple of years back, on the old Yahoo “Venus on Top Discussion Board” (now evolved into the "She Makes the Rules Discussion Board"), there appeared a series of provocative and strongly worded posts on the dynamics and advantages of wife-led marriages.

The messages were signed “Nancy and Dennis” (though apparently written by Dennis), a couple who, by their own description, not only advocated but evangelized for female-led relationships.

Alas, after several weeks, the Nancy-and-Dennis dispatches stopped and appeared no more. Since then, I’ve found no evidence of them elsewhere in cyberspace.

Where have you gone, Nancy and Dennis? And are Ms. and Mr. Lynda of the old Spouseclub with you? Please come back or drop us a line. I’m sure there are many enthusiasts for this wonderful lifestyle who would welcome an update on your happy wife-led marriage.

In the meantime, here is a short sampling from their old old posts, grouped into a few topics (with apologies to the moderators of the former VOT Board):

Their Backstory
“Nancy and I have been in a female-led situation for over 25 years, Nancy is in charge of our household. She manages our finances, makes all major decisions, and sets our social agenda. Nancy's mother, Sue, lives with us and I defer to her as I would Nancy…
“[But] while both Nancy and her mother can be quick-tempered, ours is not a BDSM relationship, nor am I going about the house teetering on heels with a feather duster when doing housework. Ours is a pragmatic relationship with a variety of house rules and expectations where my opinions are valued and considered. In the end, of course, we all recognize that women will be making the final decisions!”

“Nancy and I met in college – at a NOW meeting no less – and hit it off quickly; Nancy assumed a leadership role right from the start and that role continues to this day. Over the years she's taken more power. She's the financial manager and decision maker who is focused on her career. I, on the other hand, do the majority of the housework and am generally supportive of Nancy's career and personal goals. Socially, we enjoy the company of other couples who, like us, are in varying degrees of female-led relationships.”

“We work at a local women's center where we conduct workshops aimed at getting women to be more assertive in their personal relationships… We offer them practical tips for taking control, the first of which is for women to take control of the finances.”

“We are evangelists for female-dominated relationships and want to encourage more couples to embark on them. We advise women to take control of their relationships and do so by becoming more demanding of their men. These three points -- money, housework, and social life -- emerge as the big ones.
“What women want, in our experience, is some say in the finances, a man who'll bear his share of the housework, and a man that she can share social activities with. In our view women can't have too much control of these important relationship elements.”

FLR = Harmony & Happiness
“Nancy and I do have differences of opinion but my opinion is sought and considered, although we all recognize that within our relationship women will be making the final decision and, once made, that decision is final.”

“Our opinion is that female-led relationships have fewer issues and problems than vanilla ones, but this assumes that an FLR is a total commitment, not just a game. It also assumes benevolence on the part of the woman making the decisions in that relationship.”

“As a man I can tell you that I like knowing exactly what my wife wants and when and how she wants it done. No conflict; no arguments. And I can tell you that most men really do want to make their wives happy.”

Financial Control
“Nancy and I teach that managing finances is critical to a woman's leading a relationship. [Women] might want to enhance [their] skills in this area by seeking a skilled financial planner and/or taking some workshops. Women's organizations such as NOW and the YWCA are good places to start for such resources.”

“I'm embarrassed to say that I was quite the spendthrift early in our marriage and spending money and not able to account for it, so Nancy put her foot down and initiated some pretty strict rules. She took away my debit card, limited how much money I could have with me at any one time – I was spending WAY too much at work buying coffee, lunches, and so on for too many people, too often.
“Her rules include limiting me to an allowance (albeit a generous one), requiring direct depositing of my paychecks, her having access to my company savings and benefits plans, limiting my use of bank and credit cards, and requiring justification of all card charges.

“How I spend my allowance is up to me but I've made a habit of asking Nancy's opinion on larger purchases. I can request (extra funds] but there are almost always conditions attached. Having to ask for money is a tremendous statement of who is in control. We are now financially solid as a result of her controls.”

House Rules
“We have a number of practical house rules that we've established over the years, mostly things that have just evolved from practice as opposed to being dictates from my wife. Discipline is rare; I understand her expectations and, for the most part, meet them…We are friends with other couples in similar situations – households where the men realize the innate superiority of the women and defer to them.”

Power Exchange

“[Women shouldn’t] feel guilty about using power. Men derive tremendous benefits from an FLR so women should use the power they derive from such a relationship and seek more of it…
“In our evangelization of this lifestyle we frequently cite our own and the experiences of couples we know in FLR situations. All are extremely happy and wouldn't want it any other way. But it takes specifics to get things rolling one small step at a time. Once the lifestyle has momentum though, our experience is that he'll be doing more, offering more power on his own.”

That’s all, alas, for now. But why not check out the workshop offerings at your local women’s center? You just might find Nancy and Dennis bringing their evangelizing act to a venue near you.


Norman said...

There doesn't seem to be much by way of public figures openly endorsing FLM. Granted, there are women in the field (many of whom you refer to or quote regularly).
but it would be nice to see more people "openly evangelizing" Female led-relationships.

There's kind of a catch-22 going on. Women who would openly endorse it end up looking like (or I should say being branded as) control-freak b*tches, and guys would either A. run the risk of major ridicule, grabbing the spot-light in such a way that sounds oxymoronic: he should be in a supporting role for Her, not the star.

I may be ranting nonsensically, but this thought struck me while reading your post... which, btw, I find yours to be one of the better blogs on the topic. :)

Mark Remond said...

norman, well said. One of the attractions of the Nancy-Dennis posts was that they were written by a husband who presented himself as a spokesperson for FLRs, or FLMs, a man who, in tandem with his wife, regularly made public presentations on the benefits of female-led relationships at YWCAs and other community venues.
Not a prominent or public figure, but at least a man going public. And I thought, as I read these posts, that this just might be the leading edge of a movement... along with Barbara Abernathy's public appearances on behalf of her website and book.
Not a good sign that Dennis and his Nancy seem to have gone back underground.
Thanks for the compliment and I hope you do keep checking this space...

Norman said...

You can count on it. :)