Whips and chains excite me…

So now that I have your attention, this is not an article about S&M or my personal preferences in the bedroom. Sorry.

It is, however, about domination (or something like that).

In my three (3) years of being married (I know it isn’t that long yet, but it is longer than many other marriages, and I do sometimes feel like Vaughn and I have learnt so many lessons in such a short time, that our marriage wisdom is far beyond the years of many others’) I have learnt a big word. RESPECT.

You see, I am not a feminist. Cue the stone-throwing from all those who are (#freethenipple – can I please just die now).

I don’t believe that women and men are created to be equal. I don’t believe that women and men have equal rights or equal responsibilities.

I appreciate chivalry. I appreciate men holding doors open for women. Letting women walk first. Helping women carry heavy objects.

If you think you’re equal then you shouldn’t expect the above. I don’t think women are superior to men, if that is the direction where you expect this article might be heading. I also don’t think men are superior to women. I think we’re different. Different needs and desires.

When fighting with your spouse or partner, a woman’s default feeling is to feel “unloved” and a man’s default feeling is to feel “disrespected”. I have tested it on my own husband and it has proven to be true. A man does not doubt that his wife loves him, but will easily doubt that she respects him. A woman does not even think of respect as such a great need as feeling loved, because to women love is the “be all and end all” and if a woman feels loved, then all else is in order.


A friend of mine posted an extract from a 1920’s magazine or advert or flyer (I don’t remember what it was) on how to be a good wife:

  1. Have dinner ready;
  2. Be a little gay and a little more interesting, he may need a lift from his boring duties;
  3. Prepare yourself – touch yourself up, he has been around a lot of work-weary people;
  4. Don’t bother him with the children. Have the children cleaned up for dinner and quiet;
  5. Clear away the clutter, make one last trip through the main part of the house to ensure that the house is in an acceptable state.

My friend posted it as a joke, so don’t go searching for her to tell her that she has lost the plot. Yet, some of us didn’t think that the idea behind it was entirely wrong. They had fewer divorces back then.

I am a lawyer and most nights I only get home by 18h30 / 19h00. My husband works from home. So I don’t greet him at the door with a ribbon in my hair, his warm slippers and a cold beer. It doesn’t work. Dinner isn’t prepared.

Yet, the principal of being a breath of fresh air plays a role. I don’t want to spend time with a nagging person, and I’m sure my husband doesn’t either.


A game-changer in my relationship was Love and Respect by Emmerson Eggerichs. After reading this book I felt enlightened.

I always knew that I respected my husband but it just wasn’t all that important to me to show it. It was more important to make him feel loved. After all isn’t love what makes the world go round?

Turns out, not for a man, no.

I started realising small things when I was in the vicinity of other couples, and here are a few things I picked up:

  1. Let him lead – let your partner drive the way he thinks you should go, until he asks for directions. If he is driving in the wrong direction, leave him be. Enjoy the journey.
  2. Don’t, don’t, please DON’T correct your partner in public. Don’t interrupt him. Don’t correct him. Don’t add to his conversation. Wait your turn. Most corrections aren’t as important as you think they are.
  3. Don’t raise your voice at your spouse. Especially not in public. In the aforementioned book an amazing piece of wisdom is quoted: “You can be right, but wrong at the top of your voice.”.
  4. Ask him for his opinion. Ask for his guidance. You will be surprised how a man blossoms when he realises that his input is actually valued and you’re not just going your own way because you know best.
  5. Ask him before making arrangements with people. Consult him. Don’t plan his schedule. What ever happened to being partners?

Have you ever noticed the difference between how men and women bond? Women bond by going out for a cup of coffee or dinner, sitting face-to-face and conversing. Men bond by sitting shoulder-to-shoulder and doing something: fishing, watching sport, doing nothing. I agree that women need the knee-to-knee conversations with their husbands. It is necessary. But I have learnt that when Vaughn asks me to come sit next to him on the couch and watch whatever is on television that I have absolutely no interest in, or he asks me to walk with him to the kitchen or the car, or to drive with him to wherever, I do it. Why? Shoulder-to-shoulder bonding. Our greatest conversations have come from those times. And most times, I don’t have to say anything, I just need to be. And that is enough for him. After all, the house and dishes and bottles and bed can wait.

I have stopped telling Vaughn when I go for my nails or when I have a hair appointment. I ask him if the day suits him. He doesn’t expect it from me. He never minds. But I’m sure he appreciates being consulted on my plans.

I enjoy not having to wear the pants. I enjoy being submissive to my husband. Is that TMI? 😉

I enjoy being so trusting of my husband and his discretion, and I promise you this: if you are in a relationship with a man who loves you (and your children), who is committed to you and your household, he will make decisions that are in the best interests of the household. Trust them and they will rarely disappoint.

I do not believe that the woman wears the proverbial pants in the relationship. I like dresses. I like my husband to wear the pants.

If I disagree with my husband, I will tell him. In a respectful manner. Behind closed doors. But to the world we are a united front.

I definitely did not allude to a man overpowering a woman by choosing the “whips and chains” title. I do not agree in bullying or manipulation.

But having a man lead you, whether it be on the dance-floor, in the bedroom (okey dokey) or in your relationship makes you feel more feminine and him more manly.

And who doesn’t like a little bit of old-fashioned 1920’s romance?






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