Sunday, December 20, 2020

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

Christmas is a season not only of rejoicing but of reflection. - Winston Churchill

Hello all. Welcome back to The Disciplinary Couple’s Club.  Our weekly on-line gathering of men and women who are in, or would like to be in, a Domestic Discipline relationship.  I hope you all had a great week.



Well, wasn’t that an interesting non-hiatus hiatus.  For once, I don’t think I can be blamed for injecting politics into everything.  Here I was, minding my own business all week, just laying around on my couch and posting Christmas-themed smut.  Then, Alan brought up some of Julie’s latest conspiracy theory nonsense.



She followed him over here, I resisted the temptation to respond for about fifteen minutes, then 150 comments later. . . .  I’m just at the end of my rope with the conspiracy theories and the questioning of anyone with credentials or expertise about the thing in question  just because . . . well, precisely because they know things and, hence, are either elites or representatives of the ever-growing Deep State (I'm sure Barr and Pompeo are its latest members according to the folks who make up Julie's new fan club).


And, whichever side you were on in the election, when did it become OK to pout and insist the only way you could lose is if the other guy cheated?  Would you let your kids behave that way if they pouted like a little baby after a lost baseball game or placing second in the science fair? Regardless of who you voted for, have you ever seen such a bunch of sore losers?



I know that some were annoyed that I let the kettle of fish boil even after Alan gave me the OK to delete his comment that kicked the whole thing off, but I sincerely believe that when we have innocent poll workers and honorable government officials getting death threats for just doing their jobs, it is important that each and every one of us call out these fuckers when we see it happening.  This year, if during the Christmas dinner Zoom call your Drunk Uncle starts with the borderline racist comments, or starts ranting that Obama is a Kenyan or Hillary was running a pedophile ring, kick his ass off the call.  He'll whine to all his other old geezer friends about you being a part of that “cancel culture” thing he's heard about on Fox but wouldn't be able to explain if you gave him an Urban Dictionary.  Then, raise your glass and enjoy the company of the rational and the principled of whatever party. 



Now that I have that out of my system (for a few minutes until some other bit of stupidity lights me up again), I know this will come as a great disappointment to the true spanking fetishists who so desperately want to get back to scintillating and controversial topics like “what’s your favorite implement,” but I’m not there yet when it comes to getting back to real DD posts.  This recuperation is kind of knocking me on my ass, and I think I’m going to need another week or two before any real DD spark arises.  I’ve had brief periods like this before, and some of those pauses in my DD interest level also coincided with medical procedures.  After disappearing into surgical anesthetic ether for a few weeks, the interest always returned.  I don’t doubt the same will happen this time, too.


Of course, looking back at past posts, I’ve almost never done a real DD topic just before Christmas.  I guess I get contemplative and introspective this time of year.  Some people measure their progress (or lack thereof) from calendar year to calendar year or from birthday.  I, on the other hand, tend to measure things from Christmas to Christmas.  This year, I guess what surprises me is that 2020 seems to be ending up a lot like 2019 for me, even though the two respective years progressed almost entirely differently.  Here is what I said in my Christmas post last year: 

It’s been a chaotic two- or three-year run, and for the most part I can’t say I’m going to be sorry to see 2019 in the rearview mirror.  It was a year that could perhaps be summed up with that phrase about “the best laid plans of mice and men.”  I ended 2018 with a fairly detailed vision of what I wanted from 2019 from a career perspective, and by mid-January virtually the whole of that plan had fallen apart and things actually went in the opposite direction. 


It was a year that proved to me that while many hard things are growth experiences precisely because they were so hard, some are just mistakes. There were some career decisions I made very early in 2019 that made my whole year a roller-coaster with too much travel, too little sleep, and too much bad hotel and airport food and drink.  I have to call out my wife for not only putting up with it but supporting it by, if nothing else, just going along and keeping everything semi-normal.  Though, it has become a running joke with us that perhaps I should be concerned that she has taken it so well, maybe I need to come home early from a business trip to make sure there isn’t a new boyfriend I need to kick out of my bed.  But, in all seriousness, she has put up with a lot this year.


Deepening relationships also applied to my anonymous blogging life.  I’ve had more regular, though mostly still anonymous, contacts with people I’ve met through blogging world.  I’ve exchanged thoughts with Tomy about how amazing it must have been that during the days when he and his wife were actively running the Disciplinary Wives Club website it seemed to almost operate as a real club in which people actually got together and got to know each other on a personal level.  I really have only one relationship from the blog that is kind of like that, but that’s a start.


So, that was where I was at the end of 2019 – a year for which I felt no affection. Then along came 2020 to put everything in perspective. I had planned for it to be a continuation of 2020 but also a “light at the end of the tunnel” kind of glide-path into a more relaxing, even boring, mid-life transition.  I anticipated a lot of continuing cross-country travel, with a hard push through to the end of my current work career, then a hand-off of my primary role to a protégé I’ve been grooming for years. I was really looking forward to a tough but worthwhile year, culminating in a graceful departure accompanied by the kind of socializing and commiserating with long-term colleagues and clients that one expects when it comes to “gold watch” ceremony time.. Then along came 2020.  Everything was going according to plan until March, then all of a sudden no travel, a big slowdown in my real job, turmoil around succession and transitions, and no prospect for in-person good-byes and orderly transitions anytime in the near future. Champagne good-bye toasts turned into Zoom calls from my home office.  Without warning, I went from a roller-coaster of activity to enforced stillness and social isolation. 


I have always bemoaned the fact that from year to year not much seems to change, all my resolutions to live a different life notwithstanding. Then, along came 2020.  But, it wasn’t just Covid and the social turmoil that came with too many black victims of police killings.  Objectively, even apart from the pandemic, social turmoil, and the profound challenges to our democratic processes concocted by our Crybaby-in-Chief, 2020 was objectively worse for us than 2019. 



At the end of last year, I tried to put 2019 in a more optimistic context than I had experienced as it was grinding along:


Still, as I said at the end of last year, I can give thanks for a few simple things.  All my immediate family made it through the year in one piece, as did most of our extended family.  Most of our family and the important people in our lives made it through the year in relatively good health.  None of our close friends or family suffered health or financial calamities, and one of my family members who was having a rough time on the financial and career front seemed to stabilize and improve her situation by the end of the year. And, while all the business travel truly sucked, it did lead to making some new friendships and deepening others.


2020 was a different story.  We did lose one very important family member.  Others bore the brunt of the pandemic even without getting Covid. One of our kids was just starting a promising career, then along came Covid furloughs that have now gone on for almost nine months. Graduation ceremonies and other important milestones went uncelebrated. Then, very recently, out of the blue someone who served as an important mentor, almost a big brother figure to me just up and died with no warning. And, of course, he was an all-around great person.  A vigorous and healthy “man’s man,” a natural leader, good friend, great father and family man, merry prankster, etc. Of course, it’s always the guys like that who leave you way too early, while the narcissistic conmen and sowers of division eat their McDonalds’ cheeseburgers by the bag-full and go on and on and on.  The suddenness of my friend’s death really put me back on my heels for a few days, and it brought home that even though he was a mentor to me, I was pretty selective in applying his lessons.  I did a good job of incorporating his lessons in leadership and integrity, but I didn’t spend nearly enough time trying to take apply his example of light-hearted exploration and just having more fun.  I naturally tend toward earnestness and intensity, and there is a downside to that.  Hopefully, I’ll do a better job of modeling him in 2021, now that he is gone, than I did in the years after I saw his example but didn’t do enough to follow it.



Still, as bad as 2020 was, I am trying to keep it in perspective as it gets closer finally to  receding into the rearview mirror.  We did lose people close to us, but we weren’t among the 300,000 families in the U.S. who lost someone to Covid, and while we know people who got the virus, none of them ended up on a ventilator.  In other health developments, a good friend of ours got a scary health diagnosis near year-end, but early detection and treatment led to a good outcome. On the economic front and extended family front, the wonders of technology meant many could continue to work without missing a beat, which wouldn’t have been the case had this pandemic come around even a few years earlier. That same technology allowed us to keep in touch with friends and family even when we couldn’t be with them in person.  And, that Covid shutdown may be the only reason I’m still here bitching about politics and the deplorables among us.  I was really wearing myself into the ground in 2019, and when my body finally had enough, it pushed back hard.  My behavior was also going in a very bad direction, culminating in some real tension with Anne in October.  Now, here we are at year-end, and prior to this little medical diversion, I had lost 15 pounds, was hitting the gym daily with strength coming back fast, I was going weeks without drinking at all, and my energy levels were slowly coming up.  I don’t think any of that would have happened if it were not for the forced, involuntary slowdown of 2020.  So, 2020 proved to be a lot like my view of Domestic Discipline – the closer it is to non-consensual imposed boundaries, the better it seems to work!


While 2020 wasn’t a bad year for the blog, I did seem to lose a little bit of momentum when it came to adding Disciplinary Wives to the conversation.  Carol, Cecilia and Jennifer did start dropping in (did I miss anyone else?), but our wave of new female commenters seemed to peak last year with the addition of Danielle, Cecilia, Belle, and Liz and others.  I hope we can ramp it back up in 2021.


So, all in all, 2020 is in a class by itself in terms of overall shittiness, even if things could always be worse.  But, before we get to the very end, let’s all take a pause to appreciate this time of year and remember what Christmas can be, even if we don’t always appreciate it as much as we should. 

In the words of Scrooge’s nephew Fred in Dickens’ A Christmas Carol:


"I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round--apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that--as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.”


 So, let’s appreciate the beauty of the season.


Keeping in mind that a smaller, simpler Christmas has its virtues. 


Let’s display appropriate enthusiasm Christmas morning, while appreciating those who keep us in line when our enthusiasms exceed appropriate boundaries.  


Hopefully Santa was in one of the priority groups for Covid vaccine, but I’ll make an exception for him and his helpers even if they violate our quarantine, don’t wear their masks, and don’t maintain appropriate social distancing.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to each and every one of you who makes this blog worth coming back to week after week, year after year.

Monday, December 14, 2020

Content Moderation

 Hi all.  I hope your week is off to a good start.  Some of you tried to post today and may have gotten a message saying your comment had to first be approved by the moderator (me).  Just to clarify, despite yesterday's heated political back and forth, I have NOT turned on comment moderation.  I've tried to avoid doing that as a general matter and have done it only when I had a temporary troll infestation.  The reason some people's comments were temporarily blocked today is I always have the moderation settings set to require approval on any comments on older posts, as trolls and commercial spammers often drop comments into older posts thinking that the moderator might not see and delete them.  Google's settings for that function is pretty binary, defining older posts as 14 days or older.  Given my recent hiatus, the most recent post was on November 30th, so today that post passed the 14 day mark.  I have checked periodically throughout the day and am trying to approve comments expeditiously.  

I may try to post something tomorrow or later this week, but probably not much beyond more holiday art.  Sorry for the lack of anything truly new and DD related.  Hoping to get back to real posting sometime soon.

Monday, November 30, 2020

Brief Hiatus and Christmas Thoughts

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 all had a great week.  Ours got kind of crazy, with some unanticipated housing repairs that we’re still dealing with.  Tis the season for frozen pipes and other plumbing problems in our part of the country.  In addition to that craziness, I was trying to push through a couple of home improvement projects, and we both tried to knock out most of our household Christmas decorating.  All this was in anticipation of me getting sidelined by a personal issue I’ve been needing to deal with for a while.  This has been one of those years that I find myself constantly bemoaning the fact that getting old sucks, until I remember how much better it is than the only known alternative.

Thanks to that little issue, the blog may be on hiatus for a couple of weeks.  That, plus I really can’t think of a damn thing to post about that we haven’t done to death.  If I get a burst of energy and inspiration, I will post something substantive. If not, it may just be sporadically sharing some Christmas cheer in the form of art and memes.  In that spirit . . . in honor of Belle, who admits to getting inspired by titillating Christmas art and in partial apology to Jimmy for whatever role this blog played in his becoming a disciplined husband this year . . . I hope this gives her some inspiration and him some Christmas cheer. 


There is something about the following picture that I find inspiring, though I doubt Anne will be modeling for such a shot herself, given that there is a direct line of sight from our tree, through a huge set of windows, to the front street.


I also probably won’t be seeing anything like this. It looks like it was taken in front of a mall Christmas display, and I almost certainly won’t be making any more trips to the mall before Christmas.  


It’s one of many things that many of us won’t be doing in 2020.  It’s been a year of adjusting our expectations, hasn’t it?  Lots of this going on, with no lube . . .



Unfortunately, there won't even be vanilla versions of this going on this year. 



Cliché as it may be, you never know what you have until it’s gone.  I distinctly remember limping into this time last year, exhausted from too much travel, too much work, and too much socializing.  We ended up dodging several holiday parties with friends that have become traditions over the last few years, because we were just worn out.  Had I known it 2020 I would be desperate for some time with other people, I might have reached a little deeper for some Christmas cheer and the energy that comes with it.



Who would have thought that there would ever be a year in which what is under the tree may actually matter more than the people around it for the simple reason that the people won’t be there this year?


While I don’t have a topic this week, feel free to chime in with how this crazy year is impacting your holiday plans, including sharing any thoughts on ways you are working around lockdown orders and concerns for vulnerable friends and relatives.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

The Club - Meeting 320 - Changes and Transitions

“An ounce of performance is worth pounds of promises.” - Mae West


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.



Sorry for the delayed post, and now that it is here it will be a short one. I hope you’re all off to a good start for your week and, for those in the U.S., enjoying Thanksgiving preparations. Though, I admit it’s a holiday that has never done much for me.  Apparently, many DD and kink-aficionados feel the same way.  In past years, I have spent hours looking for Thanksgiving-themed sexy/kinky art, and the pickings are always drier than an overcooked turkey.  This year, I’m not even going to try and am just moving on to Christmas!



We really are getting an earlier start on Christmas this year.  We don’t have the tree up yet but will do it this weekend.



Most of our Christmas lights and outdoor decorations are hung.  We noticed that a few others in the neighborhood also got an early start.  I guess everyone could use some early Christmas cheer and holiday spirits this screwed up year.  We also got a head start on some of the more intensive preparations because we have some personal commitments coming up that may keep me away from the blog for a couple of weeks after this posting. Right now, I’m just playing it by ear.


I apologize for all the delayed and missed postings.  Part of the problem really has been lots of family obligations and celebrations, home improvement projects that take on a life of their own, etc. Though, it’s also likely a function of there just hasn’t been a lot to share on the DD or FLR front.  Some of that is probably thanks to all the distractions I just mentioned.  But, it’s also a function of the fact that after hitting a real low point in terms of stress and personal behavior problems in September and part of October, I’ve been on an uncharacteristically good roll lately.  It’s been weeks since I had any over-indulgence problems on the drinking or diet front.  I’m going into the holidays several pounds lighter than I was this time last year.  I’ve been working out steadily, though that may temporarily stop soon thanks to a combination of some physical issues I need to address and gyms shutting down again thanks to Covid resurgence. Work remains much, much slower than I’d normally like, but I’m finding I really don’t care very much.  While she hasn’t said anything expressly, I get the feeling Anne isn’t in much of a domineering mood, whether for her own reasons or because there has not been much bad behavior on my end to get riled up about.



I’ve been living with myself long enough to know that trends and trajectories—good or bad—always change direction or fully reverse at some point.  I also believe that men have hormonal cycles too even if ours are less dramatic, and my kink interest and my perceived need to give up control and have boundaries imposed waxes and wanes sometimes for no apparent reason.  But, when it’s not all that often that I hit a place where everything just feels more stable and balanced. On those occasions, I do end up thinking about what would happen if “balanced” became a more ordinary state for me.


Now, in the past I always thought that if I suddenly found myself feeling more balanced and controlled and, hence, less in need of imposed boundaries and external controls, I might still actively seek out DD to drive better performance in other areas.  I think it is pretty rare that someone is self-disciplined in all aspects of their lives, so there is always something to work on, right?  Perhaps, but early next year I am planning to go through a big career change that right now is removing any real performance goals around work and career achievement.  Work and career-related goals and motivations have been such a dominant thing in my life for 30+ years, it’s just weird being in a place where I don’t have anything I’m aiming for in that area. 


None of this is to say I have some inclination to stop DD or to stop experimenting with FLR.  It’s a lot more subtle and uncertain than that.  I’ve just hit this point I’ve never really been at before where my moods and drives are pretty manageable and stable and the work-related striving and stress that created at least some of the imbalance may really be going away sometime soon.  So, it’s not that I’m giving up on DD or FLR but, rather, for the first time since we took this up, live really is moving in a different direction and who knows what impact that will have?


What about you? For those of you who have been through a similar transition, what impact did it have on your DD and/or FLR desires and level of activity? For those who haven’t, if you reached a point where your behavior was mostly under control, would you still need or want DD in your life?  Would you continue with spanking but take it in a more erotic direction?  For the ladies, if your men suddenly became much better behaved on every front, or if his need for DD and imposed rules were reduced, would you miss doling out the discipline?  Would you miss taking charge, to whatever extent you are in charge of certain areas now?


I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving. Be safe.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Once Again . . .

 I seem to have run out of weekend before I ran out of to-do list items. I forget how busy weekends are this time of year.  I will try to get something posted tomorrow.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Delayed Post Update - Impromptu Topic by Belle

After posting the below notice that I probably wouldn't be posting this week, I received the below comment from Belle:


“I was fascinated by the part of last week's discussion about our real roles and how they may be contradictory, how secret we keep them, who actually knows about our various roles, etc. I thought it could be a topic.


While I imagine that most people behave differently depending on the role they are in and the people they are with, I think maybe those of us in the DD community have more contradictory roles than the average couple: the differences when our spanked husbands are alpha in some situations and beta in others may be more pronounced, for instance.


Even for the disciplinary wife, there may be a more pronounced difference in our various roles. I think it was Liz who mentioned that she is basically a 50s wife who spanks, which definitely goes against that stereotype.


Just an idea, anyway. Maybe you have already discussed it.”


So, let’s run with that as this week’s topic.  I'll post more on it later after I finish up some other projects I need to get to this week.




All, sorry for the continuing delay. Today was busier than anticipated, and tomorrow promises more of the same.  I'm also suffering from a lack of inspiration for topics.  So, there probably won't be a post this week.  Is it too early for Christmas and winter-themed art?  I hope not.

Have a good week.


Sunday, November 1, 2020

The Club - Meeting 358 - Risky Business


The rate at which a person can mature is directly proportional to the embarrassment he can tolerate.   - Douglas Engelbart


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 all had a nice Halloween.  While we got a few trick-or-treaters, it was very few and overall it felt like the Halloween that wasn’t.  There also is not much Fall left to enjoy where we live.  It’s too bad.  I really do love this time of year.



Thanks for the participation last week on the subject of rules and who sets them.  It remains a timely topic in our household.  We weren’t together for part of this week, so there were limits on the momentum Anne could build when it comes to exercising more authority.  But, there was not a complete interruption in the dynamic either and there was one somewhat titillating incident.  As I said, we weren’t together for part of the week, and for once it was because Anne was traveling. She had promised me a spanking for some mid-week bad behavior, but time kind of got away from her the night she had promised to deliver.  The next morning, she was busy packing and getting ready to leave for her trip.  My mother-in-law was at our house that morning, and as my wife and she were getting ready to leave, Anne turned to me and said something like, “And, don’t you worry. I’ll be back on Sunday and we can deal with things then.”  It was a very cryptic comment, and I’m sure her mother had no idea what she was talking about.  But, to some extent the comment was SO cryptic and without context that it almost certainly would have raised the curiosity of anyone who overheard it. 


While the context was a little different, her comment and her increasing openness to at least make some risqué statements alluding to her role dovetailed with something else that has been on my mind a lot.  I’ve mentioned here a few times that I ride motorcycles.  A few months ago, I explored some of the less populated areas of the hills near us. I went up a road that adjoins several hiking trails through an area with a lot of open space.  It is a winding road, with lots of small pull-over areas big enough for only a single car to park.  The road winds back and forth, and as you get close to the end there is a pretty good visibility of the way you just came.  For no real reason, it occurred to me that it was kind of the perfect spot if Anne was ever inclined to embarrass me with a semi-public spanking.  It is an area that is pretty sparsely populated, but it is close to a fairly busy crossroad and people do use it to access hiking and other outdoor activities.  So, while the risk of exposure is manageable, it is not zero.  I’ve ridden up and down that road a few times since then, and its suitability for a risqué punishment session strikes me every time.



The possibility struck me again this week, because I’ve had a fair number of traffic offenses in the past, and there have been times that I’ve had too many drinks and gotten behind the wheel.  A spanking in a car, in a somewhat exposed place, for an automobile related offense would be an example of “let the punishment fit the crime.”


In a comment a week ago, Belle said: “It seems to me that you are craving others finding out that you wife spanks you, both in your dreams and your dreams. Since Anne has already mentioned it at a family party, I would suggest she do more of the same.”  Whether Anne’s comment in front of her mother resulted from taking Belle’s advice to heart, I’m not sure. In light of the extent to which I’ve been dwelling on the possibility of being spanked in a car where we might be discovered, and the dream I had about my mom spanking me in just that context, Belle could be right that part of me really wants others to know that Anne spanks me, though I what I seem to want is the risk of being caught or found out but without full openness.  That would kind of explain my fascination with being spanked in barns and woodsheds – places where a spanking might be overheard but it wouldn’t be certain to happen.



After a few weeks of fairly serious topics, I thought I would keep this one light this week.  For those of you aren’t “out” about your Domestic Discipline or Female Led Relationship, what is the furthest you’ve gone in letting others know or risking discovery?  Have the wives (or the husbands) alluded to spankings to friends, family members, co-workers, etc.  What is the most risqué place you have ever been spanked?  Is there any place that might risk exposure that you have an interest in being spanked or giving a spanking and that is at least a somewhat realistic option?  Or, is any risk of exposure just too much for you?


I hope you all have a great week.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

The Club - Meeting 358 - Buy-In and Who Decides the Rules?

A person who is knowingly bent on bad behavior, gets upset when better behavior is expected of them. - Jane Austen



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


Mine was pretty uneventful, and surprisingly productive on a few fronts.  For once, I didn’t have any real behavioral problems. I completed some home projects I’ve been sitting on for a while and managed to get some outdoor Halloween decorations up.  I'm still loving this time of year!



Or, I was enjoying the season until the weather turned nasty. As often happens here, we seem to have gone abruptly and unceremoniously from fall to winter.  Not that there is anything wrong with winter.



Though, I’m not done thoroughly enjoying Halloween.



I also made a surprising amount of headway on the health and fitness front.  I've been trying hard to get rid of those persistent love handles. I also may have had an epiphany about why both my energy levels and, frankly, my libido have been down all year. I've been implementing some pretty significant dietary changes, and so far so good. I also have been getting back into the gym regularly for the first time since Covid hit, respecting social distancing, hand washing and mask guidelines.


While we didn't get a huge number of posts last week, I thought it was a very illuminating conversation.  There were several good contributions regarding how to humble a man with ego issues, such as myself. Though, did you notice how many of those contributions focused on the humbling power of witnesses?  It is interesting, to me at least, just how much we care about how others see us. 

Danielle’s contribution regarding “maternal” discipline and control definitely pushed some buttons for me. When I first discovered Domestic Discipline, it had this intoxicating mix of attraction and terror.  The level of control Danielle suggested gives me those same mixed feelings. Part of me is genuinely attracted to trying exactly what she suggests. 


However, it is really one of those “be careful what you ask for – you might get it” things, isn’t it.  That tension inherently raises the line between DD and FLR and what side of that line I want to be on. On the one hand, I really do find the level of maternal control she suggested very compelling and perversely attractive.  On the other hand, several months ago when she cracked down on some areas, I got resentful in a way that undermined some of her forward progress.  Yet, last week she was bossing me around pretty strongly on things like chores, and while I may have resented it in the moment, overall I got off on it. So, do I want to give up control to her or don’t I?


It’s a complicated question, and I think there are two interrelated factors that feed into how I react to her taking more control. The first revolves around the extent to which we are in alignment on whether certain behavior is a problem.  I think Alan summed it up really well a couple of weeks ago:


[W]e developed a list of behaviors that were problems for one or both of us. Very important at that point was that we both agreed that the behavior needed to change. In short, we both needed to buy into it as a goal whether it was relatively trivial or later when the behaviors were serious issues. That buy in by both of us was crucial.


Alan also advised starting with relatively minor issues.


Next, following Aunt Kay, we prioritized the list to 2 or 3 things to emphasize, picking middle range things rather than the most challenging behaviors, eventually working up to the most serious issues. We actually started with a cliché, leaving the commode seat up and one other. But even these “easy” ones established the habit of compliance and the reality of consequences.


To Alan’s last sentence I would add that focusing on “easy” things probably also helps her get habituated to exercising authority, precisely because it is authority that is likely to be obeyed. As she sees me comply with orders over and over again, she gets more comfortable giving them and I get more comfortable taking them.  Which is the goal, right?  So, I like Alan’s advice, and it illustrates the second factor that determines how I react to Anne taking control: If the behavior is something minor and easily fixed or adopted, while I may not like her order in the moment I am unlikely to balk at it and may even find it sexy after I have some time to let it sink in. But, if it is something bigger, like a hard-wired habit or something that I see as a core part of who I am, an exercise of control is more likely to be met with real resentment. 


Those two factors—the degree of mutual agreement and the seriousness of the behavior—are interrelated.  When she called out of the blue a week ago and gave me instructions on things she expected me to do around the house that day, it was minor stuff in the scheme of things even though one of the tasks (sweeping and cleaning our wood floors) took me almost an hour.  Even if I didn’t expressly agree in advance to her assigning chores like that, it didn’t spark resentment. Also, to the extent she was giving me orders for the express purpose of humbling me, there was a level of mutual agreement to that goal.


Conversely, I described the incident several months ago when she wanted me to come to bed when I was watching a movie and having a beer while doing so. That incident caused resentment, and my resentment undermined her authority for a while.  The reason I resented it was, while we both agree on the overall goal of keeping my tendence to binge under control, I felt like my behavior was within normal bounds. It was a Friday night. I was worn out from the stress of work and just wanted to veg out with a movie and a nightcap.  In other words, it was normal adult behavior, and I wasn’t hurt her, myself or anyone else. Looking back, the whole thing was a counter-example of Alan’s wise advice: (a) the behavior was not really minor and she was exercising some substantial control over my autonomy; and (b) there wasn’t real buy in that anything I was doing was a problem.



Whether your relationship is Domestic Discipline only or incorporates some degree of FLR, who makes the rules?  Guys, do you suggest to your wife the areas you want to improve in?  Ladies, to what degree do you decide which problems you want to address and how much authority do you have, or would you like to have, in determining conduct you want to address or habits you want to help him break or establish?  To what extent is mutual buy-in important?  And, what about the importance or impact of the behavior at issue?  In establishing your disciplinary habits, did you jump right to major issues or, as Alan advises, did you start with “easy” issues and work your way up from there? 


I hope you have a great week.  Be safe out there this week.