Saturday, February 6, 2010


That was the name of a book our kids loved - a very long time ago. But it is also my emotional state, my thought processes, and my understanding of this whole thing at the moment. Since everything is now turned on it's ear, this all may not make any sense, and I'm pretty sure this isn't the end of it, and I really hope that it will evolve and clarify. It's also long - I apologize.

I had been feeling restless about where we (my husband and I) were with our relationship. Not bad - but ready and wanting to move forward. I think that must just be what happens to people: as you learn or try something new, as one step becomes incorporated and comfortable, there is an internal urge to try the next. But I had no idea whatsoever what that would mean or entail in a practical sense.

My husband is not interested in playing the manager for my life. There is no formal list of rules or chores or have-to's or don't-you-dare's. There is a long history of us living together, so I know some of his preferences, and we both know what needs to happen to keep the family and household running, and we coordinate to work out who can and should do what, when. In fact though, I feel like I don't know a lot of his preferences, like he is reluctant to express or impose his choices on me or on us, and I feel like I must have caused that reluctance over the years. It's a big part of the appeal and the potential for ttwd for me: it offers a way for me to step back and show him that I want to hear him. I had the notion that the way to move forward must be for him to exert more control over my day to day life, to somehow make it harder.

Patience not being one of my virtues, I decided to try something. I made a list of the things I think are important to him, about me: things he has hinted he would like me to do or change or pay attention to. The list had things like following through with my job search leads, exercising more, keeping things more under control with the kids and the house, and being more focused and organized so I don't end up panicking to get big things done last minute. My hope was that commenting on a list I generated would be easier for him than just telling me what he wanted of me.

He came back with a list of his own, a much shorter list, but a list of how he want's me to be. It had three points, and they boiled down to he wants me to be happy. He wants me to feel okay to really pursue all the oppurtunities that are now available in my career, he wants me to "stop sweating the small stuff" so I don't get so stressed about day to day to things, and he wants me to make time to do things for myself, things i really enjoy. My initial reaction was - good I can make lists of things I can do to work towards these goals - and that will make my husband happy. But as I really thought about it, it dawned on me that I would need to change fundamentally the way I work and react and even feel.

This part should probably be a whole other story - but since I don't know why it is what it is, I can't really write that story. The essence though is that I get deeply distressed having things done for me or things being about me. I am happy to be the one working to do things for others, to take care of others, to see to their needs. It is the way I want the relationship to flow. I can politely tolerate letting people do something for me, like haircuts or service at a restaraunt. I can, with effort, be gracious if a group is doing something in my honour; birthdays are tolerable, my wedding day was awfully difficult.

As the idea of having my husband focus his effort and attention on taking care of me began to sink in, I became more and more distressed. This was supposed to be about me doing more for him, it was supposed to shift the focus further off of me. I'm not even at all sure how to go about accepting or accomplishing this. The in-side-outside-up-side-down part is that this is far harder for me to submit to than just about anything else would have been. I know I have some serious challenges ahead.

The Irony of it all is that it should be easy for me to let him focus on me, to let myself be taken care of. Isn't that what most women want? Yet it is, short of him being sick or no longer in my life, the very hardest thing for me to face. To make him happy, I have to figure out how to let him make me happy, which at this point makes me unhappy, which isn't going to make him happy, which makes me unhappy also. Furthermore, I think it should be easy for him to want things for himself; I'm offering him really whatever he wants- but what he chooses is to take care of me. It's not just in-side-outside-up-side-down, it's also backwards.


  1. Hello greengirl

    I completely understand what your saying here. I felt the same way at first too. It seemed completely foreign to me to have to accept his devotion and care when that was what I was trying to offer him. It made me feel to much in control, but the truth was that I had to accept it, that was my role, because that was his need and how he wanted it to be. Once I got me mind around the idea that this was how he wanted my to show his control in my life it was easier for me.

    The best example of this is when a good friend of mine was diagnosed with cancer, she had devoted her life to doing for others and now was forced into the role of having others do for her. The only way she managed to get comfortable with it was by reasoning that she was still doing for others by allowing then to take care of her because that was what they needed to do to feel better.

    Perspective is everything. Good luck.


  2. Ooo, I hate those muddled-up feelings!

    Now, I may well have missed something here but I'm wondering about something.
    You say you have to figure out how to let him make you happy, that you're "having [your] husband focus his effort and attention on taking care of [you]."

    But in the Cliff Notes version of his list that you presented, nowhere does it mention, "let me do this for you." There was undoubtedly more to it and I may be talking out of my hat, but:

    Is it possible that it's not so much that he wants to step up and do for you but that he just wants you to give yourself a break? To worry a little less about pleasing everyone else at the expense of being happy yourself?

    Just a thought?

  3. Beki,
    Welcome. That is exactly it - and you are right and a good point about perspective. But even after seeing that - there remains the doing. One thing at a time i guess.

    That's a really good point - not as a way to get around it or as a loophole - but as a way of starting to do - thanks.

  4. I'll leave a longer comment later (too tired right now) but I just wanted to say I completely understand. One of my "rockiest" moments with Michael was a weekend I was down with the flu, sick to the point of needing to be hospitalized and waking up to find him dozing uncomfortably in a chair in my room. He helped me to the bathroom, cleaned me up, held my hair out of the way while I hurled my guts out. Having him see me at my 'less than spa perfect" wasn't the issue. I was frankly beyond that. What I found so absolutely humiliating was him looking after me, when we all know, it's supposed to be the other way around.

    I don't know what is in your head but I know what was in mine -- pure ego. I had hung my identity inside the relationship around being the one who takes care of things and people and I was so resistant to letting that slip even a little, even with a "good excuse", like hospitalization and IV fluids. Pure, unadulterated ego identification (in my case, anyway).

    It's still an issue I'm working through but wow, what a reality check!!! I'm still reeling a bit.

  5. Would it make you feel better to know that a lot of the things that Asha expects from me are things that bring me happiness? I think it's natural for a man to want the woman he loves to be happy and stress free and is willing to go to great lengths so she can have that... whether she is submissive or not.

    For instance, I tend to be a bit of a workaholic. At one point I was working every day... literally 7 days a week. I was also splitting up the housework over those 7 days. I was always on edge and stressed cause I wasn't giving myself that break I needed. So he told me he wanted me to have at least 2 days during the week where I didn't have to do anything and could just play and relax.

    He didn't redo my schedule for me cause he knew I was quite capable of doing it, but I did rearrange it so that I was working Mon - Thur, cleaning the house on Friday and then having the weekends to myself.

    Ever since then I've been a lot more relaxed and less stress, which has made us both a lot happier. Being submissive isn't always about doing things in a literal sense for our dominants... it's about bringing him pleasure. If what will bring him pleasure is our pleasure, then so be it.



  6. I have just begun to read your blog but I am enjoying it greatly. I am working through just the same things - I was waiting for my list of chores and lo and behold it boiled down to "get more exercise and take your pills", which is much harder for me than "make the beds and clean the kitchen". Imagine - a husband him who thinks that having a healthy wife is more important than anything else? But that is why I know I can put my trust in him.


  7. ~~Doll~~ I hadn't gotten there, yet. I would say it is certainly my role in lot of the realtionships in my life so i am sure ego and identity are very tied up in it. I'm still at, "how exactly do i supress this impulse, come to accept it, and what exactly do i do?" I had started to think about why I find it fearful. I have to think that pondering will take me towards the root.

    Yea - my husband's only response to all this was "I can't believe it took you 18 years to figure out I want to take care of you." So, I'm a little slow.

    Welcome, and thank you. It should be so self-evident, but it really wasn't to me. Not that he cared about me, but how.

  8. i'm late to this particular show, but i will tell you Padrone's philosophy, and frankly it bothered me no end when i first read it, but it has slowly begun to sink in.

    He says "a happy slave serves better".

    That sounds quite callous on the surface, and until it sinks in that it means that he will work as hard to make *me* happy as i do to make *him* happy, i guess it is.

    But frankly, just as i love to make him happy, i love to make things all about him and serving and pleasing and obeying him, so too does he enjoy making me happy, and grateful and adoring and mushy.

    He also has the most important rule in place - not written but something he absolutely demands of me now....i must, under all circumstances and if at all possible, take care of myself.

    That means that i have no choice but to put myself first at times, and i have to say that i do enjoy it to a degree now. i love knowing that, in a strange kind of way, taking care of me serves him and makes him tremendously happy as well.

    So, while i know just what you are feeling, it sounds as if your husband simply wants you to take care of yourself. It isn't about "doing for yourself" or making it "all about you", but...wouldn't a less-stressed, happier, more content you be able to focus on him and please him better in the long run? (not that i'm saying that is in HIS thoughts by any means, but that's the line of reasoning i used with myself to stop the guilt of treating myself well and first and whatever).

    Alright, i'm stopping the rambling here - lol. i have no idea if this made any sense outside my poor brain, but i promise, *i* know what i mean anyway!

    It will all click for you one day, as y'all adjust and define your own relationship by your own needs and desires...even if it ends up not looking like a typical D/s one at all. i like that y'all can do this adjusting after all these years, and i admire you two very much!

  9. Don't feel bad. I think the thing is... as women we have this innate need to nurture (well most of us do). The thing is... we very rarely do things to nurture ourselves. We love to see the people we love happy... but we forget that they want to see us happy too. You know?



  10. Shiava,
    Welcome. You make perfect sense actually. It sounds like you've made the leap beyond just the logic of it - to really seeing it and making it happen. Thank you for your comment - I am sure we will end up somewhere- and I think that's better than standing still. Btw - my mom's side of the family is from the South - so lots of summers spent with cousins there - I miss "y'all."

  11. Y'all are welcome down here anytime - lol!

  12. I am deeply affected by all the comments here.

    Thank you for sharing.

    I hope I can support my s to achieve what you are writing about.