Hello all. Welcome back to the Forum. Our weekly gathering of men and women who are in, or interested in being in, Domestic Discipline or Female Led Relationships. I hope you had a good week.
We didn't get a huge number of posts last week, but lack of volume is sometimes offset by depth of feeling. Whenever we touch on issues regarding public exposure or what our kids (adult or otherwise) should know, it seems to be bring out very firm opinions. Me? I'm still on the fence. But, it doesn't really matter. If ours come to know, it will only be because my wife decides to tell them. Or, because they already know and have, up until now, spared us the embarrassment of telling us about it. Only time will tell.
Anna also made a comment about the constraints of talking about only one topic each week, and I don't disagree. Having one particular topic--and having to be the guy coming up with it each week--is definitely constraining for all concerned. Though, it's a problem I don't quite know how to solve, other than being flexible when people drift off into things that aren't precisely "on topic." (I have made the decision, however, that I am not going to put up with it any more when a couple of OCD posters feel compelled to comment every week but have nothing at all to actually say, so they instead leave repetitive comments that are the communicative equivalents of a masturbatory fart. I'm just taking those down, even if peripherally on-topic, because the commenters are playing this cute game where the first sentence may seem on-topic, then they launch right into their mother-in-law, spanked in front of her friends, facing the wall, leg-locked, little fantasy scenario. Not putting up with that anymore.) But, if someone has something truly communicative they want to talk about, I'll usually either let it go, or if it is way off-topic but would be a good one to explore, I'll suggest deferring to the following week, at which time I'll devote a full-blown topic to it. Admittedly, that strategy is self-preservation at play, because it means I have one less thing to struggle over on Saturday morning as I look at a blank screen. But, I do sometimes get tired of the topical format in its entirety, and I do think about something like a Facebook group or a moderated discussion group for our more regular and productive commenters. Something where anyone can post a topic and people can use a chat session to talk real-time, would probably be preferable, but I can't quite figure out the practicalities. Something more like a "club" than a "forum." But, Facebook makes it very hard for people to post anonymously or even to post using accounts with pseudonym identities, and many of us just aren't willing to "out" ourselves to Facebook as a condition of using the service. I also have been a member of a couple of on-line discussion groups, but running one usually requires some kind of payment for the software or hosting, which again leads to a loss of anonymity at least for the moderator. So, I am open to all suggestions, but right now I can't come up with anything much better than the current format.
Now, on to today's actual topic. In addition to things regarding our family being in a bit of a state of flux, we've been dealing with some issues around life choices. Nothing earth shattering yet, but we're coming up on that time of life when you may hit a fork in the road and need to make some conscious decisions about which one to walk down. And, truth be told, currently we are not entirely on the same page. That has me thinking a bit more than normal about decisions and how we make them in a DD or FLR relationship. Now, I have never had much use for the notion of female supremacy. I think some men are good leaders and make good decisions. Others, not so much. The same is true of women. I know some who are naturally good leaders who make great decisions for themselves and those around them. For others, it is a learned skill. And, some just kind of suck at it. I don't think either gender has a monopoly on wisdom.
I will now offend the female supremacists in the group to the core, by saying boldly that my wife is not a better decision-maker than I. At least not consistently and in all respects. If anything, I'm more rigorous and systematic in analyzing issues and coming to decisions on appropriate actions. But, in some ways that's a result more of experience and confidence than aptitude. Preparing for my career involved a lot of training in thinking things through in a very ordered way. And, I have to make a lot of decisions every day. It's kind of my stock-in-trade, as it were.
On the other hand, I tend to get in trouble because while I am analytical, I also am temperamental and stubborn, and those qualities can overcome my better judgment. And, I just do dumb and dangerous things sometimes. For those reasons, it still makes a lot of sense for my wife to be at the top of our chain-of-command, at least in a lot of areas. Because, she has a better temperament than I, and one that is less prone to doing dumb shit. But, we both recognize that when it comes to actually stepping up and taking the lead on making decisions for us, she needs practice. While she kind of likes the feel of being in charge once she does it, she doesn't always like thinking about that decision being hers to make. The conditioned need to get buy-in from me and others gets in the way of decisive leadership. And, there no doubt are some conventional social roles at play. Especially on "big ticket" issues. So, I have from time to time kind of forced her down that learning curve.
A year or so ago, about the time we started really exploring FLR, she needed a new car. Now, I am guessing it is fair to say that buying cars is still seen as the man's job in many, many families. We get the pain of wrangling with the dealer over price, and just as we are patting ourselves on the back for striking a great deal, we get shuffled off to the finance guy who somehow hypnotizes us into buying the upgraded floor mats and that super-special undercoating. It's an inherently competitive, adversarial, zero-sum game in many ways. Well, this time, I decided it was her car, and she should get the experience of choosing and negotiating it all by herself, and if she was going to claim to be the Head of the Household, she needed to learn to get a little more comfortable with confrontation. She was fairly pissed at me for refusing to weigh in on any part of the process, but she did a great job. In fact, she drove a hell of a lot harder bargain than I would have!
We both also have areas we like handling and others we don't. So, my wife handles most of our bank accounts, but I handle most of our investments. She pays the credit card bills, while I make most of the decisions on things like household repairs. We both kind of like it this way, and even after DD and FLR we never really came to any formal allocation of decision-making roles, instead just kind of drifting into areas where we each have more interest and competence. Even on kid issues, we tend to divide and conquer. She makes a lot of the decisions involving day-to-day kid issues, while I handle how we manage their college funds, and I'm pretty active in helping advise them on how to succeed in school. And, most big decisions are made jointly to one extent or another.
If anything has changed since implementing DD and experimenting with an FLR, it is really the "chain of command" concept. It an effective chain of command, the person at the top does not make every decision, but they are the final decision-maker. They get to break ties. If there is a dispute, they win. We aren't perfectly consistent in applying the concept, but it is what we are aiming for.
How about you? Does your DD or FLR relationship involve some actual allocation of decision-making authority? Does she take on more of the decisions than she did before you went down this path? If there is a tie, who wins? If she has taken on more decision-making authority, has that proven to be a a relief or a burden?
And, when it comes to discipline and punishment, is there any discussion about if, when and how it will take place, or is that totally up to her to decide?
I hope you have a great week. Be safe out there on this long holiday weekend.