First off, thanks to all that took the time to comment. I do appreciate your insights and thoughts.
Rene - I understand what you're saying, and I agree that most people are like that. There are many examples where you'll read about the submissive man trying to get the wife to be "dominant" and it doesn't go anywhere because she either is not interested or just does whatever the submissive guy says. Yes, those fail. The intereseting part of that equation that never gets discussed, however, is why it fails.
My thoughts were just that when your life partner comes to you with a desire, shouldn't you be very interested in that? Wouldn't you want to know all about how she feels about it? What turns her on? What her thoughts are? I think that is (or should) be true for any couple.
That's not just limited to anything sexual. It applies to anything about that person. Whatever she's going through, whether it's with work, the kids, life philosophy, I'm supremely interested in discussing that with her because she (and the kids) are the most important people in my life!! I don't necessarily care what my friends wife's thoughts are, just my wife's!
You're right that you can't feel dominated if she refuses to do it. And you're right that if it's too far out of her original personality structure, it'll never work. That's not to mean that previously vanilla wives wouldn't actually enjoy it. So definitely go ahead and ask!
Susan's Pet - A marriage (especially when there are kids involved) is so much deeper than sexual relations, though it is an important aspect. Trying to manage intimate relations, along with life, and then adding "kink" at the urging of one party over the other, does make for a "return to normal" so to speak.
I know that I'm much kinkier than my wife. I know that if I never brought it up to her, we we would never be where we are today. But when I made the decision to try to incorporate this to her, well, it's been a long journey! She was o.k. with the idea, but it took more and more discussions and proding to get anything going. Fast forward a long time and it has gotten to the point where she knows how I feel, accepts it, understands where I'm coming from and, most importantly, now makes the effort to be much more engaging. (A full post on that is coming up.) It's taken a long time to get to that point, but suffice it to say that now, she does things on her own, is much more accepting and receptive of things, and very willing to participate.
I'm Hers - My thing has always been "we are married and in love first" and unless that is a really strong and happy relationship, kink cannot survive. I think that part of our success is that everything comes from a strong relationship and being in love and then we add the kink as a compliment to our life.
AAT - Couldn't agree more. You write: "The only way that this type of relationship is going to work realistically is if the couple can find ways to please and satisfy each others needs and desires, that are both realistic and acceptable to each other." Absolutely!!! And it's something we have actively worked on. The mistake many people make is that they want to incorporate every kink and aspect over night. They want to go from a completley kinkless/vanilla life, to her all of a suddent denying him, putting him in a chastity belt, humiliating in him in public, etc. It has to be a slow transition. The saying "It's only kinky the first time" is funny, but also true. Trying to incorporate one little change first, waiting for that to become the norm, and then doing the next, waiting, then the next and so on is much more effective.
From reading your blog, Jane has certainly changed and evolved from the beginning. It's taken a long time to get where you are, and it's still evolving. That is the same journey I am on with my wife. We are in a different place today than we were two years ago. Do I want us to keep going, having her become more dominant and more in control? Yes. Do I all of a sudden, tomorrow, present her with a contract, listing all the duties and responsibilities I'd do, punishments, etc? No, becuase it's too much change. Maybe years in the future when everything is still going along nicely.
As for the other portion of your comment - I'm not entirely sure that the "wife needs to feel loved" and the "submissive wants to feel controlled, even dominated" are necessarily mutually exclusive. But then again, the devil is in the details, because I can easily see situations in which you are correct.