A few weeks ago, I wrote a post on some thoughts I had about consistency.
My main point in writing that post was two-fold: consistency means he exercises his right to punish when and how he wants to (not when and how I want him to), but I also explored some of the reasons some of us really crave consistency. I asked you readers to share your thoughts on consistency.
In the comments section, some of you explained that the issues you have with consistency center more along the lines of how things are addressed. Is an infraction completely ignored? Does the Hoh say his Tih is deserving of punishment, then neglect to follow through? Certainly, this kind of consistency can be problematic, and it's something I see surface in the community time and time again.
So I thought I'd take a stab at addressing this issue, as it really is a fairly common struggle many DD couples have.
A bit of a disclaimer here. We do not have an issue with consistency here. Jason means what he says, and my obedience is of utmost importance to him. Not only is he consistent, he does try to deal with infractions as soon as possible. So my opinions on this subject stem from some of the struggles we had early on, not necessarily from something we deal with now.
Jason initiated the DD side of things for us. I've written about it how things unfolded, and how we ironed out some issues we had with TTWD in this post. As things progressed, the DS side of things unfolded on a whole new level to us. My submission became very important to him. His dominance became the driving force in our dynamic.
But there was a time when really, the DD side of things was a lot more important to me than it was to him. It was a time of frustration for me, honestly. I was craving his dominance so badly, that I needed to know our rules and the expectations he set for me were important.
And that really is the key to why consistency is important. When he let things slide, I felt like he didn't care. I felt like my efforts were worthless. I didn't understand why we would have rules he wasn't interested in enforcing. If I made the effort to obey him, couldn't he put forth the effort to hold me accountable?
It really wasn't that he wasn't paying attention. It really wasn't that he didn't care. But just as I had to learn to pay attention to the rules, he had to learn to pay attention to enforcing them. I wasn't going to have an overnight transformation and immediately be able to do all he expected of me perfectly. I needed to realize he wasn't either.
So, there were times when I would do something that broke one of our rules. Safety things were a given -- they were always important to him, and he would spank me for doing something dangerous without question. With safety issues, his "radar" was always on high alert (and still most certainly is). But sometimes there were other things he would let slide. There were some things he was initially reluctant to make part of our dynamic.
For example, one of the reasons I wanted DD to be part of our dynamic was because of my temper. And occasionally, I would lose my temper, and he wouldn't stop me, or punish me. Then I would feel guilty. I would start spiraling. "Doesn't how I speak matter to him? Doesn't he know how badly I want him to help me learn to be more respectful?" When those things came up, I would have a few choices.
I could flat out tell him, "This is when you're supposed to spank me." Well, that wasn't going to work. This is when he would tell me, "I'm the one in charge here, not you." Point taken.
I could let it slide. But then sometimes I would get into that mental place of feeling...unsettled and uncertain. Feeling like maybe TTWD wasn't really going to work for us. Feeling like maybe he just didn't care! Maybe he didn't even love me anymore! Okay, okay, it didn't get that bad, ever. I'm exaggerating. But I would definitely get into a mental place that was detrimental to us both.
So I decided on a different approach altogether.
I would make the choice to submit, whether he required it or not.
I would apologize for what I'd done wrong, assume he was being lenient, and focus on being thankful for his leniency. Then I would make an effort not to do it again.
So it would look something like this.
I would say something rude or disrespectful, and he would walk away, or not respond. Then I would feel awful.
I would swallow my pride, and go to him, and say, "I'm sorry I was rude. I shouldn't have done that. Please forgive me."
How he would respond would be up to him. There would be times when he would tell me, "I didn't know you spoke rudely. I wasn't paying attention and I was doing something else." Then he would spank me for it.
There were times when he would simply smile and thank me for my apology.
There were times when he would tell me he was well aware of the fact I'd been disrespectful, but that he needed some space to calm down, and that if it happened again, I would be punished.
How he responded was totally up to him. I gave the reigns back to him. But bit by bit, I learned to submit, and bit by bit, he learned to be consistent.
There were other things that happened too, though, that made me feel like he was being inconsistent.
There were times when he would tell me I was going to be punished for something and then forget to follow through. Sometimes he wouldn't tell me either way, and I would be left wondering...am I in trouble? What's going to happen?
Again, I was left with a few choices.
I could tell him he had to punish me (ha!).
I could let it go. But then sometimes I would get into that mental place again...questioning if this mattered to him...feeling uncertain and unsettled. Sometimes, feeling riddled with guilt.
Or, I could tell him how I felt, and trust him to do what he thought best. In short, I could communicate my feelings and then submit to his ultimate decision. This is what worked best for us.
I vividly remember how I would go to him and simply say something like, "May I ask you a question?" and would wait for him to give me permission. Then I would say something like, "I know I forgot to do what you asked me. Is that something I'm in trouble for?" or "I feel really guilty about breaking that rule. Should I just let it go? What do you want me to do about that?"
Whatever he told me...I would do my best to accept. I would submit to his leadership.
Over time, I accepted that he was going to lead how he saw fit. Over time, he realized that I needed him to be firmer and more consistent.
Over time, as he became more consistent, I felt understood. I felt important to him.
Over time, as I submitted to his leadership, he felt appreciated. He felt more able to lead with confidence.
I'd love to hear how you feel about this topic, readers. Is consistency something you struggle with in your dynamic? How have you dealt with this struggle?