Exploring traditional male-led, DD, D/s relationships in a modern world. We believe in building on and within our core values of communication, reciprocity, grace and balance.
Thursday, January 3, 2013
No, I don't mean a bottom that is actually hurting.... or what might lead to a bottom hurting...
I'm talking about hurt feelings. I think that it goes without saying that anyone that is or has ever been in a relationship has either said something hurtful or been told something that perhaps didn't agree with their ideas or emotional state. I think both parties in a relationship need to be aware that the words they use have the power to affect their partner's attitude and response to those words.
Sometimes situations are difficult. Sometimes there are truths that we need to hear. Sometimes difficult choices have to be made and in these situations it is easy to miscommunicate and hurt someone's feelings. I think open honest communication can in many cases prevent or minimize emotional damage. I think it is important for both people to make a strong and significant effort to listen and not marginalize. A good partner finds a way, even when it is difficult to take the time to truly listen.
We can never really take words back once they leave our mouths. Now having said that, I realize that it is definitely possible to hurt somone's feelings unintentionally. So now what? Do we have a nervous laugh? Do we just say "They'll get over it"? No, even when we accidently harm with our words, the onus is on us to make it right.
Making it right is more than just a simple apology. Making it right means not just saying, but showing our partner that what is important to them is important to us. HoH's need to be especially attentive to this...guys, make every effort to show your lady that you are man enough to admit when you made a mistake, apologize earnestly. Ladies, ensure your guy understands that you support him, even through the difficult choices and be aware of the impact of your words as well. We all have busy lives, but making time to make things right isn't just the sign of someone who cares, it is the cleansing of the slate and an opportunity to learn and become stronger as individuals, as a couple and as a family unit.
Here are a few things that I believe make the apology process easier:
- Eye Contact - This one is a make or break... Eye contact is critical
- The time to do it - If there isn't time... Make time, this is somthing that needs to be done sooner rather than later.
- A quiet place - If need be, go to your room and close the door, turn off your phone, turn off the tv... make sure that you won't be interupted
- Sincerity - understand what is on your partners mind and show them that you understand what they need from you here and now.
Learning from these experiences is actually a very valuable tool. We must seize the opportunities we are given to become stronger, and we must never let something - even something seemingly small come between us. I've said it before, but it bears repeating... simply put as vibrant and beautiful couples we just don't have time for the butthurt.
Showing your partner that you can put aside your pride and admit that you are wrong is more than just valuable, it can enhance your time together and put you both right in the place where you need to be.
The first time Ward apologized to me I was like a deer in the headlights. That just never happened to me before. I wasn't quite sure what I was supposed to do with that. I have always been the one who apologized... even when it wasn't my fault. I was not used to anyone else accepting responsibility in the relationship.
Our job when they come to us in this way is to accept with grace, and let them know that it is behind us...the slate is clean. Is that not the gift that they give to us - the gift of forgiveness and a clean slate?
We need to be able to put ourselves in their shoes and understand that it was not easy to come to us. We need to ask ourselves what we seek from them when we are in the wrong. We need to see that their apology is their way of expressing their love, and their dedication to our relationships over self.
They are just as human as we are. They make mistakes. And when they apologize they make themselves vulnerable, too. They need that feeling of absolution as much as we do. Imagine what it would feel like if you offered your heart and were rejected... the walls would be flying up, and we would be moving away from each other, instead of towards each other. When we have wrong our partner, no matter if you are the HoH or the TiH, we need the forgiveness and grace of our partner.
And as Ward said, I can't emphasize how important it is to stop and listen to each other. Turn off all distractions, if there are other people around do go to your room. This is a huge opportunity to connect with our partners, to create intimacy, and to build our relationships even stronger.