Saturday, June 13, 2009

Point of No Return

“Is there a point of no return when one truly embraces this way of life?” – “Ms. Kathleen,” writing in Elise Sutton’s Predominant e-magazine, February 2005 issue.

I’ve noticed a number of female-led relationship blogs bowing out recently. Some go quietly dormant, while others exit with brief regrets on the part of the blogger, almost always male that there’s nothing more to write about. The wife has lost interest in all things FLR, the husband’s enthusiasm has consequently faded and fizzled, their relationship has devolved back to the status quo ante.

It’s an oft-told tale. Euphoria is a volatile emotion, hard to sustain. There can be a manic quality to the early days of courtship, and of courtship marriages. I’m talking strictly guys now. One week hubby is a passion-primed dynamo, writing love poems and feverish resolutions, buying roses and boxed chocolates, giving footrubs and scrubbing the baseboard. The following week finds him back on the couch, cuddling a remote and frosty lager.

Yet courtship marriages exit where the initial euphoria lasts long enough to be replaced by a steadier fuel supply, where escape velocity is achieved to a sustainable FLR lifestyle.

As fdhousehusband wrote in his valuable blog, “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.”

Here is a wife talking about the gradual process of overcoming her own reservations about taking the leading role in her marriage: “It took me a couple of years to really embrace this lifestyle completely. But my husband was incredibly patient with me, offering help when I needed it and backing off when I needed him to. Communication and patience have been the keys for us.”

Whether the prime mover is wife or husband, the rule seems to be that progress needs to be gradual and incremental, and both parties need to find real benefits in the altered domestic and romantic arrangements.

There needs to be a comfort level achieved, as well. Courtship marriage, like real successful courtship, has to be anchored in reality and honesty—and in the existing relationship. Wait a minute, I think I may have lifted that last sentence almost intact from an extremely articulate FLR advocate known as “Mistress Rika”: “The key to a successful [female-led] relationship is to add the exchange of power to the dynamics of your [existing] relationship rather than to replace existing ones.”

But at some point, it seems, there needs to be a milestone, or maybe several such, at which both parties pause and reflect and acknowledge that the experiment is working for both of them. That Fantasyland has morphed into Realityland. That, in a phrase, “There’s no going back.”

To reach that milestone, Emily and Ken Addisons of the Around Her Finger book and blog suggest a one-week FLR boot camp, after which the deal is sealed (or not. The happy AHF boot-campers who report back, not surprisingly, usually have both thumbs-up. “We tried the boot camp about four months ago, and we have never looked back.”

Even some initially skeptical wives come out of the boot camp as gung-ho converts to the lifestyle: “Not only did I enjoy my week in charge much more than I imagined that I would, I would never imagine having it any other way. Just as you suggest, I told him in no uncertain terms that from that point on I would expect him to obey me and respect my authority. In the weeks and months that have followed nothing has changed. We have never been happier and I never would have imagined that this would have worked so well.”

So, the answer to the question posed at the top of this posting, “Is there a point of no return when one truly embraces this way of life?” is “Yes.”

Not always, of course, is the “point of no return” question asked hopefully. Sometimes it is asked with a certain apprehension, even dread, by husbands and boyfriends getting a sudden case of cold feet upon seeing long-cherished fantasies becoming all too real. Just how far down the Female-Led road dare they go before it’s too late to turn around and scramble back to “the way things were”?

Like this hapless guy, quoted in Elise Sutton’s monthly Q&A column: “I am coming to the realization that I am approaching a point of no return and each step, including reading your book, is taking me there.”

Or this guy confessing last-minute FLR jitters: “Is there any chance we could ever go back to being a more traditional husband and wife?”

“The short answer to your question,” Ms. Sutton responds, “is No. Why should she and why should you?” Or, as she tells another husband: “[Your wife] may constantly be looking for new activities but I doubt she will ever desire any other type of relationship. She is hooked and she does not want to go back.”

Her bottom-line to apprehensive husbands, of course, is a positive pep talk: “Go for it.”

Which, I think, is the way most husbands feel upon reaching “the point of no return.” These giddy guys, for example:

“It took many years for us to learn how to get along and build a new relationship. I am sure that nobody knows the extent to which she wields the authority in our house now. For what started out as one weekend a month has gradually become second nature 24/7… Like the Nike add says, ‘Just Do It.’”

“Having made the choice to live my fantasy, I have never regretted it. Good luck on finding your path.”

“My wife’s Loving Female Authority over our relationship has gone from habit to lifestyle in just under one year. … I would say that we are now firmly embedded in a Female-Led Relationship 24/7. Because of the positive changes in every area of our marriage, we both agree that there is no turning back to our old ways. That door is closed, and the key is gone.”

“It would seem that any and all periods of adjustment are over for me, and have been for some time. I feel like I have been reconditioned and have changed so much over the last couple of years, that I am like a different person in so many ways… I arrived at total acceptance.”

“Good luck and remember, once you give her all the keys to your heart there is no going back.”

“I realized just how pleased and proud I was to be so completely controlled by my wife, how we had already gone beyond a point of no return, and how (deep down) I had always yearned for this ever since we met… It really made me feel in touch with my natural self, and even more accepting of who and what I am.”

“My fiancée and I converted to this lifestyle two years ago (at my instigation) and both of us can honestly say that we have never been happier in our lives. Definitely no going back for us! She has adapted to her position of power with far more relish than I ever imagined possible, and our relationship really works.”

“Once you get her to accept that part of herself and take charge there is no going back.....but why would you want to? It is so much nicer this way!”

“The female-led lifestyle has changed our lives for the better. We both realize that there is no going back to the way things used to be. We are on a new path now, and we are both giddy about where that path will lead us.”

“I can’t imagine my wife accepting any laziness from me ever again. I can’t imagine her performing sex again as an obligation. I see her thriving in her new role and as much as I love it, it’s a bit intimidating. I’m thrilled and terrified… and hope I’m up to the challenges that lay ahead of me.”

Any hesitancy on the part of this husband is quickly dismissed by his wife’s certainty: “She has come to the point where she feels this is her due, instead of a game we play. Occasionally I have had moments where my interest has flagged, have been too tired from work, etc., but she has shown me that there is no going back, and I love Her so much for this.”

Same deal for this husband: “Sometimes I get frightened as to the monumental changes occurring so fast. But obviously there is no going back because my wife has fallen in love with this lifestyle.”

And one more: “Once my wife saw all the benefits that were in it for her, she started to get really interested. I've in a sense created a beast and there is no going back.”

Female supremacist Paige Harrison apparently dealt with her husband’s recalcitrance with a now-hear-this ultimatum: “There will be no going back to how things were before. So I want you to get used to this. This is not a game.”

Ditto this take-charge wife, as she confides to Elise Sutton: “My husband and I kept going deeper into FLR and the more we did it, the more I wanted from him. For a while, he was the one who had reservations, and tried to apply the brakes and began to rebel. But eventually he realized there was no stopping me, and that this is no longer a game. This is really our lives and our marriage and there will be no going back.”

For one wife, the “point of no return” was before the beginning: “I told my husband that if he wanted me to agree to try this, there would be no going back because I was not going to undertake these big changes only to have him change his mind later.”

The opening question of this post was taken from an Elise Sutton’s website, and we’ll close with a last word of advice from Ms. Sutton to husbands reaching their personal “point of no return”:

“You can’t go back and you don’t want to go back. In fact, you want to go deeper into [this lifestyle]. You want this wonderful woman to take you deeper into submission so that your old life becomes an even more distant memory, so distant that it cannot be seen in the rear-view mirror of your mind.”


whatevershesays said...

Because a consistent wife led marriage evolves I'm not sure where the point of no return is. This uncertainty is probably compounded by the "fits and starts" or the 2 steps forward, one step back advancement of a wife led marriage.

Anonymous said...

I really think I'm just starting to cross this line myself now. It is 2 steps forward and 1 back so often as Whatevershesays said, but my wife appears to be taking to this like a duck to water now.

She's not going to want to go back, I can sense that even if she hasnt said it.

Roll on says I - I cant wait for her to tell me exactly what I already sense is coming.

She is and always will be my Queen


PS thanks Mark for changing my life with your website and book!

Mark Remond said...

Maybe WLM's never really leave "2 steps forward, 1 step back" territory, but a lot of forward progress is made this way. So that when I turn around and look way back at the dynamics of our marriage when this all got started, they are very dramatically different -- and her power today is increased by leaps and bounds. To prove this, I started making a list of how things are now, areas in which she has asserted or assumed control, or in which I gradually ceded control to her. It's quite a list.