Thursday, July 19, 2012

New Guest Columnists: Nancy and Dennis – Evangelists for Female-Led Relationships

(Note from Mark Remond: While I continue on “indefinite hiatus” to pursue other writing projects, I am delighted to be able to turn this space over to two highly qualified and experienced advocates of female led relationships—“Nancy and Dennis,”a female-led couple for more than 25 years. In fact, as I noted in an earlier post (August 13, 2008), “Where Have You Gone, Nancy and Dennis?”), they have taken it farther, “not only advocating but evangelizing for female-led relationships.” For many years now, with Nancy naturally taking the lead, they have been conducting workshops at women’s centers where they “advise women to take control of their relationships and do so by becoming more demanding of their men.” To my great good fortune, Nancy and Dennis have agreed to do a series of guests posts for readers of Worshipping Your Wife. They will be exploring the same topics they cover in their FLR workshops; and, of course, will respond to any comments or questions that interest them.


I met my wife, Nancy, in college at a NOW meeting. We were – and are – both Feminists dedicated to the Woman's movement. We were both active in sit-ins, marches, and grass roots organizing. We're still active Feminists and these activities are very important to us and to the ultimate success of the Woman's Movement. The female-led relationship we have is rooted in our Feminism.

We came to put our Feminist beliefs into practice in our own lives in the form of a very workable Female-led marriage. Our experiences growing up predisposed us to just such an arrangement. Nancy grew up in a family with a tradition of female-led households. There was a hierarchy in place as well a variety of rules that ensured men knew what was expected of them. Having grown up in an all-female household I wanted to find a strong woman to guide me. I wasn't an hour into my first visit home with Nancy that I realized that in Her I found the woman I was seeking.

Our marriage has blossomed with each of us fulfilling our respective dominant and submissive dispositions. Nancy and her mother are in charge of our household. Nancy is focused on her career but also manages our finances, plans a social agenda, and makes the majority of decisions. I have put my career on the back burner in deference to Nancy and focus on domestic concerns. I am responsible for housework and have a routine of cleaning, washing, ironing, and looking after the women and their guests. Nancy's mother resides with us and manages my day-to-day activities. I defer to her as I would to Nancy. Between Nancy and her mother rules and standards are well documented. Knowing what to do and how frees me from any need to make decisions, a wonderful feeling. Besides, I get enough decision-making in work and am happy to defer to the women at home. There is immense satisfaction from looking after the needs of one's wife, pampering her, and relieving her of the drudgery of routine tasks and household chores.

Nancy and I are active in promoting female-led relationships, which we term “progressive” relationships since terms such as “female-led” sometimes bring the wrong ideas to women. Many women look at “female-led” as being the thing of male fantasy but accept “progressive” as something that is desirable to them. Through local churches and feminist groups we conduct workshops to help women explore, adopt, and grow in progressive relationships. We’ve had women from across the socioeconomic spectrum, but the majority of woman are professionals who want something different from a typical patriarchal marriage. They want to explore the possibilities and are always surprised to learn what can be done.

Our efforts have two main thrusts. The first is directed at women. We encourage women to be assertive and take control of their relationships. We advise women on practical steps to establish and enforce their authority—the most important of which is having financial control, but also things such as having written rules, roles, and standards and keeping hubby productively occupied. There are many other things, too, things like a written agreement that specifies her expectations and his obligations after marriage. Women can proceed at their own pace but their end goal should be control of the relationship; if her man is enlightened enough to see the advantage of such an arrangement, then she should accelerate the pace.

The second thrust concerns men and how a man deferring to a woman surrendering isn't a bad thing at all. In fact, men are very happy in a relationship when things are spelled out for them. Men don't know what women want, so women have to tell them. When they realize what their wife wants, men will act appropriately and, in fact, continually do more for her. I often accompany Nancy to workshops and attest to my happiness in a female-led relationship.

We’d like to build on this and discus issues of interest. We are most interested in sharing our ideas and hearing about what others are doing, what works for them. We welcome any questions and will answer them as time permits. In future posts, Nancy and I can discuss our roles in more detail as well as broader issues such as men taking a woman's name in marriage, which is always a topic of discussion with women who are exploring progressive relationships.



Anonymous said...

First off, glad to see this blog is back. It has been my favorite resourse since my wife and I began this lifestyle about a year ago. It sounds as though it has been left in quite capable hands.
One quick comment from a guy who's relationship is fairly new to this concept. While I think that I may prefer the domestic role as you described, my wife actually prefers to be home with our children. If she were asked how I could best serve her it would be to be her worker bee out earning as much income as possible and then picking up as much domestic work as is practical. Our plan is still to have her in complete control of the finances in the near future. I typically see in this lifestyle where the wife has a majority of the career pursuits but I don't see much mentioned where the wife actually prefers to be at home and leave the husband to go out and deal with annoying clients, associates, and the stress of earning money ect. One of my thoughts with this is that I have been working harder than ever at my career with a new found motivator pushing me. This is just something that I thought I would throw out there as a slightly different perspective.

Anonymous said...

Fair play on your lifestyle choice but it sounds like a form of torture to me. I love being the head of my household and my wife loves her big strong man to lean on. I think both men and women can be leaders of their house, it just depends who is the natural leader. At first I thought my wife would be and I wanted that, but as time has gone on I to my own surprise am the natural head of the household. It feels great using my wit, intelligence and understanding to lead our house and my wife revels in it also. My wife is no doormat, she pulls me up whenever I need it, but she also loves my strength and leadership the same way you love your wifes. Only if say out relationship is more balanced than how you describe yours. Anyway good luck with your own marriage, respect others and be happy.

Anonymous said...

Hi Nancy and Dennis,
Thank you for sharing some details about
your Wife Led Marriage.

I imagine your Mother In Law accepts the
arragement. Does She do so with a smile?

Communication is important.
Women often want to know "what is he thinking
about..." Do you bare your soul to Nancy?

Do you and Nancy share any rituals that
relate to your Wife Led Marriage?

Where does Nancy fit in on the liberal/conservative

I do not want to invade your privacy, but can
you share what type of intimacy is appropriate
in a Wife Led Marriage?

Thank you
Submissive male

Nancy and Dennis said...

To first anonymous comment:

Yes, many progressive relationships often involve professional women who have a career focus, but it's not the only way. A woman can head the household whether she pursues a career or not. Your wife has stated her preferences, and it's now your job to do what she wants. First, you want to make her feel special and appreciated—bring her flowers and an occasional box of chocolates. Second, don't bring your work home or take work-related calls; focus on her and on what she wants done. And, thirdly, by all means pitch in with the household chores. We'd suggest you establish a routine of cleaning that you will do every day of the week so she can count on you doing it and be able to focus on other things.

As for your comment that you would prefer the domestic role, I, too, would like to stay at home and concentrate on the domestic side of things, but Nancy likes the extra income and demands that i work. She is the boss!

To Submissive male:

We can provide the following responses to your questions:

Mother-in-law approves wholeheartedly since she had a female-led-marriage of her own. The women in Nancy's family ran their households to some degree or another. We just built on their experiences and how they did things. She resides with us, so there are two women-in-charge in our household.

Yes, I speak very frankly to my Wife. I revere Her and don't hold anything back.

Regarding rituals, i'm not sure what you mean. We have ways of doing things and she has expectations, but I don't consider them rituals, per se.

Political spectrum??? Nancy and i are both Feminists; that should do it!

Anonymous said...

Most respectfully Ms. Nancy, do you or your mother use corporal discipline on Dennis to keep him in line?

kelmag said...

I have been in a Wife Led Marriage for about 15 months now. "Worshipping Your Wife" was an important resource for us that got the discussion going after we both read it. We have never been happier in our relationship. We would be interested in the FLR workshops you give. Where are they held and do you have a web site that provides more information? Thanks.

eosuchus said...

Very interesting post. Glad to see this blog active again.

Note to submissive men seeking dominant women, check out feminist political groups and meetings!

Anonymous said...

Glad to see the blog is back. It was one of my favorites.Would like to know more about your workshops.We are in our first year of FLR and love the results.

Anonymous said...

i've been with my girlfriend for about a year, and i know we'll inevitably become a female led relationship, it's just so hard deferring to her all the time!! she's smart, much more successful than i am, prettier, basically wins in every category. i want to be able to please her unconditionally, but it's hard to let go.