Since we first began Learning Domestic Discipline our goal has been to provide information on all aspects of the domestic discipline lifestyle, including in-depth information on the different dynamics. Since we, personally, practice the traditional form of domestic discipline, it has been easy to cover that dynamic ourselves. But, we want to make sure that we don’t exclude the other dynamics such as The Spencer Plan dynamic, the FLR (female-led relationship) dynamic, the CDD (Christian Domestic Discipline) dynamic, and more. While all of our articles, ebooks, downloads, etc. can be applied to any of the different dynamics, we wanted to go a bit further and give readers an inside look at the FLR dynamic.
So, we interviewed a wonderful couple, Kathy and Gary, who have chosen the FLR style of domestic discipline for their relationship. Their interview is below. We have not changed, manipulated, or edited their answers in any way, shape, form, or fashion. We did, however, add the links where appropriate. Enjoy!
1) – Tell us a little bit about yourselves. How old you are, how long you’ve been married (or, in a relationship), how you heard about domestic discipline, what made you start practicing, etc.?
We have been married 14 years. We discovered the components of a Wife Led Marriage (WLM) or Female Led Relationships (FLR) almost 3 years ago, and actually renewed our wedding vows to be consistent with a wife led marriage. Our renewed wedding vows included Gary’s commitment to “obey” Kathy, and for Kathy to accept her role as Head of our Household and the final authority on all decisions in our home. We are both professionals in business with college degrees. Most people would look at Gary and see a powerful, masculine and assertive man. But at heart he is a masculine, but naturally submissive man. Kathy, on the other hand is a warm, feminine and sexy woman. She is also a natural born leader and thrives on making things happen by exerting her authority in a very positive manner. Gary discovered the subject of Domestic Discipline while searching for more information on WLM and steps couples in wife led marriages take to maintain the woman’s authority. Gary has always responded very well to reinforcements and punishments as a way of steering his behavior. While our WLM was going very well compared to the traditional marriage we had the first 11 years of our marriage, it still had a few challenges. We started practicing domestic discipline about 6 months ago thinking it might enhance our already fulfilling wife led marriage. Incorporating domestic discipline into our WLM has been one of the best things we have ever done. It has had a profound and positive effect on Gary’s behavior and obedience. Domestic discipline has also reinforced Kathy’s authority, resulting in what we now feel is a near perfect marriage.
2) – Who initiated the FLR relationship, and what were your first impressions of it?
Gary initiated the discussion of our considering a Female Led Relationship by introducing some information from a website called “Around Her Finger”. (**UPDATE** – As of 2/16/2014, the Around Her Finger website isn’t working, therefore the link has been removed throughout this post/interview.) While Kathy liked the idea of having the final say on matters, she was initially uncomfortable with the word “obedience”, Gary being subservient to her, etc. That was almost 3 years ago, and now we are both thrilled that we made the decision to bring the elements of a female led relationship into our marriage. We have continued to expand the specific elements into our wife led marriage and have vastly “stretched” our commitment to it. Kathy has embraced her role as the clear Dominant partner and is the ultimate authority in our home. We no longer have the strife, tension, passive-aggressive behaviors or unresolved conflicts in so many traditional marriages. We deal with problems immediately through domestic discipline, and it has done wonders for the tranquility of our home and our marriage.
3) – Why did you feel the FLR dynamic would be best for your relationship, as opposed to the other dynamics?
After 11 years of marriage we felt it was more and more difficult to maintain harmony in our home and in our marriage. While we are both strong, independent and successful people we do not solve problems or handle conflict in the same manner. For us, it really helped having one person have the “final say” on things after consulting the other partner. Kathy, as the Dominant partner in our relationship seemed to be a natural as the HOH of our home. As a strong, masculine but submissive man, it was also natural for Gary to embrace the subservient role in our marriage. Gary has embraced and thrived on taking Kathy’s direction and orders. Today we think we have the most romantic, fun, and openly candid marriages we have ever witnessed.
4) – Besides the obvious (role reversal), what are some of the key differences you see between the FLR dynamic and the traditional dynamic of domestic discipline?
Really, the only difference in dynamics of domestic discipline in a FLR or a more traditional arrangement with the male as HOH, is that it appears there is a lot more information available out there on traditional arrangements. While people in our society might find domestic discipline practiced in a traditional relationship somewhat difficult to comprehend or support, we think adding the dimension of a FLR into domestic discipline would probably be even more difficult for some people to comprehend or understand.
5) – How common do you think the FLR dynamic is?
It is hard to say for sure how common a FLR might be, but since we began to explore it several years ago, there is certainly a lot more information available on the subject today Information on FLR is enormous compared to what was available just a few years ago. In addition to the “Around Her Finger” website, there are others like “She Makes The Rules”, “aboutflr.com, “female-led-marriages.com”, etc., that have made implementing a FLR much easier. We sense that it is becoming more and more common, and is rapidly growing in popularity.
6) – What are some examples of rules that you have, and what type of consequences do you use?
Some of our rules include such things as the area of decision making. Once Kathy has asked Gary for his input, and genuinely considers his position she will make a decision that she feels is best for our marriage and family. Once she has made her decision, Gary is expected to not only accept her decision, but to really “embrace” the decision. Once she makes a decision she does not allow complaining, whining or rehashing it. If he violates that rule he is generally harshly spanked with a paddle or cane. Another of our rules is that if Gary ever curses at Kathy, speaks disrespectfully to her, walks away in a huff, etc., Kathy generally would wash his mouth out with soap and then rather severely spank him. A third rule is related to finances. Kathy is much better at financial management than Gary. She gives him a small allowance each week, and if he runs out of money he is to come to her and ask for additional funds. If he EVER buys something outside of his allowance by using a credit or debit card without first getting her prior approval, he is generally spanked quite severely. Another rule is in the area of housework. Gary is responsible for most of the household chores, including laundry, dusting, vacuuming, washing the floors, etc. If he does not complete his chores on time or in the manner Kathy expects she will typically ask him for an explanation and then dole out punishment if necessary. All of our rules were developed together and we both agreed on the consequences if the rule is broken.
7) – What are some misconceptions you feel people have about the FLR dynamic, or your relationship personally?
We think one misconception people might have about a FLR is that it is some weird, kinky whips and chains relationship. Nothing could be further from the truth in our marriage. Another misconception is that some people may feel the man in a FLR is somehow ‘weak”, or a pushover. Again, nothing could be further from the truth in our marriage. Gary is a very masculine, strong and assertive man. We feel it takes exceptional strength for a man in or society to take the subservient role in his marriage to a strong woman whom he respects. We both have the utmost respect for each other, and for the roles we have accepted to make sure our marriage flourishes. Gary is very dedicated to making Kathy’s life as the Dominant partner as stress free and happy as possible. He gets much satisfaction from seeing Kathy happy, and enjoys “serving” her to assure her happiness. Likewise, Kathy is 100% committed to meeting Gary’s needs as a dedicated and loving submissive husband.
8) – What’s the biggest challenge you face being in an FLR relationship, or what do you struggle with the most?
The biggest challenge for us is incorporating our Wife Led Marriage into our relationships with our children. Like all couples we sometimes have differing opinions on how to respond to issues with children. That conflict of opinion was a significant challenge for us prior to our commitment to WLM, and has improved even more since incorporating domestic discipline into our marriage. Gary has a great deal of input on the issues with children, but in the end Kathy makes the decision and Gary is expected to embrace her decision. If he fails to do so he will be punished quite severely, because this is a very important issue to Kathy.
9) – When the HOH (Kathy) breaks a rule within your relationship how do you handle that situation?
It is very rare that Kathy breaks a rule because she is much more self disciplined than Gary. However, when she does, she is expected to apologize to Gary in a reasonable amount of time. While sometimes those apologies haven’t come quick enough for Gary’s liking, she ALWAYS apologizes eventually. Then we move on. We do not feel administering domestic discipline to Kathy is needed or would be appropriate for our wife led marriage. Gary’s personality responds favorably to domestic discipline punishment, and Kathy’s does not. The respect we have for each other and our individual needs makes this a non-issue for us. Very rarely does Kathy break a rule, and if she is off track Gary just needs to point it out and she is right back on track.
10) – How open are you about the FLR aspect of your relationship? Do your friends and family know? If not, how do you think they would react? If so, how did they react?
While our wife led marriage is generally a private matter between us, we do not go out of our way to hide the fact that Kathy is the ultimate authority in our home. Many of Kathy’s friends have become aware that Kathy is “in-charge” and seem to be very supportive. We have been told by many people that they admire how well we get along, and how respectful Gary is of Kathy and her desires. Gary has told a couple of his friends that “Kathy is in charge”, but we are not sure how they interpret that. Our children are aware that “mom is in charge”, but to them we feel it means in the end “mom gets her way”.
11) – Have either of you ever considered starting a blog?
Gary is a fairly good creative writer and would like to start a blog, but is also the type of person who ALWAYS wants to finish what he does and do things exceedingly well. Between his executive job and his household chores, we don’t feel he would ever have the time necessary to devote to a quality Blog. Gary puts Kathy and our marriage first, and therefore has avoided doing that.
12) – What advice would you give someone who is just beginning, or considering, an FLR relationship?
Our advice to anyone just beginning or considering a FLR, would be to do lots of searching and research on the internet and discuss it openly with each other. Try things that you think might be to your liking, but be willing to change and adapt as you learn. We have a written Wife Led Marriage Agreement that outlines our expectations of each other, and sit down once a month to review our progress. Gary is graded on his behavior and compliance to Kathy’s expectations. We also make changes to the agreement often to fit our situation. The key is to do it your own way, and do what works for you as a couple (much like what you advocate for DD on your wonderful site). Be flexible, don’t take yourselves too seriously, and have fun with it. It is all about improving a flourishing marriage.
13) – If there’s one thing that you want others to know about the FLR dynamic, what would it be?
The one thing we would like people to know that after one commits to a FLR, it begins to feel like the most normal thing in the world. Whether it is the wave of the future or not is unknown, but by being totally open to each other (which was very hard in the beginning), and trusting each other immensely, we have become very happy.
14) – Can you recommend any good resources for those who are considering the FLR dynamic?
Refer to the websites mentioned in #5 above.
A huge thank you to Kathy and Gary for being so gracious, and so open about their female-led relationship (or wife-led marriage, as they refer to it). We learned a lot from them, and we hope that you did as well. It truly is a fascinating interview.
It’s always refreshing and interesting to see how different domestic discipline dynamics work. Kathy and Gary have given a great glimpse into the Female-Led dynamic of domestic discipline, which we haven’t touched on a whole lot at LDD, and it’s clear to see that they’re both happy with the dynamic they’ve chosen, and that it works beautifully for their marriage.
Again, we’re so thankful that Kathy and Gary were willing to share their knowledge of the FLR/WLM dynamic, and we’re hoping to add more FLR/WLM content on LDD in the future. We’d love to hear from others who have chosen this dynamic for their relationship/marriage, so we encourage those practicing the FLR/WLM form of domestic discipline to share their thoughts/experiences in the comments section below.
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