I can remember several points along our journey where spankings disappeared and DD seemed to flounder. At those times, I was frustrated because it seemed like we were stuck, not making progress, or, even worse, going backwards. Over time, I've come to realize I was looking at those times wrong. DD wasn't gone. It just took on a softer, more subtler flavor.
It's been that way recently. Spankings have been few and far between. We haven't even been doing role affirmation. There really hasn't been a need. After nearly two years of this journey, I know what Steve expects from me. In the beginning, it was something I had to be conscious of. Now it's ingrained.
It's the more subtle things that show he's in charge. I've been sick this past week. Since he knows I tend to lose my appetite when I don't feel good, he's been reminding me to eat, even if it's only some toast or a bowl of soup. He's been after me to let go of the 20 things I insist I need to take care of before I can lay down so I'll go rest. When he woke up in the middle of the night to find me shivering with a fever, he got up to turn up the heater and throw another blanket on me. He's been calling or coming home every day to check on me.
We recently got our health insurance back so we were talking about scheduling doctor appointments. I happened to mention I was overdue on my yearly female checkup. Since he knows I have a family history of female issues, he insisted I make that appointment ASAP. And he followed up the next day by asking whether I had made it or not. I hadn't so he then demanded to know why not.
It's been more than just taking care of me, though. He's also made it a point to help me. Twice now he's cooked supper for our family. Mind you, Steve does not cook. But he knows that while I love to cook, I sometimes get burned out on it doing it day after day so he's stepping in (without me asking) and cooked supper.
When we had company coming recently, I was stressing about the house, trying to figure out how I could get everything done before they arrived. Instead of just telling me it would be fine or giving a general clean the house order, he jumped right in to help giving me specific tasks to do. As a result, instead of shutting down because I was overwhelmed, things got done so fast that I was left with time to just relax before they arrived.
And then there's the sweeter side. He's taken to surprising me with little gestures here and there. Giving me a backrub out of the blue without me asking. Stopping on his way home to pick up one of my favorite treats, Calling during the day just to tell me he misses me.
I'm beginning to like this softer, subtler DD. I just wish I'd recognized it sooner.