Our Love Grew Into A Female Led Relationship
We meet while at Grad School in Cambridge Massachusetts – from the beginning she was amazing – I saw her across an auditorium at our orientation the first day of classes. It was for me love at first sight!
For the first couple of terms She would be nice to me but her friends told her to stay away from me – I was 6 years older and had extensive work experience and maybe perceived with a bit of arrogance in my demeanor. I had been dealing with a number of deaths in my family and was at a very dark place in my life – that… I guess was a timely expensive therapy in architecture that I was able to escape into. We almost did not end up together be it for our last studio course we ended up in while both of us not placing it as our first choice. We became friends, then started dating, then became lovers, then she decided we would move-in together … that’s how it started I would say!
She was raised in the South in a very patriarchal Korean family. Being the oldest ‘daughter’, not going to medical school, attending a premier feminist women’s college, and then deciding to become of all things an architect led to a bit of a falling out with her father to say it nicely. Her mother was always very proud of her and supported us when she could.
I was raised in the Midwest in the city of motors in a traditional Italian/Hungarian ‘white bread’ type of family …fairly patriarchal as well. I was the baby with three older sisters. I learned many things from my father’s traditional home but also how he deeply loved my mother. I also learned many things from my mother as well including laundry and folding, sewing, and cooking and We (my wife and I) were in many ways polar opposites. We were born in the same month but with her as a Leo and me as a Virgo we should not have clicked or lasted.
We moved back to my home city based on my contacts and connections and started a business together. It was not easy living in bombed out lofts and in a city that was about as low as it could get economically and spatially being derelict and rundown. It was tougher on her though – she would seemingly confront my past on numerous occasions. This was very hard professionally for a woman trying to make her way in a new city and in a field that was and still is male dominated.
Things came to a head one afternoon and our relationship changed subtly yet profoundly when she had enough and threatened to leave (having moved without us being married or engaged). She had a determined look on her face as she sat us down and began to ask what the hell are we doing. In not so many words she asked if I was ever going to propose to her and make us legit. I had been a typical male and quite oblivious to these matters and rather self absorbed – and in a matter of minutes – maybe an hour – the power dynamic with her and I subtly yet completely shifted to her having the real power in our relationship. I was in shock with some tears falling from my eyes, she stayed focused and dry eyed and I realized this had been bothering her for quite some time. I out weighed her by more than 100 pounds but knew that she had assumed control – to some level anyway. In many ways I look back at that afternoon and realized that was when the foundation was laid for our Female Led Relationship. I might say she maybe had been laying out the ‘plans’ so to speak when she decided we would first move in together during grad school.
We married soon after and things seemed to at some outward level return back to normalcy – She kept her last name, as did I. She began to find her way via teaching and excelled in this arena. And over the next decade we moved from renovated loft to renovated loft as her career grew in teaching architecture at the university level with my focus still in trying to carve out a fledgling architecture practice. She effectively was the main breadwinner with a stable prospectus and opportunities in her path. This sometimes was tough for me but also I saw her energized in the academic environment like never before.
We eventually had a child when she decided the time was right and became very close in a different way. Helping to care for the baby was amazing and I started to really help more around our home. I felt some level of guilt – not being all that I could have been as a husband at all levels in the past – and I wanted to begin to make amends. I became better at sharing the domestic duties and taking care of the baby. I fell in love with my wife all over again and started to change for the better as a husband. Amazing what a child adding to a couple can do!
We left the Midwest to head back to the east coast capitol district area based on both of our job possibilities and to start anew. Before we left I had one of her former college best friends come join us for a surprise ceremony to renew our vows… with her as a witness. It wasn’t a formal FLR contract but I mentioned my intention to be a better husband, assuming more domestic duties, supporting her career and clearly mentioning loving, listing and deferring to her judgment. It at least for me was the framing of our new loving FLR – for her – she liked when her friend read the part in the vows at the end “that again we were married once again and that she can kiss the groom.”
We continued on this path of building our surreptitious and somewhat stealthily FLR. I took a self imposed vow of chastity (honor system) replacing my need for release with the joy, passion and new intensity of hers! It was amazing the first time I truly made her climax – we both became quickly hooked with this new connection and I do not believe we are ever returning to the old ways of making love! (careful what you wish for – alas, surrogate bliss)!
We never really called it FLR or strove to take it towards ‘femdom’ or other more ‘kink laden’ type of relationship. In my mind we were building a FLR – for my wife though she would not call it FLR but enjoyed the new me and at times bragged to her friends about my becoming a husband that does the laundry, helps to cook, does the dishes, majority of the cleaning and supports career as equally to my own. Subtly and openly I had begun to become a feminist and really made strides to be better at listening to her at deferring to her judgment. This all was great – building our dream relationship while becoming ideal role models for our son to grow up in a home that was at least balanced – not really matriarchy yet but also for sure not patriarchy either. He would begin to see domestic/house work and chores not as “women’s work” or for a “house wife” to stay at home and do but more as gender neutral and even if I must say as “mans work” based on my example. He would see both of his parents with professional careers but understand that it was really ‘mommy’ that was the boss.
This all was turned on its head when the recession of 2010/11 hit… My wife’s job remained stable yet mine lead me to spend two years in living and working in Saudi Arabia apart from my wife and son. The things that life throws into your path can be really unfortunate yet… there are almost always people far worse off than the troubles that we may have to face. Leaving a budding FLR and being immersed in the land of the polar opposite was a complicated and emotional ‘dialectic’ story for another time. Needless to say we survived my time ‘In Kingdom’ and picked up back where we had left off. That is to say until recently… another shift recently began.
Just last year my wife began to be courted by a major university to compete for a leadership position in their organization. It would be a major career move for her with the stability of tenure and pay now equaling my own. Her position would likely have potential to surpass mine making her on target to soon again the main breadwinner in our family. I viewed this opportunity for her as something that she deserved and earned. We decided together to begin this pursuit (she asked for my counsel and thoughts…) as we plotted this potential path. I knew it was going to happen and was delighted to support her however I could to give her the best chance for success. I would be able to move within my company so it was easy for me. In the end she was successful and we quickly uprooted and planted new roots with a fresh start based truly on her opportunities.
The first months were a complete shift in our lives with her going to dinners, social meetings, traveling and events – with me supporting her at all levels and flipping many roles we had assumed in our prior city. I was now dropping our child off and picking him up from school, I began making the majority of dinners with my wife taking over Sunday dinner, a task that used to be mine. I really enjoy when she ask/tells me I need to plan a dinner for her and her new colleagues (which has happened a couple of times so far). I also make sure lunches are made in the morning and make sure her dry-cleaning is ready when ever she needs it. Ten years back – I silently ask myself if I would have been able to deal with the switch in our roles… Maybe, maybe not, but look back and wonder if it was providence or was I just lucky to have my wife really Conquer Me long ago – and have had the practice and slow unfolding to become a feminist and male that enjoys both his professional work as well the domestic duties that have become my charge.
It’s a new beginning and path that we are on relating to really wears the ‘proverbial’ pants better in our loving Female Led Relationship – I think my mother would be mostly proud of how her son turned out.