I wrote in my last post I had a lunch date that I was a little late to. It was with my friend Valerie – one of my “lunch bunch” friends. And what of Mike’s instructions of me? I shared that he told me not to wear panties and he gave me one other instruction. More on that “instruction” in a bit.
I found my friends situation fascinating, thus this post. My fascination is less about her interest in Domestic Discipline and more about her fears, thus this post isn’t so much about “look at what she did,” and more about, “Wow, we often get in our own way when we try to seek fulfillment.”
She’s a former co-worker, a few years younger than me, married just over 20 years, and a newly crowned “empty nester.” If you read Post 222 you know I’ve come out to my friends about basically everything. This prompted Valerie to talk with me privately about her own needs and desires.
Valerie confided that she has always been a bit submissive with her husband. Not in a D/s sort of way – deferring a lot to him and being more traditional in doing things for him. She always got a thrill out of serving him, and even at times craved some discipline from him. Not necessarily spanking, but she admitted to liking being scolded by him – something he doesn’t really do. In fact, she described some of her behaviors to me that sounded an awful lot like “bratting,” to purposefully get a rise out her husband.
The concept of formal Domestic Discipline was foreign to her. She always thought it was a role play thing, not a way of life thing, until she learned otherwise from me. She has been in a heavily reflective mood with the last kid now out of the house. Energized by my story, she feels she must do something to fulfill her needs. She believes it is a great time to reinvent and reinvigorate her marriage.
She wants to completely “come clean” on her past bisexual experiences as well as her current desires for DD – she wants to become completely vulnerable to him. It is a scary thing, and not easy to do, thus she is looking to me for support.
HER MOTIVATION – “FREE TO BE”
She told me that they have always had a tendency to be a bit reserved with each other. She figures after 20+ years of marriage, it’s a good time to stop being shy about various needs and desires. She wants them to both feel “free to be” as she put it. In my words, she is anxious to take all of who they actually are and present the “FULL” version of themselves to the other – all their experiences, all their desires. In essence, to finally be 100% vulnerable to each other.
WHAT’S THE HOLD UP?
I have been talking to Valerie for three months and she still lacks the confidence to talk to her husband. She called me over to her house to have lunch because she thinks she is finally ready, but needs a final pep talk. I found it interesting to categorize all her excuses for not talking to him yet. It illustrates just how hard open communication (vulnerability) can be.
Fear of Rejection
She is afraid he might get angry, even though she admits it is unlike him to do so… but in her mind, “what if?” This fear is hard to overcome, especially if you. . .
Lack of self-confidence
To allow yourself to be vulnerable you have to love yourself first. While you need a good dose of self-esteem and self-confidence, you don’t have to think of yourself as Wonder Woman. Just a generally good feeling about yourself and recognize the positive qualities you bring to the relationship. It also means you don’t need your partner to define who you are or to complete you. If you lack confidence, your insecurities will impact your mutual happiness.
In talking with Valerie I observed that none of her insecurities were rooted in anything her husband has ever said or done. He sounds like a very loving partner. Her insecurities were more rooted in her concerns over being judged by society, by her parents, and religious issues. Keep in mind her parents are both deceased – but she still seeks their approval. It was clear, in her mind, society, her parents, and her religion, has reinforced that she is not entitled to express herself or ask for what she wants. She is basically to suffer, as that suffering is righteous and therefore fulfilling. Ug!
We talked a lot about her marriage and I suggested to her that everything she has described to me about their relationship indicates she should be very confident that her husband will lovingly respond. It seems clear to me that he never wants her to suffer and would move mountains to insure she doesn’t.
Appearing needy, emotionally imperfect
She felt she shouldn’t have such strong desires to want certain things from him, that perhaps her desires were not rational. Sharing them could expose her as weak or needy.
This seemed like a submissive catch-22 to me. Because she has always been naturally submissive to him, she feels expressing her needs goes against her own nature. I found myself virtually reciting from many of my past posts, such as my Doctrine of Submission, or in discussing how you can’t hold someone else responsible for your happiness. This ties back to the self-confidence issue.
Passive-Aggressive Behavior / Mind reading
I discovered that the two of them have been arguing more and more lately, and Valerie admitted she was the instigator. She wasn’t just saying that out of some default thinking that everything is her fault. She said she recognizes that she has been doing things like the silent treatment or doing other things to elicit feelings of guilt on his part. Her justification is, “he should be able to figure out that I need something.” In other words, he should be a mind reader.
She was able to rationalize how counter-productive her behaviors are, but, said she just can’t help it. I told her in my experience, passive-aggressive behaviors often come from not being 100% present in the relationship – that is, not being 100% herself, not being vulnerable, not meeting her needs first and rarely expressing them. I believe those behaviors will go away once she discloses all her feelings to him.
This also reminded me of my discussion with my sisters about what it means to be degrading, unfair, and unhealthy. Valerie’s behaviors certainly qualify.
I suggested that her passive-aggressive behaviors and resulting arguments would be the perfect conversation starter. “I know I’ve been overly sensitive and frankly a bit mean lately. It’s because I have been trying to reconcile some things in my mind. I now realize I need your help in doing that. Can we talk?”
LOVE IS NOT ENOUGH
I told her that what I have learned over the past three years or so was that love was not enough in my marriage. I didn’t just want Mike to love me. I wanted Mike to help me discover who I am and to help achieve the best version of myself.
That required a lot of honesty and openness, with both myself and with Mike. And through our journey, I also helped Mike discover who he is and help him achieve the best version of himself.
If you recall, the prior post ended with Mike giving me two instructions. One is that I could not wear panties on my visit, and the other…..
“Valerie, since you are considering allowing your husband to discipline you, it might help you to see what a good spanking can actually do. First off, I am not wearing panties because Mike forbids it – such are the types of rules I agree to be subject to. Secondly, he told me to show you the results of the spanking I got just before I left the house and that I was to fully share the extent of the discipline I received.”
I lifted my skirt and bent over, exposing my backside to her. It was still red. I stayed in that position as I explained the full extent of my discipline…the soaping and the spanking. I put my skirt down and sat back down once I finished explaining it.
I asked her thoughts. She said, “That’s exactly what I crave from my husband. Well, minus the pee stuff.”
Ha! Yeah, I get it. That revelation can be… ready for it? here it comes…. “hard to swallow.” And with that, she said she felt ready to have that conversation that night.
HOW DID IT GO?
He apparently took it pretty well. She told me he was upset with her for keeping it a secret and not trusting him enough to have told him earlier. But, the next day, told her he had some things to share of his own. She didn’t tell me what it was, but, in simple terms, it’s what I see in most healthy relationships — vulnerability gets reciprocated.
The resulting conversations yielded them sharing not just sexual experiences of their past which they never shared before, but talking about current dreams and desires, sexual and otherwise. She was light on details, but said their sex life has been in overdrive. And as for Domestic Discipline, she said she would like me to come over and talk to her about my Contract, as they are wanting to codify her Duties and Obligations!