Home Forums Female Led Relationships Unhappy vanilla marriage recently changed to FLR

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    • #95057

      My apologies for the length of this post. I have just joined the forum and thought I would introduce myself and bring you up to date on my experiences within a new FLR. I have excused the length by realising that I’m not asking anyone to read this, but I would be happy if anyone takes the time and wishes to give me feedback or advice. I am hoping to learn from the people here, and I am aware that I’m not always the best judge of my own behaviour.

      My wife and I have been married for ten years and have two children. For most of that time, I have been a fairly poor husband. I was frequently emotionally distant, did not share my thoughts, and did not pull my weight either domestically or in terms of supporting my wife with decisions. For several years, we have been living separate lives together. My wife is a wonderful person. She is intelligent, funny, kind, thoughtful, generous and loving. I have neglected her and our marriage, and over time, she has given up trying to improve things. If we didn’t have two fairly young children, I am certain that we would have separated, but I have, at least, always been a good father, and we remained together for their sake.

      My wife and I had, I think, one good day together in the past three years. We went to her friend’s wedding and spent the evening and night together before driving home the next day. For that day, we pretended that nothing had gone wrong. We spoke and laughed together and were intimate later for the first time in a few years. Unfortunately, when we returned home, nothing changed and I returned to exactly the same behaviour as before.

      During the summer, I started to envision another life. I realised that I didn’t want to spend another ten years like the last and be in a relationship where the most significant interaction I had with my wife was saying good night. I started to work on my personal growth and reflect on my needs and wants. I realised that I had spent so much time hating myself that I hadn’t thought I deserved anything better. The more I disliked myself, and how I behaved, the less chance there seemed to correct my mistakes, and so the more I became entrenched in these very poor patterns of behaviour.

      Once I had explored the possibility of change, it started to grow within me. I thought more and more about my behaviour, without making excuses to myself and without defensiveness. I was already aware that my wife had many amazing qualities, and I realised that I didn’t deserve her. However, unlike every other year, when I decided that meant I should just accept this and continue until she inevitably told me to leave, I decided to see if there was any possibility of change.

      I worked alone, trying to discover what I needed in order to live a fulfilling, authentic life. I had most of it already. I had happy, healthy children, a job I find meaningful and enjoyable, and a wife who is the best person I know. I felt that if I could prove to myself that I was capable of meaningful change, I would speak with her and find out if there was anything we could do to repair some of the damage I had caused.

      After a few months, I asked her if we could speak later that evening. She told me we could and made about 10 minutes of space for me. We spoke openly for the first time in years. She doubted that I was sincere in my desire to improve our relationship and felt that nothing would improve. However, she acknowledged that I had never promised her anything I hadn’t been certain I could deliver, and she was prepared to accept that I was being genuine and see what happened. I started to contribute more to the household, by completing housework, and started showing her respect, by listening to her properly when she spoke, being available for her, and contributing to decision making. When I identified tasks she would expect to have to carry out alone, I started volunteering to do these for her.

      We continued to communicate better for a few weeks, and then agreed to meet together on a Saturday evening to discuss what might be done. I had alluded to exploring my needs and what I felt would allow me to explore personal growth, improve my mental health, and motivate me to work in partnership with her to improve our relationship and household. I explained to her that earlier that week, she had been in a rush to start work and had told me the freezer needed to be defrosted. My instinct was to nod and go about my day, but I said, “I can do that at the weekend.” I immediately caught myself and said, “No, actually, the door isn’t closing due to the ice, I’ll do it now.” She said that was fine and left. She was surprised and grateful when I had completed the task when she returned for lunch. Another day she told me the washing machine filter needed to be changed and asked that I add it to the list of things I was going to do.

      When we met up, I explained that I was genuinely happy while defrosting the freezer for her. She said that it wasn’t for her, but was for the sake of the household. I acknowledged that she was, of course, right, but thinking of it in those terms had motivated me and made the task a pleasure. I also said that when she had told me to clean the filter, without her normal reticence and the expectation that I would complain, or just not do it, I felt a sense of calm and purpose that I had not known before.

      I told my wife that I had always known that I had a deep need for submission. I explained that I believed that being unable to express and explore this essential aspect of myself had led me to be confused and resentful. I told her this was all my fault. I said I had never trusted her enough to expose my vulnerability, but that this was entirely my mistake. She had never given me any reason to mistrust her and I felt I should have given her the information and left it to her to decide what she would do with it.

      We had a good discussion. My wife has never felt like a naturally dominant person and did not wish to be in a female led relationship. She had the feeling that I would be expecting a Dominatrix, and that she would ultimately have all her current burdens, plus the burden of ordering me about and disciplining me. We spoke about this and I explained that I don’t want her to be my parent, and I don’t want to be treated like a child. I suggested the idea of supporting her to take a leadership role within our marriage, but where we would be true partners, sharing the responsibilities and burdens together. We agreed to meet again a week later, once she had a chance to rest more. She did not want to discuss it further during the week, and so we continued to live as before, but with slightly more frequent, warm and respectful communication.

      When we met up, my wife was defensive and unhappy. I had shared the outline of a book on FLRs, and she had read it in a completely different way than I had. She was back to believing that she would be taking all the responsibility and doing all the work in controlling and training me, and making all the decisions, while I did the occasional bit of housework but only if she motivated me in the right way with rewards and punishments, or micromanaged me.

      Fortunately, she was willing to continue to discuss it. I explained that what I was hoping for was a trial period of eight weeks, during which we would agree the following: 1. My wife would be the leader of our household. Any decisions would be discussed between us, but she would have the final say. Once a decision had been made, even if I had initially disagreed with it, I would accept the decision and be fully committed to ensuring it was successful. 2. We would exclude interactions involving the children and people outside the household. 3. In the event of arguments, my wife would decide when things had become too heated and would tell me to stop (we later agreed on her saying “Time out” and me replying, “Yes, [wife’s name]”. 4. She would issue me a daily domestic task. She felt this should be no longer than 15 minutes, to begin with, in order to reduce the chance that I would fail and give up. 5. We discussed my personal goals, and we agreed that her standing orders would be that I would be in bed by 10.30 pm, would use the treadmill for at least 30 minutes three times a week, and would practice the piano for at least 30 minutes twice a week. 6. I acknowledged that I had no right to expect her to feel sexual or intimate feelings towards me after my behaviour and the damage I had caused to our relationship. I pledged that I would not expect any sexual activity with her and would not try to encourage or initiate this. I made it clear that if she ever felt comfortable initiating it, I would be delighted but that this was entirely up to her. I did explain that I felt I needed some level of physical intimacy, however, such as cuddles and hugs. 7. I would be solely responsible for loading and unloading the dishwasher whenever something was used.

      My wife listened as I explained that if we began in this dynamic, and it became successful, I felt there could be a role for corrective punishments in helping me to remain motivated to improve, to nurture my submission, and to fulfil my need for loving female dominance. I acknowledged that this was not going to be possible for her at this stage and may never be, but made it clear that I would be grateful for any steps she could take to move forward in the new dynamic.

      My wife and I discussed what she would be comfortable with. She said that she agreed that she did not want our marriage to continue as it had been and felt it was worth a try. She remained cautious and sceptical but decided to agree to the limited adoption of the dynamic, as above.

      We agreed to spend at least twenty minutes together each evening to talk and listen to each other. She has sent me a message each day with my daily order, and I have responded with gratitude. She was surprised when I told her that completing tasks like cleaning the toilets to the best of my ability was the happiest I had been that day, but believed that I was sincere.

      We met again on the next Friday evening. We discussed and agreed on a relationship contract with a review in the middle of February, but with weekly reviews to ensure there are no problems or changes needed.

      We also discussed a few practical issues and spoke more about what submission means to me and why I find it so helpful. She felt more comfortable and acknowledged that I had been helpful and loving throughout this period.

      I asked her to let me serve her during our most recent evening together. She still felt uncomfortable with this but did accept that allowing me to open her wine and serve it to her was actually a kindness since it made me happy. She decided what we would watch together once we had finished talking, and I praised her for trying so hard and said how grateful I was that she was taking my needs seriously. As we were about to start the TV, I asked her to think about whether in the future there may be something I can do to pamper her, such as giving her a foot rub while she watched TV. She said she has never had one, and did not know whether she would like it, but that I could try. I asked for permission to get moisturiser and she agreed. I then rubbed her feet for about a half hour, until she asked for a refil of her wine. When I returned, I knelt at her feet and gave it to her. I asked if I could rub her feet and legs from there, and she told me I could. I spent about two hours, apart from getting her wine, and then making her a cocktail, in that position. I stroked her feet and legs and paid her total attention until she was ready for bed. I told her that I was so grateful for being allowed to do that, and she told me she could now recognise that there were definite benefits to her in this new dynamic.

      Unfortunately, the following day we had to go to her family for Christmas. There has really been no mention of the dynamic due to this. We had agreed to spend Sunday evening together, as it is New Year’s Eve. Obviously I am hoping we will be able to explore a bit more then, as I’m worried that too little consistency at this early stage may make things more difficult.

      My hope is that my wife continues to grow in confidence within her role as leader and becomes a loving Dominant to me. I dream of her choosing me as her submissive beyond simply doing so to fulfil my needs, but also because the dynamic and my submission works for her too. I am trying to remain patient and hopeful, while continuing to share my feelings with her when appropriate.

      As I mentioned at the start, my apologies for the length of this post. If anyone has any feedback or advice, it would be gratefully received.

    • #95132

      Hi, I really enjoyed reading your post. My wife is disgusted by anything kinky and it sounds like your wife might have similar feelings. Isn’t it wonderful, though, that she is beginning to enjoy your sincere efforts to improve in your role as her submissive husband. I hope that she’ll take a more active part in designing your FLR, because you’re doing most of it currently (which is something I can relate to)

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