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.