Is Anybody Out There?

imageI really can’t believe it has been 14 months since I wrote anything here. It’s funny. When I first started blogging and were new it was really pretty all consuming, that feeling of wanting to put all that I was thinking and feeling down in a post. I’m a very verbal person but this is not something you can talk about with anyone you know. (At least for me.) And so I wrote. I wrote here and I wrote on my private blog just for Alex.

But after awhile it began to feel like I was saying all the same things, and feeling all the same things. We are up. We are down. We are good. We are struggling. The kids are home so we have pretty much put the dynamic away for a bit. The kids are gone so I think things will improve. I really want this. Does he really want this? We talked. We are trying again. On. And on. And on. Broken record.

Who wants to read that? Who wants to see the same thing over and over? But probably more significantly for me, why would I want to write that. It became a graphic representation of our stagnation. And so I quit writing.

But lately I have been feeling like even if that is the case I should write again. I need to process things now just as much as before and this is still an excellent way to do that. So I am going to do that.

I am going to write. I am going to make myself write. I would love to tell you that everything is going strong but as always we are a work in progress and I continue to be in a position of pushing or pulling him along with me. But maybe this introspection will help that process along.

Anyway, hello again. Is there anybody out there? I hope there is someone still there but even if you have all gone away I’m still here and beginning again.

My next post will be a full update and some thoughts on where I am but I wanted to start with hello.

Always Learning

 

We had a kind of rocky weekend last week but like so many times before I think we both learned from it. We are getting back to ttwd after a kid imposed break and there were bound to be a few growing pains as we settled into our new routine.

It boiled down to that biggest of biggies… Communication. Things were expected and schedules changed but not communicated and feelings were hurt.

Then came the argument after. We often used to argue before by saying a few angry words and then retreating to separate corners. It was often never mentioned again even if there were hurt feelings. Eventually things returned to a status quo. Not real healthy I know but that’s what we did.

I refuse to do that anymore. This time we discussed things more and honestly I didn’t let him retreat like he used to. Changing how you have communicated (or not) your whole life is a process and reverting back to old patterns and behaviors is often the easiest. I forced the issue and made sure we talked it out pretty quickly and we moved past it and enjoyed the rest of the weekend.

We want and need our men to lead and they do most of the time but none of us is perfect and sometimes I think we have to be willing and able to do that leading ourselves if the old ways are too ingrained and too comfortable to break away from.

Just because I am in a Dd relationship does not mean that I should keep my mouth shut if things are not right. We need to work on our issues and if I don’t communicate to him how I am feeling he won’t know. We have a whole new way of relating to each other and even after two years it still feels so new. There will continue to be times where maybe I see us falling into our old habits before he does and it would not help either of us if I were quiet about that.

For us anyway it is more important to feel good at the end than to split hairs on whether I took control for awhile during an argument although respect must be maintained throughout. I am not and never will be a wall flower. That is not the woman he married and that is not what he wants. mistakes I wrote him a post on our private blog and thought you all might like to see what I came up with. It’s a list of tips on managing our disagreements. I entitled it

Arguing With Me – An Owners Manual

  1. Don’t leave me during an argument. If you leave I just talk to myself and get madder and madder and I feel abandoned. If you stay you force us to confront the issue and resolve it.
  2. Stay in the room/area and YOU make sure that things are resolved. I feel led that way.
  3. Apologize if it was your fault. I will do the same.
  4. Know that when you feel like we have talked enough or you don’t know what to say I ALMOST NEVER feel that way. I am very verbal and will always need to hash things out verbally more than you. Please be aware of that and let me work through my pain/issue with you. It is important to me that I feel heard and understood.
  5. Whatever the issue, even if it was your mistake, I am to always remain respectful.
  6. Don’t leave things until you feel like I am feeling better and heard. It is that point when we can heal and move forward.
  7. Touch is very important at any point in this process and makes me feel loved and cherished. For too long we didn’t touch and I value it so highly now.
  8. At some point you should declare the argument over. Again, I feel led that way.
  9. I know you know this but a maintenance session is often needed after an argument even if you caused the argument. It clears the slate for both of us and allows you to show me you are back in command. It makes me feel like we are back together again.

We don’t argue a lot anymore so we also haven’t had much “practice.” We both learned some this weekend about how we need to relate to each other when we are angry so when this kind of thing happens again we do better next time. That is all we can ask of each other really.

Turning Point – Part 2

The first part of this is here.

By the time I was finished with the letter it was after 5AM but I still could’t sleep. Alex came and found me about 6:30 and brought me back to bed.

I told him that I hadn’t really slept and that I was kind of done. He felt terrible that he had ruined our evening and had made me feel so upset. The flood gates opened and I just lay in bed and cried and cried. I couldn’t even show him the letter because I was too emotional. So he tucked me in and told me to sleep and he would read it and we would talk after I woke up.

I listened and let myself sleep for a few hours. That was good. When I woke up we talked and I showed him the letter.

Lately I have not been writing on this blog much because I have been writing for him on our private blog. I have been exploring my submission and what that might mean for us. I have often been very specific with him about what I find attractive and sexy so he is not having to read my mind. He always says the right things but I don’t always get follow through.

I think what happened to me all of the sudden Friday night is I became scared that that was all it was going to be; him saying the right things. What I want and wanted was the action behind the words. I suddenly became scared that he couldn’t give me action and if that were the case I needed to back off and back down from what I was doing and expecting. But he had to know that would mean big changes for us and ttwd.

Here is the letter I wrote:

I don’t know if you are capable of giving me what i am asking you to give.

I’m sorry if that sounds harsh or blunt but that is the truth.

They say that submission is a gift and that is what I am offering you. The gift of my submission. If you are going to accept that gift you HAVE TO TAKE AN ACTIVE ROLE IN ALL OF THIS AND TAKE THE LEAD!

We have been doing this now for almost 1 1/2 years. We have a written agreement and written rules. I am not playing games here. This is not a passing fad for me. This is not something that I want to see disappear out of our lives.

I keep writing things in our private journal that lay my heart and desires out on my sleeve. I feel like I have been completely open with you about what I want and I feel like I try really hard to live up to my end of the bargain. I need you to live up to yours.

I really do try to follow the rules. I self report anytime I feel like I have broken a rule because they are our agreement. They say to me at least that there is a standard of behavior that is expected and that you find these particular things to be important enough to actually punish for if they are not followed.

If that is the case, then you have to be willing to do that and you have to punish.

It is not the spankings that I am asking for here. It is the accountability. It is the action from you that it would take if you were to enforce them. It is the attention that is required from you if you are enforcing them.

You can’t discipline if you are not paying attention and are not actively engaged in our dynamic. It is active and it does take work but I hope that what I am offering in return more than makes up for that effort.

In the year and a half since we started I don’t feel like you have ever really punished for anything other than things I brought to you. If we have done a specific punishment spanking it has been because of that. I feel like I self monitor and self report and so it often feels one sided.

This is all very mental for me. I spend probably too much time thinking about all of this and presenting things to you and trying to get you involved. You seem to be interested and to want many of the same things. We seem to find many of the same kinds of things exciting and attractive. But then when you are given the night to pretty much do whatever you want to with me you don’t take advantage of it and I am left feeling vulnerable.

This journey has led me places within myself that I never really acknowledged or wanted to admit were there but like it or not they are.

I am a submissive. I want to please you. It makes me happy when I do. It gives me real pleasure when I know that I have done a good job for you. I truly want to do things and stucture my day and my actions so that the end result is that I make your life easier and more productive.

I love you. I respect you and I am devoted to you. We have the life we have because of you.

It is truly important to me that I offer my body up to you for your pleasure. I honor that and do that for you. I give that to you.

It truly has become important to me to make sure that I keep the house to a standard that will make you proud of my efforts and make your stress levels lower when you walk through the door. You know I have not always been the best housekeeper but I take satisfaction from the act of cleaning now because I know it is important to you. It makes you calmer and makes you less stressed and so I see it as a real act of devotion.

All of this is what I am offering to you and sending in your direction but it can’t just go in one direction. You have to give me things back in return.

I need to feel your dominance. I need you to take control and be in control. I need you to lead.

I need you to plan out our nights together, be in control and be in command. I need you to take the opportunities we have when we are alone and not waste them. I want to feel that when you can, you take full advantage of making sure I know that you are there and leading and steering us where you want us to go.

I want to know that what I do for you has value to you and that you cherish it and me. I need to know that you are capable of this.

Maybe you are not. Maybe you just are not going to be comfortable and confident enough to take command. I would be very sad if that were the case but I feel like we have reached a turning point. I can’t keep putting in so much effort if I feel like I am not getting the effort returned. This is an incredibly active lifestyle. It demands attention from you to see me and my behavior. It demands that you keep an active eye on our household and it’s issues so you can make the best decisions about what is happening around you. I can make those decisions on my own but I don’t want to.

It is a lot of responsibility I realize that. If that is not something you want to take on then we can stop doing this. That would make me really sad but at some point I think you need to decide if you are really in this or not.

I am in. I want to be, not just your wive, but your submissive wive. That is a kind of huge difference. I am offering myself up to you and for you.

It is time for you to decide what you want to do with that gift.

Please know that at no time was I ever questioning our marriage, his overall commitment to me or our commitment to ourselves.

What I questioned was his ability and desire to do ttwd and to have a Dd marriage. I was questioning whether Dominance and submission would and should be part of our lives. I was questioning whether the “nice guy” I married would ever really be able to do what he needs to make this work.

He read the letter and we talked. I think for the first time in a long time he really got it but I asked him to take some time and really think about everything. We had become very comfortable in the routine we had established and it was time for a bit of a shake up. Essentially we suspended ttwd for the weekend while we digested and came to terms with what had happened.

So where are we now? We are in a much better place. He understands where I am coming from and why I feel like I do. He knows if he is going to lead that means he needs to be much more engaged. To continue then he needs to be as committed to this as I am. He is going to be more aware of his mindset so when he comes through the door he is better prepared to engage with me and leave work and those demands there. We are going to remain a Dd couple and he has recommitted to me and to us and has already stepped up in some new ways. When I find myself chaffing under this new diligence I know you will all remind me that I am the one who asked for this and forced this new level of commitment. 🙂

It’s funny. I think many of my concerns were there for a while but I didn’t want to acknowledge them and it took a crisis to bring them all to the surface. Maybe we needed to reach this turning point to grow. I want to run and weekends like this show me that in many ways we are still taking baby steps. I want to do this for the long hall and this helped us.

noturningback

I never really doubted his commitment to me. I know he cherishes me and us but it is nice to hear him reiterate it. In the end I hope I can look back on this weekend and truly see it as a turning point, one where we both took up Dd with renewed commitment.

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.

Put Yourselves First

I have been thinking about this story for awhile, trying to remember when I heard it for the first time. Romantically I think maybe it was before I got married and I am sure it was repeated then but really it was much sooner than that. It is one of those family stories that I know was told throughout my life and it became part of my consciousness.

This is advice my mom passed to me but it was advice a priest gave them before their own marriage.

“Put yourselves first.”

“Put yourselves first. You will have jobs, and kids, and money problems. You will have all kinds of things happen that you can’t predict or even imagine but if you two have a strong foundation then your family will be strong and you all will be OK.”

My parents had a beautiful relationship. Just like everyone, it wasn’t perfect but they truly loved each other. I think they took that priest’s words to heart and did make themselves our foundation. Our family was built on them and even when there were struggles, and there were many, they were a team and we managed.

My Dad has been dead for 21 years and I truly believe in many ways my mother misses him about the same today as the day he passed. They were made for each other.

Alex and I didn’t always act on this advice during all the years of our marriage but we really try to now.

When we wrote out our commitment to each other at the start of this Dd journey that was the first thing we wrote, that we were rededicating ourselves to put ourselves first before all else. Before jobs, schedules, other family members, and even our kids. That does not at all mean that we are neglecting any of those things and that they don’t sometimes take precedence in time and effort but what we are committed to is making sure that in the midst of what ever distractions we are faced with that we remain in touch and connected. That we touch base with the other to make sure we are OK and that we acknowledge each other.

It is a real shift in how we interact and takes time and effort. Anything worth doing takes effort though and the benefits for our whole family are so worth it.

Kids come into our lives and take so much of our energy that it often seems that we have no time to spare for our spouses. Before I ever had children I was drawn to the quote that says that we should give our children two things. One is roots and the other is wings.

rootsandwings

My parents gave me that gift. I hope when my kids are my age they feel the same.

In order for the roots to be strong though we have to be strong and so we have returned to the advice of my mother and the priest who she got it from. We are stronger now than we ever have been. We see each other. We pay attention. We make sure our foundation is strong because that is the greatest gift we can give our kids.

Some Struggles

I have thought a lot about how to convey the story of our weekend and I am still not really sure so I think I will just start typing and see how it flows.

It was a weird disconnected weekend. We didn’t communicate well and I felt a little lost.

Communication has not always been our strong point. Often when feelings were hurt or the issue was tough to talk about or deal with things wouldn’t get talked about until one or both of us moved on to something else. It wasn’t healthy and it wasn’t useful but it kept things quiet and outwardly peaceful. It led to a lot of hurt feelings really. Not good.

We are much better now than we were before Dd but unfortunately this weekend was more like the old us and less like the new us.

sad chalk board

This time last year I wrote a post about my weight loss. At the time I was doing pretty well and I ended loosing over 25 pounds. Unfortunately since then I have not been working nearly hard enough and gained more than 1/2 of that back. I don’t feel as good as I did and my clothes don’t fit as well. Pretty much everything about that is worse.

We have a blog that is private and just for us to communicate with each other especially when he is traveling. On that blog I wrote to him and asked him to help me with this in a kind of general way. It is hard and uncomfortable to admit to him that I need his help with exercising and also hard to admit it to you all here on this blog.

The problem is that after a week he had not said much about it so this time I wrote to him again and was very specific in my request. When I didn’t get a response this time I kind of spiraled. I was feeling very vulnerable and frustrated and got more and more grumpy as the weekend progressed. I know he noticed because he told me I was being snippy but that was pretty much it. (I wasn’t actually surprised or unhappy about that. It was the Final Four of March Madness after all.) (College basketball for those outside the US and a very big deal around here.)

By Sunday morning I was kind of a mess. I tend to talk to myself sometimes and I had pretty much talked myself into not saying anything to him. I put up a brave front when I am alone but really as soon as I am with him I can’t hold out and it all comes out. That is what happened.

I asked him if he knew why I was mad and eventually after much talking and quite a few tears from me I got it all out and made him see what was wrong. Old habits and inaction can be hard to break out of even after over a year of doing this and weekends like this remind us just how important it is to stay vigilant. We talked a lot and unlike before Dd we managed to do this and see each other’s point of view without more hurt feelings and fighting.

We are better now. We talked again last night and he has made some new rules for exercise and eating and will provide consequences if I don’t follow through on my end. I feel confident that he understands me better and he will watch out for me. We are going to both do this and hope to both be healthier and more fit.

Accountability is hard. It is hard for the person being watched and it is hard for the watcher. It takes diligence from both parties.

So there you go. I’ve told him. I’ve told you guys. Now I really can’t hide from this and make excuses for myself anymore. Time to get serious and take control of my health.

And Now the Answers – Finally

Hi all. March is over and ideally we would have answered these already but it was a pretty heavy travel month for Alex and so the answers to our questions are coming in April. Sorry for the delay.

Thanks to everyone who asked a question they were fun to talk about and answer. It is finally beautiful weather here and I hope it is the same where you are. Happy weekend!

Grace

Hmmm, well, okay, you asked for it! lol What’s been the biggest positive change you’ve seen in yourself and/or in your relationship since incorporating ttwd? What’s been the biggest challenge?

There are many but I love, love, love that I can’t wait for him to come through the door. I miss him so much now and am so excited when he comes home from work or from a trip. I went a long time basically feeling the opposite, being happy he was gone. Dd has given me my husband back and that really is the best!

I agree. I am happy to come home now which is so much better.

My biggest challenge is not letting my expectations get ahead of me. Because he travels quite a bit we often have to fit maintenance in whenever we can and so sometimes I have been disappointed if  he didn’t spank and I thought he would. That also leads to a feeling of urgency sometimes like we have to make it count which makes it seem forced sometimes. I am working on trusting him more when he doesn’t do maintenance because I know he thinks about it too. 

paddled husband

Hmm so many questions I could ask. Ok,how about this? What was the biggest problem you encountered as you started your DD lifestyle together, and how did you overcome it?

It was hard for him to know how long and hard to spank me in the beginning. It took some patience and practice from both of us to get past those first growing pains. We had to learn each other.

It is vital to have a partner that looks out for you like Alex did and does for me. I couldn’t do this if I didn’t trust that he was actively evaluating and looking out for my interests.

Finding the right implements. We broke too many spoons. 🙂

Cat

Hey Zoe…Hope you’re still feeling well. Here’s my question: Do you think that if you had known about it when you were first married, you could have successfully incorporated DD into your marriage? Would love to hear how you and Alex each answer this one or maybe a joint answer?

This is an easy one for me. I have thought about it before and the answer is no way. We were different people then. I was not ready yet to admit even to myself how interested I was in spanking and know I would have rejected the idea of the man being the head of household.

This takes trust on a very deep level and at least for us I think it almost required us to have come from the low place we were so we could really appreciate how close we came to loosing it and how much there is to fight for. We know what is at stake now and battle that much harder to keep what we have and Dd is our tool to do that.

No. It takes a long time to know and appreciate each other. We weren’t mature enough.

Lillie

What is the one area of your lives that has had the biggest noticeable change since beginning dd?
(for both of you)

Open communication. More sex and sexual experimentation.

Yes. We talk both more and have higher quality conversations which are more effective. That is so much better than before and such a change. And he’s right. It has really spiced up our love life which is fun. 

Michele

Hi Zoe
What’s the one thing you still struggle with as a DD wife and how do you deal with it?

Letting go and truly letting him steer. When

It’s a journey and we are constantly learning and adjusting.

Mischief asked,

If you and Alex were animals what would you be and why?

Again, very easy for me. I would want to be a well loved house cat. My cat has the best life. He does what he want when he wants and we humans are essentially at his beck and call. He gets to sleep when, for how long and however he wants. Really what could be better.

sleepong cat

When I asked Alex this was the first answer he came up with. It made me laugh so we stuck with it.

Honey Badger because a Honey Badger “takes what he wants.”

Honey badgers were the inspiration for the kil...

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