Saturday, January 14, 2012

tying things together

This one is going to have - as my husband would say - lots of words.  

I have felt odd about my last post - wondering why i needed to think about "feeling like less" - since the idea that any person is somehow of less value than another isn't one i've ever accepted.  The right and wrong of the whole question should have been as obvious to me as it was to everyone who commented.  But there was something - not a truth in the idea - but something i felt like i was missing  - some point i needed to catch.  

During the same month or so - i had some tough times with my husband - specifically - times i needed to submit and failed to in spectacular  ways. 

Even i was able to recognize they were probably related.    

My instinct was that i was feeling too full of myself - that there was an element of humility (not humiliation-they are different) that i was lacking recently.  But that's as far as i was able to figure.

My friend who helps me figure things out sometimes was able to help me see some important things about all this.

Things with my husband had come up when i felt like he hadn't listened to me or heard my side of things.  They were not small issues - they were things i felt very strongly about; i felt i was right and that they were important not because i was right but that being addressed correctly was important to our family.  I didn't accept his decision and i blew up - tears, yelling, lots of not so pretty words.  

The part that i had trouble with is that he didn't back down when i couldn't come his way. I wasn't upset that he didn't cave in and go with my way, but that he kept pushing and I felt like it was too hard, that i was at my end and he was going to have to back off, come back to it later, take a time out.  But he didn't.  I was confused and very, very angry.  I had gone beyond where i knew how to go.   

My feeling is that he was really reading it wrong and being very defensive himself - and i didn't know if i could really learn to swallow my pride and ego in times like that.  It was also a struggle between whether i trust myself and what i see - or trust him, when we see things differently.  Again, it's easy to see that as pride and ego; but somehow it felt deeper than that - like my giving in did make me less than him somehow - that my view and thoughts are second class.  

My friend asked if holding on to my pride and ego get me what i want?   No, but its a very ingrained thing to do.  "So?"   He pointed out that it was a fear - that it would have cost me a bit of who i believe i am and that is the crux of the fear. 
He made several more points that have helped me work my way through this thing:
        "Being submissive does not and has never meant being a doormat and you must be able to voice your opinion. Often this dynamic should not change your right and ability to disagree or promote a different agenda, what it changes is how you do that."

        "The root cause of almost all fighting is the desire to be right. D/s as a relationship model is about removing that desire and replacing with a far more co-operational approach."

        "So I think as you move forward in thinking about your submission you should not think so much about what you have to give up or how you just have to accept, but in terms of how you park ego and pride to allow honest communication to occur - communication that deals with solutions instead of being right."

These things have helped me see why i reacted so strongly, what was making it such a difficult thing for me, and how to try to change my responses.  

 A lot of working this through was done with my husband.  I was able to tell him why i had so much trouble, how i had felt.  And he explained his expectations for how i respond.  I can see that he will listen to me, but that i need to learn to trust that i can put my pride and my ego aside and that it doesn't make me less in his eyes.  



  1. Pride makes for lonely companionship doesn't it.
    And I think those struggles occur in every relationship--that deep disagreement about a choice or path in the road.
    We recently had a long moment of disagreement about a choice...And it reminded me of those struggles about who is right and which path to take.

    Sometimes it really is hard to set our pride and ego aside and accept the path they choose. But I think that, in the end, it is very much a part of growing in ttwd.

    If submission never presented a challenge to us, it probably wouldn't really be submission...Would it?

    I haven't finished my coffee yet, so don't mind me if I'm making no sense at all.

  2. That all makes perfect sense. I agree, pride and ego have no place in a marriage, in matters of the heart, and not in D/s. Here's an added thought...does he not also have to out aside his pride and ego to make decisions that are good for you as a couple, that are best for your family, not just for his own satisfaction? I don't really know how your husband sees things, but Grant has told me he feels he submits to our marriage and our family as much as I do. That makes sense to me. It's not just all about him getting his way, but about what is best for us. If it were any other way, I think he'd be a self-serving dictator, not a good leader, and my capacity for respect would decline rapidly. Sara

  3. gg,

    Glad to hear that your working with your husband on this. Ego from both sides can blind a couple.


  4. I think your friend is very wise, gg. One of the most wonderful things about D/s is what it can do to open lines of communication between a couple, and the insight that it allows cooperation to replace the need to be right is profound.

    Glad to hear you've made progress together!

  5. lil,
    i know i'm not the first to ponder this - but pride is tricky - it certainly gets in the way in cases like this - but it is also part of what keeps us striving to improve and do better. Taken to an extreme - if i just stop caring abour being right - i would stop thinking - just defer to him in all things - not very functional. Clearly though, there has to be a much better way for me to communicate, and learn to look at the whole good, not just mine.

    I do know my husband is human and susceptible to his own mistakes and being defensive, or responding in a less than ideal way. But i have never doubted his commitment and priorities. He doesn't put his own wants ahead of ours, he just doesn't. These were cases of each of us having a different idea about what would really be best for the family.

    It is far too easy to become very stuck in wanting to be right - not even for the sake of being right - but in knowing something needs a solution, and not being able to see that the other person is working towards the same goal. Thanks.

    That he is. I hope that the next time i can remember to do this in the heat of the moment. thank you.

  6. And i come back to this post for the fourth or fifth time. i still don't know if i fully understand it ~ you know, it may be that you and your Dom/husband are at a place in a relationship that takes time to get to. i don't know.

    But i do understand how you've come back to this and poked at it and worked on it and gotten input and grown with it. Nice. You've given me food for thought here too.


  7. aisha,
    I don't understand it really either. For whatever reason, this seems to be an area that is difficult for me, for us. Neither of us is particularly tied up in always being right, just for the sake of it. But when there are choices and decisions that have to be made about our family - we both care a great deal about the best decision being made. In those cases - it is hard for me to let go of thinking i need to fight for my way if i have a different view than he does. learning to have the conversation respectfully is part of it, learning that he doesn't view my ideas as inferior when he ultimately goes with his own is another area.