Thursday, October 3, 2013

Changing Gears

When we started this journey, I don't think either of us expected the many adventures it would bring. We started out lost with a general idea of where we wanted to go but no real idea how to get there. Once we got going, we hit a few bumps here and there. We've went off roading a few times. At one point, we even went in circles. But lately I've been feeling that something isn't right and it's time for a change.

Before you start thinking this is my farewell post, let me assure you it's not. Domestic discipline has changed us, both individually and as a couple, and I can't see us ever going back to the way things were before. I'm pretty sure Steve would agree.

In the beginning, I had this idea of what the perfect HoH would be. When Steve didn't magically transform into that guy, I launched a subtle campaign to turn him into that. It took a while for me to recognize what I was doing (you can read about it here), but once I did, I confessed. We had some rough days following my confession, but we eventually came out of it stronger. I won't deny I still occasionally fall into that trap, but now I recognize when I'm doing it and can stop it.

Back in those early days in my misguided attempt to mold him into the HoH I imagined, I used his lack of knowledge against him (and in hindsight us). Knowing that he didn't have time to read a bunch of blogs like me, I made sure he only saw the stuff I wanted him to. On the rare occasion he clicked beyond the page I asked him to look at and found something I didn't want him seeing, I was quick to talk him out of it. .

I also used the fact that he was unsure of himself as HoH and his desire to make me happy to make him fairly lenient. Whenever he got strict, I fussed and complained about it to the point he felt bad about being so "mean."

Unfortunately, my efforts succeeded and have lingering effects even today. Although there are several punishments that would probably be as effective (or even more so) than spanking, Steve doesn't know about them. The few he is aware of, he doesn't use because I put up such a fuss about them when he heard about them that he dropped the idea. In hindsight, those alternatives would have came in handy at times when he let me off the hook because he was tired or sick, or when he felt that it wasn't bad enough to warrant a spanking..

I've also come to realize that while I like his leniency at times, it's not what I need. I do best when he is strict with me, when he holds me to the same standards that he holds himself to. When he lets me off the hook because he thinks that's what I want him to do, it makes me spiral. Because even though that's what I want (or at least I thought I wanted), I need the reassurance that he cares enough to follow through.

In my efforts to transform him into my perfect HoH, I inadvertently kept him from growing into the HoH I need and probably the HoH he wants to be. For a while now, I've felt like something wasn't quite right. It wasn't until yesterday that I finally could put it into words.

I spent all day yesterday trying to figure out exactly how to go about telling Steve all this. We've had a couple major communication malfunctions on our journey and I wanted to avoid that possibility by choosing my words with care.

When we went to bed last night, I took my laptop with me with the intention of sharing some links with him that I had previously kept to myself. Since I very rarely bring my laptop in the bedroom, he noticed immediately. That combined with me being quiet all evening (something he knows means I have something on my mind) had him asking what was up.

I clammed up. I'm generally not shy about speaking my mind, not even about intimate matters like sex. But for some reason, even after having a DD marriage for over a year, I'm still shy when it comes to talking to him about certain aspects of it. I guess because it requires a huge amount of vulnerability.

Anyway, Steve chose to let it go for the moment. He started talking about other things like his doctor's appointment that morning (see the note at the bottom of this post about how he's doing) and his day at work. Then he asked if I would rub his back.

I rubbed it for a while and then lulled by the darkness of the room and him facing away from me, I finally started talking. He didn't say a whole lot. He pretty much just listened aside from asking a couple questions. By this point, it was really too late to get into the links I was finally ready to share with him so he said we'd look at them together tonight.

He does seem to have taken what I said to heart. This morning he outlined the chores he wanted done for the day and made it explicitly clear that he would not accept any excuses for them not being done. When I didn't seem too motivated to get out of bed (Mother Nature's little gift has arrived and I feel crappy), he gave a little motivation in the form of a few swats.

He even called shortly after leaving this morning to remind me about the chores and the consequences if they weren't done. He also added that he might be stopping in for lunch and if he doesn't see any progress when he does, I'll get spanked for procrastination.




Update on Steve: When he didn't seem to be improving any following the wreck, I was worried. Our local hospital isn't the greatest and I was concerned that they had missed something. I scheduled an appointment with one of the local chiropractors, figuring they have more experience with back and neck injuries than an ER doctor does.

As it turns out, the hospital did miss several things. His entire spine is out of alignment. He has several compressed discs that are pinching nerves. He also has some deterioration in his spine (not caused by the wreck, but definitely made worse by it). They estimated it would take several months of treatment to get him back to normal. I am so ticked off at our hospital right now because if they'd just bothered to do an X-ray, they would have saw these things (in theory anyway) and he could have already been getting treatment instead of just now starting.

10 comments:

  1. Oh I'm irritated for you about Steve's back! That is NOT an area to mess around with.

    I think you were very brave last night. I have a tendency to have everything planned out to say to Barney, until he walks in the room. Speaking my mind about other things is easy, how I feel or how I messed up, that is an entirely different matter all together.

    You know looking back over our 'journey' and the missteps I took that I think affected Barney, well maybe they happened because they needed to. Some things I used to do he sees now, and admits that even back then he knew what I was doing, even if I didn't myself. But he wasn't ready to object then.
    Growth and learning.

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    1. I still can't believe a hospital wouldn't think to do x-rays on a patient that's been in a car accident and complaining of head, neck and back pain.

      I never thought of my missteps that way. I guess things have a way of working out the way they're meant to.

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  2. Hi Dana,

    This is a great reflective post. I think we all start out with ideas of what we want our HoH to be and fall into the trap of attempting to manipulate him into what we envisage. Really, it's something we have to let them discover and grow into, their way. Unfortunately, we only realise this in hindsight. Good on you for bringing this to Steve, it can't have been easy.

    I'm sorry to hear about Steve's back, it must be painful. It's good that you made the appointment for him and that he can now get the treatment he needs.

    Hugs,
    Roz

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    1. Thanks Roz. It wasn't easy, especially since I thought we were past this issue already. Of course looking back now, it's easy to see that while we did talk about it and I did make more of an effort to quit doing it, we didn't make the effort to repair the damage done up to that point.

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  3. Hi Dana That is really annoying for Steve, lets hope treatment helps from now on.
    I think you are brave to bring all of this to Steve. When we started ttwd, I think I wanted more from my husband. I have learn't to accept that things will only be how he wants them and I am grateful that he didn't simply dismiss it all as a middle aged woman's hormones. We have settled into what suits us and I hope that now you are giving Steve the chance to lead everything will work out for you both.
    love Janxx

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    1. Thanks Jan. It took me a while to realize that this was something I needed to let him figure out on his own. While I can always offer my opinion or share things that I think he might find helpful, ultimately it comes down to him and what he feels is needed.

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  4. Dana, I think this is great that you are sitting down and talking with him. I was wondering if you'd be willing to share some of the links you'll be using? I'd love to take a look at them if you're willing to share. :) And AH OH on the procrastinating, no fair... some of us work best that way, that secret better never get out! LOL And you're right about the doctors, some of them think they just know best and they want you out of there asap... makes you wonder why they became doctors in the first place. :(

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    1. Thanks Es May. The links aren't anything ground-breaking, just a couple posts on alternative punishments I found over at the Learning Domestic Discipline blog (learningdd.com). I'm searching for a few more links for him, but I thought the alternative punishment ones were a good starting point.

      The threat of a spanking for procrastination didn't surprise me. I'm terrible about waiting until the last possible minute to do things and it drives Steve up the wall. Half the time I get spanked over not getting something done that I was supposed to, it isn't because I deliberately chose not to do it, but rather than I procrastinated until I ran out of time.

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