Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Cultivating Submission post three: Build him up, the power of the spoken word

Hello, readers! For those of you following this series, thanks for being patient with me as I took a little while to get this post up. We had a lovely vacation last week, and are just settling back home now! I'm ready to get back into the swing of things. This month, I'm posting a four-week challenge for those who are interested in taking things to a deeper level with submission. 

Today's topic is, in my opinion, is one of the most important in building one's dynamic, and also one of the easiest. 

The first topic, embracing humility, is a simple concept, but quite difficult in the implementation as it entails being humble, accepting criticism, and letting go of control. Many of us find being in control empowering and safe, and even though we may theoretically wish not to be in control – we may fantasize about relinquishing control and obeying another in authority – the actual practice of letting go of control is very difficult. The second topic, bedroom submission, also pushes comfort zones and can be difficult because it puts us in a place of vulnerability. We fear rejection, and again, what's comfortable to us feels safe. 

If you take on this week's challenge, however, you truly have nothing to lose. It is, I think, one of the simplest ways to enhance your dynamic, and one that can be easily overlooked or discounted. 

Last year, I posted a guest post on why DD makes a man feel ten feet tall. This post was very well received, re-posted many times, and the feedback I got was incredible. It resonated. Yes, we said, that's one of the most beautiful things about this dynamic! One fear we submissives often have is that the pleasure is one-sided. I know I struggled with that. I did fear for a while that I was the only one who really wanted this. Was I the only one attracted to this lifestyle choice? It was only after we embraced the application of DD in our relationship that we both began to see how mutually beneficial the arrangement was. And yes, one of the benefits for him is how much he felt trusted, appreciated, and respected, as a result of my obedience to him. 

One of the reasons so many of us desire this dynamic is because it makes us feel special. We feel we are of paramount importance. We love the attention. Certainly, there are other benefits, such as the accountability, intimacy, and erotic attraction, but feeling cherished and desired is at the heart of a committed DD or DS dynamic. 

What do our men feel, though? 

In the past years, as I've communicated with others regarding relationships, I've learned a few things. I'm not just talking about DD or DS dynamics, either, but with friends and family and people I know who are married or dating. And there's one thing that's become clear to me time and time again. Women and men are different creatures. We relate differently, think differently, and behave differently. There are no hard and fast rules, of course, but there's an incredible amount of wisdom in the old “Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus,” truth that needs to be taken into account as we pursue depth in our relationships. 

We women so often make the mistake of assuming that men will, or at least should, behave the way we do. Men also often assume that women will behave the way men do. 

Simply put, we don't. 

In our efforts to avoid labeling, categorizing, and judging one another, we've done away with a recognition that men and women are different creatures. I think that's a mistake. If two people speak different languages, it only follows that occasionally communication will become difficult. If we learn to speak one another's languages, we can truly understand one another at a deeper level. 

What does this all have to do with my topic today? 

Building him up has to do with speaking his language, the language of the male species. ;) 

Inasmuch as we women want to be cherished, men want to be trusted. Where we want to be valued, they want to be appreciated. This is nothing I've invented. It's not a ground-breaking discovery. It's simply something I've come to see as truth through a variety of sources I've read, and the many many interactions I've been blessed to have with other couples. 

If men want to be trusted and appreciated, it therefore follows that it is in our best interest to do what we can to make them feel trusted and appreciated. 

So let's get down to the nitty gritty, then, shall we? 

How does one go about making our significant other feel trusted and appreciated? This is where we build him up, and where I will pose this week's challenge. 

The challenge is to build him up in what you say. 


Thank him. 

Do you thank him for working hard? When he comes home after working all day, or comes in for a cold drink after mowing the lawn, or when he takes the children to the park so you can get caught up on housework? It's so easy to get so busy with what we're doing that we forget the simplest of courtesies. A simple “thank you.” 

If we are seeking to let go of control, it's vitally important we don't offer one of the “backhanded compliment thank you's.” What are those? “Thank you for putting the baby to bed, but can you please do it earlier next time?” “Thank you for sweeping the floor, but you missed the right corner.” And let's be frank on the DD level. “Thank you for holding me accountable, but I didn't like how you lectured me.” 

Ouch. You're better off not thanking him at all, if it's going to be stated in a passive-aggressive way. I've been there. I've done that. I still fight it, sometimes, the desire to somehow snatch back control in subtle ways. 

Try to give thanks with no strings attached. 

If you are in the process of building your dynamic, it's very important to remember to thank him when he does step up to the plate, as you want him to. It's challenging uttering those embarrassing words, “Thank you for disciplining me,” but I promise, it's worth the effort. Become transparent. Embrace the vulnerability. Say the words. 

Praise him. 

Of the five love languages, the one I'm really not very good at is the “words of affirmation.” It's not very high in my own list of love languages (in fact, last I checked, it was at the bottom), so it's one I need to make a conscious effort with, not just with Jason, but with my children and friends as well. I grew up in a home where praise was sparing, and sadly it makes me uncomfortable to praise others. I also was taught that we should avoid being proud, and it's important not to get a big head. Although that's true, it doesn't mean there's never a time and place for praise. 

We often forget how important it is to praise our husbands. If you're someone who's forgotten this, I challenge you to do it. It sometimes feels foreign to us. Still, you may find it's very much worth the effort.

The other day Jason went to work dressed to the nines – crisp white shirt, black slacks – he looked amazing. I made sure to tell him. He looked hot! Made my heart go pitter-patter. Why not tell him? 

Do you love the new beard your husband is sporting? The tan he's gotten over the summer? The way he looks lying in bed in his white t-shirt when you join him in bed at night? I've told Jason that one of my very very favorite smells is the smell of his clean white t-shirt he's wearing when I'm curled up on his chest. It's so true. Swoon! Tell him. He needs to hear these things. 

Physical praise isn't the only way to praise him, though. Do you love how he makes your baby belly laugh when he pretends her spoon is an airplane? Does it make you proud how he sits down after a long day of work and does homework with your children? Does he take time from what little free time he has to help his mother buy groceries, or get her car fixed? 

We are so busy, it's easy to fall into the temptation of focusing on our own needs and tasks at hand. Try to see beyond those. Try to see what he's doing, too. And when you do, praise him for it. Don't just limit your praise to face-to-face, either. Send a text or email. Leave him a note. Have fun with it.

Speak highly of him to others. 

Many have asked me how it is that Jason and I have arrived where we are. It's taken time, and we're still learning, but one thing I've shared that has helped me is this little blog of mine. 

How has blogging helped? Jason is truly an amazing Dominant. He meets my needs in spades, time and time and time again, and I make no bones about it on this blog. He reads this blog. He knows how much I love him. In reading my blog, he knows how much I appreciate the fact that he doms me so well. This way of communicating with one another has truly enhanced our dynamic, because speaking highly of Jason builds him up. Building him up is crucial as he grows into his role as Dominant. 

Many of us avoid building our husbands up, because we don't want to sound like we're bragging. Try to get past that, because the effort you make in speaking highly of him goes a long way. And the more you speak highly of him, the less tempted you are to speak negatively (which has the exact opposite effect at building him up and therefore a negative effect on your dynamic). It's okay to speak frankly with friends, but do try to be careful with how you choose. 

So now, for this week's challenge. 

Thank him. At least once a day, thank him for something he's done. 

Praise him. At least once a day, praise him for something he's done. Remember, even the simplest praise goes a long way. 

Speak highly of him to others. When the opportunity arises, speak highly of him. When you talk with your mom, your pastor, or your best friend, is there a chance you can share with them how hard he's worked, an accomplishment he's achieved, or how proud you are of him? 

Again, these are very simple ways you can build him up. Focus on the power of the spoken word. The more you build him up, the easier it becomes for him to lead. 

Join me next week as I post the fourth and final installment in this series. And thank you for all the positive feedback!

12 comments:

  1. Yep, there was a huge difference when I got over my shyness in telling him what I admire in him. He just started stepping right up! I also had to make sure to extend grace or the understanding that we are enjoying each other as we both grow, because he feared falling down in any of those things I admire.

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    1. Yes, that makes a lot of sense! It's a bit of a confusing thing, as our "dominant, in charge" husbands seem like they need a bit of hand-holding. But just because they are strong and manly doesn't mean they aren't sensitive in some ways, and it's worth the effort to be aware of how what we say and do affects them.

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  2. I think I first read the importance of being polite to each other in an article on marriage in a woman's magazine. It seemed to be just common sense and something we all would be doing, but I realized that in a busy household, I often overlooked saying thank you (or please) because I just expected my husband to do his share. Now after decades of being married, once I made a point to say it, he started too and it just feels so nice.
    I have been using your challenges and doing ok, but today's hit on something that has happened here lately. I have a problem when my husband tells others little things that I do that annoy him. We might be hanging out with friends or our grown kids and he'll say things like "while I'm drinking my coffee in the morning she starts listing things I should do that day" (never saying we have been up an hour and it's his third cup). When other men say their wives are the boss of the house or they get along by always saying "Yes dear" he'll jokingly agree. This hurts me because I always let him make the financial decisions and things like when we need a new car. I will try to be sure that I only say positive things when speaking of him, but this has been causing pain recently. He says he doesn't mean anything by it....

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    1. Well, that's it, all common sense stuff that is so easy to forget when we get caught up in the busyness of our daily tasks!

      As far as how he speaks of you to others. When he agrees jokingly with the men who "yes, dear," their husbands, I can see why that causes you hurt. Often, we want this dynamic, and joking with others that he lets you boss him around may make you feel that he doesn't take it seriously, or somehow doesn't see the effort you put in. Try to see that maybe he doesn't feel comfortable with sharing how your dynamic works. Many people criticize a male-led arrangement, and many men are reluctant to admit that their wives allow them to lead. I'ts likely not a reflection on you at all, but rather his own issue.

      As far as the other issue, though, I'd have a problem with that. For a very long time in our marriage I had a thin skin and Jason couldn't tease me about anything (especially in front of other people). So I really did have to get a tougher skin. However, if he started saying something critical about me in front of others, I would have to tell him how it made me feel. Sometimes, a joking, forthright manner works and helps with the tough skin thing (i.e. "Does that really bother you, babe? I figured you'd been up an hour and it was your third cup of coffee, and you'd be game to talk about what we needed to do!"). If he's serious, though, approach him privately. "Eariler you mentioned it bothered you that I asked you to do a few things. WOuld you rather I do those on my own? Is there a better time to approach you?" Jason and I have some built-in time frames to discuss important things, and certain times we don't discuss important things (like when he's at work, or just going in to work, or focused on something at home, like balancing the budget).

      I might also mention that it hurts. If he says "I didn't mean anyting by it," I would be very honest and frank about how I felt. "You may not have meant anything by it, but it still hurts, because I feel disrespected in front of others. Can we please discuss those things privately?" Talk about how it affects your feelings (not what he did), stay non-emotional and honest, and ask politely (submissively) if he could please consider discussing these things privately. It might also help to ask him, politely, how he would feel if you did the same to him. Sometimes thinking of things from our own perspective helps us grasp the situation better. I hope that helps. Keep up the good work!

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    2. Thanks for your reply. I have mentioned my feelings and he was surprised that I thought that much about it and said I should know he is very happy with our marriage. I will see how it goes the next few times we are in a crowd; if needed , I will definitely ask to discuss it alone and express my feelings again. Thanks!

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    3. I hope it helps. Good luck!

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  3. J Girl

    I must say this was the most beautiful post I have ever seen on a blog. You are a very special kind of wife. Not too many of you out there. Very wise and loving.

    Being a man, I don't think so many women understand what we have to deal with every day. It is an inate feeling in so many of us that we are totally responsible for everything.
    I am fortunate to be married to a woman who understands and supports me. She also understands she needs her bare bottom spanked every now and then. Not only to keep things on an even keel, but when she steps out of line.
    We just got back from boot camp and it went very well.

    Men these days have to deal with a society that I feel has somewhat turned against them. Most of the men I know are just good old joes trying to make a living and support their families.
    Are there bad ones out there? Of course. Are there bad women out there? Of course.
    But remember
    Who has fought for and so often given their lives for their country? Mostly men
    Who fixes things? Mostly men
    Who is the most heavily involved in cleaning up and putting things back in place after a natural or manmade disaster? Mostly men.

    Anyway, DD was the best decision we ever made. I has helped our marriage a lot. Before then it just seemed like things were out of alignment most of the time.
    If all marriages practiced DD I think we would be living in a much better world.

    Thanks for listening,

    Ray

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    1. Thanks for your kind words. :)

      You make some excellent points. I hadn't really considered the weight of responsibility society as a whole puts on men, and I think that many have turned against men as a backlash reaction to the inequality women have suffered for so long. Now, we still expect men to take the lead and bear the brunt of responsibility, but it's expected to be done on specific terms. And how can one lead under those conditions?

      I'm not sure I agree everyone would be better off practicing DD -- I think there needs to be a certain maturity, and not everyone can handle the responsbility. Plus, some marriages truly do funtion as female-led, and some function best on egalitarian footing. However, I do agree that male-led (and in many cases DD arrangements) have the potential for leading to intimate, peaceful relationships, and many more would benefit from it than practice it.

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  4. One more thing

    I tried to e-mail you but it would not go through.
    Sometimes I look for advice and want to share with somebody like you. Would you mind e-mailing me so I have your e-mail address?

    Mine is Raybird8657@aol.com

    Thank you

    Ray

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    1. Ray, unfortunately, I'm not allowed to correspond privately with men. Jason's safety rule.

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    2. J Girl

      I can certainly understand that. There are so many kooks out there.
      I've also seen some vicious attacks by women on the internet to some of those involved in DD. My opinion is they are just showing their own shortcomings with something that they have no understanding of.

      You are right when you talk about the inequality women had to suffer for so long. I've heard of some really ugly sexual harrassment incidents
      in the workplace. And, of course, the glass ceiling. All that needed to be fixed.
      But we have so many societal ills. High divorce rate. Prison overcrowding. Homeless youth.
      I hope I'm not rubbing anyone the wrong way, but I think a lot of it began with the erosion of stay at home moms. And we can thank the absolute imbeciles that put it in the minds of so many people that you are inferior if you are a stay at home mom. They should be taken out and shot.
      I think so many of us can remember how nice it was when you were sick at home and a loving mother was there to take care of you.

      My wife works and working and taking care of household requirements is like having two jobs for both of us. And the way things cost these days (I have a daughter in college) if one of us lost our job it would be a disaster.
      She's off for the summer right now and we both always love it when she is.

      I live in Houston and it is so hot you could roast a 30 lb Butterball christmas turkey in the back seat of my car. I don't know how people survived in the old days.

      Well I'm going to read the fourth part of your series. I know it will be just as good as the last one

      Thanks for listening

      Ray

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    3. Hi, Ray,

      There certainly are kooks out there. I've been hit on and propositioned as a blogger. It's really unsettling. Saying "no personal contact with men" is a small precaution (as certainly people can lie about gender) but Jason does try to make sure I stay safe. So I can only be thankful for that, even when I do chafe against some of his restrictions.

      I don't think everyone is meant to be a stay-at-home mom, but I do think we can trace many of societal issues on the breakdown of the nuclear family. Believe it or not, I'm rather liberal in my thinking in some areas, but I do believe traditional family values stand the test of time. Im' not advocating a Don Draper type of male-led society that downplays the dignity of women. I sympathize with many feminist values, and actually believe that submission takes great strength, and empowers those who desire it. I do, however, think that self-giving in a marriage is of the utmost imporance.

      I also think there are a vareity of things that have contributed to the breakdown of a strong nuclear family. Busyness, comittments outside of the home, and a fast-paced culture means that family time has gone the way of the dinosaur. Our society has embraced things like casual sex and pornography, and I truly believe that has had a strong negative impact on the necessity for monogamy and intimacy that fuels the needs of a committed couple. Marriage is now seen as a casual committment, and no longer a convenant between two people who are dedicated to fulfilling their vows even when the going gets rough.

      Thank you for your encouraging comments on my posts! I don't get a lot of feedback, so I appreciate those of you who take the time to encourage me to write.

      And stay cool in the heat! ;)

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