Steve and I had been married 7 years when I brought up the subject of Domestic Discipline to him. To understand why I did it, you have to understand the background.
I was raised in a female-led household. It wasn't that my dad was a weak man. He just wasn't around much. Due to the lack of decent-paying jobs in the area I was raised in, he went out of state to work. Sometimes he was home on weekends, other times we didn't see him for a couple months. It couldn't have been easy for him to be away from his family so much, but he did what he had to so he could support us.
Since he wasn't around much, when he was home, he preferred to spend time with us rather than be the "bad guy" parent. My mom was used to being alone with us kids (when she wasn't working) so she pretty much headed the household. Looking back, I see that even when my dad was around, she still firmly held the reins, attempting to keep us kids and him in line.
Steve, on the other hand, was raised in a more traditional household. While both of his parents worked, his dad was (and still is) the head of the household. As far as I know DD isn't a part of their relationship, but his mom was (and still is) submissive to his dad.
When we got married, it didn't take Steve long to figure out I was headstrong. He also learned I have a problem with procrastination. If there's something I don't want to do, I put it off. I keep putting it off until either I have to do whatever it is or someone else gets tired of waiting and does it themselves.
This led to some problems. At first, he would ask me to do things. When that didn't work, he'd raise a fuss about the way things were. At times, we fought about it. Even though I knew in my heart that he was right, I was downright stubborn about it.
Somewhere along the line, I started losing respect for him. I guess some of it came because he pretty much let me do as I pleased to preserve the peace. Although in hindsight, us fighting wasn't really peaceful. It sucks to admit it, but there were times I walked all over him and treated him like crap. I'm not proud of it.
A few months before our sixth wedding anniversary, I started realizing the direction our marriage was heading. Even though we still lived together, we were arguing, often over the same things we'd argued about time and time again, or not even speaking to each other at times. We still loved each other, but we were drifting farther and farther apart. I lived in fear that one day he'd decide it just wasn't worth it and walk away.
It was about this time that I first came across the concept of domestic discipline. At first, I thought it was crazy. I was a grown woman in full control of my own life. There was no way my husband was going to take the lead away from me, no way he was going to paddle my backside if I stepped out of line. It wasn't happening.
But I kept coming back to it. As I did some more research, it didn't seem so crazy. In fact, it might even work. And even though the thought of getting spanked worried me, I wanted so bad to change the things that were wrong in our marriage, the problems I had caused.
I lost count of how many times I started to bring it up with Steve. I always lost my nerve because I was worried how he would react. Would he think I was crazy? Would he shy away from the idea of setting rules and punishing me when I broke them?
It wasn't until shortly after our seventh wedding anniversary that I decided to sit down and write my thoughts out. I started composing an email, gathering links as I went. It was hard. In writing the email, I had to face up to the person I had been. It wasn't a pretty picture.
It took me nearly a week to finish my email. I kept rewriting parts to make them clearer. Adding a little here and taking away a little there. I finally came to the conclusion that I could either keeping working on it for the rest of my life and never change anything or hit the send button and maybe, just maybe, fix the problems in our marriage.
So I drank a few beers and chain-smoked quite a few cigarettes. Then I hit send, told Steve to check his email and fled to the shower.
It was the longest shower I've ever taken. The whole time I was second-guessing myself. Would he see what I was trying to do? Would he think I was nuts? For the first time ever, I ran the hot water tank completely dry. Even though the water was freezing, I couldn't bring myself to step out of the shower.
When I heard the bedroom door open, I started shaking so bad I could hardly stand. Then the TV went on and I knew he was in the room to stay. It was about this time that it occurred to me that I was going to have to get out at some point. After all, he'd come check on me eventually if I didn't.
So I finally turned off the water and started to dry off. I decided that I'd dry off, rush in the bedroom to grab a nightgown and then take off for another part of the house until hopefully he had forgotten my brief moment of insanity.
As I slipped the nightgown over my head, he caught my eye and he smiled. Once I had it on, he patted the bed beside him and I asked the question that had been rattling in my head through my long shower: "Do you think I'm crazy?"
He reached out and pulled me down on the bed beside him. No, he didn't think I was crazy. Yes, it was a little different, but what he was most impressed by was the fact that I cared enough to want to change the way things were.
So we talked. For the first time in our marriage, we were completely open and honest with each other. There were tears from both sides. And we decided that we weren't going to just try this DD thing, we were going to do this. It was an all or nothing kind of thing.
And now, so much has changed. We're a stronger, closer couple than we've ever been before. Even though he leads, he doesn't control me. I'm still free to be me. When I step off the path we've chosen together, he helps me find my way back. I may not like his methods, but I can't deny that they're effective. I love him all the more for being strong enough to do what's necessary to keep me on track.