It's strange how a simple little word can have such an effect on me. It doesn't have to be yelled. In fact, most of the time it's said softly, his tone more effective than a roar. I don't even have to see the steely look that accompanies it to know he's serious. It stops me in my tracks every time.
Enough is a versatile word. It tells me I've pushed too far. It tells me I'm getting too close to the line. It tells me that the discussion is over. It tells me I need to stop what I'm doing or saying immediately. It tells me I'm risking a sore bottom if I don't quit right now.
Sunday is supposed to be the day we spend together as a family. It's the one day of the week that Steve usually doesn't work. With everything going on this past month, we haven't been able to have our family day. So I was really looking forward to having it this past Sunday. We had planned to take a drive up into the mountains and have a picnic.
I didn't get it. This one little thing Steve had to do that morning turned into something that took over half the day. By the time Steve and our daughter got back, I was mad. It didn't help that they were asking if friends could go along with us.
Instead of taking advantage of the rest of the day that we still had, I decided to be stubborn. I dug in my heels, accusing him of caring more about everyone else than spending time together as a family. He apologized and tried to talk me out of my bad mood, but I wasn't having it. Finally he left me alone to stew. In hindsight, it probably would have been better for him to do something to head me off, but I guess he was hoping I would do it myself.
I was still perturbed about it yesterday and that led to some defiance on my part. I had a lot going on so I put off a chore he had asked me to do. Even after he got home and noticed it, he was nice enough to give me an opportunity to do it before I got in trouble over it. Call it a moment of insanity fueled by irritation and stubbornness, but I still didn't do it.
Needless to say, I got spanked over it, for not doing the chore and for being defiant over it. Now normally a spanking resets that inner submission switch, but for some reason, this time it failed. Not ten minutes after the spanking, I started fussing about missing out on my family day.
He let me vent for a minute and then he put the fault right back where it belonged, on my shoulders for being stubborn and keeping us from enjoying the rest of the day that we still had. Even though I knew he was right, it made me mad. I started getting wound up and that's when it happened.
He put his hands on either side of my face and gently turned it until I was eye to eye with him. Then he said enough in that quiet tone that brooks no argument.
When I look back at the years of our marriage before DD, I see a lot of times I let stubbornness, pride and the need to be right get in the way of things. And I can't help but wonder if things would have been a lot smoother back then if he had just said enough.