Winter finally broke…

What happened after my “tantrum” blog post

That day when I wrote and that last post really was awful. After I clicked “publish” on that post, I called my best friend and burst into tears. When I finally could speak, I told her how lonely I felt in my marriage, and how I didn’t know how to do this anymore… She’d been in a similar space a while back, and now she’s not, so I knew she’d understand, even if she didn’t have any advice. And she did understand, and she didn’t try to give me any advice, because she’s smart that way. Instead, she told me that she didn’t know what made it better, but that at some point, she stopped trying to make her husband do anything and started focusing on looking after herself more, and he seemed to have followed suit.

So I decided that while I didn’t even begin to know how to fill my submissive needs, I could at least stop hoping for Xander to dom me and try to come to terms with that our marriage at this point looked a lot like flatmates rather than lovers. So I buried my hope for happiness in that regard and began the hard work of coming to terms with that I wasn’t going to get what I wanted, and how to arrange my life so that I could cope with that. My heart broke a lot that day.

Xander gets a message when I publish a new post. He read my post, and because he was busy at work, just sent me a quick message that he was sorry, and that we’d talk later. And we did, later that night. And the next night. And a few times since then. And he told me he didn’t and doesn’t want to be “flatmates”, but that he thought he was doing me a favour by giving me space. In turn, I had gotten so used to coping, because he wasn’t in the position to meet my submissive needs that I’d not communicated them – or my need for simply HIM – at all, and for way too long. In short, our communication had broken down over … life, his burnout and mine, the needs of our family, work, etc.

He was shocked how much I was hurting. And if I hadn’t been so heartbroken, I’d have laughed out loud, because all of a sudden, without my prompting, he was saying all the domly things I’d been yearning to hear for years, things he never said before: That he wants me to come to him with my needs and burdens. That meeting my needs and keeping me happy is his first priority. Music to a submissive’s ear, especially when it comes from the love of her life. But, I WAS heartbroken. And though part of me wanted to, my heart couldn’t trust that he’d actually follow through, because this pattern of me being very unhappy, him taking action for a week or two in response and then fizzling out had happened too many times already. My heart had become cautious, and couldn’t bear the thought of having its hopes dashed again. So, I didn’t laugh. I didn’t feel the delight that I imagined I’d feel on the day he finally came around to understand this about himself. My response was more like “I’m ready to believe that when I see it, and not just for a fortnight.”

And yet… his heart was answering the very call my heart has been sending out for over three years now. And I think, my “giving up” may have been a necessity for this to happen. I still don’t really understand it.

I’ve written this a while ago. We had other talks since, and we are both learning to communicate a bit better about all of this. He’s telling me more of how he actually is, and I’m learning to come to him with my needs, worries, and concerns again instead of coping all by myself. And so it seems that winter has lost its cold and lonely death grip on our dynamic, and spring may be coming in.

We’ll be talking more details about our dynamic in the weeks and months, and I suppose years to follow.

I’m hurting and I wish I could just throw a tantrum already.

A word of warning: This is me, honest, hurting, and not sugarcoating a bit. Unedited.
So if you’re not in a position to read any of that, go away. Now. Look after yourself.

So here comes. My name is Willow (not really), and I’m submissive (really). Looking back, I always have been submissive in my “primary relationship”, and that ain’t likely to change. That means, I can’t help that I focus on my partner, a lot, and I have this inner imperative to make his life as best as it could be. In return, I need him to want me. Take care of me. To pay attention to me. To show me he cares for me, wants me around, and desires me. I need that connection like I need air to breathe. And right now, it feels like I’m slowly suffocating.

I’m probably “high maintenance”, but I don’t know that for sure. In my twenties, I’ve scared away my fair share of dates and boyfriends with the intensity of relationship and commitment I desired. But inside my head, it doesn’t feel that way, because it seems so simple: Daily or near-daily check-ins. Accountability. Regular spankings. Occasionally, sex, preferably the sorts where he took control and I gave it. How hard is that?
We did that for the better part of a year or two, and when we did, I was the happiest and most relaxed and effective at my job at home, even if I initiated and pushed for all of this. My husband loves me, and that’s why he gave this to me as best as he could. As long as I pushed for it. Since I haven’t been pushing… nothing of the sort.

My husband has burn-out. And anxiety. And probably depression. But since he’s also got the ubiquitous, deeply ingrained man shame conditioning that a man can never show weakness, he can’t allow himself to look for help for any of this before he’s out for the count and has no other choice. So he retreats and “disappears” emotionally and just shoves it all down, because that’s what he had to do when he was younger and no one was there to support him emotionally, and he never learned to do things any other way. And because he never experienced being supported, he can’t really imagine it, or that it could make a difference, and he won’t go looking for support.

I hate all of this in so many ways, because a) I love him deeply and hate to see him so poorly, b) I have experienced the huge difference a good therapist can make first hand, several times, and c) it feels like watching a train wreck in slow motion. I can’t really see if he’s getting better. And every time he “disappears” emotionally, I have a harder time coping with his absence. And unless he lets me in, I can’t even help him. All I can do is stand by him and love him, while I try to recover from adrenal fatigue myself, which means I have shit-all reserves for when things get tough.

I know he deeply cares for our children and for me. I know this because, despite his burn-out, he goes to work for us every day, and he provides amply for us. I know this because he takes time to do research to find the best car for us as a family, so we can be comfortable AND safe. Because he spends precious weekend time doing up the basement so we can move our office downstairs and the kids can each get a room to themselves, so family life will be more relaxed. And because he brings the kids to bed at night, although he’s tired, too. And the many other ways that he makes sure we’re safe and provided for.

But none of this makes me feel wanted. None of it lights me up, and none of it switches on my “I want to worship the ground you walk on” googly eyes the way a simple “Come here” does. Or a spanking. Or being held accountable. I feel like the submissive part of me – which is huge – I’m just another burden, another piece of work for him, and that there’s not a thing in the world I can do about it. (Well, I don’t badger him about my needs anymore. I try to get the household and my work done regardless of the non-existent accountablity. I try to forget how much easier this all was when he switched on the 40% of my energy reserves that I can’t access on my own.)

I lived with severe back pain for several years, and he stood by me all that time (and never got support for himself, just for the files). The other day he said that his burn-out is just like my back pain. Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there. He’s not cruel for not giving me what I want, and he’s not indifferent. He’s sick. And that’s what makes me unable to even throw a hissy fit. It’s not his fault. I’m pretty sure that if he had more energy, he’d start domming the living daylights out of me today.

I’ve lived with anxiety most of my life. And in the last few years, between thyroid medication, discovering the peace of surrendering to my Dom/husband, and leaning hard on God, that’s gotten a whole lot better. I was completely free of anxiety for long enough that I thought it was gone for good. Well, I was wrong. It comes back at times like a very unwelcome visitor I can’t simply toss out, and since I’ve gotten used to not being anxious all the time, I now REALLY feel it again. It’s awful. I don’t cope all that well with it anymore. I don’t remember how I coped with this in the past. Well. Spankings sure helped. Knowing – no FEELING – that “he’s got me” always helps a lot. But nowadays, he’s just scraping by. He’s tapped out all the time and needs home to be a place of refuge and recovery. I am tapped out a lot, too, so that doesn’t help anything, least of all my anxiety. And even if I had the energy, I can’t push for a life anymore that looks like D/s but really isn’t. For whatever reasons, the dom we both know is inside him, is thoroughly blocked from coming out. And it’s not just the fatigue. He can’t feel good about controlling me, however much I dig it. And I’m done making him feel like a jerk so he can give me what I want.

And that’s why today, I hate hate hate being submissive. I am doing a lot of self-care, because both my husband and my kids depend on me, and because my husband can’t care for me that way at the moment. And still it’s not enough. I feel lonely and am hurting inside, because no matter how good my self-care, no matter how good the support I get outside our marriage, and no matter how much I do to keep our marriage alive and my husband close, I CANNOT fill that void inside that only he can fill. And I can’t even throw a proper tantrum, because it only hurts everyone, including the man I love and feel compassion for. And I can’t do a thing about that loneliness and pain when he pulls away. All I can do is tell him that’s what I think is happening, and hope and wait for him to come back.

And part of me fears I’m a stupid doormat woman for running after him and still caring for him and loving him. Yeah, that old record starts up when I don’t often enough get to feel he WANTS me. When I feel taken for granted. I have to shout at that old record to shut the F… up. That loyalty and faithfulness and standing by my man isn’t stupid, but what I vowed to do “in good times and in bad times”. And hope and pray that the bad times will at some point get better. It’s so hard to keep up hope when it hurts so much.

So. With variations, this has been our life in the last few months. Vanilla. No spankings. No sex. No real accountability. Trying to get through, trying to get better. Cutting each other lots of slack when one of us or both of us can’t pull our weight. We’re rubbing along well enough, day to day. We cuddle, kiss and laugh at times, too. It’s not all dire. But oh these black holes when he disappears. The black holes when through no fault of either of us, we simply can’t find time to connect. That’s when I wish I was different. That I could simply distract myself. That I could help being so focused on my man. That I could trust he’ll be fine if I just give him space. But I don’t know how (– yet). It’s not who I am, and I suck at pretending to be anything else.

So, today, my only positive sentence to end on is that it’s much better when I’m hanging on to “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor 12:9). Because, so far, God has always come through, and he will this time, too. But fuck, I can’t wait for the better times.

What’s in a “Yes, Sir”?

… in which my ideas of what “Yes, Sir” means for us were challenged.

These days, our D/s river runs deep and doesn’t surface often. I think it’s largely because we don’t have enough energy (or power) which could be exchanged. But it certainly continues to run, only far beneath the surface. Our two years of overt D/s have changed us: Regardless of spankings or none, we both like our life better when he’s the boss and I’m not. Xander looks out for me, and lets me have downtime and outings. I do my best to obey and address him respectfully in word and tone. I keep him in the loop of how I am doing emotionally and mentally, and I communicate my needs and preferences clearly. I support his need for downtime and give him what he needs. And I try to stick to my slow weight loss plan as best as I can, because he made it clear how much he’d like me to get my pre-kids figure back (me, too). He doesn’t ask much of me above and beyond that, and that’s pretty much as far as our D/s goes most days.

We communicate well and don’t fight much, we’ve found easy ways to connect emotionally, and we have each other’s backs. It’s a good marriage, and though I do miss the special closeness, relaxation, and the spring in my step and increased self-control I get from being well spanked and well bedded, the lack of these two are really my only complaint. It could be so much worse!

But recently, Xander put his foot down, and I was surprised I didn’t know how to respond. I’d been going to bed much too late, and I can’t afford to. I get really grumpy and irritable with the kids when I lack sleep, and it affects my health. After we’d sorted out the miscommunication that led to it all, he told me how I was to do things from now on. I was surprised and a bit thrilled (because he hasn’t told me how or what to do in a long time), and mostly relieved. And this was the sort of interaction that required a “Yes, Sir” from me, but – I couldn’t say (or rather, write) it. Not because I didn’t agree with him, or because I couldn’t submit to it, but because it meant so much to me, and I couldn’t say it without knowing if it was as important to him as it was to me, and what it meant to him. I’d been running on assumptions for too long, and I didn’t want that to happen again.

Manga of a girl saluting and saying
But what does it mean??

I remember how at first, saying “Yes, Sir” to my husband felt a bit awkward, but how much I loved the feeling of sharing a naughty secret with him when I said it aloud. I loved the way it made me feel submissive when it was for something that came easily and the way it reinforced my commitment to obey him when it was hard to say.

After the bedtime discussion we had over our phones, his final message said, “OK, I think you get it. So this topic is done.” I had no trouble accepting it. But I just couldn’t bring myself to write “Yes, Sir.” In fact, I didn’t know how to respond, so I didn’t respond at all. When he got home, I told him in person that I accepted his dictum, but I couldn’t say “Yes, Sir” to it just yet, and I’d need to talk with him about why. He said, “I did notice you didn’t reply at all.”

Later that night, I told Xander I needed to know what “Yes, Sir” meant to him before I would use it again, because it meant so much to me, and I couldn’t bear thinking it meant one thing but later finding out that it didn’t. He said, “It is very important to me. But it’s just information. This is how you tell me that you accept and will abide by my decision.” Spoken with dom-ly finality. His tone said clearly this was not open to discussion. And here I was, full of all the feelings, and he obviously didn’t feel the same… I struggled with that. After a while, I quietly gave him the “Yes, Sir” for the bedtime decision and told him I needed time to think about all of this. He said, “There’s nothing to think about”, but he also knows me well enough to give me that space when I ask for it.

It took me a whole day to mull over his view that “Yes, Sir” was “just information.” What about the D/s and the erotic thrill and all the… feels?!? Didn’t he, couldn’t he, …? But after much deliberation, I arrived at the conclusion that he’s right. Or did I simply submit and accept that this was what “Yes, Sir” was to mean for us? As I’m writing this, I can’t tell if in this case, there’s even a difference, because if I truly want him to lead me, then I do need to follow his lead. And that means I will have to let go of at least some of my ideas on how he “should” lead and instead, accept how he actually does lead. (I can always respectfully tell him if I like it or not.)

I can and do “Yes, Sir” again, because now I know it means the same to me as to him: that I accept and will abide by his decision. And at the same time, every instance of “Yes, Sir” is also an affirmation that I still want this, that I still want him as my Dom and that I still want to obey him and follow his lead. And that is a good place from which our D/s, the one according to his rule, can grow.

Where do we go from here?

… in which I begin to find out what sort of D/s couple we might become.

I love the haunting finale of the end of the musical episode “Once More, with Feeling” of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Season 6, episode 7).  In this episode a demon makes people break out in song and dance and reveal their innermost secrets (and sometimes spontaneously combust). After the Scooby Gang jointly defeat this demon, they sing: “The battle’s done / And we kinda won / So we sound our victory cheer / But where do we go from here?” The music isn’t nearly as upbeat as this sounds… minor and open chords and all. So, yeah, the baddie is defeated, but at a huge cost. No one can go on like before pretending they are “fine”. All cards are now on the table, and with these revelations, the characters need to find new ways of relating to each other.
That’s pretty much what my life felt like after our Christmas break.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer cast on stage
Where do we go from here?

For those who haven’t read the last (mammoth) post, here’s the summary: Just before Christmas 2017, I called a big fat stop to our D/s as we were doing it – or increasingly not doing it. Ten weeks of being half a world apart and single-mum-ing it had left me exhausted, and I simply couldn’t carry on as before. In my absence, Xander had reverted to his pre-D/s ways, and due to work and other reaons was also exhausted, and unable and unwilling to give me what I wanted. And with our D/s not being a power exchange but a power sinkhole, I quit. I quit going through submissive motions and I quit carrying 90% of our D/s life. I quit acting “as if” and supplying in my head what Xander didn’t do in terms of dominant talk or actions. And it took Xander several weeks before he could even tell me what he still wanted in terms of D/s.  I did not like being in limbo. I didn’t know how to BE with Xander without his/our/my rules.

Eventually, we did talk and look at the broken bits of our D/s life and what we could put together again. It wasn’t much. Most of those conversations were difficult, painful and heart-wrenching for both of us, but they were worth the effort. We ended up agreeing on quite a few things:
D/s is a way we both want to relate to each other. It feels right when we do. And it’s become part of who we are, not just what we do.
D/s or not, our mutual love and commitment and our marriage stand firm.
Xander told me of his own accord that he wants back what we had (something I hadn’t really gotten out of him before), and that we would get back to it some day, even with my additional proviso that it’s got to be coming from him this time around.
We both came to the conclusion that I’d done everything I could to help Xander get comfortable with the Dominant we both know is inside him, and that it hadn’t worked. That there were other things blocking him… definitely fatigue, and probably depression or something like it. He agreed it might be a good idea for him to try something different, as his method of “stuffing down any negative emotions” instead of dealing with them clearly wasn’t working anymore. So he’s been regularly seeing a therapist for much of 2018, and it seems to be doing good things for him.

“The battle’s done / And we kinda won / So we sound our victory cheer. / Where do we go from here?” To be honest, I don’t think the battle is “done”. But we definitely “kinda won”: we are emotionally closer again, and our marriage stands strong even without relating to each other overtly in a D/s way. Days with spankings or sex are few and far between, but we are very gentle with each other and cut each other a lot of slack for not being able to do it all and be it all. We spend time with each other and go on very vanilla dinner or movie dates. We are renovating and building a sound-insulated den in our house where we will be able to spank without fear of being overheard. Xander changed jobs and is now not hating his work life every day. And recently, Xander put his foot down on my bedtime, which required a “Yes, Sir.” (And that’s a whole new blog post.)

I don’t think the trimmings of our D/s life – you know, the stuff with rules and spankings galore – are going to come back quickly. I’ve done therapy and I know first-hand how hard it can be and how much energy it takes to revisit and heal old trauma and shitty childhood conditioning.  Right now, we both still struggle with low energy, lack of privacy/sound insulation, and two young kids who suck dry whatever energy Xander might have left at the end of the day, when he brings them to bed. But he won’t always be in therapy, and my adrenals will hopefully recover (it’s looking good now), and the kids will at some point learn to go to sleep by themselves. The den will be finished one day.

I am very grateful for and happy in the harmonious, peaceful, and loving D/s marriage we do have. Over the last two years, the underlying current of our marriage has irrevocably changed to this dynamic where he leads and I follow – and it doesn’t need to look like in the novels. (Does anything, ever, really?) It’s a marriage dynamic in which we support each other in the best way we can. Where I can now gratefully accept pizza nights and time out in a hot bath when he says so, and where I can ask him for a spanking, and he can say, “Sorry, not today,” and I can be at peace with it, knowing he heard me.

And that is a very, very good thing.

And something to build on. We’ll get “there”, wherever that will be. He said so. And when he says he’ll make something happen, he will, come hell or high water. I just have to be patient.

An End of Sorts… and not yet a new beginning

A summary of what happened over 6 months of preparing for travel, being apart for nearly 3 months and coming back together. Not surprisingly, it changes things.

It’s been impossible to write a blog post during or right after our big overseas trip, because during I didn’t have time or space to write anything, and afterwards, well, I had no effing clue where we were at, Xander and I. I wrote most of this post 6 weeks after returning and I finally came to an understanding of where we were at – which wasn’t where I thought we’d be. This post spans half a year of time and a huge shift in my heart, so be warned, it’s a long one. I made every effort to keep it engaging…

So, our big trip overseas spanned three months, starting in August. We wanted our (bilingual) kids to spend enough time surrounded by their “minority language” that it would click and become their go-to language at home. And that worked. Sadly, Xander had to go back to work, so we were (literally) half a world apart for nine weeks, with the kids and me on the other side of the earth. Overall, it went pretty well, considering, although it was hard, hard, hard. Over the last two years, I’d come to enjoy and depend on Xander’s lead and frequent spankings at home, but I coped surprisingly well with being on 24/7 for this time and having to call all the shots, and all without spanking – I had only two meltdowns worth mentioning in that whole time. Then again, I had to keep it together because of the kids, so I couldn’t really afford to melt down and wallow anyway.  I had to dig deep into my reserves, because I couldn’t replenish them during that time and, on my return, have relapsed into adrenal fatigue. But I’ve dealt with adrenal fatigue before, and my recovery is going well this time around.

So, that much for background info. But you’ll be wanting to know what happened with Xander and me, and our dynamic. In summary: It changed.

End of train tracks

I wondered how much of our dynamic I’d need to function well while away, and how we’d make that happen. Well, it didn’t start well. In the months running up to the trip, Xander had very little free time or headspace due to work pressures and ongoing tiredness. I supported him as best as I could, giving him space, but I also told him, more than once, how much of a problem his lack of emotional presence and engagement was for me. There was nothing either of us could do about it, so I just submitted as well as I could, and carried on, always hoping for that holiday time. He said, “We’ll have three weeks together, with no work to worry or house maintenance for me, that’ll be our time to reconnect! And we’ll have some family around who could surely look after the kids for a few hours for us to get away.” Three whole weeks! It’d be wonderful! But to cut a long and tedious story short: It didn’t happen, and it wasn’t wonderful. It was a catastrophe. In the first week, too much travelling and visiting, being in other people’s spaces all the time, weather so hot and muggy we could barely function to begin with, and one particularly toxic family visit made it impossible to have privacy or find energy for anything.
We had our first “real” conversation and connection (of more than five minutes) ten days into our trip, and that wasn’t fun either, because by that time I was so furious about having been sidelined for so long and not seeing any effort on Xander’s behalf to connect with me that I fairly ripped him a new one. Plus, he hadn’t held up his side of our agreement, there’d been no check-ins of any kind, and he barely even asked how I was doing. After that, we had one lovely morning away together when we went to pick up a rental car. The rest of the three weeks was packed too full with visiting. We were back on the same page in one respect, though: dejected about the lack of connection options. Hoofuckingray.

And then he went home, and I was trying to find some form of normal with the kids. For the first week, connecting with Xander didn’t even happen daily because he was travelling in other time zones and our schedules just did not match up. So I put on my big girl panties and coped. “He’ll be home soon, and once he’s back into his daily work routine we’ll find regular times to connect.” Well… he got home, he was jet-lagged, he was working, he was tired… in short, all things I understand, but I still got pretty angry at his lack of initiative to connect with and support me. It made me feel like that short chubby awkward girl with the cheap glasses who keeps hoping for a crumb of attention of the gorgeous, smart hunk two classes up. Looking back, it had been quite a while that there were only two ways I could get his attention: insisting on it in a thoroughly unsubmissive bossy way (I need this from you NOW) or being in a state of emergency, and I was getting damn tired of that pattern. He had no idea how to dom me from afar and didn’t try out any of the ways I’d written down for him either, so I did what I’ve been doing the past two years when he’s been overloaded with other things: I’d spell out what I needed from him, plan the way I’d like to do things, get his stamp of approval for that, and carried on as if this had been his idea, as if he’d actually follow up by himself, and pretend to be content in my little bubble of somewhat submissive space, fuelled by knowing that he loves me and wants me to be happy. It were mostly the memory of his dominant energy when it does come out which kept me going, and my stubborn determination that if I do this long enough, he’ll eventually come around to doing his part. My mantras were “Fake it till you make it”,  “Submission fuels dominance”,  “Work on what you can control”, “Be the submissive you want him to make you be”, and “Your role in his life is to be a joy, a blessing, a smile, more often than a pain in the ass. You are a reflection of his dominance with your words, your deeds, and your demeanor.”  After all, if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it must be a duck, right? Or at least it might one day grow into one.

So, I made it through. We made it back. I yearned to settle back into being his little slave girl, only to find that the “Master” had really disappeared. In the two months he’d been alone in our home, missing us and being by himself, Xander had slipped back nearly all the way into his old “nice guy” ways, and would not exercise any dominance over me. He was even asking my permission to do things again. I know he asks out of consideration, and I appreciate the spirit behind it, that he loves and respects me. And I do want him to ask about my opinion or how I feel about him going on a motorbike ride on a weekend day, but I so ever do not want to be the one calling the shots for him. His spanking skills were still there, but I pretty much had to beg for him to make time for that or not get any. So, in short, I didn’t get spanked much, we didn’t have much sex or quality time or conversations. Having to jump up and down and do cartwheels to get his attention was seriously getting old.

Additionally, in the time apart, he’d gotten used to looking after himself instead of all of us, and I’d gotten used to deciding and getting things done without his input. I didn’t see him changing back, and he was signaling his unwillingness in many ways. For the first time, I found myself increasingly unwilling to submit to him. It was one thing to submit to someone who leads well, but I got the impression his judgment on what we needed had taken a serious hit.

A week before Christmas, I threw the towel. I simply could not continue as before. I was deeply unhappy with the how I’d been carrying the emotional bulk of our our D/s and marriage, and that he wasn’t showing any inclination to increase his engangement. He said he was happy with the way things were, that he thought they were fine for me, too, and that he didn’t have the energy to dominate me. I can’t begin to describe how hurt and how angry at myself and at him I was. I felt like an utter fool for making his life so dandy and comfortable and myself into his low-maintenance submissive and slave girl. Had I turned myself into the proverbial doormat?

Now, I have to back up a bit here and set something straight: This summary sounds like poor me is complaining about how selfish Xander has been doing it all wrong all along. But that’s definitely not the whole story, so while it was my experience, it’s not true as such. It wasn’t selfishness or disinterest that made him act this way. And I realised that what I did needed to change, too, because I had been contributing to the situation, and not a little: Over most of our D/s journey, I’ve practiced submission in areas I wanted him to want from me (and he sure liked it) and in things he said he wanted from me, all fueled by very little input from him and lots of input from myself. I learned to make do with spankings instead of the leadership and dominance I craved. I was (and am) practicing good self-care, to meet many of my own needs so he wouldn’t have to. But now he was telling me he didn’t even want to do that.

Fatigue – both his and mine – helped me realise that what I’ve been doing is not sustainable. And I was no longer willing to do this by myself. So, that day, I really felt like quitting, although I couldn’t and can’t imagine our marriage entirely without D/s now.

There are a few things I know deep in my bones. One: I do love him, and I want to make his life good, not miserable. Two: I know that in my closest personal relationship, I am and always have been submissive by nature, so I couldn’t not be submissive to him if I tried. It’s not in me. And three, this whole “submission brings out dominance” thing clearly wasn’t working for us, at least not the way we both had hoped. For a day or two, I thought “my brand of submission brings about complacency,” but now I know that isn’t so. (More on that later.) So, quitting entirely wasn’t going to happen.

But I knew I couldn’t go on in the same way. I’d have to find a sustainable way to be true to the submissive part of me, one that didn’t rely on him feeding his dominance back to me. So, I took off my collar, cried hard for a few minutes and then texted him: “You were right, this is probably more my thing than yours. And I’m the only one I can control. So I will stop giving you submission in areas you don’t want anyway and in areas I can’t give freely without hoping for your dominance in return. I am still your wife, and I still love you, and I’m still submissive by nature. And I agree it would be smart for us to start over on the D/s. No more little slave girl for now. I’m sorry I put so much pressure on you. Please forgive me.”

He got this wrong and told me not to flip flop between extremes, we’d talk later. And we did, briefly. I explained to him that I wasn’t flip-flopping. I wasn’t playing hard to get so he’d up his game. I’d simply stopped doing what I began to realise was not good for either of us. I’d grown resentful over giving in areas where he hadn’t asked me to give and keep giving. I realised that the behaviour I thought to be submissive had been fueled increasingly by how I wanted our relationship to go, not necessarily his wishes. And last but not least, I hadn’t been communicating honestly with him either. My man spanks really well, but the whole lecture or expressing his feelings or expectations in words are not his forte. (Yet.) So, while his spankings without the lecture do smart and release endorphins, they don’t do all that much to get me into a different headspace or heartspace, and because I wanted it so much and thought I needed it, I’d simply supplied my own dialogue in my head, never telling him I did. So of course he assumed that his spankings as they were were “doing it” for me, when the secret ingredient hadn’t been his implement on my butt so much as what was happening in my head – but not between us. I finally realised that wasn’t much different from fantasising about someone else while having sex, so I sheepishly told Xander what I had been doing and stopped doing it.

And he did not object to any of it. He said we’d figure it out, but as he was massively exhausted, we postponed proper talks about where we would go from here to the Christmas break. And until those talks started, I felt in limbo – I had no idea where we were at nor how much I could even do about it. I did not like that one bit, and not in a sexy way. And I had no idea if we’d ever get back what we had, if Xander even wanted any of it.

We did talk. And because that leads much more to where we are now, that goes in the next post.

Intermission until Dec 2018

Just a very late heads up that this blog ain’t dead yet.

I am overseas with the kids for several months, and because Xander is back at home earning our travel expenses and I’m mum-ing and dad-ing 24/7 all on my own, I barely have time to string two thoughts together, let alone a blog post.

But I’ll be back! Probably even with a story or two of how I/we managed while literally half a world apart for many, many weeks.

What I need

What happened when Xander got something wrong, spanked me very hard, and what I made of that.

Weekend check-ins are a funny thing… they either don’t happen at all or, if they do, they are often more intense than the everyday, weekday ones. We tend to be more relaxed and have more time, and if the kids are busy enough with their play we might leave them alone for a few minutes longer. (If they’re out with the nanny, that’s when the fun really happens. Sometimes.)

So, last Saturday, after a leisurely breakfast, the kids got stuck into a new movie, and I asked Xander if we could we “go to the back” (our code for “rules and morning spanking”). He asked, a bit tongue-in-cheek “You really like your spankings, hm?” I had to tell him, “To be honest, I don’t like them so much anymore, but I know I’ll have a much better day if we do our check-in.”

In the bedroom, he sat on the bed and I kneeled before him to recite my rules. We were both relaxed and in a joking mood, and Xander was fiddling with the tawse in his hand. Now, I do like the tawse – mmmmh, leather! – but man, he’s spanking hard these days. And having the implement right in front of my nose (where I couldn’t ignore it) made me nervous, because it reminded me that soon after the warm-up, it was going to sting me a lot before I’d begin to like it again — and only if Xander decided to give me some of the fun sort at all.

My first rule is “I’m your little slave girl, and I love you.” The second half, while absolutely true, also allows him (and me) a good read on how connected I feel to him, by the way I say it. Most days, I’ll say “and I love you very much.” That day, with the tawse in my face, I said, “and I love you… I think.” We had a good laugh, and I found my way back into saying my rules properly. When I was done and on my way over his lap, I kissed him and said, “I love you very much.” Because, I really do. And because I’d just sassed him and he was holding a frickin’ tawse. He laughed and replied: “That’s good, and it doesn’t change a thing. Because I love you, too, and that’s why I’m giving you what you need.”

I was still laughing for the first three or four strokes. But he was spanking hard and fast, and this spanking very quickly turned into no fun at all. I went from laughing to something much closer to crying in a heartbeat, but it didn’t appear as if Xander realised it. In every maintenance spanking, he takes me slightly past the point of my tolerance, but this one was much worse than the “usual” maintenance. I normally don’t beg for a spanking to stop, because unless something else is wrong (like a cramp or such), he won’t anyways, and it’s understood that the moment I’m over his lap, my job is to submit as gracefully as I can to what he gives. But this time? It hurt bad enough that I was begging ‘Please, no more!’ several times. And nope, it didn’t change a thing. That spanking felt like it was going on and on and on. I was pretty sure he still thought I was laughing, and if I’d somehow told him in words, “I’m crying,” he would probably have let up a bit, but I chose not to. I just tried to keep quiet enough so the kids wouldn’t hear me. I had squirmed too much for his taste earlier, so he pinned my legs and short of me safewording, this spanking – like all of our spankings – was going to be as long and as hard as Xander decided. And you know what? Although I can say with certainty I didn’t want the thrashing I was copping, and even if I was pretty sure he was gauging how hard and long to spank me on the faulty assumption that I was still laughing, I was really, deeply OK with it. The moment I lie down over his lap, I submit to him, fully. I get my say in what happens back after he decides we’re done and I may get up. And frankly? I wouldn’t want it any other way. I want him to be in control.

picture of person with question marks over his headBut something about all this still had me baffled for days, and I couldn’t figure out what. This definitely hadn’t been the spanking I wanted, and I wasn’t all that sure it was only what I needed, either, and yet I was happy with the way it had gone. I kept wondering if something was wrong with me. And only through writing this post it finally dawned on me why this really was all OK: It’s that by now we have done this long enough that I can trust my man to get it right even when I think he’s getting it wrong. This is what makes this is a power exchange, and not an abusive relationship: I’m handing over control of my own free will, and he takes it and does with it what he thinks is right, because that is what we both want. In return, he’s giving his leadership, strength and care to me in a way that I can’t have any other way.

Later on the day of the spanking, I told him that after the third or fourth swat, I hadn’t been laughing anymore, and he confirmed he hadn’t been sure. “It’s really hard to tell some time.” He didn’t apologise. He didn’t have to. Because, while he may have misread my emotional state, he absolutely didn’t misread the responses of my body over his lap and he really did give me what I needed:

His dominance.
His strength.
His control.

And a spanking worth writing about.