Sunday, March 12, 2017

Using My Words

Since I really am a bit of a control freak Bruce pretty much runs the show DD wise- the when, why, where, and how is always his deal. The idea is that I keep him informed about how I'm feeling, and he keeps that in mind as he makes decisions. But when time and energy is desperately lacking it is easy to just let him make the decisions and forget about the keeping him informed part. Since I'm an emotionally transparent person he can usually tell when I'm not communicating my needs, but I seriously have been so wiped out that even I haven't thought about how I'm feeling enough to realize that I wasn't communicating like I should have been.

But last week I was talking with a wise submissive friend of mine about submission amid exhaustion, and with her help I realized that I DO have some thoughts and feelings concerning our use of DD right now. Specifically I feel like I need more reiteration of my responsibility to submit, and more reassurance of his presence as leader. Of course meeting these needs is not solely Bruce’s responsibility. Still, we originally agreed that I would share how I’m feeling so I figured I would at least do that. And so when we crawled into bed a few nights ago I referenced a joke he made about my needing more maintenance, and admitted that more frequent maintenance may actually be helpful for me.

Funny how no amount of closeness relieves the awkwardness and humility of admitting that as an adult woman I may benefit from being spanked more frequently. Bruce and I tell each other everything, but it was still truly painful for me to spit out. He responded by agreeing that more maintenance would be good for me, and assured me that he would try to make it a more frequent occurrence. Not only is he unwilling (with good reason) to commit to a scheduled frequency, but lately there are at least three nights a week where I absolutely cannot stay awake past 9:00. So no promises, but I knew that he at least knew how I felt.

So flash forward to a few nights later, Bruce informed me before dinner that I would be getting heavy maintenance later that night. I asked for this, and I appreciated that he was following through. Logically I knew that going through this would help me, but emotionally and physically I already felt so desperate for it to NOT happen. As usual I was completely depleted at the end of the day, and nothing sounded worse than heavy maintenance. To make things worse, by 9:00 he was knee-deep in work and I was extremely exhausted. I asked if I could sleep on the couch until he was finished, and he said that was fine so long as I knew I would be getting it later on regardless. I really must have been tired because despite the heavy dread I was feeling that’s pretty much the last moment I remember until an hour or so later.

He woke me and we went downstairs. I immediately remembered what was coming, but said nothing as we brushed our teeth and got ready for bed. Soon after he told me to undress, and in no time at all I found myself over his lap on the bed. He gave me a long hard warmup and already I was fighting tears, perhaps a combination of physical exhaustion and increased blood blow during pregnancy. He gently told me that I needed to try to be stronger as it would be getting a lot worse. Sure enough, it took exactly three strikes with the lexan paddle before I was sobbing into the pillow. I wanted to stay calm but I really felt as if I couldn’t take it. Before long he was firmly insisting I quiet down and hold still as I was crying out into the pillow and struggling hard to stay in position. For the first time ever during maintenance I felt the need to tell him I love him, so I sobbingly did so when he paused between strikes. He softened momentarily as he assured me that he loves me too but that I was long overdue for a hard session. He even asked if I realized as much and I quickly agreed that he was right. I knew that he was but it didn’t make it any more emotionally or physically bearable. After what felt like an eternity it was finally over and he initiated intimacy. In fact, having reached a much needed emotional release it took a great deal of effort to stop crying even though the spanking had stopped. During intimacy I felt very reconnected to him, and I believe he felt the same. Afterward I laid in the crook of his arm and he told me that even though I had struggled he was proud of me for submitting. While I’m certain I will dread it just as much the next time, I did feel reassured of his leadership and reminded of my responsibility to submit. I hate the term “survival mode,” but we both truly are spent unlike ever before, and in a sense we are just trying to make it through right now. Still, we went out of our way to make it work; I went out of my way to pinpoint and articulate my feelings, and he went out of his way to accommodate my needs. Throughout the next few months we won’t always have enough energy left to go the extra mile. Still, it’s nice to know that we can do it when necessary. It’s even nicer to know that no matter how spent we are, doing so is totally worth it.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

DD Decision Making

Have I mentioned we are in a stressful time of life right now? Ha, seriously though we have never been so physically and emotionally taxed as we are now. Many other people with kids close in age have mentioned something similar- yeah it's great overall, but those first few years are pretty rough.

And so again, amid all of the stress, I want to take some time to focus on the positives. We may not be the best model for DD especially right now, but let me nonetheless revisit what works for us within the dynamic.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Maintenance/ Role Affirmation

Bruce and I are most definitely NOT the poster couple for Domestic Discipline. Nonetheless, for over two years now we've been pretty happily living this lifestyle, and among all of our blunders we have definitely found a few things that really make sense, for us at least. Maybe blogging about one of them will allow me to share with others and process things for myself all at once...

Maintenance/ Role Affirmation
I asked Bruce in the beginning if we could do this type of thing on a somewhat predictable schedule, but this is not at all in line with his personality (and I needed practice in accepting that things aren't always predictable and organized) so for us these are unscheduled and generally happen anywhere between two and five times a week.

While discipline spankings are horrible (but effective), and playful spankings are pleasurable, these types of spankings are a little of both. For us their function is to:
        - Display Dominance
        - Bring about Submission
        - Allow us to Reconnect
From my experience it is fruitless to expect that all of the above happen all of the time. Nonetheless when they do happen, wow. These are the things that make that happen for us:

1) They are past my tolerance limit
Bruce spanks hard. Of course he doesn't just wail on me thoughtlessly, he is always gauging my reactions, etc. But he errs on the side of too hard rather than too soft. He makes sure to achieve the point where I really feel I cannot take anymore, and then he takes me past it. When this happens the gravity of true submission is unavoidably present, and I am forced to realize anew that:
- I am really not in control
- This isn't about what I want, it's about what's best for me
- I've given control to someone I trust completely
- Surrendering control, while somewhat unpleasant, is surprisingly freeing

2) They are followed by intimacy
When he decides I've had enough he initiates intimacy. In this moment I feel relief, excitement, and a sort of sense of accomplishment. Oftentimes, but not always, the sex is rough, giving him and me one final and more pleasurable opportunity to respectively display dominance and submission. Here submission is still a focus, but meeting the other's intimate needs becomes the central focus. It's here that the pervading sensuality of the whole dynamic is laid out, beautiful, simple, and profound.

3) They end with affection
This is the part that ties it all together for me. I'm sorry to admit that when we are crunched for time or especially exhausted, this can get cut short and neglected. But when we're doing it right I nestle into his chest or the crook of his arm while he rubs my arm and tells me he loves me. Sometimes I am feeling needy and prod him to verbalize (if he hasn't already) that I have submitted well and that he is happy with me, but a lot of times we lay still together and not much is said- his gentle loving touch says everything. For me it drives home the point that he is doing all of this because he loves me, and for us women that is really the crux of it all. I can find peace with forfeiting quite a lot of my way and quell a host of emotions when I'm reminded that he loves me. There is really no better feeling in a marriage.

So there it is, this is what makes it work for us. I realize some would take issue with part or all of what I've outlined, but the beautiful thing that makes this dynamic even more intimate is that every couple is made up of two unique personalities and two unique ways of meeting each other's needs. The important thing is that we do meet each other's needs. And speaking of that, it looks like it's time for me to put this down for the night ;)

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Unconditional Submission

Well Sunday night has arrived, and here I am. A few hours ago I was complaining about all that needs done this evening when Bruce suddenly said "so when during all of that will you be working on your blog?" His tone made it clear that he wasn't really asking a question at all, so I rearranged my priorities and found the time. As usual he is right- the things that seem important often aren't, and the things I never get around to are sometimes the things that need the most attention.

This is a common theme, his directing me in a way I disagree with only to find later that he was pushing me in exactly the right direction after all. It reinforces to me the logic behind God's directive for the man to be the leader even though both are of equal worth. Women really are better at several things than men, but that goes the other way around as well. And it turns out that this emotion and intuition that enables us to do so many things gracefully and effectively can sometimes get in the way of leading. Similarly their logical cut-and-dried approach actually enhances their capacity to make the right call for the family.

Ok I'm waxing religious here, but bear with me on this line of logic. Really God's model for us is pretty damn simple, but left to our own devices we've managed to complicate and convolute it beyond functionality. Even the directive to submit is simple. Ephesians 5:22 says: "Wives, be submissive to your husbands... the husband is the head of the wife, just as Christ is the head and Savior of the church..." Of course it also goes on to direct husbands to love their wives in a seriously self-sacrificing way, but both directives are clearly and undeniably independent of each other. It's not an if/then statement; it's unconditional. Society encourages us to lose sight of the unconditional aspect, but it's this aspect that is really the key to making it all work so beautifully.

Think about the simplicity of unconditional submission. Maybe it's because I over complicate everything, but I find serious freedom in this simplicity. For the first five years of our marriage I grappled with the task of determining how and when Bruce was worthy of my respect. Society shouted so many things in my ear... don't be a doormat, HE needs to respect YOU first, if you don't demand respect then you have no self-respect, you have it harder than he does anyway... It was exhausting. When I really honestly evaluate that time in my life, a major part of my heart was always aching to simply submit, but my brain prevented me from following my heart, making things incredibly complicated. Nowhere in the directive does "worthiness" factor in, and rightfully so. This is exactly why our general unworthiness is gently but emphatically made clear throughout the entire gospel; we are never truly worthy of His grace, so we can never under any circumstances feel qualified to judge. He knew that the world would only work right if people really knew they had no right to judge (of course it doesn't actually work right because we don't ever actually remember this!). But in the same way, He knew that a merit-based marriage would be doomed to failure, where an unconditionally committed and selfless marriage would only beget more unconditional love and selflessness in return.

Yeah it's still a struggle. But when the internal dialogue changes from "I would be submissive if only he would..." to "I need to be more submissive right now" everything becomes infinitely simpler. So much simpler than I understood it to be for so long. Once we quiet the voice of society and make the first move to swallow our pride, the rest is easy. I'll be honest that actually committing to doing this sometimes starts with a not so great feeling of obligation, and sometimes it really is a struggle the whole way through. Nonetheless, it almost always ends with a peaceful calm that simply feels right. Hmm... in this way I guess the whole process is actually a lot like the process of getting a really sound spanking ;)

Sunday, January 15, 2017

An Unforgettable Night & A Blogging Promise

Hi all! So I've mentioned the craziness of my life lately- not only am I too busy to properly focus on submission, but I have absolutely no time left to process the intensity and complexities of a DD marriage. Out of necessity I have learned to simply process less, but doing so leaves me, as Bruce simply puts it, "fussier." He knows that blogging helps me emotionally, but he also knows that there is so little time left at the end of the day that it is hard to pull my laptop out and center myself to do it.

So at Christmas he found a solution: he bought me a really nice keyboard for my iPad, with the promise of establishing a blogging "plan" with me. Two weeks ago today here's what he decided: Sundays are Bruce's guy nights- he games or nerds out on sports, and I collapse onto the portable mattress by the fireplace to do some online shopping or catch up on a show he'd never watch, usually falling asleep within an hour or so whether I want to or not. So the plan is that I use this time to blog, and every other Sunday, ready or not, I have to post something. Throwing together a post over the course of a sleepy hour or two isn't really my writing style, but as Bruce reminds me it's better than just not doing it. He says it's on a trial basis at the moment, and in February we will determine if it is something to enforce long term. He also promised there will be very unpleasant consequences if it doesn't happen, so here goes. It may not be pretty, but ready or not I will be posting this tonight!

Now for the Impending Doom part: when we started this lifestyle Bruce informed me that I would not receive advanced notice for any maintenance or formal punishment spankings. It is a ridiculous understatement to say I am a planner, so I hated this. But that's why he did it, and that's what I love most about our dynamic; he keeps it authentic by doing what he truly believes is best for me, even if it's something that I disagree with.

Nonetheless, a week or so ago he announced in the morning that a serious punishment spanking would take place that evening. Wow do I actually love not knowing ahead of time! I was over the top nervous by the end of the night, but I must admit that my head was in a way better place having gone through the mental anguish-I-mean-preparation of knowing it was coming all day. So after that night he decided that occasionally he would give me advanced notice, and a few days ago he did just that. We were planning to do dinner and a movie sans baby, and he told me in the car well before noon that I should expect a severe spanking by the end of the night- partially maintenance, and partially accumulation of several instances of poor submission. Again I stressed all day; his hard spankings are seriously awful, awful enough that the dread overshadowed even the likelihood that we would reconnect afterward.

But through the dread I dutifully meditated on how much more submissive I wish to be, and by evening I knew that I more than deserved what was coming, and I committed to staying still during the punishment to punctuate my contrition. Of course I was also desperately nervous! When the evening wound down and the time finally came he made sure to give me a thorough warm-up, and graciously eased me in with the paddle. Eventually the strikes were hard enough that I was crying out, but I stayed almost perfectly still, which he loves although he never expects it. In between sets of strikes he lectured me, and wow was his lecture good. He talked about the importance of submission; how I need to not questioning his decision making, and that I need to remember how much he loves the family and takes his responsibility to lead seriously- that one really got me crying. Between sentences he would give me several hard strikes, and more than once I felt an urgency for it to stop, but every time he just kept going. After what felt like a very long time he paused and caressed my burning backside. He gently explained that it wasn't over yet, but he acknowledged that I was incredibly sore, and said he was very proud of my stillness. When he resumed the spanking he began mixing pleasure with pain, and the tone of his lecture became more affectionate... he needs me to trust him because he loves me so much... he would do anything for me... he will always take care of me... well after I couldn't take anymore he finally finished as I lay over his lap sobbing, emotionally and physically utterly exhausted. He laid down the paddle and initiated intimacy. I love this moment in the whole process so much- not only is the spanking over, but he is pleased enough with me that he desires to take me and to reconnect with me again. Although it was definitely rough the intensity was mixed with a sort of affectionate touch that is hard to explain other than to say that it felt deliciously loving.

Afterward we lay together and I relished the fantastic exchange we'd just had. A lot of times he and I handle DD more poorly than I'd like to admit; we get lost in ourselves and forget to put the other first. A lot of times the most important parts of leadership and submission are absent, and although the frustration doesn't escalate like it did pre-DD, it is still sometimes the most prevalent feeling remaining. But not this time. This was one of the times we got it right. One of the times I need to read back through and remember in the times when things aren't working so well. But for now I will savor the glow that still remains from that night. For now he is leading and I am submitting, and we are enjoying a feeling of trust and love and affection that makes the harder times so completely and undeniably worthwhile.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

When Life Gets Intense

Hello everyone, sorry I've been gone so long. I've had plenty to blog about but absolutely no time to sit down and do it. Bruce is lately considering making it a rule that I post more regularly because he knows how it helps me process, and I almost wish he would. Life has just been crazier now than ever before- we are both working more than full time, one of us is also pursuing a further degree, and we have a seven month old baby. And then of course there's the added stress of being quite pregnant again... did I mention that?

What a blessing for us to be able to conceive again so soon and raise our kids close together like we've always dreamed. We are so grateful! Heaps of blessings and benefits come with this decision that we were graciously allowed to make. Still, the next year or two will be a lot of work, and that is understating things incredibly! Both Bruce and I are worn out and spread thin, both physically, mentally, and emotionally, and I know things will only get more intense from here.

So what does DD look like when both partners are emotionally and physically spent? I'm sure it looks different for every couple, but I will share what it looks like here. I do consider myself blessed that for us DD never diminishes or fades to the background when times get tough. But practicing DD under such stress definitely has its low points. For one thing we both become more flawed in our roles; I inadequately submit by becoming disrespectful and emotional, while he inadequately leads by being angry and less considerate. I'm putting it nicely, but I assure you things got pretty ugly in the heat of our exhaustion. In fact, it would be dishonest not to admit that we actually reached a point where I approached him about taking a break from DD, possibly permanently. I never thought I would consider such a thing, and I'm ashamed that things got that bad. But domestic discipline is intense stuff- it is delicate, vulnerable, and deeply personal. Misuse on either end is emotionally taxing on both parties. But we did a lot of praying and from there we were able to do a lot more listening; by now I'm happy to report that we have found our way out of the destructive cycle of feeling underappreciated and back into focusing on meeting the other's needs above our own... not that this happens every time, but we at least have it's importance in the forefront of our minds when things start to go wrong.

But even now that we are being more considerate and careful, things look different when we are this overworked. I've found that the maintenance I get is more needed, brings me to tears even faster, and leaves me feeling more deeply contented and connected. The corrections though are rough, much more challenging than they ever have been before. My emotions are already running high when they start (sometimes his are as well), and I always feel a desperate panic to be doing anything other than going over his knee- it just feels especially unfair, extremely exhausting, and honestly I dread the pain more than ever. I know that he isn't spanking me any harder than usual, but when he uses the lexan paddle or looped cane (which is nearly every time) it takes a mere ten strikes or so before I am past my limit and in tears. Part of this is surely the exhaustion, but Bruce says that some of it also has to do with the physicality of pregnancy (he is medical, remember). Again we confirmed with our gynecologist that spanking is perfectly safe for pregnancy, but nonetheless a lot of things go on in a pregnant woman's body to make pain and other discomforts more unbearable than usual. He certainly does cater to my needs in many areas because of this, but thankfully discipline is not one of them.

A correction two nights ago is a great example of the typical corrections I've been receiving in the past few months: a lot has fallen apart at work because I am unable to consistently give 100% or more. Well-meaning friends and family hear this and say things like "I know you want things to be perfect, but..." which makes me crazy because I'm not talking about things being less than perfect, I'm saying that my job is so nuts that not going above and beyond leaves things in a dysfunctional mess to the point of not even maintaining the basics. In lamenting the fact to Bruce I felt certain that he too did not understand the degree to which things are falling apart. He insisted that he did understand, but I felt that wasn't true. Although I was calm and reserved, I couldn't help but be a bit tearful. Before long he set everything down and gently took my arms and led me into the bedroom. Immediately the tears flowed harder and I expressed extreme preference to avoid this scenario, which he of course disregarded completely. After arguing against discipline too many times in the past few months I've finally learned that no matter how stressed I am I must at the very least shut my mouth after stating how I feel. After all, this is the deal we agreed upon. I am hardly giving him control if I argue against his decision to discipline every time it feels unfair.

While gently but firmly bending me over the bed he explained why I was being spanked- I have to believe him when he says he understands... it is insulting to suggest that he doesn't get the ridiculousness of my workload... I need to have a better attitude (a common theme of mine lately)... I was already crying and the first several strikes were as painful as ever, but I tried to focus on his voice and think past it. As the lecture continued he removed my pants and underwear, and I sobbed harder at the thought of feeling more pain. Several strikes after that I was crying very hard, and when he stopped his voice was soft but firm. He replaced the paddle while I waited, and when he told me I could stand he hugged me and reiterated that he loves me but that I need to improve my negative thinking. Lately this leaves me feeling nowhere near settled, but I am also relearning how to set those feelings aside and reconsider them after a few hours when I can think more clearly.

So a lot of what I'm doing now is relearning the submission that my severe stress and exhaustion has destroyed. It is frustrating to have backslid when I worked so hard to get where I was, but that's just the way it is so I've got to deal with it and do my best to move forward. I must say that now when being corrected I am truly desperate for anything other than the loss of even more control in my life. But feeling/being completely out of control, hitting rock bottom in this, it can be enlightening- it puts things into perspective. In those moments of weakly submitting I am forced to realize that his love for me, his authority and my acquiescing to it, is real and right. The significance of this forces the messy house, my chaotic job, my expanding belly, and my general feeling of inadequacy to fade into the background. I am thankful for a husband that doesn't give up on trying to bring that perspective home to me. And although DD is tough in times like these, it is more needed and I am more thankful for it than ever before.

Monday, August 1, 2016

4th Trimester Boot Camp

Okay I’ve technically never been through a DD Boot Camp, but it sure feels like we are having one now. I was worried about this while I was still pregnant- the excessive amount of emotion and stress with a new baby makes the potential for discipline endless. By this point Bruce and I are actually nearing the end of the fourth trimester, but Bruce has just been given a huge added responsibility at work right as my extended maternity leave has finally ended. Caring for a baby is intense enough! Adding two careers with a ridiculous workload is a recipe for disaster to say the least.

To adequately describe our recent experience I feel I need to provide a bit of background on the way we do things: There are basically two types of spankings that happen in our house. The first type are more formal spankings in that there is a degree of ceremony to them; they happen at the end of the night, I am always instructed to get ready by undressing and waiting on the bed, and they usually last for at least twenty strikes. By now he can tell when I’ve had enough, and with these he takes me past this point so that my loss of control in the situation is undeniable. If I’m surrendering myself appropriately this usually brings me to tears, the good cleansing kind, and intimacy follows. While these spankings are a good deal more painful than I had imagined, these are the type of spankings that I expected when we first signed on for this lifestyle. I should add that when they happen as the result of a specific offense (rather than accumulated minor disrespect) the whole process is even more painful. Still, these types of spankings usually end with both of us feeling resolved, renewed, and fulfilled.

The other type of spanking leaves me feeling quite the opposite of fulfilled, although it still serves a purpose. These happen right in the moment; Bruce suddenly and sometimes angrily steers me into the bedroom, I receive several REALLY hard strikes while he calmly lectures about whatever just happened, and then he hugs me and tells me I’m forgiven and loved. At this point I am not allowed to try to discuss any further or it’s back into position I go, so this is his way of effectively halting a discussion that he feels needs stopped (trust me, “we’re done talking about this” unfortunately just doesn’t cut it). I can always go to him the following day if I am still unresolved, but I admit I rarely feel the need to after the heat of the moment has passed. Still, it is hard to describe how frustrated and unheard I feel when these types of spankings occur. This is the deadly serious part of DD for us, as it really tests my capacity to trust him and submit- to be perfectly honest I typically react with tearful anger or hurt, but I at least usually manage to clench my jaw and keep my mouth shut, at least for the time being. I truly and thoroughly hate everything about these types of spankings, but as I often forget this is not just about my needs. This is about Bruce’s needs as well, and sometimes he needs to stop me in my tracks, even if doing so is upsetting to me. This is the quality I admire most in his role as head of the house: when we began DD he took my request to relinquish control very seriously; the first time I made a suggestion he said something like “Whoa. You can’t have it both ways- you either want me to be in control or you don’t.” He couldn’t be more right. It would be far too easy to allow the control in the relationship to remain exactly where it began, under the pretense of offering suggestions, giving too much feedback, making requests, etc. I’m not saying these things can’t coexist with a true power shift, I just know that I personally am not altruistic enough to make it happen. It is a curious thing to truly witness your own control in a situation gradually disappear- although stronger and deeper, it is similar to relinquishing control during a physical punishment in that it is beautiful, terrifying, and exhilarating all at once. Which returns me to my boot camp theme…

In the past week or two, trying to sustain a precious, tiny life while juggling the responsibilities of being a good worker, daughter, friend, and wife have left me with very little energy to control my frustrations. I’m undoubtedly much better than I used to be but, as Bruce accurately put it, I’ve “backslid quite a bit in the submission department.” In fact there have been four nights in the past two-plus weeks that I have not received a formal type of spanking at the end of the night. Wow do they hurt worse when layered on top of a similar spanking the previous night! But through it all, what a comfort to have him draw closer to me in my ugliest moments. It’s like saying “I’m not giving up on you; I know you can be better than this so I’m going to try to help you get there.” Just as I try to grant him grace when he is too tired or stressed to be effectively dominant, he grants me grace (by coming towards me rather than withdrawing) when I am too tired or stressed to be submissive. Of course this only works if we extend grace regardless of whether or not we’ll get it in return, and there definitely are times where one or both of us are left hanging. But thankfully these past few weeks have not been one of those times. And so, I’ve been spanked most evenings lately. Usually it is for the different ways my submissiveness has been lacking, but sometimes it’s for stress relief in reminding me who’s in charge. In fact I’m pretty sure one or two of those times have occurred to relieve Bruce’s stress as much or even more than mine!

Then there’s the recent on-the-spot spankings. Too frequently lately I have been abruptly taken from what I am doing and steered into the bedroom for reacting poorly out of stress. He is right to spank me in these times, and it does help me re-center. But to be suddenly halted and physically corrected by the man I love, particularly when I am not yet in the correct frame of mind, this is unsettling on a good day. And then when Bruce is especially stressed as well it becomes even more so because there is less tenderness involved. Yes, I realize there is nothing tender about a discipline spanking. But when he is stressed himself his lecturing and aftercare is somehow more strained, for lack of a better term. These types of spankings have been happening a lot, particularly the ugly version where I check my tone but try to continue discussing once it’s over. This leads to a repeat trip over the bed or his knee, and more tearful frustration on my part. Frustration because I can’t say what I *think* I need to say. I’m embarrassed to admit that more than once he has unwaveringly repeated the process not once but twice before I finally got the message. Even more shamefully I admit that a few of those times I have only shut it down because I could not physically bear another spanking in such a short amount of time. It’s just that the more stressed I become the more I feel I need to be heard. But in truth I am really just complaining or vocalizing some aspect of a poor attitude.

Things got particularly ugly a few days ago when I felt that I was not getting enough help with the childcare. I felt an instant twinge of bitterness when the monitor indicated she was waking from her nap, and yet he didn’t budge. I went to tend to her, but the longer I did so without a word from him the bitterer I became. We always bathe her together, so when it was time to get her ready for bed I asked several times for him to come and help me. He repeatedly said he would be done shortly, but after fifteen minutes of waiting I was furious. So I did something I haven’t done since we’ve started DD: I yelled at him to stop and come help me. Not the kind of yelling you do when you are trying to communicate from another room, but the kind of yelling you do when you are angry. Wow did I overstep. He literally dropped what he was holding, came into the room, and smoothly took our daughter from my arms. As he kissed her gently he laid her in her crib and he actually said “Mommy’s not going to yell like that again baby. Daddy’s going to go help her calm down.” I suddenly felt ill as he grabbed me by the arm and led me into the bedroom, and by the time he firmly bent me over the bed I was really crying. He lectured quietly, but boy did he spank me hard. It only lasted for about fifteen strokes, but I’m certain he has never spanked me as hard as he did then. In fact our lexan paddle, made of bullet-resistant polycarbonate, actually broke. When it was over he reiterated his expectations, showed me the broken paddle, and said I would have to order another one before the end of the night. Once our little one was all settled in for the night he hugged me again and told me I was forgiven. Even though we had reconnected, I was emotionally exhausted by the end of the night.

I wish I could say that this turned things around, but it didn’t. Incredibly enough we had a full blown argument the next day (also something that hasn’t happened since before DD) which eventually did result in another harsh spanking. The accumulation of all of the recent spankings left me sorer than ever before, but this time it only served to make our interactions civil again; we were far from being on the same page, much less connected. We agreed to pray about it and I went on a long run to clear my head. We’ve finally come to a place in our marriage where we’ve learned to focus on our own mistakes and missteps while praying, so with God’s grace we were able to come back together and discuss things with clarity: we needed to appreciate each other better, to help each other through the craziness, and generally be less self-centered. The stress is still as present as ever, so I can’t say the punishments have ceased, but we are truly and fully connected again. And through it all, we are thankful for having this tool to streamline the process. In fact he was so enthusiastic about its effectiveness that I ended up having to order a looped cane as well as a duplicate paddle, mostly because he wants a quiet implement for when my MIL stays overnight once a week this Fall. He’s only lightly tested it out a couple of times, but last night during maintenance he experimentally/lightly used both alternatively, and this was incredibly painful. But I must say it’s been a great behavior deterrent, as I feel very motivated to avoid experiencing this on a more serious level.

So here we are. With the present craziness I am still struggling to be appropriately submissive, and Bruce is still struggling with consistency and even with controlling his temper. But we are learning. We are learning that we cannot expect our own needs to be met before we begin meeting the other’s needs. We are learning to extend grace first, and address our own concerns second. And this process is far smoother with DD than it ever could have been otherwise. More painful, yes, but way less lonely… Physical discomfort rather than emotional isolation? I’ll take that any day.