Evolving

So we have this rule. He put it in place to be a little playful and for  a submission exercise of sorts. It has been really hard for me to comply with. I truly have not broken this rule on purpose or with intent it’s just not something I am conscious of most of the time as I go about my daily life.  I am getting on with my day and going about my business and I just don’t remember to do this.

I’ve been called out on it several times.  Basically  I was constantly messing up and he always notices.

Well this morning we did maintenance and then I showered and got dressed for my day. He was moving around packing to go out of town and noticed I had messed up, again. To his surprise and honestly, mine too, I burst into tears and just deflated. I told him I didn’t do it on purpose at all and just cried. I was kind of blindsided by the voracity of my feelings but I told him that I felt like what it had become for me was a chance for him to call me out on something.

It felt very arbitrary and punitive and completely devoid of its original playful intent, at least for me. So we talked about it and hashed it out. It has never been my intent to disobey and I had absolutely not done it on purpose so when he called me out on it, whether he punished or not, it made me feel like it was a “gotcha” moment. I also felt like I was letting him down and that made me feel really bad too.

I don’t want this to be a game and that is what this felt like to me. I want the rules we have to advance our marriage and our relationship. He got that and has amended the rule to something I think we both will be more comfortable with.

That led to a larger conversation.  We talked about something in the past week that came up that I wanted some clarification on.

For a long time before Dd our standard operating procedure was to avoid conflict by not talking about something. If we had a disagreement we would often withdraw and stop talking because in the moment it was easier. Even now he will often let me stew or stop talking. It is a hard habit to break.

Earlier this week we had a small argument. He yelled in the moment. I got my feelings hurt and withdrew. He let me. What I really wanted was for him to come after me and not let me distance like that but like I said, old habits and all.

Today I told him I know that it is easier in many ways for him to let me be but at the same time I want him to know that even if I chafe at it in the moment I appreciate his guidance and leadership when he pulls me back to him. I told him that it may be “conflict inducing” in the moment but that ultimately I thought it would help us both.

I mentioned in a recent post that he really is more confident in his role as HoH than he had been before. Neither of us is perfect though and he is very fair minded. If he feels culpable in our conflict I think he feels badly sometimes holding me accountable. Does that make sense? It isn’t an easy thing we ask of our guys.

In many ways this feels like a “be careful what you wish for” moment. Whether he feels I have crossed a line enough that he punishes or simply insists that the distance is unacceptable and I am to stay near him is ultimately his decision. But if he is going to step outside of his comfort zone into a new way of doing things I have to be willing to open myself up to his care and guidance and not shut him down no matter how vulnerable that makes me feel.

Previous Post
Leave a comment

16 Comments

  1. Yeah this makes perfect sense to me. And I agree, for us this is about bringing us together, so rules need to make sense and be fair, at least for us. Sounds like you guys are working on it, communicating, that is great!

    Reply
    • Zoe

       /  10/05/2012

      Yes we are working on it which is something. The communication that this requires is at times difficult but also more than worth it.

      Reply
  2. Slightly Naughty Princess (SNP)

     /  10/04/2012

    Zoe, I feel for you. If you burst into tears then it must have weighed heavily on you. And, if you were not trying to do whatever it was on purpose and you explained that then I am glad you guys were able to ammend the rule to a different one. I get the “becareful of what you wish for” comment as well. As you say….if he is “stepping up” then you pretty much have to do the same to be on the same page. But, the good news is that it sounds like you are:)
    Good for you guys for just working together on the dynamics as they come along.

    Reply
    • Zoe

       /  10/05/2012

      It’s funny but I didn’t realize how heavily it weighed on me until I burst into tears. That raw emotion sure put us both on notice. He was caring though and it’s all good now.

      Asking him to step up is scary but necessary I think. We have more talking to do but we are moving in the right direction.

      Reply
  3. Lillie

     /  10/04/2012

    I can relate. Sometimes I think, “why can’t I just co-operate with this one thing he has asked of me?” and then other times I feel just like you described, like I was “caught” and that produces a very negative reaction in me……of course making Ian do it more often than ever……
    Evolving was a good title for your post, because that is exactly what I think this is about. Nice post. 🙂

    Reply
    • Zoe

       /  10/05/2012

      Thanks Lillie. It did feel negative but for negative’s sake which is not at all what he wanted it to do so we are making a change. I’m glad.

      I don’t think we will ever stop evolving and I don’t think we should.

      Reply
  4. We don’t have rules for the sake of rules and I’m glad of that. There’s a good reason behind each of our rules and knowing that makes it easier for me to abide by them. (notice I didn’t say easy, just easier) I can understand how you ended up feeling frustrated. But I’m glad that you communicated your feelings and they were heard and taken into account. I totally understand that “be careful what you wish for” too. From my experience, it’s almost always ended up being a good thing, but when Michael has stepped up, it certainly does mean that I have to adjust accordingly. It sounds like the two of you are evolving quite nicely! 🙂

    Reply
    • Zoe

       /  10/05/2012

      You are so right. It’s easier, not always easy. That’s for sure.

      I think his stepping up will be a good thing but difficult too and it does make me feel vulnerable. The fact that he cares for me though when I am vulnerable makes me feel very safe.

      Reply
  5. Cat

     /  10/05/2012

    Growing pains and “pains” when you are finding you way through DD and what works for your dynamic but as Grace said, you are evolving quite nicely. Good luck on your continuing journey.

    Blessings,
    Cat

    Reply
    • Zoe

       /  10/05/2012

      Thanks for commenting Cat! I appreciate the wishes as we do continue the journey.

      Reply
  6. I could have written this post Zoe. We went through the very same situation last summer. M had implemented a rule that was mostly a submission exercise and while I rarely forgot, I grew more and more resentful over it as it seemed unnecessary. We had the same sort of meltdown and talked it out. It’s no longer a rule but something he appreciates for me to do. When I do it now, it happens with the right spirit, which funnily enough was what he wanted in the first place.

    I think most men in ttwd relationships find it hard to hold their spouses responsible when they are also culpable. It can get confusing for us.

    This process you are talking about, the one where he seeks you out and finds you even when it’s hard. It’s very similar to what we’ve been doing. The watching and checking are to help me stop hiding and open up. It is hard and vulnerable and we can do it! I’ll keep you in mind this weekend as you keep at it.

    BTW…I love your new background!

    Reply
    • Zoe

       /  10/05/2012

      Oh I love that. I do think if I do it now that I am no longer “required” to he will appreciate it all the more. Thanks for the idea.

      It’s actually the watching and checking that I am asking for him to do more of, and that also is what makes me a little nervous. I’ll have you in mind too. Glad you like the background. 🙂

      Reply
  7. I like your new look too 🙂 Most of us asked for this lifestyle, but when they actually get serious with it, we tend to feel a little nervous and anxious. It is really hard to open up and put yourself in such an extremely vulnerable position. Talking things over, while painful at times, has incredible benefits. Sounds like you two are talking and growing and learning. I agree, I don’t think we ever stop evolving…and that’s a good thing! Have a great weekend 🙂

    Reply
    • Zoe

       /  10/05/2012

      Thanks CG! I actually searched a long time until I found a background I really liked. 🙂

      Nervous, anxious, and vulnerable are all things I feel sometimes but the benefits have been more than worth it. Evolving is a good thing! You have a good weekend too.

      Reply
  8. Oh, Zoe! I know exactly how you feel. I too need to distance sometimes and we are taking that very slowly. Both of us come from families where tempers were allowed to flare intensely and often in a devastating manner, maiming the participants and scaring innocent bystanders. Taking time to calm and sort is one of the important ways I keep my temper under control. I’m not trying to hide-and I do trust Him to cope with whatever I do/say-but that doesn’t mean He should have to….

    Reply
  9. Zoe

     /  10/10/2012

    Our families sound pretty opposite Saoirse. The typical theory here was, if you don’t talk about it it goes away, right? That is also very destructive. Now we (he) try not to let the silence build. We have to talk about things in this dynamic which has been transformative for us.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: