Saturday, May 12, 2018

Vol. 250 - Staying in Character, and small things continued

"It is so hard to believe because it is so hard to obey." - Soren Kierkegaard

Hello all. Welcome back to The Disciplinary Couples Club.  Our weekly gather of men and women who are in, or have a genuine desire to be in, Domestic Discipline or Female Led Relationships.

I hope you had a great week.  Mine included one of those incidents that can make me wonder whether I have any capability at all of actually changing for the better.  Just two weeks ago, we talked about using Domestic Discipline to learn to get the "small things" right, with the hope that developing more discipline about common, everyday tasks, might result in more discipline on the bigger things as well.  I recounted how she spanked sometime ago for repeatedly failing to clean the kitchen fully after dinner, including leaving rice in a rice cooker.  
 So, I really committed to trying to do better.  For a week I made the bed every morning, did a better job of getting some annoying work tasks done every day, and made sure I diligently cleaned the kitchen every night.  Then, earlier this week I got a text from her at work with -- you know where this is going, don't you? -- rice in the damn rice cooker!  Left there for two days.  Damn, damn, damn!  I honestly cannot believe that after committing to do my nightly chores, talking about it with all of you for a solid week . . . I still couldn't pull it off!  So much for . . .


 I also failed--modestly yet still failed--on something that was more personal to me.  I had an injury last year that really screwed with my ability to stay fit.  I lost years of hard-won gains in muscle and strength.  I've been slowly working my way back up, and am pretty close to where I was before the injury. But, I decided that wasn't enough.  I wanted to get in really, really good shape.  Like visible six-pack shape, driven on by the recognition that I am at an age where it really is now or never.  So, I decided that I wanted to do a pretty strict diet for two weeks to kick-start the process, including no processed food, no sugar and a total ban on alcohol.  I did pretty well for several days, then we had a reception at the office, and I one beer, which led to two more, and topped it off with some unhealthy snacking.  Last night, I was on my own for dinner, and while I didn't do too bad for a Friday, I had one beer and some french fries.  Small stumbles, right?  But stumbles nonetheless.  


And, in truth, it was some our conversation last week that put me on this self-improvement bent again.  As ZM said,  "For some reason, this weeks topic is just totally stuck in my head so here I am writing again. I guess maybe it is because it is all just so very domestic, which apparently resonates quite clearly for me. This week, as I have been thinking (pretty much non-stop) about small things, I realize just how much my lack of discipline has held me back, and I have a large and genuine hope that my wife will give my self-discipline enough of a boost that it will result in me finally achieving at least part of the success of which I am capable. Tomy noted above that if Aunt Kay had gotten to him earlier "... I sure as hell would have been a million times more successful in life." I am hoping so very much that somehow this will be true for me as well. While I don't necessary enjoy the pain of spanking, at least at the time, I enjoy even less the never-ending pain of living an undisciplined life."


 Very well said.  Like ZM, I spent a lot of time last week thinking about sweating the small stuff, using my wife as a kind of "accountability coach" to help me stay on track.  I don't know exactly what that looks like and how to get her to buy into the vision, but I need to find some way to get her more invested in helping me get my shit together.  I am a big believer in setting out very concrete steps when you want to change something.  High level, vague aspirations, or even concrete goals without concrete steps to get there, are all but worthless.  So, if any of you have used DD successfully to really help you improve performance, pay more attention, hit goals, etc., please continue to weigh in, and with the actual things you put in place to get there.

One thing that did jump out at me from the comments is that for the couples who successfully used DD to help him perform better, there seems to have been A LOT of very open, ongoing communication, about the goals, the expectations, his progress or lack thereof, etc.  Again, please share how all that came about, how you approached her (or she approached you), what the reporting regimen was like, how any check-ins or other processes worked, forms you used to track performance, etc. 

I also suspect that if I am really going to get her to deliver on helping me perform, more of the process will have to be initiated by me regarding things like check-ins, perhaps even to the point of me going through the checklist and simply bringing her the paddle whenever the failures happened.  Ideally, it would be her taking over the process and managing it, but after trying and failing to get that to really work, I feel like I have to try something else.  Though, that is easier said than done in the moment.

The part of this week's topic that is genuinely new is kind of the flip-side of the debate between Alan, KD and ZM regarding total obedience, though from a slightly different angle.  How difficult is it for the wives who do want to be a Disciplinary Wife and to be the leader in an FLR to do that consistently, perhaps even 24x7?  How readily to they "stay in character" or do they find themselves flipping back and forth between dominance and doubt?

It seems to me to be very natural for doubts to hold back even a wife who genuinely wants to lead.  As many of us said last week, our wives are normal people with normal moral and ethical compasses.  They want to help us grow into the men we want to be, and many of them don't have any problem with doling out a strong punishment when we do something bad that effects them.  But, they also have normal concerns about "not wanting to hurt him," and "even if he says he wants things to be strict, am I being too strict in this particular case?"

I don't have any doubt that many, in not most, Disciplinary Wives have those moments of self-doubt or of pulling back because of concerns about whether he "really" wants this. But, does that suggest that living DD 24x7 just is not realistic or, ironically, is she stressed out and going through the ups and downs precisely because she has one foot in and one foot out of DD leadership, but both she and he would be happier if she just went all out and really donned the mantle of leadership.  I've talked about this a lot with one Domme friend, and she admits that she is happiest and the relationship works best when she is most consistent and most strict.  The doubts do kick in and she steps back, but then things stop working as well and both she and her husband get off course.  For her, it really is easier and more helpful for both of them when she stays consistent and doesn't let the doubts stop her from doing what she needs to do.  She genuinely likes leading, and part of making things work is embracing that instead of getting dragged down by concerns about "bitchiness" or how he may react and, instead, setting high expectations and consistently enforcing them.  It is a bit paradoxical, but leadership becomes less burdensome the more she embraces it.

Thoughts?

41 comments:

  1. Oddly enough, I never worry about "hurting" him!

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    1. Mine really doesn't seem to have that problem either!

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  2. I remember many years ago hearing Aunt Kay on the phone with another DWC wife. I think she was advising the woman about the topic of this blog post - being consistent with the discipline. She said something like - it's like flossing your teeth; you get it done because the benefits are guaranteed and long lasting.

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  3. Hi Dan ,

    Why don't you try a kind of weekly or monthly 'date night' with your wife where the two of you can go out to spend time alone together and how she can help you be a better person.
    It's good to get away from the distractions of day to day life which tend to get in the way of such necessary discussions .
    If your wife is like mine she will look forward to a night of being wined , dined and pampered.
    In our case we came up with a report card where the two of us would go through each line of 'subjects' I needed to improve on and list any violations , etc.
    We would do this in the restaurant which adds to the formality and getting our point across ( she would discretely cover it up if the waiter came near of course.)
    She would give me a grade and punishment (or reward) would be assigned depending on how I did.
    If a punishment was required it would be carried out when we got home and she would 'review' how I could improve my grade as she carried it out.
    Because of the kids and other distractions , we found the best time for this was lunchtime and it was easier for us to fit it into our schedule.
    I would send out the invite and usually pick her up and take her to the restaurant , usually somewhere close to home where she could carry out the required penalty and we both went back to our days.
    Quite a few times I drove back to work sitting on a sore behind and with my 'stamped' report card in my brief case.
    It certainly helped me focus the way I needed to and she quite enjoyed and looked forward to the whole thing.
    Wishing you good luck with this either way.

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    1. Hi Glen,

      We were having monthly date nights for a while, but we let it slip. We need to get that back on track, and I like your idea of building some kind of DD related task into it. Some of our best conversations about DD have occurred over such couple's dinners, but we haven't included any kind of check-in. Thanks for the idea.

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    2. True...freeing up time for our meetings was the biggest impediment.That is shy we moved to lunchtime rendezvous.We don't use it any more but I should have a copy of the report card we used somewhere and can send it to you if you like.

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    3. Would love to get a copy of it. Thanks!

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  4. Dan
    As I have said several times, our boys go spent friday evenings, with my folks. We turned that into Friday evening date and reporting night. Together we worked out the things that I wanted to change and the things he wanted to change in himself. It was awkward at first but seems second nature at this point. My suggestion
    for anyone is to each make a list and perhaps proper punishment. At this point there isnt punishment every Friday. We began slowly. For me drinking and driving were at the top of my list. Drinking and driving our boys another. Forgetting to pick up the boys after a school event. ( yes once when they were 7 & 8 he forgot and I was out of town. Phone or cell phone for anyone at dinner. ( that one is rule for the boys also )
    The thing is setting a time once a week to if do nothing else to talk before it issue becomes anger, has made
    all the difference in the world.
    Funny thing is we both look forward to out time on fridays. If there is punishment it comes after dinner and then we can get on with life.
    It will all fall in place when you want it to be that way!

    with love
    anna

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    1. Hi Anna. We really need to put a system like that in place. I do feel a strong sense of the initial awkwardness you refer to, but I just need to get over it.

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    2. We use Wednesdays. Both of us look forward to it too.

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  5. Wow, never thought I'd see a Kierkegaard quote to open an article about female-led relationships, but it works here.

    I do understand your frustration about the rice in the rice cooker but it also seems from your article that you've got a lot going on. You're trying to get back in shape, you're trying to do the kitchen right, and some other things. Maybe instead of you and your missus dwelling on the 5% that went wrong, you could take a moment to appreciate the 95% that you did that went well. Ultimately it's up to you, and you both seem to really understand and value trust and communication. Sometimes in the FLR's I studied, they were very good at making sure that the sub was not overloaded. And when he was taking a moment to appreciate all that he had done. Then they could reexamine what got done when and how much of a workload he had so that they could be more efficient. But as I said it seems you guys communicate very well so I'll be interested to see how this turns out.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Key

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    1. Hi Key. Yes, I thought the Kierkegaard quote worked quite nicely in this context!

      I think for some period of time to come, being "overloaded" will continue to be my daily state of existence. For that reason, I do think it would be a mistake for her to load me up with more chores, but I do think she should enforce those I have. Regarding the getting back in shape, I may need her to agree to become very harsh on that one. It is something I want to accomplish, and I just don't seem to be able to stay with the program in the way I really have to if I am going to have a prayer of actually accomplishing it.

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    2. "Keirkegaard" - pretty deep.... and I deign to play with his words

      But is it so hard to obey becuase it's so hard to believe?

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    3. It certainly works better in the religious context in which he wrote it, as it's meaning is really about the fact that so few Christians really understand scripture, because if they did they would have to obey that scripture and, deep down inside, they don't want to. So, ignorance or deliberate misunderstanding becomes the go-to psychological excuse for disobedience. Which seems to perfectly explain my fundamentalists relatives who voted for Trump despite the fact that he stands in opposition to pretty much every single teaching in the Gospels. But, looking for loopholes in order to avoid obeying also seems to be a fairly nice fit with the topic we've been discussing. At least, it was the best I could find without resorting to lawyer jokes.

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  6. Aunt Kay had a policy that removed ambiguity. Repeat of the same behavior meant double the last time. And if one was dumb enough to still do it again, it was double again.

    From my end of things, it felt like she did a bit extra, just to make sure the doubling was accomplished. It wasn't based on number of swats. It was based on her intuition.

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    1. As anyone who understands the principle of compound interest could appreciate, such a system could get very, very frightening.

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    2. Indeed! It brings back memories of high school math classes and also of the old Star Trek episode where an alien intelligence takes over the Enterprise's computer. Mr Spock orders the computer to calculate the value of pi, which, as he explains, is a transcendental number - nonterminating. The computer fills all available memory with the digits of pi, and there is no room left for the aliens.
      A woman who wanted to really discipline her partner could program the home computer or phone to calculate the value of pi and spank him until the program ends or until she decides to stop, whichever be the sooner.
      richard.

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    3. Someone has a book on you tube about a woman who is abducted by an M/f spanking-oriented alien. I'm not necessarily recommending it. But here it is; just for grins
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcQApOzuIBQ

      And the doubling method works - every time.

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  7. When it comes to "repeat" offenses, I (reluctantly) agree that a harsher dose of the martinet -or of the strap- may be in order (and it is invariably delivered)... J. is the one who decides what I "need"...
    L.

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  8. Why put all this pressure on 'curing' repeat offenses? Why not just look at DD as a way to deal with them rather than cure them? How many guys here (and their ladies .....if they're into this) want to permanently 'cure' things whose subsequent elimination would also eliminate the need for DD? Not us.

    Nah. Better to deal with misbehavior consistently with the idea that actions have consequences. The result will be a guy who is trying harder and a woman who has an outlet for her frustrations.......yet expectations remain realistic. Who can really fully and irrevocably change some of the weaknesses that are so embedded in who we are? Besides there's nothing more boring for a DD couple than a perfectly behaved spouse.

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    1. I do think the reality is that a lot of offensive behavior may be mitigated but not stamped out, and that may be OK to some extent. As anyone who has read even a few entries in this blog has detected, my major personal challenge is drinking too much. And, for a whole bunch of reasons, DD is unlikely to really "cure" that. For example, I do like the socializing that goes along with it and I think that socializing is a positive thing for the teams I run. And, I am in a business that depends on personal connection, and many of those are, in fact, forged over beers or a dinner with a bottle of wine. Therefore, I do think that alcohol serves a useful purpose in my life, so I'm not going to stop. But, being reined by my wife can keep it from getting out of hand.

      And, I have come to believe that while DD often starts with a focus on curing his behavior issues, that idea of an outlet for frustrations is at least equally important and serves a big purpose in marriage management. Now, I don't take that so far as to say that I don't want to permanently eliminate some behavior because it would eliminate the need for DD. That seems to me like the behavior is an excuse for getting a spanking, so why not just admit that and satisfy the spanking fetish without calling it DD?

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    2. >>>>>>>>> Now, I don't take that so far as to say that I don't want to permanently eliminate some behavior because it would eliminate the need for DD. That seems to me like the behavior is an excuse for getting a spanking, so why not just admit that and satisfy the spanking fetish without calling it DD?<<<<<<<

      Basically because I think it's still very different. Real behavior=real consequences is DD. Just whacking away for fun is just a spicy way to play. All I'm saying is that the actions and consequences can be genuine even if the realistic expectation is that some things may never be completely eliminated.

      You seem to say as much in your first paragraph. And 'yes' some things can be permanently changed, but some can only be somewhat mitigated and managed. Not a bad approach.

      And the 'being too good' argument does sound a bit like I'm trivializing DD, but after decades of doing this with different people it is somewhat true nonetheless.....at least it has been for me.

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    3. There's a middle ground between 'behavior/consequences' and 'whacking away for fun' that may apply to many. Isn't it the maintenance/living-the-flr/because-she-says-so tht isn't necessarily goal-oriented but also feels very disciplinary? After all, there are many ways to incent good behavior, but we all seem drawn to stripping off our clothes and going over our wife's laps.

      And Dan, you are sometimes dismissive regarding 'fetish' spankings. But you've also talked about your extensive implement collection - isn't that just a teeny bit fetishy?
      CrimsonKing

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    4. Hi CK. So, a couple of things. First, I don't have any problem with fetish spankings. They just aren't my thing or what keeps me writing a blog every week. I'm totally fine with spanking fetishes, I just prefer people wouldn't try to take the blog in that direction, because god knows there are PLENTY of spanking fetish blogs out there, but not many that are devoted to DD.

      Regarding implements, no, this a rare occasion when I can say definitively that whatever role a fetish plays in my interest in DD, it doesn't play out where implements are concerned. Or, you could say what I have a fetish for his pretty, functional things. I have bought an extensive number of implements, but almost always for one of two reasons. First, for a long time I wanted to go more and more severe, which led me to things like rubber straps. After a while I figured out that not only did they not get me to where I wanted to me mentally and emotionally, they were "too" severe, in that they put in that "man up" state that is not at all about taking responsibility but just trying to get through it. So, what did I do with them? I threw them away. Because they didn't serve the purpose. Second, I have a thing for craftsmanship. After discovering a particular source of straps, I have bought all of mine from that source. Every once in a while I go there, and see one that is just so damn pretty, I need to buy it. But, even there, I bought one a few months ago that proved, not to be functional, so I threw it away. On paddles, it is true I have bought several. But, over the last year or two, all have come from the same source, and almost always it's been that the particular wood was just so damn pretty, it was nicer than what we had. So, I bought it for the aesthetics. I'm the same way about cars. My primary car is much lower cost than I can afford, but I like its functionality and its looks. Same with motorcycles, sort of. My primary bike is not much to look at, but for what I want it for there isn't anything better, so I was willing to pay what seems like a lot for a motorcycle. Similarly, bags for work. I am worse than any woman you've ever met for buying bags, mine just happen to be for computers and work stuff. I've literally walked through an airport, seen a bag I liked, asked the owner where I could buy it and bought it on-line once I got on the plane. In fact, the bag I use day-to-day is one I saw someone carry on a plane. I got the details from the owner, bought it on-line, and it is just so goddamn functional that even though it doesn't look like much I use it day to day.

      So, no, I don't think my implement purchase are fetishy, except to the extent that I am fetishy about a whole bunch of beautiful and/or highly functional things.

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    5. Your little essay about you shop is a great read. I love it!

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    6. Thanks! Probably more self-revelatory than most of what I've written about DD. :-)

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  9. KD, I couldn't agree more. While I want to have boundaries and have them strictly enforced, and I want and need actions to have consequences, it doesn't mean that I will suddenly become perfect and somehow immediately fix a lifetime of bad habits and behaviors. In the same way, policemen with their radar guns don't keep me from speeding, but they do keep it in check. I guess if they increased the penalty for repeat offenders to life in prison for speeding, I would probably stop completely, but just knowing there are consequences keeps me largely in control.

    -ZM

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    1. I like the speeding analogy, though it kind of begs the question, right? Bad behavior continues as long as the penalty is too low to *really* incent you to stop?

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    2. Yes, true. Exactly as I wrote about a month or two ago, again using speeding as the analogy. As long as the perceived benefit of speeding (reducing how late I am, feeling of freedom, or whatever) is greater than the risk of punishment (considering I don't get caught most of the time), I will speed.

      However, I can say that traffic laws and police enforcement DO slow me down. While I may still speed, I speed far, far less than if there were no laws or no law enforcement.

      Also, while they certainly could make the punishments such that I wouldn't speed ever (for example the death penalty), I wouldn't want to live in that country, and also they would lose an ongoing source of revenue. :)

      Now, back to spanking. While I absolutely do want to improve my performance and behavior, I also try to have realistic expectations for myself. She wants to see genuine effort and a general trend of improvement. If that happens, we will both feel like DD was quite a success. At the same time, if she sees that I continue a certain behavior again and again with no improvement, she will certainly ramp up the severity of punishments, and at some point I would expect she would begin to seriously question if this is all just a game, and if so, if she should continue playing.

      -ZM

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    3. For me, the speeding analogy highlights in a real way the other major component in bringing about real change -- repetition and consistency. A couple of years ago, for some reason I developed a real problem with repeat speeding tickets. One didn't change my behavior. Neither did two. Or three. Finally, number four made me far more cautious

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    4. Yes, you are absolutely right about repetition and especially consistency. As I said earlier, part of the reason I speed is I seldom get caught. I expect that is true with everything.

      Unfortunately consistency is hard to achieve, since life (schedules, kids) tends to get in the way.
      -ZM

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    5. Right, and your observation also injects that element of detection, i.e. how often you get caught. When I got four tickets in a row, it got into my head that maybe the prospect of getting caught was higher than I had grown accustomed to.

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  10. Regarding the difficulty of staying in character, we cannot completely say because we do not have a FLR, which tend to be "full-time" but rather more of a DD relationship, where we are complete equals until she sees something that needs correcting, at which time she becomes the disciplinary wife.

    Having said that, I asked her and she said the most difficult thing is deciding to get in character, so to speak. Once she decides to act on something, she seems to have no problem becoming firm and demanding, but she feels somewhat like a bitch for making a big deal about something usually quite small, even though she knows it is what I want and need. And yes, she does struggle with wondering if she is doing too much, both in being too firm and also in punishing, so she tends to punish way, way shorter than she should (though very hard).

    - ZM

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    1. Right -- I wonder whether staying in character is harder than trying to turn it on, but feeling "bitchy" in that moment? It's impossible for me to know.

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    2. An interesting comment, ZM. How did the DD begin with you? Was it your idea or hers?

      - richard

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    3. Hi Dan,
      That is also a question that it is impossible for me to know. However, I expect that it is probably much easier to stay in character, since I can see that the longer we do this, the easier it is for her to get in character and she is becoming more and more convincing in that role. BTW, as I type them, I don't really like either the phrase "get in character," nor the word "role" in the DD context since both make it seem like DD is all a game and evoke images of fantasy roleplay (which I also DO happen to like as well)! Having said that, I will continue to use both of them for lack of any better phrases or words.

      While it may seem somewhat easier to stay in character, I would kind of think that even in a clearly FLR relationship she would probably still generally be kind and loving, but would put her foot down as often as necessary (or as much as she wants to), so it might not really be practical or desirable for her to stay in character all the time.

      One thing that we have found really helps with her getting into character is signalling. Since we are doing this extended "boot camp" time of character development, where she is trying to teach me to be more timely and pay more attention to details, she sometimes sees offenses and decides to take action. If I walk into the room and she is wearing her camouflage t-shirt (like a female drill instructor, in a way), I know that punishment is coming as soon as we are alone. This signalling helps me to get into the proper state of mind and makes it easier for her to follow through. Once she puts on the shirt, without her even saying a word, we both know what is coming.

      Perhaps more important than getting or staying in character is recognizing and accepting the authority that she possesses. The more she exercises her authority, the easier it will be for her to do so and the easier it will be for me to submit. Once her authority is clearly and firmly established in both of our minds, she doesn't need to stay in character, because we both know that she can pick up that hat (and probably a paddle, strap, or cane) whenever she wants to.

      -ZM

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    4. Sorry Richard,
      I was going to reply to your questions as well, but submitted my comment too quickly!

      We got into DD about 2 years ago, but it is really quite a process. For a while it was kind of a game in a way, but centered around real things. I wanted it to be more real, but she struggled a bit with that and as long as it was just a game, she was good with it. But why not just talk about real issues?

      However, as time has passed, she has seen again and again the positive results of DD, and we both have benefited greatly from typical negative things like resentment, giving the silent treatment, etc. being replaced with very open, positive communication. Issues are dealt with quickly and we move on. So now, even though at times, it might be still a bit like a game, it is more and more real and effective as time passes.

      As I expect is the case for most all of the recipients of DD, it was my idea. She never would have thought of it, and certainly wouldn't have mentioned it.

      -ZM

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  11. Thanks for your reply ZM. I can imagine that DD is a lot better than the silent treatment, withholding of affection etc. I would assume that, in order to be effective, it has to be fairly hard?
    richard.

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    1. Hello Richard,
      DD has many benefits including for us including that it helps me to address some of my habits that cause disorganization, lack of productivity, and ultimately failure and is helping me on the path to success.

      But one of the very best benefits is that it replaces the normal passive aggressive behaviors like the silent treatment - which ultimately doesn't work anyway because it leads to unspoken feeling and accumulated simmering resentment by both people - with much better and effective communication. It gets feelings out in the open, clears the air, and leaves both with closure on an issue and feeling closer to each other than ever!

      Your question "I would assume that, in order to be effective, it has to be fairly hard?" really got me thinking. In fact, I think it depends on the situation and the people. Ironically, for me it is probably inversely proportional to how serious the issue is.

      For an intentional or semi-intentional behavior (something that decide to do or not do in violation of a rule), the punishment probably doesn't need to be very hard because I feel guilty. Even a relatively minor punishment will be very impactful for me.

      On the other hand, for something that is much more minor, like correcting a bad habit that I do or don't do without conscious awareness, it requires a very hard (which translates to very long more than anything) punishment, so that I will be sore for several days. That way, it gets drilled into my subconscious and seems to help me change.

      I think this irony also makes it much harder for her, since she has to be much harsher for things that she doesn't really care as much about.

      -ZM

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  12. Thanks for the long answer, ZM.

    It makes sense that a bad habit is hard to correct and therefore needs a more severe punishment. It must be very severe if you are sore for several days. When my girlfriend paddles me I am sometimes sore and have difficulty sitting down for the rest of the day, sometimes I can still feel some slight soreness the next day, but definitely not for several days.

    I can see how it is harder for your wife to discipline you severely for things which she doesn't find that important, I guess you have discussed with her which habits need to be changed.

    What I find really good is that spanking clears the air and avoids simmering resentment. I imagine this is the main attraction in it for most couples.

    rgds, richard.

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