Sunday, May 17, 2015

When Things Go Wrong

A few nights ago we had a really bad night. I think every couple that commits to this lifestyle fears that a night like this will happen, and sure enough it finally did.

Prior to that night I had chosen to voice a complaint somewhat abrasively. More significantly, I proceeded to ignore Bruce’s requests for me to stop. This is a big no for us, as I tend to express myself/argue to an incessant degree, and Bruce tends to handle things very calmly until he simply gets pushed over the edge. We’ve found that the best way to avoid escalating into a yelling match is for Bruce to tell me I need to stop for the evening, or (when that fails) to go retrieve the paddle. I always reserve the right to readdress my concerns the next day, but it’s significant to note that by the next day I almost never have any remaining concerns to address. But we unfortunately got lost in the argument, and as a result it quickly escalated past a reasonable disagreement. We had the tool of domestic discipline, but we forgot to use it [mistake #1]. By then he was far too angry to spank me, so he steered me into the bedroom for a time out, telling me that I would be spanked on another night as a reminder to stop when he says to stop.

And so we arrive at the other night. Bruce wasn’t in a good state of mind and I knew it, but nonetheless I made it known that I wanted to “pay” for it and move on [mistake #2]. He also knew that it wasn’t the best time to take care of things, but he agreed to go through with it anyway [mistake #3]. Since my infraction was a major one that we’ve discussed countless times, the spanking itself was easily the worst spanking I have ever received... for starters the warm-up was long and hard enough that I actually cried out before he even started using the paddle. Every strike with the paddle is breathtaking, but this time I was paddled harder and much longer than ever before. He continued well past the point where I felt I could handle it, and when I squirmed desperately he didn’t patiently wait for me to get back into position as usual, but instead pulled me back up himself and spanked me even harder, promising more if I couldn’t hold still. We both hate that I squirm, but it is really hard to fight that reaction; I had intended to, but it hurt so badly! Eventually I burst into tears at the grim task of finding a way to hold still or be spanked even more. Between strikes he was very clear in his reasoning, saying things like “When I tell you to stop, you have to stop… you know you can always bring it up the next day, so you only need to wait a short amount of time… we've discussed how you sometimes need to let things go…” By the end every strike was absolutely unbearable but I somehow found a way to hold still. He asked me if I understood why my letting it go is so important, and I tearfully acknowledged that I did. After a few concluding strikes it was finally over.

Afterward he hinted that I please him in a way that occasionally sort of completes my exercise in submission. I won’t be over-specific, but this time it just felt too forceful or something. I know, I do hear how ridiculous that sounds… “Honey we agreed you should spank me really hard when I really blow it, and that I can follow through with a specific form of intimacy, but this time it felt forceful.” What?? I still can’t articulate what specifically felt wrong, but something about it felt almost demeaning [mistake #4]. I was so hurt, but said nothing in the moment. We went to bed, got up at separate times, and went through our workdays. All the while I wondered how I should address my concerns to Bruce. I prayed about it all day, and when we both got home I admitted how I had felt. He obviously hated that I felt that way, and right away he apologized for disciplining in the wrong frame of mind to begin with. While he was clear that he was not sorry for the severity of the spanking, he admitted that he had been unsure how to proceed from such a severe punishment, and so evidently made a poor choice. I understand that his role requires more complicated and difficult decisions than mine, and I of course forgave him immediately. We made a plan to avoid any similar situation in the future, and we have been really careful to stick with it.

Nonetheless, our mistakes that evening were memorable and upsetting. This is a complicated and delicate lifestyle, to say the least! So many emotions are involved in the process of correcting and receiving correction… bad experiences like this are almost bound to happen, and when they do they seem to cut us to the core. But the bottom line is that Bruce and I are committed to one another; we trust each other, exercise empathy, and have the courage to be honest. In light of these things we are able to bounce back from such experiences and enjoy the enhanced and fulfilling relationship that domestic discipline can offer. To express submission and authority in such a concrete and physical way illuminates so much! Since we have introduced this practice into our marriage I have learned so much about myself and my soul mate, things that I never even knew existed. Before I would have said that Bruce is usually very laid back, but has a grouchy/irritable streak; now I know that he is laid back, but feels incredibly thwarted when he isn’t heard. I used to think that he sort of likes my strong personality, but it sometimes upsets him; now I can confidently say that he loves my strong personality, provided I remember to be respectful to him in the midst of my make-a-plan, take-charge mentality. I strongly believe that this lifestyle is worth the risk of nights like the one we experienced. If we love each other and want to keep our marriage healthy, we can always work past these things. And putting ourselves out there to such an extreme degree brings us so much closer, especially when we can be honest about what went wrong and how we should proceed in the future.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

It's Time

So we’re gearing up to start a family… we want to start trying this summer. This comes with a whirlwind of emotions; excitement, fear, sadness, and guilt. Yep, guilt. This is mostly from the fact that I have never had the “baby bug.” Even now the thought of having a baby sounds more distressing than anything. This is largely because of my OCD (my doctors were clear that my symptoms will worsen, and I almost definitely will suffer from post-partum depression), but on top of that I’m simply not a baby person. Don’t get me wrong, I know I will be totally crazy about any little thing we bring into this world. *Side-note: please don’t lecture me on how I have no idea how much it will blow my mind and will be the greatest thing in my life… I’ve heard that countless times already. Got it.* I absolutely believe that our lives will change for the better, but I still mourn the loss of a time in our lives that we can never return to.

More significantly, this beautiful dynamic in our marriage will be impeded to some extent. Of course the authority and submission is really the big deal, but right now our correction in roles is primarily supported through Bruce’s right to stop things in their tracks with a spanking. He says that only a minimal amount of spanking is okay while I am pregnant; he’s the boss so that’s that. We obviously will use other means to reinforce our corrected roles, but will we fall back into bad habits before we have a chance to make that adjustment? A few weeks ago Bruce sat bolt upright on the couch and said “I’ve got to think of an alternative for this when you’re pregnant.” He bounced around a few ideas, always including that I do the task sans clothing; he said it is humbling and maintains an aspect of vulnerability, which is true. It is hard to imagine that he came come up with another such thing; something I dislike, yet something that I can tolerate, something that fosters both submission and authority, something that is intimate, and something that is effective… I am specifically thinking of my looping; for years we have been searching for an effective way to shut me down when I can’t see that I’m in a loop, and no code word or routine has ever worked, save for this.

So here we are. T minus a month or so before we (hopefully) start this wild ride. Earlier this week I back-slid a bit in respectful behavior. Not nearly as bad as I used to be: I have made enormous strides in putting my money where my mouth is in the trust department. Nonetheless, no more than an hour later I was across his lap getting a severe paddling. It was awful; I felt exposed, helpless, and extremely uncomfortable. In the moment I actually asked myself why on earth this would ever be missed. But afterward… I felt humbled, self-aware, and extremely connected with Bruce. Critics of this lifestyle insist that we become dependent upon being spanked, that we can’t be submissive without it, which of course isn’t true. So I suppose I should view our hiatus from spanking as an opportunity to demonstrate the self-sustaining nature of becoming truly submissive. It’s going to happen either way, so I may as well embrace it, right?