Ric Richards invited a few friends over to watch the football game on Sunday afternoon. The only problem was he never checked with Elaine and Elaine’s Candlelight Party was scheduled for the same afternoon.
On Friday evening, they were out to dinner with friends when Jay casually mentioned that their team was the early game.
“I figure we should be there around 10:00 for the pregame stuff. What do you want me to bring?”
“What are you talking about?” Elaine asked overhearing the conversation.
“I’ve invited the guys over for the game on Sunday.”
“You are going to have to uninvite them because I’m having a party on Sunday.”
“Why do I have to change?”
“I’ve had this scheduled for weeks and it is on the calendar.”
“Did you ask me if it was okay to have a bunch of females over on a Sunday afternoon during football season?” he asked jokingly.
Elaine didn’t see the humor.
“Yeah, right. Just like you asked me if it was okay to have a bunch of guys hanging all over my family room all day on Sunday? It’s bad enough YOU spend the entire football season camped out in front of the television.”
Jay said, “Sorry, I didn’t mean to start a fight.”
“Cara, Is it okay if we have the guys over to our place?
“Sure, that’s a great solution, because I’ll be at the Candlelight party anyway. So you guys can hoot and holler all you want and I don’t have to listen.”
Elaine thanked Cara and Jay saying a crisis had been averted and Ric wouldn’t be sleeping on the couch tonight. Everyone laughed.
During halftime of the game, Mickey asked why the switch in location.
“Elaine scheduled some kind of party and I forgot to tell her.” Ric responded.
A conversation ensued and all the guys were chiming in about how their wives ran their lives. They argued the good and bad points of this arrangement. Most of them agreed they would like things to be different but in this day and age ‘macho man” didn’t cut it. Jack piped in with that wasn’t the way things were in his household.
“What do you mean, Jack? I see how you treat Nora. You are always kissy kissy, holding hands. Geez, do you ever have an argument?” Jay asked.
“Hell, yes. As a matter of fact, we used to argue all the time. We got to a point we actually thought about separating, it got so bad.”
“You’re a lying sack of shit, Jack.”
“I’m serious. Ask Nora sometime. When we were first married all we did was fight and argue. She actually left me for a couple of weeks during our second year. It was after that things changed.”
“Really, what happened?”
“Well, I’ll tell you.” Just then, Mickey noticed the start of the second half and things got silent and all eyes turned to the television as they watched a guy on the opposing team run back the ball for 98 yards to score a touchdown to tie the game. There wasn’t much conversation after that return and everyone concentrated on watching the game. They all forgot about the conversation until the next time they were all together. As usual, most of the wives were in one place, while the husbands were in another. The only exception was Jack and Nora. The guys started teasing Nora about being afraid to let Jack out of her sight. She started to give them a piece of her mind when Jack touched her shoulder and suddenly she just smiled at them and went to join the other ladies.
“How did you do that?” Ric asked. “Elaine would have been off like a rocket.”
“It’s how we do things. If I think she is getting out of hand, I let her know to back away.”
“Wow, I’ll have to try that,” one of the other guys said.
“Good luck with that,” the rest of them chimed in. They laughed it off.
When Nora felt Jack’s hand on her shoulder, with just the slightest pressure, she knew to back off. To continue would only mean they would be having a discussion later and that discussion usually took place while she was either over the bed or over his knee. He didn’t always spank her but there was always some sort of correction involved. She would rather he spank her than some of the other imaginative things Jack thought of to make her see the error of her ways. Sometimes he had her stand in the corner, write an essay and then read it to him while kneeling in front of him, or give her a time out, or send her to bed early. He was always coming up with something but, by far, the worst thing he had done was make her wear a short skirt to work wearing an anal plug, sans underwear. That day was the most uncomfortable one of her life; she wasn’t sure what was worse, sitting with that damn thing inside her, or moving around hoping like hell it wouldn’t fall out.
It had taken them a while to come to terms with this thing they did, but it had saved their marriage. They were both strong-minded independent people and their union provided some serious sparks. In the beginning their arguments were eventually settled with some rough and tumble sex. After a while that didn’t work anymore, because sex became associated with pain and anger instead of love and passion. One day after a particularly heated argument, Nora packed a bag and left a note.
I can’t take this anymore. We keep hurting each other and I think we both need some time to find out whether this relationship is going to survive.
She arranged for vacation days at work and registered in a hotel under her maiden name. She didn’t want any outside interference during this self-imposed isolation. Nora was able to take a good look at herself and her marriage. She knew she really loved Jack and wasn’t sure why their marriage wasn’t working but realized there had to be a way to be a better way to resolve their differences. She was pretty sure he felt the same way. They just had to find a way to stop hurting each other.
Their greatest disagreements were over who had control. They were both trying to steer the marriage in the way they each thought best. They fought over how to invest their money, buy or rent a home, buy or lease a car, everything and anything. It seemed that whatever one party wanted, the other party wanted something different. She wasn’t even sure they cared about some of the issues they fought over, neither of them wanted to give in and give over control. If their marriage was going to survive, one of them had to let go and let the other lead.
Once she knew what needed to be done, she called Jack and asked to meet him for dinner at their favorite restaurant. Jack had done some thinking of his own and realized he was very close to losing the one person that meant the most to him. He was willing to do whatever it took.
From that day on, Nora gave over control of their marriage to Jack. It hadn’t been easy, there were lessons to be learned on both sides. Jack had to learn how to lead and Nora had to learn how to let him lead. It didn’t mean she became a doormat, it just meant she could speak her piece, argue her case and then step back, because the final decision was Jack’s. He would be responsible for the success or failure of whatever decision he made.
When the night was over, Ric and Elaine were driving Jay and Cara home and, Ric brought up the conversation they had earlier with Jack.
“What do you think about what Jack said? Ric asked.
“If I didn’t see it with my own eyes I would never have believed it.”
Cara piped up with “What are you talking about?”
“Nora was getting on our case because we made a comment about her being afraid to leave Jack alone with us. Before it went too far, Jack put a hand on Nora’s shoulder and she suddenly got quiet, smiled and left the room. When we asked Jack about it he told us it was this agreement they had. When he thought she was getting out of hand, it was his way of letting her know to it was time to stop.”
“You know, I have noticed how they react to one another. They never seem to argue, at least in front of us.” Elaine said.
“You know, I read an article about dominant lead relationships. It reverts to the way most marriages were years ago when the husband was the breadwinner and the head of the house. The article stated that women are asking their husbands to take charge of them and their families, and it’s becoming a lot more mainstream than people think.” Cara told them.
“It sounds pretty good to me. Don’t you think so Jay?” Ric asked.
“Don’t you go getting any ideas, big fella,” Elaine told him.
“There’s your answer Ric. It may sound good but it also sounds as if it’s never going to happen at your house,” Jay said.
“You have that right.” Elaine answered for him.
Jay and Cara were lying in bed that evening when Cara brought up the conversation they had in the car earlier in the day.
“So tell me, do you think hand signals work?” She asked.
“It worked that day. I saw it with my own eyes and it surprised me. It certainly diffused the situation”
“Would you like to live that way?”
“What man wouldn’t? It’s a dream come true. No arguments, no sass or back talk, me being in charge, what’s not to like?”
“I’m not saying I would agree to it, but I want you to read the article and let me know what you think. Maybe we could give it a try, Lord knows, Jack and Nora seem happier than ever.”
“Aren’t you happy now?” he asked.
“I’m content, but wouldn’t it be nice to get back to the passion we had when first we married. If that were possible I would give it a try, at least on a trial basis.”
“Honey, okay, I’ll read the article. Can we go to sleep now? I’m beat.” He told her. I wonder if Jack and Nora are having sex now instead of rolling over and going to sleep. She thought as she kissed him and watched as he rolled over on his side. She laid there a long time listening to his snoring and continued to think about that article. Tomorrow I am going to do some more research and maybe I’ll give Nora a call.
A couple of days later she finally worked up the courage to call Nora. After the usual pleasantries were out of the way, she blurted out
“Jay and I were talking about you the other day.”
“I hope it was good things.” Nora replied.
“Very good things. Actually I am a little envious of the relationship you and Jack have. Sometimes, it seems as if you are newlyweds instead of an old married couple.”
“Oh, that’s sweet. Sometimes it seems like we are a little of both.”
“I guess my question is, how do you do it? I love Jay but I miss the ‘us’ that used to be. We are an old married couple and it is boring and I don’t much like what we have become. I think I am a little afraid that if things don’t change, Jay may get a case of wanderlust.”
“Honey, don’t go looking for trouble. The only thing I can tell you is that when Jack and I had some trouble years ago, I decided to give up control and turn it over to him.”
“What do you mean?”
“I don’t know how it is in your marriage, but I fought Jack every step of the way in everything. I am a stubborn woman and I wanted to be in charge. The more I stepped up the more Jack stepped back. I took a couple of days by myself and realized I was the biggest part of the problem. You know how at work, there is the boss and then there is the rest of us, well I decided in our family, Jack would be the boss.”
“That’s it. Simple as that.” Cara said
“Well no. Not simple as that. But that was the biggest step. I decided to let go and let Jack take the lead. At first he didn’t even realize it was happening. When he did he began to assert himself in ways I never thought possible, both in and out of the bedroom.”
“Again, what do you mean.” Cara asked
“We eventually talked about how our relationship was changing and how different we felt about it and each other. One of the first things I gave up was determining when and where we had sex. I decided I would never turn him down or use sex as a ploy. Wow, that changed things immediately. The next thing I knew we was buying toys and telling me his fantasies, most of which we acted out. Then one day, we brought it out of the bedroom. I had been pms’ing for days and Jack suggested I tone it down. I threw the spoon I was holding at him, narrowly missing his eye. This next part is embarrassing and I don’t know if you want to hear it?
“I do, I do.”
“hmmm, okay here goes. He put his knee up on the rung of the kitchen chair, pulled me over it and spanked me with that damn spoon. Whew, the cat’s out of the bag now.” Nora said as she let out her breath.
“Really, really spanked you for real.”
“Yes, he did. I was stunned and my bottom was throbbing. When it was over he told me he didn’t want to go back to the way we were and if he had to he would take whatever steps were necessary to keep that from happening. And the rest, as they say, is history. I am a disciplined wife.”
“I’ve read about that, never thought I would know anybody in real life that practiced that lifestyle.”
“I can only tell you it works for us.”
“Thank you, for being so honest. I know it must have been hard to talk about.”
“You know, it was a little scary because not everybody understands but I’m glad you know. I’m not sure if I would like you to share with everybody though.”
“I’ll keep this conversation between us.” Cara said.
That very night when Jay came home for work, Cara met him in the bedroom holding a wooden spatula.
“I want you to spank me for all the times I’ve deserved it. Then I am going to tell a story you will want to hear and experience.