Happy Fourth of July weekend!
We've had a busy one so far knocking out all our household chores on Saturday, shopping for birthday gifts for one of our children, shopping for gifts for the kids to give my mother when she arrives next weekend for the birth of our newest family member and then seeing fireworks with my sister and nephew.
I don't get time to myself much these days so today when J offered to take the kids to the mall for the afternoon I didn't know what to do with myself. So I took a nap. It was wonderful!
I have found that I am pretty tired these days as D day draws near and after all the hustle and bustle that was yesterday, it was great to just stay in and rest.
So lately I have been reflecting on this past year that J and I have embraced the DD, D/s lifestyle. In this past year we have seen our relationship grow stronger and more intimate and we have also faced many challenges that arose as a result of finding our way through the dynamic and discovering how best to practice this in our marriage.
I have heard it expressed that in the practice of this lifestyle the highs are high and the lows are low. When this dynamic runs as it should the connection and harmony that result are a very positive experience. However when struggles arise (mostly in the beginning as you work out the kinks of how your dynamic will operate) the challenges involved are often discouraging and seem to cause more distance in moments that conflicts arise.
We have experienced both the highs and the lows within this first year of embracing our roles. However the closeness and commitment that has grown between us over this year and the harmony we experience as we press on outweighs the low, discouraging moments (which have become fewer as we have grown comfortable in our practices).
This is not to say that those challenging moments are over. As our lives evolve and change we find ourselves faced with new issues to skirt around as our dynamic evolves to meet the needs of our marriage and family.
An example that we have faced recently is the challenges that our current pregnancy has put on our practices. Although a very welcome and wanted addition to our family, this pregnancy was unplanned and we really faced some challenges when it came to making some important decisions for our family.
These challenges are faced by all couples whether they practice as we do or not. The difference is that with this lifestyle choice added to the mix, there are additional decisions to make and challenges to face.
Challenges that we faced in regards to our family included whether or not I would continue teaching or stay home with our new baby, whether or not to home school our school aged children, advancement opportunities for my husband in order to meet the rising financial needs of our family, and whether or not it was time to purchase a larger home.
Now with our dynamic thrown in the mix we had additional things to consider such as how to handle rules and expectations with the changing physical and emotional challenges that come with pregnancy, how to handle discipline- should my husband continue to use spanking? If so, which implements should be used and which avoided? How far should a spanking be taken? These were all things my husband had to consider.
Other concerns were more minor but had an emotional affect on me such as my husband asking me to take a break from bringing him his coffee each morning because of the additional climb up the stairs and refraining from kneeling during our check ins. He asked this of me during my second trimester because of the physical discomfort I was having. Although I understood his reasoning it was hard for me to give this up because these things I did brought me peace and were ways that I show my love and respect for him. They help me attain a submissive head space and help me express my submission to him which puts me in a very secure place mentally.
I obeyed him when he asked this of me but after some time I asked him to allow me to do these things again and I explained my reasons why. Seeing the distress I felt over it, although the matter may have seemed small, he allowed me to continue as before. There were mornings he literally had to lift me up from the floor after kneeling but he never complained. On one such occasion he had hurt his back at work the evening before and when I tried to protest him helping me up he replied, "When it pertains to you, I don't care." He laid his life down for me in that moment by putting his own discomfort aside to ease mine.
So we tackled the issues set before us and in some ways it felt as though the decisions we had to make pertaining to our dynamic set us back a few paces. We still practiced our roles the best we were able but something was missing.
I mentioned in my last post that my husband decided to stop using spanking for discipline in my second trimester of pregnancy. While I didn't need to worry about the physical discomfort of a spanking if I crossed my boundaries, which was welcome considering the discomfort I was already in, it changed things within our dynamic.
Though I am still disciplined by my husband when I do something wrong, it's not quite the same as experiencing being "taken in hand" by him. When he spanks me it hurts but it is intimate. There is something about it that is redeeming and helps me to feel rekindled to him. The wrong is corrected in a tangible manner and I can accept his love again.
I'm not saying this same experience can't take place utilizing other types of discipline but I think, for us anyway, its much easier to reconnect again when matters have been taken care of in a physical sense. Perhaps this is why many couples feel the need to make love after having an argument? Physical experiences impress upon our minds and hearts things that words alone sometimes can't.
Then there is also simply the need to experience my husbands strength and power in order to return to a submissive mindset and find my place again.
So throughout this year, we have grown in our relationship through the means of this dynamic. While I would in no way give it the credit of "saving" a relationship, I would say that the values it fosters provide a structure within a relationship that allows a couples devotion and intimacy towards one another to flourish when practiced appropriately.
It has put a strain on our dynamic a bit to have to modify it to meet the needs of pregnancy but if anything I think pressing on in spite of this will only make us stronger. It has provided an opportunity for us to learn that we can grow in spite of change and the accommodations that sometimes need to be made for a time because of them.