Monday, February 5, 2018

A Week in the Life

Life in a DD relationship is exhausting but generally fulfilling. When I first looked into this lifestyle I wondered about the frequency of spanking and/or submissive mess-ups long term. What would a regular week really look like for a couple that’s been doing it for a few years? Well, now that we’re three-plus years in I’m on the other end of that question, albeit amid an unusually hectic season of life. And to be honest some weeks DD is almost nonexistent, or at least extremely inconsistent- those are the weeks where we just simply aren’t making each other a priority. Not okay, but when life gets crazy there’s not much to do other than cut your losses and try to do better next time.

Some weeks we’re on top of it- I actually check myself before blurting out something that may be disrespectful or unsubmissive, and Bruce is present in an authoritatively loving way so that I can really feel how he loves and cares for me. Even in those weeks I admit I am serving him far less than I want to be, out of sheer exhaustion and busyness; he may ask me to make him coffee, scratch his back, or do some laundry, but I’m never just serving him of my own free will like I was before our babies came along. I don’t like it, but my mental and physical exhaustion usually wins out and I just don’t get around to it on my own. But eventually I’ll get there again.

Maintenance typically happens once a week or so, but I think we both agree that when time and energy is less limited, doing maintenance slightly more frequently makes both of us happier and more connected overall. It certainly helps me be more submissive. Punishments are about as frequent, sometimes impromptu and sometimes planned out (I dread the planned out ones and they usually hurt more, but impromptu spankings are really unsettling emotionally). I usually get punished for poor attitude or not properly adhering to something he has asked of me.

This week was a bit different, as I committed the later offense to an extreme degree. Bruce gave me advanced warning that I would be punished heartily if I didn’t take care of something requiring several time-sensitive steps throughout this week. I did well right up until the last step, and even though we both forgot he had been clear that this was my responsibility, so as promised I was punished thoroughly Wednesday night. And Thursday night. And Friday night! Wednesday was a long spanking with the lexan paddle and looped cane, but thankfully there was intimacy afterward. During the punishment he said something that really resonated. It was toward the end of the spanking, and in between strikes he simply said: “This is important to our sexual health, and you need to make it a priority.” All day Thursday his care for our sexual health stuck with me, so much that I even texted him thanking him for the punishment and for making me a priority. I assured him I would take the remaining punishment well, and I did that night when he gave me a brief spanking with the looped cane. No intimacy afterward, but it didn’t matter- it was very evident that he was doing this only because he cares about me and about us. Friday he gave me a particularly harsh spanking with the lexan paddle, but I took it well and our intimacy afterward was incredible.

So I’m a grown woman who gets spanked by her husband. Yeah I admit that’s definitely weird. It may even be a little messed up. But do you know what else it is? It’s a physical connection aligned with each of our desired roles in our marriage. It helps us adhere to those roles, it helps us stay connected emotionally, and it helps spice up our sex life! It sounds ridiculous to thank God for a somewhat kinky and definitely unusual practice, but I really do thank Him for having let us stumble into this weird thing that adds to our marriage. Maybe one day I’ll see that it’s something we shouldn’t be doing anymore, or maybe I’ll find an alternative that is more ideal. But maybe years from now I’ll still be thankful for how it aids in all of these things. And maybe years from now we’ll have it much more figured out and more perfected than we do now! Either way, for now I’m really happy with where we are in our marriage and in our DD journey, and for now that’s enough :)

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Why Size Matters

I don’t care what anyone says, size, or rather length, really does make all the difference. Of course, I’m talking about length of spanking here ;) Seriously though, nothing is worse than a spanking that is too light... except maybe a spanking that is too hard, ha. But in my opinion how long a spanking lasts has a far larger impact than level of harshness ever could.

A few nights ago Bruce and I discussed a specific and particularly awful habit of disrespect that I have fallen into recently. After discussing I apologized and he forgave me, but before getting in bed that night he had me undress and lay over his lap. I expected the lexan paddle, or worse a blend of the lexan and our other implements, but to my *initial* relief he never opened the implement drawer. Now in the past year or two Bruce has become a rockstar at hand spankings, so I didn’t think I was getting off easy, but I had assumed it would at least be better than a spanking with implements. And it might have been, except that it lasted so long.

I tried to keep track at first, but by forty strikes I realized that my mental energy would be needed elsewhere. What started out as uncomfortable soon became painful, and little by little that painfulness became absolutely unbearable. Since this happened gradually I was able to force myself to stay very still, but I also had to “take it” for much longer which required a good deal more resolve. When it was over I was surprised by how contrite and submissive I felt. What’s more, I felt overwhelmingly loved. And even though these feelings are always strong enough to catch me off guard, I really shouldn’t be surprised because I always feel this way after a long spanking. Here’s why:

Reason #1: a long spanking undeniably screams “I am totally serious about being in charge.” When Bruce keeps me over his knee for longer than I expect it shows me that his having authority in our relationship is a priority to him. It shows me that, even if he’s tired/busy/etc., he still feels that the point needs driven home thoroughly. Although this is a little intimidating it definitely helps me bring my submissiveness to the next level.

Reason #2: a long spanking also screams “YOU are a priority to me.” When Bruce uses his own time to physically get through to me it tells me that he is willing to fight for me/us, and that he thinks our roles/our relationship and my submissiveness/overall wellbeing is worth his time. When I get affirmation of being valuable to him I work harder to serve him out of deep gratitude and love.

Reason #3: I have time to truly get in the right mindset. For one thing a long spanking gradually becomes unbearable, so I have ample opportunity to brace myself and be still, remember why I deserve it, etc. And for another thing once the spanking becomes unbearable it is unbearable for far longer. This makes the fact that I am not in control sink in very thoroughly! This part seems to last forever and I admit this part is more awful than the harshest spanking. But regardless of this, reaching such a mental state is really pivotal to the entire submissive process.

Reason #4: The discomfort of a long spanking lasts. At least with us, my discomfort the next day has a direct correlation to how long the spanking lasted. I’ve had horrible spankings with all three of our implements that left me reeling, but unless they are long I wake in the morning with nearly no residual effect. The morning after my recent hand spanking however, I was plenty tender. This serves as a reminder all day that my man is the boss, and I’d better treat him as such!

I’ve mentioned we’re in a uniquely crazy time right now with Bruce’s career and having two babies under two, so to be honest these long spankings aren’t happening all of the time lately. But when life was more manageable these were the norm, and I trust that when we have more time and energy they will be again. For now the occasional reminder of the way these work will have to be enough, and of course our commitment to each other and to our roles still shines through in other aspects of DD and just in our marriage in general.

Nonetheless, length of spanking is so huge that it is definitely worthy of having its own blog post. So there you have it- length really does matter :)

Sunday, January 7, 2018

During a Harsh Spanking

A lot of things go through my mind during a harsh spanking. Most of these things are to be expected, although when I stopped to really think about it there was a thing or two that surprised even me. Two nights ago I received quite a harsh spanking, and as I went through the usual emotions it got me thinking that articulating my mental process might be worthy of a blog post. So here goes!

1) When the spanking is about to start or just starting:
I don’t actually want this.
We’ve been practicing DD long enough that I no longer second guess the overall process, but rather the spanking that is about to happen. Not that I spend my days just itching for a harsh spanking, but there are definitely times where I know that it would help me or us. In those moments I always recognize the truth that it is worth the discomfort, but when I am actually in position and on the receiving end of Bruce’s strikes all I can think about is how idiotic I am for ever wanting any part of this. Why experience pain like that if I don’t have to, right? That’s definitely the first place my mind usually goes.

2) After a few strikes:
I have to take this and be still.
I’m sure everyone is different, but it is really hard for me to mentally benefit from a spanking when I am physically fighting it the whole time. I don’t mean literally fighting against Bruce, but fighting the discomfort by kicking my feet against the ground/bed/whatever, repeatedly lifting my head, and sometimes even pulling up onto my elbows (bad, I know). But I should add that even though it is ideal and most effective for me to mentally benefit, Bruce and I have agreed that this is not the only purpose of a spanking- sometimes Bruce just needs to exert dominance, sometimes a punishment just needs to be completed, etc. Nonetheless, I am a far sweeter, more thankful, contrite, and submissive when I’ve been fully present mentally during a spanking.

3) Once the spanking has really gotten started:
I deserve this.

We both work hard at our marriage, and most of the time we do right by each other. Sometimes one or both of us is awful, but we try to avoid that or at least learn from it as much as possible. But regardless of how good or bad we are to each other, Bruce is such a good man, and  I have decided that I want a marriage dynamic where he is the boss and I treat him with respect. Me- I’m the one who first wanted this! And I’m not a terrible wife, but the unfortunate tru th is, especially lately, a lot of times I completely lose sight of this hierarchy that I value. I respect him a thousand times more than, say, my boss, but some of the things I say to him I would never even dream of saying to my boss. Or even a coworker for that matter! Shame on me. I want this relationship dynamic, so I want the accountability required to stick to it. And when I can’t handle myself accordingly, I deserve that accountability. Remembering this helps me SO MUCH. It helps me be still, it helps me get my heart and my head back to where I want them to be, and best of all it helps me really reconnect with my soul mate.

4) Once I really can’t take anymore:
I am really not in control here.

I admit this realization is a bit scary sometimes, but oddly enough it is all the more freeing. When the spanking has reached a place that I’m really not comfortable with, it becomes undeniable that a) Bruce is absolutely in control (no topping from the bottom here!), and b) I am totally a passenger. Ok yeah, a passenger in a not so pleasant ride, but in my daily life this is the only time that I have no responsibility or decisions to make, and it forces me to be 100% in the moment. Once we are both really present in such a physical act as this, all of the irrelevant nonesense between us just melts away. At this point my thought process is something like... My bottom hurts so badly, and there is nothing I can do about it... I trust that he is in control because I trust him... I love that he clearly wants the same relationship dynamic that I do... he is doing this crazy thing because he loves me... it is surprisingly freeing to give up control... I love when he is in charge... I love the connection we share... I love this man so much...

Isn’t it interesting that nowhere in this process do I ever think “this is really hot.” Of course, I do actually think it’s hot, but I’m realizing that I never think this while a harsh spanking is actually occurring. Now a more bearable sexy-spanking, oh yes! But with a harsh spanking this never really goes through my mind until it’s all over. (Of course, once it’s over that thought most definitely does go through my mind :))

So there it is. Yep, it probably sounds pretty weird and sort of awful from an outsiders perspective. But it is so not! I’m so convicted of this that I am happy to discuss with anyone who can’t quite see where I’m coming from, either privately or via comment, but otherwise I will just leave it at that. Speaking of comments, any other submissive wives out there ever think any of these things during a harsh spanking? If so feel free to share!

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Interview with JGirl :)

Merry Christmas All! JGirl and her Taming of the Shrew Blog (blog reel to the right) is quite probably the most read DD Blog in existence. Now part of that is because she is well-written and just generally a fantastic woman, but I really believe that a major factor in the blog’s popularity can be attributed to the [honest] documentation of a real, long-term, successful D/s relationship. Let’s be honest, this lifestyle is higher maintenance than just being with someone, and hard work isn’t necessarily something humanity flourishes in so... a lot of D/s relationships seem to fizzle once the honeymoon phase wears off and the hard work really begins. But not so for JGirl and her husband Jason! They have been at this for a long time, and they have committed to working hard to make it work. And so it does :)

Anyway, about a month or so ago she interviewed me about living the lifestyle. We both got some positive feedback from that, so I thought interviewing the true veteran would be even better. Here are my interview questions about what it’s like to live this lifestyle long term, and JGirl’s responses below. I love her answers, particularly #7 and #8. Lots of wisdom here- hopefully you feel the same. Happy Reading!

1. What is the biggest benefit you see from having lived this lifestyle for a few years now?
I think the biggest benefit is really how close we are. Since we wrap up any discord pretty quickly, we hardly ever have any unresolved issues between us. We are able to talk through anything, and we understand each other so well now. After years of learning how to communicate and meet each other’s needs, it’s really brought us so much closer together. And because he’s literally the Dom of my dreams, I find him super hot, which is really fun. ;)

2. What remains your biggest challenge?
Busyness. With a large family and both of us working, we have to work incredibly hard at finding time for each other. About 90% of our issues stem from not having time to communicate effectively because of other commitments. Then, our commitments drain us, and we find we don’t always have the energy we need for each other. We have to be very intentional about finding time to connect, but it’s a constant effort.

3. Describe an initial challenge the two of you faced that is mostly nonexistent by now.
Understanding why I wanted this. I struggled so hard with feeling like I was weird or a freak because I wanted him to not only dominate but discipline me. It took years of self-exploration and working things out with Jason before I had peace with that. From his perspective, he didn’t understand it all either. Now, we never question why. We both understand it well and embrace it. It’s become such a part of who we are, and the fruits of the lifestyle are abundantly clear.

4. How has your sex life generally changed/improved long-term?
It’s a hundred times better! Ok, before it was also largely impacted by having babies and lack of sleep, and now that are kids are older that isn’t as much of an issue. But we’re both erotically attracted to the power exchange, so even snuggling and talking over rules turns us both on! He spanks me regularly to keep me sane and in my submissive place, and we’re both so turned on by spanking that that helps, too. Also, I’m no longer self conscious about my body around him. I’m not allowed to criticize my body, and the frequent lovemaking has helped me be comfortable in my own skin.

5. From your perspective, why does this lifestyle work?
I could probably write an essay on this. Also, it works differently for different people. For our purposes here, I’m going to assume we mean the lifestyle in which there is one partner in authority as the dominant, and another as the submissive. I personally feel it works for many reasons. First, because it’s an agreed-upon imbalance of power, the couple is still on equal footing. Delegating authority to one doesn’t negate the other’s self worth. If it did, it wouldn’t work the way it does. Second, giving one partner authority means that there is no room for dissension, no power struggle. So problems are fairly easily resolved. Third, most of us find this lifestyle erotic, so it increases the connection between the two, bringing about a depth in relationship they may not have found before. Fourth, when we embrace mutual self-giving, both are fulfilled. The dominant partner’s need to protect, guide, and lead are met, the submissive partner’s need to be protected, guided, and led are met. That changes from couple to couple, though. Some really are just in this so they can pursue their own goals, and having the accountability allows that. When this lifestyle works, with years of practice, we can become the best we hope for, with a solid, loving relationship to boot.

6. What’s the most prevalent misconception you’ve faced about the lifestyle?
There are many. From the outside world? That it’s wrong. That adults shouldn’t discipline one another or seek discipline, and that those who do are somehow disordered.
From those inside the world? That it’s easy. It isn’t. It’s one of the most challenging things Jason and I have ever done. The payoff is tremendous, but it takes so much work to get there.

7. Is there any advice you feel would have saved you a lot of heartache back in the beginning?
Yes, and it’s the advice I frequently now give. If you want to submit, don’t expect him to make you. Choose to submit on your own. Don’t make this all about you. The only person you can control is yourself, so focus on your own submission, and the dominance will usually follow.

8. Do you have any words of advice for couples that aren’t new to the lifestyle but still aren’t as settled as you and Jason?
Yes. After the honeymoon period is over, you tend to hit the hardest part of all. In order for this to work at this stage, it becomes essential for each partner to focus heavily on meeting the needs of the other. My advice would be for both partners to find ways of meeting the needs of the other as best they can. Dominants, this often means paying more attention to your submissive, focusing less on your own needs and more on hers. Submissives, this often means obedience in areas you don’t like, focusing less on your own needs and more on his.

9. What is the biggest change you’ve seen in Jason over the years?
He’s so much hotter! Lol No, really, I’ve always been attracted to him, but now that he’s in this position of authority, because I’m submissively wired, I find him so hot. I melt into a little puddle on the regular! He’s also far more self confident and happier than he’s ever been.

10. What is the biggest change you have seen in yourself? 
I am happy and fulfilled. I struggled for years with a negative self image and poor self worth. Though I still struggle with those things, I wake up most days happy with my life, and eager to take things on. I’m gentler with myself in some ways. Though I am goal-oriented and fairly driven, I don’t allow the self criticism as often as I used to. Now that I’m not as mired in my self worth issues, I find it easier to pursue my dreams, easier to focus on what I’m thankful for, and easier to see the beauty in the every day.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Why It’s Worth It

Hey all. If you follow my blog at all you know that Bruce and I aren’t exactly in a Rainbows and Butterflies phase of DD right now. Nonetheless, even in our currently exhausted, stressed, and not-necessarily-fulfilled state, I am a believer in the value of this lifestyle. Let me share why.

First let me say that I hate the current societal movement of “tolerance” for everyone’s views to the point of rejecting personal conviction. Don’t get me wrong, people that lack empathy or cannot respect other points of view are the worst of the worst. But have you ever really considered the flaw in the “whatever’s right for you” mentality when it comes to foundational things like religion or ethics? It’s obviously not okay to shove your world views on other people, but it’s hardly a personal conviction if you can’t assert that you believe it to be an over-arching truth. In example, if a person of (any) faith does not believe that everyone’s lives would be enriched by ascribing to it, then is it really a belief system at all? As a Christian I believe that having a sincerely Christian worldview would optimize anybody’s life, and that spreading this worldview would make the world a better place. I would think that all people of faith would feel the same.

I do totally get that DD itself is not for everyone- that’s definitely not where I’m going with this. And again I have to reiterate that I DO NOT believe that DD is even remotely suggested anywhere in Biblical scripture. It is a 100% man-made system and very likely has plenty of flaws and pitfalls.

But I DO believe that the husband being the head of the household is scriptural. And since I am a Christian I believe that God suggests this model for marriage because He himself built men and women with different strengths, and He knew that those strengths would play out for everyone’s benefit in this way. If men are to lead and women are to bear and nurse children, it stands to reason that men were made to be stronger decision-makers, and women were made to be stronger nurturers. (And by the way can anyone seriously argue that one is more valuable than the other? I hate when people complain that this concept suggests that men are “better” or “more important,” because it most certainly does not.) I believe this to be an over-arching truth. And while DD is quirky and possibly questionable, it does, in it’s own quirky way, support this truth.

Here are the reasons why I think that DD ends up being effective:
1) DD reinforces a man’s strength in leading. This is particularly significant in a society that ferociously denies and represses even the existence of such a strength in men.
2) DD creates a hierarchy. Just like in a work environment, having a system, a designated decision-maker, makes everything run more smoothly. Hierarchies are effective!
3) The whole spanking bit is just plain hot. I even suggest that the physicality of it highlights the attractive qualities of both a man and a woman. But regardless, it jazzes up intimacy in a fantastically unique way.

Now of course I have an example that supports this idea :) Last night Bruce and I were in a heated disagreement about sports. Finally Bruce asserted his view one last time, and declared that we would have to agree to disagree. I wanted to reiterate my view, but landing over his knee was a possible outcome in that scenario, so I didn’t. I also wanted to tell him that we should talk further in hopes of finally seeing eye-to-eye, but I knew that overriding his decision to end the conversation would end in my being spanked, so I didn’t do that either. Instead I simply closed my mouth and climbed under the covers. He changed the subject, and a moment later he pressed up behind me and put his arms around me. What an infinitely better moment to be sharing than the alternative of continuing a technical discussion of statistics that almost certainly would have escalated in a bad way!

I lay there thinking “Yep, in the end this really is the way to go.” And then just as I began drifting off to sleep Bruce patted my bottom and pleasantly promised a spanking for today. I asked him why, and he cited reinforcing our roles, then simply said that it’s been a while. I guess it has been over a week since we’ve done any role-reinforcing. So here I am, knowing exactly what will happen before the night is over. But even though I dread the discomfort and dislike the inability to control how my evening ends, role-reinforcement isn’t so bad; it’s hot, it’s effective, and it allows us to reconnect. Besides, as it turns out I actually really like our roles :)

Sunday, November 19, 2017

When It Just Doesn't Work

We all know that DD is intense; emotionally and even physically it's a huge commitment. And like all intense things, there are times when you think "Maybe this isn't what I want after all." I can count on one hand the amount of times I have felt this way about DD. But two nights ago I was definitely wondering whether we've made the right call to commit to doing this.

I know I really sound like a broken record, but it is impossible not to preface 90% of my current thoughts and experiences on DD with the fact that we are in a really busy year of our lives right now. A blessed, sweet, sweet time for sure, but Bruce is essentially committed time and energy-wise to the equivalent of two full-time jobs, so my working full time while we have two under two is especially intense.

So Friday night I snapped. I can't remember the last time I spoke to Bruce that way, so needless to say I found myself bent over the bed in a lot of discomfort in no time at all. Boy was it a harsh spanking. I knew I deserved it and I tried to take it well, but it just somehow felt isolating and sad. The whole beauty of DD is that it prevents the isolation and disconnect of stonewalling, but once the spanking was over I felt more alone than ever. As always he had hugged me while I cried, but it frankly didn't feel like we were reconnecting like we usually do. So as he got back to what he was doing (as usual he had work to do) I couldn't stop thinking about how I had just gone through all of this emotional and physical upset only to come out as disconnected as ever. At least stonewalling isn't overwhelming and painful, right?

But the real question was why didn't I feel loved and reconnected with my husband as usual? The answer, we've decided now in retrospect, is that neither of us had extended as much grace as usual to the other. And as anyone successfully practicing DD knows, a LOT of grace is required on both ends in order for this whole thing to actually work effectively. My disrespect was extreme, totally devoid of grace to begin with, and although he was controlled and calm the spanking he gave lacked true forgiveness (grace) as well. Of course to put it simply I just shouldn't ever talk to my husband that way. But in the few instances where I have been exceptionally out of line in the past, Bruce generally remains gracious in his reaction. If it's hard to imagine a gracious spanking, suffice it to say that I feel very loved and forgiven when it is all over. Yes it feels pretty awful to be punished, but I can deal with that awful intensity because when the spanking is over so is our disconnect, in totality. But this time the grace just wasn't there, and we just didn't really reconnect.

So tonight once the kids were in bed and I was straightening the kitchen, I asked Bruce to help me articulate what the takeaway of the whole thing was. He reiterated that I just really can't talk to him that way, but said that the bottom line was that due to our considerable stress we just weren't at all gracious to each other, so it just didn't work. I asked him if he felt confident that we could avoid that situation in the future, and in his very frank way (a quality that I have come to both love and hate) he simply said "I hope so." But then he reminded me that no matter what, we'll eventually figure it out. And he's right; so DD was ineffective and upsetting last time. Maybe at some point it will be again. But we are committed to each other so I know that we'll find a way to work it out; we always do.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Punishment and Exhaustion

Last night I asked Bruce what I should blog about. We had a truly insane week, filled with unusually stressful work situations for both of us (because of this I got a pass for posting last Sunday, so here I am tonight). Anyway, I asked him what I should write about because DD seems to be very blah for us right now. When I told him this he seemed to understand- he asked if I meant how things feel uneventful right now because we're just trying to make it, and I said yes. As we are in our most exhausting season of life thus far, we both know that we definitely don't use DD enough. Just a few minutes before typing this Bruce commented that we really need to get on a better maintenance schedule so that I can have a better attitude more easily. He wasn't complaining about anything I've done, he really was just commenting on the need for more maintenance, and I know he's right. It sounds too exhausting right now, but it helps us reconnect, and it helps us maintain our roles better. And when we do that everything runs smoother; we get more done, we function better with our babies, and we enjoy our time more. DD truly helps our marriage on a lot of levels! But the exhaustion makes it hard to keep up on it. Especially regarding keeping up on punishments, as these take even more emotional and physical energy (for both of us) than maintenance.

So imagine my reaction when, after my most insane day last week, we collapsed into bed and he told me it was time for my punishment (for sassing and overreacting, my specialty...). We literally had just gotten home and put the babies to bed, and it was so late that we went straight to bed after that. At first I thought he was kidding, but he wasn't. I begged to postpone it for another time, and I seriously would have cried right then if I wasn't so incredibly tired.

It was no surprise when the spanking began just as harshly as ever, but I just could not take it on any level- emotionally, physically, mentally. He used the strap and the lexan paddle, and the harshness easily sent me past my tolerance limit. Having no control and feeling unable to take the discomfort, I began crying in no time at all. In some part of my brain I did feel a sense of relief at being forced to submit to him, but most of me just felt completely overwhelmed. Of course things wouldn't have been much different even if he would have chosen a different night; every night that week was nuts. Still, it was just so intense to go through at that point. When it was finally over he painfully but passionately initiated intimacy (which ended very nicely to say the least), and when it was over he held me. Where I usually process the entire thing in a way that leaves me feeling clear and fulfilled, I laid in his arms feeling... exhausted. I hadn't had the energy to process fully or really much at all. Still, some part of me was fulfilled, particularly in the fact that we had just connected exclusively. Whatever the spanking was, it didn't include my work stresses or his, it didn't even include our babies or the home tasks that needed completed. It was just about him and me, and our interaction with each other.

When I had asked Bruce for ideas on what to write about since we were kind of in a just-getting-by mode, he had eventually suggested I write about what just-getting-by DD looks like for us. So there it is. It isn't perfect- it's inconsistent and doesn't leave as powerful an impact as it could, but it IS still present. We are still connecting and still devoting energy to each other, which is more than I can say for a lot of couples during this stage of life. So all things considered, I'll definitely take that. Which is good, especially considering that, as Bruce would say, it isn't really up to me to begin with ;)