This is a list of specific things I think a husband can do to maintain the authority his wife has asked him to assume. Naturally, this is what works for me. Every household is different, and has different rules, expectations and standards. There is obviously not a single answer to this question, any more than there is one single perfect answer to how to be a good parent.
1. Put an end to bickering.
Just as an officer doesn’t bicker with a subordinate, a parent doesn’t bicker with a child, and a boss doesn’t bicker with his secretary, you should not bicker with your wife. She needs to be allowed to voice her opinions, and depending upon the issue, she should still have an equal voice in decisions. But bickering is the petty argument or recrimination, the sarcasm, biting remarks, conflict without substance. (“If you had come when I TOLD you to, then this would never have happened” “Oh, yeah right, THAT’s going to work”) This is precisely when you need to say, “Enough. One more word and I get the hairbrush.” She will honestly be relieved. She’s not stupid-she knows the argument isn’t accomplishing anything. She will be glad you stopped it. Instead of thinking “What an idiot he is,” she’ll be thinking “What a strong sexy guy-even if he is an idiot.”
2. Develop a sense of when you should cut off further discussion.
This is related to the no bickering policy. At some point matters have been discussed enough. You are not making progress, and things are beginning to deteriorate. That’s when it’s okay to say, “No more. We can talk about this later.” Or, when appropriate, “I’ve already made up my mind.” Again, she might think “What an insufferable toad.” But she was thinking that anyway. At least this way she’s thinking you’re a strong, sexy, insufferable toad.
3. Learn how to use your authority in public.
This is not easy because you must also be very careful not to humiliate or demean her in public. This is particularly important if she is a professional woman whose career might be harmed. But she should still respect you and have a sense of your authority no matter what the situation. Subtle signals between the two of you can be very powerful in a public setting. A raised eyebrow, a gentle squeeze, a pointed finger, even a code word can send the message that although she might feel safe at the moment, she is still under your jurisdiction. If nothing else is working, don’t be afraid to physically remove her from the situation. Simply say to the others, “My wife and I are going to step outside for a moment. We’ll be right back.” Then, take her by the arm, lead her outside, and calmly read her the riot act. The fairly trivial embarrassment she might feel at having a discussion outside is far outweighed by the long term benefit to you both of her understanding that you are still in charge and not afraid to do whatever is necessary.
4. Learn how to manage the genuine all-out knock-down, drag out fight.
Face it, married people fight sometimes. No matter how much she adores you there are times when she will quite simply be enraged, and a simple “Stop it or I’ll get the hairbrush,” isn’t going to work. Recognize that this is normal, and it doesn’t mean you’re a failure, or that she will never again recognize your authority. It does mean that you may need a cooling off period. My husband tends to withdraw under these circumstances, and appear an hour later with the hairbrush in hand. After my backside is burning, and my ears are ready to listen, then we finish the discussion in a much more calm, sensible manner. In this situation I am always relieved when he does re-establish authority because deep down during a fight I have a panicked feeling that everything is out of control, everything is ruined, and we will never be happy again. By spanking me, and then having a calm discussion he lets me know that he won’t let me ruin our relationship. He loves me too much to let me push him away. It makes me feel very secure.
5. Limit physical aggression to her bottom.
Her fantasy of the strong, stern authoritative man is one who will use physical force to spank her bottom. But you must never, ever, under any circumstances whatsoever, hit her anywhere else (with the possible exception of the back of the upper thigh, if you’re feeling particularly brutal.) This means never slap her, punch her, kick her, pull her hair, throw things at her, or use physical violence of any sort. In order to respect your authority she needs to feel that you have self-control, and that she can trust you absolutely.
No matter how angry my husband might be, if he tells me to come to him I can do so without fear. I might fear for my bottom, but I know that he will never strike me anywhere else, and that he would never do me lasting harm. This also means, unfair as it may seem, that even if she slaps you, or throws something at you, you should never reciprocate. You have more physical strength, and you have the authority to put her over your knee. That means you don’t need to brawl.
6. Lead by example.
If you tell your wife that you will not tolerate cursing, and that she will be spanked for this, then you need to control your own cursing. If you tell her you will spank her for leaving her clothes on the floor, then be sure to pick up your own clothes. A double standard will seem unfair, and it will also make her feel as if you are just grasping for rules without really caring about them. Sometimes there will be exceptions: Just like a child will say to a parent “How come you get ice-cream before dinner and I don’t?” your wife may on occasion have a similar issue. “Hey, you swore. I heard you swear. Why is it you can swear but I get spanked?” If it is relatively rare, it is perfectly acceptable in this situation to say, “Because I said so. I’m the guy with the paddle, and you’re the girl with the bottom. Do I need to demonstrate?”
7. Be willing to say “Because I said so.”
There are times when your wife will want to argue and you will feel your authority eroding away. Be willing to say, “Look, I’ve made my decision. You agreed to accept my authority, and I intend to hold you to it. I’m not a perfect guy, and this isn’t a perfect world. Get over it!” She will probably be thinking, “big dumb bully, doesn’t know his ass from a hole in the ground.” But that’s better than having her think “Gee-he used to be in charge, but now everything has fallen apart. He just wasn’t up to it.”
8. Don’t delay discipline any longer than is absolutely necessary.
If you think she should be spanked for a sarcastic remark, it is infinitely more effective if you take her by the arm, and lead her to the bathroom, the bedroom, the garage, and administer the swats right then. When you wait, she feels like she’s not important enough to be worked into the schedule. Also, delay dilutes the emotional impact of discipline. You may find that you are not as annoyed, and she may not be as defiant. Maybe in the intervening time she has had a hard day, or done something particularly sweet that makes it seem not right to spank her somehow. This is why it’s best to deal with these things as soon as you possibly can. Also, if you have a habit of waiting until bedtime, then she might well be too tired to really benefit, and she might also get the message that you really intend this as sexual foreplay, rather than real discipline. Sometimes, what is most effective for me is if my husband gives me a few good swats right at the moment, and then another, longer harder spanking at bedtime.
9. Let her cry.
Sometimes for a woman, crying during or after a spanking is very powerful emotionally. She’s letting down barriers. It doesn’t mean anything is wrong. It doesn’t mean you’re a terrible bad man and you’ve injured her. At the same time, you shouldn’t try to get her to cry from the pain of the spanking itself. A lot of women have an enormous amount of control, and can bear excruciating pain without tears. So don’t judge the harshness of the spanking by tears alone. I never used to cry, but now I find that I cry pretty easily. For me personally, to climb on my husband’s lap after a hard spanking, and cuddle against his chest, weeping softly as he rocks me and strokes my hair, has an intense emotional impact unlike any other.
10. Be prepared to be tested.
Sometimes men are confused when a woman asks them to set limits, and then the woman ignores those limits. Understand, she is not looking for a set of rules because she’s too stupid to know what should and shouldn’t be done. She’s not wanting to be the meek little wife. She’s wanting to feel your authority. She wants to push against a wall and feel its rock-solid strength. She wants to know that you really truly mean what you say, and you’re prepared to back it up. And sometimes, to be perfectly honest, she wants you to toss her over your knee and spank her hard. When you understand this, then you won’t be surprised when she misbehaves. It is important that you be firm when she tests you. Don’t think that this means things aren’t working. This is perfectly normal.
11. Be prepared to change tactics when spanking really isn’t working.
Sometimes, no matter how often you spank her for a particular behavior, she’ll keep doing it. That’s when you need to re-evaluate, and figure out what’s going on. Is she doing the behavior because she needs to be spanked? Is it just too hard for her to change? If it is a behavior you seriously want ended, and spanking isn’t working, then I would suggest you have a serious talk with her. Say, “I’ve spanked you for this repeatedly, and I’m not seeing any change. Why is that?” Then, tell her you are going to give her one last spanking for this, and it’s going to be a hard one. But if the behavior occurs again, then you will be forced to use a non-spanking sanction. For example, if the behavior is staying on the computer too long, you might be forced to disconnect the modem. If she knows that is the next step, then in all likelihood she will make the change you need. Plus, she probably will feel bad for pushing you so far.
12. Learn how to set effective rules.
Sometimes when man learns that his wife wants him to exercise authority over her, they both try to come up with a set of rules. This tends to result in rules that feel artificial or more annoying than beneficial. Don’t feel as if you need a list of rules right away. When you do make a rule, make it something you really care about, and are prepared to enforce. A good rule of thumb is that if it is something you have asked her to do, or not to do three times, then it’s an appropriate subject for a rule. Some rules my husband has for me are:
I’m not allowed to leave my things on his desk. I’m not allowed to set things, especially drinks, on his car. I’m not allowed to use his nice books as a coaster. I need to be in bed within about ten minutes of when he turns in. These are things he cares about. If I break one of these rules I can expect a pretty hard spanking as a result.
If you make rules that you don’t really care about, or just for the sake of having some rules, then your wife will feel as if you are condescending to her. You are pretending to take charge just to make her happy, but it isn’t real. I think it’s much better to have fewer rules, but very genuine ones, than to have a whole list of stuff nobody really cares about.
13. Don’t confuse simple spanking with bondage or S/m.
You and/or your wife might actually be very turned on by the idea of tying her down, and forcing her to say thank you, or to ask for the swats, or whatever. There’s nothing wrong with that. But don’t get the idea that just because your wife has let you know she wants to be spanked sometimes, this means she wants all these other things. For me, and I think for many women, they just like the emotional security of the simple over the knee spanking, the kind where they can say, “No please, stop,” and the husband proceeds to spank them anyway. The other stuff is more for kinky sex-fine in its place, but not the same thing.
14. Don’t forget spanking basics.
When you spank, don’t forget that a bottom that hasn’t been spanked in several days will be far more tender and bruise more easily than one that has received regular attention. She will be able to endure a much longer, harder spanking if you start out slow, preferably with your hand. Changing implements from say, a belt, to a brush, and back to the hand will help her to tolerate a more severe spanking. Take a break if need be, and send her to the corner for a few minutes before going on. Try to spank both sides of her bottom equally. Avoid hitting the fragile tail bone with anything hard like a wooden brush. The very lowest part of her bottom and upper thighs are highly sensitive, and should only be spanked in extreme circumstances.
15. Don’t forget the “Lecture.”
She needs to hear why she’s being spanked. If its just because you feel like it, that’s okay, but say so. If it’s because she made sarcastic remarks at dinner, then don’t forget to tell her that. She wants to feel contrite and humble, but she can’t unless she knows what to be contrite about. She also wants to feel that you are emotionally there with her. She needs to hear you talk about why you are angry, or disappointed. The lecture combined with the spanking gives her the emotional catharsis she needs. One without the other is like pancakes without the syrup, or biscuits without the butter.
16. Use Maintenance Spankings if need be.
Often we see posts from husbands and wives who say, “we want Domestic Discipline.” She wants to feel his authority. She wants that strong dominant man who will take charge, and throw her over his lap on occasion. But the trouble is, she’s such a perfect angel that for the life of them they can’t come up with any good excuse. Well, this has never been a problem in my house. My husband could come up with good solid reasons to blister me silly twenty times a day if he were up to it. But for those of you with well-behaved wives, you might consider having a regular time when you give her a spanking “just because.” This keeps her bottom in reasonable condition for when and if a punishment spanking is in order, and it meets her need to feel your dominance.