Monday, January 19, 2009

Walking the Walk

When I began writing and publishing online the first chapters of Worshipping Your Wife more than eight years ago, I was mainly writing for the benefit to husbands, along with guys in committed relationships.

The idea was to offer these guys both a persuasive rationale and a step-by-step program for “Turning Marriage Back Into Passionate Courtship.” I came up with six steps:

The husband needs to:
1. Realize that "the thrill is gone" and that he wants to get it back.
2. Save his sex energies for his wife.
3. Make HER his fantasy.
4. Court her every day, attempt to win her anew.
5. Pamper her and pitch in around the house.
6. Dare to be known by her.

This was the progression that I myself had followed—or was in the process of following. In support of my six steps, I cited ‘Net and newsgroup testimony posted pseudonymously over the years by worshipful husbands and worshipped wives, all of whom were busily practicing what I was still mainly theorizing about.

Happily, my own experience in the years since has confirmed what I wrote in 2000, namely that “The transformations described in Worshipping Your Wife are real, the ideas workable…”

Does the program always work? Of course not. Sometimes it never even gets off the ground. Husbands who suddenly and enthusiastically spring this revolutionary notion all at once on an unsuspecting wife, whether in their own words or by handing her a book (like mine!), are likely to be met with healthy skepticism, maybe outright rejection. Where did all this weirdness come from?

Husbands who opt, on the other hand, for the cautious and incremental path to wife worship, a process often called “stealth submission,” may encounter other obstacles. A few weeks of overzealous dishwashing and gift-giving may leave the wife in utter puzzlement. What’s gotten into my Oswald?

Emily and Ken Addison describe this impasse clearly in their Around Her Finger books and on their blog :

“Women are very often confused by this approach. They ask their husbands what is behind the change in behavior, but their husbands have not yet mustered the courage to articulate their honest feelings… It is not enough for most [husbands] to simply undertake to serve and pamper their wives. There must be some explicit acknowledgement on the part of the woman [of her leadership in the marriage] or else the man is left unfulfilled.”

For many guys, alas, it doesn’t take much discouragement to get them to abandon the whole wife-worship campaign, stealthy or otherwise. The novelty and initial euphoria of doing housework wear off fast, and the wife’s skepticism is thereby validated. Ditto for the husband whose wife hands back the FLR printout or book or impassioned confession with a firm, No-Sale expression. He is likely to give up and go back to not worshipping her, unhappily ever after.

These husbands may ask themselves, Was it all imaginary? Was I just pretending to be this ultra-romantic guy who wanted to suddenly treat my wife like a queen?

Like this guy, who writes: “What if I convince my wife to go for this new arrangement where she’s the queen of everything, and then I change my mind? What if serving her all the time was just a big, stupid fantasy after all?”

The answer, I guess, is that if you give up, it was never meant to be. You weren’t sincere, it was just a fantasy, and you never really wanted it that bad. Whatever. And don’t blame your wife for seeing through it, for not embracing a wild idea that you yourself were not committed to.

A husband in this quandary wrote for advice to Katherine West, who blogs occasionally at Loving Female Authority. Her answer was forcefully to the point: “In a recent comment to one of my posts 'Quiet Guy' complains that his wife refuse to believe that he'll start doing more housework. Well, Quiet Guy, prove it to her. Get up at 4:00 a.m. and have it done before she's out of bed, if that's what it takes. [This] is very serious business. It is not a game. Until she's received her 52nd foot rub from you, until you've made some token confession of your [total devotion], until you have made every effort to prove to her that you are there to serve her, then don't give up.”

Another wife gives a similar response in a letter to the Addisons' Around Her Finger blog: “About four years ago [my husband] tried to communicate his feelings to me [about wanting a wife-led marriage]. He did a good job. But, what he said and how day to day life was lived were two different things… It wasn't until my husband actually started walking the walk and not just talking the talk did I take [him] seriously. He started doing the housework, running the errands, all the things I had done for the past 24 years.”

You can’t just close the deal, in other words, on the basis of a feverish sales pitch accompanied by sales pamphlets full of glowing testimonials from happy wife-worship customers. Talk is cheap, as Liza Dolittle sings to Freddy Eysford Hill in My Fair Lady: “Show me now!”

Which is exactly what this devoted husband did in a successful “stealth” campaign that last many years:

“To convince my wife that I truly wanted to worship and serve her as my queen took years of dedication to housework, child-rearing and pampering without any thought of reward. I did the chores cheerfully and enthusiastically. Yet, each time I failed and became lazy, I felt that I took several steps backward for both of us. I was moving from one equilibrium to another in terms of our relationship, and I needed to be perfect, not anything in between, not just sometimes. Ultimately I convinced her that this was my life, that I was fulfilled in that role and didn't want anything other than to worship and serve her.”

“I decided I could not create a female-led relationship,” writes another husband. “I wonder if any man can. What I did decide is that I could be in a male-following relationship… So I settled in to serving my wife and doing my best to obey her will whether she asserted it dominantly or not. I truly had no expectation that she would change her behavior. The funny thing was that, almost immediately after I made this change, my wife changed as well [becoming comfortable in a leading role].”

A last word on the topic from another husband: “It took many years for us to learn how to get along and build a new relationship… Like the Nike add says, ‘Just Do It.’”


whatevershesays said...

Male following is the key but it's so damn hard. And their is a balance between male following and the need for the wife to ACTIVELY acknowledge that she is in charge. And yes, this active acknowlegement must involve some type of sexuality.

Mark Remond said...

I can't argue the point that at some point the husband needs some kind of active acknowledgment from the worshipped wife... but if she goes along and accepts the adoration, the service and the surrender of decision-making and takes charge more and more... you've at least got the game without the name. I know of a couple marriages, including my own, where that is the case, and the other hubby and I are not frustrated but rather grateful for what we have, and are both disinclined to push any further, in order to comply with anyone's else pre-requisites to be adjudged a Compleat FLR. On the contrary, when I start listening all that has been achieved and acknowledged, I am overwhelmed with gratitude... and yes, sex is involved, too. But... I think we are probably in agreement, beneath all my verbiage.

Anonymous said...

Mark - I have to agree with what you are saying, I also agree with Whatevershesays, so we all agree.

Acknowledgment is key, for without it what are you doing for. But I also accept that at some point you can do no more pushing or pressurising, it becomes counter productive. You either have to accept what you do and how your wife responds is going to be the way of things, or you should just give up. I suspect that most relationships where the wife knows of her husbands submissive tendencies, will over time develop in such a way that the wife will take advantage of the fact that she knows that she is in a strong position, and in this way will acknowledge or demonstrate her position of power more freely and openly. The husband’s role is surely to remain attentive and prove his submission by accepting her rule. It may not be the mind blowing, or most exciting sexual fantasy life that you first ever imagined, but at least you will be fulfilling the most basic of wife led marriage principles that your wife has control.

Mark Remond said...

At All Times, I love the way you phrased this: "...the wife will take advantage of the fact that she knows that she is in a strong position, and in this way will acknowledge or demonstrate her position of power more freely and openly. The husband’s role is surely to remain attentive and prove his submission by accepting her rule." Yes, that is exactly how it is proceeding... at her pace. Except, of course, I give it a nudge whenever I can, or circumstances seem auspicious. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I too think its important to communicate your submission, then its follow your wifes lead. She will develop things as she see fit and becomes comfortable with her position and what it grants her. Unless she's been hiding something from you for years she wont become a Fantasy Domme overnight and who wants that really? Its a fantasy.

No she will move at her pace and with luck you'll get the relationship of your dreams over time, but dont rush it, she needs to de-program that conventional thinking we all got fed while growing up. If she does you will be blessed.

I read you blog all the time and in many ways your responsible for my own growing WLM (4mnts now). I even bought the book.

Keep up the great work Mark

All the best SK1111

Mark Remond said...

I'm pretty bowled over by your insights into wife-led marriage, after only 4 months. It would seem that you have avoided so many of the pitfalls along the way that I and so many other overly zealous husbands have fallen into. And which I continue to stumble into, propelled by my own enthusiasm. How often it is that I compose some ardent and submissive email to my wife in the middle of the night and, most often, have the good sense in the light of day NOT to send it, and realize how I could undo months and years of progress by trying to accelerate our pace, her pace. Realizing, as you say, that she has a considerable task in deprogramming and reprogramming "conventional thinking," and learning to love the adoring but more subservient version of her husband, becoming "more comfortable with her position."
By the way, it's such a grand feeling to know that I have contributed to the development of a wife-led marriage, helping to foster a fairytale in her humdrum here and now.
Thanks for letting me know about it!

bob said...

I am sorry to be off topic.But the photo of the business women with the husband in the background wearing an apron is without a doubt one of the best photos i have seen.

It is the best display of a loving husband doing as he is told, and serving his well educated and successful wife.

It is far superior to the photos of fat guys grovleing before snarling dominatrixs , that you see on many websites.

Thank you MR REDMOND for your great taste in photos and art.
Your writing is great as well, of course

Mark Remond said...

Bob, as always I am gratified by and appreciative of your kind words. I apologize for slacking off a bit on the frequency of my postings. I hope to do better!