Saturday, June 1, 2019
The Club - Meeting 299 - Be Careful What You Wish For . . .
“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 have been warned.” – The Hesitant Mistress
Hello all. Welcome back to the Disciplinary Couples Club. Our weekly gathering of men and women who are in, or would like to be in, Domestic Discipline relationships. I hope you had a good week. Ours seemed to be a little better than the week before, which may be the best we can hope for after a couple of months that were just exceptionally hard.
The original post from last week included a line about a recent incident in which I was very overtly resistant to something she told me to do, and I followed up with something that was flat-out disobedient. I said I would deal with it in a separate post, but people started commenting on it so I took it out. But, I’ll address it now, as it feeds into the subject of this week’s post. In a nutshell, I had come home tired from a work event, and started watching a movie. It had been a really long, hard week and I was just desperate for some downtime to decompress. My wife decided in the middle of the movie that I should go to bed. I resisted, and while I don’t think I ever just said “no,” it is fair to say I did not comply. She gave in, but instructed me that I was not to have even one drink before coming to bed. Once she went to bed, I decided to ignore that instruction too and had a nightcap. So, not a good night at all in terms of being a good little submissive.
And, therein lies the start of this week’s topic. It wasn’t just that I disobeyed an order from her. Rather, the order itself led to so much resentment at that moment in time that I really did start questioning the pros and cons of the entire FLR part of our lifestyle. It kind of felt like the last straw during a week in which the resentment had been building. It was not just telling me to go to bed early. It was telling me when to come home from work, then chastising me about being late for dinner, then telling me to go to bed when I was in the middle of a movie and then trying to keep me from having a drink in my own house when it was not hurting anyone and had no impact on her. I started thinking about the fact that none of my colleagues are subjected to that kind of control. They don’t feel guilty about having that third drink at happy hour. They don’t have someone sending them texts that is time to come home. They don’t have restrictions on things they can do once they get home, and they definitely do not have someone giving them a bed time.
So, for the first time in a long time, I asked myself the serious question of whether the whole FLR thing is really for me and, frankly, worth it. I felt like I was being treated like a child, and I really, really resented it to the point that for that evening I started wondering whether I should just call an end to it. But, then in the morning, as usual I once again appreciated that she treated me like a child because I was acting like one. Yeah, I wanted to stay up late because I was wired after a hard week and needed to decompress. But, staying up later was just going to exacerbate the fatigue I was already fighting, especially if staying up involved a few nightcaps. She was trying to look out for me, even if it did not feel that way at the time. And, while it’s true that some of my colleagues do probably have the same excessive behaviors I do, who knows that will do to them over time. Maybe deep down inside they wish they had someone reining them in the way I do.
But, I also think this reflects a basic distinction between DD and FLR for me. My angst at where we seem to be right now is really all about the FLR and not DD, and it is the former that my resistance was aimed at. I still have never refused a spanking and, in fact, she gave me a very hard one on Saturday to deal with the week’s bad behavior. So, I am still very comfortable with the idea of consequences for bad behavior.
What I am much less comfortable with is trying to stop or prevent behavior that not, in fact, inherently bad. There are times I feel like it is getting way too close to trying to change an identity that I am, in fact, relatively comfortable with or that it is just removing too much that I find fun or relaxing. And, that was what was on my mind last night when she tried to impose some controls during a social event even though I was doing nothing more than hanging out with friends of hers who were, if anything, drinking more than I was! Once again, it all just started feeling like too much.
After the first incident, I wrote a long journal entry to my wife that tried to explore these conflict desires being wanting someone to impose boundaries but also feeling like sometimes those boundaries are just too tight. As, I pointed out to her, part of my resistance to authority is a result of just never having been subject to any. In my entire life (or at least since my adolescent and teenage years, I have NEVER had anyone impose any controls on things like bed time, curfew, being home in time for dinner or drinking. Most kids are subject to those kinds of controls, and when they don’t comply there is a consequence.
But, the reality is my parents never imposed those kinds of rules, and the few things they saw as rules were seldom actually enforced. So, when five decades into this life my starts telling me to go to bed at a certain time, it is something that has never once been a part of my experience.
So, I think part of what is happening is resistance to a change that, yes, I asked for but that is proving more restrictive than I anticipated. Classic “be careful what you ask for, because you might get it” stuff. Hence, the quote at the top of this page. Yet, another part of the dynamic is trying to find the right balance – the balance between moderating excessive behavior, on the one hand, and stifling who I am or making my life less enjoyable or a constant irritation on the other.
I recognize this puts her in a hard position, but I also do think it may be an inevitable part of real leadership, as opposed to Femdom fantasy leadership. When I was less experienced as a manager, there were times I know I drove people too hard and expected too much. It took me a while to learn that there really are limits on what you can impose on people or how much you can expect them to be something they are not. Once I learned to lighten up a little, things worked better and the performance of the whole group improved.
Last week, before I took down the two or three lines that alluded to my disobedience problem, Tomy and Alan posed the following:
Tomy: “Resisting one's wife is perhaps the most self-defeating behavior I have seen (or done) in a DWC relationship. Everyone has their own reasons and excuses and rationalizations. We men who visit this blog are here becuase we want/need/desire a particular lifestyle experience. Those who actually have a spouse who is on board with it are among a very small percentage of men who long for it. Any act that undermines the woman's authority undermines her confidence and undermines the genuine fulfillment of the dream - OUR dream - that she has stepped into mainly FOR us. I hate to say this. But for any reader who indulges their own resistance at the expense of their wife's efforts to be in charge, to fulfill their dreams, needs to man up, shut up, and grow up. Again, sorry if I ruffle feathers. But I'm talking man to man here.”
Alan: “I agree with you completely that resisting your wife's authority is one of the most self-destructive things one can do. And that is probably particularly the case before she is completely empowered. In fact there is probably a point where you can no longer psychologically resist that authority. I know if I did it today my wife would soundly slap my face and have my pants down and nose in the corner before I could count to three. But for those just starting out maybe there has to be a grace period because for many the difference between a fantasy punishment spanking and a real one can be a staggering experience. With the girlfriend who introduced me to DD I never disobeyed her instructions to go over her lap but did (maybe three times) stop a spanking as it reached that point where I thought I couldn't take any more. This caused a lot of tension with us but she stayed with it and one particularly hard hair brushing I was just about to jump up again and then the thoughts started to form that this was what I wanted and needed and deserved and I was a wimp for not taking my punishment. I just relaxed and let it happen reaching that fulfilled numb zone for the first time. Afterwards my bum was a mess but she was very proud of me (and herself) and so was I. I never resisted her authority after that breakthrough and have never resisted my wife's authority either. But maybe young couples should expect some tension and resistance to authority in the beginning. If a women stays firm it will pass and for me at least once it has passed it doesn't come up again. Female authority once established is forever.”
But, while these two quotes emphasize the danger of undermining authority, Alan also had this to say, which I think reflects the real-life trade-offs I am thinking through in balancing FLR in a way that is actually workable in the context of our particular relationship. He said, “I like Danielle’s Venn diagram /continuum metaphor for distinguishing FLR from DD. But to some extent we tend to complicate the distinction. I am in a DD and have been for many years. Our understanding is that she has unquestioned authority to discipline and punish me for violation of her rules particularly with respect to things that could harm or impinge our relationship. Her authority is unlimited in the sense she can punish anywhere for any reason she thinks necessary. However, in practice we have carved out behaviors that threaten to damage the relationship, display immaturity, arrogance or deliberate disobedience. She is not H.O.H, for that matter, either am I. We pursue an equal relationship in which she is in charge of many things (including my discipline) and I am in charge of many other things. We try to split that down the middle as much as practical leaning to our respective strengths as a couple. In an FLR by contrast there is a clear leader, much less consensus about roles and a clear hierarchy in the relationship in terms of who call the shots. I see the differences as primarily matters of style and personality, with both working with different couples. I also imagine that some DD's evolve into FLR's as partners get to know themselves and each other. The power to discipline is powerful and just practicing it may bring out submissiveness in some males and dominance in some females not earlier present. That is one of the enormous advantages of F/M relationships. They are dynamic and change as you live them.”
I do believe these relationships are dynamic, and while Alan brought up DD evolving into FLR, I wonder whether it also sometimes works in reverse. For those men who are not natural submissives or for whom being bossed around is not necessarily erotic (at least not all the time), can experimenting with FLR prove to be too much? Should they have taken the warning at the top of the page to heart? And, for the women, can the responsibility of exercising real leadership, of getting the balance between control and micro-management right prove to be harder than anticipated? Has anyone had an experience in which it did just become too much, to the point that you reevaluated either whether you wanted to continue or at least whether the balance needed some adjustment?
I do realize, by the way, that just raising this will almost certainly bring out the, “Just submit or you are being a bad husband and just playing a game,” comments. All I can say is, too bad. We are living this in real life and in the context of who we are as concrete individuals with needs and desires, strengths and weaknesses. I’ll keep living that reality and not someone else’s fantasy.
Have a great week.