Monday, May 5, 2014

Advice for Newbies

Since joining chat, I've had the pleasure of meeting a number of newbies to the DD/TTWD life. When they find out that Steve and I have been on this journey for nearly 2 years now, I often get asked what advice I can offer them when they're starting out. It's a good question so I figured it deserved its own post.



There is no right or wrong way.

Once you start researching DD, you're going to find a lot of information. Chances are, some of it's going to be conflicting. You're going to wonder who is right about how DD should be. Here's the thing. They are all right, at least for their relationship, but that might not necessarily be the right way you and your partner should practice DD.

I have yet to meet a couple that had it all down pat from the start. It's going to take time and a little bit of experimenting to find what works for you. Don't be afraid to throw something out if it isn't working or try something new that you haven't saw anywhere else. The right way to practice DD is what works for you as a couple.

Keep in mind that those needs may change over time. If something has been working for a while and suddenly stops working, take the time to figure out why it's not working any more. You may need to make some adjustments.



Follow the KISS principle with rules.

Keep it simple. If you're starting out with a huge list of rules, chances are you're going to have trouble remembering all of them, which is going to lead to frustration on both parts. Or one or both of you is going to feel overwhelmed or inadequate because the large number of rules means a lot of punishments at first while you adjust.

Pick just a few to start out with. The 4 Ds (no disrespect, no disobedience, no dishonesty and no dangerous behavior) are a good starting point. Or you can simply pick a couple things that you want to work on.

The rest of the rules will come over time as the need arises. When we started out, we had 3 rules. We condensed the 4 Ds down to two rules (dishonesty falls under disrespect and dangerous falls under disobedience). Our third rule was a major peeve of Steve's that we both wanted worked on. After nearly two years on this journey, we only have 7 rules.



Communicate, communicate, communicate.

There's a reason nearly every DD blog talks about communication. None of us are mind readers. It's important to let our partners know what's going on in our heads.

If something is going wrong, talk. If something is going right, talk. If you don't know what's going on, talk. If you can't get the words out of your mouth, write them down in a letter or type them in an email or text.

Keep in mind that your partner may communicate in different ways than you do. You may find that your partner has been saying the things you wanted to hear all along, just in a different way than you expected.



It's okay to ask for what you need.

This one was a tough one for me to learn. I'm very independent and I don't like asking for help from anyone, not even my husband. I didn't want to admit I couldn't do it on my own. I didn't want him to see me as needy or too much work.

Over time, I've come to realize that it's okay to ask for what I need. In fact, he prefers that I ask. Otherwise he's left stumbling around in the dark trying to figure things out while I just get frustrated because he's not reading my mind and giving me what I need. It all goes back to communication.



It's not all sunshine and roses.

You're going to struggle at times. Both of you are. It's okay. Sometimes those struggles are needed so you can learn something you might not have learned otherwise.

Don't be afraid to lean on your partner. Even if there's nothing they can do to fix your problem, talk to them. Let them know what's going on inside your head. They'll appreciate it. Trust me.



Be consistent.

While this advice is commonly given to the dominant partner, it applies to the submissive counterpart as well. Consistency tells your partner that you're committed to the relationship. Consistency tells your partner that they can trust what you say.

If you say you're going to do something, then follow through. If you have a legitimate reason you can't (an emergency, illness, etc), let your partner know so they're not left hanging. Then follow up at the first available opportunity.



Seek out like-minded people.

DD can be lonely at times. If you have that one person outside your relationship that you can tell anything to without fear of judgment, that's wonderful. But if you don't have that person, it's a good idea to seek out others who do live in this dynamic. To be honest, I'm not sure we would have made it this far if I hadn't been able to talk to someone who understands. I've made some amazing friends in this community, friends who have supported me through the rough patches and offered advice when I've been struggling.

Join the community. Start a blog or start commenting on blogs written by others in DD relationships. Many of us have our email addresses listed on our blogs so you can email if you wish to speak more privately. We were all newbies once and we don't mind answering questions as long as you're polite.

Try out the chat rooms. I have a couple listed on the sidebar on the right side of this page, but there are more out there. An internet search will turn up some forums and groups as well.


I hope that helps those that are just starting out or thinking about DD. If you have any questions, please feel free to comment, email (addy is on sidebar) or come find us in chat (also on the sidebar, just look for Dana and Steve in the chat).

17 comments:

  1. In our relationship Barney had the most difficult time with the disrespect one. He always looked at how he contributed to my hurt feelings, and that is usually when the venom of disrespect spews out of my mouth. So I would add, to any new TiH wife, please try and be gentle with your husbands if they don't act on it right away. They may just have to view it for a while- but communicate to them ( not blast them) . I would often remind my husband, " You didn't choose to hurt my feelings. It was an accident. I chose my words, and tone even if I was hurt that is no excuse" It took a long while.

    Another blogger told me at the start of ttwd, "Make sure he chooses rules that are important to him. If not you will both just be frustrated" Truer words were never spoken. The ones I thought were important, were often difficult for my husband to enforce. As time went on and he became more comfortable we reexamined the those rules and they are part of our life now, but at the start it was too difficult for him to find the conviction within himself for them. He ( like many men I have come to know) started off with health concerns, and things he wanted me to change about my diet etc. Not the things you 'read' about in stories often and not a huge relationship changer, but that was how he started. He could justify his actions because my physical well being was the reason.
    The last thing I have learned, and will share as I am apparently highjacking this post anyway! lol... Is as hurtful as it sounds if he says, he's doing 'this for you', cut him some slack. I honestly believe that for those men who find it difficult to spank, they need to believe that it is just for us at the start. To justify it. To absolve themselves of their ' societal guilt' . Give them time. Show them it works for the benefit of your relationship, and the wording will change. At least that has been my experience ( not to say I didn't have buckets of tears before that did happen).
    Sorry for being so wordy Dana
    willie

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    1. Your wordiness is always welcome Willie.

      Steve has struggled with the disrespect rule too as I mentioned in my post a few days ago. Like Barney, he was hesitant to punish for it since it was often a direct result of him upsetting me or hurting my feelings. I finally told him "It's okay for me to be mad at you, but it's not okay for me to be disrespectful in how I share that." Now he tries to focus more on what I say and how I say it, rather than what led me to say it. It's a process.

      I definitely agree about choosing rules that are important to them. I think our dishes rule falls in that category. It was a major peeve of his so it was one of our first rules. Since it was something that really bothered him, he didn't let it slide much.

      As for the "doing this for you", it never bothered me. I think because I saw it as a sign that he cared enough to do it, even if it was just for me in the beginning. It didn't take long before it came "doing this for us and our family."

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    2. You have an excellent point about the caring enough to do it, and I honestly felt that way because Barney is not a spanko...but him saying it all the time bothered me. Mostly because as soon as I would question him ( didn't he see any benefits) he would immediately say yes, and list them- therefore it was for us. Again though, I think it takes them a while to actually let that sink into their beings.

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  2. Beautiful post , it's hard as a newbie to find what's the right thing to do , your right it all about communication... I find it so hard these days to find those who understand your lifestyle ... I think you move past the vanilla relationships , as you love close to your new one it's hard to find friends who you can talk to... Thanks for the post :) ~ s

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    1. Thanks. I'm glad you found it helpful.

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  3. Great post, I wish I had read more posts like this a year and a half ago, though I guess it was part of the journey to discover what works and doesn't for us. We made the same mistake in the beginning, too many rules and rules that were not important to either of us, we tried to fit a mold, and it's taken a long time to realize that there is no mold, or rule book.

    Chat has definitely helped my husband feel more confident in this lifestyle, because it is hard at first to get past the "societal guilt" It's nice to have people who understand and that you can turn to for support. I think it's wonderful that you're reaching out to everyone to make sure they feel welcomed, and they know there is support here!

    Hugs!!

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    1. Jennelle, to be honest, I wish I'd found a post like this when we started. There is a definite learning curve when it comes to DD. Even now after nearly 2 years, I'm still learning.

      I've been trying to get Steve into chat, but he's so busy, it's hard for him to find the time. I'm going to see if we can at least squeeze a little time out so he can make it into the HoH chat this Thursday. In the meantime, I'm chatting by myself and keeping him up to date on what I've learned.

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  4. This is a great post Dana...and not just for newbies! One thing I will add regarding consistency...some TiH's have a tendency to 'brat' when they feel neglected in order to force the HoH's hand. My advice...don't...just don't. Communicate with words...don't show them bad behavior which can be discouraging to them. Hope this makes sense.

    Hugs and Blessings...
    Cat

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    1. It makes perfect sense Cat. I've fell into that mistake a few times when we first starting out. Learning to be more open about what I need has saved us both a lot of frustration.

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  5. This is a great post Dana. I think it is so important when starting Dd to realise there is no one way or 'right' way. Every couple needs to find what works for them. It is so easy to compare your relationship to what you may read in stories or on blogs. Also, along with communication, which is vital, is patience. It takes time to develop and for each partner to become comfortable in their roles.

    A very good point too about consistency. We hear about consistency from the HoH. However, we need to be consistent in our role too otherwise we can give the message that we aren't serious about Dd. I'm afraid to say I have struggled with certain rules and continually broken them. Rick's response was he didn't understand why I keep breaking them when I tell him at the same time that I sm committed and I understand why the rule is in place.

    Hugs
    Roz

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    1. Thanks Roz. Patience is definitely something that I should have included. I remember thinking about it when I was writing this post in my head, but I have must have missed it when I was typing.

      Realizing that Steve needs my consistency as much as I need his was an eye opener for me. It really changed things for us when I quit worrying so much about his consistency and focused on my own.

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  6. You've got some great points here, Dana. I guess what I'd add is to have fun with it. Laugh at yourselves once in a while. Read the funny posts together. Enjoy the extra spark that so many people experience in the bedroom.

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    1. Thanks Leah. That's a great addition. We're had some pretty funny moments along the way. And we've definitely enjoyed that spark.

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  7. Great list, and I think anyone finding this who is just starting to learn about this type of relationship would be well advised to take it to heart. Although not sure that is always possible with the excitement in the early stages, lol. I do agree on all of them, communication is so important.

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    1. Thanks Julia. I think I probably overlooked some good advice myself in the beginning between being excited about starting DD and being overwhelmed with the large amount of information I had found while researching.

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  8. Really good blog Dana. It was a good starting point for anyone new in DD. One thing you might add is research DD. The more you learn about it the better informed you will be. Be sure to keep what appeals to you and discard the rest. DD is not a cookie cutter lifestyle. We are all individuals and not everything out there works for everyone. This lifestyle will bring you closer to each other emotionally and make a marriage feel new and exciting again. Ladybrittany

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    1. Thanks LadyB. Research is definitely something that should be on the list.

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