Saturday, June 16, 2018

Club Meeting 255 - The Empty Nest



When mothers talk about the depression of the empty nest, they’re not mourning the passing of all those wet towels on the floor, or the music that numbs your teeth, or even the bottle of capless shampoo dribbling down the shower drain. They’re upset because they’ve gone from supervisor of a child’s life to a spectator. It’s like being the vice president of the United States.” —Erma Bombeck

Hello all.  Welcome back to the Disciplinary Couples Club.  Our weekly gathering of men and women who are in, or interested in being in, a Domestic Discipline or Female Led marriage.  I hope you had a good week.

Thanks for the interim discussion about little acts or threats of "outing."  Isn't it interesting the extent to which so many of us are terrified of of actually being outed, yet we do things that might get us caught (wearing submissive pendants under our shirts, wearing panties or chastity devices to the gym, etc.).  



And, we get a thrill when our wives do or say something in public that hints (or more than hints) at this part of our relationship.


That desire to be more public and open is a nice segue into this week's discussion.  I've had a couple of grinder weeks, back to back.  Travel, travel, travel. I only had a couple of days at home between trips, and my wife was on a trip of her own those two days, meaning we didn't see each other for almost two full weeks, which is not typical for us.  The first of my two trips was also something I have been thinking of for some time as a transition point of sorts.  It was a large work gathering that we do from time to time, and one that tends to become more than a little bacchanalian.  This year was no exception, and I knew I was highly likely to come back far more exhausted than when I left, which I did. Then right back on the road for another short business trip.  But, unlike other travel-heavy periods of my career, I knew that this time I was coming back to my wife -- and only my wife.  For the first time in many years, we don't have kids around for several weeks, even during the summer vacation season.  A few years ago, I thought we were becoming empty-nesters and wrote about it a bit here on this blog.  But, what I failed to reckon with at that time is that empty-nester status is more a process than an actual event. Especially with the Millennial kids.  Their efforts at independence come in fits and starts, two steps forward, a step-and-a-half back.  That is still true in our case and will be for sometime to come, but this is the first time where we are going to have a big block of time in which we are together--by ourselves--as a couple.

Adding to the sense of momentousness, we have been discussing for some time that this really is going to be, or should be at any rate, a real turning point in the Domestic Discipline and Wife Led aspects of our relationship.  She wants to take over, I want her to do that, and now there is just the little matter of execution.  Of making a hard left turn into a very different style of dealing with each other and trying to make much more real something that has been more of a goal than a reality.  Not that the DD aspects of our relationship have not been real, but they have been confined and departmentalized, bounded on all sides by a life that revolved around kids and, frankly, keeping kids from discovering much about this aspect of how their parents relate to each other. 


That is what is really changing -- her ability or at least willingness to really step into a 24/7 role as Head of Household has always been met with the roadblock of observant little eyes and ears.  Which wouldn't be a problem if, like a small number of people who visit here, we were "out" about this aspect of our relationship, or at least not actively hiding it even in the privacy of our own home. But, we always have been.  So, with no one but us and the pets around, it really is a brave new world.

But, in all honesty, today I am not feeling all that brave.   

There is an introductory "warning" in the book The Hesitant Mistress that reads as follows (in slightly abridged form):

This book will teach your partner how to be more dominant. Your partner will learn how to say no to you. She will learn how to train you. She will learn how to punish you and hold you accountable for your actions. She will learn that she can demand whatever she wants from you, despite whatever you might want from her. So beware, my unsuspecting male friend... if you bought this book for her, you might get more than you asked for. You may want to quietly set it aside and buy her a set of fuzzy handcuffs instead. You have been warned.

That line about saying no is a big, big deal for me.  According to one of our polls, about 50% of the men who visit this blog identify as naturally submissive.  I'm guessing many of them like being told no and are perfectly happy being subject to someone's authority.  That just isn't me.  I hate being told what to do.  It grates on every fiber of my being.  Yet, having real boundaries that I cross at my peril is something I missed out on growing up, and I know deep down inside that I need it today. Inherent in the concept of boundaries is being told no, and in a way that actually sticks and that feels like really being denied something. I'm also nervous, because I want something like what ZM has been doing with his wife helping him stay motivated on the career front, but that is were I have always had the most independence but yet also probably need the firmest hand to help me avoid being my own worst enemy.

There is also the issue of, how do we get this started?  Last night in bed we were talking confidently about how tomorrow would be the dawn of a new day, yet this morning we have been walking gingerly around the elephant in the room that is this transition that we both agree we want.  It's like two teenagers on a first date, both hoping the other will make the first move.  It's just awkward. But, I do think we are both motivated for it.  It's just getting past the initial nerves. I do believe my wife when she says she wants this.  I'm hopeful that not only will it bring out stronger, more dominant parts of her personality, but maybe being in charge of me will provide an outlet for her maternal instincts; just as she is transitioning from supervisor to spectator in her children's lives, she takes over as supervisor of mine.

Based on a poll I took a couple of years ago,  many of the couples who come to this blog are over the age of 50.  I assume some significant number of those were empty-nesters.  What effect did that change have on the DD or Wife Led aspects of your relationship?  Did it, in fact, lead to her stepping more firmly and confidently into the role?  If so, did that happen gradually, or was there a moment when it seemed to all come together?

28 comments:

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    1. Hi Glen. Thanks for the words of encouragement.

      I am not as focused on punishment frequency increasing, so much as hopeful that her control become more consistent. That might or might not result in more frequent punishment, depending on my behavior. Though, given some of the challenges we have had in the past, I predict my bottom will, in fact, be more sore more often.

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  2. In our case, because I was divorced before I met her, my kids were only with us part-time. So from the beginning we had both sets of conditions. We were careful to keep our DWC activities private.

    When the kids were with us she found discrete ways to handle the discipline - Sometimes she waited until they went to play with freinds in the neighborhood. Sometimes it was a trip to the garage - after their bedtime. And when absolutely necessary a quick caning in the garage. When the kids were with their mom, well, as you can imagine, Aunt Kay was not very inhibited about things.

    After the kids were out of the house She seemed to get more creative about it. I could tell she was enjoying it more. Was she more strict when the nest was empty? I don't think so. She had her act pretty much together in that department all along.

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    1. Having "both sets of conditions" is where we will be for awhile. The kids go for awhile, but come back for lots of visits, vacations, etc. That's obviously a great thing, that we have kids who actually like us enough to come home regularly. But, I do hope we can keep momentum going.

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    2. Tomy,

      Thanks for sharing this. Unfortunately, you are experiencing an "empty nest" with a second sense. I am sorry. (I note that your recent blog entry has more to say about this second meaning, and I would have responded to this, but I do not have, nor want, a Google account.)

      Doug

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  3. Dan
    Although both Anna and I both read your blog, this week Anna suggested I write the comment this week.
    This is an example of how we work her control in our lives. As I write this I realize how much I need at times
    to come out and say " Yes I want to say Anna holds the keys to the kingdom. I have never been a natural submissive. But I find peace in handing over the keys to her. When I break the rules that we both have agreed is how we want to live, I am ready for the punishment.
    Our boys are soon going off for the entire summer to visit Anna'a folks. One of our plans is for short weekend trips, out of town, where we can experiment with exposing ourselves as me being a submissive male in the world. Am i hesitant or fearful? YES! We have even discussed perhaps on a visit when in NYC to a club for
    a spanking in front of others. Even talking about this has made us so comfortable even talking about this has made us both amused and aroused. Will it happen ? I dont know but I do know daily seeing Anna take
    control makes me happy!

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    1. Hi Peter. It is interesting, isn't it, this compulsion we feel to proclaim our disciplined status, while simultaneously resorting to things like anonymous comment and blogging under pseudonyms because we are scared to death of being "outed." But, I am with you on that as the reality we live in. Lately it has been stronger than ever -- I find myself really wanting to do things that, at a minimum, hint at the nature of the relationship and maybe just open me up to discovery. Maybe some of it is age and insulation from consequences -- just was we are becoming empty-nesters, I'm also hitting a point in my career in which if things came to light and my career got torched over it, I'm not sure how much I'd care.

      Please keep us posted on the weekend plans and the possible spanking club appearance.

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    2. For one of your fun weekend trips to have some fun with this in a more public setting be sure to check out the club "Paddles" in NYC. Look at their website for a calendar of events to schedule your trip around.

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    3. Thanks for the tip! That sounds like what we need!

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  4. We also are sometimes empty-nesters, sometimes not - mostly not this summer. The most immediate difference between the two states is my ability to roam the house without clothing.

    One of the benefits (for me) of the FLR mindset is that chores are sexualized - so much more so when you're doing them naked. One of my favorite things is to come downstairs in the morning and get started in the kitchen, and be able to greet my bride with coffee and breakfast without ever putting on clothes.

    Of course, being naked means I'm ready for any activities, amorous or disciplinary, that she might choose. Generally neither, but that's okay too. Our DD life began in the kitchen with a wooden spatula, so that connection is never far away. Given that there's no chance for a spanking otherwise, the empty nest is an essential DD requirement for us.

    Recently one child came home early one evening from their friends, and we had only just dressed from a shower together. Gotta remember to lock the door!

    CrimsonKing

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    1. Hi CK. While I doubt she'll have me doing chores naked (though one never knows), I can envision her doing more things like short sessions of corner time.

      Though it will be interesting to see how many experiences do get "sexualized" as a not-so-bad byproduct of empty-nesting.

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    2. Dan- That's the type of thing I was eluding to in my response below...prompting she have fun and feel free to go potentially a bit overboard during this limited period of freedom for you guys. Her getting in some practice telling you to do things simply because she wants to and her getting the charge out of seeing you doing as your told (and NO I'm NOT promoting a "sub" aspect....i get your not sub, actually you and I look at her being in charge versus us being sub in the same way w same distinctions). But for her to on a lark tell you...."you're doing the dishes tonight....and you'll be doing them nude" could be a mutually beneficial type of exercise you can do during your period of freedom!

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  5. Hi Dan,
    I can't yet really relate to being an empty nester. I am remarried, and we each have a couple of children. The three older ones are usually far away in college and the youngest is just starting high school. However, this summer we have one of the college kids home, and for a couple of weeks, we have another of our college kids home, so we have a pretty full house right now.

    One thing I can say for sure is that not having the house to ourselves is by far the biggest impediment to discipline, and it also inhibits a lot of fun play we might engage in if we had sufficient privacy.

    It will be very interesting to see how the dynamic will change when we no longer have children living at home (even if they might be around from time to time). Right now, there are very few times that we are truly alone and know that we will be alone for a certain amount of time. Even if the kids go out, they might return early, as CrimsonKing said.

    BTW, I totally relate to the comments about both doing everything to keep everything secret, and also somehow craving to be outed to a certain degree. I am not sure if it is because I somehow crave the inherent humiliation that comes with that, or simply because this is so much a part of me that it seems hard that nobody can know about it.

    -ZM

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    1. Hi ZM. Our situation is similar. Kids are gone for large blocks of time, but then return for large blocks. It almost makes it harder, because it seems like we get some momentum going and then it grinds to a halt.

      For me, I don't think it is a desire for humiliation, so much as a desire for more authenticity in my life. When I talked last week about "not being nice" in a meeting, that sense of freedom was to some extent driven by being authentic. I wonder if many DD husbands have an out-sized need for "real" and "authentic" experiences, such as our need for consequences and boundaries to be "real" and our desire for discipline to be imposed, i.e. non-consensual. Perhaps that need for authenticity also shows up in a certain level of frustration with needing to hide what we do and who we are.

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  6. Dan- This is a GREAT topic!! I’m genuinly excited for you!!!! I can’t wait to see how this plays out. I’m still on the other end of the spectrum. I think I’m one of the only people that goes into the Summer season w a degree of disappointment because I know it means that what progress we have made with our DD relationship will be put on hold due to a household full of kids back in the house for break. And when it comes to the nuances of the DD dynamic HS and college age kids not only notice everything but are at an age where they would be understanding what they’re seeing and hearing.

    The 2 comments you made that I found the most promising that you are headed into what will no doubt be the most exciting period of your relationship with your wife, if not your life are: SHE wants this to happen…..and that you’ve been discussing it!!! I loved your analogy about 2 teenagers on first date waiting for the other to make the first move! Classic and no doubt so accurate. Which brings me to my point. Now is the perfect time to rely on your business acumen! You know very well at work that the most important part of any plan is having the actual detailed and specific Action Steps. I hate seeing you 2 wasting a moment of this opportunity. I’d suggest you say to her just that!!! Now that the opportunity has arrived…. you both should maximize it. Put out there the obvious, that you’re both now not exactly sure “what to do” with it. Then ask her her ideas on how to do that…and naturally have your thoughts and suggestions ready to share. Pick an actual “start date/time” and have a plan as to how things get initiated. Perhaps suggesting that you use this period of privacy as a bit of a “DD Bootcamp”. Given the freedom, have her do some intensive initiation into her being in charge. So for this period she will be far more demanding than she would be in day to day life as a way of setting the stage. Her going a bit extreme as a way of getting you acclimated to her new role as well as your own. Tell her to have some fun with it….take her new position of authority out for a test drive

    Quick question. The introduction to the Hesitant Mistress is amazing. But…do you have a copy and has your wife read it? What an interesting exercise for her to have you sit and read it aloud to her. Talk about setting the stage!!!!

    I’m rooting for you!!!!!!!!

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    1. I definitely understand going into summer vacation season with a degree of disappointment b/c of its impact on DD momentum. Feeling that way sometimes makes me feel like a shitty father, but it's more just recognizing the trade-off. It's good to see the kids but, as CK says, they are absolutely the #1 impediment to making progress in the more "adult" aspects of our couples time.

      I agree it's great that she wants it, though she has for some time. It's a lesson in the fact that wanting something is pretty worthless unless that wish coincides with both (a) opportunity and (b) the will to make it happen. I think we both are hoping the stars are finally coming into alignment.

      Yes, we do have a copy of the Hesitant Mistress. She has read it before, but it is approaching it again now with a new commitment to applying some of its lessons

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  7. I can't really add much to this because while I'm one of those folks in their 50's, our nest is far from empty. But as you know, we just never let that stop us from living life on our own terms.

    I will say that because we are not just DD but fairly kinky in our recreational sexuality, I do expect to see a HUGE change in how that works around here once we have full privacy.

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    1. I do admire your openness in so many ways. I was thinking this morning that it is too bad that there really is no advice to give younger DD couples about how to develop that part of the relationship with kids in the house, because kids just simply are an ongoing impediment and that is not going to change. But, then I am reminded that there are a few like you and Rosa who solved the problem very easily -- by not getting hung up on keeping it secret.

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  8. Shilo never had children, and mine (other than when we had a house) never wanted to live with me as adults, so the "nest" has been empty" for just over a year, save for the occasional visit by Child #4 (age 28).

    We don't really hide our "kinky" behavior but we don't flaunt it either. Sex (intercourse) is a private thing in my opinion, so I tend to be as quiet as possible, and Shilo will suffer my paddlings, canings, and so forth quietly.

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    1. Hi Merry. Sounds like a good balance you've struck between hiding and flaunting.

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  9. My wife and I are over 50 and empty nesters. We had an FLR when our kids still lived at home, but like you we were secretive about it. When we were finally on our own, the effect was enormously liberating, and our FLR was able to reach its full potential. My wife became the boss 24/7. A second event a few years later was that I retired, while my wife continued to work. That completed my transformation into a "house husband". We now have a relationship that resembles a gender reversed 1950's marriage. One consequence of this change is that my wife now behaves more dominantly when we aren't alone because it's hard to alter behavior that is habitual. I do all the cooking and cleaning when we are alone, and she is now content to let me do that when we have guests or when our children visit.

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    1. "One consequence of this change is that my wife now behaves more dominantly when we aren't alone because it's hard to alter behavior that is habitual."

      I can see how that dynamic could develop. Sounds like it is working for you.

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  10. For me the submissive thing and chores never really went together. In fact, despite being subject to her discipline I never felt particularly submissive. Yes I took orders; but that was how our little team mutually decided to structure things. I did most of what she asked me to and everything she told me to and we both had a better life because of it.

    Chores? From the beginning I insisted on doing them becuase I liked having things done the way I did them.

    Being naked and doing chores never came up. But she absolutely enjoyed seeing me that way. Why she would like looking at this withered bag of bones without clothing to enhance it is beyond me.

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    1. I'm really not into the chores aspect either. I've always done my share, but like you it was really my choice or just how things seemed to naturally divide over time. But, when we first started going beyond DD to something with her in charge in more areas, chores was a direction in which *she* took it. That has been a real lesson for me in the difference between fantasy power exchanges and real ones. In the real ones, she very well may take things in a direction you don't like and, if the power hand-off is real, well then you don't have much choice but to follow the direction in which she takes it. In fact, the more you dislike it, the more real it is.

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