Thursday, December 13, 2012

NANCY & DENNIS: MOVING AHEAD WITH A FEMALE-LED MARRIAGE


NANCY Writes: My husband and I are in a happy and productive female-led marriage. We encourage women and couples to at least explore the lifestyle. By female-led I am talking about a practical relationship where she makes the decisions, controls the money, and is likely focused on her career. He supports her, maybe placing less emphasis on his career and definitely taking up much of the domestic work.  It may seem radical, but it's very simply a role reversal from a traditional marriage.

Female-led isn't new to me. I grew up in a family where the women were in charge. My mother, my aunts, and even my grandmother wore the pants in the family. They gave the orders; the men followed them. The men earned most of the money; the women controlled it. The women had a shorter work day; the men did most of the housework. Girls' night out was an every-other-week occurrence; men's night out – a rarity. The men had power at work; none at home. The men liked being told what to do, though; no guessing, no arguing; everyone was happy, and men love tranquility at home.

Female-led wasn't new to my husband either. He grew up in an all-female household and had to help keep house just like his sisters. He needed some orientation, but he was way ahead of most men when it came to housework. More important, he had a good attitude, always listened to what I had to say, and never disagreed or complained. I met dennis in college at a NOW meeting – that says a lot! He was a good dresser, intelligent, deferential, a committed Feminist. I am an alpha woman – a bitch to some – but while that caused other men to avoid me, it attracted dennis since he was looking for a strong woman. I was looking for a man who would fit my career and personal plans. We both got what we wanted!

To their credit, most men really want to please women but are clueless about what we want; so, ladies, tell them! There are so many guys who will follow your lead. And they're great guys that we can be proud of. To move ahead with a female-led relationship, ladies, you have to do a few things:
  • Recognize your innate superiority – don't feel guilty about controlling your relationship, about giving orders, or about being confrontational when necessary
  • Know your priorities – if your career is a priority, structure your marriage and his expectations accordingly
  • Pick the right man – there are plenty of great guys who will be only too happy to let you take the lead in a relationship
  • Have your man commit to your plan – let him know early what you want and get his commitment
We'll discuss these four items in future posts.

20 comments:

Mr. Beth said...

Wonderful post Miss Nancy. Something I wanted to add is how I see a man's new role as being one similiar to that of a 1950's homemakers that was touch on in the previous post. Like I stated before, my Wife has decided that eventually I will be homemaker once we start having kids though I might work part-time as a consultant still. We talk about it being a possible for my new role, even when it comes to punishing the kids. But instead of Miss Beth telling the kid who acts up to "go to your room and wait for your father to come home", it will be me saying "go to your room and wait for your Mother to come home." :)

Mr. Beth

Anonymous said...

Nancy, do you spend your husband's money on his needs or mainly on your needs and pleasure?

Anonymous said...

My wife and I have been married for about 18 years but only the last has been in a FLR.We both agree it has been the best decision we have made in our marriage. I have always friends and family tell me that my wife was a natural leader so after seeing sites online and buying books on the subject I thought I would approach her with the idea. With her being a leader she knew this would work for us. We both agree it has been the best year of our relationship and learning more about each other now than we ever knew. We are more excited about our future together as a couple. I love my role as a supportive husband and love her as the leader in our marriage.

Nancy and Dennis said...

Anonymous (immediately above): We appreciate your response and are glad that you are finding happiness in your Female-led relationship. We are in a similar situation and have been since we started dating. Over the years we've grown in our respective roles and have never questioned our being in this lifestyle. We are supportive of each other and have a fulfilling relationship.

Nancy and Dennis said...

Anonymous (asking how Nancy spends her husband's money) -- I outearn my husband so I can fund my own "needs and pleasure," thank you. But I do manage all the money and do so in a way that addresses both our interests.

Sam said...

Since i was a young boy and even more so today..Female-led, in everything, makes the most sense and I believe is the ideal way to live. I have to admit I do not know much different growing up with two older sisters that had no hesitation asserting their authority and now living with my girlfriend, her sister and their mother, all having strong Feminist views.
I can think of nowhere I would rather be than ‘under the spell’ of these intelligent, funny, logical, confident…bossy Women.

Sam

Anonymous said...

The 1950s homemaker comment also resonated deeply with me. A career woman, my wife's professional life has flown, probably not coincidentally, since she also decided to take the reins of her home life.

As far as finances are concerned, I work from home and am largely in charge of looking after the children and ensuring that the household chores are completed. It is therefore not practical for me not to have access to cash. Every so often, though, my wife will confiscate my debit card and provide me with a cash allocation for a certain period, during which I am required to provide receipts for every expenditure.

In my wife's opinion, economic emancipation was one of the key aspects that allowed men to run relationships in less enlightened times. By removing my own direct access to our family funds, she believes that she a) reinforces the fact that she is the head of the household and b) reminds me of my place - that my freedom, whether economically or in any other way, is hers to grant or withold, as she sees fit. I must, she says, learn to ask for pemission, rather than making assumptions.

It is sometimes not easy to accept such a subordinate role. However, my wife is adamant that this is the only way to make the most of an already strong relationship. The only thing that she asks of me is obedience - and she makes it clear that, for my own good, she will have this either by persuasion or by the subtle use of force.

A happy wife, then, and I guess I'm a happy husband too, even if boys' nights out are something of a thing of the past!

Anonymous said...

Miss Nancy, thank you very much for that wonderful post!

I'm excited about the idea of creating a Wife-Centered Husbands group (with some men that I know are very influenced by their wives). It will be like a very very early introduction to FLR, but I want our meetings to be centered on our wives dreams, worries, lives.

I can provide more details, but wonder if you have any suggestions/recommendations on organizing those type of groups. In case it's needed, my email is khorina.alexander@yahoo.com. Thanks!

Nancy and Dennis said...

Anonymous (re: the 1950s homemaker) --

Your wife and I have a very similar view of our households. Dennis receives an allowance for his own needs and can, with permission, use a debit card for the weekly shopping and other such purchases. He has to account for what he spends on the debit card and with his allowance if he ever asks me for more personal money. He's learned not to ask for more money because he rarely gets it! He's learned to live within his allowance for personal expenditures. An allowance is a privilege I grant but it's also one I can take away. If he acts up, he may get a 'fine' which he pays in cash.

Controlling finances is something that every woman should be doing since it gives her complete control and shows her position in the relationship. While some women have trouble with this, my experience is that men are not particularly good at managing money and everyone is better off if she takes over this task. dennis will tell you that nothing shows my authority more than his having to ask for permission to use the debit card or when he asks for money - it's not an automatic approval. If he's forgotten who's the boss, asking for money will refresh his memory!

Nancy and Dennis said...

Anonymous (who wants to start a Wife-Centered husbands group) --

I think that any time men look to do something for their wives it's a positive thing. Dennis and I run occasional workshops with women or couples concerning moving towards a female led relationship. It's usually a pretty practical discussion around the many frustrations women have and how their husbands can help. Women usually want more help with the housework and more of a career focus for themselves. Women don't know how to approach the subject with their husbands and don't want to be looked at as being domineering - well, why not? I'm domineering and damn proud of it and as a result I have it all, a career, a husband who does the housework, waits on me, runs the errands, all while having a respectable career himself and contributing to our earnings. What women don't realize is that by putting their foot down and taking over they are giving men just what they need - discipline and purpose and the opportunity to do what men want anyway, and that's to please women. So, start small and keep a focus on what she wants and you'll do just fine.

Anonymous said...

I would join a group for husband's in a wife centered lifestyle.. What a great idea..

Anonymous said...

This is Anonymous (who wants to start a Wife-Centered husbands group).

Thank you very much, Miss Nancy, for replying to my post. How could I get information on your workshops? I feel I've started on the small start and we had a long talk about what she wants.

I don't think my wife has many characteristics that you have, and she has told me not interested on them (unfortunately for a sub male), but I think some version of an FLR workshop (or if there's any workshops for husbands in FLR) would help.

Thanks!

Nancy and Dennis said...

Anonymous (just above) - Nancy writes: We don't have workshops on a formal level and we don't conduct them outside our local area. What's the saying -- think global but act local? Our workshops are not big formal affairs but rather small meetings usually with women but sometimes couples attend. The object is to discuss some aspect of female-led relationships such as controlling money, allocating him an appropriate amount of housework, encouraging women to put aside their reluctance to take charge, and so on. I use my relationship with Dennis as an example of what can be done and how we are both happy. Women being women, we've been conditioned to be nice and many of us are initially reluctant to take charge. We show women that by talking charge they are doing themselves a favor and are doing the same for their husbands.

Since you say you had a long talk about what she wants, then start doing it! You don't need a workshop, you need to get to work! And you also need to look at your own expectations. Do you really want to server her or do you want to play games? There are so many men who say they are interested in an FLR until they realize that it's about keeping the house clean, doing the shopping, and listening to their wives - day-in-day-out for the rest of their lives. This is what women want. Women don't want to play games, they want to pursue careers and interests and have the help of a man they can love and respect, a man who knows his place.

Anonymous said...

We need women to lead everything. A matriachy is the only way to true utopia. Marriages where women lead last forever.

Anonymous said...

I really like this post. I wish there was some way it could be published and sent to everyone woman in the world...

Anonymous said...

Ms Nancy hits the nail on the head when she speaks of "a man (women) can love and respect" at the same time as "one who knows his place".

This apparent paradox is the key to what FLR is all about, it seems to me. All the workshops in the world will not help the man who is not prepared to acknowledge his wife as his leader (and in that sense, his superior) and that his subordinate place to her is not a passing phase, but his permanent reality.

When my wife embarked on our FLR, she did so on the understanding that it was for the long haul. There would be no return to the previous status quo. There would inevitably be moments of doubt on either side, of misunderstandings or a lack of clarity. However, the basic tenet was to be unchallenged - she was to be the head of the house; I was to acknowledge my role as her subordinate. The only acceptable currency for such a relationship was to be my obedience.

There are many different ways of achieving a satisfactory FLR and they depend, of course, on the individuals concerned. To begin with, though, the practical, day-to-day business for a male of accepting female authority is indispensable. I can see a place for workshops to help in fine-tuning an FLR; I can never see such "courses" as a substitute for what Ms Nancy rightly characterises as the need to "get to work". Everything follows from that basic principle.

Khorina said...

Anonymous (Wife-centered/workshops) -

Thank you, Miss Nancy, for your reply. I'll try your suggestions. I still have a long way to go in a FLR, and I wanted to promote some wife-centered relationships.

I have already started to see my wife's satisfaction with my attitudes toward House work. Now I'll get to work and let the experience sink, and hopefully one day I'll be able to share this to others.

Nancy and Dennis said...

To Anonymous ("Ms. Nancy hits the nail on the head..."):

Yes! Yes! Yes! How exciting! A man who gets what it's all about! A female-led relationship is all about her making decisions and his accepting her in that role. In my house that's the way it is and has been from the start. Being in a woman-led marriage is what Dennis and I wanted, and it's what we have. Now things are always changing -- more rules, different situations -- but a woman-in-charge situation always.

There are four main threads to a female-led marriage. This is how my marriage is arranged and what I advise other couples to do. The first three are:

1) Obedience - the man is obedient to his wife, PERIOD! The couple recognizes the superiority of women and the right of women to lead. She'll make the decisions, control the money, and make the rules that the couple live by. She is openly superior and he, openly subordinate.

2) Domestic service - He's obligated to do the majority of the housework; actually his doing all of it is quite practical if she arranges it right. This frees her for other pursuits, keeping her happy while housework provides a satisfying and fulfilling role for the husband. In our house Dennis does all the housework and likes doing it. He's a real demon at ironing!

3) Personal service - Caring for her and looking after the little things like doing grocery shopping, taking care of her dry cleaning, serving her dinner, refreshing her drink, sewing on buttons, shinning her shoes, and so on. Mother and I love the pampering my husband provides. (Giggle!) This is a big part of our marriage and has been in my family for years and it's going to stay that way; men serve women - PERIOD!

The couple need to recognize that women are superior to men and move forward to set the rules of their relationship.

N

Anonymous said...

And people can always improve.Be more asidous in completing tasks set them.be more happy and comfortable with controlling and orering.Its not a static thing.

Femsup

Gringo said...

Nancy,

Also, I don't know if this has been mentioned, but what if children come along? A professional woman ideally can have a househusband who's a full time father. This is entirely possible if she can support the family on her income. With women beating us guys out in degrees, including Master's and Ph.d's, this is becoming more and more prevalent. Women today are placing their guys on "Diaper Duty" This includes poopy diapers! The poopy blowouts, lol. I would love to be a househusband and f/t father! I would change the smelliest of diapers because real women don't change diapers!