Turning Point – Part 1

sometimes

This lifestyle is full of expectations.

He expects me to follow our rules. I expect him to notice and act on what he sees, good or bad.

He expects my submission and I expect his dominance and leadership.

We both expect a high level of communication.

The problem comes when our expectations are not met. That is exactly what happened to us on Friday.

Before Alex even got home last week we were both stressed. He had spent Thursday out of town in several high level and potentially high stakes meetings. Several things have not gone as we would like at work lately and the stress of those meetings was intense.

He is pretty much always the smartest guy in the room and knows his segment of his market as well as anyone in the country. He never ceases to amaze me how he can talk to someone and spout incredibly technical details as if he were reading from a screen but he is doing it from memory. He knows his job inside and out and does it very well. I am very proud of him.

Something I don’t think he fully realizes is how strongly I feel the frustrations he feels at work as well. His success is my success. If he is slighted I feel that too. And if the meetings he had were not satisfactory we could be looking at any manner of changes moving forward.

Every time he talked to me on Thursday I got off the phone and cried. I listened to music and cried. Pretty much anything could set me off. I was kind of an emotional basket case.

The gist of the meetings Thursday was that he felt much better at the end than the beginning; not fully happy with how things have played out but better.

Anyway the reason I am telling you all this is by Friday when he came home I really needed him. Of course I hadn’t actually told him any of this. The crying was after our calls. That is the first part.

The second part is that our daughter was gone on an overnight trip with school Friday and Friday night so we were completely alone for many hours. This was significant for many reasons not the least being that I went to pick up the first of our two college kids for the summer yesterday and the other will be home next week. We will suddenly have a house full of young adults who come and go and fall asleep at all hours of the day and night. This was our last really good night of extended alone time for quite awhile and I didn’t want to waste it. My expectations were high.

Let’s just say that the evening didn’t go as I had hoped at all. We had a nice connection when he first got home but then he had some calls to make and I did some outdoor work.

I made his favorite sandwich for dinner and took special care to make the meal visually appealing as well as delicious. I was in full service mode and feeling pretty happy.

The problems started after dinner when he moved over to one of the chairs and picked up his work computer and started doing work. He stayed that way for quite awhile and I eventually asked him if he had a plan for the night and he just looked at me real noncommittally and said not really.

Long story short I melted down about everything. Him doing work. Him wasting the evening. How stressed I was and had been the day before. But mostly about how I felt like I was sending submission his way and not getting his leadership in return. Many doubts and concerns came tumbling out some I’m not even sure I realized were there and so close to the surface.

He did try spanking a little but honestly at that point it felt like he was humoring me more than asserting his leadership and it wasn’t working. Then our daughter called in the middle to say goodnight and that was pretty much the end of it.

We watched some TV and then just rolled over to try to sleep. That was pretty much impossible for me. I was too upset.

I was really devastated and it was bigger than a lost evening. I realized that it all felt way too one sided for me. I felt too much like I was sending all this energy to him but that energy wasn’t being returned.

At his core he is a nice guy and a really good person. That is why I love him but as a nice guy he has and still does struggle with dominance and that part of this lifestyle that sometimes requires him to call me out and assert himself. Pretty much all the punishments we have done are because I self reported on breaking a rule. He is still not good at or comfortable with pointing out things himself and then acting on them. And I suddenly realized that I was terrified that wasn’t going to change and we couldn’t keep doing this as we were.

At 4 AM I got up and wrote him a letter about us, my submission and his dominance and Dd. I couldn’t sleep until I got what I was feeling written down. I essentially withdrew consent until he could do some real soul searching and assure me that Dd and all that means was something he could truly commit to.

I’ve never done a 2-part post but it was that kind of weekend I guess. If I kept on here this post would get really long. Tomorrow I will post a portion of the letter I wrote and fill you in on how this all turned out.

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29 Comments

  1. I’ve had the feelings you’re describing, feeling like Ward has been distancing, like he is withdrawing. They are terrifying. Funny thing is, when I look back, they have always come around stressful times at work, waiting to hear about deployments, waiting for dates to be announced, waiting for orders. Be great if we could eliminate work, huh? And truth be told, I did a fair amount of distancing out of fear and frustration at the same time – not the most productive mix.

    I’m hoping things come out brighter at the end of this post. Just wanted to let you know you’re not alone in those feelings.

    (((hugs)))

    Reply
    • Zoe

       /  05/09/2013

      Thanks June that means a lot. The distancing on both sides is never a good thing.

      Reply
  2. Communication is key. That was one of the main ingredients to my failure. Make time to talk. Good luck!

    Reply
    • Zoe

       /  05/09/2013

      We are sooo much better about communicating than we used to be but obviously there are still times where that breaks down. The important thing is we are trying and aware of times when we are not operating as well as we could. That is a huge step forward.

      Reply
  3. Tess

     /  05/08/2013

    I’m sorry about this rough patch Zoe. I get the expectations thing. I’m an optimist at heart though, you know…and I’m looking forward to your part 2:)

    Reply
    • Zoe

       /  05/09/2013

      Me too Tess. I always try to look on the bright side. We’ll get through this.

      Reply
  4. Unmet expectations are tricky things. Usually in looking back on such situations, both Michael and I could have handled things better. Often I’ve failed to communicate my expectations to him, so I essentially expected him to be a mind reader. And often his mind has been elsewhere (due to work or other stresses) and he hasn’t noticed how much I’ve needed him at the time. Some hurt feelings have occurred on both sides and it has also led to some serious discussions at times too. Often though, it’s turned into a learning experience and has led to growth for both of us. So, while I’m sorry that you’re going through a rough time right now, I hope that it turns out well! (((hugs)))

    Reply
    • Zoe

       /  05/09/2013

      It really wasn’t a mind reader thing for the most part and he gets where I was coming from now. It has been a huge learning experience for both of us and if the lesson sticks I think we will be better for it. Here’s hoping!

      Reply
      • I didn’t mean to imply that you expected him to be a mind reader, Zoe. Sorry about that! I was sharing that was my issue. (((hugs)))

  5. We had a very similar talk this weekend. And, Husband is having a crappy time at work now too. Maybe the issue is mine? Apparently men who are stressing at work aren’t so great at the Dom thing during it.

    Reply
    • Zoe

       /  05/09/2013

      I do think that has something to do with it. It is hard for him to disengage there and make the transition to home life sometimes. He has promised to do better with this.

      Reply
  6. I always have a bad day when I know DH is not doing well at work, on a particular day for example. The stress radiates off him through the phone or email and I get all stressed.
    I am sorry you guys are at this stage at the moment. That was us a month of so ago, and now with DH not working at the moment, all that just melts away and he has time for being Us and together again. Something must really be bothering Alex for him to be this distracted and I am sure if he could he would much rather take you over his lap and spank you silly. 🙂 But I know, its hard to remember.
    I am looking forward to reading a part two! I hope you feel better Zoe!

    Reply
    • Zoe

       /  05/09/2013

      Thanks Julia. It has been a stressful few weeks at work. We will get through it but that doesn’t mean I like it. This weekend was not fun but it did force some productive conversations and maybe that will make it all worth it.

      Reply
  7. Bob

     /  05/08/2013

    Yup did that hated it, we all go through those cycles when it all seems to fall apart and our world will come crashing down around us
    Like you said communication is the first line of defense that goes down then every thing else follows. The big trick is to realize that it is happening and to keep those lines open. We all have expatiations on how we want things to go and we forget to talk to our partner about it.
    So keep those lines open and things will fall back into place.

    Bob

    Reply
    • Zoe

       /  05/09/2013

      That is the hope Bob. We are communicating better and and feel like things will fall back into place.

      Reply
  8. Dee

     /  05/08/2013

    This post made so much sense to me. And I totally get your feelings about ‘wasted’ free time together. I hope you guys have worked it out some and look forward to Part 2.

    Reply
    • Zoe

       /  05/09/2013

      Wasting a night like Friday was so frustrating but oh well. It led to some good (tough) discussions and hopefully we will be stronger going forward.

      Reply
  9. writingthebody

     /  05/08/2013

    Funny thing in all this – you seem to love each other. He is exhausted physically from work, and you are emotionally stressed. You guys need a week together, not just an evening….

    Reply
  10. writingthebody

     /  05/08/2013

    Sorry….I did not mean to sound so bossy….if it is wrong Z, just delete it….

    Reply
    • Zoe

       /  05/09/2013

      You don’t sound bossy at all. I like your thinking. A week would be really nice. Maybe, maybe…

      Reply
  11. Roz

     /  05/09/2013

    Hey Zoe, I’m so sorry you went through this and I too understand about the ‘wasted’ time together and expectations. Looking back, I think when it’s happened here it has been largely due to work or other outside pressures on either one of both of us.

    I’m glad you wrote the letter to express your feelings and hope that you were able to work through this. I am looking forward to part 2.

    ((Hugs))
    Roz

    Reply
    • Zoe

       /  05/09/2013

      Roz you know I can’t just let things lie (at least these days) and so I really kind of let him have it communication wise. It was a long tough slog but we are better and being close enough now to really lay things out and talk helps so much. As tough as this was I will take this and coming to a resolution quickly over burying my fears and concerns like we used to.

      Thanks so much for your support. It means a lot.

      Reply
  12. Yup, you hit the nail on the head in saying that it is all about expectations, how we communicate them and bah…that we actually do communicate. I’m so sorry that your precious time together got so muddled but am hoping that part 2 has a happy ending.

    Reply
    • Zoe

       /  05/09/2013

      Thanks Susie. Expectations have gotten us more than once. The thing is that this time they were really about bigger underlying issues and they expectation of the night together was just the trigger. That took me by surprise but ultimately opened up a needed conversation and one that will move us further along in our marriage.

      Reply
  13. willie

     /  05/09/2013

    I understand completely. Our expectations are like an untied balloon, and when they aren’t met, it is like someone has let go of the end. Sending us flying all around the room, only to land deflated on the ground. At the time it seems so horrible, and I hate that pain. We somehow manage to go from flying high, full of promise, to so low. The last 2 ‘weekends’ off Barney has had have been horrible for this. Down right horrid. I too am worried about all the things you have mentioned, right down to the kids being around all summer.<- sheesh that makes me sound like a horrible mother.

    I hope you ended up with the reassurance you were looking for after writing to Alex

    Reply
    • Zoe

       /  05/09/2013

      You do not sound like a terrible mother at all. The kids are wonderful and I can’t wait for them to be around but that doesn’t mean that juggling ttwd won’t get crazy and that I won’t miss our simpler schedule when they are in school. I don’t think either one of us should feel badly for feeling that way.

      I’m so sorry that you and Barney are going though similar struggles right now. The emotional swings from flying high to so low can definitely take a toll. Hang in there and maybe we can chat and commiserate. It sounds like we both need it.

      Reply
  14. Hi Zoe, 🙂

    I’m sorry that you are going through this right now. I totally get the importance of using our alone time wisely as it is very hard to come by! I hear you about the kids all coming home from college and it is a whole other ball game! We have three college age+ and one high schooler. They are old enough to hear and see things, and even when you are alone, it can change in an instant. It is nice to have them home- but an adjustment none the less! All this makes those unused moments that you do have more than frustrating.

    I hope that things are now better for you and Alex. I will look forward to seeing what you wrote. Expectations are tough. I think that I have tried to adopt a “whatever happens happens” attitude from the beginning. It has seemed to help with some of this, but I can still feel the frustration sometimes. I hope things have gotten better! Hugs!

    ❤ Katie

    Reply
    • Zoe

       /  05/09/2013

      I think I have been adopting that attitude for quite awhile and that is what made brought it all to a head this weekend. I suddenly realized that I could no longer just wait and see what happened. If he wasn’t in I needed to be out. Dd cannot just be a one way street and I need more from him to continue. Hopefully we are there now and will do this with a renewed commitment.

      Good luck with you college kids. They are a blessing but they do bring more chaos. We just have to get more creative I guess.

      Reply
  1. Turning Point – Part 2 | A Uniquely Different Life

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