Monday, January 21, 2013

The No-Shutdown Rule


                                                      

    There are times in a DD/TTWD relationship that discipline and correction will be a dreaded but  necessary action that  requires a clear mind, a firm hand, and an open, honest heart.  I've talked about discipline and correction in other posts before, but in this post I'd like to illustrate the importance of connectivity, even during correction, unmet expectations, or hurt feelings.

Sometimes it can be difficult to express the let-down that we feel in our partner's actions, non-actions and potentially careless words or deeds. That's why June and I feel that communication and expression are vital to us and our interpretation of this lifestyle. Sometimes irritation, disappointments, hurt feelings, etc. can cloud  the effectiveness of  what we are really trying to communicate. I know that I can be fairly adamant about my expectations and when they should be met. In most instances June and I are very much on the same page, but there have been a few occasions where she or I were off the mark and needed to take a few min to get emotion out of the picture, think clearly and not let hurt or anger get the best of us.


                                                      



 









We also believe that taking time is one thing, but drawing out an unresolved problem is unhealthy and unnecessary.  Shutting down is never acceptable in our house. I mean I have to think that if I am the HoH and I am to effectively lead and guide my family, that it is even LESS acceptable for me to start shutting down and be non-communicative. In the beginning this was something that I struggled with and no, I'm not proud of that. June got me thinking and talking and for me that was a major, major step, even outside DD/TTWD. I've never been in a relationship that made communication so easy, so fluid, and so welcome and even despite my attempts to clam-up and keep to myself, our love won out and I found my voice.  We think that it is far better to put things on the table, refine our thoughts, and turn towards the relationship in order to clear the air and move forwards before the sun sets.  Letting an issue stagnate can only lead to hard feelings, and cracks in the armor of our relationships and our own interaction.

                                            


  When  June and I discussed the foundation of our relationship we realized that one of the things that makes BOTH of us better is accountability and while I may not be the one on the receiving end of a good spanking, the standards of our relationship must, do and in fact apply to a higher standard for me. We often tell our youngest to "use your words" and that's something that I do in fact have to tell myself.... I'll be honest in that regard.  I'm like a lot of men, I don't want to talk about it... but being the man, the man my wife and children look to for answers, the head of our home, has taught me that I can't afford to do that anymore... That and June will, and in fact should, call me on that.  If it came down to it, she would place herself across my lap and have me spank her until I could communicate the emotions that I was feeling and how we can get to a better place.



                                                   


 Harmony can be disrupted fairly easily, sometimes we don't take notice of the small things our partners do to enrich our lives and our families. Sometimes it seems as if our partners don't care, or like what is important to us isn't important to them and that can and does hurt. Nobody likes to have their thoughts or feelings marginalized and I think that puts the onus on the HoH to ensure that there is no shut-down, no loss of communication and no distances that can hurt the relationship in either the long or short-term.  Take the time to put your emphasis on getting to a shared place of comfort that  has the strength and conviction to move forward despite discomfort, hurt feelings and/or anger.... The relationship benefits and let's be honest, folks, there are way better things to be doing at the end of the day than fighting or not talking to each other... just sayin!




                                                     


                                                         


















Her POV:

This has been my greatest challenge. Because of my life, it has always been safer to shut-down. If you let them see how you were affected, or that you were hurt or bothered, it only got worse. I was very good at stuffing things down. Daddy does not allow this...not in the very least. The first time, during a conversation about the necessity of communicating what I felt, he used the phrase - passive-aggressive.....just cut me to the very core. He's right...he always is (sighs....schnoots to Daddy ALWAYS being right!....jk). It is passive aggressive. I wasn't aware of it. My tone was clipped, my answers short. "Yes, Daddy" became an eyes down "yes" .... shudders. But those were just the motions of our dynamic, it was not authentic.

Then we got to a different place. I would communicate... not right away. Sometimes I needed that moment to stuff down that eye roll, or that sarcastic remark and think about how I really felt and filter my emotions. It got me spanked. Why? I didn't communicate that I needed a moment to process, that I wasn't distancing myself from him, from us, but that I was using a minute to work things out in the framework of our relationship and be able to bring it to him respectfully. So I got spanked. Then we talked. He apologized. And I said if I need that moment, how about if I saw, "Daddy, I need a minute to process, please." Then he knows I am not shutting down.

It works. It lets us both know that we are present for each other, and for our relationship. He can do this too... and he has, "Daddy needs a moment to sort this out, lovey. We'll talk about this later (or tonight)." This space gives us the opportunity to enumerate our points, make sure we understand what we need, and frame them in the best possible way to serve our relationship.

I will call him on it. In TTWD I am very much accountable to him. But he is also accountable to me, to our God, and to our family as the head of our home, Distancing is so damaging. There is nothing in the world wrong with holding him accountable....respectfully. I did it wrong in the beginning..."You know what would happen to me if I did what you're doing?" YIKES! But as soft hand on his shoulder, or his leg, or just curling up beside him and winding my fingers with his, a soft kiss and a,"Daddy, distance is against our rules. I think we need to talk about what's on your mind.", or yes, laying across his lap... sometimes both. If the air needs to be cleared, this is the mechanism we have established to do so. No, not correction, discipline, we all need it... it goes hand in hand with accountability.

And the bottom line - heck yeah, there are better things we can be doing :)

32 comments:

  1. Correction isnt nice, but then i think the point is its not meant to be, if i am being corrected its because i have behaved in a way he does not like.

    Being corrected by means of discipline aids in me getting over 'it', to wipe the slate clean as they say..i need that closure.

    It always involves a discussion beforehand so there is an understanding of why its needed, there is no point in correction if the reason is not fully understood, and afterwords there is comfort.

    Its not a replacement for communication but its an absolution..for me.
    sorry i have rambled on havent i.

    x

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    1. I agree, tori, correction isn't nice, but it is necessary. And yes, I so need that closure as well. And you're 100% right, there has to be communication all around and through, or it pretty much doesn't matter. lol, no worries, not rambling at all :)

      (((hugs)))

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  2. Ward, thank you for posting this. I needed to read it.

    Starman and I are doing our very level best to work on our communication skills. Sometimes it's easier than others. It's often very difficult to put we you are thinking into words. But I can see that in just a few weeks we are making good progress.

    At times we seem not to be moving forward very quickly. But you know what? I think it's because we are making up for all the years of not communicating. We suddenly have so very much to say to each other. We've never felt so close!

    And yes, he won't be pushed into doing things he feels are 'too much too soon'. But I am learning to trust that he is right in his way of thinking. After all, he has been right about everything up to now. So my trust in him is reaping benefits.

    I'm still working on being submissive. It's tough keeping my mouth shut; not getting into a strop about something; doing as I am told. But it's also a big relief to not fight for leadership. My stress levels in the home are dropping by the day. And yes, I get frustrated - but mostly with myself. That shared place of comfort you mentioned, is a very good place to be.

    I think until we know the test results next week, both of us are enduring high anxiety levels. But what will be will be. And we've had nothing but support from everyone here. And we can't thank everyone enough.

    I hope you will both keep writing these excellent posts, because I for one will keep reading them.

    Many hugs, Ami

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    1. The trust is crucial, Ami. And it's funny how consistency in correction and discipline help to establish that.

      And you're right, the relief in having him to sink into, having that soft place to land is priceless.

      We'll keep writing till y'all get tired of reading.... I don't think we ever run out of things to say,once in a while there may be a lull. It's been better since he won't have to deploy again. It was like losing my heart, and just getting through a day was too hard sometimes.

      (((hugs)))

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  3. As always a very informative post.

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  4. Outstanding post and so very true. Shutting down, distancing, withdrawing, whatever you want to call it can also lead to 'the straw that broke the camels back'. Then there are huge wars (cold/not speaking or hot/ hug fights) where neither one knows exactly what they are warring about, they just know they are extremely angry.

    Yes, I know that neither one of you are perfect (who is?) but the way your work together as a couple is a shining example to all of us. Thank you!

    Blessings,
    Cat

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    1. Thanks, Cat. Thankfully Ward doesn't let it get to that stage. He's pretty vehement. We'll have things that have been resolved where we don't remember the conflict, but the lessons learned. But there is never a conflict unresolved long enough to forget why we were upset.

      Thank you :) I am very fortunate to have a most excellent leader, and I am honored to follow wherever he leads us.

      (((hugs)))

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  5. When i met Master, i had succeeded in building strong and never to be torn down inner walls. He will say, He never worked harder than demolishing those walls...and He is a hard worker. Distancing is not allowed, putting even just 1 brick up means a paddling. I know it is what is best for the two of us.
    hugs abby

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    1. Thanks, abby. We mistakenly think those walls protect us, but when they come between us and our one, all they do is keep us from something wonderful. I'm afraid I was a lot of work for Daddy, too. Glad he is as diligent as your Master :)


      (((hugs)))

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  6. Thanks for sharing this. Sometimes in these blogs the reaction to 'distancing' confuses me-but this helps clarify-sometimes I DO need a minute to get myself in a place to share respectfully. Sometimes I need more than a minute-but that doesn't have to mean distancing-thanks for helping me see the difference.

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    1. Thanks so much, Saoirse. It was something we had to work through. Initially he did view it as distancing, but once I explained that I wasn't pulling away - I was still there,hand in his, just not ready to verbalize yet. He understands now that I need that time to filter the knee jerk reactions.

      I'm glad it helped:)

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  7. Well Miss June we have talked at length about this topic :) Thank you for sharing your insight!

    Ward - Thank you for sharing your wife with me over the last few days in particular. Your knowledge is so very valuable to John and I and we so appreciate you taking the time to give us advice and help us navigate ttwd.

    Hugs to you both

    P

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    1. *grins* It just brought back some of our own struggles. And we're happy to share if someone can glean something from our process. Glad you found something in it that helped :)

      (((hugs)))

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  8. Wow fantastic post, and your insights are so very, very helpful (from both of you}

    Hugs to you both

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    1. Thanks, Hez :) He's good, yeah? :D

      (((hugs)))

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  9. Honestly what a wonderful rule. It's funny because this has been our unspoken rule for almost a year now. It's hard, but totally needed.

    Hugs,
    mouse

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    1. Oh it is hard, mouse. It's natural for me at least, to want to hide, to believe that my thoughts and feelings don't matter. It takes a lot to submit this to him, but it's worth it.

      (((hugs)))

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  10. I have to say, You both are amazing. The Man has been reading your site. I have seen so much of myself here. When things in our childhood/past create patterns that are distructive, they are very hard to break. The Man and I are growing more everyday and I so appreciate you both sharing here, so that we don't feel like we are alone..

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    1. Thanks, Dana, and thanks to the Man for reading.

      They are very hard to break, it's how I survived. But that's part of submission (at least that's what I keep telling myself.... makes it a little easier to give it up, lol).

      Never alone, Dana :) We're always here, either here or by email, I might not always have insight, but I can always listen...Daddy,too.

      (((hugs)))

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  11. Another excellent post Ward and June and another great message. Communication, and being open and honest with our feelings is something we have found that has improved a lot, but is something we continue to work at.

    Hugs
    Roz

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    1. Thanks, Roz :) It's something that does take extraordinary effort but it surely pays off with extraordinary returns. It's that closeness we all talk about and treasure.

      (((hugs)))

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  12. No shutdowns allowed here either and while it can be really hard at times, it's good for both of us.

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    1. I think that's one of the very best things we do .... well our guys do ...... well no - we BOTH do for our relationships (lol) is to not allow that silence. That kind of stuff doesn't go away without coming to an understanding - no that doesn't always mean agreement. It means being heard, respected and understood by our partners.

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  13. "I've never been in a relationship that made communication so easy...our love won out and I found my voice." That particular sentence just stuck out to me...really sums up your relationship beautifully!

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    1. Did I ever tell you that his writing is what brought us together in the first place? He is beautifully expressive. I know that I am learning and growing and my voice is finally heard, and I am glad that I he finds the same thing in me.

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  14. I can totally relate when you say that it was safer to shut down.. I have been at that point, or used to be and sometimes revert BACK to that... it's hard to break through and communicate, but worth it all in the end.
    Shut downs are not allowed here, but I can ask for time.. time to understand myself maybe, because sometimes I feel the shut down coming, and I'm not sure what's exactly bothering me.

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    1. Oh and I can so relate to the not understanding what is wrong, Emi. It's the worst feeling, all widgey inside and no way to explain it. We understand that happens now, so I can tell him I feel bad and he'll do what he can to make me feel better, and wait patiently till I can tell him.

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  15. Great post Ward and June. Thanks so much for sharing your lives with all of us. Hugs

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    1. Thanks so much, Annie, so glad you enjoyed it...he's got a fine mind :)

      (((hugs)))

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  16. interesting post gives a lot of food for thought

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  17. @ Everybody - Thank you so much for reading we are glad you took the time to read and share with us! Letting each other in is definatly a necessity in a healthy relationship. We continue to work togeather everyday to ensure that our love is evident even when things aren't easy or comfortable! Please forgive the late response and the mass reply this week has been crazy. Thanks for tunning in once again and being part of our chosen family!

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