While definitely more extreme that what most of us are doing, the parallels to asking wives to act as coaches or mentors, with the authority to raise the stakes sufficiently to really get our attention, was hard to miss. Because for those of us who are using DD to try to improve ourselves and accomplish more or break bad habits, that is what DD is about, right? Gaining sufficient leverage to get over those impediments that get in the way of meeting your goals?
[Update: I was working my way through the above book as I wrote this post. I've now gotten through most of it. On balance, I think it has some good tips on how to be more assertive and more comfortable with drawing boundaries. But, there are parts in which--in my personal opinion--the author draws boundaries that seem to be all about he gets his needs met and no one else does even if the "sacrifice" on his part is trivial, resulting in what seem to be very one-sided friendships and personal relationships. Any real human relationship involves doing some things you may not be into at the time, in order to support the other person. The author is very cavalier about dismissing his wife and friends' needs for support on flimsy bases. Like refusing to go out with her for an evening when her parents are visiting even though they rarely visit, because he wants to spend the time hanging out with two friends he could see anytime, then justifying it based on the importance of "needing time for himself." Everyone draws their boundaries in different places, and while I like the program the author lays out, at times he seems to be going more for obnoxious "Bro" boy than an independent or assertive man. I'm all for authenticity, but it's possible to be a perfectly authentic douchebag. In advising young execs at my company on business development, I often tell them, "Be yourself. Unless your "self" is a disagreeable, pretentious, self-important douchebag. In that case, by all means be someone else."]
I suspect that the Disciplinary Wives recognize this dynamic even more so than the men, because our women are conditioned to be nice and nurturing and non-aggressive, which is all great except that makes it very hard for them to step up into leadership roles, because those roles often involve saying "no" and sticking to it, and enforcing the rules even when he's offering all the reasons he should be let off the hook. Her natural desire to be "nice" can create a dynamic that just doesn't work in a real DD or FLR relationship, because we have agreed that she will be in charge and that I will be subject to her rules and her discipline. We disciplined men want that discipline to be firm, unyielding and hard. Basically, we want her to learn not to be "nice." We want her to speak her mind, and we want her to be more open and direct in doing so, which was what we were talking about last week. Hence, my interest in finding resources that might teach my wife how to break the "nice" habit and step more fully into her leader role.