Wednesday, December 28, 2011

not either-or

We've had a really nice holiday break so far, and at the same time, a fairly difficult one.

There are those people in life who've had so much trouble come their way, whose lives are so unrelentingly and grindingly difficult, that i really think God owes them another go around, with nothing but sunshine and daisies and happiness and light - just to make up for this lifetime.  This is my family, who I love deeply, and who we visited with over the holiday.  I want to help - i have spent my life trying to help - but it is all un-helpable.  There is no way out.  So visiting is both very good, and very, very hard.

Sometimes i can negotiate the minefields of being with them well, other times not so well.  Sometimes i can resist the screwed up dynamics and behave the way i intend to and want to be.   Other times i fail and i get sucked in and act in screwed up ways myself.  Sometimes, often, i feel trapped between my family, my husband and children, and my family, my parents and siblings. This was one of those times: i tried to walk the line, but i failed.

I failed to respect and trust my husband, and i upset and hurt him terribly. And i feel awful that i hurt him this way.  But, at the same time, i am entirely unsure how to have handled things differently.  And i can't say i won't make the same mistake again, not because i would choose to hurt him, but i don't know if i will always be able to find the line that gracefully satisfies everyone.  Or, if that option doesn't exist, i don't know if i can overcome a lifetime of being the peacemaker within my family.

It has taken, is taking, my husband some time to feel better, get past it, be back to normal...which is just really unusual for him.  And i both understand this, and don't understand it.  I know he's human and that he is hurt and angered like anyone else.  I don't understand the magnitude, but i don't resent it or feel he is being unfair;  i do wonder what more is behind it.   It leaves me feeling lost, shut out, and very unsure of myself.

And it all leaves me feeling a number of things at once about ttwd:  Are the lows worth the highs?  Or is a more mundane middle ground better?  I can choose to follow him when the cost is easy, but can i actually do it when the cost is higher?  Do i need to be careful and not make him regret his choice to work this way - is it too hard for him?  Is it worth it to him?   Can i really find the balance between being myself and being His?  Is this truly an either-or?


  1. There is no graceful line which will please everyone. Sorry, but that's the truth. As a family peacemaker, I understand your feelings and empathize. However, what you are struggling with is merely a matter of priorities.
    If you are His, then you are His all the time. There is no halfway point. So, as his, you trust him and his choices when the family starts acting up.
    Now, here's where the magic happens.
    Once your family knows who is boss (Him), they will stop pushing YOU around. You won't feel that push-me-pull-you nonsense anymore. You will simply defer to his wishes.
    Stay strong and stay firmly at his feet and I GUARANTEE the family will stop their nonsense, at least at your house. They don't want to mess with him--they want to mess with you because you give in to them (sorry, but I bet that's true!). You submit to your Sir because you respect his strength and trust his judgment. So let him be strong and judge the situation!
    D/s is the best thing that can happen to family meddling and chaos. Let it work for you!

  2. I wonder how many of us are the "peacemakers" in the family? I know when i was younger I let my allegence to my family temporarily interfere with my allegence to W, and that hurt him. I didn't mean to, but I didn't know any other way to be in my family of origin.

    It will be a few uncomfortable visits, but DannahB is right. If you consistantly look to him for guidance on how to handle your family, they will change their behavior toward you. It's a hard and scary thing to contemplate changing your family dynamic.

    I went through this adjustment period with my mom. W made the point the first time, and I stood on it for weeks afterward. Terrified but determined. When she would start in, I'd just say, calmly and respectfully, "you would never treat friends or acquaintences the way you treat me" and disengage. After about four or five attempts to elicit the old responses from me, she stopped. That had ripples all through my family life. I know that your family is not the same as mine, but one small change in your behavior can have a big effect on all of it.

    I am so sorry you were in that position greengirl. I understand about screwed up family dynamics, and how much you didn't want it to bleed over into your daily life. It's not an either or, and I bet he would say it is worth it, or he wouldn't still be working at it.

    Keep talking to him. You guys will figure it out.

  3. I do not believe that it is an either-or.
    And the highs...Well, they are worth the lows. Without those lows, would we ever be able to truly appreciate the highs?

    What would you gain from taking a mundane middle round in ttwd, would that actually benefit you as a couple? I doubt it.

    And I rather think that if it wasn't worth it to him, he probably wouldn't do it in the first place.

    Your position is a difficult one, and I wish I had some shining light of revelation for it!

    I hope you are both feeling better about everything soon. You will find your way back on track--you always do.

  4. gg, even though I have a LDR, I have had to defer to Padrone because of this same type of situation. I would talk with my mother on the phone, because it would be rude not to, and things between us would deteriorate so far that it began to interfere with my relationship with Padrone. So Padrone actually made a rule that I was not to talk with her without his express permission. Talk about difficult! And of course my mother didn't know *why* I was not calling, or always *busy*, but that limitation helped me regain a healthy perspective on family and relationships, and my own place in them.

    My point is that I agree totally with Dannah. What probably hurt your husband as much as your tone or attitude towards him, is that you ... reneged on your submission when it related to your family, in a way. What I mean is that ... you've worked so hard in so many areas, and discovered so much good in living a D/s lifestyle, but when the "rubber hit the road" (families suck sometimes), you chose to retrieve the control that you had previously chosen to grant him.

    I am likely way off base, but ... based on the information in your post, I do agree with Dannah that part of the issue could be that he feels a lack of trust from you in this area. Believe me, I understand it, but since I've gone through something similar with Padrone, I can also see your husband's side of the issue as well (unless I am way off base).

  5. DannahB,
    I do know there is no way to please everyone - that doesn't stop me from trying, unfortunately. Beyond pleasing everyone - there is an element of protecting and supporting and that is what is hard for me to walk away from. Disentangling the two is where i'm stuck. You are right though, i do need to learn to listen to him first.

    Oh - i imagine lots of us are the peacemakers. Also caretakers, protectors, mediators.... It is very difficult, even anxiety provoking, for me to think about making waves with my family. Previously - it was easy - when there had to be a choice, my husband got the short end of the stick. And i regret that. He has been very patient, and giving all along. So i do have to figure out how to turn it around. Thank you - i appreciate your encouragement.

    I suppose i do know the answers to most of those questions - i can fall back into old doubts when things get tough. and you're right - we will get back on track. And hopefully, i'll handle thigns better with my family the next time around.

  6. shiava,
    It was absolutely a trust thing - i didn't trust what he was doing - and i questioned him, sadly - repeatedly, and in front of other people. Obviously - i need to work on this.

  7. And i can't say i won't make the same mistake again, not because i would choose to hurt him, but i don't know if i will always be able to find the line that gracefully satisfies everyone.

    Wow! That is so true! I mean you can say you'll try but none of us are perfect. I hope you are able to find the balance that works for both of you.

  8. I think sometimes you have to muddle through situations the best you can, learn from them and plan for next time. You've found a situation that submission is difficult for you. I suspect you may run into more here and there. But on this one now you can plan ahead for next time.

  9. Giggling Bunny,
    Thank you - i hope so too, this is going to be more difficult to figure out i think.

    Oh - i'm sure you're right, i know there are things that will be difficult - some i can guess at, others i suppose will surprise me. But yes, we will need to plan more or work on understanding each other in this case. Thanks.

  10. your not wrong and your choices have not been wrong. you will make mistakes, he will make mistakes and then you will fix them and on it goes. as for a happy middle ground, there isn't one it's a myth.

  11. Hi, Gg,

    i keep looking for something helpful to say, Well, something insightful i guess but the best i can do is that i'm thinking of you and pulling for you both. It's not easy.



  12. I realize that I'm late with my comment, but I'm wondering if you were able to talk to him since and ask him how he would have preferred to to respond/act. Then when he tells you you can offer how that makes you feel and why it would have been difficult for you. Maybe in some situations he is not looking for the same response that you might give when you have more privacy, but different than the one(s)you gave this time.
    I do feel myself having to check myself much more often around family and I've failed a few times too, but not that he was privy to.
    The holidays are hard for sure.

  13. Elysia,
    We have talked some - it was such a really odd thing that neither of us is sure why it happened - but it is more clear to me how he wanted me to have responded. I think that moving into more "normal time" will help. Thank you.