Saturday, November 10, 2007

This Thing We Don't

This week has been a rough one for me. Between my husband's illness and some added responsibilities over the past week, I've found myself feeling hopeless and desperate. When the world feels out of control to me, I need my husband to prove his control even more in order to feel secure.

That just hasn't been happening. What is even harder for me to handle is that he hasn't even been showing any interest lately in maintaining a discipline relationship.

Red has told me in the past that he feels a bit insecure because he isn't sure he knows what he's doing. So, I did everything I could think of to help him. I bought him a book about domestic discipline, suggested websites to read through, and got him signed up for a few different forums. Whenever I've done these things, he's responded gratefully and said that it will be a big help to him. But then he completely ignores them. I don't think he's visited any of the forums since his introduction posts. Nor has he visited any of the websites. He only read the book I bought after a couple months of nagging.

I'm feeling incredibly hurt right now. We met online in a chat room that was geared toward discipline relationships... so he knew from Day 1 that this is something that I was looking for in a relationship. He indicated to me, and continues to indicate to me, that it is something that he wants as well. But he isn't doing anything that makes me feel like it really is.

A couple days ago I had a meltdown. I screamed at him about how hard I've been working to be supportive to him and to fulfill his needs. I told him how I felt he'd neglected me. I told him that I was revoking my consent, and that "I'm not following any fucking rules any more."

I have always taken our rules very seriously, and I experience quite a bit of guilt when I screw up and break one of them. When he doesn't follow through with discipline, or gives what feels like a half-hearted effort at discipline, I feel like all of the effort I put into respecting the rules and taking care of his needs doesn't mean anything to him. I feel invisible, like I don't matter.

When I screamed these things to me, I told me that he understood my feelings and that they were justified. He said once again that he really does want to have this structure in our relationship. He promised to start visiting the websites and forums, and to have a topic of discussion for the two of us everyday, so he can begin to feel more secure in his role. He asked me to trust him to do these things, that they were entirely up to him.

And I've heard nothing about it since...


Anonymous said...

Rose I am so sorry you are having a hard time. One of the things Dd does,(maybe because of the structure?)is hold a mirror up to us. It allows us to see ourselves, and that can be difficult for the HoH and the wife. IMO It is a tremendous amount of work, very worth it, but a lot of work. Many of us were raised to think love "should be easy". They lied! One of the things that was hard for me in the first year or so, and remains a challenge, is that I am much more interested in thinking about, talking about, reading about Dd. Grant would not join a forum for almost a year, and then participated barely, and read there less. What he would do was read what I sent him by email, as long as it was not too long, too many emails, too extreme. I would copy threads from the forum I belong to that were of particular interest to me, editing out the silly stuff. I would copy articles from good Dd sites. I emailed one to him maybe 2 or 3 times week, never more. He would read them and send a two lone response to my 3 paragraph comment!:) I had to accept that he had to go at his own pace and develop our Dd marriage in his way. Many couples go through these times, so hang in there! If you don't give up, I am betting he will not either!

Btw, I am an email away! Sara

Rose said...

Thank you, Sara! Grant sounds just like Red. He will read something that I send him by email, generally... but I don't like having to do that. Part of it is because I feel like I am "topping from the bottom." If I have to tell him how to be the HOH, then I am the real HOH, you know? There are so many women out there who write things that could be out of my own thoughts, only they've managed to say it so much better... I find myself thinking, "geez, if he'd only spend a couple hours reading, then he'd have this DD thing all figured out." I know that is likely not true, but it sure feels true sometimes...

Jigsaw Analogy said...

Well, I won't get into the debate about HOH and "topping from the bottom."

But I totally, TOTALLY understand what you're talking about here. And interestingly, I kind of feel like I'm on both ends of this, since W has had to cope with the stress of my physical and mental illness, which I know is a strain, so I can see how Red might feel here, too.

It's so, so hard to work through a relationship. Worth it, yes, but hard. And those expectations we have that keep not being met....

Have I mentioned Imago relationship therapy? On the surface, it's kind of woo-woo, but the essential point is that the person who we're most attracted to both has the capacity to meet all of our needs and has a lot of struggles in areas that leave us feeling really unsatisfied in the relationship. And it goes both ways.

Not that W has followed through with reading the book... she seems to have the same problem Red does, of somehow being blocked about reading or talking about all of this.

As for revoking consent... it has taken a LOT of rounds of me deciding the rules weren't working, and W agreeing to stop, and then a few weeks or months later, reinstating them, but this time, at least, she's been firm, and hasn't allowed them to drop. But it takes a lot of effort to be consistent.

Sorry you're going through all of this.

Unknown said...


Some things that might or might not be relevant. I don't know nearly enough about your relationship to have any idea which, if any.

- I'm not exactly the best-connected person in the kink, but all of the couples I know who try to do R/L discipline in a practical way (as opposed to living a fantasy for a short while) have periods like this. It's a hard thing to do, and even if it's 'right' for both partners, it's not what they want all of the time. Without meaning to diminish how you're feeling, there's always a danger of seeing others' relationships as ideal, and that adding to the pressure one feels.

- In my experience, it's absolutely crucial in making something like this work that the top feels in control, and that they're not attempting to do more than they're capable of doing. That sounds obvious, but for a certain type of 'service top,' it's very hard not to respond to the needs and desires that they perceive. It's not altruism - it makes them feel good to be able to help - but it's easy for that desire to be wanted and needed, to fix problems, to cause them to take too much on, and then crash later. Not sure if this is an issue, but Red might think hard about *what*, and *how much*, he's able to take on. They should be things he really believes in. Working with a small core of issues for a while is a good thing, IMO. The temptation to do too much too quickly is easy, but fatal.

- One of the most helpful things Mija has told me is that, for her, it's okay if I'm not completely consistent. Related to the above, one of the things which has caused me to crash as a top in the past is the problem of consistency. If, for whatever reason, consistency has been lost - say, one of us has been away, or sick, or just tired by something, such that there's been a hiatus in rule-enforcement - starting again is made harder because it feels like an admission that things haven't been consistent. For anal types, who like systems, not doing something at all can be better than doing in inconsistently, but that almost certainly isn't better in this context.

- Following on from that, one of the best ways to get back into the swing of things - it can be a big help with the consistency thing too - is for there to be a clean break of time or place. There really is something that I think of as the Shadow Lane effect, which is the shot in the arm that the party environment gives to WIITWD. I've felt it myself and seen it in others. It's partly the energy of the group, but it's also just the time away from the business of real life for a few days.

Well, enough. Good luck.

Rose said...

J.A. & Paul,

Thank you both so much for commenting.

J.A. - yes, you mentioned imago relationship therapy to me on the "This Thing We Do" board. I've been meaning to pick up the book. Thanks for the reminder!

Paul - you make some excellent points. My main frustration with Red is not that he needs breaks, or isn't feeling up to R/L discipline all the time, but that he has never truly started at all. Yes, he has punished me a few times, but they were always random, isolated incidents.

I know he's been sick, and I really don't expect to have a solid discipline framework currently... I only want him to show some interest in my feelings. His illness has meant that he's been almost completely emotionally absent for me. I guess I need the emotional connection of at least talking about it even more than I need the actual thing.


Shaina said...

I realize that we are complete strangers but I want to say that my husband and I went through the exact same thing you and your husband are going through.

I remember being so frustrated because it was like he didn't want anything to do with spanking and domestic discipline. He avoided the subject, never visited websites, and so much more.

It got better for us because I kept pressuring him about it. I would show him links to sights and then make darn sure he visited the link. Oh and I ordered about a dozen paddles and made him use them.

I don't have the magical answer for you but I wanted to let you know, you're not alone.